(From “The Beatitudes” 1660)
To render evil for evil is brutish; to render evil for good is devilish; to render good for evil is Christian.
“Blessed are the meek.” Matthew 5:5
Meekness is a grace whereby we are enabled by the Spirit of God, to moderate our angry passions. Meekness has a divine beauty and sweetness in it. This meekness consists in three things: the bearing of injuries, the forgiving of injuries, the recompensing good for evil.
Meekness is opposed to:
anger, malice, revenge and evil-speaking.
Meekness is a great ornament to a Christian. “The ornament of a meek spirit—which is so precious to God!” (1 Peter 3:4). How lovely is a saint in God’s eye, when adorned with this jewel! No garment is more befitting to a Christian, than meekness.
Therefore we are bid to put on this garment, “Put on therefore as the elect of God—meekness.”(Colossians 3:12)
Meekness is a noble and excellent spirit. A meek man is a valorous man. He gets a victory over himself! Anger arises from weakness of character. The meek man is able to conquer his fury. “He who is slow to anger is better than the mighty; controlling one’s temper is better than capturing a city.” (Proverbs 16:32). To yield to one’s anger is easy—it is swimming along with the tide of corrupt nature. But to turn against nature—to resist anger, to “overcome evil with good”—this is truly Christian.
Meekness is the best way to conquer and melt the heart of an enemy. Meekness melts and thaws the heart of others. The greatest victory is to overcome an enemy—without striking a blow! Mildness prevails more than fierceness. Anger makes an enemy of a friend. Meekness makes a friend of an enemy.
Meekness is the way to be like Jesus—”Learn of Me; for I am meek and lowly in heart.” Mat. 11:29.
It is not profession which makes us like Jesus—but imitation. Where meekness is lacking—we are like brutes. Where it is present—we are like Jesus.