Blessed are the poor in spirit: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven (Matthew 5:3).

His design in this sermon, was to open to them the nature of that kingdom which he had before announced as about to be established, and to rescue the moral law from those false glosses which the Pharisees had put upon it. The people in general had an idea, that their Messiah should establish a temporal kingdom, under which they were to enjoy the highest privileges and blessings. To counteract this vain expectation, he tells them, that his subjects would be indeed most blessed; but that their character and blessedness were widely different from any thing that they supposed. They dreamed of riches and mirth; but the persons whom he pronounced blessed, were the poor and mournful.

In dealing with the wants of human souls, however, and especially when He would bring comfort to uneasy sinners, it was the way of our wise and tender Lord to offer His grace, not in dogmatic formularies, but in the easiest, lowliest words of human love. Salvation does not seem far off or inaccessible, even to a child, or to the untaught, or one too faint and fearful of spirit to be able to think much, when God stoops down to whisper only in the ear, “It is yours!” Nor is the kingdom of heaven so hard a thing to grasp, if you say it is but a royal alms dropped by the hand of the Eternal King into every empty, open, out-reached hand of a begging sinner.

Poverty Of Spirit

To be poor in spirit is to have a humble opinion of ourselves; to be sensible that we are sinners, and have no righteousness of our own, to be willing to be saved only by the rich grace and mercy of God; to be willing to be where God places us, to hear what he lays on us, to go where he bids us, and to die ...

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