Archive | Humility RSS feed for this section

Augustine – Charity, Peace, and Humility

28 Jun

st-augustine-of-hippo

Where there is charity there is peace, and where there is humility there is charity.

~Augustine~








Homilies on the First Epistle of John, The Works of Saint Augustine, ed. Daniel E. Doyle and Thomas Martin, trans. Boniface Ramsey (Hyde Park, NY: New City Press, 2008), 20.

Books by Augustine

Kindle Books

The Works of Augustine on Logos Bible Software

Other Augustine Quotes at The Old Guys

John Calvin – Receive The Word With Meekness

11 Apr

john-calvin

21 Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your souls. – James 1:21

He concludes by saying how the word of life is to be received. And first, indeed, he intimates that it cannot be rightly received except it be implanted, or strike roots in us. For the expression, to receive the implanted word, ought to be thus explained, “to receive it, that it may be really implanted.” For he alludes to seed often sown on arid ground, and not received into the moist bosom of the earth; or to plants, which being cast on the ground, or laid on dead wood, soon wither. He then requires that it should be a living implanting, by which the word becomes as it were united with our heart.

He at the same time shews the way and manner of this reception, even with meekness. By this word he means humility and the readiness of a mind disposed to learn, such as Isaiah describes when he says, “On whom does my Spirit rest, except on the humble and meek?” (Isa. 57:15.) Hence it is, that so few profit in the school of God, because hardly one in a hundred renounces the stubbornness of his own spirit, and gently submits to God; but almost all are conceited and refractory. But if we desire to be the living plantation of God, we must subdue our proud hearts and be humble, and labour to become like lambs, so as to suffer ourselves to be ruled and guided by our Shepherd.

~John Calvin~






Commentaries on the Catholic Epistles – James (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2010), 294–295.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Calvin’s Works on Logos Bible Software

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

John Calvin – From Blindness to Sight to Humility

12 Feb

With good reason the ancient proverb strongly recommended knowledge of self to man. For if it is considered disgraceful for us not to know all that pertains to the business of human life, even more detestable is our ignorance of ourselves, by which, when making decisions in necessary matters, we miserably deceive and even blind ourselves!

But since this precept is so valuable, we ought more diligently to avoid applying it perversely. This, we observe, has happened to certain philosophers, who, while urging man to know himself, propose the goal of recognizing his own worth and excellence. And they would have him contemplate in himself nothing but what swells him with empty assurance and puffs him up with pride [Gen. 1:27].

But knowledge of ourselves lies first in considering what we were given at creation and how generously God continues his favor toward us, in order to know how great our natural excellence would be if only it had remained unblemished; yet at the same time to bear in mind that there is in us nothing of our own, but that we hold on sufferance whatever God has bestowed upon us. Hence we are ever dependent on him. Secondly, to call to mind our miserable condition after Adam’s fall; the awareness of which, when all our boasting and self-assurance are laid low, should truly humble us and overwhelm us with shame. In the beginning God fashioned us after his image [Gen. 1:27] that he might arouse our minds both to zeal for virtue and to meditation upon eternal life. Thus, in order that the great nobility of our race (which distinguishes us from brute beasts) may not be buried beneath our own dullness of wit, it behooves us to recognize that we have been endowed with reason and understanding so that, by leading a holy and upright life, we may press on to the appointed goal of blessed immortality.

(b)But that primal worthiness cannot come to mind without the sorry spectacle of our foulness and dishonor presenting itself by way of contrast, since in the person of the first man we have fallen from our original condition. From this source arise abhorrence and displeasure with ourselves, as well as true humility; and thence is kindled a new zeal to seek God, in whom each of us may recover those good things which we have utterly and completely lost.

~John Calvin~






Institutes of the Christian Religion, Volumes 1 & 2, – ed. John T. McNeill, trans. Ford Lewis Battles, The Library of Christian Classics (Louisville, KY: Westminster John Knox Press, 2011), 241-242.

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Kindle Books

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

Jonathan Edwards – The Excellency of Christ in the Incarnation

31 Dec
jonathan-edwards

1703-1758. Reformed Preacher and Theologian in New England.

Having thus shown wherein there is an admirable conjunction of excellencies in Jesus Christ, I now proceed,
Secondly, To show how this admirable conjunction of excellencies appears in Christ’s acts.

1. It appears in what Christ did in taking on him our nature. In this act, his infinite condescension wonderfully appeared, that he who was God should become man; that the word should be made flesh, and should take on him a nature infinitely below his original nature! And it appears yet more remarkably in the low circumstances of his incarnation: he was conceived in the womb of a poor young woman, whose poverty appeared in this, when she came to offer sacrifices of her purification, she brought what was allowed of in the law only in case of poverty; as Luke 2:24. “According to what is said in the law of the Lord, a pair of turtle-doves, or two young pigeons.” This was allowed only in case the person was so poor that she was not able to offer a lamb. Lev. 12:8.

And though his infinite condescension thus appeared in the manner of his incarnation, yet his divine dignity also appeared in it; for though he was conceived in the womb of a poor virgin, yet he was conceived there by the power of the Holy Ghost. And his divine dignity also appeared in the holiness of his conception and birth. Though he was conceived in the womb of one of the corrupt race of mankind, yet he was conceived and born without sin; as the angel said to the blessed Virgin, Luke 1:35. “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee, shall be called the Son of God.”

His infinite condescension marvellously appeared in the manner of his birth. He was brought forth in a stable, because there was no room for them in the inn. The inn was taken up by others, that were looked upon as persons of greater account. The blessed Virgin, being poor and despised, was turned or shut out. Though she was in such necessitous circumstances, yet those that counted themselves her betters would not give place to her; and therefore, in the time of her travail, she was forced to betake herself to a stable; and when the child was born, it was wrapped in swaddling-clothes, and laid in a manger. There Christ lay a little infant; and there he eminently appeared as a lamb. But yet this feeble infant, born thus in a stable, and laid in a manger, was born to conquer and triumph over Satan, that roaring lion. He came to subdue the mighty powers of darkness, and make a show of them openly; and so to restore peace on earth, and to manifest God’s good-will towards men, and to bring glory to God in the highest; according as the end of his birth was declared by the joyful songs of the glorious hosts of angels appearing to the shepherds at the same time that the infant lay in the manger; whereby his divine dignity was manifested.

~Jonathan Edwards~






The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 1 (Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software, 2008), 683. The Excellency of Christ

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes

B.B. Warfield – Who Is The Calvinist?

3 Dec

The exact formulation of the formative principle of Calvinism, as I have said, has taxed the acumen of a long line of distinguished thinkers. Many modes of stating it have been proposed. Perhaps after all, however, its simplest statement is the best. It lies then, let me repeat, in a profound apprehension of God in His majesty, with the poignant realization which inevitably accompanies this apprehension, of the relation sustained to God by the creature as such, and particularly by the sinful creature. The Calvinist is the man who has seen God, and who, having seen God in His glory, is filled on the one hand, with a sense of his own unworthiness to stand in God’s sight as a creature, and much more as a sinner, and on the other hand, with adoring wonder that nevertheless this God is a God who receives sinners. He who believes in God without reserve and is determined that God shall be God to him, in all his thinking, feeling, willing–in the entire compass of his life activities, intellectual, moral, spiritual–throughout all his individual, social, religious relations–is, by the force of that strictest of all logic which presides over the outworking of principles into thought and life, by the very necessity of the case, a Calvinist.


~B.B. Warfield~


The Theology of John Calvin (Presbyterian Board of Education; 1909) HT: Tony Reinke

The Calvinist: A Poem and Video by John Piper
(RSS click through for video)


Books by B.B. Warfield

More Warfield Quotes at The Old Guys

Jonathan Edwards – The Primary Inducement to Humble Love

20 Feb

The gospel yet further tends to lead us to humble exercises of love as it leads us to love Christ as one that was crucified for our sins. Christ’s being crucified is a great argument for the humility of us who are his followers; but his being crucified for our sins is a much further argument for it. For Christ’s being crucified for our sins is the greatest testimony of God against our sins that ever was. It shows more of God’s abhorrence of our sins than any other dispensation of God. God so abhorred our sins that he would have them so terribly punished, and his wrath so exerted against them, even when imputed to his own Son. So that this is the greatest inducement to our humility which can be, on these two accounts. First, it is the greatest manifestation of the vileness of that nature for which we should be humble. And second, it is the greatest argument to our love to this humble Savior whom the gospel holds forth. Because, the excellency of Christ and the love of Christ appear more in that act, his yielding himself to be crucified for us, than in any other act. So that these two things considered together tend above all things to draw forth the exercises of humble love.

~Jonathan Edwards~


Charity and Its Fruits: Living in the Light of God’s Love (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2012) p. 157-158

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes

John Calvin – What Comes First… Humility or Unity?

14 Feb

“[4:1] I therefore, a prisoner for the Lord, urge you to walk in a manner worthy of the calling to which you have been called, [2] with all humility and gentleness, with patience, bearing with one another in love,” – Ephesians 4:1-2

Paul puts humility first because he is about to speak about unity, and humility is the first step toward achieving it. Humility in turn produces gentleness, and that makes us patient. By bearing with our fellow believers we keep that unity that otherwise would be broken a hundred times a day. Let us remember, therefore, that in cultivating brotherly kindness we must start with humility….

Anyone who has these gifts of moderation will overlook and put up with many faults among his fellow believers. We must also respect the order in which Paul lists these things. It is pointless to ask for patience if people’s spirits have not been tamed first, or to preach gentleness without humility. When Paul mentions love, he means what he says elsewhere, that the true nature of love lies in patience.

~John Calvin~







Reformation Commentary on Scripture – Galatians, Ephesians (Downers Grove, IL; IVP Academic; 2011) p. 329

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes at the Old Guys

John Calvin – Humility in Interpretation

12 Jul

Here, indeed, if anywhere in the secret mysteries of Scripture, we ought to play the philosopher soberly and with great moderation; let us use great caution that neither our thoughts nor our speech go beyond the limits to which the Word of God itself extends.

For how can the human mind measure off the measureless essence of God according to its own little measure . . . ? Let us then willingly leave to God the knowledge of himself. . . . But we shall be “leaving it to him” if we conceive him to be as he reveals himself to us, without inquiring about him elsewhere than from his Word. . . .

And let us not take it into our heads either to seek out God anywhere else than in his Sacred Word, or to think anything about him that is not prompted by his Word, or to speak anything that is not taken from his Word.

~John Calvin~



The Institutes of the Christian Religion (Louisville, Kentucky; Westminster John Knox Press; 1974) I.XIII.21
HT: JT

Books by John Calvin

Biography of John Calvin

Online Books Available

Other Calvin Quotes

Charles Simeon – Safe Ground

13 Apr

Repentance is in every view so desirable, so necessary, so suited to honor God, that I seek that above all. The tender heart, the broken and contrite spirit, are to me far above all the joys that I could ever hope for in this vale of tears. I long to be in my proper place, my hand on my mouth, and my mouth in the dust. . . . I feel this to be safe ground. Here I cannot err. . . . I am sure that whatever God may despise . . . He will not despise the broken and contrite heart.

~Charles Simeon~


Roots of Endurance (Wheaton, IL; Crossway Books; 2002) p. 110.

Jonathan Edwards – What is Spiritual Light?

15 Nov

There is therefore in the spiritual light,
1. A true sense of the divine and superlative excellency of the things of religion; a real sense of the excellency of God and Jesus Christ, and of the work of redemption, and the ways and works of God revealed in the gospel. There is a divine and superlative glory in these things; an excellency that is of a vastly higher kind, and more sublime nature, than in other things; a glory greatly distinguishing them from all that is earthly and temporal. He that is spiritually enlightened truly apprehends and sees it, or has a sense of it. He does not merely rationally believe that God is glorious, but he has a sense of the gloriousness of God in his heart. There is not only a rational belief that God is holy, and that holiness is a good thing, but there is a sense of the loveliness of God’s holiness. There is not only a speculatively judging that God is gracious, but a sense how amiable God is on account of the beauty of this divine attribute.

~Jonathan Edwards~



The Works of Jonathan Edwards Vol. 2 (Peabody, MA; Hendrickson Publishers, Inc; 2007) p. 14. A Divine and Supernatural Light

Books by Jonathan Edwards

Biography of Jonathan Edwards

Online Books Available

Other Edwards Quotes