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The Gentleness of God.

The Gentleness of God.

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" 'Thy gentleness hath made me great" — PSALM xvui. 36
(Bible Version).

" 'Thy gentleness hath made me great" — PSALM xvui. 36
(Bible Version).

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Jul 28, 2014
Copyright:Traditional Copyright: All rights reserved


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THE GETLEESS OF GOD. BY EDWARD KIG, D.D. " 'Thy gentleness hath made me great" — PSALM xvui. 36 (Bible Version). SUCH was the reflection of the author of this Psalm as he looked back over the course of his life. It was not his own natural gifts, not his great valour, not his own cleverness, much less his own goodness, but simply the gentleness of God, by which he would account for his having reached that position in life which had raised him above so many of his fellow-men, and which had been truly great because by it he had been a help and blessing to many. " Thy gentleness hath made me great." He could only think of himself as of one who had been " put up with," as we say. It is the language of a guileless heart and true humility. I have ventured to choose these words for my text this morning, because I feel that in many ways they repre sent the mind and character of him of whom for a few moments, I desire, by God's help, to speak to you. There is no need for any words of excitement to stir your feelings ; your memories and your love will do far more than my words. The first characteristic, perhaps, of my dear brother which would strike any one was his great strength and 1 Preached in Leigh Church on the First Sunday after Easter, 1893, in Grateful Memory of the late much-beloved Rector, Canon Walker King, M.A. 2 ;8 MISCELLAEOUS SERMOS
courage. In younger days this was the silent admiration of many, though physical strength was not scientifically trained and recorded as it is now. In later years it showed itself in that strong spirit of fearless independence which made him indifferent to much of public opinion, which he neither feared nor courted. Singularly free from mere worldly ambition, he had no desire for popularity, but was content to remain doing his duty in the position to which God had called him. He was happy if all went well at Leigh. And with this strength and courage was that rarer gift which is only, I think, to be seen in perfection where cour age and strength exist in a high degree — the gift of gentle ness. owhere did his strength and courage show itself more truly than in the sick-room and by the bedside of the suffering and dying. When all was confusion and fear, he would be calm, quiet, strong, inspiring confidence in others by his own strength. Many of you must have seen this, as I have myself. It was that " gentleness which, when it weds with manhood, makes the man ". This was one of his great characteristics and real sources of power. In these days of self-advertisement and pushing, his spirit of gentleness and retirement possesses a rare value : always ready to listen to what other persons had to say ; never over-bearing or pushing to obtain his own way, he would rather give way and let others do as they pleased, provided only it was not wrong. This spirit of retirement, of un obtrusive gentleness, especially in those who are placed in positions of authority, is worthy of great attention as being most precious in the sight of God, Who " giveth grace to the humble," and most valuable as a means of raising the finer moral and spiritual qualities in those with whom it has to do. " Thy gentleness," the Psalmist said, " hath made me great : " and it was this gentleness and freedom from all that was sharp and hard which enabled many of THE GETLEESS OF GOD 279
you to come so close to him and to enjoy, and profit by, his real friendship. And this leads me to mention a third characteristic which you will not have forgotten. I have mentioned his strength and gentleness, and the third I will mention is affection. Call it what you please — affection, kindness, love — the little children will know what I mean, and so will any of you who have been in trouble. Always ready to help, and not only to help (as some might be tempted to help) for the sake of gaining power, but from a real kindliness of heart that gave one help in a wise and prudent way, but with a tenderness of sympathy which almost con cealed the gift lest the finer feeling of the heart should be wounded by receiving. I will mention no more, but will apply this practically to yourselves. How was it that there was such a singular bond of good-feeling between yourselves and him ; such a rare degree of admiration and confidence and restful love ? It was, I believe, because he suited you. But what does that mean? It means (does it not?) that there are ele ments in the Leigh character which specially corresponded to his. And so I venture to think it was. The Leigh men, with their lives of frequent danger upon the water, had an especial attraction for him, and the courage which your daily life required fitted you to see the kindred virtue which was in him. And, with this courage, the constant presence of powers of wind and wave, which were beyond your own control, gave you, if I mistake not, a gentleness which enabled you in the midst of your often rough and hard work to appreciate that tenderness which you found in him. or need I stop here. Your good-heartedness, friendliness, kindness, affection, love (call it what you please), was of far greater value to him than the emptiness of the world's applause. He did not care for the world's praise when he knew he had your hearts. He valued a

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