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XIX. HUMILITY.

IT is a strange passage, Rev. vii. 13, 14: And one of the elders answered, saying unto me, What are these who are arrayed in white robes? and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said unto me, These are they who have come out of great tribulation, &c.

How comes the elder, when asking a question, to be said to answer? On good reason: for his query in effect was a resolution. He asked St. John, not because he thought he could, but knew he could not answer; that John’s ingenuous confession of his ignorance might invite the elder to inform him.

As his question is called an answer, so God’s 122commands are grants. When he enjoins us, Repent, believe, it is only to draw from us a free acknowledgment of our impotency to perform his commands. This confession being made by us, what he enjoins he will enable us to do. Man’s owning his weakness is the only stock for God thereon to graft the grace of his assistance.

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