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they are of the same spirit as God, and of nature the kingdom of heaven is theirs.

'Blessed are the meek, for they shall inherit the earth,' expresses the same principle: the same law holds in the earth as in the kingdom of heaven. How should it be otherwise? Has the creator of the ends of the earth ceased to rule it after his fashion, because his rebellious children have so long, to their own hurt, vainly endeavoured to rule it after theirs? The kingdom of heaven belongs to the poor; the meek shall inherit the earth. The earth as God sees it, as those to whom the kingdom of heaven belongs also see it, is good, all good, very good, fit for the meek to inherit; and one day they shall inherit it-not indeed as men of the world count inheritance, but as the maker and owner of the world has from the first counted it. So different are the two ways of inheriting, that one of the meek may be heartily enjoying his possession, while one of the proud is selfishly walling him out from the spot in it he loves best.

The meek are those that do not assert themselves, do not defend themselves, never dream of avenging themselves, or of returning aught but

good for evil. They do not imagine it their business to take care of themselves. The meek man may indeed take much thought, but it will not be for himself. He never builds an exclusive wall, shuts any honest neighbour out. He will not always serve the wish, but always the good of his neighbour. His service must be true service. Self shall be no umpire in affair of his. Man's consciousness of himself is but a shadow: the meek man's self always vanishes in the light of a real presence. His nature lies open to the Father of men, and to every good impulse is as it were empty. No bristling importance, no vain attendance of fancied rights and wrongs, guards his door, or crowds the passages of his house; they are for the angels to come and go. Abandoned thus to the truth, as the sparks from the gleaming river dip into the flowers of Dante's unperfected vision, so the many souls of the visible world, lights from the father of lights, enter his heart freely; and by them he inherits the earth he was created to inherit-possesses it as his father made him capable of possessing, and the earth of being possessed. Because the man is meek, his eye is single; he sees things as God sees them, as he would have

his child see them: to confront creation with pure eyes is to possess it.

How little is the man able to make his own, who would ravish all! The man who, by the exclusion of others from the space he calls his, would grasp any portion of the earth as his own, befools himself in the attempt. The very bread he has swallowed cannot so in any real sense be his. There does not exist such a power of possessing as he would arrogate. There is not such a sense of having as that of which he has conceived the shadow in his degenerate and lapsing imagination. The real owner of his demesne is that pedlar passing his gate, into a divine soul receiving the sweetnesses which not all the greed of the so-counted possessor can keep within his walls: they overflow the cup-lip of the coping, to give themselves to the footfarer. The motions aerial, the sounds, the odours of those imprisoned spaces, are the earnest of a possession for which is ever growing his power of possessing. In no wise will such inheritance interfere with the claim of the man who calls them his. Each possessor has them his, as much as each in his own way is capable of possessing them. For possession is determined by the kind and the scope of the power

of possessing; and the earth has a fourth dimension of which the mere owner of its soil knows nothing.

The child of the maker is naturally the inheritor. But if the child try to possess as a house the thing his father made an organ, will he succeed in so possessing it? Or if he do nestle in a corner of its case, will he oust thereby the lord of its multiplex harmony, sitting regnant on the seat of sway, and drawing with 'volant touch' from the house of the child the liege homage of its rendered wealth? To the poverty of such a child are all those left, who think to have and to hold after the corrupt fancies of a greedy self.

We cannot see the world as God means it, save in proportion as our souls are meek. In meekness only are we its inheritors. Meekness alone makes the spiritual retina pure to receive God's things as they are, mingling with them neither imperfection nor impurity of its own. A thing so beheld that it conveys to me the divine thought issuing in its form, is mine; by nothing but its mediation between God and my life, can anything be mine. The man so dull as to insist that a thing is his because he has bought it and paid for it, had better bethink himself that not all the combined forces of

law, justice, and goodwill, can keep it his; while even death cannot take the world from the man who possesses it as alone the maker of him and it cares that he should possess it. This man leaves it, but carries it with him; that man carries with him only its loss. He passes, unable to close hand or mouth upon any portion of it. Its ownness to him was but the changes he could make in it, and the nearness into which he could bring it to the body he lived in. That body the earth in its turn possesses now, and it lies very still, changing nothing, but being changed. Is this the fine of the great buyer of land, to have his fine pate full of fine dirt? In the soul of the meek, the earth remains an endless possession-his because he who made it is his-his as nothing but his maker could ever be the creature's. He has the earth by his divine relation to him who sent it forth from him as a tree sends out its leaves. To inherit the earth is to grow ever more alive to the presence, in it and in all its parts, of him who is the life of How far one may advance in such inheritance while yet in the body, will simply depend on the meekness he attains while yet in the body; but it may be, as Frederick Denison Maurice,


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