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Paradox of Humility

God is on high, and yet the higher you lift up yourself, the farther you are from Him; the lower you humble yourself, the nearer He draws to you. Low things He looks close upon, that He may raise them: proud things He knows afar off, that He may depress them. The proud Pharisee pressed as near God as he could: the poor publican, not daring to do so, stood afar off; yet was God far from the Pharisee, near to the publican.

Augustine
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Inseparable from Christ

The humble soul knows that God out of Christ is incommunicable, that God out of Christ is incomprehensible, that God out of Christ is very terrible, and that God out of Christ is inaccessible; and, therefore, he always brings Christ with him, presents all his requests in his name, and so prevails.

Thomas Brooks, Smooth Stones Taken From Ancient Brooks, 145
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Essential, Yet Neglected

Humility is so essential to the right state of our souls, that there is no pretending to a reasonable or pious life without it. We may as well think to see without eyes, or live without breath, as to live in the spirit of religion without the spirit of humility. And although it is thus the soul and essence of all religious duties, yet is it, generally speaking, the least understood, the least regarded, the least intended, the least desired and sought after, of all other virtues, amongst all sorts of Christians.

William Law, A Devout Call
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Christian Character Contradiction

Is not pride the sin of devils? The firstborn of hell? Is it not that wherein Satan’s image doth much consist; and is it tolerable evil in a man that is so engaged against him and his kingdom as we are? The very design of the Gospel doth tend to self-abasing; and the work of grace is begun and carried on in humiliation. Humility is not a mere ornament of a Christian, but an essential part of the new creature: it is a contradiction to be a sanctified man, or a true Christian, and not humble. All that will be Christians must be Christ’s disciples, and come to him to learn; and their lesson is, to be meek and lowly.

Richard Baxter, Works, 14:160.
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Responding to Admonition

We are most of us far more likely to err on the side of over-caution than of over-zeal: we are generally far more disposed to remember the “time to be silent” than the “time to speak” (Ecclesiastes 3:7). It is a lesson, however, which ought to stir up a spirit of self-inquiry in all our hearts. Do we ourselves never check our friends from giving us good advice, by being morose and irritable? Have we never obliged others to hold their peace and say nothing, by being proud and contemptuous of their advice? Have we never turned against our kind advisers, and silenced them by our violence and passion.

J. C. Ryle
Matthew, Crossway Classic Commentaries (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 1993), 49.