The child’s humility

The child’s humility

Of little Children. Our duties towards them.

(The Gospel History, Section 75)

Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And taking him in his arms, he said unto them, Whosoever shall receive one of such little children in my name, receiveth me: and whosoever receiveth me, receiveth not me, but him that sent me: for he that is least among you all, the same is great.

The child’s humility

(The Saviour of the World, Vol IV Book IV Poem LXI)

“Can any humble him as this little child,
Nor think of himself, but of this beauteous world,
Of all those things God made to pleasure men,
Of the fair folk, each busy in his way,
Of Him who made the world, and loves all men?—
Who thinks on these things, not upon himself,
Whether he’s first or last, or good or ill,—
That man is first in the Kingdom, for he knows
To take as a simple child what God provides,
Nor frets him whether he be first or last.”

And, as He spake, the mighty love of God
Embraced the child; He took him in His arms
(E’en at His side the child was too far off!),
And all that love wherein His worlds subsist
Went out to little children!

“Behold, the little children are with you!
The innocent little ones who make no claims
Nor seek themselves at all! Consider them,
The little children, how they grow, nor ask,—
‘What shall we eat or drink, or how be clothed?’
But rest them happy in their Father’s hand,
Nor cry nor strive for wealth or place or power;
The world and heaven are theirs—what is there more?
The glorious sun careering in his might,
Casting his jewelled splendours on the earth,
Cold, colourless, without him; all the stars,
The wonders of the heavens; the butterflies,
The little birds that sing and glance as gems,—
These are the child’s; the beauteous boys and girls
To whom fond arms he stretches, all th’ fair men,
Women who stop to bless him with their smiles,—
Mother and father, sister, brother dear,—
Those wondrous things to know, and these, to love,
And all, to bear him as on mother’s lap;—
And all the loving, his own Father’s love,
And all the treasures, his own Father’s wealth,—
That princely child, aware, goes forth in joy
Of that high estate which none may take from him.

“A king sends out with royal state those men,
Ambassadors, whose part it is to show
The King’s high will and manifest his power:
And, who will not receive the lords he sends,
Those men are enemies and feel his wrath:
Thus come the children, graced with heavenly gifts,
Discovering the Kingdom by their ways
And by that wealth of blessedness is theirs:
Receive them in My Name; and, understand,
The children slighted, I am slighted too:
But one such little one who ye receive
With reverent joy as coming from the King
To manifest His pleasure,—in that child,
Me, ye receive; lo, I am with you then;
and whoso Me receiveth, the Father, straight,
Takes up His abode with him. ‘How is’t,’ ye say,
‘That the Great God can come by th’ narrow way
A little child shall open?’ Learn ye first
That the least among you is the great one here;
Then shall ye comprehend how God doth come
To every heart that opens to a child!
Humble yourselves, My friends, so shall ye know.”

St. Matthew xviii, 4, 5.
St. Mark ix, 36, 37.
St. Luke ix, 48.

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