William Burnet Wright
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Master and Men (1894)
- Blessedness, he affirmed, comes not from outward conditions but from inward states. It consists not in positions, but in dispositions.
- p. 33
- Whom, then, did the Master mean by the poor in spirit to whom the kingdom belongs?
Not those who are rightly called "poor spirited." There ought to be no need of saying that, but there is, for some may still be found who consider crawling the Christian's proper gait.
There are men who fear to call their souls their own, and if they did, they would deceive—themselves. At times such men baptize their cowardice in holy water, name it humility, and tremble. ... They are not blessed. Their life is a creeping paralysis. Afraid to stand for their convictions, they end by having no convictions to stand to.
- pp. 39-40
- When the disciples asked Jesus who was greatest in the kingdom of heaven, he set a little child in the midst of them. ... By the "poor in spirit," therefore, I understand our Lord to mean those who retain the spirit of little children, for little children are they of whom he said, "of such is the kingdom," in which they who are most childlike are greatest.
Childlike men are the antipodes of the crawling creatures we call "poor spirited;" the men of expediencies and policies, who are sharp-eyed along the low horizons of earth.
- p. 41