Behold, if the leprosy have covered all his flesh, he shall pronounce him clean. - Leviticus 13:13

At first sight this seems a very extraordinary provision. When the leprosy was beginning to show itself, and whilst the marks were hardly distinguishable, the poor patient was treated as unclean; but, when it was fully developed, from the crown of the head to the sole of the foot, the priest pronounced the leper clean.

As long as we palliate and excuse our sins, and ,dream that there is much in us which is noble and lovely, we are not fit subjects for God's saw ing grace. But when we take our place as helpless and undone, without one plea or one redeeming trait, we are in the position in which the free grace of God can have its blessed way with us.

We must come to an end of ourselves, and fall prostrate, in the very helplessness of our despair, in the very dust at our Saviour's feet; we must confess that from the crown of our head to the sole of our foot we are full of need and sin - then we are nearest Christ, and in a fit condition to be richly blest, and made the channel of blessing to others.

Would you rise? then you must humble yourself before God. God's thrones are approached, not by steps up to them, but by steps down to them. It is the publican who beats his breast, saying, "God be merciful to me the sinner," that goes clown justified to his house. It is when sin abounds, that grace much more abounds. He that humbleth himself shall be exalted. "For thus saith the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, whose name is Holy: I dwell in the high and holy place, with him also that is of a contrite and humble spirit, to revive the spirit of the humble, and to revive the heart of the contrite ones" (Isa 57:15).