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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature


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is that state or situation opposed to riches in which we are deprived of the conveniences of life. Indigence is a degree lower, when we want the necessaries, and is opposed to superfluity. Want seems rather to arrive by accident, and is opposed to abundance. Need and necessity relate less to the situation of life than the other three words, but, more to the relief we expect or the remedy we seek; with this difference between the two, that need seems less pressing than necessity. Poverty has been sanctified by our blessed Lord in his own person, and in that of his parents; in that of his apostles, and of the most perfect of his disciples. Solomon besought the Lord to give him neither poverty nor riches (Proverbs 30:8), regarding each extreme as a dangerous rock to virtue. Poverty of mind is a state of ignorance, or a mind void of religious principle and enjoyment (Revelation 3:17). Poverty of spirit consists in an inward sense and feeling of our wants and defects, with a dependence on divine grace and mercy for pardon and acceptance (Matthew 5:3). It is the effect of the operation of the Divine Spirit on the heart (John 16:8). It is attended with submission to the divine will; contentment in our situation; meekness and forbearance to others, and genuine humility as to ourselves. It is a spirit approved by God (Isaiah 66:2), an evidence of true religion (Luke 18:13), and terminates in endless felicity (Matthew 5:3). (See POOR).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Poverty'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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