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„I would now farther observe,

That our Lord Jesus Christ was also remarkable for a Divine Fortitude. This is no Way inconsistent with that Meekness that was observed in his Character before: For true Fortitude is not fierce and boisterous, but meck and fedate, calm and dispassionate. It doth not rashly run into Dangers, nor affect to despise them; yet it meeteth them with an unshaken Refolution and steady Composure of Soul, and doth not decline manifest Duty, for Fear of any Dangers or Sufferings. His Fortitude appeared through the whole of his sacred Ministry. To this it was owing that, with a noble impartial Freedom and Boldness, he rebuked the reigning Vices, as well as opposed the darling Prejudices, of the Age in which he lived. Never did he fail to declare necessary Truth or Duty, for Fear of Men: He sharply reproved the Hypocrisy of the Scribes and Pharisees, and passed an impartial Censure upon their Traditions, in order to the guarding the People against pernicious Mistakes in Religion, though he knew that, by doing so, he exposed himself to the bitterest Resentments of those that were of the greatest Power and Authority in the Jewish Nation. But what I would now particularly take Notice of, as a signal Proof

of

bf his great Fortitude, is, that he all along had. å perfect Foresight of his last Sufferings, with all the distressing Circumstances, the amazing Agonies and Dolours that would attend them; yet did he not in the least decline the Work that was given him to do, but applied himself to it with an inviolable Resolution and Constancy. The Evangelist Luke observes, that, when the Time was come that he should be received up, be stedfasily set his Face to go Jerusalem, which he knew was to be the Scene of his grievous Sufferings. Luké ix. 51. And, as he drew nearer in his last Progress, he expressly declared to his Disciples, that be should be betrayed to the chief Priests, and that they would condemn him to Death, and deliver him to the Gentiles; and that he should be mocked, and scourged, and crucified. Luke xviii. 31, 32, Matt. xx. 17, 18, 19. These Things filled his Disciples with Dread and Amazement, but they did not cause him to alter his Course. St. Mark observes, that they were in the Way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them, and they were amazed; and, as they followed him, they were afraid. Mark x. 32, 33. Yet he still went on instructing the People, and performing his beneficent Mracles, without any Intermission in his sacred Work. Аа 2

When

When he was actually come to Jerusalemt, and was sensible that his Sufferings were at Hand, he continued to teach daily in the Temple, with the same Freedom as before, though he knew that they only waited for an Opportunity to deitroy him. And whofoever impartially confidereth his Conduct, the very Night in which he was betrayed; his instituting the Sacrament of the holy Supper for the folemn Commemoration of his Sufferings and Death ; his excellent valedictory Discourses to his Disciples, and bis incomparable Prayer to his heavenly Fa. ther; will find Reason to admire the great Composure of his Mind in those Circumstances. He was perfectly in Poffeffion of himself: Nothing that he did or faid was abject or mean; all was great, solemn, and divine; and shewed a steady Resolution becoming the Saviour of Mankind, when he was about to leave the World, and go to the Father. After his Discourses and his Prayer, he went forth into the Garden which was to be the Scene of his dolorous Agonies, and where he knew yudas would look for him, that he might apprehend him: For it is observed that Judas knew the Place; for Jesus oft-times reforted thither with bis Disciples. John xviii. 1, 2. And, when accordingly he came with a Band of Men and Officers from the chief

: : Priefts,

Priests, the Evangelist informs us, that Jesus, knowing all Things that should come upon him, went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus faith unto them, I am be. And Judas also which betrayed him stood with them. As foon then as be joid unto them, I am he, they went backward, and fell to the Ground. Then oked he them again, Whom seek ye? And thev faid, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you, that I am be. If therefore ye feek nie, let these go their way. John xviii. 4, 5, 6; 7, 8. It appeareth from this remarkable Passage that he was far from endeavouring to hide himself from his Persecutors: As he went to the place whither he knew they would come to seize him, so, when they were coming, he himself went forth to meet them, and, upon their declaring that the Person they fought for was yefus of Nazareth, he said to them, with a noble Fortitude, I am he. Thus he went to meet his Death, with an unshaken Steadiness of Resolution; and at the fame Time gave a manifest Proof how easily he could, with one powerful Word or Look, have struck them with Confternation or Dismay, and have delivered himself out of their Hands, if he had been so minded. Upon his only telling them that I am he, they went backA a 3

ward, that,

ward, and fell to the Ground: But he checked and restrained his Power, after having given this Specimen of it, and freely surrendered himself, because he knew it was necessary, for important Ends, that he should do so. A farther Proof of this he gave, immediately after, when he healed the Ear of Malchus, which Peter had cut off, by only touching it : And what he said to Peter on that Occasion deserveth special Notice: Put up thy Sword into the Sheath: The Cup, which my Father hath given me to drink, shall I not drink it? Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and be shall presently give me more than twelve Legions of Angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be ? John xviii. 11. Matt. xxvi. 53, 54. This plainly sheweth, that, if he suffered himself to be apprehended and crucified, it was not through Want of Power to have prévented it; but it was what he voluntarily submitted to, because he knew it was the Father's Will, and made a part of the Divine Scheme for the Salvation of Mankind, and which had been foretold by his Servants the Prophets. It also appeareth, that, if he had prayed absolutely to the Father, and it had been his own positive and peremptory Desire to be freed from those Sufferings, it had been granted him; bụt

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