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know these things, happy are ye, if you do them.' As there is no vice, to which the nature of man is so prone, nor that of God so averse, as pride, so our blessed Saviour took particular pains to enforce the example of his own humility on us for that very reason. And shall we, when we see the Son of God stooping so low, carry ourselves with an high head, and stiff neck ? Shall we, who are but earth and ashes, refuse to bear what he did, to whom all power in heaven and earth was given, who is exalted above all principality and power, and to whom a name is given, at which every knee must bow ? The proud man hath not that mind which humbled Christ' to the death of the cross; for which God exalted him, and gave a name, which is above every name;' but that mind and spirit, which threw down Satan out of heaven, into a place of endless shame and torment.

Again, As by nature and necessity we are for ever to be subjects, to the church and the civil magistrate here, and to God hereafter, there is no disposition or virtue more necessary to us than obedience; and therefore we ought to train ourselves to it, with the utmost diligence, by all the precepts of the gospel, and particularly by the example of our blessed Saviour, in which this virtue shines forth in a peculiar manner.

We know, that as he is God, all power belongeth unto him;' and yet he paid the most exact obedience, not only to the will of his Father, but even to the rules of the Jews, as well civil as ecclesiastical; although those rulers were either the worst of men, and the most lawless of usurpers, or only the mere deputies and delegates of his own power. Besides, the obedience which he bumbled himself to, was, in another respect, the greatest instance of resig, nation that ever was heard of; because he not only submitted to authority and power, but to persecution and injustice, of the severest and grossest nature. Though a king, he submitted to the punishment of a slave; though innocent, to the death of the guilty, There is no such obedience required of us by Almighty God, nor can be; because before him we are all servants, all guilty. Men indeed may punish us for a crime we never committed; but in this they are only the instruments of Providence, to lay on us a small part of those sufferings, which are most justly due to us, on account of our manifold offences in other respects. But, supposing us entirely innocent, what does the example of our blessed Saviour recommend to us? A humble resignation. His precept also does the same; if thine enemy smite thee on the one cheek, turn to him the other also.' St. Peter likewise reasons very well with us to that effect. *This is thank-worthy, if a man, for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if when ye be buffetted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently; this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called ; because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example that ye should follow his steps; who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth. Thus certainly will he demean himself who is governed by the spirit of resignation and obedience, that was in Christ Jesus ; and instead of thinking it a disgrace to him, will glory in sharing with his Lord and Master, the honour of an innocent sufferer.

Again, in the life of our blessed Saviour there is a most useful example of patience, in comparison of which even that of Job was but discontent and fretfulness. Through his whole life he met perpetual contradiction and opposi

which however was on no occasion able to ruffle the settled calmness of his mind. He found his disciples stiff in their prejudices, in ignorance, and worldly-mindedness; through pride contending for superiority, through vanity raising objections, through incredulity disbelieving or doubting, in spite of the most express prophecies, and the most amazing miracles; and, through a deadness to spiritual doctrines or promises, ready, on every occasion, to desert or betray him. Yet he held on instructing them, with meekness, till he changed them into a different kind of men. The Scribes, the Pharisees, the Sadducees, took their turns to encounter him with difficult questions, which he baffled with astonishing wisdom, but never triumphed or insulted. There was no kind of artifice, no degree of cruelty, unemployed by the rulers of the Jews, to stop the progress of his doctrine, or to destroy his person; but all conld never force him either to complain or repine. When he was arraigned, and nothing could be brought against him, but the clamours of a malicious multitude, he pleaded the cause of his inno


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cence only with silence; and, though he heard his judge almost with one breath declaring his innocence, and condemning him to die, he was not in the least discomposed at the iniquity of the sentence, at their preferring a thief before him,' at their cloathing him in derision with purple,' at their crowning him with thorns,' at their bending the knee to him, and mocking him with, Hail king of the Jews,' at their binding his hands,' at 'their making long furrows in his back' with their scourges, at 'their spitting in his face,' at their first blind-folding him, and then striking him ;' and afterward bidding him prophesy who it was that smote him.' All this could draw no sign of impatience from him.' Still he was calm and undisturbed. When at last they nailed him to his cross, and stood round him, making a jest of his pains, and sporting themselves with his agonies, he was even' then not only as meek and patient as ever, but, while his body was shivering in the agonies of death, his soul was melting with tenderness and compassion towards his murderers, and pleading with his Father for their pardon, by the only argument their injustice and cruelty had left him; Father forgive them, for they know not what they do.'

O astonishing patience! O inconceivable goodness! What an example is here! With what sentiments of mind and heart should we receive it! Let us in imitation of this surprising and affecting pattern, “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith ; who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right-hand of the throne of God. For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. Ye have not yet resisted unto blood, striving against sin.' Surely ye cannot forget the exhortation, which speaketh unto you, as unto children, my son despise not thou the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. If ye endure chastening, God dealeth with you as with sons: for what son is he whom the father chasteneth not? But if ye be without chastisement, whereof all are partakers, then are ye bastards, and not sons. Farthermore, ye have had fathers of your flesh, who cor


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not much rather be in subjection unto the Father of spirits and live? For they verily for a few days chastened you after their own pleasure ; but he for your profit; that you might be partakers of his holiness. Now, no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous : nevertheless, afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them who are exercised thereby. Wherefore lift up the hands which hàng down, and the feeble knees, and bring forth fruit with patience, knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and patience experience, and experience hope.' Wherefore if, in the course of things, afflictions should come

on you, or it should be your lot to be persecuted for your honesty, or your religion, take up your cross cheerfully; and with a patience and constancy like that of your master, 'fight out the good fight of faith,' and, at the last, you shall find yourself with him in peace and happiness, which shall have no end.

The history of our blessed Saviour affords you many other useful examples, which, on particular occasions, may be highly serviceable to you. For instance; his gravity (for there is a tradition, that he was never seen to laugh) if imitated by you, will prepare you for meditation, will help to keep your mind free from vain and foolish thoughts, and may sometimes awe and restrain those you converse with from light and wanton discourse, which is infectious, and never entirely free from guilt; for he hath assured us, that every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account thereof in the day of judgment. His boldness in maintaining the truth, and sharpness in reproving the hypocrite, and the conceited and stubborn sinner, would be of unspeakable service in these unbelieving and shameless times. Now, it is your duty to imitate him in this, let your condition in the world be ever so low; for truth and virtue come against falsehood and vice with a majesty from the meanest mouth. His mildness and tenderness, towards such as transgressed through human infirmity, is also highly deserving of our imitation. You ought to take care, like him, not 'to bruise the broken reed, nor quench the smoking flax,' of a repentance as yet in its infancy, nor to despise the broken and the contrite heart.' As a parent, as a

master, and in many other respects, you will find this example useful to you. Again, it is your duty to imitate his love of justice, who was contented to satisfy that attribute of his Father by his own death, pursuant to his engagement from the beginning; and should not, if you have promised or sworn aught to your neighbour, disappoint him, though it were to your own hindrance ;' but walk uprightly, and work righteousness, and speak the truth from your heart. . Lastly, his amiable modesty in speaking of himself would much better become you, who fall so infinitely short of him in wisdom and goodness. If Christ could ascribe his knowledge and power to his Father, and say, if. I bear witness of myself, my witness is nothing,' with what grace shall yon set your hand to a high certificate of yourself?

You have here a perfect pattern of a good life, without a single blemish to pass on weakness and ignorance, under the shelter of many virtues, for an excellence. You see here all the passions of human nature subdued, and reduced to their proper stations and offices. You see here reason, assisted by the Divine Spirit, refined and exalted into true wisdom, and placed, where it ought to stand, in an absolute sovereignty over the heart. If you love beauty, and would desire to copy it into yourself, here is beauty in perfection placed perpetually before your eyes; in an original, so glorious, and so striking, that it is impossible for a sensible mind to behold it attentively, without growing into some resemblance of it. If you love true greatness of soul, here shines the very majesty of virtue ; not in precepts, or commands, or discourses only, but in an active and living example. If you have so much goodness, as to be pleased with the triumphs of virtue, behold it here put to the severest test, and breaking out at the last, with a heavenly brightness. If you are not abandoned to all sense of generosity, your soul must kindle at such an example; especially when all that was suffered in setting it, and all the goodness discovered in it, were displayed before your eyes, not out of ostentation, or to excite your wonder and applause, but to force home upon your degenerate heart, the glory, and excellence, and beauty, of holiness. There is no example so apt to make an impression on a good mind, as that which is set us by our friend in a good office; because, be

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