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pealed to their own understanding and habits, whether any one of them would not pluck an ox or an ass from a pit on that day. When one said, Master, speak unto my brother, that he divide the inheritance with me, his reply immediately was, Man, who made me a judge or a ruler over you? A man's life consisteth not in the abundance of things which he possesseth. In like manner, when he was asked, if it was lawful to pay tribute unto Cæsar; by what authority he did his miracles; who was a man's neighbour; and, which was the great commandment of the law, his answers were so full of wisdom, that his adversaries were astonished, neither durst any one ask him any more questions.
We may go on to mention the INDIFFERENCE AND DEADNESS TO THE THINGS OF THE WORLD which distinguished our blessed Lord. When his disciples showed him the magnificent buildings of the Temple, he expressed none of that admiration which so commonly escapes from us on like occasions. When Satan tempted him with all the kingdoms of the world and the glory of them, he said, Get thee hence, Satan; for it is written, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only shalt thou serve. When the people would take him by force and make him a king, he departed into a mountain himself alone. When at the feast of the Pharisee, or at the
marriage in Cana, he was there evidently as a physician to heal his patients. He expressed no commendation of the feast, he accommodated himself to no sinful custom, but employed himself in the instruction of those who were présent. There is no vanity, no love of praise or honour, no approach to self-indulgence or intemperance, no regard to personal convenience discoverable in our Master's character ; the foxes had holes, and the birds of the air had nests, but the Son of man had not where to lay his head. He wrought no one miracle for his own sake.
He took no notice in any of his discourses of the affairs and events of states, or of the political circumstances of the Jews. He came into the world poor, unknown,' obscure; he lived thirty years in humble privacy; he passed his ministry in contempt and contradiction and reproach; he died in ignominy and baseness: and in doing this he put a blot, if I may use the expression, for ever on the glory of a sinful and deluded world.
The BENEVOLENCE of our Saviour's character need scarcely be noticed. He went about doing good to the bodies and souls of men. Kindness marked every part of his conduct. When he saw the young man who was not far from the kingdoin of heaven, he loved him. He healed all manner of diseases among the people, even those which the Jews thought the most
afflictive and dreadful. Thus the evidences of his mission were not, like those of Moses, drawn from miraculous calamities inflicted on an offending people, but from benefits conferred on all who applied to him. His love also appeared in taking little children in his arms; in addressing those whom he healed as sons and daughters, and in calling his disciples, not servants but friends. - In a word, his whole life was one great act of benevolence and good-will to man.
We may further observe the HUMILITY AND CONDESCENSION which were apparent in our Master's example. He came not to be ministered unto, but to minister. The mind which was in Christ Jesus, to refer particularly to our text, was, that he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Every particular action of his life corresponded with this state of humiliation. He concealed many of his principal miracles, and gave a charge that they should be told to no man. Though he was born in Bethlehem, yet he dwelt so long at Nazareth, as to be called the inhabitant of that mean city, from which no prophet arose. He resolutely opposed every attempt to invest him with worldly honours.
His last act amongst his disciples was to wash their feet, with the express injunction on them to follow his example,
Contemplate also the MEEKNESS which adorned our divine Lord, His language to his disciples was, Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly of heart; and St. Paul beseeches the Corinthians by the meekness and gentleness of Christ. These were indeed as remarkable, as the dulness of his disciples and the contradiction of the Jews. When his disciples would have called down fire from heaven to consume the city which received hiin not, he turned gently, and without any reproacii said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. When the Jews would have stoned him, he meekly asked, Many good works have I showed you from my Father : for which of these works do ye stone me? When Simon wondered that he received a woman that was a sinner, he said to him with unruffled calmness, Simon, I have somewhat to say unto thee; and then delivered the beautiful parable of the two debtors. In short, our Lord's meekness, self-government, regulation of anger, and clemency, were indeed without spot' or blemish.' never disturbed, never irritated, never surprised, never thrown off his guard.
Nor was his PATIENCE less observable. He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we
should follow his steps; when he was reviled, he reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not. He deeply felt indeed every affliction, as appears from his intense prayers during his agony, but he was perfectly patient and resigned under them. He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and as a lamb before his shearers is dumb, so opened he not his mouth. During a life of woe and a death of torment, not one impatient word escaped his lips.
With this were united the most lively feelings of COMPASSION. On one occasion we are informed, that when he saw the multitudes, he had compassion on them: on another, that he had compassion on the people, and taught them many things. He sighed deeply in spirit when the Pharisees asked him a sign from heaven, and was grieved because of the hardness of their hearts. Twice the Saviour wept at the grave of Lazarus, and as he approached the devoted city of Jerusalem. His miracles were continually marked by the tenderest feelings of sympathy and compassion. He raised the only son of the widow of Nain, and himself delivered bim to his mother; he raised the only daughter of Jairus, and Lazarus the only brother of Martha and Mary whom he loved. His last discourse with bis disciples overflows with compassion. He quite seems to forget his own sufferings which were just about to begin, in order that he may comfort