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them. Even on the cross he pitied his disconsolate mother, and commended her to the care of his beloved disciple. Thus we have not an High-Priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. Of our Lord's FORGIVENESS OF INJURIES,
I will only say that his whole life exhibits one scene of reproach and injustice on the part of the Jews, and of forgiveness on his own. Even on the cross, this disposition did not forsake him ; but whilst his murderers were in the very act itself of driving the nails into his hands and feet, he prayed, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
Such is a very inadequate specimen of the excellencies of our Saviour's conduct. But a perfect character demands not merely the assemblage of distinct excellencies, but their harmonious conjunction and union.
Let us therefore consider,
II. THE COMBINATION AND HARMONIOUS CONJUNCTION OF THESE QUALITIES IN THE CHARACTER OF OUR LORD.
This may indeed be inferred from the consideration of the separate excellencies of our Saviour's conduct, and especially from the wisdom which adorned them all; but the point is so important as to deserve a distinct notice.
Nothing is so rare or so difficult as the combination of the various duties and graces which constitute the Christian character; and yet it is in this combination that the evidence of a real change of heart principally lies. There are some dispositions of mind and some duties which are, from our natural temperament, our age, our station, and our circumstances, so natural and easy to us, as scarcely to be deemed distinct marks of our regeneration. In fact they are often little more than apparent virtues; they vanish with every change of circumstances, they give way to selfish and excessive passions, and even decline into the positive correspondent vices, unless they are checked and balanced by the opposite, and to us more difficult, graces änd duties, which should accompany and guard them.
Now, in our divine Master, there was the most perfect combination of every excellency. All he preached and required from others, he practised himself. He united all that became the Mediator and Lord of heaven and earth, with all that became Him who, for our sakes, was a worm and no man, He reconciled the most remote and discordant qualities. When asserting his authority and summoning all the world to his tribunal, he spake with an inexpressible dignity and majesty: on other occasions he was the most humble and meek of
men. Even under all his sufferings and ignominy, there shone forth a superiority and greatness of mind, which confounded bis enemies. He displayed also the utmost tenderness and mildness, and yet the most unyielding boldness and fortitude. His meekness did not degenerate into apathy, mere easiness of temper, timidity, or indifference, like that of Eli or Jehoshaphat. Nor did his boldness become fierce and ungovernable. There was in him that union of opposite virtues, which constitutes a perfect character: whilst others have virtues of one description only. All was in order, all in proportion, all from principle, all in harmony.
He combined, in like manner, the most exuberant compassion to sinners with the greatest hatred of sin; the most exquisite sensibility, with a perfect command of his feelings; the purest spirituality of mind, with a consideration of all the minute wants and circumstances of his hearers; the highest love to the souls of men, with the most affectionate regard to their bodies; the most complete superiority to the world, with a respectful submission to authorities ecclesiastical and civil; an entire separation from the follies and sins of mankind, without a trait of austerity or misanthropy; the most faithful reproof of the vices of the Pharisees and Scribes, with a due attention to their stations, and a moderation which never over
stated an argument, or outraged unnecessarily the feelings of his opponents.
This constitutes no small part of the excel, lency of our Lord's character. Christians can readily follow their Master in some one branch of these graces.
We can be compassionate; but then we are so candid as to countenance sin. We can show a lively sen:ibility of affection; but then we fall under its power and are subdued. We can be spiritually minded; but then we are not so willing to attend to the minor details of ordinary duty. We could not, for instance, have washed the disciples' feet, or entered the mean abode of poverty, or have gone into the publican's house to instruct him. We can express great tenderness for the bodies of men, but we leave their souls, comparatively speaking, to perish. Or we may profess a love to their souls, but we contribute sparingly and reluctantly to relieve the pains and sufferings of our common nature. We can express a contempt for the world; but then we at the same time fall into sin by doing it in a cynical, inconsistent, covetous, censorious, pharisaical spirit. We can defend the truth ; but with the zeal of a partizan, and without sufficient respect for the persons or opinions of our adversaries. Thus we follow our own turn of mind with some sincerity of religious feeling, and without perhaps any great faults; but we are far from imitat
ing, or attempting to imitate, the combination of virtues which appeared in our Saviour. . We lean with all our weight on one side. We think it some excuse tbat our inclination and turn of mind has a peculiar bias; whereas we should study our Lord's character in order expressly to copy those parts of it to which our natural dispositions would least attract us. In this way. we shall unite, as our Lord did, all the milder yirtues with all the more firm and intrepid ones; we shall display the graces of the contemplative life with the efforts of the active--an union which may be said to comprise the whole compass of our obedience to God.
“ Never was a character," says Archbishop Newcombe,“ at the same time so commanding and natural, so resplendent and pleasing, so amiable and venerable as that of Christ. There is a peculiar contrast in it between an awful dignity and majesty, and the most engaging loveliness, tenderness, and softness. He now converses with prophets, lawgivers, and angels ; and the next instant he meekly endures the dulness of his disciples and- the blasphemies and rage of the multitude. He now calls himself greater than Solomon, one who can command legions of angels, the giver of life to whomsoever he will, the Son of God who shall sit on his glorious throne to judge the world; at other times we see him embracing young children, not