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depreciate himself. But Christ voluntarily emptied Himself of glory which He possessed, and to which He was justly entitled. Oh, how forcible then is the Apostolic exhortation ! “Let this “ mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus :
who, being in the form of God, thought it not “ robbery to be equal with God; but made Him“self 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.' Come, reader, let us view our model in His incarnation, His birth, His submission to His parents during His childhood and youth, in His mode of living in the world, in His converse with His outrageous enemies, in His conduct towards His own disciples, and more especially in the last scene of his life;—and let us try to imitate Him. Hark, every occurrence of His history cries with a loud and distinct tone, “ Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in « heart.”
“ His whole life is our rule. Not « His miraculous works; His footsteps walking " on the sea, and such like, they are not for our “ following. But His obedience, holiness, meek“ ness, humility, are our copy which we should “continually study."* The prayer
of our collect which is founded on the foregoing preface is two-fold. For we therein implore Divine grace, that we may be enabled to follow the example of Christ's patience ;-And that, at length, we may also be partakers of His resurrection.
It may he asked, why is the grace which is mentioned in the petition of our collect different
from that which is mentioned in its preface? Why are we taught to specify the humility of Christ as that attribute of His character which God would have us to imitate, and then pray that we may follow the example of His patience? In answer to this question it may be said, that the change of terms in our collect will be fully justified when it is considered that patience is the daughter of humility, that the former cannot subsist independent of the latter, and that the strength of our patience is proportioned to the depth of our humility. And as cause and effect cannot be disunited, while we pray for patience we at the same time implore humility; for it is only as we are self-abased that we can bear our trials with submission to the Divine will. And it may be remarked further that, by mentioning both the humility and patience of Christ, our church has given a more comprehensive view of the pattern which we are to imitate than she would have done if our collect had introduced to our notice one only of these Divine qualities. Christ was humble, and therefore He was patient under His unparalleled sufferings.
" meek and Towly in heart," and therefore could say, in the depth of His distresses, “ Father, not my will, 66 but thine be done.” We may, moreover, consider both these graces as called for in an especial manner by the season of Lent which we now observe, and by the requisitions of that holy week on which we are about to enter. For unless we are deeply humbled, we shall not patiently submit to that course of self-mortification, which is at all times necessary and especially at this season.
The example which is set before us is bright and dazzling, so that our minds
be affected in the contemplation of it as our eyes are by VOL. II.
looking at the meridian sun. But let us not be discouraged. For “he that aims high, shoots “ the higher for it, though he shoot not so high “ as he aims. This is that which ennobles the
spirit of a Christian, the propounding of this our high pattern, the example of Jesus Christ."*
As no one ever was, or indeed could be, exposed to trials of patience so sharp as those which our Lord Jesus Christ experienced, so no one ever had an opportunity of exercising, or could have exercised if the opportunity had been afforded, so magnanimous a degree of patience as that which we contemplate in our great exemplar. The extent and magnitude of those trials to which patience in any instance is exposed, depend in a great measure on the dignity of the sufferer, the benevolence which he has shewn to those who are the agents in the trial, the innocence of his character, and other considerations of a like kind. Now He who was “led as a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before his shearer is dumb, “ opened not His mouth,” was “God over all " blessed for evermore." His errand unto the world was its redemption from everlasting misery. He was holy, harmless, undefiled before God and man, and perfectly guiltless of the crimes with which He was charged. Yet His Theophilanthropy was attributed to a love of popularity and a desire of self-exaltation ; His benevolent miracles, the reality of which could not be disputed, to a conspiracy with the Devil; and His claim to the Messiahship was ridiculed, blasphemed, and rejected. Every day's intercourse with the world which He came to save brought with it obloquy, contempt, and the bitterest opposition;
Archbishop Leighton on 1 Epist. of Peter.
till at length human blood-hounds glutted their utmost malice on the Divine and innocent victim of their furious hatred. Yet under all these circumstances not an impatient or hasty thought, word, or deed, arose in the bosom, escaped from the lips, or tarnished the life, of our inimitable exemplar.
Our collect supposes that we, as the disciples of Christ, “ have need of patience,” and that our trials are such as render the daily exercise of this grace absolutely necessary. And the supposition is founded in fact as the experience of every true disciple will testify. Herein are Christians followers of their Lord. Was He a man of sorrows and acquainted with griefs? They have “fel"lowship with Him in His sufferings.” Did His afflictions call for the continual exercise of
patience and submission to the will of God ? so also do their's. Was He harrassed with various temptations and incessant opposition from the prince of darkness? So are they.
So are they. Was He persecuted by the world? So are they likewise in a greater or less degree, for all who will live Godly in Christ Jesus must suffer persecution. Was He exercised with spiritual desertions? Did He cry,
My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken “ me?” Their complaints are frequently similar. Had Christ to wait for the fulfilment of the Divine promises, till He was made perfect through sufferings ? and had He to look forward to the dark valley of the shadow of death, as necessarily to be passed through before He could enter on His glory? His disciples also are waiters for the consolation of Israel, and know that death is the only avenue to life. But He had no forerunner: the path He trod was undistinguished by the track of a single foot. Whereas His disciples, in every
step they take, have to mark His footsteps, and those of a great cloud of witnesses who have gone before them. He trod the wine-press alone, and without a friend to comfort Him. Whereas we have His faithful promise that He “ will never or leave us nor forsake us.”
It is further implied in our collect that we are unable, without the continual aid of Divine grace, to “ follow the example of our Lord's patience.” And this supposition relates to all His disciples, however far they may have advanced in the road to Zion. That this supposition also is founded in truth will appear from the history of His disciples in all ages and from our own experience. The most eminent of His followers have fainted under their trials. The faith of Jacob staggered, when he cried “All these things are against me." (Gen. xlii. 36.) The meekness of Moses failed, when he wrathfully smote the rock for the purpose of giving water to the perishing Israelites. (Numb. xx. 10–12.) The patience of Job was exhausted, when he cursed the day of his birth, finding fault with the dispensations of Divine Providence. (Ch. iii. 3,&c.) David's confidence suffered an interruption, when he yielded to a suggestion that God's promise had failed. (Psalms lxxiii. 13, 14. lxxvii. 4, 7, 8, 9. cvi. 16, 10, 11.) Even the heroic Elijah at one period of his life sat down under a juniper-tree in a state of despondency, and requested for himself that he “ might die,” in consequence of the violence of the persecution which then raged. And Oh! have not we also been “ wearied and faint in our "minds?” Have not our souls also " been dis“couraged because of the way,” the rugged way in which we have been called to walk ? Let us afresh" consider Him, who endured the