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fore a quality, in respect of which a comparison cannot fairly be instituted between those who profess religion and those who neglect it. On the other hand, let all who name the name of Christ remember, that he never sanctioned, either by example or precept, the least bitterness of disposition or irregularity of temper, but gave to his disciples a new commandment of love, the pledge of their allegiance, which is quite inconsistent with both; that St. James has declared the religion of the man who bridles not his tongue, to be vain; and that it is one of the leading characteristics of charity, the first of Christian graces, without which faith and knowledge and liberality are alike unprofitable, that "it suffers long, and is kind." He whose temper is unchastised has need to examine his foundations with great wariness: St. Paul pronounces such persons to be carnal, and we know that “to be carnally-minded is death.” Men who profess religion, and live much in religious circles, ought to guard particularly against neglecting those virtues which happen to be most admired and cultivated in the world.

Jesus Christ was humble. His condescension in coming into the world, the station he chose in it, his actions, his demeanour, his death, all testified a humility, which, though it never will be equalled, must by all be imitated. There is, however, a peculiarity in the humility of Christ which deserves attention. As he was without sin, he could not be sensible of that deep humiliation which a consciousness of guilt awakens in a true Christian. It is probable, that the low liness of mind, for which he was so remarkable, arose from a very quick perception and elevated view of the perfections of God. A feeling, similar in kind, though in degree far inferior, will be found in

most pious persons; and its energy is generally in proportion to their advances in piety and holiness. This is the main reason, though not the only one, why men who grow in grace will always be seen to grow also in humility.

Perhaps there is no Christian grace respecting which we are more apt to deceive ourselves, than humility.

It is an easy thing for a man to bemoan his corruption. It is not a very difficult matter even to feel and lament its burthen. God is so pure, and we so sinful, that nothing but common honesty seems necessary, through divine grace, to make us perceive and confess our meanness. But it is very possible for a man to be humble towards God, and proud towards his fellow-creatures. The best, because the most trying, tests of true lowliness of mind, are to be found in our daily conversation with men. Do we really obey the Apostle's directions, “to esteem others better than ourselves?” Are we willing to take the lowest place in society, yielding to others the pre-eminence in reputation for parts, learning, and accomplishments; cheerfully accepting reproof, forgiving insults, forgetting mortifications, and resigning the means or opportunities of distinction, if unfavourable to a Christian spirit? Humility is best known among equals. With God we can have no rivalry. It should appear, too, in our behaviour and actions, rather than in our language; for such was the humility of Christ. He left the glory of his Father; he took on him the form of a servant; he instructed the mean; he lived with men of low estate; he washed his disciples? feet; he refused worldly honours; he died the death of a malefactor. These are evidences of humility which are quite unequivocal.

Among the virtues most eminent in our Redeemer's character, two others were noticed above; Disinterestedness and Constancy; but a few words must suffice for these,

Disinterestedness, be it remembered, differs from selfdenial. Self-denial is an act, disinterestedness is a habit.

I know of no word in our language, which fully embraces and designates that energy in action and endurance, which I meant to include in the term Constancy. It is compounded of courage, fortitude, perseverance, and patience; qualities so necessary to sustain and give efficiency to every other virtue, that they resemble those plastic principles in the physical world, without which all material bodies might quickly be dissipated and lost. The perfection in which these were found in Jesus Christ will be better understood, if we recollect, that power of every description is far less certainly, though more theatrically, exhibited in short violent efforts, than by a steady, permanent, unwearied, unyielding agency and progression. Nor let us forget the moral; “Through faith and patience we inherit the promises;” “The good soldier of Christ must endure hardness."

There is a lesson of no little moment to be learnt from contemplating that part of our Saviour's character which has last been noticed. Christians, like others, must frequently be engaged in scenes of active life, where, in the general conflict, dishonest intentions, allied to boldness and dexterity, will often be succesful. Those, therefore, whose passions are naturally vehement, and who are endowed with powerful understandings, will feel desirous to oppose force by force, and subdue with a strong hand the lawless endeavours of their antagonists. In the debates of public assemblies, where an appeal to the bad passions of mankind is so lamentably effective, the temptation is very great. But Christ is our best instructor. He surely was not deficient in strength of character. He had to contend, too, with opponents wicked, impassioned, and formidable. Yet he rarely addressed his worst enemies in terms of reproach; never in the language of bitterness or contumely. His energy was without impetuosity. Calm and holy, it neither sought assistance from any evil thing in his own nature, nor alliance with the bad passions of others. It was indeed strength invincible, but strength directed by wisdom, and chastised by meekness.

The view of our Redeemer's character still unexamined -a view, I mean, of its symmetry and perfectness—is perhaps less practically useful than the contemplation of the particular graces which composed it; yet certainly it opens a field of very curious and very profitable speculation.

It is a common remark, that a principle of compensation runs through the works of God. In the physical and intellectual world this is observable; and so also in morals: the stronger virtues are seldom found without an alloy of austerity; and the softer are nearly allied to weakness. It is plain that compensation implies defect, and we therefore reasonably might suppose that in the character of Christ the rule should be no longer verified. And thus we find it. His force was without harshness, his tenderness free from imbecility. Nor is this all. Not only were his virtues unaccompanied with their kindred failings, but the most opposite excellencies were found in him in equal perfection. The Emmanuel of God possessed an elevation of mind, and sublimity in his conception of divine things, such as man never approached to; yet with what facility,


what grace, what propriety, what simple beauty, did he adapt his discourses to the ignorant multitude around him! His heart was raised far above this world, and evidently maintained an intimate communion with the Father of spirits: yet he conversed freely with mankind; was often engaged in the tumult of crowds and contention; and on all occasions maintained a wakeful regard to the wants and wishes, the joys and sorrows, of those around him. Who ever beheld, who ever could have conceived, humility so deep, so perfect! His dignity was equal. With what unconquerable energy of soul did he act and endure! His whole life was passed in labours and privations. He was harassed, weary, hungry, without a home, despised, defamed, forsaken, persecuted: still his constancy was unshaken; and, pressing towards the mark of his high calling, he triumphed over the infirmities of nature, defeated the opposition and malice of his enemies, and trampled under his feet the powers of darkness. Surely such lofty and masculine qualities could not be allied to a gentle and tender disposition: the softer virtues could hardly have lived amidst the severity of such continual suffering and conflict!—He wept over Lazarus; he wept over Jerusalem; he pitied the unhappy; he instructed the ignorant; he healed the sick; he fed the hungry; he bore with all the dulness and contradiction of sinners; in the hour of darkness when himself most needed comfort, he consoled and strengthened those who were about to forsake him in his extremity; from the cross he commanded John to sustain his desolate parent; in death he prayed for his murderers. Truly we may exclaim with the apostle, “Thou art the Son of God, thou art the King of Israel.”

The view of our Redeemer's character last exhibited,

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