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orderly, a convulsive, or a dead member shall be suffered to remain in it? on that occasion, the mere professor may say to Christ, have I not been baptized into the Christian church? Have I not eat at thy table? Have I not lived and died in thy religion; nay, he may even say, 'have I not preached in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils?' But this will avail him nothing; for Christ will say unto him, 'I know you not; depart from me all ye that work iniquity.'

Since then the benefits of Christianity are to be expected upon no other terms, than those of having the mind or spirit of Christ, and, as a necessary consequence of that, living up, as far as human frailty will permit, to the example of Christ, it must, in the highest sense of the words, be both our duty and interest to set that great example before us, and, by considering it well, and labouring to follow it, satisfy ourselves, that, in the mean of our actions, we are governed by no other mind but his.

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In the first place, there was in Christ a perfect purity and freedom from all sin. He was made like unto us in all things, sin only excepted.' Although he had the soul, the body, the senses, the passions, and affections, of a man, yet no temptations could betray him into the smallest inclination to sin. In order to reclaim them, he conversed with the grossest of sinners, and suffered even the devil to tempt him with all the allurements, with all the pomps and pleasures, of the world; for their seducer, not knowing, that in him the fulness of the godhead dwelt bodily,' tried on him all those arts, that had proved but too successful with Adam, David, Solomon; that is, with the wisest and best of men; but all in vain. The mind that was in Christ Jesus, being infinitely wise, saw easily through all his disguises, and all his snares; and, being perfectly good, rejected his offers, with a superiority and calmness, that shewed, he had not the least struggle with himself in doing it. And what is well worth our observation, is, that his behaviour on that occasion might afford us an example capable of imitation, he did not seem to apply to his divinity to repel the attacks of his adversary, but used such arguments as we in like case may furnish ourselves with, to fortify himself against temptation; that is, passsges of Scripture. Christ then hath left us an

example, that we should follow his steps, who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth.'

But if we fall into a course of sin, we can have no resemblance of Christ, and therefore cannot be united to him: we do not follow Christ, and consequently cannot expect to enter into glory, to which there is but one path, marked out by his blessed foot-steps.

In the history of our Saviour we have the highest instances, and the brighest example, of piety, which it is possible for the imagination to conceive; and which seems to be placed before our eyes, in a great measure, for our imitation for as his divine nature put the accomplishment of all his purposes within the power of a single act of his will, to desire, and execute, was the same thing with him. And yet, as he was a son, and a man, he, on many occasions, addressed himself to his Father, with all that dignity and simplicity, all that duty and fervency, which ought to conduct and enliven the devotions of a mere man. What must we

think of the necessity we are under of duly performing this sacred instance of service, when we see the Son of God, who could command ten thousand of angels to do whatever he desired, falling on the ground, and putting up his petitions to the Father? This considered, how can a Christian despise or neglect this duty; and to excuse himself in so doing, say, that all events are left to the natural course of second causes; or that God, knowing our occasions better than we do, neither wants to be informed or solicited in relation to them? If such persons had the mind that is in Christ Jesus, they would not thus set his doctrine, in respect to prayer, at variance with his practice, but rather make use of the one to explain the other. It is true, 'God knows our wants better than we do ourselves,' as our Saviour hath told us, and is infinitely gracious and ready to supply them. But are we, for this reason, to forget our dependence on him, or expect, although we should, to be gratified on a less application, than his only-begotten and well-beloved Son? If the spirit of Christ be in us, it will not fail to carry up our spirits and hearts in the wartnest acts of devotion to that throne of grace, to which the prayers and praises of our blessed pattern were directed.

There was nothing in our Saviour's life that supplies us with a more useful or a more distinguished example than his astonishing charity. He came into this unhappy world, he took on him our nature, liable to so many and grievous miseries, to save sinners; that is, to save from eternal misery, and conduct to everlasting glory, a race of wretches in open rebellion against himself. He healed the distempers of our bodies, cured the disorders of our minds, raised to new life those who were dead, either in a temporal or spiritual sense; and, after all the indignities and cruelties we could load him with, when he was nailed to the cross by our hands, he prayed to his Father to forgive us. Can we call ourselves the disciples of such a Master, if we have not love one towards another?' If that aimable and forgiving mind be in us, which was in Christ Jesus, instead of doing any hurt to our neighbour, we shall labour to do his soul and body all the good we can; and, if he chance to injure us, we shall seek a noble revenge only in serving him with all the good offices in our power. His example in this respect he himself recommends to us. As I have loved you, love

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ye also one another.' As to forgiveness of injuries, we have stronger reasons to follow his example in that respect, than he had to set it; for he was without sin, and wanted no forgiveness; but we, being encompassed about with many infirmities, are daily offending both God and man; and therefore lie under greater obligations to forgive, as we stand in so great need of forgiveness. We ought to feel the infirmities. of others in our own, and be led from thence to pity and pardon in our fellow-creature, what we have so much reason to lament in ourselves. Were we as free from sin, as Christ himself, it would be our duty to forgive; for otherwise we could not be like him; and how much more then, since we ourselves are offenders?

Again, in the life of our Saviour we have a most wonderful example of contentment. Although heaven and earth belonged to him, as their maker and proprietor, and he could have furnished himself with pleasure and glory from the fulness of both; yet he condescended to take on him the form of a servant,' of a poor and needy person, of an exile, of a man of sorrow, and acquainted with grief;' who, though he made all things, and gave the very foxes their

dens, and the young ravens their food, had not where to lay his head,' nor any legal property of his own to support him. How unworthy of such a master must that disciple be, who coming naked into the world, and possessing nothing, but by the mere bounty of Providence, is dissatisfied with his condition, because he enjoys not more of this world's wealth and honour than his Divine Master? But he thinks he hath deserved a better lot: deserved of whom? Of God? If he hath vanity enough to stand upon his merits with Providence, let him know, that eternal infamy and misery is all he can deserve of God. If he had the mind of Christ, he would sit down satisfied with the low and indigent condition of Christ. We do not enough consider how greatly Christ hath dignified poverty by his example, as well as sweetened it by his precepts. Blessed are the poor in spirit,' says that gracious Master, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.' As Christ's kingdom was not of this world,' that man can be no follower of his, who cannot be satisfied without something like a kingdom here, although he may, by humility, provide a much better one hereafter.

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Our Saviour's example affords us the highest instance of resolution that can be conceived. There is nothing shocking or terrible in nature, which he was not obliged to encounter with. The utmost cruelty of man, edged by the blackest malice of devils, was discharged upon him in distresses of every kind. He was slandered, reproached, spit upon, buffeted, betrayed, falsely accused, and cruelly murdered. Now, though he could have avoided all this, yet he went through it all with a calmness and steadiness perfectly astonishing and inconceivable. Such resolution makes even humility majestic. If fortitude does not comprehend all the virtues, it is at least the foundation of them all; insomuch that there is no being a Christian without it; for he who is a Christian, must have firmness and perseverance to withstand all trials, to face all dangers, and contemn all calamities, that may attempt to frighten, or force him from his duty; with strength and constancy to resist all allurements that might otherwise seduce him from it. There is no warfare, in which so high a degree of resolution is required, as in that against our spiritual enemies. It is for this reason, that we ought to fix our eyes on the

courageous example set us by our great leader, that, if possible, we may be fired with a portion of the same glorious and undaunted spirit, that shone in him with so much lustre amidst all his horrible conflicts. Nothing but the mind. that was in him can enable us to fight our way through the various difficulties that stand between us and the prize of our high calling,' the crown of everlasting life. The irresolute and fickle Christian hath no courage to renounce the world, or to subdue himself; but is ever wavering and dodging between his principles and his passions; as if it were possible to travel on the narrow way, and the broad at once; though the one leads to hell, and the other to heaven. 'Woe be to the fearful heart,' says the son of Sirach, and 'faint hands, and the sinner that goeth two ways.' Can such a man, who is unstable in all his ways,' hope that so unsteady a soul, and so dead an heart, will ever be able to carry him up through that steep and difficult, though glorious path, his Saviour hath trod before him, and marked every step of it with his blood? No; it is impossible. Heaven must be taken by storm, and can never be won by so cowardly and so faint-hearted a soldier.

Again, as our hearts are corrupt, our affections unclean, and our passions wild, there is no one virtue we stand more in need of than self-denial. Self, mistaken and degenerate self, is our greatest enemy; and therefore to guard against, and subdue ourselves, is a duty of the most necessary obligation, and a matter of the highest consequence. Now the whole life of our blessed Saviour is, from beginning to end, a most wonderful example of self-denial. Although he could have had no occasion for this virtue on his own account, he being purity and holiness itself, yet, in order to set the necessary precedent, as the Son of God, he denied himself the glories and raptures of heaven, and, as the son of man, all the pomps and pleasures of the world, and became a man of sorrows, to save others. What notion can we have of the grandeur of that mind, that was all tears and tenderness to the miseries of other men, nay of even the bitterest enemies, but had no relenting for himself, when he felt that agony which forced his blood through his pores, and saw the shame and terror of his death approaching? No language hath a name for this height of virtue. Generosity, and self

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