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every man is required to follow the same example. I have given you an example, said our Saviour, when he washed his disciples feet, that ye should do, as I have done to you. John xiii. 15. And again ; If any man will serve me, let him follow me. John xii. 26. Be ye followers of me, says St. Paul, eden as I also am of Christ. 1 Cor. xi. 1. Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, says the same Apostle, urging upon the Philippians the duty of humility, and arguing, at length, their obligation to be humble, from our Saviour's example. Phil. ii. 54, &c. In the like manner, he urges upon the Romans the character of benevolence, from the same source of argument; Rom. xv. 1, &c. and the Hebrews to patience and fortitude in the Christian race; Heb. xi. 1, &c. It will be useless to multiply passages, any farther, to this purpose. Even these will probably be thought to have been unnecessarily alleged.

The example of Christ is formed of his holiness, directed by his wisdom, or more properly by his understanding. Of all its parts, holiness is the substance, and the soul. Without this attribute, he would only have been a more sagacious sinner, and therefore a more malignant example, than other men.

A proper exhibition of the example of Christ, in which its nature and usefulness are sufficiently displayed for the present purpose, will, of course, be a proper exhibition of the importance of this attribute to Christ, in this character.

The excellence of Christ, as an Example to mankind, I shall attempt to exhibit under the following heads.

1. He was an Example of all virtue.

By this I intend, that he was an example of piety, benevolence, and self-government, alike. This truth has been sufficiently illastrated in the two first sermons on this subject. To add any thing, therefore, to what has been so lately said must be unnecessary.

By the Example of Christ, considered in this light, we are decisively taught, that virtue is no partial character. The apprehension, not unfrequently entertained, that a man may love God, and not love his neighbour, and yet be a virtuous man; that is, in the Evangelical sense; the contrary apprehension, much more frequently entertained, that a man may love his neighbour. and VOL. II.



not love God; and the opinion, still more generally adopted, that a man may love both God and his neighbour, and thus be virtuous, while he yet does not confine his passions and appetites within scriptural beunds; are completely done away by the example of Christ. He, that saith, he abideth in him, is, in the text,

, required to walk as he walked : and in Rom. viii. 9, St. Paul declares, that if any man hath not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his. But if any man has the spirit of Christ, it will dictate the same conduct, which it dictated to Christ. If he is Christ's, therefore ; in other words, if he is a virtuous man; the subject of that holiness, of which Christ was the subject, and beside which there is no virtue; he will walk as Christ also walked. This is one of those commands of our Saviour, which he himself has made the test of our discipleship, and of our love to him. If therefore we are his disciples indeed ; if we love him ; we shall keep this command; and be, as he was, pious, benevolent, and self-governed, alike.

Further, Christ performed all the duties of life, prompted by these three great divisions of virtue. This conduct of our Saviour teaches us, irresistibly, that he, who does not carry the virtue, which he professes, into practice; or who does not perform those acts, or external duties, which are the proper effusions of such a spirit, as that of Christ; is not a disciple of Christ. Christ habitually prayed to God. He, who does not thus pray, is, theresore, not a disciple of Christ. Christ praised God; blessed, and gave thanks for, his food; worshipped God in his house; and celebrated all the institutions of the sanctuary. He therefore, who does not these things, since he walks not as Christ also walked, has not the Spirit of Christ, and is none of his. Christ, also, universally befriended, in all the ways of justice and charity, his fellow-men, by furnishing that relief to their wants and distresses. which they needed. In vain will that man pretend to be his disciple, who is unjust in treatment of others; or who does not readily open his heart, and his hand, to relieve his fellow-creatures in their wants and distresses; or who does not, like the Redeemer also, administer to them advice, reproof, and consolation, a: they need ; and employ, with sincere and tender affection, all he proper means, in his power, to promote their salvation.

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Christ spoke the truth, at all times, with perfect exactness. No liar, no prevaricator, no sophist, can be his disciple. Christ abstained from every fraud, and from every hard bargain; from gaming ; from reproaches; from obloquy; from obscenity ; from jesting with sacred things; from loose and irreverent observations concerning God, his works, word, and institutions; from all idle words; and from wrath, bitterness, and revenge. He who indulges himself in these, or any of these, is not Christ's disciple.

At the same time, the example of Christ, in this respect, teaches us in the most decisive manner, that he, who performs one class of these external duties, and neglects the others; or who abstains from one class of sins, and commits another; is not a disciple of Christ. For example ; a man may pay his debts ; speak truth; and give alms to the poor; yet, if he does not pray to God in his closet, his family, and the church, he is not a disciple of Christ.

Generally, the example of Christ teaches us, beyond a debate, what may, indeed, be clearly proved from the nature of the subject, that virtue has not, and cannot have, a partial existence. No man can love God, without loving his neighbour ; or his neighbour, without loving God; or both, without restraining his passions and appetites. He, who supposes himself to do one of these things, when he does not the others, is guilty of a gross self-deception; and is employed in preventing his own attainment of eternal life.

II. Christ was an example to all classes of men.

It ought, I think, rationally to be expected, as plainly it ought to be most earnestly desired, that the person, intended by God to be the great pattern of-righteousness to mankind, should so appear, and live, and act, in the world, as to become such a pattern to men of every description. Such a pattern Christ has in fact become; a fact, derived, in a great measure; from the lowly cir. cumstances, in which he was born, lived, and died.

Had our Saviour appeared, as the Jews expected him to appear, in the character of a prince, and conqueror, reigning with unprecedented splendour, perpetual triumph, and universal dosninion; he would, as an example, have been useful to hut fer

of mankind; and to them in comparatively few respects. The great and splendid, only, would have been materially benefited; and even they, in but a small part of the truly excellent human characteristics. In the seat of splendour and dominion, certain exercises of virtue may be exhibited with peculiar advantage; such, for instance, as are attendant on the just and wise administrations of government, and the honourable distributions of princely favour. But these are chiefly such, as few of mankind have it in their power to imitate. Men in exalted stations; princes, nobles, and statesmen; may, indeed, learn wisdom, worth, and dignity of character, from these attributes, when displayed in a superior manner by persons, occupying places of superior distinction. How few persons derive moral advantages from reading the actions of kings and conquerors, recorded in general history, compared with the multitudes, who are seriously profited by a single instance of well conducted biography ?

In the humble station, which Christ actually occupied, all his excellencies were, and are plainly seen to have been, merely per. sonal ; springing from nothing accidental; blended with nothing adventitious; the inherent excellencies, and the natural emanations, of his own goodness of character ; neither enhanced, nor obscured, by the dazzling glare of office ; nor liable to any misapprehensions of ours from that prejudiced awe, that imposing veneration, with which we are prone to regard the great.

great. The virtues of Christ were, in the strictest sense, all his own; the excellencies of an Intelligent being merely; of a man, unincumbered with office, place, or power, or any other of those gaudy trappings, in our attention to which, just views of the real character are apt to be perplexed, or lost. These excellencies constitute an example for man, as such ; and are, therefore, fitted to instruct, and improve, every child of Adam.

To the great he became a glorious pattern of that condescension, meekness, and humility, which they ordinarily need in a peculiar manner, to learn; and which, when learned, is their prime ornament and glory. When kings and nobles behold him, who was declared by a voice from heaven to be the Beloved Son of God; and who, on earth, commanded the winds and the waves, and raised the dead to life ; characterizing himself as

meek and lowly of heart, and retiring into a desert to avoid the offer of a throne; it is impossible, that they should not feel, unless lost to rational sentiments, their own pride, haughtiness, and irritability, strongly reproved. If they have hearts open to rational conviction, and not dead to virtuous impressions, it is impossible for them not to feel, that the meekness and lowliness of mind, which in the Redeemer were so excellent and exalted, must, of course, constitute the highest amiableness and exaltation of their own characters.

To men of inferior classes, down to the peasant and the beggar, the slave and the child, Christ is an universal example. In all

, the excellencies of which they are capable, or which are compatible with their circumstances, Christ has gone before them, as a glorious original, which they are required unceasingly to copy. The pattern is distinct; it can therefore be clearly seen. It is exactly suited to their circumstances; with a suitable disposition it can, therefore, be easily followed. It is faultless; and can, therefore, conduct them to no sin. It is sublime and lovely; and allures, therefore, irresistibly to virtue.

When we remember, that men of these classes constitute al. most all the human race; when we remember, that among them are found almost all those, who are willing to follow any virtuous example ; when we remember, that Christ, by appearing, and living, in humble circumstances, has furnished a perfect pattern of righteousness to this part of mankind, and consulted in this efficacious manner their highest good: when we remember, that he has, at the same time, with equal efficacy pursued the best interest of the remaining class; those in exalted stations; by recommending to them the virtues, which they most need to be taught : we shall see, in the clearest manner, the perfect wisdom of the Redeemer in condescending to appear in so humble a character. To the Jews this was a stumbling block; to Infidels it has been foolishness. But the foolishness of God is in this, as in all other respects, wiser than men.

To Ministers of the Gospel the example of Christ commends itself with peculiar energy. Christ himself was a Minister of the Gospel ; sent hy his Father in the same manner, in which he has

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