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secrets of the universe; for understanding the counsels of the God who made it. In the mean time, be content to submit and to adore. Let no other voice be heard from thee but this; "Thou hast made me, "O God! and I am thine, for in thee I live and move "and have my being. Wherever Thou commandest "me to go, I follow. Whatever Thou appointest "me to suffer, I bear without murmur. It is my
part to persevere in my duty; all the rest I leave "to Thee; to Thee, whose wisdom I revere, whose "goodness I have so often experienced; in whom "therefore I repose implicit trust, that all shall end "well, and the righteous be made finally happy." Good is the word which the Lord hath spoken. Not my will, but His be done. Behold, here I am. Let Him do to his servant as seemeth good to Him.
Such are the principal dispositions which it becomes us to preserve towards God; to preserve towards Him at all times; not in the solemn hours of devotion only, but when we act in the busy world, or when we walk in retirement amidst the scenes of nature. If this union of reverence, gratitude, and submission, habitually possess our minds, they will of course shoot forth into what is termed delighting ourselves in God; thinking of Him with peculiar complacency and warmth of affection; and elevating us sometimes into a sacred transport when we draw nigh to Him in acts of immediate worship, in prayer and praise. Then is the season when the fulness of the soul gives rise to those sublime and pathetic effusions of piety which are recorded of saints in former times: My soul thirsteth for God; for the living God: when shall I
* 2 Kings, xx. 19. Luke, xxii. 42. 2 Sam. xv. 26.
come and appear before him? I will lift up my hands in thy name; my soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and with fatness, when I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Blessed is the man whom thou choosest, and causest to approach unto thee. O, that I knew where to find him, that I might come even to his seat!* When such sentiments as these, of ardent affection towards God, chastened by reverence and submission, as well as warmed by gratitude, predominate in our hearts, and when they exert their proper influence in purifying and regulating our life, we may then be truly said to love the Lord our God, with all our heart, and soul, and strength, and mind.
*Ps. xlii. 2. Ps. Ixiii. 4, 5, 6. Fs. lxv. 4. Job. xxiii. 3.
On the Moral Character of CHRIST.
Acts, x. 38.
Jesus of Nazareth-who went about doing good. THERE are two great aspects under which we may contemplate the appearance of our Blessed Lord on the earth. One is, his coming into the world in order to make expiation to Divine justice, by his sufferings and death, for the guilt of the human The other is, his coming to act as the enlightener and reformer of the world, by his doctrine and his life. The first of those views is the most sublime; as on the atonement which he made for us, depend all our hopes of the pardon of sin, and of life eternal. In the other view, it is also of high importance that all Christians should frequently consider him, in order to the proper regulation of their conduct : the observation of his example is no less necessary for this purpose, than attention to his doctrine; as by his doctrine he taught us what we are bound to do, so in his example he showed us what we ought to be.
Hence the example of our Blessed Lord has been ever held up by serious writers to Christians for their instruction and imitation. It obviously possesses many advantages above any other standard of conduct. It carries peculiar obligations from gratitude,
interest, and duty, to enforce the imitation of it; and it is the only example, in following which we are certain never to err. It has also another peculiar advantage attending it, which is not so commonly thought of; that is, the universality of its use. It evidently appears that our Lord himself had this benefit to his followers in view, from the train of living which he chose to adopt. Had he pitched upon any one station of life, the influence of his example would have been much more limited. The integrity, for instance, of Samuel as a judge, the devotion of David on the throne, the fortitude of Daniel in the midst of a corrupt court, hold forth indeed splendid instances of virtue, but they hold them out only to a few: whereas when Christ appeared on earth, he confined himself to no one state of fortune or line of life; he did not addict himself to any particular calling; he did not even fix his residence in one place; but he gives us opportunity of viewing him in different places and situations, in all that variety of lights which indiscriminately regard the bulk of mankind: his life was divided between the contemplative and the active; devotion and business equally shared it. We behold him in private life among his disciples, like a father in the midst of his family. We behold him in public life, acting with authority in the discharge of his high commission, assuming the dignity which belonged to his office, and boldly reproving the great and the powerful. We see him sometimes in poverty and obscurity, contemned and persecuted. We see him at other times elevated into public favour, followed by applauding crowds, and entering Jerusalem in triumph. We can challenge all history, sacred or
profane, to show us any eminent personage, saint, philosopher, or hero, whose character was so thoroughly tried, and so fully exhibited to admiration, as that of our Saviour. What adds greatly to the lustre of his example, it was marked by no affected singularities nor peculiar austerities. He did not seclude himself from ordinary society, but conversed among men with that sort of modest piety and virtue which suits itself to the level of human infirmity, and is conspicuous for the discharge of the plain and substantial duties of a good life.
It is not my intention at present to attempt a full survey of all the graces and virtues which distinguished our Lord's life, and ennobled his sufferings and death; as this would lead into a field too extensive for one discourse: I mean to confine myself to the manner in which he fulfilled the social duties, and exercised his benevolence as a man among men. This will afford an instructive view of what may be termed the moral character of Christ in his ordinary intercourse with the world, and will point out a proper model of our behaviour towards one another. The most studied and laboured encomiums never drew a more amiable character than what is contained in the few and plain words of the text; Jesus of Nazareth went about, doing good. Let us consider in what manner He fulfilled this character.
I. WE are to attend to his assiduity and alacrity in seeking out and embracing every opportunity of doing good this is the most substantial part of the great virtue of charity. There is a sort of negative goodness with which most men are ready to be satisfied; they applaud themselves if they have kept their hands