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tian preacher, with all humility and sincerity, ever to keep in view this great exemplar of perfection; to endeavour to imitate it, as far as human infirmity may permit; to supply, in some faint degree, the want of that perfect knowledge which He possessed, by diligently searching those Scriptures which contain the substance of what He revealed; to speak with authority, though with meekness; setting forth “the truth as it is in Jesus, not as speaking of himself. The knowledge, the authority, the ability of the preacher of the Gospel, all must issue from the only infallible source of truth, “ Jesus Christ, the
same yesterday, to-day, and for ever.” For the same reasons, the Christian hearer also is no less bound to contemplate this divine pattern with a view to his own personal improvement. What the Evangelists have recorded of our Lord's sayings was undoubtedly intended, not for them only to whom they were at first addressed, but to all who through them should come to the knowledge of the truth. They were recorded, that Christians of every age and country might perceive and acknowledge the divine power which He possessed, the infinite wisdom that guided His thoughts, the infallible truth which issued from His lips; and that, knowing this,
they might accept Him as “ the Christ, the “ Son of the living God.”
To all, then, we may address the Apostle's awful admonition, “ See that ye refuse not “ Him that speaketh b.” Refuse Him not as a teacher, compared with Whom all other teachers are as nothing worth. Refuse Him not, as “the Way, the Truth, and the Life.” Refuse Him not, as a sacrifice for sin, and an ensample of godly Life ; as a Mediator and Intercessor at the throne of grace; as Him who shall hereafter come to be our Judge ; as combining every human excellence with every Divine perfection, the Son of Man and the Son of God. It was by uniting in His person these extraordinary characters, that “He spake as never man spake,” and verified, to the very letter of it, the Prophet's sublime prediction, “ His name shall be called Won
derful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace c.” Fearful must be the consequences of disregarding such an Instructor.
“ For if they escaped not who refused Him that spake on earth”—as Moses and the Prophets
much more shall not we escape, if we turn “ away from Him that speaketh from hea
b Heb. xii. 25.
c Isa. ix. 6.
ven :” and “if His wrath be kindled, (yea, “ but a little,) blessed are all they that put 66 their trust in Him e.
d Heb. xii. 25.
e Psalm ii. 12.
1 PETER ii. 22. Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his
In the contemplation of our blessed Saviour's character, we are impressed with equal astonishment at the perfection of his intellectual and of his moral qualities. As the former bear the stamp of unerring truth and wisdom, so the latter evince the most spotless purity and rectitude. In both respects, he stands distinguished from every other individual of the human race, by a superiority which seems to admit not of competition. Yet in both, through his own gracious condescension to human infirmity, the character is so brought down to the level of our apprehensions, that while we admire it even as a model of unattainable excellence, we are impelled by the best feelings of our nature to study it as a pattern for our imitation.