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The compassionate concern which he expref: sed for the fafety of his friends, when he put himself into the hands of those who came to apprehend hin, * I have told you that I am 'he whom ye seek, if therefore ye feek me, ' let these go their way. :—+ The calm submisfive filence which he kept when they spitted on him, and reviled him, and witnessed many false and malicious blasphemies against him. ~The mild reply which he made to the per. son who struck him on the face in the prefence of the council, # If I have spoken evil,
bear witness of the evil; but if well, why 'fmitest thou me?'—The-generous distress, which, in the midst of his own bitter fufferings, he exprest for the approaching calami. ties of his country s, : Weep not for me, but . for yourselves, and for your children, For
behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and
the wombs that never bare.'— His unexampled goodness and forgiveness, when he prayed unto his Father, in the midst of his expiring agonies, for those who were putting him to death **, • Father, forgive them, for
they know not what they do. '-Lastly, the devout and holy manner in which he bowed
* John xviii. 8. † Mat. xxvi. 63. xxvii. 13. John xviii. 23. $ Luke xxļii. 27. ** Luke xxiii. 34. ..
his head, and yielded up the Ghost.-Look. ing backward on all that he had done, and perceiving that the wise and great designs of Providence were now fully accomplished by his sufferings, he therefore chearfully resigned his life into the hands of God, saying, * 'It
is finished.'-Looking forward from this present, to the future and eternal world, he breathed out his last, in the exercise of holy confidence in God, and with joy committed his departing fpirit into his hands. + Father into thy hands I commit my fpirit.'
In this manner did the Lord Jesus Christ leave this world, and return unto his Father. His death was in all respects equal to his life, In both it appears how much his mind was raised above this world; and that neither its allurements nor aflictions, nor its friendship or malice, could give the smallest interruption to the progress of his goodness. Superior to these, in every instance of his conduct, he proceeded to the last moment of his life, with invariable constancy, to execute the work which his heavenly Father had given him to do. · Examples of heroic magnanimity are always affecting. When we see the worthy man involved in deep affliction and calamity, yet undaunted and ferene, and still preserving the
enjoyment of himself with composure and tranquillity, his fortitude and strength of mind is regarded with peculiar approbation and complacency.-—When to this composure, Genes in the midst of his calamity, he adds the exercise of every virtuous and kind affection to, wards men ; preserves the fame benignity and goodness to his friends; and gives the same attention to their happiness, that he did in the of h most serene and easy periods of his life: we rede behold so noble and generous an effort, with us. high admiration and surprize.- When to this he farther adds the softest emotions of humanity and mercy, to the unjust and cruel in- fies struments of his calamity, expressing no other affection towards them, but a sorrowful compaffion at the thought of their unhappiness, while he neither shrinks from his own milfortunes, nor supplicates our tears and fym. pathy for himself; there is something so divinely graceful in this conduct, that it raises our astonishment, and seems to rise above the highest effort of humanity! That Jesus fuffer. ed, and left the world in this manner, will appear to every one who gives attention to the history of his sufferings and death.com
SECTION IV. ftrength competic: maling General reflections on the history and life of Jefus
HAVING attempted to delineate the cha
tracter of Jesus Christ, from the history of his life, it is natural to pause a little, and reflect on the prospect which it fets before
rignity he famei
len tot of hun
cruel i no other
The history of Jesus is of a very singular and extraordinary nature; and the character it exhibits to our view, is as fingular and extraordinary. It presents us with an example of excellence and goodness, far above the common level of the world; and seems to realize those fublime ideas of the perfect man, which were entertained with so much admiFation and delight, by the best philosophers in ancient times. In this light, the character of Jesus Christ will appear, by reflecting on the great principle by which he was directed; and the invariable influence which this principle preserved in every circumstance of his life, and on every instance of his conduct.
We have seen the ruling principle and motive of his life. It was that same principle by which we must believe the Almighty was induced to create the human race, and by which,
he is directed in the whole of his divine administration. According to our best ideas of his nature, nothing can be deemed of such importance in the eye of God, as the establishiment of truth and righteousness among the rational subjects of his kingdom. To this end; as alone adequate to the designs of infinite goodness and perfection, we must conceive all the other parts of his administration, to be ultimately referred.-To re-establish this important interest among mankind, when it was unhappily obstructed and impaired, Jesus came into this world: and from thence the whole tenor of his life and manners was derived. Directed by this principle, the blessings which he spread among mankind, were not only of the most excellent; but of the most permanent and diffusive nature; and fuch, as men of every age and nation under heaven, might equally participate. The wife dom which he brought from God, and that religious virtue which he laboured to establish upon earth, were of as much importance to every other age and nation of the world, as to that age and nation of the world in which he lived. He was therefore equally the friend and benefactor of the whole human race.
We have also seen the invariable influence of this principle on the whole of his deportment. The circumstances and reception which