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ye, and

long-suffering to repentance;

" because he wills not “ the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be “ converted, and live;" and while judgement sleeps, mercy calls night and day to sinners,

Why will ye die? Repent, and ye shall be forgiven; turn

ye shall live.” Yet God's blessings are abused to the purposes of luxury and lasciviousness ; his truth is denied; his commandments are broken; his church is persecuted; his ministers are insulted; his Son is crucified afresh; and his own long-suffering is made an argument against his existence—and he is still patient. What is man, then, that he should complain?

II. The patience which we so much admire in God, shone forth yet more amazingly in the person of his Son Jesus Christ. For was ever patience like that patience, which, descending from a throne of glory, bore a long imprisonment in the womb, to sanctify sinners; and lay in a stable, to bring them to a kingdom? Behold the Master baptized by the servant, and he who alone could give remission of sins, submitting to be washed in the laver of regeneration. He fasts forty days, who filleth all things living with plenteousness, and who is himself the bread of life. He endures the temptation of Satan, and answers them one by one from the Scriptures, who could have remanded him to his chains in a moment by the word of his power. With his disciples he lived, not as their Lord, but the servant of all. How tenderly did he bear with all their ignorances and infirmities, leading thein on gently, as they were able to follow him! And that they might never refuse to do offices of kindness for each other, he washed all their feet, and, amongst them, those of Judas, from whom he meekly received the kiss that betrayed him. How patiently did he endure the contradiction of sinners; and, in his disputes with the Jews, how lovingly did he try to persuade the incredulous, and to melt by kindness the hearts that were hardened! How quietly did he submit to the insolence of the proud, and give place to the fury of the wrathful, desirous, even to his last hour, to save, if possible, those murderers of the prophets, those rebels against their God! But when the time of his passion came, what railing and revilings were patiently heard by him, what mockery and insult he patiently suffered ! How was he wounded, who heals every disease? How was he crowned with thorns, who crowns his martyrs with unfading garlands? How was " he stripped naked, who clothes " the field with flowers, and all the world with robes, " and the whole globe with the canopy of heaven, " and the dead with immortality?" How was he fed with gall and vinegar, who reaches out to his people the fruits of paradise, and the cup of salvation? Innocent and righteous, nay, innocence and righteousness itself, he was numbered with the transgressors. The truth was oppressed by false witnesses ; he was judged who was to judge the world; the Word of God became dumb as a lamb before his shearers. And when at the crucifixion, the heavens were confounded, and the earth trembled, and the sun, that he might not be forced to behold the villany of the Jews, withdrew his shining, and left the world in darkness; still the blessed Jesus said nothing, and betrayed no emotion of anger, but endured without murmuring all that earth and hell could lay upon him, till he had put the last stroke to this most finished picture of perfect patience, and prayed for his murderers; whom he has been ever since, and is now, ready to receive, upon their repentance, not only to pardon, but to a participation of the glories of his kingdom.

III. The patience thus practised by Christ is enjoined by his holy Gospel, being, indeed, the badge of that Gospel and its professors. For thus saith the blessed Jesus to all his disciples : “ Ye have heard " that it hath been said by them of old times, thou “shalt love thy neighbour, and hate thine enemy. . “But I say unto you, love your enemies, and pray “ for them which despitefully use you and persecute

you; that ye may be the children of your Father " which is in heaven, who maketh his sun to rise on the “ evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just “and on the unjust.” Is the mind tempted to impa. tience by the disappointment of its desires, and the loss of worldly goods and enjoyments? The Scripture, to eradicate the temptation, is full of precepts enjoining us to contemn the world, and not to set our hearts upon things that pass away, and that cannot satisfy the soul, when it is possessed of them. If our desires after these perishable goods are immoderate, our impatience at the loss of them will be always in proportion. And then how shall he ever fulfil the royal law of charity, or willingly give away his money, who cannot part with it patiently, when God in the course of his providence is pleased to re

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sume his own again? The worldly man is always impatient, because he prefers his body to his soul; the Christian prefers his soul to his body, and therefore knows how to give largely, and to lose patiently. Nay, he can be meek and resigned under all the injuries which malice can offer to his person; and to him who smites him on the one cheek can present the other, rejoicing that he is counted worthy to suffer something for his Saviour, who suffered so much for him; and referring the decision of his cause to the righteous judgement of God at the last day. For what are we, that we should avenge ourselves, and not rather, by giving place unto wrath, at once disappoint the malice of the enemy, and secure to ourselves the patronage of Heaven?

IV. We find all the saints of God, who have been eminent for their faith in Christ, to have been as eminent for their patience, without which their faith must have failed in the day of trial ; it being not through faith alone, but, as the apostle says, “through “ faith and patience,” that they “inherited the pro“ mises." Faith begat patience, which, like a dutiful child, proved the support of its parent. Abel, the first son of Adam celebrated for his faith, through patience continued faithful unto death, and so received the crown of life. Patience preserved Noah's faith all the time the ark was building, and while it floated upon the waters, which destroyed every thing else. Through patience Abraham endured the severest trial that faith was ever put to, and offered up his only son; who, through the same patience, neither lifted up his hand, nor opened his mouth against

his father. Through patience, Jacob, persecuted by bis brother, quietly departed out of his own country, and afterwards pacified him with gifts and presents. Through patience Joseph endured and forgave the ill usage of his brethren, and fed them in the time of dearth. Through patience Moses, so often abused, and insulted, and threatened to be stoned by a stiff-necked people, still entreated the Lord for them. Through patience David would not slay his implacable enemy Saul, when he had him in his power, and afterwards revenged his death by executing the person who slew him. Through patience Job endured the loss of all things, and the utmost malice of the tempter, and came forth as choice gold from the furnace of adversity, an example for all ages and generations to follow. Through patience St. Paul lived a life of incessant toil and trouble, and rested not till he had accomplished the ministry which he had received of the Lord Jesus, and preached the Gospel to the Heathen world. Through patience, in a word, the glorious company of the apostles, the goodly fellowship of the prophets, and the noble army of martyrs and confessors, fought the good fight, finished their course, and kept the faith, neither allured nor terrified from their duty, but triumphing, upon the rack and in the flames, over the world, the flesh, and the devil, and going to "the kingdom,” through “ the patience of “ Jesus Christ."

V. The present state of man renders the practice of this virtue absolutely necessary for him, if he would enjoy any happiness here or hereafter. Could we, indeed, live in the world without suffering, then

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