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meaneft person that had occasion to speak with him; yea, he rebuked his disciples, for forbidding the little children to come to him. They would have kept them from him, because they could not imagine to what purpose they should be permitted to come to him: but, though they were not capable of his instructions, yet they were of his kindness and blessing. He took then up in his arms, and laid his hands upon them, and blessed them; and he proposed them to his disciples, as emblems of that innocency and fimplicity, without which no man shall enter into the kingdom of God.
His humanity likewise appeared in the tenderness and compassion of his pature, towards all that were in want or misery of any kind. He healed all manner, of fick. nesses and diseases among the people, and went about doo ing good. And when his followers, by their long atten. dance upon
him in desart and solitary places, to hear his doctrine, were pinched with hunger, he could not find in his heart to dismiss them without some refreshment; and, having no other means, did it by a miracle. He was very apt to fympathize with the condition of others, to weep with them that wept, as he did with the friends of Lazarus over his grave; nay, he had a tenderness for his ene. mies ; when he beheld Jerusalem, and the fad fate which hung over it for their obftinate impenitency, he could not refrain from tears at the thoughts of it.
Another instance of his humanity was his easiness to be entreated, and readiness to yield to the request of those who desired his company, or implored his help and askft. ance. And, as he was moft ready to do good to all, so he did not disdain to receive kindness from any; complying chearfully with the desires of those who invited him to their houses, and accepting kindly any well-intended refpect. How did he resent the extraordinary kindness of the devout woman, who poured the box of rich ointment upon his head ; taking care that the memory of it should be transmitted to all generations, and proclaimed over the whole world ? Matth. xxvi. 13.
(2.) Another very needful virtue, and for which our Lord was very eminent, was his neglect and disregard of the opinion of men, in comparison of his duty. As he
was not affected, much less puffed up with their applanse (which is an argument of a vain and light mind) so was he as little moved with their censures and reproaches, by which he was neither disordered in his passions, nor dis. couraged from well-doing. He took heed to his duty, and made sure to do the things which pleased God, and was not very solicitous what men said or thought of him. He observed in the Pharisees, -how great a temptation and binderance to the receiving of his doctrine, an undue regard to the praise and cenfure of men was : They loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, as he tells us, John xii. 43. and chap. v. 44.
How can ye believe, which receive honour one of another, and seek not the honour which comesh from God only? Not that we are to Night and neglect the opinion of others concerning our actions ; that is pride and self-conceit ; and our Lord himself was not so regardless of his reputation, as ant to take great care to give no juft occasion of censure, no needless handle to Nander and calumny; he vindicated himself upon all casions, and was ready to give a fair and reasonable account of his actions, to those who found fault with them, nay, even maliciously carped at them; he prudently avoided occasions of offence, and, by wife and cautious answers, many times avoided the soares that were laid to bring him under obloquy and reproach: But, in competition with his plain duty, he neither regarded the applause nor censures of men ; he complied with them in nothing that was bad, to gain their good opinion and esteem; nor was he hindered and discouraged from any thing that was good, for fear of being ill-fpoken of, or of having a bad interpretation put upon his good actions.
And this is a virtue very necessary to a good man, eSpecially in bad times, and requires a good degree of fortitude and firmness of resolution to make a man master of it. And it is not more necessary than it is reasonable; for it is not in our power, whether men thall speak well or ill of us ; but it is in our power, whether we will do well or ill. It is many times impoffible to please men, they are so divided in their opinions about good and evil ; but we may make sure to please God, and to gain his
praise and approbation, whose judgment is always according to truth. It is a vain and endless thing to live up to the humours and opinions of men, which are variable and uncertain ; but, if we keep steady to our duty, we live to the consciences of men, which, first or laft, will come to themselves, and come over to us, and approve of that which is good. This is, as St Paul speaks, to commend ourselves to every man's conscience in the fight
(3.) Another virtue, for which there is great occasion in human life, and for which our Lord was very remarkable, was his contentedness in a mean and poor condition; and fuch was his condition to the very lowest degree. He was deftitute of the ordinary conveniencies and necessary supports of life; he lived generally upon the kindness and charity of others, and when that failed, and he wanted ordinary supports, as he often did, he was maintained by miracle : And yet, in this mean and necessitous condition, he had a constant everness and serenity of mind; he had no anxious care and folicitude upon him, what he should eat, and what he should drink, or wherewithal he mould he cloathed; he never murmured at the unequal providence of God, never uttered one discontented, or envious word at the plenty and prosperity of others; he rather pitied the nisfortune of rich and great men, who were expofed to so many temptations, that it was very hard for them, in his opinion, to be saved; but he enjoyed himself, and served God, and went about doing good, and depended upon the providence of God for his daily food; and if at any time that was wanting, he tells his disa ciples, that He had meat to eat which they knew not of: for it was his meat and drink to do the will of his Fa. ther. By all that appears in the history of his life and we are sure that it is true) no man was ever poorer, and yet no man ever more contented than he was ; which is not only an example of contentedness to those, whom the providence of God hath placed in the extremity of meanness and want, but a much stronger and more forcible argument of contentment in every condition : For difcontent is not only the portion of the poor, but of those who have a competency, because they have not plenty ;
and, many timos, of those who have plenty and abundance, because they are wanton and foolish, and know not what they would have; so that our Saviour, by giving an example of contentment to those of the poorest and meanest condition, hath given it much more to those who are in better circumstances. A narrow fortune is riches in comparison of none; a competency is plenty compared with poverty, and the want of the ordinary accommodations of life. If the Son of God submitted to the lowest and poorest condition, and bore it with so much evenness and tranquillity of mind; well may we, if God call us to it. If he, that was heir of all things, was deftitute of all things, and well contented to be so; shall we murmur and repine, if we be in the same circum. stances ? If this example be of any force (as it is certainly of the greatest) should the providence of God see fit to reduce us to the lowest condition of want, we have no reason for discontent; but if he affords us a competency, we have no colour or pretence for it, unless we think ourselves better than the Son of God, and can claim a greater right to the poffeffions and enjoyments of this world, than he that made it.
Before this example, we might have thought, that poverty and meanness had been a Gign of God's hatred and displeasure, or, at least, an argument of less love and regard : But now, that we see him whom God loved infinitely better than any man in the world, to have been one of the poorest men that ever lived; this is a demonftration, that a man may be entirely beloved of God, though he be in the poorest and most deftitute condition ; for, in such a condition he thought fit to place his beloved Son, in whom he was well pleased. And if poverty be consistent with the highest degree of God's love apd favour, we inay bear it contentedly; and if there be any reason for contentment, even in poverty, to be discontented in any condition that is above it, is shameful and intolerable. Of such force is this example of our Lord, to banish discontent from any condition we are liable to in this world. The
(4.) And last virtue I shall instance in, and for the exercise whereof there is very great and frequent occa Gon in human life, is patience under sufferings, and such a .perfect resignation of ourselves to the will of God, that whatever pleaseth him should please us, how distasteful and grievous foever it be. And of this virtue our blessed Saviour was the greatest example that ever was; his whole life, from his birth to his death, was made up
of persecution and patience, and was a continual exercise of this virtue. There had been great examples, in all ages, of the sufferings and patience of good men, which we might propound to ourselves with great advantage; and so St James exhorts the Christians to do, James v. 10. Take, my brethren, the prophets, who have spoken in the name of the Lord, for an example of suffering afliétion, and of patience. Job especially was a most eminent example in this kind : re have heard, says he, of the patience of job. And all these examples are of great use, and considerable arguments to this virtue ; but the pattern of our Lord's suffering and patience is a greater example, and a more powerful argument than all these. His fuf. ferings were far greater than any man's ever were: Never was any forrow like to his forrow, wherewith the Lord aflicted him in the day of his fierce anger : And his раtience was greater than any man's ever was, not only be. cause he suffered more than any one of the sons of men ever did, but because he suffered without cause, being perfectly innocent, and free from the least personal fault and guilt. Well may we bear the indignation of the Lord patiently, because we have finned against him. Whatever we suffer, our consciences tell us we have deserved it all, and much more, from the hand of God, and that our punishment is always less than our iniquities have deferved. Sin is at the bottom of all our sufferings, and if we be buffeted for our faults, we ought to take it patiently. Upon this consideration, St Peter recommends to us the example of our Lord's suffering and patience, as a powerful argument to work the same temper and disposition in us, i Peter ii. 20, 21, 22. For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? But if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For