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the full consent of "faith, hope, charity, these "three;"-all are among the things which should persuade us in the matter; and may God by his blessing give to them their proper influence upon our hearts!




LUKE ii. 52.

And Jesus increased in wisdom and stature, and in favour with God and man.

THE first and great object of our Lord's coming into the world in man's nature was, to become the SAVIOUR of mankind. So speaks the very meaning of his holy name, JESUS. "Thou shalt "call his name Jesus, (said the angel unto Joseph ;) for he shall save his people from their "sins ""

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A second purpose of his incarnation (or appearance in the flesh) was, to set a perfect pattern of all holiness and righteousness of life. "Where"fore in all things it behoved him to be made "like unto his brethren";" inasmuch as he lived and died "leaving us an example that we should "follow his steps . No better prayer can be

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a Matt. i. 21.

b Heb. ii. 7.

c 1 Pet. ii. 21.

put frequently into the mouths of Christian people, than that in which these two great points, together with the proper lesson to be drawn from each, are joined together with so much simplicity and beauty in the Collect for the second Sunday after Easter.

If it be asked how his example should be followed, the answer is so plain and ready as that he who runs may read it. "He did no sin, "neither was guile found in his mouth":" wherefore ought we, in a like manner, to "have no

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fellowship with the unfruitful works of dark"ness," but "putting away lying, to speak "every man truth with his neighbour." He, "when he was reviled, reviled not again:" so neither ought we: he, "when he suffered, "threatened not :" so ought not we.

There is no need to multiply particulars. Every one may trace and find abundance of them for himself, throughout our Saviour's history': and directions of the kind just shown are very easy to be understood; the difficulty with an honest mind would be, not to understand them. Moreover, I should think there cannot any man be found, who will not readily confess that things would fare a great deal better with us, and the

d 1 Pet. ii. 22.


Ephes. v. 11. iv. 25. f Cf. Serm. IV.

world be very different from what it is, if the example of our Lord were followed, and such directions faithfully obeyed.

Consider then these things; here is set before us, in our Saviour's person, an example of character and conduct such as the most hard-hearted cannot but love: there is his holy word enjoining us, in ever so many ways, to "go, and do like"wise:" there are his promises, saying, (in effect) "This do, and thou shalt live ;" and there is the world around us-a place notwithstanding all its drawbacks and alloy, provided by God's gracious bounty with many rich means of enjoyment and of comfort-rendered exceedingly miserable and uncomfortable, by reason that the multitude of Christians will not take any care to follow in their Master's steps-will not copy that example, of which they cannot choose but see, and will allow, the comeliness, and which, if followed, they are ready to admit would mend the world. Is it not a strange thing, is it not a hard thing, that the case should be so? that God's mercies should be thus wasted, seemingly to no purpose? that we will not do what Christ desires us-what he has shown us may be done-to "save our "souls alive?"

There is no disputing the fact, that Christians

do not generally show "the mind which was in "Christ Jesus." Instead, however, of complaining or of finding fault without an effort to do better, let us examine rather how far we may find one probable cause of some of this perverseness, within present reach of cure. Let us set forth the evil first, and then judge of the remedy. We may thus follow up with some advantage the thoughts suggested by our late consideration of the subject of "religion in families "."

Now the remedy I mean to offer to your grave reflection will arise from certain thoughts upon the subject of our Saviour's infancy and earlier years. For it may fairly be maintained, (and surely when the thought is pointed out to them, it must bring some conviction of its truth to all!) that they who are to follow the example of Jesus in their later, full grown life, should begin with the pattern in their early years. As "the mind "which was in Christ Jesus," grown up to man's estate and to the work of his ministry, is to be the model for our ripened understandings, and affections, and energies, so should the child Jesus (as far as ever we can learn from Scripture or collect by reason) be the model of our infancies. By which I do not mean, that either then or 3 Serm. XIV.

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