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of them came to him, and faid, Get thee out and depart hence, for Herod will kill thee. Instead of a foothing or an evasive answer which, confidering the power and difpofition of Herod, could not perhaps have been cenfured; Go ye, fays he, and tell that fox, behold I caft out devils to-day and to-morrow, and the third day I fhall be perfected'.
But there is nothing can fet this virtue of our Saviour in a stronger point of view than his behaviour, when the multitude, led on by Judas, came out armed with fwords and ftaves, and at a time of darkness too, which, as it is moft fuited to the purpofes of malice and cruelty, is also most apt to raise timidity, for they had brought with them, as the evangelift John expressly mentions, lanterns and torches. His conduct upon this occafion is throughout fo noble and magnanimous, that I am fenfible all words are unequal to my conceptions of its greatness. When Judas approached and faid, Hail mafter, and kiffed him, he calmly replies, Friend, wherefore art thou come? It was no wonder that all the effrontery of
Luke xiii. 31, 3.
guilt was filenced by the fedate majesty and meekness of divine virtue. Accordingly we read of no answer made by his revolted difciple, at that period, though, as his beloved. difciple tells us, he knew all things that should come upon him, yet he fepped forth to the mul titude, and faid, Whom feek ye? When they replied, Jefus of Nazareth; He answers, I am he. As foon as he had faid, I am he, fays John, the multitude went backward and fell to the ground. The intrepidity of his reply appeared so astonishing, that the hearts of the cruel and mercilefs were almost changed; and had he been anxious to fave his life, no miracle would have been neceffary to have diverted their purpose. Then he asks them again, Whom seek ye? And when they said, fefus of Nazareth, he anfwered, I have told you that I am he; if, therefore, ye feek me, let thefe go their ways. The brave are ever merciful and compaffionate. And while Jefus himself meets fuffering with a daring and unshaken mind, he discovers the most amiable attention to his followers, and that too in circumstances in which even a great
$ John xviii. 4-6.
mind might have been properly engroffed
In the first place, my brethren, what
2dly: From this particular delineation of fome of the virtues which were so confpi
cuous in the life of Chrift, let us learn not only a general admiration of these virtues, but let us afpire after the practice of them in the fimilar inftances of life and conduct, in which the Providence of God may place us. The respect we pay to the qualities of the divine life, is by far of too general a naWe too rarely defcend to particulars. Who is the man that profits most by this difcourfe? He who goes away, applauding a devout temper? Or he who forms the refolution of becoming more devout, and puts his refolutions into practice? The latter alone is the profitable hearer.
JOHN xix. 30.
When Jefus, therefore, had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowea his head, and gave up the ghoft.
AMONG the infinitely various characters of men, there are a few who are attentive to whatever seems to be ferious and important: there are many to whose reason we fpeak in vain, if we cannot intereft their hearts: there are some of so soft a mould, that whatever has the leaft degree of tendernefs melts and affects them; while others can fee and hear what is quite overpowering to fuch, and ftill remain unmoved. When we view men in a particular light, the variety of their characters, propenfities, inclinations and capacities, is amazing. When we furvey them in a different point of view, their refemblance is as evident and ftriking. Their refemblance confifts in their original powers