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THE LORD JESUS HUMBLE. he that serveth."n Unlike those who esteem poverty disgo ful, he was so poor, that when a trifle was demanded s him for tribute, he had to work a miracle to raise even the value of half a crown, for himself and a beloved discip Instead of sumptuous fare, he was contented with the pla net food, with small fishes and barley bread.p No abode was too mean for him to enter ; no office of kindness too hun mble for him to perform; no child of wretchedness too degraded for him to seek his benefit. Though infinitely superior to the angels of heaven, no consequential behaviour ever appeared in him ; but the meanest of the mean was not below his kiná 3 attention. When the Samaritan woman, poor in circum. stances and delased in character, found him sitting by Jacob's well, he freely conversed with the poor wanderer, unveiled the guilty secrets of her heart, and directed her into the way of life. When the centurion sent, beseeching him to heal his servant, with the humility which listens to every call of distress, he immediately replied, “I will come and heal him." When parents, anxious for their children's welfare, sought his blessing, unlike the self-important philosopher, who esteems such little ones beneath his notice, Jesus took them in his arms and blessed them. Despised as were the publicans, he readily allowed them to sit down with him and his disciples;' and careless of the murmurs of the proud, said on one occasion to their chief, “ Zaccheus, to-day I must abide at thy house." He preached the gospel to the poor, and the common people heard him gladly; and unlike those who think the poor and illiterate of little importance, who value churches or congregations according to what they call respectability, he rejoiced that such were his disciples; and said, “I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them unto babes." Though he might have assumed the loftiest title, he often chose the humblest; and spoke of himself under the lowly appellation of the Son of man. The love of fame has been pronounced the universal passion ; but he whom angels praise, sought no praise. Instead of magnifying those works of mercy, which deserved the admiration of the world, he spoke of them in the humblest terms. When about (92) Luke xxii. 27. (0) Matt. xvii. 25. (p) John vi. 9, 19. (9) Matt. viii. 7. (r) Mark x, 16.
($) Matt. ix. 10. () Luke xix.5. (u) Matt, xi. 25. (v) John i, 51 ; Matt, xvi. 27.
THE HUMILITY OF THE LORD JESUS. 183 to raise the daughter of Jairus, he said, “ Why make ye this ado, and weep: the damsel is not dead, but sleepeth." When going to raise Lazarus from the grave, he said, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth ; but I go that I may awake him out of sleep."* And when he healed the Gadarene demoniac, from whom he expelled a legion of devils, he would not permit such a monument to his praise, to attend him from city to city, but said,“ Return to thine own house, and show how great things God hath done unto thee.”'y So far was he from seeking applause, that instead of courting the fame his miracles would attract, he often, though vainly, charged those for whom these miracles were wrought, to tell no man of the benefit they had experienced. At other times he immediately left the place, as when he healed the lame man at the pool of Bethesda. On one occasion he took aside the sufferer whom he cured ;; and on another, when his help was solicited, immediately granted it when he saw a crowd assembling a How different from their conduct, whose pride renders them uneasy, when benevolent actions or labours are not noticed and applauded. Influenced by the same spirit, he sought not his own glory, but his that sent him; and said, “ As my Father hath taught me, I speak these things.”b No slights, no insults, disturbed the calmness of his soul. When not treated with common civility at the house of a pharisee, who invited him to dine, he manifested no displeasure. When the Samaritans would not receive him; and his two disciples, provoked at the insult, said, “ Lord, wilt thou that we command fire to come down from heaven, and consume them, even as Elias did ? He turned, and rebuked them, and said, Ye know not what manner of spirit ye are of. For the Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them." Though the author of Christianity, and the Lord of heaven and earth, he willingly permitted his unworthy disciples to excel himself, in the splendour of their miracles, and the fulness of their instructions. He said, “ Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father.” “I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now."d
(70) Mark v. 39. (x) John xi, 11. () Luke yiii. 39. ' (2) Mark vii. 33.
(a) Mark ix. 25. " (0) John vii. 18. (c) Luke ix. 54-56.
(d) Joho xiv. 12, xvi. 12.
184 THE HUMILITY OF THE LORD JESUS.
O, think whose character you thus contemplate-whose humility you thus behold—his in whom every excellency met—spotless innocence, and perfect holiness ;-yet he was humble. His possessions were heaven and earth-his dwelling-place eternity-his servants cherubim and seraphim-his Father the King eternal, immortal, invisible, whom no man hath seen nor can see his happiness the delights enjoyed in the bosom of the Father ;-yet he was humble; and when he came to earth, led a life of humility as consummate as his benevolence was boundless. And can you be his follower, and cherish pride ?-pride which sprang up first in Satan's breast. Was he poor; and will you scorn the poor? or think it beneath you to enter the lowliest dwelling? Did he, when a man of poverty, labour for his daily support; and will you, a worm of the dust, look down with contempt upon a fellowworm, because he does what Jesus when incarnate did, earns his support by the labour of his hands ? Did he make the pious poor his followers, and rejoice that such were his disci. ples; and will you look on piety itself as scarcely deserving notice, if it be united with poverty ? or think that piety in a fine house, and costly apparel, deserves a hundred times more attention, than perhaps much superior piety in coarse clothes and a cottage? If these are your feelings, how different from those of him you perhaps call your Master. Were he on earth as poor as formerly, you would doubtless be ashamed of him. It would shock your genteel feelings, to be the friend or associate of a journeyman carpenter, though under that guise the Son of God were concealed. Yet, poor worm! of what have you to be proud ? You by nature a child of wrath, and by sin's desert an heir of hell! You, who must soon leave all your gay apparel, to assume the dress of the grave. You, who must soon say to corruption, “ Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and sister."e Of what have you to be proud ? Is it your property ? God values it so little, that he gives it to millions of his enemies, but to few of his children. Is it your rich attire? does that add one grain to your real worth? Is it your beauty ? it must be soon exchanged for deformity and rottenness : all of you that is mortal will soon be mouldering dust or a ghastly skeleton. O! think : Jesus was humble,
(e) Job xvii. 14.
REASONS FOR HUMILITY.
185 -and angels are humble; only devils and fallen men are
$7. If more than the example of that divine Friend is rei quisite to make you humble,
· Think what you were ; and this one thought, properly in
dulged, would be sufficient to destroy pride. You were a e child of wrath, a slave of Satan, an enemy to God; in the = view of God a wretched creature, a malefactor, doomed to an
eternal hell; and deservedly condemned to suffer there the death that never dies. You must acknowledge this, or overturn the whole gospel, and set the grace of God altogether aside. Do you, with me, acknowledge this ? then of what have we to be proud ? Behold a poor wretch, whose crimes are bringing him to the gallows. He has deserved to die. The utmost that human justice can inflict upon him, is no more than he has merited. He has lost his friends, his character, his liberty, and deserved to lose them all : he is about to lose his life, and if it be taken from him, all must acknowledge it is justly taken. Of what has that man to be proud ? Let that man by an act of free mercy be pardoned, yet of what has he to be proud ? If you are a Christian, you know that you were a lost sinner; that whatever your character may have been in the view of man, in the sight of God it was blasted by the atrocious wickedness of rebellion against him. Of what have you to be proud ? You were a slave of the devil, and perhaps passed many years as his slave; can you think of this and be proud ? Had God left you to yourself, you would have been a slave of the devil to this very hour; can you think of this and be proud ? You delivered not yourself, it was God who translated you out of the kingdom of darkness into the kingdom of his dear Son. You did deserve hell, you were condemned to it; can you think of this and be proud ? The most miserable wretch that was ever led to execution, was never a hundredth part so guilty with respect to his fellow-creatures, as we have been with respect to God; and the most miserable death, which the most wicked criminal ever suffered, was not a thousandth part so dreadful, as that eternal punishment which every sinner has deserved. Of what then have we to be proud ?
$ 8. When you view yourself as a Christian, you may doubtless find much to deepen humility. Compare yourself
REASONS FOR HUMILITY. with some other disciples of the Saviour. How much stronger has been their faith! What far brighter hopes have animaied their souls! How much stronger has the flame of holy love burned in their breasts! With what much closer imitation have they copied the holy Jesus! How much more have they honoured God, glorified their Redeemer, and benefited their fellow-pilgrims! In short, how heavenly have been their affections, how holy their lives, and with how quick a progress have they been pressing on to heaven !—View this, and sink low in humility. Perhaps too this has been the case of many who had few privileges and advantages like yours; who had less knowledge and fewer gifts, and whose natural talents were far below yours. See this, and sink still deeper in humility.
$ 9. Think what as a Christian you should be. How elevated is the Christian character, as described in the word of God. What holiness, meekness, gentleness, devotion, faith, love, peace, and joy, should adorn the Christian ! How much should the follower of Jesus on earth resemble the disciple of Jesus in heaven! But is not the likeness in yourself extremely in perfect ? Have not you reason to lament numerous defects; to deplore the weakness of almost every grace, and to confess yourself still hut a mere infant in religion! Is this the case, and should you not be clothed with humility ? and appear robed in it in all your dealings with man, and all your intercourse with God?
Consider not what you are in the judgment of your fellow. creatures, but what you are in the judgment of the infinitely pure and holy God. What they call frailties, are in his sight great crimes. Place yourself as in his presence. Contrast the pollution of your nature with the infinite purity of his; your sinful heart, with his unspotted holiness; your defective virtues, with his unblemished excellences; your weak graces and imperfect services, with those perfect glories that adorn his character, and with that perfection of purity and obedience which his law requires.-As in the bright beams of the noon-day sun, innumerable atoms, before unseen, become clearly visible, and are seen floating in the air: so in the presence of Jehovah, innumerable defects, and faults, and sins, perhaps before unseen, become conspicuous in the view of the
Angels veil their faces in his presence, and saints the