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the hungry, he consoled the afflicted; he gave sight to . the blind, hearing to the deaf, motion to the lame, health to the sick, life to the dead. Thus did he restore joy to the countenance of the disconsolate father, to the heart of the widowed mother, to the bosom of the family overwhelmed with tears and sorrow. These blessings he denied to the idle and profane curiosity of the great, and bestowed them on the wants, the tears, and the humble solicitations of the poor and unfortunate. All his miracles are manifestly impressed with the seal of goodness and commiseration of the most ardent and affectionate charity.
To this feeling of benevolence which interested him so powerfully in the distresses of men, Jesus added the most ardent zeal for their true, their eternal interests; and his instructions are a living proof both of the truths which he taught, and of the manner in which he enforced them. Ever occupied in the great work, which his Father had given him to do, he lost no opportunity, he neglected no means, of advancing it. Full of zeal for the propagation of the truth, he carried its light whithersoever he went. Though the multitude fainted in their attendance, he gave himself no respite. The cities, the fields, the deserts, re-echoed the voice of his instructions. It was heard by the learned and the ignorant, by the great and the small, in public and in private, in the temple and in the house ; at the table of the rich, and in the humble cottage of the poor; in the presence of those who envied, hated, and persecuted him, as well as in the bosom of confidence and friendship. His zeal overlooked not even sinners the
most abandoned. To reclaim them, he braved the contempt of the proud Pharisee, the censures of the unjust and suspicious public, the coarse sarcasms of the multitude, and the taunts of those very persons who were the objects of his exhortations. He becamer.. all things to all men, in order to gain their souls. This good Shepherd encountered every danger, and surmounted every obstacle, to bring back to the fold his wandering flock. A pure and noble zeal! unmixed with that vain-glory whose object is destruction, and the transmission to posterity of a name among the founders of sects. No: it was the zeal of truth-it was the glory of God—it was the love of men—the desire of conducting them to happiness, with which he was animated. It was this that dictated his instruct tions, and directed his exertions. Dignified with the great, profound with the learned, simple with the multitude, his language assumed all the forms adapted to his object, which was to render truth intelligible and acceptable. He aimed at something higher than the praises of men : he sought their salvation and happiness.
But while animated with so ardent a zeal for the welfare of men, Jesus forgot not to be indulgent tol their infirmities. This branch of charity, so much neglected in the world, and yet so becoming in men who are ignorant, and weak, and wicked, and who, from the slightest knowledge of themselves, should learn how much they stand in need of that forbearance which they refuse to others; this branch of charity : none ever possessed, none ever practised like the SonTM
of Man. Free from all sin, and himself requiring no indulgence; intimately acquainted also with the most secret sources of human actions; he was nevertheless indulgent to the infirmities of men, and unwilling to judge their actions. “ Ye judge,” he says to the Pharisees, "ye judge after the flesh,” that is, according to your passions and prejudices : “ as for me, I judge no man.”
But of all the forms which Christ's love to man assumed, in none was it more conspicuously displayed than in the exercise of forgiveness. His ungrateful and barbarous countrymen, who were about to commit the most atrocious parricide on his person—this fanatical people, who loudly demanded the pardon of a murderer, and the death of the Son of God, could not, by these unexampled atrocities, extinguish the charity which animated his breast. At the prospect of the evils which were to befall their devoted city, he wept and said, “() Jerusalem, Jerusalem ! thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee! how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings; but ye would not !” And in another place, “Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but for yourselves and your children.” Betrayed by his own disciple, who delivered him up to the hatred of the chief priests, and sold to them for silver the blood of his Master, what are the words he addresses to him when, by a perfidi. ous kiss, he gave a sign to the officers who accompanied him ? Compassion for the offender, rather than resentment for the offence, breathes in his address : “Friend, wherefore art thou come ? Judas! betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss ?” The same character is sustained in the midst of ignominy, and outrage, and torture. His strength forsook him-his tongue became stiff-his eyes grew dim—his spirit was ready to take its flight; but charity still glowed in his heart, and his last accents wafted to heaven the most ardent prayers for his murderers :-"Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
This last expression of love, of which human language cannot portray the grandeur, completes the picture which I have attempted to sketch. Unworthy as it is of the Divine Original, it ought to convince us that charity was the animating principle of Christ's conduct, as it is a pervading principle in his doctrine ; whence this incontrovertible consequence results, That without charity there can be no Christianity; while, on the other hand, by this shall all men know that we are the disciples of Jesus, if we have love one to another.
Be exhorted, my brethren, to apply these observations as an antidote against the infection of those unsocial principles which have recently been embraced, and which are openly avowed, by many religionists around you. To confirm in our hearts the sentiment of brotherly love, and to guard us against all exclusive and sectarian feelings, let us never forget that the Church of Christ is ONE—that it is not confined to any particular sect or community, but comprehends all believers of all denominations throughout the world. When professing Christians adopt different sentiments
from these, that holy bond of love, which should knit together the hearts of all who bear the name of Jesus, is unhappily broken asunder ; and instead of universal charity, universal ill-will becomes the characteristic of sectarian religion. Let us therefore guard with jealousy against every principle that savours of bigotry. As we value our own title to the Christian name, let us regard sincere Christians of all denominations as our brethren-as disciples of the same Master--as members of that one Church of which Christ is the sole Head. Let this sentiment be firmly impressed on our minds, and then we shall disdain that littleness of soul which would lead us to think that the different modes of worship, or forms of Church government, which prevail among different Christian societies, should preclude the exercise of mutual good-will and brotherly love. Let us adhere steadfastly to what we believe to be the truth; but let us beware of judging harshly of those who differ from us respecting speculative matters on which Scripture is either altogether silent, or on which it has prescribed no definite and invariable rule.
A general uniformity in all speculative doctrines, modes of worship, and forms of Church government, we are not perhaps to expect in the Christian world. These are matters about which men of the wisest heads and the best hearts, have always differed ; but, assuredly, they are matters about which no man, possessing a wise head and a good heart, would choose to quarrel. When neighbouring congregations of Christians, in their respective places of Worship, offer up