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pas éπrúɣevoe, he was,' as the Apostle saith, a beggar for us.'
Yet may we never perceive him anywise discontented with, or complaining of his condition; not discouraged or depressed in spirit thereby, not solicitously endeavoring any correction or change thereof; but willingly embracing it, heartily acquiescing therein; and, notwithstanding all its inconveniences, cheerfully discharging his duties, vigorously pursuing his main designs of procuring glory to God and benefit to men.
Nor did he only with content undergo the incommodities of a poor estate, but he was surrounded with continual dangers; the most powerful men of those times, enraged with envy, ambition, and avarice, desperately maligning him, and being incessantly attentive, on all occasions, to molest, hurt, and destroy him: The world' (as he saith himself, that is, all the powerful and formidable part of the world) hating me;' yet did not this anywise dismay or distemper him, nor cause him either to repine at his condition or decline his duty. He utterly disregarded all their spiteful machinations, persisting immovable in the prosecution of his pious and charitable undertakings, to the admiration of those who observed his demeanor: 'Is not this he,' said they, whom they seek to kill? but lo, he speaketh boldly.'
He did indeed sometimes opportunely shun their fury, and prudently did elude their snares, but never went violently to repel them, or to execute any revenge for them; improving the wonderful power he was endued with altogether to the advantage of mankind, never to the bane or hurt of his malicious enemies.
Sensible enough he was of the causeless hatred they bare him, (éμíoŋoáv μe dwpear, ' They,' said he, have hated me for nothing,') and of their extreme ingratitude; yet never could he be provoked to resent or requite their dealing: see how mildly he did expostulate the case with them; Then,' saith St. John, 'the Jews took up stones to stone him: Jesus answered them, Many good things have I shewed you from my Father; for which of those do ye stone me?'
To be extremely hated and inhumanly persecuted, without any fault committed or just occasion offered, is greatly incen
sive of human passion; but for the purest and strongest goodwill, for the most inexpressible beneficence, to be recompensed with most virulent reproaches, most odious slanders, most outrageous misusages-how exceeding was that meekness, which, without any signification of regret or disgust, could endure it!
Out of most tender charity and ardent desire of their salvation, he instructed them, and instilled heavenly doctrine into their minds; what thanks, what reward did he receive for that great favor? to be reputed and reported an impostor: λavā Tov oxλov, he,' said they, 'doth impose on the people.'
He took occasion to impart the great blessing of pardon for sin to some of them, confirming his authority of doing it by a miraculous work of goodness; how did they resent such an obligation? by accounting him a blasphemer: Behold,' saith St. Matthew, certain of the Scribes said within themselves, This man blasphemeth:' which most harsh and uncharitable censure of theirs he did not fiercely reprehend, but calmly discussed and refuted by a clear reasoning; τί ἐνθυμεῖσθε πονηρόν ; Wherefore conceive ye evil in your hearts? for whether is easier to say, Thy sins are forgiven thee? or to say, Arise and walk?' that is, Is it not credible that he who can perform the one may dispense the other?
He freed them from most grievous diseases, yea rescued them from the greatest mischief possible in nature, being possessed by the unclean fiend; how did they entertain this mighty benefit? by most horrible calumny, accusing him of sorcery or conspiracy with the devil himself. The Pharisees said, He casteth out devils by the prince of the devils:' yea, thence attributing to him the very name and title of the grand devil: If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more (shall they defame) them of his household?' Yet this most injurious defamation he no otherwise rebuketh than by a mild discourse, strongly confuting it; Every kingdom,' said he, divided against itself is brought to desolationand if Satan cast out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?' that is, the devil better understands his interest than to assist any man in dispossessing himself.
He did constantly labor in reclaiming them from error and sin, in converting them to God and goodness, in proposing fair overtures of grace and mercy to them, in showing them by word and practice the sure way to happiness: What issue was there of all his care and pains? What but neglect, distrust, disappointment, rejection of himself, of what he said, and what he did? 'Who hath believed our report, and to whom hath the arm of the Lord been revealed?' was a prophecy abundantly verified by their carriage toward him.
These and the like usages, which he perpetually did encounter, he constantly received without any passionate disturbance of mind, any bitter reflexions on that generation, any revengeful enterprises against them; yea, requited them with continued earnestness of hearty desires, and laborious endeavors for their good.
We might observe the ingrateful disrespects of his own countrymen and kindred toward him, which he passeth over without any grievous disdain; rather excusing it, by noting that entertainment to have been no peculiar accident to himself, but usual to all of like employment: No prophet,' said he, ́is acceptable in his own country.'
We might also mention his patient suffering repulses from strangers; as when being refused admittance into a Samaritan village, and his disciples, being incensed with that rude discourtesy, would have fire called down from heaven to consume those churls, he restrained their unadvised wrath, and thus expressed his admirable meekness: The Son of man is not come to destroy men's lives, but to save them.'
We might likewise remark his meek comporting with the stupid and perverse incredulity of his disciples, notwithstanding so many pregnant and palpable inducements continually exhibited for confirmation of their faith, the which he no otherwise than sometime gently admonisheth them of, saying, rí deiλoi ÉOTE, ÖXIYÓRIOTO: Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith?' ὀλιγόπιστε, τί ἐδίστασας ; ' Ο thou of small faith, why didst thou doubt?'
What should I insist on these, although very remarkable instances? since that one scene of his most grievous (shall I say, or glorious) passion doth represent unto us a perfect and most
lively image of the highest patience and meekness possible; of the greatest sorrow that ever was or could be, yet of a patience surmounting it; of the extremest malice that ever was conceived, yet of a charity overswaying it; of injury most intolerable, yet of a meekness willingly and sweetly bearing it: there may we observe the greatest provocations from all hands to passionate animosity of spirit and intemperate heat of speech, yet no discovery of the least disorderly, angry, or revengeful thought, the least rash, bitter, or reproachful word; but all undergone with clearest serenity of mind, and sweetness of carriage toward all persons.
To Judas, who betrayed him, how doth he address himself? Doth he use such terms as the man deserved, or as passion would have suggested, and reason would not have disallowed? Did he say, Thou most perfidious villain, thou monster of iniquity and ingratitude! thou desperately wicked wretch! dost thou, prompted by thy base covetousness, treacherously attempt to ruin thy gracious Master and best Friend; thy most benign and bountiful Saviour? No; instead of such proper language, he useth the most courteous and endearing terms: 'Eraïpe, éq' Tápel; Friend, (or companion) for what dost thou come?' or what is thy business here? A tacit charitable warning there is to reflect on his unworthy and wicked action, but nothing apparent of wrath or reproach.
From his own disciples and servants, who had beheld his many miraculous works, and were indebted to him for the greatest favors, he reasonably might have expected a most faithful adherence and most diligent attendance on him in that juncture yet he found them careless and slothful: What then? How did he take it? Was he angry, did he upbraid, did he storm at them? did he threaten to discard them? No; he only first gently admonisheth them: What, could ye not watch one hour with me?' then a little exciteth them, Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation:' he withal suggesteth an excuse for their drowsiness and dulness: The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak:' in fine, he indulgeth to their weakness, letting them alone, and saying, кaßeúdere Morov, Sleep on now, and take your rest.'
When he foresaw they would be offended at his (to appear
ance) disastrous estate, and fearfully would desert him, he yet expressed no indignation against them, or decrease of affection toward them on that score; but simply mentioneth it, as unconcerned in it, and not affected thereby.
And the unworthy apostasy of that disciple, whom he had especially favored and dignified, he only did mildly forewarn him of, requiting it foreseen by the promise of his own effectual prayers for his support and recovery; and when St. Peter had committed that heinous fact, our good Lord only looked on him with an eye of charity and compassion, which more efficaciously struck him, than the most dreadful threat or sharp reprehension could have done: Peter thereon went out, and wept bitterly.'
When the high priest's officer, on no reasonable occasion, did injuriously and ignominiously strike him, he returned only this mild expostulation: If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; if well, why smitest thou me ?' that is, I advise thee to proceed in a fair and legal way against me, not to deal thus boisterously and wrongfully, to thy own harm.
Even careful and tender he was of those who were the instruments of his suffering; he protected them from harm who conducted him to execution; as we see in the case of the high priest's servant, whom (with more zeal than wherewith he ever regarded his own safety) he defended from the fury of his own friend, and cured of the wounds received in the way of persecuting himself.
All his demeanor under that great trial was perfectly calm, not the least regret or reluctancy of mind, the least contradiction or obloquy of speech appearing therein; such it was as became the Lamb of God,' who was to ' take away the sins of the world,' by a willing oblation of himself; such as did exactly correspond to the ancient prophecies: He was oppressed, and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; and as a sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth;' and, 'I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair; I hid not my face from shame and spitting.'
Neither did the wrongful slanders devised and alleged against him by suborned witnesses, nor the virulent invectives of the