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a voluntary and officious-informer against the criminal ; which, considering the occasion and his own character, no man, I suppose, would think reasonable.
To conclude: if men would call to mind the purity and transcendant holiness of Christ's eharacter, as evidenced in the general tenour of his history, and considered withall, that never man spake as he spake, they could not suspect him of giving any quarter to vice; and might be sure, that, if what he said on any occasion, had the least appearance of looking that way, the presumption must be withoût grounds, and could only arise from their not weighing and considering his words, so replete with all wisdom, as well as goodness, with a proper attention. The case before us, we have seen, is a memorable instance of this kind: and let all readers of the Gospel be taught by it, that to understand the Scriptures, and to cavil at them, are different things. Let them be warned by this example, not to impute their own follies to the sacred text, which they must first misinterpret, before they ean-abuse: And, above all, let them take heed how they turn the Grace of God into licentiousness ; that is, how they seek to justify
; to themselves, or even palliate, their own cor
ruptions, by their loose and negligent, if not: perverse, glasses on the word of God; on that WORD, by which they must stand or fall; and which, like the divine Author of it, will surely in the end be justified in all its sayings, and be clear when it is judged
Learn of me, for I am meek and lowly in
heart:: And ye shall find rest unto your souls.
THE moral quality recommended in the text, was: little known and less esteemeda in the heathen world. Not that humility, in the Christiani sense of the word, hath no foundation in natural reason : but heathen practice gave . "lä The words ta meivės, and humilis, are observed to be generally, if not always, used in a bad sense by the Greek and Latin writers.
no countenance to this Virtue, and the pride of heathen philosophy would make no acquaintance with her.
She was left then to be acknowledged, for the first time, by Jesus of Nazareth, who knew the worth of this modest stranger ; and therefore, as we see, recommends her to the notice and familiarity of his disciples in the most emphatic terms.
One would wonder how a virtue, so advantageously introduced into the Christian world, should be so much neglected by those who call themselves of it. But the reason is not difficult to be explained.
I. It was seen hit, for the ends of human virtue, that, in moulding the constitution of our common nature, a considerable degree of what may be called a generous pride, should be "infused into it. Man, considered in one view; touches on the brutal creation; in anoi ther, he claims-an affinity with God himself. To sustain this nobler part of his compositions the subject and source of all his diviner qualities, the adorable wisdom of the Creator saw good to implant in hima a conscious sense of worth and dignity; that so. a just self-esteem
miglit erect his thoughts and endeavours, and keep him from submitting too easily to what the baser half of his nature might exact from him.
Thus far INSTINCT goes : and, as yet, there is no blame. But then to moderate this instinct, (a blind power of itself, and capable of great excesses) to circumscribe its bounds, and direct its energies to their true end, REASON, & much higher faculty, was conferred on mans and his duty, thenceforth, was to give the reins to the natural sentiment, only so far as this supreme arbitress of human life allowed.
And hence his corruption and misery took its rise. He felt the instinct draw powerfully i and he would not take, or would not be at the pains to ask, the advice of reason, who was ready to tell him how far he might yield to it.
This wilfulness, or negligence, broke the balance of his moral nature; till reason, in this, as in so many other instances, was little regarded; and the instinctive sentiment of s selfesteem, long since degenerated into lawless pride, was left to domineer as it would ; universälly, in the Pagañ world, and, though checked