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with his heavenly Father, and spent whole nights in prayer. Nor was it for himself alone that he communed with his God. His soul overflowed with intercession on behalf of his believing followers.

Finally, he was in all things conformed to the will of his Father. In obedience to that will he came down from heaven; in obedience to it he lived and died on earth. His works were the Father's works, and his words the Father's words. “My meat," he said, " is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.” Nor was it in doing only, but also in suffering, that he was devoted without a murmur to the will of God. “O my Father," he cried, “if it be possible let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt,”—“not my will, but thine be done."

Such was the moral character of the Saviour of men; a most astonishing combination of purity, integrity, faithfulness, courage, zeal, fortitude, prudence, liberality, temperance, disinterestedness, heavenly-mindedness, meekness, humility, patience, and charity, all founded on an immeasurable love towards God the Fa. ther, and on a perfect obedience to his will.

Here it ought to be remarked, that as the followers of Jesus, in their pursuit of moral excellence, are taught to place their dependence on the influence of the Spirit of God, so Christ, their holy Head, was endued with the same influence, but without measure. He was the “anointed one” of the Father. He produced, in unspeakable ripeness and abundance, that "fruit of the Spirit” which is “in all goodness and righteousness and truth," and which, in a sınaller measure, is borne by all those who love, serve, and follow him.

In applying the foregoing statement to the argument now before us, we have in the first place to remark that the gospels contain, in themselves, a sufficient evidence that the character of Jesus Christ, as developed by the evangelists, is true — that it was taken from the life. Although for the sake of clearness we have stated its several particulars in a regular series, these authors have adopted no such method. A panegyric of their divine Master, however just and merited, and a formal declaration of his virtues, however incontrovertible, formed no part of their plan. They were engaged in the duty of faithful narration, and the character of their Lord comes out and is made apparent, as.. it were, by accident, in the history of those various events, by which it was tried, and in the course of which it was unfolded.

The simplicity and native charm of the narrative, are such as no fiction can imitate. And let it be remembered, that the history of the life and death of Jesus is recorded by four writers, each of whom (while they state many things in common) contributes, to the general account of him, a variety of particulars to which the others have not adverted. The faultless and perfectly original character of Jesus stands out to view, as the glorious result of their combined descriptions.

That the delineation of such a person should be sustained, even by a single writer, without any lapse, and should produce a portrait without any blemish, would be extremely improbable, were the tale fictitious. But that so many distinct and evidently independent writers, should have described the conduct and deportment of Jesus, under so great a variety of circumstances, and still no inconsistency be found in the narrative, no flaw in the character – is

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a fact for which nothing can possibly account, but the truth of the whole statement.

Since then our Saviour's character, as pourtrayed in the New Testament, was real, we may receive it as a sure evidence, that the religion which he taught is divine. For in the first place, we are bound by the laws of testimony, by plain reason, and by common sense, to receive as true, whatsoever was affirmed by a man of perfect morality. And secondly, the character of Jesus, considered as an essential part of a religious system, is in itself a strong internal proof that God the Fountain of all virtue and loveliness is the Author of Christianity. In vain should we search for the description of such a character in the pages either of profane history, or of uninspired philosophy. It stands unrivalled and alone, a master-piece of divine wisdom and power, stamped with the image of the most high God.

Between the requirements of the law, and the example of the lawgiver, there is no shadow of disagreement. Let the inquirer after truth reflect on this coincidence ; let him examine the nice and easy fitting in of the law with the pattern, and of the pattern with the law, and

he will be constrained to confess that both originate with that God of harmony, whose works alone agree with a perfect precision.

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SECTION VI. ·

ON THE GENERAL ACCOUNT OF THE SAVIOUR.

When conversing with the Jews respecting his own attributes, Jesus Christ appealed to the Scriptures as witnesses to the truths which he uttered --" They are they which testify of me.” So also the apostle Paul'asserts that the “ holy Scriptures" are able to make “ wise unto salvation, through faith which is in Christ Jesus.'' Our Lord and his apostle here referred to the Scriptures of the Old Testament; but their doctrine is applicable with still greater force to those of the New Testament. The sacred writers of both dispensations unite in testifying of Christ ; and on the other hand, the description which they give of him, reflects its glory on the Scriptures, and bears witness to the inspiration under which they were composed.

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