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strength, talk of those things which belong to peace, and whereby we may edify each other, that together we may direct our thoughts to a world where sorrow shall be known no more.
" Pass a few swiftly fleeting years,
And all, that now in bodies live,
Their righteous sentence to receive.
But all, before they hence remove,
May mansions for themselves prepare
And, o our God! shall we be there?”
“I have giver you an example.”
By washing the feet of his disciples, our Lord doubtless intended to teach them the virtue of humility. The last supper
Jesus had just disclosed the melancholy intelligence, that he was about to be betrayed by one of his own followers.
The whole scene was indeed solemn and impressive, and as might be supposed, calculated to check all feelings of pride and ambition. But we are informed that the fact proved otherwise. For there was a strise among them, which of them should be accounted greatest.
It was to condemn this worldly temper, that our Saviour gave them in his own person a striking lesson of humility, - stooping to the lowest office of menial duty.
What beauty and impressiveness there is in this scene of our Saviour's history. To behold a being so highly favored of God, so preëminently endowed with wisdom, and
holiness, and power, whose public life had been one continued series of benificent miracles and eloquent discourses, — whose benignant countenance bespoke his Godlike character, bending to the lowliest act of social kindness, even to the feet of those whom he had reclaimed, instructed, and saved, while the simple men, whose pride he had thus gently corrected, felt troubled by his courtesy, and would fain have resisted such unheard-of condescension.
What a sublime lesson is here given to the meanness and littleness of this world's pride and haughtiness. How does it wither into nothingness all that pomp and show by which the opulent of the earth affect the semblance of greatness, and would gladly exclude from their presence and communion those humbler children of humanity, whose feet the Redeemer of the world thought it not beneath him to wash !
Our Saviour's humility is remarkable, both for its simplicity and its dignity; and when we compare it with the other graces of his character, — his piety, his self-command, bis purity, gentleness, and philanthropy, we behold such a beautiful and harmonious assemblage of virtues, that we feel persuaded there must have been something more than human in the influence which it inspired and cherished then, and exclaim, almost involuntarily, with the centurion at the cross, “ Truly this was the Son of God."
" Ye great ones of the earth! oh, not in vain
To you may this divine example speak; For thence he taught that those should serve mankind,
Who, in his kingdom, for distinction seek.”
“And he went into a solitary place and there prayed.”
A STRIKING instance of our Saviour's love to his Father, was his delight in conversing with him by prayer. He frequently retired from the world, and with the greatest devotion and pleasure, spent whole nights in that heavenly exercise, although he had no sins to confess, and but few secular interests to pray for, which are almost the only things that are wont to drive us to our devotions. Nay, we may say his whole life was a kind of prayer, a constant course of communion with God; if the sacrifice was not always offering, yet was the fire still kept alive ; nor was the blessed Saviour ever overtaken with that dulness and torpor of spirit, of which so many complain in the exercise of devotion.
The sincore and devout affection of the Saviour expressed itself in an entire resignation to his Father's will. It was his very meat and drink to finish the work of him that sent him. Such was his infinite content