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The Christian Pattern.

The Christian Pattern.

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Published by glennpease

Phil. ii. 5.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

Phil. ii. 5.
Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.

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Published by: glennpease on Sep 14, 2013
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The Christian Pattern.
REV. DAVID TAPPA, d. d.Phil. ii. 5.Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.THE Christian religion has this unspeakable advantageabove all other systems, that it holds out a perfect mod-el of virtue in the life of its Founder; a model, whichfully exemplifies and enforces his excellent doctrines andprecepts ; which exhibits at once the express image andglory of God, and a safe and complete directory for theconduct of man ; and agreeably, one main object of Christ's appearing in our nature, and living in ourworld, wa3 to mark out by his life as well, as by his in-structions, the path to immortality.The apostle in the text and following verses patheti-cally urges upon Christians a studious imitation of thisglorious pattern, particularly in the amiable virtues of love and meekness, of humility and condescensionuAccordingly, I shall take occasion to illustrate and en-force the great duty of copying the spirit and life of ourblessed Master.The first inquiiy, which this passage suggests, is, inwhat respects is Christ an example to his followers ?The answer is, He is our pattern in those things only,which are common to him and us. He is not an objectof imitation in those things, which were peculiar tohim, as the Son of God and Redeemer of the w orld ;nor did he exemplify those duties, which result from106 THE CHRISTIA PATTER. [Sek. XVLour peculiar situation, as sinful and redeemed creatures ;
such as repentance of sin, and faith in the divine mercythrough a Mediator. But Christ is our exemplar in allthose right dispositions and actions, which belong to hu-man nature in its uncorrupted state, and to which it isgradually recovered by gospel faith and repentance.We are therefore bound to imitate him in all those mor-al excellencies, which he exhibited, as a subject of thatlaw, of those relations and circumstances, which werecommon to him and us. In these particulars he is apattern admirably fitted to guide and encourage ourimitation. ForFirst, He possessed the same nature, and was placedin the same condition with ourselves ; and his example,therefore, being human, exhibits to us the same kind of virtues, practised in the same manner, and under similarcircumstances of difficulty and temptation, as belong toourselves ; and thus naturally affects our minds with afar more insinuating and engaging force, than differentinstances of virtue or even the same, in a difTerent nature.In this view the example of perfect angels or even of theDeity could not be so suitable, so complete, or so en-couraging to us ; it could not enforce those duties, whichare proper to embodied and imperfect, to guilty and re-deemed creatures. But Christ was in all things madelike unto us, sin only excepted ; he was subject to thesame infirmities and passions, to the same troubles andtemptations as well, as to the same general ties of duty.His example also takes in a very great compass of virtue.It is so wonderfully ordered, as either directly to exem-plify, or strikingly to enforce the duties of almost everystation and relation of human life. Filial piety towardsboth his earthly parents and his heavenly Father shone inhis early and private life. He condescended to teachSer.XVI.] the christian pattern. 191US contentment and industry in our various secular call-
ings, however moan and laborious, by foilowini^ the me-chanical employment of his reputed father. By submit-ting to a poor, dependent, and suflering mode of life,and ever feeling and behaving suitably to k, he has ren-dered his example exceedinglj^ precious and useful tothe bulk of mankind, ^^hom Providence places in a low-ly or trying condition. On the other hand, his volun-tary debasement of himself from his original dignity andriches to a poor and servile state, affords the most affect-ing lessons of humility, condescension, and self denialto the wealth}' and honourable. By his gentle, dis-creet, yet authoritative government of his own familyof disciples, bv carrying the same wisdom and authorityinto all his public ministrations, and thus holding boththe people and their rulers in awe, he gave instructivehints of the true spirit and model of government in do-mestic, civil, and sacred departments. Though hecould not literally exemplify the conjugal and parent-al duties, because he never sustained these relations ;yet he is really our example here to the greatest advan-tage, on account of that spiritual relation of husband andfather to the church, which he fills \\ith correspondingaffections and acts. In a word, his conversation was sofree, so open, and affable ; it presen-ed such a happ}medium between affected singularity and unlimitedcompliance, betvveen rigorous austerity. and unbecom-ing levity, as rendered it at once very endearing, andadmirably fitted for general imitation.The notoriety of his example like\\'ise greatly hicreas-es its utility. ot only were the leading traits of hischaracter conspicuously displayed in the country wherehe lived ; not only were his principal actions and discoin^^.ses performed before great numbers of witnesses; ^"^'•"1^2 THE CHRISTIA PATTER. [Ser. XVJ.his exeellent life is exhibited to all future ages in authen-

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