bearance, discountenanced and opposed those sentiments which he knew to be most preva lent among them, and which were most in unison with the notions they had formed of the purpose of his mission. This is strikingly instanced in the several beatitudes, as they are called, with which he opens his discourse. Instead of encouraging the pursuit of worldly honour, wealth, or do minion ; instead of holding out inducements of ease, luxury, and temporal grandeur ; in stead of promising earthly conquests and the subjugation of rival and hostile powers; what are the expectations offered, what the qualities declared to be indispensable for ad mission into His kingdom ? humility, self- denial, meekness, forbearance, purity, patience under tribulation and adversity. The only superiority to which he bids them aspire, is that of setting an example edifying to the rest of mankind. The only splendour with which he would have them invested, is the lustre of those unostentatious qualities which might gradually win men to the truth, and lead to the adoption of that religion from which they proceeded. or were they to content themselves with the scanty measure of excellence which hitherto their religious instructors had meted out to them ; but " ex- i i 2 484 SERMO XXIV. " cept their righteousness exceeded that of " the Scribes and Pharisees, they would in " no case enter into the kingdom of heaven b ."