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While before Day, he went out, and departed into a folitary Place, and there prayed. Mark i. 34. So, on another Occafion, after performing many miraculous Cures on Multitudes that came to him, we read, that he withdrew himself into the Wilderness and prayed. Luke v. 16. And, again, he went out into a Mountain to pray, and continued all Night in Prayer to God. Luke vi. 12. And, as he frequently retired for folitary Secret Prayer and Intercourfe with God, fo he often prayed with and before his Difciples, who were his own proper Family and immediate Attendants. Thus we read, Luke ix. 18, that he was alone praying, and his Difciples were with him. He was alone, i. e. he was retired apart from the Multitude; but his Difciples were with him, when be prayed. The fame Thing is fignified, Luke xi. 1, where it is faid, that, as he was praying in a certain Place, when he had ceafed, one of his Difciples faid unto him, Lord, teach us to pray, &c. On which Occafion he gave them excellent Directions, and very encouraging Promifes to engage them to a perfevering Importunity and Earnestness in Prayer. Before bis Transfiguration, he took Peter, James, and John with him, and went up into a Mountain to pray. Luke ix. 28. And, in his Entrance on his last Sufferings, he offered
ed up an admirable Prayer before his Dif ciples, in which, with the moft tender and affectionate Concern, he recommended them to his heavenly Father, and prayed for their Prefervation, for their Sanctification, and for their being Sharers in his heavenly Glory. Thus it appears how fiduous and fervent he was in that facred Exercife, both by himself alone, and with his Difciples: And therefore thofe that allow themselves in the habitual Neglect of this Duty, in vain pretend to be Followers of the holy Jefus. If he was fo careful to render this Inftance of religious Homage to his heavenly Father, fhould not we do fo, who have fo many Sins to bewail, fo many Wants to be fupplied, and who stand in fuch continual Need of the Influences and Aids of God's Grace and Spirit? His Prayers were accepted, on his own Account, as he was perfectly pure and holy, the only Begotten of the Father, full of Grace and Truth. And how encouraging is it to think that, in his prevailing Name, we are commanded to offer up our Prayers; and that, though they be mixed with many Infirmities, they fhall be accepted through him, if offered up from fincere and upright Hearts! Whatfoever ye afk the Father in -my Name (faith he) he will give it you. John
And as he was thus diligent in the more fecret and private Exercises of Devotion, by himself and with his Apoftles; fo be was no lefs affiduous in the Exercises of public Worship. It was his conftant Practice to frequent the Synagogues on the SabbathDays; and there he joined with the public Affemblies in Prayer and Praise, and in hearing or reading the holy Scriptures, and giving Exhortations from them; which were the usual stated Parts of the Synagogue Service: He himself gave an excellent Example of a right and profitable Obfervation of the Sabbeth, though he juftly guarded against the fuperftitious Excefs to which the Pharifees had carried it. We find him alfo frequently at the Temple on their folemn Festivals; and, as he was made under the Law, fo no Doubt he was careful and exact in obferving the Rites and Ordinances prefcribed in the Law, nor could his bittereft Enemies ever charge him with neg lecting or tranfgreffing them, though they took Notice, that he and his Difciples tranfgreffed the Traditions of the Elders. Matt. xv. 2. Luke xi. 38. He came to John to be baptifed of him, and when John faid to him, with Aftonishment, I have Need to be baptifed of thee, and comeft thou to me? He gave this Reafon for it, Thus it becamX 4 eth
eth me to fulfil all Righteousness. Matt. iii, 14, 15. What was faid, in a more imperfect Senfe, of Zachariah and Elifabeth might be justly applied to him, with the greatest Propriety, and in it's utmost Extent, that he was righteous before God, and walked in all the Commandments and Ordinances of the Lord blameless.
Thus have we confidered our Saviour's Character, with Relation to his Temper and Conduct towards God, his heavenly Father. It appeareth that his whole Life was a Life of Devotedness to God; the Serving and Glorifying him was the principal End he had in View, and the Business to which he applied himself, with an unwearied Ardour, Zeal, and Diligence. He yielded a perfect Obedience to all the Divine Commands, and an intire Refignation to the Will of God in all Things, even in the moft difficult Inftances. And be was also affiduous in immediate Acts of Devotion, and the Exercises of religious Worship, both public and private. Thus hath he left us a perfect Example, with Refpect to the Duties we owe to God. Nor was he lefs exemplary in Charity and Benevolence towards Mankind; which is what I propose to fhew in the farther Profecution of this Subject.
On the Example of Chrift.
EPHESIANS v. 2.
And walk in Love, as Christ also bath loved us.
HE principal Ingredients in a good and excellent Character are Piety towards God, and Charity and Benevolence towards Mankind; and of both these our Lord Jefus Chrift hath exhibited to us a moft perfect Example. The latter is what we are now to confider. St. Paul, when he here exhorteth Chriftians to walk in Love, very properly urgeth the Example of Christ, as what should have a great Influence to engage them to it: Walk in Love,