(From “Christ Precious”)
“Leaving you an example, so that you should follow in His steps.” I Peter 2:21
“He who says he abides in Him, should walk just as He walked.” I John 2:6
We see, in our Divine Leader, the several precepts of God’s Word drawn out in living characters. We behold them reduced to practice, and represented to the life–in the whole of His conduct towards God and man. We see one in our nature, amidst all the assaults of temptation, amidst all the opposition which malignity could invent, and all the allurements of this glittering world–behaving in a manner exactly agreeable to the dictates of the Divine law, and leaving us an example, that we should follow His steps.
Surely it must be delightful, not only to contemplate His character–but, to the utmost of our power, to imitate the most perfect pattern which was ever exhibited. It must be desirable, by constant and strenuous exertions, according to our measure, to endeavor to trace the steps of His lovely feet.
It is impossible to contemplate the character of Jesus, with serious and devout attention–and not be charmed with it. We see in Him, all the human passions in the highest perfection. His joys were grave, his griefs were just; his gentleness and his severity, his holiness and his humanity–were in perfect harmony with each other. He manifested great tenderness, and genuine affection, and sensibility to human woe–on all occasions.
As He did no sin–so, on the other hand, every shining virtue was exemplified in Him to highest degree.
His lowliness and meekness; His contempt of the world; His heavenly temper; His love to the Father, and zeal for His honor; His activity and diligence in doing good; His submission to the Father’s will; His patience amidst the heaviest and severest sufferings;
His constancy in the exercises of retired devotion; and His praying for His enemies who spilt His blood–can never be sufficiently admired.
When you are tempted to any vanity–set the blessed Redeemer before you, consider His example, and ask yourself, “How would Jesus–my Lord and Master, have acted in such a case? Would He have spent His time upon such trifles? Would He have spoken such and such; or done this or the other thing, which I am solicited to do? And shall I give way to that which would be a manifest deviation from His example? God forbid!”
O Christians, fix your eyes intensely on the great exemplar! Thus you will, through Divine grace, daily grow in love with meekness, patience, and lowliness of heart.
The more I contemplate His lovely character, while He sojourned on earth–the more I am delighted with it. To have the same mind in me which was in Christ Jesus, and to tread in His steps–should be my constant aim. Those who are received by Him to the possession of everlasting felicity in heaven–have humbly traced His footsteps upon earth. Of them it is said, “These are the ones who follow the Lamb wherever He goes!” They are forevermore led by Him, even in the celestial world–to the enjoyment of ever-new delights and pleasures!