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influence of that l'enewing spirit which, when received into the heart, is able to leaven the whole lump. So too in the second century Justin was an instance of the consecration of learning to the service of God; Valentinian, in the fourth, of a violent temper, in a great degree subdued by religious principle; while the change in the character of Jerome strikingly exhibits the effect of divine grace on a disposition naturally intractable and rugged.
But these are instances of Christian teachers who have been remarkable for the successful cultivation of some single virtue. If we advance a step farther, and look for such an assemblage of Christian graces combined in one individual, as Chrysostom for instance has enumerated in his requisites for a pastor}, it will be seen how rarely any measure of such a display occurs in one who is not exempt from human infirmities. The union of many virtues in one heart is a sight so lovely, that angels might desire to look upon it';, but the union of contradictory excellencies, wherever found, and in whatever degree, cannot fail to form an extraordinary character. Milner remarks of Cyprian, that to unite such seemingly opposite things as discretion and fortitude, each in a very high degree, is a sure characteristic of greatness in a Christian. He calls it grace in its highest exercise“. For, as Bowdler 5 has beautifully, as well as truly observed, a principle of compensation runs through the works of God. In the physical and intellectual world this is observable ; and so also in morals : the stronger virtues are seldom found without an alloy of austerity, and the softer are nearly allied to weakness. It is
3 The passage is a remarkable one, and deserves to be quoted at length :
'Εννόησον ούν οποίόν τινα είναι χρή τον προς τοιουτον μέλλοντα άνθέξειν χειμώνα, και τοσάυτα κωλύματα των κοινή συμφερόντων διαθήσειν καλώς. Και γάρ και σεμνόν και άτυφον, και φοβερόν και προσηνή, και αρχικών και κοινωνικών, και αδέκαστον και θεραπευτικών, και ταπεινός και αδόυλωτον, και σφοδρον και ήμερον είναι δει ένα προς παντα άσαύτα ευκόλως μάχεσθαι δυνηται, και τον επιτήδειον
μετά πολλής της εξουσίας, καν άπαντες αντιπίπτωσι, παράγειν, και τον ου τοιουτον μετά της αυτής εξουσίας, κάν άπαντες συμπνέωσι, μη πρoσίεσθαι, αλλ' εις έν μόνον οράν της της εκκλησίας οικοδομής: και μηδέν προς απέχθειαν ή χάριν ποιείν.-Chrysost. de Sacerdot. Lib. III. Ch. xvi. 4 Church Hist. i. 338.
s Select Pieces, p. 337.
plain that compensation implies defect, and we therefore reasonably might suppose that in the character of Christ the rule should be no longer verified. And thus we find it. His force was without harshness, his tenderness free from imbecility. Nor is this all. Not only were his virtues unaccompanied with their kindred failings, but the most opposite excellencies were found in him in equal proportions. It is to him therefore that we must look for that consistent and uniform symmetry of moral character, of which we shall in vain search for example among other teachers.
5. Finally, we are warned against the danger of neglecting the words of the prophet of our dispensation. See that ye refuse not him that speaketh. For if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we escape, if we turn away from him that speaketh from heaven".
6 Heb. xii. 25.
If this be true, when addressed to the general community of Christians, with what solemn force does the admonition apply to those who watch over the souls of their fellow-men as they who mụst give account. The Scriptures contain two classes of directions, which may be considered as referring more particularly to those who are entrusted with ministerial functions. The first class includes all those which relate to the discharge of the fundamental dụty of their office, the mes sage they have to deliver, and the faithful and right division of the word, - while all such as are of secondary importance,—the manner of communicating instruction and reproof-prudential admonitions calculated to rectify the judgement—the discretion requisite for the due management of a delicate mission-may be properly referred to the second class. With these passages of Scripture for their daily manual, and with our Lord's own example as a commentary upon them, the pious hope expressed in the ordination service may by God's grace be fulfilled, that the members of the priesthood ‘may wax riper and stronger in their ministry, and that they may so endeavour, from time to time, to sanctify the lives of them and theirs, and to fashion them after the will and doctrine of Christ, that they may be wholesome and godly examples and patterns for the people to follow.'