(Edward Payson, 1783-1827)
“He who says he abides in Christ, ought himself also so to walk, even as He walked.” 1 John 2:6
It was highly important and desirable that the Lord Jesus should not only describe Christianity in His discourses, but exemplify it in His life and conduct. In Him, we see pure and undefiled religion embodied. In Him, Christianity lives and breathes. How convincing, how animating is our Savior’s example! How loudly and persuasively does His conduct preach!
Would you learn submission to parental authority? See Him, notwithstanding His exalted character, cheerfully subjecting Himself to the will of His parents; and laboring with them, as a carpenter, for almost thirty years.
Would you learn contentment with a poor and low condition? See Him destitute of a place where to lay His head.
Would you learn active beneficence? See Him going about doing good.
Would you learn to be fervent and constant in devotional exercises? See Him rising for prayer before the dawn of day.
Would you learn in what manner to treat your brethren? See Him washing His disciples’ feet.
Would you learn filial piety? See Him forgetting His sufferings, while in the agonies of death–to provide another son for His desolate mother.
Would you learn in what manner to pray for relief under afflictions? See Him in the garden of Gethsemane.
Would you learn how to bear insults and injuries? See Him on the cruel cross!
In short, there is no Christian grace or virtue, which is not beautifully exemplified in His life.
There is scarcely any situation, however perplexing, in which the Christian, who is at a loss to know how he ought to act–may not derive sufficient instruction from the example of his divine Master.
“Leaving us an example, that you should follow His steps.” 1 Peter 2:21