An artist's followers are those who imitate his style. Jesus "has set us an example that we should follow His steps." As all rules are better understood when accompanied with examples, He visited this world to furnish an illustration of the perfect law of God. In the human life of Christ we see the holiness of Deity developed in the relationships, duties, and trials of humanity. Let that life be our study. A painter will place before him some fine production of his master's skill, gazing at it from day to day, until its forms and tints are transferred to his own canvas. His first efforts may be very rude, and so inferior to the original that it would be difficult to trace any resemblance. But he is in earnest, and by persevering efforts he daily makes some advance towards the perfection at which he aims. So let us place before us the life of Christ, and endeavor to produce something like it. The more our mind is fixed on Him, the more successful we shall be.
We must not look too much even to the example of good men. Their excellence is only an imperfect copy of the divine Original. When men are our models, we are in danger of imitating their blemishes as well as their beauties. Let us, then, copy direct from the Master Himself. Let us act as He acted; and in case of doubt, let us consider how He would have been likely to act, had He been in our circumstances. It is a lofty standard; but the higher the mark, the higher the arrow will fly, though it may not reach so far as we desire.
Our first efforts in copying after Christ may be very clumsy, and our fellow men may see nothing in our poor daub resembling the perfect copy before us. But Jesus will kindly encourage every sincere attempt; not condemning our work because done in a bungling manner but assisting us daily to make some progress, until at last "we shall be like Him, for we shall see Him as He is."
Blessed Savior, help me to imitate the perfect pattern of Your...