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with new warmth and transport. And the angels who so long have dwelt in the immediate presence of God, discern in it new wonders, and look from the throne of the Eternal to Calvary, and admire, bless, and adore. All holy intelligences acknowledge that there God has indeed glorified his name.
1. Careless and impenitent man, this subject should alarm thee! The woes which Jesus endured, were suffered for the guilty: but if thou ungratefully neglect him, if thou refuse penitently and believingly to draw near to him, thou shalt experience the same agonies which were felt by this victim of love, shalt experience them for ever. Refuse the gospel method of salvation, and thou sacrilegiously attemptest to rob God of his glory manifested in it. But wilt thou succeed ? Ah, no! God will be glorified by thee for the gift of his Son, or upon thee for thy neglect of him. “Give glory then in time to the Lord thy God, before thy feet stumble on the dark mountains" of horror and despair.
2. Believer, in the anguish of Jesus, see the foundation of thy joy. He suffered, that thou mightest triumph. In all thy griefs remember him; who to his infinite grace as God adds that sympathy derived from a fellow-feeling of our infirmities ; and go « boldly to the throne of
to obtain find grace to help in every time of need.” Triumph in the stability of thy hopes. God has inseparably united his own glory with the salvation of the believer. Instead of being opposed to thy happiness, he reckons it his honour. Blessed plan of salvation, which is at once so safe for man, so glorious to God!
3. Communicants, approach the holy table. Contemplate the glories of God in the crucified Saviour. Retrace the mercy of your Redeemer. Behold in
him “ the glory as of the only-begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth;" and, “ beholding in his face the glory of God, may we be changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of pur God."
LIFE OF CHRIST.
THE AGONY OF JESUS.
LUKE xxii. 44.
Being in an agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his
sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground
My brethren; the external sufferings of your Saviour have often been described to you with energy and force; the cross has been reared in your presence, and you have beheld it red with the blood of your Redeemer: the scourge, the thorns, the nails,
which lacerated the body of the holy "Jesus, have been held up to your view. The remembrance of these sorrows has affected your hearts, and drawn tears from your eyes.
We come to you today to fix your thoughts on another part of your Sa
and the spear,
viour's sufferings; we mean not to elevate the cross in the midst of you, and show your Redeemer extended upon it: we wish not to engage your natural sympathy, by directing your minds to his wounds and his blood, and by painting to you the cruelty of his executioners. We are to consider the more terrible griefs of his soul; we are to present him suffering, not under the iniquitous sentence of Pilate, but under the awful condemnation of God, who wounds him as our pledge and surety; stricken, not by the ruthless soldiery, but by his heavenly Father. O man, these are subjects which are calculated equally to astonish and console! Let us meditate on them with the most vigorous attention. 6 He that hath ears to hear, let him hear."
Jesus, having instituted the holy sacrament, having given to his disciples the most tender consolations against their approaching sorrows, and having offered in their behalf to his Father, a most affectionate and ardent prayer, departs with them from Jerusalem, and crosses the brook Cedron, which flowed at the edge of the city. Over this brook David formerly passed with a small number of faithful followers, when he fled from Jerusalem to avoid the treachery and violence of the rebellious Absalom : the greater son of David now crosses it, not to flee from, but to meet his perfidious betrayer. Beyond this stream, about a mile's distance from the city, was the mount of Olives, at the foot of which was the village of Gethsemane: in this village was a garden, known by Judas to be often visited by the Saviour, and consecrated by his prayers.: thither he had often retired after the toils of the day, to hold communion with his Father; thither he now goes to experience woes inconceivable.
Having arrived at Gethsemane, he takes with him Peter, and James, and John, and retires with them to the hallowed garden. It was necessary that believers should know what Christ had undergone for their salvation; and as this was one of the principal scenes of his sufferings, it was therefore needful that he should have witnesses of it. But why were these particular disciples chosen from the rest, for this office? Two reasons may be assigned:
1. It appears from the whole evangelical history, that these three were peculiarly beloved by our Lord, in evidence of which he bestowed upon them only, new and characteristic names; they were, as, one of the Fathers expresses it, “ the elect among the elect." Christ, therefore, by choosing them to behold and participate in his sufferings, at once gave a strong proof of his confidence and affection, and has taught his disciples in every age this useful lesson: that he leads not his favourites to heaven, by a path strewn with flowers, and that a communion in his griefs should be so far from distressing us, that we should consider it as a testimony of his affection.
2. But a second reason of the selection of these three disciples to be witnesses of his agony was, because they were better prepared than the others to behold this deep humiliation of their Lord, since they only had witnessed his transfiguration. It was most proper that those who had beheld Jesus upon Tabor, in the majesty of his divine nature, encircled with glory, adored by Moses and Elias, should. behold him in the depression of his human nature, distressed, and contemplating only objects of terror and dismay. That they who had heard the illustrious testimony of God, “ This is my beloved Son,” should also hear the complaints and groans that the Saviour pours out to his Father: that they who had seen his face luminous as the sun, should also behold it cast down with grief, and covered with a bloody sweat. Had this last scene been presented toany who had not been fortified by the first, they could scarcely have preserved their faith unshaken; they could scarcely have avoided doubting whether this were indeed the expected Messiah, whether this were indeed the object of God's paternal love. There was then a peculiar propriety in the selection of these three persons: and happy alike were ye, favoured disciples, when ye saw the glory of the Lord Jesus upon Tabor, and his charity for mankind in Gethsemane; when ye saw there what he was in himself, and here what he became for us; when ye witnessed there the love that the heavenly Father bears to his eternal Son, and here the love which this Son bears to his followers.
The Saviour then having left the greater part of his disciples at the entrance of the garden, began to open his heart to Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, and to inform them of the secret grief with which his soul was penetrated. In speaking of this grief and sadness, the Evangelists use terms incomparably stronger than when they describe any other part of the sufferings of the Redeemer. The expressions in the original have an energy which is by no means conveyed in our translation, and signify the overwhelming of Christ, by the utmost amazement, dejection, and anguish. But how is it conceivable, that the soul of one perfectly pure and innocent, should be thus agitated and tortured ? that the constancy of Jesus, our only strength and support, should appear to fail ? that he who is inseparably united to the source of joy and blessedness, should be sorrów