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me," should be mingled with the accents of resignation, " Not my will, but thine be done.”
2. We learn from this subject how great is the love of God and the Redeemer for the children of
« Now I know that thou lovest me,” said God to Abraham, when he prepared to sacrifice to him his son. And shall not we, heavenly Father, acknowledge thy love, when for our salvation thou givest thine eternal Son to such infinite tortures ? “ Behold how he loved him," was the exclamation of the Jews when they beheld Jesus weeping over the tomb of Lazarus; in how much stronger a manner does he attest his charity in Gethsemane, where he sheds tears of blood. Courage then, Christian soul! confident of the affection of thy Redeemer, what needest thou dread ? By his agony he has taken from you all cause of sorrow; his griefs will fill
you with joy, his fears with assurance. He has suffered for you, who shall condemn you? As he is able, so he proves himself to be willing to dispense to you every thing that shall conduce to your greatest happiness and final salvation. He will “ make all things work together for your good :” his agony attests that his love to you is too great to deny you any real blessing. Courage, Christian soul! the recollection of the agony of Jesus will support you amidst all your distresses; though you are poor, sick, persecuted, surrounded by enemies, the remembrance of Jesus in the garden will cheer you, and you will rejoice that you are 5 counted worthy to suffer with him,” that you “ may also be glorified together.” Courage, Christian soul! this is a source of joy which even the king of terrors cannot wrest
In the last struggle of dissolving nature, when the vanishing world shall be unable to afford
you support, you shall fix your closing eyes upon the agonized Saviour expiating for your offences, the accusations of conscience shall be silenced; all your afflictions shall cease, and you shall pass from the contemplation of the tortured Jesus, to the arms of Jesus reigning and triumphing in glory.
3. Finally: what can more strongly illustrate at the same time the infinite odiousness of sin, and the infinite justice of God, than this view of Jesus in Gethsemane ? You know that of himself he is essential holiness; that clothed in his divine glories he was the object of adoration, and the source of felicity to all the blest in heaven; that whilst he tabernacled upon earth, he knew sin only to combat and destroy it; that to him that illustrious testimony was given, which re-echoed along the banks of Jordan and resounded on the top of Tabor, “ This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased ;" yet no sooner did he undertake “ to bear the sins of man in his own body,” than the sword of almighty justice. was drawn against even him, and was dyed with his heart's blood. My brethren, if God spared not his own Son, what will be our condemnation if we continue impenitent? If we remain without an interest in the Saviour, what asylum, what city of refuge, can we find to shelter us against that justice which is so powerful, that it crushes a God-man; so holy, that it punishes in him even imputed sins ; so severe, that nothing but his blood and his death could appease .it; so inflexible, that it regarded not the dignity even of the Redeemer? These are dreadful thoughts ; stifle them not, I beseech you, by the cares and delights of the world; you may lead yourselves to forget them now; but they will return with awful force upon your bed of death. At this last hour, when
every thing will abandon you, when all human succours shall become useless to you, when those delusive blessings which you enjoyed upon earth shall be torn from you, then the sufferings of Christ, which might have been your resource, your refuge, your strength, shall fill you with the most lively fears and dismay. You will shudder when you consider this Saviour sacrificed by the same justice which will then cite you to its tribunal; notwithstanding all the efficacy of a divine blood, it will give no hope to you: and when your soul, torn at last from your body, shall fall defenceless and polluted before the throne of the holy God, what, ah! what will then be your destiny? what will be the inflictions of that justice which here manifested its power and severity by wounding the Saviour? of that justice which will consider the agonies of Christ as aggravating your guilt, and impressing more deeply on your soul the seal of eternal reprobation?
LIFE OF CHRIST.
WOMEN FOLLOWING HIM TO CALVARI.
LUKE xviii. 27.
And there followed him a great company of people, and of
women, who also bewailed and lamented him.
It is of the blessed Saviour that the Evangelist is here speaking. With a calmness and serenity worthy of the Son of God, with a resolution fixed as the eternal purposes of heaven, the Redeemer of the world was now in silence advancing to Calvary in the midst of the immense crowd assembled to witness his death. Reproaches, execrations, and curses, on all sides met his ears. The artifices of the scribes and pharisees had excited the people to the greatest fury against him. They were filled with a malignant joy at his sufferings: and, not satisfied with his exhaustion from his agony in the garden, from the insults and cruelties heaped upon him in the hall of Caiaphas, in the court of Herod, and at the bar of Pilate, they panted to behold him extended upon the engine of torture.
In the midst of this sanguinary and ferocious crowd, one group is found which " is afflicted in all
w the afflictions of Jesus.” It consists of some pious women, who, full of admiration for his excellences, and of gratitude for his benefits, of which they had been the partakers and the witnesses, follow this innocent victim to the altar, and offer him all they can, the tribute of their affections and their tears. St. Luke does not mention their names; but his silence is in part supplied by St. Matthew, who informs us, that among them were Mary Magdalene; Mary, the mother of James and Joses; and the wife of Zebedee, to whom John and Mark give the name of Salome; all three worthy to be distinctly mentioned, as constituting part of this pious company. Let us fix our eyes upon this interesting group. These females give the most important instructions to all Christians, and especially to their own sex, of which they are at once the ornament and the model. They teach us that it is our duty to follow Jesus with faith, with love, and with
courage. 1. A belief in Jesus as the “sent of God," a faith in him as the long-expected Messiah, induced these pious women to attend him from Galilee to Jerusalem, and now caused them to trace his bloody footsteps upon Calvary. This faith is efficacious and permanent: incapable of being destroyed by those melancholy scenes passing before them, which shock the confidence of so many who once “ trusted in Jesus, that it was he who would redeem Israel.” It is thus permanent, because it is enlightened, being founded not on a blind prejudice or a chimerical hope, but on the solid instructions of the Saviour, and an experience of his grace and power. “Seated at the feet of Jesus," they had listened attentively