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centive to the performance of his duties. His mind should therefore often be fixed upon Golgotha, and the doleful tragedy that was there exhibited. But especially on such an occasion as the present, when we have met together to commemorate the dying love of Jesus, nothing can be more proper, than to fix our thoughts and meditations on those final woes which at once most illustriously attested his love and consummated the sacrifice of our redemption. And this is the subject to which our attention is called, for the sole design and the whole division of this discourse, is

1. To review the final sufferings of the Saviour, and

II. To show you some of the duties, and present you with some of the consolations which result from the contemplation of these sufferings.

1. Then we are to review the final sufferings of the Saviour. We confine ourselves to these last scenes of wo, both because our time will not permit us to detail to you all the afflictions to which Jesus submitted during his continuance on earth, and also, because they of themselves are sufficient to awaken all our sympathies, and to kindle our holiest affections. No, believers, it is not necessary, in order to move you, to follow your suffering Saviour through all the stages of affliction; to paint to you his lowly birth; to present him to you calumniated and reviled

; as a flasphemer, a sorcerer, a confederate with Beelzebub; submitting to tedious fastings and frequent hungerings; spending his days in incessant and wearisome labours; passing his wakeful nights in devotion, upon the bleak and solitary top of Olivet; yet lashed by the unfeeling tongue of obloquy, exempted not from the most malevolent reproach and most barbarous slander, requited for his acts of

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mercy by treachery, ingratitude, and unkindness; having his heart wrung' by the prospect of the sins and approaching misery of the people, for whose benefit his most tender and indefatigable exertions were employed; retiring to the garden of Gethsemane, sinking there under the strokes of Almighty God, who wounds him as our substitute and surety; pouring out his strong cries and tears before his heavenly Father, whilst the ground on which he is stretched, smokes with the blood that rushes from every pore of his agonized frame, which trembles, oppressed by the anguish of his soul. No, Christians, it is not necessary to assemble in one mournful group, all these and ten thousand other woes, to which your Saviour submitted for


it is sufficient to contemplate the final passion, and by it we cannot fail to be affected, unless our hearts are harder than the rocks which rent asunder, colder than the earth which trembled, more insensible than the dead which started from their graves.

The passion of Christ comprehends his crucifixion and its preparatives : of these preparatives we select three only, on which we shall meditate but a short time; his scourging, his bearing the cross, and his despoilment of his garments.

Pilate, through the whole of the examination of Jesus, attested his innocence, and declared that he found nothing in him worthy of death. But though his mind was thus convinced, yet he dared not act in conformity to its dictates. Conscious of the crimes that had blackened his administration, fearful of the Jews who threatened to accuse him to the Roman emperor if he released Jesus, yet unwilling to condemn a person of whose spotless innocence even he could not be insensible, he used several expedients

to save the life of Jesus, without offending his persecutors. One of these shameful expedients was, the delivery of Jesus to the soldiers, to be scourged by them, that thereby the fury of his enemies might be allayed, and their compassion excited. The brutal and inhuman soldiery, who had long been habituated to murder, and inured to blood, with joy execute the barbarous commission. What a spectacle! The sacred, the tender, the precious body of the Redeemer, is galled and torn by their merciless strokes; his blood, which lately bedewed the ground of Gethsemane, now flows in torrents on the pavement of Pilate's hall; “ he is wounded for our transgressions; he is bruised for our iniquities;” that punishment which the Roman laws forbade to be exercised, except upon the vilest slaves, is endured, not merely by a citizen, not merely by a monarch, but by the Eternal Son of God! But surely, however brutal may have been the hearts of the soldiers, they were satisfied with this exercise of barbarity, they could carry no further their bitter cruelty: Ah no! it was not enough for them that the body of the Saviour was thus lacerated, they endeavour also to shake the serenity of his mind. They add, therefore, to these punishments the most keen scoffs and mockings. In the court of Caiaphas the Saviour had been derided as a false prophet; whilst smiting him with the palms of their hands they cried out, “ Prophecy unto us, thou Christ, who is it that smote thee?" In the court of Pilate he is derided as an ambitious madman, grasping at an empty sovereignty. They clothe him with a gorgeous robe, they insultingly place a reed in his hand instead of a sceptre, they form a crown of thorns, which they press upon

his temples already throbbing with anguish; and having


thus equipped him with the ensigns of mock majesty, they jeeringly bow before him, and contemptuously exclaim, Hail, king of the Jews! Angels of mercy, why did ye not fly to his succour! Vengeance of my God, why didst thou slumber!

When the Saviour had submitted to all these griefs, Pilate again brought him before the Jews, hoping that they would be satisfied with the pains already inflicted upon him, and says unto them, “ Behold the man!See what I have caused to be done to him; behold him covered with reproaches, and with wounds, is he not sufficiently miserable? You thirsted for his blood, has not enough of it been shed to satisfy you?'

But this spectacle, instead of satiating, only enkindled more furiously the revenge of these barbarians, and they cry out with more violence, “ Away with him, away with him! Crucify him, crucify him!” Then Pilate, the timid and criminal Pilate, fearing any longer to oppose their will, yields to their importunity; sacrifices to a worldly policy one whom he had uniformly acknowledged to be innocent; pronounces the sentence, “Let him be crucified,” and delivers him into the hands of his enemies to be led to execution.

Rejoicing at this permission fully to glut their fury upon him, they immediately prepare for his crucifixion. The place of punishment was without the city, and the condemned person was obliged by the Roman law to carry thither the instrument of death. Behold then the Saviour of mankind bearing his cross on his own shoulders, yet smarting from the scourge. Behold the true Isaac bearing to the sacred mount, the wood on which he is to be offered as a sacrifice to God. He is surrounded by the priests, the rulers of the synagogue, the pharisees, who

pour forth upon him their invectives and curses. He who was worshipped by angels, who was adored by Moses and Elias upon Tabor; he, the Holy of Holies, is placed between two robbers, as though he were the leader of them. In this manner he departs from Jerusalem; but overcome by the severities that had already been inflicted upon him, his strength exhausted by labour and want of rest, he sinks under the weight of his cross. But though he thus feels the innocent infirmities of our nature, he mur, murs not, he repines not; no impatient word escapes from his lips; no tears for his sad destiny appear in those

eyes which had so often wept at the miseries of others. “ He goes as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth.” His enemies, seeing that his strength was almost entirely exhausted, released him from the burden of the cross, and placed it on the shoulders of one Simon, a Cyrenian, whom they met returning from the fields. This conduct, however seemingly humane, was only the result of impatient rage and refined malice. Their fury was so great, that they could not bear delay, and they were fearful that he would expire before they arrived at the place of execution, and that they would thus lose a the horrid pleasure of inflicting upon him those tortures which they had prepared for him. Daughters of Jerusalem! well might ye weep at such complicated wo! He had scattered his blessings on your ungrateful city; he had restored to your arms your husbands, your children, your friends, when consuming by sickness,.or seized by death: you could not in return rescue him from that death to which he

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