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His miseries, indeed, and the horrors of a perishing world, did strongly plead for a Redeemer : but where should this 'Redeemer be found, or who is able to deliver his brother from deatli, and make an agreement unto God for him?
Yet thus difficult as the task is, of finding a Redeemer, it is not impossible with him to whom all things are possible. There was yet one method, which lay hid in the gracious bosom of Providence, and which we could never have discovered, if it had not been revealed to us.
For see! when human invention was staggered, and conscious guilt was sinking under the apprehensions of divine justice, tlre arm of the Everlasting brought salvation, and the angel of his presence saved them. The Son of the Most High, who alone had the power of reconciling God's mercy to his justice, became man for our sakes, and by one oblation of himself once offered, made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.
Here then let us stop for a moment, and contemplate this most extraordinary and astonishing act of divine love to man. What a surprizing H 2
mercy was it in God the Father to find out such an expedient for us, and to send his only begotten Son to be exposed to the insults of an impious and ungrateful world! How astonishing again was it to see him, who was the brightness of his Father's glory, and the express image of his
person, putting on the lowly form of a servant; submitting not only to be man, but even to be the least and lowest of men ! For such he was in every stage of life, even from his cradle to his grave.
circumstances of his birth were such as were not only void of all worldly pomp and grandeur, but even such as would naturally expose him to the scorn of the haughty, the contempt of the rich, and the derision of fools. Though he was born a king by his office, yet mean swadling clothes were his imperial robes, and a manger his royal cradle. And no sooner was he born into the world, though the obscurity of his situation might well have concealed him from public notice, than he was doomed the victim of a tyrant's jealousy, nor could any thing less than banishment from his country deliver the helpless babe from the edge of the sword.
And even after this escape, this foreboding prelude, as it proved, to his misfortunes, what was his whole ministry on earth but one con
tinued scene of hardship! Though his life was laid out and employed in acts of benevolence, though he even spent himself in doing good to the souls and bodies of men, yet all this could not save him from the combined malice of men and devils. Nay, his very miracles were so far , from mitigating the bitterness of his persecutors, that they inflamed their rage and venom against him still more. They cast down at his feet the blind, the deaf, the lame, and the dumb; and by his all-powerful word the eyes of the blind were opened, and the ears of the deaf unstopped ; the lame man leaped as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb did sing: yet in vain did these marvellous acts bespeak the finger of God; he met with no better return for them than that bitter and malevolent reproach, " he casteth « out devils through Beelzebub, the prince of
Yet is not this all that he did for us miserable sinners, nur did his sufferings for us stop here. The present solemnity calls upon us to take a farther view of his love to us, and to accompany him to the last act of his life, compared with which his former miseries were slight and inconsiderable.
And surely never was a greater complication of insolence and barbarity, never did the sun behold a more bloody and inhuman tragedy, in all the parts and circumstances of įt! See your God, ye guilty sons of a guilty parent, for your sakes, extended on the cold ground, racked with bitter agonies, and sweating as it were large drops of blood ! See him, again, betrayed by a faithless traitor; arrested as a very thief, with swords and staves ; abandoned and denied by his coward disciples; accused by false witnesses; reproached as a blasphemer; condemned by the voice of an enraged multitude, as worse than guilty of the united crimes of sedition, robbery, and murder !
Behold him again blind-folded, spit upon, buffetcd, mangled with whips and scourges. See ! he comes loaded with his cross, and insulted with the ensigns of mock royalty! His hands are compelled to sustain a reed of reproach ; his head is lacerated with a crown of thorns; and, as if these were not sufficient tortures, his ears are wounded with that insulting salutation, Hail ! King of the Jews !
In the midst of these complicated circumstances of anguish and horror, loaded with ignominy, surrounded with enemies, he advances to the scene of execution, serene and silent, even
as the lamb that before her shearers is dumb. But, though his own sufferings could not induce him to open his mouth, yet compassion for the train of female mourners that followed his steps and bewailed his fate, drew from him the language of impassioned feeling. For, hark! this man of sorrows speaks ! And what? Sure, amidst all these unmerited distresses some heavy sentence will fall from his lips : a heart thus galled and wounded will vent itself in bitter reproaches of his enemies, or pathetic lamentation of his own sufferings ! But, ah! how weakly do we reason from the feelings of our own narrow hearts to those of a God of love! With what indifference and composure does he speak of his own $ufferings. “ Daughters of Jerusařemn, weep not “ for me, for ye will soon have a far more im
portant cause of sorrow in the many impending “ miseries which will, in a few years, overwhelm
your city and nation; when the Roman eagle " shall be raised aloft over the ruins of Jerusalem, “ and your boasted temple shall be laid level “ with the ground. Weep not therefore for me, “ who shall soon triumph over all the short-lived “ malice of my enemies, but rather weep
for yourselves and your children, and for the de“ solation that is coming upon you."