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But now the end of all his sufferings is approaching! The
of his merciless persecutors, though great, cannot be infinite. He who said to the proud waves, hither shall ye go, and no further, hath also set bounds to the madness of the people. Yet what the feeble hand of human vengeance could reach, they wanted not fury and malice to accomplish. For see! with bloody and unrelenting violence they stretch him on the cross, with unfeeling barbarity they pierce his hands and feet with nails, with gall and vinegar they mock his thirst, with unparalleled outragė they deride and blaspheme his divine power and godlike benevolence, “ he saved others, himself “ he cannot save.” And lest any thing should be wanting to finish this master-piece of horror and inhumanity, to pain they add ignominy, condemning the Lord of life to die the death, and in the company, of thieves.
Thus encompassed with shame and sorrows, thus stricken, smitten, and afflicted, thus reviled, insulted, and despised, after uttering those astonishing words,“ my God, my God, why “ hast thou forsaken me;" see, your Saviour bows the head, and gives up the ghost! Here then let us close the painful narrative of the cruel transactions of this bitter scene.
But surely we shall but ill discharge the duties of this solemn thing to all
season, if we here close our own reflections on the tremendous idea of a God expiring on the cross for our sakes. Look up to that cross on which your
Saviour is suspended, ye who call yourselves Christians, and ask yourselves these interesting and important questions: Is it no
you that pass by? Is it nothing that never sorrows were like unto his sorrows? And have ye no interest in this man of sorrows? Can ye forbear reflecting that it was your transgressions for which he was wounded? Know ye not, that it was your sins, for which he was acquainted with grief? Consider ye not, that it was for you he died, that you might live through him? An act of mercy so new and astonishing, that language must ever fail, and eloquence be struck dumb, in attempting to describe it!
With what zeal and gratitude thien should the breast of every Christian be affected, when he' considers that for him and his salvation this stupendous act of love was undertaken and accomplished ! With what ardour of affection and piety should we be filled, when we thus behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us! I am sure, if we are not so, even inanimate nature may justly reproach our ingratitude and insensibility. For, whilst the Lord of life expired, the graves opened, the rocks rent, the sun
withdrew his shining, as if ashamed that his beams should give light to so horrid a tragedy, How much more then ought we to feel on this occasion, who were the cause and objects of all these sufferings, and whose crimes could be expiated by no less an atonement, than the blood of the Son of God.
Let us, then learn ever to value as we ought this our great and truly inestimable happiness. Let us daily bless and thank that kind Providence, which has bestowed such love upon us, which has thus enlightened our hearts with the þright beams of the glorious gospel, the precious words of eternal life. And let us ever press forwards towards that eternal life, the prize of our calling; counting all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus our Lord," who died for our offences, and rose “ again for our justification.”
ON EASTER DAY,
LUKE xxiv. 5, 6.
Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is
not here, but is risen.
HE melancholy scene of sorrow and suffer
ing, which we lately commemorated, is now changed! Hushed therefore be the voice of la, mentation, and the tears wiped away from all faces. We no longer hewail a Redeemer afflicted and oppressed by a barbarous band of ruffians, the scoff of insolence, the derision of fools, the victim of a blood-thirsty nation, but hail him as a triumphant conqueror. For, see! he breaks the barriers of the grave, and triumphs over all the malice of his enemies. Hasten not, therefore, .ye daughters of sorrow, to weep over and anoint the body of your Saviour. The Lord of life cannot be held by the bonds of death, the holy one of God cannot see corruption. Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, where ye expect to find him, in the dark mansion of the grave: he is risen from the dead, and become the first fruits of them that slept.
Such was the language of the angels to the women who came to anoint and to weep over the body of Jesus. A language how widely different from what we commonly find at the mansions of mortality! “ Here lieth, mingled with his kin“ dred dust,” is the last poor panegyric of human greatness, the common memorial of the triumphant conqueror and the humble peasant. But, where man's glory ends, there Christ's began. It was said by Isaiah of old, “his rest shall be
glorious.” And what Isaiah foretold, our Redeemer fulfilled. The grave was his triumph, and the sepulchre the throne of his glory. In weakness he became strong, in humiliation he was exalted : though he submitted to death, he saw no corruption : he brake the bonds of death in sunder, and triumphed over all the malice of his bitter and implacable enemies,
That event, which we are this day assembled to commemorate, is certainly the greatest and most stupendous, which can occupy the thoughts and attention of man. The resurrection of a human body from the grave is a thing so new and unheard of before the christian æra, that we