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THE REV. RICHARD HAYES.
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PRINTED BY J. J NOLAN, 3, SUFFOLK-STREET.
On this great festival of Corpus Christi, my brethren, our Holy Mother, the Church, transports the minds of her children back to Thursday, in Holy Week; to the eve of their Redeemer's passion; to the night on which he was betrayed; to the sacred chamber, where he ate the pasch with his disciples. Thither, then, let us turn once more our thoughts; and, discarding from our attention every other object, let us, during this holy Octave, rivet the eyes of our souls on that consecrated table; there to behold, believe and adore the legacy, which our departing Saviour left us.
The term, then, of thy life, O Jesus! thou man of sorrow, and thou God of omni
potence the term of thy mortal life approaches; the fatal hour is about to toll, when the traitor, Judas, shall, with a kiss, betray thee to thy blood-seeking enemies; thy eternal Father is going to strike thee, the shepherd of the fold; and the flock of thy beloved disciples shall be scattered. The sun, which sank this evening, when he next shoots his rays above the horizon, shall see thee dragged, like the vilest of felons, through the streets of thy royal city; from tribunal to tribunal, from Jews to Gentiles, from Caiphas to Pilate, from Pilate to Herod, from Herod back again to Pilate; reviled, buffeted, mocked, spit upon, scourged, crowned with thorns, compared with Barabbas, and condemned to the cross. Shall the luminary of day behold this dismal of all dismal sights, and not mourn? Shall he enlighten the firmament, or dart his splendour on this nether world, while his God and Maker suffers? Forbid it, Nature! In his meridian altitude, the sackcloth of night shall cover his glorious disk; and, wrapped in sudden darkness, Heaven and earth shall feel the Lord of Heaven and earth expire. Four and twenty hours shall not elapse, before this awful tragedy shall close. Thou sittest, O loving victim of mankind! thou sittest now, for the last time of thy mortal life, at table with thy beloved and grieving friends; thou biddest them thy last adieu; an hour hence, and the garden of Gethsemani, steeped in thy sweat of blood, shall see thee torn from
them by thy ruffian foes. Thy time is short, O Jesus; man's redemption hurries thee away; haste, haste; seize the passing moments as they fly; and, as thou saidst, thyself, to Judas, I now say to thee, "What thou doest, do quickly." Say-announcedeclare the legacy thou hast to bequeath to thy infant Church. What may it be? worthy, (who can doubt it?) of thy boundless love, thy all-commanding power. Is it thy heavenly doctrine? That thou hast already taught to thy apostles, and they, of course, will teach the same to us. Is it thy history? That thou hast not written; and though thy servants shall hereafter write it, the gift is not peculiar to thy church. To infidels, as well as to thy faithful, to thy blasphemers and to thy adorers thy written history is alike presented. Is it some emblem, some figure of thyself? The Jews, who soon shall crucify thee, have, in the sacrifices of their law, emblems and figures innumerable of thee. Hast thou nothing better, to give thy Church, than Moses had to give the Synagogue? Hast thou no divine bequest to leave thy children, not only in their collective, but in their individual capacity? no divine memorial to convey the memory, grace, and fruit of thy approaching death, to every single soul, who, from this last and woful night, until the trump of thy Archangel sound, shall clasp thy faith, and love thy blessed name? Search, search, O Jesus! the depths of thy wisdom, the riches of thy mercy, the immensity of thy power,