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sensible to the convictions, admonitions, and chastisements, of God's blessed Spirit; so that in a carnal security, we have wished to shake them off. Now that even this grievous sin might be remitted to the penitent, the Son of God has, by these circumstances of his passion, acquired the remission of them.
Fourthly, The sin of the Jews in rejecting the Messiah, is daily committed among Christians!
This is frequently done by those worldlings, who prefer their carnal lusts and temporal enjoyments to that fellowship of Jesus Christ, to which they are called in the gospel. The Jews cried out, 'We have no king but Cesar!' And does not the covetous man cry out, I have no king but mammon? The proud and ambitious cries out, I have no king but my honour and reputation! The sensualist cries out, I have no king but pleasure ! Away with such a king, who commands me to crucify my flesh, who would oblige me to break with my jovial companions, and live like a hermit; away with him ! such a sovereign shall by no means rule over me. But they are likewise guilty of the same crime as the Jews were, though in an indirect manner, who seek salvation in any other name, but that by which God has appointed that we should be saved, (Acts iv. 12.) Those who would obtain an exemption from punishment, forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation, by the merits and intercession of others among the living, or the dead, presumptuously reject the Son of God the only Mediator and Saviour of mankind, and chuse for themselves other saviours, as impotent as themselves. May the Lord keep us from such an infatuation, that we may not feel the truth of these words of the Psalmist : ' Their sorrows shall be multiplied that hasten after another God.' (Psalm xvi. 4.)
Fifthly, the blood of Christ has both a vindictive, and a conciliatory power.
It is poured down in vengeance on those who trespass against it, either by placing in it a carnal and presumptuous confidence, notwithstanding their wicked lives and impenitent hearts; or by treading under
foot, and accounting the blood of the covenant an unholy thing. These deluded sinners will, by the Di. vine justice, be persecuted as murderers of Christ; and the blood of the Lamb of God, which was shed for the purifying of the conscience, and the forgive. ness of sins, will be poured on them in vengeance and judgments. On the other hand, its healing, conciliatory power manifests itself to all humble broken, and contrite hearts. It is to them the means of justifica. tion, and all their sins will be forgiven them in consideration of this precious blood. It is poured upon them in sanctification and holiness; for if they walk in the light, it more and more cleanses them from all sin and filthiness of flesh and spirit, (1 John i. 7. 2 Cor. vii. 1.) It also pours inexpressible blessings on their hour of death, and opens to them a passage from death unto life. (John v. 24.)
May God of his infinite mercy grant, that the blood of Jesus Christ may, in this blessed manner be on us, and on our children, and that it may manifest its reconciling, justifying, and sanctifying power in all our hearts! May he further be pleased to grant, that all the foregoing Considerations on the sufferings of Christ before the civil Tribunal of Pilate and Herod may be of real benefit to our immortal souls !
THE PRAYER. O FAITHFUL Saviour! may thy blood be on us, and on our children, not in its vindictive, but its conciliatory power, to the quieting of our consciences, the sanctifying of our souls, and the purifying of our hearts. Bless all the considerations on this part thy sufferings; and grant that we may not lose or throw any grace wrought in us, by the co-opperation, of thy good spirit. We recommend to thee the seed of so many important and saving truths, now sown; water them with the salutary dew of thy blessing, that they may bring forth in use the fruit of good living to the honour and praise of thy name. Amen.
ON MOUNT GOLGOTHA.
The accounts given by the four Evangelists, (Matt.
xxvii. 3166. Mark xv. 20_47. Luke xxiii. 26-56. John xix. 16-42.) connected and harmonised.
'THEN the soldiers took off the purple robe from Jesus, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. And Jesus went forth, bearing the cross.
And there were also two malefactors led with him to be put to death. And as they led Jesus away, they found a man of Cy. rene, Sinion by name, the father of Alexander and Rufus, who passed by, coming out of the country: And they laid hold on him, and compelled him to bear his cross; and on him they laid the cross, that he might bear it after Jesus.
" And there followed him a great company of people, and women who also bewailed and lamented him. But Jesus turning unto them, said, daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me ; but for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the paps that never gave suck. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains, fall on us, and to the hills, cover us. For if they do these things in a green tree, what shall be done in the gry?
. And they bring him unto a place, called in the Hebrew Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, the place of a skull. And they gave him to drink vinegar (or sour wine] mingled with myrrh and gall : and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink; and he received it not. And they crucified him there, and two other malefactors with him, one on the right hand and the other on the left, and Jesus in the midst. And the scripture was fulfilled, which saith, and he was numbered with the transgressors. Then saith Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.
And Pilate wrote a superscription of his accusation, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews; for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city : and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief Priests of the Jews to Pilate, write not the King of the Jews ; but that he said, I àm the King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four
parts (to every soldier a part) and also his coat : Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be. And they cast lots upon it, what every man should take ; that the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did. And sitting down, they watched him there; and it was about the third hour when they crucified him.
. And the people stood beholding ; and they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and say: ing, Thou that destroyest the Temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself; if thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross,
Likewise also the chief
Priests, mocking him with the Scribes and Flders, said, He saved others, himself he cannot save. If he be the Christ, the King of Israel, the chosen of God, let him save himself, and now come down from the cross, that we may see it, and we will believe him. He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him ; for he said, I am the Son of God. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him and of. fering him vinegar ; and saying, If thou be the King of the Jews, save thyself. The thieves also, who were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth. And one of the malefactors, who were hanged, railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.
• But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation? And we indeed justiy: for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, verily, I say unto thee, To day shalt thou be with me in Paradise. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his Mother, Woman, behold thy Son ! Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
Now from the sixth hour there was darkness over all the land until the ninth hour; and the sun was darkened. And about the ninth hour, Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lamma sabachthani, that is to say, My God ! my God! why hast thou forsaken me ? Some of them that stood there, when they heard that, said, Behold, This man calleth for Elias. After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, i thirst.. Now there was set a vessel full of