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given others,-because you have sought to make restitution to them to the best of your power,—and because you are a believer in Jesus, He will pray for you, as your One Mediator in heaven,-pleading the all-atoning efficacy of His own precious blood, so that when you are released from the burden of the flesh, you may be presented faultless before the throne of His glory with exceeding joy."
Prayer. On ever-adorable Lord Jesus, who so lovest mercy, that Thou didst pray that even Thy murderers might be forgiven; look down from heaven, we beseech Thee, and hear, and pity, and forgive us. miserable sinners, who, by reason of our frailty, are ever offending against Thy just and holy laws. If Thou didst leave us to ourselves, we should, by our evil deeds, “ Crucify Thee afresh, and put Thee to an open shame.” Looking back upon our past lives, we own to Thee that they are full of sin and infirmity : “ The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint.” And, looking forward to the future, we have urgent cause for fear, lest we should fall away from Thee, except Thou, in Thine infinite power and goodness and love, wilt hold us in Thy paths, that our footsteps slip not.
Look with especial favour, blessed Lord, we earnestly beseech Thee, upon this Thy sick servant. Impart to him by Thy Holy Spirit the grace of a forgiving temper. Take away from him all in his heart that would hinder him from seeking reconciliation with those whom he may have offended. Oh do Thou, who art our great and glorious and allpowerful High Priest, grant unto us, and unto all near and dear to us, the saving benefits of Thy continual intercession. Send to us Thy Holy Spirit to help our infirmities, because we know not what to pray for as we ought. Have mercy upon Thy chosen people Israel, for whom, as well as for us, Thou didst shed Thy precious blood. Take away from them, we meekly beseech Thee, all blindness and hardness of heart, that they may look unto Thee and be saved.. Hasten on the time when Jerusalem shall be a praise and a joy in the whole earth. Pour into our hearts, and into the hearts of all Thy people, an earnest, diligent, prayerful zeal for the salvation of Zion; and grant to us the full spiritual realization of Thine own promise addressed to her :
They shall prosper that love thee.” Thou, Oh Lord, art Thyself the Way for us to the throne of grace. Grant us, therefore, we pray Thee, all we ask of Thee, for Thine own precious merit's sake to whom with Thee, Oh Father, and Thee, Oh Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
THE LORD JESUS COMMENDING HIS MOTHER TO
(FOR THE NEWLY WIDOWED.)
“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."-St. JOHN xix. 26, 27.
ONE gathers from these words, wherein the dying Redeemer commends His mother, in the prospect of His own death, to the tender care of the beloved disciple, a strong presumptive proof that she was at that time a widow. One great sorrow for her had already passed away, but a greater one remained. Upborne in her lonesome widowhood by the filial love and the divine counsels of the Holy One Who had condescended to be born of her, the bitterness of such a bereavement ought to have been less felt by her than it has been by any of her sad sisterhood before or since. But now the prophetic words of the aged Simeon were about to be completely fulfilled words spoken through him, by the Holy Ghost, more
than thirty-three years before,—"A sword shall pass through thine own soul also, that the thoughts of many hearts may be revealed.”
” We may easily imagine with what anguish of heart she looked on while the holy life of “the Man of Sorrows and acquainted with grief” drew near to its tragic close. Strong in her own faith that her sinless Son was none other than Immanuel_the Messiah foretold by her country's ancient prophets, how would she marvel over the blind infatuation of the people who were privileged to see so much of His faultless life, to listen to His divine wisdom, to witness such repeated proofs of His divine omnipotence, but who yet despised and rejected Him !
And now that “the powers of darkness were, for one short hour, to triumph, she follows, with a few other “ daughters of Jerusalem," a weeping train, to the sad crucifixion-scene, thirsting, in her utter powerlessness to render active help and sympathy at such a season, to testify to the Divine Son of Man, and to His relentless crucifiers, her own faithful adherence to the conviction, that the angel Gabriel had given a prophetic message to her, that would sooner or later come to
not have had very clear or definite views as to the season when all should be accomplished. Possibly, she may, for a while, have been encouraging the dream, that in answer to the bitter mockery of
His murderers, He might descend from the cross, establish by terrible tokens of omnipotence his Godhead, confound His enemies, and soothe the anguish of those, who with herself, were bitterly grieving over His threatened departure from among them. She might, with the disciples, have thought that Immanuel would probably, “at that time, restore again the kingdom to Israel”; that before that sacred
' breath should leave the mangled body, some sudden revolution might take place, and that promise meet presently with its accomplishment: “He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Highest : and the Lord God shall give unto Him the throne of His father David : and He shall reign over the house of Jacob for ever; and of His kingdom there shall be no end."
But, if such anticipations had possessed her for a time, a feeling must have come over her heart that she had mistaken the angel's message, when, as she gazed upward to the suffering Saviour, and met His dying eyes turned upon her, she heard Him say: “Woman, behold thy Son," and then His commendation of her to St. John, “Behold thy mother”!
There is a wealth of consolation in these words for the bruised heart of the really Christian widow, that I would now briefly but earnestly open out.
Take notice, dear smitten friend, that the Lord Jesus not only allowed His own mother to lose her