Images de page
[ocr errors]

vised and enlarged them, I published in the years 1728 and 1729. These were soon followed by the "Sufferings of Jesus before Pilate and Herod ;" and in 1730, by the "Sufferings of our blessed Lord on Mount Golgotha." Thus I have given the reader a brief account of this work.

As to the method I have observed in treating on this subject, it is as follow:

1. The ground work of the CONSIDERATIONS is an account of our Saviour's Passion, given by the four Evangelists, which I have endeavoured to har monise and connect together. To every part of the history of the Passion is prefixed the several texts thus harmonised; and at the beginning of each CoNSIDERATION, the part which is there treated of is repeated, and the Evangelists, from whom it is taken, quoted. In the last volume, the foundation of the IV. IX. XII. and XIII. CONSIDERATIONS is laid in certain types and prophecies out of the Old Testament, concerning the sufferings of the Messiah.

2. The harmonised text is divided into paragraphs, for the sake of perspicuity and order, in the discussion of each particular.

3. These larger paragraphs are afterwards, according to the succession of circumstances, divided into smaller; and each of the latter are explained in their order.

4. It was not my intention to enter on a diffuse and critical exposition of every particular circumstance of the history of the Passion, or to undertake the solution of every difficulty: The text, however, is sufficiently illustrated, sometimes in a concise manner, and sometimes more at large; the energy of the principal words in the original is pointed out; the difficulties in some measure removed by observations on the counsel of the Divine wisdom, and the right of Divine retaliation.

5. From the texts thus illustrated are deduced şeveral practical doctrines; some of which naturally flow from the import of the words of the text, and others contain useful observations on the same. Some are adapted for admonition and reproof, some for encouragement, and others for consolation under afflictions. Some are suited to the circumstances of Christians in general; others are more particu larly adapted to the academic state. Some appear to contain only moral precepts; but these are improved, and, as it were, interwoven with the very essence of Christianity. The end and design of many of them is to display the resemblance between Christ and his members in the mystery of the Cross, and to represent the true state and condition of the world which still lies buried in wickedness.

6. To each CONSIDERATION is annexed a short prayer, in order to instruct those, who are unacquainted with mental prayer, how they may lift up their hearts to God in devout ejaculations at the end of every CONSIDERATION.

If the reader, according to Luther's instructions, from the manifold sufferings of Christ, considers the abomination of sin, and the greatness of God's displeasure against the wickedness of man; and in this mirror of sin and wrath continues surveying himself till, by a sense of a godly sorrow and solitary contrition, his conscience is brought to the fellowship of his Saviour's sufferings, and sin be absolutely mortified, he will reap unspeakable benefit by this mean performance.

[ocr errors]

On the other hand, if he seeks relief to a troubled conscience, by the consideration of the transcendent love of the suffering Redeemer to mankind; if he looks on Jesus as the propitiation for his sins, and applies to himself, by faith and repentance, the obedience of Christ exemplified in his sufferings, as a friendly veil for his disobedience and imperfections;

if by the same medium he lays hold on the meritorious satisfaction of Christ, and humbly implores forgiveness of his sins at the Throne of Grace in consideration of that satisfaction, he will not lose his labour in the perusal of these sheets.

Lastly, if he gives himself up soul and body to our crucified Saviour, as his property, purchased by his precious blood; and desires, by the help of his Holy Spirit, to be inspired with a willingness and ability to imitate those Divine virtues manifested in the sufferings of Christ, especially his patience, meekness, and humility, he will by no means lose his reward.

May the crucified Jesus, who is now glorified and exalted to the right hand of God grant, that every one who reads this work may make such a blessed use of it, that his glorious name may be praised to all eternity! May the great Saviour cause the truth set forth in these sheets to be fertile seeds, which may abundantly produce the fruits of righteousness, and grow up to their desired maturity! May we all be powerfully awakened by these Considerations to a lively faith in his name, and an earnest desire to imitate so bright an example.

To the immaculate Lamb that was slain, who by his grace enabled me to prosecute this work, be ascribed praise and thanksgiving for ever and ever. Amen.

HALLE, Feb. 24, 1730.








The accounts given by the four Evangelists, (Matt. xxvi. 36-46. Mark xiv. 32-42. Luke xxii. 4046. John xviii. 1, 2.) connected and har monised.

"THEN cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, where was a garden, into which Jesus and his disciples entered. But Judas, who betrayed him, also knew the place; for Jesus ofttimes resorted thither with his disciples.

"And when he was come into the garden, he said to his disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. Pray, that ye enter not into temptation.

"And he took with him Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee, James, and John, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. And Jesus said unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here and watch with me.

"And he went a little farther, and was withdrawn from them about a stone's cast, and kneeled down, and fell on his face on the ground, and prayed, That, if it were possible the hour might pass from him.

"And he said, Father, all things are possible untothee; take away this cup from me: Nevertheless not what I will, but what thou wilt.

"And he cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep; and he saith to Peter: Simon, sleepest thou? couldest thou not watch with me one hour? Watch VOL. I.


ye and pray, that ye enter not into temptation: The spirit indeed is willing; but the flesh is weak.

"And he went away again the second time, and prayed, and spake the same words: O my Father! if this cup may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done. And he came and found them asleep again; for their eyes were heavy, neither wist they what to answer him.

"And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words: Fa. ther, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will but thine be done. And there appeared an angel unto him from heaven, strengthening him. And being in agony, he prayed more earnestly; and his sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground.

And when he rose up from prayer, and came to his disciples the third time, he found them sleeping for sorrow. And he said unto them,* Will ye yet sleep, and take your rest? Why sleep ye? Behold the hour is come; and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go! Lo! he that betrayeth me is at hand. Pray, that ye enter not into temptation."


LORD Jesus! the author and finisher of our faith, who didst endure the pains of the cross, and embrace sorrow, when thou mightest have reigned in joy; blessed and eternal praise be to thee for thy free love, which moved thee, in our stead, to enter on the field of battle, and to obtain a glorious victory, the bene fit of which all thy spiritual Israel might partake.

* The author has very judiciously rendered this sentence interrogatively; whereas the English translation makes it very flat, sleep on now, and take your rest,' as if it was a time to sleep when they and their master were in imminent danger. I.

« PrécédentContinuer »