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entire chastisement of our peace—he was cursed that we might be blessed—he sank to hell that we might rise to heaven.
It cost Him death to save our lives,
Were bought with agonies unknown. Sit down and watch in faith beneath the cross, and the blood which drops thence will purge your consciences and purify your hearts.
(3.) In watching beside the cross of the dying Jesus, let us learn to suffer with him. If the Head of the Church was by all classes thus insulted, let us not in this evil world, which persecuted the Lord of glory, expect a condition much superior to that of the master. If we would share in his triumph, we must also be prepared to share in his conflict; in other words, if we would live with Christ hereafter, we must be crucified with Christ here. To the cross of our dying Lord we must affix all the members of the old man,—we must transfix and mortify all carnal, earthly, devilish affections, our ambition and avarice, sensuality and voluptuousness, gluttony and drunkenness, hatred, envy, malice, revenge, and such like, that having shared in the cross here, we may share in the crown hereafter. Amen.
Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost. And, behold, the veil of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom, and the earth did quake, and the rocks rent.” &c.-MATTHEW, xxvii. 50-54.
A GREAT degree of attention has of late paid to the subject of unfulfilled prophecy, and many pious inquirers are anticipating, as soon to arrive, the period when the mystery of God on the earth shall be finished—when the Judge of the quick and dead shall bring together his enemies into a place of slaughter called Armageddon, and when the seventh angel shall pour out his vial into the air, and there shall come a great voice out of the temple of heaven, from the throne, saying, “It is done!” Without meaning to depreciate or discourage such inquiries, when they are conducted in a becoming spirit, and upon definite and tangible principles, we would, at the same time, remark that, in point of fact, the world's great battle has been fought already,—the decisive victory has already been won, which is the certain pledge of ultimate success in the good cause in all future contests. And it cannot surely be a less interesting object of contemplation to view that great conflict in its known nature, and in its ascertained effects, than to perplex ourselves as to consequences
which still result from it, but which are as yet hid in the obscurity of the dark and distant
future. Now, brethren, it is precisely for the purpose of contemplating that great conflict that you have assembled here this day, and, especially, that you may unite in celebrating its glorious issue. Suppose that you had the opportunity and inclination to repair to an earthly battle-field, and to witness one of those dreadful encounters in which thousands of human lives are sacrificed on the altar, it may be of patriotism, but most likely of ambition ;-were you to avail yourself of such an opportunity of viewing the shock of hostile armies, from a safe and unmolested position, I ask what would be to you the moment of deepest interest ? Would you be disposed to say, “I will not look on the onset, which is generally doubtful, I will be spared the sight of the bloody and indecisive carnage, I will shut my ears on the confused noise of the warriors, and my eyes on the garments rolled in blood; but give me to behold the crisis of the battle, the moment big with events, when one of the parties rouses all its energy, by one skilfully planned and overpoweringly impetuous onset, turns the trembling balance in its favourspreads discomfiture through the opposing ranks, while there rises from its own the loud and prolonged shout of victory,”—I ask you, would you not feel that to be a scene of deep and all-engrossing interest? But how much more intense and awful ought to be the interest excited, when the conflict you are called to witness this morning is not between empires but between worlds,—when there is at stake, not the character of captains, not the fate of armies, not the liberties of nations, but, what is of infinitely greater moment, the everlasting condition of immortal souls ? Who would not wait in eager and breathless expectation for the shout that shall proclaim which side has vanquished, heaven or hell ? whether shall reign victorious, Christ or Satan? shall freedom or slavery, shall happiness or misery, shall life or death prevail through the universe of God? “O sing unto the Lord a new song, for He hath done marvellous things ; his right hand and his holy arm hath gotten him the victory.” You see the captain of salvation, the hero of holiness, giving the last enemy the last deadly thrust; you see him spoiling principalities and powers, and making a show of them openly, and triumphing over them in his cross.
You hear Jesus, before yielding up the ghost, crying with a loud voice—it is the voice of a conqueror !-and the rent vail, the rent rocks, the quaking earth, the opening graves, the rising dead, respond to the shout of victory. And having, with the centurion, seen all the things that were done, you with him reverently confess, “ Truly this was
! These verses present three topics to which I now invite your devout contemplation preparatory to your observance of our New Testament passover.
יי !the Son of God
I. The death of Jesus. II. The prodigies which attended it. III. The effect which the view of that death and its accompanying prodigies should produce on our minds, more especially in our present circumstances.
I. The death of Jesus is set before us in verse 50. “Jesus, when he had cried again with a loud voice, yielded up the ghost.” And here it will be well to mark separately both the fact of his dying and the manner of his death. The simple fact of his dying, the bare circumstance of the living one being made subject to death, is in itself most marvellous, more especially when taken in connexion with the truth that for this end came he into the world. He lived as a man that as a man he might die. Like his apostle he might have said, “Behold, I go bound in spirit unto Jerusalem," but he could not have added, “not knowing the things that are to befall me there,” for from the first, Mount Calvary had risen up to his view as his earthly goal, and the cross of Calvary as the termination of his earthly woe. What does his history unfold but a series of conspiracies to bring about his death? When an infant, he narrowly escaped a massacre, for which his destruction was the sole pretext. Again and again it is written, that his countrymen, for whom he was labouring and praying night and day, sought to kill him.
Again it is written, that the rulers of his nation, who ought to have gloried in such a prophet, held counsel together to destroy him, and took counsel of others how they might safely apprehend him and put him to death. The men of his own city, Nazareth, for whom he bore reproach as a Nazarene, sought to cast him down from a precipice; and more than once from the streets of Jerusalem, while trodden by his blessed feet, they took up stones to stone him to death. At length the machinations of his enemies are brought to a successful issue. The people are disappointed and displeased at his refusal to receive honours as their national king; and the men in power take advantage of these altered feelings towards him, to cut him off under the guise and colour of law.