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jected of men, and overwhelmed with grief, not on his own account, but on account of the very finners who defpifed him. O ferufalem, Jerufalem, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!
But the measure of his forrows is not yet full. And before I could relate all that even man can declare, the fhades of night would cover the earth; for from the cradle to the grave, his life was one uninterrupted scene of the deepest affliction. Let us only, then, in order to raise the highest emotions of love and gratitude, view him in the last period of it.
Attended by his favourite difciple, and Peter and James, he withdraws into the garden. In this folitude, removed from his enemies, can fo innocent a mind fuffer diftress? But what an aftonishing fpectacle! He is in an agony. He fweats drops of blood and his own words, who never uttered a complaint but when the cause was insupportable, are, My foul is exceeding forrowful, even unto death. He afks the aid Bb 4 of
Matth, xxvi. 38.
of his friends, and entreats them to watch
wherewith the Lord in his fierce anger af flicted the Saviour of the world.
This fcene is not over when his ungrate ful difciple comes to betray him. Thy Master, Judas, thy loving Master, thou betrayest with a kifs. This token of love that traitor makes the signal for feizing upon his Lord. Unhappieft of mortals! In thy hearing, the pureft, the moft fublime and elevated doctrines were taught, the most pathetic exhortations delivered, and the wisdom of divinity itself difplayed: but all without effect upon a heart which was harder than the rock. Yet know, that vengeance purfues iniquity and deliver us, O just Heaven, from ever feeling any degree of that remorfe which haftened the exit of this wretched man. The spotlefs Son of God, now a lawless, armed multitude drag away, and pour on him all manner of indignities. How meckly is he led along, though legions of angels would have appeared at his word to rescue him? How tamely does he bear the reproaches which malice invents, and fpite utters? Harmlefs and innocent, like a lamb to the flaughter, is he led, and his mouth is not opened against his most inveterate
inveterate foes. The fhepherd is now fmitten, and the fheep are fcattered. His difciples, whom he had treated as his moft familiar friends, who had been the companions of many of his former woes, now defert him. In his fufferings he did not behold the alleviating tear of fympathy fhed upon his account. One difciple indeed, more zealous than the rest, who had greatly resolved rather to die with his Mafter, than forfake or deny him, mingles among the crowd. But how weak is human refolution! In the very prefence of his Lord, thrice he denies him with oaths. Yet ftruck by his eye, which looks on me, on all, he repents, weeps bitterly; and He, who never knew what it was to refuse pardon, forgives him,
In the mean time, to all the infults of a tumultuous rabble, to the derifion of the very lowest of the people is Jefus expofed. They mock him: they fmite him: they strike him on the face. His vifage was more marred than any man, and his form more than the fons of men. How was the priesthood degraded on that day, when Caiaphas joined
with the people in fuch unjuft, fuch barbarous treatment of the Lord of glory?
He is now hurried before Pilate's tribunal, Pilate fees no fault in him; but his enemies cry, Crucify him. Let never a judge deliver an innocent perfon to appeafe a multitude, or to preserve his own power. Let the laws ever be, as they ought to be, the guardians and avengers of the righteous cause; and let their punishment never fall but on the guilty head. How different was the cafe at this time? That integrity and impartiality, which ought to be dearer to a judge than his life, is laid afide by Pilate. But his confcience fmites him: he calls for water. Alas, Pilate! Water could not cleanse from the ftain which this heinous crime infixed. The multitude, whose rage had pushed them not only to devote themselves, but as far as they could, their children to destruction, having now the fanction of the high-priest, and the licence of the governor, drag my Saviour, and my King, to execution.
Thofe hands which had wrought fo many miraculous cures, are bound like the hands
Matth. xxvii. 24.