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be, and do not live in any known sin; by no means forbear to go to this ordinance, as often as you have an opportunity; and depend upon God's blessing, and an increase of his grace. WILSON.
Peter answered and said unto him, though all men shall be offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.— Peter said unto him though I should die with thee, yet will I not deny thee. Likewise also said all the disciples. Preserve me, O Lord, from a presumptuous opinion, and dependence on my own strength, without the aids of thy grace. Let me see, in this sad instance, my weakness without thy assistance, and my ruin without thy help.-WILSON.
This do in remembrance of me. Luke xxii. 19.
According to thy gracious word,
In meek humility,
This will I do, my dying Lord, I will remember Thee.
Thy body, broken for my sake,
And thus remember Thee.
Gethsemane can I forget?
Or there thy conflict see, Thine agony and bloody sweat, And not remember Thee?
When to the cross I turn mine eyes,
O Lamb of God, my sacrifice,
Remember Thee, and all thy pains,
And all thy love to me;
Yea, while a breath, a pulse, remains, Will I remember Thee!
And when these failing lips grow dumb, And mind and mem'ry flec,
Christ prayeth in the garden.
36 "Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.
37 And he took with him Peter and 'the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.
38 Then saith he unto them, * My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.
second time, and prayed, say- | namely, Peter and the two sons of ing, O my Father, if this cup Zebedee, i. e. Peter, and James, and
may not pass away from me, except I drink it, thy will be done.
43 And he came and found them asleep again: for their eyes were heavy.
44 And he left them, and went away again, and prayed the third time, saying the same words.
45 Then cometh he to his disciples, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold, the hour is at hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into the hands of sin
46 Rise, let us be going: behold, he is at hand that doth betray me.
h Mark xiv. 32-35. Luke xxii. 39. John xviii. 1.i ch. iv. 21.-k John xii. 27.- Mark xiv. 36. Luke xxii. 42. Heb. v. 7.-m John xii. 27.-n ch. xx. 22.- John v.30; & vi. 38. Phil. ii. 8.-p Mark xiii. 33; & xiv. 38. Luke xxii. 40, 46. Ephes. vi. 18.
Reader. "The place called Gethsemane," mentioned in this most solemn and affecting portion of the sacred narrative, was a garden, or plantation of trees, for the most part, probably, olive trees. The name denotes an olive press, i. e. a press for extracting oil from the olive.
We observe that our blessed Lord
took with him on this occasion the three disciples who had been taken apart from the others to witness the raising of the ruler's daughter, and the transfiguration on the Mount;
It is remarkable that our blessed Saviour, in his prayer, repeated the same words, or nearly so, three times successively;-a proof that "repetition" in prayer is not "vain" when it proceeds from earnestness of feeling, or exists together with truth and sincerity of devotion.
In ver. 45, the words "Sleep on now and take your rest may be translated interrogatively, as an expression of surprise or reproof. "Do ye still sleep and take your rest?" Luther's translation is to this effect.
READER. He began to be sorrowful, and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Hence we may learn how much we ought to hate sin, which arms the law, justice, and power of God against us. As hateful as it is unto God, so hateful it is itself; for he judgeth uprightly, he seeth things just as they are, without passion, prejudice, or partiality; and as hateful as it is itself, so hateful should it be unto us, as the only ground of our misery, of the creature's vanity, and of God's dishonour. We see it is so hateful unto God that he will most certainly be avenged of it. If he spare me, yet he will not spare my sins, though his own beloved Son must be punished for it. Oh then, why should that be light to
me which was as heavy as a millstone to the soul of Christ? Why should that be my pleasure, which was his suffering? Why that be upon a throne with me which was on a cross with him? Why should I allow that to be really in me, which the Lord so severely punished when the guilt thereof was but imputed to his Son? Many sins there are which [some] esteem as light and venial. But, however, let us not dare esteem that a light thing, for which Christ died. And woful had it been for men, if Christ had not, in his body on the tree, carried as well the guilt of our idle words, our vain thoughts, our loose and impertinent actions, as of our oaths, execrations, and blasphemies. If great sins were as the spear and nails, certainly small sins were as the thorns which pierced his head. And therefore we should learn, with David, to hate every evil way, because God hates it, and suffers it not to pass unpunished; to revenge the quarrel of Christ against those lusts of ours which nailed him to his cross, and to crucify them for him again; and for that end was Christ crucified, "that our old man might be crucified with him, that the body of sin might be destroyed, that henceforth we should serve sin." Rom. vi. 6.-REYNOLDS. Oh, what a condition will that man be in, who must stand, or rather everlastingly sink and be crushed, under the weight of that wrath against sin which amazed and made heavy unto death the soul of Christ himself; -which made him
who had the strength of the Deity to support him, the fulness of the Spirit to sanctify and prepare him, the message of an angel to comfort him, the relation of a beloved Son to refresh him, the voice of his Father from heaven testifying unto him that he was heard in that he feared, the assurance of an ensuing glory and victory to encourage him,
which made, I say, even the Son of God himself, notwithstanding all these abatements, to pray, with strong cries and bloody drops and woful conflicts of the soul, against the cup of his Father's wrath.— REYNOLDS.
O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.—If it be objected, that Christ's death was against his own will for he exceedingly feared it (Heb. v. 7.), and prayed earnestly against it, as a thing contrary to his will,-to this I answer, that all this doth not hinder, but commend his willingness and obedience. Consider him in private as a man, of the same natural affections, desires and abhorrences with other men; and consider the cup as it was, a very bitter cup;-and so he most justly feared and declined it, as knowing that it would be a most woful and a heavy combat which he was entering upon. But consider him in his public relation, as a Mediator, a surety, a merciful and faithful High Priest,
and so he most willingly and obediently submitted unto it. And this willingness, by reason of his office, was much the greater, because
by reason of his nature, his will could not but shrink from it. It is easy to be willing in such a service as is suitable to our natural condition and affections; but when nature shall necessarily shrink, sweat, startle, and stand amazed at a service, then not to repent nor decline, nor fling off the burden, but with submission of heart to lie down under it, this is, of all others, the greatest obedience. It was the voice of nature, and the presence of the just and implanted desires of the flesh to say, "Let it pass from me;" it was the retraction of mercy and duty to say, "Glorify thyself." "Whatever my nature desires, whatever my will declines, whatever becomes of me, yet still glorify thyself, and save thy church: if it cannot otherwise be, then, by drinking this bitter cup, thy will be done."-REYNOLDS.
O my Father, if this cup may not pass away from me except I drink it, thy will be done.-The Scripture giveth principally these reasons why Christ suffered these things:-to execute the decree of his Father, Acts iv. 27, 28;- to fulfil the prophecies, prefigurations, and predictions, of holy Scriptures, Luke xxiv. 46;-to magnify his mercy and free love to sinners and most impotent enemies, Rom. v. 8;-to declare the righteousness and truth of God against sin, who would not be reconciled with sinners but upon a legal expiation, Rom. iii. 25. For although we may not limit the unsearchable wisdom and ways of God, as if he could no other ways
have saved man: yet we are bound to adore this means, as being by him selected out of that infinite treasure of his own counsel, as most convenient to set forth his wonderful hatred of sin, his inexorable justice and severity against it, his unsearchable riches of love and mercy towards sinners, and in all things to make way to the manifestation of his glory. But further to show forth his own power, which had strength to stand under all this punishment of sin, and at last to shake it off, and to declare himself to be the Son of God by the resurrection from the dead, Rom. i. 4. For, though Christ did exceedingly fear, and for that seems to decline and pray against these his sufferings; yet not out of jealousy or suspicion that he should not break through them. But he feared them as being pains unavoidable, which he was most certain to suffer; and as pains very heavy and grievous which he should not overcome without much bitterness, and very woful conflict.- REYNOLDS.
Thy will be done.-It is the desire of a Christian, that his own will may be annihilated, and the will of God placed in its room; that he may have no will but God's; that he may be altogether subject both to God's commanding and his working will, to do what he commands, and to be heartily content with what he does.—And He who taught us to pray, "Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven" gives us his own example in this. He did the will of his
Father indeed as it is done in heaven, and he came to the earth for that purpose: "Then said he, Lo, I come, to do thy will, O God." And, in that great and most painful part of his work, "Not my will, but thine be done." For our actions, let his word be our guide; and for the events of things, and all that concerns us, let his good pleasure and wise disposing be our will. Let us give up the rudder of our life into his hand, to be steered by him.-LEIGHTON.
Watch and pray, that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak. Sleepiness and idleness is the devil's opportunity to persuade us into sin. Had the disciples prayed, instead of sleeping, it is possible they would not have fled when they saw danger nigh.—And hath not the devil prevailed with us by idleness? When we have taken our rest and ease, has not Satan thrown some ill thoughts into our minds? When we have not known how to spend our time, has not the enemy made us to swallow the dangerous bait? When we have stretched ourselves upon our couch, and indulged ourselves, have we not then felt our love to God decay, and our affections to the world increase, and our faculties to dissolve into vanity and voluptuousness, and contempt of better things?-HORNECK.
Make us, O Lord, ever mindful of our infirmities and backslidings, that we may be more watchful and more earnest for grace, for the time to come; that the adversary of our
turbed! How sore amazed was thy soul! How dismayed thy mind! To such an exceeding height of grief and sorrow did the sense of the incumbent load of my sins, and the prospect of calamities hanging over my head, together with reflection on my unhappy condition, wind up thy affections. Innumerable evils encompassed thee; thou sawest the wrath of God flaming out against my sin, and trembledst! Thou stoodest before the mouth of hell which I had deserved, and wast astonished. Thou with thine own heart's blood didst quench the wrath of heaven. How am I obliged to adore thy love, O everlasting Father! What charity was it not to spare thine own Son, but to deliver him him up for us all! What pity and compassion was it, O thou eternal Son of God, thus to pour forth thy blood! What affection, what tenderness to my soul, O thou eternal Spirit, hast thou expressed in inspiring my blessed Redeemer with charity more than human, and in supporting him to undergo all pres