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his cross. The soldiers seeing him unable thoughts of these calamities affliet my soul to bear the weight, lead it on one Simon, far more than the feeling of my own suf. a native of Cyrene in Egypt, the father ferings. For if the Romans are permitted of Alexander and Rufus, well known to indict such punishments on me, who am among the first christians, and forced him innocent, how dreadful must the vengeance to bear it after the great Redeemer of be, which they shall infliet on a nation, mankind. The soldiers did not, how. whose sins cry aloud to heaven, hastening ever, do this out of compassion to the suf the peace of the divine judgment, and ferings of Jesus, but to prevent his dying rendering the perpetrators as proper for with the fatigue, and by that means elude punishment as dry wood is for the flames. his punishment. The blessed Jesus, in his journey to
Being arrived at the place of execution: Calvary, was followed by an innumerable
which was called Golgotha, or the Place of multitude of people, particularly of women,
Sculls, from the criminals' bones which they who lamented bitterly the severity of bis sen
scattered there, some of our Redeemer's tence, and shewed all the tokens of sincere
friends offered bim a stupifying potion, to compassion and grief. Jesus, who always
render himself insensible to the ignominy felt the woes of others more than he did his
and excruciating pain of his punishinent. own, forgetting his distress at the very time
But as soon as he tasted the potion, he refuswhen it lay heaviest upon him, turned him
ed to drink it, being determined to bear his self about, and, with a benevolence and
sufferings however sharp, not by intoxi. tenderness truly divine, said to them,
cating and stu pifying himself, but by the " Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for
strength of patience, fortitude, and faith. me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children. For, behold, the days are conting 1 Jesus having refused the potion, the solin the which they shall say, blessed are the | diers began to execute their orders, by barren, and the wombs that never bare, and stripping him quite naked, and in that conthe paps which never gave suck. Then. dition began to fasten him to his cross. But shall they begin to say to the mountains, while they were piercing his hands and his Fall on us; and to the hills, Cover us. For feet with nails, instead of crying out through if they do these things in a green tree, what the sharpness of the pain, he calmly, though shall be done in the dry ?" Luke xxiii. 2, fervently, prayed for them, and for all &c. As if he had said, Dry up these tears, those who had any hand in his death ; beje daughters of Jerusalem, which ye shed in | seeching the Almighty to forgive them, and compassion to me, and reserve them for the | excusing them himself by the only circumdeplorable fate of yourselves, and of your stance that could alleviate their guilt; I children ; for the calamities that will soon fall mean their ignorance. “Father (said the on you and your offspring are truly terrible, compassionate Redeemer of mankind) for.. and call for the bitterest lamentations. In give them, for they know not what they do.". those day of vengeance you will passion This was infinite meekness and goodness, ately wish that you had never given birth to a truly worthy of the oply-begotten Son of generation, whose wickedness has render God, an example of forgiveness, which, ed them objects of the wrath of the Almigh | though it can never be equalled by any ty, to such a degree, as never was before should be imitated by all. experienced in the world. Then shall they wish to be crushed under the weight of | But behold the appointed soldiers dig the enormous mountains, and concealed from hole in which the cross was to be erect: their enemies in the bowels of the bills. The ed !-The cross is placed in the ground, No. 16.
and the blessed Jesus lies on the bed of 1 coat or vesture, being without seam, woven sorrows. They nail hiin to it.-His nerves from the top throughout, they agreed not crack.--His blood distils. He hangs upon to rent it, but to cast lots for it, that the his wounds naked, a spectacle to heaven prediction of the prophet concerning the and earth.
death and sufferings of the Messiah might
be fulfilled. " They parted my garments Thus was the only begotten Son of God,
among them, and for my vesture did they who came down from heaven, to save the
cast Tots.” A sufficient indication, that world, crucified by his own creatures; and
every circumstance of the death and passion to render the ignominy still greater, placed
of the blessed Jesus, was long before debetween two thieves. Hear, 0 heavens!
termined in the court of heaven; and O earth, earth, earth, hear! The Lord
| accordingly his being crucified between hath nourished and brought up children,
two: malefactors was expressly foretold, and they have rebelled against him.”
“and he was numbered with the transIt was usual for the crimes committed by
gressors.". malefactors to be written on a white board, 1. The common people, whom the, vile with black, and placed over their heads, on priests had incensed against the blessed the cross. In conformity to this custom, Jesus, by the malicious falsehoods they had Pilate wrote a title in the Hebrew, Greek, spread concerning him, and which they and Latin Languages, that all foreigners, as pretended to found on the deposition of witwell as natives, might be able to read it, nesses: the common people, I say, seeing and fastened it to the cross, over the head him hang in so infamous a manner upon the of Jesus ; and the inscription was, '". This cross, and reading the inscription that was is the King of the Jews." But when the placed over his head, expressed their indig. chief priests and elders had read this title, nation at him by sarcastical expressions, they were greatly displeased; because, as " Ah, thou, said they, that destroyest the it represepted the crime for which Jesus temple, and buildest it in three days, was condemned, it insinuated that he had save thyself, and come down from the been acknowledged for the Messiah. Be cross." sides, being placed over the head of one who was dying by the most infamous pu But the common people were not the nishment, it implied that all who attempted only persons who mocked and derided the to deliver the Jews should perish in the blessed Jesus, while he was suffering to obsame manner. The faith and hope of the tain the remission of sins for all mankind. nation, therefore, being thus publicly ridi The rulers, who now imagined they had efcuied, it is no wonder that the priests fectually destroyed his pretensions to the thought themselves bigbly affronted; and character of the Messiah, joined the popu: accordingly came to Pilate, begging that lace, in ridiculing him, and with a meanness the writing might be altered. But as he had of soul, which many infamous wretches intended the affront in revenge for their would have scorned, mocked bim, even while forcing him to crucify Jesus, contrary both he was struggling with the agonies of death, to his judgment and inclination, he refus They scoffed at the miracles by which ed to grant their request. “ What I have he demonstrated himself to be the Meswritten (said he) I have written,"
siab, and promised to believe on him, on
condition of his proving his pretensions, When the soldiers bad nailed the blessed by descending from the cross. He saved Jesus to the cross, and erected it, they divid. others, said they, himself be cannot save : ed his garments among tbew. But bis if he be the king of Israel, let him now