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THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST IN HIS PASSION. Who would have believed it? The Jews with sacrilegious hands fixed to a cross Him,' who stretched out the heavens like a curtain ;' they bound Him, 'who placed the sand for a bound of the sea;' they gave to Him, who had given them a land flowing with milk and honey,' vinegar and gall to drink; they crowned with thorns, Him who clotheth the whole earth with flowers; they struck with a reed Him who had formerly struck Egypt with ten deadly plagues, and drowned Pharaoh in the waves of the Red Sea; they covered with spitting the face of Him upon whom even the Cherubim dare not look. And yet, while suffering all these indignities, He prayed for those who crucified Him, saying,- Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.' Thus His goodness surpasseth their malice, and Christ pleadeth for the murderers of Christ. Seeking, desiring only their salvation, He excuseth them on the ground of their ignorance, He beareth with patience all their outrages, endureth their insolence, and giving ear only to his own tender charity for all men, He calleth them all to repentance.
What, alas! would it avail to say more to them? So much good
They draw no benefit from it.
ness toucheth them not. Christ is put to death by these ungrateful wretches. They shut up in a tomb Him whom the heavens and the earth cannot contain; they set a seal upon it, and fearing his resurrection, they place a watch before the sepulchre.
Who ever before this saw a dead man thus guarded, or rather who ever heard of war being thus declared against one who was no more? What man would not cease to fear his enemy after he has taken away his life? What heart would not cast away its hatred after being satisfied with the death, and glutted with the blood of its enemy ? Why then, O barbarous and merciless Jew, dost thou still fear Him whom thou hast slain? Hath not then, thy crime been able to procure thee tranquillity? Ah! permit me to calm thy fears; if He whom thou hast put to death was only a man, thou wert right in putting Him to death; for if he was but a mere man, He was guilty of gross imposture when he spake these words: Destroy this temple, and in three days I will raise it up;' if He was but a man, He shall not escape from the chains of death.
But all thy precautions are useless. Wait till the third day after his death, and thou shalt behold all thy foolish measures brought to nought. Cease to labour in vain, to harden thyself against the truth, to fight against thy God, to heap insults on the Sun of Righteousness, to strive vainly to extinguish His rays; cease thy vain endeavours to dry up the source of life, and to harass thy rulers for guards; think not to obtain victory over thy God, seek not to corrupt these soldiers, to make them say that which is not true. Arms cannot hinder a resurrection; all thy precautions will not stop it. Didst thou not but a short time ago see Lazarus shake off death like ordinary sleep? Didst thou not see him come forth, bound hand and foot with graveclothes, when he heard these words: Lazarus, come forth?' Didst thou not see him, dead as he was and bound in grave-clothes, obey the voice of Him who called him? Ah! well. He who could do all this hath not lost His power: He raised one of His servants, and will He not much more raise Himself from the dead.-St Amphilochus.
HOW WE MUST CELEBRATE THE RESURRECTION OF CHRIST.
'Rejoice in the Lord alway: and again I say, rejoice.' Let us all unite to celebrate this festival with joy, with a Christian joy. This is the day which the Lord hath made, we will rejoice and be glad in it.' Let us celebrate the resurrection of our Saviour, or rather our own resurrection. Let us commemorate the day of salvation; let us
proclaim the victory gained over the devil, the deliverance of Christians, and the resurrection of the dead. Thanks to the resurrection of Jesus Christ, the flames of hell are extinguished, the implacable worm hath received its death-wound, the empire of Satan is overthrown, he himself is in despair; sin is destroyed, evil spirits are put to flight; men born of the earth are transported into heaven; the captives of the devil, set free from their bonds, cry from the bosom of God become their refuge: O death, where is thy sting? O hell, where is thy victory?' He who hath procured for us this great and holy solemnity is that same Jesus to whom we owe all the blessings we enjoy; He whose sovereign power gave us existence, and drew us out of nothing, and called us to the light of being, is the same who to-day restores us to the liberty and life we had lost, wresting us from the tyranny of the prince of darkness, destroying the hand-writing of slavery and death which held us under the yoke of sin, 'being made a curse for us,' as St Paul saith, Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law.' It is therefore just and right that we should exclaim in the transports of our gratitude: What shall I render unto the Lord for all His benefits towards me?' Being the only Son of God, He yet willed to become man for our salvation; He made Himself obedient unto death, to deliver us from eternal death. He who is the source of life, the principle of immortality, consented to suffer in His flesh, to descend into the grave, that He might enrich us with immortality. During His sojourn among men, they saw Him doing good to all, healing the sick, giving sight to the blind, restoring the use of their limbs to the paralytic, casting out devils, recalling to life Lazarus after he had lain four days in the grave, multiplying bread to feed a vast multitude in the wilderness, walking on the waters, working miracles on all hands; and how did the ungrateful Jews receive so many shining testimonies of His Divine beneficence? At one time they seek to stone him, at another to cast him from the brow of a hill, and they end by putting Him to death on the cross. swered all the transports of their furious malice with silence; like the lamb brought to the slaughter, He opened not His mouth.
But He an
The design of His first advent was not to chastise and punish those who refused to acknowledge Him, but by patience and goodness to bring back to the way of salvation, those who had wandered away from it. And to take from unbelief all excuse, at the very moment of His death on the Cross, He displayed His Deity by the most brilliant miracles. He allowed Himself to be lifted up on the Cross, that He might put to flight the evil spirits in the air; He al
lowed Himself to be fixed to the wood of the Cross, that He might destroy sin, which had taken birth from the tree so fatal to mankind; He permitted His side to be pierced with a spear, that He might repåir the offence of the woman taken from the side of Adam, and that the fountain might be opened from which flow the Sacraments which give grace and life to us. . . . Doth any unbeliever ask you: 'Why did Jesus submit to this punishment of the Cross? Reply: That by it He might lead captive the devil; and repair by dying on the tree of the Cross, the offence of which the tree in the garden of the earthly Paradise was the instrument. Why the crown of thorns? That by the sacrifices of His obedience He might turn the condemnation denounced, on account of Adam's disobedience, against the earth to produce only thorns and thistles into a blessing. Why the insults of a gainsaying people, bowing the knee before Him in derision? To force the Jews, in spite of themselves, to pay Him homage and acknowledge His empire on earth. Then they paid Him only hypocritical reverence; but a day will come when before Him 'every knee shall bow, of things in Heaven, and things in earth, and things under the earth; and when every tongue shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord to the glory of God the Father.' Blinded by ignorance, or rather by malice, they shut their eyes against the light, at the very moment when all nature acknowledged Him as its Lord and Creator; for when He still hung upon the Cross, the sun, affected by the sight of so many outrages heaped on the person of Him who is the true Sun of Righteousness, shrinking in horror and withdrawing his beams, left the earth in darkness, refusing to give light to men who were guilty of so impious a crime. The earth itself seemed to join in his indignation, and by quaking under the feet of these enemies of God, it appeared as if it bore them with sorrow. . . . O sacrilegious madness! the rocks are broken in pieces, and the veil of the temple is rent in twain and leaves exposed the interior of the Holy of Holies, as a sign of the reprobation of the temple itself, and of the fulfilment of Christ's words: Behold, your house is left unto you desolate ;' a prediction fully verified by the destruction which followed soon after the death of Christ; yet they continued insensible. Behold, then, in few words, the object of the solemnity which calls us together. Let us keep the feast,' as St Paul saith, not with the old leaven, neither with the leaven of malice and wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth;' believing in the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit, the consubstantial, uncreated Trinity; and in the resurrection to come, hoping for the second advent
of our Lord Jesus Christ, who will come again, not in the lowliness of His first appearance, but in the glory and pomp of His Supreme Majesty.-St Chrysostom.
Thoughts on the Observance of Lent. BY SIR ARCHIBALD EDMONSTONE, Bart., Author of the Christian Gentleman's Daily Walk.' 24mo. pp. 50. London : W. J. Cleaver, Baker Street.
We regret much that this little book did not fall in our way before the publication of our last number, that we might have drawn the attention of our readers to it before the commencement of the present holy season. It is the production of a 'Christian Gentlemen,' who has spent much of his time in advancing the cause of truth and godliness; and this little effort we think calculated to be eminently useful in giving the members of the Church correct notions of their duty during the Lenten season. It has one manifest advantage, in exhibiting the pious thoughts of a layman who, while he strives to do his duty as a Christian, yet does not seclude himself from the society of the world. We sometimes hear it asserted when a clergyman presses upon the attention of his people higher notions of duty and practice, than those by which they are accustomed to regulate their conduct, that he does not know the world, or he would not attempt to urge usages, which, though good and useful in themselves, are unsuited to the present times-forgetting all the while that such friendship with this world' as leads to an unfaithful dealing with God's message to man, is enmity with God.' The charge cannot, however, in the present instance be made by any. The author is a layman conversant with the usages of society; and the modesty of his claim to a hearing cannot fail to win the respect of every one. In inviting attention towards his subject, he says, 'I would wish to be understood as desirous not to go out of my proper place. To those in authority it belongs to reprove, exhort, or admonish, ex cathedra, as occasion may require. A layman addressing his fellows necessarily does so in a lower tone. He may think the matter of importance, and speak earnestly, yet he can have no claim to attention, unless he can shew that the point which he urges is one of common interest.' Now we think Sir Archibald Edmonstone has succeeded in shewing, that the solemn observance of Lent is a subject of common interest to all the members of Christ's Church, because in man's present state, constituted as he is, it is necessary to his soul's health. After ably discussing the duty, the manner, and the value of fasting as one branch of this observance, he proceeds to say,'But I would also observe, that this is not to be a mere bare performance, an opus operatum; abstinence from food, or change of diet, are but outward signs, valueless, unless attended with an inward sacrifice of the heart. Hence there must be a consistency of deportment; and the rule of the ancient Church may be well followed, in frequenting the house of God more than usual, and in restricting our intercourse with society.' There is an excellent postscript on fasting as a 'carnal ordinance,' from which we are tempted to quote largely, but shall confine ourselves to one brief paragraph. 'If I am right, then, in the view I have taken, it is to a system such as ours that the penitential discipline I have been recommending, at a stated season, peculiarly adapts itself. It is a bodily exercise, and our bodies we are to dedicate; but it is an exercise in obedience to lawful authority, and therefore cannot be classed with that "which profiteth nothing." Moreover, this obedience is not blind nor unreflecting; for the Church leaves to ourselves the mode of application. The service, then, we pay in the due observance of Lent is a reasonable service; and to condemn it as a "carnal ordinance," a perfunctory and unspiritualizing act, is, I apprehend, wholly to