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nothing which was common to men. His death was aggravated by its circumstances. We wish to die in quietness; but he expired in tumult and uproar. We would depart with the good opinion of society, he died as the vilest malefactor, and men wagged their heads at him in scorn. We would be saved much pain, but his was a death of extreme agony. We would have our friends around us, but his disciples “ forsook him and fled.” We would have our last agonies not long protracted, but he, with the clear foresight of the “ decease he should accomplish at Jerusalem," died daily. We hope our minds will be kept in peace and specially sustained; but with a bitter cry he exclaimed, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me !” Whatever is meant by “the hidings of God's face,” Jesus felt, and yet he shewed that human nature tried to the utmost, may retain confidence in Him. It was still " My God!" And how his tenderness shone forth to the last! He was not absorbed in his own grief. “Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for me but weep for yourselves!” While hanging bleeding on the cross, he commended his Mother to the care of the beloved disciple—“Behold thy Mother”-“Behold thy Son.” He heard and answered the prayer of the dying thief_" This day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.” He prayed for his murderers “ Father forgive them, for they know not what they do!” Let us then learn from Jesus how to die. Death is now a conquered foe. The victor will strengthen us in the conflict. He will not forsake his friends in the last trying hour. He has dignified the tomb by lying there himself. Shall I dread to follow where he leads ?
But there is something after death. My conscience tells me of guilt, and warns me of a judgment to come. How can I escape the doom I merit? Men have ever sought some solace from these fears. They have offered sacrifice. All the religious rites of the Jews declared that “ without shedding of blood there is no remission.” “Behold then the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world !” “He was wounded for
our transgressions ! He bare our sins in his own body on the tree !” We were redeemed by “the precious blood of Christ ;” and that blood “cleanseth from all sin !” Death is no longer dreadful now that Christ has died ! My Brother has occupied my place. He was “made a curse for us.” “By his stripes we are healed.” “Being justified by faith we have peace with God.” “ We are reconciled unto God by the death of his Son.” “O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory ? The sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the law, but thanks be to God who hath given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” He conquered death in his own person, and by dying finished all that was necessary to enable us to conquer too. In token of the completeness of his triumph he rose again from the grave. Human nature ascends in him, the perfect type. If he was made like to us in dying, we shall be made like to him in a resurrection life. We also through suffering, crucifixion, death, may live and rise to heaven ; “ if we
suffer with him we shall also reign with him.” He was the first-fruits of the resurrection, the first-born among many brethren. Let us then look up from a world of sorrow, sin and death, to a risen Saviour! We have not been left hopelessly to grovel and perish! God manifest in the flesh--the Man Christ Jesus has visited us! He has dignified our nature by assuming it, lightened our burden by bearing it, sweetened our cup of sorrow by drinking it, and taken away death's sting by receiving it into his own soul. The dark valley is irradiated with light from the the cross, the sepulchre is a palace, the day of dissolution the dawn of glory. “He that believeth in me shall never die, because I live ye shall live also! Father, I will that they whom thou hast given me may be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory!” O what profound instruction is conveyed to us in the life of the Man Christ Jesus! And well had it been for the Church if, less occupied in theological controversies, she had been more under the influence of that sub
lime but simple ancient creed, complained of by some as not sufficiently doctrinal, but setting forth those great facts so pregnant with instruction, a living faith in which alone is needed to regenerate human society -“I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY, MAKER OF HEAVEN AND EARTH, AND IN JESUS CHRIST HIS ONLY SON OUR LORD, WHO WAS CONCEIVED BY THE HOLY GHOST, BORN OF THE VIRGIN MARY, SUFFERED UNDER PONTIUS PILATE, WAS CRUCIFIED, DEAD, AND BURIED: THE THIRD DAY HE ROSE AGAIN FROM THE DEAD, HE ASCENDED UP TO HEAVEN!"
The manhood and the life of Christ have been more enlarged upon in these pages than his Deity and the sacrificial character of his death, not because the latter are less important, but because the former are less frequently and prominently exhibited. That he was truly God and that he died to save sinners, are truths necessary to give power to the lessons of his life. Man was miserable because far from God,