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he says, in Jesus;
“Compassed with infirmity;" in proof of which he adds, that,“in the days of his flesh he offered up supplications and prayers, with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death.”(verse 7). Observe the strength of these expressions, “supplications and prayers, with strong crying and tears;" and for what did he so agonise in prayer? “ Unto him that was able to save him from death.” How must he have realised the gloomy anticipation, and how keenly must he have felt the temptation of this “ fear,” which extracted from him such earnest entreaty for deliverance ! And this, remember, not upon one occasion merely, but "in the days of his flesh," throughout the course of his sojourn here. This conflict forms the subject of many of the psalms; let it suffice, however, to read the psalm before us. The title affixed to it is exceedingly obscure ; there is considerable doubt as to who was the author of it; but one thing is plain, that whatever might have been the instrument made use of to repeat it, or to commit it to writing, the speaker in it is no other than the Son of Man himself. It is not David or Solomon that speaks to us here, but Jesus; every word of it is his. Hear, then, his language as recorded here :-0 Lord God of my salvation, I have cried day and night before thee. Let my prayer come before thee : incline thine ear unto my cry: For my soul is full of troubles : and my life draweth nigh unto
the grave. I am counted with them that go down into the pit : I am as a man that hath no strength. Free among the dead, like the slain that lie in the grave,
whom thou rememberest no more : and they are cut off from thy hand. Thou hast laid me in the lowest pit, in darkness, in the deeps. Thy wrath lieth hard upon me, and thou hast afflicted me with all thy waves. Thou hast put away mine acquaintance far from me; thou hast made me an abomination unto them : I am shut up, and I cannot come forth. mourneth by reason of affliction: Lord, I have called daily upon thee; I have stretched out my hands unto thee. Wilt thou shew wonders to the dead ? shall the dead arise and praise thee? Shall thy loving kindness be declared in the grave ? or thy faithfulness in destruction ? Shall thy wonders be known in the dark ? and thy righteousness in the land of forgetfulness. But unto thee have I cried, O Lord ; and in the morning shall my prayer prevent thee. Lord, why casteth thou off my soul ? why hidest thou thy face from me? I AM READY TO DIE FROM MY YOUTH UP: WHILE I SUFFER THY TERRORS I AM DISTRACTED. THY FIERCE WRATH GOETH OVER ME: THY
They came round about me daily like water; they compassed me about together. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.
There are some few occasions on record in the
TERRORS HAVE CUT ME OFF.
Evangelists, in which the Saviour gives vent to his feelings on this subject. Thus, for example, in the 12th of Luke, he exclaims, “I have a baptism to be baptised with”-a baptism of agony, of blood-"and how am I straitened until it be accomplished !”—(ver.50.) These few words give us a clear insight into the struggle within him-“how am I straitened.” It is the word made use of by St. Paul, when he says, “I am in a strait betwixt two.” It implies that the Saviour's heart was the seat of powerful and conflicting emotions: on the one hand there was, The result to be accomplished by his death, in the salvation of his people ; on the other there was, That death itself, with all its gloomy horrors; and while “the spirit” was "willing" "the flesh" was “weak.” As in the flesh, and“ encompassed with infirmities,” he was in a strait—a painful strait ; as expressed in the psalm before us, “ I am shut up, so that I am not able to go forth.”
Exactly similar is the experience portrayed in the 12th of John. The Saviour had an earnest of his future triumph presented to him in the request of some Greeks to see him.—(vers. 20–22.) The inquiry after him by these strangers evidently suggests to his mind the prospect of the great harvest of the world, when he shall have The heathen for his inheritance, and the utmost parts of the earth for his possession ; and hence he is naturally led to revert to those sufferings by which these glorious results were to be ac
complished. A mental struggle within him is the consequence. “Now is my soul troubled (he exclaims), and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour!”-shall this be my prayer?—shall I shrink from drinking the cup which thou hast given me to drink? Oh, no! “Father, glorify thy name."-(verses 27, 28.) Once more behold him in Gethsemane ; see him running to and fro in agony; see him conscious, as it were, of his need of prayer and sympathy, taking with him a chosen few to pray; and then, disappointed in this aid, and left alone in his distress, behold him falling prostrate on the ground, and uttering the thrice-repeated cry, Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass
from me !”until at last the furnace of affliction kindled in his soul sets even his natural frame on fire within ; and-oh, deeply affecting sight! HIS SWEAT WAS AS BIG DROPS OF BLOOD FALLING DOWN TO THE GROUND." “Though be were a son, yet learned he obedience from the things which he suffered, and being made perfect-perfect through sufferings, he became the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him.”
· LECTURE III.
TUESDAY, APRIL 3.
THE SAVIOUR ON THE CROSS.
FROM TAE THIRD TO THE SIXTH HOUR,
* It was the third hour, and they crucified him."--MARK, xv, 25.
Our object is to consider the history of the cross—to trace the various particulars which are recorded in the Word of God respecting it, that so, by the mercy of God, this most important of all subjects may be the better impressed upon the memory, and take deeper root in the heart. It is, doubtless, for this purpose that we are furnished with a series of facts connected with
The cross is not presented to us in the Scriptures (as, no doubt, it admits of being considered) as one great fact, but in connexion with a number of circumstantial details, and thus the narrative assumes a form suited to the constitution of the human mind. These various particulars and interesting details are designed to be, as it were, the roots and fibres by which this sacred wood, this fruitful tree may fasten itself into the soil of the heart, and bring forth “The fruits of righteousness, to the glory and the praise of God." The impression made upon the mind by any narrative or any scene, will always, in a great measure, depend upon the particula