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much as lay in them, they were (awful thought !) the murderers of God. And this is the real charge which is established against human nature by the cross of Jesus, a charge which applies to every individual of the human family so long as he remains unregenerated—unrenewed by the Spirit of the Lord. Let us ever remember, that, in the crucifixion of the Son of God, we have an exhibition, not merely of the heart of the Jews, but of the heart of man. Had any other family of the human race been selected, they would have enacted the same part as did the seed of Abraham ; and in the rejection and murder of the “THE PRINCE OF LIFE” by that people, blessed with the abundant mercies and privileges which they then possessed above all the other nations, we learn this humiliating, and therefore profitable, lesson, that man in his best estate is worse than vanity, that his heart is “ enmity against God.” Nay, worse, that when God appeared on earth in human form, tangibly and visibly manifested amongst the sons of men, they—the sons and daughters of humanity-instead of falling prostrate before him, in admiring love, instead of opening their throbbing hearts to receive him in universal homage, they—the creatures of his hand, the objects of his mercy-not only hated, but (oh, wondrous spectacle!) despised him. And, as though this were not enough, this treatment which he received at the hands
of man was inflicted on him in the name of religion, and under the cloak of zeal for the honour of his name, and obedience to his law. And so has it ever been, so is it to the present day, in many lands-amongst the rest our ownthe fiercest persecutors of God's people, the most inveterate enemies of God's truth, are often they who muster their forces in the name
Brethren, let me ask, does this apply to you? Do you hate the Gospel of the grace of God? Is it either “ foolishness” to your wisdom, or "a stumbling-block” to your selfrighteousness ? Are you making “another Gospel” for yourselves, in hatred or tempt of the “ truth as it is in Jesus?”' Do you refuse to receive that truth, not because it does not approve itself to your conscience, but because it does not suit
inclination or your taste? Is this your case? Well, then (mark, I pray you, what I say), whoever you may be, whatever be your position or your character, full well ye bear witness against yourselves that ye are the children of them that crucified the Saviour.
But look again unto that cross, and see the enduring love, the inexhaustible longsuffering, the immovable fidelity of the sufferer extended there. “ Let him come down,” they cry, in ridicule, and fancied triumph ; "if he be the Son of God, let him save himself.” Oh ! how
easy it would have been for him to have taken sinners at their word: to have come down, and so to have involved the world in the blackness of eternal darkness. How easily he might have blazed forth upon his enemies in the glory which he assumed upon Mount Zion; and with a voice like that of many waters, and as of mighty thunderings uttering their voices, have consigned them to irretrievable destruction. What a sign might he then have given them! But he forbore ; and why? That he might save. His cross
was to be his sign. He endured it while they taunted him for doing
“ He hid not his face from shame and spitting." “ He gave his back to the smiters, his face to them that pluck off the
He would be exalted, not in destruction, but in salvation ; “exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto Israel, and remission of sins.” Oh! let his dying love be at once our motive and example ; let it stir us up to faithfulness to him. Believer upon Jesus, “Be thou faithful”—whatever be thy station here-parent, child, master, servantwhatever position in society, or in the church, his providence has placed you in—"Be thou faithful unto death,” and He shall CROWN OF LIFE.'
WEDNESDAY, APIRL 3.
THE SAVIOUR ON THE CROSS.
FROM THE THIRD TO THE SIXTH HOUR.
“And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on him, saying, if thou be Christ, save thyself and us. But the other, answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds : but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kindom. And Jesus said unto him, verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise."--LUKE, xxiii. 39-43.
“ Now there stood by the cross of Jesus his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son ! Then said he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home."'--Joun, xix. 25-27.
I HAVE read these passages in order that you may have before you the whole of that period of the history of the cross, which we are at present considering—the interval from the third to the sixth hour, during which our dear Redeemer suffered at the hands of man ; and may thus the more distinctly perceive the distinction between this period, and that which immediately succeeded it, when he endured the painful infliction of chastisement from God himself. These
passages present the Saviour, in trouble, indeed, but, still, not so as to be prevented from noticing what passed, and conversing with those around him. We find him, first, conversing with the repentant thief; and, afterwards, with the beloved disciple, to whose charge he so feelingly commits his mother ; whereas, in the next stage of his suffering, his silence is unbroken, save by the cry
of agony which closed it. Both of these passages are full of interest and instruction, and each of them would well reward a separate and attentive consideration ; but the limits of our time will oblige us to confine our attention to the former—the history of the converted thief
I shall, then, in the first place, make two or three general remarks ; and then proceed to consider, First, the words which the dying penitent addressed to our blessed Saviour; and, Second, our Lord's reply.
I. First, then, in this transaction, what an illustration have we of the manner in which the cross has made the very wrath of men, and the malice of Satan, subservient to God's purposes of mercy. Here Sampson's riddle is explained, - Out of the eater came forth meat ; out of the strong came forth sweetness.” It was a part of the Saviour's humiliation to be put to death in company with felons ; it is so predicted by the Prophet Isaiah, who assigns it as one reason on account of which He should