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crobes, and palms in their hands, and disc. «tcried with a loud voice, Salvation to our «God which sitteth upon the throne, and ce unto the Lamb; blessing, and glory, and “wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, “ and power, and might, be unto our God, « for ever and ever. And one of the elders “ answered, saying unto me, What are these “ which are arrayed in white robes, and “ whence came they? And I said unto “ him, Sir, thou knowest. And he faid “.unto me, These are they which came out " of great tribulation, and have washed “ their robes, and made them white, in the 66 blood of the Lamb"_These are the
poor in spirit, the mourners, the meek, “ the merciful, the pure in heart, the
peace-makers, the afflicted, and the per“ secuted”—These are they, who, in the days of their flesh, “ denied themselves, “ took up their cross daily, and followed “ Jesus,” in the way that leadeth unto life; ; that way, on which the Lord hath
promised his blefing, even life forever. « more."
THE DUTY OF TAKING UP THE CROSS.
LUK E IX. 23.
any man will come after me, let him -- take up
bis cross daily, and follow me.
HAT inftrument on which, among
the Romans, malefactors were condemned to suffer an ignominious and painful death, became a sign or symbol of all that is afflicting or tormenting, vexatious or disagreeable, whether to the body or the mind of man.. The utmost torture and anguish were expressed by the noun cruciatus, the infliction of them by the verb crucia.
As the punishment alluded to was not in VIII. ufe among the Jews, they must have bor
rowed the expressions from the Romans; unless, as fome learned men think, they had been received before from the Persians, who, it is said, were accustomed to fix criminals to some kind of cross. Such application of the word is common, I believe, to most of the modern languages of Europe. In our own, we denote all events adverse and unpleasing by the general term
Since the time when the Son of God, by suffering on the cross, for the fins of the world, exalted it to a dignity above the thrones and diadems of princes, on which it was foon portrayed as their greatest ornament and highest glory, the word became one of mighty import in the Christian fyftem, of which the doctrine, discipline, and duties, all range under it's banner.
When our Lord pronounced the passage selected for my text, he, no doubt, intended
to fignify by what death he himself fhould disc. die, and withal to intimate, that, besides the VIH. manifold perfecutions his apostles were to undergo for his fake, some of them thould even literally be conformed to him in the manner of their leaving the world; which accordingly came to pass. It seems impoffible to reflect upon this wonderful and characteristic circumstance respecting the ever blessed Founder of our religion, as Grotius has well observed, without supporing that Plato must have been under a degree of divine impulfe, when he closed the account of his righteous man who should appear, at some future day, upon the earth, by predicting, that, “ after having “ fuffered all other ills, he should, at
length, be fixed to a cross.”
To understand the phrase of taking up and bearing the cross, it must be recollected, that, upon the infliction of this punishment, the criminal was obliged to take up the cross, and bear it, on his shoulders, to the place of execution.