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terror when it cometh. Oh what a grievous thing that Christ suffered here ! Oh the greatness of his dolour that he suffered in the garden, partly to make amends for our sins, and partly to deliver us from death! Not so, indeed, that we should not die bo. dily, but that this death should be a way to a better life, and to destroy and overcome hell. Our Saviour Christ had a garden, but he had little pleasure in it. You have many goodly gardens : I would you would in the midst of them consider what agony our Saviour Christ suffered in his garden. A goodly ineditation to have in your gardens ! It shall occasion you to delight no farther in vanities, but to remember what he suffered for you,
from sin, it is a good monument, a good sign, a good monition, to consider how he behaved himself in this garden.
Well, he saith to his disciples, “Sit here and pray with ine."
He went a little way off, as it were a stone's cast from them, and falleth to his
and Father, if it be possible, away with this bitter
cup, ” this outrageous pain : yet after he correcteth himself and saith, “ Not my will, but thy will be done, O Father.” Here is a good meditation for Christian men at all times, and not only upon Good Friday, Let Good Friday be every day to à Christian man, to know to use his passion to that end and purpose, not to read the story, but to take the fruit of it. Some men, if they had been in this agony,
would have run themselves through with their swords, as Saul did ; some would have hanged themselves, as Ahitophel did. Let us not follow these men, they be no examples for us ; but let us follow Christ, which in his agony resorted to his Father with his prayer. This must be our pattern to work by. Here I might dilate the matter, as touching praying to
saints. Here we inay learn not to pray to saints, Christ biddeth us, Pray to thy Father that is in heaven,” to the Creator, and not to the creature. And therefore away with these Avouries : let God alone , be our Avoury. What have we to do to run hither or thither, but only to the Father of heaven? I will not tarry to speak of this matter.
Our Saviour Christ set his disciples in an order, and commanded them to watch and pray, saying, " Watch and pray.” Whereto should they watch and pray? He saith by and by, “That ye enter not into temptation.” He biddeth them not pray that they be not tempted, for that is as much to say, as to pray
that we should be out of this world. There is no man in this world without temptation. In the time of prosperity we are tempted to wantonness, pleasures, and all lightness ; in the time of adversity, zo despair in God's goodness. Temptation never ceaseth. There is a difference between being tempted, and entering into temptation : he biddeth therefore not to pray that they be not tempted, but that they enter not into temptation. To be tempted is no evil thing. For what is it? No more than when the flesh, the devil, and the world doth solicit and move us against God.
To give place to these suggestions, and to yield ourselves, and suffer us to be overcome of them, this is to enter into temptation. Our Saviour Christ knew that they should be grievously tempted, and therefore he gave them warning, that they should not give place to temptation, nor despair at his death. And if they chance to forsake him, or to run away, in case they tripped or swerved, yet to come again.
But our Saviour Christ did not only command his disciples to pray, but fell down upon his knees flat upon the ground and prayed himself
, saying, “ Fa
ther, deliver me of this pang and pain that I am in," this outrageous pain. This word, “ Father,” caine even from the bowels of his heart, when he made his moan: as who should say, “ Father, rid me, I am in such pain that I can be in no greater. Thou art my Father, I am thy Son, can the Father forsake his own Son in such anguish ?” Thus he made his moan : “ Father, take away this horror of death from me, rid me of this pain, suffer me not to be taken when Judas cometh, suffer me not to be hanged on the cross, suffer not my hands to be pierced with nails, nor my heart with the sharp spear.” A wonderful thing, that he should so oft tell his disciples of it before, and now when he cometh to the point, to desire to be rid of it, as though he would have been disobedient to the will of his Father! Afore he said, he came to suffer, and now he saith, “ Away with this cup.” Who would have thought that ever this gear should have come out of Christ's mouth? What a case is this! what should a man say? You must understand that Christ took upon him our infirmities, of the which this was one, to be sorry at death. Among the stipends of sin this was one, to tremble at the cross; this is a punishment for our sin,
It goeth otherwise with us than with Christ: if we were in like case and in like agony, almost we should curse God, or rather wish that there were no God. This, that he said, was not of that sort ; it was referring the matter to the will of his Father. But we seek by all means, be it right, be it wrong, of our own nature, to be rid out of pain. He desired it conditionally, as it might stand with his Father's will, adding a nevertheless to it. So his request was to shew the infirmity of man: here is now an example what we shall do, when we are in like
He never deserved it, we have. He had a nevertheless and notwithstanding. Let us have so too, we must have a “ Nevertheless thy will be done and not mine.”—“ Give me grace to be content to submit my will unto thine.” His fact teacheth us what to do. This is our surgery, our physic, when we be in agony, and reckon upon it: friends, we shall come to it, we shall feel it at one time or another. What doeth he now, what came to pass vow, when he had heard no 'voice? his Father was duml. He resorteth to his friends, seeking some comfort at their hands, seeing he had none at his Father's hand. He cometh to his disciples, and findeth them asleep ; he spake unto Peter and said, “ Ah! Peter, art thou asleep? Peter before had bragged stoutly, as though he would have killed, God have mercy upon
his soul. And now when he should have conforted Christ, he was aleep, not once buff nor baff to him, not a word; he was fain to say to his disciples, “ Watch and pray, the spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak;" he had never a word of them again.
They might at the least have said, “ Oh! sir, remember yourself, are you not Christ? Came not you into this world to redeem sin ? Be of good cheer, be of good comfort ; this sorrow will not help you, comfort yourself by your own preaching ; you have said, it behoveth the Son of Man to suffer. You have not deserved any thing, it is not your fault.” Indeed, if they had done this with him, they had played a friendly part with him, but they gave him not so much as one comfortable word.
We run to our friends in our distresses and agonies, as though we had all our trust and confidence in them: he did not so, he resorted to them, but trusted not in them: we will run to our friends, and come no more to God; he returned again. What, shall we not resort to our friends in time of need! And trow ye, we shall not find them asleep. Yes, I warrant you, and when we need their help most; we shall not have it. But what shall we do, when we shall find lack in them? We will cry out upon them, upbraid them, chide, brawl, fume, chafe, and backbite them. But Christ did not so; he excused his friends, saying: “Oh!" quoth he, " watch and pray: I see well the spirit is ready, but the flesh is weak." What meaneth this ? Surely it is a comfortable place, for as long as we live in this world, when we be at the best, we have no more but the readiness of the spirit with the infirmity of the flesh, The very
saints of God said, “ My will is good, but I am not able to perform it.” I have been with some, and, “ fain they would,” “ fain they would;" there was readiness of spirit, but it would not be. It grieved them, that they could not take things, as they should do. The flesh resisteth the work of the Holy Ghost in our hearts, and letteth it, letteth it. We have to pray ever to God. Oh! prayer, prayer, that it might be used in this realı, as it ought to be of all men, and specially of magistrates, of counsellors, of great rulers; pray, pray that it would please God to put godly policies in their hearts ; call for assistance. I have heard say, when that the good queen * that is gone had ordained in her house daily prayer both before noon and after noon, the ada miral getteth him out of the way, like a mole digging in the earth. He shall be Lot's wife to me as long as I live. He was, I heard say, a covetous man, a covetou3 man indeed. I would there were no more in England ! He was, I heard say, an am,
* Catharine Parr.
+ Thomas Seymour, uncle to king Edward VI. He was ber headed in 1543.