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doning freely the returning penitent, but in punishing the innocent instead of the guilty. But we have not so learned the character of our heavenly Father. We can see no mercy, and no justice, in the power which inflicts torture on the innocent that the guilty may go free. We need not have recourse to this shocking fiction to explain the sufferings of Jesus on that fear

ful night.

I shall proceed to point out something in his character, and something in his circumstances, that might wring from him those strong expressions of anguish and those earnest prayers for deliverance.

First, in his character. We are to consider him not only as the Messiah, but as a man—a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.' It was necessary that 'the captain of our salvation should be made perfect through suffering,' that we who come after him might know from his example how to drink of his bitter cup of affliction and share in his own baptism of sorrow. His example is the more powerful, and our love the more ardent, because he is an intelligible being one of like passions with ourselves, whose sufferings in our cause we can understand and appreciate, and to whom we can be united in feelings and sympathies. We are encouraged by the devotion and the example of an High Priest who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities, who was tempted in all points as we are, yet without sin.'

I said that he was a man of sorrows. He was not indeed disposed to cast a gloomy shade over the inno

cent joys of life, for he could mingle with the festive throng at a nuptial banquet; but the history of his public life shows that he was more disposed to weep with those who wept, than to rejoice with those who rejoiced. He was in the world without being of the world. He had too vivid a view of things unseen and eternal, to be interested as we are in things seen and temporal. Destined from the beginning to accomplish the most glorious revolution in human affairs, and to bring the greatest blessings on the human race,he well knew that,during his life, he should derive no glory from that revolution, and have no share on earth in these blessings.

I do not mean to speak of his sorrows as the result of disappointed selfishness or ambition ; they might have flowed from wounded affection. His tender sensibility made every man's grief his own.

man's grief his own. Every throb of human wo, touched with thrilling power on the cords of his own heart. He knew what was in man; he knew human sorrows, and he sympathized in them; he knew human sins, and he wept over them. He knew the approaching ruin and desolation of the land of his birth; he saw the coming visitation of God, which was to grind and scatter his own loved nation; and he mourned with more than a patriot spirit over that hopeless obstinacy, which caused destruction like a whirlwind to sweep over them.

No wonder then that there was a vein of sadness running through his life, for he knew too much of human danger and human wo to allow his benevolent heart to be glad and joyous. He had looked through the world's pleasures and interests, with the vision of God's prophet, and he saw all of them hollow and transient; many of them alloyed and embittered by base passions; some of them, leaving behind upon the character, dark and foul stains which the river of death cannot wash away. Viewing human nature and happiness, as he did, in heaven's own light, they lost much of the brightness, which allures the common observer, and his quick and far reaching eye saw the guilt of his fellow men in all its blackness, and their peril in all its withering horror. How then could his spirit be gay, when he saw the happiness of a race dear to his kind heart, fast fading away; and eternity bringing upon them its awful retributions? The things which to other men are dim or viewless objects of faith, were to him distinct and fearful objects of knowledge.

Again, his own position and relations must have contributed to throw a still deeper shade of melancholy over his spirit. In a most affecting sense, he was alone in the world. He never had, and never could have had an equal friend, with whom he could wholly sympathise, and freely and unreservedly interchange thought. He had indeed parents and kindred, who loved him with fond affection, he had disciples who listened reverently to his instructions. He could enter cordially into their feelings and sentiments, for they had a cherished place in his own heart. But they could not sympathise with him. Gross and ignorant as they were, they could not enter into the powerful emotions, or understand the heavenborn sentiments of one who held

intimate converse with God. His sublime visions of inspiration, and those “burning thoughts’ which stretched far into eternity, which dwelt on objects beyond and above this world; all these must be locked up in his own bosom, for no human friend could partake of them; no human eye could trace the path over which his lofty mind ranged ; no other human spirit could enter into these high communings.

As the son and messenger of God, he doubtless liad joys which the world feels not; "he had meat to eat which we know not of.' But still his official elevation and duty necessarily cut him off from the perfect fellowship of his kind—from the charities of home, from the sympathies of domestic affection, from that pure and quiet stream of joy, which flows around the hallowed spot to which domestic ties have bound the human heart. Yes, his very greatness deprived him of the social happiness which common men most covet; it made him incapable of consolation from the sympathy of others, while he was painfully alive to all their misery in the present life, and all their danger from the future. Well then might our blessed Saviour's life be one of sadness, for he was a lonely stranger in the world he came to save and bless. His home was not here; his happiness was not here; his kingdom was not here. He had absolutely no earthly interest of his


Such we may suppose was the habitual tone of his mind-tender, pensive, and inclined to sadness.

In the second place, we may inquire how a temper, such as I have imperfectly described, was likely to be affected by the circumstances in which he stood and the events' which he saw crowding upon him on that dreadful night. It was a time of darkness and dismay. His enemies, led on by the traitor Judas, were coming to break in upon the sacred privacy of his devotions, and lay rude and violent hands on his person. They had long persecuted and hunted down as a felon this purest, sublimest being that ever visited the abodes of man, and now, to fill up the measure of their atrocity, they were about to drag him away to a mock trial and an infamous execution, amidst shout and insult from a misguided populace.

And this must be the end of his toils, the dark close of his earthly ministry. As the promised Messiah, he had come with a dispensation of pardon and life to his fellow men.

He had come to establish his kingdom on earth; the reign of righteousness and peace and joy in a holy spirit. Was this kingdom established ? How had heaven's own messenger been received ? Alas, his own countrymen, in full view of his miracles, had rejected him with scorn and rage. Had he then labored in vain ? Had his untiring patience and toil and suffering produced no fruit to cheer his last departing hour?

He had not indeed labored in vain ; yet it was his destiny to see but little fruit of his labors during his own life. It was the will of God that his kingdom should not be fully established till after his death. Hence he had seldom enjoyed the happiness of imme

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