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they were not deceived. Whom have we in heaven but thee? When thou standest at the door and knockest, may it be the voice of our hearts, Come in thou beloved ! to sit with us and to bless us ! Clothe us with the garments of salvation : let thy banner over us be love
is Father of all! God of our Israel, bend now the heavens, and come down this day to thy holy mountain. O send forth thy light and thy truth. Lead us by the green pastures. May the dews descend, and the blessings be poured down. Here take
up the place of thy rest : here command the blessing, life for evermore. Uphold our goings in the paths of righteousness, and perfect within us thy good work unto eternal life.
6 And now, what wait we for, O our Father in heaven! Manifest now thyself unto us we most feryently beseech thee. May we see thee as thou hast been seen heretofore in thy holy place. Go up
with us, ( our God, this day unto thy holy mountain ; and make us joyful in thy house of prayer.
« Now, to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit, be praise for ever and for ever! Amen."
MORNING, OR ACTION SERMON.
LUKE xxii. 44.
And being in agony.-
THE agony of our Lord in the garden, and his TO complaints upon
cross, are most extraordi. nary parts of his life. A dread of those sufferings which he was to undergo, appears to have made a strong impression upon his mind. Forebodings of them frequently disturbed his repose, and overwhelmed his spirits. Many days before his passion he cried out, “ Now am I troubled, and what shall I say ? Fa" ther, save me from this hour.” It was probably with a view to console his mind in such a dejected state, that he was transfigured ; that he re-assumed the glory which he had with the Father before the foundation of the world, and was favoured with the presence of Moses and Elias from the mansions of immortality; for, as we are informed by the Eyangelist, they talked of that decease which he was to accomplish at Jerusalem. Magnanimity in all its exertions was a conspicuous part of his character. He who walked upon the water, who' slept in tranquillity amid the storm, and who encountered the foe of mankind in the desert, cannot be accused of a defect in courage. When a band of soldiers, with Judas at their head, came to apprehend him and inquired for Jesus of Sazareth, he said unto them, “ I am he;" and by the dignity of his demeanour, struck them with awe. When he was accused by the chief priests and elders before the judgment-seat of Pilate, with that Majestic silence which is sometimes the best expression of
fortitude, he answered not a word. ' Nay, when he underwent the severest of his bodily sufferings upon the cross, he endured them with a tranquillity, a firm. ness and magnanimity, which display a mind truly great and undaunted. Hów, therefore, on some other occasions, his spirit was overwhelmed, is a subject worthy of our inquiry at all times. More particularly on this day, when we have assembled together to renew the ''memorial of his death upon the cross, and to recal'the remembrance of all his sufferings.
In further discoursing upon this subject, I shall, in the first place, set before you the account which is given of his sufferings ; and, secondly, endeavour to assign the causes of them. :. In tlie first place, I am to set before
ore you the account which is given of his sufferings.
That night in which he was betrayed, the Saviour of the world went into the garden of Gethsemane; and ascended the mountain of Olives,' as he was wont to do. This had been his'accustomed retreat from the world; here was the hallowed ground to which he retired for prayer and contemplation'; here he had often spent the night in intercourse with heaven. He was accompanied by Peter, James, and Jolin, the very same disciples who had been the witnesses of his glorious transfiguration, when”. Moses and Elias had appeared to him, and a voice had come from the overshadowing cloud, " i his is my beloved Son, in whoni “I am well pleased." What a different scene now presented itself! the rays of glory shone no more ; the Divine presence was withdrawn ; 'the voice from heaven ceascd ; that time was now come, which is 550 emphatically called the hour and power of darkness.
He had lately' partaken of the passover with his disciples ; that passover which with so much earnestness, lie had desired to eat ; he hac instituted the holy sacrament of the supper ; he had delivered those divine discourses: recorded in the Gospel of John ; he bad warned them against deserting him in the hour of temptation ; he had selected three of them to attend
hini in his sorrows: nevertheless, even these three thus favoured, thus honoured, thus warned, forgat all that had been said and done, and unconcerned sunk into sleep. He was left alone to endure the bitterness of that hour:
The severity of his sufferings in the garden, the anguish and the horror which then overwhelmed him, appear from tlre strong colours in which they are drawn by the sacred writers. They speak of his sorrow, “ My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto “ death.” They speak of his agony, that is, the most inexpressible torinent of mind : “ And being in an a
gony.” They speak of his fears : " He was heard " in that he feared.” They speak of his cries, and his tears : “ He offered up prayers and supplications with
strong crying and tears.” They speak of the prodigious effects his
upon his body: “ His sweat was as it were great drops of blood.” They speak of the desire he had to withdraw from his sufferings for a time : “ Father, if it be possible, let this
cup pass from me.”
They who are acquainted with the style of the Holy Evangelists, know how remarkable they are for simplicity of narrative. They make use of no oratorial arts to interest the passions of their readers, they affect no threatenings or embellishments of eloquence, but place the plain action before our view, devoid of all ornament whatever. Historians contemporary to the events which they record, and who beheld the actions which they describe, usually give free vent to their passions in relating the occurrences of their history, and enter with the zeal of parties upon the various subjects which engage their attention. The sacred writers, on the other hand, lay aside every thing that looks like passion or party zeal ; they relate events, not like men who were interested in the facts which they describe ; not like men who had acted a part in the history they write, not ever with the ordinary emotion of spectators, but with all the simplicity, and conciseness, and brevity, of an evidence in a court of justice. The torments which our Saviour endured in the garden therefore must have been great and amazing, when the sacred writers clothe them with all the circumstances of terror, and paint them in all the colours of distress, What shall we say, then, to account for this dejection which our Lord teit, and for this desire which he expressed to be saved from his sufferings? In the ordinary course of human affairs, an innocent man of common fortitude, resigns himself with acquiescence to his fate ; his integrity supports him; a good cause and a good conscience carry him onwards through life and death, undaunted and undismayed, Hence, many illustrious and virtuous men in the heathen world, supported by the native fortitude of the human mind, poured contempt upon all the forms of death, and departed with magnanimity, and with glory. If a man who had only innocence to support him, might thus acquiesce in his doom, one whose sufferings were to be publicly useful; whose death was to be glorious to himself, and beneficial to the world, might rejoice in the midst of his sufferings, and exult in the prospect of death. In the early times of the Christian Church, the first disciples followed their Lord in a path that was marked with blood ; persons of all ranks, of all ages, and of both sexes, braved the rage of the enemy, the sword of the persecutor, the fire of the tormentor, became candidates for the crown of martyrdom, and with triumph embraced that very form of death at which our Lord, to appearance, now trembled and stood aghast.
This leads us to the second thing proposed, which was to account for these appearances ; to assign the causes of our Lord's peculiar sufferings. In general, then, there was circumstances in the passion of our Lord, of a singular kind, fully adequate to produce the effects here mentioned. What these were, will appear
wlien 'we consider, that our Lord died in a state where he was abandoned by his friends, and by inankind; that he died in a state of ignominy ; and