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lowers of Him, and our hope is that, through Him, our souls shall be saved; I trust, therefore, that the sufferings and the sorrows which He bore for our sakes are frequently in our thoughts and recollections : yet, upon this day, in which those sufferings and sorrows were completed, it is the duty of Christians in a more especial manner to remove their minds from the giddy follies and occupations of the world : to go, as it were, with humility and repentance to the cross of their bleeding Saviour, to bear Him company through all His sufferings, and follow Him to His grave.
We think that that man leaves the world in the happiest manner, who, peacefully, upon his bed, gives up his soul to God; who is soothed, and cheered, and comforted in his last moments by the kindness and the care of those whom he most loves. Was it thus with Christ? where were the friends to soothe and comfort Him? Alas! one had betrayed Him: one had denied Him: the others had forsaken Him, and had fled. So far from receiving consolation from those who loved Him, He was mocked and abused, beaten and spitted on by His bitterest enemies. The cross was His bed, a crown of thorns His only pillow: nails in His hands and feet, a spear in His side, thirst on His lips, and anguish in His heart—these were the sad circumstances which attended our Blessed Saviour's last moments! Whatever could be invented to make His sufferings greater, and to mock Him in the midst of them, was too eagerly done by His unfeeling enemies. When He cried out with misery and pain, they jeered and laughed at Him: when parched with thirst in the midst of all His pangs, they gave Him vinegar and gall: whatever the wickedness, cruelty, malice, and spite of man could do, was submitted to patiently and meekly by the spotless Son of God!
Yet, in the midst of it all, despised as He was and rejected of men, it is pleasing and comforting to know that there were still a faithful few who felt for and dared lament their Master's sufferings, and shed for Him the tear of pity. We are told that a great multitude followed Him to His death, and women who bewailed and lamented Him.
His mother, now about to lose her Son; Martha and Mary, whose brother Lazarus He had restored to life; and that other Mary out of whom He had cast seven devils, with many others whose diseases He had healed, and whose sins He had pardoned. They had loved and reverenced Him before, and now they could not refrain from weeping, and bewailing Him. And Jesus, turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children: for, behold, the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs which never bare, and the paps which never gave suck. Which was as if He had said, I thank you for your sorrow, your pity, and your tears: but shed them not for me, for I am going to My Father's kingdom, to happiness, and to glory; and what I suffer now, I suffer not because I have deserved it, but because I love the souls of men; and unless I suffer they cannot be saved. Weep not then, for Me; but rather weep for yourselves and for your children: for fearful days are coming, in which they will be accounted
happiest who shall have none but themselves and their own sorrows to feel and to care for.
The days which our Blessed Saviour here foretold did shortly come: when God, as a punishment for the many sins of the Jews, and for this one of putting His beloved Son to death, cast them off from His favour, and suffered their city Jerusalem to be surrounded and destroyed by a foreign enemy. Words can hardly describe the sad condition which they were then thrown into: all the horrors of war, starvation, disease, and misery were laid upon them; and that city, which had so long been highly favoured and blessed by the Almighty, was now forsaken by Him in His wrath, and given over to be burnt and levelled with the ground, and the few of its inhabitants who remained alive, were taken away prisoners and slaves. Our Saviour foresaw and foreknew these great calamities which were coming upon a sinful nation, and therefore bade the good women who mourned for His sorrows, to keep their tears for their own: Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for Me, but weep for yourselves and for your children.
My brethren, when we read and think of the death of Jesus Christ as it took place upon this day—when we call to mind, on the one hand, the savage cruelty of His enemies — their great wickedness -- their malice-their hatred--the hardness of their hearts—their blasphemy—their cruel mockings and jestings;-and, on the other hand, consider the perfect innocence of our Blessed Lord — His gentleness — His meekness and patience-His goodness, His sorrow, His agony and bloody sweat, His wounds, His thorns, His thirst, His piercing cry of anguish, and His last prayer for His murderers' forgiveness—I say, when we consider these things, can we do otherwise than shed a tear for sufferings so great, so undeserved ? Be it so! and may every heart that heaves a sigh for the sufferings of the Son of God, become amended and improved, and be made partaker of His holiness! But whatever grief we may feel when we hear, read, or think of this mournful history will do us but little good unless we suffer it to take a proper turn. Our sorrow had need be for ourselves, and not