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of his sufferings, the sorrows of his Mother, disciples, friends; to foresee, from the watchtower of his Cross, the future temptations of his children, desolations of his Church; all these must needs strike deep into a tender heart. These he still sees and pities, but without passion: then, he suffered in seeing them.
Can we yet say any more? Lo, all these sufferings are aggra. vated by his fulness of knowledge and want af comfort: for, he did not shut his eyes, as one saith, when he drunk this cup: he saw how dreggish, and knew how bitter, it was. Sudden evils af. flict, if not less, shorter. He foresaw, and foresaid, every particular he should suffer: so long as he foresaw, he suffered: the expectatiou of evil, is not less than the sense : to look long for good, is a punishment; but for evil, is a torment. No passion works upon an unknown object: as no love, so no fear, is of what we know not. Hence men fear not hell, because they foresee it not : if we could see that pit open before we come at it, it would make us tremble at our sins; and our knees to knock together, as Belshazzar's; and, perhaps, without faith, to run mad at the horror of judgment. He saw the burden of all particular sins to be laid upon dram of his Father's wrath was measured out to hiin, ere he touched this potion: this cup was full, and he knew that it must be wringed, not a drop left: it must be finished.
Oh yet, if, as he foresaw all his sorrows, so he could have seen some mixture of refreshing! But I found none to comfort me, no, none to pity me. And yet it is a poor comfort, that arises from pity. Even so, O Lord, thou treadest this winepress alone; none to accompany, none to assist thee. I remember, Ruftinus, in his Ecclesiastical Story reports, that one Theodorus, a martyr, told him, that when he was hanging ten hours upon the rack for religion, under Julian's persecution, his joints distended and distorted, his body exquisitely tortured with change of executioners, so as never age, saith he, could remember the like *; he felt no pain at all, but continued indeed all the while in the sight of all men singing and snuiling: for there stood a comely young man by him on his gibbet, an angel rather in form of a man, which, with a clean towel, still wiped off his sweat, and poured cold water upon his racked limbs; wherewith he was so refreshed, that it grieved him to be let down. Even the greatest torments are easy, when they have answerable comforts; but a wounded and comfortless spirii, who can bear?
If yet but the same messenger of God might have attended his Cross, that appeared in his Agony; and might have given ease to their Lord, as he did to his servant! And yet, what can the angels help, wheie God will smite ? Against the violence of men, against the fury of Satan, they have prevailed in the cause of God, for men: they dare not, they cannot comfort, where God will afflict When our Saviour had been wrestling with Satan in the End of
* Ut nulla unquam ætas similem meminerit, VOL. V.
his Lent, then they appeared to him, and served; but now, while, about the same time, he is wrestling with the wrath of his Father for us, not an angel dare be seen, to look out of the windows of heaven to relieve him.
For men, much less could they, if they would; but what did they; Miserable comforters are ye all. The Soldiers; they stripped him, scomed him with his purple crown, reed, spat on him, smote him: the Passengers; they reviled him, and, insulting, wagging their heads and hands at him, Hey, thou that destroyedst the Temple, come down, &c.: the Elders and Scribes; alas, they have bought his blood, suborned witnesses, incensed Pilate, preferred Barabbas, undertook the guilt of his death, cried out Crucity, Crucify! Ho! thou that savedst others: his Disciples; alas, they forsook him, one of them forswears him, another runs away naked rather than he will stay and confess him: his Mother and other Friends; they look on indeed, and sorrow with him, but to his discomfort. Where the grief is extreme and respects near, partnership doth but increase sorrow. Paul chides this love; What do you weeping, and breaking my heart? The tears of those we love do either slacken our hearts or wound them.
Who then shall comfort him? himself? sometimes our own thoughts find a way to succour us, unknown to others: no; not himself
. Doubtless, as Aquinas, the influence of the higher part of the soul was restrained from the aid of the inferior: My soul is filled with evils.
Who then? his Father? here, here was his hope: If the Lord had not holpen me, my soul had almost dwelt in silence: I and my Father are one. But now, alas, he, even he, delivers him into the hands of his enemies; when he hath done, turns his back upon him as a stranger; yea, he woundeth him as an enemy. The Lord would break him ; Isaiah liii. 10. Yet any thing is light to the soul, while the comforts of God sustain it: who can dismay, where God will relieve? But here, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? What a word was here, to come from the mouth of the Son of God? “My Disciples are men, weak and fearful: no marvel if they forsake me. The Jews are themselves, cruel and obstinate. Men are men, graceless and unthankful. Devils are, according to their nature, spiteful and malicious. All these do but their kind; and let them do it: but thou, O Father, thou, that hast said, This is my wellbeloved Son, in wehom I am well pleased; thou, of whom I have said, It is my Father that glorifies me; what! forsaken ine! Not only brought me to this shame, smitten me, unregarded me; but, as it were, forgotten, yea, forsaken me! What, even me, my Father! How many of thy constant servants have suffered heavy things! yet, in the multitudes of the sorrows of their hearts, thy presence and comforts have refreshed their souls. Hast thou relieved them, and dost thou forsake me? me, thine only, dear, natural, eternal Son?" O ye heavens and earth, how could you stand, while the Maker of you thus complained? Ye stood; but, partaking, after a sort, of bis Passion: the earth trembled and
shook; her rocks tore; her graves opened; the heavens withdrew their light, as not daring to behold this sad and fearful spectacle.
O dear Christians, how should these earthen and rocky hearts of ours shake, and rend in pieces, at this meditation! How should our faces be covered with darkness, and our joy be turned into heaviness! All these voices, and tears, and sweats, and pangs, are for us; yea, from us. Shall the Son of God thus smart for our sins, yea with our sins, and shall we not grieve for our own? Shall he weep to us in this market-place, and shall we not mourn? Nay, shall he sweat and bleed for us, and shall not we weep for ourselves? Shall he thus lamentably shriek out, under his Father's wrath, and shall not we tremble? Shall the heavens and earth suffer with him, and we suffer nothing?
I call you not to a weak and idle pity of our glorious Saviour: to what purpose? His injury was our glory. No, no; Ye daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves: for our sins, that have done this; not for his sorrow, that suffered it: not. for his pangs, that were; but for our own, that should have been, and, if we repent not, shall be. Oh, how grievous, how deadly are our sins, that cost the Son of God, besides blood, so much torment! How far are our souls gone, that could not be ransomed with an easier price! That, that took so much of this Infinite Redeemer of men, God and Man, how can it choose but swallow up and confound thy soul, which is but finite and sinful! If thy soul had been in his soul's stead, what had become of it? it shall be, if his were not in stead of thine. This weight, that lies thus heavy on the Son of God, and wrung from him these tears, sweat, blood, and these unconceivable groans of his afflicted spirit, how should it choose but press down thy soul to the bottom of hell! and so it will do: if he have not suffered it for thee, thou must and shale suffer it for thyself.
Go now, thou Lewd Man, and make thyself merry with thy sins. Laugh at the uncleanness or bloodiness of thy youth. Thou little knowest the price of a sin: thy soul shail do; thy Saviour did, when he cried out, to the amazement of angels and horror of men, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
But now no more of this; It is finished: the greater conflict, the more happy victory. Well doth he find and feel of his Father, what his type said before, He will not chide always, nor keep his anger for ever. It is fearful; but in bim, shoit: eternal to sinners; short to his Son, in whom the Godhead dwelt bodily. Behold, this storm, wherewith all the powers of the world were shaken, is now over. The Elders, Pharisees, Judas, the soidiers, priests, wit nesses, judges, thieves, executioners, devils, have all tired them selves in vain, with their own malice; and he triumphs over them all, upon the throne of his Cross: his enemies are vanquished, his Father satisfied, his soul with this word at rest and glory; It is finished. Now there is no more betraying, agonies, arraignments, scourging, scoffing, crucifying, contricts, terrors; all is tinished.
Alas, beloved, and will we not let the Son of God be at rest?
Do we now again go about to fetch him out of his glory, to scorn and crucify him? I fear to say it: God's Spirit dare and doth; They crucify again to themselves the Son of God, and make a mock of him : to themselves, not in himself: that, they cannot: it is no thank to them; they would do it. See, and consider: the notoriously sinful conversations of those, that should be Christians, offer violence unto our glorified Saviour: they stretch their hand to heaven, and pull him down from his throne to his Cross: they tear him with thorns, pierce him with nails, load him with reproaches. Thou hatest the Jews, spittest at the name of Judas, railest on Pilate, condemnest the cruel butchers of Christ; yet, thou canst blaspheme, and swear him quite over, curse, swagger, lie, oppress, boil with lust, scoff, riot, and livest like a debauched man; yea, like a human beast; yea, like an unclean devil. Cry Hosanna as long as thou wilt, thou art a Pilate, a Jew, a Judas, an Executioner of the Lord of Life; and, so much greater shall thy judgment be, by how much thy light, and his glory, is more.
O Beloved, is it not enough, that he died once for us? Were those pains so light, that we should every day redouble them? Is this the entertainment, that so gracious a Saviour hath deserved of us by dying? Is this the recompence of that infinite love of his, that thou shouldest thus cruelly vex and wound him with thy sins? Every of our sins is a thorn, and, nail, and spear to him. While thou pourest down thy drunken carouses, thou givest thy Saviour a potion of gall: while thou despisest his poor servants, thou spittest on his face: while thou puttest on thy proud dresses, and liftest up thy vain heart with high conceits, thou settest a crown of thorns on his head: while thou wringest and oppressest his poor children, thou whippest him, and drawest blood of his hands and feet. Thou Hypocrite, how darest thou offer to receive the Sacrament of God, with that hand, which is thus imbrued with the blood of him whom thou receivest? In every Ordinary, thy profane tongue walks, in the disgrace of the religious and conscionable. Thou makest no seruple of thine own sins, and scornest those that do: not to be wicked, is crime enough. Hear him, that saith, Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me? Saul strikes at Damascus; Christ suffers in heaven. Thou strikest; Christ Jesus smarteth, and will revenge. These are the usepumala, afterings of Christ's sufferings. In himself it is finished; in his members it is not, till the world be finished. We must toil, and groan, and bleed, that we may reign: if he had not done so, It had not been finished. This is our warfare: this is the region of our sorrow and death. Now are we set upon the sandy pavement of our theatre, and are matched with all sorts of evils; evil men, evil spirits, evil accidents; and, which is worst, our own evil hearts; temptations, crosses, persecutions, sicknesses, wants, infamies, death: all these must, in our courses, be encountered by the law of our profession. What should we do but strive and suffer, as our General hath done, that we may reign as he doth; and once tri. umph in our Consummatum est ? God and his angels sit upon the scaffolds of heaven, and behold us: our crown is ready: our day
of deliverance shall come; yea, our redemption is near, when all tears shall be wiped from our eyes; and we, that have sown in tears, shall reap in joy. In the mean time, let us possess our souls, not in patience only, but in comfort: let us adore and magnify our Saviour in his sufferings, and imitate him in our own: our sorrows shall have an end; our joys shall not: our pains shall soon be finished; our glory shall be finished, but never ended.
4. Thus his sufferings are finished: now, together with them, MAN'S SALVATION.
Who knows not, that man had made himself a deep debtor, a bankrupt, an outlaw to God? Our sins are our debts; and, by sins, death. Now, in this word and act, our sins are discharged, death endured, and therefore we cleared: the debt is paid, the score is crossed, the creditor satisfied, the debtors acquitted, and, since there was no other quarrel, saved.
We are all sick, and that mortally: Sin is the disease of the soul: Quot vitia, tot febres, saith Chrysostom, “so many sins, so many fevers,” and those pestilent. What wonder is it, that we have so much plague, while we have so much sin? Our Saviour is the Physician: The whole need not the Physician, but the sick : wherein ? He healeth all our infirmities : he healeth them, after a miraculous manner; not by giving us receipts, but by taking our receipts for
A wonderful Physician; a wonderful course of cure: one while he would cure us by abstinence; our superfluity, by his forty day's emptiness, according to that old rule, Hunger cures the diseases of gluttony: another while, by exercise; He went up and down from city to city, and in the day we'as preaching in the temple; in the night, praying in the mount: then, by diet; Take, eat, this is my body; and Let this cup pass : after that yet, by sweat; such a sweat as neyer was, a bloody one: yet more, by incision; they pierced his hands, feet, side: and yet again by potion; a bitter potion, of vinegar and gall: and, lastly, which is both the strangest and strongest receipt of all, by dying; Which died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him; 1 Thess. v. 10. We need no more; we can go no further: there can be no more physic of this kind: there are cordials after these, of his Resurrection and As. cension; no more penal receipts. By this blood we have Redemption; Eph. i. 7: Justification; Rom. iii. 24: Reconciliation; Col. i. 20: Sanctification; 1 Pet. i. 2: Entrance into Glory; Heb. x. 19.
Is it not now finished? Woe were us, if he had left but one mite of satisfaction upon our score, to be discharged by our souls ! and woe be to them, that derogate from Christ, that they may charge themselves; that botch up these all-sufficiently meritorious sufferings of Christ, as imperfect, with the superfluities of flesh and blood! Maledictus homo, qui spem ponit in homine. We may not with patience see Christ wronged by his false friends; as that heroical Luther said in the like, "Cursed be that silence, that here forbeareth*."
To be short, here be two injuries intolerable: both give Christ
* Maledictum silentium quod hic connivet.