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the same time, He expects Elias; let us see if he will come. In such a case, he was a bold man, acting up to the degree of light which he enjoyed, and determined that the sufferer on the cross should not be further abused; but if he were innocent, and supernatural power would, therefore, soon befriend him, he was ready and willing to be convinced; in testimony of which, he slakes the thirst of Christ, as though he would do every thing to prolong life, till the question should be decided whether Elias would come. But whatever motive we ascribe to him, we are bound to believe, not only by that charity which hopeth all things, but by the nature of his act, which surely is not contradicted by his words, that he had feelings of kindness and compassion toward the Saviour.

As we contemplate this incident at the cross, several reflections are naturally suggested.

1. Christ, on the cross for our sins, is reduced to such extremity that the most common act of humanity is grateful to him.

And has it come to this-God manifest in the flesh! Is there, for thee, a depth of degradation so low, a depth of misery so great, that to sip the vinegar from a sponge is acceptable and comforting? O, wretched man that I am, to have brought Christ to this condition by my sins. For us he became obedient


unto death, even the death of the cross, and with it submitted to all the humiliating circumstances of crucifixion. Yet how many have read and heard this, and have never said, It was for me; nor has it interested them to consider whether Christ received the vinegar or the wine, from a sponge or from a cup. Well does he say, "Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow." In sickness, we have ministering angels about us, in human shape, and there is nothing that ingenuity can invent, or love and kindness furnish, which does not abound toward But when the Saviour dies, it is upon the nails driven through his hands and feet; the thirst made by his intolerable anguish is served with a sponge full of vinegar; and all the spectators propose to wait and see whether Elias will come to help him. This is not related of one in whom we have no concern except as his fellow-creatures; all this was for each of us; "he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities." The recital of these sufferings on the part of Christ should move the soul of every man to say, What can I do, and what should I be, for Him who loved me, and gave himself for me? Nothing can be more reasonable than that every one who hears and believes such things as these should be a decided and earnest friend of his Redeemer.

2. Christ will one day behold each of us in the same need of compassion and help in which we have now contemplated him.

We see Christ suffering, in humiliation and pain beyond degree; we see him accepting the meanest offering, gratefully, to relieve his anguish.

The hour of nature's extremity is approaching to every one of us. Helpless, as infancy, we shall depend wholly upon other hearts and hands, and they will be ready, nay, too anxious, to comfort and serve us. But there is a help in that hour which friends cannot render. We shall forget the body and its pains in the thought of the soul and its vast concerns. In that hour, beloved friend, companion in tribulation, one thought of Christ as your compassionating Friend, will be to you inexpressibly precious. It can be secured by being now, while in health and strength, a friend of Christ. What if his sufferings never excited your compassion; you cannot expect that yours will excite his. If you never gave him the smallest testimony of your love, what can you expect from him? All these incidents of Christ's sufferings are recorded expressly to move our feelings, to bring Christ very near to us, by exciting us to sympathize with him; but, if our hearts are not moved, let us fear lest, when we, too, are dying, he who tasted the bitter cup for us will not feel that he can, consistently, bestow upon us his compassion, or,

lest we feel ashamed or unwilling to ask an injured, neglected Saviour for his aid.

But there is another hour, more affecting even than the hour of sickness and dying the hour when we shall see him face to face. There we shall think of his death for us; there, the minutest circumstances of his pain and shame will visit our thoughts. If they never led us to befriend him, we cannot look for any thing from him but neglect. And when he comes with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also that pierced him, and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him, and we, with his crucifiers, are at his bar, we shall be numbered with his unrelenting crucifiers, unless we have repented and accepted the offered Redeemer. They who drove the nails and spear into him were by no means sinners above all others. We, who have enjoyed such light, have pierced him' more, by our treatment of him, than they.


If this relenting crucifier really believed on Jesus, then or afterward, his kindness to the Saviour will be to him a source of recollection which the world could not purchase. So may we do something for Christ, for his cause, for his poor, afflicted saints, of which he will hereafter say, Ye did it unto me. But unless we love Christ, our motives are defective. Let us stand, in imagination, at the cross. All those sufferings, that entire atoning sacrifice, are

necessary to save one soul. We do not, we cannot, divide our interest in Christ with the race, nor with one of them; the whole sacrifice of the Redeemer is required for the justification of each sinner. It was necessary for Christ to become flesh, for Christ to die, in order to save your soul. If so, then each of us may say, I am the occasion of that cross. I brought the Saviour from heaven to the accursed tree.

Does this excite no contrite feeling within us? We see at the cross some who are befriending Christ; the beloved disciple and Mary Magdalene. Are we at heart with them? or does our interest in the sufferer not even rise so high as that of a relenting crucifier? One single emotion of love and gratitude to Christ, from you, will be as grateful to him as was that cooling draught to his lips. One look, with an eye of faith, upon the Son of man lifted up for you, would enable him to say for you, "It is finished; and all the benefits of his death would, by one act of a believing, contrite heart, become yours.

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But, while you hesitate, or pass carelessly by the cross, as though it were nothing to you, the time draws nigh, when, instead of his knocking at the door of our hearts, we shall knock at his door, and any delay to admit us will bring with it alarm and dismay. The Man of Calvary is now exalted to be a Prince and Saviour, to give repentance and remission

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