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for Him. What He said to the faithful women who followed Him to his cross, I would now say to you, who, by His cross, look for pardon and salvation, Weep not for Him, but weep for yourselves. Why should we weep for Him ? His sufferings have long been over: the pain, the mockery, the shame have long been passed, and our crucified Lord has long returned to the glory of His Father's kingdom, which He only left for our sakes, for ever seated at the right hand of God Most High! Why should we weep for Him ? Eternal honour, eternal praise, eternal glory, from angels and all the happy company of heaven, are now offered, without ceasing, for ever and ever, to the Lamb who once died to take away the sins of the world!

But why should we weep for ourselves ? Alas! because it was our sins, our unworthiness, our guilt which made it necessary for the Son of God to bear the pain and torture of the cross ! No other blood but His could wash away the stains of man's unnumbered sins: no sacrifice but that of Him who was perfectly innocent and with

out spot of sin, could satisfy and turn away the anger and the vengeance of the Almighty. Why should we weep for ourselves? Because the day is coming, more fearful by far than the days of sorrow which overtook the Jews: a day in which, for every sin that we have committed against the Saviour who shed his precious blood for us, we must be judged and punished everlastingly. And what is this but justice? If mercy will not make us such as we ought to be, vengeance must visit us as we have deserved : and if Jesus shedding His blood upon the cross for us, cannot prevail upon us to forsake our sins, Jesus coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory, shall for these sins call us to account.

When, then, upon this day or any other, we think of our Saviour's cross, and all His cruel sufferings, let us consider what share we ourselves have had in His death. Yes, my brethren, by every wilful sin that we are guilty of, we are, as it were, the murderers of the Son of God! for it was only şin, accursed sin, which caused Him to be put to death.

It was the sins of the world that wove His crown of thorns : it was the sins of the world that drove the nails through His sacred hands and feet: but for our sins He could not thus have suffered : and too plainly do we prove to Him when we sin against Him now, that we feel no true sorrow for His pains, nor any value for His love.

What then have you to say ? have your lives hitherto been innocent from all great offences against God? has no wilful wickedness been committed by you? Bless God, whose grace has preserved you: but take heed lest you fall; for

you

will never be out of the reach of temptation, till you shall have left the world. If innocent of great and grievous crimes, remember still that you are unprofitable servants, and by no means free from sin. But be of good cheer; that blessed Being who upon this day suffered death upon the cross, did so on purpose to make you acceptable to your Heavenly Father, that the infirmities which you try to overcome may be forgotten, and the sins into which through frailty you have fallen may be for ever blotted out.

Would to God that every one of us had no greater cause for fear than this! But are there not some of us, whose heart, whose memory must tell them a sadder tale? are we all unstained by wilful sin, all innocent of crime? What account can we give of our youth ? have we always, as far as we could, kept out of temptations ? and how, when they have come upon us, have we got out of them ? without spot and blameless? or stained by guilt, our virtue and our character injured, if not destroyed ? O merciful Redeemer of our souls, these are the returns which Thy unworthy, Thy ungrateful creatures have dared to make to Thee for all Thy loving kindness! these are the sorrows which they feel for Thy bitter sufferings ! this is the recompence which we have paid Thee for Thy blood !

But is there no hope for us, even if this unhappy condition be ours? Must we certainly be lost because we have sinned against our Saviour ? God forbid! how few then could hope for happiness in the life to come! No: to the worst of sinners this day brings hope and comfort: to the wickedest of men the sad history which we have been considering holds out consolation, and the promise of grace and mercy. If we are brought, though late, to our senses; if we truly feel the greatness of our wickedness, and do not attempt to hide it from God and ourselves; if we firmly resolve to forsake our sins and lead our life in holiness, and fervently pray for God's help to make us able to do so; then may we know of a certainty that the death of Jesus Christ upon the cross will blot out our sins and reconcile us to God : for it is written, the blood of Christ clears us from all sin: from all sin, that is, of which we truly repent.

How unspeakably great, how unspeakably wonderful, is the goodness of God, in thus having provided for sinners, who must otherwise have perished, comfort when weighed down by the burden of their sins, and a sure prospect of mercy and forgiveness!

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