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answer, but you may, and ought to afford another, by removing any ground for such a pretence: indeed a forenoon's sermon will never compensate an afternoon's debauch; nor will your service in the church justify your intemperance at home. But as hereby at least some time is redeemed from the too frequent courses of the day, so I wish the time we spend here may have some influence towards the right improvement of the rest; that our behaviour on this solemnity may be such, as suits with the infinite holiness of that person whom we profess to honour, "that we may serve the Lord with fear, and rejoice with trembling."

SERMON VII.

ON THE PASSION OF OUR SAVIOUR.

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LAMENTATIONS i. 12.

"Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."

WE are to-morrow, God willing, to be employed in one of the highest and most solemn offices of our religion, to commemorate the death and sufferings of the blessed Jesus, and to receive the sacred pledge of his dying and how may the everlasting interests of our souls depend upon the right performing of this work?

It is not now time to discourse of the nature and ends of that sacrament we are about to celebrate; we are to suppose you already instructed in these: we shall rather fix our thoughts on those things which may have a more immediate influence to dispose us for so near and solemn an address unto God, and to assist and direct us in it; and I know nothing more proper for this purpose, than the serious consideration of those sufferings of our Saviour, which are to be symbolically represented to us in that holy ordinance.

This passionate complaint of the prophet Jeremiah, which we have read, though in its first and literal sense it may refer to the sad condition of the Jewish nation, and the holy city, under the Babylonish cap

tivity, (as many prophecies concerning the Messiah had a literal completion in those who were his types,) yet certainly, in its highest and fullest sense, it is only applicable to our blessed Saviour; of him alone it could be said, in strictness and propriety of speech, that "there was never sorrow like his sorrow."

Let us then consider the words as our Saviour's complaint of the dulness and stupidity of men, who go up and down in the world, who come and pass without regarding his sufferings, which were so grievous, wherein themselves are so nearly concerned; and from thence I would consider these three things:

I. The greatness of our Saviour's sufferings expressed in these words, "See if there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow."

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II. Our interest and concernment in them, insinuated in that passionate interrogation, "Is it nothing to you?"

III. That his sufferings ought not to be passed by, but seriously regarded and considered, “Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ?"

I. Let us reflect on our Saviour's sufferings; but O! where shall we begin to recount them? His whole life, from the manger, his uneasy cradle unto his cross and grave, was a continued tract of sufferings: he did all along answer that character given him by the prophet, " a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief."

To say nothing of the meanness of his birth, and the pains of circumcision, the persecutions of his infancy, his poverty and want, his travail and weariness; his fasting and watchings, his sweat and his

tears, and all the other infirmities incident to our human nature, and inconveniencies attending a poor and straitened estate, he could not but lead a very sad and afflicted life, considering that he lived in a perverse and wicked generation, and the continual trouble of being witness to the follies and miscarriages of wicked men; to hear and see dishonour done unto God, by the profaneness of some, and hypocrisy of others; to observe the covetousness and injustice, the fraud and oppression, the malice and envy, and all the abominable lusts that abounded in the world in his days. We are commonly little concerned in the interests of religion, and therefore do apprehend but little trouble in these; but if the soul of righteous Lot was grieved with the iniquities of the place where he lived, and if David is put to cry out, "Woe is me that I sojourn in Mesech, that I dwell in the tents of Kedar!" how deeply do we think the blessed soul of the holy Jesus must needs have been pierced by every blasphemous word that he heard, by every wicked action he beheld? Doubtless it was no small sorrow that made him cry out, "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" Nor was he a little moved, when his zeal did carry him to that severity, which,

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we did not consider the cause, would seem very unlikely to the wonted meekness of his spirit, in whipping the traders out of the temple. Add hereunto his tender compassion towards men, which could not but make him exceeding sorry, to see them frustrate the method of his mercy, and ruin themselves by their enmity against him; to hear them reproach the holy doctrine which he taught, and undervalue the miracles

which he performed, or else condemn them as the unlawful effects of magical skill; that though "he came unto his own, yet his own received him not ;" though he spake as never man spake, and did such works as would have converted Tyre and Sidon, yet did they baffle their own reason, and persist in their infidelity, because, forsooth, they knew the place and manner of his education; as though his being reputed the carpenter's son, had been a sufficient answer to all that he could say or do. This was the occasion of

his tears over that wretched and ungrateful city: "0 Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, and ye would not!-If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes."

We have not time to reflect on all the sad passages which occur in the history of our Saviour's life; let us fix our eyes a little on some of the last scenes, and we shall find them the blackest that ever were acted on the human nature. At the approach of death, it is said, "he began to be sorrowful," as if he had never felt any grief before; his former afflic tions were like scattered drops of rain, but in this great deluge, all the fountains beneath, and all the windows of heaven were opened; the wrath of God against a sinful world, the malice and cruelty of men, the rage and fury of devils break out together against him. If we take the measure of his sufferings by the apprehensions which he had of them before, we shall find, that when he is talking with his disciples about

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