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We see not these things, but we hear the voice, we see the feelings of the sufferer himself, and we need no other proof. Religion can never manifest itself in a form more lovely, than when combined with the exercise of the social duties, the affections of the parent, the child, the friend. Where these duties are performed, these affections cultivated aright, there must religion be present, unseen perhaps, except in its effects, but regulating actions, words and thoughts, making this life happy, and preparing him in whose breast it dwells, for the happiness of heaven.
The morning dawns upon the place
Last eve by those he called his own,
No guile within his mouth is found,
But hark! he prays,—'t is for his foes ;
Truly this was the Son of God!
DEATH OF JESUS.
LUKE XXIII. 34. 39. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.—And one of the malefactors, which were hanged, railed on him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us. The other, answering, ebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation ? indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy kingdom. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in paradise. And it was about the sixth hour, and there was a darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour. And the sun was darkened ; and the vail of the temple was rent in the midst. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend
And having said thus, he gave up the ghost.
Now, when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous
And all the people that came together to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts and returned. And all his acquaintances, and the woman that followed him from Galilee, stood afar off, beholding these things.-And behold, a man
named Joseph, a counsellor, a good man, and a just, (the same had not consented to the counsel and deed of them,) of Arimathea, a city of the Jews, who also himself waited for the kingdom of God; this man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was laid. And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.
It has been well remarked, that one instance of forgiveness at the hour of death is recorded, that we should not despair; but only one, that we should not presume.
We can however hardly suppose the man who now spoke, to have been long versed in crime. His faith in the Saviour, at a moment when our Lord's disciples had deserted him, and the victory of his enemies seemed complete, is an evidence almost conclusive to the contrary. Jesus, ever full of compassion, could, even at that awful moment, feel for his fellow sufferer, though a robber. Though extended on the cross, in the deepest agony, he had not lost either the power or the will to bless. He could still give a word of kindness and hope, a gracious promise to the humble petitioner.
But the struggle soon closed, and the Saviour of the world sunk in death, murdered by those whom he came to bless. Follower of Jesus, he died that you might live. Thoughtless neglecter of his religion, he died for you; and how will you free yourself from the reproach of ingratitude ? If we had stood near his cross, and witnessed the final scene,
could we ever obliterate the impression ? Could we forbear to love and to obey him? And now, though intervening centuries have weakened in some respects, the impression of his death, they have developed more fully its influence on the world.
To the dying love of Jesus we owe the blessings of education, refinement, morals, religion. Are we then uninterested in the great event? Oh let us give our hearts to him who gave his life for us!
In the Saviour's hour of death,
Bound upon the cross of fear,
Spoke the fatal moment near ;
Suffering at the sufferer's side,
Sought in prayer, and found, and died.
Sighs of parting anguish came
From the Saviour's laboring breast;
He could yield the afflicted rest;
Beamed upon his pallid face,
Gave to love and pity place.
Matchless love, supreme in death!
Pity, in affliction shown!
And through heavenly regions known.
For their Saviour's love divine ;
In our lives his influence shine,
TO THE ASCENSION OF JESUS.
JOHN XX. The first day of the week cometh Mary Magdalene early, when it was yet dark, unto the sepulchre ; and seeth the stone taken away from the sepulchre. Then she runneth, and cometh to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and saith unto them, They have taken away the Lord out of the sepulchre, and we know not where they have laid him. Peter therefore went forth, and that other disciple, and came to the sepulchre. So they ran both together; and that other disciple did outrun Peter, and came first to the sepulchre. And he, stooping down, and looking in, saw the linen clothes lying ; yet went he not in. Then cometh Simon Peter following him, and went into the sepulchre, and seeth the linen clothes lie, and the napkin that was about his head, not lying with the linen clothes, but wrapped up together in a place by itself. Then went in also that other disciple which came first to the sepulchre, and he saw, and believed. For as yet