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when the blessed martyr John Huss was carried to be burnt, a paper crown painted all over with frightful figures of devils was put on his head ; which, however, served to remind him of his Saviour's mock crown of thorns, and so far proved a comfort to him. All these various sufferings of the martyrs for the truth, the Lord Jesus sanctified, by thus becoming a gazing stock to the Jews.

2. No sight is so profitable to the eye of the soul, as that of the blessed Jesus thus covered with blood and stripes,

To the eyes of vain men, indeed, this is an inage of disgust and horror. They see nothing in it which can give the least comfort to them. It is something extraordinary, if the contemplation of it raise in them some motions of a mere natural pity, which soon vanish away without leaving any impression on the mind. But when a pious Christian, through the medium of true faith, beholds his Mediator, as it were changed into a worm ; he, like the diseased Israelites, who looked on the brazen serpent, is healed by the sight, and his whole heart is mollified and chan. ged.

Thus the counsel of God was manifested in these words of Pilate, Behold the man ! For as in the whole history of the passion, we are to turn our cyes from the hands of men, and to look up to the decrees of God; so must we do in this particular. Pilate was now in the same case as Caiaphas the High Priest was, when he spoke those remarkable words mentioned by St John, (chap. xi. 51,) of which we have taken notice above. Therefore as the blessed Jesus here through Pilate's means, exposed himself covered with blood to his people, or rather to the whole world so likewise the words, 'Behold the man,' must be looked upon by us as if spoken by Christ himself.

Therefore, ye impenitent sinners, who still place your satisfaction and delight in sin, Behold the man! Do

you observe how sin has caused your Redeemer

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to be thus barbarously treated ? Here you may seej as in a faithful mirror, how it will go with you, unless you sincerely forsake your sins, and believe in Christ. If you die in your sins; in such reproach and disgrace, crowned with thorns of the curse, and stigmatised with the marks of everlasting death, will ye one day be exposed before God and his elect angeis. Behold, from this eternal ignominy will your Saviour deliver you, but on no other conditions than those of faith in him, sincere repentance and amend. ment of life. You must truly turn to God, acknow. ledging yourselves deserving of the greatest disgrace and reproach, and present yourselves before the throne of grace as wretched criminals, who are guilty of death. O neglect not this opportunity until Jesus, who now, as it were, stands before your eyes as a despised worm, shall seat himself on his judgmentseat, and pronounce sentence of eternal condemnation on those who have despised the merits of his blood! Therefore with eyes full of tears, and with looks of compassionate longing after mercy, Behold the man, whom your sins have thus barbarously treated ! Pray to him, whom for your sake became as it were, a ivorm, and less than man, and implore his protection to deliver you from that ruin and depravity into which you are sunk, and to make you the sons of God and heirs of Glory:

Behold, ye covetous and merciless rich men, Be- . hold the man, who is thus debased and poor, in order to make many rich; who is so emaciated that you may tell all his bones ; who out of his generous love and boundless liberality, poured out his precious blood for your salvation,

. Ye sons of pride and ambition, Behold the man, who is humbled so low; whose head is crowned with thorns, and whose body is exposed in a tattered purple robc, for your sins. .

Ye wanton and lascivious, Behold the man, whose *hole body was covered with blood, stripes, que


bruises. Behold, with what torture he was to satisfy the Divine Justice for your sensuality, voluptuousness, and the lusts of your pampered flesh.

Ye passionate and revengeful, Behold the man, who suffers thatever Heaven is pleased to lay upon him with astonishing patience, mildness, and serenity; who permits himself to be assaulted by the com. bined rage of a tumultuous populace, that he might atone for your violent emotions of anger and revenge, and obtain pardon and grace for you from his heavenly Father. Therefore, throw yourselves at the feet of this incarnate God; pour out your tears and complaints before him; and pray to him that his sufferings may be for the salvation of your souls.

Lastly, Ye penitent and faithful souls, Behold the man! Soe how low his unspeakable love to you brought him! Turn your eyes from your sins and iniquities, with which your conscience is oppressed, and direct them to this Lamb of God the sacred victim that has borne your sins, and presented himself to the Divine Justice as a great sacrifice of atonement. Contemplate his whole deplorable appearance, by which he has removed the ghastly appearance of your guilt, when you were an abhorrence in the sight of God and in your own eyes, and has made you acceptable to the Father. Reflect on his ignominous crown of thorns, by which he has acquired for you a right to a never-fading crown of glory. Consider his mean purple robe, by which he has obtained for you the garment of innocence and righte. ousness. Contemplate his wounds and stripes as the remedy for the wounds of your conscience. Behold his face covered with blood, but at the same time beaming forth looks of the most tender love to your souls. Lastly, consider his composed and placid. heart, which, amidst all his pains and the malicious outrages of his enemics, was lifted up in prayer to God. Therefore with a cordial love, and with all the powers of the soul, give yourselves up to this faithful

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Saviour; and as he voluntarily suffered himself to be exposed to cruelty and rage, so likewise do you willingly present and devote yourselves to his service. Do not hesitate to become an insulting laughing-stock in following Christ. If the world points at you, if it insults and ridicules you, rejoice that you are made thus conformable to the suffering Jesus; and be assured, that he will one day present you to the Father in a glorious state, when he himself shall point you out and say, 'behold, here am I, and the children whom thou gavest me,' (Isaiah viï. 18. Heb. ii. 13.)

II. Let us now, in the next place, consider the effect produced by the means which Pilate made use of to release our blessed Saviour, and enquire what followed his being thus exhibited to the people.

First, It was followed by a tumultuous outcry. For when the chief Priests and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, crucify him ! crucify hit !! The people seemed, at first, to have felt some compassion at the deplorable appearance of the blessed Jesus; insomuch that they stood in a silent astonishment at the dismal spectacle. But the chief Priests and their officers, who, for their own interest, were obliged to join in the cry, and to gnash upon this innocent person with their teeth, (Ps. xxxv. 16.) werc too malignant and cruel to be susceptible of any pity or compassion. They were not sensible that mercy is better than sacrifice, (Matt. ix. 13. xii. 7.) Here were verified these words to the Psalmist (Ps. xxii. 12, 13.) “Many bulls have compassed me; strong bulls of Bashan have beset me round. They gaped upon me with their mouths, as a ravening and a roaring lion. Here was accomplished what the Lord Jesus had, in a parable, before declared to this

perverse generation, saying, 'When the husbandmen saw the Son, they said among themselves, This is the heir ; Come, let us kill him.' (Matt. xxi. 38.) The ac:

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complishment of it was this: When the chief Priests saw him, they cried out, saying, crucify him!'

Thus the sight of this moving spectacle had quite a different effect on them from what Pilate had imagined. He hoped by so deplorable an object, to have moved them to compassion; but on the contrary, at the sight of the blood issuing from all parts of our Saviour's body, their thirst after his blood was the more inflamed. Here Solomon's assertion was abun. dantly verified, namely, “The tender mercies of the wicked are cruel.' (Prov. xii. 10.) No less savage are the men of this world in their rage against the faithful servants of Christ, who bear witness to the truth. The sympathetic feelings of humanity are turned into the most savage barbarity, by their hatred to Christ and his members. How must these outrageous clamours of the mad populace have affected the soul of the blessed Jesus! The wounds and stripes inflicted on him by the soldiers, did not cause him near so much pain as this inhuman rancour of his people.

But the same barbarous treatment which our bles, sed Lord here experienced, has been continued to his, members. When the Asiatic Jews saw St. Paul in the Temple, " They stirred up all the people, and laid hands on him, crying out, men of Israel help.-And all the city was moved, and the people came together.---And as they went about to kill him, tidings came to the chief captain of the Band, that all Jerusalem was in an uproar.' (Acts xxi. 27–31.) And when St. Paul had thereupon made his defence, the whole multitude 'lift up their voices, and said, Away with such a fellow from the earth! for it is not fit he should live. And as they cried out, and cast off their clothes, and threw dust into the air, the chief "Captain commanded him to be brought into the castle,' (Acts xxii. 23, 24.) The histories of the martyrs particularly prove that the Romish clergy never shewed themşelves more outrageous than when they had Christ

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