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;s<?r wifotf ^; for bad they kndwny they had not crucified the Lord rnGlpry: Therefore forgive them, and as many as shall repeJ^Df their Sins, . fprgive j:hem freely for this bloody Sacrifice wnick I offer. Tnis Prayer was full of Comfort, Merit and Example, indefinite and univerfal, like the greater Light in the. Firmament, that spreads far and wide into thi utmost Bounds of the everlasting Hills. ," ^
Such was our Saviour's Charity, that he prayed and.prevailed over the Malice of his Enemies, the Severity of God's Justice, and his own Sufferings; which should teach us to forgive Our Enemies, and to pra,y for those that persecute us, after. the Example of our blessed Saviour, Who when he was revilM, he 'rent Led net again, andwhen he". suffered, he threatneA not. .For my Love they are my Adversaries (fays. the Pfalmift'va his Person) %ut I give myself unto Pr tf\#x',. As if he had breathed notlring but Prayer, and now vv.are.red his Prayer with Tears.and $!ood: Be of good Comfort, O. my Soul,.for as much as this P.rayei; is for thee, and for all penitent Sinners unto the End o£|he World; Jesus faid once on the Cross,.but now he fays alw'ise, appearing for us in Heaven, Father forgive them. &'"
.The second Word our blessed Saviour said, was to the penitent Thief, who profited more these three Hours .hear.ing Christ: on the Cross,. than the'Disciples had three Years,leeing Jus Miracles.: So powerful is the" preaching of the Cross, .and >©f Christ crucified.to convert the Soul, as it did this Sinner,.' who of a.Malefactor becomes a Consessor, and now ( before he made Supplication ) wrought all the Parts of Righteousness,, declining, from Evil when he consessed his" Sin, .arid doing Good when he rebuked his Neighbour for railing, and.pro-' claimed Christ's Innocency,'while others were blaspheming Relieving with his Heart, and with his Mouth confessing him . to be Lord and Kjng, and tjien puts up this modest Petition,. '.JLcird .rtwewibirrnii..»•«£* . thpn come ft to 'thy KJngdcm. O soeasia gfe#^orahLe as our blessed .Lord is to "all penitent Si fitters, 1:g. ither.upbraids this new Convert with. his. former Course of
Life, nor delays his Petition, but grants him more than he asks, and that with an Asseveration, Verily, 1 say^JL who came •to seek and to save that which was lost; I who am jpe Way and' the Truth, and the Life; I who have thel&ysof^Lyjd, that openeth and no Man jhutteth, and jhutteth'and no Manofeneth *, 1 fay unto thee, who hast been Partner with me in my Sufferings, thou shalt also be a Partner with me in my Glory; to Day thou shalt be with me, whose Presence is Paradise, and whose Love is better than Life. ( ' .
As the Gates of the earthly Paradise were shut for Sin committed by the First Adam, and kept closs by Cherubims and a flaming Sword, which turned every Way to keep Rev. 2.7. Sinners from the Tree of Lise, so the Gates of the.
_ heavenly Paradise (for Satisfaction malfe by~the Second Adam) were opened tQ this Penitent, and to all Believers,. as he hath promised, faying, To him that oyercometh, will I give to eat of the Tree of Life, wh'mh is in the midst of the Paradise of God. . . . ; ...:V
In fine, Here was one who had been a great Sinner in his Lise, yet became a great Penitent at his Death, and obtained Mercy thfS none should Despair, and but one ( now suffering for his Sins) that none should presume; wherefore, as the Holy Ghost fayeth, To Day if. ye mil hear his Voice, harden not your Hearts.
Our blessed Saviour's third Word was to the blessed Virgin standing at the Foot of the Cross, attesting the Payment of our Redemption by that'bloody Sacrifice' ior the Sins of the World: Now when his Disciples were fled, and his heavenly Father seemed to forsake him, she takes up her Cross and follows him unto Death, whom she had accompanied in his Lise: Now when the Swdrd of Sorrow and Grief did pierce her Soul, behold how tender the Son is of the Mother's Welfare ii>..the rriidst of his own Sufferings, to provide an Attendant for her in all her Solitudes and Sufferings. Now when Joseph was. ^cad, aud himself a dying, when she had no House or Ha$i. ' • ir. ' . tatio
tation os her own for Retirement ; albeit she was a Princess, of the Blfod Royal, and of the Linage of David, a rare Example for dutiful Children to requite their Parents Care and Education. Woman, behold thy Son; he would not express that sacred Name of Affection, Mother, lest he should aggra vate, Jier Grief, or expose her to Contempt in the hearing ofTiis Enemies, wno were ready enough.to blaspheme the MotheFas they had done the Son. Behold thy Son, meaning St. John .7 as if he had faid, Behold one whom I have appointed to take Care of thse, ar,d to Comfort thee in my Absence; and again, looking to the beloved Disciple, Behold thy Mother, hereby transserring to him his own Relation, as it were to provide for her, and to Honour her as*a Son should do his Mother; and from that Hour the Disciple took her unto his own Home. Thus when God takes away one Comfort, he gives another; therefore the blessed Virgin weeped, not as those that have no Hope, but leaning on the Faith of his Resurrection, takes Encouragfcrnent from the Fruits of his Sufserings, which was the Redemption of the "World. In the Multitude of my Sorrows within me, thy Comforts, 0 Lord, delight my Soul.
The fourth Word which our Saviour faid upon the Crass, was that grievous Complaint and Expostulation which he poured out in the Agony of his Passion, and from the Ardency of his Love to. his heavenly Father ; Eli, ^ Eli lama fkbachthan^ that is to fay, My God, my *God, why hafl thou forsaken me? "Why art thou so far from helping me,.and from the Words of my 'roaring > .To what Shame and Suffering hast thou exposed thy well beloved Son? How am I left like a Lamb amongst the midst of ravenous Wolves, to wrestle with the Malice of Men, and all the Powers of Darkness: Now the Sins of the Elect lay heavy on our Saviour, and however his humane Nature was all the while inseparably united- to his Divine Nature, yet the one had no Consolation from the other, but only that it was supported from sinking under the heavy Burden, thcre^re, as a suffering Man, and fadly afflicted, He cried out with A loud Voice, My, &c. I looked for some to take\ Pity, bat there wo*none, and for Comforters, but 1 foun&K none*; for these things I weep, mine Eye runneth dowHtjk because the Comforter that should relieve my Soul U far*\ from me: The most grievous Complaint that'©ver was uttered by any Mortal, and the very Excess of Sorrow, and ^f one wrestling, as it were, betwixt Hope and Fear • yet even in this fad Affliction and Suffering for our Srns, behold two Words of Trust for one of Despondency, My God, my God, &c. _ .'. ' Thus he was forfaken of his Father for a while, . that, we should not be forfaken for ever; he suffered all the Severities of the first, that we should no$*taste of the second Death: For in that he himfdfhatmfuffered, Heb. 2. being tempted, he u able to succour them that axe tempted, 18. and deserted for a while, as it is written, For a small jfa. Matmnt have I forsaken thee, but with great Mercies will 78. igf&W thee r In a little Wrath I hid my Face from thee for a, foment, but with ever Using KJndness wtll I have 1 Mercy on thee, faith the Lord thy Redeemer. . > .
Our Saviour's fifth Word on the Cross, Sitio, 1 Thirst, this was both a natural bodily Thirst, and a spiritual « Thirst: Now his Veins.were emptied, and, his Blood exhausted, which run like so many Rivulets from all the Parts of his natural Body, to wash all the Parts of his mystical Body the Church, and to cleanse it from Sin. This was a scorchjng Thirit indeed, and not the least of his intolerable Pains which he suffered for our Sins; Therefore the royal Prophet spoke of it many Years besor^fe^his own Person, faying, I am pourediftft like Water, all my Bones are out of joint; my Heart :. U like Wax,'it is. melted in the midst of œy Bowels: Ms Strength is dried up like a Potfheard, and my Tongue cleaveth to my Jaws, ,and thou hast brought me' to the Dust of • Death.' . ".
I Thirst. This was no great Reward he sougluy a Cup of cold Water, for the many good Offices he had conserred', on them, in healing their Sick, in raising, their Dead, ants teaching them the Way,to Salvation: Yet this small Pctition: was denied him, or'the Potion . so imbittered, ''that it served^ more to iriflame, than to .ease his Thirst-; as it is written, Thef gave me <3all for my Meaty and in my Thirst they .gave Pfal.6*9. me Vinegar to driftk. If we consider his two former 21. Nights waking., without any Sleep or.Refreshment,' or that searful Sweat he suffered iq the Garden, which was, as it were great Drops of Blood falling down to the Ground.: Or if we consider, that prodigious Effusion of Blood, when he was so cruelly scourged all his blessed Body over, by the whole Band of SoTdiers, and now poured down from his Hands and Feet ( which were nailed to the Cross) as from so/many Flood-gates that had been opened, it was no wonder his,Thirst. was exceeding great, and more than ordinary.
This was likewise a spiritual Thirst, for our Conversion and for our Happiness; therefore faid he to his I>i|eiples before his Paslion, I have a Baptism to be baptised with, and how am I till it he accomplished: This was a Bar
and Suffering, when they pierced his blessed Spear and Nails. •
O that we might thirst as earnestly for the Glory of God, and our own Salvation, as out blessed Saviour thirsted for both. «£/
; The sixth Word upon the Cross was, Cbnfummatum est, It is Finished: Now the Agony of our blessed Saviour's Passion was abated, and he began to feel these divine Consolations, which for a while had been suspended, as when the Sun springs out under a Cloud, and goes down with Rays of Light; so the Sun of Righteousness, our dying Lord .triumphs over Death, nd all the Powers of Darkness. It ts finished: By this our blessed Saviour confirms his latter fill and Testament; and because he could not subscribe the m. F. :' fame