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out, “I thirst. In his humiliation this cry may said, 'I thirst!' Then was fulfilled what had be regarded as an appeal to his enemies ; but been uttered in prophecy ages before: From they were dead to all compassion ; and the appeal above he sent fire into my boņes, and it prewas made in vain : and yet not in vain, seeing vailed against them; he hath spread a net for that by their very cruelty, though they meant it my feet, he hath turned me back, he hath made not, a prophecy was fulfilled. The holy Sufferer me desolate and faint all the day. “Behold, o knew the hardness of their hearts, and it was Lord, for I am in distress; my bowels are that the scripture might be fulfilled that he said, troubled; mine heart is turned within me.' I thirst.' How precious would a cupful of “They have heard that I sigh; there is none to cold water then have been to the suffering Sa- comfort me: all my enemies have heard of my viour! Instead, however, of giving water, they trouble; they are glad that thou hast done it.' filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on hyssop, Think then, O my soul, on the sufferings of thy and put it to his mouth. That this was done in Saviour, when laden, and desolate, and forsaken, the spirit of cruel mockery appears from the pro- he said, “I thirst.' phecy respecting it. After saying, “Reproach
"I thirst! O should we not, in meditating hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness, on this, learn resignation? His sufferings were and I looked for some to take pity, but there unmerited, for he was altogether without sin. was none; and for comforters, but I found none;' Our sufferings are all merited, and are always he immediately subjoins as part of the complaint, less than we deserve. Should we not be resigned “They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my then in the day of trial, when we may sing of thirst they gave me vinegar to drink. The gall mercy as well as of judgment? Should we not had already been given to him; and Jesus know- hear the voice of the rod, and Him who hath ing that all things were now accomplished, that appointed it, when, if we receive chastening as the scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst. from a Father's hand, he will sanctify the afflicAnd they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put tion, and cause it to be one of the all things' it on hyssop, and put it to his mouth. When that work together for our good? Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, • I thirst!' said the suffering Saviour. “And 'It is finished; and he bowed his head, and gave they filled a sponge with vinegar, and put it on up the ghost. He shall drink of the brook by hyssop, and put it to his mouth. Alas, alas! the way, therefore shall he lift up the head.' did no eye pity? Did no hard heart relent?
'I thirst!' How often have we read this Must the dying Redeemer say, I was thirsty, without thinking of what, even from thirst, the and they gave me no drink? Nay, what is Redeemer suffered when he thus gave utterance worse, must his complaint be, "In my thirst to his sufferings! We grieve when we think they gave me vinegar to drink?' In what cirof his being torn by the scourge, and pierced by cumstances of trial then can the believer be the nails; but do we deeply sympathize when, placed, in which he has not cause to be, not only at the close of his sufferings, he cries, “I thirst?' resigned, but thankful? Is he visited with And yet this very thirst may have added more bodily trouble? How often are there affectionate to his distress than all that he suffered from friends tenderly to sympathize; and to do all the thorns, and the scourge, and the nails. We that earthly friends can do, to comfort, and to have read of a number of British subjects soothe! But though it should be otherwise ; being immured by a despot's power, in a crowded though earthly friends should either turn their dungeon, in a sultry clime; and while many back, or prove miserable comforters all; what a died, others were driven to utter frenzy, and happiness is it, that there is one friend who to raving madness, by the agonies of thirst. sticketh closer than a brother, who knows what How unspeakably precious, in some circum- it is to suffer, and who is both able and willing stances, may a single drop of water be! In to comfort and to sustain! That friend is the hell,' the rich man in the parable · lifted up his Saviour of sinners, who said on the cross, 'I' eyes, being in torments, and seeth Abraham afar thirst. O let us love him: let us serve him off, and Lazarus in his bosom. And he cried with a perfect heart and a willing mind, saying, and said, Father Abraham, have mercy on me, Lord, we are thy servants, we are thy servants, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his the sons of thy handmaiden: thou hast loosed finger in water, and cool my tongue, for I am our bonds! tormented in this flame. How inconceivably precious would a spongeful of water have been to Christ when, in the agonies of crucifixion, he
joys of God's salvation, but who have been made
to feel their need of mercy to pardon and grace · And let him that is athirst come ; and whosoever to help. For them the fountain is open, and to
will, let him take the water of life freely,' Rev. them the invitation is given, “Come ye unto the xxii. 17.
wells of salvation, and draw, and drink with joy.' The Son of God, exhausted with sufferings of But extends it no farther? Yes: it is to those body and soul, said, “I thirst. O what an oppor- also who are labouring in the fire, compassed tunity of doing what never would have been for about with sparks of their own kindling; thirstgotten through time or through eternity! And ing—but coming to broken cisterns-wells withdid many rush forward to quench the Redeemer's out water, or to empoisoned streams which only thirst? Alas, alas! they made haste, but it was feed the burning thirst that consumes them;to add bitterness to his bitter cup, 'In his thirst searching eagerly after happiness, saying, 'Who they gave him vinegar to drink. And yet, in- will show us any good?' and yet utterly ignorant stead of visiting them with vengeance, either where this true good is to be found. How merciimmediately, or when he came to his kingdom, ful is it to say to such, `Ho! every one that from his throne of glory he said of old, and he thirsteth, come unto the waters.' "Wherefore says now, “If any man thirst, let him come to do ye spend your moạey for that which is not me and drink;' • let him that is athirst come; bread; and your labour for that which satisfieth and whosoever will, let him take the water of not?' And lest they should still fear that the life freely.'
invitation extends not to them, because they How precious the offer! How precious even thirst not aright, it is subjoined, “and whosoever the common element of water! Withhold it will, let him take the water of life.' even a few days from man, and he dies in agony. How free is the invitation! It is not only, What water is to the body, grace is to the soul; Whosoever will, let him take the water of life,' -indispensably necessary to its life and welfare. but let him take it freely. The unrenewed man Grace is here figuratively spoken of as living is a stranger to the riches of the glory of divine water, the water of life.' Grace was typified grace; and he concludes that he must have some by the refreshing streams that flowed from the righteousness of his own to entitle him to apply smitten rock in the wilderness. Rich are the for grace; and Satan seeks to keep him in this blessings of grace that flow from Christ this belief, that without some merit of his own, applismitten rock, such as pardon of sin, and conse- cation would be fruitless. But Christ says, “ By quently deliverance from the punishment of ini- grace ye are saved through faith;' take the quity; sanctification of body and spirit, and con- water of life freely.” “The water of life' is saving sequently deliverance from the power of sin; grace; and saving grace is free grace, unmerited meetness for the inheritance, and at last posses- kindness; for were it merited, it could not be sion of the kingdom that cannot be moved.' free grace. He who died for sinners offers it The pure river of water of life is of heavenly freely, without money and without price; and origin; it proceeds out of the throne of God what he offers liberally and ungrudgingly, he and of the Lamb. It is life-giving; and the life wishes you to take unsparingly, saying, Drink, imparted is life everlasting. It purifier; 'I will yea, drink abundantly' of the water of life. sprinkle clean water on you, and ye shall be It is the Prince of life that offers it. In his clean. It refreshes; it is 'as rivers of water in thirst they gave him vinegar to drink;' but he a dry place;' or as a well of water springing up holds out to you the cup of salvation. To-day, unto everlasting life.' How precious the invita- while it is called to-day, harden not your hearts.' tion then, 'Let him that is athirst come!' Do you hesitate? To-day he says, 'Come;' to
How general the invitation! Let him that morrow he may say, “Depart from me ye cursed.' is athirst come; and whosoever will, let him take To-day he says, Drink-drink of the living " the water of life. This invitation, without doubt, water. To-morrow he may say, Drink-but extends to all those who have tasted of the water drink of the cup of trembling; and drink of it of life; who have had experience of its virtue, for evermore. and earnestly desire fresh supplies, saying, 'As What love is manifested in the earnestness of the hart panteth after the water-brooks, so pant- the invitation! When the need is so great, it eth my soul after thee, O God. My soul thirst- had been enough, one might have thought, to eth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee, in a dry give the most distant hint, that all our wants and thirsty land where no water is.' It extends might be supplied. But wonder, O heavens, also to those who as yet know nothing of the land be astonished, 0 earth, at the condescending
kindness of the Lord, when all we need is not I was the hour and power of darkness,' and being only offered, and freely offered, but with the in agony he fell on his face, and prayed most utmost urgency, and earnestness pressed on our earnestly, and in the mental struggle, “his sweat acceptance! * Ho! every one that thirsteth, was it were great drops of blood falling down to come ye to the waters, and he that hath no the ground. And soon was the blood to flow in money: come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy streams from his sacred body, when he gave his wine and milk, without money, and without back to the smiters, his hands and his feet to be price.' To rouse the careless sons of men, and to nailed on the accursed tree; when his head was attract their special attention, the cry is raised torn by the thorns, and his side pierced by the aloud, Ho!' How precious is water to the spear. And yet all that fiends from hell, and all exhausted traveller! Were we in the wilderness, that foes on earth could do, was but as a drop to almost perishing of thirst, and were the smallest the bitter waters of a full cup which was wrung fountain of water discovered, with what speed out for him, when his Father hid from him his would we rush to it! How eagerly would we face. Then the waters came in unto his soul, and drink of it, muddy and polluted though it might in the anguish of his heart he cried out, · My be, even amidst the thirsty camels' feet! And God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me.' when we are in the moral wilderness, and when The tempest, however, had now done its worst. our soul fainteth in us, how wonderful, when the The lurid cloud, having exhausted its thunders, fountain of life has been pointed out, that we and launched its fierce fires against his head, had should need to be urged to drink of it! He who vanished. His Father's benignant countenance freely offers the living water, knows that we must again beamed on him in all its brightness, and perish if we drink not; and therefore his com- with the triumphant voice of a conqueror he passionate and urgent cry is, Come, come, come! cried, “It is finished. Can we conceive the feelCome, and take freely, not only water, but wine, ings of a great commander when for a whole and milk, without money, and without price; day he has witnessed the bloody strife betwixt water, to save from death; milk, to nourish and two mighty armies, when victory, for hours, strengthen; and wine, to cheer and gladden the has hung trembling in the balance, now infainting soul. "The Spirit and the bride say, clining to this side, and now to that; when the Come. And let him that heareth say, Come. fate of empires depended on the result-can we And let him that is athirst come. And whoso-conceive his feelings, when the long wished-for ever will, let him take the water of life freely.' moment at last comes when he can lead to the
decisive charge his noble troops, when he hears them raise the shout of triumph; when he sees
the proud array of the enemy's host utterly THIRTY-FIRST DAY.-MORNING, broken and routed, and changed into a mingled · When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, o! how much less then can we conceive the full
mass of flight, and carnage, and consternation? he said, It is finished, John xix. 30.
import of the words of the Son of God, when all An angel's tongue could not tell the full import his spiritual foes were discomfited, when the deadly of these words, “ It is finished. But yet, though struggle was brought to a close, and when with we cannot fathom the depth of their meaning, the shout of a conqueror he cried, “It is finwe may with profit consider, that
ished! Christ's sufferings were then finished. In as- "It is finished;' types and prophecies were suming our nature, he became subject to its sinless fulfilled. The true paschal Lamb was then slain sufferings of body and of mind. How great would when Christ our Passover had been sacrificed for be his heart-griefs during the whole of his minis- us. The true Rock was now smitten, when he who try arising from the impenitence, malice, and is indeed our Rock, was stricken, smitten, and hatred of the Jews to whom he addressed him- afflicted. Then it was seen why the red heifer, self
, offering them life, and warning them to flee whose ashes were to be mingled with the waters from the wrath to come! But his sufferings at of purification, was an unclean thing to be burnt the close of his ministry were above what we without the camp, when Christ, bearing our sins, can form any conception of, strong as the language as the worst of malefactors, had suffered without is which the evangelists employ in describing them. the gates. Then the typical meaning of the
He began to be sore amazed,' to be in conster- brazen serpent could be understood, when Christ nation, to be laden with grief, saying, “my soul had been lifted up on the cross, that those who is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. (This looked to him might be healed; that they who
believed on him should not perish, but should hitherto lived, was one of distance, and darkness, have eternal life.
and fear. “For the law having a shadow of good Time would fail us were we to attempt to things to come, and not the very image of the enumerate the prophecies which were fulfilled things, can never, with those sacrifices, which they when Christ said, “It is finished. The treachery offered year by year continually, make the comers of Judas; the injustice of Pilate; the cruelty of thereunto perfect. “But in those sacrifices there the Jews; the impious taunts of the rulers; the is a remembrance again made of sins every year. insulting mockery of the soldiers ; the parting of For it is not possible that the blood of bulls and his raiment, the casting of lots for his vesture; of goats should take away sins. But what the and many other prophecies, had been accom- law could not do in that it was weak through the plished; and Jesus knowing that one yet re- filesh, God sending his own Son, in the likeness of mained—that the scriptures might be fulfilled, he sinful flesh, and for sin, condemned sin in the said, “I thirst.' “And they filled a sponge with flesh, that the righteousness of the law might be vinegar, and put it on hyssop, and put it to his fulfilled in us who walk not after the flesh, but mouth, and when he had received the vinegar, he after the Spirit. How delightful the blessed said, “It is finished, and he bowed his head, and gospel truth, that "God sent forth his Son, made gave up the ghost.'
of a woman, made under the law, to redeem * It is finished ;' the atonement had been com- them that were under the law, that we might pleted. The great God who made us had a right receive the adoption of sons! Darkness, and disto give us laws, and to vindicate the authority of tance, and dread were now at an end, and the these laws when we had broken them. Had the followers of Christ might draw near unto God punishment been inflicted on us, we must have as children unto a father who was both able and everlastingly perished. In the great plan of re- willing to help them. And this privilege was not demption, mercy and truth met together, righteous to be granted to the Jews only; but to those ness and
kissed each other. It was to save also who in time past had been Gentiles in the sinners, and yet to magnify the law of God, that flesh, aliens from the commonwealth of Israel
, the Redeemer came. It was to make atonement and strangers from the covenants of promise
, for sin, by bearing our sins-by dying in our without God, without Christ, and without hope. room and stead, thus satisfying divine justice, and But the vail had now been rent, the partition reconciling us to God—that the Son of the Eter- wall had been broken down, that they who had nal appeared in the flesh. It was to destroy been far off, might be made nigh by the blood of death, and him who had the power of death, that Christ; and that through faith in his name Jews he suffered on the cross. It was to save a multi- and Gentiles might both have access by one Spirit tude, whom no man can number, that he endured unto the Father; and be built on the foundation the cross, despising the shame. And now that of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himthe work was complete; now that he had torn self being the chief corner-stone. the prey from the dragon's teeth, and saw the
« Tis finish'd-The Messiah dies gates of heaven opened for himself and his fol
For sins, but not his own; lowers—with what transport would he exclaim, The great redemption is complete, • It is finished!' and with what rapture would it
And Satan's pow'r o'erthrown. be re-echoed by those who through the merits of
" "Tis finish'd-All his groans are past; this sacrifice had already entered, who, beholding
His blood, his pains, and toils, the overthrow of Satan in the triumphant victory
Have fully vanquished our foes,
And crown'd him with their spoils. of the Son of God, would strike their golden harps to a louder song, saying, 'Alleluia, Alleluia! • 'Tis finish’d-Legal worship ends, Salvation to our God who sitteth on the throne,
And gospel ages run,
All old things now are past away, and to the Lamb for ever and ever. "Unto him
And a new world begun.' that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests to God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion, for ever and ever. Amen.'
THIRTY-First Day.-EVENING. • It is finished.' Legal worship ends; the Mosaical dispensation is brought to a close ; and
I have finished my course,' 2 Tim. iv. 7. gospel ages begin to run. Though well-fitted to "It is finished,' said the Saviour; and when all answer the purpose intended by infinite wisdom, his sufferings were finished, and types and prothe dispensation under which the Jews had phecies fulfilled, and complete atonement made,
with what joy would he say, 'It is finished !' | from heaven says, Be strong, fear not, quit you Though the apostle's sufferings were not propitia- like men, onward, onward; and when Satan tory, neither light, nor few, had the afflictions says, Soul! take thine ease; crown thyself with been which for Christ's sake he had endured; rose-buds before they wither; walk in the ways and though he was about to suffer martyrdom, of thine own heart, and in the sight of thine own and to seal his testimony with his blood, he could eyes, that thy heart may cheer thee all the look death in the face, not only without dismay, days of thy life; if we believe the tempter, but with complacency and delight. At an earlier and forsake the way of the Lord God, soon shall period he could say, “Behold I go bound in the we find that our path is covered with darkness; Spirit unto Jerusalem, not knowing the things that it taketh fast hold on hell; and leadeth down that shall befal me there, save that the Holy to the chambers of everlasting death. Ghost witnesseth in every city that bonds and Think on the blessedness of running in the afflictions abide me. But none of these things right course. Is there not a happiness in tracing move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, the footsteps of prophets, and apostles, and marso that I might finish my course with joy, and tyrs, yea, and of the Redeemer of souls? Is there the ministry which I have received of the Lord not sweet satisfaction in serving him who has Jesus, to testify the gospel of the grace of God.' bought us with a price? in esteeming, like Moses, He had obtained his wish; he had fulfilled his the reproach of Christ greater riches than the ministry; he had been found faithful; he had treasures in Egypt, having respect unto the recomrejoiced to spend and to be spent in the service pence of the reward? Is there not a foretaste of of the best of Masters; and with holy joy he the reward of grace, even in this world; an earnest now could say, 'I have finished my course. Soon, of the inheritance ? And how great the consolavery soon, will it be the lot of every one of us to tion when life is closing, when the course is finsay, 'I have finished my course.' 0! what will ished, and when death is at hand! At that dread these words imply when they are uttered on the moment what would it avail though we could say brink of the grave; when all life's interests are that we have been rich, and prosperous, and honcrowded into a moment; when that moment is oured of men, if we have no treasure laid up in the last of time, and the next the beginning of heaven, and if we have not, through Christ, sought eternity—that dread moment which is to seal our the favour of God? When the night cometh doom-to determine whether it is to be well with when no man can work, O how much worse us for ever; or whether it had been better-far, than frivolous shall this world's affairs appear to far better that we had never been bom! us, if they have been our chief concern; and
What then is this course? The apostle speaks have weaned our hearts from the Redeemer of figuratively; but the figure is easily understood. souls! When every day tells, in some degree, In Greece of old there were periodical assemblies, on our future destiny, how sinful to trifle how in which all had an opportunity of competing for dreadful to live in guilt! How great the wisprizes, and the much-wished prize was often dom, and how exquisite the happiness in ‘laying an honorary, ornamental, but a fading crown. aside every weight, and the sin which doth so The contests were often trials of bodily strength easily beset us, looking unto Jesus the author or agility, such as running or wrestling. Rules and finisher of our faith; then when the time of were laid down by which the competitors were our departure is at hand, each, like the apostle, to be regulated ; and none could be crowned who may say, 'I have fought a good fight, I have did not strive according to these rules. Regard-finished my course, I have kept the faith : henceing life as a race then, rules are given in the holy forth there is laid up for me a crown of rightescriptures; the course is prescribed; the goal is ousness, which the Lord the righteous Judge shall heaven; and the prize is a crown of glory. The give me at that day; and not to me only, but to prophets, apostles, and martyrs, are held up to all them also who love his appearing.' us as patterns : Christ himself has left us an ex- How awful, on the other hand, is the state of ample that we should walk in his steps. Grace those, who instead of fighting the good fight, fight also is freely offered to us by him who giveth against God; against Christ; against the Holy power unto the faint, who strengtheneth the Spirit ; against the best wishes of good men ; weak hands, and confirms the feeble knees. against the richest mercies; against their own When Christ from his throne says, Look unto me, souls! They are finishing their course, but they and I will guide you to the victory; if we forget the are advancing in the broad way which leadeth to prize, and pant after the dust, what can await us destruction ; in the downward path which taketh but disgrace and discomfiture ? When the Lord hold on hell. As instead of keeping the faith,