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now Jcsus, knowing that all things else SERM. . relating to his life on earth were accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled in this also (David having foretold of him, that in his thirst they should give him vinegar to drink) he said, “I thirst,” and one ran and dipped å sponge into some vinegar, put it upon a reed, and offered it to him ; and when he had received it, he
“ It is finished,” j. e.“ The work that I came to do is perfected ; Father, into
thy hands I commend my spirit :” and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost. Many wonderful occurrences accompanied his death, there was a preternatural dark
over the whole country for three hours, and the veil of the temple, which separated the holy of holies from the other part of it, was torn, shewing that Christ had now opened a way into the former; and the earth did quake, and the rocks were Q 2
SERM. rent, and the graves were opened, and XIV.
many bodies of saints that slept arose, and went into the holy city, and shewed themselves unto many after his resurrection. So many particulars have offered them. selves to our notice, that I have already exceeded the bounds of a common discourse; I shall therefore only add, that nothing can be a greater persuasive to a virtuous life than the reflection on these cruel sufferings of Christ for our sakes. They shew, in the most alarming light, the heinous nature of sin, and warn us how impossible it is we should escape, if we neglect the great salvation which is offered us. But they work not on our fears alone, but on our hopes and on our gratitude. What great things must God have in store for us, if we obey him, who hath not withheld from us his only son! and if we have any generosity, how much ought it (in re
turn for this vast obligation) to be the en- SERM.
XIV. deavour of our lives to know and to serve him, more particularly when we recollect likewise, that in the knowledge of him standeth our eternal life.
THE DYING THIEF.
ST. LUKE XXIII. XLIII.
And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto
thee, to-day shalt thou be with me in
Paradise. When our blessed Saviour was suspended SERM.
XV. to the cross, we are told that his dying moments were interrupted by the mockeries and insults of the surrounding multitude : of the two thieves likewise, who were crucified on each side of him, one, unmindful of his own melancholy situation, joined in their derisions with our Q4