Page images


In Pilate's hall, by scornful Pharisees

Surrounded, and by dark-browed Roman bands, Before the procurator's footstool stands The Son of God, the glorious Prince of Peace. Alone he stands, his followers all have fled;

In mockery o'er his limbs a robe is thrown
Of regal purple; and a thorny crown
Appears in scorn upon his sacred head.

But calm he spake; From God my cause proceeds;
Without his will thou canst not harm a hair
Upon my brow; then patient will I bear

The unrighteous punishment of holy deeds.
I am a king, but not with mortal state.

He said, and humbly died, the greatest of the great.

And oh, what beams of dignity and love

Flowed o'er his sacred features, as he stood
Calmly, amid the foes who sought his blood,
His eyes upturning to his home above!
The haughty judge in admiration gazed,

And spoke him guiltless; but the frantic crowd Demand their victim's death, with clamors loud, As the fierce scribes their stormy passions raised. Follower of Jesus! learn of him to bear

Unmoved, the fury of victorious foes;

Though shame environ thee, and anguish close Thy dying eyes, yet shrink not; thou dost share Thy Master's sufferings; thou shalt share his rest; Oh, learn of him to live, to die, and to be blest.




AND from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him. But the Jews cried out, saying, If thou let this man go, thou art not Cesar's friend; whosoever maketh himself a king, speaketh against Cesar. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgment seat, in a place that is called the pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha; (and it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour;) and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! But they cried out, Away with him; away with him; crucify him. Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no king but Cesar. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

And he, bearing his cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha; where they crucified him, and two others with him; on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH, the KING OF THE JEWS. This title then read many of the Jews, for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city; and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he

[ocr errors]

said, I am King of the Jews. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written.-Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, (and made four parts, to every soldier a part,) and also his coat. Now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be. That the scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my garments among them, and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.-Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary Magdalene. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Woman, behold thy son! Then he saith to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.


If the Christian were called on to mention the most touching incident in the history of his Redeemer, would he not name this, the recommendation of his mother to the care of his beloved disciple? We see the Saviour, at the moment of extremest pain, a moment when personal suffering might well absorb every other feeling. But his mother is standing near him, his mother, soon to be left desolate in a world which would look upon her with scorn, as the parent of one who had been crucified. The agony of death yields for a moment to the strength of filial affection, and Jesus consigns his mother to his faithful friend. The centurion, when he saw the earthquake, and those things that were done, said, "Truly, this was the Son of God!"

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
Where Jesus spent the night in prayer :
Through yielding glooms behold his face;
Nor form, nor comeliness is there.

Last eve by those he called his own,
Betrayed, forsaken, or denied,
He met his enemies alone,
In all their malice, rage, and pride.

No guile within his mouth is found,
He neither threatens nor complains;
Meek as a lamb for slaughter bound,
Dumb midst his murd'rers he remains.

But hark! he prays,—'t is for his foes;
He speaks, 't is comfort to his friends;
Answers, and Paradise bestows;


He bows his head ;-the conflict ends.

Truly this was the Son of God!
Though in a servant's mean disguise,
And bruised beneath the Father's rod;
Not for himself,—for man he dies.



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, rebuked him, saying, Dost not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemnation ? And we 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 my spirit. And having said thus, he gave up the


Now, when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified God, saying, Certainly this was a righteous man. 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

« PreviousContinue »