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portant. The first words therefore, which He uttered from the cross, were addressed to God, on their behalf—"Father, forgive them ; for they know not what they do.” And most gladly, most effectually, most gloriously did that Father answer to the intercession of His son-never more dear to his love, than in the hour of crucifixion, by giving Him the souls, and the salvation, of so many of His murderers, on the day of Pentecost, to be a seed to serve Him, and to be counted to Him for a generation.

Having thus first pleaded the spiritual and eternal cause of his enemies as a Mediator both of atonement and intercession, He turns, with a flow of tenderness which no suffering of his own could for one moment interrupt, to provide for the comfort of those who were most dear to Him in the flesh, and according to the bonds of human kindred and connexion. Joseph, the husband of his mother had probably long been dead.

Yet a few minutes more of agony, and Jesus himself, her remaining support and stay, would give up the ghost. The history under our review, seems to afford a strong presumption that she had no children, except that Holy thing who was born of her, and was called the Son of God: for, if they who are styled the brethren of the Lord, had really been born of Mary, He would probably have consigned His mother to their affection, tenderness, and support; in obedience to the law of Israel, which commanded the widow to be maintained by the heirs of her husband, until she received her dowry, whatever it might be. To whom then, should the dying Saviour commit his mother, in the approaching hour of her destitution and sorrow? Even to the disciple whom He loved, and who had so ardently returned his condescending and gracious affection. By this act St. John was especially owned, as a brother in affection by our Lord, -“ Woman,

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behold thy Son.' O how inestimable is this relation to the Lord, in the gracious bonds of his covenant love! it is ever thus. His true disciples, washed, sanctified, and justified, in his name, and by the Spirit of our God—they, who, under the high and blessed influence of this gracious completeness in Him, do the will of his father in heaven, are acknowledged by Him, in the dearness of a connexion far surpassing any other, merely earthly—" the same is my mother, and sister, and brother."

It was a distinction of no ordinary kind, that John should be called “the disciple whom Jesus loved." hardly doubt, that, in their ordinary intercourse and fellowship, there was a mani. festation of affection, on the part of the Saviour, towards St. John, which others, his brethren in the apostleship did not enjoy. But this distinguishing goodness towards him, had nothing in with the gracious love of Christ to sinners,

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or in his work of mediatorial goodness. St. John was not gifted by the Lord with any love of mercy, unto the salvation of his soul as a sinner, beyond that grace and tenderness, which Jesus, as the head of his purchased Church, feels towards every member of his mystical body. Here there is neither John, nor James, nor Peter :-all are equally in themselves sinners before God :-all are equally clothed in the robe of the Saviour's righteousness all are equally washed from sin in the laver of his blood: all are equally dear to the Father for his sake :-all are equally presented before God in Him, “not having spot, nor wrinkle, nor any such thing.” The feeblest and the most trembling believer may assure his soul of this sacred truth, for its comfort and joy of faith, that he is complete in Christ: and Paul himself could be no more. I must however, turn aside from this reasoning, to the more obvious consideration of the subject before me, and notice, as God may enable me,

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I. THE IMMEDIATE PURPORT OF DOUBLE CHARGE, GIVEN BY OUR LORD TO HIS MOTHER AND ST. JOHN, saith unto her, Woman, behold thy Son : and to him, Behold thy mother; and from that hour, that disciple took her unto his own home.”

They who seem to enjoy the greatest manifestations of the Redeemer's love, are often called to especial acts of duty, in his behalf, or in behalf of his Church and people : and they who can best appreciate the value of his regard, will deem it a high privilege and honour to fill especial offices of love to the saints of God. On the other hand, “he who loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God whom he hath not seen?

But what is the most prominent subject here for our consideration ? Surely the filial love and tenderness of the Lord Jesus

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