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not be so. Let us not cast this dishonour upon our Saviour: let us not rob our own souls of their comfort and their peace. Let us give thanks unto our Lord God for his great salvation, as it is meet and right for us to do. Let us lift

Let us lift up the eye

of our faith from the darkness of the bottomless abyss to the cross that is planted above it: let us continually remember that thereby we may indeed be saved from that infinite destruction :and, by the grace of the Holy Spirit, may this, and all the glories of redemption, so draw our hearts to a meek and holy submission, that we may have cause, each for himself, to rejoice evermore in that faithful saying, so worthy of all acceptation, that “ Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.”

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SERMON V.

THE THREE CROSSES OF CALVARY.

St. John xix. 18.

They crucified him, and two others with him, on

either side one, and Jesus in the midst.

“ Here then,” says Augustin, “ three were crucified; and in these three we behold one who bestows salvation, one who receives salvation, and one who rejects salvation.” In other words, here are the Saviour, the saved, and, as we fear, the lost.

Let us consider the three crosses of Calvary under these several points of view. Let us behold, in the impenitent malefactor, a picture of man in his ruined and lost condition ; let us contemplate the Saviour of mankind offering up the sacrifice of himself, and making atonement for sin; and let us observe, in the pardoned penitent, a lively representation of man turning to his mighty Deliverer, and made a happy partaker of complete salvation. May God, the Holy Spirit, bless our meditations, and make them profitable to the edification and comfort of our souls !

I. Let us first look at the impenitent malefactor, as presenting a picture of man in his lost condition.

1. He is dying. And we know that, apart from the peculiar circumstances of his case, his history, in this respect, is that of all the descendants of Adam. The sentence has gone forth, “ Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return;" and " in Adam all die.” Men dwell by the ashes of their forefathers, and inhabit the places which knew them once, but know them now no more. And the same strong hand, which has hurried departed generations from the scenes of their mortal life, will soon be stretched out against the men of the present day, and will put an end to all their enterprises and pursuits. “There is no man that hath power over the spirit to retain the spirit; neither hath he power in the day of death; and there is no discharge in that war.” (Eccles. viii. 8.)

Nor is this all. Conscience forewarns us of a state of retribution beyond the grave.

It tells the offender against the laws of heaven, that when the blasting of the breath of God's displeasure shall have driven him away from that world in which he practises iniquity, it will carry him to another, in which that iniquity will find its punishment. It makes him feel that “ the sting of death is sin."

2. But look again at this crucified malefactor. You see in him an unhappy creature. Perhaps he was visited with the gloomy recollections of a wicked life. Or if not, yet the evil tempers that had harboured within his soul, and which exhibited themselves even in the moments of dissolution, mark him at once as miserable. He had shut himself out, by his ungodliness, from communion with the Father of spirits; and he had become such a stranger to benevolence and love to man, that he was unable to feel compassion or respect for the innocent sufferer by his side. And, if we know anything of the nature of man, and of the true sources of his happiness, we know that the soul which had neither hope in God, nor charity towards its fellows, must have been indeed wretched and forlorn.

But here we have a pattern of the natural wretchedness of all men. Left to ourselves, as descendants of fallen Adam, we are far from God and happiness. We carry within our souls the elements of misery, but not the elements of peace

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and blessedness. We have not love to God; and therefore we have not the peace of God. We have not even the real love of our brethren; and therefore we have not the satisfaction and delight which flow from hearty good-will and charity unfeigned. And hence it comes to pass,

that renewed, sinful men, when robbed of their false consolations and supports, “ are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt. There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.” (Isa. lvii. 20, 21.)

3. And, as man in his fallen condition is a wretched creature, so also, if left to his own resources, he is without hope. There is not a ray of light to beam upon his darkness, and to be the pledge of a brighter day to come. what could have been the hope of this dying malefactor? Seeing that he would not betake himself to the only refuge, whither can you suppose him to have turned for support and consolation in his dying hour? And yet his prospects and resources were as good as those of any

other man who appears guilty and alone in the presence of his God. And if you cannot tell from what source this malefactor may have derived hope and consolation when he hung upon the cross, , neither can you tell whence you may derive it for yourselves, whenever your misery shall make

Tell me,

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