Looking to Christ

And when I saw him, I fell at his feet as dead. And he laid his right hand upon me, saying unto me, Fear not; I am the first and the last:
~ Revelation 1:17

Your father Abraham rejoiced to see my day: and he saw it, and was glad.
~ John 8:56

Look unto me, and be ye saved, all the ends of the earth: for I am God, and there is none else. And I will pour upon the house of David, and upon the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications: and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn for him, as one mourneth for his only son, and shall be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his firstborn.
~ Isaiah 45:22, Zechariah 12:10

And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. Therefore I will look unto the LORD; I will wait for the God of my salvation: my God will hear me.
~ Isaiah 8:17, Micah 7:7

The next day John seeth Jesus coming unto him, and saith, Behold the Lamb of God, which taketh away the sin of the world.
~ John 1:29

For consider him that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds. So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
~ Hebrews 12:3, Hebrews 9:28

Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; For our conversation is in heaven; from whence also we look for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus Christ:
~ Titus 2:13, Philippians 3:20

For it became him, for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons unto glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through sufferings.
~ Hebrews 2:10

I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty.
~ Revelation 1:8

Keep yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life.
~ Jude 1:21

And unto the angel of the church in Smyrna write; These things saith the first and the last, which was dead, and is alive;
~ Revelation 2:8

Christ, His Crucifixion and His Work For Salvation in His Death, by Isaac Ambrose. The following contains Chapters Two and Three of Book Five from his work, Looking Unto Jesus, Or, The Soul’s Eyeing of Jesus As Carrying On The Great Work Of Man’s Salvation.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith.
— Heb. xii. 2a

Sect. VI. — Of Christ Crucifying

About eleven, they prepare with all speed for the execution. In this hour we may observe these several passages. 1. Their taking off the robe and clothing him again with his own raiment. 2. Their leading him away from Gabbatha to Golgotha; bearing the cross with Simon’s help. 3. His comforting the women who followed weeping. 4. Their giving him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall. 5. Their crucifying, or fastening him on the cross.

1. The evangelist tells us, ‘They took the robe off from him, and they put his own raiment on him.’ Origen observes, ‘They took off his robes, but they took not off his crown of thorns.’ It is supposed this small business could not be done without great pain; after his sore whipping, his blood congealed, and by that means stuck to his scarlet mantle; so that in pulling off the robe, and putting on his raiment, there could not be but a renewing of his wounds.

2. ‘They led him away, bearing his cross.’ They had scarce left him so much blood or strength, as to carry himself, and must he now bear his heavy cross! Yes, till he faint and sink, so long he must bear it, and longer too, did they not fear that he should die with less shame and smart than they intended him; which to prevent, ‘they constrained one Simon, a Cyrenian, to bear his cross after him.’ The cross was a Roman death, and so one of their abominations; hence they themselves would not touch the tree of infamy, lest they should have been defiled; but to touch the Lord’s anointed, to crucify the Lord of glory, they make no scruple at all.

3. He comforted the women who followed weeping. ‘And there followed him a great company of people, and of women, which also bewailed and lamented him; but Jesus turning to them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.’ In the midst of his misery, he forgets not mercy; in the midst of all their tortures and scorn, he can hear his following friends weeping behind him, and neglect all his own sufferings to comfort them. He hath more compassion on the women that follow him weeping, than of his own mangled self, fainting and bleeding unto death: he feels more the tears that drop from their eyes, than all the blood that flows from his own veins. We heard before, that he would not vouchsafe a word to Pilate that threatened him, nor to Herod that entreated him; and yet, unasked, how graciously doth he turn about his bleeding face to these weeping women, affording them looks and words too, both of compassion and of consolation, ‘Daughters of Jerusalem weep not for me, but for yourselves.’ — And yet observe, he did not turn his face to them, until he heard them weep; nor may we think to see his face in glory, unless we first bathe our eyes in sorrow. It is a wonder to me that any in our age should ever decry tears, remorse, contrition, compunction. How many saints do we find, both in the Old and New Testament, confuting by their practices those gross opinions. The promise tells us, ‘They that sow in tears shall reap in joy’; he that follows Christ, or ‘goeth forth weeping, bearing precious seed, shall doubtless come again with rejoicing, bringing his sheaves with him.’

But what’s the meaning of this, Weep not for mel May we not weep for the death of Christ? Do we not find in scripture that all the people wept at the death of Moses? that all the church wept at the death of Stephen? that the women lamented the death of Dorcas? And, did not Christ himself weep for Lazarus, and Jerusalem? Nay, is he not here weeping showers of blood, all along the way? O, what’s the meaning of this, Weep not for me, but weep for yourselves!

I answer, the words are not absolute, but comparative. Christ doth not simply forbid us to weep for our friends, but rather to turn our worldly grief into godly sorrow for sin.

Christ pointed the women to the true cause of all their sorrow, which was their sins; and thus we have cause to weep indeed. Our sins were the cause of the sufferings of Christ; and in that respect, O that our heads were fountains, and our eyes rivers of tears! O that the Lord would strike these rocky hearts of ours with the rod of true remorse, that water might gush out! O that we could thus mourn over Jesus, whom we have pierced and ‘be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for his first-born.’

4. No sooner was he come to the place of execution, ‘but they gave him vinegar to drink, mingled with gall’: this was a custom amongst Jews and Romans, that to the condemned they ever gave wine to drink. But in that they gave him vinegar mingled with gall, it was an argument of their cruelty and envy.

5. They crucified him, that is, they fastened him to the cross; and then lift him up. That I mean to observe of this crucifying of Christ, I shall reduce to these two heads, viz. the shame and pain.

(1.) For the shame, it was a cursed death; ‘Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree.’ When it was in use, it was chiefly inflicted upon slaves, that either falsely accused, or treacherously conspired their master’s death; but on whomsoever it was inflicted, this death, in all ages among the Jews, hath been branded with a special kind of ignominy; and so the apostle signifies when he saith, ‘He abased himself to the death, even to the death of the cross.’

(2.) For the pain, it was a painful death; as appears several ways. 1. His legs and hands were violently racked, and pulled out to the places fitted for his fastening, and then pierced through with nails. 2. By this means he wanted the use both of his hands and feet, and so was forced to hang immovably upon the cross, as being unable to turn any way for his ease. 3. The longer he lived, the more he endured; for by the weight of his body, his wounds were opened and enlarged, his nerves and veins were rent and torn asunder, and his blood gushed out more and more. 4. He died by inch-meal, as I may say, and not at once: the cross kept him a great while upon the rack. It was full three hours betwixt Christ’s affixion and expiration; and it would have been longer, if he had not freely and willingly given up the ghost: it is reported that Andrew the apostle was two whole days upon the cross before he died; and so long might Christ have been, if God had not heightened it to greater degrees of torment.

I may add to this, as above all this, the pains of his soul while he hanged on the cross; for there also Christ had his agonies and conflicts, these were those coSiveg Oavarg, those pains, or pains of death, from which Peter tells us Christ was loosed.

The word coSiveg, properly signifies the pain of a woman in travail; such were the pains of Jesus Christ in death: the prophet calls it the travail of his soul; and the psalmist calls it the pains of hell: ‘The sorrows of death compassed me, and the pains of hell gat hold upon me.’ The sorrows or cords of death compassed his body, and the pains of hell gat hold upon his soul: and these were they that extorted from him that passionate expostulation, ‘My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ He complains of that which was more grievous to him than ten thousand deaths. ‘My God, my God, why hast thou withdrawn thy wonted presence, and left my soul (as it were) in hell?’

And now we reflect on the shame and pain: O the curse and bitterness that our sins have brought on Jesus Christ! When I but think on these bleeding veins, scourged sides, furrowed back, harrowed temples, digged hands and feet, and then consider that my sins were the cause of all; methinks I should need no more arguments for self-abhorring. Christians, would not your hearts rise against him that should kill your father, mother, brother, wife, husband? O then, how should your hearts and souls rise against sin! Surely your sin it was that murdered Christ, that killed him who is instead of all relations, who is a thousand times dearer to you than father; mother, husband, child. One thought of this should, methinks, be enough to make you say, as Job did, ‘I abhor myself in dust and ashes.’ O, what’s that cross on the back of Christ? My sins. O, what’s that crown on the head of Christ? My sins. O, what’s that nail in the right-hand, and that other in the left-hand of Christ? My sins. O, what’s that spear in the side of Christ? My sins. O, what are those nails and wounds in the feet of Christ? My sins. With a spiritual eye I see no other engine tormenting Christ; no other Pilate, Herod, Annas, Caiaphas, condemning Christ; no other soldiers, officers, Jews, or Gentiles, doing execution on Christ, — but only sin. O my sins, my sins!

Comfort we ourselves in the end of this death of Christ: ‘As Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, so must the Son of man be lifted up; that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.’ Without this consideration, the contemplation of Christ’s death would be altogether unprofitable. Now what was the end? Surely this, Christ lifted up, that he might draw all men unto him: Christ hanged on a tree, that he might bear our sins on the tree. This was the plot which God aimed at in the crucifying of Christ; and thus our faith must take it up: indeed our faith hangs on this. The design of Christ in his sufferings is that welcome news, (O remember this,) Christ is crucified! And why so? ‘That whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.’

Sect. VII. — Of the Consequents after Christ’s Crucifying

1. About twelve, when the sun is usually brightest, it began now to darken. This darkness was so great, that it spread over all the land of Jewry: some think, over all the world; so we translate it in Luke, ‘And there was darkness over all the earth’: and many Gentiles, besides Jews, observed the same as a great miracle.

The cause of this darkness is diversely rendered by several authors. Some think that the sun, by divine power, withdrew, and held back its beams. Whatsoever was the cause, it continued for the space of three hours as dark as the darkest winter’s night.

2. About three, which the Jews call the ninth hour, the sun now beginning to receive his light, ‘Jesus cried with a loud voice, Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani? My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ – ‘And then, that the scripture might be fulfilled, he said, I thirst.’ – ‘And when he had received the vinegar, he said. It is finished.’ – ‘And, at last, crying with a loud voice, he said, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit: and having said thus, he gave up the ghost.’ I cannot stay on these seven words of Christ which he uttered on the cross: his words were ever gracious, but never more gracious than at this time. We cannot find, in all the books of men, in all the records of time, either such sufferings or such sayings, as were these last sayings and sufferings of Jesus Christ.

3. About four in the afternoon he was pierced with a spear, and there issued out of his side both blood and water. ‘And one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water.’ This was a fountain of both sacraments, the fountain of all our happiness, ‘the fountain opened to the house of David, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and for uncleanness.’ There are three that bear witness on earth, saith John, ‘the Spirit, the water, and the blood.’ Out of the side of Christ, being now dead, there issues water and blood; signifying that he is both our justification and sanctification.

4. About five (which the Jews call the eleventh, and the last hour of the day) Christ was taken down, and buried by Joseph and Nicodemus.

Thus far we have propounded the blessed object of Christ’s suffering and dying for us. Our next work is to direct you how to ‘look unto him’ in this respect.

CHAP. Ill

Sect. I. — Of Knowing Jesus as carrying on the great work of our Salvation in his death

1. Let us know Jesus carrying on the great work of our salvation during his sufferings and death. This is the high point which Paul was ever studying: preaching, ‘I determined not to know any thing among you save Jesus Christ, and him crucified.’ Christ crucified, is the rarest piece of knowledge in the world. The person of Christ is a matter of high speculation; but Christ farther considered, as clothed with his garments of blood, is that knowledge which especially Paul pursues: he esteems not, determines not, to make any profession of any other science or doctrine. O my soul, how many days, and months, and years, hast thou spent to attain some little measure of knowledge in the arts, and tongues, and sciences? And yet what a poor skill hast thou attained in respect of the many thousands of them that knew nothing at all of Jesus Christ! And what if thou hadst reached a greater proficiency? Couldst thou have dived into the secrets of nature? Couldst thou have excelled ‘the wisdom of all the children of the east country, and all the wisdom of Egypt, and the wisdom of Solomon, who spake of beasts, of fowls, of fishes, of all trees, from the cedar tree that is in Lebanon, even to the hyssop that springeth out of the wall,’ yet without the saving knowledge of Christ crucified, (Christ suffering, bleeding, and dying,) all this had been nothing, see Eccl. i. 18, and above all, that is the rarest which shows him suffering for us, and so freeing us from hell-sufferings. Come then, and spend thy time for the future more fruitfully in reading, learning, knowing this one necessary thing. Study it therefore, but be sure thy study and knowledge be rather practical than speculative. Do not merely learn the history of Christ’s death, but the efficacy, virtue, and merit of it. Know what thou knowest in reference to thyself, as if Jesus had been all the while carrying on the business of thy soul’s salvation; as if thou hadst stood by, and Christ had spoke to thee, as to the woman, ‘Weep not for me, but for thyself; thy sins caused my sufferings, and my sufferings were for the abolition of thy sins.’

Sect. II. — Of Considering Jesus in that respect

Let us consider Jesus carrying on this great work of our salvation during his sufferings and death. ‘They shall look upon me whom they have pierced,’ saith the prophet; that is, they shall consider me: and accordingly the apostle was looking unto Jesus, or considering Jesus, ‘the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame.’ It is good in all respects, and under all considerations, to look unto Jesus from first to last; but, above all, this text relates to the time of his sufferings: and hence it is that Luke calls Christ’s passion Oscopiav, a theory or sight: ‘And all the people that came together to that sight, smote their breasts and returned.’ Not but that every passage of Christ is a sight, worthy our looking on, or considering; Christ in his Father’s purpose, Christ in the promise, Christ in performance, Christ in his birth, and Christ in his life. O what blessed objects are these to look upon! But above all, ‘Consider him,’ saith the apostle, ‘that endured such contradiction of sinners against himself.’ — Consider him, ‘who, for the joy that was set before him, endured the cross, and despised the shame.’ Of all other parts, acts, or passages of Christ, the Holy Ghost hath only honoured Christ’s passion (his sufferings and death) with this name, theory, and sight. O then let us look on this, consider this.

1. Consider him passing over the brook Cedron. It signifies the wrath of God, and rage of men. Through many tribulations must they go, that will follow after him to the kingdom of glory. Consider him entering into the garden of Gethsemane: in a garden Adam sinned, and in this garden Christ must suffer. Into this garden no sooner was he entered, but he began to be agonized: all his powers within him were in conflict. Consider, O my soul, how suddenly he is struck into a strange fear. Never was man so afraid of the torments of hell, as Christ, standing in our room, is of his Father’s wrath; nor was he only afraid, but very heavy. ‘My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.’ His sorrow was deadly, it melted his soul as wax is melted with heat; it continued with him till his last gasp; his heart was like wax burning all the time of his passion: nor was he only afraid and heavy, but he began to be sore amazed. This signifies an universal cessation of all the faculties of the soul from their several functions. We usually call it a consternation. It is like a clock stopped for the while from going, by some hand or other laid upon it; such a motion of the mind as whereby for the present he was disabled to mind anything else, but the dreadful sense of the wrath of God. O what an agony was this! what a struggling passion of mixed grief! ‘O, my Father! Sinner, thou hast bent thy bow, lo here an open breast! fix herein all thy shafts; better I suffer for a while, than that all men should be damned for ever: thy will is mine: lo, I will bear the burden of sin: shoot here thy arrows of revenge!’ And thus, as he prayed, he sweat, ‘and his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground.’ O what man or angel can conceive the agony, the fear, the sorrow, the amazement of heart, that, without all outward violence, bled through the flesh and skin; not some faint dew, but solid drops of blood! O my soul, consider this; and if thou wilt bring this consideration home, say, thy sins were the cause of this bloody sweat.

2. Consider his apprehension. Judas is now at hand, with a troop following him. See how, without all shame he set himself in the van, and, coming to his Lord and Master, gives him a most traitorous kiss: ‘What, Judas, betrayest thou the son of man with a kiss?’ Hast thou sold the Lord of life to such cruel merchants as covet greedily his blood? At what price hast thou set the Lord of all the creatures? At thirty pence? What a slender price for the Lord of glory. At that time said Christ, ‘Ye be come as against a thief, with swords and staves; I sat daily among you teaching in the temple, and ye never laid hands on me; but this is your hour, and the power of darkness.’

Now the prince of darkness exercised his power; now the ravenous wolves assaulted the most innocent lamb in the world: now they furiously haled him this way and that way. What cries, and shouts, and clamours made they over him! Now they lay hold on his holy hands, and bind them hard with rough and knotty cords. Now they bring him back again over Cedron. Now they lead him openly through the streets of Jerusalem, and carry him to the house of Annas in triumph. O, my soul, consider these several passages leisurely, and with good attention, till thou feelest some motions in thy affection. He that is fairer than all the children of men, is besmeared with weeping, and troubled with sorrow of heart. Surely there is something, O my soul, in thee that caused all this: hadst not thou sinned, the Sun of righteousness had never been eclipsed.

3. Consider the hurrying of Jesus from Annas to Caiaphas. There a council is called, and Caiaphas the high-priest adjures our Lord to tell him, if he was Christ the Son of God? No sooner he affirms it, but he is doomed guilty of blasphemy. Now again they disgorge all their malice and revenge; each one gives him buffets and strokes: they spit upon that divine face, they hoodwink his eyes, and strike him on the cheek, scoffing, and jesting, and saying, ‘Who is it that smote thee?’ O my soul, why dost thou not humble thyself at this so wonderful example? How is it that there should remain in the world any token of pride after this so marvellous example of humility! I am astonished this so great patience overcomes not my anger, this so great abasing assuageth not my pride, these so violent buffets beat not down my presumption: Jesus Christ by these means should overthrow the kingdom of pride, and yet that there should remain in me the relics of pride! Consider all those night-sufferings of Christ; now was the season that all creatures should take their rest. All the night long Christ is tormented by thy sins. Not one jot of rest hath Christ, whom thou by the alarm of thy sins disquieted, both at evening, at midnight, and at the cock-crow, and at the dawning.

4. Consider the hurryings of Christ from Caiaphas to Pilate. Now he stands before Pilate, where he was accused of sedition and usurpation. Not only Jews, but Gentiles, have their hands imbrued in the blood of Christ: Pilate was delegated from Caesar, yet not without a prophecy: ‘Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of man shall be accomplished; for he shall be delivered unto the Gentiles.’ At the Gentile tribunal, being questioned of his kingdom, he answers both the Jews and Gentiles, that they need not fear his usurpation: ‘My kingdom is not of this world.’ He gives kingdoms that are eternal; but he will take away none that are temporal. Christ came not into the world to be Caesar’s, or Pilate’s, or Herod’s successor; but, if they had believed, to have been their Saviour. O that I could but contemn the world as Christ did! O that I could seek the kingdom of God, and his righteousness. O my soul, I feel it, unless I can be free from the affection of all creatures, I cannot with freedom of mind aspire unto divine things; unless I be willing with Christ to be despised and forsaken of all, I can have no inward peace, nor be spiritually enlightened, nor be wholly united unto the Lord Jesus Christ.

5. Consider the hurryings of Jesus from Pilate to Herod. There is he questioned of many things, but justly is the Lamb of God dumb, and opened not his mouth; upon this he is mocked, and arrayed in a gorgeous robe. Wisdom is taken for folly, and the justifier of sinners for a sinner. See how he emptied himself, and made himself of no reputation, that he might fill thee with goodness, and make thee wise unto salvation.

6. Consider the hurryings of Jesus from Herod back again to Pilate. O my Saviour, how art thou now abused! New accusations are forged; and when Pilate sees that nothing will do, but Christ must die, he delivers him to be stripped, whipped, clothed in purple, crowned with thorns, and sceptered with a reed. Who can number the stripes wherewith they tore his body, one wound eating into another! O my heart, how can I think of this without tears of blood! O joy of angels, and glory of saints, who hath thus defiled thee with so many bloody blows? Certainly they were not thy sins, but mine. Love was the cause why thou didst bestow upon me all thy benefits, and mercy moved thee to take upon thee all my miseries.

7. Consider that sad spectacle of Jesus, when he came forth wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, and Pilate saying unto them, ‘Behold the man!’ O my soul, fix thy eyes on the sad object! Suppose thyself in the case of Jesus; what if in so sensible and tender a part as thy head is, men should fasten a number of thorns! Alas! thou canst hardly abide the prick of a pin, much less the piercing of so many thorns: O, but thy Jesus was crowned with thorns, and sceptered with a reed, and that reed was taken out of his hands to beat the crown of thorns into his head; thy Jesus was whipped with cords and rods; and being in this plight, thou art called to behold the man! Canst thou consider him at present, as if thou hadst a view of this very man? Methinks it should make thee break out, and say, ‘O the brightness of thy Father’s glory, who hath thus cruelly dealt with thee? O unspotted glass of the majesty of God, who hath thus wholly disfigured thee? O river that flows out of the paradise of delights, who hath thus troubled thee? It is my sins, O Lord, that have so troubled thee: my sins were the thorns that pricked thee, the lashes that whipped thee, the purple that clothed thee: it is I, Lord, that am thy tormentor, and the very cause of these thy pains.’

8. Consider Pilate’s sentence, that Jesus should be crucified as the Jews required. Now they had him in their will, and they did to him what seemed them good. Follow him from Gabbatha to Golgotha. See how they lay the heavy cross upon his tender shoulders, that were so rent and torn with whips. Accompany him all the way to the execution, and help to carry his cross to mount Calvary; and there see him lifted up on that engine of torture, the bloody cross: he hangs on nails, and as he hangs, his own weight becomes his affliction. O see how his arms and legs were racked with violent pulls, his hands and feet bored with nails, his whole body torn with stripes, and gored with blood. And now, O my soul, run with all thy might into his arms, held out at their full length to receive thee. O weigh the matter! Because sin entered by the senses, therefore the head, in which the senses flourished, is crowned with searching thorns; because the hands and feet are more especially the instruments of sin, therefore his hands and feet are nailed to the cross for satisfaction. Be enlarged, O my thoughts, and consider it, and consider it again.

9. Consider the darkness that spread over all the earth. Now was the sun ashamed to show his brightness, considering that the Father of lights was darkened with such disgrace: the heavens discoloured their beauty, and are in mourning robes: the lamp of heaven is immantled with a miraculous eclipse. The sun in the firmament will sympathize with the Sun of righteousness. It will not appear in glory, though it be mid-day, because the Lord of glory is thus disgraced. And now hear the voice that comes from the Son of God, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Christ, in the garden, tasted the bitter cup of God’s fierce wrath, but now he drunk the dregs of it. O but what’s the meaning of this; ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ Surely, 1. This was not a perpetual, but a temporary forsaking. The godhead was not taken away from the manhood, but the union remained still, even now when the manhood was forsaken. 2. This was not a forsaking on Christ’s part, but only on the Father’s part; the Father forsook Christ, but Christ went after him. God took away the sense of his love; but the Son of God laid hold upon him, crying, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ 3. This forsaking was not in respect of his being, but in respect of the feeling of God’s favour, love, and mercy. Certainly God loved him still; but his sense of comfort was now quite gone, so as it never was before. In his agony there was now and then some little flash of lightning to cheer him; but now all the sense and feeling of God’s love was gone. Christ now took the place of sinners, and God the Father shut him out, as it were, amongst the sinners; he drew his mercy out of sight, and therefore he cried out in a kind of wonder, ‘My God, My God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ After this he speaks but a few words more, and gives up the ghost. He dies, that we might live; he is dissolved himself, that we might be united to his Father. O my soul, see him now, if thou canst for weeping; his eyes are dim, his cheeks are wan, his face is pale, his head is bowing, his heart is panting, himself is dying. Come, and die with him by mortification. Look pale, like him, with grief and sorrow, and trouble for thy sins.

10. Consider the piercing of his side with a spear, whence came out a stream of blood and water. O fountain of everlasting waters! Methinks I see the blood running out of his side more freshly than those streams which ran out of the garden of Eden, and watered the whole world. Consider the taking of his body down by Joseph, the burying of it by Joseph and Nicodemus. O my spirit, go with me a little! Christ being dead, it is pity but he should have a funeral. According to the letter, let Joseph and Nicodemus bear his corpse; let the blessed Virgin go after it sighing and weeping, and at every other place looking up to heaven; let Mary Magdalen follow after with precious ointment, and with her hair hanging, ready, if need were, to wipe his feet again. Now, let every sinner, according to the nature of his sin, draw something from the passion of Christ to the mortifying of his sin; yea, let all turn mourners; let all bow their heads, and be ready to give up the ghost for the name of Christ. O my soul, that thou wouldst thus meditate, and thus imitate, that so thy meditation might be fruitful, and thy imitation real; I mean, that thy life and death might be conformable to the life and death of Jesus Christ.

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