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tion of spirit, that he was ready to ordain them, give them their divine mission, and bid them forth.

As Jesus saw that his path was becoming hedged up with thorns, that clouds and darkness in heaviest folds were lowering upon the horizon of his earthly hopes, and that his enemies were about to doom him to execution on the cross, he felt most deeply interested for those whom he was about to leave to similar persecutions and trials. He converses with them upon all that was before them with the kindliest and deepest interest, giving all necessary counsel and guidance. But this was not all. He would not close that last interview with them ere he went down to death, save in humble, earnest, believing, intercessory prayer. What prayer was ever like that recorded in the seventeenth chapter of John? What earnest intercession for others! Already had he prayed, interceded for Peter that his faith fail not. And now with what earnestness, nay, even travail of spirit, does he bear them in the arms of his supplications unto God! How would he that they should all become one with him and with the Father, even as he was one with him! Prayer seems to have been the only appropriate service in which Jesus. would close the holy, and tender, and parting, scene, prayer for others even as for himself.

Then, too, when the impending moments of separation from earthly friends and sympathies, from the loved and the lowly, when betrayal, and mockery, and lowest abuse, and sharpest agony of physical trial, all to be borne alone, were at hand, how fervently and repeatedly, in kneeling faith, did he pour his soul to God in prayer. Again, and again, and yet AGAIN, went he apart to

VOL. XIX. — No. 238.


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pray, until angels of mercy, and strength, and blessing were with him, that he needed no more. Prayer, — yes, only prayer was suited to the occasion, and the hour, and the soul of him that breathed it.


Amid the last awful and expiring scene, in that Golgotha to which they had led him, and had there nailed him to the cross, prayer seemed the only appropriate utterance of his tried and agonized, yet submissive, spirit : "My God, my God! why hast thou forsaken me?" 'Father, forgive them, they know not what they do." "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

But why longer dwell on the prayerfulness of Jesus? It was the very atmosphere of his soul, the breath of his life. His resting-place was ever in the bosom of his

God, his refuge, in trouble, there.

The like hallowed resting-place and refuge are open for all that come in his name. The pattern is a plain, a perfect one. Who, who of the tried and the suffering of earth, will not fly with Jesus to the mercy-seat of his Father and our Father, of his God and our God?

4. Perfect is the pattern of obedient faith given us in Jesus. His faith seems to have been of early origin and growth, and ever sustained and deepened, as it alone can be, by a most ready, cheerful, devoted, and even self-sacrificing obedience. The mantle of obedient faith seems to have been his very birthright. His parents were eminent for their piety and their cheerful obedience to every word from the mouth of God. It was sufficient to one of faith like Mary's that the will of God was announced by one who claimed to be his angel-messenger. She asked no evidence or demonstration. She was familiar with the

often voice of God to the sainted men and women of Israel, and therefore she readily believed at its call. With Joseph, too, a voice of God in visions of the night alone was sufficient to overcome the ofttimes suffocating voice of the heart's strongest evil passions, and reconcile him. to the Father's will. Such, too, was their ready and obedient faith, that at every voice of God, whether in angel presence or in that of dreams and visions of the night, they rose up at once in obedience. They had faith to go forth into exile, and to return at no other call than such voices of their God. Well might we expect the child of such a mother, nurtured under the influences of such parents, to be one of early and obedient faith. His was not the culture to cavil at the preaching of the stern prophet of the wilderness, or to withhold a ready and obedient faith. He heard him, and, like the youthful Samuel of his early nation, he rose up at the call. The outward, visible semblance of a dove rested upon him, and he heard the voice saying,- "This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased." It was enough. His faith was ready and obedient. He sought in prayer of the Spirit's promptings, to whose voice he had listened, and was led thereof apart to meditate and pray. And when he saw and felt the full extent and depth of the new kingdom needed and at hand, when he felt how utterly it must thrust the sword of division even into the very nation's heart, and that it must divide nearest and dearest kindred, and kindle the fires of deadly feud, and persecution, and hatred, that in many hearts would never go out,

when he saw that its progress must drive the ploughshare beneath the foundation-stones of the pride of Ju

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dah, dissolve the rank and power of her holy priesthood and Sanhedrim, and plant the nation anew in righteousness, - he knew full well that no unaided might of the son of Mary could withstand the broad current of the nation's scorn and derision, opposition and contempt, and deadly hostility. Full well he saw how speedily the time would be, when it should be said,-" Better that this man die than that the whole nation perish.' To all human appearance, for one in his situation to enter upon the planting of a kingdom of such influences, and mighty, worldmoving results, and which, as yet, had but rarely been named, and that only from the God-anointed lips of holy prophets, seemed no better than utter folly and hopelessness. Friendship and love would grieve over him as mad, while age, and wisdom, and law would doom him early to the prison and the cross. But in that bosom was a simple, ready, obedient faith to every word proceeding from the mouth of God, that was more than a balance for all these, to the natural eye, impossibilities. He believed that God would guard where God should lead; that he would sink the mountains, and raise the valleys, and make straight the way of the Lord before him. To this faith was he obedient, and therein went he forth alone, save as the Father was with him, to the work of a world's regeneration. Friendless, poor, lowly, despised, and rejected, a unit against his nation and the world, still his faith faltered not at the Spirit's call. Nor did it even unto the end. When friends forsook him, and com

when power derided and wisdom.

panions betrayed him, mocked, and, finally, when all forsook him and fled,

and left him to be crucified with thieves and to make his


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grave with the wicked, knowing even a deeper darkness than that of the tomb beneath the shadow of the cross's infamy, still, still had he faith in God; faith obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.

And what, O, what have been the results of that faith? Who shall be able to utter them? They shall only be wholly read when eternity shall unfold its everlasting page to the vision of those fast by the right hand of God. Yet may we read with mortal vision enough of the results of that obedient faith of his, to make him ever therein the world's light and pattern while time endureth.

Suffice it, then, to remember, that from the leaven of faith in the bosom of that "man of sorrows " hath gone forth, and is still spreading, a world-wide and a worldregenerating and sanctifying influence. How soon was it the coming kingdom in the very place of the ritual of those who doomed him to die and sealed up his tomb. How has it spread from sea to sea, and from the rivers to the ends of the earth. It hath made the floods to lift up their voices, and the isles of the sea to be glad, in that their redemption hath come. It hath caused the wilderness and the solitary place to bud and blossom as the rose. It is softening the wide heart of humanity, bringing deliverance to the captives, opening the prison-doors to them that are bound, and setting at liberty them that are bruised. Myriads of the seraphic hosts that now. compass the throne of God and of the Lamb that was slain hath it borne safely across the sea of life, enabling them to overcome the world, and landing them safe in the haven of eternal glory. Every spire, and tower, and lowly tabernacle of Christian worship, all over the earth,

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