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He says, what arguments He brings, what proofs He gives, what witnesses He calls, what miracles He works, they will not set Him free. Their wills are fixed and resolved on His death.

He has heretofore wrought before their eyes wonders such as no other man has wrought: If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have sin : but now they have no excuse for their sin. If I had not done among them the works that no other man hath done, they would not have sin; but now they have both seen and hated both Me and My Father (St. John xv.).

D. “ Attendite." Greater things than these unhappy men saw we have seen. Greater wonders have been wrought

for us.

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"Have mercy on me, O God, according to Thy great mercy: blot out my iniquity : for had the things been done for others that have been done for me, long ago they would have done penance, and long ago they would have loved Thee fervently."

STATION IV. But hereafter the Son of Man shall be sitting on the right

hand of the power of God (v. 69). A. At the inidnight trial, our Lord reminded the Priests and Ancients of the Judgment to come. He does so now again in His great charity and compassion. For He knows that the thought of this terrible accounting day oftentimes baffles all the efforts of Satan, and deters the tempted man from consummating his sin.

Let us call to mind some of the sacred words which set before us how salutary it is to remember the Judgment.

1. In all thy works remember thy last end, and thou shalt never sin (Ecclus. vii.). Against all kinds of sin, then, the thought of the Judgment is a powerful medicine.

2. It is efficacious when we are tempted to anger and hatred—how common a danger!

Remember thy last end, and let enmities cease (Ecclus. xxviii.).

3. It prevents us from being unjust to servants, or hard on the poor.

Holy Job tells us that he never dared to act unfairly to his man-servant, or maid-servant, or to deny to the poor what they desired.

For what shall I do when God shall rise to judge : and when He shall examine, what shall I answer ? (Job xxxi.).

B. Another word to be laid up in our hearts is : Judge not and you shall not be judged. In the whole of the Sacred Books is there a more wonderful promise than this? If we have only the sense to abstain from judging severely and condemning a fellow-sinner, no worse than ourselves, we shall have nothing to fear when this Judgment comes, for which our Lord so much desires us to prepare. do not avail ourselves of this marvellous promise, we shall have good reason to make that everlasting moan: We fools ! We fools!

If we

STATION V. Then said they all : Art Thou then the Son of God? Who said, You say that I am. And they said, What need we

I any further testimony ? For we ourselves have heard if from His own mouth (vv. 70, 71). A. Art Thou then the Son of God ?

Our Blessed Saviour had not called Himself the Son of God. His words are: The Son of Man shall be sitting on the right hand of the power of God.

But they have known in time past that He does claim to be the Son of God. Three days ago, they heard Him prove unanswerably from the Scriptures that the Christ was to be something more than a mere son of David. And our Blessed Saviour stated at the Supper that they had full and sufficient knowledge that He was the Son of God: They have both seen and hated both Me and My Father.

We know, moreover, from the revelation in the Book of Wisdom, that this is their one supreme grievance: He

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maketh Himself the Son of God. He boasteth that He hath God for His Father.

The watchful and overruling providence of God takes good care that it be made clear and evident that He is put to death not as a malefactor, but because He maketh Himself the Son of God,

B. What need we any further testimony?

St. Peter exhorts us all to live so that we suffer not as wrong-doers, but as followers of Christ : For this is thanksworthy if for conscience towards God a man endure sorrows, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it, if committing sin and being buffeted for it you endure? But if doing well you suffer patiently, this is thanksworthy before God (1 St. Peter ii.). We sometimes complain loudly if made to suffer when we think that we have not deserved it; we say, we could bear it if we had done wrong. But when these are our dispositions, should we bear it at all more patiently even if we had sinned ?

A very common and very bad state of soul is when we will not suffer patiently, whether we are guilty or not.

A much better state is that of the Good Thief, who willingly accepts what he has deserved: We indeed justly, for we have received the due reward of our deeds.

The highest and best state of all is that of those who with their Divine Master willingly suffer persecution, merely because they are children of God and true to Him.

C. What need we any further testimony ?

No! Witnesses are not wanted; for they are not come to seek for truth, but that they might put Him to death (St. Matt. xxvii.). No; it is most true that from the beginning they needed no witnesses at all. The calling of witnesses was a superfluous and vain folly, just as the armed force was that sallied out to seize Jesus. Pilate the Roman will want to have witnesses, to prove that He is a malefactor against Roman laws; of such they have

But to prove that He calls Himself the Son of

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God and is the Son of God, they have His own profession ; they have His miracles; they have the voice of His Father from Heaven, heard at the Jordan, and again at the Temple four days ago.

We ourselves have heard it from His own mouth. Yes, both now and oftentimes before. It is certain beyond all doubt that He claims to be and is the Son of God. Therefore the whole Council now ratifies and legalises the unjust and illegal sentence of the midnight: He is guilty of death.

D. Art Thou the Son of God ?

Not then as a malefactor is our Lord to die ; for He is the innocent Son of God. But for this and for this only He deserves to die, that He loved me and delivered Himself up for me.

Our Blessed Lady is listening; and if we would listen to her, she would say to each of us most lovingly and earnestly: Forget not the kindness of thy Surety, for He hath given His life for thee (Ecclus. xxix.).

"Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

END OF THE NIGHT WATCHES,

END OF VOL. I.

THE ABERDEEN UNIVERSITY PRESS LIMITED

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