from the dust which encompasses us, the tears which blind them must be wiped away. It is in these offices of kindness and compassion that our Lord was so constantly employed while on earth; and it is only still while we look to Him under this aspect, that we can fully appreciate what He has done for mankind.

I. In the first place, how consolatory is the contemplation of his compassion to those who are suffering from any of the afflictions of human life! It is not in such moments the words of formal wisdom of which the Heart is chiefly in want. The common topics of consolation may be all very just and true, but we cannot well attend to them, at least in the first hours of our sorrow.

The friend whom we then most anxiously look for is one who will sit down and weep with us, and when he attempts to console us, yet does it with a tender feeling of the calamity which overpowers us.

Such friends are sometimes to be met with in the world ; but where, throughout all the crowded theatre of existence, is there one, whose compassion is equal to His whom we find in the Gospel ? Every man, more or less, is occupied with his own concerns,

and feels the distresses of others as somewhat a tax upon his humanity. It is only He whom. the Gospel reveals to us, whose willing business it was to listen to every grief,—to sit down by every mourner,—and to take no offence at the weakest expressions of suffering! Wherever sorrow was to be found, there He too came, and at once showed, by his demeanour, the kindness of his sympathy !-And does He not still come to the mourner,--and although now he does not miraculously remove the diseases and afflictions of our suffering nature, yet are not His words of compassion still present to the troubled soul; and does he not anxiously call upon us to confide in Him, under every affliction, to be assured that he is willing to console us, and to believe, that, if our calamity has introduced us into a nearer intercourse with Him, it has done more for our real good than could have been done by the utmost stability of mortal existence ? It is by the tenderness of his expressions of sympathy in the sorrowful and trying situations of life, that this divine Teacher renders those si. tuations so productive of our highest moral improvement. There is nothing supercilious or overbearing in his instructions. His words

then are,

“Come unto me all ye that are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” However, in our days of prosperity we may have forgotten him; when the evil days come, He yet shews that he is most willing to be found by us, and he then meets us, and calls upon us to be his disciples, and to take his yoke upon us, and to learn of him, for he is meek and lowly in heart,” and from him we shall“ find rest unto our souls."

II. There is, in the second place, my brethren, as you are well aware, a source of sorrow separate from all others, and peculiar to Man, -the sorrow which arises from the sense of unworthiness, or of deviation from the laws of duty. In every human Being, upon reflection on the course which he has past, a sorrow of this kind must be awakened ; in different degrees, indeed, according to the nature of the delinquencies; a sorrow, however, in every degree, more than Human Nature can of itself bear, and which, more than any other, requires the sympathy of a Divine Friendship for our relief. For is there a friend in this world to whom, in all - cases of this nature, we could


bring ourselves to unbosom our secret souls ? Is there one in whose tenderness and compassion we can in every instance confide? Or if we could confide, yet what solid consolation from his pity ? Could he restore to us, our self-esteem, or the hopes of the Divine Favour?

It is in the great Friend who appears to us in the Gospel we can alone have entire confidence in this most delicate and trying predicament. He, in such moments more particularly, calls us to come to Him ;-solicits us to unburden before him all the weight which oppresses us, -tells us, that He has power to heal the worst wounds of our souls, and points to the sacrifice which he offered upon the Cross as the pledge and the means of our forgiveness. On the first symptom of penitence, this Divine Friend immediately speaks to us of pardon. However far wemay have wandered from our Father's House, if we once earnestly set ourselves to return, He hesitates not a moment to tell us, that we shall be received :—He reproaches us not for the extent of our wanderings ! Alas! conscience can but too well perform that office! No, it is only in the voice of encouragement that he speaks to us,-that, in the blessed instant on which we set out upon our return, Angels themselves, He assures us, are rejoicing in our way ;-and that he calls us to look up to Him, and never to doubt, that if “ God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten son,” then, “ whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.”

It is thus that we receive in two very important situations the utmost consolation from the compassion of Christ,—under all the calamities of human life, and more particularly under the sorrows of repentance. It is only, indeed, when the sinner turns from the evil of his ways, and is eager to save his soul alive, that he can feel how this Divine Compassion applies to him; yet the text informs us, my brethren, that it exists even where it cannot console, and that there is no situation of human guilt in which it does not reside in the mind of the Redeemer, although the blindness of the soul of man may not perceive it.

“ When he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, if thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace !--but now they are hid from thine eyes."

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