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St. MARK, XIV. 43.
And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas,
one of the twelve; and with him, a great multitude,
with swords and staves
1 Cor. v. 7.
Christ our Passover.
Having commenced that period of the ecclesiastical
year, which, in primitive ages; the church entitled the great and holy week(1), and which, in modern times, is more commonly called the Passion Week,.. I purpose, by God's assistance, to deliver a course of daily lectures on those events, for the due consideration of which, this season has been set apart. Events they are, of overwhelming interest to the human race; and which no one, endowed with the common feelings of humanity, can contemplate without emotion. But it is to the true Christian, only, that they can speak in all the fulness of their import; since it is the true Christian, alone, who can, in any degree, comprehend the breadth, and length, and depth, and height, of the lovingkindness of the Lord,.. when, in all our afflictions
he was afflicted ; and in his mercy, and his pity, he redeemed us. *
May that blessed Being, whose sufferings and sacrifice we gratefully commemorate,.. who, when he took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in likeness as a man, instructed us by his precepts, encouraged us by his example, and saved us by his blood, .. may He, the Way, the Truth, and the Life, descend into our hearts, by the prevailing graces of his Spirit; and sanctify what shall here be said, to our mutual edification, and ghostly comfort!
It is to the events of the last three days of this eventful week, that our observations must be confined. For, within the limits prescribed by modern usage to addresses from the pulpit, it would be impossible to consider all, that, from the period of his last arrival at Jerusalem, till the day of his crucifixion, is recorded of our Lord, with the attention due, to discourses of such sacred interest, and to facts of such everlasting importance. It is, indeed, remarkable, that, although minuteness in detail, is, by no means, the general characteristic of the evangelical writers, yet, as they approach the hour, when the full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and
* Isaiah, lxiii. 7, 8, 9.