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A Divine Colloquy between the Soul and her Saviour upon the effectual Merits of his dolorous Passion.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou wash thy disciples’ feet?
Christ. To teach thee how thou shouldst prepare thyself to come to my supper.
Soul. Lord, why shouldst thou wash them thyself? (John xiii. 4.)
Christ. To teach thee humility, if thou wilt be my disciple.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou before thy death institute thy last supper? (Luke xxii. 19, 20.)
Christ. That thou mightst the better remember my death, and be assured that all the merits thereof are thine.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou go to such a place where Judas knew to find thee? (John xviii. 2.)
Christ. That thou mightst know that I went as willingly to suffer for thy sin, as ever thou wentest to any place to commit a sin.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou begin thy passion in a garden? (John xviii. 1.)
Christ. Because that in a garden thy sin took first beginning (Gen. iii. 3.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore did thy three select disciples fall so fast asleep, when thou didst begin to fall into thy agony? (Matt. xxvi. 40.)
Christ. To shew that I alone wrought the work of thy redemption (Isa. lxiii. 5.)
Soul. Lord, why were there so many plots and snares laid for thee? (Matt. xxvi. 4.)331
Christ. That I might make thee to escape all snares of thy ghostly hunter (Psalm 134:7Psal cxxiv. 7.)
Soul. Lord, why shouldst thou suffer Judas, betraying thee, to kiss thee? (Matt. xxvi. 49.)
Christ. That by enduring the words of dissembling lips, I might there begin to expiate sin, where Satan first brought it into the world (Gen. iii. 4, 5.)
Soul. Lord, why wouldst thou be sold for thirty-pieces of silver? (Matt. xxvii. 3.)
Christ. That I might free thee from perpetual bondage.
Christ. That I might quench the fury of God’s justice, which was so fiercely kindled against thee.
Soul. Lord, why wast thou so afraid, and cast into such an agony? (Mark xiv. 33.)
Christ. That suffering the wrath due to thy sins, thou mightst be more secure in thy death, and find more comfort in thy crosses.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou pray so oft and so earnestly that the cup might pass from thee? (Matt. xxvi. 39, 42, 44.)
Christ. That thou mightst perceive the horror of that curse and wrath, which being due to thy sins, I was then to drink and endure for thee (Gal. iii. 13.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou, after thy wish, submit thy will to the will of thy Father? (Luke xxii. 42.)
Christ. To teach thee what thou shouldst do in all thy afflictions; and how willingly thou shouldst yield to bear with patience that cross, which thou seest to come from the just hand of thy heavenly Father.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou sweat such drops of blood? (Luke xxii. 44.)
Christ. That I might cleanse thee from thy stains and bloody spots.
Soul. Lord, why shouldst thou be taken when thou mightst have escaped thine enemies? (Luke xxii. 54.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be forsaken of all thy disciples? (Matt. xxvi. 56.)
Christ. That I might reconcile thee unto God, of whom thou wast forsaken for thy sins.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou stand to be apprehended alone? (John xviii. 8.)
Christ. To shew thee that my love of thy salvation was more than the love of all my disciples.
Soul. Lord, wherefore was the young man caught by the soldiers, and unstript of his linen, who came out of his bed, hearing the stir at thy apprehension and leading to the high priest? (Mark xiv. 51, 52.)
Christ. To shew their outrage in apprehending me, and my power in preserving out of their outrageous hands, all my disciples, who otherwise had been worse handled by them than was that young man.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be bound? (Matt. xxvii. 2.)
Christ. That I might loose the cords of thine iniquities.
Soul. Lord, why wast thou denied of Peter? (Luke xxii. 57, 58, 60.)
Christ. That I might confess thee before my Father, and thou mightst learn, that there is no trust in man, and that salvation proceeds of my mere mercy.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou bring Peter to repentance by the crowing of a cock? (Matt. xxvi. 74, 75.)
Christ. That none should despise the means which God hath appointed for their conversion, though they seem never so mean.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou at the cock-crowing turn and look upon Peter? (Luke xxii. 61.)
Christ. Because thou mightst know, that without the help of my grace, no means can turn a sinner unto God, when he is once fallen from him.333
Soul. Lord, wherefore wast thou covered with a purple robe? (John xix. 5.)
Christ. That thou mightst perceive that it was I that did away thy scarlet sins (Isa. i. 18.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be crowned with thorns? (Matt. xxvii. 29.)
Christ. That by wearing thorns, the first fruits of the curse, it might appear, that it is I which take away the sins and curse of the world, and crown thee with the crown of life and glory (1 Pet. v. 4; Rev. ii. 10.)
Soul. Lord, why was a reed put into thy hand? (Matt. xxvii. 29.)
Christ. That it might appear that I came not to break the bruised reed (Matt. xii. 20.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wast thou mocked of the Jews? (Matt. xxvii. 29.)
Christ. That thou mightst insult over devils, who otherwise would have mocked thee, as the Philistines did Sampson (Judg. xvi. 25.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou have thy blessed face defiled with spittle? (Matt. xxvii. 30.)
Christ. That I might cleanse thy face from the shame of sin.
Soul. Wherefore, Lord, were thy eyes hood-winked with a veil? (Mark xiv. 65.)
Christ. That thy spiritual blindness being removed, thou mightst behold the face of my Father in heaven.
Christ. That thou mightst be freed from the strokes and tearings of infernal fiends.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be reviled? (Matt. xxvii. 39.)
Christ. That God might speak peace unto thee by his word and Spirit.334
Christ. That thy face might shine glorious as the angels in heaven (Matt. xiii. 43.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be so cruelly scourged? (John xix. 1.)
Christ. That thou mightst be freed from the sting of conscience, and whips of everlasting torments.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be arraigned at Pilate’s bar? (Mark xv. 1.)
Christ. That thou mightst at the last day be acquitted before my judgment-seat.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be falsely accused? (Luke xxiii. 2.)
Christ, That thou shouldst not be justly condemned.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be turned over to be condemned by a strange judge? (Matt. xxvii. 2.)
Christ. That thou being redeemed from the captivity of a hellish tyrant, mightst be restored to God, whose own thou art by right.
Soul. Wherefore, O Christ, didst thou acknowledge that Pilate had power over thee from above? (John xix. 11.)
Christ. That the law being condemned in me, thou mightst not be condemned by it.335
Christ. That thou mightst know, that it was not for my faults, but for thine that I suffered.
Christ. That I might bring thee to rest in the heavenly city.
Christ. To shew the weakness whereunto the burden of thy sins brought me, and what must be every Christian’s case which goeth out of the field of this world toward the heavenly Jerusalem.
Soul. Lord why wast thou stripped of thy garments? (John xix. 23.)
Christ. That thou mightst see how I forsook all to redeem thee.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be lifted upon the cross? (John xii. 32.)
Christ. That I might lift thee up with me to heaven.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou hang upon a cursed tree? (Gal. iii. 13.)
Christ. That I might satisfy for thy sin committed in eating the forbidden fruit of a tree (Gen. ii. 17.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou hang between two thieves? (Luke xxiii. 33.)
Christ. That thou mightst have place in the midst of heavenly angels.
Christ. To enlarge thy hands to do the works of righteousness, and to set thy feet at liberty to walk in the ways of peace.
Soul. Lord, wherefore did they crucify thee in Golgotha, the place of dead mens’ sculls? (Matt. xxvii. 33.)
Christ To assure thee that my death is life unto the dead.336
Soul. Lord, why did not the soldiers divide thy seamless coat? (John xix. 24.)
Christ. To shew that my church is one, without rent or schism.
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou taste vinegar and gall? (Matt. xxvii. 34.)
Christ. That thou mightst eat the bread of angels, and drink the water of life.
Soul. Lord, why saidst thou upon the cross, “It is finished?” (John xix. 30.)
Soul. Lord, why didst thou cry out upon the cross, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Mark xv. 34.)
Christ. Lest thou, being forsaken of God, shouldst have been driven to cry in the pains of hell, wo and alas! for evermore.
Soul. Lord, wherefore was there such a general darkness when thou didst suffer and cry out upon the cross? (Matt. xxvii. 45.)
Soul. Lord, why wouldst thou have thy arms nailed abroad?
Soul. Lord, why did the thief, that never wrought good before, obtain paradise upon so short repentance? (Luke xxiii. 43.)
Christ. That thou mayst see the power of my death to forgive them that repent, that no sinner needs despair.337
Soul. Lord, why did not the other thief which hanged as near thee obtain the like mercy? (Luke xxiii. 39.)
Christ. Because I leave whom I will, to harden themselves in themselves, to destruction, that all should fear, and none presume (Rom. ix. 18.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou cry with such a loud and strong voice in yielding up the ghost? (Matt. xxvii. 50.
Christ. That it might appear that no man took my life from me, but that I laid it down of myself (John x. 18.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou commend thy soul into thy Father’s hands? (Luke xxiii. 46.)
Christ. To teach thee what thou shouldst do, being to depart this life.
Soul. Lord, wherefore was the veil of the temple rent in twain at thy death? (Matt. xxvii. 51.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore did the earth quake and the stones cleave at thy death? (Matt. xxvii. 51.)
Christ. For horror to bear her Lord dying, and to upbraid the cruel hardness of sinners’ hearts.
Christ. That thou mightst know that they had not power to do any more unto me than the scripture had foretold that they should do, and I should suffer to save thee.
Soul. Lord, wherefore was thy side opened with a spear?
Christ. That thou mightst have a way to come nearer my heart.
Soul. Lord, wherefore ran there out of thy precious side blood and water?
Christ. To assure thee that I was slain indeed, seeing my heart-blood gushed out, and the water which 338compassed ray heart flowed forth after it, which once spilt, must needs die.147147There is about man’s heart a skin called pericardium, containing water, which cools and moistens the heart, lest it should be scorched with continual motion. This skin once pierced, man cannot live,—Columb. Anatom. 1. 7; Horst. de Nat. Human, 1. i. exerce. 8. q. 5.
Soul. Lord, wherefore ran the blood first by itself, and the water afterwards by itself, out of thy blessed wound? (1 John v. 6.)
Christ. To assure thee of two things:—First, That by my blood-shedding justification and sanctification were effected to save thee. Secondly, That my Spirit, by the conscionable use of the water in baptism, and blood in the eucharist, will effect in thee righteousness and holiness, by which thou shalt glorify me.
Soul. Lord, wherefore did the graves open at thy death? (Matt. xxvii. 52.)
Christ. To signify that death, by my death, had now received his death’s wound, and was overcome.
Soul. Lord, wherefore wouldst thou be buried? (Matt. xxvii. 60.)
Christ. That thy sins might never rise up to judgment against thee.
Christ. That the truth of my death, the cause of thy life, might more evidently appear unto all.
Christ. That it might appear that I, and not another, arose; and that by my own power, and not by another’s virtue, like him who revived at the touching of Elisha’s bones (2 Kings xiii. 21.)
Soul. Lord, wherefore didst thou raise up thy body again? (Matt. xxviii. 6.)
Christ. That thou mayst be assured that thy sins are discharged, and that thou art justified (Rom. iv. 25.)339
Christ. To give thee assurance, that all the saints shall arise, by virtue of my resurrection, at the last day.
Soul. Lord, what shall I render unto thee for all these benefits? (Psal. cxvi. 12.)
Christ. Love thy Creator, and become a new creature (Gal. vi. 15.)
The Soul’s Soliloquy, ravished in contemplation of the Passion of our Lord.
What hadst thou done, O my sweet Saviour, and ever-blessed Redeemer, that thou wast thus betrayed of Judas, sold of the Jews, apprehended as a malefactor, and led bound as a lamb to the slaughter? What evil hadst thou committed, that thou shouldst be thus openly arraigned, accused falsely, and unjustly condemned before Annas and Caiaphas, the Jewish priests, at the judgment-seat of Pilate, the Roman president? What was thine offence? or to whom didst thou ever wrong? that thou shouldst be thus pitifully scourged with whips, crowned with thorns, scoffed with flouts, reviled with words, buffeted with fists, and beaten with staves? O Lord, what didst thou deserve to have thy blessed face spit upon, and covered as it were with shame? to have thy garments parted, thy hands and feet nailed to the cross? to be lifted upon the cursed tree, to be crucified among thieves, and made to taste gall and vinegar; and in thy deadly extremity, to endure such a sea of God’s wrath, that made thee to cry out, as if thou hadst been forsaken of God thy Father; yea, to have thy innocent heart pierced with a cruel spear, and thy precious blood to be spilt before thy blessed mother’s eyes? Sweet Saviour, how much wast thou tormented to endure all this, seeing I am so much amazed to think upon it! I inquire for thy offence, but I can find none in thee; no, nor so 340much as guile to have been found in thy mouth. Thy enemies are challenged, and none of them dare rebuke thee of sin; thy accusers, that are suborned, agree not in their witness; the judge that condemns thee, openly cleareth thy innocency; his wife sends him word she was warned in a dream that thou wast a just man, and therefore should take heed of doing injustice unto thee. The centurion that executed thee, confessed thee of a truth to be both a just man, and the very Son of God.
The thief that hanged with thee justifieth thee, that thou hast done nothing amiss. What is the cause, then, O Lord, of this thy cruel ignominy, passion, and death? I, O Lord, I am the cause of these thy sorrows; my sins wrought thy shame, my iniquities are the occasion of thy injuries. I have committed the fault, and thou art plagued for the offence; I am guilty, and thou art arraigned; I committed the sin, and thou sufferedst the death; I have done the crime, and thou hangest on the cross. Oh the deepness of God’s love! Oh the wonderful disposition of heavenly grace! O the unmeasurable measure of divine mercy! The wicked transgresseth, and the just is punished; the guilty let escape, and the innocent is arraigned; the malefactor is acquitted, and the harmless condemned; what the evil man deserveth, the good man suffereth; the servant doeth the fault, the master endures the strokes. What shall I say? Man sinneth, and God dieth. O Son of God! who can sufficiently express thy love, or commend thy pity, or ex-fot thy praise? I was proud, and thou art humble; I was disobedient, and thou becamest obedient; I did eat the forbidden fruit, and thou didst hang on the cursed tree; I played the glutton, and thou didst fast; evil concupiscence drew me to eat the pleasant apple, and perfect charity led thee to drink of the bitter cup; I essayed the sweetness of the fruit, and thou didst taste the bitterness of the gall. Foolish Eve smiled when I laughed, but blessed Mary wept when thy heart bled and died. O my God here I see thy goodness and my badness, thy 341justice and my injustice, the impiety of my flesh, and the piety of thy nature. And now, O blessed Lord, thow hast endured all this for my sake, what shall I render unto thee for all thy benefits bestowed upon me a sinful soul? Indeed, Lord, I acknowledge that I owe thee already, for my creation, more than I am able to pay; for I am in that respect bound with all my powers and affections to love and adore thee. If I owed myself unto thee for giving me myself in my creation, what shall I now render thee for giving thyself for me to so cruel a death, to procure my redemption? Great was the benefit that thou wouldst create me of nothing; but what tongue can express the greatness of this grace, that thou didst redeem me with so dear a price, when I was worse than nothing? Surely, Lord, if I cannot pay the thanks I owe thee (and who can pay thee, who bestowest thy graces without respect of merit or regard of measure?) it is the abundance of thy blessings that makes me such a bankrupt, that I am so far unable to pay the principal, that I cannot possibly pay so much as the interest of thy love.
But, O my Lord, thou knowest that since the loss of thy image, by the fall of my unhappy parents, I cannot love thee with all my might and mind, as I should; therefore as thou didst first cast thy love upon me when. I was a child of wrath and a lump of the lost and condemned world, so now, I beseech thee, shed abroad thy love by thy Spirit through all my faculties and affections, that though I can never pay thee in that measure of love which thou hast deserved, yet I may endeavour to repay thee in such a manner as thou vouchsafest to accept in mercy; that I may in truth of heart love my neighbour for thy sake, and love thee above ail for thine own sake. Let nothing be pleasant unto me, but that which is pleasing unto thee. And, sweet Saviour, suffer me never to be lost or cast away, whom thou hast bought so dearly with thine own most precious blood. O Lord, let me never forget thine infinite love, and this unspeakable 342benefit of my redemption; without which, it had been better for me never to have been, than to have any being.
And seeing that thou hast vouchsafed me the assistance of thy Holy Spirit, suffer me, O heavenly Father, Who art the Father of spirits, in the mediation of thy Son, to speak a few words in the ears of my Lord: if thou, O Father, despisest me for my iniquities, as I have deserved, yet be merciful unto me for the merits of thy Son, who so much for me hath suffered. What if thou seest nothing in me but misery, which might move anger and passion; yet behold the merits of thy Son, and thou shalt see enough to move thee to mercy and compassion; behold the mystery of his incarnation, and remit the misery of my transgression. And as oft as the Wounds of thy Son appear in thy sight, O let the woes, of my sins be hid from thy presence; as oft as the redness of his blood glitters in thy eyes, O let the guiltiness of my sins be blotted out of thy book. The wantonness of my flesh provokes thee to wrath, O let the purity of his flesh persuade thee to mercy; that as my flesh seduced me to sin, so his flesh may reduce me into thy favour. My disobedience hath deserved a great revenge, but his obedience merits a greater weight of mercy; for what can man deserve to suffer, which God, made man, cannot merit to have forgiven? When I consider the greatness of thy passion, then do I see the trueness of that saying, That Christ came into the world to save the chiefest sinners. Darest thou, O Cain, say that thy sins are greater than may be forgiven? thou liest like a murderer; the mercies of one Christ are able to forgive a world of Cains, if they will believe and repent. “The sins of all sinners are finite, the mercies of God are infinite. Therefore, O Father, for the death and passion’s sake which thy Son Jesus Christ has suffered for me, and I have now remembered to thee, pardon and forgive thou unto me all my sins, and deliver me from the curse and vengeance which they have justly deserved, and 343through his merits, make me, O Lord, a partaker of thy mercy. It is thy mercy that I so earnestly knock for; neither shall my importunity cease to call and knock, with the man that would borrow the loaves, until thou arise and open unto me thy gates of grace; and if thou wilt not bestow on me thy loaves, yet, O Lord, deny me not the crumbs of thy mercy, and those shall suffice thy hungry handmaid. And seeing thou requirest nothing for thy benefits, but that I love thee in the truth of my inward heart, whereof a new creature is the truest outward testimony, and that it is as easy for thee to make me a new creature, as to bid me to be such; create in me, O Christ, a new heart, and renew in me a right spirit, and then thou shalt see how, mortifying old Adam and his corrupt lusts, I will serve thee as thy new creature, in a new life, after a new way, with a new tongue,, and new manners, with new words, and new works, to the glory of thy name, and the winning other sinful souls to thy faith, by my devout example. Keep me for ever, O my Saviour, from the torments of hell, and tyranny of the devil; and when I am to depart this life, send thy holy angels to carry me, as they did the soul of Lazarus, into thy kingdom; receive me into that joyful paradise, which thou didst promise to the penitent thief, who at his last gasp upon the cross so devoutly begged thy mercy, and admission into thy kingdom. Grant this, O Christ, for thy own name’s sake, to whom, as is most due, I ascribe all glory, and honour, praise, and dominion, both now and for ever.”
STEVENSON & CO. PRINTERS,
THISTLE STREET, EDINBURGH.
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