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CHAPTER IV. HOW VERY FAITHFUL HIS PASSION WAS.

The Servant.—Lord, if I forget Thy worth, Thy gifts, Thy benefits, and all things, still one thing moves me and goes to my very heart; this is, when I well reflect not only on the way of our salvation, but also on its unfathomably faithful way. Dear Lord, many a one so bestows a gift on another, that his love and faith are better known by his way than by his gift. A small gift in a faithful way is often better than a great one without this way. Now, Lord, not only is Thy gift so great, but also the way of it, methinks, is so unfathomably faithful. Thou didst not only suffer death for me, but Thou didst also seek whatever is deepest in love, whatever is most intimate and hidden, in which suffering can or may be experienced. Thou didst really do as though Thou hadst said: Behold all hearts, if ever a heart was so full of love; look on all my limbs; the noblest limb I have is my heart; my very heart have I permitted to be pierced through, to be slain and consumed, and bruised into small pieces, that nothing in me or upon me might remain unbestowed, so that ye might know my love. Alas! Lord, how was it in Thy mind, or what were Thy thoughts? Might one not indeed learn something farther on this head?

Eternal Wisdom.—Never was there a thirsty mouth that longed so ardently for the cool fountain, nor a dying man for the pleasant days of life, as I longed to help all sinners and to render Myself beloved of them. Sooner couldst thou recall the days that are gone, sooner couldst thou make green all withered flowers, and gather up every drop of rain, than possess the power to measure the love which I bear to thee and all mankind. And, therefore, was I so covered with marks of love that one could not have placed the small point of a needle on any spot of My lacerated body that had not its particular love-mark. Consider that My right hand was nailed through; My right arm stretched out; My left very grievously distended; My right foot perforated; My left cruelly transfixed; that I hung fainting, and in great distress of My divine limbs; all My delicate members were immovably fastened to the hard bed of the cross. My hot blood, because of My anguish, burst forth in many a wild gush, which overflowed My expiring body, so that it was a most piteous sight to see. Behold a lamentable thing! My young, My fair and blooming body began to fade, to wither and pine away, My weary and tender back had a hard pillow on the rough cross, My heavy body gave way, My whole frame was gashed with wounds, and like one great sore, and all this My loving heart willingly endured.

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