Meditation 2: That the Cross of the Holy Jesus should excite us to Repentance, by Richard Allestree.
While we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5. 8.
Behold, my soul, thy Saviour's sufferings; the wounds of him that was crucified, and the torments of him that expired on the cross: That sacred head at which angels tremble, is platted with a crown of thorns: That face which in beauty exceeded all mankind's, is spit upon by the ungodly: Those eyes, brighter than the sun in his meridian, are obscured in death: Those ears which were accustomed to hear angelical anthems, are infested now with arrogant speeches, and scornful reproaches: That mouth from whence proceeded divine oracles, and dictated to angels their celestial lessons, receives nothing but gall and vinegar: Those feet which the devout Magdalen kissed, and wiped with the hairs of her head, are fastened with nails: Those hands which stretched out the heavens like a curtain, are now extended on the tree of shame.
That body, the Deity's temple, is scourged and wounded with a spear: Nothing escaped the malicious Jews but his tongue, and that was meekly exercised in praying for his persecutors. And he who now reigns in the highest heavens, underwent all this for lost mankind: He felt the pains of hell, and cried out, My God! My God! Why hast thou forsaken me? Mat. 27. 46. So great was his agony and anguish, that he which comforts
angels, stood now in need of one to comfort him.
If this happens to the just, what shall become of wretched sinners? What measure shall the Almighty take with us for our offences, who is so wrathfully displeased with his well-beloved Son for the sins of the whole World? O God of infinite mercy, take from us these stoney hearts of ours, and give us hearts of flesh, that we may tremble at thy word, and melt at thy judgments. Lord, let us not forget thy acclamations and tears: Thou cries from the cross, Behold, O ye sons and daughters of men, what I suffer for you! Was ever grief so great? or any sorrow like unto my sorrow? But O thou whose property it is to have mercy, convert our stubborn hearts unto thee.