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The Mind Of Jesus by John Ross Macduff

Twenty-first Day. BEARING THE CROSS.

|And He bearing His cross.| -- John, xix.17.

When did Jesus bear the cross? Not that moment alone, surely, when the bitter tree was placed on His shoulders, on the way to Golgotha. Its vision may be said to have risen before Him in His infant dreams in Bethlehem's cradle; there, rather, its reality began; and He ceased not to carry it, till His work was finished, and the victory won! A cloud, of old, hovered over the mercy-seat in the tabernacle and temple. So it was with the Great Antitype -- the living Mercy-Seat -- He had ever a cloud of woe hanging over him. |He carried our sorrows.|

Reader! dwell much and often under the shadow of your Lord's cross, and it will lead you to think lightly of your own! If He gave utterance to not one murmuring word, canst thou complain? |If we were deeper students of his bitter anguish, we should think less of the ripplings of our waves, amidst His horrible tempest.| -- (Evans.) The saint's cross assumes many and diverse shapes. Sometimes it is the bitter trial, the crushing pang of bereavement -- desolate households, and aching hearts. Sometimes it is the crucifixion of sin, the determined battle with |lusts which war against the soul.| Sometimes it is the resistance of evil maxims and practices of a lying world; vindicating the honor of Christ, in the midst, it may be, of taunt, and obloquy, and shame. And as there are different crosses, so there are different ways of bearing them. To some, God says, |put your shoulder to the burden; lift it up, and bear it on; work, and toil, and labor!| To others, He says, |Be still, bear it, and suffer!|

Believer! thy cross may be hard to endure; it may involve deep struggles -- tears by day, watchings by night; bear it meekly, patiently, justifying God's wisdom in laying it on. Rejoice in the assurance that He gives not one atom more of earthly trial than He sees to be really needful; not one redundant thorn pierces your feet. In the very bearing of the cross for His sake, there are mighty compensations. What new views of your Saviour's love! His truth, His promises, His sustaining grace, His sufferings, His glory! What new filial nearness; increased delight in prayer; an inner sunshine when it is darkest without! The waves cover you, but underneath them all, are |the everlasting arms!|

Do not look out for a situation without crosses. Be not over anxious about |smooth paths;| -- leaving your God, as Orpah did Naomi, just when the cross requires to be carried. Immoderate earthly enjoyments -- unbroken earthly prosperity -- write upon these, |Beware!| You may live to see them become your greatest trials!

Remember the old saying, |No cross, no crown.| The sun of the saint's life generally struggles through |weeping clouds.| One of the loveliest passages of Scripture is that in which, the portals of heaven being opened, we overhear this dialogue between two ransomed ones -- |And one of the elders answered saying unto me, What are these which are arrayed in white robes, and whence came they? And I said unto him, Sir, thou knowest. And he said to me, These are they which came out of great tribulation!|


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