A Sermon Delivered On Sunday Evening, January 30, 1859, By Pastor C. H. Spurgeon, At The New Park Street Chapel, Southwark.
He showed them his hands and his feet. (Luke 24:40)
1. I have selected this sentence as the text, although I shall not strictly adhere to it. What was to be seen on Christ’s hands and feet? We are taught that the prints of the nails were visible, and that in his side there was still the gash of the spear. For did he not say to Thomas? “Reach your finger here and behold my hands, and reach your hand here and thrust it into my side, and do not be faithless, but believing.” I wish to draw your attention to the simple fact, that our Lord Jesus Christ, when he rose again from the dead had the marks of his passion in his body. If he had pleased he could readily have removed them. He rose again from the dead, and he might have erased from his body everything which could be an indication of what he had suffered and endured before he descended into the tomb. But, no! Instead of that, there were the pierced hands and feet, and there was the open side. What was the reason for this? There was no absolute necessity for it: it could easily have been dispensed with. What, then, were the reasons? I shall endeavour to enter into this subject, and I hope we may draw some profitable instructions from it.
2. First, what influence did the exhibition of the hands and feet have upon the disciples? Secondly, why is it that Jesus Christ, now in heaven, bears with him the scars in his flesh? And, then, thirdly, is there any lesson to us in the fact that Jesus Christ still wears his wounds? I think there is.
3. I. First, then, OF WHAT USE WAS THE EXHIBITION OF THOSE WOUNDS TO THE DESCIPLES? I reply at once that they were infallible proofs that he was the same person. He said, “Behold my hands and feet, that it is, I, myself.” It was to establish his identity, that he was the very same Jesus whom they had followed, whom at last they had deserted, whom they had beheld afar off crucified and slain, and whom they had carried to the tomb in the gloom of the evening; it was the very same Christ who was now before them, and they might know it, for there was the seal of his sufferings upon him. He was the same person; the hands and feet could testify to that. You know, beloved, had not some such evidence been visible upon our Saviour, it is probable that his disciples would have been sceptical enough to doubt his identity. Have you never seen men changed, extremely changed in their external appearance. I have known a man, perhaps, five or six years ago; he has passed through a world of suffering and pain, and when I have seen him again, I have declared, “I should not have known you if I had met you in the street.” Now, when the disciples parted with Jesus it was at the Lord’s Supper. They then walked with him into the garden. There the Saviour sweat, “as it were great drops of blood.” Do you not imagine that such a wrestling, such a bloody sweat as that, must have had some effect upon his visage. It had surely had enough to mar it before. But now the ploughshares of grief were sharpened, and anguish made deep furrows upon him. There must have been lines of grief upon his brow, deeper than they had ever seen before. This would have produced a change great enough to make them forget his countenance. Nor was this all. You know he had to undergo the flagellation at the pillar of the Praetorium, and then to die. Can you imagine that a man could pass through the process of death, through such astonishing agony as that which the Saviour endured, and yet that there should be no change in his visible appearance? I can conceive that in passing through such a furnace as this, the very lineaments of Christ’s face would seem to have been melted, and would have needed to be restored before the disciples could discern that he was the same man.
4. Besides that? you know that when Jesus arose, he rose with the same appearance as he now has when seated in heaven. His body was flesh and bone, but, nevertheless, it had miraculous powers; it was capable of entering into a room without the ordinary modes of access. We find our Saviour standing in the midst of his disciples, the doors being shut. I believe that Jesus had a body such as we are to have in the next world. Jesus Christ was not a phantom or spectre. His body was not a spirit; it was a real body. And so in heaven do not imagine that we are to be spirits. We are to be spirits until the great resurrection day; but, then, our spirit is afterwards to receive a spiritual body; it is to be clothed; it is not to be for ever a naked, bodiless spirit. That body will be to all intents and purposes the same body which shall be laid in the tomb. It is sown in dishonour, and the same, it is raised in glory: it is sown in weakness, and the same, it is raised in power. Note, Jesus was still flesh! All flesh is not the same flesh: all bodies have not the same qualities. So our Saviour’s flesh was flesh that could not suffer,—flesh that had extraordinary powers about it,—flesh however, that could eat, although it was under no necessity to do so. And such may be the body, the glorified body, which shall be given to us when we shall rise at the first resurrection, and shall be made like to our head. But, now, think! If Christ had to undergo in his countenance those matchless transformations, that must have been, first of all, connected with his bloody sweat, then, with his agony, and after that, with the transforming, or, if I may use such a word, the transmutation of his body into a spiritual body, can you not conceive that his likeness would be changed, that the disciples would scarcely know him if there had not been some deeply engraven marks by which they would be able to recognise him? The disciples looked upon the very face, but, even then they doubted. There was a majesty about him which most of them had not seen. Peter, James, and John, had seen him transfigured, when his garments were whiter than any fuller could make them; but the rest of the disciples had only seen him as a man of sorrows; they had not seen him as the glorious Lord, and, therefore, they would be apt to doubt whether he was the same man. But these nail prints, this pierced side, these were marks which they could not dispute, which unbelief itself could not doubt. And they all were convicted and confessed that he was the Lord; and even Thomas, faithless Thomas, was constrained to cry, “My Lord and my God!”
5. II. Let us turn to the second question: WHY SHOULD CHRIST WEAR THESE WOUNDS IN HEAVEN AND WHAT PURPOSE DO THEY SERVE? Let me give you some thoughts upon the matter.
6. I can conceive, first, that the wounds of Christ in heaven will be a theme of eternal wonder to the angels. An old writer represents the angels as saying, “Oh, Lord of glory, what are these wounds in your hand?” They had seen him depart from heaven, and they had gone with him as far as they might go, singing, “Glory to God in the highest, peace on earth.” Some of them had watched him through his pilgrimage, for “he was seen by angels.” But when he returned, I do not doubt that they crowded around him, bowed before him in adoration, and then asked the holy question, “What are these wounds in your hands?” At any rate they were enabled to see for themselves in heaven the man who suffered, and they could see the wounds which were produced in his body by his sufferings; and I can readily imagine that this would cause them to lift their songs higher, would prolong their shouts of triumph, and would cause them to adore him with a rapture of wonderment, such as they had never felt before. And I do not doubt that every time they look upon his hands, and behold the crucified man exalted by his Father’s side, they are enwrapped afresh in wonder, and again they pluck their harps with more joyous fingers at the thought of what he must have suffered who thus bears the scars of his hard fought battles.
7. Again, Christ wears these scars in his body in heaven as his ornaments. The wounds of Christ are his glories, they are his jewels and his precious things. To the eye of the believer Christ is never so glorious, never so surpassingly fair, as when we can say of him, “My beloved is white and ruddy,” white with innocence, and ruddy with his own blood. He never seems so beautiful as when we can see him as the rose and the lily; as the lily, matchless purity, and as the rose, crimsoned with his own gore. We may speak of Christ in his beauty, in various places raising the dead and stilling the tempest, but oh! there never was such a matchless Christ as he who hung upon the cross. There I behold all his beauties, all his attributes developed, all his love drawn out, all his character expressed in letters so legible, that even my poor stammering heart can read those lines and speak them out again, as I see them written in crimson upon the bloody tree. Beloved, these are to Jesus what they are to us; they are his ornaments, his royal jewels, his fair array. He does not care for the splendour and pomp of kings. The thorny crown is his diadem—a diadem such as no monarch ever wore. It is true that he does not bear now the sceptre of reed, but there is a glory in it that there never flashed from a sceptre of gold. It is true he is not now buffeted and spit upon: his face is not now marred more than that of any other man by grief and sorrow, for he is glorified and full of blessedness; but he never seems so lovely as when we see him buffeted by men for our sakes, enduring all manner of grief, bearing our iniquities, and carrying our sorrows. Jesus Christ finds such beauties in his wounds that he will not renounce them, he will wear the court dress in which he wooed our souls, and he will wear the royal purple of his atonement throughout eternity.
8. Nor are these only the ornaments of Christ: they are his trophies—the trophies of his love. Have you never seen a soldier with a gash across his forehead or in his cheek? Why every soldier will tell you the wound in battle is no disfigurement—it is his honour. “If” he said, “I received a wound when I was retreating, a wound in the back, that would be my disgrace, but if I have received a wound in a victory, then it is an honourable thing to be wounded.” Now, Jesus Christ has scars of honour in his flesh, and glory in his eyes. He has other trophies. He has divided the spoil with the strong; he has taken the captive away from his tyrant master; he has redeemed for himself a host that no man can number, who are all the trophies of his victories: but these scars, these are the memorials of the fight, and these are the trophies, too.
9. For do you not know it was from the side of Jesus that Death sucked its death. Jesus hung upon the cross, and Death thought to get the victory. Indeed, but in its victory it destroyed itself. There are three things in Christ that Death never met with before, all of which are fatal to it. There was in Christ innocence. Now, as long as man was innocent, he could not die. Adam lived as long as he was innocent. Now, Christ was about to die; but Death sucked in innocent blood; he sucked in his own poison and he died. Again, blessedness is that which takes away the sting of death. Now Christ, even when he was dying, was “God over all, blessed for ever.” All that Death had ever killed before was under the curse; but this man was never by nature under the curse, because for our sakes he was not born into this world a cursed man. He was the seed of woman it is true, but still not of carnal generation. He came under the curse when he took upon himself our sins, but not for his own sins. He was in himself blessed. Death sucked in blessed blood: he had never done that before—all others have been under the curse—and that killed Death. It was innocence combined with blessedness that was the destruction of Death. Yet another thing. Death had never met before with any man who had life in himself: But when Death drank Christ’s blood it drank life. For his blood is the life of the soul, and is the seed of eternal life. Wherever it goes, does it not give life to the dead? And Death, finding that it had drunk into its own veins life in the form of Jesus’ blood gave up the ghost; and Death itself is dead, for Christ has destroyed it, by the sacrifice of himself; he has put it away; he has said, “Oh death, where is your sting? oh grave, where is your victory?” But now, since it was from these very wounds that Death sucked in its own death, and that hell was destroyed; since these were the only weapons of a weaponless Redeemer, he wears and bears them as his trophies in heaven. David laid up Goliath’s sword before the Lord for ever. Jesus lays up his wounds before the Lord, for his wounds were his weapons, and this is why he still wears them.
10. I was thinking while coming here of Jesus Christ in heaven with his wounds, and another thought struck me. Another reason why Jesus wears his wounds is, that when he intercedes he may employ them as powerful advocates. When he rises up to pray for his people, he does not need to speak a word; he lifts his hands before his Father’s face; he makes bare his side, and points to his feet. These are the orators with which he pleads with God—these wounds. Oh, he must prevail. Do you not see that Christ without his wounds, in heaven might be potent enough; but there would not be that glorious simplicity of intercession which now you see. He has nothing to do but to show his hands. The Father always hears him. His blood cries and is heard. His wounds plead and prevail.
11. Let us think again. Jesus Christ appears in heaven as the wounded one, this shows again that he has not laid aside his priesthood. You know how Watts paraphrases the idea. He says,
Looks like a lamb that has been slain,
And wears his priesthood still.
If the wounds had been removed we might have forgotten that there was a sacrifice; and, perhaps, next we might have forgotten that there was a priest. But the wounds are there: then there is a sacrifice, and there is a priest also, for he who is wounded is both himself, the sacrifice and the priest. The priesthood of Melchizedek is a glorious subject. He who reads that with the eye of faith, and is blessed with the Spirit, will find much cause for joy when he contrasts the priesthood of Christ with that of Aaron. The priesthood of Aaron began, and it finished; but the priesthood of Melchizedek had no beginning, and it had no end. He was, we are told, “Without beginning of days, and without end of years;” without father, without mother, without descent. Such is the priesthood of Christ. It shall never end. He himself is without beginning, and his priesthood is without end. When the last ransomed soul is brought in, when there shall be no more prayers to offer, Christ shall still be a priest. Though he has no sacrifice now to slay, for he is the sacrifice himself, “once for all;” yet still he is a priest, and when all his people as the result of that sacrifice shall be assembled around his glorious throne, he shall still be the priest. “For you are a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedek.” I take it that this is a further reason why he still bears his wounds in heaven.
12. There is another and a terrible reason why Christ still wears his wounds. It is this. Christ is coming to judge the world. Christ has with himself today the accusers of his enemies. Every time that Christ lifts his hands to heaven, the men who hate him, or despise him, are accused. The Jewish nation is brought in guilty every day. The cry is remembered, “His blood be on us and on our children;” and the sin of casting Christ away, and rejecting him, is brought before the mind of the Most High. And when Christ shall come a second time to judge the world in righteousness, seated on the great white throne, that hand of his shall be the terror of the universe. “They shall look on him whom they have pierced,” and they shall mourn for their sins. They would not mourn with hopeful penitence in time; they shall mourn with sorrowful remorse throughout eternity. When the multitude are gathered together, when in the valley of Jehoshaphat Christ shall judge the nations, what need is there to summon accusers? His own wounds are his witnesses. Why would he need to summon any to convict men of sin? His own side bears their handiwork. You murderers, did you not do this? You sons of an evil generation did you not pierce the Saviour? Did you not nail him to the tree? Behold these holes in my hand, and this stab wound in my side; these are swift witnesses against you to condemn you! Then there is a terrible side to this question. A crucified Christ with his wounds still open will be a terrible sight for an assembled universe. “Well,” but one of my congregation says, “What is that to us? We have not crucified the Saviour.” No; but let me assure you that his blood shall be on you. If you die unbelievers his blood shall be required at your hand. The death of Christ was brought about by the hand of manhood, of all and entire manhood. Others did it for you, and though you gave no consent verbally, yet you give assent to it in your heart every day. As long as you hate Christ you give assent to his death. As long as you reject his sacrifice, and despise his love, you give evidence in your hearts that you would have crucified the Lord of glory had you been there. No, and you do yourself, as far as you can, crucify him afresh and put him to an open shame. When you laugh at his people, when you despise his word, and mock at his ordinances, you are driving nails into his hands, and thrusting the spear into his side; therefore those open hands and that pierced side shall be witnesses against you, even against you, if you die rejecting him, and enter into eternity enemies to Christ by wicked works.
13. I think I have thus supplied several excellent reasons. But now there is one more which I shall offer for your consideration before I come to the lesson which you shall learn. Christ wears those marks in his hands that, as believers, you may never forget that he has died. We shall need, perhaps, nothing to refresh our memories in heaven; but still, even if we should, we have it here. When we shall have been in heaven many a thousand years we shall still have the death of Christ before us, we shall see him reigning. But can you not conceive that the presence of the wounded Christ will often stir up the holy hearts of the celestial beings to a fresh outpouring of their grateful songs? They begin the song thus, “To him who lives.” Jesus looks upon them and shows his hand; and they add, “and was dead, and is alive for evermore, and has the keys of hell and death.” They would not forget that he died; but certainly that part of the song where it said, “and was dead,” will have all the more sweetness, because there he sits with the very marks of his passion—with the nail prints of his crucifixion. If we shall be in heaven at all constituted as we are on earth, we shall need some visible token to keep us continually in remembrance. Here, you know, the most spiritual saint needs the bread and wine—sweet emblems of the Saviour’s body. There we shall have nothing to do with emblems, for we shall have the sight of him. And I say, if we are in heaven anything like what we are here, I can imagine that the presence of Jesus may be highly beneficial, may be gloriously precious to the saints in reviving their love continually, and causing their hearts, which are like fountains of love, to bubble up afresh, and send out again the living water of gratitude and thanksgiving. At any rate, I know this thought is very delightful to me, that I shall see the man who hung on Calvary’s cross, and that I shall see him as he hung there. I delight to see my Saviour in all the glories of his Father, but I long to go back and see him as he was, as well as, as he is. I think I should sometimes envy Peter and the rest of them that they should have seen him crucified. Yes, I should say, I see him glorified, but you saw the most marvellous sight. To see a God is an everyday sight with glorified beings, but to see a God covered with his blood, this is an extraordinary thing. To see Christ glorified, that we may see each day, but to have seen him on that special occasion, made obedient to death, even to the death of the cross, that was an extraordinary sight which even angels themselves could see only once. You and I cannot see that. But those wounds are there still obvious and visible, and we shall be delighted with the rapturous sight of the Lord in glory, with his wounds still fresh upon him. May the Lord grant that we may all be there to see it. May we refresh ourselves with that glorious sight. I can say that I would part with all the joys of sense to view his face. Everything that is good on earth I would give away without a wish, without one single lingering thought, if I might only behold his face, and lie in his bosom, and see the dear pierced hands and the wide open side. We must wait for this pleasure. A few more rolling suns shall do it. The moon shall rise and wane for us a few more times, and then
We shall see his face,
And never, never sin,
But from the rivers of his grace,
Drink endless pleasures in.
14. III. This brings me now to the third point. WHAT DOES CHRIST MEAN BY SHOWING TO US HIS HANDS AND FEET?
15. He means this: that suffering is absolutely necessary. Christ is the head, and his people are the members. If suffering could have been avoided, surely our glorious Head ought to have escaped; but inasmuch as he shows us his wounds, it is to tell us, that we shall have wounds too. Innocence ought to escape suffering. Did not Pilate mean as much when be said, “I find no fault in him, therefore let him go?” But innocence did not escape suffering. Even the Captain of our salvation must be made perfect through suffering; therefore, we who are guilty, we who are far from being perfect, must not wonder that we have to be wounded too. Shall the head be crowned with thorns, and do you imagine that the other members of the body are to be rocked upon the dainty lap of ease? Must Jesus Christ swim through seas of his own blood to win the crown, and are you and I to walk to heaven dryshod in silver slippers? No; the wounds of Christ are to teach us that suffering is necessary. In fact, that doctrine was taught upon Mount Calvary. There are only three sorts of men that have ever lived—a good man, a bad man, and the God-man. Now, on Calvary’s cross, I see three characters; I see the thief, the representative of the bad; I see the penitent thief, the representative of the righteous; and I see the God-man in the midst. All three must suffer. Do not imagine, for a moment, that wicked men get through this world without suffering. Oh, no. The path to hell is very rough, though it seems smooth. When men will damn themselves, they will not find it a very pleasurable task. The cutting of the throat of one’s soul is not such a pleasant operation. The drinking of the poison of damnation is not, after all, an enviable task. The path of the sinner may seem to be happy; but it is not. It is a gilded deceit. He knows there is bitterness in his heart, even here on earth. Even the wicked must suffer. But, note, if any out of the world would have escaped it would be the God-man; but the God-man did not escape. He shows us his wounds; and do you think that you shall remain unwounded? Not if you are his, at any rate. Men sometimes escape on earth; but the true born child of God must not, and would not, if he might; for if he did, he would then give himself reason to say, “I am no part of the body; if I were a part of the body, my Head suffered, and so I must suffer, for I am part of his living body.” That is the first lesson he teaches us, the necessity of suffering.
16. But next he teaches us his sympathy with us in our suffering. “There,” he says, “see this hand! I am not a high priest that cannot be touched with the feeling of your infirmities. I have suffered, too. I was tempted in all ways like you are. Look here! there are the marks—there are the marks. They are not only tokens of my love, they are not only sweet forget-me-nots that bind me to love you for ever. But besides that they are the evidence of my sympathy. I can feel for you. Look—look—I have suffered. Have you the heartache? Ah, look over here, what a heartache I had when this heart was pierced. Do you suffer, even to blood wrestling against sin? So did I. I have sympathy with you.” It was this that sustained the early martyrs. One of them declared that while he was suffering he fixed his eyes on Christ; and when they were pinching his flesh, dragging it off with the hot harrows, when they were putting him to agonies so extraordinary, that I could not dare to mention them here, lest some of you should faint even under the very narrative, he said, “My soul is not unfeeling but it loves.” What a glorious speech was that! It loves—it loves Christ. It was not unfeeling, but love gave it power to overcome suffering, a power as potent as being insensible to pain. “For,” he said, “my eyes are fixed on the one who suffered for me, and I can suffer for him; for my soul is in his body; I have sent my heart up to him. He is my brother, and there my heart is. Plough my flesh, and break my bones; smash them with your irons, I can bear it all, for Jesus suffered, and he suffers in me now; but he sympathises with me, and this makes me strong.” Yes, beloved, lay hold on this in all times of your agony. When you are sweating, think of his bloody sweat. When you are bruised, think of the whips that tore his flesh. And when you are dying, think of his death. And when God hides his face for a little while from you, think of “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me!” This is why he wears his wounds in his hands, that he may show that he sympathises with you.
17. Another thing. Christ wears these wounds to show that suffering is an honourable thing. To suffer for Christ is glory. Men will say, “It is glorious to make others suffer.” When Alexander rides over the necks of princes, and treads nations beneath his feet, that is glorious. The Christian religion teaches us that it is glorious to be trodden on, glorious to be crushed, glorious to suffer. This is hard to learn. There we see it in our glorified Master. He makes his wounds his glory, and his sufferings are part of the drapery of his regal attire in Paradise. Now, then, it is an honourable thing to suffer. Oh, Christian, when you are overtaken by strange troubles, do not be afraid. God is near you. It was Christ’s honour to suffer, and it is yours too. The only degree that God gives to his people is the degree of “Masters in tribulation.” If you wish to be one of God’s nobles you must be knighted. Men are knighted with a blow of the sword. The Lord knights us with the sword of affliction; and when we fight hard in many a battle, he makes us barons in the kingdom of heaven, he makes us dukes and lords in the kingdom of sorrowful honour, not through honour of man, but through dishonour of man; not through joy, but through suffering, and grief, and agony, and death. The highest honour that God can confer upon his children is the blood-red crown of martyrdom. When I read, as I have been reading recently, the story of the catacombs of Rome, and those short but very pithy inscriptions that are written over the graves of the martyrs, I felt sometimes as if I could envy them. I do not envy them their racks, their hot irons, their being dragged at the heels of horses; but I do envy them when I see them arrayed in the blood-red robe of martyrdom. Who are those who stand nearest to the eternal throne, foremost of the saints in light? Why, the noble army of martyrs. And just as God shall give us grace to suffer for Christ, to suffer with Christ, and to suffer as Christ, just so much does he honour us. The jewels of a Christian are his afflictions. The regalia of the kings that God has made, are their troubles, their sorrows, and their griefs. Let us not, therefore, shun being honoured. Let us not turn aside from being exalted. Griefs exalt us, and troubles lift us.
18. Lastly, there is one sweet thought connected with the wounds of Christ that has charmed my soul, and made my heart run over with delight. It is this: I have sometimes thought that if I am a part of Christ’s body, I am a poor wounded part; if I do belong to that all glorious whole, the church, which is his fulness, the fulness of him who fills all in all, yet I have said within myself, “I am a poor maimed part, wounded, full of putrifying sores.” But Christ did not leave even his wounds behind him; he took even those to heaven. “Not a bone of him shall be broken,” and the flesh when wounded shall not be discarded,—shall not be left. He shall carry that with him to heaven, and he shall glorify even the wounded member. Is not this sweet, is not this precious to the troubled child of God? This, indeed, is a thought from which one may suck honey. Poor, weak, and wounded though I am, he will not discard me. His wounds are healed wounds, note! they are not running sores; and so, though we are the wounded parts of Christ, we shall be healed; though we shall seem to ourselves in looking back upon what we were upon earth only as wounds, only parts of a wounded body, still we shall rejoice that he has healed those wounds, and that he has not cast us away. Precious, precious truth! He will present the whole body before his Father’s face, and wounded though he is, he shall not cast his own wounds away. Let us take comfort, then, in this; let us rejoice in it. We shall be presented at last, without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Note, Christ’s wounds are not spots to him, not wrinkles, they are ornaments; and even those parts of his church on earth that despair about themselves, thinking themselves to be as wounds shall not be spots, nor wrinkles in the complete church above, but even they shall be the ornaments and the glory of Christ. Let us now look up by faith and see Jesus, the wounded Jesus, sitting on his throne. Will not this help us to gird up our loins to “run with patience the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith; who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God.”
19. I cannot send you away without this last remark. Poor sinner, you are troubled on account of sin. There is a sweet thought for you. Men are afraid to go to Christ, or else they say, “My sins are so many I cannot go to him; he will be angry with me.” Do you see his hands outstretched to you tonight? He is in heaven, and he still says, “Come to me all you who labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.” Are you afraid to come? Then, look at his hand—look at his hand, will not that induce you? “Oh,” but you say, “I cannot think that Christ can have it in his heart to remember such a worm as I.” Look at his side, there is easy access to his heart. His side is open, and even your poor prayers may be thrust into that side, and they shall reach his heart, holy though it is. Only look at his wounds, and you shall certainly find peace through the blood of Jesus. There were two monks of recent years in different cells in their monastery. They were reading the Bible. One of them found Christ while reading the Scriptures, and he believed with a true evangelical faith. The other one was timid, and could scarcely think it to be true; the scheme of salvation seemed so great to him he could scarcely lay hold upon it. But, at last, when he was about to die, and he sent for the other to come and sit by him, and to shut the door; because if the superior had heard of that of which they were about to speak, he might have condemned them both. When the monk had sat down, the sick man began to tell how his sins lay heavy on him; the other reminded him of Jesus. “If you wish to be saved, brother, you must look to Jesus who hung upon the cross. His wounds must save.” The poor man heard and he believed. Almost immediately afterwards the superior came in, with the brethren and the priests; and they began to prepare him for extreme unction. This poor man tried to push them away; he could not bear the ceremony, and as well as he could he expressed his dissent. At last his lips were opened, and he said in Latin, “Tu vulnera Iesu!”—your wounds, oh Jesus! your wounds, oh Jesus!—clasped his hands, lifted them to heaven, fell back and died. Oh, I wish that many a Protestant would die with these words on his lips. There was the fulness of the gospel in them. Your wounds, oh Jesus! your wounds; these are my refuge in my trouble. Oh sinner, may you be helped to believe in his wounds! They cannot fail; Christ’s wounds must heal those who put their trust in him.
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