« הקודםהמשך »
to the prophet Jeremiah, that suits him in any measure, but what may also be made to any prophet, or preacher of the word of God, that met with affliction and persecution in the discharge of his duty, and was delivered by the presence of God with him. So that there is no reason to persuade us, that Jeremiah was peculiarly intended in this prophecy.
2. That the learned annotator, though he profess that Jesus Christ was intended in the letter of this Scripture, yet hath interpreted the whole, not only without the least mention of Jesus Christ, or application of it unto him, but also hath so opened the several words and expressions of it, as to leave no place nor room for the main doctrine of his satisfac. tion here principally intended. And how much the church of God is beholding to him for his pain and travail herein, the reader may judge.
Of the matter of the punishment that Christ underwent,
or what he suffered. HAVING dispatched this digression, I return again to the consideration of the death of Christ, as it was a punishment which shall now be pursued unto its issue.
The third thing proposed to the consideration on this account, was the matter of this punishment that Christ underwent which is commonly expressed by the name of his death.
Death is a name comprehensive of all evil, of what nature, or of what kind soever. All that was threatened, all that was ever inflicted on man: though much of it fall within the compass of this life, and short of death, yet it is evil purely on the account of its relation to death, and its tendenoy thereunto ; which, when it is taken away, it is no more generally, and absolutely evil, but in some regard only.
The death of Christ às comprehending his punishment; may be considered two ways.
1. In itself. 2. In reference to the law. On the first head, I shall only consider the general evi
dent concomitants of it, as they lie in the story, which are all set down as aggravations of the punishment he underwent.
In the latter, give an account of the whole, in reference to the law.
1. Of death natural, which in its whole nature is penal (as hath been elsewhere evinced) there are four aggravations whereunto all others may be referred. As, 1. That it be violent or bloody. 2. That it be ignominious or shameful. 3. That it be lingering and painful. 4. That it be legal and accursed. And all these to the height, met in the death of Christ.
1. It was violent and bloody ; hence he is said to be
The death of Christ, and the blood of Christ, are, on this account, in the Scripture the same. His death was by the effusion of his blood; and what is done by his death, is still said to be done by his blood. And though he willingly gave up himself to God therein, as he was a sacrifice, yet he was taken by violence and nailed to the cross, as it was a punishment; and the dissolution of his body and soul was by a means no less violent, than if he had been most unwilling thereunto.
2. It was ignominious and shameful. Such was the death of the cross. The death of slaves, malefactors, robbers, pests of the earth, and burdens of human society ; like those crucified with him. Hence he is said to be ' obedient to death, the death of the cross,' Phil. ii. 8. that shameful and ignominious death. And when he endured the cross, he despised the shame also ; Heb. xii. 2. To be brought
a Exedoxonia, seu crucifragium ut crux ipsa, servorum quasi peculiare supplicium fuit. Lipsius. Sublimes extra ordinem aliquæ statuebantur cruces; si exempla edenda forent in famosa persona, et ob atrox facinus, aut si hoc supplicio veniret afficiendus ille, cujus odium erat apud omnes flagrantissimum. Salmas. de Cruce: which seems to be the case in the cross of Christ : between these of the thieves.
Bene addit crucem, nam servorum non civium crucis erat supplicium. Nannius, in Terent. And. Act. 3. Noli minitari, Scio crucem futuram mihi pulchrum : ibi mei majores sunt siti, pater, avus, proavus, abavus : servus apud Plaut. Mil. Glor. ii. 1. 19. Vid. Trach. Histor. lib. ii. 27. Vulcat in Avid. Cassio. cap. 4. Capitolin. in Macrin. cap. 12. Luc. florus lib. 3. cap. 19.
forth scourged as a malefactor, amongst malefactors, in the eye of the world, made a scorn and a by-word, men wagging the head, and making mouths at him in derision, when he was full of torture, bleeding to death, is no small aggravation of it. Hence the most frequent expression of his death is by the cross, and crucifying.
3. It was lingering. It was the voice of cruelty itself, concerning one who was condemned to die : 'sentiat se mori; 'let him so die that he may feel himself dying ;' and of one, who, to escape torture, killed himself, 'evasit,'' he escaped me: sudden death, though violent, is an escape from torture. Such was this of Christ. From his agony in the garden, when he began to die (all the powers of hell being then let loose upon him), until the giving up of the Ghost, it was from the evening of one day to the evening of another; from his scourging by Pilate, after which he was under continual pain, and suffering in his soul, in his body, to his death, it was six hours; and all this while was he under exquisite tortures, as on very many considerations might easily be manifest.
4. It was legal; and so an accursed death. There was process against him by witness and judgment. Though they were indeed all false and unjust, yet, to the eye of the world, his death was legal, and consequently accursed ; Gal. iii. 13. Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree;' that is, because of the doom of the law, whose sentence is called a curse; Deut. xxvii. 29. such was that of Christ; Isa. liii. 4.
2. As all these aggravations attended his death, as it was death itself, so there was a universality in all the concernments of it, as it was a legal punishment. Briefly to give some instances :
1. There was a universality of efficient causes; whether principal or instrumental. The first great division of causes efficient, is into the Creator and the creatures, and both here concurred.
1. The Creator, God himself, laid it upon him. He was not only delivered by his determinate counsel,' Acts ii. 22, 23. iv. 27, 28. not spared by him, but given up to death; Rom. viii. 32. but, it pleased him to bruise him, and to put him to grief,' Isa. liii. 10. as also to forsake him ; Psal. xxii. 1. so acting in his punishment, by the immission of that which is evil, and the subtraction of that which is good; 80 putting the cup into his hand, which he was to drink, and mixing the wine thereof for him, as shall afterward be declared.
2. Of creatures one general division is, into intelligent, and brute or irrational, and both these also in their several ways concurred to his punishment; as they were to do by the sentence and curse of the law.
Intelligeut creatures are distinguished into spiritual and invisible, or visible and corporeal also.
Of the first sort are angels and devils; which agree in the same nature, differing only in qualities, and states or conditions. Of all things, the angels seem to have no hand in the death of Christ; for being not judge, as was God, nor opposite to God as is Satan, nor under the curse of the law, as is mankind, and the residue of the creatures, though they had inestimable benefit by the death of Christ, yet neither by demerit nor efficacy, as is revealed, did they add to his punishment. Only whereas it was their duty to have preserved him being innocent, and in his way from violence and fury, their assistance was withheld.
But from that sort of spiritual invisible creatures, he suffered in the attempts of the devil.
Christ looked on him at a distance in his approach to set upon him : The prince of this world,' saith he, cometh;' John xiv. 30. He saw him coming with all his malice, fury, and violence, to set upon him, to ruin him if it were possible: and that he had a close combat with him on the cross, is evident from the conquest that Christ there made of him, Col. ii. 15. which was not done without wounds, and blood, when he break the serpent's head, the serpent bruised his heel; Gen. iii. 15.
2. For men; the second rank of intellectual creatures; they had their influence into this punishment of Christ, in all their distributions, that on any account they were cast into.
1. In respect of country or nation, and the privileges thereon attending. The whole world on this account is divided into Jews and Gentiles; and both these had their efficiency in this business; Psal. ii. 1. Why did the heathen rage, and the people imagine a vain thing? Heathens and people, Gentiles and Jews, are all in it, as the place is interpreted by the apostles, Acts iv. 25, 26. And to make this the more eminent, the great representative of the two people conspired in it; the Sanhedrim of the Jews, and the body of the people in the metropolitical city, on the one hand; and the Romans, for the Gentiles, who then were 'rerum Domini,' and governed olkovyèvnv, as Luke tells us, chap. ii. 1. The whole on both hands is expressed Matt. xx. 18, 19.
2. As to order, men are distinguished into rulers, and those under authority, and both sorts herein concurred.
1. Rulers are either civil or ecclesiastical; both which (notwithstanding all their divisions) conspired in the death of Christ.
1. For civil rulers, as it was foretold, Psal. ii. 2. xxii. 12. so it was accomplished, Acts iv. 25, 26. The story is known of the concurrence of Herod and Pilate in the thing: the one, ruler of the place where he lived, and conversed; the other, of the place, where he was taken and crucified.
2. For ecclesiastical rulers; what was done by the priests, and all the council of the elders, is known. The matter of fact need not be insisted on; indeed, they were the great contrivers and malicious plotters of his death; using all ways and means for the accomplishing of it, Acts iii. 17. in particular Annas, the usurper of the priesthood, seems to have had a great hand in the business, and therefore to him was he first carried.
2. For those under authority: besides what we have in the story, Peter tells the body of the people, Acts ii. 23. that 'they took him, and.with wicked hands crucified him, and slew him :' and, chap. iii. 15, “That they killed the prince of life;' so Zech. xii. 10. not only the house of David, the rulers, but the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the people, are said to pierce him, and thence, 'they who pierced him,' is a periphrasis of the Jews; Rev, i. 7. after, every eye shall see him, there is a distribution into them that pierced him, that is, the Jews, and all the kindreds of the earth, that is, the Gentiles. The very rabble was stirred up to cry'Crucify him, crucify him,' and did it accordingly; Matt. xxvii. 20. And they all consented as one man in the cry, ver. 22. and that with violence and clamour; ver. 23. 'abjects made mouths at him,' Psal. xxxv. 15. xxii. 6.