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souls and bodies; he considered them whom he so much loved, as lying under the wrath of God, whom he so truly worshipped. If we reflect upon those graces which were without measure diffused through his soul, and caused him, with the greatest habitual detestation, to abhor all sin: if we consider all these circumstances, we cannot wonder at that grief and sorrow.
For if the true contrition of one single sinner, bleeding under the sting of the law only for his own iniquities, all which notwithstanding he knoweth not, cannot be performed without great bitterness of sorrow and remorse, what bounds can we set unto that grief, what measures to that anguish, which proceedeth from a full apprehension of all the transgressions of so many millions of sinners'.”
It is impossible to explain all the circumstances of this mysterious scene, and the discourses of our Saviour connected with it, without feeling that they are inexplicable, except on the supposition of that mysterious union of the Divinity with Humanity, which the Scriptures declare, existed in the Son of God; and by which, at the same time that he had an infinite knowledge and comprehension of everything relating to the great mystery of man's redemption, he was enabled also to “be touched with a feeling of our infirmities, having been in all things tempted like as we are, and yet without sin.”
2 Hebr. iv. 15.
i Pearson on thc Creed, Art. SUFFERED.
The conclusion, which we derive from the review of these discourses of our Saviour, is,that they are in perfect harmony with all his declarations and intimations with respect to his Person and character; and with the revelations which are contained in the New Testament respecting him, as the Creator and Lord of all things, the Saviour and the Judge of mankind.
DISCOURSES OF OUR SAVIOUR, CONTAINING INTIMATIONS
OF HIS DEATH, RESURRECTION, AND ASCENSION INTO
The death of our Saviour, for the salvation of mankind, and his resurrection and ascension into heaven, were the subjects of dark and distant revelation by those prophets, who testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow'; and they are made the constant topic of animated and delightful reflection by the Apostles and Evangelists of our Lord, who have spoken so fully with respect to the great scheme of our salvation, as it is connected with Him, who died, yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right-hand of God, who also maketh intercession for us?. But we know, with what difficulty our Saviour was able to introduce the subject of his sufferings, even to his chosen disciples; who might have been expected to entertain more correct views with regard to his real character. This was seen on two remarkable occasions: the first, when Peter having in the name of the Apostles made that memorable confession to our Saviour, that he was the Christ the Son of the living God, our Lord began to teach them, that the Son of man must suffer many things, and be rejected by the elders, and of the chief priests, and scribes, and be killed, and after three days rise again. Upon this occasion, Peter took him and began to rebuke him.' Another occasion was immediately after the Transfiguration; when, upon our Lord charging them that they should tell no man what things they had seen till the Son of Man were risen from the dead, St Mark relates, that they kept that saying with themselves, questioning one with another what the rising from the dead should mean”. If such then was the state of mind of the chosen disciples themselves, we cannot expect much clearer views amongst the Jewish people in general: and the absolute inability of the people, in their present state, to comprehend more clearly his real character, may be regarded as one reason why our Lord himself observed, and enjoined his disciples to observe, so much reserve with regard to some of his most important revelations?.
11 Pet. i. 11.
2 Rom. viii. 34.
It is evident, however, that our Lord sometimes vouchsafed to speak more openly on these subjects: and, even when he observed the greatest reserve, we may expect to find a perfect harmony, not only with his own more clear intimations, but also with those more full revelations, which were made by his Apostles after he had risen again from the dead. It is in the skill with which our Saviour introduced these subjects to his disciples and followers, so as not to offend their bigotry and prejudices; in the comprehensive character of these apparently obscure intimations; in the manner in which he adapted the degree of light, which he thought proper to throw upon them in his conversations with his disciples and the Jewish people, to the present state of their minds, and so that they might strike them more forcibly afterwards, when they were enlightened by the Holy Spirit from on high,—that we perceive the divine wisdom of our heavenly teacher. Such wisdom could have proceeded from him alone, who knew all things and knew what was in man“.
i Matth. xvi. 16. 22.
2 Mark ix. 9, 10. 3 Compare Matth. xvi. 20. xvii. 9, &c.
1. The first intimation which our Saviour appears to have given of his death and sufferings, is contained in his discourse with Nicodemus : and the manner in which it is introduced is remarkable; because it immediately follows a passage, in which our Lord asserted his divine origin, and foretold his ascension into heaven: “No man hath ascended up to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of Man which is in heaven: and as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of Man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life. For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saveds." Now the meaning of the expression, which is 4 John ii. 24, 25.
5 John iii. 13. 17.