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Joh. xix. 24. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rent Jerusalea.
it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.
Had the divine acceptance been wanting to the oblation of
As the second Adam, the blessed Lord took our humanity; he
Deeply do I pity that blind man, who prefers rather to trust to his own merits, than by faith in the great atonement to bope for salvation through the blood of Christ. Deeply do I feel for him, when he shall be called to appear before the judgment seat of a rejected Saviour, with all his imperfections, all bis frailties, and all his violations of duty upon his head, to answer in an unknown state of inconceivable glory, before men and angels, for the sins committed in the body'; having spurned the sheltering protection of that MAN who is both a covert from the wind, and a refuge from the storm. How can he hope to escape the wrath of God pronounced upon every offev der against his holy laws, when his own beloved son, as our substitute, who only vore our sins, underwent such dreadful agonies, both in body nd soul. He who has declared himself of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, has also declared, as fully and plainly, and as repeatedly, that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins: and what blood can have been shed for their remis. sion, but the blood of Christ?
Lu.xxiii.34. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.
my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore
the soldiers did. Mar.xv. 25.
And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 35.
MARK XV. 24.
Soldiers, the Passengers, the Chief Priests, and the
with them derided him, saying, He saved others, let him
save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
offering him vinegar,
thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three
Save thyself, and come down from the cross.
Bisbop Watson, in speaking of that arrogant and dogmatical theology, that decrees tbe rejection of the doctrine of atonement, as inconsistent with the divine attribute of mercy, uses the following just observations. “ We know assuredly that God deligbteth not in blood; that he hath no cruelty, no vengeance, no malignity, no infirmity, nor any passion in his nature: but we do not know whether the requisition of an atonement for transgression may not be an emanation of his infinite mercy, rather than a demand of his ipfinite justice. We do not know, wbether it may not be the very best means of preserving the innocence, and happiness, not only of us, but of all other free and intelligent beings. We do not know, whether the suffering of an innocent person may not be productive of a degree of good, infinitely sūrpassing the evil of such sufferance; nor whetber such a quantum of good could by any other means have been produced (c)."
(a) Balguy, as quoted by Magee, p. 94. rol. i. (6) See also Whitby, and Scott's Christian Life. (c) Two Apologies, &c, pp. 466, 467.
Mtxxvii.40. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross. Jerusalem.
41. Likewise also the Chief Priests, mocking him, with the
Scribes and elders, said,
Mtxxvii. 42. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from
the cross, and we will believe him.
have him : for he said, I am the Son of God.
cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were
crucified with him reviled him. Mtxxvii.44. The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.
MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 39, 40. and 42.
40 –And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and
MARK XV. part of ver. 29, 31.
31 Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking said—with the Scribes
Answer to the Penitent Thief“,
LUKE xxiii. 39-43.
thou be the Christ, save thyself, and us.
24 Our Lord, at the time when he made the gracious promise to the criminal on the cross, was reduced to the lowest state of degradation and contempt. He was deserted by all but his beloved disciple, bis mother, and two other holy women, who were standing by the cross, the weeping and agonized spectators of his sufferings. His disciples had forsaken him and fled. The assembled multitude of his enemies and persecutors, embittered every pang, by their cruel and exulting mockeries. The evangelists mention all kinds and classes of people, as if for the purpose of demonstrating the universal rejection of our Lord by the Jewish nation. The people stood beholding-and the rulers with them, deriding--the soldiers mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar-the passers by reviled him, and railed on him--the chief priests mocked him, with the scribes and elders-even the very thief on the cross reviled him, and joined in the common mockery. At this moment of general insult and rejection, the penitent thief alone declared his belief in the innocence of the holy Jesus, and made a public confession of his faith in the divine sufferer.
Our Lord's answer to the penitent thief fully declared that, although in his human form he was faint and dying, enduring the extreme of pain and torture, he was the Lord of the invisible world, and still retained his divine attribute, the power of forgiving sins. The assembled people loudly and unanimously
Laxxiii.40. But the other answering, rebuked him, saying, Dost Jerusalem.
not thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condemna
of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss.
thou comest into thy kingdom.
day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.
JOHN xix. 25-27.
his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary
standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother,
Woman, behold thy son.
from that hour that disciple took her unto his own house.
The forgiveness of the penitent thief may be considered as re-
The Death of Christ, and its attendant Circumstances.
MARK XV. 33–41.
45, And the sun was darkened, Mar.xv. 34. And at the ninth hour Jesus cried with a loud voice,
saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama Sabachthani ?
25 Dr. Edwards thinks that the words were repeated twice. The commentators have been much divided as to their signification. Rosenmüller considers the words of our Lord as an expression of suffering, and of prayer, which he appropriated to himself. Such also is the opinion of Dr. Pye Smith, who, both in his excellent discourse on the atonement, and in his work on the person of Christ, considers the words as connected with the sequel and general design of the Psalm, of wbich it is the commencement, and expressing the extinction of all present and sensible comfort. Such also is the generally received opinion, and the writers in the Critici Sacri, on Matt. xxvii. 46. interpret the passage in a similar manner.
Lightfoot, however, has proposed another interpretation of our Lord's exclamation-he would read it-not-why hast thou forsaken me, or left me to the feeling of any spiritual desertion; but-why bast thou left me to suchhands, and to such cruel usage?
Dr. A. Clarke is likewise inclined to favour this interpretation. The exclamation of our Lord, Matt. xxvii. 46. he would thus render-"How astonishing is the wickedness of those persons, into whose hands I have fallen.” God is said in Scripture to do, what he permits to be done, and no decisive argument can be drawn therefore from the expression to prove that he was deserted by his Father. He confirms this interpretation from Mark xv. 34. the words of which passage, he observes, agree pretty nearly with this translation of the
“It may be objected, that this can never agree with the ivari,
," of Matthew. To this it is answered, that ivari mast