תמונות בעמוד

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
our Lord's body, whatsoever virtue it possessed in itself, it
would bave been incapable of procuring the pardon of sin, or
of redeeming mau from its punisbment and power, Whatsoever
he purchased for us, he purchased of the Father by compact, or
agreement (b); and He is now exalted to the right hand of
God, to make there his mysterious intercession for the sins of
his people.

As the second Adam, the blessed Lord took our humanity; he
restored it to its original dignity and innocence, and then made
a sacrifice of it upon the cross, as a vicarious atonement for the
sins of the first, and througb him of all mankind. He was
nailed to the accursed tree, the emblem of Adam's transgression,
and was crowned with a crown of thorns, the first fruits of his
disobedience. The religion which be died to establisb was of
an internal spiritual nature. It was a life of holiness and self-
sacritice. It required the crucifixion of the wbole animal and
inferior nature; and that the motives, and even the thoughts
of the heart, should be brought into subjection. It required a
new birth, a new life, of wbich baptism is the beautiful emblem,
teaching us, that as infants are washed immediately on their
natural birth, so must the children of God, with Christ, be born
again through the grave and death of sin, into the spiritual
kingdom, by water, and the Spirit. We are all the authors of
our own happiness or misery. If during the progress of life the
animal is allowed to triumph over the spiritual man, then the
sin of the first Adam still cleaves to us, and the sacrifice of the
second Adam pleads for us in vain. The animal life perishes
with the body; the accountable life exists through eternity.
If it be spiritualized by the subjugation of the flesh, it becomes
pure and holy, the companion of angels ; but if it be polluted
and degraded by its contagion, it then defiles itself, loses the
divine properties of its first being, and is fitted only for asso-
ciation with devils and evil spirits. To this fearful condition
man was reduced by the fall of the first Adam. To revoke this
curse, Christ, the second Adam, became our atopement, by the
sacrifice of the whole of the offending, but in him, sinless,
pature, upon the tree of the cross : demonstrating to all the
world, that the sacrifice of self is the way of salvation, and the
most acceptable offering that man cap render to bis Creator.

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.
Job. xix. 24. that the Scripture might be fulfilled,
Mtxxvii.35. which was spoken by the prophet,
Job.xix.24. which saith, They parted my raiment among them : and


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.
And sitting down they watched him there.

MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 35.
35 --and parted his garments, casting lots : that it might be
fulfilled-They parted my garments among them, and upon my
vesture did they cast lots.

MARK XV. 24.
24 And when they bad crucified him, they parted his gar-
ments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take,

Christ is reviled, when on the Cross, by the Rulers, the

Soldiers, the Passengers, the Chief Priests, and the

MATT. xxvii. 39–44. MARK XV. 29–32. LUKE Xxiii.

Lu.xxiii.35. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also

with them derided him, saying, He saved others, let him

save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.
36. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and

offering him vinegar,
37. And saying, If thou be the King of the Jews, save thy-

Mtxxvii.39. And they that passed by reviled him,
Mar.xv.29. [and] railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah,

thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three

days, 30.

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,
Mar, xv. 31. among themselves, He saved others, himself he cannot


Mtxxvii. 42. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from

the cross, and we will believe him.
43. He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will

have him : for he said, I am the Son of God.
Mar. xv. 32. Let Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the

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.
39 —wagging their heads-

40 –And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and
buildest it in three days, save thyself.-
42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.

MARK XV. part of ver. 29, 31.
29 And they that passed by-

31 Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking said—with the Scribes

Christ, when dying as a Man, asserts his Divinity in his

Answer to the Penitent Thief“,

LUKE xxiii. 39-43.
Lu.xxiii.39. And one of the malefactors-railed on him, saying, If

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

tion ?
41. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward

of our deeds; but this man hath done nothing amiss.
42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me, when

thou comest into thy kingdom.
43. And Jesus said unto him, Verily I say unto thee, To-

day shalt thou be with me in Paradise.

Christ commends his Mother to the care of John.

JOHN xix. 25-27.
Joh. xix. 25. Now there stood by the cross of Jesus, his mother, and

his mother's sister, Mary the wife of Cleophas, and Mary

26. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple

standing by, whom he loved, he saith unto his mother,

Woman, behold thy son.
27. Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother. And

from that hour that disciple took her unto his own house.
demanded of him to prove his former pretensions by a miracle.
They called upon him to come down from the cross to save
himself, and they would believe bim. They seemed to consider
this as a fair challenge. They supposed it impossible that any
one, who possessed the power, would not use it under such
trying circumstances. They therefore required him to relieve
his body from torture, from the nails, and the wood, and come
among them. But, ever consistent in himself, and faithful in
the duties of his divine mission, instead of complying with
their wishes, which were confined to temporal objects, he
showed the nature of his kingdom by the promise of salvation
to a repentant soul. The Jews had frequently threatened
to kill Christ, because he asserted his power to forgive sin.
“Who can forgive sins, (they exclaimed) but God alone,” and
therefore, according to their own acknowledgment and belief,
he still persevered in bis divine claims; and on the point of
death proclaimed that their long promisod God was before them,
obscured in the form of a man.

The forgiveness of the penitent thief may be considered as re-
vealing to us that God's mercy may be extended to the last mo.
ments of life; but we have no reason whatever to presume that
it shall be so with any of us. No human being can ever again
be placed in the same situation as this criminal. We cannot be
called upon to follow our Saviour to Calvary, to witness his
dying agonies; to hear the bitter tauntings of the rabble, and,
in the midst of derisiou and suffering, to declare our faith in a
crucified Saviour. When Christ shall again become visible to
man, He will be seen in his glory, and all the holy angels with
him. Let no man therefore be guilty of delaying repentance,
with the hope of eventual salvation, because the penitent thief
was forgiven at the last. The account of the pardoned criminal
is related by one evangelist only, as if the Holy Spirit foresaw
the perversion of the passage. One instance only, to use the
Janguage of a celebrated divine, of the acceptance of a dying
repentance is recorded; one only, that none might despair,
and one only that none might presume.

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The Death of Christ, and its attendant Circumstances.
MATT. xxvii. 45. 52. 54–56.

MARK XV. 33–41.
xxiii. 44-49. JOHN xix. 28–37.
Mar, xv.33. And when the sixth hour was come,
Lu.xxiii.44. there was a darkness over all the earth, until the ninth


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

Hebrew-Eis ri
pe dykardites; to what (sort of persons, understood,) hast thou
left 'me? A literal translation of the passage in the Syriac Tes-
tament gives a similar sense :-Ad quid dereliquisti me?" To
what hast thou abandoned me? And an ancient copy of the
old Itala version, a Latin translation beforo the time of St. Je-
rom, renders the words thus :-Quare me in opprobrium de-
disti ? --- Why hast thou abandoned me to reproach ?”.

“It may be objected, that this can never agree with the ivari,

," of Matthew. To this it is answered, that ivari mast
have here the same meaning as eis rias the translation of nas
lama; and that if the meaning be at all different, we must follow
that Evangelist who expresses most literally the meaning of the
original: and let it be observed, that the Septuagint often
translate nins by ivari, instead of ELS Ti, which evidently proves
that it often had the same meaning. Whatever may be thought of
the above mode of interpretation, one thing is certain, that the
words could not be used by our Lord in the sense in which they
are generally understood. This is sufficiently evident; for he
well knew why he was come unto that hour, nor could be bo
forsaken of God, in whom dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead
bodily. The Deity, however, might restrain so much of its

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