Puslapio vaizdai
PDF
„ePub“

tifement of our Peace was upon him, and by his Stripes we are heal'd: Ifa. 53. 5. with many other Circumstances of his Paffion. All which evidently relate to the Wounds and Bruifes, the Scourge and Lafhes receiv'd at his Crucifixion. Thus was the particular Way and Manner of his Sufferings clearly reveal'd to the Prophets long before it came to pass. Whence I proceed,

Thirdly, To fhew that our Bleffed Saviour underwent the atmoft Extremity of that Punishment, according to those Predictions: for he was nail'd to the Cross after the manner of other Malefactors, where he hung for the Space of fix hours upon the tender Wounds of his Hands and Feet; during which time he not only felt the acutest Pains, but endur'd the bittereft Taunts, Scoffs, and Revilings of the People. They reproach'd him with all his former Miracles, willing him to come down from the Crofs, when they had faften'd him to it; and wagging their heads at him, faid, He fav'd others, himself he cannot fave. He was mock'd, buffetted, and spit upon, and crucify'd between two Thieves, as if he had been the Arch Malefactor; being, as 'twas foretold of him, numbred with the Tranfgreffors, and us'd more roughly and contemptuoufly than the worft of them.

All the preliminary and additional Acts of Shame and Cruelty us'à in fuch Cafes, were exercis'd on him with the greatest Barbarity. For,

1. He was feverely fcourg'd before they led him to be crucify'd, their cruel Lafhes fetching blood, and making long furrows on his Back; the Smart whereof was increas'd by that reproachful Taunt us'd at every Blow, Now prophefy who it is that ftrikes thee. After which, they expos'd his raw and tender Flefh to the fcorching of the Sun, and the Rigour of the Air and Winds. Again,

2. He was ftript of his Clothes, and according to the manner of that Punishment fuffer'd naked. They divefted him of those poor Coverings that were ordain'd to hide our Shame, parting his Garments among them, and cafting Lots for his Vefture; as we read, Mat. 27. Moreover,

3. He was made to bear his Crofs upon his own fhoulders, till growing weary and almoft finking under the Burden, they compell'd Simon the Cyrenian to bear it for him.

Laftly, He had, according to the Cuftom in this Punishment, his Accufation written in Capital Letters over his head; THIS IS JESUS THE KING OF THE

JEWS,

JEWS, Mat. 27. 37. which that it might be the more generally known and read by all, St. Luke tells us, was written in three Languages, viz. in Latin, Greek, and Hebrew; Luke 23. 38.

:

Thus did the malicious Jews improve this Roman Punishment to the Height of Cruelty upon the Perfon of our Saviour, who thereby endur'd the utmoft Rigour of Crucifixion of the Truth whereof we may be abundantly affur'd, not only from the Satisfaction given to St. Thomas, who faw in his Hands the very Print of the Nails, and thrust his Finger into his Side, where the Soldier's Spear had pierc'd; but likewife from the Teftimony of the Jews, who executed this Cruelty upon him, and the Hiftory of the Romans, who in their Annals have recorded it. But,

How came the glorious and guiltlefs Son of God to fubmit to fo vile and infamous a Punishment? Why, as Sin was the Caufe, fo the Expiation of it was the end of his Sufferings. He had undertaken for Man's Redemption, and to refcue them from thofe eternal Punishments which their Difobedience had incur'd. Now none but the Son of God could effect this, and nothing but his precious Blood could prove a valuable Confideration.

Indeed the whole Scene of his Sufferings was occafion'd by our Sins; these were the Nails that faften'd him to the Crofs, and the Spear that pierc'd his facred Side.

And the whole Defign of them was to remove their Guilt, and fo reftore us to the Favour of God. He wore a Crown of Thorns, that we might wear a Crown of Gold; and that which pierc'd and wounded his Head, ferves to defend and adorn ours: That Scarlet Robe which the Jews put on him, dy'd as it were in his own Blood, helps to hide our Shame, and to cover for us a multitude of Sins; his bitter Cup is our most reviving Cordial; the Vinegar and Gall which made him faint, is our Nectar, and a glorious Portion of Immortality; his Cross, the curfed Inftrument of his Death, is to us a Tree of Life, which bears the Fruit of Knowledge and eternal Happiness; his Agonies are our Triumphs, and his bloody Sweat the moft Sovereign Balfam to cure our Wounds. In a word he liv'd and dy'd with Thieves and Robbers, and was number'd among Tranfgref fors, only that we might live with Saints, and fing forth his Praises with Myriads of Angels.

Thus

Thus did every part of this Tragedy relate intirely to our Benefit and Advancement: All which inftruct us in many excellent Leffons. As,

1. Chrift's being lifted up on the Crofs for us, betokens the Ardency of his Affection towards us, whofe Arms are there open and ftretch'd out ready to receive and embrace s; his Hands fpread out as it were to woo and call us to him, that he may lead us unto our heavenly Father, and be reconcil'd to him: which Poitures reprefent that great and large Charity he bears in his Heart to Mankind.

us

2. From our Saviour's Crucifixion, we may learn to crucify the Flesh, with the Affections and Lufts; this is the ufe the Apostle would have us make of it. As Chrift was crucify'd for us, fo fhould we be crucify'd to the World, and the World to us. And what can be more reasonable, than that we should mortify and forfake that which coft our Saviour fo dear to do it away? If any can be so dangerously mistaken, as to think Sin but a flight matter, let him enter into the High-Prieft's Palace, the Judgment-Hall, and Mount Calvary, and there fee what it drew upon a bleeding and crucify'd Saviour: let him take a walk in the Garden of Gethsemane, and behold there what he endur'd for its Expiation; there may'ft thou fee what a dismal Night of Affliction thou haft made him to fuffer by thy Luxury and Night-Revellings, and how he groan'd under that, at which thou doft but fport thyfelf: Call upon thy deep Draughts and riotous Exceffes, to fee what a Cup of Wrath and Trembling they have made him to drink to the very dregs Shew thy leud Embraces a naked Christ, bath'd all over in Tears and Blood, to wash off their Impurities: Bid thy Oaths and Curfings look yonder, and fee the Blood and Wounds they have fo often play'd withal: View the bitter Pangs, Throws, and Agonies that Sin made him to labour under; and then tell me, whether it be fo light a matter as too many would perfuade themselves

it is.

And having thus wrought thyfelf into some sense of the Evil and Danger of Sin; learn, in the next place, to hate and abhor it; be forry for what is paft, and feek to repent and turn from it for the time to come. Can we think it much to fhed a few penitential Tears, for that which made him fweat great Drops of Blood? And when he has fuffer'd fo much for us already, fhall we tear open his

Wounds

Wounds afresh, and act over the Tragedy upon him again? Why, the Apoftle tells us, that to continue in our Sins, is to crucify afresh the Son of God, and to put him again to open fhame: fo that to perfift in our evil ways, is to delight in our Saviour's Blood, and to hug the Caufe of his Crucifixion. When therefore Satan, or thy own corrupt Heart tempt thee to the Commiffion of any, imagine that thou faweft thy crucify'd Saviour coming towards thee, fhewing thee his Cross, and befeeching thee not to pierce his Side again, or drive any more Nails into him; yea, fanfy all his Wounds to be fo many Mouths gaping for Pity, and begging thee not to renew their Smart by any fresh Acts of Cruelty: And this, one would think, fhould be fufficient to diffuade any, that had but the Bowels of a Man, from fuch unreasonable Attempts.

:

3. Our Saviour's Cross may teach us the great Leffons of Patience, Humility, and doing good to one another for he bore the fharpeft Pains with the greatest Patience; and as the Sheep before the Shearer is dumb, so he open'd not his Mouth. He did not indeed pretend to a Stoical Apathy or Infenfibleness of Pain, nor court Racks and Gibbets with quam fuave! quam dulce! how fweet and pleasant are thefe things! No, he felt the Sharpness both of the Spear and Nails, and was fo fenfible of the Bitterness of his Cup, that be pray'd three times moft earnestly that it might pass from him; yet when his Father's Will and his own Choice, had made it his Lot, he was content to take it off, and bore the Bitterness of it with an invincible Patience: And therefore the Apostle wills us, to look to the Author and Finisher of our Faith, who was crucify'd for us, left we grow weary and faint in our Minds; Heb. 12. 2.

Laftly, Let us not be either afraid or afham'd to own a crucify'd Saviour, but rather put our whole Trust and Affiance in him. The Apostles and the primitive Christians were fo far from being afham'd, that they glory'd in the Crofs, and prefer'd it above all the Glories and Triumphs of the World. I am not afham'd (faith St. Paul) of the Cross of Chrift, by which the World is crucify'd to me, and I unto the World; yea, God forbid (faith he in another place) that 1 Should glory in any thing fave in the Cross of Christ, which is the Power of God unto Salvation. He told the Corinthians, that he defir'd to know nothing among them but Jefus Christ, and him crucify'd: and the Philippians, that he counted all other Knowledge but as Lofs and Dung in comparison of the

I

Excel

Excellency of this Knowledge of Christ. He endur'd the Crofs, and defpis'd the Shame for our Salvation; and certainly it must be very unworthy and unfafe too for us to be afham'd to own and adhere to him; especially having told us, That they who are afham'd of him, of them he will be afham'd at the last Day.

[ocr errors][merged small][merged small][merged small]

Chrift died for our Sins, according to the Scrip

tures.

ROM the first Step of our Saviour's Paffion, viz. his
Crucifixion, 1 pass to the

FR

Second, Which is his Death: Was crucify'd, dead, c. Where we must note, that Crucifixion of it-felf does not neceffarily include Death; for the Perfons that suffer'd this way being faften'd to the Crofs, not by any vital part, which might foon difpatch them, but by the Hands and Feet, were fo long a dying, that being taken down in some time they might be eafily fuppos'd to live: But our Saviour's Sufferings did not end fo, but proceeded to the very Extremity of this Punishment, and fulfill'd the utmost Design of Crucifixion, which terminated in Death. So the Apostle tells us, Chrift died for our Sins according to the Scriptures. In treating of which, I must fhew,

First, That Chrift underwent a true and proper Death. Secondly, That his Death was for our Sins.

Thirdly, That this was done according to the Scriptures; that is, according to the Account of it in the Predictions of the Old Teftament.

First, I fay, our Saviour underwent a true and proper Death. For the clearing of which, we muft obferve, that as Life properly confifts in the Union of Soul and Body, and thofe vital Operations that flow from it; even fo Death truly confifts in the Diffolution of that Únion, and the Separation of the two great Parts, the Body and the

Soul,

« AnkstesnisTęsti »