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shall be delivered from a cursed death, unless Christ has undergone such a death in our room ?
XXXVI, Thus far we have seen the HISTORY of our Lord's crucifixion. But it indicates an earthly and grovelling mind, to remain satisfied with the mere outward letter. Tremendous mysteries lie hid within, which ought to be studied with a kind of sacred amazement and astonishment of mind, contemplated with every pious affection, and deeply impressed upon the heart. “The gross eye-ball of the flesh perceives what is
“ gross ;" * but it becomes us to ascend in our meditaI tions to the incredible wisdom of the secret counsels of
God, who wonderfully overruled for accomplishing the salvation of mankind, the extreme depravity and impious cruelty of the infatuated Jews, and the mad rage of the Devil who accelerated his own ruin by his opposition to Christ. It was on our account that all these things befel the Anointed of the Lord. We ought, therefore, to consider them in a far different manner than if they had happened to a stranger, or to one with whom we have no connexion. Christ is at once our Friend, Kinsman, Brother, and Husband, our Lord and God; who, having become our Surety, underwent the curse of God, not only for our benefit, but in our stead; erected on the cross a ladder to paradise; and, in fine, became by his own death, the Author of life and immortality to us. Let us, then, review in our meditations all that has been said, for the following purposes. First, To show that all things relating to the crucifixion of Christ were FORETOLD AND PREFIGURED of old. Secondly, To show how GRIEVOUS they were
* Pupilla carnis crassa, crassum perspicit. VOL. II.
to Christ, and hard to endure. Lastly, To illustrate their powerful influence to STRENGTHEN OUR MINDS with the vigour of the spiritual life, and confirm them in the hope of a blessed immortality.
XXXVII. In the history of the crucifixion, we have examined distinctly the things which preceded, accompanied, and followed it. We have seen that it was preceded by SCOURGING, the BEARING OF THE CROSS, and the STRIPPING of the clothes. The first was predicted by Isaiah: “I gave my back to the smiters,” or as the Septuagint has it,—" to the scourges.”y And again : “ The chastisement of our peace,”: the signal punishment which brings peace to us, “was upon him;" “ and with his stripes,” the wounds inflicted by the scourge,“ we are healed.” The perverse Jews falsely supposed that these were justly assigned to him on account of his own crimes. “They esteemed him stricken “ of God,” or, “ of the Gods,”a by the just judgment of those who are called Gods, and are a kind of vicegerents of the Supreme God ;_" smitten and afflict“ ed,” or beaten with the scourge, which is the usual punishment of slaves : whilst, however, he was not compelled by the force of another, but of his own accord submitted to suffering. The Second circumstance was prefigured by all the victims on which the sins of the offerer were laid with his hands ;b and especially by the goat of sin-offering, which, having the sins of the whole people of Israel laid on it by the Highpriest, carried them“ into a land not inhabited.”c But it
'Eis partiyos. Ch. l. 6. #99975 w 70993. Ch. liii. 5. a 173 yn 1738 1739 Is. liii. 4.
Lev. i. 4. iii. 2. iv. 4. 477772 px 3x in terram excisionis. Ley. xvi. 21, 22.
was most signally adumbrated by Isaac bearing the wood on which he was to be offered to God to one of the mountains in the land of Moriah.d That mountain was probably the same with Calvary; for, as Munster observes,* the mountainous country of Moriah had many hills, or little mountains, amongst which were the hill of the city of David, and of the temple, and Mount Calvary itself. The last circumstance was predicted by David in the following words: “ They " part my garments among them, and cast lots upon “ my vesture.”
XXXVIII. David has a remarkable prophecy of the CRUCIFIXION itself in the same Psalm :f “ Dogs have “compassed me,” that is, the Roman soldiers prepared to crucify me; “ the assembly of the wicked have in“ closed me,” to wit, the rebellious people of the Jews gathered from their habitations to behold the spectacle of my cross; “ they piercedt my hands and my feet," transfixing them with nails; which was done by the soldiers in compliance with the demand of the Jews, and thus by the Jews themselves through their instrumentality.s "I may tell,” or I number, I expose to be numbered by spectators, “ all my bones :" to such a degree is my body racked and distended on the tree.
Xxxix. The word '787 in this passage presents the cross to the view of the reader.[
• Cosmograph. lib. v. cap. 45. +7X
That this term may be rightly translated “ they pierced,” or have any proper sense at all, interpreters generally contend that it ought to be changed into 972 or 1787; and they severely condemn the perfidy of the Jews in corrupting this word. But amidst so great a diversity of opinion amongst men of the first eminence, the celebrated a Gen. xxii. 2, 6.
e Ps. xxii. 19. (Verses 16, 17.
& Acts ii. 23.
XL. I refer also to the crucifixion the following words in Zechariah :h “ And they shall look upon me whom “ they have pierced.” This expression includes not merely what was done by the soldier's spear, to which John applies it;i but also that which was done by the nails, or instruments of the crucifixion, which is attributed to the people at large, in other passages as well as this. The accomplishment of the prophecy directs us to this interpretation. When Peter, after the effu
Dr James Alting, unquestionably the most distinguished Hebrewgrammarian of the present age, appears to me to have determined the matter. He shows that the translation commonly received among Chris tians may be defended without making the least alteration of a letter or point in the authentic text. This he does in the following manner. He says that '782 is the masculine plural of the present participle in Kal, and signifies fodientes, digging, piercing. The Root is 79), a word not to be found indeed in the Lexicons, (with the exception that Foster has it in his Dictionary, p. 373.) but correspond. ing in its signification to 177?; which appears from its derivatives y a measure, and 72 a platler ; both of which vessels are formed by excavation or digging. Besides, the middle radical, is frequently changed into x; as in Hos. x. 14. Dxp, Zech. xiv. 10. 770x77, Prov. xxiv. 7. 1987; and in many other words of that sort. But the addition of the letter x in quiescent verbs having a for the last radical, is shown by no satisfactory instance. From the root 790 therefore, 7% in the participle plural is very conveniently derived, instead of which without the letter Mem is used here. For, as Kimchi observes in his Grammar, several plurals are used with the Chirek only, without the Mem. As 2 Sam. xxiii. 8. 'ww17 W87, “ chief among the captains;" Ezek. xxxii. 30. 197933), “all the Zi. “ donians." Thus, as is noted in the Masora, and from it by Elias Levita, ypy occurs thrice instead of Sav; to which Alling has added other instances that are similar, or even less doubtful, and which incontestably confirm the remark. And what should hinder us from adding the word under consideration to the number? It may then be retained and read exactly as it is written, without any prejudice to the signification and sense. h Ch. xii. 10.
i John xix. 37.
additions shown by he participleunt the lette
sion of the Spirit of grace, had reproved the Jews in these terms; “ Him," that is, Jesus, “ have ye taken, “ and by wicked hands have crucified and slain ;”— " they were pricked in their hearts, and said,-Men " and brethren, What shall we do ?”k-and, according to the exhortation immediately addressed to them, “they “ looked” unto Him whom they had crucified. They turned, by faith, from every vain hope, to the true Rock of salvation, acquiescing in Him alone.
XLI. The BRAZEN SERPENT which Moses, at the command of God, erected on a pole, that the Israelites, wounded by the envenomed bite of the serpents, might by looking upon it be healed, was an eminent type of the crucifixion of Christ, which our Lord expressly applies to himself.m The Serpent, we may remark, was a figure of Christ, who, although entirely without sin, yet came “ in the likeness of sinful flesh ;on and, in consequence of his voluntary undertaking, stood in the place of those, who, in common with others, were “ a “ generation of vipers.” The lifting up of the serpent on the pole, Jesus himself being Interpreter, o signified the lifting up of Christ,—not his glorious exaltation to heaven, but his being ignominiously lifted up on the cross. It was the will of God, also, that the serpent should be lifted up in the wilderness by Moses, because Christ was nailed to the cross by virtue of the curse denounced by the law which was given by Moses. But on this topic we recollect, we have elsewhere spoken at large.*
* The Author here alludes to the Economy of the Covenants, Book iv. ch. 10. sect. 62—70. T. i Acts ii. 23, 36.
k Verse 37. Num. xxi. 6—9.
m John iii. 14, 15. n Rom. viii, 3.
• John xii. S2, 35.