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The occurrences of our Lord's trial are related by the Evangelists, with remarkable minuteness of detail; perhaps, amongst other weighty reasons, because it is of the utmost importance to the cause of true religion, to remove from the Saviour of the world even the suspicion of a fault. As the Lamb of God, it was important that he should be pronounced without spot, or blemish. And this was the case, when, after the strictest scrutiny, the authorized judges of his people Israel could discover no charge against. him, except that he had made himself the Son of God; whilst his being the Son of God, as we have shown before, was essential to the efficacy of that great sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, which he had come to offer, and was now prepared to make. Again, as the High Priest, who was to atone, and intercede, for the world, it was important, that he should be pronounced holy, harmless, and undefiled*; and, accordingly, the very Gentiles saw his righteousness, when it was declared, that they could find no fault in him, and that they condemned him, merely, because he called himself Christ a King. Whereas, his being a King, as we have shown before, was essential to the nature of that priesthood, which it
* Isaiah, lxii. 2.
was predicted he should exercise. Thus, though judgment was turned away backward, and justice stood afar off; yet, he put on righteousness as a breastplate, and an helmet of salvation on his head; and he put on the garments of vengeance for his clothing, and was clad with zeal as a cloak.*
*Isaiah, lix. 14. 17.
NOTES TO LECTURE V.
NOTE (1), page 190.
"It is said," observes Bishop Hurd," that many prophecies are applied to Jesus, on very slight grounds. This would be true, if the prophetic Scriptures, like the pagan oracles, had no determinate scheme in view; and had for their object, only detached and unconnected events. But, on this scriptural principle, that one common purpose is in the contemplation of that divine Spirit, who dictated all those writings, that is expressed, which is barely intimated; and every applicable prophecy is rightly applied: whence it is, that even secondary prophecies, have, in the system of revelation, all the light and force of the primary." - Serm. iv. On the Prophecies.
As so many of the prophecies were, either directly, or indirectly, accomplished, in the persecution, sufferings, and death of our blessed Lord and Saviour, it may be well to remind the reader, that "most part of those oracles, which we apply to the Messiah, were applied in the same manner, by the Jewish doctors, in our Saviour's time." See Allix. Reflections on the Books of the Old Testament, chap. viii.; and, more particularly, the same learned author's Judgment of the Jewish Church, against the Unitarians, chap. iii.
Justin Martyr (A. D. 150.), in his dialogue with Trypho, c. 68., remarks, that, "with respect to the passages of Scripture which we quote, as proving that Christ was to suffer, to be worshipped, and that he is God,.. the Jews were compelled to admit, that they were written concerning Christ; although they still dared to say, that Jesus was not the Christ."
NOTE (2), page 191.
St. Chrysostom and St. Jerome remark, that the very words of our Saviour were misrepresented; for, he had not said, I will destroy, but merely, destroy, this Temple; that is, let it be destroyed, and within three days I will raise it again. I cannot agree with Rosenmüller, in supposing, that, when our Lord uttered these words, he pointed with his finger to his body; for this would have precluded the possibility of his being misunderstood. It is more probable, that, on this occasion, as on many others, our Lord adhered to the figurative and enigmatical style, generally adopted by the prophets. meaning may, in some degree, have been guessed; but it was not completely understood, until the prediction was verified by the event. Concerning the danger of speaking or prophesying against the Temple, see Horne. Introduction, vol. iii. p. 232.; or, Grotius, in loc.
NOTE (3), page 193.
St. Paul, Acts xiii. 35., applies this passage to the Messiah. Upon which Dr. Allix remarks, "He proves,
that these words could not be understood of David; seeing that his sepulchre, the monument of his corruption, remained till that day. He ought, first to have proved, that this Psalm was spoken of the Messias; and then have proved, that it could not belong to David. But this method was needless; since, he went on this known maxim among the Jews, that, whatever Psalm was not fulfilled in David, ought to be understood of the Messiah."-Judgment of the Jewish Church, against the Unitarians, p. 45.
NOTE (4), page 194.
"It was a custom, among the Jews," says Dr. Hammond, "to adjure; which was, by some form of execration laid upon the person, if he did not speak and answer truly; this, among them, obliged the person adjured, as much as if he had taken an oath; and, therefore, Christ, though before, he held his peace, now, being adjured, thinks himself bound to answer him." He adduces some examples from the Old Testament, in proof of the assertion.
NOTE (5), page 195.
Many commentators maintain, that the prohibition, (Lev. x. 6., xxi. 10.), forbidding the high priests to rend their clothes, applied only to their pontifical garments. However this may be, it is clear, that Caiaphas violated the principle, on which we may suppose the prohibition to have been made; namely, that the highest officer under