Imatges de pÓgina

world. Hast thou an eye, O hearer, strong and spiritual, to behold the glory of the Sun of Righteousness, wading in blood, and shining in darkness? How thick is the darkness which covered him; and, at the same time, how luminous are the rays which break through it, as the morning spread upon the mountains!

In the SECOND place, we speak concerning the indignities which our Lord suffered. These are related in the text, without coloring and without reflections. The holy writer neither praises the fortitude and glory of the sufferer, nor reprobates the baseness and inhumanity of the wicked, by whom he was abused. Facts are truly stated in the relation, and simplicity is rigidly observed. The soldiers of the governor, seeing Jesus scourged, and hearing him condemned, took him into the common-hall-' stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe-platted a crown of thorns, and set it on his head-put into his right hand a reed-bowed the knee before him-mocked him, saying, Hail king of the Jews-spit upon him-took the reed out of his hand, and smote him with it on the head. These abuses and indignities, which are unparalleled in the annals of suffering, set the wickedness and brutality of the perpetrators in a shocking light. It is not, however, my intention to describe them more particularly. The repetition of the words which the Holy Ghost directed to be used, and in which there is no ambiguity, is sufficient for our faith. On a theme so awfully high, and at the same time so profoundly mysterious,,it would be presumption and arrogance in the extreme to attempt a tragedy, and sink the pulpit into a stage.

Under the direction of the Holy Spirit, and in imitation of the holy writers, we will endeavor to unite simplicity of expression with greatness of sentiment; and state before you views of the indignities and abuses related in our text, which are more seldom observed, and which, notwithstanding, are useful and edifying. Particularly, when, made under the law, our Lord Jesus Christ subjected himself to the suffering of these indignities-in suffering them he was not ashamed and confounded-suffered them for and instead of the elect-by suffering them, paid a part of the ransom for their redemption from the curse-and, left them an example that they should follow his steps.

First, When made under the law, our Lord Jesus Christ subjected himself to the suffering of these indignities. In his state under the law of works, they should be considered not merely as excesses of the wickedness and brutality of men: they were indeed so. But this is not the only, nor the principal consideration: He had subjected himself to a law, and these indignities were operations of its curse. The perpetrators were desperately and outrageously wicked in abusing him; but the curse, which is the sentence of the Lawgiver, is just, and all its operations upon him, by their malignity, were indignities which he had bound himself to bear. Had their insolences been merely excesses of brutish cruelty, he could easily have confounded, and, by the breath of his lips, and the rod of his mouth, struck dead the whole band. This, however, he did not, and this he could not do. Having subjected himself to the penalty of the law, it became him to bear every insult and every pain, which the Lawgiver permitted a band of ruffians, in their wanton barbarity, to inflict.

Secondly, In suffering the insolences of the ungodly, our Lord Jesus was not ashamed and confounded. Before the soldiers of the governor took him into the common hall, he knew every indignity which they would offer him there. Oftener than once he had foretold the operations of the wrath of man against his person and office; and, considering these himself as operations of the wrath of God, by their malignity instructed his disciples to arm themselves with the same mind. "The Son of Man shall "be delivered unto the chief priests, and unto the scribes, "and they shall condemn him to death, and shall deliver "him to the Gentiles. And they shall mock him, and "shall scourge him, and shall spit upon him, and shall "kill him, and the third day he shall rise again." The firmness of his mind, under the insolences of wicked and brutish men, is foretold and described by one of the prophets, and referred to its proper principle: "I gave my "back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them who pluck"ed off the hair. I hid not my face from shame and spit"ting. For the Lord God will help me; therefore shall I "not be confounded, therefore have I set my face like a "flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed." Stand still and see this great sight! Behold the sufferer, not a desponding and cowardly, but a bold and mighty sufferer,


whose back, furrowed by the lash, and covered with the scarlet robe, upheld the universe-whose countenance, marred with shame and spitting, was harder than flint and bolder than Lebanon-and whose faith, assailed and affronted by every indignity, stood firmer than the pillars of heaven and earth! Trusting in God, and beholding the joy set before him, he despised the shame, endured the pain, and triumphed over the diversion and wantonness of wickedness and inhumanity.

Thirdly, The Lord Jesus suffered these indignities for and instead of the elect. On his own personal account no law could subject him to them. He had done violence to none, and none of his accusers could convince him of sin, or prove him guilty of an error. But substituted for the guilty, or made sin for us, it became him to endure the penal miseries which we deserved to endure. The insult of the reed and scarlet robe, the pain of the scourge and the anguish of the crown of thorns, the shame of the spittle and the mockery of the knee, were parts of the punishment of the iniquities which the elect committed, and operations of the discipline which is the chastisement of their peace. Indignation at the rudeness and brutality of the soldiers is not the only passion which the record of these abuses should kindle in our breasts: Rather it should kindle indignation against ourselves, for whose iniquities he submitted to abuse. "Surely he hath borne our griefs, and "carried our sorrows, yet we did esteem him stricken, "smitten of God and afflicted. But he was wounded for "our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities, the "chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his "stripes we are healed."


Fourthly, The suffering of these indignities was a part of the ransom which our Kinsman gave for the redemption of the elect. Redemption is an expensive undertaking: none but himself was equal to it, and it cost him dear.Though the price was not higher than the justice of the Lawgiver stated, nor more than our Lord Jesus Christ himself had engaged to give, and could afford to give, it was a very great sum. Scorn and mockery, and shame, and spitting, and stripes, and thorns, and nails, and death, under the wrath of his Father and the curse of the law, were heavy articles. Yet none of these could be dispensed with: The curse denounced all that our Redeemer endured, and the Lawgiver exacted no more than was due. Some men, who

profess to respect the person and glory of our Redeemer, account his vicarious suffering and his bearing the curse dry and barren subtilties, and state every indignity that he endured to the wickedness of the age in which he appeared, without any relation to his being made under the law, made sin, and made a curse. But prophets and apostles, and our Redeemer himself, exhibit these views of his sufferings and death as truths of high importance to the world, and principles which have a strong and effectual influence on the obedience of faith. And all who truly receive them feel their tendency to animate devotion, to fix deeper the impressions of the holiness of God, and the love of Christ, and to constrain unto the practice of every good work.


Fifthly, In suffering these indignities, our Lord Jesus left us an example, that we should follow his steps. In one of his Epistles, Peter states the sufferings of Christ in this view: "Christ suffered for us, leaving us an example "that we should follow his steps, Who did no sin, neither "was guile found in his mouth; who, when he was reviled, "reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not, but "committed himself to him that judgeth righteously."When he wrote these words, the apostle appears to have recollected the indignities which the evangelist relates in our text. We should not however suppose, that he affirms example to be the end or intention of the sufferings of Christ. The spirit of truth, under whose inspiration he wrote, testifies, that atonement, or reconciliation for iniquity, is the end of these. Accordingly, before the sentence is finished, Peter brings this into view: "Who his own self"bare our sins, in his own body on the tree, that we, being "dead to sins, should live unto righteousness, by whose "stripes we are healed." But in making atonement and reconciliation, Christ suffered indignities and abuses from men, in a manner which is an example of resignation, meekness, and patience, to us, when we are abused by the froward and outrageous. The context, accurately obser. ved and interpreted by sound criticism, compels us to pro. fess the meaning of the holy apostle to be, that the manner of suffering, and not the end or intention of the sufferings, is our example.

According to our general method, we speak, LASTLY concerning the glory of Christ in suffering the indignities

related in the text. The sacred writer relates his sufferings without revealing his glory. But by the light of other parts of scripture we behold it; and without a display of it, the knowledge of the fellowship of his sufferings could not be attained. Upon that memorable night which preceded the abusive treatment in the common hall, by the military band, he made this solemn profession before the disciples: "Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is "glorified in him. And if God be glorified in him, God "shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway "glorify him."-He knew that the Father would glorify him, not only after suffering, but in suffering, and that he would glorify the Father both in suffering and after suffering. Under the indignities which he suffered in the hall, the intellectual and believing eye beholds the glory and excellency of each person in the Godhead; particularly the glory and excellency of the wisdom and love, and of the holiness and righteousness, and of the majesty and sovereignty of the Father, of whom are all things; the glory and excellency of the grace and mercy, and of the strength and boldness, and of the meekness and patience of Jesus Christ, the son, through whom are all things; and the glory and excellency of the power and love, and of the truth and influence, and of the goodness and joy of the Lord the spirit, by whom are all things.

Besides, through the indignities which obscured and disfigured the Lord Jesus in the hall, a peculiar glory breaks forth, that, for the sake of distinction, may be called the glory of his grace. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the praises of which are celebrated in the scriptures, signifies not only the grace that is received from him, but the grace which fitted him for suffering, and which he himself exercised and exemplified in suffering; particularly his faith, his love, his zeal, his humility, his meekness, his patience and resignation to the will of his Father, break through the darkness which obscured the brightness of his light, and fill the hearts of his people with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

First, In suffering the indignities related in our text, the glory of his faith and trust appears bright and resplendent. The shame and the pain, and the insolence and abuse, which our Lord Jesus Christ endured in the hall, were violent temptations to cast away his confidence, to

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