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II. THE CAUSE AND DESIGN OF 8. Of our diffidence and distrust with THOSE SUFFERINGS.
respect to the mercy of God, and His III. THE BENEFIT WE OBTAIN BY pardoning and accepting the penitent. THEM, AND HOW WE OBTAIN IT. 9. Of an accusing conscience and “ With His stripes we
are healed.” slavish fear of God, and death and hell We are healed, 1. Of our inattention (Heb. ix. 13, 14). and unconcern about divine things. The 10. Of our general depravity and dignity of our Lord's person, the inten- corruption of nature (Tit. ii. 14; Eph. sity of His sufferings, and the end for v. 25–27). which He endured them, discover that 11. Of our weakness and inability. things of a spiritual and divine nature His sufferings have purchased are of infinite moment. Our ignorance spirit of might.” and unbelief respecting these things. 12. Of our distress and misery, both His sufferings confirm and seal His present and future. For His sufferings doctrine, and show the certain truth bear away our griefs and sorrows; and unspeakable importance of it, and they are an astonishing proof of God's the reasonableness of a serious study infinite love to all for whom He underof it, of laying it to heart, and receiv. took; they lay the most solid foundaing it in faith.
tion for the firmest confidence and 2. Of the disease of self-righteousness most lively hope in Him. They show and self-confidence. For, if our own thatrighteousness could have saved us, and
“No man too largely from God's love can if we could safely have trusted there
hope, in, Christ needed not to have died. If what he hopes, he labours to secure.” 3. Of our love to sin and the commis
Joseph Benson : Sermons, vol. i. pp. sion of it. For how can we love Him
232-236. and continue the willing servants of the betrayer and murderer of the Son of God, our Saviour? How can we Ever since the fall, healing has been willingly commit sin, which is so great the chief necessity of manhood. It is a an evil in its own nature, that it could
great mercy for us who have to preach, not be pardoned, unless expiated by as well as for you who have to hear, the sufferings and death of the Son of that the Gospel healing is so very simGod, and Lord of glory! (H. E. I, ple. Our text describes it. These six 4589, 4590).
words contain the marrow of the 4. Of our love of the riches, honours, Gospel. and pleasures of this world. For how I. These are sad words. They are can we reasonably desire any of these part of the mournful piece of music in a world, where our Lord and Mas- which might be called “the Requiem ter “had not where to lay His head," of the Messiah," 1. Because they imply where He was despised and re- disease. This "we" comprehends all jected, a man of sorrows and acquainted the saints, and hence it is clear that with grief”?
all the saints need healing. Those 5. Of our self-indulgence and self- who are to-day before the throne of seeking. Since His sufferings and God, without spot, or wrinkle, or any death show that He did not seek such thing, were once defiled as the Himself, and He died for us, that we lepers who were shut out of the camp “might not live to ourselves” (2 Cor. of Israel. Our fathers were fallen v. 14, 15).
men, and so are we, and so will our 6. Of our lukewarmness and sloth.
children be. (1.) The disease of sin For shall we be indifferent about, and is of the most loathsome character, and slothful in the pursuit of what cost it will lead to the most deadly result Him His blood ?
in due season.
It is none the better 7. Of our cowardice and fear of suffer- because we do not feel it. It is all the ing (1 Pet. iv. 1).
(2.) Sin is also a very painful
disease when it is known and felt. of Christ suffering for him shakes off Those black days of conviction ! A the viper of sin into the fire which conman needs no worse hell than his own sumed the great sacrifice. Where falls sin and an awakened conscience. the blood of the atonement, sin's hand
2. Because it speaks of suffering. is palsied, its grasp is relaxed, its “ With His stripes." I find that the sceptre falls, it vacates the throne of word here used is in the singular, and the heart; and the spirit of grace, and not as the translation would lead you truth, and love, and righteousness, to suppose.
I hardly know how to occupies the royal seat. Behold Christ translate the word fully. It is read smarting in your stead, and you will by some as “weal,"
“ bruise," or never despair again. It is a universal “wound,” meaning the mark or print medicine. There is no disease by which of blows upon the skin ; but Alexander your soul can be afflicted, but an apsays the word denotes the tumour plication of the blue bruises of your raised in flesh by scourging. It is else- Lord will take out the deadly virus where translated “blueness," "hurt," from your soul. and “spots," and evidently refers to 2. Because of the honour which the the black and blue marks of the healing brings to Christ. Child of God, scourge. The use of a singular noun if thou wouldst give glory to God, may have been intended to set forth declare that thou art healed. Be not that our Lord was as it were reduced always saying, “I hope I am saved.” to a mass of bruising, and was made A crucified Saviour is the sole and one great bruise. (c) By the suffering only hope of a sinful world. which that condition indicated we are III. These are very suggestive saved. Our text alludes partly to the words. Whenever a man is healed sufferings of His body, but much more through the stripes of Christ, the to the agonies of His soul.
instincts of his nature should make smitten in His heart each day of His him say, “I will spend the strength I life. He had to suffer the ills of Pro- have, as a healed man, for Him who vidence. He had to run the gauntlet healed me." If
know that Jesus of all mankind. Satan, too, struck at has healed you, serve Him, by telling Him. Put these things all together others about the healing medicine. as best you can, for I lack words with Tell it to your children; tell it to your which fitly to describe these bruises. Servants; leave none around you igno
11. These are glad words. 1. Be- rant of it. Hang it up everywhere in cause they speak of the healing we need. letters of boldest type. “With His Uuderstand these words. Of that stripes we are healed."-C. H. Spurgeon: virtual healing which was given you in Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, No. the day when Jesus Christ died upon 1068. the cross. But there is an actual application of the great expiation to us
(a) Pilate delivered our Lord to the lictors
to be scourged. The Roman scourge was a when by faith we receive it individu
most dreadful instrument of torture. It was ally. To as many as have believed
made of the sinews of oxen, and sharp bones in Jesus, His stripes have given the
were intertwisted here and there among the healing of forgiveness, and it has con
sinews; so that every time the lash caine down
these inflicted fearful laceration, and tore off qnered the deadly power of sin. the flesh from the bone. The Saviour was, Men have tried to overcome their pas- no doubt, bound to the column, and thus sions by the contemplation of death, beaten. He had been beaten before; but this but they have failed to bury sin in the
of the Roman lictors was probably the most
severe of His flagellations. My soul, stand grave; they have striven to subdue
here, and weep over His poor stricken body. the rage of lust within their nature Believer in Jesus, can you gaze upon Him by meditating upon hell, but that has without tears, as He stands before you the only rendered the heart hard and mirror of agonising love. He is at once fair callous to love's appeals. He who
as the lily for innocence, and red as the rose
with the crimson of His owu blood. As we ouce believingly bebolds the mystery feel the sure and blessed healing which His
stripes have wrought in us, does not our heart on within, and the text rather learls melt at once with love and grief. If we have
me to speak of the effect of the stripes ever loved our Lord Jesus, surely we inust feel that affection glowing now within our
of Christ upon our characters and bosoins.—Spurgeon.
natures than upon the result produced in our position before God.
II. THE MATCHLESS CURES WROUGHT I, A LAMENTABLE DISEASE ASSUMED. BY THIS REMARKABLE MEDICINE. Look 1. The banetul result of transgression. at two pictures. Look at man without 2. Universal in its prevalency. 3. the stricken Saviour; and then behold Hereditary in its descent. 4. Incurable man with the Saviour, healed by His by human agency.
stripes. II. AN INFALLIBLE PHYSICIAN SPE- III. THE MALADIES WHICH THIS CIFIED. 1. Infinite in wisdom. 2. WONDROUS MEDICINE REMOVES. The Impartial in attendance. 3. Ever
great root of all tliis mischief, the curse easy of access. 4. Gratuitous in His which fell on man through Adam's sin, practice.
is already effectually removed. But I III. THE REMEDY HE EMPLOYS. am now to speak of diseases which we “ His stripes," i.e. the atonement, have felt and bemoaned, and which 1. Divine in its appointment. 2. Easy still trouble the family of God. 1. The in its application. 3. Universal in its mania of despair. 2. The stony heart. adaptation. 4. Infallible in its etti- 3. The paralysis of doubt. 4. Stiffness
of the knee-joint of prayer. 5. Numbness IV. THE CURE EFFECTED BY IT.
6. The fever of pride. 7. The 1. Is now no novelty. 2. Is radical leprosy of selfishness.
8. The fretting in its nature. 3. is happy in its consumption of worldliness. (See also influences.
p. 494.) CONCLUSION.-This subject tends, IV. THE CURATIVE PROPERTIES OF 1. To promote humility. 2. To pro- THIS MEDICINE. All manner of good duce self-examination. 3. To encour- this divine remedy works in our age the desponding penitent. 4. To spiritual constitution. The stripes of excite fervent gratitude. — Four Hun- Jesus when well considered, 1. Arrest dred Sketches, vol. ii. p. 93.
spiritual disorder. 2. Quicken all the powers of the spiritual man to resist
the disease. 3. They restore to the I. THE MEDICINE WHICH IS HERE man that which he lost in strength by PRESCRIBED—thestripes of our Saviour. sin. 4. They soothe the
agony I take the term “stripes” to compre
viction. 5. They eradicate the power hend all the physical and spiritual of sin ; they pull it up by the root; sufferings of our Lord, with especial destroy the beasts in their lair ; put to reference to those chastisements of death the power of sin in our members. our peace which preceded rather than V. THE MODES OF THE WORKING OF actually caused His sin-atoning death : THIS MEDICINE. How does it work? it is by these that our souls are Briefly, its effect upon the mind is this. healed.
The sinner hearing of the death of the “But why ?” say you.
1. Because incarnate God is led by the force of our Lord, as a sufferer, was not a truth and the power of the Holy Spirit private person, but suffered as a public to believe in the incarnate God. After individual, and an appointed represen- faith come gratitude, love, obedience, tative. Hence the effects of His grief &c. (a) are applied to iis, and with His stripes VI. ITS REMARKABLY EASY APPLI. we are healed. 2. Our Lord was not CATION. There
materia merely man, or else His sufferings medica which would be curative, but could not have availed for the multi- they are so difficult in administration. tude who now are healed thereby. and attended with so much risk in their But healing is a work that is carried operation, that they are rarely if ever
employed; but the medicine prescribed comfortable and satisfying faith is generated in the text is very simple in itself, and
in his heart. 3. The apprehension of the favour.
ing mind in God towards him, with all the love very simply received; so simple is its
manifested in the sufferings of Christ, disreception that, if there be a willing poses his heart to the love of God. 4. Seeing mind here to receive it, it may be re- also that he owes his renewed being and hopes ceived by any of you at this very
to his God and Saviour, he is ready to give instant, for God's Holy Spirit is present
himself wholly to His service. For he feels
the force of the apostle's words (Rom xii. 1. ; to help you. How, then, does a man Cr. 14, 15). 5. When in the service of get the stripes to heal him? 1. He Christ he meets with great difficulties and trials, hears about them. 2. Faith cometh
he remembers that Christ bore for him his
eternal sufferings, and thinks little of anything by hearing ; that is, the hearer believes
he can eudure for Him in his short life upon that Jesus is the Son of God, and he earth. 6. From the contemplation of the trusts in Him to save his soul. 3. humiliation and death of Christ fluw endless Having believed, whenever the power streams of benevolence, readiness to give, or of his faith begins to relax, he goes to
to do, or endure anything for our neighbour
(2 Cor, viii. 9; 1 John iii. 16). 7. While that hearing again, or else to what is even
contemplation urges him to devote bimself to better, after once having heard to the service of God and the promotion of his benefit, he resorts to contemplation; neighbour's good, it also keeps him humble he resorts to the Lord's table that he
in his greatest zeal, both by the example of
his crucified Saviour, and also by the rememmay be helped by the outward signs;
brance that his only hope of mercy rests in his he reads the Bible that the letter of coming as a worthless creature for salvation to the word may refresh his memory as
Christ, in reliance upon His merits alone. 8. to its spirit, and he often seeks a season
Every one who has been brought to such views of quiet, &c.—Poor sinner, simply himself strongly rep
of sin as the sufferings of Jesus get forth, feels
himself strongly repelled, by those sufferings, trust and thou art healed ; backsliding from all sin. Shall he add another sin to those saint, contemplate and believe again. by which he has pierced his beloved Saviour Since the medicine is so efficacious,
with sorrow and pain ! Here is a most cogent
motive to the resistance of temptation in the since it is already prepared and freely
true believer. And if he fiuds difficulty in such presented, I do beseech you take it.
resistance, he remembers that his Saviour sufC. H. Spurgeon : Metropolitan Tabernacle fered crucifixion for bim, and feels that he Pulpit, No. 834.
must therefore think little of "crucifying the flesh, with its affections and lusts,' for His
sake (1 Pet. iv. 1, 2). (a) Looking upon the “stripes” of Jesus, Thus the due effect of the sufferings of Christ one may be led, 1. To think of the awfully npon man is the entire renovation of his heart. malignant nature of sin, wbich would require It tends to purify him from all sin, to fashion for its expiation so great a sacrifice as that of his soul in the frame of perfect holiness, to the Son of God, and of the great depravity of urge him to devoted zeal in all ways of piety his own heart in having been so destitute of and charity. The wisdom of God in appoint love towards one so full of grace and goodness ing those sufferings as the means of our salva. toward him. He is thus brought to tremble for tion, is justified in the beauty of holiness to his sin, and to mourn for it with deep contrition. which those who duly look upon them are thus And here is true repentance. 2. The inestim- brought. As the Israelites looked upon the able value of the sacrifice, and the boundless brazen serpent till they were healed, so let us love of God manifested in it, show him also look upon our suffering Saviour till all the dis. that an atonement of most amply sufficient orders of our souls are remedied, and we are value has been offered for his siu ; that the restored to the "spirit of love and of a sound gracious God must be most mercifully disposed mind.”—R. L. Cotton, M.A.: The Way of Saland willing to pardon and save him. Thus a vation, pp. 95–99.
WANDERING SHEEP. liii. 6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way.
Comparisons in Scripture are fre- says, “Behold, I come quently to be understood with great (Rev. xvi. 15)—common sense will fix limitation : perhaps, out of many cir- the resemblance to a single point, that cumstances, one only is justly applicable He will come suddenly and unex. to the case. Thus, when our Lord pectedly.
So, when wandering sinners are We are like sheep, 1. In our pronacompared to wandering sheep, we ness to err. No creature is more prone have a striking inage of the danger to wander and lose his way than a of their state, and their inability to sheep without a shepherd. So are we recover themselves. Sheep wandering apt to transgress the bounds whereby without a shepherd are exposed, a God has helged up our way (Jer. xiv. defenceless and easy prey, to wild 10). This has been manifest in every beasts and enemies, and liable to period of our life (Ps. xxv. 7, xix. 1:2). perish for want of pasture; for they 2. In our readiness to follow evil exare not able either to provide for ample. Sheep run after one another, themselves, or to find their way back and one straygler draweth away the to the place from whence they strayed. whole flock; and so men take and do Whatever they suffer, they continue to a great deal of hurt by sad examples. wander, and if not sought out, will be Sheep go by troops, and so do men lost. Thus far the allusion holds. follow the multitude to do evil ; what
But sheep in such a situation are is common passeth into our practice not the subjects of blame. They
They without observation (Eph. ii. 2, 3). would be highly blameable, if we 3. In our danger when we have gone could suppose them rational creatures; astray. Straying sheep, when out of if they had been under the eye of a the pasture, are in harm's way, and careful and provident shepherd, had exposed to a thousand dangers. Oh, been capable of knowing him, had consider what it is for a poor solitary wilfully and obstinately renounced his lamb to wander through the mountains, protection and guidance, and volun- where, it may be, some hungry lion or tarily chosen to plunge themselves into ravenous wolf looketh for such a prey. danger, rather than to remain in it Even so is it with straying men : their any longer.
judgments sleepeth not; it may be in Thus it is with man. 1. His wan
the next hour they will be delivered dering is rebellious. God made him to destruction (Jer. vii. 6, 7; Rom. upright, but he has sought out to iii. 16). himself many inventions (Eccl. vii. 29). 4. In our inability to return into the
2. God has appointed for mankind right way. Other animals can find a safe and pleasant path, by walking their way home again, but a strayed in which they shall find rest to their sheep is irrecoverably lost without the souls ; but they say,
" We will not shepherd's diligence and care. walk therein” (Jer. vi. 16).
could wander by myself, but could not 3. They were capable of knowing return by myself" (Augustine). the consequences of going astray, 5. In our need of a redeemer. were repeatedly warned of them, were CONCLUSION.-Has the Good Shepfenced in by wise and good laws, herd brought us back? Then, 1. Let which they presumptuously broke us magnify His self-sacrificing and through
tender mercy, in following us, and 4. When they had wandered from bringing us into the pastures where Him, they were again and again there is at once safety and true satisinvited to return to Him, but they faction. refused. They mocked His messen- 2. Let us remember for ourselves, gers, and preferred the misery they and preach to others, that the sheep had brought upon themselves to the do not fare the better for going out of happiness of being under His direction the pasture. In departing from God, and care.
we turn our back upon our own hapSurely He emphatically deserves piness. The broad and easy ways of the name of the Good Shepherd, who sin are pleasing to flesh and blood, but freely laid down His life to restore destructive to the soul. Adam thought sheep of this character.-John Newton: to find much happiness in forbidden Works, p. 712.
fruit, to mend and better his condition,