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can be just, and yet the justifier of the ungodly that believeth in Jesus.
CONCLUSION.–1. When we behold Christ bearing our sins, we should learn to look on sin with shame and horror. How intense must that evil be which demands such a sacrifice !
2. When we behold Christ bearing our sins, we should see in Him the object of saving faith. In all the universe of nature and grace—this is the point for the eye of a convinced sinner.
3. When we behold Christ bearing our sins, we have before us the greatest of all motives to personal huliness. When temptation comes in a like tide, cast your eyes to the Cross (H. E. I. 4589, 4590).-J. W. Alexander, D.D.: The Preacher's Monthly, vol. iii. pp. 222-226.
(a) All the ancient sacrifice 8 wrote in letters of blood the word Substitution. For what, after
all, is the idea of sacrifice but the innocent dying for the guilty? It was an emblem which the feeblest mind might comprehend. There, ou the altar, is a spotless launb-the emblem of inn:cence.
Here am I, a polluted sinner. I lay my right hand on the unblemished victim, and straightway it becomes in type a sinner. I should have died-but now the victim dies : it dies for me-it dies in my place. It was thus the way was prepared for the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sin of the world. It is not here and there, but everywhere, that the Bible thus represents the method of our salvation (Isa. liii. 5, 6, 10-12; Gal. iii. 13; 2 Cor. v. 21). This doctrine is taught in expressions which cannot be inistaken by an un. biassed mind. And we never find unsophisticated persons troubled with those difficulties which have made this doctrine a stumbling. block to Jews and philosophers. There is something intelligible and lovely in Cbrist's coming into our place and dying for us. Especially when a soul is overwhelmed with a sense of sin and dread of eternal wrath, the truth is the only thing which can give life. -Alexander.
DIVINE LOVE IN Christ's PASSION. liji, 6. The Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all. “I know the thoughts that I think the accumulated weight of sin laid towards you, thoughts of peace, and upon Jesus——“the iniquities of us all,” not of evil,” said the Lord to His of the entire human race ! (1 John ii. people. And if we could know the 2). Oh, how can we calculate the thoughts He thinks towards us, we weight of this burden ? how can we should hardly tell how to admire suffi- number and measure the sins of the ciently His love for us, or to humble whole world ? how can we estimate the ourselves enough for our baseness punishment due to them which our towards Him.
Saviour endured in our stead? The The love which God hath for us is sins that began with the sins of Eve manifested in our creation, and in His and Adam, and have been increasing continual care over us ever since we in all times and climes ever since, how were born.
But in a
measure far appalling their number! When we call beyond that in all other instances of to mind that one sin was sufficient, in the His love, it is displayed in the redemp- judgment of the righteous God, to contion of the world by our Lord Jesus demn men to sorrow and death, we Christ. But, imhappily, after all that wonder not that the contemplation of is said of the redeeming love of God, the burden that awaited our Saviour with all the proofs of it in the won- in atoning for “the iniquities of us derful things done for our salvation, all” laid Him prostrate in Gethsemane, many have little notion of the Divine caused Him to sweat “as it were great kindness exercised in this great and drops of blood,” and to pray that if it glorious work. Were it better under- were possible that “cup” might pass stood, more hearts would be melted from Him. No man with his present into sorrowful contrition for sin, and confined faculties can form an adequate thence brought to faith and holiness, notion of the weight of affliction which and so prepared for the kingdom of Christ endured, when He stood in the God.
place of a world of sinners. All we Let us consider, then, how awful is can say is, that it was something which VOL. II.
If a man,
was equivalent, in the scales of Divine love that is the secret of lowly suffer. justice, to the eternal punishment due ing for others. Who can see lowly to the sins of all mankind (1 Pet. ii. sorrow, and humble patience and re24 ; Rom. iii. 26). After ail the signation in bitter affliction, especially notions I can form of the sufferings of when it is endured for the benefit of Jesus, all that I can do as a thinker others, without a feeling of love towards is to stand with awful astonishment the charitable sufferer? Must not that contemplating the cross, overwhelmed
see manifested in Jesus with thoughts of the unseen and un- attract us to Him, and excite in our known sufferings of my Redeemer. hearts admiring love? (P. D. 2340,
I. Now, our apprehension of the love 2341). of Jesus must run parallel with our II. In proportion to the sorrow and apprehension of His sufferings. The pain which were laid upon the Son of more He had to endure, the greater God, is the measure of the Father's effort of love must have been required love in giving Him up to such sufferto urge Him to undergo it.
ing abasement for us. Here also we seeing another whom he loved con- see that the Divine love is beyond all demned to a cruel death, were to go
bound or measure of ours. If the and suffer in his place, we should stand sufferings and abasements of the Son amazed at such a man, and say that were infinitely, immeasurably great, he was possessed of an extraordinary the love of the Father, who gave Him measure of charity. How much more, up to the pain and humiliation of the if he were to endure for him the ever- cross, must be incomprehensible also. lasting sufferings of hell! But, how Oh, where is our heart, that we are so incomprehensibly great would his little affected with God's redeeming charity appear, if he could call down love; that our return for it is ingratiupon himself sufferinys equivalent to tude and sin! But our very worththe eternal sufferings of the whole race lessness magnifies the Divine love. of mankind! Yet when we contem- Had it been for unhappy creatures in plate Jesus on the cross, we see one misery, but not in fault, that God gave having thus acted. How infinitely His beloved Son, had it been even for great, how stupendous, this makes the those who would one and all prize, love of Christ appear !
highly value, and abound in love for The manner in which He suffered what was done for them, still the love also manifests His love for us. With of God in this unspeakable gift would all the mighty love with which He have been immeasurably great; but was urged through His sufferings, with how incomprehensibly vast does it all the strength of firmness and resolu- appear, when we consider how offen. tion with which He endured to the sive in God's sight sin has made manend, with all the immeasurable great kind, how great a portion of mankind ness of His passion, and the vast never take any notice at all of the amount of good He was accomplishing, Divine love in the great redemption, still there was no vain display of His and how slow the best of us are to see love or of His endurance, no boast and be grateful for “the exceeding of the great things He was effecting. riches of His grace, in His kindness to Not a word did He utter of what He us through Christ Jesus !"
We feel was enduring, or what He was pur- that it rises above all speech or thought chasing tor us. Humble and quiet of ours (Rom. v. 7, 8. H. E. I. 2318Jowliness and gentle meekness were 2337. P. D. 1468, 2345).-R. L. the dispositions manifested in Him, Cotlon, M.A.: The Way of Salvation, through all that He did and suffered for us (ver. 7). Now, it is always true
OUR SAVIOUR'S SUFFERINGS AND SUBMISSION.
liii. 7. He was oppressed, &c. The whole field of Scripture is of as bearing griefs, carrying sorrows, infinite value, yet the Christian pecu- stricken and smitten of God, afflicted, liarly prizes those parts of it wherein wounded, bruised, subjected to chasChrist, the hidden treasure, the one tisement and stripes, and here “oppearl of great price, is most fully ex- pressed.” It did not suffice that He hibited to the view. This chapter
was shorn as a sheep-stripped and holds a first rank in His esteem, be- deprived of His riches, ornaments, and cause here, long before our Redeemer's comforts; but His life is demanded. incarnation, He was evidently set forth “ He is brought to the slaughter.” crucified. Isaiah here discourses of 1. He suffered at the hand of God. Himn with a pathetic tenderness and “Smitten of God.” Voluntarily standminuteness of detail, as if he had been ing in the sinner's place, He must enan eyewitness of His sufferinys. Had dure the first penalty of sin. In nothhe stood with John at the cross, or ing is the righteous displeasure of God watched with Mary at the sepulchre, ayainst sin more displayed, His deterhe could scarcely have presented a mination to visit us to the uttermost more vivid and touching picture of the more exemplified, than in the suffersufferings of Christ and the glory by ings of Christ. He, even He, must be which they were followed. The pur- smitten with the sharp sword of sinport of the chapter is, that the Messiah avenging justice (Zech. xiii. 7). It would evote Himself as a voluntary would seem as though all the former sacrifice, a real and effectual expia- executions of justice had only been tion, suffering the heaviest woes and inflicted as with a sword asleep, or in all the bitterness of death, in concur- the scabbard, compared with what rence with the gracious intention of Jesus felt. Against Him it was Jahovah, and for the salvation of re- awakened, unsheathed, and made to bellious men.
descend with unmitigated force and I. THE OVERWIIELMING NATURE OF severity. THE REDEEMER'S SUFFERINGS (a). 2. He suffered at the hand of man.
As it was no common sufferer who It was much that He was to be “a is here pointed out, so they were no Man of sorrows," but more that He common sufferings He endured. was "despised and rejected of men." was oppressed.” Who? “The bright. He who was ready to relieve every ness of the Father's glory!” We are burden and break every yoke, was so constituted as to be more affected Himself afflicted by those whom He by the afflictions of distinguished men came to redeem. He who would not than by those of the multitude ; our so much as “break a bruised reed," was sympathy is awakened when princes oppressed through the whole course of endure great reverses and hardships ; His life. Contempt, reproach, and when sickness clou is the royal brow, persecution were the requitals for His and death enters the pavilion of the acts of mercy (Matt. xii. 22, 24, ix. 2, mighty, whence we are ready to ima- 3; John v. 8, 9, 16). gine every care is excluded. But here Let this console His suffering disJou have the extreme of greatness in ciples, that they only follow the footconjunction with the extreme of suffer- steps of the Prince of sufferers; they iny. “He was oppressed /”
only drink of His cup. Let them exThe union and combination of various amine, and they will find that the very forms of suffering is implied: "de- grief that oppresses them oppressed spised," "rejected," "Man of sorrows." Him. Be consoled by the conscious"acquainted with grief.” Described ness of sharing His sympathy, and by
the certain prospect of sharing His triumphı. The cross, the grave, the stone, the seal, the Roman guard, and the watchful Sanhedrim were in His case all in vain ; and He has promised that the rebuke of His people shall be taken away.
3. He suffered from the assaults of hell (Luke xxii. 53). The temptation in the wilderness, the agony in the garilen, and the sufferings of the cross were all connected with Satanic agency. Satan will not fail to trouble even where he despairs to conquer.
II. THE SILENT SUBMISSION WITH WHICH CHRIST ENDURED SUFFERING.
“lle is brought as a lamb," &c. The lamb goes as quietly to the slaughter as to the fold.
By this similitude the patience of Christ is exemplified, not that He was absolutely silent, for more than once He replied to the falsehoods and slanders of His eneinies; but it refers to His patience, submission, and moral fortitude. From the beginning to the end He was in a perfect calm; as in His external behaviour, so in His internal frame and temper of soul.
Not one repining thonight against Gou, not one revengeful thought against man, ruffled His spirit.
What were the principles that supported Him? Pity for the world that knew not its Saviour; love for the Church He came to redeem ; conformity of sentiment with the mind and will of His Father; devout anticip::tion of the happy results that should flow from His sufferings; the joy that was set before Him—the joy of saving souls.
III. THE PROPER RESULTS IN US OF OUR CONTEMPLATION OF THE SUFFERINGS AND SUBMISSION
1. Faith in His sacrifice. 2. Imitation of His example.
3. Devout remembrance of His love. 4. Exultant anticipation of His glory.
-Samuel Thodey. (a.) 'The suffering of Christ in Gethsemane was not bodily pain ; physically he was in health and vigour, at the prime of life, and in the flower of His age.
The torture of the
cross was before Him, with all the preliminary accumulation of woe; but I cannot think that the mere apprehension of these will sufficiently account for what He endured. His mind bail long been familiar with the death that He was to die, and He knew and had predicted His speedy resuri ection to a glorious life. Now, it seems impossible that an event, however painful, which was to be iminediately suc. ceeded by “fulness of joy,” could have thrown Him into such mysterious agony of mind. In after times, martyrs—men and women-had to entertain the prospect and undergo the infliction of death in forms as lingering and dreadful as His ; and they an. ticipated and endured with cheerfulness, joy, magnanimity, rapture
Some other cause must certainly be found for Christ's darkness and distress of mind, distinct from the mere apprehension of the cross.
The seat of His suffering way the soul. But it is again and again affirmed that He was “holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners ;” that He was "without spot”-had no speck or stain of guilt upon His conscience. He could not therefore be oppressed by any feding of personal demerit. He had no frailty, to defect; He had never erred iu thought, word, or deed ; He had no couscious deficiencies to oppress Him, nothing to acknowledge and confess with shame, no necessity to pray for mercy, no iniquity to fill Him with terror at the thought of God : in spite of all this, how. ever, His soul was "troubled"_ was “exceeding sorrowful, even unto death”-overpowered and beset with bitter anguish.
I know of nu principle on which this mental suffering of a perfectly innocent and holy being can be rationally accounted for, except that which refers it to the fact of His being a sacrificial and propitiatory victim. “ His soul was made an offering for sin,” &c. any account be given on this ground of the causes and nature of His extraordinary mental agony and terror ?
The Scriptures, I think, seem to refer to three sources of this distress and anguish.
There was some mysterious conflict with the great adversary of God and man, from whose tyranny He came to redeein us. When discoufited in the Temptation, the Devil, it is said, “departed from Hinn for a season," and in Gethsemane he seems to have returned, for it was then, as Christ Himself expressed it, “the hour of the power of darkness.” The combined forces of the bottomless pit were brought against Him, and in some way, impossible to be explained, overwhelmed Him with darkness, discomposed His spirit, and alarıned His soul by infamous suggestions.
Then it is also said, that "it pleased the Father to bruise Him and to put Him to grief,” that “ Jehovah made His soul an offer. ing for sin ;” that He called for the sword, and awoke it against the Shepherd, and pierced and emote Him. Here was some mysterious infliction direct from the hand of God, some wonderful withdrawal of His countenance and
complacency, or at least of their sensible manifestation; fire descended from heaven to consume the sacrifice.
It is also said that our iniquities were “laid upon Him," and that, in some sense, He bore the curse and penalty of transgression. I need hardly say, that we reject the notion that He literally endured the punishment of sin ; this would have been iinpossible, since that in. cludes actual remorse, and Christ could never feel that He was a sinner, though He was treated as if He were ; nor would it have consisted with the nature of the Gospel and the display of mercy, since, the penalty literally exacted, mercy would be impossible, and the sinner might demand his release from justice. Still there was suffering in the mind of Christ, Auwing into it from human guilt; His pure mind had such an apprehension of sin, such a view of all its vile and malignant properties; its possible attributes and gigantic magnitude so rose and spread before Him, that He started in amazement from the dreadful object, and trembled, and was terrified exceedingly; sin was "laid upon Him," and it sauk and crushed
Him, and, in some sense, its poison and bitter. ness entered into His soul. The conclusion to which I am led, I confess, is this, that while I deem it impossible for Jesus to have endured that literal remorse, which is the natural and direct punishment of sin, yet I do think that His agony of mind was the nearest to this which it was possible for Him to experience. He was so affected by the pressure of sin on all sides, that He felt something like the terror, anguish, and agitation of a bur. dened conscience and a wounded spirit. His mind was in a tempest when Iis agony was at its height; it wrought upon His frame till His sweat was blood; the arrows of God seemed to have entered into His foul, He had all the appearance of a siuner stricken for bis sins. I again repeat, that this could not literally be the case ; I can nly say that it was the nearest to it that Christ could feel or God inflict; and I see not that there is any more mystery in something of this nature being felt, than in the fact of a perfectly pure and spotless being suffering at all. -T. Binney, LL.D.: Sermons, Second Series, pp. 157-162.
A SACRAMENTAL MEDITATION.
Experimental piety does not exempt anticipated, voluntary, vicarious, unus from sufferings, but it teaches us paralleled. how to bear them, especially when II. Let us muse upon the salutary we coutemplate a suffering Saviour lessons which Christ's sutjerings teach. 1. (Heb. xii. 3). Let us take our stand The immeasurableness of His love once more by the cross of Christ, and (John xv. 9). 2. The enormity of we shall find our grief absorbed in the
3. The debt of gratitude we grief of Jesus, and as we look upon owe to Jesus.
4. The spirit we should His sufferings, the remembrance of our evince in suffering. own will be forgotten.
Renew your vows of perpetual fealty, I. Let us meditate upon the nature
and seal them at this sacramental and extent of His sufferings. They were board.—A. Tucker.
CHRIST'S SILENCE UNDER SUFFERING.
(Sermon before the Lord's Supper.) liii. 7. . He vas oppressed, and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth.
I. The fact that Christ was silent said, “ This is no cup of mine; let under His sufferings.
them drink it that filled it by their 1. He was silent before man.
sins." But no; He only cries that oppressed and afflicted, mocked and
it may pass from Him. Prayer is reviled by wicked men, yet He did the
cry of one who feels no right to not justify Himself before man. This demand. (2.) On the cross. There is true-(1.) When He was taken God hid His face from Him. Yet, prisoner. (2.) In His trial before
did He say it was unjust? No. Caiaphas. (3.) In His trial before II. The reasons why Christ was Pilate. (4.) Upon the cross.
silent under His sufferings. 2. Christ uus silent before God. (1.) 1. Because He knew His sufferings In the garden ; how He was bruised were all infinitely just. He was a substithere (Luke xxii. 44). He might have tute in the room of sinners.