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Three Restoration Divines: Barrow, South and Tillotson. Volume I

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Irène Simon

Part two

A Sermon upon the Passion of Our Blessed Saviour [Preached at the Guildhall Chapel on Good Friday, 1677]

Phil. II. 8. And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross

Texte intégral

  • 1 Cyril C. Jul. 8, p. 278.9, 303 [Adversus Julianum, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 76, col. 925, 965].
  • 2 Joh. III, 36; Col. III, 6.

1When, in consequence of the original apostacy from God, which did banish us from Paradise, and by continued rebellions against him, inevitable to our corrupt and impotent nature, mankind had forfeited the amity of God1, (the chief of all goods, the fountain of all happiness,) and had incurred his displeasure, (the greatest of all evils2, the foundation of all misery:)

  • 3 Isa. XXVI, 13.
  • 4 Iren. III, 33, 34; III, 8 [Contra Haereses, lib. III, cap. xxii, xxiii & viii, Migne, Patrol. gr., (...)

2When poor man, having deserted his natural Lord and Protectour, other Lords had got dominion over him3, so that he was captivated by the foul, malicious, cruel Spirits, and enslaved to his own vain mind, to vile lusts, to wild passions4:

  • 5 Gen. IV, 7.
  • 6 [decreed].
  • 7 Gen. II, 17.
  • 8 Iren V, 16. [Op. cit.]

3When, according to an eternal rule of justice, that sin deserveth punishment5, and by an express Law, wherein death was enacted6 to the transgressours of God’s command7, the root of our stock, and consequently all its branches stood adjudged to utter destruction8:

  • 9 * Rom. III, 19; πóδιϰoς τ Θε.
  • 10 f Rom. III, 9.
  • 11 II Rom. V, 16, 18.
  • 12 Gal. III, 10.
  • 13 Rom. XI, 32; εἰς πείθειαν.
  • 14 || Gal. III, 22.
  • 15 * Rom. III, 23.

4When, according to St. Paul’s expressions, all the World was become guilty before God, (or * subjected to God’s Judgment9;) † all men (Jews and Gentiles) were under sin10, || under condemnation11, * under the curse12; † all men were concluded into disobedience13, and || shut up together (as close Prisoners) under sin14; * all men had sinned, and come short of the glory of God15:

  • 16 Rom. V, 12.

5 Death had passed over all, because all had sinned16:

  • 17 II Rom. VI, 12, 14, 20, 22.
  • 18 * Rom. VII, 18, 5.
  • 19 Rom. VII, 23.
  • 20 Rom. VI, 6; Col. III, 9; Eph. IV, 22.
  • 21 || Rom. VIII, 7; οὐχ πoτάσσετι.
  • 22 * Eph. IV, 18.
  • 23 Col. I, 21; Rom. V, 10.
  • 24 Eph. II, 5 (Rom. VI, 13, 11).
  • 25 Ps. CXLIII, 2; Exod. XXXIV, 7.

6When, for us, being plunged into so wretched a condition, no visible remedy did appear, no possible redress could be obtained here below: (For, what means could we have of recovering God’s favour, who were apt perpetually to contract new debts and guilts, but not able to discharge any old scores? What capacity of mind or will had we to entertain mercy, who were no less stubbornly perverse and obdurate in our crimes, than ignorant or infirm? How could we be reconciled unto Heaven, who had an innate antipathy to God and goodness? [|| Sin (according to our natural state, and secluding Evangelical grace) reigning in our mortal bodies17, * no good thing dwelling in us18; there being a predominant law in our members, warring against the law of our mind, and bringing us into captivity to the law of sin19; a main ingredient of our † old man20 being a || carnal mind, which is enmity to God, and cannot submit to his Law21; we being * alienated from the life of God by the blindness of our hearts22, and enemies in our minds by wicked works23?] How could we revive to any good hope, who were dead in trespasses and sins24, God having withdrawn his quickning Spirit? How at least could we for one moment stand upright in God’s sight, upon the natural terms, excluding all sin, and exacting perfect obedience25?)

  • 26 Ezek. XVI, 6.

7When this, I say, was our forlorn and desperate case, then Almighty God, out of his infinite goodness, was pleased to look upon us (as he sometime did upon Jerusalem, lying polluted in her blood26) with an eye of pity and mercy, so as graciously to design a redemption for us out of all that wofull distress: And no sooner by his incomprehensible wisedom did he foresee we should lose our selves, than by his immense grace he did conclude to restore us.

  • 27 Eph. I, 4, 9, 11 & III, 11; 2 Tim. I, 9; 1 Pet I, 20; Rev. XIII, 8; Rom. XVI, 25; Tit. I, 2.
  • 28 Athan. De Incarn.
    [ϰα γρ ϰα ὁ θάνατος, ς προεπον, νόμψ λοιπòν σχυε ϰαθ ἡμῶν ϰα. οὐχ οον τε (...)

8But how could this happy design27 well be compassed? how, in consistence with the glory, with the justice, with the truth of God, could such enemies be reconciled, such offenders be pardoned, such wretches be saved? Would the Omnipotent Majesty, so affronted, design to treat with his rebels immediately, without an intercessour or advocate? Would the Sovereign Governour of the world suffer thus notoriously his right to be violated, his authority to be slighted, his honour to be trampled on, without some notable vindication or satisfaction? Would the great Patron of Justice relax the terms of it, or ever permit a gross breach thereof to pass with impunity? Would the immutable God of truth expose his veracity or his constancy to suspicion, by so reversing that peremptory sentence of death upon sinners, that it should not in a sort eminently be accomplished28? Would the most righteous and most holy God let slip an opportunity so advantageous for demonstrating his perfect love of innocence, and abhorrence of iniquity? Could we therefore well be cleared from our guilt without an expiation, or re-instated in freedom without a ransome, or exempted from condemnation without some punishment?

9No: God was so pleased to prosecute his designs of goodness and mercy, as thereby no-wise to impair or obscure, but rather to advance and illustrate the glories of his sovereign dignity, of his severe justice, of his immaculate holiness, of his unchangeable steddiness in word and purpose. He accordingly would be sued to for peace and mercy: nor would he grant them absolutely, without due compensations for the wrongs he had sustained; yet so, that his goodness did find us a Mediatour, and furnish us with means to satisfy him. He would not condescend to a simple remission of our debts; yet so, that, saving his right and honour, he did stoop lower for an effectual abolition of them. He would make good his word, not to let our trespasses go unpunished; yet so, that by our punishment we might receive advantage. He would manifest his detestation of wickedness in a way more illustrious; than if he had persecuted it down to Hell, and irreversibly doomed it to endless torment.

  • 29 αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εύρομενος. Heb. IX, 12.

10But how might these things be effected? Where was there a Mediatour proper and worthy to intercede for us? Who could presume to solicit and plead in our behalf? Who should dare to put himself between God and us, or offer to skreen mankind from the divine wrath and vengeance? Who had so great an interest in the Court of Heaven, as to ingratiate such a brood of apostate enemies thereto? Who could assume the confidence to propose terms of reconciliation, or to agitate a new covenant, wherewith God might be satisfied, and whereby we might be saved? Where, in Heaven or Earth, could there be found a Priest fit to atone for sins so vastly numerous, so extremely hainous? And whence should a sacrifice be taken, of value sufficient to expiate for so manifold enormities, committed against the infinite Majesty of Heaven? Who could find out the everlasting redemption29 of innumerable souls, or lay down a competent ransome for them all? not to say, could also purchase for them eternal life and bliss?

11These are Questions which would puzzle all the wit of man, yea, would gravel all the wisedom of Angels to resolve: for plain it is, that no creature on earth, none in Heaven, could well undertake or perform this work.

  • 30 Heb. VII, 26.
  • 31 Ps. XLIX, 7.

12Where on earth, among the degenerate sons of Adam, could be found such an High Priest as became us, holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners30? And how could a Man, however innocent and pure as a Seraphim, so perform his duty, as to doe more than merit or satisfie for himself? How many lives could the life of one man serve to ransome; seeing that it is asserted of the greatest and richest among men, that None of them can by any means redeem his brother, or give to God a ransome for him31.

13And how could available help in this case be expected from any of the Angelical hoast; seeing (beside their being in nature different from us, and thence improper to merit or satisfy for us; beside their comparative meanness, and infinite distance from the Majesty of God) they are but our fellow-servants, and have obligations to discharge for themselves, and cannot be solvent for more than for their own debts of gratitude and service to their infinitely-bountifull Creatour; they also themselves needing a Saviour, to preserve them by his grace in their happy state?

  • 32 Isa. XLIII, 11; XLV, 21; Hos. XIII, 4.

14Indeed, no creature might aspire to so august an honour, none could atchieve so marvellous a work, as to redeem from infinite guilt and misery the noblest part of all the visible creation: none could presume to invade that high prerogative of God, or attempt to infringe the truth of that reiterated Proclamation, I, even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour32.

  • 33 Isa. LIX, 16. ϰατενόησε. LXX.

15Wherefore, seeing that a supereminent dignity of Person was required in our Mediatour, and that an immense value was to be presented for our ransome; seeing that God saw there was no man, and wondred (or took special notice) that there was no intercessour: it must be his arme alone that could bring salvation33; none beside God himself could intermeddle therein.

16But how could God undertake the business? Could he become a suitour or intercessour to his offended self? could he present a sacrifice, or disburse a satisfaction to his own justice? could God alone contract and stipulate with God in our behalf? No; surely Man also must concur in the transaction: some amends must issue from him, somewhat must be paid out of our stock: humane will and consent must be interposed, to ratify a firm covenant with us, inducing obligation on our part. It was decent and expedient, that as Man, by wilfull transgression and presumptuous self-pleasing, had so highly offended, injured and dishonoured his Maker; so Man also, by willing obedience, and patient submission to God’s pleasure, should greatly content, right and glorify him.

  • 34 Eph. I, 8; Luke I, 78; Eph. I, 5; Tit III, 4; Rom. V, 8; Gal. IV, 4; John VI, 38; Heb. X, 7; John I (...)

17Here then did lie the stress; this was the knot which onely divine wisedom could loose. And so indeed it did in a most effectual and admirable way: for in correspondence to all the exigencies of the case, (that God and Man both might act their parts in saving us,) the blessed eternal word, the onely Son of God, by the good will of his Father, did vouchsafe to intercede for us, and to undertake our redemption; in order thereto voluntarily being sent down from Heaven, assuming humane flesh, subjecting himself to all the infirmities of our frail nature, and to the worst inconveniences of our low condition; therein meriting God’s favour to us, by a perfect obedience to the Law, and satisfying God’s justice by a most patient endurance of pains in our behalf; in completion of all willingly laying down his life for the ransome of our souls, and pouring forth his bloud in sacrifice for our sins34

  • 35 1 Tim. III, 16.

18This is that great and wonderfull mystery of godliness35, (or of our holy Religion,) the which St. Paul here doth express, in these words concerning our blessed Saviour; Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men: And being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross.

  • 36 Θανάτου δέ σταυρο [Phil. II, 81].

19In which words are contained divers points very observable. But seeing the time will not allow me to treat on them in any measure as they deserve; I shall (waving all the rest) insist but upon one particular, couched in the last words, Even the death of the Cross36; which by a special emphasis do excite us to consider the manner of that holy Passion, which we now commemorate: the contemplation whereof, as it is most seasonable, so it is ever very profitable.

20Now then in this kind of Passion we may consider divers notable adjuncts; namely these. 1. Its being in appearance criminal. 2. Its being most bitter and painfull. 3. Its being most ignominious and shamefull. 4. Its peculiar advantageousness to the designs of our Lord in suffering. 5. Its practical efficacy.

  • 37 Isa. LIII, 12.
  • 38 2 Cor. V, 21.
  • 39 [guilty of crime].

21I. We may consider our Lord’s Suffering as Criminal; or as in semblance being an execution of justice upon him. He (as the Prophet foretold of him) was numbred among the transgressours37; and God (saith St. Paul) made him sin for us who knew no sin38: that is, God ordered him to be treated as a most sinfull or criminous39 person, who in himself was perfectly innocent, and void of the least inclination to offend.

  • 40 John V, 18, 10, 30 etc. ; VII, 12; Matt. XXVI, 61; XXVII, 40.
  • 41 Luke XXIII, 2; Matt. XXVII, 63.
  • 42 Const. Apost. V, xiv [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 1, col. 876].
  • 43 John XVIII, 30. ϰαϰοποιóς.

22So in effect it was, that he was impeached of the highest crimes; as a violatour of the Divine Laws in divers instances; as a designer to subvert their Religion and Temple; as an Impostour, deluding and seducing the people; as a Blasphemer, assuming to himself the properties and prerogatives of God40; as a seditious and rebellious person, perverting the nation41, inhibiting payments of tribute to Caesar, usurping Royal Authority, and styling himself Christ a King42: in a word, as a Malefactour, or one guilty of enormous offences; so his persecutours avowed to Pilate, If, said they, he were not a malefactour, we would not have delivered him up unto thee43. As such he was represented and arraigned; as such, although by a sentence wrested by malicious importunity, against the will and conscience of the Judge, he was condemned, and accordingly suffered death.

  • 44 Cur si Deus fuit, et mori voluit, non saltern honesto aliquo mortis genere affectus est? etc. Lact. (...)
  • 45 [proper to be considered].
  • 46 Just. M. Dial., p. 317 [Dialogus cum Tryphone Judaeo, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 6, col. 689].
  • 47 Orig. C. Cels., II, p. 83; VII, p. 368 [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 11, col. 860, 1498].
  • 48 Aug. de Civ. Dei, X, 28 [Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 41, col. 307].
  • 49 Cyril, c. Jul., VI, p. 194 [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 76, col. 796-7].
  • 50 1 Cor. I, 23.

23Now whereas any death or passion of our Lord, as being in it self immensely valuable, and most pretious in the sight of God, might have been sufficient toward the accomplishment of his general designs, (the appeasing God’s wrath, the satisfaction of Divine Justice, the expiation of our guilt;) it may be inquired, why God should thus expose him, or why he should chuse to suffer under this odious and ugly character44? Which inquiry is the more considerable45, because it is especially this circumstance which crosseth the fleshly sense, and worldly prejudices of men, so as to have rendred the Gospel offensive to the superstitious Jews, and despicable to conceited Gentiles. For so Tryphon in Justin Martyr46 although, from conviction by testimonies of Scripture, he did admit the Messias was to suffer hardly, yet that it should be in this accursed manner, he could not digest. So the great adversaries of Christianity (Celsus47, Porphyrie48, Julian49,) did with most contempt urge this exception against it. So St. Paul did observe, that Christ crucified was unto the Jews a stumbling-block, and unto the Greeks foolishness50. Wherefore to avoid those scandals, and that we may better admire the Wisedom of God in this dispensation, it may be fit to assign some Reasons intimated in Holy Scripture, or bearing conformity to its Doctrine, why it was thus ordered. Such are these.

241. As our Saviour freely did undertake a life of greatest meanness and hardship, so upon the like accounts he might be pleased to undergo a death most lothsome and uncomfortable. There is nothing to man s nature (especially to the best natures, in which modesty and ingenuity do survive) more abominable than such a death. God for good purposes hath planted in our constitution a quick sense of disgrace; and of all disgraces that which proceedeth from an imputation of crimes is most pungent; and being conscious of our innocence doth heighten the smart; and to reflect upon our selves dying under it, leaving the World with an indeleble stain upon our name and memory, is yet more grievous. Even to languish by degrees, enduring the torments of a long, however sharp disease, would to an honest mind seem more eligible, than in this manner, being reputed and handled as a villain, to find a quick and easie dispatch.

  • 51 Luke, XXII, 52; Matt. XXVI, 55.

25Of which humane resentment may we not observe a touch in that expostulation, Be ye come out as against a thief with swords and staves51? If as a man he did not like to be prosecuted as a thief; yet willingly did he chuse it, as he did other most distastfull things, pertaining to our nature, (the likeness of man,) and incident to that low condition, (the form of a servant,) into which he did put himself: such as were, to endure penury, and to fare hardly, to be slighted, envied, hated, reproached through all his course of life.

  • 52 Nemo mihi videtur pluris aestimare virtutem, nemo illi magis esse devotus, quam qui boni viri famam (...)

26It is well said by a Pagan Philosopher, that No man doth express such a respect and devotion to Vertue, as doth he who forfeiteth the repute of being a good man, that he may not lose the conscience of being such52. This our Lord willingly made his case, being content not onely to expose his Life, but to prostitute his Fame, for the interests of Goodness.

27Had he died otherwise, he might have seemed to purchase our wellfare at a somewhat easie rate; he had not been so complete a sufferer; he had not tasted the worst that man is liable to endure: there had been a comfort in seeming innocent, detracting from the perfection of his sufferance.

  • 53 John V, 18; VIII, 37, 40, 59; VII, 1, 19, 25; X, 32, 39.
  • 54 [commendable].
  • 55 [great reputation].

28Whereas therefore he often was in hazzard of death, both from the clandestine machinations, and the outrageous violences of those who maligned him53, he did industriously shun a death so plausible54, and honourable, if I may so speak; it being not so disgracefull to fall by private malice, or by sudden rage, as by the solemn deliberate proceeding of men in publick authority and principal credit55.

  • 56 John VI, 64.
  • 57 Matt. XVI, 21; Luke IX, 22; XVIII, 32; Mark IX, 31.

29Accordingly this kind of death did not fall upon him by surprize, or by chance; but he did from the beginning56 foresee it; he plainly with satisfaction did aim at it: He (as it is related in the Gospels) did shew his Disciples, that it was incumbent on him by God’s appointment and his own choice; that he ought (’tis said) to suffer many things, to be rejected by the chief Priests, Elders and Scribes, to be vilified by them, to be delivered up to the Gentiles, to be mocked, and scourged, and crucified57, as a flagitious slave. Thus would our blessed Saviour, in conformity to the rest of his voluntary afflictions, and for a consummation of them, not onely suffer in his Body by sore wounds and bruises, and in his Soul by dolefull agonies, but in his Name also and Reputation by the foulest scandals; undergoing as well all the infamy as the infirmity which did belong to us, or might befall us: thus meaning by all means throughly to express his charity, and exercise his compassion towards us; thus advancing his merit, and discharging the utmost satisfaction in our behalf.

  • 58 Isa. LIII, 6.

302. Death passing on him as a Malefactour by publick sentence, did best sute to the nature of his undertaking, was most congruous to his intent, did most aptly represent what he was doing, and imply the reason of his performance. For we all are guilty in a most high degree, and in a manner very notorious; the foulest shame together with the sharpest pain is due to us for affronting our glorious Maker, we deserve an open condemnation and exemplary punishment: wherefore he, undertaking in our stead to bear all, and fully to satisfie for us, was pleased to undergo the like judgment and usage; being termed, being treated as we should have been, in quality of an hainous Malefactour, as we in truth are. What we had really acted in dishonouring and usurping upon God, in disordering the world, in perverting others, that was imputed to him; and the punishment due to that guilt was inflicted on him. All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way; and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all58. He therefore did not onely sustain an equivalent pain for us, but in a sort did bear an equal blame with us, before God and Man.

  • 59 Acts II, 23.
  • 60 Deut. I, 17.
  • 61 [becoming him as our mediator and proxy].
  • 62 John XIX, 11. ϰατ ἐµo

313. Seeing by the determinate counsel of God59 it was appointed that our Lord should die for us, and that not in a natural, but violent way, so as perfectly to satisfie God’s justice, to vindicate his honour, to evidence both his indignation against sin, and willingness to be appeased; it was most fit that affair should be transacted in a way, wherein God’s right is most nearly concerned, and his providence most plainly discernible; wherein it should be most apparent that God did exact and inflict the punishment, that our Lord did freely yield to it, and submissively undergo it, upon those very accounts. All judgment (as Moses of old did say) is God’s60, or is administred by authority derived from him, in his name, for his interest; all Magistrates being his officers, and instruments, whereby he governeth and ordereth the world, his natural Kingdom: whence that which is acted in way of formal judgment by persons in authority, God himself may be deemed in a more special and immediate manner to execute it, as being done by his commission, in his stead, on his behalf, with his peculiar superintendence. It was therefore in our Lord a signal act of deference to God s Authority and Justice, becoming the person sustained by him of our Mediatour and Proxy61, to undergo such a judgment, and such a punishment; whereby he received a doom as it were from God’s own mouth, uttered by his Ministers, and bare the stroke of justice from God’s hand, represented by his instruments. Whence very seasonably and patiently did he reply to Pilate, Thou hadst no power over me, (or against me,) except it were given thee from above62: implying, that it was in regard to the originally Supreme Authority of God his Father, and to his particular appointment upon this occasion, that our Saviour did then frankly subject himself to those inferiour powers, as to the proper ministers of Divine Justice. Had he suffered in any other way, by the private malice or passion of men, God’s special providence in that case had been less visible, and our Lord’s obedience not so remarkable. And if he must die by publick hands, it must be as a criminal, under a pretence of guilt and demerit; there must be a formal process, how full soever of mockery and outrage; there must be testimonies produced, how void soever of truth or probability; there must be a sentence pronounced, although most corrupt and injurious: for no man is in this way persecuted, without colour of desert: otherwise it would cease to be publick authority, and become lawless violence; the Persecutour then would put off the face of a Magistrate, and appear as a Cut-throat, or a Robber.

  • 63 [hardly could our Saviour have displayed with such advantage].

324. In fine, our Saviour hardly with such advantage, in any other way, could have displayed63 all kinds of Vertue and Goodness, to the honour of God, to the edification of men, to the furtherance of our Salvation.

  • 64 John XVIII, 37; 1 Tim. VI, 13.

33The Judgment-Hall, with all the passages leading him thither, and thence to execution, attended with guards of souldiers, amidst the crouds and clamours of people, were as so many theatres, on which he had opportune convenience, in the full eye of the world, to act divers parts of sublimest Vertue: to express his insuperable Constancy, in attesting truth, and maintaining a good conscience64; his Meekness, in calmly bearing the greatest wrongs; his Patience, in contentedly enduring the saddest adversities; his intire resignation to the will and providence of God; his peaceable submission to the law and power of man; his admirable charity, in pitying, in excusing, in obliging those by his good wishes, and earnest prayers for their pardon, who in a manner so injurious, so despitefull, so cruel, did persecute him, yea, in gladly suffering all this from their hands for their salvation; his unshakeable Faith in God, and unalterable Love toward him, under so fierce a trial, so dread-full a temptation. All these excellent Vertues and Graces, by the matter being thus ordered, in a degree most eminent, and in a manner very conspicuous, were demonstrated, to the praise of God’s Name, and the commendation of his Truth; for the settlement of our Faith and Hope, for an instruction and an encouragement to us of good practice in those highest instances of Vertue.

  • 65 Magnum exemplum nisi mala fortuna non invenit. Sen., De Prov., c, iii [4].
  • 66 ‛O δίϰαιος μαοτιγώσεται, στρεβλώοεται, δεδήσεται, ἐϰϰαυθήσεται τὼ ὀφθαλμώ, τελευτῶν πάντα ϰαϰ παθὼ (...)
  • 67 * Cicuta magnum Socratem fecit. Sen. Ep. XIII [14].
    Calix venenatus, qui Socratem transtulit e carce (...)
  • 68 Rutilii innocentia ac virtus lateret, nisi accepisset injuriam; dum violatur, effulsit. Sen. Ep. LX (...)
  • 69 Sen. de Prov. II, III, etc. ; Plut. de Stoic. Contr., p. 1931 [De Stoicorum Repugnantiis, 37 = Mora (...)

34It is a passable notion among the most eminent Pagan Sages, that no very exemplary Vertue can well appear otherwise than in notable misfortune65. Whence ’tis said in Plato, that to approve a man heartily righteous, he must be scourged, tortured, bound, have his two eyes burnt out, and in the close, having suffered all evils, must be impaled66, or crucified. And, * It was (saith Seneca) the cup of poyson which made Socrates a great man, and which out of prison did transfer him to Heaven67, or did procure to him that lofty esteem; affording him opportunity, to signalize his constancy, his equanimity, his unconcernedness for this world and life. And, The vertue (saith he again) and the innocence of Rutilius would have lain hid, if it had not (by condemnation and exile) received injury; while it was violated, it brightly shone forth68. And he that said this of others, was himself in nothing so illustrious, as in handsomely entertaining that death to which he was by the bloody Tyrant adjudged. And generally, the most honourable persons in the judgment of posterity for gallant worth, to this very end (as such Philosophers teach) were by divine providence delivered up to suffer opprobrious condemnations and punishments, by the ingratefull malignity of their times69. So that the Greeks, in consistence with their own wisedom and experience, could not reasonably scorn that Cross which our good Lord (did not onely, as did their best Worthies, by forcible accidental constraint undergo, but) advisedly by free choice did undertake, to recommend the most excellent Vertues to imitation, and to promote the most noble designs that could be, by its influence.

35So great Reason there was, that our Lord should thus suffer as a Criminal.

  • 70 [stretched on tenders].
  • 71 Ps. XXII, 16.
  • 72 Ps. CV, 18.
  • 73 Mark XV, 25, 34.

36II. We may consider, that in that kind his Suffering was most bitter and painfull. Easily we may imagine what acerbity of pain must be endured by our Lord, in his tender Limbs being stretched forth, racked, and tentered70 and continuing for a good time in such a posture; by the piercing his hands and his feet71, parts very nervous and exquisitely sensible, with sharp nails, (so that, as it is said of Joseph, the iron entered into his Soul;)72 by abiding exposed to the injuries of the Sun scorching, the wind beating, the weather searching his grievous wounds and sores. Such a pain it was; and that no stupefying, no transient pain, but one both very acute and lingring: for we see, that he together with his fellow-sufferers had both presence of mind, and time to discourse. Even six long hours did he remain under such torture73, sustaining in each moment of them beyond the pangs of an ordinary death. But as the case was so hard and sad, so the reason of it was great, and the fruit answerably good. Our Saviour did embrace such a Passion, that in being thus content to endure the most intollerable smarts for us, he might demonstrate the vehemence of his love; that he might signifie the hainousness of our sins, which deserved that from such a person so heavy punishment should be exacted; that he might appear to yield a valuable compensation for those pains which we should have suffered; that he throughly might exemplifie the hardest duties of obedience and patience.

  • 74 [guilty, criminal].
  • 75 Quod etiam homine libero, quamvis nocente, videatur indignum. Lact. [Divin. Instit.] IV, 26 [Migne,(...)
  • 76 Deut. XXI, 23; Gal. III, 13.
  • 77 Τοῦτο γὰρ μόνον τῆς τελευτῆς τò εδος ὑπò ρν κειτο, Chrys. Tom. 6 Or. 61 [Contra Judaeos et Gent (...)

37III. This manner of Suffering was (as most sharp and afflictive, so) most vile and shamefull; being proper to the basest condition of the worst men, and unworthy of a free-man, however nocent74 and guilty75. It was servile supplicium, a punishment never by the Romans, under whose Law our Lord suffered, legally inflicted upon free-men, but upon slaves onely; that is, upon people scarcely regarded as men, having in a sort forfeited or lost themselves. And among the Jews that execution which most approached thereto, and in part agreed with it, (for their Law did not allow any so inhumane punishment,) hanging up the dead bodies of some that had been put to death, was held most infamous and execrable: for, Cursed, said the Law, is every one that hangeth upon a tree76; cursed, that is, devoted to reproach and malediction: accursed by God77 saith the Hebrew, that is, seeming to be rejected by God, and by his special order exposed to affliction.

  • 78 [presented].
  • 79 [Juvenal, Sat. X, 73-4].
  • 80 Luke XXIII, 35, 36. ’Eξεμυκτήριζον, ἐνέπαιζον.
    Matt. XXVII, 39. ἐβλασφήμουν.
  • 81 Ps. XXII, 6, 7, 8.

38Indeed, according to the course of things, to be set on high, and for continuance of time to be objected78 to the view of all that pass by, in that calamitous posture, doth infuse bad suspicion, doth provoke censure, doth invite contempt and scorn, doth naturally draw forth language of derision, despight and detestation; especially from the inconsiderate, hard-hearted and rude vulgar, which commonly doth think, speak and deal according to event and appearance: (—Sequitur fortunam semper, & odit damnatos—79) Whence θεατίζεσθαι, to be made a gazing-stock, or an object of reproach to the multitude, is by the Apostle mentioned as an aggravation of the hardships endured by the Primitive Christians. And thus in extremity did it befall our Lord: for we reade80, that the people did in that condition mock, jear and revile him, drawing up their noses, abusing him by scurrilous gestures, letting out their virulent and wanton tongues against him; so as to verifie that prediction, I am a reproach of men, and despised of the people: All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, they shake the head, saying, He trusted in the Lord, let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him81.

  • 82 Matt. IX, 33; XXI, 9; XII, 23.
  • 83 Luke IV, 15
  • 84 Ps. XXII, 17.
  • 85 Luke XXIII, 35.

39The same persons who formerly had admired his glorious works, who had been ravished with his excellent discourses, who had followed and favoured him so earnestly, who had blessed and magnified him82, (for he, saith St. Luke, taught in the Synagogues, being glorified by all83,) even those very persons did then behold him with pitiless contempt and despight. In correspondence to that prophecie, they look and stare upon me84, εἱστήϰει λαòς θεωρν, the people stood gazing85 on him, in a most scornfull manner, venting contemptuous and spitefull reproaches; as we see reported in the Evangelical Story.

  • 86 Heb. XII, 2.
  • 87 Heb. XII, 2.

40Thus did our blessed Saviour endure the cross, despising the shame86. Despising the shame, that is not only simply disregarding87 it, or (with a Stoical haughtiness, with a Cynical immodesty, with a stupid carelesness) slighting it as no evil; but not eschewing it, or not rating it for so great an evil, that to decline it he would neglect the prosecution of his great and glorious designs.

  • 88 Heb. XI, 36.
  • 89 Prov. XVIII, 8; XII, 18.

41There is innate to man an aversation and abhorrency from disgracefull abuse, no less strong than are the like antipathies to pain: whence cruel mockings and scourgings88 are coupled as ingredients of the sore persecutions sustained by God’s faithfull Martyrs. And generally men with more readiness will embrace, with more contentedness will endure the cruelty of the latter, than of the former; Pain not so smartly affecting the lower sense, as being insolently contemned doth grate upon the fancy, and wound even the mind it self. For, the wounds of infamy do (as the Wise-man telleth us) go down into the innermost parts of the belly89, reaching the very heart, and touching the soul to the quick.

  • 90 Heb. XII, 2.
  • 91 Isa. LIII, 11.
  • 92 [bear, put up].
  • 93 Gal. III, 13.
  • 94 Heb. XII, 3.
  • 95 Isa. LIII, 3.
  • 96 Isa. LIII, 4.
  • 97 Gal. III, 13.
  • 98 Phil. II, 7.

42We therefore need not doubt, but that our Saviour as a man, endowed with humane passions, was sensible of this natural evil; and that such indignities did add somewhat of loathsomness to his cup of affliction; especially considering, that his great charity disposed him to grieve, observing men to act so indecently, so unworthily, so unjustly toward him: yet in consideration of the glory that would thence accrue to God, of the benefit that would redound to us, of the joy that was set before him90, when he should see of the travel of his soul, and be satisfied91, he most willingly did accept, and most gladly did comport92 with it. He became a curse for us93, exposed to malediction and reviling: He endured the contradiction (or obloquy) of sinfull men94: He was despised, rejected and disesteemed of men95: He in common apprehension was deserted by God, according to that of the Prophet, We did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted96; himself even seeming to concur in that opinion. So was he made a curse for us, that we, as the Apostle teacheth, might be redeemed from the curse of the Law97; that is, that we might be freed from the exemplary punishment due to our transgressions of the Law, with the displeasure of God appearing therein, and the disgrace before the world attending it. He chose thus to make himself of no reputation98 vouchsafing to be dealt with as a wretched slave, and a wicked miscreant, that we might be exempted, not onely from the torment, but also from the ignominy which we had merited; that together with our life, our safety, our liberty, we might even recover that honour which we had forfeited and imbezzled.

  • 99 Orig. c. Cels. VII, p. 368 [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 11, col. 1498].

43But lest any should be tempted not sufficiently to value these sufferances of our Lord, as not so rare, but that other men have tasted the like; lest any should presume to compare them with afflictions incident to other persons, as Celsus99 did compare them with those of Anaxarchus and Epictetus; it is requisite to consider some remarkable particulars about them.

44We may then consider, that not onely the infinite dignity of his Person, and the perfect Innocency of his life did inhance the price of his Sufferings; but some Endowments peculiar to him, and some Circumstances adhering to his design, did much augment their force.

  • 100 Lam. I, 12.
  • 101 Luke XXII, 44.
  • 102 [feelings, emotions].
  • 103 Matt. XXVI, 37, 38.
  • 104 Luke XXII, 44.
  • 105 John XIII, 21; XII, 27.
  • 106 Mark XIV, 33.

45He was not onely, according to the frame and temper of humane nature, sensibly touched with the pain, the shame, the whole combination of disasters apparently waiting on his Passion; as God (when he did insert sense and passion into our nature, ordering objects to affect them) did intend we should be, and as other men in like circumstances would have been; but in many respects beyond that ordinary rate: so that no man, we may suppose, could have felt such grief from them as he did, no man ever hath been sensible of any thing comparable to what he did endure; that passage being truly applicable to him, Behold and see, if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow, which is done unto me, wherewith the Lord hath afflicted me in the day of his fierce anger100; as that unparallel’d sweating out great lumps of bloud101 may argue; and as the terms expressing his resentments102 do imitate. For, in respect of present evils, he said of himself, My soul is exceeding sorrowfull to death; he is said δηµoνν, to be in great anguish103 and anxiety, to be in an agony104 or pang of sorrow. In regard to mischiefs which he saw coming on, he is said to be disturb’d in spirit105 and to be sore amazed106, or dismayed at them. To such an exceeding height did the sense of incumbent evils, and the prospect of impendent calamities, the apprehension of his case, together with a reflexion on our condition, skrew up his affections.

  • 107 Heb. X, 5; Ps. XL, 12.
  • 108 [dismay].
  • 109 [stun, stupefy].

46And no wonder that such a burthen, even the weight of all the sins (the numberless most heinous sins and abominations) that ever were committed by mankind, by appropriation of them to himself, lying on his shoulders, he should feel it heavy, or seem to croutch and groan under it; that in the mystical Psalm, applied by the Apostle to him, he should cry out, Innumerable evils have compassed me about, mine iniquities have taken hold upon me, so that I am not able to look up: they are more than the hairs of my head, and my heart faileth me107. The sight of God’s indignation so dreadfully flaming out against sin, might well astonish108 and terrify him: To stand, as it were, before the mouth of Hell belching fire and brimstone in his face; to lie down in the hottest furnace of Divine vengeance; to quench with his own heart-bloud the wrath of Heaven, and the infernal fire, (as he did in regard to those who will not rekindle them to themselves,) might well in the heart of a man beget unconceivable and unexpressible pressures of affliction. When such a father (so infinitely good and kind to him, whom he so dearly and perfectly loved) did hide his face from him, did frown on him, how could he otherwise than be mightily troubled? Is it strange that so hearty a love, so tender a pity, contemplating our sinfulness, and experimenting our wretchedness, should be deeply touched? To see, I say, so plainly, to feel so throughly the horrible blindness, the folly, the infidelity, the imbecillity, the ingratitude, the incorrigibility, the strange perverseness, perfidiousness, malice and cruelty of mankind in so many instances, (in the treason of Judas, in the denial of Peter, in the desertion of all the Apostles, in the spite and rage of the Persecutours, in the falshood of the Witnesses, in the abuses of the People, in the compliance of Pilate, in a general conspiracy of Friends and Foes to sin,) all these surrounding him, all invading him, all discharging themselves upon him; would it not astone109 a mind so pure? would it not wound a heart so tender and full of charity?

47Surely, any of those persons who fondly do pretend unto, or vainly do glory in a sullen apathy, or a stubborn contempt of the evils incident to our nature and state, would in such a case have been utterly dejected: The most resolved Philosopher would have been dashed into confusion at the sight, would have been crushed into desperation under the sense of those evils which did assault him.

48With the greatness of the causes, the goodness of his constitution did conspire to encrease his Sufferings. For surely, as his complexion was most pure and delicate, his spirit most vivid and apprehensive, his affections most pliant and tractable; so accordingly would the impressions upon him be most sensible, and consequently the pains which he felt (in body or soul) most afflictive.

  • 110 [Not identified].

49That we in like cases are not alike moved; that we do not tremble at the apprehensions of God’s displeasure, that we are not affrighted with the sense of our sins, that we do not with sad horrour resent our danger and our misery, doth arise from that we have very glimmering and faint conceptions of those matters; or that they do not in so clear and lively a manner strike our fancy; (not appearing in their true nature and proper shape, so heinous and so hideous as they really are in themselves and in their consequences;) or because we have but weak persuasions about them; or because we do but slightly consider them; or from that our hearts are very hard and callous, our affections very cold and dull, so that nothing of this nature (nothing beside gross material affairs) can mollifie or melt them; or for that we have in us small love to God, and a slender regard to our own welfare; in fine, for that in spiritual matters we are neither so wise, so sober, so serious, nor so good or ingenuous, in any reasonable measure, as we should be. But our Saviour in all those respects was otherwise disposed. He most evidently discerned the wrath of God, the grievousness of sin, the wretchedness of man, most truly, most fully, most strongly represented to his mind: He most firmly believed, yea most certainly knew, whatever God’s Law had declared about them; He did exactly consider and weigh them: His heart was most soft and sensible, his affections were most quick and excitable by their due objects: He was full of dutifull love to God, and most ardently desirous of our good, bearing a more than fraternal good-will towards us. Whence ’tis not so marvellous that as a Man, as a transcendently-wise and good man, he was so vehemently affected by those occurrences, that his imagination was so troubled, and his passions so stirred by them; so that he thence did suffer in a manner, and to a degree unconceivable; according to that ejaculation in the Greek Liturgies, Διὰ τv γνώστων συo παθηµάτων λέησoν µᾶς, Xριστ110 By thy unknown sufferings, O Christ, have mercy on us. But farther.

50IV. We may consider, that this way of Suffering had in it some particular Advantages, conducing to the accomplishment of our Lord’s principal designs.

  • 111 John XVIII, 20.
  • 112 Acts XXVI, 26.
  • 113 [secret, underhand].
  • 114 John XII, 32.
  • 115 Iren. II, 26 [Adversus Haereses, Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 7, col. 763].
  • 116 John III, 14.
  • 117 Iren. IV, 5 [op. cit., col. 979].
  • 118 [deadly].

51Its being very notorious, and lasting a competent time, were good Advantages. For if he had been privately made away, or suddenly dispatched, no such great notice would have been taken of it, nor would the matter of fact have been so fully proved, to the confirmation of our faith, and conviction of infidelity; nor had that his excellent deportment under such bitter affliction (his most Divine Patience, Meekness and Charity) so illustriously shone forth. Wherefore to prevent all exceptions, and excuses of unbelief, (together with other collateral good purposes,) Divine Providence did so manage the business, that as the course of his life, so also the manner of his death, should be most conspicuously remarkable. I spake freely to the world, and in secret have l done nothing111, said he of himself; and, These things (said St. Paul to King Agrippa) were not done in a corner112. Such were the proceedings of his life, not close or clancular113, but frank and open; not presently hushed up, but leisurely carried on in the face of the world, that men might have the advantage to observe and examine them. And as he lived, so he died most publickly and visibly; the world being witness of his Death, and so prepared to believe his Resurrection, and thence disposed to embrace his Doctrine; according to what he did foretell, I being lifted up from the Earth, shall draw all men to me114; for he drew all men by so obvious a Death to take notice of it, he drew all well-disposed persons from the wondrous consequences of it to believe on him115. And, As (said he again) Moses did exalt the Serpent in the Wilderness, so must the Son of man be exalted116. As the elevation of that mysterious Serpent did render it visible117, and did attract the eyes of people toward it; whereby, God’s power invisibly accompanying that Sacramental performance, they were cured of those mortiferous118 stings which they had received: so our Lord, being mounted on the Cross, allured the eyes of men to behold him, and their hearts to close with him; whereby, the heavenly virtue of God’s Spirit co-operating, they became saved from those destructive sins, which from the Devil’s serpentine instigations they had incurred.

  • 119 John XVIII, 36.

52Another Advantage of this kind of Suffering was, that by it the nature of that Kingdom which he did intend to erect was evidently signified: that it was not such as the carnal people did expect, an external, earthly, temporal Kingdom, consisting in domination over the bodies and estates of men, dignified by outward wealth and splendour, managed by worldly power and policy, promoted by forcible compulsion and terrour of arms, affording the advantages of safety, quiet, and prosperity here; but a Kingdom purely spiritual, celestial, eternal; consisting in the governance of mens hearts and minds; adorned with endowments of wisedom and vertue; administred by the conduct and grace of God’s Holy Spirit; upheld and propagated by meek instruction, by vertuous example, by hearty devotion, and humble patience; rewarding its loyal Subjects with spiritual joys and consolations now, with heavenly rest and bliss hereafter. No other Kingdom could he presume to design, who submitted to this dolorous and disgracefull way of suffering: No other exploits could he pretend to atchieve by expiring on a Cross: No other way could he rule, who gave himself to be managed by the will of his adversaries: No other benefits would this forlorn case allow him to dispense. So that well might he then assert, My Kingdom is not of this world119; when he was going in this signal way to demonstrate that important truth.

  • 120 Lake II, 35.
  • 121 Matt. XI, 6.
  • 122 Gal. V, 11; 1 Pet. II, 7, 8; 1 Cor. I, 23.

53It was also a most convenient touch-stone to prove the genuine disposition and worth of men120; so as to discriminate those wise, sober, ingenuous, sincere, generous souls, who could discern true goodness through so dark a cloud, who could love it though so ill-favouredly disfigured, who could embrace and avow it notwithstanding so terrible disadvantages; it served, I say to distinguish those blessed ones, who would not be offended in him121, or by the scandal of the cross122 be discouraged from adhering to him, from the crew of blind, vain, perverse, haughty people, who, being scandalized at his adversity, would contemn and reject him.

  • 123 Chrys. Tom. 6 Orat. 61 [Contra Judaeos et Gentiles, Quod Christus sit Deus, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 4 (...)
  • 124 1 Cor. II, 8; Jas. II, 1.
  • 125 Ps. CXVIII, 22, 23.

54Another considerable Advantage was this, that by it God’s special Providence was discovered, and his glory illustrated in the propagation of the Gospel123. For how could it be, that a person of so low parentage, of so mean garb, of so poor condition, who underwent so lamentable and despicable a kind of death, falling under the pride, and spite of his enemies, so easily should gain so general an opinion in the world (even among the best, the wisest, the greatest persons) of being the Lord of life and glory124? how, I say, could it happen, that such a miracle could be effected without God’s aid and special concurrence? That King Herod, who from a long reign in flourishing state, with prosperous success in his enterprises, did attain the name of Great; or that Vespasian, who triumphantly did ascend the imperial Throne, should either of them, by a few admirers of worldly vanity, seriously be held, or in flattery be call’d the Messias; is not so strange: but that one who was trampled on so miserably, and treated as a wretched caitiff, should instantly conquer innumerable hearts, and from such a depth of extreme adversity, should be advanced to the sublimest pitch of glory; that the Stone which the builders with so much scorn did refuse, should become the head-stone of the corner; this (with good assurance we may say) was the Lords doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes125.

  • 126 2 Cor. IV, 7.
  • 127 1 Cor. I, 27.

55Hereby indeed the excellency of divine power126 and wisedom was much glorified; by so impotent, so improbable, so implausible means accomplishing so great effects127; subduing the world to obedience of God, not by the active valour of an illustrious Hero, but through the patient submission of a poor, abused and oppressed person; restoring mankind to life and happiness by the sorrowfull death of a crucified Saviour.

56V. Lastly, The consideration of our Lord's Suffering in this manner is very usefull in application to our practice: No point is more fruitfull of wholsome instruction, none is more forcible to kindle devout affections, none can afford more efficacious inducements and incentives to a pious life. For what vertue will not a serious meditation on the Cross be apt to breed and to cherish? to what duty will it not engage and excite us?

571. Are we not hence infinitely obliged, with most humble affection and hearty gratitude to adore each person of the blessed Trinity?

  • 128 Rom. VIII, 32; Col. I, 13.
  • 129 Rom. V, 10.
  • 130 1 Pet III, 18; Rom. V, 6; 2 Cor. V, 19.
  • 131 * Rom. V, 8.
  • 132 1 John IV, 10.
  • 133 [Mark XII, 33].

58That God the Father should design such a Redemption for us; not sparing his own Son, (the Son of his love, dear to him as himself,) but delivering him up for us128 to be thus dealt with for our sake: That God would endure to see his Son in so pitifull a condition, to hear him groaning under so grievous pressures, to let him be so horribly abused; and that for us, who deserved nothing from him, who had demerited so much against him; for us, who were no friends to him, (for even when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son;)129 who were not any ways commendable for goodness or righteousness: (for Christ did suffer for sinners, the just for the unjust130; and * God commended his love to us, that while we were sinfull, Christ died for us:)131 That God thus should love us, sending his Son to be a propitiation for our sins132, in so dismal a way of suffering, how stupendious is that goodness? how vast an obligation doth it lay upon us to reciprocal affection? If we do owe all to God, as our Maker, from whose undeserved bounty we did receive all that we have; how much farther do we stand indebted to him as the authour of our Redemption, from whose ill-deserved mercy we receive a new being, and better state; and that in a way far more obliging? For God created us with a word, without more cost or trouble: but to redeem us, stood him in huge expences and pains; no less than the debasing his onely Son to our frailty, the exposing him to more than our misery, the withdrawing his face, and restraining his bowels from his best beloved. If a Jew then were commanded by Law, if a Gentile were obliged by Nature, to love God with all his heart and all his soul133; what affection doth a Christian, under the law and duty of Grace, owe unto him? by what computation can we reckon that debt? what faculties have we sufficient to discharge it? what finite heart can hold an affection commensurate to such an obligation?

  • 134 Eph. III, 19; V, 2, 25; Gal. II, 20; Apoc. I, 5.
  • 135 John XV, 13, οὐδεὶς ἔχει, να τις
  • 136 [injuriously and falsely charged].

59And how can it otherwise than inflame our heart with love toward the blessed Son of God, our Saviour, to consider that merely out of charitable pity toward us, he purposely came down from Heaven, and took our flesh upon him, that he might therein undergo those extreme acerbities of pain, and those most ugly indignities of shame for us134? Greater love (said he) hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends135: But that God should lay down his life, should pour forth his bloud, should be aspersed136 with the worst crimes, and cloathed with foulest shame, should be executed on a Cross as a malefactour and a slave, for his enemies and rebellious traitours, what imagination can devise any expression of charity or friendship comparable to this? Wherefore if love naturally be productive of love, if friendship justly meriteth a correspondence in good-will, what effect should the consideration of so ineffable a love, of so unparallel d friendship have upon us?

  • 137 [suppose].

60How can any serious reflexion on this event fail to work hearty gratitude in us toward our good Lord? For put case137 any person for our sake (that he might rescue us from the greatest mischiefs, and purchase for us the highest benefits) willingly should deprive himself of all his estate, (and that a very large one,) of his honour, (and that a very high one,) of his ease and pleasure, (and those the most perfect and assured that could be;) that he should expose himself to the greatest hazzards, should endure the sorest pains, and most disgracefull ignominies; should prostitute his life, and in most hideous manner lose it, merely for our sake: Should we not then apprehend and confess our selves monstrously ingratefull, if we did not most deeply resent such kindness; if upon all occasions we did not express our thankfulness for it; if we did not ever readily yield all the acknowledgment and all the requital we were able? The case in regard to our blessed Saviour is like in kind; but in degree, whatever we can suppose doth infinitely fall below the performances of him for us, who stooped from the top of Heaven, who laid aside the Majesty and the Felicity of God for the infamies and the dolours of a Cross, that he might redeem us from the torments of Hell, and instate us in the joys of Paradise. So that our obligations of gratitude to him are unexpressibly great; and we cannot with any face deny our selves to be most basely unworthy, if the effects in our heart and life be not answerable.

  • 138 John III, 34.
  • 139 Heb. IX, 14.

61Nor should we forget, that also upon this account we do owe great love and thanks to God the Holy Ghost, who, as he did originally conspire in the wonderfull project of our Redemption, as he did executively by miraculous operation conduct our Saviour into his fleshly Tabernacle, as he did by unmeasurable communications of Divine virtue138 assist his Humanity through all the course of his life; so in this juncture he did inspire him with Charity more than humane, and did support him to undergo those pressures with invincible patience; and so did sanctifie all this Sacerdotal performance, that our Lord, as the Apostle doth affirm, did through the eternal Spirit offer himself without spot to God139.

  • 140 1 Pet I, 20; Eph. I, 4.
  • 141 Luke I, 70.

622. What surer ground can there be of Faith in God, what stronger encouragement of Hope, than is suggested by this consideration? For if God stedfastly did hold his purpose140 and faithfully did accomplish his word141 in an instance so distastfull to his own heart and bowels; how can we ever suspect his constancy and fidelity in any case? how can we distrust the completion of any Divine promise?

  • 142 [shameful].
  • 143 Rom. VIII, 32.

63If God spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us, to the suffering of so contumelious142 affliction, how can we any ways be diffident of his bounty, or despair of his mercy; how (as the Apostle doth argue) shall he not also with him freely give us all things143?

64If ever we be tempted to doubt of God’s goodness, will not this experiment thereof convince and satisfy us? For what higher kindness could God express, what lower condescension could he vouchsafe, by what pledge could he more clearly or surely testify his willingness and his delight to doe us good, than by thus ordering his dearest Son to undergo such miseries for us?

  • 144 Quis de se desperet, pro quo tam humilis esse voluit Filius Dei? Aug. de Ag. Chr. c. 11 [De Agone C (...)
  • 145 Gal. III, 13.
  • 146 Eph. V, 2; 1 Pet. I, 19.
  • 147 [efficacious].
  • 148 Rom. VIII, 34.
  • 149 1 Pet. II, 24.
  • 150 [Col. I, 20].
  • 151 1 Pet. II, 24.
  • 152 Rom. V, 11.

65If the greatness of our sins discourageth us from entertaining comfortable hopes of mercy, will it not rear our hearts, to consider that such a punishment hath been inflicted to expiate them, which might content the most rigorous severity144; that such a price is laid down to redeem us from the curse145, which richly may suffice to discharge it; that such a sacrifice146 hath been offered, which God hath avowed for most available147, and acceptable to himself? So that now what can justice exact more from us? what have we farther to doe, than with a penitent and thankfull heart to embrace the mercy purchased for us? Who is he that condemneth, seeing Christ hath died148, and hath his own self born our sins in his own body on the tree149? Whatever the wounds of our Conscience be, is not the bloud of the Cross150, tempered with our hearty repentance, and applied by a lifely faith, a sovereign balsam, of virtue sufficient to cure them? and may we not by his stripes be healed151? Have we not abundant reason, with the Holy Apostle, to joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ; by whom we have received the atonement152? Is it not to depreciate the worth, to disparage the efficacy of our Lord’s Passion, any ways to despair of mercy, or to be disconsolate for guilt; as if the Cross were not enough worthy to compensate for our unworthiness, or our Saviour’s patience could not ballance our disobedience?

  • 153 Extendit in passione manus suas, etc. Lact. IV, 26 [Divin. Instit., Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 6, p. 5 (...)

663. It indeed may yield great joy and sprightly consolation to us, to contemplate our Lord upon the Cross, exercising his immense Charity toward us, transacting all the work of our Redemption, defeating all the enemies, and evacuating all the obstacles of our Salvation153.

67May we not delectably consider him as there stretching forth his Armes of kindness, with them to embrace the World, and to receive all mankind under the wings of his protection? as there spreading out his Hands, with them earnestly inviting and intreating us to accept the overtures of grace, procured by him for us?

  • 154 Lev. IX, 22; Chrys. Tom. [V] Orat. 82 [De Cruce et Latrone, Migne, Patrol. gr., t. 49, col. 399].
    P. (...)

68Is it not sweet and satisfactory, to view our great High Priest on that high Altar offering up his own pure Flesh, and pouring out his pretious bloud, as an universal complete Sacrifice, propitiatory for the sins of mankind154?

69Is it not a goodly object to behold humility and patience so gloriously rearing themselves above all worldly, all infernal pride and insolence; by the Cross ascending unto the celestial Throne of Dignity and Majesty superlative?

  • 155 Col. II, 15.

70Is it not pleasant to contemplate our Lord there standing erect, not onely as a resolute sufferer, but as a noble Conquerour, where having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a solemn shew triumphing over them155? Did ever any Conquerour, loftily seated in his triumphal Chariot, yield a spectacle so gallant and magnificent? was ever tree adorned with trophees so pompous and splendid?

71To the exteriour view and carnal sense of men, our Lord was then indeed exposed to scorn and shame; but to spiritual and sincere discerning, all his and our enemies did there hang up as objects of contempt, utterly overthrown and undone.

  • 156 Matt. XII, 29. σχυρóς; Luke XI, 21, 22.
  • 157 Heb. II, 14.

72There the Devil, that strong and sturdy one156, did hang up bound in chains, disarmed and rifled, quite baffled and confounded, mankind being rescued from his tyrannick power157.

  • 158 Gal. VI, 14.

73There the World, with its vain pomps, its counterfeit beauties, its bewitching pleasures, its fondly-admired excellencies, did hang up all defaced and disparaged; as it appeared to St. Paul: for, God (saith he) forbid that I should glory save in the Cross of Christ, by which the world is crucified to me, and I unto the world158.

  • 159 Gal. II, 20; V, 24; Col. III, 5; Rom. VIII, 13.
  • 160 [Rom. VI, 6.]

74There, in a most lively representation, and most admirable pattern, was exhibited the mortification of our flesh, with its affections and lusts159; and our old man was crucified, that the body of sin might be destroyed160.

  • 161 1 1 pet. II, 24.
  • 162 Rom. VIII, 3.

75There our sins, being (as St. Peter telleth us) carried up by him unto the gibbet161, did hang as marks of his victorious prowess, as malefactours by him condemned in the flesh162, as objects of our horrour and hatred.

  • 163 1 Cor. XV, 54, 55; 2 Tim. I, 10; Heb. II, 14.

76There Death it self hung gasping, with its sting pulled out, and all its terrours quelled; his Death having prevented ours, and induced Immortality163.

  • 164 Eph. II, 15, 16.
  • 165 Col. I, 20.

77There all wrath, enmity, strife, (the banes of comfortable life,) did hang abolished in his flesh, and slain upon the Cross164, by the bloud whereof he made peace, and reconciled all things in heaven and earth165.

  • 166 Col. II, 14.

78There manifold yokes of bondage, instruments of vexation, and principles of variance, even all the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, did hang up cancelled and nailed to the Cross166.

79So much sweet comfort by spiritual consideration may be extracted from this event, which in appearance was most dolefull, but in effect the most happy that ever by Providence was dispensed to the world. Farther.

  • 167 Phil. II, 7. ἑαυτòν ἑκένωσε.

804. This consideration is most usefull to render us very humble and sensible of our weakness, our vileness, our wretchedness. For how low was that our fall, from which we could not be raised without such a depression of God’s onely Son? how great is that impotency, which did need such a succour to relieve it? how abominable must be that iniquity, which might not be expiated without so costly a sacrifice? how deplorable is that misery, which could not be removed without commutation of so strange a suffering? Would the Son of God have so emptied, and abased himself for nothing167? would he have endured such pains and ignominies for a trifle? No surely; if our guilt had been slight, if our case had been tolerable, the Divine wisedom would have chosen a more cheap and easie remedy for us.

  • 168 [possessed with a good opinion].

81Is it not madness of us to be conceited168 for any worth in our selves, to confide in any merit of our works, to glory in any thing belonging to us, to fancy our selves brave, fine, happy persons, worthy of great respect and esteem; whenas our unworthiness, our demerit, our forlorn estate did extort from the most gracious God a displeasure needing such a reconciliation, did impose upon the most glorious Son of God a necessity to undergo such a punishment in our behalf?

  • 169 1 Cor. II, 8.
  • 170 Phil. II, 7.

82How can we reasonably pretend to any honour, or justly assume any regard to our selves, whenas the First-born of Heaven, the Lord of glory169, partaker of Divine majesty, was fain to make himself of no reputation, to put himself into the garb of a servant170, and under the imputation of a malefactour, to bear such disgrace and infamy in our room, in lieu of the confusion due to us?

  • 171 2 Cor. X, 5.

83What more palpable confutation can there be of humane vanity and arrogance, of all lofty imaginations171, all presumptuous confidences, all turgid humours, all fond self-pleasings and self-admirings, than is that tragical cross, wherein, as in a glass, our foul deformity, our pitifull meanness, our helpless infirmity, our sad wofulness are so plainly represented?

  • 172 Jam tandem erubescat homo esse superbus, propter quern factus est humilis Deus. Aug. in Ps. 18 [Enn (...)
  • 173 Iste ingens morbus, omnipotentem Medicum de caelo deduxit, usque ad formam servi humiliavit, contum (...)
  • 174 Quae superbia sanari potest, si humilitate Filii Dei non sanatur? Aug. de Agone Chr. cap. xi [Migne(...)

84Well surely may we say with St. Austin, Let man now at length blush to be proud, for whom God is made so humble172. [And since (as he doth add) this great disease of Soul did bring down the Almighty Physician from Heaven, did humble him to the form of a servant, did subject him to contumelies, did suspend him on a Cross, that this tumour by virtue of so great a medicine might be cured;]173 may not he well be presumed incurable, who is not cured of his pride by this medicine174; in whom neither the reason of the case, nor the force of such an example can work humility?

  • 175 [worthy of regard].
  • 176 Aut vero pro minimo habet Deus hominem, propter quem mori voluit Unicum suum? Aug. in Ps. 148 [Enna (...)
  • 177 Acts XIII, 46.

855. But farther, while this contemplation doth breed sober humility, it also should preserve us from base abjectness of mind: for it doth evidently demonstrate, that according to God’s infallible judgment, we are very considerable175; that our Souls are capable of high regard; that it is a great pity we should be lost and abandoned to ruine. For surely, had not God much esteemed and respected us, he would not for our sakes have so debased himself, or deigned to endure so much for our recovery; Divine justice would not have exacted or accepted such a ransome for our Souls, had they been of little worth. We should not therefore slight our selves, nor demean our selves like sorry contemptible wretches, as if we deserved no consideration, no pity from our selves; as if we thought our Souls not worth saving, which yet our Lord thought good to purchase at so dear a rate176. By so despising or disregarding our selves, do we not condemn the sentiments, do we not vilifie the sufferings of our Lord; so with a pitifull meanness of spirit joyning the most unworthy injustice and ingratitude177? Again,

  • 178 Rom. IV, 25.
  • 179 2 Cor. V, 21.
  • 180 Gal. III, 13.
  • 181 [Luke XXIII, 21; John XIX, 6, 15.]
  • 182 Isa. LIII, 5.

866. How can we reflect upon this event without extreme displeasure against, and hearty detestation of our sins? those sins which indeed did bring such tortures and such disgraces upon our blessed Redeemer? Judas, the wretch who betrayed him, the Jewish Priests who did accuse and prosecute him, the wicked rout which did abusively insult over him, those cruel hands that smote him, those pitiless hearts that scorned him, those poisonous tongues that mocked him and reviled him, all those who were the instruments and abettours of his affliction, how do we loath and abhor them? how do we detest their names, and execrate their memories? But how much greater reason have we to abominate our sins, which were the true, the principal actours of all that wofull tragedy? He was delivered for our offences178: They were indeed the Traitours, which by the hands of Judas delivered him up. He that knew no sin, was made sin for us179, that is, was accused, was condemned, was executed as a sinner for us. It was therefore we, who by our sins did impeach him; the spitefull Priests were but our Advocates: We by them did adjudge and sentence him; Pilate was but drawn in against his will and conscience, to be our spokesman in that behalf: We by them did inflict that horrid punishment on him; the Roman Executioners were but our Representatives therein. He became a curse for us180; that is, all the mockery, derision and contumely he endured, did proceed from us; the silly people were but properties acting our parts. Our sins were they that cryed out, Crucifige, (Crucify him, crucify him,)181 with clamours more loud and more importunate than did all the Jewish rabble: it was they, which by the borrowed throats of that base people did so outrageously persecute him. He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities182: It was they which by the hands of the fierce souldiers, and of the rude populacy, as by senseless engines, did buffet and scourge him; they by the nails and thorns did pierce his flesh, and rend his sacred body. Upon them therefore it is most just and fit that we should turn our hatred, that we should discharge our indignation.

877. And what in reason can be more powerfull toward working penitential sorrow and remorse, than reflexion upon such horrible effects, proceeding from our sins? How can we forbear earnestly to grieve, considering our selves by them to have been the perfidious betrayers, the unjust slanderers, the cruel persecutours, and barbarous murtherers of a Person so innocent and lovely, so good and benign, so great and glorious; of God’s own dear Son, of our best Friend, of our most gracious Redeemer?

  • 183 Ps. CXIX, CXX.

888. If ingenuity will not operate so far, and hereby melt us into contrition; yet surely this consideration must needs affect us with a religious Fear183. For can we otherwise than tremble to think upon the heinous guilt of our sins, upon the dreadfull fierceness of God’s wrath against them, upon the impartial severity of Divine judgment for them, all so manifestly discovered, all so livelily set forth in this dismal spectacle? If the view of an ordinary execution is apt to beget in us some terrour, some dread of the Law, some reverence toward Authority; what awfull impressions should this singular example of Divine Justice work upon us?

  • 184 [were deeply moved].

89How greatly we should be moved thereby, what affections it should raise in us, we may even learn from the most inanimate creatures: for the whole world did seem affected thereat with horrour and confusion; the frame of things was discomposed and disturbed; all Nature did feel a kind of compassion and compunction for it. The Sun (as from aversion and shame) did hide his face, leaving the World covered for three hours with mournfull blackness; the bowels of the Earth did yern184 and quake; the Rocks did split; the Veil of the Temple was rent; the Graves did open themselves, and the dead Bodies were rouzed up. And can we then (who are the most concerned in the event) be more stupid than the Earth, more obdurate than Rocks, more drowzy than interr’d Carcases, the most insensible and immovable things in nature? But farther,

  • 185 2 Pet II, 1; Tit II, 14; 1 Pet. I, 18, 19; Rom. XIV, 9; 2 Cor. V, 15; 1 Cor. VI, 20.
  • 186 Heb VI, 6. ἀνασταυροντες.
  • 187 Heb. X. 29
  • 188 Εϰουσίως μαρτανόντων ἡμῶν, ver. 26 [Heb. X].
  • 189 Κοινòν ἡγησάμενος [Heb. Χ, 29].

909. How can the meditation on this event doe otherwise than hugely deter us from all wilfull disobedience and commission of sin? For how thereby can we violate such engagements, and thwart such an example of obedience? how thereby can we abuse so wonderfull goodness, and disoblige so transcendent charity? how thereby can we reject that gentle dominion over us, which our Redeemer did so dearly purchase, or renounce the Lord that bought us185 at so high a rate? with what heart can we bring up on the stage, and act over that direfull tragedy, renewing all that pain and all that disgrace to our Saviour; as the Apostle teacheth that we do by Apostacy, crucifying to our selves the Son of God afresh, and putting him to an open shame186? Can we without horrour tread under foot the Son of God, and count the bloud of the Covenant an unholy thing187; (as the same divine Apostle saith all wilfull transgressours doe;)188 vilifying that most sacred and pretious bloud189, so freely shed for the demonstration of God’s mercy, and ratification of his gracious intentions toward us, as a thing of no special worth or consideration; despising all his so kind and painfull endeavours for our Salvation; defeating his most charitable purposes, and earnest desires for our welfare; rendring all his so bitter and loathsome Sufferings in regard to us utterly vain and fruitless, yea indeed very hurtfull and pernicious? for if the Cross do not save us from our sins, it will much aggravate their guilt, and augment their punishment; bringing a severer condemnation, and a sadder ruine on us. Again,

  • 190 2 Cor. VIII, 9.
  • 191 [bear with, endure].
  • 192 Eph. IV, 32; Col. III, 13.

9110. This consideration affordeth very strong engagements to the practice of charity towards our Neighbour. For what heart can be so hard, that the bloud of the Cross cannot mollifie into a charitable and compassionate sense? Can we forbear to love those, toward whom our Saviour did bear so tender affection, for whom he was pleased to sustain so wofull tortures and indignities? Shall we not, in obedience to his most urgent commands, in conformity to his most notable example, in gratefull return to him for his benefits, who thus did gladly suffer for us, discharge this most sweet and easie duty towards his beloved friends? Shall we not be willing, by parting with a little superfluous stuff for the relief of our poor brother, to requite and gratifie him, who, to succour us in our distress, most bountifully did part with his wealth, with his glory, with his pleasure, with his life it self190? Shall we not meekly comport191 with an infirmity, not bear a petty neglect, not forgive a small injury to our brother, whenas our Lord did for us, and from us bear a Cross, to procure remission for our innumerable most heinous affronts and offences against Almighty God192? Can a heart void of mercy and pity, with any reason or modesty pretend to the mercies and compassions of the Cross? Can we hope, that God for Christ’s sake will pardon us, if we for Christ’s sake will not forgive our Neighbour?

  • 193 John XV, 12.
  • 194 John XIII, 35.
  • 195 Eph. V, 2.
  • 196 Rom. XV, 1, 3.
  • 197 1 John IV, 11; III, 16.

92Can we hear our Lord saying to us, This is my command, That ye love one another, as I have loved you193; and, Hereby shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another194? Can we hear St. Paul exhorting, Walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath given himself for us, an offering and a sacrifice to God for a sweet-smelling savour195; and, We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak—For even Christ pleased not himself, but, as it is written, The reproaches of them that reproached thee, fell on me196? Can we attend to St. John’s arguing, Beloved, if God so loved us, then ought we also to love one another. Hereby we perceive the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: wherefore we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren197?

  • 198 Phil. II, 5, 6.

93Can we, I say, consider such Precepts, and such Discourses, without effectually being disposed to comply with them for the sake of our crucified Saviour; all whose Life was nothing else but one continual recommendation and enforcement of this duty; but his Death especially was a pattern most obliging, most incentive thereto? This use of the Point is the more to be regarded, because the Apostle doth apply it hereto, our Text coming in upon that occasion; for having pathetically exhorted the Philippians to all kinds of charity and humble condescension, he subjoyneth, Let this mind be in you, which was in Christ Jesus; Who being in the form of God, etc.198.

  • 199 [assumption, acceptance].
  • 200 Rom. VIII, 17; Phil. III, 10; Apoc. [Rev.] I, 5; 1 Pet. IV, 13.
  • 201 Col. I, 24.

9411. But furthermore, what can be more operative than this point toward breeding a disregard of this World with all its deceit-full vanities, and mischievous delights; toward reconciling our minds to the worst condition into which it can bring us; toward supporting our hearts under the heaviest pressures of affliction which it can lay upon us? For can we reasonably expect, can we eagerly affect, can we ardently desire great prosperity, whenas the Son of God, our Lord and Master, did onely taste such adversity? How can we refuse, in submission to God’s pleasure, contentedly to bear a slight grievance, whenas our Saviour gladly did bear a Cross, infinitely more distastefull to carnal will and sense than any that can befall us? Who now can admire those splendid trifles, which our Lord never did regard in his life, and which at his death onely did serve to mock and abuse him? Who can relish those sordid pleasures, of which he living did not vouchsafe to taste, and the contraries whereof he dying chose to feel in all extremity? Who can disdain or despise a state of sorrow and disgrace, which he, by voluntary susception199 of it, hath so dignified and graced; by which we so near resemble and become conformable to him200; by which we concur and partake with him; yea, by which in some cases we may promote, and after a sort complete his designs, filling up, (as St. Paul speaketh) that which is behind of the afflictions of Christ in our flesh201?

  • 202 Cogitemus crucem ejus, et divitias lutum putabimus. Hier. Ad Nepot. Epist. 2. [Epistola LII, Migne,(...)

95Who now can hugely prefer being esteemed, approved, favoured, commended by men, before infamy, reproach, derision, and persecution from them; especially when these do follow conscientious adherence to righteousness? Who can be very ambitious of worldly honour and repute, covetous of wealth, or greedy of pleasure, who doth observe the Son of God chusing rather to hang upon a Cross202, than to sit upon a Throne; inviting the clamours of scorn and spite, rather than acclamations of blessing and praise; devesting himself of all secular power, pomp, plenty, conveniences and solaces; embracing the garb of a slave, and the repute of a malefactour, before the dignity and respect of a Prince, which were his due, which he most easily could have obtained?

  • 203 Quis beatam vitam esse arbitretur in iis, quae contemnenda esse docuit Filius Dei? Aug. de Ag. Chr.(...)
  • 204 Isa. L, 6.
  • 205 1 Pet. IV, 1, 2 Graec.

96Can we imagine it a very happy thing, to be high and prosperous in this World, to swim in affluence and pleasure203? Can we take it for a misery, to be mean and low, to conflict with some wants and straits here; seeing the Fountain of all happiness, did himself purposely condescend to so forlorn a state, and was pleased to become so deep a sufferer? If with devout eyes of our mind we do behold our Lord, hanging naked upon a gibbet, besmeared all over with streams of his own bloud, groaning under smart anguish of pain, encompassed with all sorts of disgracefull abuses, yielding (as it was foretold of him) his back to the smiters, and his cheeks to them who plucked off the hair, hiding not his face from shame and spitting204; will not the imagination of such a spectacle dim the lustre of all earthly grandeurs and beauties, damp the sense of all carnal delights and satisfactions, quash all that extravagant glee which we can find in any wild frolicks, or riotous merriments? will it not stain all our pride, and check our wantonness? will it not dispose our minds to be sober, placing our happiness in things of another nature, seeking our content in matters of higher importance; preferring obedience to the will of God before compliance with the fancies and desires of men; according to that precept of St. Peter, Forasmuch then as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, arm your selves likewise with the same mind—so as no longer to live the remaining time in the flesh, to the lusts of men, but to the will of God205?

  • 206 Heb. V, 8 ἔμαθεν φὦν ἔπαθεν.
  • 207 Heb. II, 10.
  • 208 John X, 17.
  • 209 Luke XXIV, 26.
  • 210 Phil. II, 9.
  • 211 Heb. II, 9.
  • 212 Rev. V, 12, 9.
  • 213 * Rom. V, 3; Col. I, 24; Matt. V, 12; Luke VI, 23; Phil. I, 29; Acts V, 41; Jas. I, 2; Heb. X, 34; (...)

9712. This indeed will instruct and incline us chearfully to submit unto God’s will, and gladly to accept from his hand what-ever he disposeth, however grievous and afflictive to our natural will; this point suggesting great commendation of Afflictions, and strong consolation under them. For if such hardship was to our Lord himself a school of duty, he (as the Apostle saith) learning obedience from what he suffered206; if it was to him a fit mean of perfection, as the Apostle doth again imply when he saith, that it became God to perfect the captain of our salvation by suffering207; if it was an attractive of the Divine favour even to him, as those words import, Therefore the Father loveth me, because l lay down my life208; if it was to him a step toward glory, according to that saying, Was not Christ to suffer, and so to enter into his glory209? yea, if it was a ground of conferring on him a sublime pitch of dignity above all Creatures, God for this obedience having exalted him, and given him a name above all names210; We seeing Jesus—for the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour211; the heavenly Society in the Revelations with one voice crying out, Worthy is the Lamb that was slain (who redeemed us to God by his bloud) to receive power, and riches, and wisedom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing212: If Affliction did minister such advantages to him; and if by our conformity to him in undergoing it, (with like equanimity, humility, and patience) it may afford the like to us; what reason is there that we should anywise be discomposed at it, or disconsolate under it? Much greater reason, surely, there is, that, with St. Paul, and all the Holy Apostles213, we should * rejoyce, boast, and exult in our tribulations: far more cause we have, with them, to esteem it a favour, a privilege, an ornament, a felicity to us, than to be displeased and discontented therewith.

  • 214 Matt. X, 38; XVI, 24; Luke XIV, 27; IX, 23.
  • 215 Greg. Naz. Orat. 38, p. 623 [In Theophania, Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 36, col. 327-9].
  • 216 1 Pet. II, 21. πολιμπάνων ὑπογραμμòν.

98To doe thus is a duty incumbent on us as Christians. For, † He, saith our Master, that doth not take up his cross, and follow me, is not worthy of me; He that doth not carry his cross, and go after me cannot be my disciple214. He that doth not willingly take the cross when it is presented to him by God’s hand, he that doth not contentedly bear it when it is by providence imposed on him, is no-wise worthy of the honour to wait on Christ; he is not capable to be reckoned among the Disciples of our heavenly Master215. He is not worthy of Christ, as not having the courage, the constancy, the sincerity of a Christian; or of one pretending to such great benefits, such high privileges, such excellent rewards, as Christ our Lord and Saviour doth propose. He cannot be Christ’s disciple, shewing such an incapacity to learn those need-full lessons of humility and patience dictated by him; declaring such an indisposition to transcribe those Copies of submission to the divine will, self-denial, and self-resignation, so fairly set him by the instruction and example of Christ: for Christ (saith St. Peter) suffered for us, leaving us an example, that we should follow his steps216.

  • 217 τò τρόπχιον τοῦ σταυροῦ Const. Apost. VIII, xii [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 1, col. 1092].
  • 218 Gal. VI, 14.

9913. The willing susception and the chearfull sustenance of the Cross is indeed the express condition, and the peculiar character of our Christianity; in signification whereof, it hath been from most ancient times a constant usage to mark those who enter into it with the figure of it. The Cross, as the instrument by which our peace with God was wrought, as the stage whereon our Lord did act the last part of his marvellous obedience, consummating our redemption, as the field wherein the Captain of our salvation did atchieve his noble victories, and erect his glorious trophees over all the enemies thereof, was well assumed to be the badge of our profession, the ensign of our spiritual warfare, the pledge of our constant adherence to our crucified Saviour217; in relation to whom our chief hope is grounded, our great joy and sole glory doth consist: for God forbid, saith St. Paul, that I should glory save in the cross of Christ218.

  • 219 Cor. I, 23.
  • 220 Orig. in Cels. II, p. 79 [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 11, col. 852].
  • 221 1 Tim. I, 15; 2 Tim. II, 11.

10014. Let it be to the Jews a scandal219, (or offensive to their fancy, prepossessed with expectations of a Messias flourishing in secular pomp and prosperity,) let it be folly to the Greeks, (or seem absurd to men puff’d up and corrupted in mind with fleshly notions and maxims of worldly craft, disposing them to value nothing which is not gratefull to present sense or fancy,) that God should put his own most beloved Son into so very sad and despicable a condition220; that salvation from death and misery should be procured by so miserable a death; that eternal joy, glory and happiness should issue from these fountains of sorrow, and shame; that a Person in external semblance devoted to so opprobrious usage, should be the Lord and redeemer of mankind, the king and judge of all the world; Let, I say, this doctrine be scandalous and distastefull to some persons tainted with prejudice; let it be strange and incredible to others blinded with self-conceit; let all the inconsiderate, all the proud, all the profane part of mankind openly with their mouth, or closely in heart, slight and reject it: yet to us it must appear gratefull and joyous; to us it is πισὀς λóγoς, a faithfull and most credible proposition worthy of all acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners221, in this way of suffering for them: To us, who discern by a clearer light, and are endowed with a purer sense, kindled by the divine Spirit; from whence we may with comfortable satisfaction of mind apprehend and taste, that God could not in a higher measure, or fitter manner illustrate his glorious attributes of goodness and justice, his infinite grace and mercy toward his poor creatures, his holy displeasure against wickedness, his impartial severity in punishing iniquity and impiety, or in vindicating his own sacred honour and authority, than by thus ordering his onely Son, cloathed with our nature, to suffer for us; that also true vertue and goodness could not otherwise be taught, be exemplified, be commended and impressed with greater advantage.

  • 222 1 John II, 2; 2 Cor. V, 19.

101Since thereby indeed a charity and humanity so unparallel’d, (far transcending theirs who have been celebrated for devoting their lives out of love to their countrey, or kindness to their friends,) a meekness so incomparable, a resolution so invincible, a patience so heroical, were manifested for the instruction and direction of men; since never were the vices and the vanities of the world (so prejudicial to the welfare of mankind) so remarkably discountenanced; since never any suffering could pretend to so worthy and beneficial effects, the expiation of the whole world’s sins222, and reconciliation of mankind to God, the which no other performance, no other sacrifice did ever aim to procure; since, in fine, no vertue had ever so glorious rewards, as sovereign dignity to him that exercised it, and eternal happiness to those that imitate it; since, I say, there be such excellent uses and fruits of the cross born by our Saviour: we can have no reason to be offended at it, or ashamed of it; but with all reason heartily should approve, and humbly adore the deep wisedom of God, together with all other his glorious attributes displayed therein. To whom therefore, as is most due, let us devoutly render all glory and praise. And,

  • 223 Apoc. [Rev.] I, 5, 6.
  • 224 Apoc. V, 13.

102Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his bloud, and hath made us Kings and Priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever223. Blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever224. Amen.

Notes

1 Cyril C. Jul. 8, p. 278.9, 303 [Adversus Julianum, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 76, col. 925, 965].

2 Joh. III, 36; Col. III, 6.

3 Isa. XXVI, 13.

4 Iren. III, 33, 34; III, 8 [Contra Haereses, lib. III, cap. xxii, xxiii & viii, Migne, Patrol. gr., t. 7].

5 Gen. IV, 7.

6 [decreed].

7 Gen. II, 17.

8 Iren V, 16. [Op. cit.]

9 * Rom. III, 19; πóδιϰoς τ Θε.

10 f Rom. III, 9.

11 II Rom. V, 16, 18.

12 Gal. III, 10.

13 Rom. XI, 32; εἰς πείθειαν.

14 || Gal. III, 22.

15 * Rom. III, 23.

16 Rom. V, 12.

17 II Rom. VI, 12, 14, 20, 22.

18 * Rom. VII, 18, 5.

19 Rom. VII, 23.

20 Rom. VI, 6; Col. III, 9; Eph. IV, 22.

21 || Rom. VIII, 7; οὐχ πoτάσσετι.

22 * Eph. IV, 18.

23 Col. I, 21; Rom. V, 10.

24 Eph. II, 5 (Rom. VI, 13, 11).

25 Ps. CXLIII, 2; Exod. XXXIV, 7.

26 Ezek. XVI, 6.

27 Eph. I, 4, 9, 11 & III, 11; 2 Tim. I, 9; 1 Pet I, 20; Rev. XIII, 8; Rom. XVI, 25; Tit. I, 2.

28 Athan. De Incarn.
[ϰα γρ ϰα ὁ θάνατος, ς προεπον, νόμψ λοιπòν σχυε ϰαθ ἡμῶν ϰα. οὐχ οον τε ν τόν νόμον έϰφυγεν, δι τό ὑπò Θεòῦ τεθεσθαι τοῦτον τῆς παραβάσεως χάριν. Καὶ ἦν ἄτοπον δμοῦ ϰαὶ ἀπρεπὲς τό γινόμενον ἀληθῶς. ῎Ατοπον μὲν γὰρ ἦν εἰπόντα τòν Θεòν ψεύσααθαι, ὥστε νομοθετήσαντος αὐτοῦ, θανάτφ ἀποθνήακειν τòν ἄνθρωπον, εἰ παραβαίῃ τὴν ἐντολὴν, μετὰ τὴν παράβασιν μὴ ἀποθνὴσϰειν, ἀλλὰ λύεσθαι τòν τούτου λόγον. Οὐϰ ἀληθὴς γὰρ ἦν ὁ Θεòς, εἰ, εἰπόντος αὐτοῦ ἀποθνήσκειν ἡμᾶς, μὴ ἀπέθνησκεν ἄνθρωπος. Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 25, col. 105.]
Gen. II, 17.

29 αἰωνίαν λύτρωσιν εύρομενος. Heb. IX, 12.

30 Heb. VII, 26.

31 Ps. XLIX, 7.

32 Isa. XLIII, 11; XLV, 21; Hos. XIII, 4.

33 Isa. LIX, 16. ϰατενόησε. LXX.

34 Eph. I, 8; Luke I, 78; Eph. I, 5; Tit III, 4; Rom. V, 8; Gal. IV, 4; John VI, 38; Heb. X, 7; John I, 14; Heb. V, 2; IV, 15; Eph. I, 5.
Constit. Apost. VIII, xii [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 1, col. 11021. 1 Tim. II, 6; Tit II, 14; Heb. IX, 15; II, 9; Col. I, 22.

35 1 Tim. III, 16.

36 Θανάτου δέ σταυρο [Phil. II, 81].

37 Isa. LIII, 12.

38 2 Cor. V, 21.

39 [guilty of crime].

40 John V, 18, 10, 30 etc. ; VII, 12; Matt. XXVI, 61; XXVII, 40.

41 Luke XXIII, 2; Matt. XXVII, 63.

42 Const. Apost. V, xiv [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 1, col. 876].

43 John XVIII, 30. ϰαϰοποιóς.

44 Cur si Deus fuit, et mori voluit, non saltern honesto aliquo mortis genere affectus est? etc. Lact., IV, 26 [Divin. Instit. Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 6, p. 529].

45 [proper to be considered].

46 Just. M. Dial., p. 317 [Dialogus cum Tryphone Judaeo, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 6, col. 689].

47 Orig. C. Cels., II, p. 83; VII, p. 368 [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 11, col. 860, 1498].

48 Aug. de Civ. Dei, X, 28 [Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 41, col. 307].

49 Cyril, c. Jul., VI, p. 194 [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 76, col. 796-7].

50 1 Cor. I, 23.

51 Luke, XXII, 52; Matt. XXVI, 55.

52 Nemo mihi videtur pluris aestimare virtutem, nemo illi magis esse devotus, quam qui boni viri famam perdidit, ne conscientiam perderet. Sen. Ep. LXXXI [20],

53 John V, 18; VIII, 37, 40, 59; VII, 1, 19, 25; X, 32, 39.

54 [commendable].

55 [great reputation].

56 John VI, 64.

57 Matt. XVI, 21; Luke IX, 22; XVIII, 32; Mark IX, 31.

58 Isa. LIII, 6.

59 Acts II, 23.

60 Deut. I, 17.

61 [becoming him as our mediator and proxy].

62 John XIX, 11. ϰατ ἐµo

63 [hardly could our Saviour have displayed with such advantage].

64 John XVIII, 37; 1 Tim. VI, 13.

65 Magnum exemplum nisi mala fortuna non invenit. Sen., De Prov., c, iii [4].

66 ‛O δίϰαιος μαοτιγώσεται, στρεβλώοεται, δεδήσεται, ἐϰϰαυθήσεται τὼ ὀφθαλμώ, τελευτῶν πάντα ϰαϰ παθὼν νασχινδυλευθήοεται . Plat. De Rep., II [361 E-362 A].

67 * Cicuta magnum Socratem fecit. Sen. Ep. XIII [14].
Calix venenatus, qui Socratem transtulit e carcere in coelum. SEN. Ep. LXVII [7],
Aequalis fuit in tanta inaequalitate fortunae, etc.
Sen. Ep. CIV [28].

68 Rutilii innocentia ac virtus lateret, nisi accepisset injuriam; dum violatur, effulsit. Sen. Ep. LXXIX [14].

69 Sen. de Prov. II, III, etc. ; Plut. de Stoic. Contr., p. 1931 [De Stoicorum Repugnantiis, 37 = Moralia, 1051 C].

70 [stretched on tenders].

71 Ps. XXII, 16.

72 Ps. CV, 18.

73 Mark XV, 25, 34.

74 [guilty, criminal].

75 Quod etiam homine libero, quamvis nocente, videatur indignum. Lact. [Divin. Instit.] IV, 26 [Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 6, p. 529].

76 Deut. XXI, 23; Gal. III, 13.

77 Τοῦτο γὰρ μόνον τῆς τελευτῆς τò εδος ὑπò ρν κειτο, Chrys. Tom. 6 Or. 61 [Contra Judaeos et Gentiles, Quod Christus sit Deus, Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 48, col. 825].

78 [presented].

79 [Juvenal, Sat. X, 73-4].

80 Luke XXIII, 35, 36. ’Eξεμυκτήριζον, ἐνέπαιζον.
Matt. XXVII, 39. ἐβλασφήμουν.

81 Ps. XXII, 6, 7, 8.

82 Matt. IX, 33; XXI, 9; XII, 23.

83 Luke IV, 15

84 Ps. XXII, 17.

85 Luke XXIII, 35.

86 Heb. XII, 2.

87 Heb. XII, 2.

88 Heb. XI, 36.

89 Prov. XVIII, 8; XII, 18.

90 Heb. XII, 2.

91 Isa. LIII, 11.

92 [bear, put up].

93 Gal. III, 13.

94 Heb. XII, 3.

95 Isa. LIII, 3.

96 Isa. LIII, 4.

97 Gal. III, 13.

98 Phil. II, 7.

99 Orig. c. Cels. VII, p. 368 [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 11, col. 1498].

100 Lam. I, 12.

101 Luke XXII, 44.

102 [feelings, emotions].

103 Matt. XXVI, 37, 38.

104 Luke XXII, 44.

105 John XIII, 21; XII, 27.

106 Mark XIV, 33.

107 Heb. X, 5; Ps. XL, 12.

108 [dismay].

109 [stun, stupefy].

110 [Not identified].

111 John XVIII, 20.

112 Acts XXVI, 26.

113 [secret, underhand].

114 John XII, 32.

115 Iren. II, 26 [Adversus Haereses, Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 7, col. 763].

116 John III, 14.

117 Iren. IV, 5 [op. cit., col. 979].

118 [deadly].

119 John XVIII, 36.

120 Lake II, 35.

121 Matt. XI, 6.

122 Gal. V, 11; 1 Pet. II, 7, 8; 1 Cor. I, 23.

123 Chrys. Tom. 6 Orat. 61 [Contra Judaeos et Gentiles, Quod Christus sit Deus, Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 48, col. 825].

124 1 Cor. II, 8; Jas. II, 1.

125 Ps. CXVIII, 22, 23.

126 2 Cor. IV, 7.

127 1 Cor. I, 27.

128 Rom. VIII, 32; Col. I, 13.

129 Rom. V, 10.

130 1 Pet III, 18; Rom. V, 6; 2 Cor. V, 19.

131 * Rom. V, 8.

132 1 John IV, 10.

133 [Mark XII, 33].

134 Eph. III, 19; V, 2, 25; Gal. II, 20; Apoc. I, 5.

135 John XV, 13, οὐδεὶς ἔχει, να τις

136 [injuriously and falsely charged].

137 [suppose].

138 John III, 34.

139 Heb. IX, 14.

140 1 Pet I, 20; Eph. I, 4.

141 Luke I, 70.

142 [shameful].

143 Rom. VIII, 32.

144 Quis de se desperet, pro quo tam humilis esse voluit Filius Dei? Aug. de Ag. Chr. c. 11 [De Agone Christiano, XI, Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 40, p. 298].

145 Gal. III, 13.

146 Eph. V, 2; 1 Pet. I, 19.

147 [efficacious].

148 Rom. VIII, 34.

149 1 Pet. II, 24.

150 [Col. I, 20].

151 1 Pet. II, 24.

152 Rom. V, 11.

153 Extendit in passione manus suas, etc. Lact. IV, 26 [Divin. Instit., Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 6, p. 530]. Isa. LXV, 2.

154 Lev. IX, 22; Chrys. Tom. [V] Orat. 82 [De Cruce et Latrone, Migne, Patrol. gr., t. 49, col. 399].
P. Leo I [De Passione Domini, Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 54, col. 313-384].

155 Col. II, 15.

156 Matt. XII, 29. σχυρóς; Luke XI, 21, 22.

157 Heb. II, 14.

158 Gal. VI, 14.

159 Gal. II, 20; V, 24; Col. III, 5; Rom. VIII, 13.

160 [Rom. VI, 6.]

161 1 1 pet. II, 24.

162 Rom. VIII, 3.

163 1 Cor. XV, 54, 55; 2 Tim. I, 10; Heb. II, 14.

164 Eph. II, 15, 16.

165 Col. I, 20.

166 Col. II, 14.

167 Phil. II, 7. ἑαυτòν ἑκένωσε.

168 [possessed with a good opinion].

169 1 Cor. II, 8.

170 Phil. II, 7.

171 2 Cor. X, 5.

172 Jam tandem erubescat homo esse superbus, propter quern factus est humilis Deus. Aug. in Ps. 18 [Ennarationes in Psalmos, Ps. 18, II, Migne, Patrol, tat., t. 36, col. 163].

173 Iste ingens morbus, omnipotentem Medicum de caelo deduxit, usque ad formam servi humiliavit, contumeliis egit, ligno suspendit; ut per salutem tantae medicinae curetur hic tumor. Ibid.

174 Quae superbia sanari potest, si humilitate Filii Dei non sanatur? Aug. de Agone Chr. cap. xi [Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 40, col. 297].

175 [worthy of regard].

176 Aut vero pro minimo habet Deus hominem, propter quem mori voluit Unicum suum? Aug. in Ps. 148 [Ennar., Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 37, col. 1942].
Si vobis ex terrena fragilitate viles estis, ex pretio vestro vos aestimate,
Aug. [not identified].

177 Acts XIII, 46.

178 Rom. IV, 25.

179 2 Cor. V, 21.

180 Gal. III, 13.

181 [Luke XXIII, 21; John XIX, 6, 15.]

182 Isa. LIII, 5.

183 Ps. CXIX, CXX.

184 [were deeply moved].

185 2 Pet II, 1; Tit II, 14; 1 Pet. I, 18, 19; Rom. XIV, 9; 2 Cor. V, 15; 1 Cor. VI, 20.

186 Heb VI, 6. ἀνασταυροντες.

187 Heb. X. 29

188 Εϰουσίως μαρτανόντων ἡμῶν, ver. 26 [Heb. X].

189 Κοινòν ἡγησάμενος [Heb. Χ, 29].

190 2 Cor. VIII, 9.

191 [bear with, endure].

192 Eph. IV, 32; Col. III, 13.

193 John XV, 12.

194 John XIII, 35.

195 Eph. V, 2.

196 Rom. XV, 1, 3.

197 1 John IV, 11; III, 16.

198 Phil. II, 5, 6.

199 [assumption, acceptance].

200 Rom. VIII, 17; Phil. III, 10; Apoc. [Rev.] I, 5; 1 Pet. IV, 13.

201 Col. I, 24.

202 Cogitemus crucem ejus, et divitias lutum putabimus. Hier. Ad Nepot. Epist. 2. [Epistola LII, Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 22, col. 536].

203 Quis beatam vitam esse arbitretur in iis, quae contemnenda esse docuit Filius Dei? Aug. de Ag. Chr. cap. 11 [Migne, Patrol, lat., t. 40, col. 297].

204 Isa. L, 6.

205 1 Pet. IV, 1, 2 Graec.

206 Heb. V, 8 ἔμαθεν φὦν ἔπαθεν.

207 Heb. II, 10.

208 John X, 17.

209 Luke XXIV, 26.

210 Phil. II, 9.

211 Heb. II, 9.

212 Rev. V, 12, 9.

213 * Rom. V, 3; Col. I, 24; Matt. V, 12; Luke VI, 23; Phil. I, 29; Acts V, 41; Jas. I, 2; Heb. X, 34; 1 Pet. I, 7; Heb. XII, 2; 1 Cor. I, 4; 1 Thes. III, 3; Rom. VIII, 29; Acts XIV, 22; 2 Tim. III, 12.

214 Matt. X, 38; XVI, 24; Luke XIV, 27; IX, 23.

215 Greg. Naz. Orat. 38, p. 623 [In Theophania, Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 36, col. 327-9].

216 1 Pet. II, 21. πολιμπάνων ὑπογραμμòν.

217 τò τρόπχιον τοῦ σταυροῦ Const. Apost. VIII, xii [Migne, Patrol, gr., t. 1, col. 1092].

218 Gal. VI, 14.

219 Cor. I, 23.

220 Orig. in Cels. II, p. 79 [Migne, Patrol. gr, t. 11, col. 852].

221 1 Tim. I, 15; 2 Tim. II, 11.

222 1 John II, 2; 2 Cor. V, 19.

223 Apoc. [Rev.] I, 5, 6.

224 Apoc. V, 13.

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