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reputation for learning and piety, scandalized under the name of an impofter, a winebibber, a friend to publicans and sinners, a worker by the devil, mad, and pofseffed with a devil. These and the like were his entertainments in the world, and, which is more, often put to shift for his life; and in sum, what the prophet predicted concerning him fulfilled to the utmoit-. Despised and rejected of men, a man of 'sorrows and acquainted with grief!;' and all this to "befal the eternal Son of God under the veil of our 'flesh. And all this voluntarily undertaken, and chear'fully undergone, even for the sake of his enemies, and those very people from whom he received indignities.
III. But all these were but like small velitations 2 and conflicts preparatory to the main battle. We therefore come to the third consideration-Christ Jesus, and him crucified; there is the account of the text: as Christ Jesus is the most worthy subject of all knowledge, fo Christ Jesus, under this consideration, as crucified, is that which is the fullest of wonder, admiration, love : and therefore let us now take a survey of Christ Fefus crucified: as that is the highest manifestation of his love, so it is the eye, the life of the text: Christ above all other knowledge, and Christ crucified above all other knowledge of Christ.
And now a man upon the first view would think 'this kind of knowledge, so much here valued, were a
strange kind of knowledge, and the prelation of this knowledge a strange mistake in the apostle. 1. Crucified: Death is the corruption of nature: and such a kind of death by crucifixion, the worst, the vilest of · deaths, carrying in it the punishment of the lowest 'condition of men, and for the worst of offences; and vet, that death, and such a death, should be the ambi. tion of an apostle's knowledge, is wonderful. 2. Christ crucified, carries in it a seeming excess of incongruity; that he, that was the eternal Son of God, should take .Isaiah, liii. 3. slight skirmishes.
upon him our nature, and in that nature anointed and consecrated by the Father, full of innocence, purity, goodness, should die, and that by such a death, and lo unjustly! Could this be subject or matter of knowledge so desirable, as to be preferred before all other knowledge? which should rather seem to be a matter of so much horror, so much indignation, that a man might think it rather fit to be forgotten, than to be affected to be known. 3. Jesus crucified. A Saviour, and yet to be crucified; it seems to blast the expectation of salvation, when the captain of it must die, be slain, be crucified; it carries in it a kind of victory of death and hell, over our salvation, when the instrument thereof must suffer death, and such a death. When the birth of Christ was proclaimed, indeed it was a matter of joy, and worth the proclamation of angels. “To you is born this day a Saviour, which ' is Christ the Lord' and can the death of that Sa-. viour be a thing desirable to be known? The birth of Christ seemed to be the rising sun, that scattered light, hope and comfort to all nations; but can the setting of this fun, in so dark a cloud as the cross, be the choicest piece of knowledge of him ? which seems as it were to strangle and stifle our hopes; and puts us as it were upon the expostulation of the dismayed disciples; But we trusted it had been he which should have redeemed Israel 2.'
But for all this, this knowledge of Christ Jesus cru. cified will appear to be the most excellent, comfortable, useful knowledge in the world, if we shall consider these particulars : 1. Who it was that suffered. 2. What he suffered. 3. From whom. 4. How he suffered. 5. For whom he suffered. 6. Why, and upon what motive. 7. For what end he suffered. 8. What are the fruits and benefits that accrue by that suffering. All these considerations are wrapt up in this one subject-Christ Jesus and him crucified.
"Luke ji. 12. 2 Luke xxiv. 21.
. 1. Who
1. Who it was that thus suffered. It was Christ Jesus the eternal Son of God, cloathed in our flesh; God and Man united in one person; his manhood giving him a capacity of suffering ; and his Godhead giving a value to that suffering; and each nature united in one person to make a compleat redeemer ; the heir of all things 1. The prince of life 2. The light that lighteneth every man that comes into the world 3. As touching his divine nature, God over all, blessed for ever 4 ; and as touching his human nature, full of grace and truth 5. And in both the beloved Son of the eternal God, in whom he proclaimed himself well pleased 6. But could no other person be found, that might suffer for the sins of man, but the Son of God? Or if the business of our salvation must be transacted by him alone, could it not be without suffering, and such suffering as this? No. As there was no other name given under heaven, by which we might be saved, nor was there any found besides in the compass of the whole world, that could expiate for one sin of man ; but it must be the arm of the Almighty that must bring salvation 7; so if the blessed Son of God will undertake the business, and become captain of our salvation, he must be made perfect by suffering 8. And if he will stand instead of man, he must bear the wrath of his Father : if he will become sin for man, though he knew no sin, he must become a curse for man. And doubtless this great mystery of the person that suffered, cannot choose but be a very high and excellent subject of knowledge; so full of wonder and astonishment, that the angels gaze into it 9. And as it is a strange and wonderful thing in itself, so doubtless it was ordained to high and wonderful ends, bearing a suitableness unto the greatness of the instrument. This therefore is the first consideration that advanceth the excellency of this knowledge; the person that was crucified.
1 Heb. i. 2. ? Acts iii. 15. ' John i. 9. * Rom. ix. 5. 5 Johni. 14. 6 Matth. iij. 17. ? Isaiah Txiii. 5. 6 Heb. ii. 10. Heb. v. 9. 9 1 Pet. i. 12.
that suffered doubtless this on nult become 2. 10
II. What he suffered. Christ Jesus, and him crucified; though all the course of his life was a continual fuffering, and the preamble or walk unto his death, which was the end of his life.; yet this was the compleating of all the rest, and the tide and waves of his suffering did still rise higher and higher, till it ar. rived in this; and the several steps and ascents unto the cross, though they began from his birth, yet those that were more immediate began with the preparation to the passover. The council held by the chief priests and fcribes, for the crucifying of our Saviour, was fat upon two days before the passover 1, And this was the first step to Mount Calvary : and doubtless it was no small addition to our Saviour's passion, that it was hatched in the council of the chief priests and fcribes, the then external vifible church, the husbandmen of the vineyard 2. But this is not all; as the visible church of the Jews is the conclave where this council is formed; fo Judas, a member of the visible church of Christ, one of the twelve, is the instrument to effect it 3. He contracts with them for thirty pieces of silver, to betray his master unto them. And surely this could not choose but be a great grief to our Saviour, that one of his select apostles should turn apostate, and thereby bring a blemish upon the rest. :
Upon the day of eating the passover, called the first day of the feast of unleavened bread, our Saviour and his disciples keep the passover together in Jerusalem ; and there the two memorials of our Saviour's passion meet; that of the paffover instituted by God, and the Ifraelites going out of Egypt; and the bread and wine after supper, inflituted by our Saviour, to succeed in the place of the former, and each did questionless make a deep impression upon our Saviour, in which he anticipated his passion, and lively 4 represented to him that breaking and pouring out of his blood and soul, which he was fuddenly to suffer : and doubtless * Matth. xxvi. 2. Mark, xiv. 1. 2 Matth. xxi. 33. 'Matth.xxvi. 14. here began a great measure of 'our Saviour's passion, in the apprehension which he had of that eminent storm, that he must speedily undergo. From the supper they go together to the Mount of Olives, and there he acquaints his disciples of a speedy and sorrowful parting they must have; the shepherd is to be smitten that night, and the sheep to be scattered ; and as he forefaw Judas's treachery, so he foresees Peter's infirmity; the storm should be fo violent, that Peter himself, the resolutest apostle, shall deny his master that night, and deny him thrice: and surely the foresight of the distraction that should befall his poor difciples, could not choose but add much to their tender master's affliction : All ye shall be offended because of me this night!
4 in a lively manner. E 4
And now let us follow our blessed Lord from the Mount of Olives in the garden, called by the apostles Gethsemane, with the affections of love and wonder in some measure becoming such an entertainment of our thoughts. The time that he chose for his retirement, was the dead time of the night; a season that might the more contribute to the strength of that fadness, which the pre-apprehension of his imminent passion must needs occasion. The place that he chose, a solitary retired garden, where nothing might or could interrupt, or divert the intensiveness of his forrow and fear : and, to make both the time and place the more opportune for his agony, he leaves the rest of his difciples, and takes with him only Peter, and the two sons of Zebedee 2. And to these he imparts the beginning of his forrow, that they might be witnesses of it, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death 3;' but yet commands their distance, · Tarry
ye here and watch with me, and he went a - little further.' . Watch with me. The confusion of his soul was so great, that the only Son of God distrusts his own rhuman] ability to bear it; and yet his submission to this terrible conflict swas] so willing, that he leaves them that he had appointed to watch Matth. xxvi. 31. ? Matth. xxvi. 37. 3 Matth. xxvi. 38, 39.