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Lu.xxiii.34.

Mtxxvii.35.

Joh. xix. 23.

MARK XV. part of ver. 22. and ver. 26.

22 And they bring him unto the place called Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, the place of a skull.

26 And-was written over

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Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do.

SECTION XIX.

The Soldiers divide, and cast Lots for the Raiment of

MATT. xxvii. 35, 36.

Christ.

LUKE XXiii.

MARK XV. 24, 25.
part of ver. 34. JOHN XIX. 23, 24.

And they crucified him

25

Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a

25 He hangs upon the cross, for us, and for our salvation! The Son of God dies for the restoration of man! The manifested God, who was present at the creation of this scene of his glory; who or the sins of one generation of man, brought the deluge of waters upon the earth; He who was seen in the firmament, commanding the fire to descend upon the cities of the Plain; the dweller between the cherubim, the form which tabernacled in the moving flame, guiding his people through the wilderness; the King of glory, the Lord of angels, the Ruler of the universe, the fellow of Jehovah, the future Judge of the world, He hangs upon the cross, and offers himself a willing sacrifice for the sins of an offending world. That this holy and mighty Being should die as a man, amidst the indignities and cruel mockings of the higher as well as of the lower ranks of his people, for the sins of those who pierced him, and of all who in ages to come should believe in this wonder.ul atonement, is a mystery so truly sublime, that the intellectual powers of man, while in the body, cannot fully comprehend its effects and benefits. The wonderful and holy Being, whose mysterious death we are now contemplating, is revealed to us, not merely as the Lord of mankind, but as the superior of angels. Evil spirits knew him, and fled: good spirits ministered to him. He spake of the invisible world, as of the scene of existence to which he had been accustomed, and of angels and devils as his obedient or rebellious subjects. It is evident, therefore, that the actions of our Lord, while in his state of humiliation, were the subjects of attention to an innumerable host of intellectual and spiritual creatures who, we may suppose, are all more or less interested in the heavenly sacrifice. Angels in humble submission desired to look into this great mystery; fallen spirits retained the malignity of their evil nature, saw, believed, and trembled. They fell from their high estate by

Jerusalem.

Joh. xix. 23. part; and also his coat. Now the coat was without Jerusalem. seam, woven from the top throughout.

their own pride and ambition, without external temptation, and
they are left to the consequences of their wilful disobedience.
Man, having been created of a compound nature, and liable to
evil, did not, like them, fall away by his own original, innate
perverseness, but by the enticements of a superior and evil
spirit. For man Christ died-for man there is hope of salva
tion, and at this solemn moment the seal was affixed to his pardon.
Now was the sentence of eternal punishment pronounced upon
the evil spirits. Satan fell as lightning from heaven; and the cap-
tivity of hell was led captive. The voice of mercy confirmed the
angels in their obedience, and taught them also that there was
no more sacrifice for sin: and the human race were emancipated
from the bondage and degradation of the Fall, and exalted to
become, with the angels, the sons of God. Thus was moral or-
der, which had been disturbed through the dominion of evil,
by the sin and disobedience of the first Adam, restored to the
whole universe by the triumphant sacrifice of the second Adam.

Sufficient, therefore, is revealed to us to convince us of the
necessity of this great atonement, and to demonstrate to us the
holy indignation of the Almighty God, against sin and sinners.
We all carry about within us, the sad marks of our fallen nature.
The remembrance of some past sin continually arises to embitter
our happiness, and to convince us that we have no power to
help ourselves. Man requires some other atonement, some other
intercession. His former sins cannot be cancelled by peni-
tence or reformation (a), the only offering he has it in his power to
make; "the convert and the sinner are the same individual per-
son and as such, be answerable for his whole conduct. His
sentiments of himself can only be a mixture of approbation and
disapprobation, satisfaction and displeasure. His past sins
must still, however sincerely he may have reformed, occasion
self-dissatisfaction: and this will ever be the stronger the more
he improves in virtue. Now, as this is agreeable to truth, there
is reason to conclude, that God beholds him in the same light."
Therefore man's redemption must be accomplished by other
than himself. It is further evident that the blood of bulls and
of goats could not take away sin; they were not of the same
nature and origin as man, and therefore incapable of making
an expiation for the sin he had contracted. These were only
the types and figures of a more perfect sacrifice of that holy
victim who was appointed before the foundation of the world.
Neither could the sacrifice of any ordinary man make satisfac-
tion for us, because it is clear he would only suffer that punish-
ment which his own sins had deserved; and no satisfaction can
be made for others, by suffering that which justice requires for
our own offences. No ordinary man could raise himself from
the dead, or procure that redemption for another, which he
could not obtain for himself. Neither could any ordinary man
make satisfaction to the violated laws of God by a life of sinless
obedience. He only who had power to lay down his life, and
take it up again, could procure for man a resurrection,
deliver him from the eternal death his sins had incurred. He
alone, who took upon him human nature, that he might set us
an example of human virtue, "who knew no sin," who was
perfect and spotless, the Lamb of God, could satisfy the purity
of divine justice, or reconcile it with his mercy, and the eco-
nomy of his government. Throughout the whole system of the
divine dispensations, the Father uniformly acts by the ministry
of the Son, and the Son by the ministry of the Holy Ghost.

and

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Joh. xix. 24.

They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rent Jerusalem. it, but cast lots for it, whose it shall be.

Had the divine acceptance been wanting to the oblation of
our Lord's body, whatsoever virtue it possessed in itself, it
would have been incapable of procuring the pardon of sin, or
of redeeming mau from its punishment and power. Whatsoever
he purchased for us, he purchased of the Father by compact, or
agreement (b); and He is now exalted to the right hand of
God, to make there his mysterious intercession for the sins of
his people.

As the second Adam, the blessed Lord took our humanity; he
restored it to its original dignity and innocence, and then made
a sacrifice of it upon the cross, as a vicarious atonement for the
sins of the first, and through him of all mankind. He was
nailed to the accursed tree, the emblem of Adam's transgression,
and was crowned with a crown of thorns, the first fruits of his
disobedience. The religion which he died to establish was of
an internal spiritual nature. It was a life of holiness and self-
sacrifice. It required the crucifixion of the whole animal and
inferior nature; and that the motives, and even the thoughts
of the heart, should be brought into subjection. It required a
new birth, a new life, of which baptism is the beautiful emblem,
teaching us, that as infants are washed immediately on their
natural birth, so must the children of God, with Christ, be born
again through the grave and death of sin, into the spiritual
kingdom, by water, and the Spirit. We are all the authors of
our own happiness or misery. If during the progress of life the
animal is allowed to triumph over the spiritual man, then the
sin of the first Adam still cleaves to us, and the sacrifice of the
second Adam pleads for us in vain. The animal life perishes
with the body; the accountable life exists through eternity.
If it be spiritualized by the subjugation of the flesh, it becomes
pure and holy, the companion of angels; but if it be polluted
and degraded by its contagion, it then defiles itself, loses the
divine properties of its first being, and is fitted only for asso-
ciation with devils and evil spirits. To this fearful condition
man was reduced by the fall of the first Adam. To revoke this
curse, Christ, the second Adam, became our atonement, by the
sacrifice of the whole of the offending, but in him, sinless,
nature, upon the tree of the cross: demonstrating to all the
world, that the sacrifice of self is the way of salvation, and the
most acceptable offering that man can render to his Creator.

Deeply do I pity that blind man, who prefers rather to trust to his own merits, than by faith in the great atonement to hope for salvation through the blood of Christ. Deeply do I feel for him, when he shall be called to appear before the judgment seat of a rejected Saviour, with all his imperfections, all his frailties, and all his violations of duty upon his head, to answer in an unknown state of inconceivable glory, before men and angels, for the sins committed in the body; having spurned the sheltering protection of that MAN who is both a covert from the wind, and a refuge from the storm. How can he hope to escape the wrath of God pronounced upon every offender against his holy laws, when his own beloved Son, as our substitute, who only ore our sins, underwent such dreadful agonies, both in body nd soul. He who has declared himself of purer eyes than to behold iniquity, has also declared, as fully and plainly, and as repeatedly, that without shedding of blood there is no remission of sins: and what blood can have been shed for their remission, but the blood of Christ?

Lu.xxiii.34. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.

Job. xix.24. that the Scripture might be fulfilled,

Mtxxvii.35. which was spoken by the prophet,

Job.xix.24. which saith, They parted my raiment among them: and for my vesture they did cast lots. These things therefore the soldiers did.

Mar.xv. 25.
Mtxxvii.36.

And it was the third hour, and they crucified him.
And sitting down they watched him there.

MATT. XXVii. part of ver. 35.

35 and parted his garments, casting lots: that it might be fulfilled-They parted my garments among them, and upon my vesture did they cast lots.

MARK XV. 24.

24 And when they had crucified him, they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take,

SECTION XX.

Christ is reviled, when on the Cross, by the Rulers, the
Soldiers, the Passengers, the Chief Priests, and the
Malefactors.

MATT. xxvii. 39-44. MARK XV. 29-32.

35-37.

LUKE Xxiii.

Lu.xxiii.35. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with them derided him, saying, He saved others, let him save himself, if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

36.

And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and
offering him vinegar,

37. And saying, If thou be the King of the Jews, save thy-
self.

Mtxxvii.39. And they that passed by reviled him,

Mar.xv. 29. [and] railed on him, wagging their heads, and saying, Ah, thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days,

30.

Save thyself, and come down from the cross.

Bishop Watson, in speaking of that arrogant and dogmatical theology, that decrees the rejection of the doctrine of atonement, as inconsistent with the divine attribute of mercy, uses the following just observations. "We know assuredly that God delighteth not in blood; that he hath no cruelty, no vengeance, no malignity, no infirmity, nor any passion in his nature: but we do not know whether the requisition of an atonement for transgression may not be an emanation of his infinite mercy, rather than a demand of his infinite justice. We do not know, whether it may not be the very best means of preserving the innocence, and happiness, not only of us, but of all other free and intelligent beings. We do not know, whether the suffering of an innocent person may not be productive of a degree of good, infinitely surpassing the evil of such sufferance; nor whether such a quantum of good could by any other means have been produced (c),"

(a) Balguy, as quoted by Magee, p. 94. vol. i. (b) See also Whitby, and Scott's Christian Life. (c) Two Apologies, &c, pp. 466, 467.

Jerusalem.

Mtxxvii.40. If thou be the Son of God, come down from the cross.
41. Likewise also the Chief Priests, mocking him, with the
Scribes and elders, said,

Mar. xv. 31. among themselves, He saved others, himself he cannot

save.

Mtxxvii.42. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come down from the cross, and we will believe him.

43.

Mar. xv. 32.

Mtxxvii.44.

Lu.xxiii.39.

He trusted in God; let him deliver him now, if he will have him for he said, I am the Son of God.

Let Christ, the King of Israel, descend now from the cross, that we may see and believe. And they that were crucified with him reviled him.

The thieves also, which were crucified with him, cast the same in his teeth.

MATT. XXVii. part of ver. 39, 40. and 42.

39-wagging their heads

40

And saying, Thou that destroyest the temple, and buildest it in three days, save thyself.

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save.

MARK XV. part of ver. 29. 31.

29 And they that passed by

31 Likewise also the Chief Priests mocking said-with the Scribes

SECTION XXI.

Christ, when dying as a Man, asserts his Divinity in his
Answer to the Penitent Thief",

LUKE XXiii. 39-43.

And one of the malefactors-railed on him, saying, If thou be the Christ, save thyself, and us.

Jerusalem.

24 Our Lord, at the time when he made the gracious promise to the criminal on the cross, was reduced to the lowest state of degradation and contempt. He was deserted by all but his beloved disciple, his mother, and two other holy women, who were standing by the cross, the weeping and agonized spectators of his sufferings. His disciples had forsaken him and fled. The assembled multitude of his enemies and persecutors, embittered every pang, by their cruel and exulting mockeries. The evangelists mention all kinds and classes of people, as if for the purpose of demonstrating the universal rejection of our Lord by the Jewish nation. The people stood beholding-and the rulers with them, deriding-the soldiers mocked him, coming to him, and offering him vinegar-the passers by reviled him, and railed on him-the chief priests mocked him, with the scribes and elders-even the very thief on the cross reviled him, and joined in the common mockery. At this moment of general insult and rejection, the penitent thief alone declared his belief in the innocence of the holy Jesus, and made a public confession of his faith in the divine sufferer.

Our Lord's answer to the penitent thief fully declared that, although in his human form he was faint and dying, enduring the extreme of pain and torture, he was the Lord of the invisible world, and still retained his divine attribute, the power of forgiving sins. The assembled people loudly and unanimously

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