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in fashion as a man, he humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.” In 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 on one particular, couched in the last words, “even the death of the cross;’ 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. Now 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 painful. 3. Its being most ignominious and shameful. 4. Its peculiar advantageousness to the designs of our Lord in suffering. 5. Its practical efficacy. I. We may consider our Lord's suffering as criminal; or as in semblance being an execution of justice on him. “He,’ as the prophet foretold of him, ‘was numbered among the transgressors;’ and God, saith St. Paul, ‘made him sin for us, who knew no sin:’ that is, God ordered him to be treated as a most sinful or criminous person, who in himself was perfectly innocent, and void of the least inclination to offend. So in effect it was, that he was impeached of the highest crimes; as a violator of the divine laws in divers instances; as a designer to subvert their religion and temple; as an impostor, deluding and seducing the people; as a blasphemer, assuming to himself the properties and prerogatives of God; as a seditious and rebellious person, perverting the nation, inhibiting payments of tribute to Caesar, usurping royal authority, and styling himself “Christ a king :’ in a word, as a malefactor, or one guilty of enormous offences; so his persecutors avowed to Pilate, “If,' said they, “he were not a malefactor, we would not have delivered him up unto thee.” 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. Now whereas any death or passion of our Lord, as being in

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itself immensely valuable, and most precious 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 choose to suffer under this odious and ugly character 7 Which inquiry is the more considerable, because it is especially this circumstance which crosseth the fleshly sense and worldly prejudices of men, so as to have rendered the gospel offensive to the superstitious Jews, and despicable to conceited Gentiles. . For so Tryphon in Justin Martyr, 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 (Celsus, Porphyry, Julian) 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 foolishness.’ Wherefore, to avoid those scandals, and that we may better admire the wisdom 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. 1. As our Saviour freely did undertake a life of greatest meanness and hardship, so on the like accounts he might be pleased to undergo a death most loathsome 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 on ourselves dying under it, leaving the world with an indelible stain on 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 easy dispatch. Of which human resentment may we not observe a touch in that expostulation, “Be ye come out, as against a thief, with

swords and staves ' If as a man he did not like to be prosecuted as a thief; yet willingly did he choose it, as he did other most distasteful 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. It is well said by a Pagan philosopher, that “no man doth express such a respect and devotion to virtue, as doth he who forfeiteth the repute of being a good man, that he may not lose the conscience of being such.” This our Lord willingly made his case, being content not only to expose his life, but to prostitute his fame, for the interests of goodness. Had he died otherwise, he might have seemed to purchase our welfare at a somewhat easier 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. Whereas therefore he often was in hazard of death, both from the clandestine machinations and the outrageous violences of those who maligned him, he did industriously shun a death so plausible, and honorable, if I may so speak; it being not so disgraceful to fall by private malice, or by sudden rage, as by the solemn deliberate proceeding of men in public authority and principal credit. Accordingly this kind of death did not fall on him by surprise, or by chance; but he did from the beginning foresee it; he plainly with satisfaction did aim at it: he, as it is related in the gospels, did show his disciples that it was incumbent on him by God's appointment and his own choice; that he ought, it is 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 crucified, 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 only suffer in his body by sore wounds and bruises, and in his soul by doleful 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 befal 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. 2. Death passing on him as a malefactor by public sentence, did best suit 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 satisfy for us, was pleased to undergo the like judgment and usage; being termed, being treated as we should have been, in quality of an heinous malefactor, as we in truth are. What we had really acted in dishonoring and usurping on 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 all.’ He therefore did not only sustain an equivalent pain for us, but in a sort did bear an equal blame with us, before God and man. 3. Seeing, ‘by the determinate counsel of God,” it was appointed that our Lord should die for us, and that not in a natural, but violent way, so as perfectly to satisfy God’s justice, to vindicate his honor, 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, on those very accounts. All judgment, as Moses of old did say, is God's, or is administered 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 Mediator and Proxy, 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 above :’ implying that it was in regard to the originally supreme authority of God his father, and to his particular appointment on this occasion, that our Saviour did then frankly subject himself to those inferior 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 public 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 color of desert: otherwise it would cease to be public authority, and become lawless violence; the persecutor then would put off the face of a magistrate, and appear as a cut-throat or a robber. 4. In fine, our Saviour hardly with such advantage, in any other way, could have displayed all kinds of virtue and goodness, to the honor of God, to the edification of men, to the furtherance of our salvation. The judgment-hall, with all the passages leading him thither, and thence to execution, attended with guards of soldiers, amidst the crowds and clamors 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 virtue: to express his insuperable constancy, in attesting truth, and maintaining a good conscience; his meekness, in calmly bearing

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