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Luke XXIII.

25 And he released

398

Reflections on the condemnation of Christ. SECT... it could be done no other way, pronounced sen- gave sentence that clxxxviii tence, that what they demanded should be done, should be as they re-

quired. [MARK XV. and that Jesus should be put to death.

15.-) And, in pursuance of that sentence, he released 25 to them Barabbas, who (as was said before) was to them (Barabbas, ]

thrown into prison for sedition and murder ; but murder was cast into whom, aggravated as his crimes were, they had prison, whom they bad importunately desired in preference to Christ : desired: (and when he and having (as we related above, John xix. I, he delivered him to p. 390) already scourged Jesus, he did not re- their will [to be crucinew that torture; however, he delivered him fied.) (MAT. XXVII.

MARK XV.to their will to be crucified, with such circum- John XIX. 16.-) stances as they thought proper; and they soon shewed that their tender mercies were cruel.

And when the Jewish mob had thus prevailed, MAT. XXVII. 31. XXVII. 31 afterthey had mocked and insulted him for a while, And after that they

had mocked him, they just as the Roman soldiers had before done in the

took the (purple) robe prætorium, deriding his pretences to a kingdom, off from him, and put and abusing him like the vilest slave, they took his own rainent on the purple robe off from him", and having dressed him, and led him

away to cruciiy him. him again in his own garments, they led him (MÁRK XV. 20.] away to be crucified, in the manner which we shall presently relate.

Mat.

IMPROVEMENT.

John

Let us now, by a lively act of faitli, bring forth the blessed xix. 13. Jesus to our imagination, as Piate brought him forth to the peo

ple. Let us witha aisectionate sympathy survey the indignities Ver.1. which were offered hiin, when he gave his back to the smiters, and

his cheeks to them that plucked of the hair; and hid not his face from shame and spitting ; (Isa. I. 6.) Bchold the man, wearing bis

purple

ment of God, he lost all the advantage It is observable, as we have seen above, which he hoped to gain by this base com p. 390. that Matthew (chap. xxvii. 28) pliance, as Felix did when he afterwards in- mentions a scarlet robe, XOXX5YWN xammivere, jured Paul on the saine unworthy princi- and Mark (chap. xv. 17, as well as here) ples. Acts xxiv. 27.

a purple garment, tmy og pupay. I take not q Having already scourged Jesus : $pz- upon me to determine whether either of yerl.woes.] Many critics, and anong the these words be used for the other, waving, jest Elsner (Obsero. Vol. I. p. 125), have as in some other cases, the most exact sige shewn that scourging used to precede cruci- nification; or whether there were two gar. firion ; but as John, who is most exact in ments used, a purple cest, and over that a liis account of this part of the story, men scarlet robe. However, it is probable, tions his having been scourged before, and whatever they were, Pilate, or any of his says nothing of the repetition of it (which, chief officers, would not cover his bleeding considering Pilate's conviction of his inno- body with any thing better than an old, and cence, he would probably spare), I cboose perbaps tatiered habit, which answered to interpret the word in this manner, which iheir contemptuous purpose much better the original will very well bear.

than the best which the governor's wardrobe They took the purple robe of from him.] could have afforded.

Leare

clxxxviii.

xxvii.29

Let Mat.

Reflections on the condemnation of Christ.

399 purple robe and thorny crown, and bearing the reed which smote sect. him in his right hand for a sceptre! Behold, not merely the man, but the Son of God, thus vilely degraded, thus infamously abused! Mat. Shall we, as it were, increase his sufferings, and, while we con- John demn the fury and cruelty of the Jews, shall we crucify him to xix. 5 ourselves afresh, and put him to an open shame? (Heb. vi. 6.) Or shall we overlook him with slight and contempt, and hide our faces from him, who for our sake thus exposed his own ? (Isa. Jiii. 3.)

Let the caution even of this heathen judge, who feared, when 7, S he heard he so much as pretended to be the Son of God, engage us to reverence him, especially considering in how powerful a manner he has since been declared to be so; (Rom. i. 4.) us in this sense have nothing to do with the blood of this just Per- xxvii. 10 son.—Let his example teach us patiently to submit to those sufferings which God shall appoint for us, remembering that no ene. mies, and no calamities we meet with, could have any power John against us, except it were given them from above.

xix. 11 Ilow wisely was it ordered by Divine Providence that Pilate should be obliged thus to acquit Christ, even while he condemned Mat. him; and to speak of him as a righteous person, in the same breath xxvii. with which he doomed him to the death of the most flagitious 24, 26 malefactor! And how lamentably does the power of worldly interest over conscience appear, when, after all the convictions of his own mind, as well as the admonitions of his wife, he yet gave him up to popular fury. ( Pilate, how gloriously badst thou Luke

xxiii. fallen in the defence of the Son of God! and how justly did God

21, 25 afterwards leave thee to perish by the resentment of that people whom thou wast now so studious to obliges!

Who can without trembling read that dreadful imprecation, May his blood be on us, and on our children! Words which, even to this day, bare their remarkable and terrible accomplishment xxvi. 25 in that curse, which has pursued the Jews through seventeen hundred years. Lord, may it at length be averted, and even turned into a blessing ! May they look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn, till all the obstinacy of their hearts be subdued: till they

bow

Mat.

s Leave thee to perish, &c.) Josephus his own sword. Agrippa, who was an ( Antiq. lib. xviii. cap. 4 [al. 5), 91, 2) eye-witness to many of his enormities, expressly assures us

us that Pilate, having slain speaks of him in his oration to Caius Cæsar a considerable number of seditious Samari as one who had been a man of a most intans, was deposed from his government by famous character (Philo. Jud. in Leg. Vitellius, and sent to Tiberius at Rome, p. 1034); and by that manner of speakwho died before he arrived there. And ing, as Valesius well observes, it is plainly Eusebius tells us (Hist. Eccles. lib. ii. cap. intimated he was then dead. Probably the 7), that quickly after having, as others accusations of other Jews following him, say, been banished to Vienne in Gaul) he had before that proved his destruction. laid violent hands upon himself, falling on

a They

400 Jesus taken to be crucified with two malefactors; RECT: bow down in glad submission to that King whom God has set on

his holy hill, and thus are brought themselves to reign with him in everlasting honour and joy!

clxxxviii.

SECT. CLXXXIX.

Jesus, being delivered up by Pilate to the rage of the people, bears

his cross to Calvary, and is there nailed to it. Mat. XXVII. 32—34, 38. Mark XV. 21-23, 25, 27, 28. Luke XXIII. 26–34.---John XIX. 16-18.

SECT.

sus,

Luke

And there were also

JOHN XIX.-16.

JOHN XIX.-16. clxxxix.

OW after Pilate had passed sentence upon AND they took ļCNOW

and led him Jesus, to satisfy the restless clamour of the

away.
John Jews, and bad delivered him to the soldiers to
XIX. 16 be crucified, his prosecutors, having gained their

point, bastened his execution; and having in-
sulted and abused bim (as was said before), they
took Jesus, and led him away to that terrible
punishment

And, to expose him to the greater ignominy LUKE XXIII. 32. XXIII.

and reproach, and to prejudice the people more 32

two other malcractors strongly against him, there were also two other lcd with him, to be put [men, who were] condemned to die upon the to death. cross for a robbery, and were well known to be great malefactors, that were led out of Jerusalem with him, to be e.recuted at the same time; that in such company he might be thought to suffer

for the worst of crimes. John And Jesus, thus attended as a criminal, was John XIX. 17. And xix. 17 led through the city, carrying a heavy part of he bearing his cross,

his cross on his shoulders, according to the cus- called the place of a tom of those who were to be crucified: and in

scull, this manner he went out of the city to a place which lay on the western side of Jerusalem, but a little without the boundaries of it', which

WUS

a They took Jesus and led him away.] It terrupt the important story of Christ's pasis evident this text is parallel to Mat. xxvii. sion; and I more easily allow myseli' to do --31, and Mark xv.–20. Put I bave it, berau e probably the very same consihere, as in some other instances of two or deration engagcil Matthew a little to antimore parailel passages, put one at the con- cipate it. Let it only here be observel, clusion of a former section, and the other at that the death of this traitor seems to bave the beginning of the next, for a better con- happened before that of his Master: so nection.--I mav also add that this seems to speed.ly did the Divinc vengeance pursue me the exact place of Mt. xxvi. 3---10, his aggravated crime. in which the erangelist relates the tragical b Carrying a zry part of his cross, end of Judas; but I hope I shall be indulg- went out of the city, c.) Dr. Lartner ed in transposing it, paitly that I may pre- bas abundantly pro cd, from many quotascrre a better proportion in the ength of lions, that it was customary not only for the sections, and chiefly that I may not in the Jews (Numb. xv. 35. 1 Kings xxi. 13.

Acts

SECT.

xix. 17.

And bearing his cross, is led away to Golgotha.

401 scull, which is called was called in the Hebrew language Golgotha, in the Hebrew, Golgotha.

[or] the place of a scull; because the bodies of clxxxix. many criminals, having been executed on that

John little eminence, were buried there. LUKE XXIII. 26. And as they led him on, Jesus was now so faint Luke And as they led him with the loss of blood, so very sore with the XX111.

26 mun of Cyrene, Simon lashes and bruises he had received, and so fahy naine,] [Mark, tigued with the load of such a large piece of timthe father of Alex- ber, that he was not able to proceed so fast as passed by, coming out they desired, especially considering how little of the country, and] time they had before them to finish their work. they laid hold on him; And as he was advancing slowly to the place of [anıl him they compelled to bear his execution, they met on the road a poor African, cross) and on bim who was a native of Cyrene, named Simon, the they laid the

cross, father of Alerander and Rufus, who afterwards
that he might bear it
after Jesus. [M47. became Christians, and were of some note in
XXVII. 32. Mark the church: this Simon at that time was passing
XV. 21.)

by, as he came out of the country to Jerusalem;
[and] they immediately laid hold on [him] as
one fit for their purpose, finding him a strong
man, and it may be suspecting that he was a
favourer of Jesus; [and] pretending that the
authority of the Roman governor impowered
them to press any they met for this service, they
compelled him to carry at least one end of his
cross, and accordingly on him they laid the cross,

that he might carry it after Jesus. 27 And there fole

And a great multitude of people crowded after 27
lowed liim a great com- him to see the crucifixion; and particularly a
pany of people, and of considerable number of women, who had at-
tromen, si hich also be; tended his ministry with great delight, followed
Wailed and lamented
him.

hiin on this sad occasion; who were so tenderly
affected with the moving sight, that they not
only pitied him in their hearts, but also vented

their concern in tears, and bewailed and lamented
28 But Jesus turn- him in a very affectionate manner. But Jesus 28
ing unto them, said, turning to them, said, Alas, ye daughters of Je.
lem, «cep not for me, rusalem, weep not for me, who am willing to sub-
but weep for your- mit to all the sufferings appointed for me, as
selves, and for your what I know will issue in the salvation of my
children.

people, and in my exaltation to the highest
glory; but rather weep for yourselves, and for
your children, in consideration of the dreadful

judgments

Acts vii. 58), but also for the Sicilians, fastened; and which was called antenna,
Ephesians, and Romans, to execute their or furca, going cross the stipes, or upright
malefactors without the gates of their cities. beam, which was fixed in the earth. This
(See bis Credibility, part i. Vol. I. p. 354, the criminal used to carry, and therefore
355.) - What our Lor! carried, was not the was called furcifer. See Bishop Pearson
whole cross, but only that transverse piece of on the Creed, p. 203, 204.
mood to which his angs were afterwards

clxxxix.

Luke

402 The women weep for him, are bid to weep for themselves. SECT. judgments that these crimes will quickly bring

upon this wretched people, whose calamities

will be of much longer duration than mine. xxul. For, let it be remembered by you as my dying 29 For behold, the 29 words, behold the days are surely and quickly the which they shall

coming, and some of you may live to see them, say, Blessed are the in which the innocent blood which this people barren, and the wombs have inprecated upon themselves shall come

that never bare, and

the paps which nerer down upon their heads in so terrible a manner, gave suck. that they shall have reason to say, Happy [are] the barren women, and the wombs which never bare children, and the breasts that never suckled them: for as relations are multiplied, sorrows shall be multiplied with them, and parents shall see their children subject to all the miseries

which famine, and pestilence, and sword, and 30 captivity can bring upon them. Then shall they

30 Then shall they who are now triumphing in my death be trem- mountains, Fall on us;

begin to say to the bling with horror, in expectation of their own; and to the hills, Cover and, considering present calamities as the fore- us. runners of future, yet more intolerable miseries shall begin, in despair of the Divine mercy, to say to the mountains, Fall on us; and to the hills,

Cover us, from the more dreadful pressure of 31 God's wrath, which is kindled against us. For 31 For if they do if they do these things in the green wood, what these things in a green

tree, what shall be shall be done in the dry? If such agonies as these done in the dry fall upon me, who am not only an innocent person, but God's own Son, when I put myself in the stead of sinners, what will become of those wretches who can feel none of my supports and consolations, and whose personal guilt makes them as proper fuel for the Divine vengeance, as dry wood is to the consuming fire?

At length they arrived at the place of execu Mat. XXVII. 33. XXVII, tion: and when they were come thither, even to

And when they were 33 the place which (we before observed) was called called Golgotha, that

come to (the) place in Hebrew Golgotha, that is to say, the place of a is to say, [the] place of scull, a little without the city (on] mount Čal- a scull (Luke, or Calvary (which was the usúal place for executing Luke XXIII. 33. ] criminals, and seemed a proper spot of ground for the purpose, as on account of its eminence the malefactors crucified there might be seen at

a considerable distance, and by a great number 34 of spectators); They proceeded to the fatal 34 They gave him purpose for which they came: and as it was vinegar to driuk, min

gled customary to give to dying criminals a potion of strong wine mingled with spices, to cheer their spirits, and render them less sensible of their sufferings, the soldiers who attended him gave

him

Mat.

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