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avert the Anger of the LORD, who had punish'd the Land with a famine of three years, it is probable, it was attended with a Vow, that the Bodies of Saul's Sons fhould continue hanging on their Croffes until God should fhew he was appeas'd, by fending Rain; The Want of which, in all likelyhood, had been the Occasion of the Famine.'

All these Instances are of an arbitrary Kind, and not in Execution of Judgment according to Law. Of these we have, I think I may say, two. One, by a Sentence of God himself; the other, of the Great Council, or Senate. The firft was, when Ifrael joined himself unto Baal Peor, and the Numb. anger of the LORD was kindled against Ifrael; The LORD Jaid unto Mofes, Take all the heads (Chiefs) of the people, and hang them up before the LORD (the Tabernacle) against the Sun; that the fierce anger of the LORD may be turned away from Ifrael.

The other was exemplified in our LORD and Saviour JESUS CHRIST; who, as the Gospels tell us, was condem'd by the Council, to Death; and accordingly, crucified; by the Permiffion of Pilate, the RoDd4.


XXV. 7.4.



man Governor. It is faid that, prevail'd on by their outrageous Importunity, He delivered JESUS to their will: otherwise, as to his own Inclination, and Judgment of Acts. iii. the Matter, he was determined to let bim go. The Jews, therefore, having treated him with Variety of Infults and Indignities, John xix. led him away to be crucified. And be, bearing his cross, as far as his fatigued, and now well-nigh exhausted Spirits could support him under it, went forth, without the City, toward the Place of Execution; which was call'd, by the Jews, Golgotha, by the Romans, Calvary; from the Skulls of those who were executed, by Decollation; and might poffibly, fome of them, lie there unburied. However, after they were got without the Gates, because they perceiv'd how utterly unqualified He was for bearing fo great a Burden, they laid hold of one Simon a Cyrenian, who was providentially thrown in their way; and then, on him they laid the cross, or, at leaft, the hinder Part of it, that he might bear it after JESUS.


xxiii. 26.

There were alfo two other, malefactors condemn'd for Robbery, led with him, tobe put

put to death. So the fcripture was fulfilled, which faith, And he was numbered with the Ifaiah liii. tranfgreffors. And, when they were come to 12. the place, there they crucified Him and the malefactors; one, on the right hand, and the other on the left. With an Infcription, upon the Cross, in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin; JESUS OF NAZARETH KING OF THE JEW S. This the Chief Priests took Offence at; and therefore they defir'd Pilate, not to write THE KING OF THE JEWS, abfolutely, but that, HE SAID, I AM THE KING OF THE JEWS. Pilate anfwer'd, peremptorily, What I have written, I have written. And this was about the third hour, or nine o' Clock in the Morning. Then faid JESUS, Father forgive them, for they know not what they do. And Chrift feeing his mother, and the dif- John xix. ciple, ftanding by, whom he loved, he faith unto his mother, Woman behold thy fon; and to the difciple, Behold thy, mother. And, from that hour, that difciple took her unto his own home.

But here again he was infulted, and upbraided most cruelly; both by the foldiers, who had parted his garments among themJelves,


felves, by cafting lots; by the Chief Priests and Elders and Scribes, and others of his Enemies who were the Spectators of his Mifery; nay by the very Thieves, who were crucified with him. Though, such an execrable Impiety in the Behaviour of Perfons just going out of this World, into an uncertain State of Happiness or Mifery, appear'd extreamly shocking, even to one of themselves; fo that, (probably after a little serious Recollection) he chang'd his Note; and feeing the mild Refignation of JESUS, and comparing it with what he had heard, and perhaps known, of his former Character, he began to believe hẹ was indeed the Meffiah, whofe Kingdom was to be, of another World, and not of this. While therefore his Companion continued to rail on him, and was ironically faying, If thou be CHRIST, fave thy felf and us; this other rebuked him for his horrid Infolence, faying, Doft thou xxiii. 39, not fear God, feeing thou art, in the fame condemnation? And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our deeds: But this man hath done nothing mifs. And he faid unto JESUS, LORD




remember me, when thou comeft into thy kingdom. And JESUS faid unto him, Verily I fay unto thee, To day fhalt thou be with me in paradise.

This feems to have been about the fixth Hour, or twelve o' Clock at Noon; when, we read, the fun was darken'd, and that there was a darkness over all the earth, until the ninth hour, or three a Clock. At which Time, it is faid, He cried out, with a loud Voice, in the Words of the Pfalmift, My God, my God, why haft thou Pfalm. for faken me!

And then, JESUS knowing that all things were now accomplish'd, (that he had fulfilled all the other Scriptures which related to him) that this might be fulfilled alfo, faith, I thirft. Now, upon thefe Occafions, they ufually had a Veffel full of Vinegar, with which they mingled Gall, or Myrrh, or Hyffop, or fome fuch bitter Ingredient, and gave it to the Malefactors, when the Extremity of Pain made them thirsty, in order to aggravate their Torment. When therefore they had fill'd a Sponge, with fome of this disagreeable 1 Mixture, they put it upon a reed, and lifted

xxii. I.

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