Page images

evident, then, that Christ did actually gone through as great suffer those evils, which are the bodily sufferings, as Christ eneffect, which proceeded from and dured from the hands of men, were expressive of the wrath of not merely without amazement, God. And in this sense it may, I terror or distress of mind, but with propriety, be said, that he with unshaken fortitude, exulsuffered the wrath of God. tation and triumph. But in the Again, tot.

passages now recited, we find 3. It appears difficult, if not words made use of, relative to impossible, to account for the the state of Christ's human soul manner in which Christ was af- in the near prospect of his suffected, without admitting that he ferings, naturally expressive of had an enlarged view, and an great amazement and astonishextremely painful sense of the ment, and the most extreme anwrath of God against the sins of guish. From his own declara. men, for which he suffered. tion we learn, that his soul was

In the near prospect of his pressed with sorrow unto death sufferings, we are told, “ He be--a mortal, a deadly sorrow, gan to be sore amazed, and to be which would issue in his death: very heavy”_exdapebecclet si ado | We find, that although an anspot veñv.-to be greatly astonished gel was sent from heaven to or afrighted, as one that is thun- strengthen him, yet the agony derstruck, and extremely dis- of his mind was so extreme, as tressed. He therefore said, “My to force his blood through the soul is exceeding sorrowful un- pores of his body in such large to death”-Tlegimotos êws Favalo. quantities, that in great drops, The distress and anguish of his 1 it fell down to the ground. We soul was like the agonies of death, find that these things took place, and such as would issue in it, before his bodily sufferings such as would kill him. Mark from the hands of men began, xiv. 33, 34. After thas declar- and even before he was appreing his mortal sorrow, he with hended and taken into custody drew a small distance from his by his enemies. Now is it pose disciples, and prayed his Father, sible to account for the unparthough with perfect resignation, alleled sufferings and agony to remove that cup from him. of Christ's soul, without admit. Whereupon, as we are inform- ting the influence of some exed by Luke, “ There appeared traordinary and peculiarly powan angel unto him from heaven, erful cause ? The view and prosstrengthening him. And being pect of the bodily pains and in an agony, he prayed more ear-death, which he was about to nestly : and his sweat was as it undergo; do not appear to be a were great drops of blood falling cause sufficient for the producdown to the ground.” So great tion of such amazement and was the agony, the distress and extreme distress and anguish of anguish of his soul, that his blood soul : because mere men have was pressed' tlirough the pores endured not only the near prosof his body.

pect, but even the reality, of as Many Christian martyrs have great corporeal or bodily suffernot only expected, but, so far as ings, without any such-like concould be visible to men, have I sternation and distress of mind

without such sorrow in their , bare thought, or certain prossouls. How then, can we ac- pect, of being mocked and count for the manner in which scourged and spit upon and cruChrist's soul was affected, and cified by men, could produce that even before his bodily suf such unparalleled distress and ferings began, without admitting agony, and mortal sorrow, in that God did, in some way or the perfectly holy soul of the other, excite in his human soul Son of God, whilst conscious of à most distressing and overbear- and sensibly enjoying the aping sensation of his great dis- probation and complacency of pleasure and dreadful wrath his father and his God ?-espe.

against sin ? If nothing of this cially when it is remembered • kind took place, the unparallel that as great corporeal sufferings

ed distress and agony of his have, produced no such-like efsoul must be supposed to have fects in the souls of mere men ? been the effect of a view of the Such a supposition seems irrareproach and pains and bodily tional. I am constrained to death, which he was soon to un- | think that the unparalleled agony dergo. If he had no distressing of Christ's human soul was sensation of God's wrath against caused by the wrath of God sin, it seems as though his suf- by such an overbearing sense ferings must have consisted of his dreadful wrath, as no merely in the reproach and mere man ever experienced. bodily pains which he endured, Nor do I see that this is incontogether with such distress of sistent with his being at the mind as these might occasion same instant the object of his or produce.

Father's approbation and de'To say, that the dreadful ago- light, and believing himself to ny of Christ's soul, consisted in be se. For he knew that the or proceeded from his great divine wrath, of which he had anxiety and concern about the such a dreadful sensation, was success and issue of his under-caused, not by any thing which taking, is by no means satisfac- he had done, but, by the sins of tory ; as it does not appear men, for whom he gave himself agreeable to the plain account, an offering and a sacrifice. given by the evangelist, of the To the chief priests, captains object of his prayer at that time. and elders, who came to appreHis prayer was, that if it were hend him, Christ said, “ Be ye possible, if it were consistent come out as against a thief, with with the will of his Father, that swords and staves ? When I cup might be removed from was daily with you in the temhim. It is evident then, that ple, ye stretched forth no hands the cup which the Father had against me : but this is your given him to drink, the suffer-hour, and the power of darkings to which he delivered him ness"-plainly intimating, that up, were the things which filled he had not appeared like one his soul with sorrow unto death, afraid of being apprehended and and threw him into such an ag- punished for any crime that he ony as produced that surprising had appeared openly in the tembloody sweat. But can it be ple from day to day, and therereasonably supposed, that the by given them sufficient opportunity to have taken him if and left him in their power, to they had been disposed for it, mock, to scourge, and to crucify or had not been restrained by him. He now neglected to insome invisible influence that terpose and rescue him, as the set time for his sufferings though he had forsaken and had not before come, and there- abandoned him. Nor do I see fore they were not permitted to any inconsistency in the supposeize upon him ; but that the sition, that God at the same time time was now come, and there withheld from his human soul fore God no longer restrained the comfortable and cheering them, but withheld the restraints discoveries and manifestations they had before been under, and of his special delight in him. permitted them with the power | Though the Father was with of darkness, or under the influ- | him to help him, so that he ence of that power, to proceed might successfully finish what to execute their wicked and cru- he had undertaken ; yet he was el designs that God now left not with him as a deliverer, to him in their hands.

rescue him from his enemies All the preceding part of and prevent his death. In this Christ's life, his enemies had respect he forsook him, accordo been prevented from executing ing to the import of those words their cruel designs upon him.- long before spoken by David his His heavenly Father had con- i type and in his name," My stantly guarded and defended God, my God, why hast thou him. Even when his life was forsaken me? why art thou 80 sought by Herod in his early far from helping me, and from childhood, by the express order the words of my roaring ?" of God, he was carried into | Psalm xxii. 1. Egypt. But now the set time Now since Christ was a difor his becoming an offering and vine person, of greater dignity a sacrifice being come, instead and worth than the whole crea. of being preserved, as before, tion; and since all that he suffrom the will and power of his fered he suffered for the sins of enemies, he was by God's deter- men ; it is plain that God by minate counsel delivered into treating him and forsaking him, their hands, and left in their in the manner above described, power, to mock, to scourge, and manifested and expressed great to crucify to do what God's displeasure and wrath against the hand and counsel had determin- sins of mankind. And since these ed before to be done. In this terrible sufferings, which prorespect he was now forsaken by ceeded from, and were expreshis God, and continued to be sions and effects of God's wrath, thus forsaken by him, till he ex-fell upon Christ, it is natural to pired on the cross. Though his conclude, that thereby was excit. Father was with him, to support ed in his human soul such an his human soul under his dread awful view, such an overbearing ful sufferings, and to enable him and excruciating sensation of to become perfectly obedient, the dreadful wrath of God, as even unto death; yet, as a right- no mere creature ever experieous Judge, he delivered him enced. . into the hands of his enemies, Some seem to think there is

[ocr errors]

an inconsistency in supposing,

Q. and R. that Christ had any distressing sensation of the wrath of God,

DIALOGUE. since it is certain,' that God was on the question, Whether Christ always well-pleased with him, is more friendly to sinners, than and he himself knew, that he . God the Father ? was doing the will of God by dying on the cross. But I do Q. CIR, do the scriptures afnot see, that God's impressing N ford any just ground for on the human soul of Christ a the opinion, that Christ is more most distressing sense of his friendly to the salvation of sin. dreadful wrath against the sins ners, than God the Father ? of men, is any more inconsist 1 R. Rightly viewed, they do ent with his perfect love to and not. Yet an idea or feeling of delight in him, than his deliver- this kind, may probably have ing up his body to the excruci- been sometimes occasioned, by ating pains of the cross is incon- partial views of what the scrip. sistent therewith. But the lat. tures exhibit, of the different ter we know he has done, and characters or offices which the that too, to manifest his displea- | Father and the Son sustain, and sure against sin : why then the different parts which they should we make any difficulty have to act, for the consistent in believing the former, espe- | accomplishment of the great bu. cially as it appears otherwise siness of man's redemption and impossible to account for the salvation. manner in which he was affect- Q. Will you be more expli. ed, and the words and expres- cit, and more particularly explain sions which he himself uttered ? | what you have now suggested ?

4. If Christ suffered the R. To effect the great and im. wrath of God, as explained un- portant object of man's salvation, der the foregoing particulars, in a way consistent with the honthen, if we do not lose sight of or of God and the best good of the infinite dignity, worth and his moral kingdom, the scripimportance of the person of the tures exhibit God in the person sufferer, I think there will be of the Father, as sustaining the no difficulty in conceiving, that character and acting in the propGod's infinite displeasure against er form of God, to assert and sin, and other things in connec. stand for the rights of the Godtion therewith, are as fully man head to see to it, that the auifested and rendered as unex. thority of the divine law, and the ceptionably evident, as the pun-honor and energy of the divine ishment of sinners would have government, are properly mainmade them, in case there had tained and fully supported, and been no atonement. And con- sin properly discountenanced and sequently, the purposes design-condemned, and the divine dised to have been answered by the pleasure against it clearly ex. punishment of sinners, are as pressed by some substitute for effectually answered by the suf- | the penalty of the law, which ferings of Christ; to be sure, will as effectually answer these in regard to all those who cordi- | purposes, as the execution of ally believe in him..

I the curse on the transgressors (To be continued.)

themselves. The Father is ex. Son were originally very differhibited as requiring and accept- ently affected towards them-as ing satisfaction or an atonement though the Father was their enfor sin, made by the sufferings, emy, whilst the Son had the of Christ, and a righteousness most friendly and compassionate wrought by his perfect obedience feelings towards them, and interin our behalf. And God, in the posed, by his obedience and sufperson of the Son, is exhibited ferings in their stead, to soften as interposing as a Mediator be- the severity of his Father's distween God and sinful men, to position towards them, to apbring about a reconciliation ; and pease his wrath, and procure for for this purpose, as assuming them pardon, peace and happithe human nature, taking on him ness. And hence, again, some the form of a servant, and ap- probably think that they are pearing in the likeness of men, pleased with the character of and obeying and suffering, to Christ, and really love him, make an atonement for our sins, whilst they feel no delight or saand bring in everlasting right-tisfaction in God, or are even eousness for our justification; conscious, that they have no real and in consequence of his every love to him ; but that their hearts way sufficient and perfectly ac- are rather inclined to rise against ceptable obedience and sacrifice, | him. as exalted in heaven, and appear | Q. Are not these and such- . ing in the presence of God as like ideas, thoughts and feelings, an advocate with the Father, not only erroneous, but also of and vested with full powers to hurtful or dangerous tendency? complete the redemption and sal 1 R. To me it appears clear vation of men, for which he laid that they are so. God the Faa foundation by his obedience ther has the same good will tounto death. He is therefore pre wards men with God the Son. sented to view, in the endearing | Thoşe, in some sense, different character of a Mediator, Re- views, which the scriptures exdeemer and Saviour, and of an hibit, of the Father and the Son, advocate and intercessor for us, are owing to the different offiwho hath so loved us, as to shed ces they respectively hold, and his blood, to lay down his life, for the different parts they have to us-to give himself for us an act, in the great affair of man's offering and a sacrifice to God salvation ; and not to any differfor a sweet smelling savor. Andence of disposition, feeling, or the Father, as being so well affection, originally, in the Fapleased and satisfied with his ther and the Son, towards sin obedience and sufferings, that in and sinners. And whilst the consideration thereof, he freely Father is exhibited, as supportforgives and saves all those who ing the rights of the Godhead, believe, in him. Hence, it is and the honor and authority of probable, that sinful men, some the divine law and government, times at least, not duly regard- and hating and punishing sin ; ing the whole representation con- and the Son, as the compassiontained in the scriptures, take up ate Redeemer and Saviour of an idea, and indulge a feeling, sinners, at the amazing expense as though the Father and the of his own obedience and blood;

« PreviousContinue »