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sheep before the shearer is dumb, so he opened not his mouth') -His charitable praying for his persecutors ; so that may be understood, ("He made intercession for the transgressors')The consequence and success of his sufferings; ( He shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord shall prosper in his hand. He shall see of the travail of his soul, and shall be satisfied: by his knowlege shall my. righteous servant justify many;' and, “I will divide him a portion with the great, and be shall divide the spoil with the strong.') Which passages as they most exactly suit to Jesus, and might in a manner constitute an historical narration of what he did endure, together with the opinions taught in the gospel concerning the intent and effect of his sufferings; so that they did (according to the intention of the Divine Spirit) relate to the Messias, may from several considerations be apparent; the context and coherence of all this
pas. sage with the preceding and subsequent passage, which: plainly respect the Messias, and his times : How beautiful on the mountains are the feet of him that bringeth good tidings!' and, Behold, my servant shall deal prudently,' &c. are passages immediately going before, of which this 53rd chapter is but a continuation ; and immediately after it followeth, Sing, O barren, thou that didst not bear,' &c. being a very elegant and perspicuous description of the church augmented by accession of the Gentiles, which was to be brought to pass by the Messias. The general scope of this whole prophecy argues the same; and the incongruity of this particular prediction to any other person imaginable beside the Messias doth farther evince it; so high are the things which are attributed to the suffering person; as that he should bear the sins' of all God's people, and heal them; that he should by his knowlege justify many;' that the pleasure of the Lord should prosper in his hand ;' that God would • divide him a portion with the great, and that he should divide the spoil with the strong;' the magnificency and importance of which things do well agree to the Messias, but not to any other person : whence if the ancient Jews had reason to believe a Messias, they had as much reason to apply this place to him as any other, and to acknowlege he was to be a great sufferer; and indeed divers
of the ancient Targumists and most learned Rabbins did expound this place of the one Messias that was to come, as the Pugio Fidei and other learned writers do by several testimonies show. This place also discovers the vanity of that figment devised by some later Jews, who, to evade and oppose Jesus, affirmed there was to be a double Messias, (one who should be much afflicted, the other who should greatly prosper,) since we may observe that here both great afflictions and glorious performances are ascribed to the same person.
The same things are also by parts clearly predicted in other places of this prophet, and in other Scriptures : by Isaiah again in the chapter immediately foregoing; · Behold,' saith he,'my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high,' (there is God's servant (he that is in way of excellency such, that is, in this prophet's style, the Messias) in his real glorious capacity ; it follows concerning his external appearance,)' his visage was so marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men :' and again, in the 49th chapter, · Thus saith the Lord, the Redeemer of Israel, and his Holy One ; To him whom man despiseth, to him whom the nation abhorreth, to a servant of rulers, kings shall see and arise, princes also shall worship.' What can be more express
and clear, than that the Messias, who should subject the world, with its sovereign powers, to the acknowlegement and adoration of himself, was to be despised by men, to be detested by the Jews, and to appear in a servile and base condition? The same prophet again brings him in speaking thus: 'I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair! I hid not my face from shame and spitting.' His offending the Jews and aggravating their sins is also expressed by this same prophet; · And,' saith he, he shall be for a sanctuary ; but for a stone of stumbling, and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel; for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. The opposition also he should receive is signified in the second Psalm; · The kings of the earth set themselves, and the rulers take counsel together against the Lord, and against his anointed. The prophet Zechariah doth also in several places very roundly express his sufferings : his low condition in those words ; · Behold, thy King cometh unto thee
lowly, (pauper,) and riding on an ass :' his manner of death in those ; 'Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of hosts; smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered :' and again ; • I will pour on the house of David, and on the inhabitants of Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of supplications ; and they shall look on me, whom they have pierced, and they shall mourn,' &e. The prophet Daniel also in that place, from which probably the name Messias was taken, and which most expressly mentions him, saith, that after threescore and two weeks the Messias shall be cut off, but not for himself. Now from these passages of Scripture we may well say with our Lord; “Ori oŰTW γέγραπται, και ούτως έδει παθείν τον Χριστόν: - That thus it was written,' and thus, according to the prophet's foretelling, it was to happen, that the '• Messias should suffer;' suffer in a life of penury and contempt, in a death of shame and sorrow.
That it was to be thus might also be inferred by reasons grounded on the qualities of the Messias's person, and the nature of his performances, such as they are described in the Scripture. He was to be really and to appear plainly a person of most admirable virtue and good worth ; but never was there or can be any such, (as even Pagan philosophers, Plato, Seneca, and others, have observed) without undergoing the trial of great affliction. He was to be an universal pattern to men of all sorts, (especially to the greatest part, that is, to the poor,) of all righteousness; to exemplify particalarly the most difficult pieces of duty, (humility, patience, meekness, charity, self-denial, intire resignation to God's will ;) this he should not have opportunity or advantage of doing, if his condition bad been high, wealthy, splendid, and prosperous. He was to exercise pity and sympathy towards all mankind; the which to do it was requisite he should feel the inconveniences and ries incident to mankind. He was to advance the repute of spiritual and eternal goods; and to depress the value of those corporeal and temporal things which men vainly admire; the most ready and compendious way of doing this was by an exemplary neglecting and refusing worldly enjoyments, (the honors, profits, and pleasures here.) He was by gentle and peaceable
means to erect a spiritual kingdom, to subdue the hearts and consciences of men to the love and obedience of God, to raise in men the hopes of future rewards and blessings in heaven; to the accomplishment of which purposes temporal glory had been rather prejudicial than conducible. He was to manage his great designs by means supernatural and divine, the which would be more conspicuous by the visible meanness and impotency of his state. He was to merit most highly from God for himself and for all men; this he could not do so well as in enduring for God's sake and ours the hardest things. He was to save men, and consequently to appease God's wràth and satisfy his justice by the expiation of our sins; this required that he should suffer what we had deserved. But reasons of this kind I partly before touched, and shall hereafter have occasion to pros
cute more fully in treating on the article of our Saviour's passion.
Now that Jesus (our Lord) did most thoroughly correspond to whatever is in this kind declared concerning the Messias, we need not by relating minutely the known history of his life and death make out farther ; since the whole matter is 'palpably notorious, and no adversary will deny it. I conclude this point with St. Peter's words, (for the illustration and proof of which this discourse hath been made ;) · But those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all bis prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled.'
SUMMARY OF SERMON XX,
JOHN, CHAP. V.-VERSE 37.
Our Lord, here and in the context, affirms that Almighty God his Father had granted him several kinds of extraordinary attestation, sufficient to convince all well-disposed persons that he truly was the predicted Messias : it is now intended to represent those several ways of divine attestation, &c. · But first some reasons are assigned why it was requisite that they should be afforded to our Lord.
1. The nature of the Messias's office required such attestations. So high and eminent was it; so new, strange, and important was his revelation ; that the excellency of his doctrine, the sanctity of his life, the wisdom of his discourse, &c. would not have been enough to produce faith and submission : this topic enlarged on and explained.
2. The effects which he was to produce required such. So great were the exploits he was to achieve. agaiņst sin and Satan, that they could not have been encountered without remarkable testimonies of the divine presence, especial aids of the divine power, and large influences of the divine Spirit : this enlarged on.
3. We may farther consider that the Christ was designed to present himself first to the Jews, that is, to a people wholly addicted to this sort of proof, and incapable of conviction by any other : they did not, as did the Greeks, seek wisdom, but required a sign.
4. It was agreeable to God's usual method of proceeding in