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Nor were outward and bodily afflictions the whole, or even the chief part of his sufferings. His soul was deeply acquainted with grief, and he agonized under the extremity of spiritual distress. If the anguish of soul endured by one convinced sinner be so great, what bounds can we imagine to his grief when the hand of God was pressing on him for the sin of millions ! My heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.
Ps. xxii. 14. He began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Matt. XXVI. 37. My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Matt. xxvi.
38. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me. Matt. xxvii. 46. He began to be sore amazed, and to be very heavy. Mark xiv. 33. His sweat was as it were great drops of blood. Luke xxii. 44.
Well might he address ungrateful sinners in the language which Jeremiah has put into the mouth of Jerusalem. Is it nothing to you all, ye that pass by ? Behold and see if
there be any sorrow like unto my sorrow. Lam. i. 12. The sufferings of Christ were perfectly voluntary. He could have had at any moment twelve legions of angels, amounting to 600,000, to his assistance; and one of those mighty beings was sufficient to destroy all the immense army of Sennacherib. But he so loved men, as to place himself for their sakes under the wrath of God; and suffered willingly, because he had pledged himself as our surety; that by his stripes we might be healed.
Do not say, like the Scribes and Pharisees, (Matt. xxiii. 30,) “If we had been in the days of our fathers, we would not have been partakers with them in his blood.” Every time we sin we are sharers in their guilt, for we "crucify the Son of God afresh, and put him to an open shame." Heb. vi. 6. What assurances have we that Christ really was dead? for
bodily death is part of the punishment of sin. Jesus-gave up the ghost. Mark xv. 37. Having said thus, he gave up the ghost. Luke xxiii. 46. I lay my life] down of myself. John X. 18. One of the soldiers pierced his side, and forthwith came there
out blood and water. John xix. 34. Christ our Passover is sacrificed for us. 1 Cor. v. 7. Christ died for our sins, according to the Scriptures :-was bu
ried and rose again the third day, according to the Scriptures.
1 Cor. xv. 3, 4. Our Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us. I Thess, v, 9, 10.
What happened at the time?
Various prodigies and signs took place. Matt. xxvii. 51-54. When does our Church commemorate the Crucifixion?
On Good Friday.
How solemn a season ought this to be with us! How deeply should we mourn those sins which crucified our Lord! Why did Christ suffer? [See note on the forgiveness of
sins.] To put away sin hy the sacrifice of himself. He hath made him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we
might be made the righteousness of God in him. 2 Cor. v. 21. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made
a curse for us. Gal. iii. 13. The Scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by
faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe. Gal. iii. 22. They that are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections
and lusts. Gal. v. 24. Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I
unto the world. Gal. vi. 14. Blotting out the hand-writing, &c.-nailing it to his cross. Col.
ii. 14. Christ hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that
he might bring us to God. 1 Pet. iii. 18. Mention some of the principal types of this offering up of
our Lord Jesus. The offering up of Isaac, Gen. xxii. compared with Rom.
viii. 32. The Paschal Lamb, Exod. xii. compared with John i. 29, and
1 Cor. v. 7. The Brazen Serpent, Num. xxi. 7.9, compared with Isa. xlv,
22, and John iii. 14, 15. What became of the body of Jesus after he was dead ?
It was buried honourably by night, by Joseph of Arimathea, who begged it of Pilate. Matt. xxvii. 57—60. Nicodemus also assisted at the interment. John xix. 39, 40. He made his grave with the rich. Isa. liii.
9. Those who were crucified by the Romans were generally exposed to the fowls of the air ; and a guard was set to prevent pitying friends from burying their bodies. Matt. xxvii. 65, 66. What next do we believe respecting Jesus Christ ?
That “he descended into hell."
1. The grave.
Out of the belly of hell cried I. Jon. ii. 2. 2. The place of departed spirits. (See note.] 3. The state of future torment. In hell he lift up his eyes, being in torments. Luke xvi. 23. Thou wilt not leave my soul in hell. Ps. xvi. 10. Acts ii. 27. Having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible
that he should be holden of it. Acts ii. 24. His soul was not left in hell, neither his flesh did see corruption.
Acts ii. 31.
lower parts the earth. Eph. iv. 9. Why did Christ thus descend into hell ? That through death he might destroy him that had the power
of death, that is the devil. Heb. ii. 14. Where was the soul of the Redeemer while his body remained
in the grave? In paradise, (Luke xxiii. 43,) where the souls of the righteous, separated from their bodies, remain till the day of resurrection. They will then have their perfect consummation and bliss both in body and soul” in the “ eternal and everlasting glory” of God. Let us so live that such may be our resurrection, and that we rise not to shame and everlasting contempt.
THE PLACE OF DEPARTED SPIRITS.
These words are from the American Prayer Book, in which the article of the Creed last considered, (he descended, &c.) are said to be "of the same meaning? with these : "he went into the place of departed spirits.” This being the sense in which this article is received by the Protestant Episcopal Church, it is desirable to add a few words for its further explanation.
In the original of the New Testament, there are two words which the translators of the English version render hell. These are gehenna and hades. The former of these always means the place of punishment, the latter " was among Greek authors used indifferently for the place of all departed souls, whether good or bad; and by it were meant the invisible regions where those spirits were lodged.” (Bishop Burnel.) We know that the souls of men after death are in a separate state, and must so continue until the resurrection. What that state is we do not know, except the general fact that the righteous enjoy happiness and the wicked misery, but neither so complete as they will be after the re-union of the soul and body. Our knowledge on this point being thus limited, we can. not follow our Lord into "the place of departed spirits,' and ascertain the precise manner in which his soul existed there, nor are we required to make the attempt. All that is designed by this article of the creed probably is, that Christ suffered death fully, not only in its effects upon the body, but the soul. That“ while his body was laid in a grave as ordinarily the bodies of dead men are, his soul was conveyed into such receptacles as the souls of other persons use to be." -Bishop Pearson on the Creed.
ON THE CREED.
§ 3. ON THE DIVINITY OF CHRIST. Jesus Christ has been considered as the Saviour, and as the Anointed of God; we must now consider him as the “ Only Son" of God, and as
« Our Lord ;” a part of our belief of such importance as to demand a distinct and separate discussion. What evidence have we that Jesus Christ is the only Son of
God ?* 1. We have the witness of men. Thou art Christ, the Son of the living God. Matt. xvi. 16. We beheld his glory, as of the only begotten of the Father.
John i, 14. The only begotten Son, &c. John i. 18. I saw and bare record that this is the Son of God. John i. 34. Nathaniel said, Thou art the Son of God. John 49. I believe that thou art the Christ, the Son of God. John xi. 27. I believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God. Acts viii. 37. God sent his only begotten Son into the world. 1 John iv. 9. We have a great High Priest, Jesus the Son of God. Heb. iv. 14.
2. We have the witness of Christ himself. Art thou the Son of the Blessed? and he said, I am.
Mark xiv. 61, 62. God gave his only begotten Son. John iii. 16. He that believeth not is condemned already, because he hath
not believed in the name of the only begotten Son of God.
John iii. 18. The Son of God--is he that talketh with thee. John ix. 35. 37. I said, I am the Son of God. John x. 36.
3. We have also the witness of God the Father. Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Ps. ii. 7. Acts
xiii. 33. Heb. i. 5; v.5. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased. Matt. iii.
17; xvii. 5. That holy thing shall be called the Son of God. Luke i. 35.
Jesus Christ is also our Lord. The Lord said unto my Lord, &c. Ps. cx. 1. Matt. xxii. 44. That every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.
Phil. ii. 11. Our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. iii. 18. Who is King of kings, and Lord of lords. 1 Tim. vi. 15. Rev.
xvii. 14; xix. 16. (See also John xiii. 13.]
Remember, that he that honoureth not the Son, honoureth not the Father which hath sent him. John v. 23. And think not to honour him with your lips, and call him Lord,
* See note at the end of the section, page 53.
Lord, while you do not the things which he commands you. Luke vi. 46. Join in the confession, Thou only art holy; thou only art the Lord; thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father;' and while you believe that Jesus is God, and has made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction, for the sins of the whole world, pray that you may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith that is in hi Acts xxvi. 18.
In order that our faith in him may be strengthened, let us examine the proofs of his Divinity.
It appears from many passages of the New Testament, that our Lord Jesus Christ directed both his disciples and the Jews to the Prophecies of the Old Testament as pointing out the Messiah to be such a character as they saw him to be. Luke xxiv. 25-27. 44-46. John v. 39. 46. And that the Apostles frequently referred to the Scriptures of the Old Testament for proofs of his Divinity. John i. 45. Acts iii. 22. 24; xüi. 27--30; xvii. 2, 3 ; xxvi. 22 ;
xxviii. 23. 1 Pet. i. 10, 11.
WITH Gen. 3. 15, Rom. 16, 20. Ps. 40. 6-8, Heb. 10. 1-14. 12. 1-3,
45. 6, 7,
1. 8, 9.
Applied by the
Eph. 4.7, 8. 14. 18, 19, Heb. 7. 1, 2.
John 2. 17. s Mal. 3. 1.
Matt. 27. 34.
Rev. 15. 4.
1 Cor. 10. 9.
Mark 14. 33. Exod. 17.7, 1 Cor. 10. 9.
Luke 1. 69. Lev. 16. 2, Heb. 4. 14. 16.
Heb. 1. 6.
102. 25, 26,
1. 10-12 24. 17, Rev. 22. 16.
106. 14, 1 Cor. 10. 9.
109. 4-20. Acts 1. 15-20. Deut. 18. 15-19, Acts 3. 22.
Matt. 22. 44. 1 Sam. 2. 10, 10. 38.
Heb. 1. 13. 2 Chron. 6. 18, 17. 24.
Mark 12. 10. Job 19. 25-27, Rev. 5. 9.
118. 22, 23,
Acts 4. 11.
Luke 1. 69, 70. 8, Heb. 2. 6-9. Prov. 8. 22. 31, John 1.1, 2.
30. 4, Ş Acts 2:31. 16. 10,
3. 13. . Cant. I. 4, and Matt. 27. 46. 22,
Isa. 7. 14,
Matt. 1. 23.
S Rom. 9. 33. 24. 7-10, Tit. 2. 13.
(1 Pet. 2. 7, 8.