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the truth of all the types, the accomplishment of all the predictions of the ancient dispensation, respecting the Messiah. In fact, on what state or period of the Old Testament church can we throw our eyes, without discovering images of a dying Jesus, and traces of the sacrifice which he offered up?
If we resort to the origin of all our woes, there also we find the remedy. You will discover that Adam had no sooner by transgression fallen, than God promised him a seed, whose heel the seed of the serpent should bruise, but who, in that very act of suffering, should bruise the serpent's head, Gen, iii. 15. You will find this same promise repeated to Abraham ; that seed announced anew to
l the patriarchs; and, taking St. Paul for your instructor, you will discover that this seed is Jesus Christ, Gal. iii. 16.
If you contemplate the temporal wonders which God was pleased to work in favor of the Jewish nation, you will discover every where in them an adumbration of the spiritual blessings which the death of Jesus Christ was to procure for the church. You will there see the blood of a lamb on the doors of the Israelites. It was the shadow of that Lamb without blemish and without spat, fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, 1. Pet. i. 19, 20. You will there behold a rock, which, when smitten, emitted a stream sufficient to quench the thirst of a great
a great people. This was a shadow of Jesus Christ. St. Paul tells us that it was Christ himself, who refreshes us with living water, springing up into everlasting life, 1 Cor. X. 4. and John iv. 14. You will there behold a serpent lifted up, the sight of which healed 'the deadly wounds of the Israelites. It was a shadow of him who was to be lifted up on the cross.
If you look into the Levitical worship, you will perceive through the whole of it, types of his death: a perpetual sacrifice : the type of bim whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through fuith in his blood, Rom. jji. 25. You will there behold victims, the types of him who, through the eternal Spirit, offered himself without spot to God, to purge the conscience from the dead works, to serve the living God, Heb. ix. 14. a scape-goat, bearing on his head all the iniquities of the children of Israel, Lev. xvi. 21. The type of him who suffered for us without the gate, Heb. xiii. 13.
If you run over the predictions of the prophets, you will find them, as with one mouth, announcing the death of Jesus Christ. Now it is Isaiah who lifts up his voice, saying: He is despised and rejected of men; a man of sorrows ....who made his soul an offering for sin .... who is brought as á lamb to the slaughter ; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he openeth not his mouth .... who was oppressed, and was afflicted .. who was cut off out of the land of the living, chap. liii. S, &c. Now it is Daniel who holds up the same object : Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself, chap. ix. 26. Now Zacharias takes up the subject, and under the influence of prophetic inspiration, gives animation to the sword of the Lord of Hosts : Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man who is my fellow : smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, chap. xiii. 7. Now the prophetic David, minutely describing his sufferings, in such affecting terms as these: My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? Why art thou so far from helping me, and from the words of my roaring? O my God, I cry in the day time, but thou hearest not ;
and in the night season, and am not silent : .... I am a worm and no man ; a reproach of men, and despised of the people : all they that see me laugh me to scorn : they shout out the lip, and shake the head, Psa. xxii. 1, 2, 6, 7, and, in another place : Save me, O God, for the waters are come in unto my soul : I sink in deep mire, wh re there is no standing : I am come into deep waters, where the flood overflow me: I am weary of my crying : my throat is dried: mine eyes fail while I wait for my God .... for thy sake I have borne reproach, shame hath covered my face ... Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness : and I looked for some to take pity, but there was none : and for comforters, but I found none : they gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink, Psa. Ixix. 1, 2, &c.
Such good reason have we to consider the death of Jesus Christ under this second idea: it is in our text. The Saviour appropriates to himself the prediction in the twenty-second psalm : My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And, in order that the scripture might be fulfilled, he gives occasion to his executioners to present him with vinegar, which preceded his expiring exclamation, It is finished, as it is related by another of the evangelists.
3. The death of Jesus Christ is, on the part of the Jews, an atrocious crime, which has roused the indignation of heaven, and armed universal nature against them. But where shall we find colors black enough to depict it? Here the most ardent efforts of the imagination must fall far below the reality, and the most lively images come short of truth.
Supposing we possessed the faculty of collecting, rifto one point of view, all that was gentle in the address of Jesus Christ, all that was fervent in his piety, humble in his deportment, pure in his conduct; supposing us capable of making an enumeration of all the benefits which he accumulated on the heads of those monsters of ingratitude ; the gracious exhortations which he addressed to them; the miracles of goodness which he performed among them, in healing the sick, and raising the dead : supposing we could display to you those malignant calumnies with which they loaded him, those abominable and repeated falsehoods, those cruel and remorseless importunities for permission to put him to death, worthy of the severest execration had they been employed even against the most detestable of mankind : could we represent to you all that was barbarous and inhuman in the punishment of the cross : by telling you that it was a huge stake, crossed by another piece of wood, to which they bound the body of the person condemned to terminate his life upon it; that the two arms were stretched out upon the cross beam, and nailed, as well as both the feet, to the tree, so that the body of the sufferer, sinking with its own weight, and suspended by its nerves, was speedily reduced to one vast wound, till the violence and slowness of the torment at length delivered him, and the blood drained off drop by drop, thus exhausted the stream of life: supposing us to have detailed all the ignominious circumstances which accompanied the death of Christ : that crown of thorns, that purple robe, that ridiculous sceptre, that wagging of the head, those insulting defiances to save himself, as he had saved others-supposing, I say, all this could be collected into one point of view, we should still believe that he had conveyed to you ideas much too feeble, of the criminality of the Jews.
Nature convulsed, and the elements confounded, shall supply our defects, and serve, this day, as so many preachers. The prodigies which signalized the death of Jesus Christ, shall persuade more powerfully than all the figures of rhetoric. The darkness which covers the earth, the vail of the temple rent in twain, that trembling which had seized the solid globe, those rocks cleft asunder, those yawning graves, those reviving dead, they, they are the pathetic orators who reproach the Jews with the atrocity of their guilt, and who denounce their impending destruction. shrowds himself in the shades of night, as unable to behold this accursed parracide; and what courtly poets said in adulation, namely, that the orb of day clothed himself in mourning, when Julius Cesar was assassinated in the senate-house, was here realized under special direction of divine Providence. The vail of the temple is rent asunder, as on a day of lamentation and woe. The earth trembles, as refusing to support the wretches, whose sacrilegious hands were attacking the life of him who fastened the foundations thereof, Job xxxviii
. 6. and founded it upon its bases, Psa. civ. 5. The rocks cleave, as if to reprove the Jews for the hardness of their hearts. The dead start from their tombs, as coming to condemn the rage of the living.
4. The death of Jesus Christ is a system of morality, in which every virtue is clearly traced. If the divine justice be an object of fear, where is it more powerfully inculcated than on the cross of Jesus Christ ? How very terrible does that justice there appear! It goes in pursuit of its victim into the very heaven of heavens. It extends on the altar a Divine Man. It spares not the Son of God, his own Son. And thou, miserable sinner, who canst present nothing to the eyes of thy Judge but