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opportunity to instruct men in divine truth. Sometimes on account of the peculiar prejudices of the Jewish nation, he spake in parables; but these he explained to his disciples, so that his instructions are all plain and intelligible to the unlearned. On the great truths of natural religion, the being and perfections of God, with which the Jews, who had the law and the prophets, were well acquainted, he said but little. He came chiefly to show the ruined state of man as a sinner and the way of salva. tion. He fully and clearly taught the total depravity of the human heart ; (a) the moral blindness (6) and inability (c) or disinclination of men to submit to God; the absolute necessity of regeneration by the Holy Spirit ; (d) divine sovereignty in the dispensations of grace; (e) his own divinity (f) and atone. ment by his blood; (g) justification by faith ; (h) the great duties of repentance, (i) faith, (i) self denial, (k) disinterested love, (l) universal and perfect obedience; (m) the certain perseverance of all saints in faith and holiness to eternal life ; (n) the resurrection of the dead ; (0) general judgment, (P) the eternal happiness of the righteous, and eternal misery of the wicked. (9)

“ Never man spake like this man." Never man spake such truths ;-spake with such plainness, simplicity, authority and power. Astonishment seized all who heard him.

The common people gave him the most profound attention, and many were his friends and followers. But the great, the Sadducees and the Pharisees, finding their hollow heartedness and abomi nations exposed, said, he was mad, a disturber of the peac and a blasphemer.

In execution of his prophetic office, Christ abolished the Jewish, and established the Christian Church.

Properly speaking there has, from the beginning, existed one Church, and but one. This is the Church of Christ, which he purchased with his own blood. But it has existed under different dispensations. For a long period it was in an unembodied state, without a testimony, a priesthood or an altar. Under Moses it was brought out of Egypt; had a visible standing among the nations, and became subject to a great variety of or. dinances. Christ, the great antitype of these, being now incar

(a) John v. 42. Mat. xv. 19. (6) John iii. 19. (c) John v. 40. and 'vi. 44. (d) John iii. 5. (e) Mat. xi. 25. (f) John x. 30. (8) Mat. xx. 28. (h) John iii. 18. (i) Luke xiii. 3. (1) John vi. 29. (k) Mat. xvi. 24., (2) Mat. v. 44. (m) Mat. v. 48. (n) John .. 27. (o) John v. 28. (0) Mat. xxv. 31. (g) Matt. xxv. 46.

CHAP. I.

ABOLITION OF THE JEWISH CHURCH.

117

nate, proceeded to their abolition ; placed the Church upon a new establishment, and erected his spiritual kingdom, which should embrace both Jews and Gentiles, and fill the earth with its glory.

His work he gradually accomplished by referring his hearers to ancient Scriptures, and proving from them that he was the great end to which all the former rites and sacrifices did tend, and that these were no longer of use when he should appear ; -by opening wide the door of the Church and declaring that lie would draw all men, Gentiles as well as Jews unto him ;by disregarding totally the Jewish priesthood, and introducing a new ministry into the Church ;—by passing all the Jewish feasts, and instituting the Lord's supper ;—by instituting in place of circumcision, a new seal to the covenant, which God made with his people,-baptism, the washing with water in the name of the sacred Trinity, and commanding its imposition not only upon Jews, but on all nations ;-and by prescribing in place of the ceremonial worship of the Jews, a new, simple and spiritual worship which should be offered by the people of God, not only in Jerusalem but in all parts of the world.

In these various ways did Christ according to the prediction of Daniel, cause the oblation and the sacrifice to cease. He knew this would be the result. He predicted the destruction of Jerusalem, the Temple and its services ;-—that not one stone of the Temple should be left upon another, that Jerusalem should e trodden down of the Gentiles, and that all this should come p pass during the continuance of that generation.

The history of Christ's Priesthood is written in tears and in blood. To the office of Priest he was called of God and anointed by the Spirit of grace, which was poured upon him without measure. For it he was eminently fitted ; for he was holy, harmless, undefiled and separate from sinners, made higher than the heavens.

In his Priesthood he interceded for his people. Whole nights he spent in prayer.

Often did he kneel with his disciples at the throne of grace.

The pardon of their sins, their sanctification and final salvation were blessings for which he often wrestled. The seventeenth chapter of John is a most solemn and melting intercession with his Father for all his followers to the end of the world. But his intercession on earth was but the commencement of that great work which he ever lives to perfect in heaven. There stands the Lamb before the throne, as it had been slain, presenting the memorials of suffering, and

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pleading with the God of grace, and opening the holy, heavenly places to all his ransomed ones.

Without shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. This is a fundamental principle in the moral government of God. And God extended mercy to the first parents of the hu. man race, only in view of a great propitiatory sacrifice in a future age. To regulate the faith and fix the hopes of his peo. ple, the priests, under the law, were called continually to offer sacrifices and oblations. But these could not take away sin. Christ alone was mighty to save, and he came to take away sin by the sacrifice of himself. This may emphatically be called the great work for which he came into the world—to make “ his soul an offering for sin,” “ to give his life a ransom for many,” to “bear our sins in his own body on the tree,” to “ redeem us from the curse of the law, being inade a curse for us.

How he could offer himself a sacrifice for sin without being guilty of suicide, might appear inexplicable to us, but he was to be slain by the hands of wicked men, who hated him without cause ; while he voluntarily came into the world to die for sinners; predicted his death, and could at any moment have resisted all human power.

With calmness and solemnity he advanced to the hour of his deep humiliation, his excruciating sufferings. He knew what was in man. He saw clearly all the bitterness and malice that was kindled in the breasts of the Scribes and Pharisees again him, and he knew it would bring him to the most awful suffe ings and death. But he did not avoid them. He did not resist them. He resigned himself up to their malignity ihat his work might be accomplished. Against a character so pure and spotless they found it difficult to proceed. They often endeavoured to catch him in his speech, but they were confounded and driven away in shame. They would have rushed upon him and destroyed him without the forms of law; but they feared the people.

Among his disciples was Judas, a vile hypocrite ; who went to the Sanhedrim and agreed to betray him for the price of a slave. Jesus knew his treachery, and prepared for the events which awaited him. Eleven others had followed him who were very dear to him, and with them he purposed to keep the passover before he should suffer. While at table with the whole, he distinctly pointed out Judas as his betrayer, and said to him “ What thou doest, do quickly.” Judas confounded and vexed, went immediately out. The passover being finished

CHAP. I.

INSTITUTION OF THE SUPPER.

119

Jesus consecrated bread and wine, and instituted the sacra. ment of the supper, which he told them to observe till the end of time. He then made them that long consolatory address which is recorded in the 14th, 15th and 16th chapters of John; sang an hymn ; offered up that excellent prayer which forms the 17th chapter, and then went out, about midnight, over the brook Kidron to the garden Gethsemane. There he thrice retired from his disciples for prayer, wrestling with God that if it were possible and consistent with the divine will, his sufferings might be prevented. An impression and fear of the divine wrath seemed for a time to overwhelm him ; and in the agony of his soul, he sweat as it were, great drops of blood. But his piety rose superior to his fears, and he said with holy submission, "Not my will, but thine be done.”

Before the day dawned, Judas came with a band of ruffians, and took him and brought him before a convention of priests and elders. As they could find nothing of which to accuse him, they employed false witnesses, who declared that he had spoken against the Temple. But Jesus continued silent. At length, the High Priest adjured him by God, to tell him whether he was the Messiah. Jesus said he was ; and would hereafter, in great power and glory, judge the world. Caiaphas immediately rent his clothes ; accused him of blasphemy; and the whole court declared him worthy of death. The next day they tried and condemned him again, and hurried him away to the judgment hall of Pilate, the Roman governor ;-they having lost the pow

of life and death. Pilate could find no fault in him, and sent him to Herod, then in Jerusalem; because he was a Galilean. But Herod made a mock of him, and sent him back to Pilate, who was afraid to condemn him. But the Jews demanded his crucifixion, and wished that his blood might be on them and their children. Afraid of the mob, the Roman governor shamefully yielded to their entreaties, and condemned him to the death of

the cross.

*

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* The Cross consisted of an upright post of about twelve feet, with a cross piece over the top. On this the unhappy sufferer was first laid. His arms were stretched upon the cross piece, and spikes were driven through the palms of his hands, and through his feet, fastening him to the instrument of death. The whole was then raised in the air, and suddenly thrust into a hole for its support, and the wretched victim was there left to hang, until through loss of blood or hunger, he in intense agony expired; yea, until the dead body was borne off by carniverous

birds.

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Immediately an unbridled populace dragged him amid the grossest insults and abuse, to Golgotha, the place of execution, compelling him to bear his cross. Here they offered him vinegar and myrrh mingled with gall; stripped off his raiment, and nailed him, through the hands and feet, to the accursed instrument of deatlı. Two thieves were crucified with him, one on the right hand, the other on the left. On the top of his cross was written in Hebrew, Greek and Latin, THIS IS JESUS OF NAZARETH, THE KING OF THE JEWS.'

By both rulers and people, he was ridiculed, as he hung suspended in the air ; but with his dying breath, he prayed for his murderers, saying, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.” At first, both the thieves joined in upbraiding him, but one became convinced of his guilt, and was the object of saving mercy. His weeping mother, who now realized the declaration of Simeon,—“ Yea, a sword shall pierce through thine own soul also," he commended to the care of John, the son of Zebedee. About noon, when he had hung perhaps three hours on the cross, the sun was supernaturally darkened three hours; and under the hidings of God's face, Jesus cried out, “ My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me ?” . Some derided him, and said that he called for Elias. Shortly after, he said, “ I thirst," and they gave him vinegar to drink. He tasted it; said “It is finished, commended his soul to God; bowed his head and gave up the ghost. Thus did Christ expiate the sins of men.

Thus did he bear our griefs, and carry our sorrows. “ He was wounded for our transgressions, bruised for our iniquities, the chastise ment of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed.”

When he expired, the veil of the Temple was rent from the top to the bottom, to signify that the ceremonial distinction be. tween Jews and Gentiles was abolished ; the earth shook; the rocks burst; graves were opened; and many saints which slept, arose and appeared in Jerusalem. The spectators were filled with terror. The centurion exclaimed, “ this was a righteous man, was the son of God.

“ And all the people that came to. gether to that sight, beholding the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.' It was the greatest and most so• lemn event that ever did, or will occur to the end of time.

The crucified body of our Lord was committed to Joseph of Arimathea, and decently laid in a new grave which he had hewn out of a rock in a garden. Christ had foretold his resurrection, and the rulers, apprehensive that his followers might steal the body, and say he had risen, sealed the sepulchre, and placed

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