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Jews of executing the vilest malefactors. Christ was crucified, and he was put in the highest place of shame and disgrace, even between two murderers. "Then were two thieves crucified with him, the one on the right hand, the other on the left." "This was done with a view of adding to the ignominy of our Saviour's sufferings. But this act of malignity, like many other instances of the same nature, answered a purpose which the authors of it little thought of or intended. It was the completion of a prophecy of Isaiah, in which, alluding to this very transaction, he says of the Messiah, 'he was numbered with the transgressors.' Hence, says Christ, "This that is written must be accomplished in me, and he was reckoned among the transgressors: for the things concerning me have an end." Now, does it follow, that Christ suffered the curse of the divine law, and so the wrath of God, because he was treated by his murderers as one of the vilest of men; and therefore put in the place with those who were accursed of God? Cannot a good man be murdered and hung upon a tree, and yei not suffer the curse of the law of God? A law which dooms the impenitent sinner to hell, to a place where the worm dieth not, and the file is not quenched?

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One of the malefactors who expired upon the tree with Christ, was a penitent, and was, therefore, pardoned; and, on that very day went with Christ into Paradise. Did he suffer the curse of the law of God? He did not. But why? he was hung upon a tree; and it is written, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree. In the same sense that Christ was accursed of God, the penitent who died with him was accursed of God; but neither of them suffered the curse of the divine law or the wrath of God.

I believe, some suppose that the wine-press, mentioned in Isaiah lxiii, 3, means the wine-press of the wrath of God; and that Christ in treading this wine-press, bore the wrath and curse of God.

*Porteus, Bishop of London.

But what is here said of Christ evidently expresses his complete conquest and triumph over his enemies." We have in this chapter a dialogue between Isaiah and Christ. Isaiah says, "Who is this that cometh from Edom with dyed garments from Bozrah? This that is glorious in his apparel, travelling in the greatness of his strength?" Christ answers, I, that speak in righteousness, mighty to save." Isaiah says. "Wherefore art thou red in thine apparel, and thy garments like him that treadeth in the wine fat?" Christ answers. "I have trodden the wine press alone, and of the people there was none with me: for I will tread them in mine anger, and trample them in my fury; and their blood shall be sprinkled upon my garments, and I will stain all my raiment. For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come. And I looked and there was none to help; and I wondered that there was none to uphold: there. fore mine own arm brought salvation unto me, and my fury it upheld me. And I will tread down the people in mine anger, and make them drunk in my fury, and I will bring down their strength to the earth."

There was a time when Christ was rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief: "but now he appears as a mighty conqueror sprinkled with the blood of prostrate enemies. Once he was oppressed, he was afflicted, he opened not his mouth, he was brought as a lamb to the slaughter; he was taken from prison and from judgment; he was cut off out of the land of the living; he was slain; he was buried: "but now he victoriously treads the wine-press of his indignation; he tramples upon the people in his anger; the day of vengeance is in his heart; he is glorious in his apparel; he travels in the greatness of his strength." There is nothing in this place which has the appearance of Christ's suffering the wrath of God, or of suffering at all. But the whole language is that of victory and triumph over his enemies. What language

can more naturally and completely express victory and triumph over an enemy than this? AND THEIR BLOOD


Some are of opinion that the great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls suffered the wrath of God, because he said to his disciples the day before the solemn scene of his crucifixion was exhibited at mount Calvary, "All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad." The words to which our Saviour refers, and other things in connexion, are as follows: "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 I will turn mine hand upon the little ones. And it shall come to pass that in all the land saith the Lord, two parts shall be cut off and die; but the third part shall be left therein. And I will bring the third part through the fire, and I will refine them as silver is refined, and will try them as gold is tried: they shall call on my name, and I will hear them: I will say it is my people; and they shall say The Lord is my God."*

There is no evidence from these words, taken in their connexion, that any reference was had to the suffering Saviour. This sword is not called upon to awake against the good Shepherd, who was always willing to lay down his life for the sheep. But it is the sword of justice called upon to awake against God's enemies. The learned Faber's translation of the verse is thus; "Awake, O sword, against my Shepherd, and against the mighty man my neighbour, saith the Lord of hosts. Smite the Shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered; for I will turn my hand even against the mean ones"-And then his commentary on the word Sword is as follows; "The sword of divine

* Zech. xii, 7-9.

justice shall awake against Antichrist, against that presumptuous shepherd or ruler, that mighty tyrant, who after having spoken marvellous things against the God of gods, at length in the last days, even when the judgments of heaven are abroad, dares to make himself the immediate neighbour of the Lord, and sets up a new domination in the peculiar city of the Most High, by planting the curtains of his pavilion between the seas in the glorious holy mountain. When the shepherd is smitten, such of his flock, as escape the avenging sword of him that rideth upon the white horse, shall be scattered far and wide; and agreeably to the parallel prophecy of Isaiah, shall carry into all nations the tidings of their overthrow, and of the marvellous manifestation of the power of God. Great, however, will be the slaughter of them; for the Lord will turn his hands not only against the leader, but likewise against the mean ones, even all his inferior followers. Of the whole Antichristian Army, two thirds shall perish, and one third only shall be preserved. This third part shall be brought through the fire of affliction to sincere faith and repentance; and every one that is left of all the nations which come against Jerusalem, shall go up from year to year to worship the King, the Lord of hosts."

The sword of divine justice, says Faber .shall awake against Antichrist; he then introduces the following note to confirm and illustrate his sentiment on the subject. "After having examined this passage as carefully as I am able, I rest in the opinion of Dr. Blayney, that it has not the most distant relation to the death and sufferings of Christ. I believe that our Lord cites a part of it merely as a proverbial saying, laying it down as a matter of course, for the followers to disperse when their leader was taken off. The subject of the present prophecy is the restoration of Judah, and the overthrow of a mighty confederacy before Jerusalem. In the course of it we are told, that some shepherd, or prince, or some mighty man who made

himself the neighbour of God should be smitten by a sword: that the wrath of the Almighty should be kindled not only against him, but against the little ones or mean ones, or those, as Dr. Blayney justly observes, "that are usually held of less account than the common people:" that in consequence of this display of the divine vengeance, such as escaped should be scattered: that these scattered ones should compose the third part of the whole, the two other parts having been cut off: and that this third part, consisting of the scattered ones, should by the severity of their sufferings be converted to the profession of the truth. In all this there is so much that is applicable to the general drift of the prophecy, and so little that is applicable to the times of our Lord, that I think with Dr. Blayney; "perhaps the passage in question might never have been considered differently from the rest, had not our Saviour thought fit to make use of it for the purpose of illustration."

"A shepherd denotes a prince. But what remarkable prince is to be smitten at the era of the restoration of Judah, except Antichrist now become the last head of the Roman beast? God styles him my shepherd, as he styles Nebuchadnezzar my servant, merely because he is an instrument of vengeance in his hand. And he speaks of him as being mighty, and as making himself his neighbour, because he attempts as it were to elbow the Almighty out of his own peculiar tesidence, the glorious holy mountain of Zion."

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In St. John's Revelation we have this proposition. "And he treadeth the wine-press of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God." This, perhaps, some will say proves to a demonstration, that in giving himself a ransom for sinners, Christ suffered the wrath and curse of the Almighty. But, because he trod the winepress of the wrath of God, how does it follow from this, that he himself bore the wrath of God? The wine press of the fierceness of the wrath of God, expresses, by a metaphor, the place where God manifests

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