« ZurückWeiter »
in his stead. Wherefore, without offering violence to the common means of understanding things amongst men, another sense cannot be affixed to these words. The nature of the thing itself will admit of no other exposition than that given unto it; and it hath been manifoldly exemplified among the nations of the world. For suppose a man guilty of any crime, and on the account. thereof, to be exposed unto danger from God or man, in a way of justice, wrath, or vengeance; and when he is ready to be given up unto suffering according unto his demerit, another should tender himself to die for him that he might be freed; let an appeal be made to the common reason and understandings of all men, whether the intention of this his dying for another, be not, that he substitutes himself in his stead to undergo what he should have done, however the translation of punishment from one to another may be brought about and asserted. For at present we treat not of the right, but of the fact, or the thing itself. And to deny this to be the case as to the sufferings of Christ, is as far as I can understand, to subvert the whole gospel. Moreover, as was said, this hath been variously exemplified among the nations of the world; whose actings in such cases, because they excellently shadow out the general notion of the death of Christ for others, for sinners; and are appealed unto directly by the apostle to this purpose, Rom. v. 7, 8. I shall in a few instances reflect upon. Not to insist on the voluntary surrogations of private persons, one into the room of another, mutually to undergo dangers and death for one another, as before-mentioned, I shall only remember some public transactions in reference unto communities, in nations, cities, or armies. Nothing is more celebrated amongst the ancients than this; that when they supposed themselves in danger, from the anger and displeasure of their gods, by reason of any guilt or crimes among them, some one person should either devote himself, or be devoted by the people, to die for them; and therein to be made, as it were, an expiatory sacrifice. For where sin is the cause, and God is the object respected, the making of satisfaction by undergoing punishment, and expiating of sin by a propitiatory sacrifice, are but various expressions of the same thing. Now those who so devoted themselves, as was said, to die in the stead of others, or to expiate their sins, and turn away the anger of God they feared by their death, designed two things in what they did. First, That the evils which were impendent on the people and feared might fall on themselves, so that the people might go free. Secondly, That all good things which themselves desired, might be conferred on the people; which things have a notable shadow in them of the great expiatory sacrifice concerning which we treat, and expound the expressions wherein it is declared. The instance of the Decii, is known; of whom the poet;
Plebeiae Deciorum animae, plebeia fuerunt
Nomina; prototis legionibus Hitamen, et pro
Qmnibus auxiliis, atque omniplebe Latina,
Sufficiunt Diis infernis.
The two Decii, father and son, in imminent dangers of
the people, devoted themselves, at several times, unto death and destruction. And, saith he, “sufficiunt Diis infernis; they satisfied for the whole people; adding the reason whence so it might be ;
Plurisenim Deciiquam qui servantur abillis.
“They were more to be valued, than all that were saved
by them.’ And the great historian doth excellently describe both the actions and expectations of the one and the other in what they did. The father, when the Roman army, commanded by himself and Titus Manlius, was near a total ruin by the Latins, called for the public priest, and caused him with the usual solemn ceremonies, to devote him to death, for the deliverance and safety of the army: after which, making his requests to his gods (‘dii quorum est potestas nostrorum hostiumque'), ‘the gods that had power over them and their adversaries, as he supposed, he cast himself into death by the swords of the enemy. “Conspectus ab utraque acie aliquanto augustior humano visu, sicut coelo missus, piaculum omnis deorum irae, qui pestem ab suis aversam in hostes ferret.” “He was looked on by both armies, as one more august than a man, as one sent from heaven, to be a piacular sacrifice; to appease the anger of the gods, and to transfer destruction from their own army to the enemies; Liv. Hist. 8. His son in like manner in a great and dange” ous battle against the Gauls and Samnites, wherein he com"
manded in chief, devoting himself as his father had done, added unto the former solemn deprecations; “praese, agere sese, formidinem acfugam, caedemgue accruorem, coelestium, infernorum iras;’ lib. 11. That he carried away before him (from those for whom he devoted himself), “fear and flight, slaughter and blood, the anger of the celestial and infernal gods.’ And as they did in this devoting of themselves design, averuncare malum, deum iras, lustrare populum, aut exercitum, piaculum fieri' or reptomua, āvá0mua, āroká0appa, ‘ expiare crimina, scelus, reatum,' or to remove all evil from others by taking it on themselves in their stead; so also they thought they might, and intended in what they did, to covenant and contract for the good things they desired. So did these Decii, and so is Menaeceus reported to have done when he devoted himself for the city of Thebes, in danger to be destroyed by the Argives. So Papinius introduceth him treating his gods,
Armorum superi, tuque à qui funere tanto
Indulges mihi Phoebe mori, date gaudia Thebis,
Quae pepegi, et toto quae sanguine prodigus emi.
He reckoned that he had not only repelled all death and danger from Thebes, by his own, but that he had purchased joy, in peace and liberty for the people. And where there was none in public calamities that did
voluntarily devote themselves, the people were wont to take some obnoxious person to make him execrable, and to lay on him according to their superstition, all the wrath of their gods, and so give him up to destruction. Such the apostle alludes unto, Rom ix. 3. 1 Cor. iv. 9. 13. So the Massilians were wont to expiate their city by taking a person devoted, imprecating on his head all the evil that the city was obnoxious unto, casting him into the sea with these words, treptomua ñuáv yévov “be thou our expiatory sacrifice.’ To which purpose were the solemn words that many used in their expiatory sacrifices, as Herodotus testifieth of the Egyptians, bringing their offerings; saith he, karapéovrat rà 8è Aéyovree root kepaksaw, tire ué\\ot # opson rotai Sãovo, # "Aiyūrrors, avua dog kakövyevéoffat sic kepakiv raúrny TpairéSat: ‘they laid these imprecations on their heads; that if any evil were happening towards the sacrificer, or all Egypt, let it be all turned and laid on this devoted head.”
And the persons whom they thus dealt withal, and made execrate, were commonly of the vilest of the people, or such as had rendered themselves detestable by their own crimes; whence was the complaint of the mother of Menæceus upon her son's devoting himself,
Lustralemne feris, ego te puer inclyte Thebis,
; I have recounted these instances to evince the common intention, sense, and understanding of that expression, of one dying for another; and to manifest by examples, what is the sense of mankind, about any one's being devoted and substituted in the room of others, to deliver them from death and danger; the consideration whereof, added to the constant use of the words mentioned in the Scripture, is sufficient to found and confirm this conclusion.
That whereas it is frequently affirmed in the Scripture, that Christ died for us, and for our sins,' &c. to deny that he died and suffered in our stead, undergoing the death whereunto we were obnoxious, and the punishment due to our sins, is, if we respect in what we say or believe, the constant use of those words in the Scripture, the nature of the thing itself concerning which they are used, the uncontrolled use of that expression in all sorts of writers in expressing the same thing, with the instances and examples of its meaning and intention among the nations of the world, to deny that he died for us at all.
Neither will his dying for our good or advantage only, in what way or sense soever, answer or make good, or true, the assertion of his dying for us and our sins. And this is evident in the death of the apostles and martyrs; they all died for our good; our advantage and benefit was one end of their sufferings, in the will and appointment of God; and yet it cannot be said, that they died for us, or our sins.
And if Christ died only for our good, though in a more effectual manner than they did, yet this altereth not the kind of his dying for us ; nor can he thence be said properly, according to the only due sense of that expression, so to do. .
I shall in this brief and hasty discourse, add only one consideration more about the death of Christ to confirm the truth pleaded for. And that is, that he is said in dying for sinners, 'to bear their sins ;' Isa. liii. 11. He shall bear their iniquities;' ver. 12. He bare the sins of many ;' explained, ver. 5. He was wounded for our transgressions, hé was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace was upon him.' 1 Pet. ii. 24. "Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree,' &c. - This expression is purely sacred. It occurreth not directly in other authors, though the sense of it in other words do frequently. They call itluere peccata ;' that is,
delictorum supplicium ferre; ' " to bear the punishment of sins. The meaning therefore of this phrase of speech, is to be taken from the Scripture alone, and principally from the Old Testament, where it is originally used ; and from whence it is transferred into the New Testament in the same sense, and no other. Let us consider some of the places.
ver. 4, 520 8777 13'2x21 And our griefs he hath borne them.' The word signifies, properly, to bear a weight or a burden, as a man bears it on his shoulders; bajulo, porto. And it is never used with respect unto sin, but openly and plainly it signifies the undergoing of the punishment due unto it; so it occurs directly to our purpose, Lam. v. 7. wad ODINY 13073Ń DNB Von Wax •Our fathers have sinned and are not; and we have borne their iniquities;' the punishment due to their sins. And why a new sense should be forged for these words, when they are spoken concerning Christ, who can give a just reason?
והוא חטא־רבים ,is used to the same purpose נשא Again
NuI ver. 12. “And he bare the sin of many.' HUI is often used with respect unto sin; sometimes with reference unto God's actings about it, and sometimes with reference unto men's concerns in it. In the first way, or when it denotes an act of God, it signifies to lift up, to take away, or pardon sin; and leaves the word TW wherewith it is joined under its first signification, of iniquity; or the guilt of sin, with respect unto punishment ensuing as its consequent. For God pardoning the guilt of sin, the removal of the punishment doth necessarily ensue; guilt containing an obligation unto punishment. In the latter way, as it respects men or sinners, it constantly denotes the bearing of the punishment