« ZurückWeiter »
it in the body of our Saviour. But what the aspect of his outward appearance was, because the Scriptures are silent, we cannot now know: and it is enough that we are assured, the state and condition of his life was in the eye of the Jews without honour and inglorious. For though,“ being in the form of God, he thought it not robbery to be equal with God : yet he made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant.” (Phil. ii. 6, 7.) For thirty years he lived with his mother Mary and Joseph his reputed father, of a mean profession, and was “subject to them.” (Luke ii. 51.) When he left his mother's house, and entered on his prophetical office, he passed from place to place, sometimes received into a house, other times lodging in the fields: for while the “foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests, the Son of man had not where to lay his head.” (Matt. viii. 20.) From this low estate of life and condition, seemingly inglorious, arose in the Jews a neglect of his works, and contempt of his doctrine. “Is not this the carpenter's son?" (Matt. xiii. 55.) nay, farther, “Is not this the carpenter, the son of Mary ?* and they were stis claritatis. Tacentibus apud nos those of the Psalmist, of his native quoquc prophetis (Isa. liii. 2.) de ig- corporal beauty : Oůdè ydp Davuarovpnobili aspects ejus, ipse passiones γών ήν θαυμαστός μόνον, αλλά και φαιipseque contumelie Ioquuntur. Pas- νόμενος απλώς πολλής έγεμε χάριτος" siones quidem humanam carnem, con- και τούτο ο προφήτης δηλών έλεγεν, tumeliae vero inhonestam probarere. Ωραίος κάλλει παρά τους υιούς των ανAn ausus esset aliquis ungue summo Opúrwv. Homil. 28. in Matt. Afterperstringere corpus novum, sputami- wards they began to magnify the exnibus contaminare faciem nisi meren- ternal beauty of his body, and contem ? De carne Christi, c. 9. And that fined themselves to one kind of picwe may be sure he pointed at that ture or portraiture, with a zealous place in Isaiah, he says, that Christ pretence of a likeness not to be denied, was: “Ne aspectu quidem honestus: which eight hundred years since was Annunciavimus enim, inquit, de illo, known by none, every several counsicut puerulus, sicut radix in terra si- try having a several image. Whence tienti, et non est species ejus neque came that argument of the Iconoclagloria.' Adv. Marcion. I. iii. c. 17. and stæ, by way of query, which of those adv. Judæos, c. 14. This humility of images was the true: IIótepov v Tapà Christ, in taking upon him the nature “Ρωμαίοις, ή ηνπερ Ινδοί γράφουσιν, ή η of man without the ordinary orna- παρ' "Έλλησιν, ή η παρ' Αίγυπτίοις και ουχ mients of man, at first acknowledged, õpolai állnais avrai. Photius Epist. was afterwards denied, as appears by 64. And well might none of these be St. Jerome, on Isaiah lvi. "Inglorius like another, when every nation painterit inter homines aspectus ejus, non ed our Saviour in the nearest similiquo formæ significat foeditatem, sed tude to the people of their own counquod in humilitate venerit et pauper- try. "EMnves uèv aŭrois ouocov či yñs late.' And Epist. 140. Absque pas- pavñvai Tòv Xplotov vouíçovol, 'Pwpañol sionibus crucis universis pulcrior est δε μάλλον εαυτοίς έoικότα: Ινδοί δε πάλιν virgo de virgine, qui non ex voluntate μορφή τή αυτών, και Αιθίοπες δήλον ως Dei, sed ex Deo natus est. Nisi enim čavrois. Photius ibid. And the diffebabuisset et in vultu quiddam oculis- rence of opinions in this kind is suffique sidereum, nunquam eum statim ciently apparent out of those words in secati fuissent Apostoli, nec qui ad Suidas : Ιστέον δε ότι φασίν οι ακριβέcomprehendendum venerant, στατοι των ιστορικών, ώς το ούλον και corruissent. So St. Chrysostom inter- ολιγότριχον οικειότερόν εστι γράφειν επί prets the words of Isaiah of his Divi- της εικόνος του Χριστού. . nity, or humility, or his passion; but * Και τέκτονος νομιζομένου" ταύτα
offended at him." (Mark vi. 3.) Thus was it fulfilled in him, "he was despised and rejected of men, and they esteemed him not.” (Isa. liii. 3.)
This contempt of his personage, condition, doctrine, and works, was by degrees raised to hatred, detestation, and persecution, to a cruel and ignominious death. . All which if we look upon in the gross, we must acknowledge it fulfilled in him to the highest degree imaginable, that he was“ a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief.” (Isa. liii. 3.) But if we compare the particular predictions with the historical passages of his sufferings; if we join the prophets and evangelists together, it will most manifestly appear the Messias was to suffer nothing which Christ hath not suffered. If Zachary say, “they weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver;" (Zecb. xi. 12.) St. Matthew will shew that Judas sold Jesus at the same rate; for the chief priests “ covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.”(Matt. xxvi. 15.) If Isaiah say, that he was wounded;" (Isa. liii. 5.) if Zachary, “they shall look upon me whom they have pierced ;” (Zech. xii. 10.) if the prophet David, yet more particularly, “they pierced my hands and my feet;" (Psal. xxii. 16.) the evangelists will shew how he was fastened to the cross, and Jesus himself “ the print of the nails.” (John xx. 25.) If the Psalmist tells us, they should “ laugh him to scorn,
and shake their head, saying, He trusted in the Lord that he would deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him;" (Psal. xxii. 7,8.) St. Matthew will describe the same action, and the same expression; for “ they that passed by reviled him, wagging their heads, and saying, He trusted in God, let him deliver him now, if he will have him; for he said I am the Son of God.” (Matt. xxvii. 39. 43.) Let David say, “my God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?” (Psal. xxii. 1.) and the Son of David will shew in whose person the Father spake it, “Eli, Eli, lama sabacthani." (Matt. xxvii. 46.) Let Isaiah foretell, “he was numbered with the transgressors;" (Isa. liii. 12.) and you shall find him "crucified between two thieves, one on his right hand, the other on his left." (Mark xv. 27.) Read in the Psalmist, “in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink;”.(Psal. lxix. 21.) and you shall find in the evangelist,“ Jesus, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, said, I thirst:, and they took a sponge, and filled it with vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave it him to drink.” (John xix. 28. Matt. xxvii. 48.) Read farther yet," they part my garments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture;” (Psal. xxii. 18.) and, to fulfil the prediction, the soldiers shall make good the distinction, “who took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part, and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout. They said therefore among themselves, Let us not rend it, but cast γάρ τα τεκτονικά έργα ειργάζετο εν Just. Mart. Dial. cum Tryph. p. ανθρώπους ών, άροτρα και ζυγά.
lots for it, whose it shall be.” (John xix, 23, 24.) Lastly, let the prophets teach us, that “he shall be brought like a lamb to the slaughter, and be cut off out of the land of the living ;' (Isa. liii. 7, 8.) all the evangelists will declare how like a lamb he suffered, and the very Jews will acknowledge, that he was cut off: and now may we well conclude, “ Thus it is written, and thus it behoveth the Christ to suffer;" (Luke xxiv. 46.) and what it so behoved him to suffer that he suffered.
Neither only in his passion, but after his death, all things were fulfilled in Jesus which were prophesied concerning the Messias. “He made his grave with the wicked, and with the rich in his death,” (Isa. liii. 9.) saith the prophet of the Christ to come: and as the thieves were buried with whom he was crucified, so was Jesus, but laid in the tomb of “Joseph of Arimathea, an honourable counsellor.” (Mark xv. 43.) "After two days will he revive us, in the third day he will raise us up,” saith Hosea (vi. 2.) of the people of Israel: in whose language they were the type of Christ; (Hos. xi. 1.) and the third day Jesus rose from the dead. « The Lord said unto my Lord, (saith David) Sit thou at my right hand.” (Psal. cx. i.) Now“ David is not ascended into the heavens," (Acts ii. 34.) and consequently capnot be set at the right hand of God; but Jesus is already ascended and set down at the right hand of God: and so "all the house of Israel might know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus, whom they crucified, both Lord and Christ.” (Acts ii. 36.) For he who taught whatsoever the Messias, promised by God, foretold by the prophets, expected by the people of God, was to teach; he who did all which that Messias was by virtue of that office to do; he which suffered all those pains and indignities which that Messias was to suffer; he to whom all things happened after his death, the period of his sufferings, which were according to the divine predictions to come to pass : be, I say, must infallibly be the true Messias. But Jesus alone taught, did, suffered, and obtained all these things, as we have shewn. Therefore we may again infallibly conclude, that our Jesus is the Christ.
Fourthly, If it were the proper note and character of the Messias, that all nations should come in to serve him; if the doctrine of Jesus hath been preached and received in all parts of the world, according to that character so long before delivered; if it were absolutely impossible that the doctrine revealed by Jesus should have been so propagated as it hath been, had it not been divine; then must this Jesus be the Messias: and when we have proved these three particulars, we may safely conclude he is the Christ.
That all nations were to come in to the Messias, and so the distinction between the Jew and Gentile to cease at his coming, is the most universal description in all the prophecies, God speaks to him thus, as to his Son; "Ask of me, and I
will give thee the heathen for thine inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for thy possession.” (Psal. ii. 8.) It was one greater than Solomon of whom these words were spoken, “Ail kings shall fall down before him, all nations shall serve him.” (Psal. lxxii. 11.) “ It shall come to pass in the last days, (saith Isaiah ii. 2.) that the mountain of the Lord's house shall be established in the top of the mountains, and shall be exalted above the hills, and all nations shall flow unto it.” And again, “In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the Gentiles seek.” (Isa. xi. 10.) And in general all the prophets were but instruments to deliver the same message, which Malachi concludes, from God: “From the rising of the sun, even to the going down of the same, my name shall be great among the Gentiles, and in every place incense shall be offered unto my name, and a pure offering: for my name sball be great among the heathen, saith the Lord of Hosts." (Mal. i. 11.) Now being the bounds of Judea were settled, being the promise of God was to bring all nations in at the coming of the Messias, being this was it which the Jews so much opposed, as loath to part from their ancient and peculiar privilege; he which actually wrought this work must certainly be the Messias: and that Jesus did it, is most evident.
That all nations did thus come in to the doctrine preached by Jesus, cannot be denied. For although he “were not sent but to the lost sbeep of the house of Israel;” (Matt. xv. 24.) although of those many Israelites, which believed on him while he lived, very few were left immediately after his death: yet when the apostles had received their commission from him to "go teach all nations,” (Matt. xxviii. 19.) and were “endued with power from on high” (Luke xxiv. 49.) by the plentiful effusion of the Holy Ghost; the first day there was an accession of “three thousand souls;" (Acts ii. 41.) immediately after we find “the number of the men, beside women, was about five thousand;" (Acts iv. 4.) and still “believers were the more added to the Lord, multitudes both of men and women.” (Acts v. 14.) Upon the persecution at Jerusalem, they went through the “regions of Judea, Galilee, and Samaria,” (Acts ix. 31.) and so the Gospel spread ; insomuch that St. James the bishop of Jerusalem spake thus unto St. Paul, “Thou seest, brother, how many thousands (or rather how many myriads,* that is, ten thousands of the Jews there are which believe.” (Acts xxi. 20.) Beside, how great was the number of the believing Jews, strangers, scattered through Pontus, Galatia, Cappadocia, Asia, Bithynia, and the rest of the Roman provinces, will appear out of the epistles of St. Peter, St. James, and St. John. And yet all these are nothing to the fulness of the Gentiles which came after. First, those which were before Gentile worshippers, acknowledging the
• Πόσαι μυριάδες.
same God with the Jews, but not receiving the Law; who had before abandoned their old idolatry, and already embraced the true doctrine of one God, and did confess the Deity which the Jews did worship to be that only true God; but yet refused to be circumcised, and so to oblige themselves to the keeping of the whole Law. Now the apostles preaching the same God with Moses whom they all acknowledged, and teaching that circumcision and the rest of the legal ceremonies were now abrogated, which those men would never admit, they were with the greatest facility converted to the Christian faith. For being present at the synagogues of the Jews, and understanding much of the Law, they were of all the Gentiles readiest to hear, and most capable of the arguments which the apostles produced out of the Scriptures to prove that Jesus was the Christ. Thus many of the “Greeks that came up to worship” at Jerusalem, (John xii. 20.) “devout men out of every nation under heaven,” (Acts ii. 5.) not men of Israel, but yet fearing God, did first embrace the Christian faith. After them the rest of the Gentiles left the idolatrous worship of their heathen gods, and in a short time in infinite multitudes received the Gospel. How much did Jesus work by one St. Paul to the “obedience of the Gentiles by word and deed ?" How did he pass from Jerusalem round about through Phoenice, Syria, and Arabia, through Asia, Achaia, and Macedonia, even to Illyricum,“ fully preaching the Gospel of Christ? (Rom. xv. 18, 19.) How far did others pass beside St. Paul, that he should speak even of his time, that the “Gospel was preached to every creature under heaven ?” (Col. i. 23.) Many were the nations, innumerable the people, which received the faith in the apostles' days: and in not many years after, notwithstanding millions were cut off in their bloody persecutions, yet did their numbers equalize half the Roman empire :* and little above two ages after the
* • Visa est mibi res digna consul- urbes, insulas, castella, municipia, tatione, maxime propter periclitan- conciliabula, castra ipsa, tribus, decutium numerum. Multi enim omnis rias, palatium, senatum, forum.' Id. ætatis, omnis ordinis, utriusque sexus Apolog. c. 37. “ Potuimus et inermes, etiam, vocantur in periculum et voca- nec rebelles, sed tantummodo discorbuntur. Neque enim civitates tantum, des, solius divortii invidia adversus sed vicos etiam atque agros, supersti- vos dimicasse. Si enim tanta vis botionis istius contagio pervagata est,' minum in aliquem orbis remoti sinum Plin. Epist. ad Trajanum, l. x. ep. 97. abrupissemus a vobis, suffudisset uti"Tanta hominum multitudo, pars pene que dominationem vestram tot qualimajor civitatis cujusque, in silentio et umcunque amissio civium, imo etiam modestia agimus.' Tertull
. ad Scapul. et ipsa destitutione punisset: proculc. 2. “Si hostes exsertos, non tantum dubio expavissetis ad solitudinem vevindices occultos agere vellemus,dees- stram, ad silentium rerum, et stuporem set nobis vis numerorum et copiarum? quendam quasi mortuæ urbis; quæPlures nimirum Mauri et Marcoman- sissetis quibus in ea imperassetis. Id. ni, ipsique Parthi, vel quantacunque ibid. And Irenæus, who wrote before unius tamen loci et suorum finium Tertullian, and is mentioned by him, gentes, quam totius orbis. Hesterni speaks of the Christians in his time sumus, et vestra omnia implevimus, living in the Court of Rome: 'Quid