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mine eyes fail :” “ They gave me failed to gain the ear of the Emalso gall for my meat, and in my peror for his revengeful slanders, thirst they gave me vinegar to the estrangement which brought drink.” Is. 53, Psalms 23 and 69.) about this result might never have It is difficult to conceive what occurred. these sufferings can mean, if they But further, it is noteworthy that do not represent- death by the in spite of this legal change, the cross. To these prophetic descrip- New Testament martyrs, John the tions we may add the significance Baptist, Stephen and James, met of the types, the serpent of brass their deaths without the interven" lifted up” in the wilderness, the tion of the Roman power, and by paschal lamb, of which it was com- Jewish modes of execution, the manded, “ neither shall ye break royal prerogative, or, in the case of a bone thereof ;” and further, the Stephen, an outbreak of popular express declarations of the Lord passion contravening the law which Himself,—“The Son of Man must made it “unlawful for the Jews to be crucified.”
put any man to death.” Thus the A second consideration is,—the Divine Providence brought about singular conjunction of circum that stoning, the national form of stances whereby it was brought capital punishment, should be about that He should suffer by abolished by a nation using the this, and by no other mode. The cross, and that passion should not, life of the Redeemer was, humanly by taking the law into its own speaking, four times endangered in hands, prevent our Lord's suffering other ways,—by the sword of Herod by the death hinted at in prophecy, at Bethlehem, by threatened preci- a manner of death till then wellpitation at Nazareth, by the peri- nigh unknown in Judea. lous storm on the Galilean lake, by Once more we are led to attach attempted stoning in Jerusalem. importance to the mode of Christ's Moreover, crucifixion was no Jewish death from the prominence given punishment. A chance quarrel to that mode in the Apostolic disbetween Herod and the vizier of courses and epistles. That shame the King of Arabia, arising out of of the cross which Christ “desthe refusal of the former to give pised," was undoubtedly a stumbhis sister Salome in marriage to ling block, both to Jew and Genthe latter, and the false representa- tile, in the way of the reception of tions about Herod made by the the gospel. Nevertheless, the vizier at the court of Rome so in- Apostles preached not simply a censed Augustus, that he wrote to slain, but a crucified Saviour. They the Judean king, “ that he should did not keep the shameful mode in no longer treat him as a friend, but the background, either by using as a subject;" and not long after any eupheuism, such as “ lifting Judea was made a Roman province. up from the earth," or by speaking Thus, about eight years before the of the death in general terms. birth of Christ, the power of life Their preaching they call “the and death was taken out of the preaching of the cross ;" their hands of the Jews, and conse Christ is “ Christ crucified;" they quently the Roman method of exe- glory in nothing “save in the cution became the only legal one. cross of Jesus Christ their Lord.” Had this Arabian never desired to Alike then from prophecy, from make Salome his wife, or had he providential developments in his
mining by they doctrine of vehicles
tory, and from Apostolic teaching, endured the “servile punishment." we are led to the conclusion that He who “ was in the form of God, the mode of Christ's death was took upon Him the form of a slave, important and significant. Into its by becoming obedient unto death, significance we now proceed to en- even the death of the cross.” quire. That significance is both doc- Again, CRUCIFIXION WAS THE Puntrinal and practical. We shall first ISHMENT OF THE WORST MALEFACTORS. consider :
Even freemen might incur the I. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE MODE penalty of the cross if guilty of the OF CHRIST'S DEATH IN RELATION TO gravest crimes. Slaves, when exeCHRISTIAN THOUGHT.
cuted, were not always crucified. The remark has been already ven. For minor offences they died by tured, that this peculiar form of death the sword, the cross being reserved was in no sense necessary to Christ's for the perpetrators of crimes eswork. It is no essential part of teemed the worst, as murder, treasin's penalty. It teaches us no son, robbery, perjury. Our Substitruth which would have remained tute took the place of the chief of untaught had He died the death of sinners, that the chief of sinners the Forerunner, or that of the might take the place of the most Proto-martyr. But there is a truth holy, even be “glorified together" more fully brought out, more won with the Holy One of God. He derfully illustrated by crucifixion humbled Himself to be numbered than by any other mode. That with transgressors, malefactors, truth is the doctrine of vicarious felons, when He“ became obedient suffering, of substitution, the es- unto death, even the death of the sence and ground of atonement. cross." As we see the Holy One upon the Again, CRUCIFIXION WAS THE ACcross, we recognize that on Him CURSED DEATH. were laid the iniquities of us all. “He that is hanged is accursed of For, first,--CRUCIFIXION WAS THE God," pronounced the law of Moses. DEATH OF SLAVES.
The word in the original Hebrew The Roman law forbade the was used to translate“ crucified," in cross to citizens. Roman histo- later times. Its Greek equivalent, rians and poets speak of it as “ the the word used in the Septuagint slaves' punishment.” (“ Servile version of the law, is used by Luke supplicium,” Tacitus, Horace, Ju- and Peter in this sense. (“ One of venal.) “ Cross-bearer" is the the malefactors which were hanged," classic dramatists' nickname for a « Whom ye slew and hanged on a slave (“furcifer," Plautus, &c.) Our tree.”) Early Jewish opponents of Substitute was treated as a slave, Christianity spoke of Christ as that we might be made free indeed. “the hanged one,” and quoted the Do we say in our pride, “we were ancient curse as incurred by Him. never in bondage to any man ?" (Justin Martyr's Dialogue with Christ replies, “ Who so commit- Trypho the Jew, about A.D. 150.) teth sin is the slave of sin.” In Our Substitute was treated as one Christ we are delivered from a accursed, that we might be blessed. worse than Egyptian bondage. Since we have failed to "continue The Truth hath made us free. And in all things which are written in that He might be the Truth, He was the book of the law to do them," also the Way. He was made a we are under a curse. But “ Christ “ cross-bearer for us. For us He hath redeemed us from the curse of the law, being made a curse for us." also the practical exhortations Not that He was ever in fact ac. which call us to “ crucify the flesh, cursed or forsaken, but the Father with its passions and lusts,” to placed upon Him in whom he was “take up our cross daily,” &c., ever well pleased,"the chastisement come home to us with more power of our peace," and He delighted to than could otherwise have been the bear it. Yet, out of the depths case. We seem to ourselves more of that soul which was made an completely sharers with Christ, in offering for sin, the cry went up, times of conflict with sin and evil, “Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani.” Thus in times of self-denial and resigwas he “made a curse for us” when nation to sorrow, and both the Life he" became obedient unto death, of Christ and the Christian life apeven the death of the cross." We pear nearer to us, when we can pass now to consider :
speak of ourselves as also crossII. THE SIGNIFICANCE OF THE bearers, “the world crucified to us, MODE OF CHRIST'S DEATH IN RELATION and we unto the world.” TO THE CHRISTIAN HEART AND THE Again, CRUCIFIXION WAS A DEATH CHRISTIAN LIFE.
OF EXQUISITE TORTURE. In the lessons of the cross, doc- Its accompanying indignities, the trine and practice are, indeed, sensitiveness of the lacerated parts, united. Right thoughts about the burning fever which throbs in Christ will ever lead us both to every vein of the crucified, the prolove and to serve Him. There are tracted character of the suffering, some aspects of the cross, however, combined to make it what Cicero not so distinctively doctrinal as declares it to be," the most cruel of those considered above.
punishments.” Its barbarity has CRUCIFIXION WAS A PROVERBIAL EX- long since banished this form of PRESSION FOR SUFFERING.
death from the civilized world, Words similar to our English though other modes of death by “excruciating," were to be found torture, such as the stake, have before the Christian era in the been used in modern times. classic and other languages. When How should the love shown by our Lord spoke of the necessity of the free choice of such a death athis disciples “taking up the cross,” tract the hearts of disciples to love he used an expression which was Him who has so loved us? “Greater familiar to them, as it is to us. love hath no man than this !” “1," Hence, on account of this usage said He, “if I be lifted up from of words, the variety of Christ's from the earth, will draw all men sufferings is suggested when we unto me.” Finallyspeak of his enduring the cross. CRUCIFIXION, BY THE VERY POSTURE Not only when we dwell on the OF THE SUFFERER REPRESENTS THE Pobodily tortures which He expe- SITION AND OFFICE OF THE SAVIOUR. rienced on Calvary, but when He Does this appear too fanciful ? “suffered being tempted” in the Is it not, however, a fancy which Jordan wilderness, or in Gethse- has mingled in the thoughts of mane, when he was betrayed, denied, Christians of all ages, the imaginaforsaken,-in a word, whenever His tion therein assisting the reason and “soul,” as well as his body, was the heart ? No other mode of "made an offering for sin"-we death could have become so sacred. can think and speak of him as A strange dignity has taken the bearing the cross for us. Hence place of that shame which once
Jorifered"be alvary, boh Ho expo
constituted “the offence of the should bow, and every tongue con. cross." As once on Calvary, so ever fess that HE IS CHRIST." We see in the memory of the Church, that exaltation accomplished, and the form of Him whose “visage yet He who was on the cross a was more marred than any man," King, is on the throne as “a Lamb rises exalted between earth and as it had been slain," while still the heaven, near to us yet above us, world-embracing arms, free for ever and, as we stand beholding, the from the shameful nails, are outnotes of another song than that of stretched to invite and to bless, Calvary strike on the ear,— seeming to cry lovingly to the “ Wherefore God hath highly ex- world, “Come unto me all ye that alted Him, and given him a name labour and are heavy laden, and I that is above every name, that at will give you rest." the name of Jesus every knee
THE DESTINY OF THE HUMAN RACE.
BY THE REV J. H. HINTON, M.A.
(Concluded from p. 690, Vol. LV.) A PRINCIPAL stone in the author's whom the heaven must receive until the fabric, and one on which he lays
times of restitution of all things which God
hath spoken by the mouth of all his holy much stress, is the celebrated pas. prophets since the world began.” (Acts üi. sage in the Acts, announcing, as is 19, 21). supposed,"times of restitution”: The meaning of the phrase on
“ That a time or times of restitution which so much stress is laid de(whatever that term may precisely mean) is pends on the translation of the in reserve for our ruined and fallen world,
Greek word, αποκαστάσεις, by our was one of the earliest announcements of the apostles after the ascension of their
translators rendered “restitution.” Lord. Nothing can be more explicit than This translation, however, is open the declaration of St. Peter to the Jews, that to objection ; and to give the the same Jesus Christ, whom they had cru. cified, should come again ; that heaven (so reader some idea of the critical to speak) concealed Him only until the times authority which bears upon this of restitution of all things (Acts iii. 21; comp. point, we shall insert a quotation Acts i. 6 and 11); and that these times were
from Bloomfield's “Critical Digest," the same times of which God had spoken by the month of all His prophets since the in loc :world began; the times when, in accordance
“By átoraTÁCTUOS is meant the restora. with ancient prophecy, the lion should lie
tion, restitution to a former state, reforma. down with the lamb, and 'the knowledge of
tion, or change for the better; as in Joseph. the Lord cover the earth as the waters cover
Ant. 11. 3, 8. ároxUTÉOTROIS TWY ’loudrio, & the sea.'”—Pp. 202, 203.
4, 6, Tây 'Ispororóuwe átiratáOT2015. Philo The scripture to which the author 767 Β, των κληρουχών αποκατάστασις εις τους και
áprins auxórtas oixous. here refers is, in extenso, as follows.
This notion, however,
is little suitable to the present passage, the “Repent ye, therefore, and be converted, subject of which is the event of prophecies. that your sins may be blotted out when the Now it also denotes perfection, accomplishtimes of refreshing shall come from the pre- ment of anything, consummation; a signifi. sence of the Lord ; and he shall send Jesus cation very suitable to the context, and which Christ, which before was preached unto you; is found in Philo, 522 c. Tisía, á xoxatuorúcus
åpsmas.. Thos Hesychius and Phavorinus ex. word “restitution” becomes altoplain it Tensiwris, and the Schol. Mosq.
gether unsuitable to the connection, here interprets it sxßersws. And thus the verb krezalicávy signifies to perfect, bring since no one, we suppose, expects to end, in Job 8, 6.” (Sept.)
a restoration of the entire contents That this translation had been of the prophetical writings. A proposed our author was aware; fulfilment of them is possible, and but he simply quotes in a note the is a glorious object of Christian observation of Dean Alford, that hope. * “to render årokartáow fulfilment is We are willing, however, to take against all precedent;” an obser- the author on his own ground. vation which certainly does little For the sake of argument, we will credit to the critical reading of the admit that there is to be a “ time Dean himself.
of restitution” of all things, until Even if the classical authority the arrival of which “the heavens were less strong, however, the must receive," and retain, the structure of the passage will not person of Jesus Christ. We then allow the use of the word “resti- ask, when is this “time of restitutution.” Our author, indeed, under- tion” to arrive ? His reply is, stands Peter to say that “the times “THE DAY OF THE RESURRECTION is of restitution” had been spoken of the great day of restitution” “by all the prophets since the world (p. 454). It follows, then, if we began ;” but let any school-boy can see clearly, that the second translate the following Greek sen- advent of Christ cannot take place tence :
till the resurrection; our author, “Ον δει ουρανόν μέν δέξασθαι άχρι however, teaches us that it takes xpóvwv åttokataothoews Távtwv OV place at the commencement of the dancev ó eos dià otópatos náv- millennium ! (See p. 386, seg.) twy dyiwv aútoù poontāv år' aiô We cannot help asking ourselves
how it is possible to account for We translate as follows: “Whom such a manifest piece of inconsisthe heaven must receive until the tency as this; and we can solve times of the fulfilment of all the the mystery only by recurring to things which God hath spoken by the fact that the work before us the mouth of all his holy prophets was not written as a whole, but since the world began.” We do not that it is a republication, in two think the sense that “the prophets volumes, of papers inserted in a have spoken” of “the times of monthly periodical—the Interpreter restitution” can be grammatically -now completed. This fact acmade out from the words. We counts for the want of continuity think that trávtwy, which is certainly in the successive chapters which the immediate, is also the natural cannot but be apparent to an atand necessary antecedent of the tentive reader, and permits the verb eranoev; and that it is not “all writer, not having his whole subthings,” but “all the things which ject before him at once, in succesthe prophets have spoken,” which sive papers to differ from himself. are to experience an attokaoTaois That such an infelicity has attended To go back beyond távtwv and to the production of the work is take xpóvwv for the antecedent of certain; whether it may explain edálnoev, is, we think, a gram- the mystery to which we have matical blunder, and utterly inad. #Mr. Faber, in his Sacred Calendar of missible. Now, if this be so, the Prophecy, concurs in this view.