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2. The interpretation of this place by Matthew, or the application of it is insisted on: which is of more importance; Matt. viii. 16, 17. Christ curing the diseases of many, and bodily sicknesses, is said to' bear our griefs,' according as it is said in Isaiah, that he should do. Now he did not bear our diseases, by 'taking them upon himself,' and so becoming diseased, but morally, in that by his power he took them away from them, in whom they were.
Not to make many words, nor to multiply interpretations and accommodations of these places, which may be seen in them, who have to good purpose made it their business to consider the parallel places of the Old and New Testaments, and to reconcile them: I say only, it is no new thing to have the effect and evidence, and end of a thing, spoken of in the New Testament, in answer to the cause, and rise of it, mentioned in the Old, by the application of the same words unto it which they are mentioned in. For instance, Paul, Eph. iv. 8. citing that of the psalmist, Psal. Ixviii. 18. 'Thou hast ascended up on high, and hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men;' renders it,' when he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men;' and that because his giving of them, was the end of his receiving of them; and his receiving of them, the foundation of his giving of them: the effect and fruit being here expressed, the foundation and ground supposed.
So also,' Mine ears hast thou bored/ Psal. xl. is rendered 'a body hast thou prepared me,' Heb. x. because the end of the boring the ears of Christ was, that he might offer his body a sacrifice to God; so it is here in this place of Matthew ; Christ's taking away the bodily distempers, and weaknesses of men, was an effect, and an evidence of his taking away their sin, which was done by bearing of them. And therefore Matthew mentioning the effect and evidence of the thing, doth it in the words that express the cause and foundation of it. Not that that was a complete accomplishment of what was foretold, but that it was so demonstrated in the effect and evidence of it. Nor do the Socinians themselves think that this was a full accomplishment of what is spoken by the prophet, themselves insisting on another interpretation of the words: so that notwithstanding these exceptions, the word here may have its proper signification of bearing or carrying; which also that it hath, may be farther evidenced.
1. There is no cogent reason, why the metaphorical use of the word should be understood. When it is spoken of God, there is a necessity, that it should be interpreted by the effect; because properly he cannot bear, nor undergo grief, sorrow, or punishment. But as to the Mediator, the case is otherwise, for he confessedly underwent these things properly, wherein we say that this word, bearing of punishment, doth consist; he was so bruised, so broken, so slain; so that there is no reason to depart from the propriety of the word.
2. Those who would have the sense of the word to be, 'to take away,'in this place, confess it is by way of the allusion before-mentioned; that he that takes away a thing, takes it up, and bears it on his shoulders, or in his arms, until he lay it down; and by virtue of this allusion doth it signify to take away. But why? seeing that taking up, and bearing, in this place is proper, as hath been shewed, why must that be leaped over, and that which is improper, and spoken by way of allusion, be insisted on?
3. It appears that this is the sense of the word, from all the circumstances of the text, and context. Take three that are most considerable.
1. The subject spoken of, who did thus bear our griefs; and this is Christ; of whom such things are affirmed, in answer to this question, how did he bear our griefs? as will admit of no other sense : the Holy Ghost tells us how he did it, 1 Pet. ii. 24, 25. 'Who his ownself bare our sins in his body on the tree.' That Peter in that place expressed this part of the prophecy of Isaiah, which we insist upon, is evident; the phrase at the close of ver. 24. and the beginning of ver. 25. of this chapter make it so: they are the very words of the end of the 5th and beginning of the 6th verses here; how then did Christ bear our griefs? Why in that' he bear our sins in his own body on the tree.'
I shall not insist on the precise signification of the word ava^>!pw, here used, as though it expressed the outward manner of that suffering of Christ for sin, when he was lifted up on the cross or tree. It is enough, that our sins were on him, his body; that is, his whole human nature (by a usual synecdoche), when he was on the tree; that he did it when he suffered in the flesh, cap. iv. 1. He that did so bear our grief, sin, and iniquities, as to have them in his own body, when he suffered in the flesh, he is said properly therein 'tulisse,' not 'abstulisse,' to 'have borne,' not 'taken away' our griefs. But that this is the case, in Christ's bearing our grief, the Holy Ghost doth thus manifest.
2. The manner how Christ bare them evidently manifesteth, in what sense this expression is to be understood. He so bare them, that in doing so, 'he was wounded and bruised, grieved, chastised, slain,' as it is at large expressed in the context. Christ bare our grief, so as in doing of it, to be wounded, broken, grieved, killed, which is not to take them away, but really to bear them upon himself.
3. The cause of this bearing our grief, is assigned to.be sin; 'he was wounded for our transgressions,' as was shewn before: now this cannot be the sense, for our sins, he took them away; but for our sins, he bare the punishment due to them, 2 Cor. v. 21.
4. To put all out of question, the Holy Ghost in this chapter useth another word in the same matter, with this, that will admit of no other sense, than that which is proper. And that is ^OD v. ll. blD> Kin OJWi' He shall bear their iniquities:' and it is used immediately after this we have insisted on, as explicative of it; and ' carried our sorrows:' now as NttO properly signifies to ' lift,' to take up that which a man may carry, so bar, signifies to bear, and undergo the burden, that is taken, or that a man hath laid on his shoulders. And Matthew hath rendered this word by j3aora£a>, rag voaovq ifldaraatv, that is 'bajulo, Porto ;' to bear a thing, as a man doth a burden on his shoulders; nor is it once used in the Scriptures, but it is either properly to bear a burden, or metaphorically from thence, to undergo that which is heavy and burdensome ;'thus did Christ bear our griefs, our iniquities, by putting his shoulder under them, taking them on himself.
2. What did he thus bear? our griefs, our sins; or our iniquities, our sins. Let us see by a second instance, what it is in the language of God, 'To bear iniquities,' and this argument will be at an issue. Lament. v. 7. 'Our fathers have sinned, and are not, and we have borne their iniquities.' 'We have borne their iniquities,' or the punishment that was due to them; 'They are not,' they are gone out of the world, before the day of recompense came, and we lie under the punishment threatened and inflicted for their sins, and our own. Distinctly,
1; Men are said to bear their own sin, Levit. xix. 5. 'every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity;' that is, he shall be esteemed guilty, and be punished : Levit. xx. 17. 'He shall bear his iniquity,' is the same with 'he shall be killed,' ver. 16.'and he shall be cut off from his people;' ver. 18. For a man to bear his iniquity, is constantly for him to answer the guilt, and undergo the punishment due to it.
2. So also of the sins of others; Numb. xiv. 33. ' And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and shall bear your whoredoms: bear you, whoredoms;' that is, my anger for them, and the punishment due to them; Numb. xxx. 15. He that compels by his power and authority another to break a vow, shall himself be liable to the punishment due to such a breach of vow. Ezek. xviii 20. is an explanation of all these places; 'The soul that sins it shall die,' it shall be punished; 'The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,' &c. The son shall not be punished for the sin of the father: nor the father for the sin of the son. In brief, this expression, to bear iniquities, is never otherwise used in Scripture, but only for to undergo the punishment due thereunto.
Thus much then we have clearly evinced. God did so lay our sins on Christ, as that he bare and underwent that which was due to them; God inflicting it on him, and he willingly undergoing it. Which is my second demonstration from this place, that the death of Christ is also a punishment. Which is all that I shall urge to that purpose. And this is that, and all that we intend, by the satisfaction of Christ.
But now having laid so great stress as to our doctrine, under demonstration upon this place of the prophet, and finding some attempting to take away our foundation, before I proceed, I shall divert to the consideration of the annotations of Grotius on this whole chapter, and rescue it from his force and violence, used in contending to make what is here spoken to suit the prophet Jeremiah, and to intend him in the first place: to establish which vain conjecture, he hath perverted the sense of the whole, and of every particular verse, from the beginning to the end of this prophecy.
VOL. IX. G
A digression concerning the fifty-third chapter of Isaiah: and the
This chapter is well by some termed Carnificina Rabbinorum; a place of Scripture that sets them on the rack; and makes them turn themselves all ways possible to escape the torture, which he puts their unbelieving hearts unto. Not long since a" worthy and very learned friend told me, that speaking with Manasseh Ben Israel at Amsterdam, and urging this prophecy unto him, he ingenuously told him, 'Profecto locus iste magnum scandalumdedit;' to whom the other replied; 'Recte, quia Christus vobis lapis scandali est.' Hulsius, the Hebrew professor at Breda, professes that some Jews told him, that their Rabbins could easily have extricated themselves from all other places of the prophets, if Isaiah in this place had but held his peace. 'Huls." Theolog. Judaic, lib. 1. part. 2. Diet. Sapp. de Tempor. Messide.' Though I value not their boasting of their extricating themselves from the other prophesies, knowing that they are no less entangled with that of Daniel, chap. ix. (Of which there is an eminent story" in Franzius, de Sacrificiis, concerning his dispute with a learned Jew on that subject): yet it appears, that by this, they are confessedly extricated beyond all hope of evading, until they divest themselves of their cursed hypothesis.
Hence it is that with so much greediness they scraped together all the copies of Abrabaniel's comment on this chapter; so that it was very hard for a Christian, a long time to get a sight of it; as Constantine 1' Empereur acquaints us in hisc preface to his refutation of it: because
* Aliqui Judasi mihi confess! sunt, Uabbinos suos ex Propheticis Scripturis facile ae extricare potuisse, modo Isaias tacuisset.
Disput. decima, de sacrificiorum duratiohe,Tbes.82—M. &C
■a.biniel laru avide a Judais passim conquiritur, ut vix tandem ejus compos rim. Nam cum Christian') superiorem putant: qui solideeorum arguments int. T Jumper. Prolog, ad Lcctoreni: prsefix, Cora. Abiab. in cap. 53. Is.