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himself complained in the garden, saying ; “ My soul * is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” That his sorrow was extremely vehement was sufficiently manifest, when “his sweat was, at it were, great drops of * blood, falling down to the ground."" These expressions must not be so jejunely explained, as if the body were properly the subject of his suffering, and the soul suffered only by sympathy; for hitherto the body did not suffer, and the sufferings of the body constituted by far the least part of that punishment which it behoved the Surety of mankind to undergo.
v. The Divinity itself indeed suffered nothing; but it afforded strength to the suffering humanity, that it might be able to sustain the pressure of divine vengeance when afflicting it with the whole weight of its anger—not sinking under the load, but nobly overcoming it, and happily lifting up its glorious head. So great is the vehemence of the divine indignation when poured forth against sin in all its fierceness, that unless support is administered by more than human or any created strength, man must inevitably sink under it, and be everlastingly crushed byits power. Hence it follows that none but “the mighty God,” strong and valiant,? was able to grapple at once with the infernal hosts, and with God himself avenging iniquity.
vi. But the Divinity of Christ was of importance in another respect. It was owing to the Divinity, that the person suffering was GOD-MAN, “ in whom dwel“ leth all the fulness of the godhead bodily;"—not mystically, as in believers—not symbolically, as in the sacraments—not typically and figuratively, as in the temple and the ark—but “ bodily,” that is, really or personally; as the body is either opposed to the shadow, or designates a person. To the Divinity, in consequence, it was owing, that the suffering of one so great, namely, a Divine and infinite Person, could not fail to be regarded as possessing infinite worth; so that the sufferings of Christ, though of short duration, were equivalent to the eternal sufferings of the damned; and the sufferings of a single person sufficed for the redemption of the many myriads of the elect. Hence the Scripture so often recalls our attention to the Divine dignity of Him who suffered, that we may recognise the boundless value of the satisfaction of Christ. It affirms, that “God hath purchased the church with “ his own blood”--that “the Lord of glory was cruci“ fied"__that “Christ through the eternal Spirit offer" ed up himself unto God"t*—that“ the blood of Jesus “ Christ, the Son of God, cleanseth us from all sin.”u
m Mat. xxvi. 38.
n Luke xxii. 44.
. . .
15 אל גבור P
VII. To impart this infinite worth to his sufferings, it was not necessary that the Divine nature itself, or that Christ as God should suffer. It was sufficient that he who is God, should suffer. All the actions and sufferings are the actions and sufferings of the person, and receive their value and denomination from the dignity of the person, as from the principium quod, although with respect to their condition, they are to be attributed to the nature from which they take their rise, as the principium quo.g
VIII. In vain, too, doth Socinus argue, that the dignity of the person contributes nothing towards the in
* See Vol. I. NOTE XXXVIII. r Acts xx. 28.
s 1 Cor. ii. 8. · Heb. ix. 14.
u 1 John i. 7. s See Note VIII.
finitude of the punishment, because " there is no respect " of persons with God;"v and that if this holds even when there is room for the exercise of his mercy, much more, when the infliction of punishment according to justice, or rather according to the dictates of the strictest severity, is in question. In reply to this cavil, we observe, Ist, That “the respect of persons” which God disclaims, is quite a different matter from the consideration of the worth of the person, in estimating his sufferings. The Greek term moontov does not signify a man himself, whom we call a person ; but the outward condition or quality of a person or thing, which is unconnected with the cause, and has no concern in its merits. But here the dignity of the person suffering is not an outward quality unconnected with the matter, but more than any thing else contributes essentially to the weight and merits of the cause; for the worth of
person who takes something on himself, is a consideration of great moment. In short, it is one thing to accept the face, * —which is contrary to justice, and is with great propriety represented as impossible with God; and it is a widely different thing to respect the person † properly so called,—which is just, and is rightly attributed to God. 2dly, The condition of a Surety must be distinguished from that of a sinner. Personal dignity might perhaps be of no avail to the guilty individual himself, when suffering the punishment of his own sins; because he possessed when sinning the same dignity which he possesses when suffering; and if it might be pleaded as a reason for dimi
* Rom. ii. 11.
nution when viewed simply in relation to the punishment, it is, however, to be considered as an aggravation when viewed in relation to the offence. But personal dignity is available in a Surety, who makes satisfaction, not for his own transgressions, but for the transgressions of others.
ix. But what hath Christ suffered ? In one word, he has suffered the wrath of God, which was kindled against the sins of the whole human race; for “ the “ wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all un"godliness and unrighteousness of men”. That wrath signifies a most holy detestation of sin, together with the just punishment of it; and accordingly“ wrath and " the revelation of the righteous judgment of God,” are joined together by the Apostle. *
x. God, who is holy, cannot but hate sin, and the sinner. “ Thou art not a God that hath pleasure in “ wickedness—thou hatest all workers of iniquity."y Now the natural consequence of this hatred is punishment; for the hatred is most just, and is essential to him who has the right and the power to punish. Hence the Psalmist deduces the following conclusions : “ Evil “ shall not dwell with thee; the foolish shall not stand “ in thy sight; thou shalt destroy them that speak leas
xi. There is in sin a wanton indignity and disparagement to the Divine majesty and glory; for whoever sins, acts as if there were no God whom he is bound to revere, a or as if he were a God to himself, and the supreme governor of his own actions.b And what is this but wantonly to insult the majesty and glory of God ? But the glory of God is justly dear to himself; and he can no more suffer an indignity done to it to pass wholly unpunished, than he can become “ * altogether “such a one as the sinner;" for so himself hath taught us to reason.
w Rom. i. 18.
* Rom. ii. 5.
XII. To this concern for his own glory, violated by the sinner, God has given a very significant appellation, namely, jealousy :* which alludes to an honourable husband, who is greatly enraged at the least approaches to the violation of conjugal fidelity. “ Jealousy “ is the rage of a man.”d Now the necessary consequence of that jealousy, by which God' secures the vindication of his own glory, than which nothing is dearer to him, is the punishment of sin. Hence the following expressions—" a jealous God, visiting iniquity”;c “ He “is a holy God, he is a jealous God; he will not forgive your transgressions, nor your sins." XI!. Nay, further, even when he “forgives iniquity, transgression, and sin, he will by no means clear the “ guilty.”. But in that eminent act of his mercy, he demands also some demonstration of his justice. It is deserving of notice, that this sentiment is repeatedly inculcated in those passages, where the great clemency of God towards sinners is celebrated either by himself, or by his servants. Thus believers are apprized, that they must not expect, or even desire, the pardon of their sins, without some manifestation of the Divine severity against them. Now God gives a twofold display of his severity. Ist, By chastising sin in believers
Ps. 1. 21.
d Prov. vi. 34. e Exod. xx. 5.
Josh. xxiv. 19. & Exod. xxxiv. 7. " Num. xiv. 18. Jer. XXX, 11. xlvi. 28.