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554 ¥hey ia^e °ff the Purple Robe, and lead him to be crucified. Sect. 188.as they thought proper; and they soon (hewed, V->^*v^J that their tender Mercies were cruel.

Matth. And when the Jewish Mob had thus prevailed, Mat. XXVII. 31. And

XXVU. v.aJ tb hd mchd A insulted Km for a while, {£ £*£ « --«•

just as the Roman Soldiers had before done in the Robe oft from him, and put

Prætorium, deriding his Pretences to a Kingdom, his 0Wr» Raiment on him,

and abusing him like the vilest Slave, they took the *nd lef £jm awaJ "> ""^ , r, ?r, t iff t- ,\ J J J n- J «"n. [mark XV. 20.-3 Purple Robe off from htm (q), and having drejjed J

him in his own Garments, they led him away to be

crucified^ in a Manner which we (hall presently

relate.

IMPROVEMENT.

Jtknxix.13. "1^ £ f us now, by a lively Act of Faith, bring forth the Blessed Jesus

J j to our Imagination, as Pilate brought him forth to the People. Let

us with affectionate Sympathy survey the Indignities which were offered

Ver. 1. him, when he gave his Back to the Smiters, and his Cheeks to them that plucked off the Hair; and hid not his Face from Shame and Spitting.

Mat. xxvii. (Jfa. 1. 6.) Behold the Man, wearing his Purple Robe, and Thorny Crown,

29- and bearing the Reed which smote him, in his Right Hand, for a Sceptre I

Jebnxix. 5. Behold, not merely the Man, but the Son of GOD, thus vilely degraded, thus infamoufly abused! Shall we, as it were, increase his Sufferings, and, while we condemn the Fury and Cruelty of the Jews, (hall we crucify him to ourselves afresh, and put him to an open Shame? (Heb. vi. 6.) Or (hall we overlook him with Slight and Contempt, and hide our Faces from him, who for our fake thus exposed his own? (Isa. liii. %.)

Ver. 7, 8. Let the Caution even of this Heathen Judge, who feared, when he heard he so much as pretended to be the Son of GOD, engage us to reverence him j especially considering in how powerful a Manner he has since

Mat. rfxvii. Deen declared to be so. (Rom. i. 4.) Let us in this Sense have nothing to tb with the Blood of this just Person: But, after our Master's Example, let us learn patiently to resign ourselves to those Sufferings, which God (ball appoint for us, remembering that none of the Enemies, and none of the

Johnx'ix.ii. Calamities we meet with, could have any Power against us, except it vert given them from Above.

How

(q) They took the Purple Robe os' from him.'] It is observable, that Matthew (chop, xxvii. 28.) mentions a Scarlet Robe, Kouuvtn ^X«^w/«, and Mark (chap. xv. 20.) a Purple Garment, Tw> -s-appi/por. I take not upon me to determine, whether either of these Words be used for the other, waving, as in some other Cafes, the most exact Signification; or whether there were two Garment! used, a Purple Vejl, and over that a Scarlet Robe. However, it is probable, whatever they were, Pilate, or any of his chief Officers, would not cover his bleeding Body with any thing better, than an old, and perhaps tattered Habit, which answered their contemptuous Purpose much better, than the best which the Governors Wardrobe could have afforded.

(r) Leave

RefleSiions on the Condemnation O/*christ. 555

How wisely was it ordered by Divine Providence, that Pilate should be Sect. 188. obliged thus to acquit Christ, even while he condemned him; and to speak ^"Y"^ of him as a righteous Person, in the fame Breath with which he doomed er*' him to the Death of the most flagitious Malef'acJor! And how lamentably does the Power of Worldly Interest over Conscience appear, when after all the Convictions of his own Mind, as well as the Admonitions of his JVije under a Divine Impulse, he gave him up to popular Fury. Luke xxiii. Oh Pilate, how gloriously hadst thou fallen in the Defence of the Son2*' of GOD! And how justly did God afterwards leave thee to perish, by the Resentment of that People, whom thou wast now so studious to oblige sr)!

Who can without trembling read that dreadful Imprecation, May his Mat. xxvii. Blood be upon us, and on our Children! Words, which even to this Day25' have their remarkable and terrible Accomplishment, in that Curse, which has pursued the Jews thro' Seventeen Hundred Years. Lord, may it at length be averted, and even turned into a Blessing! May they look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn, till all the Obstinacy of their Hearts be subdued, till they bow down in glad Submission to that King whom Qod has set on his holy Hill, and themselves reign with him in everlasting Honour and Joy!

SECT. CLXXXIX.

Christ being delivered up by Pilate to the Rage of the
People, bears his Cross to Calvary, and is there nailed to it.
Mat. XXVII. 32,—34. 38. Mark XV. 21,—23. 25.
27, 28. Luke XXIII. 26,—34 John XIX.—16,—18.

Johnxix._i6. John XIX. 16.

AN D they took Jesus, ^T O W after Pilate had pasted Sentence upon Sect. 180. ■C* and led him away. J^ jesug> tQ satisfy ^ sestless Clamour of the ^^<\

lews, and had delivered him to the Soldiers to J°hn x^x*

be16*

(r) Leave thee to perish, &c] Josephus (Antig. lib. xviii. cap. 4. (al. 5.) §. 1, 2.) expressly assures us, that Pilate, having slain a considerable Number of seditious Samaritans, was deposed from his Government by Fitellius, and sent to Tiberius at Rome, who died before he arrived there. And Eusebius, probably from Phlegm, {Eccles. Hist. lib. ii. cap. y.) tells us, that quickly after, (having, as others fay, been oanifhed to Vienne in Gaul,) he laid violent Hands upon himself, falling on his own Sword. Agrippa, who was an EyeWitness to many of his Enormities, speaks of him, in his Oration to Caius Ca/ar, as one who bad been a Man of a most infamous Character; (Pkilo Jud. in Leg. pag. 1034.) and by that Manner of speaking, as Valefius well observes, it is plainly intimated, that he was then dead. Probably the Accusations of other Jews following him, had before that proved his Destruction. A a a a 2

55^ . . JESUS bearing his Cross is led away to Golgotha.

Sect. 189.be crucified, his Prosecutors having gained their V^C^r* Point, hastened his Execution; and having inJ5 n "suited and abused him, (as was said before,) they took Jesus, and led him away to that terrible Punishment (a). Luk.XXIII. ^nj to eXp0fe him to the greater Ignominy, Luke XXIII. 32. And 33' and to prejudice the People more against him, *IleTMwJ"e ■"? Twoothcr

*l \r cr *L n.it u Malefactors led with him, to.

there were also Two other Men, who were con- j,e nUt to Death.

demned to die upon the Cross for a Robbery,

and were well known to be great MalefaSiors,

that were led out of Jerusalem with him, to be

executed at the same Time. John XIX. And Jesus, thus attended as a Criminal, was Johnxix. rj. And he 1?' led thro' the City, carrying a heavy Part of his ^"^^ZT'ST^

^ r t-PLij J i- 1 1- n into a Place called/A« P/urr

Crop on his Shoulders,, according to the Custom of a Scull, which is called in,

of those who were to be crucified: And in this the Hebrew, Golgotha.

Manner he came out towards a Place, which lay

on the Western Side of the City, but a little

without the Boundaries of it (b), which was called

in the Hebrew Language Golgotha, [or] the Place

of a Scull; because the_ Bodies of many Criminals,

having been executed on that little Eminence,,

were buried there. Luk.XXIII. And as they led him on, Jesus was now so faint LuKE XXIII. 26. And; a6' with the Loss of Blood, so very sore with the » **yM>him »w»y, ghe^

Lasties and Bruises he had received, and so fa-
tigued with the Load of such a large Piece of

Timber,.

(a) They took Jesus, and led him away."] It is evident, this Text is parallel to Mat. xxvfi. . —31. and Mark xv.—20. But I have here, as in some other Instances of two or more parallel Passages, put one at the'Conclusion of a former Section, and the other at the Beginning of the next, for a better Connection. 1 may also add, that this seems to me the

exact Place of Mat. xxvii. 3,——-iff. in which the Evangelist relates the tragical End of Judas; but I hope I shall be indulged in transposing it, partly, that I may preserve a better proportion in the Length of the Sections, and chiefly, that I- may not interrupt the important Story of Chrijl's Passion: And I more easily allow myself to do it, because probably the very same Consideration engaged Matthew a little to anticipate it. Let it only here be observed, that the Death of this Traitor seems to have happened before that of his Master: So speedily did the Divine Vengeance pursue his aggravated Crime.

(b) Carrying a heavy Part of his Cross, came out &c.\ Mr. Lardner has abundantly proved from many Quotations, that it was customary not only for the jews, [Numb. xv. 3$. I Kings xxi. 13. Acts vii. 58.) but also for the Sicilians, Ephejians, and Romans, to execute their Malefactors without the Gates of their Cities. (See his Credibility, Vol. i. pag. 209,

2io) What our Lord carried, was not the whole Cross, but only that transverse Piece

of Wood, to which his Arms were afterwards fastened; and which was called Antenna, or Furca, going cross the Stipes, or upright Beam, which was fixed in the Earth. This the Criminal used to carry, and therefore was called Furcifer. See Bishop Pearson n tbt Creed, P"g. 203, 204.

They meetSimoTi

f6und a Man of O lenc, Simon by Name,] [mar. the ■Father of Alexander and Ruf'us, who passed by, coming out of the Country, and] they laid hold on him; [and him they compelled to bear his Cross ;] and on him they laid the Cross, that he might bea r it after Jesus. [mat.

XXVII. 32. MARK..XV.

21.].

27-And there followed him a great Company of Beople, and of Women, which also bewailed and lamented him.

28 But Jesus turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your Children.

29 For behold, the Days

are coming, in the which

they

of Cyrene, and make him carry his Cross. 557
Timber, that he was not able to proceed so fast Sect. 189.
as they desired, especially considering how little \-^££fi?
Time they had before them to finish their Work. 26"'
And as he was advancing slowly to the Place of
Execution, they met on the Road a poor African,
who was a Native of Cyrene, named Simon; the
Father of Alexander and Rufus, who afterwards
became Christians, and were of some Note in the
Church: This Simon at that Time was passing
by, as be came out of the Country to Jerusalem 5
[and] they immediately laid hold on [him] as one
fit for their Purpose, finding him a strong Man,
and it may be suspecting that he was a Favourer
of Jesus; [and] pretending that the Authority of
the Roman Governor impowered them to press
any they met for this Service, they compelled him
to carry at least one End of his Cross -, and ac-
cordingly on him they laid the Cross, that he might
carry it after Jesus.

*• And a great Multitude of People crouded' after 27
him to fee the Crucifixion; and particularly a
considerable Number of Women, who had attend-
ed his Ministry with great Delight, followed him
on this fad Occasion; who were so tenderly af-
fected with the moving Sight, as that they were
unable to conceal their Sorrow, but also vented
their Concern in Tears, and bewailed and lamented
him in a very affectionate Manner. But Jesus 28
turning to them, said, Alas, ye Daughters of Je-
rufalem, weep not for me, who am willing to
submit to all the Sufferings appointed for me, as
what I know will issue in the Salvation of my
People, and in my Exaltation to the highest
Glory; but rather weep for yourselves, and for
your Children^ in Consideration of the dreadful
Judgments that these Crimes will quickly bring
upon this wretched People, whose Calamities
will be of much longer Duration than mine.
For let it be remembered by you as my dying 29
Words, behold, the Days are surely and quickly
coming, and some of you may live to see them,
in which the innocent Blood which this People
have imprecated upon themselves, shall come down
upon their Heads in so terrible a Manner, that

they

29

they {hall say, Blessed an the Barren, and the Wombs that never bare, and the Pap which never gave Suck.

30 Then (hall they begii to lay to the Mountains, Fall on us; and to the Hills, Cover us.

31 For if they do thcfe Things in a green Tree, what shall be done in the dry?

558 They give him Vinegar to drink, mingled with Gall.

Sect. i8g. they Jhall have Reason to say, Happy [are] the t->^^v. > Barren Women, and the Wombs which never bare Luk.XXIII. Children, and the Breajls that never suckled them: For as Relations are multiplied, Sorrows shall be multiplied with them, and Parents {hall fee their Children subject to all the Miseries, which Famine, and Pestilence, and Sword, and Captivity, 3° can bring upon them. Then Jhall they, who are now triumphing in my Death, be trembling with Horror, in Expectation of their own j and considering present Calamities as the Fore-runners of future yet more intolerable Miseries, shall begin, in Despair of the Divine Mercy, to say to the Mountains, Fall on us; and to the Hills, Cover us, from the more dreadful Pressure of God's 31 Wrath, which is kindled against us. For if they do these Things in the green Wood, what Jhall be done in the dry? If such Agonies as these fall upon me, who am not only an innocent Person, but God's own Son, when I put myself in the Stead of Sinners j what will become of those Wretches, who can feel none of my Supports and Consolations, and whose personal Guilt makes them as proper Fuel for the Divine Vengeance, as dry Wood is to the Flames?

At length they arrived at the Place of Execu33- tion: And when they were come thither, even to the Place which (we before observed) was called in Hebrew Golgotha, [or] the Place of a Scull, a little without the City [on] Mount Calvary; (which was the usual Place for executing Criminals, and seemed a proper Spot of Ground for the Purpose, as on Account of its Eminence the Malefactors crucified there might be seen at a considerable Distance, and by a great Number of 34 Spectators ;) They proceeded to the fatal Purpose for which they came: And as it was customary to give to dying Criminals a Potion of strong Wine, mingled with Spices, to chear their Spirits, and render them less sensible of their Sufferings, the Soldiers who attended him gave him nothing better to drink, than Vinegar mingled with Gall, by that odious Mixture farther expressing their Cruelty and Contempt: And when

Matth.

Mat. XXVII. 33. And when they were come to [the] Place called Golgotha, that is to fay, [the] Place of a Scull, [LtJK. er Calvary,] [mar. XV. 22. Luke XXIII. 33.-]

34 They gave him Vinegar to drink, mingled with Gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he would not drink.

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