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that a “ created nature," personally united to the Divine, was capable of infinitely greater suffering than any other created nature ? Is there sufficient ground to affirm, with the tone of perfect confidence, that it was impossible that “ the man Christ Jesus,” supported by his omnipotent Divinity, could sustain, within a limited period, the whole wrath due to millions of sinners, or even the punishment due to a single sinner, through eternal ages? Is it quite certain, that “ the Lion of the tribe of Judah," was unable to bear “ what would be equivalent to even a slight distress extended through eternity ?” Can any one who holds the true Divinity of Christ allow himself to suppose, that the Son of God was incapable of enduring in the human nature a greater load of suffering than a mere man, whether supported by natural fortitude or superior aid ? Some Divines may ha expressed themselves in too peremptory terms with regard to the precise amount of the sufferings of Christ ; and no doubt it ought to be remembered that “ his atonement, great as his distresses were, did not derive its value principally from the degree in which he experienced them ; but from the infinite greatness and excellency of his character.” Nevertheless, whilst Prophets, Apostles, and Evangelists employ the strongest expressions which language could supply to describe the bitterness of those sorrows to which the Messiah submitted as the Substitute of sinners, and whilst our Lord's own expressions and behaviour in the day of his Father's anger manifestly tend to convince us that there is no sorrow like his sorrow, and that his sufferings corresponded in their measure to the vast extent of the imputed guilt which he bore,—it sounds very strange in a Christian's ear, to be told that “ the degree of suffering which Christ underwent, was far inferior to that which will be experienced by an individual sufferer beyond the grave.” With all becoming deference to the learned and highly respectable writer, it may be affirmed that this assertion seems neither well-founded, nor fitted to serve any valuable purpose. High conceptions of the severity of our Lord's sufferings and the depth of his abasement, as well as a firm persuasion of the dignity of his person and the excellence of his character, are calculated to impress the mind with a sense of the efficacy of his atonement, the unparalleled greatness of his love, and the horrid malignity of sin.—The judicious Dr Witherspoon, in his Sermon on Isaiah lxiii. 1. makes a few cursory but valuable remarks on the deep distress of our Lord's soul in the garden and on the cross.

• Works, Vol. iii. Ser. 3.

Nota IX. Page 48.

• We

The Author, agreeably to Scripture, represents it as the design of the sufferings of Christ, to reconcile sinners unto God. This reconciliation too, he remarks, is ascribed, but in different respects, to the Father, to Christ, and to believers themselves. That it is attributed in a certain sense to believers, is evident from 2 Cor. v. 20.

pray you in Christ's stead, be ye reconciled to God." These words, however, do not mean that we at all make satisfaction to the justice of God, or procure his favour by our obedience in any form ; but that, by the faith which is of divine operation, we accept of pardon and peace, as obtained by him who, though he knew no sin, was made sin for us, and as freely exhibited to us in the Gospel. This acceptance of forgiveness through the cross of Christ, never fails to be accompanied with a renunciation on our part of that enmity against the divine character and government which we naturally cherish.

It has been alleged by the disciples of Socinus, that the reconciliation of men to God means nothing more than their repentance or conversion, and that it does not at all imply the removal of the divine anger from them. Nothing, however, is more contrary to Scripture than this assertion. Mutual reconciliation betwixt God and men is indeed effected by the death of Christ. But it is clear that when we read of our being reconciled to God by the sufferings and death of Christ, the principal thing intended is the turning away of God's judicial wrath from us, and the procuring of our acceptance in his sight. Accordingly, we read in the 19th verse of the Chapter just referred to; " God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself—not imputing their trespasses unto them.On this question, too, the following passage in the Epistle to the Romans, * is mpletely decisive; “ Much more then, being now justified by his blood, we shall be saved from wrath through him. For if, when we were enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death o his Son ; + much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. And not only so, but we also joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the reconciliation.In these verses, it is obvious, the Apostle continues his discussion with regard to the blessed effects of justification by faith in the blood of

Chap. v. 9, 10, 11.
* Κατηλλαγημεν τω Θεω δια το θανατε τα υιε αυτε.
+ Δι και νυν την καταλλαγης έλαβομεν.

Christ. The 9th and 10th are connected by the particle for; and if the Apostle's reasoning has any force, justification by the blood of Christ, must at least be included in reconciliation to God by the death of his Son. In reconciliation, we are admitted into a state of favour with the Most High, of whose displeasure we were formerly the objects; in justification, we receive a sentence of absolution from our Judge, who heretofore condemned us. By the one, we are delivered from that just indignation to which we were obnoxious; by the other, we are set free from the curse of the violated law. In both, the benefit conferred is essentially the same, but differently expressed according to the different views which may be taken of that misery from which we are relieved. This interpretation is incontestably confirmed by the expression at the close of the 11th verse; which when literally and most correctly translated runs thus,—" by whom we have now received the reconciliation.That is, by faith in Christ, who has fully satisfied offended justice and brought in everlasting righteousness, we have now received the inestimable blessing of the restored favour and friendship of God.

The reader who wishes to see this point more fully discussed, may consult Wardlaw and Magce, t and also the writers to whom the latter refers.

Note X. Page 52. That the general character of Pontius PILATE corresponded with that instance of glaring injustice of which he was guilty in condemning Jesus to the cross, notwithstanding his firm conviction of his innocence, cannot admit of a doubt. Even the Evangelist Luke seems incidentally to intimate, that he was a man of no humanity or principle: For admitting that the Galileans, by their political sentiments or conduct, had incurred the displeasure of the Roman government, yet to “mingle their blood with their sacrifices” -to seize the opportunity of their attendance on the solemnities of religious worship, to apprehend and slay them in the most summary manner, was an act of savage barbarity. Josephus, too, as well as Philo, represents his character in the most odious light, and mentions two instances of impiety and gross imprudence, which took place at the commencement of his administration ; namely, his causing some bucklers, on which images of Cæsar were stamped, to be brought into Jerusalem by night, and his laying out the sacred

Discourses on the Socinian Controversy, pp. 151–156.
+ Discourses and Dissertations, ac Vol. i. Diss. 20.
* Luke xiii. I.

money of the temple upon expensive aqueducts ;-both of which deeds were extremely offensive to the Jews, and occasioned great disorders.*

One design of the insertion of Pilate's name in the Creed, without doubt, was to fix the date of our Lord's sufferings, and thus to show the exact accomplishment of ancient predictions, relative to the time of the Messiah's appearing and death. The compilers of the Creed, however, probably expected also that this circumstance would excite inquiry respecting our Saviour, and in particular respecting the testimony which the Roman Procurator bore to his innocence. Beside the solemn and repeated declarations which he made on this point to the Jews, when Jesus stood as a pannel at his bar, it is affirmed by ancient writers that Pilate gave ample testimony to our Lord's innocence, both in an express written to Tiberius and presented by that Emperor to the Senate, and in records which, conformably to custom, he kept of important transactions which occurred during his government.

“ Had the trial of Jesus ended,” says an Author formerly quoted, “ where it began, before the Highpriest and .council of the Jews, it would have been less interesting to the world, and less satisfactory in the issue. But he was tried by a Roman judge ; and his innocence, nay his dignity, stands attested, by the person who through weakness condemned him.” “ I am inclined to believe,” he adds in a note, “ that the compilers of the Creed, commonly called the Apostles' Creed, must have had this circumstance under their eye, as much as to fix the chronology of the death of Jesiis. His suffering under Pontius Pilate would determine many to inquire into the particulars of the event, whom mere curiosity would not prompt, or who might have been restrained by their antipathies and indifference.”+

A considerably full account of Pilate may be seen in Pearson on the Creed. I

Note XI. Page 75. “ HELENA, mother of Constantine the Great,” it is said in a late Biographical work,ş “ was probably a daughter of an Inn-keeper of Drepanum in Bithynia ; for the comparatively recent tradition which makes her the daughter of a British Prince, though fondly received

• Wars of the Jews, Book ii. chap. 9.
+ Hunter's Observations on the History of Christ, Vol. ii. chap. 12. sect. 4.
# Art. iv. pp. 193—198.
§ Aikin's General Biography, Vol. v. Art. HELENA.

by some antiquaries of this country, seems to be entirely fictitious. --- Her son Constantine treated her with great respect. Upon his conversion to Christianity, she followed his example, and became extremely zealous for her new faith. She had the title of Augusta and Empress at court and in the army, and the entire disposal of a large revenue. About 326 she paid a visit to the holy places of Jerusalem, and this was the epoch of that memorable event in ecclesiastical history called the invention of the true cross.

Though Eusebius, in his Ecclesiastical History, is silent concerning this great event, it is recorded by so many other writers of grave authority, that the Catholic Church have made no scruple of commemorate ing it by a religious service. - - - Helena died at the age of eighty in 328, and was interred in the imperial mausoleum at Rome.

She is canonized as a Saint by the Roman Catholic Church.”

Whatever judgment may be formed of the character of Helena herself, among Protestants there can be but one opinion with regard to the invention of the cross; and the reader will probably think that “this curious piece of deplorable superstition” was scarcely worthy of a serious and elaborate confutation. It has been noticed lately in terms of great severity by a respectable traveller.*

Note XII. Page 76. Rhegium, now called Reggio, is a considerable town on the coast of Italy opposite to Sicily. The Rhegian crime consisted in an act of treachery committed by a Legion of Roman soldiers sent to protect that city from the danger which its inhabitants apprehended from the incursions of Pyrrhus and the Carthaginian fleet. This Roman legion, which was called the Campanian, and commanded by Decius Jubellius the tribune, after remaining true to their duty for some time, were at last seduced by the commodious situation of the place and the wealth of the citizens, took entire possession of the city, and drove out or killed the inhabitants. The Roman government, indignant at the treachery, besieged Rhegium, and destroyed the greater part of the legion in the assault; and three hundred who were taken alive, were carried to Rome, where they were first scourged, and then beheaded. The city, with all the lands, was restored to its former inhabitants, who enjoyed their liberty and laws as before. By this act of severity, the Romans recovered their character for good faith amongst their allies, and mightily increased their reputation.t

• Dr Clarke's Travels, Vol. iii. pp. 567, 568.
+ Vid. Tit. Liv. Lib. xii. cap. 27-32. Lib. xv. cap. 2–4.

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