Page images

mountains, others in comparison of them but as mole-hills, yet it is the general nature of sin (which is the creature's subducting itself from under the dominion of God and dependence upon him) that punishment originally is suited unto; whence death is appointed to every sin, and that eternal, wherein the degrees of punishment vary, not the kind.

2. For the several kinds of punishment (I call them so in a general acceptation of both words), they are distinguished according to their ends and causes. The ends of punishments, or of all such things as have in them the nature of punishments, may be referred to the ensuing heads:

(1.) The first end of punishment is the good of him that is punished; and this is twofold:-

[1.] For amendment and recovery from the evil and sin that he hath committed. This kind of punishing is frequently mentioned in Scripture: so eminently, Lev. xxvi., doth the Lord describe it at large, and insist upon it, reckoning up in a long series a catalogue of several judgments, he interposing, “But if ye will not be reformed by me by these things, but will walk contrary to me" (as verse 23), “then will I do so and so," or add this or that punishment to them foregoing; and this in reference to the former end, of their reformation. And the success of this procedure we find variously expressed. Sometimes the end of it in some measure was fulfilled, Ps. lxxviii. 32–35; sometimes otherwise, Isa. i. 5, “Why should ye be smitten any more? ye will revolt more and more,” intimating that the end of the former smiting was to cure their revoltings. And this kind of punishment is called vouosoia, correction for instruction, and is not punishment in its strict and proper sense.

[2]. For the taking off of sinners, to prevent such other wickednesses as they would commit, should patience be exercised towards them. The

heathen saw that he that was wicked and not to be reclaimed, it was even good for him and to him that he should be destroyed. Such an one, as Plutarch says, was srépons yo nárows BraEspòv autớ ce Brabspørar,—"hurtful to others, but most of all to himself.” How much more is this evident to us, who know that future judgments shall be proportionably increased to the wickedness of men in this world! And if every drop of judgment in the world to come be incomparably greater than the greatest and heaviest a man can possibly suffer in this life or lose his life by, it is most evident


1 "Puniendis peccatis tres esse debere causas existimatum est. Una est quæ your θεσία vel κόλασις vel παραίνεσις dicitur; curn pena adhibetur castigandi atque emen dandi gratia, ut is qui fortuito deliquit, attentior fiat, correctiorque. Altera est, quan ii, qui vocabula ista curiosius diviserunt, tipe wpíæv appellant, ea causa animadvertendi est, quum dignitas authoritasque ejus, in quem est peccatum tuenda est, ne præter. missa animadversio contemptum ejus pariat, et honorem elevet," etc. — Vid. A. Gell. lib. vi. cap. xxiv.

* Kad yap sovesoía xaù ó fóros intenti pes távoimy xai aiozúrny — Plut. de Virtut.


that a man may be punished with death for his own good, “mitius punientur.” This is zoradia. And this hath no place in human administrations of punishments when they arise to death itself. Men cannot kill a man to prevent their dealing worse with him, for that is their worst; they can do no more, says our Saviour: but accidentally it may be for his good. Generally, xócos or xonasia is, as Aristotle speaks, ráoxovtos évena, and is thereby differenced from Tifeopic (of which afterward), which, as he says, is toŨ TOVOŪYTOS &vera iva åtophopwon. Hence ároncoros is one not corrected, not restrained, "incastigatus." And therefore the punishment of death cannot at all properly be xóhaois: but cutting off by God to prevent farther sin hath in it si avároyou thereunto.

(2.) The second end of punishment, which gives a second kind of them, in the general sense before mentioned, is for the good of others, and this also is various:

[1.] It is for the good of them that may be like-minded with him that is punished, that they may be deterred, affrighted, and persuaded from the like evils. This was the end of the punishing of the sumptuous sinner, Deut. xvii. 12, 13, “That man shall die; and all the people shall hear, and fear, and do no more presumptuously." “The people;" that is, any among them that were like-minded unto him that was stoned and destroyed. So in some places they have taken lions that have destroyed men, and hung them on crosses, to fright others that should attempt the like. Hence "exemplum” is sometimes put absolutely for punishment, because punishment is for that end. So in the comedian, “Quæ futura exempla dicunt in eum indigna;" on which place Donatus, “Graves pænæ, quæ possunt cæteris documento esse, exempla dicuntur." And this is a tacit end in human punishment. I do not know that God hath committed any pure revenge unto men,—that is, punishing with a mere respect to what is past; nor should one man destroy another but for the good of others. Now, the good of no man lies in revenge. The content that men take therein is their sin, and cannot be absolutely good to them. So the philosopher, “ Nemo prudens punit quia peccatum est, sed ne peccetur; revocari enim præterita non possunt, futura prohibeantur;”and Rom. xiii. 4, “If thou do that which is evil, be afraid," etc. ;-—"See what he hath done to others, and be afraid.”

[2.] It is for the good of others, that they may not be hurt in the like kind as some were by the sin of him who is punished for it. This seems to be the main end of that great fundamental law of human society, “Let him that hath killed by violence be killed, that the rest of men may live in peace.' And these kinds of punishments, in reference to this end, are called

i Arist. Rhet. i. , Terent. Eunuch. act. V. sc. 5, 1. 4. 8 Sen. $"Naturale jus talionis hic indicatur."-Grot. in Gen. ix, 6.


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


Tupadeiyuatu, “examples," that others by impunity be not enticed to evil, and that the residue of men may be freed from the harm that is brought upon them by reason of such evils.

Hence the historian says, that commonwealths should rather be mindful of things done evilly than of good turns. The forgetfulness of the latter is a discouragement to some good, but of the former an encouragement to all licentiousness. Thus Joseph suspecting his espoused consort, yet refused napadenyuarioa, to make an open example of her by punishment, Matt. i. 19. And these punishments are thus called from their use, and not from their own nature; and therefore differ not from κολασίαι and τιμωρίαι, but only as to the end and use, from whence they have their denomination."

[3.] The good of him that punisheth is aimed at; and this is proper to God. Man punisheth not, nor can, nor ought, for his own good, or the satisfaction of his own justice; but “the LORD made all things for himself, yea, even the wicked for the day of evil,” Prov. xvi. 4, Rom. ix. 22: and in God's dealing with men, whatever he doth, unless it be for this end, it is not properly punishment.

This is simpía, “vindicta noxæ,” purely the recompensing of the evil that is committed, that it may be revenged. This, I say,

in God's dealing is properly punishment, the revenge of the evil done, that himself or his justice may be satisfied; as was seen before from Rom. ii. 5-11. Whatever of evil God doth to any,--which is therefore called “punishment,” because it partaketh of the general nature of punishment, and is evil to him that is punished, yet if the intendment of God be not to revenge the evil past upon him in a proportion of law, it is not punishment properly so called; and therefore it will not suffice, to prove that believers are or may be punished for sin, to heap up texts of Scripture where they are said to be punished, and that in reference to their sin, unless it can be also proved that God doth it “animo ulciscendi,” and that their punishment is “vindicta noxe,” and that it is done του πονούντος ένεκα ένα αποπληρωθή: but of this I am not now to treat.

The reader may hence see what punishment is in general, what are the ends of it, and its kinds from thence, and what is punishment from God, properly so called. It is a vindicta noxæ, animo ulciscendi, ut ipsi satisfiat:” and this kind of punishment was the death of Christ; which is to be proved.

SECONDLY, That the death of Christ was a punishment properly so called (which is the third consideration of it, as I said), is next to be proved. Of all the places of Scripture and testimonies whereby this may be demonstrated, I shall fix only on one portion of Scripture, and that is Isa. liii. What in particular shall be produced from thence will appear when I have given some general considerations of the chapter; which I shall do at large, as looking on that portion of Scripture as the sum of what is spoken in the Old Testament concerning the satisfactory death of Jesus Christ.

1 Inde παραδειγματικός συλλογισμός, et παραδειγματικών ενθύμημα.

2 Κολάσατε δε αξίως τούτους τε, και τους άλλους συμμάχους ταράδειγμα σαφές καταFrýcati.—Thucyd. lib. iii. 40.

1. This whole prophecy, from verse 13 of chap. lii., which is the head of the present discourse, is evinced to belong to the Messiah, against the Jews:

(1.) Because the Chaldee paraphrast, one of their most ancient masters, expressly names the Messiah, and interprets that whole chapter of him: “Behold,” saith he, “my servant, the Messiah, shall deal prudently.” And the ancient rabbins, as is abundantly proved by others, were of the same mind: which miserably entangles their present obdurate masters, who would fix the prophecy upon any rather than on the Messiah, seeing evidently that if it be proved to belong to the Messiah in thesi, it can be applied to none other in hypothesi but Jesus of Nazareth.

(2.) Because they are not able to find out or fix on any one whatever to whom the things here spoken of may be accommodated. They speak, indeed, of Jeremiah, Josiah, a righteous man in general, the whole people of Israel, of Messiah Ben Joseph, a man of straw of their own setting up: but it is easy to manifest, were that our present work, that scarce any one expression in this prophecy, much less all, doth or can agree to any one or all of them named; so that it must be brought home to its proper subject. Of this at large in the ensuing digression against Grotius.

2. That to us it is evident above all contradiction that the whole belongs to Jesus Christ; because not only particular testimonies are taken from hence in the New Testament, and applied to him, as Matt. viii. 17, Mark xv. 28, Luke xxii. 37, Rom. x. 16, but it is also expounded of him in general for the conversion of souls, Acts viü. 26–40. The story is known of Philip and the eunuch.

3. This is such a prophecy of Christ as belongs to him not only properly but immediately; that is, it doth not in the first place point out any type of Christ, and by him shadow out Christ, as it is in sundry psalms, where David and Solomon are firstly spoken of, though the Messiah be principally intended: but here is no such thing. Christ himself is immediately spoken of. Socinus says, indeed, that he doubted not but that these things did primarily belong to another, could he be discovered who he was, and that from him was the allusion taken, and the accommodation made to Christ; “And if," saith he, “it could be found out who he was, much light might be given into many expressions in the chapter.” But this is a bold figment, for which there is not the least countenance given either from Scripture or reason, which is evidently decried from the

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

former arguments, whereby the impudence of the Jews is confounded, and shall be farther in the ensuing digression, where it shall be proved that it is impossible to fix on any one but Jesus Christ to whom the several expressions and matters expressed in this prophecy may be accommodated.

Now, there are three general parts of this prophecy, to consider it with reference to the business in hand, as the seat of this truth in the Old Testament:

1. A description given of Christ in a mean, low, miserable condition, from verse 14 of chap. lii. to verse 4 of chap. liii.: “His visage was marred more than any man, and his form more than the sons of men,” chap. lii. 14; “ he hath no form nor comeliness, no beauty," chap. liii. 2; "he is despised and rejected, a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief,” verse 3; looked on as "stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted,” verse 4.

2. The reason is given of this representation of the Messiah, of whom it is said in the entrance of the prophecy that he should “ deal prudently, and be exalted and extolled, and be very high;" to which this description of him seems most adverse and contrary. The reason, I say, hereof is given from verses 5 to 10; it was on the account of his being punished and broken for us and our sins.

3. The issue of all this, from verse 10 to the end, in the justification and salvation of believers.

It is the second that I shall insist upon, to prove the death of Christ to have in it the nature of punishment, properly and strictly so called.

Not to insist upon all the particular passages, that might be done to great advantage, and ought to be done, did I purpose the thorough and full handling of the business before me (but I am "in transitu," and pressing to somewhat farther), I shall only urge two things: First, The expressions throughout that describe the state and condition of Christ as here proposed. Secondly, One or two singular assertions, comprehensive of much of the rest.

For the first, let the reader consider what is contained in the several words here setting forth the condition of Christ. We have

despising and rejecting, sorrow and grief,” verse 3. “stricken, smitten, afflicted,” or there was striking, smiting, affliction on him, verse 4; "wounded, bruised, chastised with stripes," — wounding, bruising, chastising unto soreness, verse 5; "oppressed, stricken, cut off, killed, brought to slaughter,” verses 7-9; “bruised, sacrificed, and his soul made an offering for sin,” verse 10.

Now, certainly, for the material part, or the matter of punishment, here it is abundantly: here is “malum passionis” in every kind,immission of evil, subtraction of good in soul and body; here is plentiful measure, heaped up, shaken together, and running over.

He was

« PreviousContinue »