« PreviousContinue »
years, or many days, and be satisfied,” it had been something; but it is, “He shall see of the travail of his soul, and be satisfied."
2. “By his knowledge,” imat?, “In (or by) his knowledge;" "In scientia sua,” Vulg. Lat.; “Cognitione sui,” Jun. The LXX. wholly pervert all the words of this verse, except the last, as they do also of the former. That by the “knowledge” here mentioned is meant the knowledge of Christ taken objectively, and not the knowledge of God taken actively, as our annotator supposes, is evident from the fruit that is ascribed hereunto, which is the justification of them that have that knowledge: “By his knowledge,”—that is, the knowledge of him,—"they shall be justified,” Phil. iii. 8. So, “ Teach me thy fear,” that is, “ The fear of thee;” “My worship,” that is, “The ,
" ‘ worship of me.” No“ knowledge of God” in the land. But the use of this is in the next words.
3. “My righteous servant shall justify many.” That this term, used thus absolutely, “My righteous servant,” is not applied to any in the Scripture besides Jesus Christ, hath been declared; especially where that is ascribed to him which here is spoken of, it can be no otherwise understood. piqya, “shall justify,” that is, shall absolve from their sins, and pronounce them righteous. Grotius would have the word here to signify, “ to make holy and righteous by instruction and institution," as Dan. xii. 3, and dixaloīv, Rev. xxii. 11. That both these words are to be taken in a forensical signification; that commonly, mostly, they are so taken in the Scriptures; that scarce one and another instance can be given to the contrary; that in the matter of our acceptation with God through Christ they can no otherwise be interpreted,-have been abundantly manifested by those who have written of the doctrine of justification at large: that is not now my present business. This I have from the text to lay in the way of the interpretation of the learned annotator.
The reason and foundation of this justification here mentioned is in the following words, which indeed steer the sense of the whole text:
4. “For he shall bear their iniquities.” Now, what justification of men is a proper effect of another's bearing their iniquities? Doubtless the acquitting of them from the guilt of their sins, on the account of their sins being so borne, and no other. But, says our annotator, “To bear their sins is to take them away,” by a figurative expression. If this may not be understood, I suppose every one will confess that the annotator hath laboured in vain as to his whole endeavour of applying this prophecy unto Jeremiah. If by“ bearing our iniquities” be intended the undergoing of the punishment of those iniquities, and not the delivering men from their iniquities, the whole matter here treated of can relate to none but Jesus Christ; and to him it doth relate in the sense contended for. Now,
to evince this sense, we have all the arguments that any place is capable to receive the confirmation of its proper sense by. For,
(1.) The word, as is confessed, signifies properly to “ bear”
carry,” and not to “take away,” nor is it ever otherwise used in the Scripture, as hath been declared; and the proper use of a word is not to be departed from and a figurative one admitted without great necessity.
(2.) The whole phrase of speech of “ bearing iniquity” is constantly in the Scripture used for bearing or undergoing the punishment due to sin, as hath been proved by instances in abundance, nor can any instance to the contrary be produced,
(3.) The manner whereby Christ " bore the iniquities of men,” as described in this chapter, namely, by being "wounded," “ bruised," put to grief,” will admit of no interpretation but that by us in
From all which it is evident how violently the Scripture is here perverted, by rendering, “My righteous servant shall justify many, for he shall bear their iniquities,” by “Jeremiah shall instruct many in godliness, and so turn them from their sins.”
Verse 12, " Therefore will I divide him a portion with the great, and he shall divide the spoil with the strong; because he hath poured out his soul unto death: and he was numbered with transgressors; and he bare the sin of many, and made intercession for the transgressors."
A farther fruit of the travail of the Lord Christ, in his conquest over all oppositions, in the victory he obtained, the spoils that he made, expressed after the manner of the things of men, with the causes and antecedents of his exaltation, is summarily comprised in these last words. Hereof thus Grotius:
“ Dispertiam ei plurimos. Dabo ei partem in multis; id est, multos servabunt Chaldæi in ejus gratiam, vide Jer. xxxix. 17.
Et fortium dividet spolia; id est, Nabuzardan magister militum, capta urbe, de præda ipsi dona mittet, Jer. xl. 5. Oblatum etiam ipsi a Chaldeis terræ quantum vellet.
“ Pro eo quod tradidit in mortem animam suam. In Hebræo, Quia effudit in mortem animam suam. Id est, periculis mortis semet objecit colendo veritatem quæ odium parit. Vide historiam ad hanc rem oppositam, Jer. xxvi. 13. Sic sidóvar fuxir dici pro periculo mortis semet objicere diximus ad, Johan. x. 11.
“ Et cum sceleratis reputatus est. Ita est tractatus quomodo scelerati solent in carcere, catenis, et barathro.
Et ipse peccata multorum tulit, pessime tractatus fuit per multorum improbitatem, uti sup. ver. 5.
Et pro transgressoribus rogavit. ypp est deprecari. Sensus est: eo ipso tempore cum tam dura pateretur a populo, non cessavit ad Deum preces pro eis fundere, vide Jer, xiv. 7," etc.
"I will divide him a portion with the great,' or many; that is the Chaldeans shall preserve many for his sake, Jer. xxxix. 17.
“He shall divide the spoil with the strong;' that is, Nebuzaradan, the chief captain, the city being taken, shall send him gifts of the prey,
Jer. xl. 5. As much land also as he would was offered him by the Chaldeans.
“Because he poured out his soul unto death;' that is, he exposed himself to the danger of death by following truth, which begets hatred. See Jer. xxvi. 13. Todévas Luxán is spoken for exposing a man's life to danger of death, John x. 11.
“ He bare the sin of many,' or was evilly treated by the wickedness of the many.
“And made intercession for the transgressors.' He prayed for the people," etc.
To run briefly over this exposition,
1. “I will divide him a portion with the great.” That is, “The Chaldees shall save many for his sake.” How is this proved? Jer. xxxix. 17, 18, where God says he will save Ebedmelech, because he put his trust in him! Such is the issue commonly when men will wrest the Scripture to their own imagination,—such are their proofs of what they affirm.
2. “He shall divide the spoil with the strong.” That is, “ The city being taken, the captain of the guard gave him victuals and a reward, and set him at liberty, as we read, Jer. xl. 5."
3. “Because he poured out his soul unto death.” That is,.“ He ventured his life by preaching the truth, although he did not die.” For,
4. “He bare the sin of many,” that is, “ By the wickedness of many he was wronged;" though this expression in the verse foregoing be interpreted, “He shall take away their sins," and that when a word of a more restrained signification is used to express“ bearing” than that here used. At this rate a man may make application of what he will to whom he will.
Upon the sense of the words, and their accomplishment in and upon the Lord Jesus Christ, I shall not insist. That they do not respect Jeremiah at all is easily evinced from the consideration of the intolerable wresting of the words and their sense by the learned annotator to make the least allusion appear betwixt what befell him and what is expressed.
To close these animadversions, I shall desire the reader to observe,
1. That there is not any application of these words made to the prophet Jeremiah, that suits him in any measure, but what may also be made to any prophet or preacher of the word of God that met with affliction and persecution in the discharge of his duty, and was delivered by the presence of God with him; so that there is no reason to persuade us that Jeremiah was peculiarly intended in this prophecy.
2. That the learned annotator, though he professes that Jesus Christ was intended in the letter of this scripture, yet hath interpreted the whole not only without the least mention of Jesus Christ or application of it unto him, but also hath so opened the several words and expressions of it as to leave no place or room for the main doctrine of his satisfaction, here principally intended. And how much the church of God is beholding to him for his pains and travail herein the reader may judge.
Of the matter of the punishment that Christ underwent, or what he suffered.
Having despatched this digression, I return again to the consideration of the death of Christ as it was a punishment, which shall now be pursued unto its issue.
The THIRD thing proposed to consideration on this account, was the matter of this punishment that Christ underwent, which is commonly expressed by the name of his " death.”
Death is a name comprehensive of all evil, of what nature or of what kind soever,—all that was threatened, all that was ever inflicted on man. Though much of it falls within the compass of this life, and short of death, yet it is evil purely on the account of its relation to death and its tendency thereunto; which when it is taken away, it is no more generally and absolutely evil, but in some regard only.
The death of Christ, as comprehending his punishment, may be considered two ways: 1. In itself; 2. In reference to the law.
On the first head I shall only consider the general evident concomitants of it as they lie in the story, which are all set down as aggravations of the punishment he underwent; on the latter I shall give an account of the whole in reference to the law :
1. Of death natural, which in its whole nature is penal (as hath been elsewhere evinced), there are four aggravations, whereunto all others may be referred: as,-(1.) That it be violent or bloody; (2.) That it be ignominious or shameful; (3.) That it be lingering and painful; (4.) That it be legal and accursed. And all these to the height met in the death of Christ.
(1.) It was violent and bloody: hence he is said to be,-[1.] Slain, Acts ii. 23, 'Aveiners, “ Ye have slain;" [2.] Killed, Acts iii. 15, 'Atentsivars, "Ye have killed;” [3.] Put to death, John xviii. 31, 32; [4.] Cut off, Dan. ix. 26.
The death of Christ and the blood of Christ are on this account
in the Scripture the same. His death was by the effusion of his blood, and what is done by his death is still said to be done by his blood. And though he willingly gave up himself to God therein as he was a sacrifice, yet he was taken by violence and nailed to the cross as it was a punishment; and the dissolution of his body and soul was by a means no less violent than if he had been most unwilling thereunto.
- (2.) It was ignominious and shameful. Such was the death of the cross,—the death of slaves, malefactors, robbers, pests of the earth and burdens of human society, like those crucified with him. Hence he is said to be “ obedient unto death, the death of the cross,” Phil. ii. 8, that shameful and ignominious death. And when he “endured the cross," he “despised the shame” also, Heb. xii. 2. To be brought forth and scourged as a malefactor amongst malefactors in the eye of the world, made a scorn and a by-word, men wagging the head and making mouths at him in derision, when he was full of torture, bleeding to death, is no small aggravation of it. Hence the most frequent expression of his death is by the cross, or crucifying.
(3.) It was lingering. It was the voice of cruelty itself concerning one who was condemned to die,“ Sentiat se mori,”—“ Let him so die that he may feel himself dying;” and of one who, to escape torture, killed himself, “Evasit,"_“He escaped me.” Sudden death, though violent, is an escape from torture. Such was this of Christ. From his agony in the garden, when he began to die (all the powers of hell being then let loose upon him), until the giving up of the ghost, it was from the evening of one day to the evening of another; from his scourging by Pilate, after which he was under continual pain and suffering in his soul and in his body, to his death, it was six hours; and all this while was he under exquisite tortures, as, on very many considerations, might easily be made manifest.
(4.) It was legal, and so an accursed death. There was process against him by witness and judgment. Though they were, indeed, all false and unjust, yet to the eye of the world his death was legal, and consequently accursed: Gal. iii. 13, “Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree,”-that is, because of the doom of the law, whose sentence is called a curse, Deut. xxi. 23. uch was that of Christ, Isa. liii. 4.
1 “ Extdoxoría, seu crucifragium ut crux ipsa, servorum quasi peculiare supplicium fuit.”—Lipsias. " Sublimes extra ordinem aliquæstatuebantur cruces; si exempla edenda forent in famosa persona, et ob atrox facinus, aut si hoc supplicio veniret afficiendus ille, cujus odium erat apud omnes flagrantissimum."-Salmas. de Cruce. Which seems to be the case in the cross of Christ, between those of the thieves. “Bene addit crucem, nam servorum non civium crucis erat supplicium.”- Nannius, in Terent. And. Act. 3,5, 15.
" Noli minitari scio crucem Futuram mihi sepulchrum: ibi enim mei majores sunt siti,
Pater, avus, proavus, abavus.” –Servus apud Plaut. Mil. Glor. ii. 4, 19. Vid. Trach. Histor. lib. ii. 27; Vulcat. in Avid. Cassio, cap. iv.; Capitolin, in Macrin. cap. xii.; Luc. Florus, lib. iii. cap. xix