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treatment at their hands: I say, if we consider these things, no man ever met with a thousandth part of the provocation that Christ met with from men : And yet how meek was he under all ! How composed and quiet his spirit ! How far from being in a ruffle and tumult! When he was reviled, he reviled not again ; and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened not his mouth. No appearance was there of a revengeful spirit; on the contrary, what a spirit of forgiveness did he exhibit ! So that he fervently and effectually prayed for their forgiveness, when they were in the highest act of provocation that ever they perpetrated, viz. nailing him to the cross: Luke xxiii. 34. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.”
And never did there appear such an instance of love to men. Christ's love to men that he showed when on earth, and especially in going through his last sufferings, and offering up his life and soul under those sufferings, which was his greatest act of love, was far beyond all parallel. There have been very remarkable manifestations of love in some of the saints, as in the Apostle Paul, the Apostle John, and others : But the kve to men that Christ showed when on earth, as much exceeded the love of all other men, as the ocean exceeds a small stream.
And it is to be observed, that all the virtues which appeared in Christ shown brightest in the close of his life, under the trials he met with then. Eminent virtue always shows brightest in the fire. Pure gold shows its purity chiefly in the furnace. It was chiefly under those trials which Christ underwent in the close of his life, that his love to God, his honor of God's majesty, and his regard to the honor of his law, and his spirit of obedience, and his humility, and contempt of the world, and his patience and his meekness, and his spirit of forgiveness towards men, appeared. Indeed every thing that Christ did to work out redemption for us appears mainly in the close of his life. Here mainly is his satisfaction for sin, and here chiefly is his merit of eternal life for sinners, and here chiefly appears the brightness of his example, which he hath set us to follow.
Thus we have taken a brief view of the things whereby the purchase of redemption was made with respect to his righteousness that appeared in them........ I proceed now, § II. To take a view of them with respect to the satisfaction that he thereby made for sin, or the sufferings and humiliation that he was the subject of in them on our account. And here, I. He was subject to uncommon humiliation and sufferings in his infancy. He was born to that end that he might die ; and therefore he did as it were begin to die as soon as he was born. His mother suffered in an uncommon manner in bearing him. When her travail came upon her, it is said, there was no room in the inn,” Luke ii. 7. She was forced to betake herself to a stable ; and therefore Christ was born in the place of the bringing forth of beasts. Thus he suffered in his birth, as though he had been meaner and vijer than a man, and not possessed of the dignity of the human nature, but had been of the rank of the brute creatures. And we may conclude, that his mother's circumstances in other respects were proportionably strait and difficult, and that she was destitute of the conveniencies necessary for so young an infant which others were wont to have ; for want of which the Lew born babe without doubt suffered much. And besides, he was persecuted in his infancy. They began to seek his life as soon as he was born. Herod, the chief man of the land, was so engaged to kill him, that, in order to it, he killed all the children in Bethlehem, and in all the coasts thereof, from two years old and under. And Christ suffered banishment in his infancy, was driven out of his native country into Egypt, and without doubt suffered much by being carried so long a journey, when he was so young into a strange country. II. Christ was subject to great humiliation in his private life at Nazareth. He there led a servile obscure life, in a mean laborious occupation : For he is called not only the carfienter’s son, but the carpenter : Mark vi. 3. “Is not this the carpenter, the brother of James and Joses, and Juda, and Simon " He, by hard labor, earned his bread before he ate it, Vol. II. 2 C
and so suffered that curse which God pronounced on Adam, Gen. iii. 13. “In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread.” Let us consider how great a degree of humiliation the glorious Son of God, the creator of heaven and earth, was subject to in this, that for about thirty years he should live a private obscure life among laboring men, and all this while be overlooked, and not taken notice of in the world, as more than other common laborers. Christ's humiliation in some respects was greater in private life than in the time of his public ministry. There were many manifestations of his glory in the word he preached, and the great miracles he wrought : But the first thirty years of his life he spent among mean ordinary men, as it were in silence, without those manifestations of his glory, or any thing to make him to be taken notice of more than any ordinary mechanic, but only the spotless purity and eminent holiness of his life; and that was in a great measure hid in obscurity ; so that he was little taken notice of till after his baptism. III. Christ was the subject of great humiliation and suffering during his public life, from his baptism till the night wherein he was betrayed. As particularly, 1. He suffered great poverty, so that he had not “where, to lay his head,” Matth. viii. 20; and commonly used to lodge abroad in the open air, for want of a shelter to betake himself to ; as you will see is manifest, if you compare the following places together, which I shall but name to you, even Matth. viii. 20, and John xviii. 1, 2, and Luke xxi. 37, and chap. xxii. 39. So that what was spoken of Christ in Cant. v. 2. “My head is filled with dew, and my locks with the drops. of the night,” was literally fulfilled. And through his poverty he doubtless was often pinched with hunger, and thirst, and cold. We read Matth. iv. 2, that he was an hungred : And so again in Matth. xxi. 18. His mother and natural relations. were poor, and not able to help him ; and he was maintained by the charity of some of his disciples while he lived. So we read in Luke viii. at the beginning, of certain women that followed him, and ministered to him of their substance. He was so poor, that he was not able to pay the tribute that was demanded of him, without the miraculous coming of a fish to bring him the money out of the sea in his mouth. See Matth. xvii. 27. And when he ate his last passover, it was not at his own charge, but at the charge of another, as appears by Luke xxii. 7, &c. And from his poverty he had no grave of his own to be buried in. It was the manner of the Jews, unless they were very poor, and were not able, to prepare themselves a sepulchre while they lived. But Christ had no land of his own, though he was possessor of heaven and earth; and therefore was buried by Joseph of Arimathea's charity, and in his tomb, which he had prepared for himself. 2. He suffered great hatred and reproach. He was despised and rejected of men. He was by most esteemed a poor, insignificant person; one of little account, slighted for his low parentage, and his mean city Nazareth. He was reproached as a glutton and drunkard, a friend of publicans and sinners; was called a deceiver of the people ; sometimes a madman, and a Samaritan, and tone possessed with a devil, John vii. 20, and viii. 48, and x. 20. He was called a blasphemer, and was accounted by many a wizzard, or one that wrought miracles by the black art, and by communication with Beelzebub. They éxcommunicated him, and agreed to excommunicate any man that should own him, as John ix. 22. They wished him dead and were continually seeking to murder him ; sometimes by force, and sometimes by craft. They often took up stones to stone him, and once led him to the brow of a hill, intending to throw him down the precipice, to dash him in pieces against the rocks. He was thus hated and reproached by his own visible people : John i, 11. “ He came to his own, and his own received him not.” And he was principally despised and hated by those who were in chief repute, and were their greatest men. And the hatred wherewith he was hated was general. Into whatever part of the land he went, he met with hatred and contempt. He met with these in Capernaum, and when he went to Jericho, when he went to Jerusalem, which was the holy city, when he went to the temple to worship, and also in Nazareth, his own city, and among his own relations, and his old neighbors.
3. He suffered the buffettings of Satan in an uncommon manner. We read of one time in particular, when he had a long conflict with the devil, when he was in the wilderness forty days, with nothing but wild beasts and devils ; and was so exposed to the devil's power, that he was bodily carried about by him from place to place, while he was otherwise in a very suffering state.
And so much for the humiliation and suffering of Christ's public life, from his baptism to the night wherein he was betrayed.
IV. I come now to his last humiliation and sufferings, from the evening of the night wherein he was betrayed to his resurrection. And here was his greatest humiliation and suffering, by which principally he made satisfaction to the justice of God for the sins of men. First, his life was sold by one of his own disciples for thirty pieces of silver, which was the price of the life of a servant, as you may see in Exod. xxi. 32. Then he was in that dreadful agony in the garden. There came such a dismal gloom upon his soul, that he began to be sorrowful and very heavy, and said, his “soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death, and was sore amazed.” So violent was the agony of his soul, as to force the blood through the pores of his skin ; so that while his soul was overwhelmed with amazing sorrow, his body was all clotted with blood. The disciples, who used to be as his friends and family, at this time, above all, appeared cold towards him, and unconcerned for him, at the same time that his father’s face was hid from him. Judas, to whom Christ had been so very merciful, and treated as one of his family, or familiar friends, comes and betrays him in the most deceitful, treacherous manner. The officers and soldiers apprehend and bind him ; his disciples forsake him and flee ; his own best friends do not stand by him to comfort him, in this time of his distress. He is led away as a malefactor to appear before the priests and scribes, his venomous, mortal enemies, that they might sit as his judges, who sat up all night, to have the pleasure of insulting him, now they had got him into their hands. But because they aimed at nothing short of his life, they set themselves to find some color to put