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FROM AN

EXPOSITION OF THE CREED

by JOHN PEARSON, D.D.,

FORMERLY LORD BISHOP OF CHESTER

First Published 1659

[see original PDF file text at Project Canterbury for extensive footnotes]

 

ARTICLE IV - CHAPTER  I.
He suffered.

THIS Article hath also received some accession in the particular expressions of Christís humiliation.  For the first word of it, now generally speaking of his passion, in the most ancient Creeds was no way distinguished from his crucifixion; for as we say, suffered and crucified, they only, crucified under Pontius Pilate: nor was his crucifixion distinguished from his death, but where we read, crucified, dead, and buried, they only, crucified and buried.  Because the chief of his sufferings were on the cross, and he gave up the ghost there; therefore his whole passion and his death were comprehended in his crucifixion. 

 

But again, being he suffered not only on the cross; being it was possible he might have been affixed to that cursed tree, and yet not have died; therefore the Church thought fit to add the rest of his sufferings, as antecedent, and his death, as consequent to, his crucifixion.

 

To begin then with his passion in general.  In those words, He suffered under Pontius Pilate, we are to consider part as substantial, part as circumstantial.  The substance of this part of the Article consisteth in our Saviourís passion, He suffered: the circumstance of time is added, declared by the present governor, under Pontius Pilate.

 

Now for the explication of our Saviourís passion, as distinct from those particulars which follow in the Article, more, I conceive, cannot be required than that we shew, who it was that suffered, how he suffered, what it was he suffered.

 

First, if we would clearly understand him that suffered in his full relation to his passion, we must consider him both in his office and his person; as Jesus Christ, and as the only-begotten Son of God.  In respect of his office, we believe that he which was the Christ did suffer; and so we make profession to be saved by faith in a suffering Messias.  Of which that we may give a just account, first, we must prove that the promised Messias was to suffer: for if he were not, then by professing that our Jesus suffered, we should declare he was not Christ.  Secondly, we must shew that Jesus, whom we believe to be the Messias, did really and truly suffer: for if he did not, then while we proved the true Messias was to suffer, we should conclude our Jesus was not that Messias.  Thirdly, it will farther be advantageous for the illustration of this truth, to manifest that the sufferings of the Messias were determined and foretold, as those by which he should be known.  And fourthly, it will then be necessary to shew that our Jesus did truly suffer whatsoever was so determined and foretold.  And more than this cannot be necessary to declare who it was that suffered, in relation to his office.

 

For the first of these, that the promised Messias was to suffer, to all Christians it is unquestionable; because our Saviour did constantly instruct the Apostles in this truth, both before his death, that they might expect it, [Mark ix. 12] and after, that they might be confirmed by it. [Luke xxiv. 26, 46]  And one part of the doctrine which St. Paul disseminated through the world was this, that the Christ must needs have suffered [Acts xvii. 3].

 

But because these testimonies will satisfy only such as believe in Jesus, and our Saviour himself did refer the disbelieving Jews to the Law and the Prophets, as those who testified of him; we will shew from thence, even from the oracles committed to the Jews, how it was written of the Son of Man, that he must suffer many things; Mark ix. 12] and how the Spirit of Christ which was in the Prophets testified beforehand the sufferings of Christ. [1 Peter i. 11]

 

The fifty-third chapter of Isaiah is beyond all question a sad, but clear, description of a suffering person: a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief, oppressed and afflicted, wounded and bruised, brought to the slaughter, and cut off out of the land of the living.  But the person of whom that chapter treateth was certainly the Messias, as we have formerly proved by the confession of the most ancient Jews, and may farther be evidenced both from them, and from the place itself.  For surely no manís soul can be made an offering for our sins but our Saviourís: nor hath God laid on any man the iniquity of us all but on our Redeemer.  Upon no person but the Messias could the chastisement of our peace be; nor with any stripes could we be healed but his.  It is sufficiently then demonstrated by the Prophet, that the suffering person whom he describes was to be the Christ, in that he bare our griefs, and carried our  sorrows.

 

This prediction is so clear, ever since the serpent was to bruise the heel of the womanís seed, that the Jews, who were resolved to expect a Messias which should be only glorious, have been forced to invent another, which should suffer.  And then they answer us with a distinction of their own invention; That a Messias was to redeem us, and a Messias was to suffer for us: but the same Messias was not both to redeem us and to suffer for us.  For they say that there are two several persons promised under the name of the Messias; one of the tribe of Ephraim, the other of the tribe of Judah; one the Son of Joseph, the other the Son of David; the one to precede, fight, and suffer death, the other to follow, conquer, triumph, reign, and never to die.  If then our Saviour were a Christ, we must confess he was a suffering Messias, and consequently, according to their doctrine, not a Saviour.  For if he were the Son of David, then, say they, he was never to die; or if he ever died, he was not that Messias which was promised to sit upon the throne of David.  And while we confess our Saviour died, and withal assert his descent from the house of David, we do, in their opinion, involve ourselves in a contradiction.

 

But this distinction of a double Messias is far from prevailing over our belief: first, because it is in itself false, and therefore of no validity against us; secondly, because it was first invented to counterfeit the truth, and so very advantageous to us. 

 

That it is in itself false, will appear, because the Scriptures never mention any Messias of the tribe of Ephraim; neither was there ever any promise of that nature made to any of the sons or offspring of Joseph.  Beside, as we acknowledge but one Mediator between God and man, so the Scriptures never mention any Messias but one.  Under whatsoever title he is represented to us, there can be no pretence for a double person. Whether the seed of the woman, or the seed of Abraham, whether Shiloh, or the son of David, still one person promised: and the style of the ancient Jews before our Saviour was, not they, but he which is to come.  The question which was asked him, when he professed himself to be Christ, was, whether it was he which was to come, or whether they were to look for another?  not that they could look for him and for another also.  The objection then was, that Elias was not yet come, and therefore they expected no Messias till Elias came.  Nor can the difference of the Messiahís condition be any true reason of imagining a double person, because in the same place the Prophets, speaking of the same person, indifferently represent him in either condition.  Being then, by the confession of all the Jews, one Messias was to be the Son of David, whom Elias was to precede; being by the tenor of the Scriptures there was never promise made of more Christs than one, and never the least mention of the tribe of Ephraim with any such relation; it followeth that that distinction is in itself false.

 

Again, that the same distinction, framed and contrived against us, must needs be in any indifferent personís judgment advantageous to us, will appear, because the very invention of a double person is a plain confession of a twofold condition; and the different relations, which they prove not, are a convincing argument for the distinct economies, which they deny not.  Why should they pretend to expect one to die, and another to triumph, but that the true Messias was both to triumph and to die, to be humbled and to be exalted, to put on the rags of our infirmity before the robe of majesty and immortality?  Why should they tell us of one Mediator to be conquered, and the other to be victorious, but that the serpent was to bruise the heel of the seed of the woman and the same seed to bruise his head?  Thus even while they endeavour to elude, they confirm our faith; and, as if they were still under the cloud, their error is but as a shadow to give a lustre to our truth.  And so our first assertion remaineth firm; the promised Messias was to suffer.

 

Secondly, that Jesus, whom we believe to be Christ, did suffer, we shall not need to prove, because it is freely confessed by all his enemies.  The Gentiles acknowledged it, the Jews triumphed at it.  And we may well take that for granted, which is so far from being denied, that it is objected.  If hunger and thirst, if revilings and contempt, if sorrows and agonies, if stripes and buffetings, if condemnation and crucifixion, be sufferings, Jesus suffered.  If the infirmities of our nature, if the weight of our sins, if the malice of man, if the machinations of Satan, if the hand of God could make him suffer, our Saviour suffered.  If the annals of times, if the writings of his Apostles, if the death of his Martyrs, if the confession of the Gentiles, if the scoffs of the Jews, be testimonies, Jesus suffered.  Nor was there ever any which thought he did not really and truly suffer, but such as withal irrationally pretended he was not really and truly man.

 

Thirdly, to come yet nearer to the particular acknowledgment of this truth, we shall farther shew that the promised Messias was not only engaged to suffer for us, but by a certain and express agreement betwixt him and the Father, the measure and manner of his sufferings were determined, in order to the redemption itself which was thereby to be wrought; and what was so resolved, was before his coming in the flesh revealed to the Prophets, and written by them, in order to the reception of the Messias, and the acceptation of the benefits to be procured by his sufferings.

 

That what the Messias was to undergo for us was predetermined and decreed, appeareth by the timely acknowledgment of the church unto the Father; Of a truth, against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate, with the Gentiles and the people of Israel, there gathered together, for to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. [Acts iv. 27, 28] For as when the two goats were presented before the Lord, that goat was to be offered for a sin-offering upon which the lot of the Lord should fall; and that lot of the Lord was lift up on high in the hand of the high priest, and then laid upon the head of the goat which was to die: [Lev. xvi. 8] so the hand of God is said to have determined what should be done unto our Saviour, whose passion was typified by that sin-offering.  And well may we say that the hand of God as well as his counsel determined his passion, because he was delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God. [Acts ii. 23]

 

And this determination of Godís counsel was thus made upon a covenant or agreement between the Father and the Son, in which it was concluded by them both what he should suffer, what he should receive.  For beside the covenant made by God with man, confirmed by the blood of Christ, we must consider and acknowledge another covenant from eternity made by the Father with the Son: which partly is expressed by the Prophet, If he shall make his soul an offering for sin, he shall see his seed, he shall prolong his days; [Is. liii. 10] partly by the Apostle, Then said I, Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me) to do thy will, O God. [Heb. x. 7]  In the condition of making his soul an offering for sin, we see propounded whatsoever he suffered; in the acceptation, Lo, I come to do thy will, O God, we see undertaken whatsoever was propounded.  The determination therefore of our Saviourís passion was made by covenant of the Father who sent, and the Son who suffered.

 

And as the sufferings of the Messias were thus agreed on by consent, and determined by the counsel of God; so they were revealed by the Spirit of God: unto the Prophets, and by them delivered to the Church; they were involved in the types, and acted in the sacrifices.  Whether therefore we consider the prophecies spoken by God in the mouths of men, they clearly relate unto his sufferings by proper prediction; or whether we look upon the ceremonial, performances, they exhibit the same by an active representation.  St. Paulís apology was clear, that he said none other things but those which the Prophets and Moses did say  would come, that Christ should suffer. [Acts xxvi. 22]  The Prophets said in express terms that the Messias, whom they foretold should suffer; Moses said so in those ceremonies which were instituted by his ministry.  When he caused the passover to be slain, he said that Shiloh was the Lamb slain before the foundations of the world.  When he set the brazen serpent up in the wilderness, he said, the Son of Man should be lifted up upon the cross. When he commanded all the sacrifices for sin, he said, without effusion of blood there was no remission, and therefore the Son of God must die for the sins of men.  When he appointed Aaron to go into the Holy of Holies on the day of Atonement, he said, Christ, our High Priest, should never enter through the veil into the highest heavens to make expiation for us, but by his own blood.  If then we look upon the fountain, the eternal counsel of the will of God; if we look upon the revelation of that counsel, either in express predictions or ceremonial representations, we shall clearly see the truth of our third assertion, that the sufferings of the promised Messias were predetermined and foretold.

 

Now all these sufferings which were thus agreed, determined, and revealed as belonging to the true Messias, were undergone by that Jesus of Nazareth, whom we believe to be the true Christ.  Never was there any suffering type which he out-went not, never prediction of any passion which he fulfilled not, never any expression of grief and sorrow which he felt not.  When the appointed time of his death approached, he said to his Apostles, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and all things that are written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man must be accomplished. [Luke xviii. 31]  When he delivered them the blessed sacrament, the commemoration of his death, he said, Truly the Son of Man goeth as it was determined. [Luke xxii. 22]  After his resurrection, he chastised the dulness of his Disciples, who were so overwhelmed with his passion, that they could not look back upon the antecedent predictions; saying unto them, O fools, and slow of heart to believe all that the Prophets have spoken!  Ought not Christ to have suffered these things, and to enter into his glory! [Luke xxiv. 25, 26]  After his ascension St. Peter made this profession before the Jews, who had those prophecies, and saw his sufferings; Those things which God before had shewed in the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled. [Acts iii. 18]  Whatsoever therefore was determined by the counsel of God, whatsoever was revealed by the Prophets concerning the sufferings of the Messias, was all fulfilled by that Jesus whom we believe to be, and worship as, the Christ.  Which is the fourth and last assertion propounded to express our Saviourís passion in relation to his office.

 

Having considered him that suffered in his office, we are next to consider him in his person.  And being in all this Article there is no person expressly named or described, we must look back upon the former, till we find his description and his name.  The Article immediately preceding leaves us in the same suspension, but for our satisfaction refers us to the former, where we find him named Jesus, and described the only-begotten Son of God.

 

Now this Son of God we have already shewed to be therefore truly called the Only-begotten, because he was from all eternity generated of the essence of the Father, and therefore is, as the eternal Son, so also the eternal God.  Wherefore by the immediate coherence of the Articles, and necessary consequence of the Creed, it plainly appeareth that the eternal Son of God, God of God, very God of very God, suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried.  For it was no other person which suffered under Pontius Pilate, than he which was born of the Virgin Mary; he which was born of the Virgin Mary, was no  other person than he which was conceived by the Holy Ghost; he which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, was no other person than our Lord; and that our Lord no other than the only Son of God: therefore by the immediate coherence of the Articles it followeth, that the only Son of God, our Lord, suffered under Pontius Pilate.  That Word which was in the beginning, which then was with God, and was God, in the fulness of time being made flesh, did suffer.  For the princes of this world crucified the Lord of Glory; [1 Cor. ii. 8] and God purchased his church with his own blood. [Acts xx. 28]  That Person which was begotten of the Father before all worlds, and so was really the Lord of glory and most truly God, took upon him the nature of man, and in that nature, being still the same Person which before he was, did suffer.  When our Saviour fasted forty days, there was no other person hungry, than that Son of God which made the world; when he sat down weary by the well there was no other person felt that thirst, but he which was eternally begotten of the Father the fountain of the Deity; when he was buffeted and scourged, there was no other person sensible of those pains, than that eternal Word which before all worlds was impassible; when he was crucified and died, there was no other person which gave up the ghost, but the Son of him, and so of the same nature with him, who only hath immortality. [1 Tim. vi. 16]  And thus we conclude our first consideration propounded, viz.,  Who it was which suffered; affirming that, in respect of, his office, it was the Messias, in respect of his person, it was God the Son.

 

But the perfect probation and illustration of this truth requireth first a view of the second particular propounded, how, or in what he suffered.  For while we prove the Person suffering to be God, we may seem to deny the passion, of which the perfection of the Godhead is incapable.  The Divine nature is of infinite and eternal happiness, never to be disturbed by the least degree of infelicity, and therefore subject to no sense of misery.  Wherefore while we profess that the Son of God did suffer for us, we must so far explain our assertion, as to deny that the Divine nature of our Saviour suffered.  For being the Divine nature of the Son is common to the Father and the Spirit, if that had been the subject of his passion, then must the Father and the Spirit have suffered.  Wherefore as we ascribe the passion to the Son alone, so must we attribute it to that nature which is his alone, that is, the human.  And then neither the Father nor the Spirit will appear to suffer, because neither the Father nor the Spirit, but the Son alone, is man, and so capable of suffering.

 

Whereas then the humanity of Christ consisteth of a soul and body, these were the proper subject of his passion; nor could he suffer any thing but in both or either of these, two.  For as the Word was made flesh, [John i. 14] though the Word was never made, (as being in the beginning God,) but the flesh, that is, the humanity, was made, and the Word assuming it became flesh; so saith St. Peter, Christ suffered for us in the flesh, [1 Peter iv. 1] in that nature of man which he took upon him: and so God the Son did suffer, not in that nature in which he was begotten of the Father before all worlds, but in that flesh which by his incarnation he became. For he was put to death in the flesh, but quickened in the Spirit; [1 Peter iii. 18] suffered in the weakness of his humanity, but rose by the power of his divinity.  As he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, in the language of St. Paul; [Rom. i. 3] so was he put to death in the flesh, in the language of St. Peter: and as he was declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness; [Rom. i. 4] so was he quickened by the Spirit.  Thus the proper subject and recipient of our Saviourís passion, which he underwent for us, was that nature which he took from us.

 

Far be it therefore from us to think that the Deity, which is immutable, could suffer; which only hath immortality, could die.  The conjunction with humanity could put no imperfection upon the divinity; nor can that infinite nature by any external acquisition be any way changed in its intrinsical and essential perfections.  If the bright rays of the sun are thought to insinuate into the most noisome bodies without any pollution of themselves, how can that spiritual essence contract the least infirmity by any union with humanity?  We must neither harbour so low an estimation of the Divine nature, as to conceive it capable of any diminution; nor so mean esteem of the essence of the Word, as to imagine it subject to the sufferings of the flesh he took; nor yet so groundless an estimation of the great mystery of the incarnation, as to make the properties of one nature mix in confusion with the other.  These were the wild collections of the Arian and Apollinarian heretics, whom the Church hath long since silenced by a sound and sober assertion, that all the sufferings of our Mediator were subjected in his human nature.

 

And now the only difficulty will consist in this, how we can reconcile the person suffering with the subject of his passion; how we can say that God did suffer, when we profess the Godhead suffered not.  But this seeming difficulty will admit an easy solution, if we consider the intimate conjunction of the Divine and human nature, and their union in the person of the Son.  For hereby those attributes which properly belong unto the one are given to the other, and that upon good reason.  For being the same individual Person is, by the conjunction of the nature of God and the nature of man, really and truly both God and man; it necessarily followeth, that it is true to say, God is man, and as true a man is God: because in this particular he which is man is God, and he which is God is man.  Again, being by reason of the incarnation it is proper to say, God is man, it followeth unavoidably, that whatsoever necessarily belongeth to the human nature may be spoken of God; otherwise there would be a man to whom the nature of man did not belong, which were a contradiction.  And being by virtue of the same incarnation it is also proper to say, a man is God, by the same necessity of consequence we must acknowledge, that all the essential attributes of the Divine nature may truly be spoken of that man; otherwise there would be one truly and properly God, to whom the nature of God did not belong, which is a clear repugnancy.  Again, if the properties of the Divine nature may be truly attributed to that man which is God, then may those actions which flow from those properties be attributed to the same.  And being the properties of the human nature may be also attributed to the eternal Son of God, those actions or passions which did proceed from those properties may be attributed to the same Son of God, or God the Son.  Wherefore as God the Son is truly man, and as man truly passible and mortal; so God the Son did truly suffer, and did truly die.  And this is the only true communication of properties.

 

Not that the essential properties of one nature are really  communicated to the other nature, as if the Divinity of Christ were passible and mortal, or his humanity of original omnipotence and omnipresence; but because the same God the Son was also the Son of Man, he was at the same time both mortal and eternal: mortal, as the Son of Man, in respect of his humanity; eternal, as the Son of God, in respect of his Divinity.  The sufferings therefore of the Messias were the sufferings of God the Son: not that they were the sufferings of his Deity, as of which that was incapable; but the sufferings of his humanity, as unto which that was inclinable.  For although the human nature was conjoined to the Divine, yet it suffered as much as if it had been alone; and the Divine as little suffered as if it had not been conjoined: because each kept their respective properties distinct, without the least confusion in their most intimate conjunction.  From whence at last the person suffering is reconciled to the subject of his passion: for God the Son being not only God, but also man, suffered, though not in his Deity, by reason of which he is truly God; yet in his humanity, by which he who is truly God, is as truly man.  And thus we conclude our two first disquisitions: Who it was that suffered; in respect of his office, the Messias; in respect of his person, God the Son: How it was he suffered; not in his Deity, which is impassible, but in his humanity, which he assumed, clothed with our infirmities.

 

Our next inquiry is, What this God the Son did suffer as the Son of man; not in the latitude of all his sufferings, but so far as they are comprehended in this Article; which first prescindeth all the antecedent part by the expression of time, under Pontius Pilate, who was not governor of Judaea long before our Saviourís baptism; and then takes off his concluding passion, by adding his crucifixion and his death.  Looking then upon the sufferings of our Saviour in the time of his preaching the Gospel, and especially before his death, we shall best understand them by considering them in relation to the subject or recipient of them.  And being we have already shewed his passion was wholly subjected in his human nature, being that nature consisteth of two parts, the soul and body; it will be necessary to declare what he suffered in the body, what in the soul.

 

For the first, as we believe the Son of God took upon him the nature of man, of which the body is a part: so we acknowledge that he took a true and real body, so as to become flesh of our flesh, bone of our bone.  This body of Christ, really and truly human, was also frail and mortal, as being accompanied with all those natural properties which necessarily flow from the condition of a frail and mortal body: and though now the same body, exalted above the highest heavens, by virtue of its glorification be put beyond all possibility of passion, yet in the time of his humiliation it was clothed with no such glorious perfection; but as it was subject unto, so it felt weariness, hunger, and thirst.  Nor was it only liable to those internal weaknesses and natural infirmities, but to all outward injuries and violent impressions.  As all our corporal pain consists in that sense which ariseth from the solution of that continuity which is connatural to the parts of our body, so no parts of his sacred body were injuriously violated by any outward impression, but he was truly and fully sensible of the pain arising from that violation.  Deep was that sense, and grievous was that pain, which those scourges produced, when the ploughers ploughed upon his back and made long their furrows: [Ps. cxxix. 3] the dilaceration of those nervous parts created a most sharp and dolorous sensation.  The coronary thorns did not only express the scorn of the imposers, by that figure into which they were contrived; but did also pierce his tender and sacred temples to a multiplicity of pains, by their numerous acuminations.  That spear directed by an impertinent malice which opened his side, though it brought forth water and blood, caused no dolorous sensation, because the body was then dead: but the nails which pierced his hands and feet made another kind of impression, while it was yet alive and highly sensible.  Thus did the body of the Son of Man truly suffer the bitterness of corporal pains and torments inflicted by violent external impressions.

 

And as our Saviour took upon him both parts of the nature of man, so he suffered in them both, that he might be a Saviour of the whole.  In what sense the soul is capable of suffering, in that he was subject to animal passion.  Evil apprehended to come tormented his soul with fear, which was as truly in him in respect of what he was to suffer, as hope in reference to the recompense of a reward to come after and for his sufferings.  Evil apprehended as present tormented the same with sadness, sorrow, and anguish of mind.  So that he was truly represented to us by the prophet, as a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief; [Is. liii. 3] and the proper subject of that grief he hath fully expressed who alone felt it, saying unto his disciples, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. [Matt. xxvi. 38]

 

We ought not therefore to question whether he suffered in his soul or no; but rather to endeavour to reach, if it were possible, the knowledge how far and in what degree he suffered; how bitter that grief, how great that sorrow and that anguish was.  Which though we can never fully and exactly measure; yet we may infallibly know thus much, both from the expressions of the Spirit of God, and from the occasion of his sufferings, that the griefs and sorrows which he felt, and the anguish which he underwent, were most incomparably far beyond all sorrows of which any person here was sensible or capable.

 

The Evangelists have in such language expressed his agony, as cannot but raise in us the highest admiration at the bitterness of that passion.  He began to be sorrowful, saith St. Matthew; [Matt. xxvi. 37]  He began, to be sore amazed, saith St. Mark; [Mark xiv. 33] and to be very heavy, say both: and yet these words in our translation come far short of the original expression, which render him suddenly, upon a present and immediate apprehension, possessed with fear, horror, and amazement, encompassed with grief, and overwhelmed with sorrow, pressed down with consternation and --dejection of mind, tormented with anxiety and disquietude of spirit.

 

This he first expressed to his disciples, saying, My soul is exceeding sorrowful; and lest they should not fully apprehend the excess, adding, even unto death [Matt. xxvi. 38; Mark xiv. 34] as if the pangs of death had already encompassed him, and, as the Psalmist speaks, the pains of hell had got hold upon him. [Ps. cxvi. 3]  He went but a little farther before he expressed the same to his Father, falling on his face and praying, even with strong crying and tears, unto him that was able to save him from death. [Heb. v. 7]  Nor were his cries or tears sufficient evidences of his inward sufferings, nor could the sorrows of his breast be poured forth either at his lips or eyes; the innumerable pores of all his body must give a passage to more lively representations of the bitter anguish of his soul: and therefore while he prayed more earnestly, in that agony his sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the ground. [Luke xxii. 44]  As the Psalmist had before declared; I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax, it is melted in the midst of my bowels. [Ps. xxii. 14]  The heart of our Saviour was as it were melted with fear and astonishment, and all the parts of his body at the same time inflamed with anguish and agony; well then  might that melting produce a sweat, and that inflamed and rarefied blood force a passage through the numerous pores.

 

And as the Evangelistís expressions, so the occasion of the grief, will manifest the height and bitterness thereof.  For God laid on his own Son the iniquities of us all; [Is. liii. 6] and as we are obliged to be sorry for our particular sins, so was he grieved for the sins of us all.  If then we consider the perfection and latitude of his knowledge; he understood all the sins of men for which he suffered, all the evil and the guilt, all the offence against the Majesty, and ingratitude against the goodness of God, which was contained in all those sins.  If we look upon his absolute conformity to the will of God; he was inflamed with most ardent love, he was most zealous of his glory, and most studious to preserve that right which was so highly violated by those sins.  If he look upon his relation to the sons of men; he loved them all far more than they did themselves, he knew those sins were of themselves sufficient to bring eternal destruction on their souls and bodies, he considered them whom he so much loved as lying under the wrath of God whom he so truly worshipped.  If we reflect upon those graces which were without measure diffused through his soul, and caused him with the greatest habitual detestation to abhor all sin; if we consider all these circumstances, we cannot wonder at that grief and sorrow.  For if the true contrition of one single sinner, bleeding under the sting of the law only for his own iniquities, all which notwithstanding he knoweth not, cannot be performed without great bitterness of sorrow and remorse; what bounds can we set unto that grief, what measures to that anguish, which proceedeth from a full apprehension of all the transgressions of so many millions of sinners?

 

Add unto all these present apprehensions, the immediate hand of God pressing upon him all this load, laying on his shoulders at once an heap of all the sorrows which can happen unto any of the saints of God; that he, being touched with the feeling of our infirmities, might become a merciful High Priest, able and willing to succour them that are tempted. [Heb. iv. 15; ii. 17, 18]  Thus may we behold and see if there be any sorrow like unto that sorrow which was done unto him, wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger. [Lam. i. 12]  And from hence we may and must conclude, that the Saviour of man, as he took the whole nature of man, so he suffered in whatsoever he took: in his body, by internal infirmities and external injuries; in his soul, by fears and sorrows, by unknown and inexpressible anguishes.  Which shews us fully (if it can be shewn) the third particular propounded, what our Saviour suffered.

 

That our Saviour did thus suffer, is most necessary to believe.  First, that thereby we may be assured of the verity of his human nature.  For if he were not man, then could not man be redeemed by him; and if that nature in which he appeared were not truly human, then could he not be truly man.  But we may be well assured that he took on him our nature, when we see him subject unto our infirmities.  We know the Godhead is of infinite perfection, and therefore is exalted far above all possibility of molestation.  When therefore we see our Saviour truly suffer, we know his Divine essence suffered not, and thence acknowledge the addition of his human nature, as the proper subject of his passion.  And from hence we may infallibly conclude, surely that Mediator between God and man was truly man, as we are men, who when he fasted was an hungry, when he travelled was thirsty and weary as we are, who being grieved wept, being in an agony sweat, being scourged bled, and being crucified died.

 

Secondly, It was necessary Christ should suffer for the redemption of lapsed men, and their reconciliation unto God; which was not otherwise to be performed than by a plenary satisfaction to his will.  He therefore was by all his sufferings made an expiation, atonement, and propitiation for all our sins.  For salvation is impossible unto sinners without remission of sin; and remission, in the decree of God, is impossible without effusion of blood.  Our redemption therefore could not be wrought but by the blood of the Redeemer, but by a Lamb slain, but by a suffering Saviour.

 

Thirdly, It behoved Christ to suffer, that he might purchase thereby eternal happiness in the heavens both for himself the Head, and for the members of his body.  He drunk of the brook in the way, therefore hath he lift up his head. [Ps. cx. 7]  Ought not Christ to suffer, and so to enter into his own glory? [Luke xxiv. 26]  And doth he not, by the same right by which he entered into it, confer that glory upon us?  The recompense of the reward was set before him, and through an intuition of it he cheerfully underwent whatsoever was laid upon him.  He must therefore necessarily suffer to obtain that happiness, who is therefore happy because he suffered.

 

Fourthly, It was necessary Christ should suffer, that we might be assured that he is truly affected with a most tender compassion of our afflictions.  For this end was he subjected to misery, that he might become prone unto mercy: for this purpose was he made a sacrifice, that he might be a compassionate High Priest: and therefore was he most unmerciful to himself, that he might be most merciful unto us.

 

Fifthly, It was necessary the Son of Man should suffer, thereby to shew us that we are to suffer, and to teach us how we are to suffer.  For if these things were done to the green tree, what shall be done to the dry? [Luke xxiii. 31]  Nay, if God spared not his natural, his eternal, his only-begotten Son; how shall he spare his adopted sons, who are best known to be children because they are chastised, and appear to be in his paternal affection because they lie under his fatherly correction?  We are therefore heirs, only because co-heirs with Christ; and we shall be kings, only because we shall reign together with him.  It is a certain and infallible consequence, If Christ be risen, then shall we also rise; and we must look for as strong a coherence in this other.  If Christ hath suffered, then must we expect to suffer.  And as he taught the necessity of, so he left us the direction in, our sufferings.  Great was the example of Job, but far short of absolute perfection: the pattern beyond all exception is alone our Saviour, who hath taught us in all our afflictions the exercise of admirable humility, perfect patience, and absolute submission unto the will of God.

 

And now we may perceive the full importance of this part of the Article, and every Christian may thereby understand what he is to believe, and what he is conceived to profess, when he makes this confession of his faith, He suffered.  For hereby everyone is obliged to intend thus much: I am really persuaded within myself, and do make a sincere profession of this as a most necessary, certain, and infallible truth, that the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father, and of the same essence with the Father, did for the redemption of mankind really and truly suffer; not in his divinity, which was impassible, but in his humanity, which in the days of his humiliation was subject unto our infirmities: that as he is a perfect Redeemer of the whole man, so he was a complete sufferer in the whole; in his body, by such dolorous infirmities as arise internally from human frailties, and by such pains as are inflicted; by external injuries; in his soul, by fearful apprehensions, by unknown sorrows, by anguish unexpressible.  And in this latitude and propriety I believe our Saviour suffered.

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for the next chapter in Pearson: Under Pontius Pilate