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velled that weary journey to Jerusalem, must return again, and be subject to his parents: but how? Even as a servant in his trade. They had not bread to spare, but what was gotten by hard laborious work. At his father's trade, I say; for so it is said of him, "Is not this the carpenter?" It is put in the nominative case, "Thee carpenter." And whereas this is cast as a curse on our first parents, and their seed, "That' in the sweat of their brows they should eat their bread." Our Saviour must undergo this curse too: he must work hard for his living : with his own hands he must get a living for himself, and his poor mother by a laborious trade. No wonder if he went many a morning without his breakfast, and made many a hungry meal, that lived in so poor a house, and by so poor a trade.
e Mark, chap. 6. ver. 3. Luke, chap. 9. ver. 58. John, chap. 8. ver. 48.
7. If we come now to the time he lived after he came from his father and mother, that same three years when he shewed himself more publicly in the world, and you shall find him subject to those dangers, difficulties, and distresses which accompany evil days. He was a pilgrim, and had no abode. "The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air nests, but the Son of man had not where to lay his head." He was a diligent preacher of the Gospel, although he had neither prebend nor parsonage; and he had nothing of his own, but was relieved often by the charity of certain devout and religious women.
2. Besides, all the reproaches that could be cast on a man, were laid on him; "This man is a wine-bibber, and a glutton; a friend of publicans and sinners." And again, "Do we not say well, thou art a Samaritan?" that is, a heretick. He was a caster out of devils. And therein they denied not, but he did good, but see the villainy of it: he was a good witch, as we call them, and though he did good, yet it was by the help of Belzebub: when he drew near his death, the text saith: " They accuse him of many things." Few things are expressed, yet a
Gen. chap. 3. ver. 49.
h Matt. chap. 11. ver. 19.
great many comprehended in these words; those that are expressed, are heinous and notorious crimes. First, against the first table, they accuse him of blasphemy, and therefore condemn him in the ecclesiastical court: "Do1 you hear his blasphemy?" say they. Then against the second table, they post him to the civil court, and there they lay to his charge high treason against Cæsar: for he, say they, "that maketh himself a king, is an enemy unto Cæsar:" and yet the "innocent" lamb," for all this,
opened not his mouth." Insomuch that Pilate wondered he spake not a word in his own defence; and the reason was, because he came to suffer, and to have all these slanders and reproaches put upon him, not to excuse himself.
3. He led a life subject to dangers, when he went amongst his own people to preach the acceptable year of the Lord". They bring him upon an high hill, to the brow thereof, with a purpose to cast him down, and break his neck. Others threaten to kill him too. The Devil here follows him with temptations: even to idolatry itself. The Devil himself tempts him forty days, and then left him: not as if he would not return and tempt him no more, but as St. Luke renders it, "The Devil left him for a season." Not as if he intended to leave him quite, but to come and try him again. The scribes and pharisees they tempt him too, and prove him with hard questions; which if he could not answer, they would proclaim him an insufficient man, and all the people would have laughed him to scorn. Nor was this all only in the exercise of his ministry. All his life was as it were paved with temptations, every step was as it were a gin and trap to ensnare him.
4. Add to all this, that he was not like us; he knew when, and by what death he should die: he knew in all the time of his suffering what he should suffer, and what
should come upon him at his death. If any of us should know that he must die a cursed, shameful, and painful death, and knew when it should be, it would mar all our mirth, and put us to our dumps in the midst of our jollity. Our Saviour in the midst of all his joy on earth, saith, "Is have a baptism to be baptized with :" he knew the cruel death, which he should suffer on the cross. And how is he pained, "till it be accomplished." The pains of it run through all his life, and might well make his whole life uncomfortable unto him. In the twelfth of John, ver. 23. a little before the Passover, saith he, "The hour is come that the Son of man shall be glorified:" and then, verse twenty-seventh: "Now is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour." When the time was drawing nigh, some five or six days before, the consideration of it troubled him, though he knew he should be glorified, yet the fright of it enwrapt him with fear. "Now is my soul troubled; what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour." Such a kind of life did our Saviour lead: few, but evil were his days. As evil as few, he had no comfort in them.
Come we now to the point of his death, the last thing; and those things that did touch him therein, are the curse, shame, and pain of it. If there were any death more accursed, he must die that death: if any death more. shameful, or more painful than other, he must die that. All these do concur in the death of our Saviour, which he suffered in that death of the cross. It was the most accursed, most shameful, and most painful death as could be devised.
First, for the accursedness of it, there was no death that had a more peculiar curse on it than this. Howsoever all deaths are accursed, when they light on one that is without Christ; but his death had a legal curse: and this was the curse annexed to the cross; a type of that real curse. Now the type of a real curse was," hanging on the tree: thou shalt bury him that day, for he that is hanged
Luke, chap. 12. ver. 50.
Deut. chap. 21. ver. 23.
on a tree is accursed by God." So the Son of God was made a curse for us, alluding unto this". And here we see the blessed Son of God, he in whom all the nations of the earth are blessed the fountain of all blessedness: we see him stand in so cursed a condition, to be made as it were as an anathema, the highest degree of cursing that may be.
Secondly, consider the shame of it. There is a place in the best of orators that expresses the detestableness and shame of this death of the cross: "Facinus est vinciri civem Romanum; scelus, verberari; prope parricidium, necari: quid dicam in crucem tollere ?" See what a gradation there is, it is hardly to be expressed in English: "It is a great fault to bind a citizen of Rome and a gentleman, what is it to beat him? What to crucify him?" His eloquence failed him there, as being unable to express the detestableness of it, and therefore the chief" captain' was afraid because he had bound Paul, after he had heard he was a freeman of Rome." But then it is worse to beat him; but what was it to crucify him? Our blessed Saviour went through all these indignities. First "they come against him with swords. and with staves, as against a thief." They sold him for a base price. They beat him with rods, pricked him, and after all they crucified him. Consider then the shame of it he that was to be crucified was stripped naked, as naked as ever he came out of his mother's womb: however the painters may lie in it. And was not this a shame thus to be stripped before thousands? Wherefore it was a custom among the Romans, that the greatest king, if he were baptized, was to be stripped naked, which they did as a memorial of the shame of our Saviour. So shameful a thing it was, that they thought him unworthy to suffer within the walls. "Christ, that he might sanctify the people, suffered without the walls. Let us go with him out of the camp bearing his reproach." He was a man unfit to suffer within the walls. Pilate thought he would meet with them, when they were so violent to
Galat. chap. 3. ver. 12.
Cicero, lib. 5. in Verrem,
have him crucified, and therefore he joins Barabbas with him, the vilest thief in the country, and a murderer: so that Peter cast this in their teeth, "That they preferred a murderer before him. He was reckoned with the transgressors," as it was prophesied of him before". "They crucify him between two thieves," as if he had been the captain of them. Pilate thought by naming of Barabbas, to have saved Christ; but so enraged was their blind malice, that they preferred the release of Barabbas, before the exemption of Christ. Wherefore, as St. Luke saith, "Pilate' released unto them him, that for sedition and murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired; but he delivered Jesus to their will."
Thirdly, consider the pain of the cross, "Whom God raised up, having loosed the sorrows of death." Not meaning there were sorrows that Christ endured after his death, but it is meant of the sorrows that accompanied his death. It was the most dolorous death that ever could be endured. We scarce know what crucifying is. The Christian emperors, in honour of our Saviour banished that kind of suffering, that none after him might suffer it: But yet it is fit we should know what it was, since it was so terrible a thing. And here, as the apostle said to the Galatians, " Suppose you see Christ crucified before your face at present." The manner of it was thus.
First there was a long beam, on which the party was to be stretched, and there was a cross beam on which the hands were to be stretched: they pulled them up upon the cross before they fastened them; they pulled him to his utmost length. And this is that the psalmist speaks of: "You might tell all my bones." His ribs were so stretched, as that they even pierced the flesh: conceive him now thus stretched with his hands and feet nailed to the wood the stretching of Christ on the cross, was such a thing as the working of the rack. Imagine him before your eyes thus represented. Your sins crucified him: being thus stretched upon the cross to his full length, the
2 Isaiah, chap. 53. ver. 12. Acts, chap. 2. ver. 24.
b Luke, chap. 23. ver. 25.
d Psalm 22, ver. 17.