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nalépe, a curse for us. The curse was more than the shame: yet the shame is unspeakable; and yet not more than the pain.
Yet all, that die the same death, are not equally miserable: the very thieves fared better in their death than he. I hear of no irrision, no inscription, no taunts, no insultation on them: they had nothing but pain to encounter; he, pain and scorn. An in. genious and noble nature can worse brook this than the other; any thing, rather than disdainfulness and derision: especially, from a base enemy.
I remember that learned father begins Israel's affliction, with Ishmael's persecuting laughter. The Jews, the soldiers, yea, the very thieves fouted him and triumphed over his misery : his blood cannot satisfy them, without his reproach.
Which of his senses now was not a window to let in sorrow? His Eyes saw the tears of his Mother and friends, the unthankful demeanour of mankind, the cruel despight of his enemies: his Ears heard the revilings and blasphemies of the multitude; and, whether the place were noisome to his Scent, his Touch felt the nails, his Taste the gall.
Look up, O all ye beholders, look upon this precious body, and see what part ye can find free. That Head, which is adored and trembled at by the angelical spirits, is all raked and harrowed with thorns*: that Face, of which it is said, Thou art fairer than the children of men, is all besmeared with the filthy spittle of the Jews, and furrowed with his tears: those Eyes, clearer than the sun, are darkened with the shadow of death: those Ears, that hear the heavenly concerts of angels, now are filled with the cursed speakings and scoffs of wretched men: those Lips, that spake as never man spake, that command the spirits both of light and darkness, are scornfully wet with vinegar and gall: those Feet, that trample on all the powers of hell, (his enemies are made his footstool,) are now nailed to the footstool of the Cross : those Hands, that freely sway the scepter of the heavens, now carry the reed of reproach, and are nailed to the tree of reproach : that whole Body, which was conceived by the Holy Ghost, was all scourged, wounded, mangled: this is the outside of his sufferings,
Was his Heart free? Oh no; the inner part or soul of this pain, which was unseen, is as far beyond these outward and sensible, as the soul is beyond the body; God's wrath, beyond the malice of men. These were but love-tricks, to what his soul endured; O all ye that
way, behold and see, if there be any sorrow like to my sorrow : alas, Lord, what can we see of thy sorrows? we canpot conceive so much as the heinousness and desert of one of those sins, which thou bearest : we can no more see thy pain, than we could undergo it: only this we see, that what the infinite sins, of almost infinite men, committed against an Infinite Majesty, deserved in infinite continuance; all this thou, in the short time of thy Passion, hast sustained. We may behold and see; but all the glorious spirits in heaven cannot look into the depth of this suffering
* Caput angelicis spiritibus tremebundum spinis corouatur, &c.
pass by the
Do but look yet a little into the passions of this his Passion; for, by the manner of his sufferings, we shall best see what he suffered. Wise and resolute men do not complain of a little: holy martyrs have been racked, and would not be loosed; what shall we say if the author of their strength, God and Man, bewray passions ? what would have overwhelmed men, would not have made him shrink; and what made him complain, could never have been sustained by men. What shall we then think, if he were affrighted with terrors, perplexed with sorrows, and distracted with both these? And, lo, he was all these.
For, first, here was an Amazed Fear. For millions of men to despair, was not so much as for him to fear: and yet it was no slight fear: he began, éu Sou belo Fau, to be astonied with terror; which, in the days of his flesh, offered up prayers and supplications, wilh strong cries and tears, to him that was able to help him, and was heard in that he feared. Never was man so afraid of the torments of hell, as Christ, standing in our room, of his Father's wrath. Fear is still suitable to apprehension. Never man could so perfectly apprehend this cause of fear: he felt the chastisements of our peace, yea the curse of our sins; and therefore might well say with David, I suffer thy terrors with a troubled mind; yea, with Job, The arrows of God are in me, the terrors of God fight against me.
With fear, there was a Dejecting Sorrow, admuovía; My soul is on all sides heavy to the death; wepínutes.
th; wepóautes. His strong cries, his many tears, are witnesses of this passion: he had formerly shed tears of pity, and tears of love; but now, of anguish: he had before sent forth cries of mercy; never of complaint, till now. When the Son of God weeps and cries, what shall we say or think?
Yet further, betwixt both these and his love what a conflict was there! It is not amiss distinguished, that he was always in agony ; but now, in dywvía, in a struggling passion of mixed grief. Be. hold, this field was not without sweat and blood; yea, a sweat of blood. Oh, what man or angel can conceive the taking of that heart, that, without all outward violence, merely out of the extremity of his own Passion, bled, through the flesh and skin, not some faint dew, but solid drops of blood ? No thorns, no nails fetched blood from him, with so much pain as his own thoughts. He saw the fierce wrath of his Father; and therefore feared: he saw the heavy burden of our sins to be undertaken; and, thereupon, besides fear, justly grieved: he saw the necessity of our eternal damnation, if he suffered not; if he did suffer, of our re, demption; and therefore his love encountered both grief and fear. In itself, he would not drink of that cup: in respect of our good and his decree, he would and did; and, while he thus striveth, he sweats and bleeds. There was never such a combat; never such a bloodshed: and yet it is not finished. I dare not say,
with some Schoolmen, that the sorrow of his Passion was not so great as the sorrow of his compassion; yet that was surely exceeding great. To see the ungracious carelessness of mankind, the slender fruit
of his sufferings, the sorrows of his Mother, disciples, friends; to foresee, from the watchtower of his Cross, the future temptations of his children, desolations of his Church; all these must needs strike deep into a tender heart. These he still sees and pities, but without passion: then, he suffered in seeing them.
Can we yet say any more? Lo, all these sufferings are aggravated by his fulness of knowledge and want of comfort: for, he did not shut his eyes, as one saith, when he drunk this he saw how dreggish, and knew how bitter, it was. Sudden evils af. flict, if not less, shorter. He foresaw, and foresaid, every particular he should suffer: so long as he foresaw, he suffered: the expectation of evil, is not less than the sense: to look long for good, is a punishment; but for evil, is a torment. No passion works upon an unknown object : as no love, so no fear, is of what we know not. Hence men fear not hell, because they foresee it not : if we could see that pit open before we come at it, it would make us tremble at our sins; and our knees to knock together, as Belshazzar's; and, perhaps, without faith, to run mad at the horror of judgment. He saw the burden of all particular sins to be laid upon him: every dram of his Father's wrath was measured out to him, ere he touched this potion: this cup was full, and he knew that it must be wringed, not a drop left: it must be finished.
Oh yet, if, as he foresaw all his sorrows, so he could have seen some mixture of refreshing! But I found none to comfort me, no, none to pity me. And yet it is a poor comfort, that arises from pity. Even so, O Lord, thou treadest this winepress alone; none to accompany, none to assist thee. I remember, Ruffinus, in his Ecclesiastical Story reports, that one Theodorus, a martyr, told him, that when he was hanging ten hours upon the rack for religion, under Julian's persecution, his joints distended and distorted, his body exquisitely tortured with change of executioners, so as never age, saith he, could remember the like*; he felt no pain at all, but continued indeed all the while in the sight of all men singing and smiling: for there stood a comely young man by him on his gibbet, an angel rather in form of a man, which, with a clean towel, still wiped off his sweat, and poured cold water upon his racked limbs; wherewith he was so refreshed, that it grieved him to be let down. Even the greatest torments are easy, when they have answerable comforts; but a wounded and comfortless spirit, who can bear ?
If yet but the same messenger of God might have attended his Cross, that appeared in his Agony; and might have given ease to their Lord, as he did to his servant! And yet, what can the angels help, where God will smite? Against the violence of men, against the fury of Satan, they have prevailed in the cause of God, for men: they dare not, they cannot comfort, where God will afflict. When our Saviour had been wrestling with Satan in the End of
* Ut nulla unquam ætus similem meminerit.
his Lent, then they appeared to him, and served; but now, while, about the same time, he is wrestling with the wrath of his Father for us, not an angel dare be seen, to look out of the windows of heaven to relieve him,
For men, much less could they, if they would; but what did they; Miserable comforters are ye all. The Soldiers; they stripped him, scorned him with his purple crown, reed, spat on him, smote him : the Passengers; they reviled him, and, insulting, wagging their heads and hands at him, Hey, thou that destroyedst the Temple, come down, &c.: the Elders and Scribes; alas, they have bought his blood, suborned witnesses, incensed Pilate, preferred Barabbas, undertook the guilt of his death, cried out Crucify, Crucify! Ho! thou that savedst others: his Disciples; alas, they forsook him, one of them forswears him, another runs away naked rather than he will stay and confess him : his Mother and other Friends; they Jook on indeed, and sorrow with him, but to his discomfort. Where the grief is extreme and respects near, partnership doth but increase sorrow. Paul chides this love; What do you weeping, and breaking my heart? The tears of those we love do either slacken our hearts or wound them.
Who then shall comfort him? himself? sometimes our own thoughts find a way to succour us, unknown to others: no; not himself
. Doubtless, as Aquinas, the influence of the higher part of the soul was restrained from the aid of the inferior: My soul is filled with evils.
Who then? his Father? here, here was his hope: If the Lord had not holpen me, my soul had alınost dwelt in silence : I and my Father are one. But now, alas, he, even he, delivers him into the hands of his enemies; when he hath done, turns his back upon him as a stranger, yea, he woundeth him as an enemy. The Lord would break him ; Isaiah liii. 10. Yet any thing is light to the soul, while the comforts of God sustain it: who can dismay, where God will relieve? But here, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? What a word was here, to come from the mouth of the Son of God ? “My Disciples are men, weak and fearful; no marvel if they forsake me. The Jews are themselves, cruel and obstinate, Men are men, graceless and unthankful. Devils are, according to their nature, spiteful and malicious. All these do but their kind; and let them do it: but thou, O Father, thou, that hast said, This is my wellbeloved Son, in whom I am well pleased; thou, of whom I have said, It is my Father that glorifies me; what! forsaken me! Not only brought me to this shame, smitten me, unregarded me; but, as it were, forgotten, yea, forsaken me! What, even me, my Father! How many of thy constant servants have suffered heavy things! yet, in the multitudes of the sorrows of their hearts, thy presence and comforts have refreshed their souls. Hast thou relieved them, and dost thou forsake me? me, thine only, dear, natural, eternal Son?" O ye heavens and earth, how could you stand, while the Maker of you thus complained? Ye stood; but, partaking, after a sort, of his Passion: the earth trembled and shook; her rocks tore; her graves opened; the heavens withdrew their light, as not daring to behold this sad and fearful spectacle.
O dear Christians, how should these earthen and rocky hearts of ours shake, and rend in pieces, at this meditation! How should our faces be covered with darkness, and our joy be turned into heaviness! All these voices, and tears, and sweats, and pangs, are for us; yea, from us. Shall the Son of God thus smart for our sins, yea with our sins, and shall we not grieve for our own? Shall he weep to us in this market-place, and shall we not mourn? Nay, shall he sweat and bleed for us, and shall not we weep for ourselves ? Shall he thus lamentably shriek out, under his Father's wrath, and shall not we tremble? Shall the heavens and earth suffer with him, and we suffer nothing?
I call you not to a weak and idle pity of our glorious Saviour: to what purpose? His injury was our glory. No, no; Ye daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves: for our sins, that have done this; not for his sorrow, that suffered it: not for his pangs, that were; but for our own, that should have been, and, if we repent not, shall be. Oh, how grievous, how deadly are our sins, that cost the Son of God, besides blood, so much torment! How far are our souls gone, that could not be ransomed with an easier price! That, that took so much of this Infinite Redeemer of men, God and Man, how can it choose but swallow up and confound thy soul, which is but finite and sinful! If thy soul had been in his soul's stead, what had become of it? it shall be, if his were not in stead of thine. This weight, that lies thus heavy on the Son of God, and wrung from him these tears, sweat, blood, and these unconceivable groans of his aflicted spirit, how should it choose but press down thy soul to the bottom of hell! and so it will do: if he have not suffered it for thee, thou must and shalt suffer it for thyself.
Go now, thou Lewd Man, and make thyself merry with thy sins. Laugh at the uncleanness or bloodiness of thy youth. Thou little knowest the price of a sin: thy soul shall do; thy Saviour did, when he cried out, to the amazement of angels and horror of men, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?
But now no more of this; It is finished: the greater conflict, the more happy victory. Well doth he find and feel of his Father, what his type said before, He will not chide always, nor keep his anger for ever. It is fearful; but in him, short: eternal to sinners; short to his Son, in whom the Godhead dwelt bodily. Behold, this storm, wherewith all the powers of the world were shaken, is
The Elders, Pharisees, Judas, the soldiers, priests, witnesses, judges, thieves, executioners, devils, have all tired themselves in vain, with their own malice; and he triumphs over them all, upon the throne of his Cross: his enemies are vanquished, his Father satisfied, his soul with this word at rest and glory; It is finished. Now there is no more betraying, agonies, arraignments, scourging, scoffing, crucifying, conflicts, terrors; all is finished.
Alas, heloved, and will we not let the Son of God be at rest?