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Christ mocked and insulted.

CHAP. XXVII.

He is brought to Golgotha. A. M.4033 knee before him, and mocked him, of Cyrene, Simon by name: him they 4.M. 1033. An. Olymp. saying, Hail, king of the Jews! compelled to bear his cross.

An. Olymp. 30 And they spit upon him, and 33 . And when they were come took the reed, and smote him on the head. unto a place called Golgotha, that is to say, a

31 And after that they had mocked him, they place of a skull, took the robe off from him, and put his own rai- 34 'They gave him vinegar to drink mingled ment on him, "and led him away to crucify him. with gall: and when he had tasted thereof, he 32 And as they came out, « they found a man would not drink.

e Mark 15. 22. Luke 23. 33. John 19. 17. Ps. 69. 21. See ver. 48.

• Isai. 50. 6. ch. 26. 67.6 Isai 53. 7.— Numb. 15. 55. 1 Kings 21.

13. Acts 7.58. Heb. 13. 12. - Mark 15. 21. Luke 23. 26.

GODS.

flowers were used ad deos coronandos, for CROWNING THE is the same as Calvary, Calvaria, i. e. calvi capitis area, the See Hist. Nat. lib. xiii. c. 11.

place of bare skulls. Some think the place was thus called, The reflections of pious Quesnel on these insults offered to because it was in the form of a human skull. It is likely that our blessed Lord are worthy of serious attention. " Let the it was the place of public execution, similar to the Gemoniæ crown of thorns make those Christians blush, who throw away | Scalæ at Rome. so much time, pains, and money, in beautifying and adorn- Verse 34. They gave him vinegar-mingled with gall] Pering a sinful head. Let the world do what it will to render haps the word xoan, commonly translated gall, signifies no the royalty and mysteries of Christ contemptible, it is my more than bitters of

any

kind. It was a common custom to glory to serve a king thus debased; my salvation, to adore administer a stupifying potion compounded of sour wine, that which the world despises ; and my redemption, to go which is the same as vinegar, from the French vinaigre, unto God through the merits of him who was crowned with frankincense, and myrrh, to condemned persons; to help to thorns."

alleviate their sufferings, or so disturb their intellect, that they Verse 30. And they spit upon him] “Let us pay our adora- | might not be sensible of them. The Rabbins say, that they tion," says the same pious writer, “and humble ourselves in put a grain of frankincense into a cup of strong wine ; and silence at the sight of a spectacle which faith alone renders || they ground this on Prov. xxxi. 6. Give strong drink unto credible, and which our senses would hardly endure. Jesus him that is ready to perish, i. e. who is condemned to death. Christ, in this condition, preaches to the kings of the earth Some person, out of kindness, appears to have administered this truth: that their sceptres are but reeds, with which them- this to our blessed Lord; but he, as in all other cases, deterselves shall be smitten, bruised, and crushed at his tribunal, mining to endure the fulness of pain, refused to take what if they do not use them here to the advancement of his king- || was thus offered to him, chusing to tread the wine-press alone. dom."

Instead of otos, vinegar, several excellent MSS. and Versions Verse 32. A man of Cyrene-him they compelled to bear his have ovvoy, wine ; but as sour wine is said to have been a gecross.] In John, chap. xix. 16, 17. we are told Christ himself neral drink of the common people, and Roman soldiers, it being bore the cross, and this, it is likely, he did for a part of the the same as vinegar, it is of little consequence which reading is way; but being exhausted with the scourging and other cruel here adopted. This custom of giving stupifying potions to usage which he had received, he was found incapable of condemned malefactors, is alluded to in Prov. xxxi. 6. Give bearing it alone; therefore they obliged Simon, not, I think, strong drink, npw shekar, inebriating drink, to him who is to bear it entirely, but to assist Christ by bearing a part of it. ready to perish; and wine to him who is bitter of soul-beIt was a constant practice among the Romans, to oblige cause he is just going to suffer the punishment of death. And criminals to bear their cross to the place of execution : inso- thus the Rabbins, as we have seen above, understand it. See much that Plutarch makes use of it as an illustration of the Lightfoot and Schoetgen. misery of vice. Every kind of wickedness produces its Michaelis offers an ingenious exposition of this place. “Imown particular torment, just as every malefactor, when he is mediately after Christ was fastened to the cross, they gave brought forth to execution, carries his own cross.” See him, according to Matt. xxviii. 34. vinegar mingled with gall; Lardner's Credib. Vol. I. Vol. I. p. 160.

but, according to Mark xv. 23. they offered him wine mingled Verse 33. A place called Golgotha] From the Hebrew | with myrrh. That St. Mark's account is the right one, is robe or nbaba golgoleth, a skull, probably so called from the probable from this circumstance, that Christ refused to drink many skulls of those who had suffered crucifixion and other what was offered him, as appears from both Evangelista capital punishments, scattered up and down in the place. It Wine mired with myrrh was given to malefactors at the place

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He is crucified.

ST, MATTHEW.

They cast lots for his garments,

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35 * And they crucified him, and by the prophet, "They parted my gar- 4. M 4033, An. Olymp. parted his garments, casting lots: thatments among them, and upon my ves- An. Olynp.

it might be fulfilled which was spoken ture did they cast lots.

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a Mark 15. 24. Luke 23. 34. John 19. 24.

b Ps. 92. 18.

of execution, to intoxicate them, and make them less sensible was besides, a piece on the centre of the transverse beam, to to pain. Christ, therefore, with great propriety, refused the which the accusation or statement of the crime of the culaid of such remedies. But if vinegar was offered him, which || prit was attached, and a piece of wood which projected from was taken merely to assuage thirst, there could be no reason the middle, on which the person sat, as on a sort of suddle; for his rejecting it. Besides, he tasted it before he rejected and by which the whole body was supported. Tertullian it.; and therefore he must have found it different from that mentions this particularly : Nobis, says he, tota crur imputawhich, if offered to him, he was ready to receive. To solve this tur, cum antenna scilicet sun, et cum illo sedilis excessu. Addifficulty, we must suppose that the words used in the Hebrew

vers. Nationes, lib. ii. Justin Martyr, in his Dialogue with Gospel of St. Matthew, were such as agreed with the account | Trypho the Jew, gives precisely the same description of the given by St. Mark, and at the same time were capable of the cross; and it is worthy of observation, that both he and Terconstruction which was put on them by St. Matthew's Greek tulliun flourished before the punishment of the cross had been translator. Suppose St. Matthew wrote x122 x (chaleeu abolished. The cross on which our Lord suffered was of the benireera) which signifies, sweet wine with bitters, or sweet former kind; being thus represented in all old monuments, wine and myrrh, as we find it in Mark; and Matthew's trans. coins, and crosses. St. Jerom compares it to a bird flying, a lator overlooked the yod, in soso (chaleeu) he took it for men man swimming, or praying with his arms extended. The pu(chala) which signifies vinegar; and bitter, he translated by nishment of the cross was inflicted among the ancient Hinxoan, as it is often used in the Septuagint. Nay, St. Matthew || doos from time immemorial for various species of theft ; see may bave written ton, and have still meant to express sweet Halhead's Code of Gentoo Laws, p. 248. and was common wine; if so, the difference only consisted in the points ; for among the Syrians, Egyptians, Persians, Africans, Greeks, the same word which, when pronounced chalé, signifies sweet, || and Romans : it is also still in use among the Chinese, who denotes vinegar, as soon as it is pronounced chala.

do not nail, but tie the criminal to it. It was probably the With this conjecture Dr. Marsh (Michaelis's translator) is Romans who introduced it among the Jews. Before they not satisfied; and therefore finds a Chaldee word for ouvos wine, became subject to the Romans, they used hanging or gibbetwhich may easily be mistaken for one that denotes ožos vinegar ; | ing, but not the cross. This punishment was the most dreadand likewise a Chaldee word, which signifies ouuera, (myrrh) ful of all others, both for the shame and pain of it: and so which may be easily mistaken for one that denotes xoan, (gall.) scandalous, that it was inflicted as the last mark of detesta“ Now,” says he, “non (chamar) or roen (chamera) really tion, upon the vilest of people. It was the punishment of denotes osvos, (wine) and pen (chamets) or X370 (chametsa) robbers and murderers, provided they were slaves; but if really denotes otos, (vinegar.) Again, x710 (mura) really they were free, it was thought too infamous a punishment for signifies quugra, (myrrh) and 4978 (murera) really signifies such, let their crimes be what they might. xoan, (gall.) If, then, we suppose that the original Chaldee The body of the criminal was fastened to the upright beam text was fina sobo xorn (chamera haleet bemura) wine by vailing or tying the feet to it, and on the transverse piece by mingled with myrrh, which is not at all improbable, as it is the nailing, and sometimes tying the hands to it. As the hands reading of the Syriac version, at Mark xv. 23. it might and feet are the grand instruments of motion, they are provided easily have been mistaken for any ubo XX90 (chametsa with a greater quantity of nerves ; and the nerves in those haleet benurera) rinegar mingled with gall.This is a more places, especially the hands, are peculiarly sensible. Now as ingenious conjecture than that of Michaelis. See Marsh's the nerves are the instruments of all sensation or feeling, notes to Michaelis, Vol. III. part 2d. p. 127-28. But as that wounds in the parts where they abound, must be peculiarly kind of sour wine, which was used by the Roman soldiers and painful; especially when inflicted with such rude instruments common people, appears to have been termed orvos, and vinegar as large nails, forced through the places by the violence of a (vin aigre) is sour wine, it is not difficult to reconcile the two ac- hammer ; thus tearing asunder the nervous fibrillæ, delicate counts, in what is most material io the facts here recorded. tendons, and small bones of those parts. This punishment

Verse 35. And the crucified him] Crucifixion properly I will appear dreadful enough, when it is considered, that the means the act of nailing or tying t) a cross. The cross was

The cross was person was permitted to hang (the whole weight of his body made of two beams, either crossing at the top at right angles, being borne up by his nailed hands and the projecting piece like a T, or in the middle of their length like an X. There which passed between the thighs) till he perished through

His accusation.

CHAP. XXVII.

Insulted on the cross.

CCII. 1.

A. M. 4033 36 · And sitting down, they watched with him, one on the right hand, and A. N. 9438.
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another on the left.

An. Olymp. CCII. 1.

37 And set up over his head his 39 And they that passed by, reaccusation written, THIS IS JESUS THE viled him, wagging their heads, KING OF THE JEWS.

40 And saying, “Thou that destroyest the 38 · Then were there two thieves crucified temple, and buildest it in three days, save thy

• Ver. 51.

Mark 15. 26. Luke 23. 38. John 19. 19.- Isai. 53. 12.
Mark 15. 27. Lule 23. 32, 33. John 19. 18.

d Ps. 22. 7. & 109.25. Mark 15. 29. Luke 23. 35.-_ ch. 26. 61. John

2. 19.

agony and lack of food. Some, we are informed, have lived terpolation, borrowed from John xix. 24. in which place they three whole days in this state. It is true that, in some cases, will be properly noticed. there was a kind of mercy shewn to the sufferer, which will Verse 36. They watched him] To prevent his disciples or appear sufficiently horrid, when it is known that it consisted relatives, from taking away the body, or affording any relief in breaking the bones of their legs and thighs to pieces with to the sufferer. a large hammer, in order to put them the sooner out of pain ! Verse 37. His accusation] It was a common custom to Such a coup de grace as this, could only spring from those affix a label to the cross, giving a statement of the crime for tender mercies of the wicked, which God represents as cruelty which the person suffered. This is still the case in China, itself. Some were permitted to hang on the cross, till eaten || when a person is crucified. Sometimes a person was emup by birds of prey, which often began to tear them beforeployed to carry this before the criminal, while going to the life was extinct. Horace alludes to this punishment, and from place of punishment. what he says, it seems to have been inflicted on slaves, &c. It is with much propriety, that Matthew calls this atie, not on trifling occasions, but for the most horrible crimes. accusation ; for it was false, that ever Christ pretended to be Si quis eum servum, patinam qui tollere jussus

KING of the Jews, in the sense the inscription held forth: Semesos pisces tepidumque ligurrierit jus,

he was accused of this, but there was no proof of the accuIn cruce suffigat :

From John xix. Hor. Satyr. I. i. s. 3. v. 80.

sation ; however it was affixed to the cross.

21. we find that the Jews wished this to be a little altered : If a poor slave who takes away your plate,

Write, said they, that he said, I am king of the Jews ; Lick the warm sauce, or half cold fragments eat,

thus endeavouring, by the addition of a vile lie, to counteYet should you crucify the wretch.-- FRANCIS.

nance their own conduct, in putting him to death. But this, Non hominem occidi : non pasces in cruce corvos. Pilate refused to do. Both Luke, chap. xxiii. 38. and John, * I have not committed murder: Then thou shalt not be nail- chap. xix. 20. say, that this accusation was written in Greek, ed to the cross, to feed the ravens.” Hur. Epist. 1. i. e. 16. Latin, and Hebrew. In those three languages, we may conv. 48.

ceive the label to stand thus, according to the account given The anguish occasioned by crucifixion, was so intense, that by St. John; the Hebrew being the mixed dialect then spoken. crucio, (a cruce) among the Romans, was the common word

In Hebrew-Epaiss: by which they expressed suffering and torment in general. And parted his garments, casting lots) These were the Ro

In Greek-Eλληνισι: man soldiers, who had crucified him : and it appears from this circumstance, that in those ancient times, the spoils of IHCOYC O NAZWPIOC O BACIXEYC the criminal were claimed by the executioners, as they are

ΤΟΝ ΙΟΥΔΑΙΟΝ to the present day. It appears that they divided a part,

In Latin-Pwaist : and cast lots for the rest : viz. for his seamless coat, John xix. 23, 24.

IESUS NAZARENUS REX IUDAEORUM That it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, It is only necessary to observe, that all the letters, both of saying, They parted my garments among them, and upon my the Greek and Roman alphabets, were those now called square vesture did they cast lots.] The whole of this quotation should or uncial, similar to those above. be omitted, as making no part originally of the genuine text Verse 38. Two thieves] Ansony robbers, or cut-throats: men: of this Evangelist. It is omitted by almost every MS. of who had committed robbery and murder; for it does not apworth and importance, by almost all the Versions, and the pear that persons were crucified for robbery only. Thus was most reputable of the primitive Fathers, who have written our Lord numbered (his name enrolled, placed as it were in or commented on the place. The words are plainly an in- | the death warrant) with transgressors, according to the pro

ישוע נצריא מלכא דיהודיא

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He is variously insulted by the Jews. Sr. MATTHEW.

The extraordinary darkness. A. N. 11.33. self. a If thou be the Son of God, 43 "He trusted in God; let him de

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liver him now, if he will have him : An. Olymp. CCII. 1.

41 Likewise also the chief priests for he said, I am the Son of God. mocking him, with the Scribes and elders, said, 44 · The thieves also, which were crucified

42 He saved others; himself he cannot save with him, cast the same in his teeth. If he be the King of Israel, let him now come 45 | Now from the sixth hour, there was down from the cross, and we will believe him. darkness over all the land, unto the ninth hour.

CCII. 1.

a Ch. 26. 63. — Ps. 22. 8. Wisd. 2. 16, 17, 18.

c Mark: 15. 32. Luke 23. 39. - Amos 8. 9. Mark 15. 33. Luke 23. 41.

ει θελει αυτον.

%.

phetic declaration, Isai. liii. 12. and the Jews placed him be- dies only to be the victim of salvation ; and the Son of God tween these two, perhaps to intimate, that he was the worst who confines his power within the bounds of the cross, to esfelon of the three.

tablish the righteousness of faith : this is what a Christian Verse 39. Wagging their heads] In token of contempt. adores, this is the foundation of his hope, and the fountain

Verse 40. Thou that destroyest] Who didst pretend that of his present comfort and final blessedness. See Quesnel. thou couldst have destroyed the temple, and built it up again We will believe him.] Instead of autw, him, many excellent in three days. This malicious torturing of our Lord's words, MSS. have ex' avtw, in him: this is a reading which Grieshas been noticed before. Cruelty is obliged to take refuge bach and other eminent critics have adopted. in lies, in order to vindicate its infamous proceedings.

Verse 43. If he will have him] Or, if he delight in himIf thou be the Son of God] Or rather, roos Tou lov, son

The verbs Jenw and saw, are used by the Sepof God, i. e. a peculiar favourite of the Most High; not ‘o tuagint in more than forty places for the Hebrew pon chaphets, Toos Tou sou, The Son of God. “ It is not to be conceived,” which signifies, earnestly to desire or delight in. Now as this says a learned man, “that every passenger who was going to is a quotation from Psal. xxii. 9. He trusted on the Lord, that the city, had a competent knowledge of Christ's supernatural he would deliver him; let him deliver him, (na pon ya ki chaconception by the Holy Spirit, or an adequate comprehension phets bo) for he HATH DELIGHTED IN HIM:—07. Dias auto", of his character as the Messiah, and (rt' t5oxn») THE SON of Sept. This will sufliciently vindicate the above translation ; God. There is not a single passage, where Jesus is designed as the Evangelist quotes the words from that version, with to be pointed out as the Messiah, THE SON OF God, where the simple change of it, if, for oro, because. the article is omitted : nor, on the other hand, is this desig

Verse 44. The thieves also-cust the same in his teeth.] That nation ever specified without the article, thus, o Toos tou sov. is, one of the robbers; for one, we find, was a penitent, Luke See chap. xvi. 16. xxvi. 63. xxviii. 19."

xxiii. 39, 40. See this form of expression accounted for, on Verse 41. Chief priests Scribes and Elders] To these, chap. xxvi. 8. several ancient MSS. and Versions add, xam Pazurawwy, and

Verse 45. There was darkness over all the land] I am of Pharisecs. But though the authority for this reading is re opinion, that ATKY TNV gyny does not mean all the world, but spectable, yet it does not appear that the Pharisees joined in only the land of Judea. So the word is used chap. xxiv. 30. with the others in the condemnation of our Lord. Probably

Luke iv. 25. and in other places. Several eminent critics are his discourses and parables, related in some of the preceding of this opinion : Beza defends this meaning of the word, and chapters, which were spoken directly to them, had so far con translates the Greek super universum REGIONEM, over the whole vinced them, that they would at least have no hand in putting

Besides, it is evident that the Evangelists speak of him to death. All the infamy of this seems to fall upon the things that happened in Judea, the place of their residence. PRIESTS, Scribes, and Elders.

It is plain enough there was a darkness in Jerusalem, and Verse 42. He saved others; himself he cannot save.] Or, over all Judea ; and probably over all the people ainong whom Cannot he save himself ? Several MSS. read this with the Christ had for more than three years preached the everlasting mark of interrogation as above; and this makes the sarcasm gospel; and that this darkness was supernatural is evident from still more keen.

this, that it happened during the Pass-over, which was celeA high-priest who de: igns to destroy the temple of God; a brated only at the full moon, a time in which it was impossible saviour who saves not himself ; and the Son of God crucified; for the sun to be eclipsed. But many suppose the darkness these are the contradictions which give offence to Jews and was over the whole world, and think there is sufficient evilibertines. But a high-priest who dispels the types and sha-dence of this in ancient authors. PALEGON and Thallus, dows, only that he may disclose the substance of religion, and who flourished in the beginning of the second century, are become the minister of a heavenly sanctuary; a suviour who supposed to speak of this. The former says, “ In the fourth

COUNTRY.

His exclamation

CHAP. XXVII.

before his death.

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46 And about the ninth hour, * Je- || say, "My God, my God, why hast 4.1.1998 An. Olymp. sus cried with a loud voice, saying, thou forsaken me?

Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani ? that is to 47 Some of them that stood there,

An. Olymp.

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year of the 2020 Olympiad, there was an extraordinary eclipse perpetuity of the Christian religion, which all the infidels in of the sun : at the sixth hour, the day was turned into dark creation shall never be able to pull down or deface. night, so that the stars in heaven were seen ; and there was This miraculous darkness should have caused the enemies an earthquake in Bithynia, which overthrew many houses in of Christ to understand, that he was the light of the world, the city of Nice." This is the substance of what Phlegon is, and that because they did not walk in it, it was now taken reputed to have said on this subject :--but I. All the authors away from them. who quote him differ, and often very materially, in what they Verse 46. My God! my God! why hast thou forsaken me?] say was found in him. 2. Phle on says nothing of Judea : || These words are quoted by our Lord from Psal. xxii. 1. they are what he says is, that in such an Olympiad (rome say the 1020, of very great importance, and should be carefully considered. others the 2020) there was an eclipse in bithynin, und an earth- Some suppose “ that the divinity had now departed from quake at Nice. 3. Phlegon does not say, that the earthquake Christ, and that his humun niture was left unsupported to bear happened at the time of the eclipse. 4. Phlegon does not in the punishment due to men for their sins.” But this is by no timate that this darkness was extraordinary or that the eclipse means to be admitted, as it would deprive his sacrifice of its happened at the full of the moon, or that it lasted three hours. infinite merit, and consequently leave the sin of the world withThese circumstances could not have been omitted by him, if uut an atinement. Take deity away from any redeeming act he had known them. 5. Phlegon speaks mertly of an ordi- of Christ, and redemption is ruined. Others imagine, that nary, though perhaps total eclipse of the sun, and cannot our Lord -poke these words to the Jews only, to prove to them mean the darkness mentioned by the Evangelisis. 6. Phleyon that he was the Messiah. “ The Jews,” say they, “ believed speaks of an eclipse that happened in some year of the 102d this pralin to speak of the Messiah : they quoted the eighth or 2020 Olympiad; and therefore little stress can be laid on verse of it against ChristHe trusted in God that he would what he says, as applying to this event.

deliver him; let him deliver him, seeing he delighted in him. The quotation from Thallus, made by AFRICANIUS, found (see this chap. ver. 43.) To which our Lord immediately in the Chronicle of Syncellus, of the eighth century, is | answers, My God! my God ! &c. thus shewing that he was allowed by eminent critics to be of little importance. This the person of whom the Psalmist prophesied.” I have doubts speaks “ of a darkness over all the world, and an earth- concerning the propriety of this interpretation. quake which thiew down many houses in Judea and in It has been asked, What language is it that our Lord other parts of the earth.” It may be necessary to observe, || spoke? Eli, Eli, lama sabachthani. Some say it is Hebrew that Thallus is quoted by several of the ancient ecclesias- others Syrinc. I say, as the Evangelists quote it, it is neither. tical writers, for other matters, but never for this : and that | St. Matthew comes nearest the Hebrew, mais nok og the time in which he lived' is so very uncertain, that Dr. || Eli, Eli, lamah azabthani, in the words HA., Ha, aqua oaßaxLardner supposes there is room to think, he lived rather be- || Jani, Eli, Eli, luma sabachthani. fore than after Christ.

And St. Mark comes nearest the Syriac, chap, xv. 34. DIONYSIUS the Areopagite, is supposed to have mentioned this event in the most decided manner: for being at Heliopolis in Egypt with his friend Apollophanes, when our Saviour | Alohi, Alohi, l'mono shebachtheni, in the words Edw, Edw, suffered, they there saw a wonderful eclipse of the sun, where-aappa cußaxlavs, Eloi, Eloi, lamma sabuchthani. It is worupon Dionysius said to his friend, “ Either God himself suf- | thy of note, that a Hebrew MS. of the twelfth century, fers, or sympathises with the sufferer.” It is enough to say instead of snowy dzabthani, forsaken me, reads now shechof this man, that all the writings attributed to him are known achthani, FORGOTTEN me.

This word makes a very good to be spurious, and are proved to be forgeries of the fifth or sense, and comes nearer to the sabachthani of the Evangelists. sixth century. Whoever desires to see more on this subject, It

may be observed also, that the words, Why hast thou FORmay consult Dr. Lardner, (vol. vii. p. 371. ed. 1788.) a man GOTTEN me ? are often used by David and others, in times of whose name should never be mentioned but with respect, not-oppression and distress. See Psal. xlii. 9. withstanding the peculiarities of bis religious creed; who has Some have taken occasion from these words, to depreciate done more in the service of divine revelation than most di- the character of our blessed Lord. “They are unworthy,” vines in Christendom; and who has raised a monument to the say they, “ of a man who suffers, conscious of his innocence,

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