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Prayer both in publick and private, to hearing and reading God's holy Word, and exercising a most folemn Repentance for those Sins which crucified the Lord of Life. Thus with Abhorrence of Sin, and penitential Grief, did they celebrate the Memory of our Saviour's Sufferings.
Q. Wbat Provision bath the Church of England made to exercise the Devotion of ber Members all this Week ?
A. She calls all her devout Members every Day. this Week to medicate upon our Lord's Sufferings, having collected in her Offices most of those Portions of Scripture that relate to this tragical Subject; increasing their Humiliation by the Confideration of our Saviour's : That with penitent Hearts, and firm Resolutions of dying likewise to Sin, they may attend their Saviour through the several Stages of his bitter Pasfion. And by encouraging a prudent Abstinence from innocent Pleasures, and the Cares of worldly Business, as well as from the common Liberties of Food, she directs their Thoughts and Affections to the serious Consideration of such Things as concern their eternal Salvation ; that by reflecting upon the Guilt of their Sins, and disposing their Minds to an Abhorrence of them, they may be qualified for the Benefit of our Saviour's Expiation.
Q. Who was it that this Day suffered ?
A. Jesus Chrift, the eternal Son of God; begotten of his Father before all Worlds, God of God, very God of very God, the Prince of Glory, the Heir of everlasting Bliss, the premised Meffias; who took upon hini che Nature of Man, and in that Nature being still the
fame Person he was betore, did fuffer for our 1 Cor.2.8. Salvation ; for the Princes of this World cruciA&ts 20. fied the Lord of Glory, and God purchased his
Church with bis own Blood.
Q. What was it our Saviour suffered ?
Ā. When the blessed Jesus took upon him human Nature, he was subject to all those Frailties and Infirmities, those outward Injuries and violent Impressions to which Mortali'y is liable ; his whole Life was full of Sufferings, from his Birth in the Stable to his Death upon the Cross ; but particularly in his last bitter Passion he suffered most exquisite Pains and Torments in his Body; and inexpressible Fears, and Sorrows, and unknown Anguish in his Soul.
Q. Wbat did our Saviour fuffer in bis Body? Mat. 26. A. He was betrayed by Judas, and denied and 27. by Peter, both his own Disciples. He was ap
prehended and bound by the rude Soldiers as a Malefaftor, accused by false Witnesses, arraigned and condemned. He was buffeted, fcourged, and spit upon, derided and mocked by the i'eople, ihe Soldiers, and at last by the High-Priest. He was made the Scorn, and Contempt, and Sport of his insolent and insulting Enemies; was worried to Death by the Clamours of the Rabble, that cried out, Crucify him, crucify him. And accordingly he was nailed to the Crofs, on which, after having hung several Hours, he gave up the Ghost , a Death of utmost Shame and ignominy, as well as of Torment insupportable.
Q. What was the Nature of Crucifixion?
A. It was a Roman Punishment, remarkable for the exquisite Pains and Ignominy of it, being the most painful and the most fameful of all their Ways of dispatching Criminals. The Body
was laid upon a Piece of Wood, afterwards erected and fixed in the Earth, and the Hands nailed to a transverse Beam faftened unto that towards the Top thereof ; and the Body refted upon another Piece of Wood, fixed unto that which was erected towards the lower Part. The Torment of it appeared from the piercing those Parts of the Body with Nails, which are moft nervous, and yet did not quickly procure Death ; and the Shame of it was evident from those upon whom it was inflicted, being only Slaves and Fugitives. But when the Roman Emperors became Christians, this Punishment was forbidden, out of a due Respect and pious Honour to the Manner of Christ's Death.
Q. How doth it appear that our Saviour suffered in bis Mind?
A. From those grievous Agonies he felt, first Mat. 25. in the Garden of Getbsemane just before his Ap- 38. prehension, when his Soul was exceeding forrowful even unto Death ; when he sweat as it were Drops of Blood, and prayed thrice with great Vehemence to his father, that if it were possible, that bitter Cup might pass from him: And from that inconceivable Anguish which he expressed upon the Cross, when he broke out into that parfionate Exclamacion, My God, my God, why bast thou forsaken me? So that Evil to come torment- 46. ed his Soul with Fear, and Evil present with Sadness, Sorrow, and Anguilh.
Q. Did our Saviour suffer the Torments of the Damned ?
A. It is certain the Damned are the Objects of God's Wrath; and will remain fo to all Éternity ; but our Saviour, in laying down bis Life, John 10. did an A& highly agreeable to God, and for 17, 18.
which the Father loved him; and whatever he
suffered was not of long Duration, in that he 1 Cor. 15
rose from the Dead the tbird Day. And though he is said to be a Curse for us, it is only upon the Account of that accursed Death which he suffered. And being thus highly obedient to his Father, and putting his Confidence in God,
in the bitterest Part of his Passion, by his ReMat. 26. Ngnation in the Garden, and by recommending bis
Spirit into the Hands of his Father upon the Luke 23. Cross; he did not despair of God's Mercy, 46.
which inseparably attends all those Torments the Damned endure.
Q. Whence then proceeded that Horror and Dread which seized our Saviour upon the Approach of bis Passion?
A. It is not reasonable to believe that this Horror and Dread proceeded only from the Prospect of Death; because Martyrs have embraced it with Joy as well as Resignation, when attended with grievous Circumstances of Cruelty. Therefore some have thought that the Devil exerted all his Power and Malice to diftract and afflict our Saviour with dismal Apprehensions and horrid Phantasms; and that it was this Conflict with the Powers of Hell, which caused his inexpresible Anguish. And this Notion hath fome
Countenance from our Saviour's calling the SeaLuke 22.
son of his Passion, the Power of Darkness. But 53
if we consider how perfectly the bieffed Jesus understood the Evil and Guilt of Sin ; how zealous he was for God's Glory, how desirous of the Salvation of Mankind; and yet withal that he knew how small a Number would be saved ; how an ungrateful and rebellious World would frustrate the End of his Death, and the Designs
of his Mercy; we may in some Measure guess at that Anguish that funk and depressed him in such a wonderful Manner. For we may imagine how much he, who loved us fo well as to die to redeem us, might be grieved and afflicted, when he foresaw that even by his dying he should not save us all.
Q. For what Reason did our Saviour suffer the painful and shameful Death of the Cross?
A. To deliver us from the Wratb to come, 1 Theff. and to purchase eternal Redemption for us. to give us a perfect Pattern of Patience and Re-Heb. 9. fignation to the Will of God, and of all those Christian Virtues which are necessary to qualify us to receive the Benefit of his Expiation ; leav- , Pet. 2: ing us an Example that we should follow bis Steps, 21, For when by our Sins we had juftly incurred the Displeasure of Almighty God, and were liable to eternal Misery, our blessed Saviour difcharged the Obligation; and by thedding his most precious Blood; as the Price of our Re-Mat. 20. demption, made Satisfaction to God for us : He was contented to be substituted as a Sacrifice for us, to bear our Sins in bis own Body . Pet. 2. on the Tree, and to expiate the Guilt of our 24. Offences by his own Sufferings. He died not only for our Benefit and Advantage, but in our Place and Stead; so that if he had not died, we had eternally perished. And the Blood of Christ, which was shed for us upon the Cross, is called the Blood of the Covenant ; because Heb. 10. thereupon God was pleased to enter into a 29. Covenant of Grace and Mercy with Mankind, 13. 20. wherein he hath promised and engaged, for the Sake of Christ's Sufferings, voluntarily undergone upon our Account and in our Stead to