The Sufferings of Christ

J. N. Darby.
From the "Bible Treasury," 1858-9.
<07008E> 139 {file section a.}

Preface to the First Edition
Note
Introduction
To the Editor of the "Bible Treasury"
Continued
Notice of earlier opinions on the subject

Preface to the First Edition

The numbers of the "Bible Treasury" containing the papers on "The Sufferings of Christ," having been widely sought after, are out of print, and not to be had. Recently, an attack has been made on the doctrine contained in them, and in other articles to which I will just now refer.

The real character of that attack is such that I do not feel it possible to take the smallest notice of it. It seemed to me the best reply to it was to publish the articles incriminated in it. The reader will find them here exactly as they were originally published, with the exception of the correction of errors of the press. I might, I dare say, have made some passages clearer; but it is evident that, under the circumstances in which their publication comes before the reader, my only path was to publish all exactly as it had already appeared. It seems to me that, as it stands, it is quite sufficiently clear to any upright mind. I am not so foolish as to think that all the expressions in it are the best, or absolutely exact or just, as if I were inspired; but what is taught (taught I think sufficiently clearly for any one willing to learn) I believe to be the truth, and hold and maintain as the truth now. To the humblest and weakest of God's saints I should gladly explain my meaning, and should be bound to do so. Here it would be out of place. I have only to beg them to take my doctrine from my own papers.

Two main subjects are involved in the attacks made: the sufferings of Christ in Gethsemane; and Christ's laying down His life. In both I maintain fully the doctrine I have taught in these papers, and I think what is opposed to it is ignorance or fatal error. The first — the connection of Christ's sufferings with the state of the remnant of Israel in the last days — I do not expect those not versed in scripture to enter into; and I would add, that (though this is enlarged upon in an addition to the original article, because enquiries were made as to it) I have no wish to turn aside any one's mind from the deep intrinsic preciousness of the sufferings of Gethsemane to their application to that particular subject, as I think the original article may shew. It was enlarged on because enquiry was made as to it. I think, however, the Psalms will never be clearly understood till this is.

140 As regards the second point, I not only think that the doctrine taught in the "Girdle of Truth" is sound, but I think it one of the most important truths possible at the present time (one which in the present confused state of Christendom lies at the root of blessing), and am thankful that the present attack will spread it more and more. I republish, therefore, from the "Girdle of Truth" the article which has given occasion to the attack.

I have not republished the paper from "The Present Testimony," because only one sentence, which I reproduce here, was quoted from it. The paper in question is that part of the Synopsis of the Books of the Bible, translated from the French, which refers to 1 Peter. In a developed view of the whole epistle, these words occur in explaining at considerable length chapter 3:18, and following verses, "Put to death as to his life in the flesh, but quickened according to the power of the divine Spirit." I have no remark really to make on it. I think it very just. As to what was He put to death if not as to His life in the flesh? I think it is exactly what the text says. For this sentence I did not think it worth while to print the whole article with the other papers. My worst enemies (I am sorry for their sakes that I have any) are at liberty to make anything out of it they can.

I have to add, though of course I may be mistaken in such a point, that I maintain the translation of the passage in Acts 20, "The church of God which he purchased with the blood of his own." The more I weigh it, the more I am satisfied it is right.

I do not know that I have anything to add, as my object here is not to discuss any point. I have hitherto in my answers on questions of doctrine (though judging some statements severely, because I thought Christ concerned in them) dealt quietly and courteously with my adversaries. But I do see another hand and mind behind what is going on, of which this pamphlet is a clear sign to me. As an attack on myself, I am glad not to answer it. If I have to take my adversaries up because they still carry on their warfare, and Satan is using them for mischief, I here declare I will not spare them, nor fail, with God's help, to make plain the tenets and doctrines which are at the bottom of all this. As regards myself, if I have one desire in my heart, it is that the blessed Lord may be glorified. It is my one joy now when He is. It may be my everlasting blessedness. If there be anything in these papers which dishonours Him — what I say is this: no explanation to defend myself. God forbid. Let them be torn to atoms. It will be easy to gather up anything that is good in them from the only source of it. I will be the first to begin the work of destruction. They are days in which His glory and the truth must be kept clear at all cost: I will put the match to burn all if there be anything which is against it. I have already said, of course there may be expressions less perfect than they might be.* It would be folly in an uninspired teacher or writer to suppose otherwise. Whatever they are, you have them here, my reader, just as they were. If, on the other hand, what engages us is an attack of enemies on them, and of the enemy because it is the truth as I believe, I will deal with the attack as such. I will take another opportunity to correct expressions if needed. The truth that is in question can be dealt with from the papers as they are. The reader has them before him. They were written for edification, not for controversy, though, in part, on controverted points, and not with the watchfulness against misinterpretation which controversy might awaken. But I am not aware of anything in them which, when taken as it is stated, requires much remark. I am not afraid of the conflict, if conflict I must have.

{*In fact any which had given occasion to any uncertainty, as to the purport of the statements relative to the Lord's entering into the sorrows of the remnant, were explained in the original papers printed in the "Bible Treasury," and here reprinted.}

141 Note.
Since the publication of the tract containing the papers of the "Sufferings of Christ," and that from the "Girdle of Truth," I have been accused of suppressing the paper on Hebrews 5. My attention having been drawn to the articles in the "Bible Treasury" in 1858, and that in the "Girdle of Truth," which the tract which gave occasion to their publication expressly notices (page 15 of the first edition), I directed the printer and publisher of the two journals to reprint the whole together. I had not remarked that one quotation came from another article in the "Girdle of Truth," forming no part of the series on Christ's sufferings, but on an entirely different subject — Hebrews 5. I therefore did not write to the publisher to publish that. The truth is, I did not write that article at all, nor consequently send it to the "Bible Treasury." It may have been given to me to look over for the press — I cannot say; but I have no recollection of having ever read it, certainly not since it was printed. It contains notes of a lecture delivered at Bridgewater, taken down by a person present. The reader will find nothing new on the present question; nor is there more than is already given in the accusing tract, the paper (which I could only know to be mine by its style and contents) being on a different subject: nothing at all, therefore, is suppressed. The truth attacked is in some respects more clearly stated here than elsewhere. I trust the tract may itself be useful on its own subject; so I publish it, though the reader will find nothing new on the point attacked. One or two expressions I think questionable, though the doctrine be right. But they are not on this point: so I do not notice them. I only see additional reason in the statement now brought under my notice, not to pay attention, in any other way, to what has given occasion to the separate publication of these papers. But I take away occasion from those who seek occasion.

142 I would add that a closer and fuller examination of Acts 20:28 has more than ever convinced me that my translation is the right and only right one. I reject entirely the ordinary one.

The paper on Hebrews 5 ("The Word of God and the Priesthood of Christ") is published separately and can be had of the publisher, price 1d.

Introduction*

{*Added to the Second Edition, published 1867.}

A new edition of the tract on "The Sufferings of Christ" being requisite, I take the occasion of making the observations that circumstances have called for. If I have suffered in my poor and feeble measure a trial which my blessed Master went through (and I have) I am not now going to speak of it or of those who have been the instruments of it, and for two reasons. First, if the glory of Christ be in question, it is better to sink oneself: He alone is to be considered. Secondly, I fear falling into any expression which, if God gives repentance to my accusers, might stand in their way on their return. This only I have to beg of my reader, as I had to do when attacked eight years ago on the same papers, that he will take my account of my doctrine from myself. Statements have been made as to it, giving exactly the opposite of what is expressly stated by myself; sentences, with marks of quotation, professing to be my teaching, which are not found in the article cited from, and my accuser's interpretation of the doctrine given in some subsequent passage as my statement. I owe it to brethren who seek the truth to state on what ground I stand in this matter.

143 Admitting the imperfections of poor human nature in my expressions, and immaturity too (of course, I had not scanned and weighed it all as I have since these attacks);* I hold completely and fully the doctrine which it was my object to teach in these papers. If they had been studied with a willing mind, I believe true edification and profit would have been found — I have found the deepest and sweetest in what they seek imperfectly to expound. I am not terrified by my adversaries, nor do I shrink from the consequences of what I teach. I know many brethren have been profited greatly by this unfolding of Christ's sufferings. I can say of my brethren, they are in my heart, if it may be, to live with them, if I can hold the truth here taught. I rejoice unfeignedly in communion with brethren who can receive me, avowing it and holding it. But this truth I hold, avow; and do not, and with God's grace, shall not, give up. I do not press their holding it. It may be truth they have not got hold of. It is not the truth on which fellowship and the testimony of brethren as witnesses for God rest, but instruction and profit for those who are in communion. Hence I in no way require its acceptance. I make it no term of communion at all. The testimony of the Church of God is to be maintained independent of it. I reject no one for rejecting it. The truest saint may be ignorant of what is edifying. I would not disturb the peace of any, but I shall hold to what I believe to be the truth, and the blessed Lord will decide the consequences. I should not think of making it a term or question of communion. I do not believe one fundamental truth is in question in it, though I believe deep and profitable instruction as to the sufferings of Christ will be found in it. I should not for a moment, consequently, have raised the question. I should be grieved if any one who thought me right should for a moment make it, or mix it up with, a question of communion. My earnest desire is that saints may quietly seek profit by it, not contend. Contention on such a subject does mischief.

{*Yet the explanations at the end leave really little or nothing to be desired.}

144 But the question has been notoriously raised, and my part as a violently accused person is to be open and clear. I hold substantially, whatever imperfection of statement there may be, what I have taught in the tract I publish, gladly correcting any ambiguous expressions, but maintaining the teaching itself. I have been in no hurry to publish on it. I have refused, and do refuse, to defend myself personally. I had rather cast my own part on the Lord than do so. Besides, with those I should have to say to, it would have been too painful. I desired to weigh the matter, my own papers on it, the scriptures, and my adversaries' objections. I desired that others should search the scriptures and have their time, for I was aware it was a subject which required spiritual discernment and the examination of scripture: many without this would be unable to judge of parts of it. I was in no hurry and could trust the Lord. I was both taunted and urged to action, but I was resolved to pursue my own course, though the urgency of friends distressed me: the taunts and attacks affected me little — they are common things. Meanwhile I answered every one who honestly enquired of me and demanded explanation. This I was bound to do. I had a correspondence, which I commenced, with Mr. Hall and Mr. Dorman; but since the Portsmouth meeting I never received a hint of objection from any one, nor an intimation on the subject, till I wrote myself. The favourers of Bethesda inundated the country with all sorts of publications to prove my doctrine was the same as Mr. Newton's (following T.R.), the ground on which my present accusers have openly placed themselves. But these efforts I never paid the slightest attention to. I am perfectly satisfied all, from beginning to end, is an effort of the enemy; and when this consists of attacks on oneself, the best way, if one has the conscience of being right, is to leave it to the Lord, and be as a deaf man that hears not, and in whose mouth are no reproofs. So I have been. So I am as regards those who have now taken up this ground-have avowedly taken it up. On this last point too, therefore, I shall speak out. I reject Bethesda as wickedness, as I ever did; and on the same ground I reject the principle, far more widely spread than that chapel, on which it stands. My experience of that principle in America, in connection with other doctrines, but which those called Neutrals have freely fallen in with and accepted communion with, has confirmed me in the conviction, that acceptance of fellowship with those holding any deadly doctrine is infidelity to Christ, and evil and unfaithful, and a work of the enemy. The Church is the pillar and ground of the truth. That which is not in principle this, is not the Church at all even in its principle — does not gather with Christ, but scatters.

145 When the blasphemous doctrine of Mr. Newton (one for whom personally I have nothing but kindly feeling, and whom my heart, if pained, only yearns over) came out, Bethesda deliberately sheltered and accredited it. I broke with Bethesda, and I reject it still. It is all one to me if it be a Baptist Church or anything else, it has been untrue to Christ, and no persuasion, with the help of God, will ever lead me a step nearer to it. I reject Mr. Newton's doctrine as blasphemy as I always did. The attempt to connect my doctrine with his is folly or worse — an effort of the enemy to palliate and cover his work. I do not quarrel with those who reject me when they think I hold like doctrine: what can I think of those who reject me to palliate what is associated with his? I must leave them at present to their own consciences.

I add, I reject entirely the principle on which Mr. Hall goes. It is, as I told him, the root and principle of Mr. Newton's system, namely, that a person must be in the state or relationship which brings sorrows on any one, in order to enter into the sorrows the transgressor himself is in. I have been furnished with a passage which fully brings out his view, though it does not meet the whole question. In the case of the mother going into prison with a son (or if she never went at all, that would put the case more clearly), he says, "Now she could not share nor enter into either" — that is "first the penalty," "and secondly the inward miserable feeling of having sinned and deserved it." Now I affirm she could enter into it:* it is a fatal denial of Christ's suffering to deny His doing so. The more spiritually minded she was, the more (and that in connection with love to her son) she would feel in her own soul the dreadfulness of it, and learn what evil, that she was never in, was. Christ was not penally there (save vicariously on the cross); but He did enter into it. That is one important part of the question. I hold the doctrine, that Christ could not enter into our sufferings, to be mischievously false and falsifying Christ's true place of sorrow.

{*I speak not of having sinful experience, but of the sorrow and distress, of the upright dread of death, and sense of what has brought it on.}

146 But to pursue this point further still, that we may better enter into that sorrow, is it meant to be alleged that Christ did not taste death — death in itself, not in sympathy* nor in atonement, but death — when He said, "My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death?" Mr. Hall admits two causes of suffering in Christ, atonement and sympathy. If suffering be not from one of these, it must, he tells us, be His own relationship to God. I reject this as fatal teaching. It is a denial of the truth of Christ's suffering, and is but human reasoning in the teeth of scripture. I cannot conceive anything more destructive of Christian affections. He did work atonement, He did and does blessedly sympathize; but to exclude His own true sufferings as a man, as for instance, "Reproach hath broken my heart, and I am full of heaviness," desertion, betrayal, and a thousand sorrows of Christ, is utterly ruinous and repulsive to the Christian heart; yet these were not atonement nor sympathy. He suffered Himself that He might be able to sympathize. And this view is the whole ground of his system; and hence he makes anything else a putting of Christ necessarily into the state or relation which brought the sorrow on, which is exactly what Mr. Newton did. There are the true sufferings of a human heart, and such as never were anywhere else, which are neither atonement nor sympathy.

{*Was Gethsemane the same as the widow of Nain?}

I reject then wholly, and with my whole heart as a Christian, the system Mr. Hall presented to me. I do not charge him with the statements of Mr. Newton nor with the consequences of his doctrine. I believe he is wholly unaware that he is on that ground. But he is on it, though unknown to himself. My object here is only clearly to state the ground I am upon, without entering into any formal discussion. The great principle is that which is important. It seems to me that every Christian (and that as led by the very instinct of Christian life, as taught by the word) must utterly refuse that propounded by Mr. Hall. Christ did enter into the sufferings of others without being in the state they were in, and He had deep sufferings of His own which were not atonement and were not mere sympathy.

I go on to state further my own views on these points. I hold as to expiation or atonement fully and simply what every sound Christian does: The blessed Lord's offering Himself without spot to God and being obedient to death, being made sin for us, and bearing our sins in His own body on the tree; His glorifying God in the sacrifice of Himself; and His substitution for us; and His drinking the cup of wrath. I believe, though none can fathom it, that what I hold, and have taught, and teach, makes this atonement clearer. I mean the not confounding the sufferings of Christ short of divine wrath with that one only drinking of the cup when He was forsaken of God. I see this carefully brought out in Psalm 22. In the midst of cruel sufferings, of which the Lord in Spirit speaks prophetically there, He says, "But be not thou far from me, O Lord," twice over. Yet (and that is the great fathomless depth of the psalm) He was, as to the sorrow of His soul, forsaken of God. With that no other suffering, deep and real as it was, can be compared. But the Holy Ghost makes here the distinction in order to bring out that wondrous cup, which stands alone in the midst of all things, the more clearly. And this makes other suffering more true and real to the heart, and the drinking of the cup (that on which the new heavens and the new earth subsist in immutable righteousness before God, and through which we are accepted in the Beloved) has a truth and a reality which nothing else gives it. The mixing up accompanying suffering with this, in their character, weakens and destroys the nature of both. We come to the atonement with the need of our sins; once reconciled to God, we see the whole glory of God made good for ever in it. I add, as regards Christ's relationship with God, I have no view but what I suppose to be the common faith of all Christians, of His being His beloved Son in whom He was well pleased, that, as a living man here below, divine delight rested upon Him. Though never so acceptable in obedience as on the cross, there He was as, for God's glory, bearing the forsaking of God. That of course was a special case.

147 But two objections have been raised here to what I have taught, and to these I turn. One is, a certain change which took place in our Lord's position then, His being given up of God and giving up Himself into the hands of men to accomplish the purposes and glory of God and make propitiation for our sins. On this the New Testament is as clear as possible. We read, "No man laid hands on him, for his hour was not yet come." From His own lips, "Woman, what have I to do with thee? mine hour is not yet come." He tells them that the Son of man must suffer many things and be rejected of the elders, and chief priests, and scribes . . . the Son of man must be delivered into the hands of men. Till His hour was come, hostile as they might be, this could not be.

148 Hence He tells His disciples, "When I sent you without purse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. Then said he unto them, But now he that hath a purse, let him take it . . . for I say unto you that this that is written must be accomplished in me. And he was reckoned with the transgressors; for the things concerning me have an end." And again, "When I was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched forth no hand against me, but this is your hour and the power of darkness." Now, though for the purpose of bringing about the work of atonement, delivering the Son of man into the hands of men was not atonement. The hour of the priests and scribes was that of the power of darkness. Before that, if the crowd would throw Him down from the brow of the hill, He passed through the midst of them and went His way. No doubt He gave up Himself. This side of the wondrous picture John gives, when he shews the band of men going backward and falling to the ground, and records the unspeakably precious words of the blessed Lord — "If ye seek me, let these go their way."

But up to this, in the accomplishment of the counsels of God, there was a hand that restrained the will or the force of the people. Now the Son of man was to be delivered into the hands of men. It was not the actual moment of atonement, though the path to it; but the hour of evil men and the power of darkness. Was it sympathy? With whom? To deny a change in the position of the Lord and God's ways with Him as a man on earth (I do not say or think in His relationship with God) is flying in the face of scripture. It was not atonement, it was not sympathy, but the suffering of the blessed Son of God, now going to be delivered into the hands of men, whose hour as instruments of the power of darkness it now was, which it was not before.

But there was complicated sorrow. He was meeting indignation and wrath. He was not yet drinking the cup, He was not yet smitten, but He was going on to it, given up to that which was the instrument of it, pressed that it should be done quickly, was in the hour, which meant all that and meant all that to His soul. It had its own sorrow, but His soul was troubled — first prayed that He might be saved from the impending hour, but bowed to it as the hour He was come into the world for; then urged that it should be done quickly; then was sorrowful even unto death, because, now, just delivered up into the hands of men, He was meeting indignation and wrath. The very thing that made His sufferings then so deep was that He knew that He was meeting indignation and wrath. The wickedness of men was heartless and without conscience, but it led on step by step to the cross, to the cup which He had to drink. He was now as Son of man delivered, or just about to be delivered, into the hands of men, rejected by the elders and chief priests and scribes, the leaders of Israel. The shadow of death from the cross was not merely foreseen in the sunshine of divine service and favour, but passing over His soul, though not yet drinking the cup. He tells us so Himself. He was in this not sympathizing with others. He looked for sympathy from others, and prayed His disciples to watch with Him. He was not actually drinking the cup, but He was meeting indignation and wrath, I repeat. This gave to His delivering up to man its force and sorrow of death. He learned obedience by the things which He suffered, and in the days of His flesh made supplications with strong crying and tears unto Him that was able to save Him from death.

149 There are two collateral points which have been insisted upon: the Lord's connection with Israel, and His full meeting and resolving the question of good and evil, so that deliverance might be absolute and eternal. I am not sure but that in the tract these two points are intermingled so as to produce possible confusion in the mind. The latter is far deeper and requires more spiritual apprehension than the former, which connects itself (not with what is absolute and essential, eternal and perfect good, and putting away evil, fully judged and completely estimated in the ways and work of Christ, but) with God's government in the earth, of which Israel is the centre. God has made Israel that centre, as Deuteronomy 32 clearly states, and (while He has called the Church to be the witness of sovereign grace which associates her with Christ in heavenly glory) yet He has, from the moment He took Israel to be His people, never changed His counsel nor purpose in that people. Enemies as touching the gospel, they are still beloved for the fathers' sake; for the gifts and calling of God are without repentance. But God has always put men first under responsibility, and when they failed, accomplished, or rather will accomplish, His counsels in grace.

150 But as regards Israel, the trial was twofold, as indeed in a certain sense with all, their faithfulness to Jehovah, and their reception of Messiah, of Him who comes in the name of Jehovah and who is Jehovah Himself, but Jehovah come in grace. The one was the controversy with idols, brought out in Isaiah 40 to 48, where their comforting and Christ Himself withal are promised, but where the question is idolatry, Babylon, and Cyrus, but looking on to final deliverance for the righteous. On that I do not insist further. The other was the coming of Messiah, of Jehovah Himself in grace, as a test. This is treated from chapter 49 to 57 going on to final deliverance of the righteous, but turning on the rejection of Christ, introducing atonement, here especially for the nation, but embracing every believer. This question, I need not say, was brought to an issue in the history of Christ, the future result for Israel being still matter of hope and prophecy, yea, of Christ's own prophecy in Matthew 23 and 24. Christ died for that nation, or it could not have had the future blessing. Now we must remark that what is promised to Israel is fulfilled only to the remnant. The hopes are the hopes of Israel. It is Israel's blessing; but if God had not left a very small remnant, they would be like Sodom. This remnant, a third part, will pass through the fire, through the terrible tribulation such as never was, though in a large degree sheltered and hidden of God. Still they will pass through the fire (Zech. 13:9; Mal. 3:2, 3; Is. 26:20, 21 with what precedes). Abundant scriptures might be quoted to the same purpose. The prophetic part of the New Testament confirms this, in the Revelation and in the Lord's prophecy in Matthew; and it is diligently expounded in Romans 9-11 to reconcile the certainty of these promises with the no-difference doctrine of the apostle.

What part did Christ take in these sorrows in spirit? That their rejecting Him was the immediate cause of their own rejection is evident (Is. 50; Zech. 13, 14, and the Lord's own prophecy in Matthew 23; Luke 19:42, 44); that He died for the nation John tells us, as does Isaiah 53; that He wept over Jerusalem, the true Jehovah who would often have gathered her children. (Luke 13:32-34; ch. 19:42.) That it is in Israel God is to be glorified in the earth, Isaiah 49 makes perfectly clear. Equally so that His rejection was consequently felt by Christ as having laboured in vain and spent His strength for nought and in vain, though the answer brings out necessarily, a far fuller glory as the result of the work which He knew to be perfect.

151 This leads us at once to the truth that the Lord was deeply sensible of the effect of His rejection as regards the nation. The law had been broken, but idolatry given up, and Jehovah was come into the midst of His people with deliverance and blessing in His heart and in His hand — come surely to give Himself for them as an atonement, but first presenting Himself to them, the true Heir and vessel of promise, the minister and crown of all blessing, the minister of the circumcision for the truth of God. But He was the outcast of the people, and laboured as regards that in vain, nor (though the remnant got far better things, as Christ's own glory was largely enhanced by it) could the remnant then have the blessings and glory promised in and with the Messiah — they were to take up their cross and follow Him. Jehovah sent, anticipating the great final deliverance, that Elias in spirit, who was to come before Him and the great and notable day of the Lord. They did to him whatever they listed, and the Son of man was to suffer. The New Testament, as the Old, brings, as to Israel, Christ's presence and the last days together: "Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel till the Son of man be come" (Matt. 10). And "Ye shall not see me henceforth till ye shall say, Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord," quoting Psalm 119, as He did for the rejected stone. At the same time the body of the nation was now apostate, crying, "We have no king but Caesar," rejecting formally their Messiah, and, in Him, Jehovah come in grace to speak a word in season to him that was weary.

Was the Lord indifferent to all this? Was He, because He was going to accomplish a greater work in atonement, indifferent to the setting aside of God's beloved people, to the present merging all the promises as regards them in judgment and long rejection (wrath coming upon them to the uttermost), to the entire setting aside of the promises looked at as resting on the reception of Messiah come in the flesh, His own labouring for nought and in vain, and being cut off as Messiah and having nothing, and the people apostatizing and joining the Gentiles against the Lord and His anointed so that wrath and judgment came upon them — was He indifferent, I say, to all this? or did He feel it? Sympathy with His disciples we can understand. But was all this no source of suffering to the Lord? He could not sympathize with apostasy. He was in no such case, but faithful to the very end, perfect in it with God; but was it nothing to Himself, no sorrow, that God's people were thus cut off, cut off Himself instrumentally by that very apostasy, so that the then hope of Israel closed with Him, for that Isaiah 50 positively declares? He could not separate His own cutting off from theirs as the consequence of it. This Daniel 9:26, as well as Isaiah, plainly testifies.

152 Let us see how His Spirit works in His servants. The Lamentations of Jeremiah are the deep and wondrous expression of this; not only that what had been so beautiful under God's eye, how Nazarites whiter than milk had been set aside, but God had cast down His altar, profaned His sanctuary. So Isaiah would have Jehovah rend the heavens and come down (see Isa. 63, 64.) So Daniel in the beautiful pleading of chapter 9. Has Christianity removed and destroyed this feeling? There was one who had great heaviness and continual sorrow in his heart for his kinsmen according to the flesh, Israelites, to whom pertaineth the adoption, and the glory, and the covenants, and the giving of the law, and the service of God, and the promises, of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, God over all blessed for evermore. That was the way Paul would know Christ no more; he knew Him in the glorious and heavenly results of atonement, but his heart groaned over Israel as God's people to whom the promises and Christ in the flesh belonged. He could wish himself accursed from Christ for them, as Moses had wished to be blotted out of Jehovah's book for their sakes — Israel according to the flesh, but God's people according to the flesh, and to whom according to the flesh Christ belonged. Israel was responsible for receiving Him. He came to the lost sheep of the house of Israel.

Did Christ's Spirit produce these feelings in His witnesses before and after His coming and rejection, and He Himself remain indifferent, careless, as to His people whom He had foreknown? It was not so. Indignation and wrath were coming upon them, and He felt it. It had well nigh been executed in Paul's time, and by Christ's Spirit he felt it, though his heart had known Christ in glory, and would only now so know Him.

153 This is the language of scripture: "And his soul was grieved," we read in Judges 10, "for the misery of Israel." "In all their afflictions he was afflicted," I read in Isaiah 63. That same Jehovah came as man. Did His humanity dry up His concern for Israel and His lost sheep? The same Jehovah then could weep over the beloved and chosen city, and say, "Oh that thou hadst known, even thou, in this thy day, the things that belong to thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes." He was not merely Jehovah, but as Messiah He took Messiah's place in Israel (not in its apostasy surely, but with the godly remnant who, as to earthly promises, could then as well as Messiah Himself take nothing). The Shepherd was smitten and the sheep scattered. He was the Head and bringer in of the promises. His cutting off was the setting aside, as then presented, all the hopes and promises of Israel; and as Messiah He was to be cut off, and, as the consequence of that, judgment, indignation, and wrath, were to come upon Israel.

Indignation is, I may say, the technical word used for the time of trouble in the last days. And Paul says wrath was come upon them. I believe Christ entered into this, felt it all in connection with His own cutting off. No doubt He went infinitely farther. He made atonement for them, but He felt fully the rejection of the people, bore it on His heart, told them not to weep for Him but for themselves, for judgment was coming on them. He was the green tree, and this came upon Him. What would be done in the dry, dead, and lifeless Israel?

But this leads me to cutting off and smiting. Not only is the judgment of Israel connected with the cutting off and smiting of Christ, as we have seen, but the condition of the remnant in Israel in the last days, and of the just as the remnant of Israel from Messiah's days, is deduced from this. It is so in Daniel 9. The weeks are not yet run out for the ceasing of Jerusalem's desolations and wars. The last terrible half-week is to come, of which the Lord tells us in Matthew 24, referring to Daniel 12. And why all this? Messiah was to be cut off and have nothing.* It is not glory gained by atonement which is spoken of here, but Messiah's cutting off so that He had nothing of the glory and kingdom of Israel; but Israel on the contrary came under judgment and a desolator.

{*This is confessedly the true sense; it is given in the margin of the English Bible.}

154 Zechariah teaches us the same thing. The blessed One who had been man's possession (servant) from His youth had been wounded in the house of His friends. His own were guilty of it. But there is more than this in His death; the sword is to awake against Jehovah's Shepherd — "the man that is my fellow," says Jehovah of hosts. "Smite the shepherd and the sheep shall be scattered." His sheep as connected with Him in Israel were scattered, and then the prophet goes on to the portion of Israel and the remnant in the last days; two thirds will be cut off and the remnant go through the fire. We have already seen that in Matthew 10 and 23, the Lord connects the same periods, and in the latter case with His rejection. They stumbled on the stone and were broken; when it fell on them, it would grind them to powder. If I find the details and feelings* more entered into in the Psalms, I find the teaching and history in the gospels of what brought it all about.

{*Though Christ's proper sufferings are entered into in very few, save as from without.

Now I fully recognize that the smiting was on the cross; that is distinctly stated in the papers I am republishing. But I affirm that Christ entered into all these sorrows and sufferings on His way to the cross, and that in a special manner as looking to be cut off, when His hour was come and He was to be no longer absolutely safe from the machinations of the people become His enemies, but delivered by them to men. Further: the charges and accusations made have led me to search scripture on the subject, and I do not find that smiting is ever used for atonement (though atonement also was wrought when He was smitten), but for the cutting off of Messiah in connection with the Jews. Forsaking of His God is that which in scripture expresses the work which stands wholly alone. Some passages may have escaped me, but I have searched. It does not trouble me that it should be so taken, because it is certain that, when He was smitten, atonement was wrought. But I prefer scripture to the sayings of men, and until they produce some scripture which disproves it, I shall believe that the act of cutting off the Messiah is spoken of in smiting, and not the work of atonement, to which nothing can be compared. The smiting or cutting off the Messiah is used in connection with another subject in scripture, though He was there wounded for the people's transgressions, and with His stripes they will be healed. But the cutting off and smiting is referred to the setting aside of previous hopes in the flesh, not to securing future ones in promise, though that work (blessed be God!) was done then. It is not that there was wrath inflicted on Christ for any state or relationship He was in besides atonement. I believe Christ never was in the state or relation which brought it, but that He entered into all the sufferings of Israel in spirit, passed through them in His own soul, felt what would be done in the dry tree, though He was the green one.

155 But what I have said leads me to another difficulty which has been raised: that governmental wrath would, but for atonement, be necessary condemnation. I hold so fully. Israel was the scene of God's righteous government, and indignation and wrath were coming on them in that way. Such is the positive testimony of scripture, these words being used, as they are both together, in the Lamentations of Jeremiah (indignation, as I have said, technically in Isaiah and Daniel for the great time of trial in Israel, and wrath by Paul, and more than one equivalent to them in the Lamentations). But if Christ had not wrought atonement, there could not have been indignation and wrath as chastening and teaching for good. It must have been condemnation. It could not be said, By this shall the iniquity of Jacob be purged, referring to the last days; nor could Jerusalem be told that she had received at the hand of the Lord double of all her sins, nor by the Lord that she should not come out till she had paid the very last farthing, if atonement had not been made. God could exercise judgment as government because of the atonement. He could shew Himself righteous in forbearance as to the Old Testament sins by the blood-shedding of Jesus. He was long-suffering in that government, abundant in goodness and mercy and truth, yet would by no means clear the guilty. But the cross laid the foundation for that. It laid the foundation for heavenly glory, but it laid the foundation for that, too.

Christ, therefore, while He saw and felt, entered into, all the sorrow and indignation on Israel in the fullest way — went on farther that it might not be condemnation, and made atonement. Indignation and wrath in His case was not merely governmental, but the full dealing of God with sin — which is atonement. I find both plainly revealed to me in scripture, for I have shewn that Christ in spirit did enter into the sorrows of Israel connected with His own cutting off. To smite, in Hebrew and patasso in Greek, is used for the cutting off of the Shepherd of Israel; but when smitten, He was forsaken of God, and made atonement for sin — was bruised for Israel's and our iniquities.

156 I have now to turn to another objection which was presented to me in my correspondence — Christ's resolving the whole question of good and evil. It is the one sole and whole foundation of blessing. The same gross mistake was made as to it as to all the rest. He must have known, it was alleged, evil in His heart to have gone through it. It is difficult to deal with such entire darkness of apprehension. Why, God knows good and evil perfectly: has He (the Lord pardon even the question) any evil in His heart? But there was more as to Christ: He had to learn it by going through every temptation by it — its bitterness in its pressure on His own soul. He had none of it. He was the Prince of life: did He not know what death was? He was Love in its expression: did He not know what hatred was? And just because, and in the manner in which, He was Love, was the horribleness of hatred known to Him, even in detail. The love in which He sought the poor of the flock, made Him feel what was the spirit which sought to hinder their coming in. When He denounced the scribes and lawyers, did He not feel the evil they were guilty of?

The truth is, a holy soul knows what evil really is: only He went through it all as trial. Was not His horror of corruption and hypocrisy measured by His holiness and truth? Was not His perfect, absolute confidence tried and pained by the distrust and unbelief He met with, even in His disciples? Was not His delight in His Father's love (I cannot say the measure, for it could not be measured, but) the gauge of His sense of wrath? Was not the horribleness of Satan's asking Him to worship him known in the fulness of His own devotedness to His God? Was He not tested and tried by everything, save sin within, that could try a soul, and, had it been possible, turn Him away from God? Was not sin known to Him by the assailment of temptation and the holiness of His own soul? Did He not learn obedience by its costing everything that was possible from man, and Satan, and God? He knew evil, to reject it absolutely; to feel it absolutely by the tested perfection of good, which alone could perfectly feel what evil was; and die and give up self rather than fail in devotedness to His Father's will and holy obedience; and then be made sin for us, so as to put it away by the sacrifice of Himself. He died for sin, "but in that he died, he died unto sin once; in that he liveth, he liveth unto God." He has no more to do with sin, save to judge the sinner hereafter. The whole of God's glory, as compromised by sin in the universe, was made good, glorified, exalted, in the fullest trial — everything that could try holiness and love. Hence the time will come when in heaven and earth righteousness will be established for ever, sin unknown, and God be perfectly glorified.

157 I am not aware I have any other point to treat which may cause a difficulty to any soul who seeks the truth and edification. I have only again to beg every righteous person not to take any statement but my own for my views. In Mr. Hall's letters to me almost everything, if not everything, was mis-stated through his own want of apprehension of the truth and preconceived notions. Christ did then fully enter into the difference between good and evil, and with God's judgment of sin before His eyes; partly in all His life in the evil He met with every day, and specially at the end, when all evil was accumulated against Him, and the judgment of God against sin was immediately before Him; for, I repeat, this meeting indignation and wrath, then gave all its force to what His soul went through.

I had almost forgotten a statement made to me by letter, that I had stated, in answering Mr. Newton, that there could be no other suffering whatever than the first two mentioned in the tract. I answered that at the time. I merely repeat that answer in substance now. It is a very good plea for mere hostility, but has no true ground at all. In answer to Mr. Newton, what I have now spoken of as the third kind of suffering is fully gone into as a truth collateral to the two others, though not formally called a third kind of suffering. If my memory serves (I have not the tract by me), a third or half the tract is occupied with unfolding it. It was orthodox enough then.

A statement shewn to me is that I have said Christ was cut off under indignation and wrath not expiatory. I am not aware of any such statement. It is contrary to my whole manner of apprehending the matter. He was cut off as Messiah and He entered in heart into the indignation and wrath that lay on Israel; but that is a different matter. I find in Psalm 102 in the "Synopsis" (which I am referred to) "Nor is it [the subject of the psalm] His expiatory work, though that which wrought it is here — the indignation and wrath," which is a very different thing. It states these to be expiatory work. But I have already explained my own thoughts on this point, and I prefer this to any discussion or taking up controversy with my accusers, and it would be endless to meet all the misrepresentations of what I have said. I can only repeat my request not to believe any statement of my doctrine but my own.

158 I do not see how it is possible for any fair mind to make Christ's passing through the three kinds of suffering mean that He was in any sense in the condition referred to. One of them speaks of a condemned sinner; the next, a saint by grace; the third is specially guarded because more obscure. Do my accusers believe that passing through the suffering, such as a saint by grace does, meant that He was a saint by grace? If not, why should the third kind suppose Him to be in the state referred to, where the supposition was more carefully guarded against, where in fact it was said it was not so? I am perfectly free now to change the expressions in the tract; but as so much has been made of it by my enemies, I suppose many might desire to see it as it originally was, so that I have only corrected mistakes and made a sentence or two clearer, and left the accused places as they were, and in the margin noted any desirable changes as far as they are material to clear the sense. The first edition, reprinted from the "Bible Treasury," I left as it was, because I gave it as such. Now I change what I think right. There are only a few passages of any consequence.

I will here add what may make plain how, from surrounding circumstances, Christ could enter into the remnant's sufferings, and, in a certain analogy, ours when converted but dreading wrath still; and why I have said He entered into the sufferings, and passed through the sufferings, without its having anything to do with His relationship or state. In the last days the upright remnant will be oppressed by the Gentiles (the same Roman beast), rejected and persecuted by the apostate Jews who own Caesar, and will, though looking in true faith to God, be fearing wrath before them. Now every word of this was true of Christ; and He felt it as come to bring blessing to Israel, which they rejected, not knowing the time of their visitation. He was persecuted by apostate Jews joining with Gentiles; He was oppressed cruelly by the Roman power. The remnant will feel it as the ruin and sin of beloved Israel; and so did He. They are fearing wrath; and the Lord was doing so too, with the difference that He really drank the cup. It is not that He had brought it on Himself as the nation had; but He passed through the suffering of it so as to be able to succour those that are tempted, to know how to speak a word in season to them that are weary. The analogy of an upright soul fearing judgment is that he is upright, and yet the fear of judgment is on his soul, and perhaps persecution his portion too. Christ can enter into the sorrows of that soul. But in Israel's case the character of suffering perfectly corresponds. "This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him," is put by the Spirit into their mouth. But these sufferings of Christ are distinct from atonement. It is not that Christ's feelings were not much more perfect; but He passed through, in His own case, the suffering which enables Him to enter into theirs. I would solemnly ask my reader, if He thinks Psalm 69:27, 28, is the fruit of atonement, and if atonement is contemplated there?

159 I may add a general remark which has suggested itself to me, which may help every willing mind. It is objected, smiting is spoken of before the cross, meeting indignation and wrath and the like. The error is that of my accusers and not mine. Had they been living in the mind of scripture, and its habits of thinking, they would have found it simply its way of speaking. And when it is stated that there are contradictory statements on my part, which produce confusion, it is also their unacquaintedness with scripture. I dare say I may have followed the scripture mode of speaking without always accounting for it to myself. When called in question, the matter is specifically accounted for. But it is not my intention to give up a scriptural way of speaking and thinking because they think it wrong. I believe scripture more right than they.

Scripture speaks of the whole of the last hours of Christ's life up to and including His death as one period, and it is characterized as one event. It has His rejection and smiting stamped upon it, and to speak of it so is right. Yet to speak of atonement distinctly as wrought in the hour of His forsaking of God is right too. Smiting, indignation, and wrath, the whole of His rejection, and what was involved in it, attaches itself to the whole period in scripture language. Yet He was not actually drinking the cup — not actually smitten. In John, who takes the divine side of these truths, even the time of His ascension is included, and so even in Luke as the blessed effect. And just the same contradiction may be alleged against scripture. Thus in Luke 9, His last journey up to Jerusalem, "when the hour was come that he should be received up." So in the expression, His hour, "my hour is not yet come." Again, "Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered." Now this is unequivocally applied to what preceded the cross by the Holy Ghost; yet the smiting was not fulfilled till the cross, but its effect and the whole scene characterized by it was come. Again, "When Jesus knew that his hour was come that he should depart out of this world unto the Father, and . . . knowing that the Father had committed all things into his hand" — was it come or not come? It could not be till after atonement, yet for scriptural language it was come. Again as to His work on the cross: "Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified and God is glorified in him [that is on the cross morally]; and if God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself." Now here, was the Son of man glorified yet in the work of the cross? So "now is the judgment of this world, now is the prince of this world cast out." It is treated as one whole time now come. That is the scriptural way of treating it, as a now in contrast with the previous state of things. And so one imbued with the scriptural way of speaking and thinking will treat it.

160 But scripture goes farther and contradicts itself, as my adversaries speak of contradiction, on this very point. In John 17 the Lord says, "I have glorified thee on the earth: I have finished the work which thou gavest me to do." Had He finished it? He contemplated the whole scene as present. On the cross He says afterwards, when He had drunk the vinegar, "It is finished, and gave up his spirit." The treating the smiting as come, and the Saviour as meeting indignation and wrath, then, is perfectly scriptural and the scriptural way of speaking, and so is it to hold that the true atoning work and the fulfilment of the smiting too was on the cross. There, and there only, was the forsaking of God. The cavils of my adversaries, while I admit of course human imperfection in my words, are cavils against scripture. It speaks as I have spoken, and any alleged contradiction and confusion is that of scripture. A rationalist would accuse scripture as I have been accused.

161 But I feel pressed to add as regards Mr. Hall's doctrine, on reflecting on it, my earnest declaration (without an atom of unkindly feeling) of rejecting it as fatal as doctrine and destructive of Christian affection. There may be better thoughts in his mind — I dare say there are; but what he has insisted on against me is a fatal denial of the true sufferings of Christ. For him it is atonement, sympathy, or Christ's own relationship with God. Now sympathy is not a man's own sufferings; hence Christ, according to Mr. Hall, never suffered but in atonement. I read, "It became him, for whom are all things and by whom are all things, in bringing many sons to glory, to make the captain of their salvation perfect through suffering." He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. He began that course in the manger and went on to the cross through a course which was not atonement, which was not merely sympathy, though it made Him able to exercise it, able to succour them that are tempted. I do not doubt that Mr. Hall has better thoughts, but all his accusations against my teaching are founded on this fatal and ruinous error. It is a singular circumstance that when a person very hostile to me abroad sought to profit by Mr. Ryan's tract against me, he fell into the same ruinous view as Mr. Hall. Saints cannot be too earnestly warned against it.

Finally, I do not think it possible that an unprejudiced mind would have found in my tract what has been put into it as its meaning. Jealousy awakened by previous blasphemies I can understand and not even regret. But those that have been active in accusing me have taken the other direction, a phenomenon which has its voice. Ignorance of the scriptural teaching on the Jewish remnant I am neither surprised nor troubled at. As I have already said, I have, save errors of the press and a word here and there for clearness, left the tract as it was, noting as far as I am aware the obnoxious passages. The general question and the objections drawn from other books of mine are sufficiently dealt with in the introduction. I feel that as it is, I have been (though seeking only to expound the truth) as a fool in saying so much of what others will take as self-defence. I have, of course, taken up the points pressed upon me by others in correspondence; and the Lord gave occasion to me just before writing this to go through the psalms and scriptures in question with brethren who had had all the difficulties my accusers' tracts could awaken in their mind furnished to them by their reading these tracts. My object, however, while taking notice of all the objections, is to treat of the subject for those who inquire. I have not entered into controversy by any answer to the papers of my accusers. I trust I may never be called on to do it. Their own correspondence with me and other letters gave me substantially all the objections; and if scripture be made clear, accusations and reproach affect me with pain only for themselves. On that I do not enter.

162 I have no views as to the relationship of Christ, but the common faith of the saints. That by which false views on that point have been attempted to be proved as a consequence of my doctrine is founded on a fatal error in the teaching of him who seeks to prove it.

It has been stated currently and in print that I attribute to the blessed Lord the exercises of the soul of a sinner or the experiences of an erring saint. Now I have not been able to find any passage speaking of the experience of Christ. The word is quite strange to my mind and heart. The passage I find referred to by one, I suppose by all, is in page 189, the third kind of suffering. Now that does not speak of the experiences of Christ, and it states the opposite to what is alleged. Man is said to learn when a sinner, Christ to pass through the suffering as a perfect being learning it for others. Passing through suffering as a perfect being is the contradiction of learning when a sinner. I have noticed the passage in the notes to the tract. Perhaps the simpler way of clearing the expression would be to add 'of it,' and read, 'Christ passed through the suffering of it in the last case as a perfect being' at any rate, my statement is exactly the opposite of what is alleged.

I have sought to explain, as many have wished it; but I have not after all expressed my own feelings, which I must now be permitted to do, as the fruit of the enquiry I have pursued — feelings, I mean, solely as to the doctrine in question. I look with unmingled horror on the denial of the truth of Christ's sufferings contained in what is opposed to the paper on "the sufferings of Christ." It is alleged, there are no sufferings of Christ but suffering in atonement and sympathy; or suffering in atonement for sin from God, and for righteousness from man. There is a vast deep of sufferings of Christ, inward sufferings, which are neither one nor the other. When it is said, 'Who in the days of his flesh with strong crying and tears offered up prayers and supplications unto him that was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared,' it was not atonement; for if it referred to the atoning sufferings on the cross (though, perhaps, it cannot be said to do so exclusively), yet He was not then undergoing it, but praying, before it was come, to be delivered from death. It was not persecution from man merely, as is evident in the words of the passage. See Gethsemane, where above all it had its accomplishment. This is confessedly not atonement. Persecuting man was not there. He was alone and begged His disciples to watch with Him.* He sweat as it were great drops of blood. Was it persecution or atonement?

{*Nor was it sympathy.}

163 But I hear the chuckle of triumph, Why they are your own words that Christ suffered only from God for sin in atonement, and from man for righteousness! No doubt; and when the question was as to sufferings directly inflicted on Christ in respect of the state or relationship in which Christ stood, which was the question with Mr. Newton, that was quite true. He suffered from God in atonement for sin, and from man for righteousness. Leaving aside now this last, which all admit, Mr. Newton held the heavy hand of God was upon Him as being a Jew and a child of Adam, His relative position, and that He had to extricate Himself from it. That I denied and deny as ever. Inflicted sufferings for the state or relationship in which He was, were only for sin from God and for righteousness from man.

But there was a vast scene of agony for Christ's soul neither inflicted by God for what He was made, nor by man for what He was; but the agonies of His holy soul in this world, His own sufferings, in which He ever looked up to God, and referred to God's will, and which in part were connected with the ruin of Israel and His own cutting off as Messiah, as I have already explained. That cutting off, in the ways of God, must come, but was in no sense suffering inflicted on Him because of the relationship in which He was, or as if He Himself had the sense of failure; but the effect of Israel's sins. Yet He could say He had laboured in vain and spent His strength for nought and in vain. Yet this was by no means the deeper part of His agony. I cannot help feeling that had my accusers been thinking not of me but of Christ, they would not have fallen into this awful chasm, for such it really is. I am inclined to suspect that, not being in communion with Christ in the matter, Satan has deceived them by the ambiguity of the word "suffering," which means both actually inflicted pain, and inward sorrow of heart where nothing is done to the person at all. But if they had been seeking the truth and edification simply, they would not have been thus deceived. It is very possible, writing not for critical controversy but for instruction and edification, this double meaning of the word may not be distinguished in my papers. For grace, if so, it would not have been a snare.

164 But this I say: — if utter and total rejection of the views opposed to me, and belief in the sufferings of Christ besides atonement and persecution, exclude me from communion with my brethren in England and every other Christian in the world — I would not for a thousand worlds make a party on such a subject — I hold to my belief of these sufferings. I shall find them all again in His blessed face and in His glory when I see Him. I will dwell alone with Him, and mourn that Satan has succeeded in deceiving those I love, comforted with the thought that Christ will not give them up.

To the Editor of the "Bible Treasury"

A good deal that is current on the sufferings of Christ leads me to desire to draw the attention of your readers to this point, and to some simple yet important distinctions which it behoves us to make, as to their character and nature. The sympathies of Christ are so precious to the soul, His entering into our sorrows in this world of moral woe, so comforting, so softening, and yet so elevating, that we cannot treasure too highly the realization of them in our hearts, nor guard too carefully against anything that is spurious. That is the more important, because the character of His sufferings more or less connects itself with His Person and nature. I shall endeavour to be as simple as possible.

In the first place, we have to distinguish His sufferings from man and His sufferings from God. Their cause, and the result of them, are equally contrasted. Christ did, we know, suffer from men. He was despised and rejected of men, a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief. The world hated Him before it hated His disciples; it hated Him because He bore witness of it that its works were evil. He was "light," and he that doeth evil hateth the light, nor comes to the light, because his works are evil. In a word, Christ suffered for righteousness' sake; even as it was from the beginning, in that which was a type of Jesus' history in this respect, Cain slew Abel, because his works were evil and his brother's righteous. We may add, that the love which caused the Lord to minister to men in the world, and testify of their evil, brought only more sorrow upon Him. For His love He had hatred. This hatred of man against Him never slackened till His death, when, in the folly of human exultation, they could shout, Aha! aha! so would we have it. Righteousness and love, and what was indeed the manifestation of the divine nature and ways on the earth, brought out the relentless hatred of the human mind and will. Christ suffered from man for righteousness' sake.

But He suffered also from the hand of God upon the cross. It pleased the Lord to bruise Him; He hath put Him to grief; when He shall make His soul an offering for sin, He shall see His seed. He was made sin for us who knew no sin, and then He was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities: the chastisement of our peace was upon Him. There He suffered the just for the unjust; that is, He suffered, not because He was righteous, but because we were sinners, and He was bearing our sins in His own body on the tree. As regards God's forsaking Him, He could say, Why hast Thou forsaken Me? for in Him there was no cause. We can give the solemn answer. In grace He suffered the just for the unjust; He had been made sin for us. Thus He suffered for righteousness, as a living man, from men; as a dying Saviour, He suffered from the hand of God for sin. It is most interesting to notice the result of these two characters of suffering as expressed in the Psalms.

165 In Psalms 20 and 21 we see the Messiah prophetically viewed as suffering on the earth from men. It was the day of trouble. They imagined a device against Him which they were not able to perform. But He asks life, and has length of days for ever. Glory and great majesty are put upon Him. What is the effect of His being thus glorified by Jehovah, in answer to the scorn and violence of ungodly men? Judgment: His hand finds out all His enemies. He makes them as a fiery oven in the day of His anger; as He said, "Those mine enemies that would not that I should reign over them, bring them hither, and slay them before me." The same thing may be seen in Psalm 69:1-24. The effect of His suffering from the hand of wicked men is judgment on themselves.

166 In Psalm 22 we have, besides all these sufferings from the hand of men, and when they had reached their height (see the whole psalm up to verse 21), His suffering from the hand of God. When under the pressure of the others, God, His only resource, forsakes Him. This is the great theme of the psalm. But what is the result of this? This was the bearing of sin — at least the consequence of His bearing it. It was the judgment, so to speak; it was the wrath due to us. But He came to put sin away by the sacrifice of Himself. Hence the result is unmingled and full of grace — nothing else. Who was to be punished for His having drunk the cup at His Father's hand? He is heard. God takes the new character of one who has raised Him up and given Him glory, because He had perfectly glorified Him about sin. He is raised from the dead by the glory of the Father. This name of His God and Father He immediately declares to His brethren, "I will declare thy name unto my brethren." So in fact He did, when He said to Mary Magdalene, "Touch me not [He was not now coming to be corporally present in the kingdom], for I am not yet ascended to my Father; but go to my brethren and say unto them, I go to my Father and your Father, my God and your God." The testimony was now grace, and Jesus leads the praises of His redeemed. Next, all Israel, the great congregation, is found in the praise also; then all the ends of the world. The fat eat and worship; all that go down into the dust; and the generation that shall be born, when that time of peace is come, shall also hear the wondrous story of that which the angels now desire to look into — that He hath done this. It is an unmingled stream of grace and blessing, widening to the ends of the earth, and flowing down the course of time to the generation which shall be born.

Such is the effect of the cross. No word of judgment follows the tale it has to tell. The suffering there was the judgment on sin, but it was the putting of it away. The judgment was borne, but passed away with its execution on the victim, who had in grace substituted Himself; and if, indeed, we shall be manifested before the judgment-seat of Christ, He before whom we shall appear has Himself put away our sins; yea, we arrive there, because He has Himself come to fetch us, that where He is, there we may be also. In a word, it was suffering from God; and suffering from God is suffering for sin,* not for righteousness; and the effect, unmingled grace, now freely flowing forth. Christ had been baptized with the baptism He had to be baptized with. He was no longer straitened in the exercise and proclamation of love. When He suffered from man through the whole of His witness among them up to death itself, He was suffering for righteousness. Sin He had not, in His Person, to suffer for. He was no substituted victim in the eyes of men. The result of these sufferings from the power of men is judgment, accomplished on His return — in a providential way already in the destruction of Jerusalem, but fully when He shall return.

{*This passage has been used against me, not for what is in it, but as shewing the evil of other passages. The principle is perfectly just Positive direct suffering from God is for sin, from man for righteousness But that cannot set aside the sorrows of Christ's heart in respect of Israel's rejection, and His own cutting off as Messiah. It does not set aside that He felt what death was, that it became God to make the Captain of our salvation perfect through sufferings. This is not, in the true sense of the word, suffering from God in that sense of wrath of which Psalm 22 speaks. What is here is right. The utmost that can be said is, that a collateral truth should have been mentioned, as it was m my answer to Mr. Newton, where I said there were only these two sorts of suffering. Directly and properly that is true. My accusers may add the collateral truth if they please. Moreover Christ piously ascribed all these sufferings to God even when they were instrumentally fro n man, as coming from God's will and counsel. The reader has only to go on to the third following paragraph and he will find these other sufferings. Compare pp. 178-180. It is fully entered on towards the close.}

167 But there is another point of contrast, consequently, very important for us. Christ suffered for sin that we never might. We are healed by, not partakers of, His stripes. What Christ has suffered from the forsaking of God as wrath, He has suffered alone and exactly, as to us, with the object that we never should taste one drop of that dreadful, bitter, to us insupportable cup. Did we drink it, it were as condemned sinners. But in the sufferings of Christ for righteousness, and in those which were caused to Him through His work of love, we are, poor and feeble as our faith is, to have a part. To us it is given, not only to believe on, but also to suffer for, His name. If we suffer with Him, we shall reign with Him. If we suffer for righteousness' sake, happy are we, and yet more blessed if we suffer for His name. The Spirit of glory and of God rests upon us. We can rejoice that we are partakers of His sufferings, that when His glory shall be revealed, we may be glad with exceeding joy. The suffering for righteousness and for Christ, I may remark in passing, are distinguished by the Lord Himself (Matthew 5:10, 11); and by Peter (1 Peter 2:20; ch. 3:17; ch. 4:14).

168 The principle of these two kinds of suffering, however, as contrasted with suffering for sin or evil, is the same. The difference of suffering for good and for evil is touchingly contrasted in Peter's epistle, while both are attributed to Christ; and we are warned against the latter. Christ is presented as suffering as an example, chapter 2:19-23, where we see, in verse 23, he refers to the revilings and violence of men; in verse 24, he adds His bearing our sins, shewing that it is in order that we may be dead to it, not suffer for that. But this is brought out, as I said, touchingly, chapter 3:17, 18, the force of which I take to be this: the apostle had been speaking of suffering for righteousness, and adds, It is better, if it be God's will, that you suffer for well doing than for evil doing; for, he adds, Christ has suffered once for sins. That is, this is not your part in suffering; He has done this once for all. Suffering for righteousness may be your happy portion; suffering for sin is, as regards the Christian, Christ's part alone.

I would notice two other characters of suffering in our blessed Lord. In the first place, His heart of love must have suffered greatly from the unbelief of unhappy man, and from His rejection by the people. We read of His sighing in opening the deaf ears and loosing the tied tongue (Mark 7:34); and on the Pharisees asking a sign (chap. 8:12), of His sighing deeply in spirit. So, indeed, in John 11 at the tomb of Lazarus, He wept and groaned within Himself at seeing the power of death over the spirits of men, and their incapacity to deliver themselves; and as He wept also over Jerusalem, when He saw the beloved city just going to reject Him in the day of its visitation. All this was the suffering of perfect love, moving through a scene of ruin, in which self-will and heartlessness shut every avenue against this love which was so earnestly working in its midst. It must have been — with bright and blessed moments where its exercise proved sweetness to itself, and led His heart out by times to fields white for harvest — a constant source of sorrow. This sorrow (blessed be God) and the joy that brightens it, we are allowed, in our little measure, to partake of. It is the sorrow of love itself.

169 A weight of another character pressed upon the Lord, I doubt not, often through His life; and must and ought to have done so, though only shewing perfectness (that is, in blessed submission to the divine will). I mean the anticipation, when the time was there for Him to look at it (how often are we distracted by our little anticipated sorrows!), of His sufferings on the cross and their true and pressing character. On His path of life death lay. He could not, as we see, take His part with the excellent of the earth, and bring them into the purposed, or indeed, any real and permanent blessing, without going through death, and death as the wages of sin, for they were sinners. If the corn of wheat did not fall into the ground and die, it abode alone. There none could follow — not indeed the disciples, as He tells them, more than the Jews. And for Him death was death. Man's utter weakness, Satan's extreme power, and God's just vengeance, and alone, without one sympathy, forsaken of those whom He had cherished, the rest His enemies, Messiah delivered to Gentiles and cast down, the judge washing his hands of condemning innocence, the priests interceding against the guiltless instead of for the guilty — all dark, without one ray of light even from God. Here perfect obedience was needed, and (blessed be God!) was found. But we can understand, and just in the measure of Christ's divine, while human, sensibilities, what such sorrow must have been in prospect for a soul who looked at it with the feelings of a man made perfect in thought and apprehension by the divine light which was in Him.

We have examples of these sorrows of the Lord's heart in two remarkable cases, which, of course, though none were like the last, do not at all exclude the thought that others may have been, nor give full light on what He may have felt when in perfect calmness He spoke of His future sufferings to His disciples. The cases I refer to are those of John 12 and Gethsemane. In the former we read, "Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour." The coming up of the Gentiles had opened out before Him the scene of the rejected Christ passing into the wider glory of the Son of man; but then the corn of wheat must fall into the ground and die. This brings before His soul the true and necessary path of His glory — death, and all it meant, to His soul, and He looks for deliverance. He could not wish for, nor fail to fear, the forsaking of God and the cup of death He had to drink. He was heard in that He feared. That was truth, and true piety, in presence of such a passage for His soul.

So in Gethsemane, when it was yet nearer, and the prince of this world came, and His soul was exceeding sorrowful unto death; when the cup was just as it were being brought to Him, though He had not yet taken it (for He would take it from none but from His Father's hand), when His will was that He should drink it, because it was not possible it could be otherwise, if the purpose and word of God was to be accomplished — there this character of sorrow and trial, or temptation, reached its fulness. The tempter (who on His entrance on His public service, and to hinder His doing so, had tempted Him with what was agreeable to the flesh in the wilderness and on the pinnacle of the temple, and had been baffled and bound, and during the Lord's life had his goods spoiled) now returns to try Him with all that was dreadful for the soul of man, and, above all, for the Lord, if He persevered in His obedience and work unto the end. Power had been displayed capable of delivering living man from all the dominion of the enemy. Another awful, dreadful truth had now come out: man would not have the Deliverer. If the Lord was to persevere in interesting Himself in the wretched race, He must be, not a mighty living Deliverer by power, but a dying Redeemer. It was the path of obedience and the path of love. "The prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me; but that the world may know that I love the Father, and as my Father has given me commandment so I do."

170 But in both the cases we are now considering, we find Him still with His Father, though occupied with Him about the cup He had to drink, and His obedience only shining out in its perfection. There was no forsaking of God yet, though there was dealing with His Father about that cup which was characterized by His being forsaken of God. "Father, save me from this hour. But for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name." Here He gets the answer, to obedience to death in judgment, of real and complete victory, and the widespread opening out of the revelation of love, though the world was judged therein. But in Gethsemane all was closing in. It was the power of darkness and the deeper agony of the Lord told itself out in few (yet how mighty) words, and sweat as it were drops of blood. But the obedience was perfect. The tempter utterly foiled, the name of Jesus suffices to make all his agents go backward and fall to the ground. He, as far as they were concerned and Satan's power went, was free. But the Father had given Him the cup to drink. He freely offers Himself to drink it, shewing the same unweakened power as ever, that of those given to Him He might lose none. Wondrous scene of obedience and love! But whatever the suffering may be (and who can tell it?) it was the free moving of a man in grace, but of a man perfect in obedience to God. The cup His Father has given Him to drink, shall He not drink it? How utterly, though indeed there, do the unhappy instruments of this power of evil disappear before the offering up of Christ by Himself in obedience and love! The power of death, as that of the enemy, gone through with His Father, and gone, and He in blessed, willing obedience now taking the awful cup itself from His Father's hand! Never can we meditate too much upon the path of Christ here. We may linger around the spot and learn what no other place nor scene can tell — a perfectness which is learnt from Him and from Him alone. But I must turn now to other parts of Christ's sorrow, for I can only touch on its causes and character.

171 Sin itself must have been a continual source of sorrow to the Lord's mind. If Lot vexed his righteous soul with seeing and hearing when so practically far from God, what must the Lord have suffered in passing through the world? I doubt not that, being perfectly in the place God would have Him, He was, not only in degree, but in the very nature of His feelings, calmer than the righteous man in Sodom. Still He was distressed by sin. He looked about upon them with anger, being grieved at the hardness of their hearts. His perfect love was relief here, but did not hinder the sorrow it relieved. "O faithless and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? how long shall I suffer you?" was met by, "bring thy son hither." But the unbelief was not the less felt. This was at the close, doubtless, and had special respect to their unbelief, which His own love instantly rises over. Still He was in a dry and thirsty land, where no water was, and felt it, even if His soul was also filled as with marrow and fatness. The holier and more loving He was, the more dreadful was the sin to Him (where His people wandered too, as sheep without a shepherd).

172 The sorrows, too, of men were His in heart. He bore their sicknesses, and carried their infirmities. Not a sorrow nor an affliction He met that He did not bear on His heart as His own. In all their afflictions He was afflicted. It was no light-hearted remedy that, even as a living man, the Lord applied. He bore in His spirit what He took away in His power (for all was the fruit of sin in man): only it was in gracious love. The sin itself He bore too, but that, as we have seen, was on the cross — obedience, not sympathy. God made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin. All the rest was the sympathy of love, though it was sorrow. This is a blessed character of the Lord's sorrow. Love brought Him to the cross, we well know; but His sorrow there had not the present joy of a ministration of love. He was not dealing with man, but suffering in his place, in obedience, from God, and for man. Hence it was unmingled, unmitigated suffering; the scene, not of active goodness, but of God forsaking: but all His sorrow in His ways with men was the direct fruit of love, sensibly acting on Him — He felt for others, about others. That feeling was (oh! how constantly) sorrow in a world of sin; but that feeling was love. This is sweet to our thought. For His love He might have hatred, but the present exercise of love has a sweetness and character of its own which no form of sorrow it may impart ever takes away; and in Him it was perfect. I do not indeed deny that righteous anger filled His soul when occasion called it forth — we know it did — yea, brought out such denouncement of woes, as I believe nothing but perfect love could produce; for what must He have felt of those who took away the key of knowledge, and entered not in themselves, and hindered those that were entering? Righteous indignation is not sorrow, but the love that gives birth to it, where it is righteous, stamps its own peculiar character upon it.

Another source of sorrow (for what has Christ not drunk at?) was, perhaps, more human, but not less true — I mean the violation of every delicacy which a perfectly attuned mind could feel. They stand staring and looking upon me. Insult, scorn, deceit, efforts to catch Him in His words, brutality and cruel mocking, fell upon no insensible, though a divinely patient, spirit. I say nothing of desertion, betrayal, and denial — He looked for some to have pity on Him, and there was no one, and for comforters, but found none — but of what broke in upon every delicate feeling of His nature as a man. Reproach broke His heart. He was the song of the drunkards. Doubtless, Jehovah knew His shame, His reproach, and His dishonour; all His adversaries were before Him; but He passed through it all. No divine perfection saved Him from sorrow. He passed through it with divine perfection, and by it. But I do not believe there was a single human feeling (and every most delicate feeling of a perfect soul was there) that was not violated and trodden on in Christ. Doubtless, it was nothing to divine wrath. Men and their ways were forgotten there; but the suffering was not the less real when it was there; and even when, at least, anticipating that cup of wrath, He would have His too confident disciples watch by Him, He only found them asleep at His return. All was sorrow but the exercise of love, and that must, at last, make way for obedience in death, where the wrath of God closed over and obliterated the hatred and wickedness of man. Such was Christ. All sorrow concentrated in His death, where the comfort of active love, and the communion with His Father, could put no alleviating sweetness, or be for a moment mingled with that dreadful cup of wrath. There, promises, royal glory in title, all was given up, to have them infallibly anew, received in glory, from the Father's hand, with a better and higher glory, which He had ever had, indeed, but now would enter into as man.