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Chapter XXIV.

Some particular testimonies evincing the death of Christ to be a punishment, properly so called.

The two expressions that I chose in particular to consider are nextly to be insisted on.

The first relates to him who did inflict the punishment; the other to him that was punished. The first is in verse 6, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” The person punishing is Jehovah, the person punished called “him,” — that is, he who is spoken of throughout the whole prophecy, the Messiah, Jesus Christ, as above declared.

For the opening of the words, that the efficacy of them to our purpose in hand may appear, two of them are especially to be considered: First, What is meant by that which is rendered “laid on him;secondly, What is meant by “iniquity.”

The first by our translation is rendered in the margin, “made to meet:” “He made to meet on him the iniquities of us all.” The Vulgar Latin, “Posuit Dominus in eo,” — “The Lord put upon him,” according to our translation in the text. Montanus, “Dominus fecit occurrere in eum,” — “God hath caused to meet on him,” according to our translation in the margin. Junius to the same purpose, 444Jehovah fecit ut incurrat,” “The Lord made them meet and fall on him.” The LXX. render it, Καὶ Κύριος παρέδωκεν αὐτὸν ταῖς ἁμαρτίαις ἡμῶν, — “The Lord delivered him to our sins,” that is, to be punished for them. By others the word is rendered “impegit, traduxit, conjecit,” — all to the same purpose, importing an act of God in conveying our sins to Christ.

The word here used is הִפְגִּיעַ‎ its root is פָּגַע‎, to which all the significations mentioned are assigned, “occurrere, obviam ire, incurrere, aggredi, rogare, precari.”

1. The first general signification of it is “to meet,” as the bounds of a field, or country, or house, meet with one another: Josh. xix. 34, וּפָגַע בִּזְבוּלֻן‎; so all along in that chapter, where the bounds of one country are said to reach to another, that is, to meet with them. It is the word here used. So in voluntary agents it is “obviam ire,” or “to meet,” and that either for good or evil. For good it is spoken of God, Isa. lxiv. 5, “Thou meetest him,” etc; and so for evil, Amos v. 19, “As if a man did flee from a lion, and a bear met him,” וּפְגָעוֹ‎, — that is, to tear him in pieces. Hence, because men that met others went to them to desire some help of them, the word also signifies “to ask, to pray, entreat, or intercede:” so the word is used, Isa. lix. 16, “There was no entreater,” מַפְגִּיעַ‎, — none to meet, to come and ask; and in this very chapter, verse 12, “He made intercession for the transgressors.” The word is the same with that here used. To meet the Lord, and intercede for transgressors, to stay his hand against them, is its sense.

2. “To meet,” or “to make to meet” properly, which is the first and most clear sense of the word. It is often used for to meet “animo hostili,” to meet, to fall upon, for hurt. 1 Sam. xxii. 17, “The servants of the king would not put forth their hand לִפְגֹּעַ‎, to meet, that is, as we have translated it, to “fall upon the priests” and kill them. So 2 Sam. i. 15, David bade his young man arise, פְּגַע‎, “fall upon” the Amalekite, — that is, to kill him. Samson made the men of Judah swear that they would not תִּפְּגְּעוּן‎, “meet with him,” or fall on him, themselves, Judges xv. 12.

Nextly, it may be inquired in what sense the word is here used, whether in the first spoken of, “to ask, entreat, intercede;” or in the latter, “to meet,” or “to meet with.”

Grotius interpreteth it (to remove so much of his interpretation by the way), “Permisit Deus, ut ille nostro gravi crimine indignissima pateretur,” that so he might suit what is spoken to Jeremiah, without pretence or colour of proof. For the word, it is forty-six times used in the Old Testament, and if in any one of them it may be truly rendered “permisit,” as it is done by him, or to that sense, let it be here so applied also. And for that sense (which is, that God suffered the Jews by their wickedness to entreat him evilly), it is 445most remote from the intendment of the words, and the Holy Ghost in them.

First, then, that the words cannot be interpreted “to pray or intercede” is evident from the contexture, wherein it is said (in this sense), “He prayed him for the iniquity of us all;” that is, the Lord prayed Christ for the iniquities of us all. This sense of the word הִפְגִּיעַ‎, in this place, Socinus himself grants not to be proper nor consistent: “Porro significatio ilia, precari, in loco nostro locum habere non potest; alioqui sequeretur Esaiam voluisse dicere, Deum fecisse, ut omnium nostrum iniquitas per Christum, vel pro Christo precata fuerit, quod longe absurdissimum esse nemo non videt,” Cap. xxi. p. 132, Prælec. Socin.

It is, then, “to meet.” Now, the word here used being in hiphil, which makes a double action of that expressed, by adding the cause by whose power, virtue, and impress the thing is done, thence it is here rendered “occurrere fecit,” — “he made to meet.” And so the sense of it is, “God made our sins, as it were, to set upon or to fall upon Jesus Christ;” which is the most common use of the word, as hath been showed.

It is objected that the word signifies to meet, yet no more but this may be the meaning of them, “God in Christ met with all our iniquities;” that is, for their pardoning, and removal, and taking away.

Of the many things that may be given in for the eversion of this gloss I shall name only two, whereof the first is to the word, the latter to the matter. For the word, the conjugation, according to the common rule, enforces the sense formerly mentioned: he made to meet, and not he met. Secondly, The prophet in these words renders a reason of the contemptible, sad condition of the Messiah, at which so many were scandalized, and whereupon so few believed the report of the gospel concerning him; and this is, that God laid on him our iniquities. Now, there is no reason why he should be represented in so deplorable a state and condition if God only met with and prevented our sin in and by him; which he did (as they say) in his resurrection, wherein he was exceeding glorious. So that the meaning of the word is, that God made our sins to meet on him by laying them on him; and this sense Socinus himself consents unto, Prælec. cap. xxi. p. 133. But this also will farther appear in the explication of the next word, and that is “our iniquity.”

Secondly, “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all,” עֲוֹן‎. How the iniquity of us? That is, the punishment of our iniquity. I shall offer three things to make good this interpretation:—

1. That the word is often found in that sense, so that it is no new or uncouth thing that here it should be so: Gen. iv. 13, עֲוֹנִי‎, “Mine iniquity is greater than I can bear;” it is the same word here used. 446They are the words of Cain, upon the denunciation of God’s judgment on him; and what iniquity it is he gives you an account in the next words, “Behold, thou hast driven me out,” verse 14. That was only the punishment laid on him. It is used in like manner several times, Lev. xx. 17, 19; 1 Sam. xxviii. 10, Saul sware to the witch that no iniquity should befall her, — that is, no punishment for that which she did at his command, in raising up a spirit to consult withal, contrary to the law; and also in sundry other places: so that this is no new signification of the word, and is here most proper.

2. It appears from the explication that is given of this thing in many other expressions in the chapter: “The Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” How? In that “it pleased him to bruise him, and put him to grief,” verse 10; in that he “was wounded for our transgressions, and he was bruised for our iniquities,” verse 5; as will be made more evident when I come to the next phrase, “He shall bear their iniquities,” which answers to this, “He laid them on him.”

3. Because he did so lay our sin on Christ that “he made his soul an offering for sin.” When our iniquities were on him, “his soul” (that is, he himself, by a usual synecdoche, the soul for the person) “was made אָשָׁם‎, an offering for sin.” The word here used is like “piaculum” in Latin; which signifies the fault, and him who is punished for it in a way of a public sacrifice. So is this word taken both for a sin, a trespass, and a sacrifice for the expiation of it, as another word, namely, חָטָא‎, is used also, Lev. iv. 3, “He shall offer it לְחַטָּאת‎, for a sin,” — that is, an offering for sin. So also Exod. xxix. 14, Lev. iv. 29. And this very word is so used, Lev. vii. 2, “They shall kill אָשָׁם‎;” that is, the sin, or sin-offering, or “trespass-offering,” as there it is rendered. And other instances might be given, Now, God did so cause our iniquities to meet on Christ that he then under them made himself אָשָׁם‎, or “an offering for sin.” Now, in the offering for sin the penalty of the offence was, “suo more,” laid on the beast that was sacrificed or made an offering. Paul interpreteth these words by other expressions: 2 Cor. v. 21, “He made him to be a sin for us;” that is, an offering for sin, אַשַׁם‎. He made him sin when he made him “a curse, the curse of the law,” Gal. iii. 13; that is, gave him up to the punishment by the law due to sin. Rom. viii. 3, “God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin,” καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας, for sin, a sacrifice for sin, “condemned sin in the flesh.” Heb. x. 6, Ὁλοκαυτώματα καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας οὐκ εὐδόκησας, “In burnt-offerings and for sin thou hast had no pleasure;” and again, Ὅτι θυσίαν καὶ προσφορὰν καὶ ὁλοκαυτώματα καὶ περὶ ἁμαρτίας verse 8.

It appears, then, from all that hath been said, that our iniquities that were laid on Christ were the punishment due to our iniquity.

Farther to clear this, I shall a little consider what act of God this was whereby he laid our iniquities on Christ; and these two things 447are considerable therein: 1. How it was typically prefigured; 2. How it was done, or in what act of God the doing of it doth consist.

1. This was eminently represented in the great anniversary sacrifice, of which I have spoken formerly, especially in that part which concerns the goat, ἀποπομπαῖος, on which the lot fell to be sent away. That that goat was a sacrifice is evident from Lev. xvi. 5, where both the kids of the goats (afterward said to be two goats) are said to be “a sin-offering.” How this was dealt withal, see verse 21: “Aaron shall lay both his hands upon the live goat, and confess over him all the iniquities of the children of Israel, and all their transgressions in all their sins, putting them upon the head of the goat.” Now, in what sense could the sins of the people be put upon the head of the goat?

(1.) This was not merely a representation, as it were a show or pageant, to set forth the taking away of iniquity, but sins were really, as to that typical institution, laid on the head of the goat; whence he became a “piaculum,” an ἀνάθεμα, and he that touched him was defiled: so verse 26, the man that carried out the goat was unclean until he was legally purified; and that because the sin of the people was on the head of the goat which he so carried away.

(2.) The proper pravity, malice, and filth of sin could not be laid on the goat. Neither the nature of the thing nor the subject will bear it: for neither is tin, which is a privation, an irregularity, an obliquity, such a thing as that it can be translated from one to another, although it hath an infectious and a contagious quality to diffuse itself, — that is, to beget something of the like nature in others; nor was the goat a subject wherein any such pernicious or depraved habit might reside, which belongs only to intelligent creatures, which have a moral rule to walk by.

(3.) It must be the punishment of sin that is here intended, which was, in the type, laid on the head of the goat; and therefore it was sent away into a land not inhabited, a land of separation, a wilderness, there to perish, as all the Jewish doctors agree, — that is, to undergo the punishment that was inflicted on it. That in such sacrifices for sin there was a real imputation of sin unto punishment shall afterward be farther cleared.

Unto this transaction doth the prophet allude in this expression, “He laid on,” or “put on him.” As the high priest confessed all the sins, iniquities, and transgressions of the people, and laid them on the head of the scapegoat, which he bare, undergoing the utmost punishment he was capable of, and that punishment which, in the general kind and nature, is the punishment due to sin, — an evil and violent death; so did God lay all the sins, all the punishment due to them, really upon one that was fit, able, and appointed to bear it, which he suffered under to the utmost that the justice of God required on that account. He then took a view of all our sins and 448iniquities. He knew what was past and what was to come, knowing all our thoughts afar off. Not the least error of our minds, darkness of our understandings, perverseness of our wills, carnality of our affections, sin of our nature or lives, escaped him. All were γυμνὰ καὶ τετραχηλισμένα before him. This is set out by the variety of expressions used in this matter in the type: “All the iniquities, all the transgressions, and all the sins.” And so by every word whereby we express sin in this 53d of Isaiah, — “going astray, turning aside, iniquity, transgression, sin,” and the like. God, I say, made them all to meet on Christ., in the punishment due to them.

2. What is the act of God whereby he casts our sins on Christ.

I have elsewhere considered how God in this business is to be looked on.480480   Vide Of the Death of Christ, the Price he Paid, and the Purchase he Made, vol. x. I said now in the entrance of this discourse, that punishment is an effect of justice in him who had power to dispose of the offender as such. To this two things are required:—

(1.) That he have in his hand power to dispose of all the concernments of the offence [offender] and sinners, as the governor of him and them all. This is in God. He is by nature the king and governor of all the world, our lawgiver, James iv. 12. Having made rational creatures and required obedience at their hands, it is essentially belonging to him to be their governor,481481   Vid. Diatrib. de Justit Divin. translated, vol. x. and not only to have the sovereign disposal of them, as he hath the supreme dominion over them, with the legal dispose of them, in answer to the moral subjection to him and the obedience he requires of them.

(2.) That as he be a king, and have supreme government, so he be a judge to put in execution his justice. Thus, “God is judge himself,” Ps. l. 6; he is “the judge of all the earth,” Gen. xviii. 25; Ps. xciv. 2; Ps. lxxv. 7; Isa. xxxiii. 22, as in innumerable other places. Now, as God is thus the great governor and judge, he pursues the constitutive principle of punishment, his own righteous and holy will, proportioning penalties to the demerit of sin.

Thus, in the laying our sins on Christ, there was a twofold act of God, — one as a governor, the other as a judge properly:—

[1.] The first is “innovatio obligationis,” the “innovation of the obligation,” wherein we were detained and bound over to punishment; whereas in the tenor of the law, as to its obligation unto punishment, there was none originally but the name of the offender, — “In the day that thou eatest thereof thou shalt surely die,” and “Cursed is every one that continueth not,” and “The soul that sinneth it shall die,” — God now puts in the name of the surety, of Jesus Christ, that he might become responsible for our sins, and undergo the punishment that we were obliged to. Christ was ὑπὸ νόμον γενόμενον, he was made under the law; that is, he was put into subjection to the 449obligation of it unto punishment. God put his name into the obligation, and so the law came to have its advantage against him, who otherwise was most free from the charge of it. Then was Christ “made sin,” when, by being put into the obligation of the law, he became liable to the punishment of it. He was the “mediator of the new covenant,” Heb. xii. 24, the “mediator between God and men,” 1 Tim. ii. 5; so a mediator as to “give himself a ransom” for them for whom he was a mediator, verse 6. And the “surety of the covenant” is he also, Heb. vii. 22; such a surety as paid that which he never took, made satisfaction for those sins which he never did.

[2.] The second act of God, as a judge, is “inflictio pœnæ.” Christ being now made obnoxious, and that by his own consent, the justice of God finding him in the law, layeth the weight of all on him. “He had done no violence, neither was any deceit in his mouth.” Well, then, it will be well with him; surely it shall be well with the innocent; no evil shall befall him. Nay but saith he, verse 10, “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him; he hath put him to grief.” Yea, but what was the reason of this? why was this the will of God? why did this seem good to the just “Judge of all the earth?” The reason is in the very next words, “His soul was made an offering for sin;” which before is expressed, “He bare our griefs, he was wounded for our transgressions.” Being made liable to them, he was punished for them.

By that which is said, it is evident from this first expression, or the assignation of an action to God in reference to him, that this death of Christ was a punishment, he who had power to do it bringing in him (on his own voluntary offer) into the obligation to punishment, and inflicting punishment on him accordingly.

The second expression, whereby the same thing is farther evinced, is on the part of him that was punished, and this [occurs] in verse 4, “Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows;” or, which is more evident, verse 11, “He shall bear their iniquities.”

For the right understanding of the words, I shall give a few brief previous observations, that may give light to the matter we treat of. And the first is, —

1. That as this whole thing was done in the justice of God, as hath been declared, so it was done by the counsel and appointment of God. The apostles confess the death of Christ to have proceeded thence, Acts iv. 28, ii. 23. Now, as laying of our sins on Christ, being designed our mediator, and undertaking the work, was an act of God as the governor of all and the righteous judge, so this of the determinate counsel and fore-appointment, or the eternal designation, of Christ to his office, is an act of sovereign power and dominion in God, whereby he doth as he pleaseth, according to the counsel of his will. As he would make the world in his sovereign good pleasure 450when he might have otherwise done, Rev. iv. 11, so he would determine that Christ should bear our iniquities when he might otherwise have disposed of them, Rom. xi. 33–36.

2. In respect of us, this pre-appointment of God was an act of grace, — that is, a sovereign act of his good pleasure, — whence all good things, all fruits of love whatever, to us do flow. Therefore it is called love, John iii. 16; and so in the fruit of it is it expressed, Rom. viii. 32; and on this John often insists in his Gospel and First Epistle, 1 John iv. 9–11. His aim on his own part was the declaration of his righteousness, Rom. iii. 25, and to make way for the “praise of his glorious grace,” Eph. i. 6; on our part, that we might have all those good things which are the fruits of the most intense love.

3. That Christ himself was willing to undergo this burden and undertake this work. And this, as it is consistent with his death being a punishment, so it is of necessity to make good the other considerations of it, namely, that it should be a price and a sacrifice; for no man gives a price, and therein parts with that which is precious to him, unwillingly, nor is a sacrifice acceptable that comes not from a free and willing mind. That he was thus willing himself professeth, both in the undertaking and carrying of it on. In the undertaking: Heb. x. 7, “Lo, I come to do thy will, O God.” It is the expression of one breaking out with a ready joy to do the thing proposed to him. So the church of old looked on him as one that came freely and cheerfully: Cant. ii. 8, 9, “The voice of my beloved! behold, he cometh leaping upon the mountains, skipping upon the hills. My beloved is like a roe or a young hart: he standeth behind our wall, he looketh forth at the windows, showing himself through the lattice.” The church looked on Christ as yet at a distance from the actual performance of the work he had undertaken, and so herself kept off from that clear and close communion which she longed after; and hence she says of him that he “stood behind the wall,” that he “looked forth at the windows,” and “showed himself through the lattice.” There was a wall yet hindering the actual exhibition of Christ; the “fulness of time” was not come; the purpose of God was not yet to bring forth: but yet, in the meantime, Christ looked on the church through the window of the promise and the lattice of the Levitical ceremonies.

And what discovery do they make of him in the view they take in the broad light of the promises and the many glimpses of the ceremonial types? They see him “coming leaping upon the mountains and skipping upon the hills,” — coming speedily, with a great deal of joy and willingness.

So of himself he declares what his mind was from old, from everlasting: Prov. viii. 30, 31, “Rejoicing always before him,” — that is, 451before God his Father. But in what did he rejoice? “In the habitable part of his earth; and his delights were with the sons of men.” When this joy of his was he tells you, verses 22–30. He rejoiced before God his Father in the sons of men before they were created; that is, in the work he had to do for them.

His will was also in the carrying of it on unto accomplishment; he must be doing his Father’s business, his will who sent him: Luke xii. 50, Πῶς συνέχομαι! He was pained as a woman in travail to be delivered, to come to be baptized in his own blood. And when he was giving himself up to the utmost of it, he professes his readiness to it, John xviii. 11; when Peter, who once before would have advised him to spare himself, now, seeing his counsel was not followed, would have rescued him with his sword. As for his advice he was called Satan, so for his proffered assistance he is now rebuked; and the reason of it is given, “Shall I not drink of the cup?” It is true, that it might appear that his death was not a price and a sacrifice only, but a punishment also, wherein there was an immission of every thing that was evil to the suffering nature and a subtraction of that which was good, he discovered that averseness to the drinking of the cup which the truth of the human nature absolutely required (and which the amazing bitterness of the cup overpowered him withal); yet still his will conquered and prevailed in all, Matt. xxvi. 53, 54.

4. Christ’s love was also in it; “his delights were with the sons of men,” his love towards them carried him out to the work. And Paul proves it by the instance of himself, Gal. ii. 20, “Who loved me;” and John applies the same to all believers, Rev. i. 5, 6, “Unto him that loved us,” etc. And thus was this great work undertaken.

These things being premised, let us look again to the words under consideration:—

1. For the word he bare our griefs, verse 4, it is נָשָׂא‎, a word of as large and as many various acceptations as any, if not absolutely the most extensive in the whole Hebrew tongue. It hath usually assigned unto it by the lexicographer eight or nine several significations; and to make it evident that it is of various acceptations, it is used (in the collections of Calasius) eight hundred and eighteen times in the Old Testament, whereof not a third part is answered in any language by one and the same word. With those senses of it that are metaphorical we have not any thing to do. That which is the first or most proper sense of it, and what is most frequently used, is to “carry” or “bear,” and by which it is here translated, as in very many other places.

Socinus would have it here be as much as “abstulit,” “he took away.” So saith he. “God took away our sin in Christ, when by him he declared and confirmed the way whereby pardon and remission 452is to be obtained, as he pardoned our sin in Christ by discovering the new covenant and mercy therein.” Now, because the word is of such various significations, there is a necessity that it be interpreted by the circumstances of the place where it is used. And because there is not any circumstance of the place on the account whereof the word should be rendered “abstulit,” “he took away,” and not “tulit,” “he took,” “bare,” or “suffered,” we must consider what arguments or reasons are scraped together “aliunde” by them, and then evince what is the proper signification of it in this place:—

(1.) “This very expression is used of God, Exod. xxxiv. 7, נֹשֵׂא עָוֹן‎, ‘ferens iniquitatem,’ as also it is again repeated, Num. xiv. 18; in both which places we translate it ‘forgiving,’ ‘forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin.’ Nor can it be properly spoken of God to bear, for God cannot bear, as the word properly signifies.”

The sum of the objection is, the word that is used so many times, and so often metaphorically, is once or twice in another place used for to take away or to pardon, therefore this must be the sense of it in this place! God cannot be said to bear iniquities but only metaphorically, and so he is often said to bear, to be pressed, to be weary, and made to serve with them. He is said to bear our sins in reference to the end of bearing any thing, which is to carry it away. God in Christ taking away, pardoning our sins, is said to bear them, because that is the way which sins are taken away; they are taken up, carried, and laid aside. But he of whom these words are spoken here did bear properly, and could do so, as shall be showed.

(2.) The interpretation of this place by Matthew, or the application of it, is insisted on, which is of more importance: “Matt. viii. 16, 17, Christ curing the diseases of many, and bodily sicknesses, is said to ‘bear our griefs,’ according as it is said in Isaiah that he should do. Now, he did not bear our diseases by taking them upon himself, and so becoming diseased, but morally, in that by his power he took them away from them in whom they were.”

Not to make many words, nor to multiply interpretations and accommodations of these places, — which may be seen in them who have to good purpose made it their business to consider the parallel places of the Old and New Testaments, and to reconcile them, — I say only, it is no new thing to have the effect and evidence and end of a thing spoken of in the New Testament, in answer to the cause and rise of it mentioned in the Old, by the application of the same words unto it which they are mentioned in. For instance, Paul, Eph. iv. 8, citing that of the psalmist, Ps. lxviii. 18, “Thou hast ascended up on high, and hast led captivity captive, and received gifts for men,” renders it, “When he ascended up on high, he led captivity captive, and gave gifts unto men;” and that because his giving of them was the end of his receiving of them, and his receiving of them the foundation 453of his giving of them, the effect and fruit being here expressed, the foundation and ground supposed. So also, “Mine ears hast thou bored,” Ps. xl. 6, is rendered “A body hast thou prepared me,” Heb. x. 5; because the end of the boring of the ears of Christ was, that he might offer his body a sacrifice to God. So it is here in this place of Matthew. Christ’s taking away the bodily distempers and sicknesses of men was an effect and an evidence of his taking away their sins, which was done by bearing of them; and therefore Matthew mentioning the effect and evidence of the thing doth it in the words that express the cause and foundation of it. Not that that was a complete accomplishment of what was foretold, but that it was so demonstrated in the effect and evidence of it. Nor do the Socinians themselves think that this was a full accomplishment of what is spoken by the prophet, themselves insisting on another interpretation of the words. So that notwithstanding these exceptions, the word here may have its proper signification, of bearing or carrying; which also that it hath may be farther evidenced.

(1.) Here is no cogent reason why the metaphorical use of the word should be understood. When it is spoken of God, there is necessity that it should be interpreted by the effect, because properly he cannot bear nor undergo grief, sorrow, or punishment: but as to the Mediator, the case is otherwise, for he confessedly underwent these things properly, wherein we say that this word “bearing of punishment” doth consist; he was so bruised, so broken, so slain. So that there is no reason to depart from the propriety of the word.

(2.) Those who would have the sense of the word to be, “to take away,” in this place, confess it is by way of the allusion before mentioned, that he that takes away a thing takes it up, and bears it on his shoulders, or in his arms, until he lay it down, and by virtue of this allusion doth it signify “to take away.” But why? Seeing that taking up and bearing in this place is proper, as hath been showed, why must that be leaped over, and that which is improper and spoken by way of allusion be insisted on?

(3.) It appears that this is the sense of the word from all the circumstances of the text and context. Take three that are most considerable:—

[1.] The subject spoken of who did thus bear our griefs, and this is Christ, of whom such things are affirmed, in answer to this question, How did he bear our griefs? as will admit of no other sense. The Holy Ghost tells us how he did it, 1 Pet. ii. 24, “Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree.” That Peter in that place expressed this part of the prophecy of Isaiah which we insist upon is evident; the phrase at the close of verse 24 and the beginning of verse 25 of this chapter make it so; they are the very words of the end of the 5th and beginning of the 6th verses here. 454How, then, did Christ bear our griefs? Why, in that “he bare our sins in his own body on the tree.”

I shall not insist on the precise signification of the word ἀναφέρω, here used, as though it expressed the outward manner of that suffering of Christ for sin when he was lifted up on the cross or tree. It is enough that our sins were on him, his body, — that is, his whole human nature, by a usual synecdoche, — when he was on the tree; that he did it when he “suffered in the flesh,” 1 Pet. iv. 1. He that did so bear our griefs, sins, and iniquities, as to have them in his own body when he suffered in the flesh, he is said properly therein “tulisse,” not “abstulisse,” to “have borne,” not “taken away,” our griefs. But that this is the case in Christ’s bearing our griefs the Holy Ghost doth thus manifest.

[2.] The manner how Christ bare them evidently manifesteth in what sense this expression is to be understood. He so bare them that in doing so “he was wounded and bruised, grieved, chastised, slain,” as it is at large expressed in the context. Christ bare our griefs so as in doing of it to be wounded, broken, grieved, killed; which is not to take them away, but really to bear them upon himself.

[3.] The cause of this bearing our griefs is assigned to be sin, “He was wounded for our transgressions;” as was shown before. Now, this cannot be the sense, “For our sins, he took them away;” but, “For our sins, he bare the punishment due to them,” 2 Cor. v. 21.

(4.) To put all out of question, the Holy Ghost in this chapter useth another word in the same matter with this, that will admit of no other sense than that which is proper, and that is סָבַלVerse 11, וַעֲוֹנֹתָם הוּא יִסְבֹּל‎, — “He shall bear their iniquities;” and it is used immediately after this we have insisted on, as explicative of it, “And carried our sorrows.” Now, as נָשָׂא‎ properly signifies “to lift,” to “take up” that which a man may carry, so סָבַל‎ signifies to “bear” and “undergo” the burden that is taken up, or that a man hath laid on his shoulders. And Matthew hath rendered this word by βαστάζω τὰς νόσους ἐβάστασεν, — that is, “bajulo, porto,” to bear a thing as a man doth a burden on his shoulders. Nor is it once used in the Scriptures but it is either properly to bear a burden, or metaphorically from thence to undergo that which is heavy and burdensome. Thus did Christ bear our griefs, our iniquities, by putting his shoulder under them, taking them on himself.

2. What did he thus bear? Our griefs, our sins; or our iniquities, our sins. Let us see, by a second instance, what it is in the language of God “to bear iniquities,” and this argument will be at an issue: Lam. v. 7, “Our fathers have sinned, and are not; and we have borne their iniquities.” “We have borne their iniquities,” or the punishment that was due to them. “They are not,” — “They are gone out of the world before the day of recompense came; and we lie under 455the punishment threatened and inflicted for their sins and our own.” Distinctly, —

(1.) Men are said to bear their own sin: Lev. xix. 8, “Every one that eateth it shall bear his iniquity;” that is, he shall be esteemed guilty, and be punished. Lev. xx. 17, “He shall bear his iniquity,” is the same with “He shall be killed,” verse 16, and “He shall be cut off from among his people,” verse 18. For a man to “bear his iniquity,” is, constantly, for him to answer for the guilt and undergo the punishment due to it.

(2.) So also of the sins of others: Num. xiv. 33, “And your children shall wander in the wilderness forty years, and bear your whoredoms.” “Bear your whoredoms;” that is, “My anger for them, and the punishment due to them.” Num. xxx. 15, he that compels by his power and authority another to break a vow shall himself be liable to the punishment due to such a breach of vow. Ezek. xviii. 20 is an explanation of all these places: “The soul that sinneth, it shall die,” — “it shall be punished.” “The son shall not bear the iniquity of the father,” etc., — “The son shall not be punished for the sin of the father, nor the father for the sin of the son.” In brief, this expression, “to bear iniquities,” is never otherwise used in Scripture but only for “to undergo the punishment due thereunto.”

Thus much, then, we have clearly evinced: God did so lay our sins on Christ as that he bare and underwent that which was due to them, God inflicting it on him, and he willingly undergoing it; which is my second demonstration from this place, that the death of Christ is also a punishment; which is all that I shall urge to that purpose. And this is that, and all, that we intend by the satisfaction of Christ.

But now, having laid so great stress, as to the doctrine under demonstration, upon this place of the prophet, and finding some attempting to take away our foundation, before I proceed I shall divert to the consideration of the annotations of Grotius on this whole chapter, and rescue it from his force and violence, used in contending to make what is here spoken to suit the prophet Jeremiah, and to intend him in the first place; to establish which vain conjecture, he hath perverted the sense of the whole and of every particular verse, from the beginning to the end of this prophecy.


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