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32Now the passage of the scripture that he was reading was this:

“Like a sheep he was led to the slaughter,

and like a lamb silent before its shearer,

so he does not open his mouth.


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32. The sentence of Scripture. It is properly a text or period. Let us know that he lighted not upon this place by chance but that it came to pass by the wonderful providence of God, that Philip should have a proposition or principle from which the whole sum of Christianity might be set. 551551     “Apte deduci,” aptly deduced. Therefore, first, he hath matter of full instruction brought to his hand by the secret direction of the Spirit; secondly, the form is plainly applied to the ministry of man. This is an excellent prophecy of Christ, and above all others to be remembered; because Isaiah saith plainly there 552552     “Sine involucris,” without circumlocution, unequivocally. that such should be the manner of redeeming the Church, that the Son of God do by his death purchase life for men, that he offereth himself in sacrifice to purge 553553     “Expiandis,” to expiate. men’s sins, that he be punished with the hand of God, and that he go down even unto the very hell, that he may exalt us unto heaven, having delivered us from destruction. In sum, this place teacheth plainly how men are reconciled to God, how they obtain righteousness, how they come to the kingdom of God, being delivered from the tyranny of Satan, and loosed from the yoke of sin; to be brief, whence they must fetch all parts of their salvation.

Notwithstanding, I will only expound those things which Luke here citeth, and there be, indeed, two members. In the former, he teacheth that Christ, to the end he may redeem the Church, 554554     “Et restituat in vitam,” and restore her to life, omitted. must needs be so broken, that he appear like to a man which is cast down and past hope. Secondly, he affirmeth that his death shall give life, and that there shall a singular triumph issue out of great despair. Whereas he compareth Christ to a lamb, which suffereth itself to be led and slain, and to a sheep, which offereth herself meekly to be shorn; his meaning is, that the sacrifice of Christ shall be voluntary. And surely this was the way to appease God’s wrath, in that he showed himself obedient. He spake, indeed, before Pilate, (John 18:34, 36,) but not to save his life, but rather that he might willingly offer himself to die, 555555     “In victimam,” as a victim. as he was appointed by the Father, and so might bring that punishment upon himself which was prepared for us. Therefore the prophet teacheth both things, that Christ must needs have suffered that he might purchase life for us, and that he was to suffer death willingly, that he might blot out the stubbornness of men by his obedience. And hence must we gather an exhortation unto godliness, 556556     “Ad patientiam,” to patience. as Peter doth; but that doctrine of faith which I have already touched is former 557557     “Praecedit,” precedes. in order.




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