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in full and immediate view. He wanted not, therefore, on this great occasion, any thing to produce an unnatural stupor, and throw oblivion and stupefaction over his senses. He cheerfully and voluntarily drank the cup with all its bitter ingredients, which his heavenly Father had put into his hands. Our Lord was fastened to his cross, as was usual, by four soldiers,2 two on each side, according to the respective limbs they severally nailed. While they were employed in piercing his hands and feet, it is probable that he offered to Heaven that most compassionate and affecting prayer for his murderers, in which he pleaded the only circumstance that could possibly extenuate their guilt: Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do! It appears from the evangelists that our Lord was crucified without the city. And he bearing his cross went forth to a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew Golgotha. (John xix. 17.) For the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city. (ver. 20.) And the apostle to the Hebrews has likewise mentioned this circumstance: Wherefore Jesus alsosuffered without the gate. (Heb. xiii. 12.) This is conformable to the Jewish law, and to examples mentioned in the Old Testament. (Numb. xv. 35.) And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without the camp. (1 Kings xxi. 13.) Then they carried him [Naboth] forth out of the city, and stoned him with stones that he died. This was done at Jezreel, in the territories of the king of Israel, not far from Samaria. And if this custom was practised there, we may be certain the Jews did not choose that criminals should be executed within Jerusalem, of the sanctity of which they had so high an opinion, and which they were very zealous to preserve free from all ceremonial impurity, though they defiled it with the practice of the most horrid immoralities. It is possible indeed that they might, in their sudden and ungoverned rage, (to which they were subject in the extreme at this time,) upon any affront offered to their laws or customs, put persons who thus provoked them to death, upon the spot, in the city, or the temple, or wherever they found them; but whenever they were calm enough to admit the form of a legal process, we may be assured that they did not approve of an execution within the city. And among the Romans this custom was very common,3 at least in the provinces. The robbers of Ephesus, whom Petronius Arbiter mentions, were crucified by order of the

1 See Dr. Benson's Life of Christ, p. 508.

2 Monet nos quoque non parum evangelista, qui quatuor numerat milites crucifigentes, scilicet juxta quatuor membra figenda. Quod clarum etiam est ex tunica partitione, quæ quatuor militibus facienda erat. Cornelii Curtii de Clavis Dominicis, p. 35. edit. Antwerpiæ 1670. The four soldiers who parted his garments, and cast lots for his vesture, were the four who raised him to the cross, each of them fixing a limb, and who, it seems, for this service had a right to the crucified person's clothes. Dr. Macknight, p. 604. second edition, 4to.

3 Credo ego istoc exemplo tibi esse eundum actutum extra portam, dispessie manibus patibulum quem habebis. Plautus in Mil. Glor. act. 2. scen. iv.

4 Quum interim imperator provincia latrones jussit crucibus adfigi, secundum llam candem casulam, in qua recens cadaver matrona deflebat. Satyr. c. 71.

This was the custom,

governor of the province without the city. likewise in Sicily, as appears from Cicero.1

It was customary for the Romans, on any extraordinary execution to put over the head of the malefactor an inscription denoting the crime for which he suffered. Several examples of this occur in the Roman history. It was also usual at this time at Jerusalem, to post up advertisements which were designed to be read by all classes of persons, and in several languages. Titus, in a message which he sent to the Jews when the city was on the point of falling into his hands, and by which he endeavoured to persuade them to surrender, says: Did you not erect pillars, with inscriptions on them in the GREEK and in our (the LATIN) language, "Let no one pass beyond these bounds ?"3 In conformity to this usage, an inscription by Pilate's order was fixed above the head of Jesus, written in Hebrew, Greek, and Latin, specifying what it was that had brought him to this end. This writing was by the Romans called titulus, a title, and it is the very expression made use of by the Evangelist John, Pilate wrote a TITLE (sygas TITAON), and put it on the cross. (John xix. 19.) After the cross was erected, a party of soldiers was appointed to keep guard,5 and to attend at the place of execution till the criminal breathed his last; thus also we read that a body of Roman soldiers, with a centurion, were deputed to guard our Lord and the two malefactors that were crucified with him. (Matt. xxvii. 54.)

While they were thus attending them, it is said, our Saviour complained of thirst. This is a natural circumstance. The exquisitely sensible and tender extremities of the body being thus perforated, the person languishing and faint with loss of blood, and lingering under such acute and excruciating torture,-these causes must necessarily produce a vehement and excessive thirst. One of the guards, hearing this request, hasted and took a spunge, and filled it from a vessel that stood by, that was full of vinegar. The usual drink of the Roman soldiers was vinegar and water. The knowledge of this custom illustrates this passage of sacred history, as it has sometimes been inquired, for what purpose was this vessel of vinegar? Considering, however, the derision and cruel treatment which Jesus Christ had already received from the soldiers, it is by no means improbable that one of them gave him the vinegar with

1 Quid enim attinuit, cum Mamertini more atque instituto suo crucem fixissent post urbem in via Pompeia; te jubere in ea parte figere, quæ ad fretum spectaret? In Verr. lib. v. c. 66. n. 169.

2 Dion Cassius, lib. liv. p. 732. edit. Reimar, 1750. See also Sueton. in Caligu la, c. 32. Eusebius, Hist. Eccl. lib. v. p. 206. Cantab. 1720.

3 Josephus, de Bell. Jud. lib. vi. c. 2. § 4.

4 See instances in Suetonius, in Caligula, c. 34.; and in Domitian. c. 10.

5 Miles cruces asservabat, ne quis corpora ad sepulturam detraheret. Petronius Arbiter, cap. 111. p. 513. edit. Burman. Traject. ad Rhen. 1709. Vid. not. ad loc.

6 The Roman soldiers, says Dr. Huxham, drank posca (viz. water and vinegar) for their common drink, and found it very healthy and useful. Dr. Huxham's Method for preserving the Health of Seamen, in his Essay on Fevers, p. 263. 3d. edition. See also Lamy's Apparatus Biblicus, vol. ii. 278. See also Macknight in loc.

the design of augmenting his unparalleled sufferings. After receiving this, Jesus "cried with a loud voice, and uttered with all the vehemence he could exert, that comprehensive word on which a volume might be written, It is finished the important work of human redemption is finished; after which he reclined his head upon his bosom, and dismissed his spirit." (Matt. xxvii. 50.)

The last circumstance to be mentioned relative to the crucifixion of our Saviour, is the petition of the Jews to Pilate, that the death of the sufferers might be accelerated, with a view to the interment of Jesus. All the four evangelists have particularly mentioned this circumstance. Joseph of Arimathea went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus; then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered. And when Joseph had taken the body, he laid it in his own new tomb. (Matt. xxvii. 58-60. Mark xv. 45, 46. Luke xxiii. 50-53. John xix. 38-40.) And it may be fairly concluded, the rulers of the Jews did not disapprove of it: since they were solicitous that the bodies might be taken down, and not hang on the cross the next day. (John xix. 31.) The Jews, therefore, says St. John, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain on the cross on the sabbath day (for that sabbath day was an high day;) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken


Burial was not always allowed by the Romans in these cases. For we find that sometimes a soldier was appointed to guard the bodies of malefactors, that they might not be taken away and buried.1 However it seems that it was not often refused, unless the criminals were very mean and infamous. Cicero reckons it one of the horrid crimes of Verres's administration in Sicily, that he would take money of parents for the burial of their children whom he had put to death.2 Both Suetonius and Tacitus represent it as one of the uncommon cruelties of Tiberius, in the latter part of his reign, that he generally denied burial to those who were put to death by his orders at Rome. Ulpian, in his treatise of the duty of a proconsul, says: "The bodies of those who are condemned to death are not to be denied to their relations:" and Augustus writes, in the tenth book of his own life, "that he had been wont to observe this custom;' ;"5 that is, to grant the bodies to relations. Paulus says: "that the bodies of those who have been punished, [with death], are to be given to any that desire them in order to burial."

See the passage cited from Petronius Arbiter, in note 5. p. 157.

2 Rapiunt eum ad supplicium dii patrii: quod iste inventus est, qui e complexu parentum abreptos filios ad necem duceret, et parentes pretium pro sepultura posceret. In Ver. lib. i. cap. 3.

3 Nemo punitorum non et in Gemonias abjectus uncoque tractus. Vit. Tiber. c. 61. 4 Et quia damnati, publicatis bonis, sepulturâ prohibebantur. Ann. lib. vi. c. 29. 5 Corpora eorum qui capite damnantur cognatis ipsorum neganda non sunt. et id se observasse etiam D. Aug. lib. x. de vità suâ, scribit. Hodie autem eorum, in quos animadvertitur, corpora non aliter sepeliuntur, quam si fuerit petitum et permissum; et nonnunquam non permittitur, maxime majestatis causâ damnatorum, 1. i. ff. de cadaver. Punit.

6 Corpora animadversorum quibuslibet petentibus ad sepulturam danda sunt. 1. i. eod.

It is evident, therefore, from these two lawyers, that the governors of provinces had a right to grant burial to the bodies of those who had been executed by their order: nay, they seem to intimate, that it ought not usually to be denied when requested by any.

Hence it appears, that burial was ordinarily allowed to persons who were put to death in Judæa: and the subsequent conduct of Pilate shows that it was seldom denied by the Roman governors in that country. There is, moreover, an express command in the law (of which we know that the later Jews were religiously observant,) that the bodies of those who were hanged should not be suffered to remain all night upon the tree. (Deut. xxi. 23.) The next day, therefore, after the crucifixion, being, as one of the evangelists says, a high day (John xix. 31.), a number of leading men among the Jews waited on Pilate in a body, to desire that he would hasten the death of the malefactors hanging on their crosses. Pilate, therefore, dispatched his orders to the soldiers on duty, who broke the legs of the two criminals who were crucified along with Christ; but when they came to Jesus, finding he had already breathed his last, they thought this violence and trouble unnecessary; but one of the soldiers pierced his side with a spear, whose point appears to have penetrated into the pericardium, or membrane surrounding the heart; for St. John, who says he was an eye-witness of this, declares that there issued from the wound a mixture of blood and water. This wound, had he not been dead, must necessarily have been fatal. This circumstance St. John saw, and has solemnly recorded and attested.2

1 See an instance, incidentally mentioned by Josephus. De Bell. Jud. lib. iv. c. 5. § 2.

And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. John xix. 35.



I. Days.-II. Hours.-Watches of the Night.-III. Weeks.-IV. Months.-V. Years, Civil, Ecclesiastical and Natural.-Jewish Calendar.-VI. Parts of time taken for the whole.-VII. Remarkable Eras of the Jews.

IT is well known that, in the perusal of antient authors, we are

liable to fall into many serious mistakes, if we consider their modes of computing time to be precisely the same as ours: and hence it becomes necessary that we observe their different notations of time, and carefully adjust them to our own. This remark is particularly applicable to the sacred writers, whom sceptics and infidels have charged with various contradictions and inconsistencies, which fall to the ground as soon as the various computations of time are considered and adapted to our own standard. The knowledge of the different divisions of time mentioned in the Scriptures will elucidate the meaning of a multitude of passages with regard to seasons, circumstances, and ceremonies.

I. The Hebrews computed their DAYS from evening to evening, according to the command of Moses. (Lev. xxiii. 32.) It is remarkable that the evening or natural night precedes the morning or natural day in the account of the creation (Gen. i. 5. &c.): whence the prophet Daniel employs the compound term evening-morning (Dan. viii. 14. marginal reading) to denote a civil day in his celebrated chronological prophecy of the 2300 days: and the same portion of time is termed in Greek νυχθημερον.

The Romans had two different computations of their days, and two denominations for them. The one they called the civil, the other the natural day: the first was the same as ours; the second, which was the vulgar computation, began at six in the morning, and ended at six in the evening. The civil day of the Jews varied in length according to the seasons of the year: the longest day in the Holy Land is only fourteen hours and twelve minutes of our time; and the shortest day, nine hours and forty-eight minutes. This


1 Tacitus, speaking of the antient Germans, takes notice that their account of time differs from that of the Romans; and that instead of days they reckoned the number of nights. De Mor. Germ. c. xi. So also did the antient Gauls (Cæsar de Bell. Gall. lib. vi. c. xvii.); and vestiges of this antient practice still remain in our own country. We say last Sunday se'nnight, or this day fortnight. The practice of computing time by nights, instead of days, obtains among the Mashoos, an inland nation, dwelling in the interior of South Africa. Travels by the Rev. John Campbell, vol. i. p. 182. (London, 1822. 8vo.)

2 Pliny, Hist. Nat. lib. ii. c. lxxvii.; Censorinus de Die Natali, c. xxiii.; Macrobius Saturnal. lib. iii. c. iii. See also Dr. Ward's Dissertations on several passages Prelim. Obs. V. Scripture, p. 126.; and Dr. Macknight's Harmony, vol. i

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