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hanged on trees permanently.
trees permanently. Absalom, the traitor and parricide, was by special providence suspended on the tree.
Yet this was the very death which, from the beginning, was appointed for the beloved Son of God, in whom he“ is well pleased.” The serpent lifted on the pole typified this peculiar kind of death ; and the Psalmist, above a thousand years before the birth of the Saviour, more expressly predicted it, even as it was inflicted by the Greeks and Romans on slaves and captives: “They
pierced my hands and my feet ;-they stand “staring and looking upon me.” 2 Had our Lord been put to death as a blasphemer by the Jews, he would have been stoned: but this could not be; he must be “ delivered into the “hand of the Gentiles, and be crucified ;” as he constantly foretold.
It is not needful to expatiate on the extra contempt, and scorn, and cruelty, which his malignant and cruel persecutors added to the ignominy and torture of the cross itself; and to which no robber, murderer, or slave, was ever exposed. These are topics with which, as historical facts, we are well acquainted ; and, perhaps on that very account, we are seldom duly impressed and affected with them.
But does it not occur to every reflecting person to inquire, on what account this species of death, the very essence of disgrace and misery in the extreme; the peculiar expression of human con
tempt and cruelty, and the emblem of the curse of Almighty God; should from the beginning have been fore-appointed to the divine Redeemer? It was not a casual event, which occurred without foresight; it was not even the direct plan of the Jews, who would have stoned him, if not prevented; but it was “according to the determinate “ counsel and foreknowledge of God.”
Surely a stronger expression cannot be conceived of the judgment of God, concerning the deserving of that sin for which the Redeemer thus atoned! concerning the shame and everlasting contempt, the anguish and torture, the unexampled, inexpressible misery, to which sinners were exposed, as under the wrath of God, and the curse of his violated law, and as devoted to utter destruction! The whole of Cicero's oratorical powers seem exhausted in shewing how much the infamy and misery of crucifixion exceeds all other punishments; and the very circumstance of the divine Redeemer, “ the Holy “ One of God,” in whom the Father is “ well “ pleased,” when he was “ made sin for us,” not dying a natural death, but a violent one-not an honourable death, but a most disgraceful onenot a comparatively easy death, but one most excruciating-not the death of a free man, but of an abject slave and criminal: shews us, in the most affecting manner, that the misery and ignominy from which he saves all true believers, and from which he brings them to eternal glory and felicity ; the misery and infamy to which all unbelievers are, and ever will be, exposed; baffled all the powers of man to describe or conceive;
Surely, this is suited to inspire our hearts with abhorrence of sin, as in the sight of God, “who “i; LOVE,” needing such an atonement; with enlarged gratitude to the Father, who provided this. atonement; to the Son, who made it; and to the Holy Spirit, by whose agency we become interested in it! Surely, it is suited to lead us to enter into the spirit of the Apostle's words : « The love of Christ constraineth us, because
we thus judge, that, if one died for all, then “ were all dead; and that he died for all, that
they which live should not live unto themselves, but unto Him who died for them and rose again!”?
If the following fact be thought worthy of being made known, as tending to stimulate to exertion in support of a Society, the object of which is the grandest and most excellent which ever entered into the heart of uninspired men, (I mean the design of communicating “ the word of God” to every nation on earth, in its own language, by the British and Foreign Bible Society,) I shall be glad to see it inserted in your publication.
It may also be said of this Society, that its mea
'2 Cor. v. 14, 15.
sures have hitherto been as unexceptionable as its object has been noble ; that its success, in the short time since it was first instituted, has exceeded the most sanguine expectation which could previously have been formed; and that no limits can be fixed to its future exertions, except by the want of adequate resources, or the complete accomplishment of its object.
Towards the conclusion of the last year, an auxiliary Bible Society was established at High Wycombe, Bucks, about fifteen miles from me; and, soon after, another at Buckingham. This excited a good deal of attention in my neighbourhood; but concurring circumstances prevented me from adopting, for the present, any further active measures, in taking advantage of this attention. In the interval, however, my son from Buckingham came to see me; and, going among some persons whom he knew in the neighbourhood, he shewed them the advantage of Penny Societies, which had been set on foot by him in this neighbourhood; that is, companies of persons, in the lower orders, contributing each one penny a week, (or more if they choose,) to raise a sum to aid the general fund. At the same time, in concurrence with this, I circulated some copies of a sermon on the subject, in the neighbourhood. 1 A Penny Society was accordingly formed; but I
I The Nations imploring the Word of Life: a Sermon for the benefit of the Bible Society, interspersed with numerous extracts, chiefly from the Society's reports and correspondence, so arranged as to exhibit a general view of the state of the world with regard to the want of Bibles, and the exertions making to supply that want: hy the Rev. John Scott, Hull.'
made no particular inquiry into its progress, and took no active part respecting it, except circulating these sermons; purposing, as the summer advanced, to preach a sermon respecting it. But to my surprise and satisfaction I have lately found, that they now have 15s. per week raised in this manner, amounting to nearly 401. per annum; and all this among a small part of two or three not very large country villages, and almost exclusively among the poorer part of the inhabitants. The value which these subscribers have been taught to put upon the Bible themselves, and the extreme want of it ascertained in the case of others, make them willing of themselves, “ to “ their power, and almost beyond it,” to contribute to aid the exertions made to supply that want. The same causes would not fail, I am fully persuaded, in other places, to operate in the same manner; and ministers who have little money to contribute to the funds of the Society, by proposing and encouraging such Penny Societies, might prove very useful helpers to the grand design; and at the same time do their own people much good, by leading them to bring forth fruit which would eventually “ abound to their own " account.”
P. S. It may perhaps be useful to mention the manner in which these small subscriptions are raised. A few individuals, in general mechanics or labourers, endeavour to procure eleven penny subscriptions, in addition to their own; and then, at stated times, they pay up the weekly shilling,