The Sufferings Of Christ -- By: Enoch Pond

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 007:26 (Apr 1850)
Article: The Sufferings Of Christ
Author: Enoch Pond

The Sufferings Of Christ

Rev. Enoch Pond

A theological inquiry has been revived of late, which had been regarded as long settled, whether the sufferings of Christ were confined to his human nature, or whether the Divine nature also suffered. Did he suffer only as man, or partly, principally, as God?

It is admitted on either side of this question, that our blessed Saviour is both God and man; that he possesses both a Divine and a human nature — a human body and a human soul — mysteriously united so as to constitute but one person. It is also admitted that he suffered the just for the unjust, and by his sufferings and death made a full atonement for sin. But the question is, In which nature did he suffer? In the human only, or also in the Divine? Did he suffer only as a man, — a divinely strengthened and supported man; or did the Divinity also suffer? Were his sufferings partly — and if partly, chiefly —those of God?

This question, though necessarily one of some intricacy, is obviously one of great importance. It respects God, — the Creator, Preserver, and Governor of all things — the only proper object of supreme love and worship. It respects Christ, — the only Saviour of lost men, — the soul and centre of the religion of the Gospel. It respects the atonement, — the most stupendous and astonishing of all Divine works, — the only foundation of mortal hopes. Such a question should never be approached but with reverence and humility, with a deep sense of our own ignorance and weakness, and with the most earnest supplications for the Divine assistance and blessing.

In discussing this question, it is necessary, first of all, to disencumber it, or to separate it from several others which have been confounded with it.

1. The question before us, then, is not, whether the Divine Being is in such sense immutable, as to be incapable of anything like a succession of views and exercises. Many excellent Christians have believed that there is, and must be, in the mind of God, something like a succession of views. Not that anything ever presents itself to his infinite mind, which was before unknown or unanticipated. God foresees, because he has purposed, all future contingencies and events. But then a foreseen event is not yet an actual event, nor is foreknowledge, even to the mind of God, precisely the same as present knowledge. Ten thousand things which were but foreseen yesterday, have come into actual existence to-day; and in passing from the foreseen to the actual, there has been, in respect to each, a real change. All these changes God has seen. He must have seen them, if he sees things as they are. And the seeing of the...

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