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xxi. 22.); which mode of expression is adopted, or rather | some Ishmaelite. The office, therefore, of the Go I was imitated, by the apostle John, who distinguishes between a in use before the time of Moses, and it was probably filled by sin unto death, and a sin Nor unto death. (1 John v. 16.) the nearest of blood to the party killed, as the right of reCriminals, or those who were deemed worthy of capital deeming a mortgaged field is given to him. To prevent the punishment, were called sons or men of death (1 Sam. xx. 31. unnecessary less of life through a sanguinary spirit of rexxvi. 16. 2 Sam. xix. 29. marginal rendering); just as he venge, the Hebrew legislator made various enactments conwho had incurred the punishment of scourging was designated cerning the blood-avenger. In most ages and countries, a son of stripes. (Deut. xxv. 2. Heb.) Those who suffered a certain reputed sacred places enjoyed the privileges of being capital punishment, were said to be put to death for their own asylums: Moses, therefore, taking it for granted that the sin. (Deut. xxiv. 16. 2 Kings xiv. 6.) A similar phraseo- murderer would flee to the altar, commanded that when the logy was adopted by Jesus Christ, when he said to the Jews, crime was deliberate and intentional, he should be torn even Ye shall die in your sins. (John viii. 21. 24.) Eleven differ- from the altar, and put to death. (Exod. xxi. 14.) But in the ent sorts of capital punishments are mentioned in the Sacred case of unintentional murder, the man-slayer was enjoined to Writings; viz. flee to one of the six cities of refuge which (we have already seen) were appropriated for his residence. The roads to these cities, it was enacted, should be kept in such a state that the unfortunate individual might meet with no impediment whatever in his way. (Deut. xix. 3.) If the Go'l overtook the fugitive before he reached an asylum, and put him to death, he was not considered as guilty of blood: but if the manslayer had reached a place of refuge, he was immediately protected, and an inquiry was instituted whether he had a right to such protection and asylum, that is, whether he had caused his neighbour's death undesignedly, or was a deliberate murderer. In the latter case he was judicially delivered to the Go 1, who might put him to death in whatever way he chose: but in the former case the homicide continued in the place of refuge until the high-priest's death, when he might return home in perfect security. If, however, the Goël found him without the city or beyond its suburbs, he might slay him without being guilty of blood. (Num. xxxv. 26, 27.) Further to guard the life of man, and prevent the perpetration of murder, Moses positively prohibited the receiving of a sum of money from a murderer in the way of compensation. (Num. xxxv. 31.) It should seem that if no avenger of blood appeared, or if he were dilatory in the pursuit of the murderer, it became the duty of the magistrate himself to inflict the sentence of the law; and thus we find that David deemed this to be his duty in the case of Joab, and that Solomon, in obedience to his father's dying entreaty, actually discharged it by putting that murderer to death. (1 Kings ii. 5, 6. 28— 34. There is a beautiful allusion to the blood-avenger in Heb. vi. 17, 18.
1. SLAYING BY THE SWORD is commonly confounded with decapitation or beheading. They were, however, two distinct punishments. The laws of Moses are totally silent concerning the latter practice, and it appears that those who were slain with the sword were put to death in any way which the executioner thought proper. See 1 Kings ii. 25. 29. 31.34. 46. This punishment was inflicted in two cases: (1.) When a murderer was to be put to death; and (2.) When a whole city or tribe was hostilely attacked for any common crime, they smote all (as the Hebrew phrase is) with the edge of the sword. (Deut. xiii. 13-16.) Here, doubtless, the sword was used by every one as he found opportunity. With respect to the case of murder, frequent mention is made in the Old Testament of the (GOEL) or blood-avenger; various regulations were made by Moses concerning this perThe inhabitants of the East, it is well known, are now, what they anciently were, exceedingly revengeful. If. therefore, an individual should unfortunately happen to lay violent hands upon another person and kill him, the next of kin is bound to avenge the death of the latter, and to pursue the murderer with unceasing vigilance until he have caught and killed him, either by force or by fraud. The same custom exists in Arabia and Persia, and also among the Circassians, Ingush Tartars, Nubians, and Abyssinians, and it appears to have been alluded to by Rebecca: when she learned that Esau was threatening to kill his brother Jacob, she endeavoured to send the latter out of the country, saying, Why should I be bereft of you both in one day? (Gen. xxvii. 15.) She could not be afraid of the magistrate for punishing the murder, for the patriarchs were subject to no superior in Palestine and Isaac was much too partial to Esau, for her to entertain any expectation that he would condemn him to death for it. It would, therefore, appear that she dreaded lest he should fall by the hand of the blood-avenger, perhaps of
Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. pp. 418, 419. "The interest of the common safety has, for ages, established a law among them" (the Arabians) "which decrees that the blood of every man, who is slain, must be avenged by that of his murderer. This vengeance is called tar, or retaliation; and the right of exacting it devolves on the nearest of kin to the deceased. So nice are the Arabs on this point of honour, that if any one neglects to seek his retaliation, he is disgraced for ever. He therefore watches every opportunity of revenge: if his enemy perishes from any other cause, still he is not satisfied, and his vengeance is directed against the nearest relation. These animosities are transmitted, as an inheritance, from father to children, and never cease but by the extinction of one of the families, unless they agree to sacrifice the criminal; or pur chase the blood for a stated price, in money or in flocks. Without this satisfaction there is neither peace, nor truce, nor alliance between them; nor, sometimes, even between whole tribes. There is blood between us, say they; on every occasion; and this expression is an insurmountable barrier." (Volney's Travels in Egypt and Syria, vol. i. p. 367. See also Niebuhr, Description de l'Arabie, pp. 26--30.)-In Turkey and in Persia murder is never prosecuted by the officers of the government. It is the business of the next relations, and of them only, to revenge the slaughter of their kinsmen; and if they rather choose, as they generally do, to compound the matter for money, nothing more is said about it.-Lady M. W Montague's Letters, let. 42. Sir R. K. Porter's Travels, vol. ii. pp. 75, 76, Among the Circassians, all the relatives of the murderers are consi. dered as guilty. This customary infatuation to avenge the blot of relations, generates most of the feuds, and occasions great bloodshed anong all the tribes of Caucasus; for, unless pardon be purchased, or obtained by intermarriage between the two families, the principle of revenge is propagated to all succeeding generations. If the thirst of vengeance is quenched by a price paid to the family of the deceased, this tribute is called Thiil-Lasu, or the price of blood: but neither princes nor usdens (or nobles) accept of such a compensation, as it is an established law among them, to demand blood for blood.-Pallas, Voyages dans les Gou vernemens Meridionaux de l'Empire de Russie, toin. i. p. 441. Paris, 1805. Dr. Henderson, in describing the operation of the oriental law, of "blood for blood" among the Ingush Tartars, mentions the case of "a young man of amiable disposition, who was worn down almost to a skeleton, by the constant dread in which he lived, of having avenged upon him a mur der committed by his father before he was born. He can reckon up more than a hundred persons who consider themselves bound to take away his life, whenever a favourable opportunity shall present itself." Biblical Researches and Travels in Russia, p. 485.
Light's Travels in Egypt, Nubia, &c. p. 95. Burckhardt's Travels in Nubia, p. 138.
Sali's Voyage to Abyssinia, pp. 315, 346.
Hewing in pieces with the sword may be referred to this class of punishments. Thus Agag was executed, as a criminal, by the prophet Samuel (1 Sam. xv. 33.); and recent travellers inform us that criminals are literally hewed in pieces in Abyssinia, Persia, and in Asiatic Turkey.
2. STONING was denounced against idolaters, blasphemers, sabbath-breakers, incestuous persons, witches, wizards, and children who either cursed their parents or rebelled against them. (Lev. xx. 2. 27. xxiv. 14. Deut. xiii. 10. xvii. 5. Xxi. 21. and xxii. 21. 24.) It was the most general punishment denounced in the law against notorious criminals; and this kind of punishment is intended by the indefinite term of putting to death. (Lev. xx. 10. compared with John viii. 5.) Michaelis supposes that the culprit was bound, previously to the execution of his sentence. The witnesses threw the first stones, and the rest of the people then followed their example. Instances of persons being stoned in the Old Testament occur in Achan (Josh. vii. 25.), Adoram (1 Kings xii. 18), Naboth (1 Kings xxi. 10.), and Zechariah. (2 Chron. xxiv. 21.)9 In the New Testament we meet with vestiges of a punishment, which has frequently been confounded with lapidation: it originated in the latter times of the Jewish commonwealth, and was termed the rebel's beating. It was often fatal, and was inflicted by the mob with their fists, or staves, or stones, without mercy, or the sentence of the judges. Whoever transgressed against a prohibition of the wise men, or of the scribes, which had its foundation in the law, was delivered over to the people to be used in this manner, and was called Jews against our Saviour, mentioned in the New Testament, a son of rebellion.10 The frequent taking up of stones by the and also the stoning of Stephen (Acts vii. 59.), were instances of this kind, to which some have referred the stoning of St. Paul at Lystra. (Acts xiv. 19.) But this appears to be a mistake. The people of Lystra were Gentiles, though they stoned Paul at the instigation of the Jews who came from Antioch and Iconium: and it appears from various passages
Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. ii. pp. 221--225,
8 Bruce's Travels, vol. iv. p. 81. Hariner's Observations, vol. iv. pp. 229 230. Capt. Light's Travels in Egypt, Nubia, &c. p. 194. Michaelis's Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 121. 10 Ibid. pp. 122-429.
of Greek authors, that stoning was a Grecian punishment. | factors from the Tarpeian rock. The same practice obtains The inconstancy of a populace, easily persuaded by any among the Moors at Constantine, a town in Barbary. plausible demagogues, will sufficiently account for the sudden 6. DROWNING was a punishment in use among the Syrians. change in the mind of the Lystrians towards the apostle.' and was well known to the Jews in the time of our Saviour, Although the law of Moses punished no one with infamy, though we have no evidence that it was practised by them. during life, yet three marks of infamy are denounced against It was also in use among the Greeks and Romans. The those who were punished capitally; viz.-(1.) Burning the Emperor Augustus, we are told, punished certain persons, criminal who had been stoned, agreeably to the ancient con- who had been guilty of rapacity in the province (of Syria or suetudinary law. (Gen. xxxviii. 24. Lev. xx. 14. xxI. 9.) of Lycia), by causing them to be thrown into a river, with a (2.) Hanging, either on a tree or on a gibbet (for the Hebrew heavy weight about their necks. Josephus also tells us word signifies both); which was practised in Egypt (Gen. that the Galileans revolting, drowned the partisans of Herod xl. 17-19.), and also enjoined by Moses. (Num. xxv. 4, 5. in the sea of Gennesareth. To this mode of capital punishDeut. xxi. 22.) The five Canaanitish kings were first slain ment Jesus Christ alludes in Matt. xviii. 6.11 and then hanged. (Josh. x. 26.) Persons who were hanged were considered as accursed of God, that is, punished by him and abominable; on which account they were to be taken down and buried the same day. (Deut. xxi. 23.) The hanging of Saul's sons, recorded in 2 Sam. xxi. 6., was done, not by the Israelites, but by the Gibeonites, who were of Canaanitish origin, and probably retained their old laws. The hanging mentioned by Moses was widely different from crucifixion, which was a Roman punishment; on account of its ignominy, however, the Jews subsequently extended the declaration of Moses to it, and accounted the crucified person as accursed. (John xix. 31-34. Gal. iii. 13.)-(3.) The Heaping of Stones on the bodies of criminals, who had been already stoned to death, or slain by the sword, or upon their remains, when consumed by fire.2 Such a heap was accumulated over Achan (Josh. vii. 25, 26.), and also over Absalom. (2 Sam. xviii. 17.) The Arabs, long after the time of David, expressed their detestation of deceased enemies in the same manner. Similar heaps were raised over persons murdered in the highways in the time of the prophet Ezekiel (xxxix. 15.); as they also are to this day, in Palestine, and other parts of the East.
3. BURNING OFFENDERS ALIVE is a punishment which Moses commanded to be inflicted on the daughters of priests, who should be guilty of fornication (Lev. xxi. 9.), and upon a man who should marry both the mother and the daughter. (Lev. xx. 14.) This punishment seems to have been in use in the East, from a very early period. When Judah was informed that his daughter-in-law Tamar was pregnant, he condemned her to be burnt. (Gen. xxxviii. 24.) Many ages afterwards we find the Babylonians or Chaldeans burning certain offenders alive (Jer. xxix. 22. Dan. iii. 6.); and this mode of punishment was not uncommon in the East so lately as the seventeenth century.
The preceding are the only capital punishments denounced in the Mosaic law: in subsequent times others were introduced among the Jews, as their intercourse increased with foreign nations.
7. BRUISING, OF POUNDING IN A MORTAR, is a punishment still in use among the Turks. The ulema or body of lawyers are in Turkey exempted from confiscation of their property, and from being put to death, except by the pestle and mortar. Some of the Turkish guards, who had permitted the escape of the Polish prince Coreski in 1618, were pounded to death in great mortars of iron.12 This horrid punishment was not unknown in the time of Solomon, who expressly alludes to it in Prov. xxvii. 22.
8. DICHOTOMY, or CUTTING ASUNDER, was a capital punishment anciently in use in the countries contiguous to Judæa. The rabbinical writers report that Isaiah was thus put to death by the profligate Manasseh; and to this Saint Paul is supposed to allude. (Heb. xi. 37.) Nebuchadnezzar threatened it to the Chaldee magi, if they did not interpret his dream (Dan. ii. 5.), and also to the blasphemers of the true God. (Dan. iii. 29.) Herodotus says, that Sabacho had a vision, in which he was commanded to cut in two all the Egyptian priests: and that Xerxes ordered one of the sons of Pythias to be cut in two, and one half placed on each side of the way, that his army might pass between them.13 Trajan is said to have inflicted this punishment on some rebellious Jews. It is still practised by the Moors of Western Barbary, and also in Persia.14
9. BEATING TO DEATH (TUμTavioμos) was practised by Antiochus towards the Jews (2 Macc. vi. 19. 28. 30.), and is referred to by Saint Paul. (Heb. xi. 35. Gr.) This was a punishment in use among the Greeks, and was usually inflicted upon slaves. The real or supposed culprit was fastened to a stake, and beaten to death with sticks. The same punishment is still in use among the Turks, under the appellation of the bastinado: with them, however, it is seldom mortal.
10. EXPOSING TO WILD BEASTS appears to have been a punishment among the Medes and Persians. It was inflicted first on the exemplary prophet Daniel, who was miraculously preserved, and afterwards on his accusers, who miserably perished. (Dan. vi. 7. 12. 16-24.) From them it appears to have passed to the Romans.15 In their theatres they had two sorts of amusements, each sufficiently barbarous. Sometimes they cast men naked to the wild beasts, to be devoured by them: this punishment was inflicted on slaves and vile persons. Sometimes persons were sent into the theatre, de-armed, to fight with wild beasts: if they conquered, they had their lives and liberty: but if not, they fell a prey to the beasts. To this latter usage (concerning which some further particulars are given in a subsequent page) Saint Paul refers in 2 Tim. iv. 17. and 1 Cor. xv. 32.
4. DECAPITATION, or beheading, though not a mode of punishment enjoined by Moses, was certainly in use before his time. It existed in Egypt (Gen. xl. 19.), and it is well known to have been inflicted under the princes of the Herodian family. Thus John the Baptist was beheaded (Matt. xiv. 8-12.) by one of Herod's life-guards, who was spatched to his prison for that purpose. (Mark vi. 27.)
5. PRECIPITATION, or casting headlong from a window, or from a precipice, was a punishment rarely used; though we meet with it in the history of the kings, and in subsequent times. Thus, the profligate Jezebel was precipitated out of a window (2 Kings ix. 30. 33.), and the same mode of punishment still obtains in Persia. Amaziah, king of Judah, bar barously forced ten thousand Idumæan prisoners of war to leap from the top of a high rock. (2 Chron. xxv. 12.) The Jews attempted to precipitate Jesus Christ from the brow of a mountain. (Luke iv. 29.) James, surnamed the Just, was thrown from the highest part of the temple into the subjacent valley. The same mode of punishment, it is well known, obtained among the Romans, who used to throw certain male
1 Biscoe on the Acts, vol. i. pp. 315, 316.
2 Michaelis has given some instances of this practice. See his Commentaries, vol. iii. p. 430.
Dr. Lightfoot's Works, vol. i. pp. 901, 902.
Dr. Shaw's Travels in Barbary, vol. i. Pref. p. xviii. 8vo. edit. Chardin, in his Travels (vol. vi. p. 118. of Langlés' edition), after speaking of the most cominon modes of punishing with death, says, "But there is s'ill a particular way of putting to death such as have transgressed in civil affairs, either by causing a dearth, or by selling above the tax by a false weight, or who have committed themselves in any other manner. The cooks are put upon a spit, and roasted over a slow fire (see Jeremiah xxix. 22.), bakers are thrown into a hot oven. During the dearth in 1688, I saw such ovens heated on the royal square at Ispahan, to terrify the bakers, and deter them from deriving advantage from the general distress." -Burder's Oriental Literature, vol. ii. p. 204.
Sir R. K. Porter's Travels in Persia, vol. ii. pp. 28-30.
In the case of certain extraordinary criminals, besides inflicting upon them the sentence to which they had been condemned, it was not unusual to demolish their houses, and reduce them to a common place for filth and dung. Among other things, Nebuchadnezzar denounced this disgrace to the diviners of Chaldæa, if they did not declare his dream to him (Dan. ii. 5.); and afterwards to all such as should not worship the God of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego. (Dan. iii. 29.) And Darius threatened the same punishment to those who should molest the Jews. (Ezra vi. 11.) In this way the Romans destroyed the house of Spurius Cassius, after they had precipitated him from the Tarpeian
12 Knolles's History of the Turks, vol. ii. p. 947. London, 1687. 13 Raphelii Annotationes in Nov. Test. ex Herodoto, tom. i. p. 376. Other instances from ancient writers are given by Dr. Whitby, on Matt. xxiv. 51. and Kuinoël, Comment. in Hist. Lib. Nov. Test. vol. i. p. 633.
14 Shaw's Travels, vol. i. p. 457. Morier's Second Journey, p. 96. 15 This barbarous mode of punishment still exists in Morocco. See an interesting extract from Höst's Account of Morocco and Fez, in Burder's Oriental Literature, vol. ii. p. 207
rock, for having (as they said) aimed at tyranny. Further, the heads, hands, and feet of state criminals, were also frequently cut off, and fixed up in the most public places, as a warning to others. This punishment obtains among the Turks, and was inflicted on the sons of Rimmon (who had treacherously murdered Ishbosheth), by command of David: who commanded that the assassins hands and feet should be hung up over the pool of Hebron, which was probably a place of great resort. Among the ancient Chaldæans, cutting off the nose and ears was a common punishment of adulterers. To this the prophet Ezekiel alludes. (xxiii. 25.)
11. CRUCIFIXION was a punishment which the ancients inflicted only on the most notorious criminals and malefactors. The cross was made of two beams, either crossing at the top at right angles, or in the middle of their length like an X. There was, besides, a piece on the centre of the transverse beam, to which was attached the accusation, or statement of the culprit's crime; together with a piece of wood that projected from the middle, on which the person sat as on a kind of saddle, and by which the whole body was supported. Justin Martyr, in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, gives this description; and it is worthy of note, that he lived in the former part of the second century of the Christian æra, before the punishment of the cross was abolished. The cross on which our Lord suffered was of the former kind, being thus represented on all ancient monuments, coins, and crosses.
happy instances of this. They crucified Bomilcar, whom Justin calls their king, when they detected his intended design of joining Agathocles. They erected a cross in the midst of the forum, on which they suspended him, and from which, with a great and unconquered spirit, amidst all his sufferings, he bitterly inveighed against them, and upbraided them with all the black and atrocious crimes they had lately perpetrated. But this manner of executing criminals prevailed most among the Romans. It was generally a servile punishment, and chiefly inflicted on vile, worthless, and incorrigible slaves. In reference to this, the apostle, describing the condescension of Jesus, and his submission to this most opprobrious death, represents him as taking upon him the form of a servant (Phil. ii. 7, 8.), and becoming obedient to death, even the death of the cross.
(2.)" "It was universally and deservedly reputed the most shameful and ignominious death to which a wretch could be exposed. In such an exit were comprised every idea and circumstance of odium, disgrace, and public scandal." Hence the apostle magnifies and extols the great love of our Redeemer, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, and for the joy set before him, endured the cross, despising the shame (Rom. v. 8. Heb. xii. 2.); disregarding every circumstance of public indignity and infamy with which such a death was loaded. "It was from the idea they connected with such a death, that the Greeks treated the apostles with the last contempt. and pity for publicly embarking in the cause of a person who had been brought to this reproachful and dishonourable death by his own countrymen. The preaching of the cross was to them foolishness (1 Cor. i. 23.); the promulgation of a system of religion that had been taught by a person who, by a national act, had publicly suffered the punishment and death of the most useless and abandoned slave, was, in their ideas, the last infatuation; and the preaching of Christ crucified, publishing in the world a religion whose founder suffered on a cross, appeared the last absurdity and madness.10 The heathens looked upon the attachment of the primitive Christians to a religion, whose pubtheir utter ruin, that they were destroying their interest, comfort, and happiness, by adopting such a system founded on such a dishonourable circumstance." The same inherent scandal and ignominy had crucifixion in the estimation of the Jews. They indeed annexed more complicated wretchedness to it, for they esteemed the miscreant who was adjudged to such an end not only to be abandoned of men, but forsaken of God. He that is hanged, says the law, is accursed of God. (Deut. xxi. 23.) Hence St. Paul, representing to the Galatians the grace of Jesus, who released us from that curse to which the law of Moses devoted us, by being made a curse for us, by submitting to be treated for our sakes as an execrable malefactor, to show the horror of such a death as Christ voluntarily endured, adds, It is written in the law, Cursed is every one that hangeth on a tree! (Gal. iii. 13.) And from this express declaration of the law of Moses concerning persons thus executed, we may account for that aversion the Jews discovered against Christianity, and perceive the reason of what St. Paul asserts, that their preaching of Christ crucified was to the Jews a stumbling-block. (1 Cor. i. 23.) The circumstance of the cross caused them to stumble at the very gate of Christianity.12
Crucifixion is one of the most cruel and excruciating deaths, which the art of ingeniously tormenting and extinguishing life ever devised. The naked body of the criminal was fastened to the upright beam by nailing or tying the feet to it, and on the transverse beam by nailing and sometimes tying the hands to it. Those members, being the grand instruments of motion, are provided with a greater quantity of nerves, which (especially those of the hands) are peculiarly sensible. As the nerves are the instruments of all sensation or feeling, wounds in the parts where they abound must be peculiarly painful; especially when inflicted with such rude instruments as large nails, forcibly driven through the ex-lisher had come to such an end, as an undoubted proof of quisitely delicate tendons, nerves, and bones of those parts. The horror of this punishment will appear, when it is considered that the person was permitted to hang (the whole weight of his body being borne up by his nailed hands and feet, and by the projecting piece in the middle of the cross), until he perished through agony and want of food. There are instances of crucified persons living in this exquisite torture several days.3 "The wise and adorable Author of our being has formed and constituted the fabric of our bodies in such a merciful manner, that nothing violent is lasting. Friendly death sealed the eyes of those wretches generally in three days. Hunger, thirst, and acute pain dismissed them from their intolerable sufferings. The rites of sepulture were denied them. Their dead bodies were generally left on the crosses on which they were first suspended, and became a prey to every ravenous beast and carnivorous bird.
(1.) Crucifixion obtained among several ancient nations, the Egyptians, Persians, Greeks, and Carthaginians. The Carthaginians generally adjudged to this death their unfortunate and unsuccessful commanders. There are many un
1 Dionys. Halicarnass. lib. viii. cc. 78, 79
Hariner's Observations, vol. i. pp. 501, 502. This kind of punishment was in use in the time of Mohammed, who introduces Pharaoh as saying, I will surely cut off your hands and your feet on the opposite sides; that is, first the right hand, and then the left foot; next the left hand, and then the right foot. Koran, ch. xx. 74. and xxvi. 49. (Sale's translation, pp. 259. 304. 4to. edit.) See additional examples of such mutilations in Burder's Oriental Literature, vol. ii. p. 186. Wilson's Travels in Egypt and the Holy Land, pp. 375-377.
Dr. Adam Clarke on Matt. xxvii. 35. For the remainder of this account
Juvenal, Satyr. 14. ver. 77, 78. Thucydides, lib. i. sect. 110. p. 71. edit. Duker. Justin, treating of the affairs of Egypt, says: Concursu multitudinis et Agathocles occiditur, et mulieres in ultionem Eurydices patibulis suffiguntur. Justin, lib. xxx. cap. 2. p. 578. edit. Gronovii. Herodoti Erato. p. 541. edit. Wesseling. 1763. See also Thalia, p. 260. and Polyhyinnia, p. 617.
Alexander crucified two thousand Tyrians. Triste deinde spectacu lum victoribus ira præbuit regis; duo millia, in quibus occidendi defecerat rabies, crucibus adfixi per ingens litoris spatium, dependerunt. Q. Curtii, lib. iv. cap. 4. p. 187. edit. Snakenburgh, 1724. See also Plutarch in vita Alex. and Justin, lib. xviii. cap. 3.
Duces bella pravo consilio gerentes, etiamsi prospera fortuna subsecuta esset, crucí tamen suffigebantur. Valerius Maximus, lib. ii. cap. 7. p. 191. edit. Torren. Leidæ, 1726.
8 Bomilcar rex Panorum in medio foro a Pœnis patibulo suffixus est De summa cruce, veluti de tribunali, Panorum scelera concionaretur. Justin, lib. xxii. cap. 7. p. 505. ed. Gronovii.
9 Fone crucem servo. Juvenal, Sat. 6. ver. 218.
10 "From this circumstance," says Justin Martyr, "the heathens are fully convinced of our madness for giving the second place after the immutable and eternal God, and Father of all, to a person who was crucified!" Justin Martyr, Apol. 2. pp. 60, 61. edit. Paris, 1636. Et qui hominem summo supplicio pro facinore punitum, et crucis ligna feralia ceremonias fabulatur, congruentia perditis sceleratisque tribuit altaria: ut id colant quod me. rentur. Minucius Felix, p. 57. edit. Davis. Cantab. 1712. Nam quod religioni nostræ hominem noxium et crucem ejus adscribitis, longe de vicinia veritatis erratis. Min. Felix, p. 147.
11 That this was the sentiment of the heathens concerning the Christians, St. Paul informs us, and he exhorts the Philippians not to be discouraged by it. Philip. i. 28. Not intimidated in any thing by your adversaries; for though they looked upon your attachment to the gospel as an undoubted proof of your utter ruin, yet to you it is a demonstration of your salvation -a salvation which hath God for its author.
12 Trypho the Jew every where affects to treat the Christian religion with contempt, on account of the crucifixion of its author. He ridicules its professors for centering all their hopes in a man who was crucified! Dialog. cum Tryphone, p. 33. The person whom you call your Messiah, says he, incurred the last disgrace and ignominy, for he fell under the greatest curse in the law of God, he was crucified! p. 90. Again, we must hesitate, says Trypho, with regard to our believing a person, who was so ignominously crucified, being the Messiah; for it is written in the
(3.) The several circumstances related by the four evan-show: Agrippa being a Syrian, and king of a large country gelists as accompanying the crucifixion of Jesus were con- in Syria.' formable to the Roman custom in such executions; and, frequently occurring in ancient authors, do not only reflect beauty and lustre upon these passages, but happily corroborate and confirm the narrative of the sacred penmen." We will exhibit before our readers a detail of these as they are specified by the evangelists.
Every mark of infamy that malice could suggest was accumulated on the head of our Redeemer. While he was in the high-priest's house, they did spit in his face and buffeted him, and others smote him with the palms of their hands, saying, Prophecy unto us, thou Christ, who is he that smote thee? (Matt. xxvi. 67, 68. Mark xiv. 65.) Pilate, hearing that our Lord was of Galilee, sent him to Herod; and before he was dismissed by him, Herod, with his men of war, set him at nought; and mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe. (Luke xxiii. 11.) He was insulted and mocked by the soldiers, when Pilate ordered him to be scourged the first time; that by that lesser punishment he might satisfy the Jews and save his life, as is related by St. John. After Pilate had condemned him to be crucified, the like indignities were repeated by the soldiers, as we are assured by two evangelists. (Matt. xxvii. 27-31. Mark xv. 16-20.) And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe, and when they had platted a crown of thorns, they put it on his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail! king of the Jews. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.
When Pilate had pronounced the sentence of condemna tion on our Lord, and publicly adjudged him to be crucified, he gave orders that he should be scourged. Then Pilate took Jesus and scourged him. And when he had scourged Jesus, says another of the evangelists, he delivered him to be crucified. Among the Romans, scourging was always inflicted previously to crucifixion. Many examples might be produced of this custom. Let the following suffice. Livy, speaking of the fate of those slaves who had confederated and taken up arms against the state, says, that many of them were slain, many taken prisoners, and others, after they had been whipped or scourged, were suspended on crosses. Philo, relating the cruelties which Flaccus the Roman prefect exercised upon the Jews of Alexandria, says, that after they were mangled and torn with scourges in the theatres, they were fastened to crosses. Josephus also informs us, that at the siege of Jerusalem great numbers of the Jews were crucified, after they had been previously whipped, and had suffered every wanton cruelty.3
"After they had inflicted this customary flagellation, the evangelist informs us that they obliged our Lord to carry to the place of execution the cross, or, at least, the transverse beam of it, on which he was to be suspended. Lacerated, therefore, with the stripes and bruises he had received, faint with the loss of blood, his spirits exhausted by the cruel insults and blows that were given him when they invested him with robes of mock royalty, and oppressed with the inThese are tokens of contempt and ridicule which were in cumbent weight of his cross; in these circumstances our use at that time. Dio, among the other indignities offered Saviour was urged along the road. We doubt not but in to Sejanus the favourite of Tiberius (in whose reign our this passage to Calvary every indignity was offered him. Saviour was crucified), as they were carrying him from the This was usual. Our Lord, fatigued and spent with the senate-house to prison, particularly mentioned this,-"That treatment he had received, could not support his cross. The they struck him on the head." But there is one instance of soldiers, therefore, who attended him, compelled one Simon, ridícule which happened so soon after this time, and has so a Cyrenean, who was coming from the country to Jerusagreat a resemblance to that to which our Saviour was ex-lem, and then happened to be passing by them, to carry it for posed, that it deserves to be stated at length. Caligula, the him. The circumstance here mentioned of our Lord bearing successor of Tiberius, had, in the very beginning of his reign, his cross was agreeable to the Roman custom. Slaves and given Agrippa the tetrarchy of his uncle Philip, being about malefactors, who were condemned to this death, were comthe fourth part of his grandfather Herod's dominions, with pelled to carry the whole or part of the fatal gibbet on which the right of wearing a diadem or crown. When he was they were destined to die. This constituted a principal part setting out from Rome to make a visit to his people, the em- of the shame and ignominy of such a death. Cross-bearer peror advised him to go by Alexandria as the best way. was a term of the last reproach among the Romans. The When he came thither he kept himself very private: but the miserable wretch, covered with blood, from the scourges that Alexandrians having got intelligence of his arrival there, and had been inflicted upon him, and groaning under the weight of of the design of his journey, were filled with envy, as Philo his cross, was, all along the road to the place of execution, says, at the thoughts of a Jew having the title of king. loaded with every wanton cruelty. So extreme were the They had recourse to various expedients, in order to mani- misery and sufferings of the hapless criminals who were fest their indignation: one was the following:-"There condemned to this punishment, that Plutarch makes use of it was," says Philo,2 "one Carabas, a sort of distracted fellow, as an illustration of the misery of sin, that every kind of that in all seasons of the year went naked about the streets. wickedness produces its own particular torment; just as He was somewhat between a madman and a fool, the com- every malefactor, when he is brought forth to execution, carmon jest of boys and other idle people. This wretch they ries his own cross. He was pushed, thrown down, stimubrought into the theatre, and placed him on a lofty seat, that lated with goads, and impelled forward by every act of insohe might be conspicuous to all; then they put a thing made lence and inhumanity that could be inflicted. There is of paper on his head for a crown, the rest of his body they great reason to think that our blessed Redeemer in his way covered with a mat instead of a robe, and for a sceptre one to Calvary experienced every abuse of this nature, especially put into his hand a little piece of reed which he had just when he proceeded slowly along, through languor, lassitude, taken up from the ground. Having thus given him a mimic and faintness, and the soldiers and rabble found his strength royal dress, several young fellows with poles on their shoul- incapable of sustaining and dragging his cross any farther. ders came and stood on each side of him as his guards. Then On this occasion we imagine that our Lord suffered very there came people toward him, some to pay their homage to cruel treatment from those who attended him. Might not the him, others to ask justice of him, and some to know his will scourging that was inflicted, the blows he had received from and pleasure concerning affairs of state: and in the crowd the soldiers when in derision they paid him homage, and the were loud and confused acclamations of Maris, Maris; that abuse he suffered on his way to Calvary, greatly contribute being, as they say, the Syriac word for Lord, thereby inti- to accelerate his death, and occasion that speedy dissolution mating whom they intended to ridicule by all this mock at which one of the evangelists tells us Pilate marvelled? law, Cursed is every one who is hanged on a cross. Justin Martyr, Dialog. cum Tryphone, p. 271. edit. Jebb. London, 1719. See also pages 272. 283. 378. 392. See also Eusebii Hist. Eccl. pp. 171. 744. Cantab."
1 Various opinions have been offered concerning the species of thorn, intended by the sacred writers. Bartholin wrote an elaborate dissertation De Spinea Corona, and Lydius has collected the opinions of several writers in his Florna Sparsio ad Historiam Passionis Jesu Christi. (Analect. pp. 13-17.) The intelligent traveller Hasselquist says, that the naba or nahka of the Arabians "is in all probability the tree which afforded the crown of thorns put on the head of Christ: it grows very commonly in the East. This plant was very fit for the purpose; for it has many SMALL AND SHARP SPINES which are well adapted to give pain. The crown might easily be made of these soft, round, and pliant branches; and what in my opinion seems to be the greatest proof is, that the leaves very much resemble those of ivy, as they are of a very deep green. Perhaps the enemies of Christ would have a plant somewhat resembling that with which emperors and generals were used to be crowned, that there might be calumny even in the punishment." Hasselquist's Voyages and Travels In the Levant, pp. 288, 289.
In Flacc. p. 970
"When the malefactor had carried his cross to the place
3 Multi occisi multi capti, alii verberati crucibus affixi. Livii, lib. xxxiii. 36.
Philo in Flac. p. 529. edit. Mangey. See also pages 527, 528. ejusdem editionis. The Roman custom was to scourge before all executions. The magistrates bringing them out into the forum, after they had scourged them according to custom, they struck off their heads. Polybii Hist. lib. i. p. 10. tom. i. edit. Gronovii. 1670.
Josephus de Bello Jud. lib. v. c. 2. p. 353. Havercamp. Bell. Judiac. lib. ii. cap. 14. $9. p. 182. Haverc.
Vid. Justi Lipsii de Cruce, lib. ii. cap.6. p. 1180. Vesaliæ.
O carnificium cribrum, quod credo fore:
Plautus Mostel. Act. i. sc. 1. ver. 53. edit. var. 1684.
ant per lusum. Lipsius de Cruce, tom. vi. p. 1180. Vesalia.
whom Petronius Arbiter mentions, were crucified by order
of execution, a hole was dug in the earth, in which it was to be fixed; the criminal was stripped, a stupefying potion was given him, the cross was laid on the ground, the wretch distended upon it, and four soldiers, two on each side, at the same time were employed in driving four large nails through his hands and feet. After they had deeply fixed and riveted these nails in the wood, they elevated the cross with the agonizing wretch upon it; and in order to fix it more firmly and securely in the earth, they let it violently fall into the cavity they had dug to receive it. This vehement precipitation of the cross must give the person that was nailed to it a most dreadful convulsive shock, and agitate his whole frame in a dire and most excruciating manner. These several particulars the Romans observed in the crucifixion of our Lord. Upon his arrival at Calvary he was stripped: a stupefying draught was offered him, which he refused to drink. This, St. Mark says, was a composition of myrrh and wine. The design of this potion was, by its inebriating and intoxicating quality, to blunt the edge of pain, and stun the quickness of sensibility. Our Lord rejected this medicated cup, offered him perhaps by the kindness of some of his friends, it being his fixed resolution to meet death in all its horrors; not to alleviate and suspend its pains by any such preparation, but to submit to the death, even this death of crucifixion, with all its attendant circumstances." He had the joy that was set before him, in procuring the salvation of men, in full and immediate view. He wanted not, therefore, on this great occasion, any thing to produce an unnatural stupor, and throw "While they were thus attending them, it is said, our oblivion and stupefaction over his senses. He cheerfully Saviour complained of thirst. This is a natural circumstance. and voluntarily drank the cup with all its bitter ingredients, The exquisitely sensible and tender extremities of the body which his heavenly Father had put into his hands. Our being thus perforated, the person languishing and faint with Lord was fastened to his cross, as was usual, by four soldiers, loss of blood, and lingering under such acute and excrucitwo on each side, according to the respective limbs they ating torture, these causes must necessarily produce a veheseverally nailed. While they were employed in piercing his ment and excessive thirst. One of the guards, hearing this hands and feet, it is probable that he offered to Heaven that request, hastened and took a sponge, and filled it from a most compassionate and affecting prayer for his murderers, vessel that stood by, that was full of vinegar. The usual in which he pleaded the only circumstance that could possi- drink of the Roman soldiers was vinegar and water.12 The bly extenuate their guilt: Father, forgive them, for they know knowledge of this custom illustrates this passage of sacred not what they do! It appears from the evangelist that our history, as it has sometimes been inquired, for what purpose Lord was crucified without the city. And he bearing his cross was this vessel of vinegar? Considering, however, the dewent forth to a place called the place of a skull, which is called rision and cruel treatment which Jesus Christ had already in the Hebrew Golgotha. (John xix. 17.) For the place where received from the soldiers, it is by no means improbable that Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city. (ver. 20.) And the one of them gave him the vinegar with the design of augapostle to the Hebrews has likewise mentioned this circum- menting his unparalleled sufferings. After receiving this, stance: Wherefore Jesus also suffered without the gate. (Heb. Jesus cried with a loud voice, and uttered with all the vehe xiii. 12.) This is conformable to the Jewish law, and to ex-mence he could exert, that comprehensive word on which a amples mentioned in the Old Testament. (Num. xv. 35.) volume might be written, It is finished! the important work And the Lord said unto Moses, The man shall surely be put to of human redemption is finished; after which he reclined death: all the congregation shall stone him with stones without his head upon his bosom, and dismissed his spirit." (John the camp. (1 Kings xxi. 13.) Then they carried him [Na- xix. 30. Matt. xxvii. 50.) both] 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, at least in the provinces. The robbers of Ephesus, Sese multimodis conculcat ictibus, myrrhæ contra presumptione munitus. Apuleii Metamorph. lib. viii. Again: Obfirmatus myrrhæ pre-fretum spectaret? In Verr. lib. v. c. 66. n. 169. sumptione nullis verberibus, ac ne ipsi quidem succubuit igni. Lib. x. Apuleii Met. Usque hodie, says St. Jerome, Judæi omnes increduli Dominicæ resurrectionis aceto et felle potant Jesum, et dant ei vinum myr. rhatum, ut dum consopiant, et mala eorum non videat. Hieronymus ad Matt. xxvii.
2 See Dr. Benson's Life of Christ, p. 508.
3 Monet nos quoque non parum evangelista, qui quatuor numerat milites crucifigentes, scilicet juxta quatuor membra figenda. Quod clarum etiam est ex tunicæ partitione, quae 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.
Credo ego istoc examplo tibi esse eundum actutum extra portam, dispessis manibus patibulum quem habebis. Plautus in Mil. Glor. act. ii. scen. 4.
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 evange lists 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
• Quum interim imperator provinciæ latrones jussit crucibus adfigi, secundum illam eandem casulam, in qua recens cadaver matrona deflebat Satyr. c. 71.
Quid enim attinuit, cum Mamertini more atque instituto suo crucem fixisset post urbem in via Pompeia; te jubere in ea parte figere, quæ ad
Dion Cassius, lib. liv. p. 732. edit. Reimar, 1750. See also Suetonius in
See instances in Suetonius, in Caligula, c. 34.; and in Domitian, c. 10. 10"It is with much propriety that Matthew calls this a accusation: for it was false, that ever Christ pretended to be king of the Jews, in the sense the inscription held forth: he was accused of this, but there was no proof of the accusation; however, it was affixed to the cross." Dr. A. Clarke on Matt. xxvii. 37.
11 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.
12 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. p. 278. See also Macknight in loc.