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to the crows,* vultures,f dogs, wolves, and the most ferocious beasts of prey. Sometimes they were transfixed with a lance; Marcellianus and Marcus were; criminals, in Mohammedan countries (to which countries crucifixion is now chiefly confined), are required to be. Our Saviour was transfixed, probably in his left side, though painters specify the right. The lance penetrated his pericardium, and one of the ventricles of his heart. From the pericardium came forth the serous, watery liquid, which is collected in an unusual quantity at death, but which always surrounds the heart, and keeps its surface from becoming dry. Blood came forth from the ventricle, and thus John saw what appeared to be blood and water, and what satisfied the doubting spearman, that Jesus must have already deceased. Sometimes the legs of the sufferer were broken, by striking the joints with a mallet, sledge, or heavy bar of iron. This breaking of the legs (crurifrangium) was also a distinct punishment. The legs of the criminal were placed on an anvil, and fractured with a heavy hammer. Twenty-three Christians under Dioclesian suffered in this way; “both the Apollinares, father and son ;” vast numbers of slaves also, women and children. The Jews uniformly adopted some such means to secure the death of their malefactors; for the law, Deut. xxi. 22, 23, forbade that any one, defiled and accursed by crucifixion, should remain out of his grave beyond a single day.
The Roman statute required, that the malefactor should hang exposed to the sun and air until his body had corrupted; that he should then be neither burnt nor interred, but thrown upon the earth's surface, or elsef " dragged with a hook, and cast into the Tiber," or some other stream. Here was another item in the ignominy of this punishment.
Privation of sepulture was anciently regarded one of the sorest of evils. There was thought to be no peace for the soul, so long as there was no grave for the body. Hence the relatives of a crucified man were restlessly eager for his burial, and were wont, if opportunity presented, to steal the corpse and inter it. It was chiefly to prevent this thest, that
bamin this way; slaves also some such, Deut.
* Pasces in cruce corvos. Hor. Ep. 16, v. xlviii. 1. 1. + Vultur, jumento et canibus, crucibusque relictis, Ad foetus properat, partemque cadaveris affert. Juv. sat. xiv. v. 77, 78. Adam's Rom. Ant. p. 228.
sentinels were appointed to guard the body. A soldier, whom Petronius Arbiter mentions, watching a cross during the night, clearly discerned the torches of the crucified man's relatives, who came privily for his corpse, and at last succeeded in obtaining it. Ordinarily, the four soldiers who nailed the victim were stationed as his sentinels. It was so in the case of Jesus, " and sitting down, they watched hiin there.” The sufferer's friends, likewise, often watched him, to protect him from the depredations of villains, or of birds and beasts of prey. The story of the Ephesian matron attending the cross, is well known; but nothing can be more touchingly painted than the perseverance of Rizpah, whose two sons, together with five of their father's grandsons, were hung by the Gibeonites, “ on the hill before the Lord.” “ And Rizpah, the daughter of Aiah, took sackcloth, and spread it for her upon the rock, from the beginning of harvest, until water dropped upon them from out of heaven, and suffered neither the birds of the air to rest upon them by day, nor the beasts of the field by night.” Six months she watched them, with a mother's faithfulness. The female friends of Jesus continued to look on him “until a great stone was laid at the door of his sepulchre," and himself secured.
It must not be supposed, however, that the statute forbidding burial was beyond the reach of an exception. The government of each province had power to grant the interment of any crucified man, when his relatives or near friends requested it. The statement of Jahn, (Arch. p. 261.) that rulers were reluctant to bestow this favor, that they reserved it for festive occasions, and then for very few individuals, is abundantly contradicted by the history of that date. Cicero specifies it as one of the crimes of Verres' administration, that having torn sons from the embrace of their parents and led them to death, he demanded money from their parents for permission to bury them. It is recorded, too, as one of the most atrocious cruelties of Tiberius, in the latter part of his reign, that he generally refused interment to those whom he had condemned io die. In each of these cases, “exceptio probat regulam.” Augustine, in the tenth book of his own life, mentions the custom of permitting relatives to take down and inter corpses from the gibbet, as a custom frequently observed by himself. Ulpian, in his treatise on the duty of a proconsul, prescribes, “the bodies of men condemned to
the religio treated by one
death must not be denied to their relatives ;” and Paulus, about the same time, “ they must be given to any who wish to inter them." The Jews, though not allowed to bury an executed criminal in an honorable way, in the sepulchre of his fathers, (see Lightfoot, tom. ii. p. 56.) were yet so scrupulous about burying him in some way, that they applied regularly for the privilege, and very seldom do we read of their being denied. Their feelings and laws toward one who had been accursed on the cross, were treated by the emperor, as he endeavored to treat the religions of nearly all his provinces, and as it was politic that he should do, with habitual deference. Accordingly, when a member of the Jewish Sanhedriin made application for the body of Jesus, the application was granted without delay, and he who suffered as a criininal, though without the shadow of a crime, was admitted into a new tomb of a rich and honorable counsellor.
He was buried. There was the last of him thought the Jews. They had longed for his crucifixion, because nothing could be so conclusive a proof against his Messiahship. Now the proof has been given. The memory of a crucified man must be forever odious. The disgrace will cleave like the leprosy to all his relatives, to the remotest generation. Was it ever known that a favorite of heaven incurred the hot displeasure of the lawyers, and judges, and priests, and elders of the favored nation? Can it be conceived, that such a favorite should be left by heaven to such a death ? Was it ever heard or dreamed, that the posterity of such a man should have recovered from the shame entailed on them, or that in all coming time they can rival the posterity of sinners however base, who have died another death?
This was the specious reasoning of many an honest Jew. It was specious. There was a fearful amount of incidental testimony against the entombed prisoner. Who are his friends ? Can their judgment be received as authority ? “ Have any of the rulers or of the Pharisees believed on him?" There are learned men in the nation, men of sound practical sense, acute discernment, inquisitive, candid, enlarged mind; on whose side are they? There are men of affluence and power, educated under all the advantages of Roman schools, and intrusted by the Roman emperor with the highest offices in the province; on whose side are they? Is it not probable that they are right? The pageantry, the wealth, the honor, the judgment, the learning, the established religion of the whole land are against the Nazarene. There were twelve fishermen once in his favor, but “they all forsook him and fled.” The youngest, the mildest of the twelve, is now the only one who dares to avow his discipleship. Look at the beggarly census of the adherents to the sufferer; how ominous of the modern statistics of the church! " And there were also women looking on-afar off-among whom was—Mary Magdalene, and Mary the mother of James the less, and of Joses; and Salome," "and many other women which came up with him unto Jerusalem." And is this to be the conqueror of the world? And is this the retinue of the “most mighty”? Where, when, how can he “ dash the nations to pieces, as a potter's vessel ” ?
According to modern habits of judging, Christianity must now be “ as good as dead.” Even if the prisoner had been a favorite of the Jews, his prospects would be dark; for the Jews were a small, subjugated, singular, despised people, and would go forth at fearful odds against the world. What then can be expected of a man born in a little city of this little province, educated in the most contemptible part of this contemned and hated nation, proclaimed a Nazarene by way of scorn, and himself scorned more than all other Nazarenes, scorned by the Nazarenes themselves, hunted down as a beast by the only people whom he could expect to honor him, and whose honor after all, would be unavailing; at last when he had endured every opprobrium which could set him forth as contemptible in life, sealing, as it would seem, his eternal infamy by a death than which nothing can be conceived more infamous. What hope for such a man against the legions of a confederated empire? above all, what hope now he is dead?
And yet the authority of this dead man, within a very few years, triumphs over the prejudice of philosophic Greece and belligerent Rome; “his doctrines continue to gain ground on every hand, till at last the proud monuments of Pagan superstition, consecrated by the worship of a thousand years, and supported by the authority of the most powerful monarchies in the world, fall one after another at the approach of his disciples, and before the prevailing efficacy of the new faith. A little stone becomes a mountain, and fills the whole earth. All the nations of Europe in successive ages Grook, Roman, Barbarian-glory in the name of the humble Galilean; armies greater than those which Persia in the pride of her ambition led forth to conquest, are seen swarming into Asia, with the sole view of getting possession of his sepulchre, while the East and the West combine to adorn with their treasures the stable in which he was born, and the sacred mount on which he surrendered his precious life."* Indeed the very instrument which was designed to perpetuate his shame, soon waved in glory on the towers of the capitol; “by this sign," and this alone did the mistress of the world prosecute her conquests, and the identical wood on which he bled was deemed by whole nations an object of worship.
CLASSICAL STUDY, AS A PART OF A LIBERAL EDUCA
discussed. This is charabrise so much
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The value of classical study, as a part of a liberal education has been, within a few years, the subject of much discussion. This can have occasioned no surprise to those who have been observant of the peculiar characteristics and movements of the present age. This is a time when every thing is questioned and discussed ; and every question and discussion are made common, as the air we breathe. No principle in theory, or measure in practice, is suffered to escape. Every old foundation, whether in religion, or philosophy, or education, or the conduct of life, is assailed. The greater the reverence in which it has been held by those before us, the less title is it supposed to have to the respect of the present generation. Its very antiquity, which has hitherto thrown a sanctity around it, now exposes it to derision. There seems to be in some a kind of Turk-like
* Russell's Palestine, p. 20, see Morehead's Dialogues on Nat. and Rev. Relig. p. 241.