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Robert Rollock (1555-1599) on the death of Christ and related issues

October 22, 2007

Special redemption (sample):

1) And wherefore died Christ; was it to redeem us from persecution, or crosses in this world? No, the Lord died that he might redeem us from sin with his precious blood; and Paul (to the Corinthians) maketh mention of that triumph that the Church shall have when the Lord Jesus shall come, ” O death where is thy sting?” Then she shall glory that she is redeemed from sin, and from offending of God. Robert Rollock, “The Thirteenth Sermon on Psalm 80,” in Selected Works, 1:481.

2) And, if thou wilt repent thee, I assure thee, though thou wert the greatest dinner that ever was, thou shalt have mercy; and, therefore, if thou hast gone long on in din, yet even for God’s cause at last take up thyself; and I promise thee exceeding mercy in that bloody sacrifice of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath died both for thee, and me, and all penitent sinners. To him, therefore, with the Father and Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory for evermore. Amen. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:427.

3) Think not that ever thy sins shall be forgiven thee, without the shedding of the blood of Jesus Christ. And either thou must die, or have part in the death of the Mediator. The end of his suffering was the perfect abolishing and undoing of the sins of the elect, ye may read in the ninth chapter to the Hebrews. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:221.

4) Now, Brethren, and if ye make again the words well, ye shall see a great difference betwixt the prayer that Christ made, and betwixt the Prayer of the faithful in the world: When we pray for others, our prayer is confused: we cannot separate the Reprobate from the Elect: we pray for all together, good and evil, because we know not who is chosen, and who is reprobate and cast away. Then, we pray for the Elect, and for the Kirk, our prayer is but confused and general: we cannot pray for every particular man, or every chosen one, because we know them not: but generally we recommend unto God the whole Kirk: this is the manner of our prayer. Bt it is far otherwise in this prayer which the Lord makes for his Disciples, and for the Chosen. The Lord prays for his Elect, but he prays not for the Reprobate: and particularly hereafter he excludes Judas; because the Lord knew who was elect, and who was reprobate. Then again, when he prays for the Elect, he prays not confusedly, as we do: but in his eye is set upon everyone of the chosen particularly. There was never one of the chosen, that was that time that Christ was in the world, or was since the beginning of the world, or shall be to the end of the world, but the LORD prayed for everyone of them particularly: he prayed for me, and he prayed for thee, and he saw everyone pf us before the beginning of the world, and now he recommends us to the Father. Think not, that the Lord Jesus prayed confusedly, and generally for all men: no, he prayed particularly for the Chosen: there is not one Chosen, but the eye of the Lord is upon them all. Why? The Lord knew who was chosen: No, there was not one little one, yea, the poorest upon the face of the earth, of the chosen number, but in that time he had his eye upon them, that the holy Spirit might flow to them out of his death. When the Lord died, ye must not think that he died for all: he died for some: he died not for any reprobate: he separated the Elect from the Reprobate, by virtue of his death. When he offered himself to the death, his eye was set upon every one of the Elect that was in the world: and when he was going to death, he said in his heart, I will die for this sinner, and this sinner, &c. His eye was upon every one of them. Paul to the Galatians, Chap. 2. vers 20. knew this well: The life I live now in the flesh (says the Apostle,) I live by faith in the Son of God, who has loved me, and given himself, not for the Chosen in general, but particularly for me. Well then, says Pul, this ways that he died for him particularly? And the Lord said before his death, I have a particular eye to Paul. And howbeit he was an enemy to Christ, at that time, persecuting him in his members, yet he says, I will die for Paul. Then every one of us should say, as Paul said, Not generally the Lord loved the world, the Lord gave himself for the Elect: but particularly the Lord loved me, and the Lord loved thee; and the Lord died for thee, and died for me; and the Lord had an eye to me in his death, and a respect to me in his prayer &c. This particular respect which the Lord had to me, furnished great comfort, when I consider it: for if the Prince had a respect to any particular person, he would be greatly comforted: and should not this particular respect of the LORD JESUS, King of all kings, comfort us? No, there is not one Chosen in this life, but the Son of God,i n his death, had a particular respect unto us, without regard who got it: No, he knew well to whom the last spark, or drop, of that blood should appertain. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, With his Disciples immediately before his Passion, (Edinburgh: Printed by Andro Hart, 1616), 214-215.

Sufficient ransom and redemption for the sins of the world:

1) No man’s death was ever so powerful as the death of the Lord Jesus. All the emperors in the world had no such power in their death as Christ had. It testifies of a power to purge the sins of man. What emperor’s blood ransomed sinful man, or could purge him from his sins? What water came there ever from an emperor’s heart, which washed away the corruption of thy nature? Now, to speak it in a word, this blood and this water testified of a power that flowed from the death of Christ to the remission of sins, and the washing of our foul nature; with the blood broke out remission of sins, and with the water burst out regeneration. Yet, to make this plainer; by the blood of Christ, (which is the blood of God, God and man in one,) we are ransomed from death and hell, the guiltiness of all our sins is taken away, the punishment with the guilt is taken away, hell is taken away, the justice of God, that required our blood, is satisfied by that blood of Christ, that wrath that would have sucked up thy blood, (it would not have left one drop of thy blood unsucked,) and that wrath which cannot be satiate without blood, is satiate by the only blood of Christ. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:282.

2) So, the ministers have these two things enjoined unto them, to preach the word, and to minister the sacraments. We hear nothing spoken here of offering of a sacrifice, either bloody or unbloody, or of a priesthood; and, no question, if there had been such a thing, or, at least, if it had been a matter of such importance, and so necessary, as the pope and his shavelings say, the Lord would 1 altogether have misknown it, and passed it over with silence, but he would have spoken something of it to his apostles; so, it is but a folly and vanity to think, that since Christ hath once offered himself a propitiatory sacrifice for the redemption of the world, that now there remains any propitiatory sacrifice in the church. The Lord hath put an end to them all by his death and sacrifice; there is no priesthood committed either to the apostles before, or to the ministers now, but that where, by the preaching of the word, they offer the souls of men and women in a sacrifice to the Lord. Away with that devilish sacrifice of the mass, whereby the pope and his clergy deceive the world, making men believe that daily they offer up Christ again, as a propitiatory sacrifice to the Father, for the sins of the quick and the dead. No; there is no propitiatory sacrifice now left to the kirk. That sacrifice which the Lord once offered upon the cross is sufficient and perfect enough to take away the sins of the world. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:661.

3) Only believe in that blood, and thou shalt be saved. Rom. 3. vers. 25. “God has set forth Christ to be a reconciliation through faith in his blood.” Away with merits paltry; fie on thee and thy merits both. Thou thinks thou can not be saved but by thy merits, as though the blood of Christ were not able to redeem thee without merits: away with such vanity. The blood of Christ is sufficeient to redeem ten thousand worlds; yea ten thousand millions of world. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 62.

4) Then after to let us see the preciousness of this blood, and the necessity of this redemption by his blood, he fell out into a fair and high description of the son of God, setting him out in many points of his glory, partly as he is God, the son of God only; partly as he is both God and man the mediator, the Lord Jesus Christ. Of the which whole points of his glory, we concluded he blood of such a glorious personage, must be exceeding precious; and so it behooved that this blood should ransom us, and ransom the world. Yea, if we look to this preciousness of it, it is not only sufficient to ransom a world, but to ransom ten thousand worlds. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 88.

Redemption of man:

1) Thou thinks it nothing but surely it is wonderful matter, if ye consider it rightly: so then there is a wide step, a strange step, that steps down from his glory, wherein he stood equal with his Father. Yet he goes another step downward, “being found in the habit of a man:” he to whom all other creatures gives obedience, of his own will becomes obedient to his father. Wherein stands this obedience? Not in doing only, but in dying, What death? The death of he Cross, and execrable death: the bitterest death that ever was: nay, never man died so bitter a death as Christ died. All the death of men and Angels is not comparable to that death of Jesus Christ, that he died to redeem sinful man: There is his humiliation. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603),58-59.

2) But yet let us mark the words betters: I have glorified thee, Father: that is, I have put and end to that work thou gavest me, the fair work of the redemption of man, the fairest work that ever was: yea, fairer than the creation of the world. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 195.

Man redeemed:

1) All things are yours, and you are Christ’s, and Christ is God’s. And concerning this restoring of mankind, before we come to the parts thereof, ye must be advertised that, in time, it partly went before the execution of that decree concerning Christ the Son of God, and partly did follow after it. For before the fulness of time came, wherein Christ was manifested in the flesh, God began to restore mankind, even from the very fall of the first man: that is, men were called, justified, and glorified; and that partly by virtue of that decree concerning Christ, which was from everlasting, and partly because of the manifestation of the same Christ, which was to come. But when that fulness of time came, and when Christ was now manifested in the flesh, had suffered and was glorified, this redemption of man was more fully and richly accomplished. For Christ, being now come, Select Works our restitution more effectually by his Gospel; I mean his power is more effectually seen and known in our vocation, justification, and glorification, than it was before his incarnation. Therefore the execution of the decree concerning Christ the Son of God, which was first, falleth now as it were into the midst of the repairing of mankind, or of the execution of the decree concerning man’s redemption. Where fore we shall also speak thereof in the middle place, that so from it we may proceed to speak of the parts of the redemption of mankind. Robert Rollock, “Treatise of God’s Effectual Calling,” in Select Works, 1:268.

2) It is a marvelous thing, for as careful as the Lord was wont to be of the redemption of man, (for that was his only care night and day, it was his meat and drink,) yet all that care was now away, and he forgets it, and he falls out in prayer, and he says, “Take away this cup from me;” and that was the cup of his passion for our redemption; yea, he bids his Father take it away, which, if it had been taken from him, never a soul should have been redeemed. Consider, then, if he was in an agony or not, when he forgot the work of our redemption. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:231.

Redeemer of the world:

1) In that same chapter, John point out the three witnesses of Christ in the heavens, and three witnesses of Christ in the earth; and for the witnessing in the earth, he counts these same two, the blood and the water, and the third, the Spirit, who testifies that Jesus came and died for thee; where we may see, that this blood and this water that came out of the side of the Lord never leave the earth, never cease to cry, ” The Redeemer of the world is come!’ Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Selected Works, 2:283.

2) Here is a promise of the thing to come. If ye will consider the words, the knowledge of his Disciples, which he sets down before he Father, it is partly present, and partly to come. The knowledge present, is partly of the Son, That the Father sent him, and partly of the Father himself. Concerning the Son, “The know, that thou has sent me:” That is to say, Father, they have known, that I am thy Son, and thine only begotten, equal with thee from all eternity, and in time sent into this miserable world, and, that I am the Father’s Ambassador: and I am the Redeemer of the world. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 262.

3) But to leave this: Paul (as ye may read, in the 17. Chap. of the Acts of the Apost.) In this pregrination together with Sylus, who is here named Silvanus, comes to this town in Macedonia, called Thessalonica, and entering into the Synagogue of the Jews, three Sabbath days preaching tot hem, and all his preaching tended to this, to prove that it behooved the Messias when he should come into the World, first to suffer, then to rise again in glory: Upon this he subsumes that that Jesus whom he preached, had suffered, risen up in glory; And therefore he concludes, that Jesus, and no other, to be the Messias and Redeemer of the world. Robert Rollock, “Maister Rollocks Lectures Upon the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians,” in Lectures Upon the First and Second Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, (Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Charteris, 1606), 2.

4) For, albeit we know no other reason, wherefore we should be holy, but only that it is his will, it binds us to holiness. For this reverence toward the Creator, and the Redeemer of the world, should be in every creature. Robert Rollock, “Maister Rollocks Lectures Upon the First Epistle of Paul to the Thessalonians,” in Lectures Upon the First and Second Epistles of Paul to the Thessalonians, (Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Charteris, 1606), 179.

Redemption of the world:

1) Thair is ane wisdome of the creatioun and governement of the warld, and thair is ane wisdome of God of the redemptioun of the warld anis created, and making defectioun from that blissed estait of creatioun. As for the wisdome of creatioune, als sone as ever the warld was created, this wisdome brak out, and was reveiled and made knawin to men, and it schynis zit in the creaturs: luik to them, thou sail se the image of that wisdome schyning in them: and mair nor this, man receaved this wisdome of creatioun written in his hart. Sa this wisdome was not keped close, bot maid patent to the eies of men and angellis to luik on it. Bot as for the wisdome of God of the redemptioun of the warld, in the creation he neither uttered it in word nor wryte, he wrait not ane letter of it in the hart of man in the creatioun. Bot efter Adam fell he made ane inkling of it, bot verie obscure. Now quhairfoir was this that the Lord hid up this wisdome? Thairby na doubt he wald testifie to the warld, that this wisdom contened ane pretious thing, ane Jewell : thair was inclosed in it the haill treasure of hevin. Robert Rollock, “The Sixth Sermon on 1 Corinthians 2,” in Select Works, 1:370.

2) UNTO this part of this Gospel (beloved in the Lord Jesus) the Lord hath done the office of a prophet and doctor, going about to instruct the people of the Jews in the way of life and salvation, and to instruct and comfort his own disciples especially in these last chapters. Now, in the eighteenth and nineteenth chapters following he doth the office of a priest. Ye know the Lord he is a King, a Priest, and a Prophet. He playeth the part of a Priest in offering up himself. He offered up none other sacrifice than his own body for the world, and for the redemption and salvation of mankind. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:13.

3) If ye will examine the zeal, it is a very preposterous and unskillful zeal; the zeal is nothing worth if a man go beyond the bounds of his calling. What was Peter but a private man? and this company being sent by the magistrates and superior power, Peter ought not to have resisted them, and to recompense this injury by reason of his calling, albeit it was the greatest injury that ever was done in the world. Then the words of Christ do declare that he did it of blindness: for he did that lay in him to stay the work of the redemption of the world, he took no heed to his hand. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:34.

4) Now, to end in a word, look to the witnesses, the burrios; they were evil witnesses for themselves, but good witnesses for us; for their witnessing testifies to our weal, that the Lord was dead; and so these burrios have done a notable good work to us, but not to themselves, because they were his enemies. It is as true this day as it was that day. There are, and shall be witnesses, preaching the death of Christ, crying that Christ died for the redemption of the world, and teaching salvation by Christ to others; and others shall get good by them, yet they shall get no good themselves. Why? Because they are enemies to the cross of Christ An enemy to his death can preach his death well enough. All preachers of the death of Jesus Christ ought to take heed to this, that when they preach to others (as the apostle saith) they be not reprobate themselves. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:277.

5) The first argument ye heard the last day, which was from the end of that union of men and women, in the Kirk of God, and of the making of the body of Jesus Christ: then the world shall know that Christ is sent of the Father: In that conjunction and union, they shall see that Jesus Christ is the Messias, sent of the Father, to the world, for the redemption of the world: that is the first argument. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 246-247.

6) Brethren, there are sundry wisdoms of God: There is a wisdom of the creation and government of the world, and there is wisdom of God of the redemption of the world once created, and making defection from that blessed estate of creation… But as the wisdom of God of the redemption of the world, in the creation He neither uttered it in word nor in writing, He write not one letter of it in the heart of man in the creation. Robert Rollock, Certain Sermons Upon Several Texts of Scripture, (Edinburgh: Andro Harry, 1631?), 106 and 107.

Justification and sanctification of the world:

1) Now yet the end would be marked: There is the end, “That hey may see my glory that thou has given me.” It is true indeed, in this life the faithful get a sight of the glory of Jesus Christ: for if there were not a sigh of that glory, wherefore would all the pleasure of the world serve? Thou wish never what joy means, if thou gets not a sigh of that glory: but yet, I say, all the sight of Jesus Christ, which we have in this life, is as it were, but in a mirror, and in a looking-glass: it is but a dark sight that thou has of him: This by the preaching of the Gospel, wherein ye have Christ crucified, and then glorified. What is our Preaching, but that Christ has been crucified, and now glorified, at the right hand of the Father, for the justification and sanctification of the world? Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 254.

The world ransomed:

1) If I feel that sweet mercy of God in my heart, and that peace of conscience in my soul, I will begin and reason with myself after this manner: “This mercy that I taste of, this, peace of conscience that I have, this joy and gladness that I taste, it behoveth to proceed out of the malediction, and out of the wrath that lighted on my Mediator; it bad been impossible for me to taste of mercy if my Redeemer had not drunk out that full cup of wrath.” And I say, indeed, to thee, if the Lord Jesus Christ had not drunken out that cup of the wrath of God, there had never been such a thing as any joy, or any peace of conscience, in this world, nor in the world to come, if it had not been ransomed with the precious blood of Jesus Christ; there is not one drop of grace, peace, or joy, but that which is bought, and which the blood of Christ hath paid for. Robert Rollock,” The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:236.

2) The one a heavy complaint to his Father, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?’ The other proceeding from an extreme drought, that came of that sense of wrath and pain which he felt during the time that he hung upon the cross, “I thirst.” The last two voices were of joy, for it appears well, that before the Lord gave up the ghost, comfort and joy returned to him again. And I am of this mind, that there are none, who are God’s own, but before their departure out of this life, (sooner or later,) they will get a sense of that joy which they are to pass unto immediately. The first voice of joy was, “All is ended.” As though he would say, “This work is done and ended, and now the ransom of the redemption of man is paid to the last farthing.” Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:251.

Sins of the faithful:

1) The Lord thus wise will have Christ to appear, in himself the most innocent man, and in us the most guilty man in the world. Hereupon it cometh to pass, that Pilate absolved him as innocent, and yet punishes him as nocent, for Jesus Christ bare the sins of the whole faithful; and it is for this purpose, that we seeing these two things in him, that we should account him a meet Jklediator for us, and our faith should rest on him. Come to experience. Except I understand that my Redeemer be innocent in himself, I will never believe that he can be able to bear my sin, and to redeem me; for he could not be able to bear his own sin, much less another man’s sin, except he were innocent; Heb. vii. 26; ” Such a priest it behoved us to have, which is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separated from sinners.” Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:98.

Sin of man:

1) But to come to the saying itself, it reckoneth up the whole Evangel; for what is the Evangel in few words? ” The Lord Jesus, the Son of God, is come into the world by his manifestation in the flesh, and taking upon him our nature; and in it he hath suffered the most shameful death of the cross for the sins of man, and rising again from death hath passed up to glory, and all to this end, for the salvation of man.” There is the whole gospel. Alas! if we took heed to these tidings, our hearts would not be carried after so many vanities. The Apostle (1 Tim. iii. 16) calleth this the mystery of godliness, and a great mystery, that God is manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of the angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory. All this he setteth down here in a word, “Christ Jesus came into the world;”‘ and he tellth us it was ” to save sinners,” that we who are sinners might have joy, and rejoice at his coming; for we should never hear nor read such sentences but with joy. Robert Rollock, “The Eighteenth Sermon on 1 Timothy 1,” in Select Works, 1:550.

Suffered for the world:

1) When a man doeth a thing willingly, because it is the will of God, offers up his life willingly, and dies willingly, there is obedience: But let him die ten thousand deaths, if he do it not willingly, it is none obedience: I suppose that the Son of God had not suffered willingly, we would have had no salvation: the obedience stands not only in suffering, but in that he died gladly, suffered willingly, with such a love, to pour out his life for the world: as ye may read in the 53. Chap. of Isay, He was like a lamb before the shearers. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 78.

Sins of the world:

1) Yet mark the words. He saith, “notwithstanding of my sins, the Lord had mercy upon me;” and if ye look to the speech, it importeth a wondering that ever he should have found mercy, who was such a great sinner. It is the greatest wonder that ever was, that one sin is forgiven to a sinner, suppose it were but an evil thought: and if thou sawest that great, inviolable, and infinite majesty, and the greatness of thy sins, thou wouldst wonder that ever thou gettest one sin forgiven thee, let be blasphemy and persecution forgiven thee, And wonder thou as thou wilt; all the angels of heaven wonder that sinners should get mercy, and that God loved the unworthy world so, that he would give his only son to die that they should live for ever. And they wondered when Adam and the fathers of old got mercy; but when Christ came into the world to die for the sins of the world, they wondered far more at that mercy, and with cheerful voice praised God for the same, saying “Glory be to God in the high heavens, and peace on earth, and towards men good will.” (Luke ii. 14.) Look also what the Apostle saith to this purpose to the Ephesians (chap. iii. verse 10); it is their pleasure to pierce into that mystery, and to look to that mercy; but miserable man, to whom it belongeth, commonly wondereth not at it. But albeit the profane man when he is sleeping in sin, and going on in an evil course, thinketh it but an easy thing to get mercy; and albeit he wonder not much when he seeth another miserable sinner to get mercy, but account it a matter of sober importance, yet if it please the Lord once to waken his conscience, and make his sins to appear in their own colour, how great, how vile, and how detestable they are, and what it is to offend that infinite and inviolable majesty, that omnipotent Jehovah who created all things, and to find the terrors and torments of that inevitable wrath and everlasting pain; and if the Spirit of God leave him there to his own self, and help him not forward he would conclude that there were no mercy for him, and he would marvel that ever a sinner should get mercy; for he would see the justice of God as a wall of fire standing before God, holding off the sinner, that he press not to come near to God. So such persons would dite their own dittay, and give out their own doom against themselves. And except it please the Lord to send his Holy Spirit who searcheth all things, yea, the deepness of God out of his own bosom to a miserable sinner, thus exercised, to convoy him through his justice through that wall of fire, and to let him see and feel the mercy of God in the Lord Jesus, he would never, nor durst never claim to his mercy. Robert Rollock, “The Seventeenth Sermon on 1 Timothy 1,” in Select Works, 1:539-540.

2) Thirdly, he goeth forward in that conflict and battle with the wrath of his Father, he feeleth the wrath of God to increase, and he crieth again that they might hear, “Father, if it be possible, remove from me this cup.” Then again the battle increaseth, and the agony groweth; and then the third time he prayeth the same words, Father, take this cup from me, that is, the cup of the heavy wrath of God; at the which time an angel came from heaven, and comforteth him. Yet the battle holdeth on, and he is in a greater agony with his Father than ever he was in before, and he prayeth at greater length, and more ardently and vehemently than ever he did of before, so that in his agony the drop of purple blood fell down from his face to the ground. Such a thing was never seen, nor never befel unto any man since the beginning of the world, as to sweat blood; no man was ever under such a terrible and horrible wrath of God as Christ was for our sin, and for the sins of the whole world.

Now, in all this meantime, he is not forgetful of his disciples, whom he brought with him to be witnesses of his suffering; he is aye going to them and from them, to hold them waking; and do what he could do, they are aye sleeping; the devil is busy with them, that in the suffering of Christ, (they being then sleeping,) they should bear no witness of the suffering of Christ: the devil was as busy to cast them in a sleep as the Lord was busy to hold them waking, to bear witness of that agony and conflict. I will not insist in this matter, read thereof in Matth. xxvi. and in Luke xxii. and in Mark xiv. and ye shall get this history at large. Only we have thus far of the suffering of Jesus Christ in the garden: First, how heavy and weighty a thing sin is; all this was not for his sin, but for our sins, for the sins of the world. Next, ye see how heavy a thing the wrath of God is, that followeth on sin; for as Jesus Christ took on his back the burden of our sins, so did he also the weight of the wrath of God, and the punishment that followeth upon sin; if ye know not this, ye know nothing of Christ. Thirdly, ye see the greatness of the love of Christ to man, that first took on his back so heavy a burden of sin, and, secondly, so heavy a burden of wrath, and all for mankind. If Christ had not suffered, never a man had been safe; but these burdens had pressed them down to hell, never a soul had been saved from Adam to the end of the world. Look, then, what love he hath showed to us. And, last, this agony and suffering in the garden letteth us see that the Son of God, as he is very God, so he is very man also, and that he hath the body of a man and the soul of a man, for this suffering in the garden was especially in the soul. In this battle the soul of Jesus Christ was especially set on by the wrath of the Father. There was none touching the body of the Lord at this time; but the wrath of the Father was fighting with the soul. But to leave this, and to mark the purpose of John, his purpose is only to let you see, that when Jesus Christ died, he died with a great willingness and readiness; that willingly he goeth to death, and is not drawn out against his will, but knowing that Judas would come with a company of men of war to that place where he was wont to walk and pray, of set purpose that he should be taken, he resorted thither. So this is the purpose of John, to let us see that Jesus Christ offered up a voluntary sacrifice for the sins of the world, for, except he had offered up a voluntary sacrifice, his suffering had not been obedience to the Father, he had not been as is said, Phil. ii. 8, obedient to the Father. So the Lord died, and he died to be obedient to the Father; that is, he died willingly at the good will and pleasure of the Father. And if he had not been obedient, his sacrifice had never been a satisfaction for the sins of the world: and then what good had the sacrifice of Christ done to me, or thee, or to any man? Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:17-18.

3) Away with that scorning; if thou would be like Jesus Christ, die in peace, and willingly; look not to the instrument, nor the hangman who putteth hands on thee; but lift thine heart to the God of heaven, and say, O Lord, seeing that it is thy will that I die, mine eye is on thee, and as Jesus Christ offered himself willingly to be a sacrifice for the sins of the world, even so am I willing to obey thy will. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:21.

4) Now, his dispensation was for thy weal, the dispensation of his shame was for thine honour; and, if he had not died in this ignominy, thou hadst died ignominious everlastingly; and he had not been a perfect Redeemer if he had not suffered this; and as the Lord dispensed all this, how ever it be that they did unjustly, yet it is all turned to our weal. See the wonderful just dealing of God, when they are doing unjustly; he burdens his Son with no burden either in body or soul, but that which our sin (that Jesus Christ did bear upon his back) procured and deserved. lie was most innocent in himself, and altogether without sin, but our sins were laid upon his back; “for he who knew no sin was made sin for us,” as the apostle says, 2 Cor. v. 21. Look to these sins that Christ had upon him; they were a thousand times greater than the sins of Barabbas; for he bare upon him the sins of all the world, many murders, many adulteries; the Lord Jesus bare them all. So there is nothing that falls to Jesus Christ but that which we procured unto him. Whatever Christ sustained, the reproaches shame, and blasphemies, the pain, and extremity of pain in soul and body, it is thy sin that procured all this. Brethren, mark this well; when men either hear or read this history, they turn them to the Jews, and will defy the priests, and the Pharisees, and Pilate; and in the meantime they look not to themselves, but look not to others, but to thine own self, for it is thy sin also that pierced him through; and, if thou wouldst weep, weep for thine own sin. I mean not this, that any man should think to take his sins away from Christ, and lay them upon his own back; for there is no body that is able to bear so much as an evil thought.. Then let thy sins lie upon Christ, for he is able to bear them all. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:91-92.

5) Christ hath his part. Pilate is a worker of evil, and the men of war also. Now let us consider the part of Jesus the innocent. Me is the sufferer; he suffer grief and shame, and many unworthy things, and that by the most just dispensation of God; and being our surety, he bare our sins and iniquities, therefore the wrath of God seized upon him most vehemently. There is not a deed done here, or s word spoken, but the Lord decreed it from all eternity, and dispenseth it in time; and on his part all was just; because Jesus had d taken on him the sins of the world, therefore this pain and shame follows that burden. See the weight of the wrath of God that lies on him who had no sin in himself; and further, the wrath of God lieth not on a common man, but on his only begotten Son, our cautioner. The Apostle to the Hebrews, chap. v. 8, says, “Although he was the only begotten Son of God, yet he learned obedience through hie suffering,” that is, he 1earned what and how good a thing obedience was, and what wrath and damnation follows &obedience. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:97-98.

6) They cried both; but Pilate cries, a Judge ye him; “they cry, “Crucify him; “Pilate cries,” I find no fault in him worthy of death.” Whatever be Pilate’s part, who was a judge; whatever was the part of the Jews, the accusers, the Lord hath his part also in it, and he appoints it by his eternal decree. The hour was come, and he will have his only begotten Son to die for the sins of the world, and he will be glorified in his death at this hour, and he will not have his to die as one worthy of death in himself, but like an innocent in the sight of the world. Now, look to this wisdom, that his innocency should appear: he will have the judge protesting his innocency oftentimes before he should die. On the other part, he will have the conscience of the high priests scraped out, and he will have them getting his blood: if the high priests’ conscience had been wakened, Jesus had not died at this time for the sins of the world: and, therefore, to the end that he should die, he hardened the hearts of the accusers. When any innocent man suffers, and chiefly for Christ, the Lord has disposed the world so, that he hath made some to testify of the innocency of the martyrs; and some hath he hardened to seek the blood of the martyrs, that he might be glorified. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:105-106.

7) Jesus Christ took upon him the sins of the world, and, therefore, he behoved to suffer shame before the world. The Lord Jesus Christ was ignominious in respect of the painful and ignominious death; for he was mounted up upon the cross, in presence of them all; and, in respect of the multitude, all the world was gazing upon him; and, in this respect, when he goes out to suffer, he is counted a thief among the thieves; and the Lord was also ignominious in respect of the place. Brethren, in this matter, I look not so much to the Jews, or to the soldiers, as I look to his Father in heaven, who was the disposer of this whole work. There was nothing done but that which God the Father had decreed to be done; and what he does concerning his Son, he does it most justly; for Jesus became surety for the sins of the world, and he bare the burden not only of murder and theft, but of all the sins of the elect. And, as he goes out with the two thieves; he bare the burden of one of them, and relieved him of his sins; and the one of them that same night supped with him in paradise. Therefore, say I, whatsoever was the part of the Jews or of the soldiers, yet the doing of the Father to the Son was most just And when we read of this, let us bless the Father of Jesus Christ, for we have good cause so to do; for in this justice he shows great mercy towards us; and, if he had not done this, woeful and miserable had the estate of man been. Now, I come to the place, which in Hebrew is called Golgotha, that is, a place of dead men’s skulls, or brain-pans. This place was without the ports of the town of Hierusalem. And no question, Jesus, like an unworthy reprobate, was carried out of the ports of Hierusalem to suffer, and this was figured under the law. The beasts that were to be offered were carried out of the camps of the people, and there were burnt, and afterwards their blood was carried into the sanctuary, to be a typical propitiation for the sins of people, and the people were sprinkled therewith. Even so, Jesus Christ, that eternal sacrifice, was carried out like an outcase of the ports of the town, to suffer that ignominius death, that when he had suffered he might enter in with his precious blood into that heavenly sanctuary, for the sins of the world, by that eternal propitiation, Heb. Chap. xiii. verses 11 and 12. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:161-162.

8) Now, to pass by the malice of the Jews, and their earnestness to have the Lord put to death, we shall mark, that all this judgment we may see the swiftness of the wrath of the Father which pursued the Son, because he bare the sins of the world. It lets us see plainly, that the judgment that shall be in the latter day, to the which this is proportionate, (it is a type of the latter judgment,) that judgment also, I say, shall pass over swiftly, and the reprobate in that judgment, when the Lord is once entered into judgment, shall not get leave nor leisure to draw their breath till they be cast into hell. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:171.

9) Concern sacrifices, I mark this only in this place, that those which specially were called propitiatory, were so many types and figures of the only one sacrifice of Christ, upon whom were to be transferred the sins of the world, and the curse of God. Of the which, it appears, how great the excellency of this sacrifice is, unto which, so many sacrifices offered, since the beginning of the world, did serve, as so many shadows thereof. Robert Rollock, An Exposition Upon Some Select Plams of David, ((Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Walde Grave, 1600), 400 [page reads 100; incorrect pagination.

10) And last of all in sacrificing, he protested he was sinful, and that he had deserved that death, which the innocent beast sustained for his cause: and therefore guilty of judgement and damnation, and so subscribed to his own death. Brethren, this was marvelous, the rights and ceremonies were figures of Christ, and served to lead them to Jesus Christ, to see what blood of Jesus is in a figure, which washes away the sins of the world. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 184.

11) The very death that Jesus died was the nails that were stroken through that obligation, and the sins of all believers, to the utter overthrow of all things that before had offended his father in the elect, or that should offend him thereafter. For in that he died, it was not for sin done before alone, but for sin also that after should be done by any of his elect: for he is the mediator that takes away the sins of the world for ever and ever: as he was the lamb of God that was slain from the beginning. O then let never that powerful death of Jesus go out of thy mind, as thou would be saved, and have comfort in the day of thy death! The Lord Jesus in his death was most blessed agent that ever was, and the very death of Jesus slew all the sins in the world. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 190.

Christ died for the nation of Israel and its sins:

1) It is a wonderful thing to see any in torment to be patient towards the tormentor, but it is greater in the torment, both to be patient, and to pray to God for him who torments him: and this is the greatest of all, to suffer for the tormentor. This love properly pertains to Jesus Christ only. The martyrs have prayed for them who persecuted them, as Stephen did, Acts, chapter vii. verse 60, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge;” but neither Stephen, nor any other martyr in the earth, suffered extreme torment for the tormentor. Never a man had such a love to suffer for his tormentor. No, this love is proper only to Jesus Christ; and in the Scripture it is ascribed unto Jesus Christ, that he died for his enemies, his tormentors. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:175-176.

2) Pilate is a preacher hereof, albeit he have little mind of it; but he was like Caiaphas, who prophesied that it was expedient that one should die for the sins of the whole people, chap. xi. 50. And this by done by the special providence of God no doubt. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:181.

3) They pierced him first with their sins; it was the Jews’ aim chiefly that procured the death of Christ. Next, they pierced him when they persecuted him, when they crucified him, and blasphemed him, and railed on him hanging on the cross. And at last they pierced him when, by the spear in the hands of a soldier, they thrust him through, and pierced his side. And who is this that pierced him? It was not so much the ethnic [pagan] man that did this as the Jews, for whose sins he came to die; for they were the occasion of all this wickedness. If we will mark narrowly, and will weigh narrowly this matter aright, we will see great wickedness, malice, and unthankfulness to have been in this people. The Lord came to die for them; and who are these that slay him? Even those for whom he came to die. Was not this a mischievous deed? Who will not abhor and detest such a villany and malice? Alas! should I, who am a sinner, when an innocent man comes to die for my sins, slay that man, and be a burrio to him? Lord, save me from such wickedness and let never mine hands be a slayer of that man! and yet this was the malice of the ungrateful Jews. Again, will ye consider the wonderful love that Christ carried to this people, when they deserved nothing at his hands but death; he dies for them, when they were his enemies, he shed his blood for them, and thereafter when they executed him and crucified him, (behold his wonderful love,) he brings them to repentance, his mercy overcomes their malice, so that in them ye see that which is said to be verified, “Where sin abounds, grace and mercy superabound,” Rom. v. 20. There is no comparison between the love of Jesus and the sins of men; albeit thy sins were never so great and heinous, yet the love and mercy of Christ will compass them, and go round about them all; so that no sinner hath occasion to despair of mercy and of grace. I doubt not there is none of us all but we will condemn the Jews, and will find fault with the malice of this people; but look to thyself, whilst as thou codemnest them, that thou disfigure thine own face, and condemn thine own self. Are there none in this land that have put hands on Jesus that died for them, as surely aa ever the Jews did? Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:295-296.

Rejecting Christ’s ransom:

1) As the glory of the image of the invisible God, and the rest ye have heard me speak of, is infinitely excellent: so this, that he is a man full of God, this is the glorious personage of thy redeemer. It tells thee, that that blood that came out of that body, was more precious then all the things in the world. That blood which was poured out of his foot, out of his hand and side, all tells thee that it was excellently precious, and beside that, of great necessity. And further, it tells thee, that sin against God is great, and greater then thou can consider. Fie on thee vile creature; if thou wist what it were to sin against God, though would shake and tremble: nay never a joint of thee would bide fast, for fear of that fierce wrath to come on thee. And again, if thou would cleave fast to it, and make much of it; but thou considers not this; and therefore thou knows not the preciousness of this blood: for if thou knows not thy sin, thou not know the preciousness of that blood of Christ that takes away sin. And again, it tells us of that passing justice, and of that infiniteness of the wrath of God (O that infiniteness of the wrath of God!) O wretch, thou wottest not what is: but if it lighted on thee, it would rush thee to hell. So the precious blood that was shed for sin; without the effusion of the which thou could not be redeemed: it tells thee, I say, that the wrath of God for sin is infinite, and if it were but an evil thought. It strikes upward, and strikes the Lord in the nose, and kindles his wrath against thee, that notwithstanding thou art once redeemed, and by this blood of Christ freed from sin and death, by such a ransom; yet if thou take delight in sin, the murderer in his murder, the oppressor in his oppression, being once redeemed, thy sin if it were but an evil thought, it is a thousand times the greater by reason of thy redemption. For why? it brings with it the contempt of the blood of Christ. And thou sinner, who takes pleasure in weltring the soul puddle of sin, what does thou? thou goes on with thy foot, and treads the precious blood of the Lord Jesus under thy foul feet. And therefore thou shalt be challenged in that day, not only because thou was a murderer, an oppressor, and a harlot; no, no, there shall be thy challenge, villain thou tread under thy foot the blood of the covenant; and therefore if thou mind not to leave off thy sin, in pain of thy life, thou come not to hear a word of Christ. For why? the more thou hear, the greater shall be thy damnation. And there is not one word spoken this day, but if it be not effectual to change thy evil life, so that thou begin to leave off thy sin, but it shall increase thy damnation in that day. Therefore take my counsel, either amend your lives; or else come not to hear one word of this Gospel. For “this word”, as the Apostle says, “shall be either a savour of life unto thee,” or else a “savour of death unto death,” and it shall slay thee with a great dead stroke, then if a thousand rapiers were thrust through thee. I beseech the Lord Jesus to touch thee with his word, that it may be effectual in the hearts of the hearers; so that they may amend their lives to their own weal, and his glory. To whom with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be praised. Amen. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 64-65.

Pardon purchased for all men:

1) Of which, it comes to pass divers times, that while they will revenge the wrong done against themselves, God revenges himself upon them, & makes them to incur the second skaith, to speak so: and this much concerning sin, insofar: as it belongs to this place For David lessened not so his sin, as if in a part only it touched God, but he egregious the same, as if it were committed against God alone, as if he should say, I have nothing to do (to speak truly) with Uriah, or with any mortal man, But with thee, O God, I have to do, although all without difficult, should forgive me the offence committed against them: Notwithstanding, by that thing I could not be satisfied, my God; because, against thee, against thee alone have I sinned, and except thou, according to thy goodness, forgive me my sin, I account nothing, of all the remission, of all men in the world, or the pardon of sin purchased of all men. Robert Rollock, An Exposition Upon Some Select Plams of David, ((Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Walde Grave, 1600), 302-303.

Rejection of purchased grace:

1) And this is that which the prophet says here, “If thou, O Lord, straightly mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” For, as guiltiness of sin stays us to behold God, so sin itself stays God from beholding us (miserable wretches) with the eyes of His compassion. So long, therefore, as thy conscience is not purged, when thou goes to present thyself before His majesty, if thy conscience be awakened, thou wilt find God marking thy sins, laying them to thy charge, and wilt find Him a terrible Judge, compassed about with burning wrath, ready to destroy thee: and thou appear not clothed, with the righteousness and perfect satisfaction that Jesus through his blood has purchased for thee, thou darest not presume to approach, for then His fierce wrath shall be poured out upon thee. Robert Rollock, Certain Sermons Upon Several Texts of Scripture, (Edinburgh: Andro Harry, 1631?), 236.

Love to man:

1) THE grace of God is the undeserved favour of God, or it is that Grace d whereby God favoureth his creature without any desert of his. The Apostle doth intimate this much, Ephes. i.9, in that he putteth no difference between these words, grace and a good pleasure; for whereas he saith in that verse, that God hath elected its according to his free grace, it seems to be spoken in the same sense and meaning with that with which he said before in that same chapter, ver. 7, In him we have redemption according to the riches of his grace. For the grace and love of God are taken indifferently one for another; 2 Rom. ix.13 , I have loved Jacob. This is that love, or that free grace, wherewith from all eternity he loved Jacob. Eph. iii.17, That, saith he, you being rooted and grounded in love, &c. And this is that grace whereby he loved us from all eternity. Tit. iii. ver. 4, the grace of God, as it respected mankind, is called love towards man. Robert Rollock, “Treatise of God’s Effectual Calling,” in Select Works, 1:265-266.

God loves mankind:

1) I answer: The love of God the Father appeared & manifested itself in some measure to the godly, even before Christ came into the world: God forbid but this love had been apparent unto Abraham, and the rest of the godly, before the incarnation of our Saviour. But at the coming of Christ it manifested itself more brightly, than ever it did before: for all his love of before was in Christ to come: but now since He came into the world, the love of God towards mankind has appeared in greater abundance. Robert Rollock, Certain Sermons Upon Several Texts of Scripture, (Edinburgh: Andro Hart, 1631), 212.

God’s care of mankind:

1) Then the thing I note for ourselves is this. Will you mark what care God has had of man? God, he would not perfect blessedness of the Angels without man: he would not give them that blessing till Jesus Christ the man the Mediator came, and joined with man. So you may see the care of God towards mankind, to have been very great and very loving. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 72.

General love:

1) Begoud that love towards man onely to appeir quhen Christ came in the warld? I answere; the love of God the Father appeirit and kythit the selfe in some measure to the godly, even befoir Christ came in the warld, God forbid bot this love had kythit the selfe upon Abraham and the rest of the godly befoir the incarnatioun of our Saviour. Bot at the comming of Christ it kythit the selfe mair brichtly nor ever it did befoir; for all his love of befoir was in Christ to come; bot now since he came in the warlde, the love of God towards mankinde hes the kythit selfe in aboundunce. Robert Rollock, “The Eleventh Sermon on Titus 3,” in Selected Works, 1:441-442.

Grace to the world:

1) Now follows the point or circumstance to be considered in reconciliation. By whom is made? There must be a mediator, or else it cannot be made. Indeed the first friendship was made without a mediator, because man and woman they were created at the beginning holy, without spot of sin: but at the making of the next friendship, because of the offence there must needs be a mediator to pass betwixt thee, and that fire that was ready to devour thee: for thou thyself dares not appear and sue for it immediately: for thou art not able to stand in the presence of that terrible God, before whose face there goes a fearful fire that would consume thee at an instance. So there must be a mediator. It is true that the Father made this reconciliation of his free mercy, and of a passing grace he bare to mankind. Would to God we had a sense of it; but I tell thee, this grace and mercy was dear bought (it is not an easy thing to a sinner that has violated so holy a majesty to get access again.) This mercy, from whence this reconciliation comes, it springs out of the Lord, as a fair green tree in a garden: it springs out of the very blood of the Mediator of the Lord Jesus. For why, the mercy could never have been such a thing as mercy to the world, if that blood had never been shed: and so say I, this mercy and grace springs up sweetly and graciously, out of the blood of Christ. So, would thou have mercy? Lay hold on the blood of Christ; and as thou would have part in heaven, rest never while thou find that blood sprinkled on thy conscience, & thy heart washed with it. Now whence comes this mediator? How is he given to thee? “The father” (says the Scripture) “loved the world,” John 3.16. So the Mediator, upon whom this new brand of mercy and grace arises, is given of the father to the world, and that in love. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 74-75.

John 3:16:

1) Now, we go unto the second part of this text, to the part of the godly women, good Mary Magdalene, who never left the Lord, but followed him from Galilee, then the other Mary, the mother of Joses. As they followed him to the cross, so they followed him to the burial, and they stand aside and see him buried. O that love! that wonderful tender love! that could not suffer them to be reaved from the Lord; for woe is the heart that is separate from Jesus; and that love that drew them to the cross, that same draws them to the grave with him; for nothing could separate these women from Jesus. No; the cross, the grave, death itself, cannot separate these women’s hearts from the Lord. So, out of all question, this following of Jesus to the grave was a token of an entire love that they bare to him; yea, it was rather a token of that love that came from Jesus to them; that following of him uttered such a love and smell to flow from that dead body that hung on the cross, and was buried, that never man nor woman felt the like. He so loved the world that he did for it, he gave himself for it; for, brethren, except that force that came from the body had drawn their hearts it had been impossible that they could have followed him. Robert Rollock,”Of the Burial of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:322.

2) Now the third is, what moved the father to enter into new friendship with man? saw he ought in me, in thee, or in any man, to move him to be reconciled with me, or thee, or any man? It is said: “It has pleased him:” then it was his own pleasure [Greek word uncertain], beneplacitim eius: this was it that moved him to be reconciled with us. This pleasure, it was not a thing in time, but it was decreed in that past in heaven from all eternity. A decree, that proceeded of mere love and grace, and not of a foresight of any good that either he saw then presently in man, or that he foresaw should be in man hereafter; but it was of a free grace, without any merit of man. And therefore in his own time for the fulfilling of this decree of reconciliaton, he sent his only begotten son into the world. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 70-71.

3) Of the mercy of God, there are many evidences indeed; for look how many benefits are, so many documents are there: But sundry of them are of a common and vulgar mercy only, such as is, to wit, of the creator toward his creature: But Christ alone is a sure evidence to us, of singular mercy and love; such as is the favour of the father toward the Son. For God will not have that mercy and love of his, whereby he has loved the World, to be made manifest by any other thing, then by his Son given to the world. Robert Rollock, An Exposition Upon Some Select Psalms of David, ((Edinburgh: Printed by Robert Walde Grave, 1600), 349-350.

The Gospel, the way redemption for the world:

1) Therefore the Apostle to the Ephesians explains this mystery more clearly, where he says, that “You may see what is the hope if his clearing:” yet he goes further, “and what is the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints:” and then he goes further; “And what is the exceeding greatness of his power towards us.” And if thou had said, thou shalt taste of such an excellent grace, that thou shalt wonder what that that same sorry and silly heart could gripe and attain to such unsearchable riches. The effect of his will is this: the way of redemption to the lost world is revealed: the way of remissions of sins, how to be made holy, and the rest of the graces revealed in Jesus Christ. This is the will of God. Robert Rollock, Lectures Upon the Epistle of Paul to the Colossians, (London: Imprinted by Felix Kyngston, dwelling in Pater-noster row, over against the sign of the checker, 1603), 18-19.

The Gospel’s tidings:

1) Then the next point of preparation is, when thou art cast down, ere he begin to speak to thee the glad tidings of salvation, he will raise thee up; he will say to thee who art cast down, through the sense of thy sin, “Be not terrified, but be of good comfort!” And if the Lord’s Spirit accompany this word, it will encourage thee, and it will raise up thy dead soul. Then when the sinner is raised up to hear gladly, then he comes on to the glad tidings of salvation. Jesus is come into the world for thy sins and this Jesus is crucified, dead, and buried for thy sins; and this same Jesus is risen, and ascended up to the heaven to be an everlasting advocate for thee. What more? This same Jesus shall come to judge the world, and to take thee with him one day, ,and to make thee partaker of his glory. This is the whole sum of the gospel. The Lord give us p e to be partakers of that joy which the glorious gospel offers in this Jesus Christ! To whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be all praise and honour for evermore. Amen. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:351.

2) Thou delightest to hear tidings, but all the tidings of the world is nothing to these, to wit, “That Jesus is come into the world, and hath died for thee!” And, last of all, depart with obedience, for thou gettest this commandment, “When thou goest home, communicate these tidings to others, that thy joy may be increased.” The light of the gospel requires holiness and a godly conversation, that thou live soberly in thine own person, justly with thy neighbour, and godly with thy God. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:371

3) And I say, the wrath and the vengeance of God are manifest upon the sleeping sinner, and death comes on him, that never shall have an end. But Paul, in the third chapter to the Romans, and in the twenty and two verse, he comes on with other tidings, and says, “That the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, is made manifest to them that believe.” And I will say to thee, that Jesus is come into the world, and died for thee; if thou believest, thou shalt be freed from that burden of sin and wrath. And when a man hears this, he will think it the sweeteet tidings that ever he heard; for the sinner will find life in that death, and that blood will sprinkle his conscience, as the apostle says to the Hebrews and thou wilt find a wonderful joy when thy sins are remitted in Christ. Of all joys under heaven, this is the greatest. The preaching of Christ avails to none, but to him who finds his soul loaded with sin. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:379-380.

4) Well, brethren, we have done with it, and we have made shipwreck of salvation, if we believe not this gospel, and this history of the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ. Believest thou not that Jesus Christ hath died, and hath risen again for thee, thou shalt never see Jesus to thy comfort. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:510.

Redemption preached:

1) Now, in the last words, he cometh near hand, and makes a particular promise of his mercy to his Church, “He will redeem Israel,” his Church, “from all her iniquity.” As he would say, I have told you, he is merciful and full of redemption, but I come nearer hand; thou shalt find in experience, that he is merciful, and full of redemption. So it is not enough to the preachers of the word, to preach God’s mercy and redemption generally to the world. No, they must come nearer hand, and, in promising, they must make to the hearts of the people a particular application, and say, not only, God is merciful, but, he would be merciful unto you, and he is full of redemption, and he shall redeem you. And so say I, I have not been speaking of mercy and redemption that appertaineth not to us, but the Lord shall be merciful, and redeem you, if ye believe in Jesus Christ; for there is no grace but in him. If this particular application be not made, the conscience of sin is so great, that the sinner dare not put forth his hand to receive mercy. Now, to whom pertaineth mercy and redemption? He saith, he shall redeem Israel, that is, the Church militant. The Church is militant in this world, but redemption pertaineth to it in the end. But wherefrom shall the Lord redeem the Church? not from persecution and tribulation in this world, but from all her sins. So this presupponeth first, that the Church is full of sin so long as it is in this world. Robert Rollock, “The Thirteenth Sermon on Psalm 80,” in Selected Works, 1:480.

2) The saints find in experience, that it is not an easy thing to find a familiar access to God in prayer. Except our consciences first be purged, we can have no access to God; therefore, whosoever would draw near to God, let him seek to follow the counsel of the Apostle in the 10th chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the 22d verse, where he saith, “Let us draw near with a true heart in an assurance of faith, sprinkled in our hearts from an evil conscience.” No flesh can have a favourable access to God, except his conscience be first purged from guiltiness; yea, that which we speak of the guiltiness of sin, we speak also of sin itself, that except it be quite taken away out of his sight, that he will not look favourably upon us. And this is that which the prophet saith here, “If thou, O Lord, straitly markest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand?” For, as guiltiness of sin stayeth us to behold God, so sin itself stayeth God from beholding us, miserable wretches, with the eyes of his compassion. So long, therefore, as thy conscience is not purged, when thou goest to present thyself before his majesty, if thy conscience be wakened, thou wilt find God marking thy sins, laying them to thy charge, and wilt find him as a terrible judge, compassed about with burning wrath, ready to destroy thee: and if he mark thee, thou hast no standing, and if thou appear not clothed with the righteousness and perfect satisfaction that Jesus, through his blood, hath purchased for thee, thou darest not presume to approach, for then his fierce wrath shall be poured out upon thee. Robert Rollock, “The Twelfth Sermon on Psalm 80,” in Selected Works, 1:464.

3) But seeing the Lord hath expressly commanded thee to knock, then knock on boldly. And if thou go away with the first answer, or the first nay-saying, thou wast never truly hungry nor thirsty, and it is a token that thou count- est little of the grace of God. If thou knewest how precious a thing the grace of God and Jesus Christ were, and what heaven were, and what hell were, thou wouldest never cease knocking, day nor night, all the days of thy life. For if thou go away proudly, and tarriest not upon God’s answer, but speak presumptuously, and say, “If he will not give me grace, let him hold it to himself,” as blasphemous men will say; then he will shoot thee into hell. For if thou wert a king of all the world, thou shalt never get thine head in at heaven gates, except thou knock. Lord, if the world knew how hard a thing it is to get entry there! Men think that they will come easily and sleeping to heaven, albeit they take their pleasure and pastime. But they deceive them selves, there must be much striving and fighting ere they get heaven. Before that heaven could be opened, it behoved Jesus Christ to shed his precious blood. Robert Rollock, “The Fourteenth Sermon on Matthew 15,” in Select Works, 1:490-491.

4) It is the sense of the love that allureth sinners to come to God. As David saith, (Psalm cxxx. 3,) “If thou straitly markest iniquity, no flesh can stand; but mercy is with thee, that thou mayest be feared.” The tears that the displeasure for sin expresseth out of her, she will not lose them, but she taketh “them and washeth his feet with them,” and then “taketh the hair of her head, and drieth them therewith.”Hadst thou once a sense of that sweet mercy in Jesus Christ, were that love once spread abroad in thine heart by his Holy Spirit, as the Apostle speaketh, O how thou up a sense of sin. The reliques of natare seems to indicate man’s natural feelings or conscience not wholly depraved. Rom. v. 5. wouldst love him, and be careful to serve and pleasure him! This want of love towards the Lord Jesus argues plainly that thou hast not felt that love of his towards thee; for if once thou hadst felt how well he loveth thee, who shed his precious blood for thee, then it is a fair matter to thee to shed tears for him that shed his blood for thee; and if thou once felt that love, now all the tears, and all the moisture in thy body yea, thy very soul thou wouldest be glad to pour it out for him, and consecrate thy life unto his service; but living against him, in doing all kind of villany in despite of him, thou testifiest plainly that thou hast never found the virtue of his blood.

Look what Paul says, (2 Cor. v. 14,) ” The love of God constraineth me;” that is, bindeth up my soul and all the powers and faculties thereof, and occupieth my whole senses, that I am ravished from all things in the world, to get my heart and affections fixed upon him. Why? saith he. Because he loved me so well, that he hath died for me, and, therefore, I will consecrate my life to him who hath purchased everlasting life for me. And therefore, whosoever hath not a purpose to pour out his life for Jesus Christ, and hath not a free heart towards him in some measure, he cannot have any sure argument that Christ hath died for him; and if you have not that assurance, wo is thee, that ever thou tookest life : it had been better thou hadst been made a stock or a stone, if thou findest not that Christ died for thee.1 Robert Rollock, “The Fifteenth Sermon on Luke 7,” in Selected Works, 1:497-498.

5) The martyrs suffered not for sin, non eo nomine.2 Never a martyr suffered for sin, but for the testimony of the same Lord Jesus Christ who suffered for their sin; and, therefore, in their suffering, they had an exceeding great joy, assuring them, that they had a remission of their sins in the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ. But Jesus Christ suffered for sin eo nomine3 it is one thing to it sinner to suffer, and it is another thing to suffer for sin. No, if the Lord make thee to suffer for the least sin, if it were but for an evil thought, thou shalt feel how terrible a Judge he is. The Lord suffers, and is shamed for sin; the Lord Jesus suffered extreme shame and pain; therefore the consequent follows, he bare an extreme burden of sin. When I look to this utter shame, as I call to mind all the sine that Jesus suffered for, so chiefly I look to that high pride of Adam, and of us all in Adam, whereby we aspire to be like to that high and glorious Majesty; that pride, whereby we would have spoiled that great God of that honour and glory which was due to him; therefore, in this utter shame, the Father of heaven meets, renders, and requites, that

high pride of Adam; and for that, he heap shame on the head of his Son. As thou aspirest to dishonour him by pride, so he meets thy pride in his dear Son. If thou be not found in Jesus in that great day, the prouder thou be in the world, the greater shall be thy shame, besides that unspeakable torment of soul and body. Now, will ye see in this extreme pain and shame that the Lord suffers, how the wonder of our salvation is wrought? It is so far from that, that it is wrought with a glorious pomp; (the Jews would have had this work wrought gloriously, and would have had the Saviour a glorious king, and therefore they stumbled at this, at the ignominious cross of Jesus;)–ye see, by the plain contrary, that there cannot be a greater pain nor shame. We are not bought by glory nor pomp; we are redeemed from death and shame by death and shame; such a redemption cannot stand with his justice; his justice requires blood, Heb. ix. 22, No remission of sins without blood.” Then, every one of us who would attain to salvation, we must not look to haven first to get it in Jesus glorified, but we must look to Hieruealem and to Golgotha first, ta see him there hanging and crucified. Spare not to kiss him on the cross, and to bathe thyself in his blood; and if thou takeat offence at his cross, thou shalt never we him in glory, but to thy shame. No, by the contrary, take on persecution with him, that in that great day thou may be glorified with him. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:174-175.

6) In all this railing out against him, ye see the extreme humiliation of Jesus Christ for our sins. He is made of no reputation; no, he is trod on as a worm; and no question that extreme torment of body was not so grievous to him as was this railing on him. They speak to him as a very reprobate, and so far as lay in them, they endeavoured to make him to despair of all help. So ye may see this railing was a thing most grievous to him. And David being his type, he complains on this shame that they heaped on him, in the xxii. Psalm. All this lets us see how dearly the Lord hath bought our life and salvation; and we are more than miserable if we see not this. And also, it lets us see what should have become of us if he had not satisfied for us, and what should become of thee, if thou be not in Christ in that great day. And it tells thee, seeing all this is for thy sin, that thou shouldst have a sad heart to have such a Redeemer made such a spectacle, and thou shouldst groan under the burden of sin; and when thou readest of the cross, thine heart should be sorrowful that ever thou shouldst have moved the God of glory to such vengeance of his dear Son for thee. Think not that every man shall be relieved of his sin by him; no, only those who learn to groan under the burden of their own sins, by the which they have pierced him, and turn to the Lord unfeignedly, and get favour. So, if thou learnest not at one time or other to groan under the burden of thy sin, thou shalt never be relieved by him. Robert Rollock, “XVI. The Crucifixion, continued” in Select Works, 2:188-189.

7) This is a thing not to be passed by, nor to be lightly looked on, and it lets us see the death of out Saviour, the separation of his soul from his body is so substantial and so needful a thing, both to him to have suffered, and us to know, that except the Lord had suffered the death, all the crucifying of him inwardly and outwardly, all thereat of his suffering had availed us nothing, the ransom of our sins had not been paid; for that was the curse that was laid upon us to pull our soul from our body. And as it was needful that he should suffer the death for us, so it is needful to every one of us to know this, that my Saviour died, and his soul was really separated from his body; it is needful that thou have evermore the Lord Jesus crucified before thee, and know that the soul was separated from his blessed body; for grace and remission of sins is conquered through the death of the Mediator. If thou hast not faith of the denth of the Mediator, it is impossible that thou canst believe that thy soul shall come to heaven. Robert Rollock, “The Passion of Christ,” Selected Works, 2:253.

Gracious call:

1) Next, faith, whereby we receive the promise of the Faith covenant, which is offered unto us in Christ, is of the mere grace of God. Philip, i. 29, For unto you it is given for Christ, not only to believe, but also to suffer for him. Hence it followeth that faith is the free gift of God. That former grace may be called the grace of our vocation; this grace is common to all that are called, elect and reprobate. But the latter grace in our effectual calling may be called the grace of faith, appertaining only to the elect; for it is given only to those that are predestinated to life everlasting to believe. Under the grace of faith I likewise comprehend the grace of hope and of repentance as being subaltern graces, and comprehended under this argument of our effectual calling. Robert Rollock, “Treatise on God’s Effectual Calling,” in Select Works, 1:269.

2) Now, when I begin to consider what should have moved the Lord to have chosen such persons, and so unmeet for such a high calling, I think this chiefly hath been it: that, when the apostles went out to preach repentance and remission of sins to others, and to exhort all persons how grievously soever they had sinned, to come and to seek mercy in Christ, they might propone themselves as examples of the superabundant mercy of God, and that they in their ministry might declare, and make manifest the gentleness and long-suffering of God towards all men, even the greatest sinners in the world, and that, by the proof and experience that they found in their own person, of the mercy of God in calling them, and placing them in that high calling, who before were so miserable wretches; and so, upon their own experience, they might the more easily persuade even the most miserable sinners to seek for mercy and grace in Christ. When Paul preaches, “Where sin abounds, there grace and mercy superabound;” if he had not found this by experience, and had not stood for example hereof, he would not so easily have persuaded sinners of the exceeding greatness of the mercy of God. Robert Rollock, “The Resurrection of Christ,” in Select Works, 2:532.

Ministerial desire for the salvation of all:

1) And as this is his will, and as the mercy of God serveth to his glory, so the soul of a man that hath once tasted of the Lord Jesus is carried away with such a zeal to his glory, that it will cause a man forget himself, and, with Moses and Paul, wish to be a curse and anathema to have God glorified. This man, ye see, when he hath tasted of his mercy, he turneth him to the whole Church, and willeth them to trust in him, that they might find his mercy, that so God may be glorified. So it is he only who hath tasted of the mercy of God, who, when he looketh through the miserable world, can have pity on any man. He that never tasted of that mercy of God, had never true pity upon any man; then the thing which he craveth is this, that many should taste of his mercy, that God may be glorified by many. His heart is moved with pity, and so all his endeavour is, to see if once he can get them won to God; for when he looketh abroad upon miserable sinners, he is full of ruth and compassion. But mark again, the zeal which he hath to the glory of God is the first cause that moved him to seek that all the world should taste of mercy, and glorify God; so first he beareth a love to God’s glory, and then he hath pity toward men. The one is the cause, the other the effect; the one precedeth, the other followeth; the one is the root, and the other the branch. All the love we carry to man should be for the love we have to God; and where these two go together, a zeal to the glory of God, (alas! where is zeal to God’s glory now-a-days? which is a true token that his glory is departing away,) and then a pity of the misery of man, a desire of the salvation of man, then that man will forget himself, that he may seek the salvation of the world, that so in it God may be glorified. And the man that hath this disposition in his heart, is fit to be a minister and preacher of grace to the world; otherwise, if he want this disposition, it is but a cold preaching that he will make. Robert Rollock, “The Thirteenth Sermon on Psalm 80,” in Select Works, 1:476-477.

Ministers are to sanctify the world:

1) The thing which I mark of this argument, is this shortly: To move his Father to sanctify his Disciples, he uses this argument, Father, I send them out into the world. Now ye see the Lesson that rises, Whatsoever comes to the world, to draw this world out of that pollution and filthiness wherein it lies, to sanctify the world, and to make this world holy, of an unclean world, to make it clean, of necessity must be sanctified. Alas! Brethren, an unfaithful, and unholy man, let him be a minister, (as for the Apostles we have none), not separate from the world, but in all thnigs like the world, is unmeet to preach, and to be an instrument, or Minister of God, to sanctify the wicked world, or to win souls to heaven. Robert Rollock, Five and Twentie Lectures Upon the Last Sermon and Conference of our Lord Jesus Christ, (Edinburgh, Printed by Andro Hart, 1619), 240.

Notes:

Those for whom Christ did not come to save:

1) Those for whom Christ did not come to save: But the words would be weighed. He saith, “Christ came into the world to save sinners.” What is this that he calleth sinners? There are two sorts of sinners in the world. The first are they who think they have no sin they are so hardened in their sin, they never got their hearts opened to see their own sin and wretchedness, (for an indured sinner feeleth no sin;) but by the contrary they think themselves just. They are puffed up with a conceit of their own righteousness; they think them selves whole and free from the disease of sin, and these are the greatest part of the world. An example we have in that proud Pharisee, who would stand up and justify himself before God, and say, “I thank thee, O God, that I am not a sinner as other men, extortioners, unjust, adulterers, or even as this publican,” (Luke xviii. 11.) But it is not for the salvation of those men that Christ came into the world. No, mercy belongeth not to them; they will never taste of any mercy of God in Jesus Christ. And therefore Christ saith, (Matt. ix. 12, 13,) “The whole need not a physician,” that is, they who are whole and free of the sickness of sin in their own conceit.” I am not come to call the just,” that is, indured sinners who think themselves just, be cause they are touched with no sense of sin. And well had it been for them if Christ had never come into the world, for they want not only grace in him, but, by the contrary, by the contemning of the grace that is offered, they heap on condemnation on their own heads. There is another sort of sinners, who have a true sense of sin, and groan under the burthen thereof, who are sore grieved in their own consciences for it; and it is of these sinners that the Apostle speaketh here, for Christ sheweth mercy only on these sinners he came into the world to save them only. Therefore, he saith, (Matt. ix. 13,) “I come to call sinners to repentance,” meaning these sinners who have their consciences wakened with the sense of sin these sinners only he inviteth to come unto him to get grace and refreshment. “Come unto me,” saith he, “all ye that are weary and laden, and I will refresh you ” (Matt. xi. 28.) These sinners will get grace to hear the word, and will get their minds illuminated with it, whereas indured sinners, the more they hear the more are they blinded. And, there fore, Christ saith, (John ix. 39,) “I am come unto judgment into this world, that they that see not may see” to wit, the penitent sinners ” and that they that see,” that is, indured sinners, “may be blinded;” and if thou be an indured sinner, thou canst not hear the word with profit thou canst not be enlightened thereby. But albeit thou be a blasphemer, an adulterer, an harlot, and the greatest sinner that is, if thou harden not thine heart at the hearing of the word of God, O how wonderfully will it work in thy soul! It will bring thee to a sense of thy sin, it will make thee to be grieved for thy sin, and to lament and mourn unfeignedly for it; it will make thee to run and seek for grace and mercy in Christ, that thy sin may be done away. Robert Rollock, “The Eighteen Sermon on 1 Timothy 1,” in Select Works, 1:550-552.

Christ came into the world to save sinners:

1) Then, in the next words he opens up the ground, as it were, of that mercy that was shewed upon him, which is the general end of the coming of Christ into this world. And from the general he concludes on this manner, “Christ Jesus is come into the world to save sinners; and I am a sinner, therefore, he will save me amongst the rest.” Before he come to the words of the proposition, because it is a great and notable sentence, he uses a preface; as the Lord Jesus in matters of importance used to say, “Verily, verily, I say unto you;” so here the Apostle saith, “This is a true saying, and by all means worthy to be received.” In this preface he prepares not only Timothy, but all that ever shall hear this sentence, unto the end of the world ; and he prepares them, not only to the attention of the ear, but he prepares them unto faith in the heart ; so that as soon as they should hear this sentence, they should apply it with their hearts. Alas! why should so worthy and excellent sentences as these are, pass away without any attention or preparation on our part? It is true, Brethren, we should never come to the hearing of any part of the word without preparation. Robert Rollock, “The Seventeenth Sermon on 1 Timothy 1,” in Select Works, 1:548.

When he hath set down this general sentence whereon he grounds the mercy of God that was shewed on him, that Christ came into the world to save sinners, he comes to the particular application, and he subjoins, “But I am the first sinner in the world.” The conclusion is understood; “Therefore Christ Jesus came in the world to save me.” Would to God every sinner in the world could learn to apply this general sentence to themselves, in the same manner that Paul does here, and from his heart could say with him, ” Christ Jesus is come in the world to save sinners;” and then subjoin, “But I am the first sinner in the world;” that so he might apply mercy and salvation to himself! For without this application these general sentences can serve for no use. It is true, indeed, brethren, sciences of these general sentences that are contained in the scripture is very good; yea, the knowledge of them is most necessary, for no man can have con science without knowledge.

But it is as true, on the other part, that science and knowledge avail not without conscience, applying particularly to a man’s soul the thing that he knows; as when men know these general sentences set down in the word, if they apply them not to themselves, the knowledge of them can serve to no purpose. As for example, when a man knows this general sentence of the law, “Cursed is every man that continues not in every thing which is written in the book of the law, to do them,” if thou apply it not, it can do thee no good. But if thy conscience be wakened to acknowledge thy transgressing of the law, and con sequently to apply to thyself that curse of the law, and eternal condemnation, what sorrow and grief will it work in thy heart! what earnest desire will it work to be free from that curse and eternal condemnation! Yea, thou wouldest be content to give all the world to be free of that curse, and the heavy burden of the wrath of God. And, Brethren, look never for mercy, nor salvation, except first thine own conscience condemn thee. If thy conscience condemn thee not, the Lord of heaven shall condemn thee. There is never one that is freed from the curse and condemnation of the law, but they who feel their sin, and groan under the bur then of it, and get a sight of their condemnation for sin. Another example we have of this general sentence that the Apostle hath in this place, “Christ Jesus is come into the world to save sinners;” if thou apply it not, and say not as the Apostle does, “I am a sinner,” it can furnish thee no joy nor comfort. Then when we come to hear the doctrine of grace and mercy, let us come with a conscience wakened and weary with the sense of sin; for if the souls of men and women were weary and laden with the burthen of sin, they would feel an unspeakable joy in their hearts at the preaching of the doctrine of salvation. Robert Rollock, “The Seventeenth Sermon on 1 Timothy 1,” in Select Works, 1:552-554 .

[to be continued.]


1[For an explanation of Rollock’s probable meaning here, see below his comment under: “Those for whom Christ did not come to save.”]
2Not on that account; i.e. The sufferings of the martyrs were not occasioned by their misdeeds as sinners.
3On that account; i.e., Christ suffered as a sinner.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Flynn permalink
    November 7, 2007 11:13 pm

    I have extensively updated the Rollock file. Robert Rollock (1555-1559) on the death of Christ

    Look for all the citations from his various lectures. Rollock is quite complex in some ways and more work needs to be done on him. I have yet to find any instances where he defined world as elect or something like that.

    I still have more material to type out, but I thought I would go ahead and post this material as I have been sitting on it for a few weeks now.

    David

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  1. Robert Rollock ¦ Theology Online: Theology, Back to the Basics

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