2 Corinthians 5, Edward Taylor, Exodus 32, Hebrews 10, John 12, Meditation, penal substitutionary atonement, poem, Poetry, Praise, Puritan Poetry, Raptures of Love, Riddle of the Bible
The previous post in this series is found here: https://memoirandremains.wordpress.com/2013/12/01/edward-taylor-raptures-of-love-2/
Yea, beauteous he in all his glory stands,
Tendering himself to God, and man where he
Doth Justice thus bespeake, hold out thy hands:
Come take my pensworth now for mine of me.
I’ll pay the fine that thou seest meet to set
Upon their heads: I’ll die to clear their debts.
The accent falls on the first syllable followed by another accented syllable “beaut-” which creates a rush over the third syllable “-e-” as one moves toward the “he”. By rushing the third syllable one scans the first half of the line ”-‘. One then ends with ten syllables for the line (the second half is perfectly regular -‘-‘-‘) but one too many accents. The introductory “Yea” (note the common use of the “yea” in the Psalms. See, e.g., Psalm 19:10: “More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”) draws attention to the line: Yes it is true see this! The accent as well as the comma pause slow the movement of the poem slightly, which then leads to the rush toward “he”.
“Tendering himself to God”. Again the line begins with an accent which leaves accents on Ten-, him-, God. The scene described, Christ offering himself as the penal substitution for human sin (the doctrine is known as “penal substitutionary atonement”) comes from several passages in the Bible.
Yet it was the will of the LORD to crush him; he has put him to grief; when his soul makes an offering for guilt, he shall see his offspring; he shall prolong his days; the will of the LORD shall prosper in his hand.
Nor do you understand that it is better for you that one man should die for the people, not that the whole nation should perish.”
2 Corinthians 5:18-21:
18 All this is from God, who through Christ reconciled us to himself and gave us the ministry of reconciliation;
19 that is, in Christ God was reconciling the world to himself, not counting their trespasses against them, and entrusting to us the message of reconciliation.
20 Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.
21 For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
1 Peter 2:21-25:
21 For to this you have been called, because Christ also suffered for you, leaving you an example, so that you might follow in his steps.
22 He committed no sin, neither was deceit found in his mouth.
23 When he was reviled, he did not revile in return; when he suffered, he did not threaten, but continued entrusting himself to him who judges justly.
24 He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, that we might die to sin and live to righteousness. By his wounds you have been healed.
25 For you were straying like sheep, but have now returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls.
Yet, the passage most likely in mind for Taylor is Hebrews 10:
5 Consequently, when Christ came into the world, he said, “Sacrifices and offerings you have not desired, but a body have you prepared for me;
6 in burnt offerings and sin offerings you have taken no pleasure.
7 Then I said, ‘Behold, I have come to do your will, O God, as it is written of me in the scroll of the book.'”
8 When he said above, “You have neither desired nor taken pleasure in sacrifices and offerings and burnt offerings and sin offerings” (these are offered according to the law),
9 then he added, “Behold, I have come to do your will.” He does away with the first in order to establish the second.
10 And by that will we have been sanctified through the offering of the body of Jesus Christ once for all.
11 And every priest stands daily at his service, offering repeatedly the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.
12 But when Christ had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, he sat down at the right hand of God,
13 waiting from that time until his enemies should be made a footstool for his feet.
14 For by a single offering he has perfected for all time those who are being sanctified.
Christ is speaking to Justice, not Justice to Christ. The Justice of God is here personified.
It has been called (by Mark Dever, I believe) the riddle of the Bible. How can God both forgive and refuse to acquit sin?
5 The LORD descended in the cloud and stood with him there, and proclaimed the name of the LORD.
6 The LORD passed before him and proclaimed, “The LORD, the LORD, a God merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and abounding in steadfast love and faithfulness,
7 keeping steadfast love for thousands, forgiving iniquity and transgression and sin, but who will by no means clear the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers on the children and the children’s children, to the third and the fourth generation.” Exodus 32:5-7.
The offering of Jesus in sacrifice fulfills the demands of justice and thus makes a way for God to forgive sin. Without the death of Christ, God’s forgiveness would be unjust or impossible.
Line 4: I can’t determine what is meant by “pensworth”. The word seems to mean a small amount in that a “pen” may refer to a “pin”. The other meaning for the word at time of Taylor would be “pen” as in a quill. However, small amount does not make sense in this instance. The death of Christ is of infinite value.
“for mine of me”: The offering of Christ is on behalf of “mine” that is those Christ will save; and “of me”, that is, from Christ.
Lines 5-6: Jesus willingly pays the entire penalty and owed for sin on behalf of those saved by Christ. The cost of sin is death:
6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly.
7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person-though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die-
8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God.
10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life.
11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation. Romans 5:6-11.