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The agony is just over, when a band of soldiers and others from Jerusalem, led by Judas, comes to apprehend Him. One scintillation of His power, showing that they could do nothing against Him except as He permitted, and that He laid down His life of Himself, unconstrainedly and in loving freeness--and He calmly surrenders Himself into their hands, to be bound and led away. The cup He takes is “the cup which my Father giveth me.' After the first show of resistance the disciples are scattered, but in a short time John recovers himself and followg*-not, like Peter, "afar off," but closely and as a friend. Strong in love, he is with Him all that sleepless dreadful night, and all that "guilty morning,” as He is hurried about from place to place, into the presence of Annas, Caiaphas, Herod, Pilate, and the Jews, and subjected to all indignity and wrong. In the morn. ing, by our nine o'clock, the Son of the Blessed bangs between two malefactors on the cross. All day the malice of triumphant wickedness surges around Him. John stands near Him, learning what it means to drink His cup and to have place on His right hand and His left, and witnessing His long, slow, dreadful sufferings till He bows His head and dies. Only love, of the purest and intensest kind—the love which is stronger than death—could have done so. Just before the darkness fell, Jesus seeks out with His eye His mother, Mary, and the beloved disciple ; and to His mother He says, as His glance passes from her to John, Woman, behold thy son ; and to John, -His glance passing back again to Mary, Behold thy mother; and “from that hour he took her to his own home." Whatever impulse may previously have been in his own heart to do this very thing is now sanctioned and sanctified by the word of the Lord. After Jesus had bowed His head and given up the ghost, John still holds his station near the cross. In order that the bodies might not remain suspended. over the Sabbath, the soldiers come before nightfall and break the legs of the two malefactors who are crucified with Jesus, but finding Him dead already, they do not break His legs, but one of them in passing thrusts his spear into His side, to make sure, “and forthwith came thereout blood and water,"+ in such quantity and so distinguishable that John takes special notice of it, and bears solemn “record”. record which not only settles the fact of His death, and confirms ancient prophecy, but enables physicians to speak of it from their special point of view. The burial takes place the same evening. All the next day, being the sabbath, “the flesh" of the Redeemer "rests in hope. Early in the morning that follows, Mary Magdalene goes forth with other women to the sepulchre. Seeing the stone taken away, she instantly concludes that the body is removed, and runs breathless and sorrowful to tell Peter and John. The two immediately hasten to examine for themselves. They run both together, but John outruns Peter, and comes first to the sepulchre. Stooping down and looking in, he sees the linen clothes lying, but does not enter. Peter, characteristically, goes in at once and looks round. The linen which had enswathed the body lies in one place, and the napkin which had been about the head is folded up and laid in another place. At first glance this may appear a trivial matter, noticed only by the fondness of love; but not so if we reflect. There is nothing torn, nothing disarranged, no sign of violence or hurry; everything betokens deliberation and composure. The living One had risen and gone forth “with grand tranquility.” The grave-clothes are folded up and laid deliberately aside: the Lord has no more need of them. Then John
* Not “another disciple,” but “the other disciple.” Archbishop Whately, “ On the Characters of our Lord's Apostles,” thinks he has proved that "the other disciple," who followed Jesus, and procured admission for Peter into the high-priest's house, was not John but Judas. Not many will accept his view.
+ Compare 1 John v. 6.
| See Dr. Stroud's treatise « On the Physical Cause of the Death of Christ," published thirty years ago, to which fresh attention was called lately by Dr. Hanna, “ The Last Day of our Lord's Passion," appendix containing letters for Sir James Simpson and others.
went in also, and he saw and believed.” Believed what? Not that the grave was empty; that he saw. But rather-foremost in faith-he believed what he had not hitherto understood from Scripture, that the Lord was risen, to die no more.
The same day at evening, and on subsequent occasions, John is present when the risen Lord appears to His assembled disciples, filling them as with a joy unspeakable and full of glory, and commissions them to be His messengers to all the ends of the earth, to preach repentance and forgiveness of sins. One special manifestation is recorded at great length, which took place on the shore of the sea of Galilee. Seven disciples go a fishing, of whom John is one. They toil all night
As they make for shore in the morning twilight, a stranger whom they know not questions them, and bids them cast the net on the right side of the ship. They do so ; and the net is filled. John, recognising the beloved voice and form and way, exclaims, It is the Lord! and they all hasten to the shore, the denier foremost. After eating together, and after the gracious dealing with Peter that ensued, Jesus rises, and begins to walk away from the spot, saying to Peter,
John also follows, unbidden ; as he had done once before when the Baptist said, Behold the Lamb of God! Peter, turning round and seeing him, asks, Lord, and what shall this man do? To whom the Lord replies, If I will that he tarry till I come, what is that to thee? follow thou me. His future lies in my will. The saying went abroad among the disciples that John was not to die ; and a legend arose afterwards that he only slumbered, breathing, in his grave, and that the turf was tremulous above him.* Yet Jesus said not, He shall not die, but If I will that he tarry till I come. This is the last glimpse we have of John's
companionship with Jesus on to the ascenșion into heaven, when He sat on the right hand of God. On the banks of the Jordan, in the beginning, he followed Jesus unbidden, and abode with Him that day; on the shore of the sea of Galilee,
** The English sect of. Seekers' under Cromwell expected the reappearance of the apostle as the forerunner of the return of Christ.”—Tholuck.
after the resurrection, he begins to follow—again unbidden—in a course that runs down through eternity,-neither death nor life able to separate him from his Lord and Saviour.
It is thus apparent that not only had John special qualifications for being a witness of the Lord's life, but special opportunities of observation and intimate knowledge were afforded him; special disclosures of the Lord's glory were opened up to him; and none of the twelve penetrated more deeply into the revelation, or treasured it up more faithfully and lovingly in his heart.
ANNIE AND HER PAPER FLOWERS.
MOTHER, I am so hungry!” The The woman shook her head. “My speaker was a thin pale-faced little sight has been failing for a long time, girl, about ten years old; and as she I'm afraid,” she said in the same spoke, she laid down the paper flower hard tone; "and perhaps the flowers she was making, to wipe the tears have not been made so well as they from her eyes, for fear they should used to be.” fall and spoil her work.
“But what shall we do, mother?" Her mother made no reply, but asked Annie. wenton gloomily with her occupation “Do, child! why, we must die of of putting wire stalks to the roses want, as hundreds of others do here Annie was making. But presently in London." she laid her work aside. " It's of Annie shivered at the tone in no use," she said in' a hard tone; “I which the words were spoken. “Oh, am getting blind, I know;" and she mother! it is so hard to think of laid her hand across her eyes.
dying like that,” she said. In a moment Annie was at her "I know it, child; but I can't side. Oh, mother, don't cry,” she help it. I've tried and tried till I sobbed; "it will make your eyes have just gone blind, trying to keep
I will make the flowers, you and myself from starving. I and you shall take them to the shop never thought it would have come and sell them; and I won't mind to this,” she went on, When
your being hungry one bit.”
father was alive, Annie, we had a Her mother shook her head. There nice home; but it's all gone;" and were no tears in her eyes, but a look she looked round on the bare room of fixed stony despair-of unutter- with its few remnants of furniture ; able misery—as she said, “I don't and the recollection of those happy know what I am going to do with by-gone days brought the tears these that we've made, for they don't into her eyes. “Yes, I was happy want any more at the shops."
then, and never expected I should Oh! mother,
poor be brought to this. Don't forget Annie; “ what shall we do then ? that you have been brought up How is it they can't take any more?” respectably, Annie.” she asked. " I thought people were Poor Annie was used to having always wanting paper flowers in the this charge given her. The neighsummer for their stoves, and in the bours all said that Mrs. Anderson winter to put among the holly at and her little girl were a great deal Christmas. How is it they don't too proud for them, and so Mrs. want any now?"
Anderson at any rate was. Trouble
and sorrow bad so hardened and you think I had better ask Him soured her heart that it seemed now ?" she added. closed against all kindly influences ; Mrs. Anderson was at a loss for a and the unhappy woman rarely reply. She had never looked to God spoke to any
A kind in her trouble; but had often thought Christian lady frequently called hardly of Him and His dealings toat the other houses in the court, wards her. So she answered testily, and more than once had knocked “I don't know anything about it.” at Mrs. Anderson's door; but it But Annie knew more than her had never been opened to her. mother thought she did. Often, in And once when the city missionary passing the solitary child on the found it open, and was about to enter, stairs, the kind missionary had said it was abruptly closed in his face. a few words on the love of Jesus to
Mrs. Anderson rarely left the little children; and they had been narrow court where she lived, except thought over by Annie although she in the evening, or to take her flowers had never ventured to tell her home; and Annie was not allowed mother of them until now. “I think to make any acquaintance with the the Lord Jesus, who was so kind to children of the neighbourhood. So the little children, would hear me the poor
child's life had not been if I asked Him to help us,” she happy one, shut up all day with said; "perhaps He'd show us the her sad desponding mother. The way to another shop where they sell only brightness she knew was in the flowers. I'd like to go out and coloured papers
which she twisted see, mother,” she added. into imitation leaves and flowers. “I don't know what to tell you to A real flower Annie had scarcely do,” said her mother, despairingly.
"And you're hungry, mother, as "Mother, what will you do ?” well as I," said Annie. “I'll go and asked Annie, sitting down to her try to sell some of these that are
" where will you sell finished;" and as she spoke she put these flowers ? May I take them down the paper she had in her hand, out, and sell them to somebody in
and tied on her bonnet and cape.
“Mother, the gentleman said that Her mother lifted her almost it is proper to kneel down when we sightless eyes, and clasped her hands speak to the Lord Jesus," she said
" I, suppose you must, as she finished tying her bonnet. Annie,” she said at last. I've done Mrs. Anderson did not reply; but all I could, and now-oh! Annie, with a little bewildered wonder how Annie, it is hard to see you a Annie should know anything about beggar!”
this, or venture to propose it, she But, mother, I read a little book kneeled down by the chair, and the other day, where it says we are
Annie came and knelt beside her.
the street ?"
The child's words were as simple as "What book was that p" asked could be. She spoke as though God Mrs. Anderson, quickly. “I never were present with her in the roombegged,” she added; "I would not as though there could not be a doubt ask help, or a favour from any one." of His hearing and answering her “But this little book said that we
prayer; then she stood up and could not live without the help and kissed her mother's tearful face-for favour of God,” said Annie;
there were tears on it now. one day while you were gone to take Annie took several bunches of home some flowers, the lady told me flowers, and went out into the street; that God would help me whenever I but the hurrying stream of people was in trouble, if I asked Him. Don't that pushed her from side to side,
Jesupes, tand it was just thinking
as she tried to step in among them, the proceeds were honestly put int almost frightened her, unaccustomed
Annie's hand. “There, now, you as she was to the noise and turmoil must do the same with the rest,” sh of the open thoroughfare. Quarrels, said. “If you like to come with m fights, and noises of that sort, she I'll help you a bit, Annie Anderson. was used to see in the court; but Annie was surprised to find tha these numberless people pushing the girl knew her. “I don't know and driving, all bent upon their own you,” she said timidly. business, and never heeding any. But I know you, and I've ofter thing else, was more than she could wanted ask
to come to school. comprehend; and she soon found Will you come ? she added. “The herself pushed against the wall with teacher 'll be glad to see you,
I her flowers somewhat tumbled. know."
Tears stood in Annie's eyes as “I'll ask mother," said Annie she noted this, and tried to re- doubtfully. “Do you learn about arrange them. “ I don't see a shop,” Jesus at the school?” she said. she said sadly, looking up and down the street. “I wonder whether it is about Him, and what teacher had quite true about Jesus, and His being said about helping one another, that able to help me.
Yes, I think it made me stop and speak to you." must be true,” she added softly to “Is it quite true, then, that Jesus herself; “but perhaps I've come the will help us in trouble if we pray to wrong way, and the shop is at the Him?" asked Annie. other end of the street;" and she Her companion nodded. turned in the opposite direction,
Annie's face brightened. “ Do keeping as much out of the way as you think He'll help us then p" she possible.
asked; “ for mother says we shall But although she walked as far die of want, now her eyes are so as where the broad thoroughfare bád.” branched off in several directions, “Yes,” replied the girl, with great she saw no shop where they were simplicity and earnestness; “yes, if likely to buy paper flowers; and,
you ask Him.” faint with hunger, she at last sat "I did ask,” said Annie, a little down upon a doorstep and began to sadly; "but nobody came to buy my cry.
flowers. I thought I should see a have you
sold to- shop where they wanted them, as day? " asked a girl about her own soon as I came out, and there isn't age, carrying a nearly empty watercress-basket.
Her companion thought for Annie looked up shily. “I haven't
minute before she made any reply. sold one,” she said; “I never came "I think you've made a mistake," out selling things before."
she said at last; "just such a mis“I thought not,” said the girl. take as I made once. God helps us “You don't know how to go about it, to help ourselves. You should have I can see. Let me try for you, shall tried to sell your flowers when you IP” and she set down her basket as came out, not have sat down on the she spoke, and took two or three of step and cried because the people the bunches of flowers in her hand. did not ask you to sell them.'
The crowd did not trouble her, and Well, I thought that wouldn't she contrived to squeeze in and out be much use; for mother has been among the people, without getting trying and trying ever so hard, and the flowers injured as she cried, can't get on a bit, so I thought I'd “Buy my flowers, pretty flowers. just ask Jesus, and let Him help us." In a few minutes they were sold, and “Yes, but you didn't try yourself,
** How many