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surrounded them also. He seems to have 1 of angels. He yet was tenderly inclined to made this request to the soldiers, that the prevent any bad consequences which might saying might be fulfilled, which he spake, have flowed from Peter's rashness, by healing " of them which thou gavest me have I lost the servant, and adding, in his rebuke to none.” For as God always proportions the him a declaration of his willingness to suffer, trials of his people to their strength : so here 's The cup which my father has given me, he took care that the disciples should escape shall I not drink it ?” the sturm, which none but himself could sustain.
: The circumstance of his healing the ear of
Malcbus, by touching it, evidently implies, At length, one of the soldiers, more
that no wound or distemper was incurable daring than the rest, rudely caught Jesus,
in the hand of Jesus; neither was any injury and bound him: upon which Peter drew
so great that he could not forgive. It seems his sword, and smote off the ear of the priest's
somewhat surprising that this evident miraservant, who probably was shewing great
cle did not make an impression upon thechief er forwardness than the rest in this busi
priests, especially as our Lord put them in ness. “Tben Simon Peter, having a sword,
mind, at the same time, of his other miradrew it, and smote the high priest's servant,
cles ! for having first said, “Suffer ye thus and cut off his right ear; the servant's
far. And he touched his ear, and healed name was Malchus,” The enraged disciple
him.” He added, “Be ye epine out, as was on the point of singly attacking the
against a thiet, with swords and staves ; whole band, when Jesus ordered him to
When I was daily with you in the temple, sheath his sword ; telling him, that his
ye stretched forth no bands against me: but unseasonable and imprudent defence might this is your hour, and the powerof darkness." prove the occasion of his destruction. "Then!
Luke xxii. 51, &c. The priests had kept at a said Jesus, unto him, Put up again thy
distance, during the attack, but drew near, sword into his place: for all they that take
when they understood that Jesus was in the sword shall perish with the sword.”
their power; for they were proof against Matt. xxvi. 52. He told biin, likewise,
alt çonyiction, being obstinately bent on that it implied both a distrust of God, who
putting him to death. And the disciples, can al vays employ a variety of means for when they saw their Master in the hands the safety of his people, and also his igno of his enemies, forsook him and fled, ac, rance in the scriptures. “ Thinkest thou,
cording to bis prediction :, notwithstanding said, he, that I cannot now pray to my Fa.
they might bave followed him without any, ther, and he shall presently give me more
danger, as the priests had no design against than twelve legions of angels ? But how them. " Then all the disciples forsook hin, then shall the scripture be fulfilled that thus
and fled. Then the band, and the captain and it must be ?". Matt. xxvi. 53, 54.
officers took Jesus and bound him.” But it
was not the cord which held him ; his imThe word legion was a Roman military mense charity was by far a stronger bond. term, being the name which they gave to a He could bave broken those weak ties, and body of five or six thousand men ;' where- exerted his divinity in a more wonderful fore in regard that the band, which now manner; he could have stricken them all surrounded them, was a Roman cohort, our dead, with as much ease as he had before Lord might make use of this term, by way thrown them on the ground; but he patientof contrast, to sbew what an inconsiderable ly submitted to this, as to every other inthing the cohort was, in comparison of the | diguity which they pleased to offer to him; force he could suminon to his assistance; so meek was he imder the greatest injuries. more than twelve legions, not of soldiers, but Having thus secured bim, they led him
away. "And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young man laid hold of him, and he left the liuen cloth, and fled from them naked.". This, perhaps, was the proprietor of the garden ; who be. ing awakened with the noise, came out with the linen cloth, in which he had been laying, cast round his naked body; and having a respect for Jesus, followed him, forge the dress he was in.'
They first led him to Annas, father-inlaw to Caiaphas, who was high priest that year. Annas having himself discharged the office of high priest, was consequently a person of distinguished character, which, together with his relation to the high priest, made him worthy of the respect they now paid him. But he refused singly to meddle in the affair; they therefore carried Jesus to Caiaphas himself, at whose palace the chief priests, elders, and scribes, were assembled, having staid there all night to see the issue of their stratagem. This Caia phas was he that advised the council to put Jesus to death, eyen admitting he was innocent, for the safety of the Jewish nation. He seems to have enjoyed the sacerdotal divinity during the whole course of Pilate's govern. ment in Judea : for he was advanced by Valerius Gracchus, Pilate's predecessor, and was divested of it by Vitellius, governor of Syria, after he had deposed Pilate from his procuratorship.
panic that had seized them, followed the band at a distance, to see what the issue would be. Of this number was Peter and another disciple, whom John has mentioned without giving his name, and who, therefore, is supposed to have been John himself. :
This disciple being acquainted at the high priest's, got admittance for himself first, and soon after for Peter, who had come with him. “And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple." That disciple was known to the high priest, and went in with Jesus into the palace of the high priest. But Peter stood at the door without. Then went out that other disciple, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the ball, and were sat down together, Peter sat down among them. The maid-servant who kept the door, concluding Peter to be a disciple also, followed after him to the fire, and looking earnestly at him, charged him with the supposed crime. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples ?» This blunt attack threw Peter into such a confusion, that he flatly denied his having any connection with Jesus, replying, I am not, and adding, “ I know ijot, neither understand I what thou sayest.” As if he had said, I do not understand any reason for your asking me such a question. Thus the very apostle who had before acknowledged his Master to be the Messiah, the Son of the living God, who was so honoured with the keys of the kingdom of heaveit, and had so confidently boasted of bis fortitude, and firm attachment to him in the greatest dangers, proved an arrant deserter of his cause upon trial. His shameful fears were altogether inexcusable, as the enemy who attacked him was one of the weaker sex, and the terror of the charge was in a great measure taken off, by the insinuation made in it that Jokin was likewise known to be Christ's disciple: for as he was known at
CHAP. XXXV. Fulfilment of our Lord's Prediction con
M HE apprehending of Jesus could not
I but strike bis disciples with horror and amazement: though he had forewarned them of that event, such was their consternation, that they fled different ways : some of them, however, recovering out of the
the high priest's, he was consequently known was telling a falsehood. Perhaps, he hoped, in that character. “Art thou not also one of by these acts of impiety, to convince them this man's disciples ? Art thou not one of effectually, that he was not the disciple of the them, as well as he who is sitting with you ?" | holy Jesus, Nothing can account for this conduct of Peter, but the confusion and panic which Thus the apostle denied his Master three had seized him on this occasion. As his distinct times, with oaths and asseverations, inward perturbation must have appeared in totally forgetting the vehement protestatihis countenance and gesture, he did not ons he had made a few hours before, that chuse to stay long with the servants at the he would never deny him. He was permitfire. He went out, therefore, into the ted to fall in this manner, to teach us two porch, where he was a little concealed. lessons : first, that the strongest resoluti. And he went out into the porch, and the ons formed in our own strength cannot cock crew (namely, for the first time). And withstand the torrent of temptation ; seanother maid saw him, and began to say condly, that the true disciples of Christ, to them that stood by, this is one of them; though they fall, shall be brought to a conand he again denied it with an oath, I viction of Their sin ; for he no sooner denied know not the man ;” (adding perjury to his Master the third time, than the cock the lye.)
crew, and awakened in him the first convic
tion of his sin, “ And the Lord turned, After Peter bad been thus attacked with and looked upon Peter ;' and Peter rememout doors, he thought proper to return and bered the words of the Lord, how he had mix with the crowd at the fire. “ And said unto him,' Before the cock crow, thou Simon Peter stood and warmed himself." | shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went From this circumstance we may concludę, out and wept bitterly." St. Luke is the only that the ensuing was the third denial; and evangelist who has preserved this beautiful that Peter left the porch where the 'second circumstance of Christ's turning and looking denial happened, and was come again intol on Peter. the hall. Here one of the servants of the high priest (being his kinsman whose ear The members of the council who sat on Peter cut off) saith, did not I see thee in Jesus, were placed at the upper end of the the garden with him ? Peter then denied | hall : in the other were the servants, with again, and immediately the cock'crew." Peter, at the fire ; so that Jesus being pro
The words of Malchus' kiosman bringing bably placed on some eminence, that his to Peter's remembrance what he had done judges, who were numerous, might see to that slave, ihrew him into 'such a panic, and hear him, could easily look over towards that when those who stood by repeated the Peter, and observe him denying him, and charge, he impudently denied it: " He io passionate terms loud enough to be heard, even began to curse and to swear, saying, perhaps over all the place. The look I know not this man of whom ye speak." pierced him, and with the crowing of the For when they heard Peter deny the charge, cock brought his Master's prediction fresh they supported it by an argument drawn into his mind. He was stung with deep from the accent with which he pronounced remorse ; and being unable to contain himhis answer. Surely thou art one of them ; self, he covered his face with his garfor thou art a Galilean, and thy speech ment to conceal the confusion he was in, agreeth thereto : so that being pressed on and going out into the porch, wept very all sides, to give his lye a better colour, bitterly. All this passed while the priests be prophaned the name of God, by impre examined Jesus with many taunts and recating the bitterest curses on himself, if he vilings; and while the most zealous of No. 15.
Christ's disciples was denying him with 1 in secret I have said nothing. Why asketh oaths and imprecations, the people insulted ) thou me ? ask them which heard me, what him in the most inhuman manner. Thus a I have said unto them; behold they know complication of injuries, insults and indig. | what I said." nities, were at one time heaped upon the blessed Redeemer, the meek and mild Jesus, It was greatly to the honour of our blesin order to fulfil the prophecies concerning sed Redeemer, that all his actions were him, and teach his followers a lesson of done in public, under the eye even of his humility.
enemies; because, had he been carrying on an imposture, the lovers of goodness and truth bad thus abundant opportunities of
detecting him with propriety: he, thereCHAP. XXXVI.
fore, in his defence, appealed to that part
of his character, but his answer was conThe Saviour of the World is arraigned at strued disrespectful; for, « when he had the Bar of the Sanhedrim, and cried by the thus spoken, one of the officers, which Jewish Council.
stood by, struck Jesus with the palm of his
hand, saying, answerest thou the highT HEN the band of soldiers arrived at priest so ?" To which he meekly replied, VV the high-priest's with Jesus, they | with the greatest serenity, “ If I have found there all the chief priests, the scribes, spoken evil, bear witness of the evil : but and the elders assembled; “And as soon as I if well, why smitest thou me ?” Shew me, it was day, the elders of the people, and prove before this court, wherein my crime the chief priests, and scribes, came toge. consists, or record it in the evidence on ther, and led him into their council. And the face of my trial : which if you cannot, the high-priest asked Jesus of his disciples, how can you answer this inhuman treatand his doctrine.” He enquired of him ment to a defenceless prisoner, standing what his disciples were; for what end be on bis trial before the world, and in open had gathered them, whether it was to make | court ? bimself a king, and what the doctrine was which he taught them? In these questions Thus Jesus became an example of his there was a great deal of art; for as the own precept. “ Whosoever shall smite crime laid to our Saviour's charge was, that thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the he had set up for the Messiah, and deluded other also," Matt. v. 39, bearing the greatthe people, they expected he would claim est injuries with a patience that could not be that dignity in their presence, and so would, provoked. on his own confession, have condemned him, without any farther progress. This ! When the council found that Jesus declin. was unfair, as it was artful and ensnaring. / ed answering the questions, whereby they To oblige a prisoner on his trial to confess | expected to have drawn from him an acknowwhat might take away his life, was a very ledgment of his being the Messiah, they inequitable method of proceeding; and Je. proceeded to examine many witnesses to sus expressed his opinion thereof with a very prove his baving assumed that character: as good reason, and complained of it, bidding They considered such a pretension as blasphethem prove what they had laid to his my in his mouth, who being only a man, accharge, by witnesses. " Jesus answered cording to their opinion, could not, without him, I speak openly to the world, I erer the highest affront to the divine Majesty, pretaught in the synagogues, and in the tem tend to the title of the Son of God, as it be. ple, wbither the Jews always resort, and longed only to the Messiah.
drawn from him creby they
is expressed his como proceeding; and try n ledgment of
sonst him say: d. and to racons absoluttid | addi
" But in this examination they acted like answered, If I should tell you plainly you
interested and enraged persecutors, rather would not believe me; and if I should · than impartial Judges, forming their ques- demonstrate it to you by the most evident tions in the most artful manner, in order, and undeniable arguments, ye would neiif possible, to draw expressions from bim, ther be convinced, nor let me go. which they might pervert into suspicions of guilt, as some foundation for condemn The high priest, finding all attempts to ing Jesus, who had so long and faithfully | trepan our Saviour, in vain, said to him, I laboured for their salvation. .
adjure you solemnly, by the dreadful and
tremendous name of God, in whose preTheir witnesses, however, disappointed sence you stand, that you tell me plainly them, some of them disagreeing in their and truly, whether thou art the Messiah, story, and others, mentioning things of no | the Son of God. manner of importance. At last two persons agreed in their depositions, namely, in The consequence attending a confession hearing him say, that he was able to destroy of the truth did not intimidate the blessed the temple of God, and to raise it in three Jesus; for being adjured by the chief magisdays. But this testimony was absolutely trate, he immediately copfessed the charge, false ; for our great Redeemer never said adding, ye shall shortly see a convincing he could destroy and build the temple of evidence of this truth, in that wonderful and Jerusalem, in three days, as they affirmed. unparalleled destruction which I will send
upon the Jewish nation : in the quick and It is true, that after banishing the traders powerful progress which the gospel shall from the temple, when the Jews desired to make over the earth; and, finally, in my know by what authority he undertook to glorious appearance in the clouds of heamake such a reformation, he referred them ven, at the last day, the sign you have so to the miracle of his resurrection ; bidding often demanded in confirmation of my misthem“ destroy this temple, (pointing proba sion. bly to his body) and in three days he would raise it up." The witnesses, therefore, Upon our blessed Saviour's making this either through malice or ignorance, pervert. answer, a number of them cried out, at ed his answer into an affirmation, that he once, “ Art thou then the Son of God? (TO was able to destroy, and build the magni | which our great Redeemer replied) Ye say ficent temple of Jerusalem, in three days: I that I am:" a manner of speaking among and the Judges considered this assertion as the Jews, which expressed a plain and blasphemy, because it could be only done strong affirmation of the thing expressed. by the Divine Power.
When the high priest heard this second - Our Saviour made no reply to the evi assertion, he rent his clothes with great indences that were produeed against him, dignation, and said unto the council, why which greatly provoked the high priest, who need we trouble ourselves to seek for any supposing that he intended by his silence to | more witnesses? Ye yourselves, nay, this put an affront on the council, rose from his whole assembly, are witnesses, that he hath seat, and with great perturbation, demand- spoken manifest and notorious blasphemy;
ed the reason for so remarkable a conduct. What think ye? To which they all replied. ." Answerest thou nothing ? (said he) what | that for assuming to himself the character of
is it wbich these witness against thee? (And the Messiah, he deserved to be put to death. some of the council added) Art thou the Christ?" To which our blessed Saviour Then began the servants and common
and the imple of Toy, an