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rest; it is because man, in the person of Jesus, paid the penalty, that man, in the persons of the redeemed, is relieved from the weight of his transgressions.
But further, we cannot fail to observe the manner in which our Lord gave utterance to the shrinking of his human nature from suffering—“ If it be possible”—“not my will, but thine, be done.” Thus he clearly evinced his settled purpose. Fearful as was the conflict before him, bitter as the cup was which he had to drink, he was resolved to endure the one, and drain the other to the dregs, in order to accomplish his Father's will. He was “poured out like water, and all his bones were out of joint; “his strength was dried up as a potsherd,” and he was brought into the dust of death ;” but much as
“ he travailed under these sorrows, he would not have one less, if that were to prevent him from “finishing his course with joy."
From these considerations we gather some important truths affecting the experience of the child of God. In this day of probation and trial, God does not expect his children to manifest no feeling, no shrinking from trial ; nor does he require that they should, with callous stoicism, strive to steel the heart against the entrance of natural grief, or stem the current of natural sorrow; far otherwise : the softening and quickening principles of gospel truth are calculated to rouse, with greater and more exquisite sensibility, all the natural emotions of the mind; and what the child of God must learn is, to guide the current by the rulings of God's will. His portion here is one of trial: let him not wonder that his soul should often tremble under it, and that sadness and sorrow should overshadow him ; but let him be careful that he leans upon his Father's hand in the “cloudy and dark day ;” that
he “sorrows not as one without hope,” but as one whose times are in God's hands. He never can sin if he prays, “Let this cup pass from me ;” provided he farther follows in the spirit of his Master, “not my will but thine be done,” wishing the removal of the trial, but preferring the fulfilment of God's will, and the promotion of God's glory.
But we now return to that part of the narrative, which is taken up by the Evangelist St. John, in the third and following verses : he thus writes, “Judas then having received a band of men and officers from the chief priests and Pharisees, cometh thither with lanterns, and torches, and weapons.
Jesus therefore knowing all things that should come upon him, went forth and said unto them, Whom seek ye? They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. And Judas also which betrayed him stood with them."
Here is the consummation of the treachery of Judas. He knew the place of his Master's resort, — he brought a company of soldiers and servants, to deliver him into their hands. The manner in which he completed his guilty project is mentioned by the other evangelists. The eleven apostles were gathered around their Lord in the garden ; and in the darkness of the night, and the sudden confusion of the moment, he feared that the person of Jesus might be mistaken, and thus that he might escape. Judas therefore agreed beforehand on a sign by which the soldiers might easily recognize him they sought to take, “Whomsoever," says he, “I shall kiss, that same is he, hold him fast.” Accordingly he stept forth before the band of mercenaries which accompanied bim, and coming up to Jesus, said, “Hail! Master, and he kissed him.”
The touching reply of the stricken Jesus is giveu by
St. Matthew, "Friend, wherefore art thou come?” And St. Luke tells us, moreover, that he added, “ Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss?” Surely these words must have entered into the traitor's soul! Jesus spake of himself under the very name which he had used before Judas left the supper table; “ The Son of Man goeth as it was determined, but woe unto that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed.” And thus when Judas came to him in the garden, he said not unto him, “ Betrayest thou me?” but “Betrayest thou the Son of Man.” Truly the soul of Judas must have been “seared " by covetousness, when he was not crushed to the ground by such a question as this!
“ Betrayest thou the Son of Man with a kiss." Base hypocrite! at the very moment of the proof of his treason when the blood-thirsty enemies of his Master were ready to seize on their victim,-he kissed to betray the Saviour. What tyranny equals the tyranny of sin in the soul! how it breaks down and destroys and consumes all that is good, and pure, and noble !
Beloved, we cannot pass from this subject, without remarking how well the language of our Lord to Judas may be applied to nominal Christians,—to men who while outwardly they are “numbered” with the followers of Jesus, are yet in reality among the ranks of his enemies. How truly it may be said of them that they “ betray the Son of Man with a kiss.” They profess to follow him,—they profess to love him, they call him Lord, Lord; but this is empty sound, and nothing more,—they are the servants of Satan, while they wear the livery of another master ;their discipleship is a name, their devotedness to the ruler of this world's darkness, is a reality. And what havoc does this make in the visible church! There is more injury done to Christianity and the gospel by cold and formal and nominal Christians, than by all the disregard, hatred, persecution, and contempt of the ungodly. One Judas within the church lacerates and wounds it more than many enemies without.
Believer, search into your heart, that you may prove whether there is any of the leaven of this hypocrisy lurking within you; seek diligently that you may detect it if it is there, and that it may be "put away from you." See that there be no trimming of your sails, that you may appear to be steering with the current of worldly habit, while you dread the gulf of a world's punishment; but calmly, and resolutely, and faithfully cast in your lot with Jesus. Seek for favour in his sight; study to approve yourself to him : count all things as loss for the excellency of his knowledge, and then instead of shrinking under the dread of a coming day, when the secrets of all hearts shall be disclosed, and the “ hope of the hypocrite shall perish," you will be able to lift up your countenance before the throne of God, and say with unfaltering voice to him who sits upon it " Thou knowest that I love thee.”
But observe now, as soon as Jesus had said, “I am He,”- the Evangelist tells us the band of soldiers and servants “went backward and fell to the ground." He was pleased to manifest to them a portion of his might, and to prove to them, that while he permitted them to take him, it was not for lack of power, that he did not deliver himself out of their hands. It is very remarkable, and shews the frightful degree of hardness of heart, which prevailed among the Jews at that time, that when these servants of the High Priest were thus struck down before the resistless majesty of him whom they came to take, they should still persevere in their resolution. It is astonishing that they did not call to mind the history of one of their greatest prophets, who when surrounded by a band of soldiers, sent to apprehend him, called down fire from heaven and consumed them. It is wonderful that the secret power which compelled them to prostrate themselves before Jesus, did not lead to the impression on their minds that he had their lives at his disposal, and induce them to give up their attempt altogether.
“Jesus again asked them, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am He; if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way. That the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, of them which thou gavest me, have I lost none." When they first approached, he struck them down before him, but it was only “the hidings of his power,” for this was the hour of darkness, and he voluntarily submitted; but not before he secured the safety of all his followers, “Let these go their way.” Blessed Jesus, this has ever been the character of thy love! Thou bearest the burden of thy people's sins, while before the righteous Judge of all, thou sayest of them, “Let these go their way.”
“Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it, and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear. The servant's name was Malchus.”
The other evangelists make no mention of Peter here, though they narrate the fact; and evidently for this reason, Peter was still alive, when they wrote their gospels, and he might have been harshly dealt with for his conduct on this occasion; but he was dead at the time when John wrote, and therefore he scrupled not to give his name.
“ Then said Jesus unto Peter, put up thy sword into the sheath: the cup which my Father bath given me, shall I not drink it?” This with the addition of the