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record of the other evangelists, “ All they that take the sword shall perish by the sword,” sufficiently proves that our Lord did not mean his disciples to understand his address on a former occasion in a literal but a spiritual
“Let him that hath no sword, sell his garment, and buy one.
“ Then the band, and the captain, and officers of the Jews, took Jesus and bound him; and led him away to Annas first; for he was father-in-law to Caiaphas which was the high priest that same year. Now Caiaphas was he, which gave counsel to the Jews, that it was expedient that one man should die for the people.”
We must at this point conclude our remarks for the present with this single observation. Throughout the whole of the trying scene, which we have been considering, what dignity and majesty are manifested by the man Christ Jesus. When every thing, both as regards his friends and enemies, was calculated to unnerve, and weaken, and cause him to hesitate-He advanced with the unmoved dignity of the Son of God, to meet his enemies, and undergo his sufferings. The night in the garden, and the darkness of Calvary could not conceal the glory of his character. Just as we may have witnessed in the setting of the natural sun, the glorious orb may for a time be concealed behind the thick darkness of a murky cloud, but it cannot altogether hide his splendour ; ever and anon a ray of glowing brilliancy darts through the dismal shroud, and the surrounding gloom only increases the lustrous splendour of the “strong one who has run his race," and who is sinking to his rest; so it was here, the clouds of sorrow and suffering gathered thickly around the Sun of Righteousness; but not all their weighty gloom could obscure his glory-He was still the king in his
beauty_His divine perfection shone out the more in contrast with the darkness of his trials. The glory of his character, appeared more in the garden and on the cross, than when he entered in triumph into Jerusalem-and while he outwardly appeared to sink down under the power of his adversaries, he was even in that moment putting all enemies under his feet.
JOHN XVIII. 15–27.
And Simon Peter followed Jesus, and 80 did another disciple: that disciple
was known unto 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, which was known unto the high priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter. Then saith the damsel that kept the door unto Peter, Art not thou also one of this man's disciples! He saith, I am not. And the servants and officers stood there, toho had made a fire of coals ; for it was cold : and they warmed themselves : and Peter stood with them, and warmed himself. The high priest then asked Jesus of his disciples, and of his doctrine. Jes usanswered him, I spake openly to the world : I ever taught in the synagogue, and the temple, whither the Jews always resort ; and in secret have I said nothing. Wky askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them: b hold, they know what I said. And when he had thus spoken, one of tắc officers which stood by struck Jesus with the palm of his hand, saying, Answerest thou the high priest 80 ? Jesus answered him, If I hare spoke evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me! Now Annas had sent him bound unto Caiaphas the high priest. And Simon Peter stood and warmed himself. They said therefore unto him, Art to thou also one of his disciples ? He denied it, and said, I am not. One of the servants of the high priest, being his kinsman whose ear Peter cut off, saith, Did not I see thee in the garden with him ? Peter then denied again : and immediately the cock crew.
THE sacred narrative has conducted us to the Palace of the High Priest, where the Prince of Life was put upon his trial, falsely accused, and shamefully entreated, before he was arraigned at the tribunal of the Roman governor. All the disciples of Jesus had fled, when he was taken in the garden, with the exception of Peter and another, who was probably the Evangelist John: both these latter followed the band of soldiers and servants to the palace of the High Priest; “Simon Peter followed Jesus, and so did another disciple; that disciple was known unto 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, which was known unto the High Priest, and spake unto her that kept the door, and brought in Peter."
As the Evangelist proceeds after these verses to notice the conduct of Peter in denying his Master, we shall here give our attention to the circumstances of that denial ; though for reasons which we shall afterwards have occasion to state, it appears probable that Peter's denial occurred after he had witnessed the indignities which were cast upon Jesus, in the presence of the High Priest.
In considering this deeply affecting and instructive history, let us first clear the narrative as it is given us by the four Evangelists; and then endeavour to use it, as the mariner does the lighthouse amid the darkness of the night, and the raging of the waters, that we may steer wide of the rock on which the Apostle of the circumcision had well nigh made shipwreck. Every one who carefully studies the Holy Scriptures, must be aware of the apparent difficulty of harmonizing the accounts given us in the four gospels of the fall of Peter. That this difficulty is only apparent and not real, I trust to be able to prove; at the same time, I cannot forbear remarking, that to my own mind the apparent discrepancy which at the first glance seems to exist between the narratives, when examined into, affords a most powerful testimony to the
truthfulness of those narratives. Had four men been engaged in passing off an imposture on the world, they surely would have exercised great caution in dealing with the narrative of supposed facts, that each account should exactly and manifestly tally with the other, so that at the very outset the mind should not be startled by even a seeming contrariety of statement. But the Apostles wrote with the simplicity and fidelity of men of truth -“That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you." They never thought of recounting any thing but what was perfectly well known to themselves, and therefore they were under no uneasiness respecting the adjustment of their several statements, assured that truth as well as wisdom must eventually be justified of all her children.
Let us observe, then, in collating the different accounts given us by the Evangelists of Peter's conduct on the occasion now demanding our consideration—that Mark tells us that Jesus predicted of his Apostle that he would deny him “before the cock crowed twice.” John again, in the 13th chapter, mentions that Jesus said “The cock shall not crow (that is, once) till thou hast denied me thrice.” Again, Matthew and Mark speak of one denial by Peter occurring in the porch of the High Priest's palace, while all those recounted by John are evidently within the hall, as Peter was standing with the rest by the fire. It is most probable that there were two distinct predictions of our Lord concerning the fall of Peter. The first appears to bave been uttered in the supper-room previous to the discourse which we have considered, and is given us by John in the passage already alluded to; the second after they had left the supper-room, and were come to the Mount of Olives. A little examination into the separate accounts of John and Mark will sufficiently prove their