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present concern, is not with his natural abilities, but his moral charaeter. And here I may observe,
1. That Judas was a professor of religion. He left his occupation and his home, with the other disciples, and followed the great Teacher sent from heaven. He professed to be friendly to the views, doctrines, and designs of Christ. He witnessed as good a confession of his faith and love to the Saviour, as any of his followers. And as he professed the same faith and friendship with the other disciples, so Christ treated him in the same manner ; received him into his family, and sent him forth, with the eleven, to preach the gospel and work miracles. He accordingly went, and preached, and performed mighty works, in the name of the Son of God, to human view, with as much fidelity and to as good acceptance, as any of his brethren.
2. Judas maintained a fair external character, till near the close of his life. He walked, and conversed, and lived, apparently, like a sincere disciple of Jesus. It is not intimated that the other apostles had any doubt of his being what he professed to be. As they were able to look on the outward appearance only, they regarded Judas with esteem and love, as equally sincere and upright as themselves. He had the address to exhibit in his manners and conversation such apparent humili. ty, self-denial, zeal and devotion, as to deceive the very elect. His brethren sooner suspected themselves than him. When Christ informed them that one of their number should betray bim, no one thought of Judas. They had no apprehension that such an apparently devout, disinterested and holy man, would ever do such a foul deed. Each one of them, in the true spirit of humility, as men acquainted with the deceitfulness of their own hearts, said, “Lord, is it I? Lord, is it I ?" But Christ was omniscient. He knew what was in man. He saw through the fair exterior of Iscariot, and discerned the thoughts and intents of his heart. Which leads me to observe,
3. That Judas was a base hypocrite. Under the cloak of a fair profession, he concealed a foul and totally depraved heart. Instead of having self-denial and disinterested love, he was perfectly selfish. He was one of those who followed Christ for the loaves and fishes; for the favors which he received or expected to receive from him. Covetousness appears to bave been his ruling passion. He grudged whatever was needed to honor Christ and promote his interest. He exhibited this av.
aricious disposition fully at the house of Martha and Mary; though under such a plausible pretence of economy and charity, as to deceive the spectators. " Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesús, and wiped his feet with her hair; and the house was filled with the odor of the mutment. Then saith one of bis disciples, Judas Iscariot, Simon's son,- Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred penee, and given to the poor?
This he said, not that he cared for the poor ; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein." He was too covetous to be willing to see any expense bestowed in honoring his Master. He wanted all should go into the bag, which, as steward of the family, it was his office to bear. He had no love to Christ, but only to the money which he collected, and hoped, at some future time, to appropriate to his own use. He served Mammon, and not God. Io. derd, such was the total selfishness of his heart, that he was willing to sell his Lord and Master for a few pieces of silver. Which leads ine to observe, once more,
4. That Judas finally apostatized, as hypocrites generally do, sooner or later, and openly renounded the service of Christ. His iniquity at length found him out. He had al-' ways hated the Saviour and his words ; but he found it convenient for awhile to walk with him, and pretend to be his friend. But he pretty soon became fatigued with playing such a constrained and hypocritical part. His disgust and entity increased, the longer he heard Christ preach and saw his works. His hatred and malice at length arose to such a height, that, uniting with bis habitual love of money, they impelled him openly to renounce his profession, and appear as he always had heen in reality, the mortal enemy of the holy Saviour. At the suggestion of Satan, who always stands ready to infuse evil thoughts into the minds of covetous and false professors, he went to the chief priests and agreed with them to betray bis Lord into their murderous hands for thirty pieces of silver, (said to be about fifteen crowns,) the common price, at that time, of a slave. He fulfilled his agreement, actually betrayed his Divine Master, received his money, and smitten with remorse and a guilty horror, went out and hanged himself. Such, in brief, was the vile and infamous character of Judag. I now proceed,
II. To make it appear that Judas was a reprobate,
The term reprobation is the opposite of election. As the elect are predestinated unto life, renewed and sanctified by the Holy Spirit, and kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation, so, on the other hand, the reprobate are predestinated to death, blinded and hardened under the means that are used with them, and finally cut off in their iniquities and consigned to everlasting punishment, as the due reward of their deeds. That Judas was one of this unhappy number, is the point now to be proved. This is plainly suggested in the text. It is here asserted, that he was lost, and that he was the son of perdition; which implies that he was a reprobate. But, to make this fully appear, I would observe,
1. That Judas was appointed to destruction. This appears from its having been foretold that he should conduct as he did and be lost. It is said, in the words following the text, that he was lost, that ihe scripture might be fulfilled. This prediction is found in Psalms xl. and cix. “Mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel against me- When he shall be judged let bim be condemned, and let his prayer become sin. Let his days be few, and let another take his office.” That this Divine prediction had reference to Judas, is evident from its being quoted and apphed to the traitor by Peter, after the resurrection of Christ; when he proposed to the disciples to elect another apostle in his room. This prophecy, like every other, was grounded on the purpose of God. That the character and conduct of Judas were predetermined, appears from the repeated declarations of Christ concerning him. He said, while Judas was in good standing in his visible family, “that one of the twelve should betray him--that one of them, meaning judas, was a devil-that the Son of man goeth as it was determined." Judas is said, by Peter, to have gone, at death, to his “own place ;” which can mean no less, than that he went to the place to which he was destined, and for which he was prepared. Again, it is said in the Acts, that Christ was delivererd, (i. e. betrayed,) by “the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." These passages clearly imply, that there was a Divine decree, respecting the character and fate of Judas-that, as he was not chosen to salvation, so he was appointed to wrath.
2. Judas was actually fitted to destruction, as well as appointed to wrath. The scripture was fulfilled. That which was written, concerning him, came to pass. God raised hin
up at the appointed time, made him a rational, free, moral agent, and placed him in a situation to form such a character and to do such deeds as were predetermined in his infinitely wise and good counsel. God brought him upon the stage of life at the precise time when the Saviour was manifested to Israel; in the country where he was born and performed his public ministry ; introduced hiin to an intimate acquaintance with the Holy Child Jesus; placed him in his visible family and under his immediate instruction ; gave him opportunity to hear his gracious words and see his mighty works. But, under all these means and advantages, Judas continued to love the world, and the things that are in the world. Instead of denying himself and taking up the cross," he sought only his own things. While he professed friendship to the glorious Redeemer, to answer his worldly ends, he really hated him without a cause. The very means which softened and purified the hearts of his fellow disciples, and transformed them into the image of Christ, served only to harden and corrupt his heart, and make him more and more a child of the devil. And while the patience of God bare with his hypocrisy and secret iniquity, his heart was fully set in him to do evil. His mind was blinded, bis conscience seared, and he listened to the temptations of the adversary, who finally put it into his willing heart most ungratefully and cruelly to betray his Lord, and bring upon his soul the guilt of innocent blood. In all this scene of unbelief, hypocrisy and iniquity, Judas acted freely and voluntarily ; treasuring up to himself wrath against the day of wrath. But while he acted freely and voluntarily, he acted under a Divine influence, and was made to fulfil the Divine purpose concerning him. Instead of changing, God hardened his heart; instead of drawing him to Christ hy the renewing influences of his Holy Spirit, he turned his heart to hate the Saviour and to plot liis death. It was, in this respect, with Judas, as with the other blinded and hardened Jews, ar we read in John xii. 39, 40. “They could not believe, because He [God] blinded their eyes and hardened their hearts, that they should not see with their eyes, and understand with their heart, and be converted." God fulfils his purposes with his own hand. Hence the apos. tles said, as we read Acts iv., that the Gentiles and Jews, of whom Judas was one, did to Christ what God's " hand as well as his counsel determined to be done.” God " worketh all things after the counsel of his own will.” “Whom he will he
hardeneth." It was needful that such a character as that of Judas' should be formed, and that such offences as his shople be committed. The Son of man went, as it was determined ; or, as Peter said, Acts iii. 18—". Those things which God before had showed by the mouth of all his prophets, that Christ should suffer, he hath so fulfilled." Thus Judas, that child of wrath and son of perdition, was fitted for destruction. It must be added,
3. That as Judas was appointed to destruction and fitted for it, so he was actually destroyed. When he had “ filled up the measure of bis iniquities, wrath came upon him to the uttermost." The words of our text plainly imply, that he was lost. " Those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition." He died in the voluntary act of self-murder, and “no murderer hath eternal life abiding in him." The apostle Peter says, that “he went to his olen place,” which could be no other than the place to which he was appointed, and for which he was fitted. But the words of Christ put the matter beyond all question, and make it certain that Judas, at death, went to hell, the place of complete aod endless destruction. Matt. xxvi. 24. "'The Son of man goeth as it is written of him ; but wo unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed ! it had been good for that man if he had not been born." When Christ spake these words, he must have known that it was the purpose of God that Judas should be lost; for upon any other supposition, his assertion would not have been true. If Judas be not lost forever; if his place be not in hell, where their worm dieth not and their fire is not quenched, where their torment will never end; it would be good for bim that he was born. He would be an infinite gainer by existence, if, after ages of ages of punishment, he should at length, be liberated from prison, and be made forever happy. Judas, then, is lost. He is in the place of endless per. dition, for which he was fitted, and to which he was originally appointed. Judas was the son of perdition. Judas was a reprobate.
[To be concluded]
From the Vermont Chronicle.
NEW DIVINITY. Messrs. EDITORS, ---One Sabbath in May last, I was in the eity of New York, and enjoyed the privilege of listening to a