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that eateth bread with me, hath lift

up

his divine assistance which I shall hereafter heel against me."

dispense, you are to obtain that bappiness

which I go to prepare for you. As our blessed Saviour was now to be but a short time with his disciples, he But, lest all these arguments should not thought proper to take his farewel of them, be sufficient to quiet their minds, he had still which he did in the most affectionate man. another, which could not fail of success ; ner. These melancholy tidings greatly “ If ye love me, (says he) ye will rejoice, troubled them. They were unwilling to because I said, I go to the Father :" intipart with so kind a friend, so dear a Master, mating, that he would consider it as a proof so wise a guide, and so profitable a teacher ; of their love to him, if they ceased to mourn. especially as they thought they should be left They doubtless thought, that by grieviug for in a forlorn condition, a pour and helpless his death, they expressed their love to their prey to the rage and hatred of a blind and Master ; and it might seem strange that malicious generation. They seemed wil our Saviour should put so contrary an interling to die with their Lord, if that might pretation on their friendly sorrow, or require be accepted. Why cannot I follow thee? so unnatural a thing of them, as to rejoice I will lay down my life for thee! was the at his departure. What! (might they think) language of one, and even all of them ; shall we rejoice at so amiable a friend's rebut they could not support the thoughts of moval from us; or can we be glad, that he a disconsolate separation.

retires, and leaves us in this vale of mise

ry? No, it is impossible; the human heart, Their great and compassionate Master, on so melancholy an occasion, can have seeing them thus dejected, endeavoured to no disposition to rejoice. cheer their drooping spirits : “Let not your hearts be troubled.” 'Listen attentively to Our blessed Saviour, therefore, adds his what I am going to deliver for your conso reason, to solve the seeming paradox; beJation: “I am going to prepare a place cause he was going to the Father : that is, for you; I will come again, and receive you he was going to ascend to the right hand of to myself, that where I am, there

you may infinite power, from whence he would send be also.” A reviving admonition! They them all the assistance they could desire. were one day to meet again their dear, It must not, however, be supposed, that their affectionate Master, in a place where he meant by these words, that his disciples they should live together to all eternity. should not be concerned at his death, or

that they could not love bim unless they exBut death makes so vast a distance be pressed a visible joy on this occasion. That tween friends, and the disciples then knew would, indeed, have been a hard interpreso little of a future state, that they seemed tation of their grief: he knew their grief to doubt, whether they should, after their flowed from love, and that if their love bad parting, meet their great Redeemer. They not been strong, their sorrow had been much neither knew the place where he was go less. Indeed, their Master was fully coning, nor the way that led to his kingdom. vinced that love was the occasion of their 6. Lord (said they) as we know not whither sorrow; and, therefore, he used these arthou goest, how can we know the way ?'guments to mitigate it, and direct it in a In answer to this question, he told them, proper course. that he was " the way, the truth and the light;" as if he had said, through the pro

Nor did our Lord intend to intimate that pitiatory sacrifice I am about to offer ; the all sorrow for so worthy a friend was unlawsacred truths I have delivered, and the ful, or an unbecoming expression of their

love ; doubtless he was not displeased to so unnatural a crime? Willing at last, to see his disciples so tenderly affected at his satisfy their importunity, the blessed Jesus removal from them. He who shed tears at declared, that the person who dipped bis the grave of Lazarus, blended with sigbs hand with him in the dish, should betray and groans, cannot be thought to forbid him. This to the eleven was a joyful dethem wholly at his own. He therefore did claration, but confounding in the bighest not cbide his disciples with angry reproaches, degree to Judas. Impudent as he was, as though they had been entirely in the it struck him speechless, pointing him out wrong, but gently reasoned with them by plainly, and displaying the foulness of his kind persuasion, Let not your hearts be heart. troubled,” as rather pitying than condemning their sorrow.

While Judas continued mute with confu

sion, the blessed Jesus declared that his Soon after Jesus had spoken these things, the decrees of heaven, though that would

death should be brought about according to his heart was greatly troubled, to think that one of his disciples should prove his enemy;

not, in the least, mitigate the crime of the he complained of it at the table, declaring had been good for that man if he fiad not

person who betrayed him, adding, “it that one of them should betray him. This

been born.” Judas having now recovered moving declaration greatly affected the dis

himself a little, asserted his innocence by ciples; and they began every one of them

a question which implied a denial of the to say to their Master, “Lord, is it I ?” But Jesus giviug them no decisive answer, John, charge. But his master soon silenced him, that beloved disciple, whose sweet dis position by positively affirming that he really was

the person. and other amiable qualities, are perpetuated in the peculiar love his great Master bore

As various conjectures have been formed bim, and was now reclining on his bosom, asked him, who among the disciples could be concerning the motives which induced the guilty of so detestable a crime Jesus told perfidious Judas cruelly to deliver up luis

innocent Master into the hands of his enehim that the person to whom he should give mies, it may not be improper to cite those the sop, when he had dipped it, was he who

which should betray him. Accordingly, as soon as

appear to us most probable, though be had dipped the sop in the dish, be gave

the decision must be entirely left to the

reader. it to Judas Iscariot, saying to him, at the same time, “ what thou doest, do quickly.”

Some are of opinion, that he was indu

ced to commit this villainy by the resentJudas received the sop, without knowing ment of the rebuke given him by his Master, any thing of what his Master had told the

for blaming the woman who came with the beloved disciple ; nor did any of the disci- precious ointment, and anointed the head ples, except St. John, entertain the least of Jesus as he sat at meat, in the house suspicion that Judas was the person who of Simon the leper. But though this bad would betray their Master.

doubtless, its weight with the traitor, vet

it could not, we think, be his only motive, The innocent disciples were, indeed, so because the rebuke was in general given to deeply affected with this declaration, that all the disciples, who had, perhaps, been one of them should betray bim, that they equally forward with lim in censuring the did not reinark the words of Jesus to his

Nor can we imagine, even if he a postate disciple; but continued to ask him, bad been rebuked alone, that so mild a wbo was the person that should be guilty of reproof could provoke any person, however No. 14.

3 G

woman.

wicked, to the horrid act of murdering bis have given bim any sum, rather than not friend, much less Judas, whose covetous have gotten him into their hands? disposition must have disposed him to bear every thing from his Master, from whom In fine, the supposition that Judas believhe expected the highest preferment when he ed his Master to be an impostor, is directly openly declared himself the Messiah, and confuted by the solemn declaration he made took the reins of government into his own to the priests, when he declared the deepest bands.

conviction of the innocence of our great

Redeemer, “I have sinned, said be, in Others think that Judas betrayed his betraying the innocent blood.” Master through covetousness.

But if we understand by covetousness the reward It must be remembered, that the remorse given by the priests, this opinion is equally, he felt for his crime, when he saw his Masdefective ; for the sum was too small for ter condemned, was too bitter to be endurthe most covetous wretch to think equiva ed ; so that he fled even to the king of terlent to the life of a friend, especially when rors for relief. he expected from him the highest posts and advantages.

The evangelist, St. John, tells us, that

he was of so covetous a disposition, as to Others attribute the perfidy of Judas to steal money out of our Lord's bag; and his doubting whether his Master was the hence we have sufficient reason to believe,

, Messiah ; and that he betrayed him in a fit he of despair. But of all the solutions, this obtaining riches, and other temporal adis the worst founded. For if Judas believed vantages, which he expected the Messiah's his Master to be an impostor, he must have friends would enjoy. observed some thing in his behaviour which led him to form such an opinion of him ; It likewise authorizes us to think, that aud in that case he would doubtless, have as be had hitherto reaped none of these admentioned it to the chief priests and elders, vantages, he might grow impatient under when he made the contract with them ; the delay : and the rather, as Jesus had which it is plain he did not, as they would lately disencouraged all ambitious views Wave reminded him of it, when he came back among his disciples, and neglected to emand expressed his remorse for what he had brace the opportunity of erecting that kingdone.

dom which was offered bim by the multitude,

who accompanied him into Jerusalem, with It should always be observed, that had Ju shouts, and crying Hosanna, to the Son of das given them any intimation of this kind, David. His impatience, therefore, becomthey would doubtless bave urged them ing excessive, inspired him with the thought against our blessed Saviour himself, in the of delivering his Master into the hands of course of his trial, wben they were at so the couucil, firmly persuaded that he would great a loss for witnesses to support their ac then be obliged to assume the dignity of cusations; and against the apostles, after the Messiah, and consequently be able to wards when they reproved them for speak reward his followers. For as this court ing in the name of Jesus. Besides, had was composed of the chief priests, elders, Judas thought his Master an impostor, and and scribes, that is, the principal persons proposed nothing hy bis treachery, but the of the sacerdotal order, the representatives price he put upon his life, how came be to of the greatest families, and the doctors of sell bim for such a trifle, when he well the law; the traitor did not doubt but his knew that the chief priests and rulers would Master, when brought before so august an

assembly, would assert bis pretensions to bring him to trial, for assuming the characthe title of Messiah, prove his claim to their ter of the Messiah, and to treat him as it full conviction, gain them over to his in should appear he deserved. The offers, terest, and immediately enter to his regal therefore, which Judas made them of delidignity. And though he must be sensible vering him up, was in conformity to their that the measures he took to compass this declared resolutions. Nor did they underintention were very offensive to his Master, stand it in any other light; for, bad the yet he might think the sucoess of it would priests thought that his design in this was procure his pardon from so compassionate a to get his Master punished with death, they Master, and even recommend him to favour. must also have thought he believed him to In the mean time his project, however be an impostor; in which case they would, plausible it may appear to one of his turn, doubtless, have produced him as one of was far from being free from difficulty: and, their principal evidences, no person being therefore, while he revolved it in his own more proper. Also when Judas returned mind, many things might occur to stagger to them with the money, declaring that he his resolution. At length, thinking himself had sinned, in betraying the innocent blood, affronted by the rebuke of Jesus, at the instead of replying,

67 What is that to us, time when the woman anointed the head of see thou to that?” It was the most natural his Master, he was provoked to execute thing in the world to have upbraided him the resolution he had formed of obliging with the stain he had put upon his Master's him to alter bis measures. Rising there character, hy the contract they had made fore, directly from the table, he went im with him. mediately into the city, to the palace of the high priest, where he found the council It is true, they called the money they gave assembled, consulting how they might take him, “the price of blood :” but they did not Jesus by subtilty, in the absence of the mean this in the strictest sense, as they had multitude.

neither hired Judas to assassinate bis Master,

nor can they be supposed to have charged To them be made known his intention themselves with the guilt of murdering him. of delivering his Master into their hands; It was only the price of blood, consequently and undertook, for a small sum of money, being the reward they had given to the to conduct a band of armed men to the traitor, for putting it in their power to take place where the Saviour of the world usu a way the life of Christ, under the colour ally spent the night with his disciples, where and form of public justice. Now it may be they might apprehend him without the least doubted, whether Judas asked the money danger of a tumult.

as a reward of his service. He covetously,

indeed, kept it, and the priest, for that Some reasons may be offered in support reason, called it the price of blood. of this opinion concerning the motives which induced Judas to betray his Master. In short, Judas knew that the rulers could First, From the nature of the contract, not take away the life of any person wlat. " What will ye give me (said be) and I soever, the Romans having deprived them will deliver bim unto you ?” He did not of that power, and therefore could have mean that he would deliver him up to be no design of this kind in delivering him put to death; for though the priests had up: not to mention that it was a common consulted among themselves, how they opinion among the Jews, that the Messiah might destroy Jesus, they had not been so could never die : an opinion that Judas abominably wicked as to declare their in miglit easily embrace, baving seen bis tention publicly; they only proposed to Master raise several persons, and among

the rest one who had been in the grave no means calculated to lessen the foulness of less than four days.

his crime, which was the blackest inagina

ble. For even in the light above mentioned, Another reason which may be assigned, it implied both an insatiable avarice, and a in confirmation of this opinion, is the trai wilfal opposition to the counsels of Provitor's hanging himself, when he found him dence, and rendered the actor of it a discondemned, not by the governor, but by grace to human nature. But it is calculated the council, whose prerogative it was to to set the credibility of the traitor's action judge prophets. Had Judas proposed to in a proper light, and to shew that he was take away the life of his Master, the sen not moved to it by any thing suspicious in tence of condemnation passed upon him, in the character of his Master: because, accordstead of filling him with despair, must have ing to his view of it, his perfidy, instead of gratified him, being the accomplishment of implying that he entertained suspicions of bis project, whereas the light wherein we his Master's integrity, plainly proves that have endeavoured to place bis conduct, he had the fullest conviction of his being the shews this circumstance to have been per

Messiah. Nor was it possible for any one, fectly natural.

who had been present at the miracles which He knew him to be thoroughly innocent,

Jesus wrought, and the doctrines wbich and expected that he would have wrought he delivered, to admit of a doubt of his

the of such miracles before the council as should

kind ; unless blinded by the most obstinate bave constrained them to believe. There

prejudice. fore, when he found that nothing of this kind was done, and that the priests had passed the sentence of condemnation upon him, and were carrying him to the governor

CHAP. XXXIII. to get it executed, he repented of his rasla and covetous project, came to the chief

Jesus institutes the Sacrament in Comme. priests and elders, the persons to whom he

moration of his Death and Sufferings. had betrayed him, offered them their money

Settles a Dispute which arose among his again, and solemnly declared the deepest conviction of his Master's innocence, hop

Disciples. Predicts Peter's Covar

dice in denying his Master. Fortifies ing that they would have desisted from the

his Disciples against the approaching persecution. But they were obstinate, and

Shock. Foretels Peter's Cowardice would not relent; upon which his remorse arose to such a pitch, that, unable to sup:

again. Preaches to and prays with

his Disciples, for the last Time. Pasport the torments of his conscience, he weist

sionate Address of our Lord to his Fa. and hanged himself.

ther, in the Garden. Thus it is probable, that the traitor's in

HE great Redeemer, ever mindful of

to lay bim under a necessity of proving lis the salvation of lost and perishing sinners, pretentions before the grandees, whoin he was not in the least affected by the treachery had hitherto shunned ; thinking that if they of this apostate disciple. For knowing that had yielded, the whole nation would imme. he must become a sacrifice for sin, &c. be diately have been raised forthwith to the instituted the sacrament of his supper, to summit of their expectations.

perpetuate the memory of it throughout all

ages. Accordingly as they were eating the This account of Judas' conduct is by no paschal supper,

« Jesus took bread, and

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