Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

thirty pieces of silver, the price | did value; 10. And gave them of him that was valued, whom for the potter's field, as the they of the children of Israel | Lord appointed me.

[ocr errors]

How different was the event with regard to Peter and Judas! He also had a kind of repentance, which made him return the thirty pieces of silver with abhorrence and anguish, and publicly confess to the very persons who had employed him, that he had sinned in betraying innocent blood. But meeting with neglect and contempt from them, he went and hanged himself. He did not go to thee, and fall at thy feet to implore pardon, but gave himself up to despair. Lord, give us also to profit by this dreadful example of the end of covetousness, and hypocrisy, and want of sincere regard and love to thee, and no more applying to thee for mercy. How strangely did the traitor, at the same time that he betrayed thee, bear testimony to thy innocence! Thus thy all-ruling providence turns the designs of thy enemies to the advancing thy kingdom. It is also remarkable, that these cruel hypocrites, who scrupled not to thirst after thy innocent blood, but scrupled to put the price of it into the treasury, while they bought with it a field to bury strangers in, fulfilled the scripture prophecies, and perpetuated the memory of their own wickedness, as the field was called, "The field of blood."

SECT. CI.

Jesus brought before Pilate, who delivered him to be crucified.

11. And Jesus stood before | the governor and the governor asked him, saying, Art thou the King of the Jews?

And Jesus said unto him, Thou sayest. 12. And when he was accused of the chief priests and elders, he answered nothing.

:

have been assigned for this seeming difference of these the following are most probable. Some conjecture that the words were actually in some prophecy of Jeremiah which has since been transplanted into the book of Zechariah; where chapters x. xi. and xii. certainly bear a great resemblance to those of Jeremiah. Others think that the transcribers of Matthew, or the translators of his gospel, (which is supposed to have been originally written in Hebrew,) have by mistake written Jeremiah for Zechariah. This last eonjecture is the most probable: the reader, however, will adopt that which he thinks most preferable.

C

Thou didst own thyself to be the King of the Jews; but to the many accusations of thy enemies, thou an

sweredst nothing. What could be the cause, may I humbly enquire, of thy silence, Lord? One reason seems to be, that the scripture might be fulfilled, which says, "I as a deaf man heard not." And again, And again," He was "led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep is dumb "before its shearers, so opened he not his mouth." Thou appearedst there to suffer, the just for the unjust, to bear the sins of many transgressors; and therefore, though thou hadst no sin of thy own, thou wast silent, and meekly submittedst. As this was peculiar to thee, as the Saviour of the world, surely thou dost not call us to imitate thee herein; but if we are falsely accused, ought we not, like thy servant Paul, to answer for ourselves? At the same time, grant, O Lord, that we may be chiefly concerned, to have a conscience void of offence; and if unjust men will speak evil against us falsely, may we commit our cause to thee. Lord, guide us.

13. Then said Pilate unto him, Hearest thou not how many things they witness against thee? 14. And he answered

him to never a word; insomuch that the governor marvelled greatly.

It was a new thing to him, to have one brought before him as a criminal, who did not answer the accusations of his adversaries. Thy silence might also reproach him for his carelessness in not making a strict enquiry, which it was his business to do, and which would have effectually vindicated thee; for he knew that they had delivered thee for envy.

15. Now at that feast the | Jesus, which is called Christ? governor was wont to release 18. For he knew that for envy unto the people a prisoner, they had delivered him. 19. whom they would. 16. And When he was set down on the they had then a notable priso- | judgment-seat, his wife sent ner, called Barabbas. 17. unto him, saying, Have thou Therefore, when they were ga- nothing to do with that just thered together, Pilate said unto man; for I have suffered many them, Whom will ye that I re- things this day in a dream belease unto you? Barabbas, or cause of him. 20. But the

[blocks in formation]

chief priests and elders persua- | answered and said unto them,

ded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. 21. The governor

Whether of the twain will ye that I release unto you? They said, Barabbas.

He therefore sought to deliver thee out of their hands, but in such a timid and irresolute manner, as only increased thy sufferings. He first thought to have got thee released, by putting thee in competition with Barabbas, a robber, and a murderer; but the chief priests and elders persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus. They cried out, "Not this man, "but Barabbas." And being asked by Pilate what he should do with thee, they all said, "Let him be cruci"fied." And being urged, "Why, what evil hath he "done? they cried out the more, Let him be crucified." Thus, Lord Jesus, a robber and a murderer escaped, and thou wast given to be crucified. Thou camest in the room of sinners: they were released, and thou wast put in their place. Adored be the love of thy Father, and thy love, which so ordered it. But surely the blindness and wickedness of thy enemies was great, which could prefer Barabbas to thee. Let us never seek honour from the wicked, who thus treated our Saviour.

22. Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then with Jesus, which is called Christ? They all say unto him, Let him be crucified. 23. And the governor said, Why? what evil hath he done? But they cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified. 24. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but that rather a tumult was made, he took water,

and washed his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it. 25. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be on us, and on our children. 26. Then released he Barabbas unto them: and when he had scourged Jesus, he delivered him to be cru|cified.

Thy innocence was testified formerly by Judas, (v. 4.). and now by the wife of Pilate, (v. 19.) and by Pilate once and again: even by these mouths thy innocence was proclaimed; yet the blind rage of thy enemies continued till all was accomplished. Lord, keep us from

being like Pilate, or like the Jews. He met with many checks his wife gave him warning; he was convinced in his own conscience; yet he had not resolution to do his duty, but yielded to the multitude, through fear, or a desire to please them, vainly flattering himself, that his washing his hands publicly before them would free him from the guilt. Lord, let us never deceive ourselves in this manner. Give us Christian fortitude, which will be frightened or flattered into sin by no powers on earth, and which will bear up against inward temptations, no less dangerous. O save us from that blindness and hardness, which made these wicked men cry out, "His blood be on us, and on our children." They have obtained their impious wish, to the conviction of all serious spectators, these seventeen hundred years past. Lord Jesus, now let them be converted; and let thy blood be upon them, and upon us, and our children, as the blood of sprinkling, which speaketh better things than that of Abel.

SECT. CII.

Jesus mocked by the Soldiers, and crucified.

27. Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus into the common hall, and gathered unto him the whole band of soldiers. 28. And they stripped him, and put on him a scarlet robe. 29. And when they had platted a crown of

thorns, they put it upon his head, and a reed in his right hand: and they bowed the knee before him, and mocked him, saying, Hail, King of the Jews! 30. And they spit upon him, and took the reed, and smote him on the head.

It was not enough that the Jewish nation shewed such virulence against thee; the Gentiles were now to join them. The Roman soldiers, a whole band of them, gathered about thee to insult thee. And first they stripped thee, and clothed thee with some casten scarlet robe; and that they might give thee the other ensigns of mockroyalty, they platted thorns into a kind of crown, and put it on thy head, and gave thee a reed in thy right hand for a sceptre; and then bowed the knee before thee, saying, in a mocking way, "Hail, King of the

Jews." Then their contempt turned into rage, and they spit upon thee, and snatched the reed out of thy hand to smite thee with it. Lord, these things ought to fill us with astonishment and horror, and, at the same time, with admiration and praise. The more we see them insulting thee, the more we desire to glorify thy blessed name. Thou art indeed the King of Zion. Hail Son of God, and Saviour of mankind! We rejoice that thou art now clothed with glory and honour by thy Father, and crowned with the brightest and most beautiful crown in heaven; and hast a glorious robe, in which thy name is written, "The word of God;" and hast a sceptre of righteousness, which becomes an iron rod against thy incorrigible enemies. Blessed be God, that now, instead of shame and spitting, thou receivest the united homage of saints and angels, who proclaim with a loud voice, "Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to re"ceive wisdom, and strength, and power, and riches, "and honour, and glory, and blessing." Lord, keep us from a mocking insulting spirit: may we hate it in everyinstance, and the more because it exerted itself against

thee.

31. And after that they had mocked him, they took the robe off from him, and put his own raiment on him, and led him away to crucify him. 32. And

as they came out, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name him they compelled to bear his cross.

After they had mocked thee, they took off the robe, and put thy own raiment upon thee again; while thy saered body, by these changes, suffered new pain, after it had been cruelly scourged. They were not satisfied with all that they had done, but led thee away to crucify thee. And now it would seem, being so weakened by what thou hadst already suffered, and the way to Golgotha being long, and up hill, there was occasion for one to bear thy cross, which thou wast ready to sink under. Simon of Cyrene, whom they met coming out of the country, they compelled to perform that office. Surely it was the greatest honour that ever any man had. We

« AnteriorContinuar »