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forth, and sat down in the judgement-seat, in a place that is called The Pavement, but in the Hebrew, Gabbatha. 14. (And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the sixth hour) and he saith unto the Jews, Behold your King! 15. But they cried out, Away

ever.

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with him, away with him; crucify him! Pilate saith unto them, Shall I crucify your King? The chief priests answered, We have no King but Cæsar. 16. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away.

The Jews had said, By our law he ought to die, be"cause he made himself the Son of God." Thou didst indeed declare thyself to be the Son of God, and claim the honour due to God. For thou saidst, "the Father "hath committed all judgment to the Son, that all men "should honour the Son, even as they honour the Fa"ther." And the truth of thy declaration, and the justice of thy claim, were proved by thy works which the Father gave thee to finish; and by his voice from heaven. We desire therefore with our whole hearts to acknowledge thee the Son of God, and God blessed for When Pilate heard that saying, he was the more afraid, and going again into the judgment-hall, saith unto thee, "Whence art thou?" But thou gavest him no answer. May we humbly inquire, Lord, into the reason of thy silence? Perhaps it is not necessary that we should know it. It is sufficient that thy perfect wisdom saw it proper at this time. One reason might be, that thou wouldst do nothing to hinder thy crucifixion. Thou hadst also given Pilate an answer formerly, concerning the nature of thy kingdom, to which he had not paid due regard, and thereby increased his guilt. And thou, no doubt, sawest at this time the naughtiness of his heart, which soon discovered itself by his indignation at thy silence, and his boasting that he had power over thee, But to this boasting thou answeredst, "That he could "have no power at all against thee, except it were given "him from above." Here, notwithstanding thy deep humiliation, thou shewedst thyself superior to thy haughty judge. Thou gavest him to understand that thou lookedst beyond him to the hand of thy Father, by whose

determinate counsel and foreknowledge all this was done. And to let him see that thou wast Lord of his conscience, and yet wast not moved by his provoking behaviour to esteem his sin greater than that of others, thou addest, "He that delivered me unto thee hath the greater sin." Surely, Lord, the sin of Pilate was very great; but it appears from these words of thine, that the sin of Judas, and the sin of Caiaphas and his brethren, and the sin of the Jews, was greater; for they had access to know thee, from the scriptures, to be the Messiah, which Pilate had not, though he might have known thy divine mission from thy works. O save us from acting against our light, as Pilate did, for the fear or pleasure of men. And above all, save us from imitating the unbelief, and hardness, and persecuting malice of these other greater sinners. To what an amazing height did their hatred rise, when, though the Roman yoke was odious and oppressive to them, they fled to it, to avoid thine, saying, "We "have no king but Cæsar:" And, "If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend." Ah, hypocritical and detestable profession of loyalty to Cæsar! A few years after this, rather than submit to Cæsar, they brought upon their nation the unparallelled calamities which thou hadst foretold with tears. Thus it fares with those sinners against their own souls who refuse to have thee to reign over them. Lord Jesus, reign in our hearts. Let nothing have any influence there, but in subordination to thee.

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SECT. XXXVI.

Jesus is taken from the Court of Pilate, and crucified.

17. And he, bearing his cross, went forth into a place, called The place of a scull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha ; 18. Where they crucified him, and two other with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19. And Pilate wrote a title, and

put it on the cross, And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 20. This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin. 21.

Then said the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews. 22. Pilate answered, What I have written, I have written. 23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout : 24. They said

:

therefore among themselves,
Let us not rend it, but cast lots
for it, whose it shall be that
the scripture might be fulfilled,
(Psal. xxii. 18.) which saith,
They parted my raiment among
them, and for my vesture they
did cast lots. These things
therefore the soldiers did. 25.
Now there stood by the cross
of Jesus his mother, and his
mother's sister, Mary the wife
of Cleopas, and Mary Magda-
lene.

[See the Reflections on Matt. XXVII. v. 35.
p. 133, 134.]

26. When Jesus therefore saw his mother, and the disciple standing by whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, Wonian, behold thy son! 27. Then

saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.

Though thou wast dying a painful death, thou wast not unmindful of the temporal concerns of thy friends. May we imitate thy blessed example. Happy disciple, whom thou so lovedst, and so honouredst, and to whom thou gavest such a convincing proof of thy knowledge of his love to thee. No wonder that he readily undertook the charge. Grant, O Lord, that we may account it an honour to relieve and comfort any who belong to thee; for thou lookest on every one of them as thy mother, and sister, and brother.

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fore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he

bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

When all the other predictions concerning thy sufferings were now accomplished, that the scripture might be fulfilled, thou saidst, "I thirst:" And in this thy thirst, occasioned by the loss of blood, and the pain of crucifixion, they gave thee vinegar to drink. When therefore thou hadst received the vinegar, thou saidst, "It is finished;" and bowing thy head, gavest up thy Spirit to thy Father. All thy sufferings for the glory of God, and the salvation of men, were now over. Complete satisfaction was made to justice. The price of redemption of souls was now fully paid. Glory to thy divine constancy, patience, and love, which continued firm to the last. O merciful Saviour, though men gave thee in thy thirst vinegar to drink, thou dost not render evil for evil; thou sayest, "I will give to him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life, freely." Had it not been for thy love, we should have in vain sought a drop of water to cool our tongues in hell. But we trust in thee, who sufferedst for us, and didst not give over till thou couldst say, "It is finished."

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main upon the cross on the sab-blood and water. 35. And he bath-day, (for that sabbath-day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be

taken away.
32. Then came
the soldiers, and brake the legs
of the first, and of the other
which was crucified with him.
33. But when they came to
Jesus, and saw that he was dead
already, they brake not his legs:

that saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36. For these things were done, that the scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken. (Exod. xii. 46.) 37. And again, another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced. (Zech. xii. 10.)

We adore divine providence in what befel thee immediately after thy death. The soldiers brake the legs of those that were crucified with thee. But when they

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came to thee, they forbore, observing that thou wast dead already. But one of the soldiers with a spear pierced thy side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water. Thus the reality of thy death was put beyond all doubt, and the scripture was fulfilled, "A bone of him shall not be broken." And again, another scripture saith, They shall look on him whom they pierced." Glory be to God, for this double stream of blood and water from thy wounded side. O cleanse us by this blood, from the guilt and pollution of all our sins; and purify our whole souls and bodies by this sanctifying water. It is said, thy people of old drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ. May we drink of this heavenly water, through the whole of our pilgrimage. We have pierced thee, Lord Jesus, by our sins. Oh, pour upon us the Spirit of grace and of supplication, that we may look on thee with the eye of faith, and may mourn as one mourneth for his only son, and be in bitterness as one that is in bitterness for his first-born. We bless thee, that in the day of pentecost this was fulfilled in many of thy persecutors and murderers. O hasten the happy time of their national conversion, when there shall be a great mourning among them, and great joy in heaven upon their repentance.

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[See the Reflections on Matt. XXVII. v. 57—60. p. 142, 143.]

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