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504 . Reflections on Chris rYAgoiiy in the Garden.

Sect. 182. his Hands on this awful Occasion. Let us behold him kneeling, and

even prostrate on the Ground, and there pouring out his Jirong Cries Mar xiv. anj clears, to him that was able to save him from Death. (Heb. v. j.) Luke xxii. Let us view him in this bloody Agony, and fay, If these Things be done 44- - in the green Tree, what shall be done in the dry? (Luke xxii. 31.J If even Christ himself was so depressed with Sorrow and Amazement, and the Distress and Anguish of his Soul were such, that in his Agony the Sweat ran from him like great Drops of Blood, when our Iniquities were laid upon him, and it pleased the Father to bruise him, and to put him to Grief; (Isa. I'm. 6, 10.) how must the Sinner then be filled with Horror, and with what dreadful Agonies of Anguish and Despair will he be overwhelmed, when he shall bear the Burden os his own Iniquities, and God shall pour out all his Wrath upon him? Behold, how fearful a Thing it is, to fall into the Hands of the living GOD! {Heb. x. 31.) Here was no Human Enemy near our Blessed Redeemer j yet such Mat. xxvi. invisible Terrors set themselves in Array against him, that his very Soul 38. was poured out like Water; nor was there any Circumstance of his Suf

ferings, in which he discovered a greater Commotion of Spirit. Nevertheless, his pure and holy Soul bare all this, without any irregular Perturbation. In all this he finned not by a murmuring Word, or an impatient Thought: He shone the brighter for the Furnace of AjjUblion, and gave us at once the most wonderful, and the most amiable Pattern Ver. 39,42. of Resignation to the Divine Disposal, when he said, Father, not as 1 will, but as thou wilt. May this be our Language under every Trial 1 Lord, we could wish it was j and we would maintain a holy Watchfulness over our own Souls, that it may be so: But in this Respect, as well Ver. 41. as in every other, we find that even when the Spirit is willing, the Flejh is weak. How happy is it for us, that the Blessed Jesus knows our Frame, and has learnt by what he himself suffered in our frail Nature, to make the most compassionate Allowance for its various Infirmities! Let us learn to imitate this his gentle and gracious Conduct, even in an Hour of so much Distress. Let us bear with, and let us pity each other, not aggravating every Neglect of our Friends into a Crime j but rather speaking of their Faults in the mildest Terms, and making the most candid Excuses for what we cannot defend. Let us exercise such a Temper, even in the most gloomy and dejected Moments of Life j which surely may well be expected of us, who ourselves need so much Compassion and Indulgence almost from every one with whom we converse; and which is infinitely more, who owe our All to the Forbearance of that God, of whose Mercy it ist that we are not utterly consumed.

SECT.

Judas comes to the Garden with Soldiers to seize him. 505

SECT. CLXXXIII.

Christ is betrayed by Judas, and seized by the Guards to whom he voluntarily surrenders himself and is then forsaken by all his Disciples. Mat. XXVI. 47,—56. Mark XIV. 43, 52. Luke XXII. 47, 53. John XVIII.

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John XVIII. 2. ,
\T O W when our Lord was thus retired to the Sect.

183.

3 Judas then having received a Band of Men, and Officers from the Chief Priests and Pharisees, Cometh thither with Lanterns, and Torches, and Weapons.

Mark XIV. 43. And

immediately, while he yet

spake, [lo, Judas, one of the

Twelve,

Garden, "Judas also that betrayed him knew the Place; for Jesus often resorted thither in Com- JohnXVHI. pany with his Disciples (a), and had particularly done it again and again, since his corning up to spend this Passover at Jerusalem. (Compare Luke xxi. 37. pag. 414.) Judas therefore taking with ^ him a Cohort, or a Company [of] Roman [Soldiers,] with their Captain, (see ver. 12.) and fame Jewish Officers with them, who were sent for that Purpose from the Chief Priests and other Pharisees belonging to the Sanhedrim, comes thither with Torches, and Lamps, and hostile Weapons; which they brought with them, tho* it was now Full Moon, to use their Arms, if they should meet with any Opposition, or to discover him by their Lights, if he should go about to hide himself, as they foolishly imagined he might, among the private Walks or other Recesses of the Garden.

And immediately', while he was yet speaking to Mark XIV. his Disciples, and giving them the Alarm menti- 43oned in the Close of the last Section, behold, this

very

(a) Jesus often resorted thither with his Disciples.} It was probably a Garden, which belonged to one of Christ's Friends, and to which he had a Liberty of retiring whenever he pleased. And here accordingly he often used to spend some considerable Time in Prayer and pious Converse, in the Evenings, or Nights, after his indefatigable Labours in the City and Temple by Day. It is indeed amazing, how Flejh and Blood could go thro' such incessant Fatigues; but it is very probable, Christ might exert some miraculous Power over his own Animal Nature, to strengthen it for such difficult Services, and to preserve it in Health and Vigour; otherwise the copious Dews, which fall by Night in those Parts, must have been very dangerous, (as I have elsewhere hinted, Seel. 86. Note (c),) especially when the Body was heated by preaching in the Day, and often by travelling several Miles on Foot.

Vol. II. ~ S s s " (b) Had

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Twelve, came, ] and with him a great Multitude with Swords and Staves, from the Chief Priests, and the Scribes, and the Elders [of the People.] [mat. XXVI. 47-. Luke XXII. 47.—1

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506 He appoints a Signal to difiinguifli Jesus,

Sect. 183. very Judas, one of the Twelve Apostles, came into i^^v^ the Garden, and with him a great Multitude of Mark XIV. persons Qc very different Stations and Offices in Life, who were sent with Authority from the Chief Priests, and Scribes, and Elders of the People; and more effectually to execute their Orders, they were armed with Swords and Staves, to seize him by Violence,. if any * Resistance should be made to the Attempt: And there were also with them some Persons of superior Rank and Quality, who, full of impatient and malicious Zeal, could not forbear mingling themselves with the Dregs of the People, upon this infamous Occasion. (See Luke xxii. 52. pag. 511.) Now be that betrayed him went a little before the rest of them; [and] that they might not be mistaken in the Person, he had given them a Signal, by which they might distinguish Jesus from any others who might chance to be with him (b), faying, He whom 1 shall kiss at my first entering into the Garden, is the Person you are commissioned totake (f): Be sure therefore to lay hold of him immediately, and lead him away safely j for he has sometimes made strange Escapes from those that have attempted to take him, and if he get away from you after this Signal, it will be your Fault, and not mine (d). And accordingly being come into the Garden, he drew near to fesus to hjs him, as a Signal to the Company to seize him j [and] going direcJly to him, with an Air of the greatest Respect, as if he had been impatient of his Absence during those few Hours which had passed since he saw him last, and was quite transported with Joy to meet him again, he said, with the

fairest

44 And he tftat betrayed him [luk. went before them, ants] had given them a Token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that (ame is he; take him, [hold him fast,] and lead him away safely. [mat. XXVI 48. Luke XXII.—47.-I

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45 And as soon as he was

come, he [luk. drew near

unto Jesus to kiss him; and]

goeth straightway to him,

and

(b) Had given them a Signal] As those that came to apprehend him were Stangers to Jesus, and it was now Night, and there were Twelve Persons together, probably dressed much alike, such a Signal might be thought more necessary.

(c) He whom I Jhall kiss is the Person.] It is indeed probable, as Dr. Guyse, and others, observe, that our Lord in great Condescension had used (according to the Jewish Custom,) to permit his Disciples thus to salute him, when they returned to him after having been any Time absent.

(d) Lay hold os him, and lead him away safely.] Compare Luke iv. 30. John viii. 59.

x. 39. 1 am ready to imagine from this Precaution, that Judas might suspect, lhat

Chrijl would on this Occasion renew the Miracles he had formerly wrought for his own Deliverance; tho' he had so expresily declared the contrary. See Mat. xxvi. 24. p. 434.

W Dost

and faith, [Hail] Master,
Master; and kissed him.
[mat. XXVI. 49. Luke
XXII. —47O

MAT.XXVI.50.—[But] Jesus said unto him, Friend, wherefore art thou come? [ Judas, betrayest thou the Son of Man with a Kiss?] [luke XXII. 48.]

and betrays the Son of Man with a Kiss. 507

fairest Appearances of Duty and Friendship, HailScQ:. 183. to thee, Rabbi, Rabbi! May the greatest Pleasure '^~*s—<J and Happiness continually attend thee! And upon" '"

John XVIII. 4. Jesus therefore knowingall Things that should come upon him, went forth,- and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

this he kissed him. But Jesus, well understand- Mat. XXVI.
ing the perfidious Purposes concealed under this 50.
fond Address, answered with great Mildness, yet
with becoming Spirit, and said to him, Friend,
wherefore art thou come? and whence is all this
Ceremony and Transport? Think of it, Judas!
Is this the Friendship thou hast so often boasted?
Alas, dost thou betray him, whom thou canst not
but know to be the Son of Man, with such a
treacherous Kiss (e)? And dost thou think, that
he can be imposed upon by this poor Artifice?
or that God, who has promised him so glorious
and triumphant a Kingdom, will not punish such
Baseness and Cruelty to him?

Then Jesus, tho' he fully understood what JohnXVIII.
was to follow this perfidious Salutation, as know- +•
ing all the dreadful Things that were coming
upon him (f), yet did not attempt to escape,
or to withdraw himself out of the Power of his
Enemies: Nevertheless, he determined to shew
them, that he could easily have done it; and
therefore, as they now, upon the Signal that was
given them, were drawing near to seize him,
he went forth towards his Enemies, and said to
them, with the greatest Composure of Mind,

Whom

(e) Do/I thou betray the Son of Man with a Kiss ?] There is great Reason to believe, that cur Lord uses this Phrase of the Son of Man to "Judas on this Occasion, (as he had done the fame Evening at Supper twice in a Breath,) in the Sense here given; (compare Note (h) on Mat. xxvi. 24. fag. 434.) and it adds a Spirit to these Words that has not often been observed, which the attentive Reader will discern to be attended with much greater Strength and Beauty, than if our Lord had only said, Doji thou betray me with a Kiss?

(f) Knowing all Things that were coming upon him.] Our Lord not only knew in general, that he should suffer some great Evil, or even Death itself; but was acquainted also with all the particular Circumstances of Ignominy and Horror, that should attend his Sufferings, which accordingly he largely foretold, (fee Mat. xx. 18, 19. and the parallel Places, pag.

164.) tho' many of these Circumstances were as contingent, as can well be imagined.

It is impossible to enter aright into the heroic Behaviour of our Lord Jesus Christ, without carrying this Circumstance along with us. The Criticks are in Raptures at the Gallantry of Achilles, in going to the Trojan War, when he knew, (according to Homer,) that he should fall there: But he must have a very low Way of thinking, who does not fee infinitely more Fortitude in our Lord's Conduct on this great Occasion, when this Circumstance, so judiciously, tho' so modestly suggested by St. John, is duly attended to.

S s s 2 {g) They

5 They answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus faith unto them, I am he. And Judas also which betrayed him, stood with them.

6 As soon then as he had said unto them, I am be, they went backward, and fell to the Ground.

508 Jesus comes forward, and the Soldiers fall to the Ground.

Sect. 1$ 3. Whom do you come to seek here? And they ^^7^ were s° confounded at the Air of Majesty and J° Intrepidity with which he appeared, that with

out saying, they were come for him, they only

answered him, We arc come to seek Jesus the

Nazarene. Jesus fays to them, You have the

Person then before you; I am [he.] And Judas

also who betrayed him, then stood with them; and

he who formerly had followed Christ as one of

his Disciples, now sorted with his open and

6 avowed Enemies. Then as soon as he said to
them, I am [he,] there went forth such a secret
Energy of Divine Power with those Words, that
all their united Force was utterly unable to resist
it; so that they presently drew back, as afraid to
approach him, tho' unarmed and unguarded; and
fell at once to the Ground (g), as if they had been

7 struck with Lightning. Yet a few Moments
after, recovering from this Consternation, they
arose and rallied again; and then as they came up
the second Time, he asked them again, Whom do
you seek? And they said to him as before, Jefits

% the Nazarene. Jesus answered them, / have
already told you that I am [he:] If therefore you
seek me alone, you may let these my Companions
and Friends go their Way in Safety (h)yand indeed
I shall insist upon that, as a Condition of surren-
dering myself to you* which you may easily per-
ceive

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is) Ti"y drnv back, and fell to the Ground.] As there were Scribes and Priejis among them, they must have read of the Deji'ruflion of those Companies, which came to seize the Prophet Elijah; (2 Kings i. 10; 12.) a Fact, which bore so great a Resemblance to this, that it is an amazing Instance of the most obdurate Wickedness, that they sliould venture to renew the Assault on Christ, after so sensible an Experience both of his Power and Mercj. Nothing seems more probable, than that these Wretches might endeavour to persuade themselves and their Attendance, that this strange Repulse was effected by some Damon, in Confederacy with 'Jesus, who opposed the Execution of Justice upon him; and they might, perhaps, ascribe it to the special Providence of God, rather than to the Indulgence of 'Jesus, that they had received no farther Damage. The most corrupt Heart has its Reasonings to support it, in its absurdest Notions, and most criminal Actions.

(h) Let these go their Way.~\ What Tenderness was here towards those, who had so litely neglected him, (sleeping while he was in such an extream Agony,) that yet he would not suffer them to be terrified by so much as a short Imprisonment? And the Words also intimate, that he intended presently to dismiss them, as probably not thinking it convenient to appear before his Judges with such an Attendance. His Disciples, perhaps, might consider this Speech as an Excuse for their forsaking him; but had they viewed it in a just Light, it would rather have appeared a strong Engagement upon them to have waited for that tut Dismission, which our Lord seemed about to give them.

8 Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he. If therefore ye seek me, la these go their Way:

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