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Father, with his holy angels"." Then shall we indeed know that he is the Christ, the Holy one of God, the Saviour. May we now so believe in him, as not to be confounded before him at that day; that we may not then be "denied by him before the angels of God." But rather let us now so "believe in God, and also believe in him," that we may now partake of the consolation, and hereafter share in the accomplishment of those delightful and animating words: "In my Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go to prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am, there ye may be also."
THE REMARKABLE SAYINGS OF OUR LORD AT THE TIME OF HIS APPREHENSION, ON HIS TRIAL, AND ON THE CROSS, CONSIDERED. HIS INSTITUTION OF THE SACRAMENT IN COMMEMORATION OF HIS
St. JOHN XVIII. 36, 37.
Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world; if my kingdom were of this world, then would my servants fight, that I should not be delivered to the Jews: but now is my kingdom not from hence. Pilate therefore said unto him, Art thou a king then? Jesus answered, Thou sayest that I am a king. To this end was I born, and for this cause came I into the world, that I might bear witness unto the truth. Every one that is of the truth heareth my voice.
WHEN the Apostle Paul exhorted Timothy to fight the good fight of faith, and to lay hold on eternal life," he gave him charge to keep this commandment "in the sight of God, who quickeneth all things, and before Christ Jesus, who before Pontius Pilate witnessed a good confession"." That confession, in part at least, you
a 1 Tim. vi. 12-14.
have heard in the words of our text. If, however, we agree with those, who so understand the words of the Apostle, as to suppose that he spoke of "the good confession which Jesus witnessed in the days of Pontius Pilate "," we shall then conceive that the Apostle also referred to an equivalent confession which he had then just made before the high priest; and we shall also be reminded of the short but expressive declarations previously made, at the time of his apprehension, and afterwards during his crucifixion. We propose, in this Lecture, to take a cursory review of this series of our Lord's sayings; for in various respects they strikingly exhibit to us the character and office of Jesus, and they will also suggest many considerations respecting the evidences of his divine mission and Messiahship, different, perhaps, from any upon which we have yet touched.
In the conclusion of our last Lecture, we noticed the farewell discourses of our Lord to his disciples, which were followed by his intercessory prayer to the Father on their behalf. He then announced to them his approaching sufferings and departure; and we have now to
ἐνώπιον—-Χριστοῦ Ἰησοῦ τοῦ μαρτυρήσαντος ἐπὶ Ποντίου Πιλάτου τὴν καλὴν ὁμολογίαν. ver. 13.
b John xvii.
accompany them and their Master to the garden of Gethsemane, where his sufferings were to commence, and where, having prepared them, he was about to prepare himself for the trying scene.
Leaving the other disciples with a charge to pray lest they should enter into temptation, and to tarry while he retired to a little distance from them to pray also," he took with him Peter, and James, and John. Having told them of the "exceeding sorrow, even unto death," which had come upon him, "he withdrew about a stone's cast" from them also, leaving it in charge to them "to pray and to watch." The words and the subject of the prayer, which, "being in an agony," "he poured out with strong crying and tears unto his Father," you cannot but remember. Nor need I remind you that his full knowledge of " the iniquity of us all, which was about to be laid on him," and of "the stripes and chastisement which he was about to undergo for our peace and healing," put him to grief, deep and still increasing. Returning from his more earnest supplication for "the third time," and " strengthened by an angel from heaven," by the annunciation, perhaps, that he "had been heard in that he feared," he comes to arouse them to the full sense of their danger by the alarming assurance, "It is enough, the hour is come; behold
c Matt. xxvi. 36-44. Isai. liii. Heb. v. 7.
the Son of man is betrayed into the hand of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at handa." "While he yet spake," Judas appeared with his company. And the contrast exhibited between the conduct of the disciples and of their Master was, if possible, more striking than ever. They acted as men; yet as those in whom an affection for their Master was deeply seated; whose hasty zeal in his behalf, and whose almost immediate fear and flight, were equally natural in their circumstances. But Jesus in his words displayed a composure, a courage, and a perseverance in the discharge of his mission, which was uniformly supported in his whole demeanour, from the first moment of danger, even until the last struggle of dissolving nature. Let us then attentively consider all that from this time fell from his lips, and also, as we have occasion to do, the intelligible significancy even of his silence.
Jesus fearlessly advanced to meet the approaching company of armed men ". "Knowing all things that should come upon him, he went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?" When he had told them that he was the person they sought, "they went backward, and fell to the ground;" either overpowered by a consciousness of his innocence and prophetic character, or
a Mark xiv. 41, 42.
John xviii. 4.