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because Jesus himself exerted upon them a miraculous power. When they arose, still determined to persevere in their design, Jesus pleaded for the personal safety of his disciples only; "that the saying which he had just spoken might be fulfilled, Of those that thou gavest me, I have lost "I have told you," said he again, “that I am he; if then ye seek me, let these go their way." Three other separate addresses he made at the same season.-When Judas advanced to give the signal, upon which he had agreed with the officers beforehand, Jesus intimated to him his knowledge of the plan which he had concerted, and of its object. "Friend, wherefore art thou come? Betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss?" The officers, emboldened by the perseverance of their guide, laid hands on Jesus, and bound him. And is he then bound, and led away as a malefactor, who is surrounded by those who professed their readiness to " go with him even unto prison, and unto death?" He, who claimed the peculiar co-operation and protection of his heavenly Father; who had wrought so many wonders of mercy and of power; who had spoken as never man spake?" Is he now found unaided, and powerless, and silent? He is not indeed delivered. Yet he shewed, once and
John xviii. 9. See xvii. 12.
again, that he could even then be rescued, though by no human arm; that he could escape out of their hands, in such a manner as he had done aforetime. And he at this juncture so expressed himself, as to leave his character as a divine teacher unimpaired by these apparently humiliating incidents, and to prepare us to expect consequences from them of the highest importance, and of the deepest interest. He spoke such things both to his own disciples, and to his enemies.
His disciples eagerly inquiring whether they should smite with the sword, and Peter having actually done so, Jesus charged him to "put up again his sword into its place." "For," said he, "all they that take the sword, shall perish with the sword. Thinkest thou that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more than twelve legions of angels? But how then shall the Scriptures be fulfilled, that thus it must be?
The cup which my Father hath given me, shall
I not drink it?"-He had before apprised them of the approaching fulfilment of prophecy by the delivery of the Son of man into the hands of sinners. They had also just heard him declare to his heavenly Father his acquiescence in his will, and his readiness to drink the cup which was
* Matt. xxvi. 52-54.
b John xviii. 11.
presented to him, since it was not to "pass from him, except he drank it." They might therefore collect from his present observations that nothing had come upon him which he had not foreseen. And if, by such a destiny, Scripture was fulfilled, and the Father's will accomplished; and if he, who had to drink the bitter cup, was himself unmoved and resigned, and exhorted them to be so; they might reasonably, not only so far submit, as to abstain from actual resistance, but they might also contentedly acquiesce in, and await the approaching developement of the purposes of God.
To those, who came to apprehend him, Jesus spoke in a different manner. Their present conduct was prompted by the spirit of malignant unbelief, rather than occasioned by the infirmity of human nature. With them therefore he expostulated, not at all with the design of procuring his liberation, but that he might shew them the injustice and cowardly baseness of their present procedure, and also announce to them that while they followed the suggestions of their own depravity, they would unwittingly be the agents for the fulfilment of Scripture. But he prefaced his words by the miraculous cure of the wounded Malchus, thereby once more demonstrating the authority of that doctrine, for which he was "an ambassador in bonds." Having checked the too
forward zeal of his disciples, he thus addressed those who had apprehended him. "Are ye come out, as against a thief, with swords and staves for to take me? I sat daily with you teaching in the temple, and ye laid no hold on me. But all this has been done that the Scriptures of the prophets might be fulfilled". This is your hour, and the power of darkness"."
Not far dissimilar were his remarks when, brought before the Sanhedrim, assembled in the house of Caiaphas, he stood alone, forsaken of all his disciples, and was questioned by the high priest respecting his disciples, and his doctrine. "I spake openly to the world: I ever taught in the synagogue, and in the temple, whither the Jews always resort, and in secret have I said nothing. Why askest thou me? ask them which heard me, what I have said unto them. Behold, they know what I said."-The rulers knew that they could bring forward no witnesses who could give evidence upon which he might be capitally convicted. That nothing less than this would satisfy them, or answer their purpose, is evident from their former watching of Jesus, and from their consultations "how they might put him to
a Τοῦτο δὲ ὅλον γέγονεν, ἵνα πληρωθῶσιν αἱ γραφαὶ τῶν προOnTv. Matt. xxvi. 55, 56.
b Luke xxii. 53.
John xviii. 20, 21.
death;" and their whole conduct both in their own court, and before Pilate, proved the same. In default of evidence, Caiaphas was desirous to draw from him some incautious expression, which, being publicly heard, might supply a pretext for his condemnation. He might hope, when he questioned him concerning his disciples, and his doctrine, to be able either to convict him of tumultuous proceedings, or of impugning the law of Moses, or of blasphemy. But this mode of procedure was as unavailing, as it was unjust. Jesus knew that even his condemnation, which was shortly to follow, would be found perfectly consistent with his innocence, and that it would even furnish many unequivocal proofs of it; and he therefore challenged them to bring forward those who had heard him in public. He manfully and calmly maintained his ground, even when angrily smitten, by one of the officers that stood by, because he had "so answered the high priest.” "If," said he, "I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil; but if well, why smitest thou med?" His answer to the high priest was perfectly just and respectful, unless it could be proved that he had taught some dangerous doctrine. He required of the officer to do so, if he could bring witness of any such. An endeavour was made by the rulers to
d John xviii. 22, 23.