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550 The Jews declare, he is not Cæsar's Friend, if he let him go. Sect. 188. Therefore he who has delivered me to thee,' even the therefore he that delivered Jewith High-Priest, and his Council, having far me
unto thee hath the John XIX.
greater Sin, greater Opportunities of knowing him and his Law, bath the greater and more aggravated Sin ; yet thou thyfelf canst not but know, that on the Principles of natural Equity, an Innocent Person ought not to be given up to popular Fury... " And from this Time Pilate was fo far fatisfied 12 And from thenceforth of the Injustice of the Prosecution, and of the Pilate sought to release him: Innocence of Jesus, that he endedvoured the more ing, If thou let this Manzo, earnestly to release him. But the Jews ftill insisted thou art not Cefar's Friends on his passing Sentence on him to bé crucified; whosoever maketh himsef
a King, speaketh against and apprehensive of the Governor's Design, that Cefar.
they effectually might put a Stop to his Intention
If thou let this Man go off with his 'Life, thou
Legality of his Government here.
13 When Pilate therewas very much alarmed, as he well knew how brought Jesus forth, and fat
fore heard that Saying, he suspicious a' Prince Tiberius was, and how many down in the Judgment-Scat, Spies he kept on all his officers, that nothing in a Place that is called the might be done or permitted by them in any of Pavement, but in the He
Eeginning of the Verse, fo that it might be translated, Thou couldp bave no Power at all. against me, unless it were given thee from Above for this Purpose. (Compare Note ( on John vit. 21. pag. 49.),
(i) As he well knew how suspicious a Prince Tiberius' was, &c.] Every Body that knows the Character of Tiberius, especially as illustrated by Suetonius in his excellent History, wil see how naturally Pilate might be apprehensive'on' this Head.
About the Third Hour Pilate brings him out as their King. 551
Eminence, so that the Judge fitting on his Thronė Sect. 188.
John XIX, 14. And it was the Pre- And it was then the Preparation of the Pasoa paration of the Passover, and ver, or the Sixth .Day of the Week, and conseabout the Sixth Hour : and
he quently the Day which fell before the Paschal
Sabbath, which was observed with some peculiar
(k) In Hebrew, Gabbatha.] There are various Etymologies of this Word, I think the most probable is that, which derives it from maa, elevavit, and so it intimates its being raised on high. It was, perhaps, a Kind of Stage, or Scaffold, in the Midst a spacious Area belonging to the Palace, in which the Governor might place himself, on publick, and especially on judicial Occasions. It plainly appears from the Connection of the Words, that it was not in his House, but somewhere without, probably in some open Place.
(2) Was drawing on apace towards the Sixth Hour, and was now about the Third Hour, &c.] Difficulties, which seem to me quite invincible, attend the Reading which is generally received, [lt was about the Sixth Hour,), whether we reckon it, according to the Roman Method of Computation, Six in tbe Morning, or according to the Jewish Computation, Twelve at Noon. — The best Commentators I know, (and among the rest of late, Dr. Guyse,) think the whole Difficulty of reconciling these Words of John with Mark, who tells us, (chap. xv. 25. Sect. 189.) that Chrif was crucified at the Third Hour ; and with Matthew and Luke, who exactly agree with him in fixing the Time of that Darkness which happened while Christ hung on the Cross ;; (compare Mat: xxvii. 45: Luke xxiii
. 44. and Mark xv. 33. Sect. 191.) is easily solved by understanding it, according to the Roman Account, of Six in the Morning. But as John was a Jew, and elsewhere seems to use the Jewijn Account, (John i. 39. iv. 6.) that very Suppofition is in general improbable. Or if, out of Regard to the Considerations, which the learned, but here dubious and perplexed, Zeltnèrus has urged, (fee Zeltner. Hor. Pilat. pag. 14, & feq.) we were to grant it in general a supposable Case ; very strong Objections will lie against supposing it here: · For tho' we should; with many Criticks, take it for granted, that the Passover here, fell late in April, (which was the latest it could fall,) the Sun would not rise at Jerusalem till near Five 7 Clock, and one cannot suppose the Sanhedrim assembled ti!l^about Bieak of Day. "How then is it poffible, that their Condemnation of Christ, his Arraignment and Examination, first before Pilate; then before Herod, together with Pilate's repeated Examinations of him, and Conferences with the Jews about him, as also the Change of Dress, Segurging, Crowning with Thorns; &c. should all be dispatched by Six The very Conients of the preceding Stations feem to demonstrate the cớntrary. On the other band, it could not now be Twilve at Noon, fince Mark assures us to the contrary, and his Account is confirmed both by Matthew and Luke. (See the Places quoted above, and Note (d) on Mark xv. 25. Sect. 189.)- I cannot therefore but conclude with Columelus, (Observ. p. 77.). Beza, and Erasmus, that instead of the Sixthi we should read the Third Horers that is, Nire in the Morning. For this we have the Authority of the Cambridge Manuscripts and of Peter of Alexandria, who'expressly asserts it was 'palny the Third, in the Original Copy, which he fays continued till his Time; and tho', as Dr. Mill abundantly thews in his Annotation on this place, all the best Manuscripts and antient Verfions are on the other Side, I am obliged here to follow the superior Authority of common Sense ; however in Submission to the greatest Number of Copies I have still retained the common Reading in the Versions and have only given what I apprehend to be the true Reading in the Paraphrase. Some other unsatisfactory Hypothefes
552 The Jews declare, they have no King but Cæsar. Se&. 188. that they might have Execution done, as usual, he faith unto the Jews, Be
. before Noon. And Pilate finding he must, after John XIX.
all, yield to the People, and consent to the Death 14.
of Jesus, left his former Struggle should be mis-
think fit to own him, as
15 But they cried out, again cried out with indignation and Disdain, Away him, crucify him. Pilate
with him, away with with [him,] away with him ;) we are so far from faith unto them, Shall I cruowning him, that we desire thee to crucify bim. cify your King The Chief Pilate Fays to them, What, shall I crucify your
Priests answered, We have
no King but Cesar.
maintain, Matth. And Pilate 'seeing that it fignified nothing any Pilate faw that he could pre
Mar. XXVII.24. When XXVII. 24: longer to oppose the popular Torrent, but that vail nothing, but that rather
they rather grew more tumultuous by the Delay, a Tumult was made, he took was determined however to do all he could, to Water, and walhed hisHands make his own Conscience easy in complying with ing, I am innocent of the
before the Multitude, fay-
you are answerable for them, whatever they may
25 Then answered all the We will. venture those Consequences : May his people, and faid, His Blood
will be touched on in the Note last referred to. See a large and accurate View of them, in Wolf. Cur. Phil. Vol. i. pag. 969,-976
(m) He took Water, and washed bis Hands, &c.] It is well known, that the Jews in some Cases were appointed to wash their Hands, as a solemn Token, that they were not themselves concerned in the Murther committed by some unknown Person: (See Deut, xxi. 6,-9.) But as this was alo a Rite that was frequently used by the Gentiles in Token of Innocence, it is more probable, that Pilate, who was a Gentile, did it in Conformity to them. See Grotius, in loc. and Elsner. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 122, 123.
They wish his Blood upon them, and Pilate condemns him.
553 be on us, and on our Chil- Blood, if innocent, be on us, and on our Children ! Sect. 188. dren.
and may the Curse of thedding it lie upon us
throughout all Generations (n)! LUKE XXIII. 24. And
And when they had said this, Pilate, who Luk.XXIII. Pilate [willing to content the People,) gave Sentence
now was something easier in his own Mind, and 24. that it should be as they re- was defrous to satisfy the People (e), since he
perquired. [MARKXV.15.-) ceived it could be done no other Way, pronounced
Sentence, that what they demanded should be done,
and that Jesus should be put to Death.
And in pursuance of that Sentence, be released 25
, Whedelic importunately desired in Preference to Christ : And
that Torture (P); however, be delivered him to
(n) May his Blood be on us, and on our Children !] As this terrible Imprecation was dreadfully answered in the Ruin so quickly brought on the Jewish Nation, and the Calamities which have fince pursued that wretched People, in almost all Ages and Countries ; so it was peculiarly illustrated in the Severity, with which Titus, merciful as he naturally was, treated the Jews whom he took during the Siege of Jerusalem; of whom Josephus himself writes, (Bell
. Jud. lib. v. cap. 11. (al. vi. 12.) §. 1.) that masig guevo aves aupsv/o, having been scourged, and tortured in a very terrible Manner, they were crucified, in the View, and near the Walls of the City ; perhaps, among other Places, on Mount Calvary: And it is very probable, this might be the Fate of some of those very Persons, who now joined in this Cry, as it undoubtedly was of many of their Children. For Josephus, who was an Eyewitness, expressly declares, “ that the Number of those thus crucified was so great, that “ there was not Room for the Crosses to stand by each other ; and that at last, they had “ not Wood enough to make Croles of.” A Passage which, especially when compared with the Verse before us, impresses and astonishes me beyond any other, which I recollect in the whole Story. If this were not the very Finger of GOD, pointing out their Crime in crucifying his Son, it is hard to say what could deserve to be called so.—Elsner has abundantly shewn, that among the Greeks, the Persons, on whose Testimony others were put to Death, used by a very solemn Execration, to devote themselves to the Divine Vengeance, if the Person so condemned were not really guilty. (Elsn. Observ. Vol.i. pag. 123,—-125.)
(0) Defirous to satisfy the People : 70 ixaron moindan.) As his former Adminiftration had
(P) Having already scourged Jefus : opazenwas.] Many Criticks, and among the rest
554 They take off the Purple Robe, and lead him to be crucified. Sect. 188.as they thought proper ; and they soon shewed,
that their tender Mercies were cruel.
Mat. XXVII. 31. And XXVII. 31. after they had mocked and insulted him for a while, him, they took the (Purple
) ] just as the Roman Soldiers had before done in the Robe off from him, and
put Prætorium, deriding his Pretences to a Kingdom, his own Raiment on him, and abusing him like the vilest Slave, they took the and led him away to crucify
him. [MARK XV, 20.] Purple Robe off from him (9), and having dressed him in his own Garments, they led him away to be crucified, in a Manner which we shall presently relate.
IM PROV E M E N T. Johnxix. 13. ÉT us now, by a lively Act of Faith, bring forth the Blessed Jesus
to our Imagination, as Pilate brought him forth to the People. Let us with affectionate Syınpathy survey the Indignities which were offered him, when he gave his Back to the Smiters, and his Cheeks to them that
plucked off the Hair ; and bid not his Face from Shame and Spitting. Mat. xxvii. (Isa. 1. 6.) Behold the Man, wearing his Purple Robe, and Thorny Crown,
and bearing the Reed which smote him, in his Right Hand, for a Sceptre ! John xix. 5. Behold, not merely the Man, but the Son of GOD, thus vilely degraded,
thus infamously abused ! Shall we, as it were, increase his Sufferings, and, while we condemn the Fury and Cruelty of the Jews, shall we crucify bim to ourselves afresh, and put him to an open Shame ? (Heb. vi. 6.) Ör Thall we overlook him with Slight and Contempt, and bide our Faces from
bim, who for our sake thus exposed his own ? (Isa. liii. 3.) Ver. 7, 8. Let the Caution even of this Heathen Judge, who feared, when he
beard he so much as pretended to be the Son of GOD, engage us to reve
rence him ; especially considering in how powerful a Manner he has since Mat. xxvii. been declared to be só. (Rom. i. 4.) Let us in this Sense have nothing to da
with the Blood of this just Person : But, after our Master's Example, let us learn patiently to resign ourselves to those Sufferings, which God shall
appoint for us, remembering that none of the Enemies, and none of the Johnxix. 11. Calamities we meet with, could have any Power against us, except it were given them from Above.
(9) They took the Purple Robe off from him.] It is observable, that Matthew (chap. xxvii. 28.) mentions a Scarlet Robe, xoxxivne znauuda, and Mark (chap. xv. 20.) a Purple Garment, the mopoupou. I take not upon me to determine, whether either of these Words be used for the other, waving, as in some other Cases, the most exact Signification; or whether there were two Garments used, a Purple Veft, and over that a Scarlet Robe. However, it is probable, whatever they were, Pilate, or any of his chief Officers, would not cover his bleeding Body with any thing better, than an old, and perhaps tattered Habit, which an. swered their contemptuous Purpose much better, than the best which the Governor's Wardrobe could have afforded.