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the betrayer was well acquainted. This is a proof of the willing cheerfulness with which Christ entered on his sufferings, and is truly an important point to be laid to heart in the history of our Saviour's passion Judas knew the place; but Christ was also sensible that the traitor did know it. He might very easily have chosen for this recess some other unknown place: but his exceeding love to us carried him to the very place which his betrayer was acquainted with. Thus did he go, like a harmless lamb to the slaughter, to meet his unrelenting murderers. Here the following observations naturally offer themselves.

1. It is also one of the chief points of Christ's suf. ferings, that one of his intimate friends, who had eaten of his bread, lifted up his heel against him. As the prophecies were fulfilled (Psal. xli. 10. and lv. 14.) in this circumstance, so the justice of retaliation emi. nently shews itself. Our first unhappy fall was preceded by the most flagitious perfidy; as man, the intimate friend and guest of God, violated his fidelity and allegiance to his indulgent Creator. This is implied in every wilful sin, God being thereby trampled under foot by those miscreants who every day eat his bread. To atone for this, the blessed Jesus permitted such an afflictive incident to happen to him, which, we have reason to conclude, gave occasion to many severe and opprobrious reflections from his en. veterate enemies. Now it may be seen, said they, what manner of person this Jesus of Nazareth is; his very disciples and followers come and offer him to sale. But this incident is still not unfrequent in the church of God, where his faithful servants and dear children are often betrayed by those, whom they have treated with the greatest confidence and affection. However, he has sanctified this calamity in the sacred person of Christ. But we may here justly say, 'Woe to him by whom Christ is betrayed in his members."

2. One single sin, when deeply rooted in the heart, may be productive of many other heinous crimes. Judas was extremely covetous. This induced him to be continually embezzling and concealing part of what he received. (John xii. 6.) This, by long practice, became a habit ; by which the love of money increased to such a degree in him, that at last he sold his Lord and master for an inconsiderable sum. Oh, that by this detestable example we may be rendered wise and cautious! Satan does not always make use of seven cords to bind a soul (Judges xvi. 8.) for destruction. One alone is sufficient for his purpose. The bulk of mankind unhappily suppose, that if they do not live in all the works of the flesh, they are safe : though they indulge a small favourite sin, which they think cannot be of much consequence. Alas! Judas, to his unspeakable grief, found the contrary to be true. All the sins recorded of him are avarice and theft; but these cost him his life and eternal salvation.

This was the chain in which Satan bound the unhappy Judas. One he entangles with the snare of intemperance, another he captivates with ambition, a third with voluptuousness and secret impurity, &c. but he leads them all to utter ruin and perdition, unless a sincere conversion and repentance intervenes. This should animate us to cast off the chains of the devil, and to prostrate ourselves at the feet of the blessed Jesus, with prayer and intercession, that he would loose the bonds of sin, before we are fast bound in misery and iron.'

3. The Lord Jesus hath also sanctified this kind of suffering which his children are exposed to, when their religious private assemblies are known to treacherous persons. Here our Lord was to permit, that the place to which he resorted should be kuown to Judas, and by his means, to the chief priests and the scribes. It is not improbable that his enemies thus

VOL. I.

reasoned among themselves, “ Who knows what dân. gerous plot this Jesus may be contriving there with his disciples; some insurrection or revolt may be ripe for execution. It is high time to put a stop to those clandestine meetings.” Such undeserved suspicions did the Lord Jesus, for the benefit of his dear children, submit to; and was contented, that the place of his assembling with his disciples should be known to his perfidious betrayer. This species of suffering often occurs in the history of David, who, in his sufferings and distresses, was a true type of our Saviour. When he thought himself quite safe at Nob, he was betrayed by the insidious Doeg. (1 Sam. xxii. 9.) When he lay concealed on mount Hachilah, the treacherous Zephites discovered him to Saul, (1 Sam. xxvi. 1. Psalm liv. 2.) so that he wishes for the wings of a dove, that he might fly away and be at rest;' (Psalm lv. 6.) being every where sold, ejected, and betrayed. Now, to a Chris. tian, it is a great consolation under such sufferings, that this was the case even with his Lord and Master.

II. Here also are specified the companions, who attended our blessed Saviour to his place of combat. Jesus, indeed, was the chief person in this transaction ; and of him it is also expressly said, (Matt. xxvi. 36.) • Then cometh Jesus,' the supreme 'messenger of the heavenly father'. He comes himself; does not send an angel or any of his followers in his stead ; for, in the affair in question; no created being could supply his place, and fulfil the arduous task. He himself appears in his own adorable person, and fulfils the word which had long since been spoken by the mouth of David, 'Lo, I come, oh my God, to do thy will !' (Psalm xl. 8. 9.) But it is very obser. vable that St. Matthew describes this important transaction as if he still saw him present before his eyes, “Then cometh Jesus,' as he formerly, almost in the same manner, described his coming to baptism, which was a type of his suffering, Then cometh Jesus to John, &c.' (John iii. 13.) This circumstance affords us the following considerations :

1. The actions of our Saviour, particularly his procession to his ignominious death, should always be present before our eyes.

We should never be tired of reflecting on the sufferings of Christ as a story of little consequence; but should continually find new strength, comfort, courage, and incitements to our duty in all the weary steps which his blessed feet have trod for our salvation. How is it possible that we can commit any wilful sin, if we continually set before our eyes Christ's mournful progress to a painful, accursed death.

2. In our meditation on the whole history of the passion, our eyes must be continually fixed on Jesus as the principal figure in the representation.In this passage many persons are concerned, every one of whom acts with propriety his respective part; but amidst the group, we are never to lose sight of Jesus. When we

come to make a faithful application of the sufferings of Christ, Judas and the high-priest, Herod and Pontius Pilate, must be in a manner lost to us; so that, like the disciples at the transfiguration of our Lord, we may have our Lord and Saviour alone in view. (Matt. xvii. 8.) However, though Jesus be the chief of those who came into this garden, yet is he attended by the small company of disciples. It is true they go with him, but it is only as witnesses and spectators of his sufferings. They are only to observe the severe agonies of his soul, that they may with the greatest certainty and confidence be witnesses of his sufferings. How wide the difference here between the Leader and his companions ! Christ went voluntarily into the garden in obedience to his Alınighty Father, out of love and tenderness to mankind, animated with a divine strength to overcome his sufferings. His disciples were all weak . ness, drowsiness, and torpitude, and fuctuating betwixt temerity and fear; so that such companions were rather a burden than an alleviation to his sorrow. However, they were to accompany their Lord; though no calamity was to befall them at that time. Hence we may learn,

1. That God gradually inures his children who are weak to the cross ; and frequently lets them see, for a time, the conflicts of others, before they themselves are stationed in the field of battle. So tenderly does the Lord Jesus deal with weak and feeble souls, and so wisely does he proportion the load of their strength; for he requires not of them any more than they can bear, · May this consideration sink deep in the minds of those whom a dread of the Cross keeps aloof from the true spirit of Christianity! But happy is he, who makes a right use of such preludes in the ascetic school of our Lord's suffer ings ; and so attends to the fidelity and end of other Christian champions as to follow their faith, (Heb. xiii. 7.) that when he is called upon, he may also be ready to fight the good fight, and come off with conquest and renowne (1 Tim. i. 6, 12. 2 Tim, iii. 10, 11.)

2. In following the Lord Jesus, we are to fit and prepare ourselves for a participation of his sufferings. This is pointed out to us by the Holy Ghost in these words, acometh Jesus with his disciples. When we acknowledge Christ and what he has suffered for us, our resolution must be, Let us also go that we may die with him!' (John xi. 16.) Therefore we are not to be backward or unwilling when our master shall lead us to the mount of Olives. We must fol. low the Lamb of God wheresoever he goeth. If we would be his true disciples, we must prepare ourselves in his school for such difficult lessons, and, with St. Paul, desire to know him--and the fellowship

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