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he been actuated by ambition, or been desirous of honour, he would have wished that the extraordinary powers which he possessed should be limited to himself, for the sake of exalting his own character. But so great is his desire of promoting the glory of God and the good of mankind, to which such gifts would be particularly subservient, that he wishes they may become universal, and that his own honours may be lost in the common honours of his followers. So little of a proud or selfish spirit was there in our master, and so little inclined was he to assume the honours of divinity, which some have supposed that he claimed.

2. While the truth is rejected by many, it is matter of consolation that there are some by whom it is received. The world, the majority of the Jewish nation, did not know God, nor acknowledge Jesus as his messenger; but there were a few whose minds were free from prejudices and open to receive the truth; and those few proved sufhcient to communicate it to the rest of the world. Let not the advocates of truth in other instances be discouraged, if their followers are not ^numerous—a little leaven is sufficient to leaven the whole mass, and the grain of mustard seed may grow to a large tree: from causes apparently small great effects have arisen.

3. Let us learn to think and speak of the divine goodness, in bestowing particular favours upon us, as our master does; not as the effects of a sudden disposition to do good, but as arising from a fixed and. settled principle, as making part of a scheme of benevolence which was planned from eternity, and was coneval with the divine existence. This is the most honourable and most just way in which we can conceive of tlve goodness of God, and is further recommended to us by the practice of Christ and his apostles, the divinely authorized teachers of religion.

John xyiji. 1—14.

The discourses recorded in the three last chapters, seem to have been delivered by Jesus after he hacj

f" iyen the signal of rising from supper, and hefore e left the house; for they immediately succeed the words, Arise, let us go hence, whicfy are followed by no jntimation of his departure thence, till we enter upon this chapter. Here we find Jesus entering upon those scenes of trial and danger for which he had been preparing himself and his disciples. J-et us now observe the efficacy of his instructions upon their; behaviour.

1. Wheri Jesus had spoken these words* he went forth with his disciples over the brook Cedron, where there was a garden^ into t\ie which, he entered and his disciples.

This brook, which is mentioned more than once inthe Old Testament, % Sam, xv. 23. 2 Kings, xxifl. 6. descended from the mountain near Jerusalem, and ta,n, towards the south east, through a valley of the saine name, into the Dead Sea. It was ewer this, brook that David is said to have passed, w,hen he retired from Jerusalem, to avoid his enemies, in, the, rebellion of Absalom. But it seems to have been, mentioned here, for t,he sake oi nointi^ out*thg. situation of the garden to which Jesus retired* rJfhe pJa.ce is called by Matthew, (ietbsemane. Jesus, appears t,o, have removed to. this, spot, few; the splie. of private devotion, or perhaps affojd his enew£% an opppr'tjiu^lix. of, apprehending h^, without tumult.

2. And Judas also, which betrayed him, knew the place: for Jesus often resorted thither with his disciples.

This vindicates him from any suspicion of having retired here with a view to escape his enemies, or from motives of fear. He had often been in this. place before, and might be expected to be found hero now. The proprietor of the garden was probably 4 disciple of Jesus.

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.

This band of men was the Roman cohort, usually Rationed a{ the temple; to preserve peace and order there, while Jerusalem was so full of inhabitants at the festival of the passover. To these were joined the officers of the Sanhedrim, which is here referred to under the names of chief priests and Pharisees; for persons of that description in the assembly were the greatest enemies to Jesus. As the soldiers acted under their authority and direction, it was proper that their officers should accompany them. By employing $0 large a force to apprehend Jesus, and by sending them by night, they snowed what ideas they entertained of his popularity among his followers, and] how much they apprehended resistance. Although it was full moon at the passover, lanterns and torches were brought, in order to identify his person, and to seafch him out, in case'he should attempt to hide himself.

4. Jesus, therefore, knowing all things that should come upon him, orr

that were coming upon him" went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye?

By saying here that Jesus went forth to his enemies* knowing all things that were coming upon him, the evangelist does not mean to intimate, as his words may seem to imply, that he submitted without opposition to what .he knew to be unavoidable; but that, notwithstanding he foresaw that delivering himself up into their hands would lead to a cruel crucifixion and death, yet he did it voluntarily; it was the effect of his courage and readiness to obey his Father's will, and not of blind presumption.

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

The situation of Judas is noticed, in order to point out his agency in the apprehension of his master, and to show that he no longer joined his disciples, but ranked himself with his enemies.

The phrase, I am he, in the Greek is, I am, which shows how the same phrase ought to have been rendered when it occurs, John viii, 58. where we have improperly rendered the verse, "before Abraham was I am," instead of / am he.

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

As many of the company were Jews, and knew that Jesus was supposed to be a prophet, they might apprehend some dreadful judgment, to befal them in an attempt to lay hold on him, such as befel the captain and the fifty men who went to seize Elijah, 2 Kings i. 10—12. This idea struck them with a sudden panic, as soon as Jesus declared himself to be the person whom they sought, and induced them to retreat, and throw themselves upon the ground in a posture of reverence. This afforded Jesus an easy opportunity of escaping, but, instead of taking advantage of it, he offers himself to them a second time.

7. Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth.

8. Jesus answered, I have told you that I am he: if therefore, ye seek me, let these go their way;

He pointed to his disciples, whom he was desirous to exempt from suffering, although so ready to offer himself for that purpose.

9. That the saying might be fulfilled which he spoke: Of them which thou gavest me have I lost none.

These are the words of the evangelist, in which he shows how it happened that the words of Christ, mentioned John xvii. 12. came to be verified by the event, that he had lost none of his disciples by apostacy but Judas: it was owing to the care which he took to preserve them from being apprehended and exposed to temptation.

This verse may serve to show also that by the phrase, "that it might be fulfilled," which so often occurs in the evangelists, we are not to understand the fulfilment of any prediction, but merely the correspondence between the words of a prophet and a particular event; for we find the phrase used in a case where there is no pretence for supposing any prophecy.

10. Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and smote the high priest's servant, and cut off his right ear: the servant's name was Malchus.

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