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the conduct of his officers. This made Pilate apore: hensive that he might be charged with want, of zeal for Cæsar's interest; he therefore brought JESUS out of the hall again, and seating himself on the tribunal, was resolved to manage this incident so as to procure fromthe Jews a public acknowledgment of Cæsar's autho. rity : and, therefore, pointing to Jesus, as he now ap. peared in this mock pomp of royalty, he said to them, • Behold your king, if you think fit to own him, as it is said
of you have done." Bat they cried with indignation, " Away with him, away with him, cru. cify him.” Pilate, as if surprised at such an extrava. gant demand, said, “What, shall I crucify your king?” And the chief priests answered in the name of the peo. ple, “ We have no king but Cæsar.” Thus did they in.. directly acknowledge that the sceptre was departed from Judah, even whilst they were rejecting SHILOH; whose spiritual kingdom the patriarch Jacob, by divine inspira.) tion, predicted should commence at that period : and thus did they unknowingly pronounce the wrath of God upon the Jews, who, from that time, have had no king of their own, but the kings of other nations have ruled over eni.
Pilate, finding it to no purpose to oppose the popular tumult, determined to do all he could, consistently with his worldly interest, for the quieting of his conscience ; he therefore washed his hands, as a token that he did not willingly consent to the death of Jesus; and warned the Jews that they were answerable for the con. sequences of it. What was their horrid reply? “ His BLOOD BB ON US, AND ON OUR CHILDREN!" The succeeding history of the Jewish nation will shew, that this terrible imprecation was dreadfully answered by
the ruin which fell on them, and the calamities to which they have ever since been continually exposed.
Pilate had no courage to resiśť the violence of the Jews, but at length yielded to their importunity; and gave sentence , that it should be as they required." Ba. rabbas was released, and Jesus delivered unto their will. . The severe discipline of scourging, he had already undergone, therefore it was not repeated'; but the Jewish rabble for a while insulted him, as the Roman soldiers had done before. They decided his pretensions to a kingdom, and abused hini as the 'vilest of slavés then stripped him with disdain," as if the ensigns of mock royalty (consisting, as we may suppose, of old taftered robes) were too good for him; and put his own
" garments on him, and led him away to CŘUCIFY HIM.
There is a passage in the prophecy of Isaiah so ac. cordant with this part of our SAVIOUR's history, that it will be proper to read it, before we proceed any fur. ther. It appears like an oration addressed by Christ
The ai to those who heard his doctrine, and now beheld his sufferings for such words as these he cerrainly would have used, had he thought proper to speak at all? but he knew it was requisite for him to submit in
ein silence, and leave the written word of God to account for his submission.
have used by
A PART OF ISAIAH'S PROPHECY, RÉLATING TO THE
From Chap. I. The LORD JEHOVAH hath given me the tongue.of the learned ; that I might know how to speak a seasonVol. VI.
able word to the weary. He wakeneth morning by morning mine car, to hearken with the attention of a learner.
The LORD JEHOVAH hath opened mine ear; and I was not rebellious; neither did I withdraw myself backward.
I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that placked off the hair : my face I hid not from shame and spitting.
For the LORD JEHOVAH is my helper ; there. fore I am not ashamed. Therefore have I set my face as a fint: and I know that I shall not be con. founded.
He that justifieth me is near hand : who is he that will contend with me? Let us stand forth toge
. ther : Who is mine adversary? Let him come on to the contest.
Behold the LORD JEHOVAH is my advocate : who is he that shall condemn me? Lol all of them shall wax old as a garment, the moth shall consume them.
Who is there among you that feareth JEHOVAH? Let him hearken unto the voice of his servant : that walkech in darkness, and has no ligha ? let him trust in the name of JEHOVAH; and rest himself on the support af his God.
Behold, all ye who kindle a fire ; who heap the fuel round about : walk ye in the light of your fire, and of the fuel which ye hare kindled. This ye shall have at my
hand; ye shall lie down in sorrow *.
ANNOTATIONS AND REFLECTIONS. This part of ISAIAH's prophecy must have appeared very obscure, till our LURD by his preaching threw * Bishop Lowth's translation.
light on it. He repeatedly, in his conversation with his disciples, alluded to it; and taught them, that the MESSIAH was to endure a variety of sufferings and indignities.
Had the Jewish teachers been thoroughly acquainted with the sacred writings, they would have remarked such a passage as this; and if they had compared it with our SAVIOUR's life and doctrine, as he called upon them to do, they would have been able to account for his extraordinary wisdom, and must have discerned that he was the MESSIAH; and if so, that it would be the extreme of presumption .in any adversary to appear against him who had JEHOVAH for his advocate. But as our LORD knew that the case would be otherwise, he resolved to act in direct conformity to the description which the prophet, by divine inspiration, had given of his behaviour; and reposed entire confidence ia GOD THE FATHER, who through the DIVINE WORD fortified his mind with invincible patience; thus prepared, he went up willingly to Jerusalem. As his enemies would not be convinced, by what he had already said and done, that he was the CHRIST, there was no reason to expect they would listen to him at a time when their malice was at the height and since they. disdained to be guided by the light, which he had repeatedly offered them, he left them (agreeably to divine justice) to the fire of their own kindling: by which we may understand, the effects of ungoverned passions and mere worldly policy, exclusive of faith and trust in GOD, which at length brought down the just judgments of God to consume their city and nation.
If we condemn, as we certainly must do, the conduct of the Jews, let us take heed to our ozun for though we cannot now seize upon our LORD's person, bind his hands, drag him to the hall of judgment, smite him I 2
oh the check, spit on his face, scourge him, and coin. mit other outrages practised by his persecutors; we shall be partakers in their guilt, if we indulge the same spi rit of enmity against him as they did; which those do, who reject our LORD's doctrine, deride his sufferings, deny his divinity, or bring contempt on his holy reli gion, by despicable ridicule or profane jests. Nor are those less guilty, who, calling themselves Christians, lead immoral lives, and give occasion to scoffers, to slander their holy profession. Let us now resume the melancholy story, and follow the steps of our blessed REDEEMER to mount Calvary.
THE CRUCIFIXION OF JESUS.
From Matt. Chap. xxvii.—Mark, xv.-Luke, xxiii.John, xix.
AND JESUS-bearing his cross, went forth into a place called the place of a skull, which is called in the Hebrew, Golgotha.
And as they came out of the city, they found a man of Cyrene, Simon by name, the father of Alexander and Rufus, and on him they laid the cross, and com pelled him to bear it after Jesus.
And there followed him a great company of peo ple, and of women, who also bewailed and lamented him.
But Jesus turning unto them, said, Daughters of Jerusalem, weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.
For behold the days are coming, in which they shall say, Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and the breast which never gave suck.