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Peter's cowardice]
CHAP. XXVI.

. [foretold. ye shall be offended because of me this because of thee, yet will I never be night : for it is written, I will smite offended. the shepherd, and the sheep of the 34 Jesus said unto him, Verily I flock shall be scattered abroad. say unto thee, That this night, before

32 But after I am risen again, I the cock crow, thou shalt deny nie will go before you into Galilee. thrice.

33 Peter answered and said unto 35 Peter said unto him, Though I him, Though all men shall be offended should die with thee, yet will l not

EXPOSITION. has been one of the ordinary expressions of bols of his sufferings with the same comfriendship. In forming associations, men posure which he displayed in enduring had been also in the habit of sacrificing them ; .... and concluded this solemnity animals, sometimes buman victims; when with a hymn of praise, which, though an they did eat together of the flesh, and usual part of the passover service, enters drink of the blood, accompanying the into the other with great propriety; it reaction with curses on themselves, if they fects an agreeable light on the institution departed from their engagements. The itself; it expresses the dignity of its Author, Jews were allowed, pay, were commanded whose soul no fears, no certainties, could by divine authority, to partake of the sacri- disquiet; especially if it be also remem. fices offered to the Deity, in testimony of bered, that after singing the hymn, he imtheir interest in his protection, and as a mediately entered on the scene of his sufpledge of their fidelity. .... Wben (there ferings." (Observations on the Hist. of fore) we see Jesus taking the bread and Jesus Christ, by the Rev. D. Hunter, D.D. wine, and offering them to his disciples, of St. Andrews, vol. ii. p. 186–193.) as the symbols of his body and blood, can We must not omit to remark, that on We conceive it possible for him to have this occasion Jesus gave the first intimagiven a stronger or more tender declara. tion that one of the twelve apostles should tion of that union between them, the bonds betray him; on which occasion, Grotius of which were indissolvable? What pur well observes the three steps of the dispose could this institution serve, if his covery. First the traitor is described as death should prove the grave of their one of the twelve, then, that he was one hopes? Or in what sense could they be who sat near him, and dipped his hand in partakers of a body wbich was to moulder the same dish; and lastly, to the beloved into dust? The institution was intended John, he pointed out the individual : “ He to be the pledge of bis love, and the che to whom I shall give a sop"--and he gave rishing of their hopes, when they should it to Judas. When he said, “ One of the behold bim stretched out on the cross, or twelve," each made the enquiry,“ Master, consigned to the tomb. ......

is it I ?” Judas was the last to put the This institution was a preparatory exhi question, when he received an answer in bition of his own sufferings. He engages the affirmative. Those who are the last to in it with a soul, not only superior to all suspect their own hypocrisy, are generally uneasiness, but full of joy, from looking the first to prove it. forward to the effects of his sufferings..... Drs. Lightfoot and Gill, who of all comHe sits down with the twelve, having a mentators were the most deeply read in cruel death before him. He had often the customs and manners of the Jews, told them of the event; but they would have minutely detailed their forms in celenot believe it to be possible. In breaking brating the passover; but as these savour the bread, and in pouring out the wine, he much of Pharisaical superstition, we much sets it most convincingly before their eyes. doubt whether our Lord conformed to them, All this indicates an undisturbed state of except it may be in the hymn chaunted on mind. He offers to the disciples the sym- this occasion, which was called the Great

NOTES. Iked so boastingly. It is not unlikely, that term twice only means « repeatedly." But R tbe homele nr

1 comely proverb, that " great talkers do the least," greater difficulty is, that the Jewish authorities did

at originate from this instance of Peter's cow. not allow poultry to be kept in their city: it might, ardice

wce. As it is written, &c.-See Zech. xiii. 7. however, be done, and it should be recollected, that Expos. and Notes.

the Romans had now a military guard there, wbich Ver. 34. Beforethe cock cron (Mark xiv. 30), cron was not under Jewish control. On comparing the ce).- Whitby has produced sufficient authorities Evangelists, it appears to us that our Lord's mean

ve that there was a double crowing of the ing was, that Peter should deny his Master thrice cock at midnih

at midnight, and at day-break; the lalter an between the present hour and that of the cock crows swered, according to him, to the fourth watch of the ing; i. e, about the break of day. night, though oibers say the third. Perhaps the

Our Lord's agony]
S. MATTHEW.

[in the garden deny thee. Likewise also said all the ciples, and findeth them asleep, ant disciples.

saith unto Peter, What, could ye no 36 Then cometh Jesus with them watch with me one hour ? unto a place called Gethsemane, and 41 Watch and pray, that ye ente saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, not into temptation : the spirit indee while I go and pray yonder.

is willing, but the flesh is weak. 37 And he took with him Peter, 42 He went away again the secon and the two sons of Zebedee, and be- time, and prayed, saying, O my

Fa gan to be sorrowful, and very heavy. ther, if this cup may not pass awa

38 Then saith he unto them, My from me except I drink it, thy will i soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto done. death: tarry ye here, and watch with 43 And he came and found the me.

asleep again: for their eyes we 39 And he went a little farther, and

heavy. fell on his face, and prayed, saying, 44 And he left them, and we O my Father, if it be possible, let this away again, and prayed the third tim cup pass from me: nevertheless not as saying the same words. I will, but as thou wilt.

45 Then cometh he to his disciple 40. And he cometh unto the dis- and saith unto them, Sleep on rol

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXVI. Continued. Hallel, and comprized from the 113th to

greater part of the Christian church-th the 118th Psalms, inclusive. As to the is, the laity. They may have consecrat words of the institution, “ This is my wafers, as a substitute for bread; but t body," and “ this is my blood,” it is well consecrated wine is only for the clerg known that the Church of Rome fuunds It is remarkable, however, that our Le thereon the doctrine of transubstantiation, uses a term of universality respecting thi believing that every particle of the bread “ Drink ye all of it.” Mark adds, "Th and wine was literally converted into the all drank of it” (chap. xiv, 23); whi flesh and blood of the Son of God; which is term is not used in reference to the brea just as reasonable as to suppose Christ was as if the inspired writer bad foreseen a literally a way, a door, or a vine. Figura- wished to guard against a misapplicati tive language was so popular in the east, of our Lord's words. that it is scarcely possible the Jews could Jesus predicted, not only that one of | make such a gross mistake ; yet if the ex- disciples should betray him, but also th plication must be literal, it must be the another should deny him, and that cup, and not the wine, that was converted peatedly, within a few hours, and in t into the blood of Christ : for so the Evan- most awful manner. But the event ct gelists Luke and John express it : “ This responded exactly with the predictid cup is the New Testament (or covenant) in Peter, the zealous, the courageous Pet my blood!" It is somewhat singular, that thrice denied his Master, and at last wi those who are so exact and positive as to oaths ad curses ! What a lesson de the conversion of the elements, should this teach us! “ He that trusteth his of deny the benefit of one of them to the far heart, is a fool." (Prov. xxviii. 26.)

NOTES-Chap. XXVI. Con. Ver. 36. Gethsemane-a private and retired garden mon, is "the portion of his cup." Ps. xxiii at the foot of mount Olivet, whither Jesus often re- xi. 9. tired for prayer, and where (as the name implies) an Ver. 40. One hour.-The Greek term, besides oil press ihen, or formerly, had been used.

more limited meaning, is often used metaphorici Ver. 38. My soul is erceeding sorrowful, &c. as with us, for any short time, or period. So ver Doddr. “Surrounded with sorrow;"! Camp. (con. Ver.43. Their eyes were heary - Doddr." weig necting this with the preceding verse), “ Being op.

down.” pressed with grief, he said to them, My sonl is over. Ver. 44. The same words-or, “ words (or mat whelmed with a deadly nnguish." This is explained to the same eflect." Doddr. to mean, a grief of mind sufficient to kill the body; Ver. 45 Into the hands of sinners.-'Though "a sorrow that worketh (or produceth) death." word includes sinners generally, it often refers See I Cor. vii, 10. Likewise Bp. Pearson on the ticularly to notorious and to Gentile sinners, ( Creed, Art. iv. Note on Matt. xxvi.

ii. 15), and will therefore here include the tra Ver. 39. Let this cup pass from me.-In passing through the Psalms and prophetic Scriptures, we

and his company of Jews, as well as the Romans

whose hands he was subsequently delivered. have had repeated occasion to illustrate this poetical Ver. 49. Hail-a nsual salutation. The Gr. sit form of speech. Whatever portion, whether of joy fies“ Joy to thee." The Saxon kail means "heal or sorrow, peace of punishment, God assigns to -Master-Gr. Rabbi.

He is betrayed]
CHAP. XXVI,

[with a kiss. and take your rest : behold, the hour them a sign, saying, Whomsoever I is at hand, and the Son of man is be- shall kiss, that same is he: hold him trayed into the hands of sinners. fast.

46 Rise, let us be going : behold, 49 And forthwith he came to Jesus, he is at hand that doth betray me. (L) and said, Hail, master; and kissed

47 [ And while he yet spake, lo, him, Judas, one of the twelve, came, and 50 And Jesus said unto him, Friend, with him a great multitude with swords wherefore art thou come? Then came and staves, from the chief priests and they, and laid hands on Jesus, and elders of the people.

took him. 48 Now he that betrayed him gave 51 And, behold, one of them which

EXPOSITION. (L) Ver. 31–46. The agonies of Jesus cup! But, 2. That he felt the absolute in Gethsemane, and his earnest prayer. necessity of his own obedience unto death -Critics have remarked the very strong for these ends; and therefore, though his language of the original in these verses; flesh recoiled (as it were) from the imand divines have speculated on the cause pending stroke, his heart cheerfully suband nature of these sufferings of our Re- mitted: “Father, nevertheless not as I will, deemer's soul : yet those who best know but as thou wilt!" 3. When he says, what soul-sufferings are, know but little, Father, all things are possible unto and can conceive but faintly, what our Sa- thee," shall we say, There is no other posviour suffered “ in the days of his flesh, sible way in which God could have parwhen be offered up prayers and supplica- doned sinners? We dare not say this; tions, with strong crying and tears" to but we thiok the result warrants us in beGod his heavenly Father. (Heb. v. 7.) lieving, that this plan was the most honour

Let us, with Bp. Hall, treat the subject able to God, and beneficial to us. Surely more devotionally. “Wbat was it, what God would have “ spared his only begotcould it be, O Saviour, that lay thus heavy ten Son," if our Redemption could with on thy divine soul; was it the fear of equal propriety have been purchased by death? Was it the forefelt pain, shame, an inferior price. On such subjects, howand torment of thine ensuing crucifixion ? ever, it becomes us rather to adore than .... How many thousands of thy blessed speculate. And while we humbly accept martyrs have welcomed no less (bodily) God's best gift to man, in the person of his tortures with smiles and gratulations, and Son, let us also “ honour the Son as we have made a sport of those exquisite cruel- honour the Father." ties which their very tyrants thought un “ This was compassion like a God, sufferable! Whence had they their strength, That when the Saviour knew but from thee? If their weakness were

The price of pardon was his blood,
His pity ne'er withdrew."

(Watts.) thus undaunted and prevalent, what was thy power? No, no : it was the sin of man We must not, however, leave this intekind; it was the heavy burden of thy Fa- resting topic without remarking the cirther's wrath for our sin, that thus pressed cumstances of our Lord's disciples at this thy soul, and wrung from thee these bitter most awful and afflictive period. While expressions. “What can it avail, O Saviour, the Saviour was agonized in prayer for to tell thy grief to men? Who can ease thee, them and us, instead of watching and but He of whom thou saidst, My Father is praying with him, they all fell asleepgreater than I? Lo! to him thou turnest : asleep for sorrow; for well we know that o Pather, if it be possible, let this cup pass oppressive sorrow will sometimes stupify

the faculties, and overwhelm with sleep. But what means this prayer? Could But wbere is Peter, who so lately vaunted Dot Jesus tell whether bis petition were his attachment to his Master ? " Sleepest possible? Or could he pray for an impos.. thou, Simon! Couldest thou not watch sibility? Neither of these circumstances one hour?" Alas! Simon turns himself, must be supposed: but the extraordinary and falls again, and again, to sleep. But language here used may serve to teach us, still the merciful Saviour apologizes for 1. That our Lord deeply felt the extreme them; “ The spirit indeed is willing, but fiature of the sufferings he was about to the flesh is weak." The only reproof is a endure for our salvation : it is as if he had gentle irony. At length the enemy apsaid, O that there were some other way in proaches,“ Sleep on now, and take your Which God could be glorified and sinners rest!" But even this he suddenly recalls, saved, without my drinking of this fatal “Let us rise, and go to meet him."

from me

Jesus surrenders)

S. MATTHEW.

[himself to his enemies. were with Jesus stretched out his against a thief with swords and staves hand, and drew his sword, and struck for to take me? I sat daily with you a servant of the High Priest, and teaching in the temple, and ye

laid no smote off his ear.

hold on me. 52 Then said Jesus unto him, Put 56 But all this was done, that the up again thy sword into his place : for Scriptures of the prophets might be all they that take the sword shall perish fulfilled. Then all the disciples forwith the sword.

sook him, and fled. 53 Thinkest thou that I cannot now 57 And they that had laid hold on pray to my Father, and he shall pre- Jesus led him away to Caiaphas the sently give me more than twelve le. High Priest, where the Scribes and gions of angels?

the elders were assembled. 54 But how then shall the Scrip- 58 But Peter followed him afar off tures be fulfilled, that thus it must be ? unto the High Priest's palace, and

55 In that same hour said Jesus to went in, and sat with the servants to the multitudes, Are ye come out as see the end. (M)

EXPOSITION-Chap. XXVI. Coutinued. (M) Ver. 47–58. Jesus surrenders him- sibly the blow was not aimed at him, but self to his enemies.- From the manner in fell promiscuously; for had he aimed at which Peter here acted, it appears that he any one, he most likely would have atwas perfectly sincere in his resolution not tacked Judas. But we should recollect to deny his Lord; and had even resolved this was before daylight. to risk his life in his defence, with the Judas has immortalized bis infamy, not bope, probably, that his Master, whose only by betraying his Master, but by bemiracles he had often witnessed, would, traying him with a kiss. Dr. Guise and when he saw his fidelity and zeal, in some others have reasonably supposed, that way support him, and save both himself Jesus perunitted his apostles ihus to salute und his disciples. But Peter was grossly him, on returning to him after absence; mistaken ; his Master wrought no miracles he might therefore think it would excite but those of mercy; and even those not no suspicion of his design; but he has on lris own behalf, but for others, even for thereby become, in the Hebrew idiom, his enemies, as in the case before us. In- “ the father of all those who betray their stantly he commands the rash disciple to Master with a kiss :" a fraternity most un, put up bis sword, and heals the wound he happily numerous in the Christian world, had made, by cutting off the ear of “the and embracing all those who prosess at: high priest's servant." At the same time tacbment to the Saviour, merely to pro he reproves his warlike disposition, and mote their secular interesis; and especially gives him to understand that those who those who partake of the sacred institutio use the sword must expect to perish hy it; of his supper, merely (as Cowper expresse! which applies particularly to the case of it) as "the pick-lock of a place." persons who, like Peter, have had recourse Our Lord Jesus is particularly carefu to it iu order to defend themselves from to have it understood that his surrende persecution ; as, for instance, the Hussites was voluntary, for he had only tv addres in Bohemia, and the Huguenots in Frauce. his Holy Father, and were it cousistent with

Why Peter struck at the high priest's his decree, an army of angels would b servaut, does not appear; perbaps he was assigned for his protection, to which al armed, and might threaten him ; perhaps human opposition would be utterly il he had seized hold of his Master ; or pos- vain; and yet what protection could be re

NOTES—Chap. XXVI. Con. Ver. 53. Twelve legions of angels-these usually evangelists, not as a inntive of human action, bu composed an army; and though their legions might as a lending design of Providence. For the predi vary, like our regiments, when full they amounted tion here alluded to, turn back to ver. 31. to at least 5000 men each.

Ver. 58. And went in-namely, into the court bi Ver.54. That thus it must be -See Acts ii, 22–24. fore the palace, which was always open to the sk Our Lord continually adverts to the necessity of the though sometimes with piazzas round it.

It is n Scriptures being fulólled. See ver. 56.

certnin, bowever, that this palace was the priva Ver. 55. As against a thief - Doddr.“ Robber;" residence of Caiaphas (which is understood to hav stluding to the chiefs of banditti, common in the been on Mount Sion), but rather his official hous mountains of Judea. --- Staves--namely, of office, or apartments in the temple, where the Sanhedri like those of constables with us.

now sat, and into one of the courts of which Pet Ver. 56. That the Scriptures .... might be ful. and John obtained admission. So the late Editor Alled. This object we find traced through all the Calmet, Fragments, No.cxxxvil.

He is accused by]
CHAP. XXVI.

[false witnesses. 59 Now the chief priests, and elders, 64 Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast and all the council, sought false witness said: nevertheless I say unto you, against Jesus, to put him to death; Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man

60 But found none : yea, though sitting on the right hand of power, and many false witnesses came, yet found coming in the clouds of heaven. they done. At the last came two 65 Then the High Priest rent his false witnesses,

clothes, saying, He hath spoken blas61 And said, This fellow said, I am phemy; what further need have we of able to destroy the temple of God, and witnesses ? Behold, now ye have heard to build it in three days.

his blasphemy. 62 And the High Priest arose, and 66 What think ye? They answered said unto him, Answerest thou no- and said, He is guilty of death. thing? what is it which these witness 67 Then did they spit in his face, against thee?

and buffeted him; and others smote 63 But Jesus held his peace. And him with the palms of their hands, the High Priest answered and said 68 Saying, Prophesy unto us, thou unto him, I adjure thee by the living Christ, Who is he that smote God, that thou tell us whether thou be thee? (N) the Christ, the Son of God.

69 Ì Now Peter sat without in the

EXPOSITION. quired for him whom the winds and seas priest's servant. But how was the charge obeyed for him who hath the keys of to be maintained? The ear was cured, death and the grave suspended at his gir- and to examine the charge, would only be dle? (Rev.i. 18.)

to call evidence in proof of our Saviour's Jesus remonstrates with the guard sent miracles : and Malchus, we may well supto arrest him, on the method taken to pur- pose, was too much affected with his cure sue him into his devotional retreat, when to come forward as a witness against Peter. they saw hiin daily teaching in the temple; As to Peter himself, though he deserted but when he says, “ Are ye come out as his Master for the present, he could not against a thief, with swords and staves?" abandon him ; but followed him afar off. our Saviour plainly intimates that swords It appears by John's gospel (chap. xviii, 13), and staves may be necessary in treating that Jesus was first taken to Aunas, the with such characters; but surely not with father-in-law of Caiaphas, to whom he imhim as a prophet and teacher of religion : mediately sent him; and thither Peter, and and though indeed, he claimed a kingdom, probably some other of the apostles, folit was of a pature so purely spiritual that lowed him at a distance, and by means of it required no support from the sword, John, obtained admittance within the hall much less could it be propagated by it. He (or rather court) of the high priest. But then adds, upon the officers stating that we must leave Peter for the present, and bimself personally was the object of their attend to the circumstances of his divine searcb, "Let these (disciples) go their way” Master, who is brought before the whole (John xviii, 8); and they took the oppor. Sanhedrim, the highest court among the tunity to fly. One young man, in parti- Jews, which, on this occasion, was hastily cular, having only a garment loosely thrown assembled in the bigh priest's palace. over him, left it in the hands of the officers and fled naked; and, oue way or other, they (N) Ver. 59-68. Jesus arraigned at the all forsook bim, and sought their own bar of the Jewish high priest.- Behold the safety.

Son of God now undergoing a mock trial, It has been thought strange, however, to gratify the malice of his enemies ! that Peter was suffered to escape, after We call it a mock trial, because on the precutting off the ear of Malchus, the high ceding day a council had been expressly

NOTES Ver. 61. This fellow.-This scorpful term is sup Ver. 64. Thou hast said. See Note on ver. 25. phed by our translators, and perhaps the common -The Son of man-See Dan. vii. 13, 14, and Exterm man would be more warrantable.

position of chap. xxiv. 29. Ver. 63. I adjure thre.Thus the high priest, in

us the high priest. in Ver. 65. Rent his clothes. It has been said, that mis magisterial capacity, lays the Holy Jesus under the high priest might never rend his clothes : but a judicial oath, which in some cases, very different that he might, and did on extraordinary occasions, won the present. he was allowed to lay upon the Dr. Lardner nas

Dr. Lardner has given several jostances, Credib. accused party. See Nom, v. 19, &c.

vol. i. bk. i. ch. 7.

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