« PreviousContinue »
once simple and ingenious, and well calculated for diffusing a large body of light. It consists of a round top and bottom of tinned copper-the former furnished with a handle, and the latter with a stand for the candle-between which a cylinder of waxed cloth, or even of white paper, is extended over rings of wire. When rested on the ground it assumes the appearance and relative dimensions shown in our cut, the cloth cylinder and rings being pressed or folded down between the bottom and the cover, so that the candle, which rests on the bottom and rises through an opening left in the cover, remains exposed, as if in a very broad-bottomed candlestick. In this state, if a person takes it by the cover to raise it up, the cloth cylinder becomes extended or unfolded, and, while carried along, the weight of the lower part still keeps it in this state of extension. Lanterns of this sort are uncommonly large, being generally from two to three feet in length, by about nine inches in diameter. The third cut, below, represents one of them in both its closed and extended state.
Torches require less description, as the cuts sufficiently explain their character without themselves needing explanation. It will be observed that the Oriental examples consist of a kind of grate, in the form of a cup, for containing the combustibles, sometimes with, but oftener without, a receptacle below, for receiving the burning or spent matter which Torches of this kind are also much used in caravans, during the encampments of may happen to fall from the grate. which, in the open air, on dark nights, a strange effect is produced by a great number of these grate torches being mounted on very tall poles, which are stuck upright in the ground, serving as beacons, and affording light to the caravan.
a, Roman Lantern, from the Column of Trajan; b, c, Roman Flambeaux. Selected from various Sculptures.
Arabian Torch; from Monro's Summer Ramble in Syria' 233
13. “Led him away to Annas.”—See the note on Luke iii. 2.
15." Another disciple."-It is generally agreed that this disciple was John himself; although from the circumstance of his being known to the high-priest. some have inferred that this was some noble follower of Christ whose name. from prudential considerations, it was deemed necessary to conceal But nothing satisfactory can be alleged to prove that this person was not, or could not. be John. The objection that the high-priest was not likely to be known, in the manner implied, to the son of a poor fisherman of Galilee, is easily answered by observing that John's father, although a fisherman, was not a poor fisherman (see the introductory note); and, with Doddridge, "Though we cannot imagine the acquaintance was very intimate, considering the great diversity of their rank and station in life, yet a thousand occurrences occasion some knowledge of each other between persons whose stations are unequal.”
17. "The damsel that kept the door.”—It seems singular that such an office should be assigned to a female in so important an establishment as that of the high-priest. Some think that she performed the office temporarily, the men servants having been all engaged in apprehending Jesus. The Ethiopic translator, feeling the objection, takes the liberty of intimating that this "damsel" was the door keeper's daughter. We have ourselves felt the same objection strongly, the practice appearing so adverse to Oriental habits; and were disposed to consider that the damsel was only acting temporarily in this character. We are still disinclined to think that it was a custom of native growth: but finding that the charge of the door was very commonly entrusted to females among the Greeks and Romans, we imagine that the principal persons (always the most ready to adopt foreign customs) among the Jews, had taken it from them. As the use of the word “damsel” in our translation, might lead to misconception, it is proper to observe that the original, (diren) although properly denoting a girl or young maiden, must here, and in other places, where ap plied to a female servant, be understood, in a popular sense, as used without respect to age. Just as we, by maid” or "girl," understand commonly a young female, yet apply those terms to female servants of any age. It is desirable to mention this, as, from all we can collect, the office of porteress was usually discharged by staid, middle aged, or even by old, women.
18. "A fire of coals.”—This means a fire of charcoal, as distinguished from one of raw wood. Coal is not anywhere used in the East. As chimneys are but little known. charcoal is extensively used, particularly for warming apartments, to avoid the annoyance of smoke, which would necessarily result from the use of wood. The fire of charcoal burns in pans or braziers of metal or earthenware. (See the note on Jer. xxxvi. 22.)
"It was cold."-Lightfoot notes here," It was at the very dead of night, almost at the cock-crowing. Our countryman Biddulph, who was at Jerusalem at the very time when they were wont to celebrate the Passover, gives us the reason of this cold, by his own experience. He acknowledgeth, indeed, that he found it so hot at that time as we usually feel it in our own country about midsummer; that he could not but wonder how Peter at that time of the year should be so cold: but, in a few days. his doubt was resolved; for there were mighty dews fell, which, not being wholly dried up by the sun, made it very cold. especially in the night." Lightfoot also adverts to one of the traditionary canons, which supposes that there might be frost and snow at the time of the Passover.
28. "Lest they should be defiled.”—By the law (Num. xix. 12), whoever touched an unclean person was unclean: the chief priests and elders were therefore afraid to enter the prætorium, lest they might there contract defilements which would incapacitate them from the duties and privileges of the paschal season. The same reason of course operated to prevent them from entering the prætorium at the other festivals, which the governor attended for the sake of administering justice and guarding the public peace. To get over this difficulty, there was erected, adjoining the palace, the “pavement," called in Hebrew "Gabbatha" (ch. xix. 13), and which appears to have been an elevated platform, deriving its name of "pavement" (grey), no doubt, from its being, like other Roman platforms of judgment, paved in mosaic with small pieces of diversely-coloured marble. It was probably covered overhead, but open at the sides; so that the Jews, who stood around in the open air, could make to the governor, and receive from him, such oral communications as the occasion rendered necessary. Pilate probably sat on a judgment-seat, which was set upon the pavement. This explanation of the place called Gabbatha, is founded on known facts concerning the open tribunals of Roman magistrates and governors; but considering that, in the present instance, such an erection, or adjunct to the palace, was required whenever the governor was present in Jerusalem, it is not impossible that it may have been nothing more than a kind of paved porch, gallery, or balcony, in front of the building. (See the notes on Mait. xxvii.)
"That they might eat the Passover."-But the paschal lamb had been already eaten, the preceding night; for we may be sure that all the Jews ate it the same night on which it was eaten by our Saviour and his disciples; and we know that the whole was necessarily eaten in one night. That which we are here to understand by "the passover" was certainly therefore not the paschal lamb, to which the name strictly belonged, but the Chagigah, or peace-offerings; namely, the sheep and oxen which were offered and eaten during the continuance of the feast, or rather of the feast of unleavened bread, which, from immediately following the passover, and filling out the week which the eating of the paschal lamb introduced, was popularly included under the general name of the "passover," as applied to the whole festival occasion. The word "passover" is employed in this popular sense in Luke xxii. 1; nor is this latitude of application unsanctioned by the Law, for in Deut. xvi. 2, we read, “Thou shalt therefore sacrifice the passover unto the Lord thy God, of the flock and of the herd;" where "the passover of the herd" obviously means something distinct from the paschal lamb, and is interpreted and understood of the "Chagigah."
1 Christ is scourged, crowned with thorns, and
beaten. 4 Pilate is desirous to release him, but being overcome with the outrage of the Jews, he delivered him to be crucified. 23 They cast lots for his garments. 26 He commendeth his mother to John. 28 He dieth. 31 His side is pierced. 38 He is buried by Joseph and Nicodemus. THEN 'Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
2 And the soldiers platted a crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they put on him a purple robe,
3 And said, Hail, King of the Jews! and they smote him with their hands.
4 Pilate therefore went forth again, and saith unto them, Behold, I bring him forth to you, that ye may know that I find no fault in him.
1 Matt. 27. 26.
20 This title then read many of the Jews: for the place where Jesus was crucified was nigh to the city: and it was written in Hebrew, and Greek, and Latin.
21 Then said the Chief Priests of the Jews to Pilate, Write not, The King of the Jews; but that he said, I am King of the Jews.
Matt. 27.31. 3 Matt. 27. 35. • Or, wrought.
27 Then saith he to the disciple, Behold thy mother! And from that hour that disciple took her unto his own home.
28 ¶ After this, Jesus knowing that all things were now accomplished, that the Scripture might be fulfilled, saith, I thirst.
29 Now there was set a vessel full of vinegar and they filled a spunge with vinegar, and put it upon hyssop, and put it to his mouth.
30 When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.
31 The Jews therefore, because it was the preparation, that the bodies should not remain upon the cross on the sabbath day, (for that sabbath day was an high day,) besought Pilate that their legs might be broken, and that they might be taken away.
32 Then came the soldiers, and brake the legs of the first, and of the other which was crucified with him.
33 But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs:
Psal. 22. 13. • Or, Clopus. 7 Psal. 69.31.
34 But one or the soldiers with a spear | Pilate gave him leave. He came therefore, pierced his side, and forthwith came there and took the body of Jesus. out blood and water.
35 And he that saw it bare record, and his record is true: and he knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe.
39 And there came also Nicodemus, which at the first came to Jesus by night, and brought a mixture of myrrh and aloes, about an hundred pound weight.
36 For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, A bone of him shall not be broken.
40 Then took they the body of Jesus, and wound it in linen clothes with the spices, as the manner of the Jews is to bury.
41 Now in the place where he was crucified there was a garden; and in the garden a new sepulchre, wherein was never man yet laid.
37 And again another Scripture saith, 'They shall look on him whom they pierced.
38 And after this Joseph of Arimathæa, being a disciple of Jesus, but secretly for fear of the Jews, besought Pilate that he might take away the body of Jesus: and
8 Exod. 12. 46. Num. 9. 12. Psal. 34, 20.
42 There laid they Jesus therefore because of the Jews' preparation day; for the sepulchre was nigh at hand.
Zech. 12. 10. 10 Matt. 27.57.
Verse 12. "If thou let this man go, thou art not Cæsar's friend," &c.—The Jews knew well that nothing could be better calculated to decide the wavering governor than this; and, in fact, it appears that his constancy was vanquished by it. The saying evidently implies an intention that, in case he did not condemn Jesus, they would find means to let Cæsar know, that he had encouraged and abetted a person, who had claimed to be king in a part of his imperial dominion. Pilate had not moral courage to withstand this, knowing, as he could not but know, that nothing was so likely as a wrong representation of such a transaction to ruin him with the jealous and suspicious Tiberius, who was well known never to pardon the least attempt to dispute his authority or weaken his power. Pilate also had some past experience to instruct him that the Jews would be quite ready, as they threatened, to denounce him to Cæsar. Not long before, he had, in the same place, been greatly alarmed by a threat from the leading men of Jerusalem, to send a deputation to Rome, to complain of his conduct in the affair of the golden bucklers (see the note on Matt. xxvii. 2); and although they did not execute this intention, the written complaints which they did send, received attention, and procured Pilate a sharp rebuke from the emperor, which he had probably not yet forgotten.
It is very possible that the present threat may have ultimately had some effect in inducing Pilate to anticipate any possible misrepresentation of the part he had taken, by himself sending the emperor an account of the whole transaction. This is the more probable, when we recollect that the governors of provinces were expected to acquaint the emperor with whatever of interest or importance occurred in their respective jurisdictions. In the note already referred to, we have shown that Pilate was believed by some early Christian writers to have done this, with the result there stated. Few will hesitate to allow that such writers as Justin Martyr and Tertullian had good reason for the opinion they entertained; and that, even if dishonest, they would not have dared to appeal to documents which had no existence. That there were several different alleged copies of "the Acts of Pilate," rather proves than disproves the existence of an authentic original. The copies or reports of this alleged document, which have been preserved in the writings of Justin Martyr and Tertullian, would seem the most worthy of notice: and after stating that the whole matter is involved in uncertainty and dispute, we may perhaps venture to introduce the substance of the part which relates to Christ, as we find it collected in the Ancient Universal History' (x. 625), where some sensible observations on the subject may be found.
"Pilate to Tiberius, &c.
"I have been at length forced to consent to the crucifixion of Jesus Christ, to prevent a tumult among the Jews, though it was very much against my will. For the world never saw, and probably never will see, a man of such extraordinary piety and uprightness. But the high-priests and Sanhedrim fulfilled in it the oracles of their prophets and of our sibyls. While he hung on the cross, an horrid darkness, which covered the earth, seemed to threaten its final end. His followers, who profess to have seen him rise from the dead and ascend into heaven, and acknowledge him for their God, do still subsist, and, by their excellent lives, show themselves the worthy disciples of so extraordinary a master. I did all I could to save him from the malice of the Jews, but the fear of a total insurrection made me sacrifice him to the peace and interest of your empire," &c.-If this may be relied upon, it would appear to have been not written until some time after the transactions to which it refers; and there are some points in it which might render it probable, that, as one statement declares, Pilate did not write until an explanation of his conduct in this matter, had been demanded by the emperor.
16. "They took Jesus, and led him away."-Old traditions at Jerusalem point out the whole of the Dolorous Way (Via Dolorosa) which our Saviour was led, from the palace of Pilate to the place of crucifixion. The distance is somewhat less than a mile; and, in the way, the supposed locality is precisely indicated of every little incident which the sacred narrative records, as well as of others which Scripture has not recorded.
The alleged house of Pilate is an old-looking, irregular building, of Roman architecture, Richardson says, in which the Turkish governors of Jerusalem formerly resided. It is now out of repair, but contains some good rooms, and commands, on the south side, a fine view over the site of the Temple. It can only, at most, be allowed that this building occupies the site on which the house of Pilate once stood; yet the scene of every circumstance which there occurred, Is still pointed out as distinctly as if the building were the same-such as the room in which Christ was mocked and buffetted by the soldiers, and that in which he was scourged. Just after leaving the house, there is an ancient arch Crossing the street and supporting a ruined gallery: this is called the arch of Ecce Homo," from the window near it, at which, it is said that Jesus was shown to the people, wearing the purple robe and thorny crown, when Pilate pronounced those memorable words-" Behold the man!" A hundred paces beyond the arch are shown the ruins of a Church dedicated to "Our Lady of Grief," supposed to have been erected over the spot where our Lord's mother stood