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tion, and a fresh supply of strength, to enable him to
hold out.

44. And being in an agony he prayed more earnestly : and his
sweat was as it were great drops of blood falling down to the

He was enduring unutterable woe for us, that we might
never feel as he did. Yet sin is made a heavy burden to

z 2


some in this life, by the greatest of all mercies, that they
may not lie groaning under it for ever.

45. And when lie rose up from prayer, and was come to his
disciples, he found tliem sleeping for sorrow,

46. And said unto them. Why sleep ye ? rise and pray lest ye
enter into temptation.

Not praying is the dead sleep of the soul, and every
temptation will overset us.


Chap. xxii. ver. 47 — 62.
chri&t's betrayal ; Peter's denial.

47. And while he yet spake, hehold a multitude, and he that
was called Judas, one of the twelve, went before them, and drew
near unto Jesus to kiss him.

48. But Jesus said unto him, Judas, betrayest thou the Son of
man with a kiss ?

Christ knew what Judas's design was under this show of
kindness and respect. He knows what is at the bottom of
our profession.

49. When they which were about him saw what would follow,
they said unto him. Lord, shall we smite with the sword ?

50. And one of them smote the servant of the high priest, and
cut off his right ear.

This was Peter, who did not stay for an answer; his
temper was naturally warm. But afterwards, when grace
had the management of it, ho could be as forward for

51. And Jesus answered and said. Suffer ye thus far. And he
touched his ear, and healed him.

Christ was highly displeased with this small degree of
resistance, and as it were begged ])ardon for it.

VER. 47 G2.] ST. LUKE. 341

52. Then Jesus said unto tlie chief priests, and captains of the
temple, and the elders, which were come to him. Be ye come out,
as against a thief, with swords and staves ?

63. When T was daily with you in the temple, ye stretched
forth no hand against me : hut this is your hour, and the power of

The power of Satan over Christ, for the sin of tlie
world. He liad taken it upon him, and must pay the
penalty. But it was comparatively but an hour. He
soon conquered for all who will conquer in him.

54. Then took diey him, and led him, and brought him into the
high priest's house. And Peter followed afar oil'.

Nature could carry him but a little way. With no
better support, he soon began to flag, and was as stout in
his three-fold denial of Christ, as he had been in drawing
his sword for him.

55. And when they had kindled a fire in the midst of the hall,
and were set down together, Peter sat down among them.

56. But a certain maid beheld him as he sat by the fire, and
earnestly looked upon him, and said. This man was also with

57. And he denied him, saying. Woman, I know him not.

58. And after a little while another saw him, and said. Thou
art also of them. And Peter said, Man, I am not.

59. And about the space of one hour after, another confidently
alfirmed, saying. Of a truth this fellow also was with him : for he
is a Galilnean.

60. And Peter said, Man, I know not what thou sayest. And
innucdiately, while he yet spake, the cock crew.

61. And the Lord turned, and looked upon Peter: and Peter
remembered the word of the Lord, how he had said unto him.
Before the cock crow, thou shalf deny mc thrice.

Peter iiad an excellent root in him, and one look from
Christ fetched him back.

62. A.nd Peter went out, and wept bitterly.

O Jesus ! bring our sins to remembrance, and j)icrcc us
to the heart with them, as thou didst Peter.

342 ST. LUKE. [chap. xxir.


Chap. xxii. ver. 63 — 71.


63. And the men that held Jesus mocked him, and smote him.

Let us think now only and altogether of our own sins,
otherwise what we here read will be lost upon us. Our
own sins, whosoever we are ; these mocked and blasphemed
him, blindfolded him, smote him on the face, caused his
bloody sweat, struck the thorns into his temples, drove the
nails into his hands and feet, and thrust the spear into his
side. For our sake he endured all this, because we were
lost creatures, and to deliver us from the eternal death of
our souls ; yea, for our sake the Son of God submitted to
all these indignities and sufferings. Oh ! let us see in this
glass, what we are, and what sin isf and tremble at our

64. And when they had hlindfolded him, they struck him on
the face, and asked him, saying. Prophesy, who is it that smote
thee ?

65. And many other things blasphemously spake they against


The number and character of those indignities which
Christ suffered for our sins, are more than the Evangelists
could enumerate. — Edit,

QQ. And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the
chief priests and scribes came together, and led him into their
council, saying,

67. Art thou the Christ ? tell us. And he said unto them. If
I tell you, ye will not believe :

68. And if I also ask you, ye will not answer me, nor let me

69. Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the
power of God.

VER. G3— 71.] ST. LUKE. 343

This Son of man, now standing before you as a criminal,
when he has finished the work which he came to do, shall
sit down on the right hand of God. As the Son of man,
for meti. As the Son of God, it was his right before.
Blessed comfoi't in those words, Son of man !

70. Then said they all. Art thou then the Son of" God ? And
he said unto ihem. Ye say that I am.

71. And they said, What need we any further witness?
for we ourselves have heard of his own mouth.

That for which they condemned him is our consolation
and joy. Belief in the heart, that Jesus is the Son of God,
is salvation. The gospels were written that M^e might hear,
and believe this.

The design of our Lord's coming into the world, was to
purge away our sins by his projoitiatory death, and sacrifice,
— to work out a complete righteousness for us, — to give
us a perfect rule of holy living, — and to convince us of the
necessity of conforming ourselves to it, in order to our be-
ing made fit for heaven and happiness : it was also necessary
that his death should be recorded, and at the same time his
innocency fully vindicated, to take away all suspicion of his
suffering as a malefactor. And accordingly all the four
Evangelists agree in relating his death, the judge's repeat-
ed attestation of his innocence, and that the only crime
laid to his charge by his malicious persecutors, the Jews,
was his taking upon himself to be the Christ, the Son of
God. But still the great evidence was wanting to recom-
mend him to the belief of mankind, as sent of God to be
the Saviour of the world. AjuI therefore God himself con-
firms and crowns all with his own testimony, in raising him
from the dead : with the account of which all the four
gospels conclude. Lei us attend to this, and every other
part of them, with hearts full of gratitude to God for send-
ing his only-begotten Son, to suffer death for our redemp-
tion ; and with earnest desires to be partakers of it, by/aith,
and our own resurrection to newness of life- But remem.

344 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIII.

ber that no man can have this desire, or the least degree of
faith in Christ for remission, and i-enovation, till he sees
and abhors that sin in himself, which nailed him to the

Chap, xxiii. ver, 1 — 11.


1. Antl the whole multitude of them arose, and led him unto

2. And they began to accuse him, saying, We found this fellow
perverting the nation, and forbidding to give tribute to Caesar, say-
ing that he himself is Christ a King.

He did say this. But he also said as plainly, that his
kingdom was not of this world ; and he was so far from
perverting the people, by forbidding to give tribute to
Caesar, that he positively commanded it. Just so the truth
is always treated in his servants. The world has no way
to run it down, but by wresting what they say to a wrong
meaning. We may also see in this, one reason why Christ
sometimes withdrew himself, and would not suffer his mi-
racles to be made public. He knew his enemies would
make a handle of it to accuse him. And herein he is a
pattern to his followers, to be as careful as possible not to
give occasion of reproach to them that seek it.

3. And Pilate asked him, saying. Art thou the King of the
Jews ? And he answered him and said. Thou sayest it.

4. Then said Pilate to the chief priests and to the people, I find
no fault in this man.

No other than histaking upon himself to be the king of the

VER. 1 11.] ST. LUKE. 345

Jews. And Pilate did not think it worth his attention to
take any notice of that, seeing him in such mean circum-
stances, without one follower, and brought before him as a
criminal by the .Jews themselves.

Nevertheless it seems as if Pilate was divinely overruled
in what he said, and had words put into his mouth, as Caia-
phas had. Christ's owning himself as a king was crime
enough, and what one would imagine Pilate in virtue of his
office must necessarily have condemned him for, as high
treason against Caesai'.

6. And they were the move fierce, saying. He slirreth up the
people, teaching throughout all Jewry, beginning from Galilee to
this place.

He did indeed stir them up ; as he does us, to repent-
ance, faith, and newness of life. They meant to sedition ;
but Pilate saw it to be false.

6. When Pilate heard of Galilee, he asked whether the man
were a Galilcean.

7. And as soon as he knew that lie belonged unto Herod's juris-
diction, he sent him to Herod, who himself also was at Jerusalem
at that time.

Pilate seems to have made a convenience of Christ to
pay a compliment to Herod. At so small a price did he
set the liberty of the Saviour of the world. — Edit.

8. And when Herod saw Jesus, he was exceeding glad : for he
was desirous to see him of a long season, because he had heard
many things of him ; and he hoped to have seen some miracle
done by him.

Herod had heard of many to no purpose, and Christ
knew that his seeing one would not change his heart. We
arc in Herod's case. \Vc hear, but see not. And if we
do not believe from what we hear, seeing would do us no
good, whatever we may think to the contrary.

9. Then he questioned with hiui in many words; but he an-
swered him nothing.

That is, he answered him nothing to clear himself. And

346 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIII.

yet though the chief priests clamoured so vehemently
against him, and he pleaded not a word in his own defence,
Herod would not condemn him. What could be a stronger
proof of his innocence ?

10. And the chief priests and scribes stood and vehemently ac-
cused him,

11. And Herod with his men of war set him at nought, and
mocked him, and arrayed him in a gorgeous robe, and sent him
again to Pilate.

They set Him at nought in whom all the wisdom and
power of the Godhead resided. Vile man cannot boar con-
tempt. Let us, as Christians, learn to bear it. Behold,
here is the pattern. Let us take this yoke upon us, and our
souls shall be at rest.


Chap, xxiii. ver. 12—26.


12. And the same day Pilate and Herod were made friends to-
gether : for before they were at enmity between themselves.

13. And Pilate, when he had called together the chief priests
and the rulers and the people,

14. Said unto them, Ye have brought this man unto me, as one
that perverteth the people : and, behold, I, having ex;nnined him
before you, have found no i'ault in this man toucliiug those things
whereof ye accuse him :

15. No, nor yet Herod : For I sent you to him ; and, lo, no-
thing worthy of death is done unto him.

Herod and Pilate, though they themselves were wicked
men, both despised and vilified Christ, and we may sup-
pose would have been forward to condemn him, if they had
found the least cause for it, yet were restrained by a secret

VER. 12—2(3.] ST. LUKE. 347

providence from joining with their accusers. As it was
necessary that he should not suffer under tlie imputation of
any real crime, so the Evangelists are particularly careful to
free him from it ; and nothing could do this more effectually
than the testimony and opinion of two such judges. " And,
lo, nothing worthy of death is done unto him," — Nothing
that amounts to a condemnation of him ; or, nothing has
been done by him {ireirpaynivov uvtS) that deserves death,
that is, in the judgment of Herod.

16. I will therefore chastise him, and release him.

Chastise him, to give some satisfaction to the Jews : re-
lease him, to satisfy his own conscience.

17. (For of necessity he must release one unto theia at the

18. And they cried out all at once, saying, Away with this man,
and release unto us Barabbas :

19. (Who for a certain sedition made in the city, and for mur-
der, was cast into prison.)

20. Pilate therefore, willing to release Jesus, spake again to

21. But they cried, saying, Crucify him, crucify him.

The will of God for our salvation was in that cry,
thou"h their sin was not the less. What an instance is
here of his bringing good out of evil !

22. And he said unto them the third time. Why, what evil
hath he done? I have found no cause of death in him: I will
therefore chastise him, and let him go.

Pilate asked the question thrice, " What evil hath he
donc.^" to give all possible assurance of his innocence, and
he seems to have condemned him at last with the greatest

23. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that he
niicht l)c crucified. And the voices of them and of thu chief
priests ])revailed.

24. And Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they re-

348 ST. LUKE. [chap, xxiir.

He condemned himself; and stands upon record for ever
as an unjust judge, giving sentence against his own con-

25. And he released unto them him that for sedition and mur-
der was cast into prison, whom they had desired ; hut lie deli-
vered Jesus to their will.

26. And as they led him away, they laid hold u]3on one Simon,
a Cyrenian, coming out of the country, and on him they laid the
cross, that he might hear it after Jesus.

O most merciful Lord God Almighty ! what do we here
see ? Jesus so faint and weary that he could not bear his
cross any longer himself !


Chap, xxiii. ver. 27 — 38,


27. And there followed him a great company of people, and of
women, which also hewailed and lamented him.

28. But Jesus turning unto them said, Daughters of Jerusalem,
weep not for me, but weep for yourselves, and for your children.

29. For, behold, the days are coming, in the which they shall
say. Blessed are the barren, and the wombs that never bare, and
the paps which never gave suck.

So great were the calamities which were soon to come on
the Jews for their wickedness. And yet they were only
the miseries of this world.

30. Then shall they begin to say to the mountains. Fall on us ;
and to the hills. Cover us.

As we are told the wicked will do, but with ten thousand
times greater terror and amazement, at the day of judg-
ment. Rev, vi. IG.

VER. 27 — 38.] ST. LUKE. 349

31. For if they do these tilings in a green tree, what shall be
done in the dry ?

Some, who abound in the fruits of righteousness, and
suffer only for the sins of others, wliat sliall then the
end be of all those, who, as dry trees, are fit for nothing but
to be burned ?

32. And there were also two other, malefactors, led with hiin to
be put to death.

33. And when they were come to the place, which is called
Calvary, there they crucified him, and the malefactors, one on the
right hand, and the other on the left.

The place was loathsome and unsightly, on account of
the skulls and bones which were there. They crucified
him also amid malefactors, as if his shameful death was not
abasement enough, unless every possible circumstance of dis-
grace was added to it. See, O man, what thy sin did ; and
take heed that it be not found upon thee at the last.

34. Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them, for they know not
what they do.

The meaning is not, forgive them without repentance ;
but, give them space for it. And Christ's prayer prevails
for this, otherwise they must have been given up to their
doom without delay. Perhaps we owe every day's respite
of our lives to Christ's intercession for us, that we may not
die without repentance, and complete forgiveness. Let us
improve the mercy of every day that is given us, lest he
beg no more for us, and we be either taken out of the world,
or given up to the hardness of our hearts.

34. And they j)urted his raiment, and cast lots.

3-5. And the people stood beholding. And the rulers also with
llicm derided him, saying. He saved others ; let him save himself,
if he be Christ, the chosen of God.

This very thing which they thought could never happen
to Christ, proved him to be so, Every one is as blind who
sets up his own reason and self-will against Christ, and
tells him as plainly what he should, or shoukl not do.

350 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIII.

36. And the soldiers also mocked him, coming to him, and of-
fering him vinegar.

37. x\nd saying, If thou be the king of the .Tews, save thyself.

38. And a superscription also was written over him in letters of
Greek, and Latin, and Hebrew, this is the king of the


What Pilate wrote in derision, is a blessed truth to ?ts.
He was, in a sense of which Pilate thought not, a spiri-
tual King, having salvation for all true Israelites, and
reio^nino- in their hearts.


Chap, xxiii. ver. 39 — 49.

Christ's death.

39. And one of the malefactors which were hanged railed on
him, saying, If thou be Christ, save thyself and us.

40. But the other answering rebuked him, saying. Dost not
thou fear God, seeing thou art in the same condeumation ?

41. And we indeed justly; for we receive the due reward of our
deeds : but this man hath done nothing amiss.

42. And he said unto Jesus, Lord, remember me when thou
comest into thy kingdom.

43. And Jesus said unto him. Verily I say unto thee. To-day
sbalt thou be witii me in paradise.

In rest and happiness ; perhaps complete; perhaps not,
till the resurrection. Who knows ? We learn from this
instance of the penitent thief, that a true confession of
Christ is never too late ; and from all the rest of the scrip-
tures, that it cannot be too soon. It may be worth our
attention to consider the particulars of this conversion.

He feared God, — confessed his guilt, — owned Christ's
righteousness, and kingdom, — and believed in him for his
mercy. This man knew everything. What he said is just
the right and true way of coming to God by Christ.

VER. 39—49.] ST. LUKE. 351

44. And it was about llic si.xlli liour, arid there was a darkness
over all llio earth until the ninth hour.

46. And the sun was darkened, and the veil of the temple was
rent in the midst.

The sun was rendered dark, as a sign to tiic Jews, and
to future ages ; for this preternatural darkness was ob-
served, and recorded in other parts of the earth. But was
it not also intended to augment the horrors which Christ
felt in his soul ? " And the veil of the temple was rent in the
midst;" as a sign that the Jewish dispensation was at an
end, and the way to God open to all mankind.

46. And when Jesus had cried with a loud voice, he said. Father,
into thy hands I commend my spirit : and having said thus, he gave
up the ghost.

Every Christian commends his spirit to his heavenly
Father, and breathes out his last with these words. He
gave up the ghost of his own accord. All was finished ;
he had no more to do in the world, and by as a great mira-
cle as any he had wrought, he now spoke the breath out of
his body.

47. Now when the centurion saw what was done, he glorified
God, saying. Certainly this was a righteous man.

Here is another testimony to his innocence. And mark
that following Christ is glorifying God.

48. And all the peo])le that came together to that sight, behold-
ing the things which were done, smote their breasts, and returned.

49. And all his acquaintance, and the women that followed him
from Galilee, stood alar off, beholding these things.

They were filled with amazement at what had taken
place. We may well be astonished at the love of Jesus
Christ in thus dying for us. May that love constrain us
to devote ourselves entirely to his worship and service.
Amen. — Edii.

352 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIII.


Chap, xxiii. ver. 50 — 56.
christ''s burial.

50. And, behold, there was a man named Joseph, a counsellor ;
and he was a good man, and a just :

51. (The same had not consented to the counsel and deed of
them ;) he was of Arimathsea, a city of the Jews : who also him-
self waited for the kingdom of God.

52. This man went unto Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus.

Out of respect to hinn, and that his sacred body might
not be laid among those of malefactors. We may also sup-
pose that he did this in belief of his resurrection, and that
his boldness was the effect of his faith. Certainly Joseph
did not think that all his hopes were buried with Christ.

53. And he took it down, and wrapped it in linen, and laid it in
a sepulchre that was hewn in stone, wherein never man before was


54. And that day was the preparation, and the sabbath drew


55. And the women also, which came with him from Galilee,
followed after, and beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was


56. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments ; and
rested the sabbath day according to the commandment.

This circumstance of the women"'s resting, shows the im-
portance of not pleading necessity for labouring on the
sabbath day, even when persons are dead, and are shortly
to be buried. — Edit.

We have now seen the concluding scene of the life of the
blessed Jesus; in which he perfected his obedience, by
dying an accursed death upon the cross, and offering him-
self a sacrifice for the sin of the world. This death is the
great point at which all Scripture looks. In this the cere-

CHAP XXIV.] sr. LUKR. 353

monies, sacrifices, nnd prophecies of the Old Testament,
were completed, and the love of God to mankind fully
manifested. To this we should look, both with deep ab-
horrence of ourselves, and hearts full of gratitude ; remem-
bering that we have, and could only have, redemption
through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins.

Happy are they who look continually with the eye of
faith on him whom they have pierced ; and in this belief
purge themselves from all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and
perfect holiness in the fear of God. If we mistake here we
lose all. For Christ died for us that he might live in us.
And we cannot be Christians, and his disci})les, — we can
have no benefit in his death, nor joy in believing, no peace
and fellowship with God, no hope of salvation, if we do not
imfeignedly give up ourselves to him for the yjurification of
our hearts unto obedience, as well as the remission of sins.
Without this, all our reading and hearing of Christ is no
better than an idle tale. Tiie gospel of our salvation is
pardon and acceptance with God, for Christ's sake ; salva-
tion through him alone, from first to last, and not from our
own merits, when we have done all we can, and the very
best we can. This is our true ground and christian com-
fort, and crown of rejoicing. But then, salvation by him,
is present salvation, not only from the guilt, but the power
of sin ; and every man that hath this ho])e in him, ]MU-ifieth
himself even as he is pure, knowing that the same scrip-
ture which grounds us upon Christ for peace with God,
and eternal life, as expressly assures us that " without ho-
liness no man shall see the Lord."


Chap. xxiv. ver. 1 — 12.
Christ's resurrection.

1. Now upon llie tirsl day ol the week, verv early in the inorii-
VOL. ir. A A

354 ST. LUKE. [chap. XXIV.

ing, they came unto the sepulchre, bringing the spices which they
had prepared, and certain others with them.

They, doubtless, came with some degree of hope con-
cerning his resurrection ; but with a great mixture of fear
and doubting. They could not altogether forget what he
had told them of his rising again, and yet it was so strange
an event that they did not know how to believe it. We
have reason to consider whether our adherence to Christ,

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