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open air. He had often done this, in his
youth in Nazareth, and during his ministry
in Galilee. 1

But tills night he was not entirely at
ease, for though his retreat was known
only to the Twelve, one of them, Judas,

1 Luke vi. 12; John vi. 15 f.


the very one whom he suspected, was not
with them. He had gone out abruptly in
the midst of the Passover feast.

To the suspicions caused by the conduct
of Jesus were joined presentiments; he
felt that misfortune was coming, and soon
an immense distress took possession of his
entire being. It was for this reason that
he had begged his three most intimate
disciples to watch with him, near him; in
general he used to go alone to pray, but
this night he was overwhelmed with sad-
ness, he dreaded solitude.

Yet he was not spared solitude. The
three apostles who had gone with him
soon slumbered like the others, being over-
come with sleep. Then Jesus went a few
steps farther; and kneeling down, his face
to the earth, he was alone.

Oh those nights of solitude and medita-
tion, how he had loved them ! But here,
for the first time, solitude was painful ; he
was "sorrowful even unto death."

And why? What was it that over-
whelmed him? Had he not often passed
such nights ? — in Nazareth, before his
ministry, and during the last three years,
on the hills that surround the Lake of


Tiberias. All around him would be the
quiet of an infinite adoration; from the
depths of the valley a silent hymn would
arise toward him, and toward the starry
sky. Was it not the same on this night ?
Yes ; externally this night resembled those
of long ago ; but how did it differ from them
by the thoughts that oppressed his soul !

What were these thoughts? Many
strange conjectures have been made;
Jesus has been represented as at this hour
regretting Galilee, Nazareth, and the des-
tiny that had impelled him to take up
his mission. It has been said that perhaps
he was seized with a longing for home, for
the spot where he was born, the town
where he had lived so long; that he
recalled his youth, the shop of Joseph, his
happy childhood; that he saw again the
familiar mountains around his village and
heard in memory the yodel of the shep-
herds, who at this very hour were calling
their flocks to the quiet pasturages of the
plain of Esdraelon; and that comparing
these sweet memories with his fruitless
efforts, his broken hopes, and the hatred
of his enemies, he was asking himself,
"Was I not mistaken?"


What an error! and how deeply this is
to misunderstand Jesus ! They who thus
think, they who explain the agony of
Gethsemane by a selfish return of Jesus
upon himself, are to be found, it is need-
less to say, only among unbelievers. And
not a word in the Gospels confirms their
purely gratuitous assumption.

But among Christians another explana-
tion, if not like this, at least very near to
it, has been proposed. It has been said
that in Gethsemane Jesus was passing
through a crisis of doubt as to his mission.

They who give this explanation of the
anguish of Jesus in the Garden of Olives
are to be found among the most believing
and most pious of his worshippers. They
do not indeed think that Jesus at this
moment regretted having obeyed his
Father, but they think that the hour
spent in Gethsemane was an hour of
moral hesitation and transient weakness.

We cannot admit it; at no moment was
there any weakness, any doubt, any hesi-
tation in the soul of Jesus, save, perhaps,
when he uttered the cry, "My God! my
God! why hast thou forsaken me ? " But
this cry was uttered only on the cross, it
was not spoken in the olive garden.


His unalterable union with his Father
gave to him, as well in this solemn hour in
Gethsemane as at any other time, the cer-
tainty that he was doing the will of God
and that he had nothing to regret.

Why not take the Gospel story in all its
simplicity ? Why seek to add to the text,
and to find in it what is not there ? We
have already had occasion, in our first
volume,^ to explain this sublime scene.

In the Garden of Olives Jesus asked his
Father that his work might be accom-
plished without the violent death that he
saw approaching, without its defeat, its
ignominy, its public execution. This was
the cup that appalled him! This was
why he was seized with dread, and an
immense anguish took possession of him!

Once again he had the clear intuition
of approaching death ; the ajDpalling vision
of an imminent, fatal end; a criminaFs
death, a public execution ! My work ; yes,
my entire work, my mission without doubt
or shrinking or Aveakening ; obedience, and
obedience to the end. But is it not possi-
ble that obedience may not lead by way of
such a death?

1 See "Jesus Christ Before his Ministry," p. 153.


It rose up hideous before him; for fi
long time it had been drawing near, slow,
implacable, always more certain. At first
doubtful, it had become less and less so,
and at this very moment perhaps it was
being determined upon.

To accomplish his work, to be faithful
to his mission, this had always been his
will; and this he still willed, without a
shadow of hesitation. His faith in his
work, in his Father and in himself, had
never wavered, and it did not waver noAv.

"Father, if it be possible let this cup
pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will,
but as thou wilt! " He accepts God's
will, yet only to offer this prayer a second
time. He accepts it again ; yet still to j)ray
again, pleading the third time his wish
against his Father's will, and beseeching
him to bend his will if that were in any
wise possible. His anguish is so great
that he utters loud cries, ^ calling his
Father "Abba! Abba!" The tragic tone
in which he pronounced these two sylla-
bles struck the ears of the three apostles
heavy with sleep, yet still capable of

1 Heb. V. 7.


Pascal, with his intuitive genius, has
given the true meaning of the scene in
Gethsemane; it is all summed up in his
fine observation : —

"Jesus prayed in uncertainty of the
Father's will, and in dread of death; but
having learned that will, he went forward
and offered himself to death. "^

This says it all ; Jesus did dread death ;
Jesus was uncertain as to the Father's will,
— he, whose life and joy were in that will,
whose meat it was to do it ; and his uncer-
tainty explains his agony.

Jesus, then, was hoping with an invin-
cible hope that death might be avoided.

Rising from his prayer, he drew near
to his disciples and perceived that they
were asleep. He had already twice re-
turned to them, begging them to watch
with him. Now he said to Peter, " Sleepest
thou? Couldst thou not watch with me
one hour? The spirit indeed is willing
but the flesh is weak." Jesus was speak-
ing of himself as well as of his disciples.
He had said for the last time, " Not as I
will, but as Thou wilt." Now he was the

1 Pascal, " Pensees : Le Mystere de Jesus," Hanet's
edition, p. 398.


victor; these words are the secret of his
life ; it was his meat to do and to accept
the will of the Father; to give himself up
entirely to him who alone knows what he
is doing.

He, Jesus, did not understand, but he
did know with an absolute certainty that
he had been living in the truth all his
life, and that he still was doing so; he
had the approbation of his conscience,
was entirely at peace with it, that is, with
his Father; and therefore, when all were
cursing and crushing him, he could say,
"Father, thy will!" He wept; but there
was neither bitterness in his tears nor
despair in his heart; submission to God's
will had given him back hope and peace.
The peace of God, that infinite peace that
is born of unmurmuring obedience, stole
upon his soul and filled it utterly.

Suddenly the silence of the night,
which nothing had disturbed, was inter-
rupted by a slight noise which grew ever
louder. It was the hurried footsteps of
men running down the declivity of the
hill. Lanterns, torches, lights were com-
ing; the clinking of arms was heard. In
a moment Jesus understood it all. "It is


for me; I have been betrayed; they are
coming to arrest me; it is all over."

What was happening was the work of
Judas. We may thus picture to ourselves
what this man had been doing. He knew
that the Sanhedrin were reluctant to move
during the Feast, and were waiting for
the days of unleavened bread to be ended ;
but he had undertaken to do whatever
was best for their interests. He was in
the pay of the Sanhedrin, and Judas knew
that they expected their money's worth.
Thursday night seemed to him a favorable
time; he knew where to find Jesus. By
acting at night they would avoid a popu-
lar uprising. Therefore on going out
from the upper chamber he went to the
Sanhedrin with words to this effect: "If
you choose, we can at once bring this
matter to a close. I can give him up to
you this night, and in twenty-four hours
you can have him executed ; thus you will
avoid tumult."

His plans were well conceived. To arrest
Jesus in the upper room would have been
to provoke an uprising of the whole
quarter. Besides, Judas did not knov/ in
advance where Jesus would eat the Pass-


over ; his Master had taken all precautions,
admitting only two disciples into the secret.
Had Jesus mentioned in the course of the
evening that he was going to pass the
night in Gethsemane? It is possible; in
any case Judas was confident of this, and
he led the officers there without hesitation.

If he had heard Jesus speak of a meet-
ing with his disciples in Galilee, he may
have feared that Jesus might thus escape
him ; and it is not impossible that he had
also said to the Sanhedrin, " I will not be
responsible if you wait until after the
Feast; he will have quitted Jerusalem;
the surest way is to proceed this very
minute." The Sanhedrin yielded to his
arguments and gave him the requisite
number of men; he led them away, walk-
ing at their head.^

The order of arrest had been given by
Caiaphas, carrying out the decisions of
that section of the Sanhedrin which w^as
charged with juridical affairs. How was
the company composed which Judas led?
According to Matthew and Mark, of
Levites of the inferior orders*of the clergy,

1 Matt. xxvi. 47 ; Mark xiv. 43 ; Luke xxii. 47 ; John
xviii. 3 ; Acts i. 1 6.


agents of the Sanheclrin, a sort of police
under the high priest's orders. It is
hardly probable that among them were,
as Luke says, temple officers and priests
properly so called; and there certainly
were no Roman soldiers in the party, as
the- Fourth Gospel states, going so far as
to say that the whole garrison of Jerusalem
was there with the Tribune in person.
This is certainl}^ an error; the Roman
troops could have been there only by order
of Pilate, and for that it would have been
necessary to consult Pilate. But the
Roman Procurator heard of the proceed-
ings against Jesus only on the morrow,
when the Jews brought Jesus before him
and insisted that he should crucify him.
It was the Sanhedrin alone who arrested
Jesus, and Pilate's troops were not at the
Sanhedrin's orders. The unknown writer
of the Fourth Gospel introduces here a
detail which he believed to be correct, but
wdiich shows that he was unfamiliar with
the manners and customs of Palestine at
that time.

There were in the party therefore only
the policemen who had charge of the
Temple and were at the orders of the


priesthood, a few agents of Caiaphas, and
even certain slaves, who had only staves
by way of weapons.

The apostles awaked in terror. Jesus
said to them, not without irony, " Sleep on
now and take your rest; the hour is at
hand, and the Son of man is betrayed into
the hand of sinners."

At that moment a man approached, —
he who was walking at the head of the
company. He hastened toward Jesus and
gave him a kiss. Jesus, in extreme sur-
prise, recognized Judas, and addressed
him by the familiar and affectionate term
which the word "friend" only very im-
perfectly renders.^ The appellation, the
surprised question, "Wherefore hast thou
come?" show clearly that Jesus became
certain of Judas 's treachery only at this
moment. Up to this time no doubt he
had not been able to bring himself to admit
such black perfidy.

The kiss had been a signal; in a few
moments Jesus was surrounded, seized,
bound; that is to say, his hands were
tightly bound and his feet so tied as to
permit him to walk but not to run, and in

1 Matt. xxvi. 50 ; kraipi, conipauiou, comrade.


consequence to take away from him all
possibility of escape.

As to the apostles, they at once fled in
dismay. Everything was going to pieces
about them, — their faith, their hope, their
trust in Jesus ; all that they had believed
was disappearing. He whom they had
called the Christ was only a man like any
other, and self-deceived. Their despair
may easily be understood.

Peter alone remained. He did more:
he remembered his promise and proposed
to keep it. He had brought with him one
of the two swords which they had showed
to Jesus in the upper room. Suddenly
he rushed forward, sword in hand, and
tried to deliver a heavy blow on the head
of the foremost of the aggressors; the
sword glanced aside and cut off the un-
lucky man's ear. It was Malek, one of
the slaves of Caiaphas.^ Jesus bade Peter
put up his sword into its sheath.

No one, however, struck back, and no
attempt was made to arrest Peter; singu-
larly enough, since he had committed an
act which fell under the ban of the law.
Probably the order had been given to

1 Malchos in Greek ; John xviii. 10.


arrest Jesus alone and to let his disciples
go, whatever might be their attitude, to
avoid everything which might provoke a
struggle, and in consequence a tumult.
The purpose of the Sanhedrin was to dis-
pose of Jesus as promptly as possible, but
in a lawful way; the rest mattered little.
Besides, the wounded man was only a
slave; according to the custom of the
time Peter's act was therefore of no

Thus Peter remained. He had the
courage not to run away even when he
had reason to dread lawful reprisals; he
loved his Master too sincerely to abandon

Jesus, entirely submissive to the Father's
will, was further than ever from saying,
"I have been mistaken;" he felt assured
that since the Father willed that he should
die, his death was a true part of his work,
and that his blood would be shed for the
remission of the sins of those who believed
on him. He permitted himself to be led
away, simply protesting against the coward-
ice and brutality of this clandestine arrest.
"You arrest me by night, in an ambus-
cade, as if I were a robber, and every day


I have been with you in the Temple ; you
ought to have arrested me there." ^

It has been asked how this scene of the
arrest, and that which preceded it, the
agony of Jesus in prayer under the olive-
trees of the garden, could have been nar-
rated with so much precision since the
apostles were either asleep or absent. A
slight incident recorded by Mark perhaps
gives the key of this enigma. ^ He says
that a very young man, a boy, was in bed,
perhaps in the country house adjoining the
Garden of Olives, perhaps in the oil press
itself, keeping guard, no doubt, over the
tools and the oil-making apparatus. He
was sleeping profoundly when he was
awakened by a noise. He arose in terror
and ran out, having only his night gar-
ment around him. The policemen sur-
rounded and would have seized him, but
he fled, leaving in their hands the single
garment with which he was covered. No
doubt it was he who witnessed the scene
of Gethsemane, and all that preceded and
followed it; it was he who heard Jesus
exclaim three times, "Father, not as I

1 Matt. xxvi. 55 ; Mark xiv. 48 ; Luke xxii. 52.

2 Mark xiv. 51, 52.


will but as thou wilt; " and who at a later
time could affirm that he had uttered cries
and shed tears, as one of the oldest tradi-
tions relates.^

We are inclined to believe that this
young man was Mark himself; it may
with no improbability be so supposed.
This John Mark had a mother in Jerusa-
lem. She and her son were no doubt
among the disciples unknown to us who
lived in the city, and who seem to have
formed a pretty numerous group.

In any case, it is certain that the Gat-
Chemena property belonged to a friend of
Jesus. It is only a conjecture, but a per-
fectly allowable one, that it belonged to
the father of John Mark, and that the
young man in charge of the oil press who
witnessed all that occurred was his son,
and that he himself at a later time told
the story when he wrote his Gospel.

We have said that Jesus was tried and
condemned according to law. The apos-
tles — for example, St. Paul, who was
thoroughly acquainted with the legislation
of his time — nowhere say that the death
of Jesus was not in conformity to law.
1 Heb. V. 7.


Everything was in fact done according to
legal forms, except with regard to one
point, — the precipitancy with which the
accused was condemned to death, without
waiting for a second vote of the assembly
on the morrow, as the rigor of the law
demanded.^ This detail excepted, the
general procedure was correct and in con-
formity with the law of that time. Jesus
was a mesith^ a seducer ;2 it was as such
that he was arrested, and the intention
was to put him to death on that ground.
The common procedure so willed, and his
judges conformed themselves to it.

The procedure, as the Mishna describes
it, began with a trap, pure and simple.
Two eye-witnesses were necessary; the
law required it, and to meet this require-
ment it was the custom to secrete two
people in some lurking-place, to entice
the suspected person as near them as pos-
sible, and so arrange matters that he should
be heard and seen. The Talmud recom-
mends that two candles be lighted near the
accused, in order that the witnesses may
be literal eye-witnesses. If the attempt

1 Mishna, Sanhedrin, iv. 6, v, 1.

2 Id. iv. 5.


to make the suspected man repeat his
blasphemy was successful, the witnesses
hastened to denounce him, and he was
condemned to die by stoning.

We may believe the Talmuds when they
affirm that this was the proceeding with
Jesus. He was accused of seduction ;i
the witnesses were hidden, we know not
where nor how; and he was convicted of
the crime of which he was accused. It is
noteworthy that the account in the Tal-
mud of the procedure followed in the
case of seducers answers on almost every
point to the accounts in the Gospels.
Let us follow the trial of Jesus and we
shall be convinced of this fact.^

1 Matt, xxvii. 63: John vii. 12, 47.

2 Jerus. Talm. Sank, ii., iii., iv.; Babyl. id. 43a, 67a;
Schahhath, 104, 6.




T^HEY led the prisoner to the house of
Annas. He lived on the summit of
the Mount of Olives, at the EJianeioth ;
that is, the Bazars, the revenue of which
belonged to him ; ^ there he had his country

This Annas was, as has been said, a
great personage. Notwithstanding the
lateness of the hour (it must have been
the middle of the night), he was awaiting
his victim. The proximity of the place
of arrest was very favorable to his pur-
pose, and the old priest had very shrewdly
planned it all in advance. It was certainly
at his instigation that every detail had
been adjusted, and perhaps it was Annas
himself with whom Judas, on going out

1 Here the Fourth Evangelist makes no mistake, but
gives a very remarkable proof of the accuracy of his
information. See " Jesus Christ During his Ministry,"
p. xxvi, note.


from the upper chamber, had made arrange-
ments the evening before.

In any case it was probably he who had
directed everything; he who had com-
pacted with the traitor, had sent the squad
of police, had advised that Pilate should
be brought to condemn Jesus to death by
crucifixion. He knew his people, and
how to so manage them as to avoid a
public disturbance. The important thing
was to carry the matter through as rapidly
as possible ; no doubt he would have pre-
ferred to do nothing during the P^east, but
since the opportunity had presented itself
he had taken advantage of it, and it
required the greatest promptitude.

Annas was no longer an official person-
age, but whatever he said his son-in-law
hastened to ratify ; and besides, on this
question there had long been perfect agree-
ment between the two. It is easy to
picture the scene that took place in the
atrium of Annas 's villa. Jesus, led quietly
into this country house about two o'clock
in the morning, was introduced, securely
bound, into the presence of the former
high priest, the actors in the drama being
made visible by the light of torches.


Annas began by questioning the accused.
Judas no doubt had instructed him, and
he was desirous himself to speak with
Jesus, that he might learn how best to
conduct the legal procedure. He there-
fore put to him several questions concern-
ing his teachings and his disciples.

Jesus, who knew himself to be con-
demned beforehand, had resolved to say
nothing; in fact he kept silence during
the entire trial. He simply declared, in
answer to Annas 's first question, that he
had nothing to explain ; that he had always
worked publicly, never in secret, and con-
sequently there was need only to ask
those who had heard him. They would
all have come to some conclusion as to
what he thought and desired; and since
he had concealed nothing, he had nothing
to confess.

This reply was considered insolent, and
one of the subalterns stationed near Jesus,
desiring to show his zeal, gave him a
blow. Jesus, whose self-possession never
failed him for a moment, replied gently, " If
I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil ;
but if well, why smites t thou me ? " ^

1 John xviii. 23.


It was in the villa of Annas that the
denial of Peter took place. ^ John and he
had followed afar, and it appears, singu-
larly enough, that John was acquainted
with the servants of Annas. He had pos-
sibly some relatives among them; he
gained entrance for Peter, and the latter
was daring enough to mingle with the
servants who were warming themselves at
a fire in the court. He would perhaps
have passed unnoticed had he not con-
ceived the unlucky idea of protecting
himself from suspicion by talking. Un-
fortunately he had the accent of a Galilean
peasant, an accent very displeasing to Ju-
dean ears, and one which betrayed him
with every word he spoke. A Galilean in
Jerusalem would reveal his origin even

1 Matthew says that it was at tlie house of Caiaphas
(xxvi. 57 ff.) ; Mark and Luke, at the high priest's house
(evidently also Caiaphas) ; John says, at the house of
Annas (xviii. 18 ff.), — one of the innumerable disagree-
ments of the Evangelists in matters of detail. We pre-
fer the evidence of John, not only because these details
show the eye-witness, but because it is much more nat-
ural to think of Peter as having immediately followed
Jesus, and having entered the house on the Mount of
Olives, than to make him go to Jerusalem, to the palace
of Caiaphas. Where would he have been during the
examination before Annas ?


more quickly than a southerner in Paris.
He confused certain letters in a way that
gave rise to the most laughable intonations
and even to plays upon words and puns ;
saying one word, he seemed to say another.
Twice a maid-servant, crossing the court,
remarked upon Peter's accent; upon this
the servants began to investigate him,
putting questions to him. Peter hastened
to protect himself by a falsehood; but to
utter it he must speak, and the more he
spoke, the more he showed what he was.
He tried to change his place, but the ques-
tioning was kept up ; he denied again. A
third time he was called "Galilean," and
a third time he denied; this time he com-
mitted perjury, denying with an oath,
declaring that he knew not "that man."
"That man" was Jesus. At the same
moment a cock crew,^ and Jesus, who was
not far away and who had heard all,

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