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ther, if thou be willing, remove this cup from me; nevertheless, not my will, but thine, be done.” Being in an agony,
prays the more earnestly, Thrice we hear him present the same petition. His agony becomes so extreme, that he aweats great drops of blood, and so profusely, that it even falls upon the ground. Struck at a sight so mysterious and solemn, we turn towards the disciples for an explanation; but lo, they are fallen into a deep sleep, although requested by their Master to watch and pray. Desirous to ascertain the cause, we survey the wondrous scene, but find no external marks of punishment. True, the sufferings of the cross he viewed as near, but they were not yet commenced ; nor can we discover any one afflicting him. The only visible object we perceive is, an angel from heaven; but his was an errand of love, for he strengthened him. It is therefore quite clear, that it was from sorrow of soul, and not pains of body, Jesus then suffered. We eagerly inquire what powers could have had such influence over him, as to occasion 80 great anguish of spirit? We are told, the powers of heaven and hell; * and we immediately request to be informed, why the holy, harmless, and undefiled
* Luke xxii. 53.
Jesus, is thus the object of God's displeasure, and the sport of Satan. We are directed to consult the records of truth for an explanation of the scene. examine, and find that Jesus had voluntarily come forth, and offered himself as the surety of his people, having placed himself in their room, and the curses of the law taken hold upon him, his soul endured all the horrors of the tremendous load of our guilt imputed to him. Would you behold the awful consequences of sin; then go, visit Gethsemane, and see Jesus prostrate in the garden. Mark the extreme anguish of his spirit. What language is sufficiently strong to express the agonies of his soul in that awful hour, when the conflict of his mind forced through all the pores of his sacred body a bloody sweat; not merely a drop or two, but so copiously as to fall upon the ground, and that in the open air, in a night of such extreme cold, that, in the crowded hall of the High Priest's palace, the servants found it necessary to make a fire to warm themselves. We may well tremble and stand amazed at a sight so awful and mysterious as the soul-agonies of the God-Man Christ Jesus. “ Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by ? Behold, and see if there be any sorrow like unto his sorrow, which was done unto him, wherewith the Lord afflicted him in the day of his fierce anger.” Yes, the hand of Jehovah was in it, he then stood up to punish the sins of his people, in the person of their surety. It was also the hour and power of darkness, and Satan then poured forth all his malice, and exerted all his fury, to worry and destroy this Lamb of God; although Jesus declared, the prince of this world had nothing in him, (i, e.) no corrupt principles or evil passions as materials on which to work; yet was the soul of Jesus assaulted by all the malicious artifices of hell. It is more than probable, that the great adversary overpowered the three disciples with drowsiness, and caused them to fall into a deep sleep, in order to keep every source of creature-comfort from Jesus during this season of conflict and sorrow. In the garden of Eden, did Satan gain his first triumph over apostatę man; but in Gethsemane's garden, did Jesus, as the representative and surety of man, give that decisive overthrow to the power of sin and Satan, which shook to its centre the throne of that arch-fiend,
Yea, mine own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me. Psalm xli. 9.
And I said unto them, if ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. So they weighed for my price, thirty pieces of silver. And the Lord said unto me, cast it unto the potter : a goodly price that I was prized at of them. And I took the thirty pieces of silver, and cast them to the potter in the House of the Lord.—Zechariah xi. 12, 13.
SURELY every one acquainted with the history of Jesus, as connected with that of Judas, must acknowledge these remarkable verses to be prophetical of the traitorous conduct of that betrayer of Christ. They describe the base deeds of one of his followers. It was his own familiar friend, which did eat of his bread, that lifted up his heel against him. It was not an open enemy that did him this dishonour; it was one with whom, for near three years and a half, he had daily intercourse; during which period he had constant opportunities of witnessing the miracles of Jesus, He heard his divine discourses, he saw him display his power, and, in common with the other disciples, did he receive the kindest treatment from his Master, to whose person Judas publicly professed himself faithfully
“ he was numbered with the apostles, and obtained a part in their ministry;” but such was his hypocrisy, that the disciples were not conscious of his real character. To his care they intrusted the slender stock of money–Judas kept the bag. Though under the mask of friendship he artfully concealed his perfidious spirit from the eye of man, yet he could not deceive his Lord and Master. Jesus well knew, amongst the twelve whom he had chosen to be his apostles, one was a devil.* He knew this serpent, fostered in his bosom, would betray him. Yet we behold the meek and lowly Jesus condescending to wash those feet which were so shortly to run on an errand of the basest ingratitude. Judas was unmoved by this act of unparalleled humility; no kindness could soften his heart, by sin made hard as adamant; for it appears he instantly arose, and, though night (a time best suited for such deeds of darkness), went to the Chief Priests, and said unto them, if
ye think good, give me my price; so they weighed him thirty pieces of silver. For that paltry sum did this perfidious monster sell his Lord and Master, and engage to
# John vi. 70.