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552 : The Jews declare, they have no King but Cæfar. Se&t. 188. that they might have Execution done, as usual, he faith unto the Jews, Bc
b efore Noon. And Pilate finding he must, after hold your sing. John XIX.
XIX. all, yield to the People, and consent to the Death 14.
of Jesus, left his former Struggle should be mis-
Yews, who were present in vast Numbers, Be
kold your King, If you think fit to own him, as 15 it is said many of you have done. But they 15 But they cried out, again cried out with Indignation and Disdain, Away Away w
Away with him, away with
uy him, crucify him. 'Pilate with [him,] away with [him ;] we are so far from faith unto them, Shall I cruowning him, that we desire thee to crucify him. cify your King? The Chief Pilate Fargis to them, What, shall I crucify your Priests answered, We have
no King but Cesar.
MAT. XXVII.24. When XXVII. 24: XX Vido.Zato longer to op e the popular Torrent, but that vail nothing, but that rather
Pilate saw that he could prethey rather grew more tumultuous by the Delay, a Tumult was made, he took was determined however to do all he could, to Water, and walhed hisHands make his own Conscience easy in complying withing. I am innocent of the
before the Multitude, saythis their unjust Request ; and therefore he took Blood of this juft Person : Water, and washed his Hands in the Presence of see ye to it. the Multitude (m), saying, I call Heaven and Earth to Witness, that I am innocent of the Blood of this righteous [Man ;] look you [to] the Consequences of shedding [it] and remember
you are answerable for them, whatever they may 25 prove. And all the People answered, saying, _ 25 Then answered all the We willventure those Consequences : Man bie People, and laid, His Blood
will be touched on in the Note last referred to. See a large and accurate View of them, in Wolf. Cur. Phil. Vol. i. pag. 969,- 976.
(m) He took Water, and washed his Hands, &c.] It is well known, that the Jews in fome Cases were appointed to walk their Hands, as a solemn Token, that they were not themselves concerned in the Murther committed by some unknown Person : (See Deut. xxi. 6,-9.) But as this was also a Rite that was frequently used by the Gentiles in Token of Lnrecere, it is more probable, that Pilate, who was a Gentile, did it in Conformity to them. See Grotius, in loc. and Elsner. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 122, 123.
They wish his Blood upon them, and Pilate condemns him. 553 be on us, and on our Chil- Blood, if innocent, be on us, and on our Children ! Sect. 188. dren.
and may the Curse of thedding it lie upon us
throughout all Generations (n)! LUKE XXIII. 24. And And when they had said this, Pilate, who Luk.XXIII. Pilate [willing to content
now was something easier in his own Mind, and 24. the People,) gave Sentence that it should be as they re. was deprous to satisfy the People (0), since he perquired. [MARK XV.15.-] ceived it could be done no other Way, pronounced
Sentence, that what they demanded should be done,
and that Jesus should be put to Death. 25 And he released to And in pursuance of that Sentence, he released 25 them (Barabbas,] that for to them Barabbas, who (as was said before,) was Sedition and Murther was caft into Prison, whom they thrown into Prison for Sedition and Murther ; but had desired : [and when he whom, aggravated as his Crimes were, they had bad scourged Jesus,] he deli- importunately dehred in Preference to Christ: And vered him to their Will [to be crucified. 7 MAC. having (as we related above, John xix. 1. pag. XXVII. 26. MARK XV. 544.) already scourged Yesus, he did not renew --15. John XIX. 16.-) that Torture (0); however, be delivered him to their Will to be crucified with such Circumstances
(12) May his Blood be on us, and on our Children!] As this terrible Imprecation was dreadfully answered in the Ruin so quickly brought on the Jewish Nation, and the Calamities which have fince pursued that wretched People, in almost all Ages and Countries ; so it was peculiarly illustrated in the Severity, with which Titus, merciful as he naturally was, treated the Jews whom he took during the Siege of Jerusalem ; of whom Josephus himself writes, .(Bell. Jud. lib. v. cap. 11. (al. vi. 12.) $. 1.) that pas 19 Xueros aves auprulo, having been fcourged, and tortured in a very terrible Manner, they were crucified, in the View, and near the Walls of the City ; perhaps, among other Places, on Mount Calvary : And it is very probable, this might be the Fate of some of those very Persons, who now joined in this Cry, as it undoubtedly was of many of their Children. For Jofephus, who was an Eyewitness, expressly declares, “ that the Number of those thus crucified was so great, that " there was not Room for the Crolles to stand by each other; and that at last, they had “ nọt Wood enough to make Croles of.” A Passage which, especially when compared with the Verse before us, impresses and astonishes me beyond any other, which I recollect in the whole Story. If this were not the very Finger of GOD, pointing out their Crime in crucifying his Son, it is hard to say what could deserve to be called so.- Elsner has abundantly shewn, that among the Greeks, the Persons, on whose Testimony others were put to Death, used by a very solemn Execration, to devote themselves to the Divine Vengeance, if the Person so condemned were not really guilty. (Elsn. Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 123–125.)
(0) Defirous to satisfy the People : 70 Ikarov monoa..] As his former Administration had given them a great deal of Disgust, he might very probably think it absolutely necessary, thus to appease them : Yet they afterwards followed him with their Accusations to his Ruin ; and thus by the righteous Judgment of God, he lost all the Advantage, which he hoped to gain by this base Compliance ; às Felix did, when he afterwards injured Paul on the same unworthy Principles. Aits xxiv. 27.
(p) Having already scourged Jefus : ppageadwoas.] Many Criticks, and among the rest Elsner, (Obferv. Vol. i. pag. 125.) have ihewn, that Scourging used to precede Crucifixion ; but as John, who is most exact in his Account of this part of the Story, mentions his having been scourged before, and says nothing of the Repetition of it, (which, considering Pilate's Conviction of his Innocence, he would probably spare,) I chuse to interpret the Word in this Manner, which the Original will very well, bear..
: Vol. II.
A a a a
554 They take off the Purple Robe, and lead him to be crucified. Sect. 188.as they thought proper ; and they soon Thewed,
W that their tender Mercies were cruel. Matth. And when the Jewish Mob had thus prevailed. MAT. XXVII. 31. And XXVII. 31. after they had mocked and insulted him for a while,
after that they had mocked ked and iniulted him for a whic, him, they took the (Purple) just as the Roman Soldiers had before done in the Robe off from hin
Robe off from him, and put Prætorium, deriding his Pretences to a Kingdom, his own Raiment on him,
and led him away to crucify and abusing him like the vilest Slave, they took the
him. [MARK XV. 20.] Purple Robe off from him (9), and having dressed him in his own Garments, they led him away to be crucified, in a Manner which we shall presently relate.
IM PROV È M E N T. Johnxix. 13. T ÉT us now, by a lively Act of Faith, bring forth the Blessed Jesus
I to our Imagination, as Pilaté brought him forth to the People. Let
us with affectionate Sympathy survey the Indignities which were offered Ver. I. him, when he gave his Back to the Smiters, and his Cheeks to them that
plucked off the Hair ; and bid not his Face from Shame and Spitting. Mat. xxvii. (Isa. 1. 6.) Behold the Man, wearing his Purple Robe, and Thorny Crown, 29.
and bearing the Reed which smote him, in his Right Hand, for a Sceptre ! John xix. 5. Behold, not merely the Man, but the Son of GOD, thus vilely degraded,
thus infamously abused ! Shall we, as it were, increase his Sufferings, and, while we condemn the Fury and Cruelty of the Jews, Ihall we crucify him to ourselves afresh, and put him to an open Shame? (Heb. vi. 6.) Öc Thall we overlook him with Slight and Contempt, and bide our Faces from
bim, who for our fake thus exposed his own ?( Ver. 7, 8. Let the Caution even of this Heathen yudge, who feared, when he
beard he so much as pretended to be the Son of GOD, engage us to reve
rence him ; especially considering in how powerful a Manner he has since Mat. Xxvii. been declared to be fó. (Rom. i. 4.) Let us in this Sense have nothing to do 19.
with the Blood of this just Person : But, after our Master's Example, let us learn patiently to resign ourselves to those Sufferings, which God shall
appoint for us, remembering that none of the Enemies, and none of the John xix. 11. Calamities we meet with, could have any Power against us, except it were given them from Above.
(0) They took the Purple Robe off from him. It is observable, that Matthew (chap. xxvii. 28.) mentions a Scarlet Robe, xoxxIVNU Xnauurd, and Mark (chap. xv. 20.) a Purple Garment, the wopoupou. I take not upon me to determine, whether either of these Words be used for the other, waving, as in some other Cases, the most exact Signification; or wbether there were two Garments used, a Purple Veft, and over that a Scarlet Robe. However, it is probable, whatever they were, Pilate, or any of his chief Officers, would not cover his bleeding Body with any thing better, than an old, and perhaps tattered Habit, which an. swered their contemptuous Purpose much better, than the best which the Governer's Ward. robe could have afforded.
Reflections on the Condemnation of CHRIST.
555 How wisely was it ordered by Divine Providence, that Pilate should be Sect. 188. obliged thus to acquit Cbrift, even while he condemned bim; and to speak of him as a righteous Person, in the same Breath with which he doomed Ver. him to the Death of the most flagitious Malefator! And how lamentably does the Power of Worldly Interest over Conscience appear, when after all the Convictions of his own Mind, as well as the Admonitions of his Wife under a Divine Impulse, he gave him up to popular Fury. Luke xxiii, Oh Pilate, how gloriously hadit thou fallen in the Defence of the Son 24. of GOD! And how justly did God afterwards leave thee to perish, by the Resentment of that People, whom thou wast now so studious to . oblige (r)!
Who can without trembling read that dreadful Imprecation, May his Mat. xxvii. Blood be upon us, and on our Children! Words, which even to this' Day 25. have their remarkable and terrible Accomplishment, in that Curse, which has pursued the Yews thro' Seventeen Hundred Years. Lord, may it at length be averted, and even turned into a Blessing ! May they look on him whom they have pierced, and mourn, till all the Obstinacy of their Hearts be subdued, till they bow down in glad Submission to that King whom God has set on his holy Hill, and themselves reign with him in everlasting Honour and
People, bears his Cross to Calvary, and is there nailed to it.
John XIX. 16.
Jews, and had delivered him to the Soldiers to John XIX.
(r) Leave thee to perish, &c.] Jofephus (Antig. lib. xviii. cap. 4. (al. 5.) S. 1, 2.) expressly assures us, that Pilate, having sain a considerable Number of seditious Samaritans, was deposed from his Government by Vitellius, and sent to Tiberius at Rome, who died before he arrived there. And Eufebius, probably from Phlegon, (Ecclef. Hift. lib. ii. cap. 7.) tells us, that quickly after, (having, as others say, been banished to Vienne in Gaul,) 'he laid violent Hands upon himself, falling on his own Sword. Agrippa, who was an EyeWitness to many of his Enormities, speaks of him, in his Oration to Caius Cæfar, as one who had been a Man of a most infamous Character ; (Philo Jud. in Leg. pag. 1034.) and by that Manner of speaking, as Valefius well observes, it is plainly intimated, that he was then dead. Probably the Accusations of other Jews following him, had before that proved his Destruction.
Aa a à 2
Jesus bearing his Cross is led away to Golgotha. Sect. 189. be crucified, his Prosecutors having gained their
Point, hastened his Execution; and having inJohn XIX. 11. sulted and abused him, (as was said before, they
took Jesus, and led him away to that terrible Pu
nishment (a). Luk.XXII. And to expose him to the greater Ignominy, Luke XXIII. 32. And 32, and to prejudice the People more against him, there were allo Two other
Malefactors led with him, to there were also Two other Men, who were con- be put to Death. demned to die upon the Cross for a Robbery, and were well known to be great Malefactors, that were led out of Jerusalem with bim, to be
executed at the same Time. John XIX. And Jesus, thus attended as a Criminal, was John XIX. 17. And he led thro the City, carrying a heavy Part of his bearing his Crols, went forth
s into a Place called the Place Cross on his Shoulders, according to the Custom of a Scull, which is called in of those who were to be crucified: And in this the Hebrew, Golgotha.. Manner he came out towards a Place, which lay on the Western Side of the City, but a little without the Boundaries of it (6), which was called in the Hebrew Language Golgotha, [or] the Place of a Scull; because the Bodies of many Criminals, having been executed on that little Eminence, were buried there.
And as they led him on. Jesus was now so faint LUKE XXIII. 26. Andi 26. with the Loss of Blood, so very fore with the
Gore with the as they led him away, [theg
found Lashes and Bruises he had received, and so fatigued with the Load of such a large Piece of
And as they led his
(a) They took Jesus, and led him away.] It is evident; this Text is parallel to Mat. xxvi.
31. and Mark XV.- 20. But I have here, as in some other Instances of two or more parallel Passages, put one at the Conclusion of a former Section, and the other at the Beginning of the next, for a better Connection, I may also add, that this seems to me the exact Place of Mat, xxvii. 33- 10. in which the Evangelift relates the tragical End of Judas ; but I hope I shall be indulged in tranfpofing it, partly, that I may preserve a better Proportion in the Length of the Sections, and chiefly, that I may not interrupt the important Story of Christ's Passion: And I more easily allow myself to do it, because probably the very same Confideration engaged Matthew a little to anticipate it. Let it only here be observed, that the Death of this Traitor seems to have happened before that of his Maffer: So speedily did the Divine Vengeance pursue his aggravated Crime.
(6) Carrying a heavy Part of his Cross, came out &c.] Mr. Lardner has abundantly proved from many Quotations, that it was customary not only for the Jews, (Numb. xv. 35. 1 Kings xxi. 13. Aets vii. 58.) but also for the Sicilians, Ephesians, and Romans, to execute their Malefactors without the Gates of their Cities. (See his Credibility, Vol. i. pag. 209, 210.) What our Lord carried, was not the whole Cross, but only that transverse Pince of Wood, to which his Arms were afterwards fastened ; and which was called Antenze, or Furca, going cross the Stipes, or upright Beam, which was fixed in the Earth. This the Criminal used to carry, and therefore was called Furcifer. See Bilbop Pearfon on the Creed, pag. 203, 204.