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faith, having our hearts sprinkled (t) from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. 23. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; (for he is faithful (u) that promised;) 24. and let us consider one another, to provoke unto love and to good works: 25. not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is; but exhorting one another and so much the more as ye see the day (a) approaching.

The Gospel. John xix. 1.

PILATE therefore took Jesus, and scourged (y) him. 2. And the soldiers platted a (2) crown of thorns, and put it on his head, and they

(t) v. 22. "Sprinkled" and "washed;" alluding to the sprinklings and washings required by the Mosaic law on the day of expiation. See Levit.xvi. 14, 15. 19. 24.26.

(u) v. 23. "That promised." This probably alludes to our Saviour's assurance in his prophecy as to the destruction of Jerusalem. Our Saviour had foretold that before that great event "many should be "offended," (that is, fall off from professing his religion) "that because iniquity "should abound," (or have the upper hand,) "the love of many should wax "cold, but that he that should endure to "the end should be saved, Matt. xxiv. “10. 12, 13.;” and does not this passage in the Hebrews, from v. 23 to 25. afford strong internal evidence that it was written with a full knowledge of that prophecy, and to persons also who were well acquainted with it; that it was written whilst those circumstances our Saviour foresaw were occurring, viz. when iniquity was abounding, and the love of many waxing cold, and when therefore the strongest exhortations to patience and perseverance were peculiarly proper; and that it was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, (which is so often signified under the expression of "the day or coming of the "Lord," ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 11.), but whilst that great event was looked for as near approaching? The epistle to the

put on him a purple robe, 3. and said, "Hail, King of the Jews!" And they smote him with their hands. 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." 5. Then came Jesus forth, wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe. And Pilate saith unto them, "Behold (a) the man!" 6. When the chief priests therefore and officers saw him, they cried out, saying, "Crucify him, crucify him." Pilate saith unto them, Take ye "him and crucify him; for I find "no fault in him." 7. The Jews answered him, "We have a (b) law, "and by our law he ought to die, be

Hebrews is supposed to have been written A. D. 63. about seven years before Jerusalem was destroyed.

(x) v. 25. "The day," i. e. (probably) "the destruction of Jerusalem." See ante, 28. note on Rom. xiii. 11. "The day of the "dissolution of the Jewish state," Middl. in loco: the article is inserted, 7y quépar.

(y) v. 1. "Scourged." A minor punishment, which he might think would satisfy the Jews. The prophecy therefore, Isaiah 1.6. ante, p. 113. "I gave my back to the "smiters, and my cheeks to them that "plucked off the hair: I hid not my face "from shame and spitting," was hereby fulfilled, and so was part of Isaiah liii. 3. "He is despised and rejected of

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men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted "with grief: and we hid as it were our "faces from him: he was despised, and "we esteemed him not."

(z) v. 2. "A crown of thorns," "a purple robe," in derision, treating him as a mock king.

(a) v. 5. "Behold, &c." Can he who has quietly submitted to such ignominy, be one who aspires to royal power?

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(b) v. 7. "A law." They probably alluded to Lev. xxiv. 16. "He that bias'phemeth the name of the Lord, he shall surely be put to death, and all the congregation shall certainly stone him." According to John x. 31. 33. the Jews

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"cause he made himself the (c) Son "of God." 8. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he was the more afraid; 9. and went again into the judgement-hall, and saith unto Jesus, "Whence art thou ?" But Jesus gave him no (d) answer. 10. Then saith Pilate unto him, "Speakest thou not unto me? "knowest thou not that I have power to crucify thee, and have "power to release thee ?" 11. Jesus answered, "Thou couldest have "no power at all against me, except it were given thee from "above: therefore he that de

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took up stones to stone our Saviour, because he said that he and his Father (viz. God) were one: and they told him that they stoned him for " blasphemy; and because that thou, being a man, makest "thyself God." And when he asserted to them, Matt. xxvi. 64. and Mark xiv. 62. that he was the Son of God, the observation of the high priest upon it was, "Ye "have heard the blasphemy;"" and they" (the Jewish council)" all condemned him "to be guilty of death;" treating the assertion, that he was the Son of God, as a claim of being God, and constituting the crime of blasphemy. See Acts vii. 56. 58. 59. ante, 45.

(c) "The Son of God." And this in such a way as to assume divinity, otherwise it would not have been against their law. The repeated instances in which our Saviour so acted as to induce the Jews to consider him as claiming divinity and equality with the Father, and in which the inference is countenanced and encouraged by our Saviour himself, furnish strong proof of this leading doctrine of our faith. According to John v. 17. 18. when the Jews sought to slay him, because he had healed a sick man on the Sabbath-day, his answer to them was, " My Father worketh "hitherto, and I work and for this answer the Jews sought the more to kill him. Why? Because he not only had "broken the Sabbath, but said also, that "God was his Father, making himself “equal with God." Does our Saviour add any thing to qualify or discountenance this inference? No. On the contrary, he proceeds with a detail which leads to the con

"livered me unto thee hath the "greater sin." 12. And from thenceforth Pilate sought to release him: but the Jews cried out, saying, "If thou let this man go, "thou art not Cesar's (e) friend: "whosoever maketh himself a

king speaketh against Cesar." 13. When Pilate therefore heard that saying, he brought Jesus forth, and sat down in the judgement seat, in a place that is called "the Pavement," but in the Hebrew, "Gabbatha." 14. And it was the preparation of the passover, and about the (g) sixth hour: clusion he expresses in verse 23.; "That "all men should honour the Son, even as "they honour the Father." Does St. John add any thing to qualify or discountenance this inference? Certainly not. Our Saviour therefore suffers himself, without explanation or comment, to be considered as claiming equality with God; and that it might not be forgotten or misrepresented, St. John records it. When the Jews imputed blasphemy to our Saviour, for saying to the sick of the palsy, "Thy sins be forgiven "thee," and assigned as the reason, "Who

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can forgive sins but God only?" (Matt. ix. 3 to 6. Mark ii. 5 to 11. and Luke v. 20 to 24.) our Saviour says nothing to correct their conclusion, that none but God can forgive sins, but goes on to shew that he had that power. See Graves's Trinity, 9, 10.

(d) v. 9. "No answer." Our Saviour might not choose to tell Pilate he was of Bethlehem, lest that should bring to his recollection the dread Herod had of the child born in Bethlehem, and he should order his death from any other cause than the instigation of the Jews. Locke, 115.

(e) v. 12. "Not Cesar's friend." A powerful argument with a Roman governor, who was accountable to the emperor; and the emperor (Tiberius) was very severe, and peculiarly jealous of all who pretended to independent power. See Tacit. and

Sueton.

(g) v. 14. "The sixth hour," i. e. six in the morning, reckoning from twelve at night. The other evangelists reckon from six in the morning, following the Roman computation. St. Mark says, (Mark xv.

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and he saith unto the Jews," Be"hold your king!" 15. But they cried out, " Away with him, away "with him; crucify him!" Pilate saith unto them, "Shall I crucify your king?" The chief priests answered, "We have no king but (h) Cesar." 16. Then delivered he him therefore unto them to be crucified. And they took Jesus, and led him away. 17. And he, bearing his (i) cross, went forth into a place, called "The place of a scull," which is called in the Hebrew, "Golgotha;" 18.where they (k) crucified him, and two others with him, on either side one, and Jesus in the midst. 19. And Pilate wrote a title, and put it on the cross. And the writing was, JESUS OF NAZARETH THE KING OF THE JEWS. 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

25.) "it was the third hour," (nine in the forenoon)" and they crucified him." Matthew and Luke concur with Mark in stating that there was darkness over all the land from the sixth hour till the ninth, viz. from twelve to three, and this concurrence shews they all adopted the same computation. See Matt. xxvii. 45.-Mark xv. 33.- Luke xxiii. 44.

(h) v. 15. "But Cesar." The sceptre then was departed from Judah! According to John xviii. 31. they admitted to Pilate, "It is not lawful for us to put any "one to death." The lawgiver therefore was no longer one of their own people, and the time mentioned in Jacob's prophecy, (Gen. xlix. 10.) "the sceptre shall not de"part from Judah, nor a lawgiver from "between his feet, until Shiloh come," was arrived! See ante, 83.

(i) v. 17. "His, or "his own," dʊ75. (k) v. 18. See Tacitus, lib. xv. § 44. (4) v. 21. "Said," i. e. "pretended," to intimate that it was a false claim.

the chief priests of the Jews to Pilate, "Write not, "The King of "the Jews;' but that he (7) said, "I am King of the Jews."" 22. Pilate answered, "What I have "written, I have written." 23. Then the soldiers, when they had crucified Jesus, took his (m)garments, and made four parts, to every soldier a part; and also his coat: now the coat was without seam, woven from the top throughout: 24. They said therefore among themselves, "Let us not rend it, "but cast lots for it whose it shall "be" that (n) the Scripture might be fulfilled, which saith, They parted my raiment among

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(n) v. 24. "That the Scripture, &c." Not that they had any such intention or thought but this is a strong instance of stating as the object what was merely a consequence. See note on Matt. ii. 15. ante, 49, 50. The passage is in Ps.'xxii. 17, 18. "They "pierced my hands and my feet: I may "tell all my bones: they stand staring and "looking upon me: they part my gar"ments among them, and cast lots upon my vesture." Was this true of our Saviour? We have the testimony of witnesses who were present that it was. Is it recorded of any other person?

(o) v. 25. "Mother's sister," viz. “Mary, "the wife of Cleophas."

(p) v. 26. "The disciple whom he "loved," i. e. "St. John the Evange list."

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whom he loved, he saith unto his mother, "Woman, behold thy "son!" 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 (q) things were now accomplished, that the (r) 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 (s) 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 (t) 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.

(q) v. 28. "All things," i. e. all other things.

(r) "The Scripture." Perhaps Psalm Ixix. 22. "When I was thirsty, they "gave me vinegar to drink."

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(s) v. 29. “Hyssop," i. e. (t) v. 31. "An high day." The first of the feast of unleavened bread.

(u) v. 35. "He that saw it," i. e. "St. "John," the writer of this Gospel: so that this is the testimony of an eye-witness. (a)" He knoweth, &c." It is upon his own knowledge he asserts, so that you have that ground for your belief.

(y) v. 36. "A bone, &c." In Ps. xxxiv. 19, 20. is this passage: "Great are the "troubles of the righteous, but the Lord "delivereth him out of all. He keepeth "all his bones, so that not one of them is "broken;" and to this passage St. John might allude. It was also a provision as to the paschal lamb, that not a bone of it

33. But when they came to Jesus, and saw that he was dead already, they brake not his legs: 34. but one of the soldiers with a spear pierced his side, and forthwith came thereout blood and water. 35. And he that (u) saw it bare record, and his record is true; and he (r) knoweth that he saith true, that ye might believe. 36. For these things were done, that the Scripture should be fulfilled, "A (y) bone "of him shall not be broken." 37. And again (2) another Scripture saith, saith, "They shall look on him "whom they pierced."

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should be broken. Exod. xii. 46. "Thou "shalt not carry forth aught of the flesh "abroad out of the house, neither shall 66 ye break a bone thereof." So Numb. ix. 12. (in directing how they who could not eat it at the ordinary time should eat it afterwards,) "They shall leave none of "it unto the morning, nor break any bone

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of it." St. John might mean to point out our Saviour as the true Paschal Lamb. In 1 Cor. v. 7. he is called "our passover."

(z) v. 37. "Another Scripture," viz. Zech. xii. 10. "I will pour upon the house "of David, and upon the inhabitants of "Jerusalem, the spirit of grace and of sup"plications: and they shall look upon me "whom they have pierced; and they shall "mourn for him, as one that mourneth for "his only son; and shall be in bitterness "for him, as one that is in bitterness for "his first-born."

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The Epistle. 1 Pet. iii. 17. IT is better, if the will of God be so, that ye suffer for well-doing than for evil-doing. 18. For Christ also hath once suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring us to God, being put to death in the flesh, but quickened (a) by the Spirit: 19. by (b) which also he (c) went and (d) preached unto the (e) spirits in prison;

20. which sometime were disobedient, when once the long-suffering of God (g) waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls, were saved by (h) water.

"made

(a) v. 18. "Quickened, &c." or “ alive again,” θανατωθεὶς μὲν σαρκί, ζωοποιDeis de T areίpari, "dead as to the flesh, "alive as to the spirit; dead in body, alive "in soul." See Horsley's Serm. i. 404, 405, 406. Middl. on Gr. Art. 618.

(b) v. 19. "By," or "in ;" the Gr. is iv &. (c) "Went. "He assured one of the malefactors that was crucified with him, that that day the malefactor should be with him in Paradise, (meaning, probably, the place of departed spirits.) An intimation that his spirit was not to continue, even that day, in a dormant state. According to the Apostle's Creed, "he de"scended into hell;" as to which, see the note in p. 9.

(d) "Preached," (probably) by proclaiming to them the glad tidings of his mission, and the prospect they might thereby have of everlasting life. Horsley's Serm. i. 287.

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(e) The spirits in prison," i. e. "the "antediluvians, which sometime were dis"obedient, but might afterwards have re"pented, and whose souls were in the place "to which the spirit of Christ went.'

(g) v. 20. "Waited." God forbore 120 years before he sent the flood, to give time for repentance. See Gen. vi. 3. “The "Lord said, My Spirit shall not alway "strive with man, for that he also is flesh; "yet his days shall be 120 years," i. e. "I "will spare him for that time."

21. The like figure whereunto, even baptism (i), doth also now save us (not the (k) putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience towards God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ: 22. who is gone into heaven, and is on (1) the right hand of God; angels and authorities and powers being made subject unto him.

The Gospel. Matt. xxvii. 57.

WHEN the (m) even was come,

there came a rich man of Arimathea, named Joseph, who also himself was Jesus' disciple: 58. he went to Pilate, and begged the body of Jesus. Then Pilate commanded the body to be delivered.

(h) "By," or " from." Hamm. 1 Till. 94. The original is di udalos. And in 1 Cor.iii. 15. where the original is διὰ πυρός, many commentators read, "from the fire."

(i) v. 21. "Baptism." The meaning probably is this: as the ark saved those who were in it, so shall baptism, which is our ark, save us and we have the best grounds for bearing up against what we suffer, for Christ himself also suffered, and was even put to death; yet did his spirit still subsist, and even went to preach to the spirits of the antediluvian world, and he is since risen from the dead, and gone into heaven, and is on God's right hand: and if he, into whose cause and service we are baptized, is so exalted, our sufferings also will lead to a good end; we shall have the protection of him to whom angels and authorities and powers are made subject.

(k)"Not the putting away, &c." i. e. "not the outward ceremony, but the thing "signified: a conscientious discharge of the "duties this baptism requires." See an excellent Essay on this difficult passage, 2 Bens. 312.

() v. 22. "On the right hand," verifying the prophecy in Psalm cx. 1.

(m) v. 57. "The even." The latter part of the day of preparation, on which our Saviour was crucified; before the Sabbath was considered as beginning. See Mark xv. 42., and Luke xxiii. 54.

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