The Bald winLbar
LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST
FOR THE YOUNG
tEb. icfjartb Nctoton, 3.D.
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PAGES 711 TO END
GEORGE BARRIE & SONS, PUBLISHERS
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COPYRIGHT, 1876-80, BY G. & B.
IN 1880 BY GEORGE BARRIE
In sailing across the ocean,
if we attempt to measure the
depth of the water, in -different
places, we shall find that it MY SOUL IS
varies very much.. There are EXGEEDING
hardly two places in which it
is exactly the same. In some
places.it is easy enough to find DEATH
the bottom. In others, it is
necessary to lengthen the line
greatly, before it can be reach-
ed. And then there are other
places where the water is so
deep, that the longest line, or-
dinarily used, cannot reach to
the bottom. We know that
there is a bottom, but it is
very hard to get down to it.
712 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
And, in studying the history of our Saviour's life, we may compare
ourselves to persons sailing over the ocean. The things that he did, and
the words that he spoke, are like the water over which we are sailing.
And when we try to understand the meaning of what Jesus said, and did,
we are like the sailor, out at sea, who is trying to fathom the water over
which he is sailing, and to find out how deep it is. And in doing this we
shall find the same difference that he finds. Some of the things that Jesus
did, and said, are so plain and simple, that a child can understand them.
These are like those parts of the ocean where a very little line will reach
the bottom. Other things that Jesus did and said, require hard study, if
we wish to understand them. But then, there are other parts of the say-
ings and doings of Jesus, which the best and wisest men, with all their
learning and study, cannot fully understand, or explain. These are like
those places in the sea, where we cannot reach the bottom with our longest
We find our illustration of this in the garden of Gethsemane. Some
of the things that were done and said there, we can easily understand.
But other things are told us, of what Jesus did, and said there, which are
very hard to explain.
In speaking about this part of our Saviour's life, there are two things
for us to notice. These are what we are told about Gethsemane, and what
we are taught by the things that took place there. Or, a shorter way of
stating it will be to say that our subject now is-the facs-and the lessons
Let us look now, at the facts that are told us about Gethsemane. It
is a fact, that there was such a place as Gethsemane, near Jerusalem, when
Jesus was on earth; and that there is such a place there now. It is a fact,
that Gethsemane was a garden, or orchard of olive trees then, and so it is
still. Every one who goes to Jerusalem is sure to visit this spot, because
it is so sacred to all Christian hearts, on account of its connection with
our Saviour's sufferings. The side of the Mount of Olives, on which
Gethsemane stands, is dotted over with olive trees. A portion of the hill
has been enclosed with stone walls. This is supposed to be the spot
where our Lord's agony took place. Inside of these walls are eight large
olive trees. They are gnarled and crooked, and very old. Some sup-
JESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 713
pose they are the very trees which stood there, when Jesus visited the
spot, on the night in which he was betrayed. But this is not likely. For
we know, that when Titus, the Roman general, was besieging Jerusalem,
he cut down all the trees that could be found near the city. But the
trees, now there, have probably sprung from the roots of those that were
growing in Gethsemane on this very night.
It is a fact, that after keeping the last Passover, and observing, for the
first time the Lord's Supper with his disciples, Jesus left Jerusalem, near
midnight with the little band of his followers. He went down the side
of the hill, on which the city stood, and crossed the brook Kedron on the
way to Gethsemane. It is a fact, that on going into the garden he left
eight of his disciples at the entrance. It is a fact, that he took with him
the chosen, favored three, Peter, James, and John and went further into the
garden. It is a fact, that then he "began to be sorrowful, and very heavy.
Then saith he-my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto' death." It is
a fact, that he withdrew from the three disciples, and, alone with God, he
bowed himself to the earth, and prayed, saying, O, my Father, if it be
possible, let this cup pass from me." It is a fact, that after offering this
earnest prayer, he returned to his disciples, and found them asleep, and
said to Peter, "What! could ye not watch with me one hour? Watch
and pray, that ye enter not into temptation." It is a fact, that he went
away again, and being in an agony he prayed more earnestly, and his
sweat was, as it were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground."
It is a fact, that in the depth of his agony, there appeared unto him an
angel from heaven strengthening him." We are not told what the angel
said to him. No doubt he brought to him some tender, loving words
from his Father in heaven, to comfort, and encourage him. It is a fact
that he returned to his disciples again and found them sleeping, for their
eyes were heavy. It is a fact that he went away again, and prayed, say-
ing, O, my Father, if this cup may not pass from me except I drink it,
thy will be done." It is a fact, that he returned the third time to his dis-
ciples, and said-" Sleep on now, and take your rest: behold the hour is at
hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise,
let us be going: behold he is at hand that doth betray me." And it is a
fact, that, immediately after he had spoken these words, the wretched
714 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
Judas appeared, with his band to take him. These are the facts told us
by the evangelists respecting Jesus, and his agony in Gethsemane. They
are very wonderful facts, and the scene which they set before us in our
Saviour's life is one of the most solemn and awful that ever was wit-
He fell to the earth.
And now, let us go on to speak of the lessons taught us by these
facts. These lessons arefour.
Thefirst lesson we learn from Gethsemane is a lessOn-ABOUT PRAYER.
As soon as this great trouble came upon our blessed Lord in Geth-
yESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 715
semane, we see him, at once, separating himself from his disciples, and
seeking the comfort, and support of his Father's presence in prayer. And
this was what he was in the habit of doing. We remember how he spent
the night in prayer, before engaging in the important work of choosing
his disciples. And now, as soon as the burden of this great sorrow comes
crushing down upon him, the first thing he does, is to seek relief in
The apostle Paul is speaking of this, when he says, that, he offered
ufp prayers and suifplications, with strong crying and tears, unto him that
was able to save him from death, and was heard in that he feared." Heb.
v: 7. This refers particularly to what took place here in Gethsemane.
The earnestness which marked our Saviour's prayers, on this occasion is
especially mentioned. He mingled tears with his prayers. It appears,
from what the apostle here says, that there was something connected with
his approaching death upon the cross, that Jesus particularly feared. We
are not told what it was. And it is not worth while for us to try and find
it out; for we cannot do it. But the prayer of Jesus, was not in vain.
" He was heard, in that he feared." No doubt this refers to what took
place when the angel came to strengthen him. His prayer was not an-
swered literally. He was not actually saved from death; but he was
saved from what he feared in connection with death. Our Lord's expe-
rience, in this respect, was like that of St. Paul, when he prayed to be
delivered from the thorn in the flesh. The thorn was not taken away,
but grace was given him to bear it, and that was better than having it
taken away. The promise is-" Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he
shall sustain thee." Ps. Iv: 22. And so, from the gloomy shades of
Gethsemane, with our Saviour's agony and bloody sweat, there comes to
us a precious lesson about prayer. We see Jesus praying under the
sorrows that overwhelmed him there: his prayer was heard, and he was
And thus, by the example of our blessed Lord, we are taught, when
we have any heavy burden to bear, or any hard duty to do, to carry it to
the Lord in prayer.
Let us look at some examples, from every day life, of the benefit
that follows from prayer.
716 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
Washington's Prayer. General Washington was one of the best and
greatest men that this country, or any other ever had. He was a man of
piety and prayer.
While he was a young man, he was appointed by Gov. Dinwiddie of
Virginia, to the command of a body of troops, and sent on some duty in
the western part of that state. A part of these troops was composed of
friendly Indians. There was no chaplain in that little army, and so
Washington used to act as chaplain himself. He was in the habit of
standing up, in the presence of his men, with his head uncovered, and
reverently asking the God of heaven, to protect and bless them, in the
work they were sent to do. And no doubt, the great secret of Washing-
ton's success in life, was his habit of prayer. He occupied many positions
of honor, and dignity, during his useful life. But, never did he occupy
any position, in which he appeared so manly, so honorable, and so truly
noble, as when he stood forth, a young man, in the presence of his little
army, and tried to lift up their thoughts to God above, as the one "from
whom all blessings flow."
Praying better than Stealing. A poor family lived near a wood wharf.
The father of this family got on very well while he kept sober; but when
7ESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 717
he went to the tavern, to spend his evenings, and his earnings, as he did
sometimes, then his poor family had to suffer. One winter, during a cold
spell of weather, he was taken sick from a drunken frolic. Their wood
was nearly gone.
After dark one night, he called his oldest boy John, to his bedside,
and whispered to him to go to the wood wharf, and bring an armful of
I can't do that," said John.
Can't do it-why not?"
"Because that would be stealing, and since I have been going to
Sabbath-school, I've learned that God's commandment is, 'Thou shalt
Well, and didn't you learn that another of God's commandments
is-" Children, obey your parents ?"
"Yes, father," answered the boy.
Well, then, mind and do what I tell you."
Johnny was perplexed. He knew there must be some way of an-
swering his father, but he did not know exactly how to do it. The right
thing would have been, for him to say that, when our parents tell us to
do, what is plainly contrary to the command of God, we must obey God
rather than men. But Johnny had not learned this yet. So he said,
Father, please excuse me from stealing. I'll ask God to send us
some wood. Praying's better than stealing. I'm pretty sure God will
send it. And if it don't come before I come home from school, at noon
to-morrow, I will go and work for some, or beg some. I can work, and I
can beg, but I can't steal."
Then Johnny crept up into the loft where he slept, and prayed to
God about this matter. He said the Lord's prayer, which his teacher had
taught him. And after saying-" give us this day our daily bread;" he
added-" and please Lord send us some wood too, and let father see that
praying is better than stealing-for Jesus' sake. Amen."
"And at noon, next day, when he came home from school, as he turned
round the corner, and came in sight of their home, what do you think was
the first thing he saw? Why, a load of wood before their door! Yes,
there it was. His mother told him the overseers of the poor had sent it.
718 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
He did not know them. He believed it was God who sent it. And he
The first lesson from Gethsemane is about prayer.
The second lesson from this hallowed spot is- ABOUT SIN.
Here, in Gethsemane, we see Jesus engaged in paying the price of
our redemption: this means, what he had to suffer for us before our sins
could be pardoned. The pains and sorrows, through which Jesus passed,
in the agony of the garden, and the death on the cross: the sighs he
heaved-the groans he uttered-the tears he shed-the fears, the griefs,
the unknown sufferings that he bore-all these were part of the price he
had to pay, that we might be saved from our sins.
When we read of all that Jesus endured in Gethsemane: when we
hear him say-" my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death:" when
we see him fall to the earth, in such an agony that his sweat was, as it
were, great drops of blood falling down to the ground:" we may well ask
the question-what was it which caused him all this fearful suffering?
And there is only one way of answering this question; and this is by say-
ing that he was bearing the punishment of our sins. There was nothing
else that could have made him feel so sad and sorrowful. But this ex-
plains it all. Then, as the prophet says-" He was wounded for our trans-
gressions, he was bruised for our iniquities;-and the Lord had laid on
him the iniquity of us all." Isaiah liii: 5, 6. Our sins had provoked the
wrath of God against us, and Jesus was bearing that wrath for us. In all
the world, there is nothing that shows, so clearly, what a fearful thing sin
is, as the awful sufferings of Jesus, when he was paying the price of our
sins, or making atonement for us. And, it is by knowing what took place
in Gethsemane, and on Calvary, and only in this way, that we can learn
what a terrible evil sin is, and how we are to be saved from it.
Some years ago, there was a good Christian lady, in England, who
had taken into her family a deaf and dumb boy. She was anxious to
teach him the lesson of Gethsemane and Calvary; that Christ had suffered
and died for our sins. Signs and pictures were the only means by which
she could teach him. So she drew a picture of a great crowd of people,
old and young, standing near a deep, wide pit, out of which smoke and
flames were issuing, and into which they were in danger of being driven.
yESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 719
Then she drew the figure of one who came down from heaven, represent-
ing Jesus, the Son of God. She explained to the boy that when this
person came, he asked God not to throw those people into the pit, because
he was willing to suffer, and to die for them, that the pit might be shut
up, and the people saved.
The deaf and dumb boy wondered much; and then made signs that
the person who offered to die was only one, while the guilty ones, who
deserved to die, were many. He did not understand how God could be
willing to take one, in the place of so many. The lady saw the difficulty
that was in the boy's mind. Then she took a gold ring off from her finger,
and put it down by the side of a great heap of withered leaves, from some
faded flowers, and then asked the boy, by signs, which was the more val-
uable, the one gold ring, or the many withered leaves ? The boy took in
the idea at once. He clapped his hands with delight, and then by signs
exclaimed-" The one-the golden one." And then, to show that he
knew what this meant, and that the life of Jesus was worth more than the
world of sinners for which he died, he ran and got his letters, and spelled
the words-" Good I The golden one good !" The deaf and dumb boy
had learned two great lessons that day. For one thing he had learned this
lesson about sin, which we are trying to learn from Gethsemane. He saw
what a dreadful thing sin is, when it was necessary for Jesus to die before
it could be pardoned. And then, at the same time, he learned a lesson
about Jesus. He saw what a golden, glorious character he is: that he is
perfect man, and perfect God. This made his blood so precious, that the
shedding of that blood was a price sufficient to pay for the sins of the
And now, let us see, for a moment, how much good is done by tell-
ing to poor sinners, this story of Gethsemane and Calvary, and of the
sufferings of Jesus there. Here is an illustration of the power of this
story, for which we are indebted to one of the Moravian Missionaries in
Kazainak was a robber chief, who lived among "Greenland's icy
mountains." He came, one day to a hut, where the missionary was
engaged in translating, into the language of that country, the gospel of
St. John. He saw the missionary writing, and asked him what he was
720 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
doing. Pointing to the letters he had just written, he said those marks
were words, and that the book from which they were written could speak.
Kazainak said he would like to hear what the book had to say. The
----- -- -- --
An Angel strengthening Him.
missionary took up the book, and read from it, the story of Christ's cruci
fixion. When he stopped reading the chief asked,
What had this man done, that he was put to death? had he robbed
yESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 721
any one? or murdered any one ? had he done wrong to any one? Why
did he die ?",
No," said the missionary. He had robbed no one; he had mur-
dered no one; he had done no wrong to any one."
The Arrest of Jesus.
"Then, why did he die ?"
"Listen," said the missionary. "Jesus had done no wrong; but Ka-
zainak has done wrong. Jesus had robbed no one; but Kazainak has
robbed many. Jesus had murdered no one; but Kazainak has murdered
722 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
his brother; Kazainak has murdered his child. Jesus suffered that Kaza-
inak might not suffer; Jesus died that Kazainak might not die."
"Tell me that again," said the astonished chief. It was told him
again, and the end of it was that the hard-hearted, blood-stained murder-
er, became a gentle, loving Christian. He never knew what sin was, till
he heard of Christ's sufferings for it.
The second lesson we learn from Gethsemane is-the lesson about
The third lesson from Gethsemane is the lesson ABOUT SUBMISSION.
Jesus taught us, in the Lord's prayer, to say, Thy will be done on
earth, as it is in heaven." And this is one of the most important lessons,
we ever have to learn. It is very easy to say these words-" Thy will be
done;" but it is not so easy to feel them, and to be and do just what they
teach. The will of God is always right, and good, and holy. Everything
opposed to his will is sinful. St. Paul tells us that-" sin is the trans-
gression of the law." To transgress a law, means to walk over it, or to
break it. But the law of God is only his will, made known. And so,
everything that we think, or feel, or say, or do, contrary to the will of God
-is sin. And when we remember this it should make us very anxious
to learn the lesson of submission to the will of God. If we could all
learn to do the will of God as the angels do, it would make our earth like
heaven. And this is one reason why Jesus was so earnest in teaching us
this lesson. He not only reached submission to the will of God, but
practised it. When he entered Gethsemane, he compared the dreadful
sufferings before him to a cup, filled with something very bitter, which he
was asked to drink. Now, no person, however good, or holy he may be,
likes to endure dreadful sufferings. It is natural for us to shrink back
from suffering, and to try to get away from it. And this was just the way
that Jesus felt. He did not love suffering any more than you or I do.
And so, when he prayed the first time in Gethsemane, with those terrible
sufferings immediately before him, his prayer was-" Father, if it be pos-
sible, let this cup pass from me." But the cup did not pass away. It was
held before him still. He saw it was his Father's will for him to drink it.
So, when he prayed the second time, his words were-" 0, my Father, if
this cup may not pass from me, except I drink it: thy will be done/" This
7ESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 723
was the most beautiful example of submission to the will of God the
world has ever seen.
When Adam was in the garden of Eden he refused to submit to the
will of God. He said, by his conduct, Not thy will, but mine be done:"
and that brought the curse upon the earth, and filled it with sorrow and
death. When Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane, he submitted to
the will of God. He said, Not my will, but thine be done." This took
away the curse which Adam brought upon the earth, and left a blessing in
the place of it-even life, and peace, and salvation,
We ought to learn submission to the will of God, because he knows
what is best for us.
Mt. Moriah and Mt. of Olives with the Kedron Valley, Siloam, and Mount of Corruption, from the South.
The Curse of the Granted Prayer.-A widowed mother had an
only child-a darling boy. Her heart was wrapped up in him. At one
time he was taken very ill. The doctor thought he would die. She
prayed earnestly that his life might be spared. But she did not pray in
submission to the will of God. She said she did not want to live, unless
her child was spared to her. He was spared. But, he grew up to be a
selfish, disobedient boy. One day, in a fit of passion, he struck his mother.
That almost broke her heart. He became worse and worse; and, at last,
in a drunken quarrel, he killed one of his companions. He was taken to
prison; was tried-condemned to be hung-and ended his life on the
gallows. That quite broke his mother's heart.
Now God, in his goodness, was going to save that mother from all
724 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
this bitter sorrow. And he would have done so, if she had only learned
to say-" Thy will be done." She would not say that. The consequence
was that she brought on herself all that heart-breaking sorrow.
And then we ought to learn submission to the will of God-because,
whatever he takes away from us-he leaves us so many blessings still
Here is a good illustration of this part of our subject. Some years
ago, in a town in New England, there was a minister of the gospel, who
was greatly interested in his work. But he was attacked with bleeding
of the lungs, and was obliged to stop preaching, and resign the charge of
his church. About the same time his only child was laid in the grave;
his wife, for a time, lost the use of her eyes; his home was broken up, and
his prospects were very dark. They had been obliged to sell their fur-
niture, and take boarding at a tavern, in the town where they lived. But,
under all these trials, he was resigned and cheerful. He felt the support-
ing power of that precious gospel, which he had so loved to preach. His
wife had not felt as contented, and cheerful, under their trials as he was.
One day, as he came in from a walk, she said to him; Husband
dear, I have been thinking of our situation here, and have made up my
mind to try and be patient, and submissive to the will of God."
"Ah," said he, "that's a good resolution. I'm very glad to hear it.
Now, let us see what we have to submit to. I will make a list of our
trials. Well, in the first place, we have a comfortable home; we'll sub-
mit to that. Secondly, we have many of the blessings of life, left to us;
we'll submit to that. Thirdly, we are spared to each other; we'll submit
to that. Fourthly, we have a multitude of kind friends; we'll submit to
that. Fifthly, we have a loving God, and Saviour, who has promised to
take care of us, and 'make all things work together for our good,' we'll
submit to that."
This was a view of their case which his wife had not taken. And so
by the time her husband had got through with his fifthly, her heart was
filled with gratitude, her eyes with tears, and she exclaimed; Stop, stop;
please stop, my dear husband; and I'll never say another word about
The lesson of submission is the third lesson that we are taught in
Garden of Gethsemane at the present day.
YESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 727
The last lesson,for us to learn from this solemn scene, in our Saviour's
life, is a lesson-ABOUT TENDERNESS.
Jesus taught us this when he came back, again and again, from his
lonely struggles with the sufferings he was passing through, and found
his disciples asleep. It seemed very selfish, and unfeeling in them, to
show no more sympathy with their master, in the time of his greatest
need. He had told them how full of sorrow he was, and had asked them
to watch with him. Now, we should have supposed that under such cir-
cumstances, they would have found it impossible to sleep. They ought
- RIF AT-
View showing the relative positions of Gethsemane and Jerusalem.
to have been weeping with him in his sorrow, and uniting in prayer to
God to help and comfort him. But, instead of this, while he was bearing
all the agony, and bloody sweat, which was caused him by their sins, they
were fast asleep If Jesus had rebuked them sharply, for their want of
feeling, it would not have been surprising. But, he did nothing of the
kind. He only asked, in his own quiet, gentle way-" could ye not watch
with me one hour?" And then, he kindly excused them, for their fault,
saying-" The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak How tender,
and loving this was! Here we have the lesson of tenderness that comes
to us from Gethsemane. We see here, beautifully illustrated, the gentle,
728 THE LIFE OF YESUS CHRIST.
loving spirit of our blessed Saviour. And the exhortation of the apostle,
is-" Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ yesus." Phil. ii: 5.
Some one has well said, that the rule for us to walk by, if we are
true Christians, is, when any one injures us, to forget one half of it, and
forgive the rest." This is the very spirit of our master. This was the
way in which he acted towards his erring disciples, in Gethsemane. And,
if all, who bear the name of Christ, were only trying to follow his example,
in this respect, who can tell how much good would be done ?
Here are some beautiful illustrations of this lesson of tenderness
and forbearance, which Jesus taught us in Gethsemane.
The InflZence of this Spirit in a Christian Woman.-A parish visitor
had a district to attend to, which contained some of the worst families in
town. There was a sick child in one of those families. The visitor called
on her every day. The grandfather of this child was a wicked, hardened
man, who hated religion, and everything connected with it. He had a big
dog, that was about as savage as he was himself. Every day, when he
saw this Christian woman coming to visit the sick child, he would let
loose the dog on her. The dog flew at her, and caught hold of her dress.
But she was a brave woman, and stood her ground nobly. A few kind
words spoken to the dog took away all his fierceness. She continued
her visits, day after day, bringing to the poor child such nice things as
she needed. At first the dog was set upon her every day; but as she went
on in her kind and gentle way, the old man began to feel ashamed of
himself; and before a week was over, when he saw this faithful Christian
woman coming to the suffering little one, instead of letting loose the dog
upon her, he would take his pipe out of his mouth, with one hand, and
lift the cap from his head with the other, and make a polite bow to her,
saying, "Good morning, ma'am: werry glad to see you."
And so the spirit of Christ, as practiced by that good woman, won
the way for the gospel into that home of sin and misery, and it brought a
blessing with it, as it always does.
The Spirit of Christ in a Little Girl.-Sitting in school one day, says
a teacher, I overheard a conversation between a little girl and her brother.
He was complaining of various wrongs, that had been done to him, by
another little boy, belonging to the school. His face grew red with anger,
yESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 729
and he became very much excited, in telling of all that this boy had done
to him. He was going on to say how he intended to pay him back, when
his sister interrupted him by saying, Brother, please don't talk any more
in that way. Remember that Charley has no mother."
Her brother's lips were closed at once. This gentle rebuke, from his
sister, went straight to his heart. He walked quietly away, saying to
himself-" I never thought of that." He remembered his own sweet
home, and the teaching of his loving mother; and the question came up
to him-"What should I be if I had no mother?" He thought how
lonely Charley must feel, and how hard it must be for him to do right
wilout a mother. This took away all his anger. And he made up his
mind to be kind, and forbearing to poor Charley, and to try to do him
all the good he could.
This little girl was fol- -
lowing the example of m
Christ, and we see what
a good effect it had up-
on her brother.
A Boy with iMte Si [ r.it
"of Christ.- Two boys
-Bob Jones and Ben
Christie were left Tombs in the Valley of Jehosaphat, with Jews' Burial Ground.
alone in a country school-house, between the morning and afternoon ses-
sions. Contrary to the master's express orders Bob Jones set off some
fireworks. When afternoon school began, the master called up the two
boys, to find out who had done the mischief.
Bob, did you set off those fireworks ?"
No, sir," said Bob.
Did you do it, Ben ?" was the next question.
But Ben refused to answer; and so the master flogged him severely
for his obstinacy.
At the afternoon recess the boys were alone together. "Ben, why
didn't you deny it ?" asked his companion.
"Because there were only us two there, and one of us must have
lied," said Ben.
730 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
"Then why didn't you say I did it?"
Because you had said you didn't, and I would rather take the flog-
ging, than fasten the lie on you."
Bob's heart melted under this. Ben's noble spirit quite overcame
him. He felt that he never could allow his companion to lie under the
charge of the wrong that he had done.
As soon as the school began again, Bob marched up to the master's
desk, and said,
--- .- -- _-.---....
The old tower at the Jaffa Gate, and the Citadel.
"Please, sir, I can't bear to be a liar. Ben Christie didn't set off
these fire-crackers. I did it, and he took the flogging rather than charge
me with the lie." And then Bob burst into tears.
The master looked at him in surprise. He thought of the unjust
punishment Ben had received, his conscience smote him, and his eyes
filled with tears. Taking hold of Bob's hwer at the Jaffa Gate, and they walked slowly together
"to Ben Christie's sir, I can't bear to be a liar. Ben Christie didn't set offaloud,-
"these fire-crackers. I did it,Ben, my lad, Bob and he took the flogging rather than charge
yourme with the lie." And then Bob burst into tears.
The master looked at him in surprise. He thought of the unjust
punishment Ben had received, his conscience smote him, and his eyes
filled with tears. Taking hold of Bob's hand, they walked slowly together
to Ben Christie's seat; then the master said aloud,-
"Ben, Ben, my lad, Bob and I have done you wrong; we both ask
your pardon I"
"7ESUS IN GETHSEMANE. 731
The school was hushed and still as the grave. You might almost
have heard Ben's big-boy tears dropping on his book. But, in a moment,
dashing the tears away, he cried out-" Three cheers for the master."
They gave three cheers. And then Bob Jones added-"And now three
cheers for Ben Christie"-and they made the school-house ring again
with three rousing cheers for Ben.
Ben Christie was acting in the spirit of Christ, in what he did that
day. And by doing so, he did good to his companion, Bob Jones. He
did good to the master, and to every scholar in the school.
Disciples asleep in the Garden.
And there is no way in which we can do so much real good, to all
about us, as by trying to catch the spirit, and follow the example of our
And so, when we think of Jesus in Gethsemane let us never forget
the facts and the lessons connected with that sacred place. The facts are
too many to be repeated. The lessons are four. There is the lesson
about prayer; the lesson about sin; the lesson about submission; and
the lesson about tenderness.
And, as we leave this solemn subject, we may each of us say, in the
words of the hymn,
Or thc're th\' conflict sece,
IThine .C aC n,':lv and b0l.d \ Sat, t,
i(' Remember thee, and all thy pains,
Ye,, \\hilt a breath, a jlulAc remains, ,
And mind, and memory ice,
Whcn1 thou shalt in thl\ kinlcldo conic,
.... C,. --~
The Garden of Gethsemane.
"THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION.
SNE of the darkest chapters in the history of our Saviour's
Life, is this now before us. Here we see him betrayed
into the hands of his enemies, by one of his disciples,
and deserted by all the rest.
In studying this subject, we may look at the his-
tory of the betrayal and desertion, and then consider
S some of the lessons that it teaches.
The man who committed this awful crime was
fudas Iscariot. He was one of the twelve, whom
-IP Jesus chose, in the early part of his ministry, to be with
him, all the time, to see all the mighty works that he
did, and to hear all that he said in private, as well as
in public. He is called Judas Iscariot, to distinguish
him from another of the disciples of the same name, viz., Judas, the
brother of James. Different explanations have been given, of the mean-
734 THE LIFE OF YESUS CHRIST.
ing of this name Iscariot. The most likely is, that it was used to denote
the place of his birth. If this be so, then it was written at first, Judas-Ish-
Kerioth-which means a man of Kerioth. And then, this would show us
that he belonged to a town, in the southern part of Judah, called Kerioth.
We know nothing about Judas before we hear him spoken of, as one
of the twelve apostles. In the different lists of the names of the apostles,
he is always mentioned last, because of the dreadful sin, which he finally
committed. When his name is mentioned he is generally spoken of as
"the traitor"-or as the man "which also betrayed him." Jesus knew, of
course, from the beginning, what kind of a man Judas was, and what he
would do in the end. But, we have no reason to suppose that Judas him-
self had any idea of committing this horrible crime, when he first became
an apostle; or that the other apostles ever had the least suspicion of him.
There can be no doubt that he took part with the other apostles, when
Jesus sent them, before his face, to preach the gospel of the kingdom,"
and to perform "many mighty works." Yes, Judas, who afterwards
betrayed his Master, preached the gospel, and performed miracles, in the
name of Jesus. His fellow-disciples, so far from suspecting any harm of
him, made him the treasurer of their little company, and let him have
the bag," and manage their money affairs. And this, may have been the
very thing that ruined him.
The first time that we see anything wrong in Judas, is at the supper
given to our Lord at Bethany. We read about this in St. John 12: 1-9.
On this occasion, Mary, the sister of Lazarus, brought a very precious box
of ointment, and anointed the feet of Jesus with it. Judas thought this
ointment was wasted, and asked why it had not been sold for three hun-
dred pence, and given to the poor. This would be about forty-five, or
fifty dollars of our money. It is added-" This he said, not because he
cared for the poor; but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bore
what was put therein." None of the disciples suspected Judas of being a
thief, at this time. These words were added, long after the death of
Judas, when his true character was well known.
But, when Jesus rebuked Judas, for finding fault with Mary, and
praised her highly for what she had done, he was greatly offended. And
then, it seems, he first made up his mind to do that terrible deed, which
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 735
has left so deep, and dread-
ful a stain upon his memo-
ry. For we read-St. Math.
xxvi : 14-16-" Then one
of the twelve, called Judas
Iscariot, went unto the chief
priests, and said unto them,
What will ye give me, and
I will betray him unto you?
And they covenanted with
him for thirty pieces of sil-
ver. And from that time
he sought opportunity to
betray him." The paltry
sum for which Judas agreed
to betray his Master was
about fifteen dollars of our
money the price of a
Very soon after this Jesus
met his disciples, in that
upper chamber of Jerusa-
lem, to eat the Passover
together, for the last time.
And Judas came with them.
How could the wretched
man, venture into the pre-
sence of Jesus, when he
had already agreed to be-
tray him ?
But Jesus knew all about
it. How startled Judas
must have been, when he heard Jesus say, before them all-" One of you
shall betray me." It is probable that Jesus said this to drive Judas out
from his presence, for it must have been very painful to him to have him
736 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
there. And, after Jesus had given the sop to Judas, to show by this, that
he knew who the traitor was, we read that-" Satan entered into him.
Then Jesus said unto him, That thou doest do quickly." Then he
"went immediately out;" and hastened to the chief priests to make
arrangements for delivering Jesus unto them.
It is clear, I think, from this that Judas was not present while Jesus
was instituting the Lord's Supper. It must have been a wonderful relief
to Jesus when Judas left their little company. And we are not surprised
to find it written-" When he was gone out Jesus said, Now is the Son of
man glorified, and God is glorified in him," St. John xiii: 31. Then fol-
lowed the Lord's Supper; and the glorious things spoken of in the 14th,
15th, and I6th chapters of St. John, and the great prayer in the I7th
chapter. After this came the agony in the garden of Gethsemane.
Just as this was over, Judas appeared with the band of soldiers, and
servants of the chief priests "with lanterns, and torches, and weapons."
Jesus went forth to meet them, and asked whom they were seeking. They
answered, "Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he. As soon
as he had said unto them I am he, they went backward and fell to the
ground." Then Judas came to Jesus according to the signal he had given
them, and said, Hail, Master, and kissed him. But Jesus said unto him,
Judas, betrayest thou the Son of man with a kiss ? Then Peter drew his
sword to defend his Master, and struck a servant of the high-priest, and
cut off his right ear. Jesus touched the ear, and healed it; and told Peter
to put up his sword. Then they came to Jesus and bound him, and led.
him away to the high-priest; and it is added: Then all the disciples for-
sook him andfled." He was betrayed by one of his own disciples, and
forsaken by all the rest.
Nothing is said about Judas during the time of the trial of Jesus.
Some suppose that he expected our Lord would deliver himself out of the
hands of his enemies. We have no authority for thinking so. But, when
he found, at last, that Jesus was condemned, and was really to be put to
death, his conscience smote him, for what he had done. He brought back
the thirty pieces of silver-the beggarly price he had received for betray-
ing his Master-and threw them down at the feet of the chief priests,
saying-" I have sinned, in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 737
And they said-What is that to us? See thou, to that. And he went,
and hanged himself."
This was the end of the wretched man, so far as this world is con-
cerned. And such is the history of the betrayal and desertion of Jesus.
We might refer to many lessons
taught us by this sad history, but we -
shall only speak of four. Two of .
these relate to Jesus, and two of them .. : ,,
to Judas. .". ..
One of the lessons about Yesuzs, -
taught us here, refers to-THE LONE- .
LINES OF HIS SUFFERINGS.'
We all know how natural it is, '" '
when we are in trouble, to desire to ,
have some one near who loves us. -- -
The very first thing a child does,
when worried about anything, is to '
run to its mother, and throw itself i '' '
into her loving arms. It would al- .-: -. '
most break the child's heart if it could ''..'
not have its mother's presence, and "" I:
gentle sympathy, at such a time. Plan of Jerusalem.
(From a drawing by Mr. Fergusson.)
And it is the same when we Scale, 1084 yards to the inch.
grow older. We naturally seek the Sop 7. Fountain other Virgin.
grow older. We naturally. Tombs of the Kings. .8. Pillar of Absalom.
3. Damascus Gate. 19. Gethsemane.
St. Stephen's Gate. 2o. Shoulder of the Mount of
company of our dearest friends in 5. Golden Gate. olives, where "He be-
6. David's Gate. held the city, and wept
times of trouble. And it adds greatly JaffaGat. ..ver it."
8. Pool of Hezekiah. az. Enrogel.
9. Church of the Holy Sepul- 22. Upper Pool.
to our suffering, if we cannot have o. Ja uin. 4. Soer i f the Mount of
11. Castle of David. Olives.
those we love near us when we are in 1. Citadel. 25. Hill of Evil Counsel.
3. Pool of Bethesda. 26. Mount of Corruption.
14. The Haram, or Holy Place. 27. Village of Siloam.
containing, 28. Pool of Siloam.
sorrow. But, in the history of our 5. TheDome o the Rock, and 29. Sepulchre of David.
16. The Mosques El-Aksa and
Saviour's betrayal and desertion, we omar.
see how it was with him. In the
midst of his great trouble, when the wrath of God, occasioned by our sins,
was pressing heavily upon him, he was betrayed into the hands of his
enemies, by one of the little band of his own chosen followers. How
much this must have added to his sorrow I And if the rest of his apostles
738 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
had only stood by him faithfully, as they had promised to do, during that
night of sorrow, it would have been some comfort to him. But they did
not. As soon as they saw the traitor Judas deliver him into the hands of
his enemies, we read these sad, and melancholy words, Then all the
disciples forsook him, and fled!" How hard this must have been for
Jesus to bear! The cup of his sorrows was full before; this must have
made it overflow. He knew it was coming. For, not long before, he had
told them that the hour was coming, when they would be scattered, and
leave him alone." This shows how deeply he felt, and feared this loneli-
ness. Seven hundred years before he came into our world, the prophet
Isaiah represented him as saying-" I have trodden the wine-press alone,"
chapt. lxiii: 3. And this was what he was doing now. In the midst of the
multitudes he came to save he was left-alone. There was not an earthly
friend to stand by him-to speak a kind word to him-or to show him any
sympathy, in this time of his greatest sorrow. The only comfort left to
him was the thought that his Father in heaven had not forgotten him.
When he spoke of his disciples leaving him alone, he said, Andyet,
I am not alone, for the Father is with me." St. John xvi: 32.
Jesus never forgets how lonely he felt at this time; and he loves to
come near and comfort us, when we are left alone. We should always
remember, at such times, how well able he is to help and comfort us.
Here are some simple illustrations of the blessing which those find
who look to Jesus in their loneliness.
An aged Christian was carried to a consumptives' hospital to die. He
had no relation, or friend to be near him, except the nurse and the doctor.
Yet he always seemed bright and happy. The doctor, in talking with him
one day, asked him how it was that he could be so resigned and cheer-
ful ? His reply was-"When I am able to think, I think of Jesus; and
when I am not able to think of him, Iknow he is thinking of me."
And this was just the way King David felt when he said, I am poor
and needy; yet the Lord thinketh upon me."
Not Alone.-Little Bessie was sitting on the piazza. The nurse came
in, and found her there. "Ah! Bessie dear, all alone in the dark," said
the nurse, "and yet not afraid ?"
No, indeed," said little Bessie, for I am not all alone. God is here.
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 739
I look up and see the stars, and God seems to be looking down at me
with his bright eyes."
To be sure," said the nurse, but God is up in the sky, and that is
a great way off."
No," said Bessie; "God is here too; sometimes He seems to be
clasping me in his arms, and then I feel so happy."
Th/e He/lp of Feeling yesus Near.-There was a poor man in a hospi-
tal. He was just about to undergo a painful and dangerous operation.
Bethany from the road to Jericho.
They laid him out ready, and the doctors were about to begin, when he
asked them to wait a moment. "What shall we wait for?" was the
inquiry of one of the doctors.
Oh, wait a moment," said he, till I ask the Lord Jesus Christ to
stand by my side. I know it will be dreadful hard to bear; but it will be
such a comfort to think that Jesus is near me."
One thing we are taught by the betrayal and desertion of Christ, is
the loneliness of his sufferings.
740 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
Another thing, taught us by this part of our Saviour's history is-HIS
WILLINGNESS TO SUFFER.
We often make up our minds to suffer certain things, because we
have no power to help it. But it was not so with Jesus. He had power
enough, to have saved himself from suffering, if he had chosen to do so.
Sometime before this, when he was speaking to his disciples about his
death, or, as he called it, laying down his life, he said-" No man taketh it
from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have fower to lay it down, and I
have power to take it again." John x: 18. And he showed plainly what
his power was, at the very time of his betrayal. When his enemies came
to take him, he "went forth, and said unto them, Whom seek ye ? They
answered him, Jesus of Nazareth. Jesus saith unto them, I am he." John
xviii: 4. But he put such wonderful power into these simple words-"I
am he "-that, the moment they heard them, the whole multitude, soldiers,
servants, and all, fell to the ground before him. It was nothing but the
power of Jesus which produced this strange effect. It seems as if Jesus
did this, on purpose to show that the mighty power by which he had
healed the sick, and raised the dead, and cast out devils, and walked on
the water, and controlled the stormy winds and waves, was in him still.
He was not taken by his enemies because he had no power to help him-
self. The same power which made his enemies fall to the ground with a
word, could have held them there, while he walked away; or could have
scattered them, as the chaff is scattered by the whirlwind; or could have
made the earth open, and swallow them up. But he did not choose to
exercise it, in any of these ways. He was willing to suffer for us; and so
he allowed himself to be taken.
As the Jews were seizing him Peter drew his sword, and smote one
of the servants of the high-priest, and cut off his right ear. Jesus touched
the ear, and healed it, in a moment, thus showing again what power he
had. Then he told Peter to put up his sword, and said-" Thinkest thou
that I cannot now pray to my Father, and he shall presently give me more
than twelve legions of angels ?" St. Mark xxvi: 53. A full Roman legion
contained six thousand men. Jesus had power enough in his own arm,
to keep himself from being taken, if he had chosen to use it. And more
than seventy thousand angels would have flown, with lightning speed, to
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 741
his deliverance, if he had but lifted his finger; or said-" come." There was
so much power in himself, and so much power in heaven, at his command,
that all the soldiers Rome ever had, could not have taken him, unless he
had been willing to be taken. But he was willing. And when they came
to crucify him, all the nails ever made could not have fastened him to the
cross, unless he had been willing to be fastened there. But his wonderful
love for you, and for me and for a world of lost sinners, made him willing
---- -----=---_- __ .- -:.-
Bethany and Mountains of Moab.
to be fastened there, to suffer, and to die, that our sins might be pardoned,
and that we might enter heaven.
And it is the thought of this amazing love of Christ, making him
willing to suffer for us, which gives to the story of the cross, the marvel-
lous power it has to melt the hardest hearts, and win the worst of men to
his service. There is a power in love, to do what nothing else can do,-
to make men good and holy. And this is what we are taught when told
that-" Christ suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might bring
us to God." I Pet. iii : 18. And when we find people acting in this way,
742 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
towards each other, in every-day life, it has just the same effect. Here is
an illustration of what I mean.
We may call it- The Power of Love, or The fzust for the U;nItst.
In a town near Paris, is a school for teaching and training poor
homeless boys, who are found wandering about the streets of that city,
and are growing up in idleness and crime.
When one of the boys breaks the rules of the school, and deserves
punishment, the rest of the school are called together, like a jury, to decide
what shall be done with the offender. One of the punishments is confine-,
ment, for several days, in a dungeon, called "the black-hole." The
prisoner is put on a short allowance of food, and, of course, forfeits all the
liberties of the other boys.
After the boys have, in this way, passed sentence on one of their
companions, and the master approves of it, this question is put to the rest
of the school:-" Will any of you become this boy's substitute? i. e., take
his place, and bear his punishment, and let him go free ?" And it generally
happens, that some little friend, of the criminal, comes forward, and offers
to bear the punishment instead of him. Then the only punishment, the
real offender has to bear, is to carry the bread and water, to his friend, as
long as he is confined in the dungeon. In this way, it generally happens,
that the most stubborn, and hard-hearted boys are melted down, by seeing
their companions willingly suffering for them, what they know they
deserved to suffer themselves.
Not long ago, a boy about nine or ten years old, named Pierre, was
received into this school. He was a boy whose temper and conduct were
so bad, that he had been dismissed, from several schools. He behaved
pretty well at first; but soon his bad temper broke out, and one day, he
quarrelled with a boy, about his own age, named Louis, and stabbed him
in the breast with a knife.
Louis was carried bleeding to his bed. His wound was painful, but
not dangerous. The boys were assembled, to consult about what was to
be done, with Pierre. Louis was a great favorite with the boys, and they
all agreed, at once, that Pierre should be turned out of the school, and
never be allowed to come back.
This was a very natural sentence, under the circumstances, but the
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 743
master thought it was not a wise one. He said that if Pierre was turned
out of school, he would grow worse and worse, and probably end his life
on the gallows. He asked them to think again. They then agreed upon
a long imprisonment, without saying how long it was to be. They were
asked as usual, if any one was willing to go to prison instead of Pierre.
But no one offered, and he was marched off to prison.
After some days, when the boys were all together, the master asked
again if any one
was willing to take
Pierre's place. A
feeble voice was
heard, saying-" I
will." To the sur-
prise of every one
this proved to be
ed boy, who was
just getting over the
effect of his wound.
Louis went to the
dungeon, and took
the place of the boy
who had tried to kill
him; while Pierre
was set at liberty.
For many days he
I am not all alone. God is here."
went to the prison
carrying the bread and water to Louis, but with a feeling of pride and
anger in his heart.
But at last he could bear it no longer. The sight of his kind-hearted,
generous friend, still pale and feeble from the effects of his wound, pining
in prison-living on bread and water--and willingly suffering all this for
kim-who had tried to murder him-this was more than he could bear.
His fierce temper, and stubborn pride broke down under it. The
generous love of Louis had'fairly conquered him. He went to the
744 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
master, fell down at his feet, and with bitter tears confessed his fault,
begged to be forgiven, and promised to be a good boy.
He kept his promise, and became one of the best boys in the school.
And so it is the love of Christ in being willing to suffer for us, that
wins the hearts and lives of men to him, and gives to the story of the
cross all its power.
The willingness of Christ to suffer is the second thing taught us by
the history of the betrayal and desertion.
These are the two things taught us about Jesus, by this history; his
loneliness in suffering, and his willingness to suffer.
But, there are two things taught us about Judas, also, by this history.
One of these is-THE POWER OF SIN.
The sin of Judas was covetousness, or "the love of money." The
apostle Paul tells us that this-" is the root of all evil." I Tim. vi: Io.
The little company of the apostles made Judas their treasurer. He carried
the purse for them. He received the money that was contributed for
their expenses, and paid out what was needed, from day to day. We
may suppose that, soon after his appointment to this office, he found him-
self tempted to take some of this money, for his own use. Perhaps he
only took a penny or two, at first, but then he soon went on to take more.
Now, if he had watched, and striven against this temptation, at the very
first, and had prayed for strength to resist it, what a different man he
might have been! There is an old proverb which says-"Resist the
beginnings." Our only safety is in doing this. Judas neglected to resist
the beginning of his temptation, and the end of it was his ruin. We
never can tell what may come out of one sin, that is not resisted.
If you want to sink a ship, at sea, it is not necessary to make half a
dozen big holes in her side; one little hole, which you might stop with
your finger, if left alone, will be enough to sink that ship. Judas gave
himself up to the power of one sin, and that, led him on to betray his
Let us look at some illustrations of the power of one sin.
Clara's Obstinacy.-Little Clara Cole was saying her prayers, one
evening before going to bed. Part of her evening prayer was the simple
hymn-" And now I lay me down to sleep." When she came to the last
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 745
line she stopped short, and would not say it. "Go on, my dear, and
finish it," said her mother. "I can't," she said, although she knew it per-
fectly well, and had said it hundreds of times before. Oh, yes go right
on, my child."
No; I can't." My dear child, what makes you talk so ? Say the
last line directly."
But, in spite of her mother's positive commands, and loving en-
treaties, Clara was obstinate, and would not do it. "Very well," said
Mrs. Cole at last: "you can get into bed; but you will not get up till you
have said that line."
-' * -*-'-.ri -- -'-5 '^ ^. ^ ^'-'
View from the spot where Christ beheld the city and wept over it.
Next morning Mrs. Cole went into Clara's room, as soon as she
heard her stir. "Now, Clara," she said pleasantly, "say the line, and
I can't say it," said Clara, obstinately, and she actually lay in bed all
that day, and part of the next rather than give up. The second day was
her birth-day, and a number of little girls had been invited, in the evening,
to her birth-day party. That little, strong, cruel will of hers held out
till three o'clock; then she said, "I pray the Lord my soul to take,"
and bursting into tears asked her mother's forgiveness.
How much power there was in that one sin! No one can tell
746 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
what trouble it might have caused that poor child, if she had not been
taught to conquer it. But after that it never gave her much trouble.
One Drop of Evil.-"I don't see why you won't let me play with
Willie Hunt," said Walter Kirk, with a frown and a pout. "I know he
doesn't always mind his mother. He smokes segars, and once in a while
he swears just a little; but I've been brought up better than that; he
won't hurt me. I might do him some good."
Walter," said his mother, "take this glass of pure water, and put
just one drop of ink into it."
Walter did so, and then in a moment exclaimed, Oh! mother, who
would have thought that one drop would blacken a whole glass so!"
Yes, it has changed the color of the whole. And now just put one
drop of clear water in it, and see if you can undo what has been done."
"Why, mother, one drop, or a dozen, or fifty won't do that."
That's so, my son; and that is the reason why I don't want you to
play with Willie Hunt. For one drop of his evil ways, like the drop of
ink in the glass, may do you harm that never can be undone."
Here we see the power of a single sin.
One Worm Did It.-One day a gentleman in England, went out with
a friend who was visiting him, to take a walk in the park. As they were
walking along, he drew his friend's attention to a large sycamore tree,
withered and dead.
That fine tree," said he, was killed by a single worm."
In answer to his friend's inquiries, he said,
About two years ago, that tree was as healthy as any in the park.
One day I was walking out with a friend, as we are walking now, when I
noticed a wood-worm about three inches long, forcing its way under the
bark of the tree. My friend, who knew a great deal about trees, said-
'Let that worm alone, and it will kill this tree.' I did not think it possible,
and said-' well, we'll let the black worm try, and see what it can do.' "
The worm tunnelled its way under the bark. The next summer the
leaves of the tree dropped off, very early. This year the tree'has not put
out a single green leaf. It is a dead tree. That one worm killed it.
Here we see the power of one sin. The third lesson taught us by the
history of the betrayal and desertion is-the power of sin.
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 747
The fourth lesson taught us by this history iS-THE GROWTH OF SIN.
Solomon says, The beginning of strife "-and the same is true of all
sin-" is as when one letteth out water." Prov. xvii: 14. There is a bank
of earth, that keeps the water of a mill-dam, in its place. You notice,
one particular spot,
where the bank
seems weak. The
water is beginning
to make its way
through. At first,
it only just trickles --
down, drop by drop.
By and by, the .... ws
drops come faster. -
Now, they run into -
each other, and
make a little rill.
Every moment the
breach grows wider,
and deeper, till, at
last, there is a roar-
ing torrent rushing
through, that noth-
ing can stop.
Every sin is like
a seed. If it be
planted in the heart,
and allowed to -
spring up, no one Sepulchre in the Valley of Jehoshaphat, called "Absalom's Pillar."
can tell what it will
grow into. Suppose, that you and I, knew nothing about the growth of
trees. We are sitting under the wide-spreading branches of a vast oak
tree. A friend picks up a tiny, little acorn, and holding it up before us,
says-" This giant tree, under whose shade we are sitting, has all grown
out of a little acorn, like this." It would seem impossible to us. We
748 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
could hardly be made to believe it. But we need no argument to prove
this. We know it is so.
But the growth of sin, in the hearts and lives of men, is quite as sur-
prising as the growth of trees in the forest. We see this in the case of
Judas. Suppose that we could have seen him when he first let his love of
money lead him to do wrong. Perhaps he only stole a penny or two, at
first. That was not much. And then, suppose we had not seen Judas
again, till the night in which he had made up his mind to commit that
greatest and most awful of all sins-the sin of betraying his Master! what
a wonderful change we should have seen in him! The growth of a river
from a rill-of a giant oak from a tiny acorn-would not be half so sur-
prising as the monstrous growth in wickedness that we should have seen
in Judas. When we saw him committing his first sin, he was like a little
child. When we saw him committing his last awful sin-the child had
sprung up into a huge, horrible giant. Jesus said he had become a devil.
St. John vi: 70. How fearful it is to think of such growth in wickedness!
And yet, if we allow the seed of sin to be sown in our hearts, and to spring
up there, we cannot tell but what its growth may be as fearful in us, as it
was in Judas.
Let us look at some illustrations of the growth of sin.
77Te Growth of Lying.-Some time ago a little boy told his first false-
hood. It was like a solitary little thistle seed, sown in the mellow soil of
his heart. No eye but that of God saw him as he planted it. But, it
sprung up-O, how quickly! and, in a little time, another seed dropped
from it into the ground, and then another, and another, each in its turn
bearing more and more of those troublesome thistles. And now, his
heart is like a field of which the weeds have taken entire possession. It
is as difficult for him to speak the truth, as it is for the gardener to clear
his land of the ugly thistles, that have once gained a rooting in the soil.
7'Te Snake and the Spider.-A black snake, about a foot long, lay
sunning itself on a garden-bed one summer's day. A spider had hung
out his web, on the branches of a bush, above where the snake lay. He
saw the huge monster lying there, for huge indeed he was compared to
the little spider, and he concluded to take him prisoner. But, you ask, is
not the snake a thousand times stronger than the spider? Certainly he
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 749
is. Then how can he take him prisoner? Well, let us see how he did it.
The spider spun out a fine, slender thread. He slipped down, and
touched the snake with it. It stuck. He took another, and touched him
with that, and that stuck too. He went on industriously. The snake lay
quiet. Another, and another thread, was fastened to him, till there were
hundreds and thousands of them. And, by and by, those feeble threads,
not one of which was strong enough to hold the smallest fly, when greatly
multiplied, were strong enough to make the snake a prisoner. The spider
webbed him round and round, till, at last, when the snake tried to move,
he found it was impossible. The web had
grown strong out of its weakness. By
putting one strand here, and another there,
and drawing, first on one, and then on an- i
other, the spider had the snake bound fast, ,
from head to tail, to be a supply of food for ,' '
himself and family, for a long while.
And so, if we give way even to little
sins, they may make us their prisoner as '
the spider did the snake, and before we are
aware of it, we may be bound hand and .." -
foot, and unable to help ourselves.
Sin like a Wh/irlfool.-The Columbia .
river, in Oregon, has a great bend in it, at
one place where it passes through a moun-
tain range. When the water in the river is Jerusalem; Fountain of the Virgin.
high, there is a dangerous whirlpool in this
part of the river. An officer, connected with the United States Exploring
Expedition, was going down this river, some years ago, in a boat which was
manned by ten Canadians. When they reached this bend in the river, they
thought the water was so low, that the whirlpool would not be dangerous.
So they concluded to go down the river, in the boat, as this would save them
the labor of carrying the boat, with its baggage, across the portage, to the
place where they would take the river again below the rapids. But, the
officer was put on shore, to walk across the portage. He had to climb up
some high rocks. From the top of these rocks he had a full view of the
750 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
river beneath, and of the boat in her passage. At first, she seemed to skim
over the waters like a bird. But, soon he saw they were in trouble. The
struggles of the oarsmen, and the shouts of the man at the helm, showed
that there was danger from the whirlpool, when they thought there would
be none. He saw the men bend on the oars with all their might. But, in
spite of all, the boat lost its straightforward course, and was drawn into the
whirl. It swept round, and round, with increasing force and swiftness. No
effort they could make had the least control of it. A few more turns, each
more rapid than the rest, and at last, the centre was reached; and the boat,
: -- '.
Jerusalem; St. Stephen's Gate.
with all her crew, was drawn into the dreadful whirlpool, and disappeared.
Only one, of the ten bodies, was found afterwards, in the river below;
and that, was all torn and mangled, by the rocks, against which it had
Just such a whirlpool is sin. Judas was drawn into it when he first
gave way to his covetousness, and began to steal money from the purse
with which he was entrusted. Like the men in the boat, he soon lost all
control of himself, and was carried round and round, till at last he was
" drowned in destruction and perdition."
THE BETRAYAL AND DESERTION. 751
And thus we have considered the history of the betrayal, and the
lessons that it teaches. Two of these lessons refer to Jesus. They show
us the loneliness of his sufferings, and his willingness to suffer. Two of
them refer to Judas. They show us the power, and the growth of sin.
There is a beautiful Collect in the Prayer Book, which is very suit-
able to use in connection with such a subject as this. It is the Collect for
the Fourth Sunday after Epiphany, and teaches us to pray thus:
0 God, who knowest us to be set
in the midst of so many, and great dan- '-
gers, that by reason of the frailty of our .'..
nature, we cannot always stand upright; '
grant to us such strength and protection, -. ---- ,._--'
as may support us in all dangers, and -- .
carry us through all temptations, through p
Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen."
The blessings asked for in this prayer
are just what we need amidst the dangers
and temptations that surround us in this
evil world. If we only obtain for our-
selves the strength and protection" here .
prayed for, and which God has promised
to give to those who truly seek it, we
need not be afraid either of the power, or
the growth of sin. This strength will be
a safeguard to us against the power of Pool of Siloam from the South East.
sin, and this protection will check the
growth of sin in our hearts. It will indeed, "support us in all dangers,
and carry us through all temptations." If Judas had used such a prayer
as this, and had earnestly sought "the strength and protection" here
spoken of, he would never have been known as-"the traitor;" and the
end of his earthly life would never have been wound up with this shame-
ful sentence-"he went and hanged himself." But, as wrecks along the
shore show us where the danger lies, so, when we see the wrecks we
should try to avoid the rocks on which they struck, and go on our way
752 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
I know not how to finish this subject better, than for each of us to
say, in the words of the hymn,-
"My soul, be on thy guard;
Ten thousand foes arise;
And hosts of sins are pressing hard
To draw thee from the skies.
O watch, and fight, and pray;
The battle ne'er give o'er;
Renew it boldly every day.
And help divine implore."
Peter's Denial of Christ.
TIlE CIRO\\'N OF THORNS.
Christ led forth.
"W E come now to another of the dark, and sad
chapters in the history of our Saviour's life. We
have seen how he was betrayed by one of his
disciples, and forsaken by all the rest. Then his
enemies seized him, and led him away to those
SJewish church. We speak of what then took
place as the trial of our Saviour. But it was
only the form, or mockery of a trial. It was not
conducted, at all, in the way in which regular
trials were required to be conducted among the
Jews. The simple truth is that the enemies of
Jesus had made up their minds to put him to death, and they merely pre-
tended to have a trial because they were afraid to do it without.
And in studying this part of the life of our Saviour, we may look,
very briefly, at the history of his trial; and then, at some of the lessons
that it teaches us.
754 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
When the band of soldiers and servants had seized Jesus, and made
him prisoner, they led him away to the house of Caiaphas the high-priest.
He had gathered together the chief-priests and other members of the
Jewish high council, called the Sanhedrim. This was the highest court
among the Jews. It was composed of seventy, or seventy-two of the
oldest, the most learned, and honorable men of the nation. The high-
priest was generally the president of this council. Their usual place of
meeting was in one of the courts of the temple. But, on special occasions,
they met in the house of the high-priest, as they did now. Jesus was
brought before this council. Here they tried to bring some charge against
him of teaching false doctrine, or of doing something contrary to the laws
of their church. But though they had hired many false witnesses against
him, the witnesses did not agree in their testimony, and they found it
impossible to prove anything wrong against him.
Then the high-priest made a solemn appeal to him, and asked him to
say whether he was the Son of God. "Jesus saith unto them-I am.
Hereafter shall the Son of man sit on the right hand of the power of
God." Then they said he was guilty of blasphemy, and deserved to be
put to death. St. Math. xxvi: 59-66; St. Mark xiv: 55-64; John xviii:
After this, the servants of the priests blindfolded Jesus, and began to
mock him, to smite him, to spit on him, and to say all manner of insult-
ing, and blasphemous things to him. St. Math. xxvi: 67, 68; St. Mark
xiv: 65; St. Luke xxii: 62-65.
Then the priests, and other members of the council, seem to have
gone home, leaving Jesus to the mockery and insults of the servants. As
soon as it was morning the priests and scribes met again. They asked
him once more if he were the Christ, the Son of God. Again he declared
that he was. Then they arose and led him to Pilate, the Roman governor,
to get his consent for them to put him to death. This was necessary,
because Jerusalem was then under the power of the Romans, and no one,
but the governor whom they appointed, had the power of putting a
prisoner to death, according to law.
But, when the priests brought Christ before Pilate, they changed their
plan. They did not accuse him of blasphemy now, because they knew
THE TRIAL. 755
very well, that Pilate would
not care at all about that.
So they pretended that he
had been trying to stir up 'I
the people in opposition to
the Roman government. '''''
This was a very serious ', ',' "
charge, and one, for which,
if it could be proved, the
punishmentwould be death. .1 i '.."'
But, they could not prove
their charge. As soon as
Pilate looked on Jesus, he fl 4i .
seemed to be satisfied that A- "
he was an innocent man.
Then he took him aside,
and had a long conversa- I.I',
tion with him, alone by .
himself. The result of this I"..'.
was that Pilate was per- ,
fectly satisfied of the inno-
cence of Jesus, and was re-
solved to release him. i''
But, on returning to the V
judgment hall, and telling
the Jews what he wished
to do, he found that they i
would not listen to this, for it
a moment. Thus he was
in trouble, and knew not
what to do. Just then some-
thing was said about Gali-
lee. This was in the north-
ern part of Palestine, and ,,
out of the dominion of
756 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
Pilate. Herod was the governor of Galilee. He happened to be in
Jerusalem at that time. Pilate resolved to send his prisoner to him, and
hoped, in this way, to get rid of any further trouble in connection with
So Jesus was sent to Herod-the Herod under whose dominion John
was beheaded. He asked him many questions; but Jesus declined to
answer one of them. Then Herod, with his men of war, mocked him, and
sent him back to Pilate, only saying that he found no fault in him. St.
Math. xxvii: 1, 2, 1I-14; Mark xv: 1-5; Luke xxiii: I-12; John xviii:
After this' Pilate made several attempts to release Jesus; but the Jews
were so fierce in their opposition, that he was afraid to do it.
Then he thought he saw his way out of the difficulty by the help of a
custom that had prevailed, in connection with the feast of the Passover,
which was then about to be kept. He had been in the habit of allowing
the Jews, to ask for the release of some prisoner, who deserved to be put
to death, and of setting him at liberty, when they requested it, while
they were keeping the feast. There was a prisoner then in Jerusalem,
named Barabbas. He had been guilty of murder, and other dreadful
crimes. Pilate thought that when he should bring Jesus and Barabbas
before the people, side by side, and offer to release to them whoever they
should choose, they would be sure to ask for the gentle, loving Jesus, in
preference to a wretched, blood-stained murderer. And no doubt they
would, if they had been left to their own choice. But they were not so
left. The priests and scribes had made up their minds that Jesus should
be put to death. So they went about among the people, when this offer
was made, and persuaded them to cry out-" Not this man, but Barabbas."
Thus Pilate was disappointed again.
While this was going on, his wife sent a message to him., saying she
had had a dream about this prisoner Jesus, which troubled her greatly.
She said he was a just and good man, and begged her husband not to
have anything to do with putting him to death. This made Pilate feel
still more resolved than ever to let him ago.
Then he told the Jews that Jesus had done no wrong, and he would
therefore chastise him and let him go. This made the Jews very furious.
The Humiliation of Christ. 757
THE TRIAL. 759
They told Pilate that if he let this man go, it would show that he was not
a true friend of the emperor, Caesar. They gave him to understand that
they would complain of him to the emperor, and in this way he would be
likely to lose his office. This alarmed him so, that he could stand out no
longer. He let the Jews have their way, and delivered Jesus up to them,
to be crucified.
Then the soldiers took Jesus, and stripped him of his own clothes,
and put a purple robe upon him; and platted a crown of thorns and put it
on his head, and bowed the knee before him in shameful mockery, and
cried-" Hail! king of the Jews!" Then they smote him with the palms
of their hands, and with the reed, and showed their utmost contempt by
spitting on him. Then Pilate had him brought forth before the Jews,
wearing the crown of thorns, and the purple robe, and pointing to him in
scorn, said-" Behold the man! Behold your king!"
"And he delivered him to be crucified." St. Math. xxvii: 11-30; St.
Mark xv: 1-20; St. Luke xxiii: 1-25; St. John xviii: 13-24, 28-40; xix:
Such is the history of our Saviour's trial.
And now, we may go on to speak of five lessons taught us by this
The first lesson is about--THE WEAK RULER.
We refer, of course here to Pontius Pilate. We know very little
about him beyond what we learn from the gospels. He belonged to a
highly honorable Roman family. He had been the governor of Judea for
several years. He was not a very cruel or oppressive ruler, although he
sometimes did hasty and unjust things. Our Saviour referred to one of
these when he spoke of-" the Galileans whose blood Pilate had mingled
with their sacrifices." We know none of the particulars of this event
But, from reading the history of our Lord's trial we can see, very well,
what sort of a man Pilate was. He was a weak man. I do not mean
weak in body, but weak in character. He could see what was right; and
was willing to do it, if it could be done without injury to himself.
When Jesus was brought before him, as a prisoner, he soon saw that
he was an innocent man, and that it would be wrong to put him to death,
But, at the same time. he saw that unless he did put him to death, he
760 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
would give great offence to the Jews. And if he offended them, he was
afraid they would complain of him to the emperor, and he would lose his
office. And so his fear led him to condemn an innocent man to death,
although he knew it was wrong to do so. He tried to get rid of the guilt,
connected with this act, by washing his hands before the Jews, and saying
" I am innocent of the blood of this just person: see ye to it." But this
was very foolish. Why, all the waters in the ocean could not wash away
the stain of the Saviour's blood from the hands of Pilate. He knew that
the right thing for him to do was to let Jesus go: but he was afraid to do
it. This shows what a weak man he was.
And the wrong that he did, on this occasion, did not save him from
the dangers that he dreaded. The Jews did accuse him to the emperor,
for some other things. He lost his office in disgrace. And of what hap-
pened to him after losing his office, different accounts are given. One of
the stories about him is that he retired into Switzerland, and spent the
rest of his days on a mountain, near the city of Lucerne. This mountain
is named Pilatus after him. The story says that he lived a very unhappy
life there, and that he finally drowned himself in a lake, on the top of that
mountain. But the things for us to remember about Pilate are that he
was a weak man; that he committed a dreadful sin, when he condemned
Jesus to death; and that the punishment of his sin which followed him in
this life, was the loss of his office, and the deep disgrace which it has
fastened on his name. Wherever the two great creeds of the church are
repeated, all over the earth, we hear it publicly proclaimed that Jesus-
" suffered under Pontius Pilate."
We see plainly illustrated in Pilate's case the punishment that fol-
lowed from his weakness, in not doing what he knew to be right. If we
have the courage to refuse to do what is wrong, we shall always be
rewarded for it.
Brave Charlie.-Two little boys were walking along a village street,
one day, when they stopped before the garden connected with a gentleman's
house, and gazed with admiration on the many beautiful flowers that were
growing there. Presently the smaller of the two boys exclaimed, Oh, how
I wish I had one or two of those beautiful roses, to take home to my sick
sister. Every day she says she wishes she could see some flowers again."
THE TRIAL. 761
"Then, why don't you take some of them, you little goose," said the
other boy. Here, I am taller than you, and I can reach over the fence.
I'll get some for both of us."
"No, no, Tim," said the little boy, seizing his arm; I wouldn't steal
Pilate had a long conversation with Jesus.
lady for a rose for Ellen."
"for my part, I shall help myself."
But, just as Tim was reaching over the fence, and had seized a
762 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
branch of the beautiful roses, the gardener spied him, and dropping a
basket that was in his hand, he rushed after the boy and caught him. He
gave him a sound flogging, and told him that if he ever found him doing
that again, he would have him put in jail as a thief.
In the meantime little Charlie had gone up the steps, and rung the
door-bell. The door was opened immediately by a kind-looking lady.
Please, ma'am, will you give me a rose or two for my sick sister ?
Yes, indeed, my little man," said the lady. I have been sitting at
the window, and I heard your conversation with the boy who wished you
to steal some of my roses; and I'm very glad to see that you would not
steal 'even a flower.' Now come with me, and I will cut you a beautiful
bunch of roses." Then she asked him about his mother and sister, and
told him to come and get some flowers, whenever his sister wanted them.
After this she went to see his sick sister and mother, and helped them
in many ways. She kept up her interest in Charlie, and when he had
done going to school, she got him a nice situation, and remained his
friend for life.
And when we think of Pontius Pilate, the weak ruler, let us remem-
ber that if we do wrong, we must always suffer for it; and that if we do
right God will surely reward and bless us.
"Dare to do right! dare to be true!
You have a work that no other can do;
Do it so bravely, so kindly, so well,
Angels will hasten the story to tell.
Dare to do right! dare to be true!
The failings of others can never save you;
Stand by your conscience, your honor, your faith;
Stand like a hero, and battle till death.
Dare to do right! dare to be true!
God, who created you, cares for you too-
Treasures the tears which his striving ones shed,
Counts, and protects every hair of your head."
THE. TRIAL. 763
77ie second lesson tlat we may learn from the history of Christ's trial
is a lesson abot-THE WICKED PRIESTS.
If our Saviour had been persecuted, and put to death by infidels, or
by men who did not profess to be religious, it would not have been sur.-
i Ii II
i. .f..fif .'Ct /A' A/ -. -". .
Under whose dominion John was beheaded.
prising. But, when we find that it was the priests-men occupying the
highest places in the church, and whose business it was to study the Scrip-
tures, and teach them to the people-when these were the men most for-
ward in having Jesus put to death-it seems very strange. And yet, it
was just so. When Jesus began his ministry, the priests were the first to
764 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
oppose him. As he went on, with the work of his ministry, they were
always the most ready to persecute him, and give him trouble. And at
the last, it was the priests who resolved he should be put to death, and
who took the lead in bringing about that awful result. It was the priests
who hired Judas to betray him. It was the priests who brought false
charges against him. And, when Pilate was willing to let him go, it was
the priests who stirred up the people to insist on his being put to death.
Jesus had come at the time, and in the way, that the prophets had said he
should come; and yet the priests would not receive him. He had been
loving, and gentle, and kind; and yet, they hated him. He had spent his
life in going about doing good; and yet the priests made up their minds
that he must be put to death.
And the question that comes up here is-how was it possible that
these men-these priests-should be so wicked ? This is a very serious,
and important question. And the answer to it is this; that being minis-
ters, or priests; or being engaged in the outward duties of religion will do
us no good, and make us no better than other people, unless we are care-
ful to have our hearts made right in the sight of God; unless we are
willing to believe what he tells us, and to think, and feel, and speak, and
act, as he wishes us to do. The best things, when spoiled, always become
the worst things. Women have many things that help to make them
better than men. But a bad woman is always worse than a bad man.
Satan was once an archangel. But he sinned. He fell. He is now an
angel ruined, and this makes him the worst, the wickedest person to be
found in all the universe.
There is one passage of Scripture, which explains to us, how it was
possible for those priests to become so wicked. This passage is found in
2 Thess. ii : I 12. Here the apostle Paul tells us, that if we are not
willing to let God be our teacher, and if we do not love the teachings that
he gives us, God will let Satan come, and deceive us, and lead us to
believe what is not the truth. This will make us very wicked; and the
end of it will be that our souls will be lost. This explains to us how it
was that those Jewish priests became so wicked. They were not willing
to let God be their Teacher. They would not receive the things that God
had taught about Jesus in the Old Testament. Then Satan came and
THE TRIAL. 765
deceived them. He made them believe what was not true about Jesus.
And it was this which led to their becoming such wicked men. They
were the wickedest men in the world, at the time they lived.
And this should make us very careful not to think too much of our-
selves, or of our own opinions. It should make us willing to believe all
that God tells us about Jesus, or about ourselves, in the Bible, whether we
"Not this man, but Barabbas.
understand it, or not. This is the only way in which we can become
wise and good and happy; and be kept from following the example of
"There is only room for one illustration here.
The Two Brothers.-Some years ago there lived, in the State of
Rhode Island, two boys who were brothers, twin-brothers. They grew up
together. They both had the same home, the same education, and every-
together. They both had the same home, the same education, and every-
766 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
thing about them the same. They were very much alike, in size, and
appearance. They were both bright, intelligent, sensible, good-natured
boys. This continued till they were about sixteen years of age. Then,
one of them read an infidel book-called Paine's Age of Reason. He
made up his mind to follow the teachings of that book. The other bro-
ther had read the Bible, and resolved to take t/at as his guide and teacher
through life. And from this time, the two brothers, who had been so much
alike before, soon began to be very different from each other. One of
them turned round and walked in a wrong way, the other went on in the
right way. One of them fell into habits of intemperance, and so was led
on to all kinds of wickedness. The other learned the lessons which the
Bible teaches, and practised them in his daily life. One of them became
an idle, worthless vagabond, while the other became a useful, prosperous,
and happy citizen. One of them sank down to the low level of a wretched
gambler, while the other rose to occupy a seat in the Legislature of the
State in which he lived.
And the end of these two men was that one of them committed
murder. He was put in prison; was tried, found guilty, condemned to
be hung, and died upon the gallows. The other lived a long, and useful,
and happy life, and died at last, loved and honored by all who knew him.
This is the lesson about the wicked priests.
The next lesson from t/is history of the trial is abOut-THE PATIENCE
There are many things told us of the life of Christ which are wonderful,
but the most wonderful of all is his patience. There are other examples of
patience in the Bible, but none that can be compared with the example of
Jesus. The apostle James tells us of the patience of Job." Ch. v: I I. He
was indeed very patient. In one day he lost all his property, and his
children. The messengers, that brought him the sad tidings of his losses,
followed each other, like the waves of the sea. It must have been very
hard for him to bear. And if we had been told that he was very much
excited, and.had said some very violent, and bitter words, on hearing of
all that had happened to him, we should not have been at all surprised.
But he did nothing of the kind. After hearing of all his terrible losses,
he simply bowed himself to the earth, and said-"The Lord gave, and
THE TRIAL. 767
the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord." Job i: 21.
Here is a noble example of patience.
Joseph was very patient. When he first saw his brethren, as they
came down to Egypt to buy corn, he remembered all the bitter wrongs
they had done to him. He was now the governor of all the land of
Egypt. They were completely in his power. How easily he could have
taken revenge upon them by throwing them into prison, or putting them
to death! But there was no such feeling in his heart. He was forgiving,
ll o l f p ie d i l i i ,
pared to the example of Christ. What a beautiful picture of his patience,
the prophet Isaiah gives, when he thus speaks of him: He was oppressed.
and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth; he is brought as a lamb
II ~-- --__-=-~ z-- I ___ ._
and he was afflicted, yet he opened not his mouth ; he is brought as a lamb
768 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
to the slaughter, and as a sheep before her shearers is dumb, so he opened
not his mouth." Isaiah liii: 7. He let his enemies say all manner of evil
things against him falsely; he let them mock him,-and smite him on the
face,-and spit upon him. Yes, he whom the angels of heaven had been
accustomed to honor, and worship, as they bowed in reverence before him,
allowed himself to be so shamefully treated by sinful worms of the dust,
by the very men he had come down from heaven to save; and yet, he
never spoke one cross, or angry word to them! How wonderful this was!
How amazed the angels must have been when they saw it! Oh! what an
example of patience we have in Jesus! And if we call ourselves the
friends, and followers of Christ, let us try to have the same mind in us
that was in him, by imitating the example of his patience. There is no
way in which we can do so much good to others, and make them think
well of the religion of Christ, as by trying to practice the same patience
which he practiced.
How to Learn Patience.-A good many years ago there was a cele-
brated physician in Germany, named Boerhave. He was famous for his
learning, and also for his piety. He had learned well this lesson of pa-
tience. One day he had been greatly provoked, but without getting angry
in the least. A friend who had witnessed it, asked him if he knew what it
was to be angry. 0, yes," said he, my temper was naturally very vio-
lent, and passionate."
"Then, pray tell me," said his friend, "how you ever learned to be so
patient." Now mark what that great and good man said, in answer to
"I learned to be patient," was his reply, "by doing two things; one
was by thinking of Christ; the other was by asking him to help me."
We may all learn patience in this way.
A Soldier's Example of Patience.-Some years ago an English mis-
sionary in India baptized a soldier. This man had been a famous prize-
fighter in England. He was a powerful, lion-looking, lion-hearted man.
With a single blow he could level the strongest man to the ground. The
men in his regiment were all afraid of him. He had not been in the habit
of going to church, but, as he afterwards told the missionary, he sauntered
into the chapel one evening, hardly knowing where he was going." What
THE TRIAL. 769
he heard that night, led him to repentance, and he became a Christian.
The change which took place in his temper and conduct was very sur-
prising. The lion was changed into a lamb. A month or so after this,
when they were dining in the mess-room, one day, some of his comrades,
"who had always been afraid of him, began to ridicule him, on account of
"his religion. One of them said, I'll find out whether he is a real Chris-
tian or not;" and taking a bowl of hot soup, he threw it into his breast.
The whole company were alarmed at this. They looked on in speechless
silence, expecting to see the roused lion leap up, and spring in fury on his
foe. But he quietly opened his waistcoat, and wiped his scalded breast.
Then turning calmly round
he said, "This is what I
must expect. If I become -
a Christian, I must suffer i -I
persecution. But my Sa-
viour was patient, and I i
want to be like him." His
comrades were filled with i -r r
astonishment. But they .
were satisfied he was a true 't
Christian, and he had no
more trouble from them.
The patience of Christ is -__-_,-_________
the third lesson for us to Behold the man.
learn from his trial.
The fourth lesson taught us by this subject iS-THE HUMILIATION OF
If we desired to put the whole history of the life of our blessed Sa-
viour, into a single sentence, I do not think we could find a better one
than that which the apostle Paul uses when he says of him that-" He
humbled himself" Phil. ii: 8. Before he came into our world he was in
the form of God, and thought it not robbery to be equal with God." This
means that he was God. Now if he had chosen to become an angel, holy,
and pure, and good, he would have had to humble himself very much,
even for that. But, instead of becoming an angel, he became a man.
770 THE LIFE OF JESU. CHRIST.
And, in becoming a man, he took our nature upon him in its fallen state.
He was made like us in all points, except sin. How he humbled himself
here! And, in coming into our world, if he had chosen to come as one
of the richest men in it,-as a great king or emperor-that would have
been an act of great humiliation. But he came as a poor man. He was
one of the poorest men that ever lived on the earth. He had made the
world, and was the owner of all its treasures, and yet he could say of him-
self with truth-" The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have
nests, but the Son of Man hath not where to lay his head." What humil-
iation there was here! We see his humiliation in the poverty and suffer-
ing that he endured. His whole life was an act of humiliation. But how
greatly this humiliation was increased during the time of his trial! Think
how his back was torn by the cruel scourges! What humiliation was
there! Think how he was mocked, and insulted! Think how the sol-
diers put an old purple robe upon him: how they plaited a crown of
thorns, and put it upon his head; how they put a reed in his hand in
mockery for a sceptre: how they bowed the knee before him in scorn,
and cried-" Hail king of the Jews!" How wonderful this was! O,
never let us forget the humiliation of Christ! And when we think of all
this-how can we, as Christians, ever feel proud ? Our great duty is, as
the apostle says, to be clothed with humility." No wonder that Augus-
tine, one of the old fathers of the early church, when asked-" What is
the first thing for a Christian to learn ? should have said-humility. What
is the second ?-humility. And what is the third? should still have said
Examples of Humility.-A converted South Sea Islander was help-
ing to translate the New Testament into his native language. On coming
to the passage, Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed
upon us, that we should be called the sons of God;" i John iii: i, he
hastened to Mr. Williams, the missionary and said, No, no, this is too
much, too much! let us say-" Now are we allowed to kiss God's feet."
That man was clothed with humility.
A pious nobleman in England was in the habit of attending a prayer
meeting in the country village where he lived, and where a few of the
poor people of the neighbourhood were accustomed to assemble on a
THE TRIAL. 77'
week-day evening. When he first came in they were surprised to see
him, and they all rose up at once to offer him the best seat in the room.
This troubled him greatly. He gently said to them, Please take your
seats my friends, and have the kindness not to do this again. When I
go to the House of Lords," I go as one of the lords of the realm. But
when I come to this cottage prayer-meeting, I come simply as a disciple
Fe--- ._---___,--__"__- _______ .... -____
n. -. ,,. . .
---- --- -- I
The Jews had tried to find something wrong in his speech.
of _esus among my fellow disciles, and must be allowed to take any seat
that may be empty." That nobleman was clothed with humility.
The Humble King.-A French monarch, was found one day by some
of his attendants engaged in instructing out of the Bible, a boy belonging
to his cook.
They said it was beneath his dignity as the king of France, to be en-
gaged in teaching the child of his cook. His answer was a noble one.
"My friends," said he, this boy has a soul that is as precious as mine,
772 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
and it was bought with the same precious blood. If it was not beneath the
dignity of my Saviour, the King of heaven, to die for him, it is not be-
neath my dignity as king of France to tell him what has been done for
That king was clothed with humility. The humiliation of Christ is
the fourth lesson taught us by this trial.
The last lesson we learn from the history of the trial is about--THE
GLORY OF CHRIST.
Perhaps some may think it strange to speak of the glory of Christ in
connection with this part of his history. Here we see him betrayed, and
deserted by his own disciples. He is delivered into the hands of his en-
emies. They pretend to try him. But it is only the form of a trial through
which he is made to pass. He is charged with great crimes. These can-
not be proved against him. But still he is condemned to the most dis-
graceful of all deaths. He is handed to the soldiers to do what they
please with him. And is it right to speak of the glory of Christ in connec-
tion with such scenes as these ? Yes. For this was just what Jesus did
himself. It was, as he was about to enter on all this humiliation and suf-
fering, when Judas went out from his presence to betray him, that Jesus
said:--" Now is the Son of man glorified." Thus he himself connected
the thought of his glory with these very scenes. And surely he was not
mistaken. He knew what he was saying.
Now just think what it is in which true glory consists. It is not in
wearing fine clothes. It is not in occupying high positions. It is not in
having people say fine, and flattering things about us. No; but it is in
thinking, and feeling, and saying, and doing, and suffering that which is
right, and according to the will of God. And this is just the position that
Jesus was occupying during his trial. He was fulfilling the will of God,
in things that were the hardest of all for him to do, and to suffer. And
that was what made him glorious.
If we were asked to point to that part of our Saviour's life, in which
he appears to us in the greatest glory, there would probably be consider-
able difference of opinion among us. Some of us, no doubt, would point
to his transfiguration: some to the times when he walked upon the water,
or controlled the winds and the waves with his word, and others would
THE TRIAL. 773
point to the times when he healed the sick, or raised the dead, and cast
out devils. But it was not so. No: but it was when he was betrayed
and forsaken-when he was condemned to death, and mocked, and in-
sulted by his enemies that Jesus appeared most glorious: for it was then
I II I
that he was showing, in the strongest possible light, his desire to do his
Father's will, and the greatness of his love for the people he came to save.
It is not clothing, but character that makes us great, or glorious. And the
more we try to be like Jesus, in doing the will of God, as he did it, in this
part of his life, the greater will be the glory belonging to us.
II I A
Hesad ede nt Cea te hng wih r Csr'.
774 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
The True Hero.-A number of boys were playing after school one
day. The play ground was on the bank of a river. One of the biggest
boys was named Tom Price. He was the strongest boy in the school.
He loved to get up quarrels among the boys to show how easily he could
It was customary to scourge before crucifying.
whip any of them. But there was one boy in the school who never would
fight. His name was Joe Wilson. He was not so big, or so strong as
Tom Price. But it was not this which made him unwilling to fight. He
was trying to be a Christian. He knew it was wrong to fight, and so he
always refused to do it.
Head of Christ with Crown of Th
THE TRIAL. 777
One day Tom Price agreed with some of the other boys to try and
force a fight on Joe Wilson. SgQwhile they were playing after school,
Tom knocked Joe's cap off his head, and it fell into the river.
"Tom threw your cap over on purpose, Joe," said one of the boys;
"fight him for it."
Yes, give it to him, Wilson," said the other boys," we'll see that you
have fair play."
Price squared off, and stood in a fighting position. "I won't fight,"
said Wilson. I'm sorry you threw the cap over Price: for it was all but
new, and I don't see any fun in such mischief. But, I'm not going to
fight about it."
Come on, if you dare," said Price, shaking his fist at him. All the
boys gathered round and urged Wilson to go on, and give it to him."
No, I don't think it right to fight," said Wilson, and I won't do it"
"Coward! coward! he's afraid," cried the boys. I am not a coward,"
said Wilson; "I dare do anything that's right. But this is not right, and
I won't do it."
Go home, coward! go home, coward !" shouted the boys after him,
as he turned to go home.
He had not gone far before there was the sound of a heavy splash.
" He's in !" He'll drown !-he can't swim! Price is drowning," cried the
boys as they stood on the edge of the bank.
Joe Wilson heard these shouts, and ran to the bank of the river. He
saw Price struggling in the stream. The other boys were running about
and shouting, but they were afraid to go in. In a moment Joe Wilson
threw off his jacket, stepped back a few paces-ran-and jumped into the
river. He swam out to Price-caught him by the hair of his head, and
managed, though with great difficulty, and at the risk of his own life, to
bring him safely to the shore. Wilson walked quietly home, not only to
change his wet clothes, but also to avoid the praise of those who but a
moment ago were calling him a coward.
An old gentleman was standing there who had witnessed this whole
scene. As soon as Wilson was gone, he called the boys to him and said:
" Boys! learn a lesson from what has just taken place. Don't mistake a
hero for a coward next time. The boy who is afraid to do what he knows
778 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
to be wrong in God's sight, is the true hero. He is not afraid of anything
else; not afraid of man-of danger-or of death."
The point of greatest glory, in Joe Wilson's conduct that day, was
not when he bravely plunged into the river. No: but it was when he no-
bly stood his ground among his companions, and said I think it wrong
to fight; and I won't do it."
And so, even amidst the sorrowful scenes of our Saviour's trials, we
see his glory shining out in the way in which he did and suffered what
was according to the will of God.
And from this study of the trial of our Saviour, let us carry away
with us the five lessons of which we have spoken.
These are the lesson about the weak ruler:-the wicked priests:-the
patience-the humiliation-and the glory of Christ.
- read in St. Matthew's gospel, these/
three, simple, but solemn words:
"They cruci-fed him." Chap. xxvii:
"35. Here we have set before us the
greatest event in the history of our
Saviour while he was on earth. They
teli us of the most important event
That ever took place in our own world,
or in any other world. We have no
reason to suppose that Jesus ever took
upon himself the nature of any other
"race of creatures, as he did take our
nature. We have no reason to sup-
pose that he ever died, in any other
world, as he died in ours. How won-
derful this makes the thought of his
crucifixion! And how diligently we
should study it, and try to understand
what it was intended to teach! This
is what we come now to do. And in
doing this, the two great things for
780 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
us chiefly to consider, are--The history of the Crucifxion; and its
And in looking at this history the first thing for us- to notice is-the
place of the crucifixion.
In speaking of this place, St. Matthew xxvii: 33, says it was-" a place
called Golgotha, that is to say a place of a skull." St. Luke xxiii: 33,
says it was a place "called Calvary." Golgotha is a Hebrew word, and
Calvary is a Latin word; but they both mean the same thing, namely a
skull, or the place of a skull. Some have thought that this name was
given to it because it was the spot where public executions took place,
and criminals were buried. But there is no proof of this. It is often
spoken of as "the hill of Calvary:" but it is never so called in the New
Testament. It is supposed to have received its name from the fact of its
being a smooth and rounded piece of ground, resembling somewhat the
shape of a skull, and looking like what we call the brow of a hill. Exactly
where this place was, we cannot tell. In the Church of the Holy Sepul-
chre, at Jerusalem, they show a hole in a rock, which they pretend to say
was the very hole in which the cross of Jesus was placed. But it is im-
possible to prove this. And the thought which shows how unlikely this
is to be the Calvary where Jesus died is this, that Jesus died outside the
walls of Jerusalem, but this is inside the walls, and we know that the city
at that time was much larger than the present city. The apostle Paul
tells us that "Jesus suffered without the gate." Heb. xiii: 13. We are sure
then that Calvary, or Golgotha, the place of the crucifixion, was outside
the walls of Jerusalem, but nigh unto the city. This is all that we can
find out about it with any certainty.
The time of the crucifixion, is the next thing to consider. It was on
Friday of the last week of his earthly life. What is called "Good Fri-
day," in the week before Easter, known as Passion Week, is kept by a
large part of the Christian Church in memory of this event.
As to the hour of the day when the crucifixion took place, there is
some difference in the statements made by the different Evangelists. St.
Matthew says nothing about the hour when Jesus was crucified. He only
says that during the time of the crucifixion, from the sixth hour there
was darkness over all the land unto the ninth hour." St. Matthew xxvii:
THE CRUCIFIXION. 781
45. This means from twelve o'clock at noon, till three o'clock in the af-
ternoon. St. Luke and St. John both say that it was-" about the sixth
hour," when this great event took place. But, it is clear from their way of
speaking of it, that they did not wish to be understood as stating the time
very exactly. St. Mark says-ch. xv: 25, "And it was the third hour,
and they crucified him." There seems to be a disagreement between
these statements. But it is easy enough to reconcile the difference.
There are two ways of doing this. One is by supposing that when St.
Mark says It was the third hour
and they crucified him," he was --
speaking of the time when they
began to make the preparations
for the crucifixion, while St. Luke u ni
and St. John refer to the time
when the preparations were all
finished, and the crucifixion had
actually taken place.
But there is another way of
reconciling this apparent differ-
ence. The Jews were accustom-
ed to divide their day into four "
parts, corresponding with the four ''I' '
watches into which the night was
divided. Beginning at six o'clock
in the morning, which was the -
time when their day commenced, The via Dolorosa.
they sometimes called the first
three hours of the day, from six to nine o'clock, the first hour. The next
three hours, from nine to twelve o'clock, they called the second hour;
and then, according to this way of reckoning, the three hours following,
from twelve to three o'clock, would be the third hour. And if this was
the way in which St. Mark was speaking, then his t//ird hour would agree
exactly with the sixth hour mentioned by St. Luke and St. John. And
so, when we think of the time of the crucifixion, we may remember that
Jesus hung upon the cross, in dreadful agonies, from "about" twelve
782 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
o'clock, at noonday until three in the afternoon. 0, how long and painful
those hours must have seemed to him I
The next thing to notice is-the manner of the crucifixion. Suppose
that you and I had been standing on Calvary at the time of our Saviour's
death: what should we have seen ? Why, lying there on the ground, we
should have seen the great wooden cross; on which Jesus was to suffer.
It is made of two pieces. There is one long, upright piece of timber, and
a shorter one fastened across this upright beam, at the upper end. There
is Jesus standing by-bound, and bleeding, and crowned with thorns.
The soldiers take him and lay his body on the cross, with his back to-
wards it. They stretch out his arms to their full length, along the upper
beam of the cross. They take heavy hammers and drive great rough
nails through the palms of his hands, and through the tender part of his
feet. How terrible the suffering caused by every blow of those hammers!
And see, when this is done, the soldiers raise up the cross, and place the
lower end of it in a hole they had prepared for it. It comes down with a
jar. What terrible tortures that jar sends through every part of the
suffering Saviour's frame! About the middle of the cross is a projecting
piece of wood, to form a sort of seat, so as to prevent the whole weight
of the body from hanging from the nails, and tearing the flesh of the
hands and feet. And there the Son of God is left to suffer tortures that
cannot be expressed, till death shall come and bring him relief.
The witnesses of the crucifixion, is the next thing, of which to
Near the cross was his mother, and the good women who were her
companions. John is the only one of the apostles found near the cross
at the time when their Lord was crucified. The soldiers and the priests
were there. The walls of Jerusalem were, no doubt, lined with people
looking anxiously on: and crowds of strangers were standing by, behold-
ing this sad event; for Jerusalem was always full of persons from a
distance at that season, who came to keep the feast of the Passover. And
then, if our eyes had been opened, as the eyes of Elisha's servant were,
(2 Kings vi: 17), so that we could have seen, as spirits do, we should
have beheld multitudes of angels among the spectators of the crucifixion.
We should have seen them hovering over the cross, and gazing with
THE CRUCIFIXION. 783
wonder on the sight that met their view there-the Son of God-hanging
on the cross in agonies and blood!
The wonders attending the crucifixion is another thing to notice.
There was the darkness over all the land from the sixth to the ninth hour,
or from twelve to three o'clock. This was not a natural darkness, caused
by an eclipse of the sun, for the Jewish Passover was held at the time of
the full moon, and it is impossible to have an eclipse then. No: it was a
miraculous darkness. The sun hid his face, as if he was ashamed to look
on and see
"When God, the Mighty Maker died,
For man, the creature's sin."
And then there was an earthquake. The great globe itself seemed
to tremble at the thought of the dreadful deed that was taking place on
its surface. The solid rocks were rent in pieces. The graves were
opened, and many of the dead buried in them rose, and came back to
life. And then, at the same time, the vail of the temple-that thick,
strong vail-which hung between the holy place, and the most holy place,
without any one touching it, was rent in twain from the top to the bottom.
This was done by miracle. If you and I had been there, with our eyes
opened, as I said a little while ago, we should probably have seen two
mighty angels, taking hold of that veil and rending it. These were the
wonders that attended the crucifixion.
And then there are the words spoken by yesus on the cross, to notice.
Seven times the blessed Lord opened his mouth and spoke, as he hung
amidst the torturing agonies of the cross. The first time he spoke there,
was to pray for his murderers. St. Luke xxiii: 34. Then he spoke to his
disciple John, who was standing near the cross, and asked him to take
care of his mother. St. John xix: 25-27. Then he answered the prayer
of the dying thief, and told him he should be with him in paradise that
day. St. Luke xxiii: 39-43. Then he said--"I thirst." St. John xix: 28.
Then came the awful cry which he uttered when his Father in heaven for-
sook him, and left him alone. St. Matthew xxvii: 46. Then he said-
"It is finished I" St. John xix: 30. Then he "cried with a loud voice, and
784 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
said-" Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." St. Luke xxiii: 44.
And then he meekly bowed his head and died.
Such is the history of the crucifixion-the most solemn, the most aw-
ful, the most important event that ever took place since the world was
A great many very valuable lessons are taught us by the history of
the crucifixion. We can only speak of five.
The first lesson taught us by the crucifixion is--the lesson of forgive-
It was probably while the Roman soldiers were driving the rough
nails through his tender hands and feet, or just after the cross was set up
in its place, that Jesus taught us this lesson. He looked on his murderers
with a pitying eye. If he had asked God to punish them, as they deserved
for their cruelty, or if he had spoken to them ever so severely, it would
not have been surprising. But though they were causing him so much
suffering, when he had done them no harm, still there was not one angry
feeling in his heart towards them, and not one unkind word fell from his
lips. Instead of this, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and offered the
prayer--" Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do." Here
we have the most perfect pattern of forgiveness, the world has ever
known. If we wish to be true followers of Jesus, we must try to be like
him in this respect. We must learn well this lesson of forgiveness.
Examples of Forgiveness.-Dr. Duff, the late excellent missionary to
India, once read our Saviour's sermon on the mount to some Hindoo
young men, whom he was teaching. As he read on he came to the pas-
sage in which Jesus says, I say unto you love your enemies, bless them
that persecute you, and pray for them that despitefully use you, and per-
secute you." One of the young men was so impressed by our Saviour's
words, that he exclaimed, with great earnestness, O how beautiful! how
divine! this is the truth !" And for days, and weeks afterwards he would
exclaim, from time to time, "Love your enemies who ever heard such
teaching? How beautiful this is! This is heavenly teaching!"
A Forgiving Boy.-" Mamma," said little Charley, now I've got a
new sled, what shall I do with my old one ?" Presently he added, Mam-
ma, there's a chance to do something real good."
THE CRUCIFIXION. 785
"What is it, Charley ?"
"Why, you see, mamma, if there's any boy that I hate, it's Tim Tyson.
He's always plaguing and teasing me, and all the other little boys. It
never does any good to get cross, for that is just what he likes: but then
Tim likes sledding very much, and he has no sled. I've a notion to give
the old sled to him. It will show him that I forgive him. It might make
him think, and do him good. Mightn't it?" "Yes, it might," said the
On the way to Calvary.
So Tim got Charley's sled. The kind, forgiving spirit of the little boy
he had teased so much, touched him greatly. It made him think. It did
him good. After that Tim never teased Charley again, or any of the other
How a Bishoi taught Forgiveness.---There was once a good Bishop
who lived at Alexandria in Egypt. One day a nobleman came to see him.
He told the bishop about a person who had done him a great wrong. He
786 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
got very angry about it. I never will forgive him," said he, "as long as
Just then the bell tinkled for prayers, in the bishop's private chapel.
He rose to go into the chapel, and asked the nobleman to follow him.
The bishop kneeled at the railing of the little chancel. He asked his
friend to repeat the Lord's prayer after him, sentence by sentence. This
was done till they came to the sentence Forgive us our trespasses, as
we forgive those who trespass against us." When the bishop had offered
this prayer he waited for the nobleman to say it after him, but he was
silent. He said it again but there was no answer. Then the bishop was
silent and gave his friend time to think. Presently the nobleman rose to
his feet and said:-
I dare not offer that prayer, while I feel as I now do. It would be
asking God never to forgive me. I must forgive if I expect to be forgiven."
Then he left the chapel, sought out the person who had injured him,
and told him that he freely forgave him. After this he went back and fin-
ished his prayer with the good bishop.
The lesson of forgiveness, is one lesson taught us by the crucifixion
of our Saviour.
The second lesson we are here taught is-the lesson of duty to our
When we think of Jesus hanging on the cross, and bearing all the
dreadful pains of crucifixion, it seems to us that he must have been so
fully occupied with his own terrible sufferings, as to have had no thought,
or feeling for any one but himself. But it was not so. He did not for-
get his duty to his mother even then. He saw her standing by his cross
weeping. Joseph, her husband, was no doubt dead. She would have no
one now to take care of her. John, the disciple whom Jesus loved, was
standing near his mother. Jesus looked at his mother, and told her to
consider John as her own son. Then he looked at John, and turning his
eye to the weeping Mary, he told John to treat her as his own mother.
And from that time John took the mother of Jesus to his own home, and
took care of her, as if she had been his own mother. How thoughtful
and tender this was in Jesus! How much it was like the loving Saviour!
And how touchingly we may learn from this crucifixion scene the lesson
THE CRUCIFIXION. 787
of our duty to our parents, and especially to our mothers I No child can
ever fully repay a faithful, loving mother, for all that she has done. Let
us try to follow the example which Jesus set us from the cross, about our
duty to our parents.
Let us look at some examples of those who have learned and prac-
tised this lesson.
The Polish Prince.-Here is a story of a Polish prince who had a
-- __ -:- -7k
The Spectators of the Crucifixion.
very good father. This young man was in the habit of carrying the pic-
ture of his father in his bosom. And when he was tempted to do any-
thing that was wrong, he would take out this picture and look at it, saying,
"Let me do nothing that would grieve my good father."
Ashamed to tell Mother.-Some boys were playing one day, after
school. Among them was a little fellow, whom his companions were try-
788 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
ing to tempt to do something wrong. I can't do it," said he, because
I should be ashamed to tell mother of it."
"Well, but you needn't tell her; and she won't know anything about
But I should know all about it myself, and I'd feel mighty mean if
I wouldn't tell mother !"
The boys laughed at him and said, The idea of a boy running and
telling his mother every little thing! What a pity you weren't a girl!"
You may laugh about it, as much as you please," said the noble little
fellow, but I've made up my mind never, as long as I live, to do any-
thing I would be ashamed to tell my mother." That boy was a hero. He
was doing just what Jesus would have done, in his place. Many a boy
would have been saved from ruin if he had only acted in this way.
Honoring his Mother.-" Is there a vacant place in this bank, which I
could fill ?" asked a boy with a glowing face, as he stood, with cap in
hand, before the president of the bank.
"There is none," was the reply. "Were you told that we want-
ed a boy? Who recommended you ?"
"No one recommended me, sir," calmly said the boy. I only thought
I would see."
There was an honesty and manliness about the lad, which pleased
the president, and led him to continue the conversation.
You must have friends who could help you in getting a situation;
have you told them ?"
With a saddened feeling, the boy said, "My mother told me it would
be useless to try without friends," then apologizing for the interruption, he
turned to go away; but the gentleman detained him, saying, "Why don't
you stay at school, a year or two longer, my young friend, and then try to
get a situation ?"
I have no time for school," was his reply. I study at home, and
Keep up with the other boys as well as I can."
"Then you have had a place already," said the officer, "why did you
I have not left it, sir," quietly answered the boy.
But you wish to leave it. What is the matter ?"
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The Sermon on the Mount.
THE CRUCIFIXION. 791
The boy was confounded for a moment-but presently said-" I want
to do more for my mother, sir."
These brave words of the boy touched the gentleman's heart. And
grasping the hand of the little fellow he said:-" My boy, what is your
name ? and where do you live ? You shall have the first vacancy, for a boy,
that occurs in the bank. And in the meantime if you need a friend come
to me. But now tell me frankly, why do you wish to do more for your
mother? Have you no father?"
The boy's eyes filled with tears. He had to make an effort before he
could speak. But recovering himself directly he said:-
My father is dead: my brothers and sisters are dead. My mother
and I are left alone to help each other. But she is not strong, and I wish
to do all I can for her. It will please her, Sir, that you have been so
kind to me, and I am very much obliged to you." And then, leaving his
name and residence with the gentleman, he made a bow and retired.
It was not long before the president of that bank called to see this
boy and his mother. He cheered their hearts by telling them that he had
a situation for the boy, who found a warm friend in him as long as he
lived. God's blessing followed that boy, and he rose to occupy an impor-
tant position in the bank. And God's blessing will always follow those
who learn, and practice, the lesson Jesus taught us on the cross-of honor-
ing our parents.
The third lesson, we may learn from the crucifixion is about-the
power and willingness of Yesus to save.
This lesson is taught us by what took place between Jesus and the
dying thief, as they each hung upon the cross. Jesus was crucified be-
tween two thieves. One of them cast reproaches upon Jesus, as he hung
by his side. The other rebuked his fellow thief; and then, turning his eyes
towards Jesus, said-" Lord, remember me when thou comest into thy
kingdom." Jesus, at once heard and accepted his prayer, and told the
thief that he should be with him in paradise that day. This was one of
the most wonderful things that took place in connection with the cruci-
fixion of our Saviour. There were many wonders in it. It was won-
derful that this dying thief should have understood, so clearly as he
did, the true character of Jesus. It was wonderful that he should
792 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
have had faith to trust the salvation of his soul to one who was dying
what seemed to be a criminal's death. It was wonderful that he should
have repented truly of his sins, and have prayed earnestly, as he did,
while hanging on the cross. It was wonderful that Jesus was able and
willing to pardon him, to change his heart, and make him fit for heaven
at the last hour of his life. And it was wonderful that Jesus was so ready
to help and save another, at the very time when he was suffering so much
himself. The apostle Paul tells us that he is able to save unto the ut-
termost, those who come unto God through him," Heb. vii: 25. There
could not be a more striking illustration of the power and willingness of
Jesus to save sinners, than we have here in the case of the dying thief.
But illustrations of the same kind, though not so striking as this, do
The Cleansing Fountain.-There was once a man who had been a
very great sinner. He had long been in the habit of committing all sorts
of wickedness. But at last he grew weary of his evil ways, and wanted
to become a Christian. But he thought his sins were too great to be for-
given. A Christian man talked and prayed with him. To encourage
him he repeated the first verse of the hymn, which says-
"There is a fountain filled with blood
Drawn from Immanuel's veins;
And sinners plunged beneath that flood
Lose all their guilty stains:"
But the poor man shook his head, and said, "There's nothing in that
for me. My sins are too great to be washed away." Then his friend re-
peated the second verse:
The dying thief rejoiced to see
That fountain in his day;
And there may I, though vile as he
Wash all my sins away."
"That means me," said the penitent sinner. He was encouraged to
pray to Jesus, and he found that he was able and willing to save him.
THE CRUCIFIXION. 793
Muckle Bess-A Hofeless Case.-This was the name of a woman
who lived in Scotland many years ago. Her history illustrates very well
the point now before us, and shows the power and willingness of Christ
to save. She was the daughter of a good, pious farmer. But she was
led into evil company. She left her father's house, and became a most
They cast lots for his raiment.
wicked and abandoned woman. She was a terror to every one, even to
the wicked people among whom she had gone to live. At last she left
them, and spent her time in wandering among the highlands, living like
a wild beast, stealing what she could get to eat, or to wear, and sleeping
794 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
in barns, or stables, in sheepfolds, or in the dens and caves of the moun-
tains. She used to roam over the country begging, or stealing, cursing
and swearing, and doing all sorts of wicked things. Every body was
afraid of her. No one thought of speaking to her, or even of praying for
her; and every one looked upon her case as hopeless.
At one time, when Muckle Bess had passed middle life, there was a
great religious interest among the churches in that part of the country.
On one Sabbath day they were holding services in the open air. A
great crowd of people had gathered round the minister. To the surprise
of every one, who should appear, at the outside of the crowd, but poor
Bess. Ragged, and wild-looking, she seemed just like the witch of
Endor. The women trembled at the sight of her, and the men thought
she had only come for mischief. But she sat quietly down on the grass,
and listened to the preaching. It led her to think of her wicked life, and
filled her heart with anguish. Presently she rose to her feet, stretched
out her brawny arms, and cried in tones of agony that melted the hearts
of all who heard her, "Oh, thou God o' my fathers; oh, thou God o'
bonnie Scotland, that has been steeped in blood for thy name's sake; look
on me a wretched sinner, who has scorned thee, and robbed thee, and
defied thee! Hast thou na' promised cleansin' to them whose sins are
scarlet and crimson? And whose sins are o' deeper dye than mine?
God, be merciful to me a sinner!" And then she sank sobbing to the
The stillness of death was over that congregation. The minister
paused till poor Bess's sobs were no longer heard. Then he went on with
the sermon. He spoke of the love of Christ in being willing to suffer and
to die for us. He told of his power and readiness to pardon and save, all
who truly turn to him, and referred to the case of the dying thief to
prove the truth of what he said. This touched the heart of poor Bess,
and led her to feel that there might be hope, even for her. Then she rose
to her feet again, and cried, Hear me, ye people o' God! Hear me, ye
angels above I Hear me, ye powers o' evil, while I vow afore ye all, that
I will e'en tak' him at his word, and leave it there !"
From that time Muckle Bess became a changed woman. She went
back to her father's house to live. But she occupied her time in going
THE CRUCIFIXION. 795
from house to house, to tell the story of Jesus and his love. And the rest
of her life she spent in speaking kind words, and doing kind acts, to all
about her. She was never tired of telling, with tears of heartfelt grati-
tude, what Jesus had done for her soul.
How beautifully this story illustrates the power and willingness of
Jesus to save I
The fourth lesson we learn from the crucifixion of Christ, is about
-the depth of his sufferings.
A farm-house in Scotland.
The sufferings of his body were very great. When the Roman sol-
diers beat him on the back with their rods, his flesh was torn, and made
to quiver with pain. Then his brow was torn by the sharp points of the
crown of thorns, that were pressed upon his head. His hands and feet
were torn by the rough cruel nails, that were driven through them.
And when the cross was set upright in the earth, and his body was hang-
ing by those nails, who can tell the agony that must have been wringing
every nerve in it? Think of him as hanging thus for three or four dread-
796 THE LIFE OF JESUS CHRIST.
ful hours! how long the moments must have seemed that made up those
hours! And if he tried to change his position, in the slightest degree,
every movement must have increased the torture he was feeling, a hun-
But this was not all: this was not half the suffering that Jesus en-
dured. If he had been feeling peaceful and comfortable in his mind, while
all this was going on, he would not have cared much for these bodily
pains. But he had no such feeling. His mind or soul was enduring
sufferings much worse than those which the scourges, and the crown of
thorns, and the crucifixion, caused to his body. He said to his disciples
as he entered Gethsemane-"My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto
death." This was the sorrow he felt from thinking that his Father in
heaven was angry with him, and was looking at him as if he were a sinner.
He had taken our sins upon himself, and God was treating him as if
he had really been a sinner. He was bearing the wrath of God that we
had deserved, for our sins. The apostle Paul tells us that-" He was
made a curse for us." Gal. iii: 13. We cannot understand what Jesus had
to feel when this curse came down upon him. But it was this which wrung
from him that bitter cry, when the darkness came around him, as he hung
upon the cross-" My God My God! why hast thou forsaken me?"
This made the sufferings that Jesus bore for us, greater than we can
tell, and greater than we can understand.
This part of our subject we must leave without attempting any illus-
tration. There never was any sorrow, or suffering, like that which he bore
for us. I know of nothing that could be used as an illustration here.
This thought of the sufferings of Christ, is like one of those places in the
ocean which is so deep, that we cannot get a line long enough to reach the
And then the last lesson for us to learn from the crucifixion of Christ
is about-THE WONDERS OF HIS LOVE.
The apostle Paul tells us that the love of Christ-" fasseth know-
ledge." Ephes. iii: 19. He says the riches of this love are "unsearchable."
The love of Christ is like a mountain, so high that we cannot climb to the
top of it. It is like a valley, so deep that we cannot get down to the
bottom of it. It is like a plain, so broad that we cannot get to the begin-
THE CRUCIFIXION. 797
ning of it, on the one hand, or to the end of it on the other. And when
we are looking at Jesus as he hangs upon the cross, we are in the best
position we ever can occupy, for trying to understand the wonders of his
love. It was the love of Jesus which made him willing to come down
N .- ...- .
"He was made a curse for us."
from heaven, and "humble himself unto death, even the death of the cross."
It was the love of Jesus which made him willing to be nailed to the cross,
and to hang there in agony and blood, till as the Te Deum says, he had
"overcome the sharpness of death, and had opened the kingdom of heaven
to all believers." And as we stand before the cross of Christ, and think
798 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
of the depth of his sufferings, and the wonders of his love, we may well
ask in the language of the hymn,-
"O Lamb of God! was ever pain,
Was ever love like Thine?"
And it is this wonderful love of Jesus, in dying for us, which gives
to the story of the cross the strange power it has over the hearts of men.
The Influence of the Love of Christ.-We are so accustomed to hear
of the blessed Saviour, and his amazing love, that it often gets to be a
familiar story to us, and so it does not have its proper influence on our
hearts. But it is different with the missionaries of the gospel. When
they tell the heathen about Jesus, and his love, it is new to them, and
sometimes it has a strange effect upon them. Here is an instance of this:
The Rev. Mr. Nott, an English missionary in the South Sea Islands,
was reading the third chapter of the gospel of St. John to a number of
the natives. Presently he came to that wonderful statement in the I6th
verse, "God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that
whosoever believeth on him should not perish, but have everlasting life."
When he heard this, one of the natives said, "What words were those
you read ? Let me hear those words again." The missionary read the
verse again, slowly, and deliberately. On hearing them again, the native
rose and said, "Is that so? Can it be true that God loved the world,
when the world did not love him ?" "It is true," said the missionary.
"And this is the message we bring you. If you believe in Jesus, and his
love, it will save your soul, and make you happy forever." This wonder-
ful love of Jesus, won that heathen's heart, and he became a Christian.
This illustrates what the Apostle Paul means when he says, "the
love of Christ constraineth us." To constrain, means to draw. The power
which the gospel has to draw men's hearts to God is in the love of Christ.
The Power of Love. A teacher was giving a lesson to a class of child-
ren, on metals and minerals. They were told that gold could be melted,
and that all metals could be melted. Then the teacher asked; "Can
stones be melted ?"
"Yes," said a little boy; "stones are melted in volcanoes."
"That is true; and now, can you tell me what can melt a heart as
hard as stone ?"
THE CRUCIFIXION. 799
The Sacrifice of Jesus substituted for the Ancient Law.
After thinking for a few minutes, the little boy said; "I think it is God
only who can melt a hard heart."
You are right, my child; and now can you tell me how does God
melt hard hearts ?"
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, - -
800 THE LIFE OF 7ESUS CHRIST.
"It is by his love."
"You are right again, my child; it is the love of God that melts stony
hearts. And it is by giving his Son to die for us, that God shows his
Here is a very striking story to show the power of the love of Christ
in melting a hard heart. We may call it,
Hope for tIe Lost.-Charles Anderson was the son of a sailor. His
father was drowned at sea. Charles was left an orphan, in a seaport town
in England. Having no one to take care of him, he got in with bad boys,
and grew up an idle, careless, swearing, drunken young man. In a
drunken spree one night, he, and his companions, broke into a house and
robbed it. He was taken to prison, tried, and sentenced to seven years
transportation to New South Wales. After his arrival there, thinking that
he was unjustly punished, he became sulky, obstinate, and rebellious. He
cared for no rules. He minded no orders, but did just as he pleased.
For his bad conduct he was flogged again and again. But punishment did
him no good. He grew worse and worse. He became so thoroughly bad
and unmanageable, that at last, he was sentenced to receive three hundred
lashes on his bare back, and to be chained, for two years, to a barren rock,
that stood by itself in the middle of the harbor of Sydney. The wretched
man was fastened by his waist, to this rock, with a chain twenty-six feet
He had irons on his legs, and had hardly a rag to cover him. His
only bed was a hollow place scooped out in the rock. He had no other
shelter than a wooden lid, with holes bored in it. This was locked over
him at night, and removed in the morning. If he had been a wild beast,
instead of a man, he could hardly have been treated worse. His food
was pushed to him once a day, in a box, with a long pole. Sometimes peo-
ple going by in boats, would throw him pieces of bread or biscuit. But
no one was allowed to go near him, or speak to him. Thus he spent two
long years, a prisoner on that lonely rock. Of course, he grew no better,
but worse, under such treatment. When his time was out, and he was re-
leased from the rock, he behaved so badly, that very soon he was taken up
again, and sent a prisoner to Norfolk Island, to work in chains for the rest
of his life.
Calvary; where they crucified Him.