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and prayed, and spake the same words. And when he returned he found them asleep again, (for their eyes were heavy,) neither wist they what to answer him. And he cometh the third time, and saith unto them, Sleep on now, and take your rest: it is enough, the hour is come; behold, the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise up, let us go; lo, he that betrayeth me is at hand. And immediately, while he yet spake, cometh Judas, one of the twelve, and with him a great multitude with swords and staves, from the chief priests, and the scribes, and the elders. And he that betrayed him had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, that same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him. And one of them that stood by drew a sword, and smote a servant of the high priest, and cut off his ear. And Jesus answered, and said unto them, Are ye come out as against a thief, with swords and with staves, to take me? I was daily with you in the temple teaching, and ye took me not: but the Scriptures must be fulfilled. And they all forsook him, and fled. And there followed him a certain young man, having a linen cloth cast about his naked body; and the young men laid hold on him and he left the linen cloth, and fled from them naked. And they led Jesus away to the high priest: and with him were assembled all the chief priests, and the elders, and the scribes. And Peter followed him afar off, even into the palace of the high priest; and he sat with the servants, and warmed himself at the fire. And the chief priests and all the council sought for witness against Jesus to put him to death; and found none. For many bare false witness against him, but their witness agreed not
together. And there arose certain, and bare false witness against him, saying, We heard him say, I will destroy this temple that is made with hands, and within three days I will build another made without hands. But neither so did their witness agree together. And the high priest stood up in the midst, and asked Jesus, saying, Answerest thou nothing? what is it which these witness against thee? But he held his peace, and answered nothing. Again the high priest asked him, and said unto him, Art thou the Christ, the Son of the Blessed? And Jesus said, I am; and ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven. Then the high priest rent his clothes, and saith, What need we any further witnesses? ye have heard the blasphemy: what think ye? And they all condemned him to be guilty of death. And some began to spit on him, and to cover his face, and to buffet him, and to say unto him, Prophesy: and the servants did strike him with the palms of their hands. And as Peter was beneath in the palace there cometh one of the maids of the high priest; and when she saw Peter warming himself she looked upon him, and said, And thou also wast with Jesus of Nazareth. But he denied, saying, I know not, neither understand I what thou sayest. And he went out into the porch; and the cock crew. And a maid saw him again, and began to say to them that stood by, This is one of them. And he denied it again. And a little after, they that stood by said again to Peter, Surely thou art one of them; for thou art a Galilean, and thy speech agreeth thereto. But he began to curse and to swear, saying, I know not this man of whom ye speak. And the second time the cock crew. And Peter called to mind the word that Jesus said unto him, Before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. And when he thought thereon, he wept.
Tuesday before Easter.
THE EPISTLE (Is. 1. 5-11) stands in marked contrast with the preceding, for it depicts the Suffering Servant of the Lord throughout; first (a), (vs. 5, 6), in His obedience, willingly enduring suffering and insult; next (b), (vs. 7-9), in His calm and perfect confidence that God will justify Him, and that His enemies shall fade and vanish away; lastly (c), (vs. 10, 11), the message comes to those who, walking in obedience and godly fear, have yet no light; it bids them wait for God's good time, and warns them that those who kindle a light of their own devising shall lie down in shame and sorrow. The application to the Great Sufferer of Calvary, and to those who take up their cross and follow Him, is plain and obvious.
THE GOSPEL, the second part of the Passion of St. Mark, should be compared throughout with the Gospel of Palm Sunday from St. Matthew. With this it closely coincides, but is briefer -in fact, is the briefest and simplest history of the Passion. It adds, however, a few independent details-in v. 7, the fact that Barabbas had committed bloodshed in the insurrection; in v. 21, that Simon was "the father of Alexander and Rufus " (see Rom. xvi. 13); in v. 25, that the Crucifixion began at the third hour;" while it omits several details given by St.
Matthew-the repentance and suicide of Judas (xxvi. 3-9), the dream of Pilate's wife (v. 19), and the washing of his hands (vs. 24, 25); and the greater signs following upon the death of the Lord (vs. 51, 52). We may note that what St. Matthew calls a "scarlet robe," St. Mark with greater minuteness describes as purple," which is not what we call by that name, but the bright scarlet of royalty.
THE PROPER LESSONS Continue those of the preceding day. The First Lessons (Lam. iii. 1-34, 84-66) form the central portion of the Lamentations, bringing out most clearly the great characteristics of the book,-first, the deep sense of suffering, of contempt from man, of desolation before God; next, the confession of unworthiness and sin; and, lastly, in spite of all, the continuance of hope, and confidence in the mercy of God. The Second Lessons (John xv. 1-11, 14-27), carry on Our Lord's last discourse to His Apostles, (a) bringing out in the Parable of the Vine their unity with Him, with its fruit of a love like His to all mankind; (b) warning them of the hatred and persecution which, like Him, they have to expect from the world; (c) and ending in the renewed promise of the Comforter, by whose witness to Christ they also shall be enabled to bear witness.
For the Epistle. Isaiah 50. 5. THE Lord God hath opened mine ear, and I was not rebellious, neither turned away back. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I hid not my face from shame and spitting. For the Lord God will help me, therefore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed. He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together; who is mine adversary? let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment: the moth shall eat them up. Who is among you that feareth the Lord, that obeyeth the voice of his servant, that walketh in darkness, and hath no light? let him trust in the Name of the Lord, and stay upon his God. Behold, all ye that kindle a fire, that compass yourselves about with sparks; walk in the light of your fire, and in the sparks that ye have kindled. This shall ye have of mine hand, ye shall lie down in sorrow.
The Gospel. St. Mark 15. 1. AND straightway in the morning the chief priests held a consultation with the elders, and scribes, and the whole council, and bound Jesus, and carried him away, and delivered him to Pilate. And Pilate asked him, Art thou the King of the Jews? And he answering said unto him, Thou sayest it. And the chief priests accused him of many things: but he answered nothing. And Pilate asked him again, saying, Answerest thou nothing? behold how many things they witness against thee. But Jesus yet answered nothing: so that Pilate marvelled. Now at that feast he released unto them one prisoner, whomsoever they desired. And there was one named Barabbas, which lay bound with them that had made insurrection with him, who had com
mitted murder in the insurrection. And the multitude, crying aloud, began to desire him to do as he had ever done unto them. But Pilate answered them, saying, Will ye that I release unto you the King of the Jews? For he knew that the chief priests had delivered him for envy. But the chief priests moved the people, that he should rather release Barabbas unto them. And Pilate answered, and said again unto them, What will ye then that I shall do unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews? And they cried out again, Crucify him. Then Pilate said unto them, Why, what evil hath he done? And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, released Barabbas unto them, and delivered Jesus, when he had scourged him, to be crucified. And the soldiers led him away into the hall, called Prætorium; and they call together the whole band. And they clothed him with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head: and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews. And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees worshipped him. And when they had mocked
him they took off the purple from him, and put his own clothes on him, and led him out to crucify him. And they compel one Simon a Cyrenian, who passed by, coming out of the country, the father of Alexander and Rufus, to bear his cross. And they bring him unto the place Golgotha, which is, being interpreted, The place of a scull. And they gave him to drink wine mingled with myrrh; but he received it not. And when they had crucified him they parted his garments, casting lots upon them, what every man should take. And it was the third hour, and they crucified him. And the superscription of his accusation was written over, THE KING OF THE JEWS. And with him they crucify two thieves, the one on his
Wednesday before Easter.
THE EPISTLE, as a whole, is plain in its meaning, carrying on the contrast of the first and second Covenants, brought out in the Gospel for Fifth Sunday in Lent; dwelling on the conse. cration by blood of the solemn Covenant of God with Israel under Mount Sinai (Ex. xxiv. 58), and of the Tabernacle and the Priests (Lev. viii.); then contrasting with this blood of bulls and goats, constantly offered, and availing only to cleanse ceremonially the earthly copies of heavenly things, the blood of Christ offered by Himself, on His entry for us once for all into the Holiest Place of Heaven itself, there to remain till He comes again, to complete the salvation which He has won. But the first clause, both in translation and idea, is difficult. The word rendered "testament" is the same which has been throughout translated "covenant" (see Heb. viii. 6-ix. 15); and the proper idea of a testament, as the will of a
dying person, seems to have no connection with the Covenant of God at all. Probably, on the whole, it is best to render them literally, "Where a covenant is” (between God and sinners as such) "there must be brought forward" (or represented) “the death of the covenanting person; for a covenant has force over the dead; for doth it ever avail while he that made it liveth?" The reference will then be to the sacrifice of the sin offering, representing the covenanter with God as really dead before Him in penalty of sin, and by death of the victim delivering him through the mercy of God, and restoring him to unity with God. The coherence with all that goes before and follows will thus be maintained.
THE GOSPEL is the first part of the "Passion of St. Luke," and should be compared carefully with the narratives of St. Mat
Jesus cried with a loud voice, saying, Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani? which is, being interpreted, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? And some of them that stood by, when they heard it, said, Behold, he calleth Elias. And one ran and filled a spunge full of vinegar, and put it on a reed, and gave him to drink, say
right hand, and the other on his
The Epistle. Heb. 9. 16. HERE a testament is, there
Let alone; let us see whether Elias will come to take him down. And Jesus cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost. And the vail of the temple was rent in twain from the top to the bottom. And when the centurion, which stood over against him, saw that he so cried out, and gave up the ghost, he said, Truly this man was the Son of God.
us; nor yet that he should offer himself often, as the high priest
W must also of necessity be the entereth into the holy place every
death of the testator: for a testament is of force after men are dead; otherwise it is of no strength at all whilst the testator liveth. Whereupon, neither the first testament was dedicated without blood for when Moses had spoken every precept to all the people, according to the law, he took the blood of calves and of goats, with water, and scarlet wool, and hyssop, and sprinkled both the book, and all the people, saying, This is the blood of the testament, which God hath enjoined unto you. Moreover, he sprinkled with blood both
the tabernacle, and all the vessels of the ministry. And almost all things are by the law purged with blood; and without shedding of blood is no remission. It was therefore necessary that the patterns of things in the heavens should be purified with these; but the heavenly things themselves with better sacrifices than these. For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for
year with blood of others: for then must he often have suffered since the foundation of the world; but now once in the end of the world hath he appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself. And as it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment so Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
The Gospel. St. Luke 22. 1.
Now the feast of unleavened
bread drew nigh, which is called the Passover. And the chief priests and scribes sought how they might kill him; for they feared the people. Then entered Satan into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. And he went his way, and communed with the chief priests and captains, how he might betray him unto them. And they were glad, and covenanted to give him money. And he promised, and sought opportunity to betray him unto them in the absence of the multitude. Then came the day of unleavened