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charge was, Christ brought it home, and said, Thou art the man. In terms the most unequivocal, he warned him of the sin, and set the danger before him. Thus in verse 24 he addressed him in the following alarming language, "The Son of man goeth, as it is written of him: but wo unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed: it had been good for that man if he had not been born." This stripped Judas of every excuse, and rendered his wickedness still more aggravated. But in spite of the plainest warnings, he persisted in his execrable purpose. Though sinners are inattentive, or will not believe it, Christ gives them the plainest warning in his word and ordinances, and brings it home to their consciences by his Spirit. Though they stifle convictions, their consciences accuse them, and forewarn them of their danger. But should they slight these admonitions and reproofs, they shall know hereafter. Christ's plain dealing with Judas is recorded as a warning to all professors, and places the danger of hypocrisy and apostacy in the most conspicuous light. To declining churches the Lord says, Go to Shiloh. To insincere and hard-hearted professors, he virtually says, Go to Judas.
2. On this occasion Christ displayed singular love and affection to his disciples. He was about to suffer. The prospect of his death was a heavy trial to them. What he said to Judas removed a signal stumblingblock out of their way. It could scarcely have failed to have offended them and others, that an apostle, so long in his company, and eyewitness of his mighty
deeds, had no higher esteem of him, than sell him to his greatest enemies. It was almost enough to have shaken them and others to the centre. But when Christ could, and actually did foretell that it would be so, his prediction was mightily calculated to prevent the bad effects. The disciples were forewarned in the prophecies of the Old Testament that it would happen. There it is said, "Yea, mine own familiar friend in whom I trusted, who did eat of my bread, hath lifted up his heel against me." The cixth Psalm foretells, in the most glowing and affecting language, the character, and conduct, and doom of Judas. But the minds of the disciples were dark, and they did not understand the Scriptures.. But when the traitor actually came with his band, the disciples would instantly recollect the kind warning which their Master gave them.
3. Jesus of Nazareth gave a satisfying proof that, though about to suffer, he was the true God, and the promised Messiah. That he should be betrayed, and especially by one of themselves, was an absolute secret to the disciples. When Christ told the wicked device of Judas, and he did not deny it, the prediction, and especially when fulfilled by the traitor, would prove a strong confirmation to the faith of the disciples, in the omniscience of Christ. If not rendered stupid through confusion, they could scarcely fail to argue thus: Whatever our Master may suffer, he knows the thoughts and intents of the heart. They had many former evidences of this; but through unbelief and vexation of spirit they were unable in
the very time to make a proper improvement of them. After his resurrection matters assumed a different aspect. Then from this and other instances, they were abundantly satisfied that he was the searcher of the hearts, and trier of the reins of the children of men; and that all things were naked and open to his eyes.
Satisfied that their Master was omniscient, they could not hesitate about the justness and propriety of his claims to Messiahship. Divinity and humanity were foretold as what were essential to his character, and would be united in his person. These extremes never met in another. A further acquaintance with the Scriptures would convince them that the true Messiah was to suffer and be cut off, though not for himself. When their hearts were opened to understand the Lord's word more fully, they had not the least reason to doubt that their Master was the true Messiah. He exactly answered to the prophecies, and corresponded to the types; and his works proclaimed him to be God. Justly was he called Emmanuel-God in our nature.
4. He gave full proof and indubitable evidence that his sufferings were voluntary. Every man, possessed of a moderate share of wisdom, if he knew that his enemies had formed a malicious design against his life, would prevent the execution of it, if he could. He would either try to render their plot abortive, or make his escape. At other times, when his enemies sought to slay him, Christ went away, assigning as his reason that his hour was not yet
come. His hour was now come, and he did not shrink. Instead of endeavouring to defeat the design of his enemies, he said to the traitor, "What thou doest do quickly;" and to his disciples, "As the Father gave me commandment even so I do: Arise, let us go hence:" and he went out and met the cursed band. How glorious does the Redeemer appear that night! Instead of shifting, he prepared himself for the bloody scene. He preached that precious discourse, John xiv., &c. to comfort and solace his disciples; and sent up that prayer, chap. xvii. that their hope and trust might be in God. He abrogated the passover, and instituted the Supper. The one was celebrated for the last time by him and his disciples, and the other for the first. He did all this with the greatest composure. When the traitor actually came, instead of attempting to make his escape, he said, "I have told you that I am he, if therefore ye seek me, let these go their way." Often did he assert that his sufferings were voluntary. He said, "I lay down my life for the sheep." And again, "Therefore doth my Father love me, because I lay down my life, that I might take it again. No man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of myself. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." If his sufferings had not been voluntary, they could neither have been acceptable to his Father, satisfactory to Divine justice, nor meritorious of eternal life. But of his own will he laid his life down; and when his gracious purpose was accomplished he took it again.
5. He gave full proof that it is vain for his enemies to indulge the least thought that they can conceal their sin from him. The thickest cloak the hypocrite can put on is too thin to hide the heart from those eyes which are as a flame of fire. Well could Judas deceive the disciples, They suspected themselves. They did not entertain the least suspicion of him. But he could not deceive Christ. The Redeemer could well say with him to whom he had imparted a prophetic spirit, "Went not mine heart with thee" in every stage of thine atrocious crime? All who profess to believe that there is a God, affect to believe that he is omniscient; but how superficial are the impressions produced on their minds by this consideration. They are neither deterred from sin, nor allured to duty. As God now knows the secrets of all hearts, sooner or later he will give certain evidence that there is not a thought, "but he knoweth it altogether." The cxxxixth Psalm deserves the serious consideration both of Christ's friends and enemies. There David speaks in a very affecting manner respecting the omniscience of God. Could the hypocrite or other sinners act in the manner they do, if they were impressed with the omniscience of the Redeemer? An habitual impression that God is witness to, and well acquainted with, every thought that passes in the heart, would be calculated to produce the happiest effects. But what shall we say? Christ told Judas that he knew the device of his heart; and Judas, though well warned, waxed worse and worse; and betrayed him. The devil firmly