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whom yet he will not learn. That Master shows him that He knows what is in his heart, what he is even then going forth to do; but nothing gives him pause. And now falls
. the curtain of night, as well it might, upon him. The short twilight of the East closes in, and shuts the gloomy
A fitting time for such a deed. A fit type of what was about to be done. From the whole let us learn to watch and pray that we enter not into temptation ; to strive against our besetting sin, whatever the particular tendency may be ; “ lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulness of sin ;” “lest there be any profane person, as Esau, who for a morsel of meat sold his birthright;" lest there be any Judas, who for a handful of silver sold his Lord.
St. John xiii. 31-33.
Therefore, when he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me : and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come ; so now
you. The beginning of the Passion of Jesus Christ. The departure of Judas marks the first stage of our Lord's final sufferings. With this withdrawal begins the closing scene in that life of sorrows, the first actual step in the process of events which began with the Betrayal, and closed with the Crucifixion. He calls it being “glorified.” The fall of Judas was not so sudden as it may seem. He built the house of his religious life upon the sand, who heard his Lord's words and did them not. The cherished canker of his
I St. Matt. vii. 241-27.
covetousness which he would not pluck out, cut off, and cast away,' had long been eating out the heart of what religion he had; had altogether undermined the man; so that he was unsounder than he seemed, than it might be he even suspected; till the enemy judged him ripe for ruin, and the final flood came, and he fell by his own weight. Therefore the Lord waits for his exit, who was the wilful agent in this work, before He says the words that follow. So certainly is it foreseen, that He speaks of a coming event as though it had already taken place. He who had taken upon Him the nature of man, is about to be exalted to the right hand of God. And though the instrument be one of ignominy, yet He embraces it and calls it glory. This “if” is not conditional. It is but expressive of a fact which is as a stepping
, stone to another fact. God is glorified in Him. And God shall glorify Him in Himself. He who humbled Himself to death, even the death of the Cross, shall, in that same human nature He assumed, be exalted to the right hand of God." All this, says the Saviour, is on the eve of its accomplishment. The work is begun. And now He speaks to them still more plainly, and He addresses them by a term of tenderest affection, the only time it is recorded in the Gospels; for He is about to tell them that which shall make them grieve. But though He said to them the same thing that He said to the Jews, it was not in the same manner.6 To the unbelieving Jews it was a solemn warning, lest, continuing in their unbelief, they should never attain the presence of His glory. But to the faithful Disciples it was no more than an intimation that He was about to be withdrawn from them, to enter into that glory whither for the present they could not follow Him.
i St. Matt. v. 28-30.
* Phil, ii. 6-9; Heb. ii. 9; xii. 2.
A NEW COMMANDMENT.
St. John xiii. 34.
A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.
, Some have been at a loss to know why this should be called a new commandment,' seeing that it was yet part and parcel of the old covenant.” But it seems a sufficient reason for this term that it was new in its sanctions. Its novelty consisted not in itself, but in the manner of its enforcement.3 Henceforth there were new motives, new illustrations, a new example. The commandment is new as the Saviour's love. He adjures them by the love Himself had shown. It sounds like the dying charge of a parent to the children he is about to leave. Now He bequeaths to them “ this legacy of love.”+ The Lord, it may be noted, presently repeats His
4 new commandment; delivering it yet once and again before being finally withdrawn from His Disciples. It is called elsewhere " the law of Christ,” because it was given by Him anew, solemnly enjoined upon His Disciples, enforced by His example, made the special note of His Church, and finally written by His Spirit in our hearts. The term and title by which our Lord, on this sole occasion, addressed them, seems to have impressed our Evangelist in a particular manner. We find him in his exhortations to his own disciples, in his turn, continually repeating it. And it is one of the most touching incidents recorded in Church History, that this last survivor of the Apostolic band, when grown too feeble to take part in the ordinary ministrations of the Church at Ephesus, would yet be carried into their assembly, only to address to the congregation the single sentence, “ Little children, love one another.” 1
· This seems to have given its name observed ever to heed most what is to the particular day in the Holy spoken with dying lips) He is found week, Maundy-Thursday (Dies Man- to have put off until now ... Countdati). Bingham, Antt. xxi. i. 30. less precepts He had already given Procter On the Com. Pr. p. 280 note. them: but this, of mutual love, He had 2 Lev. xix. 18.
reserved till the last; and the chord 3 There is therefore no contradiction thus clearly struck by the Master's between this passage and those other hand, never cer ses to vibrate, until sayings of our Evangelist, 1 St. John the close of the inspired Canon." ii. 7-10; iii. 23; 2 St. John 5, 6.
5 St. Jolin xv. 12. * A Plain Commentary. He gathers
6 Gal. vi. 2. up, the same author adds, “ the sub- In the original of St. John xiy. stance of many commands into a single 18, there seems to be a reference to precept . . . which (because men are this.
THE SAME SUBJECT —continued.
St. John xiii. 35-38,
By this shull all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another. Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest thou ? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now ; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, The cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
His new commandment the Lord enforces by a consideration which they must evermore bear in mind, all througn that work of evangelizing the world in which all their future life was to be employed. By way of illustration we may note, as one instance out of many, the fact mentioned again in Church History, of the early Christians in the days of the persecuting emperor Maximin, when the people were assailed by pestilence and famine, and the pagan population was paralysed with fear, so as even to stand aloof from its own. Then the Christians came forward, and stood between
" It is related by Jerome in Gal. revenge” during the plague at Carvi. 10.
thage, in Milman's Hist. of Chris2 Euseb. Hist. Eccl. ix. 7. See also tianity, ii. 248-250. See also 294the account of Cyprian's “ Evangelic 296.
the dead and the living, ministering indiscriminately to all ; so that, though accused at first of being the authors of the calamity,-by this charity without respect of persons, by their devotedness in supporting the living, and tending the dying, and burying the dead,—they “won golden opinions from all sorts of people.” Tertullian tells of the like heroism, and speaks of this mutual love as the glory of the primitive Church ;' showing how it arrested the heathen mind, and contributed to those early triumphs. “See,” said the wondering pagans,“ how these Christians love one
“ another.” But, to turn to the other side of the picture, Chrysostom, another of the old Fathers, writing on this very passage, has to mourn the forgetfulness of this command displayed by a prosperous Church, and notes how in his time the conversion of heathens was hindered by the vices of Christians. And, let us blush to own it,-it is the complaint of our Missionaries still. But Simon, who is also called Peter, passing over what his Master had said about mutual love, fastens upon a point which excited his curiosity. His Lord's last words seem to have made but slight impression upon him. His mind is dwelling upon that previous saying:3 He is curious to know whither Christ is going. The Lord's answer here is like that former answer to this same Disciple, “ What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter.” Peter was not yet prepared to drink of that cup his Lord was about to drink of. But the too-confident Disciple returns to the assault. He declares that for Him he would even dare to die. So little he knew his own heart. Whereupon the Lord utters the first of those three warnings which seem to say to all of us, “ Let him that thinketh he standeth, take heed lest he fall.”
I Apol. c. xxxix. He notes, with the Apostle, the converse of the case among the heathen. Tit. iii. 3.
: In S. Jo. Hom. lxxii.