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told, "the multitude of them that believed were of one heart and of one soul." And how frequent are the exhortations to this heard afterwards in the Epistles, echoes of the Master's words, as the germs of the contrary evil appeared, or were discerned, prophetically, afar off. Again, the Lord repeats, with yet stronger emphasis, the reason He assigned before,' why in His Church He would have this unity; that the world may thus be won to Him, being gathered into His Church, when it beheld in this unity the proof of His Divine mission and of the Father's love.2
THE SAME SUBJECT-continued.
St. John xvii. 24-26.
Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me : for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world. O righteous Father, the world hath not known
anity, v. iii. c. 9. And Gibbon (ch. xxvii. note), who refers by way of illustration to that pathetic passage in the Midsummer Night's Dream (III. ii.) beginning:
"In all the counsel that we two have shared."
It is proper to add that this unanimity did not continue; but Gregory's lament for its loss proves its genuine existence. Love, however, in that epoch of the Church, had already begun to wax cold. In the Iliad (xx. 218) we have a similar account of Patroclus and Automedon, thus paraphrased by Pope :
"Brothers in arms, with equal fury fired,
Two friends, two bodies, with one soul inspired."
In the Inferno (Canto ii.) we have:
"Un sol volere è d'amendue." Lampe cites Ovid, Trist. iv. 4. It is finely touched by Hartley Coleridge in one of his Sonnets to a Friend: "Our love was nature; and the peace that floated
On the white mist, and dwelt upon the hills,
To sweet accord subdued our wayward wills:
One soul was ours, one mind, one heart devoted."
See Cicero, De Off. i. 17. Pythagoras,
1 V. 21. Compare ch. xiii. 35.
thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me. And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.
The Lord in concluding in His Prayer seems to revert to His Apostles, His chosen. Having prayed for the Church generally, He prays again at its close for the founders of His Church. Having prayed for the world, He remembers once more these to whom He first gave commission to convert the world. These the Great High Priest once and again bears upon His breast. He prays for them, that they who thus shared His Cross on earth, may in Heaven share His Crown. To see here means to share. The glory of which the Lord here speaks is distinct from that glory of which He has spoken above.' That was the glory of the warfare He waged, shared by the Captain of our salvation with His soldiers; the spirit, the character, the qualities of the leader reflected in those who followed Him: this is the glory that shall be revealed, in which they, according to their capacity, shall have a share. The Lord, who has already pleaded that attribute of holiness, here invokes another of the Divine attributes. He appeals to a "righteous" Father. It is His quality of justice He here pleads. He seems to have in view the, to us, inscrutable judgment of God.3 He seems to have in view the carelessness, impenitence, and unbelief of the cities wherein most of His mighty works were done; of a world lying in wickedness; of a world which by wisdom knew not God. Yet amid all this He comforts Himself in the fidelity of His chosen, and in the prospect of the mighty harvest which these should gather in. And as before He professed that He had manifested to these the Divine Name, God as a Father, the Paternal character of God, so here He professes that He has declared unto them the same. He has made them to see it. He has made them And this is but the beginning of blessing. Soon
to know it.
1 V. 22, where the verb is in the perfect definite: here in v. 24, it is the aorist that is employed.
2 V. 11 above.
the Spirit shall be poured out upon the Church in that coming Pentecost; the proof and the effect of the everlasting love of the Father, of the everlasting presence of the Son. He desires that their hearts might be the scene and arena, as it were, of the Divine love.1 "Seest thou," asks one of the ancient Fathers,2 "how He hath arrived at a good end, finishing off the discourse with love, the mother of all blessings?"
St. Mark xiv. 26–31.
And when they had sung an hymn, they went out into the mount of Olives. And Jesus saith unto them, All ye shall be offended because of me this night: for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered. But after that I am risen, I will go before you into Galilee. But Peter said unto him, Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. And Jesus saith unto him, Verily I say unto thee, That this day, even in this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice. But he spake the more vehemently, If I should die with thee, I will not deny thee in any wise. Likewise also said they all.
This Hymn was sung most probably at the close of the Paschal Feast, before that last discourse and prayer which St. John records. It consisted of certain of the Psalms,3 proper to the occasion, and appointed for the purpose; as we have now in the Church proper Psalms for certain days. That particular part of the district called the Mount of Olives to which our Lord, accompanied by the eleven, now led the way, was the garden of Gethsemane. The way lay 1 Bengel.
2 Chry. in S. Jo. Hom. lxxxii.
3 The Psalms appointed to be sung at the Paschal Feast were Pss. cxiii.cxviii. The great Hallel, as it was
called, consisted of two parts, of which
"over the brook Cedron;"1 and on the way He addressed to them these last prophetic words. He refers them to the prophecy of Zechariah,2 which should now have its remote fulfilment. But through the gloom and darkness He looks to the brightness beyond. He speaks with quiet confidence of resurrection, and of meeting them again in Galilee ;3 whither, as a shepherd, He will go before these scattered sheep. Peter for the third time 5 protests his attachment, singling himself out from the rest, exempting himself from sharing in the supposed defection of all beside. And the Lord repeats for the third time, and almost in the same words, His prophetic warning of the denial of this particular Disciple. That day which was fast closing, that night which was even then begun, should witness it. Before the second cock-crow, before the morning light, should this sad fall be seen. The time marked by this second crowing of the cock was emphatically called the cock-crow, and is the one meant also by the other Evangelists; being the one which in the stillness of the night or early morning is most distinctly heard.' Peter had boasted that, come what would, be offended who might, he would never be offended. The Lord warns him that, so far from never doing this, he would do it even that day. Before another day dawned he would fall so far as even to deny his Lord. To be offended means to stumble as over some stone in one's path. The humiliation of the Lord, the arrest of Him who they trusted would have restored the Kingdom to Israel, was in this case the
1 St. John xviii. 1. 2 Zech. xiii. 7.
3 St. Matt. xxviii. 7, 10, 16; St. Mark xvi. 7.
As Bengel says, a pastoral word. St. John x. 4.
The first occasion was that recorded by St. John. xiii. 37; the second that by St. Luke, xxii. 33.
• Those who have imagined a difficulty here from the supposed prohibition of such birds being kept by the Jews within the city (which after all seems uncertain) seem to have for
gotten that this would not prevent their Roman rulers from keeping them, or prevent their being found without the walls.
See Horace, Sat. 1. i. 4.
St. Matthew, St. Luke, and St. John, as Grotius remarks, speak simply of the cock-crowing, because, where the word stands by itself, the early morning one is understood. St. Mark seems to have reported the express words our Lord was heard to say.
St. Luke xxiv. 21; Acts i. 6.
stone of stumbling.' But Peter has not yet learnt the lesson of humility and self-distrust. He forgets that warning word, "Let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall." The rest we find joining in Peter's protestation, echoing his empty boast.3 The Lord permits it all to teach them and us a lesson of self-knowledge, of humility, of love to Him who raises up them that fall, of tenderness, after His pattern, towards the fallen.*
THE AGONY IN THE GARDEN.
St. Matthew xxvi. 36-39.
Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder. And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy. Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me. And he went a
little farther, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.
Gethsemane is a spot about half a mile without the city wall. There was a garden or olive ground, an orchard as we might call it, into the which our Lord now entered with the eleven. It was a familiar spot. They had been in the habit of resorting thither. It belonged probably to some one friendly to Jesus. Here He halts, and bids the main body