April 2 PDF Print E-mail
"Then asked he them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth." — John 18:7.

Every thing here is remarkable.

How wonderful that any in the very family of Jesus should be base enough to betray him! But here we find Judas, who had been called to the Apostleship, and invested with power to work miracles, and a few hours before had partaken of the Holy Supper, heading a band of men and officers, which he had obtained from the Chief Priests and Pharisees; and betraying his Master and Benefactor into their hands, with a kiss!

How wonderful was the courage of Jesus, that, though he knew all things that should come upon Him, not only remained in the place, but came forth from his retreat, and presented himself! This was the effect of a love stronger than death. "Perfect love casteth out fear."

How wonderful was the rebuke, and the repulse, which his enemies met with! No sooner did he pronounce the words, "I am he," than they went backward, and fell to the ground. Whether some rays of glory broke from his sacred body, or whether he immediately, by his power, impressed their minds, we know not; but, surely, here was enough to induce them to discontinue the unhallowed enterprise.

Yet how wonderful, that in a few moments they rise, and recover heart enough to approach him a second time; so that he asks them again, Whom seek ye? And they said, Jesus of Nazareth. This was partly the influence of numbers. A man alone may be often easily deterred from an evil action. But it is otherwise where hand joins in hand, and the sinner is seen and supported, and stimulated or reproached, by his fellow-creatures. It shows us, also, the hardening nature of sin. When the men of Sodom were smitten with blindness, they even then groped by the wall to find the house where the heavenly visitants were. Upon the removal of each plague, when Pharaoh saw there was respite, he hardened his heart. And Ahaz, in his affliction, sinned yet more and more against God. And of how many may it be said, "Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than a rock; they have refused to return."

Neither means, nor even miracles, will avail, when God leaves a man to himself. Persons often think that a dreadful event will do what ordinances have failed to accomplish. But we have known many who have been stripped, and reduced, and yet their minds have not been humbled before God. They have resembled fractions of ice, or stone; broken, but not changed; each piece retaining the coldness and hardness of the mass. They think that a spectre would be much more efficacious than a preacher. Vain hope. If they hear not Moses and the Prophets, neither would they be persuaded though one rose from the dead.

O thou God of all grace, fulfil in my experience the promise, "A new heart also will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you: and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and I will give you a heart of flesh. And I will put my spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes, and ye shall keep my judgments, and do them."

Morning Exercises For Everyday In The Year
By Rev. William Jay

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