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Mt.xxvii.21. answered,

Jerusalem. Lu. xxiii.20. [and] spake again to them, Mt.xxvii.21. and said unto them, Whether of the twain will ye that I

release unto you? They said, Barabbas. Jo. xviii. 40. Then cried they all again, saying, Not this man, but

Barabbas 16. Now Barabbas was a robber,
Mark xv.12.

And Pilate answered and said again unto them, What
ye

then that I shall do
Mt.xxvii.22. with Jesus which is called Christ?
Mark xv.12. unto him whom ye call the King of the Jews ?

13. And they cried out again, Crucify him.
Mt.xxvii.22. and they all say unto him,
La.xxiii.21. Crucify him! crucify him !
Mt.xxvii.21. Let him be crucified.
Mark xv.14. Then Pilate said unto them,
La. xxiii.22. the third time, Why, what evil hath he done? I have

found nó cause of death in him: I will therefore chastise

him, and let him go.
Mark xv.14. And they cried out the more exceedingly, Crucify him.
Lu. xxiii.23. And they were instant with loud voices, requiring that

he might be crucified. And the voices of them and of
the Chief Priests prevailed.

MATT. xxvii. part of ver. 22, 23.
22 Pilate saith unto them, What shall I do then-

23 And the governor said, Why? wbat evil hath he done?
But the cried out the more, saying, Let him be crucified.

MARK XV. part of ver. 14.
14 –Why, what evil hath he done?

LUKE xxiii. part of ver 21, 22.
21 But they cried, saying -
22 -and he said unto them

SECTION XIV.

The Jews imprecute the Punishment of Christ's Death upon

themselves.

MATT, xxvii. 24, 25.
Mt.xxvii.24. When Pilate saw that he could prevail nothing, but

that rather a tumult was made, he took water, and washed

16 It is very probable that the Chief Priests and elders who “ persuaded the multitude that they should ask Barabbas, and destroy Jesus” (Matt. xxvii. 20.) had placed their own ortatures and dependants as pear as they might legally approach (John xviii. 28.) the door of the judgment-ball, that they might obtain the release of Barabbas, and secure the destruction of Jesus; for impiediately after, they clamorously mand the crucifixion of Christ, so anxious were the Chief "Priests for the immediate condemnation of our Lord, and so fearful lest bis innocence should protect him from their malice.

Kk

his hands before the multitude, saying, I am innocent of Jerusalem.

the blood of this just person ; see ye to it. Mtxxvii.25. Then answered all the people, and said, His blood be

on us, and on our children 7.

SECTION XY.

Pilate releases Barabbas, and delivers Christ to be

crucified. MATT. xxvii. 26-30.

MARK XV. 15-19. LUKE xxiii.

24, 25. JOHN xix. 1-16. Mark xv.15. And so Pilate, willing to content the people, La. xxiii.24. Pilate gave sentence that it should be as they required.

25. And he released unto them, him that for sedition and

murder was cast into prison, whom they had desired.
John xix. 1. Then Pilate therefore took Jesus, and scourged him.
Mark xv.15. and when he had scourged him,
Lu.xxiii.25. he delivered Jesus to their will,
Mt xxvij.26. to be crucified 18.

17 The guilt of condemniug our Lord must almost entirely rest upon the unhappy nation whom he had designed to save, (Jobn xix. 11.) Pilate made five successive efforts to deliver Jesus from their inveterale hatred, and was induced at last, unwillingly to yield him up, from the apprebension of his own personal safety. Perhaps, likewise, if he had not complied with the violent and clamorous importunities of the Jewish rulers, he might have feared a commotion among the people, who were seditiously inclined, and were assembled at this time in great numbers, from all parts of Judea, for the celebration of the Passover. In all probability Pilate was not proyided with sufficient force to ensure perfect tranquillity on these great fes. tivals: their very solemnity would be considered as the best guarantee for the observance of propriety and good conduct."

18 This is one of those passages in which the Evangelists are supposed to be inconsistent. St. Mark says, chap. xv. 25. it was the third hour, and they crucified him: St. John tells us, it was about the sixth hour; and Pilate delivered him to be crucified, John xix. 14–16. Various modes have been adopted to reconcile these apparent differences. One, and that the most usual, and at all times the most objectionable, is the supposition of a false reading. It is urged, that in ancient times all numbers were written in manuscripts, not at length, but with numeral letters, it was easy for r, three, to be taken for S, six. Of this opinion are Griesbach, in his elaborate edition of the New Testament, Semler, Rosenmüller, Doddridge, Whitby, Bengel, Cocceius, Beza, Erasmus, and by far the greater part of the most eminent critics. Besides the Codex Bezæ, and the Codex Stephani (of the eighth century) there are four other manuscripts, which read spirn, the tbird, in Joho xix. 14. as well as the Alexandrian Chronicle, which professes to cite accurate inanuscripts-even the autography of St. John himself. Sueb also is the opinion of Severus Antiochenus, Ammonius, and some others, cited by Theophylact on the passage ; to whom must be added Nonnus, a Greek' poet of Panopolis, in

Jerusalem.

Mt.xxvii.27. . Then the soldiers of the governor took Jesus,
Mark xv.16. and led him away

Egypt, who flourished in the fifth century, and wrote a poetical
paraphrase of the Gospel of St. John, and who also found spirn
in the manuscript used by him (a).

Others have supposed, that the Evangelists have adopted dif.
ferent methods of calculation. Notwithstanding the authorities
above adduced, they observe that none of the ancient tran-
slators read the third hour in John: they therefore solve the
difficulty (imperfectly it must be confessed) by considering the
day as divided into four parts, answering to the four watches
of the night. These coincided with the hours of three, six,
nine, or twelve ; or, in our way of reckoning, vine, twelve,
three, and six, which also suited the solemn times of sacrifice
and prayer in the temple. In cases, they argue, in which the
Jews did not think it of consequence to ascertain the time with
great accuracy, they did not regard the intermediate hours,
but only those more noted divisions which happened to come
nearest the time of the event spoken of. Adopting this method
of reconciliation, Dr. Campbell remarks, that Mark says " it
was the third tour," from which we have reason to conclude
that the third hour was past. John says, “it was about the
si xtb hour," from which he thinks it probable that the sixth
hour was not yet come. On this supposition, though the Evan.
gelists may, by a fastidious reader, be accused of want of preci-
si on in regard to dates, they will not, by any judicious and can-
did critic, be charged with falsehood or misrepresentation. Who
would accuse two modern historians with contradicting each
other, because, in relating an event which had bappened be-
tween ten and eleven in the forenoon, one had said it was past
nine o'clock; the other that it was drawing towards noon(b).

There is, however, in fact, no real difference between the
Evangelists:

and this is fully shewn by the adniirable reasoning
both of Dr. Townson and Pilkington. If we review the whole
of the transaction which took place at the crncifixion, and en-
deavour to assign their respective periods to each, it will be
found that St. John calculated his time by the Roman or Asiatic
method, from midnight to inid-day, and from mid-day to mid-
night. If we allow the sixth hour, mentioned by St. John, to
mean the sixth hour in the morning, it will suit the place in
which it stands admirably well, which the third hour would not.

The night was divided into twelve hours, or four equal
watches. Of the latter division we have several traces in the
Gospel. St. Mark thus enumerates them: óvè MEGOVUKTIÓV,
á extpopwvias, h mpwt, Mark xiii. 25; the cock crowing was
from twelve to three, and the last from three to six.

The six o'clock of St. John was the end of the Proi. Let
us examine the division of time from the beginning of the
alert popuvia, (cock-crowing,) to the end of the (nput,) last
watch. The apprehension in the garden appears to have been
made about ten o'clock on Thursday night, and Jesus was then
led away to Annas. About eleven be was sent to Caiaphas. About
midnight Peter denied him the first time, at the first cock-
crowing. Soon after midnight he was condemned by the High
Priest, &c. after that he was abused by the officers and ser-
vants, and Peter denied him a second time. About three in the
morning, i. e. at the second cock-crowing, Peter denied him
the third time. About four, “as soon as it was day," the San-
hedrim met; and in a little time they again condemned him.

Mt.xxvii.27. into the common-hall,

Jerusalem. Mark xv.16. called Prætorium ; and they call together the whole band.

About five, “ when it was early," they led him away to Pilate;
and, “ about the sixth (Roman) hour," i. e. between six and
nine o'clock in the moroing, (for when mention is made of a
Roman watch hour, viz, the third, sixth, ninth, or twelfth, it
often includes the whole space of time contained in that watch,)
Pilate gave the final sentence against Jesus: and, in conse-
quence thereof, they led Jesus away, and crucified bim “at the
third (Jewish) hour," i. e. about nine o'clock in the morning,
or between that time and the commencement of the next watch.

The eveuts that happened between his being first taken be-
fore Pilate, and his final condemnalion by the Roman governor
would occupy about two hours and a half; many things
favoured, and many demanded expedition.

If Caiaphas did not send to Herod and Pilate when our Lord was first brought prisoner to his house, he would probably dispatch messengers to them as soon as he was condemned in the council. To the former, to request he would watch over his Galilean subjects, lest they should make a disturbance in favour of Jesus; and to Pilate, (who gave the soldiers to assist in the apprebension of Christ,) to acquaint him with their intention of bringing the prisoner before him. As this was the time of the passover, when a great concourse of a mutinous nation was assembled at Jerusalem, and its adjoining villages, it was the duty of Pilate and Herod to exert the utmost vigilance, even without the occurrence of any unusual eveut. The rulers of Judea might, perhaps, at this time have been alarmed at the intelligence of the acclamations of the people, some days before. It cannot therefore excite surprise, that on such an occasion as this, Pilate, and quickly after him Herod, was early up, and ready to receive the Jewish rulers as soon as they appeared. The first time they continued but a little while with Pilate ; for when he was told that Jesus belonged to Herod's jurisdiction, he forth with sent our Saviour to him. Herod and Pilate came but seldom to Jerusalem, and on these occasions they were, in all probability, accommodated in the Herodian palace, which was very extensive, and consisted of two spacious and distinct buildings. Josephus in consequence calls it not a palace, but palaces. This superb edifice, as well as the lower Antonia, which was a palace and tower together, stood near the temple, and communicated with it. Little time therefore being lost in removing from place to place, (the High Priest being also lodged near the temple,) the first examination before Pilate, and the interview with Herod, might come within such compass, as that our Lord might be remanded to Pilate by five in the morning, at which time it was broad day-light.

There was great eagerness for a speedy determination on one side, and a necessity for it on the other. The Jewish rulers, jealous of delay, and of a variable multitude, pressed on while circumstances favoured. Pilate well knew the seditious spirit of the nation, restless under a foreign yoke, and rendered confident by their great increase of numbers in consequence of the passover. He twice interrogated Jesus in the Pretorium, with the sound of their outcry, as it were in his ears; and found it requisite to determine speedily whether he would appease them by compliance, or repel them by force, which on the present occasion would not have been expedient. This brings us, then, either to the sixth hour in the morning, or to the sixth hour of

Mtxxvii.27. of soldiers.

Jerusalem.

mid-day. But the latter construction corresponds neither with
the other Evangelists, nor upon the whole with St. John him-
self, John xviii. 28. The detail of whose narrative conveys no
idea of so much time.

We come to the same conclusion by a calculation of the
time mentioned by the other Evangelists. The hour of cruci-
fixion is given, by St. Mark, chap. xv. 25. whose testimony is
confirmed by those of St. Matthew and St. Luke. It was the
third hour, or nine in the morning. Let us consider, first,
from this given hour, by a retrograde calculation, what time
the procession from the prætorium to Mount Calvary, and the
act of crucifying our Lord, probably occupied ; secondly, be-
fore this procession began, what time he was detained in the
prætorium after Pilate bad delivered him to be crucified; and,
Thirdly, how long the sentence of death was delayed after Pilate
sat down on the tribunal.

1. Although Mount Calvary was near to the city, the procession must have been slow. Christ was weakened by his agony in the garden, and by the pain and loss of blood be sustained from the cruel scourging, and from the insulting mockery of the soldiers. It was usual for the people to ill treat the criminals who went to crucifixion. He himself carried his cross to the gate of the city, and although it was there laid on Simon the Cyrenjan, He had still farther to go, and an eminence to asceud To this procession, and the necessary preparations for the crucifixion, we cannot allot less than an hour, and this brings us to eight in the morning.

2 Before he was led forth the two robbers were to be con. demaed; for in cases where no appeal lay to the emperor, or Roman senate, the examination for atrocious offences was little more than nominal; and the speedy sentence of the judge was followed by the immediate punishment of the criminal.

Probably, while our Saviour's trial was pending, these malefactors were brought from the prison to the hall, where the sol. diers kept guard, that they might be in readiness. In this place, perhaps, the penitent thief might have witnessed the deportment of Jesus, while he was scourged and insulted by the Boman soldiers; and might bave conceived that sense of his meekness, boliness, and majesty, which prepared him for the grace of a perfect confession of faith upon the cross. To the time employed in the trying, condemping, and scourging of these men, (according to the Roman law,) may we not eckon another full hour? In the meanwhile Christ was guarded by the soldiers; into whose hands therefore he was delivered at seven, or rather earlier.

3. When Pilate bad taken his seat on the tribunal, to pronounce sentence of death on Christ, he was interrupted by the message of his wife, still besitating-bc again expostulated with the Jews, and declared the innocence of Jesus—and, when he could prevail nothing, he washed his bands before the multi.. tude, and then decreed his condemnation. These various particulars might altogether occupy about another hour, and they bring us again to the same point-within' balf an hour of six. Here then the computations meet, whether we reckon on from the Proi, or back from the third hour : by either account, Pilate“ sat duwn in the judgment seat” between six and seven in tbe morning.

The conjecture of Grotius, adopted by Dr. Randolph, and

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