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ment are drawn from the evangeli- The first point of the argument cal history; the genuineness of the namely, that Judas Iscariot was a statements of which must be as- man of ability sufficient to discover sumed at present as a preliminary, whether Jesus was carrying on any though if the limits of this paper imposture—is established by many admitted, a few pages might not circumstances. There seems to unprofitably be employed in stating have been a general notion prevasome of the many arguments which lent in early times, that the birth prove this assumption. For, though and education of Judas made him it is true, to borrow the words of conspicuous among the Apostles. Mr. Locke, “ that it happens in His fellow-disciples too appear to controversial discourses as it does have respected and trusted him as in assaulting of towns, where, if the a man of sense and honesty; for ground be but firm whereon the even after many plain intimations of batteries are erected, there is no his treacherous character had been farther inquiry of whom it is bor- given by their Master, we have no rowed;" yet the remark applies hint of any suspicion to his prejuonly where controversialists hold dice existing in their breasts. In common principles to which each short, his conduct from beginning can appeal as decisive, and not to to end; the art with which he conthe argument between Christians cealed his true character from every and unbelievers, in which the late eye but that of his Master, when ter do not acknowledge the sacred the other disciples were often bebooks appealed to by the former as traying their infirmities and worldly the repositories of truth. Collateral wishes; the time, place, and address evidences will have little effect up with which his base designs were on men who have purposely steeled executed, and many minute circumtheir minds against conviction: their stances accompanying their accomchief value, perhaps, is to fortify plishment,—all forcibly bespeak that those who are inclined to the be- Judas was not a man of dull and inlief of the truth, and to furnish ferior capacity, but of cunning, disthem with arguments against gain- cernment, and sagacity. These consayers,—especially that most subtle siderations are all just and appliand pertinacious of all gainsayers, cable. But the sole fact that Judas an evil heart of unbelief.
was made choice of by Jesus, to be In establishing the conclusion one of his apostles and constant atunder consideration, three propo- tendants, will of itself sufficiently sitions are necessary to be proved; warrant our concluding him to have namely, that Judas Iscariot was a been a man of good natural sense and man of ability and discernment ability. The truth of this inference is sufficient to discover (it is with ex- manifest upon either of the suppositreme pain I venture even to pen tions; namely, that Christ was an imsuch an hypothesis) whether Christ postor, or that he was not. If he was carried on any plot; that he had an impostor, there is no conceivable sufficient opportunities to detect purpose for which he could choose that plot, if a plot there was; and twelve attendants, but to forward that he had every possible induce- his designs; and to do this successment to make a full disclosure. If fully, it was requisite that his agents these propositions be proved, it irre- should be men of prudence, activity, sistibly follows, that, if Judas did and skill. He never would have not make such a disclosure, there adopted a weak and foolish man inwas no plot to reveal; that if he did to a society of conspirators; for, not unmask an impostor, when he while it requires men of ability to betrayed his Master, the only reason plan and execute an extensive plot, was that he betrayed - innocent the most foolish are able enough, blood."
and often the most ready, to reveal it. On the other hand, if Christ not consistently tender a large sum was not an impostor, but the true for the head of an individual whom Messiah; though his disciples might they affected to despise. To this be humble in rank and education, reasoning it might be added, though yet we are bound to conclude from infidels would not admit this part
of the high and.momentous designs for the argument, that as the devil had which they were selected, that they by this time entered into Judas, we were by no means deficient in com- are not to wonder at any action he mon sense and sound intellect. And performed, provided it was replete still more are we bound to draw with malignity against that “ Seed this conclusion with regard to Judas, of the woman" who was then about because he was not a mere disciple, to bruise the serpent's head; and but held an important office besides; the very smallness of the sum sets the only one we read of in our that malignity in a more conspicuLord's humble family. In the of- ous light. fice of treasurer, he not only had the The second step in the argument custody of what presents were made is--that Judas had sufficient opporto Jesus and his disciples, which re- tunities to discover any secret de-' quired a person of reputed honesty, signs which Christ might be carrying but also the laying out of that on. The proof of this proposition money for their daily support, which is as plain, full, and convincing as required activity and discretion. the former. If Christ was an im
The only thing which seems to postor, he must have had some stand in the way of this conclusion accomplices. These could be no concerning Judas's abilities, is the other than the twelve Apostles, who agreement which he made with the were his constant attendants, who Jewish rulers. The small sum for remained with him in private when which he sold his Master seems at the multitude were dispersed, and variance with his covetous disposi- who were therefore witnesses of all tion and the address which has been his actions and movements, however ascribed to him. To this it may secret. No scheme could have been be replied, that the worldly prospects carried on by Jesus in these cirwhichinduced Judas to enter the ser- cumstances without the knowledge vice of Christ were farther from being of the twelve, even had he wished realized than they appeared to be to deny them his confidence. Yet at the beginning; the plain declara- Judas was one of this number, adtions of his Master had undeceived mitted to the same intimacy with him; the hope of temporal aggran- his fellow-disciples—thus enabled to dizement was blighted; and we have watch all his proceedings; and we every reason to conclude that he' may rest assured that, with such had made up his mind to relinquish opportunities, a traitor's eye would ane who had thwarted all his worldly not be idle. In addition to this it schemes. Now, it cannot be denied must not be forgotten, that Jesus that the public exposure which professed to give the power of work- ' Christ made of his base intended ing miracles to his twelve disciples. treachery at the last supper must Now, when Judas went forth to have highly irritated and inflamed exercise these powers, he must have a, mind already ruffled by disap- known whether devils were cast out' pointed hope, and disquieted by at his bidding, and whether diseases wicked devices; so that it is very were cured by his touch. At once, natural to suppose that resentment therefore, he must have discovered became for a while the ruling pas- whether Christ was imposing upon sion of his soul. Impelled by this the people a gross fraud, or whe. blinding passion, he closed with the ther, on the contrary, he was himfirst offer made to him by the Jew- self exercising, and enabling his disish rulers; and these rulers could ciples to exercise, a power which
clearly proved him to be a Divine the only motives to urge him on to person, the true Messiah. What- a disclosure. His worldly hopes had ever was the real state of the case, been cruelly disappointed, and his it was morally impossible that mortification might have excited Judas should not know it: he had him to injure Christ whom he not merely discernment but also thought the cause of it. Besides all sufficient opportunities to discover which, we find that Jesus never paid any plot carried on by Christ: nay, peculiar court to Judas, though he his opportunities were such as ne knew his traitorous purposes. On cessarily, and without exertion on the contrary, his declarations to his his part, to put him in full possession disciples, that there was a traitor of the whole truth.
amongst them, must have rankled in The third and concluding step in the breast of one who was conscious the reasoning is, that he had every of being so; and the explicit mention supposable inducement to make a of Judas as the person at the last full discovery of the imposture, supper, since it had power to excite which, we have seen, he must ne- him to treachery and murder, must cessarily have known, if such an have had power to make him come imposture existed. If we were to forth, and in the light of day accuse view Judas in a favourable light, the impostor to his face, and reveal and to reckon him a man of con- the imposture to the world. science, would not respect to the Since, then, Judas had every in glory of God, and to the Messiah ducement to reveal a cheat which whom he waited for, and whose name, he must have known of had it exif imposture existed, had been blas- isted, we have only to look to his phemously usurped; would not a conduct to collect his unwilling love to the religion of his country, testimony. He went to the Jewish. which the pretensions of Jesus seemed rulers: he agreed with them for the to threaten with an overthrow; would head of his Master; and subse-' not love to his fellow-creatures, who quently headed the band sent out might be miserably deluded as he to seize him. But there is not had been; would not, in short, a throughout the transaction a whisregard to his nation, which any per against the probity and virtue thing like a royal claim, on the part of our Lord. Nay, there is proof of a Jew, would excite the Romans that the traitor did not dare to asto menace with desolation,—have all perse his character; for, had any inconcurred in stimulating him to un- timation of an imposture been given, mask the wicked deceiver to the would not the Jewish rulers have eyes of the world? But, if we make eagerly caught at it, and made it the supposition that Judas was a the ground of their accusation? And wicked and unprincipled man, equal, where would then have been the if not stronger, inducements would need of suborning witnesses on the have then influenced him to make a day of trial, when they had the exfull discovery of the imposture of posure of a scene of fraud and im-: which he is supposed in possession. posture, by one who had been a He would have gained the favour constant attendant of the supposed and patronage of the Jewish rulers, impostor, and was privy to all his whom he knew to be highly exaspe- secrets ?' The truth seems to be, rated against his Master. The good that though Judas had baseness part of his countrymen would have enough, under the impulse of reapplauded an action so proper and so sentment and covetousness, and in beneficial in its consequences. The the dead of night, to betray, he bad would not have found fault with could not summon resolution to one who had rid them of a very stand up in the face of day, and, betroublesome reprover. Nor would fore the Jewish Sanhedrim, charge avarice or the love of praise have been his Master with a crime of which his
conscience would have told him that he was innocent. Nay, we have FAMILY SERMONS.No. CLXXI. the positive, unequivocal testimony 1 John iii. 8.He that committeth of the traitor himself, avouching the
sin is of the devil. innocence of his former Master ; for when he saw the probable termi- The devil is described in Scripnation of his treachery, the iron of ture as an evil spirit of great remorse seems to have entered his power, subtlety, and malice. He soul. He went to the rulers, cast is the god of this world : he rules down their bribe, and in bitter an- in the hearts of the wicked, and guish of heart exclaimed before endeavours by all means to prevent them all, “ I have sinned in that their turning to God that they may I have betrayed innocent blood." live. The Bible warns us to be This declaration is extremely em- ever on our guard against his de phatic. It conveys the belief of vices. A similar lesson is taught in Judas that Jesus Christ was inno- our baptismal service, in which we cent of every moral crime-inno- promise, God being our helper, to cent of every evil and deceitful renounce the devil and all his works, purpose and was consequently, as well as the pomps and vanities what he professed to be, the Son of of the world, and the sinful lusts God, the true Messiah. And did of the flesh. Now, in order to renot Judas give an emphatic and nounce the works of the devil, we awful proof of his sincerity in mak-should know what they are. The ing this confession of his own guilt text gives us this information: “ He and his Master's innocence? Ap that committeth sin is of the devil." palled by the enormity of his crime The devil is the spirit of evil, as -reduced to the extremity of God is the Spirit of holiness. There, despair and feeling his existence are crimes indeed to which Satan, an intolerable burden, “he went out being a spirit, is not tempted; but and hanged himself!" This is not even to these he may tempt us, as the conduct of one who has merely he endeavoured to take advantage delivered an impostor into the hands of our Lord himself, by means of of justice. It is the conduct of a the appetite of hunger, which a man whose conscience is burdened spirit could not feel. All mankind with innocent blood—who feels that are either the children of God, or he has done a deed of nameless the children of this evil spirit; and enormity—who writhes under the the state of their hearts and affecreflection that he has crucified the tions, and the conduct of their lives, Lord of glory, the true Messiah of prove to which family they belong. God, the friend and Saviour of For the fruits of the Holy Spirit the world #.
are “ love, joy, peace, long-sufPHILALETHES.
fering, gentleness, goodness, faith, • If any reader should wish to see this meekness, temperance." The image subject treated at greater length, and in a
of Satan, then, as exhibited in the most able and convincing manner, I would unregenerate mind of man, is the strongly recommend to his perusal a little work for whieh I am indebted for Judas to the innocence of his Divine the substance of the preceding argu- Master. Having become extremely scarce, ment. It is entitled, “ Observations on the it has been lately republished at Edinburgh Conduct and Character of Judas,” by the in a cheap form; it being thought that its Rev. John Bonar, one of the ministers re-appearance might be eminently seasonof Perth. It was published towards the able at the present moment, when the middle of the last century, at a time when partizans of infidelity and profaneness are infidelity was making fearful advances, and indefatigable in disseminating their poisonwas considered by Dr. Doddridge and ous writings, especially among the poor other eminent men, as exhibiting in a most and insufficiently educated classes of sojust and beautiful light the testimony of ciety,
very contrary to all this : but in mention consists in hatred to God, order to point it out more fully, I and all that is like God. This was shall mention some of those sins clearly seen in the first temptation which seem most strongly to mark in paradise, by means of which the this awful likeness, particularly what Divine image in the human race are called spiritual wickednesses, was tarnished, and whatever was which fall in an especial manner “ earthly, sensual, and devilish," within the province of Satan's do- was introduced into the world. minion.
Some of the ways in which this : But before we proceed to this hatred of God, and whatever is like enumeration, it will be necessary to God, is displayed, are as follow. make one remark on the text 1. In open blasphemy; infidelity, namely, that it speaks of a wilful and impiety. It is not always, inand habitual commission of sin, deed, that the resemblance is thus rather than of those frailties and plainly marked': it often takes less infirmities, which remain even with visible shades of likeness; but where the most consistent Christian. · The it assumes so clear a character, there Apostle John tells us, in this very can be no hesitation in forming a Epistle, that, “if any man say that judgment. Blasphemers are spoken he hath no sin, he deceives himself, of in the Revelations as members and the truth is not in him." If, of “the synagogue of Satan :" dethen, we are sincerely and earnestly liberate unbelievers are said to have praying and striving against all sin, their minds blinded by the god we are not to conclude that our of this world;" and so on of grossly efforts are vain, our prayer unheard, impious persons of every kind. and that we are the children of 2. But another way in which Satan, because we have not yet hatred to God, and all that is like attained a complete victory. There God, betrays itself, is in a dislike will continue innumerable blemishes, to the character, conduct, and prinand too many blots, in the most ciples of his faithful servants-We exalted character. But God can see this exemplified in the persejudge where the heart is truly right cution our Lord himself met with with him. We have the consolation upon earth : we see it in the conof knowing, if such be our case, duct of the world towards his saints that we have a High Priest who and martyrs, both before and after can be touched with the feeling of his coming : we see it in the oppoour infirmities; and a gracious Fa sition made in all ages to-scriptural ther, who for his sake can and will doctrines and a devout self-denying abundantly pardon them. At the life. Whatever is done to subvert same time, sin retains all its wicked the spiritual kingdom of Christ to ness, by whomever it may be com- dethrone him in the hearts of inmitted. In proportion as the Chris- dividuals; to pervert or ridicule the tian falls into it, he loses the image precepts or doctrines of his word; of God, and acquires that of Satan: to throw false colours around what the evidences of his conversion are' is sinful, or to defame what is holy, obscured; his peace and hope are is an instance and a proof of resem: clouded; and it is not till he has blance to the great enemy of God again turned, by deep repentance and man. and contrition, to his offended God, 3. So again, loving sin for its own and sought pardon through the re- sake is another proof of hatred to newed grace of a merciful Saviour, God and godliness. - How many that he has any right to cherish a persons are there who, like Satan, hope that he is a sincere, however are pleased at beholding, sin in imperfect, follower of Jesus Christ. others; who are gratified at wit. First. The first feature of re- nessing 'what is wrong, though it semblance to Satan which I shall brings them neither credit nor pro