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JUDAS BETRAYETH CHRIST.
DURING Christ's agony in the garden, whither he had retired with his Apostles, the traitor Judas, accompanied by a band of soldiers and officers, together with some of the chief Priests, Pharisees, and Elders of the people, appeared to appre hend him, armed with swords and staves. "And he that betrayed him, had given them a token, saying, Whomsoever I shall kiss, the same is he; take him, and lead him away safely. And as soon as he was come, he goeth straightway to him, and saith, Master, Master; and kissed him. And they laid their hands on him, and took him." When Judas saluted our blessed Lord, according to the agreement between him and those to whom he betrayed his divine Master, the blessed Jesus did not upbraid him with his perfidy in harsh and reproachful terms, but merely received his treacherous salutation with the mildest rebuke-showing that, amid the awful tumult of such a scene, his mind was undisturbed. Stepping forward, our Lord demanded, with an air of authority, whom the soldiers wanted. They told him, Jesus of Nazareth. He said to them-I am he; but, when they were going to lay violent hands upon him, the rays of divine glory beamed so brilliantly from his countenance, that they could no longer look upon it; but immediately turned their eyes from so trancendant an object, and fell to the ground. Instead, however, of taking advantage of their consternation to effect his escape, as he had done at other times, our persecuted Lord again asked them of whom they had come in quest; and when they again returned him the same answer, he told them, that if he was the person they sought, he expected that when they had secured him, they would suffer his disciples to depart unmolested. He was then bound and led away to Annas, who immediately sent him to the palace of Caiaphas, the High Priest, where he was examined previously to being delivered over for final examination to Pilate, the Roman governor.
CHRIST CROWNED WITH THORNS.
THE soldiers having received orders to crucify Jesus, first scourged him, and then conducted him into the Prætorium. There they treated him with the most wanton indignity, deriding his regality, railing at and spitting upon him, and having cast a purple robe over his shoulders, they affected towards him a mock reverence, hailing him in derision King of the Jews. They placed a reed in his hand instead of a sceptre, and having formed a wreath of a plant bearing long sharp prickles, they set it upon his head by way of a crown, forcing it rudely over his temples until they were stained with his precious and innocent blood. "And they clothed him," writes St. Mark, "with purple, and platted a crown of thorns, and put it about his head, and began to salute him, Hail, King of the Jews! And they smote him on the head with a reed, and did spit upon him, and bowing their knees, worshipped him*." "They smote him, some with a reed and 'others with their hands. Those who smote him with the reed, laid the blows upon the thorns, with which his head was crowned; those who smote him with their hands aimed at his cheeks or some part of his body. The governor, who, according to custom, was present all the while, found his heart ready to burst with grief. The sight of an innocent and virtuous man treated with such barbarity raised in him the most painful feelings of pity; and though he had given sentence that it should be as the Jews desired, and had delivered Jesus to the soldiers to be crucified, he thought if he was shown to the people in that condition, they might yet relent, and let him go. With this view, he resolved to carry him out, a spectacle which might have softened the most obdurate enemies."-Macknight's Harmony.