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NOTE (17), page 205.
For a description of the chief buildings of Jerusalem, in the time of our Saviour, see Horne: Introduction, iii. pp. 21, 22.
NOTE (18), page 206.
"To the Jews," says St. Augustine, (Tractat. cxiv. in Joan.) "it was not lawful to put him to death, on account of the feast, lest they should be defiled." Similar reasons are assigned by St. Chrysostom, (Hom. 82. in Joan.) and St. Cyril. (l. 12. in Joan. cvi.) The arguments of Biscoe, on the Acts of the Apostles, chap. vi., seem to me conclusive; proving, that, in our Saviour's time, the Jews still retained the power of inflicting capital punishments. Perhaps, however, as Krebsius observes, (Obs. p. 155.) that power was confined, to the punishment of offences against their religion; while acts of treason, came immediately under the cognizance of the Roman governor.
NOTE (19), page 207.
"The Jews, out of envy and malice, delivered him up, accused and persecuted him, instigated and importuned against him; the Gentiles, out of ignorance, profaneness, and unjust partiality, condemned and executed him: whereby, the iniquity of all mankind did in some sort appear, and was aptly represented; and, conse
quently, his immense goodness is demonstrated; who, for so impious, unjust, and flagitious a generation, for so malicious enemies, for so cruel persecutors of himself, did willingly suffer: them, who so combined in mischief against him, he then designed to conjoin, in reconciliation to God, and in mutual peace and charity toward one another; reconciling both unto God, in one body, by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby." — Barrow, Serm. xxvi. on the Creed.
NOTE (20), page 209.
“Is not, then, the kingdom of Christ of this world? In truth it is. How, then, is it that he says it is not of this world? Not because he does not reign here, but because he has a kingdom, also, from above; and that kingdom is not a human one."-St. Chrysostom, Hom. in Joan. lxxxiii. Again, in Hom. lxxx. he says, "My kingdom is not of this world; that is, I am, indeed, a king; not such, indeed, as you suspect, but one far greater.
These words were not understood, in the days of St. Chrysostom, in the sense into which they are too often tortured, and that for no very holy purpose, in the present age. The observations of the pious author of A Serious Call to a Devout and Holy Life, are well worthy of attention. "It is so far from being true, that our Lord hath, in these words, declared what his kingdom is, that he has only, and that in one particular sense, declared what it is not. If he had said, that his kingdom was not a Jewish kingdom, would this be declaring the nature of his kingdom? If a person should say, that his belief was not the belief of the church of England,
would he, in these words, declare the nature of his belief? Would it not still be uncertain, whether he was an Arian, or a Socinian, or something different from both? Thus our Saviour saying, that, his kingdom is not of this world, no more declares the nature of his kingdom, than a person by saying, such a one was not his son, would in these words declare how many children he had.
"My kingdom is not of this world, are very indeterminate words, and capable of several meanings, if we consider them in themselves. But, as soon as we consider them as an answer to a particular question, they take one determinate sense. The question was, whether our Saviour was the (temporal) king of the Jews? Jesus answered, My kingdom is not of this world. Now, as these words may signify no more than the denial of what was asked; as there is nothing in them, that necessarily implies more, than that he was not a king, as the Jewish and other temporal kings are; as the question extends the answer no further than this meaning; so, if we enlarge it, or fix any other meaning to it, it is all human reasoning, without any warrant from the text." - Mr. Law. Third Letter to Bp. Hoadly, p. 388.
NOTE (21), page 210,
“What is Truth? 'Twas Pilate's question, put
NOTE (22), page 217.
According to a tradition, preserved by Origen, (vol. iii. p. 119.) the wife of Pontius Pilate was converted by this vision. Dr. Lardner (Credibility, book i. chap. vii.) shows, that, although, under the Commonwealth, it was unusual for the Roman governors of provinces to take their wives with them, the custom had obtained under the empire.
NOTE (23), page 219.
See Dr. Hales; Chronology, vol. ii. p. 882; where the following interesting and important passage is translated, from The Embassy of Philo, the Jew, to Caligula':
"Pilate, not so much in honour of Tiberius, as to vex the people, dedicated some gilt shields to him, without any figures or other forbidden emblems, but only a dedicatory inscription, from himself to the emperor, and placed them in Herod's palace, within the Holy City. As soon as the people perceived it, and the matter was noised abroad, they sent a deputation, consisting of (Herod's) the king's four sons (Matt.xiv. 2.), of royal rank and consequence, attended by the other relations of the family, and their own chief magistrates; to intreat Pilate, that this innovation of the shields might be removed, and that he would not infringe their native customs, of the earliest date, which had been preserved inviolate both by kings and governors. But he sternly refused; for he was unbending, haughty, and implacable in his disposition. Then they exclaimed,
'Do not raise a sedition; do not excite war; do not break the peace: the dishonour of our ancient laws cannot redound to the honour of the emperor; therefore, let not this be a pretext for your outrage to the nation; it surely was not the wish of Tiberius to violate any of our laws. If you say it was, produce either his decree or his letter, or any other document, that we may cease to importune you, and send an embassy to supplicate your master.' This last circumstance disconcerted him very much, fearing, that if they should actually send an embassy, they would charge him with the other misdemeanours of his administration; his briberies, his injuries, his extortions, his insults, his outrages, his indiscriminate and successive massacres, and his unbounded and most grievous cruelty in detail: and this wrathful and vindictive man was reduced to the utmost perplexity; on the one hand, not daring to remove the shields after they had once been dedicated, and unwilling to gratify his subjects in any shape; but on the other, well. knowing the steady severity of Tiberius on such occasions. The chief magistrates, seeing this, and perceiving his concern for what he had done, though he wished to hide it, wrote the most supplicatory letter to Tiberius ; who, when he was informed of Pilate's speeches and threats, though not prone to error, was greatly incensed, and immediately wrote, without further delay, most sharply reproaching and reprimanding him, for his audacious innovation, and ordering him to take down the shields directly: accordingly, they were removed from the metropolis to Cesarea, and there dedicated to the emperor."
We learn from Eusebius, ii. vii., that Pontius Pilate, ended his days, like Judas, by suicide.