RPM, Volume 18, Number 20, May 8 to May 14, 2016

Sermons on John 17

Sermon XX

By Thomas Manton

While I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name: those that thou gavest me I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the scripture night be fulfilled.—John 17:12.

In this verse Christ declareth how he had performed his duty to the apostles when corporally present with them, which help was now to be removed. He had said before, ? am no more in the world;' and he saith now,' Whilst I was with them in the world, I kept them,' &c.

The argument is taken from the necessity of the request, and the equity of it

1. The necessity. He could no longer keep them as he had kept them, by his visible presence, outward ministry, and familiar conversation; therefore he beggeth the Father to keep them. Christ is careful to remedy every defect; when the visible external custody was to have an end, then he beggeth the spiritual.

2. The equity. When thou commendedtst them to me, I kept them; [Pg. 335] now I commend them to thee, do thou keep them. Which is not to be so understood as if Christ did totally resign his charge unto the Father, or as if the Father and Son kept us by turns. No; as the Father is not hitherto excluded, so not the Son for the future. But he speaketh of his visible familiar presence and care, which was now to cease; and in lieu of it he beggeth his Father's custody and tutelage; and that upon this ground, because of his faithfulness during his corporal presence.

In the words, you may observe

First, Christ's care.

Secondly, The fruit of it— (1.) As to the elect; (2.) As to the son of perdition. Which, that it might not be scandalous to his custody, or manner of keeping, is mollified by a prediction or prophecy of scripture.

'While I was with them in the world;' corporally, visibly present, familiarly conversant. He speaketh as if he were already gone, because the time of his departure was at hand.

'I kept them in thy name.'—Christ kept them, as man, instrumentally, by teaching, conversing, warning, by daily precepts and examples; as God, as the principal agent, by inward influxes and operations of grace; as it is presently added,' in thy name.' by thy authority and power, for thy glory.

'Those that thou gavest me I nave kept, and none of them are lost' —I shall only open the different manner of keeping and losing, spiritually and corporally; none were lost by death or defection. Spiritually, Christ kept them against the world, the flesh, and the devil. Satan had a spite at them: Luke xxii. 31, 'Simon, Simon, behold Satan hath desired to have you, that he may sift you as wheat.' Their own hearts are weak and apt to stagger: John vi. 66, 'Many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye go away also?' The world is a dangerous place. He had kept them corporally from death and danger; they were neither killed, nor drowned, as they were in danger: Mat. viii. 25, 'Master, save us; we perish.' That Christ kept both ways, is clear by this evangelist's own exposition, John xviii. 9, 'That that saying might be fulfilled, which be spake, Of those which thou gavest me, have I lost none.' Christ is there capitulating for his disciples; that place showeth he had an exact care of their bodies as well as their souls.

'But the son of perdition.'—Let us clear this a little. May any of those that are given to Christ miscarry? Certainly no; his charge was, John vi. 36, 'That of all which the Father had given him, he should lose nothing.' His prayer is, John xvii. 24, 'Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am.' But what shall we make of this place? I will not trouble you with the several answers, but give you that which I conceive most proper. Here pray mark, it is not except, but but, and it must be supplied; only Judas was lost, who is not excepted, but opposed: not excepted as one of the former; \~ei\~ \~mh\~ is not put exceptively, but adversatively, as in the curt forms of scripture it is taken elsewhere. I say, there is no exception made of Judas, as if he had been given to Christ, and afterwards fallen away; but when he had mentioned their keeping, he would oppositely [Pg. 336] put the losing of Judas. This phrase, \~ei\~ \~mh\~, is thus used, Rev. xxi. 27, 'There shall in nowise enter into it anything that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination and maketh a lie, but, \~ei\~ \~mh\~, they which are written in the Lamb's book of life;' Mat xii. 4, 'It was not lawful for him to eat (namely, of the shew-bread), neither for them which were with him, but, \~ei\~ \~mh\~, only for the priests.' And yet more clearly, 2 Kings v. 17. 'Thy servant will henceforth offer neither burnt-offering nor sacrifice unto other gods, but unto the Lord;' Acts xxvii. 22, 'There shall be no loss of any man's life, but of the ship.'

By the 'son of perdition,' is certainly meant Judas. Christ had before said, One of you is a devil,' John vi. 70; John xiii. 18, 'I speak not of you all, I know whom I have chosen; but that the scripture should be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against me;' and ver. 21,' Verily, verily I say unto you, that one of you shall betray me.' It is a Hebraism, as \~tekna\~ \~orghv\~, 'Children of wrath,' Eph. ii. 3, so a child of hell. Judas did not only merit perdition, but was destined to it, as a son of death; 'for he shall surely die,' 1 Sam. xx. 31. So because Judas did not only deserve destruction, but was appointed to it, therefore he is called the 'son of perdition;' though the treason was not fully accomplished, yet he was about to execute it Nonnus rendereth it, 'A son of the destroyer,' as referring to Satan.

'That the scripture might be fulfilled.'—That is many times put for then. It was not therefore foretold, that it might be done; this would put the sin on God; but this was the event then the scripture was fulfilled. But what scripture? 'Our Lord hath not respect to one place, but to many, that speak of Judas's treason and punishment: Ps. xli. 9,' Yea, my own familiar friend, in whom I trusted, which did eat of my bread, hath lift up his heel against me.' Which is applied to Judas, John xiii. 18,' He which eaten bread with me hath lift up his heel against me.' So Ps. lxix. from ver. 21 onwards,' They gave me also gall for my meat, and in my thirst they gave me vinegar to drink.' &c. The 26th verse is applied to Judas. Acts i. 20, 'For it is written in the book of Psalms, Let his habitation be desolate, and let no man dwell therein.' So Ps. cix. 8, which is also quoted in that place, 'His bishopric let another take.'

Why is this passage mentioned?

1. To comfort the disciples, that they might not stagger in their faith.

2. To avoid the scandal, as if Christ could not discern a hypocrite.

3. To show God's hand and counsel in all this, as by and by more fully.

Because this text mainly concerneth a matter past, and there is no commonplace but what hath been bandied in the former verse, I shall despatch all in brief hints.

First I begin with Christ's care: 'Whilst I was with them in the world, I kept them in thy name.'

1. Observe, we cannot withstand danger by our own strength. It is Jerome's observation. Christ saith, 'I kept them;' he doth not say, I gave them free-will to keep themselves. And it is confirmed by Another scripture, 1 Sam. ii. 9, 'He keepeth the feet of his saints.' [Pg. 337]

The feet are put for all kind of actions, courses, and endeavours;' For by strength shall no man prevail;' that is, by his own strength. God will have this honour, as to be the author of grace, so the preserver of it; as the making of the world and keeping of the world is put into the same hands. You rob God of his honour when you look elsewhere. Take heed then of going forth in the strength of your own resolutions. The devil doth not fear us, but the guard that is about us. Peter was a sad instance: 'Though all men do deny thee, yet will not I deny thee.' At first he outbraveth a whole troop, and afterwards falleth by the accusation of one damsel. A bold resolution doth not carry out a man so far as a humble dependence; a silly wench discourageth this stout champion. Every small temptation is sufficient to overturn a man puffed up with the confidence of his own strength, the weak blast of a damsel's question. What poor creatures are we when God leaveth us! We cannot be without these providences. Audeo dicere, saith Austin, utile esse superbis cadere in aliquod manifestum apertum peccatum, ut salubrius sibi displiceant. The saints fall so often that they may stand the firmer. Nay, if you do not fall foully, you will meet with a great deal of uncomfortableness and weariness in the ways of God; our strength will soon tire. Learn this, the best of you, you that seem to have most reason to stand. Peter had been with Christ on the mount, Mat xvii. 1, in the garden, Mat. xxvi. 37, assured of his glory, armed against his sufferings, and yet now denieth him.

2. Observe how loyal, faithful, and tender Christ is over his charge. He is loyal to God: 'I have kept them in thy name;' faithful to his flock, he omitted no point of the duty of a good shepherd; he was tender of them: 'Whilst I was with them in the world, I kept them;' and now he surrendered his charge into God's hands. Judas was lost, not out of any impotency and carelessness in Christ, he was not in his commission; but through his own malignity. Christ is faithful, for he giveth an account to God; none of them is lost; just as he will at the last day; it is but a type of what he will do then. He will present all the faithful to God: Heb. ii. 13, 'Behold, I and the children which God hath given me.' And he will disclaim hypocrites, as he doth Judas.

Use 1. Let us learn how safe it is to be in Christ's hands and keeping. Christ was a faithful shepherd when he was upon the earth; and though his corporal presence be removed, yet it is supplied by the Spirit; he hath still a care of his flock; the lambs, those that are most tender, he carrieth them in his bosom; he hath a particular care of every single believer, though there be so many thousands in the world: John x. 3, 'I know my sheep by name.' John, Anna, Thomas, however called and distinguished in the world. He is careful to provide good large pasture, to supply your defects. His conduct is gentle and tender, as the little ones are able to bear, and to guide you with dispensations suitable to your work, and temptations are proportioned to your growth and experience. Paul was not buffeted till his rapture: 'After ye were illuminated, ye endured a great fight of afflictions,' Heb. x. 32. The castle is victualled before it is besieged.

He is constantly watchful over you, taketh notice of decays of grace and spiritual languishments, to reclaim and reduce his people when [Pg. 338] gone astray: Isa. xxx. 21, 'Thine ears shall hear a voice behind thee, saying, This is the way, walk in it, when ye turn to the right hand, and when ye turn to the left' You may be confident of his keeping, if you will but choose him for a shepherd, and put your souls as a pledge in his hands: Ps. xxiii. 1, 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want.' Walk on in a course of obedience, referring yourselves to Christ's care.

Use 2. We should learn of Christ to be faithful to our charge. We that are ministers should keep those that are committed to us in God's name, that when we die, or by providence are called away from our people, we may plead our faithfulness: 'Father, I have kept them in thy name.' If we give not warning to the sinner, 'his blood will God require at our hands,' Ezek. iii 20. As under the law, if an ox or sheep were laid to pledge, and it did miscarry, the party was to make it good; so Heb. xiii. 17, 'They watch for your souls as they that must give an account, that they may do it with joy, and not with grief.' It is a heavy charge and a great trust; the account of lost souls will be craved at your hands. So also you that are called to a family, you have a charge; you are not only to provide for them corporally, but spiritually, that when you die, you may commend them to God upon these terms: 'Whilst I was with them, I kept them in thy name.'

3. Observe, God hath many ways of keeping mediate and immediate. Immediate, by his own Spirit, this Christ beggeth for them; mediate, by Christ's corporal presence: 'I have kept them;' by the guides Of the church; by angels, they are a part of our guard: Heb. i. 14,' Are they not all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister to them that are heirs of salvation?' They have a great deal of employment about God's children: Ps. xci. 11, 'He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.' Against bodily dangers the angels watch over us, God against spiritual dangers. So by grace in the heart: Prov. iv. 6, 'Get wisdom, and she shall keep thee.' These are the inward means of preservation.

Use 1. Admire the providence of God about such a creature as man is. It is counted a matter of great state to have at our heels a long train of followers; these mighty peers of heaven are our attendants. How many guards hath he set upon us! His Spirit, his angels, glorious angels, they behold God's face, and watch over our feet; his ministers, the outward supplies of providence, and grace in the heart If our protection were visible, all the princes in the world would come short of it; a guard full of state and strength. Even little ones have their angels stand by their cradles.

Use 2. Learn to wait upon God, though you want an outward guard and veil of safety. Christ's corporal presence was removed, and supplied by the Spirit; and if God can make us amends for Christ's company, certainly for an outward comfort and blessing. Do not limit God to one way of keeping; he hangeth the earth upon nothing, how doth he keep the earth? A feather will not stay in the air: 'Man liveth not by bread alone, bat by every word that proceedeth out of the month of God,' Mat iv. 4. Not only by the outward supply, but the promise and the sustentation of providence. God can bring [Pg. 339] water out of the rock as well as out of the fountain. When we hare outward supplies, we are many times worst. Our well-being doth not lie in these things, but in God's care, which may be expressed in several ways. Christ may put that question to us that he did to the apostles: Luke xxii. 35, 'And he said unto them, When I sent you without nurse, and scrip, and shoes, lacked ye anything? And they said, Nothing. 'God sendeth abroad his servants many times to make experiments of the care of his providence; they are helpless and shiftless, but did ye lack anything? The Lord can wonderfully incline the hearts of men, and dispose of the creatures for the supply of his

he cometh in by wonderful and unexpected ways of supply. It were easy to give instances, if my intended brevity would permit. Merlin was hid in a hay-mow in the massacre of Paris, and a hen came constantly and laid an egg every day for a fortnight.

4. Observe, that Christ's keeping extendeth to corporal safety. So it is quoted, John xviii. 8, 9, 'If ye seek me, let these go their way, that the saying might be fulfilled which he spake, Of those which thou gavest me, have I lost none.' God is in covenant with both body and soul, and he looketh after both; for the body, as far as it is necessary for his service, and for our profit and salvation, as well as for the soul; therefore it is but reason we should depend upon him for both. It is a pretty question, Which is more difficult, to believe in Christ for temporals or spirituals? The reason of doubting is because promises for temporals are not so express, and so exactly accomplished in the letter, as they are in spirituals. But certainly heaven and pardon of sins are greater mercies; and if conscience were opened and the heart serious, we should see the difficulty to obtain them to be greater. There are greater and more plausible prejudices against pardon of sins than against daily bread. God feedeth all his creatures, even the young ravens; but he pardoneth but a few, and blesseth them with all spiritual blessings. But here is the mistake: bodily wants are more pressing, and here faith is presently to be exercised with difficulties; and men are careless of their souls, and so content themselves with some general desires and loose hopes of ease and eternal welfare, which hopes import their security and presumption, not their gospel faith. But certainly, he that durst venture his estate into Christ's hands by a genuine act of faith, doth a less thing than he that by a genuine act of faith ventures his soul. They say they find no difficulty in believing in Christ for salvation and pardon of sins, and yet cannot trust him for daily bread, for maintenance, which God giveth to the ravens, and bestowed upon them when they were children of wrath. Well, then, trust Christ for these common mercies. You shall have temporal safety as long as God hath a mind to employ you in his service, and as much as is necessary to glorify him and keep your hearts good. In other things we must moderate our desires; God is a better judge than we are ourselves; and then by an undisturbed faith, without doubts and carkings, wait upon him. When you cark, and ran to unlawful means, you take Christ's work out of his hands, and put it into your own; yea, you put yourselves out of Christ's keeping, and put your safety into the devil's hands. Oh! the children of God should consider this. Do you expect God should give you spiritual and eternal safety, [Pg. 340] and not temporal? Shall he give the greater, and not the less? Martha was of this temper: John xi. 23, 24, 'Jesus saith to her, Thy brother shall rise again. Oh! saith she, 'I know he shall rise again at the last day;' as if it were an easier matter to raise him up after so many years, than after four days. If you put your souls, which are the more excellent part, into Christ's hands, will you not put your bodies? Will you not trust him with all that you have? You should make experiments this way. How are you temporally kept? It is good to be acquainted with God by little and little; to trust him with smaller matters, and then with greater. And what is this trust? Leave all to God's disposal, having served providence in the use of means. It is a shame to see Christians prole and shift, as if they had no Father in heaven, no Mediator to take care of them. Secondly, Now I come to the success and fruit of Christ's care.

1. As to the elect.

2. As to Judas.

1. As to the elect: 'I have kept those whom thon hast given to me, and none of them is lost' None of the elect can be lost; God's election cannot be weakened by the falling of hypocrites. Christ may lose members, as he is head of a visible church, but not as he is head of a mystical body: 'One of you shall betray me, but I know whom I have chosen,' John xiii. 18. As if he had said, This will not defeat my purposes of grace. So Rom. xi. 7, 'The election hath obtained it, and the rest were blinded.' God's election worketh through all prejudices, wicked parents, bad education, a dumb ministry; and others are hardened, notwithstanding all advantages, as Judas, though of the seed of Abraham, though an apostle, though under Christ's inspection. The fathers compared Paul and Judas, Paul an open enemy, Judas a seeming friend: 1 Tim. ii. 18, 19, 'Who concerning the truth have erred, saying that the resurrection is past already, and overthrow the faith of some. Nevertheless, the foundation of God standeth sure, having this seal, The Lord knoweth them that are his.' As those that build a palace are wont to lay a firm foundation, so God in building a heavenly city, he hath laid a foundation, by which is meant God's election, which is the great groundwork of salvation; whoever fall, God's elect stand sure.

Use. Let us not be troubled at the defection of hypocrites, let it not shake our belief of the doctrine of perseverance; be not offended, as if the salvation of the elect were not sure. Though glorious luminaries are quenched, and those that seemed to be stars leave their orb and station, God's election standeth sure. When a tree is shaken, rotten and unsound fruit comes clattering down. The devil never fed such a season to set men on work to broach the doctrine of the apostasy of the saints, because of the general defection and miscarriage of eminent professors. In this case let ns run to the scriptures. The defection el one from the college of the apostles was a great scandal; bat Christ saith,' That it might be fulfilled which was written.' So when any scandal falleth out, thus should we run unto the scriptures.

2. As to Judas, who is here called 'the son of perdition.' 1. Observe, in the general, there are some persons that are so wilfully set to destroy and damn themselves, that they may be called sons of [Pg. 341] perdition; as here is one that perisheth in Christ's own company, a prey taken out of his hands, one that was never the better for all the care of Christ, for seeing his holy life, and for the excellent discourses that he heard from him, for all the kindness he had showed to him in taking him into a near office and service about himself, for bestowing on him the gift of miracles, for trusting him with the bag. Christ had lately washed his feet, as well as of the rest of the apostles; yet he obstinately goeth on in ways of self-perdition, and his purpose of betraying his Lord and master, yea, contrary to many warnings given him.

Use. Oh! take heed of a wilful obstinacy, and wresting yourselves out of the arms of mercy! of being of such a disposition that nothing will reclaim you, for that is to be a eon of perdition. Wilful sins have a greater mark upon them than other sins; as when you go

1. Against an express commandment: Prov. xiii. 13, 'Whoso despiseth the word shall be destroyed, but he that feareth a commandment shall be rewarded.' If a commandment stand in your way, it should be more than if a band of armed men stood to hinder you. Many make nothing of a commandment; they fear a judgment from God, or a punishment from men, but never stand upon the word of God.

2. Against express warnings of those that wish well to your souls: Deut. i. 43, 'So I spake unto you, and you would not hear, but rebelled against the commandment of the Lord, and went presumptuously up into the hill.' When men are wedded to their own inclinations, outfacing all challenges in God's name, they will do what they are set upon; Ps. xiii. 4, 'With our tongues will we prevail, our lips are our own: who is lord over us?' This is not far from judgment: 2 Chron. xxxvi. 15, 16, 'And the Lord God of their father sent to them by his messengers, rising up betimes and sending, because he had compassion on his people, and on his dwelling-place. But they mocked the messengers of God, and despised his words, and misused his prophets, until the wrath of the Lord rose against his people, till there was no remedy.' This contempt will draw down wrath, no means to appease God.

3. Against checks of conscience, and motions of God's Spirit in our hearts: Acts vii. 51, 'Ye stiff-necked and uncircumcised in heart and care, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost' Conscience telleth them ye ought not to yield to this sin, whatever the profit and pleasure be; yet men kick against the pricks, and do that which their own hearts disallow: Rom. xiv. 22, 'Happy is he that condemneth not himself in the thing that he alloweth.' And in spite of these good motions they will go forward to perfect the sin which they have in chase; then God lets them alone, lets them go on, till they perish.

4. Against restraints of providence, when God hath hedged up their way with thorns, or they have found much inconvenience in that course: 2 Chron. xxviii. 22, 'In the time of his distress he trespassed yet more and more: this is that King Ahaz;' the scripture sets a brand upon him. As Baalam would go on, 2 Peter ii. 16,' But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass, speaking with man's voice, forbad the madness of the prophet;' when men go on over the belly [Pg. 342] of more than ordinary opposition, till they perish. A miracle will not stop a sinner in the violent pursuit of his lusts. Providence hath a language that biddeth us stop, but the sway of lusts is great, and breaks through all restraints. Oh! take heed then of being self-willed, stout-hearted in a sensual course, wedded to our own inclinations, of being a slave to sensual appetite, and being led by it more than by holy reasons. Take heed of love to some unmortified lust, especially to covetousness; this is the cause of extreme violence in sin: Jer. xliv. 16,17, 'As for the word that thou hast spoken to us in the name of the Lord, we will not hearken unto thee. But we will certainly do whatsoever thing goeth forth out of our own mouth, to hum incense unto the queen of heaven, and to pour out drink-offerings unto her.'

2. Observe from his character, 'The son of perdition.' The same name is given to antichrist, 2 Thess. ii. 3, 'That man of sin be revealed, the son of perdition.' Judas was a type of antichrist; as they said of the blind man, John ix. 9, 'Some said, This is he; others said, He is like him.' The pope boasteth that his seat is apostolical, and that he is the successor of an apostle. If we grant it, and he will needs be a successor of an apostle, there is an error in the person; it is not Peter, but Judas. Let us see the parallel.

[1.] Judas was not a stranger, but a pretended friend and an apostle: Acts i. 17, 'He was numbered with us, and obtained part of this ministry.' So the pope obtained part of this ministry. Turks and infidels are enemies to Christ Antichrist must be one that seeketh to undermine Christ under a pretence of friendship, \~anticristov\~, for and against Christ; he 'maketh war with the horns of the Lamb,' Rev. xiii. 11. If he were a professed adversary, what mystery were there in it? Now it is 'a mystery of iniquity,' 2 Thes. ii. 7; 'a false prophet,' Rev. xvi. 13. It is wisdom to discern him: Rev. xiii. 18, 'Here is wisdom: let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast'

[2.] Judas sold Christ for a small matter; so omnia Roma venalia, —pardons, indulgences, freedom from purgatory, all to be bought at Borne. The antichristian state maketh a market of religion; truth is made to yield to interest and profit

[3.] Judas betrayed Christ with a kiss. Antichrist is a true adversary of Christ, and yet pretendeth to adore him. He pretendeth to be his servant and vicar, and is his enemy; not an enemy without the church, but within the church, that betrayeth Christ under a colour of adoration.

[4] Judas was a guide to them that came to take Jesus. Christ is in heaven, death ham no more dominion over him. His natural body is above abuse, but in his mystical body he still suffereth: Acts ix. 4, 'Saul, Saul, why persecutest thou me?' The pope is the head of the persecuting state; others are his emissaries and agents, to persecute Christ in his members. It is a politic religion, carried on with cruelty.

[5.] Judas was \~uiov\~ \~apwleiav\~, 'the son of perdition,' as destroying himself, and involving others in the same condemnation. So is antichrist called in the Revelations, \~apollown\~, Rev. ix. 11, and \~apolluomenov\~, the destroyer of souls, of himself and others. [Pg. 343]

Use. Let all these things open our eyes, that we may behold the man of sin. One egg is not more like another than Judas and antichrist.

3. Observe, that carnal practices will end in perdition. Because Judas is called the 'son of perdition.' let us see what course he took to undo himself. Let us look upon his sin and punishment,

[1.] For his sin. In the story of Judas, four sins are most remarkable—his covetousness, his hypocrisy, his reason, and his despair.

(1.) His covetousness. This was the root of all, as indeed it is 'the root of all evil.' 1 Tim. vi. 10. Christ had made him his treasurer; and carrying the bag is a shrewd temptation to a carnal heart: John xii. 6, 'This spake he, not that be cared for the poor, but because he was a thief, and had the bag, and bare what was put therein.' He was a bad keeper of the stock, appropriating it to his own use, to make himself a store and a subsistence; having a mind to forsake Christ, because he had so often heard him speak of his sufferings, and the persecution of the apostles. And mark, he pretends piety and religion to disguise his covetousness, when it was his own private interest: 'There was a woman that took a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus;' ver. 3, 'And Judas said, Why was not this ointment sold for three hundred pence, and given to the poor? But this he said, not that he cared for the poor, but was a thief, and had the bag.' At length love of money, joined together with spleen, prevailed on him so far that he sold his own master. He that loveth the world hateth God; he that is greedy of gain will sell his soul, and heaven, and Christ for money; there is nothing so vile but he will yield to it. There was somewhat of envy and revenge in it: Mat. xxvi. 14,15, 'Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silver.' Then; when was it? When Christ had checked him for rebuking the woman, he stomached the disappointment, as carnal men will storm when their hypocrisy is discovered, and their carnal ends disappointed. Christ by commending the woman enraged him.

(2.) His hypocrisy. He continued the profession of an apostle, preached against sin, seemed to be zealous for the poor. Nay, his hypocrisy was augmented by the constant means he had to convince him, he was hardened in it the more. Jesus Christ was a constant preacher of repentance; and all those sermons and discourses Judas heard securely. Christ often admonished him of his sin: John vi. 70, 'Have I not chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?' John xiii. 18, 'I speak not of you all, I know whom I have chosen; but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lift up his heel against me.' He was threatened that it had been better for him that he had never been born: Mat. xxvi. 24, 'The Son of man goeth as it is written of him; but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed; it had been good for that man if he had not been born.' But all this would not do, it did not rouse his conscience, and make him bethink himself, and to consider that he was not hidden in his disguise. When Christ spoke it more pressingly: Mat. xxvi. 23, [pg. 344] 'He that dippeth his hand with me in the dish, the same shall betray me;' ver. 25, 'Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I?' A benumbed conscience grows shameless. Certainly hypocrisy is a very hardening sin. With what face could the traitor, even when he was discovered, say,' Master is it I?'

(3.) His treason. He first made a prey of his master's money, and then of his master himself. Little sticks set the great ones on fire. When a man cleaves a block, he first enters it with small wedges and then with greater; and so doth the devil make entrance into the soul by degrees. Judas first purloineth, and steals out of the bag; then censures Christ as profusely lavishing: What needs this waste? It is not only a check to the woman, but to Christ himself; then upon Christ's rebuke he hates him, and then betrays him, Christ gave him no cause. When Peter dissuades him from suffering, he calls him Satan: Mat. xvi. 23, 'But he turned and said unto Peter, Get thee behind me, Satan, thou art an offence unto me; for thou savourest not the things that be of God, but those that be of men.' But he dealeth with Judas mildly, reproves him in the lump. But privy sores will not be touched without recalcitration, and lifting up of the heel: Mat. xxvi. 16, 'From that time he sought opportunity to betray him. He that hath malice in his heart will not want an occasion. Judas, hurried with wrath and avarice, seeketh a chapman; and at this very time the chief priests were gathered together considering how to attack Christ. And when once men resolve upon a course of sin, God in his just providence suffers them to have a fit opportunity. The chief priests, alarmed with the miracle of raising Lazarus, by which many were drawn to believe in him, were thinking how to seize him; and Judas comes in fitly at this very time: Mat. xxvi. 15, 'What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you?' God saith, Jer. vi. 20, 'I will lay stumbling-blocks before this people.' What I doth God lay stumbling-blocks? he that forbids the sin upon so severe a penalty? Providence orders the occasion, and carnal men will find the sin. If you will cherish the sin against warnings, it is just with God to give you the occasion. The treason may be amplified by the kindness of Christ to him; he never did him wrong, and he had been an eye-witness of his miracles, a hearer of his sermons, he had been familiarly treated by him. It aggravateth sins when done against mercy and kindness: John vi. 67, 'Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye Also go away?' It goes more to the heart of Christ that they should lift up the heel against him, that have been familiar with him, and been trained up as his friends.

(4.) His despair, which was a greater sin than his treason. This is 'to put a talent of lead into the ephah,' as the prophet speaks, Zech. v. 8, to make that more weighty which is weighty enough of itself already. Christ prayed for his persecutors: Luke xxiii. 34, 'Father, forgive them; they know not what they do;' and some of them found mercy. Peter, that denied him with oaths and curses, found sanctuary at the grace of God. There might have been hope, but Judas despairs. Usually this hath been the end of sinners that have been for a long tune hardened in sin, that they do despair of that mercy which they have abused and alighted Oh! hearken to this, all ye that [Pg. 345] commit sin with security, in the midst of all your displeasing of God; though you may eat and drink, and rise up to play, take heed lest at length you cry out,' I have sinned, and my sin is greater than I can bear;' for Judas came at last to this,' I hare sinned in that I have betrayed the innocent blood.' Mat. xxvii. 4. Sins, till they are committed, are hidden from the eye of conscience, but then guilt flasheth in the face. Before the commission, the devil will not let us see it, lest we should prevent it; and afterwards he represents it in a terrible glass that we may despair. After the act sin usually appears in its own colours; 'he despaired and hanged himself.' God's wrath and sin are exceeding terrible when they are charged on the conscience. Life is sweet, and man's nature is afraid of death; it must be some great matter that must cause a man to make an end of himself; and yet so great was his despair, that he was his own destroyer. Usually, it is thus with grievous sinners; they dream of nothing but mercy while they live, and when they come to die have nothing but wrath and hell. Their presumption of mercy doth but provide matter for despair. He repented, confessed his sin, restored the thirty pieces of silver. Conviction, confession, restitution are good, yet do not always lead to God: John xvi. 8, 'When he is come, he will reprove the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment.' This is as water out of a still, that is forced by fire, not as water out of a fountain.

2. We now come to his punishment. His temporal judgment you have recorded: Mat xxvii. 5, 'He cast down the pieces of silver in the temple, and departed, and went and hanged himself.' The pleasures of sin are very short; in the midnight he receiveth the money, and in the morning hangeth himself: 'The pleasures of sin are but for a season,' Heb. xi. 26. Till we sin, Satan is a parasite; but when once we are in the devil's hands, he turns tyrant; as an angler, when the fish hath swallowed the bait, discovers himself; or as a hunter lies out of sight till the beast is gotten into the toil, then he shouts and triumphs over the prey: Prov. xx. 17, 'Bread of deceit is sweet to a man; but afterwards his mouth shall be filled with gravel.' 'He went and hanged himself.' A man will endure the greatest evils rather than the gripes of an awakened conscience; it is worse than all the racks and strapados in the world. A man may make shift with other calamities: Prov. xviii. 14, 'The spirit of a man will sustain his infirmity; but a wounded spirit who can bear?' When once he hath broken his peace, and ran into God's displeasure, oh! then, who can stand under it? Job vii. 15, 'My soul chooseth strangling, and death rather than life.' Death, the most violent and most disgraceful, is more welcome to them than life in such a case, when a man's thoughts become his hell, and wherever he goeth he carrieth his hell about with him. 'He hanged himself.' The event of sin is always deadly to the sinner. Judas becometh his own executioner. Non potuit pejore manu perire guam sua, non debuit tamen. He could not die by a worser hand; Goof cannot want instruments to punish sinners; he can arm our own hands and thoughts against ourselves. Judas was his own judge and his own executioner.

There is another circumstance in his death: Acts i. 18,' And falling headlong, he burst asunder in the midst, and all his bowels [Pg. 346] gushed out' The rope breaking, he fell down, and then that accident befell him. God suiteth punishments to sine, to show his detestation of hypocrisy. He turns the traitor in and out; he was outwardly an apostle, inwardly a traitor; therefore his bowels and inwards are now poured forth. And then follows the infamy of it: Acts i. 19, 'And it was known unto all the dwellers at Jerusalem, insomuch as that field is called hi their proper tongue, Aceldama, that is to say, The field of blood.' Thus God will do, pour shame and contempt upon them that are false to him: Prov. xxvi. 25, 26, 'When he speaketh fair, believe him not, for there are seven abominations in his heart: whose hatred is covered with deceit, his wickedness shall be showed before the whole congregation.' First or last the mask shall fall off, and a man shall be betrayed to shame and infamy. Of the woman whom Judas envied, Christ saith, Mat xxvi. 13, 'verily I say unto you, Wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this that this woman hath done be told for a memorial of her.' As the memorial of the just doth not go into the grave with him, so neither the infamy of the wicked; here is an everlasting infamy upon Judas. Judas is remembered in the Lord's supper: 'The Lord Jesus, the same night in which he was betrayed, took bread,' 1 Cor. xi. 23; as Pilate is remembered in the creed. But all this is nothing to hell; he is gone to his own place, where we must leave him as the first-fruits of reprobates.

Use. Let us hate those sins that brought Judas to destruction. If you imitate him, you make him your patriarch. We all defy his memory, but we love his practices. Every one that beareth the name of a Christian would have nothing to do with Judas. Abandon his sins; you have heard what they are.

1. Covetousness. It is the root of all evil This is that which betrayed Christ Let us turn our displeasure upon the sin rather than the person; it made an apostle to become a devil. We stroke it with a gentle censure, as if it were but a little evil. Oh! you do not know how far this may carry you: Ps. x. 3, 'The wicked boasteth of his heart's desire, and blesseth the covetous, whom the Lord abhorreth.' Sensuality hath more of the beast; covetousness seems to have more of the man. Oh! but think of it; here was the rise. Covetousness beginneth with inordinate desire, and ends in injustice, that (with hypocrisy to veil it) brings hardening; this hardness brings at length to despair, and so you are made sons of perdition by degrees. A man may insensibly grow a perfect Judas, to betray Christ and ruin his own soul. Cherish but this one sin, follow it, and obey it, and it will not leave you till it hath brought you in laqueum diaboli, into the snare of the devil: 1 Tim. vi. 9, 'They that will be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition.' Beware of that covetousness which is proper to Judas, Degrading what is spent upon God. If thou thinkest thy time is lost that is spent in holy services, or thy money lost that is laid out upon God or good uses, thou hast much of his spirit, and it is a step to it Seneca said of the Jews, that they were a foolish people, because they lost a full seventh part of their lives, meaning the sabbath. Oh! there are more of his mind, that think all is lost [Pg. 347] that is not laid out upon their callings, and upon their sports and pleasures, and upon their temporal provision; that look upon the sabbath as a melancholy interruption; that say, as Amos viii. 5, 'When will the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat?'

2. Beware of hypocrisy, or of taking up the profession of Christianity for carnal ends. Oh! look to your grounds and motives, when you take up with the stricter ways of Christ. A sound beginning will have a happy end; but if you take up this profession upon carnal reasons, one time or other you will fall off, and all will end in shame and horror. Therefore take heed of following Christ for the loaves, John vi. 26. It was an old complaint, non diligunt Jesum propter Jesum. Men have their carnal ends in religion, as to make it a step to promotion, a cloak to injustice, a means to get rich matches. Whatever thou dost in religion, do it upon reasons of religion. Especially take heed of neglecting warnings, reproofs, and checks of conscience; stifling of convictions makes way for hardness. When you are convinced of any sin, or neglect of duty, Oh! do not' hold the truth in unrighteousness.' Rom. i. 18. Truths many times are imprisoned in the conscience; there they are, but they cannot get a fair hearing till God give them a gaol-delivery, and bring them out of the house of bondage. The devil holds you prisoners; when you hold the truth in prison, when you are convinced of any sin, or of the neglect of any duty, do not choke conscience, but humble thyself, till the heart be gained to practise the duty, and the disposition of heart towards sin be in some measure abated.

3. Beware of treason against Christ. God forbid, you will say, any of us should be treacherous to Christ Many are so that seem to defy it. Judas did put a great affront upon Christ when he sold him for thirty pieces, a cheap and vile price. You will find in the law that thirty pieces was the price of a slave: Exod. xxi. 32, 'If an ox shall push s man-servant or maid-servant, he shall give unto their master thirty shekels, and the ox shall be stoned.' They proffered no more than was wont to be given for the basest of men. Possibly there may be something of mystery in it, that Christ should be sold for the price of a servant or slave; however, it aggravated his treason and treachery. There are many such Judases alive, that do but wait for a chapman, that are ready to sell heaven, and happiness, and religion, and all their profession, for a penny matter. God tries us, as Constantius did them in his army. Having some sense of the Christian religion, he made this proclamation, Whoever would not renounce their profession, they should no longer have their military places; and this he did to prove them. Said he, For if they be not faithful to their God, they will not be faithful to me. So the Lord in his providence seems to put us upon such a trial, whether we will renounce our profession. Though we cannot sell Christ in person, and there be no priests to deal with us, yet Satan is still alive; and therefore, when for worldly ease and peace, and handfuls of barley and pieces of silver, we part with the promise, and comfort, and hopes of it, and hazard the favour of God and peace of conscience, for the trifling matters of the world, we are guilty of this treason of Judas. Though you hate the memory of [Pg. 348] Judas, you love his sin. I observe that the historical passages of Christ's sufferings are often morally verified. The Jews preferring Barabbas, by the sensualist preferring his pleasures and brutish and swinish delights before the delights of communion with Christ; Judas his selling Christ, by the mammonist that yieldeth against conscience, for a little worldly gain, and sustentation of himself here in this present world.

4. Take heed of his despair. Oh! cherish the repentance of Peter, but not of Judas. If you have sinned against God, go out and weep bitterly, but take sanctuary at the Lord's grace. Do not hug a distemper instead of a duty. There were two ingredients wanting in Judas' repentance, that should be in every true penitent:

[1.] Love to conversion. Whatever a convinced hypocrite doth, ho doth it out of self-love. Pharaoh could say, Take away this plague; he doth not say, Take away this hard heart Every creature loveth its own quiet and safety. Wicked men only hate sin when they feel wrath, and are surprised with horror and trouble; not out of a love to grace, but fear of hell. When hurt is at hand, the fear of it worketh upon us. True repentance cometh from a sight of the beauty, and excellency, and sweetness that is to be found in the ways of God. And they grieve, not only for the effects of his wrath, because God is angry, but because God is offended.

[2.] Hopes of mercy. Judas goeth not to God, but hangs himself. No conviction is good that doth not lead to God. When the Spirit convinces of sin, he convinces also of righteousness, John xvi. 8. And the heirs of promise are described to be those that' fly for refuge to the hope that is set before them.' Heb. vi. 18. They are sensible that there is an avenger of blood at their heels, that the wrath of God is pursuing them for their sin. Oh 1 but they run to take sanctuary at the grace of God. Judas' sin stuck close to him, and he caste away himself; but Peter runs to Christ, and Christ sends him a comfortable message: Mark xvi. 7, 'go, tell my disciples, and Peter, that I go before them into Galilee.'

4. Observe that the wicked, in their machinations against the church, do but draw perdition upon themselves. The church hath benefit by Judas' treason; we are redeemed, and God hath glory; but he is the eon of perdition. Judas was the first heretic of the gospel, denying Christ's godhead; he betrayed him, thinking him a mere man; and he was the first false brother and persecutor. And now heretics and persecutors, what do they carry away but shame? The plots blow up the author. Heresies edify the church, but damn the broacher. Light breaketh out by knocking of flints. Persecutors are an iron in the fire; heated too hot, burneth their fingers that hold it, but the church is purged. The church was beholden to Charles the Fifth: God doth it to show his justice, power. ,and wisdom.

[1.] His justice, that they are taken in their own net. Judas was hanged ere Christ was brought to the cross: Ps. lxxvi. 10, 'Surely the wrath of men shall praise thee.'

[2.] His wisdom: 'He taketh the wise in their own craftiness.' The wise painter knoweth how to lay on black lines and shadows. All their policy is but a spider's web, woven with much art, but it cometh [Pg. 349] to nothing. God will be known to be only wise, even when wicked men think to overreach him; as the governor of a castle, that is privy to the plots of his enemies, he knows what they will do, and suffers them to run on to such a point.

[3.] His power. Let Cain, Pharaoh, Achitophel, Haman, Herod, Judas speak; is not this true? They all confess they did but kick against the pricks, dash against the rocks, roll up a stone that will fall upon them, and break them all to pieces. It is the devil's torment that all his plots are turned to his loss, and the good of those he hated most; all his instruments are but executioners of God's will, while they rush against it. As men walking in a ship, the vessel keepeth its course though they move in a contrary way; or as in clocks, though some wheels move one way, and some another, yet all tend to make the clock go.

5. Observe, in the church are wicked men, who may finally miscarry; nay, men eminent for a while in the church, yet afterwards prove dreadful apostates. There was a Hum in the ark, a Judas among the apostles. The visible church never wanteth a mixture; there is no possibility to eschew it. Partly because they may be useful as to external employment and service. God hath a use for wicked men, as ? dead post to support a living tree. They may have gifts for the benefit of the body. Wicked men may supply the place of an officer, as Judas was an apostle. A wooden leg may be a stay to the body, though it be not a true member: Mat. vii. 22, 23, 'Many shall say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name, and in thy name cast out devils, and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you; depart from me, ye that work iniquity.' Christ will disclaim them, as here he doth. A torch giveth never the less light though carried by a blackamore; nor is the gospel less efficacious because managed by carnal instruments. Partly because God hath reserved a perfect discrimination till the last day, lest the wheat should be pulled up with the tares. He knew men were envious and censorious, therefore till sins be open he doth not allow us to judge. Partly to show us his patience to the worst of men. Judas was continued among the apostles; Christ knew him when he was a thief as well as when he was a traitor; before he discovered the traitor he bore with the thief; though a eon of perdition, he doth not deny him the means.

Use 1. Do not rest in outward privileges. Say, What am I? It is a privilege to be a member of the church. David accounted it so 'to be a doorkeeper in the house of God,' Ps. Ixxxiv. 10. A man may be an apostle of great authority; but there is a more excellent way, that is grace. Outward advantages, without special grace, will not servo the turn. Judas was under Christ's own instruction.

Use 2. Look to your grounds and motives upon which you take up the profession of the name of Christ. A sound beginning will have -A happy ending; but if it be only upon carnal reasons, some time in-other you will fall off, and all will end in shame and horror.

Use 3. When scandals arise, the whole body is not to be condemned for the miscarriages of some members. As the beauty of a street is not to be reckoned by the sink and kennel, nor the sound grapes by [Pg. 350] the rotten ones. We are not to condemn religion and religious persons though some among them prove scandalous; we are not to think the worse of Christ and his apostles because a Judas was in their com-pan}'. In the flour there is chaff as well as wheat; in the field there are tares as well as corn; in the draw-net there are bad fish as well as good: Mat. xviii. 7, 'Woe unto the world because of offences, for it must needs be that offences come; but woe to that man by whom the offence cometh.' Such is the enmity of man to good, that he is glad to have occasion to blemish the truth. Are there not many that are sincere, and walk unblamably? And doth not thy heart tell thee, thou hast no reason to speak against them? Religion itself condemneth such ways.

Use 4. Hearken unto this, you that commit sin with jollity and security; you can eat and drink, and rise up to play. Oh! take heed lest at length thou criest out, Oh! I have sinned; I have damned my soul; I have betrayed Christ t Judas came at length to this: 'I have sinned, in that I have betrayed innocent blood.' Mat. xxvii. 4. Some are set up as beacons to warn others, that by their dear cost we may learn to beware. We are whipped on their backs; as some malefactors, their bodies are not buried, but their quarters are set up on gates of cities and places of great resort, for a warning to others. Ut qui vivi noluerunt prodesse, eorum morte respublica utatur, saith Seneca. As Lot's wife was turned into a pillar of salt to season after ages. It is the property of God's children still to edify themselves by what they see in others, be it good or evil. The Lord grant both you and I may tremble at this instance, to stir up watchfulness for our own safety, that we may not fall into like offences. We have to do with a just and a holy God. Thin exhalations torn into great clouds and storms.

Thirdly, The next circumstance is an appeal to scripture, 'That the scriptures might be fulfilled.' Why doth Christ make this appeal? Partly to avoid the scandal, as if Christ could not discern a hypocrite. Partly to draw their minds from the treason of Judas and the malice of the Jews to the counsel of God revealed in the scriptures. Partly to show the certain accomplishment of whatever is foretold by the Holy Ghost I shall prosecute these two last reasons, and thence take two observations.

1. Observe, in the whole passion of Christ nothing fell out by chance. He was not betrayed by chance; it was a circumstance that fell under the ordination of God. It is notable that the same word is used of Judas: Mat xxvi. 15, 'What will ye give me, \~kagw\~ \~paradwsw\~, and I will deliver him unto you?' of the Jews: John xviii. 30, 'If he were not a malefactor, \~ou\~ \~paredwkamen\~, we would not have delivered him to thee;' of Pilate: Mat xxvii. 26, 'When he had scourged Jesus, \~paredwkamen\~, he delivered him up to be crucified;' and of God: Rom. viii. 32, 'Who spared not his own Son, \~alla\~ \~paredwken\~, but gave him up to the death for us all.' But there are express places of scripture: Acts ii. 24, 'He being delivered, \~ekdoton\~, by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God.' We must look not to instruments but to God's hand. The word \~ekdotov\~ may have reference to a prince giving royal gifts; he gave us this precious gift out of his treasury; or to a judge who delivereth a malefactor into the hands of [Pg. 351] the executioner. Christ died not only as a martyr but as a surety; here lieth all the hopes of our salvation. So Acts iv. 28, 'For to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done.' God decreed it, and God overruled it. This is in part the meaning.

2. Observe, to show the truth of whatever is foretold in scripture, scriptures must be fulfilled, whatever inconveniences fall out. See how tender God is of his word.

[1.] He valueth it above all his works: John x. 35,' The scriptures cannot be broken;' Luke xxi. 33, 'Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.' God is not so tender of his works as of his word. It is more firm and stable than the frame of heaven and earth; that shall be dissolved, but not the least point of truth shall fail. Heaven and earth do only continue till all that is prophesied of in the word be fulfilled: 'His word endureth for ever.' We shall have the comfort of it in heaven, when all these things are melted.

[2.] Nay, which is more, the treason plotted against Christ taketh place that the word may be fulfilled; and one main reason why Christ came into the world was to accomplish the word; though it cost him his life, yet, saith he, Heb. x. 7, 'Lo, I come (in the volume of the book it is written of me), to do thy will, O God.' Promises shall be fulfilled, though most difficult for God to grant or us to believe. Rather than God baulk from his word, God would send his Son to die for a sinful world

Use 1. Wait for the accomplishment of prophecies; fear the truth of threatenings: Hosea vii. 12, 'I will chastise them, as their congregation hath heard;' Isa. xxxiv. 16, 'Seek ye out of the book of the Lord, and read: no one of these shall fail, none shall want her mate. For my mouth, it hath commanded; and his Spirit, it hath gathered them.' Look into the book of the law, where these curses are recorded. When the day of execution cometh, take this prophecy into your hands; see if any of these be found wanting, not one thing shall fail. This is the unhappiness of ministers; all other professions are believed when they discover danger, but 'who hath believed our report?' It is our duty to observe all occurrences, and compare the rule and event together, and observe what truth God makes good by what is fallen out and come to pass, and so wait for the accomplishment of promises; whatever inconveniences fall out, they shall be fulfilled. When a promise is thrown into the fire, it shall come out again and be fulfilled in its due time.

Use 2. Here is comfort to the godly against the wrath of their enemies. God hath a hand not only in sickness and famine, but the treasons of men against Christ. If the rod smites, it is in the Father's hand. Let men live how they will, yet God will have his will, if not his will of command, his will of decree. His glory shall prevail at, last. You cannot hurt God; whether you will or no, he will be glorified.

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