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God's Rebuke of Appearances.

God's Rebuke of Appearances.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY Alexander Gardiner Mercer

Matt, xxvii. i.

FOR any thoughtful person, whatever his beHef, there
is indescribable interest in the scenes just pre-
ceding the death of Christ. The closing of his story, it
seems, was meant to be the most impressive record of
this world.
BY Alexander Gardiner Mercer

Matt, xxvii. i.

FOR any thoughtful person, whatever his beHef, there
is indescribable interest in the scenes just pre-
ceding the death of Christ. The closing of his story, it
seems, was meant to be the most impressive record of
this world.

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on Feb 01, 2014
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GOD'S REBUKE OF APPEARANCES. BY Alexander Gardiner MercerMatt, xxvii. i. FOR any thoughtful person, whatever his beHef, there is indescribable interest in the scenes just pre-ceding the death of Christ. The closing of his story, it seems, was meant to be the most impressive record of this world. I mean to speak of this great scene, excluding everything else and everything higher, with but one thought mainly in view, — God's rebuke of ap-pearances, — as a vast illustration of those words which the Lord himself once uttered : '' Judge not according to the appearance, but judge righteous judgment." If we consider this scene as it was looked at then, and as it was in fact, we shall see, as we never saw before, the rebuke of appearances, first in showing how guilt may look like virtue, and virtue like guilt. There at that moment was virtue itself, it would seem, in the form of high accusers, standing for God and his law, and ready to vindicate that great cause. Who were they? They were the high dignitaries of the Jewish
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266 GOD'S REBUKE OF APPEARANCES. people, engaged for religion and order against innova-tion, the venerable protectors of the sacred past. There also was guilt, in the form of a man accused and finally condemned. He seemed to be a singular person, for a time popular with the mass, but one who could not long be popular with any mass; besides, he was de-tested by the great heads, for his views threatened the comfort and respectability of the better classes, and indeed the existing order of things. There he stands quite friendless, obviously guilty and accursed; for are not the rulers against him? is not public opinion against him? are not the ardor and cries of the multitude joined with the gravity of the rulers and the aged, — the one vitalizing, the other consecrating the cause? So the man before them is obviously igno-minious; their hearts feel it, and he looks so to their very eyes. Such is the color of power, which can make the blue of the heavens take a different tint.
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So he looked to them, while they looked to them-selves in every point pure and respectable persons. They went not into the Roman *' judgment-hall, lest they should be defiled, but that they might eat the passover." Indeed, so pure, and with this blood upon their hands ! They were also grateful for God's deliver-ances ; at least they religiously kept the passover, and at this moment, when about to eat the paschal lamb, whose blood saved the early Hebrews, they make ready to destroy that other lamb, ** which taketh away the sins of the world." GOD'S REBUKE OF APPEARANCES. 26/ See these merciful, scrupulous, devout, theological Jews, — see how sacred their guilt appears; and see the very highest, holiest, looking so low in the opinion of the moment that every man can spit upon him, and his assigned place is between two crucified thieves. They forget their own history, — the few pure and high against the many low ; they take for granted that what
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