King of the Jews - A story of Christ's last days on Earth
by William T. Stead
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The Church Press


Copyright 1900 and 1902

By George T. B. Davis.




The entry into Jerusalem

"Knelt down and anointed Jesus' feet."

"Drinking of it he passed the cup to Peter."

"He reached over and kissed him."

"What accusation have you to bring against this man?"

"Jesus staggered under the cross."

"It is finished."

He is risen.



Cast thyself down in adoring love, Race bowed down by the curse of God! Peace and grace out of Zion above! He is not wroth forever, Though his wrath be just—though uplifted his rod. Thus saith he, who changeth never: "I will not the death of a sinner—I will forgive— Let him live!" And he gave up his son the world from sin to free, Praise and thanks we give, Eternal, to thee!

Suddenly there was heard a noise of singing. A great multitude came pouring down the narrow street that runs past Pilate's house, chanting as they came, "Hail to thee, O Son of David!" Little children, old men and maidens ran forward, some raising palm branches, but all ever looking backward to one who should come. More and ever more streamed down the street into the open space in front of the temple, but still the Hosanna song went on.

At last, in the midst of the jubilant throng, Jesus appeared, clad in a long garment of gray, over which was cast a flowing robe. His face was composed and pensive. His long black hair and beard surrounded features somewhat swarthy from the rays of the hot sun, and he rode on the side of the ass's colt that seemed almost too small to support his weight.

John, the beloved disciple, dressed in green raiment with a red mantle, led the little ass, carrying in his hand a long pilgrim staff. The mob pressed tumultuously around, singing and crying: "Hosanna to the Son of David!" Jesus blessed them as he rode through their midst. After passing the house of Pilate he suddenly dismounted. Then Jesus advanced to the front of the temple. The hosannas died away as he contemplated the busy scene. There were the priests busily engaged with the money-changers. Nathanael, chief orator of the Sanhedrin, stood conspicuous among the chattering throng. There were baskets with pigeons for sale as sacrifices. There were the tables of the dealers. Buying and selling, haggling and bargaining were in full swing in the market-place.

For a moment Jesus, who was above the average height, and whose mien was dignified and commanding, stood as if amazed and indignant, then suddenly burst out upon the astonished throng of priests and merchants, with the following protest: "What see I here? Shall my Father's house be thus dishonored? Is this the house of God, or is it a market-place? How can the strangers who come from the land of the Gentiles to worship God perform their devotions in this tumult of usury? And you," he continued, advancing a step toward the priests, who stared at him in amazement, "You priests, guardians of the temple, can you see this abomination and permit it to continue? Woe be unto you! He who searches the heart knows why you encourage such disorder."

The crowd, silent now, watched with eager interest the money-changers and priests, who but imperfectly understanding what had been said to them, stared at the intruder.

"Who can this man be?" they asked.

And then from the lips of all the multitude there went up the simultaneous response, as if the whole throng had but one voice: "It is the great prophet from Nazareth, in Galilee!"

Jesus, then moving forward into the midst of the astonished merchants in the temple, exclaimed, in words of imperious authority: "Away with you from here, servants to Mammon! I command it. Take what belongs to you and quit the holy place!"

One of the traders exclaimed in terror: "Come, let us go, that his wrath destroy us not."

Then the priests, recovering somewhat their self-possession, stepped forward to remonstrate. "Why troublest thou this people?" they asked. "Everything here is for sacrifice. How canst thou forbid that which the council has allowed?" And then the traders, led by one Dathan, chimed in, in eager chorus: "Must there then be no more sacrifices?"

For answer Jesus stood forth and exclaimed: "There is room enough outside the temple for your business. 'My house,' says the Lord, 'shall be called a house of prayer for all nations;' you have made it a den of thieves."

And then crying, "Away with all this!" with one vigorous movement he overturned the tables of the money-changers.

A rabbi exclaimed: "This must not be—thou darest not do this!" but his voice passed unheeded in the tumult. The earthenware vessels fell crashing to the ground, the money was scattered over the floor. Some of the dismayed merchants crying, "My money, oh! my money," scrambled for the glittering coins. Others stared in fury at the unceremonious intruder. Half a dozen doves, released from their wicker baskets, took to flight amid the despairing lamentation of their owners: "Oh, my doves; who will compensate me for this loss?"

Their lamentations were rudely cut short. A small rope was hanging near by. Seizing it in the middle and twisting it once or twice round his hand, Jesus converted it into a whip of cords, with which he drove out the traders. "Away! get you hence. I will that this desecrated place be restored to the worship of the Father!"

The traders fled, but the priests remained, and, after muttering together, they asked in angry tones: "By what miraculous sign dost thou prove that thou hast the power to act in this wise?"

Jesus answered them: "You seek after a sign; yea, a sign shall be given unto you. Destroy this temple, and in three days I will have built it up again."

The priests replied, contempt mingling with indignation in their tones: "What a boastful declaration! Six and forty years was this temple in building, and thou wilt build it up again in three days!"

At this point the children who had been standing around watching the altercation with the dealers, cried out in unison with their elders: "Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord!"

The priests, shocked at their homage, were sorely displeased, and appealed to Jesus, saying: "Hearest thou what they say? Forbid them!"

They paused for his reply.

Then Jesus answered and said unto them: "I say unto you, if they were silent the very stones would cry out."

Encouraged by this emphatic approval, the children cried out once more, louder than ever, the sound of their childish voices filling the temple: "Hosanna to the Son of David!"

Then the Pharisees, who stood by the overthrown tables of the money-changers, spoke up and said angrily to the little ones: "Silence, you silly children!"

Jesus turned to them and said: "Have you never read 'Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise.' That which is hidden from the proud is revealed unto babes?" And as the priests and Pharisees muttered in indignation among themselves, he continued: "For the Scripture must be fulfilled. The stone which the builders rejected is become the headstone of the corner. The Kingdom of God shall be taken from you and it shall be given to a people which shall bring forth the fruits thereof. But that stone, whosoever shall fall upon it shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall it shall grind him to powder. Come, my disciples, I have done what the Father has commanded me, I have vindicated the honor of his house. The darkness remains darkness, but in many hearts it will soon be day. Let us go into the inner court of the temple that we may there pray unto the Father." Thereupon Jesus, followed by his disciples, disappeared in the interior of the temple, while the people cried aloud as with one voice: "Praise be to the anointed one!" and the priests said angrily: "Silence, rabble!" The Pharisees adding: "Ye shall all be overthrown with your leader." To which the crowd responded by crying louder than ever: "Blessed be the Kingdom of David which again appears!"

Then Nathanael, a leading man in the Sanhedrin, tall and well favored, wearing a horned mitre, and possessing the tongue of an orator, stood forth, and seeing Jesus had departed and that there was now no one to withstand him in the hearing of the people, lifted up his voice and cried: "Whosoever holds with our fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob, let him stand by us! The curse of Moses upon all the rest!"

Then a rabbi in blue velvet apparel, sprang forward and declared with a loud voice: "He is a deceiver of the people, an enemy of Moses, an enemy of the Holy Law!" The people answered mockingly: "Then, if so, why did you not arrest him? Is he not a prophet?"

Several of the multitude followed Jesus into the temple, but the rest remained listening to the priests, who cried more vehemently than ever: "Away with the prophet! He is a false teacher."

But Nathanael, seizing the opportunity, thus addressed the remainder of the multitude: "Oh, thou blinded people, wilt thou run after the innovator, and forsake Moses, the prophets, and thy priests? Fearest thou not that the curse which the law denounces against the apostate will crush thee? Would you cease to be the chosen people?"

The crowd shaken by this appeal, responded sullenly: "That would we not."

Nathanael pressed his advantage. "Who," he asked, "has to watch over the purity of the law? Is it not the holy Sanhedrin of the people of Israel? To whom will you listen; to us or to him? To us or to him who has proclaimed himself the expounder of a new law?"

Then the multitude cried all together: "We hear you! we follow you!" Nathanael continued: "Down with him, then, this man full of deceit and error!"

The people replied: "Yes, we stand side by side with you! Yes, we are Moses' disciples!" and the priests answered, speaking all together: "The God of your fathers will bless you for that."

At this moment loud and angry voices were heard approaching down the narrow street that led to the house of Annas, the high priest. The priests and Pharisees listened eagerly. As they caught the word "revenge" they turned to each other with exultant looks. Meanwhile Dathan, a merchant, the chief of the traders who had been driven from the temple, was seen to be leading on his fellow merchants, who were lifting up their hands and weeping as they recounted their losses. They shouted confusedly as they came: "This insult must be punished! Revenge! Revenge! He shall pay dearly for his insolence. Money, oil, salt; doves—he must pay for all. Where is he, that he may experience our vengeance?"

The priests replied: "He has conveyed himself away."

"Then," cried the traders, "we will pursue him."

But Nathanael, seeing what advantage might result from the discontent of the merchants, arrested their pursuit. "Stay friends," he said; "the faction that follows this man is at present too large. If you attacked them it might cause a dangerous fight, which the Roman sword would finish. Trust to us. He shall not escape punishment."

And the priests who stood around Nathanael cried: "With us and for us: that is your salvation!" Then Dathan and his friends exclaimed triumphantly: "Our victory is near."

Nathanael assured of the control of the multitude, continued: "We are now going to inform the council of the Sanhedrin of today's events."

The traders impatiently exclaimed: "We will go with you. We must have satisfaction."

But Nathanael dissuaded them, saying: "Come in an hour's time to the forecourt of the high priest. I will plead your cause in the council, and bring forward your complaint."

And as Nathanael and the priests and the Pharisees went out, the traders and the people cheered them, crying aloud: "We have Moses! Down with every other! We are for Moses' law to the death! Praise be to our fathers! Praise to our father's God!"

* * * * * *

Then the high priests and the rulers and the elders gathered together late in the night in the council of the Sanhedrin. In the highest place sat Caiaphas with his jewelled breast-plate, in robes of white embroidered with gold. A vestment of green and gold covered his shoulders, and on his head he wore a white-horned mitre adorned with golden bells, which added to the majesty of his aspect. Annas, the aged high priest, sat on his left. Nathanael, also on the raised dais, was on the right. Below him sat the rabbis in blue velvet, while seated around were Pharisees, scribes and doctors of the law.

Caiaphas, whose white hair and beard showed that he was well stricken in years, was still in the full vigor of life. As president of the Sanhedrin, he briefly opened the session:

"Honored brothers, fathers and teachers of the people, an extraordinary occurrence is the occasion of the present extraordinary assembly. Listen to it from the mouth of our worthy brother."

Then Nathanael arose, and standing on the right hand of Caiaphas, said: "Is it allowed; O, fathers, to say a word?"

All answered: "Yes, speak! speak!"

Then said Nathanael: "Marvel not, O fathers, that you should be called together at so late an hour for the transaction of business. It must be only too well known to you what we have with shame been compelled to see today with our own eyes. You have seen the triumphal progress of the Galilean through the Holy City. You have heard the Hosannas of the befooled populace. You have perceived how this ambitious man arrogates to himself the office of the high priest. What now lacks for the destruction of all civil and ecclesiastical order? Only a few steps further, and the law of Moses is upset by the innovations of this misleader. The sayings of our forefathers are despised, the fasts and purifications abolished, the Sabbath desecrated, the priests of God deprived of their office, and the holy sacrifices are at an end."

As Nathanael concluded, all the fathers of the council exclaimed with one voice: "True—most true." As he had been speaking they had been interchanging notes of appreciative and sympathetic comment. But it was not until Caiaphas spoke that the Sanhedrin was roused to the highest pitch of excitement. Caiaphas, who spoke with great fire and fervor, thus addressed the rulers of Israel: "And more than all this. Encouraged by the success of his efforts, he will proclaim himself King of Israel (murmurs of alarm and indignation), then the land will be distracted with civil war and revolt, and the Romans will come with their armies and bring destruction upon our land and our people. Woe is me for the children of Israel, for the Holy City, and for the temple of the Lord, if no barrier is opposed to the evil while there is yet time! It is indeed high time. We must be the saviors of Israel. Today must a resolution be passed, and whatever is resolved upon must be carried out without regard to any other consideration. Do we all agree to this?"

And all the Sanhedrin as one man cried out: "We do."

Up sprang a priest to emphasize his vote:

"A stop must be put to the course of this misleader."

Caiaphas then said: "Give your opinion without reserve as to what should be done."

And then a rabbi arose and said: "If I may be permitted to declare my opinion unreservedly, I must assert that we ourselves are to blame that things have come to such a pass. Against this onrushing ruin much too mild measures have been employed. Of what avail have been our disputations with him, or what has it profited that we have by our questionings, put him in a dilemma; that we have pointed, out the errors in his teaching and his violations of the law? Nay, of what use has been even the excommunication pronounced on all who acknowledged him as the Messiah? All this was labor in vain. Men turn their backs on us, and all the world runs after him. To restore peace to Israel, that must be done which ought to have been done long ago—we must arrest him and throw him into prison. That is the only way to put an end to his evil influence."

The suggestion was hailed with enthusiasm, and springing to their feet they cried: "Yea, that must be done!"

Then a third priest stood up and said: "Once he is in prison, the credulous people will no longer be attracted by the fascination of his manner or the charm of his discourse. When they have no more miracles to gape at; he will soon be forgotten."

And a fourth priest exulted as he added: "In the darkness of his dungeon let him make his light shine and proclaim his Messiahship to the walls of the jail."

Then it was the turn of the Pharisees. The first said: "He has been allowed long enough to lead the people astray and to denounce as hypocrisy the strict virtue of the Holy Order of the Pharisees. Let him suffer in fetters for his contempt."

A second Pharisee added complacently: "The enthusiasm of his hangers-on will soon cool down when he who has promised them freedom is himself in chains."

By this time it was evident all the council was of one mind. Then Annas, the venerable high priest, arose and addressed the Sanhedrin with much emotion: "Now, venerable priests, a ray of confidence and joy penetrates to my breast when I see your unanimous resolution. Alas! an unspeakable grief has weighed down my soul at the sight of the onward progress of the false teachings of this Galilean. It seemed as if I had lived to old age but in order to have the misfortune of seeing the downfall of our holy law. But now I will not despair. The God of our fathers still lives, and he is with us. If you have the courage to act boldly, and to stand firmly and faithfully together, there is safety at hand. Take courage, steadfastly pursue the aim in view, and be the deliverer of Israel, and undying fame will be your reward."

With one accord all answered and said: "We are of one mind," while the priests added, shouting eagerly, "Israel must be saved!"

Then Caiaphas began: "All honor to your unanimous resolution, worthy brethren, but now let me have the benefit of your wise counsels how we can most safely bring this deceiver into our power."

"It might be dangerous," remarked the first Pharisee, "to seize him now at the time of the feast. In the streets or in the temple he is everywhere surrounded by a mob of infatuated followers. It could easily lead to an uproar."

Then cried all the priests together with a loud voice, as if impatient that one should speak at a time: "But something must be done at once. The matter brooks no delay. Perhaps at the feast he might raise a commotion, and then it might come to pass that we should be consigned to the place which we have destined for him."

"No delay;" cried some other priests, "no delay!"

Then the second Pharisee stood up and said: "We cannot now seize him openly with the strong hand. We must carry out our scheme cunningly and in secret. Let us find out where he usually spends the night; then we could fall upon him unobserved and take him into custody."

Nathanael sprang to his feet, for the auspicious moment had come,—the furious merchants from the temple were without in the courtyard. "To track the fox to his lair will not be difficult. We could then soon find someone to help, if it should please the high council to offer a large reward."

Caiaphas at once put the resolution to the Sanhedrin. Rising from his seat he said, "If you, assembled fathers, agree, then in the name of the high council I will issue notice that whoever knows of his nightly resort, and will inform us of the same, will be rewarded for his pains."

With one voice the rulers and chief priests and scribes cried out, rising from their seats, "We are all agreed."

Then said Nathanael, "Without doubt we could secure the services, as informers, of those men whom the Galilean today has injured so deeply in the sight of all the people, driving them with a scourge out of the temple. From of old they were zealous of the law, but now they are thirsting for revenge against him who has made so unheard-of an attack upon their privileges."

"But where," said Caiaphas, "are these traders to be found?"

"They are waiting," said Nathanael, "in readiness in the outer court. I have promised them to be the advocate of their cause before the holy Sanhedrin, and they await our decision."

"Worthy priest," said Caiaphas, "inform them that the high council is disposed to listen to their grievance, and bring them in."

Nathanael as he went said, "This will be a joy to them and of great use to us."

When Nathanael left the hall, Caiaphas addressed the council with words of cheer: "The God of our fathers has not withdrawn his hand from us. Moses still watches over us. If only we can succeed in gathering around us a nucleus of men out of the people then I no longer dread the result. Friends and brethren, let us be of good courage, our fathers look down upon us from Abraham's bosom."

"God bless our high priest!" rang through the hall as Nathanael, followed by Dathan and the other traders, returned to his place. He introduced them thus: "High priests and chosen teachers! These men, worthy of our blessing, appear before this assembly in order to lodge a complaint against the notorious Jesus of Nazareth, who has today insulted them in the temple in an unheard-of fashion and brought them to grief."

Then with one voice the traders, led by Dathan, cried out, "We beseech the council to procure us satisfaction. The council ought to support our righteous demands."

The priests and Pharisees responded eagerly, "You shall have satisfaction, we will answer for that."

Then ensued the following dialogue between the traders and the Sanhedrin:

The Traders: "Has not the council authorized us to display openly in the court of the temple all things useful for the sacrifice?"

A Priest: "Yes, that has been sanctioned. Woe be to those who disturb you in the exercise of this right!"

The Traders: "And the Galilean has driven us out with a scourge. And the tables of the money changers has he overturned, and released the doves. We demand satisfaction."

Caiaphas: "That you should have satisfaction the law decrees. Your losses will be made good in the meantime out of the temple treasury" (joy among the traders). "But that the offender himself may be duly punished it is necessary for us to have your help. What can we do so long as he is not in our power?"

The Traders: "He goes daily to the temple; there he can easily be arrested and carried off."

Caiaphas: "That will not do. You know that as he has a multitude of excited followers such a course might lead to a dangerous uproar. The thing must be done quietly."

The Traders: "That could be done best at night-time."

Caiaphas: "If you could find out where he retires at night he would soon be without tumult in our hands. Then would you not only have the delight of seeing him chastised, but also a considerable reward would fall to your lot."

Nathanael: "And you would also have rendered good service to the law of Moses if you assist in this."

Then all the traders cried out together: "You can depend upon us, we will spare no trouble."

And all the priests and Pharisees congratulated themselves that the business was going well. Dathan, conspicuous by his apparel, then volunteered a statement. He said: "I know one of his followers from whom I could easily gain some information if I could offer him a sufficient reward."

Caiaphas at once authorized him, "If thou findest such a one make all necessary promises in our name. Only don't loiter; we must attain our end before the feast."

Annas enjoined the strictest silence, to which with one voice the traders responded, "We swear it," and then Caiaphas proceeded to urge upon them the need of creating a party on their side among the people. "If, my good fellows, you really desire fully to glut your longing for revenge, then take care and use every means to kindle in others the same holy zeal which glows in you."

They answered that they had not waited for his prompting, but had already brought several others over to their side. "We will not rest until the whole populace is roused against him."

Annas and Caiaphas applauded their zeal. "You will thereby merit the greatest gratitude from the council," said Annas, and Caiaphas chimed in, "Openly will ye then be honored before all the people as you have been today put to shame before them by this presumptuous man."

"Our life for the law of Moses and the holy Sanhedrin," then cried the traders. "The God of Abraham guide you," said Caiaphas dismissing them, and they left the hall crying aloud, "Long live Moses! long live the high priests and the Sanhedrin! Even today may the role of the Galilean be played out!"

Then Caiaphas addressed these parting words to the council: "As though refreshed by sweet slumbers, I live once more. With such men as these we can put everything through. Now we shall see who will triumph,—he with his followers to whom he is always preaching love,—a love which is to include publicans and sinners and even the Gentiles also,—or we with this troop inspired by hate and revenge which we are sending against him. There can be no doubt to which side the victory will incline."

"The God of our fathers give us the victory!" said Annas; "joy in my old age will renew my youth!"

Then said Caiaphas, "Let us now break up, looking forward with confidence to the joy of victory. Praised be our fathers!"

And all the assembly with a deep, sonorous voice exclaimed, "Praised be the God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob!"



People of God behold; thy Savior is nigh to thee! He is come who was promised thee long ago. Oh! hear him, follow his guidance Blessing and life will he bring to thee.

But blind and deaf Jerusalem has shown herself; She has thrust back the hands held out to her in love; Therefore also the Highest has turned away his face, And lets her sink to destruction.

Jesus, accompanied by all his disciples, set out to pay his last visit to Bethany. Peter, with his staff in hand, walked with John beside the master. Judas was present, with disheveled locks and haggard look, James the Greater and James the Less, and Andrew and Thomas, and the rest of the disciples.

Then Jesus spoke unto them and said: "You know, dear disciples, that after two days is the feast of the Passover. So now let us make one last visit to our friends in Bethany, and then go to Jerusalem, where in these days all will be fulfilled which has been written by the prophets concerning the Son of Man."

The disciples understood not his saying, and after some questioning among themselves Philip ventured to address Jesus, saying unto him, "Has the day then really come at last when thou wilt restore the kingdom to Israel?"

Jesus looked upon Philip with tender compassion, and said unto him, "Then shall the Son of Man be delivered up to the Gentiles, and shall be mocked and spat upon and they will crucify him; but on the third day he will rise again."

Then said John in a voice that trembled with emotion, as the other disciples gazed at each other in horror, "Dear master, what dark and terrible words thou speakest. What are we to understand by them? Make it clear unto us."

Then Jesus answered and said unto him, "The hour is now come when the Son of Man shall be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, if a corn of wheat does not fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone, but if it die it bringeth forth much fruit. Now is the judgment of the world. Now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me."

Then were the breasts of the disciples troubled, for they could not understand what these things meant. Thaddeus said to Simon, "What does he mean by this speech?"

Simon replied with a puzzled air, "Why does he compare himself to a grain of corn?"

Then said Andrew unto him, "Lord, thou speakest at once of shame and of victory. I know not how to reconcile those ideas in my mind."

Jesus said, "That which is now dark to you as the night will be as clear as the day. I have told you before that you may not lose courage whatever may happen. Believe and hope. When the tribulation is passed, then you will see and understand."

Thomas answered and said unto him, "What I cannot understand is that thou shouldst speak of suffering and of death. Have we not heard from the prophets that the Messiah shall live forever? What can thine enemies do unto thee? One single word from thee would annihilate them all."

Jesus said unto him, "Thomas, reverence the secret counsels of God which thou canst not fathom."

Then, turning to the others, he said, "Yet a little while is the light with you. Walk while you have the light, lest darkness overtake you."

By this time they had approached near the village of Bethany, and there met them one Simon, after whom there came Lazarus, who was raised from the dead, with Martha, his sister, and Mary Magdalene, the latter tall, dark, with long black hair, in dark blue dress with a yellow mantle.

Simon pressed forward; he was an old man and he hastened to meet Jesus. "Welcome, best of teachers, O what joy that thou shouldst honor my house with thy entrance. Dear friends, be also welcome," he exclaimed; but he was startled to hear the reply, "Simon, for the last time I, with my disciples, lay claim to thy hospitality."

Simon replied in grief, "Say not so, Lord. Often still shall Bethany afford thee brief repose."

By this time Lazarus drew near; he was of less than middle stature and silent, as if his sojourn in the other world left him little to speak of in this. "See," said Jesus, "there is our friend Lazarus."

"My Lord," cried Lazarus, embracing him, "the vanquisher of death, lifegiver and Lord, I see thee once again and hear the voice that called me from the grave."

Then hastened the Magdalene to his side, and kneeling down, "Rabbi," she exclaimed; Martha also said, "Welcome, Rabbi."

Then Jesus blessed them, saying, "God's blessing be upon you!"

Then Martha asked, "Wilt thou Lord, grant me the happiness of serving thee?" while the Magdalene timidly inquired, "Wilt thou despise a token of love and gratitude from me?"

And Jesus replied with tenderness, "Do, good souls, that which you purpose to do."

Then said Simon, "Best of masters, come under my roof and refresh thyself and thy disciples."

So Jesus entered into Simon's house, exclaiming, "Peace be upon this house," to which the disciples added, speaking together, "And to all that dwell therein." Then said Simon, "Lord, all is ready, set thee down at table and bid thy disciples sit down also."

Then Jesus sat down to meat, saying, "Let us now, beloved disciples, enjoy with thanks the gifts which our Father in heaven bestows upon us through Simon, his servant. O Jerusalem, would that my coming were as dear to thee as it is to these, my friends! But thou are stricken with blindness."

"Yes, Lord," remarked Lazarus; "O best of masters, dangers threaten thee. The Pharisees are anxiously wondering whether thou wilt come up to the Passover. They are eagerly watching for thy destruction."

Simon said, "Stay here, Lord; here thou art safe."

Then Peter interposed with an entreaty, "Lord, it is good to be here. Remain here, in the seclusion of this house, served by faithful love, till the gathering storm be passed."

But Jesus rebuked him sternly, saying: "Get thee behind me, tempter. Thou savorest not of the things that are of God, but those that be of men. Can the reaper tarry in the shade while the ripe harvest awaits him? The Son of Man came not to be ministered unto, but to minister and to give his life a ransom for many."

Then the dark-browed Judas spoke, uttering this time the thought of all. "But, master, what will become of us if thou givest up thy life?"

A chorus of approval burst from all the disciples, "Ah, all our hopes would then be destroyed."

"Trouble not yourselves," said Jesus, "I have power to lay down my life and I have power to take it up again. This commandment have I received of my Father."

And lo, while they were yet speaking, Mary Magdalene silently approached Jesus, carrying in her hand a bottle of ointment of spikenard, very precious, which she poured over his head as she murmured but one word, "Rabbi." And Jesus also said but one word, "Mary," but his tone was full of tenderness and love.

As the perfume of the ointment filled the room the disciples spoke among themselves. "What an exquisite odor!" said Thomas, leaning past the others to look.

"It is real oil of spikenard, very costly," said Bartholomew.

Thaddeus added, "Such an honor has never been shown to our master."

But Judas could not contain himself. He growled from his distant seat, "To what purpose is this waste? The money might have been much better expended."

"Yes," said Thomas, "I almost think so, too."

Then Magdalene, heedless of the murmurs of the disciples, knelt down and anointed Jesus' feet and wiped them with her long black tresses. Jesus, after a little while, noticing the muttering down the table, asked, "What are you saying to each other? Why do you condemn that which is done only from grateful love."

The Magdalene knelt back, sheltering herself as it were behind her Lord.

Judas blurted out impetuously his dissatisfaction. "To pour out so much costly ointment, what wasteful extravagance!"

"Friend Judas," said Jesus, "look at me. Is what is done for me, thy master, waste?"

Judas said, "I know that thou lovest not useless expense; the ointment might have been sold and the poor helped with the money!" Hearing Judas' answer he half turned away and looked wearily upward, folding his hands.

"Judas," said Jesus somewhat sternly, "hand upon thy heart now. Is it only pity for the poor which moves thee so much?"

Judas replied, "At least three hundred pence could have been got for it. What a loss both for the poor and for us."

Then Jesus answered and said, "The poor you have always with you, but me ye have not always." Then he said, "Let her alone, she has wrought a good work on me, for in that she has poured out the ointment upon me, she has anointed me for my burial. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever the gospel will be preached through the whole world, there shall also this which she hath done be told for a memorial of her."

He then said to the disciples, "Let us arise"—and then turning to Simon, his host, he said, "I thank thee, benevolent man, for thy hospitality, the Father will repay it unto thee."

"Say nothing of thanks, master," said Simon; "I know what I owe to thee."

Then Jesus arose and said, "It is time to go hence. Farewell all ye dwellers in this hospitable house. My disciples, follow me."

Peter said unto him, "Lord, wherever thou wilt, only not to Jerusalem."

Jesus answered, "I go where my Father calls me. If it please thee to remain here, Peter, do so." Then Peter declared, "Lord, where thou abidest there will I also abide; whither thou goest there go I also."

Jesus said, "Come then."

The disciples arose and clasping their staffs were ready to depart. Then Jesus turned to Mary Magdalene and Martha and said, "Remain here, beloved! Once more, fare ye well. Dear, peaceful Bethany, never more shall I tarry in thy quiet vale."

Simon, sore troubled in speech as he heard these words, said unto him, "Then wilt thou really depart hence forever?"

Mary Magdalene threw herself at his feet and said, "Alas, I am filled with terrible forebodings. Friend of my soul! My heart—oh! my heart—it will not let thee go!"

Jesus said unto her, "Stand up, Mary. The night cometh and the winter storms come blustering on. But be comforted. In the early morning in the garden of spring, thou wilt see me again."

Lazarus exclaimed, "Oh! my friend, my benefactor!"

"Alas!" cried Martha, "thou art going; and comest thou back nevermore?"

Jesus said, "The Father wills it, beloved. Wherever I am I bear you ever with me in my heart, and wherever you are, my blessings will follow you. Farewell."

And behold as they turned to go, there met them Mary, the mother of Jesus, with her companions. Mary had a white mantle round her head, from beneath which her long dark hair hung down. She hastened to her son, crying, "Jesus, dearest son, I hastened after thee with my friends, in eager longing to see thee once more before thou goest, all whither?"

Jesus clasped her hands gently and replied, "Mother, I am on the way to Jerusalem."

"To Jerusalem," said his mother. "There is the temple of Jehovah, whither I once carried thee in my arms to offer thee to the Lord."

"Mother," said Jesus in solemn sadness, "the hour is come when according to the will of the Father I shall offer myself. I am ready to complete the sacrifice which the Father demands from me."

"Ah," cried Mary with bitter and piteous cry, "I foresee what kind of a sacrifice that will be."

John and Mary Magdalene had joined the mother of Jesus, and the two Marys standing together united their lament.

"How much we had wished," said the Magdalene, "to keep back the master and make him remain with us."

"It is of no use," said Simon gloomily, "his purpose is fixed."

Then said Jesus to his mother, tenderly beholding her, "My hour is come."

All the disciples cried, "Oh, ask the Father that he should let it pass by."

Then all the women said, "The Father has always listened to thee."

But Jesus said: "How is my soul troubled, and what shall I say? Father, deliver me from this hour! But for this hour came I into the world."

But Mary hearing him, exclaimed as in a trance, "Oh, venerable Simon, now will be fulfilled that which thou once prophesied to me, 'A sword shall pierce through thine own soul!'" And as she spoke Mary Magdalene gently supported her from falling.

Jesus said in terms of gentle reproach, "Mother, the will of the Father was also ever sacred to thee." His word rallied her courage and she replied, "It is so to me still. I am the handmaid of the Lord. What he requires of me I will bear patiently. But one thing I beg of thee, my son."

"What desirest thou, my mother?"

"That I may go with thee into the fierce conflict of suffering, yea, even unto death!"

"Oh, what love!" exclaimed John, who stood tearfully beside the two Marys, wistfully looking for some ray of hope to illumine the darkness beyond.

Jesus embraced her lovingly. "Dear mother, thou wilt suffer with me, thou wilt fight with me in my death struggle, but thou wilt also rejoice with me in my victory, therefore be comforted."

"Oh, God!" she cried in heartrending accents, "give me strength that my heart may not break."

"We all weep with thee, thou best of mothers," said the holy women, adding their tears to those of the mother of Jesus.

"I will go with thee, my son, to Jerusalem," said Mary.

And the holy women declared they also would go with her.

But Jesus, holding her hand, tenderly forbade her: "Later you may go thither, but not now. For the present stay with our friends at Bethany. I commend to you, O faithful souls, my beloved mother, with those who have followed her here."

Eagerly the Magdalene accepted the charge.

"After thee," she exclaimed, "there is no one dearer to us than thy mother."

But even at the eleventh hour Lazarus interposed one last word of entreaty: "If only thou, O master, couldst remain!"

Not noticing this, Jesus said, "Comfort ye one another. After two days you may come up together to Jerusalem, to be there on the great day of the feast."

Mary said: "As thou wilt, my son."

But the holy women said: "How sadly will the hours pass when thou art far from us."

Then Jesus spoke to his mother and said, "Mother, mother, for the tender love and motherly care which thou hast shown to me for the three and thirty years of my life, receive the warmest thanks of thy son." And stooping down he kissed her. Then raising his head, he said, "The Father calls me. Fare thee well, best of mothers."

Mary asked him: "My son, where shall I see thee again?"

And Jesus replied: "There, beloved mother, where the Scripture shall be fulfilled: 'He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and he opened not his mouth.'"

Mary sobbing, cried aloud, "Jesus, thy mother, oh! Oh, God, my son!"

Half fainting she was held up by the holy women, who exclaimed, "O beloved, faithful mother!"

The disciples departed, muttering, "We cannot endure it. What will be the end of all this?"

Then burst from their lips the despairing cry, "Alas, what affliction lies before us all?"

But Jesus said, "Sink not in the first conflict. Hold fast by me."

And the disciples repeated, "Yea, master, fast by thee."

Lazarus and the women looking back after Christ as he passed out of sight, exclaimed, "Ah! our dear teacher," while Simon said, "He brought happiness to my house."

Simon then turned tenderly to Mary and said: "Come, mother, and condescend to enter in." "One consolation remains to us in tribulation," said Mary Magdalene, and Martha added, "To have the mother of our Lord with us." Turning to the other women, Lazarus said, "And you, beloved ones, come with us, we will share our woe and tears together."

All then together went into the house, Mary Magdalene supporting the mother of Jesus.

* * * * * *

Now as they came unto Jerusalem they looked down upon the whole city which lay before them. Then said John unto Jesus, "Master, behold what a splendid view of Jerusalem from this spot!"

Matthew said, "The majestic temple, how splendidly it is built."

Jesus was troubled in spirit, and after gazing for a moment over the city, clasped his hands in grief and cried, "O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, O that thou hadst known even in this thy day the things that belong unto thy peace! but now they are hidden from thine eyes!"

Jesus wept.

His disciples beholding him weep were amazed. At last Peter ventured to say, "Master, why grievest thou so sorely?"

Jesus answered, "My Peter, the fate of this unhappy city goes to my heart."

Then said John, "Lord, tell us what shall this fate be?"

Jesus answered and said unto them, "The days will come when her enemies will make a trench about her walls and close her in on every side, and lay her even with the ground. She and her children within her walls will be dashed to the earth, and not one stone will be left upon another."

Andrew, giving expression to the general consternation, asked, "Wherefore shall the city have so sad a doom?"

Jesus said, "Because she hath not known the day of her visitation. Alas! she who hath slain the prophets will kill the Messiah himself."

Then spoke all the disciples together, "What a terrible deed!"

James, the elder, said, "God forbid that the city of Jehovah should bring such a curse upon herself."

And John with pleading voice added, "Dearest master, for the sake of the holy city and the temple, I beg of thee go not thither, so that the opportunity may be wanting to those evil men to do the worst."

"Or," said Peter, "go thither and display thyself in all thy majesty, so that the good may rejoice and the evil tremble."

"Yes," cried all the twelve eagerly, "do that."

Philip said, "Strike down thine enemies!" and all added earnestly, "And set up the kingdom of God among men!"

Jesus answered, "Children, that which you desire shall come to pass in due time, but my ways are appointed to me by my father, and thus saith the Lord, 'My thoughts are not as your thoughts, and my ways are not as your ways.'"

Then, as if to cut short a useless discussion, he said, "Peter!" Peter replied, "What wilt thou, Lord?" and the Lord continued, "It is now the first day of unleavened bread, in which the law commands that we should eat the Passover; you, both Peter and John, go forward and prepare the Passover that we may eat it in the evening."

Peter and John, who stood the one on the left and the other on the right, asked, "Where wilt thou, Lord, that we prepare the Passover?"

Jesus said, "When you come into the city there shall meet you a man bearing a pitcher of water, follow ye him and wheresoever he shall go in, say ye to the good man of the house, 'The master says, Where is the guest-chamber that I may eat the Passover with my disciples?' and he will show you a large upper chamber furnished and prepared; there make ready the Passover."

"Thy blessing, O best of masters!" said Peter. He and John knelt on either side of their Lord, Jesus placed his right hand on the head of John and his left hand on the head of Peter, exclaiming, "God's blessing be with you!"

Peter and John having departed, Jesus said to the others, "Accompany me for the last time to the house of my Father."

Then Judas, who had for some time past stood apart, came forward and said, "But, master, allow me; if thou wilt really leave us, make some arrangement for our future support. Look here," he added, pointing to the small bag almost empty of coin, which he carried in his girdle, "there is not enough here for one day more."

Jesus looked upon him and said, "Judas, do not be more anxious than is needful."

But Judas went on muttering and looking not at his Lord, but at the bag, "How well the value of that uselessly wasted ointment would have lain therein! how long we could have lived on it without care!"

Jesus reproved him, saying, "You have never lacked anything hitherto and, believe me, that what is necessary will not fail you in time to come."

Judas said, "But, master, when thou art no longer with us our good friends will soon draw back, and then we shall be left in sore distress."

Jesus said unto him, "Friend Judas, beware lest thou fall into temptation."

The other disciples who had listened to this conversation then interrupted, saying altogether, "Judas, trouble not the master so much."

Judas retorted, "Who will take thought if I do not? Have I not been appointed by the master to carry the bag?"

"Thou hast," said Jesus, "but I fear——"

"And I also fear," interrupted Judas, "that soon it will be empty and remain so."

Then Jesus went close up to him and said gravely and gently, "Judas, forget not thy warning. Arise, now let us go hence, I desire to be in the house of my Father."

Jesus then, followed by his disciples, excepting Judas, passed on to the city.

Judas, being left alone, said to himself, "Shall I follow him any longer. I do not much care to do so. The master's conduct to me is very inexplicable. His great deeds allowed us to hope that he would restore again the kingdom to Israel. But he does not seize the opportunities that offer themselves, and now he constantly talks of parting and dying, and puts us off with mysterious words about a future which lies too far off in the dim distance for me. I am tired of hoping and waiting. I can see very well, that with him there is no prospect of anything but continued poverty and humiliation,—and instead of the sharing, as we expected, in his glorious kingdom, we shall perhaps be persecuted and thrown into prison with him. I will draw back. It was a good thing that I was always prudent and cautious, and have now and then laid aside a trifle out of the bag in case of need. How useful I should find those 300 pence now which the foolish woman threw away on a useless mark of respect. If, as seems likely, the society is about to dissolve, they would have remained in my hands—then I should have been safe for a long while to come. As it is, I must consider the question, where and how I can find subsistence."

As he stood alone under the trees, perplexed and troubled, Dathan appeared in the distance, and, spying Judas, said to himself, "The occasion is favorable. He is alone and seems much perplexed. I must try everything in order to secure him."

Then stepping forward he laid his hand upon the shoulder of Judas, exclaiming, "Friend Judas!"

Judas started as if a serpent had stung him and striking his head with his hand cried, "Who calls?"

"A friend," said Dathan; "has anything sad happened to thee? Thou art so absorbed in thought?"

Judas, staring wildly, asked, "Who art thou?"

"Thy friend, thy brother," cried Dathan.

Judas, staring backward, exclaimed: "Thou art my friend, my brother?"

"At least," said Dathan, "I wish to be so. How is it with the master? I also would like to become one of his disciples."

Judas said, "One of his disciples?"

"Why?" said Dathan, "hast thou then forsaken him? Are things not well with him? Tell me that I may know how to act."

Then Judas said unto him, "Canst thou keep silence?"

"Be assured of that," said Dathan.

"Then," answered Judas, "it is no longer going well with him. He says himself his last hour has come." And then Judas rapidly ran over the various predictions of disaster which he had heard from the lips of Jesus. "I intend to forsake him, for he will yet bring us all to ruin. See here," said he, producing the almost empty purse, "I am treasurer, see how it stands with us."

"Friend," said Dathan, shrugging his shoulders, "I shall remain as I am." At this moment six of Dathan's companions came up.

Judas, alarmed, asked, "Who are these? I will not say another word."

"Stay, friend," said one of the newcomers, "you will not regret it."

"Why have you come here?" asked Judas.

"We were going back to Jerusalem and we will bear thee company if it please thee."

Judas, suspiciously eyeing them, asked, "Do you also perhaps wish to go after the master?"

Then said the traders, "Has he gone to Jerusalem?"

"For the last time," said Judas, "so he says."

"What!" said they, "for the last time? Is he then never going to leave the land of Judea again?"

"Why do you ask me this so eagerly?" said Judas, "do you wish to become his followers?"

"Why not?" said the traders with a laugh, "if the prospects are good;" and Dathan added, "Explain to us, Judas, the meaning of thy words that he would bring you all to ruin."

And Judas replied: "He tells us always to take no thought for the morrow, but if today anything happened we should all be as poor as beggars. Does a master care thus for his own?"

"Truly," said the traders, "the lookout is bad."

Then Judas related once more the story of Mary Magdalene's waste of precious ointment. "And at the same time this very day he permitted the most senseless waste which a foolish woman was guilty of, thinking to obtain honor; and when I found fault with this I only met with reproachful words and looks."

"And thou canst still care for him after that?" said the traders contemptuously, "and art still willing to remain with him? Thou shouldst take thought for thine own future; it is high time."

"So I have been thinking," said Judas, "but how can I find a good opening?"

Then said Dathan, "Thou hast not long to seek, for the fairest opportunity is awaiting thee."

"Where? How?" said Judas eagerly.

"Hast thou not heard," said the traders, "of the proclamation of the council? Such a good opportunity of making thy fortune thou wilt never find again thy whole life long."

Judas' eyes gleamed. "What proclamation?" he asked.

The traders said, "Whosoever gives information as to the nightly resort of Jesus of Nazareth shall receive a large reward."

"A large reward!" said Judas.

"Now who," said they, "can earn it easier than thou?"

Dathan muttered to himself, "We have nearly attained our end."

The traders pressed Judas anew, "Brother, don't neglect this good fortune."

Judas said hesitatingly, "A fair opportunity. Shall I let it slip?"

Then struck in Dathan, "The reward is not all. The council will look after thee in the future. Who knows what might not yet come of it for thee!"

"Consent, friend! Strike the bargain," cried all the traders together.

Judas hesitated one moment and then clasped Dathan's hand, saying, "Well, be it so."

"Come, Judas," said Dathan, "we will bring thee straightway to the council." But Judas said, "No, I must first go after the master, and so obtain information in order to make things sure."

Dathan said, "Well, then, we will go to the council and report you in the meantime. But when and where shall we meet?"

"In three hours you will find me in the street of the temple," replied Judas.

Judas then shook hands all around with the traders. "Done!" exclaimed Judas, as Dathan and the traders left him.

Judas was now alone. He walked to and fro under the trees and said to himself: "My word is given; I shall not repent of it. Shall I avoid the good fortune which is coming to meet me? Yes, my fortune is made. I will do what I promised, but will make them pay me in advance. If then the priests succeed in taking him prisoner, if his reign is over—I have assured my own prospects and will besides become famous throughout all Judea, as a man who has helped to save the law of Moses, and shall reap praise and glory. But if the master should gain the victory, then—yes, then I will cast me down repentant at his feet, for he is good. I have never seen him drive the penitent from him. He will take me back again and then I shall have the credit of bringing about the decision. Anyhow, I'll take good care to leave a bridge behind so that should I be unable to go forward I can return. The plan is well thought out. Judas, thou art a prudent man. And yet I feel a little afraid to meet the master, for I shall not be able to bear his keen, searching look, and my comrades will see by my face that I am a——No, I will not be that. I am no traitor! What am I going to do but let the Jews know where the master is to be found? That is no betrayal. Betrayal is something more than that. Away with these fancies! Courage, Judas, thy future is at stake."

Judas, who had started with horror when he first mentioned the word traitor, resolved to play his appointed role and departed to find Jesus.



O Judas, art thou blinded quite By untamed greed of gold and gear? And would thou sell thy master dear For base gain? Shudders not thy soul in dire affright? Thy lot has passed into the night, Already doth thy doom appear.

"'Tis one of you that shall betray," Three times the Lord thus spoke to him— Who's purposed his own soul to slay— Yet is his conscience dull and dim, For Satan rules his heart within And lust for gold that's won by sin.

"Oh Judas! but one moment stay. Oh! finish not this foulest deed!" But no! for deaf and blind with greed, To the council Judas hastes away, And there repeats in evil trade, The bargain once with Dathan made.

And it came to pass that when Peter and John were still on their way to Jerusalem, Baruch, the servant of Mark, came out into the street with a pitcher of water, which he went to get filled at the well.

As he went he said to himself, "There is a great deal of business today, there will be no lack of work this Passover; from the great crowd of pilgrims we can expect nothing else. My master must expect many guests as he is already making so much to-do in the house." When he was drawing the water John and Peter came upon him.

"See," said they, "there is someone at the well."

Baruch, not noticing them, went on drawing the water, saying, "There must be something exceptional at this Passover, seeing the way in which the rulers of the council hasten about hither and thither."

As he lifted the pitcher and turned to go Peter said, "This is he who carries the pitcher of water that our master gave us for a sign."

Then said John, "Let us follow him."

Baruch looked around as he came to the door of his master's house, and, seeing the disciples, said, "Will you come in with me, friends? You are welcome."

"We wish," said John, "to speak with your master."

"Perhaps," said Baruch, "you desire to take the Passover with us?"

"Yes," said Peter, "the master desired us to bring this request to your master."

Then said Baruch, "Come with me. It will be a joy to my master to take you into his house. There, see," he said as Mark came out of his house, "there he is himself. See, master, I bring guests."

"Welcome, strangers," said Mark, "how can I serve you?"

Then said Peter unto him, "Our teacher sent us to say unto thee, 'My time is at hand. Where is the hall where I can eat the Passover with my disciples, for my time is at hand. I will keep the Passover in thy house with my disciples.'"

"Oh, joy!" exclaimed Mark, "now I recognize you as the disciples of the miracle-worker who restored to me the light of my eyes. How have I deserved that he should choose my house before all others that are in Jerusalem in which to celebrate the Passover? Oh, fortunate man that I am, that it should be my house which he honors with his presence. Come, dear friends, I will at once show you the hall."

Peter and John replied, "Good friend, we follow thee." And they went into the house and found all things as Jesus had said unto them.

* * * * * *

In the upper chamber which Mark had prepared for the Passover Jesus and his disciples stood around a long table. Jesus stood in the center with Peter on his right hand and John on his left. Judas, sullen and scowling, sat next to Peter, and the other disciples were arranged in their order. The table was covered with a white cloth with embroidered edges. On the cloth stood a flagon of wine and several cups, and a plate on which lay a loaf of bread. Jesus, standing in the midst, said unto them, "With longing have I desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer, for I say unto you I will not any more eat thereof until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God." Jesus then took the cup, and lifting it with both hands, looked up to heaven and said, "I thank thee for this fruit of the vine." Then drinking of it he passed the cup to Peter, who also drank and passed it to Judas, who in his turn, after drinking, passed it to the next disciple, and so on until it went all around. "Take this," said Jesus, as he passed the cup to Peter, "and divide it amongst yourselves, for I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of the fruit of the vine until the kingdom of God comes."

Then exclaimed all the disciples together, "Alas, Lord, is this then the last Passover?"

Jesus said unto them, "There is a cup which I will drink with you in the kingdom of God my Father. As it is written, 'Thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures.'"

Then said Peter unto him, "Master, when this kingdom shall appear, how will the offices be portioned out?"

"Who amongst us," said James the elder, "will have the first place?"

Then Thomas said, "Will each one of us have lordship over a separate land?"

"That would be the best," said Bartholomew; "then no dispute would arise amongst us."

Then Jesus looked upon them and said, "So long a time have I been amongst you and you are still entangled in earthly things? Verily, I appoint unto you, which have continued with me in my temptations, the kingdom which my Father has appointed unto me, that you may eat and drink with me in my kingdom, and sit on thrones judging the twelve tribes of Israel. But, remember, the kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them, and they that exercise authority over them are called benefactors, but ye shall not be so. He that is greatest among you, let him be as the least, and the chief as your servant. For whether is greatest he that sitteth at meat or he that serveth? Is not he that sitteth at meat; but I am among you as one that serveth."

Thereupon John removed the long purple robe from the shoulders of Jesus, and handed him a white linen towel, with which he girded himself round the middle. Then came Baruch in, carrying a ewer of water and a basin. As they looked in amazement one at another, Jesus said unto them, "Now sit down, beloved disciples."

Then said the disciples one to another, "What is he going to do?"

Jesus, turning to Peter, said, "Peter, reach me thy foot."

Peter, starting backward in amazement, said, "Lord, dost thou wash my feet?"

Then said Jesus, "What I do thou knowest not now, but thou shalt know hereafter."

Peter replied stoutly, "Lord, thou shalt never to all eternity wash my feet!"

But Jesus said, "If I wash thee not thou shalt have no part with me."

Peter said, "Lord, if it be so, then not my feet only, but also my hands and my head."

But Jesus answered, "He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit." Then stooping down Baruch poured the water over the feet of Peter, and Jesus dried them with a towel. The other disciples took the sandals off their feet, whispering to themselves in wonder as to what this meant. Jesus washed the feet of Judas as those of the others. Last of all he washed the feet of John also. Then he washed his hands, Baruch pouring the water over them. After which he took off the towel, and John placed his mantle once more upon his shoulders. Looking round upon the twelve, he said, "Ye are now clean, but not all." Jesus then seated himself in the midst of them.

Then said Jesus unto them, "Do you know what I have done unto you? Ye call me master and Lord, and ye do well, for so I am. If I then, your Lord and master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example that ye should do as I have done unto you. Verily, verily, the servant is not greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them." Then Jesus stood up again and said, "Children, but for a little while shall I be with you. That my memory may never perish from among you, I will leave behind an everlasting memorial, and so I shall ever dwell with you and amongst you. The old covenant which my Father made with Abraham, Isaac and Jacob has reached its end and I say unto you, a new covenant begins, which I solemnly consecrate today with my blood, as the Father has commanded me, and this covenant will last until all be fulfilled." Jesus then took the bread, lifted it up before him, and replacing it on the table, looked up to heaven and blessed it. Then, lifting it up again, he broke it in two, saying, "Take, eat, this is my body which was broken for you." Then passing around the table, he placed a morsel of bread with his own hand in the mouth of each of his disciples. All took it reverently, but Judas bit at it almost as a dog snatcheth meat from its master's hands. After Jesus had returned to his place, he said, "This do in remembrance of me." In like manner he took the cup and blest it and said, "Take this, and drink ye all of it; for this is the cup of the New Testament in my blood, which is shed for you and for many for the remission of sins." Then passing round the table again he gave each of them to drink, and returning to his place he said, "As often as ye do this, do it in remembrance of me." During the time Jesus went round the table administering the bread and wine to his disciples, there was heard in the distance a chorus of angels singing:

Oh! the lowly love and tender! See the Saviour kneeling still At the feet of his disciples Loving service to fulfil. Oh! this love remember ever! Love as he has loved, and so Unto others render service As your Lord has done to you.

Then John in an ecstacy of affection exclaimed, "Oh, best of masters, never will I forget thy love! Thou knowest that I love thee," and leaning forward he laid his head on the breast of Jesus.

The rest of the twelve, who were sitting with clasped hands with the exception of Judas, who sat apart moody and sullen, exclaimed together, "O, Master, who art so full of love for us, ever will we remain united with thee."

Then said Peter, "This holy meal of the new covenant shall ever be celebrated amongst us according to thy commandment."

And Matthew added, "And as often as we shall keep it, we will remember thee!"

Then cried they all, "O, best teacher, O divine one! O best friend and teacher!"

And Jesus looking upon them said, "My children, abide in me, and I in you! As the Father has loved me, so have I also loved you, continue ye in my love. But, alas, must I say it! the hand of him who betrays me is with me at the table!" Judas started, but the confusion of the disciples caused his guilty look to be unnoticed.

Several of the disciples exclaimed, "What! a traitor amongst us!"

"Is it possible?" said Peter.

Then Jesus said, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, one of you shall betray me."

"Lord," said Andrew, "one of us twelve?"

"Yes," replied Jesus, "one of the twelve who dipped his hand in the dish with me shall betray me. So the Scriptures shall be fulfilled. He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me."

Thomas and Simon, speaking together with the same thought and same words, asked, "Who can this faithless one be?" while Matthew said, "Lord, thou seest all hearts, thou knowest that it is not I"—and the two James cried, "Name him publicly, the traitor!" Then while these words were on their lips, Judas, fearing lest his silence should be observed, started forward and asked furtively, "Lord, is it I?" but excepting by Jesus his words passed unnoticed.

Thaddeus exclaimed, "I would rather give my life for thee than that such a deed should be done;" and Bartholomew, "I would rather sink into the earth with shame."

Jesus, looking toward Judas said, "Thou hast said it." Turning to the rest, Jesus continued, "The son of man goeth indeed as it is written of him, but woe unto that man by whom the son of man is betrayed; better were it for him that he had never been born!"

Peter, leaning over to John, whispered to him to ask Jesus who it was. Then John whispered to Jesus, saying, "Lord, who is it?"

Jesus answered, speaking so low as to be heard by John alone, "He it is to whom I shall give a sop after having dipped it."

The other apostles who had not heard this kept on asking, "Who can it be?"

Jesus, taking a piece of bread, dipped it into a cup, and placed it in the mouth of Judas, saying, "What thou doest, do quickly."

Then Judas arose and hurried from the room. The disciples seeing his departure wondered among themselves, and Thomas said to Simon, "Why does Judas go away?"

Simon replied, "Probably the master has sent him to buy something," while Thaddeus added, "Or to distribute alms to the poor."

Judas being now gone, Jesus spoke to the eleven, saying, "If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me; but as I have said to the Jews, whither I go you cannot come, even so now I say unto you."

Then said Peter unto him, "Lord, whither goest thou?"

Jesus answered, "Whither I go thou canst not follow me now, but thou shalt follow me later."

Peter passionately cried, "Why can I not follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake."

Then Jesus looked upon him with compassion and said, "Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Simon! Simon! Satan hath desired to have thee that he may sift thee as wheat, but I have prayed for thee that thy faith fail not; and when thou art converted, strength thy brethren! This night all ye shall be offended because of me, for it is written, 'I shall smite the shepherd and the sheep of his flock shall be scattered abroad.'"

Peter answered, "Although all shall be offended, yet will not I. Lord, I am ready to go with thee to prison and to death."

Jesus said unto him, "Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Peter, today, even this night, before the cock crow twice, thou shalt deny me thrice."

Then said Peter, rising and clasping his hands, "Even if I should die with thee, I would never deny thee," and the other ten disciples said altogether with a loud voice, "Master, we also will always remain faithful to thee; none of us will ever deny thee."

Then said Jesus unto them, "When I sent you out without purse or scrip, or shoes, lacked ye anything?"

All replied with one voice, "No, nothing."

Then Jesus said, "But now I say unto you, let everyone take his purse and likewise his scrip, and whosoever hath not a sword, let him sell his coat and buy one, for now begins a time of trial; and I say unto you that thus it is written, and it must yet be accomplished in me, 'And he was reckoned among the transgressors!'"

Peter then and Philip each drew a sword from the scabbard which hung at his side under his cloak, exclaiming, "Lord, see here are two swords."

Then said Jesus, "It is enough. Let us stand up and give thanks." Then standing, Jesus and all the disciples said together with a loud voice, "Praise the Lord, all ye people! Praise him, all ye nations! for his merciful kindness is everlasting; the truth of the Lord endureth forever."

Then Jesus, leaving the table, advanced to the foreground and stood for some time with his eyes raised to heaven, the disciples standing on either side watching him with troubled faces. Shortly after he said unto them, "Children, why are ye so sad and why look ye on me so sorrowfully? Let not your heart be troubled; ye believe in God, believe also in me. In my father's house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you; and I will come again and receive you unto myself, that where I am there ye may be also. I leave you not as orphans. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you. Keep my commandment. This is my commandment, that ye love one another as I have loved you! By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye love one another. Hereafter I will not talk much to you, for the prince of this world cometh, although he hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father, and as the Father gave me commandment, so do I. Let us go hence."

* * * * * *

The Sanhedrin was again in session. Caiaphas presided, Annas as before sat on his left hand and Nathanael on his right. No sooner had all the members of the assembly taken their seats than Caiaphas rose and with radiant countenance began, "Assembled fathers, I have a joyful piece of news to impart to you. The supposed prophet from Galilee will soon, we hope, be in our hands. Dathan, the zealous Israelite, has won over one of the most trusted companions of the Galilean, who will let himself be employed as a guide, so that we may surprise him by night. Both are here, only waiting a summons to appear before us."

"Bring them in," cried with eager voices the priests and Pharisees.

Josue volunteered, "I will call them."

"Yes, call them," said Caiaphas. When Josue left the room Caiaphas asked their counsel as to the price which should be given for the betrayal of Jesus.

Nathanael stood up and said, "The law of Moses gives direction for such a case; a slave is valued at thirty pieces of silver."

The priests laughed thereat and said, "Yea, yea, it is just the price of a slave that the false Messiah is worth."

Then came in Dathan and Judas, Josue conducting them into the presence of the Sanhedrin. Dathan stood forward and said, "Most learned council, I here fulfil the task entrusted to me, and present to the fathers a man who is determined for a suitable reward to deliver our and your enemy into our power. He is a trusted friend of the notorious Galilean and knows his ways and his secret abiding places."

Then said Caiaphas to Judas, "Knowest thou the man whom the council seeks?"

Judas answered, "I have now been a long time in his company and know where he is accustomed to abide."

Then said Caiaphas, "What is thy name?"

He replied, "My name is Judas, and I am one of the twelve."

"Yes, yes," cried several of the priests, "we saw thee often with him."

Caiaphas asked him, "Art thou steadfastly resolved to do our will?"

Judas answered firmly, "I give you my word."

"But," continued Caiaphas, "wilt thou not repent of it? What induced thee to take this step?"

Judas answered, "The friendship between him and me has been cooling down for some time, and now I have quite broken with him."

"What has led to this?" asked Caiaphas.

Judas replied, "There is nothing more to be got from him and indeed I am resolved to remain loyal to lawful authority, that is always the best. What will you give me if I deliver him up to you?"

Then Caiaphas, speaking as if they were promising great things, said, "Thirty pieces of silver, which shall be at once paid over to thee!"

"Hear that, Judas?" cried Dathan, "thirty pieces of silver, what a gain!"

Before Judas could reply, Nathanael sprang to his feet, saying, "And mark thee well, Judas, this is not all! If thou executest this work right well thou shalt be cared for still further."

"And thou mayest become a rich and famous man," added a priest.

Judas said aloud, "I am contented," and added to himself, "Now the star of hope is rising for me."

Then said Caiaphas to the rabbi who sat below the judgment seat arrayed in blue velvet and gold, "Bring the thirty pieces of silver out of the treasury, and pay it over in the presence of the council."

"Is this your will?" he added, putting the question to the Sanhedrin.

A great shout went up of "Yes, yes, it is."

But some there were present who did not join in that cry. One of these, Nicodemus, stood up and asked the Sanhedrin, "How can you conclude so godless a bargain?" Then turning to Judas, he said, "And thou, abject wretch, dost thou not blush to sell thy Lord and master, thou God-forgetting traitor whom the earth shall swallow up? For thirty pieces of silver wouldst thou now sell that most loving friend and benefactor? O, pause while there is yet time. That blood-money will cry to heaven for vengeance, will burn like hot iron thy avaricious soul!"

Judas, surprised by this sudden outburst, stood trembling and amazed. Dathan, Caiaphas and the rest of the Sanhedrin displayed unmistakable indignation at this unexpected intervention on the part of Nicodemus.

Josue said: "Don't trouble yourself, Judas, about the speech of this zealot; let him go and be a follower of the false prophet. Thou dost thy duty as a disciple of Moses in serving the rightful authorities."

Then came in the rabbi with the silver in a dish. "Come, Judas," said he, "take the thirty pieces of silver and play the man," counting the coins out on a stone table so that they chinked merrily as they fell.

Judas snatched them up eagerly, testing them now and then to see if they were genuine, and then transferred them piece by piece with feverish haste to his bag, which he tied up when filled and replaced in his girdle. Then, resuming his place on the left of the judgment seat, he exclaimed: "You can rely upon my word."

"But," said the priests, "the work must be accomplished before the feast."

Judas answered and said: "Even now the fairest opportunity offers itself. This very night he shall be in your hands. Give me an armed band so that he can be duly surrounded and every road of escape cut off."

Then said Annas, who up to now had not broken silence: "Let us send with him the Temple Watch."

"Yes, yes," cried all the priests, "let us order them to go."

Caiaphas said: "It would also be advisable to send some members of the Holy Sanhedrin with them."

Half the assembly sprang to their feet crying: "We are ready."

Caiaphas said: "If the choice is left to me I appoint Nathan, Josaphat, Solomon and Ptolomaus." Each of the four, as he was named, rose and bowed low.

Then, Caiaphas, turning to Judas, said: "But, Judas, how will the band be able to distinguish the Master in the darkness?"

Judas answered: "They must come with torches and lanterns and I will give them a sign."

"Excellent, Judas," cried the priests in approving chorus.

"Now," said Judas, "I will hasten away to spy out everything. Then I will come back to fetch the armed men."

"I will go with you, Judas," said Dathan, "and will not leave your side until this work is finished."

"At the gate of Bethpage I will meet your people," said Judas, as he departed, taking with him Dathan and the four priests to accompany him.

When they had left the Sanhedrin Caiaphas addressed the assembly: "All goes admirably, venerable fathers, but now we are called to look the great question frankly in the face. What shall we do with this man when God has delivered him into our hands?"

Then: said Zadok: "Let us throw him into the deepest and darkest of dungeons and keep him well watched and laden down with chains. Let him be buried while still alive."

This, however, did not please Caiaphas, so using the full might of his eloquence and authority he continued: "Which of you would guarantee that his friends would not raise a tumult and free him, or that the guard might not be corrupted, or could he not break his fetters with his abhorred magic arts?" The priests were silent. Caiaphas replied in tones of the deepest conviction: "I see that ye neither know nor understand. Then listen to the high priest. It is better that one man should die and the whole nation perish not. He must die!" And as the fatal words fell from the lips of Caiaphas the whole Sanhedrin was moved. Caiaphas continued: "Until he is dead there is no peace in Israel, no security for the law of Moses, and no quiet hours for us."

Hardly had Caiaphas ended than the rabbi sprang to his feet exclaiming in excited tones: "God has spoken through our high priest! Only by the death of Jesus of Nazareth can and must the people of Israel be delivered!"

Nathanael exclaimed: "Long has the word lain upon my tongue! Now is it uttered. Let him die, the foe of our fathers!" Then sprang all the priests from their seats and with uplifted hands and eager voices exclaimed: "Yes, he must die; in his death is our salvation!" When they sat down, Annas, the aged high priest arose, and speaking with intense bitterness, declared: "By my gray hairs let it be sworn, I will never rest until our shame is washed out in the blood of this deceiver."

Then stood up Nicodemus and said: "O, fathers, is it allowed to say one word?" And all cried: "Yes, yes, speak, speak!" Then said Nicodemus: "Is the sentence already pronounced upon this man before there has been an examination or hearing of the witnesses? Is this a proceeding worthy of the fathers of the people of God?" Nathanael said: "What! Wilt thou accuse the council of injustice?" Zadok exclaimed: "Dost thou know the holy law? Compare——" Nicodemus replied: "I know the law; therefore also I know that the judge may not pass sentence before witnesses are heard." "What need we any further witnesses?" cried Josue. "We ourselves have often enough been witnesses to his speech and his actions, by which he blasphemously outraged the law." Nicodemus answered, unmoved by the clamor of the assembly: "Then you yourselves are at once the accusers, the witnesses and the judges. I have listened to his sublime teachings; I have seen his mighty deeds. They call for belief and admiration; not for contempt and punishment."

"What," exclaimed Caiaphas indignantly, "this scoundrel deserves admiration! Thou wilt cleave to Moses and yet defendest thou that which the law condemns? Ha! Fathers of Israel, the impious words call for vengeance."

The priests shouted: "Out with thee from our assembly, if thou persist in this way of speaking!" when another voice is heard.

Joseph of Arimathea stood forth on the opposite side of the hall and said: "I must also agree with Nicodemus. No one has imputed any deed to Jesus which makes him worthy of death; he has done nothing but good."

Then said Caiaphas: "Dost thou also speak in this wise? Is it not known everywhere how he desecrated the Sabbath; how he has misled the people by his seditious speeches? Hath he not also as a deceiver worked his pretended miracles by the aid of Beelzebub? Has he not given himself out as a God, when he is nothing but a man?"

"You hear that?" cried the priests to Joseph. He remained standing and continued saying: "Envy and malice have misrepresented his words and imputed evil motives to the noblest acts. That he is a man come from God his God-like acts testify."

"Ha," cried Nathanael, with a laugh of scorn, "now we know thee. Already for a long time hast thou been a secret follower of this Galilean! Now, thou hast shown thyself in thy true colors!"

Aged Annas, without leaving his seat, remarked: "So, then, we have in our very midst traitors to our holy law, and even here has the deceiver cast his net."

"What do ye here, apostates?" cried Caiaphas. "Be off to your prophet, to see him once more, before the hour strikes when he must die, for that is irrevocably determined."

"Yes," cried all the priests. "Yes! die he must; that is our resolve."

Then said Nicodemus, "I curse this resolution; I will neither have part nor lot in this shameful condemnation."

"And I also," said Joseph of Arimathea, "will quit this place where the innocent are condemned to death. By God, I swear that my hands are clean!"

Gathering their robes together, Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea walked slowly out of the Sanhedrin.

Then said Josue, "At last we are rid of these traitors. Now we can speak out freely." Caiaphas, however, profiting by the protests of Nicodemus and Joseph of Arimathea, said to the assembly: "It will certainly be necessary that we should sit formally in judgment upon this man, to try him and to bring forth witnesses against him, otherwise the people will believe that we have only persecuted him from envy and hatred."

Then said one Jacob, "Two witnesses at least the law requires," and Samuel answered: "These shall not be lacking; I will provide them myself."

Then said Dariabbas, "Our decision stands firm, but in order not to offend the weak it would be well to observe the usual forms of justice."

"And," added Ezekiel complacently, "should these forms not suffice the strength of our will we must supply what is lacking."

And a rabbi said, "A little more or less guilty matters little, since once for all the public weal demands that he should be removed."

Then Caiaphas said, "In securing the execution of our sentences it would be safest if we could so contrive that the sentence of death should be pronounced by the governor; then we should be clear of all responsibility."

"We can try," said Nathanael. "If it miscarries, it is still always open to us to have our sentence carried out by our trusty friends in the commotion of a great tumult, without ourselves being openly responsible for anything."

"And then," said the rabbi, "if the worst come we should have him in our hands, and in the silence of a dungeon it will not be difficult to find a more sure hand to deliver the Sanhedrin from its enemy."

Then Caiaphas arose and said, "Circumstances will teach us what should be done. Now let us break up. But hold yourselves ready at any hour of the night to be called together. There is no time to be lost. Our resolution is, he must die."

And all the members of the high council cried tumultuously: "Let him die! Let him die! The enemy of our holy land!"



The foulest deed will soon be done That earth or hell displays— Alas! ere this night's course be run Judas his Lord betrays!

Come now, ye faithful souls draw nigh See Jesus suffer, bleed and die, Now has begun the anguished fight Beyond in dark Gethsemane. O, sinners never let this night For evermore forgotten be!

For your salvation this has been Which on the mountain we have seen, When, sorrowing unto death, he sank To earth, it was for you— 'Twas for your sake the damp turf drank Those drops of crimson dew.

In the twilight of the same day there were gathered together in the neighborhood of the Mount of Olives those appointed by the Sanhedrin to seize Jesus. Judas was there with Dathan and the other traders, as well as the four priests sent by Caiaphas to see that all things went well. With them came the Temple Watch under the command of one Selpha, in steel helmet and steel-embossed leather cuirass. The watch consisted of twenty men in armor, two of whom carried long clubs set with spikes, two bore braziers of burning coals, while the rest carried spears. Conspicuous among the watch were Malchus, the high priest's servant, and Balbus. They approached stealthily, and Judas addressed them, saying, "Now be careful! We are now approaching the place whither the Master has withdrawn himself."

Then said Solomon, one of the priests, "I suppose the disciples will not perceive us too soon."

"No," said Judas, "they rest unconcerned and dream nothing of any attack. As to any resistance, there is nothing of that to fear."

Then cried the Temple Watch aloud, "Should they try it they shall feel the weight of our arms."

"You will seize him," said Judas, "without a single sword stroke."

"But," said Josue, "how shall we know him in the darkness so as not to arrest another in place of the one we desire?"

"I shall give you a sign," said Judas, "when we are in the garden; then look out. I will hasten up to him, and the man whom I shall kiss; that is he; bind him!"

Then said Korah, "Good, this sign will prevent us from making any mistake."

Ptolomaus, the priest, then turned to the watch and said, "Do you hear? You will know the master by a kiss!"

"Yes, yes," cried the soldiers, "we shall not miss him."

"Now," said Judas, "let us make haste; it is time. We are not far from the garden."

Then said Josue to Judas, "Judas, if tonight brings us good fortune, thou wilt profit by the fruit of thy work."

The traders added, "We, too, will recompense thee richly."

Then cried all the soldiers together, "Now look out, thou stirrer-up of the people, thou wilt soon have thy reward." Thereupon the whole company moved off into the darkness and remained hidden in an ambush until the signal should be given.

After a time Jesus and his disciples entered the garden of Gethsemane. Jesus spoke unto them, saying, "Verily, verily, I say unto you, ye shall weep and lament, but the world shall rejoice; ye shall be sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy, for I will see you again and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no one taketh from you. I came forth from the Father and am come into the world. I leave the world again and go unto the Father."

"Lo," said Peter, "now thou speakest plainly and no more in parables."

Then said James the Greater, "Now we see that thou knowest all things, and hast no need that one should ask thee anything."

And Thomas added, "Therefore we believe that thou comest forth from God."

Jesus answered them saying, "Do ye now believe? Behold the hour cometh, yea, is already come, when ye shall be scattered every man to his own and leave me alone. Yet I am not alone, for the Father is with me. Yes, Father, the hour is come; glorify thy Son that thy Son also may glorify thee. I have finished the work which thou hast given me to do. I have manifested thy name to those thou gavest me out of the world. Holy Father, keep them in thy name; sanctify them in the truth. Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also who shall believe on me through their word; that they may all be one, as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee. Father, I will pray that they also whom thou hast given me be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me, for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world." Then turning to the disciples who were following him into the garden he said in a voice which was broken with sorrow: "Children, sit down here while I go and pray yonder. Pray that ye enter not into temptation; but you, Peter, James and John follow me." Eight of the disciples then sat down on the ground under the trees, while Jesus went forward with the three.

Bartholomew said, "Never have I seen him so sad;" and James the Less replied, "My heart is also laden down with sadness;" while Matthew cried, "Ah, that this night were passed with its weary hours." And another apostle exclaimed, "Not in vain has our master prepared us for this."

Philip said, "Dear brothers, we will sit down here and rest until he comes back."

"Yes," said Thomas, "that we will, for I am utterly worn out and weary."

Then Jesus, who had come forward with Peter, James and John, said unto them, "Ah, beloved children, my soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death. Tarry ye here and watch with me." Then after a pause he added, "I will go a little further apart in order to strengthen myself by communion with the Father."

As Jesus with slow and staggering steps went toward the grotto, Peter cried, looking after him, "Ah, dear good master," and John exclaimed, "My soul is suffering with our teacher."

As they sat down Peter said, "I am very anxious."

James said, "Why does our dear master thus separate us from one another?"

John replied, "Alas, we are to be witnesses," and Peter continued, "Ye know, brethren, we were the witnesses of his transfiguration on the mountain, but now, what is it that we have to see?"

Slowly Peter, James and John, who were sitting apart, fell asleep.

Jesus having reached the grotto, said, "This hour must come upon me—the hour of darkness. For this it was that I came into the world." Then falling upon his knees he clasped his hands, and looking up to heaven cried, with a great and pitiful voice, "Father, my Father! If it be possible, and with thee all things are possible, let this cup pass from me!" Then Jesus fell upon his face on the ground and remained silent for a while. Then again he rose upon his knees and cried, "Yes, Father, not as I will, but as thou wilt!" Then standing up, he looked toward heaven and slowly returned to the three disciples.

And lo, when he approached he found them asleep. "Simon," he said.

Simon Peter, as in a dream, rubbed his head and said, "Alas, my master."

Jesus said, "Simon, dost thou sleep?"

Peter, rousing himself, said, "Master, here I am."

Jesus said, "Could you not watch with me one hour?"

Peter cried, "O, Master, forgive."

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