« ПретходнаНастави »
praise of such actions. To which the Blessed Jesus will reply, “ Inasmuch as they had performed those good offices to the least of all his genuine disciples, and from a principle of love to him, he considered it as done to him. self. But as to the slothful and unfaithful, he shall pronounce them accursed, and adjudge them to those eternal woes, designed for the devil, and those angels that sinned and fell with him, for the want of that true faith which always worketh by love, and which radical defect was awfully evinced by their uncharitableness, in refusing to assist him when he was famished with hunger, starved with cold, sick, and in prison. And when, as not conscious of this cruelty and impiety, they shall begin to expostulate that they never acted in this unfriendly manner to Christ never saw him in any distress without relieving him : then shall he answer them; “ Inasmuch as ye did not succour and comfort the meanest of my disciples, ye refused those good offices to my person. He then concludes his sermon with a prediction of his approaching passion, foretelling, that within two days* he should be betrayed and delivered by the Jews into the hands of the Romans, to die after their manner, which was to be fastened to a cross.
The Jews, who had long and impatiently waited for an opportunity of destroying Jesus by the formalities of law, had hitherto been frustrated in all their attempts, though laid with all the insidious treachery that malice could invent; for they durst not attack him by open force, because of the great opinion the multitude entertained of him, and who might revenge any harm done to him upon the administration : however, they resolve to leave no means untried to get him into their power, and in order hereunto they call a great council to consult how to ensnare him: but while the Scribes and Pharisees were anxiously contriving how to betray him, a wicked officious man, at the instigation of the devil, furnishes them with an instrument: Judas Iscariot, one of the twelve, hearing of this meeting of the Jews, and knowing that they of the Sanhedrim were desirous of apprehending Jesus privately, goes from Beth
* Two days. See Matt. xxvi. 2.
any in haste, and offered to betray his master to them, if they would give him a considerable reward. The council overjoyed at this opportunity, were as ready to offer as his avarice was to crave, and they agreed with him for thirty pieces of silver. A poor price for the Saviour of the world to be valued at by bis undiscerning, unworthy country men. The bargain thus made, Judas retires from the council, watching an opportunity * such as they desired; that is, an opportunity of taking him privately, when the people should not be aware.
The next day † was the first day of unleavened bread, on which it was necessary they should kill 1 the
passover; therefore Jesus sent Peter and John to the city to a certain man, whom they should find carrying a pitcher ý of water to his house,|| him they were to follow, and there to prepare the passover. These two disciples went, and accordingly found the man in the same circumstances, and prepared for Jesus and his family, who at the evening came to celebrate the passover.
All things being provided, and the time appointed drawing near, the Holy Jesus, who was now about to finish the great work of redemption, came with his apostles to Jerusalem, there to eat the passover with them be. fore his passion. Having eaten the paschal lamb with his disciples, and knowing that his hour** was come that he should depart out of this world to the Father, and therefore that what he had to say or do to his disciples must be done presently, he thus expressed the constancy of his af
Opportunity. See Matt. xxvi. 4, 16. + Next Day. The Thursday evening, wherein the thirteenth day of the month Nisan was concluded, and the fourteenth day began, the day of preparation to the feast of unleavened bread, whereon they put all leaven out of their houses, that is, on the evening which began the paschal-day. | Kill. See Luke xxii. 7.
Pitcher. See Mark xiv. 73,&c. 1 House. This is supposed to be the house of John surnamed Mark, which had always been open to this blessed family, where Jesus was pleased to finish his last supper, and the mysteriousness of the vespers of his passion.
** Hour. See John xii. 1, &c.
fection to them. Rising from supper, after the manner of a servant, he puts off bis upper garment, girds his under garment with a napkin, and pouring water into a bason, puts himself in the humble posture of the meanest attendant to wash his disciples' feet, and afterwards wipes them with the napkin; intending, by this condescending action, accompanied with an admirable discourse, to teach them humility, and kindness to each other. But Simon Peter, thinking he ought in good manners to decline this act of condescension, which he thought beneath the dignity of his master, was unwilling to be washed by him, till Jesus assured him, he must renounce bis part in him, unless he were washed. Upon which he cried out, “ Lord, not only my feet, but my hands and my head.” Jesus tells him, he that is washed* before, needs no further washing, save only for the feet, which by daily conversing and walking on earth, will be apt to contract defilement, and need continual cleansing.
After the eating of the paschal lamb, the blessed Jesus knowing that his time was short, and that he had much to do in it, hastens to the second supper, t at which he in
Wasbed. That is, He that bas been bathing_as the room in which persons dressed themselves was different from that in which they bathed, their feet might be so soiled in walking from the one to the other, as to make it necessary immediately to wash them again. Thus, though true believers in Christ are already clean, being washed from their sins in his blood, yet is it necessary, even for them, dai. ly to renew their application to him, that they may be freed from those pollutions which they are daily contracting in their walk through this defiled and defiling world.
Some Christians have imagined that our Lord intended by washing his disci. ples' feet, to establish a continued rite in his church, and some still retain it as such. But as no such rite ever obtained generally in the christian world, and as it would be, in some countries and circumstances, an inconvenience, rather than a kindness, to do it for our friends, it is very properly considered by Christians in general, as an example of humility and attention to our brethren, to be imitated not in the letter, but in the spirit of it.
+ Second Supper. It was the custom of the Jewish nation after the eating of the paschal lamb to sit down to a second supper, in which they ate herbs and unleavened bread, the Major-Domo first dipping his morsel, and then the family ; after which the father of the family brake bread into pieces, and distributed a
tended to institute the perpetual memorial of that great sacrifice, which he was about to offer up for the sin of the world. Jesus therefore, took bread, and gave thanks, and blessed it; that is, having implored the divine blessing on it, and on the ordinance he then instituted, that it might in all succeeding ages tend to the edification of his people, he brake the bread into several pieces, and gave some of it to each of his disciples present, and said, “ Take this bread, and eat it with reverence and thankfulness; for this is my body ;'** that is, it is the sensible sign and representation of my body, which is freely given, and is speedily to be broken, bruised, wounded, and even slaughtered for you.
Do this here. after in your assemblies for religious worship in a pious and affectionate remembrancet of me, that you may keep
part to every guest, and first drinking himself, gave to the rest the chalice filled with wine according to the age and dignity of the person, adding to each distribution a form of benediction proper to the mystery, which was eucharistical and commemorative of their deliverance from Egypt. See Job xiii. 2.
Dr. Doddridge thus explains this circumstance. “ As it is here asserted that Cbrist rose from supper, we must allow, that, in some sense, supper was begun ; that is, I suppose, the antepast had been taken, which is mentioned by the Jews, as preceding the paschal lamb. They tell us, that it was then usual for the master of the family to wasb his bands; and if I am rightly informed, the Jews continue the custom still. This seems a more natural manner of explaining the matter, than to suppose (according to the note above) that after the pascbal lamb they ate another distinct supper; and that this washing happened in the interval between them,"
My Body. On the same foundation on which the Papists argue for transubstantiation from these words, they might prove from Ezek. v. 1 5, that the prophet's hair was the city of Jerusalem; from John x. 9, and xv. 1, that Christ was literally a door, and a vine, and from 1 Cor. xi. 25, that the cup was his blood, and that Christ commanded his disciples to drink and swallow the cup. It is remarkable that a church which claims infallibility, should be given up to a kind of infatuation, in maintaining one of the grossest errors imaginable ; and it seems to be allowed by Providence as an antidote against the rest of its poison.
of Remembrance of me. From our Lord's words, “ This do in remembrance of me,” and from those in 1 Cor. xi. 26, “ For as often as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lord's death till he come.” (narazpenzte
, ye preacb, ye declare the Lord's death; ye assure the world of the truth of it,) it appears
up the memory of my dying love, may openly profess your dependance on my death, and impress your hearts with a becoming sense of it.
And in like manner, he took the cup, and when he had given thanks to his heavenly Father, and implored his blessing upon it as a sacramental sign, he gave it to them, and said, “ Drink ye all, of it,” and accordingly they all drank some of it. For, said he to them, as he delivered it into their hands, “ This cup of wine is a representation of my blood, which is the great basis, a seal of the new dispensation of religion, which is to supersede that of Moses, and which is shed for you, and for myriads more, as the great ransom to be paid for the remission of sins. *
Our Blessed Lord having instituted that sacred memo. rial, which the apostles and the church in all succeeding ages were to continue, tells them that he should not long
that the sacrament of the supper was instituted, not only to bring Christ's sufferings and the happy consequences of them, to the remembrance of his disciples, but to demonstrate the truth of these things to the world in all ages. In this view the sacrament of the supper is the strongest proof of our Lord's integrity, and of the truth of his mission : for if he had been an impostor, and was to have suffered death on account of his deluding the people, is it to be imagined that he would have instituted any rite with a view to preserve the memory of his having suffered punishment for the worst of crimes? No; this is beyond all human belief. And, therefore, since by this institution he has perpetuated the memory of his own sufferings, it affords a strong presumption that he was conscious of his own innecence, that his character was really what the evangelists have represented it to be, and that our faith in him, as the Son of God, is well-founded. This is the judi. cious remark of Dr. Macknight in his Harmony of the Gospels, sect. 129.
* Sins. This ordinance, as Dr. Doddridge observes, has so plain a reference to the atonement or satisfaction of Christ, and pays so solemn an honour to that fundamental doctrine of the gospel, that while this sacred institution continues in the church, it will be impossible to root that doctrine out of the minds of plain, humble Christians, by all the arts of criticism. Honest simplicity will always see the analogy this ordinance has to eating the flesh of the Son of God, and drinking kis blood; and will be taught by it to feed on him as the Lamb of God, that taketh away
the sin of the world. The enemies of this heart-reviving truth might as well hope to pierce through a coat of mail with a straw, as to reach such a truth, defended by such an ordinance as this, by any of their trifling sophistries.