« PreviousContinue »
Reflections on the Zeal of CHRIST, and the Treachery of Judas. 417
covetous as he was, to acquiesce in that mean and Sect. 167.
12, 13:) LUKE XXII, 6. And he And he promised to take a punctual Care in the Luke XXII. promised, and [from that Affair: And accordingly from that Time he dili- 6. Time] sought Opportunity to betray him unto them in gently fought a proper Opportunity to betray him unto the Absence of the Multi- them, that they might come upon him privately, tude. [Mat. XXVI. 16. and apprehend' him in the Absence of the MultiMARK XIV.-11.]
tude : Nor was it long before this happened, as
IMPROV E M E N T.
W E fee with what unremitting Vigour the great Author and Fi- Lukexxi. 27.
W nifher of our Faith pressed forward towards the Mark, and how he quickened his Pace, as he saw the Day approaching ; spending in Devotion the greatest Part of the Night, which succeeded to his most laborious Days, and resuming his Work early in the Morning? How much happier were bis Disciples in these early Lectures, than the Slum- Ver. 28. bers of the Morning could have made them on their Beds ? Let us not scruple to deny ourselves the Indulgence of unnecessary Sleep, that we may come Morning after Morning to place ourselves at his Feet, receiving the Instructions of his Word, and seeking those of his Spirit.
at while his gracious Heart was thus intent on doing Good, the Chief Mat. xxyi. Priests and Rulers of the People were no less intent on Mischief and Mur- 3, 4. ther. They took Counsel together, how they might put him to Death: They set upon his Head the Price of a Slave, and find an Apostle base enough Ver. 14, 15. to accept it. Blush, ob ye Heavens, to have been Witness to this; and be ashamed, oh Earth, to have supported fo infamous a Creature! Yet this was the Man, who but a few Days before was the foremost to appear as an Advocate for the Poor, and to censure the pious Zeal of Mary, which our Lord vindicated and applauded. (70bn xii. 4,-48. pag. 285.) Let the fatal Fruits of his covetous Disposition, instigated by Satan, be Luke xxii. marked with Abhorrence and Terror ; and if we see this base Principle 3, 4, 6. harboured in the Breasts of those, who call themselves the Disciples and Ministers of Christ, let us not wonder, if by God's righteous Judgment they are given up to those Excesses of it, which bring upon them lasting Infamy and endless Perdition.
Jesus sends Two of his Disciples to prepare the Passover.
CHRIST having direEted his Disciples where to prepare the
Passover for him, comes to Jerusalem for the last Time before his Death, and fits down with them to the Celebration of it. Mat. XXVI. 17,-----20. Mark XIV. 12,-----17. Luke XXII. 7,----18. John XIII. 1. LUKE XXII. 7.
LUKE XXII.7. Sect. 168. NOW after this infamous Bargain, which Ju- THEN came the (firt} M das made with the Chief Priests to betray
1 Day of unleavened Luke XXII. their Hands his innocent and Divine Master, on must be killed.
Bread, when the Passover
[MAT. the Fifth Day of the Week before the Evening XXVI. 17.-MARK XIV. drew on, when the First Day of unleavened Bread 12.—} came (a), in which, according to the Precept of the Law, which had expressly limited the Time of it, the Passover must be killed, or the Pafchal Lamb be sain, in Commemoration of the Israelites being preserved from the destroying Angel, and
delivered out of Egypt; Jesus determined to keep • 8 the Passover with his Disciples. And that he 8 And he fent (Two of
might celebrate it with them in a regular and his Disciples,] Peter and exact Manner, he fent Two of his Disciples, Peter John, saying, Go and pre
pare us the Passover, that and John, from the place where he had spent the
we may eat. [MARK XIV. Night before in Retirement with them, and said, 13.-) Go to Jerusalem, and prepare the Passover for us, that we may once more eat [it] together.
And they faid to him. Lord, we are ready to per 9 And they said untoform the Charge, and only defire thou would be him, Where wilt thou that
we [MAR. go and) prepare pleased more particularly to tell us, Where, or at [for thee to eat the Patiowhat House, wilt thou have us go and prepare for ver?) [Mat. XXVI.-17.
MARK XIV.–12.] thy eating the Pallover with us?
(a) The First Day of unleavened Bread came.] There is no Room to question, that the Time when Christ sent his Disciples to prepare the Pallover, was on the Thursday of the Week in which he suffered ; and tho' the First Day of unleavened Bread moft strictly so called, was the Fifteenth Day of Nifan, and began with the Evening that the Passover was eaten; yet it is not improbable, that the Evangelists might sometimes speak according to the usual Way of reckoning Days among other Nations; and so, as the Use of Leaven among them was to cease by Sun-set at farthest, and they were obliged to eat their Supper, which was the chief Hleal, with unleavened Cakes, it might naturally enough be called by this Name.
They find a Room by his Dire&tion, and make all Things ready. 419
10 And he said unto And he said to them I will give you a Sign, Sect. 168. them, [Go into the City which Ihall put the Matter out of Doubt : Go di- w to such a Man, and] behold, wben ye are entred into the rectly into the City, [and] behold, as soon as ever Luke Xxil. City, there shall a Man meet you are entered into it, a Man will meet you in the you, bearing a Pitcher of Street carrying a Pitcher of Water in his Hand; Water ; follow him into the House where he entreth in. follow him immediately into the House where he en(Mat. XXVI. 18. – ters; for I know it will be a Place very fit for MARK XIV.-13.). our Accommodation (6). And wherefover he · II And [Mar. where
soever he lhall go inye tall goes in, you fall say to the Master of the Family,
be secure from the Interuption of any other Com-
î will conveniently hold us all; and you will find
by all necessary Circumstances of Purification of
(b) A Man will meet you, &c.] As Samuel, having anointed Saul, for the Confirmation of his Faith gave him several Predictions, relating to some very contingent Occurrences he was to meet with in his Journey : (See i Sam. X.
2 7 .) So our Lord seems by these Predictions to have intended the same with regard to his Disciples, and also to give them a most important Hint, that he foresaw all the particular Circumstances, which were to befal him at Jerusalem, when he went up thither for the next, and last Time, before his Suffer. ings. The sending them to Jerusalem in this Manner seems to intimate, that he did not go thither himself that Morning; so that it is very probable he spent most of the Day in Retirement for Meditation and Prayer.
(c) My Time is near.] Every Body knew that the Time for eating the Passover was near ; so that these Words must be supposed to have a further View. And I am therefore ready to believe, that the Owner of this House, to whom our Lord sent this Message by the Name of the Teacher, might be a Person, who (tho' unknown to Peter and Yohn,) was in his Heart at least a Disciple of Christ, and our Lord might give this Intimation, that it was to be a Time of more than ordinary Importance to him, that it might be some secret Support to this Man's Faith, under that violent Shock it was to receive by his approaching Sufferings.
(d) We shall be able to find the House &c.] The same Prophetic Gift, which enabled Christ to predi&t these Circumstances, would, no doubt, guide hím thither; and it is a beau
420 CHRIST comes in the Evening, and fits down with the Twelve. Sect. 168. And after he had given these particular Instruc- Mark XIV. 16. And
t ions to his Two Disciples, they went out from his Disciples went forth, and Mark XIV.
came into the City, and "' thence, and came into the City, and found the Man 16.
found as he had said unte carrying the Water, whom they followed into a them : and they did as JeHouse, where there was, just as he had said to them. lus had appointed them, and]
made ready the Passover. a commodious Dining Room at Liberty, and well
[Mat. XXVI, 19. LUKE furnished : And as the Master of the House was XXII. 13.) free to let them have it, they did as Jefus bad appointed them, and made the Pallover ready against the Time when he should come to eat it.
And in the Evening, when the proper Hour for 17 And in the Evening eating the Passover was come, he came directly to [Luk. when the Hour was
come,) he cometh, [and fat the House where his Messengers were, a
down with the Twelve down to the Table with all the Twelve Apostles (Luk. Apostles.) [Mat, around him, to taste (according to the Usage of 2 those Days, the unleavened Bread, and the bitter
or 14.] Herbs, before the Lamb was served up (e). . John XIII. Now it is here to be observed, t
e be John XIII. !. Now began to eat the Feast of the Pallover, as Felus knew fore the Feast of the Pallothat his Hour was come, when be should depart from
ver, when Jesus knew that
his Hour was come, that he this calamitous World, in which he had sojourned should depart out of this for a while, to return to the Bosom of the Father. World unto the Father, in which he originally dwelt; he was solicitous
baving to order every Circumstance of his. Conduct in this last Intercourse with his Disciples, so as might
tiful Modesty in the Sacred Historian only to hint obliquely at it; but I apprehend it the Part of a Paraphraft, to set these Particulars in a fuller and stronger Light.
(6) To taste the unleavened Bread, &c.) I must here intreat my Reader, if he has an Opportunity, to consult Ainsworth's excellent Note on Exod. xii. 8. where he has collected from authentic Jewish Writers the best Account I have any where seen in so little Room, of the various Ceremonies with which the Pallover was eaten, by which the subsequent Story is greatly illustrated. Among others the following Circumstances should be recollected :That the Master of the Family began the Feast with a Cup of Wine, which, having solemnly blessed, i. e. having adored the Name of God over it, he divided among the Guests; (Luke xxii. 17.) and afterwards washed his Hands.: Then the Supper began with the unleavened Bread and bitter Herbs, which when the Master and the rest of the Company had tasted, one of the younger Persons present, generally a Child, asked the Reafon of what was peculiar in that Feast, (according to Exod. xii. 26.) which introduced the Haggadah, i. e. the Shewing forth, or Declaration of it; (in Allusion to which we read of Mewing forth obe Lord's Death: 1 Cor. xi. 26.)- Then the Master rofe up, and took another Cup, and washed his Hands again, before the Lamb was tafted : And in this Interval, I suppose, Christ also washed the Feet of his Disciples : - Then after eating the Passover, followed another Cup, which, after having delivered to each a Piece of Bread, was the Sacramental Cup at this Supper :- Then after some pious and friendly Discourse, the whole Family, after having drank at least a fourth Cup, rang some Pfalms of Praise ; and so the Solemnity ended. Agreeable to this is the Account given in The Religious Ceremonies of all Na sions, Vol. i. pag. 215,-217.
He takes the Cup before the Passover, and divides it among them. 421
always tenderly loved his own that were in the John Xlll.
nothing which might be for their Advantage. Luke XXII. 15. And And to express the Fervency and Strength of Luke XXII. he said unto them, With this Affection, he said to them, as they fate together 15. Desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you be
before Supper was brought in, I assure you, that fore I suffer.
I have most earnestly defired to eat this Passover with
Heavenly Father, that no Paffover was ever so
say unto you, that after this I will not celebrate
joyments of the Heavenly World.
was usual for them to begin the Feast, be gave
Thanks to God for the Redemption of Israel, in
'divide [it] among yourselves, and bless the GOD
He loved them to the End.] I shall afterwards hint at my Reasons, for agreeing with those Criticks, who place the Story of Christ's wasing his Disciples Feet, at the Beginning of the Paschal Supper, rather than a Night or two before. --At present I would only observe, that this Verse seems intended by John to introduce, not merely the Story which immediately follows it, but the whole Account of Christ's Behaviour to his Friends in these last Scenes of his Life: And therefore, as he prefixes it to the first Circumstance that he has mentioned of this Passover, I apprehend it proper to begin the whole Story with it ; especially since the Words which I have placed next after it, are full of that Love, which he expressed to them even to the last.