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that all thy people, in conformity to thy example, might learn a readiness to serve each other in love!
But why are we so slow to receive this lesson ? And why is our practice ofter so contrary to it? Surely to cleanse us from these dregsof pride and carnality we need in a spiritual sense to be washed by him. Let us gladly submit to that washing, if we desire to secure any pari in him. Which of us in this view may not see reason to cry out with Peter, Lord, not our feet only, but also our hands and our head ? May our whole nature be thus purified! and, warmly emulous of conforming to so bright an example, may we ever be maintaining a watchfulness over our own spirits ; correcting the first appearances of irregularity, and washing away every lightest stain which our feet may contract in this various journey! So shall we be great in the sight and favour of our Master; and, numbering ourselves among the least of his servants, shall be distinguished by peculiar honours, in proportion to the degree in which we think ourselves most unworthy of them.
Christ declares that one of his apostles should betray him, and marks
out Judas as the persons who upon this relires. Matt. xxvi. 21-25, Mark xiv. 18-21. LUKE xxii. 21.23, 28-30. John xiii. 2 18-30.
THEN Jesus went on, as he was eating the passovery to instrucly
have continued with me in my trials; and by a covenant * I appoint unto you a kingdom, even as my Father has appointed unto me : That you may eat and drink at my table in my kingdom, and sit upon thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel. But I speak not of you all : I know whom I have chosen ; but that the scripture may be fulfilled, which says (Psal. xli. 9.) “ He that eateth bread with me, hath 6 lift
up his heel against me." I tell you now, before it comes to pass, that when it comes, you may believe that I am He. And whatsoever therefore I shall suffer, let not your zeal in my cause be lessened; for at 1.formerly declared, so now I most assuredly say unto you, Whoever entertains
my messengers, entertains me; and whoever entertains me, entertains him that sent me.
When Jesus had thus said (the devil having already put it into the heart of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, to betray him) he was troubled in spirit ; and as they sat, and were eating the fraschal supper ; Jesus testified and said ; Verily, verily, I say unto you, That one of you who is eating with me will betray me: behold the hand of him that betrayeth me is now with me on the table. Then the disciples were exceedingly grieved, and looked on each other, doubting of whom he spake : and they began to enquire among themselves, which
* The word d'1c71060 bat properly signifies, to covenant, or to bestow in virtue of a covenant.
of them it could be that was about to do this thing; and began every one of them to say to him, one by one, Lord is it I ?
Now one of his disciples whom Jesus loved, and honoured, with the most intimate friendship, being next him at the table, on his right hand, was reclining r against the bosom of Jesus. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it might be of whom he spake. He then who was reclining r at the breast of Jesus*, (viz. John) said to him, Lord who is it? Jesus answered with a low voice, It is he to whom I shall give this sopt, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, putting it towards him in the dish. Upon which Judas put forth his hand to take it ; and others continuing the same question to Jesus, he answered and said to themț, He that now dippeth his hand with me in the dish, this very person shall betray me.
The Son of man is indeed going to suffer, as it is written, and determined concerning him ; but wo to that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed: it had been well for that man, if he had never been born. Then Judas who betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said to him, Thou hast said ; thou art the very fierson.
And after he had received the sop, Satan entered into him. Then Jesus said to him, What you do, do quickly. But no man at the table knew, for what purpose he spake this to him. For some of them thought, because Judas had the purse, that it was as if Jesus had said to him, Buy those other things, which we shall need for the feast; or that he should give something to the poor. He therefore, having received the sop, immediately went out: and it was night; the time appointed to meet those, who were consulting the death of Jesus.
REFLECTIONS. Who would not gladly continue with Christ in the strictest fidelity, amidst all the trials which can arise, when he observes how liberally he repays his servants, and how graciously he seems to relish his own honours the more, in proportion to the degree in which those honours are shared with them; appointing them a glorious kingdom, and erecting thrones for each of them? And surely, though the apostles of the Lamb are to have their peculiar dignity in the great day of his triumph, there is a sense in which he will perform to every one that overcometh, that yet more condescending promise, I will grant him to sit down with me on my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father on his throne. Let our souls in that confidence
* It is to be remembered that the reclining posture was used at the table (see 60.) to prevent the idea of that gross familiarity which has commonly been excited by the expressions in this and other passages in the common translation, and which the language of some pious writers, in allusion to them, has countenanced. In this view those lines of Dr. Watts, B.iii. H. xv. ver. 2, 3. are very reprehensible. Ed.
ť Or piece of meat, dipped in a thick kind of sauce made of dates, raisins, and other ingredients, which the Jews still use, to represent the clay in which their fathers wrought in their Egyptian bondage.
† MARK, “It is one of the twelve." VOL. I.
be strengthened to all the labours and sufferings to which he us forth.
It is a melancholy reflection, that there should be any one in this select company, to whom this endearing promise did not belong, especially one who, having eaten of Christ's bread, should, in such a sense and degree as Judas, lift up his heel against him. Deliver us, o Lord, from any share in that guilt! We are treated as thy friends; we are set at thy table : let us not ungratefully kick against thee, while the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib ! [To prevent such base conduct] let us be jealous over ourselves, with a godly jealousy. Happy are they whose hearts witness to their sincerity in the presence
of him that searches them, and can cheerfully say Lord, is it I? Let them say. it humbly loo; lest the infirmity of nature prevail upon them beyond their present purpose or apprehension, and lead them on to do that, the very thought of which they would now abhor.
How artfully must Judas have conducted himself, when on such an intimation no particular suspicion appears to have fallen on him! But how vain is that artifice, be it ever so refined, which, while it preserves a character in the sight of men, cannot in the least degree impose upon Christ! The day will come when he will lay open the false and ungrateful hypocrite, in a more overwhelming manner than that in which he here exposed Judas; and, whatever advantage he may have gained, either by professing religion, or by betraying it, he will undoubtedly find that it had been good for him that he had never been born. One would have imagined that an admonition like this, which laid bare the secrets of his heart, and warned him so plainly and faithfully of his danger, might have wrought some remorse in his heart, or at least have proved some impediment to the immediate execution of his design: but being now given up by the righteous judgment of God to the influence of Satan, and the lust of his own depraved mind, he is exasperated, rather than reclaimed by it; and immediately goes forth, under the covert of the night, to hasten the accomplishment of that work of darkness, the consequences of which had been so awfully represented.
O Lord, let thy grace, and thy love, do that for us which thy terrors alone cannot do ! Let our hearts be melted by that nobler principle, and taught to abhor every thing which would displease thee! Oh, let them flow forth into such workings of compassion to the afflicted as engaged the blessed Jesus to relieve the poor out of his own little stock; and into those sentiments of candour which would not permit the apostles, even after this admonition, to imagine Judas altogether so bad as indeed he was, but led them to put the mildest construction on their Master's ambiguous address to him! Such may our mistakes be, wherever we do mistake ; the errors of a charity, which would not by excessive rigour injure the vilest sinner, and much less the least and weakest of God's servants !
Christ exhorts his disciples to mutual love, forewarns them of their api.
proaching trial, and foretells Peter's fall. LUKE xxii. 31–34. JOHN xiii. 31, &c.
THEN therefore he [i. e. Judas] was gone out, Jesus said, Now
is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. And if God be glorified in him, God will also glorify him in hímself; and the time will presently come, when he will eminently glorify hini. Little children, it is yet but a little while I am with you ; ye shall seek me, and, as I said to the Jews, whither I go, ye cannot come ; so now I say to you. I give you a new commandment, That ye love one another : yea, that* even as I have loved you, ye also love one another. For by this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you have love for each other.
Simon Peter said to him, Lord whither art thou going? Jesus answered him, Whither I am going thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said to him, Lord, why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? O Simon, Simon, behold Satan has requested permission to assault yout all, that he may sift you like wheat. But I have prayed for thee, that thy faith may not uiterly fail; and when thou art returned, strengthen thy brethren. And he said to him, Lord, I am ready to go with thee, both into prison and to death. But he said to him, Peter, I most assuredly say unto thee, It shall not be the time of cock-crowing to-day, before thou shalt thrice deny that thou knowest me.
REFLECTIONS. Alas, how ready are we to forget ourselves; and how much safer are we in Christ's hands than in our own! How frequently do we resolve like Peter, and in how many instances do we fall like him! We see the malice of Satan, and how eagerly he desired to try the apostles, and even to sift them as wheat : we see also the gracious care of our Redeemer, who, foreseeing the danger of his servants, laid in an unsought remedy, to which they respectively owed their security, or their recovery. Let us rejoice that the great enemy is under such restraints, and can have no power against us, unless by permission from above. Let us rejoice that Christ is a constant and invariable friend to his people ; and still appears as an Advocate with the Father, and as a tender faithful Shepherd, watching over them for good, while Satan is seekinge to devour them. If at any time that adversary get an advantage over us, let us endeavour in the strength of divine grace an immediate recovery ; and when restored, let us exert ourselves to. strengthen our brethren: for surely it is most reasonable that we, who. * “That" being transposed (as it is by Campbell) renders the sense clearer,
† The word you here is plural vas. ED.
are surrounded with such various, and such sensible infirmities, should have compassion on the ignorant, and on them that are out of the way.
In this instance, as in all others, let us be mindful of the dying charge, the new commandment of our dear Lord ; and let us shew upon all occasions this distinguishing badge of our relation to him, even our love to each other. So will our profession be adorned, and the Son of man be further glorified, by the conduct of his servants on earth : so shall he at length glorify us with himself, and after a short absence call us to follow him into those regions of perfect love which must of course be the seats of everlasting joy.
In the mean time, send down, O gracious Emmanuel, thy Spirit of love on all thy followers; that we may no longer glory in the little distinctions of this or that party, but may shew we are Christians by this resplendent ensign of our order! May we bind it on our shoulders as a mark of honour, and wear it as a crown upon our heads; that the spi: rit of hatred, reproach, and persecution may vanish like an unwholesome mist before the sun, and it may again be universally said, as of old, Behcļd, how these Christians love one another! Amen!
Christ, at the conclusion of the passover, institutes the eucharist. MATT,
xxvi. 26–30. MARK xiv. 22.-26. LUKE xxii. 19, 20.
ND as they were eating, or just as they had finishea the paschal
supper, Jesus took a cake of bread; and having given thanks, and blessed it, he brake and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat: this is my body which is given for you. Do this in commemoration of
And in like manner, after they had supped, he also took the cup; and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, and said, Drink ye all of it: and they all drank of it, For, said he to them, This сир
is my blood, even that of the new covenant (or the new covenant, in my blood) which is shed for you and for many more, for the forgiveness of sins. And, verily, I say unto you, That from this time, I will drink no more of this produce of the vine until that day when I shall drink it new with you in the kingdom of God my Father. And when (according to the usual custom at the close of the passover) they had sung an hymn,* they went out to the mount of Olives.
REFLECTIONS. Let us now review, with most thankful acknowledgment, this gracious legacy of our dying Redeemer, this reviving and nourishing ordinance, which he instituted for the benefit of his church the same night in which he was betrayed. So tenderly did his love for them prevail when his heart was full of his own sorrows! May we always consider to what purposes this holy rite was ordained; and as we shall see the wisdom of the appointment, so we shall also be both awakened to at: tend to it, and assisted in that attendance !
* What the Jews usually sung at the passover was, what they call the Hal: lel, which begins at Psal. cxüi. and ends with cxviii.