Sidor som bilder
PDF
ePub

Lord suffered for their salvation, and that of all mankind; for St. Luke adds these affecting and impressive words of our Saviour, This do in remembrance of me. The Lord's Supper therefore was evidently to be a solemn commemoration and recognition of the redemption and deliverance of mankind by the death of Christ, as the Feast of the Passover was of the deliverance of the Israelites from the destroying angel. Nor is this all; for as the Jews were accustomed in their peace-offerings to eat a part of the victim, and thus partook of the sacrifice; so they would perceive that in this new institution, the eating of the bread and drinking of the wine was a mark and symbol of their participating in the effects of this new peace-offering, the death of Christ; whose body was broken, and whose blood was shed for them on the cross. They would also see that this supper of our Lord was from that time to be substituted in the room of the passover: and that they might have no doubt on this head,

head, our Lord expressly declares that this was to be the case; for immediately after the institution of this sacrament he adds, “I say unto you, I will not drink henceforth of this fruit of the vine, until that day when I drink it new with you in my Father's kingdom.” The meaning is, this is the last time that this supper shall be a representation of the passover. It shall hereafter take a new signification. When my kingdom (that is, my religion) is fully confirmed and established by my rising from the dead, this supper shall be the memorial of a more noble sacrifice. The passover, which was a type of the redemption to be wrought by me, shall be fulfilled and completed by my death and resurrection. The shadow passes away; the substance takes place ; and when you eat this supper in remembrance of me, there will I be virtually present amongst you; and your souls shall be nourished and refreshed by my grace, as your bodies

are by the bread and wine. You will perceive, by what I have here said said on the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, that I have confined myself to that which was immediately before me, the original institution of it by our blessed Lord. I have not entered into those further illustrations of this holy rite, which are presented to us in other parts of Scripture; particularly in the 11th chapter of the First Epistle to the Corinthians. To go at length into the consideration of this important subject, would lead me into a much longer discussion than the nature of this discourse will admit. I shall therefore only observe further, that whoever reads with attention this first institution of the Lord's Supper, whoever reflects that it was the very last meal that our Lord ate with his disciples, that the next day he underwent for our sakes a most excruciating and ignominious death, and that he requires us to receive this sacrament in remembrance of him; whoever I say, can, notwithstanding all this, disobey the last command of his dying Redeemer, must be destitute, not only of all the devout sentiments of a Christian, but of

all the honest feelings of a man. After having thus kept the passover for the last time, our Lord and his apostles sung a hymn, as was usual with the Jews after their repasts ; and the hymn they sung on this occasion was probably what they called the Paschal Psalms, from the 113th to the 118th, in which the disciples, accustomed to that recital, readily joined. They then went out into the Mount of Olives; and as they were going, Jesus saith unto them, “All ye shall be offended because of me this night; for it is written, I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad. But after I am risen again, I will go be. fore you into Galilee.” This was a prophetic warning to the disciples, that they would all be terrified by the dangers that awaited him, and would desert and virtually renounce him that very night. The words here quoted, “I will smite the shepherd, and the sheep of the flock shall be scattered abroad,” are from the thir6 teenth

teenth chapter of Zechariah. But to console and support them under this trial, our Lord assures them that he would rise again from the dead, and after his resurrection would meet them at a certain place he appointed in Galilee. The apostles, as we may easily imagine, were greatly hurt at this admonitory prediction of our Lord, and protested that they would never forsake him. But St.Peter more particularly, who, from the ardour of his disposition, was always more forward in his professions, and more indignant at the slightest reflection on his character, than any of the rest, immediately cried out, with warmth and eagerness, “Though all men should he offended because of thee, yet will I never be offended.” But Jesus, who knew him much better than he did himself, said unto him, “Verily, I say unto thee, That this night, before the cock crow (that is, before three in the morning) thou shalt deny me thrice.” Peter, still confident of his own integrity and sincere attachment to his divine

Vol. II. T Master,

« FöregåendeFortsätt »