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manner, his own most perfect innocence*.
This melancholy act of treachery in Judas concluded the occurrences of wednesday, the fourth day of the week : nor was it long before the opportunity which he immediately sought, presented itself, for fulfilling the iniquitous engagement into which he had thus entered ; as we shall soon see in the sequel of the transactions of thursday, some of which I now, by anticipationt, proceed to consider in the remaining part of this lecture.
Thursday, the fifth day of the week, was the first day of unleavened bread, when the passover must be killed, that is the Paschal Lamb be slain..
The passover was the name given by the Jews to the feast, which was annually celebrated in commemoration of their coming out of Egypt; because the night before their departure, the destroying
* Bishop Watson's Theol. Tracts, v. 5, p. 180.
+ I have here deviated a little from my original design, by introducing this evening (wednesday) some of the occurrences of thursday; which I did, to regulate the length of the lectures : and I have judged it better to have them printed, as they were delivered from the pulpit, than to make the remainder of this lecture the beginning of the fol. lowing, which will be observed to have considerably exceeded the time usually occupied by such discourses.
angel, who put to death the first-born of
of the day in retirement for meditation and prayer.
These disciples cheerfully obeyed the command of their Master, having first asked him where they should prepare it; , and, that they might not mistake the place, received from him a sign, as they had once before, when they found an ass with a colt exactly in the same place as he had described. Behold, said he unto them, when ye ure entered into the city, there shall a man meet you bearing a pitcher of water, follow him into the house, where he entereth. And ye shall say to the master of the house, The Master saith unto thee, My time is at hand, where is the guest chumber, in which I shall eat the passover with my disciples ? And he shall shew you a large upper room furnished and prepared, there make ready for us. And his disciples went forth, and came unto the city, and found as he had said unto them; and they prepared the possover.
Here you see the blessed Jesus, although surrounded with enemies, and in the midst of snares, giving directions to his disciples, which they as readily obeyed, to make preparations for the celebration of the passover. But alas ! how backward are we, my Brethren, in fol
lowing this example of Christ and his apostles! How apt are men, (I speak from observation) to make it an excuse for not attending on the Lord's supper, our Gospel-passover, that they have many troubles and many enemies; and that they are full of care and fear. If so, they have, and would I could convince them that they have, the greater need of that ordinance, to silence their fears, and comfort them under their troubles, to help them in forgiving their enemies, and casting all their care upon God. .
In the evening Jesus went to the house, to which he had directed his disciples to go, guided to it, no doubt, by the same prophetic gift, which had enabled him to predict the circumstances whereby the apostles were to find it*. And when the hour of eating the passover was come, JESUS sat down with the twelve apostles, even Judas not excepted, who had lately. covenanted with the chief priests to betray him'; for even those whose hearts are full of wickedness often make a plausible profession of religion, and are found in the performance of its external services: nor did JESUS, although he knew his traiterous designs, refuse to admit him to sit down with the restt.
Full of tender anxiety for the welfare and comfort of his apostles, having always loved his own which were in the world, knowing that his hour was come, that he should depart out of the world, he loved them even to the end of his life. And that he might fully express this affection, he told them that he had a great desire to eat this last passover with them, as it was a type now about to be fulfilled. He wished also to drink this last Paschal cup with them, which, after he had given thanks, he gave among them, telling them, that that type also was now completed, and should thenceforth cease*. In the rooin of these Paschal rites Jesus instituted his last Supper ; a subject of very great importance, which will in its turn engage our attention, after we shall have noticed some intermediate occurrences. The first of these is an unseasonable strife among the disciples, which of their should be accounted the greatest, when the Messiah's kingdom should be established.
That he might correct these unwarrantable prejudices, and at the same time set his apostles an example of humility and condescension to each other, the blessed