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Isaiah liii. 3, 7.
HE IS DESPISED AND REJECTED OF MEN; A MAN OF SORROWS, AND ACQUAINTED WITH GRIEF: AND WE HID AS IT WERE OUR FACES FROM HIM; HE WAS DESPISED, AND WE ESTEEMED HIM NOT.
HE WAS OPPRESSED AND HE WAS AFFLICTED, YET HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH: HE IS BROUGHT AS A LAMB TO THE SLAUGHTER, AND AS A SHEEP BEFORE HER SHEARERS IS DUMB, SO HE OPENED NOT HIS MOUTH.
I CONCLUDED my last lecture with
our Saviour's foretelling of the fall of Peter, as he had, just before, foretold the treachery of Judas : after which the history proceeds to relate the institution of the Lord's supper.
As Jesus and his apostles were eating, or just as they had finished the Paschal supper, JESUS took bread and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his disciples and said, Take, eat; this is my body. And he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: for this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the remission of sins. I cannot better promote your edification on this subject, than by using the words of the venerable Bishop of London, whose lectures I have before had occasion to allude to, and am desirous of recommending to the attention of those, who may have an opportunity of reading them. “This", (says that amiable Prelate) " is the whole of the institution of this sacred rite by our bles- * sed LORD, as recorded in St. Matthew's. Gospel; and nothing can be more evident, than that when he broke the bread, and gave it to his disciples, and said, “ Take; eat, this is my body;" he meant to say that the bread was to represent his body, and the breaking of it was to represent the breaking of his body upon the cross. In the same manner, when he took the cup, and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, “ Drink ye all of it, for this is my blood of the New Testament (or New Covenant) which is shed for many, for the remission of sins;" his meaning was, that the wine in the cup was to be a representation of his blood that was shed upon the cross, as an expiation and atonement for the sins of the whole world. And his disciples were to eat the bread
and drink the wine so consecrated, and so appointed to this particular purpose, in grateful remembrance of what our 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 ó 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; and this supper of our LORD was from that time to be substituted in the room of the passover.”
The same respectable author concludes the subject with this most important observation; "Whoever reads with attention the first institution of the Lord's supper; who ever 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*.”
The history proceeds in informing us, that at the conclusion of the celebration of the Lord's Supper, when they had sung. an hymn, they went out unto the mount of Olives. At the close of the passover it was usual to sing an hymn of praise to God consisting of some of David's psalms, froin the 113th to the 118th. The institution of the Lord's supper was an additional cause of thanksgiving, in which we can have no doubt, but the disciples readily and heartily united both in heart and voice.
But between the time of singing this hymn, and their going to the mount of Olives, there was some interval, wherein many discourses passed which are particularly related by St. John in the 14th and three following cliapterst, but of
* Sce Bishop of London's Lecture xxi. .
+ Dr. Deddridge concludes, that all this pass. ed, before Jesus and his disciples quitted the house where the passorer was eaten, though they probably rose from the table, as soon as those words, Arise, let us go hence, with which the 14th chapter is finished, were spoken. A short delay night leave room for this; for any one, who will make the trial will find, that the three following chapters may be deliberately read over in a quarter of an hour, and therefore might be
which even the substance cannot be comprised within the compass of this lecture. These chapters are entitled, and I recommend them, to your private perusal, only observing that the 17th. contains a most solemn prayer to God, that he himself might be glorified, and, that those who were given him might be kept through his name; that his apostles, and all succeeding Christians might share in the favorable regards of his father, live in union on earth, and finally be brought to glory in heaven*.
spoken in that small interval of time. Although this may be admitted as a reason for the preacher to omit them, it need not discourage the reader from turning to those chapters, before he proceeds in this lecture.
* I cannot forbear laying before my readers the same commentator's beautiful note on this most affectionate prayer. “ All the circumstances of Glory attending the sufferings of Christ; as, the appearance of the Angel to him in the garden, his striking down to the ground those that came to apprehend him, his curing the ear of Malchus, his good confession before Pilate, his extorting from that unjust judge a testimony of his innocence, the dream of Pilate's wise, the conversion of the penitent robber, the astonishing constellation of vir. tues and graces which shone so bright in Christ's dying behaviour, the supernatural darkness, and all the other prodigies that attended his death; as well as his Resurrection, and Ascension, and Exaltation at God's right hand, and the Mission of