Page images

curse the Israelites, and, with the strongest inclination to do so, was compelled, by an irresistible power, to bless them.

" 54. Jesus, therefore, walked no more “openly among the Jews ; but went " thence unto a country near to the wil" derness, into a city called Ephraim, and " there continued with his disciples.

"55. And the Jews' passover was nigh " at hand : and many went out of the " country up to Jerusalem before the pas" fover, to purify themselves.

" 56. Then fought they for Jesus, and “ spake among themselves, as they stood “ in the Temple, What think ye, that he " will not come to the feast?

" 57. Now both the chief priests and " the Pharisees had given a command“ment, that if any man knew where he " were, he should shew it, that they might

take him.". ..

The Jews, without hesitation, adopted the opinion of Caiaphas : all the ceremoFff 2


[ocr errors]

nies of their law, conørmed by their tran ditions, were in favor of it; and they seem to have disregarded the guilt or innocence of the person they meant to offer up as a facrifice, and to have fixed upon our Lord as the object most obnoxious to them. Judging, therefore, from his known attention to all the duties of religion, that he would not be absent at this great festival, they took their meafures for securing his perfon: por were they deceived; for though it appears that he never exposed himself to unneceffary and useless danger, yet he never fullered any apprehension of it to prevent his performance of a positive duty,

Christ was the true paschal Lamb; and all those which had been offered up from the first institution of the passover, were types of him: he chose, therefore, to offer up his life at that feast, and foto put an end to all those types and shadows of himself, in the institution of the Christian religion, teaching his followers to celebrate a much more glorious deliverance, than that which


the Jews commemorated in their deliverance from the Egyptian bondage. For this purpose, he instituted the holy facrament in the room of the passover, that the remembrance of what he had done and suffered for us might be constantly preserved in our minds. As it is not my intention to enter fully into this subject at prefent, but to reserve it for another place, I shall content myself with observing, that, if Christians would allow themselves to meditate upon this divine fubject, they would feel themfelves fo interested in it, and fo happy at the thought of being acceptable guests at the table of their blefled Lord and Master, that they would not fuffer it, as is too frequently the case, to be thinly attended, but would take care to be always ready and provided with a wedding.garment, instead of making their want of preparation a plea for absenting themselves.

May, we, by constant attendance upon God in all holy and religious duties, receive such frefla fupplies of grace, as to enable us to serve, honor, and obey himaa


with the utmost humility and gratis tude, acknowledging that we are unwora thy of all his mercies, both temporal and spiritual, but in and through the sufferings of our blessed Redeemer; and whenever it may please God to afflict us, whether by the loss of health, fortune, friends, or by any other calamity, may we submit with that true resignation which becomes our Christian profession—with that true faith in holy Scripture by which we are taught that they are sent for our good, to prepare and fit us for a glorious immortality; being content to wait with the utmost resignation till the day of retribution for an explanation of God's difpenfations; which, though at present above our limited comprehension, are, we may be assured, both wise and merciful. And that the rest of the world who have not been blessed with the pure light of the Gospel, may act up to the best of their knowledge, God, of his infinite mercy, grant, that so we may be all admitted into the mansions of bliss, and all unite in one general choir,

in praise, adoration, and thanksgiving to Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, for the happiness conferred upon us, through the merits and sufferings of our only Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen. üs


« PreviousContinue »