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A. M. 40s", support them in their afflictions; as a teacher, to instruct them in all necessary truths; *...* and as an advocate, to plead and defend their cause against their enemies. So that vulg. Ær 33, they had no reason to be dejected, because, in this sense, he would be always with ** **, them; because whatever they asked in his name, his father would give them; and beTcause, when he was gone, they should be enabled to do miracles, f greater than what they had seen him do: (a) And therefore “Peace I leave with you,” says he, taking his
farewel, “my peace I give unto you : +* Not as the world giveth, give I unto you; let
not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.”
wards Jerusalem, arrived at the place where they were to eat the Paschal lamb.
the evening, when it grew dark, they sat
In down to the table in a leaning posture to ;
and as he began to renew the discourse, “that one in the company should certainly
betray him, but that better it had been for
the man who did so, if he had never been
born,” the concern and sadness was so general, that every one began to enquire for himself, whether he was the man 2 Until it came to Judas's turn, who, having the confidence to ask the same question, received a positive answer, that he was : Whereupon he soon withdrew f from his Master, and adjoined himself to his enemies, who were from Matth. impatiently expecting the performance of his promise. - : o: When the Paschal supper was ended, our Saviour proceeded to the institution of ano-is to the end. ther, in-commemoration of his own death, and passion... For he took bread, and when ...a he had blessed it, and broke it, he distributed it to his apostles, calling it his body; John ii is.” and after he had so done, he took the cup of wine, and having, in like manner, blessed”. it, he gave it among them, calling it his fo “blood of the new covenant,” and commanding them to do the same, i.e. to eat bread and drink wine in this sacramental manner, even unto the end of the world, “in remembrance of him.” After this institution of the form of that memorial, which his apostles and their posterity were to continue, he gave them to understand that this was the last Paschal supper which he should eat, and the last wine that he should drink with them, until +3 “he drank it new in the kingdom of God:” From which words some of his apostles inferring, that though his kingdom was not to be then, yet it would not fail to commence immediately after his resurrection, they fell into unseasonable contentions about priority, or who should have the office of the highest trust and honour about their Master; which our Lord endeavoured to repress by the same arguments that he had
i. with an assurance of their future happiness, om, viii. 15, 16. Whitby's and Beausobre's Annotations. + What interpreters say of diseases healed by the shadow of Peter, and by napkins sent from St Paul, of more miracles performed throughout the world, and for the space of three whole centuries, devils ejected every where, is not unfitly mentioned here as answering to our Saviour's words; and yet we can. not but think, that this should chiefly be referred to the wonderful success of the Gospel preached by the apostles after the descent of the Holy Ghost upon them; to the gift of tongues, and the interpretation of them; of prophecy, and discerning of spirits; and the imparting these gifts to others by baptism, and the imposition of the apostles hands. For as this was a greater work in our blessed Saviour to assist so many with his mighty power, when absent at so great a distance as the earth is from heaven, than to do miracles in their presence; so to communicate these gifts to men, and to enable them to transfer them to others, is (as Arnobius expresses it) “super omnia sitae potestatis, continentisque sub se omnium rerum causas, et rationum facultatumque naturas,” lib. i. p. 32. and especially when our Lord succeeded so little in his three years preaching here on earth, and had so few sincere disciples, that he should enable his apostles, at one sermon, to convert some thousands, and cause his Gospel to fly like lightning through the world, and beat down all the strong holds of opposition, this is truly wonderful! Whitby's Annotations. (a) John xiv. 27. t” i.e. in empty wishes of what they neither do nor can give; or that external peace which is both temporary and uncertain; but inward peace of conscience, arising from the pardon of your sins, Rom. v. i. from the sense of the favour of God, and of my presence with you by the Blessed Spirit; that peace which no man taketh from you, which will keep your hearts in the faith, Phil. iv. 7. and free you from all solicitude and fear of the world. Whitby's Annotations. +* At the first institution of the Paschal supper, the "
Israelites were commanded to eat it in a standing posture, and in haste, Exod. xii. 11. but here we find our Saviour and his apostles eating it lying down, or inclining on their left side, as it was then the manner of the Jews. When, or upon what account this alteration came to be made, we have no other information than what we find in the writings of their Rabbins, viz. that they used this leaning posture as freemen do in memory of their freedom; and therefore, though at their ordinary meals they commonly sat at table as we do, yet whenever they were minded to regale themselves, they used this posture of discumbency, and especially at the Paschal supper no other was allowed. Thus lying on beds or couches made for that purpose, with a table before them, whereon they leaned, 'they stretched out their feet behind them, thereby to remove the least show of standing to attend, or to go upon any one's employment, which might carry in it any colour of servitude or contrariety to their freedom. And from this posture of sitting or leaning upon a table with their left elbow one after another, we may rightly understand those texts which speak of the beloved apostle's leaning on the bosom or on the breast of Jesus, John xiii. 23. and xxi. 20. as the learned Lightfoot, in his discourse of the temple service has amply shown. Pool’s Annotations. [That the Jews, at their ordinary meals, commonly sat at table as we do, seems to be a mistake. Lightfoot indeed doth say, “Vulgö mensae in lectis jacentes accumbebant, et in aliis quidem conviviis sedebant, ut nos sedemus, erecto corpore s” but for this erect position he brings no other evidence than some Rabbinical testimonies, which, were they more decided than they are, would be greatly outweighed by the testimony of the evangelists. The meal of which Jesus partook with the Pharisee. (St Luke vii. 36.) was surely a common meal; and yet it is evident that he then ate in the recumbent posture, for had he been sitting, as we sit at dinner, the tears of the penitent woman standing behind him, could not have fallen on his feet, nor could she, in that position, have wiped his feet with the hairs of her head.]
+ It is a great question among the ancients, whether Judas was present at our Lord's institution of the sacrament of his body and blood, or absented himself before. St Luke's words, which are subsequent to the institution, “Behold the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table,” chap. xxii. 21. seem to imply that he was present, and partook of the Eucharist; but many commentators are of a contrary opinion, viz. that after our Saviour had declared him to be the man who should betray him, (which was between the Paschal and Eucharistical supper) he immediately left the company, and went away; and that consequently there is a mislocation in St Luke's words. Calmet's Commentary and Dictionary under the word Judas. [The authoritative opinion of the church of England, however, certainly is, that he was present. See the Erhortation appointed to be read on the Sunday or holy-day preceding the communion.] +* The reason which our Saviour gives for our participating of the cup, viz. “Because it is the blood of the New Testament, which is shed for the remission of sins,” concerns the laity as well as the priests, because his blood was equally shed for both; and therefore the command, “Drink ye all of this,” to which the reason is annexed, concerns them likewise. But there is another reason why our Lord said to his apostles, “Eat this bread and drink this cup,” viz. that by so doing they might “remember his death,” his body broken, and his blood shed for them, says St Luke, and “shew it forth till his second coming,” 1 Cor. xi. 26. Now this, as St Paul demonstrates, concerns all believers as well as priests, and therefore the drinking of the cup, (by which this commemoration is made) as well as eating of the bread, must equally concern them. Whitby's Annotations. * Some are of opinion, that by the “kingdom of God” here, (as in several other places) we are not to understand heaven, or the happiness we are there to enjoy, but rather the Gospel-state, and the kingdom of Christ, which began at his resurrection, and was
more fully established when “he sat down at the
of wine, may then relate to his “eating and drinking
A. M. 403; formerly employed (a) upon the like occasion: And then turning to Peter, he apprised *... ... him of the imminent danger which he and his brethren were in, and what a severe vulg. Er:33, trial the great enemy of mankind would very speedily bring upon them ; to whom Pe&c. o, al. ter, in confidence of his own courage and resolution, answered for himself, that “he was ready to go with him to prison and to death; but our Saviour, who best knew his weakness, gave him to understand, that f “before the crowing of the cock he should deny him thrice.” After this our Lord, in his final exhortation to his apostles, reminded them of the choice which he had made of them, and the kind treatment which he had all along shewn them; and that therefore it was their duty, and their interest both, to adhere to him “as the branch did to the vine,” in order to bring forth the fruits of righteousness, and to continue immoveable in the profession of his religion, notwithstanding all the persecutions they should meet with, which indeed would prove so violent and outrageous, that some men would think they did God service in killing them. This however should not utterly deject them, because his absence from them would not be long, His death was but to usher in his resurrection and ascension; and the benefits which would accrue to them from these, viz. in the mission of the Holy Ghost to be their guide and Comforter, in his own intercession for them at God's right-hand, and in their prayers and supplications, which (if offered up in his name) would not fail of admittance to the throne of grace, would abundantly compensate the want of his presence: And (b) “therefore I have told you these things, says he, that in me ye might have peace:
In the world ye shall have tribulation; but to be of good cheer, I have overcome the world #3.”
These comfortable exhortations to his apostles were attended with a solemn prayer
(a) Matth. xx. 25.
+ It is commonly remarked by profane authors, that the cock usually crows twice in a night; once about midnight, and the second time at the fourth watch of the night, or much about break of day; that this latter, as being the louder and more observable, is that which is properly called &aizregeparia, or cock-crowing ; and that of this crowing of the cock the evangelists are to be understood, when they relate Christ's words thus, “before the cock crow (i.e. before that time of the night which is emphatically so called) thou shalt deny me thrice,” appears from St Mark's saying, that the cock crew after his first denial of Christ, chap. xiv. 68. and crew the second time after his third denial, ver, 72. Whitby's Annotations.
(b) John xvi. 33.
+* Though “to be of good cheer” under tribulation does by no means inser that firmness of mind (as some philosophers of old miscalled it) which preserves a man from being at all afflicted with calamities, or moved from his usual easiness of temper; yet thus much it certainly means,—That neither the sharpness of any affliction we feel, nor the terror of any we fear, should so far vanquish our reason and religion, as to drive us upon unlawful methods of declining the one, or delivering ourselves from the other. We are to satisfy ourselves in the justice, the wisdom, and goodness of him, who orders all the events that befal us; to entertain them all with meekness and much patience; to bring our wills into subjection to the Divine will; to rejoice in the testimony of a good con
science, and preserve it at any rate, though with the
and intercession to Almighty God; for himself, that as he had executed the commission from Matth. for which he came into the world, he might be re-instated in the same glory which he had. 'o'; with his Father from all eternity; for his apostles, that they might live in brotherly love is to the end, and unity, be preserved in all dangers, and sanctified in their minds and conversations;...". and for all succeeding Christians, that they might continue in the communion of the Johji is. saints here, and be admitted to the sight and participation of his glory and felicity to the * hereafter: And having concluded all with an hymn, f which he and his apostles sung T together, he left the city, and passing over the brook Cedron, f* came to a place called Gethsemane, its where there was a garden, well known to Judas, because thither our Lord and his apostles used frequently to repair, both for retirement and devotion. As they were going to this place, our Lord, with mighty concern, began to tell them, that that very night (a) the prophecy to of Zechariah, concerning the shepherd's being smitten, and the whole flock dispersed, would be fulfilled in his and their persons, forasmuch as every one of them upon the distress that was going to befal him, would flee away from him and forsake him. This Peter thought a disparagement to his courage,
and therefore assured our Lord, that to “though all mankind should forsake him, yet
+ This hymn is supposed by most interpreters to be part of the great Allelujah, which began at the cxiiith, and ended at the cKviiith Psalm, and, by the Jewish rituals, was ordered to be sung constantly at the Paschal supper. Others think, that it was a dif. ferent hymn, composed by Christ, and accommodated to the particular institution of the Eucharist; but Grotius is of opinion, that it was no other than that thanksgiving of his, which St John has recorded in the xviith chapter of his Gospel. As our Blessed Saviour, however, in all his religious conduct, was no lover of innovations, it seems more probable, that, upon this occasion, he made use of the Psalms that were then customary in the Jewish church, in which (as the Jews observe) are mentioned the sorrows of the Messiah, and the resurrection of the dead. Howell’s History in the Notes, and Calmet's Commentary.
+* Which in the Old Testament is called Kidron, 'and runs along the bottom of the valley of Jehoshaphat, which lies to the east between Jerusalem and Mount Olivet. Into this valley was conveyed the blood, poured out at the foot of the altar, which, as it discoloured the water, gave it the name of Cedron (as some think) from the word Kiddar, which signi. fies blackness, though others rather imagine, that it had that name from the cedar trees that were planted on each side of it. Wells's Geography of the New Testament, part i. and Whitby's Alphabetical Table.
+* The garden of Gethsemane, which took its name from the wine presses in it, (as Mr Maundrell informs us) is an even plat of ground, not above fityseven yards square, lying between the foot of Mount Olivet and the brook Cedron. It is well planted with olive trees, and those of so old a growth, that they are believed to be the same that stood here in our Saviour's time; but this is hardly possible. At the upper corner of the garden, is a flat naked ledge of a rock, supposed to be the place on which the apostles, Peter, James, and John, fell asleep during our Lord's agony; a few paces from thence is a grotto, in which he is said to have undergone that bitter part of his passion; and (what is very remarkable) in the midst
of the garden there is a small slip of ground, twelve yards long and one broad, reputed the very path on which the traitor Judas walked up to Christ, when he said, “Hail Master, and kissed him,” which the Turks themselves have never walked in, as accounting the very ground accursed, on which was acted such an inafmous tragedy. Whitby's Alphabetical Table, and Wells's Geography of the New Testament, part i. (a) Zech. xiii. 7. t" The passage to which our Saviour alludes is this, “Awake, O sword, against my shepherd, and against the man that is my fellow, saith the Lord of Hosts. Smite the shepherd, and the sheep shall be scattered, and I will turn my hand upon the little ones,” Zech. xiii. 7. Where we may observe, that our Saviour only cites the words in the middle of the verse, because indeed those that both preceded and followed them, were not at all to his purpose: And in this he imitated the ancient doctors of the Jewish church, who, in their allegations of Scripture passages, were wont to make use of no more than what was subservient to their argument. Some however imagine, because the words of Zechariah seem primarily to relate to an evil shepherd, to whom God threatens the sword, that Christ does not mention them as a prediction concerning him and his apostles, but only as a proverbial expression: But this I think is suffi. ciently confuted by our Lord’s saying, “for it is written,” ver. 31. Nor is the change of the person in the evangelist, from what occurs in the prophet, of any moment, because it was very customary with the Jewish doctors, in their citations of Scripture, to make such alterations. Surenhusii Concil. in Loc, ex Vet. Test. apud Matt. and Whitby's Annotations. +* We may be bold to affirm of this resolution, that it was as honest an one, i.e. both as just in the matter, and as sincere in the intention, as ever was made by man, or ever shall be made to the end of the world, and yet this resolution miscarried, and ended only in the shame of the resolver. St Chrysostom takes notice of three faults that may be reckoned in it. 1st, The little consideration Peter had of our Saviour's
&c. or 54.42 and being told again, that he would certainly deny him before the time . . of cock-crowing, with the utmost vehemence he affirmed, that “though he should die, vo: o he would not deny him;” and the like profession of undaunted adherence made all the *—”: - - When they were come to the garden, our Lord ordered the rest of his apostles to tarry for him at a certain place, whilst himself with the three that were most intimate with him, viz. Peter, James, and John, retired a while to his private devotions; and as they were going along, he required them to join their prayers with his, that they might not be delivered over to temptation. But they were not gone above the distance of a stone's cast, before he found his spirits depressed, and his soul “sadly sorrowful even unto death;” which when he had discovered to the three apostles, and desired them to watch with him a little in this trying and momentous juncture, he withdrew from them; and then throwing himself prostrate on the ground, begged of God, “That, if it was possible, (as all things were possible to him) he might be excused from drinking the bitter potion f, whose black ingredients filled him with horror and amazement; nevertheless in this he submitted himself entirely to his Divine pleasure.” And having prayed to this effect, he returned to his apostles; but finding them asleep, he awoke them, and in a reproof full of love, reminded Peter more especially of his late promises and present neglect of him, when he most of all stood in need of his comfort and assistance. He advised him therefore to keep himself awake for fear of the temptations that were busy about him; and added this compassionate observation, that though the f*-spirit was willing and ready enough to make good resolutions, yet the flesh was weak and unable very often to put them in execution. Thrice did our Blessed Lord retire and pray in this manner; but in the last time, his sense of God's indignation against the sins of mankind, and the dismal prospect of what he was to suffer in the expiation of them, made his prayer more vehement, and his agonies so violent, that the sweat which fell from his body was like large drops of blood fs; and human nature must have been exhausted under it, had not an angel fo
predictions concerning his fall. 2dly, The preference
really, and with a purpose so to do; yet let me tell