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ceremonial observance foretelling, ceased on the arrival of the event foretold, the ceremonial observance commemorating, will never cease, until the event commemorated, shall have had its complete effect, in the day of redemption. It will shew the Lord's death, till he come again to judgment.
It is to be feared that the sacrament of the Lord's supper, has fallen into disuse with many, because they do not understand its nature and moral obligation, To remedy this defect, I will endeavour to explain to the reader, first, the origin and nature of this institution, secondly, the manner of its celebration, thirdly, the high privileges of those who conscientiously conform to it.
Our blessed Saviour, the evening before he suffered, eat the passover with his disciples. He celebrated it for the last time—"I have desired to eat this passover with you before I suffer, I will no more eat of it, until it be fulfilled in the kingdom of God.” That is, I will no more eat of it, for to-morrow it will be fulfilled in the sacrifice of myself. After eating the passover, which prefigured his death, he ordained a new ceremonial observance, in commemoration of bis passion. He instituted the holy communion. The feast of the passover being holden in the evening, was usually called the paschal supper,—the holy communion, instituted immediately after it, is called the Lord's supper. As Christ intended this ordinance to be the substitute for the passover, it may be necessary to say a few words on that ancient rite, in order the more particularly, to discern the connexion subsisting between them, and the reference they have to each other.
guish the Lord's supper by calling it the sacrament, because in it communicants take the vow of the Lord upon them, and, in the most solemn manner, dedicate their bodies, souls, and spirits, to the service of their Maker.
The passover: was a sacrifice ordained by the Lord, in memory of Jehovah's passing over (according to the import of the word) the houses of the Israelites, when he destroyed all the first-born in the land of Egypt, and was certainly designed not only to prefigure the true Paschal Lamb, Jesus Christ, who was sacrificed for us, (1 Cor. v. 7.) but also the reception which
those might expect, who should flee for refuge, to lay hold on the hope set before them, by the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus.
As this is a point of considerable importance, in reference to a right understanding of the Lord's
be needful to shew, that the Paschal Lamb was considered, both by the ancient Jewish and Christian writers, as a sacrifice of a piacular nature. -Josephus calls it a sacrifice: and Trypho, the Jew, in his conference with Justin Martyr, speaks of sacrificing the Paschal Lamb. Memonides, in a tract, written expressly upon this subject, speaks of the lamb as a victim, and of the solemnity itself as a sacrifice. Rab. Bechai (com. in Levit. ii. 11.) says, “ that the Pascal Sacrifice was instituted, in order to expiate the guilt contracted by the idolatrous practices of the Israelites in Egypt," and St. Paul puts the matter beyond dispute, “ Christ our passover is sacrificed for us,” on our account or in our stead.
The manner of celebrating the Paschal Sacrifice, is particularly detailed in the Mishna, a monument of such antiquity, as cannot be distrusted, in the description of these rites. Nothing, say the Rabbins, was killed before the morning sacrifice, and after the evening sacrifice, nothing but the passover.
The evening sacrifice was usually killed between the eighth and ninth hour, that is, half an hour after two in the afternoon, and offered between the ninth and tenth, that is, half an hour after three. But in the evening of the passover, the daily sacrifice was killed an hour sooner, and after that, began the killing of the passover, which was to be done between the two evenings. (Exod xii. 6.) The first of these evenings began at noon, from the sun's declination towards the west, and the second at sunset. But the Paschal Lamb might be killed before the daily sacrifice, provided there was a person to stir the blood, and keep it from coagulating, till the blood of the daily sacrifice was sprinkled ; for that was always sprinkled first.
The lambs, says the Mishna, were always killed by three several companies. This custom the Jews founded on Exod. xii. 6. And the whole assembly of the congregation of Israel shall kill it in the evening, understanding the words in the Hebrew kahal, edeth, and yishrael; as implying three different companies, -by the first they meant the Priests, by the second the Levites, by the third the people at large. When once the court was full, they shut the doors, and the priests stood all in their ranks, with round bottomed vessels in their hands, some of gold and some of silver, to receive the blood. These vessels had no rim at the bottom, lest they should be set on the ground, and the blood congeal in them. The priests then took the blood, and handed it from one to the other, till it came to him who stood next to the altar, who sprinkled it at the foot of the altar. After the blood was sprinkled the lamb) was hung up, the skin flayed off, and the intestines laid on the altar. The owner then took the lamb with its skin, and carried it to his own house; where it was roasted on a spit, made of the wood of the pomegranate tree ; for iron was prohibited, and also all wood that emitted moisture, when exposed to the fire, but as the wood of the pomegranate was free from moisture, it was commanded to be used on this occasion. See Mishna by Surenhusius, vol. II. p. 135,