Obrazy na stronie


St. Paul's account-he states that the words "do this in remembrance of me" were used at the Passover-supper-that they contained a permission for a custom, in which both the bread and the wine were included-that this custom was the Passover, spiritualized by Jesus Christ-but that it was to last only for a time-some conjecture this time to be the destruction of Jerusalem--but the Quakers, till the Disciples had attained such a spiritual growth, that they felt Christ's kingdom substantially in their hearts--and as it was thus limited to them, so it was limited to such Jewish converts, as might have adopted it in those times.

THE last of the sacred writers, who mention the celebration of the Passover-supper, is St. Paul, whose account is now to be examined.

St. Paul, in his First Epistle to the Corinthians*, reproves them for some irregularities committed by them in the course of their religious meetings. What these meetings were is uncertain. They might have

* Chap. xi.



been for the celebration of the Passover-supper; for there was a synagogue of Jews at Corinth, of whom some had been converted. Or they might have been for the celebration of the Passover as spiritualized by Jesus Christ, or for the breaking of bread; which customs both the Jewish and Gentile converts might have adopted. The custom, however, at which these irregularities took place, is called by St. Paul the Lord's Supper. And this title was not inapplicable to it in either of the cases supposed, because it must have been, in either of them, in commemoration of the last supper, which Jesus Christ, or the Lord and Master, ate with his disciples before he suffered.

But, whichever ceremonial it was that St. Paul alluded to, the circumstances of the irregularities of the Corinthians obliged him to advert to, and explain, what was said and done by Jesus on the night of the Passoversupper. This explanation of the apostle has thrown new light upon the subject, and has induced the Quakers to believe that no new institution was intended to take place as a ceremonial to be observed by the Christian world. St. Paul,


2 E

St. Paul, in his account of what occurred at the original Passover, reports that Jesus Christ made use of the words "this do in remembrance of me." By this the Quakers understand, that he permitted something to be done by those, who were present at this


He reports also that Jesus Christ used these words not only after the breaking of the bread, but after the giving of the cup; from whence they conclude, that St. Paul considered both the bread and the wine as belonging to that, which had been permitted. St. Paul also says, "For as often as ye eat this bread and drink this cup, ye do show the Lord's death till he come." By these words they believe they discover two things; first, the nature of the thing permitted; and secondly, that the thing permitted, whatever it was, was to last but for a time.

The thing, then, which was permitted to those, who were present at the Passover-supper, was to show or declare his death. The words "show or declare" prove, in the first place, the connection of the thing permitted with the Jewish Passover; for, after certain ceremonies had been performed on the Pass

over-night, "the showing forth or declaration," as it was called, followed, or the object of the meeting was declared aloud to the persons present; or it was declared to them publicly, in what particulars the Passoverfeast differed from all the other feasts of the Jews. Secondly, the word "death" proves the thing permitted to have been the Passover, as spiritualized by Jesus Christ; for, by the new modification of it, his disciples, if they were unable to overcome their preju dices, were to turn their attention from the type to the antitype, or from the sacrifice of the paschal lamb to the sacrifice of himself, or to his own sufferings and death. In short, Jesus Christ always attempted to reform by spiritualizing. When the Jews followed him for the loaves, and mentioned manna, he tried to turn their attention from material to spiritual bread. When he sat upon Jacob's well, and discoursed with the woman of Samaria, he directed her attention from ordinary or elementary to spiritual and living water. So he did upon this occasion. He gave life to the dead letter of an old ceremony by a new meaning. His disciples were from henceforth to turn their

2 E 2


attention, if they chose to celebrate the Passover, from the paschal lamb to himself, and from the deliverance of their ancestors out of Egyptian bondage, to the deliverance of themselves and others, by the giving up of his own body, and the shedding of his own blood, for the remission of sins.

And as the thing permitted was the Passover spiritualized in this manner, so it was only permitted for a time, or " until he

[merged small][ocr errors]

By the words "until he come" it is usually understood, until Christ come. But though Christians have agreed upon this, they have disagreed as to the length of time, which the words may mean. Some have understood that Jesus Christ intended this spiritualized Passover to continue for ever, as an ordinance, of the Church, for that "till he come" must refer to his coming to judge the world. But it has been replied to these, that in this ⚫ case no limitation had been necessary; or it would have been said at once, that it was to be a perpetual ordinance, or expressed in plainer terms than in the words in question.

Others have understood the words to mean the end of the typical world, which happened

« PoprzedniaDalej »