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Then followed the washing of hands, after the manner of the purifying of the Jews, accompanied with another short form of thanksgiving to God. The table having been till this time unfurnished, was now supplied with its provisions, viz. the cakes of unleavened bread, the bitter salad, the lamb roasted whole, with its legs, heart, liver &c., and besides, some other meat prepared from the flesh of common peaceofferings, that had been presented during the day, and a dish of thick sauce, composed of dates, figs, raisins, vinegar, &c.

The table thus furnished, the leading person, and all the rest after him, took a small quantity of the salad, with another thanksgiving, and ate it. After which, immediately, all the dishes were removed from the table, and a second cup of wine placed before each of the company, as at first. This strange way of beginning the meal was designed to excite the curiosity of the children, that they might be led to inquire what it meaned, according to what is said in Ex. xii. 26. When the inquiry was made, (for if there was no child present, the wife or some other person brought it forward,) the person who presided began, and told how their fathers had all been servants in Egypt, and how with many signs and wonders the Lord had redeemed them from their cruel bondage, and brought them forth from the place of their oppression, with a mighty hand and an outstretched arm. As he concluded the interesting story of Jehovah's mercies, the dishes that had been removed were again placed upon the table; whereupon he said, This is the passover which we eat, because that the Lord passed over the houses of our fathers in Egypt; and then holding up the salad, and after it the unleavened bread, he stated their design, viz. that the one represented the bitterness of the Egyptian bondage, and the other the sudden redemption which the Lord wrought on their behalf, when he smote the first-born of their oppressors, so that they urged his people to depart without delay. Then he repeated the 113th and 114th Psalms, and closed with this prayer; "Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, King Everlasting! who hast redeemed us, and redeemed our fathers out of Egypt, and brought us to this night to eat unleavened bread and bitter herbs:" which being uttered, all the company drank

the wine that had been standing for some time before them. This was the Second cup.

Another washing of the hands now took place, when the person who presided, taking up the unleavened bread, brake one of the cakes in two, again gave thanks to God, and then with the rest began to eat; each first making use of a piece of the bread, with some of the salad, and the thick sauce, then partaking of the peace offering meat, and last of all of the paschal lamb, with a separate thanksgiving, still pronounced before each dish. Every one was required to eat at least as much of the lamb as was equal to the size of an olive. The meal thus over, they all washed again, according to the usage of common meals, and then united in drinking another cup of wine and water. This was the third cup, and was called, by way of distinction, "the cup of blessing," because while it stood before them ready to be drunk, the leader was accustomed to return thanks over it in a particular manner, for the blessing of the sacred supper, and for all the goodness of the Lord. There was yet another cup made ready a little time after, just before the company rose from the table. It was denominated the cup of the Hallel; because it was the custom to repeat, in connexion with it, the principal part of the hymn of Lesser Hallel: for as it was begun by the rehearsal of its first two psalms, the 113th and the 114th, over the second cup, (as we have seen,) so it was now finished by being carried on through the following four. In all common cases, this fourth cup closed the celebration of the feast. It was held to be a duty absolutely incumbent upon all who took part in the supper, men or women, old or young, rich or poor, to make use of all the four cups that have been mentioned.

In the account of the institution of the Lord's Supper, Luke xxii. 15-20, mention is made of two different cups, which appear to have been the last two of the four that have no been noticed. Having given thanks over the third one, and refused to drink it himself, our Saviour took some of the bread that was left of the feast, and gave thanks, and brake it, in representation of his broken body, and then made use of the cup after supper, or the fourth one, to represent, in like manner, the shedding of his blood:

after which, as Matthew tells us, they sang a hymn, and so finished the solemn entertainment. Others, however, suppose, that the third cup was the one which was used in the appointment of this holy sacrament; because they think it clear, from its being said that while they were eating Jesus took bread and brake it for this purpose, that it must have been done before the use of that cup, and not after it, as the other opinion presumes.

The day thus entered upon with the paschal supper was holy till the going down of the next sun, it was not lawful to attend to any common work. At the same time it abounded with sacrifices: every male, the Jews tell us, was under obligation to appear in the temple-court, during the course of it, with a burnt offering and a double peace offering. These particular peace offerings were called the Hagigah, and were considered to be altogether more important than the common peace offerings that it was usual to present on other days of the festival. Hence the feast in which they were on that day employed, according to the manner of such sacrifices, seems to have been sometimes styled simply by itself, the passover; though that name properly belonged only to the paschal supper of the evening before. Thus, in John xviii. 28, we are told, that the Jews went not into Pilate's judgment-hall, lest they should be defiled; but that they might eat the passover: while, at the same time, it is clearly stated in the gospel history, that the celebration of the true passover supper had taken place the preceding night. In this way, also, John xix. 14, may be explained; unless it be supposed, that the preparation of the Passover mentioned there, means simply the Passover preparation day, or that particular preparation day, (as every Friday, or day before the Sabbath, was called,) which fell in the week of the Passover. It is certain, that from the first, other sacrifices, besides those of the paschal lambs, were required at the paschal solemnity, which are spoken of also, as making a part of the Passover with them. (Deut. xvi. 2. 2 Chron. xxxv. 7, 8.) These, according to the Jewish notion, were all along made use of as peace offerings for the Hagigah, or sacred feast that took place on the morrow after the celebration of the paschal supper. It must be acknowledged, indced, that

there is no direct evidence that this Hagigah was ever denominated by itself the Passover; and that the most natural way of understanding the language of John in the passage just noticed, would be as referring to the supper commonly so called. Not a few, accordingly, and these not lightly learned, have maintained, that our Saviour celebrated the passover a day sooner than the usual time. But this notion, whatever plausibility it may seem at first glance to derive from these passages, and John xiii. 1, inasmuch as it is confirmed by no other tolerable evidence whatever, and is accompanied with all manner of difficulty, ought not to be deemed worthy of much respect. The first day of the Passover was, it is true, a most unsuitable time for the confusion and care of a public trial and execution, having, in a good measure, the same holiness as the Sabbath itself; but envy and malice overleap every consideration of this sort; and it was not hard for Jewish zeal to forget all its affected rigour, when an opportunity was found to destroy the hated Prophet of Galilee.

On the second day of the Passover, or the morrow after the Sabbath, (as its first day was called,) a sheaf of barley was waved before the Lord, as an offering of the firstfruits of the harvest, in the name of the whole people: a ceremony which was required to be accompanied with a special sacrifice, and that was necessary to introduce the harvest of every year. (Lev. xxiii. 10-14.) On every day of the paschal week, besides all the peace offerings and other sacrifices of individuals, there were regular public sacrifices peculiar to the festival, over and above the daily sacrifice. (Numb. xxviii. 16—25.)

The Passover, it is plain, might begin on any day of the week, being regulated altogether by the moon. When the 14th day of the month happened to be the regular Sabbath, the great work of killing the lambs was still performed as if it had been a common day; for sanctuary work was held to be no profanation, in any case, of its sacred rest. In a case of this sort, however, it was not allowed to carry the lambs home till the Sabbath was over; the people waited with them in the courts of the temple until it gave place, toward dark, to the second day of the week. Presumptuously to neglect the passover, in its season, brought

most dangerous guilt upon the soul; but if uncleanness, or other unavoidable cause prevented any one from keeping it at the proper time, he might keep it in the month following and be accepted. (Numb. ix. 6-13.)

The sacrifice of the passover had a special reference to the death of Christ. This the gospel teaches us, when it says in the Scripture, A bone of him shall not be broken, which was spoken so carefully concerning the paschal lamb, had its fulfilment when the soldiers brake not the legs of the Saviour upon the cross. (Ez. xii. 46. John xix. 36.) The same thing the Apostle Paul teaches, when he expressly calls Christ our passover sacrificed for us, and represents the happy condition into which Christians are brought by his death, as a passover feast (not occasional and transient like those of the Jews, but of perpetual continuance,) which ought to be kept, not with the leaven of malice and wickedness, but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and truth. (1 Cor. v. 7, 8.) The whole transaction of the first passover in Egypt strikingly prefigured the saving efficacy of the Redeemer's sufferings. The sprinkling of blood upon the door-posts, was only a picture of the atoning blood of Jesus, the Lamb of God applied to the sinner's soul: as that was made essential to deliverance and safety, when the angel of destruction passed through the land; so this is needed to secure a far greater redemption, availing, wherever it is found, to save from hell itself; while where it is not found, there can be no escape from eternal wrath; it is only the sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ, that can ever turn away the sword of infinite justice from the guilty spirit, or shield it from the touch of harm when the Lord arises to his holy and terrible judg ment. (Heb. xii. 24. 1 Peter i. 2.) In every succeeding Passover, there was a memorial of this same transaction in Egypt; and so, of course, an ultimate reference to the Great Redemption, of which that transaction was ordered to be so expressively an image and type: thus, while the institution looked backward, it looked at the same time yet more significantly forward, showing forth the Lord's death before it took place, as the Christian sacrament of the Supper has been appointed to do ever since. There was in it not only a symbolic prefiguration of the ransom secured

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