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epistles, with respect to those converts from Juda-ginally instituted; some being of opinion that it ism to Christianity, who had still an attachment was in the beginning of the world, and that the to it. But it became criminal after the destruction passage in the second chapter of Genesis is to be of Jerusalem, because it could not then be legally understood as determining this ; while others conobserved, the temple and the altar having been ceive that it was not given until the time of destroyed.
Moses, and that this passage is prospective; the
connected with the subject of which the inspired § 2.-Christian Rites.
historian was writing. To discuss the subject
here would be greatly to exceed the limits we The Christian system is one of pure and perfect worship. It is a spiritual service, and is freed, have proposed. The reader who wishes to investherefore, from those ceremonial observances
tigate the matter may consult a work by the Rev. which constituted the body of the Jewish eco- of the controversy, with almost all that can be
George Holden, in which he will find a fair view nomy. See John iv. 20—24, &c.
said on either side of the question. It is but but two rites—one initiatory, and the other com
right, however, to add, that the “ Critica Biblica” memorative_introduced into the church of Christ;
contains an extended review of this work, in these are baptism (Matt. xxviii. 19, 20; Acts ii.
which the writer controverts many of Mr. Holden's 38–41; 1 Cor. i. 16), and the Lord's supper (1 Cor. xi. 20). Each of these sacred obligations
positions. has long been the theme of controversy, in respect to evening, were commanded to begin their sab
2. The Jews, reckoning their day from evening to its subjects, mode, and object; but it does not
baths in the same manner : “ From even until comport with our purpose to enter into a discussion of the question here.
even shall ye celebrate your sabbath,” Lev. xxii. 32. This direction is rather obscure, as the Jews
reckoned two evenings, the former beginning § 3.Jercish Festivals.
about the ninth hour of the natural day, and the
other about the eleventh hour. We shall see that The Jewish festivals, which were of divine they were required to sacrifice the paschal lamb appointment, were either weekly, as the Sabbath; " between the evenings;" but in one place the monthly, as the new moons; or annual, as the time is specified, “ at even, at the going down of passover, the pentecost, the feast of ingathering or the sun” (Deut. xvi. 6), whence it appears that of tabernacles, and the feast of trumpets; to which the whole time comprehended between the two may be added, the annual fast, or day of expiation. evenings was also called simply " the evening."* Besides these, there were the sabbatical year and The law requiring the computation of the sabbath the jubilee, which returned after a certain number “ from even to even," implies, therefore, that the of years. Independently of the advantages derivable commencement of the sabbath was to be reckoned from these institutions in a civil and political point of from the termination of the whole time called view, their influence on the religious character of the evening,” and “between the evenings;" conthe nation must have been of a most powerful sequently the sacred rest began after sunset on kind. As often as they returned, the people were Friday evening, and ended at the same time on reminded of the numerous and stupendous mira- Saturday evening. cles which had been wrought by the Creator in
3. The eve of the Sabbath commenced with their behalf, and of the consequent obligations to the first of the two Jewish evenings, about three virtue and holiness which devolved upon them. o'clock in the afternoon, which was the time of Viewed in this light, they also became incontesta- the evening sacrifice, and lasted till sunset. This ble vouchers for the occurrences to which we is also called the preparation, because the people allude, and consequent evidences of the divine then ceased from their ordinary labour, cooked origin of the Mosaic economy. We must offer a their victuals, and prepared whatever was necesfew remarks upon each of these institutions. sary for the due observance of the sabbatical rest. I. TAE SABBATH.
Some, indeed, are of opinion that the preparation 1. Every seventh day was appointed a holy included the whole of Friday, and the subject is festival
, which was to be held sacred as a day of confessedly involved in some degree of uncerWorship, in commemoration of the creation of the tainty. It is probable that the preparation, proworld by JEHOVAH, and also to perpetuate the perly so called, commenced at three o'clock on remembrance of the deliverance of the Israelites from the land of their bondage. Critics are not agreed as to the time when this festival was ori
* Hales's Analysis of Chronology, i. 114.
the afternoon of Friday ; but the whole day was village where he resided, further than 1000 cubits, sometimes so denominated.
or about an English mile, and that in whatever 4. Among the services and duties required on posture a person might be on the sabbath morning, this day, none are so conspicuous as the strictness he or she were to continue in it during the reof the rest which it enjoined. The command is : mainder of the day. Hence we read of a sabbath“ In it thou shalt do no manner of work, thou, day's journey in Acts i. 12; and our Lord doubtnor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy man-servant, less referred to this superstitious notion in Matt. nor thy maid-servant, nor thy cattle, nor the xxiv. 20. These conceits, however, are foreign stranger that is within thy gates,” Ex. xx. from the meaning of the law, which merely for10. This strict and entire rest is enjoined with bids such travelling as is inconsistent with the a frequency which shows the importance at- rest and duties of the festival. It has been maintached to it (Ex. xxiii. 12; xxxiv. 21 ; Deut. tained, that war is classed among works prohibited v. 14); and the severest penalties are denounced on the sabbath ; but Michaëlis has successfully against its violation, Ex. xxxi. 15 ; xxxv. 2. controverted this notion.t Nor is the severity of this prohibition mitigated 5. Notwithstanding the strictness of the sabbaby any subsequent law in the Old Testament; it tical law, it would be unreasonable to suppose it is rather sanctioned and enforced. Thus we find designed to exclude works of necessity and charity. in the sacred writings prohibitions against It cannot be believed that a Being of infinite
Buying and selling, Neh. x. 18–21, xii. 15— benignity would ever consider his laws violated 22. Kindling fires, Ex. xxxv. 3.—This, however, by actions proceeding from motives of pure benemust be understood with some limitation ; for fire volence, and which at the same time administered was absolutely necessary for the sabbatic sacrifices, to the good of a fellow-creature. Our Saviour and it would have been a breach of the divine performed many works of this kind on the sabbath law of mercy not to kindle a fire for the sick and day. infirm. The meaning of the precept, therefore, 6. The sabbath was designed to be a day of is, that no fire was to be kindled on the sabbath- refreshing repose, and of joy and gladness (Isai. day for cooking meat, which is elsewhere for- xxx. 29, &c.); and hence we find, in the time of bidden, or for
purpose. Cooking our Saviour, notwithstanding the gloom and sadvictuals, Ex. xvi. 23.--This and the former law ness with which the Scribes and Pharisees invested were, as Michaëlis observes, especially calculated it, that the Jews were wont to make entertainfor the climate of Palestine. As the sabbath ments upon the seventh day (Luke xiv. 1); and began at sun-set (and in Palestine the sun in the both Josephus and Philo consider feasting and shortest days never sets before five o'clock, nor in rejoicing as essential to its celebration. The the longest before seven), the Jews there might modern Jews have converted it into a day of have their principal meal prepared in the after- festive entertainments, and often of unseemly renoon of Friday; for between the summer and velry and merriment. winter months there would only be a difference of 7. But the sabbath was also to be a day of about two hours. By lighting good fires on the devotion : it was to be sanctified (Exod. xx. 8; Friday afternoon, they might also be very com- Deut. v. 12); that is, to be separated from comfortable till the sabbath evening. But in our mon to sacred purposes. Hence there were on northern climate these would be very grievous the sabbath, in addition to the daily offerings, prohibitions.* Menial work.-Besides the general some sacrifices peculiar to itself. A double burntlaw against all manner of work, there is a further offering was commanded (Numb. xxviii. 9, 10; direction given in Jer. xvii. 21, 22; and reference see 2 Chron. ii. 4, viii. 13, xxxi. 3 ; Neh. x. 33 ; may be given to Numb. xv. 32–36. The em- Ezek. xlv. 17). On every sabbath-day there were ployment of beasts, Ex. xx. 10; xxi. 12; Deut. four lambs sacrificed, two in the morning and v. 13, 14.—These, no more than man, were to be two in the evening; and the meat-offerings and deprived of rest, or to be tortured with unremit-drink-offerings which accompanied the sacrifices ting toil. Travelling, Ex. xvi. 29.—This statute, were to be doubled. It is difficult to determine which was given in the wilderness, was only in- whether the Levitical law enjoined the practice of tended to restrain the Jews from going out on the public worship on this day. The only thing that sabbath to gather in manna, or to do any servile appears to sanction the opinion is, that it is in work. But the Hebrew doctors have built many several places said to be an holy convocation, fanciful notions on the prohibition, such as, that which denotes an assembly or convention. The it was unlawful for a man to go from any town or phrase, however, is too doubtful in its signification
* Comments on the Laws of Moses, art. 195.
+ Comment on the Laws of Moses, art. 196.
to warrant us in affirming this to have been the / the children of Israel shall not a dog move his case. If it were permitted to infer the ancient tongue, against man or beast: that ye may know practice from that which obtained in the Jewish how that the Lord doth put a difference between church in the time of our Saviour, the matter the Egyptians and Israel,” ver. 4—7. might be easily decided. It was then usual to therefore enjoined, that on the eve of this proassemble in stated places on the sabbath-day, for mised deliverance, a spotless victim of the first sacred and religious purposes, Acts xvi. 13, xviii. 4. year, “from the sheep or from the goats,” should It was the day set apart for teaching and admo- be sacrificed by each Israelitish family, who were nishing the people (Mark i. 21, vi. 2; Luke iv. to eat its flesh with unleavened bread and bitter 16, &c.; Acts xiv. 13, &c.); and we are told herbs. If the family were too small to eat a that the law was read and expounded, Acts xiii. whole lamb, then two families were to unite to27, sv. 21. But these practices at the Christian gether. The blood of the paschal lamb was era leave it undecided whether they were always ordered to be sprinkled on the lintel and on the observed, much less whether they were enjoined door-posts of the houses of Israel, by dipping in by the law.*
it a bunch of hyssop (Exod. xii. 7, 13), as a token, 8. The sabbath has been considered by some to the destroying angel, that the houses bearing writers as a type of the future state of the saints this mark, and all in them, were under the proin heaven ; and its perpetual obligation has been tection of God. thence deduced. The only passage, however, that 2. The manner of eating the passover was most at all seems to countenance this opinion is Heb. significant. By eating it with unleavened bread iv. 1-11; and the whole text is by far too diffi- and bitter herbs, the Israelites were reminded of cult of interpretation to warrant a confident con- the rigour of that servitude which rendered their clusion.
lives bitter; whence this bread is called “the II. THE PASSOVER.
bread of affliction," Deut. xvi. 3. They were 1. This was the first instituted and most solemn also commanded to eat it standing, in the posture of all the Jewish festivals. It was founded on of travellers who were in haste, and had no time the eve of the Israelites' departure from Egypt, to lose, that faith in the promise of their speedy for the purpose of commemorating their signal deliverance might be kept alive and confirmed; deliverance from that “furnace of affliction,” and and as it was designed that they should comtheir exemption from those calamities with which mence their march immediately after supper, they their oppressors were universally visited. In were to have their loins girded, and their staves consequence of the attempts which Moses had in their hands, that there might be no delay when made to obtain for his distressed countrymen a the signal was given. relaxation of their labours and sufferings, the 3. The appellation “ passover” was by a metojealousy of Pharaoh was roused, and his anger nymy given to the lamb that was sacrificed on the so far excited that their condition was rendered occasion (Ezra vi. 20; Matt. xxvi. 17); whence by far more insupportable than before. The the expressions “to eat the passover” (Mark xiv. plagues which had been sent into the midst of 12–14), and to “sacrifice the passover," 1 Cor. Egypt had, indeed, produced in the haughty v. 7. Hence, also, Christ is called “our Passmonarch's breast a momentary repentance; but over,” or true paschal Lamb. The whole contitheir more lasting effect had been to exasperate nuance of the feast is, in a lax sense, styled the and harden him in the highest degree. It there- passover (John xviii. 39; Luke xxii. 1); yet, fore only remained that God should pour out strictly speaking, the passover was kept only on upon him the last dregs of " the cup of his indig- the fourteenth day of the month Nisan, which nation," and render him a striking monument of was the first of the ecclesiastical or sacred year, his offended justice. “ And the Lord said unto and the ensuing seven days were the feast of unMoses, Yet will I bring one plague more upon leavened bread; so called, because during its conPharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will tinuance the people were to eat unleavened bread, let you go hence: when he shall let you go, he and allow no other to remain in their dwellings. shall surely thrust you out hence altogether," Sacrifices peculiar to the festival were to be offered Exod. xi. 1. “And Moses said, Thus saith the on each of the seven days; but the first and the last Lord, about midnight will I go out into the were to be sanctified above all the rest, as sabmidst of Egypt; and all the first-born in the baths, by abstaining from all servile labour, and land of Egypt shall die.” “But against any of holding a holy convocation, Exod. xii. 16; Lev.
xxiii. 7, 8. The time appointed for sacrificing
the paschal lamb was on the evening of the four* See Holden on the Christian Sabbath, ch, 3.
teenth day of the month ; or, as it is in the Hebrew, “ between the two evenings,” i. e., just that is, our Lord was leaning on the table on his at sun-set (Deut. xvi. 6), or, as some critics un- left elbow, and so turning his breast and face derstand it, about three o'clock in the afternoon. away from the table on one side, and John sitting
4. The manner of celebrating the passover, in the same posture next to him, with his back after the establishment of the Hebrews in the towards Jesus' breast, so that whenever our land of promise, differed in some measure from Saviour put up his arm, the disciple was within the original observance of the festival. The qua- his embrace. It also explains how the woman lities of the paschal victim remained the same, but who was a sinner, and had brought an alabaster it was to be separated from the flock four days box of ointment, could stand at Christ's feet behind before the time for its being killed. The first him, while she anointed them with the ointment, passover-victim was slain in the private dwellings and wiped them with the hair of her head, Luke of the Jews; but when they left the land of their vii. 33. Being thus seated, a cup of wine was captivity, it was to be sacrificed “in the place mingled with water, over which the master of the which Jehovah should choose to place his name family, or “ the rehearser of the office of the there,” Deut. xvi. 2. Every particular person, or passover," offered thanks, at the conclusion of a delegate from every paschal society, slew his which the whole company drank of the cup. own victim. The lamb being killed, one of the The ceremony of washing hands was then intropriests received its blood into a vessel, which was duced, after which the table was furnished with handed from one priest to another, until it reached the paschal lamb, cakes of unleavened bread, him who stood beside the altar, by whom it was bitter herbs, a part of the fourteenth day's offersprinkled at its foot. The lamb was then flayed, ings, and a dish of thick sauce, compounded of and the fat taken out and consumed ; after which bruised dates, figs, or raisins, steeped in vinegar the owner took it to his home, where it was till it was of the consistence of clay, to remind roasted whole, and eaten by the paschal society, them of the clay in which their fathers wrought with unleavened bread and bitter herbs. It was while in Egypt. The table being thus furnished, enjoined upon the Hebrews not to break the the president took a small piece of salad, and bones of the victim (Exod. xii. 46), as a further having blessed God for having created the fruit of indication of the haste in which they first partook the ground, he ate it, as did also the other guests ; of the feast, not leaving time to break the bones after which the president explained the import of and suck out the marrow. It also had a typical the paschal lamb, the bitter herbs, and the unreference which we shall consider presently. Nor leavened bread; and, repeating Psalms cxiii., cxiv., was any part of the lamb to remain till the he concluded with the following prayer: “Blessed morning : if it were not all eaten it was to be be thou, O Lord our God, king everlasting, who consumed by fire, ver. 10. The same law was hast redeemed us, and redeemed our fathers out extended to all eucharistical sacrifices (Lev. xxii. of Egypt, and brought us to this night, to eat 30); no part of which was to be left or set by, unleavened bread and bitter herbs.” At the conlest it should be corrupted, or converted to any clusion of this, all the company drank off the profane or common use; an injunction which was second cup of wine and water, and the hands designed, no doubt, to maintain the honour of were again washed, accompanied with an ejacusacrifices, and teach the Jews to treat with reve- latory prayer. After the basons were removed, rence whatever was consecrated more especially to the president took the two cakes of unleavened the service of God.* After the Israelites were bread, broke one of them into two pieces, laid established in their own land, that part of the the broken cake upon that which was entire, and institution which required them to eat the pass- gave thanks to the Lord, who brought bread out over standing, and equipped as travellers, was of the earth. The two cakes were then divided dispensed with : they partook of the sacrificial among the company, who ate them with bitter meal like men at rest and ease.
herbs, and the thick sauce; after which the 5. The guests placed themselves in a reclining president pronounced the following prayer: posture on couches around the table, their left “ Blessed be thou, O Lord our God, king everarms leaning thereon, and their feet extending lasting, who hast sanctified us by the commandoutward and backwards. This shows the mean- ments, and hast commanded us concerning the ing of the evangelist's expression, of the beloved eating of the unleavened bread." It will be disciple leaning on the bosom of Jesus (John observed, that our Lord, at his appointment of xiii. 23), and on his breast (ver. 25, xxi. 20); the supper, reversed the order of blessing and
breaking the bread—he first giving thanks, and
then breaking the bread. It is to that part of the * Jennings Jewish Antiq., b. iii. c. 4.
feast just noticed, that our Lord's words relative to Judas refer : “He that dippeth his hand with 7. Before concluding the description of the me in the dish, the same shall betray me.” He paschal solemnity, we must remark that it was also pointed out the traitor, by giving him the customary, on this occasion, for the inhabitants sop, or piece of unleavened bread and bitter herbs, of Jerusalem to give the free use of their rooms which had been dipped in the thick sauce before and furniture to strangers who came up to keep mentioned. The meat of the peace-offerings was the feast. For this reason Jerusalem is called next eaten, with an appropriate prayer; and then“
“the common city:" it was common to all the the flesh of the paschal lamb, which was the con- tribes at the time of the great festivals. This will cluding dish ; after which they washed a third explain the otherwise inexplicable conduct of our time. A third cup of wine was then filled, which Saviour, in sending his disciples to a man in the was emphatically called “ the cup of blessing," city, saying, “The Master saith, My time is at because over it the president returned thanks. hand ; I will keep the passover at thy house with Paul uses the same phrase for denoting the sacra- my disciples.” It was also the custom, in the mental cup in the Lord's supper; and it is gene- latter period of the Jewish history, to liberate rally supposed that it was from this third cup, some criminal on this occasion, which explains and a part of the unleavened bread remaining Matt
. xxvii. 15, &c. from the passover, that our Lord took the ele- 8. Such was the manner of celebrating the ments for the Christian communion. Lastly, a passover of the first month, on the 14th day of fourth cup
of wine was set on the table, called Abib or Nisan, which every Israelite was required the cup of the Hallel, because over it the presi- to observe, except on particular occasions, enudent completed the Hallel which he had begun merated in Numb. ix. 1–13, on pain of death. over the second cup. Over that he had repeated It should not be forgotten, however, that there Psalms cxiii. and cxiv., and he now proceeded to was also a passover of the second month, observed repeat from Psalm cxv. to cxviii., after which he on the 14th day of Jair or Zif, by those individuals concluded with the blessing of the song."* who were precluded from attending the former.
6. These particulars will materially illustrate The regulations for both were alike (Numb. ix. the evangelical histories, concerning the celebra- 6—15), except that in the second month they tion of the last passover by our Saviour, and the might have leaven in their houses, for the use of institution of the Lord's supper. The paschal their families, and that the singing of the Hallel society on this occasion consisted of the Redeemer was dispensed with during the time they were and his twelve disciples. We have already re- eating the paschal supper. I Darked, that the manner in which they reclined 9. That the passover had a typical reference to at this feast explains the meaning of the evan- Christ, appears from the apostle calling him“ gelist, who says, the beloved disciple was leaning passover,” in 1 Cor. v. 7; but concerning the on his Master's bosom. In like manner, as the points of resemblance between the type and the Jewish passover was made the occasion of dis- antitype, there is, as might be expected, some difcoursing on the mercy of God in the deliverance ference of opinion amongst the commentators. of the people from their bitter servitude, our Sa- The reader who may wish to see the question disviour makes use of it for expatiating on that cussed, is referred to Jennings's Jewish Antiquiinercy, as more conspicuously manifested in the ties, or to Witsius's (Economia Fæderis. gift of his Son, and the redemption of the world 10. The ceremonies connected with this festhrough his death. As the president distributed tival closed on the 16th of the month, when the among the guests the consecrated bread, so our sheaf of the first-fruits of the barley-barvest was Saviour brake the bread, after having given offered, as a grateful acknowledgment of the thanks, and gave it to his disciples, saying, goodness of God in bestowing the former and the “ Take, eat; this is my body, which is given for latter rains, and producing the fruits of the earth.
This do in remembrance of me.” Hence The sacrifice and thanksgiving to be offered on Paul declares that, in celebrating this feast, we this occasion are prescribed in Lev. xxiii. 9–14. “do show forth the Lord's death until he come III. THE FEAST OF PENTECOST. again.” In conformity with the custom of con- 1. This was the second of the three grand Hecluding the feast by chanting or singing “ the brew festivals, and derives its name from the cirblessing of the song," our Saviour and his disci- cumstance of being kept fifty days after the first ples concluded by singing a hymn, or song of day of unleavened bread. See Lev. xxii. 15, 16; thanksgiving.t
Deut. xvi. 9-12. From the same circumstance
it is called “the feast of weeks,” being cele* Lightfoot. Temple Service, chap. xii., xiii. * See Dr. A. Clarke on the Eucharist.
# Lightfoot, Heb. and Tal. Exer. on Mark xiv. 26.