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In this act, he presented them with a beautiful type of that internal cleansing, which he was just ready to procure for them by a far more humble, and an immensely more self-denying effort, pouring out his blood for them on the cross. Here, therefore, he held out to them an illustrious prediction of the unlimited humiliation which he was about to undergo for their sakes, and the incomprehensible love with which he was preparing to terminate his own life that they might live for ever.

All this, also, was done, not for himself, not even for his own convenience ; but solely for them; to instruct them in their duty ; to persuade them to the performance of it, and thus to become amiable and excellent in his sight.

66 After “ he had washed their feet,” says St. John, “ and had taken “ his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, “Know ye what I have done unto you? Ye call me Master “and Lord, and ye say well, for so I am. If I then, your 66 Lord and Master, have washed your feet, ye also ought to “ wash one another's feet. For I have given you an example, “ that ye should do as I have done to you. Verily, verily, I “say unto you, the servant is not greater than his Lord, nei“ther he that is sent greater than he that sent him. “ know these things, happy are ye if ye do them."

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V. The same disposition was eminently manifested in instituting, the same evening, the Lord's Supper.

In this ordinance his sufferings were exhibited in a new and most affecting light. Here the eye of faith saw, in clear undeceiving vision, his cross erected; himself nailed to the accursed tree ; his body broken, and his blood poured out for the sins of men. Here, in a record, written in letters of blood, destined to endure unaltered through all the ages of time, liable to no interpolation and no loss, and capable of no misconstruction, was written the love, stronger than death, and triumphing over the grave,--the love, which glowed in his bosom in the beginning, and which will burn with an intense flame for ever and ever.

Equally manifested were his humility and condescension. He supped with them, and they with him. Humble as they


were in their station and character, they sat at his table as his friends, and saw, in this proof of his affection, a rich earnest of their future glory. They were hereafter to be most honourably acknowledged as his friends. In the heavenly world, they were to appear as the builders of his earthly house, and on the precious stones, which form the foundation of the new Jerusalem, were to be engraved, in eternal characters, the names of the twelves Apostles of the Lamb. They were to be jointheirs with him in the heavenly inheritance, his companions in everlasting joy, and kings and priests in his immortal kingdom.

It was a perpetual ordinance, and in this manner indicated the perpetual and unchangeable nature of his love. His sufferings, and the spirit which lived and breathed in them, were always to be presented in the same manner to the

eye of his children by the same sacred symbols. At the celebration of it he was always to be present; to sup with his children; to pity their weaknesses and follies ; to feel their temptations and dangers; to forgive their sins; to heal their backslidings; to multiply to them grace, mercy, and peace, and to take them by the hand, and lead them onward towards endless life.

It was an universal ordinance, to be celebrated in every country, and in every age, where Christians should be found. In this fact was strongly imaged the universality of his love. The ordinance is instituted for all men, the prince and the peasant; the Jew and the Gentile; the master and the slave; Christians of the east and the west, the north and the south ; of that age, and of all succeeding ages. To every one of these the love of the Redeemer is extended; and every one is loved exactly in the same manner, and with the same degree of tenderness, as if there were no other object of his Saviour's affection. To every one it is the love of a Saviour-love which brought him down from heaven, which carried him through the sufferings of a persecuted life, and induced him patiently and serenely to ascend the cross.

Finally, the time at which this ordinance was instituted, strongly illustrates the benevolence of the Redeemer.

No season could have been equally interesting, useful, or proper. He was going now out of the world. He was to be delivered into the hands of sinners, condemned as a malefactor, and nailed to the cross. For these distressing events the apostles were very ill prepared. Such a catastrophe of the Redeemer's life violated all their expectations. With some imperfect views of his true character, they had united all the Jewish prejudices concerning the expected Messiah, and firmly believed that he was to become a great and glorious temporal prince, reigning over a vast empire with unprecedented splendour. In this empire they had expeeted, without a doubt, to hold places of high distinction; and even on this very occasion, discouraging as it was, disputed which of them should be raised to the highest distinction. In direct contradiction to all this, he was to suffer an ignominious death, and be carried to the grave. Nothing could be more disheartening to men in such circumstances. Nothing could more entirely overwhelm them with distress, or bring them nearer to the borders of despair. All this he distinctly foresaw, and provided the necessary remedy. In this living perpetual memorial, he showed, in a manner unquestionable, that, though he was - to die, his death was voluntary; foreseen by himself ; chosen by himself; undergone because it was a necessary part of the providential system; and undergone for them. In this manner he proved that he loved them with a love superior to death itself-a love which would warm his bosom until he should again “ come in the clouds of heaven with power and

great glory."

VI. The same truth is gloriously evident in the discourses whịch he delivered after the institution of the Lord's Supper.

These constitute the most wonderful part of the sacred ca. non, and contain the most affecting sentiments, the most supporting consolations, which were ever made known in the pres sent world. Moral sublimity is here raised to the highest pitch ; and, while it expands the thoughts and elevates the conceptions to the utmost, continually forces upon the mind a conviction that the things intended in the several declarations

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exceed its grasp, and rise beyond its utmost ken. Nothing could be so adapted to the circumstances of the apostles, or those of afflicted Christians in every country, and in every period.

“ Let not your heart be troubled,” says the compassionate Redeemer to them, “ ye believe in God; believe also in me. “ In my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so "I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. “ And, if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, “ and receive you unto myself; that where I am there ye may “ be also.” He then declares that, while they are in the world, he will not leave them hopeless or comfortless; that through his name they shall have access to all the blessings which they need; that he would send them the Spirit of Truth, whose name is the Comforter, who will enlighten, guide, support, sanctify, and save them. He declares that his Father will love them, and that he and his Father will dwell with them. Tribulations, it is true, await them in the world, and they will be called to encounter hatred, oppression, and sorrow. These things, however, will, as sources of suffering, be momentary and insignificant, and will at the same time be means, on the one hand, of their purification and happiness, and, on the other, of his glory. The world, he informs them, he has overcome. Peace, he declares, he leaves with them ; even his own peace; the peace, in the enjoyment of which he has sustained all his trials, and with unchanging serenity met and vanquished all his enemies. If the world hate them, it has also hated him; and they ought cheerfully to receive the same allotments which were dispensed to him, the Son of God, and his best beloved: sameness of circumstances being here proof of sameness of character, and evidence of similar approbation and love from God. Although in appearance he leaves them for a time, it is to lay down his life for their sakes, and to obtain for them the Spirit of grace, infinitely the best of all blessings. Although he leaves them for a time, it is in appearance only, and he will soon manifest himself to them again. The Father, he assures them, loves him, and hath put all things into his hands. From such a friend, invested with such possessions, no good therefore can be asked or hoped in vain.

Such is a very partial and imperfect summary of the divine consolations communicated in the three first of these chapters: The fourth is a prayer, primarily for his apostles, and generally for all his children, to the end of the world--a prayer fraught with sentiments more sublime, more noble, and more benevolent, than any other which the pen of man has been permitted to record. In this most wonderful discourse, Christ asserts his divine power and glory; the infinity of his possessions; and his unity and equality with the Father. plicates for them, also, all the blessings which they need; declares that he has kept them hitherto, and beseeches the Father to keep them hereafter. The glory to which they are destined, he asserts, is the glory which the Father had given him, and declares it to be his pleasure, that they should hereafter be with him, and behold and enjoy his glory for

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In this prayer we have, if I mistake not, the commencement of the intercession which Christ makes for his children before the throne of the Majesty in the heavens. In the early part of it he asserts, that he had performed the great work of a Mediator, undertaken by him in the covenant of redemption, and on this ground claims the reward which in that covenant the Father had promised. “ Father," said he, “ I have glo« rified thee on earth ; I have finished the work which thou

gavest me to do. And now, Father, glorify thou me with thine "own self, with the glory which I had with thee before ever “ the world was.” There can be no reasonable doubt, that of the same tenor is his eternal intercession in the heavens.

Of the same general nature and import were all the actions of the Saviour, which were subsequent to these discourses. At the commencement of his agony in the garden, he directed them to watch. Speedily after he left them, however, they fell asleep. Mark the gentleness of his reproof, when he returned and found them asleep_" What, could ye not watch " with me one hour? Watch and pray, that ye enter not into

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