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attention, if they chose tó 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
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 tire 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 happened on the destruction of Jerusalemi, when the Jews were dispersed, and their Church, as a national one, done away. For the coming of Christ and the end of the world have been considered as taking place at the same time. Thus, the early Christians believed that Jesus Christ, even after his death and resurrection, would come again, even in their own lifetime, and that the end of the world would then be. These events they coupled in their minds*; “for they asked him privately, saying, Tell us, when these things shall be, and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world.” Jesus told them in reply, that the end of the world and his coming would be, when there were wars, and rumours of wars, and earthquakes, and famine, and pestilence; and tribulations on the earth; and that these calamities would happen even before the generation, then alive, would pass away. Now all these things actually happened in the same generation; for they happened at the destruction of Jerusalem. Jesus Christ therefore meant by the end of the world the end of the Jewish world, or of the world of types, Matt. xxiv,
figures, and ordinances: and he coupled naturally his own coming with this event; because he could not come fully into the hearts of any, till these externals were done away,
He alluded, in short, to the end of the Jewish dispensation, and the beginning of his own spiritual kingdom, or to the end of the ceremonial and the beginning of the Gospel-world.
Those, therefore, who interpret the words “ till he come" to mean the end of the
typical world, are of opinion that the Passover, as spiritualized by Jesus Christ, was allowed to the disciples while they lived among a people so wedded to religious ceremonies as the Jews, with whom it would have been a stumbling-block in the way of their conversion if they had seen the apostles, who were their countrymen, rejecting it all at once; but that it was permitted them till the destruction of Jerusalem ; after which event the Jews being annihilated as a nation, and being dispersed and mixed among the infinitely greater body of the Gentiles, the custom was to be laid aside, as the disuse of it could not be then prejudicial to the propagation of the Gospel among the community at large.
The Quakers, however, understand the words "till he come” to mean simply the coming of Christ substantially in the heart. Giving the words this meaning, they limit the duration of this spiritualized Passover, but do not specify the time. It might have ceased with some of them, they say, on the day of Pentecost, when they began to discover the nature of Christ's kingdom; and they think it probable, that it ceased with all of them when they found this kingdom realized in their hearts. For it is remarkable that those who became Gospel-writers, and it is to be presumed that they had attained great spiritual growth when they wrote their respective works, give no instruction to others, whether Jews or Gentiles, to observe the ceremonial permitted to the disciples by Jesus, as any ordinance of the Christian Church. And in the same manner as the Quakers conceive the duration of the spiritualized Passover to have been limited to the disciples, they conceive it to have been limited to all other Jewish converts, who might have adopted it in those tiines; that is, till they should find, by the substantial enjoyment of Christ in their hearts, that ceremonial ordinances belonged to the old, but that they were not constituent parts of the new kingdom.
Quakers believe, from the preceding evidence, that
Jesus Christ intended no ceremonial for the Christian Church-for, if the custom enjoined was the. Passover spiritualized, it was more suitalle for Jews than Gentiles- If intended as ♡ ceremonial, it would have been commanded by Jesus to others besides the disciples, and by these to the Christian world—and its duration would not have been limited-Quakers believe St. Paul thought it no Christian ordinance-three reason's taken from his own writings.
Tue Quakers, then, on an examination of the preceding evidence, are of opinion that Jesus Christ, at the Passover-supper, never intended to institute any new supper
distinct from that of the Passover, or from that enjoined at Capernaum to be observed as a ceremonial by Christians.
For, in the first place, St. Matthew, who