Images de page

As far therefore as the evangelists Matthew, Mark, and John are concerned, it is obvious, in the opinion of the Quakers, that Christians have not the least pretence either for the celebration of the Passover, or of that which they usually call the Lord's Supper; for the command for such a Supper 'is usually grounded on the words “Do this in remembrance of me. But no such words occur in the accounts of any of the evangelists now cited.

This silence with respect to any command for any new institution is considered by the Quakers as a proof, as far as these evangelists are concerned, that none was ever intended. For, if the sacrament of the Supper was to be such a great and essential rite as Christians make it, they would have been deficient in their duty if they had failed to record it. St. Matthew, who was at the Supper, and St. Mark, who heard of what had passed there, both agree that Jesus used the ceremony of the bread and the wine, and also, that he made an allusion from thence to his own body and blood; but it is clear, the Quakers say, whatever they might have heard as spoken by him, they did not understand him as enjoining a new thing. But the silence of John on this occasion the Quakers consider as the most impressive in the present case. For St. John was the disciple who leaned upon the bosom of Jesus at this festival, and who of course must have heard all that he said. He was the disciple, again, whom Jesus loved, and who would have been anxious to have perpetuated all that he required to be done. He was the disciple, again, who so particularly related the spiritual supper which Jesus enjoined at Capernaum, and in this strong language: that "except a man eat his flesh and drink his blood, he has no life in him.” Notwithstanding this, St. John does not even mention what took place on the Passover-night, believing, as the Quakers suppose, that it was not necessary to record the particulars of a Jewish ceremony, which, being a type, was to end when its antitype was realized, and which he considered to be unnecessary for those of the Christian name.


[merged small][ocr errors]


Account of St. Luke eramined-according to him,

Jesus celelrated only the old Jewish Passover signified all future Passorers with him were to le spiritual--hence he turned the attention of those present from the type to the antitype-recommended his disciples to take their meals occasionally together in remembrance of their last supper with him; or if, as Jeu's, they could not get rid of the yoke of the Passover, to celebrate it with a new meaning.

Sr. Luke, who speaks of the transactions which took place at the Passover-supper, is the only one of the evangelists who records the remarkable words “Do this in remembrance of me.” St. Luke, however, was not himself at this supper.

Whatever he has related concerning it was from the report of others.

But though the Quakers are aware of this circumstance, and that neither Matthew, Mark, nor John, gives an account of such words, yet they do not question the authority of St. Luke concerning them. They admit them, on the other hand, to have been


spoken. They believe, however, on an examination of the whole of the narrative of St. Luke on this occasion, that no new institution of a religious nature was intended. They believe that Jesus Christ did nothing more than celebrate the old Passover; that he intimated to his disciples, at the time he celebrated it, that it was to cease; that he advised them, however, to take their meals occasionally, in a friendly manner, together, in remembrance of him ; or if, as Jews, they could not all at once relinquish the Passover, he permitted them to celebrate it with a new meaning.

In the first place St. Luke, and he is joined by all the other evangelists, calls the feast now spoken of “the Passover.” Jesus Christ also gives it the same name; for he says, “With desire I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer.”

" Jesus Christ, according to St. Luke, took bread, and brake it, and divided it among his disciples. He also took the


gave thanks, and



among them. But this, the Quakers say, is no more than what the master of every Jewish family did on the Passover-night. Nor is it any more, as will


have already appeared, than what the Jews of London, or of Paris, or of Amsterdam, or of any other place, where bread and wine are to be had, do, on the same feast, at the present day.

But though Jesus Christ conducted himself so far as other miasters of families did, yet he departed from the formula of words that was generally used upon these occasions. For, in the first place, he is described to have said to his disciples, that “he would no more eat of the Passover, until it should be fulfilled in the kingdom of God;" and a little further


that “ he would not drink of the fruit of the vine, till the kingdom of God should come;" or, as St. Matthew has it, " till he should drink it new with them in his l'ather's kingdom.”

By these words the Quakers understand, that it was the intention of Jesus Christ to turn the attention of his disciples from the type to the antitype, or from the paschal lamb to the Lamb of God, which was soon to be offered for them. He declared that all his Passover-suppers with them were in future to be spiritual. Such spiritual Passovers, the Quakers say, he afterwards ate

« PrécédentContinuer »