song when he said, "The Lord said unto my Lord.” (Psalm cx. 1.) Yea, the Father himself, speaking to the church, called her daughter, on the account of this relationship, and commanded her to know her Lord God, "He is thy Lord God, and worship thou him." (Psalm xlv. 10, 11.) And when the church, as in Hosea, united both Master and Lord, a double sweetness is found in it. (Hosea ii. 16, 17. See Mary's song, Luke i. 46. See Elizabeth's joy on the occasion, Luke i. 43. See Thomas's, John xx. 23.) And if the reader knows any thing of the Lord, he also will find peculiar sweetness in his own personal apprehension of the same. (1 Cor. i, 2. Philip. iii. 8.)

In relation to what our Lord said to his disciples, that as he had in such great condescension washed their feet; they also ought to wash one another's feet; this evidently extended not to the mere washing of feet, but to all the acts of love and kindness. For Jesus added; "I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done to you." And the Lord explained it still farther in shewing their perfect equality with each other; and that if they knew those things, it would be their pleasure to do them. In all these, the general acts of kindness to one another is meant. No part of Scripture states of any washing the disciples observed towards each other, in relation to their feet. And strange it is that ever the idea of holy water among men, should have taken rise from such an incident. And no less so, that holy Thursday, as it is unsuitably called, should have sprung from the same error. But what is there not that our poor fallen nature is liable to pervert, while in an unregenerated state, in substituting form and ceremony for vital goodness; and the doings of men, for the righteousness of Christ!

I cannot leave the subject, neither suffer my reader to close up the view which hath now been brought

before him, of our most glorious Lord; without once more, as he closeth the present perusal of the Scripture, calling upon him to behold the Lord of life and glory, as the evangelist here represented him. What a most lovely and endearing portrait is drawn of our Christ! Can the imagination conceive any thing equally interesting, as that of the son of God, encircled by such an assemblage of the poor fishermen of Galilee, and in the act of stooping down to wash their feet! And what is yet more striking in the representation, and tends to give the highest finish to the whole picture; is the consideration that all this was done when the Lord Jesus, as Mediator, knew that " all things were given into his hands ;" and he was not only the head of his body the church, but the Eternal and Universal Lord of the whole creation of God; "the fulness of him that filleth all in all.".


Methinks, I would have every redeemed and regenerated child of God everlastingly have in remembrance such views of the infinite greatness, and infinite humbleness, blended in one, of our most glorious Christ. Oh, how divinely suited is he for every case, and every circumstance of his people! What can he not do; what will he not do; for his "own, which are in the world," and of whom it is said; "having always loved them he loveth them unto the end?" Methinks I would have the proud ones of the earth, come and learn a lesson from this view of our Christ. Oh, ye great little men; here stand and contemplate the Son of God! Could it be possible while beholding such a scene, that any one could ever more carry himself proudly to a fellow creature? Could he tower it with a lordly brow over a nature in every sense like his own; and then behold the King of heaven, washing poor men's feet? Could who know themselves to be but any, dust and ashes; and if the next moment the puff of

breath was stopped, would instantly become so, assume a pride unsuited to the mud-walls of dying creatures; and fancy themselves to be something when they are nothing? But I turn from the unavailing expostulation. Let the redeemed and regenerated child of God, however, not fail to gather in this contemplation of the Lord Jesus, the numberless rich consolations the interesting history affords. Never shall my soul doubt the grace, the love, the condescending favour of our most glorious Lord; while I here behold, and under the Spirit's teaching learn to know the full display of such divine acts of clemency the Lord sheweth his people. True, Lord! "I am poor and needy, but the Lord thinketh upon me." Yes; I do know somewhat of the "grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, that though he was rich, yet for our sakes he became poor, that we through his poverty might be made rich." This therefore shall encourage me under all my circumstances of poverty; for if Jesus, when rich, became poor for my sake; when I am poor, the Lord will be my portion in his riches; and as he saith himself, "riches and honour are with me; yea, durable riches and righteousness." (Prov. viii. 18.) Enable me to have this always in view and while I behold such grace of my Lord to his disciples, let me carry about with me this precious Scripture, and wear it with more delight than the golden chain of the neck, or the frontlet between the eyes: "I am poor and needy, yet the Lord thinketh upon me.” (Psalm x.l 17.)

One word more, before we close our present view of the whole. Let no redeemed and regenerated child of God take concern that the traitor Judas was of the party, when the Son of God condescended to this great humiliation. Methinks, the consideration is so far from giving cause of distress, that it ministers to holy joy. Grace is never beheld with equal

delight, never so much enjoyed, as when it is distinguishing grace. That the ungodly mingle in the congregation of the righteous, is as old as the world. Abel's offering and Cain's were at the same time. And we are told that in the days of Job, "when the sons of God came to present themselves before the Lord, Satan came also among them. Be it so. It shall serve under the divine unction, to make my soul more alive, to be on the look-out at all ordinances, for the Lord of the ordinances; and that nothing may satisfy my soul, until I find the savour of Christ's name in the service, be it what it may, "as ointment poured forth." (Song. i. 3.)

It will not be long before that this mingled state of things shall for ever cease; when there shall be no more "the Canaanite in the house of the Lord of hosts." (Zech. xiv. 21.) “Violence shall be no more heard in the land; wasting nor destruction within thy borders; thy walls shall be called salvation, and thy gates praise. But the Lord shall be unto his church an everlasting light, and thy God thy glory." (Isa. lx. 18, 19.)






"And when it was determined that we should sail into Italy, they delivered Paul and certain other prisoners unto one named Julius, a centurion of Augustus' band.

"And entering into a ship of Adramyttium, we launched, meaning to sail by the coasts of Asia; one Aristarchus, a Macedonian of Thessalonica, being with us.

"And the next day we touched at Sidon. And Julius courteously entreated Paul, and gave him liberty to go unto his friends to refresh himself.

[ocr errors]

"And when we had launched from thence, we sailed under Cyprus, because the winds were contrary.

“And when we had sailed over the sea of Cilicia and Pamphylia, we came to Myra, a city of Lycia.

"And there the centurion found a ship of Alexandria sailing into Italy; and he put us therein.

"And when we had sailed slowly many days, and scarce were come over against Cnidus, the wind not suffering us, we sailed under Crete, over against Salmone;

"And hardly passing it, came unto a place which is called The fair havens; nigh whereunto was the city of Lasea.” (Acts xxvii. 1-8.)


I DETAIN the reader, at the very entrance on this history of the apostle Paul's voyage, to observe to him how it is worded. "And when it was determined

[blocks in formation]
« VorigeDoorgaan »