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not my feet only, but also my hands, and my head. Jesus saith to him, He that is washed needeth not save to wash his feet, but is clean every whit: and ye are clean, but not all. For he knew who should betray him; therefore said he, Ye are not all clean.
So after he had washed their feet, and had taken his garments, and was set down again, he said unto them, Know ye what I have done to you? Ye call me Master, and Lord and ye say well, for so I am. If I then your 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; neither he that is sent greater than he that sent him. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them.
But let us turn our eyes to him whom we justly call our Teacher and our Lord; for surely, if any thing can effect a cure, it must be actions and words like these. The great Heir of all things, invested with universal dominion, and just returning to his heavenly Father to undertake the administration of it in what a habit, in what an attitude, do we see him! Whom would a stranger have taken for the lowest of the company, but him who was high over all created nature? Blessed Jesus, it was not so much any personal attachment to these thy servants, as a regard to the edification of thy whole church, which engaged thee to this astonishing action: that all thy ministers, that all thy people, in conformity to thy example, might learn a readiness to serve each other in love!
But why are we so slow to receive this lesson? And why is our practice often so contrary to it? Surely to cleanse us from these dregs of pride and carnality we need in a spiritual sense to be washed by him. Let us gladly submit to that washing, if we desire to secure any part in him. Which of us in this. view may not see reason to cry out with Peter, Lord, not our feet only, but also our hands and our head? May our whole nature be thus purified! and, warmly emulous of conforming to so bright an example, may we ever be maintining a watchfulness over our own spirits; correcting the first appearances of irregularity, and washing away every lightest stain which our feet may contract in this various journey! So shall we be great in the sight and favour of our Master; and, num
bering ourselves among the least of his servants, shall be distinguished by peculiar honours, in proportion to the degree in which we think ourselves most unworthy of them.
MATT. XXVI. 21-26. MARK XIV. 18-22. Luke XXII. 19-23. JOHN XIII. 18-30. 1 COR. XI. 23, 24.
AND as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to the disciples, and said, Take, eat; This is my body which is given for you this do in remembrance of me.
But behold, the hand of him that betrayeth me is with me on the table. And truly the Son of man goeth, as it was determined; but woe unto that man by whom he is betrayed! I speak not of you all: I know whom I have chosen: but that the scripture may be fulfilled, He that eateth bread with me hath lifted up his heel against me. Now I tell you before it come, that when it is come to pass, ye may believe that I am he. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that receiveth whomsoever I send receiveth me; and he that receiveth me receiveth him that sent me.
When Jesus had thus said, he was troubled in spirit, and as they sat and did eat, he testified and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, that one of you which eateth with me shall betray me. Then the disciples looked one on another, doubting of whom he spake; and they began to inquire among themselves, which of them it was that should do this thing; And they were exceeding sorrowful, and began every one of them to say unto him one by one, Lord, is it I? And another said, Is it I? And he answered and said unto them, It is one of the twelve, that dippeth his hand with me in the dish; the same shall betray me. The Son of man indeed goeth, as it is written of him: but woe unto that man by whom the Son of man is betrayed! good were it for that man if he had never been born. Now there was
leaning on Jesus' bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. Simon Peter therefore beckoned to him, that he should ask who it should be of whom he spake. He then lying on Jesus' breast, saith unto him, Lord, who is it? Jesus answered, He it is, to whom I shall give a sop, when I have dipped it. And when he had dipped the sop, he gave it to Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon. And after the sop Satan entered into Judas surnamed Iscariot, being of the number of the twelve. Then said Jesus unto him, That thou doest, do quickly. Now no man at the table knew for what intent he spake this unto him. For some of them thought because Judas had the bag, that Jesus had said unto him, Buy those things that we have need of against the feast; or, that he should give something to the poor. Then Judas, which betrayed him, answered and said, Master, is it I? He said unto him, Thou hast said. He then having received the sop, went immediately out: and it was night.
It is a melancholy reflection, that there should be any one in this select company, to whom this endearing promise did not belong; especially one who, having eaten of Christ's bread, should in such a sense and degree as Judas, lift up his heel against him. Deliver us, O Lord, from any share in that guilt! We are treated as thy friends; we are set at thy table: let us not ungratefully kick against thee, while the ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib. (Isaiah i. 3.)
If we would not do it, let us be jealous over ourselves with a godly jealousy. Happy they whose hearts witness to their sincerity in the presence of him that searches them, and can cheerfully say, Lord, is it I? Let them say it humbly too; lest the infirmity of nature prevail upon them beyond their present purpose or apprehension, and lead them on to do that, the very thought of which they would now abhor.
How artfully must Judas have conducted himself, when on such an intimation no particular suspicion appears to have fallen on him! But how vain is that artifice, be it ever so refined, which, while it preserves a character in the sight of men, cannot in the least degree impose upon Christ! The day will come when he will lay open the false and ungrateful hypocrite, in a more overwhelming manner than that in which he here exposed Judas; and whatever advantage he may have
gained, either by professing religion, or by betraying it, he will undoubtedly find that it had been good for him that he had never been born.
One would have imagined that an admonition like this, which laid bare the secrets of his heart, and warned him so plainly and faithfully of his danger, might have wrought some remorse in his heart, or at least have proved some impediment to the immediate execution of his design; but, being now given up by the righteous judgment of God to the influence of Satan, and the lust of his own depraved mind, he is exasperated, rather than reclaimed by it; and immediately goes forth, under the covert of the night, to hasten the accomplishment of that work of darkness, the consequences of which had been so awfully represented. O Lord, let thy grace and thy love do that for us which thy terrors alone cannot do! Let our hearts be melted by that nobler principle, and taught to abhor every thing which would displease thee! Oh, let them flow forth into such workings of compassion to the afflicted as engaged the blessed Jesus to relieve the poor out of his own little stock; and into those sentiments of candour which would not permit the apostles, even after this admonition, to imagine Judas altogether so bad as indeed he was, but led them to put the mildest construction on their Master's ambiguous address to him! Such may our mistakes be, wherever we do mistake; the errors of a charity, which would not by excessive rigour injure the vilest sinner, and much less the least and weakest of God's servants!
JOHN XIII. 31-38.
THEREFORE When he was gone out, Jesus said, Now is the Son of man glorified, and God is glorified in him. If God be glorified in him, God shall also glorify him in himself, and shall straightway glorify him. Little children, yet a little while I am with you. Ye shall seek me: and as I said unto the Jews, Whither I go, ye cannot come; so now I say to you. A new commandment I give unto you, that ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another.
Simon Peter said unto him, Lord, whither goest
thou? Jesus answered him, Whither I go, thou canst not follow me now; but thou shalt follow me afterwards. Peter said unto him, Lord; why cannot I follow thee now? I will lay down my life for thy sake. Jesus answered him, Wilt thou lay down thy life for my sake? Verily, verily, I say unto thee, the cock shall not crow, till thou hast denied me thrice.
In this instance, as in all others, let us be mindful of the dying charge, the new commandment of our dear Lord; and let us shew upon all occasions this distinguishing badge of our relation to him, even our love to each other. So will our profession be adorned, and the Son of man be farther glorified, by the conduct of his servants on earth: so shall he at length glorify us with himself, and after a short absence call us to follow him into those regions of perfect love which must of course be the seats of everlasting joy.
In the mean time, send down, O gracious Emmanuel, thy Spirit of love on all thy followers; that we may no longer glory in the little distinctions of this or that party, but may shew we are Christians by this resplendent ensign of our order! May we bind it on our shoulders as a mark of honour, and wear it as a crown upon our heads; that the spirit of hatred, reproach, and persecution may vanish like an unwholesome mist before the sun, and it may again be universally said, as of old, Behold, how these Christians love one another! Amen.
LUKE XXII. 24-38.
AND there was also a strife among them, which of them should be accounted the greatest. And he said unto them, The kings of the Gentiles exercise lordship over them; and they that exercise authority upon them are called benefactors. But ye shall not be so but he that is greatest among you, let him be as the younger; and he that is chief, as he that doth serve. For whether is greater, he that sitteth at meat, or he that serveth? is not he that sitteth at meat? but I am among you as he that serveth. Ye are they which have continued with me in my temptations. And I appoint unto you a