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one may suppose, by the metaphorical sense that is commonly put upon the word leaven, and which is used by Jesus Christ and St. Paul', that this prohibition had a moral view, and that the divine legislator's design in giving it, was to cleanse their minds from malice, envy, animosity, and hypocrisy: in a word, from the leaven of Egypt 1. However it be, the Hebrews took a very particular care to search for all the leaven that might be in their houses, and to fling it either into the fire or water. Their descendants have carried this point to a superstitious nicety. Though the passover was to be celebrated at Jerusalem, yet they that were not able to go thither, might eat the unleavened bread in their own houses. As there was no other sort of bread in that city, when JESUS CHRIST instituted his last supper, it cannot be questioned but that he made use of it. And yet the Greek Church, which hath retained leavened bread in the eucharist, imagined that JESUS CHRIST used it; and the better to support their opinion, they have asserted, that he celebrated the passover one day before the Jews. We shall hereafter examine this matter. The Latins have, on the other hand, supposed, that the better to conform themselves with JESUS CHRIST's institution, they ought to celebrate the Lord's supper with unleavened bread. This was one of the occasions of the schism between the eastern and western churches ; which, after all, was a very slight one, and consequently very scandalous, since after the abrogating of the ceremonial law, it ought to be reckoned an indifferent matter, whether we communicate with leavened or unleavened bread, and since Jesus CHRIST, by giving no directions about it, hath left the church entirely at liberty in this respect.

The next day after the feast of unleavened bread, that is, the sixteenth day of Nisan, they offered up to

(1) Matt. xvi. 6. i Cor. v. 7.

Leavened bread was likewise forbidden the Romans, upon some particular occasions, Aulus Gel. 1. x. 15.


God, on the altar, the first fruits of the corn that was ripe at that time, that is, oats and barley”. These first fruits were a sheaf of corn, called in Hebrew homer, or gomer, which is the name that was afterwards given to the measure that held the corn, which was threshed out of the sheaf. This oblation was performed with a great deal of ceremony *. Towards the close of the fifteenth day, the Sanhedrim appointed some grave and sober persons, who, with a great number of people, went with scythes and baskets into the fields that lay nearest Jerusalem, and cut down the sheaf of barley. When they were come thither, the reapers, having got first the owner's leave, put the sickle into the harvest; and after they had cut down the sheaf, they carried it in a basket to the high priest, who was to offer it up. The high priest having beat out the grain, caused it to be dried upon the fire, and had it ground; then putting some oil and frankincense to it, he presented it to God. After that a lamb was offered up for a whole burnt sacrifice, with several other oblations, that were accompanied with libations. It was unlawful to begin the harvest, till this offering had beed first made. There seems to be an allusion to this in the Revelations", where the angel orders the sickle to be put into the harvest.

Thus have we explained the several particulars observed in the celebration of the passover. It remains now that we should examine a question, which hath exercised the wits of several critics; i. e. whether our Saviour celebrated the passover the


he was put to death, on the same day as the Jews kept theirs? We have observed before, that the Greek church maintains Jesus Christ celebrated it one day sooner than

(m) Lev. xxiii. 9–14. Jos. Antiq. 1. iii. c. 10.

* It appears from Exodus xvi. 16. that the homer held as much as a man that has a good stomach can eat in a day. According to the Jewish way of reckoning, this measure contained about 43 ben eggs. (i. e. 3 of our pints.) It was the tenth part of an epha, which held 432.

(2) Rev. xiv. 15.

ordinary; and have shewed at the same time, what reasons they allege to support their opinion. Some authors have inferred from a few passages out of St. John's gospel, that for several reasons which they bring, the Jews did not keep the passover that year on the fourteenth day of the month, as usual, but the day after. The first of these passages is in the thirteenth chaptero, wherein it is said, that before the feast of the passover, when supper was ended, whereby they understand the holy communion, Jesus CHRIST washed his disciples' feet. The second occurs in the eighteenth chapter :' Jesus was apprehended by the Jews, had celebrated the passover, and instituted the eucharist the night before; and yet the Evangelist says, that the Jews would not go into the prætorium, or judgment-hall, for fear they should defile themselves, and thereby become unfit to eat the passover. The third is in the nineteenth chapter", where the day on which Christ was crucified is styled the preparation of the passover.

Notwithstanding which, other writers have asserted and maintained, that Jesus Christ celebrated the passover on the same day as the Jews. And indeed there are very good reasons to believe that he did. 1. Supposing the Jews had put it off for any time that year, Jesus Christ would, in all probability, have complied with it, else the Jews would never have failed to lay this to his charge, since after public notice was given of the new moon, people were obliged to keep to it, even though there was a visible mistake in the matter'. 2. Those that have thoroughly examined the reasons alleged for this delay, find no manner of weight in them, since they are grounded upon customs that are of a much later date than the times of Jesus Christ. There were not then, for instance, two different ways of finding out the new moon. As it was known only by its appearance, and not

(o) Ver. 1, 2, 4. (p) Ver. 28. (9) Ver. 14.
(T) Maimon. Chad. Hacc. cap. V. sect. 2.

its conjunction with the sun, there could be no room for celebrating the passover on two different days. Besides, the Caraite Thalmudists made but one body with the rest of the Jewish nation, and therefore did celebrate the feast on the same day with them. Moreover, the custom of transferring the passover, when it fell on the day before the sabbath, is not of so ancient a date. 3. It is unquestionably certain, that the lamb was to be sacrificed publicly in the temple, and that it was necessary that the priests should pour the blood of it at the bottom of the altar'. As all these particulars are plainly enjoined by the law, JESUS CHRIST would not have omitted any one of them. Besides, is it probable that the priests would have ministered to him in so manifest an innovation as this must have been ? 4. The three other Evangelists expressly say', that Jesus Christ celebrated the passover on the same day the Jews were used to do it, which seems entirely to decide the question. It is therefore more proper to put another sense upon St. John's expressions, than to embrace an opinion which manifestly contradicts the rest of the Evangelists. For it may reasonably be supposed, that in the

first of the forementioned passages, St. John doth not speak of the Lord's Supper, or of the paschal feast, but only of a private supper at Bethany, the day before the passover“. In the second, there is no necessity of understanding by the pussover the paschal lamb, since the other sacrifices that were offered up during the feast, had also that name given them'. By the preparation of the passover, in the last place, may be meant the preparation before the sabbath of the passover, which is elsewhere called the preparation of the Jews.

It was after having celebrated the passover that Jesus Christ instituted the eucharist to be a lasting

(s) Deut. xvi. 5, 6, 7. 2 Chron. xxx. 16. xxxv. 11. (t) Matt. xxvi. 17. Mark xiv. 12. Luke xxii, 7.

(u) Compare Luke xxii. 1, 3. with John xiii. 1, 2. (x) Deut. xvi. 2, 3. 2 Chron. xxxv. 8.


monument of our redemption by his death, as the passover was of the deliverance of the Hebrews out of Egypt. The second solemn festival of the Jews

Of the Pene was the Pentecost. It was so called by the tecost. Greeks , because it was kept on the fiftieth day after the feast of unleavened bread, i. e. after the fifteenth of March. It was otherwise named the feast of weeks, because they celebrated it seven weeks after the passover; and also the feast of harvest, because on it the first-fruits of the harvest were offered


to God. The law having been given from mount Sinai upon that day, as the Jews pretend, this festival was appointed for a memorial of this great favour. They then offered two cakes made of new wheat, which were not carried

up the altar, because they were leavened. One of them belonged to the priests then upon duty, and the other to those priests and Levites that kept the watch. They were obliged to eat them that very day in the temple, and to leave nothing of them remaining. This oblation was accompanied with great numbers of sacrifices, and several other offerings and libations. The feast of Pentecost lasted but one day, and was kept with abundance of mirth and rejoicing. We have nothing further to observe about it with relation to the New Testament, except this, That the new law, or the gospel, was tully confirmed on this day of Pentecost by the Holy Ghost descending upon the Apostles.

As the day of expiation happened between the Pentecost and the feast of tabernacles, it

of expiation. will be proper to speak of it in this place, though it was of a quite different nature from other

(y) Compare Matt. xxvii. 57. Mark xv. 42. Luke xxiii. 54. John xix. 14, 81, 42.

(α) Πεντεκόστη.
(a) Lev. xxiii. 10, 15, 16.

(6) Jos. Antiq. I. iii. c. 13. (c) Exod. xxxiv. 25.

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