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last supper, would reflexively confirm St. John, and necessarily lead us back to it. If it can be proved that this supper took place on the Thursday, then they bring down the course of events to the close of the day before it, which is Wednesday; and prior to this they give clear intimations of two, but only of two, successive days more: the first of which was the day of the procession to the temple. The day of this procession, if it was two days prior to the Wednesday, must have coincided with the Monday.

A further argument, and perhaps the most powerful of all, will appear hereafter from the end and design of the procession itself. Nor can it be any good objection to the conclusion in question, that it supposes our Lord to have continued one entire day at Bethany, apparently inactive, before he appeared in public. I have no doubt that, for the sake of the reason alluded to, this was done on purpose. Under the circumstances of his appearance on this occasion, no day was proper for his first solemn reappearance in public, except the tenth of Nisan. In the mean time, his continuance at Bethany, by affording an opportunity for a more promiscuous resort of the people to him, and by diffusing a greater and more general expectation of his coming, was preparatory to his reappearing at last with so much the more of publicity. Not to say that wherever he was he could not be inactive; and if he did not teach in the temple, he might still be so employed at Bethany. One part of a day, at least, and that the greater part, must have been on any principle occupied in private; for if, as St. Mark tells us, he did not arrive in the temple until late, he could not have set out to go thither until late.

There is a much greater objection which may be brought against the received opinion; viz. that if we compute the detail of proceedings in Passion-week from

Palm Sunday we must bring our Lord's public ministry, as we shall see hereafter, to its close on the Tuesday; and one whole day, the Wednesday ensuing, before the celebration of the last supper, would become a total blank; during which it would be evident that our Lord could not have been any way engaged in public, and yet we should not be able to conjecture how he might be engaged in private. The way to obviate this difficulty is to date these proceedings from Monday: for then every day (even the Sunday not excepted) is accounted for, down to the eve of Thursday; at which time our Lord solemnly made an end of his ministry. On the Thursday he kept his Passover; and on the Friday he suffered.

Now the connection between all these events is such that, if any one of them only was fixed to a certain day, the rest must have been similarly determined. For example; if Jesus was to suffer on the Friday, he must keep his own Passover on the Thursday; he could not both keep it himself, and fulfil it by suffering upon the feast day, at the same time. And if he was to keep his own Passover on the Thursday, he must take leave of the people, and formally close his ministry, on the Wednesday; he could not both be employed on the next day, as he had been for the two days before, and keeping his Passover also. Nor is it improbable that the three days, thus spent in public, from Monday in Passion-week, to Wednesday inclusive, during which he was conversant in the temple before his enemies as well as his friends, contained a secret reference to the three years of his ministry previously. Each, reckoned on the principle of the Jewish computation, would terminate alike the day before he consummated the final purpose of his mission itself; viz. on the thirteenth of the Jewish Nisan. For he proceeded to the temple on Monday, and he finally quitted it on the Wednesday;

upon the morning of the Jewish tenth of Nisan in the one case, and on the evening of the Jewish thirteenth in the other. We may observe also this further analogy between these three days, and the three years of the Christian ministry. On the first our Lord went to the temple amidst the acclamations of the people, and welcomed by all as their Messiah: on the second he was received with ambiguous favour, and minds wavering between faith and unbelief: on the third this feeling was still more increased; and at the close of that day his enemies, as we shall see hereafter, concerted with Judas the scheme of his death. The same description of the effect, mutatis mutandis, might apply to the three years of his ministry. But to proceed with the course of the subject.

The Gospel of St. John, which has hitherto gone by itself, it is manifest still stands alone from xii. 12 to 13, where the proceedings of Monday, the tenth of Nisan and the first of April, begin to be related. The fact of the resort from Jerusalem to Bethany, produced by the news that our Lord was coming to the city, and the special circumstance that his procession set out from Bethany, are peculiar to his account. Bethphage, indeed, through which the three other Evangelists all make it pass, lay upon the slope of Mount Olivet, as well as Bethany; and nearer to Jerusalem than it; in which case, a procession from Bethany towards Jerusalem would pass through or by Bethphage.

The reason however why Bethphage, in St. Mark and in St. Luke, is placed before Bethany is probably this; that as, according to Epiphanius5, φύσει (γὰρ) λεωφόρος ἦν παλαιὰ, the high road from Jericho, ἄγουσα εἰς ̔Ιερουσα

1 Hieronymus, ii. Pars ia. 422. De Situ et Nominibus. 341. A. Marcionista. 2 Sam. xv. 23. 30. xvii. 22.

Operum i. 340. D.

λὴμ διὰ τοῦ ὄρους τῶν Ἐλαιῶν, οὐκ ἄγνωστος οὖσα τοῖς καὶ τὸν τόπον ἱστοροῦσιν—Bethphage lay upon the direct line of this route, but Bethany did not; so that one travelling from Jericho, as they suppose our Lord to be travelling previously, would come to Bethphage first, and would have to turn off from the road to go to Bethany. It is possible also that they were almost contiguous; or little more than divisions of the same village and in any case, it is certain that our Lord's procession stopped at Bethphage; and from thence that he continued his route under those circumstances which, as being the most illustrious instance of the fulfilment of prophecy now supplied, all the Evangelists are more or less careful to record.

From this time forward St. John's account begins to be joined by that of the rest; and as might be expected in a supplementary Gospel, he dwells henceforth upon nothing but what they had passed over in comparative silence; or what was necessary to explain them, and to apply his own accounts to their's. Of his conciseness where he touches upon a circumstance which had been fully related before, xii. 14 is an apposite proof; and of the application of his accounts to their's, xii. 16 and The miracle of Lazarus indeed, as one of the most recent, and certainly one of the most memorable instances of power which the disciples had witnessed, must undoubtedly have been alluded to, Luke xix. 37: but the propriety of the allusion in St. Luke appears only from St. John.


The news of our Lord's intention to visit Jerusalem, on this day, was probably carried thither by some of the many visitors to Bethany the same morning. The consequent procession of the Jews from the country", which set out from the city to meet him, must have set

h John xii. 12.

out of their own accord; and perhaps joined him first when he was still at Bethphage. The Hosannas then, which John xii. 13 ascribes to the attendants of Jesus, are manifestly the Hosannas of the whole of his attendants; and not, like those in the other Evangelists, the Hosannas of a part. The branches of palm, a species of tree which is among the first in the East to put forth its verdure, were carried for a purpose left unexplained by St. John, but ascertained by the rest-viz. to strew in the road before Jesus; a mark of respect, which would be paid to none but persons of acknowledged rank and dignity-in unison, consequently, with the strong expectation now entertained that the kingdom of the Messiah was at hand; and with the personal Hosannas, addressed to our Lord as King. There is a case in point to the demonstrations of joy upon this occasion, and about the same time of the year also, 1 Maccabees xiii. 51. The use of these boughs in particular was associated also with the ceremonial of the most festive and gladsome among the Jewish solemnities, the Scenopegia or feast of Tabernacles . Similar to these acts in design, but a still more striking declaration of the personal feelings of the agents, (not, however, until our Lord had mounted upon the ass's colt, and resumed his procession with something of the state of a King, as well as with the humility of a Prophet,) was the act, ascribed by the rest of the Evangelists to the greater part of the multitude present, the act of spreading their garments on the ground beneath his feet; for this was directly to acknowledge him as king * 1.

* It is thus that Clytemnestra,

according to Æschylus, receives

Agamemnon upon his return from
Troy. Δμωαὶ, τί μέλλεθ ̓, αἷς ἐπέ-

i Vide Herodotus, vii. 54. Compare also viii. 99.

k Nehem. viii. 15.

Ant. Jud. xiii. xiii. 5. Maimonides, De Sacrificiis Jugibus, x. 8. Annott. 1 Ant.

Jud. ix. vi. 2. 2 Kings ix. 13.

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