The Gospel of the Holy Twelve
Comments of the Editors
Transcribed and Compiled
by Rev. Mark Wilcox D.D.
The Comments of Section 8
Lections 71 Thru 80
LECTION 71. 1-4. -Twice the Lord is said to have performed this symbolic act. Surely, at his return, it will be his first work! For since the first ages till now the spirit of the world ruleth, and mammon is dominant, and every kind of wickedness in the name of religion, zeal for purity, etc.
LECTION 72. 1. -In the language of the Churches of this day, there is but one mansion in the Father's house, and that is claimed by each of over 300 different sects as its own, and all outside are damned, not for their evil deeds, but because they cannot see as their rulers profess to see.
LECTION 73. 1-6. -"I the true Vine, ye are the branches" -in unity with the stem by the continual possession of the One Life, not by mere external unity, valuable as this is, and certainly not by a dead uniformity of opinion in all things. "Tot homines tut sententice."
LECTION 75. 1. -Jacob is the same as Iames -called "the great." Nathanael is Bartholomew. There is no proof that Jude was the same with Thaddeus, as is alleged by some. The number at first seems to have been twelve exclusive, or thirteen (to the world's eye) including Iudas Iscariot, till he should manifest his falsity by his treachery, when he went out directly before the holy supper, leaving Iesus with the twelve -the complete number of Apostleship, which, being even, admitted of no one among them being "Master," save Iesus, who was over them.
v. 2. -Whether the appearance of the Master and his disciples in symbolic festal garb may not have been seen only by the spiritual eye of some of the disciples or not, the lesson is the same. Reverence and love of beauty and order are to be seen in God's House -symbols of the glorious garments of that Being Who is the Eternal Mystery and Beauty manifest in all things.
vv. 15, 16. -That Twelve is the complete number of the Apostleship and that Iesus sat down "with his twelve" at the holy supper before his crucifixion, seems evident from the received gospels, and still more so, from the fragments lately brought to light. Iudas Iscariot appears then to have been among the twelve but not of them, therefore before the Eucharistic rite is celebrated "he goes out." If there were any ill omen at all about the number thirteen it would therefore be thirteen as the number of Apostles present, exclusive of the Master and Head. But to thirteen, inclusive of the presiding host, no ill omen could attach, but the reverse.
LECTION 76. 4. -There are two other alternative versions of these circumstances of the last supper in the A. V .-First, that of St. John who, in the received version, expressly affirms that Iesus was crucified on the very day of the Passover and consequently the Eucharist was instituted the day before and not on the feast day Itself' and the Passover was on the morrow after the trial on the day of the crucifixion. Secondly, that of the three other gospels, which all affirm that the Eucharist was Instituted on the Passover the pascal lamb was slain. If the latter, it must be remembered that the Essenes (of whom Iesus was apparently one), were by Jewish regulation allowed a separate table at which no lamb or other flesh-meat was eaten, as they were vowed abstainers from blood sacrifices and the eating of flesh. If the former it was not the Passover at all, and Iesus was not bound as a Jew to eat of a lamb. In neither of these cases, therefore, was Jesus under the alleged necessity of killing a lamb and eating of flesh-meat in order to fulfill the law. In any case the causing of an innocent lamb to be killed and the eating of such is contrary to all that is known of the character of Iesus the Christ, whose tender love extends to all creatures. If Iesus was not an Essene, then nothing can be said against the accuracy of this version of the holy supper, and the charges brought against him in the account of the trial as now given by the Spirit.
v. 9. -"Bread," i.e. unleavened cakes of pure meal such as in use at the Passover. "Wine," here and through the Gospels, as used by Jesus and His disciples, means "the fruit of the Vine." which is pure wine mingled with four or two parts of pure water, the latter mystically representing the humanity, and the former the Divine Spirit. The strong fermented wine of modem use was never used on such festive occasions, nor even generally, except thus mingled with water. It is to be noted that the Saviour consecrated the Eucharist by Invocation of the Holy Spirit, and this has been faithfully followed by all Churches of the East, the words of institution being merely recited before, as a historical preamble, giving the authority for the action, and in no case as the words of consecration, according to the corrupt use of the West.
v. 13. -In the received Gospel Iudas is consigned to eternal perdition, but it appears rather that he who was all compassion and prayed for his murderers, prayed also for the man who was overmastered by his passions, blinded by envy, jealousy, greed of money, or, as some say, by desire to push matters to their conclusion, and procure some decisive miracle that would establish the claim of his Master to set up a temporal kingdom.
v. 26. -It is not stated whether there was any musical accompaniment, as is usual in the religious dances and processions of the East, but if so it was probably of the simplest, such as the Pipe, used on such occasions.
v. 27. -The Mazza, or unleavened cake, to which may the word "Mass" be traced as applied to the Eucharist, or "Breaking of Bread" -but preferable perhaps is the interpretation of "ite missa est " -the oblation ( = prayer) is gone, "sent up."
v. 30. -Here was perhaps more probably the sole motive actuating Judas -his ambition- the desire to see a miracle, and the early sovereignty set up before the time.
LECTION 77. 2. - Here the Lord addresses Simon, not Peter. In the A. V. confusion has arisen owing to the same name being given to two Apostles, and Peter is made to reply. It does not seem likely that one who thrice betrayed the Lord should by him have been placed in the highest authority, as it subsequently appears that Peter was.
LECTION 78. 12-18. -The belief that Peter denied his Master is probably owing to two of the Apostles bearing the same name, Simon Peter and Simon the Canaanite. Here we are given the right version. The error is one that might have been easily made. It is worthy of notice, that this ancient Gospel attributes to Simon (not to Simon Peter) the thrice denial of Iesus, and his fully exonerates Peter from the baseness generally attributed to him, and to which there is no allusion in his writings, but rather the reverse in the accepted gospel, where he was first to draw the sword in defence of his Master.
LECTION 79. 2. -In a preceding Lection (LII.) the Jews at that time adjudged him then to be forty-five, and here Caiaphas, who must certainly have known his age, declared him to be " not yet 50," ie. about 49. This is borne out by the A. V. and by the testimony of S. Irenaeus, A.D. 120-22, and the testimony of S. Iohn the Apostle and his immediate disciples.
LECTION 80. 1. -The heading of this Lection in the A. V. is most misleading. "Penance," implying reparation of some kind (even though not of the right kind), is the more correct description of the act.
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