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hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry
Let us behold this meek triumph of the great Redeemer with pleasure! He entered the capital of his kingdom riding upon an ass; a circumstance in which he made, though by no means a ridiculous, yet to be sure a very humble figure: yea, he appeared exactly as the prophet described him, upon a colt, the foal of an ass; not yet grown up to its best form, nor adorned with any sumptuous or elegant furniture, but only covered with the mantles of his poor attendants, and perhaps with nothing better than a cord for a bridle, which might have tied the foal at the door.
Let us imagine that we saw the Son of God and the King of Israel, thus proceeding towards Jerusalem, and the people meeting him, and surrounding him with their acclamations : Hosannah! Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord! Do not our hearts spring at the sound? Do we not, as it were in spirit, go forth with them, and join in their sublime, though simple song? Thus let us welcome him into our hearts! Let us echo it back! Blessed be he that cometh in the name of the Lord, with Divine authority, and Divine blessings in his hand! And blessed be the kingdom he hath erected! May perpetual prosperity attend it! May the north give up a swarm of subjects to it; and may not the south keep back her swarthy sons! May nations be born at once, and thousands together made willing in the day of his power! Surely if these are not our affectionate wishes, the warm and zealous sentiments of our very hearts, it may almost be expected that the very stones should cry out, to accuse and condemn our ungrateful stupidity.
Unhappy Pharisees, who looked on these triumphs with envy and rage, and grieved that the world was gone after him! Yet less unhappy had they not renewed their attempts against him, those fatal attempts which ended in their ruin! But who, that had seen the procession, and heard the shouts of the transported multitude, could have imagined or believed, that before the end of the week they should have turned their voices against him, and instead of Hosannah, should have cried out, Crucify him? Yet so it was, and Christ knew it would be so. Such is the uncertainty of popular applause! Who would then purchase it at the expense of his conscience, or even of his ease?
These transports were raised by the hopes of a temporal kingdom; and when those hopes were disappointed, these transports were turned into rage. Oh that there may be none, under all the engagements of a Christian, and even
of a ministerial profession, who proclaim Christ with great appearances of zeal, only that they may exalt themselves; and wish prosperity to his kingdom, only as it may promote their own intesest in a world from which it was the great design of his death to redeem his servants.
MATT. XXI. 10, 11, 14, 17. MARK XI. 11.
AND when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If thou hadst known, even thou, at least in this thy day, the things which belong unto thy peace! but now they are hid from thine eyes. For the days shall come upon thee, that thine enemies shall cast a trench about thee, and compass thee round, and keep thee in on every side, and shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy children within thee: and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another; because thou knewest not the time of thy visitation.
And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this? and the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee. And Jesus went into the temple and looked round about upon all things; and the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them. And when the chief priests and Scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the Son of David! they were sore displeased, and said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus saith unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?
And when now the eventide was come, he went out of the city into Bethany with the twelve: and he lodged there.
The Scribes and Pharisees envied Christ; but the children surround him with their Hosannahs; and he graciously accepts
their feeble accents of praise, as ordained by God out of the mouth of babes and sucklings. Nor will he now despise the day of small things. Oh that we might have the pleasure to see little children pronouncing the name of Christ with reverence and love! And surely we who are parents must add, with a peculiar accent, Oh that our own may join in the choir! May they learn the song from our lips and may our whole lives be one continued visible proof of the devotion and affection with which we present it! Amen.
AND there were certain Greeks among them that came up to worship at the feast: The same came therefore to Philip, which was of Bethsaida of Galilee, and desired him, saying, Sir, we would see Jesus. Philip cometh and telleth Andrew: and again Andrew and Philip tell Jesus.
And Jesus answered them, saying, The hour is come, that the Son of man should be glorified. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except a corn of wheat fall into the ground and die, it abideth alone: but if it die, it bringeth forth much fruit. He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world shall keep it unto life eternal. If any man serve me, let him follow me; and where I am, there shall also my servant be: If any man serve me, him will my Father honour.
Now is my soul troubled; and what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour: but for this cause came I unto this hour. Father, glorify thy name. Then came there a voice from heaven, saying, I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again. The people therefore, that stood by, and heard it, said that it thundered: others said, An angel spake to him. Jesus answered, and said, This voice came not because of me, but for your sakes. Now is the judgment of this world: now shall the prince of this world be cast out. And I, if I be lifted up from the
This he said,
earth, will draw all men unto me. signifying what death he should die.
The people answered him, We have heard out of the law that Christ abideth for ever: and how sayest thou, the Son of man must be lifted up? who is this Son of man? Then Jesus said unto them, Yet a little while is the light with you: walk while ye have the light, lest darkness come upon you; for he that walketh in darkness knoweth not whither he goeth. While ye have light, believe in the light, that ye may be the children of light.
These things spake Jesus, and departed, and did hide himself from them.
Who can wonder at the desire these Greeks expressed to see so celebrated a Person as Jesus was! We hope there was something more than mere curiosity in it, and that at length they saw him with believing eyes, and, according to his prediction, glorified him by a cordial acceptance of his gospel. His dis ciples, we see were ready to introduce them and surely every faithful minister of Christ will undertake the task with pleasure when he sees souls awakened by Divine grace, and inquiring after Jesus with affectionate concern.
Blessed be God, it has already, in many instances, been seen that by the death of Christ an immortal seed was sown, which has multiplied in all ages, and is still multiplying: Oh that it might have a greater increase! One would think that words so gracious as these should promote that increase, and operate upon every heart to produce a love to him sufficient to conquer every danger and opposition which may be met with in his cause: behold the promise which he has left upon record; If any man, be he ever so mean and unworthy, will but faithfully serve and follow me, whatever his former wanderings and rebellions may have been, where I am, there shall also my servant be." Happy state indeed! not only, like these Greeks, to have a transient sight of Christ, but to be for ever with him!
How admirable is the love and steadfastness of our Redeemer, who procured so great a happiness for us at so dear an expense! and even when his innocent soul was troubled in the view of his sufferings, instead of declining them, he met them with joy! How should it animate us to renew that general comprehensive petition, than which none can be more suitable to us with regard to all the divine dispensations; Father, glorify thine own name! Glorify thyself, O Lord! and to that great
end dispose of us as thou pleasest; for we should abhor our selves if we had any interest separate from thine!
We may be assured, as certainly as by a voice from heaven, that this great end shall be answered: and in this we should rejoice. Behold the prince of this world is cast out! Behold, Satan is vanquished by Christ! and Jesus is lifted up on the cross for a standard to all the nations. Behold the attractive magnet by which all men are to be drawn, by which all his chosen people shall be brought to him, and so raised up to heaven itself! Let us look unto him from the ends of the earth, and labour with our cold hearts to awaken them to that lively and ardent affection which we owe to him who was crucified for us.
For ever adored be Divine grace for this gospel light which discovers to us so excellent an object! May we use it to saving purposes, and so walk in it, as that we may appear to be the children of light! Let us think of that last distribution of mankind, when the children and heirs of light and darkness are once for all to be separated. Let us think of the gloom of eternal night, which will shortly overtake those by whom the gospel is now despised; and remember how much it will be aggravated by the light we have so long seen. Do thou, O God, at whose word light arose out of darkness, send forth by thine influences on our hearts thy light and thy truth, that they may lead and bring us to thine holy hill, (Psalm xliii. 3.) and that we may have the satisfaction of knowing whither we go, even when we walk through the dark valley of the shadow of death. (Psalm xxiii. 4.)
MATT. XXI. 13-22.
MARK XI. 12-26. LUKE xix. 45-48.
Now on the morrow, in the morning as he returned from Bethany into the city, he hungered. And seeing a fig-tree afar off in the way having leaves, he came to it, if haply he might find any thing thereon: and when he came to it, he found nothing thereon but leaves only; for the time of figs was not yet. And Jesus answered and said unto it, Let no fruit grow on thee henceforward: No man eat fruit of thee hereafter for ever. And his disciples heard it. And presently the fig-tree withered away. And when the disciples saw it, they marvelled, say