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It was in faith that these blind men | work, will follow the blessed steps
made their application to Jesus; which appears from their addressing him as the son of David, and thus acknowledging him as the Messiah; and also from the Saviour's reply to Bartimæus,-Thy faith hath saved thee. Let us thankfully accept the Redeemer's invitations, and faithfully apply to him in the spirit and with the prayer of Bartimæus and his companion, in the full assurance that our prayers will be favourably heard, and our wants abundantly supplied. Let us place our whole trust and confidence in Him as being both willing and able to save to the uttermost. And let us resign ourselves wholly into his hands to be saved in the way of Divine appointment,-submitting to his teaching, as our Prophet,-relying entirely on his atonement and intercession, as our Priest,-and studying diligently, through grace given, to obey his laws as our King. So shall we receive a blessing from the Lord, and righteousness from the God of our salvation.
of his most holy life, and will glorify God in his body and in his spirit, which are God's. And all the people,-all those, at least, who know how to estimate the work which has been wrought in the case of such a man, will be affected by it as the people of Jericho were affected by the sight of our Saviour's miracle, who, when they saw it, gave praise unto God.
Author of faith, to thee I cry,
But know the truth and live;
Shut up in unbelief I groan,
I know the work is only thine,
But if on thee we call,
So Jesus had compassion on them, and touched their eyes and immediately their eyes received sight, and they followed him. The Lord Jesus not only took notice of these afflicted men, and offered them his aid, but he actually conferred on them the blessing they desired. St. Luke says concerning Bartimæus, that he followed Him, glorifying God. Thus also every disciple of Jesus, who has become sensible of the value of salvation, and enjoys a personal interest in the Redeemer's to Bethphage, unto the mount
CHAP. XXI. 1—11.
Christ's entry into Jerusalem.
AND when they drew nigh unto Jerusalem, and were come
of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples,
2 Saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them and bring them unto
10 And when he was come into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, Who is this?
11 And the multitude said, This is Jesus the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
c Isaiah Ixii. 11. Zech. ix. 9. John xii. 15.-d Mark xi. 4.-e 2 Kings ix. 13.-f See Lev. xxiii. 40. 1 Mac. xiii. 51, &c. 2 Mac. x. 7. John xii. 13.-g Psalm cxviii. 25.-h Psalm cxviii. 26. ch. xxiii. 39.- Mark xi. 15. 16. John vi. 14; & vii. 40; & ix. 17.
3 And if any man say ought Luke xix. 45. John ii. 13, 15.- ch. ii. 23. Luke vii.
unto you, ye shall say, The
5 Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal
of an ass.
6 And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them,
7 And brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and they set him thereon.
8 And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; fothers cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
9 And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, Hosanna to the son of David: "Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord; Hosanna in the highest.
Reader.-We find the substance of this narrative again in Mark xi. 1-11, Luke xix. 29-44, and John xii. 12-15. St. Matthew is the only Evangelist who mentions both the ass and the colt; the others speak of the colt only, probably because it was this on which our Saviour rode. The actions of the multitude were designed as tokens of respect and rejoicing, according to oriental custom. See 2 Kings ix. 13. Lev. xxiii. 40. Hosanna is a Syriac word, used as a form of acclamation; it means, Save now, or Save, I beseech thee !
READER. The holy Evangelist supplies us with a most emphatic commentary upon the transaction here recorded, by referring us to a prediction of the prophet Zechariah (xi. 9), and leading us to meditate upon its fulfilment. All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Tell ye thy king cometh unto thee, meek, and the daughter of Sion, Behold, sitting upon an ass, and (or rather, yea even) a colt the foal of an ass. By
Several reflections, of a pleasing and profitable kind, may arise from our contemplation of this meekness of the Lord Jesus. It reminds us, for example, that he comes to us in peace, and in love, and with a view not to erect a temporal throne, but to set up a spiritual kingdom, a kingdom distinguished not by earthly pomp and power, but by righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.
this event, and the record of it, our minds are directed to the contemplation of the meekness, or humility and condescension, of the Lord Jesus Christ in his dealings with the church. The earthly Jerusalem, or daughter of Sion, is a type or picture of the spiritual city of God, the company of all true believers; and the meekness of Jesus on the occasion here recorded is a token of his gentleness and tenderness in seeking and gaining an en--behold, thy king cometh! trance to the souls of his believing may ask, perhaps, How does he people in all ages. come? In what manner, and for what purpose, is the king of heaven approaching this city of the haughty and hypocritical Pharisee, the unbelieving Sadducee, the profane and extortionate publican, the licentious sinner of every degree? Is he not coming "with ten thousands of his saints to execute judgment upon all, and to convince all that are ungodly among men of all their ungodly deeds which they have ungodly committed, and of all their hard speeches which ungodly sinners have spoken against him?" But the answer is, Not so. He is coming in a meek and lowly form: he is advancing with every demonstration of friendship and peace!-In this respect, the Lord Jesus Christ comes to us now in his gospel, by his word and by his Spirit, just as he advanced towards Jerusalem of old. "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;"-not dealing with his offending creatures according to their iniquities, and vindicating the honour of his laws by
The lowly Jesus comes to us in peace. He might have come, as the Lord from heaven, in wrath and righteous indignation. He might have descended with terrors greater than those of Sinai, and have filled every guilty heart with fear and trembling at his presence. A fire might have gone before him and have burnt up his enemies on every side; and the whole creation, marred and polluted by sin, might have been constrained to lift up a voice of lamentation and mourning and woe at the presence of offended Deity. But the Lord did not thus
clothe himself with terror when he came to sojourn upon earth. He came not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. He came as the Prince of peace. Place yourselves, in imagination, within the walls of Jerusalem, and listen to the announcement, "Behold, thy king cometh unto thee!" Guilty city,
thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that be sent unto thee, You
visiting every transgressor with me- | Redeemer, but our brother and our rited punishment, but proclaiming friend. Shrouding his glory be
his mercy, and offering reconciliation, and seeking to establish a covenant of peace. And, in the meekness with which he comes,in the foolishness of preaching which she choose to employ,-in the simplicity of those signs and pledges of his grace which he has chosen to appoint, and in the spirit of kindness, charity, and moderation which all churches are bound to exercise toward each other and all mankind, -we may discover plain and striking indications of the peaceful character of his mission and designs.
Again. The meekness of the Saviour is also a manifestation of his love. Contemplate the blessed Jesus as he draws nigh to Jerusalem, "meek and riding upon an ass, yea, even upon a colt the foal of an ass." He has laid aside the tokens of his majesty. If the eye of a mortal man were to behold this king in his beauty, surrounded by his heavenly splendour and the glory which he had with the Father before the world was, that man would fall at his feet as dead,-his heart would be overwhelmed with terror even by the presence and the apprehension of such transcendent greatness. But the Lord Jesus Christ emptied himself of his glory, and made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a servant, and was found in fashion And still, notwithstanding his exaltation, he appears before us, in the gospel, man as well as God, not only our Maker and
as a man.
neath the veil of human nature, he is accessible, more than ever, to our reverent and tranquil contemplation; and not only so, but he reveals himself expressly as a HighPriest who was in all points tempted like as we are (yet without sin), and who can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
Would we behold a further proof and indication of redeeming love? Still let us contemplate the meek and lowly Jesus in his approach towards Jerusalem. When he came near the city, "he wept over it," bewailing its impenitence, and its impending ruin. And thus the humility with which Christ comes to us, in the gospel, displays the Divine love to man not only as a poor, weak creature, standing at an infinite distance from God's majesty and greatness, but also to man as the heir of sorrow,—to man as the destroyer of his own peace,— to man in the mournful condition of a sinner.
Nor is this all. We have not yet considered the depth of our Lord's humility, or the extent of his Divine compassion. Not only does the Redeemer, by his tears, make it appear that he is not willing that any should perish, but he also reveals himself to us, by his work, as willing rather that the sinner should be saved. Let us view him once more in his approach towards Jerusalem: "Behold, thy king cometh unto thee." Yes. He advances thither not only clothed in
human nature,-not only weeping over men's sins and misery,-but he goes to die for those sins and to give his life a ransom for many. We have read his own declaration to this effect in the eighteenth and nineteenth verses of the foregoing chapter. All other steps of our Saviour's descent from his throne of glory were designed and adapted to conduct him to this, the lowest of them all, his suffering of death upon the cross. Why did the Lord Jesus Christ approach Jerusalem without any display of his Divine majesty or his almighty power? Why, when the traitor came to seize him, did he refuse to call unto his Father, who could have presently sent unto him more than twelve legions of angels? It was that the Scripture might be fulfilled, that thus it behoved Christ to suffer! It was that no impediment or obstacle should arise between the will of God the Father and the voluntary obedience of God the Son in human nature, about to present himself as a full and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world. "Lo, I come, to fulfil thy will, O God. I am content to do it; yea, thy law is within my heart." -Consider, then, the love of God, as it is displayed to us in the humiliation of Christ, the king of Zion. When Jesus wept at the grave of Lazarus, the Jews said, "Behold, how he loved him!" But while we regard him as divested of his glory, and stripped, as it were, of his attributes of greatness and sovereignty
and power, in order that he might make his soul an offering for sin, how can we find language to expross the thought which must take possession of our souls, Behold, how he loved us! How great and generous and free, how complete and commanding, how deep and persevering, his compassion and tender concern for us miserable sinners, who lay in darkness and the shadow of death!
Again. We recognize in the history before us, as I have already said, a token and a proof of the spirituality of the gospel dispensation. The Lord Jesus draws near to Jerusalem, not only without the terrors of offended Deity,-not only divested of the majesty and glory of God over all, blessed for ever,— but he comes without even the ensigns of royalty, without the weapons of temporal warfare, without any thing which, according to the customs of the world, may serve to mark his authority or to render him illustrious. "Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy king cometh unto thee;"not armed with the temporal sword, or adorned with the blazonry of earthly honours, but,-"meek and riding upon an ass, yea, even a colt the foal of an ass."
It is thus that the Lord Jesus Christ still makes his approaches to the soul of man. The weapons of his warfare are not carnal. He does not appeal to temporal motives: he trusts not to secular display. He makes no parade of human philosophy or learning, in seek