Luke 19:28

Something like a royal procession is here described. On the foal of an ass, on which it comported as well with Oriental ideas of honour as with Christian ideas of peace that he should ride, the "King came, meek," but not without attention and acclaim, into Jerusalem. A large company of the curious, the devout, and even the enthusiastic, welcomed him as "the King that came in the Name of the Lord." At last, thought his disciples, his hour is come; at last their Master was entering on his heritage, was assuming his kingdom; at last their long-delayed hopes were to be fulfilled. Gladly they accepted and sustained the greetings of the multitude, and fondly, we may be sure, they hoped that a triumphant issue was at hand. But it had no such ending as they looked for. Jesus went into the temple, healed the sick, received the adoration of the children, whose voices (as we can well believe) were the last to sink into silence, and went quietly back to Bethany. What, then, did it mean? What was the service and significance of the scene?

I. A VALUABLE REMINDER OF HIS POWER OF SELF-RESTRAINT. He had been moving among men as "one that serveth," as one that "ministered." He had moved as a very humble traveller along the path of human life. But how easy it would have been for him to call forth the honour of the people, and to live amid the excitements of popularity, and to reach the high places of power! But this he resolutely declined to do, choosing deliberately the lowlier but the nobler path of humble, holy service.

II. A STRIKING INDICATION OF HIS ACCEPTANCE WITH THE PEOPLE, NO one can say that Christ's teaching was not profound; it was deep as the very fountains of truth. No philosophy went further; he went down into the deep places of the human soul. Yet, while the philosophers made their appeal to the cultured, Christ addressed himself to the multitude, to the common human heart. And "all the people were very attentive to hear him." So here, while the men who prided themselves on their knowledge looked on with angry disdain (ver. 29), the people and the children were enthusiastic in his favour - they recognized in the Prophet of Nazareth the true Teacher that had come from God. Better be numbered among the simple-hearted who can appreciate the Divine than among the wise and learned who misread the providence of God, and stand sullen and silent while everything is inviting to joy and praise. Better be the ignorant cottager whose heart is full of reverence, or the little child who has the songs of Zion on his lips and the love of Jesus in his heart, than the learned critic who never bends the knee or bows the heart in homage to the true and the eternal.

III. A HINT OF CHRIST'S TRUE ROYALTY. The Messiah of the Jews was to be a King. To that conclusion prophecy pointed with unfailing finger, and on that event Jewish faith rested with gathering hope. The Son of David was to occupy his father's throne; the daughters of Jerusalem were to rejoice because "her King was coming." Claiming the Messiahship, Jesus was bound to claim this sovereignty, but how do this without encouraging the current fallacy as to his temporal and visible royalty? Is not this simple scene the answer? Christ then and thus said, "I am the King you are awaiting." But its extreme simplicity and its transiency showed that he did not intend to wear the trappings and be surrounded with the common grandeurs of earthly royalty; it showed that he came not for pomps and pageantries and outward triumphs, but to seek a sovereignty of another kind in another realm altogether. That very simple and passing regal state was only an emblem of the spiritual sovereignty which was immeasurably, higher and more to be desired. Sweet to his ear may have been the acclaim of the populace and the hosannas of the children; but how much sweeter is the voice of man or woman or of little child who goes in glad submission to his feet to offer loyal service to the Divine Redeemer, to place heart and life beneath his gracious and benignant sway!

IV. A PROPHECY OF FAR FUTURE GLORY. Never on this earth will that scene be re-enacted; but there is an hour coming when, in another realm, it will be amplified and perpetuated. Christ will be acknowledged King by all the hosts celestial and terrestrial. The transient gladness of the sacred city will be nothing to the everlasting joy of the new Jerusalem; the passing enthusiasm of that happy demonstration to the abiding blessedness of the life in the heavenly land. Yet may we take that one hour of Jerusalem's acceptance of her King as a prelude and a prophecy of the adoration which the redeemed of every kindred and tribe shall pay him when they cast their crowns at his feet.

"Oh that with yonder sacred throng
We at his feet may fall," etc.!


1. That Jesus Christ is now claiming the real, spiritual sovereignty of ourselves. He is calling upon us not to strew his path with palm branches, but to offer him the first place in our heart; to yield him our perfect trust, our unfailing and unfading love, our cheerful and constant obedience.

2. That the rest of soul which follows such surrender of ourselves is incomparably better than the passing exultation of a triumphal entry.

3. That by loyal and devoted service in his cause we shall gain a place in the acclaiming company that will praise the King in his celestial glory. - C.

Ascending up to Jerusalem.
Expository Outlines.
I. THE MANNER IN WHICH HE WENT. The only occasion on which we find Him riding. Fulfilment of a prophecy.



1. A benevolent wish.

2. An alarming sentence.

3. A melancholy prediction.Conclusion: Let us remember for our warning, that gospel opportunities when slighted will not be long continued.

(Expository Outlines.)

These are some of the thoughts which are suggested to our minds, as we see Jesus in the Scripture before us, taking the first place in the progress to Jerusalem and death. The position was emblematical as well as actual; and it suggests some teachings for us which are very calculated to bring comfort to our souls. Let us glance, first of all, for a moment, at the motion and position in itself. See the alacrity and willingness of Jesus to enter all suffering for us. And what do we learn here, but that His heart was in the sad work which He had undertaken to do. The thoroughness of Christ's love is brought before us here. He was thorough in love. Mark, too, Christ's assumption of the position of a leader. He knew the place that had been assigned to Him by the Father; it was headship in suffering, as well as in glory; He took up at once, in that last journey, His rightful place. See, too, how our blessed Lord takes up a double position. He is at once leader and companion; His little company were one with Him; He with them; but yet a little before them. He talks with us, while He goes on before; He does not separate the leader and the companion; His lordship over us is so sweet, that He heads us as friends; having a common interest in all He does. And now, there is great teaching and comforting for us in all this. In the first place, we who follow Christ have to explore no untried, untrodden way. It is thus our comfort that we have always one to look to. Ours is no interminable road, no lonely, solitary path. Jesus, if only we can see aright, is never very far ahead. The mowers who mow in line, have much more heart during the burden and heat of the day, when their scythes sweep through the grass, keeping time to the stroke of a fellow-workman in front. The steadfastness of Christ's purpose is also forcibly suggested to us here. Firmly and intelligently, with a full knowledge of the indignity and death before Him, our Lord started forth, and took the headship of His little band on His way to Jerusalem. That steadfastness is of immense importance to us. Were there the least wavering in Christ's character, we were undone. And we hold on to this steadfastness now. We believe Him to be the same yesterday, and to-day, and for ever; we see Him now acting from the cross, in the same spirit wherewith He journeyed to it. And now, let us in our trial-times see how Jesus has "gone before" in all. Is the path of weariness the one marked out for us; behold upon it the One who sat wearied upon Jacob's well; no longer weary, it is true, but remembering well all earth's wearinesses of body and spirit; and offering us His company on the trying path. Or, is it that of rejection? No thornier road is there on earth than that of biting poverty — poverty, with all its temptations and stings; well! Jesus was poor, and hungered and athirst, and had not where to lay His head. Before the poor; right on upon this path, is the figure of the Lord; let them but feel that He is their Lord, and they shall no longer be distressed at being the world's casts-off; our being a cast-off of the world will not much matter, if we be companions of the Son of God. Then comes death itself — the last journey; the way from which human nature shrinks; the one which, despite rank or wealth, it must surely tread. Here, if we be inclined to faint, Jesus can be seen by His people, if only they believe.

(P. B. Power, M. A.)

The Lord hath need of him
This trifling incident contains big principles.

I. It gives us AN IDEA OF PROVIDENCE. Tendency of the age is to the seen. But mind kicks against it. Mind is like a bird, which pines in a cage. Here is hope for religion — the mind kicks against artificial conditionings. If you like you may say the mind likes, like a bird, to make its nest. True! but it wants above it not a ceiling but a sky. You can't cramp mind in your nutshell organizations. Shut it behind walls — and then it will ask, Who is on the other side of the wall? Providence involves two things. First — idea of God preserving, guarding our being and well-being. He preserves, though we don't see the way. How did Christ know that the colt was to be found at this stated moment? and that the owner would part with his property? Similarly, we must allow for the knowledge of God. The second thing involved in Providence is the idea of government.

II. IN PROVIDENCE ATTENTION IS GIVEN TO LITTLE THINGS AS WELL AS GREAT. "A colt tied." It is demeaning God's economy — some will say. That all depends on your conception of God's economy. He numbers the hairs of our head. He sees when the sparrow falls.

III. GOD HOLDS EVERY CREATURE RESPONSIBLE TO SHOW ITSELF WHEN WANTED. Everything, in God's order, has its time, and is not itself till that time reveals it. Sea-wrack on the sea-beach is ugly, slimy, hideous. But the same sea-wrack in a pool? How it spreads itself and makes every tiny filament beautiful! So prophecy in human history needs to be corroborated by the event, before it can fairly be understood. Apparently little events — what worlds of good or evil may turn on them!

IV. SOLUTION OF THE MYSTERIES OF LIFE. They go to the man for the colt. Would not common sense ask, What have you to do with the colt? Simply, "The Master hath need of him." You have a favourite daughter. One day she is not well — only a cold, you think. But she grows feverish, and you call in the doctor. Doctor prescribes, but still the sweet one sickens; and one day in his solemn look the mother reads the hard sentence — her child must die. Why is it? "The Lord hath need of it."

(J. B. Meharry, B. A.)

"The Lord our God is one Lord," so there may be no debate about the direction of our worship, about the Owner of our powers, about the Redeemer of our souls. See how this operates in practical life. The disciples might naturally feel some little difficulty about going to take another's man's property; so the Lord said unto them, "If any man say ought unto you, ye shall say the Lord hath need of them, and straightway he will send them." But suppose there had been a thousand lords, the question would have arisen, which of them? But there is one Lord, and His name is the key which opens every lock; His name is the mighty power which beats down every mountain and every wall, and makes the rough places plain. What poetry there is here! Why, this is the very poetry of faith. It is not mere faith; it is faith in flower, faith in blossom, faith in victory!

Not the fulfilment of sublime predictions, so called; but the fulfilment of little, specific, minute, detailed prophecies. God does nothing unnecessarily, speaks nothing that seems exaggeration or superabundance. There is a meaning in the most delicate tint with which He hath varied any leaf; there is a significance in the tiniest drop of dew which ever sphered itself in beauty on the eyelids of the morning. And that Christ should go into Jerusalem upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass! That is not decorative talk; that is not mere flowery prophecy, or incidental or tributary foretelling. In all that we should account little and of inconsequential moment is fulfilled to the letter. What then? If God be careful of such crumbs of prophecy, such little detailed lines of prediction, what of the life of His children, the redeemed life of His Church? If not one tittle could fall to the ground respecting things of this kind — matters of order, arrangement, sequence — is He unrighteous to forget the greater when He remembers the less? Will He count the hairs upon your head, and let the head itself be bruised? Will He paint the grass, and let the man fall to decay? Is He careful about birds floating in the air, and careless about lives redeemed by the sacrificial blood of His Son?

(J. Parker, D. D.)

A nobleman who had a magnificent garden was ill in bed, and ordered his butler to go into the hot-house and bring him the finest bunch of grapes he could find. He came to the hot-house, he opened the door, he examined all the clusters — he fixed on the best — he brought out his knife and cut it. Just as he did so, a cry was raised, "There's a man in the hot-house I there's a man in the hot-house!" The gardeners, young and old, dropped their spades and water-pots, and ran to the hot-house. As they glanced through the glass, sure enough, there stood the man, and in his hand the Queen Cluster — the very one which they had been watching for months — the one which was to take the prize at the Horticultural Show I They were furious — they were ready to kill .him — they rushed in and seized him by the collar, "What are you about!" they said, "How dare you! — you thief! — you rascal! — you vagabond!" Why does not he turn pale? — why does he keep so cool? — why does he smile? He says something — the gardeners are silent in a moment — they hang their beads — they look ashamed — they ask his pardon — they go back to their work. What did he say to make such a sudden change? Simply this — "Men! my lord bade me come here and cut him the very finest bunch of grapes I could find." That was it! The gardeners felt that the hot-house, the vine, and every cluster on it was his. They might call it theirs, and propose to do this and that with it — but really and truly it was his who built the house, and bought the vine, and paid them for attending to it. Just so, dear children, the Lord has a claim on all we possess; our souls, our bodies, our tongues, our time, our talents, our memories, our money, our influence, our beloved relatives. "Ye are not your own"; and whenever He has need of anything we must let it go" — we must learn to yield it up to Him as cheerfully as the owner yielded up his colt.

(J. Bolton, B. A.)

Christian Age.
"Why was it?" asked Mrs. N—— of her own heart as she was walking homewards from the communion-table. "Why was it?" she almost unconsciously exclaimed aloud. "Oh, I wish somebody could tell me!" "Could tell you what?" said a pleasant voice behind her, and looking around, she saw her pastor and his wife approaching. "Could you tell me," said she, "why the Saviour died for us? I have never heard it answered to my satisfaction. You will say it was because He loved us; but why was that love? He certainly did not need us, and in our sinful state there was nothing in us to attract His love." "I may suppose, Mrs. N——," said her pastor, "that it would be no loss for you to lose your deformed little babe. You have a large circle of friends, you have other children, and a kind husband. You do not need the deformed child; and what use is it?" "Oh, sir," said Mrs. N—, "I could not part with my poor child. I do need him. I need his love. I would rather die than fail of receiving it." "Well," said her pastor, "does God love His children less than earthly, sinful parents do?" "I never looked upon it in that way before," said Mrs. N.

(Christian Age.)

An expert mechanician constructs a certain axle, tempered and burnished, to fit the hub of a certain wheel, which again he fashions as elaborately to fit the axle, so that a microscope detects no flaw; and now nothing can take the place of either but itself; and each is labour lost without the other. True, they are only an axle and a wheel, each a single one, a minute one, a fragile one; not costly in material, nor remarkable in structure; but in the absence of either, the chronometer which should decide the arrival of England's fleet at Trafalgar must hang motionless. Every good man is such a fragmentary and related instrument in the hands of God. He is never for an hour an isolated thing. He belongs to a system of things in which everything is dovetailed to another thing. Yet no two are duplicates. Nothing can ever be spared from it. The system has no holidays. Through man's most dreamless slumbers it moves on, without waiting for delinquents.

(Austin Phelps.)

Blessed be the King that cometh

1. Jesus is our King.

(1)The prophecies announce Him as such. (Isaiah 9:6; Zechariah 9:9.)

(2)He avowed Himself a King. (Matthew 11:27; John 18:37.)

(3)He proved by the power of His will that He was a King. (Matthew 21:3.)

2. Jesus is our humble King.

(1)He refused royal honours. (John 6:15.)

(2)In opposition to the presumption of the Jews, He would never act nor appear as King. (John 18:36.)

(3)He debased Himself in all humility.

3. Follow Him in His humility.

(1)By contrition and a sincere confession of your sins.

(2)By resignation in adversities.

(3)By humility in earthly happiness.

II. OUR MEEK KING. This may be seen —

1. From the purpose of His coming — of His Incarnation. He comes as a Friend and Saviour; and wants to be loved, not feared.

2. From His earthly life.

(1)He was full of love and mercy towards the suffering, whom He invited to come to Him.

(2)He was full of mercy and tenderness towards sinners and His own enemies.

3. From the experience of your own life. Jesus came to you as a meek King —

(1)In your afflictions, to console you.

(2)In your sins, which He bore in patience.

(3)In your conversion, the work of His mercy. Strip yourself of the old man with his deeds, as the Jews stripped themselves of their garments, and let Jesus walk over your former self.

4. Learn of your King to be meek of heart also. (Matthew 11:29.)

(1)As a superior towards your subjects.

(2)Towards sinners and your enemies.

(3)In tribulations and afflictions.


I. First, we shall observe here DELIGHTFUL PRAISE. In the thirty-seventh verse every word is significant, and deserves the careful notice of all who would learn aright the lesson of how to magnify the Saviour.

1. To begin with, the praise rendered to Christ was speedy praise. The happy choristers did not wait till He had entered the city, but "when He was come nigh, even now, at the descent of the Mount of Olives, they began to rejoice." It is well to have a quick eye to perceive occasions for gratitude.

2. It strikes us at once, also, that this was unanimous praise. Observe, not only the multitude, but the whole multitude of the disciples rejoiced, and praised Him; not one silent tongue among the disciples — not one who withheld his song. And yet, I suppose, those disciples had their trials as we have ours.

3. Next, it was multitudinous. "The whole multitude." There is something most inspiriting and exhilarating in the noise of a multitude singing God's praises.

4. Still it is worthy of observation that, while the praise was multitudinous, it was quite select. It was the whole multitude "of the disciples." The Pharisees did not praise Him — they were murmuring. All true praise must come from true hearts. If thou dost not. learn of Christ, thou canst not render to Him acceptable song.

5. Then, in the next place, you will observe that the praise they rendered was joyful praise. "The whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice." I hope the doctrine that Christians ought to be gloomy will soon be driven out of the universe.

6. The next point we must mention is, that it was demonstrative praise. They praised Him with their voices, and with a loud voice. If not with loud voices actually in sound, yet we would make the praise of God loud by our actions, which speak louder than any words; we would extol Him by great deeds of kindness, and love, and self-denial, and zeal, that so our actions may assist our words.

7. The praise rendered, however, though very demonstrative, was very reasonable; the reason is given — "for all the mighty works that they had seen." We have seen many mighty works which Christ has done.

8. With another remark, I shall close this first head — the reason for their joy was a personal one. There is no praise to God so sweat as that which flows from the man who has tasted that the Lord is gracious.

II. I shall now lead you on to the second point — their praise found vent for itself in AN APPROPRIATE SONG. "Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord. Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest."

1. It was an appropriate song, if you will remember that it had Christ for its subject.

2. This was an appropriate song, in the next place, because it had God for its object; they extolled God, God in Christ, when they thus lifted up their voices.

3. An appropriate song, because it had the universe for its scope. The multitude sung of peace in heaven, as though the angels were established in their peaceful seats by the Saviour, as though the war which God had waged with sin was over now, because the conquering King was come. Oh, let us seek after music which shall be fitted for other spheres! I would begin the music here, and so my soul should rise. Oh, for some heavenly notes to bear my passions to the skies! It was appropriate to the occasion, because the universe was its sphere.

4. And it seems also to have been most appropriate, because it had gratitude for its spirit.

III. Thirdly, and very briefly — for I am not going to give much time to these men — we have INTRUSIVE OBJECTIONS. "Master, rebuke Thy disciples." But why did these Pharisees object?

1. I suppose it was, first of all, because they thought there would be no praise for them.

2. They were jealous of the people.

3. They were jealous of Jesus.

IV. We come now to the last point, which is this — AN UNANSWERABLE ARGUMENT. He said, "If these should hold their peace, the very stones would cry out." Brethren, I think that is very much our case; if we were not to praise God, the very stones might cry out against us. We must praise the Lord. Woe is unto us if we do not! It is impossible for us to hold our tongues. Saved from hell and be silent! Secure of heaven and be ungrateful! Bought with precious blood, and hold our tongues! Filled with the Spirit and not speak!

(C. H. Spurgeon.)

Christ's triumphal entrance into Jerusalem is one of the most noted scenes in gospel story. It is a sun-burst in the life of the Son of Man. It is a typal coronation. It is a fore-gleam of that coming day when Jesus shall be enthroned by the voice of the universe.


II. THE CHIEF LESSON INCULCATED BY THE SCENE: ENTHUSIASM SHOULD BE CONSECRATED TO THE SERVICE OF CHRIST. There was feeling and thrill and deep life and outbursting emotion in the triumphal entry of Jesus into Jerusalem, and He approved it all. I argue for the equipment of enthusiasm in the service of Christ. There should be a fervency of spirit that will radiate both light and heat. The faculties should be on fire. There are higher moods and lower moods in the Christian life, just as there are higher moods and lower moods in the intellectual life. Every scholar knows that there are such things as inspirational moods, when all the faculties awaken and kindle and glow; when the heart burns within; when the mind is automatic, and works without a spur; when the mental life is intense; when all things seem possible; when the very best in the man puts itself into the product of his pen; when the judgment is quick and active, the reason clear and far-seeing, and the conscience keen and sensitive. These are the moods in which we glory. These are the moods which give the world its long-lived masterpieces. These are the moods which we wish to enthrone in the memories of our friends. You remember Charles Dickens's charming story, "David Copperfield." In it there is pictured the parting that took place between the two young men, Steerforth and Copperfield. Young Steerforth, putting both hands upon Copperfield's shoulders, says: "Let us make this bargain! If circumstances should separate us, and you should see me no more, remember me at my best." Steerforth is only a type of us all. Every one of us wishes to be remembered at his best. I argue for man's best in the religious life. Man is at his best only when he is enthusiastic. Enthusiasm is power. It is the locomotive so full of steam that it hisses at every crack and crevice and joint. Such a locomotive carries the train with the speed of wind through hill and over valley. It has been enthusiasm that has carried the Christian Church through the attainments of ages. By enthusiasm, when it is in an eminent degree, men propagate themselves upon others in matters of taste, of affection, and of religion. Iron cannot be wielded at a low temperature. There must be heat, and then you can weld iron to iron. So you cannot weld natures to each other when they are at a low temperature. Mind cannot take hold of mind nor faculty of faculty, when they are not in a glow. But when they are in a glow they can. We see this exemplified in society. Hundreds and hundreds of men, who are rich in learning, ponderous in mental equipment, ample in philosophical power, who are low in degree of temperature, and who labour all their life, achieve but little. You see right by the side of these men, men who have no comparison with them in native power or in culture, but who have simplicity, straightforwardness, and, above all, intensity, and what of them? Why, this: they are eminent in accomplishing results. There are people, I know, who have an antipathy to enthusiasm and emotion in religion. They object that we cannot rely upon enthusiasm. They forgot that if it spring from the grace of God it has an inexhaustible fountain. One hour enthusiastic people cry "Hosanna"; but the next hour they cry "Crucify." I deny that the hosanna people of Jerusalem ever cried "crucify." The charge that they did is without a single line of Scripture as a basis. Peter and James and John, and men of that class, did they cry "crucify"? Yet the hosanna people were made up of such. In a city in which there were gathered from all parts of the nation not less than two millions, there were certainly enough people of diverse minds to create two parties diametrically opposed, without requiring us to slander the grace of enthusiasm, and circulate false reports about the hosanna people. I stand by the hosanna people, and fearlessly assert that there is no proof against their integrity. Enthusiasm I That is what the Church needs. It is only the enthusiast who succeeds. Enter the history of the cause of Christ, and there also will you find the statement borne out. What was Paul, the chief of Christian workers, but an enthusiast? Rob Paul of his enthusiasm, and you blot out of existence the churches of Corinth and Ephesus and Galatia and Thessalonica and Troas. Rob him of his enthusiasm and you annihilate the Epistles to the Romans, Corinthians, Ephesians, and the Pastoral Epistles. This day of palm branches has been duplicated and reduplicated ever since the triumphal entrance of Jesus into Jerusalem, and this reduplication will continue until Jesus is ultimately and for ever crowned on the great day of final consummation. The world is full of hosannas to the Son of David. The humble Christian school of the missionary in foreign lands is a hosanna sounding through the darkness of heathendom. The philanthropic institution that rises into sight all over Christendom is a hosanna to the Son of David echoing through civilization. The gorgeous cathedral, standing like a mountain of beauty, is a hosanna to the Son of David worked into stone and echoing itself in the realm of art. The holy life of every disciple, which is seen on every continent of the earth, is a hosanna to the Son of David ringing throughout all humanity. These hosannas shall be kept until the end come, and then all the universe of God's redeemed will peal forth the grand Hallel in the hearing of eternity.

(David Gregg.)

What is your religion if it have no enthusiasm in it? Who wants a wooden Christianity or a logical Christianity only? Christianity loses its power when it loses its pathos. Every religion goes downward when it loses the power of exciting the highest, most intelligent, and most courageous enthusiasm. Some of us have need to be cautioned against decorum. Alas! there are some Christian professors who do not know what it is to have a moment of transport and ecstasy, unutterable emotion — who never, never go away upon the wings of light and hope, but are always standing, almost shivering — eating up their dry logic, and never knowing where the blossom, the poetry, and the ecstasy may be found. Christianity should excite our emotion and make us sometimes talk rapturously, and give us, sometimes at least, moments of inspiration, self-deliverance, and victory. It was so in the case before us. The whole city was moved. There was passion, there was excitement on every hand. But, then, am I advocating nothing but emotion, sensibility, enthusiasm? Far from it. First of all, let there be intelligent apprehension, and profound conviction respecting truth. Let us see that our foundations, theological and ethical, are deep, broad, immovable. Then let us carry up the building until it breaks out into glittering points, farflashing pinnacles, and becomes broken into beauty.

(David Gregg.)


II. HIS CREDENTIALS. "In the name of the Lord." Divine commission attested.

1. By His words.

2. By His works.



1. It was so at His first coming.

2. It shall be so at His second coming. It is so when the King comes to reign in the sinner's heart.

(J. Treanor, B. A.)

I. THAT WHICH MAKES MEN ILLUSTRIOUS, AND WORTHY OF DISTINCTION — lofty genius, heroism, expansive benevolence, mighty achievements — all that intensified and sublimely illustrated to a degree infinitely beyond what is possible to attainment by ordinary mortals, DISTINGUISHES THE LORD JESUS, AND ENTITLES HIM TO OUR HOMAGE AND PRAISE, Take —

1. Genius. What is genius? Genius originates, invents, creates. Talent reproduces that which has been, and still is. The spindles in our mills, the locomotives in our shops represent genius. The swift play of the one, and the majestic tread of the other across the continents on paths of steel, is genius in motion. Now turn the light of these definitions upon the Lord Jesus Christ, and see if He has not genius worthy of our best praise. It were folly to deny creative genius to Him, by whose word the worlds sprang into being, and by whose power they continue to exist. It were folly to deny originality to the Alpha and Omega of all mind and matter, life and spirit. Folly again to deny superior intellectual acumen to Him, who is the light of all intellect, the inspirer of all right thought, the incentive to all noble action. The blind saw, and the deaf heard, and the dumb spake, and the dead awoke. As to the modifying influence which Coleridge says is implied in the highest type of genius, it has been truly affirmed: The genius of Christ, exerted through His gospel in which His Spirit presides, has made itself felt in all the different relations and modifications of life. Take the next element of distinction that men applaud.

2. Heroism. Spontaneous is the homage paid to heroes. In some lands they are deified and worshipped. Heroism! Produce another example, such as Jesus of Nazareth, from the long list of the world's illustrious! Take the next quality in lofty manhood that men extol —

3. Benevolence. Of this Jesus was the perfect personification.

4. Wonderful achievement receives applause from men. The multitude praised God "for all the mighty works that they had seen." Our works may be good, Christ's are mighty as well as good. We visit the sick, Christ cures them.

II. HIS PRAISES HAVE BEEN SUNG IN ALL AGES, ON ACCOUNT OF HIS WORTHINESS OF ALL HOMAGE IN HEAVEN AND IN EARTH. Abraham, the representative of the patriarchal age, looked forward to His day with glad anticipations, and praised the promised seed. Jacob, in his dying predictions, sang of the Shiloh, and waited for His salvation. Moses chose for the subject of his eulogy the Prophet like unto himself, unto whom the people should hearken. David in exalted strains sang of His character and works, His trials and triumphs, His kingdom and glory, and died exulting, "Blessed be the Lord God of Israel from everlasting and to everlasting. Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and Amen." The prophets all rejoiced in Zion's delivery and Judah's King. At His birth, angels and shepherds and sages sang His praises. As in some of the old monasteries one choir of monks relieved another choir in order that the service of praise might not cease, so as one generation of the children of God has retired to its rest, another has caught up the glad strains of hosannas to Christ, and in this way they have been perpetuated down the centuries.

III. THERE ARE THOSE, HOWEVER, WHO WOULD INTERRUPT THE PRAISES OF GOD'S PEOPLE: YEA, WORSE, SUPPRESS THEM ALTOGETHER. We learn from our text that this was the desire of the Pharisees on this occasion. Thus, the wicked and unbelieving now would stop all ascriptions of praise to Christ. They would quench the flames of devotion that the Holy Ghost kindles in the hearts of believers. "Praise Nature! Sing odes to the landscape! Worship the beautiful in what your eyes see, the tangible, that of which you have positive knowledge through the certification of your senses! Don't be wasting your devotion on the unseen, the unknowable, the mythical, the intangible!" — so says the Agnostic. "Do homage to Reason! Let Reason be the object of your worship; its cultivation the effort of your life! What wonders it has accomplished in science and philosophy!" — so says the Rationalist. "Sing of wine, feasting, sensuality! Bacchus is our god. Praise him! Worship him!" says the Profligate. "Sing of wars, and of victories, and of conquests! Apollo is the god whom we worship, and whose praises we resound. Therefore, spread your palms with paeans of triumph at the feet of victors!" — so say Conquerors. Standing erect, with his thumbs thrust in the arm-holes of his vest, his chest thrown forward and his head backward, like an oily, overfed, bigoted Pharisee, "Sing of me," says the Self-Righteous. "Praise the Saviour!" says the believer, and the call receives a response.

(N. H. Van Arsdale.)

The stones would immediately cry out
I. Our Saviour means to intimate, that THIS SILENCE WOULD BE VILE. Let us, then, proceed with this dismal business, and arraign this fearful silence.

1. We tax it, first, with the most culpable ignorance. If you found a man, who was entirely insensible to Milton's "Paradise Lost," or Cowper's "Task," dead to the touches of Raffael's pencil, to all the beautiful and sublime scenery of nature, to all that is illustrious and inspiring in human disposition and action, you would be ready to say, "Why, this senselessness is enough to make a stone speak." But where are we now? Men may be undeserving of the praise they obtain; or if the praise be deserved in the reality, it may be excessive in the degree; but there can be no excess here. It is impossible to ascribe titles too magnificent, attributes too exalted, adorations too intense, to Him who is "fairer than the children of men," who is the "chief among ten thousand, and the altogether lovely." Now to be insensible to such a Being as this, argues, not merely a want of intellectual, but of moral taste, and evinces, not only ignorance, but depravity. He who died, not for a country, but for the world, and for a world of enemies — He awakens no emotion, no respect. Shame, shame!

2. We charge this silence, secondly, with the blackest ingratitude I need not enlarge on this hateful vice. The proverb says, "Call a man ungrateful, and you call him everything that is bad." The Lacedaemonians punished ingratitude. "The ungrateful," says Locke, "are like the sea; continually receiving the refreshing showers of heaven, and turning them all into salt." "The ungrateful," says South, "are like the grave; always receiving, and never returning." But nothing can equal your ingratitude, if you are silent. For you will observe, that other beneficiaries may have some claim upon their benefactors, from a community of nature or from the command of God; but we have no claim, we are unworthy of the least of all His mercies.

3. We tax this silence with shameful cruelty. We arc bound to do all the good in our power. If we have ourselves received the knowledge of Christ, we are bound to impart it. If the inhabitants of a village were dying of a disease, and you had the remedy, and held your peace; if you saw a fellow-creature going to drink a deadly poison, and instead of warning him you held your peace; if you saw even a poor stranger going to pass over a deep and deadly river, upon a broken bridge, and you knew that a little lower down there was a marble one, and you held your peace; is there a person, that would ever pass you without standing still and looking round upon you and exclaiming, "You detestable wretch, you infamous villain, you ought not to live!" "If these should hold their peace, the stones would cry out." How is it, then, that we have so much less moral feeling than the lepers had, when they said, "This is a good day," and reflecting upon their starving babes said, "If we altogether hold our peace, some evil will befall us; let us therefore go and tell the king's household"?

II. Secondly, our Saviour seems to intimate, that THIS SILENCE IS DIFFICULT. Now we often express a difficulty by an obvious impossibility. The Jews said, "Let Him come down from the cross, and we will believe on Him." Their meaning was, that they could not believe on Him; for the condition seemed to them impossible. The Saviour here says, "You impose silence upon these disciples, but this is impossible; yes, they will hold their peace when dumb nature shall become vocal, and not before." "If these should hold their peace, the stones would cry out;" that is, their principles will actuate them, their feelings must have operation and utterance. If you could enter heaven, you would find that there He attracts every eye, and fills every heart, and employs every tongue. And in the Church below there is a degree of the same inspiration.

1. The impressions that Christ makes upon His people by conviction are very powerful.

2. The impressions He produces by hope are very powerful.

3. The impressions He produces by love are very powerful. He so attaches His disciples to Himself by esteem and gratitude, as to induce them to come out of the world, to deny themselves, to take up their cross, and to be willing to follow the Lamb whithersoever He goeth.

III. Our Saviour here intimates further, that THIS SILENCE WOULD BE USELESS. "If," says He, "those of whom you complain were to hold their peace, you would gain nothing by their silence; there would not be a cessation of My praise, but only a change of instruments and voices; rather than My praise should be suspended, what they decline others would be sure to rise up to perform; if these should hold their peace, the stones would cry out."

1. First, we shall glance at the supposed silence.

2. And, secondly, observe the improbable instruments that are employed to perpetuate the testimony. It is not said, "If these should hold their peace the angels would cry out, men would cry out"; no; "the stones would cry out." Can stones live? can stones preach and write and translate the Scriptures? Can they aid in carrying on such a cause as this? Why not? He can employ, and often does employ, the most unlikely characters. The wrath of man praiseth Him. We see this in the case of Henry the Eighth. It is of great importance to know whether we are God's servants, or whether we are God's enemies; but as to Him, He can employ one as well as another. This was the case with Saul of Tarsus. He was a persecutor once; but then he was called by Divine grace, and preach the faith that once he endeavoured to destroy. All the Lord's people once were enemies: but He found a way into their hearts, and He made them friends. They were all once "stones"; but of these stones God has "raised up children unto Abraham." They were as hard as stones, as insensible as stones, as cold as stones; but they are now flesh, and every feeling of this flesh is alive to God.

3. Thirdly, notice the readiness of their appearance. "If these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." "The King's business requires haste"; both because of its importance, and the fleeting uncertainty of the period in which He will allow it to be performed.

4. Then, lastly, observe the certainty of their appearance, when they become necessary. The certainty of the end infers the certainty of all that is intermediately necessary to it. Upon this principle, our Saviour here speaks; it is, I am persuaded, the very spirit of the passage. "My praise" — as if He should say — "must prevail; and therefore means must be forthcoming to accomplish it, and to carry it on." Let us, first, apply this certainty as the prevention of despair. Secondly; as a check to vanity and pride. My brethren in the ministry, we are not — no, we are not essential to the Redeemer's cause. We are not the Atlases upon which the Church depends; the government is upon His shoulders who filleth all in all. Thirdly; as a spur and diligence and zeal.

(W. Jay.)

Have we not heard, or have I not tom you years ago, of some great conductor of a musical festival suddenly throwing up his baton and stopping the proceedings, saying "Flageolete!" The flageolete was not doing its part of the great musical utterance. The conductor had an ear that heard every strain and tone. You and I probably would have heard only the great volume of music, and would have been glad to listen with entranced attention to its invisible charm, but the man who was all ear noted the absence of one instrument, and throwing up his baton, he said, "Flageolet." Stop till we get all that is within us into this musical offering. So I want our hymn of praise to be sung by every man, by every power in his soul.

(J. Parker, D. D.)

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