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the question, What do ye, loosing the Coit? as their Master had directed them, The Lord hath need of him. And many, even a very great multitude, as he sat on the young ass, and went on, spread their garments in the way, and others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. Much people also, that were come to the feast, when they heard that JESUS was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm-trees, which were commonly carried before those who rode in public triumph, and went forth to meet him, and cried Hosanna, blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the LORD, And the whole multitude of the disciples that went before, and that followed, began to rejoice, and to praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen : and cried, saying Hosanna ! May God save and prosper him* ! Hosanna to the Son of David ! Blessed is he, even the King that cometh in the name of the LORD: Peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. Blessed is the kingdom of our father David, that cometh in the name of the LORD: Hosanna in the highest.
* Doddridge's Family Expositor,
An appearance so uncommon could not but cause great commotion through the city: the citizens either did not, or would not know hiin; and struck with wonder at the simplicity of his entry, and the congratulations with which it was attended, cried out, l'ho is this? An answer was immediately returned by the multitude that came with him, This is JESUS the prophet of Nazareth of Galilee.
In commemoration of this event the Christian Church has distinguished this sunday by the name of Palm-Sunduy. But, my Brethren, let us not distinguish it in name only: let us distinguish it by our praises also; and let those praises proceed from hearts, so deeply affected by a view of this triumphal entry of Christ, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, into Jerusalem, as to own him to be the Messiah, not only by our voices, but also by steadfastly believing in him, and by holiness of life imitating the example of humility which he has set us : and let us not be like this wavering multitude, who with well-timed Hosannas proclaimed the majesty of their Saviour ; but alas ! with the same voice, before the end of the week, joined in the unhallow
ed cry of his malicious persecutors, Crucify him, crucify him*.
But mark now, I pray you, the difference between the behaviour of the transported multitude, and that of soine of the proud and envious pharisees : while the former are expressing their joy by their loud and repeated Hosannas, the latter with malignant intent to embarrass and expose him, scornfully said unto him, Master, rebuke this disciples for these dangerous acclamations. Mark too the conduct and answer of CHRIST to these intolerant cavillers. Despising the contemptuous behaviour of these haughty pharisees; but accepting the, then perhaps sincere, praises of the humble multitude, he answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. This is a strong proverbial expression, signifying that if these followers of Christ should hold their peace, some more unlikely way should be found out for the proclaiming of the Messiah, `even by those who are reckoned the most stupid and insensate people, as the Gentiles are by yout.
Here too we must not suffer to pass
unnoticed that tender compassion which our Lord shewed towards the ill-fated city of Jerusalem. For when he was coine near to it, having probably before him, as he was coming down the descent of the hill from the mount of Olives, a full view of its stately buildings, and of the extent of the city, his heart was so affected at the thoughts of what should certainly befall so inuch magnificence of structure, that he even wept over it, and in language most affectionate lamented the destruction, which should, not many years after, undoubtedly fall upon it. Instead of rejoicing in the foresight of the ruin and desolation of a city, in which he was to suffer the most ungrateful and inhuman treatment, and in which he should at last undergo a cruel and ignominious death; from the prospect of her calamities the tender heart of JESUS could be inspired with no other sentiments than those of pity : If thou hadst known, said he, 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. These last words give us the reason, why the Saviour of the world wept so mournfully over this great and beautiful city. It was not because that was the city in which he was to be betrayed and bound, scourged and spit upon, condemned and crucified; (all which he well knew that he should there incur,) but it was because she had in a most ample manner enjoyed the means of grace, and had not concerned herself to improve them. Remember, my Brethren, that these things are written for our admonition*: If there be among you any hardened impenitent sinner, any one who refuses to derive from the means of grace the advantages which were offered by JESUS CHRIST, which were repeated to you by his apostles, and which are still continually held out to you by their successors the ministers in his Church; for you also these tears of your Saviour are shed, if you embrace not the proffered mercy. This is the time of your visitation also. They did not know it; that is, they would not take care to improve