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son, said David, to ride upon mine own mule, and bring him down to Gihon; and let 2 adock the priest and Nathan the prophet anoint him king over Israel, I Kings i. 33, 34. And when that pious prince looked back, and contemplated this state of things, he might well say, Some trust in chariots and some in horses : but we will remember the name of the Lord our God. Psalm xx. 7.
But things quickly changed their aspect in the reign of Solomon: he married the daughter of the king of Egypt, and opened a commerce between that country and his own; by which means he soon acquired an immense number of horses and chariots; and all his successors when they had it in their power, followed his example. But what did the kingdom gain by his change : They were before a rich and flourishing people, but after breaking this law of the Most High, their wealth and power gradually declined, till at last, their habitations were laid waste. their temple and cities burnt with fire, and they themselves carried captive, into a strange land.
Perhaps it may be asked, wherein the guilt of having a country full of horses consisted There is certainly no moral crime in purchasing or keeping these creatures; but the kings of Israel were exalted to the throne, on condition that they should renounce the assistance of chariots and horses, and depend upon God for success in the day of battle.
Thus having considered this law, and the consequences that resulted from the breach of it, let us now look back to the prophecy relating to the Messiah: Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Sion ; shout O daughter of Jerusalem : behold, thy King cometh unto thee: he is just, and having salvation ; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. And I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem. Zach. ix. 9, 10. o
The descendants of Jacob were to be saved by sucha king; and what sort of a king could be expected? Is it possible to imagine that God would send a king to save them who should be like the kings which had undone them Is it not more reasonable to think, that he would resemble those who had been deliverers of their country Kings who feared God, and therefore feared no enemy; who, though mounted on asses, and colts the foals of asses, were able to put to flight the thousands and ten thousands of chariots and horses that came against them.
The king, foretold by the prophet, was also to be just, meek, and lowly; but how could he have deserved that character, had he appeared in the pride and pomp of war, surrounded with horses and chariots, in direct opposition to the law of God? Or, as he was to bring salvation to the people, could he make use of those means which God never had prospered, and which he declared he never would
By this it appears, that it was essential to the character of a king of Israel: who was to be just and lowly, and to bring salvation with him, that he should come riding on an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass; but if any doubt can yet remain, let the prophet himself ex
plain it, and immediately after the description of the
promised kings, adds, and I will cut off the chariot Jrom Ephraim, and the horse from Jerusalem ; plainly intimating, that the character given of the Messiah,
that he should ride on an ass, was in opposition to the
pride of their warlike kings, who had ruined themselves and their people, by their great strength in chariots and horses.
We have thus undeniably shewn the intention of the prophet, when he foretold that the Messiah should ride on an ass; and from hence it appears, that the enemies of revelation have not the least reason for turning this transaction into ridicule. Was it any reproach
to CHR1st to ride into Jerusalem on the foal of an ass, when David, the greatest of his ancestors, and Solomon the wisest, as long as he was wise, rode in the same manner? Can the Jews object to this circumstance, and yet talk of the glories of David, and the magnificence of Solomon, who in the midst of all that glory and magnificence did the very same thing Or can they stumble at this character of the Messiah, without forgetting by what princes their ancestors were saved, and by what undone?
But to return. The prodigious multitude that now accompanied JEsus, filled the Pharisees and great men with malice and envy, because every method they had taken to hinder the people from following Jesus, had proved ineffectual: The Pharisees therefore said among themselves, perceive ye how ye prevail nothing? Behold the world is gone after him. John xii. 19.
As our blessed Redeemer drew near the city of Jerusalem, surrounded by the rejoicing multitude, notwithstanding the many affronts he had there received, he beheld the city; and with a divine generosity and benevolence, which nothing can equal, wept over it ; and, in the most pathetic manner, lamented the calamities which he foresaw were coming upon it, because its inhabitants were ignorant of the time of their visitation: ‘If,' said he, “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 knowest not the time of thy visitation.” Luke xix. 42, 43, 44.
Ye wandering mortals, behold here an example and generosity infinitely superior to any furnished by the heathen world; an example highly worthy for them to imitate and admire'
When our Lord entered Jerusalem, surrounded by the multitude, the whole city was moved on account of the prodigious concourse of people that accompanied him, and by their continual acclamations, JESUs rode immediately to the temple; but it being evening, he soon left the city, to the great discouragement of the people, who expected he was immediately to have taken into his hands the reins of government: And Jesus entered into Jerusalem, and into the temple: and when he had looked round about upon all things, and now the even tide was come, he went out unto Bethany with the twelve. Mark xi. 11.
Jesus curseth the barren Fig-Tree: He driveth the Buyers and Sellers out of the Temple, and healeth the diseased there: His reply to the Pharisees who took Offence at the Praises of the People: The cursed Fig-Tree is dried up: CHRIST &rhorleth to Faith in Prauer, and to Forgiveness of Enemies: Certain Greeks desire to see him : He sheweth the Benefit of his Death to believers ; Praye/h to his Father ; is answered by a Voice from Heaven ; signifieth the Manner of his Death ; and erhorteth to make good Use of the present Light. The Generality of the Jews believe not ; yet many chief Rulers believe, but dare not confess him : He urgeth Faith in his divine Mission : He silenceth the Priests and Elders who question his Authority: He delivers the Parable of the two Sons whom their Father sent to work in his Vineyard; the Parable of the Vineyard let
out to wicked Husbandmen ; and the Parable of the Marriage of the King's Son, wherein is shewn the Unworthiness of those that were first bidden, that others were called in their Room, and the Punishment of one that came without having on the Wedding Garment.
EARLY the next morning our dear Lord left Bethany, to visit again the capital of Judea: and, as he pursued his journey, he saw at a distance a fig-tree, which from its fulness of leaves promised abundance of fruit. This inviting object induced him to approach it, in expectation of finding figs; for he was hungry, and the season for gathering them was not yet arrived: but, on his coming to the tree, he found it to be really barren; upon which our blessed Lord said to it, Let no fruit grow on thee for ever. Matt. xxi. 19.
This transaction of our Lord, which was purely emblematical, and prefigured the speedy ruin of the