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be buried, and rise again the third day,” and after that “ enter into glory.” But the Disciples, even the chosen Apostles, had grown up in different expectations, with different notions from these, and
they understood none of these things, and this saying was hid from them, neither knew they the things which were spoken,” but they followed in amazement and fear.
We see, then, herein, first, the power with which a wrong prepossession works against the admission of religious truth; and, secondly, the blessing of a right prepossession. The former blinds the soul to right doctrine; the latter then may be, ought to be, as eyes to the blind. May be, ought to be. Would that one might say that it always is so ! But, such is the perverseness of our nature, that, though our minds be prepossessed and imbued ever so easily with this or that true doctrine, the habituation to it, and the familiarity with it, make us neglect to improve it and apply it. Hence it is that our religious notions become almost an historical record, instead of being living principles influencing our thoughts and conduct. So, though we be neither amazed nor afraid when we hear the account of our Lord's going up as He did to Jerusalem, we overlook how the example applies to ourselves; and, if the Disciples, who did not understand, followed wondering and trembling, only, at last, to forsake their Master and flee; we, though we say that we do understand Him, we do not so much as follow Him. The admitted doctrine, that Christ entered not into His rest until He had suffered, that He was perfected through suffering, that His Kingdom at its first establishment came without pomp or observation, that He went up to Jerusalem in a manner which, at the time, was a mystery and perplexity to His followers; the practical application of all this is, but too often, hid from our eyes, neither do we understand it. Which practical application is in brief this, that, if it behoved Christ thus to suffer, in order to be perfected ere He entered into His rest, it
behoveth us to be made like Him, and to expect to enter into our rest only through tribulation and much toil. This is the practical lesson which we overlook.
And yet is not Christ constantly taking us aside, as it were, and telling us these things over and over again ? They were in the way going up to Jerusalem; and Jesus went before them; and they were amazed; and as they followed, they were afraid. And He took again the twelve, and began to tell them what things should happen unto Him; saying, Behold, we go up to Jerusalem, and the Son of Man shall be delivered unto the Chief Priests and unto the Scribes; and they shall condemn Him to death, and shall deliver Him to the Gentiles: and they shall mock Him, and shall scourge Him, and shall spit upon Him, and shall kill Him ; and the third day He shall rise again"." Does not our Master often take us aside, us who say that we do not stumble at all this as a doctrine and history, and tell us, again and again, of its application to ourselves; and yet are not our eyes holden; are not we slow of heart so to believe as to practise ?
r Mark x. 32-34.
Are not all those punishments for our offences which we confessed, at least with the lip, in the Collect for Septuagesima, to be our just due-are not all these adversities, for defence from which we prayed, in last Sunday's Collect--are not all the self-denials and difficulties which the exercise of that charity for which we have this day sought grace demands—so many liftings up to us of the Cross, and beckonings to us made by Christ to follow Him, and to make our lives like unto His, going up to Jerusalem? Is not the summons to at least some observance of Lent, which awaits us in this new week, another beckoning of the Cross to step aside, and listen unto Christ, and look unto the High Priest of our calling, and be taught of Him how to go up to Jerusalem, how to gain admitance to the mansions which He is gone before to prepare for us? Does not Christ stand by the wayside of our daily life beckoning to us with His Cross, in each day's same dull round of endless, tasteless, seemingly fruitless, toil? And may not we find ourselves often discontented with it, thinking something else would be better for us, some other sphere more suited for our endeavours to promote His glory; some other means more effectual to the setting up of His Gospel among others, and the growth of His Grace in ourselves ? As surely as this is the case, if it is the case, so truly may it be said of us that Christ's “saying is hid” from us, that we too wonder and tremble at the manner of the going up to Jerusalem.
Every time that trouble, sorrow, or sickness, arrests our steps, does not Christ stand beckoning to us with His Cross, to come aside and hear the history of the Son of Man, a “Man of sorrows and acquainted with grief,” how He saw the fruit of His toil only through the travail of His soul? Every time that some signal adversity befals the labourers in His vineyard, death removing, or sickness incapacitating the