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most zealous among them, converts relapsing, churches deserted, flocks going astray into seditions and heresies, and setting their pastors at nought, “ feeding themselves without fear.” May we not, in each of these things, see Christ beckoning to us with the Cross to come aside, and hear Him tell again how, all the day long, He stretched forth His hands to a stiff-necked, gainsaying, and rebellious people, even stretched them forth in blood
the Cross ?
Every time that the wretched or destitute come in our way, does not Christ lift up the Cross to remind us, that He too was troubled and poor, and that one who did not go up to Jerusalem with Him, was the ruler who said he had kept all the Commandments, but trusted in riches? Does He not call us aside, and say to each of us, For thy sake I was made poor? and, “How hard is it for them that trust in riches to enter into the kingdom of God?”
Jude, ver. 12. ποιμαίνοντες εαυτούς. t Mark x. 24.
Every time that, as we go on our way, our neighbour offends us, should we not perceive that Christ is calling us aside to hear how, in manifold senses, He bare our offences; bare them that He might bear them away; endured them that He might atone for them? Whenever the wilful slander, or the thoughtless evil tongue, spreads abroad our evil report, or misrepresents our words, or deeds, or motives, should we not, instead of being offended, amazed, or afraid, rather see that Christ is calling us aside to tell us again how He was spitefully treated, and spitted on, falsely accused, unjustly condemned, cruelly scourged, put to death with malefactors, railed at even on the Cross? How He bare in His bosom the reproach of all the mighty people “ wherewith Thine enemies have reproached, O Lord; wherewith they have reproached the footsteps of Thine Anointed ."
Every time we feel provoked at sinners, (no uncommon case this, more common
u Ps. lxxxix. 51.
than we are aware of in this dark land,) let us make the same application. Is the poor heathen false-tongued, covetous, unmerciful? Let us not indulge in censure, nor give way to our taking vengeance for their trespasses against us, lest we forget, the while, the vengeance which we are soon especially to confess ourselves to deserve; lest we forget how the Son of Man was betrayed, delivered unto the Gentiles for our offences as well as theirs; that, if without the Israel to be gathered in from the Gentiles, the Israel according to the flesh cannot be made perfect; so neither without the sins of the Israel of God added to the sins of the Gentiles was that cup of bitterness made full, which Christ drank for all. Let us remember, that if the poor heathen be even worse than we conceive, they have not received the earnest of the Spirit as we have. At all events, our way to Jerusalem lies
And, see! Christ is in the way, calling us aside to tell us again of Himself. To tell us, how “it came to pass,
that as He went to Jerusalem He passed through the midst of Samaria and Galilee, (Galilee of the Gentiles,) there met him ten lepers ;” and He cleansed the ten, but only one of the ten returned to give Him glory. Are we ourselves with this one, or with the nine?
“ As He was in the way going up to Jerusalem, it came to pass that as He was come nigh Jericho, a certain blind man sat by the wayside begging ;" his clamours for mercy annoyed the passers by; but Jesus restored his sight. Let us beseech Him to cleanse the lepers, to give sight to the blind, that beset us on our way to Jerusalem.
Once more. Are we prosperous ? Does our store increase? Are we in good report among our fellow-men? Are we popular? Do men strew our way with palms, welcome us with applause? Are our friends many and true? Are our children spared to us? are they reaching the age when they shall stand with us in the temple and cry,
« Hosanna to the Son of David ?"
If so, let us not in the blessing lose sight of the Blesser; but, even in these things, see Him beckoning us with His Cross, again to come aside with Him, and hear, how, when His typical triumph at the entrance into Jerusalem filled the hearts of the Disciples with gladness instead of fear, He was meek and lowly, sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. That the applause of the multitude at that moment was as vain in its results as were the fears of His Disciples at another moment. That still He was “going up to Jerusalem" to suffer.
Behold, we are in the way going up to Jerusalem! Christ hath called us. Behold, we go up to Jerusalem to see this great sight, to see how all things that were by the prophets written concerning the Son of Man were accomplished; to see Him suffer through the holy week! To see Him rise on Easter Day, triumph on Ascension Day, pour out His good gifts at Pentecost! May He so replenish us even now, day by day, with these, that