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Nor, when assaulted by men, would he fight with any weapon which was not brought from that divine arsenal

But every passage which he adduced was as an arrow from a well-directed bow—

This is well exemplified in the words before us-We shall consider

I. The occasion of them

Our Lord had just driven the traders and moneychangers out of the temple

And had healed multitudes of persons, who flocked. around him for a cure

The children that were there, surrounded him with acclamations and hosannas

[They were struck with wonder at the authority and benevolence of Jesus

And, doubtless, were both taught and actuated by the Spirit of God—

They therefore, when the adult persons manifested no disposition to glorify him, burst forth into shouts of praise—.

They welcomed him as the Messiah that had been promised to that nation

And expressed their ardent desire for the establishment of his kingdom

What a glorious sight was this, to behold children thus occupied!

How should it have stirred up others to an holy emulation!

But on the proud and envious Pharisees it produced a far different effect-]

The Chief Priests and Scribes, filled with indignation, remonstrated with our Lord for suffering them to act in this manner

[They could not endure to hear these honours given to our Lord

Nor was all their authority able to silence the triumphant choir

They therefore, with sarcastic virulence, reproached our Lord himselfc

b Compare Matt. xxvi. 51, 52. with John v. 39.

They could not mean to ask simply, "Whether our Lord heard what they said?" for he could not but hear. They insinuated that it was a disgrace to him to be pleased with the acclamations of weak

Alas! what enmity is there in the heart against God!~ What will not afford a plea for prejudice to vent its spleen?

The Priests and Scribes should have been the foremost to encourage early piety

Yet they were the first to repress what their "zeal should rather have been provoked" to imitate-]

Our Lord repelled their objection with an unanswerable appeal to scripture

II. The words themselves

The sense, rather than the exact meaning of the words, was quoted by our Lord"—

They were understood by the Jews themselves as having a reference to the Messiah

Nor did the priests attempt to invalidate the application of the prophecy

The words, as quoted on this occasion, lead us to observe that

1. An appeal to scripture is the best way of answering all objections

[Many difficulties may be proposed, to which reason cannot furnish a sufficient answer

But the scripture declares plainly whatever is to be believed or done

If men will cavil at that, they contend, not with us, but with God

There is doubtless much in a Christian's faith and practice, which natural men will account foolishness

But he need not regard ridicule, if he have the word of God on his side

"The word is, that sword of the Spirit," which will enable him to combat all the prejudices of an ignorant and malignant world

Nor can it ever be wielded in a more efficacious manner than it was by our Lord on this occasion

Let every follower of Christ then adopt the rule prescribed by the prophet

silly children. If, by waidas, we understand servants and followers (as perhaps we ought) they were objected to as an ignorant mob.

d David says, Ps. viii. 2. "Thou hast ordained strength." But our Lord quoted his words, as the apostles after him frequently did, according to the Septuagint. The meaning is the same in both: God manifests his strength, and glorifies his name, in using weak instruments to effect his purposes. f Isai. viii. 20.

1 Cor. ii. 14.

Thus will he, like our Lord himself, both disappoint and confound his adversaries-]

2. The exercise of devotion, however condemned by men, is pleasing to God

[The hosannas of the children were most probably regarded as the effusions of weak and uninformed minds

Nor is the conduct of those, who now endeavour to exalt their Saviour, ascribed to any better cause than enthusiasm— But our Lord approved and vindicated the pious efforts of the children


In so doing he may be justly said to have "stilled the enemy and avenger"

And sooner or later he will do the same for all his faithful peopleh

There is not any thing wherein he is more glorified than in their praises

Nor is there any sacrifice that they can offer, which is more acceptable to God


Even the desire to praise him shall be acknowledged in the last day

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Nor shall so much as a word spoken to his honour, pass unrewarded"]

3. The weaker the instruments that advance his glory, the more is he glorified in, them

[We should have been ready to think that the praises of the chief priests would have been more to his honour

And we are now apt to suppose that the services of the rich and learned would glorify him more than those of the poor and ignorant

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But the very reverse of this is more consistent with truth→→→ If the wise and noble were most forward to honour the Saviour, we should impute their conduct to natural principlesWe should conclude that reason and education were the means of their conversion

But when we see babes and sucklings well instructed in the things that are hid from the wise and prudent, we are constrained to ascribe the effect to grace"

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Let none therefore say, I am incapable of glorifying God→→→

Or think that he despiseth the day of small things

The prayer of the publican, and the mite of the widow, were more acceptable to him than many longer prayers and richer offerings

* See the close of Ps. viii. 2. Heb. xiii. 15, 16.

Matt. xi. 25, 26.

i Ps. 1. 23.

h Isai. liv. 17.

11 Kin. viii. 18.
Zech. iv. 10.

m Mal. iii. 16. ·P 2 Cor. viii. 12.

And the weaker we are in ourselves, the more is his strength perfected in our weakness]


1. How earnestly should parents labour to bring their children to Christ!

[Parents are apt to neglect their children under the idea that their minds are not sufficiently expanded to receive divine knowledge

But we read of many who were sanctified from their earliest infancy

We are expressly told that "of such is the kingdom of heaven"

The instance now before us is sufficient to encourage our exertions

Happy will the parents be whose children are so educatedAnd happy will those children be who in their early years are thus devoted to the Lord

Let religious parents in particular make a conscience of this duty

And trust in God for the accomplishment of that blessed promise"-]

2. How inexcusable shall we be, if we do not praise and glorify Christ!

[The children had to oppose the example and authority of the priests

Nor did they see much of the true character of our Lord and Saviour

Yet they praised and adored him with all their powersBut we see Jesus risen from the dead, and exalted to his throne of glory

We know him to be indeed the Saviour of the worldWe too are exhorted and urged by every kind of motive to serve him

How culpable then must we be, if we neglect to honour him!

How will those children rise up in judgment against us and condemn us!

Let us contemplate more the gracious acts that he has done

Let us reflect on the interest we have, or hope to have, in his salvation

And let us raise our hearts and voices to him in grateful adorations-]

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r Samuel, Abijah, Josiah, Timothy, John the Mark x. 14. Eph. vi. 4. Prov. xxii. 6.


Isai. lii. 13. Behold, my servant shall deal prudently, he shall be exalted and extolled, and be very high.

IN the writings of Moses, the enjoyment of the land of Canaan was held forth as the great incentive to obedience; and spiritual blessings were but obscurely intimated. But in the prophetic writings, the greatest of temporal blessings were promised rather as pledges of infinitely richer benefits which they typically represented: and frequently the very language in which they were promised, clearly shewed, that their mystical sense was, in fact, the most literal. Sometimes, as in the prophecy before us, the inspired writer entirely loses sight of all temporal considerations, and is wholly wrapt up in the contemplation of that spiritual kingdom, which the Messiah was in due season to erect. From the redemption of the Jews out of their captivity in Babylon, he goes on to speak of a more glorious redemption to be effected for all the nations of the world from the dominion of sin and Satan, of death and hell. The means of its accomplishment are described at large from this verse to the end of the following chapter. The Messiah, by whom it was to be effected, is set forth in all that variety of character which he was to assume, and in those diversified states of humiliation and glory which he was to pass through, in order to fulfil the work assigned him. That a passage so decisive for the establishment of Christianity should be wrested by the Jews, and be applied to any one rather than to Christ, is nothing more than what might be expected. But so harsh and incongruous are their interpretations, that they need only to be stated, and the absurdity of them immediately appears. Besides, the numerous applications of this prophecy to Christ, which occur in the New Testament, leave us no room to doubt respecting its true import. The portion, which now.demands our attention, declares to us, first, his success in his work, and secondly, his advancement after it.

I. His success in his work.

The office which Christ sustained was that of a

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