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disciples, saying, Go ye into the village over against you ; in the which at your entering ye shall find a colt tied, whereon yet never man sat; loose him and bring him hither. And if And if any man ask you, Why do ye loose him? thus shall ye say unto him, Because the Lord hath need of him. And they that were sent went their way, and found even as he had said unto them. And as they were loosing the colt, the owners thereof said unto them, Why loose ye the colt? And they said, The Lord hath need of him. And they brought him to Jesus; and they cast their garments upon the colt, and they set Jesus thereon. And as they went, they spread their clothes in the way. And when he was come nigh, even now at the descent of the mount of Olives, the whole multitude of the disciples began to rejoice and praise God with a loud voice, for all the mighty works that they had seen, saying, Blessed be the King that cometh in the name of the Lord; peace in heaven, and glory in the highest. And some of the Pharisees from among the multitude said unto him, Master, rebuke thy disciples. And he answered and said unto them, I tell you, that if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out. And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it, saying, If 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 knewest not the time of thy visitation.
Holy Saviour, what are thy thoughts, as weeping in thy hour of triumph, thou passest onward to the city of thy fathers? It was not for his own approaching death; it was not for the scorn that awaited him,-for the clamours of the crowd, "Crucify him, crucify him," that the tears of Jesus were shed. It was for his countrymen, the chosen people of God, about to be cast out from among the nations for their rejection of him.
But now the band assumes more the appearance of a triumphal procession. The followers of Jesus wave their palm-branches in the air; the path is spread with their garments in honour of him whom they accompany, and the whole city is moved to meet him. He meantime, performs his part, now as in times of suffering and danger, with calm, collected dignity. He knows the fate that in a few days must be his, and he goes on to meet it as firmly as though he believed, with his exulting followers, that this was the commencement of a temporal reign. Let his equal mind afford an example to those who bear his name, to pass through every scene with unshaken self-control, never elated by prosperity beyond the bounds of moderate and grateful enjoyment, never depressed by adversity so far as to forget the Providence of God, or to swerve from the path of duty.
Ride on, ride on in majesty !
Thine humble beast pursues his road,
With palms and scattered garments strewed.
Ride on, ride on in majesty !
Ride on, ride on in majesty!
Thy last and fiercest strife is nigh ;
Ride on, ride on in majesty !
Bow thy meek head to mortal pain,
Then take, O Christ, thy power and reign!
JESUS ANOINTED AT BETHANY.
AND it came to pass, when Jesus had finished all these sayings, he said unto his disciples, Ye know that after two days is the feast of the passover; and the Son of man is betrayed to be crucified.
Then assembled together the chief priests, and the scribes, and the Elders of the people, unto the palace of the high priest, who was called Caiaphas; and consulted that they might take Jesus by subtilty, and kill him. But they said, Not on the feast day, lest there be an uproar among the people.
Now when Jesus was in Bethany, in the house of Simon the leper, there came unto him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and
poured it on his head as he sat at meat. But when his disciples saw it, they had indignation, saying, To what purpose is this waste? For this ointment might have been sold for much, and given to the poor. When Jesus understood it, he said unto them, Why trouble ye the woman? for she hath wrought a good work upon me. For ye have the poor always with you; but me ye have not always. For in that she hath poured this ointment on my body, she did it for my burial. Verily I say unto you, wheresoever this gospel shall be preached in the whole world, there shall also this, that this woman hath done, be told for a memorial of her.
Then one of the twelve, called Judas Iscariot, went unto the chief priests, and said unto them, What will ye give me, and I will deliver him unto you? And they covenanted with him for thirty pieces of silAnd from that time he sought opportunity to betray him.
From the account of John (x11. 3.) it appears that she who thus expressed her gratitude to Jesus, was Mary, the sister of Lazarus, whom he had raised from the dead, and that the censorious remark proceeded from the traitor, Judas Iscariot. His language affords an instance of that species of narrowmindedness, by which nothing is considered useful, except as it directly supports life, or relieves absolute want. Our Saviour's reply shows that such was not his principle. He did not approve the spirit, which would excuse itself from honouring a benefactor, on the plea that gratitude would be too expensive. Frugality is indeed a virtue; but there is a point, to which if it be carried, it loses that character
and assumes the opposite; destroying hospitality and the charms of social life, narrowing the mind, and fixing it, with disgraceful keenness of perception, on the smallest gains. Much has the command of our Lord been insisted on, "Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost; and rightly; for that care of temporal concerns, which from present abundance wisely provides against future need, is a duty sanctioned alike by reason and scripture. But while we impress that precept on our minds, let it be remembered that he from whom it came approved the munificent demonstration of gratitude, made to him by the sister of him he loved.
See the grateful sister bending
O'er her much-loved Saviour's form;
For his mercy, prompt to save,
Doth she bless her heavenly Lord,
To the light of life restored.
Who shall blame the kind oblation,
Of the Christian's gratitude.