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triumph, yet not on a prancing steed, gaily caparisoned, nor in a chariot of ivory and gold; but merely upon an ass—the humblest quadruped in use. Nor was He distinguished like the mighty emperors and triumphant warriors of this world, by trumpeting heralds, and a gay procession of nobles, with their floating banners. There were no imposing trappings; His disciples were in their ordinary dress, and the multitude of common people formed His retinue. Here was no pageantry, not a vestige of the splendour of earthly pomp. Yet here was dignity grander than any that earth liad ever witnessed before ; here was an occasion of joy more sublime than mortals had ever seen; and here were titles proclaimed with exultant shouts, and accepted as of Divine right, surpassing all that man or angelic hosts could claim. Such honours pertained to no one but the Messiah, the Emmanuel, the Incarnate Jehovah, the Lord of all beings, the object of angelic worship, the Creator of all worlds, and the Saviour of universal man. The people saw Him now—their own eyes beheld Him. Thus their faith was turned into vision, and their prayers for His coming into the exultant recognition of His personal presence in their midst, and now their Hosannas of prayer for His coming are changed into Hosannas of adoration and praise.
Two facts are remarkable in the narrative before us, as depicted by all the evangelists, and evincing in the clearest and most convincing form the connection between the worship of anticipation and the worship of personal recognition. Here is a direct quotation of the very words of prophecy used in the ancient festival ; here were acts of ceremony identical with ancient usage, and here the very words of prayer are turned into praise.
The prophecy said, “ Blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord” (ver. 26). In the narrative these identical words were applied to Christ by the people in their joyous recognition,
The prophecy contains, as we have seen, the word “Hosanna ;” and this ancient word is here repeated by the people in their joyous welcome of the Saviour. But now the Hosanna of the people is no longer that of prayer; it is appropriately changed into an ascription of praise, because their faith was now turned into vision, and expectation into joyous recognition; and the praise presented assumes the loftiest form. It is not only Hosanna, but Hosannu in the HIGAEST. Just as the angels sang at the Redeemer's birth, not oniy glory, but glory in the superlative degree—“Glory to God in the highest.”
The prophecy speaks of the house of the Lord.” The Temple was the holy place referred to in the prophecy. “Open to me tho gates of righteousness: I will go into them, and I will praise tbe Lord : the gate of the Lord, into which the righteous shall enter (ver. 19, 20). In the narrative we see the Holy Jesus enter not only the city, but into the Temple itself, where He asserted His supreme authority, calling it His own house ; and displayed His Almighty power therein by the miracles He performed; and, as the Lord of the Temple, He received the homage which the grateful and rejoicing people presented.
In the service of the Jewish Church we have seen that branches of the palm-tree, the myrtle, and the willow, were waved by the people in the ecstasy of prayer and devotion; and in the narrative of recognition we see the multitudes in like manner cutting down the branches of the trees, and not only waving them before Him, but strewing them on the way in honour of His sacred presence..
In the service of the ancient Jewish Church we saw the children mingling with the crowds of worshippers, and, like the adults, lifting up their palm-branches, and crying, Hosanna, Hosanna ; and in the evangelical narrative it is recorded that the children cried in the Temple, saying, “ Hosanna to the Son of David.” And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that Jesus did, and heard the children crying in the Temple, “ Hosanna to the Son of David,” they murmured, being sorely displeased. But Jesus justified the whole proceeding, saying, “ Have ye not read, Out of the mouths of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise ?”.
In the prophetic declaration of the same psalm Jesus is spoken of as the foundation of the Church, for it is there said, “ The stone which the builders rejected is become the head stone of the corner " (Psalm cxviii. 22). And in the narrative, as continued by the Evangelists, Jesus applies this prophecy to Himself, saying to the Pharisees, “Have ye never read in the Scriptures, The stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner ? This is the Lord's doing, and it is marvellous in our eyes " (Matthew xxi. 42).
It is to be noted, too, that the various titles by which Jesus is recognised as the true Messiah and Saviour of the world, are applied to Him both in the prophecy sung by the ancient Jewish Church, and by the jubilant songs of the multitude on the day of His triumphant recognition. In both He is called “the Son of David," " the King,” “ the Blessed One,” and “ Jesus, which means the Saviour."
Finally, it is to be further observed that in the 118th Psalm the prophetic ode sung by the ancient Jewish Church, and so directly and exultantly applied to our Lord on His triumphant entry, the sacred name, Jehovah, is applied to Him more than twenty times as His own title ; a name never applied to any being but the Supreme
God. Its application, therefore, to Christ asserts most emphatically His proper Deity; and hence the homage presented by the people and accepted by the Redeemer in this narrative is justified as His due. On any other ground it would have been the grossest idolatry by the people, and an arrogant, blasphemous assumption by Himself. But being, as the Scriptures declare Him to be, the Son of God, as well as the Son of David, the triumphant King, as well as the suffering Messiah, He is the Emmanuel-God with us; God, manifest in the flesh; and His name is “the Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Father of Eternity, the Prince of Peace," the Jehovah Jesus.
A question here may be appropriately asked. How came it to pass that there should have been such a marvellous connection, such a wonderful resemblance and harmony, between the language and the mode of worship used by the ancient Jewish Church, and the homage and the honours presented to Jesus on the occasion of His public recognition by the people? Was this marvellous coincidence accidental ? Assuredly not; it was Divinely ordained, that this coincidence might be recorded as one among the many evidences of the Messiahship and Godhead of Jesus, for the instruction and edification of the Church in all ages, down to the end of time; and, further, that this public and enthusiastic recognition of the Saviour might stand forth in contrast with the treacherous betrayal, the mocking and insult, the scourging and condemnation, and the murderous vociferations, Away with him, Crucify him, crucify him, in the same city, only a few weeks after this transporting laudation and rapturous recognition.
And thus the sacred record blendeth its salutary admonitions with its brilliant and convincing evidence of sacred truths.
Have we received Jesus as our Saviour ? If we have, we may well shout our loud Hosanna ; and if faithful unto death, we shall soon, with palms in our hands, shout in louder strains, with holy angels and all the Church of God in glory, "Blessing and honour and glory and power be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”
Just as soon as any conviction of truth becomes central and vital, there comes the desire to utter it. Sacrifice is gladness, service is joy, when such an idea becomes a commanding power.
We once knew a minister who preached twenty years, and was instrumental in the conversion of two thousand souls. Of this man a parishioner said that he had sat under his ministry for three years without getting an idea. Two thousand saved and no idea is better than two thousand ideas and no one saved.
THE CHURCH IN THE SCHOOL. Published at the request of the Sunday School Convention of the
Manchester District. Ir initiates the child into discipleship to Christ. This is the chief fact of the Great Commission, “Go ye therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost : teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you : and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world." This is from the Revised Version, and in several important particulars it is an invaluable improvement of the Great Commission as it appears in Matthew in the A.V. Christ does not say, make disciples from among all nations; but He says, disciple all, without restriction of condition or age, of all the nations of the world. “Disciple baptizing," says Christ. It is not baptizing disciple, but disciple baptizing. Dr. Morison, in one of his valuable works, says: “They are to be discipled by being baptized; that is to say, the discipling is not here represented by our Lord as the antecedent, it is represented as the consequent of the baptizing." Dean Alford writes: “It will be observed that in our Lord's words, as in the Church, the process of ordinary discipleship is from baptism to instruction; ... the exception being, what circumstances rendered so frequent in the early Church, instruction before baptism in the case of adults.” Dr. Stacey writes with characteristic clearness : “The disciples were to be made by baptism, not made and then baptized. The command is not twofold but simple--enjoining a single duty with the mode to be observed in its performance. It is not disciple and baptize, but disciple baptizing—the participle specifying the manner in which the thing prescribed is to be accomplished.” Baptism then, in respect to the child, is the mode of initiation into discipleship to Christ. That baptism is an induction into discipleship according to the Great Commission is made still more manifest when we read that such discipleship has to be followed up and completed by universal instruction in Christ's doctrines and precepts. “Teaching them," that is, those made disciples by baptism, “to observe all things whatsoever I commanded you.” To disciple by baptism, and to teach, are not the same thing. The words are different. This is obvious in the Revised Version. And their import is different. Discipleship by baptism is a solemn inauguration of a Christian education. Baptism opens the door and admits into Christ's school. Our baptized scholars are in the school of Christ. They are the Church's
neophytes or catechumens. They have been made such by a divine rite, and as such the Church has formally received them. Baptism does something : it initiates into discipleship to Christ.
It does something else. It incorporates the child with a visible Church. As it disciples to Christ, so it makes children members of a Christian Church. A Church, I mean, as a society of the subjects of the kingdom of heaven. The name Church prevails in the New Testament not before Pentecost, but after it. This name came into general use when Christian societies were formed by the evangelistic work of the Apostles and others. They were not settled pastors of Churches which had long existed in & Christian community, but were travelling missionaries; first, to a nonChristian world, and then to the surrounding heathen world. By their itinerant labours in the Gospel, Christian societies were formed which were called Churches. Before Pentecost “the kingdom of heaven” was often spoken of by the Baptist who heralded it; and oftener by our Lord, who delighted by parable to delineate it. The missionary preaching of the kingdom of God led to the formation of a Church, or of Churches, in many towns of many countries. The chief point of difference between the kingdom of heaven and a Church is, that the kingdom of heaven, like the kingdoms of this world, includes all infants and children and young men and old men, who are its subjects, while a Church is a distinct and visible society composed of a certain number of those subjects. My point is, that baptism incorporates children as the subjects of the kingdom of heaven, and as Christ's infant disciples with a visible Church. It makes them a part of its membership; partakers of its privileges ; and sharers in its educating and enriching influences. The government of a Church is another matter. A matter that does not belong to “novices" or neophytes; the newly-planted ones of a Church. Government is a work for men, not babes, “ Doth Christ," asks Baxter, “ take them into His arms, and would He not have them all put in His visible Church? Would He have us receive them in His name, and yet not receive them into His Church, nor as His disciples? How can infants be received in His name if they belong not to Him and His Church ? Nay, doth Christ account it a receiving of Himself, and shall I refuse to receive them or acknowledge them the subjects of His visible kingdom ? For my part, seeing Christ has given me so full a discovery of His will on this point, I will boldly adventure to follow His rule, and I would rather answer Him upon His own encouragement for admitting a hundred infants into His Church than answer for keeping one out.” I do not mean that infant disciples should be regarded as personally accountable and fully accredited members of our Churches. Such