Imagini ale paginilor
PDF
ePub

BOOK

IV

St. Mark xiv. 41

For he was essentially dishonest, 'a thief,' and covetousness was the underlying master-passion of his soul. The money, claimed for the poor, would only have been used by himself. Yet such was his pretence of righteousness, such his influence as a man of prudence' among the disciples, and such their sad weakness, that they, or at least 'some,'a expressed indignation among themselves and against her who had done the deed of love, which, when viewed in the sublimeness of a faith, that accepted and prepared for the death of a Saviour Whom she so loved, and to Whom this last, the best service she could, was to be devoted, would for ever cause her to be thought of as an example of loving. There is something inerpressibly sad, yet so patient, gentle, and tender in Christ’s ‘ Let her alone. Surely, never could there be waste in ministry of love to Him! Nay, there is unspeakable pathos in what He says of His near Burying, as if He would still their souls in view of it. That He, Who was ever of the poor and with them, Who for our sakes became poor, that through His poverty we might be made rich, should have to plead for a last service of love to Himself, and for Mary, and as against a Judas, seems, indeed, the depth of self-abasement. Yet, even so, has this falsely-spoken plea for the poor become a real plea, since He has left us this, as it were, as His last charge, and that by His own Death, that we have the poor always with us. And so do even the words of covetous dishonesty become, when passing across Him, transformed into the command of charity, and the breath of hell is changed into the summer-warmth of the Church's constant service to Christ in the ministry to His poor.

BOOK V.

THE CROSS AND THE CROWN.

* Ave, scala peccatorum,
Qua ascendit rex cælorum,
Ut ad choros Angelorum
Homo sic ascenderet;
In te vitam reparavit
Auctor vitæ, proles David,
Et sic se humiliavit,
Ut mundum redimeret.'

Ap. DANIEL, Thes. Hymnol. vol. v. p. 183.

• The blessing from the cloud that showers,

In wondrous twofold birth

Of heaven is and earth-
He is both yours, ye hosts, and ours :

Hosannah, David's Son,

For victory is won !
He left us with a blessing here,

And took it to the sky;

The blessing from on high
Bespeaks to us His Presence near:

Hosannah, David's Son,
For victory is won!'

(From an Ascension Hymn).-A. E.

CHRIST'S ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM.

363

CHAPTER I.

THE FIRST DAY IN PASSION-WEEK-PALM-SUNDAY-THE ROYAL ENTRY INTO

JERUSALEM.

(St. Matt. xxi, 1-11; St. Mark xi. 1-11; St. Luke xix. 29-44 ; St. John xii. 12-19.)

CHAP.

I

At length the time of the end had come. Jesus was about to make Entry into Jerusalem as King : King of the Jews, as Heir of David's royal line, with all of symbolic, typic, and prophetic import attaching to it. Yet not as Israel after the flesh expected its Messiah was the Son of David to make triumphal entrance, but as deeply and significantly expressive of His Mission and Work, and as of old the rapt seer had beheld afar off the outlined picture of the MessiahKing: not in the proud triumph of war-conquests, but in the meek' rule of peace.

It is surely one of the strangest mistakes of modern criticism to regard this Entry of Christ into Jerusalem as implying that, fired by enthusiasm, He had for the moment expected that the people would receive Him as the Messiah. And it seems little, if at all better, when this Entry is described as an apparent concession to the fevered expectations of His disciples and the multitude ... the grave, sad accommodation to thoughts other than His own to which the Teacher of new truths must often have recourse when He finds Himself misinterpreted by those who stand together on a lower level.'2 Apologies' are the weakness of Apologetics'-and any accommodation 'theory can have no place in the history of the Christ. On the contrary, we regard His Royal Entry into the Jerusalem of Prophecy and of the Crucifixion as an integral part of the history of Christ, which would not be complete, nor thoroughly consistent, without it. It behoved Him so to enter Jerusalem, because He was a King; and as King to enter it in such manner, because He was such a King

So notably Keim. Of course, the spurious. theory proceeds on the assumption that 2 Dean Plumptre on St. Matt. xxi. 5. the Discourses reported by St. Luke are

BOOK
V

Friedm. p.
55 (l, last
lines; Sot.
45 a ; Tos.
Pes. 8
• Pes. 63 b;
91 a;
Menach.
78 b; Baba
Mez. 90 a
St. Mark
and St. Luke

and both the one and the other were in accordance with the prophecy of old.

It was a bright day in early spring of the year 29, when the festive procession set out from the home at Bethany. There can be no reasonable doubt as to the locality of that hamlet (the modem El-Azarîye,' of Lazarus '), perched on a broken rocky plateau on the other side of Olivet. More difficulty attaches to the identification of Bethphage, which is associated with it, the place not being mentioned in the Old Testament, though repeatedly in Jewish writings.

But, even so, there is a curious contradiction, since Bethphage is * Siphré, ed. sometimes spoken of as distinct from Jerusalem, while at others it

is described as, for ecclesiastical purposes, part of the City itself.” Perhaps the name Bethphage— house of figs '—was given alike to that district generally, and to a little village close to Jerusalem where the district began. And this may explain the peculiar reference, in the Synoptic Gospels, to Bethphage (St. Matthew), and again to · Bethphage and Bethany.'c For, St. Matthew and St. Mark relate Christ's brief stay at Bethany and His anointing by Mary not in chronological order, but introduce it at a later period, as it were, in contrast to the betrayal of Judas. d Accordingly, they pass from the Miracles at Jericho immediately to the Royal Entry into Jerusalem—from Jericho to‘Bethphage,' or, more exactly, to

Bethphage and Bethany, leaving for the present unnoticed what had occurred in the latter hamlet.

Although all the four Evangelists relate Christ's Entry into Jerusalem, they seem to do so from different standpoints. The Synoptists accompany Him from Bethany, while St. John, in accordance with the general scheme of his narrative, seems to follow from Jerusalem that multitude which, on tidings of His approach, hastened to meet Him. Even this circumstance, as also the paucity of events recorded on that day, proves that it could not have been at early morning that Jesus left Bethany. Remembering, that it was the last morning of rest before the great contest, we may reverently think of much that may have passed in the Soul of Jesus and in the home of Bethany. And now He has left that peaceful resting-place.

It was probably soon after His outset, that He sent the two Comp. st. disciples '-possibly Peter and John_into‘the village over against'

d St. Matt.
xxvi. 6-13;
St. Mark
xiv. 3-9

6

Luke xxii. 8

I See also Caspari, Chron. Geogr. Einl. p. 161. The question as to the proposed identification (by some) of Bethany with the Beth Hini, or Beth Hanioth, where the Sanhedrin (apparently of Sad

ducees) sat after leaving the Temple, and which was destroyed three years before the City, must be left here undiscussed.

2 St. Augustine has it, recapitulando dicerunt.

« ÎnapoiContinuați »