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in this respect, as he thus shewed a want of such common attention as might have been expected as a matter of course. When Mary therefore, in the house of Simon the Leper, poured the ointment upon our Saviour's head, there was nothing unusual in what she did. The only difference in her case was that the ointment was exceeding precious, and that she used it to the feet of our Lord, as well as to His head, thinking nothing too costly even for the feet of Christ.
All that Mary meant was to show her hospitality, her respect, her gratitude, her affection, her veneration for Jesus; but our Lord, as we have seen, turned it into a prophecy, and made it a type of His death. He accepted it as a kind of preparation for the tomb; an embalming of His body beforehand for His burial. So graciously does He magnify our poor services, when really done from love to His name, and give them a force and meaning, far beyond their own value, that He may make to Himself an opportunity of mercifully rewarding them. For our most valuable services are fit only to do honour to the feet of Jesus; though when so used in devout humility, they are acceptable to Him, and their fragrance fills the Church.
The anointing of Mary may remind us of that anointing which the high priest of the Jews received under the law of Moses. The costly ointment which she used was like "the precious ointment" which, the Psalmist tells us, was poured upon the head of Aaron, and ran down to the skirts of his sacred vestments. For Aaron was but a type of Christ, who is, in the highest sense, the "Anointed of the Lord;" being anointed with the Holy Ghost and with power as our everlasting high priest. As such He was about now
to offer His body on the cross as, once for all, a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice for the sins of the whole world. Thus with His own blood he entered into the true Holy of Holies, that is, into heaven, to intercede for our pardon and restoration to bliss.
May this name, the name of Christ, our dying High Priest and ever living Intercessor on high, be ever precious to us! May it be deeply buried in our hearts, and embalmed there with the choicest offerings of love and gratitude! And O that each bosom amongst us, each house, each Church, yea, and the whole world, might be filled with the fragrance of it! "A good name," says the word of God, "is better than precious ointment;" but comparatively there is none good but one, and that is the name which is above every name, the name at which even angels bow— the blessed and glorious name of the Lord Jesus Christ.
See Luke xix. 28. Matt. xxvi. 6—13.
FORTY-FIFTH SUNDAY EVENING.
CHRIST'S PUBLIC ENTRY INTO JERUSALEM.
M. It was known at Jerusalem that Jesus was again at Bethany, and that Lazarus, whom He had lately raised from the dead, was there. In consequence, many of the Jews came to Bethany; not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also. For that miracle, the raising of a man to life who had been dead four days, had caused a very great and general sensation. Numbers had seen it with their own eyes,
and all Jerusalem must have heard of it. So extraordinary an occurrence could hardly fail to be much talked of.
E. I wonder whether it led any really to believe in Christ.
M. I think I told you before that "many of the Jews which came to Mary, and had seen these things which Jesus did, believed on Him." But on some this extraordinary miracle produced nothing better than mere curiosity, and in others, especially the high priests, it only served to increase envy and hatred, and to lead to more open and violent measures against our Lord, than they had before taken. Indeed these wicked, foolish men even consulted together to put to death again the very person whom Jesus had just restored to life; as if He could not have raised him a thousand times as well as once, or saved him from death as easily as He had restored him to life. But when once men suffer the evil passions of their nature to get the dominion over them, they can no longer hear the voice of reason, or religion, or duty, and it is quite impossible to say where they will stop. Indeed, when men will not believe, but go on hardening their hearts against the truth, we cannot wonder that God should often give them up to their own wickedness, and allow them, like the wretched Pharaoh, to become obstinate in their iniquity. Surely the chief priests must have been quite as much hardened against God, when they thought of sending back Lazarus to the grave, and of destroying Him who had shewn Himself to be the resurrection and the life!
But happily all were not such. There were numbers now present at the feast, especially from Galilee,
who believed that Jesus was the Messiah, and were prepared publicly to show their faith; and many of these, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, went forth to meet Him, and took branches of palm trees and strewed them in the that He was to go; crying before Him with loud voices and saying, "Hosannah! Blessed is the king of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord!" They went out, you see, from Jerusalem to receive Him, and to conduct Him into the city as their Monarch, their long expected Messiah.
E. And so He was, Mamma, their Messiah and their King.
M. But in a far different sense from that in which most of those supposed Him to be so, who followed Jesus in this His great public entry into Jerusalem. His kingdom was not, as they thought, of this world. He was not, as they supposed, a temporal prince, who should restore to them the throne of David in more than its ancient splendour, and make Israel once again the first among the nations. the nations. We must keep in mind this favourite idea of theirs, as it will explain to us much of the treatment which our Lord received at the hands of his countrymen, which would otherwise appear strange and contradictory. At one time they cry "Hosannah to the son of David," at another, " Crucify him, crucify him!" They trusted in fact for a time that this was really He who should "restore the kingdom unto Israel;" and no sooner were they disappointed of this worldly hope, than some of the very persons perhaps, who now led him in triumph into Jerusalem, might be among the first in calling for His death.
And yet Jesus after all was a king; as a king He made His public entry into Jerusalem; for so the prophet had said: "Tell ye the daughter of Zion, Behold thy KING cometh unto thee." But He was a king of far different kind from earthly princes; far greater in reality, though far more humble in appearance. When the heathen kings have entered in triumph the capital of their dominions, it has always been, you know, with great pomp and pride, and generally with much magnificence.
E. Yes, I remember the account of the emperor Aurelian entering Rome, when he returned from his conquests. Oh! Mamma, there was such a splendid procession! Papa and I read the account of it together, and he told me that it happened about three hundred years after the death of Christ. Do you know, it was opened with twenty elephants, four royal tigers, and above two hundred of the most curious animals
from every climate then known. And there was a great deal more, Mamma, which I am afraid I cannot give so good an account of.
M. Perhaps I can help you. Were not those followed by arms, standards, and spoils of many conquered nations; by ambassadors in their rich or strange dresses from the remotest parts of the earth; by crowns of gold taken from conquered princes; and by a long train of illustrious captives?
E. Yes, Mamma, and among those captives there was the beautiful Zenobia, queen of Palmyra, on foot, laden with jewels, and confined in fetters of gold; and with a gold chain about her neck so heavy, that a slave followed to support it.
M. And her magnificent chariot came after her,