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BY REV. H. HUTCHIGS
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold, thy King cometh unto thee, meek,
upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an ass. S. Matthew xxi. 5.
THE Gospel which has been appointed for Advent Sunday, when
the Christian Year begins, seems at first sight out of harmony
with the teacliing of the season. It consists of the account of our
Lord's triumphal entry into Jerusalem five days before His crucifixion,
when, not as was His wont performing the journey on foot, He rode
upon the foal of an ass, and thereby fulfilled the prediction of
Zechariah which forms my text. Advent is a season of preparation
for the great Festival of Christmas ; but, instead of catching the
distant echoes of the angelic anthem — * Glory to God in the highest,**
we hear the joyous acclamations of Palm Sunday — ' Hosanna to the
Son of David : blessed is He that cometh in the name of the Lord ;
Hosanna in the highest.' Instead of setting before us some record of
Chrisfs First Coming, or prophecy of His Second Coming, the Church
holds up to us on Advent Sunday the picture of our Lord as He went
up to Jerusalem to suffer and to die. But the selection is made
advisedly. A writer who, some six hundred years ago, commented
upon it, says, ' In this Gospel is figuratively contained the whole
cause of the First Advent.""
I. And, first, let us think of Who this is who comes — ' Beliold,thy
King cometh unto thee.' It is no temporal deliverer which the
prophet speaks of, but a Divine King — ' the Word of God,' Who hath
' upon His thigh a name written. King of kings, and Lord of lords.'
Man had fallen from God. But God had promised to man a
Redeemer. The Seed of the woman was to 'bruise the serpent's
head.' And that Redeemer was to be none other than the Son of
God. We cannot tell whether God might not have saved the world
by some other means. But we can use the guarded language of
Hooker, and say, ' The world's salvation was without the Incarnation
of the Son of God a thing impossible — not simply impossible, but
impossible — it being presupposed that the will of God was no other-
wise to have it saved than by the death of His own Son.'
But, observe, our Lord is described as ' thy King.'' We are glad
to greet Christ as our Saviour ; but are we equally ready to take Him
for our King ? How is Christ our King ? He is King naturally, as
God, Who is ' the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and
Lord of lords.' But our Lord's kingly power was also a part of His
mediatorial office. He is, as our Mediator, Prophet, Priest, and King.
He came not only to preach doctrines, be our example, and atone for
sin ; but He came also to found a kingdom.
Christ, then, is King as God, and has a kingly power as Man,
anointed by the Holy Ghost, and has an acquired power through
the merit of His Passion. After His Resurrection, He said, 'AH
power is given unto Me in heaven and in earth.' Then, as an exercise
of that power, He gave the sacred commission to His Apostles, and,
in the words of one of our bishops, ' put His Church, represented in
His Apostles, into His own place upon earth.'
H. Let us next consider to whom our Lord comes. 'Behold, thy
King Cometh unto thee.'' The words have a sad association. By
' tliy ' King, the prophet referred to ' the daughter of Zion,' to God's
own people, the Jews.
But 'He came unto His own, and His own received Him not.'
The pronoun, however, is capable of wider and of narrower applica-
tion. ' Behold, thy King cometh ' may be the utterance of humanity.
' He took not on Him the nature of angels : but He took on Him
the seed of Abraham.' But the individual soul must have applied to
it and must appropriate the blessings which the Incarnation and
Passion of the Redeemer have obtained. Earthly laws only touch
the exterior of a man's life, only regulate his outward actions ; but
Christ's law penetrates to the ' inward parts.' He must reign over
thy thoughts ; He must rule thine affections. The will — that difficult
faculty to surrender — must be given up to Him. The kingdom of
God is not only an external, visible kingdom — the Church, but must
also be established in thine own heart — 'the kingdom of God is
IIL We are further told in the text in what manner our Lord
comes. ' Meek, and sitting upon an ass, and a colt the foal of an
ass.' Without entering minutely into the words of the prophecy, as
quoted by the Evangelist, it is evident that the twin graces of lowli-
ness and meekness were to be signs of His royalty. He would not
come with earthly pomp and dignity, but with humility and poverty,
both of spirit and of condition. ' Ye know the grace of our Lord
Jesus Christ,' says S. Paul, ' that, though He was rich, yet for your
sakes He became poor, that ye through His poverty might be rich.'
Pride was the principle of our ruin. Through pride Adam fell.
Pride is a false imitation of God. It is the imitation of His inde-
pendency. In His entry into Jerusalem, meek, and riding upon the
foal of an ass. He exhibited that 'great humility' to which our
Collect refers as the mark of His First Advent. It was a new type
of character, a new measure of greatness. Humility, before Christ
came, was regarded as akin to mean-spiritedness, and meekness had
no very high place in ancient ethical systems. ' Of all the Christian
virtues,' says a modern writer, ' the first both in order and rank is
humility. According to its measure do we estimate the Christian ;
OUTLIES O THE GOSPEL
and the Lord demands this childhke spirit of humility above all else
from His disciples, if they would be members of His kingdom.
IV. Lastly : how, then, should we prepare to receive our Lord at
His coming ? I speak not now of His coming in the hour of death
and in the Day of Judgment, but of His coming in the present time.
For He does visit us now. Advent is not onlv a time when we
prepa/e to commemorate the ativity in Bethlehem, but we should
be making ourselves ready to receive our present Saviour and our
King, He comes to us spiritually, and He comes to us sacramentally.
Of tlie first our Lord says, ' If a man love ]\Ie, he will keep ^ly words :
and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make
Our abode with him,' And of the other Christ saith, 'Behold, I
stand at the door and knock : if any man hear My voice, and open
the door, I will come in to him, and will sup with him, and he
with Me.' ,
Sermons for the People, p. 20.
The Coming of the Lord.
Tell ye the daughter of Sioriy Behold ^ thy King cometh unto thee. S.
Matthew xxi. 5.
IT was at the triumphal entry (says the Evangelist) that this pro-
phecy of Zechariah was fulfilled. But it was not only then ; to be
a King — the King — was the very purpose of His coming, and the
record of His Life and Death, His Resurrection and Ascension, is the
record of a King. He Himself afiirms it — declares Himself to be a
King — when He stands before Pilate and speaks of the right He has
to the allegiance of men ; and this truest title was written, though
as an accusation, and placed upon the Cross. The Advent is the
Advent of our King, not of a king, but of our King : not of a king
to whom we have been pleased to swear allegiance because the ad-
vantages accruing to us therefrom were convenient, but of our King,
into Whose service we were bom, and Who claims our allegiance as
I. Consider His coming —
(1) As regards ourselves. What I am, and what, by God's grace,
this may lead to in the end ! One of God's children, not made to fall
lower but to rise higher. ot for the 'far country' and the 'husks
which the swine did eat,' but for the 'home' and the place of the
firstborn, and the wonderful words of trust and love from the Father,
' All that I have is thine.' My consolation under present disappoint-
ment ! My incitement to holiness out of gratitude to Him Who has
said, ' Come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the
Lord, and touch no unclean thing ; and I will receive you, and I will
be to you a Father, and ye shall be to Me sons and daughters, saith
the Lord Almiglity"; and in preparation for the coming of our
Blessed Lord, as St. John exhorts us (1 John iii. 3), 'And every one
tliat hath this hope set on Him purifleth himself, even as He is pure.'
My ' anchor of the soul, a hope both sure and steadfast, and entering
into that which is within the veil.'
(2) As regards our work for others. If we would bring the power
of this hope — this true golden age — to bear on the lives of other
men, we must realise it ourselves. And if we do realise it ourselves,
if it is in us a living vitalising force, then we cannot help bringing it
to bear upon the lives of others. There is an ideal, faintly seen,
perhaps, and not very wisely sought after, but still an ideal, of a life
such as a man's life ought to be, and a woman's life and a child's life.
And it should be our effort and our earnest prayer tliat by God's own
means and in God's own way that moral and material elevation may
be attained for all our fellow-men, the despair of which produces
discontent, whilst the hope of it would rouse the brave effort of such
II. The coming of the King involves all other blessings ; it is the
coming of the Saviour and the loving Friend. Allegiance is my
necessity as man, my duty, my highest happiness !
(1) It is my necessity, that is, for the development of my true
powers, if I am to come to what God made me for, if I am to
be brought back to the image of God in which Adam and Eve
were formed, and to which the Lord Jesus came that He might
restore me, and for the restoration of which in me God the Holy
Spirit works. It is all opposing forces in my life, no result, no real
progress, all hindrances, every effort nullified, unless I recognise my
Saviour as my King, and submit myself to Him, make, that is, such
recognition and such submission the aim of my life more and more,
for perfect knowledge and perfect service will never be attained on
this side the grave.
(2) Allegiance is my duty. The King is on His throne ; I do not
place Him there. It is not as when the barons and freemen of the
land elect a king, and set him on the throne, and swear fealty to him
and do him homage ! We do not set our King upon His throne.
' Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever.' The King is the Creator
as well as the Redeemer. I came into the world His subject.
(3) And allegiance is my highest happiness.
' Come unto Me. Take My yoke upon you, and learn of Me. My
yoke is easy, and My burden is light.
True rest, true happiness in His service ; a burden, says one writer,
not to crush down but to lift up ; not as the heavy pack of the weary
traveller, but as the wings of the soaring eagle.
OUTLIES O THE GOSPEL
Our King is not a despot to crush down, but a true King, the
people's Head, Who alone knoweth them and can lead them on and
up along the path of true progress and true happiness. And He will
so lead us, if we will submit ourselves to Him !
E. T. LEEKE,
Cambridge Review, ov. 21, 1889.
The Purpose of Advent
Tell ye the daughter of Sion, Behold ^ thy King cometh to thee. S.
Matthew xxi. 5,
WHAT is the special purpose for which the Church has appointed
the Sundays in Ad\ ent ? It is set forth in the words of the
Gospel for the day : Tell ye the daughter qfSion^Behold^ thy King
to thee. The daughter of Zion was J erusalem, which was built on
Zion, and the prophet whose words are here referred to was speaking
in the first instance of Jerusalem. But, as spoken at this day, these
words are spoken to the Church of Christ. For she is the spiritual
Jerusalem ; she is now the true daughter of Zion ; and in all quarters
of the earth, wherever her children are spread, these words are on
this day sounding in their ears. Behold, thy King cometh to thee.
I. We are to look forward to the coming of our blessed Saviour
in the flesh. We are to prepare our hearts and minds during Advent,
and to bring them into tune, that they may be ready strung for
keeping the great and joyful festival of Christmas. How are we to
prepare ourselves ? By waiting, as holy Simeon waited, for the con-
solation of Israel ; striving at the same time to purify our hearts and
lives, that, like him, we may be just and devout. For to such it
is ever granted that they shall not see death before they see the
Lord's Christ. We are to fix our hearts and souls, with all their
longings and yearnings, on the coming of Christ, making this the one
great object of our wishes, that He will vouchsafe to come to us also.
The hearts which are filled with the world, with its traffic and its
business, with its cares and its pleasures, have no room in them for
Christ. His birthplace is in the naked heart, in the heart stript of
all the world's engrossing interests, oftentimes in the heart when it is
lying in ruins.
II. It was when Zion's youth, and strength, and beauty, and glory
had past away that her King came to her. The mark of death was
already upon her. The foot of the conqueror was already on her
neck. or does the Christian year begin when the natural year is
in its glory. It begins when the natural year is drooping under the
weight of its days, and fast waning to its close. Often, too, does it
happen that the spring, and the summer, and the autumn of life pass
away altogether without Christ ; and among those who have lived
thus Christless and Godless one is now and then found in whose heart
Christ is born just as winter is closing around him. Beware lest
you be deluded into fancying that so it will happen in your case.
Tarry not in your darkness when God summons you to come forth
from it. Bend not your heads to the ground when He calls on you
to lift them up. Wait not till the hinges of your heart become so
rusty that you cannot open the gates to receive the King of Glory.
III. We may learn from the fact that the Christian year does not
begin till near the close of the natural year, that Christ is not wont
to come to those who are in the summer of prosperity. He is not
wont to come to those who are laden with the leaves, and blossoms,
and fruits of this earth. It is in the winter, in the winter of heaviness
and affliction, when all around is bare and dreary, that He vouchsafes
to be born. It is when the leaves of earthly happiness are falling
from us that we are the readiest to welcome and rejoice in His Advent.
Therefore, when any affliction strikes you, believe that God is only
drawing you forth from among the leaves, behind which you have
been hiding yourselves from Him. Believe that it is so, and it will
be so. For this is one of the miracles which Faith, if it be but
strong, never fails to work. J. C. HARE,
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