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SERMON III.

LUKE xix. 41, 42.

And when he was come near, he beheld the city and wept over it, saying, Ifthou 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.

OUR blessed Lord generally travelled on foot; but when he went up to Jerusalem to suffer, he rode, not only to shew his readiness to endure the cross, but that the words of the prophet might be fulfilled:-" Behold, thy King cometh unto thee! He is just, and having salvation; lowly, and riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass. He came near the city, as he had often done before, and had paid many a gracious visit to its ungrateful inhabitants. There he had preached the gospel, wrought many miracles, and testified, saying, "Be ye sure that the kingdom of God is come nigh unto you." And now, when he was probably descending from the Mount of Olives, from whence he had a full view of the city, it is said, He beheld it not indeed with complacency, as God beheld Ephraim; nor with power, as Christ looked on Zaccheus and Peter; but with pity and compassion. The word here used signifies, not merely to look, but to look earnestly and consider an object thoroughly. How happy would it have been for the inhabitants of this city, if they had returned look for look, and had

their eyes fixed upon the Saviour as his were upon

them! Perhaps the rest of the company beheld Jerusalem with wonder, admiring its lofty domes, its stately structures, and magnificent temple; and might be ready to say, What city is like unto this great city? But Christ was differently affected: he feels for its miseries, and pours out a lamentation.-Let us now consider more particularly what he did, and what he said on this affecting occasion.

1. What our Lord did: "He beheld the city, and wept over it."

They were the tears of an affectionate father over his rebellious children, or of a compassionate judge pronouncing sentence upon a criminal. He was not elated by the plaudits of the multitude, who cried, "Hosannah to the Son of David; blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord." He knew what was in man, and that those who praised him to-day would be as ready to accuse and condemn him on the morrow. "He was a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief;" and now we see his tears, and the sorrows of his heart enlarged. Once indeed he rejoiced in spirit; but more than once he wept. Jerusalem was bid to rejoice; but he sces occasion to mourn, and now mingles the triumphs with his tears. Such tears from such eyes could not be without a cause. He who never spake a word without sufficient reason could never weep in vain. His tears were those of the sincerest and deepest sorrow: for he who now weeps over sinners could afterwards shed his blood for them. Like Jacob, he often wept and made supplication when we do not hear of it; and like David, rivers of tears ran down his eyes, because of the people who kept not his law; and no wonder then that "his countenance was more marred than that of any man." He wept at the grave of Lazarus, and his soul was grieved for the affliction of Martha and Mary. As the head of the

church he is still touched with the feeling of our infirmities, and in all our afflictions he himself is afflicted.

"In sorrow drown'd, but not in sorrow lost."

Now he weeps over Jerusalem, and his sorrow is deep and pungent. In weeping for Lazarus he mourned a departed friend, one whom he loved, and who was saved from the sorrows of this world; but here he weeps over dead sinners, who were exposed to the sufferings of the next. We do not find that Jonah wept over Nineveh, though there were more than six-score thousand persons that could not discern between the right hand and the left; yea, he was rather displeased that God's threatenings were not executed upon it. But how different from the temper of the servant was that of the Master! "Jonah made himself a booth, and sat under it in the shadow, till he might see what would become of the city." But when Jesus was come near to Jerusalem, "He beheld the city and wept over it." He wept for those who wept not for themselves, and because they did not weep for themselves; not for any disappointment respecting them, for things were as he knew they would be; but for their obstinacy and approaching ruin. More particularly,

1. He wept for the sins they had committed, and the evil treatment which he himself should receive at their hands. He had no sin of his own to grieve or to die for." He knew no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth;" but as he bled, so he also wept for the sins of others. To weep for sin is in us an evidence of grace; and in him it was a sign of the tenderest compassion. The Jews, his own people, had lost all sense of true religion, and made it void by their traditions; they had killed the prophets, rejected the gospel, and would shortly destroy the Prince of life: he is grieved for the hardness of their hearts, and weeps over their aggravated guilt.

2. He foresaw the calamities that were coming upon them, and desired not the woeful day. Their city and temple should be destroyed, and their whole nation dispersed into all parts of the earth. They had abused their privileges, and now they should be deprived of them they had gloried in their shame, and should now be ashamed of their glory: they had been slaves to their lusts, and should now be slaves to their enemies. When Jeremiah saw that there was no hope of recovering Israel from their backslidings, nor of averting the threatened captivity, but that they would be cut off by the most awful judgments, he wished that his head were waters, and his eyes a fountain of tears, that he might weep day and night for the slain of the daughter of his people. He had wept much, but wanted to weep more. But awful as were those days of evil, they were not such as now awaited this devoted city; for such there never had been, neither should there be again. These the Saviour had in prospect, and his soul is troubled for them. O Jerusalem, Jerusalem!"

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3. Spiritual judgments also awaited them, and this was matter of still greater lamentation. Would they but turn to Him who smote them, and in the time of their affliction seek him early, there would still be something to mitigate the calamity: but no, they would be as much infatuated as they were afflicted. They were given up to blindness of mind, and hardness of heart. They would obstinately persist in rejecting the gospel, and with the most inveterate malice would persecute the preachers of it, till at length they should be destroyed, and that without remedy.

4. The final consequence of all this also affected the compassionate Saviour; namely, their everlasting ruin in the world to come. Paul could not speak of some without weeping, when he considered that their end would be destruction; and this it was that made the Saviour weep. When he himself was about to suffer,

he forbid the daughters of Jerusalem to weep for him, and told them to weep for themselves and their children, and here he also could weep with them. The impending ruin of their city and nation, and above all, the final ruin of so many immortal souls, touched his tender heart, and caused his tears to flow. Never did that face appear more beautiful and lovely than when thus bedewed. It is said that Xerxes looked upon his vast army and wept, to think that in less than a hundred years not one of them would be left alive. The prospect of such mortality affected him; but it was the state of souls dead in sin that affected Christ. Yet the time is coming when he will say to those whom he once wept over, and say it without any pity in his countenance or compassion in his heart, Depart from me, ye workers of iniquity-Depart, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels !"

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II. Consider what our Lord said as well as did, when he came near and beheld the city-"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.

If thou, so ancient and populous a city, the city of David, the seat of the temple and worship of Godif thou, even thou, O Jerusalem, hadst known and considered the things which belong to thy present and everlasting peace-thou wouldst have repented and wept for thyself, and my tears might well have been spared. But now thy destruction is at hand, and these things are hid from thine eyes!-Here observe,

1. The whole of religion is expressed by knowledge: "If thou hadst known." Not however that kind of knowledge which is merely speculative, but such_as sanctifies the heart and influences the conduct; that holy wisdom which cometh from above. The begin

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