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who, forgetting their allegiance as citizens, revolted and became enemies. Very graphic, and most impressive, is this concluding sentence in which the Evangelist describes how our Lord now led the way to Jerusalem.

CCCCXXI.

THE CRY OF THE BLIND.

St. Mark x. 46-52.

And they came to Jericho: and as he went out of Jericho with his disciples and a great number of people, blind Bartimæus, the son of Timæus, sat by the highway side begging. And when he heard that it was Jesus of Nazareth, he began to cry out, and say, Jesus, thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And many charged him that he should hold his peace: but he cried the more a great deal, Thou Son of David, have mercy on me. And Jesus stood still, and commanded him to be called. And they call the blind man, saying unto him, Be of good comfort, rise; he calleth thee. And he, casting away his garment, rose, and came to Jesus. And Jesus answered and said unto

him, What wilt thou that I should do unto thee? The blind man said unto him, Lord, that I might receive my sight. And Jesus said unto him, Go thy way; thy faith hath made thee whole. And immediately he received his sight, and followed Jesus in the way.

This blind man, it would seem, was well known in Jericho. The tradition of his cure, we may not doubt, long lingered there. "Hearing the multitude," which escorted the Lord

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out of the town, "pass by, he asked what it meant. they told him, that Jesus of Nazareth passeth by." however, with evident faith, addressed Him as "Son of David." He acknowledges Him as the Messiah, one mark of whose mission it was to open the blind eyes.2 He began and continued to cry to Him. He prayed in earnest. He persevered in prayer. Many in the advanced guard of that multitude which accompanied our Lord (we do not know their motive 3) bade him hold his peace. But their opposition only stimulates his earnestness. So conscious is he of his calamity, so convinced that the Healer is at hand. He will not be baulked of the benefit which others, as he had doubtless heard, had obtained. This blind man prayed; and the people tried to restrain him from prayer; but he prayed the more. What a picture we have here of a man in earnest, restrained by those who are not in earnest! of one who would be a real Christian, hindered by those who are little more than nominal Christians! The opposition in our day is not. from the professed pagan, but from the professing Christian; not from the pronounced enemies of the Cross of Christ, but from those who, with this multitude, claim to be with Christ and on His side. But no sooner does the Saviour stand still, and command this persevering petitioner to be brought unto Him, than the same men who had before rebuked him, now with officious zeal address to him words of encouragement."

by which time the other companion in calamity had joined himself to the better known blind man, of whom St. Mark and St. Luke both speak; the former indeed mentioning him by name. St. Mark, mentioning both the arrival at Jericho and the departure from it, allows for the interval during which those events occurred which St. Luke (xix. 1-28) relates. The latter Evangelist, as his manner is, (see ch. iii. 19, 20,) relates the miracle, by anticipation, at once. St. Matthew (ix. 27-30) has before told us of another pair of blind men healed in like manner in the neighbourhood of Nazareth.

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As in the saying, "Nothing succeeds like success." let us cry to Him. Let our life itself be one long cry to Christ. Let not the crowd rebuke the cryers. Now we see blind Bartimæus, (so graphically our Evangelist tells the tale,) casting aside the entangling garments of the East; teaching us too to lay aside every impediment, and the sin that doth so easily beset us.2 How forcibly the Lord by His question confirms the faith of His petitioner! Full of compassion, He touched his eyes, so another Evangelist tells us.3 He pronounced that word which was with power, "Receive thy sight." He bids him go; but he is fain to follow. Nor does he fail to give thanks for the blessing he had prayed for. The people also are moved at the sight of that miracle to give praise unto God."

CCCCXXII.

THE JEWS' PASSOVER.

St. John xi. 55-57.

And the Jews' passover was nigh at hand: and many went out of the country up to Jerusalem before the passover, to purify themselves. Then sought they for Jesus, and spake among themselves, as they stood in the temple, What think ye, that he will not come to the feast? Now both the chief priests and the Pharisees had given a commandment, that, if any man knew where he were, he should shew it, that they might take him.

And now draws on the Jews' Passover, soon to give place to the Christian Eucharist; that festival which was peculiar to the Jews, but which foreshadowed a sacrifice which should avail for both Jews and Gentiles; that special celebration of it which should be memorable above all others; when the

1 Aug. Ser. cccxlix. 5. See also, in addition to the citations in Abp. Trench, Ser. lxxxviii. 12.

2 Heb. xii. 1.

3 St. Matt. xx. 34.

St. Luke xviii. 42. In the ori

ginal it is very graphic. St. Mark reports the exact Syriac word Rabboni, a more honourable title even than Rabbi.

5 St. Luke xviii. 43.

anti-type should appear, and the shadow give place to the substance, and the sun, now at its meridian height, no longer cast a shade. And now up to Jerusalem were ascending from the country round crowds of pilgrims; those chiefly who had contracted some ceremonial defilement from which it was necessary to purify themselves before partaking of this passover. "A marvellous purification; with a murderous will; with homicidal intentions, and blood-stained hands."1 They scrupled to eat bread with unwashen hands who scrupled not to imbrue their hands in innocent blood. For though we are not to confound these new comers with those of whom we lately read, yet we find them afterwards the ready tool of the others. No sooner are they come into the sacred city than, even in the Sanctuary, they begin to inquire for Jesus. The general opinion seems to have been that He would not adventure Himself into this danger. For both the rival parties in Jerusalem, Pharisees and Sadducees, had agreed herein. They had now required any who knew the place of His retirement to betray Him. What a picture this gives us of the Jewish people at this time! We have here a glimpse of life in Jerusalem. We see the people not going up into the Temple to pray, but chatting idly with one another in the precincts; gossiping together; discussing contemporary politics; asking the news of the day. The House of God, the House of Prayer, seemed a resort of loungers. Let us take heed lest there be anything like it among ourselves.

1

Chry. in S. Jo. Hom. lxv. Is. i. 11-16; 1 Cor. v. 8.

2 This unhappily was not confined to the Temple of the Jews. Some Christian Churches could shew the like. Even our own cathedral of St. Paul has been so desecrated; turned

into a regular rendezvous, made a
public promenade; "Paul's," as it was
familiarly called. In The Gulls Horn-
book, published by Thomas Dekker in
1609, we have satirical directions how
a gallant should behave himself in
Paul's Walk. Pope says,

"No place so sacred from such fops is barred,
Nor is Paul's church more safe than Paul's churchyard;
Nay, fly to altars, there they'll talk you dead;
For fools rush in where Angels fear to tread."

In the sixth year of Edward VI. a proclamation was issued "prohibiting plays and fightings in Cathedral Churches, and bringing in horses and mules into the same; whereby may

Essay on Criticism, Part iii.

be gathered what indecencies and profanations were now practised in churches."-Strype's Mem. II. 299, cited in Brewer's ed. of Fuller's Ch. Hist. iv. 90.

CCCCXXIII.

THE RETURN TO BETHANY.

St. John xii. 1, 9–13.

Then Jesus six days before the passover came to Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. Much people of the Jews therefore knew that he was there and they came not for Jesus' sake only, but that they might see Lazarus also, whom he had raised from the dead. But the chief priests consulted that they might put Lazarus also to death; because that by reason of him many of the Jews went away, and believed on Jesus. On the next day much people that were come to the feast, when they heard that Jesus was coming to Jerusalem, took branches of palm trees, and went forth to meet him, and cried, Hosanna: Blessed is the King of Israel that cometh in the name of the Lord.

From Bethany, after a signal work, the Lord had withdrawn.' To Bethany, before a still more signal work, He now returns. Our Evangelist notes the very time. Precious now were the days of the Son of man. We may not marvel that much people of the Jews, a great crowd,3 successive relays of visitors, trooped over from Jerusalem, to see Lazarus and his Restorer side by side. But we must marvel at the infatuation of the men who thought of putting again to death one who had lately, by a power Divine, been raised to life. Such was the blindness of their rage. Yet it speaks well for Lazarus that by reason of Him many of the Jews forsook their former false teachers and believed on Jesus;4 not only seeing him, who had been dead, alive again, but hearing doubtless from those lips, which they had seen sealed in death, loving testimony to the Christ. The events of this next day after the Lord's arrival in Bethany belong to what has since been called, in commemoration of what is here recorded, Palm Sunday. It is the day which ushers in the 3 See the original. Compare St. John xi. 45.

St. John xi. 54.
2 St. Luke xvii. 22.

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