Palm Sunday The Gospel Matt. 21.v.1 Friday Meditation: A Plaine Path-way To Heaven Thomas Hill 1634

Entry into Jerusalem 
c. 1620
GOSPEL (Matt. 21:1-9) 
At that time, And when they drew nigh to Jerusalem and were come to Bethphage, unto mount Olivet, then Jesus sent two disciples, Saying to them: "Go ye into the village that is over against you: and immediately you shall find an ass tied and a colt with her. Loose them and bring them to me. And if any man shall say anything to you, say ye that the Lord hath need of them. And forthwith he will let them go." Now all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying: "Tell ye the daughter of Sion: 'Behold thy king cometh to thee, meek and sitting upon an ass and a colt, the foal of her that is used to the yoke.' " And the disciples going, did as Jesus commanded them. And they brought the ass and the colt and laid their garments upon them and made him sit thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way: and others cut boughs from the trees and strewed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before and that followed cried, saying: "Hosanna to the son of David: Blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord: Hosanna in the highest."

The two disciples Christ sent for the Ass and the Colt through they might think they were now in a manner arrived unto some great honor, and dignity, their Master being like to be made a king by the universal consent of the people, and therefore might think much to be employed in so bas a business: yet they did not so, but went very readily about it, and did as they were commanded, without any excuse ire reply, and not only that which they were command, but more then they were command, spreading their garments upon the beasts, like a foot cloth, for their Master to ride thereon, giving us thereby this lesson, not only to do readily and willingly what we are commanded in the service of God, but more then we are commanded: so did Christ to us, so did Christ to us, suffering a thousand times more then would have sufficed for our redemption: and he did it with such alacrity and delight, that when he went to Jerusalem to suffer for us, he went in triumph and pomp, as though he had gloried and joy to serve such a Master, not only contenting ourselves with his bare commandment but adding diverse other services of our own inventions, as we may find many if we love him indeed; for what will not a lover invent to express his love to one whom the would have to his spouse, as Christ should be unto our souls, and how much do those inventions and love tokens enkindle the other in love.

To abstain from meat and drink either in quality of quantity though never so little, to use a little sobriety or temperance in any recreation or pleasure, though never so lawful, a little since, and the like, If we do it our to the love of God; how doth it enkindle his towards us: when Abraham sent his servant to get a wife for his Son Issac, the servant desired of God he might know by this sign, which was a fit wife for his Masters son to wit if that maid he should go unto should do him more courtesy then he demanded, namely if he should say unto her bow down thy pitcher of water that I may drink, and she should answer: drink thyself, and I will also give water to thy camels: He met with Rebbecca drawing water at a well, who answered him just so there upon he chose her to wife for his Masters son Issac Even so it is an infallible sign, that those who have a desire to do more in the service of God then they are commanded, are worthy spouses of Christ, unless we do more then we are commanded we shall hardily continue long to do what we are commanded.

The things we are commanded, as in deed a strong wall must have a rapier to strengthen it: So must the wall of obedience be strengthened with the rapier of voluntary works of devotion.

Obedience is better then sacrifice that is to say then voluntary works of devotion, and must first be done, but the other not omitted, if we will continue long in obedience.

The two disciples went first and fetched the ass, as they were commanded, and then afterwards they cast their garments upon him, more then they were commanded.

A principal motive thus to do we have here in these words: Behold O Sion thy king, that is to say Christ Jesus who is altogether thine cometh unto thee meekly upon an Ass If he be altogether ours, have we any reason, but to be altogether his and to answer.

Behold O my king that comest into me althogether mine. I thy unworthy subject, and servant, come to thee altogether thine and as thou comest meekly and humble to me sitting upon an ass, so I desire I may become, as the prophet David saith he was, as a beast before thee, that is to say, as patient and tractable to thee, as this kind pf beast thou vouchsafe to ride upon for our example.


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