Lord's ministry, in his cleansing the temple, without desiring him to inquire for himself, and in his own instance, whether the same Lord of life and glory hath driven out the buyers and sellers from his heart, and cleansed the affections which in a state of unrenewed nature, are all full of uncleanness; but when changed by sovereign grace, are brought into obedience to the captivity of Christ. Among the truest and most decided testimonies of regeneration, are these which shew that we are delivered from the power of darkness; and are "translated into the kingdom of God's dear Son." Hence the question of the apostle, which while apparently proposing the inquiry, doth at the same time determine the point; "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you?" (1 Cor. vi. 19.) Hence that other Scripture cometh in most blessedly to a farther illustration; "If Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin: but the Spirit is life, because of righteousness." (Rom. viii. 10.) My body, and your body, if in spirit we are regenerated, and made new creatures in Christ Jesus, still feel, and know, and groan, under the workings of corruption. But the feeling them, and groaning under them, differ most materially from the being dead, and unfeeling to the consciousness of them, and the being distressed about them, which is not the character of the "dead in trespasses and sins." Holy men of old felt as believers in Christ now feel; and lamented, as we now lament, that we carry about with us a body of sin and death. Nevertheless, as these things tend to endear Christ; and not unfrequently to awaken the cry of the soul to Christ, to do for us as he did for those in the temple, drive out all the buyers and sellers from our hearts, which is the lawful right of the Lord of the temple to occupy; they are made to minister to this blessed end; namely, to

preserve in our minds a just apprehension of our own worthlessness, and the Lord's all-sufficiency; and by sovereign grace, always preserving alive the remembrance where alone our righteousness and safety is; and in whom alone found, to walk with an holy cautiousness all our days, convinced that we can never trust ourselves too little, or Christ too much. "Surely, shall one say, in the Lord have I righteousness and strength; even to him shall men come; and all that are incensed against him shall be ashamed. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified and shall glory." (Isa. xlv. 24, 25.)


"And when the chief priests and scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying in the temple, and saying, Hosanna to the son of David; they were sore displeased,

"And said unto him, Hearest thou what these say? And Jesus said unto them, Yea; have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?" (Matt. xxi. 15, 16.)


We have here presented to us in this part of the history, what various other parts of the records of our Lord's ministry relate, in the behaviour of the chief priests and scribes upon the occasion. Their indignation brake out at what they beheld. And neither the miraculous cures Jesus wrought on the blind and the lame, nor the hosannas of the children, nor the praises of the healed, had any effect on their hardened and implacable hearts. It is not said, whether those men were among the buyers and sellers in

the temple, when Christ drove them out; or whether, and which is more than probable, they were sent for by Christ's foes to put a check to the authority that the Lord had then exercised in expeling the traders from that sacred place; but it is said that "they saw the wonderful things that he did ;” and heard the children's hosannas! Yes! All these, and more, are without effect, where no grace within operates to impress the most wonderful works without. If the miserable in everlasting chains were liberated, their obduracy would remain. Change of place makes no change of heart!

But from contemplating the awful state of the hardened priests and scribes, let us behold the very blessed testimony those Jewish children gave to our most glorious Lord, in their shouts of hosanna; and let us gather the instruction therefrom, which the Holy Ghost intended for the church in all ages. It was at least a thousand years before this event of Christ's entry into Jerusalem, that David, under the spirit of prophecy, delivered the sweet Scripture which the Son of God here quoted, and applied to himself: "Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise?” (Psalm viii. 2.) And who but must conclude that the Lord the Spirit, which inspired David's mind to deliver the Scripture, prompted those babes of Jerusalem to fulfil it? From whence should such a company of little children have been stimulated to acts of this nature, but from the over-ruling power of God? Were they not Jewish children; many of whose fathers, no doubt, were among the enemies of Christ? And is it not probable, that if their parents were of those who were profaning the temple with their trade, their children were there making it the place of their play? When therefore the Lord of the temple entered, and scattered his enemies before him; and the blind

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he opened; and made the lame to leap as an hart; suddenly the same Almighty power wrought in the hearts of those children; and however unconscious of the testimony they bore, they cried out, "Hosanna to the Son of David."

I take occasion herefrom to admonish all godly parents, to gather instruction from a scene so beautiful and interesting; and that they fail not to introduce their children, even their little children, betimes to the house of the Lord. Who shall say at what tender age impressions of grace are sometimes begun! It is recorded in the word of God itself, concerning Timothy, that "from a child he had known the Holy Scriptures." And the names of his grandmother Lois, and his mother Eunice, are recorded in the book of God on this account; whose history, but for this reason very likely, we should not have known: "the unfeigned faith that was in them." (2 Tim. 1–5. iii. 15.) That God himself takes pleasure in the attention shewn by godly parents to this gathering of their household to sacred worship, is evident from what the Lord hath said by one of his prophets. For when commanding a solemn assembly, and sanctifying the congregation, the Lord added to the precept; not only to assemble the elders, but to gather their children; "and those that suck the breasts," ;" yea, (Joel ii. 16.) as if their very presence had weight with the Lord. And as if the Lord meant to have it impressed upon the minds of his people, that as the cry of the infant prompted the mother instantly to take it to her breast, so the Lord would give to his redeemed ones the milk of consolation; "that they might suck out and be delighted with the abundance of the Lord's glory." I said, " as if their very presence had weight with the Lord." And I beg the expression to be noticed by the godly reader. For as the Lord Jesus, in the days of his flesh, when

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sending his deciples to teach and to preach in the cities, gave a precept, blended with a promise to this amount, I confess that I lay great stress upon it: "Into whatsoever house," said Jesus, "ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house. And if the son of peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: if not, it shall turn to you again." (Luke x. 5, 6.) By the son of peace being there, is evidently implied one of the Lord's chosen ones. And if but an infant, too young to know the Lord, yet known of the Lord; "for the Lord knoweth them that are his.” (2 Tim. ii. 19.) Yea, and if there be but one such in the house, and no other; however the child itself is unconscious of it, yet there the peace of Christ is! "A little leaven leaveneth the whole lump." (1 Cor. v. 6.) On this account, the very youngest branches of a house or family, should always make part of the congregation, whenever health and convenience so favour. And I blush not to say, that I behold such with more than ordinary delight, knowing that they, as much as their elders, are included in that promise: "Whenever two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them." (Matt. xviii. 20.)

It is possible that these lines may fall under the observation of some very young children: and though what I have said cannot be noticed by babes at the breasts; yet if farther advanced to read the word of God, and to remark what is here written about elder children also, my prayers accompany my pen, that the Lord may render it useful to his little ones. If the Lord Jesus hath so expressed himself, with such tenderness, as to command little children to be brought unto him, and rebuked those that would have kept them from him, will he not always have his eye upon them, and do as he did in the days of his flesh; for he took them up in his arms, put his hands upon them, and blessed them. (Mark x. 13. 16.) Was

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