PyroManiac devotes Monday space to highlights from The Spurgeon Archive.
My good friend James Spurgeon (not a direct descendant of the Prince of Preachers, but quite a fine Baptist preacher himself) proofread five new sermons from the 1885 volume of The Metropolitan Tabernacle Pulpit, which have now been added to :
- Cords and Cart-Ropes
- A Great Gospel for Great Sinners
- The History of Sundry Fools
- The Lowly King
- Robinson Crusoe's Text
James promises to proofread more sermons if I keep posting them. Let's encourage him.
Meanwhile, Here's an excerpt from "The Lowly King," a sermon about the amazing prophecy of Zecariah 9:9 ("Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion; shout, O daughter of Jerusalem: 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."):
Now, this riding of Christ upon an ass is remarkable, if you remember that no pretender to be a prophet, or a divine messenger, has imitated it.
Ask the Jew whether he expects the Messiah to ride thus through the streets of Jerusalem. He will probably answer "No." If he does not, you may ask him the further question, whether there has appeared in his nation anyone who, professing to be the Messiah, has, at any time, come to the daughter of Jerusalem "riding upon an ass, and upon a colt the foal of an ass."
It is rather singular that no false Messiah has copied this lowly style of the Son of David. When Sapor, the great Persian, jested with a Jew about his Messiah riding upon an ass, he said to him, "I will send him one of my horses": to which the Rabbi replied, "You cannot send him a horse that will be good enough, for that ass is to be of a hundred colors." By that idle tradition the Rabbi showed that he had not caught the idea of the prophet at all, since he could not believe in Messiah's lowliness displayed by his riding upon a common ass. The rabbinical mind must needs make simplicity mysterious, and turn lowliness into another form of pomp.
The very pith of the matter is that our Lord gave himself no grand airs, but was natural, unaffected, and free from all vain-glory. His greatest pomp went no further than riding through Jerusalem upon a colt the foal of an ass.
The Mohammedan turns round with a sneer, and says to the Christian, "Your Master was the rider on an ass; our Mohammed was the rider on a camel; and the camel is by far the superior beast." Just so; and that is where the Mohammedan fails to grasp the prophetic thought: he looks for strength and honor, but Jesus triumphs by weakness and lowliness.
How little real glory is to be found in the grandeur and display which princes of this world affect! There is far more true glory in condescension than in display. Our Lord's riding on an ass and its foal was meant to show us how lowly our Savior is, and what tenderness there is in that lowliness. When he is proclaimed King in his great Father's capital, and rides in triumph through the streets, he sits upon no prancing charger, such as warriors choose for their triumphs, but he sits upon a borrowed ass, whose mother walks by its side. His poverty was seen, for of all the cattle on a thousand hills he owned not one; and yet we see his more than royal wealth, for he did but say, "The Lord hath need of them," and straightway their owner yielded them up.
No forced contributions supply the revenue of this prince; but his people are willing in the day of his power. He is thy King, O Zion! Shout, to think that thou hast such a Lord! Where the scepter is love, and the crown is lowliness, the homage should be peculiarly bright with rejoicing. None shall groan beneath such a sway; but the people shall willingly offer themselves; they shall find their liberty in his service, their rest in obedience to him, their honor in his glory.