It was a donkey-boy who had helped the other to throw stones at the lambs; and this reminds me that I have something to say about the ass; the most despised and the worst-used of all animals, and yet the one on which the greatest honour has been put, being chosen for its humble, gentle, patient character to assist in setting forth the wonderful humiliation of the Redeemer, the Lord Jesus Christ, who in the greatness of his everlasting majesty and power condescended to stoop low for our sakes. I think you will remember at once what I mean. In the ninth chapter of the book of Zechariah, it is written, “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.”
And you know how this was fulfilled. When our Lord Jesus was about to enter, for the last time, into the holy city of Jerusalem, before his enemies had laid their cruel hands on him, he sent two of the disciples, saying unto them, Go into the village over against you, and straightway ye shall find an ass tied, and a colt with her: loose them, and bring them unto me. They did so; and this meek and lowly Saviour, this King of heaven and earth, descended from the mount of Olives, and rode into Jerusalem, not as the monarchs of this world ride, on a fiery war-horse with proud trappings and surrounded by gleaming swords and spears. No, the blessed Jesus chose no such pomp. He made choice of the humble, despised ass; her trappings were the outer garments of those poor men, fishermen and such like, who followed him; and who took them off, to make, as it were, a saddle and saddle-cloth for their beloved Master; while others, seeing that no more were wanted for that purpose, spread theirs on the ground that he might ride over them. Ah, the day will come when the King of kings and Lord of lords shall ride in vengeance over the persons of his rebellious enemies, as he then rode in meek and lowly state over the garments of his loving friends. And, as you would avoid his wrath on that terrible day, provoke him not now by wanton cruelty to the creatures which he has made. He is very, very merciful to them, and to you. They do you no wrong; do no wrong to them.
How often have I thought of that beautiful scene on the green side of the gently sloping mount of Olives, which rises eastward of the city of Jerusalem, with the brook Kedron sparkling at its feet! You know the Bible tells us, concerning the Lord Jesus Christ, that by Him God made the world; and again, “All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made.” Yet he, the Maker of all things, took upon him the nature of man; and so you see, for once, a poor animal enjoyed even greater privilege and happiness than when the creatures were first brought to Adam; and that animal was no other than the persecuted ass! The Lord showed his tenderness in not separating the dam from her young