The Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology
by Mark Frank
[Oxford: John Henry Parker, 1849]
transcribed by Dr
A SERMON ON PALM SUNDAY
S. Matt. xxi.8
And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.
THE ÔbranchesÕ in the text point you out what day it is. S. John calls some of them at least Ôpalm branches,Õ and the Church calls the day ÔPalm Sunday,Õ Dominica Palmarum, the day wherein our blessed Lord, riding as ÔLord and Bishop of our souls,ÕÑhis visitation to Jerusalem upon an ass,Ñwas met with a kind of solemn procession by the people, Ôa very great multitude of them,Õ says our Evangelist, and had his way strewed with boughs, and bespread with clothes the best they had, as is usual in princely entertainments, and triumphs, and processions.
And it is both a day and business worth remembering, wherein we see the triumph of humility, whereby we are taught both humility and its reward. Christ's mercy and man's rejoicing in it, Christ's way of coming to us and our way of going out to meet and entertain him: things worthy consideration. All that was this day done were so, but they are many; and though they all concern us much, yet our own duty concerns us most,Ñto know with what dispositions, which way, and how to meet and receive our Lord, come he never so meanly, never so slowly to us; upon horse or ass, by mountain or valley, gloriously or humbly to us; though come he hoe he will it will be humbly,Ñthe greatest imaginable condescension even to come unto us.
I shall stir out neither of the text nor time to mind us of our duty in the way of receiving Christ, nor desire more matter to spend the hour than the words will give me. Only I must take both the letter and spirit of them. If we look to the history and letter, many remarkable we shall meet with; if to the mystery and spirit, more and more punctually to our purposes. By both we shall be abundantly fitted against Christ's coming to us, and for our due receiving him, the sacramental, within few days now at hand, not excepted; nay, the spirit of the words may be as fitly applied to that, to the sacramental receiving him, as any other; to teach us how to receive and meet him there as well as any where else.
Consider we the words, then, under both notions,Ñwhat they did as to the letter,Ñwhat we are taught to do by the mystery and spirit. In each these three particulars:
I. The persons that go out to meet Christ and entertain him; the multitude, Ôa very great multitude.Õ
II. The ceremony and respect they meet him and entertain him with; some Ôspread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the tress, and strawed them in the way.Õ
III. The way and place they meet and entertain him in, both the one and the other Ôin the way.Õ
There they met him,Ñso they there entertained him, so many hundreds years ago, in the literal sense; in the same way and manner in the spiritual sense are we to entertain him every year and all our years and days to come. And by thus canvassing the text, and taking both senses of it, we shall plainly see we have good reason to remember a Palm Sunday,Ñthe Church so entitle it, so to prepare us both to the Passion and the Resurrection, by spreading still before us these branches of palms and olives, by insinuating this way unto us as the properest to entertain our Saviour in, to usher in the thoughts of both the Passion and Resurrection, both his and ours, and fit us both for them both.
I begin with the persons of the day, and them I find the Ômultitude.Õ A ÔmultitudeÕ for their quality; a Ôvery great multitudeÕ for their number.
(1.) The ÔmultitudeÕ for their quality are the common people. And, Interdum vulgus rectum videt, says the poet, ÔSometimes,Õ it seems, Ôthe common people see what is right.Õ No people of so low or mean understanding but may come to the knowledge of Christ, and understand the ways of salvation. The rabbis had a proverb, that Non requiescit Spiritus Domini super pauperem, ÔThe Spirit of the Lord rests not upon the poor;Õ and the Pharisees had taken up somewhat like it, when they give the people no better style than of cursed,Õ and such as Ôknow not the law.Õ Their blessing, then, comes by Christ, it seems so they may well honour him upon that score. ÔTo the poor the Gospel is preached,Õ is one of the tokens he sends S. John Baptist, to evidence himself the true Messiah; quite contrary to the Pharisees' Hic populus qui non novit, ÔThis people that knoweth not the law.Õ The ÔGospel,Õ the law of Christ, the far better law, Ôis preached,Õ it seems, Ôto the poorÕ by him, and spiritus is now joined with pauperes. The spirit and poor together we find in his first sermon and first beatitude, Ôthe poor in spirit;Õ and awhile after, Quam difficile, etc. ÔHow hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God!ÕÑthe condition altered, the poor advanced, the rich depressed, a good reason why the ÔmultitudeÕ should follow and respect him, and a great testimony of our Saviour's mercy and humility so to honour mean things.
Yet (2) that the ÔmultitudeÕ may not forget themselves, as they are too prone to do, to ride, you know whither, when they are set a-horseback; they may remember, Christ would Ônot commit himself unto them.Õ He needed not their honour; he knew what they would do in a few days hence, cry as many ÔCrucifysÕ as they did to-day ÔHosannas;Õ as fast to crucify him as now to bless him. Indeed, they are easy to be seduced and led away by any Ôwind of doctrine,Õ new teachers and seducers. We have found it so of late; Christ and his Church, and his religion more dishonoured by the madness than he was honoured here. They have stripped himself and his Church of all the garments and ornaments to clothe themselves, instead of stripping themselves or spreading their own garments to honour him. Yet, for all that, of such giddy pieces as these Christ does not always refuse to be honoured, that we may know he does not deal with us after our sins, nor reject us for our weaknesses, much less condemn or damn us for them before we have committed them.
Nay, perhaps, (3,) he accepts this honour from this Ômultitude,Õ that he might show us what all worldly honour is; how fickle, how inconstant, how vain it is, to puff up ourselves with the breath of men, to feed ourselves with their empty air. They that are now ready to lick the dust of some great man's feet, and spread not their garments only, but their bodies for him to go overÑnot only to cut down boughs to strew his way, but to cut down every one that stands any way in his way if he would have itÑwill, within a few days, upon a little change, be as ready to trample upon that great one they so much honour, and even cut his throat if he command anything that pleases not their humour, or crosses their private interests and designs. This very Ômultitude,Õ so eager to-day to exalt Christ to the highest in their loud hosannas, are as fair on Friday to exalt him to the cross by their louder cryings. He yet would suffer them to give him honour, that you might know all earthly honour what it is.
But (4) he thus receives this honour from the Ômultitude,Õ that he might provoke great ones by their example. S. Paul tells us that Ôsalvation was come unto the Gentiles to provoke the Jews to jealousy,Õ that they might, in a holy strife and indignation, endeavour to outgo them. It is the like intended here, that we might think much that simple men and women should outstrip us, the ignorant know more of piety and religion, do more at least; the poor and meanest bestow more, much more, on Christ than we with all our wit, and wealth, and greatness, and honour.
And in this (5) appears as well his power as providence and wisdom, that he should out of such stones as these Ôraise up children unto Abraham,Õ that he should thus Ôout of the mouths of babes and sucklings perfect his own praise,Õ make the child as eloquent as the orator, the women as valiant in his service as the stoutest men, the people understand that which the learned doctors would not see. ÔEven so, O Father, for so it pleased thee to reveal those things to babes and sucklings, and hide them from the wise.Õ His only doing it was neither their doing nor deserving, and it is Ômarvellous in our eyes,Õ an evidence of the freeness of his power, that he can do what he pleases, that he does what he lists; no man can hinder him; none able to contradict him.
This (6) shows his omniscience and his truth, that nothing that he foretells, not a tittle of it, shall fall any time to the ground. He had foretold it by his prophet, that the Ôdaughter of Zion should rejoice, and the daughter of Jerusalem shout for joy:Õ and here we have it to a tittle; even their sons and daughters doing it; Ôa very great multitudeÕ it is, and children and women in it; Ôchildren in the Temple,Õ and Ôthe whole city moved;Õ all sexes then, that the prophecy might be fulfilled to the last letter. So punctual is he of his word.
Yet to fulfil, it is Ôa very great multitudeÕ in the text, that we (1) might know that he that was here met by so great a company was the Saviour of all, as many as would come, that would spread their garments to receive him, make him any kind of entertainment, though but strew boughs and rushes for him. That (2) the world might know that he was going to his Passion, he went freely too; he could as well have used these multitudes to preserve himself as thus strangely to do him honour; made them have bespread him with arms and weapons as well as arms and boughs of trees; strewed the way with their bodies in his defence, as well as their garments in his honour; but he would suffer death, and therefore would not suffer that. To tell us (3) that he should be served hereafter by great multitudes, and not by little handfuls of men and women; this was but a forerunner of the great multitudes of those that should hereafter believe on him.
Upon such grounds as these it is that the Eternal Wisdom so uses this Ôgreat multitudeÕ here to set forth his glory, makes them do that which themselves yet do not understand; to tell us (1) he is a Saviour of the poor and needy as well as of the rich and wealthy; that he does not (2) utterly refuse man's service though he knows it is not to last long; to teach us (3) all the glory and honour we receive from men is but transitory and quickly vanishing; to provoke us, (4,) by their doings, to a godly jealously and contention to outdo them; to ascertain us (5) of the exact performance of every iwta of his promises; to intimate, lastly, to us, that he is the Saviour of us, willingly comes to suffer that he may be so, that he may purchase a Church, Ôgreat multitude,Õ by it to himself. Thus you have some kind of glimmering light why this Ôgreat multitudeÕ are employed in this way of honouring him by the way. And yet there is a mystery beyond it.
This ÔmultitudeÕ throngs together, to inform us (1) how Christ would be served and honouredÑwith full assemblies and congregations. The places where he comes he loves to see crowded with devout worshippers, to hear them encouraging and heightening one another with, ÔI come, let us worship and fall down, and kneel before God our Maker,Õ and by outward reverence, gestures, and expressions, provoking one another to his service.
It instructs us, (2,) that there is neither man nor woman; master nor servant, old man or child, poor or rich, to be out in giving glory to him; all sexes, ages, and conditions to flow together to do him service; the very children to lisp it out; they that have not a rag to cover shame may have a leaf to honour him; they that cannot, are not able to cut down a bough, may strew it yet; that cannot lift a branch, may hold a twig, do somewhat or other to his entertainment.
It preaches (3) to us, that there is nothing readier to serve him then the poor in spirit; that the spirit which most does him honour, which is ever most ready to do it to him, is the poor and humble spirit, such as ranks itself lowest, thinks meanest of itself, none so mean in the meanest multitude. Here is the spirit of this Ôvery great multitude,Õ the spiritual sense it speaks, a serving Christ with a poor and humble spirit, and bringing ourselves, and all ours, our very children, to speak or point out his praise, to do it too Ôin the great congregation,Õ as the Psalmist speaks, to Ôpraise him among much people.Õ
And not only so, but with much ceremony too; so we read in the next particular, some Ôspread their garments in the way; other cuts down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way.Õ
II. These ceremonies, neither of them, were strange among the Jews, in the days of joy or triumph, or the inauguration of kings and princes. When Jehu was anointed king, we find every man hasting to take his own garment and put it under him; spreading them as carpets for him to walk on. And in the Feast of Tabernacles, it was commanded them Ôto take boughs of goodly trees, branches of palm trees, and the boughs of thick trees, and willows of the brook, and so rejoice before the Lord;Õ whence afterward it became usual in all feasts of solemn joy to do as much. So we read, Simon entering the tower of Jerusalem, Ôwith thanksgivings, and branches of palm trees;Õ and when Judas Maccab¾us had recovered and cleansed the temple, Ôthey bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also,Õ rejoicing for it. So that the reason is ready, why the multitude met Jesus in this fashion. They would long before have made him king; they believed he was the Messiah, the King of Israel; and therefore thus go out to meet him and receive him. They had heard his word, they had seen his miracles, ÔNever man,Õ say the very Pharisees' officers, Ôspake like him;Õ with more authority and power he, than all their Jewish doctors and rabbis all together,Ñnever man did such things as he,Ñand therefore no wonder if the people do some strange things too, to express their opinions of him.
But the matter is not so much what they do, as what we learn by Christ's suffering then to do so. And by it we (1) first gather, that Christ is no enemy to outward ceremonies and respects, to outward civilities and expressions.
That (2) he dislikes not neither even the ceremonies of solemn joys and triumphs, of respects done to kings, and princes, and great persons, or public congratulations with them in the days of their joy, or of any public joy, or particular gladness, as occasion shall present it.
That (3) he rejects not even the old and ancient ceremoniesÑis as much content with such as any other; these were no other, and yet he sticks not to receive them, stumbles not at them.
Nay (4,) even in his service and for his own honour he accepts them; is not only content, but pleased also that they should do them to himself. It is the Pharisees only, and pharisaical spirits; men of mere pretended piety and religion, whose devotion is only to be seen of men, whose whole business is to appear holier than others, not to be so, that find fault with the doing of it, that would have them rebuked for it. To whom Christ answers, that if they did not, Ôthe stonesÕ would do more; they, even they, would both Ôcry outÕ against them for their silence, and not doing it, and do what they could to express that joy of his coming to Jerusalem, of which they seemed insensible. The very trees would bow themselves, and every branch shake off its leaves, and spread the ways, if men should not spread their garments; break off themselves, if they would not cut them down to strew them; the very stones of the wall fall themselves into an even pavement, to kiss the feet of their Lord and Maker. Insensible and senseless stones, are men the while, that deny Christ external reverence, outward worship, reverent and ceremonious approaches to him, that make I know not what senseless arguments and excuses, idle scruples and pretences against old good significant ceremonies in his service to his honour. The very stones confute them, and Christ's telling us, thee would cry if men should not, signifies as well, they would bow, and worship, and fall down, beautify the ways and places where he comes, if men should not,Ñrear themselves into temples and altars, if men should be so irreligious not to raise and employ them to it. I now spare any other confutation.
We learn, (5,) by Christ's suffering them, and God's secret moving them, thus to spread the ways with boughs and garments, that he would be acknowledged to be that great He, to whom all creatures owe themselves, to whom all are to be devoted, who is to be served with all, even to a thread; the trees to pay their boughs, and men their garmentsÑto strip themselves to the very skin, and consecrate even their garments to his honour, to lay them at his feet, to resign all to him, to be content that he, nay the very ass he rides on, should trample on us, if it be to his praise and glory, that that may be augmented by it.
Lastly, This spreading the way with garments and palm branches, was the way of entertaining conquerors in their triumphs; and by his disposing it at this times to himself, he gave them to understand, that he was the conqueror over death and hell. In this only differing from other conquerors, that he triumphs before his conquestÑnone so but he, because none certain of the victory till it perfected but he. This might go for a mystery among the rest, but it concerns those persons peculiarly, and those times. The mystery of this point as it concerns us, we are next to see; how these garments and branches, this spreading and strewing, belong to us,Ñhow we are still so to spread our garments and strew our branches before Christ.
Now, garments (1) pass in the account for riches; and he that either bestows plentifully upon the poor, that clothes the naked, and feeds the hungry, and supplies the needy with any thing to cover, comfort, or refresh him, and spreads God's holy house and table with offerings, gives or does any thing to beautify his service, to add honour and solemnity to his worship, spreads his garments before Christ.
(2.) Garments are reckoned among necessaries; and he that not only out of his superfluity, but, as the Apostle testifies of the Corinthians, out of his poverty also, abounds unto the riches of liberality, that spares somewhat from his necessities, spread even his inner garment at the feet of Christ.
But (3) the garments the multitude her spread were honorary; the outward vestments and more honourable, that we might know our honours also are to be laid aside; nay, laid down to be trod upon by any ass for Christ's sake, we to count nothing of our honour in comparison of his, tread all under foot, and reckon nothing so honourable as the reproach of Christ.
(4.) Garments are a shelter from the injury of wind and weather, of heat and cold. Yet if Christ's business require it of us, we must not think much to lie open to storm and tempest, to be deprived of house and shelter, of robes and ragsÑnothing too muchÑnothing enough for Christ.
(5.) To spread our garments under one's feet, was construed for a profession of subjection and obedience to him for whom we spread, or to whom we send then; so to spread our garments in the way of Jesus, is to profess, and promise, and begin obedience to him, the chief spreading the way that her desires, the best way of entertaining him.
(6.) Our righteousness is called our garment. This also we are to spread before him, that he may consecrate and hallow it; till he has set his mark upon it, and sealed it, it will not pass for current; all our righteousness and obedience must have his stamp to confirm it, his robes to lengthen it, his righteousness to make it right.
Lastly, to spread our garments to receive him, may have a kind of reflection upon the preparation we are making for the blessed Sacrament. We must open our bosoms, disrobe ourselves, spread our garments, stretch out our hands, open our bosoms by confession, disrobe and dismantle ourselves by renouncing all former vanities, spread all the good thoughts, and affections, and desires we can, stretch out our souls in all holy vows and resolutions, to receive and entertain him. Nay, all the former garments and spreadings may again be repeated and remembered here. We must spread out our garments upon the backs of the poor, spread ourselves before the altar upon the pavement with all humility and devotion, neglect and trample upon all private respects and interests, lay aside all vain desires of honour and greatness, despoil ourselves of all trust and confidence in ourselves, or in the arm of flesh, faithfully protest and renew the vow of obedience and subjection, acknowledge our own no righteousness till he accepts it; thus spread our garments all we can, to receive him with honour and joy.
But if it so fall out, that we either have not some of these kind of garments, those we have be not worth the spreading, we may yet Ôcut down branches from the tress, and straw in the way,Õ at least where our garments will not reach. Now several sorts of branches there were, which we may conceive the ÔmultitudeÕ made use of. Two more particularly, palms and olives; yet from Nehemiah we may gather more; Ôolive branches, and pine branches, and myrtle branches, and palm branches, and branches of thick trees,Õ he reckons up, and bids them fetch to make them tents and tabernacles, the like likely also here; and in Leviticus, willows are added to; in brief, any such as were at hand, that grew by the way from Mount Olivet to Jerusalem. These to the letter; shall we see what spirit we can draw from them?
1. ÔBranches of palm treesÕ by name, St. John tells us, they came out of Jerusalem to meet him with. And palms (i) are the emblems of patience and perseverance; they cannot be depressed with any weight; but the more you press them the more they rise; and so may teach us the patience of the Cross, not to look sad for any hardship that shall befall us in the way to Christ; but the more we suffer for him, the more to bear up and lift up our heads, that our redemption draweth nigh, Palms thence (ii.) are signs of victory, so being here as it were to Christ, they intimate to us both to whom to give the glory of all the victory we get over our sins, and passions, and so to labour ourselves against them, that we may be thought worthy to overcome them.
2. ÔBranches of olivesÕ could not probably but be here too; the meeting was upon Mount Olivet, a place full of olives; and olives are the emblems of peace and meekness, of mercy and softness: nothing so smooth, so softening, so suppling, as oil, to teach us what spirit we are of if we be Christ's; this the offering he is most pleased with, the disposition he most delights in; his way is spread with Ôolive branches,Õ is a way of sweetness,Ñhis yoke an easy yoke, full of rest and peace to the wearied soul; the Christian's way must be so too,Ña sweet and quiet temper in us through all our ways.
3. We may have leave to conjecture from that cited place of Leviticus and Nehemiah, there were other sorts besides. Pine branches, or as some render the word, branches of balsam and cedar trees.
Now the pine and cedar are tall, straight, and upright trees, and may mind us of high heavenly thoughts, pure and upright intentions, straight and regular affections, to run forth to meet him with.
In particular, (1,) the pine is a tree, says Pliny, that is never but bearing fruit; it has perpetually three years' fruit upon it, and ripens month by month. What a glorious tree is this to present to Christ! a soul always bearing fruit, fruit after fruit, fruit upon fruit, Ôadding to faith, virtue; to virtue, knowledge; to knowledge, temperance; to temperance, patience; to patience, godliness; to godliness, brotherly kindness; to brotherly kindness, charity,Õ as S. Peter advises us; bearing still one fruit upon earth, for the great years, the three great ages of our lifeÑyouth, manhood, and old age, till we bring our years to an end.
The cedar next, (2,) is a sweet lasting woodÑwill not take worm, corrupt, or lose its scent; and the branches of it shadow out thus much to us, that in the actions we present to Christ, there be no worms, by bye intentions, no corrupt affections,Ñall sweet, and incorrupt, and a continued constancy, and continuance in them.
The balsam, or balm tree, (3,) is a tree medicinal to heal and cure wounds. And Ôis there no balm in Gilead, no physician there?Õ says the prophet Jeremiah. If there be not, here there is; upon Mount Olivet there is here, upon Mount Calvary there is, in Christ's death and passion, to which he here is going; let us then bring balm branches thence, and strew the way; acknowledge our Physician, in whom our health; He that heals the lame, the blind, the sick, and all.
(4.) Nehemiah mentions myrtle branches, as usual in such solemnities as these. It was a tree, says Pliny, dedicated to love; and the boughs of it may teach us upon whom all our love is bestowed,Ñall upon Christ.
At the Feast of Tabernacles, from whence this spreading the ways were borrowed, we read of willows, Ôthe willows of the brook;Õ and they may denote unto us, that we are to sit down with the willows a little by the waters, look upon ourselves in the streams or repentant tears, and then bring our branches so watered to strew the way of Christ.
There is yet lignum nemorosum, the branches of thick trees behind, to tell us that are to strew the ways not here and there with our piety and good works, but thick everywhere, as thick as may be, that so we may even cover the way, hide the earth, all appearance of earth, or earthly, sensual, worldly desires and thoughts, when we are coming to receive our Lord.
Thus I have brought you to the trees, showed you what to spread Christ's way with; you must now cut down the branches, and strew the way; take others in your hand and present him with. And with joy, and gladness, and thankful hearts, both accept the infinite favour he does you to come to you, and rejoice in it. It is time now I say somewhat of the ÔwayÕ he comes, the ÔwayÕ you are to meet him in.
III. Between Mount Olivet and Jerusalem it was, from the mount into the temple. Upon the mount he preached, and in the temple he taught, and there in his word you are to meet him; and that the word pass not away as the wind and empty air, you are to come with it with prepared hearts, to open your ears, to spread your hearts to entertain it, to bring the boughs of olives,Ñpeaceable and pliant dispositions; boughs of palms,Ñconquered passions; boughs of cedar,Ñconstant resolutions; boughs of myrtle,Ñloving affections, to it; and from Mount Olivet to Jerusalem, remember it is from the mount of peace to the city of peace, that you may not forget to come in the unity of the Church's peace, without schism, or faction, or schismatical and factious intentions, if you look to meet Christ there.
In both Olivet and Jerusalem you see there is a mystery: the ÔbranchesÕ and ÔgarmentsÕ cover mysteries all the Ôway,Õ are kinds of sacraments; and in the blessed sacraments it is we receive Christ Jesus. Throw we then our ÔgarmentsÕ in the way, cast all our own from us, that we may have none but Christ; bring palms, and pines, and olives, cedars, and myrtles, and willows; all thick and all green, verdant, pleasing graces, virtues, and affections to them; spread them all at the foot of the altarÑthat is the ass that Christ rides on; the holy elements they that carry him, they that convey him to us. There is our Conquerors, let us bring palms; there is our Peace-maker, let us bring olive branches; there is Ôthe Lord our righteousness,Õ let us bring the upright pine; there is our Ôsweet-smelling savourÕ in the eyes of God our eternal redemption, let us bring cedar-boughs; there is the great Physician of our souls, let us bring him balm; there is our love, let us bring him myrtle; there is the well-spring of our life, let us bring willows; there is the fulness of our good and happiness, let us bring him the branches of thick trees.
That we may do it better, remember this ÔwayÕ is the way to the Cross; this procession to his Passion. This the way, his Cross and Passion the mediation we are to receive him in. Let us readily strip ourselves of all our ÔgarmentsÕ for him who is stripped presently of all his for us. Let us cover him with palms, and crown him with olives; let us make it our business and delight to be always strewing his way before him, to be doing all our endeavours we can to entertain him. Let us leave no branch of virtue out -spread them as thick as possibly upon this earth of oursÑcover ourselves with them, that we may be the Ôway,Õ our souls and bodies the ÔwayÕ for him.
And now you see, I hope, how fit Palm Sunday is to usher in the Passion, to precede the receiving Christ; the very trees of the wood have told you it: I shall do no moreÑspread the boughs no further. It is you now must strew them, or I have but hitherto strewed in vain.
The work is not to be done singly by the preacher,Ñit is the ÔmultitudeÕ that is to do it too; it is to be done in public, it is to be done in private, it is to be done by the Apostles, it is to be done by the people, it is to be done by men, women, and children, old and young, poor and richÑall to bear a part by the way, if they hope to come to the happy end; every one either to spread his garment, or strew a branch, or bring a sprig; some one thing, some anotherÑbut all something to the honour of Christ; to do it with much solemnity and respect, outward and inward, all of it, as to one that deserves all that we can do to strew our souls, to strew our bodies, to fill our hands, to spread all our powers and affections, to entertain him; to strew our souls with palms and olives, pines and cedars, myrtles, and willows, patience and meekness, uprightness and constancy, love and repentance and all holy virtuesÑas thick, as full, as fair as may be; think nothing too much, nothing enough to do or suffer in his service.Then shall our ÔgarmentsÕ truly cover us, and keep us warm; then shall our ÔtreesÕ bring forth fruit, when boughs and garments are thus employed; then shall our ÔwaysÕ be strewed with peace, every one Ôsit under his own vine,Õ and drink the wine of it; then shall our ÔbranchesÕ cover the hills, and Ôstretch out unto the river.Õ He that is the ÔBranchÕ in the Prophet's style, shall so spread them for it, give us the Ôtree of lifeÕ for these lifeless boughs, and for the spreading our ÔgarmentsÕ over him, spread his garment over usÑthe Ôrobe of righteousness,Õ the garment of glory, where, strewing our ÔgarmentsÕ and ÔbranchesÕ with this Ôgreat multitudeÕ in the text, we shall, with that Ôgreat multitudeÕ in the Revelation, Ôof all nations, which no man can number, stand before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white garments, and palms in our hands,Õ singing and saying, ÔSalvation unto our God, which sitteth upon the throne; and to the Lamb, Blessing, and glory, and wisdom and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might, be unto our God for ever and ever.Õ Amen.