And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,…
I. THIS THY DAY. The day of thy visitation, the day when God's goodness and grace were especially near thee; the day of dawning hopes and bright promises; the day which, if it had been welcomed and used aright, might have coloured, ennobled, and redeemed all the rest. It was the day when, as youths, we left our father's house to take our place in the busy world, when thoughts of duty and honour, of true work and faithful service, were fresh and strong in our breasts, when we were resolved, God helping us, there should be no idle hours, no corrupting habits, no dread secrets which could not be breathed or even thought of in the sanctity of the home, or in the presence of our sister or our mother. Or, it was the day when some heavenly vision of the beauty of goodness, of the sacredness of service, of the helpfulness of prayer, of the nearness of God to your innermost soul, filled your heart with its glow and peace, and you longed and vowed ever to cherish the kindly light, ever to obey the heavenly voice, ever to walk with God, and repose in Him. Or, it was the day when, after some sad fall, or after many reckless, wasted years, you came to yourself, you saw from the very edge the precipice to which you had come, you felt keenly and bitterly the misery of the shame into which you had sunk, and, for the first time, Christ's vision of the face and heart of God, of the Father seeking the poor prodigal, brought penitence and hope; when thoughts of Christ, with His words of forgiveness and help and peace, seemed welcome and consoling to you, as rest at last to the sleep. less brain, or kindly, gentle care to the fever-stricken patient.
II. IF THOU HADST KNOWN AT LEAST IN THIS THY DAY. 'Tis one of the sorrows of life that we spend a lifetime in gaining the needful experience. " Human experience," says Coleridge, " like the stern-lights of a ship at sea, too often only illuminates the faith we have passed over." The youth does not know the value of the school till alter he has left it, or the comfort and charm of the home till it is broken up and he is alone in the world; the man does not know the value of time, or health, or money, or character, till harsh misfortune or his own fault have deprived him of them; we do not fully realize how much we needed the companionship, example, and sympathy of friends till death has snatched them from us. And so with spiritual blessings and opportunities.
III. THE THINGS THAT BELONG ONTO THY PEACE. The life of Christ in the heart. The service of our heavenly Father here and now.
(J. T. Stannard.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And when he was come near, he beheld the city, and wept over it,