XX. Jonah and Jesus.

MATT, xii 41. “The men of
Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall
condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonas;
and, behold, a greater than Jonas is here.”

I. WE are shown that there are different degrees of ad-
vantage involving different amounts of responsibility. The
Ninevites had scanty advantages, and there is something
wonderful in the penitence which sunk their hearts so
suddenly. But consider the abundant privileges that filled
the cup of the Jews. From the beginning they had been
taught of God. Besides, Jonah was the teacher of the one
and Jesus the teacher of the other. God warns the Nine-
vites by one indolent and condemned prophet; He warns
the Jews by His faithful and well-beloved Son. What
has prompted us to tell this tale of two cities in your
hearing? It is because the vast array of spiritual privilege,
greater than ever lighted on any country, has lighted upon
you.
II. The solemnity is deepened by the suggestion that
reluctant witness-bearing will be heard in the judgment of
those least advantaged in condemnation of the greater.
Noah is said to condemn the old world because of his con-
sistency and their unbelief. The Saviour accuses the oft-
warned Capernaum in the presence of the once-warned
Sodom. O this witness of the human against the human!
It is sad to be condemned on the testimony of books, but
sadder surely to have the guilt manifested by our fellows,
whom perhaps on earth we thought “too mean to come
between the wind and our nobility.”
W. Morley Punshon, D.D.