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grounds for them. “He came and touched the bier, and said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise.” It was a strange saying that “ Weep not,” to the childless widow. What shall we think of this · Arise' to the lifeless corpse ? Fortunately there is no time allowed us for speculation. Behold! he that was dead sits up, and begins to speak; and ere we have yet recovered from our amazement, Christ hath “ delivered him to his mother." Surely, “a great prophet hath risen up among us!” Surely, “ God hath visited his people.”
The review of the passage has occupied so much of our time, that but little remains for a particular application of it. This, however, is the less to be regretted, since the incidents themselves speak in language so plain, as to stand in no great need of an interpreter.-I said that from this portion of Scripture might be derived the most convincing arguments, and the most effectual consolations, for the relief of those who are suffering under the pressure of worldly sorrow.
sons so situated, what consolation can be more full than to be assured, that there is a Being above who sees, and feels for them in all their sufferings—who has full power to assuage, or remove themand has provided for them eventually, a remedy which should animate them in the endurance of their afflictions, by the prospect of the compensation which awaits them when they are past. Assurance is given us on all these points, by the events which took place before the gates of Nain.
“ And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not.” He who on another occasion wept over his bitter enemy, Jerusalem, when he thought upon the woes that awaited her, he who at the grave of Lazarus shed tears of sympathy with those who were lamenting a brother and a friend—he who, in short, never witnessed any scene of human wretchedness without feeling for it, nor perhaps without relieving it—could not, as we have before remarked, suffer distress like that
which now presented itself before him, to pass by unnoticed. At once, and without hesitation, he afforded the stricken mourner relief, as effectual, as it was unasked and unexpected.—If then he was thus “ found of her, who sought him not,” neither knew him—will he hide himself from us, who both know him, and are known of him ? if, at least, we are of that fold, and that flock of whom the Shepherd himself hath said, “ I know my sheep, and am known of mine?." He is in us, and we in him. Can our sorrows be hid from him ? He himself hath felt the burthen of the flesh, and in his agony once needed, and received the support of a ministering angel. Shall he not now “comfort them which are in any trouble, by the comfort wherewith he himself was comforted of God 2 ?" Remember what gracious titles he hath been pleased to apply to us, and say whether any more perfect assurance of love and interest could be imagined, than
1 John X. 14.
2 2 Cor. i. 4.
was given by him, when“ he looked round about on them which sat about him, and said, Behold my mother and my brethren! For whosoever shall do the will of God, the same is my brother, and my sister, and mother 1.”
But we must not be wanting to ourselves, my brethren. We must “ do the will of God,” before we can be admitted to the privileges of God's children in Christ. And this is the will of God concerning us, that through much tribulation we should enter into rest, and that in all our tribulation, we should possess our souls in patience. Let us beware that we fail not on this point. Grief, particularly that kind of grief, which is now more immediately before us, so far from having been forbidden, has been sanctioned and hallowed by the example of Christ, and by an eternal law of the God of nature. But this gives us no authority for an excessive indulgence in it. He who has implanted in our hearts that love of
1 Mark iii. 34, 35.
kindred, from which are derived some of the purest and holiest of our joys, hath so ordained it, that in many cases more real advantage may be derived from the severing of our dearest ties, than could accrue from their uninterrupted continu
But we must “ hear the rod, and who hath appointed it?," and then we shall perceive that though “no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, yet afterwards it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness to them that are exercised thereby ?. And who are the persons so exercised, my brethren? Surely they who, while they do “ weep for the dead” with all that sincerity of woe, which nature dictates, and Scripture allows, yet "sorrow not, as them without hope," sorrow not as those to whom the Bible has not been opened
who know not that “ as Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him?."
1 Micah vi. 9.
? Heb. xii. 11. 1 Thess. iv. 14.