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which he spoke. But still greater would be the amazement of all, at what followed.
(Ver. 14.)" And he came and touched the bier, and they that bare him stood still; and he said, Young man, I say unto thee, arise! And he that had been dead sat up, and began to speak."
What a power and authority is this, to command the dead, and they obey! St. Paul says, (Rom. iv. 17.) "It is God who quickeneth," maketh alive the dead. It can be effected by no less power than that which first gave them being. And this the great Creator had now communicated to the blessed Jesus; by which also, at the last great day, he will be impowered to call all the innumerable dead to life, as he now did this young man.
It is said, "He that had been dead sat up, and began to speak."
This was undoubted assurance of life being restored.
The narrative concludes:
"And he delivered him to his mother."
How striking is our Lord's modesty and humility upon this occasion! No show or ostentation: but he restores the young man in perfect health to his mother, therein intimat
ing the duty he owed to her for the tender love she had shown for him; and would probably remind them, that it was God whom they were to thank, who had made himself the instrument of his goodness to them. For he never assumed any thing to himself. And we cannot doubt but that he always made some seasonable remark, and gave brief useful admonitions, on such awful occasions, when more likely to sink into the minds of the hearers, though the sacred historians wisely omitted such things as were not necessary, and which their readers would easily suppose for themselves.
The evangelist concludes with telling us, what was the reflection which was made by the spectators of what had passed, which our Lord had probably suggested to them;
(Ver. 16.) "And there came a fear on all: and they glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen up among us; and that God hath visited his people." i. c. They were filled with awe and reverence of the power of God, and celebrated and praised his goodness, who had condescended to send among them such an extraordinary prophet as this testified Jesus to be. You cannot but observe here, by the way, that
that St. Luke himself informs us how we are to understand that language of the scriptures used here, and so frequently found in the prophet Isaiah, of God's coming to men at the first publishing of the gospel by Christ, which some have heedlessly mistaken as if Christ was the great God himself; whereas our evangelist expressly teaches, that God's visiting his people at that time did not imply his coming to them himself in person, but his coming to them by Christ, his great prophet and messenger to them.
We must now turn ourselves to make some remarks. And,
We find from several passages in the gospel history, that our Lord raised more persons to life after they were dead than the evangelists have recounted.
Matthew and Mark content themselves with relating the history of Jairus's daughter being recalled to life; Luke omits this, but relates. this account of the widow of Nain's son. And John mentions only the restoration of Lazarus to life after he had been four days dead.
This shows that they did not study to set off their divine Master, or to make the most
of his great actions; and that they had not views, but to deliver such a number of well authenticated miracles, as might be sufficient for the confirmation of that excellent doctrine that Jesus taught, and, that all men might know that the Father had sent him..
In general, our Lord did not choose the persons whom he miraculously healed, for this would not have had a good appearance, and might have given room for cavil and suspicion of some secret combination, and so have made them less regarded. Therefore he commonly took such objects as were presented to him. But here he went out of his wonted course to do a kind action unasked, moved with pity for a most afflicted woman: yet not unmindful therein of the great errand for which he had his extraordinary powers bestowed, to exhibit to the multitude a proof of these, that they might fear God. and believe in him, his messenger, and receive and follow the holy lessons he taught them from: him.
For this was his constant aim; that those miraculous beneficent acts, which he wrought. in relieving men's deplorable bodily infirmities, should promote the heavenly Father's design of saving mankind, by giving credit to that doc
doctrine which is of sovereign efficacy to cure men of their evil habits and vicious ungodly dispositions, the worst and most fatal disease of all others: a healing effect which it has produced in all ages, and is capable of producing upon all who will attend to its wise counsels, and be influenced by them.
This compassionate Saviour said to the sorrowful mother; "Weep not." He did not however thereby, with the Stoic pride, forbid or condemn sorrow. For he was wise to know that the tear will and ought to flow, when those we love and esteem are taken away from us.
But his words to her were words of comfort, whereby he gave her room to hope, that he would remove the cause of her sad dejection: which he instantly accomplished.
Such a distinction would not have been paid to any but one of a pious and virtuous mind, which our Lord knew by the divine wisdom imparted to him. And happy was this mourner, who found such a friend to dry up her tears at a moment, and in a way of which she could not entertain the least expectation.
Nor will the like comfort be wanting, in