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he is mild and gentle; but firm and stable. The work which he appoints is easy, being exactly proportioned to the strength of his followers; and it is that kind of work which always affords the purest delight. His “ways are ways of pleasantness, and all his paths are peace." Let us then look up to him as our Ruler, and enquire, “Lord, what wouldst thou have me to do?" Then we may rely upon his protection in danger; and in want he will plentifully supply us out of the riches of his fulness.
II. THE ENDS OF THIS JOURNEY.
Our blessed Lord had many important ends in view in his journey to Bethany :
1. He went to comfort a distressed family. Death had entered into their habitation, and caused them to weep and mourn, How often are our comforts in life interrupted by sickness and death! One from us after another, and we are left behind to grieve like Mary and Martha. In these troubles, how cheering is the presence of a friend, though he may have no power to restore our loss: how welcome, then, the presence of Jesus, who could restore Lazarus to his disconsolate sisters ! He did not leave them comfortless. Hearing of their distress, he went to comfort them.
2. He went to set his followers an erample of sympathy. We sometimes blame those who shed a tear over suffering humanity, without recollecting that upon this sad occasion, “ Jesus wept." He wept, and we should weep:
Let us, when we hear of distress, hasten to sympathize with the distressed! Let us indulge, in a proper degree, these fine. feelings of our nature. The time may come when we shall want the tender feelings of our christian brea thren. We dare not indeed yield to immoderate sorrow, as men without hope; but we abhor the stoical and unfeeling spirit of some professors. Surely they are ignorant both of the spirit of christianity, and of the temper of Jesus.
3. But the principal end of this journey was to work a miracle. Miracles were wrought by Jesus to convince men that he was the true Messiah. In this miracle he intended both to confirm the faith of his disciples, and to convince the Jews that he was indeed the Christ. He said to his disciples, when Lazarus was dead, “I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent that
believe.” This was the most notable miracle that Jesus ever wrought upon any occasion. Lazarus had been in the Grave four days, and Martha very properly observed, " by this time he stink
ye may believe."
eth.” A stone lay upon the cave in whichi he was buried, and he was bound hand and foot with grave-clothes. But all these obstacles were nothing to Jesus, who cried with a loud voice, “Lazarus, come forth !" And at his word the dead came forth; and Jesus said, “ Loose him, and let him go. This miracle was wrought before many witnesses. The disciples were present, and many of the Jews who had come to comfort Mary and Martha: Some believed; but others, (strange to tell!) actuated by deeprooted malice, went to inform the pharisees. Then the chief priests and pharisees gathered a council, and from that day forth they sought to put him to death. “ Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews.'
One would suppose that the disciples could never more doubt whether Jesus was the Christ; but, alas, the human heart is prone to unbelief!
After the resurrection of Jesus, notwithstanding all the miracles which they had seen, they expressed themselves in the following doubting language, “ We trusted that it had been he which should have redeemed Israel." O what need we have to pray that God would increase our faith, and help our unbelief! We are often fools and slow of heart to be lieve what is written; and if it be thus, with
us, in mere historical matters, how much more so in that faith which bringeth salvation !
III. THE ENQUIRY FOR MARY.
“He calleth for thee,” said Martha. Here we may remark,
1. That Mary was greatly beloved. The reason of Christ's peculiar regard for Mary was her singular piety.
piety. Christ loves nothing but what is excellent; and therefore wherever we find peculiar expressions of his regard for persons, we may conclude that those persons have something excellent in their temper and conduct.
2. Jesus thinks of his followers when they are at a distance from him. Mary was still in the house, and perhaps knew not that her Lord was come; or, if she knew, her sorrow was so great as to prevent her going forth to meet him; but Jesus said, "Where is Mary? Tell her to come.' Jesus is now in the heavenly world; but he thinks upon his followers on earth. We do not see him with our bodily eyes; but he sees us, and knows all our sorrows.
3. It is the will of Jesus that his followers should be with him. He has called us by his grace, and we can rejoice in his salvation. Death will soon remove us hence; and then it may be said to every believer, "The Master is come, and calleth for thee.”. O blessed summons! Happy day, when Jesus calls his followers home! He has said, “ I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.” We shall live with our Master when this short life is ended, and enjoy all the blessedness of which our sanctified spirits may be capable. Blessed world, where the Lamb which is in the throne shall feed us, and lead us to living fountains of water; and where God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes:
That we may go to that blessed world, let us, like Mary, chuse the better part, the one thing needful! Let us make choice of Christ for our Master, and steadily follow him through evil and good report. Then Christ will be ours, and heaven will be ours for ever, A few more trials and temptations : a few more conflicts with the world, the flesh; and the devil; and our Master will say, “ Well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."