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from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy: to the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and
power, both now and for ever. Amen.
JOHN xi. 12-16.
“ Then said his disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he
shall do well. Howbeit Jesus spake of his death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of rest in sleep. Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead: and I am glad for your sakes that I was not there, to the intent ye may believe; nevertheless let us go unto him. Then said Thomas, which is called Didymus, unto his fellow-disciples, Let us also go, that we may die with him.”
THOSE were words replete with important counsel, which our blessed Saviour addressed to the Jews when he would teach them the knowledge of himself, “ Search the Scriptures :" that is, be not satisfied with barely reading the Divine oracles, but pause upon each word: try, sift, examine; compare
spiritual things with spiritual ;” or do, as the wise King of Israel directed his son to do, in the pursuit of wisdom, “ If thou criest after knowledge, and liftest up thy voice for understanding; if thou seekest for her as silver, and searchest for her as for hid treasure ; then shalt thou understand the fear of the Lord, and find the knowledge of God.” For such is the fulness of this inspired volume, such the rich treasures it contains, that a mere superficial glance will by no means satisfy. We must again and again apply to a Throne of Grace for that wisdom that comes from above, “to open our understandings to understand the Scriptures ;" and again and again, with renewed diligence, imitate the hunter in his keenness in tracking the windings of the game; or the miner, in his laborious pursuit after the hidden veins of precious ore.
This has been among the reasons for my directing your attention, Sabbath after Sabbath, to this narrative : that giving your minds to the subject, entreating the Lo to
open your eyes to behold the wondrous
things” it contains, you might, from the treasures to be found in this single history, be led to a more devout study of the Holy Scriptures, and thus discover more and more of the riches of His glory who is the sum and substance of this blessed book. May He, the Spirit of Truth, who is more especially the Glorifier of the Lord Jesus, again vouchsafe us his aid, whilst I attempt to open and improve that portion at which we are now arrived.
You will bear in mind that our Saviour, having tarried for two days where he was, then invited his disciples to return into Judea again, purposing to restore Lazarus, who was dead, to life. Desirous, however, to make known this mournful event in a way
which might prevent their feeling his death with over much sorrow, our Lord, as I mentioned in
my last lecture, said to them, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth; but I go
tbat I him out of sleep."
In the latter part of this sentence our Lord changes the number. He had before spoken in the plural, “ Let us go into Judea
again;" but here he speaks in the singular, go that I
awake him out of sleep :" for whilst the disciples might concur in this act of benevolence by accompanying their Divine Master, it was He, and He alone, who could restore Lazarus to life! Had the disciples attended to these words, and especially if they had borne in mind the frequent use of this metaphor of sleep to describe death, they would have considered that our Lord intended something more than that which is generally meant by sleep. For why should he take so long a journey to do that which even a child could perform ? for we know, by experience, that the voice of a child will awaken us. Or why should he go for such a purpose ? for as they themselves said, “ If he sleep he shall do well.” Had Lazarus been favoured in his sickness with a composed slumber, it was among the best restoratives that could be given to him. Why therefore
to awaken him ? But scarcely anything so blunts the facul. ties as carnal fear. Instead, therefore, of entering into their Master's meaning, his