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cloth. A mother walked behind weeping, for she had lost an only son. Her case was indeed pitiable. She had no one to help to bear her loss; she had already followed her husband to the grave. Perhaps, she had often thought that her son would supply the loss of his father; and at length he had arrived at an age to be her prop and comfort. But he was now dead, and with him had died her fondest wishes and dearest. hopes; the name of her family would now perish out of Israel-the greatest of all afflictions to a Jewish mother.
All survived in him alone,
All in him alone are dead,
Life's last charities are fled :
Yet there was more than human help at hand. Jesus saw her deep distress, and Divine compassion filled his heart. He drew nigh—not to inquire whose corpse they bore to the grave; for he knew all the circumstances of the case. They did not ask him to interpose, for they understood not as yet that he could raise the dead. Stepping in advance of the crowd that stood around him, he approached the weeping mother, and addressed to her the words of kindness, “Weep not.”. Had he not designed to raise her son, it would have been almost unkind, as it would have been in vain, to have told her not to weep. But he first spoke, to arouse her attention. In a moment he would turn her sorrow into joy; yet he would not allow her for that moment to remain unnoticed.
He touched the bier, for the bearers to stand still; and at his signal they stood, bearing their burden. The widow is awed and affected with the manner of him who spoke, while the mourners stand in doubt as to the cause of the interruption. The disciples gather around, in expectation of some mighty deed. He has cured diseases, and cast out demons, can he indeed bring back from the unseen world the spirit of the departed? It was but a moment's pause, and their uncertainty was at an end.
With that voice which shall one day call our dead bodies from the grave, he cries, “ Young man,
say unto thee, Arise !” when “ he that was dead sat up, and began to speak.” instant, the blood again flowed through his veins; the once cold frame was warm with life, the pale hue of his face yielded to the glow of health, and he sat up. In a few moments “ he began to speak.” The Scriptures say no more; yet may we not suppose that his lips first broke forth in praise to God, mingled with words of affection to his delighted mother, and of gratitude to his kind Deliverer?
Those who carried the bier now rested it on the ground, the young man stepped from it, and Jesus, taking him by the hand, presented him to his mother. “Is it indeed my son! can it be my child ! Oh, yes! I feel his embrace, I see the beaming of his eyes,
I hear again the tongue that was silent in death. It is my son-my only son!” But who can describe the feelings of the young man, as he started into life from the dead; the emotions of joy which the widow felt in receiving her son back to her arms; or the astonishment of the spectators, as they beheld this proof of the Saviour's power over death! The procession that had left the house in sorrow, now returned to it with joy: the tears of the mourners were turned into songs of gratitude; and the funeral ceremonies were changed into the rejoicings of a festival. Jesus beheld the happiness he had imparted, and then passed on his way to do other deeds of mercy,
Instead of asking whether or not the mother and son became the disciples of Jesus, or wishing to gratify our curiosity on any other point on which the Scriptures are silent, let us rather gather a few useful lessons for ourselves.
1. The funeral of the widow's son reminds the young of the uncertainty of life. God has ordained that all shall die: we may die early, we may die suddenly; we should be prepared to die. The strongest and the fairest are as the flowers of the field, which in the morning look fresh and beautiful, but“ in the evening they are cut down, and withered,” Psa. xc. 6. Should they live out their little day, how soon are they gone! But do all bud, and blossom, and gradually decay? Look around, and behold: some are nipped in the bud; some are suddenly broken from their stem, just as they are about to put forth all their beauty; and others are cut down while yet in their prime. Let, then, the young reflect, as they see the mourners go about the streets" I too must die. If that were my funeral, where would my soul now be? Have I a happy eternity in view, when the few short days of life are past!”
2. Christ has also power to raise those who are “dead in trespasses and sins.” He who raised the body, can raise the soul. To the young he says, “ Arise now.” Arise, and give the affections of your youth to Him who alone is worthy of them. Do it now, for your own sake-for the sake of anxious parents. Are you the son, or daughter, of a pious widow? Oh! how would her heart rejoice to receive you as from the dead, “ born again” to a life of holiness! Her joy would be more lasting than that of the widow of Nain; for she received her son back to life only to live with her on earth for a few fleeting years, and then again to be separated by death: but you would be welcomed as one with whom the joys of heaven would be shared throughout eternity.
NUMBERS CURED IN CITIES AND VILLAGES.
Matt. ix. 35; LUKE viii. 1-3. The fame of the preceding miracle was spread far ,and wide: it was an event unheard of since the days of Elijah and Elisha, that the dead should be raised to life. The report was even carried into the dungeon where John the Baptist lay in bonds. When he heard of this, and other of the mighty deeds of Jesus, he sent two of his disciples, that they might ascertain that he who did such things was the true Messiah. They came, and were convinced; for, in the same hour, sight was given to the blind, the lame walked, lepers were cleansed, the deaf had the gift of hearing, the dead were raised, and many were delivered from their infirmities and plagues. John's disciples returned, and told him all they had seen. Jesus then went on a tour through every city and village in those parts," healing every disease among the people," and “preaching the gospel of the kingdom.”
CHAPTER VII. What Jesus did in one day-Blind and dumb demoniac restored
- Pharisees again oppose—State of a sinner-The sea of Galilee --- The tempest stilled — Voyage of life—Presence of Christ in times of danger—The country of the GergesenesDemoniacs restored—Tombs in which they abode-Destruction of the herd of swine - Ancient notices of demoniacal possession—The great change in a sinner-Misery of being
given up by Christ. IF every word and
deed of mercy were recorded, of even one day in the ministry of our Lord, how interesting and instructive would be the narrative! Though it is thought we have not a complete history of any single day, yet we have