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both of them, in one speech, bewray both strength and infirmity; strength of faith, in ascribing so much power to Christ, that his presence could preserve from death; infirmity, in supposing the necessity of a presence for this purpose. Why, Mary, could not thine omnipotent Saviour, as well in absence, have commanded Lazarus to live? Is his hand so short, that he can do nothing but by contraction? If his power were finite, how could he have forbidden the seizure of death? if infinite, how could it be limited to place, or hindered by distance? It is a weakness of faith to measure success by means, and means by presence, and to tie effects to both, when we deal with an Almighty agent. Finite causes work within their own sphere; all places are equally near, and all effects equally easy to the infinite. O Saviour, while thou now sittest gloriously in heaven, thou dost no less impart thyself unto us, than if thou stoodst visibly by us, than if we stood locally by thee! no place can make difference of thy virtue and aid.
This was Mary's moan: no motion, no request sounded from her to her Saviour. Her silent suit is returned with a mute answer: no notice is taken of her error. O that marvellous mercy that connives at our faulty infirmities! All the reply that I hear of, is a compassionate groan with himself. O blessed Jesus, thou, that wert free from all sin, wouldest not be free from strong affections. Wisdom and holiness should want much work, if even
vehement passions might not be quitted from offence. Mary wept; her tears, drew on tears from her friends; all their tears united, drew groans from thee. Even in thine heaven, thou dost no less pity our sorrows; thy glory is free from groans, but abounds with compassion and mercy; if we be not sparing of our tears, thou canst not be insensible of our sorrows. How shall we imitate thee, if, like our looking-glass, we do not answer tears, and weep on them that weep on us!-HALL.
And said, Where have ye laid him? They said unto him, Lord, come and see. Jesus wept. Then said the Jews, Behold how he loved him! And some of them said, Could not this man, which opened the eyes of the blind, have caused that even this man should not have died?-Lord, thou knowest (in absence) that Lazarus was dead, and dost thou not know where he was buried? Surely thou wert further off when thou sawest and reportedst his death, than thou wert from the grave thou inquiredst of: thou that knowest all things, yet askest what thou knowest: "Where have ye laid him?" not out of need, but out of will; that as in thy sorrow, so in thy question, thou mightst depress thyself in the opinion of the beholders for the time, that the glory of thine instant miracle might be the greater, the less it was expected. It had been all one to thy omnipotence to have made a new Lazarus out of nothing; or, in that remoteness, to have commanded Lazarus, wheresoever he was, to come forth
but thou wert neither willing to work more miracle than was requisite, nor yet unwilling to fix the minds of the people upon the expectation of some marvellous thing that thou meantest to work; and therefore askest, "Where have ye laid him?"
They are not more glad of the question, than ready for the answer: "Come and see," More was hoped for from Christ than a mere view; they meant, and expected, that his eye should draw him on to some further action. O Saviour, while we desire our spiritual resuscitation, how should we labour to bring thee to our grave! How should we lay open our deadness before thee, and bewray to thee our impotence and senselessness! Come, Lord, and see what a miserable carcass I am; and, by the power of thy mercy, raise me from the state of my corruption.
Never was our Saviour more submissively dejected than now, immediately before he would approve and exalt the majesty of his Godhead. To his groans and inward grief he adds his tears. Anon they shall confess him a God; these expressions of passion shall onwards evince him to be a man. The Jews construe this well: "See how he loved him." Never did any thing but love fetch tears from Christ. But they do foully misconstrue Christ in the other: "Could not he, that opened the eyes of him that was born blind, have caused that even this man should not have died ?" Yes, know ye, O vain and importune
questionists, that he could have done it with ease. Το open the eyes of a man born blind, was more than to keep a sick man from dying: this were but to uphold and maintain nature from decaying; that were to create a new sense, and to restore a deficiency in nature. To make an eye, was no whit less difficult than to make a man: he that could do the greater might well have done the less. Ye shall soon see this was not the want of power. Had ye said, Why would he not? why did he not? the question had been fairer, and the answer no less easy -For his once greater glory. Little do ye know the drift, whether of God's acts or delays; and ye know as much as you are worthy. Let it be sufficient for you to understand, that he, who can do all things, will do that which shall be most for his own honour.-BP. HALL.
Lazarus, come forth.-O Saviour, while thou spakest to thy Father, thou liftedst up thine eyes; now thou art to speak unto dead Lazarus, thou liftedst up thy voice, and criedst aloud, "Lazarus, come forth.” Was it that the strength of the voice might answer to the strength of the affection? since we faintly require what we care not to obtain, and vehemently utter what we earnestly desire: was it, that the greatness of the voice might answer to the greatness of the work? Was it, that the hearers might be witnesses of what words were used in so miraculous an act no magical incantations, but authoritative and Divine commands? Was it to signify, that Lazarus's soul,
The speech | pierce the rocks and divide the mountains, and fetch up the dead out of the lowest depths. Thy word made all, thy word shall repair all. Hence, all ye diffident fears! He whom I trust is omnipotent. HALL.
was called from far? must be loud that shall be heard in another world. Was it in relation to the estate of the body of Lazarus, whom thou hadst reported to sleep? since those that are in a deep and dead sleep cannot be awakened without a loud call. Or was it in a representation of that loud voice of the last trumpet, which shall sound into all graves, and raise all flesh from their dust? Even so still, Lord, when thou wouldst raise a soul from the death of sin and grave of corruption, no easy voice will serve. Thy strongest commands, thy loudest denunciations of judgments, the shrillest and sweetest promulgations of thy mercies, are but enough.
How familiar a word is this, "Lazarus, come forth!" No other than he was wont to use while they lived together. Neither doth he say, Lazarus, revive; but, as if he supposed him already living, "Lazarus, come forth :" to let them know that those who are dead to us, are to and with him alive; yea, in a more entire and feeling society, than while they carried their clay about them. Why do I fear that separation which shall more unite me to my Saviour?
Neither was the word more familiar than commanding: "Lazarus, come forth." Here is no suit to his Father, nor adjuration to the deceased, but a flat and absolute injunction, "Come forth." O Saviour, that is the voice that I shall once hear sounding into the bottom of my grave, and raising me up out of my dust; that is the voice that shall
And he that was dead came forth. It was much to turn water into wine; but it was more to feed five thousand with five loaves. It was much to restore the ruler's son; it was more to cure him that had been thirty-eight years a cripple. It was much to cure him that was born blind; it was more to raise up Lazarus that had been so long dead. As a stream runs still the stronger and wider, the nearer it comes to the ocean whence it was derived; so didst thou, O Saviour, work the more powerfully the nearer thou drewest to thy glory. This was, as one of thy last, so of thy greatest miracles: when thou wert ready to die thyself, thou raisedst him to life who smelt strong of the grave. None of all the sacred histories is so full and punctual as this, in the report of all circumstances. Other miracles do not more transcend nature, than this transcends other miracles.
This alone was a sufficient eviction of thy godhead, O blessed Saviour! None but an infinite power could so far go beyond nature, as to recall a man four days dead, from not a mere privation, but a settled corruption. Earth must needs be thine, from which thou rescuest his body; hea ven must needs be thine, from whence thou fetchest his spirit. None but he that created man,
could thus make him new.-BP. | told them what things Jesus had
45 Then many of the Jews which came to Mary, "and had seen the things which Jesus did, believed on him.
46 But some of them went their ways to the Pharisees, and
52 And "not for that nation only, but that also he should gather together in one the children of God that were scattered abroad.
53 Then from that day forth they took counsel together for to put him to death.
54 Jesus therefore walked no more openly among the Jews; but went thence unto a country near to the wilderness, into a city called " Ephraim, and
there continued with his disci- not win belief from him; yet our
experience daily makes good these ordinary proofs of the wonderful providence of the Almighty. Or, should I show a man, that is unacquainted with these great marvels of nature, the small seed of the silkworm, lying scattered upon a paper, and seemingly dead all winter long; and should tell him, "These little atoms, so soon as the mulberry tree puts forth, will yield a worm, which shall work itself into so rich a house, as the great princes of the earth shall be glad to shelter themselves with; and, after that, shall turn to a large fly, and in that shape shall live to generate, and then speedily die;" I should seem to tell incredible things; yet this is so familiar to the experienced, that
y ch. ii. 23; & x. 42; & xii. 11, 18.- Ps il. 2. Mat. they cease to wonder at it. If, from
xxvi. 3. Mark xiv. 1. Luke xxii. 2.-a ch. xii. 19. Acts iv. 16.-6 Luke iii. 2. ch. xviii. 14. Acts iv 6.-c ch. xviii. 14d 1s. xlix. 6. 1 John ii. 2.-e ch. x. 16. Eph. ii. 14, 15, 16, 17.-f ch. iv. 1, 3; & vii. 1-g See 2 Chr. xiii, 19.-h ch. ii. 13; & v. I; & vi. 4.-i ch. xi. 7.
READER.-Then many of the Jews believed. If I should come to a man, that is ignorant of these fruitful productions of the earth; and, shewing him a little naked grain, should tell him, "This, which thou seest, shall rot in the ground; and, after that, shall rise up a yard high into divers stalks, and every stalk shall bear an ear, and every ear shall yield twenty or thirty such grains as itself is ;" or, showing him an acorn, should say, "This shall be buried in the earth, and, after that, shall rise up twenty or thirty foot high, and shall spread so far as to give comfortable shade to a hundred persons;" surely, I should
these vegetables, we should cast our eyes upon some sensitive creatures, do we not see snails, and flies, and some birds, lie as senseless and lifeless all the winter time; and yet, when the spring comes, they recover their wonted vivacity?
Besides these resemblances, have we not many clear instances and examples of our resurrection? Did not the touch of Elisha's bones raise up the partner of his grave? 2 Kings xiii. 21. Was not Lazarus called up out of his sepulchre, after four days' possession, and many noisome degrees of rottenness? Were not the graves opened of many bodies of the saints which slept? Did not they arise and come out of their graves, after my Saviour's resurrection, and go into the holy city,