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And shewed that we could never expect too much at his hands

What advantage for eternal life did the Centurion derive from hence!

With what lively hope might he apply to Jesus for the healing of his soul!

We can never suppose that such love and piety, such humility and faith were left to perish

No, verily-That declaration shall be found true to all eternity-]

3. He declared that many such persens should be saved, while many, with clearer light and higher privileges, should be cast out

[They who profess the true religion may be called “ the children of the kingdom"

But how many of them are destitute of the attainments this heathen had made!

How many would have imitated that vile Amalekite rather than him!

How many grudge the necessary contributions for keeping up the houses of God!r

What doubting of Christ's power and grace, yea, what a proud conceit too of their own worthiness, is to be found among professing Christians!

Surely what our Lord said respecting the unbelieving Jews shall be realized in Christians of this characters-

And the humbler heathens, who walked agreeably to the light that they enjoyed, shall be preferred before them

Nor can we doubt but that the Centurion, in reference to whom these things were spoken, shall be among that blessed number] APPLICATION

[Let us then learn to plead earnestly for ourselves-Nor let a sense of unworthiness keep us from carrying our wants to Jesus-

Let us also sympathize with, and intercede for others

Job, like the Centurion, found benefit from his own intercessions

Nor shall our supplications be in vain either for ourselves or others-]

P 1 Sam. ii. 30.

91 Sam, xxx. 13. r What a contrast to him who, entirely at his own expense, erecto ed a synagogue for people of another communion! , Matt, viii. 12.

t Job xlii. 10.

CCXC. THE WIDOW'S SON RAISED.

a

Luke vii. 14--16. 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 was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to his mother. 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.

THE more faithful any servant of God is, the more he will abound in labours

Of those who were men of like passions with us, none ever equalled St. Paul

But our blessed Lord far exceeded all the children of

men

No day elapsed without fresh manifestations of his power and compassion

He had on the preceding day raised the Centurion's servant from a bed of sickness

Now we behold him employed in restoring a dead man to life

We shall consider 1. The miracle

The Jews used to bury their dead without the precincts of their cities

At the gate of the city Nain Jesus met a funeral procession

The principal mourner that followed it engaged his attention

[She was a mother following her own son to the gravem How afflictive is such an event to a tender parent! This son had

grown up to the estate of manhood may see in David's lamentations for Absalom what an affliction this is!

Her loss was further aggravated in that this was her only child

If one out of many had died, she would have been deeply grieved: how much more in losing him, in whom her affections had so long centered!

That which added tenfold poignancy to her sorrow was, that she was a widow

When her husband had died she had been consoled by her surviving child

We

But now she had none left to be the support and comfort of declining ycars

Destroyed both root and branch, she had no prospect but that her name would be extinct in Israel]

Filled with compassion he wrought a miracle on her behalf

[Jesus, addressing himself to the mourning widow, bade her not weep

How vain, how impertinent had such advice been, if given by a common man!

But, from him, it came as a rich cordial to her fainting spirit

He then stopped the procession, and said to the dead man, Arise

Nor were the hopes, occasioned by his interference, disappointed

On other occasions he wrought his miracles at the request of others

This he performed spontaneously, and unsolicited by any

Nothing moved him to it but that very compassion which brought him down from heaven

Nor did he exercise this power in the name of another

He spake authoritatively, as one who could quicken whom he would

Nor did he merely recall the soul without renovating the bodyd

The restoration to life and vigour was effected perfectly, and in an instante

To complete the mercy, “ he delivered the man to his mother”

And preferred the comfort of the widow to the honour he himself might have gained in retaining such a follower-]

Such a stupendous miracle could not fail of exciting suitable emotions II. The effect it produced

There is little in the scriptures to gratify our curiosity

a Intercession was made for Jairus's daughter, by her own father; for the Centurion's servant, by his friends; for the paralytic, by his neighbours; but none besought him for this distressed widow.

6 Elijah and Elisha obtained this power by prayer, 1 Kings xvii. 21. 2 Kings iv. 33.; and Peter wrought his miracles in the name of Jesus, Acts iii. 6. and ix. 34. c John v. 21.

d 2 Kings iv. 34, 35. e “ He sat up, and began to speak.” VOL. III.

Na

Hence we are not told what the man spake, or how the mother was affected at the first interview with her

SCN

But, if once she forgat her pangs for joy that he was bern, how much more her sorrows now

Doubtless the scene must have been inexpressibly interes ing

[We may conceive Jesus, meekly majestic, delivering the man to his mother

But it is not easy to conceive the first emotions of their minds

Nature would stimulate the reuniced relatives to expressions of mutual endearment

Grace, on the other hand, would rather lead them first to admire and adore their benefactor

Perhaps, looking alternately on Jesus and on each other, they might stand fixed in silent astonishment

We need not however dwell on that which, at best, is mere conjecture-]

The effect produced on the multitude is recorded for our instruction 1. They were all filled with fear

[The people that attended Jesus, and those who followed the funeral, meeting together, the concourse was very great

And one impression pervaded the whole body-
The fear which came upon them was a reverential awe-

This is natural to man, when he beholds any signal appear. ance of the Deity

It is equally produced whether God appear in a way of judgment or of mercy

Somewhat of this kind is felt by the Seraphim before the throne

And it would be more experienced by us, if we realized more the divine presence

When it is excited only by some visible display of the Deity, it will generally vanish with the occasion

But when it is caused by faith, it will abide and influence our whole conduct

Happy would it be for us if we were continually thus impressed 2. They glorified God

[They did not know that Jesus was indeed a divine per

son

But they manifestly saw that he was “a great prophet"

Compare acts v. 11. and Luke i. 65. b Jer. x. 6, 7.

& Isai. vi. 2.
i Prov. xxviii. 14.

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And that God, after suspending all miraculous interpositions for above three hundred years, had again“ visited his people"

In these tokens of God's favour they could not but rejoice

Doubtless they congratulated each other on this glorious event

And gave vent to their gratitude in devoutest adorations

We have reason indeed to fear that these impressions were soon effaced

Happy had they been if they had retained this heavenly disposition

But who has not reason to regret, that mercies produce too transient an effect

upon

his mind! Let us at least profit by the example they then set us

And labour to-glorify God for the inestimable mercies he has conferred upon us-] IMPROVEMENT

1. This history may teach us to sit loose to the things of this life

[If we possess personal and family mercies, let us be thankful for them

The contininuance of them is no less a favour than the res. toration of them would be

But let us not inordinately fix our affections upon any created good

We know not how soon our dearest comforts may become the occasion of our deepest sorrows

The case of Job affords a striking admonition to men in all agesk

Let us then endeavour to practise that advice of the apostle

And place our affections on those things which will never be taken from us

2. It shews us whither we should fee in a season of deep affliction

[As no physicians could restore the widow's son, so none could heal her wounded spirit

But there was one at hand, when she little thought of it, that could do both

That same Almighty Deliverer is ever nigh unto us

And calls us to himself when we are bowed down with troublen

Let us then call upon him under every spiritual or temporal affliction

k Job i. 134-19.
m Col. iii. 2.

I ! Cor, vii. 29-31.
n Ps. l. 15. Matt. ix. 28.

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