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he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was a widow: and when the Lord saw her, he had compassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier, and they that bare it 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.” He stood at the grave of Lazarus, and as he beheld the anguish of the mourners, and thought of the similar grief that rends human hearts throughout all time, ‘Jesus wept.' Yes, he shed human tears, he felt for human woes; he will not therefore reprove our grief - he shares in it himself, “Jesus wept.”
Yet how sternly he reproved oppression and hypocrisy! When were the wrong-doings of the great ever denounced with a vigour equal to that of him who said "Woe unto you scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites, for ye devour widows' houses, and for a pretence make long prayers; therefore ye shall receive the greater damnation. Woe unto
you ye blind guides, who strain at a gnat and swallow a camel. Woe unto you, for ye are like unto whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but are within full of dead men's bones and all uncleanness. Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell!” Most emphatically did Jesus thus teach that oppression and injustice can never plead his sanction; that rank is no excuse for villany; nay, that those to whom more of this world's influence has been entrusted than to others, instead of being screened from the consequences of abusing it, “shall receive greater damnation.” And yet such denunciations were combined with pity. He longed to save the very worst, for immediately after uttering these reproofs, beholding the guilty city and foreseeing its approaching doom, he wept over it, saying, “O Jerusalem! Jerusalem! thou that killest the prophets and stonest them that are sent unto thee, how often would I have gathered thy children together, even as a hen gathereth her chickens under her wings, but ye would not !”
How often has it been the fate of philanthropists and reformers to be calumniated, hated, and persecuted! The world has not known its best friends. Jesus encourages such by his own example. He was himself “ despised and rejected” by those whom he canie to bless. They “thrust him out of the synagogue,” they “ took up stones to stone him," they said “Is not this the carpenter's son ?” They alleged that “he cast out devils through Beelzebub the Prince of the devils ;" they called him “a gluttonous man and a wine bibber," they “ took counsel to put him to death.” But neither flatteries nor frowns for a moment diverted him from the great work he came to accomplish of re-uniting men to God, and thus forming them into one holy, happy brotherhood. Thus he taught us that neither the allurements of ambition, nor the breath of calumny, nor the dread of suffering, is to deter his followers in the march of truth and love. They are to be prepared for opposition. “If men call the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more those of his household ?”
Man is subject to sorrow. And Jesus was eminently 'the Man of Sorrows. See him in the garden of Gethsemane, as, in an agony, he sweats great drops of blood, and exclaims “My Father, if it be possible let this cup pass from me, nevertheless not my will but thine be done!” And this prayer he thrice repeats. Unlike many of the martyrs who exulted in their sufferings, he is bowed down beneath them, would escape the overwhelming anguish if he could, and intreats to be spared any deeper draughts of that bitter cup. If there is here less of enthusiasm there is more of nature, if there is less of the divine there is more of the human, and therefore more that appeals to me, more from which I can draw instruction and solace. The sufferer is the MAN Christ Jesus. I learn that there is no crime in anguish. I may tremble at the thought of suffering, I may pray to escape it and not sin. Human nature may be oppressed with heaviest griefs and yet confiding in God and submitting to His will, rise triumphant above them all. Behold him wearing the crown
of thorns, spit upon, and scourged. In that calm endurance is there not true majesty ? With that diadem of sorrow is he not more of a King than Pilate? He hath made grief sacred. He hath hallowed for all time, the dolorous way. Sin, not suffering, can alone degrade, injure, and destroy.
“ The Man Christ Jesus” lived. But there is something more terrible beyond, to postpone which men willingly endure all other calamities. Death darkens every prospect. How can we meet the grisly spectre that sits in the path waiting for every one of us? We shrink from dissolution-the going forth from what is familiar to what is unknown. We dread the possible circumstances of death, the pain, the weariness, the mental depression. God has shewn us how to live, to be poor, to do good, to bear up against opposition, to endure afflictions, to contend with spiritual evil, but can He shew us how to die? “He was made a little lower than the angels for the suffering of death.” Even to this dread law of humanity he subjected himself. He avoided