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of our interest in Christ: there is no unmannerliness in our strife for the greatest share in his presence and benediction.

That only child of this ruler lay a dying when he came to solicit Christ's aid, and was dead while he solicited it. There was hope in her sickness.; in her extremity there was fear; in her death despair, and impossibility, as they thought, of help: “Thy daughter is dead, trouble not the Master.” When we have to do with a mere finite power, this word were but just. He was a prophet no less than a king, that said, “While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept; for I said, who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may live? but now he is dead, wherefore should I fast ? can I bring him back again ? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me. But since thou hast to do with an omnipotent agent, know now, O thou faithless messenger, that death can be no bar to his

power.

How well would it have become thee to have said, “Thy daughter is dead;" but who can tell whether thy God and Saviour will not be gracious to thee, that the child may revive ? cannot he, in whose hands are the issues of death, bring her back again?

Here were more manners than faith ; “ Trouble not the Master.” Infidelity is all for ease, and thinks every good work tedious. That which nature accounts troublesome, is pleasing and delightful to grace. Is it any pain for a hungry man to eat? O Saviour, it was thy “meat and drink to do thy Father's will;" and his will was that thou shouldest bear our griefs, and take away our sorrows. It cannot be thy trouble which is our happiness, that we must still sue to thee.

The messenger could not so whisper his ill news, but Jesus heard it. Jairus hears that he feared, and was now heartless with so sad tidings. He, that resolved not to trouble the Master, meant to take so much more trouble to himself, and would now yield to a hopeless sorrow. He, whose work it is to comfort the afflicted, rouseth up the dejected heart of that pensive father: "Fear not, believe only, and she shall be made whole.” The word was not more cheerful than difficult

t;

“ Fear not.” Who can be insensible of so great an evil ? Where death hath once seized, who can but doubt he will keep his hold ? No less hard was it not to grieve for the loss of an only child, than not to fear the continuance of the cause of that grief.

In a perfect faith there is no fear: by how much more we fear, by so much less we believe. Well are these two then coupled, “ Fear not, believe only.” 0 Saviour, if thou didst not command us somewhat beyond nature, it were no thank to us to obey thee. While the child was alive, to believe that it might recover, it was no hard task; but now that she was fully dead, to believe she should live again, was a work not easy for Jairus to apprehend, though easy for thee to effect; yet must that be believed, else there is no capacity of so great a mercy. As love, so faith is stronger than death ; making those bonds no other than as Samson did his withs, like threads of tow. How much natural impossibility is there in the return of these bodies from the dust of their earth, into which, through many degrees of corruption, they are at the last mouldered! Fear not, O my soul, believe only: it must, it shall be done.

The sum of Jairus's first suit was for the health, not for the resuscitation of his daughter : now that she was dead, he would, if he durst, have been glad to have asked her life. And now, behold, our Saviour bids him expect both her life and her health ; " Thy daughter shall be made whole ;” alive from her death, whole from her disease.

Thou didst not, 0 Jairus, thou daredst not ask so much as thou receivest. How glad wouldst thou have been, since this last news, to have had thy daughter alive, though weak and sickly! Now thou shalt receive her not living only, but sound and vigorous. Thou dost not, O Saviour, measure thy gifts by our petitions, but by our wants and thine own mercies.

This work might have been as easily done by an absent command; the power of Christ was there while himself was away: but he will go personally to the place, that he might be confessed the Author of so great a miracle. O Saviour, thou lovest to go to the house of mourning ; thy chief pleasure is the comfort of the afflicted. What a confusion there is in worldly sorrow! The mother shrieks, the servants cry out, the people make lamentation, the minstrels howl and strike dolefully, so as the ear might question whether the ditty or the instrument were more heavy. If ever expressions of sorrow sound well, it is when death leads the quire. Soon doth our Saviour charm this noise, and turns these unseasonable mourners, whether formal or serious, out of doors : not that he dislikes music, whether to condole or comfort ; but that he had life in his eye, and would have them know, that he held these funeral ceremonies to be too early, and long before their time. “Give place, for the maid is not dead, but sleepeth." Had she been dead, she had but slept ; now she was not dead, but asleep, because he meant this nap of death should be so short, and her awakening so speedy. Death and sleep are alike to him, who can cast whom he will into the sleep of death, and awake when and whom he pleaseth out of that deadly sleep.

Before, the people and domestics of Jairus held Jesus for a prophet; now they took him for a dreamer. “Not dead, but asleep!” They that came to mourn cannot now forbear to laugh. Have we piped at so many funerals, and seen and lamented so many corpses, and cannot we distinguish betwixt sleep and death? The eyes are set, the breath is gone, the limbs are stiff and cold. Who ever died, if she do but sleep? How easily may our reason or sense befool us in divine matters! Those that are competent judges in natural things, are ready to laugh God to scorn when he speaks beyond their compass, and are by him justly laughed to scorn for their unbelief. Vain and faithless men ! as if that unlimited power of the Almighty could not make good his own word, and turn either sleep into death, or death into sleep, at pleasure. Ere many minutes they shall be ashamed of their error and incredulity.

There were witnesses enough of her death, there shall not be many of her restoring. Three choice disciples, and the two parents, are only admitted to the view and testimony of this miraculous work. The eyes of those incredulous scoffers were not worthy of this honour. Our infidelity makes us incapable of the secret favours and the highest counsels of the Almighty.

What did these scorners think and say, when they saw him putting the minstrels and people out of doors? Doubtless the maid is but asleep; the man fears lest the noise should awake her; we must speak and tread softly, that we disquiet her not: what will he and his disciples do the while ? is it not to be feared, they will startle her out of her rest ? Those that are shut out from the participation of God's counsels, think all his words and projects no better than foolishness. But art thou, O Saviour, ever the more discouraged by the derision and censure of these scornful unbelievers ? because fools jeer thee, dost thou forbear thy work ? Surely, I do not perceive that thou heedest them, save for contempt; or carest more for their words than their silence. It is enough that thine act shall soon honour thee, and convince them. “He took her by the hand, and called, saying, Maid, arise ; and her spirit came again, and she arose straightway.”

How could that touch, that call, be other than effectual ? He, who made that hand, touched it; and he, who shall once say, “ Arise, ye dead,” said now, “Maid, arise.” Death cannot but obey him who is the Lord of life. The soul is ever equally in his hand who is the God of spirits; it cannot but go

and come at his command. When he says, “ Maid, arise,” the now dissolved spirit knows his office, his place, and instantly reassumes that room which by his appointment it had left.

O Saviour, if thou do but bid my soul to arise from the death of sin, it cannot lie still; if thou bid my body to arise from the grave, my soul cannot but glance down from heaven, and animate it. In vain shall my sin, or my grave, offer to withhold me from thee.

The maid revives ; not now to languish for a time upon

her sick-bed, and by some faint degrees to gather an insensible strength ; but at once she rises from her death, and from her couch ; at once she puts off her fever with her dissolution; she finds her life and her feet at once, at once she finds her feet and her stomach: “He commanded to give her meat.” Omnipotency doth not use to go the pace of nature. All God's immediate works are, like himself, perfect. He, that raised her supernaturally, could have so fed her. It was never the

purpose

of his power, to put ordinary means out of office.

CONTEMPLATION IX.

THE MOTION OF THE TWO FIERY DISCIPLES REPELLED. The time drew on wherein Jesus must be received up; he must take death in his way ; Calvary is in his

passage to mount Olivet: he must be lifted up to the cross, thence to climb into his heaven. Yet this comes not into mention, as if all the thought of death were swallowed up in this victory over death. Neither, O Saviour, is it otherwise with us, the weak members of thy myetical body: we must die, we shall be glorified. What if death stand before us ? we look, beyond him, at that transcendent glory. How should we be dis

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