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In another instance, we find him so wearied as to be able to sleep in the hinder part of a fishing vessel, even in a storm. But some knew his value, and ministered to him of their substance. At the house of Martha he was always welcome. And we may be assured, that he was a guest that always paid for his entertainment. He honoured them more than they could favour him. Who can imagine the happiness of Lazarus and his sisters, when they received the Lord of life and glory under their roof! O! to have heard him bless the food; to have heard him perform family worship; to have heard him discourse! He was “ fairer than the children of men; grace was poured into his lips. Never man spake like this man.” With what joy would Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus think of such visits in prospect! how long afterwards would they furnish matter for conversation and remark! How unwilling would they be to lose him ! how earnestly would they press him to stay! Though removed from this world, as to his bodily presence, he will be with his people essentially, spiritually, peculiarly to the end of time. He visits them now: “ He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father; and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him." Say not, “Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us, and not unto the world ?” Judas—not Iscariot-once asked him this question : “ and he answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words ; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him.”

Secondly, His love admitted of their suffering affliction. Disease invades the family: La

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zarus is sick : and the sickness of the brother is the distress of the sisters ; they are filled with anguish, anxiety, and alarm. His love could have hindered all this; and probably we should have thought that it would have done it. “Surely he will exempt friends he so highly regards from everything trying and disagreeable. But his thoughts are not as our thoughts, neither are his ways as our ways." His love is wise; it seeks our everlasting welfare ; it does not take pleasure in our pain, but it does in our profit: and though “no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous, nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them that are exercised thereby.” You may, therefore, share in his affection, and be severely tried relatively, or in your own persons. A Lazarus, beloved of Jesus, sickens and dies. many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.- Whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth.'

But, thirdly, His love suffered him in their distress to treat them with apparent neglect. As soon as Lazarus was seized, • his sisters sent unto him, saying, Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick.' But instead of sending an answer, or repairing instantly to Bethany, it is said, " When he heard, therefore, that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was." And before he sets off, Lazarus is dead ! A friend is born for adversity—then we peculiarly need his presence, his assistance, his counsel, his sympathy: and Jesus was their friend. How then is this indifference to be accounted for? It was not indifference. So indeed it appeared to Martha and Mary; and no doubt it was very dis.

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couraging and perplexing : it gave rise to many unkind thoughts" What can be the reason of this ? surely he has relinquished his regard; we have presumed too much upon his friendship.”— But he was not indifferent. He was only waiting to be gracious. His delay was no refusal. Everything is beautiful in its season. He knew that his time was not yet come.

Our extremity is his opportunity. No! He indifferent to their case ! all the time he was thinking of them; and caring for them. He entered into all their feelings, and,

Fourthly, said to his disciples, “Our friend Lazarus sleepeth, but I go that I may awake him out of sleep.-Let us go unto him."-Before he approaches the bereaved house, he comes to the grave" Then when Mary was come where Je. sus was, and saw him, she fell down at his feet, saying unto him, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my brother had not died. When Jesus, therefore, saw her weeping, and the Jews also weeping which came with her, he groaned in the spirit, and was troubled, and said, Where have ye

laid him? They say 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 ?" Again he groaned in himself. At length giving way to his compassion, he produced an undeniable proof of his affection- Lazarus, come forth--And home he walks between his sisters ! O! their joy ! their gratitude! Thus all was overruled, not only for the glory of God, but for the good of Lazarus, the good of his sisters, the good of the disciples, the good of many who in conse

quence of the miracle, believed.

And thus we learn that he can do us, and our connexions, much more service by the permission and continuance of our trials, than by preventing, or immediately removing them. He “does all things well. His work is perfect; for all his ways are judgment."

Let us, then, satisfied that he has our welfare in view, leave the means by which it is to be promoted to himself. Let us ascertain our interest in his love, and say, Behold, here am I; let him do to me as seemeth good to him.” Ah! some of you are ready to exclaim, that is what above all things I want to determine. Happy Martha, and Mary, and Lazarus ! Jesus loved you !-0! that he loved me. This would be the cordial of affliction, and the consolation of death. Loved of him, I could bear reproach, I could endure all things. A fellow-creature may

love and be unable in a thousand cases to succour me ; but his love

passeth knowledge, and is attended by the exercise of infinite perfections. There is no enemy which he cannot conquer, no wound which he cannot heal, no hope which he cannot realize. " Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.” Does he love me? Can I know this? Yes--and the case is more easily decided than you imagine. The very solicitude which you express, shows that your indifference towards him is destroyed. And he has said, - I love them that love me, and they that seek me early shall find me.”

I love them that love me—and do you not love him ? Do you not esteem him above all for the excellencies of his nature, and the blessings of his goodness ? Do you not most earnestly implore his favour, his image, his presence ? Are you not wil

me,

ling to live at his disposal ; to obey him ; to ask daily, Lord, what wilt thou have me to do? Now, if

you love him, be assured that he loves you. But, o blessed Saviour, what a difference, what a disproportion is there between our love and thine !

6 Our love so faint, so cold to thee,

And thine to us so great.”
“ Come, Holy Spirit, heav'nly dove,

With all thy quick’ning pow'rs;
Come, shed abroad a Saviour's love,

And that shall kindle ours, And they that seek me early shall find me. For there are some who cannot say with confidence, “ I do love him.” But their desire is to the Lord, and to the remembrance of his name.” They mourn for sin. They “ hunger and thirst after righteousness." They go on praying—0! that I may win Christ! These are earnestly seeking him, and they shall find him-find him as the pearl of great price—find him to pardon and sanctify, and keepfind him here in all the supplies of grace, and hereafter in all the treasures of glory.

But, О ye young! the promise has the most favourable reference to you. You can seek him early, not only, as it implies, earnestly; but, as it more naturally means, betimes. And, though all who seek him shall find, you shall find him peculiarly. It is better to have a guide at the beginning, than after we have long gone astray and lost much of our time and strength for the journey. If invaluable privileges attend religion, the sooner they are embraced the more advantage we shall derive from them. The Saviour is peculiarly pleased with your early devotedness to him. He considers himself more honoured by these voluntary offerings of the first-fruits, than by the

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