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He tells hi
the Night, he stumbleth, because there is no Light in him.
ii These Things said he: and after that he faith unto them, Our Friend Lazarus fleepeth; but I go that I may awake him out of Sleep.
12 Then said his Disciples, Lord, if he sleep, he (hall do well.
13 Howbeit Jesus spake of his Death: but they thought that he had spoken of taking of Rest in Sleep.
14 Then said Jesus unto them plainly, Lazarus is dead.
• Disciples,- that Lazarus is dead. 249
Night, it is no WondeF at all, if be stumbles then, Sect. 139.
These Things he said, to silence their Objections,
His Disciples therefore, not apprehending his Meaning, immediately said, Lord, if he sleeps naturally and quietly, as thou seemest to intimate, he will probably recover-, and there is the less Reason for thy running the Hazard of going thither to heal him.
But Jesus spake this concerning his Death, which for many apparent Reasons he chose to represent under this gentle Image (d) -, but they thought that he had spoke of his taking Rest, as a living Man does, in a common Sleep.
Then Jesus therefore, that he might not hold them any longer in Suspence, or leave them under a Mistake, said to them plainly, Lazarus is
(d) For many apparent Reasons he chose to represent under this gentle Image.] Our'Lord might chuse the Expression of Lazarus sleeping, partly out of 'Tenderness, as being least Clocking, when he spoke of so dear a Friend; as Homer, when he represents Antilochus as reporting the Death of Patroclus to Achilles, used the Word x&jau, he is fallen, rather than he is Jlain: (Iliad, lib. xviii. ver. 20.) And it may also farther be considered, as an Instance of our Lord's Modejly: He does not immediately fay, "He is dead, and I go by my "Almighty Power to command him back to Life again, and to burst the Bonds of the '• Sepulchre;" but avoiding all Parade and Ostentation, he chuses the simplest and humblest Expression that can be thought of. This fine Remark (which Mr. Blackwall makes, in his Sacred Classes, vol. i. pag. 2qj.) is admirably illustrated in a great Variety of Particulars in the present Story, by the ingenious Mr. Lardner, in his Vindication of it. He has treated the Subject with a Candor and Rectitude of Heart, equal to the Accuracy of his critical Skill, and even equal to that Malignity and Baseness of Soul with which Wooljlon attacked it.
250 Reflexions on the Sickness and Death of Lazarus.
Sect. 130. indeed dead. ./4W as I could not have permit- *5 And I am glad for 0350 «ed this ,0 have happened in my Presence I am C^ttL^ J '->■ glad on your Account that I was not there; that you believe;) nevertheless, let us
may more confidently believe in me, and may find go unto him.
16 Then said Thomas, which is called Didymu\ unto his Fellow-Disciples, Let us also go, that we mty die with him.
HO W happy was this Family of Lazarus, in which Christ was so ( '""
John xi. _
frequent a Guest! how happy Lazarus, and his Sisters, who were Ver. 1,3,14. so peculiarly beloved by him 1 Yet Sickness and Death invaded that Family; and this excellent Man, as it should seem, in flourishing Circumstances, (ver. 19.) and perhaps too in early Youth, was snatched away on a sudden, by what appeared a very untimely Stroke. The Friends of Cbrijl must be sick, and die, as well as others; and no Man knoweth either Love, or Hatred, by all that is before them under the Sun. (Eccles. ix. \.) Let us therefore judge nothing before the Time. (\ Cor„ iv. 5.^ This Sickness and Ver. 4. Death of Lazarus was for the Glory of GOD; and may all our personal and domestic Sufferings be so! "To this, O Lord, may our Life be "consecrated, and to this may our Death be subservient! We shall not M then feel our dying Pangs in half their Bitterness, when our Hearts "are inflamed with a Zeal for thy Glory, and when we fee that evea "those Pangs are promoting it." Ver. 6. Our Lord delayed his Coming to this dear Friend in his Extremity; and
perhaps it occasioned, not only many an anxious, but many a suspicious Thought, both to Lazarus, and his Sisters j yet the Intent of this Delay was both gracious and important. Let us not limit our Divine Master, as to the Time or Manner of his Appearance for us; let us not censure him, if it be for a while put off. It is to exercise our Faith and Patience, and to make the Mercy more signal, and more welcome.
Christ goes to Bethany, and finds that Lazarus was buried. 251
At length a Resolution is formed to go into Judea; tho' but a little while Sect. 139. ago the Jews had assaulted him, even in a Sacred Place, with burning V_>*-v->^_j Malice in their Hearts, and the Instruments of Death in their Hands. 7>8'15' But when Providence called, none of these Things could move our Blessed Redeemer, neither counted he his Life dear unto him, that he might finish his Course 'with Joy. (ABs xx. 24.^ May we (hew the like Intrepidity of Soul in his Service! walking in the Day, that we may not stumble, and Ver. 9> 10. taking all proper Opportunities of performing the Duties of Life, while the Season of it lasts; and then, when the Night of Death comes, it will close our Eyes in peaceful Slumbers. The Repose of the breathless Corps, Ver. n. insensible of Alarms, and Sorrows, and Cares, will be a lovely Emblem of the sweeter Repose of the Soul in the Arms of Divine Love; till e'er long Chrift shall come to awaken us out of our Sleep, by that general Resurrection, of which this of Lazarus was a Figure and Pledge.
Let these glorious Thoughts, and Expectations, animate us to all the Returns of Affection, Duty, and Zeal. .Let them teach us the Temper of Thomas, when he said, Let us go, and die with him. "Blessed Jesus! Ver. 16. "how much better is it, to die with, and for thee, who art the Resurrection ** and the Life, than to prolong these wretched Days of Absence, Meanness, and Affliction, by forsaking thee, when thou art leading us into Danger!"
Our Lord raises Lazarus from the Dead, after he had been buried four Days. John XI. 17, 46.
John XI. 17. JOHN XI. IJ.
''THEN when Jesus came, HHH E N Jesus, according to the Resolution he Sect. 140.
lien ^theGraJesou^Dti had declared to his Disciples, (ver. 7, 15.) de- K^s^j
ajIeaL> parted from the Country beyond Jordan, where JohnXI. 17.
he had continued for some Time, (John x. 40.
18 (Now Bethany was Now Bethany, the Place where Lazarus had xg
^TJS^S) *~* lived> was vei7 near to Jerusalem, being but about
13 fifteen Furlongs off, (or somewhat less than Two
Miles;) so that he was well known in the City,
19 And many of the and had many Friends there. And many of
Jews I i 2 the
252 He is there met by Martha,
Sect. 140. the Jews who dwelt there (a), when the Funeral was over, came to Martha and Mary (b), that ^' they might comfort them concerning the Loss of their beloved Brother (c).
And Jesus was no sooner come into the Neighbourhood, but presently the News of his Approach was bought to the afflicted Family, that had so long been impatiently desirous to fee him. Martha therefore, as soon as fie heard that "Jesus •was coming, immediately went out to meet him: But Mary, who was mourning with her Friends
Jews came to Martha and Mary, to comfort them concerning their Brother.
20 Then Martha, as soon as £he heard that Jesus was coming, went and met him: but Mary fat JIM in the House.
21 Then said Martha unto Jesus, Lord, if thou hadst been here, my Brother had. not died.
22 But I know, that even1 now whatsoever thou wilt ask of God, Gob will give it thee.
in private, was not as yet informed of his Ap-
Then Martha, being told where (he might meet
(«) Many of the Jtws &c. J It might be one Reason, why Jesus delayed his Coming till the fourth Day, that he might meet a great Number of them, as tor wife Purposes he determined to make this Miracle very publick.
(b) Came to Martha and Mary.] The Original has it, -zrpw T*< rap Mafflo* Ktu Map/w; but the learned Revius, in his Notes on Valla on this Text, has produced incontestible Authorities to vindicate our Version here, and to shew that there is no Need to render or paraphrase it, as Beza and Wolpus would do, " That the Men came to join with those Female *' Friends, who had before attended the mourning Sisters, and were now with them."
The Word luscuav, Jews, to be sure includes Persons of both Sexes. See also Raphel.
Not. ex Xenoph. pag. 137.
(f) That they might comfort them fsV] Many Ceremonies used by the antient Jews in mourning for the Dead, and in comforting the Mourners, are collected by Dr. Lightfoet, (in his Hor. Hebr. on this Place;) but the Mention of them here would be tedious, rattier than edifying.
(d) Sate weeping in the House.] She probably fate on the Ground, which was the Pasture of Mourners. Compart "jib ii. 8. Eztk, viii. 14. and Mat. xxvn. 61.
23 Jesus faith unto her, TJjy Brother shall rife again.
24 Martha faith unto
at the last Day,
and assures her, that her Brother should rife again. 253
Jesus beholding her Distress with a compas-Sect. 140 sionate Concern, Jays to her, Martha, do not aban- ^s~^~^j don thyself to overwhelming Grief j for I assure JohnXI-23thee, that thy beloved Brother Jhall rife again from the Dead.
Then Martha conceiving some secret and tremb- 24
well know, and stedfastly believe, that he Jhall
Jesus then said unto her, I am the ResurrcBion 2 5
25 Jesus said unto her, I am the Resurrection and the Life: he that believeth in me, tho* he were dead, yet stull he live i
26 And -whosoerer liveth
and believeth in me, shall
(e) Tl)at is living, and believes in me, Jhall never die.] The Sense that I have given in the Paraphrase, appears to me the most consistent Sense that can be made of these remarkable Words, and the equivalent Passages: "John v. 24. and viii. 51. And a very sublime and important Sense it is, perfectly agreeable to the Height of Sentiment and Language, with which Christ is said elsewhere, to have abolished Death, and to have destroyed the Devil;. (2 Tim. i. 10. and Heb. ii. 14.) and with which Christians are said, to be come to the Heavenly Jerusalem, to the general Assembly and Church os the Firji-born, l$c. and to be raised' upwtb Chriji, and made to fit tegetker in Heavenly Places in Christ Jesus. (Heb. xii. 22,.
23. and Eph. si. 6.) See string. Obferv. Sacr* lib. ii. cap. 7. §. 9,—18. To lender
the Words, as Air. Mossey would do, (Vernac. Sacra, pag. 8.) " Whoever while he lives, "believes on me, Jhall not die for ever, or eternally," is both obscuring and enervating their Sense, and (as 1 have shewn elsewhere, Note (k) on John iv. 14. Vol. i. pag. 174. and Notes (b), (c), on Jobny'ui. 51, -52. Vol.u. pag. y2.) is grounded on a Criticism, which cannot agree with theUse of the Phrase in question in parallel Passives. Compare Mat. xxi..
19. Seel. 149. The Opposition between"this, and the preceding Verse, plainly shew,, that
the former refers to the Spirits of those who were dead, who are yet spoken of as believing inChrisl; and i?, I think, no contemptible Proof of their remaining in a State os Activity: But the Doctrine is so very plain in Scripture, as not to need the Aid of such consequential Arguments.