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why If our Saviour's compassionating the
^"stand Circumstances of his Friends, andweepcaiied ing upon so fad an Occasion, mould be him with accounted an Action not comporting Yrice. vvitn his Character, it lhould be considers, s that "There is something in "human Nature, resulting from our "very Make and Constitution, while it ** retains its genuine Form, and is not "alter'd by vicious Habks, oroppress'd "by Stupidity, which renders us obv noxious to the Pains of others; causes "us to sympathize with them, and al"most comprehends us in their Case. "This Compassion appears eminently in "those, 'whd, upon other Accounts, are "justly reckon'd among the beji of Men. "They, who, of all Writers, undertake "to imitate Nature most, often intro"duce even their Heroes weeping. The "Tears of Men are, in truth, yery dif"ferent from the Cries and Ejaculations "of Children: They are silent Streams, i% and flow from other Causes, common"ly some tender^ and perhaps fhilo"Jophical Reflections:" And in the Case now before us, there might be other Considerations, besides the Lois of Ltfzarus, that might draw from our Saviour these Tears of Compassion. He might, at that time be affected with the Thought
of of many Afflictions, to which human Nature is liable, in this imperfect State, and his Groans and inward Grief might proceed from the want of Faith, observable in the Sisters, and Company attending, and a Diffidence of his Ability to raise the Dead, notwithstanding they had seen so frequent Manifestations of a divine and omnipotent Power residing in him.
* Religion of Nat. Delin. Scct.tf. p. 159.
hHe knew that theObstinacy and invincible Prejudices of some of the Spectators, and of the generality of the Jewt/h People was such, that the astonishing Miracle, he was going to work, would not have its due Effect upon them. This recall'd to his Mind that Scene of Misery and Desolation, which he foresaw would overtake them, and therefore he griev'd and JIgb'd deeply at the prospect of the Calamities, which that perverse People were bringing upon themselves, and, which all his Endeavours, his Miracles and Sufferings, could not prevent. So that, upon the whole, the Concern which our Lord express'd upon this Occasion, proceeded from the noblest Motives, Wisdom, Goodness, Friendship, Compassion, and every View, that is just and laudable, while he sympathized with his Friends, .and griev'd for his Enemies,
A a 4 If
J Stevenson's Conference upon the Miracles, p. 4.
If his crying to Lazarus with a loud Voice is thought a Circumstance of lbme Suspicion, it should be remember'd, that, when a Miracle is wrought for the Proof of the Character, or' divine Mission of any Person, it ought always to appear to be dbnfe by him, that it may not be reputed a casual Event. » For this Reason it is, that we find the Prophets, and other extraordinary Messengers of God, at the fame time that they performed any Miracle, always making use of some external Action, though that Action was in itself of no real Virtue. Thus when the Red-Sea was to be open'd to give a Passage to the Children of Israels God said unto Moses, k Lift up thy Rod, and Jlretch thine Hand over the Sea, and divide it. The sir etching the Hand, it is plain, did not divide the Sea, but the divine Power, that accompanied that Action ; and yet that Action was of great use to convince the People, that the dividing and returning of the Waters (which immediately follow'd thereupon) was not a casual natural Event, but a plain Indication of God's abetting the Pretensions of their Leader Moses. And, in like manner, the Tone of our Saviour's Voice, whether low, or loud, availed nothing to the dead Man's Resurrection, rection, but since the History assures us that a great Number of Jews, and, among these, Foes as well as Friends^ were come to condole with the two Sifters upon this sorrowful Event, common Reason will inform us, that it was highly proper, that all, who were present, mould be equally Witnesses of the whole Process; and, consequently, that an elevated Voice was more suitable to this Occasion, than when the like Miracle was done, either in a private Room, or before a imaller Number of People.
'Lardmrs Vind. p. 65. * Exod. xiv. 16.
If the Napkin, which Lazarus came The Nap. out of the Grave with, is thought to give kin on his any suspicious Umbrage, it may not be J^f^ improper to observe, that the Text fays, clous cirthat l Lazarus's Face was bound about cumwith a Napkin; but it does not fay, thatstance" it was cover'd with it, so that the Spectators could not behold his Countenance. m The lame Evangelist, speaking of our Lord's Resurrection, uses the fame Expression, and tells us of the atsfdpiov, 6 m Wi Ths y.ifsLXy\<; dtrrS, the Napkin, that was upon his Head, by which it would seem that the Sudarium was part of the Burial-dress, bound about the Head, and covering only the upper-part of the Face qr Fprehead, like a Night-Cap;
J John xi,"44. • Defence of Script. Hist. p.xj.
and if so, this Circumstance can be no Proof that his Face was not open to the view of the Company But allowing that his whole Face was covered with this Napkin, yet, since, among all civiliz'd Nations, the Custom is reputed decent, to cover the Face of the Corpse with something or other, as this was a Proof that Lazarus was supposed by his Friends to be dead, when they buried him j so, instead of any Bodies going into the Tomb to occasion the least Suspicion of any clandestine Practices, the proper Demonstration was to see him come forth fairly alive, in the presence of the numerous Spectators, without any Change or Alteration of his Funeral Habit, but what was made before the People themselves, by our Saviour's laying, loose him, and let him go. That some or other in the Company was ready enough, upon this Occasion, to obey our Lord's Command, can hardly be doubted j and therefore it is very wonderful, 'that (had there been any Fraud or Collusion in this Resurrection) among so great a Multitude, no one should have Sagacity enough to find it out. But the Truth of the Matter is, n they none of them suspected any such thing; they none of them thought, that, when a Man had
• Defence of Script. Hist. p. 28