Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

But now she had none left to be the support and comfort of declining years—

Destroyed both root and branch, she had no prospect but that her name would be extinct in Israel—]

Filled with compassion he wrought a miracle on her behalf

[Jesus, addressing himself to the mourning widow, bade her not weep—

How vain, how impertinent had such advice been, if given by a common man!—

But, from him, it came as a rich cordial to her fainting spirit— ■

He then stopped the procession, and said to the dead man, Arise—

Nor were the hopes, occasioned by his interference, disappointed-—

On other occasions he wrought his miracles at the request of others3

This he performed spontaneously, and unsolicited by any—

Nothing moved him to it but that very compassion which brought him down from heaven—

Nor did he exercise this power in the name of anotheri"—

He spake authoritatively, as one who could quicken whom he would«

Nor did he merely recall the soul without renovating the body'i

The restoration to life and vigour was effected perfectly t and in an instante

To complete the ntercy, " he delivered the man to his mother"—

And preferred the comfort of the widow to the honour he himself might have gained in retaining such a follower—]

Such a stupendous miracle could not fail of exciting suitable emotions

II. The effect it produced '•■

There is little in the scriptures to gratify our curiosity—

a Intercession was made for Jairus's daughter, by her own father; for the Centurion's servant, by his friends; for the paralytic, by his neighbours; but none besought him for this distressed widow.

b Elijah and Elisha obtained this power by prayer, I Kings xvii. 21.2 Kings iv. 33.; and Peter wrought his miracles in the name of Jesus, Acts iii. 6. and ix. 34. e John v. 21.

d 2 Kings iv. 34, 35. c " He sat up, and began to speak."

Vol. III. Nn

f , —

. Hence we arc not told what the man spake, of how the mother was affected at the first interview with her sen—

But, if once she forgat her pangs for joy that he was b(. rn, how much more her sorrows now

Doubtless the scene must have been inexpressibly intereMing

. [We may conceive Jesus, meekly majestic, delivering the man to his mother— But it is not easy to conceive the first emotions of their minds—

Nature, would stimulate the reunited relatives to expressions of mutual endearment—

Grace, on the other hand, would rather lead them first to admire and adore their benefactor—

Perhaps, looking.alternately on Jesus and on each other, they might stand fixed in silent astonishment—

We need not however dwell on that which, at best, is mere ifonjecture—]

The effect produced on the multitude is recorded for our instruction

1. They were all filled with fear

[The people that attended Jesus, and those who followed the funeral, meeting together, the concourse was very great—

And one impression pervaded the whole body—

The fear which came upon them was a reverential awe—

This is natural to man, when he beholds any signal appearance of the Deity—

It is equally produced whether God appear in a way of jddgment or of mercyf

Somewhat of this kind is felt by the Seraphim before the throne*—

And it would be more experienced by us, if we realized more the divine presenceh

When it is excited only by some visible display of the Deity, ]t will generally vanish with the occasion—

But when it is caused by faith, it will abide and influence our whole conduct—

Happy would it be for us if we were continually thus impressed'—

2. They glorified God

[They did not know that Jesus was indeed a divine person—

But they manifestly saw that he was " a great prophet"—

f Compare acts v. 11. and Luke i. 65. s Isai. vi. 2.

•■. Jer. x. 6, 7. / i Prov. xxviii. 14.

m ~

And that God, after suspending all miraculous interpositions

for above three hundred years, had again "visited his people"—

In these tokens of God's favour they could not but rejoice—

Doubtless they congratulated each other on this gloriou?

event—

And gave vent to their gratitude in devoutest adorations— We have reason indeed to fear that these impressions were soon effaced—

Happy had they been if they had retained this heavenly disposition—

But who has not reason to regret, that mercies produce too transient an effect upon his mind?—

Let us at least profit by the example they then set us— And labour to glorify God for the inestimable mercies he has conferred upon us—]

Improvement

1. This history may teach us to sit loose to the things of this life

[If we possess personal and family mercies,let us be thank* ful for them—

The contininuance of them is no less a favour than the restoration of them would be—

But let us not inordinately fix our affections upon any created good—

We know not how soon our dearest comforts naay become the occasion of our deepest sorrows—

The case of Job affords a striking admonition to men in all agesk

Let us then endeavour to practise that advice of the apostlei

And place our affections on those things which will never be taken from usm—]

2. It shews us whither we should flee iu a season of deep affliction

[As no physicians could restore the widow's son, so none could heal her wounded spirit—

But there was one at hand, when she little thought of it, that could do both—

That same Almighty Deliverer is ever nigh unto us—

And calls us to himself when we are bowed down with trouble*—

Let us then call upon him under every spiritual or temporal affliction—

[ocr errors]

And, with a conviction of his all-sufficiency, let us say with Peter0—]

3. We may take occasion from it to bless God for the preached gospel

[The word of Christ in his gospel is as powerful as in the days of his flesh—

It quickens many who were dead in trespasses and sins—

It rescues them from the second death, and awakens them to an eternal life

How many have seen the souls, over which they had long mourned, called forth to life by the almighty voice of Jesus!—

Let the whole multitude of us then " fear the Lord and his goodness"i'—*

Let us glorify him for sending us such an adorable Saviour—

And let us seek, both for ourselves and others, fresh displays of his power and grace—]

0 John vi. 68, 69. P Hos. iii. 5.

CCXCL THE BLINd AND DUMB D1MonIAC HEALED.

Matt. xii. 22,23. Then was brought unto him one possessed with a devil, blind and dumb: and he healed him, insomuch that the blind and dumb both spake and saw. And all the peO' pie were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

THE power of Satan is far greater than is generally supposed—In the days of our Lord it was exercised in a visible and most tremendous manner—Perhaps God suffered him to display his power then more than at any former period, in order that the triumphs of Jesus over him might be more manifest—We have reason to be thankful that since the apostolic age a considerable restraint has been imposed upon him—Still, however, he retains a fatal power over the souls of men—Nor is any human strength sufficient to counteract his malignant efforts—To Jesus alone can we look for deliverance from him—He alone who rescued this daemoniac from his oppression, can deliver us—

From the miracle before us we shall take occasion to shew

I. VV hat power Satan still exercises over mankind Though he is not permitted to vex their bodies, he too

successfully assaults their souls

Ht blinds them •

[It is expressly asserted in the scripture that he is the "God of this world who blinds the eyes of unbelievers"2— Through his agency they are kept from discerning their duty, their interest, and their happiness—One would suppose that none need to be told, That it is their duty to love and serve God, and to cleave stedfastly to their Lord and Saviour; that it is their highest interest to seek the favour of God and an everlasting inheritance—And, that there is no happiness to be compared with the enjoyment of God's presence, and the prospect of his glory—Yet these things they cannot see—They . are even foolishness to the natural jnanb—And the broken cisterns which can hold no water are preferred before the fountain of living waters0—What a lamentable proof of the darkness of their understandings, and the blindness of their hearts!"1—]

He makes them dumb

[The tongue is justly called "our glory," because it is the member whereby we most glorify Gode—But, as far as respects this use of our tongue, we are as dumb as the very beasts—We speak not to God in fervent prayer and praise, notwithstanding our daily wants should stimulate us to the one, and our daily mercies to the other—We speak not of God to our friends and families, but prefer every other topic of conversation—We speak not for God in the world, even though we witness the indignity with which he is every where treated—Were we to hear our friend or father insulted thus we should endeavour to vindicate their honour—But for God and his glory we feel no concern—And whence is this but from the agency of that "Spirit, who ruleth in all the children of disobedience?"*.—]

We need not however be cast down, if we consider

II. That all who apply to Jesus shall surely obtain deli

verance Our blessed Lord is as able and willing to help us as ever

[Nothing could withstand the energy of his word when he was on earth—Nor did any make application to him in

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »