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THE WIDOW'S SON RAISED.
Luke vii. 13.
And when the Lord saw her, he had compassion
on her, and said unto her, Weep not.
THE words of Jesus Christ which were selected as the Gospel for last Sunday ', supplied us with some arguments against indulging too much anxiety and solicitude about the future, and suggested reflections well calculated to meet and mitigate the harassing effects of worldly care. We have a passage before us to-day from which may be derived arguments as convincing, and consolations as effectual for the relief of all who are under the pressure of worldly sorrow. This is a subject which can be never inappropriate, while addressed to beings, who are “ born to trouble as the sparks fly upwards', and in a time of great sickness ? and mortality like the present, it would be neglectful to pass it by unnoticed. I invite you, therefore, my brethren, to meditate awhile on the interview between Christ and the widow of Nain.
“ And it came to pass the day after, that Jesus went into a city called Nain; and many of his disciples went with him, and much people.” This much people had been attracted by the wonderful work of the preceding day. It had been a labour of love, as well as that in which he was now about to engage, though not so affecting in its details. A master---and evidently a kind and considerate master-had interceded in favour of a servant whom he loved, but who was sick and ready to die. Moved by the character given of the centurion by the Jewish elders,
i Job v. 7.
The cholera was raging.
Jesus consented to grant him the relief he sought. But while on the way towards his house for that purpose, other of the centurion's friends met him, bearing a message so full of the meekest humility, and the most unhesitating faith, that Jesus determined to depart from his usual course of proceeding. Without seeing the sufferer, or even approaching any nearer to the house, he spake the word only, and in that selfsame hour the servant was healed.
On account of this signal miracle, Jesus was accompanied by a greater crowd, perhaps even than usual, when on “ the day after” he approached the city of Nain. At all events, it was graciously ordered that his attendants were so numerous. It was graciously ordered that a more than common assemblage should be drawn together, to witness a work so convincing as an evidence of the truth of his mission, and so consolatory for the insight it gave into the nature of it. “ Now when he came nigh to the gate of the city, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the
only son of his mother, and she was a widow; and much people of the city was with her.”
Every one of the particulars here recorded, deserves notice. They constitute a perfect climax of woe.-Let us endeavour to bring the scene before us.—Jesus, accompanied as we have seen, by a great multitude, is passing round the foot of Mount Tabor towards Nain. As he approaches the city, its gates open, and a procession issues forth, whose mournful characteristics immediately declare the business that is in hand. The wailing and plaintive notes of the flute“ the great and very sore lamentation" of “the mourning women,”_" the eyes running down with tears, and the eyelids gushing out with waters—men tearing themselves in mourning to comfort them for the dead”—these doleful accompaniments of a Jewish funeral, tell too plainly to be mistaken, that “ a dead manis carried out.” This of itself is enough to arrest Christ's attention ; for this alone declares the
presence of distress the most interest
ing, if not the most acute, the human heart can feel. Even among us,
Even among us, with our clearer light and better hope, there is no blow for a time more heavy than that which is inflicted by the dissolution of those dear to us. With what crushing weight then must it have fallen upon the Jew, to whom life and immortality had not been declared, who knew not that the dead in Christ, shall rise again with him, and that the earth and the sea shall one day give up the bodies of the saints, that they may dwell together for ever before the Lord in glory. Ignorant of this only solace, they felt their woe most keenly, and expressed it with loud and vehement lamentations.
But in the case now before our Lord, there is evidently something peculiar. The procession is an extraordinary one even for the ceremonial of a Jewish funeral. “ Much people of the city" follow it. It is not, as on common occasions, confined to the relations and immediate connections of the deceased, but is swelled by much of the general