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Arise. And immediately she heard and obeyed. Thus shall he, with equal ease, call forth myriads of his saints, who now seem perished in the dust : and it may be said with regard to them also, in reference to that day, They are not dead, but sleep. The maiden, of whom we here read, arose only to a dying life; a life which needed the support of food, and was in no respect more noble or more secure than that of other mortals : but we look for a better resurrection, in which all the infirmities of the body shall be left behind in the grave; and there shall be no more death, neither sorrow, nor crying. (Rev. xxi. 4.)
In expectation of this, let us restrain immoderate sorrow when our pious friends are taken away: let us not make too much ado on the occasion, nor allow ourselves to be thrown into a tumult of passion, even when our children are stretched on the bed of death ; but believing in Christ, and governing ourselves by his precepts and maxims, let us in humble resig. nation, and submissive, though mournful silence, wait the issues of his providence and grace; since he knows how, as in this instance, to over-rule the calamities of our families to the good of our souls, and even to strengthen our faith by those exercises, which might seem most likely to overthrow it.
SECTION XXVIII. Matt. XIII. 54–58, ix. 35–38. MARK VI. 1–6. And he went out from thence, and came into his own country; and his disciples follow him. And when the sabbath-day was come, he began to teach in the synagogue : and many hearing him were astonished, and said, From whence hath this man these things ? and what wisdom is this which is given unto him, that even such mighty works are wrought by his hands? Is not this the carpenter's son? Is not his mother called Mary ? and his brethren, James, and Joses, and Simon, and Judas? And his sisters, are they not all here with us? Whence then hath this man all these things ? And they were offended in him. But Jesus said unto them, A prophet is not without honour, save in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house. And he could do there no mighty works because of their unbelief, save that he laid his hands on a few sick folk, and healed them. And he marvelled because of their unbelief.
And he went round about all the cities and vil. lages, teaching in their synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and healing every sickness, and every disease among the people. But when he saw the multitudes, he was moved with compassion on them, because they fainted, and were scattered abroad as sheep having no shepherd. Then saith he unto his disciples, The harvest truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Pray ye therefore the Lord of the harvest, that he will send forth labourers into his harvest.
Since the blessed Jesus vouchsafed to renew his visit to Nazareth, where they had attempted to murder him on his first preaching among them, let us not be weary of well-doing, nor refuse to renew our attempts on the most obstinate sinners, where the interests of their immortal souls are concerned.
But though they were astonished at his wisdom, and could not but allow the mighty works that he had wrought; yet these ungrateful creatures went on to reject him, and in so doing were condemned out of their own mouth : nor can we be at any loss for instances of those who in later ages have fallen under the like condemnation.
He is spoken of as the carpenter ; which intimates that he once wrought at that mean employment. What amazing condescension was this in the Son of God, and the Heir of all things, by whom also the worlds were made! (Heb. i. 2.) Yet surely while the hands of Christ were employed in these daily labours, his soul was rising in holy contemplations and devout affections. So may we intermingle pious meditations with our secular cares, and have our conversation in heaven, while our dwelling is on earth !
How much did these Nazarenes lose by their obstinate prejudices against Jesus! How many diseased bodies might have been cured, how many lost souls might have been recovered and saved, had they given him a better reception ! May Divine Grace deliver us from that unbelief, which does as it were disarm Christ himself, and render him a savour of death, rather than of life, to our souls !
Still he continued his gracious labours, and, when rejected in one city, went and preached in another; still surrounded with a crowd of admirers, whom he viewed with tender regard.
Let his ministers, learn of him, tenderly to pity those, who are faint and exposed to danger, and are as sheep having no shepherd. The extreme necessities of his churches in many places are but too apparent : let us earnestly pray, that God would behold them with compassion; that he would graciously provide for their instruction, and would thrust forth such labourers among them as may be diligent and faithful in their work, and prove the happy instruments of gathering in fruit to everlasting life. (John iv. 36.)
SECTION XXIX. Matt. X. 1-15.-MARK VI. 7-11.-LUKE IX. 1-5. And when he had called unto him his twelve disciples, he gave them power against unclean spirits, to cast them out, and to heal all manner of sickness and all manner of disease.
These twelve, Jesus called unto him, and began to send them forth by two and two, and commanded them, saying, Go not into the way of the Gentiles, and into any city of the Samaritans enter ye not. But go rather to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand. Heal the sick, cleanse the lepers, raise the dead, cast out devils: freely ye have received, freely give. Provide neither gold nor silver, nor brass in your purses, and take nothing for your journey, save a staff only: No serip, no bread, neither shoes, neither have two coats apiece. For the workman is worthy of his meat. And into whatsoever city or town ye shall enter, inquire who in it is worthy : and there abide till you go thence. And when ye come into an house, salute it; and if the house be worthy, let your peace come upon it: but if it be not worthy, let your peace return to you. And whosoever shall not receive you, nor hear your words, when ye depart out of that house or city, shake off the very dust from under your feet for a 'testimony against them. Verily, I say unto you, It shall be more tolerable for the land of Sodom and Gomorrha in the day of judgment, than for that city.
What abundant reason is there for humble thankfulness that the ambassadors of Christ were thus sent forth to preach the gospel, and that at length their number was increased, and their commission enlarged; so that instead of their being thus confined to the lost sheep of the house of Israel, their instructive line is gone out through all the earth, ani their words have resounded even to the end of the world! (Psalm xix. 4.) May the purport of their message be seriously attended to! since it will so certainly be a savour of life or of death, eternal salvation or aggravated condemnation and ruin.
Let us tremble to think, that it will be more tolerable for Sodom and Gomorrah in the day of judgment than for those by whom the gospel is rejected: and let us earnestly pray that Divine Grace may enable us to receive it in the love of it, and to obey the truth, that we may be suved. (2 Thess. ii. 10.)
They who have the honour in this respect to succeed the apostles as ministers of this gospel may learn most useful instructions from this discourse of our Divine Master. Let them speak and act as the messengers of peace and the friends of mankind, who cordially wish well to all around them; and gratefully acknowledge the kindness which, as faithful labourers, they have justly deserved. Let them shew a true greatness of mind in an apparent superiority to temporal interests and present gratifications; easy in whatever accommodations they find where Providence leads them; and forgetting themselves, to remember their Master, and the souls he has committed to their care.
Let them faithfully warn all around them of the importance of their eternal concerns, and of the unutterable danger of receiving the grace of God in vain, that whether men will hear or forbear, they may be clean from their blood. And, while we preserve such a temper and conduct, we may cheerfully hope that God will be with us in the way that we go, and how precarious soever our circumstances may seem, will give us food to eat, and raiment to put on. May we all have this token for good, that God will take care of our interests; even the consciousness of our being faithfully engaged to promote his glory, and our joyful readiness to spend and be spent for the service of souls! (2 Cor. xii. 15.)
Matt. X. 16–31. Behold, I send you forth as sheep in the midst of wolves: be ye therefore wise as serpents, and harmless as doves. But beware of men : for they
will deliver you up to the councils, and they will scourge you in their synagogues. And ye shall be brought before governors and kings for my sake, for a testimony against them and the Gentiles. But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak: for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak. For it is not ye that speak, but the Spirit of your Father which speaketh in you.
And the brother shall deliver up the brother to death, and the father the child: and the children shall rise up against their parents, and cause them to be put to death. And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved. But when they persecute you in this city, flee ye into another: for verily I say unto you, Ye shall not have gone over the cities of Israel, till the Son of man be come.
The disciple is not above his master, nor the servant above his Lord. It is enough for the disciple that he be as his master, and the servant as his Lord: if they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more shall they call them of his household ? Fear them not therefore : for there is nothing covered, that shall not be revealed, and hid, that shall not be known. What I tell you in darkness, that speak ye in light, and what ye hear in the ear, that preach ye upon the house-tops. And fear not them which will kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul : but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing ? and one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father. But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear ye not therefore; ye are of more value than many sparrows.
How apparently fit is it, that this eternal and almighty God should be the object of our humble fear, and that in comparison with him we should fear nothing else! All the terrors