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The Raising of the Widow s Son at Nain.

The Raising of the Widow s Son at Nain.

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE
BY THE REV. JAMES DODD3, BELHAVEX.

Luke vii. 11-16,
BY THE REV. JAMES DODD3, BELHAVEX.

Luke vii. 11-16,

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 07, 2013
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01/23/2014

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THE RAISIG OF THE WIDOW S SO AT AI.BY THE REV. JAMES DODD3, BELHAVEX.
And it came to pass the day after, that he went into a city called ain ; and many of hisdisciples went with him, and much people. ow, when he came nigh to the gates of thepity, behold, there was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and she was aWidow ; and much people nf the city was with her. And when the Lord saw her, he hadcompassion on her, and said unto her, Weep not. And he came and touched the bier : andtlu-y that bare him stood still. And he said, Young man, I say unto thee, Arise. And hethat was dead sat up, and began to speak. And he delivered him to this mother. Andthere came a fear on all : and the}' glorified God, saying, That a great prophet is risen among: and, That God had visited his people." — Luke vii. 11-16,
This is one of the most striking and affecting miracles wrought byour Lord in the course of his ministry on earth. Along with the heal-ing of the centurion's servant wrought on the preceding day, it formeda glorious attestation of the doctrine he had recently at great lengthpreached in the audience of the people. Both of the mighty miracles,indeed, related at the commencement of this chapter, present a verygood specimen of that kind of proof which the Son of Man, who spakeas never man spake, invariably attached to his doctrine. Our blessedLord, as is well known, went about not only teaching and preachingwith an authority manifestly divine, but working all manner of signs andwonders ; and thus he exhibited his love to man both by words of purestinstruction and by deeds of divine benevolence. While he enlightenedthe dark soul, he healed and strengthened the weak and afflicted body.At one and the same time he poured forth, as from an exhaustless foun-tain, the hidden treasures of wisdom and knowledge, and by his almightypower subjected to hh will all the elements of nature, feeding the hungry,healing the sick, and raising the dead. But his doctrines and his mira-cles are not to be considered merely as different modes of shewing hislove to the children of men, different channels of conveyance for theriches of his grace ; they have an important relation to each other, whichit is very necessary to examine and understand. The leading purpose of his miracles was to confirm his doctrines — to prove beyond all reason-able doubt that he was a teacher come from God, and taught indeed thethings of God. " The works that I do,'' he himself says, " bear witness192 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.of me." (John v. 36.) His doctrines, on the other hand, cast a strongand vivid light upon his miracles, and show them to be characteristicof the divine nature, and full of spiritual meaning. The miracles attestthe divinity of the doctrines, and the doctrines are frequently foundtypified or contained in the miracles. Each, taken singly, bears theimpress of a heavenly origin, and might speak to every heart with a
 
voice of divine power ; but both together form one harmonious andresistless testimony to the divine commission, the almighty power, andoverflowing mercy of the Saviour.In accordance with his usual practice of confirming heavenly truthby mighty deeds, our Lord follows up the discourse he had just deli-vered in the hearing of the multitude by two great miracle? — onewrought at Caj>ernauni, immediately on his finishing all his sayings,and the other the next day at ain. He had hitherto confined hismiraculous power almost entirely to the healing of diseases and the re-lieving of infirmities, and it is possible that this raising of the widow'sson at ain was the first instance of his giving life to the dead. Fromthe beginning to the close of his career, his miracles seem to rise ingrandeur and importance : his divine power is, in a manner, displayedin manifestations more and more sublime, from the day when he changedwater into wine at Cana of Galilee, to that memorable morning whenhe shook from him the iron bands of death, and burst the gloomy por-tals of the tomb. Up to this period he had healed many painful andinveterate diseases ; he had rebuked fevers, cast out devils, cured thesick of the palsy, gave sight to the blind, made the lame to walk, andthe dumb to speak. But now he exhibits a still more illustrious dis-play of his Godhead, and stands still more gloriously confessed as theCreator and Lord of all, by summoning back the departed spirit, byrecalling the breath of life into the dead, unconscious frame.Verses 11 and 12. " And it came to pass the day after, that he wentinto a city called ain, and many of his disciples went with him, andmuch people. ow when he came nigh to the gate of the city, beholdthere was a dead man carried out, the only son of his mother, and shewas a widow : and much people of the city was with her."Having healed the centurion's servant at Capernaum, our Lord, whowent about continually doing good, the very next clay proceeded to a citycalled ain, doubtless still further to display his glory and his good-ness. This city of ain was not far distant from Capernaum, and wassituated in the province of Galilee, about two miles to the south of Tabor,the mount of transfiguration. Hither did Jesus, attended by a multi-tude of disciples and much people, direct his steps. He knew what hadhappened there ; he knew the bitter anguish of one widowed heait, andREV. JAMES DODDS. 193be went on an erran J of mercy and love. The crowd which surroundedhim had lately heard the word of life, which flowed from his lips withan abundant fulness, and revealed the mysteries and duties of the king-
 
dom of God ; they had seen displayed the ample treasures of divineknowledge ; and now they were to be favoured with an affecting butmost sublime exhibition of divine power ; they were to see the wordsof life confirmed by a life-giving deed.Jesus, with the crowd of his followers, now approached the gates of the city, when, behold ! another and very different crowd met him — acrowd of mourners bearing a lifeless body to the grave. They werecarrying a dead man out of the city to the place of burial. In easterncountries, even at this day as at that time, the burial places are withoutthe city walls, and lying apart from the din and bustle of human life,in the stillness and solitude of a more sequestered scene, bear the appro-priate name of Cities of the Dead. The dead, then, have to be borneforth from the city of the living, and consigned to their last resting-place in the fields. To such an abode was the funeral throng carryingone youthful body when the sorrowful procession met the eye of theSaviour, and the wailings of uncontrolled emotion reached his pityingear. Many, perhaps most, of the inhabitants of the city constituted thatmelancholy throng ; they were discharging those last sad duties of human-ity which man can never, without proving untrue to his nature, refuseto his fellow man. They were consigning to his narrow bed a brother,a youthful brother ; and there was enough, doubtless, in all the circum-stances of his death and burial, to raise in their hearts an unusual floodof sorrow, and make the tears of compassion abundantly flow. That wasa woeful and weeping multitude which yielded to the feelings of the sadoccasion, and saw in the early departure of a fellow creature, a warning toprepare for their own. But there was one in that multitude, the sorrow of whose heart far exceeded theirs, and could find no utterance in speech,the agony of whose bereavement might well have melted the stoniestheart, and whose whole soul was dissolved with bitterest tears of deso-lation and woe. It was a widow bereft of her only son ; now doubly awidow, seeing she had lost him who was her solace and her joy, thehonour of her old age, the sole support of her declining years. Hehad died before his time, in the flower and promise of his youthful life, just entering on the labours of manhood, and about to become morethan ever the stay of his desolate mother. He followed not her to thegrave, but she was following him — the parent burying the youthfulchild, and not the son, as is most natural to our minds, burying theaged parent. Every sign and circumstance of woe were here, all thatstrikes the tenderest cords of our humanity, and makes us pity the for-Xo. 121. — Lkct. 14. vol. in.194 FREE CHURCH PULPIT.

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