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It is even a vapour, which appeareth for a little time, and then vanisheth away." What is beauty, strength, youth?" Verily every man at his best estate is altogether vanity.” Think of this, ye young. Remember the old are not the only victims of death. Enter church-yards : measure graves : read inscriptions

What pathos in the date! Few doctors preach so well!” He was the only son of his mother. There is an ocean of love in the hearts of parents towards their children Witness the reluctance and exclamation of Jacob: “Me have ye bereaved of my children. Joseph is not, Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away! All these things are against me.” Witness the mourning of David, even over a bad, a rebellious son. 6. And the king was much moved, and went up to the chamber over the gate, and wept: and, as he went, thus he said, 'O) my son Absalom ! my son, my son Absalom, would God I had died for thee, O Absalom, my son, my son !" But this parental affection is stronger on the side of the female than the male. Not only has the mother more natural sensibility and tenderness than the father, but the child, if I may so express it, is much more hers than his : it is hers by months of anxiety, and pangs of anguish : it is hers by a thousand nightly watchings and daily cares: it is hers by numberless pleasures given and received, in which nei. ther stranger nor friend intermeddles with her joy. Thus the performance of duty is secured and sweetened. But that which renders duty a privilege, in the very same proportion increases the fear of loss, and the anguish of separation. What then were the feelings of his mother-deprived of her only son ? Had he been one of many,

the loss would have been partial, and the affliction more easily endured—but he was the only pledge of virtuous affection, the only hope of future years ; her life was entirely bound up in his. Mourning for an only son is mentioned in the Scripture as the extreme of grief. “O daughter of my people, gird thee with sackcloth, and wallow thyself in ashes, make the mourning as for an only son, most bitter lamentation: for the spoiler shall suddenly come upon us.”

But what closes the melancholy tale of this woman is—that she was a widow. A widow is always an affecting character, as she is liable to injustice and oppression, from those fiends who take advantage of weakness and distress; as she is deprived of the companion of her journey, and compelled to travel alone ; as her anxieties are doubled, and there is none to share them with her. In this state a child may seem an addition to her difficulties ; but if he excites care, he diverts grief. He is some company in her solitary hours: in him something of the husband remains ; in his face the father's image is admired. He will render himself serviceable by dutiful attentions ; he will place on her the regard which he owed the deceased, and love her with a double affection. He will also plead her cause, and become her protector and her refuge. But-such is no longer the con. dition of this poor widow. None is now left to support her tottering age : her last leaf is shaken down; her last coal in Israel is quenched. And she is now, it is probable, going to bury her only son in the same grave with his father. The opening of a husband's tomb would make her wounds bleed afresh-0! what would be her agony, when she would turn round, and leave the sepulchre" There have I buried all my earthly happiness and hope-o for the day when I shall come hither, too, and be gathered to my kindred dust!"

Sorrowful as the occasion was, she attended the funeral herself. And I commend her. It was following her only son as far as she could go : it was deriving from the scene all the instruction it could afford, and all the impression it could produce. But in our age of improvement, and refinement, and feeling, friends and relations seldom accompany the funeral of their connexions. A minister often buries a child when he has no other audience to address than the few individuals who carry it to the grave, or the nurse who brings it under her arm! Yea, we are told, and we only wish to know some things by hear-say—that now in genteel life, as soon as the patient has expired, they withdraw from the very house, and leave the dead to mercenaries so that the minister can only meet the undertaker and his company, whose profit, alas! is entirely of another kind! And where are these things tending? And have people now, more sensibility than formerly? No-but they have more affectation and squeamishness; they have more love to the world, and more aversion to everything serious. But are men determined to banish and to keep from their minds every intimation of their mortality ? With what surprise and horror will death come upon those who never think of it? Are persons afraid of sorrow? “ It is better to go to the house of mourning, than to the house of mirth. By the sadness of the countenance the heart is made better." What advantages did this widow derive from her personal attendance in such trying circumstances !

But she was not alone" much people of the city was with her.”

This showed the esteem in which the family was held. But though numbers of the friends and neighbours of the widow attended her on this mournful occasion, sympathizing with her under the heavy affliction, and wishing to comfort her, little relief could they afford. They willingly commiserate her case, but cannot restore her son. Submission and patience were the only lessons they could preach or she could learn. But here comes advancing towards them another company, the leader of which can save to the uttermost The two parties join in the suburbs of the city--and what does our Lord and Saviour ?

First. He knew all the particulars of the case. Those who were with him could only see as they were passing by, a funeral : but he knew the corpse stretched upon the bier ; he knew that it was a young man; that it was the only son of his mother, and that she was a widow !

Secondly. He did not wait to be implored. Some of his miracles were wrought in answer to the supplications of the individuals themselves

; for he never refused any who applied to him and this should teach us to pray for ourselves. Some of his miracles also were performed in consequence of the intercession of others : thus we find neighbours and relations were more than once honoured by obtaining a cure for their connexions—and this should encourage us to pray for others. But of several he could say, “ I am found of them that sought me not.” Sometimes before we call he answers ; such a very present help is he in trouble. In the case before us, the relief was entirely spontaneous, and self-moved.

Thirdly. When we saw her, he had compassion

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on her. By nothing was our Saviour more distinguished than by pity and tenderness. He was touched with the feeling of our infirmities ; his eye affected his heart; he made all the miseries he beheld his own. Under the influence of this compassion

Fourthly-he said unto her, Weep not. How unavailing, not to say impertinent, would this have been from any other lips ? Were you officiously to advance, and, breaking the silence of the funeral train, say to the chief mourner, “ Woman, be easy, be happy, weep no more,” would it not be deemed equally singular and vain? And it is more than probable that in the case before us, the language of our Saviour would excite surprise, especially in the widow herself. Holding back her veil—she would look to see what stranger passing by thus interested himself in her grief, and gave

her advice so easy to offer, and so impossible to take. When lo!

Fifthly. Jesus, without any ostentatious ceremony, “ went and touched the bier: and they that bare it stood still ;” all amazement and expectation. Every eye is fixed upon him : what a moment of suspense

and
eagerness !

At length, in a tone of uncontrollable authority," he said to the young man,

I say unto thee, Arise !" He does this in his own name; he claims a power which controls even the dead. And the event justifies the pretension. He never spake in vain. In a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, the blood begins to liquify and flow through the veins and arteries; the lungs heave again; the eyes open : he “ that was dead sat up and began to speak”— my soul, what did he say?

Finally, observe the application, the delicacy

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