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what shall I call it of the miracle : "and he delivered him to his mother!" He did not say, go preach the gospel; or, come, follow me. It was a prodigy of loving kindness ; of tender mercy. He would comfort her, and therefore he prefers her satisfaction to the honour he would have gained by the attendance of such a disciple on himself. What a present was here ? “He delivered him to his mother !”
How striking the whole scene ! to see a man instanıly called back-from the invisible world! what awe would it produce; what wonder would it excite! Some would be ready to flee from him-but the mother, she would embrace him after this second birth, and “remeinber no more her anguish, for joy that a man is born into the world.” But would the son engross all her attention? would she not think of Jesus? this friend in trouble ; this restorer of her happiness? O! I see her kneel and adore.—Let us conclude by three general reflections.
I. What a vale of lears is this world ; how various and numerous are the evils to which human life is exposed !
6. Man that is born of a woman, is of few days and full of trouble! Surely every man walketh in a vain show, surely they are disquieted in vain ! he heapeth up riches, and cannot tell who shall gather them.” His pains are great, his disappointments frequent, his cares corroding. His possessions generate alarms; and in proportion to his affections are his afflictions : his roses grow on thorns, and his honey contains a sting. Here we see a fellow-creature pining with sickness. There we hear a voice saying, “ I sit, and am alone, as a sparrow upon the house-top. Lover and friend hast thou put far from me, and mine acquaintance into darkness.” It is impossible to walk the street or pass along the road, without being assailed by sights and sounds of distress. And how peculiarly lamentable are some of these ! But
II. Let the afflicted remember that they are not left without resource : let them learn where to flee in the day of trouble. It is to the friend of sinners. Why? is this Saviour any longer on earth, that we may apply to him ? Unquestionablyhow else could he fülál his promise: " Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them ?" His bodily presence was not necessary to his assistance in the days of his flesh: he could speak a cure at a distance. He is now essentially, and spiritually near-near enough to hear all your complaints, and to afford you succour.
He knows and observes all your distresses, and he has the same tenderness, and the same power as of old. Is your condition
very trying and alarming? You have no cause for despair. At eventide it may be light. Little did this poor woman expect to meet with such a glorious change in her circumstances at the funeral of her last comfort. " When the Lord turned again her captivity, she was like them that dreamed !” But he was pleased to bring her thus low before he helped her, to teach us never to think our case desperate, or that his interference can come too late. But he does not deliver me!—The time and the manner of relief are his own; there are cases in which he can do us more good by the continuance, than by the speedy removal of our sorrows; but of this we may be assured, that he will not suffer us to call upon him in vain. Let us apply this to a particular case.
say—“I share in this woman's affliction, but not in her joy. My child is dead—but no Jesus says to me, Weep not.” Yes, Rachel, he does : “ Thus saith the Lord, Refrain thy voice from weeping, and thine eyes from tears ; for thy work shall be rewarded; and they shall come again from the land of the enemy. Aud there is hope in thine end, saith the Lord, that thy children shall come again to their own border.” But he will not raise my child to this fond embrace ? Yes, he will. He who said to the young man, arise, is “ the resurrection and the lise." Thy child shall rise again, and be delivered unto thee all over glorious, and no fear of separation shall damp the joy of union.
III. What think you of Christ ? Does not his character combine every excellency and attracLion? And is the relation of all this given us merely to gratisy our curiosity? Are we to peruse the life of our Lord and Saviour as we would read the history of a Cyrus or Alexander ? No, it is not written for our amusement, but for our profit. And then we peruse it properly-when we admire him-love hiin above all--depend wholly upon him, and feel the transforming efficacy of every view we take of his character,
changing us into the same iniage, from glory to glory, as by the spirit of the Lord.”
Let us, therefore, “ be followers of him as dear children.” Let us cultivate benevolence, and do all the good we can, especially to the fatherless and widows. These he has peculiarly recommended to our attention, not only by his example, but by his word.
6. Ye shall not afflict any widow or fatherless child. If thou afflict them in any wise, and they cry at all unto me, I will surely hear their cry ; and my wrath shall wax
hot, and I will kill you with the sword: and your wives shall be widows, and your children fatherless." I know you cannot work miracles—but you can show mercy. Go-visit the widow in her affliction. I know you cannot raise her dead sonbut you may preserve her living one. Go-and administer healing medicines and wholesome food; go and clothe his naked body, and inform his ignorant mind; go and endeavour to snatch him from ruin, and render him the staff of his poor widowed mother's age. Go-go, and enjoy all the luxury of doing good. 6. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me; because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him. The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy."
And Manoah said unto his wife, We shall surely die, be
cause we have seen God. But his wife said unto him, If the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering, and a meat-offering at our hands, neither would he have showed us all these things, nor would, as at this time, have told us such things as these.-Judges, xiii. 22, 23.
SAMPSON is the last of the Israelitish deliverers recorded in this book. He differs very much
from all his predecessors; for we never find him presiding over the council, or commanding in the army-but a tremendous scourge to the enemies of his country in his own person.
His history is full of wonders. An angel ushers him into the world. This angel first appeared to his mother, and foretold his birth. He soon after discovered himself also to his father, in company with his mother. His father immediately provided an entertainment for him-but the angel commanded him to offer it in sacrifice to the Lord. He did so the angel ascended in the flame, and they saw him no more.
By this they knew that he was a divine messenger, and in consequence of this apprehension, "Manoah said unto his wife, we shall surely die, because wehave seen God. But his wife said unto him, if the Lord were pleased to kill us, he would not have received a burnt-offering, and a meat-offering at our hands, neither would he have showed us all these things, nor would, as at this time, have told us such things as these."
And what does this passage teach us ? I. What peculiar impressions, divine manifestations make upon the mind. II. The difference there is in the knowledge and experience of the Lord's people. III. The profit that is to be derived from a pious companion. IV. How much there is in the Lord's dealings with his people to encourage them at all times, if they have skill enough to discern it.
I. See the peculiar impressions which divine manifestations make upon the mind. To a certain degree these impressions are proper: such manifestations ought to strike our minds, to humble us, to produce reverence and godly fear. If