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possible they can be the subjects of his complacent love, for “ he hateth iniquity, and cannot away with transgression.” What then will become of them ? Totally unfit as they will be for dwelling in this happy climate, they must fall, alas ! into that place where love never enters; but where there is weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth. Oh think of this, ye who set light by the love of Christ! Now hear the word of his
grace, 6. Turn ye, turn ye, from
for why will ye die? I have no pleasure, saith the Lord, in the death of the wicked. Seek then my face, and your soul shall live for ever."
ST. JOHN xi. 7-10.
" Then after that saith he to his disciples, Let us
go into Judea again. His disciples say unto him, Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again? Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day ?" If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world. But if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there
is no light in him." The inspired writer of this history, when he is inculcating brotherly love in his general epistle, thus addresses the Church of Christ :
My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue, but in deed and in truth.” This, my beloved friends, was the love which Jesus had for Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. Intending therefore to give them more effectual aid, he abode still two days in the same place where he was.
"Then after that He saith to his disciples, Let us go into Judea again;" purposing to restore Lazarus from the grave. The disciples, however, alarmed for their Master, and probably fearful also for their own safety, said to him, “ Master, the Jews of late sought to stone thee, and goest thou thither again ?”—thus attempting to withdraw our Lord from his compassionate purpose. To this objection he gave
this forcible reply, “Jesus answered, Are there not twelve hours in the day? If any man walk in the day, he stumbleth not, because he seeth the light of this world : but if a man walk in the night, he stumbleth, because there is no light in him.”
In this proposal of our Lord, we have brought before us one of the great practical principles of his religion ; in the objection of the disciples, the unwillingness of the carnal mind to act upon it; and, in his reply, the proper mode of meeting this objection. It is to these interesting parts of divine truth that I would now invite your attention. Let me entreat your prayers for the accompanying power of the Holy Spirit, that through His divine aid, the Word may become profitable to all present, for Jesus Christ's sake.
In the verses preceding my text, which were brought before you on the last Sabbath, it was stated that “Jesus loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus. When he heard therefore that he was sick, he abode two days still in the same place where he was. This, as I mentioned, was done upon this principle—that the love of our blessed Saviour, being a love which is not satisfied with conferring present comfort, without regard to future consequences, but a love which desires to impart the greatest blessing to his beloved people, he remained beyond Jordan, until the death and burial of Lazarus gave him the opportunity of manifesting his glory, by restoring him to life. Knowing, however, for in his divine nature nothing was hidden from him, that these events had actually taken place, the reason for his deferring his visit no longer existed. Full of compassion, therefore, to this afflicted family, and desirous to give them effectual succour, he says,
“ Let us go into Judea again.” You will recollect that he had only lately left it to avoid the malice of his implacable enemies, who sought his life ; but, as if to shew to his disciples that no apparent danger would prevent him, he says, “ Let us go into Judea again :" evidently referring to his former visit ; thus putting them in mind of the hostility of the Jews, and at the same time inculcating a most important practical principle. The principle is this — not to allow apparent obstacles to prevent us from attending to the calls of active benevolence i a principle very difficult to carry into practice, but one of the most amiable that can be conceived.
That this was the principle upon which our Lord acted, I scarcely need say: for oh what had He to encounter on coming to the relief of a miserable world! He had not only to leave the bosom of His Father, the adoration of angels, and the blessedness of heaven, and to empty himself “ of the glory which he had before the world was :" but he had to endure the very depths of sorrow.