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any apparent difficulties prevent you. You may seem to yourself—indeed such may really be the case--that you may be so much in the trammels of the world, that it may appear to you as difficult to get loose from the many obstructions to your becoming a truly devoted Christian, as there were to Lazarus being set free from his
But let this encourage you, that the same voice which cried, “ Lazarus, come forth,” gave also this command, “Loose him, and let him go ;” and we find by Lazarus being afterwards at the supper made for our Lord at Bethany, that this word was effectual. Make, then, no delay; but as the providence of God has brought you to this house, to hear of this wonderful miracle, entreat him to fulfil bis gracious promise, to give his Holy Spirit to all who ask him. Oh that he may thus incline your heart. May He of his infinite mercy quicken your dead soul, and raise you to a life of righteousness.
And do you, my beloved Christian friends, encourage those who may be desirous to profit by our Lord's mercy by removing, as ;"
far as your power extends, every hindrance. It was to the surrounding spectators that our Lord said, “ Loose him, and let him
go; for this it was in their power to do; and although you cannot give spiritual life to those who are dead in trespasses and sins, you may assist in loosing them from the trammels of the world. This at least
you can effect--you may do as we find Simon the leper afterwards doing to Lazarus, inviting him to his house, when the faithful followers of our Saviour met there, in grateful acknowledgment of his raising him from the dead. Yet much may be done by encouraging those who are desirous to come out from the world. It has been well said, that the human heart will not admit of a vacuum ; that if
you would empty it of the vanities of the world, you must fill it with that which has a real substance. Oh, then, whatever can be done by prayer, by kindness, by consistency, and, above all, by adorning the doctrine of God our Saviour, to encourage those who are, as we might say, coming forth from their graves, let it be done. For oh, my beloved friends, of what infinite importance it is that our fellow-sinners should be delivered from the bondage of the world! Our Lord has said, “No man can serve two masters.
Ye CANNOT serve God and mammon. It is impossible to reconcile the two services : for, “friendship with the world is enmity with God. Whosoever, therefore, will be a friend of the world is the enemy of God."*
It is but a little while, and the same voice that said to Lazarus, • Come forth,” shall issue the same command to all the dead; and then shall “we discern between the righteous and the wicked: between him that serveth God, and him that serveth him not.” For while the former will “ awake to life,'' the latter “ will awake to shame and everlasting contempt.”
“ Awake, then, thou that sleepest ;" I repeat the word, " Awake, thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light."
* James iv. 4.
And let us, my beloved brethren, knowing the time, that it is now high time to awake out of sleep; for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed; let us, I say,
cast off the works of darkness,” and let us “put on the armour of light;" that “when Christ, who is our life, shall appear, we may also appear with him in glory.”
JOHN XII. 1-3.
66 Then Jesus six days before the passover came to
Bethany, where Lazarus was which had been dead, whom he raised from the dead. There they made him a supper; and Martha served: but Lazarus was one of them that sat at the table with him. Then took Mary a pound of ointment of spikenard, very costly, and anointed the feet of Jesus, and wiped his feet with her hair : and the house was filled with the odour of the oint
ment." For several Sabbaths we have been occupied in the consideration of this very interesting narrative of the family which Jesus loved.
It is a narrative replete with most important instruction. Among various other lessons, which it is peculiarly calculated to teach, these may be noticed, the blessedness of family affection, and the efficacy of intercessory prayer. For the whole of St. John'