"This is the resting place, let the weary rest; and this is the place of repose"—

"She is not dead, but asleep." Luke 8:52

"Your brother will rise again." John 11:23

Let these words suggest thoughts of unutterable solace and refreshment to those who may now be seated in tears and sackcloth under the "Palms of the Valley."

Death is but a quiet sleep. The 'Bible,' it has been said, 'with its finger of love, turns what we dread into gold.' Here the Bible, with its finger of life, turns dreaded death into a peaceful slumber. Soon the morning hour shall strike; the waking time of immortality arrive; and the voice of Jesus will be heard, saying, "I go that I may awake them out of sleep."

It has been often noted that there is a beautiful and striking progression in our Lord's three miraculous raisings from the dead. The first in point of time was in the case of the daughter of Jairus, spoken of in our first motto-verse. She was raised immediately after death had taken place; when the body was still laid on its death couch. Her soul had but taken its flight to the spirit-world, when the angels that bore it away were summoned to restore it. The second, in chronological order, was the raising of the son of the widow of Nain. Death had here achieved a longer triumph. The customary time for mourning had intervened; he was being borne to his last home when the voice of Deity sounded over his funeral casket. The third and last of this class of miracles, was the raising of Lazarus of Bethany. Over him death had attained a still more significant mastery. The funeral rites were over; the tomb held in its embrace 'the loved and lost'—four days had these lips been sealed before the life-giving and life-restoring word was uttered.

There is one other gigantic step in this progression—"The hour is coming when all that are in their graves shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and shall come forth!"

In the first case cited, the time elapsing between the dismissal of the spirit and its recall was measured by moments, the second by hours, the third by days; the fourth is measured by agescenturies—a MILLENNIUM. But what of that? What though in conventional language we speak of the tomb as the "long home," and death as "the long sleep"? By Him (with whom a thousand years is as one day), that precious, because redeemed dust, shall be gathered together, particle by particle. "I will ransom them," He says, as He looks forward through the vista of ages to this glorious consummation, "I will ransom them from the power of the grave, I will redeem them from death. O death, I will be your plagues; O grave, I will be your destruction." Blessed, thrice blessed assurance!

As in the case of Jairus, it was his own loved daughter who, in form and feature, was again restored; as the widow of Nain gazed on the unaltered countenance of her own cherished boy; as the sisters of Lazarus saw in him who came forth from the grave, no alien form, strangely altered, but the brother of their hearts; so, we believe, on that wondrous morning of immortality, shall the loved on earth wear their old familiar smiles and loving looks. They shall retain their personal identity.

No, further; as in the case of the ruler's daughter, her parents received her once more into their arms; as in the case of the widow's son, it is expressly said, "they delivered him to his MOTHER;" as in Bethany, we are allowed to look into the home circle again reunited—Jesus, once more, loving "Martha and Mary and Lazarus," and they loving one another—so may we believe that, on the Resurrection day, the affections which gladdened and hallowed homesteads here, shall not be dulled, quenched, annihilated; but rather ennobled and purified. Like the fabled Phoenix (the "Palm-bird") they shall rise from their ashes in forms of new and more glorious life. Brothers, sisters, parents, children, shall be linked in the fond ties and memories of earth, gathering in loving groups under the shade of immortal palms, by the living fountains of waters, and singing together the Song of Eternity.

"We must not doubt, or fear, or dread,
That love for life is only given,
And that the calm and sainted dead
Will meet estranged and cold in heaven.
Oh, love were poor and vain indeed,
Based on so harsh and stern a creed.
But that which makes this life so sweet
Shall render heaven's joy complete."

"And the mother gave, in tears and pain,
The flowers she most did love;
She knew she should find them all again
In the fields of light above.

"Oh, not in cruelty, not in wrath
The Reaper came that day,
'Twas an angel visited the green earth
And took the flowers away."

"He grants sleep to those He loves."

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