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Female Scripture Biographies, Vol. II, Francis Augustus Cox O that, with Mary, we may sit at the feet of Jesus, and by a prompt obedience to his comments 'find rest to our souls.' Scarcely have we read of the privileges of the two sisters at Bethany, when we are introduced to an account of their trials: so closely do pleasures and pains follow each other in the train of human events! The fairest fruit is often beset with thorns, the clearest day liable to be overcast with clouds; and should the morning of life rise in brightness, and the evening set in serenity, who can reasonably hope that no changes shall occur in its intermediate hours? Religion indeed promises consolation amidst afflictions, but not exemption from them: she is the guardian of our spiritual interests, but not the disposer of our terrestrial condition. How happily was the previous intercourse of Martha and Mary with Jesus calculated to prepare them for their more gloomy visiter, DEATH! Lazarus, the brother of these excellent women, was taken ill, upon which they immediately sent to inform their divine Friend of the distressing circumstance. As soon as he heard it, he remarked to his disciples that this event would prove the occasion of enhancing his own and his Father's glory; but notwithstanding the ardent friendship which he cherished for the family, and which the evangelist particularly notices, [38] he did not hasten, as it seemed natural he should, to Bethany, but remained where he was two days longer.

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