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I want that sweet communion,
Thy presence will afford; To dwell in glorious union,
For ever with the Lord.
I want, as Thy beloved,
To lie upon Thy breast;
And tell Thee I am blest.
No more a veil between,
And see as Thou art seen.
MARY'S GREAT LOVE;
THE POWER OF A PERSON.
John xx., in connection with Psalm lxiii., xxxvi.
HAT God was to the Psalmist in the 63rd
and 36th Psalms, that the Lord was to Mary. They had both one Object of desire-one Person for whom their soul longed.
Beloved, how wonderful is love, even when the object of it is absent! How beautiful its appropriating language! Said David, “My God, my God.” And Mary, " My Lord,” But I have said, in both cases, the object in whom their affections centred was for the moment absent. As to the Psalm :—“I have lost," said the Psalmist, “what my soul was wont to realize—the sense of Thy power and Thy glory."
“Nevertheless, God,” he says, “ is still my God.” David's intelligence was far beyond that of Mary's. Mary could only stand beside the empty tomb, and exclaim mournfully, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid Him." David, on the contrary, says, “It is true my soul has lost, for a season, the light of His presence; but through it all, God is my God; and if I can only once get to the sanctuary, I shall see His power and His glory as I have seen it there." And then, he adds,
" knowing God's purpose concerning him—"But the king shall rejoice in God; every one that sweareth by Him shall glory." How beautiful ! David the exile! David the fugitive! David chased from his rightful inheritance, and hunted as a partridge upon the mountains ! Yet he could say anticipatively, “The king shall rejoice in God.” To the eye of sense how ridiculous! But as the language of faith, how beautiful! As though he had said, " It is true, I am far from my home, and from my kingdom now, I am not a king now; but wait till I am a king; and then the king shall rejoice in God." Words spoken, it
may be, amid the solitudes of the cave, as Mary's plaint was, amid the solitude of the garden.
How does love delight in its object when present! And how does it pine for it absent! What a picture of this we have here, in this 20th of John. There is something so inexhaustibly precious in it. It seems always fresh-always discovering new beauties. There is something akin to it in the 36th Psalm, where it is said, " They shall be abundantly satisfied,” Mary, on seeing the Lord, was satisfied, abundantly satisfied. She drank of the river of His pleasure, and was satisfied.
As some of us have been reminded, there is scarcely a saint but may find His likeness in this 20th of John.
First, we have Mary, loving and longing, but not happy; full of love to her Lord; but ignorant of resurrection. Her affections were far before her knowledge: her love was deep; but her intelligence dull.
But whilst such was Mary's position, Peter and John were lacking in both intelligence and love.
They could go back to their homes, content not to know what had become of Him.
Thomas, again, could not believe, until he had seen Him.
In Mary, then, we see a saint full of love; but lacking knowledge. Peter and John become cold, as to love. They are content to go away from the sepulchre. Circumstances, or worldly occupations, or engagements, had stronger hold on them,
Thomas, like the Jew, will not believe except he see Him, and hear Him såying, “I am Jesus I am Messiah.” Thomas personates Israel ; Mary, the Church. For what said the Lord to Mary? He never said to her, as He did to others, “Go, tell My brethren that they go into Galilee; there shall they see Me." Oh no! not so to Mary, for Galilee was not the meetingplace for His Church, but heaven! Tell them : “I ascend unto My Father and your Father; unto My God and your God.” Heaven, dear friends, and not Galilee, is the place where His Church, in risen life, can now see and know Him. Our place of meeting is no earthly scene, but yonder, yonder-with His