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saints! Latter works must go on being more than former works, thus making last works most of all. Charity must never fail, but must abide. Service must to the end fulfil whatever it is our duty to do. Faith, though feeling companionless in a faithless generation because unwitting of God's seven thousand like-minded ones, must endure.

The Cross we have shouldered we must not lay down. The burnt sacrifice we have become we must continue to be though offered on a slow fire. Nor dare we say, It is finished, until Christ Himself say concerning us, It is finished; for He has pronounced: "No man, having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."

Such is our lot. Without our own will we were born to inherit it, without our own will we (most of us) were baptized into it no will of ours can undo what is done.

All this, first and last, has befallen us by the Will of God. And because by His Will, therefore it becomes possible for us to endure it, to profit by it, even by wonder-working grace to rejoice and be glad in it. Once let our will be conformed unto the Divine Will, and powers and pleasures shall be added unto us. Even so, Lord God, conform our will to Thy Will, for our blessed self-sacrificing Saviour's sake. Amen.

Moreover we must not so dwell on our sore need of patience as to overlook faith, or worse still to overlook love. "Till I come," saith the Word, the Truth, in whom all Divine promises are Yea and Amen.

"Till I come." How long is that till? We cannot compute its days, weeks, months, years. But this we know: the remainder of time is the extent of that till: all eternity is the fullness of the ensuing thereafter.

Is time long? It may seem so, until it ends. Is eternity long? It is so, for it ends not.

Beloved, yield thy time to God, for He
Will make eternity thy recompense;

Give all thy substance for His Love, and be
Beatified past earth's experience.

Serve Him in bonds, until He set thee free;

Serve Him in dust, until He lift thee thence;

Till death be swallowed up in victory,

When the great trumpet sounds to bid thee hence.

Shall setting day win day that will not set?

Poor price wert thou to spend thyself for Christ,

Had not His wealth thy poverty sufficed :

Yet since He makes His garden of thy clod,

Water thy lily, rose, or violet,

And offer up thy sweetness unto God.


Not so, for

Must we then call our burden no burden?
Christ Himself by implication admits that a burden it is.

He, the Truth, requires of us the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth. We are no more allowed to put sweet for bitter than bitter for sweet.

"Hold fast.”—As one Greek whose grasping hands were hewn off, held fast the Persian vessel with his teeth; as the pilot of one burning ship held fast the helm while the flames consumed him; so, if we be called to any such supreme act, even so must each one of us hold fast our burden and birthright till Christ come.

And if we be of those who oftentimes in the Blessed Sacrament of His Body and Blood show forth His Death till He come, we amongst all Christians are bound and are fortified thus to lose life and save it.

O Lord, Who assuredly wilt come; in that tremendous Day suffer not our own privileges and our own words to rise up with us in the Judgment and condemn us.

We dwell upon terrors of Judgment: let us also dwell on its hopes. It will have a great sound of a trumpet, and the trumpet-blast is music. It will be with clouds, and God Almighty of old set His bow in the cloud. It will bring to sight angels. It will bring back saints; the particular saints we having loved and lost, long for.

Yet, after all, these are but its minor hopes.

It will bring back Christ; our supreme Hope, or else our supreme Fear. But the hope is in Him, the fear is in


From ourselves and from our fear, good Lord, deliver us.

26. And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations: 27. And he shall rule them with a rod of iron; as the vessels of a potter shall they be broken to shivers; even as I received of My Father.

The words to keep Christ's works unto the end suggest two branches of duty.

We are constantly to imitate, and by His strength made perfect in our weakness are as it were over and over again to reproduce, His blessed works. Because He prayed, we must pray. Because He went about doing good, we must do good. Because His meat was to do the will of Him that sent Him, so must ours be. Such are His works by us and through us.

And thus must we persevere to the end, lest we be not numbered amongst those who overcome.

We must also hold fast His works in us. The purifying grace of Baptism, the maturing grace of Confirmation, the sustaining grace of Holy Communion, we must hold fast. We holding fast what He bestows, He will continually bestow more and more. There is no limit to His bounties, nor can we assign a limit to our own capacity.

King Joash smote thrice and stayed, whilst he might have stricken five or six valid strokes. The miraculous flow of oil

stayed only when the widow's receptacles were exhausted.

O foolish Soul! to make thy count

For languid falls and much forgiven,
When like a flame thou mightest mount
To storm and carry heaven.

A life so faint,-is this to live?

A goal so mean,—is this a goal?
Christ love thee, remedy, forgive,
Save thee, O foolish Soul.

He who in overcoming himself and all things has first exercised power, he it is on whom will be conferred power over the nations.

Unlike most of the rewards held out to our hope, this power appears to be punitive, destructive. Thank God, it is not ours at present; nor at present could aught like it by any possibility befit us common sort of Christians. He whom God may call to such an office, God by His Almighty Spirit will adapt to the call, and will keep safe in responding to it. Into His hands Fatherly, merciful, perfect, let us meanwhile commend and commit all men.

Nevertheless it cannot be without practical purpose that this prospect, "terrible as an army with banners," is opened to us. It brings home to our conviction that a day approaches, when, cost what it may, all the elect will be of one mind with God. Whatever He decrees they will uphold; whatever He inflicts they will approve. Even to the tenderest mother, the Divine good pleasure will then be altogether better than seven sons or than ten sons. Whom God pities not, neither will His saints pity: whom He saves not, neither will His saints yearn to save. They who are exalted to see Him as He is, will be like Him.

The punishment is greater than we can bear. God keep us from ever looking upon our beloved ones with changed eyes, or from being looked upon with changed eyes by them.

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O my God, Who hast no pleasure in the death of him that dieth, preserve Thou them that are appointed to die; and when this dying life is fulfilled, bring us of Thy mercy to the life everlasting. Through Jesus Christ our Life. Amen.

"Even as I received of My Father."-The extreme instance vouching for all subordinate instances. Christ, Who so long hath invited all men, saying, "Come unto Me," will at last say to those on His left hand, "Depart from Me."

O Lamb of God, from the Wrath of the Lamb, deliver us.

28. And I will give him the morning star.

29. He that hath an ear, let him hear what the Spirit saith unto the churches.

Elsewhere our Lord declares: "I am . . . the Bright and Morning Star." Thus (if the inference be allowable) here at the outset He promises to give Himself to him that overcometh.

To whom does a man give himself? To one whom he loves as himself. Such is the standard of human self-gift; and Christ, Very Man no less than Very God, will not fall short of it. To "the friend that is as His own soul" will He give Himself; giving Himself, He will withhold nothing.

We know not a millionth part of what Christ is to us, but perhaps we even less know what we are to Him.

O Lord, I cannot plead my love of Thee :

I plead Thy love of me ;

The shallow conduit hails the unfathomed sea.


1. And unto the angel of the church in Sardis write; These things saith He that hath the seven Spirits of God, and the seven stars; I know thy works, that thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead.

If it be lawful to regard these "Seven Spirits of God" as that "One and the self-same Spirit," Who divideth to every man severally as He will, our Lord's preamble to the Church in Sardis corresponds with Isaiah's prophetic description of the Messiah: "The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon Him, the Spirit of Wisdom and Understanding, the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of Knowledge and of the Fear of the Lord; and shall make Him of quick understanding in the fear of the Lord and He shall not judge after the sight of His eyes, neither reprove after the hearing of His ears."

Thus He Who telleth the number of the stars and calleth them all by their names, before He pronounces judgment on even one star, deigns to proclaim and certify His own infallible insight.

"I know thy works "-the works of Sardis, of all Christendom, of the whole world. Yea, and my works indeed, O Lord, Thou knowest: it is I myself who know them not fully. "Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting."

"Thou hast a name that thou livest, and art dead."-Sardis with her name to live worked after a fashion, although dead. Centuries before the Psalmist had placed on record: "Men will praise thee, when thou doest well to thyself." And in our Lord's Sermon in the Plain we read: "Woe unto you, when all men shall speak well of you!"

Sardis doubtless in some sense did well unto herself, however cruel in truth were her tender self-mercies; and thus

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