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Apostles, when in the blissful hour of our Lord's transfiguration they had their conversation with the inhabitants of heaven-"Lord, it is good for us to be here." Here, however, we cannot abide alway. We must to the world again. Our Lord and Master taketh us not out of the world, but He intercedes that we be delivered from the evil of it. To the world then we shall soon return; to its cares and its pleasures, its perils and its various trials-" O merciful Father, have compassion upon us, and look graciously upon our infirmities! Lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” Mark well how opportunely this petition is here offered! In the peaceful hour of our holy worship, we perhaps feel as if nothing could move us from a stedfast purpose of henceforth living to the glory of God, and seeking the welfare of our soul as
Some may be tried in this way more severely than others, but all must have their share of such a trial. St. Paul refers to this view of the subject, when he thus limits his exhortation to peace-" As much as lieth in you live peaceably with all men." There are those who will not permit their neighbour to live at peace with them. But your child, encouraged by you to remember this petition and the condition annexed to it, will learn to forgive them; and if they neither forgive in return, nor accept forgiveness from him, the misery, as the guilt, is their own; for the revengeful, to their cost, do but nourish a subtle serpent, which will soon turn and sting the breast which nourishes it. The servant of Christ, however, is free from the misery of revenge, because He is free from the guilt of it. Remind then your children, if haply they suffer from the injustice or unkindness of others, that as the pain they suffer can be removed only by forgiveness on their part, and as it is by Divine grace they will be enabled to forgive, they must the more earnestly seek that grace. Their own warm hearts will in the mean time convince them, that, if at any time or in any place specially, they may look to gain this needful aid, it is when and where they are now seeking it—even at the table of their Lord.
Luke ix. 33.
the one thing, above all others, needful. Then comes the salutary warning, that "thinking we stand, we take heed lest we fall." The very petition itsef admonishes us, that being continually liable to sirs, our trust must be continually upon the same grace, which we have here sought, and which here we trust to have found. Our prayer then is, that when again we are surrounded by the temptations of the world, whatever be our station, whatever our condition, we may be delivered from the evil of it: if rich, that we be delivered from the pride and selfishness, the luxury and ambition, to which riches tempt their possessors: if poor, that we be delivered from murmuring at our lot, from dishonest gains, from coveting what is not our own; saved severally from those evils to which, from the circumstances in which we may be placed, we are more specially exposed. Nor doubt we a favourable answer to our petition. He who ruleth all things, and controlleth all evil, himself will pray the Father that He will deliver us. Such an intercessor cannot plead in vain. He will plead that holy cross and passion, the benefits of which you humbly trust to have shared at his table. Faith reminds you that there by his one oblation of Himself once offered, He made a full, perfect, and sufficient sacrifice, oblation, and satisfaction for the sins of the whole world.-Shall not the benefits of that thy sacrifice be ours, O blessed Jesus! What is to limit thy power, who, though in the likeness of man thou didst pour out thy blood upon the cross to save sinners, didst rise from the dead by thine own power, and by thine own power ascend into heaven; the
1 1 Cor. x. 12. "Wherefore let him that thinketh he standeth take heed lest he fall."
eternal, the everlasting-One with the Father? and "thine," O heavenly Father, "is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever! Amen.”
"O Lord and heavenly Father
world without end."
THE feeling which marks the two following prayers, you are, by the course of this service hitherto, well prepared to adopt. Both of them are highly Scriptural; each equally humble and hopeful. In humility, as servants, and in hope as children, we "desire our Lord and heavenly Father mercifully to receive this our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving." The sacrifice of Jesus Christ we know He does receive favourably. That must be acceptable in his sight, being the sacrifice of his "beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased." But it can be of his goodness and mercy only, through that same Saviour whose merits and death we plead, that either our sacrifice and offering of praise can be received, or that we and his whole Church can hope to obtain remission of our sins, and all other benefits of his passion. But vainly shall our lips utter these supplications, unless our hearts respond, and our conduct agree thereto. "Not every one that saith unto me, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of my Father which is in heaven.' Hence we declare our resolve to praise Him, not with our lips only, but in our lives; devoting to his service all our best energies; and since Christ
gave up Himself for us-yielding his body for us, and "making his soul an offering for sin," it is but reasonable that we in return give up ourselves, soul and body, to Him: we therefore "offer and present ourselves, our souls and bodies, to be a reasonable, holy, and lively sacrifice unto Him':" We thus draw a strong distinction between our offerings and those of the heathen world. They were of irrational creatures, and marked with unholy rites, and dead as to any evidence of a spiritual and holy life: ours is a spiritual offering. Our God is a spirit, and whoso would worship Him acceptably, must worship Him in spirit-we thus are spiritually crucified with Christ. Nor can the heart forbear to express, with that love for the brethren which characterizes the gospel, its tender care for those who share this service; humbly beseeching our heavenly Father, "that all we, who are partakers of this Holy Communion, may be fulfilled with his grace and heavenly benediction"—our pardon and our blessing sealed in heaven. Nay, deeper still is our expression of humility. We confess ourselves not worthy even to offer this sacrifice of prayer and praise. Does the scoffer askWhy then offer it?" Our answer is ready. We offer it because we are commanded so to do, and because that which is in itself unworthy, may yet be accepted for another's sake, if offered in token of obedience. We, therefore, bring our lowly offering, nothing doubting; for our trust is in his meritorious sacrifice, whose death we have now commemorated, and the benefits of whose meritorious cross and passion we hope to have received. God will, for his sake, "not
1 Rom. xii. 1.
weigh our merits, but pardon our offences." Alas! with our best care, as we readily confess, neither worth nor merit can attach to us. We are pardoned, reconciled, loved; not because we could justly claim, or reasonably expect such favour; but because God gives his grace, free and unbounded, "through Jesus Christ our Lord." "By Him" also, it is, who himself, by his blood, purifies us from sin; and "with Him," who in the unity of the Holy Ghost, sanctifieth and uniteth us to Him; that a lost world is recovered to the honour and glory of the Father." For these so great and manifold blessings, well may we offer our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving.
How difficult it is, when we again mingle with the world, to retain the delightful and animating feelings of trust and holy joy which filled the soul when When you engaged in this service, you well know. When return to your home, though you be strengthened for its duties, yet those duties may often be mingled with many cares, and sorrows, and perplexities, which will claim your attention; and may haply bring a cloud over that serenity of mind which in the hour of solemn service had been yours. Danger, too, may arise, lest the good impression then made, suppose it not removed, may yet be weakened and rendered powerless. Hence, in this second prayer, the Church, after offering thanksgiving for the rich feast which her children