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have shared, and having in a marked manner declared the high spiritual and heavenly benefits which it conveys, closes with an earnest and affecting supplication in their behalf for the grace of perseverance.
In stating the benefits of the Lord's Supper, she wisely, as the service draws to a close, admonishes us that they are his, "who duly receives the holy mysteries" by which they are conveyed even his who, having approached with the requisite preparation of a clean heart and a right mind, in repentance, in faith, in obedience, lives to the glory of his God, and the welfare of mankind; at peace with God, and in charity with men. She the more earnestly impresses this admonition, lest self-love interfere to make us forget that so only, as we partook of the blessed emblems of the crucified Saviour, can the soul have been duly nourished "with the spiritual food of the most precious body and blood." And nobly does she strive to sustain our trust and confidence in God's
mercy through the Saviour. She reminds us that by this blessed feast God doth assure every meet communicant of his favour and goodness towards them; and that they are thereby more and more closely joined together as members of Christ's Church; the very members incorporate in the mystical body of his Son, which is the blessed company of all faithful people the communion of Saints upon earth. But far higher views are opened to us, far nobler advantages thus assured to us! Hereby "we are also heirs of God's everlasting kingdom, by the merits of the most precious death and passion of his dear Son." United to Him on earth, we are hereby united to Him for ever, "members of Christ, children of God;"
and, as fellow-heirs of the same Jesus Christ, through Him" inheritors of the kingdom of heaven."
Retain we the full power of these hopes, and what shall move us from the love of God and of our souls! But danger is, that though in this holy happy hour we embrace the blessed hope of spiritual and everlasting life thus set before us, we may not hold it fast when the enemies of our soul strive to rend it from us. The grace we trust to have gained must abide with us, else our own strength will be vain. In the words of this admirable prayer we therefore humbly beseech our heavenly Father "so to assist us with his grace, that we may continue in that holy fellowship." Perseverance must be of the Spirit from on high: and as professing even a holy fellowship with Christ profiteth nothing, if unaccompanied by like-mindedness with Christ and a course of action corresponding thereto, we further implore God's grace, "that we may do all such good works as he hath prepared for us to walk in,”—and what these are the Gospel plainly sets forth. This, however, as all our other blessings, we ask solely "through Jesus Christ our Lord ;" and to Him alone, "with the Father and the Holy Ghost, do we give all honour and glory, world without end." Amen.
THERE is scarcely any occasion on which we can be called to act, in duly observing the ordering of which we may not, either directly or incidentally, learn much
for our guidance from the example of our blessed Lord himself. Thus we read, that after He had instituted and celebrated the holy sacrament of his body and blood, He and his disciples poured forth their full feeling of devout thanksgiving in singing a hymn of praise'. The Church, following his steps, takes the same course, and leads her grateful sons to offer up a noble hymn of thanksgiving to the great God-Father, Son, and Holy Ghost to whose favor, by virtue of the holy mysteries in which they have been engaged, lost sinners are re-called, forfeited love restored, peace long broken again cemented, and man's high hope of heaven once fallen, raised again.
It is, indeed, a glorious and animated strain of gratitude, in which the whole of the congregation now join with one voice-a strain in beautiful harmony with the holy and heavenly feelings which the service has throughout cherished. Has it been your high employ with angels and archangels to laud and magnify the name of your God? Lo! the angel-song is itself now yours. That heavenly host hailed the Saviour, when He came a light unto the world; they hailed his advent, as bringing "glory to God in the highest, peace on earth, good will towards men."-Yours, as you welcome his advent specially into your own heart, on this his own holy day, at his own holy table, and by his own holy and more immediate presence you also hail Him as the Being through whom you, even you in your lowly penitence, can bring glory to God in the highest, for you are a monument of the power of his grace; your course is "on earth peace, for your
1 Matt. xxvi. 30.
God is your friend; and towards men you feel only "good will," for his sake, who is their God and your God, their Father and your Father. You know not how, with sufficient strength of language, to express your ardent love towards such a God! Fain would you praise Him, and bless Him, worship Him, glorify Him, and give Him thanks for his great glory, displayed in the wondrous redemption you have now commemorated! What a sharp incentive to a prompt obedience to his laws, that He is your "heavenly King!" What a soothing thought that He will hear the very wishes of your heart, for He is now your reconciled "Father Almighty." If He be for thee, who can be against thee?"
And what if "the only begotten Son, Jesus Christ," was manifest in the flesh, as man! what if He did give his body to death on the cross, and there pour out his most precious blood, to take away the sins of the world! He is not less "the Lord God." That he does by that sacrifice of Himself which we have commemorated, take away the sins of the world, is but our prevailing plea that He will have mercy upon us. And because He is God and man; his divine nature never lowered, his divine power never weakened, though in his human nature He was despised and rejected; we by every earnest expression of which language is capable, implore mercy at his hands-reiterating our petition in token of our entire and sole trust in Him'. To neither
It is well worthy of remark, in meditating upon the history of our blessed Lord, with what marked force and more than usual earnestness He impresses upon the minds of his followers the marvellous truth, that in the darkest hour of his trial, his glory was never clouded; in the lowest depth of his suffering as man, his
angel nor spirit we look as our mediator, but to Him only. To Him alone we offer our prayer, for He is still very God of very God; and through Him we the more hopefully look to receive mercy, as He ever liveth to make intercession for us, sitting on the right hand of God the Father! To Him, there sitting in "the glory which He had before the world was," we pour forth our importunate supplication, that He "have mercy upon us1."
And where is there one holy to be compared unto Him? Other lords the worldly recognise, but there is none like unto Him, who is above all lords. Thus, in the perfection of his holiness and the majesty of his power, He is emphatically "the Lord our righte
power was never weakened as God. True it is, that the wicked were agents to bring about his death; but he asserts distinctly that they were but ministering to fulfil his own purpose. "No man taketh my life from me, but I lay it down of myself; have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again." So, also, in the beautiful prayer which He offers up to the Father on behalf both of his apostles, upon whom, in the arduous work of their ministry, he prays for aid proportionate to the work, and of all believers also, upon whom likewise He implores blessing - he insists upon the same truth; declaring that his Father "hath given Him power over all flesh," that He should himself "give eternal life to as many as God had given Him+." And after his resurrection He again proclaims the like glorious truths "All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth." This is not only a wondrous saying, whereon we are to meditate, but a glorious saying wherein we may rejoice. This Being, so lowly and loving towards us that He died for us, is so high above all things in heaven and earth, that He is able, as He is willing, to save to the uttermost all who trust in Him.
1 John xvii. 5. See page 140.
John x. 18.
John xvii. 2.
Matt. xxviii. 18.