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The Fifth Sunday in Lent.
We beseech Thee, Almighty God, mercifully to look upon Thy people; that by Thy great goodness they may be governed and preserved evermore, both in body and soul; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ Neither by the blood of goats and calves.... For if the blood of bulls and of goats," &c.-HEBREWS ix. 12, 13.
HAVE done wrong.
I would reform ; but sins of the past throw a shade over future amendment. Herein consists the value of the work of Christ, which cancels the past and universally establishes the principle, " while there is life there is hope.” The door to repentance is not shut upon this side of the grave. This value is in the text made to depend upon the adequacy of the ransom afforded, which is capable of answering the end proposed. It were a small comfort to have a nominal Saviour; scapulars, charms, or rites,
which conscience must secretly despise. The blood of bulls and goats, though a Divine invention, and very adequate to their special objects, would be by no means competent to satisfy the demands of my conscience. Even my sincerest efforts at amendment must always, and have always, left a sting behind, of imperfection and ceaseless murmur, " that this is walking
“ in the air without foundation, and that God cannot seriously regard such endeavours as these." My hope lies in the adequacy of the death of Christ, which levels the whole mountain of objections; answers, upon His responsibility, the difficulties of the past; and removes the weight of sin from the burdened conscience.
"Verily, verily, I say unto you, If a man keep My saying, he shall never see death.”—JOHN viii. 51.
E will not taste of the final, second death ; or rather,
absolutely speaking, he will not taste of death at all: for the exit of a believer from this world is not death in its simplest sense, as there is no close, no period put to his existence. It may be a thing resembling and bearing all the badges and ensigns of mortality; a painful and ignominious process, too, and merited, alas ! by our transgressions; but to those who keep the saying of Christ, it is death without his sting; it is the king with his sceptre, but without his sword. When trembling age comes on, with its chronic disease and exhaustive pain which prelude dissolution, or its second childhood, which prostrates to imbecility and makes us sorry for our nature to look upon it—this is painful, revolting; this is humiliating. The young man, too, cut off in the pride of his strength-the gentle subject of consumption fading by slow degrees. The old and young together racked with pain, and craving a release from a weary world. O death ! hast thou not triumphed enough ? and yet thou hast it not : thy reign is bounded by the grave, and beyond the grave thou hast no power.
For hell hath swallowed up death, and the spirits of those who sleep in Jesus are beyond the worms and thee. To depart and be with Christ is far better.
Lord, we would feel no anxious care
Whether we die or live;
And Thou the strength will give.
Come, Lord, when grace hath made us meet
Thy blessed face to see;
What must Thy glory be?
Then we shall end our sad complaints,
Our weary sinful days; And join with those triumphant saints,
Who sing Jehovah's praise.
Our knowledge of that life is small;
The eye of faith is dim; But 't is enough that Christ knows all,
And we shall be with Him.
The Sunday neft before Easter.
ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, who, of Thy tender love towards mankind, has sent Thy Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ, to take upon Him our flesh, and to suffer death upon the cross, that all mankind should follow the example of His great humility; Mercifully grant, that we may both follow the example of His patience, and also be made partakers of His resurrection; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus,” fc.PHIL. ii. 5.
GLORY is a shadow which followeth after virtue.
. Christ sought not His own glory, but the glory of Him that sent Him; and yet no glory will be equal to His, when the Son of Man shall descend in His own glory, and in that of the Father and of the holy angels. The law of the Gospel is “in honour to prefer