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The First Sunday after Easter.
ALMIGHTY Father, who hast given Thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; Grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may alway serve Thee in pureness of living and truth; through the merits of the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ Whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world : and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith. Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God?"-1 JOHN V. 4, 5.
, I conclude from this, must be overcome.
It is no peaceful country through which I must pass to the kingdom of heaven. Unless I, this day, every day, find difficulties to be contended with,
struggles inward, of which I am conscious,-it is evident that I do not belong to the same dispensations and conditions as the disciples of St. John ; for can I suppose that one set of terms were appointed for the Christians of His day, another for us? “No cross, no crown :" the very ease and absence of incident may furnish a plain proof of my not participating in this character. If inward difficulties do arise ; if the religious frame is hard to be attained; I may take this consolation at least, that here, if anywhere, are the snares of the world. These being overcome, I have overcome the world. I have not trodden upon velvet : it has cost me some pains which I am conscious of having felt. The rest of the passage contains the secret of our success. This is the victory that overcometh the world, even OUR FAITH.
6 Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God.” From which it is evident that an humble and entire dependence upon the person and work of our Lord is the one thing needful for this spiritual warfare. For the victory is to be
. attained by Faith, and Faith turns to Christ as its only object. And so you will find that where the resistance of sin upon mere moral grounds would fail, by taking to yourself the whole armour of God, and especially the shield of Faith, you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.
“ Then were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord."JOHN XX. 20.
T that they understood, even yet perhaps,
perfectly, the spiritual nature of His kingdom, (Cf. Acts i. 6.); but because they concluded rightly that their belief in His Messiahship was not overthrown by his death, since now He had surmounted it. They rejoiced to learn that they were not mistaken in asserting that He was the Messiah, who should restore the kingdom to Israel: therefore “were the disciples glad, when they saw the Lord.” In truth, the resurrection of Christ is the seal of the Christian hope. If He be not risen, we rise not. But if He be risen, the words of the prophet remain true, and the charter of our immortality, which He has pronounced, remains undisturbed. Disciples of Jesus ! when your heart is sad, when in this world you have tribulation, take heed that you do not forget wherein your joy consists, and how near your source of gladness lies. He who is risen is ready to be revealed to those who entertain the view, and to be manifested to those who receive him. In the breaking of bread, in the recurrence of each Lord's-day, of each festival which commemorates the great event; let the mind of the believer turn your
from a fretful world, and dwell upon the quiet narrarative before us. While the resurrection of Jesus engages your attention, and the eye
of poses upon the evidence of His divine legation; then you will begin to realize His words, and think how soon the time will come when you will be with Him. Then will your heart begin to warm within you, and, like His disciples of old, you too will be glad when you have seen the Lord.
Through sorrow's night, and danger's path,
Amid the darkling gloom,
Are marching to the tomb.
Life's labours done, its turmoil o'er,
In this our last retreat,
The streams of life shall beat.
Yet not thus lifeless, thus inane,
The vital spark shall lie,
To seek its kindred sky.
Our Father's care shall keep :
Our long and dreary sleep.
Shall shed its glorious rays,
With shouts of endless praise.
The Second Sunday after Easter.
ALMIGHTY God, who hast given Thine only Son to be unto us both a sacrifice for sin, and also an ensample of godly life; Give us grace that we may always most thankfully receive that His inestimable benefit, and also daily endeavour ourselves to follow the blessed steps of His most holy life; through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ This is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God, endure grief, suffering wrongfully. For what glory is it,” fc.—1 PETER ii. 19, 20.
REVENGE, being a wild kind of justice, claims
satisfaction for wrong. It feels a greater degree of violence done to its nature by the escape of the offender than by the actual injury sustained. This feeling, if not absolutely, is relatively wrong. How