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Jesus Christ, and the message which He came into the world to deliver.

The Spirit breathes upon the word,

And brings the truth to sight;
Precepts and promises afford

A sanctifying light.

The Hand that gave it still supplies

The gracious light and heat ;
His truths upon the nations rise,

They rise, but never set.

Let everlasting thanks be Thine,

For such a bright display,
As makes a world of darkness shine,

With beams of heavenly day.

My soul rejoices to pursue

The steps of Him I love;
Till glory breaks upon my view

In brighter worlds above.

The Fifth Sunday after Easter.

min

THE COLLECT.

O LORD, from whom all good things do come; Grant to us Thy humble servants, that by Thy holy inspiration we may think those things that be good, and by Thy merciful guiding may perform the same; through our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.—JAMES i. 27.

ORTHODOX doctrine is not the only test by which

I shall be judged at that day; God will also apply purity of life and holiness. If I fail in this respect, I may depend upon it that orthodoxy and scriptural opinions will profit me about as much as mere living under the law availed the Jew with whom St. Paul (Rom. ii.) holds a controversy. They who lived under the Law shall be judged by the Law, and they who live under the Gospel shall be judged by the Gospel; yet the same error which obtained then obtains now. How many depend ultimately upon the Gospel character of their views for acceptance, just as the Jews regarded the nature of the dispensation under which they lived as their recommendation !, Both cases are only aggravated by the advantages furnished. Let not these considerations, however, lead us to a supposition that the God of truth will be indifferent to the truth or falsehood of our opinions, or that He who penned this revelation will reckon it a matter of choice to His creatures in what way they wrest or interpret it. God, who claims the heart, must have both practice and doctrine combined ; in short, that true faith in the Lord Jesus Christ which worketh by love; and this is love, that we keep His commandments, visiting the fatherless and the widows in their affliction, and keeping ourselves unspotted from the world.

THE EPISTLE.

Hitherto have ye asked nothing in My name : ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.JOHN xvi. 24.

CHRIST

YHRIST has encouraged, or rather solicited, us to ask; He has explained to us how to ask ; He has

; informed us the end of our asking—“that our joy may be full.” It is becoming, indeed, to approach the throne of grace with the same humiliation as the faithful Abraham, who wondered at the liberty conceded to dust and ashes, of pleading with the Most High ; and such an impression preserves and strengthens the liveliness of faith. But humility will read the certainty of the privilege in the command of the Mediator, and His exhortations thereto will prove that the frequency of our petitions are pleasing to His ear.

He has taught us how to pray, not upon our own pretensions—not proceeding upon the mercy of the Father, “which endureth for ever,” without a thorough appreciation of the grounds of that mercy, and the bed through which it flows. Let us draw near, therefore, as often as we will; but let us draw near with a true heart, “looking unto Jesus, the Author and Finisher of our faith.” He has taught us the end of our asking—that our joy may be full. Legitimate prayer produces spiritual joy. Do I feel my deficiency in this respect? Are my spirits often low? Do I not sufficiently relish the bright promises of the Word of Christ, and find the satisfaction which David discovered in the promises of God, and in the light of His countenance, “more than when their corn and wine and oil increased" } But do I seek it, and court it, and try to procure it? Am I conscious of admitting no hindrance which would interfere with its free course, and does it still remain undiscovered ? Take care, and think frequently whether the great and legitimate means has been duly applied -importunate converse with the Father, in the name of His dear Son Jesus Christ, and through the power of the Spirit, which helpeth our infirmities. I will renew my applications again and again, till the life of joy return to my bosom, as did that of the child to the body which the prophet pressed, or as the little cloud grew into a sweeping shower, at the fervent effectual prayer of Elijah.

Where is my God ? does He retire
Beyond the reach of humble sighs ?
Are these weak breathings of desire
Too languid to ascend the skies ?

No, Lord! the breathings of desire,
The weak petition, if sincere,
Is not forbidden to aspire,
But reaches Thy all-gracious ear.

Look up, my soul, with cheerful eye,
See where the great Redeemer stands,
The glorious Advocate on high,
With precious incense in His hands !

He sweetens every humble groan,
He recommends each broken prayer;
Recline Thy hope on Him alone,
Whose power and love forbid despair.

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