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The Sunday after Ascension=Way.

THE COLLECT.

O God the King of glory, who hast exalted Thine only Son Jesus Christ with great triumph unto Thy kingdom in heaven ; we beseech Thee, leave us not comfortless; but send to us Thine Holy Ghost to comfort us, and exalt us unto the same place whither our Saviour Christ is gone before, who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, world without end Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

As every man hath received the gift, even so minister the same one to another, as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.— 1 PETER iv. 10.

THERE

MHERE is no one who has not received some gift.

Some may have received more, others less. But only as we have received are we expected to com

municate. There is no one so destitute as to be wholly exempted from the accountability of giving ; no one so incapable as to be wholly incapacitated from cooperating in the bounteous designs of the Author “of every good and perfect gift.” If we have not wealth, we may have health—a heart to afford sympathy, if not an arm to relieve, to rejoice with them which do rejoice, to weep with them which

weep,
to bind

up

the broken-hearted, and speak a word in season to him that is weary. But however we may be endowed-profusely or frugally, with more 'gifts or with few—the object of our endowment is still the same; not simply the personal accommodation of the individual, but that each might contribute to the general good : "as every man hath received the gift, even so ministering the

one to another," that the whole body may make increase by " that which every joint supplieth, according to the effectual working in the measure of every part." Such is the object of our endowment, and the principle of our possession. As the recollection of it is calculated to restrain the irregular workings of a selfish disposition, so the spirit of our distribution is equally deserving attention, for it is diametrically opposite to the spirit of pride. man hath received the gift, even so ministering the same one to another:" not as the proprietors of our own liberality—not as the almoners of our own bounty

same

- As every

-but“ as good stewards of the manifold grace of God.” “Now it is required of stewards that a man be found faithful.” Oh, if the reflection were more frequently present to our minds, we should find much more frequent reason for self-humiliation ! Instead of selfcomplacent views of our own generosity, we should oftener be found bewailing the manifold deficiencies of our accounts, and seeking for reconciliation at the throne of grace; not in consideration of an office we have so grossly abused, but in consideration of the merits of our great High Priest, who “died the just for the unjust," and can save to the uttermost those who come unto God by Him; for though “to us belong confusion of face,” “to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses,” through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom be all honour and praise, world without end. Amen.

THE GOSPEL.

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me." -JOHN xv. 26.

THE
NHE race heavenwards is short, but beset with trial

and difficulty. He who bore the cross knew well what was prepared for those who seek the crown; therefore, though His personal presence was removed

from the earth, He did not depart without making full provision for the drooping spirits of His devoted followers. His office, while on earth, was to bind up

the broken-hearted; and it was not His meaning, by departure, to leave that office incompletely fulfilled : "I will not leave you comfortless : I will come to you.

Yet a little while, and the world seeth Me no more; but ye see Me: because I live, ye shall live also.” (Chap. xiv. 18, 19.) The cup of comfort is mixed for those for whom the cup of suffering is prepared. Therefore, the promise of the Comforter precedes the gloomy predictions of trials which awaited those who heard them; and not those only, “but all who should hereafter believe on Him by their word.” For we must all be baptized with the same baptism, and through much tribulation enter into the kingdom of God. But where withal shall the drooping spirits of the followers of the Lamb be sustained? What is the promised comfort which the Comforter shall apply? “He shall testify of Me." Yes, this is the remedyfor the troubled heart. “Ye believe in God, believe also in Me." All true joy and peace consist in believing. Christ is the Centre and Source of our comfort. “There be many that say, Who will shew us any good ? Lord, lift Thou up the light of thy countenance upon us.” (Psa.

( iv. 6.) Such is the language of the Psalmist, and such

is the testimony of one more exercised in sufferings than any one of us—the Apostle Paul: “for as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ.” (2 Cor. i. 5.) Oh, that in our darkest extremes, the breath of our supplications ascended more frequently to the Spirit of Truth, praying Him to take of the things of Christ and to show them powerfully unto our minds ! Would the shafts of the tempter strike so severely on the spirit which remembers Him that suffered, being tempted in all respects as we are, yet without sin; would the voice of the Law sound such terror to the soul which appropriates with the eye of faith the bleeding Sacrifice on Calvary; would the course of trials to be encountered appear so intolerable, were it always remembered that He who imposes them experienced them all Himself before us ? Our natures indeed require such vigorous discipline, for they are diseased, and must be restored. But because it was necessary for us that our High Priest should be touched with a sense of our infirmities—that the Captain of our salvation should be made perfect by sufferings—the cup which His Father put into His hand He cheerfully drank; and the cup which our Saviour puts into ours, shall we refuse ? Oh, no! “He that believeth in the Son of God hath a witness in himself," which, under every

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