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Father! in whom we live,
In whom we are, and move; The glory, power, and praise, receive
For Thy creating love.
Let all Thy ransomed race Employ their lives in thanks to Thee,
For Thy redeeming grace.
Spirit of holiness!
Let all Thy saints adore
Thy heart-renewing power.
The grace on man bestowed,
Ye heavenly choirs proclaim, And cry,“ Salvation to our God,
Salvation to the Lamb !"
The First Sunday after Trinity.
O GOD, the strength of all them that put their trust in Thee, mercifully accept our prayers ; and because through the weakness of our mortal nature we can do no good thing without Thee, grant us the help of Thy grace, that in keeping of Thy commandments we may please Thee, both in will and deed; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us, and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another."-1 JOHN iv. 10, 11.
DEEDS, not words, commend us unto men; and by
deeds, rather than by words, is the love of God commended unto us. Gifts are the surest proof of disinterested regard ; and the gift by which the apostle proves his position, that God regards us as the objects of His dearest love, is worthy of our devout attention. In the situation of gloomy anticipation which once clouded our prospects beyond the grave, had it pleased the Author of nature to send into this rebellious province of His dominions the meanest of those holy spirits which encompass His throne, with tidings of reconciliation and perfect pardon to all who would embrace it—though we had many other proofs of the Divine beneficence, this surely would be the most fondly treasured and the most conclusive of all. But “He whom the Father hath sanctified, and sent into the world,” was not an angel, nor an archangel, nor the highest of that bright band which encircles His footstool, beholding His glory : it was something greater which Infinite love had in store for the fallen race, for “ God was in CHRIST reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing unto them their trespasses.” Infinite mirror of the perfections of the Infinite God! Well may the angels “stoop down with interest to examine it,” and examine for ever what no creature is able to fathom. “ God is love.” This is the Sun which will warm our frozen bosoms—“God is love." Draw near, ye contracted spirits, whose sympathies have never yearned beyond your personal sphere, nor warmed to your kind. “God is love," and he that dwelleth in Him dwelleth in love ; and the soul which feels most sincerely a sense of His redeeming love is most sweetly constrained to a love of His creatures.
“ Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things, and likewise Lazarus evil things : but now he is comforted, and thou art tormented."-LUKE xvi. 25.
cup of adversity is prepared for some; the cup of prosperity for others. For each of us his portion is mixed, according to our several constitutions. We are rich or poor, not absolutely according to our respective regimens, but relatively according to their probable effects upon our recovery.
We should not consider him the most enviable patient in an hospital, whose medicines cost the institution the highest price ; but rather one whose restoration seemed the most likely, however simple the means employed to promote it might be. “Son, remember that thou in thy lifetime receivedst thy good things.” Not indeed that the good things he received were the cause of his coming into that place of torment, any more than the fatal result of a disease can be ascribed to the expense of the medicines employed for recovery. They might have been the most eligible medicines, and this might have been the most eligible discipline the circumstances admitted of. Riches are not inconsistent with a state of grace. A believer
may, like David, have in his lifetime his good things; and yet, like him, not have his portion in this life. He may claim Gilead as his, and Manasseh as
his, and yet with equal sincerity he may say: “Whom have I in heaven but Thee? and there is none on earth I desire in comparison with Thee.” (Psa. lxxii. 25.) It is not riches, but the love of riches, which constitutes our bane; but because it is hard, when “riches increase," to prevent “our hearts being set upon them ;" when we have received, not to glory, as though we had not received ; remembering the accountability of our stewardship, and living to the Lord, rather than to ourselves. Therefore it is that the end of these things” is too often “ death,” and the saying of our Lord so frequently verified : “How hardly shall they that have riches enter into the kingdom of God !” And as regards “the evil things ” which Lazarus received, we are not to suppose that he was comforted merely because he received them. The sufferings of Job eventuated in his happiness, because they were made, by the grace of God, the means of his spiritual improvement. But had the effects which Satan contemplated been produced upon him, or upon the subject of our parable, is there any reason to suppose that the simple endurance of suffering would have profited either ? Were the privations experienced by the Israelites in the wilderness a reason for their admission to the land of promise, or, rather, was not their impatience of those privations the reason of their exclusion ? For, to whom did He sware in His wrath that they should not enter into His rest, but to them that