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النشر الإلكتروني

THE GOSPEL.

Depart from me ; for I am a sinful man, O Lord.”—LUKE V. 8. THE Gergesenes besought Him to depart out of their

coasts, when they saw the miracle of the swine ; and we have no reason to suppose that they were intruded upon by any further ministrations on His part. When Simon beheld the draught of fishes, he likewise besought Him to depart; but for what reason ļ “For I am a sinful man, O Lord.” Self-abasement discouraged the latter-worldly-mindedness, the former from communication with Him. But mark! The Lord dwelleth with the “humble.” Nor do the doubts of the humble stand long between them and their Saviour. Simon not only felt confidence to communicate with, but to enrol himself permanently in the service of Jesus. The Lord does not despise the doubts of a soul so bowed down with a sense of its transgressions, that it can scarcely look up to Him for relief. They naturally result from an adequate impression of the sinfulness of sin. Those who will reprobate them as the fruits of unbelief, may in one sense be correct, as an enlightened view of the Gospel arrangements would discover the perfect compatibility of the justice of God with His merciful pardon to the chiefest of sinners. Nay, the entertainment of such

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apprehensions for any length of time is a tacit mistrust of the veracity of God, as though He meant not what He said. Yet, as human nature stands, I am sure that every sincere penitent must tremble in approaching the throne of grace upon the first real manifestation of the purity of the Godhead to his soul; for I think it would argue either very great faith, or an imperfect sense of former sin, to feel at once quite assured in the presence of so holy a Being, whose searching presence he has only now discovered. No wonder that the language of such would be, with Simon, “ Depart from me, for I am a sinful man, O Lord ;” or, with the prophet to whom Jehovah in His glory appeared in the Temple, “Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unlcean lips ; for mine eyes have seen the King, the Lord of Hosts.” The word of comfort is, however, not long wanting in such cases, and the blood of cleansing is soon taken from the altar, which removes the iniquity and takes away the sin.

ز

Here, Lord, my soul convicted stands
Of breaking all Thy ten commands,
And on me justly mightst Thou pour.
Thy wrath in one eternal shower.

But, thanks to God, its loud alarms
Have warned me of approaching harms :
And now, O Lord, my wants I see;
Lost and undone, I come to Thee.

My own imperfect righteousness
Can ne'er Thy broken law redress :
Yet, in Thy Gospel plan I see
There's hope of pardon e'en for me.

Here I behold Thy wonders, Lord !How Christ hath, to Thy law, restored Those honours, on the atoning day, Which guilty sinners took away.

Amazing wisdom, power, and love,
Displayed to rebels from above!
Do thou, O Lord, my faith increase,
To love and trust Thy plan of grace.

The Fifth Sunday after Trinity.

THE COLLECT.

O God, who hast prepared for them that love Thee such good things as pass man's understanding ; Pour into our hearts such love toward Thee, that we, loving Thee above all things, may obtain thy promises, which exceed all that we can desire; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

* Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into His death? Therefore we are buried with Him by baptism into death.. Now if we be dead with Christ, we believe that we shall also live with Him.-Rom. vi. 3, 4, 9.

CHRIST

YHRIST died in the strictest sense of the word.

His connection with this mortal life ceased. No further interest had He in this system of mortal things. He was dead, buried, and shut out from it altogether. No more could persecution vex His rest; the captious Pharisee, the unjust censure, the risk of life—all were at an end. Joy and sorrow were buried in the same tomb. Such must be a Christian's death to the world and to sin. Its attractive and gay temptations, its pleasures, honours, and ambitions, have no more influence upon him than upon a corpse entombed. He is dead to every consideration but Christ. All the sweets and bitters of sin are none to him. Behold the converse of the picture ! “The God of our fathers hath raised up Jesus Christ from the dead.” A new and exalted life at the throne of His Father is the consequence of this mortality : apparent loss and real advantage ; apparent humiliation and real exaltation : for he is risen, and living, and happy with Jesus—risen with Jesus, "the firstfruits of them that slept;" living with Jesus through a countless eternity; happy with Jesus, not a cloud to cast its shadow on the future. So the true follower of His Master, who, to the eyes of men and plausible suggestions of a deceitful heart, appears to be a loser, really gains a recompense, which many times repays the trifling loss he has in this world sustained.

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