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not, His strength will be perfected in our weakness, and work a work which will repay us with interest in the world to come.
A good High Priest is come,
Dispensing life and grace :
My Lord a priest is made,
Ordained to offer blood
He once temptations knew
To every tempted mind:
He dies; but lives again,
Opening His piercèd hands;
I other priests disclaim,
The mighty work can do ;
The Lebenteenth Sunday after Trinity.
LORD, we pray Thee that Thy grace may always prevent and follow us, and make us continually to be given to all good works; through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen.
“ I therefore, the prisoner of the Lord, beseech you that ye walk worthy of the vocation wherewith ye are called, with all lowliness and meekness, with gsuffering, forbearing one another in love ; endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.”— EPHES. iv. 1, 2, 3.
E are besought to walk worthy of our high calling,
the plain translation of which is, to behave in such a manner as to make it appear that we are suitable objects of the Divine favour which we have experienced. Thus “ the labourer is worthy of his hire," “the labourer deserves his wages.” Not that the apostle's meaning contradicts his positions of free unmerited grace. (Rom. i. seq.) We often speak of worthy recipients of patronage, favour, regard, when the patron is by no means understood to be communicating to the parties anything which they might claim as their due ; as, also, of unworthy favourites-objects of favour—not as though the parties, had they justified the choice of their benefactor, were entitled to the bounties they received. Yet the mode of speaking is natural and popular, and in this sense it may be interesting to feel in what way we render ourselves to appear worthy of the very high favours which the King of Heaven has been pleased to bestow upon us : not as a debt due to us, but as a gift of grace. Now, the way suggested by the Epistle is the preservation of that simplicity and unity which run through all His works, both material and moral. One rule of gravitation maintains all this vast circle of the heavenly bodies in their regular course, and none by its eccentric movements disturbs the harmony of the rest. And it is the will of the same God that one law of love should bind the hearts of all His moral creatures, not only angels and saints, but the whole Church of Heaven and Earth, in regular and consistent course of obedience to Him. Let no selfish desires, let no ebullition of pride disturb that sacred harmony which He desires ; but each bear the infirmities of others, and maintain the unity of the whole. And so shall we adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour, and walk worthy of our high calling, and “with all lowliness,” feeling that what we do is done not by us, but "by the Spirit which worketh in us,” and that even though we could do all, yet should we be “unprofitable servants.”
“When thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room ; lest a more honourable man than thou be bidden of him; and he that bade thee and him, come and say to thee, Give this man place; and thou begin with shame to take the lowest room." -LUKE xiv. 8, 9.
THE precept enjoined shows that manners were not
below the province of the Divine Legislator ; for manners are morals, and he who is unmannerly is selfish, and he who is selfish has transgressed the “Royal law.” (James ii. 8.) For the object of manners is the comfort of another, and the law of love is fulfilled by the same. And if the precept makes these to be obligations, which some regard as obligations, the reason by which it is supported makes that an allowable motive which some may consider unjustifiable—“that when He that bade thee cometh......then shalt thou have worship in the presence of them that sit at meat with thee.” If a regard to our position in
society, and a moderate attachment, not only to fair reputation, but respect, amongst our fellows, were intrinsically wrong, would our Lord have held it forth as an inducement to duty ? The inference seems undeniable; and yet there is a great danger on the other side : “Woe unto you, Pharisees ! for ye love the uppermost seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets. Woe unto you, scribes and Pharisees, hypocrites ! for ye are as graves which appear not, and the men that walk over them are not aware of them.” (Luke xi. 43, 44.)
Lord, that I may learn of Thee,
Let me freely cast aside
Father, I would rest on Thee,
Let my treasure be Thy love