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Holy Spirit may be grieved; but, in general, every sin committed by us, and every duty omitted by us, grieve Him. Yet there are some sins peculiarly displeasing to him, and of these I will instance one-a murmuring disposition under affliction. Are you thus tempted? Pray God for power to bear patiently; pray for faith to enable you “to consider Him that endured such contradiction of sinners against Himself, lest ye be wearied and faint in your minds;" finally, remember always that, “whom the Lord loveth He chasteneth, and scourgeth every one whom He receiveth.” Like Israel of old, the child of God, as he passes through the wilderness, must often taste the bitter waters of Murah ; but he must not, like Israel, murmur; for after a few more draughts of that bitter cup, he will be led by the Holy Spirit, who has sealed him, to the land of promise, flowing with milk and honey. When the Christian pilgrim has attained the heights of the everlasting hills, and the rainbow, which to the eye of the wrapt apostle in Patmos emblemed the covenant mercies of Jehovah, shall be displayed to him in all its fulness and glory, then shall he understand that in very faithfulness he has been afflicted--that the rod of chastisement was a staff to heaven--that the grave of his earthly hope was the cradle of his eternal inherit

ance.

THE GOSPEL.

Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee.”—Matt. ix. 2.

ID He mean merely that the temporal consequences,

which perhaps his indiscretion had incurred, were remitted to the man, in consideration of the faith of his friends; or, did He mean that his transgressions in the strictest sense were remitted to him, in consideration of his own faith ? If the latter, how very full of comfort, how sweet such a sentence would be to many a drooping soul which seeks Jesus for pardon, and lies at His footstool bathed in tears. Look up! Behold the Saviour speaks ! “ Son !” He calls thee “son,” the child of His protection and care ; for whom the bread, not the crumbs, is provided, as He said to His disciples, when He would be more tender, “Little children." But again Christ adds, “Be of good cheer.” He who knows what is in man, and knows where mirth is folly, and laughter vain, and the joy and the sorrow of the world to be equally frivolous, must needs have some good reason for it, when He tells a man to be of good cheer. This word sounds like

peace ; and the reason follows : “thy sins be forgiven thee." The bar is removed, the impediment which prevented the free communication between thy

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maker and Thee, is withdrawn. His lovingkindness from henceforth floweth toward thee, and the current of thy converted feeling may turn toward Him. The enjoyment of God is thine, and what is this but heaven begun? “ Peace be unto thee."

My Saviour, let me hear Thy voice

Pronounce the words of peace !
And all my warmest powers shall join

To celebrate Thy grace.

With gentle smiles call me Thy child,

And speak my sins forgiven :
The accents mild shall charm mine ear,

All like the harps of heaven.

Cheerful, where'er Thy hand shall lead,

The darkest path I'll tread;
Cheerful, I'll quit these mortal shores,

And mingle with the dead.

When dreadful guilt is done away,

No other fears we know;
That hand which scatters pardons down

Shall crowns of life bestow.

The Twentieth Sunday after Trinity.

THE COLLECT.

O ALMIGHTY and most merciful God, of Thy bountiful goodness keep us, we beseech Thee, from all things that may hurt us ; that we, being ready both in body and soul, may cheerfully accomplish those things that Thou wouldest have done; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.—EPH. v. 16.

WHAT

CHAT time ? Answer, all time. Time is not only so

precious, but so short, that none should be lost. If a man has much to write, and only a small piece of paper to write on, he must write closely ; so with our time. We have much to do for God, and little time for doing it: we must, therefore, do the most we can in the given time. It was a custom among our forefathers to put an hour-glass into the coffins of the dead, as an emblem of time run out. A curious custom this, to notify to the dead that their life was at an end! What profit could there be in a warning coming thus too late? Nay, it is to the living we would present the hourglass; we would speak to them of the swift course of time. Men, women, squanderers of God's precious time, see these falling sands ! Do they not emblem your days and years, passing swiftly away, and never to be recalled? Yet a little while, and see, the sands are exhausted; and so in a little time thy life shall cease to be. Then

you

shall know that your time is not your own ; when, standing before God's judgment-seat, conscience shall revive the memories of the past, of Sabbath bells that summoned you in vain, of Sabbath sermons that pleaded with you in vain, of Sabbath hours you squandered in frivolous and worldly conversation. Then, when it is too late, you will learn that you should not have lavished opportunities as a fool, but have walked circumspectly as wise, “redeeming the time.”

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