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The Twenty-third Sundag after Trinity.
O GOD, our refuge and strength, who art the author of all godliness; Be ready, we beseech Thee, to hear the devout prayers of Thy church; and grant that those things which we ask faithfully we may obtain effectually; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
" For our conversation is in heaven."-PHIL. iii. 20.
HE word “conversation” (ETTONItevma) means citi
zenship, commonwealth, corporation. Well, if our corporate interests are fixed in another world, why such anxiety about this ? So reasons the apostle. So, likewise Christ says, “Where thy treasure is, there shall thy heart be also.” If thy treasure and stake be cast in this lower world, why then, fret, fear, flutter, be dejected, excited, according as things go favourably, or otherwise. On the other hand, if thy good lies beyond the skies, fear and hope only according as thou discernest the plainness of thy title to that corporation, the marks of thy franchise. How great and comfortable is the character of the believer whom David describes ! Amidst all the perplexities and withering shocks of this life, he is not disconcerted or “afraid of any evil tidings ; for his heart standeth fast, and believeth in the Lord.” (Ps. cxii, 7, &c.) Yes : it is this faith, and heavenly hope combined with faith, which fortify the Christian. He has his full share of sorrows and disappointment; he has his domestic trials like other men : he buries his dead, and weeps by their grave; but, unlike other men, though “cast down he is not destroyed;" he is "per
' plexed, but not in despair.” Wherefore ? Because his “ citizenship” is in heaven. The hand of Christ hath drawn aside the veil, and lo! beyond the veil, the eye of faith discovers that happy home « where the wicked cease from troubling and the weary are at rest."
“ Render therefore unto Cæsar the things which are Cæsar's; and unto God the things that are God's.”—Matt. xxii. 21.
CHE two duties are consistent with each other, and
the obligation of the one does not interfere with the discharge of the other. A habit of comparing the relative claims of duties is prejudicial to practice. It teaches us to consider them as antagonistic to each other, when they are in reality only distinct. This was not the only occasion when our Lord had reason to repress the tendency in question. Consider the question of the scribe (Mark xii. 28), and the answer given. Thus many praise moral precepts at the expense of positive, and others, on the contrary, praise positive at the expense of moral.
Some enforce practice at the expense of faith, and others enforce faith at the expense of practical piety; whereas both must coexist in a converted mind. He that despises the precept, despises Him that ordained the precept, and, consequently, Him whom it is immorality to disobey : and he who despises faith, cuts his legs from under him ; for faith is the legs upon which holiness walks. In like manner many will neglect their worldly business, because they have religious exercises to attend
to; while others, asserting that obedience is better than sacrifice, are “careful and troubled about many things;" so, cheating their souls of their spiritual meals, they dwindle into worldlings. Yet where is the contradiction in being both regular in our devotions, and equally so in our secular business? Have not hundreds of examples proved that where there is a will, men can find a way and a time for both ? Let us, therefore, "render unto Cæar the things that are Cæsar's, and unto God the things which are God's.” Let us be “not slothful in business, fervent in spirit, serving the Lord."
Thee we adore, almighty Lord!
Vouchsafe our humble praise to hear;
And keep Thy law with holy fear.
So may Thy peace our steps attend
Through all the duties of the day;
In all we think, or do, or say.
To every law ordained by Thee
Our willing homage, Lord, be seen;
Loyal and firm to serve our Queen.
Placed on the earth, yet born for heaven,
And taught to seek our treasure there;
And all our lives Thy praise declare.
The Twenty-fourth Sunday after Trinity.
O LORD, we beseech Thee, absolve Thy people from their offences; that through Thy bountiful goodness we may all be delivered from the bands of those sins, which by our frailty we have committed : Grant this, 0 heavenly Father, for Jesus Christ's sake, our blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.
" For this cause we also, since the day we heard it, do not cease to pray for you."-COL. i. 9.
THRISTIANS do not pray for one another as often
or as earnestly as they ought. God invites us to bear upon our hearts fervent intercessions each for the other. If we realized more the feeling that we are all children of one Father and members of