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Saint Mark's Day.
O ALMIGHTY God, who hast instructed Thy holy Church with the heavenly doctrine of Thy Evangelist Saint Mark; Give us grace, that, being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of Thy holy Gospel; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
" And He gave some, apostles ; and some, prophets ; and some, evangelists ; and some, pastors and teachers; for the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ : till we all come in the unity of faith,” 8.-EPHES. iv. 11-13.
IE epistle may teach us that uniformity of opinion,
among Christian people as a body, and decision of judgment, are no such indifferent matters as may be
supposed, inasmuch as they are what lies closely at the heart of Christ. The text, indeed, asserts these as His reasons for the institution of a body of ministers and religious teachers. Doubtless He had other reasons for these institutions. But I think the stress here laid upon decision in the truth, and uniformity of judgment respecting what that truth is, may convey an important lesson both to pastors and people.
“ Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine ; no more can ye, except ye abide in Me."-JOHN XV. 4.
ET us keep to the stem, or we shall wither. We
may look bright and productive for a time, but we shall not preserve our consistency long, unless we maintain our communication with it. The gay bouquets which adorn the tables of saloons please the eye
and look as well as the brightest flowers planted in the garden. But visit them the day after, and in what condition are they? Drooping, faded, and rather unpleasant to behold. But the meanest blade of grass by the roadside is as green to-day as it was yesterday, and so it will continue : and why? because it has maintained its communication with the parent stem-it has clung to the root. Let us abide in Christ and Christ in us, and we shall bloom and bring forth fruit
while others are sapless and withered trunks“for without Me ye can do nothing.” “This is the victory which overcometh the world—even our faith.”
Upon my leaf, when parched with heat,
Refreshing dew shall drop ;
Shall ne'er be rooted up.
Each moment, watered by Thy care,
And fenced with power divine,
The feeblest branch of Thine.
Saint Philip and Saint James's Way.
O ALMIGHTY God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; Grant us perfectly to know Thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the the truth, and the life; that, following the steps of Thy holy Apostles, Saint Philip and Saint James, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leadeth to eternal life; through the same Thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“But let patience have her perfect work, that ye may be perfect and entire, wanting nothing."-JAMES i. 4.
all things. “Charity beareth all things.” Again, some possess Christian principles strong enough to carry them a certain way; but it is “he that endureth to the end” which shall be saved. You can love God, rejoice in Him, joy in Him, in prosperity, and when nothing occurs to distress your spirits. It is well; and you can also suggest Him as the true Source of comfort for those who claim your sympathy. This is also well : you do rightly. But when the withering hand of affliction rests upon yourself, when the hard blast of distress blows upon you, does your patience still continue ! Does the blow miss its aim, and instead of severing you from, rivet you more deeply to, the earth ? Is wordly joy only superseded by the sorrow of this world, which worketh death. He is the true disciple, whose patience has done its perfect work-has passed uninjured through the trials of adversity and the seductions of prosperity—and keeping alive in its bosom the fire which God first kindled there, is prepared, in every vicissitude of life, to say, “ The Lord Himself is the portion of mine inheritance, and of my cup; Thou shalt maintain
my Father's house are many mansions : if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.”—JOHN xiv. 2.
THE kingdom of heaven is no narrow circumscribed
establishment, with only a few seats open to competition. The qualification of no one candidate inter