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evidence, however small, let us collect and save the opportunities of philanthropy as grains of gold. They who will do so are the “ friends ” of Christ ; for “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you." And this is His commandment, “that we love one another, as He has loved us.”
Brethren, let us walk together
In the bonds of love and peace ;
'T is by union
While we journey homeward, let us
Help each other on the road ;
It behoves us
When we think how God is giving
Weighty favours, day by day,
Let us, then, be to each other,
Kind and loving, true and free;
Saint John Baptist's Day.
ALMIGHTY God, by whose providence Thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of Thy Son our Saviour, by preaching of repentance; Make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching ; and after his example constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake ; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
“ He shall feed His flock like a shepherd : He shall gather the lambs with His arm, and carry them in His bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young.”—Isaiah xl. 11.
HY art thou cast down, O my soul, and why art
thou disquieted within me?” For what reason hast thou to be disquieted, if Christ Jesus the Lord, whose advent is here proclaimed, be a Lord of such a
character—so gentle—so careful of His charge ? Either thou art one of His sheep, or thou art not. If thou art not, what prevents thee? He hath said, “Him that cometh unto Me I will in no wise cast out.” (John vi. 37.) If thou art of His flock, it is more foolish still to be disquieted, for the text teaches us what kind and watchful care His sheep may expect at His hand ; and upon the supposition of your being of the number, you must possess that faith which teaches that all things work together for good to them that love God. As in Physics, the trial of a philosophic mind is to believe reason against perception—to believe that the sun is still, while it appears to move; so, in religion, the trial of faith is to trust the conclusions of the same reasoning against the feelings of nature—“to hope against hope.” Is it true, or is it not true, that Christ Jesus is appointed by the Father, Lord of all ; and that the government of this present state is laid upon Him? No Christian, without renouncing his profession, can deny it. Does it follow from this, or does it not, that all your afflictions come from the same Hand whose business in this world is “to bind up the broken-hearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound" ? You must then admit- no matter how painful, how galling your present distress is, how intolerable the load, howsoever contradictory to your present judgment it may seem--that such dispensations are not only endurable, but that in them He is actually, in the words of our text, “feeding His flock like a shepherd, . . . and gently leading those that are with young.”
“ To give light to them that sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the way of peace.”—LUKE i. 79.
ND who were these sitting in darkness until the
Day-Spring appeared ? The children of the kingdom, whose were the promises, whose were the fathers, and the lively oracles of God. And yet they were in comparative darkness, until the more satisfactory information which the Gospel brought into this world concerning the world to come. Christ is the light which has kindled a beacon upon the other side of the grave; full and clear—whose steady reflection has outshone the shadows of the Law. John was the harbinger of the light. “This is the true light, which lighteth every man that cometh into” and goeth out of “the world.” If a man wants not a light to bring him in, he wants a light to carry him out. Many prophets and wise men desired to see it. It was the guess of antiquity-the search of philosophy—the desire of all nations; but they died without seeing it. Blessed are our eyes, for they see,
, and our ears, for they hear.
Sons of men, behold from afar,
Mild it shines on all beneath,
Nations all, remote and near,
There behold the Day-Spring rise,
God of mercy, may that Star,