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GOSPEL THOUGHTS:

OR,

CHRIST IN THE PRAYER BOOK.

The First Sunday in Adbent.

THE COLLECT.

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which Thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility ; that in the last day, when He shall come again in his glorious Majesty to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him who liveth and reigneth with Thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

The night is far spent, the day is at hand.-Rom. xiii. 12.

THE Night! Let me ponder that word. To spiritual

eyesight it is still night; with us on earth, sickness and sorrow, temptation and peril, sin and death. If these things can make it night, surely the time of our

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mortal life” is oftentimes dark indeed. Lord, let not my night here below be all cheerless and starless. Lord Jesus, hide not Thou Thy face from me. Defend me from the perils and dangers of this night.

But the hours of night are numbered. There is something in the apostle's words which sounds like a watchman's cry—“The night is far spent !” Awake, then, my soul! The hours may be dark, but they are precious -precious as a time of waiting and watching for the coming of my Lord. Fearful and weak and sinful as I am by nature, His grace is sufficient for me. By the power

of His blessed Spirit I shall be made strong to wake and watch and pray, until the watchman cry again—“The day is at hand !”

The Day! That is a sound at once of alarm and of joy. To the enemies of Jesus, the hour of His second coming shall be the awful advent of judgment; but to His redeemed and believing people, the dawning of that day shall brighten into an endless Sabbath of peace and light and love. How full of happiness is this prospect to those who are one with Jesus! If it be night here for a while, it will be day there through an eternity.

Are these things my hope and joy ? Am I looking forward to meet my Lord at His coming ? Am I this day numbered amongst His redeemed ones ? Have I indeed cast myself as a lost sinner at the foot of His Cross, and washed my guilty stains away in that pre

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