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O LORD God, who seest that we put not our trust in any thing that we do; Mercifully grant that by Thy power we may be defended against all adversity; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
" In prisons more frequent,” &c.—2 Cor. xi. 23.
ID Paul suffer all this for God's sake—and will
ingly, because God imposed it upon him ? and shall I not willingly suffer those personal sufferings which God, in the ordinary course of Providence, imposes upon me? Paul endured all this for the Gospel of Christ, because Christ was dear to him. If then Christ be equally dear unto me, why should I not endure the same ? Paul was a happy man, and yet his life was a life of outward suffering. So may I possess much of
Ι the peace which passeth understanding in the worst extremity, unless it has arisen from my own misconduct. Nothing which can happen me, but sin, is a real ground of sorrow.
“ Bring forth fruit with patience,” fc.-LUKE viï. 15.
PATIENCE is the criterion of true Christianity.
. There is no substitute for stability. Even in this life, the man who flits about from one profession and calling to another is seldom seen to succeed. Even so in the Christian profession, you will see men take up a warm attachment to the religion of Jesus—maintain that there is nothing equal to it for bringing peace to the mind and happiness to the soul ; nay, sincerely feeling it, they act upon their convictions for a time, making some considerable sacrifices. But, by-and-by, as other objects of interest grow up around them they grow cooler and cooler, and their first love holds but a very secondary place in their affections. Nay, it is true, however painful, that they resume it not unfrequently again and again, and as naturally revert to original indifference; like a stream which periodically overflows its banks, but accidental circumstances being removed, regularly returns to its ordinary channel. “Now the just shall live by faith : but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him.” (Heb. x. 38.) “I am the vine, ye are the branches : he that abideth in Me and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit : for without Me ye can do nothing." (John xv. 5.) “ Lord ! increase our faith”—now and for evermore, Amen.
The wandering star, and fleeting wind,
The Sunday called Quinquagesima,
OR THE NEXT SUNDAY BEFORE LENT.
O LORD, who hast taught us that all our doings without charity are nothing worth ; Send Thy Holy Ghost, and pour into our hearts that most excellent gift of charity, the very bond of peace and of all virtues, without which whosoever liveth is counted dead before Thee: Grant this for Thine only Son Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
“ Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, and have not charity, I am become as sounding brass, or a tinkling cymbal.”– 1 COR. Xüi. 1.
love is the gift of God. This is the test which God applies to our Faith ; for if Faith be genuine it worketh by love. Am I deficient in goods, riches, fame, worldly accomplishments? No matter—they weigh little in His scales. Do I fail in love to my neighbour, in the repression of evil tempers against him, in want of due allowance and toleration of his infirmities, in want of particular instances of benevolence, in want of general husbandry of my time and economy of its payments for the public good ? O! these things are important - very important; if I fail in these, although living, I am counted dead before Him. Kindle Thou, Lord, by the Holy Spirit, in this cold heart of mine, the fire of heavenly love love not only to my God, but to my fellow man moulded in God's image.
“He cried so much the more, Thou Son of David, have mercy upon me.”- LUKE xviii. 39.
E cried the first time, and Jesus did not hear him.
He repeated his cries—and, notwithstanding the dissuasions of those who went before, he repeated them. Their very opposition increased his decision; "he cried so much the more.” Blessed are they who collect from discouragements encouragement to proceed! So was it with the subject of the present passage. So was it with the woman of Canaan, who turned the argument of the Lord against Himself, who wrestled with Him in prayer, and prevailed. The ears of the Redeemer are