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Come, sacred Spirit, seal Thy name

On my expanding heart; And show that in Jehovah's grace

I share a filial part.

Cheered by a signal so divine,

Unwavering I believe; And “Abba, Father !” humbly cry,

Nor can the sign deceive.

The Fourth Sunday in Lent.

THE COLLECT.

GRANT, we beseech Thee, Almighty God, that we, who for our evil deeds do worthily deserve to be punished, by the comfort of Thy grace may mercifully be relieved; through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

THE EPISTLE.

" Tell me, ye that desire to be under the law, do ye not hear the law ?"-GAL iv. 21.

OUR

UR adoption to the covenant was the subject of

the Epistle immediately preceding; our emancipation from the system of Mosaic observances is the point insisted upon in the present passage. We are reminded by the same apostle, here and elsewhere, that one principal feature of our deliverance by Christ is our exemption from the yoke of the ceremonial law.

We were

So long as it lasted, our bondage continued. cramped if we observed it; if unobserved by us, it was a partition wall to separate us from the commonwealth of Israel. Here is the deliverance : the wall is broken down; we are Israelites. The yoke is shivered in pieces; we are free Israelites. We have been admitted through Christ into "the glorious liberty of the sons of God.” If these things be so, if it be one of the greatest boasts of our adoption, that we are emancipated from the yoke of ceremonies which God contrived, what shall we think of those Christians who are anxious to submit themselves to ceremonies of their own invention ?-such forge their own fetters, and submit themselves to a degradation which is self-imposed.

THE GOSPEL,

Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost." JOHN vi. 12.

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He spake after the performance of a miracle

which evidenced a power of multiplying the resources of nature to an indefinite extent.

Plenty should not create waste, and yet how often it does so ! Those who suddenly come in for great wealth, fancying it has no end, soon make an end of it; abundance

; creating contempt, and contempt producing extravagance. Pinching poverty best teaches the value of things. The spirit of Christ had evidently this lesson in view, in recording this saying of Christ at such a conjuncture ; and if the Lord will have the fragments of bread gathered up that nothing may be lost, does He not expect the same frugality to be observed in things of more importance ? O let me be careful how my time is lost or frittered away! It is a wilful waste to squander those precious moments which might be hands and eyes to my fellow creatures. He who throws away bread, or throws money into the sink, is evidently cruel and unfeeling ; and if the real wealth of nations be Industry, and if Time be the field which industry ploughs, he that'squanders time squanders money, and in the same measure curtails his contribution to the public good. “He that is slothful in his work is brother to him who is a great waster.” “Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”

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Transient as the hues of morning,

Earthly joys like shadows pass ;
Forms, the brightest life adorning,

Fade and wither like the grass.
O may we, our fetters breaking,

Cling no more to things below,
But to heavenly visions waking,

More abiding glory know,

O how swift the moments flying,

Bear us on their wings away! Jesus, in the hour of dying,

Be Thy trembling servants' stay. When they call, O Saviour, hear them

Answer them in peace and love : In the darkest shade be near them,

Guide them to the throne above.

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