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state of glory is the autumnal season, in which these blossoms will, through the influence of the sun of righteousness, be brought to perfection, and be matured in the paradise of God.
The neceșsity of God's “ continual help" for the purpose of bringing good desire to good effect is felt by every one in whom holy desire prevails. The tender blossoms of spring are exposed to the nipping frost and the blasting wind. They must be sheltered and cherished, or they will frustrate the hope of harvest. O how sweet to the conscious mind is that promise which God hath made respecting His vineyard ! “ I the Lord do keep it! I will water it every “ moment; lest any hurt it, I will keep it night “ and day.” In the faithfulness of this promise let the believer rejoice, and take encouragement therefrom to pray for God's "continual help.” And he may be assured of a favourable answer to his prayers; for “ He who hath begun the
good work in us will perfect it unto the day of « Jesus Christ.”
We implore this blessing “through Jesus “ Christ our Lord." We plead the merit of a risen Saviour. He is the meritorious and exemplary cause of our resurrection to newness of life through all its stages. It is by
" the power of “ His resurrection” that we feel “good desires," and by the same that they are are brought to
good effect.” It is conformably to His death and resurrection that His redeemed « die to sin' “ and live again 'unto righteousness." Virtue still proceeds from Him, whereby the dead are made alive and the sick are healed.
We ascribe therefore to Him, as living and reigning with the Father and the Holy Ghost, all the glory. He “liveth;"--for®“ being
" raised from the dead He dieth no more, death " hath no more dominion over Him." He liveth to be, as the second Adam, “a quickening Spi“ rit" in all His redeemed. “ He ever liveth to “ make intercession for them," and thereby to secure to them the blessings of His cross. He “ reigneth” in them and over them, and must reign till all “ Hisenemies become His footstool,” and His members, without the loss of one individual, be glorified together with Him.
THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER EASTER.
Almighty Father, who hast given thine only Son to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification; grant us so to put away the leaven of malice and wickedness, that we may always serve thee in pureness of living and truth, through the merits of the same thy Son Jesus Christ
HERE are two very important respects
among others, in which the public services of our church accord with the Scriptures, and which shew that the former are a pure stream issuing from the fountain of the latter. The first of these is the use which is made of Christ in our liturgy. He is “ALL IN ALL” throughout her forms: “ the Alpha and Omega, the begin
ning and the end, the first and the last,” in all her confessions of faith, her supplications and thanksgivings. - Without Him” our church, like a genuine branch of the true vine, “can “ do nothing." The second point of resemblance here referred to between these closely parallel lines, the Liturgy and the Bible, is the end for which Christ is introduced. He is introduced for practical purposes. In both these volumes an intimate connection is constantly maintained between doctrine and experience, faith and holiness, justification and sanctification.
Christ is not made a nominal but a real Sa. viour--a Saviour from the power as well as the guilt of sin. The sun of righteousness is exhibited, not with a painted radiance that yields
no influence, but “with healing in his wings.” From the destructive tenets of the self-justiciary and the antinomian our church is equidistant and equally abhorrent.
Enamoured of the subject which has lately been presented to view, a crucified and risen Saviour, our church again* calls our attention to this two-fold object. Like Lot's wife, but under the influence of far different motives from those which actuated that unhappy woman, she looks back from behind her. As she is passing from Calvary and the garden of Joseph towards mount Olivet, she again and again takes a retrospect of those awful and joyful events which she has before commemorated. As she passes onward, Christ is “her theme, her inspiration, 66 and her song,
Our collect for the first Sunday after Easter reminds us anew of the great love of God in giving “ His only Son to die for our sins, and to “ rise again for our justification ;” and on this review it founds a prayer for sanctifying grace.
The preface of our collect is couched in the words of St. Paul, Romans iv. 25, where he speaks of Christ as “delivered for our offences, " and raised again for our justification.” We shall not here repeat what has been already said on the death and resurrection of our Lord Jesus Christ. But as the subject of justification thereby has not been brought immediately before us in our meditations on either of the preceding collects, we shall now make a few remarks on this most interesting topic.
** The Sunday after Easter, commonly called Domi
pica nova, and Dominica in Albis, was observed with "great solemnity (in the primitive church) as the conclu"Sion of the Paschal Festival." Bingham, vol. ii. page 318.
Justification is the reverse of condemnation, and the necessity of the former supposes the antecedent existence of the latter. Whatever view we take of Christ, while we are reminded of His love and of our obligatious to Him, we are also reminded of our natural guilt, misery, and helplessness. And indeed Christ can be the object of our faith and love only as this recollection exists in our mind and is lively.
They that are whole need not a physician, " but they that are sick.” We put our trust in Him according to the degree in which we perceive our need of Him. If that perception or consciousness be deep and abiding, the eye of the soul will be directed to Jesus, and fixed on Him with eager and persevering attention. We love Him in proportion as we are sensible of the love wherewith He hath first loved us.
Love to Christ is not to be distinguished from gratitude for favours received. It does not appear that the Scripture has any where spoken of a disinterested. Jove as occupying the bosoms either of men or angels. Grom the nature of things this is exclusively an attribute of Him who cannot be benefited by His creatures, nor be laid under any obligations to them. Let us therefore advert to the necessity of justification, before we explain its nature. For such a review will be calculated for utility both to saints and sinners. It will conduce to enliven the gratitude and joy of the former, and to excite the latter earnestly to seek after the inestimable benefit of acceptance with God for and “through the merits of " His Son Jesus Christ our Lord.”
We all lie by nature in a state of condemnation on account of our sins original and actual; that is to say, we were; the objects of Divine