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grace-I will pray in the public worship and in my private closet, and I will call my family around me, and ask for a blessing on our social circle ; but that is enough. Surely God will be satisfied with this worship; surely I shall be strengthened by His Spirit to obey His will, and have reason to hope that I am walking in the narrow way that leadeth unto life. But will God be satisfied with one service, when He has Himself appointed two ?
two? If prayer were all, why should we have these mysterious symbols consecrated to us? Why should divine efficacy be so imparted to the creatures of bread and wine, as that they who partake of them faithfully should therein truly eat the body of Christ, and drink his blood ? No; the Christian minister must strip such pleas of their thin disguise. He who abstains from the Lord's Supper because he thinks he does enough in praying, has really not got his heart whole with God. If it were so, he would obey God in all points. If his heartfelt wish and anxiety were to obtain grace, he would not habitually neglect any means of obtaining it, and especially a means so sacred, so efficacious, and so richly blessed.
To conclude, let us remember, then, my brethren, that these are not idle celebrations. Let us not be content to remember that this day is Whitsunday—a holy day—and a joyful day; but let us recal to our serious thoughts that it is a day which, by commemorating our privileges, ought to. en
force our duties; and let us not pass Whitsunday without a serious and most hearty effort of prayer to quicken and enliven the Spirit in our hearts. Let us recal to our minds, by express and particular meditation, how much we owe of our present happiness, of hope and comfort, to that event which Whitsunday celebrates.
For we, one and all of us, who were presented by believing parents at the font of baptism, were therein received within the fold of God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit. His blessed suggestions have assuredly accompanied us ever since ; whereby, from the unassignable moment when our thoughts first began to spring, and actual sin became possible, His gentle admonitions have been fain to lead us to good, and His not unfelt remonstrances to withhold us from evil. To Him we humbly and thankfully attribute the first disposition and desire to pray to God, or please Him. Every pious thought or wish is His. The strength by which our wishes and resolutions are made at all effectual is His. He speaks to us in
He speaks to us in every word of good advice, in every encourgement of faith and holiness, which we receive from men. The tenderness of parental care, the early lessons of prayer, the youthful admonitions, the fair examples of holy life around us, all are vocal with the Spirit. If we are negligent, He solicits us; if we desire sin, He checks us; if we comply with evil, He makes us feel remorse.
And God hath promised to give, yea, more certainly than men give good gifts to their beloved children, His Holy Spirit to them that ask Him. Every earnest prayer, by the Spirit suggested and wafted to God, is rewarded with the Spirit. Every communion of Christ's body and blood, made effectual by spiritual faith, is richly blessed again with spiritual strength. If
ye feel disposed to pray, bless God, whose Spirit is so clearly at work in your hearts, and
pray for more and more light, and strength, and help. If ye feel cold and heartless in prayer, fear, lest if ye relax in your efforts, He should withdraw His Spirit. In all cases, do your best to pray: for to prayer is the promise of the Spirit given ; and in the promise of the Spirit alone there is hope, or strength, or holiness, or salvation.
CHRIST THE RESURRECTION.
St. John xi. 25, 26.
“ I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live ; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me, shall never die."
THERE is not a more interesting narrative, even among the numerous touching and simple scenes recorded in the New Testament, than the one in which these most striking and momentous words of our blessed Lord occur. “A certain man,” says St. John,“ was sick, named Lazarus, of Bethany, the town of Mary and her sister Martha. Therefore his sisters sent unto Jesus, saying, Lord, behold he whom thou lovest is sick."
These sisters, as we already know from a passage of St. Luke's Gospel, were among the disciples of Jesus, who, according to the words of the Evangelist, “ loved Martha, and her sister, and Lazarus.” They had probably seen some of His miracles,-certainly they fully believed in His power: and therefore, in sending to Him, they doubtless trusted that they had secured their brother's recovery, and saved him from the death which threatened him. “But when Jesus had heard that he was sick, he abode still two days in the same place where he was.” He saw fit to withhold the answer to their prayers : while they were waiting with anxiety for the arrival of the Divine Saviour, and watching (as we may suppose) with continually diminished hope by the bed of their expiring brother, Christ remained beyond Jordan. As far as the sacred history enables us to conclude, He did not send to them to comfort or assist them. Meanwhile Lazarus died. Here we may pause for an instant to observe how valuable a lesson is to be derived from these few circumstances. We are so apt to be checked in the fervency of our prayers, and the full assurance of our faith, when blessing seems delayed or refused to us, that we cannot but read with profit of this case, in which our blessed Lord allowed the faith of these two believing sisters to be tempted, their warmest affection to be wounded, their hope to be most bitterly disappointed, because it was, as He only knew, "for the glory of God, because the Son of God might be glorified thereby." Could we ever realize to ourselves the glory of God as that great object of a Christian's life and efforts, which Holy Scripture declares that it ought to be, how humbly and dutifully should we bow our