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“We are called upon then to awake; to be watchful ; The necesto pray: in accordance with that precept of our Saviour sity of lookJesus Christ, our God, who saith, And take heed to ing for the yourselves lest haply your hearts be overcharged with sur- our Lord feiting and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and that day Jesus come upon you unawares, for as a snare shall it come upon Luket xxi. all them that dwell on the
face of the whole earth. Watch ye therefore at all times, that ye may be counted worthy to escape all these things that shall come to pass, and to stand before the Son of Man.' If we hear these words and believe them, our watchfulness will give evidence of our faith, and this saying of the Lord our Saviour will thrill through our senses, influencing us to shake off the torpid and sluggish lethargy of deadly indifference, that we may lay aside all mortal cares, and be at all times ready; in expectation of the advent of the last day, in which either punishment or glory shall be allotted to us (for eternity.) And [thus] shall that admonition of the Lord now addressed to us, in which He has taught us to be always watching and praying, sharpen the energy of our souls, that we may not be as if believers, and (yet] no believers,
and as if paying attention, and yet not at. tending (to His word.] 0 (rather] let us unceasingly from the bottom of our hearts, beseech, implore, and supplicate the unspeakable compassion of our merciful and gracious God, for the sake of His Son Jesus Christ; that He vouchsafe so to inspire us with His love, as to unite and join us therein to Himself inseparably for all eternity: that meanwhile, so long as we be resident in this body of death, He may raise our affections from earth, associate them with Heaven; and that we may so await His advent without blame, that when He shall appear, we may meet Him acceptably with joy, and in the strong confidence of love.
“ How blessed! How happy those servants, whom the st. ColumLord when He cometh, shall find watching. Blessed banus ear
nestly sup- watching, when we watch for God the Author of the plicates the universe, who fills all things; whose greatness exceeds gift of the Spirit of
all comprehension ! O that vile as I myself am (His love to own servant however still, though but a feeble one) He Christ.
might vouchsafe to rouse even me from the slumber of $, Luke xii. indolence, so to kindle in me that fire of divine love, that 37.
the flame of His love, the longing after His exceeding great kindness, might sparkle in me more brightly than the stars, and the heavenly fire continue to keep alive within for ever. O that I were composed of such mate rials, as would continually feed, support, and nourish that fire; and cherish that flame, never to know decline, never to cease from burning still more strongly. O that I were worthy of such honour, that my lamp might burn through the livelong night in the temple of my Lord, to give light to all that enter into the house
of my God. Grant to me, O Lord, I beseech Thee, in the 1 Cor. xiii.8. name of Thy Son Jesus Christ, my God, that charity
which never faileth, that my lamp may know (only) how to burn, never know how to be extinguished ; that it may maintain life in myself, and shed its light on others (around me.] Do Thou, O Christ, our own most Sweet
est Saviour, vouchsafe to kindle our lamps, that they and of light may ever burn brightly in Thy temple, and receive in Christ; never-failing light from Thee, the (true) never-failing
Light. That so our darkness may be lightened, and the darkness of the world banished from around us. So communicate Thy light, I beseech Thee, my Jesus, to
this lamp of mine, that by its light I may obtain a vision See Heb. iv. of that Holiest of Holies, whereinto Thou, the eternal 14-16, and High Priest, [*hast for ever entered, through the Portals
of thy mighty Temple*), so as that I may only see Thee, and of con- look to Thee, long after Thee, for ever. That setting stant "look- my love on Thee only, I may behold Thee, long for ing unto
Thee, wait on Thee, with my lamp ever lighting and burning in Thy presence. Be it thine I implore Thee,
most loving Saviour, to reveal Thyself to us that knock (for admittance to Thy presence] - that learning to know Thee, we may love Thee alone, love Thee exclusively; long after Thee only; meditate on Thee only, by day and by night; and make only Thee the subject of our thoughts; and that Thou mayest vouchsafe to inspire us with such a measure of Thy love, that our love and affection for Thee may be such as is fitting towards Thy divine (and heavenly] nature; that Thy kindness may occupy all our inmost souls, and Thy love take possession of us wholly, Thy charity filling all our senses. That we may know no other love but Thine, who art the Everlasting (Lord). That so there may be found in us that boundless love, that never can be quenched by the many waters of this air, and earth, and sea, according to that word. Many waters cannot quench love.' And O Song of Sothat this may be realized in us even in part, by Thy gra- lomón, viii. cious gift, our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen."
ST. COLUMBANUS'S INSTRUCTION ON THE SUBJECT "OP JESUS CHRIST
“Impressed with a strong sense of the misery of hu- The preachman life, as brought before us in the observations of er though
diffident of every-day experience, and with solemn reverence at the.
his abilities, same time for the divine oracles, we have been led to ex- must in hibit, in the discourses which you have already heard, faithfulness however inelaborate their style, the best efforts, feeble labour to the
best of his though they be, of our humble ability; and however this way of talking on our part may haply appear super- the enforce
ment of fluous in the eyes of others, yet to ourselves it seems apChristian truth.
propriate enough that the discourse should begin with allusions of a personal nature, such as these. For it is not so much the indolence of others, as our own, that we are endeavouring to arouse. And moreover, although to the perfect in wisdom these advances towards wisdom [which we are engaged in] may prove not entirely satisfactory, still for beginners, and poor lukewarm creatures like ourselves, they must be regarded as unavoidable, and well adapted enough to our case. For what cannot be concealed, what cannot be kept silent, without doing harm, it is inexpedient to hide and inexpedient to hush. For this reason therefore it seemed to us better to speak, even in a homely style, than to observe silence. For we have judged it to be undoubtedly safer to employ our conversation on such topics as these, than on others that
are either idle or frivolous. Christ the
“ Lend then your ear once more, brethren dearly be. Spring of living wa
loved, to our observations, as (persons] convinced of the ters, how to necessity of paying attention to the lessons which you
hear, (on such occasions as this]. And refresh your proached and applied
thirst, yet not so as to extinguish it, at the waters of this by the be- divine fountain, concerning which we are now desirous to speak. Drink, yet
not so as to be satiated. For the Living Fountain, the Fountain of Life, now summons us S. John vii. to himself, and says, Whosoever is athirst let him come
unto me and drink.' Observe what it is you are to drink. Let Isaiah inform you ; let the Fountain Himself inform you :- And they have forsaken me, the Fountain of living water, saith the Lord.' It is the Lord then Himself, Jesus Christ, our God, that is the Fountain of Life, and He therefore invites us to Himself the Fountain, that we may drink. He drinks who loves Him; he drinks who takes his fill of the Word of God; who has a perfect love for Him, a perfect longing after Him: he drinks, who is inspired with a burning love for wisdom.
Isa. lv. 1.
Gentiles then drink with eagerness from that [Fountain] which the Jews forsook [*For to us also as well as to other Gentiles may apply that saying about 'those who open not their mouths,' and we too may be exhorted to open the mouth of our inner man, to eat with anxious haste and eagerness that bread which cometh down from S. John vi. heaven.*]
In order then that we may eat of this Bread--that we The more may drink of this Fountain, (both of which are one and] of Christ
His people the same Jesus Christ our Lord, (who speaks of Himself as though He were to be used by us for
food, (under the joyed, so title of the living bread, which giveth life to this world; much the and in like manner pointing to Himself as the Fountain,
they long He saith, · Whosoever is athirst, let him come unto me and after unin. drink,' concerning which Fountain also the prophet saith, terrupted * For with thee, is the Fountain of Life.' See whence that communion Fountain flows; for it is from the same source from Psa. xxxvi. which the bread also descends ; because it is the same 9. One who is the Bread and the Fountain, the Only Son, our God, the Lord Christ, whom we ought unceasingly to hunger after; and although we are eating of Him in loving Him, although we devour Him by our longing after Him, yet let us continue our longing after Him, as though hungry still. In like manner, that we may always drink of Him, the Fountain, with exceeding pleasure, drink of Him unceasingly in the full eagerness of our longing after Him, and be delighted with His grateful sweetness, (for the Lord is sweet and pleasant,) though we do eat of Him and drink, yet let us ever still hunger and thirst for Him. For this our food and drink can never be entirely consumed nor exhausted; for although used, it is not spent ; though drunk of, it doth not waste; because our bread is eternal, and our Fountain is ever flowing, and ever sweet. Whence the prophet saith, • Ho ye that thirst, come to the Fountain. For this Foun- Isa. Iv. tain is for such as thirst, not for those who feel satiety;