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can sin so engrained be washed out ? How can such deep-rooted weeds be plucked up? How can such inveterate habits be cast aside? How can such a filthy drain be cleansed? How can the strong current of his life, which is rushing fast downwards, be turned, so that, contrary to all laws of earth, it should turn and flow upwards and heavenwards?

And so, sinner, you feel that your case is hopeless, whilst for the very first time, perhaps in your life, it begins to be hopeful.

For, O sinner, Who is looking on you? He has turned and is looking on you who once turned and looked upon Peter. And He, when He looks, looks the soul into repentance. Your eye has met His, and so you "weep bitterly."

You have fallen to the earth trembling and astonished because He Who once met the persecutor on the way to Damascus, has met you, and is facing you. You now abhor yourself, and repent as Job once did, because in times past you have only heard of God “ with the hearing of the ear,” but “now your

eye sees Him.”

Yes; you are suffering the reproof of God. He is setting before you the things that you have done.

“ No matter what the issue is, of this be sure,” as a great saint of our Church has said, “ that the reproof of sinners is an exercise of God's love. Whether you take it or not, or whether you are benefited by it or not, it is not at present the hand of Divine vengeance. It is the hand of Divine Mercy which is smiting you. Whether the reproof bring conviction of sin or not, humble the soul or only harden it, melt the sinner into a repentant state, or make no impression and leave no scar, it is equally an act of love."

There can be nothing so hopeless-nothing so fearful as that the sinner be left to himself, unwarned and unreproved. It is very hard to bear, is the sight of past sin viewed in the light of God's law, and Gospel, and promises; but would it not be infinitely worse for God to say of any such,“ Why should this soul be stricken any more, it will only revolt more and more ?"

If God is setting before you the things that you have done, it is that He may actually hide these things from Himself, otherwise He would not have taught you to pray, “ Hide Thy face from my sins."

If God is bringing past sin to remembrance, it is that He Himself may ultimately forget it, and for ever remember you; or He would not have taught you to pray, “ Remember not the sins of my youth or my transgressions, but according to thy mercy remember thou me, for thy goodness sake, O Lord.”

“Oh, consider this, ye that forget God.” Ye that live as if ye were your own, and not bought with a price; ye that live as if this world would last for ever, and there was no eternity beyond ; ye that live as if Christ were not coming again. Lent after Lent has witnessed to you of your Saviour's conflict, and that you must join in it; of the need of repentance, and that you must exercise it.

Consider this: Has God ever reproved you ? Has He ever set before you the things that you have done? Has He ever opened your eyes to the realities of the kingdom of grace in which you are now, and the realities of the eternity in which you will soon be ?

Perhaps He has begun to do so, and you have by a strong effort resolutely shut out His light. In the words of the wise man, you “would have none of His reproof.”

Well, then, He has ceased dealing with you as with a son, and you may depend upon it that it is your own fault if He has. You ask Him all through this Lent for repentance. You say to Him twice every Sunday (you are supposed to say it twice daily), “Create and make in us new and contrite hearts, that we worthily lamenting our sins, and acknowledging our wretchedness, may obtain of Thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remission and forgiveness ;” and throughout the year, when you say Amen to the daily absolution, you ask Him for “true repentance and His Holy Spirit, that those things may please Him which you do at this present.”

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And again, after the suffrage, “That it may please thee to give us true repentance, to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances.

You respond with apparent earnestness, “We beseech thee to hear us, Good Lord.”

You are asking in all this for a draught of very bitter medicine, but you cannot be healed without it.

You are asking, perhaps, for a broken heart, but it must be broken before God can bind it up.

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PHILIPPIANS ii. 8. “ Being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.'


The word of God teaches us that the Sufferings and Death which we shall commemorate during this week have made the greatest difference possible to us as regards God, and will make the greatest possible difference between one man and another throughout eternity.

It must be so. Common sense tells us that it must. For what is the teaching of common sense? Is it not to put a right value upon things? To esteem those things to be of importance which are really great in themselves, or in their issues, and to hold trifles to be triflingnot to neglect them, but not to make much of them not to make them the serious business of life? Now how are we to estimate the importance of the Sufferings and Death of which we shall read so much in the services of this week? Has the Church given us in the services of to-day, the first day of Holy Week, any key by which we may judge of the meaning of

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