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faithfully obeyed the influence of God's Spirit, and the other has done so in the least degree.

This one thing makes the difference. It is not that some Saints have prayed so many hours a day, or others watched so many hours at night, or others fasted so much, or others have given so much of their substance to the poor, or others have borne this, that, or the other injury or insult meekly, and prayed for their enemies—all these, if genuine, are but fruits, effects; and we are speaking of the root and cause. Some have done all, or a portion of these things, out of mere will worship. They have, out of their mere will, without any authority of God, gone through such or such privations; but we of the Church of England do not pray this day that we may follow them in these things, but in "all virtuous and godly living."

It was said of one man, famous on the roll of Saints, that he fled from the company of his fellow-members of Christ, and took up his abode in a solitary place in the desert, and there passed year after year in incredible austerities and fastings, and self-imposed penances and privations; and that after all this, he prayed earnestly that, if there were a person holier than himself, it should be revealed to him: and his prayer was answered: he was shown a poor, humble man, in the street of a great city, working at his trade as a shoemaker, and was told that this man, because, in his station, he was perfectly conformed to the will of God, was holier than he.

The Saints of God are not only apostles, martyrs, evangelists, holy bishops, and priests, and missionaries: they are all those who, in their several stations, have by their faith overcome the world, subdued the flesh, and made their calling and election sure. Many that are first shall be last, and the last first: many that are unknown and forgotten now shall be known in that day: many that have now a name shall then be forgotten.

You are dedicated to God. To you has the word of God come. You hear, and we trust you believe, the message of God concerning His Son. You have, then, all that Saints of bygone days had to make you truly holy. You only want the will, the steadfast, determined will. Pray God for this, and give Him no rest till He gives it to you; and then you will, in this present life, so follow His blessed Saints “in all virtuous, and godly living, that you will come at last to those unspeakable joys which God has prepared for those who unfeignedly love Him."

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XXIV. .

ADVENT LESSONS.

2 PETER iii. 3, 4. “Knowing this first, that there shall come in the last days scoffers, walking after their own lusts, and saying, Where is the promise of His coming ? for since the fathers fell asleep, all things continue as they were from the beginning of the creation,”

THE world around us, with its seas, and rivers, and lakes, and mountains, and forests, and plains, and the living creatures which people all its surface; the world above us, with its sun, moon, and planets, and stars—all this glorious creation of God witnesses to the Power and the Godhead of its Creator. In proclaiming this it also proclaims the folly and wickedness of idolatry. It must have been an outrage upon conscience as well as upon reason when men, having reasoning souls and consciences lightened with the “light which lighteth every man that cometh into the world,” first began to “ change the glory of the incorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible men, and to birds, and beasts, and four-footed things.” But when the visible universe had proclaimed this it seems to have delivered all its message. There are questions touching both itself and us to which, when in

It cannot say

terrogated, it gives no answer. when it was made, why it was made, and how it was made, and whether it will always continue as it is now..

Now we men and women, gifted with reasonable souls, want to know more, far more than the visible universe can teach us. We have consciences, and by the light of these consciences we judge ourselves and we judge one another; and we feel, too, that our Maker is a righteous Judge, if He has made us with the moral nature which we possess.

Besides this, we have a longing for immortality; we cannot bear to think that we, reasoning, thinking beings as we are, shall die with our bodies. We are sure that it cannot be so ; for in all other departments of God's works there is congruity: no creatures have faculties that they cannot make use of; animals are fitted for their lives, whether those lives be short or long. Is it possible, then, that a creature who has faculties for an eternal life, and hopes, too, for happiness hereafter, and feels that here he is comparatively in a prison-is it possible, I say, that such a creature should have nothing corresponding to these glorious aspirations ? 'And the only thing that can correspond to them is "the life that knows no ending,” “the tearless life,” the ever-expanding life and powers of the resurrection state.

We who have these souls and consciences, we who thus judge one another and are judged by one another, we ask nature to tell us whether in this future state we shall be judged. It seems likely, for we wish ourselves always to act fairly and justly; and yet we are in a state in which there are the greatest moral and social inequalities. Some men are educated in all virtue and goodness, others are educated in all vice and sin; some men have all their time at their own disposal, others cannot call a moment their own; some men have all that the earth affords, because others before them have worked for them, or have robbed and cheated for them, others, after rising up early and late taking rest, can hardly get enough to keep body and soul together. All this seems to make a future judgment and just retribution likely, if there be a just and good God; and we ask nature to certify to us whether there is, and the whole universe can give no

“ It is not in me. It tells us, ome of us, that it has a Maker, Who could plan it all—for all is assuredly made and joined together on a plan-but it says nothing more. It says rather, “ All things continue as they were since the beginning of the creation.” And the more it is interrogated the more it seems to me to say this. All in mere nature seems to witness to an unvarying round of cause and effect; one everlasting iron chain of physical necessity. So that mere nature, so

It says,

answer.

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