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them; but a true believer knows that any individual sin, if unpardoned by Divine mercy, inust consign him to endless perdition. The purification, therefore, of the conscience from guilt is the grand object of God's “ faithful people ;" because both the comfort of their own souls, and their preparation of heart for the service of God, depend on it.
For “pardon and peace” must be enjoyed in order that we may “serve God with a quiet “mind.” Every believer is conscious of a desire to serve God and to live to His glory. But this desire is often accompanied with much disquietude of soul, whereby the wings of devotion are clipped and the feet of obedience fettered. Fears and distresses are hostile to that alacrity of soul which the service of God requires. Now as this disquietude of mind arises from the power of unbelief, the antidote to which is provided in the "two “ immutable things, in which it is impossible for - God to lie,” in order that His people may have “strong consolation;" we are taught to pray for a pacification of our hearts “through Jesus Christ
our Lord :" and in His name we cannot ask and be denied.
Let those who have heard the doctrine which our church maintains and the temper which she inculcates, examine whether there be any correspondence between their hearts and lips while they use the collect which we have considered. God is willing to pardon and to give peace to His people.-Witness, thou Calvary and thy bloody cross !-Witness all ye who compose the innumerable multitude of redeemed sinners that sur. round the eternal throne!-But for the communication of these precious benefits He will be solicited, in order that the supplicant may be VOL. III.
humbled and the blessings valued. Their purchase cost our Redeemer tears, and sweat, and blood. And surely it is right that the attainment of them should cost the guilty receiver a few sighs and prayers. The contrite petitioner, “ in whose
spirit there is no guile,” may assure himself of final success in his supplications; for our God " waiteth to be gracious.
THE TWENTY-SECOND SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY. :
Lord, we beseech thee to keep thy household the church in continual Godliness; that through thy protection it may be free from all adversities, and devoully given to serve thee in good works, to the glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
EN of corrupt and worldly minds mistake
and misrepresent the nature and effects of true religion, for they consider it to be a melancholy, senseless, and disadvantageous possession. But “Godliness hath the promise of the life that “ now is as well as of that which is to come.” It brings with it present advantage, and insures eternal gain. It is the greatest and only permanent treasure. There is no acquisition which is worthy to be compared with it. For it is a source of strong consolation under all the circumstances of trial to which the heir of sorrow in this vale of tears is exposed. It produces satisfaction in the mind respecting all the events of life whether propitious or adverse, by representing them all as being under the direction and controul of Him, who hath promised that “all things shall work
together for good to them that love Him." It alleviates the unavoidable pressure of affiction which attends our pilgrimage through time, moderates the austerity of its bitters, and heightens the flavour of its sweets. It is a broad and im- . pregnable shield against the poisoned arrows of adversity; nay, it converts poison into physic and nutriment. If we know what Godliness truly means, we shall fully assent to St. Paul's proposition that “Godliness with contentment," which is its natural fruit and legitimate offspring, “ is “ great gain.” (1 Tim. vi. 6.) If any persons object to this representation, the objection is wholly founded in ignorance. Men substitute the counterfeit for the reality, and then condemn it. But Godliness and wisdom are convertible terms; and “ Happy is the man that findeth wis“ dom; the man that getteth understanding. For “ the merchandize of it is better than the mer“ chandize of silver, and the gain thereof than “ fine gold. She is more precious than rubies: " and all the things thou canst desire, are not to “ be compared unto her. Length of days is in “ her right hand: and in her left hand riches and “ honour. Her ways are ways of pleasantness; " and all her paths are peace. She is a tree of “ life to them that lay hold upon her; and happy “ is every one that retaineth her.” (Prov. iii. 13-18.)
If Godliness be thus desirable as a portion in life, how much more in death! This and this alone can soften a dying bed, cheer the soul in a near prospect of its separation from the body, and light up the taper of hope in the dreary mansions of the tomb. Godliness banishes from the bosom the fear of death, renders its approach desirable, and converts the king of terrors into an amiable friend. It embraces in its wide grasp both time and eternity; and is a never-setting sun that diffuses its bright rays through both, shedding on the former the dawning light of immortality, and filling the latter with the full blaze of meridian splendour.
The truth of these remarks will be illustrated, while we contemplate the collect of our church which now claims our attention. It contains a petition, and a specification of the end for which it is offered.
We here offer a petition for the catholic church, in which we include ourselves as its members. We shall inquire-On whose behalf the request is made-And what the request is.
The petition which is here offered respects the universal church under the character of an household. The image is scriptural and often used. Our Lord in His parables frequently adopts it; (Matth. x. 25, and xxiv. 45) and in the epistolary writings of the apostles the church is called “ the household of God," and “the household of “ faith.” (Gal. vi. 10. Eph. ii. 19.)
This notion of the church is full of sweetness and comfort. Sometimes God is represented as a great King, His church as a kingdom, and His people as the subjects of that kingdom. This view of the subject exhibits a delightful scene for pious meditation. But the image which is used in our collect is still more replete with consolation. For here God is the Father of a family, of which believers are the component members. (See Eph. iii. 15.) This representation implies, on the part of the great Householder, constant and tender regard, care, provision and government. On the part of the members which constitute the family, it implies the necessity of dependance, fidelity, gratitude, union, and brotherly love. The circle is more confined than in the notion of a kingdom; the bond of fellowship is drawn closer; and therefore the views which are presented to the mind are more endearing and cons solatory