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merit. To Calvary therefore is our attention directed by our collect. Thither we are to look for the hope of being “ brought unto the glory " of our Lord's resurrection.” For there alone is that to be discovered which can remove guilt from the conscience, introduce peace in its stead, and reconcile the heart to God. From thence alone are those motives to be derived, which, while they exhibit sin in its proper light as a hideous monster of deformity, and sicken the soul at the sight of its ghastly foe, its murtherous inmate; at the same time excite the be. lieving sinner to “put off the old man which is s corrupt according to the deceitful lusts, and “ to put on the new man, which after God is s created in righteousness and true holiness.” From thence only can we derive either
, a title to the inheritance of the saints in light, or the needful qualifications for its enjoyment. Conviction and conversion, sanctification and conservation, power to resist, temptation, and victory over death, are surely and only to be obtained from the “cross and passion” of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. The air of Calvary is vivifying and salubrious. It restores the dead to life, the sick to health.
But what is the final object of our prayer? It is that which is the consummation of all the desires and hopes of the regenerate soul; “ that “ we may be brought to the glory of Christ's re“surrection." He suffered and died that He might arise from the dead to a glorious life as the head and first fruits of His body the church. And all those who, through faith in Him, die to the law, to sin, and to the world, shall be partakers of that glorious life. Their bodies, like His body, must descend into the grave. But, after His example, and by virtue of His resurrection, they shall rise again, be made like unto His glorious body, and, reanimated by their redeemed souls, enjoy that exceeding and eternal weight of glory which His cross and passion have procured for them. Soon those celestial envoys, one of whom announced to the Virgin mother the incarnation of the Divine Redeemer, of whom a multitude celebrated His nativity, all of whom rejoice “over every sinner " that repenteth,” and who are “ministring
spirits sent forth to minister unto the heirs of “ salvation;" shall receive our departing souls into their friendly arms, and carry them to Abraham's boson. And ere long, one of them shall sound the shirill trumpet whose notes shall reach the mansions of the dead, and awaken the sleeping tenants of the grave. He will announce that our redemption, in all its fulness, is arrived; and, accompanied by myriads of his shining companions, will conduct the redeemed into the presence of their Lord, that they may hear their joyous sentence, “Come, ye blessed of my « Father, receive the kingdom prepared for you " from the beginning of the world.
They will throw open the everlasting gates of the celestial city, that "the King of glory, the Lord of “ hosts, the Lord mighty in battle,” victorious over all His enemies, may enter through it, attended by His grateful and raptured train. Then as the ransomed of the Lord shall return and “ come to Zion with songs, and everlasting joy " on their heads; They shall receive joy and " gladness and sorrow and sighing shall flee “ away” for ever,
O glorious prospect! O blissful hope! May it inspire our souls with new energies! May i; be the means of exciting us to offer up our prayer for a copious effusion of Divine influence on our hearts, and to urge with vigour the plea which our collect has suggested for its attainment, “ beseeching God to pour His grace « into our hearts; that as we have known the “ incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ by the “ message of an angel: so by His cross and
passion we may be brought unto the glory of “ His resurrection through the same Jesus Christ
our Lord. Amen."
ST. MARK'S DAY.
O Almighty God, who hast instructed thy holy church with the heavenly doctrine of thy Evangelist St. Mark: give us grace, that being not like children carried away with every blast of vain doctrine, we may be established in the truth of thy holy gospel, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
NHE blessings which are communicated to
mankind by the ministry of the gospel are unspeakably great, as we are reminded by the epistle annexed to our present collect. Therein, (Eph. iv. 11-16,) St. Paul informs us that our Divine Redeemer, after that He had “ ascended up far above all heavens that He « might fill all things-gave some, Apostles; “ and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; “ and some, pastors and teachers; for the per
fecting of the saints, for the work of the mi“nistry, for the edifying of the body of Christ; “ till we all come in the unity of the faith and “ of the knowledge of the Son of God unto a “perfect man, unto the measure of the stature “ of the fulness of Christ, that we henceforth “ be no more children tossed to and fro, and “ carried about with every wind of doctrine, “ by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, “ whereby they lie in wait to deceive; but “ speaking (or rather maintaining) the truth in “ love, may grow up into Him in all things, “ which is the head, even Christ: from whom
“ the whole body fitly joined together, and “ compacted by that which every joint sup
plieth, according to the effectual working in “ the measure of every part, maketh increase of " the body unto the edifying of itself in love." Of the mercy which hath thus been shewn to the church she preserves a grateful remembrance, by a commemoration of those inspired persons through whom the precious stream of revelation hath flowed, and from whom the commission of her King has been derived to her ministers in a long succession.
The Evangelist St. Mark, though his name is evidently Roman and was probably assumed on occasion of his visiting Italy and Rome, was doubtless of Jewish extraction, and descended from the tribe of Levi in the line of the Priesthood. He is said to have been the son of St. Peter's sister; and is to be distinguished from John, sirnamed Mark, the son of Mary, and from Mark who was sister's son to Barnabas. He is supposed to have been converted to the Christian faith by one of the Apostles, and probably by St. Peter; since he was the constant attendant of that Apostle in his travels, his amanuensis and interpreter. He' accompanied St. Peter in his apostolical progress, preached the gospel in Italy and at Rome; where, at the request of the Roman Christians, he composed and wrote his Gospel.
By St. Peter our Evangelist was sent to plant Christianity in Egypt. He fixed his chief residence in Alexandria and its environs, where multitudes both of men and women were converted to the faith by his preaching. But he did not confine his labours to the oriental parts of Egypt: for he removed westward to Lybya,