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the first-fruits of The Spirit, even we ourselves groan within ourselves, waiting for the adoption, to wit, the redemption of our body.” The whole creation is to undergo a like change with redeemed man. As when man fell, creation was marred and polluted, so, when man is restored, creation too will be partaker of the same blessing.
We would all fain feel sure that this great change will come upon us, in precisely the same way as we are sure that we are now in an ailing, suffering body —that is, by means of actual knowledge, and foreexperience. But this is not God's purpose. are saved by hope.” In the grave our bodies are “prisoners of hope.” Hope has reference to the future. If we are in actual enjoyment of a blessing, we do not need to hope for it. And yet there can be no doubt, for a moment, as to the unfailing truth of God's promise. We have only to wait patiently for its fulfilment. We assuredly shall rise again with our bodies. Why should we not feel contented that God has chosen to assure us of this miracle, and to promise that He will bring it to pass in His own wise way. Because we know very many blessings through the testimony of our senses, it does not follow at present that we should know all future blessings through this kind of testimony.
Let us then devoutly bless Almighty God for this revelation as it stands. Let us look upward, and forward, as we are invited to do in His word, hopefully and in expectation. Let us yearn after, and pray for, God's purifying grace. God will not perhaps remove your sickness. He will not take you to His rest, if He save your soul, without causing you to die. You must cheerfully bow to His holy will, His good purpose respecting you in this. He is all love. He has passed once through death for you, that you might not be afraid to die, knowing that “He is risen," and that with Him you shall rise also. It is His will that you should find sweet comfort in the promises He gives us of future emancipation from sin, and from its fatal consequences. Make then at once, while this life lasts, your peace with God. So shall you have Him for ever and ever as your unfailing Friend, when “this corruptible shall have put on incorruption.” It is most good for you to muse upon God, to seek to love God, for so may you know that He loves you. “Your love for Him shall,” as a deceased Archbishop expresses it, “be but as it were the beam or repercussion of His love shining upon you.” Better is it to do this, than to muse about heaven and its blessedness. Think of union with the Triune God as your only heaven, and you shall thus have within you “quietness and assurance for ever," and "a well of water springing up into everlasting life,” as well as a foretaste even here of pleasure pure, spiritual, immortal, glorious.
Oh God, we would desire to pray to Thee better than we do, but “the corruptible body presseth down the soul that would muse upon many things.” “ That which we would, we do not, and the evil that we would not, that we do." Almighty and most merciful Father, we have erred, and strayed from Thy ways like lost sheep. We have followed too much the devices and desires of our own hearts. We have offended against Thy holy laws. We have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done; and there is no health in And behold now our sin has
forth to taint all Thy creation. “The whole creation groaneth and travaileth in pain,” because of us. Though we are prone to think lightly of our offences, yet are we “vile earth and miserable sinners” in Thy sight. . But “enter not into judgment with Thy servants, Oh Lord, for in Thy sight shall no man living be justified.”
Oh Lord, quicken Thou this Thy servant, that he may repent him of his sins, and look and long for Thy rest. Thou knowest and dost compassionate his present sufferings. Thou hast visited him with this affliction, for Thy glory and for his own good. Thou
hast set Thy love upon him, while he is bowed down by the weight of it. According to Thy mercy remember him, good Lord! Fix his thoughts upon “ the glory that shall be revealed in the last days,” for those who by Thee shall be rescued from the
Turn all his fearfulness and trembling, on account of sin, into "earnest expectation, waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God.” Thou hast made him "subject to vanity.” Thou hast
" made his life here to be " as the shadow that departeth,” against his will, that if he trust in Thee, he may glorify Thy holy name the more, and see Thine omnipotence the better, when Thou shalt have delivered him “from the bondage of corruption into the glorious liberty of the children of God.” Oh let no change that may come over him distract his thoughts, and turn away his affections from Thee. And," loving Thee, may he be content and glad to throw himself into the infinite abyss of Thy mercy, and rest there in perfect trust. Let him not fear to go where Thine ever-blessed Son has led the way. When his hour of death shall come, may it be one free from every sting. May he feel what it is to be “glad to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.” These, and all other mercies which Thou seest to be good for him, we humbly ask in the name and for the sake of Thy dear Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
THE LORD JESUS PRAYING FOR HIS MURDERERS.
“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them ; for they know not
what they do.”—St. LUKE xxiii. 34.
Our blessed Master's dying words ! To whom among His professed disciples can they be otherwise than most deeply interesting ? We treasure up in our hearts the last loving farewells of our earthly friends ; how much more should we prize the seven last sayings of Him, Whom, in His union with the Father and the Holy Spirit, we should love above all others. We are glad to remember all that our departed Christian friends said to us just before they left this world, because those words so often give us an insight into some pleasing features in their characters, show us their strong faith and constancy in death, and act as an incentive to us, so to live that we may die ourselves as happily. But where are the dying words that open out to our view so spotlessly glorious an effulgence of character --that teach us so well how to meet the last enemy