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And now, my brethren, ask not any longer whence proceeds in true Christians that stillness, that patience, that resignation, that steadfastness, that faithfulness, that obedience, that joy, that hope, that most blessed confidence, which shine forth in them in the most grievous and severest trials and sufferings of this world ! O, they have believed and known that God is loveand therefore they know,

“ That nought to us is given
Which floweth not from heaven,

Which will not work for good.” Therefore every cross seems to them a blessing, for the God of love cannot do otherwise than bless; the father cannot wish ought else than what is best for his children. In all things, therefore, they submit to his will, and if he give them the bitter cup of sorrow to drink, they do not push it from them, for they know that it is good for them to drink it. Contentedly and thankfully they receive all things from his hand, joy and grief, happiness and tribulation, for all things are intended for their good, and, mindful of the sufferings which the Saviour endured for us, and of the glory which he has prepared for them that believe in Him, they murmur not that they must bear the cross, as he did before them, because it is his will to lead them by the cross into glory. This, therefore, is and remains their watchword,

“ He who with Christ is here defied,
Shall there with Christ be crowned ;
He who with Christ is crucified

Shall there in joys abound." By this they experience daily what St Paul testifies, that, as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also aboundeth by Christ."

Learn, therefore, my brethren, to believe,to believe in the love of God in Christ Jesus,—and you will suffer patiently, fight courageously, and in all your troubles be happy conquerors. Yes ! if you are compelled to suffer yourselves, you will be enabled to comfort others, and in love to succour those on whom the Lord hath laid the cross, for, when the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost," our hearts embrace all mankind in love, and we would impart to all the salvation of which we partake. We should not, therefore, remain thus cold and indifferent to the sorrows of others, we should not live without taking part with those who weep and mourn, but we should comfort them with the comfort with which we ourselves were comforted, and seek to soothe their troubles by our kindness. Such a loving, hearty participation in each other's woes and sorrows, did the early Christians manifest; and especially did it seem to them a holy duty to comfort and strengthen those who had to suffer crosses and persecutions for the faith's sake. They did not care solely for their bodily refreshment, they considered it part of their duty to refresh them spiritually. They visited the captive, they prayed with them, they gave them the holy eucharist, and turned their prisons into churches. Tertullian sent a letter of comfort to the believers who were languishing in prison at Carthage, which thus begins : “ If, in this time of sorrow, both the church, your mother, and also individual brethren, refresh your bodies, do


also receive from me spiritual nourishment, for it is not fit that the body should be satisfied and the spirit famish.” He then thus proceeds with comfort and exhortation : “ Before all things vex not the Holy Spirit, which hath entered with you into prison, for had he not been with you, you would not now have been there.

See to it now, that he may still continue to dwell with you, and lead you thence to the Lord. A prison is, indeed, also a residence of the evil spirit, where he gathers together his own; but you have therefore entered into the prison, to conquer him in his own habitation. A prison is, indeed, dark, but you are light; it has fetters, but you are free before the Lord. Let us compare life in the world with life in a prison, and see whether the spirit does not gain more in a prison than the flesh loses. The spirit obtains that which can increase faith. Thou beholdest no idols; thou meetest with none of their

images ; thou needest not to take any part in heathen feasts, by reason of living among them; thou art not persecuted by the smell of offerings; thou hearest not the cries of those who solemnize their horrible or indecent spectacles; thine eyes look not on resorts of open debauchery. If thy body is shut in, thy spirit is not fettered. Walk in the spirit, and go on the path that leads thee to God. As often as thou walkest in the spirit, thou art not in prison. Thy feet feel not the bonds when thy soul is in heaven. The soul takes the whole man with it, and changes his place at its will. Where thy heart is, there is thy treasure also.” Let us also listen to the beautiful exhortation which Bishop Cyprian sent to a North African church during a persecution that threatened them : “ We have not,” says he,“ joined the ranks of the warriors of the Lord, thinking only upon peace; we shall not be ready to shun conflicts and sufferings, for the Lord has preceded us in the conflict as a teacher of humility and patience, for He has first perfected what he teaches us to per. fect; he has first suffered for us what he commands us to suffer. And let none of you, my dear brethren, disquiet himself when he sees our church scattered and separated through fear of persecution ; let none disquiet himself because he cannot see the brethren assembled together, nor hear the preaching of the gospel. Christians, who are not allowed to slay, but who must allow themselves to be slain, dare not be together. But wherever in these days a brother is separated from the church in time of need, according to the body, and not the soul, wherever he may be forced to fly and to conceal himself,—let him not be afraid of the loneliness and solitude of the place. He cannot be alone who has Christ for the companion of his flight. He is not alone who, wherever he may be, is not without God.”

And, let us add, in conclusion, my brethren, that he who has Christ with him, who is not without God, that man is not without comfort and without hope, whatever sorrows befall him ; in no conflict of life is he without assistance and help; he can be the conqueror in all his troubles. Therefore, above all things take heed of this, that you always walk in the fellowship of Jesus Christ, and always have your God as your companion! His love will strengthen and comfort you at all times, and you will be able joyfully to exclaim with the psalmist, “ Though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death I will fear no evil ; for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff comfort me.” “ My flesh and my heart faileth ; but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever;" “ For thy love is shed abroad in my heart by the Holy Ghost.' ” Amen.




Whene'er it shall thy pleasure be
That I from earth should part,
Thy grace, I pray thee, grant to me
To go with cheerful heart.
Lord! heart and soul I give to thee,
A happy end give thou to me,

Through Jesus Christ. Amen. TAE ecclesiastical year, my brethren, is drawing fast to a close. This is the last Sunday of it which will behold us assembled within these sacred precincts. Does not this earnestly warn us to cast our eyes back upon the course we have run, and thereby to urge on one another as well to praise and glorify the Lord, as to search out and examine ourselves ? Before all things, to the praise and glory of God; for, has he not during this year, now drawing to its close, again cared for our eternal weal with infinite mercy and truth; has he not preserved to our use his word and sacraments; has he not allowed us to preach without interruption his sanctifying gospel, invited us thereby, without intermission, to his kingdom, given us abundantly all those means of grace which serve for the advancement of our soul's welfare, by the conscientious employment of which we may be enlightened, comforted, sanctified, strengthened, and confirmed, in the right faith, in order to eternal life, through Christ Jesus, our Saviour? Let this form the subject of our consideration this day, and let us thank him with our whole heart for his inexpressible mercy ; and glorifying his name, let us confess“ that His mercies fail not, that they are new every morning, and great

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