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mitted. Twice in the Epistles of St. Paul to the Church of Thessalonica the exhortation is repeated, “Brethren, pray for us ” (1 Thess. V. 25; 2 Thess. iii. I), and the same exhortation, or injunction, occurs again in the Epistle to the Hebrews (xiii
. 18); and in St. Paul's Epistle to the Ephesians he exhorts those to whom he writes not only to constant prayer and supplication on behalf of all saints, but he specially invokes those prayers on his own account, that “utterance might be given to him to open his mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel" (vi. 19). Whilst much of the inefficiency of the ministry may be traced to the coldness and languor of those who are engaged in it, the small and inadequate results of their labours may be ascribed also, in great measure, to the neglect of intercessory prayer on their behalf on the part of those amongst whom they minister. And hence it behoves all who are persuaded that "the Holy Scriptures contain sufficiently all doctrine required of necessity for eternal salvation," to be fervent in prayer on behalf of those who “ labour in the word and docrine,” that they may be so replenished with the truth of that doctrine, and adorned with innocency of life " that both by word and good example they may faithfully serve the Lord in the office of the ministry,” to the glory of His name, and the edification of that Church which He purchased for Himself with His own blood.
Nor is it without good cause that, after offering up prayers and supplications for those who are set over them in the Lord, the devout worshippers should proceed to make intercession not only on behalf of Christ's universal Church, but also and more especially for the particular congregation to which they belong, that all those who worship with them may receive the good seed into hearts prepared for its reception by the influences of the Holy Spirit, and that they may bring fruit abundantly to the praise of God's holy name, and to the edification, by their word and example, of His holy Church. Special supplication, also, is made on behalf of the afflicted or distressed.
Finally, there follows in the Prayer for the Church Militant a grateful acknowledgment of the power of Divine grace, as manifested in the holy walk and conversation of those who have departed this life in the faith and fear of
Him in whom they believed. Such a commemoration as this, of those who have gone before, is in strict accordance with the direction which is contained in the Epistle to the Hebrews in regard to those whom the Holy Ghost had made overseers of the flock, and who had fallen asleep in the Lord. member them” (not which have—as in the Authorised Version-but) which had the rule over you, who spoke unto you the Word of God; and considering the end of their life, imitate their faith” (Heb. xiii. 7). Nor should the commemoration of the faithful who have departed this life be restricted to those who laboured officially during their lifetime in the word and doctrine. The IIth chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews contains a solemn commemoration of those who, from the days of Abel downwards, walked with God in this life, and died in faith. Our thoughts are thus naturally directed to the memory of departed relatives and friends, who now rest from their labours and have entered into Paradise; and whilst we gratefully recall to mind their holy life and conversation, and are stirred up to increased earnestness in prayer and in efforts
that we may follow them as they followed Christ, we are led to look forward with joyful hope and expectation towards the day when the number of the elect shall be accomplished, and when those who, on earth, have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb shall, with Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, be counted worthy to sit down at the marriage supper of the Lamb.
a Meditation. while Non-communicants are withdrawing.
AM now about to fulfil my Lord's last
command. I am now about to approach the Table of the Lord. I pray that the Holy Spirit will enable me, in this ordinance of Christ's own appointment, to fulfil His own loving command. That loving command was,
“ Remember Me." Alas! how little day after day do I remember Thee, O Jesus! Thou mayst well complain, “ Can a maid forget her ornaments, or a bride her attire ? yet thou hast forgotten Me days without number.” As Pharaoh's butler forgat Joseph, and all the benefits Joseph had conferred upon him, so, Lord Jesus, have I too much forgotten Thee. Little have I borne in mind Thy bloody sweat, Thy agony in the garden, Thy dreadful sufferings upon the cross, and all the shame and contempt Thou didst undergo for me, that I might not rise to everlasting shame and contempt at the resurrection of the dead. Thou then didst taste death, that I might not undergo the bitter pains of eternal death. Help me, therefore, to think more and more of Thy wondrous love, in thus dying for me, to wash away by Thy atoning blood all my sins ! Thou hast told me, in Thy Holy Word, that all sins are freely forgiven the truly penitent. Let me, therefore, remember Thee as the great surety for my enormous debt. That enormous debt my reconciled God and Father has forgiven me for Thy sake. He even declares that He “will not remember" my sins. He says that He has put them as far from me as the east is from the west ; that He has cast them as a stone into the depths of the sea ; that He