« AnteriorContinua »
world is a lion's den—a burning fiery fumace-a boisterous ocean, more wide and tumultuous than the red sea through which the Israelites passed. God must shut the lion's mouths, or we shall inevitably be devoured. He must suspend the violence of the fire, or we shall assuredly be consumed. He must open a way through the boisterous waves for His ransomed people to pass over, or we shall, without doubt, perish in them.
But if God be our ruler and guide, our security is absolute. For who can defeat His purpose, or disappoint His gracious aim in the salvation of His people? If God be for us, it matters not who or what is against us. In vain do earth and hell combine for the destruction of those who
are kept by the power of God through faith 6 unto salvation."
The Christian is distinguished from others by his aim and end. His eye is taken off from “ things temporal," and fixed on “things eter“ nal.” He is “ a pilgrim and “a stranger upon “ earth;" and he regards the things of time in the same manner in which a traveller regards the accommodations of an inn on his journey, or the conveniences and inconveniences of roads and weather. He presses forward without feeling deeply interested in the circumstances of his route, home being the object of his affections. He is thankful indeed for any comforts in his way; but these are not his supreme object. His desires are alive to “things eternal,” and to obtain them his exertions are roused. The danger of losing them excites his fears; and the hope of possessing them is the spring of his joys.
Reader, are you a pilgrim and a stranger here in the spirit and temper of your mind? Infatuated are they who choose the dreary desert for their place of rest; while the conduct of a Christian who is pressing forward towards Canaan is full of wisdom. Let him not be discouraged, God will be his ruler and guide ; and under His direction and defence he shall find that the waters of Marah are as conducive to his eternal welfare as the grapes of Eshcol. If the latter attract him to press forward by their sweetness, the former drive him forward by their bitterness. The pillar of fire shall enlighten his darkness, and the pillar of a cloud shelter him from the noon-day heat. Manna shall be rained upon him, and the water from the rock follow him, till he arrive at the promised land.
The subject of our prayer is so important that, at the close of our collect, we repeat the request. « Grant this, o heavenly Father, for Jesus “ Christ's sake.” To “pass through things tem“ poral so as not to lose the things eternal” is o the one thing needful”, to a rational and immortal being. It is esteemed to be so by every conscious mind. “ Grant this, O heavenly Fa“ ther,” and we ask no more. « Guide us by “ thy counsel, and then receive us to glory," according to thy promise. We have no merit indeed to plead for the purpose of obtaining this great and comprehensive blessing. We have no argument to adduce, derived from any personal qualification, wherewith to enforce our request. But we ask it " for Jesus Christ's sake.” “If ç thou sparedst not thy own Son, but deliveredst “ Him up for us all; we infer that thou wilt go with Him also freely give us all things.” “If
ss while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us ; so much more being now justified by His blood, so we shall be saved from wrath through Him, “ For if, when we were enemies, we were re
conciled to thee by the death of thy Son ; “ much more, being reconciled, we shall be 6 saved by His life.”
THE FIFTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
Grant, O Lord, we beseech thee, that the course of this world may be so peaceably ordered by thy governance, that thý church may joyfully serve thee in all Gadly quictness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
DATRIOTISM * is a virtue which is freT quently and loudly extolled, but is seldom realized. Indeed, when properly defined, it can only dwell in the bosom of a genuine Christian; for it implies a freedom from selfishness which Christianity alone can produce. The vicious principle of self-love, wherever it is prealominant, mars every virtuous feeling; and nothing can weaken its influence but the gospel of Christ. But there is another kind of patriotism in the bosom of a Christian, besides that which is generally admired and applauded. He Joves and prays for all of all nations, because they are capable of salvation by Jesus Christ. He feels indeed a particular interest in the wel fare of his own country. So did St. Paul, (Rom. ix. 1-5.) But there is a society to which he is attached by bonds of closer amity even than those which bind him to his native country merely as such. The church of God throughout the world is the object which lies nearest to his heart. He is a citizen of the new Jerusalem.
* The word is here used in its legitimate acceptation, and not as opposed to Loyalty, and associated with democracy and Jacobinism.
e be within thy for my bretpeace be “ Peace thy palaces, will now say, '5
That it is the duty and privilege of those who compose the various branches of the Catholic church to pray for its welfare, is evident from the exhortation of the inspired Psalmist. (Ps. cxxii. 6, 7, 8, 9.) « Pray for the peace of " Jerusalem : they shall prosper that love thee. “ Peace be within thy walls, and prosperity “ within thy palaces. For my brethren and 66 companions' sakes I will now say, Peace be “ within thee. Because of the house of the " Lord our God I will seek thy good.” To obey this injunction is a duty which we owe to our adorable Sovereign the King of kings and to our fellow-subjects. In the peace of Jerusalen, for which we are bound to pray, we include the spiritual improvement of the Catholic church, the advancement of all her members in internal holiness, and her undisturbed possession of all her external rights and privileges. We moreover implore the extension of her borders over. all the earth, and the reduction of all nations under her governance from the rising to the setting sun. Here the desire of conquest and colonization cannot be too fervent or diffuse. There is no cause for an apprehension of weakening Christ's kingdom by extending it. And let us remember that our prayers on this subject must be accompanied with a corresponding acti. vity to promote the object of our wishes, or they will be chargeable with hypocrisy. The promised destruction of Popery and Mohamedism, the conversion of the heathens, and the restoration of the Jews, should dwell on our hearts, and excite all the energies of our souls.
To the obedience of faith in complying with this Divine exhortation a promise of personal advantage is annexed. “They shall prosper