Imatges de pÓgina

realized, "Your sorrow shall be turned into joy;" and the more we live in faith and love, in prayer and meditation, in careful obedience and unselfish kindness, the more shall heart-corroding sorrow pass away, and the more calm, peaceful joy shall spread its soothing influence over our bruised and wounded hearts.

And all this, dear brethren, shall be but a prelude to the greater and purer bliss, which is laid up for the blessed in heaven. There shall be no more sin and sorrow, but everlasting, ever-increasing joy; the all-gracious Eye ever upon us; the true heavenly life ever within; fresh flowing joy ever welling up, as from an unfailing fountain of living water. There shall we see Christ face to face, being ourselves completely formed in His likeness, and shall be satisfied. There shall we see Him perfectly reflected in His perfected members: no inconsistency, no human frailty there; but all that blessed family pure and spotless around the throne of God and the Lamb, receiving the fulness of His goodness and life by perfect love! There shall we meet and love for ever those whom we have loved in Christ, and reverenced as the monuments of His grace; and not only shall we see them purer and more heavenly than they are now, but we shall be ourselves more worthy to admire and love them.

Surely, dear brethren, such thoughts as these ought to uphold us in our painful struggle against sin, and comfort us under all the sorrows of this life. They should nerve us to "strive" to enter in at the strait gate not merely to "seek," but to strive

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earnestly and patiently, esteeming the sufferings of this present time not worthy of a thought, if only we may attain to the revelation of that surpassing glory.

For whatsoever those joys will be then, even such is our hope now; and if we cherish it aright we shall find that it will sustain us under all those trials to which humanity is exposed. Do we suffer pain? There shall be no pain there. Sickness? It cannot enter. Does loneliness oppress us? The blessed in heaven are one ever-united family, perfect in sympathy. Is it sin that weighs us down? No place shall there be found for sin.

But of all sorrows the most touching, and the tenderest, is in the loss of those we love. This was the sorrow hanging over the disciples when Jesus spoke the comfort of the text; and this, dear brethren, may be impending over some of us. How great, then, is our consolation, if loving Jesus ourselves, we have chosen our friends among His obedient disciples. We shall never lose them, but love them for ever. If we see them lying on the bed of sickness, soon to be taken from us, or more gradually wasting away, with an almost certain prospect of their leaving us in the end; yet we may cherish the blessed trust that they are going to Christ, who will preserve them until the day of redemption. He is preparing them, we believe, to enter into peace; and we may hope to be soon called in to join them; only let us take heed to follow their faith, and with patience continue to the end in our appointed path of meek, ready, cheerful,

self-denying obedience; sober and earnest as those who have a great work to do; cheerful, and lighthearted, and bright-faced, as those who are working for a sure reward, as those upon whom their Master is smiling even now.




ST. JOHN, xvi, 33.

"These things I have spoken unto you, that in Me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation; but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world."

PERHAPS there is nothing more remarkable about the Gospel narratives than their great calmness. It may be because we have read them so often, and are so familiar with the facts recorded, that we are not greatly excited and carried away by our feelings, in reading even the most deeply interesting portions of our Lord's history. This may be partly the reason; yet surely there is a peculiar peacefulness in those holy words, independent of anything in ourselves. Of this at least we are sure-our Blessed Lord was calm and peaceful, gentle and retiring; and doubtless the holy evangelists, ever having His image before them as they wrote, were guided by the Blessed Spirit to exhibit the meekness and gentle

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ness of Christ, in their very manner of recording His deeds.

Thus the holy calm which pervades the Gospels, and communicates itself to those who read them, is a type of the special gift which Christ bequeathed to His disciples, as a present possession, and an earnest of a richer inheritance hereafter. We may also remark that the reading of the holy Gospels is one great means for obtaining that inward peace, which our Lord has promised that we shall have in Him.

If this be so, is it not very grievous that so few really find any pleasure in reading the Holy Gospels? Think, of those who can read, how few read the Gospels at all! and of those who do read them, how few do it carefully, thoughtfully, or for any love of their holy calmness. And again, of those who come to Church, even seriously, as a religious duty, the same observation may be made many are attentive to the sermon, many take pleasure in singing psalms-I will not say but that many endeavour to pray in sincerity-but judge each for yourselves, are you careful to hear and receive God's holy word read? Are you prepared to enter into the calm, quiet, subdued spirit of His words, who spake as never man spake? Good children, indeed, are not backward to read and meditate upon the deeds and words of Christ for these things are especially "revealed unto babes"-but I fear that young men and young women, for the most part, find it very wearisome to hear or to read the Gospel history; they wish for something more exciting and interesting; nor is it until they are subdued by trial,

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