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produced upon our lives? We must either rise or fall by means of his gospel. Are we then risen through Christ to a new and heavenly life, or are we filled with prejudice against his church and people? If he has proved a “ stone of stumbling and a rock of offence” to us, we may well tremble; but if wę by him have risen to holiness, we shall shortly rise to eternal glory.

4. Finally, let us learn from the sufferings of Mary to bear with patience those lighter afflictions with which God visits us. Behold the Virgin mother while a sword pierces through her soul, all those of you who are repining at your calamities; who are exclaiming, that you could have borne any other sorrows better than those which have befallen you ; who are suffering imagination to magnify your little griefs, till they appear to your prejudiced eye greater than

any which have been experienced by mortals. Behold the woes of Mary, and instead of murmuring, bless God who has spared you so many miseries which were felt by one so far exalted above you in piety and devotion.

undeserved privilege, should not our hearts swell with gratitude to God? To gratitude add a proper improvement of it. If while it shines around us, it shines not in our hearts, and has no enlightening, transforming influence upon them, it will only increase our guilt and condemnation. We shall in the day of judgment envy the lot of those pagans, who to their sins against the law of nature have not added a rejection of the gospel, and a neglect of the covenant of grace. We shall see that our condemnation is just, if when light has come into the world, we have chosen darkness rather than light.” Let us then, according to the exhortation of the apostle, - walk as the children of the light and of the day, not of the night or of darkness.” Let us pity and pray for those who have not this light, and use every exertion in our power that it may be diffused among them. Let us lift up our supplications for the unhappy posterity of Abraham, from whom the glory is quite departed ; let us beseech God to hasten the time when “ all Israel shall be saved," and when 66 the fulness of the Gentiles shall come in." With the warmest gratitude for our own privileges, let the tenderest charity for others be mingled.

3. Through the Saviour “ the thoughts of men's hearts were to be revealed." Has this effect been produced upon us ? Have we gained a knowledge of our state and character from the preaching of Christ ? His gospel has often been presented to us : what discoveries has it made? Has it convinced us of the corruption of our nature, of our natural opposition to God and holiness, of our perishing need of the divine grace, and of the atonement of Jesus? If it has not taught us these and similar lessons, it has been of no avail to us. What effect has the preaching of Christ produced upon our lives? We must either rise or fall by means of his gospel. Are we then risen through Christ to a new and heavenly life, or are we filled with prejudice against his church and people? If he has proved a “ stone of stumbling and a rock of offence” to us, we may well tremble; but if wę by him have risen to holiness, we shall shortly rise to eternal glory.

4. Finally, let us learn from the sufferings of Mary to bear with patience those lighter afflictions with which God visits us. Behold the Virgin mother while a sword pierces through her soul, all those of you who are repining at your calamities; who are exclaiming, that you could have borne any other sorrows better than those which have befallen you ; who are suffering imagination to magnify your little griefs, till they appear to your prejudiced eye greater than any which have been experienced by mortals. Behold the woes of Mary, and instead of murmuring, bless God who has spared you so many miseries which were felt by one so far exalted above you in piety and devotion.

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AANA--THE MAGI--FLIGHT INTO EGYPT-SLAUGHTER

OF THE INNOCENTS.

LUKE Ü. 36-39. MATTHEW ü.

We have beheld the incarnation of Jesus celebrated with rapture by the heavenly host. We have followed the adoring shepherds to the manger at Bethlehem; and have contemplated the venerable Simeon pouring out his thanksgivings.to God for the gift of a Saviour, and contented now that he has folded “ the Lord's Christ” in his aged arms, to drop into the tomb. But these were not the only persons who beheld the new-born Saviour with wonder, gratitude, and joy. Otherlips pronounced his praises; other hearts beat high with love, and were filled with veneration towards him. Of these Anna and the magi are particularly mentioned by the sacred writers. Hitherto since the birth of the Saviour, we have heard him celebrated only by men, and those men Jers. To show that both sexes were alike in

66 She was a

terested in him, and had equal cause to rejoice in his advent, Anna, a female, and the magi, who were Gentiles, mingle their voices with the others, and express their firm trust in him, their ardent love for him.

The account that is given us of Anna is most brief. She was now full of years, and had long lived in á state of widowhood, having been bereft of her husband while young. In her affliction she sought consolation, where alone it can be found, in the service of God and in the offices of religion. widow of fourscore and four years, * who departed not from the temple, but served God with fasting and prayer night and day.Imitate her example, Christian, from whose arms death has torn the objects which possessed and deserved your affection. Seek that support, that comfort which you need, not in the inefficacious condolences of earthly friends, not in the unsatisfactory enjoyments of the world, not in the powerless precepts of human philosophy: but by pouring out your cares in the bosom of your heavenly Father, and by diligently attending to the duties of piety. Thus only can the wounds of your heart be healed; thus will you be rendered happy from finding in your divine friend infinitely warmer love and greater blessings than in those for whose loss you have wept.

This happiness was possessed by Anna; it was, , however, consummated when, entering into the temple at the time the Saviour was in the arms of Simeon, she beheld in this Messiah the object of her faith, the accomplishment of the promises, the Redeemer of the world. Penetrated with adoring gratitude,

* Van Til supposes, contrary to the general supposition, that she had been a widow for eighty-four years, and that she constantly resided in the temple.-Vide his “ Homilia Tima in Infantiam Christi."

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