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PREACHED ON ADVENT SUNDAY, NOVEMBER 30, 1794.
EPHESIANS, C: 5. PART OF V. 27.
A GLORIOUS CHURCH, NOT HAVING SPOT, OR WRINKLE,
OR ANY SUCH THING,
On this day, Advent Sunday, commences the Ecclesiastical Year, according to the computation of the Church of England. By referring to your Prayer-books you will see that the series of Collects, Epistles, and Gospels for each Sunday and Holyday through the year, as also that of Proper Lessons for the fame, each begin their course, and as it were start from this day. Herein it is observable that the Church differs from every other account of time whatsoever. And an ingenious reason has been assign’d for this very particular deviation. As
in the Civil year the times are naturally measur’d by the course of the Sun in the firmament, whose diurnal rotation, to speak popularly, metes out day and night to each quarter of the globe, while his annual course as regularly furnishes each with the grateful viciffitudes of seasons, Summer, and Winter, Spring and Autumn: so the Church, in her distribution of the Year, is guided by the Sun of Righteousness, Christ Jesus; previous to the celebration of whose Nativity, which she commemorates at Christmas, she has assign’d four preparatory
for the observation of that solemn Festival, and as harbingers to usher it in with becoming dignity.
weeks to pave
Our Religion is the Religion of Christ; our faith is in Christ, our hope is in Chrift, our salvation is through Christ. But who is Christ ? and how hath He archieved salvation for his faithful servaits ? He is the second Person in the ever-blessed and glorious Trinity; the only-begotten Son of God, and Himself God, eternal, and uncreate. And He purchased our salvation by dying for our sins, and by rising again for our justification. But He could not have died, unless He had been Man, and in order to become Man, that the Word might be made Flesh,