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a counterpart even in the present day. The modern unbeliever levels his blasphemous ridicule against all that is sacred ; and speaks and lives in open enmity with God. He is still permitted to proceed, the long-suffering of God still waits for him. The house and the arms of his Heavenly Father are open to receive his lost son.
For those, whose heart is thus estranged from their only Saviour, it is our duty to offer up continual and earnest prayer to God; that
; he will not suffer his mercy to fail, that he will yet bear with them; and by his
grace enlighten their minds.
For great is the danger of such men. St. Paul has set forth their perilous condition in terms which ought never to be forgotten. “If our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them, that are lost; in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them, that believe not; lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God, should shine upon them."
Now to God the Father, &c.
t 2 Cor. iv. 3, 4.
But Christ being come, an High Priest of good things to
come, by a greater and more perfect tabernacle, not made with hands, that is to say, not of this building ; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
The appointed days of Lent are now wearing away apace; and we are approaching more near to that hallowed season, which the Church has, in conformity with the practice of the earliest ages", devoted with peculiar sanctity
" " It is an opinion very generally received that the Apostles themselves ordained the anniversary of the passion, resurrection, and ascension of our Lord."-Shepherd, Common Prayer, vol. ii. p. 110.
“The early period at which the anniversary of the death and resurrection of our Lord was observed, is abundantly proved by the fact of there having been disputes, as to the
to the honour and praise of our Redeemer ; and in which she has, as it were, blown “ the trumpet in Zion;" called a “solemn assembly;" summoned all Christians, of whatsoever degree or situation; bid “the bridegroom go forth of his chamber, and the bride out of her closet*;" to " draw near with faith';" and commemorate events of the highest importance to mankind, the death and the resurrection of Christ Jesus. Her institutions, her services, her selections from Scripture, are all calculated to lead us to the Church, impressed with a deep sense of the dignity and sacred nature of these great festivals. We have been instructed and encouraged to prepare ourselves for them, by humiliation and repentance *;" by abstinence, by mortification of our appetites, and by confining our desires to worthy objects“; by enduring and persevering"; by resisting temptation and withstanding the wiles of Satano; by purifying ourselves from particular time for their observance so early as the second century; in which disputes, one party appealed, in support of their arguments, to the practice of St. Peter and St. Paul.”Vid. Mosheim's Eccles. Hist. Maclaine, vol. i. p. 207, 208. * Joel ii. 15, 16.
Communion. * Epistle for Ash Wednesday. • Gospel for Ditto.
Epistle for First Sunday in Lent. Gospel for Ditto.
all uncleanness, and walking as children of light", by hearing the word of God and keeping ito; by hungering', not for the meat that perisheth, but for the “bread of life;" that
spiritual food and sustenance," which shall never fail us, and in “ the strength" of which we shall be sustained through all eternity.
Now, as the time of these high festivals draws near, the language of St. Paul, in the epistle appointed for this day, is placed before us, like the proclamation of a herald, ushering in some great solemnity; announcing his titles, in honour of whom it is established, and setting forth the grounds, on which it claims public observance. Thus the Apostle proclaims and describes to the Christian community the illustrious object of our festivals; sets him before uś under his titles of HIGH PRIEST, MediATOR, INTERCESSOR; points to the inestimable benefits, and privileges, he has obtained for us; and reminds us of the great price at which they were obtained. He declares that “ Christ being conie an High Priest of good things to come, by a greater and more perfect Tabernacle, not made with
Epistle for Second and Third Sundays in Lent. • Gospel for Third Sunday in Ditto.
'Epistle for Fourth Sunday in Ditto, compared with subséquent part of John vii from verse 25, to the end of verse 35.
hands, that is to say, not of this building; neither by the blood of goats and calves, but by his own blood, he entered in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us.
We will, therefore, now occupy ourselves on that field of meditation, which the Church, by the selection of the passage, marks out for
We will endeavour to raise from it such fruit, as it is calculated to produce, whether in the increase or renewal of our knowledge by comparing Scripture with Scripture, or, in the improvement of our practice, by deriving from it materials to strengthen our faith, our piety and our virtue.
The sixteenth chapter of the book of Leviticus presents us with a very minute and circumstantial account of the ceremonial of the Jewish High Priest entering once a year
into the Holy of Holies; and of the atonement, he was there to make for the congregation. To this the Apostle in the text alludes. This
Holy of Holies,” (or as St. Paul terms it in this chapter of his Epistle to the Hebrews, the “Holiest of all,”) was separated from the outer part of the tabernacle by a rich vail. Within this none but the High Priest was to enter, and he only once a year. For “the Lord said unto Moses, speak unto Aaron thy brother,