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He is just, and hath power to destroy both soul and body in bell. And if you
desire that which God promises, He is faithful who has promised: if you have the hope of glory, it is a hope sure and stedfast, an anchor of the soul, which entereth into that within the veil, whither the Forerunner is for us entered, even Jesus.
And again, you will not faint nor grow weary in well-doing, nor think the struggle against your sins hard; for God assures you of victory over them, and cheers you by reminding you of His powerful deliverance in times past, His pledged assistance in times present and to come. “ If thou shalt say in thine heart, these nations—these sins—are more than I, how can I dispossess them? thou shalt not be afraid of them, but shalt well remember what the Lord thy God did unto Pharaoh, and unto all Egypt, the great temptation, which thine eyes saw, and the signs, and the wonders, and the mighty Hand, and the stretched out Arm, whereby the Lord thy God brought thee out: so shall the Lord thy God do unto all the people of whom thou art afraid."
Would God that these thoughts might remain with us in all our temptations, and that we might have grace to act up to their suggestions ! Would God that we might remember, how any tampering or holding communion with sin inevitably turns away our hearts, our Christian hearts, those hearts which have been sealed by the Spirit of grace, -turns them away from following God! And how should we dare, how should we desire to profane by sin ourselves, our souls and bodies, which have been set apart as holy to the service of the ever-blessed Trinity! Would God we might remember the never-failing sureness of the Divine Word ! it standeth fast for ever, it always endureth; and that Word threatens eternal pains and torment to the impenitent sinner, but it assures the sincere and faithful servant of God of pardon and peace throughout everlasting ages by the merits of Christ. And if the battle against sin seem too hard for us, let this thought renew our energy: we fight not in our own might, but, unless we be faithless and untrue, He who has conducted us thus far, will conduct us safe to the end, -will uphold us in the conflict, however terrible, will be “our strength, our strong rock and our defence, our Saviour, our God, and our might, in whom we will trust, our buckler, the horn also of our salvation, and our refuge."
[Preached at S. Giles' on Rogation Sunday, May 21, 1843.]
FROM THE GOSPEL FOR THE DAY.
S. JOHN xvi. 23, 24. “VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, WHATSOEVER YE SHALL ASK THE FATHER IN MY NAME, HE WILL GIVE IT YOU; HITHERTO YE HAVE ASKED NOTHING IN MY NAME: ASK, AND YE SHALL RECEIVE, THAT YOUR JOY MAY BE FULL."
This is Rogation Sunday, it will therefore be good for us to meditate upon Rogation, i. e., upon asking or prayer. Prayer is a subject upon which it can never be unsuitable for Christians to think, for the practice of it must be the secret of the hidden life of their souls. The Christian's rule is, that he pray without ceasing, and were he to cease to pray, he would soon cease to be a Christian, for God would cease to send down His gifts. But as we cannot speak of all things that are good—at all times—it is better to take the course which is pointed out for us, and to make each the more especial subject of our thoughts at the appointed season, and to-day, therefore, we will think about Rogations or Prayers. May our heavenly Father grant unto us His grace and benediction in so doing, that we may do it aright.
The time when our blessed Lord uttered the words, which you have heard in the Gospel for the day, is much to be noted. It was during those last moments when, the holy Sacrament of His Body and Blood having been instituted, and the traitor Judas having left the place where they were, He comforted His disciples, and prepared them for His Passion and Death, so very shortly to follow. “A little while and ye shall not see Me"_"
shall weep and lament"-"ye shall be sorrowful;"_" but,” says He, “your sorrow shall be turned into joy”—“your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you.” This was the solemn