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of our Lord? It may be that we too have professed to love him; but alas, our resolutions, like those of the apostle, have failed in the day of temptation. We have denied our Saviour, not once, but often; denied him by turning away, uninterested, from the thoughts of him ; denied him by our sins. Let us recall then to our memory the question of Jesus, “ Lovest thou me?" May it recur to us in adversity; “Lovest thou me enough to bear as my disciple, without repining, the burthens which Providence ordains for thee? Then shall thy love for me make those burthens light, and bring thee at length to happiness which shall never end.” In prosperity may that question be recalled to mind; “Lovest thou me more than these things? Can thy religious affections retain their strength amid so many temptations, so many enjoyments? Be watchful then, and be doubly happy, in the enjoyment of the life that now is, and the anticipated glories of the world to come.”
Thus, holy Master, in the day
THE ASCENSION OF JESUS.
Acts 1. The former treatise have I made, O Theophilus, of all that Jesus began both to do and teach, until the day in which he was taken up, after that he had given commandments unto the apostles whom he had chosen through the Holy Ghost. To whom also he showed himself alive after his passion by many infallible proofs, being seen of them forty days, and speaking of the things pertaining to the kingdom of God. And being assembled together with them, he commanded them that they should not depart from Jerusalem, but wait for the promise of the Father, which, saith he, ye have heard of me. For John truly baptized with water ; but ye shall be baptized with the Holy Ghost not many days hence. When they therefore were together, they asked of him, saying, Lord, wilt thou at this time restore again the kingdom to Israel? And he said unto them, It is not for you to know the times or the seasons, which the Father hath put in
his own power. But ye shall receive power after that the Holy Ghost is come upon you; and ye shall be witnesses unto me, both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, and unto the uttermost part of the earth. And when he had spoken these things, while they beheld, he was taken up; and a cloud received him out of their sight. And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as he went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel; which also said, Ye men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven. Then returned they unto Jerusalem from the mount called Olivet, which is from Jerusalem a sabbath day's journey.
The Saviour has ascended to his father. The scene of his earthly labours and sufferings has been exchanged for eternal glory in the heavens. But his gospel remains. A light sprung up on the shore of the lake of Galilee, to those who sat in darkness. The nations saw it and were glad ; vice and ignorance fled away before it. Europe rejoiced in its radiance. It darted across the waves of the Atlantic, and touched a new world with hues of heaven. Its beams still shine to guide us in the way of peace, to make glad the desolate places of the earth. The Saviour moves no more among men, but the spirit which shone in him, the spirit of devotion to his heavenly Father, and of love to the human race, hath since his day animated thousands of faithful hearts. His kingdom, which commenced in the humble manger at Bethlehem, has been proclaimed far and wide. May that
God from whom he came, extend its limits, till all the world shall own the name of Jesus; and may we, his disciples, by unfeigned love of him and of his heavenly Father, and by living among our fellow men as brethren, join with our hearts and lives in the song of the angels who announced his birth, “Glory to God in the highest; peace on earth ; good will toward men.”