Friday, March 4, 2016


Commonly called Pentecost

For the First Nocturn

The First Reading
(from the the Gospel of St. John 14:15-21) 
JESUS said unto his disciples, If ye love me, keep my commandments. And I will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter, that he may abide with you for ever; even the Spirit of truth; whom the world can not receive, because it seeth him not, neither knoweth him: but ye know him; for he dwelleth with you, and shall be in you. I will not leave you comfortless: I will come to you. Yet a little while, and the world seeth me no more; but ye see me: because I live, ye shall live also. At that day ye shall know that I am in my Father, and ye in me, and I in you. He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.

The Second Reading
(from John Wesley's notes on the Gospel: John 14:15-21)
15 If ye love me, keep my commandments - Immediately after faith he exhorts to love and good works. 
16 And I will ask the Father - The 21st verse, Joh 14:21, shows the connection between this and the preceding verses. And he will give you another Comforter - The Greek word signifies also an advocate, instructer, or encourager. Another - For Christ himself was one. To remain with you for ever - With you, and your followers in faith, to the end of the world. 
17 The Spirit of truth - Who has, reveals, testifies, and defends the truth as it is in Jesus. Whom the world - All who do not love or fear God, cannot receive, because it seeth him not - Having no spiritual senses, no internal eye to discern him; nor consequently knoweth him. He shall be in you - As a constant guest. Your bodies and souls shall be temples of the Holy Ghost dwelling in you. 
18 I will not leave you orphans - A word that is elegantly applied to those who have lost any dear friend. I come to you - What was certainly and speedily to be, our Lord speaks of as if it were already. 
19 But ye see me - That is, ye shall certainly see me. Because I live, ye shall live also - Because I am the living One in my Divine nature, and shall rise again in my human nature, and live for ever in heaven: therefore ye shall live the life of faith and love on earth, and hereafter the life of glory. 
20 At that day - When ye see me after my resurrection; but more eminently at the day of pentecost. 
21 He that hath my commandments - Written in his heart. I will manifest myself to him - More abundantly. 

The Third Reading
(from the 39 Articles of Religion)
V. Of the Holy Ghost.
The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory, with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.
XIX. Of the Church.
The visible Church of Christ is a congregation of faithful men, in which the pure Word of God is preached, and the Sacraments be duly ministered according to Christ's ordinance, in all those things that of necessity are requisite to the same. As the Church of Jerusalem, Alexandria, and Antioch, have erred, so also the Church of Rome hath erred, not only in their living and manner of Ceremonies, but also in matters of Faith.
XX. Of the Authority of the Church.
The Church hath power to decree Rites or Ceremonies, and authority in Controversies of Faith: and yet it is not lawful for the Church to ordain any thing that is contrary to God's Word written, neither may it so expound one place of Scripture, that it be repugnant to another. Wherefore, although the Church be a witness and a keeper of Holy Writ, yet, as it ought not to decree any thing against the same, so besides the same ought it not to enforce any thing to be believed for necessity of Salvation.

For the Second Nocturn

The Fourth Reading
(from the the Gospel of St. John 14:22-24) 
Judas saith unto him, not Iscariot, Lord, how is it that thou wilt manifest thyself unto us and not unto the world? Jesus answered and said unto him, If a man love me, he will keep my words; and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. He that loveth me not keepeth not my sayings: and the word which ye hear is not mine, but the Father's which sent me.

The Fifth Reading
(from John Wesley's notes on the Gospel: John 14:22-24)
23 Jesus answered - Because ye love and obey me, and they do not, therefore I will reveal myself to you, and not to them. My Father will love him - The more any man loves and obeys, the more God will love him. And we will come to him, and make our abode with him - Which implies such a large manifestation of the Divine presence and love, that the former in justification is as nothing in comparison of it. 

The Sixth Reading
(from the Sermons of Leo the Great on Whitsunday) 
I. The Giving of the Law by Moses Prepared the Way for the Outpouring of the Holy Ghost.  
The hearts of all catholics, beloved, realize that to-day's solemnity is to be honoured as one of the chief feasts, nor is there any doubt that great respect is due to this day, which the Holy Spirit has hallowed by the miracle of His most excellent gift. For from the day on which the Lord ascended up above all heavenly heights to sit down at God the Father's right hand, this is the tenth which has shone, and the fiftieth from His Resurrection, being the very day on which it began, and containing in itself great revelations of mysteries both new and old, by which it is most manifestly revealed that Grace was fore-announced through the Law and the Law fulfilled through Grace. For as of old, when the Hebrew nation were released from the Egyptians, on the fiftieth day after the sacrificing of the lamb the Law was given on Mount Sinai, so after the suffering of Christ, wherein the true Lamb of God was slain on the fiftieth day from His Resurrection, the Holy Ghost came down upon the Apostles and the multitude of believers, so that the earnest Christian may easily perceive that the beginnings of the Old Testament were preparatory to the beginnings of the Gospel, and that the second covenant was rounded by the same Spirit that had instituted the first. 
II. How Marvellous Was the Gift of "Divers Tongues."  
For as the Apostles' story testifies: "while the days of Pentecost were fulfilled and all the disciples were together in the same place, there occurred suddenly from heaven a sound as of a violent wind coming, and filled the whole house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them divided tongues as of fire and it sat upon each of them. And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit, and began to speak with other tongues, as the Holy Spirit gave them utterance." Oh! how swift are the words of wisdom. and where God is the Master, how quickly is what is taught, learnt. No interpretation is required for understanding, no practice for using, no time for studying, but the Spirit of Truth blowing where He wills, the languages peculiar to each nation become common property in the mouth of the Church. And therefore from that day the trumpet of the Gospel-preaching has sounded loud: from that day the showers of gracious gifts, the rivers of blessings, have watered every desert and all the dry land, since to renew the face of the earth the Spirit of God "moved over the waters," and to drive away the old darkness flashes of new light shone forth, when by the blaze of those busy tongues was kindled the Lord's bright Word and fervent eloquence, in which to arouse the understanding, and to consume sin there lay both a capacity of enlightenment and a power of burning. 
III. The Three Persons in the Trinity are Perfectly Equal in All Things.  
But although, dearly-beloved, the actual form of the thing done was exceeding wonderful, and undoubtedly in that exultant chorus of all human languages the Majesty of the Holy Spirit was present, yet no one must think that His Divine substance appeared in what was seen with bodily eyes. For His Nature, which is invisible and shared in common with the Father and the Son, showed the character of His gift and work by the outward sign that pleased Him, but kept His essential property within His own Godhead: because human sight can no more perceive the Holy Ghost than it can the Father or the Son. For in the Divine Trinity nothing is unlike or unequal, and all that can be thought concerning Its substance admits of no diversity either in power or glory or eternity. And while in the property of each Person the Father is one, the Son is another, and the Holy Ghost is another, yet the Godhead is not distinct and different; for whilst the Son is the Only begotten of the Father, the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of the Father and the Son, not in the way that every creature is the creature of the Father and the Son, but as living and having power with Both, and eternally subsisting of That Which is the Father and the Son. And hence when the Lord before the day of His Passion promised the coming of the Holy Spirit to His disciples, He said, "I have yet many things to say to you, but ye cannot bear them now. But when He, the Spirit of Truth shall have come, He shall guide you into all the Truth. For He shall not speak from Himself, but whatsoever He shall have heard, He shall speak and shall announce things to come unto you. All things that the Father hath are Mine: therefore said I that He shall take of Mine, and shall announce it to you." Accordingly, there are not some things that are the Father's, and other the Son's, and other the Holy Spirit's: but all things whatsoever the Father has, the Son also has, and the Holy Spirit also has: nor was there ever a time when this communion did not exist, because with Them to have all things is to always exist. In them let no times, no grades, no differences be imagined, and, if no one can explain that which is true concerning God, let no one dare to assert what is not true. For it is more excusable not to make a full statement concerning His ineffable Nature than to frame an actually wrong definition. And so whatever loyal hearts can conceive of the Father's eternal and unchangeable Glory, let them at the same time understand it of the Son and of the Holy Ghost without any separation or difference. For we confess this blessed Trinity to be One God for this reason, because in these three Persons there is no diversity either of substance, or of power, or of will, or of operation. 
IV. The Macedonian Heresy is as Blasphemous as the Arian.  
As therefore we abhor the Arians, who maintain a difference between the Father and the Son, so also we abhor the Macedonians, who, although they ascribe equality to the Father and the Son, yet think the Holy Ghost to be of a lower nature, not considering that they thus fall into that blasphemy, which is not to be forgiven either in the present age or in the judgment to come, as the Lord says: "whosoever shall have spoken a word against the Son of Man, it shall be forgiven him, but he that shall have spoken against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him either in this age or in the age to come." And so to persist in this impiety is unpardonable, because it cuts him off from Him, by Whom he could confess: nor will he ever attain to healing pardon, who has no Advocate to plead for him. For from Him comes the invocation of the Father, from Him come the tears of penitents, from Him come the groans of suppliants, and "no one can call Jesus the Lord save in the Holy Ghost," Whose Omnipotence as equal and Whose Godhead as one, with the Father and the Son, the Apostle most clearly proclaims, saying, "there are divisions of graces but the same Spirit; and the divisions of ministrations but the same Lord; and there are divisions of operations but the same God, Who worketh all things in all." 
V. The Spirit's Work is Still Continued in The church.  
By these and other numberless proofs, dearly-beloved, with which the authority of the Divine utterances is ablaze, let us with one mind be incited to pay reverence to Whitsuntide, exulting in honour of the Holy Ghost, through Whom the whole catholic Church is sanctified, and every rational soul quickened; Who is the Inspirer of the Faith, the Teacher of Knowledge, the Fount of Love, the Seal of Chastity, and the Cause of all Power. Let the minds of the faithful rejoice, that throughout the world One God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is praised by the confession of all tongues, and that that sign of His Presence, which appeared in the likeness of fire, is still perpetuated in His work and gift. For the Spirit of Truth Himself makes the house of His glory shine with the brightness of His light, and will have nothing dark nor lukewarm in His temple. And it is through His aid and teaching also that the purification of fasts and alms has been established among us. For this venerable day is followed by a most wholesome practice, which all the saints have ever found most profitable to them, and to the diligent observance of which we exhort you with a shepherd's care, to the end that if any blemish has been contracted in the days just passed through heedless negligence, it may be atoned for by the discipline of fasting and corrected by pious devotion. On Wednesday and Friday, therefore, let us fast, and on Saturday for this very purpose keep vigil with accustomed devotion, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Who with the Father and the Holy Ghost lives and reigns for ever and ever. Amen. 

For the Third Nocturn

The Seventh Reading
(from the the Gospel of St. John 14:25-31) 
These things have I spoken unto you, being yet present with you. But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you. Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid. Ye have heard how I said unto you, I go away, and come again unto you. If ye loved me, ye would rejoice, because I said, I go unto the Father: for my Father is greater than I. And now I have told you be fore it come to pass, that, when it is come to pass, ye might believe. Hereafter I will not talk much with you: for the prince of this world cometh, and hath nothing in me. But that the world may know that I love the Father; and as the Father gave me commandment, even so I do.

The Eighth Reading
(from John Wesley's notes on the Gospel: John 14:25-31)
23 Jesus answered - Because ye love and obey me, and they do not, therefore I will reveal myself to you, and not to them. My Father will love him - The more any man loves and obeys, the more God will love him. And we will come to him, and make our abode with him - Which implies such a large manifestation of the Divine presence and love, that the former in justification is as nothing in comparison of it. 
26 In my name - For my sake, in my room, and as my agent. He will teach you all things - Necessary for you to know. Here is a clear promise to the apostles, and their successors in the faith, that the Holy Ghost will teach them all that truth which is needful for their salvation. 
27 Peace I leave with you - Peace in general; peace with God and with your own consciences. My peace - In particular; that peace which I enjoy, and which I create, I give - At this instant. Not as the world giveth - Unsatisfying unsettled, transient; but filling the soul with constant, even tranquillity. Lord, evermore give us this peace! How serenely may we pass through the most turbulent scenes of life, when all is quiet and harmonious within! Thou hast made peace through the blood of thy cross. May we give all diligence to preserve the inestimable gift inviolate, till it issue in everlasting peace! 
28 God the Father is greater than I - As he was man. As God, neither is greater nor less than the other. 29 I have told you - Of my going and return. 
30 The prince of this world is coming - To make his grand assault. But he hath nothing in me - No right, no claim, or power. There is no guilt in me, to give him power over me; no corruption to take part with his temptation. 
31 But I suffer him thus to assault me, 
               1. Because it is the Father's commission to me, Joh 10:18. 
               2. To convince the world of my love to the Father, in being obedient unto death, Php 2:8.  Arise, let us go hence - Into the city, to the passover. All that has been related from John 12:31, was done and said on Thursday, without the city. But what follows in the fifteenth, sixteenth, and seventeenth chapters, was said in the city, on the very evening of the passover just before he went over the brook Kedron. 

The Ninth Reading
(from a sermon by the Bl. John Henry Newman)
WHEN our Saviour was leaving His disciples, He told them that He would soon return to them, that their sorrow might be turned into joy. He was going away, yet they were to see Him, though the world saw Him not; for they were to be blessed with the presence of Him who was equal to Him and one with Him, and would unite them to Him, the Third Person in the Eternal Trinity, God the Holy Ghost.
He said that He was going away, and yet was coming again; for the Holy Ghost came, and His coming was really the coming of Christ. Christ said that it was to be but a short interval between His departure and His return; and such it was, ten days. He went on Holy Thursday; He returns on the day of Pentecost.
But, though our Lord and Saviour sent His Holy Spirit to be with us on His going away, still there was a difference between the Spirit's office, and that which He Himself graciously fulfilled towards His disciples in the days of His flesh; for their wants were not the same as before. Christ, while He was with them, had no occasion to console them under affliction, to stand by them in trial as their Paraclete; for trial and affliction did not visit them while He was with them; but, on the other hand, the Holy Spirit especially came to give them joy in tribulation. Again, He came to teach them fully, what our Lord had but in part revealed; and hence too it followed, that the consolation which the Spirit vouchsafed differed from that which they had received from Christ, just as the encouragements and rewards bestowed upon children, are far other than those which soothe and stimulate grown men in arduous duties. And there were, moreover, other circumstances, much to be dwelt upon, which altered the state of the Apostles' feelings and ideas, after their Lord had died and risen again, and which made them need a consolation different from that which His bodily presence gave them. There is no reason for supposing that, while He was with them, they apprehended the awful truth, that He is very God in our nature. "I am among you," He said, "as He that serveth." But on His resurrection He revealed the mystery. St. Thomas adored Him in the words, "My Lord and my God;" and He forthwith withdrew Himself from them, not living in their sight as heretofore, and soon ascending into heaven. It is plain, that, after such a revelation, the Apostles could not have returned to their easy converse with Him, even had He offered it. What had been, could not be again; their state of childhood, ere "their eyes were opened and they knew Him." Of necessity then, since they could not endure to see God and live, did He "vanish out of their sight." And if, according to His promise, He was to come to them again, it must be after a new manner, and with a higher consolation.
Accordingly, when the Spirit of Christ descended at the promised season, "He bowed the heavens and came down, and it was dark under His feet." He came invisibly, and invisibly hath He dwelt in the Church ever since. He does not manifest His glory to mortal sense. We do not hear the whisperings of His still small voice, nor do our hearts burn within us in token of His Presence. The truth is, we Christians know too much concerning Him to endure the open manifestation of His greatness. It is in mercy that He hides Himself from those who would be overcome by the sensible touch of the Almighty Hand. Still it is plain that, after all, in spite of this considerate regard for our frailness, His visitation cannot but be awful anyhow, to creatures who know what we know, and are what we are. This cannot be avoided; the very secrecy of His coming has its solemnity: is it not fearful to wait for Him, appalling to receive Him, a burden to have held communion with Him? and though we joy, as well we may, yet we cannot joy with the light hearts of children, who live by sight, but with the thoughtful gladness of grown men, who are anxious, who feel difficulties, who look out for dangers, who, in St. John's words, know both that "the whole world lieth in wickedness," and "that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know Him that is true," [John v. 19, 20.] and discover His real majesty and power.
And hence, as we might expect, the Apostles' fellowship with Christ through the Spirit, after His ascension, was very different from their fellowship with Him on earth. Though they waited continually on Him for His peace, "not as the world giveth," and continually received it; yet, the history shows us, they feared the gift while they rejoiced in it. Consider, too, our Saviour's own most overpowering words, to be fulfilled in the coming of the Comforter,—"Whosoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven Him: but whosoever speaketh against the Holy Ghost, it shall not be forgiven him." Does not this Scripture imply thus much, whatever else it implies,—that our ascended Saviour, who is on God's right hand, and sends down from thence God's Spirit, is to be feared greatly, even amid His gracious consolations? Hence St. Paul says, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling " and again, "Grieve not the Holy Spirit of God;" and again, "Know ye not that ye are the temple of God, and that the Spirit of God dwelleth in you? If any man defile the temple of God, him shall God destroy." [Matt. xii. 32. Phil. ii. 12. Eph. iv. 30. 1 Cor. iii. 16, 17.]
Consider the language in which our Lord and His Apostles describe the gift—"If a man love Me," says Christ, shortly after the text, "he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto him, and make Our abode with him." Again, in St. Paul's words, "Ye are the temple of the Living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them and walk in them." Again, "Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost, which is in you, which ye have of God, and ye are not your own?" And St. John, "Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God." [2 Cor. vi. 16. 1 Cor. vi. 19. 1 John iv. 15.] Is it not plain, that such a doctrine as is here declared will exceedingly raise the Christian above himself, and, without impairing—nay, even while increasing his humility, will make him feel all things of earth as little, and of small interest or account, and will preserve him from the agitations of mind which they naturally occasion?
Alas! I am not speaking of ourselves in this degenerate time, when we seem well nigh to have forfeited the Gospel gifts through our sins; but, without thinking of ourselves, surely it is not without its use to consider the high Gospel tone of thought in itself. He then, who believes that, in St. Paul's words, he is "joined to the Lord" as "one spirit," must necessarily prize his own blessed condition, and look down upon all things, even the greatest things here below. "Ye are of God, little children," says the beloved disciple, "and have overcome them; because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world. They are of the world; ... we are of God. He that knoweth God, heareth us; he that is not of God, heareth not us." [1 John iv. 6.] Here is the language of saints; and hence it is that St. Paul, as feeling the majesty of that new nature which is imparted to us, addresses himself in a form of indignation to those who forget it. "What!" he says, "what! know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost?" As if he said, "Can you be so mean-spirited and base-minded as to dishonour yourselves in the devil's service? Should we not pity the man of birth, or station, or character, who degraded himself in the eyes of the world, who forfeited his honour, broke his word, or played the coward? And shall not we, from mere sense of propriety, be ashamed to defile our spiritual purity, the royal blood of the second Adam, with deeds of darkness? Let us leave it to the hosts of evil spirits, to the haters of Christ, to eat the dust of the earth all the days of their life. Cursed are they above all cattle, and above every beast of the field; grovelling shall they go, till they come to their end and perish. But for Christians, it is theirs to walk in the light, as children of the light, and to lift up their hearts, as looking out for Him who went away, that He might return to them again."
For the same reason Christians are called upon to think little of the ordinary objects which men pursue—wealth, luxury, distinction, popularity, and power. It was this negligence about the world which brought upon them in primitive times the reproach of being indolent. Their heathen enemies spoke truly; indolent and indifferent they were about temporal matters. If the goods of this world came in their way, they were not bound to decline them; nor would they forbid others in the religious use of them; but they thought them vanities, the toys of children, which serious men let drop. Nay, St. Paul betrays the same feeling as regards our temporal callings and states generally. After discoursing about them, suddenly he breaks off as if impatient of the multitude of words; "But this I Say, brethren," he exclaims, "the time is short."
Hence, too, the troubles of life gradually affect the Christian less and less, as his view of his own real blessedness, under the Dispensation of the Spirit, grows upon him; and even though persecuted, to take an extreme ease, he knows well that, through God's inward presence, he is greater than those who for the time have power over him, as Martyrs and Confessors have often shown.
And, in like manner, he will be calm and collected under all circumstances; he will make light of injuries, and forget them from mere contempt of them. He will be undaunted, as fearing God more than man; he will be firm in faith and consistent, as "seeing Him that is invisible;" not impatient, as one who has no self-will; not soon disappointed, who has no hopes; not anxious, who has no fears; nor dazzled, who has no ambition; nor open to bribes, who has no desires.
And now, further, let it be observed, on the other hand, that all this greatness of mind which I have been describing, which in other religious systems degenerates into pride, is in the Gospel compatible—nay, rather intimately connected—with the deepest humility. It is true, that, so great are the Christian privileges, there is serious danger lest common men should be puffed up by them; but this will be when persons take them to themselves who have no right to them. Did I not begin with saying, that the Dispensation of the Spirit is one of awe, of "reverence and godly fear"? Surely, then, they who pride themselves on the gift have forgotten the very elements of the Gospel of Christ. They have forgotten that the gift is not only "a savour of life unto life," but "of death unto death;" that it is possible to "do despite unto the Spirit of grace;" and that "it is impossible for those who were once enlightened, if they shall fall away, to renew them again unto repentance." [2 Cor. ii. 16. Heb. x. 29; vi. 4-6.] Again; if they do aught well, "what have they which they have not received?" and how know they but He, by whom their souls live, will withdraw that life—nay, will to a certainty withdraw it—if they take that glory to themselves which is His? Why was it that Herod was smitten by the Angel? O awful instance of the jealousy of God! "The people gave a shout, saying, It is the voice of a god, and not of a man; and immediately the Angel of the Lord smote him, because he gave not God the glory." [Acts xii. 22, 23.] He was smitten immediately: suddenly and utterly does our strength, and our holiness, and our blessedness, and our influence, depart from us, like a lamp that expires, or a weight that falls, as soon as we rest in them, and pride ourselves in them, instead of referring them to the Giver. God keep us in His mercy from this sin! St. Paul shows us how we should feel about God's gifts, and how to boast without pride, when He first says, "I laboured more abundantly than they all:" and then adds, "yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me." [1 Cor. xv. 10.]
Accordingly, the self-respect of the Christian is no personal and selfish feeling, but rather a principle of loyal devotion and reverence towards that Divine Master who condescends to visit him. He acts, not hastily, but under restraint and fearfully, as understanding that God's eye is over him, and God's hand upon him, and God's voice within him. He acts with the recollection that his Omniscient Guide is also his future Judge; and that while He moves him, He is also noting down in His book how he answers to His godly motions. He acts with a memory laden with past infirmity and sin, and a consciousness that he has much more to mourn over and repent of; in the years gone by, than to rejoice in. Yes, surely, he has many a secret wound to be healed; many a bruise to be tended; many a sore, like Lazarus; many a chronic infirmity; many a bad omen of perils to come. It is one thing, not to trust in the world; it is another thing to trust in one's self.
But, alas! I repeat it, how unreal in this age are such contemplations, when neither in ourselves nor in the Church around us have they a fulfilment! How is it fit to speak of thoughts and tempers which men of the day not only fail to cherish, but are eager to reprobate! Yet perchance what is lost upon the many, may gain a hearing with the few; what is lost today, may be recalled tomorrow; what is lost in fulness, may be retained in portions; what fails to convince, may excite misgivings; what fails with the heart, may create the wish. We must not grudge to speak, whether men will hear, or whether they will forbear; knowing that "he that observeth the wind shall not sow, and he that regardeth the clouds shall not reap." [Eccles. xi. 4.]

May we, one and all, set forward with this season, when the Spirit descended, that so we may grow in grace, and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour! Let those who have had seasons of seriousness, lengthen them into a life; and let those who have made good resolves in Lent, remember them in Eastertide; and let those who have hitherto lived religiously, learn devotion; and let those who have lived in good conscience, learn to live by faith; and let those who have made a good profession, aim at consistency; and let those who take pleasure in religious worship, aim at inward sanctity; and let those who have knowledge, learn to love; and let those who meditate, forget not mortification. Let not this sacred season leave us as it found us; let it leave us, not as children, but as heirs and as citizens of the kingdom of heaven. For forty days have we been hearing "the things pertaining to the kingdom of God." [Acts i. 3.] The time may come, when we shall desire to see one of the days of the Son of man, and see it not. Let us redeem the time while it is called today; "till we all come in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ." [Eph. iv. 13.] 

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