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groans of the dying yet rang in their ears, when they sat down to their work. Was it in human nature that they could have so sat down, without vehement prejudices, without a keen sense of oppression and wrong ? Yet a brighter principle overmastered these feelings. Before them was a ritual, loaded with papal ceremonies, polluted by papal idolatry: did they cast it from them as an unclean thing ? No; discerning with the eye of an enlightened faith between truth and error, all that superstition had foisted in they unsparingly expunged, all that well-instructed piety had conceived they fearlessly and reverently preserved.
I spake advisedly when I said that these forms, which customary use has made familiar to us, once wafted to a Father's ear the heartfelt desires of apostles, prophets, and martyrs ; nor am I beguiled by a creature of mine own imagination, when my thoughts go back to the deep forests, the dark caves, the lonely wilderness, which re-echoed with these very prayers, while the powers of darkness were arrayed against the church, and the sword awoke to slaughter.
Brethren, ours is a fearful-would that we reflected on it as we ought--a most fearful responsibility. To us the invitation is freely extended, “Ho! every one that thirsteth, come ye to the waters; and he that hath no money, come ye, buy and eat; yea, come, buy wine and milk without money and without price.” Are we spend. ing our money for that which is not bread, our labour for that which satisfieth not ?_not the bread of life, labour lost, because the Lord hath withheld his blessing. We have opportunities for usefulness which our fellow-worshippers, who long since slept in Christ, never enjoyed : use we these opportunities in the service of God, to the salvation of our souls? We have a calm they never knew : is this the quietness of confidence in a Redeemer's merits, or the deadly lethargy of sin ?
In conclusion: twice this day, in the language of the Apostles' Creed, have we professed our belief in the “communion of the saints;" that a chord of sympathy vibrates in the heart of
oppressed with the burden of the flesh, uniting him, by an exquisite chain of fellowship, to the glorified believer in heaven. The idea is too vast for the mind to take in, in its fulness; but, reduced to the proportion of the mind's capacity, by us especially who mingle in a common Service, can the sentiment be constantly and literally felt. Throughout the length and breadth of our land, at nearly the same moment the sabbath bell invites all to tread the courts of the Lord's house: thither have bent their way the young and old, the rich and poor, the believer walking by faith, the sinner returning to God. The same hour has beheld them kneeling in worship, the same form borne their petitions to a throne of grace. But not to
our own land alone, how wide soever its boundaries may extend, is this communion confined. Wherever enterprise has spurred on the traveller, thither duty has conducted the missionary. Along the banks of the Ganges, on Africa's scorching plains, in the dreary wilds of America, and amidst the island colonies of the west, are numberless churches reared, and multitudes, each in the language in which they were born, lift up their voices to God in unison with ours.
Think, brethren, of the thousands of every age and rank, of every character and clime; think of the bond and of the free, who have this day knelt as ye knelt, worshipped as ye worshipped : and may that thought kindle in all our hearts a brighter flame of devotion, and stimulate us show forth with increased diligence, not only with our lips, but in our lives, the praises of him who redeemed us.
Ephes. ii. 18.
Through him we both have access by one
Spirit unto the Father.
The apostle is addressing believers, who, before their conversion, had been heathen idolators. He had just been speaking on a subject which always awakened sentiments of the deepest awe and wonderthe calling of the Gentiles; he had been contrasting their former with their present condition ; then having no hope, without God in the world, now made nigh by the blood of Christ, by a figurative allusion to the temple at Jerusalem, where the court, in which the true Israelite worshipped,