« AnteriorContinuar »
"we know that when He shall appear we shall "be like Him; for we shall see Him as He is." Our liturgy is so replete with the phraseology of Scripture, that we may compare it to a beautiful robe richly embroidered with gold.
The sight of Christ by faith has invariably a sanctifying tendency; for, "beholding, as in a "glass, the glory of the Lord, we are changed "into the same image from glory to glory, even "as by the Spirit of the Lord." And the more clear is the knowledge of Christ which faith enjoys, the more effectual it is to the production of purity. Now, if faith, with all the disadvantages of " seeing through a glass darkly," purifies the heart, it is reasonable to infer that the open vision of Him, "face to face," will perfect what faith has begun. "We shall be like "Him when He appears, for we shall see Him «' as He is." If, while the veil remain on our Redeemer's countenance, the gleams of glory that burst through it transform the irradiated soul into His own likeness, what may not be expected from the beatific vision of God in Christ when the veil is removed? If the face of Moses shone in conscience of a temporary interview with the Lord God of Israel, how brightly shall we shine when we are introduced into His immediate presence! Then we shall resemble Ilim in all His imitable perfections; our "bodies shall be fashioned like unto His •' glorious body," and our souls be "without "spot, or wrinkle, or any such thing." This resemblance of Christ will be produced by the sight of Him, and perfect holiness and perfect happiness he our portion for ever. To be ever "looking unto Jesus" is now our duty and privilege, in the mean of sanctification, and the ntrptiMl of glorification.
When Christ " appears the second time with"out sin unto salvation," it will be "with power "and great glory;" for He will come in the "glory of His Father and the holy angels." He "shall be revealed from heaven with His mighty "angels, in flaming fire, taking vengeance on "them that know not God, and that obey not "the gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ; who shall "be punished with everlasting destruction from "the presence of the Lord, and from the glorv "of His power." "He shall come to be glori"fied in His saints, and to be admired in all "them that believe." His " power" will be demonstrated in the destruction of His enemies and the salvation of His people. The brightness of His "glory" will confound those that hate Him; and, while it dazzles, will beatify those that "love His appearing."
"In His glorious kingdom, where, with the "Father and the Holy Ghost" our adorable Redeemer "liveth and reigneth, ever one God "world without end," those whom faith has transformed into a resemblance of Him here shall live and reign with Him for ever. That glorious kingdom is the continuation of an empire now established. Its glory indeed is now in a measure obscured, and its administration latent. At His appearing that obscurity shall be removed, and the sceptre of the King of kings become visible, and His throne apparent to all. But the kingdom is the same, which now exists in His church. We must therefore become His subjects here, if we would participate in "His glorious kingdom" hereafter. We must now submit to His righteous sway, if we would participate in the privileges of the heavenly city. For, without a submission now made before Him, we shall hear him say when He cometh in His glory, "These mine ene"mies who would not that I should reign over "them, bring them hither, and slay them before "me." Lord Jesus, who "wast manifested "to destroy the works of the devil," make us "the sons of God and heirs of eternal life" by adoption and grace: enable us to "purify our"selves, even as thou art pure; that, when "thou shalt appear in power and great glory, "we may be made like unto thee in thy glorious "kingdom, where, with the Father and the "Holy Ghost, thou livest and reignest, ever one "God, world without end. Amen."
THE SUNDAY CALLED SEPTUAGESIMA,* OR THE THIRD SUNDAY BEFORE LENT.
0 Lord, we beseech thee favourably to hear the prayers of thy people, that we who are justly punislied for our offences may be mercifully delivered by thy goodness, for the glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
f I ^HIS collect contains,—A prefatory petition
1 for a favourable audience to our prayers— Astatement of our case on which we found our request—An act of supplication for Divine interposition on our behalf—A strong argument to enforce success in our application to the throne of Grace—The ground on which our hope-is built—and A doxology, or ascription of praise, to the Triune Jehovah.
"Among the several reasons given for the names of these "Sundays (viz. Septuagesima, Sexagesima, andQuinquage"sima),the most probable seems to be this: the first Sunday "in Lent, being forty days before Easter, was for that rea*' son called Quadragesima Sunday, which in Latin signifies "forty; and fifty being the next round number above forty, J* as sixty is to fifty, and seventy to sixty, therefore the "Sunday immediately preceding Quadragesima Sunday, a being farther from Easter than that was, was called Quin"quagesima (or fifty) Sunday: and the two. foregoing, being "still farther distant, were for the same reason called Sex"agesima and Septuagesima (sixty and seventy) Sundays." Wlieatly.
On the prefatory petition little needs to be said; because it is common to this collect with some others, and, with a very small variation of the phraseology, has already passed under our review. It breathes importunity and humility; for it is an earnest appeal to Divine favour. Should the frequent use of such an address be objected to, it may be illustrated and vindicated by a scriptural anecdote. In the Acts of the Apostles we are informed that Peter, after his miraculous deliverance from prison, went immediately to the house of a Christian friend, and knocked at the door for admission. The servant who came to the door, in consequence of the perturbation of her mind occasioned by the sound of Peter's voice, instead of opening the doOr ran back to those who were within to inform them who was at the door. Now, how did Peter act? Did he sit down contented at the sill, having once knocked, determining to wait till accident or the morning-light should occasion the door to be opened? No: we are told that " he continued knocking." And this surely was the part of wisdom in his case, and is so in ours likewise when we come to the door of Divine mercy. We are to "knock, until it be "opened unto us." Our church may moreover be exculpated from the charge of vain repetition by a higher and more appropriate example than the case of Peter affords. For our Lord Jesus Christ in His agony prayed thrice, repeating the same words. Real fervour of spirit will manifest no anxiety about a variation of words. Repetition is its natural expression.
We proceed now to consider the statement which we make of our case, and on which the special petition of our collect is founded. We