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epistle for the day, and which hath been already cited. (Eph. iv. 11–16.) The end proposed by the Gospel is the reduction of the heart to “the s obedience of faith,” and its establishment therein. But growth in grace, like growth in bodily stature, is a gradual work. Maturity is not attained at once. There are therefore in every Christian society children as well as young men and fathers in Christ. Young converts are often, like children, weak in judgment, and wavering in their adherence to the truth. ' And it would be well if debility and inconstancy were confined to those persons who have newly adopted a profession of Christianity. But we see, alas! that many who have long named the name of Christ, are still in an infantile state. It may be well for every reader to inquire whether his views of truth are not imperfect, his convictions slight, his desires languid, his purposes faint, and his endeavours feeble—whether he doth not need “grace" “ that he may be esta“blished in the truth of God's holy Gospel,” that his faith may be confirmed, his hope enlivened, his love rendered pure and fervid. He must be ignorant indeed, who can suppose that he hath already attained and is already per
fect," and that therefore he hath no need of joining, with a view to his own benefit, in the petition of our present collect.
We compare ourselves in our confession to a ship that is tossed to and fro on the boisterous waves, or to a light cloud that is carried about by the winds. In a greater or less degree these mortifying comparisons will be found to be applicable to every conscious simer, who contemplates his own state in the light of the Divine word and Spirit. For if our judgments be happily
established in the belief of all the fundamental articles of the fạith, yet in the practical use of Christian doctrine how often and easily are we shaken in mind! For who is there that, at all times, maintains the peace of his conscience, the hope of salvation, and purity of heart and conduct, without interruption? Who is there that, like the rooted oak, can always withstand the “ blast of “ vain docrine," with which men and devils are permitted to assault him? Who, that needs not to be more deeply “rooted in Christ, stablished “ and built up in Him?”
God is pleased, for wise purposes, to suffer the faith of His people to be tried by “blasts of vain « doctrine. In the propagation of error much zeal and artifice are employed. The methods of imposture to which Satan and his agents have recourse, are very subtle* and not easily detected. To oppose their sophisms uniformly and effectually requires that the mind be well furnished with Scripture-doctrine and Christian experience.
It is therefore our duty and interest to study the “holy gospel” daily, and to furnish ourselves with weapons of defence from its armory. But the most critical acquaintance with its contents is not of itself sufficient; we must also pray for “ grace that our hearts may be established" both in the truth of the facts which it records, and also in a cordial acquaintance with those inferences from the facts on which our comfort and holiness depend. Without Divine teaching the historical facts may be credited, and yet the necessary deductions be overlooked. O let the Scriptures be our continual study! And let us study thein on
* See Blackwall's Sacred Classics, vol. i, p. 232, 233, 3d edition.
our knees, imploring instruction from above! that we may grow up from childhood to youth, and from youth to manhood: “ that maintaining the “ truth in love, we may grow up into Him in all “ things who is the head, even Christ; from whom “ the whole body fitly joined together, and com“ pacted by that which every joint supplieth, ac
cording to the effectual working in the measure “ of every part, maketh increase of the body, “ unto the edifying of itself in love."
ST. PHILIP AND ST. JAMES's DAY.
O Almighty God, whom truly to know is everlasting life; Grant us perfectly to know thy Son Jesus Christ to be the way, the truth, and the life; that following the steps of thy holy Apostles, Saint Philip and Suint James, we may steadfastly walk in the way that leadeth to everlasting life, through the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
E are this day required to commemorate
the mercy of God to His church manifested in calling to the Apostolate, and in qualifying for that high office, two eminent men, St. Philip and St. James. Each of these names belonged to two different persons among the officers of the primitive church. There were two Philips, one an Apostle and the other a Deacon; to the former of whom this day is dedicated. There were also two persons who bore the name of James; both of them Apostles, but distinguished by the epithets of the greater and the less, either on account of a difference in stature or in
It is the latter of these, St. James the less, who was the brother of our Lord (being, as is supposed, a son of Joseph by a former wife) the first bishop of Jerusalem, and who was honoured by his cotemporaries with the title of the Just, whose memory is this day recorded in the church,
St. Philip was born at Bet'saida, a town near the sea of Tiberias, “the city of Andrew and Pe“ter.” Of his
Of his parentage and way of life the his- ,' tory of the gospel takes no notice; but probably
he was a fisherman, that being the general occupation of his native place. He had the honour of being first called to the discipleship. For our Lord soon after his return from the wilderness, having parted from Andrew and Peter after a short conversation with them, as he was passing through Galilee, on the very next day, found Philip, whom He commanded to “ follow Him." This was the usual mode which He adopted in selecting and appropriating those who were to be His stated attendants. The prerogative therefore of the primary vocation evidently belongs to Philip. For though Andrew and Peter first conversed with Christ, yet they returned again to their secular business, and were not called to the discipleship till more than a year afterwards, when John the Baptist had been cast into prison. As Philip had seen no miracle performed by His Master for the eviction of his Messiahship, we may suppose that a peculiar measure of Divine grace accompanied the outward call, “ Follow me;" whereby Philip was convinced that Jesus of Nazareth was the
person pointed out by antient prophecy, of whose appearance a general expectation was now raised
No sooner had religion taken possession of St. Philip's mind, than, like an active principle, it began to ferment and to diffuse itself. He soon after met with Nathaniel, a person of note and eminence, acquainted him with the glad tidings of the newly found Messiah, and conducted him to Jesus. Every good man is anxious to draw and direct others in the same way to happiness which he himself hath discovered. After St. Philip's call to the Apostleship, very little is reorded of him in the sacred story. It was to him, however, that our Saviour proposed the question, What they
among the Jews.