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USE OF THIS BOOK.
THE arrangement of this Book will be found to be by the Weeks of the Church's Calendar, so that, as with the Prayer Book, certain Weeks will be used or omitted according to the Season at which Easter falls and the consequent number of Sundays after Epiphany and Trinity.
The Saints' Days form a group apart, following the similar arrangement in the Prayer Book.
Knowing the time, that now it is high time to awake out of sleep for now is our salvation nearer than when we believed. ROMANS xiii. II.
THE time of judgment, the Apostle means, is at the doors: near is the Resurrection, near the awful Judgment, and the day that burneth as a furnace, near. Henceforward we must be free from our listlessness, for now is our salvation near. You see how he puts the Resurrection close beside them. For as the time advances, he means, the season of our present life is wasting away, and that of the life to come waxes nearer. If then thou be prepared, and hast done all whatsoever He hath commanded, the day is one of salvation to thee, but the contrary, if not so. S. CHRYSOSTOM.
Hark, a thrilling voice is sounding,
Christ is nigh, it seems to say;
Wakened by the solemn warning,
It is written, My house shall be called the house of prayer; but ye have made it a den of thieves.
S. MATTHEW xxi. 13.
THERE can be no doubt but it is of the very utmost importance how we keep holy the House This lies at the very heart of all religion; it is the fountain-head and spring from which flows the stream of life. Worship God aright, and all will be well. Come before Him without fear, and all your life will be as a city over which Christ weeps. And to bring it more closely home, the body of every Christian is called the Temple of the Holy Ghost, the House of prayer. God will come to it in the Day of Judgment in mercy or wrath. And what have we to regard with awe and reverence so much as the presence of Christ in our own souls? ISAAC WILLIAMS.
Wherefore, sinner, haste to these
Fountains of salvation:
Life thou mayest draw therefrom,
Cure thou mayest find from sin,
Arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. EPHESIANS v. 14.
ARISE and work while it is day, for the night cometh wherein no man can work, says our Saviour Himself. Happy are they who rise early in the morning of their youth; for the day of life is very short, and the act of Christianity long and difficult. Is it not a grievous thing that men consider not why they come into the world till they be upon the point of going out again, nor think how to live till they be summoned to die? But most of all unhappy he who never wakens out of that dream of false happiness till he fall into eternal misery. Arise then betimes, and prevent that sad awakening. ARCHBISHOP LEIGHTON.
Christ, Whose glory fills the skies,
Triumph o'er the shades of night;
Dark and cheerless is the morn
Joyless is the day's return
Till Thy mercy's beams I see,
I will lift up mine eyes unto the hills, from whence cometh my help. My help cometh even from the Lord, Who hath made heaven and earth. PSALM CXxi. 1, 2.
MEDITATE daily on the things of eternity; and by the grace of God do something daily, which thou wouldst wish to have done when
the Day of Judgment comes. Eternity fades quickly from sight, amid the mists and clouds of this world. Heaven is above our heads, yet we see it not with eyes fixed on the earth.
O may I always ready stand,
With my lamp burning in my hand:
Whene'er I hear the Bridegroom's Voice.
Shine on me, Lord, new life impart,
Lord, lest the tempter me surprise,