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what you have still to encounter you shall be abundantly strengthened to endure. Be your path never so rough and sharp, “thy shoes shall be as iron and brass ; and as thy days, so shall thy strength be.”

Come and cast yourselves upon His full forgiveness for the past, and upon His omnipotence for the future. What more can you need? And this not once, not twice, nor for a third time only, but always, and for ever ; continually bringing to Him your sorrows and your complaints : pleading against yourselves, then, go forth again refreshed, as if to begin anew, and for the first time, another life of hope.

3. Lastly, in this great feast of joy He gives us the conscious perception of His love. I say the perception, because we already have the knowledge, the tokens, and the pledges. He has said, • Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends." We have His word, we have His holy passion, we have the benedictions and mercies of our whole life long. Is not this enough? Enough on His part, and to spare ; but not enough on ours. We know it, confess it, believe it; but we do not feel it. Love alone, by its own kindred perception, feels love. And this crowning grace the Master gives to His servants at this feast of rest. He “ sheds abroad”

1 Deut. xxxiii. 25.

2 St. John xv. 13.

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His “ love in our hearts by the Holy Ghost.” His love falls as a light of fire, making hearts that long for Him to burn. Then all is revealed : His cross and our sin, His goodness and our evil, His beauty and our deformity of soul. Love is the light in which He is seen, and all things in His presence. “ The love of the Lord passeth all things for illumination.” If we would see ourselves as we are, we must first “ see Him as He is.” And this gift of light He infuses into the lowliest penitent, howsoever slow of intellect, howsoever dull of understanding. If the heart be pure or broken, He will pour in oil and wine, His spirit and His blood, the gift of light and love. This is the source of all devotion. To feel His love shining down upon them draws them in love to Him again ; binds them in love to all the creatures of His hand, to all for whom He died; kindles in them repentance and compunction, holy patience and holy obedience; cleanses and consumes away

; the sins of flesh and spirit, and makes their whole life a living sacrifice, in likeness of His own. O words easily spoken ; too high and excellent for such as we; still, spoken they must be. May He not lay them to our charge, or judge us by them! Blessed life, to which they who know it say nothing of earth may be compared.

They have seen His goodness and His beauty, His passion and His purity,

| Ecclus. xxv. 11.

“the Rose of Sharon and the Lily of the valleys ;” and the burden of their heart all day long is, “O how great!” Nothing in this world allures them, for they have seen fairer things than these ; nothing dazzles their eyes, for they have looked upon a brighter glory; nothing draws them aside, for they have tasted of the eternal sweetness. The Beauty, ancient but always new, drowns all lights of earth. And not fair and bright things only, but crosses and sorrows, rods and afflictions; these have no terrors and no sharpness. They can see by whose hand these gifts are stretched forth to them, and in each they count the print of the nails, the pledges of His love and nearness. They have one great longing, in which all other desires are lost

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not wealth, honour, power, learning, home, or happiness; nothing of time, or in time. Their whole soul is an hungered to “eat bread in the kingdom of God;" to drink of the fruit of the vine, “new with Him in His Father's kingdom.” They are athirst for the great Harvest Home, where the feast shall be eternal. When the white cloud shall be seen in heaven, and the Son of Man shall sit upon it, having on His head a golden crown, and in His hand a sharp sickle; when He that was

| Song of Solomon ii. 1.

reaped, bruised, and garnered, and hath given Himself to us for our spiritual food in power and mystery, shall reap the earth; when the harvest of the elect is stored in heaven, and the eternal feast is spread in the new creation of God : O blessed and glorious fellowship! O holy feast ! O banquet of desire ! where care is not, nor cloying, but fulness with endless desire; when we shall for ever rest, and shall behold how sweet the Lord is, and how great the multitude of His sweetness. O blessed vision, to see God in Himself, to see Him in us, and ourselves in Him, with blissful joy and joyful bliss; to sit at that feast ineffable, “where Thou, with thy Son, and the Holy Ghost, art unto Thy saints true light, perfect fulness, everlasting joy, gladness consummate, endless bliss !" “ To whom be blessing, and glory, and wisdom, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might for ever and ever. Amen.'

SERMON XIV.

THE PASSOVER GREATLY DESIRED.

Sr. LUKE xxii. 15.

And He said unto them, With desire I have desired to eat this

Passover with you before I suffer.”

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TH

THESE words were spoken by our Lord in the

night of His betrayal. When the hour was come, He sat down to the last supper with His disciples, and His “soul was exceeding sorrowful, even unto death.” As they were eating, He said: “ With desire have I desired to eat this Passover with you.” It must indeed have been a desire

stronger than death,” ardent and divine, which could rise above the anguish of such an hour. Sorrow and the shadow of death draw men's hearts into themselves, and quench the vividness of other thoughts, the desires of other days. But His thirst of love nothing could slake. It burned the more as the hour of His Passion drew near. We cannot enter into the divine intensity of this desire ; but it would seem that the longing He

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