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other hand they are so full of the Spirit of God that they rejoice with one accord when a sinner repents, then I think we may feel ashamed if we take a less charitable view of our brethren, or consider their welfare as no concern of ours, or despise even the weakest or the simplest of the children of God. Ministering spirits are the angels; and that man is most like them, who cares least about himself and who is most diligent and active in going about doing good.

But still further, a belief in the existence of angels, and of angels who are round about us ready to minister to our need while we walk in the path of holiness, ought to be profitable as leading us to habitual caution concerning our conduct. What should be the demeanour of those, who believe that there are heavenly witnesses of what they say and do? I suppose this view was in S. Paul's mind when he gave the presence of angels as a reason for extreme modesty on the part of female worshippers in Church: and let me say that if S. Paul's argument applies universally, teaching us that even in our chambers we are not alone but in the presence of heavenly witnesses who rejoice in our holiness and mourn over our falls, we are probably right

nevertheless in giving the argument a special force with reference to the public service of the Church. Is it not hard to believe that if angels sojourn upon earth, the assemblies of Christian worshippers will be their favourite haunt: the Church is most like heaven, and therefore most like the angels' home. I would that we could all think of this, and comport ourselves accordingly, -joining solemnly and reverently in the prayers, kneeling when we ought to kneel, throwing our whole souls into the service, worshipping God as angels worship Him with all the powers of our mind and all the strength of our will. Yes, my Christian brethren, the angels are both companions and witnesses of our devotion in this holy place.

Once more; the doctrine of the angels teaches us the blessedness of serving God—“ The angel “ God campeth round about those that fear Him " and delivereth them,”—and so also the text speaks of angels ministering to those who are “ heirs of salvation.” This then is the portion of faithful servants, to have angels to minister to them. I cannot undertake to tell you in how many and in what ways these ministrations take place: I will not pretend to say how often what we call good fortune, or escapes from danger, or

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safety from temptation, or peace of mind under trying circumstances, or the like, may in reality be due under God to angelic ministrations: but of this I am sure, that a careful examination of our lives will lead us to suspect the presence of ministering spirits more frequently than we might perhaps be disposed to imagine: anyhow the text does distinctly assign to angels this office of ministration; and the Lord Himself, when in His suffering humanity, did not disdain such help as angels can give. Therefore I think we may learn the blessedness of that service which brings with it such heavenly help, and we may well determine to walk in those ways which angels are appointed to guard.

Do not these hints, Christian brethren, imperfect as they necessarily are, tend to show that the doctrine of angels is not a barren fancy, not a mere subject for poets, a pretty imagination, but that it is one of practical value ? It seems to me that it is a doctrine, the meditation upon which tends to edification, tends to increase our reverence towards God, our thankfulnes to Him, our circumspection of conduct, our zeal in devotion, our charity towards each other. And therefore I would ask you to expand the hints which I have given, and to endeavour to make a doctrine, which unquestionably is scriptural and in which the holiest men have taken delight, a living doctrine in your minds. We may well spare some pains to think upon angels, if we believe that through the merits of Christ we shall spend eternity together : we may rightly endeavour to realize our fellowship in worship even in this present world: yea, my Christian brethren, unless we do think upon angels and try to realize their companionship in our holy service, how can we join in those noble words which our Liturgy teaches us to use—words which bring before you the doctrine of angels much more forcibly than any words of mine, and with which I will now conclude:

“It is very meet, right, and our bounden duty, " that we should at all times, and in all places,

give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, “ Almighty, Everlasting God. Therefore with “ Angels and Archangels, and with all the

company of heaven, we laud and magnify Thy “glorious Name ; evermore praising Thee and “saying, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God of Hosts, "heaven and earth are full of Thy glory.

Glory be to Thee, O Lord Most High! Amen."

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THE BELOVED PHYSICIAN. .

(S. LUKE.)

BY REV. E. C. CONEY, M.A.,

Vicar of Highbridge.

COL. IV. 4,

"Luke the beloved Physician.”

THE recurrence of the Festival of S. Luke reminds us of the debt of gratitude which we owe to the Beloved Physician.

As S. Paul was the Apostle of the Gentile world, so S. Luke, for many years his companion, was pre-eminently its Evangelist.

Whatever in the Life of our Lord proclaims the universality of God's Love as not confined to one country only, nor the heritage of only one race, S. Luke is careful to record. The Parables, for instance, of the Prodigal Son, with its touching testimony to the Father's equal care and love for both His elder and younger sons, and that of the Good Samaritan ; the narrative of the call of Zaccheus, and of the penitent washing her Lord's

No. 19.

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