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sins for which he is not sorry? Can any expect to be saved, while he disbelieves the means appointed for his Salvation ? No, my Christian brethren, the whole Gospel teaches that without repentance and without faith, there is no share in Christ's atonement, there is no forgiveness for the sinner. To believe this article of your faith then, is to repent in Godly sorrow for your sins, and to receive into your hearts the truth as it is in Christ Jesus.
“ Risen from the dead, our Lord became the first fruits of them that slept.” In his crucified body, as is evident from his conviction of the incredulous Apostle, he rose from the dead. Even so early as the time of the Patriarch, that the Redeemer lived, and that in his flesh, after worms should destroy his body, Job should yet see God, was at least his individual belief. In what manner the two elements of which man consists are united together, or how the scattered particles after dispersion and dissolution are to be reunited we know not. But in that most interesting Chapter of St. Paul's address to the Corinthians, which our Church has transferred into the burial service, we have a full confirmation of the Creed of the Church, when he says “ This corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality.”ť Immortal -subject to no other death-un- . changeable-without end--that this is the
* 1 Corinthians xv. 20. + 1 Corinthians xv. 53.
property of the life which is to come after this life, every passage in the Scriptures which speaks of the final destination of man, decidedly pronounces.
Indeed to the idea of Christian reward and punishment, this seems essential: for to be in continued expectation of an end to our happiness, would be a state of misery, while to know that our torments would have an end, would be to change them into trials—into expiations-into means to procure, or ways to arrive at happiness. Figurative in some respects the Scriptural descriptions of a future state may be, but words in a literal sense cannot more strongly speak their eternity. Our Lord in his account of the awful day of general retribution—the resurrection of the just and of the unjust says, “ And these shall go away into everlasting punishment: but the righteous into life eter
With this most important object of a Christian's belief, with this awful state of the whole rational world for all eternity, your Creed concludes. Be it yours, my Christian brethren, to place your reliance on the merits and the mediation of your Redeemer, your hope in the sanctification of the Holy Spirit, that “ being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you may have your fruit unto holiness and the end everlasting life.”+
NOTE.-For observations on the Nicene and Athanasian Creed, vide Sermon the Eleventh.
* Matthew xxv. 46. Romans vi. 22.
ON THE LITANY.
1 TIMOTHY II. l.
I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, in
tercessions, and giving of thanks, be made for all men.
We are now arrived at that office called in your Prayer books the Litany, or as that word by its derivation means the General Supplication. It is an office of peculiar solemnity and calls for a distinct discourse, to illustrate its objects, to explain its arrangement, and to enable the congregation to join with understanding and with fervour in its petitions. It is also called the General Supplication, for though the sentences in it are addresses to God from the Minister, the congregation immediately make each their own, either by repeating it, or by some form of appropriate words which they recite after him. The drift of the whole is, a supplication that God would release the people from the pressure of his wrath, and deliver them from those sins which have drawn it down upon them: that he would vouchsafe to them such temporal blessings, as may be safely permitted them, and such spiritual ones, as without his gracious assistance they cannot hope to attain. Those who objected that the Confession at the beginning of the Morning Prayer was too general, must withdraw that objection when they come to the Litany, and must commend the distinctness with which it enumerates everything that should be deprecated, and every thing that should be solicited. Those who object that some parts of it seem to be repetitions of what had been said before in the morning prayers, should be told that this was originally a distinct service, performed at a different time from the prayers. When we are aware how difficult the complexity of this world's engagements makes it, to draw together a number of people to the business of the next, we shall at once see the reason why several services are brought within the compass of one attendance at the place of public worship. Originally the Litany was an office for the two days of most earnest devotion in the primitive Church. Wednesday on which our Lord was apprehended by his enemies, and Friday on which he was crucified. That the service on the Lord's day should not be less
solemn than on any other, it was afterwards appointed to be said on Sundays also. And a service it is of awful solemnity and of fervent devotion : so general, that every Christian may join in it; yet so specific in its detail, as to omit nothing which can with propriety be made matter of Christian request.
It opens with an invocation, first to each person of the Holy Trinity separately, and next to the three persons jointly, entreating them to “ have mercy on us, “miserable” and therefore objects of compassion,“ sinners” and therefore standing in need of mercy. The offices of our Church are for believers in revealed religion: they are a Christian comment on the Holy Scriptures, which compromises none of its truths, nor keeps its mysteries out of view. The believer in the Gospel finds there, that all are concluded under sin, and that the redemption is brought about by the co-operating grace of the three Holy persons in whom the Godhead is united. At the entrance on this devout office therefore, he disclaims all merit of his own, and acknowledges himself and those associated with him in the performance to be sinners, and he registers his belief in the Divinity of each person distinctly of the Holy Trinity, addressing them separately as God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Ghost, and in the last sentence of the invocation, he considers those