to His promise, and in mercy to our need, may ever bless with His approving smile.

The last fcriptural account of the Ethiopian is, that“ he went on his way rejoicing.”

Other accounts tell us that he spread the truth which he had learnt

his countrymen ; that he witnessed a good confession, and was found worthy to suffer death for Christ's fake, and to be ranked among the noble army of have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. May every soul who zealously seeks to know the Lord, and who diligently searches the Holy Scriptures, if haply they may find Him, be led to Him as was this minister of state. May they find Him this day, witness a good profession, and, like him, too, go on their way rejoicing.


martyrs who

O Almighty and everlasting God, who didst give to thine Apostles grace to believe, and to preach Thy word ; Grant, we beseech Thee, unto Thy Church, to love that word which they believed, and both to preach and receive the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.



For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of

God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.--Rom. vi. 23.

THE total alienation of man's nature from holiness and God was a favourite topic of St. Paul ; and when he had set forth that doctrine in its fulness, so as to show those who received it that in themfelves and from themselves there was no hope of salvation, he proceeds to proclaim the fulness and freeness of that plan of rescue and redemption which the pure


and mercy of God the Father devised, which the humiliation and sufferings of God the Son effected, and which God the Holy Ghost applies effectually to the heart of the lost sinner. St. Paul knew that the doctrines which he was inspired to record would be open to abuses on the part of self-deceivers.

He foresaw that many would turn the grace of God into licentiousness, and so incur the most heinous guilt. Nevertheless, he had no choice but to proclaim it still, accompanying its declaration by every solemn warning and guard against a perversion of its blessed truth. As he wrote, so he preached, - repentance towards God, in which is included sorrow for and renunciation of fin, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, by which the blessings of a salvation wrought for us are believed and accepted. These were the sum of his topics. When before Felix

accused, as he would be, if alive, by many now, of being a pestilent fellow, and a mover of fedition among all the Jews throughout all the world, and a ringleader of the feet of the Nazarenes—when thus accused he preached, we read, “ concerning the faith in Christ; and as he reasoned of righteousness, temperance, and judgment to come, Felix trembled, and answered, Go thy way for this time; when I have a convenient season, I will call for thee.” (Acts, xxiv. 24, 25.) Faith in Christ, you see, was the foundation — righteousness and temperance the superstructure. A house without a foundation, or a foundation without a building erected on it, are equally useless. But he foresaw that men would hear of God's


it that is faith without results; and he knew, too, the equally dangerous tendency of their trusting to dead works without the living

« ForrigeFortsett »