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Companion to the Services






Easter-End of Ecclesiastical





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"And as they were afraid, and bowed down their faces to the earth, they said unto them, Why seek ye the living among the dead? He is not here, but is risen."-St. Luke xxiv. 5, 6.

THOU art the sun of other days,
They shine by giving back thy rays;
Enthroned in thy sovereign sphere,
Thou shedd'st thy light on all the year;

Sundays by thee more glorious break,
An Easter-day in every week:

And week-days, following in their train,
The fulness of thy blessing gain;

Till all, both resting and employ,
Be one Lord's day of holy joy.
Then wake, my soul, to high desires,
And earlier light thine altar-fires.

Our crown, our treasure is not here,
'Tis stor'd above the highest sphere :
We watch not now the lifeless stone;
Our only Lord is risen and gone.

Yet even the lifeless stone is dear

For thoughts of Him Who late lay here;
And the base world, now Christ hath died,
Ennobled is and glorified.

No more a charnel-house, to fence
The relics of lost innocence,
A vault of ruin and decay ;-
Th' imprisoning stone is roll'd away :

'Tis now a cell, where angels use
To come and go with heavenly news,
And in the ears of mourners say,
"Come, see the place where Jesus lay:"

'Tis now a fane, where love can find
Christ every where embalm'd and shrin'd;
Aye gathering up memorials sweet,
Where'er she sets her duteous feet.

Oh! joy to Mary first allow'd,

When rous'd from weeping o'er His shroud,
By His own calm, soul-soothing tone,
Breathing her name, as still His own.

Joy to the faithful three renew'd,
As their glad errand they pursued!
Happy, who so Christ's word convey,
That He may meet them on their way!

So is it still to holy tears,

In lonely hours, Christ risen appears;
In social hours, who Christ would see
Must turn all tasks to charity.

O blessed Day of the Resurrection, which of old times was called the Queen of Festivals, and raised among Christians an anxious, nay contentious, diligence duly to honour it! Blessed day, once only passed in sorrow, when the Lord actually rose, and the disciples believed not; but ever since a day of joy to the faith and love of the Church!

In ancient times, Christians all over the world began it with a morning salutation. Each man said to his neighbour, "Christ is risen ;" and his neigh

bour answered him, "Christ is risen indeed, and hath appeared unto Simon;" even to Simon, the coward disciple who denied Him thrice, Christ is risen; even to us, who long ago vowed to obey Him, and have yet so often denied Him before men, so often taken part with sin, and followed the world, when Christ called us another way.

"Christ is risen again, and hath appeared to Simon!" to Simon Peter, the favoured Apostle, on whom the Church is built, Christ has appeared. He has appeared to His holy Church first of all, and in the Church He dispenses blessings such as the world knows not of. Blessed are they, if they knew their blessedness, who are allowed, as we are, week after week, and festival after festival, to seek and find in that holy Church the Saviour of their souls! Blessed are they beyond language or thought, to whom it is vouchsafed to receive those tokens of His love, which cannot otherwise be gained by man, the pledges and means of His special presence, in the sacrament of His Supper; who are allowed to eat and drink the food of immortality, and receive life from the bleeding side of the Son of God!

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