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pray the less, or labour the less for the future, because we have been partakers of Christ's communion; nor yet let us go with the presumptuous hope that temptations will assail us the less, that sin's power will be subdued within us, that we shall have no more falls, no more broken resolutions, because we have been admitted at Christ's table. We must not hope for this; for so should our conflict cease before life was over; so should we enter into our rest before yet the sun was down. We must not expect to have no falls, no more broken resolutions, but we may hope to have fewer; we must not expect to be freed from temptations, but we may hope to have gained greater ability to withstand them. Let us go soberly and humbly, yet with a lively hope and a strong desire. What are we, that our Lord should admit us at his table? yet, seeing that he does so admit us, is it not an earnest of more that he will do for us; will it not further us in that race whose prize is life eternal? Indeed it was appointed to help us on in that race, to be to our spirits a quickening spirit, by setting before them continually the death of Christ. I have endeavoured to show you how it does this, and how great is the use of it; that it is not a mere ceremony, or intended to

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act secretly and mysteriously like a charm; but by meeting directly the wants of our nature, and supplying food for its best affections; by so cleaving us from evil, and so disposing us to good, that our hearts may be rendered fitter to receive the gift of Christ's Spirit, and so be quickened for ever.




So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.


ALL the great events of our Lord's life on earth, are celebrated in the course of the Christian year. His birth; his circumcision; the manifestation of his birth to the wise men; his fasting and temptation before he entered. upon his ministry; and, lastly, his betrayal, crucifixion, resurrection, and ascension. But of all these, the resurrection has been ever considered the greatest. Easter, in this as in other points, has taken the place of the passover of the Jews, that it is the greatest of all our festivals; it celebrates that event in which, in an especial manner, the whole of Christianity is contained. It is notorious, that the festival of the ascension is, in common practice, now much less regarded; and

to this other circumstances have partly contributed, but it never was considered to be so great a season as Easter, or as the festival of Whitsuntide, which immediately follows it, and which celebrates the descent of the Holy Ghost.

This feeling in the church is a very exact copy of the feeling shown in the Scriptures themselves. Every one must have observed how much more is said in the New Testament about the resurrection of Christ, and the gift of the Holy Spirit, than is said about the ascension. Nay, what is more remarkable, in two of the Gospels, St. Matthew and St. John, there is no account at all given of the ascension; and in St. Mark no more is said of it than the words which I have read in the text. It is only in the writings of St. Luke, in his Gospel, and in the beginning of the Acts of the Apostles, that any particulars are given respecting it. Now this is a circumstance which has often excited attention, and which, when inquired into, becomes, I think, full of instruction.

I suppose that our first impressions are, to consider the ascension of our Lord as the very greatest event connected with his appearance on earth. To our own minds,

undoubtedly, nothing could be so solemn, so exalting, as the changing this life for another; the putting off mortality and putting on immortality; and all this we connect with the thought of the removal from earth to heaven. Above all, here God is not seen nor known distinctly; although he be not far from every one of us, yet we must feel after him, if haply we may find him: here we see him through a glass darkly, in heaven we hope to see him face to face; and, therefore, an ascension into heaven conveys to our minds. the greatest change that can possibly be imagined; a change from a corrupt and most imperfect state of things to one of entire perfection. And had Christ been as we are, his ascension would have been spoken of very differently from what it is now; and the account of his resurrection would have been justly deemed incomplete without it. For then his resurrection would have been no more than that of Lazarus; it would have been only a respite from the power of death, not an entire deliverance from it; he would have risen from the dead, but being still as before, mortal, sinful, and corruptible, he would have been no less distant from heaven than ever. This would have been the case with Christ's

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