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and is wonderful among the kings of the earth.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
WEDNESDAY IN ADVENT.
"Be strong, and He shall establish your heart : all ye that put your trust in the LORD." - Ps. xxxi. 27.
“Lift up the hands which hang down, and the feeble knees,” is the Apostolic exhortation. And what is it that gives this renovated strength to the weak and the weary? What is it that lifts up their heart and establishes it? It is the Divine grace of hope. Hope infused through the Sacraments into the soul, quickened continually by the indwelling HOLY SPIRIT, and nourished by prayer. For this Holy Scripture was written, that “through patience and comfort of the Scriptures we might have hope.” The true believer lives in hope, and rejoices in hope; for to him “ the life of this mortal life is in the hope of immortal life.” And he “ rejoices in hope"
because he is as sure of the things which God has promised, as if he already possessed them. But he rejoices with trembling, inasmuch as he remembers that while God's Word cannot be broken, yet his faith may fail, unless by Divine grace he perseveres to the end.
But let me think of the ways in which hope may affect me. Am I troubled in circumstances ? Have I lost temporal blessings? Then for that very reason will I cling closer to God. I will believe that He has allowed creatures to fail me, that I may put my whole trust in Him alone.
Have I sinned often and grievously? Yet when I read and hear God's promise of pardon to the sinner that turns to Him, can I doubt the Word of God ?-that Word which is strengthened by an oath, and sealed with the precious Blood of JESUS. O blessed impossibility for God to lie, or His promise to fail! I will remind Him of His promise ; I will plead with Him by the Sacrifice of Jesus, and “though He slay me, yet will I trust in Him." Breathe forth, O my sinful soul, thy sighs of hope to JESUS; do not despond; lift up thine eyes to Him ; breathe forth thy confidence to Him, and He will lead thee to the haven. He will shed upon thee healing from His Wounds, and will show thee a rock which is higher than thou art, and from which no storm shall shake thee, and on which no water shall overwhelm thee.
O Thou that art the Hope of all the ends of the earth, and of them that remain in the broad sea, be Thou my hope.
LORD, have mercy.
God, Who didst bring salvation to the house of Zaccheus, repenting of his bins and restoring fourfold;
Who didst exercise Thy mercy in behalf of the woman taken in adultery;
Who didst receive publicans and sinners, and didst eat with them;
Who didst forgive Magdalene her many sins, because she loved much;
Who, looking tenderly on Peter who denied Thee, didst bring him to compunction and tears;
Who didst promise paradise to the penitent thief;
LAMB of God, that takest away the sins of the world ;
Have mercy on us. My most gracious and beloved SAVIOUR, Thou hast taught me to pray “ Thy kingdom come.” Thus, then, do I pray to Thee : May Thy kingdom come into my
Have mercy on us. soul, that Thou mayest possess it entirely, and it possess Thee, the only true and sovereign Good,
Depart from my heart, all ye earthly affections, ye worldly desires, and give place to my God, Who comes to take possession of me. Yes, LORD, take possession of me, for Thou art my Redeemer, my Love, my God, my All.
O merciful and pitiful FATHER, Thou art ready to be found of them that seek Thee, and I shall not fail to find the fountain of mercy with Thee. Thou hast conferred great things upon me, and this emboldens me to ask for more. Behold, I offer to Thy compassion one blind, for Thee to enlighten ; sick, for Thee to make whole; bound by many debts, for Thee to loosen ; naked and poor, for Thee to enrich : and I beseech Thee, enlighten me with Thy most healthful faith; gladden and strengthen me with Thy most joyous and certain hope; quicken me with Thy most strong and righteous love ; and bring me to Thy glory; for Thy dear Son's sake. Amen. Our FATHER, &c.
Psalm X. Ut quid, Domine? Why standest Thou so far off, O LORD: and hidest Thy face in the needful time of trouble ?
The ungodly for his own lust doth persecute the poor : let them be taken in the crafty wiliness that they have imagined.
For the ungodly hath made boast of his own heart's desire : and speaketh good of the covetous, whom God abhorreth,
The ungodly is so proud, that he careth not for God: neither is God in all his thoughts.
His ways are always grievous : Thy judgments are far above out of his sight, and therefore defieth he all his enemies.
For he hath said in his heart, Tush, I shall never be cast down : there shall no harm happen unto me.
His mouth is full of cursing, deceit, and fraud : under his tongue is ungodliness and vanity.
He sitteth lurking in the thievish corners of the streets : and privily in his lurking dens doth he murder the innocent; his eyes are set against the poor.
For he lieth waiting secretly, even as a lion lurketh he in his den : that he may ravish the poor.
He doth ravish the poor: when he getteth him into his net.
He falleth down, and humbleth himself : that the congregation of the poor may fall into the hands of his captains.
He hath said in his heart, Tush, God