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hath forgotten : He hideth away His face, and He will never see it.
Arise, O LORD God, and lift up Thine hand : forget not the poor.
Wherefore should the wicked blaspheme GOD : while he doth say in his heart, Tush, Thou God carest not for it.
Surely Thou hast seen it : for Thou beholdest ungodliness and wrong. • That Thou mayest take the matter into
Thine hand : the poor committeth himself unto Thee; for Thou art the helper of the friendless.
Break Thou the power of the ungodly and malicious : take away his ungodliness, and Thou shalt find none.
The LORD is King for ever and ever: and the heathen are perished out of the land.
LORD, Thou hast heard the desire of the poor: Thou preparest their heart, and Thine ear hearkeneth thereto;
To help the fatherless and poor unto their right : that the man of the earth be no more exalted against them. Glory be to the FATHER, &c. As it was in the beginning, &c.
THURSDAY IN ADVENT.
“ It is appointed unto men once to die."Heb. ix. 27.
The future course of each one's life is uncertain; but one thing and one alone is perfectly certain for each-our death. At this very moment, the hour of death for each one of us is appointed in the counsels of God. Every day that we have lived, this very day now passing, is a gift of God's Grace; it is in His Hand to lengthen or shorten our term of life as He will. Wilt not thou, O my soul, strive that each day shall be consecrated to His service ? that each day may find thee more ready to die? Length of days is surely a blessing, if we use it to the service of God. “The deceitful men shall not live out half their days," saith holy David; yet sometimes our loving FATHER shortens this life for those after His own heart, as a reward and blessing. Of some it is written that, having "pleased God, and being beloved of Him," they were made perfect in a short time, and fulfilled a long time: for his soul pleased the LORD, therefore hasted He to take him away from among the wicked.”
The second property of Death is, that its time, place, and manner is hidden from us, and God alone knows how and when it will come to us. “As a thief in the night," saith our Blessed LORD, so shall the hour of our summons steal upon us. And therefore did He say unto all His followers, “ Watch.” Watch, not in palsied fear, as those who dread some uncertain, overwhelming danger; but watch rather as they who look to be summoned to the bosom of their loved One, and who would fain have made ready all their concerns, so as to rise up promptly and gladly when at length they are called and go forth. O my soul, gird thee with the mortification of all thy vices and passions, and take in thy hands the burning torches of holiness and charity; and thus watch ever for the coming of CHRIST: for He will come when thou art least thinking thereof: and that hour in which thou art most forgetful shall peradventure be the one which He has appointed. Bethink thee how it will be with thee if He come and find thee unready?
Another property of Death is, that it cometh but once. Once the struggle over -once Satan defeated-once God's angels triumphing over the soul set free from sin and peril-once Jordan's cold waters passed-once a safe shelter found in Abraham's bosom-once the golden gates open
-once the victory over the grave wonand then we shall never again know doubt, or fear, or pain. But also once to the impenitent and hardened : for him once Satan triumphs, God's holy angels mourn, and the golden gates close : for “where the tree falleth, there it must lie.”
O my soul, make ready while it is yet time; consider, mourn for, and confess thy sins now, so that when thine hour cometh, thou mayest be found ready. If the house of thine heart be not put in order, how wilt thou then long for one little hour of time, and yet long in vain. Send thy goods before thee to that unknown land, that thou be not all unfurnished in thy need. Store up thy treasure of time, wealth, affections, talents, whatsoever they be, there, where nothing can change or damage it, and where tenfold interest is ever laid to all thou hast, through the merits of Thy SAVIOUR and Master.
O Eternal LORD and God, in Whose Hands are the souls of the just, and under Whose loving care and protection the anguish of death cannot reach them; take from my soul all inordinate love of the things of this life; that I may be ready to rise up and meet Thy call whenever it please Thee to summon me. Teach me how to die
daily to all earthly delights and longings. Grant me ever to have my soul in my hand, and 0 do Thou receive her into Thy loving Hands, whence no power of the devil can ever wrest her. Help me so to benefit by the holy life and death of Thy most dear Son JESUS CHRIST, that in the hour of my death I may be received into His pierced Hands, and borne by them to the repose of His glory, Who with Thee and the HOLY Ghost liveth and reigneth One God, world without end. Amen.
Receive, O LORD, Thy servant into the place of Salvation, of which I have no hope save in Thy mercy. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant from all the dangers of hell, and from all tribulations. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Enoch and Elias * from the death common to all men. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Noah from the flood. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Abraham from Ur of the Chaldees. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant, as Thou didst deliver Job from all his sufferings. Amen.
Deliver, O LORD, the soul of Thy servant,