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PSALM CXIX. Et veniat super me. Let Thy loving mercy come also unto me, O LORD : even Thy salvation, according unto Thy word.

So shall I make answer unto my blasphemers : for my trust is in Thy word.

O take not the word of Thy truth utterly out of my mouth : for my hope is in Thy judgments.

So shall I alway keep Thy law : yea, for ever and ever.

And I will walk at liberty : for I seek Thy commandments.

I will speak of Thy testimonies also, even before kings : and will not be ashamed.

And my delight shall be in Thy commandments : which I have loved.

My hands also will I lift up unto Thy commandments, which I have loved : and my study shall be in Thy statutes.

Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.

THIRD SUNDAY IN ADVENT.

“ Ye shall draw water out of the wells of salvation.”—Isa. xii. 3.

The wells of salvation contain four fountains of grace, saith S. Bernard ; and it was to these fountains, opened for the healing of the nations, that S. John Baptist specially summoned all men, when he stood beside the river Jordan, and called aloud, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” There stood the Saint of the desert in awful semblance-himself despising the world and all its treasures—calling upon his fellow men in like wise to despise all things save their salvation ; bidding them repent and seek first the kingdom of God: and many who heard, yea, great multitudes, flocked to him, earnestly desiring to be taught in the way of repentance; and confessing their sins, were baptized by the holy Baptist. But are those sacred fountains sealed now? Is there no voice crying unto us also, “Repent ye, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand ?" Yes, surely. Every Priest in CHRIST's holy Catholic Church is entrusted with the same message, and in like

manner is called of God specially to preach repentance and the remission of sins to His people; to summon them to draw water out of the wells of salvation, and live for ever.

My soul, hast thou diligently sought to gain these living waters, so lovingly offered thee by thy SAVIOUR ? Search thyself, and see how thou hast profited by those gifts. Of those wells are the Sacraments : hast thou diligently used them, and treasured up God's grace imparted therein ? Another " well of salvation” is filled with the cleansing mercy of CHRIST—His tears and Blood. “ He loved us, and washed us from our sins in His own Blood ?” Hast thou carried all thy sins and infirmities to that well of purification ? Another well is filled even to overflowing with peace and consolation for all our trials and tribulations : “ Call upon Me in the day of trouble, and I will hear thee;" “ If any man thirst, let him come unto Me and drink.” He that thirsteth for true consolations even in this world, let him come to Me, and I will satisfy him. He that once tasteth the water of My love, will for ever disdain all the delights of the world. “ Whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him, shall never thirst," even in this world; and abundantly satisfied will he be when he shall enter into the kingdom of the blessed, for the water of My grace shall raise him from earth to heaven. It will become in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life. The peace which God gives to the souls that love Him, is not the peace that the world gives through sensual pleasures, which leave them unrested and unfilled save with bitterness ; God's peace exceeds all earthly peace, it “surpasseth all understanding." Blessed are they who long for this holy fountain ! blessed are they who hunger and thirst after righteousness!

Another well of salvation is that of fervent devotion. The devout soul, ever meditating upon CHRIST and His Coming, will be like a tree planted by the waterside. Such souls shall indeed draw forth living waters with great joy and rest of heart; to them John Baptist's cry, ever repeated by the Priests of God, “ The kingdom of heaven is at hand,” will cause no terror and alarm ; it will but make them more earnestly trim their lamps, and gird up their loins, that they may be found ready.

TO HOLY SPIRIT, strengthen our feeble hearts, to the end that we may attentively hear, and diligently follow the trumpet sounded by Thy appointed watchmen, and 80 deny our fleshly lusts, warring against sin and the devil, and advancing in holy

living and in Thy grace, that whensoever the kingdom of heaven cometh, 'we may have our portion therein, with Thee; to Whom with the FATHER and the Son be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.

O Eternal FATHER, raise up in Thy Church many true followers of Thy holy servant John Baptist; and fill the hearts of all Thy Priests with a steadfast purpose to prepare Thee a perfect people, to preach Thy law with zeal and fervour, and to confirm by their lives that which they teach with their lips; and so to gather a rich harvest of many souls into life eternal, there to dwell with Thee, and the Son, and the HOLY SPIRIT. Amen.

LORD, have mercy.
CHRIST, have mercy.
LORD, have mercy.
For Thy whole Church, LORD, hear us.
For all Bishops and Prelates therein;
For all Priests and Deacons therein;

That they may serve and please Thee truly;

That they may sound the trumpet of salvation diligently, and rouse the people to watchfulness;

That they may be blessed with the spirit of patience and mortification;

Hear us, O LORD.

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