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That they may be taught abundantly of Thee what things they ought to speak;'
Hear us, O LORD. That they may call many sinners to repentance;
Hear us, 0 LORD. And to the people, O LORD, give an obedient spirit, and loving, teachable hearts.
O Blessed SAVIOUR, Who didst send Thy servant to prepare Thy way before Thee, and Who wilt that we likewise prepare our hearts to receive Thee; grant that my life may ever consist in doing Thy will; keep Thou my going out and coming in, and enable me, whatsoever I do, to do all in conformity to Thy will, now and for ever. Amen.
O LORD our God, Great, Eternal, wonderful in glory, Who keepest Thy covenant and promise with those that love Thee from their heart; Who art the Life of all, the Help of those that flee unto Thee, the Hope of those that cry unto Thee. Cleanse us from all our sins, secret and open, and from every thought that is displeasing in Thy sight: cleanse our bodies and souls, our hearts and consciences; so that with pure hearts and souls, with perfect love and calm hope, we may wait Thy Second Coming and be accepted of Thee in the last day;
Who livest and reignest now and ever. Amen.
Our FATHER, &c.
Creator of the starry frame!
Eternal Light of all who live! JESU, Redeemer of mankind !
An ear to Thy poor suppliants give.
Lost in the depth of Satan's snare,
By taking of these ills a share.
Causing Thine own pure Blood to flow,
And to the Cross a victim go.
If we but chance Thy Name to sound,
In bending low with awe profound.
When friends shall fail, and foes combine,
To guard us with Thy arm Divine.
All praise and power and glory be ;
PSALM CXIX. Deficit anima mea.
My soul hath longed for Thy salvation : and I have a good hope because of Thy word.
Mine eyes long sore for Thy word : saying, O when wilt Thou comfort me?
For I am become like a bottle in the smoke : yet do I not forget Thy statutes.
How many are the days of Thy servant: when wilt Thou be avenged of them that . persecute me?
The proud have digged pits for me : which are not after Thy law.
All Thy commandments are true : they persecute me falsely; O be Thou my help.
They had almost made an end of me upon earth : but I forsook not Thy commandments.
O quicken me after Thy loving-kindness : and so shall I keep the testimonies of Thy mouth.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
FOURTH SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
“At midnight there was a cry made, Behold, the Bridegroom cometh, go ye forth to meet Him!"
In the Church there are both careless and holy members, and both agree to expect the Coming of CHRIST our LORD to judge them, and to celebrate the marriage of His Spouse, the Church triumphant. All agree as to the necessity of making ready to meet Him, but in how different a manner! The careless have indeed lamps, but no vessels of oil wherewith to fill them; that is, they have a form of belief which they call faith, but no charity to feed and kindle it. They have a cold, dull, exterior light, but none of the inward anointing of the SPIRIT, bringing forth fervent affections. They profess an outward attention to religion, but the good they do is weighed and measured by what is absolutely necessary, not by how much they can offer of time, means, talents, and affections to God.' Their chief hopes and thoughts are for this life ; and so when death comes, they are but ill prepared to go forth and meet the Bridegroom. Is it not folly indeed to expect with so little prepa
ration the Coming of a Judge so rigorous, and a Bridegroom so jealous ? O Sovereign Judge, and Most Gracious Bridegroom of my soul, deliver me, I beseech Thee, from this foolishness, and suffer me not to content myself with a careless, unloving preparation, but strengthen me with grace ever to watch and pray, and so make ready to go forth and meet Thee with joy.
Those who live in constant expectation of the Bridegroom's Coming, and who desire to be found ready, keep their lamps always trimmed with living faith and active charity; daily seeking to kindle and illumine their souls at the Fountain of All Light; and so to watch, that the call to meet the Bridegroom may not take them unawares. All “slumber and sleep,”-some by sickness and age, and all by the sleep of death. But the watchful look upon their natural rest night by night as a memorial of death; and so even therein they keep up a manner of watching for their LORD.
O Sovereign Judge, deliver me of Thy great mercy from the sleep of sin; suffer not my soul to slumber, lest I fall into a deadly sleep. Grant me not to despise or neglect slight sins, lest I fall unawares into those that are great. Awake, O my soul, from thy sleep, and cry to JESUS CHRIST, that He may raise thee up, and quicken