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every one from him that swelleth against him, and will set him at rest.
The words of the LORD are pure words : even as the silver, which from the earth is tried, and purified seven times in the fire.
Thou shalt keep them, O LORD : Thou shalt preserve him from this generation for ever.
The ungodly walk on every side : when they are exalted the children of men are put to rebuke.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
S. JOHN'S DAY.
Let us commemorate the blessed John, who was lying on JESUS' breast at supper.
This is the disciple which testifieth of these things, and wrote these things; and we know that his testimony is true.
This is My disciple. If I will that he tarry until I come, what is that to thee? I say unto you, that some of them that stand here shall not see death, until the Son of Man come in His kingdom.
These are Mine, whom I have chosen, upon them will I pour the SPIRIT of God.
Greatly is blessed John to be had in honour; for he leant on JESUS' bosom at the Last Supper, and to him were made known the secrets of heaven.
“ There was leaning on Jesus' bosom one of His disciples, whom Jesus loved.”
What man more blessed than this? Who was ever more favoured than he ? It was a sweet memory to S. John, in his old and solitary age, to remember that night of awe, in which he lay upon the bosom of his LORD. What was all that he had ever suffered, long years of toil and weariness, with contradiction and persecution, bondage, and a martyrdom of will, to the consciousness of his Master's love? And yet it was doubtless for some deeper reason that the Evangelist wrote these words; it was not to publish abroad his own peculiar favours; nor to prefer himself to others in his Master's Presence. He had long since unlearned to seek the right hand or the left in His kingdom; and he sought herein rather to reveal the deep and Divine mysteries of love, which lie hid in the Incarnation of the Eternal Word. And we are each called to share S. John's blessing, for
asmuch as to each of us the gracious words are spoken, “ Come unto Me, and I will give you rest."
Those, who by God's grace have been kept pure from their Baptism, rest upon His bosom, in calm, undoubting trust and confidence; conscious of the love their LORD bears them, and which they return to Him. Of such S. John is a special type, in his love, purity, and perseverance. The restored penitent too, how tenderly and pitifully does the LORD teach such to know the calm and rest of His Presence! And those whose afflictions are sanctified, learn to carry their griefs, and lay them on the bosom of the Man of Sorrows, and there find an unearthly rest ! He bears both the mourner and his burden, and in the depths of His presence shows him the interpretation of his affliction. In the heart of His Divine sorrow all stands revealed. We laid on Him the necessity of sorrow, and He changed our penalty into our purification. He became the Chief among the sons of affliction, that He might found an order of mourners, to be His own especial followers and friends. It is by sorrow that they are enrolled within the company of His truest servants, and in the nearest approaches to Himself. And the signs of this approach
are, patience, rest, and consent in all our crosses, by a will conformed to His.
Above all, on this side Heaven, what so full a leaning on His bosom, as Communion with Him in the Sacrament of His Body and Blood“? All His mystical Body in heaven and earth; all devout and holy souls, who have been united to Him in habitual fellowship of Sacramental Communion; they too are numbered with the disciples whom Jesus loved.
To all such, their Master's bosom is a sure resting-place. In the midst of all sorrows, trials, and temptations, they are at peace; in all the unrest of this tumultuous and weary world, they rest on Him. The one great gift which all alike enjoy, is a sense of repose, a placid calm of heart, a stay upon which they lean with all the weight of their whole spiritual life.“ Thou shalt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusteth in Thee." In such peace then, grant us, O LORD, to wait all the days of our appointed time, until our change come. Grant us to stand and wait, bearing our cross, that we may at length enter into Thy rest. Grant that our work and labour may be so fulfilled, that this our hope may become reality; and passing away from the weariness of this life, we may lean not on Abraham's
bosom, but on Thine, O Word made Flesh, our SAVIOUR, Very Man, and Very God. And may we there dwell, for ever and for ever in that blessed kingdom, whereof Thou, and Thou only, art the Life and Light, Who, with the FATHER and the HOLY GHost, liveth and reigneth one God, world without end. Amen.
O Blessed SAVIOUR, LORD JESUS, behold, my soul panteth after. Thee, even as the hart thirsteth after the water-brooks. Grant me grace to drink of those fountains which Thy Love hath opened for Thy servants' comfort and relief. Grant that my soul may be refreshed with the banquet of Thy sweetness, and rested upon the bosom of Thy Love. Grant me to despise all earthly pleasures and consolation, that I may be comforted by Thee, my only Good, my God and SAVIOUR, even as those Thy chosen ones who now sit at Thy heavenly Table. And wherein I have set earthly treasures and affections before Thee, O my LORD and Love, grant me heartily to renounce them all, that henceforth all my joy, my treasure and rest, may be in Thee. May I desire nothing but Thee, and, patiently tarrying until Thou dost come, may I follow Thee in life and in death, and enter into Thy glory for ever. Amen.
Our FATHER, &c.