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PSALM LXXXVIII. 1, 9, 13. Domine Deus.
O LORD GOD of my salvation, I have cried day and night before Thee: O let my prayer enter into Thy Presence, incline Thine ear to my calling
My sight faileth for very trouble : LORD, I have called daily upon Thee, I have stretched forth my hands unto Thee.
Unto Thee have I cried, O LORD : and early shall my prayer come before Thee.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
SATURDAYS BETWEEN SEPTUA.
GESIMA AND LENT.
“ Love is the fulfilling of the Law.” Rom. xiii. 10.
AN EXERCISE OF CHARITY.
1. Towards God. O Charity, O my God, give me understanding, and I shall learn Thy Commandments; whether Thou speakest by epistle or by Thy creatures unto my heart. For whatsoever I learn to my salvation, Thou,
ever most present with me, teachest me with most inward love, O Health and Medicine of my soul! And how great is the love wherewith Thou teachest me, who am nothing before Thee! Dost Thou need my goods, that Thou shouldst with such free love present me with so many good things, and with Thy Charity ?
For Thou, O Eternal FATHER, so lovedst the world as to give Thine Only Begotten Son. So didst Thou love me, O most merciful JESU, Son of God, as to give Thy life unto death for me. And can Thy commands and Thy counsels be grievous unto me? I will love Thee, then, o God, my Strength! O how good is it for me to hold me fast by Thee !
What then shall be able to separate me from Thy Charity ? Can tribulation, or distress, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or persecution, or the sword ? For Thy love is strong as death; and many waters, so I trust, shall not be able to quench Thy Charity; that fire, which Thou camest to send on the earth, and which Thou willest earnestly to be enkindled. Amen.
2. Towards Man. O Charity, my God, I believe in Thee, and I hope in Thee, and with my whole
heart I love Thee, and my neighbour for Thy sake. For by this shall all men know that we are Thy disciples; if we have love one towards another.
This Thou saidst is a commandment like unto the greatest. For he that loveth his neighbour hath truly fulfilled the law; and he that loveth not abideth in death. If then we ought, above all things, constantly to have mutual charity among ourselves, I will from henceforth, even for ever, to cherish this virtue above all things, and to be Thy disciple; to judge no one; to sadden no one by word or deed; but to solace, to help, to be forward to honour all men, to love all men in Thee, and to do unto all men, even to the lowest, what I would do to Thee, O most loving JESU!
For Thou hast said, “ A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another as I have loved you."
Since therefore Thou didst deign to lay down Thy life for us, yea, for me, so ought I to desire not only to give up wealth or convenience, but, if necessary, to lay down my life also for my brethren.
But give me, O JESU! to love, not in word and in tongue, but in deed and in truth; that whatsoever I would that men should do unto me,
do unto them; or rather, unto Thee; for with what measure
I mete, Thou wilt measure to me again, and wilt give Thyself to me, Who art my Hope, my Refuge, and my Salvation. Amen.
Our FATHER, &c.
PSALM XCIV. 12.
Blessed is the man whom Thou chastenest, O LORD: and teachest him in Thy Law.
That Thou mayest give him patience in time of adversity
For the LORD will not fail His people : neither will He forsake His inheritance;
Until righteousness turn again unto judgment : all such as are true in heart shall follow it.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
“ We have not an High Priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities : but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin."-Heb. iv. 15.
One great and blessed truth contained in the mystery of the Incarnation is the sym
pathy of CHRIST: that as He is truly Man, so He truly and really partakes of our infirmities, and has a fellow-feeling of them with us. His being “tempted” includes all trials of soul and body, such as sorrow, pain, anguish, as well as what we commonly call temptation. His sympathy with penitents is perfect, because He is sinless : its perfection is the consequence of His perfect holiness. “Such an High Priest becomes us,” that is, was required by our spiritual necessities, “Who is holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.” Because we are sinners, we need One Who is without sin to sympathise with us. None hate sin but those who are holy, and that in the measure of their holiness; and therefore in the Person of our Blessed LORD there must exist the two great conditions of perfect sympathy: first, He has suffered all the sorrows and miseries which are consequent upon sin, and distinct from it; next, He has, because of His perfect holiness, a perfect hatred of evil. And these properties of His human nature unite themselves to the pity, omniscience, and love, which are the perfections of His Divine Nature.
Thus our LORD, by the experience of humiliation in our flesh, has learned to sympathise with us.
Not in any motion of evil in