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Be merciful and spare us, O LORD: From the worm that never dieth, and the fire that shall never be extinguished,
O LORD, deliver us. From being deprived of the sight and enjoyment of Thee;
Through Thy Almighty power and infinite wisdom;
Through Thy incomprehensible Majesty and eternal Glory;
O LORD, deliver us. And grant, that we may present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Thee;
Hear us, O LORD.
PSALM LXXIII. Quam bonus Israel.
Truly God is loving unto Israel : even unto such as are of a clean heart.
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone : my treadings had well-nigh slipped.
And why? I was grieved at the wicked : I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
For they are in no peril of death : but are lusty and strong.
They come in no misfortune like other folk : neither are they plagued like other
And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride : and overwhelmed with cruelty.
Their eyes swell with fatness : and they do even what they list.
They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy : their talking is against the Most High.
For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven: and their tongue goeth through the world.
Therefore fall the people unto them : and thereout suck they no small advantage.
Tush, say they, how should God perceive it : is there knowledge in the Most High?
Lo, these are the ungodly, these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession : and I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, and washed mine hands in innocency.
All the day long have I been punished: and chastened every morning.
Yea, and I had almost said even as they : but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of Thy children,
Then thought I to understand this : but it was too hard for me.
Until I went into the sanctuary of GOD: then understood I the end of these men.
Namely, how Thou dost set them in slippery places : and castest them down, and destroyest them.
O how suddenly do they consume: perish and come to a fearful end.
Yea even like as a dream when one awaketh : so shalt Thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
Thus my heart was grieved: and it went even through my reins.
So foolish was I, and ignorant: even as it were a beast before Thee.
Nevertheless I am always by Thee: for Thou hast holden me by Thy Right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with Thy counsel: and after that receive me with glory.
Whom have I in Heaven but Thee : and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of Thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth : but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
For lo, they that forsake Thee shall perish: Thou hast destroyed all them that commit fornication against Thee.
But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the LORD God:
and to speak of all Thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
Glory be to the FATHER, &c.
SECOND SUNDAY IN ADVENT.
“ Then shall they see the Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and great glory."-S. Luke xxi. 27.
The Incarnation of our Blessed LORD has to do with us in time and in eternity. By it we are incorporated and knit together with CHRIST. By it we are made partakers of the Divine nature. It is, in short, the exhaustless treasury out of which all our wants are supplied. For by His Charity, Piety, Obedience, Humility, Poverty, Gentleness, Patience, and all other perfect virtues, our defects and imperfections are supplied. His Labours, Fastings, Watchings, Weariness, and everything that He suffered from the first moment of His Conception, until He gave up the ghost; all these, but especially the Anguish, Griefs, and Torments of His Passion; the Blood He poured
out; the Wounds He received ; the Death He endured in our stead : all these are our treasure, our riches, in which we repose our only hope, and which we offer to the FATHER in satisfaction of all our debts. But beyond all this, it is through the Incarnation that we have a mediating Judge. The GodMan, our Elder-Brother, Who has been tempted, and touched with our infirmities, will judge us at the Great Day. For the FATHER“ hath given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the son of Man."
Great cause have I, then, in common with all my Christian brethren, to honour the Incarnation. If I say now under the burden of my sin, Who shall deliver me? there is no other that can do it but this Almighty SAVIOUR by His all-saving grace. If I say, Who shall preserve me from the wrath to come ? it is the Son of Man, Who will come “ with power and great glory."
From the depth, then, of my misery,
I look up to the height of His infinite mercy. And, O my soul! if thou hast learnt to set a great value upon the Incarnation of thy LORD, thou wilt set no bounds to thy desire to be saved by Him, to be one with Him, and to dwell with Him. But I must strive to animate my whole heart with a living devotion to my