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A FEW DEVOTIONAL Eggs
fihbmt. Qibristmas, anti uther fimsons,
A FEW DEVOTIONAL HELPS
Qtlfimt, (Ehristmas, anti other éeasons, ufltil §Lmt._
“ Now it is high time to awake out of sleep.” —Rom. xiii. 11.
MANY things callus to enter upon the season of Advent, with the earnest desire that it may be sanctified to us. One call is that of our soul’s necessity; another is that of gratitude to GOD our SAVIOUR; a third is that of obedience to the practice of the Church.
But that which especially stirs us up, is the Incarnation of our LORD J ESUS CHRIST, “ GOD manifest in the flesh,” the source of all those blessings which we have already received, as well as of those we yet hope for.
Each Christmas, we trust, that our dear
.SAVIOUR will be more fully born anew in
our souls, by the increase of His grace, and by our conformity to His Life and Spirit. But in order to this we need a season of preparation. The business of the world, or the inattention of our own hearts to spiritual things, produces a sleep and forgetfulness. And if we are to he raised from this torpor, if we are to receive strength, so as to be free from sin, and to overcome our enemies, we must go to the source of grace.
This source or fountain is open to us at all times, but especially at those seasons when we recall the great mysteries of our Redemption.
In this, for instance, of Advent, which represents to us our Blessed Redeemer’s coming to us, as He entered the Virgin’s Womb, to bestow on us all the glorious effects of His Incarnation and Birth; He is at hand to pour upon us the riches of His grace, and this grace includes all that is necessar for our salvation and perfection.
It is ple ged to us, moreover, as the Members of His Body. That grace which heals all wounds, and is the cure of all spiritual diseases; that grace which reforms and changes our hearts ; that grace which stamps upon our souls the image of GOD in CHRIST, and fills us with His Divine SPIBIT; that grace by which we are not only called, but made the sons of GOD, and joint-heirs with CHRIST; that grace is the blessing which is now offered to us all.
But to obtain such riches our hearts must be rightly disposed. The greater our faith and humility, the more abundant will be our supplies. Awake, then, my soul, at the call of thy GOD and SAVIOUR. Draw nigh to Him, and He will draw nigh to thee. Invite Him to enter in and dwell with thee, that He may make Himself Master of thy will, thy afl'ections, and all thy powers.
O happy is he in whom this indwelling of GOD is established.
O LORD JESUs, let me be one of these happy ones. Come now, and take possession of that which is Thine own.
O Thou, Who art rich in mercy, and Who lovedst me when I was dead in sins, quicken me by Thy SPIRIT, and raise me up to that participation of Thy Divine Nature, whereby I shall see Thee now by faith, and hereafter face to face 1
But, LORD, who am I that I should thus call upon Thee to come to me? Have I not done this before, and then basely turned away from Thee? O how many Advents have I trifled with—how many have come to me in vain! But spare me yet awhile. I tremble at my past. sloth and indifference. But I purpose, by Thy gracious help, to be