But, О dearest Lord! do thou assist me, and guide iny uninstructed soul to find and possess thee.

Did we clearly see what we now believe, we would soon be induced to change our life, and fix our hearts on thee.

Did we but see the wicked in the flames of hell, or hear them cry out in the midst of their torments,

How frightened would we be to imitate their sinful deeds, which we know have plunged them into that abyss of misery!

How would we strive to overcome temptation, and to avoid the occasion of offending God!

Did we only behold the glories of the saints, or hear the enchanting hymns they continually sing,

How zealous would we be to copy their virtues, which we know have raised them to that summit of happiness!

How careful would we be in setting to profit every opportunity of doing good, and to make our salvation the first and chief object of our thoughts!

Yet is all this as sure as if we saw it; and it would produce the same effect if we seriously considered it.

Did we but firmly believe the truths we every day recite in the apostles creed,

What would we not do to obtain those joys! what would we not do to escape those sufferings!

Would half an hour be too long to pray? or once a week 100 often to fast?

Would the pardon of an injury be too strict a precept, or the repairing of our injustices too expensive a task?

Would we return again to our sinful course, or spend our time in idleness and folly?

If we reflected seriously on what we believe, we could not be insensible, as we now are, to our eternal interests.

Who among us doubts that ere long he will be laid in the dust? yet who is it that lives as if he expected to die?

Pity, O gracious Lord! the frailty of thy servants, and suffer not our blindness to lead us to destruction.

Supply our want of sight by a lively faith, and strengthen our faith by thy powerful grace.

May we always remember that it is no childish sport to gain or lose the kingdom of heaven:

May we aspire to it, and continually make use of the means thou hast provided for its attainment!

That daily we may become more enamoured of thee, and more wedded to thy holy service;

Till, at length, thou call us from this uncertain state, to the secure and never-fading joys of the world to come.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

Ant. What will it profit us. to gain the whole world and lose our souls? or what shall we give in exchange for our souls?

Our Father, &c.

LESSON 1.—Prov. 1, 10; Eccli. 27, 28.

The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom. If sinners entice thee, consent not to them. If they say, come with us, walk not with them, for their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood; and they themselves lie in wait for their own blood, and practice deceits against their own souls. They have bated instruction, and not received the fear of the Lord; therefore shall they eat the fruits of their own way, and be filled with their own counsels. The blessing of our Lord is upon the head of the just, but iniquity covereth the mouth of the wicked. The memory of the just is with praises, but the name of the wicked shall rot. He that walketh sincerely, walketh confidently; but he that perverteth his ways, shall be made manifest. He that diggeth a pit, shall fall into it; and he that layeth a snare for another, shall perish in it. A mischievous counsel shall be rolled back upon the author, and he shall not know whence it cometh to him. He that seeketh to revenge himself, shall find vengeance from the Lord, and he will surely keep his sins in remembrance. The expectation of the just is joy, but the hope of the wicked shall perish. That which the wicked feareth shall come upon him, and the desire of the just shall be given them.

R. O just and admirable providence! thou hast ordained that even in this life vice shall be punished and virtue rewarded, but the time of perfect order will be hereafter. *For he that sows in the flesh, shall reap corruption, and he that sows in the spirit, life everlasting.

V. Thý grace, O Lord! is the source of glory, and sin the cause of all misery: For he that sows in the flesh, &c.

Lesson 2.Eccli. 5, 21, 14. Follow not in thy strength the desires of thy heart; and say not, how mighty am I, and who shall bring me under for my deeds! Say not, I have sinned, and what harm hath befallen me; for the Most High is a patient rewarder. Be not without fear of thy sin, though forgiven, nor add one sin to another; say not, the mercy of the Lord is great, he will have pity on my many offences; for mercy and wrath come speedily from him, and his indignation keeps an eye upon sinners. Defer not to be converted to the Lord, nor put it off

« ElőzőTovább »