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said, “ Mine hour is not yet come;
so He said to St. Peter, in the passage just cited, “Whither I go thou canst not follow Me now, but thou shalt follow Me afterwards.” And as at His first feast, He had seemed to turn from His Mother's prayer, while He granted it, because of the time, so to His Apostles He foretold, at His second feast, what the power of their prayers
should be hereafter, by way of cheering them on His departure. “ Ye now therefore have sorrow, but I will see you again, and your heart shall rejoice, and your joy no man taketh from you. In that day ye shall ask Me nothing. Verily, verily, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in My Name, He will give it you'.” And again, “Ye are My friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. Henceforth I call you not servants, for the servant knoweth not what his lord doeth ; but I have called you friends, for all things that I have heard of My Father, I have made known unto you’.” In the gifts then promised to the Apostles after the Resurrection, we may learn the present influence and power of the Mother of God.
Such seems to be the connexion between the feast with which our Lord began, and that with which He ended His ministry. Nay, may we not add without violence, that in the former feast He had in mind and intended to foreshadow the latter? for what was that first miracle by which He manifested His glory in the former, but the strange and awful change of the element of water into wine ? and what did He in the latter, but change the Paschal Supper and the typical lamb into 1 John xvi. 22, 23.
John xv. 14, 15.
the sacrament of His atoning sacrifice, and the creatures of bread and wine into the verities of His most precious Body and Blood ? He began His ministry with a miracle; He ended it with a greater.
These are thoughts wherewith to enter upon, that solemn season of the year, when for a time we separate from each other, as far as may be, and from the other blessings which God has given us. Pass a few days, and, like Abraham, we shall have been called to quit things visible and temporal for the contemplation and the hope of God's future presence. Come the fourth day from this, and, like Moses, we shall have gone up into the Mount, to remain there forty days and forty nights in abstinence and prayer. We shall be called, as it were, out of sight; for though our worldly duties will remain and must be done, and our bodily presence is in the world as it was, yet for a season we must be, more or less, cut off from the intercourse, the fellowship, the enjoyment of each other, and be thrown upon the thought of ourselves and of our God. Earth must fade away from our eyes, and we must anticipate that great and solemn truth, which we shall not fully understand until we stand before God in judgment, that to us there are but two beings in the whole world, God and ourselves. The sympathy of others, the pleasant voice, the glad eye, the smiling countenance, the thrilling heart, which at present are our very life, all will be away from us, when Christ comes in judgment. Every one will have to think of himself. Every eye shall see Him; every heart will be full of Him. He will speak to every one; and every one will be rendering to Him his own
account. By self-restraint, by abstinence, by prayer, by meditation, by recollection, by penance, we now anticipate in our measure that dreadful season. By thinking of it beforehand, we hope to mitigate its terrors when it comes. By humbling ourselves now, we hope to escape humiliation then. By owning our faults now, we hope to avert the disclosures of that day. By judging ourselves now, we hope to be spared that judgment which mercy tempers not. We prepare now to meet our God; we retire, as it were, to our sick room, and put our house in order. We “ remember oui Creator in the days of our youth” and strength," while the evil days come not, nor the years draw nigh, in which is no pleasure ;" ere “the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men bow themselves, and the doors are shut in the streets, and the daughters of music are brought low, and desire fails : or ever the silver cord be loosed, or the golden bowl be broken, or the pitcher be broken at the fountain, or the wheel broken at the cistern!.” We leave the goods of earth before they leave us.
Let us not shrink from this necessary work; let us not suffer indolence or carnal habits to get the better of us. Let us not yield to disgust or impatience; let us not fear as we enter into the cloud. Let us recollect that it is his cloud that overshadows us.
It is no earthly sorrow or pain, such as worketh death; but it is a bright cloud of godly sorrow, “working repentance to salvation not to be repented of .” It is the hand of God which is upon us; “let us humble ourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that He may exalt 1 Eccles. xii. 1. 3, 4. 6.
2 2 Cor. vii. 10.
us in due time!.” “Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. He shall defend thee under His wings, and thou shalt be safe under His feathers, His faithfulness and truth shall be thy shield and buckler. Thou shalt not be afraid for any terror by night, nor for the arrow that flieth by day; a thousand shall fall beside thee, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.
For He shall give His angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways*!'
11 Poto v. 6.
2 Ps. sci. 1. 4-7.11
Dangers to the Penitent.
“O tarry thou the Lord's leisure; be strong, and He shall comfort this
heari; and put thou thy trust in the Lord.”--Ps. xxvii. 16.
No state is more dreary than that of the repentant sin
ner, when first he understands where he is, and begins to turn his thoughts towards his Great Master whom he has offended. Of course it is tempered with comfort and hope, as are all acts of duty; and on the retrospect, far from being distressing to dwell upon, it will be even pleasant. But at the time it is a most dreary state. A man finds that he has a great work to do, and does not know how to do it, or even what it is, and his impatience and restlessness are as great as his conscious ignorance; indeed, he is restless because he is ignorant. There is great danger of his taking wrong steps, inasmuch as he is anxious to move, and does not know whither. Let me now make some remarks upon certain faults into which he is likely to fall.
But, observe, I am supposing a really sincere and