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warning of my text to bring you to a better mind? Is there nothing in these fearful words, this night thy soul shall be required of thee, is there nothing in them to move your hardened conscience? Is there nothing in the thought that a sudden death may any day be yours, to lead you to forsake your wicked ways, and to seek the forgiveness of your offended God before it is too late to hope for it? If he who covetously seeks for this world's goods shall hardly enter heaven, if he who thoughtlessly gives himself up to worldly pleasures shall not be partaker of his Saviour's joy, what must become of you ? It is not for the ministers of the Gospel to hide the truth: it has been declared by Him who cannot lie, the soul that sinneth, it shall die, shall suffer everlasting death in the punishments, pains, and misery of that fire which never shall be quenched this is the bitter fruit of his own evil ways which every unrepentant sinner shall most surely reap.

My brethren, it is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God: death is a fearful visitor, even when we have long

notice of its coming, but how much more fearful is the thought of its falling upon us suddenly and unlooked for! It may be God's pleasure to send it in this manner upon you or me; this very night our souls may be required of us. Let us consider whether we are in a fit state to obey the summons in case we should be called: whether we have so repented of our sins that we may hope, for Christ's sake, to be forgiven and whether we are so ordering the thoughts of our hearts and the actions of our lives that we may hope for Christ's sake to be accepted. And since we know neither the day nor the hour in which it shall please our Lord to summon us before Him, let us the more earnestly endeavour, every day that He bestows upon us, to do His blessed will in all things: to receive the possessions of this world, not covetously, but with desire to make them of use and benefit to others: to partake of its pleasures with moderation, as beings who look forward to the pure and lasting joys of a better life to come: above all things, keeping clear from sin repenting truly of every wrong

that we have ever done, and praying God to forgive us those things of which our conscience is afraid. Thus living in the love and fear of God, we may look forward to our death with hope and cheerfulness instead of dread: and whether it shall overtake us suddenly and unawares, or whether due notice shall be given us of its coming, we shall be able to give up our souls in peace into the hands of our Maker, in the sure and certain prospect of receiving, in His heavenly kingdom, the fulfilment of those blessed promises which He has made to us through His Son, our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. Amen.


LUKE xxii. 61, 62.

And the Lord turned and looked upon Peter; and Peter remembered the word of the Lord, how He had said unto him, Before the cock crow, thou shalt deny me thrice. And Peter went out and wept bitterly.

THE account which is given us in the gospel, of the manner in which the apostle St. Peter fell in the time of trial, is one of the most moving and the most instructing that we can read. It is hardly possible to think of it without shedding a tear for the weakness and frailty of man. St. Peter, as you know, was one of our Blessed Saviour's chosen disciples. He appears to have been the one of them all who had most boldness and courage,

and therefore the least likely to have behaved in the manner in which he did behave. You remember, that upon one occasion, when the disciples were together in a ship, and Jesus was seen walking towards them upon the water, as if it had been dry land, they were all frightened, thinking they had seen a spirit: but St. Peter was more stout-hearted than the rest, and had boldness enough to ask our Saviour to permit him to walk on the water also, which Jesus suffered him to do.

Upon another occasion, when, after having been trying all night to no purpose, to catch fish in his nets (being a fisherman by trade), Jesus came and bade him throw in his nets again. St. Peter, though he had been toiling all night in vain, and had given up in despair, yet had such faith in Christ and was so obedient to Him, that he answered, Master, we have laboured all night and caught nothing; nevertheless, at Thy word, I will let down my nets: and he was rewarded for so doing, for immediately his nets inclosed a great multitude of fishes.


Again, upon the night in which our

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