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turn God's house to a desolation, and to make fast its porches against our endeavours to return. Well were it if this merely external hinderance were all he had raised between us and the daily homage of the Church. Perhaps at no time was the moral disposition of man so alienated from daily public prayer. We have not only lost this great axiom of the Church, but the very intuition to perceive it. It has become a matter of inquiry, and doubt, and argument. It is faintly affirmed, and vehemently gainsayed. Be it then ever remembered that the daily service of the Apostolic Church was grafted on the daily service of the Jewish. The whole body of the first Christians assumed it as a law in God's Church for ever. Men have now abandoned it as a body; and its hold, even over individual minds, is comparatively faint. The best are unconscious how awful a silence there is between God and a Church which does Him homage only one day in seven and in this silence must grow up a still more awful strangeness; and the Church have fewer tokens of the Divine presence, and fainter reflections of His imparted sanctity.
Now most certain it is, that the habits of life are not so absolute, but that a little firmness would soon throw them again into a better order. Let us only resolve to "seek first the kingdom of God;" to take the cycle and the seasons of the Church
as our governing rule, and to make our lives bend to its appointments. When once the Church has restored the solemn days of fast and festival, and the stated hours of daily prayer, there will be an order marked out for all men of good will to follow. And, at the last, we shall once more see this fretful, busy world checked, and for a while cast out, by the presence of the world unseen. Its burden will be sensibly lessened; and the hearts of men will have some shelter, and rest to turn to, in the dry and glaring turmoil of life.
Then among us, as of old, men may go up in secret to the house of prayer, to make their sinofferings, and their peace-offerings, and their offerings of thanks. No sun should then go down on sins unconfessed, or blessings unacknowledged; and if any be truly hindered, still in their own home, or by the way-side, or in crowded marts, or in busy cities, or in the fields, when the bell is heard afar off, or the known hour of prayer is come, they may say with us the confession and the Lord's prayer; and though far from us on earth, may meet us in the court of heaven.
By the sacrament of holy baptism we were both buried and raised with Christ; both in power and in symbol we were made partakers "of a death unto sin, and a new birth unto righteousness." Our present life, therefore, is as the life of our Lord after His resurrection, spiritual and immortal. We have no more to do with the world than if we were dead. We are even, as it were, ascended with Him. St. Paul tells the Ephesians that God hath "raised us up together" with Him, "and made us sit in heavenly places;" and the Philippians, that "our conversation is in heaven;" and here he says, "seek those things which are above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God;" for, as to all this world and the works that are therein, " ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God."
Now consider what it is St. Paul says he
tells us that our life is hid; that there is a depth and
a mystery about our life.
Now this signifies ;First, That the origin or source of our spiritual life is hidden. We derive it from Christ, and He is hid in the unseen world, in the glory of God; and yet our life is hardly so much any thing received from Christ, as a oneness with Christ. He is our life. We are so made partakers of Him, that He said, "Because I live, ye shall live also." As St. Paul says, "I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me." This is no mere parable or figure. By our birth into this world the first Adam lived in us. We have his nature, and the stamp of his disobedience. His fallen manhood was in us. By our second birth in holy baptism we are made partakers of the second Adam, and of His raised and glorified manhood: all His mystical body is united to Him, so as with their Head to make but one person. All members of His body are so one with Him that they live in Him, and He in them. There is one life, filling and quickening all; and that one life has its origin and source in the unseen world from Christ, who is "hid in God."
In the next place, St. Paul's words mean that the habitual course and tenour of our spiritual life is hidden and secret from the world. This may seem, at first sight, contrary to our Lord's com
mand, "Let your light so shine before men that they may see your good works;" and to all the multitude of precepts respecting the power of a holy example. But it is not so. The holiness of the saints cannot It breaks out by its own strength,
fail to be seen. and shines around them. If they would, they could not hide it. Even their shrinking from the gaze of the world turns into a bright grace of lowliness, and betrays itself by the act of concealment. But St. Paul is not speaking of this outward manifestation of the spiritual life; but of its powers, and energies, and habitual inward actings. There is a world of life between a Christian and Christ his unseen Lord, which the eye of man never beholds. The whole life of interior repentance, the lonely and ever-repeated confessions of his sins, the indignant scrutiny of his own hidden thoughts, the tears which are laid up in the vial of God, and the sighs which are noted in His book; all the energies of faith, and the breathings of prayer, and the groanings which cannot be uttered, and the awful converse of the heart with God, and the struggles of the will, and the kindlings of hope and love, and all the host of living thoughts which pass to and fro between the spirit of a redeemed man and the Lord of his redemption ;-all these, I say, make up a hidden life which the world can neither see nor scan. And this has been ever going on, more or less, in each