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Advent Sunday, both in the Collect, and Epistle, puts plainly before us the certainty, and swiftness of our Lord's return for judgment. The night, we are told, is far spent,—the night of waiting, of expectation, of looking for, and hastening unto the day of Christ,—the night is far spent. The daythe great, the awful, the final day-the day of terrors, the day of deliverance — is at hand !

That is one leading note in all our Church's services at this season of Advent-Christ is coming! And a second note is, Go ye forth to meet Him!- live prepared for death and judgment.

Yes, and who will say that this warning note is unneeded? Who that knows his own self, how careless for the most part he is about the things that belong unto his peace, how little thought he gives to getting ready against death and judgment, how his heart and its affections are not set on things above, but on things on the earth ; who, I ask, that knows himself, will say that this warning, this yearly repeated warning of Advent, is unnecessary ? Surely we all want greatly the help of such

Surely it is good, most good, that, gathering together here, we should hearken to the Advent Hymns, and Advent Services of our Church, that so we may be stirred up to greater watchfulness—that so the dull, slumbering, dead

a season.

heart within us, may be aroused out of its lethargy; and we, ere it be too late, like that sleeper of old, may awake and cry lustily unto our God! — may cast off the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, and take such steps to be in readiness for Christ that He may not take us by surprise that, when He shall appear— at whatever moment, however súddenlywe may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming !

And what are the right steps to be taken ? What shall I say is the course for us to pursue, who desire to escape confusion and terror of heart, and the dread word of denial, I know you not, in the day when the Lord shall be revealed ? How shall we be best prepared to stand unconfounded, not ashamed before Him at His coming ? The answer is — Abide in Him. Live


life at present by faith in Jesus Christ, rooted and built up in Him; and then, at the day of judgment, He will know you for His own. He will acknowledge you before the angels of God, and make you partakers of His everlasting kingdom !

This, surely, is the best advice that can be given to any one who is in earnest about the saving of his soul,— who really and heartily seeks to be approved of Jesus Christ at His coming.

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Abide in Him; that, when He shall appear, we may have confidence, and not be ashamed before Him at His coming!

Many there are—it is to be feared, a great many — who will be ashamed before the Lord at His coming. Many will then cry to the rocks to cover them, and to hide them from the face of Him that sitteth upon the throne, and from the wrath of the Lamb. Many a scoffer; many a careless liver; many who in their day of grace set no store by their Christian privileges; many who, calling themselves Christians, were at no pains to be Christians indeed ; who led a life of pleasure, and worldliness, and sin ; who never took up the cross to follow Christ-never had anything of the mind of Christ — never were changed by His religion into new menawakened from the death of sin unto the life of righteousness ;—these, and others that might be named, who have outwardly belonged to Christ, and been signed by His cross in baptism, will surely have no part or lot with Christ when He cometh. He will say unto them in that hour, I know you not; depart from me all ye workers of iniquity!

O that, knowing the terror of the Lord O that, acquainted already beforehand with the doom that awaits the ungodly—we might consult


while we can for our peace, and follow that path which shall lead us into our Saviour's joy, and not into His condemnation !

I have already said, the rule to go by is a short one,--- Abide in Him. If we master the full meaning of this, we shall have a sure guide to the inheritance of the saints in light.

First, then, to abide in Christ means that we have a lively faith in Christ, and in God's mercy shown to us in Him. It means, that we rest for acceptance upon His atoning sacrifice, and upon nothing else; that in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment, we make this our one plea to God for pardon—that, while we were yet sinners, His Son died for us.

Now it is easy to say this in words, but it is not so easy to feel it. When men are near their death they are apt to comfort themselves with a different consideration. They say, or they think it in their minds,—“I have never done any great wrong to any one: God will not be hard upon me.” Or, “I have done my duty to the best of my knowledge; I have paid every one his due; I leave this world without alarm; I have a good hope of being accepted with God.”

Now, brethren, so to say, or so to think, is sadly to deceive ourselves. The having done no great harm is a poor plea before a God Who requires the utmost use of the talents entrusted to His creatures. Neither can we have any claim upon God for doing our duty; because, when we have done all we are but unprofitable servants. And who has done all ? Who must not feel that he has left undone many things which he ought to have done, and done many things which he ought not to have done; and that, if God were extreme to mark all our shortcomings, we could, none of us, endure His judgment ! Therefore I said, that no man can hope to stand in the judgment on the ground of his own performances, or on the ground of his harmlessness. The only safe ground for our soul in that critical time, is upon the rock of Christ's atonement,- Abide in Him, and on Him ; for the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth in Him shall not be ashamed!

Again : to abide in Christ means, we have seen, that we have a firm hold on Him as our Saviour—that through whatever trial of mind, whatever doubt, whatever perplexities, we keep Him before us as the Lamb of God slain for our sins— as the only Name under heaven given to man, in Whom, and through Whom, we may obtain salvation.

But this is not all. To abide in Christ means, besides our trusting in Him, and in Him alone, to save us, that we follow Christ, — that His words,

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