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Innocents' Day.

HOLY CHILDHOOD. We look especially to the children mentioned in the Gospels, to learn what is said of them as they came near to the person of our blessed Lord ; and now we find this tircumstance (and blessed be God for it), that full as is every page of the Gospel with the wickedness of men, yet no bad word and no wicked deed is recorded of any child against Christ. And, moreover, when men were forward to follow Him, and made professions of zeal in serving Him, He put them back with awful warnings, speaking to them of “ taking up the cross," and of first counting the cost; but not so with children,- He drew them unto Him with unrestrained affection, and bowels of compassion yearning over them: we behold Him taking them up in His arms, and with His hands upon them. And they alone of all mankind returned His affectionate care without alloy; for we find them in the temple celebrating His praise, when the priests and scribes were angry with them, as they heard them crying, “ Hosannah to the Son of David !” The children, indeed, understood not what was the meaning of those glorious words which they sung ; but to our Lord it was the most acceptable offering of praise that He received ; for He defended them, and said, “ Have ye never read, Out of the mouth of babes and sucklings Thou hast perfected praise ?" This was the praise which best spoke the nature of His kingdom ; these were the songs that were most suitable to His temple; these ho

sannahs of the children were not followed the next day with cries of "crucify Him," as the hogannahs of the multitude were.

And as we find holy childhood in God's temple on earth, and children in the temple singing His praise ; so also in His temple in heaven they sing the new song before the throne.-From Plain Sermons.

The twenty-first !-St. Thomas' feast !
Reluctant in the twilight East

Gray morning dawns with misty ray.
How gloomy would this day appear,
(The shortest day of all the year,)
Did not our holy Church most dear

Appoint it for a holyday!
St. Thomas' day is set apart
That we may pray with earnest heart

Against the snare in which he trod;
And so, when God our faith would try,
May trust, nor ask the reason why,
But with that blest Apostle cry,

My Lord, my Saviour, and my God !"
Now to the world in this our day
Christ Jesus saith, “ My Church obey;

Her doctrines and her rites receive."
And shall we doubt His Church is right?
O never !-in her glorious light
We'll “walk by faith, and not by sight,"

Blest if we “ see not, yet believe."


Let all the earth her King adore,

From farthest pole to pole,

Where'er the sun doth roll;
Sent forth from the eternal sbore

To visit us forlorn,
He comes, the Virgin-born.

To save from death those He hath made,

God, who did all create,

Puts on a slave's estate ;
Born ere the pillar'd world was laid,

He comes a mortal child,

To earth and time exiled. Onr God on a straw pallet lies,

And infant food is given

To Him, the food of heaven: He lies full low, that we may rise,

And the world-wielding hands

Are bound by swaddling bands. He asks return for such vast love,

And, though the Judge of all,

Doth to His cradle call.
Then be all praise to Him above,

To Father and to Son,
And Spirit, ever One.

But yesterday we praised the Lord

For His mysterious birth ;
And yet He came

to bring a sword And fire upon the earth.' Last night to joy was dedicate,

With flowers and holly wreath ;
This morn our souls commemorate

A martyr's bloody death.
Hail, blessed sword with double edge,

That wins our way to heaven!
And hail, ye martyr-fires ! the pledge

Of crowns immortal given.
The Christian will not shrink from pain,

Who suffers for his Lord;
For earthly loss is heavenly gain ;

His sceptre is the sword,
See the first martyr stoned to death,

The blessed, holy Stephen; “Forgive them, Lord !” his latest breath,-

His latest look to heaven.

He, dying, raised one blood-stained hand

From off the impurpled sod,
And cried, " I see Christ Jesus stand

At the right hand of God !"
And who would wish a happier end?

Pray ours may be the same,
If ere it please the Lord to send

On us His fire and flame !
Afflictions borne with upward eye,

And heart of stedfast faith,
Will make us too like martyrs die,

And win the martyr's wreath!

Calendar for December.
The festivals of this month are,-

St. Thomas's on the 21st.
Christmas-day the 25th.
St. Stephen's the 26th.
St. John the Evangelist's the 27th.
The Holy Innocents' the 28th.

Robson, Levey, and Franklyn, Great New Street, Fetter Lane.







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