Saints' Days, Fasts, and Festivals.
Since we gave up at the Reformation the superstitious practice of praying to the saints, Saints' Days have sunk -- and, indeed, sunk too much -- into neglect. We forget too often still, that though praying to any saint or angel, or other created being, is contrary both to reason and Scripture, yet it is according to reason and to Scripture to commemorate them. That is, to remember them, to study their characters, and to thank God for them, -- both for the virtues He bestowed on them, and the example which He has given us in them.

MS. Sermon.

The Epiphany,
Manifestation of Christ to the Gentiles.

On this day the Lord Jesus was first shown to the Gentiles. The word Epiphany means "showing." The Wise Men were worshippers of the true God, though in a dim confused way; and they had learnt enough of what true faith, true greatness was, not to be staggered and fall into unbelief when they saw the King of the Jews laid, not in a palace, but in a manger, tended by a poor village maiden. And therefore God bestowed on them the great honour that they first of all -- Gentiles -- should see the glory and the love of God in the face of Jesus Christ. God grant that they may not rise up against us in the Day of Judgment and condemn us! They had but a small spark, a dim ray, of the Light which lighteth every man who cometh into the world; but they were more faithful to that little than many of us, who live in the full sunshine of the Gospel, with Christ's Spirit, Christ's Sacraments, Christ's Churches, -- means of grace and hopes of glory of which they never dreamed.

Town and Country Sermons.

Conversion of St. Paul, Apostle and Martyr.

How did St. Paul look on his past life? There is no sentimental melancholy in him. He is saved, and he knows it. He is an Apostle, and he stands boldly on his dignity. He is cheerful, hopeful, joyful. And yet, when he speaks of the past, it is with noble shame and sorrow that he calls himself the chief of sinners, not worthy to be called an Apostle, because he persecuted the Church of Christ. What he is, he will not deny; what he was, he will not forget; lest he should forget that in him, that is, in his flesh -- his natural character -- dwelleth no good thing; lest he should forget that the good which he does, he does not, but Christ which dwelleth in him; lest he should grow careless, puffed up, self-indulgent; lest he should neglect to subdue his evil passions; and so, after preaching to others, himself become a castaway.

Town and Country Sermons.

christs coming january 31
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