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selves before you sleep this night, that He will preserve you in the danger which threatens you. Pray to Him in so many words, that He will keep you through the business of this week, and through the pleasant expectations and enjoyments of the next; that He will graciously hallow both your work and your pleasure, and make both really work for your good; as all things do work for good to those who love God.
Pray to God this night, and pray to Him also to-morrow. When to-morrow comes, already the services of to-day will seem to have a little gone by; they will be numbered amongst things past. No examination for confirmation; no preparation for the communion, will be then immediately before you but examinations of another sort, and preparations for worldly pleasures. How easily will that present drive out the past, unless Christ's grace preserves it to us. How readily will the mind turn in other directions, and the sun of our life will be veiled in clouds, so as neither to be seen nor felt. Pray that these clouds may not overshadow Him; pray that Christ may be present with us in our labours of to-morrow, even as He has been present with us in this place to-day.
For indeed it is our privilege to be with Him ever, and to have Him ever with us; whether we eat or drink, or whatever thing, grave or light, we may be engaged in. There is nothing strange,
nothing profane, nothing presumptuous, in praying that Christ may be with us in all those common works which our daily life here brings with it. I do not say that it is so easy to find Him in common places, as in this sacred place; or in common occupations, as in prayer and reading His word. Of course it is far less easy, but yet it is not impossible; and it is the great object of our finding Christ here; it is the great object of our receiving the holy communion, that we should so find Him everywhere. That we should enter, for instance, upon our work of to-morrow, as on a duty which He commands to us, and look forward to the enjoyment of the holidays, as on a pleasure which He gives to us.
And if any one were so to pray this day and to-morrow, and being careful, were indeed to go through his work and his amusements of to-morrow, as Christ's service and Christ's gifts; would not the difference in his own feelings, when the day was over, be very great, as compared with what he had ever felt before? Would it, indeed, be an irksome task, a painful constraint, to pray yet again in the evening that Christ would be present with him also on the morrow? Would he indeed shrink from rendering his account to Christ, if he could feel that he might render it with joy? Supposing his conscience were to say for him, I have tried to walk this day in God's sight; I have tried
to do my work as Christ's service; I have striven to do it honestly and cheerfully, I have used no unfair tricks to give me an advantage over others. I have tried, also, when I was receiving the many pleasures of my happy life,-for we well know that our life here is a rarely happy one,-I have tried to think of them as Christ's gift, and to thank Him for giving them; and by so thinking of them, I have tried to keep them free from the many sins which often go along with them; from profane, or impure, or angry, or insulting, or teasing words; from all unkindness and bad temper; from all gluttonous or riotous excess. Supposing, I say, that any one's conscience could say this for him to-morrow evening, would such a one be unwilling to present himself before Christ? Would he omit his prayers, or hurry them over as a mere form? Or, would not he feel rather, that if he came before Christ, Christ would love him? Would not he be encouraged to pray again for the morrow? And if the morrow also were marked to the end by the presence of Christ's grace, would not the next night's prayer be still happier, and the resolution of the following morning be yet stronger?
And so, as I said yesterday evening, even within the next fortnight, before you leave this place for the holidays, you may feel quite certain that instead of having fallen away from Christ, you were
actually nearer to Him, and more established in His service than you are this day. And if so, would it not be true also, as I said, that all the happiness of the happiest holidays which you ever spent or could spend, would be tame and poor when compared with the joy of having truly walked with God, and having tasted Christ's Spirit. Nor do I say this on any supposition of illness befalling you. I do not mean only, that if dangerous or fatal sickness, such as we have seen amongst us, should be our own portion also, that then we should feel the happiness of belonging to Christ. We should feel it then, indeed, with unspeakable comfort; but I mean much more: I mean that in your highest health, in your most secure prospect of earthly enjoyment, at your young age, moreover, when the delights of life seem doubly delightful-even then, the joy of being Christ's servants, the sense that His grace had not been given in vain, that you were drawn more closely to Him, and were following Him in faith and obedience, would be keener and deeper than any joy which you had ever known before; and would convince you, by your own experience, of the blessedness of a Christian life.
May this experience be indeed yours, not at the end of the coming fortnight only, but at the end of many fortnights, and many months, and