Excerpt from Exhortations and Sermons for All the Sundays and Festivals of the Year, on the Sacred Mysteries and Most Important Truths of the Christian Religion
The Nativity of our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ, being one of the greatest festivals in the year - the ground-work of the redemption and salvation of mankind - the Church has thought proper to employ a considerable space of time to prepare the faithful for that great solemnity. This space of time is called Advent, or the coming of the Lord. In order, therefore, to comply with the zealous, charitable, and pious views Of the Church of Christ, we are to apply our selves particularly during this holy season to penance and godliness, that Christ Jesus may vouchsafe to visit us with his holy grace, SO as to be born spiritually within us. We are, in a word, to prepare the way of the Lord, as St. John Baptist said when he began to announce our Lord, and make straight his paths. This preparation consists in two points 1st, in forsaking our evil ways; and, 2ud, in improving in virtue.
Forsake your evil ways, Christians, for now is the hour for us, as St. Paul says in the Epistle which the Church reads this day, to arise-from Sleep, that is, the lethargy of sin! Let us, therefore, cast Off the works of darkness, and put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly as in the day - not in rioting or drunkenness - not in Obscenities or impurities - not in contention or emulation - for our salva tion is nearer now than when we believed. Every moment of our lives brings us nearer and nearer to that last and dreadful moment on which depends our eternal lot, either for happiness or misery.
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