SEVENTH MEDITATION. THE SACRAMENT OF PUBLIC PROFESSION AND CONFESSION

My praise shall be of Thee in the great
congregation: I will pay my vows before
them that fear Thee. I will take the cup of
salvation, and call upon the Lord. I will
pay my vows unto the Lord now in the pre-
sence of all His people.

I hear Thy words, Lord Jesus: As often
as ye eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye
do show the Lord’s death till He come.

I must not only be Thy disciple secretly,
but publicly; not only in the closet, but also
in the congregation of Thy people. Thou
hast said: Whosoever shall confess me
before men, him shall the Son of man con-
fess before the angels of God. But he that
denieth me before men, shall be denied be-
fore the angels of God.

Every knee shall bow, and every tongue
shall confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to
the glory of God the Father. With the
heart, man believeth unto righteousness;
and with the mouth, confession is made unto
salvation.

Thou preparest a table before me in the
presence of mine enemies. As Thou, before
Pilate and the unbelieving, hating, and in-
sulting crowd, didst witness a good confes-
sion, so enable me to bear testimony to Thy
dying love to me before all the gazing world.
As Thy beloved disciple, John, and Thy
blessed Mother and her sister Mary, and
Mary Magdalene, stood in silent love around
in the hour of Thine agony, despising, as
Thou didst, the shame of the cross, and tes-
tified their love for Thee when the hatred of
Thine enemies was highest and fiercest, so
enable me always to witness publicly to Thy
dying love by being found at Thine altar in
communion with Thee.

Not from pride, as to show bravery before
men, but from love to Thee, will I show Thy
death in the presence of Thine enemies.
While I commune with Thee, and Thou dost
show Thy love to me, the world shall see my
love to Thee. I will glory in Thy cross; I
will show that I love whom they neglect and
hate; I will testify that I seek life in Him
whom they condemn to death. As the cen-
turion, and those who stood by the cross
watching Thee in Thy sufferings, were con-
strained to say, when Thou gavest up the
ghost. Truly this was the Son of God; so
also shall men be moved to confess Thee
when they witness this, Thy dying love;
and as all the people who then came together
to see the sight, when they saw how the sun
was darkened and the veil of the temple
was rent in twain, smote their breasts and
returned; so shall those who witness the
melting and touching displays of Thy love,
go away stricken with penitence and holy
awe, saying: O God, Thou art terrible out
of Thy holy places: the God of Israel is He
that giveth strength and power unto His
people!

O my soul, if thy cold love to thy Saviour
cannot move and constrain thee to this con-
fession of thy Saviour, let at least His threat-
enings arrest and alarm Thee. Hear the
words of Thy Lord: Whosoever shall be
ashamed of me, and of my words, in this
adulterous and sinful generation; of him
also shall the Son of man he ashamed, when
He cometh in the glory of His Father with
the holy angels.

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