OUR Savior, beloved brethren, has ascended into heaven: then let us not be troubled here on earth. If our mind be with him, we shall also be at peace here. Meanwhile, let us ascend with Christ in heart, and then when his promised day comes, we shall follow him in body. However, we must realize, brethren, that neither pride, nor avarice, nor luxury, ascend with Christ: none of our sins ascend with our Physician. And therefore, if we wish to ascend, to follow our Physician, we must lay aside our sins and offences.
FOR all these things hold us down as though they were fetters, and strive to entangle us in a mesh of sin: and therefore, with God as our Helper, in the words of the Psalmist: Let us break their bonds asunder: that we may say to the Lord with sure confidence, Thou hast broken my bonds in sunder. I will offer to thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving. The Lord's Resurrection is our hope: the Lord's Ascension is our glorification.
WE are celebrating today the festival of the Lord's Ascension. If we are to celebrate the Lord's Ascension fittingly, faithfully, devoutly, piously, and with holiness, then we must ascend with him, and lift up our hearts. But as we ascend, we must not be high minded, nor must we attribute our ascent to ourselves, as though it were due to our own merits. We must lift up our hearts to the Lord. A heart uplifted, but not to the Lord, is a proud heart: a heart lifted up to the Lord is a safe heart. Behold, a great wonder, brethren. God is high. Lift yourself up, and he flees from you; humble yourself, and he comes down to you. Why is this? Because, though the Lord be high, yet hath he respect unto the lowly: as for the proud, he beholdeth them afar off. He hath respect unto the lowly, that he may lift them up: the proud, the high-minded he beholdeth afar off, that he may thrust them down.
CHRIST rose again, to give us hope that man, who is mortal, shall rise. He gave us confidence, that in dying we should not despair, • nor think that our life ends in death. For we were anxious about our very soul; and by his resurrection he has reassured us as to the resurrection, not only of the soul, but of the body as well. Believe then, that you may be purified. First you must believe, so that through faith you may afterwards be found worthy to see God. Do you wish to see God? Hear what he says: Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God. Think out first, then, how to purify your heart: and remove whatever you see there displeasing to God.