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Commentary from 
Rivingtons, London, 1884
On this Sunday, the close approach of the King of Glory to His kingdom of grace is heralded by Scriptures of which the pointed words are, "The Lord is at hand," "Make straight the way of the Lord."  The Collect has lost its Gregorian pointedness by a return to its Gelasian form, which makes the whole a prayer for the Presence of God the Father, instead of what it was in the Pre-Reformation books, one for the Coming among us of the Incarnate Son.  The alteration was probably made under a strong impression of the truth that all prayer should be addressed to the Father through the Son; and also with reference to the words spoken by our Lord immediately after He had given the command respecting prayer, and had promised a return of His own Presence,  "If a man love Me, he will keep My words, and My Father will love him, and We will come unto Him, and make Our abode with him."  [S. John xiv. 23]  In Collect and Scriptures the Church sounds her last herald-notes of the season which precedes Christmas; and we seem to hear the cry of the procession as it draws nearer and nearer, "The Bridegroom cometh; go ye out to meet Him."  It is a cry that should bring peace and joy to her children.  "Rejoice in the Lord alway," for "One standeth among you," even now, Who brings down from on high "the peace of God, which passeth all understanding." 

A very striking accidental coincidence with this joyous tone of the Fourth Sunday in Advent occurs in the First Lesson for Christmas Eve, "Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee.  For behold, darkness shall cover the earth, and gross darkness the people: but the Lord shall arise upon thee, and His glory shall be seen upon thee."  The words sound like an answer from heaven to the prayers of Advent, that the Light would vouchsafe to come, and illuminate the Church with His presence.  Other words which follow are equally striking, and offer themselves as a benediction of the Christmas decorations which have just been completed: "The glory of Lebanon shall come unto thee, the fir-tree, the pine-tree, and the box come together, to beautify the place of My sanctuary; and I will make the place of My feet glorious."