Imatges de pÓgina
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bleffed redeemer, and in regard to the merits of his death, will mercifully pardon and graciously receive us as worthy communicants. * Befides this, it is farther required of us to behave with all poffible reverence and devotion, when we present ourselves amongst our brethren that come to feed on the banquet of that most heavenly food; and above all things, our principal business at the altar is to give most humble and hearty thanks to GOD the father, the fon, and the holy ghoft, as for all the bleffings vouchfafed unto us, fo especially for the redemption of the world, by the death and paffion of our faviour Chrift both GOD and man, to whom we should at all times, but more especially at these opportunities (of commemorating this ineftimable love of the fon of GOD, dying for us wretched finners) be moft thankful, and filled with continual praises to father, fon, and holy ghost, who created, redeemed, and fanctifieth us, and all the world, thro' Jefus Chrift our Lord.

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a Heb. x. 19, 23.-Heb. vii. 25.-1Pet. i. 4.-Luke. xv. 20. b Pf. lxxxix. 7.—Pf. xcii. 5. Heb. xii. 28.-Matt. xxi. 37.-Acts xx. 19. Pf. xxvi. 6, 7.-Pf. xxxiv. 3.-Pf. lvii. 7.-Pf. cviii. 1.-Pf. cxi. i. d Pf. cxvi. 12, 13, 17.-Pf. ciii. 1, 5.—Pf. cxlvii.—Eph. v. 20.—1 Theff. v. 18. Rev. v. 2, 13.-Luke ii, 14.-1 Cor. xv. 57.-2 Cor. i. 3.-Col. iii.17.

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The New Week's Preparation.

PART II.

A preparatory prayer.

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Leffed Lord! who hast commanded and invited us to pray unto thee: O let thy fpirit help my infirmities; and do thou so difpofe my mind, and prepare my heart, that my prayers and praises may be acceptable in thy fight, thro' the mediation, and for the fake of Jefus Chrift, thy fon our Lord. Amen.

This prayer may properly be used every morning and evening to begin your dervctions.

The Meditation for Sunday Evening, after receiving the Lord's Supper. Upon thefallen ftate of man, and the great andgracious work of man's redemption thro' Jesus Christ.

For all have finned and come fhört of the glory of God; be ing juftified freely by his grace, thro' the redemption that is in Chrift Jefus, Rom. iii. 23, 24.

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Aving now, 0 my foul! received the boly facrament of the Lord's fupper, it is neceffary (fince we have not yet profeffedly done it) that we fhould inform ourselves care

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fully of the nature and end of this facred inftitution, what is meant by this holy action; to what I purpose it was ordained; and what benefits and advantages are to be expected from it. Now, if any one goes to the holy communion without confidering the reafons of that ordinance, and the very great concern he has in it; or, withL out understanding the neceffity and advantage of a redeemer, he will certainly go with indifference, and of courfe return without that benefit, which he might otherwife hope for I and expect. Therefore,

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2. That this, O my foul! may not be our own cafe, it is neceffary that we should well confider what account the holy fcriptures have given us of the condition we are in, not only with refpect to this life, but alfo to that which is to come. We are there affured, that we are finners by nature, and that, as fuch, GOD cannot take pleasure in us; and that, should we happen to die before we are restored to his favour, we shall be separated from him, and be unalterably miferable to all eternity. This con-fideration neceffarily leads us to inquire, how the nature of man came to be thus difordered, and prone to evil. For, we must not imagine that the infinitely good GOD ever created man

in such a state of corruption as we now fee and perceive him to be in; but that he must have fallen into this deplorable condition fince he came out of the hands of his Creator, the juft and great GOD; of which we have the following account.

3. Our first parents * Adam and Eve, from whom fprang all mankind, were created in the image of GOD, that is, holy and innocent, having a perfect knowledge of their duty, a command over their will and affections, and a power, inherent through GOD's appointment, to do what they faw fitting to be done in this their happy condition: they were placed in paradife, as in a state of trial, with a promise of happiness and immortal life, if they would continue to love, fear, honour, and obey their creator: and they had also an exprefs warning of the dreadful confequences of any future disobedience, and departing from their duty.

4. Yet for all this warning, thro' the temp-tation of the devil, (as St. Paul describeth the fallen state of man, and we have found by fatal experience) there was a law in their members: warring against the law of their mind; that the

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good, which they would, they did not, but the evil, that they would not, that they did. * i. e. They tranfgreffed the Commands of God; and, by fo doing, they did not only forfeit their right to the promise of eternal life and happiness, but they alfo contracted fuch a blindness of the understanding, fuch a diforder in their will and affections, that all their pofterity feel it to their forrow, being made thereby fubject to fin, the punishment whereof is death and mifery eternal.

5. Nevertheless, the greatnefs of this punishment, inflicted upon our firft parents, and their pofterity, enables us to judge of the nature and aggravation of their fins; for GOD, being infinitely just and holy, could not inflict any punishment greater than their fins deserved: nay, after all this, GOD, of his great goodnefs, provided fuch a remedy, as that neither they, or any of their pofterity, fhould on account of their fall be eternally miferable, except it was their own fault and wholly owing to themselves.

6. GOD, therefore, in confidering of a redeemer, one of the feed of the woman, who should make full fatisfaction to the divine jus

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* Rom. vii. 23, 19.

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