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account; and leave him to make it good, tho' thou canst not conceive how it fhould be done. He will not deceive thee; but they who rely upon their own understanding, are fure to deceive themfelves. For,
7. Remember, God hath faid, that be walks and dwells with the humble, and fhows his ways to the meek; that he reveals himself to babes; that he opens the eyes of the honeft and fincere; but hides his grace and knowledge from the proud and wife in their own fight. Human reafon may both deceive and be deceived; but faith hath God for its foundation, and cannot err; becaufe depending upon one who is truth itfelf, incapable of mistaking, or of impofing upon others.
8. 'Tis therefore highly fit, and, in matters of religion, abfolutely neceffary, that these two principles fhould know their order and refpective ftations; and each contain itself within its proper fphere. Faith (which fuppofes a revelation received and acknowledged) challenges the highest place; and reafon ought to keep her distance, to serve and follow after, not to fet bounds to, or affume and encroach, and ufurp over the other. For,
9. Faith and charity are the two pillars upon which Chriftianity ftands; the two governing principles of a good man's opi. nions and actions. And their authority
and influence are, in no one inftance, more confiderable, than in this of the bleffed. facrament. God is infinite and eternal, his power unbounded and incomprehenfible, he does whatfoever pleafeth him in heaven and earth and who can understand bis council, or find out all his methods?
10. If the works of God were fuch as euch human reafon could penetrate with eafe, they would lofe great part of their glory. We fhould foon abate of our awe and veneration for their author, if his dealings were not above the power of our tongues. to exprefs, and the utmoft extent of our imaginations to conceive. O that men would therefore praife the Lord for his goodnefs, and confefs the wonders that he doth for the children of men! for great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; how unfearchable are thy judgments, and thy ways past finding out! Pfal. cvii. Rev. xv. Rom. xi.
A prayer of thanksgiving, in our retirement, after we are returned home from the Lord's table.
Behold thou art made whole sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. John v 14.
Lord my God! I acknowledge with all thank ulness of heart thy great mercy and goodnels, in giving me an opportunity of approaching thy holy table, in difpofing my mind to commemorate
the infinite love of my crucified Saviour, to render him thanks and praife for laying down his life as a facrifice for the fins of the world, and to reprefent unto thee that facrifice as a full fatisfaction for them; whereby thou doft incline me humbly to hope for all the benefits of his death and paffion. But
What thanks, moft gracious God, can I return unto thy Divine Majefty, for impreffing a fenfe of my duty upon my mind; and for that ftrength and power, whereby thou haft, in fome meafure, enabled me to perform it? I will praife and magnify thy great and glorious name, and I will entirely devote myself to thy fervice as long as I have any being.
Bleffed be thy name for thofe fresh fupplies of grace I have received; grant that they may make me run the way of thy commandments with delight and pleafure, that I may never more faint, or droop, or tire in my duty. Bleffed be thy name for thofe comfortable affurances thou haft given me of pardon and forgiveness.
Let this thy compaffionate goodness be a perpetual obligation to love and gratitude. Let it put me upon my guard, that I may watch over all my ways, and do always that which is well-pleafing in thy fight.
Bleffed be thy name, for that peace and quiet thou haft restored to my foul; for thofe refolutions thou haft wrought in me to persevere in thy fervice to the end of my days; make them firm, vigorous, and constant; and never let any finful paffions any more ruffle and difcompose my mind.
Bleffed be thy name for that relish thou haft given me of fpiritual delights, that defire of poffeffing the eternal inheritance let the enjoyments of fenfe appear mean and contemptible; and let not the pleasures of the world henceforward any more prevail upon me to tranfgrefs thy holy laws.
Grant, O Lord, that I may walk worthy of these thy diftinguishing mercies, and live as it becomes the redeemed of the Lord. Without thee, O bleffed Jefus, I can do nothing; without thee, who art the fun of righteousness, I fhall walk in darkness; without thee, who art the phyfician of fouls, I fhall languish and die; without thee, who art the joy of all devout minds, I fhall confume my days away in fadnefs. Remain therefore, O Lord, and abide with me for ever; I fhall then be enabled to do thy will in this life, and thereby be qualified to partake of thy glories to all eternity in the next. Amen, Amen.
Thus having complied with the duties of the morning, you may refresh yourself with a temperate and cheerful meal, and thankfully enjoy the good things of this life, which God hath blessed thee with. As to the afternoon of this, and all other Lord's days, you are piously and prudently to divide it between the public service, family duties, private devotions, and offices of charity, if they present themselves; and, I will add, your own necessary refreshment: for I am not so strict, as totally to forbid you some time upon that day, to unbend your mind, and relax your thoughts, by any company and conversation that is Instructive, and innocently diverting: but I absolutely forewarn you against all places of public resort, all gaming and sportful exercises, as giving offence to some, and bad examples to others; for they are unsuitable to the seriousness and solemnity of the day, and indeed savouring too much of levity and profaneness: and for the further improvement of thy soul, read a lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 2. Section III.
N. B. After these good instructions and devotions, if thou wouldst, my devout Christian! persevere in thy duty, and de-sirest to lead an holy and godly life for the future, I would advise thee, by all means, (after you have ended the foregoing meditation) to make the second part of this New Week's Preparation to be thy companion for the week ensuing, for beginning with the devotions for this Sunday's evening, it will furnish thee, through the course of another week, with such devotions, meditations, and hymns, as will be acceptable to Almighty God, after thou hast been a worthy partaker of the Lord's Supper..
Those sertants and others who have not the command of their own time, and therefore cannot employ as much of it in these exercises as they could wish and desire; they may rest assured that God approves and accepts their willing mind, provided they go in a sincere resolution to avoid and for sake sin, and live in the fear of GOD; and Behave themselves with conscience and honesty in those several stations of life which his providence has appointed them.