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The Meditation for Tuesday Morning*.
Upon God's Mercy and Christ's incarnation, to prepare us for a worthy receiving of the holy sacrament.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only be-, gotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 16.
RAW near, all ye that fear our Lord, and I will tell you what he has done for my foul; hear, and I will tell you what he hath done for yours, and the wonders of his bounty towards all the world. When we lay afleep in the fhades of nothing, his almighty hand awakened us into being; not to that of ftones, or plants, or beafts, over which he has made us abfolute lords; but to a body wonderfully made, and an immortal foul, little inferior to his glorious angels; he printed on our fouls his own fimilitude, and promifed to our obedience a fhare in his own felicity; he endued us with appetites to live well and happy, and furnished us with means to satisfy thofe appetites; creating a whole world to ferve us here, and providing a heaven to glorify us hereafter.
* Here you may observe the directions given on page 3.
2. These are the favours of God's infinite goodness: but what return have we made to him! bluth, O my foul, for fhame, at fo ftrange a weakness, and weep for grief at fo extreme an ingratitude. We childishly preferred a trivial apple before the law of our God, and the fafety of our fouls: we fondly embraced a little needlefs fatisfaction, before the pleasures of paradife, and the eternity of heaven.
3. Behold the unhappy fource of all our miferies, which ftill increased its ftreams as they went farther on, till they exacted at laft a deluge of justice, to drown their deluge of iniquity; and here, alas had been an end of man, a fad and fatal end of the whole world, had not our wife Creator foreseen the danger, and in mercy prevented the extremity of the ruin, reserving for himfelf a few choice plants to replenish the earth with more hopeful fruit; yet they grew quickly wild, and brought forth four grapes, and their children's teeth were set on edge; quickly they afpired to an intolerable pride of fortifying their wickednefs against the power of heaven, by building the Tower of Babel
4. This rebellion provoked Juftice to a fecond deluge, and to bring again a cloud over the earth; but Mercy difcovered a E 3
bow in the cloud, and our faithful God remembered his promife, allaying their punishment with a milder fentence, and only fcattered them from the place of their confpiracy; which yet his providence turned into a bleffing, by making it an occafion of peopling the world. Still their rebellious nature difobeyed again, and neither feared his judgments, nor valued his mercies; but with a gracelefs emulation propagated fin, as far as his goodness propagated mankind. Then he felected a private family, and increafed and governed them with a particular tenderness, giving them a law by the hands of angels, and engaged their obedience by a thoufand favours; but they likewife neglected their God and heaven, and fell in love with the ways of death.
5. When thou hadft thus, O merciful Lord, ufed many remedies, and our difcafe was beyond their power to cure; when the light of nature proved too weak a guide, and the general flood too mild a correction; when the miracles of Mofes could not foften their hearts, nor the law of angels bring any to perfection; when the whole was reduced to this defperate ftate, and no imaginable hope left to recover us; behold! thy eternal wisdom finds an amazing expedíent, the last and the higheft inftance of almighty
almighty love; he refolves to clothe himfelf with our flesh, and come down amongst us, and die to redeem us, and has left us the bleffed facrament of his body and blood for a perpetual remembrance of the fame.
6. Wonder, O my foul, at the mercies of the Lord! how infinitely do they tranfcend even our utmoft wifhes; wonder at the admirable providence of his counfels, that are exactly fitted to their great defign! had our Saviour been lefs than God, we could never have believed the fublime myfteries of his heavenly doctrine: had he been other than man, we muft needs have wanted the powerful motive of his holy example. Had he been only God, he could never have fuffered the left of thofe afflictions he fo glorioufly overcame; had he been merely man, he could never have overcome thofe infinite afflictions he fo patiently endured. In thee, O bleffed Saviour, the two natures of God and man were fo myfteriously united, without either change or confufion, that they made in thee but one perfon, one mediator, one Lord.
The prayer on Tuesday Morning, for God's mercy and grace in our preparation for the sacrament.
O hide not thou thy face from me; nor cast thy servant away in displeasure. Thou hast been my succour; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my salvation. Psalm xxvii. 10, 11.
Moft glorious, moft great, and eternal God! thou art the fovereign Lord of heaven and earth, the Father of our Lord Jefus Chrift, in whom I live, and move, and have my being, and from whom I derive all the comforts and conveniences of this life, and all my hopes and expectations of a better. O Lord! I acknowledge that I am not worthy to come into thy prefence, nor to lift up mine eyes towards the thorne of thy mercy-feat. My fins and tranfgreffions are many, and divers of them have been often repeated; the corruption of my heart, and the finfulness of my thoughts, are perfectly known to thee; and the punishment I deferve is greater than I am able to bear. O give me not over to mine oppreffors, but fave and deliver me for thy mercy's fake, through Jefus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord! if thou fhouldt deal with me as I have deferved, how juftly mayft thou deprive me of all thofe means of grace, and opportunities of working out