Imatges de pÓgina
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*The Meditation for Tuesday Morning.

Upon God's mercy and Chrift's incarnation, to prepare us for a worthy receiving of the holy facra

ment.

For God fo loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whofoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John iii. 16.

I.

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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 asleep in the fhades of nothing, his almighty hand awakened us into being; not to that of stones, 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 promised to our obedience a fhare in his own felicity; he endued us with appetites to live well and happy, and furnish'd us with means to fatisfy thofe appetites; creating a whole world to ferve us here, and providing a heaven to glorify us hereafter. 2. Thefe

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2. Thefe are the favours of God's infinite goodness: but what return have we made to him! blufh, Omy foul, for fhame, at softrange a weakness, and weep for grief at fo extreme an ingratitude. We childifhly preferred a trivial apple before the law of our God, and the fafety of our fouls: we fondly embraced a little needless fatisfaction, before the pleasures of paradife, and the eternity of heaven.

3. Behold the unhappy fource of all our miferies, which ftill increafed its ftreams as they went farther on, till they exacted at last a deluge of juftice, 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 forefeen the danger, and in mercy prevented the extremity of the ruin, referving for himself a few choice plants to replenish the earth with more hopeful fruit: yet they grew quickly wild, and brought forth four and their childrens teeth were grapes, fet on edge; quickly they afpired to an intolerable pride of fortifying their wickedness against the power of heaven, by building the Tower of Babel.

4. This rebellion provok'd juftice to a fecond deluge, and to bring again a cloud over the earth; but mercy discovered a bow in the C 2

cloud,

cloud, and our faithful God remembered his promife, allaying their punishment with a milder fentence, and only scattered 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 graceless emulation propagated fin, as far as his goodness propagated mankind. Then he felected a private family, and increased and governed them with a particular tendernefs, giving them a law by the hands of angels, and engaged their obedience by a thousand favours; but they likewife neglected their God and heaven, and fell in love with the ways of death.

5: When thou hadft thus, Omerciful Lord, ufed many remedies, and our disease 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 state, and no imaginable hope left to recover us; behold! thy eternal wisdom finds an a

mazing expedient, the last and the highest inftance of almighty love; he refolves to clothe himself 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 utmost wishes? 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 I have believed the fublime mysteries of his heavenly doctrine: had he been other than man, we must needs have wanted the powerful motive of his holy example. Had he been only God, he could never have fuffered the leaft of thofe afflictions, he fo glorioufly overcame: had he been merely man, he could never have overcome those infinite afflictions he fo patiently endured. In thee, O bleffed Saviour, the two natures of God and man were so mysteriously united, without either change or confufion, that they made in thee but one perfon, one mediator, one Lord.

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The Prayer on Tuesday morning, for God's mercy and grace in our preparation for the facrament.

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O hide not thou thy face from me; nor caft thy fervant away in difpleasure. Thou haft been my fuccour; leave me not, neither forfake me, O God of my falvation. Pfalm 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 throne 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 Chrift our Lord.

Amen.

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O Lord! if thou fhouldeft deal with me as I have deserved, how justly mayft thou deprive me of all thofe means of grace, and opportunities of working out my falvation, which

thou

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