Imatges de pÓgina
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the thing required of a Chriftian, is not penetration and fubtility of wit, nice diftinction, or fublime notions, but victorious faith, and an honeft holy life; fobriety and temperance, and chastity, juftice and charity, piety and devotion.

4. Thefe doubts are not always finful, nor always from themfelves, but frequently owing to the temptations of the devil, and induftrioufly fcattered by him, with wicked artifice and malicious defign. Be not, therefore, too anxious upon these occafions. Trouble not thyfelf to argue nicely, nor employ thy thoughts upon the matter, nor hold thyfelf concerned to be able to answer every cavil, which he puts into thy head: but keep clofe to Scripture, and do thy duty; and the enemy will foon retreat when he finds thee neglect his attempts.

5. Think not these inward diftractions a fign that thou art forfaken of God. They are rather, on the contrary, a mark of grace. God fuffers them to exercife thy patience, to try thy conftancy, to promote thy fpiritual advantage. Proceed then in thy Chriftian courfe with refolu-. tion and patience; and ftill frequent the facrament with fteadfast faith, and humble reverence.

6. Whatever there thou findeft to exceed thy understanding, put it to God's

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account; and leave him to make it good, tho' thou canst not conceive how it should be done. He will not deceive thee; but they who rely upon their own understanding, are fure to deceive themselves. For,

7. Remember, God hath faid, that he walks and dwells with the humble, and shows his ways to the meek ; that he reveals himself to tabes; 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; because depending upon one who is truth itself, incapable of mistaking, or of impofing upon others.

8. 'Tis therefore highly fit, and, in matters of religion, abfolutely neceffary, that thefe 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 ferve 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

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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 whatsoever pleaseth him in heaven and earth: and who can understand his council, or find out all his methods?

10. If the works of God were fuch as 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 utmost 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 paft 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.

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God! I acknowledge with all thankfulness of heart thy great mercy and goodness, in giving me an opportunity of approaching thy holy table, in difpofing my mind to commemorate

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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 Majesty, for impreffing a fenfe of my duty upon my mind; and for that ftrength and power, whereby thou haft, in fome measure, 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 those 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

Bleffed be thy name, for that peace and quiet thou haft restored to my foul; for thofe refolutions thou haft wrought in me to perfevere in thy fervice to the end of my days; make them firm, vigorous, and constant; and never let any finful paffions any more ruffie and difcompofe my

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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 thefe 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 righteoufnefs, 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 thall then be enabled to do thy will in this life, and thereby be qualised to partake of thy glories to all eternity in the next. Amen, Amen.

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Thus

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