Imatges de pÓgina

birth that makes men heirs of heaven, and gives us a title to everlafting happiness.

3. Arife, therefore, O my foul, and inteitede for pity upon the unhappy ftate of fallen mankind, which neither nature nor law could bring to perfection. For though they under the law were trained up in a fet form of difcipline, which grew and spread into a public religion, and was uniformly profeffed by a whole nation; yet they had but weak conceits of the kingdom of heaven, and imperfect means to bring them thither: and as tothofe high and fupernatural myfteries, that fo glorioufly exalt the Chriftian faith, they all were blind or in the dark, and dangeroufly expofed to the effects of their own ignorance, wanting thofe clear and powerful motives to love their God; God having provided fome better thing for us, that they without us should not be made perfect, Heb. xi. 40. Nevertheless, this prepared them for the times of grace; fo that if any riper fouls came forward to the birth, there wanted fpirit to bring them forth; but fend out thy Spirit, O Lord, and they fhall be created, and from the death of fin, be raised to the life of holinefs: fend out thy Spirit, and renew the face of the earth; and our weeds and thorns fhall be turned into a paradife,through Jefus Chrift.

4. Let us adore that bleffed Spirit, who beftoweth his favours as he pleafeth; and the more he hath given, ftill the more he giveth! O Holy Ghoft, fit and difpofe me, thy fervant, firft to entertain thee, and then graciously vouchfafe to defcend into my heart; and make me, the more I receive of thee, ftill defire to receive thee more; till I fhall afcend to thofe fatisfying joys above, where all my faculties fhall be enlarged, where they fhall be filled with fulness itfelf, and overflow with a torrent of pleasure for evermore; where they fhall be fatisfied with the plenteoufness of thy boule and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleafures, as out of the river for with thee is the well of life, and in thy light Shall we fee light. Pfalm xxxvi. 8, &c.

But, O ungrateful man! was it not enough to receive of our God all we have: and are? was it not enough that the Son of God: fhould come down, and live to teach thee; and die to redeem thee? was not all this enough to make thee love him and love is all he aimed at, and was all that man needed. I must confefs to thee, O merciful Lord, I will confefs to thee our deplorable condition. Such was,, alas the corruption of human nature,, and fo many and ftrong the temptations round about us, that without this thy laft G€ 37 mira

miraculous favour of fending the Holy Ghoft to guide and quicken us, we should have fill remained in our old dull ftate; flow to underfland, and flower to obey.

A prayer on Thursday Morning for our sanctification, preparatory to a worthy receiving of the holy sacra


Whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he justified, them he also glorified. Rom. vii. 30.


Ternally bleffed and infinitely glorious Lord God and Saviour, who keepeft mercy for thoufands, and forgiv elt the iniquities of all thy truly penitent returning dinners; I prefent mytelf this morning before thee, acknowledging my manifold fins, in hopes of obtaining thy gracious favour, and of becoming a par taker of the moft holy facrament. But,

my God, I do not prefume to come to that great feaft of thy body and blood, upon the leaft opinion of my own worthinefs; for, when I reflect on my finful life, I am even afraid to come, left I fhould eat and drink my own damnation.

But when I confider thy infinite mercies unto mankind, and thy own words, calling all men without exception; and knowing that thy crucified body is not only food to nourish but phyfic to cure, 1, that am but duft and afhes, beg leave to come to thy holy table, and with my imperfect faith to feed upon fome crumbs of the bread of life.

I confefs, O Lord, my wedding garments are not without feam, but I come to repair them at thy crofs; from thy bitter forrows to derive into my foul a godly forrow, working repentance to falvation; from thy broken body a broken heart; from thy warm blood, flowing from thy wounded fide, zeal and fervency; that I may admire, love, and ferve thee, my God, as I ought to do.

O good God, to whom every thing is poffible, fanctify my corrupt nature, and let thy gracious aids fupply all my defects, and fo help my infirmities, that I may live in thy love and fear, die in thy favour, and be prepared for receiving the great mystery on next Sunday, and for the great account I am one day to give, and be received with thy faithful fervants to the joy of thy kingdom, thro' Jelus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more partisularly endeavour to improve your soul by reading a lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 5. Section I.

The Meditation for Thurfday Evening. On receiving the most holy sacrament.

I am the living bread, which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever; and the bread that I will give is my flesh; which I will give for the life of the world. John vi. 51.



Will afcend with the bleffed Jefus up to Jerufalem, to eat the pafchal


lamb with his difciples, which they made ready in a large upper-room ready furnished and prepared: I will entreat him to purge my foul, and to enable me alfo to prepare a large upper-room, wherein to entertain him, elevated from this filthy world, above the poor and empty fatisfactions of it.

2. O bleffed Jefus infpire me with faith, fill me with the love of thee, illuminate me with knowledge, cleanse me by repentance, in thy blood, that I may receive thee in the facrament, the Lamb flain from the beginning of the world, to the joy of my foul, to the eftablishment of it in all good, and for a protection against all evil.


3. Let us admire, O my foul, the conftancy and obedience of the bleffed Jefus, who, with great defire, did defire to eat his paffover; tho' he knew that after this feaft his paffion was then nigh at hand, would nevertheless go up to Jerufalem to the fame, as a faithful fon to his father's house, as a prieft to the fanctuary, and a facrifice to the altar.

4. Let us endeavour to practife according to his pattern, who, after fupper was ended, did fhow a miracle of humility, washing the feet of his difciples with his own facred hands, to give us the most


« AnteriorContinua »