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tirely converted unto thee, and to depend upon thy providence, fo as to reft contented under all the difpenfations of thy infinite wisdom and goodness. And though thou should fee fit to deprive me of any, or even all the comforts of this life, yet,
O gracious Father, leave me not deftitute of thofe things that accompany falvation, nor deny me thy favour, which is better than life itfelf. Whatever thou art pleafed to deprive me of, yet take not from me, I befeech thee, the comforts of thy Holy Spirit; but in all the troubles and disappointments of this world, in all the calamities and trials I fhall meet with here, be thou my only refuge and my support, my ftay and my true, my Saviour and mighty deliverer.
Stand by me in all trials, fuccour me in every temptation, fupport me in difcouragements, and advise me in all difficult cafes; but especially, O Lord, I moft importunately befeech thee, that when the time of my diffolution draws nigh, and things here begin to fail me, thou wouldst then vouchsafe to ftrengthen and fupport me, and at laft receive me into thy bleffed kingdom. And till that time draweth nigh,
Let thy great goodnefs, O. Lord, continue to me thy favour and protection;
let thy watchful providence be my guard and defence. Keep me in fear all the day long; and grant that I may take nothing in hand, but what is agreeable to thy bleffed will. Into thy hands I commend my foul and body, and all that are related to me, humbly befeeching thee to keep us from all evil, to lead us into all good, and to carry us fafely through the dangers and temptations of this wicked world, to that place of everlasting reft and peace, which thou haft prepared for thy faithful fervants, through the merits of thy beloved Son, Jefus Chrift our Lord; in whofe words, as he himself hath taught us, I call upon thee, faying, Our Father, &c.
The Meditation for Saturday Evening. On presumptuous thoughts,
I hate vain thoughts, but thy law do I love. Psal. cxix. 113.
My foul! how haft thou ftruck
me, how am I difmayed at those checks of thy voice! the enemy had almoft filled me with prefumptuous thoughts of my own merits; I was mighty well fatisfied, full of joy and holy confolation, affured of God's favour, the forgiveness of my fins, and everlafting happiness, fince my return from the holy facrament, and our continued pious exercife for this week paft: But,
2. Thou art defponding, and filleft my ears with it may be not one may, sayeft thou, be in God's favour without knowing or believing it; and one may be (in the purpose of God) everlaftingly happy in the world to come, and yet be miferable and defponding here on earth. So we may be forfaken, and full of presumptuous confolations: And,
3. Now, I remember, we have already fpoken of and agreed in thefe things before*, and I am fully fatisfied, that if we truly repent us of our fins, they shall certainly be forgiven; and we fhall certainly be happy, but that is in the world to come; fo that I fhall always think upon that excellent admonition, never to credit any inward comfort and confolation, fo much as to fuffer them to puff me up any more that my fins are forgiven, at. fuch a certain time, at or after, the receiving the facrament; for, that is not quite fo fure. You have made me fenfible that no fuch
joy or confolation is annexed, by any promife of God, to the worthy reception of the bleffed facrament; I believe that the benefits are fecured by God's promife to
*See the first part of the New Week's Preparation. Part II.
the worthy receiver, from whence that joy may reasonably refult; but the party may, by fome indifpofition of body or mind, not be filled with it.
4. Therefore, I will not expect or depend upon any fuch unufual lightfomenefs or confolations; but, if they follow, it is well; if not, there is no harm or danger in the want of them. I will prepare myfelf by true and fincere repentance, and come with faith, and as well-difpofed as I can, and leave the reft to God. Herein I fhall have the fatisfaction of having done my duty in the best manner I could, and with that I must be content; for the reft, I fee, is not in my power.
5. I will not be difconfolate upon this occafion, by being difappointed of fuch expectations as my own warm imagination only may raise in me, without any reafon or promife made on God's part. Though I fhould henceforward come away cold and little affected from the facrament, when I might expect my heart must have been filled with devout tranfports, I will not be concerned, nor believe I had not prepared myfelf as I ought to have done; when thou, my foul, upon examining my heart, canft not juftly charge me with any confiderable omiffions or negligence in that work.
6. Therefore I will not be discouraged, if I find not that content and pleasure after our coming from the facrament, which I might hope and wifh for before; but I will go on fteadily in the ways of virtue, and do our Chriftian duties conftantly; and whether I feel the fenfible warmth, and comforts of religion or no, yet I fhall be fure never to want at length the just rewards of it; for thofe depend upon uncertainties, thefe upon God's goodness, promise, and truth, which cannot fail.
The Hymn on Saturday Evening.
IS there prefumption in my heart?
I charge my thoughts be humble ftill,
The patient foul, the lowly mind,