Imatges de pÓgina
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mitted; and not only pardon them, but give me grace from henceforward entirely to leave and forfake them, and to amend my life according to thy holy word.

Make me always mindful that thou art every where prefent and privy to my moft fecret thoughts; that I may never dare to do any thing but what is pleasing in thy fight.

Poffefs me, O Lord, with a lively sense of the frailty of my life, the certainty of a judgment to come, the unfpeakable glories of heaven, and the most dreadful torments of hell, that I may in good earneft fet about the great work of my falvation, and never be fo foolish as to prefer the pleasures of fin, which are but for a feason, before that everlafting fulness of joy, which is in thy prefence for evermore; but that duly confidering the vast difproportion there is between this life and my eternal ftate, I may live as becomes the gofpel of Chrift, working out my falvation with the greatest care and circumfpection; that when the great and terrible day of the Lord fhall come, I may be admitted to the inheritance of the faints in light, through the merits of my Saviour, Jefus Chrift. In whofe bleffed name I entreat thee to accept, O gracious Lord, my evening facrifice of unfeigned

praises,

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praifes, which I now offer up to thy di vine majefty, for thy great and manifold mercies vouchfafed unto me; and more particularly for the mercies of the day, paft; for preferving me in health and fafety; for providing fo plentifully for me, and continuing to me the enjoy ment of fo many comforts. And I moft humbly befeech thee to continue thy mercy and goodness toward me, and all that belong to me. Defend us this night from all dangers, both of foul and body; grant us quiet and refreshing fleep; and, if thou art pleased to add another day to our lives, give us grace to employ it in fuch a manner as may be well-pleafing in thy fight; through the merits and for the fake of the fame thy beloved Son Jefus Chrift our Lord, who has taught us, when we pray, to say, Our Father, &c.

The Meditation for Thursday Morning. Being the fecond part of the meditation upon a firm pur. pofe of amendment and a new life.

Draw nigh to God, and he will draw ngh to you. Humble yourfelves in the fight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. James iv. 8. 10.

I. NCE more the goodnefs of God, O my foul! has brought us to the beginning of this day. Let us then show

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Our thankfulness by continuing thofe holy refolutions we made before we laid down to reft. I say those refolutions I have often made before, and have as often broke through; but should I be fo wicked as to break through them hereafter, what muft I do then? muft we go no more to that holy table? yes, we muft ftill repent and be converted, and we fhall be again accepted. For this facrament of the Lord's fupper doth not require perfect obedience in all our addreffes to the holy altar; or, that none must come but fuch as are in a finless state of perfection; because there is no man which liveth and finneth not for, who can fay I have made my heart clean, I am pure from my fin; and therefore whatever perfuadeth us to neglect or absent from this our duty is of the devil. For the facrament of the Lord's fupper is not a converting, but a confirming ordinance, intended to preserve and increase that spiritual life and grace, which we received at our baptifm: fo that when we come to the holy communion, we come thither for fresh fupplies of grace and goodnefs, for the ftrengthening and refreshing of our fouls in all holiness and virtue: And,

2. They that are taught of God, know that our fouls, by this facrament, are fortified

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tified and ftrengthened with grace, wifdom, courage, and all other fpiritual gifts, to keep us through faith unto falvation.

3. Both the comfort and benefit of it are great: the comfort of it, because it does not only represent to us the exceeding love of our Saviour, in giving his body to be broken, and his blood to be fhed for us; but it likewife feals to us all those bleffings and benefits which are purchased and procured for us by his death and paffion, viz. the pardon of fin, and power against it. The benefit of frequent communion is alfo of as great advantage; because hereby we are confirmed in all grace and goodness, and our refolution to live in obedience and conformity to God's laws are ftrengthened; and the grace of God's Holy Spirit, to do his will, hereby conveyed to us: it is the fovereign remedy againft all temp tations, by mortifying our paffions, and by fpiritualizing our affections; in a word, it is the likelieft method to make the body the temple of the Holy Ghoft, and to prepare the foul for the enjoyment of God to all eternity. And therefore,

4. Although if at any time through ignorance, furprife, or the violence of any other temptation, we fhould fall into thofe very fins which we have repented of

of and vowed againft, when we were at the laft facrament, yet thefe relapses fhould not make us afraid of coming again, fince we have always the benefit of repentance allowed us if after a relapse we repènt and renew our refolutions with a hearty grief and contrition of fpirit, we are made whole as before.

5. It is not the commiffion of this or that great fin that will utterly exclude us from God's mercy and forgiveness; for then, indeed, nó perfon could efcape damnation, because there is not a just man upon earth that doeth good and finneth not. But it is our living and dying without repentance and amendment, that brings God's wrath and vengeance upon us. And as his mercies are not limited, he will not only pardon us once or twice, but always upon our repentance and return to him. For he excepts against no time, no age, or season, but whenever the wicked. man turneth away from his wickedness that he bath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall fave his foul alive. Neither is there any fin fo vile and heinous in its own nature, but fhall be remitted and forgiven, unless it be that against the Holy Ghoft. Therefore,

6. I am refolved, that my frequent failings fhall not difcourage me from at

Part II.

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