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compassed. We acknowledge it thy goodness that we were not delivered over as a prey unto them; beseeching thee still to continue such thy mercies to. wards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For restoring Public Peace at Home. O ETERNAL God, our heavenly Father, who alone makest men to be of one mind in a house, and stillest the outrage of a violent and unruly people; We bless thy holy Name that it hath pleased thee to appease the seditious tumults which have been lately raised up amongst us; most humbly beseeching thee to grant to all of us grace, that we may henceforth obediently walk in thy holy commandments; and leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, may continually offer unto thee our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for these thy mercies towards us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For Deliverance from the Plague, or other common Sickness.
O LORD God, who hast wounded us for our sins, and consumed us
for our transgressions by thy late heavy and dreadful visitation ; and now in the midst of judgement remembering mercy, hast redeemed our souls from the jaws of death; We offer unto thy fatherly goodness ourselves, our souls and bodies, which thou hast delivered, to be a living sa crifice unto thee, always praising and magnifying thy mercies in the midst of thy Church, through, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
WE humbly acknowledge before thee, O most merciful Father, that all the punishments which are threatened in thy law might justly have fallen upon us, by reason of our manifold transgressions and hardness of heart. Yet
seeing it hath pleased thee of thy tender mercy, upon our weak and unworthy humiliation, to asswage the contagious sickness wherewith we lately have been sore afflicted, and to restore the voice of joy and health into our dwellings; We offer unto thy divine Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, lauding and magnifying thy glorious Name for such thy preservation and providence over us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
COLLECTS, EPISTLES, AND GOSPELS.
Note, That the COLLECT appointed for every SUNDAY, or for any HOLY-DAY that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be said at the EVENING SERVICE next before.
The First Sunday in Advent.
ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge
(a)" Owe," &c. i. e. "have no debts or 66 propensities, but those of benevolence." It is one of the great characteristics of Christianity, that it makes general benevolence, and whatever has a tendency that way, a most important duty. When a lawyer asked our Saviour, which was the great commandment in the law, and our Saviour answered, "thou shalt love "the Lord thy God with all thy heart, "and with all thy soul, and with all thy "mind, this is the first and great com"mandment;" he immediately added, " and the second is like unto it, thou "shalt love thy neighbour as thyself." See Matt. xxiii. 36. See also Luke x. 25. In John xiii. 34. our Saviour, just before he was betrayed, says, 66 a new command
ment I give unto you, that ye love one "another, as I have loved you, that ye "also love one another. By this shall "all men know, that ye are my disciples, "if ye have love one to another." St. Paul says, Gal. v. 14. "all the law is "fulfilled in one word, even in this, "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy"self;" and in his famous eulogium upon charity, or general benevolence, he says,
give my body to be burned, and have "not charity, it profiteth me nothing." St. James says, "if ye fulfil the royal law
according to the scripture, thou shalt "love thy neighbour as thyself." St. John dwells very much upon this essential duty. "He that saith he is in the light; "and hateth his brother, is in dark"ness even until now." I John ii. 9. Again, "He that loveth not his brother, "abideth in death." 1 John iii. 14. So, "Let us not love in word, neither "in tongue, but in deed and truth; "and hereby we know that we are "of the truth; and shall assure our "hearts before him." 1 John iii. 18. Again, 1 John iv. 7, 8. " Beloved, let
us love one another, for love is of "God, and every one that loveth is "born of God, and knoweth God: he "that loveth not, knoweth not God."
loveth another hath fulfilled the 9. law. For this; "Thou shalt not "commit adultery, Thou shalt "not kill, Thou shalt not steal, "Thou shalt not bear false wit66 ness, Thou shalt not covet;" and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly compre
So in verse 12. "If we love one another, "God dwelleth in us, and his love is per"fected in us." And in v. 20. "If a 66 man say I love God, and hateth his "brother, he is a liar ;" that is, the thing is impossible, for the only way in which we can love God, is by keeping his commandments, and "this command"ment have we from him, that he who "loveth God, love his brother also." 1 John iv. 21. Many other passages there are which inculcate the duty of benevolence, and it would be well for every one who is indignant for an injury he has received, or feels any emotion of rancour or ill-will, to search them out, and lay them to heart.
(b)" Salvation," i. e. The great change they were to experience for the better at the time so often alluded to by the expressions, "the day of the Lord," "the "coming of the Lord," &c." The first converts to Christianity underwent great trials. The prophets Zechariah and Malachi had intimated that they would. The former, Zech.xiii. 9. says, "I" (that is, the Lord) "will bring the third part" (meaning those who should not be cut off for their disbelief) "through the "fire, and will refine them as silver is "refined, and will try them as gold "is tried." And Malachi iii. 2. says of the Messiah, "who may abide the day of his coming, and who shall "stand when he appeareth-for he is "like a refiner's fire, and like ful"ler's sope: and he shall sit as a re"finer and purifier of silver, and he "shall purify the Sons of Levi, and " purge them as gold and silver." Our Saviour also apprized the apostles and his other disciples, that "they should "be hated of all men for his Name's "sake," Matt. x. 22. and xxiii. 9. "that "they should be delivered up to the "councils, and scourged in the syna"Matt. x. 17. gogues,' "that the bro
"ther should deliver up the brother to
"death, and the father the child," &c. Matt. x. 21.; and it is obvious from the Epistles in the New Testament, that they were severely persecuted. St. Paul enumerates what be had gone through, 2 Cor.xi. 24, 25. "of the Jews five times "received I forty stripes save one, thrice 66 was I beaten with rods, once was I "stoned," &c. St. Stephen was stoned to death, Acts vii. 59, 60." Herod killed "James, the brother of John, with the "sword," Acts xii. 1, 2, 3. St. Paul, before his conversion, made havock of the church, Acts viii. 3. and xxvi. 10. St. Paul, in 2 Thess. i. 4. speaks of "their Patience and Faith in all their "persecutions and tribulations which "they endured ;" and St. Peter, 1 Pet. iv. 12. speaks of their persecutions and afflictions as "the fiery trial, which 66 was to try them." One of the great arguments to inspire them with fortitude and resolution was this, that at the period referred to by the coming of the Lord, they should experience a signal deliverance. Our Saviour had expressly promised them, that he who should endure to the end should be saved," Matt. x. 22. and xxiii. 13. and that the prospect of this event might not be too remote, he assured his apostles, Matt. x. 23. that "they should not have 66 gone through the cities of Israel till "the Son of Man should be come ;" and after his famous prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, &c. in Matt. xxiv. 34. he tells them, that "that generation "should not pass, till all those things
were fulfilled;" thereby intimating that they should occur before the sons then living should all be dead. The same intimation occurs in Luke xxi. 32. post 30. See also John xxi. 22. This topic was accordingly pressed upon the converts with great force by the authors of the Epistles. In 'hilipp. i. 6. St. Paul expresses his confidence, that "he who had begun a good work in the converts at Philippi, would perform it until the day
nearer than when we (c) believed. 12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us 13. put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. 14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.
"of Jesus Christ," as if the period would arrive in their time; and in Philipp. iv. 5. he says, "The Lord is at hand." The author to the Epistle to the Hebrews presses them to hold fast the profession of their faith, without wavering, &c. &c. " and so much the more as ye see the day "approaching," Hebr. x. 25. St. Paul charges Timothy to keep a particular commandment without spot, "until the
appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," as if he fully expected it in Timothy's time, 1 Tim. vi. 14. In Tit. ii. 11 to 14. St. Paul says, "The grace of "God that bringeth salvation hath ap"peared to all men, teaching us, that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, "we should live soberly, righteously, "and godly in this present world, look"ing for that blessed hope, and the glorious "appearing of the great God, and our Sa"viour Jesus Christ, who gave himself "for us, that he might redeem us from "all iniquity, and purify unto himself "a peculiar people, zealous of good "works." St. James advises the brethren to "be patient, unto the coming of "the Lord:" "to stablish their hearts, "for the coming of the Lord draweth "nigh:""not to grudge one ano"ther, lest they should be condemned; "for behold the Judge standeth before "the door," James v. 7, 8, 9. St. Peter speaks of the afflictions the converts had undergone, "that the trial of their "faith might be found unto praise, "and honour, and glory, at the appear
ing of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter i. 7.
"him at his coming." Many other passages might be added, but it is sufficient to adduce these. They have all a strong tendency to shew, that the prophecies recorded in St. Matthew were well known to the disciples before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that the Epistles were written before that event. The prospect of a most extraordinary judgment from God upon the unbelievers, and of signal deliverance to those who embraced and held fast the faith, was admirably calcu lated to inspire the converts with courage and perseverance, and was therefore a topic likely to be brought forward by the disciples whilst that prospect continued. After the event it would have been absurd. Jerusalem was destroyed in the year of our Lord 70; the Epistle to the Romans is supposed to have been written about A.D.58; that to the Philipp. A.D. 59; the 1st to Timothy A.D. 64; that to the Hebrews A. D. 63; St. James's A.D. 61; the 1st of St. Peter A.D. 64; and the 1st of St. John, A.D. 69. It is asserted that no Christian perished at the siege of Jerusalem, 2 Newton's Prophecies, 154, 160. 5 Watson's Tracts, 134. and the immense slaughter among their inveterate enemies the Jews, would of course tend greatly to relieve them from persecution. It is observable, that "the day," the day of the Lord," the coming or appearing of "the Lord," are spoken of as things of which the converts were before apprized. There is no explanation what is meant, as would probably have been the case,
Lastly, St. John says, 1 John ii. 28.had not the meaning been fully under
"And now little children, abide in him, "that when he shall appear, we may have
(c)" Believed," i. e. "first believed." v. 11.
"confidence, and not be ashamed before
"need of them;" and straight4. way he will send them." All this was done, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the 5. prophet, saying, "(d) Tell ye the "daughter of Sion, Behold, thy
King cometh unto thee, meek, "and sitting upon an ass, and a "colt the foal of an ass." And the disciples went, and did as Jesus commanded them, and brought the ass, and the colt, and put on them their clothes, and 8. they set him thereon. And a very great multitude spread their garments in the way; others cut down branches from the trees, and strawed them in the way. And the multitudes that went before, and that followed, cried, saying, "Hosannah to the Son "of David! Blessed is he that "cometh in the Name of the "Lord; Hosannah in the High
(d)" Tell," &c. This prophecy is in Zech. ix. 9. The passage is, "Rejoice
greatly, O daughter of Zion: Shout "O daughter of Jerusalem: Behold thy "King cometh unto thee; he is just, "and having salvation: lowly, and rid
ing upon an ass, and upon a colt the "foal of an ass: and I will cut off the "chariot from Ephraim, and the horse "from Jerusalem, and the battle bow "shall be cut off: and he shall speak 66 peace unto the heathen," &c. was calculated to shew that his was not to be a kingdom of worldly pomp or grandeur.
(e) "My house." Is. lvi. 7. God says, My house shall be made a house of 66 prayer for all people ;" and Jer. vii. 11. he asks, "Is this house, which is called "by my name, become a den of robbers "in your eyes." The recollection of this passage might suggest the expression our Saviour used.
St. Matthew goes on to state, that "the "blind and the lame came to him in the "temple, and he healed them ;" and St. Luke says, xix. 47. that he " taught "daily in the temple:" and thus may the
"est!" And when he was come 10. into Jerusalem, all the city was moved, saying, "Who is this?" II. And the multitude said, "This "is Jesus, the prophet of Naza. "reth of Galilee." And Jesus 12. went into the temple of God, and cast out all them that sold and bought in the temple, and overthrew the tables of the moneychangers, and the seats of them that sold doves; and said unto them, "It is written, " My (e) 13. "house shall be called the house "of prayer; but ye have made "it a den of thieves."
Second Sunday in Advent.
BLESSED Lord, who hast caused all holy Scriptures to be written for our learning; Grant that we may in such wise hear them, read,
prophecy, Hagg. ii. 7. be considered as fulfilled: "the desire of all nations" (i.e. the Messiah) "shall come, and I will fill "this house with glory, saith the Lord "of Hosts. The silver is mine, and the "gold is mine, saith the Lord of Hosts. "The glory of this latter house shall be
greater than of the former, saith the "Lord of Hosts, and in this place will "I give peace, saith the Lord of Hosts." This prophecy was delivered after the temple built by Solomon had been destroyed, and whilst the building of the second temple (after the return from the Babylonish captivity) was going forward. This second temple was greatly inferior to the first in splendour and magnificence; and it was only in having the presence of the Messiah, and being the scene of part of his miracles, and the school of his teaching, that its glory surpassed, or was at all equal to, that of the former. The expressions, "The silver " is mine," &c. were perhaps intended to intimate that the glory was not to be of that kind. Bishop Chandler has commented ably upon this prophecy. Chandler's Defence of Christianity, 86 to 101.