Imatges de pÓgina
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as are ordained to pray for, and to bless us in thy name. Let my love for thee, and for my neighbour, keep me from all acts of injustice, or injury, to his body, or good name: let me never wilfully vex or trouble him; never covet what is his, or envy his prosperity. May I ever be ready to help and comfort all such as are in distress. Give me grace to be faithful in all things committed to my trust; that I may never pervert truth and justice; never propagate slander, or raise evil reports, nor ever tempt others to sin. Give me the spirit of temperance and chastity, and grant that I may never provoke thee, by any instance of uncleanness, to shut me out of heaven, where no unclean thing can enter. Give me grace so to order my conversation, that I may encourage others to live as becomes the gospel of Jesus Christ: for whose sake I beg to be heard. Amen.

SECTION VI.

The next thing you are to inquire into is, Whether you have a lively faith in God's mercy through Christ.

Now, because so very much depends upon our having such a faith, the Holy Ghost has given us all the arguments, all the assurance,

that our hearts can desire. God so loved the world, that he spared not his own Son (saith the apostle) but gave him up for us all. Rom. viii. 32. Can there be a greater, a surer pledge of the love of God for his poor creatures? He made him to be sin (that is, a sinoffering:) he delivered him to death in our stead: can we, after this, doubt of, or distrust, the mercy of God?

Observe the method St. Paul takes to confirm our faith, by giving us the strongest proofs of our acceptance with God: God, saith he, commended his love to us, in that, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to him by the death of his Son; much more being reconciled, we shall be saved by his life. Rom.

v. 10.

What may we not, after this, hope

for from God?

In short, Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.-Through him we have peace with God. Rom. v. 1. This is the only foundation of our faith, our hope, and confidence. He is our Sacrifice, our Mediator, our Advocate; the knowledge of which ought to remove all occasions of despair and fear from the displeasure of God.

Indeed if we should attempt to go to God, without an interest in Christ, we could hope for nothing but to be rejected; but when

we go to him, as redeemed by his own Son, and represent to him, as we do in this holy sacrament, what he has done and suffered for us, we approach him as entirely reconciled to us.

But then you must remember, that he gave himself for us, and hath redeemed us from the power of the devil, for this end, that he may purify unto himself a people consecrated to his service. Consecrate therefore yourself to Jesus Christ, and with faithful Abraham stagger not at the promises of God; but go to this sacrament with a full assurance of faith, that God will pardon your sins, and give you all the graces you shall stand in need of. Only remember, that this faith itself is the gift of God, and must be prayed for, for Christ's sake; which you may do after this manner:

THE PRAYER.

I beseech thee, O God, by that love which moved thee to give thine own Son for lost mankind, give me a faith in thy promises for his sake, as firm as thy word, on which my faith is grounded: and let me never presume upon thy gracious promises, without sincerely endeavouring to perform the conditions on which they were made, and without being zealous of good works, for which

we were redeemed. May the remembrance of my Saviour's love, and of thy great mercy, be ever seasonably present with me, to keep me from despair! and may my faith in thy promises support me at the hour of death!-May my Redeemer be my refuge, his blood and merits plead for me, that I may have my lot and portion with those whom he hath purchased with his most precious blood! Amen.

SECTION VII.

Whether you have a thankful Remembrance of Christ's Death. This is the next thing you are to inquire into.

Now this will always bear some proportion to the sense you have of the evil he has delivered you from, and the blessing he has by his death procured for you.

Consider, therefore, yourself as a poor, sinful, lost, undone creature, without a Redeemer. Consider what that Redeemer has done for you: what he did, and what he suffered, when he took upon himself to answer for the sins of men.

Consider that he was the Son of God; that he had done no wrong, neither was guile found in his mouth; notwithstanding this,

being to answer for sinners, he was treated and punished as a sinner deserves to be: he was despised! set at nought! persecuted and rejected by his own people, whom he came

to redeem!

He was betrayed by his own disciple! falsely accused! unrighteously condemned! unmercifully scourged! had a murderer preferred before him! was crucified as a malefactor! and, in the very midst of his torments, was most inhumanly reviled!

Consider the reason of all this. It was not only to satisfy the justice of God, for the sins of men, and procure their pardon upon their repentance and future obedience; but also to show mankind, what treatment sin and sinners, who have rebelled against their Maker, do deserve; and teach us, when God orders or permits us sinners to undergo such indignities and afflictions, in this our state of trial, that we ought to take our cross patiently, as our Redeemer did; and be content, and even pleased to fulfil the will of God, in following his example in his_sufferings in this life, that we may be partakers of his glory in the next.

In the next place, consider the blessings which Jesus Christ hath by his death obtained for us. He hath delivered us from

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