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§. 2. A Meditation for the Communion on Christmas day, and feven Days before, in Memory of Chrift's Incarnation.
WELCOME thrice bleffed Day! the defire of all Nations, whofe diftant glories made the Father of the faithful to rejoyce; and whofe approaches fill'd the World with wonder and expectation: thou. waft Ufher'd in with Angelick Hymns, and celebrated ever fince with Anthems of Praife, because thou didst bring forth Joy, and a Redeemer to Mankind. Flappy am I, that I fhall have a Sacrifice of Thanks giving in my hand, to exprefs the delight which my heart doth feel. The holy Table is the Altar upon which I fhall offer my acknowledgments for all Mercies, and oh how many, how great are thofe which this day brings to my remembrance! fo infinite they cannot be expreff'd, and yet fo excellent they must not be forgotten. This day bas reconciled Heaven and Earth, and made contradictions friends, to find a way to help us; as if nothing might difagree when Man was at Peace with God. O my foul, fummon all thy powers to admire and worship: for all is. Miracle, and the height of Wonder; Eternity begins to be; the Maker of all is made limfelf; an infinite Majefty is fhrunk into the dimenfions of a span; the Word is made Flesh; and God becomes Man, yet remains God ftill; Here is a Mother who knew no Man; a Son that had no Father on Earth; a Child of Adam untainted with the Contagion that infects all his Pofterity; an Infant honored with a new and glorious Star, adored by Kings, worshipped by Angels, yet born in the condition of the meanest fortune. All hail fweeteft Savior, how lovely is thy condefcention, how honorable thy abafement? Thou haft more fplendor in the rags of thy Humility, than all the Grandeurs of this World could give Thee; Thou art more a King becaufe Thou wouldst be like a lave for our fakes; and conquereft more hearts by thy ftupendious Love, and unparellel'd Self denial: O how fhall I celebrate this great Solemnity? Wherewithai fhall I fet forth my gratitude for this moft aufpicious Day? I will receive the Cup of Salvation, and with Faith and ravifhments of Delight feaft upon that precious Body and Bloud which Jefus did this Day affume for me. It is not enough, dearest Lord, that Thou waft born for me, unlefs Thou art alfo born again in me, and (as it were) become incarnate in my heart. In thy
33 Birth Thou waft made one with us, Thou didst put on flesh, and waft a partaker of our humanity. And Thou haft appointed this holy Sacrament that Imight be one with Thee, be replenifh'd with thy Spirit, and a partaker of thy Divine Nature. Nor is it any incongruity if I Remember tby Paffion, and praife Thee for thy Incarnation at once; for as foon as Thou waft born Thou didst begin to dy, and the life which was here begun (compared to that glorious Life which Thou didst leave) was it felf a very Death; but there, fore Thou waft born, that Thou mightest be capable to fuffer that death for us, which thy Divinity could not feel; and thy Nativity was the firft Scene of thy Paffion; for it introduced thy Death, and that effected our Salvation; fo that I will remember both together: For in both Thou haft moft admirably humbled thy felf to the depth of mifery; and yet I doubt not but Thou wouldst have ftooped lower, if it had been either neceffary or poffible: But there needs no moreteftimonies of thy Love. Bleffed Jefus! I am already overwhelm'd with thefe, which are fo ftrange and undeferv'd, fo fweet and ravishing, that my Soul could not contain if it did not vent it felf in thy Praifes. Therefoze with Angels and Archangels,and with all the company of heaven, Ilaud and magnifie thy glorious Name, evermore praifing Thee, and faying, Holy, boly, holy, Lord God of Hofts, heaven and earth are full of thy glory. Glory be to Thee. O Lord moft High.
§. 3. On Eafter-day, and feven daies before, in Memory of our Savior's Refurection. Note; If 1 fhall not receive the Sacrament on Afcenfion day, nor Sunday, I add that following Meditation to this.
O My Soul, adorn thy felf with the Garments of gladnefs, prepare thy moft triumphant Hymns to go forth and meet this great returning Conqueror. Thou didst rejoyce when He was pleaf'd to undertake the Combat, and didst celebrate his entrance into the lifts with praifes; how then will it ravifh thee to behold Him come off with fuccefs and honor? His warfareis now accomplish'd, and fie has pafl'd thro' the fcorn and cruelty of Men, the malice and rage of devils, and the juft but fevere anger of God, yea the fhadow of Death, and the Regions of Eternal horror; and after all this thy Surety is fet at liberty, for He has paid all thy Debts, and cancell'd all thofe difmal Bonds, by
which thou waft forfeited to eternal Ruine: Thy Cham pion is Victorious, aud as the Trophies of his Conquest, He has the Keys of Death and Hell, and leads them both in Triumph vanquished and difarm'd leffed is be thes commeth in the Name of the Lord: S. Mat. 21. 9. I receive Thee, dearest Savior, as born to us a fecond time, and this fhall be thy Birth-day alfo, the Nativity (tho' not of our Emperor, yet) of thy Empire, thy Reftauration to a state of Immortality. Thy former Birth did fhow Thee to be the Sen of Man, but this declares Thee to be the Son of God, and now we know that our Redeemer liveth, He that loved us fo infinitely as to dy for us, does now ever live to intercede on our behalf; He that expreff'd fuch kindness to us in his Paffion, has fo fully demonstrated his own power in his Refurrection, that we are fure He is as able as willing to deliver us: Let the Heavens rejoyce, and let the Earth be glad; Ps. 96, 11. for this is the Day that the Lord hath made, Ps. 118.24. a day to be had in everlasting Remembrance, a Time deftined to Jubilee and Rejoycing: Behold how Nature is raising it felf from the grave of Winter, and feems annually to celebrate the memory of her Lord's Refurrection in her green and fresh attire: A feason chofen by God for Festival, Three thousand years ago; and obferv'd ever fince by Jews, or Chriftians, or both, with the greatest folemnity. See how thofe blinded Jews rejoyce over their Pafchal Lamb (in the midst of all their Calamities) for the deliverance of their fathers. But we have a Nobler Paffover for a greater Deliverance; Chrift our Paffover is facrificed for us, therefore let us keep the Feaft, and that upon the precious Body and Bloud of the Lamb of God who was flain, but is alive again, and behold He lives for evermore. Wherefore I will go to thy Altar with Joy, and tell out thy works with gladnefs, O moft mighty Savior, Who haft not only died for my fins, but rifen again for my Juftification: And indeed what comfort could I have found in this memorial of thy Death, if it had not been for thy Refurrection? this Sacrament would have only remembred thy Sufferings, and renew'd my Sorrow to think that So excellent a Perfon had perish'd in th' attempt of my de liverance; but now 'tis become a Feast of Joy, because it 'is an affurance of thy Refurrection, as well as a comme moration of thy Paffion: And fince Thou livest, sweetest
35 Jefus, we live alfo; thy Refurrection raifeth our hearts from fad despair; it gives a new Life to our hopes; it makes our forrows light; our labors eafy; our lives chearful; and our death advantage, because it hath loft its fting, and is become the gate into Immortality: we can charm all our fears and troubles with this one word. The Lord is rifen y, ea, the Lord is rifen indeed: S. Luk. 24. 34. for Thou haft washed us from our fins in thy own Bloud, and made us Kings and Priefts to God Rev. 1. 5. 6. to offer up at thy Altar never ceafing Praifes. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all e as in §. 2.
§ 4. On Afcenfion-day or Sunday and 7 daies before. NB. If I receive not the communion this day, fufe this at Eafter. I fee, O Merciful Jefus, Thou art content for our fakes to ftay here upon Earth, when Heaven longs for thy Return; Thou haft thefe Forty daies denied thy felf the full fruition of thy Glories, to difpel the forrow, and confirm the Faith of thy Difciples, and yet at laft their tears and imbraces fhow how loth they are to part with Thee: But behold the day of thy Triumph is come, and the holy Myriads are fent to wait upon Thee, the Heavenly Singers that go before, Cry, Open your felves ye everlasting doors. that the King of Glory may come in; to whom the Angels which come out to meet Thee, anfwer with extafies of amazement, Who is this King of Glory? and all the Chorus that follow after reply, Even the LORD of Hofts, He is the King of Glory; Pf. 24. and thus with Hymns and joyful acclamations, is Jefus welcomed to his ancient and moft glorious Throne: And now, O my foul, why ftandest thou gazing into Heaven? He is too high to be discerned, too bright to be feen with mortal Eyes, fince Cherubins are dazled at his fplendor. He is gone to his proper place, and afcended thither whither thy defines carry Thee, and where e're long thou fhalt fee Him face to face. Thou ftaudeft, like Elisha, looking after Him, and lamenting thy Master's departure, but He has left his Mantle behind Him, even the Mysteries of this holy Sacrament, which to thy Faith is the flesh which He was clothed withal, and is defign'd to convey a double portion of his Spirit unto thee; fo that it appears He has left his Love with us when his Perfon was taken from us. Away then with thefe fighs and tears, lament no longer th' abfence of thy Lord, for He is in this bleffed Feaft; He is here in his comforts and Graces, here
in his Merits and his Love, and his Spirit can minifter the fame Benefits hereby, which his perfonal prefence would have given Thee. Go then with all poffible fpeed, and taffe of this Heavenly Provifion, delight in it above all the fweet neffes in the World, becaufe it contains fo many pledges and Emblems of thy glorions Redeemer's Love, when thou beholdeft Him that is thy Head fo advanced, make hafte to unite thy felf nearer to Him by partaking of his Body and Bloud, that thou mayft finally Reign with Him. In the mean time raife up thy thoughts above this lower World, declare thy defile to be with Jefus, fend thy heart before, and proteft, it He had not left thee fome little taftes of his fweetness in the repaft of this holy Table by the way, thou couldst not have indured fo long without Him: There is nothing that He loves comparable with his Throne in Heaven, unless it be an humble and thankful heart, into which I am about to reecive Him, and as the Celestial quire welcomed Him thither, fo will I receive Him with joy into my poor foul. Therefore with Angels and Archangels, &c as in §. 2.
S. 5. On Whitfunday, and fix daies before, for the Gift of the Holy Ghoft.
I will go to thine Altar, O Lord, with a new Sacrifice of praife, becaufe Thou haft given me a fresh inftance of thy Love this day; Thou art flow to punish thy Enemies, but fpeedy to Comfort thy fervauts! For no fooner was thy Mifery changed into Glory, but we received the greatest demonftration of thy affection; no fooner didft Thou put on thy Crown in Heaven, but the Earth felt the bounty of thy Difpenfations: for it was not poffible for Thee, fweetelt Fefus! to let thy promife remain long unperform'd, or the fad expectations of thy Difciples un fatisfied Being affembled therefore this Day with one heart in one place, they are Suddenly furpriz'd with wonder, and infpired with a heavenly Power, fuch as they had never felt before; vigorous as a mighty wind, chearing as the morning light, inflaming their hearts with zeal, and filling their mouths with Anthems indited in the Langua ges of all the World: Owonderful Change! their Ignorance is turn'd into Learning, their Mistakes into Infallibility their Fear into Courage; their Weakness into Strength, their for row into Joy, and they in a moment made able