« السابقةمتابعة »
by Him just as He pleafes. And let us how Him now, that we have prepared no less gift than our whole felves to be bestow'd on Him; that we are very defirous of th' honor to be commanded by Him, and to do Him fervice;and that if He will make us more defirous, more refolv'd and stedfast in these holy purposes, we will never cease to thank Him in this manner as long as we live. And approaching thus with all Humility to Him, may we not hope that He will accept us, and receive us as his friends, and imbrace us with real Love, and inclose us, as we desire, unto Him felf? Nay, He will hold us fast tied in the bonds and cords of his Love; not to fetter and Imprison us; but to unlock and open our narrow hearts by the power of it, that they may be inlarged into the true liberty of love to Him, and to all the world. We may hope at last that it will become as unnatural to offend Him, as it is to kill our felves, or kick against the bowels of a moft indulgent Parent: that obedience fhall be our Delight that all good things on carth, which have been our hinderance, fhall prove our incouragemeut and provocation to an Holy life: and that our watchfulness over our felves shall be so strict and severe; that we fhall not be eafily furpriz'd: but continually worship Him, by presenting Him with a Spirit like his own, innocent, harmless. and delighting to do all good,
§. 14. OCTOBER.
HOW long is it finee we thought of the best Friend we have in the whole world? and what were our last thoughts of him? did we not a very little while ago long for his company? and with the time were come wherein we might again injoy him? did we not count the days till that happy time when he promised to return, or fend unto us? And suppose be be dead, with what passion do we follow his memory; how are we mov'd with the mention of his dear name; how glad to pofsefs any relique of him; tho' it be but his fhadow? or how oft do we look upon the lively picture of him, which it drawn in our own imagination ? and do we think is could fail to put us in mind of what he left us in charge when he departed this world? could we forget the Legacies he left us, or th' Inheritance he bequeath' to us, as the Heirs of his love? how long is it then D $
fince Jefus was in our thoughts? can we not tell? was there ever fuch a friend as Fle, that died to fave us? can any one pretend fo much to our love, or merit of us fo kind a Remembrance? who is there that ever died for the fake of his enemies? O how precious, how dear fhould the Name of Jefus be unto us! with what joy fhould we receive the news that He is coming to vifit us! how welcome must this invitation be from our Blefsed Savior, whom if we love we can't but long to fee? it is the voice of our well-beloved that calls unto us and fays, come and feaft with me; come and fee by these fenfible figns, which I have left to reprefent me, how much my Love has made Me fuffer for you; behold the lively figure of my Body and Bloud which was broken and fhed to redeem you. I have caused it to be made on purpose that you might not forget me. What do we answer to Him, can we fay, we have looked for this day? that we thought it long till we might go to his Houfe, or at leaft were defirous to go and fee Him fet forth crucified before our eyes? why, what good. did the last fight of Him do us? what pangs of love did we feel in our hearts? what pleafure, what joy in the remembrance of his kindnefs? did it call all his Commands to mind, and recommend them effectually to our love? did it ftir us up to do his Will, and make us more zealous ever fince in working that which is pleafing in his fight? what did we think of the Inheritance He has giv'n us? an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, referved in heaven for us. 1 S. Pet. 1. 4. Did we be. Heve his word, and verily expect to receive the reward of the Inheritance. Col, 3. 24. How did that Faith then work in our hearts, did it give us extreme content?having hope to see Him, did it make us purify our felves,even as He is pure? 1 S. John 3. 3. Let us go then now as friends of his,and do the fame again; enew our Remembrance of Him; fhow Him the Belief we have in Him; the Love we bear to his Name and Word; how refolv'd we are never to forget Him; and how happy we think our felves in the portion He has given us in his grace and love; profefs to Him that his Commandments are dearer to us than our lives; and that we will fooner part with them, than not to perform his holy Will in every thing; vow to Him again that we will be true and faithful to Him; imbrace all our Brethren there afsembled with a kind
Affection, because they are his friends and followers; defire that all the world fhould know Him and be acqnainted with Him; and that a perpetual memory of Him may be preferv'd, by doing this as long as the fun and Moon indure, And can we do it without thofe pafsions which the thoughts of a friend are wont to raise up in our hearts? none of 'em, fure, will be abfent upon this occafion; they will all attend us in this holy action, and we shall feel the greatest gratitude to our Savoir, who has done fo much to deferve our Love, which is fo little worth to Him. Then we fhall hear Him as good as fay unto us, Sons be of good chear, your fins are forgiven you. All that I have is yours; I will be an Everlasting Friend to you, and make you inherit all things; it is your Father's good pleasure to give you the kingdom. S. Luke 12. 32. And here I give you the earneft of that purchafed pofsefsion; what reafon have you to doubt of th' injoyment, if you are my friends by doing whatsoever I command you? do not friends partake in eacli others Goods? My power which I have over all things in Heaven and Earth fhall afsift you; my Angels fhall be your Guardians, My Spirit fhall be your Guide and Director. My Comforts fhall fupport and incourage you. Because I live, ye shall live alfo, S. John 14. 19. I came that my fheep might have life, and that theymight have it more abundantly. ch. 10. 10.
S. 15. NOVEMBER.
WITH what wonder and admiration do we entertain thofe things which are ftrange and unufual? the very news of 'em carries great numbers to fee 'em, and the fight of 'em fixes their eyes upon them, as if they could never have enough of 'em. Behold here the Wonder of wonders, which we are call'd to fee, and feed our Eyes aud Hearts withal! God is come to dwell in Flesh; this flesh is made a Sacrifice for the Sins of the World; and He invites us now to a Feaft upon that Sacrifice, that we may dwell in Him,and He in us. Marvellous love! what eyes ever faw fuch a fight as the Son of God dying on a Crofs? th' only be gotten of the Father bleeding as a Malefactor? the glorious King of Heaven laying down his life freely for his own fubjects Rebels I fhould have call'd 'em, and enemies to Him? Where are all our thoughts? where is our adınira
tion? what is become of our love? whither are all our defires gone? It will be a new Wonder if they do not affemble themselves together at the Commemoration of fuch Love, which does us the grace to make us partakers of that Body and Bloud which was fo offered up to God. Strange! that our thoughts fhould be fo heavy, and our affections fo cold! that our hunger and thirst, our love and our joy should be no more excited, at the very motion to go to the House of God, to make a thankful Remembrance of his Death! We think the Angels lead a happy life in their bleffed imployment of giving continual praises to God: why do we not go then with a more forward joy into the courts of the Lord to do this in remembrance of Christ, which thofe heav enly Creatures don't do? for He took not on Him the nature of Angels; but He took on Him the feed of Abraham: Heb. 2. 16. for whom He has prepared alfo this facred food of which they never tafted. Unto which of the angels faid He at any time, Thou art my Son this day have I begotten thee? Or, it on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool? Heb. 1. 5, 13. Are we not defirous of honor,and greedy of gainful preferment? are we not prone to feck great things for our felves? What greater honor or dignity can there be than to be fo nearly related to the Lord of all; to be a Member of Him that is Head of all Principalities and Powers? Behold the treasures of grace and glory which He offers us, and by these signs of his Body and Bloud would make over to us. Is not Love the very life and foul of the World? is it not the joy and fatisfaction of hearts? Behold here the worthieft object of it that ever was. See how He would fill and poflefs our whole fouls with perfect contentment; and left we should be fo unhap py as not to dwell in Love, fee how He wou'd ingage us, by these bonds in which we are going to ty our felves, to love the Lord our God with all our hearts, fouls, and ftrength; and our Neighbors as our felves, How doth He comply with our moit natural inclinations? how does He tudy to gratify us in our most noble defires? Let us call up our best and pureft thoughts; ftrain our felves to the height of admiration; indeavor to forget all other things, and only to look at prefent upon Jefus. If any thing can make us love God, it must be his Love; if any thing can make us hate Sin, it must be this Sacrifice, for it; it any
thing can make us willing and obedient, it must be his o bedience to the death. We must think then, when we come into his prefence, that we fee Him hanging on his Crofs; think that we fee Him fpreading out his arms, and refigning Himself to the Will of God; that we behold his gaping Wounds, and the bloud trickling down his Sacred Body; that we hear Him cry unto us; Did I not love you when I bled to death for you? did I not love you when I indured this pain and forrow to redeem you? could I do more than give my felf to deliver you from death, and pen the Kingdom of Heaven and Eternal Life? And then what heart is there that need be taught what to fay, and what it fhould do on this occafion? who can refrain himfelf from giving bleffing, and praise, and glory in the higheft to Him? who can want thanks to render Him for fach invaluable Benefits, or find in his heart to deny Him his Service? Nay, who would not rejoyce to think offerving One that has merited thus of him, and intends to re ward his Duty with that very glory which the Father has given Him? Our Lord can't but expect to fee our Minds fraught with heavenly thoughts, and a most high esteem of Him:our hearts mighty full of Love, and Vows, and Refolutions, ready to be prefented to Him: our Wills bow ing and fubmitting themselves wholly to his difpofal. And to all fuch He fays by his Minifters, Come to my fupper for all things are ready, Come, and take this holy Sacrament to your comfort. Rejoyce with Me and be exceeding glad? for I love you, and will love you to the end.
S. 16. DECEMBER.
NEED we be told after a whole years fervice. at least, of our Bleffed Mafter Jefus, what that duty is we are now going to perform to Him? Are we not preparing our felves, according to his command, to make a folemn commeneration before God; Angels and Men, of his unheard of Love in dying for us? to make a profeffion of our fincere love and affection to Him? To ingage to Him our fidelity, to renew the Covenant that is between us, to open our hearts to Him, and to confirm to Him the most absolute poffeffion of our fouls and Bodies? To wait on Him for his continued Grace, and that we may feel the power of his Death and Resurrection? To show Him our willingness