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even to take up his Crofs, and to be his Difciples and followers to the very death? To teftify the love we bear unto, and the Communion we defire to hold with all the Chriftians that are throughout the world? To exalt the Name of the Lord, and to fpeak his praifes, who would give his Son for us, and who has condefcended to a treaty of peace with us, and upon fuch eafy terms to become friends with us, yea, reward us, and do great things for us? O how fweet is the remembrance of thefe Bleffings! how happy are we that He will not let us forget 'em! but with a continued kindness invites us again to this delightful imploy ment. We will go and give Him thanks for all his benefits, and for this among the reft, that He has made us so often partakers of his bleffed Body and Bloud, and now gives us a new opportunity to celebrate in this manner the memory of his Love. And Othat our hearts were lifted higher than ever, after fo long acquaintance with Him, in admiration of his Grace, in Faith, in Love, in Joy, in Praise and thanksgiving, in ftrong and vehement Defires, and in cor dial Refolutions to be his devout and faithful Difciples! O that the hearts of all Men elfe, who fhall approach his Table, may be difpofed to the like zealand fervent affection to his Service; and fo many fouls as there are then prefent, fo many living Sacrifices there may be to God; fo many Wills refign'd into his hands with ardent Love that fo thofe holy Spirits, which th' Apofle tells us, were prefent in their Chriftianaflemblies, may be invited to come into ours, and beholding nothing but what is reverent, ferious, pure, and full of true devotion, they may be excited to rejoyce and praise God together with us, for our fincere affection to his Religion; and they may make report among their heavenly Company above, that Chriftian piety is ftill remaining among us, and that we have made a great increase and growth in it this Year, by our frequent Remembrance of the Lord Jesus; which may ftir them up all to bless the great and glorious Name of our God, which is exalted above all bleffing & praife. The LORD hath prepared his throne in the heavens and his Kiagdom ruleth over all. Bless the LORD ye angels, Bless ye the EORD all ye his hofts. Bless the LORD, all his works in all places of his dominion: Blefs the LORD,0 my Soul. Pf. 103. 19 to 22. Let us ftir up our felves to blefs the Name of God our Father, who has not caft us out of
his fight, when we threw off our obedience to Him, but. fent his Son to gather us again to Him, to invite us by precious Promifts, to indear Himself to us by fhedding his heart-bloud for us, to open the gate of Paradife once more, and restore us to immortality; to make us equal with the Angels, and rank us among the eldest fons of Glory. Let us go, and, if it be poffible, excite a greater Love in our hearts toward Him than ever we felt before. Let us offer up our felves to Him with a ftronger flame of Devotion; which may always burn and rife up higher and higher till it touch Heaven; and lift us up thither where our Savior is, in the high and holy place, God blessed for ever. Amen. §. 17. CHRISTMAS-DAY.
WHAT amazing News is this? what an astonishing piece of Love! that the King of Kings, who needed nothing, and is able by his omnipotent word to command more creatures into being, (if He wanted any fubjects) than we can think of while we live, fhould fend a kind Embaffage of peace to us vile worms, finful duft and afhes; to us, who were unworthy of a gracious look from Him, fhould we have befought his favor; to us that had highly affronted his Sovereign Authority and Sacred Laws, he has difpatch'd a glorious Meffage, as if we were the greateft perfons, and fo many little Gods. And had it not been too great an honor for us to think of, it He had fent one of his meanest fervants in the heavenly Court to vifit us? or if He had bidden an illuftrious Seraphim to come and comfort, and chear us by his bright appearance, or one of the Cherubims to fly all over the Earth, and make proclamation in our Ears, that the King of Heaven would be reconciled to his rebellious Subjects? would it not have fill'd the whole World with wonder, and made all Mankind stand at a gaze to fee themfelves fo highly favor'd?O what a grace then was it, that God fhould fend his Son, his only begotten Son, the Prince and Sovereign Lord of all that heav enly Hoft,upon this bufinefs of Reconciliation? This is that which aftonishes not men only, but Angels themfelves, who proclaimed the birth of this Prince of Life with the loudest houts of joy, faping, Glory to God in the higheft, and on earth peace, good will towards men. S. Luke 2. 14. Towards men do they fay? Lord, what are they that Thou shouldst put this honor on them! what are the greatest and noblest men on Earth
Earth? what is their excellency and worth, that fach addreffes fhould be made unto 'em? Olet us joyn our felves, as well as we are able, with thofe bright Morn ing stars that fang for joy, when the fouudation of the new World was laid, and fay, Glory be to th' eternal Majefty of Heaven and Earth, who poffeffes all things, and can fuffer nothing; that He would deign to fend to us his poor Subjects Glory be to his Almighty Love, who fo loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whofoever believeth in Him, fhonld not perish, but have everlasting life. For God fent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through Him might be saved. S. John 13. 16. 17. O beffed Jefus, how ardent, how powerful was that love, which brought Thee down from the heavenly company above to us here one arth? yea, iuto the lower parts of the earth. Eph. 4. 9. to be clothed with our rags, to dwell in our mortal flefh, in the liknefs of finful flesh Mighteft Thou not at least have been appareli'd like the best of Men, and been found in the habit and fashion of the Nobleft of us? but Thou wouldst alfo condescend to the form of a fervant, that the most despicable of all Mankind might never fufpect they fhould be defpifed by the King of Glory. O what an humble love was this, to us moft wretched Sinners? what heart can conceive th' infinite force of it; how infinitely is it above all words? We do but declare we know little of it, if we are able to talk much about it. It is fit for our wonder and filent admira. tion; fos adoring thoughts, and devout extafies of Love. Only we will go, and declare in the Affemblies of his People thefe wonderful Works of the Lord; and publish his Goodness with the voice of Thanksgiving and Praife. Lord, what new Wonder is that which there we behold!this Glorious Perfon murder'd by his Subjects; the new born Prince of the World, the Heir of all things caught, caft out, and flain, S. Mat. 21. 39. by thofe to whom he was fent to demand their obedience. O the miraculons wisdom of this Love! that He fhould be born, and come among us, to die for us! and take our flesh, that He might offer it on the Crois, and make peace and reconcilation by being flain, and hedding his Bloud! We will go and fhow forth his Death to Angels and Men for this is the upfhot of his Love, in that while we were yet finners, Chrift dled for us Rom
5. 8. By this He has made an Atonement for us; by this He has obtained eternal Redemption for us; Heb. 9. 12. with this Offering God is well pleaf'd and fatisfied; and by this He has exalted our Nature to the right hand of God, that He may alwaies appear in his prefence for us. With what love, and joy, and zeal fhou'd we commemorate this never to be forgotten Love! with what hearty affection fhould wes offer our felves to Him! how glad fhou'd we be of this new opportunity to vow Him our obedience! with what tender love fhou'd we imbrace all our Brethren, who are flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, as He is! and how confortably may we hope that God will be gracious. to us, who has not only fent his fon to make his abode. among us, but also to lay down his life for us! Let us go and blefs his Name, that to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, Fla. 9.6, even Chrift the Lord; that He hath raif. ed up an born of Salvation for us; that we should be faved from the hand of all that hate us. That we might ferve Him without fear, in holiness and righteousness before Him, all the days our life. S. Luke 1. 69, 71, 74, 75. And let us receive thefe earnests and pledges of his good will as hopeful affu rances that He will never end his love till He has convey'd us thither where Jefus is. But how fhall we come there unless it be in thofe fteps whereby He afcended from earth to heaven? We must go therefore and offer to Him hearts of flesh, to be moulded and framed into what figure He pleafes; defire Him to form his own Image in us; to subdue us perfectly to his Will, that it may be our meat and drink to do it, and to finish the work He has for us in the world; think we hear Him fay, as Abimelech to the men of Sechem, to move them to elect him for their King: Gemember that I am your bone and your flesh. Jud. 9. 2. Beholl my Body which I took for your fakes; fee here how dear you are to Me; and how nearly related I stand to every foul of you; Will you not fuffer Me to rule over you? fuch a Lord as is fo much concern'd for you? will you not bel govern'd by me that am your Brother, as well as your Lord? And then, methinks we fhou'd all anfwer with one accord; Other Lords have reign'd over us, but now none. but Thou; O Chrift, none but Thou; O Chrift, Rule and reign over us for ever; for we are thy Servants.
The Soliloquy when I awake every Morning, as in the Introduction, §. 8. and every Night in undreffing, aš§. 39. §. 1. An Ejaculation before Irife, any day. PREDENT me, O Lord, in all my Doings, with thy most gracious favor, and further we with thy continual. help, that in all my works, begun, continued, and ended in Thee, I may glorify thy Holy Name, and finally by thy Mercy obtain everlafting Life, thro' Jefus Christ our Lord.
§. 2. IT is advifeable for me; if not fick nor weak, whol ly to Fast one intire Artificial Day in this Week, (for which Wednesday, Fryday, or Saturday feems to me most proper, Be-. caufe onr Lord was Betraied on the first of thefe daies; Cruci fied on the fecond; and in the ftate of his lowest Humiliation on the third) or elfe in part as in Ch. 1o. §. 1. and abtain from the full measure of my ordinary fleep, all Secular business, and all outward pleasures of fenfe and much more from all Sinful and unlawful Thoughts, Words, and Deeds: To afflict my Boy, that my Soul may be the more humbled; Punifh my Flesh, for the gratifyiug of which most of my fins have been committed; Acknowledge my'felf unworthy of my daily Bread; Watch and pray to be Ready when my Lord does come; Try and judge my felf iu fome place of privacy; Imploy all my Faculties to get an inward infight of Sin, and fenfe of Mifery; To fear God's wrath; Grieve for all my Sins, and confefs and forfake 'em; Forgive wrongs and my poor infolvent Debtors; Give alms, if able, at lealt what I do, or might fpare this Day in Dyet and ordiuary pocket Expences; and Defire Peace with God more than my common Food; Befeeching Him to help me to prevent his Fudgment, by condemning my felf. For curfed is he that doth this work of the Lord deceitfully. Fer. 48. 10.
S. 311 Argument for Receiving frequently: FROM the Practice of the Primitive Church. The ufage and practice of Chriftians in the Apostles days was, at ferufalem to Communicate in this holy Sacrament fo often as they folemnly met together to Worship God, Act. 2.42, 46. at Troas every Lord's