صور الصفحة
PDF
النشر الإلكتروني

are under thy protection; the good for themselves, the bad for others; both for thy glory; the one thou willest to be happy, the other thou permittest to be miserable: neither of them can avoid their necesitys of fate, and yet thou neither inclinest the one, nor enforcest the other, because unto both in their ori. ginal thou gavest perfect freedom of evil, to chuse the good, to leave the bad; to inherit life, or pur, chase death..

Blelled God; we are all debtors in our first pas rents, thou mayest' therefore most justly require that of, us, which was lent us in them; they were able to pay, but not willing;. we, their woeful posterity (as we are in nature) are neither able, nor willing;. but by thy grace, Lord, we are only willing and not able ;, and thou hast therefore sent thine only Son, who was both freely willing, and fully able, to ap.. pease thy justice, to reconcile thy mercy, to comfort. us here, to crown us hereafter..

And now, Lord, having given us thy Son, how: shalt thou not, together with him also, give us all, things? and yet I often see thee giving of good. things to thie bad, and bad to the good : there is no. thing more frequent in this life, than the afflictioris. of thy children, nothing more common than the prosperity of the wicked, they receive their good: things in this life. I shall enjoy mine in that to

come, when I shall be comforted, and they tor: mented. Thou, O Lord, art righteous in all thy ways, and holy in all thy works; thou loadeft them with thine outward blessings, for their outward obedience; thou deniest me these outward favors, for mine inward advantage; by the one they are left inexcusable, by the other I am made more conformable; my patience exercised, my faith tried, my love examined, my humility proved; all these are special tokens of thy mercy towards me, for as grace increaseth here, so fhall glory hereafter.

Lord, what can he fear that is assured of thy fa. vor, that knoweth assuredly, that all these outward things shall work together for the best to his advan. tage: If Joseph be thrown into the pit, it is to send him into Egypt; if into prisons, to prefer him to Pharoah, that so corn may be sent into Canaan; if fatan be sent to tempt 7ob with afflictions, it is because Fob shall overcome satan by patience ; if holy David become a sad fpe&acle of human frailty by finning, it is to make him a pattern of true piety in repenting ;, if the bodies of the saints be grievously martyred. in this life, it is to array them with glon gious robes in that to come.

come.

Lord, let this teach me joyfully to entertain the saddest of events, which either thy wisdom, man's unrighteousness, or fatan's cruelty can bring upon me; to be patient under them, and thankful for

them; to ransack iny foul, and fearch diligently there, for what fin-thou sendest this forrow, to bewail it, abhor it, forsake it, and earnestly implore thy pardon for it: when I am thus happily resolved, I shall then have that undaunted boldness, to say with holy Job, although thou killest me, yet will I trust in thee with holy David, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, yet will I fear none evil, for thou Lord art with me; and with the blessed apostle, that I know assuredly, that the sufferings of this life shall work for me a far greater and more exceeding weight of glory in that to come.

TO thee, therefore, Othou blefled guardian of my finful soul, and wretched body, do I address myself for safety and protection.'

I confess, O Lord, there is no one minute of my. whole life can be safe without thy gracious provia dence, and yet so wretched have I been, that few or. none of them have been devoted to thy service..

Lord, I am not worthy of the leaft of all thy mercies, and of all thy truth thou haft afforded me; 'even the very best of all my actions hath juftly me.. rited the very worst of all thy punishments, and yet thou daily loadeft me with thy blessings, ale though I hourly sin-against thee, by my great trans-gressions,

· Forgive me my unmindfulness of these thy mer-cies, my great unthankfulness for all thy favors, and fix my sinful soul more willingly, more joyfully,: more fervently, more constantly, in thy services.

.

Teach me to keep a catalogue of thy mercies, to : let none pass without a thankful and devout acknowledgment; to set some days apart from the year, some hours from each day to praise thee for: them.

- Forgive the pride of my posterity, my carelessness
of thee, my coldness unto thine, my crossness unta,
others, my cruelty to myself.
> Lord, pardon my repinings in adversity,. my dis--
taste of thy power, my distrust of thy providence,
my denial of thy wisdom, my refusal of thy love,
my contempt of thy favor, my neglect of thy, grace,
my despair of thy goodness..

O give me such a blessed frame of heart, that I may chearfully and joyfully content myself, to, walk in whatsoever paths thy blessed providence fhall lead me to : O hold thou :up my going in those paths, that my feet slip not; teach me to make a gracious and a sweet improvement of these outward. crosses, a blessed and a wise advantage of thine in ward graces : -Lord lead me by thy counsel here, and. afterwards receive me to thy glory.ww-ANINA

CHAP. XVI.

UPON SINFUL ANGER, AND THE GREAT DIS.

TURBANCE THEREOF.

LORD

W HEN I consider of thy patience, and long-suffering towards me, a miserable sinner, of the lowliness of thy faints, and of the great humility and meekness of my Saviour in his sufferings, I much deplore the woeful weakness of mine own in-'. firmities, and more admire the richness of thy goodness, in admitting me to speak unto thee.

What pleasure, Lord, canst thou take in that service which is all sin? how canst thou delight in that which thou abhorrest? thou art a God of pure eyes, and canst not behold iniquity; if all my righteousness be in thy fight as filthy rags and men. struous clothes, how full of ugliness and deformity, will my sins then appear before thee?

Ah Lord, thou hast often seen how easily, how suddenly, how wretchedly I have been swallowed up of sinful passion ; how I have violaced that invaluable peace which thou hast given me, by re. vengeful thoughts, by despiteful words, by disturb. ing actions, I know nothing in my corrupt nature,

« السابقةمتابعة »