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of his flesh, his blood, and his bones. Now where a part of me already reigns, there I believe myself shall reign also; and in the triumphs and glories of his flesh, I plainly see and am assured of the honours which may be done to my own. Though I am a miserable sinner, yet the participation of this grace will not suffer me to despond: and, if my own vileness exclude me from this bliss, yet my substance, already admitted to it, opens a passage for me thither too. For God cannot forget that manhood, with which himself is clothed, which he put on for my sake, and which he will one day re. ceive to himself for my unspeakable benefit.
No, our God is merciful and gracious, tenderhearted, and of great goodness. He loves his own flesh, his own body and his own members. We are his body, and his substance. He is our head, from whence the members are derived, to which they are inseparably united; and of us also is that ordi. nance of God in the first creation verified, that He is the bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, and we two are no more two, but one flesh. Now the apostle tells us, and if he had not, even nature itself tells us, that no man ever yet hated his own flesh, but loveth and cherisheth it. And of this principle of nature, he hath justified the application to our own eternal comfort, and most assured hope, when he adds those most precious words: This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the Church.
For this cause, O Lord my God, my tongue, my heart, my every faculty, shall never cease to magnify thy infinite loving-kindness for all the miracles of mercy which thou hast been pleased to work for the relief of wretched man, by the ministry and
mediation of thy blessed Son, the great restorer of thy lost world. That Son, who died for our offences and rose again for our justification; and now liveth for ever at thy right hand, making intercession continually for us: that Son, who joins with thee in extending the mercy for which he inter. cedes, because he is of thee, and with thee, the same very and eternal God, which makes him able for ever to save them, that come to thee by him: that Son, who even as man, though in that respect inferior to thy Divine majesty, hath all power given to him in heaven and in earth; that, at the name of Jesus, every knee should bow, of things in heaven, and things on earth, and things under the earth; and that every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to, and in thy glory, O God the Father. This is he whom thou hast ordained to be the judge both of the quick and the dead; for, thou thyself judgest no man, but hast committed all judgment to thy Son, in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. . .
Now he is both the witness and the judge; that judge, and that witness, whose discerning eye no guilty conscience can escape: for all things are naked and open in his sight. Thus he, who did himself submit to a most unrighteous judgment, shall judge the world in righteousness, and the people with equity. I magnify thy holy name, O Almighty and most merciful God, and from the bottom of my heart give glory to thee, for this wonderful conjunction of the Divine and human nature in one person, that so one might not be God, and another be man; but that one and the same should be both God and man. But notwithstanding thy Divine Word, did, by a most astonishing condescena sion, suffer himself to be made flesh, yet both these natures still remained distinct and perfect, and neither was changed into, or swallowed up in the other. There was no addition of a fourth person to the Holy Trinity by this amazing dispensation ; but all was so done, that the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, the love of God the Father, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, might be bestowed upon all thy people.
O marvellous mystery! O mercy most adorable, ever to be admired, ever to be loved! We were not worthy to be called thy servants, and thou hast made us sons; sons of God, not only sons, but heirs too, heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ. Whence is this mighty favour? Who are we, that the King of heaven should thus delight to honour us ? Nothing, alas! and even less than nothing. But since, O gracious Father, thou hast been pleased to do great things for us; I beseech thee, by thy own unspeakable love, to perfect the good work thou hast begun; and make us such, as thy many and gracious promises in Jesus Christ were designed to be accomplished in. Send down thy grace and spirit from above, and let this qualify us to receive the fulness of thy mercy. Help us to understand and consider with reverence, to contemplate, and with all diligence to walk worthy of this mystery of godliness, this Son of God, manifested in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Thanks to God for Redemption. How vainly are we indebted to thy bounty, O Lord, whom thou hast redeemed with so precious a ransom, saved with so noble a gift, honoured with so high a privilege! What fear, what reverence, what love, what thanks, what praise and glory, ought wretched sinners to render to a God, who hath thus pitied, thus loved, thus rescued, thus sanctified, thus exalted them! The whole of our ability, the whole of our knowledge, our very life and being is all of it thy just tribute. But, alas; what ability hath any of us? What can we do, or what indeed are we, which is not thine already? Thou, therefore, from whom all good things come, impart to us, for thy own name's sake, of thy good treasure, that of thy own gifts we may give back again to thee; and by thy grace be enabled to serve and please thee in faithfulness and truth, and to render thee due and daily praise for all thy works of mercy, yea, even for the very power of rendering thee this praise.
For, alas ! we are very sensible that the very power of serving and pleasing thee is entirely thy gift; since every good and perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. And in this sense we address to thee, O Father almighty, acknowledging thy power; 0 Father of mercy, depending on thy goodness; O
Lord incomprehensible, adoring thy infinite excellence; O maker and restorer of all things by thy Son, Jesus Christ, in confidence of thy love through that all-sufficient Saviour, whom thou hast vouchsafed to send out of thy own bosom for our common benefit, to take our life, that he might give us his. In the name, therefore, of this wonderful person we approach thee, and well we may, since he who cannot lie hath left this joyful assurance with all that love him, That whatsoever such shall ask the Father in his name, he will not fail to give it them.
Therefore by this great, this true, this only perfect high priest, this bishop of souls, who offered himself a spotless and propitiatory sacrifice to thy justice; by this good shepherd, who laid down his life for the sheep; by this Mediator and Redeemer, who sitteth at thy right hand, making intercession for us, I implore thy mercy, 0 most tender lover of mankind, that thou, this Son of thine, and thy blessed Spirit, would grant me grace, truly and constantly to magnify thy glorious name, with deep remorse and godly sorrow for my sins, with humility and repentance unto salvation, with profound reverence, with fear and trembling. And for this, I entreat the whole Trinity of persons, who being all united in this glorious work of redemption, must of necessity be joined in the same act of giving.
But being sadly sensible withal, that the spirit within me, how willing soever of itself, is yet weakened and weighed down by this corruptible body, I beg that thou wouldst stir up and quicken my stupidity, and so actuate this heavy lump, that I may vigorously attend to, and stedfastly persevere in, the ways of thy commandments, and the proper