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contrived a wonderful method of restoring us to a new, and spiritual, and better life. O suffer us not to be insensible and unthankful under so gracious a dispensation ! Help us to walk worthy of thy manifold, thy unspeakable mercies; and increase in us daily thy graces; strengthen our faith, exalt our hope, and inflame and enlarge our charity.
Enable us, by the powerful influence of thy blessed Spirit, to continue steadfast in the belief of thy truth, and plentifully to bring forth the fruits agreeable to that belief; that so, by a true faith, and a suitable practice, thy mercy may at last bring us to the attainment of everlasting salvation; that we may be with thee where thou art, and see thee as thou art, and adore the brightness of thy majesty, and join our hearts and voices with those whom thou hast already admitted to that glorious sight, in hymns of joy and praise. Saying with all the company of heaven, Glory to the Father whose wisdom created us; Glory to the Son, whose love redeemed us; Glory to the Holy Spirit, whose grace sanctified us; Glory to the almighty and undivided Trinity, whose works are inseparable, and dominion without end. To thee belongs praise, and thanksgiving, and honour, and blessing; and therefore all honour, and power, and thanks, and praise be unto thee our God, for ever and ever.
Zeal in the Praise of God.. Pardon, O gracious Lord, pardon and pity most tender Father, my wretched ignorance and manifold imperfections. Do not reject my forwardness as rash and over-bold, because I who am but a servant, (O that I were but a good, and not a careless and unprofitable, and therefore a wicked and most unworthy servant) presume to praise and adore the great and terrible God, and when I do so, feel not my heart touched with that deep contrition, nor my eyes overflowing with tears, nor my soul humbled with that awful reverence and godly fear, which best becomes my vileness and thy majesty. For sure, if angels themselves fall down and tremble before thee, it is but fit that so sinful a creature as I, should approach thee with dread and sorrow; with sad apprehensions of the justice I have provoked to anger; and constant lamentations of my own guilt and unworthiness; that I should exceed. ingly fear and quake, and never come into thy presence, but with a pale dejected countenance, with weeping eyes and shivering limbs. This I am sensible I ought, and this I wish to do; but yet I do it not because I cannot do what I sincerely wish I could, and wonder greatly that I cannot bring myself to do. But who is able to do this, without the assistance of thy grace? For, as our salvation itself is entirely thy gift, so every pious disposition, which
tends to qualify us for it, is of thy great and free mercy.
O wretched man! whose heart is so hard, so stupid, as not to be broken with the terrors of the great God, when he appears before thee and takes upon him to publish thy praise! O flinty creature, more impenetrable than the nether millstone, whose eyes do not melt even into floods of tears, when the least of all the servants expostu. lates with his Master, man with God, the creature with his Creator, dust and ashes with him who made me out of nothing ! Behold, O Lord, I lay myself open before thee, and do not spare to tell all the world, the mean and guilty reflections with which my thoughts upbraid me when alone. . I only beg, that thou who art rich in mercy, wilt impart to me out of thy abundance; and from the treasures of thy goodness let me receive something which may be graciously accepted by thee. For we can only serve thee of thy own; and if at any time thou art pleased with our endeavours, those very endeavours are of the ability which thou thyself didst first vouchsafe to give us..
Do thou, therefore, from whom every good gift cometh, strike this rock, that the waters of holy sorrow may flow out abundantly: and when this sinful soul attempts to pay its tribute of praises and thanksgiving, let it be done with that becoming mixture of humility and remorse, of profound reverence and inward purity, and holy joy, with which they who love thee perfectly, and praise thee wor. thily, feel their hearts affected; such as may entitle me to all those spiritual comforts described in Scripture; when it is said, O taste and see how gracious the Lord is. Blessed is the man that trusteth in him. Blessed is the people that can rejoice in thee. Blessed is the man whose strength is in thee, in whose heart are thy ways, who passing through the valley of weeping make it a well, and go from strength to strength, till they appear in Sion. And, blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God. And again, Blessed, Lord, are they that dwell in thy house, they will be always praising thee.
Love to the Saviour.
O BLESSED Jesus, my sacrifice and ransom, the delight and desire of my soul, God of God! merci. fully assist the prayers of thy humble servant. On thee I call, to thee I cry with a loud voice, and from the very bottom of my heart. Thy presence I invite into my soul, O enter there and fit it up for thyself, that it may not offend thee by spot or wrinkle, or any such thing, but be holy and without blemish. For sure a clean dwelling only can be acceptable to the purity of so Divine an inhabitant. Do thou therefore sanctify me, a vessel made by thy own hand; and make me fit for thy own use: purge out all the remains of wickedness; fill me with thy grace, and keep me ever in that fulness, that I may be built up a holy temple, an habitation such as my God will not disdain here and for ever! O holy Jesus, of more value than gold and precious stones, and dearer to me than all the riches, and honours, and pleasures this world can afford !
But what does all I have said amount to, my God, my only hope ? Alas! I say as much as I can, though in no degree what I ought, upon so glorious a subject. O that I were capable of expressing thy excellences in as perfect and becoming a manner as the melodious choirs of angels do in their perpetual concerts of praise ! How gladly would I then spend all my breath, and even warble out my soul