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Thou

The kingdom of heaven is now actually come. art exalted as a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance and remission of sins. Lord, give us saving repentance, to forsake every sin with grief and hatred, and to turn to thee with our whole hearts, as we desire just now to do. Let every high thing be brought low, and every imagination and desire be subjected to thy obedience. And cause us to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, that we may not be hewn down and cast into the fire. Make us to abound in all the fruits of righteousness which, by thee, are to the praise and glory of GOD.

11. I indeed baptize you with water unto repentance: but he that cometh after me is mightier than I, whose shoes I am not worthy to bear; he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost,

and with fire: 12. Whose fan is in his hand, and he will thoroughly purge his floor, and gather his wheat into the garner but he will burn up the chaff with unquenchable fire.

Lord, we were baptized in thy name in our infancy; and many of us have often devoted ourselves to thee according to thy new covenant. O baptize us with the Holy Ghost. It is said, "Thy fan is in thy hand, and thou wilt throughly purge thy floor." Lord, make us that true wheat which thou wilt gather into thy garner, while the chaff shall be burnt up with unquenchable fire.

SECT. VI.

The Baptism of Christ.

13. Then cometh Jesus from Galilee to Jordan unto John, to be baptized of him. 14. But John forbade him, saying, I have need to be baptized of thee, and comest thou to me? 15. And Jesus answering, said unto him, Suffer it to be so now for thus it becometh us to fulfil all righteousness. Then he suffered him. 16. And Je

sus, when he was baptized, went up straightway out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened unto him, and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove, and lighting upon him: 17. And, lo, a voice from heaven, saying, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.

We rejoice, O Lord, that thou hast fulfilled all righteousness; thou art therefore a fit Saviour for unrighte

ous and guilty transgressors. Thou art the Lord our Righteousness. Heavenly Father, be merciful to us sinners, and graciously accept us in thy beloved Son, on whom thy Spirit descended, and a voice was heard from heaven, saying, "This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased." O be well pleased with us for his sake.

THE

SECT. VII.

Jesus Christ tempted by the devil.

CHAP. IV.

12.) He shall give his angels charge concerning thee; and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone. 7. Jesus said unto him, It is written again, Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God. (Deut. vi. 16.) 8. Again, the devil taketh him up into an exceeding

HEN was Jesus led up of the Spirit into the wilderness, to be tempted of the devil. 2. And when he had fasted forty days and forty nights, he was afterward an hungered. 3. And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God,command that these stones be made bread.4.But he answer-high mountain, and sheweth him ed, and said, It is written,(Deut. I all the kingdoms of the world, viii. 3.) Man shall not live by and the glory of them; 9. And bread alone, but by every word saith unto him, All these things that proceedeth out of the will I give thee, if thou wilt mouth of God. 5. Then the fall down and worship me. devil taketh him up into the 10. Then saith Jesus unto him, holy city, and setteth him on a Get thee hence, Satan: for it pinnacle of the temple, 6. And is written, Thou shalt worship saith unto him, If thou be the the Lord thy God, and bim Son of God, cast thyself down: only shalt thou serve. (Deut. for it is written, (Ps. xci. 11, vi. 13.)

We are here informed that thou thyself wast tempted by the wicked one: no wonder he should assault thy poor weak disciples, in whom he finds, alas, too much fuel for his temptations; but in thee he found none. We beseech thee, O gracious Saviour, either to keep us from being tempted to sin, or support and deliver us when we are tempted. Glory to thy name for submitting to be tempted for our sakes: hereby thou hast both conquered our grand enemy, and acquired experience of temptation, that thou mightest better feel for us when we are under it. This is unspeakable comfort in the hour of trial.

Thou knowest we are not able, many times, to distinguish the temptations of Satan from our own corruptions but they are equally our enemies. May we be equally concerned to be delivered from both; and make us sensible that alluring temptations are more dangerous than those that are hideous and terrifying.

We see, O wise Lord, that the weapon by which thou repelledst the temptations of Satan, was the word of God. Though the adversary endeavoured to wrest it from thee, and even to wrest it to enforce his temptations, thou wast not discouraged, but still hadst recourse to the written word. Lord, make us well acquainted with this heavenly weapon. And may the account of the particular temptations, wherewith Satan dared to attack thee, and thy answers to them, be blessed for our direction and comfort, and for the benefit of all who are tempted. May all such afflicted souls remember, that "The man is blessed who endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the crown of life which thou hast promised to them that love thee."

11. Then the devil leaveth him; and, behold, angels came and ministered unto him.

When Satan found thou wast not to be conquered by his most exquisite temptations, he left thee for a time; but he returned, when he thought thy great sufferings would give him any advantage. Though he should forbear tempting us for a while, we cannot expect it will be long so he will probably be troublesome to us as long as we live; and, perhaps, will seek to disturb and terrify us when we come to die. Lord help us to keep our eyes fixed on thee, who knowest how to deliver us from the roaring lion.

We bless thee, that as the angels came and ministered to thee, so they are appointed to minister to all who are heirs of salvation, and to encamp about them that fear God, to protect and deliver them. It is a great comfort, that when the infernal spirits are seeking our ruin, the spirits of heaven are employed in defending us, and doing us good. Lord, give thine angels charge over us to keep us in all our ways; but, above all, do thou thy

self keep us, O Keeper of Israel, who never slumberest or sleepest. Then the sun shall not smite us by day, nor the moon by night. We shall not need to fear the pestilence that walketh in darkness, nor destruction that wasteth at noon-day. Thou, O Lord, wilt be our refuge; thou, O Most High, our habitation. There shall no evil befall us, neither shall any plague come nigh our dwelling. We shall tread upon the lion and adder; the young lion and the dragon shall we trample under feet.

SECT. VIII.

Jesus leaving Nazareth goes into Galilee, where he preaches repentance.

Zabulon, and the land of Nephthalim, by the way of the sea,

12. Now, when Jesus had heard that John was cast into prison, he departed into Gali-beyond Jordan, Galilee of the lee; 13. And, leaving Naza- Gentiles: 16. The people which reth, he came and dwelt in Ca- sat in darkness saw great light; the upon pernaum, which is and to them which sat in the coast, in the borders of Zabulon region and shadow of death and Nephthalim: 14. That it light is sprung up. 17. From might be fulfilled which was spo- that time Jesus began to preach, ken by Esaias the prophet, say- and to say, Repent: for the ing, (Isa. ix. 1,2.) 15.The land of kingdom of heaven is at hand.

sea

To sit in darkness and in the shadow of death, must be a very disinal situation; yet no other is the condition of every soul that wants thy heavenly light, O Sun of Righteousness! All our souls were once in this benighted state. If thou hast been pleased to give us some glimpse of the light of life, what ground of praise! O make us to walk as children of the light, and to rejoice in thy light, which is far sweeter to the eye of the soul, than the light of the sun is to the eye of the body. When shall we see thy light in heaven, in the New Jerusalem, of which thy word says, "It has no need of the sun or of the moon to shine in it; because the glory of God enlightens it, and the Lamb is the light of it."

SECT. IX.

The call of Peter and another of the Apostles.

18. And Jesus, walking by the thren, Simon called Peter, and sea of Galilee, saw two bre-Andrew his brother, casting a

net into the sea: for theywerefish-
ers. 19. And he saith unto them,
Follow me and I will make you
fishers of men.
20. And they
straightway left their nets, and
followed him. 21. And going
on from thence, he saw other

two brethren, James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, in a ship with Zebedee their father, mending their nets; and he called them. 22. And they immediately left the ship and their father, and followed him.

When thou, Lord, saidst to these men, "Follow me," they could not resist thy call, but immediately left their boats, and nets, and friends, and followed thee. Give us to feel the like powerful attraction of thy grace, Lord Jesus! Call us to follow thee whithersoever thou goest make us to see what a blessed thing it is to give up all for thee, and to follow thee through good report and bad report, through honour and dishonour, health and sickness, life and death. Thou hast said, "If any man serve me, let him follow me; "and where I am, there also my servant shall be, and him will my Father honour." Lord, shew us the way wherein thou wouldst have us to walk. We follow thee. Draw us, and we will run after thee in the way of all thy commandments, when thou hast enlarged our hearts. Happy disciples ! who accompanied thee in all places: though frequently exposed to the inclemency of the air, and to the want of external conveniencies, thy presence supplied all. And though sometimes they wanted thy bodily presence, they never wanted thy protection; and thou appearedst to them for their comfort in time of their greatest need. Lord, why may not we now enjoy something of their happiness? Thy human nature is indeed in heaven; but thy divine presence is here. And thou hast said, "Blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed." Lord, we believe; help thou our unbelief. We desire to walk continually in thy presence, and to hearken to the voice of thy word, and follow thee night and day.

SECT. X.

Jesus continues to preach and heal the sick.

23. And Jesus went about all Galilee, teaching in their

synagogues, and preaching the gospel of the kingdom, and

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