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THANKSGIVINGS.

A general Thanksgiving.

Almighty God, Father of all mercies, we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks for all thy goodness and loving-kindness to us and to all men, * This to be said [^particularly to those

ZZ^ZrS* TMh° desire now to tor d«ire to re- offer up their praises turn praise. an d thanksgivings for

thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them."] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the blessings of this life; but above all, for thine inestimable love ,in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee, give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful; and that we may shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives; by giving up ourselves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

For Rain.

O God our heavenly Father, who by thy gracious providence dost cause the former and the latter rain to descend upon the earth,, that it may bring forth fruit for the use of man; We give thee humble thanks that it hath pleased thee, in our great necessity, to send us at the last a joyful rain upon thine inheritance,

and to refresh it when it was dry, to the great comfort of us thy unworthy servants, and to the glory of thy holy Name, through thy mercies in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For fair Weather.

O LonD God, who hast justly humbled us by thy late plague of immoderate rain and waters, and in thy mercy hast relieved and comforted our souls by this seasonable and blessed change of weather; We praise and glorify thy holy Name for this thy mercy, and will always declare thy loving-kindness from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Plenty.

O Most merciful Father, who of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of thy Church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into cheapness and plenty; We give thee humble thanks for this thy special bounty; beseeching thee to continue thy loving-kindness unto us, that our land may yield us her fruits of increase, to thy glory and our comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

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compassed. We acknowledge it thy goodness that we were not delivered over as a prey unto them; beseeching thee still to continue such thy mercies towards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty Deliverer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For restoring Public Peace at Home.

O Eternal God, our heavenly lather, who alone makest men to be of one mind in a house, and stillest the outrage of a violent and unruly people ; We bless thy holy Name that it hath pleased thee to appease the seditious tumults which have been lately raised up amongst us; most humbly beseeching thee to grant to all of us grace, that we may henceforth obediently walk in thy holy commandments; and leading a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and honesty, may continually offer unto thee our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for these thy mercies towards us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

for Deliverance from the Plague, or other common Sickness.

O Lord God, who hast wounded us for our sins, and consumed us

for our transgressions by thy late heavy and dreadful visitation; and now in the midst of judgement remembering mercy, hast redeemed our souls from the jaws of death; We offer unto thy fatherly goodness ourselves, our souls and bodies, which thou hast delivered, to be a living sacrifice unto thee, always praising and magnifying thy mercies in the midst of thy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this:

We humbly acknowledge before thee, O most merciful Father, that all the punishments which are threatened in thy law might justly have fallen upon us, by reason of our manifold transgressions and hardness of heart. Yet seeing it hath pleased thee of thy tender mercy, upon our weak and unworthy humiliation, to asswage the contagious sickness wherewith we lately have been sore aflli&ed, and to restore the voice of joy and health into our dwellings; We offer unto thy divine Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, lauding and magnifying thy glorious Name for such thy preservation and providence over us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

23 THE

COLLECTS, EPISTLES, AND GOSPELS.

Note, That the Collect appointed for every Sunday, or for any Holt-dat that hath a Vigil or Eve, shall be laid at the Evening Service next before.

The First Sunday in Advent.
The Colled.

Almighty God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life, in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility; that in the last day, when he shall come again in his glorious Majesty, to judge

{a) " Owe,'' &c. i.e. "have no debts or "propensities, but those of benevolence." It is one of the great characteristics of Christianity, that it makes general benevolence, and whatever has a tendency that way, a most important duty. When a lawyer asked our Saviour, which was the great commandment in the law, and our Saviour answered, "thou shalt love •* the Lord thy God with all thy heart, "and with all thy soul, and with all thy "mind, this is the first and great com"mandment;" he immediately added, "and the second is like unto it, thou "shall love tby neighbour at thyself." See Matt, xxiii. 36. See also Luke x. 2 5. In John xiii. 34 our Saviour, just before he was betra) ed, says," a new command"ment I give unto you, that ye love one "another, as I have loved you, that ye "also love one another. By this shall "all men know, that ye are- my disciples, "if ye have love one to another." St. Paul says, Gal. v. 14. " all the law is "fulfilled in one word, even in this, "thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy. "self;" and in his famous eulogium upon charity, or general benevolence, he says,

both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through him who liveth and reigneth, with thee and the Holy Ghost, now and ever. Amen.

[This Collet! is to be reflated every Day, ■*• the other ColietU in Advent, until Christmas Eve.]

The Epistle. Rom. xiii. 8.

Owe (a) no man any thing, but to love one another: for he that

"though I have the gift of prophecy

"and understand all mysteries, and all

"knowledge, and though I have all

"faith, so that I could remove moun

•' tains, and have no charity, I am no

"thing: and though I bestow all my

"goods to feed the poor, and though I

"give my body to be burned, and have

"not charity, it profiteth me nothing."

St. James says, " if ye fulfil the royal law

"according to the scripture, thou shah

"love thy neighbour as thyself." St. John

dwells very much upon this essential

duty. "He that saith he is in the light;

"and hateth his brother, is in dark

"ness even until now." 1 John ii. 9.

Again, " He that Ioveth not his brother,

"abideth in death." 1 John iii. 14.

So, " Let us not love in word, neither

"in tongue, but in deed and truth;

"and hereby we know that we are

"of the truth; and shall assure our

"hearts before him." I John iii. 18.

Again, 1 John iv. 7, 8. " Beloved, let

"us love one another, for love is of

"God, and every one that Ioveth is

"bom of God, and knoweth God: he

"that Ioveth not, knoweth not God."

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loveth another hath fulfilled the law. For this; " Thou shalt not "commit adultery, Thou shalt "not kill, Thou shalt not steal, •' Xhou shalt not bear false wit** ness, Thou shalt not covet;" and if there be any other commandment, it is briefly compre

So in verse 12. "If we love one another, "God d welleth in us, and his love is per"fefted in us." And in v. 20. " If a *' man say I love God, and hateth his "brother, he is a liar;'' that is, the thing is impossible, for the only way in which we can love God, is by keeping his commandments, and "this coramand"ment have we from him, that he who "loveth God, love his brother also." 1 John iv. 21. Many other passages there are which inculcate the duty of benevolence, and it would be well for every one who is indignant for an injury he has received, or feels any emotion of rancour or ill-will, to search them out, and lay them to heart. ;I- (b) " Salvation," i.e. The great change they were to experience for the better at the time so often alluded to by the expressions, "the day of the Lord," "the "coming of the Lord,'' &c." The first converts to Christianity underwent great trials. The prophets Zechariah and Malachi had intimated that they would. Theformer.Zech.xiii.o,. says, "I" (that is, the Lord) "will bring the third part" leaning those who should not be cut off for their disbelief) "through the "6re, and will refine them as silver is "refined, and will try them as gold "is tried." And Malachi iii. 2. says of the Messiah, " who may abide the "day of his coming, and who shall "stand when he appeareth—for he is "like a refiner's fire, and like ful"ler's sope : and he shall sit as a re"finer and purifier of silver, and he "shall purify the Sons of Levi, and "purge them as gold and silver." Our Saviour also apprized the apostles and his other disciples, that " they should "be hated of all men for his Name's "sake," Matt. x. 22. and xxiii. 9. "that "they should be delivered up to the "councils, and scourged in the syna"g°gucs>" Matt. x. 17. '* that the bro"thcr should deliver up the brother to

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"death, and the father the child," &c. Matt. x. 21.; and it is obvious from the Epistles in the New Testament, that they were severely persecuted. St. Paul enumerates what be had gone through, 2 Cor.xi. 24, 25. "of the Jews five times •' received I forty stripes save one, thrice "was I beaten with rods, once was I "stoned," &c. St. Stephen was stoned to death, Afts vii. 59, 60. " Herod killed "James, the brother of John, with the "sword," Ads xii. 1, 2, 3. St. Paul, before his conversion, made havock of the church, A6ks viii. 3. and xxvi. 10. St. Paul, in 2 Thess. 1. 4. speaks of "their Patience and Faith in all their "persecutions and tribulations which "they endured;" and St. Peter, 1 Pet. iv. 12. speaks of their persecutions and afflictions as " the fiery trial, which "was to try them." One of the great arguments to inspire them with fortitude and resolution was this, that at the period referred to by the coming of the Lord, they should experience a signal deliverance. Our Saviour had expressly promised them, that "he who should endure to the end shouldbe taved," Matt. x.22. and xxiii. 13. and that the prospeft of this event might not be too remote, he assured his apostles, Matt. x. 23. that "they should not have "gone through the cities of Israel till "the Son of Man should be come ;" and after his famous prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem, &c. in Matt. xxiv. 34. he tells them, that " that generation "should not pass, till all those things "were fulfilled;" thereby intimating that they should occur before the persons then living should all be dead. The same intimation occurs in Luke xxi. 32. post30. See also John xxi. 22. This topic was accordingly pressed upon the converts with great force by the authors of the Epistles. In 1'hilipp. i. 6. St. Paul expresses his confidence, that "he who had "begun a good work in the converts at "Pkiiippi, would perform it until the day

nearer than when we (c) believed.

12. The night is far spent, the day is at hand: let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and let us

13. put on the armour of light. Let us walk honestly, as in the day; not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying.

14. But put ye on the Lord Jesus Christ, and make not provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof.

The Gospel. Matt. xxi. I.

When they drew nigh unto

"of Jesus Christ," as if the period would arrive in their time ; and in Philipp. iv. 5. he says, "The Lord is at hand." The author to the Epistle to the Hebrews presses them to hold fast the profession of their faith, without wavering, &c. &C. "and so much the more as ye see the day "approaching" Hebr. x. 25. St. Paul charges Timothy to keep a particular commandment without spot, " until the "appearing of our Lord Jesus Christ," as it he fully expefted it in Timothy's time, 1 Tim. vi. 14. In Tit. ii. 11 to 14. St. Paul says, "The grace of "God that bringeth salvation hath ap"peared to all men, teaching us, that "denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, "we should live soberly, righteously, "and godly in this present world, look"ing for that blessed hope, and the glorious "appearing of the great God, and our Sa"viour Jesus Christ, who gave himself "for us, that he might redeem us from "all iniquity, and purify unto himself "a peculiar people, zealous of good "works." St. James advises the brethren to "be patient, unto the coming of "the Lord:" "to stablish their hearts, "for the coming of the Lord draweth "nigh:" "not to grudge one ano"ther, lest they should be condemned ; | "for behold the Judge standeth before 1 "the door" James v. 7, 8, 9. St. Peter j speaks of the afflictions the converts! had undergone, "that the trial of their \ "faith might be found unto praise, "and honour, and glory, at the appear"ing of Jesus Christ," 1 Peter i. 7. Lastly, St. John says, 1 John ii. 28. "And now little children, abide in him, "that -when he shall appear, we may have « confidence, and not be ashamed before

Jerusalem, and were come to Bethphage, unto the Mount of Olives, then sent Jesus two disciples, saying unto them, " Go "into the village over against "you, and straightway ye shall "find an ass tied, and a colt "with her: loose them, and "bring them unto me. And if "any man say ought unto you, "ye shall say, " The Lord hath

"him at his coming." Many other passages might be added, but it is sufficient to adduce these. They have all a strong tendency to shew, that the prophecies recorded in St. Matthew were well known to the disciples before the destruction of Jerusalem, and that the Epistles wert written before that event. The prospect of a most extraordinary judgment from God upon the unbelievers, and of signal deliverance to those who embraced and held fast the faith, was admirably calculated to inspire the converts with courage and perseverance, and was therefore a topic likely to be brought forward by the disciples -whilst that prospeH continued. After the event it would have been absurd. Jerusalem was destroyed in the year of our Lord 70; the Epistle to the Romans is supposed to have been written about A.D. 58; that to the Philipp. A.D. 59; the ist to Timothy AD. 64; that to the Hebrews A. D. 63; St. James's A. D. 61; the ist of Si. Peter A.D. 64; and the ist of St. John, A. D. 69. It is asserted that no Christian perished at the siege of Jerusalem. 2 Newton's Prophecies, 154,160. 5 Watson's Trafts, 134.: and the immense slaughter among their Inveterate enemies the Jews, would of course tend greatly to relieve them from persecution. It is observable, that "the day," the day of the Lord, *' the coming or appearing of "the Lord," are spoken of as things of which the converts were before apprized. There is no explanation what is meant, as would probably have been the case, 'had not the meaning been fully under* stood.

(*) " Believed," i. e. "first believed." *"'

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