Page images

* The Meditation for Tuesday Morning, Upon God's mercy and Christ's incarnation, to pre

pare us for a wortky receiving of the holy facra


[ocr errors]

For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Fohn iii. 16.

Raw near all yethat fear our Lord; and

I will tell you what he has done for my foul; hear, and I will tell you what he hath done for yours, and the wonders of his bounty towards all the world. When we lay asleep in the shades of nothing, his almighty hand awakened us into being; not to that of stones, or plants, or beasts, over which he has made us abfolute lords; but to a body wonderfully made, and an immortal soul, little inferiorto his glorious angels; he printed on our souls his own fimilitude, and promised to our obedience a share in his own felicity; he endued us with appetites to live well and happy, and furnish'd us with means to satisfy thoserappetites; creating a whole world to serve us here, and providing a heaven to glorify us hereafter.

2. These

Here you may observe the directions given on Page 3.

2. These are the favours of God's infinite goodness: but what return have we made to him! blush, Omy soul, for Thame, at fostrange a weakness, and weep for grief at fo extreme an ingratitude. We childishly preferred a tr:vial apple before the law of our God, and the safety of our souls: we fondly embraced alittle needless satisfaction, before the pleasures of paradise, and the eternity of heaven.

3. Behold the unhappy source of all our miferies, which still increased its streams as . they went farther on, till they cxacted at last a

deluge of justice, to drown their delugeofiniquity; and here, alas! had beenanendof man, a fad and fatal end of the whole world, had not our wife creator foreseen the danger, and

mercy prevented the extremity of the ruin, reserving for himself a few choice plants to replenish the earth with more hopeful fruit: yet they grew quickly wild, and brought forth four grapes,

and their childrens teeth were set on edge; quickly they aspired to an intolerable pride of fortifying their wickedness against the power of heaven, by building the Tower of Babel.

4. This rebellion provok'd justice to a second deluge, and to bring again a cloud over the earth; but mercy discovered a bow in the


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

C 2


cloud, and our faithful God remembered his promise, allaying their punishment with a milder sentence, andonly scattered them from the place of their conspiracy; which yet his providence turned into a blessing, by making it an occasion of peopling the world. Still their rebellious nature disobeyed again, and neither feared his judgments, nor valued his mercies; but with a graceless emulation propagated sin, as far as his goodness propagated mankind. Then he selected a private family, and increased and governed them with a particular tenderness, giving them a law by the hands of angels, and engaged their obedience by a thousand favours; but they likewise neglected their God and heaven, and fell in love with the ways of death.

5. When thouhadstthus, Omerciful Lord, used many remedies, and our disease was beyond their power to cure; when the light of nature proved too weak a guide, and the general flood too mild a correction; when the miracles of Moses could not soften their hearts, nor the law of angels bring anyto perfection; when the whole was reduced to this desperate state, and no imaginable hope left to recover us; behold! thy eternal wisdom finds an amazing expedient, the last and the highest instance of almighty love; he resolves to clothe himself with our flesh and come down amongst us, and die to redeem us, and has left us the blessed facrament of his body and blood for a perpetual remembrance of the fame.

6. Wonder, O my soul, at the mercies of the Lord! how infinitely do they transcend even our utmost wishes ? wonder at the admirable providence of his counsels, that are exactly fitted to their great design! had our Saviour been less than God, we could never have believed thesublimemysteries of his heavenly doctrine: had he been other than man, we must needs have wanted the powerful motive of his holy example. Had he been only God, he could never have suffered the least of those afflictions, he so gloriously overcame: had he been merely man, he could never have overcome those infinite afflictions he fo patiently endured. In thee, O blefled Saviour, the two natures of God and man were so mysteriously united, without either change or confusion, that they inade in thee but one person, one mediator, one Lord.

[blocks in formation]


The Prayer on Tuesday morning, for God's mercy

and grace in our preparation for the sacrament. O hide not thou thy face from me; nor cast thy fervant away in displeasure. Thou haft been my succour; leave me not, neither forsake me, O God of my falvation. Psalm xxvii, 10, ļI.

Most glorious, most great, and eternal

God! thou art the fovereign Lord of heaven and earth, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom I live, and move, and have my being, and from whom I derive all the comforts and conveniences of this life, and all my hopes and expectations of a better. O Lord! I acknowledge that I am not worthy to come into thy presence, nor to lift up mine eyes towards the throne of thy mercy-seat. My sins and transgressions are many, and divers of them have been often repeated; the corruption of my heart, and the sinfulness of my thoughts are perfectly known to thee; and the punishment I deserve is greater than I am able to bear. O give me not over to mine oppressors, but save and deliver me for thy mercy's sake, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

O Lord! if thou shouldest deal with me as I have deserved, how justly mayst thou deprive me of all those means of grace, and opportunities of working out my salvation, which


« PreviousContinue »