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to acquire it. And let no one at any time omit customary private application to God in prayer, one part or other of the day.

For here in this point it is, that those who have made some good beginnings often stumble, and first fall away from their wonted strictness and serious regards for God and his truth.

Sometimes through business and unavoidable distractions and avocations; at others, through slighter excuses and hindrances, they suffer themselves to become more relaxed in and neglectful of this devout exercise, till by degrees and in a course of time they drop it entirely; and with this too often lose all sense of God, so as sometimes to become most profane beyond others.

I am sorry that examples of this kind have not been rare.—“ Watch and pray, then, that ye enter not into temptation : the spirit is, willing, but the flesh is weak."

PRAYER.

O eternal ever glorious Lord God Almighty! the God of all power and mercy, the fountain of being, and author of all good!

Who

Who continually upholdest all things by the word of thy power, and governest the different ranks of beings that thou hast made, by thy wise and righteous providence !

Impress us, we beseech thee, with a lively continual sense of thine immense benignity to us ; that though thou art so high and glorious, thine ear is ever open to our prayers, and thou dost still condescend to be with us, thy frail offending creatures, to relieve and support us in all our wants and necessities, and to carry on the willing mind to that perfection of virtue which may fit us for thy presence for

ever.

And since thou hast put dangers and difficulties in our way, and hast ordained pain and suffering to be the road that is to lead us to thee,-give us, we pray thee, a full and abiding persuasion that this floweth from thy most perfect wisdom and goodness, because that we cannot otherwise be brought to that high felicity for which thou hast designed us ; for thou hast no pleasure in the sufferings of thy creatures, and afflictest them only for their good and benefit.

Do thou, therefore, O heavenly Father! cause all the trials and sufferings with which thou

mayest

mayest see it fitting to visit us, and the dangers and temptations with which thou surroundest us, to answer thy kind design; to be a continual exercise of patience and all virtue to us, and that the principle of-piety and submission to thy blessed will may be strengthened and confirmed in us.

And since all our ways are before thee, and thou knowest the snares that are lurking in them, and how to preserve us from them; admonish us, we pray thee, hourly of our danger, and keep us from such temptations as may be too strong for us; that by thy mighty overruling providence we may avoid all occasions of falling

Finally, O Lord our God, grant to us a spirit of watchfulness and sobriety, of the love and fear of thee, a spirit of prayer

and supplication to thee! that we may find help from thee in our time of need, and may be conducted safe through this world of dangerous trials, to those mansions of peace and blessedness, which thou hast reserved for those who shall here become fitted for them; and hast promised by Christ our Lord, that therein they shall dwell before thee for ever.

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Now

VOL. I.

Now unto Thee, O Father, &c.

May the God of all grace, who hath called us to bis eternal glory by Christ Jesus, make us per. fect; establish, strengthen, settle us ! To bim be glory aud dominion for ever and ever!

October 3, 1779.

SERMON

SERMON XX.

1 Cor. xi. 18, 19.

Í bear, that when ye come together in the congre

gation, there are divisions among you : and I believe it, as to some part of you. For there must also be beresies among you, that they which are approved may be made manifest among you.

Our apostle had immediately before been reproving the christians at Corinth, for a great impropriety in their behaviour at their public assemblies for divine worship : particularly some of the other sex, in what he calls their prophesying ; which term frequently, and here in particular, does not signify the foretelling of future events, but praying or teaching under an extraordinary influence of the holy spirit of God; and was a gift communi cated in that first age of the Gospel sometimes to women as well as the men ; when, probably through the too great vehemency of 2 c 2

their

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