Obrazy na stronie
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

It has been already observ'd, that when he came early to Church; and was so happy as to get a retir'd Place, he continu'd at his Private Devocions, till the Publick Service began, or a very little before: And how he. employ'd those happy Moments of Privacy and Devotion, in the House of God: The following Prayer, mention'd, as us'd by him in the Church, before Morning Prayer began, will sew.

Behold, O Lord, this Portion of thy Family, whom in this flace Thou hast so often graciously visited, and favour'd; and

who have addicted, and given up themselves "to thy Service; are here met together, in

behalf of our felves, and of the rest of our í

happy number; and of all our Christian Brethren, even thy whole Church. We beseech thee to unite our Hearts more and more in thy self; that we may have but one Heart, and one Mind, as we have but one Design, one Aim and Hope. Let us now welcome each other with Hearts full of Love and Joy) unto thy Presence, as we hope one day to welcome each other into

thy Presence in Glory. Let our Civil Reç spects (before thy Service begins) be such

hearty and holy Salutations, as the blesed

Elizabeth gave to the Mother of our Lord: < And may we have leave to say to each o

ther, Hail, Thou that art favour'd of God, ( the Lord is with Thee." Behold we come

with united Hearts, to beg of Thee, the cuniiiming of thy Grace and Favour tous;


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

ed us.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

we come, to present our selves before thee, with most thankful Acknowledgments for thy Mercies received ; and to adore Thee, who hast so graciously visited us. We come. humbly to implore of Thee, strength against our respective Temptations and Difficulties in Life; to beseech Thee to supply all our Weakneses, to make us happily victorious against all our Corruptions; and more than Conquerors, thro' Thee who hast lov

But, o our bountiful Lord God! If it be such Joy to meet those whom we love, now in thy Prefence; what will it be to meet Ten Thousand Glorifi'd Spirits,

each of which we shall love infinitely more ' in thy Kingdom of Glory, than we can do

any Creature here! Glory be to Thee, O ' Lord of Glory and of Love; who haft gi

ven us such present Pleasure in thy Service, and such Comfortable Hopes of those Eter

nal good things, which Thou hast prepar'd 6 for them that love Thee. Amen.

He had the justest Value, and highest Vene- His Esteem ration for that great Repository of true De, for the Litur

of our votion, the Liturgy of our Church; for which,

Church. his Regard was not in the least abated, by the great Fervour of his private Prayers. For tho' his Devotion was very Intense, and full of Life and Warmth ; yet it was Calm and Governable, and confind within ţhe strictest bounds of Sobriety and Reason, And such awful Apprehensions had he, of the Presence of God; so cautious was he of uttering any thing rash with his Mouth, before his adoraK 4


[ocr errors]

ble Majesty; that even his private Prayers, were a well digested Form: From which he sometimes Vary'd, according to the particular Wants and Delires of his soul; tho' even these Variations he usually put in Writing; and to that purpose, had his Prayers reduc'd to Heads, in several Columns, with Blanks for his Additions, and Variations; frequently Reviewing and Correding the whole. But for all Publick Occasions, for Congregations gather'd in Churches; he esteem'd Forms of Prayer, not only Expedient, but Necessary. And such right Notions had he, of the Usefulness of Them, and of that popular, but mistaken Phrase, of Praying by the Spirit ; that I fall here give the Reader his Thoughts of both, in his own Words,

"Perhaps some of us have been too Zealous, in crying down this Phrase of Praying by the Spirit: 'Tis certain that all good Men have the Spirit of Christ, inspiring them with “the Temper of Christianity.This Temper breeds

in them good Desires; and Nature furnishes these delires with fit and suitable Expressions. It is the Inspiring us with these Holy Desires, flowing from the temper of christianity,which

is the peculiar Work of the Spirit of God. ( Thus the Spirit of God, speaks in us, and ( makes Intercession for us, with these holy

Desires, with which it Inspires us; and therefore the Expression may be very well allow'd that holy Men so Inspir’d, do Pray by the Spirit. But as upon an extraordinary Occasion, I shou'd not refuse to join with a


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]


er. C

holy Man, in such an Extemporary Prayer ; (God forbid I shou'd ) fo for ordinary Occasions, since the Spirit comes and goes ; and the most Holy Map, has not always such immediate Influences from it; I shou'd think, that Prayers compos'd by holy Men, set apart for that Work, and desiring the Alistance of God's Spirit to it; shou'd have a greater Portion of His Spirit in them, than any other constant Extemporary Pray

And for a Man's private use, the Occasions of his Soul do seldom so much Vary, ? but that by degrees, and the constant Exercise of this Duty, he must come up to a kind of Form, or way of Expresling his Needs, in the most perfect manner for himself; from which there need be very little Variation for extraordinary Emergencies. And when all the parts of it are thus settled and adjusted, his Duty obliges him, not to omit any of these Parts; and this is the constant Exercise of private Devotion, in which a

Man with a good Conscience, can't allow ( himself to fail.

These were his Sentiments of the Usefulness of Forms of Prayer, confirmd by his constantly attending our Churches Service,and by his Practice in Private ; tho' at the same time, he cou'd not allow himself to be Severe in his Censures of those who made Choice of another Way of Worship, when he believ'd Conscience was their Motive. Railing Accusations, never came out of his Mouth a. gainst any : They were too contrary to the

[ocr errors]


[ocr errors]

Example of his Great Master, and that Humility and Meekness, which shin'd in his Life, and appear'd in his Words, and all his acti

He honour'd true Piety, wherever he faw it ; and lov'd those, who he believ'd, serv'd God sincerely; tho’their way of Worfhip differ'd from his own. None consider'd more, the Power of Custom, and Education; and the difficulty of Relishing Modes of Worthip, we are Strangers to, till Practice remove our Prejudices, and Observation and Experience reconcile us to them. To this purpose, he Expresses himself in the following Meditation.

(Lord, we bless Thee, for the free Liberty of Worshipping Thee in the Way in which we have been brought up; in the Way, in which we have partaken of Thy

Grace, and receiv'd thy Spirit. It is not ' in our power, to reconcile our selves to a

ny Way of Worship (tho' we thought it lawful) at our Pleasures. The Grace of Devotion is easily check'd and stop'd ; and little Informalities have a great Influence and effect, upon the Spiritual part of our

Minds, by which Devotion is exercis'd : 'Yet it 'the liberty of Worshipping God, in

the Way I am us’d to, be taken from me;

and Another afforded me, which I am not 'us'd to, and judge lawful, I will endea

vour as fast as I can, to acquaint my Mind

with that Way; and in time I doubt not, ? buc God will enable me to receive Benefit

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]
« PoprzedniaDalej »