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was in the bosom of the Father,* hath declared thee to us the children of men. Thou hast proclaimed thy name in the scriptures of truth, such I believe to be thy character, and by faith see thee who art invisible, ‡ an eternal, independent, and perfect Being, incomprehensible in essence, infallible in thy word, immutable in thy purpose, the only omniscient and omnipresent God, who knowest the hearts of all the children of men; all things are naked and opened unto thy eyes, O Lord, with whom I have to do in a peculiar manner at this time; || "Search me, O God, and know my heart, try me and know my thoughts, and see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting." I am this day about to enter into bonds of devotedness to the Lord, to oblige myself to be the Lord's by a singular vow; Lord, gird me with strength, and make my way perfect ;** let thy secret be with me who desire to fear thy name, and shew me thy covenant; +t thou didst vouchsafe to enter into covenant with father Abraham, and his spiritual seed, saying, "I will be thy God,"‡‡ and dost renew it in the gospel, in these words, "I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a people."|||| I thy poor prodigal child, am at last returning to thee with grief in my heart, tears in mine eyes, for my former sins, saying, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to be called thy son, "make me as one of thy hired servants; §§ make me like the servant whose ear was bored to the door with an awl, that I may be thy servant for ever; "For a day in thy courts is better than a thousand; I would
✦ John i. 18.
+ Exod. xxxiv. 6.
§ Psal. cxxxix. 23, 24.
Heb. xi. 27.
Lev. xxvii. 2.
tt Gen. xvii. 7.
rather be a door-keeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness." O Lord, I am coming to thee, I believe thou art, and that thou art a rewarder of them that diligently seek thee; I am now about to seek the Lord God of Israel, and to swear unto the Lord with all my heart, and with my whole desire; O be thou found of me, and bind this slippery heart unto thee; let me experimentally know thee, that thou art the Lord, circumcise my heart to love thee, unite my heart to fear thee, assist my heart in my believing in thee, my faith is weak, if sincere, Lord, I believe, help thou mine unbelief; I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear," || now let mine eye see thee, and my soul derive influences from thee; make good every letter and syllable of thy sacred name to my soul, I will hope in the Lord, for with Jehovah there is mercy, and with him is plenteous redemption.§ Thou art a God hearing prayer, to thee only shall the vow be made and performed, and therefore under the shadow of thy wings will I make my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.** Now, Lord, what wait I for? my hope is in thee, my existence of thee, my dependance on thee, my tendency to thee, my expectation from thee.tt Lord, let me not be treacherous in my undertaking, perfidious in keeping, or slothful in pursuing the ends of this solemn covenant.
And now having set yourselves solemnly as in God's presence, and brought your hearts to a disposition prepared in some measure for approaching his glorious Majesty, and engaging in the transaction you have in
Jer. xxiv. 7. || Job xlii. 5. ** Psal. lvii. 1.
Marg. I would choose rather to sit at the threshold. Psal. lxxxiv. 10. + Heb. xi. 6. 2 Chron. xv. 13. 15. Deut. xxx. 6. Psal. lxxxvi. 11. Mark ix. 24. Psal. lxv. 1, 2.
§ Psal. cxxx. 4, 7.
++ Psal. xxxix. 7.
hand, you may proceed to the parts of this covenant, which are chiefly two, namely, acceptance and dedica
First, acceptance, or embracing of what is proposed in the covenant. Now the objects presented in the covenant are twofold :—
1. Principal, God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.
2. Subordinate, or secondary objects, to be accepted, are, divine revelations, divine injunctions, divine institutions, and divine dispensations.
(1.) In your acceptance, you are to take God to be your God, who is the only true God, to love, serve, obey, and worship him, as the grand source of your hopes and happiness.
Well then, you may humbly address yourselves to God the Father, in such language as the following:
O holy Father of mercies and God of all consolation, I this day come and bow my knees unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, "Of whom the whole family of heaven and earth is named."* To this principle of religion I subscribe that there is one God, "and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in us all.”† I renounce all other gods, to me "there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things." Thee, O Lord,
I choose to be my God in Christ, as my chief good; "Whom have I in heaven but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. My flesh and my heart fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion for ever.." If I can but truly say, "the Lord is the portion of mine inheritance," I shall say, "the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places,§ I have
⚫ 2 Cor. i. 3. Eph. iii. 14, 15.
+ Eph. iv. 6.
|| Psal. lxxiii. 25, 26,
a goodly heritage: happy is the people whose God is the Lord."* When many say, who will shew us any good? I will turn me to the Lord, and say, Lord, “lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me," this, this alone, “will put gladness in my heart, more than in the time when their corn and wine have increased."+ O Lord, thou art the Rock of ages, on thee I repose myself, as upon the rock that is higher than I; thou art my rest, I will return to theé as my rest after all my painful wanderings; thou art my King and my God, yea, my exceeding joy, in thee will I boast all the day long. Thy holiness is my pattern, thy wisdom is my guide, thy power is my guard, thy truth is my surety, thy justice is my defence, thy mercy my hope, thy grace and goodness my only spring of holiness and comfort. Lord, thy name is my strong tower in danger, and all thine attributes are my best inheritance. I expect no happiness but in communion with thee.
I accept thee also as my last end, the end of my hopes, my desires, my designs, the world is but an inferior good, if good in its kind; I have seen an end of all perfection; § profits, pleasures, honours, are not worth looking at, or longing for; the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and pride of life,** these are not of the Father, but of the world, and the world passeth away, and farewell to it, it is no mortal thing I breath after or aim at. I am made to glorify God, and will say hallowed be thy name; whatever become of me, I shall rejoice to see God's name highly honoured in the world. "Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, honour, and power; my soul doth magnify the Lord." ††
Psal. lxi. 2.
* Psal. cxliv. 15. || Psal. cxvi. 7. § Psal. exix. 96. ++ Matt. vi. 9.
+ Psal. iv. 6, 7.
I am resolved by the grace of God, never to mention God's titles, attributes, ordinances, word or works, but with due esteem and veneration. All that is within me shall adore and bless his holy name; I will speak. of the glorious honour of his majesty ;* and in all my actions, natural, civil, and religious, in eating, drinking, working, trading, hearing, praying, I design God's glory; I desire to be filled with the fruits of righte ousness to the glory and praise of God;† yea, my soul desires that all my aims and actions may centre in this great end, namely, God's glory; if I glory in any thing it shall be in the Lord; surely I will say, "In the Lord have I righteousness and strength-in the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory, Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us, but unto thy name give glory, for thy mercy and for thy truth's sake."|| God forbid that I should make myself the end of my aims and actions, and so set up myself as an idol. God alone is my chief good and last end.
(2.) Accept Jesus Christ as the Saviour and medium of enjoying God. "I am," saith our dear Lord, "the way, the truth, and the life,"§ the way as priest, the truth as prophet, the life as king, under all these views you may and must accept of him; and these are offices suited to our circumstances of guilt, darkness, and bondage. And thus must you address your souls to him:
Blessed Lord Jesus, I am a guilty malefactor, and am this day holding up my black hand at the bar of God; but I am persuaded God hath ordained and anointed his own and only Son to be a " priest for ever, after the order of Melchizedeck," and I am sure he is a merciful and faithful high priest, in things pertaining
Psalm. ciii. 1. 1 Cor. i. 31. § John xiv. 6.
Psal. cxlv. 5. +1 Cor. x. 31. Phil. i. 11.