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perfectly delivered from all evils both of soul and body, and shall have no wants unsatisfied. Then faith will be swallowed up in the immediate vision of its glorious object, and hope will be lost in the complete fruition of its expected felicity. Then the din of war, from which the militant church is never free, shall be exchanged for “the “ voice of harpers harping with their harps ;” and the fatigues of the conflict which is past be forgotten, while the once harassed combatant shall incessantly drink of the waters of that river of pleasures which proceeds from the eternal throne, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.
Should a charge of tautology be brought against our church on account of her frequent introduction of thanksgiving in her services, we are not without a precedent to quote in her defence. That church, in whose worship there are no defects, ceases not day and night, “ crying, Holy,
Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” It is by no means wonderful that those unhappy persons who rove from one sublunary object to another, seeking rest in an endless variety of gratifications, but finding none, should consider our worship as insipid, and condemn it as tautologous. Were they locally admitted into heaven, they would feel the same irksomeness in all its engagements, because they have no taste for those living waters at the fountain-head of which saints made perfect drink, and from the streams whereof believing sinners on earth quench their thirst and refresh their weary souls. Believers understand the Psalmist's exhortation, “ Praise ye the Lord: for it " is good to sing praises unto our God: for it is “ pleasant, and praise is comely." They know
* Ps. cxlvii. 1.
* that it is meet, right, and their bounden duty, * that they should at all times and in all places * give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father,
Almighty and Everlasting God; therefore with “ angels and arch-angels, and with all the com
pany of heaven, they laud and magnify Thy “ glorious name, evermore praising Thee, and
saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, “ heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Glory “be to Thee, O Lord most High.
The rationality of a frequent, yea a constant performance of this duty will be denied by no persons who are sincere in their acknowledgments that all good proceeds from God. And to all those whose hearts are tuned by penitence, the employment also is joyous and delightful, and we may safely assert that he who has never found it pleasant to sing praises unto our God, whose emotions have never been in unison with the harp of the son of Jesse, is a stranger to all real religion, and lives without God in the world. This act of worship is of universal obligation. No worldly engagements, however important, can ever be a sufficient excuse for its neglect. No circumstances in which the poorest among us are involved, exempt them from presenting to the Lord this oblation : for, though their means be too small to furnish expensive eucharistic offerings; yet every man who is possessed of a heart to feel and a tongue to speak, is bound to employ them both in the work of thanksgiving. The heart that never felt and the tongue that never tried to lisp the gratitude that is due to God, are totally disqualified for the felicity and employments of the courts of heaven, and must be banished for ever to
that abode where the worm that dieth not will corrode the thankless heart, and the fire that is never quenched will torment the unprofitable tongue.
Our church has provided for our use a form adapted to the feelings of every bosom in which the love of God is kindled, distinguished by the name of “ The 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;
(*particularly to those who now desire to offer
up their praises and thanksgivings for Thy late “ mercies vouchsafed unto them.) We bless Thee “ for our creation, preservation, and all the bles
sings of this life; but above all for Thine in“ estimable 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.”
The object of all praise is “ Almighty God, " because He is “the Father of all mercies." The favours which we acknowledge to have received are such as afford the most luminous evidence of
* « This is to be said when any that have been prayed for - desire to return praise.”
the infinite power and goodness of the Giver. The former of these His glorious perfections calls for our devoutest adoration, while His paternal kindness exacts from us every return of grateful love which it is in our power to make. While we are employed in meditation on His greatness, our minds are filled with holy awe and overwhelming astonishment: but, when we also contemplate His boundless compassion, the feelings which His dreadful majesty would otherwise inspire, are tempered by the milder beams which His more amiable attributes dispense; and thus we are prepared for the work of praise in which we are called to engage.
The persons who unite in this holy and delightful exercise profess themselves to be God's “ unw worthy servants." We are then in that peculiar frame of mind which is most adapted to the performance of this act, when we are least and lowest in our own eyes, because at those seasons of selfabasement (for a more frequent return and a longer continuance whereof every believer de. voutly prays) we acknowledge with the most un équivocal sincerity that God is the author of all good, and experience the liveliest emotions of gratitude to Him. The language of Jacob will become every sinful child of Adam, “I am not “ worthy of the least of all the mercies and of « all the truth which Thou hast shewed unto Thy “ servant.”* This conviction of unworthiness is essential to the spirit of praise, for a hireling doth not consider himself under any obligation to his master for the wages which he has earned by the sweat of his brow, as a mendicant to his benefactor for the alms which he has gratuitously received.
* Gen. xxxii, 10.
A converted heart therefore is an indispensable prerequisite to the unfeigned and fervent use of this form of thanksgiving, because without this qualification the sinner is unhumbled, and deems himself more or less worthy of the blessings which be enjoys. Until I know that in consequence of sin I have forfeited every good, and have merited every evil; and that whatever I possess flows from the mercy of God through the mediator Jesus; the language of my lips, if I use the form of thanksgiving which our church has prescribed to her members, will be chargeable with gross hypocrisy, and prove an act of insult to the Great Searcher of hearts. Reader, is your avowal of unworthiness free from duplicity? It is easy for the lips to adopt the words of self-humiliation, but God requireth truth in the inward parts. Take heed and beware of dealing deceitfully with God. Look to it that your discontent at the allotments of providence, your fretfulness occasioned by the absence of blessings to which your heart advances a claim of desert, or your forgetfulness of God, do not afford demonstrative evidence that there is a lie in your right hand while you call yourself God's is unworthy servant.” The specious language of compliment will not pass current in His presence whose eyes are as a fiaine of fire.
The act in which we here engage is that of giving to God "most humble and hearty thanks." Thanksgiving is an open confession of the Divine attributes arising from a heart deeply impressed with a sense of those inestimable benefits which as creatures and as sinners we derive from them. Of this we have a beautiful exemplification in the conduct of the man after God's own heart, who, when he had received of the people of Israel their liberal contributions towards the erection of a