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Christ? Let me intreat you to consider what base hypocrisy is couched under your oral thanksgiving " for the hope of glory,” if you are one among “ the men of the world who “ have their portion in this life.” *
How humiliating is the consideration, that after the reception of all these favours we are incapable of gratitude, till God gives us “due sense of all His mercies!" And therefore, in the subsequent words, our Church teaches us to pray for it. The acknowledgments of every unconverted sinner proceed out of feigned lips. And even the believer is deeply sensible that he is not possessed “ with a due « sense of all God's mercies.” This, however, is a certain feature of a gracious soul, that it mourns over its unthankfulness, and, convinced of its own impotence, looks to the fountain of all grace, that by His internal operation it may be made “ unfeignedly thankful.” And whenever this unfeigned thankfulness, in any degree, presides in our hearts, it always produces a desire. of “shewing forth the praise of God, not only “ with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up “ ourselves to His service, and by walking “ before Him in holiness and righteousness all “our days, through Jesus Christ our Lord." But, alas! how many persons are there, who in the house of God thus verbally devote themselves to His service, as being under everlasting obligations of love and gratitude, and yet go into the world, and there desecrate their time and talents, their bodies and souls, to the devil, the world, and the flesh! Those whose professions are sincere continually labour to give up
Ps: xvii. 14.
themselves to His service more and more, and consider themselves as a devoted thing which it would be sacrilege to alienate from its lawful Proprietor to any purpose dishonourable to Him. O how many there are among us who plead for reserves, and try to satisfy themselves with a partial surrender of their hearts, and a limited devotion of their lives, and who thereby prove their insensibilty of His mercy! How much more easy is it to give all our goods to feed the poor, and even our bodies to be burned, than to give up our hearts and lives to God! How proper then is the supplement which our church has added to our thanksgiving!
We present our praises and thanksgivings
through Jesus Christ our Lord.” In His name only can they be accepted. His merit must always be combined with them, His intercession recommend them, or otherwise they will prove a stink in the nostrils of the Lord of hosts. And it is for His sake only that we expect a gracious answer to those supplications which we offer for that spirit of gratitude which, so far as it prevails, assimilates sinners on earth to saints in heaven. "To HIM, THEREFORE, WITH “ THE FATHER AND THE HOLY GHOST, BE ALL “ HONOUR AND GLORY, WORLD WITHOUT END. " Amen.”
THE propriety, spirituality, and multifarious excellency of our Church-Liturgy, in her Morning and Evening Services, having been honestly though rudely sketched in the preceding pages, it is hoped that every reader and hearer belonging to her communion will survey the ground on which he stands, and scrutinize the sincerity or insincerity of his Christian profession, as in the Divine presence. Confession of sins, penitential supplications, praises and thanksgivings, are things of a most solemn and awful nature, and should never be addressed to the throne of Omniscience but with the guileless mind of a Nathanael. Destitute of this essential qualification, they harden instead of meliorating the heart, and excite the indignation of that Holy Being who hath proclaimed His requisition of truth in the inward parts. But if, in the use of our devotional forms, we make it the object of our strict attention, that the sentiments and sensibilities of our souls harmonize with all the declarations of our lips, we shall know by experience the blessedness of gospel-religion, and sliall daily grow in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Happy they who can say, without any degree of mental reservation, “ That it may please Thee to give
us true repentance; to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances; and to endue
us with the grace of Thy Holy Spirit, to “ amend our lives according to Thy holy word; “ we beseech Thee to hear us, good Lord !"
The Church of England,
SUNDAYS AND OTHER HOLIDAYS.