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thou haft vouchsafed to call me to the Knowledge of thy Grace and Faith in thee. Increase this Knowledge, and confirm this Faith in me evermore. Grant me thy Holy Spirit, that I may devote myself entirely to thy Service; that I may be cleansed from all my Sins, and serve thee with a quiet Mind, and in thy due Time may be made Partaker of everlasting Salvation, through Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, one God, World without End. Amen.
tend the publick Institutions of thy holy Use of the Religion, that I may never neglect those Means Means of
Grace, which thou hast established for the purifying my corrupt Nature, and for the reforming whatever is amiss in the Frame and Temper of my Mind: That I may approach thy Presence with Humility and Devotion, hear thy Word with Reverence and Attention, receive thy holy Sacrament with Faith, Thanksgiving, and Charity; that by these Ordinances of thy Appointment my Soul may be nourished with all Goodness, and in such a measure prepared for that Salvation which the blessed Jesus hath purchased, that I may depart in Peace, and in the Faith and Fear of God's Elect; through the same Jesus Christ pur Lord. Amen.
Precepts, and by thy own Example, en- For Hugrave Humility into the Spirits of thy Disciples,
mility. and into the Laws of Christianity; make me to
imitate thy gracious Condescensions. Take from me all Vanity and fantastick Complacency in my own Person and Actions; and when there arises a Reputation consequent to the Performance of any part of my Duty, make me to reflect the Glory upon thee, suffering nothing to adhere to my own Spirit, but Shame at my own Imperfections, and Thankfulness to thee for all thy Allistances. Let me never seek the Praise of Men from unhandsome Actions ; from Flatteries and unworthy Discourses ; nor entertain the Praise with Delight, though it proceed from better Principles ; but fear and tremble leit I deserve Punishment, or lose a Reward which thou hast deposited for them that seek thy Glory, and despise their own, that they may imitate the Example of their Lord. Thou, O Lord, didst triumph over Sin and Death; subdue also my proud Understanding, and my prouder Affections; and bring me under thy Yoke, that I may do thy Work, and obey my Superiors, and be a Servant of all my Brethren in their Necessities, and esteem myself inferior to all Men, by a deep Sense of my own Unworthiness, and in all Things may obey thy Laws, and conform to thy Example, and enter into thy Inheritance, O holy and eternal Jejus. Amen.
C H A P.
CHA P. XIII.
Saint Matthias the Apofile.
February 24. (W
HAT Festival doth the Church cele
brate this Day? A. The Commemoration of the Apostle St. Matthias.
Q. What is meant by an Apostle ?
A. In general it signifies no more than a Messenger, a Person fent upon some special Errand, for the Discharge of some peculiar Affair in his Name that sent him : But was fixed by our Saviour to a particular Use, applying it to those select Persons whom he made Choice of, to be sent up and down the World in his Name, to plant the Faith, to govern the Church at that present, and by their wise and prudent Settlement of Affairs to provide for the future Exigencies of it.
Q. Wby did cur Saviour pitch upon the Number of Twelve ?
A. Various have been the Conjectures of the Antients upon this Subject. What seems most probable, is, that our Saviour might allude herein to the twelve Patriarchs as the Founders of their several Tribes; or to the twelve Chief Barnab. Heads and Rulers of those Tribes, of which the Epist. Body of the Jewish Nation did consist. To this our Saviour gives some Countenance himself, in saying, When the Son of Man fhall
fit in the Throne Mat. 19.
28. of bis Glory, his Apostles should sit upon twelve Ibrones, judging the twelve Tribes of Israel
Q. Wbat was their Vocation ? Aası.22.
À. To be Witnesses of Christ's Miracles particularly his Resurrection; and to preach that Doctrine to the World which they learnt of their Master; and in this their Testimony was valuable, that they sealed the Truth of it with their Blood.
Q. How were the Apostles enabled to difcharge this high Office, being obscure and illiterate Persons, helpless, and unarmed, and having the enraged Powers of the World to contend witb?
A. They immediately received the Doctrine they taught from the Mouth of Christ himself. They were infallibly secured from Errors in
delivering the Principles of Christianity, and John 16. to this End had the Spirit of Trutb promised to
them, who should guide them into all Truth. They had been Eye-Witnesses of all the material Passages of our Saviour's Lise, and reported
nothing but what they had seen with their own 1 John 1. Eyes, and of the Truth whereof they were as
competent Judges as the acutest Philosopher in the World. Besides several miraculous Powers and Gifts of the Holy Ghost were conferred upon them, as the readiest Means to procure their Religion a firm Belief and Entertainment in the Minds of Men.
Q. Was St. Matthias among the twelve Apostles
upon the Vacancy made in the College of the AANS 1.25, postles by the Death of Judas Iscariot; whose 26. covetous Temper having prevailed upon him
to betray his Master for thirty Pieces of Silver, was fo touched with the Horror of that
wicked Fact, that, after having cast back the Wages of Iniquity in open Court, he made away with himself, and was remarkably punished in the Manner of his Death, for, falling headlong, Afts 1.18. be burft asunder in the midst, and all bis Bowels gufbed out.
Q. Had ibis Judas the Gifts of an Apostle ?
A. Though he was a Man of vile and corrupt Designs, yet he was immediately called by Cbrift, equally impowered and commissioned with the rest to preach and work Miracles, was numbered with the Apostles, and obtained Part Ver. 17. of their Ministry.
Q. What may we learn from bence?
A. That the Wickedness of a Minister does not evacuate his Commission, nor render his Office useless or ineffectual : And that the Efficacy of an Ordinance does not depend upon the Quality of the Person, but the Divine Inftitution, and the Blessing God hath entailed
Q. How was St. Matthias chosen to be an Apostle?
A. He was chosen by Lot; a way frequently Ver. 25. used both by Jews and Gentiles for the determining doubtful and difficult Cafes, especially in the Election of Judges and Magiftrates. St. Peter having recommended the filling of the Vacancy to the Consideration of the Christians assembled at Jerusalem, they appointed two, Josepb called Barsabas, who was surnamed Juftus, and Matthias ; and when the Lots were given forth, it was determined in Favour of the latter, who was numbered with the eleven Apostles ? Q. What preceded this Manner of Choice?