« PoprzedniaDalej »
Father, I give thee humble Thanks, that giving for thou hast vouchsafed to call me to the Know-Chriftian. ledge of thy Grace and Faith in thee ; increase this Knowledge, and confirm this Faith in me evermore. Give me thy holy Spirit, that, being born again and made an Heir of everlasting Salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ, I may continue thy Servant and attain thy Promises, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the holy Spirit now and for
God, who art the great Searcher of Hearts, For Since
who doft not only require outward Acts ofrity toDuty, but the inward Disposition of the Mind, God. teach me in all my religious Actions to have an Eye to thy Authority ; to obey thy Laws, because thou hast enjoined them; to make the Sense of my Duty the prevailing Motive of my Piecy, and not the Praise of Men, nor Regard to temporal Advantages. Let me at all Times, and in all Places, have a Respect to all thy Commandments, that no Privacy or Retirement may encourage me to offend thee, chat no Losses nor Crosses may hinder me from doing or suffering thy blessed Will. Let not my Devotion be made a Pretext to cheat and defraud my Neighbour ; neither let the Exercise of Justice and Morality towards Men be a Plea for the Neglect of my Duty towards thee. Let my Charity to the Poor never serve to cover
my Intemperance ; nor my Sobriety exempt me from feeding the Hungry, and cloathing the Naked. Make my Life uniform, and of a Piece, that the Duties of both Tables may take place in all my Actions ; that my great Design being thy Glory, I may through thy infinite Mercy be accepted by thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.'
IV. For Sin- Each me, O Lord, in all my Dealings and cerity to
Intercourse with others, to exercise true wards Man.
Simplicity and Singleness of Heart ; never to compass any Design by insidious Devices and false" Appearances ; nor to betray my Neighbour by not performing what I have promised. Let me never abuse Men into a false Opinion of themselves,' by representing them better than they are. Let my Tongue be the true Interpreter of my Mind, and my Expreslions the lively Image of my Thoughts and Affections, and my outward Actions exactly agreeable to my Purposes and Intentions; that fo when the Secrets of all Hearts shall be discovered at thy dreadful Tribunal, I may not be confounded, O blessed Jesus, with the Workers of Iniquity, who will not be able there to hide themselves. Grant this, O Lord, for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
CH A P. XXX.
Daint Matthew, September 21.
HAT Festival doth the Church celebrate
Q. What was bis Trade, or Way of Life?
A. That of a Publican or Toll-gatherer to the Mat. 10.
Q. How was the Office of a Publican efteçmed
A. It was once accounted a Place of Power
Q. Wat made this Office so odious to the
A. The Covetousness and Exaction of those
front to the Freedom of their Nation, a standing Instance of their Slavery. And their Brother Fews exercising this Office, itill provoked them more, because it obliged them to converse frequently with the Gentiles, which they held unlawful, and thereby they seemed to conspire with the Romans, to entail perpetual Slavery upon their own Nation.
Q. How did the Jewish Nation express tbeir Abborrence of the Publicans ?
A. By counting it unlawful to do them any Office of common Kindness. Money received of them might not be put to the rest of a Man's Eftate, it being presumed to be got by Violence. They were not admitted as Persans fit to give Evidence in any Caufe. They were not only deprived of all Communion in divine Worship, but shunned in all Affairs of Civil Society, it being esteemed infamous and unlawful to marry into the Family of any such.
Q. In what did St. Matthew's Office more particularly confijt?
A. In gathering the Customs of all Merchandize that came by the Sea of Galilee, and the Tribute that Passengers were to pay that went by Water ; for which Purpose the Office was
kept by the Sea-side. And here it wąs that Mat. 9.9. Matthew fat at the Receipt of Custom when our
Saviour called him to be a Disciple.
Q. Is it prohable he had any Knowledge of our Saviour before be was called ?
A. Yes ; living at Capernaum, the Place of Ckrist's usual Residence, where his Miracles and Sermons were frequent, he might, in some Measure, be prepared to receive the Impressions which our Saviour's Call made upon him.
Q. What made St. Matthew's Compliance with our Saviour's Call fo very valuable ?
A. In that he exchanged rich and plentiful Circumstances, and a gainful Trade, for Poverty and Hardship; quitting whatever the World counts dear, and preferring the Attendance upon the Son of Man, who had not where to lay bis Head, before all the Advantages of Interest and Relations.
Q. Wherein appeared bis great Contempt of the World?
A. Not only in quitting a plentiful Estate in order to become our Saviour's Disciple, but in the great Amstemiousness he exercised in the remaining Part of his Life; refusing to gratify himself with the ordinary Conveniencies, as well as with the Pleasures of it ; his common Diet being nothing but Herbs and Roots, Seeds and Berries.
Q. How did be express bis Satisfaction in becoming our Saviour's Disciple ?
A. By entertaining our Saviour and his Difciples at a great Dinner at his own House, whither he invited all his Friends, especially those of his own Profession ; piously hoping, that they also might be influenced by our Saviour's Converse and Company.
Q. What may we learn from our Saviour's conversing so familiarly with the worst of Men, wbich gave such Offence to the Pharisees?
A. That the greatest Sinners are Objects of our Pity rather than Contempt ; and that we ought not to grow faint in our Endeavours for their Conversion, so long as the wonderful Patience of God bears with them. That our Company is most suitable where the Necessities of