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John 14. he bore with the Dullness and Slownefs of his
Q. What Encouragement bath our Saviour
A. He offereth Pardon and Forgiveness of what is paft, and perfect Reconcilation to God by the Merits of his Death and Paffion, provided we return to him by fincere Repentance. He fupplieth us with Strength at prefent to enable us to do our Duty, by enlighting our dark Minds, by exciting our Wills to that which is good, and by raifing our Courage under Difficulties and Dangers. He alarms our Fears by the Threatenings of eternal Punishment in the next Life, and encourages our Hopes by the Promifes of everlasting Rewards to the whole Man, both Body and Soul; which are the most powerful Confiderations in the World to take. Men off from Sin, and to bring them to Goodness.
32. Luke 23.
Q. What Thoughts are proper to entertain our
A. Great Admiration of the ftupendous Love
derful Humility and Condefcenfion, when he undertook the Work of our Redemption. He who lodged in the Bofom of his Father, came into the World, and had not where to lay his Head. He who had Heaven for his Throne, was contented to be born in a Stable, to be laid in a Manger, to be wrapped in fwaddling Cloaths. Great Tranfports of Gratitude; that, for our Sakes, he would be pleased to be made miferable, that we might be made happy; to be poor, that we might be enriched; to die, that we might live for ever. Great Truft and Confidence in the Mercy of God, who hath fhewed fuch Tendernefs and Compaffion toward us, and done fuch great Things for our Salvation.
Q. How ought we to express our Thankfulness for the Incarnation of our blessed Saviour?
A. We ought to join with the heavenly Host and the pious believing Shepherds in Hymns of Praise and Thanksgiving. To comply with the great Design of this wonderful Love, by denying Tit. 2. 12. all Ungodliness and worldly Lufts, and by living foberly, righteously, and godly, in this prefent World. To propound this Pattern of Love, for our own Imitation, and because God hath so loved us, to 1 John 4. love one another; and to ftoop to the loweft 11. Offices of Charity for the Relief of our Neighbour. Never to defpife the Poor for the Meannefs of their Circumftances, fince it is what our Saviour chofe for our Sakes; but to cherish and affift them as his lively Reprefentatives here upon Earth, efpecially becaufe all the Kindness we fhew to them he reckoneth as done to himself.
Q. How ought we to express our Love to the bleffed Jefus for this wonderful Condefcenfion? A. By earnestly labouring to please him to the F 4 utmoft
John 14. utmost of our Power, in a conftant Care to keep his Commandments, and endeavouring to prevail upon others to do the fame. By making a daily Progress in Piety and Virtue, that we may be conformed to the Likeness of that beloved Object. By fetting a great Value upon all Ways and Opportunities of converfing with him; in praying and meditating, in hearing his Word, and receiving the bleffed Tokens of his Love, which he hath left us in the boly Sacrament. By being more concerned to hear his holy Name blafphemed, than for any Reproach that can be 13. caft upon ourselves. By longing for his glorious Appearing, that we may enjoy him without Interruption to all Eternity.
Q. How is the Obfervation of this Festival abused?
A. When instead of making it an Inftrument of Religion, we chiefly employ this boly Season in Vanity and Folly; when our Joy evaporates in extravagance, and degenerates into Sin and Senfuality; when we express it by Luxury and Intemperance, to the great Scandal of our Saviour and his holy Religion; it being the improperest Seafon (if there can be any one more fo than another) for Impiety and Wickedness, and a most notorious Aggravation of it: because contrary to the Defign of our Saviour's Coming 1 Joh. 3.8. into the World, who was made manifeft that be might deftroy the Works of the Devil.
Lmighty God, who haft given us thy only-
him, and as at this Time to be born of a pure Virgin; grant that I being regenerate and made thy Child by Adoption and Grace, may daily be renewed by thy Holy Spirit, through the fame our Lord Jefus Chrift, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the fame Spirit, ever one God, World without End. Amen.
For Con. he might destroy the Works of the Devil, formity to and make us the Sons of God, and Heirs of eter- the Defign nal Life; grant, I beseech thee, that having coming this Hope, I may purify myself, even as he is into the pure; that when he fhall appear again with Power World. and great glory, I may be made like unto him in his glorious Kingdom; where with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Gloft, he liveth and reigneth one God, World without End. Amen.
T is very meet, right, and my bounden Thankf Duty, that I fhould at all Times, and in all giving for Places, give Thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy for SaFather, Almighty Everlafting God; because viour. thou didst give Jefus Chrift thy only Son to be born as at this Time for us; who by the Operation of the Holy Ghoft was made very Man of the Substance of the Virgin Mary his Mother, and that without Spot of Sin, to make us clean from all Sin: Therefore with Angels and Arch-Angels, and with all the Company of Heaven, I laud and magnify thy glorious Name, evermore praifing thee, and faying, Holy, Holy, Holy Lord God of Hofts, Heaven
being made Man.
and Earth are full of thy Glory.
Glory be to
LORY be to God on high, and in Earth Peace, Good-will towards Men. I praise thee, I bless thee, I worship thee, I glorify thee, I give Thanks unto thee for thy great Glory, O Lord God, heavenly King, God the Father Almighty. O Lord the only-begotten Son Jefu Chrift, O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, who wert made Man to take away the Sins of the World, have Mercy upon me, by turning me from my Iniquities: Thou who wast manifefted to destroy the Works of the Devil, have Mercy upon me, by enabling me to renounce and forfake them: Thou who art the great Advocate with the Father for penitent Sinners, receive my Prayer. For thou only art holy, thou only art the Lord, thou only, O Chrift, with the Holy Ghoft, art most high in the Glory of God the Father. Amen.
HAT am I, dear Lord, that thou fhouldeft leave the Right Hand of God, Thank- and come to vifit me? Haft thou no Ease in fulness for Chriff's thy own Breaft, fo long as I lay plunged in Mifery? How cameft thou, being fo highly exalted, and the Eternal Son of God, to have any affectionate Concern at all for me? Was I not a deformed polluted Wretch, and thy profeffed Enemy? and was not either of thefe enough to turn away thy Face from me? But if, notwithstanding all this, thy over-flowing Goodness