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the thing required of a Christian, is not penetration and subtility of wit, nice distinction, or sublime notions, but victorious faith, and an honest holy life ; fobriety and temperance, and chastity, justice and charity, piety and devotion.
4. These doubts are not always sinful, nor always from themselves, but frequently owing to the temptations of the devil, and industriously scattered by him,
with wicked artifice and malicious design. 1: Be not, therefore, too anxious upon these
Occasions. Trouble not thyself to argue
nicely, nor employ thy thoughts upon the - matter, nor hold thyself concerned to be
able to answer every cavil, which he puts into thy head: but keep close to Scripture, and do thy duty; and the enemy will soon
retreat when he finds thee neglect his i attempts.
5. Think not these inward distractions ia lign that thou art forsaken of God.
They are rather, on the contrary, a mark of grace. God fuffers them to exercise thy patience, to try thy constancy, to promote thy spiritual advantage. Proceed then in thy Christian course with resolution and patience; and still frequent the lacrament with steadfast faith, and humble reverence. ,
6. Whatever there thou findest to exceed thy understanding, put it to God's
account; and leave him to make it good, tho'thou canst not conceive how it should be done. He will not deceive thee; but they who rely upon their own understanding, are sure to deceive themselves. For,
7. Remember, God hath faid, that he walks and dwells with the humble, and shows his ways to the meek ; that he reveals himself to tabes; that he opens the eyes of the honest and sincere; but hides his grace and knowledge from the proud and wife in their own sight. Human reason inay both deceive and be deceived; but faith hath God for its foundation, and cannot err; because depending upon one who is truth itself, incapable of mistaking, or of imposing upon others.
8. 'Tis therefore highly fit, and, in matters of religion, absolutely necessary, that these two principles should know their
order and respective stations; and each .: contain itself within its proper spherë.
Faith (which supposes a revelation received and acknowledged) challenges the highest place; and reason ought to keep her distance, to serve and follow after, not to set bounds to, or assume and encroach, and usurp over the other. For,
9. Faith and charity are the two pillars upon which Christianity stands; the two governing principles of a good man's opi. nions and actions. And their authority
and influence are, in no one instance, more considerable, than in this of the blessed facrament. God is infinite and eternal, his power unbounded and incomprehensible, he does whatsoever pleaseth him in beaven and earth : and who can understand his council, or find out all his methods?
10. If the works of God were fuch as human reason could penetrate with ease, they would lose great part of their glory. We should soon abate of our awe and veneration for their author, if his dealings were not above the power of our tongues to express, and the utmost extent of our imaginations to conceive. O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodnefs, and confefs the wonders that he doth for the children of men! for great and marvellous are thy works, O Lord God Almighty; how unsearchable are thy judgments, and thy ways past finding out ! Psal. cvii. Rev. xv. Rom. xi.
A prayer of thanksgiving, in our retirement, afier we are returned home from the Lord's table.
Behold thou art made whole : sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. John v. 14.
Lord my God! I acknowledge with
all thankfulness of heart thy great mercy and goodness, in giving me an op. portunity of approaching thy holy table, in disposing my mind to commemorate
the the infinite love of my crucified Saviour, to render him thanks and praise for laying down his life as a sacrifice for the fins of the world, and to represent unto thee that facrifice as a full satisfaction for them; whereby thou dost incline me humbly to hope for all the benefits of his death and passion. But
What thanks, molt gracious God, can. I return unto thy Divine Majesty, for impressing a sense of my duty upon myli mind; and for that strength and power, whereby thou hast, in some measure, ena-H. bled me to perform it? I will praise and magnify thy great and glorious name, p and I will entirely devote myself to thy service as long as I have any being
Blessed be thy name for those fresh supplies of grace I have received ; grant that they may make me run the way of thy commandments with delight and pleasure, that I may never more faint, or droop, or tire in my duty. Blessed he thy name for those comfortable assurances thou hast given me of pardon and forgiveness.
Let this thy compassionate goodness be a perpetual obligation to love and gratitude. Let it put me upon my guard, that I may watch over all my ways, and do always that which is well-pleafing in thy sight:
Blessed be thy name, for that peace and quiet thou haft restored to my soul; for those resolutions thou hast wrought in me to persevere in thy fervice to the end of my days; make them firm, vigorous, and .constant; and never let any sinful paífions any more ruffle and discompose my mind.
Blessed be thy name for that relith thou hast given me of spiritual delights,
that desire of possessing the eternal inhe07 ritance: let the enjoyments of sense ap
pear mean and contemptible; and let not i the pleasures of the world henceforward
any more prevail upon me to transgress 23. thy holy laws.
Grant, O Lord, that I may walk wor
thy of these thy distinguishing mercies, 51 and live as it becomes the redeemed of
the Lord." Without thee, O blefled Te
sus, I can do nothing; without thee, who 1 art the sun of righteousness, I shall walk d in darkness ; without thee, who art the La physician of fouls, I shall languish and
die; without thee, who art the joy of all
devout minds, I shall consume my days si away in sadness. Remain therefore, O
Lord, and abide with me for ever; Ithall
away in fades, I shall art theo