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THE MEDITATION: WEDNESDAY EVENING.
On the joys of heaven, which we begin to taste in a worthy receiving of the Holy Sacrament.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. ii. 9.
1. LOOK, O my soul, and behold that glorious state, prepared above, for the spirits of the just made perfect. But how shall we, poor dust and ashes, and laden tóò with the burden of our sins, how shall we hope to ascend those higher regions; or claim a portion in that holy land? fear not, my soul, ask the bright angels, what made them happy; and straight they will answer with a sprightly voice, "we readily obeyed our great Creator; and he fixed us here to shine for ever." Ask the blessed saints, what brought them to felicity; and immediately they will tell you in the same glad tone, "we faithfully loved our dear Redeemer, and that love has placed us here.'
2. Look up, O my soul! and see the sacred humanity of thy dear Redeemer; that blessed Jesus that died for us upon the cross; and now invites us to partake of his Holy Sacrament. See and rejoice in those eternal
honours, which heaven and earth pay to their king.
3. What is a name of honour, or a momentary pleasure, compared to the bliss of an eternal paradise? What is a bag of money, or a fair estate, if counterbalanced with the treasures of heaven? How narrow there do our greatest kingdoms seem! how small a circle the whole globe of the earth! cities and towns show like little mole-hills, and the busy world but as a swarm of ants, running up and down, and jostling one another; and all this stir for a few grains or husks.
4. O heaven, let me again lift up mine eyes to thee, and take a fuller view of that glorious prospect! There let me stand and fix my steady sight, till I am fully convinced that all the most prosperous fortune we can here possess, is all an idle dream compared to thy real joys; an absolute nothing compared to thy solid felicity.
Here observe the directions given on page 8, and more particularly endeavour to improve your soul by reading a lesson out of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 5, Section V.
The prayer on Wednesday Evening, for the attainment of everlasting happiness.
Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. John vi. 54.
O MOST great, most mighty, and most glorious Lord God! look down from the habitation of thy holiness, upon me thy unworthy creature, who am come into thy presence to adore thy incomprehensible majesty, and to present before thee the evening sacrifice of my unfeigned praises for thy many and undeserved favours bestowed upon me. I acknowledge thy eternal honour, glory, praise, and adoration; for thou art the sovereign Lord of heaven and earth, by whom all things were made, and by infinite power and goodness they are preserved and kept in being. And,
Blessed be thy unspeakable goodness, that has advanced me to such a degree of being, that I am in some measure capable to know thee, to love thee, to serve thee, and obey thee. And for ever blessed be thy name, O Lord, that I was born of Christian parents, and early dedicated to thee by baptism; and that by thy grace and goodness I have been preserved to this moment, and have, in any
degree, escaped the pollutions of this wicked world.
Blessed be thou, O God, who by thy grace, and by the voice of thy church, hast called me to repentance: discover to me, O thou searcher of hearts, the vast charge that is against me, that I may know and confess, and forsake the many sins I have fallen into. Give me that true repentance to which thou hast promised mercy and pardon, that I may amend what I have done amiss, and that iniquity may not be my ruin. And, O blessed advocate, who ever livest to make intercession for me, I put my cause into thy hands; let thy blood and merits plead for me, and by thy mighty intercession procure for me the pardon of my past offences, that thou mayest say unto me, as thou didst unto the penitent in the gospel-Thy sins are forgiven so that I may go with a quiet conscience to thy holy table, and at last be received into thy glorious presence for ever Amen.
See the concluding prayer and blessing on pages 38 and 39.
THE MEDITATION: THURSDAY MORNING.*
Upon our sanctification, whereby we are made worthy to come to the Holy Sacrament.
Except a man be born of water, and of the spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the spirit, is spirit. John iii. 5, 6.
1. CONSIDER, O my soul, the mercies of thy God; consider the wonders he has wrought for the children of men. The eternal Father created us out of nothing, and set us in the way to everlasting happiness. The eternal Son came down from Heaven to seek us when we had lost ourselves. The eternal Spirit brings us grace to sanctify us, and gives us strength to walk in that holy way. Thus every person of the sacred Trinity has freely contributed his peculiar blessing; and altogether, as one co-infinite goodness, have graciously agreed to complete our happiness.
2. Come, then, let us humbly implore the Divine Grace to make us worthy to address our Sanctifier; who from the Father and the Son eternally proceeds, and with the Father and the Son must be equally worshipped and glorified. He infuses into man the breath
* Here you may observe the directions given on page 3.