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who has recovered me from hell, who has restored to me peace and happiness here, and gained for me heaven hereafter. The grief and burden is this--I love him so feebly, and am so little conformed to bim, O Saviour! how little of thy self-denial, of thy patience, of thy humility and deadness to the world! how little of thy faith, and prayer, and zeal, and love, have I! Give me, O give me thy Spirit. May that exhibition of thy dying love which this ordinance has just presented to me, touch, and warm, and melt my soul, and fill me with stronger and more ardent attachment to thee than ever I have before felt, or enjoyed.
THE SPIRIT OF ADOPTION.
2 Cor. vi, 18. And I will be a Father unto you, and
ye shall be my sons and my daughters, saith the
Lord Almighty. I have often kept out of my Father's presence. I have often forgotten that gracious relation in which I stand to him in Christ Jesus, the first-born of many brethren. I have indeed been an undutiful, perverse, rebellious child; yet still a child. The longiog after my Father's favour, the spirit of love and satisfaction, raising me in bappy moments to joy in God as my God; the spirit of submission helping me to say in trials, sorrows, and difficulties, it is the Lord; and the desire after his presence, in the means of grace, and specially at his table, these things give me some encourageinent to hope that I am now a son of God, 1 John iii, 2. As such I have just been feeding with his family. O that I may now walk worthy of my high and holy relationship, and be an imitator of God as one of his dear children. Ephes, v, 1. O that I may ever have filial confidence in, and filial affection and filial reverence towards the great Jehovah ; that while I am exalted in privilege, I may have some corresponding attainments in piety, humility, and holiness.
By these holy mysteries God assures me as it were of his faithfulness, and gives me the children's bread. He here treats us as the sons and daughters of the Lord Almighty. He bestows on us not only the right, but the spirit and hope of children.”
Matt. xxiii, 23. The weightier matters of the law
judgment, mercy, and faith. Gracious Saviour, let me never neglect these things. In thy strength I purpose to be strictly JUST, upright, and conscientious in all my dealings: never to use for my own purpose that which does not belong to me; never to deceive in buying or selling; and never to speak in the absence of another any thing against him contrary to the rules of justice and charity; nor in their presence, add to the natural pride and vanity of their human heart, by flattery.
I purpose to let MERCY govern all my conduct. Not to be harsh in my dealings with others, not to be scanty in my charities, but to do good according to my power, and to shew mercy with cheerfulness.
I purpose, by the same strength, to be FAITHFUL to all my engagements, and to trust in thee with all my heart. Lord, I believe, help my unbelief. Let me have a noble and generous confidence in thy word, thy care, and thy love; and give thee glory by a simple and entire dependence on thee.
Thus preserve me from a mere scrupulosity about smaller things, which would only foster self-righteousness; and enable me never to neglect the weightier matters of thy holy law.
DESIRES AFTER DIVINE STRENGTH.
Psalm xvii, 5. Hold up my goings in thy paths, that
my footsteps slip not. “ Blessed Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who art the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; thou hast given spiritual meat to them that fear thee, and wilt erer be mindful of thy covenant : but my goodness is as a morning cloud which soon passes, and my devotion flies like a shadow, and never continues in one stay. O do thou establish me with thy free Spirit, that I may not so easily forfeit my comfort, forget my duty, and break my vows, as I have formerly done. How unwearied art thou, gracious Saviour, in doing well unto me! How constant is thy love! How amiable and attractive are thy endless mercies, and thy varied graces! And shall I be so ungrateful to thee, and so cruel to inyself, as to forsake thee and my own happiness ? Alas! I justly suspect my own weakness, I fear the power and policy of my enemies, and I do with shame and sorrow call to mind my former returns to folly. Therefore, o blessed Redeemer! I do most carnestly entreat thee, never to leave me to myself. I beseech thee to give me constant and continual supplies of thy grace, that I may be able to perform whatsoever I have promised. Olet not forgetfulness or indevotion sieze on me hereafter. Let me hold fast that which I have, and daily strive to gain more; and
finally make me faithful unto death; and so shall I receive from thee the crown of life, when I appear before thee at the last day."*
PRAYER AFTER RECEIVING THE LORD'S
Thanks be unto thee, Holy Father, Lord God Almighty; thanks be unto thee for the privilege which thou hast given me of uniting with thy people, to commemorate the sacrifice of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for all the edification and comfort thus given to me.
O that this solemnity may so deeply and so permanently affect my heart, as constantly to influence my future life. Let the love of Christ now at length constrain me no longer to live to myself, but to him who died for me.
Pardon all in this service that was not right before thee. All I do is defiled with sin; but I offer every service unto thee in the name of Jesus alone. I bless thee, through him, for whatever thy Spirit enabled me to do in any measure agreeably to thy holy will. But my whole hope and trust is in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, which I have been now commemorating, to atone not only for former transgressions, but for all the failings and defects of my preparation, and performances even at this solemn feast. Lord, spare me, and accept me on account of that great propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
O that I may ever remem'er that the vows of the
Lord are upon me, and that I am thine, irrevocably thine; and may I walk from day to day as becomes a child of God, and an heir of his glory. Keep alive in
. my mind a constant sense of my weakness, and my entire dependence on thy grace. May I now go forth to my duties more humbled and more devoted, more watchful against my spiritual enemies, and more determined to give up all for him who gave up his life
Give unto me, I pray thee, this comfortable evidence of having had communion with Christ; that my faith in him for supplies in all my way to heaven is manifestly strengthened; that I have the same mind that was in him; have become like him; am copying his example, and treading in his steps. May I watch over my motives as well as my conduct, and do thou deliver me from improper inotives, in doing outwardly good works. May I also find in my growing experience more proofs of my being a member of the mystical body of Christ, in that my love to those that belong to him increases, and I can make larger allowances for their infirmities, and more readily do them self-denying services. Nor let my love stop short of the divine pattern of him who loved and prayed for his worst enemies.
O Lord, I would now, in the fulness of my heart, earnestly pray for the coming of that time when all that bear the name of Christ shall fulfil his dying precept, and thy table be crowded with believing and joyful guests. O when shall all the ends of the earth look to Jesus and be saved! Hasten it in thy good pleasure, O Lord; that Christ Jesus may be known,