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the trial of oar faith, which being much precious than of gold that perisheth, it be tried with fire, shall be found and honour and glory at the apof Jesus Christ." The subtilty of sophistry of men, and the pride and of oor own hearts, will bring our steadto a seTere test, which nothing but the power of Almighty grace can enable .-.hstand. And besides these internal nieh all may expect to endure in aI less degree, we know not to what outward tribulation the profession of a true faith nay expose us, if the prediction of a late here* aarch should be vended, and the train of gunpowder which he tells us has been laid with so much industry should make an explosion, and burv both church and state in ruins. This dreadful catastrophe may God in his mercy arertfromus! However this be, it is certain that without persevering and establishing grace continually communicated to us, we shall be in danger of wavering in our profession', and even *H abandoning our creed. That man does not know the force of temptation, the sophistry of infidelity, nor the pride and treachery of his own fallen heart, who is not conscious of his danger, and who doth not discern clearly the necessity of crying to the strong for strength tliat he may be " kept steadfast in the faith."
In the use of this petition we implore grace, not only that we may be preserved in the outw.ird and unremitted profession of sound docdine, but also in the inward experience and enjoyment of it. The doctrine of the Trinity IB unity, as connected with redemption, is the ground of all spiritual comfort, and the motive to all evangelical holiness; so that on the steadfastness of the mind in the belief of it depend our consolations and our hopes, our energies and unremitted acts of obedience. We pray, therefore, that we may be enabled so to believe in the Deity of Christ and of His Spirit, that we may derive from that belief the comfort which it affords, and the sanctification which it produces. If our views of the dignity which belongs to the person of Christ be at any time clouded, the validity of His atonement will proportionally become suspicious, the efficacy of His death appear to be doubtful, and the prevalency of His intercession be called in question. If the glory of the Spirit's Godhead be obscured, we can have no confidence that the work of grace will ever be accomplished, that sin will be era? dicated from our hearts, and our souls be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. We shall then fear the power of our enemies; and if the doubt become predominant, shall either fall back into indifference and the spirit of the world, or sink into despair. Faith in the doctrine of the Trinity is the very sinew of Godliness. Without it, spirituality of mind, victory over the world, peace of conscience, and a good hope in death, are impossibilities. O how needful then is the petition of our collect that we may be kept steadfast in this faith! A dereliction of this would be apostacy from God and from Christianity; it would leave us under the guilt of our sins and the curse of the law, with all the " additional criminality of having tr.ifo"pled under foot the Son of God, and done "despite to the Spirit of grace."
We proceed to pray for defence from all adversities. This is added with great propriety; for a confession of a true faith will expose us to adversities. In the early ages of Christianity its confessors were exposed to all manner of outward adversities. They "had trials of cruel "mockings and scourgings; yea, moreover, of "bonds and imprisonment. They were stoned, "they were sawn asunder, were tempted, were "slain with the sword; they wandered about in "sheep-skins and goat-skins, being destitute, "afflicted, tormented." And though, through the merciful providence of God, we are at present free from the danger of imprisonment or death for an avowal of the truth; yet " all who '' will live Godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer per"secution." The siftings of Satan, the sneers of the world, and the raging of corruption, are adversities from which none are exempt; and the bitterness of which the heart that endures them only knows, and from which God only can defend us. The confessor of a true faith is enlisted as a soldier, and must fight the good fight, finish his course, and keep the faith, ere he can wear the crown of righteousness. "But '? God is faithful, who will not suffer" those who Jean on His protection "to be tempted above "that they are able, but will with the tempta"tion also make a way to escape, that they may "be able to bear it." And while we " believe '' in God the Father, who made us and all the "world," as our reconciled Father, our "Alft mighty and Everlasting God;"—while we "believe in God the Son, who redeemed us "and all mankind," as our "Almighty and "Everlasting God" and Saviour, and "in God
"the Holy Ghost, who sanctifieth the elect "people of God," as our sanctifier and comforter; we have a hope that maketh not ashamed, a ground of confidence of which we may boast before men and devils. For our Triune God "liveth aud reigneth world without end. Amen."
VOL. II. 2 D
THE FIRST SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
O God, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee, mercifully accept our prayers; and because, through the weakness of our mortal nature, we can do no good thing without thee, grant us the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments we may please thee both in will and deed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
IN the 15th chapter of St. John's gospel our Lord illustrates by a beautiful parable the nature, necessity, and effects of that mystical union which subsists between Himself and all those who believe on His name. The drift of His parable is plainly expounded, and the scope of His discourse brought to a point, in the 5th verse, where He says, "Without me ye *' can do nothing."
On this declaration of our blessed Lord, our collect for the first Sunday after Trinity seems to be founded. It contains—An act of adoration, appropriate to the subject of the prayer which follows it—An act of supplication for a favourable audience of our prayers-*—A confession of personal helplessness-7-rAnd a petition for grace, specifying the end for which it is im-> plored.
The design of that act of adoration with
ich our collect opens is twofold, the promo
of God's glory, and the, encouragement of