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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 the 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 evermore. , Amen.
See the concluding Prayer and Blessing on Page 33 and 34.
Meditation for 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 fiesh; 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 his grace to sanctify us, and give us strength to walk in that holy way. Thus every person of the sacred Trinity has freely contributed his peculiar blessing; and all together 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 of life, and brings him forth in the second birth; a birth that makes men heirs of heaven, and gives us a title to everlasting happiness.
3. Arise, therefore, O my soul, and intercede for pity upon the unhappy state of fallen man* Here
you may observe the Directions given on Page 3.
kind, which neither nature nor law could bring to perfection. For though they under the law were trained up in a set form of discipline, which grew
and spread into a public religion, and was uniformly professed by a whole nation; yet they had but weak conceits of the kingdom of heaven, and imperfect means to bring them thither: and as to those high and supernatural mysteries, that so gloriously exalt the christian faith; they all were blind or in the dark, and dangerously exposed to the effects of their own ignorance, wanting those clear and powerful motives to love their God. God having provided some better things for us, that they without us should not be made perfect: Heb. xi. 40. Nevertheless, this prepared them for the times of grace; so that if any. riper souls came forward to the birth, there wanted spirit to bring them forth; but send out thy spirit, O Lord, and they shall be created; and from the death of sin, be raised to the life of holiness; send out thy spirit, and renew the face of the earth, and our weeds and thorns shall be turned into a paradise, through Jesus Christ.
4. Let us adore that blessed spirit, who bestoweth his favours as he pleaseth; and the more he hath given, still the more he giveth! O Holy. Ghost, fit and dispose me thy servant, first to entertain thee, and then graciously vouchsafe to descend into my heart; and make me, the more I receive of thee, still desire to receive thee more; till I shall ascend to those satisfying joys above, where all my faculties shall be enlarged, where they shall be filled with fulness itself, and over
flow with a torrent of pleasure for evermore; where they shall be satisfied with the plenteousness of thy house; and thou shalt give them drink of thy pleasures, as out of the river ; for with thee is the well of life, and in thy light shall we see light. Psalm xxxvi. 8. &c.
5. But, О ungrateful man! was it not enough to receive of our God all we have and are? Was it not enough that the Son of God should come down, and live to teach thee, and die to redeem thee? Was not all this enough to make thee love him? And love is all he aimed at, and was all that man needed. I must confess to thee, 0 merciful Lord: I will confess to thee our deplorable condition. Such was, alas! the corruption of human nature, and so many and strong the temptations round about us, that without this thy last miraculous favour of sending the Holy Ghost to guide and quicken us, we should have still remained in our old dull state; slow to understand, and slower to obey. A Prayer on Thursday Morning for our Sanc• tification preparatory to a worthy Receiving
of the Holy Sacrament.
Whom he called, them he also justified: and whom he jus.
tified, them he also glorified. Rom. viii. 30.
ETERNALLY blessed, and infinitely glorious Lord God and Saviour, who keepest mercy for thousands, and forgivest the iniquities of all truly penitent and returning sinners: I present myself this morning before thee, acknowledging my manifold sins, in hopes of obtaining thy gracious favour, and of becoming a partaker of the most holy sacrament. But, O my God, I do not presume to come to that great feast of thy body and blood, upon the least opinion of my own worthiness; for when I reflect on my sinful life, I am even afraid to come, lest I should eat and drink my own damnation.
But when I consider thy infinite mercies unto mankind, and thy Own words calling all men without exception ; and knowing that thy crucified body is not only food to nourish, but physic to cure, I that am but dust and ashes, beg leave to come to thy holy table, and with my imperfect faith to feed upon some crumbs of the bread of life.
I confess, O Lord, my wedding garments are not without seam, but I come to repair them at thy cross; from thy bitter sorrows to derive into my soul a godly sorrow, working repentance to salvation; from thy broken body, a broken heart; from thy warm blood, flowing from thy wounded side, zeal and fervency; that I may adinire, love, and serve thee, my God, as I ought to do.
O good God, to whom every thing is possible, sanctify my corrupt nature, and let thy gracious aids supply all my defects, and so help my infirmities, that I may live in thy love and fear, die in thy favour, and be prepared for receiving the great mystery on next Sunday, and for the great account I am one day. to give, and be received with thy faithful servants to the joy of thy kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen,