« 前へ次へ »
merciful ears, O Lord, be then open to my prayers : O! let not the cruel enemy of souls' affright me with his terrors, but give thy holy angels charge over me; and let the confolations of thy Holy Spirit fortify my mind, and diffipate my fears, and be a reviving cordial to my soul, at that last and momentous period of my life, when I shall stand in so much need of thee.
Give me an unfeigned repentance of all my sins, great love to thee, and charity to my neighbour, an entire fubmisfion to thy blessed will, and (if thou seest fitting) fome foretaste and assurance of my salvation. But if thou, in thy great wisdom, shall not see fitting to vouchfafe me so great a mercy, yet, o gracious Father, let me not fail, in the great day of judgment, to hear that blessed sentence pronounced unto me, Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord. Grant this, O most gracious God, for thy mercy's sake in Jesus Christ our Lord; in the full extent of whofe words, I desire to be heard for myself, and all mankind, when I call upon thee, faying, Our Father, &c.
The Meditation for Tuesday Evening.
Of the great advantages of frequent communion. 1. AN ,
poral things, and familiarity with the delights and satisfactions of sense, are but too apt to take off our minds from ferious thoughts, and to impair that vigour and resolution which ought to be employed about the one thing needful. On the contrary, frequent communion keeps a lively fense of religion upon our minds, and invigorates them with fresh strength and power to perform our duty to God, our neighbour, and ourselves ; without this, O my soul! we can no more maintain a spiritual life, than we can our temporal, without eating and drinking; for it is the proper nourishment of the foul.
2. The frail and sinful body can never hope to be free from the perpetual asfaults which the world, the flesh, and the devil, constant enemies to our true happiness, are ever making upon our virtue and innocence. On the contrary, frequent communion, by mortifying our paflions, by fpiritualizing our affections, is the sovereign remedy against all their temptations; how then, my soul ! can we
yield to any sinful satisfaction that crucified the Lord of glory, or fix our hearts upon perishing objects, when God only deserves the whole inan, and we in this sacrament commemorate the price by which we are purchased from fin and flavery? 3 The
great advantage of our Chrift- i ianity consists in being made members of Christ's mystical body, by reason of those happy influences we derive from our head; and our happiness depends upon our enjoying this blessed privilege. This spiritual union inviolable between Chrift and all faithful Christians, is preserved by frequent communion, by a mutual intercourse of goodness and compassion, in pardoning our sins, in strengthening our feeble virtues, and in communicating heavenly joys and foretastes of happiness: and on our fide, my soul ! by repeated acts of adoration and thankful. ness, of love and admiration, of relig. nation and submission to his holy will, and of fincere professions of constancy and perseverance in the service of our Creator and Redeemer.
4. Fatal experience convinceth us, that either through surprise, or the strength! of temptation, we cannot always stand upright; that we do those things we. ought not to have done, and leave undone
the things we ought to have done. But, my soul! this holy sacrament perfects our repentance, and ratities and confirms to us the pardon of our fins ; repairs those breaches, which our follies have made in our fouls, and applies to us in particular that satisfaction, which our Saviour made upon the cross; and conveys to us the benefits of that all-fufficient sacrifice, whereby God is rendered favourable and merciful to all that are sincerely penitent.
5. Afflictions and calamities are often the lot of the best men, in this vale of tears. And where, my soul! shall we find comfort under these difficulties, or Itrength to contend with them, but from that provision that is administered at God's table? from those sufferings which our Saviour endured for us, and no ways deserved himself ? can any one complain of affliction in any kind, that considers what necessary correctives they are of our follies? what noble improvements of our virtue ? and what a testimony they are of our love and affection to the blessed Jesus, when borne with patience and submillion; and that withal remembers, that his Lord and Master was made perfect through sufferings upon the cross, which he bore for our sins. We also receive such comfortable impressions from this
divine nourishment as make the troubles of this life lose their sting; and it supplies us with such inward delights, as surpass all expression, and which are only felt by those that frequently make the experiment at the Lord's table. In fine, this is the most proper method to make us temples of the Holy Ghost, and the most effectual means to fit and prepare us for the eternal enjoyment of God in a future state.
6. Again, we must be very great ftrangers to ourselves, if we are not acquainted with the impotency and corruption of our nature : we, my soul! must know but little of our circumstances in this world, if we are not aware of those enemies which are continually designing our ruin: there are few so happy and so fready in their duty, as not sometimes to deviate from it: the strength of temptation, and the violence of passion, too frequently prevail upon the most perfect. Yet if we, my soul! were duly affected with these wants we labour under, we should certainly apply ourselves to the use of such remedies as are proper to relieve us. Nor can any thing be fo effectual as a frequent participation of the Lord's supper; which will purify our corrupt nature, by ap plying the merits of Christ's blood; ; Itrengthen "our weakness, by communi