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humble Gratitude, than I at this time am disposed, and most earnestly wish, to express.
I know, O Lord, how far I am from being worthy to receive at thy Hand such plentiful Effusions of Grace, such distinguishing Marks of thy Kindness, as enabled Them to be so pious and exemplary in all their Addresses to thee. But yet my Heart, and all its Affections, such as they are, I dedicate to thy Service. The utmost a devout Mind can conceive or desire, L offer in thy Presence, with all poslīble Respect, with Sincerity as unfeigned, as if my Zeal were much more bright and fierce. I do it without the least Reserve; All I have and am, is entirely thine; most freely confecrated to thy Use, my God and Lord, my Almighty Creator, and most merciful Redeemer, Take then a full Poffeflion of One, upon so many Accounts thy own. Enter, and dwell, and reign in me, absolute, and for ever. Behold, I open my Arms wide, to embrace my Lord and Spouse. I desire at this time to receive thee into my Heart, with the fame Reverence and Humility, the same respectful Gratitude and Love, the fame Faith and Hope, and chaste Desire, with which thy Holy Mother received thee into her Virgin Womb ; when she returned that pious Answer to the Angel, who brought the glad
Tidings of thy mysterious Incarnation, BeLuke i.
bold the Handmaid of the Lord, be åt unto me according to thy Word.
And, as thy Servant John Baptist, that greatest a. Luke i. mong them that are born of Women, thy
Messenger sent to prepare thy Way before thee, felt the powerful Influence of the Divine Presence, and confefs’d it, by leaping in his Mother's Womb for Joy; As He, ascribing nothing to himself,
did afterwards declare himself the BrideFohn iii.
groom's Friend, whose Joy was full in hearing tbe Bridegroom's Voice ; fo do Í desire to offer my self,
without any Exception, or Regard to private Interest, and to rejoice and live in thee alone. May all the Zeal and Raptures, the Extasies and heavenly Visions of the Saints; May all their Virtues and their Praises; May every Creature in Heaven and Earth ; May all that I have ever prayed for, and all that
pray contribute to thy Glory; and may thy Name be, only and ever, magnified by all and each of them.
Accept, O Lord, my hearty Wishes and Desires of Praise and Thanksgiving, as infinite as thy Majesty ; for they are thine of right, and mayest thou be worthily blessed by them. This is, and shall be, my daily hourly Prayer. Nor will I content my self with Wishing and Endeavouring this, singly and in my own Person, but do most seriously invite and con, jure all the Blessed Spirits above, all thy faithful People upon Earth, to join in this most just Tribute of Honour; and, in full Confort and perfect Harmony, to publish thy Praise and Glory, in all Times and Places.
Come in, ye Nations and Countries, all Kindreds, and Languages of the World, and bear your Parts in singing forth the sweet, the saving, the haly Name of Jesus. Raise your Devotions, as high as Human Nature can go, for you can never go far enough, And You devout Disciples of this Blessed Master, as oft as you receive this Holy Sacrament, see that you reverently adore this Mystery of Love. And then be sure with a most fervent Faith, and universal Charity, to beseech this gracious Saviour, that the Effect of his Death may be as general as the Design of it ; that he who Died for All, may be Glorified in the Salvation of All. And may those Supplications be successful in obtaining Mercy, for yourselves, for every Sinner, and for Me, the Chief of Sinners in particular.
And, when you return from this precious heavenly Feast, full of Grace and Joy, remember then to look
back with tender Compassion upon your weaker Bre
and wish, that every contrite and afflicted Soul may be admitted to the like Comforts, may feel the same wonderful Efficacy from this mysterious Table; and let not Me, the least and most unworthy of your Brethren, who want them most of any, be
in your Charitable Interceflions.
denied a part
CH A P. XVIII. Against the
NiceDisputes concerning this Sacrament.
Christ.] TF thou would'st preserve thy Faith incorcontent thy self with reverencing and admiring these holy Mysteries ; and do not indulge a busy Curiosity, in bold and unprofitable Enquiries concerning them. For this is the Way to damp a godly Zeal, and to perplex thy Mind with intricate and endless Doubts.
Remember, it is the Glory of God to conProu.xxv.1.
ceal a thing, and his Supereminent Wifdom and Power procures it self just Veneration, by doing more than Man is able to comprehend. I do not mean by this to exact a blind Obedience, but expect, and commend, the Use of Reason in the Search of Divine Truth. Provided always, that it be tempered with Sobriety and Modesty, with Teachableness, and a due Respect to what I my self have revealed in my Word, and what my Church hath faithfully delivered, in her Doctrines and Expositions upon it.
Happy is that Meekness and Poverty of Spirit, which industriously declines the rugged thorny Paths of Controversy and captious Disputes; and walks in the plain smooth Way of Duty, and Practical Religion ; which studies God's Commands, and labours to
understand things of a fize with its Capacity, with-
Many Men are much dissatisfied in their Minds, with
Thoughts upon the Matter ; nor hold thy self con-
God. They are rather the contrary, and a Mark of Grace. God fuffers them to exercise thy Patience, to try thy Constancy, to promote thy Spititual Advantage. Wer't thou a Reprobate, thou would'st not thus be assaulted ; fot fuch the Devil is sure of already, and Temptations are thrown away upon Them. They are the Faithful, the Sincere, the Devout Christians, whom he teizes and torments ; for, in so doing, he hopes to enlarge his Dominion, and to feduce those who were not his before.
Proceed then in thy Christian Course with Resolution and Patience, and still frequent the Sacrament with stedfast Faith, and humble Reverence. Whatever there thou findest to exceed thy Understanding, put it to God's Account ; and leave him to make it good, tho’thou canst not conceive, how it should be done. He will not deceive thee ; but they, who rely upon their own Understandings, are sure to deceive themselves. Remember, God hath said, that he walks and dwells with the Humble, and shews his Ways to the Meek ; that he reveals himself to Babes, that he opens the Eyes of the Honest and sincere ; but hides his Grace and knowledge from the Proud, and Wife in their own Sight Reason (Experience proves) maý both deceive and be deceivid, for it is but human. But Faith has God for its Foundation, and cannot err;
becaufe depending upon One who is Truth it felf, incapable of mistaking, or of imposing upon others.
"Tis therefore highly fit, and in Matters of Religion, absolutely necessary, that these two Principles fhould know their Order, and respective Stations; and each contain it self within its proper Sphere. Faith (which supposes a Revelation received and acknowledg'd) challenges the highest Place; and Reason ought to keep her distance, to serve and follow after, not to set Bounds to, or assume, and encroach, and ufurp over, the Other. For Faith and Charity are the two