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VI. Methinks, I perceive the enemy laying another snare to frustrate my good resolutions; the devil, sometimes, that he may deceive us the better, will transform himself into an Ana gel of light. *He pretends to plead the cause of God, and endeavours to stagger our faith; faying, that if now we break those resolutions made before receiving the Lord's Supper, and return again to our sins, he doubts whether God would ever again admit us to pardon and reconciliation; and therefore, he thinks it fafer to abstain from the holy Communion, rather than to run the hazard of being for ever excluded from the hopes of heaven. It is true Saint James tells us, † in many things we of. fend all; there is no man but what has his fhare, more or less, of human infirmities, fo that it is most reasonable to conclude, that, in the course of this life, these will sometimes unavoidably surprise and betray us into some fins. Against these therefore we must continually strive, and we may reasonably hope that, by God's grace and our own careful eno deavours, we may every day more and more prevail against them For,
VII. However God may think it fit, for our humiliation, and a farther trial of us, to leave us ftill exposed to some of the common in fire mities of our nature; yet, in respect of all
* 2 Cor. xi. 14.
2 Cor. xi. 14.
James iii. 2.
habitual or deliberate fins, we may, assure ourselves, that* he is faithful, and will not suffer us to be tempted above that we are able, but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that we may (if it be not our own fault). be able to bear it. Nor will he fail to draw nigh to us, whilst we continue careful to drew nigh unto him. + Let us then but stedfastly resolve to be hearty and industrious in doing what lies in our own power; and then, tho? our fins be as scarlet or as red as crimson I yet we need not be discouraged : for God is. ready upon our repentance to make them as white as wool, or as snow. ll
VIII. Yet at the same time it stands with a. great deal of reason, that the greater our sins have been, and the oftener we have relapsed into them, the deeper our forrow, and the more sincere our repentance must be, in order to obtain our pardon. But since there is a probability of pardon even in the case of the most profligate and abandoned sinner, we must not make the contrary fear, suggested by the devil, a pretence for keeping ourselves back from any of the ordinances of God, and from a more immediate and intimate communion with him. On the contrary, let'us flee to them in the time of our temptation, as the ready means to de
* I Cor. 3. 13. t James iv. 8.
lfaiah i. 18.
liver us from all evil, and established by God to confirm us in every thing that is good.
The Hymn on Monday Evening. A holy Resolution to approach the Lord's Table. "THE promise to my Father's love
1 “Shall stand for ever good :"* He said ; and gave his soul to death.
And seald the grace with blood.
I set my worthless name,
And make my humble claim.
And glory, shall be mine ;
And all my powers are thine.
Which Jesus did bequeath,
And ratify'd in death.
Who bless'd us in his will,
* Luke xvi, 17.
Cor. 1, 11. 22.
The Prayer on Monday Evening. For pardon and forgiveness of those fons which deler
us from approaching the Lord's Table. M OST great, most holy, and most glo
1 rious Lord God! I know that thou delightest in the ways of mercy, that thou art a tender lover of fouls, and not only permitteft, but inviteft * us miserable creatures to come unto thee; therefore I am convinced of the necessity of that holy institution, which thou hast ordained by thy Son our Lord, in that holy Sacrament of his supper, whereby we are raised from the death of sin unto a life of righteousness.
With humble confidence then, O Lord! I lift up my soul unto thee, beseeching thee, in thy great mercy, to look upon me, and to ease me of the burthen of my corrupt and fin." ful inclinations : oh! cast me not away from thy presence, but, for the sake of my dear Redeemer, receive me graciously to thy mere cy; and let the merit of his bitter death and passion atone for all the follies and miscarriages of my life paft : forgive, I meekly befeech thee, whatever I have done amiss this day and all my life, either against thee, my ncighbour, or myself.
Oh! what am I, that I should presume to speak unto thee, or to lift up my eyes to that place of purity where thine honour dwelleth.* Oh! cleanse me from all my fecret and unknown transgressions : and, most merciful Father, who upholdest all things by the power of thy word,+ grant that I may seriously consider and reflect upon the foulness and defora mity of my sin, and what dreadful threatnings thou hast denounced against it; that I. may become a true and sincere mourner for my past fios; and, as far as it is poflible, redeem my mispent time, by employing the remainder of my days in thy service, and to thy glory. O Lord! give me a new heart, new affections, and new desires, that I may love thee with more sincerity, and serve thee with greater faithfulness than I have ever get done; convince me of the vanity and uncertainty of all things here below; and grant that I may make thee, who art the Creator of heaven and earth, and of all thinge therein, my only joy and delight, my stay and my trust, my guide and my counsellor; and be so delighted with the ways of thy commandments, that one day in thy service may be dearer to me, than a thousand spent in vanity and folly.
' place * Matthew xi. 28.