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day our daily bread. Life, we must desire for the end and work of life.
good conscience. Will the good God guard us by his providence, and
and by way of argument, in facred pleading with God, we may well add. For thine is the Kingdom (the dominion over all things, over men and their hearts, over blessings earthly and spiritualy the power (and canft manage and dispose of all things, according to thy pleasure) and the glory, (the honour will redound to thy name as the ultimate end of all). Amen. So let it be for ever!
Here is prayer, pure, holy, suitable to us and the case of the world! meet for the aspirers towards God, and the correspondents with heaven !
III. In our approaches to God, we record his love, and give him thanks for his manifold mercies towards us. We celebrate his works, and praise his name; we delight ourselves in him and in his perfections, in his providences and distributions of his grace; and oft express our love and
joy in hymns of acknowledgment; Singing and making melody in our bearts to the Lord.
IV. In all our addresses to God, we rely upon the Mediator's propitiation and advocacy. We know that he is at the right hand of God, that he continually appears in his presence for us, that he is always acceptable to the Father, and all likewise are that come to God through him. We have therefore liberty and boldness to enter into the Holyest (into the high and holy residence of God) through the blood of Jesus (who was flain as an expiatory sacrifice for us); and having such an high priest over the house of God, we draw near to the throne of God, (now become a throne of grace) with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts Sprinkled from an evil conscience (being freed from the fears and anguish of a guilty, disquieted conscience), and so maintain a correspondence with him. In which, the gracious God also communicates affurances of his favour, expressions of his love, exhilarations and joys from his spirit, that are the earnest and fore-tasts of eternal consolations. Such life involves heavenly communion, and must be nearest to that, that is angelical.
SEC T. XVIII.
The Christian Institution is excellently adapted to the
Welfare of single Persons; and particularly, to the Prosperity of Souls: To their growth upwards, towards Perfection and Bliss.
HIS must be the design and effea of religion. And this is most
eminently the design and effect of the christian religion. This ap. pears by the foregoing article; the foul must prosper that has correspon
dence with heaven. But more explicity, souls must prosper and Aourism in their attendance and conformity to this institution. For,
1. Here is best light for the enlargement and improvement of the mind. Here we are admitted to see most of God, and his perfections, of his king. dom and government, counsels and grace towards mankind. Here's belt knowledge of the laws of God, the state of the world towards God, the affairs of redemption by the son, the way to life and immortality; and all those things that advance, refine and bless the understanding. If we were to consider speculation only, we might see, that no religion will afford more noble, and sublime inquiries and theorems, than are obviously presented in the christian theology. Though the managing of polemics, I fear, does not much advance the prosperity of souls.
II. Here the best means are prescribed and provided for the extirpati. on of vicious principles and habits, that are injurious to the purity and peace of the foul. They that are after the spirit, do mind, and attend the things of the fpirit. And they that are Christ's, have crucified the flesh, with its affections and lufts. Dearly beloved, I beseech you, as strangers and pilgrims, abstain from fleshly lufts, which war against the soul. It is plainly seen, that the indulgence allow'd to Aleshly lusts does degrade and debase the soul.
III. Here is taught the attainment and practice of all those virtues and Spiritual endowments, that ennoble and adorn the human nature. Mo. ral excellencies cannot be advanced higher than here. And besides this (the escaping the corruption that is in the world) giving all diligence, add to your faith; virtue ; to virtue, knowledge; and to knowledge, tempe. rance; (prudent abstemiousness in all things); and to your temperance, patience (in bearing the evils of life); and to patience, godliness (universal devotion to God); and to godliness, brotherly kindness (love to all the christian fraternity); and to brotherly kindness, charity, (universal love to mankind); for if these things be in you and abound, they make, that ge Mall not be barren or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord and Sawigur Jesus Christ.
IV. Here is taught the best method of quieting an accusing conscience and giving peace within, and procuring the serenity and tranquillity of the fou!, in reference to God and the future world. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Jesus Chrift; by whom also we have access into this grace (into this gracious condition) in which we now stand, and, therein, rejoyce in hope of the glory of God. Wherefore, the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure (either your ele&tion from eternity; or your selection for a blessed eternity); for if ye do these things, ye shall never
fall; for so an entrance shall be ministred to you abundantly (with much assurance and joy) into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
V. Here best provision is made for the ease and quiet of the mind, in its worldly circumstances. It fees what snares and temptations the high and the great and the rich fall into. Could the heathen man say, if my estate is not sufficient for me, I will be sufficient for it; and so we will met.
The christian may much more say so, as knowing that he hath in heaven a more enduring substance. He is taught to be anxious and perplexed about nothing; but, in every case, with prayer and supplication, to make his desires and requests known to God; and so to rest in peace, and commit himself to God, as a faithful creator and disposer; being afsured that God will care for him, will not leave or for fake him, will provide for him and make all things work together for his good. Such a one may well possess his soul in patience, contentment and peace.
VI. Here are afforded the highest motives and incentives to the ad. miration and love of God, and holy delight in him; which must be the perfection of the human spirit. And here best provision is made for a conquest over death and all its terrors; and for a triumphant departure from this World to a better ; as may be further seen hereafter.
Here is the flourishing state of a soul! In such circumstances, it is carried with full fail to the haven of perfection and blessedness. ' Such a soul may be lodged in a crazy body. Such difference there may be between the two constituent parts of the human nature. And to such a christian
may it be said, as to the excellent Gaius, Beloved, I wiss above all things, that thou mayest prosper (in thy body) and be in health, even as foul prospereth.
The Christian Religion is eminently conducive to the
Good and Welfare of human societies.
T confirms and dignifies all the combinations and societies, that na
ture hath ordained; and well secures their order and harmony, their purity and peace. For,
I. It extirpates those lufts and paffions, that create fewds, jealousies, contentions and disorders in communities and societies. It mortifies the root of ambition, pride, covetousness and vain-glory; of malice, envy, hatred and revenge, and all those vicious humours that disturb the union and friendship of society. Let us not be desirous of vain-glory, provoking one another, envying one another. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others.
II. It commands all that wisdom and humility, that love, concord and usefulness, whereby societies are preserved and made to flourish. It forbids idleness, negligence and needless living on other men's labours. And that ye study to be quiet, and to do your own business, and to work with your own hands, as we commanded you. Providing things honest (and decent) in the light of all men. It commands integrity in paying of debts, and all the offices of love. Owe no man any thing, but to love one another. He that loveth another, fulfilleth the law.