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pire. Therefore begin directly and without delay; carry on the work with diligence, and continue in it with perseverance. You have the prayers of the Church on your behalf, that God's good Spirit may lead you into the way of truth." We go on to intercede that those who are walking "in the way of truth," may be enabled "to hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond "of peace, and in righteousness of life." For the guidance and governance of God's good Spirit are as necessary for the preservation of the saint, as they are for the conversion of the sinner. Since temptations abound and many have apostatized, every humble disciple of Christ will be thankful that he enjoys the daily prayers of the church for his continuance in the faith. And, since Satan's watch-word among his infernal emissaries is, "di"vide and rule;" how proper it is that we should pray for all the members of the catholic Church, that they may "hold the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace!" And, since "faith without works is dead, being alone;"-that righteousness of life" may evidence the truth of our profession. These are excellent petitions. May we see more of their beauty, and join in them with increasing fervour of soul!

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"Finally, we commend to God's fatherly good"ness all those who are any ways afflicted or dis"tressed in mind, body, or estate." Sin has metamorphosed the world into a vale of tears. Through this valley of Baca all must pass in their way to Zion. + Saints and sinners taste of the bitter cup. With respect to the former, we are expressly told, that it is " through much tribu"lation we must enter into the kingdom of

* Divide et impera.

+ Ps. lxxxiv. 6.

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"God."* Calamity appears "in a thousand shapes." We shall not endeavour to enumerate them-our Church has comprehended them all. It is meet that we should "remember "them which suffer adversity, as being ourselves "also in the body."+ We are commanded to weep with those that weep," as well as to "rejoice with them that rejoice." Our great High Priest sympathizes with His suffering members, being touched with a feeling of their infirmities." "In all their afflictions He is afflicted." His people resemble Him, and feel for each other; so that, "if one member suffer, all the members suf"fer with it." And being unable to afford consolation and relief out of any stock of which they are possessed; they carry their dear brethren in affliction to the throne of grace, praying "that "it may please God to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities, giving "them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions." God knows the sorrows of all His saints, and puts their tears into His bottle. He can comfort in every trouble, relieve in every distress, and succour in every necessity. However great our sufferings, He can give patience under them; and however heavy the pressure of our afflictions, He can give a happy issue out of them. And therefore, as these are promised blessings, "we beg" them for ourselves and our brethren humbly at His hands "for Jesus Christ His sake. Amen."

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*Acts xiv. 22. + Hebr. xiii. 3.

VOL. I.

+ Ps. Ivi. 8.

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ESSAY XII.

On the General Thanksgiving.

PRA

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RAISE is an essential part of the worship of God, and it is due from every rational being to Him, who of His goodness created all things, and who upholds them by the word of His power. Our church in the exhortation that precedes the general confession, when she is recapitulating the several constituent parts of Divine worship, and assigning the reasons of our frequent and stated visits to the house of God, reminds us that "we as"semble and meet together to render thanks for "the great benefits which we have received at "His hands, to set forth His most worthy praise, "to hear His most holy word, and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary as well "for the body as the soul." Here praise stands foremost in our list of duties: and indeed it is not without solid reason that it obtains a distinguished place. For it is that for which man was at first created. Confession of sin, deprecation of punishment, and supplication for mercy, became necessary only in consequence of the fall; but praise is the work for which man originally received his being. This is the great business of heaven, from which its blessed inhabitants cease not day and night and if ever we join the highly favoured throng, it will also be our's to all eternity. The necessity of confession and prayer will then be superseded, because we shall be

perfectly delivered from all evils both of soul and body, and shall have no wants unsatisfied. Then faith will be swallowed up in the immediate vision of its glorious object, and hope will be lost in the complete fruition of its expected felicity. Then the din of war, from which the militant church is never free, shall be exchanged for “the “ voice of harpers harping with their harps ;” and the fatigues of the conflict which is past be forgotien, while the once harassed combatant shall incessantly drink of the waters of that river of pleasures which proceeds from the eternal throne, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.

Should a charge of tautology be brought against our church on account of her frequent introduction of thanksgiving in her services, we are not without a precedent to quote in her defence. That church, in whose worship there are no defects, ceases not day and night, “ crying, Holy,

Holy, Holy is the Lord of Hosts.” It is by no means wonderful that those unhappy persons who rove from one sublunary object to another, seeking rest in an endless variety of gratifications, but finding none, should consider our worship as insipid, and condemn it as tautologous. Were they locally admitted into heaven, they would feel the same irksomeness in all its engagements, because they have no taste for those living waters at the fountain-head of which saints made perfect drink, and from the streams whereof believing sinners on earth quench their thirst and refresh their weary souls. Believers understand the Psalmist's exhortation, “ Praise ye the Lord: for it " is good to sing praises unto our God: for it is "pleasant, and praise is comely."

"* They know

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* Ps. cxlvii. 1.

" that it is meet, right, and their bounden duty, " that they should at all times and in all places ** give thanks unto Thee, O Lord, Holy Father, “ Almighty and Everlasting God; therefore with « angels and arch-angels, and with all the com

pany of heaven, they laud and magnify Thy “ glorious name, evermore praising Thee, and

saying, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts, “ heaven and earth are full of Thy glory. Glory “ be to Thee, O Lord most High.” *

The rationality of a frequent, yea a constant performance of this duty will be denied by no persons who are sincere in their acknowledgments that all good proceeds from God. And to all those whose hearts are tuned by penitence, the employment also is joyous and delightful, and we may safely assert that he who has never found it pleasant to sing praises unto our God, whose emotions have never been in unison with the harp of the son of Jesse, is a stranger to all real religion, and lives without God in the world. This act of worship is of universal obligation. No worldly engagements, however important, can ever be a sufficient excuse for its neglect. No circumstances in which the poorest among us are involved, exempt them from presenting to the Lord this oblation: for, though their means be too small to furnish expensive eucharistic offerings; yet every man who is possessed of a heart to feel and a tongue to speak, is bound to employ them both in the work of thanksgiving. The heart that never felt and the tongue that never tried to lisp the gratitude that is due to God, are totally disqualified for the felicity and employments of the courts of heaven, and must be banished for ever to

* Communion-Office.

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