Page images
PDF
EPUB

enabled to call God Father; surely, nothing is more refreshing to my heart than the manifestation of the Divine Presence. Is not that conversation the pleasantest in which, with a devoted fellow Christian, I can converse of the value of Jesus and of his free love, and in which we can mutually stir up each other to live more to his glory? Can any thing yield me hearty pleasure when the Lord is absent ?. or are any ways pleasant and satisfactory which I think that he would not approve?

Am I not building wholly on the Lord for salvation? Indeed, this is my aim : for 1 see myself lost and undone, ruined and helpless. I see Christ to be as the pearl of great price, and would gladly part with all for him ;, but still there are many workings of selfrighteousness, and much looking at duties as a ground of hope, and refusing to rejoice in Christ, till I see myself altogether holy and pure.

But is the Lord my portion? How can this be, when my heart is so full of the world—when my prayers are often with so little heart and life; so wandering, and so distracted ? Yes! the Lord is my portion these things are my grief and burden, and I look to him for strength against them.

But after all, how little I prize the Lord ! what a want of close walking with him! This again brings me to the foot of the cross.

I can only glory in Christ crucified; and there I can and do glory.

O maintain thou my lot, for I hare a goodly heritage, and the lines are fallen unto me in pleasant places. 2 Pet. iii, 15. Grow in grace, and in the knowledge of to the Lord's table; and if asked, Do not you find yourself more holy and more heavenly minded, more dead to the world, and more devoted to God, what could be my reply? I do believe these precious means of grace keep alive and maintain, and I would fain hope, also advance religion in my heart; but I seem every time to see myself worse and worse.

our Lord Jesus Christ.

Month after month I have to come as a poor sinner

I see more of the depravity of my evil heart; more of the amazing evil and extent of my sinfulness; more of my lost and ruined state in myself; and more of my infinite, of my daily, of my hourly need of a Divine Saviour. I see, more clearly than ever, that it is only the continually restraining and strengthening grace of God that ever made me, or still makes me, at all to differ from others. There are two depths of which I seem never to have reached either the bottom or the shore--my sinfulness, and God's grace in Christ Jesus.

O Lord, I want great grace and infinite mercy, even such as is discovered in the gift and the death of thy dear Son, for my spiritual need. May I now, in waiting on the Lord, find my strength renewed as the eagle's; so that I may run, and not be weary; and · walk, and not faint; even for Christ's sake.

ACT OF CHARITY.

Phil, ii, 4. Look not every man on his own things; but

every man also on the things of others. Selfishness, has, alas! a continual prevalence in my heart; but I desire, holy Father, now to be filled with love to all mankind; I would now think of, and now pray for, all my fellow creatures.

Enable me to love, wisely and constantly, my own family, bearing with their infirmities, and not offending or stumbling them by my own; praying for them, and seeking especially their spiritual welfare.

I desire to love, and O teach me to love, my neighbour as myself, ever doiug to him, as I would that he should to me.

I do, froin my heart, forgive every one that has trespassed against me. I beseech thee to bless those that have hated, or injured me. Forgive them, and give them every spiritual good. And bless those whom I may in any way have injured, doing away by thy mercy the wrong I may have done them, and giving them grace to forgive me.

Bless my King, all in authority, all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, thy whole Church, my Country, with all ranks and degrees of men in it, high and low, rich and poor, young and old, and the whole world. Send the light of thy Gospel to every land, and give unto all thy Holy Spirit. O grant that the doctrines of a crucified Saviour may be proclaimed in every tongue, till all remember his death in faith and in penitence, and ardent love fill every

som.

CHAP. III.

Hints for the Regulation and Employment of the

Mind during the Communion Service. The Communion Service of the Church of England, with remarks upon it, will be given in Chap. iv; the object in this chapter is, to assist the Communicant in regulating the general state of his mind, and improving the leisure moments which he will have, while others are receiving the sacred elements.

A devout attendance on the previous services, public worship, singing the praises of God, and hearing his Gospel, are peculiarly calculated to prepare us for the more solemn act of devotion which succeeds.

An interval of time, while those who do not intend to partake of the Lord's Supper are leaving the church, will allow you a favourable opportunity for collecting your thoughts, and offering up a short prayer to God for his presence, help, and blessing.

During the succeeding service, endeavour to maintain a COMPOSED AND TRANQUIL SPIRIT. Some are so agitated by the importance of the service as to lose calmness and self-possession: but let us remember, that we are going to a Father's table; and let us endeavour to go with freedom and cheerfulness, as well as with seriousness and devotion.

[ocr errors]

Realize, as much as practicable, THE DIVINE PRESENCE. It is a solemn service in which you are engaged. God is peculiarly present. You are about, as it were, entering into the holy of holies by the blood of Jesus. Heb. x, 19. Receiving unworthily is both sinful and dangerous. With David, then, pray-Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my reins and my

heart. See if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting

The following hints, in the way of actual direction, may assist in shewing you how the time may be most profitably employed while others are communicating, and before or after you yourself have communicated. But it is allowed that there is some danger, lest we should overload the mind of the communicant, and distract rather than help him. Be not then anxious minutely to attend to the whole of them, each time that you communicate. Some may serve to help you at one time, and some at another. You will find it probably more useful, rather to dwell on one or two points, ihan to be too particular in attempting to attend to them all at one time.

HUMBLE YOURSELF BEFORE God. The nearer access we have to God, the more humble we should be. When Isaiah saw the glory of the Lord, and heard the song of the Seraphim--Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory; his own sinfulness rushed upon his mind, and his first expressions were-Woe is me, for I am undone, because I am a man of unclean lips. When the centurion came to beseech Jesus in behalf of his afflicted servant, and Jesus promised to come and heal him, see how he humbles himself in the presence of such a visitor

« PreviousContinue »