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A Prayer ta be said by Debtors, and all persons obliged,
whether by crime or contract.
O Almighty God, who art rich unto all
, the Treafury and Fountain of all Good, of all Justice, and all Mercy, and all Bounty, to whom we owe all that we are, and all that we have, being thy Debtors by reafon of our Sins, and by thy own gracious Contract made with us in Jesus Chrift; teach me in the first place to perform all my Obligations to thee, both of Duty and Thankfulness; and next enable me to pay my Duty to all my Friends, and my Debts to all my Creditors, that none be made miferable or leffened in his Eftare by his Kindness to me, or traffick with me. Forgive me all those Sins and irregular Actions by which I entred into Debt farther than my Neceffity required, or by which such Necessity was brought upon me: but let not them fuffer by occafion of my Sin. Lord, reward all their Kindness into their bofoms, and make them recompence where I cannot, and make me very willing in all that I can, and able for all that I am obliged : or if it seem good in thine eyes to affli&t me by the continuance of this Condition, yet make it up by some means to them, that the Prayer of thy Servant inay obtain of thee at least to pay my Debt in Blessings. Amesha
V. LOrd, fan&tifie and forgive all that I have tempted
to Evil by my Discourse or my Example: instruct them in the right Way whom I have led to Error, and let me never run farther on the score of Sin;
but do thou blot out all the Evils I have done by the Sponge of thy Passion, and the Blood of thy Cross; and give me a deep and an excellent Repentance, and a free and a gracious Pardon ; that thou may't answer for me, O Lord, and enable me to stand upright in Judgment: for in thee, O Lord, have I trufted, let me never be confounded. Pity me, and instruct me, guide me and fupport me, pardon me and save me, for my fweer Saviour Jesus Christ his Şake. Amen.
A Prayer for Patron and Benefaétors. Almighty God, thou Fountain of all Good, of
all Excellency both to Men and Angels, , extend thine abundant favour and Loving-kindness to my Patron, to all my Friends and Benefactors : reward them and make them plentiful Recompence for all the Good which from thy merciful Providence they have coiweyed unto me. Let the Light of thy Countenance shine upon them, and never let them come into any Affliction or Sadness, but such as may be an instrument of thy Glory and their eternal comfort. Forgive them all their Sins : let thy Divineft Spirit preserve them from all Deeds of Darkness. Let thy Ministriñg Angels guard their Persons from the Vio lence of the Spirits of Darkness. And thou who knowest every Degree of their Necessity by thy Infinite Wisdom, give Supply to all their Needs by thy glorious Mercy, preserving their Persons, fanctifying their Hearts, and leading them in the Ways of Righteousness, by the waters of Comfort, to the Land of eternal Reft and Glory, through Jesus Christe our Lord. Amen.
CH A P. IV.
of Christian Religion.
Eligion in a large sence doth fignifie the whole
commanded by God, they become a part of that Honour and Worship which we are bound to pay James 2. 27. to him. And thus the Word is used in S.Fames : Pure Religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this,
To visit the Fatherless an
and Widows in their Affliction, and keep himself unspotted from the World. But in a more reltrained fence it is taken for that part of duty which particularly relates to God in our Worshippings and adoration of him, in confefsing his Excellencies, loving his Perfon, admiring his goodness, believing his Word, and doing all that which may in a proper and direct manner do him Honour. It contains the Duties of the First Table only, and so it is called Godliness *, and is • Tita 2.12, by St. Paul distinguished from Justice and Sobriety. In this sence I am now to explicate the parts of it.
of the Internal A&tions of Religion. Thofe I call the Internal A&tions of Religion, in which the Soul only is employed, and minifters to God in the special actions of Faith, Hope and Charity. Faith believes the Revelations of God: Hope expects his Promises : _and Charity loves his Excellencies and Mercies.. Faith gives our Understanding to God: Hope gives up all the Passions and Affecta ons to Heaven and Heavenly things : and Charity gives
the Will to the service of God. Faith is op posed to Infidelity, Hope to Despair, Charity to Enmity and Hoftility; and these Three fanctifie the whole Man, and make our Duty to God and Obedience to his Commandments to be chosen, reasonable and delightful, and therefore to be entire, persevering and universal.
of Faith. The Axts and Offices of Faith are, TO believe every thing which God hath revealed
to us; and when once we are convinced that Demis Decimal God hath spoken it, to make no farther Enquiry, but aliquid poffe
quod nos fa. teamur investigare non parle. S. Aug. 21. 6 7. de Civit.
and, and cellencies and in our Discourses we must remove
humbly to submit, ever remembring that there are fome things which our understanding cannot fathon, nor search out their depth. *****
2. "To believe nothing concerning God but what is honourable, and excellent, as knowing that belief to be no honouring of God, which entertains of him any dishonoutable thoughts. Faith' is the Parent of Charity, and whatsoever Faith 'entertains must be apt to produce Love to God.: but he that believes God to be, cruel or urimerciful, or a rejoycer in the unavoidable damnation of the greateft part of mankind, or that he speaks one thing, and privately means an fore are great enemies of
of Faith, being apt to deAroy Charity. Our Faith concerning God must be as himself hath revealed and described his own ex
from him all imperfection, and attribute to him all excellency
3. To give ourselves wholly up to Christ in Heart and Defire, to become Disciples of his Doctrine with choice (besides conviction being in the presence of God but as Ideots, that is, without any principles of our own to hinder the Truth of God båt fucking, in greedily all that God hath taught'us, believing it infinitely and loving to believe it. For this is an a&t of Love reflected upon
Faith, or an act of Paith leaning upon Love.
om at 4. To believe all God's promises, and that'whatsoever is promifed in Scripture shall on God's part be as furely performed as if we had it in poffeffion. This aet makes us to rely upon God with the same confidence as we did on our Parents when we were Children, when we made no doubt but what foever we needed we should have it, if it were in their power. 5: To believe also the
conditions of the promife, or that part of the revelation which concerns our duty. na hii Many are apt to believe the Article of Remiffion
of Sins, but they believe it without the condition of *** 35.5 repentance, or the fruits of holy life: and that is to
believe the Article otherwise than God intended it. For the Covenant of the Gospel is the great Object of Faith, and that supposes our Duty to answer his Grace; that God will be our God so long as we are his. People. The
other is not Faith, bút Flättery. 6. To profess publickly the Doctrine of Jesus Chrift, openly owning whatsoever he hath revealed and commanded, not being ashamed of the Word of God, or of any Practices enjoined by it, and this without complying with any Man's Interest, not regarding Favour, por being moved with goud Words, nor fearing Disgrace, or Loss, or Inconyenience, or Death itself.
To pray without Doubting, without Weariness, without Faintness, entertaining no Jealousies or Sulpicions of God, but being confident of God's hearing us, and of his Returns to us, whatsoever the manner or the instance be, that if we do our Duty, it will be gracious and merciful.
These Acts of Faith are in several Degrees in the Servants of Jesusy, some have it but as a Grain of Mustard-Seed, fome grow up to a Plant, some have the fulness of Faith : but the least Faith that is must be a perfuafion fo strong as to make us undertake the doing of all that Duty, which Christ built upon
the foundation of Believing. But we shall 'best discern the Truth of Faith by these following Signs. S. Hie-Dial. adveol rom reckons three. j
Signs of true Faith.
1. An earnest and vehement Prayer: for it is impostible we should heartily
believe the things of God and the Glories of the Gospel, and not most importunately desire them. For every thing is desired accor, ding to our Belief of its Excellency and Possibility.
2. To do nothing for Vain-glory, but wholly for the Interests of Religion, and these Articles we believe, valuing not at all the Rumours of Men, but the Praise of God, to whom by Faith we have given up all our intellectual Faculties.