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habitual dependence on Divine mercy for obtaining it?

We moreover pray for holiness. For if pardon be essential to salvation, as it removes guilt from the soul and restores it to the Divine favour, holiness is no less necessary as a qualification for the enjoyment of the Divine favour ' and presence.

Under this head we implore the influence of God's Holy Spirit to illuminate, direct, and comfort our hearts to convert us from the love and power of sin, to rescue us from temptation, to alienate our affections from the world, to conform us to the image of Christ, and to implant in us all those tempers in which holiness consists. Are these petitions expressive of our desires? Have we, whilst we have considered the subject, observed in ourselves an uniformity between our sensibilities and our words?

We further pray for a participation of heavenly happiness, and for all that is needful to prepare and qualify us for its enjoyment. But do we anticipate this happiness, and cultivate in ourselves à meetness for it? Many wish to

a escape from hell, who do not, after a close attention to the true nature of heavenly happiness, feel in themselves any cordial desire of participating in it.

4. There are duties, which our collects enforce on all those who use them. A system of duty, indeed, is no more the object of our collects, than a system of doctrine. Yet while Christian doctrines are stated, while Christian dispositions are supposed and cherished, while Christian desires are expressed, Christian duties are of course implied and enforced.

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The term love comprehends both our duty towards God and our duty towards our neighbour; for so love is the fulfilling of the law." It includes all morality and all godliness. Now do we see that our prayers are absurd, hypocritical, and offensive to God, unless we practise, or at lea:t earnestly desire and strive to practise, those duties with a view to the

performance of which we implore His grace? “ Why call ye me, Lord, Lord, and do not the

things that I say?" is the tender and striking expostulation of our Divine Master. We profess in our collects to be imitators of Christ, and followers of His saints. Is such indeed our true character?

But we descend to a still more particular application of the subject. The course of our essays on the collects has conducted us through the period of twelve months, and brought us again to Advent Sunday, at which our efforts commenced. The returning season of the year concurs with our present design, and loudly calls us to the important duty of self-examination, respecting our state, character, and spiritual improvement.

1. The rapid lapse of time is a proper subject for serious reflection. How large a part of our short life is a single year! How many of our brethren have dropped into eternity, while we have been engaged in our present train of meditation! How soon must we follow them into that awful scene! Oh, let the reader, before he quits the subject, allow a moment for serious reflection! Let him ask himself, Am I a converted person, a believer, a saint, and thus. prepared to meet my God?

2. The approaching day of judgment, of which this season is designed to remind us, is enough to rouse us from our torpid state of deep sleep, or slumber. The most awake are but half awake to their everlasting interests. BEHOLD, HE COMETH!! The Judge,—the Judge—is at the door!—The account which we must give, and the doom which we must receive, are serious and solemn things, and demand fervent importunity in our applications for pardoning and sanctifying grace.

3. Eternity is before us. We are just entering on the boundless expanse. Happiness or misery without end must be the portion of every individual member of our church, according as he has been sincere or insincere in his profession. The sentence which will be pronounced on us will be irrevocable. What will a nominal relation to the church avail those who have been dissenters from the doctrines which she teaches, the dispositions which she requires, the desires which she expresses, and the duties which she enjoins? Man

may

deceive man, but God will not be mocked!

ALMIGHTY God, give us grace that we may cast away the works of darkness, and put upon us the armour of light, now in the time of this mortal life (in which thy Son Jesus Christ came to visit us in great humility ;) that, in the last day, when He shall come again in His glorious majesty to judge both the quick and dead, we may rise to the life immortal, through Him, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost now and ever. Amen.

FINTS

Evans, Printer, Bristol.

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