« ForrigeFortsæt »
lying vanities, and idols have an allowed place in our hearts. Such a prayer is the highest insult to the Divine majesty; to offer it is to add hypocrisy to idolatry, and insolence to impiety.
But if the reader be indeed resolved through grace to “ withstand the temptations of the « world, the flesh, and the devil,” and to “ fol“ low the only true God,” let his heart be como forted with the reflection that greater is He who is on the Christian's side than all who are against him. Let him offer our collect to the throne of grace with lively faith in the promises of God. Let him take up the language of the Psalmist,
“ The Lord is my light and my sal- .. “ vation, whom shall I fear ? the Lord is the • strength of my life, of whom shall I be afraid? “ Though an host should encamp against me,
my heart shall not fear; though war should s rise against me, in this will I be confident." (Ps. xxvii. 1, 3.) “ The Lord of hosts is with
the God of Jacob is our refuge.” (Ps. xlvi. 11.) Let us not be discouraged by the number or power of our adversaries; for if God be for us, it matters not who are against us. He is almighty to save. And if we call on Him for help, He will assuredly fight for us, and we shall be made “more than conquerors through “ Him that hath loved us." O then let us implore grace to “fo
“ follow the “ only true God,” with firm affiance in His promises, with earnest desire after the knowledge and fruition of Him, and with a fixed resolution to sacrifice every thing for the purpose of promoting His honour and of attaining to His presence, where there is fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore! “ As the hart," closely pursued
by its enemies, “panteth after the water-brooks," so may our souls pant after God! May temptation and opposition drive us nearer to Him from whom alone safety and refreshment can be derived! Not satisfied with present attainments, may we follow Him with an ardent zeal, till we have “ingulpht and plunged ourselves into “God, and are swallowed up in beatitude!"*
Our hope of success in these petitions is built on the worthiness of Him in whose name we present them. We plead His merit, who as the Captain of our salvation “was led up of the
Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted of the " devil.” He submitted to a conflict with His enemy and ours for our sake, that He might encourage us by His victory, and merit grace for our support in our contest by His sufferings. Whatever efforts the powers of darkness could make, they made against our Divine Champion -but in vain. “ All the kingdoms of the world “ and the glory of them” constituted the enticing bait. Even the word of God, misquoted, was introduced to aid the assault. But all was in vain. Satan was foiled, and Christ triumphed. With the Conqueror's name on our lips, let us then rest assured that we shall obtain from God the grace we implore, whereby we shall be enabled to “ withstand," effectually and finally, “the temptations of the world, the “ flesh, and the devil, and to follow the only “ true God,” faithfully and perseveringly, till we are enabled to say with holy gratitude and triumph, “ I have fought a good light, I have “ finished my course, I have kept the faith;
* Bishop Hopkins.
« henceforth there is laid up for me a crown of “ righteousness, which the Lord the righteous
judge shall give me at that day;" “when he “ shall come to be glorified in His saints and to « be admired in all them that believe."
THE NINETEENTH SUNDAY AFTER TRINITY.
O God, forasmuch as without thee we are not able to please thee; mercifully grant that thy Holy Spirit may in all things direct und rule our hearts, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. CHE desires of God's people respecting a
conformity to His blessed will have been uniformly the same in all ages. As the echo corresponds with the voice that produces it, so does the believing soul, when breathing its wants in prayer, with the commands of God in every age and under every outward circumstance of life. The same conviction of inability prevails in all who are “ taught of God," and all look to the same source of help for the inability which is needed. What David near three thousand years ago implored for himself, we also implore in our collect for this day, and with the same convictions and sensibilities, if indeed our lips and our hearts be in unison. “Teach me,” said the penitent Psalmist,“ to do the thing that pleaseth thee, “ for thou art my God: let thy loving Spirit lead “ me forth into the land of righteousness.' “ He requesteth to be fully instructed in the will of Him, whom as his Lord and his “God” he hath determined to serve and obey. But conscious of his own inability to do the will of
* Ps. cxliii. 10. The Psalter version is quoted, because it more exactly corresponds with the phraseology of our collect.
Jehovah, even when known, he intreateth the good Spirit of God to “ lead” him out of the mazes of error, and the pollutions of vice, into the pleasant land of truth and holiness."'*
Our collect consists of -A humble confession And an earnest petition.
To please God is the holy ambition of every regenerate person. This was the anxious desire and endeavour of the blessed apostles. They laboured that, whether present or absent, they might be accepted of Him. (2 Cor. v. 9.) They exhorted all their followers to “walk as. « children of light, proving what is acceptable “ unto the Lord;” (Eph. v. 8, 10.) To offer "up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God
through Jesus Christ;” (1 Pet. ii. 5.) To “ endure hardness as good soldiers of Jesus
Christ;" and not to “entangle themselves with " the affairs of this life, that they might please “ Him who had called them to be soldiers." Tim. ii. 3, 4.) And not contented with exhortations, they prayed on behalf of all their disciples, that they might be filled with the know«ledge of the Divine will, in all wisdom and "spiritual understanding; that they might walk "worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, being “.faithful in every good work, and increasing in “ the knowledge of God;" (Col. i. 9, 10) and that God would make them perfect in every “good work, to do His will, working in them « that which is well pleasing in His sight, through « Jesus Christ.” (Heb. xiii. 21.)
A regenerate soul can have no satisfaction in himself but from a humble hope that both his person and his duties are pleasing to God. For the
* Bishop Horne,