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ON THE COLLECTS FOR ADVENT. MR. EDITOR,
They read, now and then, a few I have long been attached to verses, or, perhaps, a chapter or the Church of England; and, if two; but without stopping for one I am not greatly deceived, find moment to consider the meaning of that attachment increasing as I what they read; without any careadvance in life. In considering ful observation of the nature and the service for Advent Sunday, I the import of the words and terms perceived an excellency, which made use of; without learning any had not occurred to me before, point of duty, any matter of docand which may, perhaps, have trine, any direction of experience; escaped the attention of some of and they go away, to their differyour readers.
ent pursuits, without in the least We are taught by our church, dwelling upon what they have on the first Sunday in Advent, not read; without digesting and reonly to consider our Lord's first considering it; and, in consecoming, when he appeared with quence, they derive neither pagreat humility to save the world; tience in suffering, nor consolation but, also, to contemplate and pre- under trials, or any well-founded pare for his second coming; when hope of deliverance from the grahe shall appear, in glorious ma- cious directions, instructions, and jesty, to judge both the quick and promises so abundantly vouchdead. But here, that important safed in the word of God. - O that question forcibly occurs to the there was aniongst us more of that mind, Who may abide the day of spirit which marked the Bereans, his coming; and who shall stand who received the word with all when he appeareth? This inquiry readiness of mind, and searched is most satisfactorily answered in the Scriptures daily to see whether the services appointed for the next those things were so: then, asthree Sundays; where we are suredly, under the divine influences taught the means, the only means, of the Holy Ghost, it would be - which God has appointed as pre- found among us, as well as paratory to that solemn event. among them: that, therefore, many
The first is, the reading of the believed. Scriptures, with prayer. "We are The second means of preparing thus taught to pray: “ Blessed for the Saviour's coming, is the diLord, who has caused all holy ligent use and improvement of a Scriptures to be written for our Gospel ministry. learning, grant that we may in: “O Lord Jesus Christ, who, at such wise hear them, read, mark, thy first coming, didst send thy learn, and inwardly digest them, messenger to prepare thy way bethat by patience and comfort of fore thee, grant, that the ministers thy holy word, we may embrace, and stewards of thy mysteries may, and ever hold fast, that blessed likewise, so prepare and make hope of everlasting life, which ready thy way, by turning the thou hast given us in our Saviour, hearts of the disobedient to the Jesus Christ.”
wisdom of the just; that, at thy How impressive is the language second coming to judge the world, we are here taught to use! —that we may be found an acceptable we may not only read, but mark, people in thy sight.” learn, and inwardly digest, the. Why is it, that the inestimable Holy Scriptures. What a con- privilege and blessing of a Gospel trast is here implied to the prac- ministry is not more effectual, more tice of many professors of religion! successful? Why is the faithful
minister so often compelled to in- more powerful than we had prequire, “ Who hath believed our re- viously imagined ; that the weakport, and to whom is the arm of ness of our nature is such, as to the Lord revealed ?” Is it not, that incapacitate us, either for the perso many are hearing without formance of duty, or the resistprayer? that they are expecting ance of temptation; and we shall too much from men ; looking ra- thus practically learn the importher to Paul, or Apollos, or Ce- tance of that lesson which we are phas, than to that God who alone taught in our earlier years: “Know can give the increase? O let us this, that thou art not able to do guard against this spirit of de- these things of thyself, nor to pendence upon the creature. Let walk in the commandments of God, us diligently prepare for attending and to serve him, without his speon the ministry of the word, by cial grace; which thou must learn, fervent earnest prayer; and let us at all times, to call for by diligent improve the opportunities with prayer.” Instructions of this nawhich we are favoured, by with- ture are regarded by many as very drawing from worldly company much matters of course. Men are and conversation; and by entering apt to entertain far higher ideas of into our closets, shutting-to our their own power and ability, than doors, and praying to our Father, are consistent with these declarawho seeth in secret, for that abun- tions. When, however, they acdant out-pouring of the Holy Spirit, tually come to the trial, they soon which can alone render the seed find that there is a law in their sown effectual. Let us meditate members, warring against the law upon what we have heard, come of their mind, and bringing them pare spiritual things with spiritual; into captivity to the law of sin, and thus seek to derive a lasting which is in their members. In improvement from every sermon proportion as they thus practically we hear.
learn their own weakness, they The third mean is, an earnest will be induced earnestly to seek seeking for, and a continual de- for the assistance of divine grace; pendence upon, the influence and and will, consequently, in due assistance of divine grace.
time, experience the truth of that “ O Lord! raise up, we pray declaration, “ He giveth power to thee, thy power, and come amongst the faint; and to them, that have us, and, with great might, suc- no might, he increaseth strength :" cour us; that, whereas, through until at length the weak and temptour sins and wickedness, we are ed believer is enabled, in a measore let, and hindered, in run sure, to adopt the Apostle's lanning the race that is set before us, guage, “ I can do all things through thy bountiful grace and mercy Christ, that strengtheneth me." may speedily help and deliver us.” Let us, then, diligently use these
When we have, by the studying means of preparing for our Saor the hearing of the word of God, viour's coming; let each returning discovered what is the path of season of Advent find us more deduty, we have continual need of voted to the study of God's word, the divine grace and mercy to dis- more fervent in prayer, more conpose and enable us so to walk, as scientious in the use of the means of to serve and please God. So gráce, in hearing, meditating upon, long as we trust to ourselves, or and practising what we hear; more depend upon our own strength, we simple in reliance on the Saviour's shall meet with continual disap- mercy and dependence on his pointments. We shall find, that grace; and then, when at length the enemies of our souls are far he shall come in his own glory and DEC. 1823.
his Father's, and his holy angels Father and the Holy Spirit, ever with him, we shall be found an one God, world without end. acceptable people in his sight, Amen. who liveth and reigneth with the
J. D. S.
PRAYER FOR THE PEOPLE OF IRELAND. The following Prayer for the ness. Grant the king a long life, People of Ireland, is used as a part and make him glad with the light of family prayer, on the evening of of thy countenance. Let him dwell the second Tuesday of every month, before thee for ever. O prepare by several persons who feel, that thy loving mercy and faithfulness, the present times call for importu- that they may preserve him. Renate intercession at the throne of vive, O Lord, thy work in all parts grace; for, “ who can tell if God of thy church. O may her peace will turn and repent, and turn away be as a river, and her righteousfrom his fierce anger, that we perish ness as the waves of the sea. not?" —Jonah, iii. 9.
Grant that the bishops and pastors, - O ETERNAL God, the Lord of and all other ministers of religion glory! who art the author and giver in our land, may be filled with the of every good gift, and who hast gifts and graces of thy Holy Spipromised so many and so great rit; may they be men of God, full blessings to all those who call upon of faith and of the Holy Ghost. thee, grant us the spirit of grace " Bless all Societies which have and of supplications; teach us to been formed, under thy providence, cry mightily unto thee; and do thou for extending thy kingdom in this hear and answer the prayers which land; bless them with a very abunthou thyself hast taught us.
dant measure of the influences of " O Lord, the great and dread thy Holy Spirit: give wisdom to ful God! keeping the covenant and their designs, and success to their mercy to them that love him, and endeavours; and dispose the breasts to them that keep his command of thy people to contribute liberally ments; we have sinned and com- to their support. In all their exermitted iniquity, and have done tions, enable them to put all their wickedly, and have rebelled, even dependence upon thee, and to reby departing from thy precepts, member that thou hast said, it is and from thy judgments; neither “not by might nor by power, but have we hearkened unto thy ser- “ by my spirit.” vants the prophets, which spake in «Give unto them and unto us all thy name to our kings, our princes, the blessing of personal religion, and our fathers, and to all the and may we enter into the expeople of the land. O Lord, perience of thy Gospel; pour out righteousness belongeth unto thee; thy spirit upon our seed, and thy but unto us confusion of faces, as blessing upon our offspring. Espeat this day! O Lord, hear! O Lord, cially bless, O Lord, all universities forgive! O Lord, hearken and do; and schools of religious and useful defer not, for thine own sake, u learning. And, O gracious Lord, our God!
who hast said, “ Suffer little chil" Bless the land in which we dren to come unto me, and forbid dwell, protect our rulers, guide our them not,” regard with thy favour statesmen, enlighten the ministers every effort to bring up children in of thy word, and bless all our the nurture and admonition of the people; may we be a nation fear- Lord; bless those who endeavour ing God, and working righteous- to instruct the young; do thou teach
them, that they may teach others; thou mercifully send forth abundant and grant that the children may re- labourers into thy harvest; raise up ceive, with a humble, teachable, meek, humble, believing, patient, diand ready mind, all the instructions ligent, and persevering men, countgiven unto them, according to thy ing their work their wages; men word.
willing to spend themselves, and “ Lord, we would sigh before thee be spent for Christ. · O Lord, hear for all the abominations of our coun- our prayer; send thy blessing upon try! O how does the swearer, the us : let thy work appear unto thy sabbath-breaker, the covetous, the servants, and thy glory unto their licentious, and the blasphemer, children. Put on thy strength, O abound on every side! Because of arm of the Lord! Confound the these things, the wrath of God works of darkness: utterly abolish cometh upon the children of disobe- the idols; destroy the dominion of dience. O Lord, look down with Satan throughout the world. mercy upon this land, where igno- “ Let the people praise thee, () rance, superstition, and vice have God! yea, let all the people praise long obscured thy truth and thy thee. Take away all hatred and saving health; look down upon this prejudice, and whatever else may people, who perish for lack of know- hinder us from godly union and ledge; enable us now to send thy concord; that, as there is but one Gospel to them with success; open body, and one spirit, and one hope a great door, and effectual, that thy of our calling; one Lord, one faith, word may gain admission, and have one baptism, one God and Father free course among the families of this of us all; so we may henceforth be land; and glorify it, we pray thee, all of one heart, and one soul; in making it the instrument of open- united in one holy bond of truth ing the eyes of many, and turning and peace, of faith and charity; them from darkness unto light, and and may with one mind, and one from the power of Satan unto Thee. mouth, glorify thee, through Jesus And, as the harvest truly is great, Christ, our Lord. Amen." and the labourers but few, O do
REFLECTIONS ON A BIRTH-DAY.
ESSAYS ON THE FIFTY-THIRD CHAPTER OF ISAIAH. Essay XI.—THE SATISFACTION OF THE REDEEMER IN SEEING
OF THE TRAVAIL OF HIS SOUL. Isaiah, liji. 11.-- He shall see of the grace of God to believe in
the travail of his soul, and shall Jesus, and to follow him? It was be satisfied: by his knowledge because Jesus suffered and died shall my righteous servant justify for your salvation. If he had not, many; for he shall bear their you would never have been brought iniquities.
nigh to him; but would have been, In these words the prophet fur.. as you are by nature, a stranger ther describes the recompense and an enemy to God, by wicked which the Redeemer should have works. But Christ laboured and for all his bitter sufferings : “ He groaned, and bled and died, for shall see of the travail of his soul, you, if you are indeed brought and shall be satisfied.” The travail nigh to him; and every soul that of his soul signifies all those ago- is savingly converted to God, is a nizing pains, both of body and proof, that Jesus did not suffer and mind, which Jesus endured upon die in vain. the cross, and which have been The satisfaction which the Refully described in this chapter. deemer has, in souls converted to The language of the inspired God by his grace, is beautifully rePsalmist is peculiarly applicable presented in the parable of the lost to him, " The sorrows of death sheep. The owner, " when he compassed me, and the pains of hath found it, layeth it on his hell got hold upon me.” Psalm shoulders rejoicing.” He calls tocxvi. 3. But these deadly pangs gether his neighbours and friends and convulsive throes, which the to rejoice with him, that the lost Lord Jesus suffered when he un- sheep is found; “ saying unto them, dertook the cause of his people, Rejoice with me; for I have found have long since ended; and now a my sheep which was lost." He glorious reward follows, not only says, moreover, that there is joy in the Saviour's exaltation to his in heaven over one sinner that remediatorial throne, but in the con- penteth.” Luke, xv. 5, 7. Angels version and salvation of his re- are called to rejoice at the condeemed people. It was the prog- version of a sinner; and Jesus, pect of this, that induced him to the Lord of angels, is satisfied, submit to the cross, despising the when he sees a sinner brought to shame: “ for the joy that was set believe in his name; he remembefore him (the joy of saving souls, bers no more the anguish of the and of bringing them to everlasting cross; but looks back with satisfacglory) he endured the cross, despis- tion on what he then suffered for ing the shame.” Heb. xii. 2. Nor our salvation. shall he be disappointed of his We may easily conceive this, hope; “ he shall see of the travail of because we see something like it, his soul;” and the sight will afford though vastly inferior, amongst him the highest satisfaction. men. What labours, for instance,
Every soul of man, that is truly what pains and difficulties, will converted to God, is saved in con- not a man undertake to obtain sequence of the sufferings of Christ something which he supposes will for that soul; and this is a con- be for his good? What dangers sideration which greatly endears does the seaman undergo to obthe divine Saviour to his believing tain the end which he has in view ? people. Is the reader brought by and, when he has obtained it, he