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Men's ordinary Calling, even of those who are yet Strangers and Enemies to Christianity; or by any cod most public Shews; that the Worship of God might not de Feriis. be confounded with those profane Solemnities.
1. 3. tit. 12.
1.2. ib. 1. 7. • Q. How ought Christians to observe this Day?
A. It is not enough that we rest from the Works of our Calling, but our Time must be employed in all such Religious Exercises as tend to the Glory of God, and the Salvation of our Souls. We must regularly frequent the Worship of God in the public Assemblies, join in the Prayers of the Church, hear his holy Word, receive the blessed Sacrament when administered, and contribute to the Relief of the Poor, if there be any Collection for their Support. In private, we ought to enlarge our ordinary Devotions, and to make the Subject of them chiefly to consist in Thanksgivings for the Works of Creation and Redemption; withal, recollecting all those particular Mercies we have received from the Bounty of Heaven through the whole Course of our Lives : To improve our Knowledge by reading and meditating upon Divine Subjects; to instruct our Children and Families; to visit the Sick and the Poor, comforting them by some seasonable Assistance; and if we converse with our Friends and Neighbours, to season our Discourse with prudent and profitable Hints for the Advancement of Piety; and to take Care that no Sourness or Moroseness mingle with our serious Frame of Mind, 14 Q. What seems to be the most obligatory Duty upon this Day?
A. The being present at the Assemblies of Public Worship, from which Nothing but Sickness or absolute Necessity should detaiņ us. For the Day being dedicated not only to the Honour and Worship of God, but also appointed to this End, that we might openly profess ourselves Christians, it must be an Argument weare very little concerned to do either, if we abstain from God's solemn Worship at such Times. Nothing troubled the primitive Christians
more, than, when sick and in Prison, or under Banishment, that they could not come to Church; no trivial Pretences were then admitted for any one's Absence from the Congregation, but, according to the Merit of the Cause, severe Censures were passed upon them.
Q. What are the great Advantages of the Religious Observation of the Lord's Day?
A. It keeps up the Solemn and Public Worship of God, which might be very much neglected, if it were left to depend upon the Determinations of Huinan Authority. It preserves the Knowledge and visible Profession of the Christian Religion in the World, when, notwithstanding the great Differences there are among Christians in other matters, they yet all concur in observing this Day in Memory of our Saviour's Resurrection. And considering how much Time is taken up, by the greatest Part of Mankind, in providing for the Necessaries of Life; and how negligent and careless they are in the Concerns of their Souls, who flow in Plenty and Abundance; this stated Season is highly useful to instruct the Ignorant by Preaching and Catechising, and to put those in Mind of their Duty, who in their Prosperity are apt to forget God. Moreover, by spending this Day in Religious Exercises, we acquire new Strength and Resolution to perform God's Will in our several Stations the Week following. " Q. Since a great Part of the Duty of the Day consists in Thanksgiving, pray what is implied in that Duty? .: A. A due Acknowledgment of God's Blessings';
a just Value and Esteem of them; and a Desire and Endeavour to make all possible Returns. . Q. When may we be said duly to acknowledge God's Mercies?
A. When we do not let them pass undiscerned and unregarded by us, but carefully consider and take Notice of them; and when we do not ascribe the good Things he has given us to our own Deserts and Endeavours, or to any other Thing or Creature, but only to him.' All glorying in ourselves takes from the Acknowledgment of the Giver's Bounty.
Q. When may we be said to have a just Value and Esteem of God's Mercies?
A. When we retain them in our Memory, and make frequent Reflections upon them; it being natural to remember those Things we highly prize. When we do not grudge or repine at our Portion, but are contented with those Circumstances which the Providence of God has made to be our Lot.
Q. What Return ought we to make to God as a Testimony of our Thankfulness? . A. We ought to profess our Dependence upon bim, and our Obligations to him for the good Things we enjoy. We ought to publish to the World our Sense of his Goodness with the Voice of Praise, and tell of all his wondrous Works. We ought to comfort his Servants and Children in their Afflictions, and relieve his poor distressed Members in their manifold Necessities; for he that giveth Ecclus. Alms, sacrificeth Praise. We ought carefully too obey him in all those Instances wherein he has declared his Will and Pleasure, and be ready to sacrifice the dearest Things in this World, even our Lives, for the Advancement of his Glory, and the Maintenance of his Truth.
GLORÝ be to thee, O my God, who in Compas- Bp. Kenn. sion to human Weakness, which is not capable Foui
We for a deof an uninterrupted Contemplation of thee, such servation
of the as the Saints have above, hast appointed a solemn Lord's Day on Purpose for thy Remembrance. Glory be Day. to thee, for proportioning a seventh Part of our Time to thyself, and liberally indulging the Remainder to our own Use. Let me ever esteem it my Privilege and my Happiness, to have a Day of
Rest set apart for thy Service, and the Concerns of my own Soul; to have a Day free from Distractions, disengaged from the World, wherein I have Nothing to do but to praise and to love thee. Give me Grace to Worship thee in my Closet and in the Congregation; to spend it in doing good, in Works of Necessity, Devotion, and Charity, in Prayer, and Praise, and Meditation. O let it be ever to me a Day sacred to divine Love, a Day of heavenly Rest and Refreshment. Grant, O Lord, I may not only give thee due Worship myself, but may give Rest and Leisure also to my Family, to all under my Charge, to serve thee also; to indulge Ease to my very Beasts, since good Men are merciful even to them. O blessed Spirit, who on the first Day of the Week didst descend in Miraculous Gifts and Graces on the Apostles, descend upon me, that I may be always in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. And since the Blessing of everlasting Salvation, which we Christians on thy Day commemorate, does wonderfully exceed the Creation commemorated by the Jews; O let our Love and Praise, Devotion and Zeal, proportionably'exceed theirs also: and this I beg for Jesus Christ his Sake, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
II. A General RTHY art thou, O Lord of Heaven and eviness Earth, to receive Glory, and Honour, and Power, giving.
for thou hast created all things, and for thy Pleasure they are and were created. Thou hast made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their Host, the Earth and all Things that are therein; thou preservest them all, and the Host of Heaven praiseth thee. Glory bé to thee, O Lord God Almighty, for creating Man after thine own Image, and making so great a Variety of Creatures to minister to his Use. Glory be to thee, () Heavenly Father, for my Being and Preservation, Strength and Health, Understanding and Memory, Friends and Benefactors, and for all my Abilities of Mind and Body, Glory be to thee for my competent Livelihood, for the Advantages of my Education, for all my known or unobserved Deliverances; and for the Guard thy holy Angels keep over me. But above all, Glory be to thee, for giving thy Son to die for my Sins; and for all the Spiritual Blessings he has purchased for me; for my Baptism, and all the Opportunities thou givest me of serving thee, and of receiving the holy Eucharist; for whatever Sin I have escaped, for whatever Good I have done, or thought, for all my Helps of Grace, and Hopes of Heaven, Glory be to thee. Praise the Lord, O my Soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name.
Glory bę to thee, O Lord Jesus ! for thy inex: pressible Love to lost Man, for condescending to take our frail Nature on thee, for all tlıy heavenly Doctrine to instruct us, thy great Miracles to convince us, and thy unblamable Example to be a Guide to us. Glory be to thee, for thy Agony and bloody Sweat, for all the Torments and Anguish of thy bitter Passion. Glory be to thee for thy glorious Resurrection and Ascension into Heaven, and Intercession for us at the Right Hand of thy Father. O gracious Lord, thou who hast done so much for me, how can I ever sufficiently praise and love thee! Prạise the Lord Jesus, O my Soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name. Jo Glory be to thee, O blessed Spirit, Glory bę to thee, for all the Miraculous Gifts and Graces thou didst bestow on the Apostles to fit them to convert the World, and for inspiring the sacred Penmen of Holy Scripture! Glory be to thee for instilling holy Thoughts into my Soul, for all the ghostly Strength and Support, Comfort and Illumination I receive from thee; for all thy preventing, and restraining and sanctifying Grace! Glory be to thee, Blessed Spirit ! let me never more by my sins grieve thee, who art the Author of Life and Joy to me! Preise the Lord, my Soul, and all that is within me praise his holy Name.