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betwixt thy creatures; and that it is by these only can we recommend ourselves to thy favour here, and become qualified for an admittance into thy nearer presence in heaven.
Enlighten our minds, during this our short pilgrimage and day of trial, with such a knowledge of thy holy truth, that we may be preserved by it from all those vices and evil passions which corrupt the heart, and indispose it to goodness and to Thee ; and which render us insensible towards the virtue and happiness of others, and thereby incapacitate us for that supreme felicity which thou hast designed for us.
And when the hour appointed by thee shall come, O Thou sovereign and righteous disposer of all things, and we shall be no more in this world, but return to give an account of ourselves to thee, from whom we all came :
May we be found watchful and prepared at that uncertain moment, whenever it comes, with our evidences for heaven and thy favour, clear and certain, the testimony of our consciences, that in simplicity and godly sincerity we have had our conversation in the world :
That, by thy blessing upon us, we may experience some degree of that calm and composed spirit and confidence in thee, with which
the blessed Jesus and others thy faithful servants departed hence; And may
lie down in the grave, the bed of all the living, with assured and pleasing expectation of sleeping in him, and under thy protection, O God, and Father of all; and may awake'at the last day, to that
and perfect happiness of righteous men, thy servants, which, of thine infinite goodness, thou hast promised by our Lord Jesus Christ.
Now unto Thee, O Father, &c.
May the God of all grace, who bath called us unto bis eternal glory by Christ Jesus our Lord, make us perfect, strengthen, settle us! To Him be glory and dominion for ever and over!
June 7, 1779.
John i. 39.
He saith unto them ; Come, and see.
In this chapter, a little before, our evangelist, in the preface to his Gospel, mentions John the Baptist, as a man sent from God to bear witness of the light, ii e. to attest the character of Jesus as the Messiah, whom the ancient prophets had described under the emblem of light; the heavenly teacher of men, and most perfect revealer of the mind of God.
He afterwards relates, in what way John gave his 'testimony, when the rulers of his country sent their priests to ask, whether he himself was the great prophet, the Messiah whom they expected at that time. And also the manner in which he pointed out Jesus to the people under that character, and the divine
extraordinary testimony which he bore to him.
John having this divine commission and office from God, he had been diligent to fulfil it, in calling his countrymen to repentance and reformation of life, to prepare them to receive and profit by that heavenly instructor and Saviour, when he should make his
appearance; and many had adjoined themselves to him as his disciples with this intent.
To these he now judged it reasonable to de. clare, that there was another prophet of God much superior to himself, on whom they were now to attend; for he had no views to himself, to have a party to follow him; but only to the truth, to do the will of God, and serve mankind.
The sacred historian therefore tells us, (ver. 35, 36.) “ Again, the next day after, John stood, and two of his disciples ; and looking upon Jesus as he walked, he saith, Behold the lamb of God!" g. d.- Behold yonder is that holy and innocent person, of whom I have so often spoke to you, of whom you are to learn to become holy and perfect like himself.
(Ver. 37.) “ And the two disciples heard him speak, and followed Jesus." 1. 8. Upon hear