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& Practical Discourse upon the Invocation.

God the Father of Heaven, have merce,

apon as miserable sinners] There is an Epality of Power, and yet a difference of Order a

song the Personis of the glorious Trinity, for the Fatser is ever reckoned in the first place, to him therefore we make our first Address. He first gave us our being and is qur Father by Creation, yea he is the Father that the Maker of Heaven and Earth, but because he properly dwells in Heaven, and never visibly appeared on Earth, as the Son and the Holy Ghost have done, he is peculiarly stiled Our Father of Heaven, or Our Heavenly Father, and so he is called here, as well as in the beginning of the Lords Prayer, to raise up our hearts to Heaven and the things above and to mind us how great a Majesty we are before even the Father of all the Heavenly Powers, who do all adore him with the lowest Venerations : He can do whatsoever he will, because he is so great a God, and we hope he will do what we defire, because he is so gratious a Father: Now the Petition we make to him is for Mercy, and the Motive to enforce it is, because we are miserable fingers. As we are Miserable, we are the proper Objects of Mercy, which cannot be exercised, but

those in Misery (b), as we are diftrefled, (b) G-Dut misericorn we need his relieving Mercy,and as dia mela efi mia we are Sinners, we need his forgi- feria. Aug. de X. ving Mercy; His Mercy can both pity our Miseries and pardon our Transgresions, an! that we may the more fervently put up so i zceffary 3 Request, we mult'observe, there are some of our Miferies which are most proper for the Father to redz efs, and fome Sins which being principally againt God the Fa

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ther, it is most fit to beg the Pardon of them from him; Now this being an Invocation of the Father, to whom the Works of Creation and Providence do belong; let us while we beg Mercy of him, first reflect upon our Miseries, which he is most concerned to help us in. Are we fick or weak in body, low and impoverished in Estate, abused in our good Name, or unhappy in our Relations? Is the Air tempestuous, the Year unseafonable, the State imbroiled with War, or the Church disturbed with Faction ? Aré we deprived of our Peace, or our

Traffique, our Liberty or our Rights? We may then justly go to our Heavenly Father, the great Disposer of all things, and in a sence of our Misery and his Mercy, call upon him for relief; and when we call upon him for Mercy, let us reflect upon the Miseries of this kind, which we labour under, so Thall the more earnestly beg

Yet lest our. Complaints should look like accusations of his Justice, or reproaches to his Providence, in the next place let us remember, we are Sinners also, and call to mind those Offences, which have been particuJarly committed against our heavenly Father, and caufed him to send these Evils upon us : As our forgetfulness of his Mercies, our presumption in Prosperity,our murmurings in Adversity, our greediness of worldly and contempt of heavenly things, our distrust of his Providence abuse of his Creatures, defiling our Bodies, unhallowing cur Souls,and our wafting our precious time: These are Sins directly against God the Father, our Maker and Preserver, and therefore are to be humbly confessed, and heartily bewailed, before we proceed to ask any Favours from him: 's meditate therefore what need wi - have of the Mercy o God the Father, to re

our Miseries and forgive our Sins, and then we Thalls -e,how necessary it is for us to cry with a mighty

Paslion,

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Paffion, D Bob the Father, &c. while the Minister is a repeating, we have time to consider of our Calamities

and our Iniquities, and then when our part of the duty comes, I doubt not but we shall perform it with a vigorous Devotion.

S.IV. God the Son, Kedeemer of the world, babe

mercy upon us milerable Slaners,] The Orthodox Christians did always give the same Wor Thip to the Son of God, which they did to the Father, because he is Equal to the Father, and the Father himself hath commanded, That all men should honour the Son, even as they honour the Father, for be that honoureth not the Son, bonouretb not the Fatber which sent him, John v.23. so that the Arrian Heresy, which robbed the Son of his Worship as well as his Divinity, was not only injurious to our Lord Jesus,but displeasing to God the Father: Which was ingeniously signified by Ampbilocius , who, perceiving the Emperour Theodofius somewhat too favourable to the Arrian Opinions, came once into the prefence, where the fame Theodofius and his Son Arcadins (then Partner with his father in the Empire) were ftanding and making a low obeysance to the Father, he. took no notice of the Son at all, no not when he was

admonished of his Neglect ; but seeing the Empercur pa. angry thereat,he said, Are you displeased with me for not

giving equal Honour to your Son as to your self, and will not God be displeased at those who do not worship bis Eternal and only begotten Son,equally to bimself, as he hath commanded, Hiftor. Tripart. l.ix. cap.25. Wherefore when we have first adored the Father, we do next invocate the Son,declaring thereby, that we believe him to be very God, of equal pow' and dignity with his Father, calling him not the Son of God, but God the Son, and inaking the very fame Requelt to him that we

had

had made to the Father before, that he would have Mercy upon usand to encourage us to believe and hope, that he will grant it, we invoke him also by his proper Title, Redeemer of the World, for he tasted of Death for every Man Hebr.ii.9. and by him God reconciles the World unto himself, 2 Cor.5.19. Coloff. 1. 20. The Donatifts of old affirmed, Christ dyed only to redeem them, but St. Augustine sharply reproves their vanity, saying, they muft either have' a very. mean esteem for

Chrifts blood, or a very high Con(c) Valdè ingrati sunt ceit of themselves, who confined pretio suo, aut multum Superbi sunt qui di

his Redemption to their own Parcunt, aut illud tam ty (c): We know that the price he parvum eft, ut folos hath paid was not only for single Afros emerit, aut le persons, but to reconcile the whole tam magnos,pro quibus nature of Man to God;so that he is folis illud datum fit. Aug.in Pfal.95. justly styled the Redeemer of the

World, and bearing that Chara-cter how can we doubt but he will have Mercy upon us; he had Mercy on all,or else he had not dyed for all, he made no exceptions, and why should we by despair. ing doubts except our felves; 'tis sure we are of the number of those, which he hath redeemed, and therefore finding our selves to be Miserable Sinners, let us call and cry earnestly to him, declaring our Misery, and confelling our Sins, that he may also help and pardon us : And to make this address more pertinent, let us (by the former Method) first, consider of those Miseries of which we may fitly complain to God the Son, our Saviour and Redeemer,viz, the Corruption of our Nature, and the Guilt of our Sins, whereby we are in a very miserable Estate, being by Sin become Enemies to God, Slaves of Sathan and Heirs of Damnation, the fears of Hell terrify us, the Remembrance of Judgment doth amaze us, and the thoughts of Death are disinal to us,

and

and the apprehensions of Gods wrath make our Devotions heartless, our Conscience unquict, and our Lives uncomfortable; in which Distress let us pallionately beg of him to pity us, who hath satisfied the Justice of God, and purchased his Mercy for us. One drop of his precious blood will allay all these fears, and remove our guilt from us ; now that he may be more inclinable to redress our Misery, let us fecondly confess our sins, viz. Those which have been committed most directly against our Lord Jesus: Our Impenitence and Unbelief, our Presuming upon his Salvation, or Despairing of his Grace, that we have been so unmindful of his favours, unthankful for his benefits, unaffected with hisAgonies, and disobedient to his Commands, we have doubted of his Promises, despised his Offers, harboured his MurtheTers, denyed him the pleasure of saving us,crucifying to our selves again the Lord of Life, and seeming to strive to make his Death in vain unto us : Thus we have requited our dear Redeemer, and are we not grievous finners? It is hard to say, whether we be more miserable or

more sinful we are both in so high a measurę,let us therefo

fore speedily cry to him for Pity and Pardon,if we look upon him he can help us, he is God and therefore able,

he is the Redeemer of the world, and therefore willing It to relieve and forgive us, if we look upon our selves, we

need both relief and remission ; for we are very Miserable and grievous finners, and every one of these Conliderations will help us to say this Petition for Mercy to God the Son also with Fervency and Devotion:His Power may quicken our Faith, his Mercy raise our hope,and our own Misery may make us earnest,our Sinfulness may inake us humble if duly thought iipon , and when the heart is thus affected, no doubt the Tongue will unfeignedly say, 20 Bed the son, &c. Have Bercy, &c.

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