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ded. Wherefore we have all of us cause to pray that such Lights may not be eclipsed, such considerable and exemplary men may not be seduced, for it gives a great blow to Piety, when such fall into Iniquity; therefore the Good Lord strengthen them.
II. gube weak-bearted, are those who having been of ten foiled, and growing weary or faint are about to submit to Sathan's will, Tupposing they can never maintain the Fight: Now God himself commands us to comfort the feeble-minded and to support the weak, 1 Theff. v.14. and no doubt he will be ready to do that which he enjoyns to us and which he can do much better : To him therefore we pray also for these in the very words of St.
Paul, and of S. Basil's Liturgy (8) Tåsónigo- which desires the(g)Lord to comfort fúxx; ma peleu sue the faint-bearted.
He loves not to σον" Lit.S. Bafil. break the bruised reed, Ifai.xlii.z.but vide i Theff.v.14. delights to shew his strength upon
those who are weakest, 2 Cor.xii.9. So that although in it self, it is a fad Condition to be thus timorous and weak, yet St. Paul thought he was strongest when he was weak,ver. 11. that is, he had most of the divine fuccour, when he was least abie of himfelf. And verily if men be humble as well as weak, and sensible of their need of Gods help, they pray most devoutly for it, and obtain it fooner than any other; so that we fee fometimes a weak Christian by continual applications to God doth stand, when one who seemed much stronger falls by presumption, and trusting to his own strength. Now for the weak-hearted, we do here beg two things,viz. That God would i Comfort and 2 Help them, which words are not fuperfluous, but do put us in mind, that our hearts may be weak for want of Courage, and then we need Comfort, or they may be weak for want of Ability and strength, and then we need
help, of both which kinds of weak-hearted. we will briefly speak. 1. Some mens hearts are weak through forrow and fear, the remembrance of their frequent Falls, and the terror of their present affaults, doth deject them and almost make them despair of Victory,and this makes them relift faintly,and yield basely:Their fear brings that which they fear upon them, and they are conquered, because they doubt they cannot overcome. The affrighted Persians (as Curtius notes ) threw away their shields, their fear making them fo foolish,as to quit themselves of that which should have defended them.So do many faint-hearted Christians throw away their faith and hope, their trust in God, and expectations of his ayd, and expose themselves thereby to the malice of their Enemy. But we pray, that God will please to comfozt them and encourage them by his promises and his allistance, so that their hearts may be revived and cheared, and then they will begin the fight afresh, maintain it with brave Resolution, yea and come off Conquerors at last. 2. Others there are whose hearts are really weak , and who do want spiritual strength, viz. Young Converts, whose Faith is tender, and their resolutions not well rooted, whose Experience of the pleasures of a Holy life hath been but short and slight, now for these we pray, that God will help them, and not permit Satan to assail them too furioully at first, till he have confirmed their Faith and encreased their Graces ; for they may prove able Champions afterwards, if their first on-set be well backed with the Divine Succours.
III. The last and lowest order in this spiritual warfare are those that fall, that is, those who are worsted by Sathans Temptations,and do commit some gricvous Sin, for Sin is the fall of the Soul, Adam's Sin is called Adam's Fall, and the primitive Church called offending Christians the fallas. Now our gracious father is not
only able to keep us from falling, Jude ver.24. but it is his peculiar Title, that be lifterb up those that are fallen. Pfal.cxlv.14. and cxlvi.8. To him therefore we make our applications, that whereas Sathan overthrows many of our Brethren by power or policy, God will not suffer them to lye still, either through negligence or d-spair, but by his Grace bring them to Repentance,by which the Soul doth rise from Sin to newness of life, and he'that falls by Sin is said to arise, when he doth repent, Luke xv.20. The good Lord grant
that their Consciences in y check them, and their hearts finite them for their offences, that so they máy by Repentance stand upin their rank again, and continue the spiritual fight : And we should tie rather pray thus, because it is not only the worser fort, who thus are subverted, but the righteous mait falleth seven times a day, only by Gods grace, be riseth up again, Prov.xxiv.16. The best Chrifrians are weak in theinselves and would be foiled often, and lye long when they did fall, if the Lords gracious Arın did not raise them; to him therefore we cry to make
up the defects, which are made by the malece of Sathan, and to raise up all whom he casts down,
Finally, when we behold the iimplacable malice of this our Enemy, and conlider the infinite mischief, which he doth to great and small,attempting the Atrong, discouraging the weaker , and overthrowing many of both foris , we pray,that he may at last be brought under our fect : Nor is this an arrogant request, because God hath promised us through Christ, that we all
bruise his head, Genili, 15. that is, (b) 'rage tã trample upon him,and more plainow. So Blūrou zdv ly, Rom.xvi.20. it is affirmed, that Σαταναν εν τάχα the God of Peace (hall bruife Sathan DO Twy podwy i zwyo under our feet shortly; from which graciousPromise,both the Greek(h)
Church, and ours have taken en
(i) sigrum plerie couragement to pray, that God would beat down Sathan under our Joh. x. 24. Deut.
do perfete vitorie, feet, that is, give us a compleat xxxiii.29. Pfal.cx.l. Victory over him (i): For so Anti- & xci.13. Malach. quity was wone to describe an E. iv.3. Luke x.19.
(k) Et ducis invizli nemy utterly subdued, by painting
sub pede mafia sethem under the Conquerors feet det. Ovid. Trift. (k), which was the Embleme al- 1.4. Et Claud. 4. so by which Joshua chose to express Conf. Hon. his absolute Dominion over the
Colla triumphati pro
culcet Honorius Kings of Canaan, Josh. x.24. and Intri. Item Prumore unjustly one of the Roman Bi- dentius 1.1. shops thus shewed he had fully Colla tyrannorum mico
dia calcamus in ur. fubdued the Emperor. But to re
be. turn, we may remember, that our Lord Jesus did get a perfect Victory over Sathan, and so long as we cleave close to him, we shall be Conquerors at the last. It is he must beat him down, for he is too strong for us, and in due time he will do it for however when our warfare is accomplished we shall be crowned and advanced above the reach of this malitious Foe, so that he can never assault us more, we now find him daring us and vexing us , but if we will wait a while, and trust in God, he that seems now to be above us in cunning advantages and strength, lhall lye grovelling at our feet by the mighty Power of Jesus, and oh how happy shall we be, when we are never like to be troubled with this Adversary any more? Let us consider every particular, and with respect both to our felves and others, we shall heartily say here also, We beSeech,&c.
troubles, that concern the Soul, which is
S.XVII. Tüat it may please thee to raccour,belp, and
comfozt all that are in danger, neceditg and tribulation:] We beseech thee, &c.
We have given the Precedence to those dangers and part, and now we must not forget those which concern the body, for they are very many, and very troublesome to the flelh , nor can we well bear up under them without the Divine support, so that those who are affli. cted, though but with outward Sufferings are fit objects of cur Charity and our Prayers. Now to reckon up all the varieties of Troubles, where with Mankind is exercised, would be tedious and next to impollible, where fore we have here contrived a generál Petition to take in all afflicted Persons in the world, following therein the Example of the Greek Offices, where they pray,
For all afflicted and miserable Chri. (1) 'raèp meisns stians, who need the Mercy and help tugas Xpostavão of God, yea, for all that are in any Pro Bowling te vij ndo affliction, necessity or trouble (1): As Turono relóns, énézs we do hcre, though whosoever doth @cê xj Bor frias 07 well weigh the words of this PetiDu ouguns' Lit. S. tion in our Litany, they will conJacob. Euchol,' fess, that this delire never was, nor P.41.
will be expressed more clegantly, -- j Taon Jringer and more briefly than it is here: zy dydgxn xj 7spusá- For those three words. Danger, CH Övtox jongó: di Peceliiig and seribolation, do gon' ó Olds• Lit... comprehend all sorts of temporal Bafil. 172
afflictions. Those that are future
and feared are tignified by the Word banger : Those that are présent and felt , are either fuch afflictions as we fustain for want of some good thing, fignificd by nece ile; cr else by the preffure of some E