« PreviousContinue »
we shall clear the divine Justice, vindicate his honour, and take off from his proceedings all the fufpicion and imputation of severity ; we shall declare to all the World, that he is a gracious God, who delights in the Prosperity of his Servants', and that we had not felt this late calamity, if our offences had not even forced him to inflict it on us : And this is the first part of our Praises.
S.IV.2 No in thy mercy hac relleved and comforto
our Souls by this seasonable and bledet change of weather.]
The second part of our Thanksgiving is to acknowlcdg the mercy of our present Comfort, and this re. gularly follows the former ; for if the Puoishment were (as we declare) no more but just, then the temoval of it can be nothing else but pure Mercy. If we consider Sin as the Cause of the late Floods, we may fee (I doubt) as just Cause for the continuance, as there was for the beginning of these Rains and excellive Wa ters; yet it hath pleased Almighty God to command the Clouds to cease, and the waters to return into their old Channels, the face of the Heavens are clear,and the face of the Earth is dry, the brute Creatures seem to rejoyce, and the little winged Choristers of the Air with their sweet and inartificial Notes do fing the Praise of him that gives fuch blessed weather, being as so many Monitors to us men, who are most concerned in the Mercy, that we may not forget to glorifie the Name of God, who hath not only relieved our misery in the ceffation of the ill-weather; but, as here is noted, hath comfcatoo our Salls also by this blcded Change ; for while the Judgment was upon us, outwardly in danger of much Loss, but inwardly pero plexed with many fears that God was angry
with us ;
we were not only
whereas now the storms of his displeasure seem to be over, our Souls are comforted again. And if we make a right use of this as well as all other Temporal Mercies, we shall not rejoyce so much for the preservation of our corn and hay, our sheep and oxen, as for the return of the Divine favour; that may comfort our outward man, but this rejoyceth our scals. One smile from a reconciled Parent to a good and ingenuous Child is morefatisfaction than the taking off the Rod, and obliterates all the memory of a painful Correction : Even so this seasonable and happy Change of Weather conveys comfort to our very Souls, because it doth not only preserve our Substance from loss and spoil, but is like Noab's Dove a Messenger of good News from Heaven,to signific that the anger of God is abated, and that is the Cause of our so great and hearty joy, which the next Sentence doth express.
S.V.WE praise and glorifie the Holy Fame for
this the percy, and will always declare the Loving-kindness from generation to generation through Jelas Chzit our Loyd. Amen.]
Upon the holy garment of Aaron there was a Bell fixed between every Pomegranate, Exod. xxxviii. 25, 26. The Mystery whereof was, that for every particular Mercy we receive , we should found forth the divine goodness by a particular Act of Praise ; and now we have received an eminent Mercy, wherefore we must solemnly give thanks for it to him, who hath restrained the Clouds, and founded a retreat to the waters ,
because both the Winds and the Clouds, the Sea and the Waves obey him, he hath delivered our Efate from ruine, and our minds from fear, stopping the fury of this inerciless Element, which thrcatned to Twallow up both us and all ours; and doth not this deliverance call for a
most hearty Thanksgiving? Sure none will be so unworthy to omit so small a return for so great a favour : all the fear is lett our devotion and gratitude should cease with this little Collect, wherefore we are here ad. monished by a divine Sentence taken out of the Psalms, to vow perpetual gratitude, saying, We will remember thy Name from one generation to another , therefore Mall the People give thanks unto thee world without end, Pfal. xlv.ult. And we will always be shewing forth thy Praise from generation to generation, Psal.lxxix. ult. This one mercy brings to our mind innumerable other favours of his towards us, and fills our hearts with such a sense of his infinite goodness, that a lingle act of Praise cannot fatistie us;nor shall we judge it fufficient to declare his Mercy to those few in the present Assembly, but we must resolve to publish it as much as in us lyes to this whole Generation, that they may tell it to the next, so that our gcod God may be praised to the World's end. If we were to live always on Earth, we must refolve ever to praise the Lord;but since that cannot be, we hope that we shall be translated to Heaven, the proper place for eternal Hallelujahs: yet while we stay, we will spread his Glory as far as we can,that what particular Perlons can. not do, may be done by a Succeslion of others in our stead. And as there will never want good men to praise God, when we are gon; fo there will never want matter for his praises; before the sense of one confiderable blessing be obliterated another follows upon it, and renews the occalions of Gratitude : so that we will praise him for our ever,and endeavour that his Loving-kindness shall be declared in all succeeding Generations through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amena
The Paraphrase of this Thanksgiving. [:D] Almighty and most merciful (Lozo 600,wbo] being provoked by our manifold and grievous Sins [bat ja punished our disobedience and deservedly (bambled as bp 7 all the miseries and fears which we luffered through [tby late Plague] the grievous Judgment [of immoderate Rain] from above, joyned with excessive floods (and waters] on every side of us, We confess thy Justice in punishing us, Cand.] we acknowledg that merely [in tbp mercy] and free goodness thou (hatt celteved] our necessities by the removing of this affliction, [and comfozted our] very [Souls] in the return of thy favour, which seems to be manifested [bg this seasonable] alteration and bleđed Change of weather,] which makes all Creatures to rejoyce, and is the more welcome, because we have wanted it so extremely: wherefore (we pzatle] thy facred Majesty, [and glozifie the Holy Pame,] upon which we called in our Distress, blessing thee particularly (for this ] particular act of [the Merce] in hearing our prayers, and restraining the furious waters : [and] we will not only praise thee at present for this favour, but we [will always declare the greatness of (the Loding-kindness] towards us by our continual and publick Thanksgivings so long as we live; yea we will endeavour that the memorial of thy goodness shall pass[from] this present [generatton] that is now alive [to] every succeeding (generation,] as long as the World endures, that it may never be forgotten how gracious thou hast been to us (though 311las Chailt gar Lozd, ]to whom be all glory now and for ever, Amen.
Of the Thanksgiving for Plenty.
S.1. IT hath been an antient Custom of Jews and Chri
ftians to give folemn thanks to God after every Meals meat, derived from the command of holy Scripture, Deut.viii. 10. and observed by pious men in all a
ges; and those who neglect it are (b) Audiant omnes reputed no
reputed no better than filthy qui quafi porci quum Swine , which devour all, and jam comederint, eversa calcibus menfa,
never own the hand that feeds temulenti confurgunt;
them (b). But how much more cum agere gratias de bruitish are they, who do not praise bent, din hymnum God for a plentiful year after a long à monsie divenire. Chrgl.hom. 83. in
famine, when provision is made Mat.
for all People, and the whole Na
tion is fed at once? When we consider how many empty Soals the divine Bounty then satisfieth, and how many hungry Creatures he fills with good things, we cannot but wilh with Holy David,Pfal. cvii.9. and 15. O that men would therefore praise the Lord for his goodness, and declare the wonders that be doth for the Children of Men. The Ifraelites of old were commanded after their tedious March through the hungry Wilderness, when they should arrive at the plenty of Canaan, then to bedoare they did not forget the Lord their God, Deut.vi.12. and viii. 11,12,13; And we have need of the fame caution, because though we are very devout in Famine, yet when abundance returns to us, we are apt not only to forget our former want, but our duty also to praise our Deliverer;and Prosperity though