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S.v.WC offer anto the fatherly Goodness Ow
selges, our Souls and bodies, which thou bat delivered, to be a Living Sacriace anto
M hen God had delivered David's Soul from death, Ffal.cxvi. 8. He asks, ver. 12. W bat fall I return unta the Lord for all bis bene its ? And St. Paul doth answer that Question, I beseech you brethren by the Mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living Sacrifice, boly, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable Service, Rom.xül. And doubtless it is never more reasonable to offer up both Soul and Body to God's Service, than when we have received our felves, and both foul and body as it were,by a rewDonation from the hands of his Mercy. Our own Customs do oblige a Malefactor, that is begged from the place of Execution, to be a perpetual Servant to that gracious Person, whose picy sued for his l'ardon and saved his Life And it is as reasonable, we should spend our Life in God's Service, which he hath now so miraculously preserved ; especially conlidering that when the Plague threatned us; and Death was at our doors, inolt of us did in our earneft Prayers to be spared resolve and vow, promise and engage, if God would save our Lives, we would lead them in a new manner and spend our time more holily and religiously than ever we had done before. So that now we shalladd perjury to our Ingratitude if we do not per: formour Vows, and instead of giving somewhat more to God, we shall rob him of that, which our promise hath made to be his. And doubtless it had been better for us to have dyed by the Plague, when our fears had in foine measure humbled us ; then to live to encrease our Sin and aggravate our Damnation; this will make
the very mercy of our sparing become a grievous curse unto us. Yet thus it proves too often, that the rest of the men which toere not killed by these Plagues, yet repent not of the works of their hands, Rev.ix. 20. And as soon as the Calamity is over, there is as much Lying and Swearing, Luft and Debauchery as ever; he that was unjust is unjust still, and he that was filthy is filthy still,scarce one Instance of amendment doth appear. Good God ! what can reclaim such wretches if the approach of death will not affright them from their Sins, nor the Mercy of a new life oblige them to be more holy? surely they are incureable who cannot be healed by such a Judgment; and may fear their next punishment shall be in eternal flames. Consider therefore in time you that are yet alive, and resolve sincerely to make this oblation of your selves, to which you are engaged by gratitude and reason, by God's goodness and your own Vows, and then we thall behold, that your Correction and your reprieve was not in vain: Now for the manner of doing this Duty we shall not need say more here, because if any be convinced, and desirous thus to dedicate themselves to God, they may find directions and a proper Form for it. Comp. to the Altar. Partit.Iv. Sect. II. 6.5.whither we refer the Reader,
S.VI. Always paifing and magnifying the mercies
in the miott of the Church, through Jelas Chzit our Lo2d, Amen.]
The Conclution of this Thanksgiving is David's refolution, when God had delivered bis Soul out of the Lions mouth, Pfal.xxii.2 1. For in the next verse he adds, I will declare thy name unto my Brethren, in tbe midst of the Congregation will I praise theo, v.22. Or as St. Paul (and we from the Old Translations (f) ) read in the
midit of the Church will I fing praise (A) Ps11.22.22. unto thee, Heb.ii. 12. The praising ir uiop ixxausias God by our lives is the best, but not Ixx. In medio Es- the only praise which is due unto clefie. Vulg. him ; for we must also bless him
with our lips, our Tongue being among other parts to be offered up as a Sacrifice unto God, wherefore it must be the Inftrument of his glory, and that not only just now, but always so as long as this Life endures, which hath been restored to us, when we praise the Lord for any other Mercy, we must think of this and the remembrance of this deliverance must never be obliterated; moreover as our Preservation from this Plague hath been a publick Mercy, so muft our gratitude be also, we must give thanks in the house of God, and before his People (both signified by the Churcb) that there may be as many witnesses of our Praises, as there was of our Deliverance, let us say,I will pay my Vinos u lto the Lord, in the midit of thee 0 Jerusalem, even in the Courts of the Lords bouse; and in the presence of all bis People, praise the Lord, Pfal.cxvi.ult.
The Paraphrase of the first Thanksgiving.
[D] Almighty (Lozo] and most glorious God, who bat] molt grievously. [wounded] some of (ub,] who art yet alive (for our Sins,] which had provoked thee to anger [and consumed] many others of [us] by this cruel death (foz our Cransgreaton) of thy Holy Laws. We'acknowledg, these were the Cause of thy punishing us so severely (by the late] Judgment of the Plague, which was to them that felt it an heavy,and] to them that only feared it a [Dzeadfat Wilitation:] Lord thou hast most justly corrected us hitherto, yet of thine infinite Mercy, thou inclinest to spare us; (and now] while thou art (in the midd] of the execution of thy righteous Sentence [of Jadgment] upon us, thy compassions are not extinct; for thou (remembzing] thy wonted (mercy, batt redeemed our Souls] from Hell, as well as faved our Lives (from the laws of Death,] which was ready to have devoured us if thou hadît not prevented: [we] whose Lives are thus miraculously spared (oo offer] with a sincere gratitude [anto the Fatherly goodness,] and in return for thy mercy [our elves]wholly and intire,even [our Soals, and] all the faculties thereof, our [bodies] and all our Members [which thou hatt delivered] from death and destruction; wherefore they shall be dedicated (to be a living, ] holy and reasonable [bacrifice unto thee] and only exercised hereafter, in doing thy Holy Will: For we will henceforth be thy Servants, not only now, but [always] spending our time in (patang] the freeness, (and magnifying] the greatness of this and all (the mercies] towards us, and this not only in private,
but allo [in the miott of ] the Assemblies of [tbg Cburcb,] that all our Brethren may joyn with us in blelling thy Name[tbzoagh Jesus Chrift our Lojd) and only Saviour. Amen.
Of the second Tbenksgiving for Deliverance from
Here are many other Diseases besides the
Plague, which are infe&ious and Epidemical.ca uling great Mortality when they spread themfelves, such as Fevers and small Pox ia our times and the sweating Sickness, of which many thousands dyed in a
little space, in the last Century; (3) An. 1. Hen, vii. wherein this Nation was thrice fe
when we are delivered from such Dilempers, we may very properly give thanks to God in this Form.