Page images
[ocr errors]

that the folemn Observation of Easter, was then by all Christians accounted an essential Institution of Religion, in that they esteemed it unlawful to vary the least CircumItance formerly received in the Observation of it.

And as this Festival hath succeeded instead of the Jewish Passover, which did prefigure the whole Mystery of our Redemption; so the due Manner of our Celebration of it was typified by the Ceremonies prescribed by God to them, in eating the Paschal Lamb. As they were commanded to remove all Leaven out of their Houses, fo we are to put away the Leaven of Malice and Wickedness, in the Words of St. Paul. As they then sung Hymns of Thanksgiving to God for their Deliverance out of Egypt; so we ought to give Praise and Glory to God for consummating our Redemption by the Resurrection of our Lord upon this Day. As they eat the Pafchal Lamb with bitter Herbs, in a Habit and Posture expressing their readiness to go out of Egypt, with great Testimonies of rejoycing and mutual Kindness: So we should receive the Elements of Bread and Wine, representing the Sacrifice of Christ the Lamb of God, once offered upon

the Cross for the Sins of the whole World, (which is the chief and most folemn Act of our Worship to be paid upon this Day,) with a bitter Repentance and Sorrow for past Sins; with a stedfast reliance upon the Promises of God, with a perfect Submission to his Will, and readiness to go where-ever he shall lead us, with a fincere Charity towards one another, and to all the Members of Mankind for whom Christ died; that is, for all Men without Exception; and with the most intense Thanksgiving that our Souls can form, for all the Benefits of our Redemption; but more particularly for raising to Life, as upon this Day, him, who died for our Sins, and rose again for our fuftification. So by worthily celebrating here on Earth the Memory of the glorious Resurrection of our Lord, we shall obtain to be hereafter admitted to follow the Example of his Resurrection, and share in the Glory which he now enjoys in Heaven. Which God of his infinite Mercy grant, for the sake of him who died and rose again, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom with the Father, &c.




Preach'd on the 5th of April, 1690.

at Lambeth Chapel.

I TI M. II. 8.

I will therefore, tbat Men pray every

where, lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

[ocr errors]


RAYER being one of the greatest

Duties of a Christian Life; that whereby we chiefly pay our Adoration to God, whereby we obtain the Remission of our Sins, and the Relief of our Necessities; to which so many Promises are annexed, and fo frequent Exhortations to the practice of it to be found in Scripture; we ought to be well instructed in the Nature, the Necessity; and the Conditions of it. To effect this was the chief Intention of the Apostle in this whole Chapter, in which, this Verse


[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

being more comprehensive than the rest, I have chosen it for the Subject of my intended Discourse of Prayer. In it the Words easily direct me to insist on these Four Heads.

I. The Duty of Prayer. I will that Men pray.

11. The Place of it. Every where.

III. The Posture of Prayer. Lifting up their hands.

IV. The Conditions required to make it acceptable and effectual

. Lifting up holy hands, without wrath and doubting.

[ocr errors]

1. The Duty of Prayer is expressly commanded in the first Words: I will, &c.

To enforce the Authority of which Command the Apostle faith in the former Verse, that he was ordained a Preacher, an Apostle and Teacher of the Gentiles, acted herein by Divine Commission. And surely it was no light Matter, when the Apostle, whofe Authority was long since received in all the Churches founded by him, thought fit to produce his Commission, before he imposed the Command ; a Command, not first introduced by him, but often repeated by our Lord himself, who taught his Disciples a Form of Prayer, and enjoyned them to watch and pray:

But since none (as I suppose ) will dispute the Command, or deny the Authority of it; it will be of

1 |


more advantage to shew the Reasonableness and the Ule of Prayer : Which I proceed

to do.

First then. Prayer is the principal Act of Adoration paid by Man to God; and upon that account becomes necessary to us. Man being the Creature of God, at first prc. duced out of nothing by his Almighty Power, and afterward all his Life long de. pending on his Providence, and maintained by him, oweth to God all that Service which he is capable to pay; and that is no other, than to adore his Majesty, to acknowledge his Power, to celebrate his Praises, to admire his infinite Perfections, in all things to own his dependance on him, to profess himself the Creature, the Servant, the Subject of God, and to be. have himself as such.

This is all which Man can pay to God for those infinite Benefits, which he hath received from him: God hath no. Interests of his own to be promoted by us. The Infinity of his Nature hath set him beyond all want of external Aids, and even beyond all increase of Happiness; even that Glory which he receiveth from our Wor-, ship, is of no advantage to him; yet is it not the less required of us, since it declares our conviction of that Gratitude, Subjection and Obedience;' which are due to his Benefits and his Power; that Ho. nour, Worship and Reverence, which beVol. II.




« PreviousContinue »