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comes highly unreasonable and inexcusable, and can be
resolved into nothing but the unaccountable Pride Sohn iii. and sinful Passions of Men ; they love Darkness ri
ther than Light, because their Deeds are evil.
the Defccnt of
The P R A Y ER S.
I. O God, who as at this Time didst teach the the Holy
Hearts of thy faithful People, by sending to Spirit.
them the Light of thy Holy Spirit, grant me by the same Spirit to have a right Judgment in all Things, and evermore to rejoice in his holy Comfort, through the Merits of Christ Jesus our Saviour, who liveth and reigneth with thee in the Unity of the same Spirit, one God, World without End, Amen.
II. giving for
T is very meet, right, and my bounden Duty, IT
that I shouldat all Times, and in all Places, give
Thanks unto thee, O Lord, Holy Father, Almighty hotely Everlasting God, through Jesus Chrift, our Lord;
according to whose moit true Promise, the Holy Ghost came down as at this Time from Heaven, with a sudden great Sound, as it had been a mighty Wind in the Likeness of fiery Tongues, lighting upon the Apostles, to teach them and to lead them into all Truth; giving them both the Gift of divers Languages, and also Boldness, with fervent Zeal, conantly to preach the Gospel unto all Nations, whereby we have been brought out of Darkness and Error, into theclear Light and true Knowledge of thee, and thy Son Filus Cbrift: Therefore with Angels and Archangels, and with all the Company of Heaven, I laud and magnify thy glorious Name, cverinore praising thee, and saying, Holy, Holy, Hviy, Lord God of Horts, Heaven and Earth are
full of thy Glory. Glory be to thee, O Lord most High. Amen.
III. Almighty God, who haft created all Things by Felhe
the Word of thy Power, and for whose Pleasure tages of they are and were created; who preservest all Things Revelaby the Conduct of thy wise Providence, and by whose gracious Concurrence all Things do subfift; I had lain asleep in the Shades of Darkness, if thy powerful Hand had not awakened me into Being; I had long since funk into my primitive Nothing, if the continual Supplies of thy Goodness had not secured my Preservation. It is still a farther Degree of thy distinguishing Mercy, that thou hast ranked me among those Creatutes that are made capable of worshipping their Almighty Creator ; and who, when they apoftatized from thee by their wilful Folly, were restored to thy Favour and Reconciliation by the meritorious Sacrifice of the Lord Jesus Cbrift. Blessed be thy Holy Name, that thou didnt not abandon Mankind to that Blindness they had contracted, that thou didst not leave them under that Weakness and Impotency they had brought upon themselves ; but when the primitive Laws of our Being began to lose their Vigour and Force by the evil Practices of a degenerate and corrupted World, wert pleased, by fresh Manifestations of thyself, to discover to us the Knowledge of our Duty, and the Ways and Means of appealing thy just Wrath and Indignation against us, and of restoring penitent Sinners to thy Mercy and Favour. What is Man that thou art mindful of him; or the Son of Man that thou dost thus remember him? Grant, O Lord, that I may answer the Ends of thy gracious Discoveries to Mankind, that thy heavenly Light may direct all my Ways, and that my Delight may be in thy Statutes; that the Reasonableness of thy Precepts
may influence my Understanding, and the Excellency of them may inflame my Affections, that conforming myself to the Methods of thy Grace in this World, I may be qualified for the Manifestations of thy Glory in the next, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all Honour and Glory, World without End. Amen.
CHA P. XXIII.
Tuesday in Whitsun-Week. Q. WHAT was the blessed Effect of those mira
culous Gifts, which were at this Time bestowed upon the Apostles?
A. The miraculous Gifts which the Apostles received at this Time, by the Descent of the Holy Ghost, were designed to enable them to preach and propagate the Gospel throughout all the World, and to make known the Christian Religion to all Nations.
Q. What do you mean by the Christian Religion?
A. That Way and Manner of worshipping and serving God, which was revealed to the World by Fesus Christ; wherein are contained Propositions of Faith to be believed, Precepts of Lifeto be practised, and Motives and Arguments to enforce Obedience.
Q. Wherein appears the Truth of the Christian Religion?
A. From that full and clear Evidence which our Saviour and his Apostles gave of their divine Mission and Authority, and from the Nature of that Religion they taught, which was worthy of God, and tended to the Happiness and Welfare of Mankind. Both which Proofs are necessary to convince us of the
Truth and Certainty of a divine Revelation. For if Miracles are wrought to establish Idolatry, or to promote the Practice of any wicked Doctrine, we have all the Assurance imaginable, that such a Revelation cannot proceed from God, because Wifdom and Holiness, Justice and Goodness, are efsential Perfections that belong to his Nature; and it is impossible we should be obliged to believe any Thing as from him, which plainly contradicts them. And this is very agreeable to what Mofes has taught us in such a Case, If there rise among you a Prophet, or Deut. xčio a Dreamer of Dreams, and giveth thee a Signor a Won- 1,2,3 der, and the Sign or Wonder come to pass, whereof he Spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other Gods (which thou hast not known and let us serve them :) Thou shalt not bearken unto the Words of that Prophet, or that Dreamer of Dreams.
Q. What Proof have we that there ever was such a Person as Jesus Christ, and ibat be suffered under Pontius Pilate?
A. That there was such a Person as Jesus Christ, Carol. who lived in the Reign of the Emperor Tiberius, is not only universally acknowledged by Christians, Joseph. but hath been owned by Jews who have writ of those Times ; and the Heathens themselves have Tacit. borne their Testimony to the Truth of this Mat- lib. xv. De ter of Fact, as Tacitus, Suetonius, and Pliny the 26. Epift. Younger. And that the same Jésus was crucified lib. x. 97. under Pontius Pilate, is averred both by Christians and Jews; the Christians professed it, notwithstanding the Ignominy they might thereby seem to bring upon themselves, who worshipped him as a God; and the Jews owned it, notwithstanding the Provocation they might thereby give to the Christians ; for it was by their Ancestors that he was delivered to be crucified: And it is very probable there were public Records of the whole Matter at Rome, as the Account was sent by Pontius Pilate to
Tiberius: For the ancient Christians in their Apologies appealed to it, which they had too much Únderstanding and Modesty to have done, if no such Account had ever been sent, or had not been then extant to be produced. And indeed the great Enemies of Christianity, Celsus and Julian, never made this Matter of Fact a Controversy; so that no History can be better established by the unanimous Testimony of People, otherwise very different from one another, than the Life and Death of Jesus Christ.
Q. What Evidence did Jesus Christ give tbat be was a Prophet sent from God?
A. All the former Prophecies which related to the Mesias were fulfilled in him, which ought to have been a convincing Argument to the Jews, who owned such Prophecies to have been of divine Inspiration. He received the Testimony of a Voice from Heaven several Times; he was endowed with the Power of working Miracles ; and particularly with the Gift of Prophecy, proved and made good by the fulfilling his own Predictions ; than which nothing can be a greater Evidence of a divine Miffion, because the greatest Argument of infinite Power and Knowledge.
Q. W hat Prophecies that related to the Messias were fulfilled in Jesus Christ?
A. Those Prophecies that concerned his Birth and Life, his Death, Resurrection, and Ascension.
Q. What Prophecies that related to the Birth of the Messias were fulfilled in Jesus?
A. According to Jacob's Prophecy, the Mesias was to come about the Time of the Diffolution of the Jewih Government; the Sceptre was not to depart from Judah, that is, the Power and Authority of the Jewish Government was not to cease, till Shiloh came; by whom the ancient Jews did understand the Melias. And it was forctold by the Pro
Gen. xlix, 30