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door of grace, the entrance to the eternal rest of our souls still stands open ; let us therefore give diligence, that we may enter therein; for the slothful and negligent do not enter. Let us be diligent in self-denial, in prayer, in a holy life and walk, and in this way, seek to press into the rest of God, in order that whenever our hour arrives, we may lay down our heads in peace, and eternally enter into the rest, which Christ has purchased for us by his precious blood, to the everlasting praise of the free grace of God. Amen.
Now let us all fall down in Spirit before the Lord our God, give him the glory, and most humbly beseech him, as the source of all good, graciously to confirm every thing, that has been spoken according to his will and word.
O thou majestic, holy, exalted, and most adorable Lord and God! thou incomprehensible Being; who dwellest and restest in thyself in thy serene eternity, infinite all-sufficiency, and perfect blessedness! We worship thee through thy Spirit I 0 wonderful God; thou art happy in thyself, thou needest neither angels nor men, nor any other creature; and yet thy free and eternal love hath formed us, poor children of men, that we may participate in thy blissful rest and thy divine glory, and enjoy it with thee to all eternity. When by our lamentable fall, we had departed from this rest, thou didst give us thy Son;
O thou lover of mankind and wonderful God! the Son of thy love, that, by the shedding of his precious blood, he might again acquire for us that rest, which we had lost, and by his resurrection, might re-open the entrance to eternal rest. Thanks be unto thee, O Lord! for this thy incomprehensible, thy unmerited and unspeakable love! Thanks be to thee, thou long-suffering lover of the human race! that by thy kindness, thou hast hitherto preserved our lives; that we have not been snatched away by sudden death; and translated out of temporal into eternal restlessness! O Lord, our God ! what would have become of us, had we died, without experiencing thee and thy rest in our hearts ! What inexpressible misery would that have been ! But thou, the compassionate friend of man, hast borne with us, in order that we might reflect upon that which belongs to our peace, our true peace, and to our complete repose in time and eternity. To this end, thou causest the way to thy peace to be preached unto us, and for this purpose, thou art still recommending unto us the Prince of peace, that Joshua, who must bring us to the so dearly promised rest. O Lord Jesus ! let not thy precious gospel appear of little value to our hearts, nor be a fruitless message to us! Olet all those immortal souls, that have hitherto passed their lives in false security, and lived in their natural peace, with an unsusceptible heart and conscience, be savingly disturbed, that they may learn heartily to long after tby rest. Let them be sacredly troubled, in order
that thou mayest eventually eternally comfort, rejoice, and delight them.
Ah Lord! there are, indeed, many whom thou hast called by the holy and powerful word of thy gospel, and hast led into the path of eternal rest; but how few real pilgrims are there to be found amongst the awakened and the called ! o do thou powerfully influence their hearts, that they may be entirely and undividedly devoted to thee, and wholly renounce every thing that is displeasing to thee, so that their poor hearts may no longer continue oppressed and secretly disturbed. Search, O Lord ! and try my heart, and the hearts of all of us, whether we walk in the truth or not, and whether we are found sincere or false in thy sight. Lead us, O Lord, into thy pure grace, that we may not build and depend upon our own fidelity, our own piety, and our own righteousness, nor upon any thing that thou thyself art not! Give us a humble mind; make us poor in spirit, that we may entirely depart from all our own righteousness, and learn to cast and immerse ourselves in the lap of thy grace; that we may lose and forget ourselves, and all our virtues, light, and gifts, in order solely to possess thee in faith. O do thou dwell in us, that we may not be moved away by any of unbelief; but may continually look directly to thee, to thine infinite grace, to thine almighty and wonderfully guiding grace, resign ourselves to thee with closed eyes, and faithfully follow thee, the Lamb, whithersoever thou goest. O that we may be conducted, more and more, by this grace into t.
of the powers
renunciation of all the visible things of this world! We know, and daily see, how soon and suddenly we must forsake all these things. Grant us, therefore, thy grace, that we may henceforth voluntarily forsake them, before we are compelled to abandon them; that we may timely take leave of them, and close our eyes against them, in order to occupy ourselves solely with thee and with invisible things, and be enabled to follow thee, our God, as true pil. grims, in thy strength. O burst every bond! Take every thing away that oppresses us, that we may be enabled to go forward freely and unobstructedly in our way. Thou knowest how many a heart is fettered, even against its will. O thou, who didst break through every obstruction, have mercy upon us, and burst the bonds, by which we are fettered! Make thy children free, that may be able to walk before thee, as they that are free. Lead us also into the true denial of ourselves, and into the love of thy holy
O do thou thyself crucify our nature, our self-will, our wrath and concupiscence. Crucify our senses, and all that is of nature, so that when we feel and experience such powers, even against our will, they may be nailed to the cross, and finally be slain and exterminated, by the power of thy Spirit. O dearest Saviour Jesus ! give us also in particular, a fervent, calm, and praying heart ! O that by the true prayer of the heart, we may be more and more introduced into the true life of the spirit, and live no longer according to flesh and sense, but according to the spirit I that, as thy priests,
we may pray without ceasing, and present unto thee our sacrifices in the sanctuary of our hearts here in time, until thou shalt bring us to our rest in eternity, where we may adore and worship thee without end, and offer up an unceasing hallelujah, with all the saints and elect in heaven, unto thee, the Lamb, who hast redeemed us. Amen.