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raise up to himself subject of matter, both for prayer and praise, for all the circumstances of life. Every chapter, or psalm, more or less, may, through grace, be made to minister, 'to this great end, and furnish out endless discourse for communion with God in his Trinity of Persons. And herein lies the excellency of such holy conversation between the Lord and his people, when we speak to the Lord in the words which the Lord first speaks to us; for this makes it personal. Every regenerated child of God is brought into communion with God. The Lord first looks on us: and through his grace, we then look to him. The Lord calls, and we answer. “I will say,” saith the Lord,
they are my people; and they shall say, the Lord is my God.” Hence, from the time this personal knowledge of, and communion with is begun between the Lord and us, we have a growing acquaintance with, and an increasing desire after more frequent communions with the Lord in his Trinity of Persons. True it is, indeed, that all we know of the Lord here below, is but as the knowledge of children in their minority. Our beloved (as the church of old expressed it) " standeth behind our wall; he looketh forth at our windows, shewing himself through the lattices," Song ii. 9. Our bodies, like a wall, obscure full views of Jesus. And even when he looketh forth upon his church. at the windows of ordinances, and sheweth himself through the lattices of the several means of grace, the most we see of him, is, but “as through a glass darkly.” Nevertheless, these are at times sweet and refreshing, and afford strong proofs both of the reality and blessedness of communion. And as near neighbours that are very friendly speak to one another over the walls which separate their gardens, and from their windows and lattices, which enable them to converse with full assurance that they are so communing, though their persons they see not, so our communion with the Lord is as certain and unquestionable; whom, as the apostle saith, “not having seen, we love; in whom though now we see him not, yet believing, we rejoice with joy unspeakable, and full of glory, receiving the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls.” i Pet. i. 6, 7. By and by, our Lord will throw down the wall of separation! Jesus will throw up the sash window, and withdraw the curtain of the lattices, and " we shall see him as he is, and know even as we are known.” But to what an infinite degree of blessedness we shall be brought is not said, neither indeed we are told can it! for "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.” But one thing we are told, and that includes all the rest. Though at death we change worlds, we change not our company. They who have personal knowledge of God, in his Trinity of Persons, or rather are known of God by communion here, will enter into a more immediate and nearer personal communion there. For so the Son of God saith, “ to him that overcometh will I grant to sit with me in my throne, even as I also overcame, and am set down with my Father in his throne," Rev. iii. 21. So then, we shall sit down, not simply with “ Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven;" but with the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost: and for which the church was chosen in Christ before all worlds. And in Him, we shall be as holy, and as happy, and as eternally and unchangeably blessed, as the utmost extent of our faculties then ripened into glory can be made. Oh! the inconceivable rapture when that promise of Christ hath its full accomplishment, “ At that day, ye shall know that I am in my Father; and ye in me, and I in you,” John xiv. 20.
I will suppose, for the sake of brevity, that what hath been stated in the former part of this little work is admitted; namely, that the scriptures of eternal truth, do furnish ample supplies for the purpose of prayer and praise; either when alone, or in family worship, when the Lord's people draw nigh to the Lord's presence. I will therefore now go on, by figuring to myself a little circle of this kind, assembled for this purpose. Suppose in the morning of the day; and suppose, for the sake of exemplifying what I wish to express on this subject, that I myself were present. As I before observed, that for the solemnizing of the mind, I would read, or desire any one present to read, the Morning Portion for the day. And then, when finished, advancing from the lesser to the greater, I would follow this up with some sweet chapter, or part of a chapter, as it might be; (and none perhaps more suited than the one from whence the Morning Portion was taken) and under the impressions, induced by the holy scriptures, and the unction of the Holy Ghost, accompanying his own most sacred word, I would figure to myself the whole assembly falling on their knees before God, and in, and through the mediation of our most glorious Christ, approaching the Lord God in his Trinity of Persons: first, in adoring him for what he is in himself; and then, as the Holy Ghost hath mercifully taught, “ in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving, letting our requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus,” Phil. iv. 6, 7.
I shall, by way of further exemplifying my views on this most interesting of all subjects, draw out what for the most part would form on those occasions the basis of my own prayers and supplications, with thanksgivings. And when I have done this, I shall analyze the several features of what is offered, by way of a more clear illustration.
Holy! holy! holy! Lord God Almighty! which was, and which is, and which is to come.
Lord! give grace at this time, if it be thine holy will, to the souls which are here before thee, that in our approaches to the footstool of thy mercy-seat, in and through that new and living way, which thou hast consecrated for thy church, in the Person and finished salvation of our most glorious Christ, our minds may be under the leadings and teachings of the Holy Ghost, and find access to our God and Father, by one Spirit.
We desire grace, to have both a spiritual and scriptural apprehension, in and through the person of our most glorious Christ, of the sacred and blessed unity of the divine essence, existing, as the scriptures of our God have revealed to thy church and people, in a Trinity of Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. And we do most humbly entreat our God, for the Lord Jesus Christ's sake, that all and every one of thy redeemed, and regenerated family before thy divine Majesty, may be spiritually taught of our God: that in all our approaches to the mercy-seat, we may always have in view, and never for a moment lose sight of this glorious and soul-refreshing truth, as the bottom and foundation of our most holy faith ; that we are the true spiritual seed of Christ, who adore, worship, and bless our God in the unity of his divine essence and Godhead; while we offer all our sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving to the holy Three, " that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost; for these Three are One."
Blessed for ever be thy great and glorious name, O Lord God! that each and every one of thy redeemed and regenerated family, can, and do, by thy divine teaching, feel those blessed truths, as living principles in their hearts. We do Lord, through thy favour, know and enjoy the everlasting love of God our Father, in his own personal act of grace to us, as we are in Christ, in choosing, adopting, and accepting us in Christ. We do no less know and enjoy the everlasting love of God the Son, in his own personal grace to our persons, in taking us into union with himself, before all worlds, and redeeming us by his blood, when in the time-state of the church, in the Adam-fall transgression we were lost and ruined, and undone in sin. And equally we do bless God the Holy Ghost, for his everlasting love to us, as we are in Christ, when from all eternity he anointed us in Christ; and in this our time-state, when dead in trespasses and sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and raised us up together, and made us sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus. Glory to thy glorious and fearful name-the Lord our God!
We are a company of poor, helpless, hopeless, and in ourselves undone creatures, who in the opening of this new day, come to present ourselves before thy divine Majesty. We feel, and we desire to feel our nothingness, our creatureship, and still more, our sinfulness, while we draw nigh to the mercy-seat of our gracious Lord God in Christ. Blessed be our God for the light of this morning! Surely we may well say with the church of old, it is of the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed, because his compassions fail not. They are new every morning. They are new this morning!) Great is thy faithfulness."
But we come, O Lord, in the name, and we approach in the righteousness of our most glorious Christ.