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O most great and mighty God! in whose hands are the issues of life and death! Thou orderest all things by thy infinite power and wisdom, and hast appointed for all men once to die; and, after this short life shall be ended, hast, of ihy infinite goodness, provided for thy faithful servants a state of endless bliss and happiness.
O! make me truly sensible of the frailty and uncertainty of my life ; and teach me so to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto true wisdom. Let not death ever surprize me unawares, nor find me in a state unprovided. But grant that I may live in such a constant preparation for my latter end, that, how suddenly soever thou shalt be pleased to take me out of this world, I
be found ready and prepared for that great account, which I must one day give before the judgment-seat of Christ. Enable me, by the assistance of thy grace and Holy Spirit, to finish the great
work of my salvation before the night comes when no man can work, and to lay a good foundation of hope and comfort against the hour of my death : that when the time of my departure shall come, I may look back upon a well spent life with joy and comfort, and may meet death without fear.
Look upon me, 0 most gracious God, when the time of my dissolution draws nigh, as a reconciled Father in Christ Jesus. Speak peace unto my conscience, and say unto my soul, I
am the God of thy salvation. Let not the cruel enemy of souls affright
with his terrors; but give thy holy angels charge over me, to keep me out of his hands; and let the comforts of thy Holy Spirit cheer and cherish my soul in its passage through this vale of tears and misery, to a happy eternity.
O Lord ! leave me not to myself in that time of distress, when I shall stand in so much need of thee. Confirm my faith ; support me in my dying agonies ; and forsake me not when my strengtla
faileth. Let thy merciful ears, O God, be then open to my prayers; and spare me, O Lord most holy, O God most mighty, o holy and merciful Saviour, thou most worthy judge eternal! suffer me not at my last hour, through any pains of body, or weakness of mind, to renounce my dependence upon thee. But grant, o merciful Father, that, with an humble reliance on thy mercies, and the infinite merits of my dear Redeemer, and with an entire submission to thy blessed will, I may cheerfully Fesign my soul into thy hands, and may be willing, and even desirous, to leave this world, when thou, my God, in thy great wisdom, shall see it fitting.
O Lord ! let me never be separated from thee; but grant that my soul may be so united to thee, who art the fulness of all happiness, by the strongest ties of faith, love, and obedience, that, after a life spent here in thy service, I may dwell with thee in life everlasting, and be received into those mansions of ceternal bliss and glory, which thou last prepared for them that truly love and
fear thee. Grant this, O Lord, through the merits, and for the sake, of thy beloved Son, Jesus Christ, our only Saviour!
HITHERTO I have considered the great advantages of religion, as they respect. only our wellbeing in this world, and our going comfortably out of it: but, there are other advantages attauding a good life, infinitely beyond all that have been mentioned ; namely, that it will entitle us, through the merits of Christ Jesus, to an inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
I shall endeavour, therefore, to shew, in the last place, that a serious and conscientious observance of the duties of religion, will most certainly be rewarded with eternal happivess in the life to come.
And here I shall not presuine so much as to aim at a description of that exceedingwcight of glory, which God has reserved for those that truly love
him. In the Scripture, indeed, the glories of the other world are represented to us, in condescension to our weak capacities, as a kingdom, and a crown, an eternal kingdom, and a never fading crown; but the state of the other world is a state so unknown to us, and so much above our imperfect conceptions, that we shall never be able fully to comprehend it, till we arrive at the actual enjoyment. For, though we know that we shall there see God, and the blessed Jesus, who loved us, and gave himself for us, and shall to all eternity enjoy him who is the source and fountain of all good ; that we shall there converse with saints and angels, and for ever be singing anthems of praise to our great Creator and Redeemer; yet how great the pleasure of this will be, and with what extasics and raptures our souls shall then break forth, when they taste of the fulriess of inut joy which is in the presence of God for evermore; is what our finile understandings cannot possibly reach. Of this, however, we may rest assured; that the things which God hath re