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The Invocation is :
“O merciful God, who hast made all men, and hatest nothing that thou hast made, nor wouldest the death of a sinner, but rather that
he should be converted and live ;” Here God is invoked as “Merciful;” and we further
state, 1. That He is the maker of all men. Gen. i. 26, 27;
Ps, c. 3 ; xcv. 6; Prov. xxii. 2; Isa, xlv. 9; 1 Cor.
vii. 6. 2. That He loves everything that He has made, and
so, of course, men. Ps. cxlv. 9; Matt. v. 45 ; Acts,
xiv. 17. 3. That it is not His wish that sinners should die.
Ezek. xviii. 23, 31, 32 ; Jer. v. 1; Luke, xix. 41,
42; Matt. xxiii. 37; Acts, xiii. 46. 4. That, on the other hand, He rather desires their
life. John, iii. 16, 17; Ezek. xxxiii. 11; Luke, xv.
7, 10; 1 Tim. ii. 4. 5. That, to this end, conversion is necessary. Acts, iii.
19; Matt. xviii. 3; John, iii. 3-7; Titus, iii. 5;
prayer which follows.
“ Have mercy upon all Jews, Turks, Infidels, and Heretics, and take from them all ignorance, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word ; and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, to thy flock, that they may be saved among the remnant of the true Israelites, and be made one fold under one shepherd, Jesus Christ our Lord, who liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.”
In this petition a great many points are involved ; among
others, 1. That our blessed Lord has a flock in the world.
Cant. i. 7; Isa. xl. 11; Jer. xiii. 17-20; Ezek. xxxiv. 9-16; Luke, xii. 32 ; Acts, xx. 28, 29;
1 Pet. v. 2, 3. 2. That this flock consists of those who are true Is
raelites, who are but a remnant compared with the rest; and amongst whom all who would be saved must be numbered and found. Rom. ix. 27; xi. 5; Gal. iii. 27-29; Eph. ii. 12-14, 19, 20; Rom. ii.
28, 29; ix, 6. 3. That this flock should rest in one fold under one
Shepherd. John, x. 16; Ezek. xxxiv. 14; Jer.
xxiii. 1-4; Isa. lvi. 8; Jer. xxxi. 10-14. 4. That of this flock the one fold is the Church of
Christ; and the one Shepherd is that Jesus Christ
ii. 25; v. 2-4; Ps. xxiii. 1. 5. That there are four classes of persons yet out of this
fold, and away from this flock, viz. (a) Jews, (6) Turks, (c) Infidels, and (d) Heretics. Luke, ii. 30, 32; Rom. ix. 1-4; x. 1; Mark, xvi. 16; Rev. xxi. 8; Tit. iii. 10; 1 Tim. iv. 1; Rom. x. 13-18;
xi, 23-26. 6. That their remaining out of this fold is to be as
cribed to three things, viz. :-
iv. 22 ; viii. 9; Hos. iv. 6.
ii. 12-19; Mark, vi. 52; 2 Cor. iii. 14–16. (c) Contempt of God's word. Acts, xvii. 32;
Heb. iv. 2; Isa. v. 24; Prov. i. 24, 25; 2 Tim.
ii. 24-26 ; Rom. x. 21. Hence our prayer that God would be pleased to
take away from such persons all these, and fetch them home to Himself in order to their everlasting salvation.
Supplementary Questions. What do we first state of God in the Invocation of this
Collect ? What feelings does God exercise towards the works of
His hands ? What is it that God has no desire for ? What on the contrary does He wish ? Who are sinners ? What is necessary in order to the life of sinners ? What do we mean by “ conversion ?” By Whose agency alone can this change be effected ? Into connexion with what do we pray that all such un
converted sinners may be brought ? Of whom does the flock of God consist ? What do we mean by “true Israelites ?” Why do we speak of them as a “remnant ?" Does Christ desire more folds than one for His flock ? Or more shepherds ? What is the one fold here referred to ? And who the one Shepherd ? Where is this Jesus Christ now? How many classes of persons are here spoken of as being
out of this fold ? Describe who they respectively are. To what causes is their remaining out of this fold to be
attributed ? Who only can remove this ignorance, hardness of heart,
and contempt of God's word and commandment?
A PRAYER FOR A JOYFUL RESURRECTION.
The Invocation is :
“O Lord,” simply; and contains no statement beyond what is implied in that term. The Petition is (reaching to the end) :
“Grant ... that as we are baptized into the death of thy blessed Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ, so by continual mortifying our corrupt affections we may be buried with him; and that through the grave, and gate of death, we may pass to our joyful resurrection ; for his merits, who died, and was buried, and rose again for
us, thy Son, Jesus Christ, our Lord. Amen." Here the following points are set forth : 1. That Jesus Christ is God's blessed Son and our
Saviour. Matt. iii. 17; i. 21; Heb. i. 2; John,
iv. 42. 2. That this Jesus Christ has died, been buried, and
risen again. John, xix. 30-34 ; Matt. xxvii. 57-66;
xxviii. 1-8; 1 Cor. xv. 20. 3. That all this was done for us ; i.e. on our account,
or for our sakes. Matt. xx. 28; xxvi. 28; Rom. V. 8; 1 Cor. xv. 3, 4; Rom. iv. 25; 2 Cor. v. 21; Heb. v. 9.
4. That into the death of this Jesus Christ we have
been baptized. Rom. vi. 3; Col. iii. 3; Rom. vi.
5,11; vii. 4; viii. 3. 5. That this baptism into His death should be followed
by a burial with Him also. Rom. vi. 4; Col. ii. 12. 6. That this burial with Him is not an actual burial
in the ground, but consists in a continual mortification of our corrupt affections. Col. iii. 5; Rom.
vi. 6; viii. 10, 11; 1 Pet. iv. 1-3; Gal. v. 24. 7. That it is, however, through the grave and gate of
actual death, we, as well as Christ, must pass to that joyful resurrection, which we, through His merits, hope to arrive at. Gen. iii. 19; Heb. ix. 27; Rom. vi. 23 ; v. 12; Eccl. iii. 20; Ps. lxxxix, 48; 1 Cor. xv. 21, 42-49; 1 Thess. iv. 14-17. Hence our prayer for grace to mortify our affec
tions, and for a passage to that joyful resurrection which is here referred to.
Supplementary Questions. What is the title here given to the Son of God, and what
is this Son here said to be ? What do we mean by “Saviour ?” What does “ saving” imply? From what does He save us, and how ? What three things is this Son said to have passed through
on our accounts ? On what evidence are these statements based ? May we trust this evidence, and why? What do we mean by“ baptized into the death” of this
Son of God ? Who are said to have been so baptized ? When did this take place ? By what should this baptism into Christ's death be fol• lowed ? How are we to be buried with Him?