On St. Matthew iii. 2.

119 shall not be approved of by the Directors; and the Directors shall be at liberty to return deposits.”



Oh green was the corn as I rode on my way,
And bright were the dews on the blossoms of May,
And dark was the sycamore's shade to behold,
And the oak's tender leaf was of emerald and gold.

The thrush from his holly, the lark from his cloud,
Their chorus of rapture sung jovial and loud;
From the soft vernal sky, to the soft grassy ground,
There was beauty above me, beneath, and around.

The mild southern breeze brought a shower from the hill,
And yet, though it left me all dropping and chill,
I felt a new pleasure, as onward I sped,
To gaze where the rainbow gleam'd broad over head.

Oh such be life's journey, and such be our skill,
To lose in its blessings the sense of its ill;
Through sunshine and shower may our progress be even,
And our tears add a charm to the prospect of heaven.



On St. MATTHEW iii. 2. “Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand.” [Our correspondent, I. S., who sent us these Meditations, and those “ On Contentment,” printed in our last number, (page 53,) says, “ They are taken from a work entitled The New Year's Gift complete,' consisting of meditations and prayers for every day in the

week, with devotions for the Sacrament, &c.; there is no author's name given; my copy is of the date of 1728."]

My God, when I remember those words of thine, “ Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand;" when I consider they were the chosen text of the Eternal Wisdom, I must feel that they contain a very important precept, and that I ought to be deeply affected with the power of the motive. My soul, did Christ begin his public work with this command? Apply then those searching words to thyself, and let them make deep impressions upon thy heart!

2. Repent, O my soul, for the Kingdom of HEAVEN is at hand : repent, for the Kingdom of HEAVEN depends upon thy repentance! Unhappy creature that I am, that I cannot live without sin: but, blessed be God, that I may obtain pardon by my repentance. But I cannot repent without the grace of God, nor obtain his grace without his own free gift. O, my dearest SAVIOUR, who camest not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance; since I am not strong enough to be perfectly innocent, at least make me humble enough to be truly penitent. Make me heartily sorry for what I have done amiss; and let me not do again what will make me so sorry.

3. Let not our LORD be angry, and I will speak yet once more; for I have much to ask, and he has infinite to give. I have much to ask for myself, and all the world, who depend entirely on his free goodness. Many, O LORD, are the graces we want, and none can give them but thy bounty. Many are the sins and miseries we are exposed to, and none can deliver us but thyself. Woe to the day and hour wherein I sinned! Woe to the many days and hours I have sadly mis121


Meditations on St. Matthew. spent? Or, rather woe to me, who abuse my days and hours, allowed me by thy goodness to work out my salvation!

4. Deliver us, O Lord, from the punishments we deserve, and deliver us from the sins that deserve those punishments. Deliver us from the spirit of profaneness and infidelity; from the spirit of error, and disputes, and heresy! Deliver us from the spirit of pride and avarice; from the spirit of anger, sloth, envy, and discontent! Deliver us from the spirit of drunkenness and gluttony; from the spirit of lust, wantonness, and impurity! Deliver us, o gracious God, from every evil spirit, and vouchsafe to give us thine own good SPIRIT!

Vouchsafe to give us the spirit of fortitude, the spirit of temperance, justice, and prudence; the spirit of wisdom, understanding, and counsel; the spirit of knowledge, piety, and the fear of thee; the spirit of peace, patience, and kindness; the spirit of humility, sobriety, and chastity. ( THOU, who never deniest thy favours, unless we first deny our obedience ; Thou, who art often near to us, when we are far from thee; often ready to grant when we are unmindful to ask; refuse not, O LORD, to hear us, now we call upon thee; and make us still hear 'Thee, when Thou callest to us!

6. Fill our understandings with the knowledge of such truths as may fix them on thee, the Eternal Verity. Teach our vills to embrace such objects as may unite them to thee, the Sovereign Good! Shew us the narrow way that leads to life; the way which few find, and fewer follow. Guide us still in the middle path of duty, that we never decline to any vicious extreme. Let not our faith grow wild with superfluous branches, nor be stripped into a naked and fruitless trunk. Let

xo. 3.--VOL. XI. G

ur hope in a faint on difference,

not our hope swell up to a rash presumption, nor shrink away into a faint despair. Let not our charity be cooled into a careless indifference, nor heated into a furious zeal.

But, above all, suffer us not, O Lord, to be guilty of that unpardonable sin against thy Blessed and HOLY SPIRIT. Suffer us not to persist obstinately in any known wickedness, nor maliciously oppose any known truth. Suffer us not to die in our sins without repentance; but have mercy upon us in that serious hour! Have mercy on us, and govern us in our life: have mercy on us, and save us at our death.

THE PRAYER. ALMIGHTY GOD, unto whom all hearts be open, all desires known, and from whom no secrets are hid, look down in mercy upon me, thy sinful creature, who am here prostrate before thee to confess and bewail my transgressions! I confess, O LORD, I was conceived and born in sin, and I have lived in iniquity; the frailties of my nature, the corruptions of my will, and the disorders of my life, my abuses of thy mercies, my contempt of thy judgments, and my repeated violations of thy holy laws are more than I am able to express. I have broken through all the obligations of duty and interest, to pursue my lusts and follies : every little temptation has withdrawn me from thy service: whilst thy gracious invitation, the mercy of thy promises, and the assistance of thy grace and SPIRIT have been all lost upon me! O my God! I am troubled; I am ashamed and confounded! What shall I do, or whither shall I fly? How can I hope for mercy, that have deserved the rigour of thy justice.

disorde of thy judge more that the obli follies : evet whilst

But since it is thy will that I should repent and live, since thou hast promised forgiveness of sins to all them that, with hearty repentance and true faith, turn

A Walk near the Sea-Coast. 123 unto thee, I beseech thee have mercy upon me. Give me that godly sorrow which worketh repentance, not to be repented of. Give me that broken and contrite heart, which thou hast promised not to despise. Let thy grace assist me, and the aids of thy SPIRIT make my sorrow sincere, my resolution stedfast; and so change and consecrate my affections that they may never more misguide me; and then, according to thy goodness, let thine anger and thy displeasure be turned away from me. Pardon and deliver me from all my sins. Confirm and strengthen me in all goodness, and bring me to everlasting life, through JESUS CHRIST, our LORD. Amen.

I. S.

A WALK NEAR THE SEA-COAST. Sir, On or about the 11th of November last, in walking upon the Kentish cliffs, a little to the westward of Dover, I was powerfully struck by the contrast between the face of nature, and the state (at that period) of a considerable portion of mankind. It was a serene and delicious autumnal evening: totally unsuited to the turbulent passions then prevalent, and the outrages continually perpetrated-of which I heard much-far too much! but am not going to trouble you with details.

I attempted however, a sonnet upon the occasion, which, possibly, may suit your work.

I remain,

[blocks in formation]
« ElőzőTovább »