תמונות בעמוד

fections, and thankfulness to thee for all thy assistances. Let me never seek the praise of men, from unhandsome actions, from flatteries and unworthy discourses; nor entertain the praise with delight, though it proceed from better principles; but fear and tremble lest I deserve punishment, or lose a reward which thou hast deposited for them that seek thy glory, and despise their own that they may imitate the example of their Lord. Thou, O Lord, didst triumph over sin and death; subdue also my proud understanding, and my prouder affections; and bring me under thy yoke, that I may do thy work, and obey my superiors, and be a servant of all

my brethren in their necessities, and esteem myself inferior to all men, by a deep sense of my own unworthiness; and in all things may obey thy laws, and conform to thy example, and enter into thy inheritance, O holy and eternal Jesus. Amen.



A. What Festival does the church celebrate this day?

A. The commemoration of the Apostle St. Matthias. Q. What is meant by an Apostle ? A. In general it signifies no more than a messenger, person sent upon some special errand, for the discharge of some peculiar affair in his name that sent him ; but was fixed by our Saviour to a particular use, applying it to those select persons whom he made choice of, to be sent up and down the world in his name, to plant the faith, to govern the church at that present, and by their wise and prudent settlement of affairs, to provide for the future exigencies of it.

Q. Why did our Saviour fix upon the number of twelve?

A. Various have been the conjectures of the ancients upon this subject. What seems most probable is, that our Saviour might allude herein to the twelve Patriarchs, as the founders of their several tribes; or to the twelve chief heads and rulers of those tribes, of which the body of the Jewish nation did consist. To this our Saviour gives some countenance himself, in saying, when the Son of Man shall sit in the throne of his glory, his Apostles should sit upon twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel."

Q. What was their vocation?

A. To be witnesses of Christ's miracles, particularly his resurrection ;' and to preach that doctrine to the world which they learnt of their master; and in this their testimony was valuable, that they sealed the truth of it with their blood.

Q. How were the Apostles enabled to discharge this high office, being obscure and illiterate persons, helpless and unarmed, and having the enraged powers of the world to contend with ?

A. They immediately received the doctrine they taught from the mouth of Christ himself. They were infallibly secured from errors in delivering the principles of Christianity, and to this end had the spirit of truth promised to them, who should guide them into all truth." They had been eye-witnesses of all the material passages of our Saviour's life, and reported nothing but what they had seen with their own eyes, and of the truth whereof they were as competent judges as the acutest philosopher in the world. Besides, several miraculous powers and


Mat. xix. 28.

6 Acts i. 22.


John xvi. 13.

A. To remember that all the advantages we enjoy either of body or mind, above others, are not the effect of our merit, but of God's bounty. That those whom we are apt to contemn are valuable in the sight of God, the only fountain of true honour. That by having consented to sin, we have committed the most shameful action imaginable, the most contrary to justice and right reason, and to all sort of decency; and that as long as we are clothed with flesh and blood, we are still liable to the same offences against the majesty of heaven and earth. To suppress all proud and vain thoughts when they first arise in our minds, not to suffer them to sport in the scene of our imagination. To keep a constant watch over our words and actions, that we may check the first tendencies to pride.


FOR ACCEPTANCE WITH GOD. ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, I humbly beseech thy majesty, that, as thy only-begotten Son was this day presented in the temple in substance of our flesh, so I may be presented unto thee with a pure and clean heart, by the same thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord Amen.

THANKSGIVING FOR THE KNOWLEDGE OF THE TRUTH. ALMIGHTY and everlasting God, heavenly Father, I give thee humble thanks, that thou hast vouchsafed to call me to the knowledge of thy grace and faith in thee; increase this knowledge, and confirm this faith in me evermore. Grant me thy holy spirit, that I may devote

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promises, and be made partaker of thy heavenly treasure, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

FOR THE EFFECTS OF REPENTANCE. I ADORE, O Lord, that miraculous grace which thou wert pleased to manifest to thy blessed Apostle ; and I praise thy holy name for that powerful assistance thou hast promised to all those that follow the example of his piety. Send forth thy light into my heart, and make me sensible of all my wicked ways. Stir me up carefully to attend to what thou requirest of me, and make me ready to perform it. Let the practice of thy holy laws bear witness to the inward change of my mind; that no advantage of nature or grace may make me proud and haughty; that no plenty and abundance may make me sensual and carnal ; that when riches increase, I may not set my heart upon them, but be ready to relieve thy poor distressed members both in their souls and bodies. Let no danger or difficulty deter me from a zealous prosecution of my duty ; let no prospect of labour or pains slacken my industry, but make me stedfast and immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. Shew mercy, O God, to all those that are misled by error, or seduced by vice, that by thy heavenly light, their blindness may be removed, and their weakness cured, through Jesus Christ, my only Lord and Saviour. Amen.




Q. What Festival does the church celebrate this day?

A. The presentation of Christ in the temple, commonly called the purification of the blessed Virgin Mary.

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