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their charity, and might have prevailed upon them to desert him, when frustrated in their expectations. So that as he required them to become little children in respect of such desires and expectations, it is still necessary, in order to be true followers of the blessed Jesus, to mortify these worldly affections; for otherwise the things belonging to the spirit will not live and grow

in us.



O ALMIGHTY God, who out of the mouths of babes and sucklings hast ordained strength, and madest infants to glorify thee by their deaths; mortify and kill in me all vices, and so strengthen me by thy grace, that by the innocency of my life, and the constancy of my faith, even unto death, I may glorify thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


O GOD, the strength of all them that put their trust in thee; mercifully accept my prayers. And because, through the weakness of my mortal nature, I can do no good thing without thee; grant me the help of thy grace, that in keeping thy commandments, I may please thee in will and deed, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.


BLESSED Jesus, who hast set before me the perfect pattern of thy humility, and hast commanded me to copy out so fair an original; enable me by thy grace to imitate thy wonderful condescension; that I may not by my pride and vanity lose that happiness thou hast

purchased for me by thy humility. Make me sensible of my own vileness by reason of my sins, which are evident proofs of my weakness and folly, of my baseness and ingratitude, which make me contemptible in thy sight, and ought to cover my soul with shame and confusion. Let this prospect check all vain and aspiring thoughts, and wean me from any fond opinion of myself. To thee be the glory of all the good I enjoy; for it is from thee I receive it. To thee be the glory of all the good I think or do; for it is thy grace enables me, it is thy holy spirit that works in me both to will and do thy good pleasure. Let me never purchase the praise of men by mean flatteries and sinful compliances: let me never entertain their applause upon the best account with too great delight; lest it corrupt the purity of my intentions, and beguile me of that reward thou hast promised to all those that serve thee in spirit and truth. Make me patiently to bear the indignities I may receive from others, because I have deserved them from thee, and because thou hast suffered the same upon my account. Grant this, O blessed Jesus, who, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest one God, world without end. Amen.


MOST gracious God, who governest the world with infinite wisdom and goodness, and dost not afflict willingly nor grieve the children of men; teach me contentedly to submit to the dispensations of thy providence, how contrary soever they may be to flesh and blood. Thou knowest the surest ways of making me happy, and

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art infinite in loving-kindness and mercy; therefore let thy blessed will in every thing be my choice and satisfaction. Let all my dangers, either temporal or spiritual, awaken me to a careful performance of my own duty, and to a lively sense of thy power, which nothing can resist, and of thy goodness, which endureth continually; that being armed with this defence, I may serve thee quietly with a devout mind, and in thy due time be made partaker of thy everlasting kingdom, through Jesus Christ. Amen.



Q. What Festival does the church celebrate this day?

A. The circumcision of our Lord Jesus Christ, who, when eight days were accomplished, subjected himself to this law, and first shed his sacred blood for us.

Q. What was circumcision?

A. A rite of the Jewish law, whereby that people were received into covenant with God, as Christians are by baptism. It was first enjoined to Abraham, as a token of the covenant God made with him and his posterity. It was renewed by Joshua, when the Israelites entered the land of Canaan; it having been disused for forty years during their sojourning in the wilderness.b

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Q. When was circumcision to be administered?
A. On the eighth day, because the mother being

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unclean seven days, and the child by touching her partaking of the same misfortune, was not till then fit to be admitted into covenant; nor by reason of its weakness could it well endure, before that time, the pain of the operation. The Jews laid such stress upon this, that circumcision before that time was counted no circumcision; and after that time it was of lesser value: hence they thought it necessary, rather than defer it beyond the stated time, to perform it on the Sabbath-day, though all work was on that day forbidden.

Q. What was the punishment threatened for neglecting this rite?

A. That soul was to be cut off from God's people ;a which, as the Jews generally interpret, supposed a man to neglect it when he came to a fitting age to understand the obligation of it. For when Moses' child was uncircumcised, the angel sought not to kill the child who was uncircumcised, but Moses, the father, who should have circumcised it."

Q. What was the original design of circumcision? A. That every son of Abraham might bear in his body the seal of the inheritance of the land of promise, and the badge of distinction from all other people, with which all that were marked, professed their resolution to obey the only true God, creator of heaven and earth; and that this visible sign might put them constantly in mind of their duty, and make them strive after the invisible grace which it sealed, the inheritance of heaven, and walking as the peculiar of the Lord.

Q. Why was it to cease after the coming of Christ? A. The necessity of the change of it appears from the appropriated and peculiar ends of the rite.

For when

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there was to be no more distinction betwixt the children of Abraham and other people, and no one land more peculiarized than another, but of every land and nation, he that feareth God and worketh righteousness is accepted of him; that badge of approbation, and seal of singularity, must either come to nothing, or become unnecessary.

Q. What does circumcision figuratively represent to us?

4. That as our birth is impure by reason of original sin, so we ought to lay apart all filthiness, and superfluity of naughtiness,' putting off the body of the sins of the flesh, by the circumcision of Christ; mortifying the pleasures of the body, which bewitch the mind, and make us captives to sin and death.

Q. What rite of admission into the Christian church answers to that of circumcision under the law?

A. The sacrament of baptism, called by St. Paul the circumcision of Christ whereby the children of Christian parents are made members of Christ, and obliged to observe the laws of the gospel institution; as the circumcised infant, by that rite, became a debtor to observe the whole law of Moses. By this means the children of believers are entered into covenant with God under the gospel, as they were under the law by circumcision; and that infants are capable of this fœderal relation, is plainly declared by Moses; and since they are the offspring of Adam, and consequently obnoxious to death by his fall, how can they be made partakers of that redemption which Christ hath purchased for the children of God, if they do not enjoy the advantage of that method which is alone appointed by Christ for them to become mem

'Jam. i. 21.

Col. iii. 11, 12. b Acts xv. 5. Gal. v. 3.

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