Andrewes - Heaven Collection BV4655 .A6 1675b

I5o Chap./ I. Of /Prayer andThanksgiving.' Corn I, And as it wasthe caufe why God created man, fo was it alto of all the creatures; Pfal. 19.9. and they ( as the Pfalmift faith ) perform their duty herein. The Heavens ( faith he) declare the Glory of God, and the firmament fheweth his handy work, &c. Info- much as we fee that hecalleth upon the very Worms to perform this duty ; upon whichSaint Chryfofiome's note is,that they were in worfe eftate than Worms that neg. left it. But for theChurch there itis the moll naturalduty that canbe performed ; In thy PfaL 29.9. Temple every man fpeaketh of thy praife What is preaching : Predicare, but to declare to all the World, his benefits of creation, redemption by Chrift, and other benefits we have by him, in publifhing whereof we praife and HonourGod, and therefore the conclufion of all Sermons is with a Doxology, To whom with the Fa- ther, &c. Be all Honour, &c. As was ufual with the Fathers. For the Sacraments, that great myftery which is the complement and perfeEtion of all our fervice on Earth, is called t a,vi.a thanfgiving; for what is it buta folemn commemoration of that grand mercy and benefit of our redemption by Chrifts Sacrificeupon the croft, and therefore it ends with a Gloria, Glory be to God on high, &c. and for prayer, we pray, that we may have matter of praife, yeapraife for benefits received mull be joyned and go along with our prayers, elfe they are not acceptable, fo that we in all our Church exerc,+°v tend to this. The Pfalmift faith of tux ;, that it is good and pleafant. The Fathers oblerve Pfil, t; ;. from hence, the excellency of -miry ; for thatfome things are good, but not pleaianr, otherspleafant, but not goo , it this is both. The fame may be faid of praifes, the Pfalmift tellsus, that is both good and pleafant, and adds a third thing, for whereas PAL147.1. fomething may be both good and pleafant, but not comely, he therefore faith, that it is both good and pleafant, and a comely thing to Praife the Lord, and to be thank ful. Betides this, lets confider, that this is a profitable and an excellent fervice, pro_ Áa no. 3f. fit is a great : nover, and all excelencywithout this is contemned. Here is excellen- cy and Honour, for batiste eft dare quam accipere, It is more bleffed togive than to receive. Now here we gve i)t ring ro God, and there is nothing elfe we cangive or return to him for his benefits, quid retribuam, faith David, I will take the Cup of Salvation,&c.that is,offerthe Sacrifice ofpraife,that's all I can return.God elleems it an addition tohis Honour, and therefore it is called magnifying, glorify. ing and fanftifying of his name, as if we made him hereby more great and glorious and holy than he is. And as the duty is thusexcellent, fo it is profitable; for We never give praife and thanks, but we receive fomething: Deuevalt nosgratos eta tat capaces faius majorum beneficiorum, for gratitude by benefits, received we are fitted for greater benefits. TenLepers were cieanfe.í,and only one returns back to give thanks, who hereby became capable of a greater mercy ; Chrift tells him, his Faith had faved him. Ourgratitude is neverdonegratis, but gets a reward ; as there is firft afcenfusoratianis, the afcentof Prayer, and then defcenfusgratia, adefcending of Grace. So as Bernard faith, when there isrecurfiat gratiarum, a fending back of thanks, then there is a newdecurfusgratia, a defcending of benefits, andfi ceffet recurfuegra- tiarum, ceffat decurfus gratis, if thanks be not returned, there will be no more return of Grace and other benefits : that Grace we have received, if it ftand lull, and be not in recurfu, in perpetual fuccelironby returns, then like Water (towhich its oft compared) it Rands Pill, and putrifies: and rots all the gifts and Graces bellowed formerly. The fame FatherOn MI. 7. makes a queftion, why thole excel- lent and rare examples of Graceand virtue, which were fo common in the primi- tives times, are not now fees; we have, the fame beginnings they had, and we admire thole that continue, as they begun in Grace, but they not only continued, but increafed, and went forward, and had' their gifts_encreafed, which is, as he faith, becaufe"Gods Hand is not [homed, or hisgood will altered, but our thankf- givings arefcant and thin fowen, and therefore our Harveft mutt be be (Canty and thin too, and therefore he faith, vs stati noffra propter ingratitudinem, Woe to out age for unthankfulnefs g this is the reafon why there is not the fame progrefs of Grace in us as was in them. For as Profper faith, Gratia nallum certiue eft fgnurn Imamgratia, there is no forer fign of Grace than thankfgiving. Nay we fee that re