Saturday, September 3, 2011

Trinity XI: By His grace

O GOD, who declarest Thy almighty power chiefly in showing mercy and pity; Mercifully grant unto us such a measure of Thy grace, that we, running the way of Thy commandments, may obtain Thy gracious promise and be made partakers of Thy heavenly treasure; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
[Thomas Cranmer]
BRETHREN, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; by which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; and that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures: and that he was seen of Cephas, then of the twelve: after that, he was seen of above five hundred brethren at once; of whom the greater part remain unto this present, but some are fallen asleep. After that, he was seen of James; then of all the apostles. And last of all he was seen of me also, as of one born out of due time. For I am the least of the apostles, that am not meet to be called an apostle, because I persecuted the church of God. But by the grace of God I am what I am: and his grace which was bestowed upon me was not in vain; but I laboured more abundantly than they all: yet not I, but the grace of God which was with me. Therefore whether it were I or they, so we preach, and so ye believed. [I Corinthians xv]
Behold what wondrous grace
The Father has bestowed
On sinners of a mortal race,
To call them sons of God!

A hope so much divine.
May trials well endure;
May purge our souls from sense and sin,
As Christ the Lord is pure.

If in my Father’s love
I share a filial part,
Send down Thy Spirit like a dove,
To rest upon my heart.

We would no longer lie
Like slaves beneath the throne;
My faith shall Abba, Father, cry,
And thou the kindred own.
[Isaac Watts, 1707]