Imatges de pÓgina
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Haft thou performed he condition thou waft obliged to, when thou tookeft them into thy fervice? Haft thou taken care of their bodies, by provid-5 ing what food was fitting for them? va

Art thou reasonable and moderate in the commands which thou layeft upon them?

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Doft thou admonifh and correct them with calmness and gravity, when they tranfgrefs their duty? Has not thy feverity put them upon cheating and lying? for that will make thee a partaker with them in their fin..

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Haft thou been remifs in fuffering them to neg lect their duty to God?

Haft thou afforded them time and opportunities. for the fervice of God in publick and private?

Doft thou fet them an example of fobriety and a godlinefs in thy own life and converfation? and doft thou encourage their living foberly and religiously, by proper marks of thy kindness and favour? Haft thou been conftant in thy daily devotions with thy family?

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AST thou made it thy endeavour to be a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well?

Haft thou not been more intent upon thy own private intereft, than in advancing the common good?

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This duty may be found farther explained in the set WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 8. Section III.

Haft thou endeavoured to inform thyfelf of thy duty, in order to the doing of it, when thou hast been called to the office of conftable, church-warden, or any other public office? ass

To thefe duties in general, we might add the particular duties of the people to their prince, and the laity to their minifters; but to prevent tedioufnefs, which often cools devotion, I shall refer thofe that defire Information upon thefe heads, to the cwWHOLE DUTY OF MAN, Sunday 8. Sections I. II. and IV.

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Directions.

When you have once thoroughly examin'd yourself, and made a par ticular confeffion of the fins of your whole life, and begged pardon there is not the fame abfolut ineceffity of fuch a laborious examination, at your next communication; specially if you examine yourself carefully every night, and daily repent of the evil of the day paft, and are not conjcious to yourself of any great and noterious fins, fince your last confetion: for if you are not, the examination, and confeffion, only of what paft fince your last communicating, together with a general confeffion of your former fins, and a folemn renewing of your former alts of repentance, may ferve the turn. But if your confcience accufes you of any culpable neglect in your loft examination, or of any great relapjes, or of any wilful violations of your last vows and resolutions ; in thefe, and the like cafes, it is the jureft way to begin all your repentance again.

I am fenfible it is not ealy to enumerate all the inftances of duty reducible to these three beads, concerning GOD, one's neighbour, and one's felf; nor to fet down the feveral branches and violations of them: but the method here proposed, will, I am perfuaded, (i carefully attended to) affift any one in getting a competent knowledge of his own ftate and condition. And as the foregoing examination of our lives, is in order to the confeffion of our fins, and that fuch a diftinct fight and confideration of them may breed in us bumble and contrite bearts; fo when we are come to a fufficient knowledge of our fins, by the foregoing method of examination, our next step is to repent of them; and the first part of our repentance is to make an humble confeffion of our vileness and unworthiness in committing them.

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A profeffion of godly forrow for our fins, and a refolution of new obedience towards God, on Monday evening.

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I will arife and go to my father, ther I have finned against heaven, more worthy to be called thy fon.

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and will fay unto him, faand before thee, and am no Luke xv. 18, 19.

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Lord! I call my ways to remembrance with a troubled heart; my evildoings are before mine eyes; they are a burthen upon my fpirits, afore burthen too heavy for me to bear. But now, O my God, with a heart truly forrowful and penitent, I turn from myevil ways, refolving by thy grace to become a new creature; from this day forward I am fully determined to betake myfelf to a religious courfe of life; O let not iniquity be my ruin.

O Lord, I am not worthy fo much as to lift up mine eyes unto thee; but whether should a wretch in guilt and mifery look, but unto thee, the fountain of all mercy? whither, but to a God, whofe mercy is greater than my wickednefs? to a God, whofe property it is to be kind to his enemies; and whofe patience to bear with my fins, is as great as his power to punish them; and who had much rather be reconciled to me, than take vengeance upon me? whither indeed, but to thee, O God of all grace and comfort! who fheweft mercy to the unworthy,

worthy, and inviteft me with all the tendernefs and bowels of a compaffionate father to turn from my evil ways, that my foul may live, and be for ever happy in thy eternal kingdom.

Therefore, encouraged by thy goodness, O Lord, I addrefs myself unto thee, who am ready to fink under the heavy load of guilt and mifery: and yet I make no plea, but for thy mercy; nor have any pretence to claim it, (for, alas! I must with fhame acknowledge, I have very much abused it;) but thro' thy inexpreffible love. I know I have a moft merciful Saviour, who died to purchase falvation for me; and who now powerfully intercedes with thee for the pardon of true penitents. O! for the fake of his bleffed name, receive me graciously to thy mercy, and be not angry with me for ever!

Forgive me, O merciful Father, for I am heartily forry for all the evils which I have done: I have finned, O Lord God, I have finned against thee,---by [Here recollect and confefs thofe fins you have committed against GOD, with their aggravations that accompany them, as fet down in the preceding heads for the examination of confcience contained betwixt Pages 15 and 18, both inclufive. For Inftance, Lord, I have committed this fin, or these fins frequently, against checks of confcience, &c. and then add] Father I have finned against heaven, and in thy fight, and am no more worthy to be called thy

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fon: Opity, and cleanfe, and forgive, and save me, forthy mercies fake. I havefinned, O Lord God, I have finned against thee, and against my neighbour by---[Here confefs thele fins you have commit ted against your NEIGHBOUR, with their aggravations, &c, as contained betwixt pages 19 and 22, and betwixt 25 and 31, and then add] Father, I have finned against heaven and in thy fight, and am no more worthy to be called thyfon: Opity, and cleanfe, and forgive, and fave me for thy mercies fake. I have finned against thee, and against my own felf by --[Here confefs thofe fins you have committed against YOURSELF, with their aggravations, &c. as contained betwixt pages 22 and 25, and then add] Father, I have finned against heaven, and in thy fight, and am no more worthy to be called thy fon: O pity, and cleanse, and forgive, and faveme, for thy mercies fake. Forgive all my fins, for I am fully refolved by thy grace to love and ferve thee: forgiveme, Omoft gracious God, for I forgive all that have offended me, and do intreat thee to forgive them likewife. O Lord God, my wickednefs is great, and my iniquities are infinite; they are more in number than the hairs of my head; and my heart would fail me, but that I well know thy mercies are more numberless than my fins. O do not exact punishment of me for my fins; but extend thy mercy and pardon to my foul, for my dear redeemer's fake, Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

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