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The prayer on Monday Morning, to implore God's affiftance in the course of this week's preparation for receiving the holy facrament.
I acknowledge my faults, and my sin is ever before me. Psal. li. 3.
Moft glorious and ever-bleffed God, is
and at whofe right-hand there are pleafures for evermore; vouchfafe, I befeech thee, to discharge my mind of all fuperfluous cares, and immoderate defires of the things of this world, and enable me fo to employ my time this week, as may effectually prevent or refift all tempta tions. Let thy grace, O Lord, fo powerfully affift my endeavours, and direct my will, and ftrengthen my intentions, that
I may do fuch things as are agreeable to thee, and fuitable to the dignity of a Chriftian: and that I may fill up all the fpaces of this week with meditations upon the moft holy facrament, with acts of religion, and fervent charity, fo that when the devil affaults me, he may not find me idle, and that my dearest Lord, at his fudden coming, may find me improving the talent committed to my care, that I may enter into the joy of my Lord; to which, I befeech thee,
bring me, through the merits and interceffion of thy dear Son, Jefus Chrift, our Lord and Saviour.
Now repair to the public service at the church; or if you have not that opportunity, spend your leisure time in a devout perusal of that pious treurise, necessary for all families, as well as every private Christian, lately published by the KING's authority, viz.
THE NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, &C.
And I heartily wish that every poor (as well as rich) Family in the Kingdom was furnished with one of these Books: it is a great Pity they should be any where wanting. Great Charity therefore it would be for rich Landlords, and others of easy Fortunes, to bestow this pious and useful Book upon their poor and uninstructed Neighbours, 'Fenants, and Servants, that the Knowledge of God and Religion may be promoted amongst them, which would make greatly for the Good and Welfare both of Church and State. For though brain-sick Opinions and false Principles may make Men proud and headstrong, and troublesome to their Governors and Superiors; yet solid Knowledge and sincere Godliness, will make Men humble and meek quiet and peaceable, obedient to their Superiors and Ministers, full of Charity to their Neighbours, and ready to do every good Work.
Be fure to retire foon this evening to examine thy confcience.
The Meditation for Monday Evening.
Upon the vanities of the world, and the goodness of God, in order to a worthy receiving of the most koly sacrament.
He that loveth his life shall lose it; and he that hateth his life in this world, shall keep it unto life eternal. Johu
Wake thou, O my foul, from the fleep of fin; for, behold, life and death are set before thee; choose while thy gracious Lord allows thee time and day, left the night and darkness overtake thy neglect: choofe, but remember thy eternity is concerned, and deliberate ere thou makeft thy choice.
2. Survey all the pleafures of the world before thee, and afk if any of them be worth fuch pains: afk if the vain forbidden things thou loveft, deferve thy affection better than thy Maker. Are they more worthy in themfelves, or beneficial to thee, that thou mayft juftly prefer them before thy Redeemer? doft thou expect to be at reft, and fatisfied by enjoying them, or everlaftingly happy by their procurement? can they protect thee at the hour of death, or plead thy caufe at the day of judgment? O no. They only deceive me with a fmiling look, which I too often have proved by dear experience.
3. It is heaven alone that yields a true content; it is heaven alone that fills us with eternal delight. Say then, my foul, take away your flatteries, falfe world, and leave me free for better thoughts. O infinite goodness! it is thyfelf alone I choofe; thou art my only happiness for ever. I fee my portion hereafter depends on my choice here; and my choice here, O Lord, depends on thee."
4. O my deareft Lord, do thou choofe me, and guide my uninftructed foul to choofe thee. For here we, alas! move. flowly in the dark, led on by the argument of things not feen; but did we clearly fee what we fay we believe, we fhould foon change the courfe of our lives.
5. Did we but fee the damned in their flames, or hear them cry in the midst of their torments, how fhould we fear to, follow them in their fins, which we know have plunged them into all thofe miferies! how fhould we ftrive against the next temptation, and cast about to avoid the danger by working out our falvation! or,
6. Did we but fee the incomparable glories of the faints; or hear the fweet harmonious hymns which they continually fing, how fhould we ftudy to imitate thole holy ways, by which we know
they arrived at all their happiness! how fhould we feek all occafions of improvement, and make it our bufinefs to work out our falvation! did man but seriously confider what he fays he believes, he would never live as he doth. Who can doubt but ere long he shall be turned into duft; yet, which of us lives as if he thought ever to die?,
7. Pity, O gracious Lord, the frailties of thy fervant, and fuffer, not my blindnefs to lead me into ruin Supply my want of fight by a lively faith, and ftrengthen my faith by thy powerful grace: make me remember it is no trifling thing to gain or lofe the kingdom of heaven: make me choose wifely, and purfue my choice, and ufe as well the means, as like the end. O fet thou right the bias of my heart, that in all my motions I may draw off from the world; that I may ftill incline towards thee, and reft at laft in thy holy prefence. Thou art my Lord, and I will ferve thee in fear; thou art my God, and I will love thee in hope: what will it profit me to gain the whole world, and lofe my own foul? or what shall I give in exchange for my foul?
Now repair to the public service of the church; but if you have not that opportunity, then employ your time in reading some part of the NEW WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, as directed on page 8, especially Sunday 17. Section 1. and VII.