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An Office of HUMILIATION.
THE HE Defign of this Office is, to furnish the good Chriftian, who has fet afide the Whole or any Part of a Day to humble himfelf before God for his Sins, with fuch Prayers as may be proper upon fuch Occafions. In the Ufe of the Confeffions, as indeed of almost all private Prayers, every one muft fupply or omit, as his Circumftances require; the Defign hereof being to provide only for the most ordinary Wants of a Chrif tian on fuch Occafions. And as to his Ufe of more or fewer of thefe Prayers, he is left to his own Difcretion, as Time and Opportunity may ferve: But because the devout Chriftian will find himself difpofed, especially after Retirement, and ferious Recollection, to render Thanks to Almighty God, for the many Mercies he has received at his Hands, and to intercede for others as well as himSelf; there is added a General Thanksgiving and Interceffion, either of which may alfo be used at other Times, particularly in our Evening Retirement upon the Lord's Day.
After you have performed your ordinary Devotions for the Day, you may use this Prayer before Examination.
Thou great Searcher of Hearts, who feeft and knoweft all my Sins; help me so to search every Secret of my Heart, that I may leave no Sin, if poffible, unrepented of. Give me Grace fo impartially to judge and condemn myself, fo humbly to repent and beg Pardon, that I may not be condemned, when I fhall appear at thy Tribunal, in the great and terrible Day of the Lord Jefus.
But, alas! after the most strict Examination we can make, who can number his Iniquities? Who can tell how oft he of fendeth? Cleanfe me, therefore, O Lord, I beseech thee, not only from my prefumptuous and known Sins, but from all fecret and unknown Tranfgreffions, for his Sake, who died for Sinners, Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.
Motives to Examination; together with fome Rules to be obferved therein.
Having devoutly prayed for God's Af
fiftance, doubt not but he will vouchfafe it you. And the better to difpofe your Heart to the Duty of Self-Examination ;
Confider seriously with yourself, "That "it is appointed for all Men once to die, and after Death to be called to Judgment. "That God hath appointed a Day in which "he will judge the World in Righteousness
by Jefus Chrift. At whofe Coming, all "Men fhall rife again with their Bodies, "and fhall give an Account of their own "Works: And they that have done Good,
fhall go into Life everlafting; and they "that have done Evil, into everlasting Fire: "For the Books fhall be opened, and the "Dead fhall be judged out of the Things "written in thofe Books according to their "Works. And then confider how much, "how nearly it concerns you to judge yourself before that Time, that you be "not judged, that is, condemned of the "Lord.
"Since then you must give an Account f yourself, of all your Thoughts, Words,
"and Actions; and be acquitted or con"demned at the last Day, according as they have been conformable to the Law " of God, or not; with what Seriousness, "with what Sincerity, and religious Awe, ought you to fet about this great Work? "So that by comparing your Life with the "Law of God, you may perceive wherein 66 you have done amifs, and heartily repent "of your Sins; and by the Grace of God, "refolve to lead a new Life; in all Things conforming yourself to his holy Will "and Pleasure, and then you shall not be "condemned of the Lord.
"Again. Confider with yourself, that "Now is the Time of Salvation: That by "the Ufe of thefe Means of Grace, you may get an Opportunity of reconciling yourself to your offended God; of do"ing the Work you are fent to do; and of making yourself capable of Salvation: "which you know not how foon may be "taken from you.
"And that this Confideration may have "the better Effect upon you, imagine, yourself a while in the other World, among feparate and departed Spirits, whofe Season and Opportunity of Action "is over; upon whom the Son of Grace,
"as well as natural Life, is gone down, "and that Night come, in which no Man can work; who are either happy or mi"ferable for ever.
"Confider with yourself seriously the "Condition of thefe Spirits, what Thoughts "and Sentiments they have of Things, " what they think of a finful, and what "Senfe they have of a holy and religious "Life; what inward Rejoicings and Rap"tures thofe have, who were fo wife and happy, as to apply themfelves to Virtue and Piety: And how do they now juf"tify and approve their Conduct, bleffing "and admiring the Grace and Goodness ❝ of God. And what Anguish, Rage, "Self-Condemnation, and Regret, thofe "return upon themfelves, who lived and "indulged themfelves in Sin and Wicked"nefs! How do they unwifh all their paft "Thoughts and Actions, their Designs and "Undertakings, their Bufineffes and Em"ployments, their Pleafüres and their Friendships, their vain Converfations, "and their merry Meetings, their Jests on Religion, and upon good Men, yea, "and their very Beings too: I say how "do they unwifh all thefe Things: how paffionately do they with again for thofe