« AnteriorContinua »
up all the spaces of this week with meditations upon the most 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 beseech thee bring me, thro' the merits and interceffion of thy dear son, Jesus Christ, our Lord and Saviour. Amen.
Now repair to the publick fervice at the church; or if you have not that opportunity, fpend your leifure time in a devout perufal of that pious treatife, neceflary for all families, as well as every private chriftian: 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 thefe Books: it's great Pity they should be any where wanting. Great Charity therefore it would be for rich Landlords and others of eafy Fortunes, to bestow this pious and useful Book upon their poor and uninftructed Neighbours, Tenants, 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 tho' brain-fick Opinions and false Principles may make Men proud and headstrong, and troublesome to their Governors and Superiors; yet folid Knowledge and fincere 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.
*This New Whole Duty of Man is printed in Octavo, price 5 s. in large Twelves at 3s. 6d. and in small Twelves at 2s. 6d. and is fold with the fame allowance as the Old Whole Duty of Man, to those who are difpofed to give bem away. The Octavo may also be bad with a Set of very fine Cuts, at 7 s.
The Meditation for Monday Evening.
Upon the vanities of the world and the goodness of
He that loveth his life fhall lofe it: and he that hateth his life
2. Survey all the pleasures of the world before thee, and ask 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 mayest justly prefer them before thy redeemer ? dost thou expect to be at rest, and satisfied by enjoying them, or everlastingly happy by their procurement? can they protect thee at the hour of death, or plead thy cause at the day of judgment? Oh! no. They only deceive me with a smiling 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. Oinfinite goodness! it is thyself alone I chufe; thou art my only happinefs 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 chufe me, and guide my uninftructed foul to chufe 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 should foon change the course 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 should we strive 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 sweet harmonious hymns which they continually fing, how fhould we study to imitate those holy ways,
by which we know they arrived at all their happiness! how should we feek all occafions of improvement, and make it our business to work out our falvation! did man but serioufly confider what he fays he believes, he would never live as he doth. Who can doubt but e'er long he shall be turned into duft? yet which of us lives as if he thought ever to die?
7: Pity, Ogracious Lord, the frailties of thy fervant, and fuffer not my blindness 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 chufe wifely, and purfue my choice, and ufe as well the means, as like the end. Ofetthou right the biafs 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 publick service of the church; but if you bave not that opportunity, then employ your time in reading fome part of the em WHOLE DUTY OF MAN, as directed on page 8, efpecially Sunday 17. Sections I. and VII. A Prayer
A prayer before examination, with a firm refolution to for fake the vanities of this wicked world.
Let a man examine himself, and fo let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. 1 Cor. xi. 28.
Almighty God, thou fearcher of hearts, who seeft and knoweft all my fins; help me fo to search every fecret of my heart, that I may leave no fin, 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 offendeth? cleanfe me therefore, O Lord, I beseech thee, not only from my prefumptuous and known fins, but from all my fecret and unknown tranfgreffions, for his fake who died for finners, Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.
Directions for self-examination.
Having devoutly prayed for God's affifiance, doubt not but he
will vouchsafe it to you. And the better to difpofe your heart to the duty of felf-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 shall rife again with their bodies, and shall give an account of their own works; and