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2. Thou art defponding, and filleft my ears with it may be not: one may, fayeft thou, be in God's favour without knowing or believing it; and one may be (in the purpofe of God) everlaftingly happy in the world to come, and yet be miferable and defponding here on earth. So we may be forfaken, and full of presumptuous confolations: And,
3. Now, I remember, we have already fpoken of and agreed in these things before*, and I am fully fatisfied, that if we truly repent us of our fins, they shall certainly be forgiven; and we fhall certainly be happy, but that is in the world to come; fo that I fhall always think upon that excellent admonition, never to credit any inward comfort and confolation, fo much as to fuffer them to puff me up any more that my fins are forgiven, at. fuch a certain time, at or after, the receiving the facrament; for, that is not quite fo fure. You have made me fenfible that no fuch
joy or confolation is annexed, by any promife of God, to the worthy reception of the bleffed facrament; I believe that the benefits are secured by God's promise to the
*See the first part of the New Week's Preparation. Part II. M
the worthy receiver, from whence that joy may reasonably refult; but the party may, by fome indifpofition of body or mind, not be filled with it. And,
4. Therefore, I will not expect or depend upon any fuch unufual lightfomenefs or confolations; but, if they follow, it is well; if not, there is no harm or danger in the want of them. I will prepare myfelf by true and fincere repentance, and come with faith, and as well-difpofed as I can, and leave the reft to God. Herein I thall have the fatisfaction of having done my duty in the beft manner I could, and with that I must be content; for the reft, I fee, is not in my power.
5. I will not be difconfolate upon this occafion, by being difappointed of fuch expectations as my own warm imagina tion only may raife in me, without any reafon or promife made on God's part. Though I fhould henceforward come away cold and little affected from the facrament, when I might expect my heart must have been filled with devout tranfports, I will not be concerned, nor believe I had not prepared myfelf as I ought to have done; when thou, my foul, upon examining my heart, canft not juftly charge me with any confiderable omiffions or negligence in that work.
6. Therefore I will not be discouraged, if I find not that content and pleasure after our coming from the facrament, which I might hope and wifh for before; but I will go on fteadily in the ways of virtue, and do our Chriftian duties conftantly; and whether I feel the fenfible warmth, and comforts of religion or no, yet I fhall be fure never to want at length the juft rewards of it; for thofe depend upon uncertainties, thefe upon God's goodness, promise, and truth, which cannot fail.
The Hymn on Saturday Evening.
Is there prefumption in my heart?
I charge my thoughts be humble fill,
The patient foul, the lowly mind,
BEHOLD how finners difagree,
The Publican and Pharifee!
The Lord their diffrent language knows,
The Prayer on Saturday Evening. Again prefumptuous Thoughts. LMIGHTY Lord God, who art in finitely great, and infinitely good, and the maker and Lord of heaven and earth! I befeech thee to grant me a just sense of my own infufficiency, and a due regard of thy fovereign power and awful najefty. Ocleanfe me from all prefumptuous fins, left they get the dominion over me. For though thou haft fhown thyself a most kind and indulgent Father to me; yet, alas!
alas! I have been an undutiful and difobedient child, and have made very ungrateful returns for thofe innumerable mercies and favours, which thou haft beftowed upon me. So that my confcience accufes me of having done many things contrary to thy bleffed will; of having acted foolishly and wickedly, contrary to my beft and greateft intereft: which is to obey thy will, and adore thy majefty and goodness.
I willingly acknowledge, O Lord, that the greatest concernments of this world are as nothing when compared with eternity; and yet how apt am I to grow carelefs and remifs in the great and important work of my falvation, and to fuffer my affections to be carried away from thee af ter the things of this life; for which I cannot expect any other defert than death, the juft punishment of my fin. But,
Thou art infinite in mercy, and willest not the death of a finner; remember then, I beseech thee, thy tender mercies; and, for the fake and merits of my dear Redeemer, have mercy upon me. Accept, O Lord, of that full, perfect, and fufficient facrifice, which thy beloved Son offered upon the crofs; and thro' the merits of his bitter death and paffion pardon all my fins; [Here mention thofe fins you are most guilty of.] M 3 par