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deavouring in all things to approve my-
Our Father &c.
A prayer before examination.
Lmighty Lord God, who art the fearcher of all our hearts, and a difcerner of the very thoughts, and in whofe fight all things are naked and open, be pleafed to impart a ray of thy heavenly light to discover all the fins and infirmities of my paft life, and whatfoever thou knoweft wherein I have done amifs, that henceforward no fecret fin may lie undiscovered and corrupted in my foul; that by examining my life and converfation by thy law, the rule and measure of my duty, I may understand the true state and condition of my foul; and from a juft ¿ fenfe and fight of all my tranfgreffions, with the affiftance of thy grace and heavenly benediction, I may be enabled to reform my life, and to turn my feet unto thy teftimonies; fo faithfully to fearch
and examine my own confcience, that I may return again holy and clean to that heavenly feaft, and be received as a worthy partaker of that holy table which thou haft called me to: grant this for thy mercies' fake in Chrift Jesus. Amen.
HAT your whole life may be more conformable to the gospel of Jefus Chrift, by which we must be judged at the tribunal in the laft day; and that you may be better prepared for more folemn examination, it has been advised by wife and good men, that we fhould every evening pat fome fuch questions as these to ourselves."
Short heads of examination for the Evening. In what company have I spent this day paft?
What fin have I committed?
When and in what manner have I performed my morning devotion ?
What mercies have I received? How thankful have I been, and am I, for them? What temptations have I refifted?. What ground have I got of my habitual fins?
How have I governed my paffions? Have I not been eafily provoked by little accidents which daily happen?
What opportunities have I had of doing good, and how have I improved them?
What opportunities have I had of dif couraging evil, and how have I opposed it?:
"To these questions you may add fuch others as you find neceffary. If you recollect the whole time of the day from
your rifing, (for which a few minutes before your evening devotions will fuffice,) you will very eafily be enabled to answer the preceding questions; and, when you have done this, you muft heartily beg God's pardon for any fin you have been guilty of, and how yourfelves thankful for thofe bleffings, refpecting either this or another life, which he hath bestowed
"Some have written down the fins they have been guilty of, that they might again humble themselves at the time of their moft folemn humiliation; which may be further ufeful; for, by comparing one time with another, you will better difcern the amendment of your life and growth in Chriftian virtue; but this is only advice; for every perfon is left to judge for himself of the usefulness and expediency of this method." The Sinner's Complaint. IN deep diftrefs and troubled thoughts, To thee, my God, I rais'd my cries · If thou feverely mark our faults,
No flesh can ftand before thine eyes. But thou haft built thy throne of grace, Free to difpenfe thy pardon there: That finners may approach thy face,
And hope, and love, as well as fear.
And long wifh for breaking day;
Nor fhall I trust thy word in vain :
And find relief from all their pain.
Thro' the redemption of his Son,
A prayer for forgiveness of fins..
and God, who
hateft nothing that thou haft made, and doth forgive the fins of all them that are penitent, create and make in me a new and contrite heart, that I worthily lamenting my fins, and acknowledging my wretchedness, may obtain of thee, the God of all mercy, perfect remiffion and forgivenefs, through Jefus Christ our Lord. Amen.
The Meditation for Monday Evening.
No excufe fufficient to keep us from receiving the holy facra ment of the Lord's Supper.
Except ye eat of the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John vi. 53.
Onfider now, O my foul! what advantages we might have reap: ed from that holy communion: yet all thefe will be loft and gone, if we do not purfue our courfe to arrive where Chrift Jefus in calling us has determined, Philip. iii. 12. Remember how many arguments the enemy of mankind started to prevent our approach to that holy table; how he fuggefted that the number and greatnefs of our fins would, instead of obtaining
any benefit, only make us eat and drink our own damnation *.
2. This fuggeftion, though it proceeded from an enemy, yet, O my foul! it contains much truth; for, if a man lies. under the guilt of any fin, and does not repent of it, and heartily refolve to forfake and amend it; this is indeed prefumption and a fin, for fuch a perfon, while he continues in that ftate, to come to the
1 Cor. xi. 19. Or fome temporal punishment or judgment, as it is read in the margin of your Bible, fuch as ficknefs or death. The unworthy receiving, which is here condemned in the Corinthians by St. Paul, was their disorderly and irreverent participation of the Lord's fupper; their eating and drinking, without a due regard to the manner and end of that holy inftitution; without a due refpect had to the facra mental ufe of the bread and wine that reprefented the Lord's body. It being the custom of the Chriftians in the apoftolical times, to receive the holy Eucharift after their feast of charity, wherein the rich and the poor were wont to eat together with great fobriety and temperance but in the church of Corinth this method was not obferved, the poor were not admitted to this common feast: for in eating, every one took before each other his own fupper; fo that when fome wanted, others were guilty of fcandalous excefs, and grofs intemperance: and the effect of it was, they did not difcern the Lord's body. They made no difference between the facrament and a common meal, between what was to fuftain their bodies, and what was to nourish their fouls. So that to eat the bread, and drink of the cup, in the holy facrament, without a due and direct reverence paid to the Lord's body, by feparating the bread and wine from the common ufe of eating and drinking for hunger and thirst, was to eat unworthily. The punishments annexed to thefe mifcarriages, were infirmities, fick. nefs, and temporal death, with which God corrected them, that they might not be condemned with the unbelieving world. By which it appears that temporal judgments must be under food by the word our tranflators render damnation.