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Thee : I receive with joy and hope thy holy Gospel, and the terms and promises of salvation, through my blessed Redeemer. With humble confidence I will trust in Thee, O Lord: be it unto me according to thy Word. Amen.
ADVICES AND REFLECTIONS ON HUMI
LITY, AND THE LOVE OF GOD.
1. Be not discouraged by your sins ; there is a way to bear them, without cherishing them, and of correcting them without impatience: seek this of God, (with an entire distrust of yourself,) and you will find it: we are strong in God when we are weak in ourselves, and confess our sins,
2. The love of God (far from being a burthen) will make our labours light; and if we perform our duties through that principle only, they will be both pleasant and comfortable; for, however great the sacrifices, or painful the trials which may accompany them; yet, if these are submitted to through the love of God, they will prove easy and profitable to us.
3. Our sins, our infirmities, and, of course, our trials, arise from the indulgence of our passions; it is only the fear of God, and the divine love of Him, that can enable us to endure our own afflictions, or to rise superior to the eyils which may be brought on us by others.
4. Nothing can be so good, so tender, so gentle, so amiable, as a heart filled with the love of God. In religion, there is nothing gloomy or severe; it enlarges the heart, and warms the affections; but it does not consist in a set form of words, or a scrupulous observance of outward ceremonies: a truly religious disposition shews itself in the performance of the duties and virtues which belong to our peculiar situations in the world. If we make it our constant endeavour to serve
God to the utmost of our power, and to improve our time, we shall have our minds at peace; our hearts will be purified ; we shall have piety without scruple, and happiness without alloy.
5. Who in this world is free from sin ? who is just in the sight of God? yet let us not despair; it is in our own power to abhor and strive against our sins; and God requires no more.
6. The noblest victory is that which we obtain over ourselves; and the greatest courage consists in not being overcome by our misfortunes. Let us then try to perform our duties with simplicity and steadiness; the fear of God, and the be lief of his constant presence, will enable us on all occasions to decide what we should do in this world. We should, therefore, often enter into ourselves, and by the examination of our hearts, refresh and strengthen in them, the love of God. If we do but sincerely endeavour to live for him, and to be faithful to his laws, he will never forsake us. Every advance which we make in the path of goodness, will be an increase of peace and comfort to our souls. What greater happiness can we desire, than to have our minds always at ease? This content we can find only in subduing our passions, and submitting ourselves to the will of the Almighty.
7. Our minds, our feelings, must have some object; life becomes insupportable when we have not something to love. But if this object be not virtue, what is to become of us ? The most debased and foolish passions which possess us, arise from attachments wrongly placed. God created us to love him and to obey him ; and if we pervert our natural love of virtue hy our passions, we frustrate the end of our creation. Since, therefore, we must love something, let us reflect well