Imatges de pÓgina

you are, to secure time for private devotion? Do you practise it every where? Do you ask every where, Have you family prayer? Do you ask individuals, Do you use private prayer every morning and evening in particular?

2. Searching the Scriptures, by

(1) Reading; constantly, some part of every day: regularly, all the Bible in order; carefully, with notes; seriously, with prayer before and after: fruitfully, immediately practising what you learn there?

(2) Meditating: At set times? By rule? (3) Hearing: Every opportunity? With prayer before, at, after? Ilave you a Bible always about you?

3. The Lord's Supper: Do you use this at every opportunity? With solemn prayer before? With earnest and deliberate self devotion?

4. Fasting: Do you use as much absti⚫nence and fasting every week, as your health, strength, and labour will permit?

5. Christian conference: Are you convinced how important and how difficult it is to order your conversation aright? Is it always in grace? Seasoned with salt? Meet to minister grace to the hearers? Do you not converse too long at a time? Is not an hour commonly enough? Would it not be

well always to have a determinate end in view? And to pray before and after it?

II. Prudential means we may use either as Christians, as Methodists, or as preachers. 1. As Christians: what particular rules have you in order to grow in grace? What arts of holy living?

2. As Methodists: do you never miss your class or band?

3. As preachers: have you thoroughly considered your duty? And do you make a conscience of executing every part of it? Do you meet every society? Also, the leaders and bands?

These means may be used without fruit. But there are some means which cannot, namely, watching, denying ourselves, taking up our cross, exercise of the presence of God. 1. Do you steadily watch against the world? Yourself? Your besetting sin?

2. Do you deny yourself every useless pleasure of sense? Imagination? Honour? Are you temperate in all things? Instance in food: (1) Do you use only that kind and that degree which is best both for body and soul: Do you see the necessity of this? (2) Do you eat no more at each meal than is necessary? Are you not heavy or drowsy after dinner? (3) Do you use only that kind, and that degree of drink which is best both

for your body and soul? (4) Do you choose and use water for your common drink? And only take wine medicinally or sacramentally?

3. Wherein do you take up your cross daily? Do you cheerfully bear your cross, however grievous to nature, as a gift of God, and labour to profit thereby?

4. Do you endeavour to set God always before you? To see his eye continually fixed upon you? Never can you use these means but a blessing will ensue. And the more you use them, the more you will grow in grace.


Rules by which we should continue or desist from preaching at any place.

Quest. 1. Is it advisable for us to preach in as many places as we can, without forming any societies!

Answ. By no means: We have made the tial in various places; and that for a consderable time. But all the seed has fallen There is scarce any fruit

by the way side. remaining.

Quest. 2. Where should we endeavour to preach most?

Antw. 1. Where there is the greatest number of quiet and willing hearers

2. Where there is most fruit.

Quest. 3. Ought we not diligently to observe in what places God is pleased at any time to pour out his Spirit more abundantly? Answ. We ought: and at that time to send more labourers than usual into that part of the harvest.


Of visiting from house to house, guarding against those things that are so common to Professors, and enforcing practical Religion.

Quest. 1. How can we farther assist those under our care?

Answ. By instructing them at their own houses. What unspeakable need is there of this! The world says, "The Methodists are no better than other people." This is not true in the general: but 1. Personal religion, either towards God or man, is too superficial among us. We can but just touch on a few particulars. How little faith is there among us! How little communion with God, how little living in heaven, walking in eternity, deadness to every creature! How much love of the world! Desire of pleasure, of ease, of getting money! How little brotherly love! What continual judging one another!-What

gossipping, evil speaking, tale bearing! What want of moral honesty! To instance only one particular; who does as he would be done by, in buying and selling?

2. Family religion is wanting in many branches. And what avails public preaching alone, though we could preach like angels? We must, yea, every travelling preacher must, instruct the people from house to house. Till this be done, and that in good earnest, the Methodists will be no better.

Our religion is not sufficiently deep, universal, uniform: but superficial, partial, uneven. It will be so till we spend half as much time in this visiting, as we now do in talking uselessly Can we find a better method of doing this than Mr. Baxter's? If not, let us adopt it without delay. His whole tract, entitled Gildas Salvianus, is well worth a careful perusal. Speaking of this visiting from house to house he says, (p. 351,) "We shall find many hindrances, both in ourselves and the people."

1. In ourselves there is much dulness and laziness, so that there will be much ado to get us to be faithful in the work.

2. We have a base, man-pleasing temper, so that we let them perish rather than lose their love we let them go quietly to hell, lest we should offend them.

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