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Rwe and veneration of his presence I But if we consider every thing as God s doing, either by order or permission, we shall then be affect* ed with common things, as they would be who faw a miracle,
For as there is nothing to essect you in a mi» racle, hut as it is the action of God, and be* speaks his presence; so when you consider God as acting in all tilings and all events, then all things will become venerable to you, like Wij* racks, and sill you with the fame awful sentU nients of the div ine presence,
Now you must not reserve the exercife of this pious temper to any particular times or occasions, or fancy how resigned you will bf to God, if such or such trials should happen. For this is amusing yourself with the notion or idea of resignation! instead of the Tittup itself.
Do not therefore please yourself with thinking, how piously you would act and submit to God in -a plague, a famine, or persecution, but be intent upon the perfection of the present day; and be allured, that the best way os thew* jng a true zeal, is to make little things, the occasions ot' great piety.
Begin therefore in the smallest matters, and most 'ordinary occasions, aud aeenstom your mind to the daily exercife of this pious tenipeiv in the lowest occurrences of life. And when a contempt, an affront, a little injury, loss*, or disappointment, or the smallest events of every day, continually raile your muul to God in
proper acts of resignation, then you may justly hope, that you shall be numbered amongst thofe that are resigned and thankful to God in the greatest trials and afflictions.
Of Evening prayer. Os the nature and necc/fity of e lamination. How we are to be particular in the con fe/Jim of all our fins. How we are to Jill our minds with a just horror and dread of all fin.
IAM now come to six o'clock in the even* ing, which, according to the Scripture account, is called the twelfth, or last hour of tha day. This is a time so proper for Devotion, that I suppose nothing need be faid to recommend it, as a season of prayer to all people that prosess any regard to piety.
As the labour and action of every state of lise, is generally over at this hour, so this is the proper time for every one to call himself to ac* count, and review all his behaviour, from the first action of the day. The neceslity of this examination is founded upon the necciliry of sepentance. For if it be neceilary to repent of all our fms, if the guilt of uurepeated star
still continue upon us, then it is necessary not only that all our sins, but the particular circumstances and aggravations of them, be known and recollected, and brought to repentance. The Scripture faith, If we confess our Jins,
1 John i. 9. he " faithful and Ju.ft to forgive us our fins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Which is as much as to fay, that then only our sins are forgiven, and we cleansed from the guilt and unrighteousness of them, when they sre thus consessed, and repented of.
There seems therefore to be the greatest neceility, that all our daily actions be constantly observed, and brought to account, lest by a negligence we load ourselves with the guilt, of repented sins.
This examination therefore of ourselves every evening, is not only to be considered as a commendable rule, and sit for a wise man to observe, but as something that is as necessary, as a daily consession and repentance of our sins; because this daily repentance is of very little signisicancy, aud lofes all its chief benesit, unless it be a particular confession and repentance of the sins of that day. This examination is necessary to repentance, in the fame manner as time is necessary; you cannot repent or express your sorrow, .unless you allow some time for it; nor can you repent, but so far as you know what it is that you are repenting of So that when it is faid, that it is necessary to examine and call your actions to account; it is only faying, that it is necessary to know what, and how many things you are to repent of
You perhaps have hitherto only used yourself to consess yourself a sinner in genera/, and aik forgiveness in the gross, without any particular remembrance, or contrition for the particular sins of that day. And by this practice you are brought to believe, that the fame short, general form of conscssion of sin in general is a sufficient repentance for every day.
Suppofe another person mould hold, that aconseffion of our sins in general once at the end of every week was sufficient; and that it was as well to consess the sins of'fcven days all together, as to have a particular repentance at the end of every day.
I know you sufficiently sec the unreasonableness and impiety of this opinion, and that you think it is easy enough to shew the danger and folly of it.
Yet you cannot bring one argument against such an opinion, but what will be as good an argument against such a daily repentance, as does not call the particular Jins of that day to a strict account.
For as you can bring no express text of Scripture against such an opinion, but must take all your arguments, from the nature of repciitahee, and the necessity of a particular repentance for particular sins, so every argument of that kind, must as fully prove the necessity of being very particular iu our repentance of the
fins of every day. Since nothing can be justly said against leaving the sins of the whole week to be repented for in the gross, but what may aj justly he said against a daily repentance, which considers the iins of that day only in thegross.
Would you tell such a man that a daily con* session was necessary to keep up an abhorrence of sin, that the mind would grow hardened and senseless of the guilt of sin without it? And is not this as good a reason for requiring, that your daily repentance be very express and particular for your daily sins? For if confellion is to raife an abhorrence of sin, surely that conscssion which cow/Wer-saiid /tfy*o/>e«yourparticulaf fins, that brings them to light with all their circumstances and aggravations, that requires » particular sorrowful acknowledgment of every sin, must in a much greater degree sill the mind with an abhorrence of sin, than that which only, in one and the fame form of words, con* fesses you only to be a sinner in general. For as this is nothing but what the greatest Saint may justly fay of himself, so the daily repeating of only such a consession, has nothing in it to make you truly ashamed of your own way of life.
Again; must you not tell such a man, that by leaving himself to such a weekly general con* section he would be in great danger of forgetting a great many of his sins? But is there any sense or force in this argument, unless you suppofe that our sins are all to be remembered, and brought to a particular repentance? And