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and in the knowledge of our Lord and Savi. our Jesus Christ. Having received fresh supplies of strength from above, our care should be to maintain what we have gotten at the sacrament; and not lose the exceeding great benefits thereof, by returning to sin and folly.
Let us persevere in all good works, and perform our vows, while our hearts are touched with a sense of God's love, and our souls warned with the remembrance of our Saviour's benefits. Let us sadly reflect upon our former back-slidings, and seriously consider that we have the same frail natures; and that the foes of our salvation have the same cunning, and hatred, and malice against us.
When we feel our zeal to cool, our devotion to decay; when we find ourselves less sensible of former sins, and when we begin to abate of our watchfulness and care, we must renew our addresses to the throne of grace, and bey of God to keep us from the spares of Satan, and not suffer us to be led away with the error of the wicked, nor fall from our own steadfastness. Our wills are irresolute and wavering, and do not cleave steadfastly unto God; our goodness is but as the morning cloud, and as the early dew it passeth away; therefore let us beg of God to strengthen and confirm us, and pray that whatever good work he has wrought in us he would be pleased to accomplish and perform it until the day of Christ. He sees our weakness, and knows the number and strength of those temptarions we have to struggle with; and he will not leave us to ourselves, if we implore his grace, but will cover our beads in the day of battle, and in all spiritual coinbats make us more than conquerors through him that loved us. How earnestly should we pray that no errors or Aatteries, either of the world, or our own fesh, may ever draw us from our obedience to God; but that continuing steadfast, unmovcable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord, we may
as last obtained glory, and honour, and importality, and eternal life.
How sad is the case of that man, who after he has tasted the good word of God and the powers of the world to come, yet falls away again, returning like the dog to his vomit, and shamefully yielding to those very sins which he so lately confessed, it may be with tears) and renounced in so solemn a manner.
I speak not here of the common frailties and infirmities of our nature, as the first motions of passion, &c. but I mean gross sins, as injustice, uncleanness, profane swearing, drupkenness, sabbath-breaking, neglect of God's word and of our daily devotion. Not that any one of these great sins is unpardonable, and what will not be forgiven upon true repentance; but it is a great aggravation of sin to relapse into wickedness afier vows of better obedience made at the altar, and after we have been washed in our Saviour's blood. In order to keep yourself pure and undefiled, avoid ill company as you would the plague. Bad men may call you precise, and despise your holy life; but remember that God, your conscience, and all good people will praise and esteem you. Therefore as you are now made a new creature, chuse new company, take new courses, and become a new man. If you despise the blood of Christ, or slight the mercy of the gospel toy a profane life, your portion will be with Judas who betrayed Christ, with the Scribes and Pharisees who crucified him. Therefore, if you have any regard for the salvation of your soul, and love for your God, any affection for your blessed Redeemer, walk as becometh his gospel, love him with your heart, praise him with your tongue, and glorify him in your life.
If the great deceiver shall offer you pleasure or profit to the burt of your soul, say, get thee behind me Satan, I have been lately at the sacrament, and there have promised and vowed to live soberly, righteously and godly. Forget not your daily prayers morning and evening, often think
upon death, judgment, heaven, and bell, 1 table, there follows no conscience of keep. fear God and keep his commandments, and ing your covenant, in yielding obedience patiently wait for the coming of Christ; to the divine commands, all your prayers remembering always for your comfort, that will be nothing worth, neither will your the higher you rise in piety here, the higher preparations be regarded by that God who degrees of glory shall you have in heaven bas declared, that without holiness no man hereafter.
shall see his face.
Now let us forsake the foolish, and live Secondly, We promise and vow at the and go in the way of understandingnow Lord's table, to forsake our sins, and to that we have feasted at the Lord's table, let walk in all holy obedience and newness of us live no longer according to the corrupt life: If after all this we still live in our sins, maxims of the world, bul according to the and in the neglect of those duties we then will of God. Let us henceforth chuse new solemoly engaged to perform, we horribly company, and new courses; now become
now become prophane, and take God's name in vain, new men, and walk in new ways : This and make ourselves guilty of spiritual perjury is the very thing that God looks for at our before God. hands, after we have been at the sacrament: When we have had fellowship with God Are we not forsworn, if we take an oath in the holy sacrament, we should go on to do such a thing and do it not? And do from strength to strength, from one degree we account it a light thing to be forsworn? of virtue to another, till we appear before Do we notbing regard the breach of an oath God in Sion.
and covenant made solemoly with God?
Woe to that man that breaks covenant with After thou hast been at the sacrament, if the great God of heaven and carth, who Satan, or any of his instruments set upon will not be mocked, who will not be baffled, thee, to entice thee by any evil or sin, arm who will be a swift witness, and a severe thyself with thy sacramental vows.; say to judge against all such as grossly take his Satan I was lately at the sacrament, there glorious name in vain, and so foully pollute thou knowest what a vow I made to God, his holy ordinancee. therefore I may not do this evil: wouldst thou have me be forsworn before my God? Now this care of making good thy vow, Should I, that have been at God's table, must not abide with thee some days only, and have eaten and drank with him, should and then be cast aside; but it must contiI lift up mine heel against him, and thus nue with thee all thy days: For if thou ungratefully requite my best benefactor? breakest thy vow, it matters not whether God forbid.
sooner or latter. Nay, perhaps the guilt
may in some respects be more if it be late; When we come from the Sacrament, and for if thou hast for a good while gone on in do not shew the efficacy and power of it in the observance of it, that shews the thing our hearts and lives, and walk the more is possible to thee; and so the after-breaches cautiously and religiously after it, these two are not of infirmiry, because thou canst not cvils assuredly follow:
avoid them; but of perverseness, because
thou wilt not. Besides the use of christian First, God accounts such receiving as no walking must needs make it more easy to honour done to him. A life of holiness and thee. For indeed all the difficulty of reliobedience must follow, or we shall derive gion is but from the custom of the contrary ; no blossing from this sacred ordinance. ' If and therefore if after some acquaintanco after cating and drinking at the Lord's with it, when thou hast overcome somco
what of the hardness, thou shalt then give my soul, nor break those holy vows which I it over, it will be most inexcusable. There have made at this sacrament; nor lose thy fore be careful all the days of thy life, to favour, which is better than life itself. keep such a watch over thyself, and so to avoid all occasions of temptations, as may Gracious God! give me a deep contrition preserve thee from all wilful breaches of this for my sins past, and a hearty detestation
and loathing of thèm, hating them worse
tban death with torments. Give me grace But though the obligation of every such
intirely, presently, and for ever to forsake single vow reach to the utmost day of our
them; to walk with care and prudence, with lives, yet are we often to renew it, that is,
fear and watchfulness this day, and all the we are often to receive the Holy Sacrament;
days of my life. To do my duty with dilifor that being the means of conveying to us
gence and charity, with zeal and neversuch great and valuable bevefits, and it fainting spirit; to redeem the time; to being also a command of Christ, that we
trust in thy mercies: to make use of all the should do this in remembrance of him, we
opportunities of grace; to work out my
salvation with fear and trembling; that thou are, in respect both of reason and duty, to omit no fit opportunity of partaking of the
mayest have the glory of pardoning all my Lord's Supper.
sins, and that I may reap the fruit of all thy mercies, and all thy graces; of thy patience and long-suffering, even to live a holy life here, and to reign with thee for ever in that kingdom which Jesus Christ hath purchased
with his blood, for all his faithful followers. A Morning Prayer on the Week Days. Grant this, O gracious God, for the honour
of thy name, and for thy mercy's sake, in
my most merciful Saviour and Redeemer Blessed Lord, who art infinitely holy
Jesus. Amen. and happy in thyself, and desirest the happiness of all thy creatures, I prostrate myself before thy divine Majesty in au bumble sense of thy abundant goodness, and with sorrow and shame on account of my An Evening Prayer for the Week Days. own detestable ingratitude. Long-suffering God! I most humbly thank thee, that it hath pleased thy goodness to take care of
Eternal God, fountain of truth and me thy unprofitable servant, this night past; holiness, in whom to believe is life that thou hast safely kept me from all mine eternal; I make my humble address to thy enemies, and hast given me sweet sleep, to divine Majesty, begging of thee mercy and the refreshing of iny poor, weak, and wearied protection this night and ever. O Lord, parbody: And I earnestly beseech thee, most don all my sins, my light and rash words, merciful Father, to shew the like goodness the vanity and impiety of my thoughts, my towards me this day,. in preserving my body unjust and uncharitable actions, and whatsoand soul, that my ghostly enemies may have ever I have transgressed against thee this no power over me, nor the wicked approach day, or at any time before. O cleanse me to hurt me. O teach me so to walk in all
from my secret faults, and keep thy servant godliness and honesty, that I may never dis from presumptuous sins, lest they get the eredit the honour of my religion, nor stain the dominion over me; remove mine iniquities boly robe with which thou hast now decked far away from thee, and be not angry with No. 28,
thy servant for ever: give me a tender con all sufferings and changes; preserve me science, a conversation discreet and assable, from sharp sickness and sudden surprizes modest and patient, liberal and obliging; a keep all my senses.entire till the day of body chaste and healthful ; competency of death, and let my death be neither sudden, living according to my condition ; content untimely, nor unprovided; and Lord make edness in all estates : a resigned will and me ever mindful of the time when I shall mortified affections. Grant that I may be lie down in the dust, and because I know such as thou wouldst have me to be, and neither the day nor the hour of my master's let my portion be in the lot of the righteous, coming, grant me grace that I may be always in the brightness of thy countenance, and ready, that I may never live in such a state, the glories of eternity. Keep me, O Lord, as I shall fear to die in; but that whether I from the destroying angel this night; let thy live, I may live unto the Lord, or whether anger never rise against me, but thy rod I die, I may die unto the Lord, so that living gently correct my follies; and guide me and dying I may be thine through Jesus in thy ways, and let thy staff support me in Christ. Amen.
Reading the Holy Scriptures.
HOU shalt not be as a wanderer and although thou heest rich, and so dost not
gadder abroad, rambling about the want a trade for thy maintenance, be not streets withoạt just cause, to spy out such one that gads about, and walks abroad at as live wickedly. But by minding thy random; but either go to some that are be. own trade and employment, endeavour to lievers, and of the same religion, and condo what is acceptable to God. And keep fer and discourse with them about the lively ing in mind the Oracles of Christ, medi Oracles of God. tate in the same continually. For so the Scripture says to thee: “ Thou shalt meditate in his law day and night: when thou Or, if thou stayest at home, read, the walkest in the fields, and when thou sittest books. of the Law of the kings, with the in thine house, and when thou liest down, Prophets; sing the Hymns of David, and and when thou risest up; that thou may peruse diligently the Gospel, which is the est have understanding in all things.” Nay, completion of the other.
Abstain from all the Heathen books. ployed our minds and tongues. The mirth For what hast thou to do with such foreign of a sober meal should be expressed in discourses, or laws, or false prophets, which psalmody ; and as you are blessed with an subvert the faith of the unstable ? For
happy memory, and tunable voice, do you what defect dost thou find in the law of undertake this office, and enter upon it God, that thou shouldest have recourse to according to received custom. Your friends those Fieathenish fables ? For if thou hast will have the better entertainment by their a mind to read history, thou hast the books intermixing it with spiritual discourse, and of the Kings; if books of wisdom or poetry,
with religious harmony. thou hast those of the Prophets, of Job,
St. Cyprian. and the Proverbs ; in which thou wilt find greater depths of sagacity, than in all the beathen poets, and sophisters ; because these are the words of the Lord, the only
Instead of jems and silk, let your young wise God. If thou desirest something to
daughter be enamoured with the holy sing, thou hast the Psalms ; if -the origin of Scriptures ; wherein not gold, or skins, or things, thou hast Genesis ; if laws and sta
Babylonian embroideries, but a correct and tutes, thou hast the glorious Law of the
beautiful variety, producing faith, will reLord God. Do thou therefore utterly ab
commend itself. Let her first learn the
Psalter, and be entertained with those stain from all strange and diabolical books.
songs; then be instructed unto life by the St. Clement. Proverbs of Solomon. Let her learn from
Ecclesiastes to despise worldly things; tran
scribe from Job the practice of patience and You are already listed a soldier of Christ;
virtue. Let her pass then to the Gospels, your care therefore must only be, to keep and then imbibe with all the faculties of
and never let them be out of her hands : within the rules of that profession which you are engaged in, and to practice the
her mind the Acts of the Apostles, and virtues which it requires from you.
Be Epistles. When she has enriched the store
house of her breast with these treasures, let diligent in prayer, and reading the Word of God. At some times you must speak
her learn the Prophets, the Pentateuch, with God ; at other times he must speak
(or the books of 'Moses,) Joshua and with you.
Let bim instruct you with his Judges, the books ef Kings and Chronicles, precepts, and form your mind by the guid
the volumes of Ezra and Esther, and lastly
the Canticles. ance of his counsel. The man who is thence enriched no one can impoverish : The book of Revelation has as many myshe who is filled with the fulness of God, teries as words. I said too little; in every cannot be empty. All the gaudiness and
word there is a variety of senses ; and the pomp of life will become insipid and je excellency of the book is above all praise. june to you, when once you are convinced that your care should raiher be employed
St. Jerome. upon yourself, and your soul be adorned with the graces of the Gospel. Since this is a time of leisure and recreations, let us spend the remainder of the day in gladness We often acquaint you many days beand singleness of heart; nor let the hour forehand with the subject of our discourse, of our repast go over us without some por that, taking the Bible into your hands in tion of that grace which hath hitherto em. the mean time, and running over the whole