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What Satisfaction can I make for all my Injuriesand bold Affronts to thy righteous Laws, but that alone of humble Confession, deep Sorrow, and hearty Prayers for thy Acceptance of thy Son's Atonement? I do most heartily bewail and deteft all my Wickedness, and, by thy Grace, will never be guilty of the like any more ; I do, and will to the last Minute of my Life, grieve for these Follies, and am desirous by my future Carriage, to testify the Truth of my Repentance, and make the best Reparation I am able for the Scandal I have given formerly. O Lord, pardon; O Lord, forgive; defer not for thy own sake, O my God; but let thy Mercy be glorified in sparing the Soul of thy Servant, whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious Blood. Behold, I commit my self wholly to thy Mercy, and deposite my Spirit in thyHands. o deal with me according to thy great Goodness

, and not after my Sins and grievous Wickedness.

To thee I humbly offer all in me that is good. A very poor imperfect Offering I with shame confess it; but, worthless as it is, I beg thou wilt accept it ; Supply my Defects, sanctifie and exalt what is debased with Infirmity or impure Mixtures; disdain not my sincere, tho’weak, Endeavours ; and enable me daily to do better; and raise at last this slothful, unprofitable Creature to fuch degrees of Virtue and successful Activity, as may, by the more diligent use of thy Grace, end in a bless'd and bright Eternity.

I also offer up to thee, the Prayers and good Wishes of all that have interceeded for me, or desired my Interceflions for them : The Necessities and Distresses of my Friends and Relations, and all that have done good to Me, or Others, for thy fake ; imploring that thou wouldīt aslift them by thy Grace, comfort them in their Troubles, protect them in all Dangers, deliver them from Punishment and Death Eternal; and so rea scue them from all Evil, that they may magnifie thy


good Providence, and with thankful Hearts rejoice in thy Mercy.

In a more particular manner, accept, I beseech thee, of my most hearty Prayers, and Peace-offerings, for All, who have injured me in Word or Deed, created me any Disturbance by ill Treatment, flander'd or reviled me with ill Language, or given me any manner of Uneasiness, or angry Refentment. And likewise, for all whom I have injured, grieved or offended by Word or Deed, knowingly or ignorantly, with, or without design: Intreating thy Forgiveness for all that hath been done or taken amiss on either side. Take away, thou who lovedst and diedst for thy Enemies all Rancour and Malice, all Grudges and revengeful Thoughts, all pallionate Remembrances and Difpofition to Strife and Debate, all that may be inconsiltent with true Charity, or tend to the decay of Brotherly Love. Have Mercy, Lord, on all, who sue for Mercy; fupply the Needs of all that want; and grant us all such Measures of thy Grace, and so firm Perseverance in it, that we may grow up to such Degrees as this Mortal State is capable of here, and receive our perfect Consummation and Bliss, both in Body and Soul, in thy Eternal and Everlasting Glory. Amen.

CH A P. X.

The Sin and Mischief of Absenting from the Lord's


Chrift.]TT is by no means sufficient, that Men do

Once, or very Rarely, repair to this Holý Sacrament; but, as their Occasions and Neceflicies are frequent, so should their Care in seeking Supplies be. The Passions of the Soul are daily in commorion, and

its Difeafes and evil Habits get ground by their malignant spreading Quality; The Temptations of the Devil are seldom intermitted, or if they be, 'tis only out of wicked Subtilty, that even those intervals of Quiet may contribute the more effe&tually to Mens ruin; And if this be, as most assuredly, it is, thy Case, think then, how urgent thy Wants are, and how frequent thy Returns ought to be to this Fountain of Divine Grace. That here thou may'st drink living Water; and quench the raging Fevers of thy Soul, that here thou may'st receive Balm into thy Wounds, and apply proper Remedies to thy feveral Indispositions ; that thou may'st grow more wise and wary by such Recollections, more clearly understand thy own State, by those Examinations which prepare thee for my Table, and, by repeating this holy Meal, be strengthned against the Affaults of the Enemy, and more upon thy Guard against his Subtle Insinuations. And one of his Insinuations it certainly is, to hinder and draw men off from communicating often; As being very sensible how great and happy Advantages they reap by doing so; And that this is the very best Course they can possibly take of securing themselves and defeating his malicious Endeavours to debauch and destroy their Souls.

For this Reason Men are not to think it strange, if they find the Devil then more especially busie, when they set themselves with more than common Earneftness to the Preparation for, or the Exercise of, the most solemn and exalted Acts of Religion. For this

Wicked Spirit, as the History of Job intifobi.

mates, is always industrious to mingle himself with the Sons of God, when they appear before their Heavenly Father, He contrives then to give them great

Disturbance, to damp their Joys, and break their holy Purposes, by suggesting many. Fears, and distracting their Minds with unnecelfary Scruples: He terrifies them with eating and drinking their own


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Damnation, and keeps them back by mistaken Notions of their Unworthiness and Danger. If he can thus prevail, either for a total Neglect of this Sacrament, or contrive, that they shall come full of Doubts and Difsatisfaction, he gains his Point. But be not ignorant of his Devices; Inform thy self rightly of thy Duty, wherein Unworthiness does truly consist; that nothing but want of Sincerity and due Reverence can bring , thee into hazard, and then despise his vain Attempts to discompose and evacuate thy good Intentions. Retort his wicked Craft back upon his own Head, by being more vigilant, more careful,more resolved; but by no means omit this Duty, nor suffer thy self to be drawn offfrom that Communion, which is the Sovereign Antidote, the best Preservative against Sin and Temptation.

If he labour to disguise his devilish Arts, under the specious colour of Caution and Humility, and want of more perfect Devotion, Lay aside thy unprofitable and disquieting Anxieties, and flee for Succour and Advice to some godly Pastor. Let his Prudence direct thy doubting Steps; and unbosom thy self freely to him, that by confeffing thy Sins, and opening thy Cafe to the Physician of Souls, thou may'st receive the Benefit of Ghostly Counsel, and the Comfort of Absolution. Know, that no Sin can hurt thee, or render thee an unworthy Receiver, when once confess’d, and seriously_repented of: And that, when this is done, all thy Doubts and Perplexities hinder the Grace of God, and check thy Improvement in Piety and Devotion. Let not any ordinary Trouble or Afiction deter thee from coming to thy Lord for Relief; but make the greater haste to reconcile thy self to God, and purge away those Offences, which may have provoked, and drawn, down the AMiction upon thee. Letnotany Difference between thee and thy Brethren detain thee; for there is a short and ready way of removing this Obstruction, by forgiving and Praying


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for those who have grieved or injured thee ; and by reconciling thy self, and asking Pardon of those whom thou hast offended. And, if they still be so perverse, as not to be reconciled upon a due Submission ; Yet consider, that their Obstinacy and Wickedness ought to be no obstruction to the performance of thy Duty; Thou hast done thy part, and God will be sure to forgive and accept thy Person, though Men do not.

What benefit can a Man possibly propose to himself from the putting off Examination and Repentance and forbearing to come to the Holy Communion Most certainly, when one is diseased, the greatest Wifdom is to get well again as soon as possibly he can : To expel the Malignity, and discharge the Venom immediately; Thus will the Cure be easier, more speedy, more successful. For every delay adds to the Diftemper, and gathers fresh and more obstinate Matter. If you omit the present Opportunity upon One Pretence, Another and more prevailing may interpose, and deprive you of the next. And thus by degrees you will be wrought upon to excuse your felf again and again,and by longer Abftinence becomes less fit, as well as less willing, to return to your Duty. Whatever Burthen then you find upon your Mind, get quit of it betimes; do not indulge your Sloth and Backwardness a Moment ; for there can never come any good of prolonging your Cares and Troubles and making the common Hindrances of Worldly Business, a Reason for neglecting your great, your eternal Interest. This is most manifeft, and Experience will prove the truth of it, when it is too late ; that the longer you defer Communicating, the less you will find your self disposed to it, and a strange Carelesness and Difregard for holy Exercises will insensibly creep upon your Mind, and get a nighty head. But, which is a moft lamentable thing to consider, many loofe



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