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HE Publishers of this Edition, being desirous to
render this little Book as generally useful as it
was possible; and considering that the two great the Occasions of Extraordinary Devotion, are the Seasons of Receiving 'the Blessed Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, and that of Sickness ; they thought the former reaSonably well provided for, in the Fourth Book of the foregoing Translation, and engaged Me to make some Supplemena, tary Provision for the Latter. This I was the rather difposed to do, in regard a great part of that which follows lag by me, some time since composed at the Request of a Lady, (now I hope with God) who desired my Alistance in Preparing fome Meditations, that might be proper for ber then 'verý weak and languifhing Condition. The manner in which they were drawn seemed not ill to suit with the Temper of the Author to which thèù are fixed; and the Design of casta ing them into this Form, is to promote in some measure those Reasonings with a Man's own Mind, which at all times it.deed, but especially in such circumstances, would prove of excellent Advantagez if frequent Use did but render them more familiar.
I am far from thinking, that these for Sheets have any thing in them of equal Perfe&tion with those many Pious and well weighed Treatises, written by others upon this Subject. Much less would I have the Reader imagine, that either This or Those con supersede the Necesity and Benefit of the Prayers of the Church, and the Advice of our Spiritual Physicians,
These ought always to be consulted in the first place, before Matters come to Extremity: ind a conscientious Perfon after all his own Care, will find Business enough for tbem. But the Exercise of Piety prescribed in such Tracts will be good Helps, and fill up those intervals very well, which the Lane guishings of a Sick Bed many times allow, when it cannot be expected that the Ordinary Guides of our Souls should be ready with their Attendance, whose Dire&tions in the Measures of Mens Repentance, while under the affli&ting Hand of God, and the proper Methods of Expreling their Thankfulnefs when delivered from it, as well as their prudent Comforts, administred to wounded and contrite. Hearts, will notwithStanding be always seasonable and necellary..
The Devout Cbriftian, who converses much with the Word of God, and the Offices of the Church, will find himself able to make large Additions to the following Devotions. In which it was much more difficult to restrain my Pen, than to expatiate a great deal further. But I considered the condition of the Persons they were intended for ; and therefore contented my self with such short Hints under each Head, as the Weakness of that would bear. If what I have offered bere may tend to the promoting of Piety, and the fanétifying fuch Difpensations of Providence to any one of my Christian Brethren, by kindling in them a boly Zeal, and inspiring good PurpiJés, I have my End. And this, with God's Blessing, I hope it will ; and beartily pray that it may, in fome Degree be.capable of.
OME, my Soul, and let us reason toge..? cher, concerning the Things that have
Sin's befallen us. This Body, to which thou .
art united, flags and droops; the Vigor of it is abated, its Beauty withered and wasted; The i well-knit: Limbs are grown feeble, and with great
difficulty sustain their weight, li or obey thy Com: mands. They scarce perform thy Officesaright; and when they do, it is with Pantings and Tremblings, wich Weariness and Faintness: They-feem to groan and sink under their Burthen; and each Member whichi was formerly wont to serve Thee, with wonderful Cheerfulness and Activity; now calls for Succours from abroad, and is no longer able to - fupport is felf: This is such a Change, as ought not to be felt only but well considered too; Be not thone therefore like to Horse and Müle, wbüch. Pfal. XXXI. to have no Understanding, but lofe all Impreffions, as soon as the sense of the Stroke ceases: les is Thy. Z z
Privilege and Duty both, to reflect and ruminate ; to call back things, already past, and anticipate those which are to come ; and as for fuch as are actually prefent, to acquaint thy self with the Causes and Reafons, the End and Uses of them, as well as with the Nature and Quality of the Things themselves. All these are Operations proper to a reasoning Soul, and the present Occasion calls upon thee for the Exercise of them all. For thou canst not be fick as becomes a Man, and a Christian, without enquiring, whence, and wherefore it is, that thou art so: The first and most necessary Step, both toward the patient enduring of the Anguish, and the successful Application of the Remedies, is to learn the true Original of our Disease.
H. Know therefore most affuredly, That what the Holy Ghost hath spoken concerning Affiliation in general, is in an especial manner true concerning this par
'ticular Branch of it, It cometh not forth out of Foő v. 6. the Dut, neither doth Trouble spring out of the Ground. Our selves indeed were taken thence, and moulded into Man: But this was not the Effect of any Natural Cause : The God of Nature by his Almighty Power, commanded Earth and Afhes into this beau teous and wonderful Structure of Human Body. And He alone, who created and formed it, commands it back into its Native Duft again. Every Disease and Decay, whether it be the Effect of Accident or Time, whether what we usually call violent and fortning our Days; or whether according to the Course of Nature, and the slower Declinings of Age; All are but fo-many Shocks, by which this Heshly Tabernacle is thaken, or moulders by degrees, and by growing more ruinous and uninhabitable, gives the Soul warming to seek another Dwelling. And thefe are all. disposed by a most steady and particular Provisence; and, if traced up to their fielt Original, have