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C = A P. IX.
An A&t of Self-Resignation.
Disciple.] It is very meet, right, did nty bounden
Duty, that I should do as thou requirest: For this, O Lord, is but to give thee of thy own. Heaven and Earth are thine, and all that therein is. I desire with Singleness of Heart, to dedicate my felf to thee, never to retract the Gift, but continue thine for ever. Accept me therefore entirely devoted to thy Service from this Day forward, a Sacrifice of Praise and perpetual Thanksgiving. I call those blessed Spirits to witness, who, tho invisible to Human Eyes, constantly assist at our Solemn Acts of Religious Worship: Humbly beseeching thee, that the Oblation of thy dear Son's Blessed Body, represented in this Sacrament, may be effectual for the Salvation of Me, and of all thy faithful People.
I offer to thee, Lord, my manifold Sins and Transgressions, my corrupt Inclinations and vicious Habits, which from my Youth up until now, have so grievously provoked thy Wrath and just Indignation, to
be a whole Burnt-Sacrifice. Slay them, O Lord, before i thy Altar, and consume them in the Fire of thy Love,
that not any the least Spot of Guilt may remain be-
What Satisfaction can I make for all my Injuries and 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 detest 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
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 fake, 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 deposit my Spirit in thy Hands. 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, fanctify and exalt what is debafed with Infirmity or impure Mixtures ; disdain not my sincere, tho' weak, Endeavours; 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 blefs’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 Intercessions 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 would'st assist them by thy Grace, comfort them in their Troubles, protect them in all Dangers, deliver them from Punishment and Death Eternal; and so rescue them from all Evil, that they may magnify thy
Cbrift.) Once, or very Rarely, repair to this Holy
good Providence, and with thankful Hearts rejoice
In a more particular ranner, accept, I beseech thee,
CH A P. X.
its Diseases 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 effectually to Mens Ruin. And if this be, as most assuredly it is thy Cafe ; 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 Wa. ter, and quench the raging Fevers of thy Soul ; that here thou may'st receive Balm into thy Wounds, and apply proper Remedies to thy several Indifpofitions ; that thou may'st grow more wife 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 poffibly take of securing themselves, and defeating his malicious Endeavours to debauch and destroy theirSouls.
For this Reason Men are not to think it ftrange, if they find the Devil then more especially busy, when they set themselves, with more than common Earnestness, to the Preparation for, or the Exercise of, the most folemn and exalted Acts of Religion. For this Fobi.
wicked Spirit, as the History of Job inti
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 unneceffary Scruples. He terrifies them with eating and drinking their own
Damnation, and keeps them back hy mistaken Notions of theirUnworthiness and Danger. If he can either thus prevail, for a total Neglect of thisSacrament, or contrive, that they shall come full of Doubt, and Dissatisfaction, he gains his Point. But be not ignorant of his Devices; Inform thy self rightly of thy Duty, and 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 discompofe 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 off from that Communion, which is the Sovereign Antidote, the best Preservative, against Sin and Temptation.
If he labour to disguise his devilish Arts, under the fpecious 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 unbofom thy self freely to him; that, by confessing 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 confefs’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 Amiction deter thee from coming to thy Lord for Relief; but make the greater Hafte to reconcile thy self to God, and purge away those Offences, which may have provoked, and drawn down, the Amiction upon thee. Let not any Difference between thee and thy Brethren detain thee; for there is a short and ready way of re, moving this Obstruction, by forgiving and Praying