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A ferious admonition to those who are recovered from
fickness. There is nothing that proves more fatal unless they be renewed upon the mind by
to that due preparation we ought to your serious confideration. In order make for another life, than our un- | then to reap the benefits which God dehappy miftake of the nature and end signed in visiting us, we are to consider of this. We are brought into the sickness not so much in the natural as the world children, ignorant and impo- religions sense : we are to consider it, and tent; we grow up in vanity and fol- | the pains and agonies we felt, as it is a ly; and, when we come to be men, nearer viecw of death, and a jinsible proof we are but very little more prudent of the frailty of our nature : and the and more considerate. Thus our pains and agonies, that we feel in fickness, thoughts and our desires are wholly are not to be considered barely as en uneafet upon this world; we vainly pro- finess to the body, but more especially as a ject an establishment in it, nor look | lesson to the foul, to make it less fond of we any further than the little interests continuing in this painful fate, and more and employment thereof engage us. willing to leave this world when it shall And I think it is not to be doubted please God to appoint it. Nor are we to that it is the placing of our affec- consider the continuance of fickness as so tions so much upon this world, that much time loft from the business and pleaabove any thing indisposes us to think | Jures of this life, but rather as a check of the other. Our lives are uncertain, I given by God 10 our worldly pursuits, in to be sure cannot be long here; and order to make way for thoughts and consitherefore we ought to halten all we derations of a more heavenly nature, can, before it be too late, to examined It is the great unhappiness of our nathe state of our souls, and provide ture, that, when calamities fall upon us, for futurity. For all the little objects we are uneasy and dissatisfied; and our we now pursue, for which our ease, | whole business and care is to remove our conscience, nay, our very religion them, not to consider from whence they itself, is facrificed by us, are but vani- come. But in the case of sickness you ties and trifles, neither worthy in must have your eye chiefly upon God themselves, nor satisfying in their whole providence orders all the af. enjoyment. The only thing that can fairs of this world) or else you will secure you against fin, and endear never make a right judgment nor a right virtue and religion to yo:ur practice, We of it. It is certain, that, as God will be tu raise your affections above can do nothing but for good and zvijë ends, this world, by seriously considering so, when he is pleajid to visit us with fick.' the excellence and certainty of ano- | nejs, it cannot be the only or chief end ther life, and how vain and tran- be aims at to punish the body, by reafient, indeed how troublesome and fon this life is not the proper season for the unsatisfying, are the highest felicities punijhment for fin ; and to imagine that of this.
God grieves and afflicts his creatures
I for no other purpose, but because it is in SEZING then the almighty God has been his power to do it, is by no means consipleased to recover you from your late fick-stent with the divine goodness ; for God nejs, and to vouchsafe you a longer conti- | himself assures us, That he does not muance in this world, it is your indif- aflict willingly, nor grieve the chil. penjable duty immediately to reflect upon dren of men : and, if he then sends the condition you have been in ; and which sickness unwillingly, this shews that he you could not be so well able to do under would not send it at all, if it were not 10 the disorders and pains of a fick bed: and be the ordinary means of conveying good to to endeavour to confirm the good disposi- the foul ; which shews that the thoughts tions which the light of the grave bas of a fick bed are not to be laid aside, as raised and improved ; but which a new soon as we are restored to our health and prospect of life will be apt to deface again, ftrength. I HAVING duly considered
the the true end of God's visiting mankind in paration for the next life; and as see general : then look upon your former life, then wished over and over that beau and you will likely find, that, till you and its happiness had been your chief care; were visited, you had been careless and I say, since these bave undoubtedly bez lukewarm in matters of religion, and your real thoughts, and fincere wijbes, ed wanted to be awakened into a sense of resolutions when on your fick bed, you bave your duty: that you encouraged yourself now the greatest reason to thank God fa in fin by setting death and a future flate vouchfahing you an opportunity of makaz far from you, and therefore food in need amends for these your former neglects, by of a nearer view and ap rehension of a future diligence in the work of your fat them : that you had long forgotten God, vation. As you then could gladl, berr and had need to be thus brought to a senle been content to have given all the world, of his power and justice : that ease and had it been your's, for a little time, te cibealth had betrayed you into a fondness ider better, and to make your peace wité for the delights and interests of this world, God; and, as a longer time is now gra. and therefore it was become necessary for ted you, you are not to forget bow valua. God to interpose, and jhew you the folly ofble you once thought it, but to improve i fetting your heart on this life, by remind to the end's for which you then lo carne il ing you of the uncertainty of it. Such wished and desired it. As you made rereflections as these upon the follies and peated resolutions, that if God would tre. failings of your former flate will she-w long your life, you would live to fer ve bia you the goodness and merry of God in vi- faithfully the remainder of your life; ju
iting you with fackness: and the sense of ing God has now gracioufy granted włas obis goodness of God will convince you, you then desired, he now expects that Jez that what you have felt were the chaftile- perform zuhat you then promised. You are ments of a tender Father, to whose band to confider, that every promise and relattherefore listen and submit with great hu- tion you made in fickness was in the nature mility and thankfulness, as said the royal of a folemn zow unto God: For, in caje Psalmist, on a like occafion : I know, you had died, none but God could bact O Lord, that thou of very faithfulness judged of the fincerity of your intentice; haft caused me to be troubled; and but, now you are recovered, if you fage it is good for me that I have been af- your rew, this will be a plain and OETE flicted, that I might learn thy statutes. deil ration that your resolutions were eri q Having thus reflected what the state produced by the fear of death; and réat of your soul was before fickness, and ha- you have profited nothing by the cbakte ving made yourself sensible of the goodness ments of your heavenly Father. But i kore of God in sending it; confider serioufiy your late resolutions are so very freje iz whether, before you was visited, you had your memory, that you are haftining to take not thought too little of another life, and your mind of every burihen it lačoured arwhether death, if it had then come, would der in the time of your fackness. You not have been å very great surprije to you? | are to consider, ihat many things car is Confider also, that if it had not pleajedtime of pickness to raise pious refolutions in God to fpare you, you had been doomed men's hearts. But, when health retaras, ere this to eternal desiruction. I say, the these motives to fericufries are not exis sense of this should oblige you to exert all apt 10 cease, but to be succeeded by the the powers of the body and soul in praising hopes of long life, the distance of a futarı and blessing God for his goodness, and it account, and a delight in the talines and jhould also warn you never 10 ran such a pleasures of his life. It is therefore nie desperate hazard for the future HA-celary, as God has reflored you to beallt, VING seriously refiected on the divine good to con der yourself not as discharged, ness, forji in visiting you with fockness, but only as reprieved, from death; and and then in delivering you from death; that as God granted the reprieve, jo see you muft remembir what were your own but he can tell bow long or short it ballk, thoughts and resolutions, whilst you lay Be persuaded, likewise, to con der, ibat upon your fick bed; and as you then thought this may poffibly be the last merciful warzit a great folly that you had let so much of ling, with time for repentance and amend. your lime pass away with so little pre. I ment, that Gort will give you, and tbar
your next fickness may be unto death, or you new life, and he is waiting to see if (which is for more terrible) death may fur- you will become a new creature. If you prife you on a sudden, without any warning do not make a right use of the short time at all. q BB persuaded then, I beseech you, now allowed you, you may find the next not to trifle with your Maker; but, whilf return of his hand changed from the curbe gives you this opportunity, be wise unto rection of a loving and ter:der Father, into alvation. God in his great mercy has given I the vengeance of an angry God,
A Thanksgiving after Recovery from fickness. A Lmighty God, the Creator and Preserver of all mann kind, I thy unworthy servant, whom thou hast raised from a dangerous sickness, do now present myself before thee, in a thankful sense of thy great mercy and goodness towards me. Thou hast chastened and corrected me, but thou hast not given me over unto death. Blessed be thy holy name for supporting me under the pain and anguish of a fick bed, and for restoring me in thy good time to the blessings of strength and health and, in case you have been light-headed. add, and to the perfect use of my reason and understanding. 1 The pains and weakness, wherewith thou hast visited me, I know, O Lord, were intended for the improvement of my soul, and not for the punishment of my body; to convince me of the frailty of my nature,and of the uncertainty of my abode here; to bring me to a sense of the evil of my doings, and to a serious consideration of my future state. I am heartily grieved at the sins and vanities of my former life, and do hereby folemnly renounce them all: And ina just sense of my own weakness and frailty, I earnestly implore the assistance of thy holy spirit, to subduemy inordinate desires, and to keep me stedfast in every promise and resolution that I made before thee in the day of my distress : And let thy late gracious warning of mortality teach me the uncertainty of my continuance here upon earth, and oblige me to live in a daily preparation to die, that having profited by thy fatherly correction, and employing the remainder of my life to thy glory and the salvation of my own soul, I may be found worthy to enter into the joy of my Lord: To whom, with thee, and the ever-blessed Spirit, be ascribed, as is most due, by me, and every creature, all thanksgiving and praise, honour, glory, power, and dominion, both now and for evermore, Amen.
An ADMONITION to all such as intend to enter into the State
of Matrimony, agreeably to Scripture and Human Laws. I. THAT they contra&t not with sucb persons as are bereafter expreffid, nor wirb any of like degree,
against the laws of God, and be laws of the realm. II. Tbat obey make no fecret contra&ts, witbout consent or coursel of beir parents or elders, * under wbose autbority tbey be, contrary to God's laws and man's ordinances.
It is to be scred, ibat ibose persons wbicb be in the dire& Line ascendent and defcendert, carns marry togeiber, altbeugb ibey be never so far asunder in degree. It is lik: wije to be mored, ri at consanguinity and affinity (lerting and dissolving matrimony) is contracted as well in Ibem and by tben: wbich be of kindred by i be one side, as in and by il ers which be of kindred by both fides. And a!so, That, by ibe laws, consanguinity and affinity (letting and diffolving matrimong ) is contratted as well by unlawful company of man and woman, as by lawful marriage.
Nope shall come near to any of the kindred of his fleth to uncover their shame: I am the Lord.
Levit, xviii. 6.
* No children under the age of one and twenty years complete all contra& themselves, or marts, witbout tbe consent of tbeir parents, or of ebeir guardians and governors, if their parents be deceafd. And wbocver fball presume io contrat in the degrees prohibited (tbo’ be do it ignorantly) befides ebat tbe fruit of júcb copulation may be judged unlawful, is also punishable at obe Ordinary's discretios. [Set forth by Archbishop PARKIR, in 1563.)
A Help to the Reading the Holy Scriptures :
Rules for the more profitable Reading the Bible, and instrucling
Persons of ordinary Understandings what Parts of the Old and
the sacred records of divine truth : And whoever retains a due reverence A for them, and makes them his study and meditation, will continue grounded and settled in the faith, and not be moved from the hope of the gospel. For, as licentiousness in opinion always makes way for licentiousness in practice, so I can't but earnestly recommend, to all that are sincere lovers of truth, the careful reading of the holy fcriptures, which will afford, to all that seriously peruse them, so many internal arguments of their divine authority, as cannot be with tood by any ingenuous mind. And
The Holy Spirit has condescended to the weaker and more ignorant part of man. kind, in that plain and unaffected style wherewith all necessary truths are delivered, that he who has much understanding will find employment for his best thoughts, in searching out the deep things of God's word; and he that has but little may learn enough from thence to make him wise unto salvation. But I premise, that it is absolutely necessary, that persons of ordinary education and capacities should depend upon the judgment of ihole teachers and instructors, which God has pla. ced over them, for the sense of difficult places of scripture. For it is but reasonable, that persons of ordinary capacities, and such as have not made the study of the scriptures their business, ought to have the same deference for the judge ment of their teachers, in difficulties relating to points of religion, as those that never Itudied law or phyfick have for the judgment of lawyers or physicians in matters relating to their several profeffions. And as the meanest artificer thinks his trade and mystery not to be learned without serving an apprenticeship: Is it not a diame, that many of those very persons fancy the profeffion of divinity requires neither parts nor industry, but will leap into the doctor's chair?
Therefore, in some wise to prevent and remedy any such mistake, J hall now proceed to lay down particular rules and directions for the right undertanding and interpretation of these Holy Books. And .
The first rule I fall offer is this, That we should begin with reading the plainest books.
I take the Gospels to be one of the most proper books for any person to begin with, who designs to make a good progress in fcripture knowledge. For bere we have Him speak unto us, who came down from heaven on purpose that he might instruct us, and teach us the way of God more perfectly: We have him fpeals unto us, “who spake as never man did.” Next to the Gospels, I would recommend the reading of the book of Psalms, as very proper to raise in our fouls devout af. te&tions of faith and hope towards God; of love and thankfulness to him; of re. verence to his name and word, and submission to his will and providence. I might proceed further in my own, but raiber chuse to recommend to your observation the method which St. Jerome prelcribes, in his epiftle concerning the education of Læla's daughter. He advises her, • first to teach her daughter the Pjalms, and « let her, faith he, be entertained with these holy fongs: let her then te instructed . in the common duties of life by the Proverbs of Solomon: let her learn from E. Ilir Gafies 10 defpise wor.dly things : transcribe from Job the praélice of patience