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CHAP. IX.

FOR FRIDAY.

MORTIFICATION.

. It is not to be doubted, but that when you seriously reflect upon the Crucisixion of your Saviour for the Sins of the World, transacted upon this Day of the Week, you may be prevailed upon to undertake the Work of Mortification. This Prospect of a crucisied Jesus has Motives sufficient to humble the most sensual Sinner, and to put him upon Acts of Self-denial: especially when you have considered the absolute Necessity of this Virtue: And this in respect,

]. To what is paji. Though we are made capable os Pardon and Reconciliation to God, by the Merits of Jesus Christ; yet if we do not punish ourselves for our Sins in this World, we shall be more liable to suffer for them in the next. Exercise the Part' os a severe Judge upon yourself, and excuse the Sentence; that you may prevent the Justice os God, in the Vengeance He takes upon the Effeminate and Voluptuous Sinner. Your Acts ot Intemperance and Excels must be mortisied, by abstaining from those lawful Pleasures you have abused: Your extravagant gant and immoderate Mirth, by Tears of Sorrow and Compunction; your Acts of Fraud and Injustice. byjlestitution and Charity; the Follies and Gaieties of trifling Converfation, by Solitude and Retirement; the Freedoms of your Tongue. and the Liberties you have taken in reflecting upon others, by Silence, and religions Meditation. If any one fell into any notorious Sin, alter Baptism, the primitive Church thought it not sufficient that he Ihould repeat his Crime no more; but he was obliged by a long Course of Mortisication- by Fasting. Prayer, 7ears, and Good IForks. to endeavour to vvaih out the Stain and Guilt.

2. To what is Present. The Inclinations of the Fie(h carry us to forbidden Pleasures; and our Minds are bent upon gratisying the Senses. This makes it necefl'ary to keep your Body under; to subje6t it to Reason; to apply your Mind to spiritual Objects, by subduing your irregular Passions and Appetites. There are multitudes of People condemned to the Miseries of everlasting Darkness, for not abstaining from a particular Pleasure, for not conquering one unruly Passion- There is always Reason to" keep a Watch upon our Senses, and to govern our Appetites; because the Love of Pleasure is so great, that it osten imposes upon our Understandings- and makes us judge that to be neceilary, which is the mere Eilect of Sensuality.

3. To

3. To what is to come. If the Trouble and Difficulty of practising this rough Method ihould be apt to abate your Courage, let the: great Advantages of it raise your Spirits, aud fortify your Resolution. The Habit of Selfdenial once. acquired, will make the remaining Part of your Life more easy and agreeable; besides, the more we deny ourselves lenfual Gratisications, the greater will be our Reward, and the brighter will be our Crown. And indeed we are never truly conformed to the lmage of the Son of God, till our Old -Man is crucified with Him. and the Body of Sin is destroyed. Let us therefore address ourselves to the Son of God, intreating Him, that lie would derive into our Soul the mighty Efficacy of his divine and all-sufficient Sacrisice, in order to accomplish that Sacrifice of our Old Man, which can only qualify. us to partake of his Glory. The Acts of this Virtue consiO-, I. In subduing the Pqffions. Here the Foundation of Mortisication must be laid. All the Passions, more or less, make their Attacks upon us; but there is alwavs one which is the molt governing, and plays the Master in us. This Man is subject to Anger, another to Melancholy." A Word is apt to put this Woman into a Flame, and when she indulges her Humour, ihe becomes insupportable. Others, it may be, are inclined to Impurity, Gluttony> or Vanity, $c. Jsow

all

all these Passions must be kept under Government; in order to which, the following Rules must be,observed:

The jiijl is, to relist the Passion that attacks you, and not to suffer yourself to be prevailed upon to do any Thing which that Passion solicits you to. To all its Suggestions return « positive Denial, and resolutely persist in this Method.

The second is, not only to forbear doing what the Passion solicits you to, but to do the contrary. If Anger and Melancholy set upon you, instead of Roughness and Violence, speak with Sostness and Affability. If carnal Thoughts and intemperate Desires press upon you, instead of gratifying them,or pleasmg yourself with the Representations they would make, turn your Mind upon other Objects, and exercise some Acts of Abstinence and Mortisication.

II.' In denying the Senses. If we will gratify our Senses in every Thing we lawfully may, we mail not belong free from Guilt; for by Indulgence they will acquire a great Power and Empire over us, .and then it will be a difsicult Talk to deny them any Thing: So that if we would secure our eternal Salvation, by conquering and subduing our Senses in all Instances that are sinful, we must take Care not to indulge them in any Instances whatsoever. This Object pleases you, look not too long upon it. This Book is full of

Wit, Wit, which serves only to gild over the Poison and Danger os i-.; read it not. It is not to be imagined the great Advantage we shall receive by neglecting to gratify our Senses; Experience only can assure us how it tends to secure our Virtue.

III. In Practising it upon the smallest Occasions. Never excuse yourself from Mortisication, by faying, that the Occasion that offers for it is inconsiderable: If it is a little Thing, it will cost you the less Pains; but the Consequence is important: Because in these little Things you always assert the Empire over your Passions; from whence it will follow, that in Matters of the greatest Moment you will be Master of yourself, and no Passion will be able to prevail against you.

But the Thing is not so little as you are apt to think: How dear did a Look cost David? from which, if he had abstained, he might have preserved his Innocence. Anill-timed Glance of the Eye, obscene Discourse not discouraged, a Thought not quickly rejected, a choleric Emotion not presently suppressed, have drawn aster them a fatal Train of Guilt and Misery.

IV. In doing yJcls of Penance. The Discipline of the Church is at so low an Ebb among us, that we ought to take the more Care to exercise it upon ourselves. It is certain, the primitive Saints went to Heaven by Watchings and Fastings, 8$c. They .retrenched

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