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formal, hypocritical Part. You must endeavour to be at Church before the Service begins; and aster your private Devotions, keep yourself in silent Meditation, that your Mind may be the better disposed for the ensuing Duties: and never suffer yourself to talk with others till the Minister begins, either upon News or Business, which may distract you: to avoid observing the Rules of Ceremony, in bowing to others, when Prayers are begun. In God's presence, your Attention should be so sixt, that you mould not have Leisure to mind any Thing else.
You must have a "particular Regard to the Postufe of your Mind, that you join fervently in the Prayers of the Church; that you hear God's holy Word, and those Instructions from the Pulpit with Reverence and Attention, and with a Resolution to practise what you shall be convinced to be your Duty; that you offer your Charity, is there be any Collection, in Compliance with the Precepts that enjoin it, and with an Acknowledgment of God's Right to all you enjoy: And above all, that you receive the blessed Sacrament with great Humility and Devotion.
Take Care you do not turn your Back upon the Holy Table, -frhen the Heavenly Banquet is prepared. I cannot understand how you can keep the Lord's Day as you ought, if you refuse any Opportunity that is
then then offered you of Communion with him, in the most solemn Act of his public Worship. If thou endeavoureit to live like a good Christian, thou art certainly well prepared, and will sind a gracious Reception from thy compassionate Saviour: But is thou refusest to come, when thou art called with so much earnest Kindness, thou neglectest thy own true Interest, and omittest an easy Testimony of thy Gratitude and Thankfulness.
In private upon this Day you should enlarge your ordinary Devotions, and should make the Subject of them chiefly to consist in Thanksgivings for the Works of Creation and Redemption; withal recollecting the particular Mercies you have received from the Bounty of God, through the whole Course of your Life. You should improve your Knowledge, by Reading and Meditating upon divine Subjects: you mould instruct your Children and Servants in the great Duties of Christianity; you should visit the Sick and Needy, and administer to them Comfort and Relief- And if you converse with your Friends or Neighbours, season your Discourse with prudent and prositable Hints for the Advancement of Piety. Let your serious Frame of Mind be free from all Sourness and More seness.
If you commemorate any of the Mysteries -of our Redemption, as the Incarnation, Cru
cijixion, Resurrection. or Ascension of our Saviour Jesus Christ, consirm your Belief of them, by considering all those Reasons upon which they are built, that you may be able to give a good Account of the Hope that is in you, and resolve to practise all those Duties that result from the Belief of them. Oft'er up your Praises and Thanksgivings to God, that he vouchfafed to consider your miserable and forlorn Condition; and that he was pleased to work your Recovery in such a wonderful Manner.
When the Church sets the Example of any Saint before you; consider the Virtues he was most eminent for, and celebrate his Memory by the Imitation of his Piety.
XII. Fasting Days. Most of the Mischiefs that happen to us in Life, are occasioned by our ungovernable Appetites; and the indulging of them by our sirst Parents brought Death into the World; so that we stiould use Fasting and Abstinence, as a Means to keep them under Subjection and Government, and as a Remedy against those Evils which the fatisfying of them to the full often expose us to. Our Saviour joins this Duty with Almsgiving and Prayer; and the Directions he has given in his admirable Sermon upon the Mount, concerning the Performance of it, supposes the Necessity of the Duty. It was all along observed by devout Men, and acceptable to God under the Old and New Testament, both as it was helpful to their Devotion, and as it became a Part of it.
Sometimes, when your Health will permit, abstain from Eating and Drinking till the Evening, and then refresh yourself sparingly as to the Quantity, aud plainly as to the Quality of your Food. At other Times upon those Days when you do not avoid your ordinary Meals, abstain from Variety, and from what is most nourishing and delicate, and what gratisies your Palate most, that you may by Degrees get the Mastery of you sensual Appetites; this Discipline is consistent with the Works of your Calling, and you may thereby have more Leisure for spiritual Exercises.
Upon your Fasting Days, be sure to enlarge your Devotions; reflect particularly upon the State of your Soul; bewail your Sins, ^nd earnestly beg God's Pardon: Contrive, if possible, to do some little Charity at those Times, which is the belt Method to make your Humiliation acceptable to God.
If private Fasts, keep the Knowledge of them from others as much as you can, that you may not appear unto Men to fast. 13e careful not to censure others that do not' tie themselves up to such Rules; do not value yourselves upon such bodily Exercises, nor think they will make amends for the Neglect
of of more substantial Duties; these Things ought you to do, but not to leave greater undone: Above all, at such Times guard yourself against Moroseness, Peevishness, or Fretfulnel's, which Fasting inclines some People to.
That Christian Perfection consists in the right Performance of such Actions as ordinarily occur every Day.
Having in the former Chapter given Rules in relation to such Actions as dailyoccur in the Course of our. Lives, in order to persuade Christians to a careful Performance of them, according to the Measures there laid down; I will now endeavour to convince them that true Christian Perfection consists in an exact Discharge of such Duties; and consequently, that their eternal Happiness, or eternal Misery, will be determined by them. .
If Christian Perfection was only to be attained by Retirement and Contemplation, by abstracting ourselves from the World, and by giving up ourselves entirely to Meditation and -spiritual Exercises, considering the NeD ceslities