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self-denials; that we may have the better, ' and more habitual Mastery over our Appe" tites ; and be able to watch and resist more • easily, the first Motions of Sin, in which the
whole strength of a Chriitian lies: For who is Master of himself, without a Miracle, if these are once consented to ? Wherefore the Holy Psalmist Cries out, after he
had pray'd God, to cleanse him from secret « Sins, of Infirmity and Surprise; Keep back & thy Servant from presumptuous Sins; from © Siņs that flow from an ungovernable Will, ç against the preceeding Checks of his con
science, tho' in never so little Instances :
For shou'd he at all give way to these, his " Appetites would gain such Mastery, and his I Will be so chain'd to them, (for Will and « Appetite are very near a-kin; we hardly
know the Line, that bounds and distinguifho their Natures; only that Will is a kind of
spiritual Appetite; and Appetite a sort of cor
poreal Will, that he cou'd not hope to belong < innocent and free from the great Ofence; ? that finishing Sin, which bringeth forth • Death.
The Meditation that here follows, is upon the same Argument, the benefit of Self denial in things of lefser Moment, and that are indifferent in their own nature.
Mv Soul, you will be apt to say, This is can innocent Desire ; why Mou'd I put my self " to the trouble of thwarting it? Were it un' lawful, I hope I mor’drefuse it, how much Self
denial foever it requir’d. God docs not require
a great, Felt, that
but the refusent, re; for
? I refulefnife
us to make our Life uneasy, nor to render his Service irksome and unpleafant to us. He permits us 10 indulge our felves a modest freedom in innocent Things: And it is Superstition 'to think, he is pleas’d with the Sacrifice of Tri
fles. But fancy that thou hearest thy God 'thus speaking to Thee : My Child, I know 'that this is a great Snare; for it is not the
Matter thou refusest, that is weighed by 'me; but the Act of Refusing: I refuse not the Day of small Things; don't Thou despise them. But thou art farther advanc'd, as thou thinkeft ; and wou'dst fain leave this Lifjor,
to Beginners. But he that advances, with 'out laying a good Foundation, will be again 'to begin. He that begins in the middle of 'a Book of Mathematicks, because the bz
ginning is full of plain and evident Axi'oms and Propositions, that seem to be fo ' easy, as to be of no use, will soon find the
want of these first Principles; and be glad, (with shame, to look back, on what he de
fpis'd before. So likewife, Thou, when
thou findest thy self uncapable to conflict i 'with thy Passions, and to command thy L' Thoughts and inclinations, wilt then, too
late, consider thy Neglect, in not having train'd thy Mind by degrees to Self-denial.
It thou gaineft not the Victory over thy 'self in small Things, how wilt thou be a. ble to do it in greater? Set apart then to
thy self some time; and say in this time, I I will deny my self in every thing I have a mind to ; yet do it calmly, without Super
rftition, ' ftition, without Anxiety. This thou wilt " think perhaps, at firit, a strange Task: " Thy interior Part will repine, and make 'many Complaints, and thy Body be fick, "at such fudden Checks and Contradictions. • But mind none of these, My Son; sinile at cthy foolih sensitive Part, for it does not (understand that this is even for its eternal
Benefit. In a little time, this very Denial ' will grow a Pleasure, because it will have
little of Reluctance in it; and the Pleasure of triumphing over thy own Inclinations, ' will make the remaining Trouble is fonsible.
Then thou may'st advance to consider, what ' things of Moment thou hast a mind to;
and there apply thy Discipline, and teach thy Mind to obey ;. and in general, take
this for a certain Rule, To fulpeet thy self in • whatever I hou hast a forong inclination to.
Here's the great Point of Self-Denial, to to deny our Thoughts, and turn them from Objects to which they incline, to others. Our Actions have something Gross and < Perceptible in them; but our Thoughts Care Refin'd; not to be observ’d, but by nice
Application. This is the true source ; get
the Mastery of these, and you command ( all the rest. It is in vain to think, to deny our selves in Actions, if we can't do it in
Thoughts; nor to command our Pallions, if ( we can't govern our Thoughts. Pallion
lives in the Thoughts, and the Effect of (it is, to engage and determine our thoughts; but if we have an habitual Command of
these, ethere, and us'd our felves to deny them ;
to turn and wind them as we please: We
shall casily govern our Passions too, and a(void any Actions we are prompted to by " them. Why shou'd it then seem hard to
Thee, O my Soul, or a matter worthy to
be once namd; to deny thy self in Trivial Cand indifferent Concerns, that thou may'st
gain the Mastery of thy Will in greater ? " If thou standest in the presence of a Prince, " thou hast lost all thy Will in these things.
If thou hast a mind, to see any thing par
ticularly in the Room ; yet the Will Dyes e as soon as Born, so much does a Prince's
presence awe thee. Is not thy Chamber, O my Soul, the Presence Chamber of Almigh<ty God? (O that thou wert more sensible, cand more worthy of such an Honour!) And < yet here can thy Will live, so much as to ( give thee the least shock, when thou de
niest thy self an indifferent thing thou hast
a mind to, that thou may'st with the great(er Ease and Chearfulness, give up thy self to the Will of God.
Herein appears the admirable Wisdom of God. God saw that the Contempt of (Outward things, of the Pleasures of Sense, t of Riches, and Glory, and the like, (which care the Baits, the Devil lays for us, and
whereby he drowns many Souls in Perditicon,) was necessary for Man, in order to E his being restor'd to Bliss; what course therefore did the Divine Wisdom take to
<embitter these things to Man; and make
their Contraries, that is, Chastity, Poverty,
the World, Plealing and Easie? God hinn-
cesary to Sick Men, but withal, so bitter .6 and loathsome,) become so pleasing, and de. <lightful, that good Men now love Fafting, (more than worldly Meni do Excess; Povercty more than Riches; and Mortification, ( more than sensual Pleasures.
But as Mr. Bonnell had noble and exalted
Feasts and Fasts of the Church.
part of it in so exact and regular a way, that
partorivate & the Pro