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many be present as you can. The same rule is also to be observed for Sundays and holy-days, for their going to church. Let no servant be always detained, but relieved and provided for by changes.
19. Let your meal be temperate and wholesome, according to your quality, and the season, begun and ended with prayer; and be sure that in the course of your meal, and before you rise, you recollect yourself, and send your heart up to God with some holy and short ejaculation, remembering your duty, fearing to offend, or desiring and sighing after the eternal supper of the Lamb.
20. After meal, use what innocent refreshment you please, to refresh
mind or body, with these measures : 1. Let it not be too expensive of time. 2. Let it not hinder your devotion, nor your busi
3. Let it be always without violence or passion.
4. Let it not then wholly take you up when you are at it; but let your heart retire with some holy thoughts, and sober recollections, lest your mind be seized upon by it, and your affections carried off from better things : secure your affections for God, and sober and severe employment. Here you may be refreshed, but take heed you neither dwell here, nor sin here. It is better never to use recreation, than at any time to sin by it. But you may use recreation, and avoid sin, and that is the best temper : but if you cannot do both, be more careful of your soul, than of your refreshment, and that is the. best security. But then in what you use to sin, carefully avoid it, and change your refreshment for some other
instance, in which you can be more innocent.
21. Entertain no long discourses with any, but, if you can, bring in something to season it with religion: as God must be in all your thoughts, so, if it be possible, let him be in all your discourses, at least, let him be at one end of it; and when you cannot speak of him, be sure you forget not to think of him.
22. Toward the declining of the day, be sure to retire to your private devotions. Read, meditate, and pray; in which · I propound to you this method:
On the Lord's day meditate on the glories of the creation, the works of God, and all his benefits to
mankind, and to you in particular. Then let your devo-
Tuesday 2. Judgment.
Thursday 4. Hell.
On Friday, recollect your sins that you have done that week, and all your lifetime; and let your devotion be to recite, humbly and devoutly, some penitential litanies, whereof you may serve yourself in the • Rule of Holy Living,' p. 284.
On Saturday, at the same time, meditate on the passion of our blessed Saviour and all the mysteries of our redemption, which you may do and pray together, by using the forms made to that purpose in the Rule of Holy Living,' page 298. In all your devotions, begin and end with the Lord's Prayer.
Upon these two days and Sunday, you may choose some portions out of the Life of Christ,' to read and help your meditation, proper to the mysteries you are appointed to meditate, or any other devout books.
23. Read not much at a time; but meditate as much as your
time and capacity and disposition will give you leave : ever remembering, that little reading, and much thinking,little speaking, and much hearing --frequent and short prayers, and great devotion,-is the best way to be wise, to be holy, to be devout.
24. Before you go to bed, bethink yourself of the day past; if nothing extraordinary hath happened, your conscience is the sooner examined; but if you have had any difference or disagreeing with any one, or a great feast, or great company, or a great joy, or a great sorrow, then recollect yourself with the more diligence; ask pardon for what is amiss; give God thanks for what was good: if you have omitted any duty, make amends next day; and yet if nothing be found that was amiss, be humbled still and thankful, and pray God for pardon if any thing be amiss that you
know not of. If all these things be in your offices, for your last prayers, be sure to apply them according to what you find in your examination : but if they be not, supply them with short ejaculations before you begin your last prayers, or at the end of them. Remember also, and be sure to take notice of, all the mercies and deliverances of yourself, and your relatives, that day.
25. As you are going to bed, as often as you can conveniently, or that you are not hindered by company, meditate on death, and the preparations to your grave.
When you lie down, close your eyes with a short prayer, commit yourself into the hands of your faithful Creator; and when you
have done, trust him with yourself, as you must do when you are dying.
26. If you awake in the night, fill up the intervals or spaces of your not sleeping by holy thoughts and aspirations, and remember the sins of your youth; and sometimes remember your dead, and that you shall die; and pray to God to send to you and all mankind a mercy in the day of judgment.
27. Upon the holy-days observe the same rules; only let the matter of your meditations be according to the mystery of the day. As upon Christmas-day, meditate on the birth of our blessed Saviour, and read that story and considerations which are in the · Life of Christ:' and to your ordinary devotions of every day, add the prayer which is fitted to the mystery which you shall find in the Life of Christ,' or in the • Rule of Holy Living. Upon the day of the Annunciation, or our Lady-day, meditate on the incarnation of our blessed Saviour; and so, upon all the festivals of the year.
28. Set apart one day for fasting once a week, or once a fortnight, or once a month at least, but let it be with these cautions and measures.
1. Do not choose a festival of the church for your fasting day.
2. Eat nothing till your afternoon devotions be done, if the health of your body will permit it: if not, take something, though it be the less.
3. When you eat your meal, let it be no more than
ordinary, lest your fasting day end in an intemperate evening
4. Let the actions of all the day be proportionable to it; abstain from your usual recreations on that day, and from greater mirth.
5. Be sure to design beforehand the purposes of your fast, either for repentance, or for mortification, or for the advantages of prayer; and let your devotions be accordingly. But be sure, not to think fasting, or eating fish, or eating nothing, of itself to be pleasing to God, but as it serves to one of these purposes.
6. Let some part of that day extraordinary be set apart for prayer, for the actions of repentance, for confession of sins, and for begging of those graces for whose sake you set apart that day.
7. Be sure that on that day you set apart something for the poor; for fasting and alms are the wings
8. It is best to choose that day for your fast, which is used generally by all Christians, as Friday and Saturday; but do not call it a fasting day, unless also it be
a day of extraordinary devotion and of alms. 29. From observation of all the days of your life, gather out the four extraordinaries.
1. All the great and shameful sins you have committed.
2. All the excellent or greater acts of piety, which by God's grace you have performed.
3. All the great blessings you have received.
4. All the dangers and great sicknesses you have escaped ; and upon all the days of your extraordinary devotions, let them be brought forth, and produce their acts of virtue:
1. Repentance and prayers for pardon.
2. Resolutions to proceed and increase in good works.
3. Thanksgiving to God.
4. Fear and watchfulness, lest we fall into worse, as a punishment for our sin. 30. Keep a little catalogue of these; and at the foot of them set down what promises and vows you have made, and kept or broken, and do according as you are obliged.
31. Receive the blessed sacrament as often as you can : endeavour to have it once a month, besides the solemn and great festivals of the year.
32. Confess your sins often, hear the word of God, make religion the business of your life, your study, and chiefest care; and be sure that in all things a spiritual guide take you by the hand.
Thou shalt always rejoice in the evening, if thou doest spend thy day virtuously.
A SHORT METHOD OF PEACE AND HOLINESS,
A MANUAL OF DAILY PRAYERS FITTED TO THE
DAYS OF THE WEEK.
The First Decad. 1. It is the highest wisdom, by despising the world, to arrive at heaven: for they are blessed whose daily exercise it is to converse with God by prayer and obedience, by love and patience.
2. It is the extremest folly to labour for that which will bring torment in the end, and no satisfaction in the little enjoyment of it: to be unwearied in the pursuit of the world, and to be soon tired in whatsoever we begin to do for Christ.
3. Watch over thyself, counsel thyself, reprove thyself, censure thyself, and judge thyself impartially: whatever thou dost to others, do not neglect thyself; for every man profits so much as he does violence to himself.
4. They that follow their own sensuality, stain their consciences, and lose the grace of God: but he that endeavours to please God, whatever he suffers, is beloved of God. For it is not a question, Whether we shall or shall not suffer ? but, Whether we shall suffer for God, or for the world? whether we shall take pains in religion, or in sin,--to get heaven, or
to get riches?
5. What availeth knowledge without the fear of God? An