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Lay not to my charge, O Lord, the sins that I have this day been guilty of, but let thofe and all the other follies of my life past be for ever blotted out of thy remembrance; and receive me I befeech thee into thy favour, which I value above all the happiness of this world; for, what would it profit me to gain the whole world and lose my own foul ? Oh! grant me a lively fense of the folly and danger of fin, that I may truly and sincerely abhor that which is evil, and cleave to that which is good; and with an unwearied diligence follow after the things which make for my everlasting peace and happiness. And whereas, O Lord, I am a weak and frail creature, and encompassed with many temptations, vouchsafe to strengthen and affist me with thy grace, that through thy most mighty power I may be enabled to withstand all the allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil : [particuJarly*7 Let the Holy Spirit direct * Here name and rule my heart, that I may the my heart that I move the fins you
Y aremost guila think and do always such things ty of. as are rightful and pleasing in thy fight. And,
Give me such a fortitude and resolution as will support me under all discouragements, difficulties and dangers in my christian warfare ; that will carry me through all trials, and enable me to triumph over the great enemy of my salvation ; that having, by the divine af.
sistance sistance, fought the good fight, and finished my course, I may at last receive that crown of glory,* which thou haft promised to thy faithful soldiers and servants,t through the merits, and for the sake of the great Captain of our falvation, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins.ll.
And now, O Father of all mercies! in an humble sense of thy great goodness, I adore and praise thy glorious majesty for all thy manifold blessings and mercies, particularly for those of the day past; I bless thee, O Lord, for whatever good I have done, and whatever evil I have escaped; for preserving me in health and safety, for providing so plentifully for me; but, above all, I praise and magnify thy holy name, for the redemption of the world, .by the death and passion of thy dear Son. :;;.
O give me grace to make a right use and improvement of these and all thy mercies: be pleased, O Lord, fill to continue, thy favour and protection to me; preserve me this night from all evil, but especially from that of fin; give thy holy angels charge over me, that no evil accident may come near to hurt me; and raise me up again in health and fafety, with a heart full of love to thee, and zeal to thy · service, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in
w whose * 1 Tim. vi. 12. 2 Tim. iv. %. + Matt. xxv. 21, 23.
| John ii. 2. John iv. 10.
whose most holy name and words.I prefume to call upon thee, saying, Our Father, &c.
The Meditation on Wednesday Morning.'
On Self-examination.. Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that.
bread and drink of that cup. I Cor. xi. 28. , . I. D EMEMBER, O my soul, how we con,
I cluded our last meditation, and that, promise and resolution we have made, truly : to repent of all our former fins, which must, be a sense, a sorrow, and confession of them. all, and a stedfast purpose or resolution to lead a new life ; according to that good direction and admonition of the Church which exhorteth us, to examine our life, and conversation. by the rules of God's commandments; and whereinfoever we shall perceive ourselves to have offended either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail our own sinfulness, and confefs ourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment.* Such an examination: of our consciences, if it be frequent, is one of the best instruments of a christian life, and, therefore it ought not to be neglected, when, we have time and leisure for so great a work. Because, when we make a solemn profession. of repentance we ought to be particular in confefsing our sins to God, and in bewailing
the * See the exhortation to the Communion Serviee.
the several aggravations of them. Now it is imposlible to do this effectually, unless we search into our minds, and compare our actions with the rule of God's word.
II. This method, no doubt, is an admirable means to improve us in virtue, and the most effectual way to keep our conscience awake, and to make us stand in awe of ourselves, and afraid of sin, when we know before hand that we must give so severe an account to ourselves of all our ungodly, unjust, and uncharitable actions; of all our vain and filthy speeches ; of all our wanton, proud, and covętous thoughts; by which our nature is defiled, God made our enemy, and we are excluded the kingdom of Heaven without repentance.
- III. Is not this then our du: ? nothing can possibly be plainer. We must bethink our. felves, how we have spent our life past? what commands of God we have tranfgressed ? what we have neglected ? what we have done which was forbidden by God? and what we have not done which was commanded ? and moreover,
IV. After we have thus laboured to gain a true sense of our sins, we must endeavour for contrition, or a forrowful bewailing of our own sinfulness, in thought, word, and deed, which must always bear some proportion to the degrees of our sins; according to that holy resolution of the royal Pfalmist, “ I will
“ declare , « declare my iniquity, and be sorry for my fin." And this will necessarily teach us, that we must confess ourselves to God, not in general terms, that we are finners with the rest of mankind; but by a special declaration to God of all our most heinous fins, with all their several aggravations, laying open our fores to our heavenly physician, and firmly resolving to lead a new life.
V. Do not think then that it is enough to confess our sins to God, and to be unfeignedly concerned and forrowful for having offended him; this is far fort of a true repentance. No, my soul, that would be adding sin to sin, and grieving the Holy Spirit by the mockery of God. · But you must remember, that as our fias, are against God, and against our neighbour; fo repentance implies not only our sorrow for sin, but an endeavour to undo, as far as we can, whatever we have done amiss. And,
VI. Therefore the Church directs, “ If you hall perceive your offences to be such, as are not only against God, but also against your neighbour, then you shall reconcile yourself unto them, being ready to make restitution and satisfaction according to the utmost of your power, for all injuries and wrongs done by you to any other; and being likewise ready to forgive others that have offended you, as you would have forgiveness of your own ofE 3