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myself, that I may avoid all such
such pleasures and diversions, as may make me lose the remembrance of death, and the account I must give.
I will endeavour to be content with my condition, not coveting what is another man's, neither envying the prosperity, nor taking pleasure in the calamities, of my neighbour.
And forasmuch as a life of idleness and luxury is hateful to God, I will strive to do my duty in the state of life in which His providence has placed me; not flattering myself that I do no evil, when I do no good in my generation;
lest the sentence upon the unfruitful tree be passed upon me, “Cut it down, why cumbereth it the ground ?"
These duties I will endeavour to perform, as a proof of the love and reverence I bear to God, who is so good as to accept of my repentance, and a sincere though imperfect obedience.
And if, through weakness, temptation, or sudden surprise, I shall be so unhappy as to forget any of these resolutions, and fall into sin,
(1) Luke xiii. 7.-9.
I will, as soon as I perceive it, beg God's pardon, and be more careful for the time to come.
Now, if your conscience can witness for you that you piously purpose to live after this manner, you may safely go to the Lord's Table, and the blessing of God will go along with you.
Go no further till you have considered these purposes again; for they are to be the purposes of your whole life, and of every day of your life. And then address yourself to God, that through His gracious assistance, they may make the more lasting impression upon your mind.
The Prayer. Gracious GOD, who hast given us precepts and an example to walk by, let the remembrance of them be always seasonably present with me. Give me grace to practise them conscientiously : to reverence my betters, and all that are in authority, and especially such as are ordained to pray for, and to bless us in Thy Name. Let my love for Thee and for my neighbour keep me from all acts of injustice, or injury to his body or good name: let me never wilfully vex or trouble him; never covet what is his, or envy his prosperity. May I ever be ready to help and comfort all such as are in distress! Give me grace to be faithful in all things committed to my trust; that I may never pervert truth and justice; never propagate slander, or raise evil reports, nor ever tempt others to sin. Give me the spirit of temperance and chastity, and grant that I may never provoke Thee, by any instance of uncleanness, to shut me out of Heaven, where no unclean thing can enter. Give me grace so to order my conversation, that I may encourage others to live as becomes the Gospel of Jesus Christ ; for whose sake I beg to be heard. Amen.
The next thing you are to inquire into is,
Whether you have A LIVELY FAITH in God's
having such a faith, the Holy Ghost has given us all the arguments, all the assurance, that our hearts can desire.
“God so loved the world, that He spared not His own Son,” saith the Apostle, “but gave
Him up for us all.”? Can there be a greater, a surer pledge of the love of God for His poor creatures?
He made Him to be sin ” 2 (that is, a sinoffering): He delivered Him to death in our stead. Can we, after this, doubt of, or distrust, the mercy
of God? Observe the method St. Paul takes to confirm our faith, by giving us the strongest proofs of our acceptance with God: “God,” saith he, “commendeth His love to us, in that, while we were enemies, we were reconciled to Him by the death of His Son. Much more, being reconciled, we shall be saved by His life.”3
What may we not, after this, hope from God ?
In short, “Jesus Christ has redeemed us from the curse of the law.” * Through Him we have peace with God.”4 This is the only foundation of our faith, our hope, and confidence. He is our Sacrifice, our Mediator, our Advocate; the knowledge of which ought to remove all occasions of despair and fear, from the displeasure of God.
(1) Rom. viii. 32.
(2) 2 Cor. v. ?1.
Indeed, if we should attempt to go to God without an interest in Christ, we could hope for nothing but to be rejected; but when we go to Him as redeemed by His own Son, and represent to Him, as we do in this holy Sacrament, what He has done and suffered for us, we approach Him as entirely reconciled to us.
But then you must remember, that He gave Himself for us, and hath redeemed us from the power
of the devil, for this end: that He might purify unto Himself a people consecrated to His service. Consecrate therefore yourself to Jesus Christ, and with faithful Abraham stagger not at the promises of God; but go to this Sacrament with a full assurance of faith, that God will pardon your sins, and give you all the graces you shall stand in need of. Only remember, that this faith itself is the gift of God, and must be prayed for, for Christ's sake; which you may do after this manner:
The Prayer. I BESEECH Thee, O God, by that love which moved Thee to give Thine own Son for lost mankind, give me a faith in Thy promises for His