Page images
PDF
EPUB

puzzle the Understanding, nor burden the Memory, nor take up too much of the Time, of those that are engaged in the most necessary Employments of Life.

The Church had Regard to all her Members, when she

gave

this short, and plain Direction to such as prepare to go to the Lord's Supper:

That they examine themselves,

Jlhether they repent them truly of their former Sins ?

Whether they stedfastly purpose to lead a new Life?

Whether they have a lively Faith in God's Mercy through Christ ?

Whether they have a thankful Remembrance of his Death? And

IFhether they be in Charily with all Men?

Now forasmuch as all Christians who are capable of examining themselves and their own Consciences, are bound, as they hope for Salvation through Christ, to go to this Sacrament: And because young People are often at a Loss how to exanine themselves upon these several Heads : Here follow a few plain Directions, which they that can read, should read with Care; and they that cannot, if they have a true Con

cern

a

cern for themselves, will find some good Christian, who will be glad to read it to them, and do thereby a Work which must be well-pleasing to God.

a

The First HEAD on which you are to

examine yourself, is, concerning your Repentance.

BY what you have already heard concerning the Fall of Man, you understand how all Men became subject and prone to Sin; and you cannot but feel it to be so by sad Experience. - We are assured also, and this by the Spirit of God, that without a sincere Repentance no Man must hope to be saved.

Now by Repentance you are to understand a Man's condemning himself, for having done any Thing displeasing to God: either such Things as God has forbidden to keep us from ruining ourselves ; or by omitting such Duties as he has commanded, in order to fit us for Happiness when we die.

So that if either the Fear of God's Displeasure, or a Love of Him who has been so good to you, will weigh with you, you

21

will most heartily condemn yourself for every Thing you have done contrary to his Will and Command.

You will also beg him most earnestly to forgive you what is past ; and you will promise and resolve, through his Grace and Help, not wilsully to offend him again.

And, lastly, you will not forget to pray for his Grace every Day of your Life ; without which your best Resolutions will come to nothing This is that

that Repentance concerning which you are required to examine yourself, before you go to the Lord's Supper.

[ocr errors]

Most People, it is true, are ready to own, that they are Sinners, and cry, Lord, forgive us ; and this too often without any great Concern, or Purposes of Amendment.

But this you will not think sufficient, when you seriously consider that the End and Punishment of Sin are not to be seen in this Life. If, therefore, you stand in

any

Fear of the Judgment of God, set yourself seriously to consider your past Life; see whether you have not lived, or do not now live, in

any

-or

any known Sin, or evil Habit : Of Lying

-for Example: or Swearing Drinking- or filthy Talking; Of Uncleanness, of keeping loose and profune Company of following unwarrantable Pleasures and Diversions, or of leading an idle, useless, sinful Life.

If this has been your Case, resolve to break off all these, and all such-like evil Ways, which are displeasing to God; condemn yourself for having so desperately broken the Commands of one who can des stroy both Body and Soul in Heil: Consider the Vows that are upon you, and despise not the Goodness and Forbearance of God, which is designed to lead you to Repentance.

ask when you are to begin this necessary Work (if it is not already begun) the Answer is short: The very Moment you ask the Question ;—and this, because if

you find an Unwillingness in yourself to set about it now—that Unwillingness will every Day increase : Very probably you will never repent, unless God by his Judgments, or by the Sight of Death, shews you your sad Error, when it

may late to be of any real Use to you. Now, if these Considerations affect your

С

Heart,

If you

be too

have any

Heart, as sure they will if

you Regard for

your Salvation, represent your Desires to God in some such Words as these following:

TILE PRAYER.

BLESSED be God, who by his Grace, and by the Voice of his Church, hath called me to Repentance! Discover to me, () tbou Searcher of Hearts, the Charge that is against me, that I may know, and confess, and forsake the Sins I have fallen into.-Give me that true Repentance, to which thou hast promised Mercy and Para dion, that I may amend where I have done amiss, and that Iniquity may not be my Ruin. And, O blessed Advocate, who erer liveth to make Intercession for us, I put my Cause into thy Hands; let thy Blood and Merits plead for me, and by thy mighty Intercession procure for me the Pardon of my past Offences.-- That thou mayest say unto me as thou didst unto the Penitent in the Gospel Thy Sins arc forgiren ;--so that I may go with a quiet Conscience to thy holy 'Table. Amen.

.

SECT.

« PreviousContinue »