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cise of Prayer, is the best Method to get the Mastery over our evil Inclinations and corrupt Affections, and to overcome our vicious Habits : lt prelerves a lively Senle of God and Religion in our Minds, and fortifies us against those Temptations that assault us; it spiritualizeth our Nature, and raiseth our Souls above this World, and lupports us under the Troubles and Calamities of this Life, † by lancti. fying fuch Amations; it leads us gradually to the Perfection of a Christian Life, and preserves that Union between God and our Souls, which feeds our spiritual Life with Grace and Goodnes; without it, we in vain pretend to discharge thofe Christian Duties incumbent on us, or to prosper in our Temporal Affairs, which must have God's Bleffing to crown them with Success. And as Prayer in general has these great Blessings and Advantages attending it, fo give me Leave to suggest to you under this Head, That
those publick Prayers and Devotions, which Publick Prayers we offer unto Gud in our Churchis, are not recommended.
only more acceptable to him, but also much more edifying and advantageous to ourselves ; * they cannot but be more acceptable to God, because thereby his Honour and Glory is much more considerably advanced and maintained in the World, than by our private Devotions: By these outward Signs and Tokens, we publickly declare to all the World that inward Rogerd and Esteem which we have for his divine Perfections and Goodneis; hereby we let our Light so fbine bu ore Men, that they may see our good Works, and glorify our Faiker which is in Heaven, Mar. v. 16. There is no Duty in Scripture more frequently commanded, none more earnestly pressed upon us, than this of Publick Prayer,
+ See The Daily Companion, with Cbriftian Supports under the Troubles of it is World, &c.
* See a Sermon concerning the Excellency and Usefulness of the Common Praver, preached by William Beveridge, D D. late Lord Bihop of St Ajuph, at the Opening of the Parish Church of St Peter, Cornhill, London.
Allo The Clerchman's Daily Companion, shewing the Neceflities and Advantages of frequenting the publick Prayers. By Dr. Warren,
We have the Example of all good Men in all Ages for it; and of Christ himfelf, who was daily in the Temple and in the Synagogues, and, no Question,' frequented thote Places at the usual Hours of Prayer, because then he had the fairest Opportunity from thore Publick Assemblies, to instruct, and to Exhort to Faith and Repentance. 2dly, We may expect greater Blessings and Succeis to our Requests and De. fires, when we juin in the publick Prayers of our Church, than from private; because our Saviour has in a special Manner promised to such Affemblies his immediate Prefence, that where two or three are gathered togetber in bis Name, there will be be in the midst of them, which he hath.no where faid the like of privati, though both are very good, nay, both are absolutely necessary for the Beginning and Ending of a Christian Life ; and it is a very bad Sign of some evil Principle or other, for any Man to be fuch a Stranger to the House of Prayer ; which is one of the greatest Bleslings and Privileges (if we know how to value the fame) that we can have in this world, and has always been acă counted such among all wife and good Meri. It is certain that the Turks, whom we call Infidels, go to their publick Devotions five Times every Day; and shall chey, not rise in Judgment againit us Christians, who cannot afford to go once or twice a Day to God's House, when we have boili Leisure and Opportunity. If Men shall be judged for every idle Word, to be sure they shall not pais unpunished for all the Neglects and Onisins of their Duty of this Nacure. But to proceed !
To this Duty of frequent Prayer, the ComReading and Meditarian.
municant should spend some Portion of Tiine
in Reading and Meditation, to raise h's Soul into a devout and heavenly Temper : The proper Office of Reading is, to gain Spiritual Food and Sustenance, and of Meditation to digeft it. Those divine Subjects, most proper for our serious Contemplation on this folemn Occasion, I think, are our Saviour's Serinon on the Mount, the Love of God in the Salva:ion of Sinners throug! Jesus Christ, Repentance, Feith, Cherily, * Death and Judgment; the happy Condition ,
of • See An Effe&ual Remedy againji iwe Fiar of Death, by Juan Norris, M.A.
of a future State of Blessedness, and tbe miserable Condition of ihe Damned in Hell. There, and the like, as they offer themselves unto you, should be meditated upon until some Sorrow of Mind, fome Ardour of Devotion, fome Act of Faith, some Flame of Love and Charity, arise in your Souls.
Thus have I briefly represented to you both the Nature and Necessity of a Sacramental Preparation, which in a great Measure contains the whole Duty of a Chriftian's Life, viz. Repentance towards God, Faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ, and Charity towards our Neighbour : And I also hope, who. foever among us will but endeavour to prepare themselves for the Holy Communion, according to the forementioned Directions, may, (by the Help of God) upon all Occasions, come to the Lord's Table without the least Fear or Danger of eating and drinking Damnation to themselves.
And now fome People may censure this Discourse, as giving too great Liberty and Encouragement to approach the Lord's Table with less Preparation than otherwise Men would venture to do: But I know no Ground or Reason for any such Suggestion, if they impartially consider the Ex
cellency and Perfection of that Guide and ComChurch Ca. techisms.
panion, I have followed throughout the whole :
And to represent this Duty of frequent Communion otherwise than what the Church requires, is an Injury both to God and to ourselves : And I dare affirm, that no Pare of Divine Worship has suffered more on this Account, than that of the Holy Communion, Thousands of People not dating (in all their Lifetime, tho' very good Livers) to partake of the Lord's Supper, for fear of eating and drinking their own Damnation.
For further Instructions, fet a Treatise of Sacramental Covenanting with
Chrift: Sbewing the Ungodly their contempt of Christ in their contempt of the Sacramental Covenant. By John Rawlet, B. D. Author of the Chriftian Monitor.
PRAYERS and MEDITATIONS
Preparative to a
What the Church of England requires from her
A Prayer to God for his gracious Afisance and Direction in our Sacramental
Glory: I, the unworthiest of all Creatures, do here, in all Humility of Soul and Body, prostrate myself before thee, acknowledging my own Weakness and Insuf. fciency to do any thing that is good or well-pleasing in thy Sighe; and therefore humbly implore the special Influence of thy Grace and Holy Spirit, to further these my Endeavours for a worthy Participation of this Holy Communion of the Body and Blood of Christ, which he has commanded me to do in Remembrance of him, and of those Benefits which we receive thereby. Teach me, O Lord, the right Way, and lead me in the Paths of holy Preparation, that I may be received as a worthy and welcome Guest ac this thy heapenly Table. Poffefs my Mind with a true Sense of the
Greatness of this Mystery, and the Excellency of thy Mercy, in preparing this Table for our Spiritual Fool. Inipue my Soul with pure and pious Dispositions, and initial of those filthy Rays of my Righteousness, clothe me with the Righteousness of thy Saints, that my Heart may be a clean, though homely, Receptacle for my Saviour, and fitted for the fociety of that Celestial Company, which are to be met with at this facred Solemnicy, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Amen. Our Father, &c. Sce Psal. 23. 26. 111.
A Prayer for the Gift and Grace of Repentance.
Eyes than to behold Iniquity, and hast more especially enjoined all those wko compass thine Aliar to wash their Hands in Innocency, vouchsafe me unfeigned Repentince for my past Sins, a hearty Surrow and Contrition of Spirit to lament, niy Sinfulness, and most firm and ftędtaft Purposes to lead a new Life. Iç is the Voice of thy wondrous Goodness and Mercy, That if the Wicked will for fake bis Ways, and the unrighteous Man his Thoughts, thou wilt have Mercy upon bim, and abundantiy pardon kim. O let thy Goodness (whereof I have had so great a Share and plentiful Experience) lead me to Repentance not to be repinted of, that I may be a fit Gueit at thy Son's Table Have Mercy upon me, O Lord, and ac. cording to the Multitude of thy tender Mercies, blot out all my Transgression', for thy Mercies Sake in Christ Jesus, the Son of thy Love, whom thou kajt set forth to be ibe Propitiation for Our Sins.
Grant this, o inerciful Father, for the Sake of my bleffe. Saviour' and Redeemer. Amen.
Sce Psalms 6: 25. 32. 38.
A Prayer' before Self-Examination.
a Discerner of the very Thoughts, and in whose sight all Things are neked and open, be' pleased to impart a Ray of thy Heavenly Light, to ditcoyer' all the Şins and Infirmities of my part Life, and whatsoever else thou knowest wherein I have done amiss, that hencefosward no fecree Sin may lie undiscovered and corrupted in my Soul," that by examining my
Soul, that by exanining mga