REFORM'D DEVOTIONS, IN MEDITATIONS, HYMNS, AND PETITIONS, FOR Every DAY in the Week, AND Every HOLIDAY in the Year.

Divided into Two PARTS.

The Second Edition.

Ex Aedibus Lambeth. May 7. 1686.

Imprimatur, Jo. Battely.

LONDON, Printed by J. A. for Joseph Watts at the Angel in St. Pauls Church-yard, 1687.

TO THE RIGHT HONOURABLE, THE LADY ANN BOSCAWEN.

MADAM,

WHen the best Things of the World are presented to the Great, this is a piece of Justice done, both to those Honourable Per­sons, and to the things that are presented; for thus much is un­doubtedly due to the deserts of [Page] both. And when such exalted persons are pleased to receive those things, and approve by using them, this becomes an advantage to both: They have the service of what is most use­ful in its kind; and their using it recommends it to others: For the inferiour ranks of Mankind commonly derive their Esti­mates of things from the Opi­nions and Practices of those that are above them. It is because I account this Book very Ex­cellent in its kind, and worthy to be recommended as such to the World, which makes me presume, Madam, to dedicate it to so high a Person as your Honour. I hope, if you please [Page] to acquaint your self with it, that I shall have the honour to be approv'd in my Judgment of it, and It may have the great advantage to be recommended by you. I know that your ac­complisht Mind is disposed to approve of what is ingenious and devout. Here presents it self to your Honour, Divine Truth in a decent and fashion­able Attire; it were not fit for any one to make you a Visit in a careless Undresse. The Beauty here is not conceal'd and disguised by too much ex­ternal Ornament, nor expos'd to Contempt by too little. This Book, you may be pleas'd to observe, is fitted to possess mens [Page] Minds with that pure and peaceable Wisdom which is from above; to excite Devo­tion in the coldest and most careless Hearts; and to possess with a love of Devotion our too nice and witty Age, since here it appears so rational and ingenious even in its highest flights.

Madam,

I must readily acknowledge, the Hand that makes you this Present is too mean and un­worthy; but since you have not thought me too mean, to receive Obligations from you, I must not believe my self thereby excus'd from bringing [Page] all such Testimonies of Re­spect and Gratitude as I am able. Yet I most humbly crave your Pardon for this Presum­ption, as what it were still greater presumption to expect without seeking it: And, doing thus, it were a very guilty de­spair on the other hand, if I should not hope to obtain it from a goodness such as yours. Your Honour cannot want any Noble Quality in an answer­able degree, who derive your high Birth from two Illustri­ous Families; and are furnisht in them with so many excel­lent Presidents. While I pre­sent this Book to you, I pre­sent also my Prayers to Al­mighty [Page] God; to the giver of every good and perfect Gift, that by his Blessing it may be­come to your Honour, a very profitable Entertainment: That it may nourish in you those good Advances of Piety and Vertue, which adorn your Youth: That it may help to maintain still that prudent con­stancy, which has shown it self able to conquer the violent current of present Wickedness, while such a number of un­thinking Sinners are carryed a­long with the fatal stream. I pray, that the God who has blest you with Beauty, and Wealth, and Honour, the three greatest Gifts of this World, [Page] may still continue favourable [...]ou in the Dispensations of [...] Providence; and after a [...]g and happy Life, may re­ [...]ve you to Heaven. Thus [...] Prayers shew, what I am [...]dy in any other possible way express, that I am,

MADAM,
Your Honours Most Humble, most Obedient, And devoted Servant, T. D.

THE PREFACE.

SOme Account of the Following Book I am bound to give, in point of Justice both to it and my self; and some­thing may be said tending to promote the Ʋse­fulness of it. Which things will be the mat­ter of this Preface; and in such matter it will not be impertinent to detain the Reader for a little while.

It was a Book of Devotions dispos'd into the Form and Method of the Roman Bre­viary; and, though the matter of it was not the same with that, yet therein were the Truths of Christian Religion frequently mix­ed, as in the Belief of that Church, with those erroneous Doctrines which in latter Ages have been added to Christianity▪ What I thought to be such by the direction of Holy Scripture, and the Articles of our Church which are drawn from thence, according to the▪ usual Interpretation made of it by the [Page] most pure and primitive Ages of Christiani­ty, that I have taken away, and connected the Sence with what those Rules suggested to be truth. Therefore has this Book the Title of Reform'd Devotions. And I dare say, if Holy Scripture may be the Rule to judge by in these matters, (as it must be in all such matters) the Book is now more truly corrected and amended, than it was in any of the former Editions, though it pretends to have been four times printed, and twice with that Advantage. In the fourth and last Edition, which is dated, Roan. 1685. it is said to be corrected and augmented; and there is added to it in that a whole Office for the Virgin Mary; which being very different from the former Book, and much inferiour to it in all Respects, and more corrupted, I have wholly left it out; and having made use of that part of the former Book which provided for all the Saints Dayes, I should have wanted a good Reason for so regarding one particular Saint, if I had used that part of the Book distinct: And there being enough of the other to serve my Method, I did not trouble my self to pick out the best Sentences of that to mix with the rest. This I did out of one Office in the other Book; because in the present Method I had no occasion for it distinct, and because [Page] the greatest part of that Office related to the Souls suppos'd to be in Purgatory.

I am justified in the reforming of this Book, and purging out those fore-mention'd Doctrines, by the Authority of our Nation, which did, for the sake of them, a few years ago condemn the Book to a publick burning. And because there was a great deal of it very good Sence, and that compos'd in a ve­ry devout strain, and an ingenious style, and mixt with several curious Hymns; I thought it was worthy of a Reformation, and as well too good to be thrown away whole, as too bad to be used whole: Which I doubt not, all ingenious and devout Readers will acknowledge upon perusing what is here pre­sented, when I shall have said, that the most of it is but what I found in that Book. Yet I subscribe to the Wisdom and Justice of that Condemnation which it underwent as it was; for the better it was in some respects, (since many offensive things were contained in it, and they often with great Artifice insi­nuated in very disguising terms) the more it did deserve that fate. Some passages there were in it capable of two Interpretations, which joyn'd with false Doctrines, must be interpreted to an ill meaning; but joyn'd with Truths, must be understood to mean well: And some of those do still remain here, be­cause [Page] I was loth to throw out any thing needlesly; and especially if there was Wit and Elegancy in the Composure; that so this Book might be in some respects better, and in others, at least, no worse than the for­mer. There were in it Lessons to every Office, which I have left out, because they consisted of but some Sentences of the truly Canonical Scripture, joyn'd without distincti­on with other Sentences; and that Transla­tion which those Scriptures were in, is diffe­rent from that Authentick among us: Be­sides, I did not alwaies think them exactly suited to the places they held; and I think the absence of them may be reckon'd well enough sup­ply'd by the pertinent Sentences of holy Scripture which I have through the whole Book fre­quently mixed with the matter of it; espe­cially since those that will read Lessons in their private Devotions, have the Holy Scrip­tures in their hands, translated into the vul­gar Tongue. The Hymns that were in the former Book are all retain'd, and one is added to fill up the present Method: But they are many of them alter'd; some to be corrected, some to be supplyed with a few Syllables, or a Stanza here and there to fit them to the Tunes of our singing Psalms, as many of them were before, and now they all are. The Petitions here are gather'd [Page] partly out of those parts of the former Book, which in that were called Psalms, in this Meditations; and partly from other places.

The Devotions for every Day in the Week, are not so appropriated to those Dayes of the Week they are design'd for, but that they may be used on any other day; as in­deed I know no reason for such appropriati­on: They are thus placed to dispose them in some Method, that they might not lye together like a confus'd disorderly heap. One­ly those for the Lord's Day are most proper for that: Those set to Thursday, because all the Subject of them is the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper, are very fit to be used on any Day when we receive that holy Sa­crament. To this, that some of the Devo­tions are said to be design'd for the Holy­dayes, I say; Those that will be pleas'd but to look beyond the Title, will be as well satisfied with the matter of that, as of any other part of the Book. I did not contrive the Book so distinguisht, but found it so, and thought that Method might render it the more useful to those who shall be willing to use it in a Method. Some among us are willing to observe such Dayes according to the Ap­pointment of our Church, and they may pro­fitably on them make use of what is here allotted to those Dayes, for their sakes. Others [Page] perhaps are not fully satisfied in their minds to do this, and they may with good Profit (if they please) read that part of the Book on any other Dayes: And why then should the latter sort be displeased, if the former are gratified; and I, according to the ex­cellent Rule and Practice of St. Paul, do become all things to all men for their good. To my Charity, he that regards a Day re­gards it to the Lord; and he that regards not a Day, to the Lord he doth not regard it. I suppose the different Practice may pro­ceed in both from pious minds, (but such as are possess'd in this matter with some difference of Opinions) and I will not judge or set at nought any of my Brethren: And as I am not willing to put the worst Inter­pretation that can be upon the Practices of any, so I desire all would deal thus with me, and where any thing in the Book may be interpreted to a good meaning, that they would do so. This Practice, I am sure, is contain'd under that general and indispensa­ble Rule, of doing to others as we would they should do unto us. I have assisted the one sort the more willingly, because it will be no prejudice to the other; unless they please to reject what is not in it self the less use­ful, meerly for bearing such a Title as this, and for being in such a method as may [Page] render it the more useful to some of their Brethren. I desire of the World but this piece of Justice also (which I shall certain­ly obtain from all that are not ill-natur'd in the case) that every one do commend what they may like in the book; for then I am sure it will be universally commended; and then it will be the more generally and the more profitably used, which is the end I aim'd at in seeking to approve it to many.

In Reforming a book from such principles as are purg'd out of this, it is well known I am not without several Presidents. And what has been done of this kind before ha­ving found good acceptance, both formerly and more lately, I was thereby the more encourag'd in this undertaking: I will not disparage what others have done; but I think there may be observed some defects in their work; which I have avoided. The Book that I have chosen to correct, does equal, at least, if not exceed any other that has been thus used. Indeed I have not seen that writing of any Authour of the same Communion, which in my Judge­ment, was comparable to this excellent piece: The matter of the book I presume is not at all less fit to assist, and excite true and wise Devotion than it was before: For there is no need of errors to promote any [Page] exercise of true Religion: And there being so much of excellent and useful matter still left, what is separated may the better be spar'd. And the leaving out those princi­ples renders the book more generally useful, since now it is become so to those of our Church, while they will meet with nothing in it, but what they can assent to: And it may still, if they please, be useful to those of the other Communion, since the peculiar principles, which they have receiv'd are one­ly left out, and the remaining matter is what all sober Christians may agree in: Indeed I intended not to infect it with controversie, and not to gratifie but rather divert the contentious humour of the age. I would not engage the World more in controversie, which perhaps is already too much engag'd in it; but had rather possess mens minds with an affectionate powerful sense of those important Truths, which Christians do gene­rally assent to; and which are of absolute necessity to be known, and lov'd, and obey'd; for which purpose this book is perhaps as well fitted now, as any that can be met with: Ʋnless any one will except that incompara­ble book the Exposition of our Church Ca­techism, lately composed for the use of the Diocess of Bath and Wells; I can rea­dily assent to him that shall preferr that to [Page] this: In this following book I am sure no im­partial and judicious Reader, cannot think that the devout and serious expressions do want their Foundation in Reason, by being separated from the Principles that are purg'd out. Many such Expressions may be found in the writings of the devout and elegant Fathers, which could not be drawn from such Principles, because they are of a later inven­tion: Besides, the Holy Scripture and the fundamental Truths drawn from thence, and contain'd in the four first Creeds, are Foun­dation enough for such things. It were a mistake therefore to imagine, that we must needs be beholden to any peculiar or distinct principles, not held by the truly ancient and Apostolick Church, for such a production as this. I think it may appear by the follow­ing book, that those principles are not neces­sary as a Foundation, nor any wayes advan­tageous to the superstructure.

For the sake of those who shall be willing to use this Book in a certain Order and Method in their private Devotions, (where a good Method constantly observ'd is of great ad­vantage) I shall suggest a few things for Direction in the Use of it. I suppose the ordinary Course of most Persons in this pri­vate Exercise, is onely to read, perhaps, the Holy Scripture, or some good Book, and to [Page] Pray: But I think those that do only so, leave out one of the most profitable parts of the Exercise, which at least those Persons that have, or might have leisure, should never omit, that is Meditation: To revolve, and over and over consider, and reflect upon some divine Truths, that they may make impressi­on on their minds, and raise in them suit­able Affections: This tends to make the tem­per of the mind, and the course of a Mans life conformable to those Truths, which is the end every man should aim at in his pri­vate Devotions: None may account them­selves the more religious and good for spend­ing much time in them, unless they have this influence and effect upon their hearts and lives, unless they practise the more of Religion in their Conversations. Now in the performance of this part of private De­votion, it were doubtless best, if every one could raise suitable and affecting thoughts to be Meditated upon from the Scriptures he has read; which is according to the Advice of a late very prudent Author, who has writ­ten A Method and Order for private De­votion. But I fear there are but few that can practise this way with any great advan­tage to themselves, at least till they have long practised it, and taken a great deal of pains to accustome themselves to it, and [Page] so can perform it with ease and pleasure; the difficulty therefore, and little advan­tage at first, do I doubt, keep many from a resolute tryal of it. Instead therefore of that way of Meditating, and for such as cannot use it, I think these Meditations fit to be used. Then, after that a person has Read his Chapters in the order which he has proposed to himself, he may do well to read over the Meditations here provided for the day: But this he must do, so as that it may be properly a Meditating on these things, not a cursory reading of them: He should proceed very deliberately, often look­ing back, and reviewing a Sentence that is past, to see, if it did not affect him before, whether it may not do this upon the review; and to try if he may not find somewhat more of importance in it, than he apprehended at the first reading. After Meditation is done, then he is to proceed to Prayer, wherein he may have assistance from the Petitions here added; they are not a compleat Prayer of themselves, nor were design'd to be so, but only to suggest some Requests fit to be put into our Prayers, suitable to the foregoing Meditations: Therefore there are not in them any such Petitions or Acknowledgments as are proper for the Morning or the Even­ing, nor any Petitions for the King, the [Page] Church, or our Friends, which should never be omitted in our Prayers. Now they that use a Form which has those other parts, may take in these where they think fit, ha­ving consider'd and resolv'd it before they begin, or else they may say these by them­selves: They that do not use a Form in pri­vate, may add these to their Prayer by their Memory, or by having the Book before them: And if any person has been seriously affect­ed by the Meditations, he will be mightily dispos'd to make such Requests as these that follow them. As for the Hymns, it will be fittest, if any person will sing them, either to begin his Exercise or end it with them, according as he finds himself inclin'd: To help those that may not readily find out the Tunes which these may be sung to, I think fit here to suggest this; those that will goe to the more common tunes, are Hymn 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 11, 13, 14, 15, 18, 20, 21, 28, 31, 39. Those that will goe to the Tune of the Hundredth Psalm, are Hymn 7, 12, 16, 17, 23, 24, 25, 27, 33, 36, 38, 40. Those that will goe to the Tune of the Hundred thirteenth Psalm, are Hymn 10, 26, 29, 30, 35, 37. Those that will goe to the Tune of the twenty fifth Psalm, are Hymn 19, 22, 32, 34. If the time will allow a man, and devout affection inclines [Page] him to it, he may use at once Both Parts of the Devotions for the Morning or Even­ing of the day, but by no means should any man constrain himself to this, and therefore they were thus divided: For, according to the very prudent Advice that an excellent Guide in these matters gave to a Friend; ‘We should observe what we can do with ease and pleasantness of spirit, and when we find our selves to be free and forward, then we may be the longer and the more en­larg'd in our Devotions; but when we are heavy and streightned, then it is not fit to tire our Spirits, and drag them along with us whither they have no strength to accompany us, nor disposition to comply with our desires.’ And the whole Book being thus divided, some may find it of use to them, to use sometimes one part and some­times another, as being most affected with such variety. I shall not need to direct par­ticularly on what dayes those parts of the Book design'd for the Holy-dayes should be used, for that will be sufficiently suggested by the publick Liturgy of our Church, to those that are acquainted with it; where also they will be directed to very apposite, and fit portions of Scripture to be read up­on such Occasions. And now I dare say, that the following Book is not onely better [Page] in the matter of it than it was before, but it is also better fitted in its method to assist our private Devotion.

With hearty Prayers to Almighty God for its good success, I send it forth into the World: May it abundantly promote his Honour, may it cause many to have seri­ous and affectionate thoughts of Religious matters, may it promote a true and ardent Love to God in the World, which will be proportionably attended with Love fo [...] our Neighbour; may none through Envy, or dis­like of a few small particulars, when they must needs approve the greatest part of it, be so guilty as to oppose and hinder its use­fulness; so preferring the advancement of their private Opinions before the service of Religion in general, for promoting the Life and Power of which it is design'd and fit­ted. Let all know, I constantly endeavour that it may be a small thing to me to be judg'd by mans judgment, which is oft mistaken both in approving and condemning: And there is one, even the great God, who will be the final Judge of us all, to whom I am chiefly concern'd to approve my self: To him be Glory from us all, for ever and ever.

Amen.

Devotions FOR Every Day IN THE WEEK. The First Part.

For Sunday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

WElcome blest Day where­in the Sun of Righteous­ness arose, and chased away the clouds of fear. Welcome thou art to my Soul, thou Birth­day of our hopes; a day of joy and publick refreshment; a day of Holiness and solemn Devotion; a day of rest and universal Jubilee. Welcome to us, and our dark World; for the healing saving light thou bringest. May thy ra­diant Name shine bright for ever. May all the Earth be enlightened with thy beams, and every frozen Heart dissolve and sing. May all the Generations to come entertain thee with reverence, and employ thee in the praise, and worship of the Lamb who is the Light of thee. This is the Day which our Lord has [Page 4] made, let us be glad and rejoyce therein. This is the day that he has sanctified to himself; and call'd by his own most holy Name. Hark, O my Soul, dost thou not hear the King of Heaven invite thee into his presence? He graciously bids thee to suspend the mean Employments of this World; to lay aside thy corro­ding earthly Cares: He calls thee to the honour of Communion with himself; to spend a day in his most delightful ser­vice; he desires to entertain thee with unspeakable Joyes in his House of Prayer; to feast thee with spiritual Dainties, that afford strength and pleasure to the Mind. Worthy art thou, O Lord, of all our time; worthy to receive the Praises of all thy Creatures. Every moment of our life is bound to bless thee; since every moment subsists by thy Goodness. Shall others labour so much for Vanity, and shall we not rest for the service of our God? Shall we employ the whole week on our selves, and not offer in gratitude one Day to Thee? To thee who bestowest on us all we have; and wilt give us hereafter more than we can now receive or hope for. A day spent in thy Courts, O Lord, I will prefer to a thousand that engage me in any other places. I will go to the [Page 5] House of my God, to the Assembly of his Saints. Know ye all the Nations of the world, it is the Lord who is the only true God. It is he that hath made us, and not we our selves. Let us enter into his Gates with thanksgiving, and into his Courts with praise. Come let us adore our Glorified Saviour.

Hymn 1.
BEhold we come, Dear Lord, to thee;
And bow before thy Throne:
We come to offer, on our Knee,
Our Vows to thee alone.
Whate're we have, whate're we are,
Thy Bounty freely gave:
Thou dost us here in mercy spare,
And wilt hereafter save.
But O, can all our Store afford
No better gists for thee?
Thus we confess thy riches, Lord;
And thus our Poverty.
'Tis not our Tongue, or Knee can pay
The mighty debt we ow:
Far more we should than we can say;
Far lower should we bow.
Come then my Soul, bring all thy pow'rs,
And grieve thou hast no more:
Bring ev'ry day thy choicest hours,
And thy Great God adore.
But above all, prepare thy heart,
On this his own blest day;
In it's sweet ta [...]k to bear thy part,
And sing, and love, and pray.
Glory to Thee, Eternal Lord!
Thrice blessed three in one:
Thy name at all times be ador'd
Till time it self be done.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

WHen the Harvest Sun provides a Cloud, and seems to rest his wearied beams: He seeks not to save the journey of his light, he only spares the Reapers head. Much less, O Lord, dost thou, who mad'st the Sun, seek by the reserve of a day to procure thine own repose. Thou hast not commanded the business of the World to cease for one day in seven, for that thou art tyred with [Page 7] over-ruling it to thine own glory. Thou who createdst all things by a word of thy mouth, and sustainest them all in thy hand, without feeling any weight: Who governest the whole World without any perplexity of thoughts; and always re­mainest the same unchangeable fulness: It is not to encrease thine own Eternity, that thou takest a portion of our time. It is not to receive any advantage to thy self, that thou requirest this dayes Wor­ship of us. Thy Goodness does friendly bear the Name of the day; but thou kindly intendest for us all the profit of it. That the wearied hands may be re­lieved with rest, and be enabled to lift themselves up to thee. That the igno­rant Minds may be taught thy Truth, and learn the way to everlasting Happi­ness. That the guilty Consciences may humbly confess their sins, and receive an assured Pardon from Thee, who hast pro­mised to revive the spirit of the humble, and the Heart of the contrite. That in this our militant State we may ask and receive of thee grace sufficient for us▪ That all may speak to Thee by Pray­er, and hear thy Voice, by the mouth of their Pastors. That the Love-prepared [Page 8] Souls may approach thy bounteous Ta­ble; and may feast and confirm their Faith and Hopes with that delicious ban­quet. O blessed Lord, what excellent and sit means has thy wisdom invented to fit us for and bring us to thy self! How well are thy sacred Ordinances suit­ed to our necessities! To enlighten our dark Minds, to melt our hard Hearts, to quicken and consecrate our Affections. Thou strengthenest our Faith by thy Word and Sacraments; and improvest our Charity both to Thee and one ano­ther by our publick Assemblies; while we all meet together for the same blest end; and by mutual requests and praises encrease our fervours. Happy, thrice happy are we, O merciful God! whom thy Providence favours with these bles­sings. We that may freely resort to thy holy Sanctuary, and there sing aloud thy Praises for these great mercies.

MEDITATION III.

COme let us lay aside the cares of this World; and take into our Minds the Joys of Heaven. Let us empty our Heads of all other Thoughts, and pre­pare [Page 9] that upper Room to entertain our God. Retire we from the many distra­ctions of this Life, and recollect, and closely unite the forces of our Soul. That we may apply them to the earnest pursuit of our one necessary work; the securing to our selves the Kingdom of Heaven. Why should we spend all our daies about trifles, and our labour for that which will not profit. Earthly riches profit not in the day of wrath; my Soul seek Heavenly Treasures. Seek thou lasting and substan­tial Joys, while others dote on and pur­sue those flitting shadows sensual Plea­sures. Seek thou the sacred Knowledge of thy God, and Jesus the Christ whom he sent into the World, whom to know is Life Eternal. Miserable are they, O Lord, who study all things else, and neglect this Sacred Science; though their skill can number the Stars, and trace out the wayes of the Planets. Miserable are they who gather great possessions, who heap up Gold and Silver but get no interest in thee. Mi­serable are they who enjoy all that this World can afford to please, but have no enjoyment of thee. To know thee is to be truly wise, and is the highest Learning. To have thee my God and Portion is to [Page 10] be exceeding rich; to contemplate and enjoy thee is a Heaven of Pleasure. I de­termine to value no other Knowledge but that of Jesus the Christ, and him crucified. I account all things but loss and dung that I may win Christ; and may have Communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit.

PETITIONS.

WIth fervent desires, O Lord, and a panting Soul I am going to thy house. O maintain I pray thee such de­sires after thy self, and fulfil them while I am waiting where thou appointest. Draw nigh to us who are drawing near to thee. Make us sitly to perform our Duty. Open thou our Lips, and our Mouths shall shew forth thy praise. Open thou our eyes, O Bles­sed Lord, that we may see the beauty of thy Commands; how Wise and Sweet in themselves they are, how Necessary and Beneficial to us: While they improve our felicity here, and fit us for that which will be hereafter. Send forth thy beams of spreading light, O thou that art the morning Star! and lead us to thy Holy Hill. Send forth thy Truth, O increated Wisdom! and bring us to thy Blessed [Page 11] Tabernacle. Guide thou our Lives, O Gracious Lord! in the waies of thy Pre­cepts, that by observing faithfully those excellent rules, we may all every where be happy. O Glorious Jesu! in whom we live, and without whom we dye; mor­tifie in us by thy Spirit all sensual desires, and quicken our Hearts with thy Holy Love; that we may no longer have a high esteem for the Vanities of this world, but may place our affections entirely on thee. Show us thy glorious self, O Jesu; in thee we shall behold all we can wish. Only so much we beg to conceive of thy Majesty as may move our Hearts to seek thee: Only so much discovery we ask as may conform us to thy likeness. If we may not know thee clearly now; let us know at least so far as to make us long to know further. If we cannot perfectly love thee in this Life, let us love so much as that we may desire to love more. So let us know and Love thee here, O thou the Soveraign bliss of our Souls! that we may hereafter know thee better, and Love thee more for ever; to our Eternal Bliss, and thy Eternal Glory thereby.

Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit;
As it was in the Beginning, is now, and ever shall be world without end.

Amen.

For Sunday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

LEt them, O Lord, seek other de­lights; who expect no felicity from thee. Let them fill up their time with other employments, and wast the remain­der of this Holy day, who think thy re­wards not worth their labour. As for me, my Souls chief content shall be to me­ditate on the Glories prepar'd for thy Ser­vants above. So will I meditate on them as often as the daies of sacred leisure do return, that my Heart shall be firmly set upon those Glories. And all the few years that I live shall spend themselves to pur­chase that one Eternal Sabbath which thy Saints shall celebrate in Heaven. A Day that is, whose brightness knows no night; nor ever fears the least eclipse. Whose chearful brow no cloud o're-casts, nor [Page 13] does any Storm ever molest the passage of its raies. But it still shines on serene and clear, and fills with splendor all the spa­cious Palace. That ever-living day needs not the fading lustre of our Sun; nor the borrow'd Silver of the Moon. The Sun that is risen there is the Lamb, and the light that shines is the Glory of God. O how Beauteous Truths are said of thee, thou City of the King of Heaven! Thy Walls are rais'd with precious stones, and every Gate is one Rich Pearl. Thy Man­sions are built with choicest Jewels; and the pavement of thy Streets is transparent Gold. Along in the midst of thee runs a Chrystal River, perpetually flowing from the Throne of God. There all along those pleasant banks, does most delici­ously grow the Tree of Life. A Tree which can heal all wounds with its balmy Leaves; and make immortal all those who eat and taste its pleasant Fruit. Thus is the Holy City built; thus is the New Jerusalem, like a Bride, in every part a­dorn'd. O Blest and Glorious City, how Free, how Rich, how Secure, and Hap­py are thy glad Inhabitants! Every Head in thee wears a Royal Crown, and every Hand a Palm of Victory. Every Eye [Page 14] overflows with joy, and every Tongue with Psalms of Praise. Behold, O my Soul, the Inheritance that we seek; and where can we find more Riches to invite us? Behold the felicities to which our ex­alted Saviour calls us; Consider what Mansions he is gone to prepare; Where can we meet with such pleasures to enter­tain us? Can thy Sences present to thy Knowledge a place on Earth like this? Surely they cannot: Banish then, my Soul, all worldly vain desires. Let none of them hereafter molest thy Peace. Look not at the transitory things which are seen, but at the Eternal which are not. And so receive some glimpse of this Heaven, to encourage and quicken thy Travel to­wards it.

MEDITATION II.

BLest be thy Gracious Wisdom, O Lord, that so mercifully condescends to the mean and low capacities of our pre­sent mortal State. Under these veils thou hidest these glorious misteries, which are too high and Spiritual for our Flesh and Blood: to us it cannot yet appear what we shall be. But after this manner hast [Page 15] thou revealed thy sublime rewards, to al­lure and captivate us with things that of this world are most admired. Scep­ters and Crowns, thou know'st, are apt to win the Hearts of us thy Children. Children, alas! we are too truly in sa­cred Knowledge: O that we were such in Love and Duty. My Soul, if these im­perfect shadows of the future bliss do transport and please so many men, should not the real substance sweetly delight thee? What is a drop of Water to the boundless Ocean; or a grain of dust to this vast Globe? Such, O my God, and infinitely less are the richest Kingdoms here below; If we compare their most pompous State with the meanest degree that is in the Court of Heaven. When thou hast fed us a little while with Milk; thou invitest our appetite to stronger Meat. Thou tellest us of a sweet delici­ous life; in the blest Society of Saints and Angels: With whom we shall dwell in perpetual Friendship; and be lov'd and esteem'd by them all for ever. Thou tellest us of a pure Soul-ravishing joy in beholding the amiable face of Jesus. Whose Gracious smiles shine round about, and fill the Heavens with Holy Glad­ness. [Page 16] And thou tellest, dear Lord, of de­lights that are still incomparably higher than all these. Hearken well to such things, O my Soul, and humbly adore thy bounteous God. His abundant goodness has provided thee large rewards indeed, he intends himself to be thy Portion and exceeding great reward. Himself he will clearly unveil before us, and openly shew us that great secret: What it is, Glori­ous Lord, to behold thy face, to know as we are known. O happy secret! if once at last attain'd; If once we can but see the face of our God in Glory. To know the Immensity of thy self-subsisting Essence; and the Infinite Excellence of all thy At­tributes. To know the power of the Eter­nal Father; and the Wisdom of the Un­created Son; and the Goodness of the Ho­ly Spirit; the incomprehenfible Glories of the undivided Trinity. This, O my Soul, is the top of Happiness; this is the Supream perfection of our Nature. This, this alone is worthy to be the aim of our Being; the Hope and End of all our la­bours. When we are come to this we shall presently rest, and our satisfied de­sires will reach no farther. We shall be fill'd with overflowing bliss, and our ut­most [Page 17] capacities can hold no more. In one Act of Joy we shall be eternally fixt, one lasting Act which will spring fresh and unwearied for ever.

MEDITATION III.

NEver can we say too much, my Soul, of this glorious subject; never can we think enough of the Felicities of Heaven. Arise my Soul, and leave mor­tality and time below thy flight; to thee these joyes belong: Arise and advance thy self on high: Fly away with the wings of thy Spirit; are they not strong enough to lift thee from earth? the on­ly reason of it is want of exercise. Fly if thou canst possibly to that land of Pro­mise, try resolutely, strive manfully to do so; and visit those Heavenly Regions. Take an Evenings walk in that Paradise of pure delights, amongst the beautified Spirits of just men who perpetually con­template the Eternal Deity. Think thô thy habitation at present is in this vale of tears, thou mai'st hope one day to be advanced to their dignity; to have a place and sing among their holy Quires: We may hope to know all things that [Page 18] are produc'd, and to know besides the all producing Cause. O what a fire of love will it kindle in our hearts, when we shall see those shining Mysteries! When our great God, like a burning mirrour, shall strike his brightness on the eyes of our Soul. O what excessive joy will that love produce! a love so vio­lently desiring, and so fully satisfied? When our capacities shall be stretcht to the utmost, and the rich abounding Ob­ject shall fill and Overflow them: O what profound repose will that Joy beget! a Joy so exceeding high, and so eternally secure? When in amorous languishment we shall sweetly dissolve into a fort of blissfull Union with our first beginning: When without losing what we are, we shall become even what he is: We shall take part in all his Joyes, and share in the Glories of all his Heaven. O what divine and ravishing words are these! How gently they enter and delight my Ear! How they diffuse themselves over all my Brain, and strongly penetrate to my very Soul! Methinks they turn to substance as they go, and I feel them stir and work through all my powers: Me­thinks they lie as a rich Cordial at my [Page 19] heart, and send forth Spirits to quicken and refresh me. There, O my Soul, we shall rest from all our labours, which are but the way to all that happiness: There we shall rest from sin and sorrow, and no longer be troubled with our selves or others: There we shall rest for ever in the protection of our God; in the arms and bosom of our dearest Lord: We shall enjoy a rest not senseless and stupid as here, but attended with spritely joy and pleasure: Such is the desirable rest that remains for the Servants of God.

PETITIONS.

O Heaven, the eternal source of all these Joyes, and infinitely more and in­finitely greater! As the Hart pants af­ter the Water-brooks, so does my Soul thirst after thee: After thee it is that I daily sigh and mourn, and with a greedy longing eye, often do I look up and say Descend thou blessed Heaven into my heart, or rather take up my heart to thee: Thy Joyes indeed are too great to enter into me; O God! I pray thee, who art the Heaven I long for, take me hence to enter into them. When, O my God, [Page 20] shall I sit at that fountain head, and drink my fill of those living Streams? When shall I be Inebriated with that torrent of pleasures which springs for ever from thy glorious Throne? Oh that the dayes of my banishment were fully finisht! How is the time of my weary Pilgrimage pro­long'd! Why am I still detain'd in this valley of tears, still wandring up and down in this wilderness of dangers? O God! who dost graciously wooe us to our eternal Inheritance, by all manner of wayes which are apt to work upon us; Make these glories, I beseech thee, power­fully to insinuate themselves into me, and become absolute masters of my heart, that I may not wander in this wilderness, but may steadily direct my course to the heavenly Canaan: Let the felicities of it so strongly settle themselves in my affe­ctions that my Soul may be ravisht there­with, that I may run with courage and diligence in the way that leads to it. Make me despise the gawdy vanities and temptations of this world, that would bribe my flesh to hinder me in my race. Come thou sweet Jesu, my only hope and sure deliverer out of all sorrows and dan­gers: Come thou and here begin to dwell [Page 21] in my heart: O come quickly to prepare my Soul for that life which I desire and hope to live with thee in Heaven: And when thou hast fitted me for it, take me in thy time to my eternal home.

Hymn 2.
WHy do we seek felicity
Where 'tis not to be found;
And not, dear Lord, look up to thee
Where all delights abound?
Why do we seek for treasure here,
On this false barren sand?
Where nought but empty shells appear,
And marks of Shipwrack stand?
O world, how little do thy joyes
Concern a Soul, that knows
It self not made for such low toyes,
As thy poor hand bestows!
How cross art thou to that design
For which we had our birth!
Us, who were made in Heaven to shine,
Thou bow'st down to thy Earth.
Nay to thy Hell; for thither sink
All that to thee submit:
Thou strew'st some flowers on the brink,
To drown us in the pit.
World take away thy tinsel wares,
That dazle here our eyes;
Let us go up above the Stars,
Where all our treasure lies.
The way we know; our dearest Lord
Himself is gone before;
And has engag'd his faithful word
To open us the door.
But O my God! reach down thy hand,
And take us up to thee;
That we about thy Throne may stand,
And all thy glories see.
All Glory to the sacred Three,
One ever living Lord:
As at the first, still may he be
Belov'd, Obey'd, Ador'd.

Amen.

For Monday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

IT is highly fit and just that all Man­kind do adore their Maker. The great God form'd our bodies out of the Earth, and gave us the Spirit in man which bears his likeness; a Soul that all created nature cannot sill, nor any thing that is below his own Immensity: He has freely bestowed on us all the rest of his Creatures, which are fitted to serve and delight our bodies: But he has moreover design'd us for his glorious Kingdom, that we might dwell with him in perfect bliss. All the Creatures he has made, the great God has alwayes under his observing eye so long as they continue in being: All things are open and naked to his Omniscience. Though his Throne of State be establisht above, and the splendours of his glory shine on­ly on the Blessed that are there; yet his [Page 24] unlimited Eye looks down to this lower World, and beholds all the wayes of the Children of Adam: If we go out he marks our steps, and when we retire; our shut Closet cannot exclude him; while we are alone he minds all the vain and roving imaginations that we have, he ob­serves too the end that we aim at in all the Studies which we apply our selves to: When we converse with others, He observes our deportment, and the good or ill we do to them or our selves: In our Devotions he takes notice of our car­riage, and regards with what attention and affection we make our Prayers. All the day long he considers how we spend our time, and the darkest night conceals not our works from him: If we deceive our Neighbour, He spies the fraud, and hears the least whisper of a slandering tongue: If we in secret oppress the Poor, or by private alms relieve their wants; If in our hearts we murmur at the Rich, or live contented with our little porti­on: Whate're we do, He perfectly sees us; where e're we are He is sure to be with us. He that made the Eye, shall not he see? and shall it be said that he cannot hear who formed the Ear? But [Page 25] O thou Sovereign Lord of Heaven, why dost thou stoop thus low thy glorious Eye? What canst thou find that here does deserve thy view, among the trifles of this empty world? It is not thy own satisfaction that thou seekest herein, but thy design is our advantage. Thou ap­pearest still ready to punish our sins, that the fear of thy rod may prevent our mi­series. Sure, O my God, thy favours must be sweet, since even thy threatnings have so much mercy: And I must be worse than blind if I venture to be wicked in the face of Heaven: Thou dost also Lord graciously stand by us to see us work, that thine awful Eye may quicken our dili­gence; thou art still at hand to relieve our wants. When all thy work, my Soul, is done in the sight of him thou servest, this may justly encourage thee, this may make thee hope that the Labours and Suf­ferings of thy love shall not go unreward­ed. Happy we who have our God so near us, if our pious Lives keep us near to him.

Hymn 3.
WAke now my soul, and humbly hear
What thy mild Lord commands:
Each word of his will charm thine ear;
Each word will guide thy hands.
Hark how his sweet and tender care
Complies with our weak minds:
What er'e our State and temper are,
Still some sit work he finds.
They that are merry let them sing,
And let the sad hearts pray:
Let those still ply their chearful wing;
And these their sober way.
So mounts the early chirping Lark
Still upwards to the Skies:
So sits the Turtle in the dark,
Among her groans and cries.
And yet the Lark, and yet the Dove,
Both sing, though several parts:
And so should we, how er'e we move
With light or heavy hearts.
Or rather both should both assay,
And their cross notes unite:
Both grief and joy should sing and pray;
Since both such hopes invite.
Hopes that all present sorrow heal,
All present joy transcend:
Hopes to possess, and taste, and feel
Delights that ne're will end.
All glory to the sacred Three,
All honour, power, and praise;
As at the first, may ever be,
Beyond the end of days.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

MY God, since Thou art never absent from us, we will endeavour to be alwaies present with thee. Often will we go up to thy Throne above, and there contemplate and admire thy glory. We will often wait upon thee in thy house, and there adore and praise thy mercy. Eve­ry where will we seek to meet thee; and every where delight to find Thee. My soul let it be thy endeavour to walk with God [Page 28] in all the parts of thy conversation, and take heed that thou walk humbly with thy God. Gracious God, we will spread all our wants before thee, and offer all our Petitions unto thee. Thou dost willingly incline a favourable ear to the Prayers that come from an upright and fervent heart. Thou art a rewarder of those that diligently seek Thee. Our God loves to hear us treat of Heaven, as if we made it the main business of our lives to get thi­ther. All other things we must ask with submission to Him; since we do not know what of them is absolutely good for our selves. But his Eternal Joys we may beg without restraint; we may urge and press for his assistance to gain them. Hea­ven is the thing we may wish for, if for any thing, without resignation. We may pray for it with great fervency and per­severance, and he will not account us too importunate. O wise and gracious Lord, whatsoever thou dost, thy love intends it for the good of thy servents. If thou dost sometimes defer to grant our requests; it is only in charity to us, to make us re­peat them. It is that we may more sen­sibly feel our own poverty, and be more strongly convinc't of our dependance on [Page 29] Thee: That we may practise our Hope, and exercise our Faith and Patience while we long expect; and may practise the higher gratitude, when we receive at last. It is that we may learn this sure and hap­py skill, of working in our souls the Ver­tues that we desire; For those very de­sires by being often renew'd do at length themselves become the Graces we seek. But O how improvident, Lord, are we! how unwilling to pray are the most of us alwaies, and all of us at some times! How does a short service seem long and tedious; and one half hour quite tire out our patience! We are slow to begin, and in hast to make an end; We are heavy while the duty is a doing, and glad when it is done. Yet surely there is no easier work than to ask what we want, no purchase can be cheaper than to have for asking; for asking of him who is will­ing to hear us, who will not upbraid, who will give kindly and not disdainfully. There is no sweeter pleasure than to con­verse with God; nor greater profit than to gain his favour. We have still new transgressions to confess; and shall, alas, never want infirmities to lament. We have then great occasion as well as en­couragement [Page 30] often to wait upon God. And this work, my Soul, ought to be alwayes performed with a serious appli­cation of all thy powers to it. He is worthy of this whom thou servest, the important benefits thou mayest receive deserve it. But unless we worship in spi­rit and truth, we shall neither please him nor profit our selves. Take heed then that careless and vain thoughts do not contradict thy words when thou art at the exercises of thy devotion. Look to thy self lest when thou speakest to Him, thou dost not hear thy self. And let no delay discourage thy Hope, nor the refusal to grant any request destroy thy considence in him. But let this firm foundation still sustain thee, and on this let thy peace be for ever establisht; that what is truly necessary his Goodness will not deny, and all the rest it is thy duty to submit to his pleasure.

MEDITATION III.

TAke heed, my soul, that thou do not so presume on the divine bounty, as to omit the performance of thine own du­ty. Still to thy devotion see that thou add [Page 31] thy best endeavours. If thou desire God to relieve thy necessities, do thou also faithfusly labour with thine own hands. Do not expect a Blessing to drop from the Clouds into hands that are onely held up, or that God will indulge thee in Idleness and neglect of thy self. If we beg Grace for victory over our pas­sions; we must also constantly strive to resist their assaults. We must endeavour wisely to foresee particular dangers, and cast about how to avoid them. We must use the proper weapons against every sin that we would conquer. To every one oppose the strict Command of the great God, the dire Threatnings against it, the Judgments executed a­gainst sinners: The mischiefs that are the natural Consequents of sin, the hurt it will do to the Body or the Soul of thy self, the prejudice that it may do to the interests of thy Neighbour. Consider, my Soul, it will be in vain to approach the holy God to worship him, unless thy life prepare the way for thy Offerings. Endeavour then to come with clean hands. Let thy Life be a continued Ex­ercise of Holiness and Vertue, if thou wouldest obtain an Encrease of these by [Page 32] thy Prayers. Be thou merciful, if thou wouldest find mercy. God will shut his ears to thy loudest prayers; if thou do not open thine to the cry of the poor. He will deny to pardon thy trespasses a­gainst him, if thou dost not forgive thine Enemies. But that very temper which disposes us to be heard when we pray, does indeed depend upon his favour: Every condition that he requires on our part is nothing else but his own free gift. We should then, my Soul, ask with all that we desire, those qualifications to which the things are promised. And as we find these increase in us, our con­fidence and hope in the promises of God may also encrease. Let us study what he requires us to be, and aim at that in the first place, seeking first the Kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and then all other things that are necessary and good for us shall be added. Godliness entitles to the pro­mises of this life and of that to come. To the good man God will perform his promises in a bounteous measure. He holds his blessings as it were hovering over our heads, still watching when we shall be sit to receive them.

PETITIONS.

O Most gracious God, vouchsafe to give what thou art pleased to command, and then command what thou pleasest. Come holy Spirit, and inspire all my prayers, that it may not be my sad fate to ask and not receive, because I ask amiss. Deliver me, O Lord, from ask­ing what I cannot receive without dan­ger to my self. Deliver me from re­ceiving what I cannot use without of­fending others or ruining mine own Soul. Do thou, I beseech Thee, O soveraign Good, who alone art wor­thy to be the center of my Soul, cure all my vain desires and worldly lusts, and reclaim my wandering Thoughts from all other things when I am in thy service. Make me to worship thee in spirit and in truth. O may the Spirit of grace and prayer excite me to seek Thee dili­gently, night and day to call upon Thee, to pray without ceasing or fainting. Lord, let thy bounteous Goodness encou­rage me to do thus by affording season­able and sit Answers to the Prayers I make. Let my experience tell me Thou [Page 34] art my portion and refuge in the land of the living, when I feel my self un­der thy sure protection in my dangers, and within the reach of thy gracious Ear for whatever real good I ask, and do use my just endeavours to attain. Lord since thou art every where present, where e're I am thou art round about me, thou art in me and in all things: Communicate I pray thee to thy creature such of thine exellencies as I want and am made capable to receive. Let me not dwell in thy Fulness and yet remain empty, surrounded with thy Blessed­ness and yet be my self miserable. Cure the darkness of my mind by communica­ting of thy Light; cleanse away the pollution and sinful spots of my soul, by making me a partaker of thy holi­nesse. Since thy Goodnesse is alwaies near to me, infuse it into me; make me compassionate to those that are misera­rable, liberal to the poor, and patient towards the infirmities of them I have to do with for their good. Lord make me like thy self, that I may be such as thou canst love, that thy nearnesse may al­waies have a favourable influence upon me; and that I may have comfort and [Page 35] not terrour in thy presence, from the assurance of a Friend and not an Enemy at hand. Let every thing about me, Lord, bring Thee to my mind, since thou art in and with every thing. Cause me to keep my eyes continually sixt on thine over me, that thine may awfully check my inclination to folly, and may encou­rage my pursuit of true good and the performance of my duty. Make me, O God, still with humble boldness to re­joyce before thee, who art my merciful Creator: And as a new-pardon'd Sub­ject justly fears the angry brow of his offended Prince; so let my oft-forgiven Soul continually tremble to provoke the wrath of thy dread Majesty: Thus tem­per, O Lord, my Love with reverence, and allay my fear with hope, that I may live to thy glory in a chearful Obedience.

Glory be to the Father, &c. Amen.

For Monday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

TO know Thee, O Lord, is the high­est Learning, and to see thy face is the only true Happiness. Consider now, my Soul, and thankfully remember what the great God is to us men: Thou Lord art the great Beginning of our nature, and the glorious end of all our actions: Thou art the overflowing source from whence we spring, and the Immense Oce­an into which we tend: Thou art the free bestower of all we possess, and the faithful promiser of all we hope for: Thou art the strong sustainer of our lives, and our ready protection from all our enemies: Thou art the merciful Scourger of our sins, and the bounteous Rewarder of our Obedience: Thou art the only wise God, and the only safe Conductor of this lifes pilgrimage: Thou art the ever blessed God, and the Eter­nal [Page 37] Rest of our wearied Souls: God is the Guide to find my way, my strength to walk in it, and my rest in the end of it: He must draw me or I cannot run after him, He must seek me or I can ne­ver find him, and unless I find and en­joy him I can never be happy. Such words our narrowness is constrain'd to use, when we endeavour to speak the divine bounties, when we would express how many wayes mankind are beholden to him that made them. In a few words Lord, here is much exprest, what may fill our minds with a great many thoughts, and afford matter for long Meditation: But yet our words are, and our highest thoughts must be far short of the good­ness and mercy of thy thoughts towards us; they are more than can be numbred by Men or Angels.

MEDITATION II.

LEt us now consider, my Soul, and with great humility remember what we are to the great God: We, who alas are nothing in our selves, what can we be to his Immensity? Thou Lord who art all things in thine own rich self, what [Page 38] canst thou receive from our poverty? This only we are to Thee, O Great Cre­tor! the unthankful objects of all thy bounties: This only we are to thee, O dear Redeemer! the unworthy cause of all thy sufferings. Guilty we committed the Crime, and thou with thine own In­nocency undertook'st the Punishment: We went astray from the path of life, and thy mercy came down from Hea­ven to seek us; to seek us in the wil­derness where we had lost our selves, and bring us home to the discipline of thy Love. Thou hast sent thy Spirit to ga­ther the lost Sheep, and what are we to Thee, O holy and blessed Spirit! but very stubborn and untractable creatures? We are not sheep till thou hast changed our natures: Man is born like the wild Asses colt. Lord, what are we, that thou shouldst thus regard such poor, vile and inconsiderable wretches? What can our good will avail thy Bliss, that with so many charms thou wooest us to love thee? What can our enmity prejudice thy content, that thou dost threaten so severely if we love thee not? Is there, O my God, not felicity enough in the sweetness alone of loving thee? Is there [Page 39] not certainly misery enough in living destitute of thy blissfull love? Yes, Yes, Dear Lord, so it is, and that thou knew­est; and that is indeed the only cause which moved thy goodness to court our affections: Thou knew'st we would else cast away our selves, by doating on the follies of this deceitful world: Thou knewest the danger of our wilfull nature, and therefore strivest by greatest fears and hopes, and by all the wisest arts of Love and Bounty, to draw us to thy self, and endow us with thy Kingdom. But Oh unhappy we! whose froward­ness requir'd so strange proceeding, to force upon us our own Salvation: Yet happy we are in this, that our wants have met so kind a hand, that our God is good, long-suffering, and whose mer­cy endures for ever: His goodness needs but our emptiness to engage him to fill us, and nothing but our misery to move him to make us happy.

MEDITATION III.

LOrd, without Thee, what's all the world to us but a flying dream of busie vanities? It promises indeed a Pa­radise [Page 40] of bliss, but all it performs is an empty cloud: Thine are the Joyes that shine fixt as the Stars, and make the on­ly solid Heaven: Lord, without Thee what are we to our selves, but the wretched causes of our own ruin? We, 'till thou gavest us being, were purely nothing, more remov'd from happiness than the most miserable of thy Crea­tures: Now thou hast made us, we wholly depend on thee, and perish im­mediately if thou forsake us: Thou who without us art the same All-glorious Es­sence, perfectly full of thy own eternal Felicity: Without us thy royal Throne stands firm for ever, and all the powers of Heaven obey thy pleasures: O Lord, how contrary is our imperfect nature in every circumstance to thy excellency and perfection? Thou dwellest above in the Mansions of Glory, and we below in houses of Clay: Thou art from everlast­ing to everlasting, we are but of yester­day, and are every moment going down­wards to our dissolution: Thou art Im­mense, and thy presence fills the Hea­vens, but the greatest of us, alas, how little are we? two yards of Air contain us while we li [...]e, and a few spans of [Page 41] Earth suffice us at our death: Thou art Almighty power, all-sufficient fullness; we are poverty and weakness. When, O when my God, shall these vast distances meet together? it is in thy power to make these extremities embrace each o­ther; we know that by thy amazing pow­er they were once miraculously joyn'd in the sacred person of thy Eternal Son; when the King of Heaven stoopt down to earth, and grafted into his own Person the nature of man: We hope they once again shall be happily united in the blissfull visi­on of thy glorious self; when we shall be like thee by seeing thee as thou art; when the children of Earth shall be exalted to Heaven, and be satisfied with thy like­ness: But are there no means here be­low? O thou infinitely high and glorious God! Is there no way for us now to ap­proach towards thee, to diminish at least this uncomfortable distance? There is none but the way of holy Love? Di­vine Love elevates our meanness: Love will bring us near to the blessed God, it will make us live in a happy union to him: And none can attain this but by thy free gift; unless Thou, O dear­est Lord! do first Love us, and with thy [Page 42] Love kindle the sacred fire in our breasts, we shall never be so happy as to Love thee.

PETITIONS.

O Bounteous God! O abundant Good­ness! add to all thy other favours this of making me love and esteem thee above all things, above my self and all creatures besides: Make me to see empti­ness and vanity in all things else, to ac­count that all is vanity of vanities, but only the Love of God and enjoyment of him. Let me, when I find this world ordain'd by thee to breed and widen only, and not fill my capacity; let me make this use of all thy Creatures here, to raise and heigh­ten my desires of thy infinite self in thy Eternity. O God, be thou to me my God and my All, and make me nothing in mine own eyes: Be thou my whole everlasting delight, and let nothing else be any thing to me but thy self; so draw my heart to thee, so engross I be­seech thee all my affections as to famish all the helpless Idols of my soul which in my state of darkness and enmity to thee I have so fondly ador'd. Pity, Oh [Page 43] pity, gracious Lord, according to thy infinite compassion, my miserable distance from thee: Thy hands have made me and fashioned me, thou hast made me ca­pable to enjoy thee, thou hast given a capacity too large to receive satisfaction from any thing but thy self. Oh regard with favour the work of thy hands! say to my soul thou art my salvation, and say it so Lord as to make me hear; thy powerful word can open the deaf ear: And through my ear Lord reach my heart, quicken my stupid soul, put a new life into me; so make me gladly follow thee, that by following I may find thee, and having found may never lose thy sight again, never turn away my eyes from thee, never grow estranged again, nor lose thy blissful acquaintance: Ne­ver let any thing but thy Eternal self be the prevailing ruling Joy of my heart: Grant these requests or I am undone: Grant these requests for the love of thy only Son our Mediator and Advocate.

Amen.

Hymn 4.
LOrd who shall dwell above with thee
There on thy holy Hill?
Who shall those glorious prospects see
That Heaven with gladness fill?
Those happy souls who prize that life
Above the bravest here;
Whose greatest hope, whose eagerest strife
Is once to settle there.
They use this world, but value that
That they supreamly love;
They travel through this present state,
But place their home above.
Lord! who are they that thus chuse thee,
But those thou first didst chuse?
To whom thou gav'st thy grace most free,
Thy grace not to refuse.
We of our selves can nothing do,
But all on thee depend;
Thine is the work and wages too,
Thine both the way and end.
O make us still our work attend,
And wee'l not doubt our pay;
We will not fear a blessed end,
If thou but guide our way.
Glory to Thee, O Bounteous Lord!
Who giv'st to all things breath;
Glory to thee, Eternal Word!
Who sav'st us by thy death.
Glory, O Blessed Spirit to Thee,
Who fill'st our hearts with love;
Glory to all the Mystick three,
Who reign one God above.

Amen.

For Tuesday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

FRom thee O Lord, we derive our be­ing; and from the same Goodness our Continuance to be: if thou but with­drawest thy hand for one single moment, we instantly return to our first nothing. Thou art without Cause or Maker as thou art without beginning, and hast thy dependance upon none else; we have but a derived being, only borrow'd worth, we have nothing which we have not re­ceived: nothing but our Sins is entirely our own, which we have reason to be a­sham'd of. Should we presume at any time, O Lord, to divide thy Grace, and proudly challenge any share to our selves, thy mighty Truth stands up against us; and our own infirmities may plainly con­fute us. Shouldst thou severely examine our Hearts, and ask who works all their actions in them; surely we must needs bow down our h [...]ds and from our low [Page 47] Dust humbly say: Nothing are we, O Lord, but what thou hast made us; no­thing have we but what thou hast given us. Not unto us then, O Lord, not un­to us but unto thy Name be Glory. When we have applied our utmost cares, and us'd all the diligence that lies in our pow­er; what can we do but look up to thee, and second all our endeavours with Pray­ers for thy Blessing? And when we im­plore thy gracious Mercy, what can we do but submit our hopes, and expect the event from thy free goodness. If thou denyest what we wish, who can compell thy will; or call in question thy Decrees? Are we not all thy Creatures, O Gracious God! and as helpless Children, hanging at the Breast of thy Providence? Are we not all as clay in thy hands; to frame us into vessels of what use thou pleasest? Be­hold we confess, O Lord, in thee we live; in thee we move and have our be­ing. All our sufficiency proceeds from thee; and all our success depends on thy favour. Others may tell us the way that we should go; but thou alone canst ena­ble us to walk in it. And they that tell us our way, must be first taught it by thee. And they must be moved by thee to act [Page 48] that Charity; and so at last all is resolv'd into thee. We know further, O Lord, and thou thy self hast taught us; that unless thou defend the City, the Guard watch­es it in vain. We acknowledge and our own experience tells us; that unless thou reach forth thy hand, we are presently in danger of sinking. Every moment of our day subsists by thee. From all our Enemies thy Providence defends us, and covers our Head in the day of danger: Thou sendest in thy Grace to relieve our weakness; and so disappointest the temp­tations that threaten to undo us. O my Soul, be thou ready to adore thy God that preserves thee. Has he watcht over thee all this night for good? has he re­newed his mercies this morning? does he bestow on thee all thy daies and the com­forts they bring? Then be asham'd to think much of spending one half hour in his service.

Hymn 5.
COme let's adore the Gracious hand,
That brought us to this light;
That gave his Angels strict Command
To be our Guard this Night.
When we laid down our weary head,
And Sleep seal'd up our Eye:
They stood and watch't about our bed,
To let no harm come nigh.
Now we are up, they still go on,
And guide us through the day,
They never leave their Charge alone,
Whate're besets our way.
And, O my Soul, how many snares,
Ly spread before our feet!
In all our joyes in all our cares,
Some danger still we meet.
Sometimes the Sin does us o'retake,
And on our weakness win;
Sometimes our selves our ruine make,
And we o'retake the sin.
O save us Lord, from all those darts
That seek our Souls to slay;
Save us from us and our false Hearts,
Lest we our selves betray.
Save us, O Lord, to thee we cry,
From whom all blessings Spring;
We on thy Grace alone rely,
Alone thy Glory sing.
Glory to thee Eternal Lord,
Thrice blessed three in one,
Thy Name at all times be ador'd,
Till time it self be done.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

THe Almighty Power of God sustains our Life, and mercifully allows us space to repent: that by well employing the time he lends us we may wisely pro­vide for our own Eternity. Wisely then thou actest, O my Soul, when thou settest apart some time every day wherein to meditate on God and his Word and works, by which thou maist be sitted for a hap­py Eternity. Consider then further the Divine Providence, and say within thy self: Thus do we depend, O Lord! on thee, and happy we are in that depen­dance, did we but know our own true interest. We and our whole concerns are deposited with God; and where can we find a better hand to ensure them? Is he not wise enough to chuse safely for us, who disposes all nature in such admirable order? Has he not power to go through [Page 51] with his purpose, who commands the will of men and Angels? Wants he per­haps an inclination to favour us, who de­sires our felicity more than our own Hearts do? He feeds the Fowls of the Air, and cloaths the Lillies of the Field. Without his Providence not a Sparrow falls to the ground, and shall we mistrust his care for his Children? Under his Go­vernment we have liv'd all this while; and can we now suspect hee'l forsake us? He has shown his bounty in extraordina­ry favours, and will he deny us his lesser blessings? He has freely bestow'd upon us his dearest Son; how shall he not with him freely give us all things else? All that are useful to carry us on our way, and bring us at length to his Eternal Rest. If our necessities be the effects of our fol­ly; we must not presume that he will maintain us in our sins: Rather we should strive to moderate our appetites and correct our vices that have bred these mi­series. But if our wants be innocent and pressing; he will sooner do a miracle than break his word: This he has often so­lemnly engag'd; and often made good by his Providence. Ask but the former ages, and they will tell you the wonders [Page 52] which he wrought in them in favour to his faithful Servants. He multiplied the Oyl in the Poor Widows cruse; and fed his banisht Prophet by a Raven. He dryed the Sea into a Path for his People, and melted the Rocks into streams of Water to quench their thirst. He made his Angels Stewards of their Provision, and nourisht them in the Wilderness with the Bread of Heaven. Still, O my God, thy Eternal Charity retains the same af­fections for those that rely on thee. Still thy all-seeing Wisdom governs the World with the same immense unalterable good­ness. Nay surely now the streams of thy Mercy run more strong; and have wrought to themselves a larger channel. Since thou broughtest down the Waters from above the Heavens; and openedst in thine own Body a Spring of Life. A Spring of Joy and Bliss to revive our Hearts; and overslow them with a tor­rent of everlasting Pleasures.

MEDITATION III.

LEt us sit down in Peace, O my Soul! and rest secure in the bosom of Pro­vidence. Let us not disturb the order of [Page 53] those mercies which our God has design'd us in his eternal Councels: Every acci­dent may be turn'd into vertue, and eve­ry vertue is a step towards our glorious end. If our affairs succeed, let us praise our great Benefactor, and think what he will give us hereafter, who does so fa­vour us here; if they miscary, let us yield to the will of Heaven, and learn by our crosses in this world to love the other: Whatever happens to us, this ought to be our constant rule, to pro­vide for the other life, and be contented with the present: Shall we not patient­ly accept a little evil from him that has given us much good? Shall the being without some one thing that we need not, more sensibly affect us than the having all that we need? Ingrateful wretches▪ the common benefits that we all enjoy, deserve the thanksgiving of a whole life; the air we breath in, the bright Sun that shines on us, the water and the bounteous earth that do so faithfully serve us; the exercise of our senses, and the use of our wits, if not in excellency at least to some degree: All these things, O Lord, thou generally affordest both to the good and to the bad; and for the [Page 54] least of these none can praise thee enough. What shall we say then? can we yet with any justice complain because some few perhaps are more prosperous than we? should we not rather look down on the many below us, and be thankful to see our selves more favoured than they? should we not do well, my Soul, to reckon over the several miseries of mankind, and bless our God that has so farr preferr'd us? Had we some despe­rate Canker breeding on our face, or noisom Leprosie spreading over our skin, (these we must all confess are incident to our nature, and much more than these is due to our sins) what would we then give to be as we now are? how gladly would we exchange them for a moderate affliction? It is but to interpret our worst condition well, and we shall sind motives enow to excite our gratitude to God: It is but interpreting our best condition frowardly, and we shall imagine defects enow to make us think our selves miserable. My Soul, do thou alwayes adore the wisdom of God, and leave it to him as he pleases to rule his own world: All his works shall cer­tainly praise him, and his Saints shall [Page 55] bless him. He scatters these temporal things with a seeming negligence, as trifles of so little importance, that they signifie not either love or hatred. No­thing but Heaven is indeed considerable, nothing but Eternity deserves our esteem: But if we could understand the secret character of the divine Decrees, we should read in each syllable a perfect Harmony.

PETITIONS.

TEach me I pray Thee, O thou the blest Enlightner of our minds, teach me to expound thy actions alwayes in a fair sense; alwayes to believe they are well becoming thy infinite perfections, and therefore adorable: Suffer me not to follow my own fancy in doing this, lest I create to my self a voluntary mi­sery. Lord, let all thy dispensations de­sign favour and good to me, and let me understand that they do so; then shall I heartily praise thee for them, of what nature soever they be: Let me inter­pret the afflictions which thou sendest, as meant to correct, and not to destroy me; to prevent some sin, or teach me [Page 56] the practice of some vertue, and that when I shall need crosses no longer, thou wilt then remove them: In the mean while, O gracious Lord, I beseech thee to give me Patience, according to my burden; inable me to wait thy time of deliverance, without prescribing limits to thee, and without contracting either a froward discontented Spirit, or a mean and dejected one: Make me, Lord, to rejoyce that my lot is in thy hands, while I see thy Mercy favourably chusing for me: And willingly, I say, do thou dispose of my condition here as it plea­ses thy self, only let my Portion here­after be with thy blessed. Fix thou, O Lord, my steps, establish my goings in thy Word, that I may not stagger at the uneven motions of this world, but may steadily go on towards my glorious home; not censuring my journey by the weather I meet with, nor turning out of the way for any accident that may befall me. Thou hast told us, O Lord, it is not in man that walketh, to direct his own steps, and therefore bid us not to lean to our own understanding: I humbly beg of thee continual direction; I desire thou wouldest cause all self-pre­sumption [Page 57] to dye in me; let this be the effect of all my disappointments and ill successes, and make my whole confidence to rely on thee, so shall my frailty make me more strong, and thy Power, O my God, may be magnified in my weakness, and thy mercy triumph in the relief of my misery. Teach me to begin all my works with fear, to go on with obedi­ence, and finish them with love, and af­ter all to sit humbly down in hope, and with a chearful confidence look up to thee. All this we may do for men, and they may fail us; we may fear and obey, and they forget our service; we may love and hope, and they despise our affecti­ons; only Thou, O Lord, whom we can no way benefit, thou wilt not fail those that trust and serve thee; thy pro­mises are faithful, thou art unchange­able, and thy rewards are Eternal.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Tuesday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

WIth awfull reverance, my Soul, consider that the Great God is infinite in his power to punish, he has been and he can always be very terrible in his Judgments; Our God is a consuming fire. Let vain dust no more speak proudly against the Almighty, nor be so fool­hardy as to provoke the living God. Let all seal up their lips in humble silence when they are witnesses of his terrible Judgments, and with fear and trembling always remember them. Remember thou my Soul, how the Earth opened it self and swallow'd up alive many thousands of his Enemies. Call to mind that the Clouds rain'd Fire and Brimstone and buried se­veral rebellious Cities in their own Ashes. Remember that a general deluge did once by Gods Commission over-spread the whole world, and swept away almost all [Page 59] mankind, when the wickednesse of man was great upon the Earth. Remember steadily that sin was the cause of all this misery and ruin. Sin threw the Angels down from Heaven; and chain'd them up in eternal darkness. Sin banisht Adam out of Paradise; and turn'd the delicious Garden into a Field of weeds. O God how terrible is thy mighty arm; when thou stretchest it forth to be avenged on thine enimies! O Sin how fatal is thy desperate Malice; that pulls on our heads all the thunder of Heaven! O my Soul, how dull and sencelesse are we, to sleep secure as if all were safe! Can we repeat these amazing truths; and not tremble at the wrath of divine Justice? Can we consider the deplorable end of Sinners, and still dare to go on in the waies of Sin? Even when we sing thy praises, O glorious Lord, it is our duty to rejoyce with trembling before Thee. What should corrupted nature then do, when it sees it self ready to offend Thee? What should a guilty Conscience do when it sees it self upon the brink of ruin by offending Thee?

MEDITATION II.

YEt, O my Soul, do not give up thy self to despair under a sence of thy sins; bring thou to him but a humble and penitent heart, and thou shalt find there is forgiveness with him. He that is thus infinte in power to punish, is full as infinite in goodness to save. How of­ten have we broke his Commands, yet still his Earth sustains, and serves us. How oft, alas! have we abused our ful­ness of Bread, yet still his Clouds shower plenty upon us! He is merciful and gracious as well as Long-suffering; a God forgiving iniquity, transgression and sin; He spares us so long that we may have time to repent; and to seek and obtain his Pardon. Only the proud apo­state Angels find no forgiveness, because their obstinacy does refuse to seek it. Could those rebel spirits disclaim their crimes, and turn again to obey their Maker, his clemency would soon revoke their sentence, and restore them to shine in their first bright seats. But O the ex­cesse of mercy vouchsafe't to Adam, and to us dust and ashes his contemptible [Page 61] Posterity! For whom the soveraign King of Heaven humbled himself to descend upon Earth, to lead a poor laborious life, and to suffer a painful death. He came to be a Prince and a Saviour to us, to give us repentance and remission of sins; to teach us by an exemplary Life how to live ac­ceptably to God; and to satisfie for our sins by his death. Thy mercies, O Lord, are above all thy works; and this is above all the rest of thy mercies.

MEDITATON. III.

STill, my Soul, dwell in contemplation of the divine mercies, it is good and pleasant to be here. When we lay bu­ried in the abyss of nothing, it was his own free Goodness that call'd us into being. He fashion'd our limbs in our Mothers womb; and fill'd our Nurses breasts with milk. He enlarg'd our little steps when we began to go, and care­fully preserv'd our helplesse Infancy. He commanded even his Angels to bear us up, lest we should dash our feet against a stone. How many dangers, my Soul, consider, hast thou escaped, and not one of them but was govern'd by a Divine [Page 62] Providence! How many blessings dost thou daily receive, and there is not one of them which does not proceed from his bounty! He provided Tutors to instruct our Youth; and to plant in our tender minds the seeds of Vertue. He appointed Pastors to feed our Souls, and safely guide them in the wayes of Bliss. He seal'd his Love with Sacraments of Grace; to nourish in us Faith and Charity. All this thou hast done, O merciful Lord! the wise disposer of Heaven and earth. All this thou hast done, and still thou goest on by infinite waies to gain us to thy Love. Thou commandest us to ask, and promisest to grant; thou invitest us to seek, and assurest that we shall find. Thou dost vouchsafe even thy self to stand at the door and knock; and if we open thou enterest, and fillest our hearts with joy. If we forget thee, thou re­newest our Memories; if we fly from thee, thou still kindly findest some means to re­call us. If we defer our amendment, thou dost patiently stay for us; and ne­vertheless when we return we find thy arms open to embrace us. And if when we were not, thou didst freely love us, we may be assur'd thou wilt not forsake [Page 63] us when we strive to love Thee. If when we had lost our way and were wan­dring from thee, thy matchless kindness did condescend to seek us, and give us an effectual call, thou wilt not refuse us when we seek after Thee.

PETITIONS.

I Therefore do most humbly and con­stantly seek after thee my God. For all good I fly to Thee the Father of Lights, and giver of every good and perfect gift. And at this time, Lord, I ask of Thee that thou would'st alwaies possess my heart with an awful reverence of thy great Name. Chase away all levity and carlesness of spirit from me, by putting thy fear into my inward parts. Humble my too proud and wilful spirit to a ready submission to thy will in all things. Make me I pray Thee so to stand in aw of thee and of thy Judgments, that I may not dare to sin. Those Judg­ments thou hast often executed on ob­stinate and impenitent sinners, let them be often call'd to my mind; let the thoughts of them meet and antidote the temptations to sin: Make my fear of [Page 64] them prevent my feeling the like. Still O Lord, let a lively sensible Conscience cry out aloud when I am tempted, and say; Dare you commit this evil, and sin against God? Dare you commit this evil and run upon the fire of divine Vengeance? Are you not afraid to provoke his wrath to plunge you into everlasting torments? By thy Judgments in the world, thou O Lord expectest that the inhabitants there­of should be moved to learn righteous­ness. Grant Lord that I may alwaies do so, that so thy Judgments on others may prove mercies to me. And let also thy abundant goodness and mercy shown to the penitent and faithful, win me to repent and trust in Thee the merciful and Gracious God. Thus prevent me, I be­seech Thee from being overawed by the terrors of the Lord. Suffer not the Ene­my of my Soul to drive me into despair because I am a Sinner, dispose me to lay hold of the mercy offer'd by the Re­deemer, make me to believe and find that humble and penitent Sinners have an Ad­vocate with the Father, the righteous Jesus, the Christ; That he, who suffer'd on Earth for our sins, is gone to Heaven to make intercession, and to plead that [Page 65] satisfaction in the behalf of those that apply themselves to him for his help. Incourage me to a steady practice, and further pursuit of Holiness by the favours thou hast shown to good men, by assu­rance that I shall be assisted therein, and that thou wilt hereafter, if not in this life, abundantly reward it. Thus Lord, let it please thee by my hopes and fears, which are the great swayers of our na­tures here, to counterpoise my propen­sity downwards to this earth, to keep me in a constant tendency upwards; lift me out of the dirt of this world, into a happy converse with thee all my dayes.

Hymn 6.
FAin would my thoughts fly up to thee,
Thy peace, sweet Lord, to find;
But when I offer, still the world
Layes clogs upon my mind.
Sometimes I climb a little way,
And thence look down below;
How nothing there do all things seem
Which here make such a show!
Then round about I turn my eyes,
To feast my hungry sight;
I meet with Heaven in every thing,
In every thing delight.
I see thy wisdom ruling all,
And it with joy admire;
I see my self amidst such hopes
As set my heart on fire.
When I have thus triumpht a while
And think to build my nest;
Some cross conceits come fluttering by
And interrupt my rest.
Then to the earth again I fall,
And from my low dust cry;
'Twas not in my wing, Lord, but thine,
That I got up so high.
And now, my God, whether I rise,
Or still lye down in dust;
Both I submit to thy blest Will,
In both on Thee I trust.
Guide thou my way, who art thy self
My Everlasting End;
That every step, or swift or slow,
Still to thy self may tend.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
One Consubstantial Three;
All highest Praise, all humblest thanks
Now and for ever be.

Amen.

For Wednesday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

COme, my Soul, let us adore the God that governs us, him who is abso­lute King of Heaven and Earth: He sees at once the whole frame of all things, and thoroughly comprehends their various natures: To every Creature he appoints a fit Office, and guides all their motions in a perfect order, till he has wrought out his glorious design, and that he may finish the world in a beauteous close: His councels are deep, and his particu­lar wayes may be beyond our reach, yet all his wayes are wise, and just, and mer­ciful: And if all things come alike to all now, yet he will punish wilful sinners with eternal miseries hereafter, and bless his servants with eternal happiness: Why then do you laugh and rejoyce, unhappy wretches, who tire your selves in the wayes of sin? wayes they are in­deed [Page 69] that seem smooth at first, but lead to danger, and end in ruine: Why do you boast your pleasant life, who lye asleep in the arms of Death? Awake, poor Souls, and shake off the golden dreams, that delude your crazy heads with empty fancies: Awake, and fill your eyes with penitent tears, sadly re­flect on the real miseries to which your sins have exposed you: Consider whither, alas, will your Souls be hurry'd, when in cold despair you sigh away your last faint breath? they shall fly amaz'd from the sight of Heaven, and hide their guil­ty selves in eternal darkness; there they shall dwell with intolerable pains, wail­ing and lamenting for ever; their un­derstanding shall sit as in a deep dunge­on, and think on nothing but its own ca­lamities; their will shall be heightned to a madness of desire, and perpetually wrackt with despair of obtaining; their memory shall serve but to renew their sor­rows, and their whole Souls be drown'd in a Sea of bitterness; there every vice shall have its proper torment prodigi­ously bred out of its own corruption: The Lascivious shall burn with unquench­able sires, perpetually flaming in the rage [Page 70] of their own lusts; the Glutton and Drunkard shall vainly sigh for a drop of water to cool their tongues; the furi­ous Cholerick shall rage like mad Dogs, to their own only vexation; the spite­ful Envious shall have thoughts that on­ly gnaw and torment their own minds; the desires of the Covetous shall be as thorns in a mans sides; the haughty Proud shall be thrown down to the low­est contempt, shall be loaded with utter disdain; the Slothful shall miserably de­plore their lost time, and languish with grief for their stupid negligence: But O what horrid pangs shall seize them all, and wound and pierce the very center of their Souls! anguish and trouble shall in­fect all the whole spirit, when they shall see themselves deprived of the bright and blissful Vision of God! when their of­fended God shall despise and reject them, as if they were not his creatures, shall cast them away as offensive to his sight, and he that made them will not save them, will shew them no mercy: When they shall see themselves eternally ba­nisht from the sweet and gracious pre­sence of Jesus; that he will not be their Saviour, because they would not take [Page 71] him for their King: When they shall see that God who made them to enjoy his glory, will now cast them into thick deep shades of eternal darkness; and the blessed Jesus who came into the world to redeem sinners, will say to them, De­part from me, I know you not: Then shall they curse the day of their birth, and the unfortunate companions that in­veigled them to sin; they shall curse this vain deceitful world, that draws them on in the wayes of perdition, and by a fatal mist cast before their eyes, hinders them from foreseeing the perdition they are going to. Are these, alas! they will say, the effects of those fond desires, whose gratifications we made our chief felicity? Alas! what do now our wan­ton liberties avail us? what the fugi­tive pleasures that we so eagerly pursu­ed? What comfort receive we from those empty honours, from those faithless rich­es that tempted us to sin? they are all of them vanisht away like a shadow, and gone as a cloud of smoak that is scat­tered with the wind: But the remorse and punishment of these endure for ever, and torture our spirits with perpetual anguish. Thus shall they cry and none [Page 72] will regard them, thus mourn and there will be none found to pity: Such will be the dismal end and consequence of a sinful and impenitent Life. Be thankful to God, O my Soul, whose gracious Providence has given thee warning to avoid these miseries.

Hymn [...].
OPen thine Eyes, my Soul, and see,
Once more the light returns to thee;
Look round about, and chuse the way
Thou mean'st to travel o're to day.
Think on the dangers thou maist meet,
And alwayes watch thy sliding feet:
Think where thou once hast fall'n before,
And mark the place, and fall no more.
Think on the helps that God bestows,
And cast to steer thy life by those:
Think on the sweets thy Soul did feel,
When thou didst well, and do so still.
Think on the pains that shall torment
Those stubborn Souls that ne're repent:
Think on the joyes that wait above,
To Crown the head of holy Love.
Think what at last will be thy part
If thou go'st on where now thou art;
See life and death set thee to chuse,
One thou must take, and one refuse.
O my Dear Lord, guide thou my course,
And draw me on with thy sweet force:
Still make me walk, still make me tend
By thee my way, to thee my end.
All Glory to the sacred Three,
One undivided Deity:
As it has been in ages gone,
May now, and ever still be done.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

AS the day will come wherein God will destroy all the workers of Ini­quity; so the day will come, my soul, the day will certainly come, when the gracious God will reward and crown all that love his commandments, and seek the Glory he has made us for. Why do you mourn, ye children of the light; to whom belong the promises of Bliss? you who feed on the pleasant Fruits of [Page 74] Piety, and the continual feast of a good Conscience? Who taste already the sweet­ness of Hope; and hereafter shall be satisfied with the fulness of Fruition. What can molest your happy state; whom the God of glory has chosen for himself? whom He has adopted into his honourable family; and design'd for heirs of the Kingdom of Heaven. That Blessed Kingdome where all Delights abound, and sorrow and tears are banisht away: Where none are sick, or grow old, or dye; where all flourish in perfect health, and live an immortal Life, in all the beauty and vigour of an Eternal Youth: Where none are perplext with cares or fears, but all dwell secure, and free for ever: Where we shall no more be subject to chance; no more be expos'd to the danger of temptation. No more shall we be cross'd by others; nor ever disquieted with our own Passions. There a serene tranquility shall alwaies dwell within us, and innumerable Joyes be round about us. Joy in the Excellencies of our glorified Bodies; joy in the per­fections of our enlarged Souls. Joy in the sweet society of Saints; joy in the glo­rious company of Angels. Joy in the ra­vishing [Page 75] sight of our beloved Jesus; joy in the blissful Union with the adorable Dei­ty. All shall be joy and love and peace, and all endure for eternal ages. Let then the servants of our Lord rejoyce and sing: sweet is the yoke of thy Love, dear Lord, and light is the burthen of thy Com­mands: But O how far more rich are thy faithful Promises! how infinitely greater thy glorious rewards! When every di­vine vertue in us shall there be rewarded with its proper Crown and Glory. The humble there shall be highly exalted; and the poor in spirit shall be prefer'd to be Kings. The meek shall possess that ho­ly Land; and the Mourners be com­forted with eternal refreshments: The clean of Heart shall see the God of pu­rity; and the lovers of Peace shall have the priviledge of his Children: They who hunger and thirst after righteousness shall be filled, and the merciful will be enter­tain'd with the kind embraces of mercy: They who suffer persecution for Righ­teousness sake, shall receive a great Re­ward; they that are Teachers and en­lighten others, shall shine bright as the Stars: They who relinquish any thing for God, shall receive an hundred-sold; and all [Page 76] the Just shall be in glory for ever. Then shall they bless the true Friend that at any time reproved their foolish courses, and so was instrumental to convert them to the waies of Bliss; they shall bless each cha­ritable hand that was assistant to their happiness. They shall praise and admire the provident mercies of their God; and sing aloud the victories of his grace. With joyful wonder they shall say, Is this the effect of those little pains we took; are these the Repairs for the petty losses we suffer'd? Happy we who deny'd our selves a few Toyes; and are now ad­vanc'd to these high felicities. Millions of years shall pass away, and our Glory shall but then seem to begin. Yea when millions of millions are past, our glory shall not for all that be nearer to its end. Thus shall they all rejoyce and none shall disturb them, and all the Hosts of Angels shall joyn with them in the high praises of God. O be very thankful, my Soul, to the Gracious God, whose favourable Providence to thee has brought this fe­licity to thy knowledge, that it may al­lure thee to the pursuit of it.

MEDITATION III.

AND now, my Soul, consider what thou hast to do. Consider what it is likely to profit thee to gain the whole World and lose thy self. See Life and Death here set before thee, the rewards of Saints, and the pains of Sinners. Con­sider these things, and make thy eternal hearty choice; choose wisely, and thou shalt not need to choose again. Choose while thy gracious Lord allows thee time and day, lest the night of darkness over­take thy neglect. Make a Choice, but remember that all Eternity is concern'd; and consider well, thou hast reason, be­fore thou settle in resolution. Call all the Pleasures of the world before Thee; and ask if any of those transitory relishes are worthy our enduring for them such exceeding great, and endless pains. En­quire whether to satisfie some irregular passion, can recompense with equal ad­vantage the forfeiture of such Felicities. Ask if the vain forbidden things thou lovest, deserve thy affection better than thy Maker. Are they more worthy in themselves, or more beneficial to Thee, [Page 78] that thou maiest justly prefer them before thy Redeemer? Dost thou expect to be at rest and satisfied by enjoying them? or everlastingly happy by their procure­ment? Will they protect thee at the hour of thy death, or plead thy cause at the day of Judgment? O no, they have little in them, they do but deceive me with a smiling look; which I have too often prov'd by dear experience. 'Tis Heaven alone that can yield a true content; it is that alone that fills with eternal delight. Say then my Soul, Take away your flatteries, false World; leave me a mind free for the entertainment of better things. If my Saviour turn but his Face towards me, my Mind shall be fixt on him. I will look continually on his glorious beauties; and be ravisht for ever with the charms of his sweet­ness. 'Tis Thee, chaste Spouse of Souls, 'tis Thee alone I choose, and dedicate my self entirely to thy service. Say these things, and mean as thou speakest, be thou hearty and sincere in choosing thus. Did we clearly see what we say we believe, it would make the most of men alter the vain course of their Lives. Did we but see the Damned in their [Page 79] flames; or hear them cry in the midst of their torments: How should we be a­fraid to follow them in their sins, which we know have plunged them into all those Miseries! How should we strive against the next temptation; and cast about to avoid the danger! Did we but see on the other side the incomparable Glories of the Saints; or hear the sweet harmonious Hymns which they continu­ally sing; how should we study to imi­tate those holy wayes in which we know they arrived at all their Happiness! How should we seek all occasions of improve­ment; and make it our business to work out our Salvation! What should we ac­count too much to be done for the attain­ment of those matchless joyes! What should we not readily do to avoid those sorrows! Yet all this is as sure as if we saw it, and would move us as much if we could but seriously consider it.

PETITIONS.

DEar Lord, it is only thou that canst make me consider these things so carefully as to resolve upon a wise choice. If left to my self, I am, alas! very likely [Page 80] to choose the vain goods of this world, to neglect my Soul, to forfeit thy eter­nal joyes, and to incurre thy eternal punishments. O Blessed Jesu, do thou choose me, and make my ignorant Soul so sensible of my true interest as to choose Thee for my portion and Inheritance for ever. Make me choose to love Thee above all thy competitors here, and till I come to see thee; and then I am sure that from thenceforth I cannot choose but love thee for ever. Pity, O Lord, the present frailty of thy Creature, and suffer not my blindness to lead me into ruin. Supply, I pray thee, my want of sight by a lively Faith of the glori­ous and terrible things that are unseen; and do thou so confirm my Faith and inable it by thy Grace, that I may be very sensible it is no matter of small importance to gain or lose the Kingdom of Heaven. Make me, Lord, to pursue the good choice when I have made it, to use fit Means industriously as well as desire the fit End. Direct and assist me, my God I pray, to prepare my self for these Felicities. Having presented to me such giorious Hopes, make me to purifie my felf as thou art pure. Make [Page 81] me to labour diligently, and continue stedfastly in doing well. Make me pa­tient in suffering of whatever Afflictions it shall please thy wisdom to lay upon me. Help me, Lord, in all conditions to be carrying on the work of my Salva­tion: So shalt thou have Glory by my eternal happiness, the Glory which thou desirest.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Wednesday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

A Good Conscience is a contiual feast; and a peaceful mind the Antipast of Heaven. Lord how secure and quiet they live, whom thy Grace preserves in Innocence! The day goes smoothly over their heads, and silent as the shadow of a Dial. The spirits of their Fancy run calm and even; they ebb and flow accor­ding to the allegiance which they owe to reason. All their delight is to think of Heaven; and to reckon over the many [Page 82] tastful joyes which they shall one day pos­sess. The devout mind free from stormy passions is like a bright day of the Spring, wherein the beauty of the Sun has no cloud to obscure it, the sweet Air has no storms to ruffle it, the glad Birds sing, and all Nature puts on a pleasing look. Such a mind is full of light and peace and joy, and puts the countenance into a sedate and chearful composure. Oh the happiness of such a state! Oh how desirable is its eternal continuance! But our Days on earth are mixt with Nights, our calms with storms, and fair weather with foul. Some unruly passion presses to come in, it is importunate, and fawns at first to gain admittance: It promises not to interrupt the Joy and Happiness, but after a little time disco­vers its pernicious intent if it be not very quickly rejected: Soon it grows bold to undermine our repose, and open a door to all our enemies. Just so at a little breach in the wall of a beleaguered City, a whole Army pours in their numerous body; and they enslave all that submit to their violence, and destroy all those that make head against it. Such, alas! is our con­fusion and hurt when once we have [Page 83] yeilded to the first Assault of any Passion. Immediately a throng of tumultuating spirits croud into our heads, and utter­ly consume the little remainder of our peace. O the endless distraction of a life led by humour, by blind will! O the miserable thraldom of being subject to our passions: What a boisterous sea, every where beset with Rocks and Quick­sands, is to a Mariner; that is a Mind subject to violent passions, such a mind is in continual danger of making Shipwrack of a good Conscience. How often do our passions engage us to contend with others, and imbitter all our daies with strife and envy! How often do they quarrel even among themselves, and raise a fierce war in our own bosoms! If they by chance agree in one desire, they many times vex us with their being disappointed. And the vexation of disappointment is so much the greater by how much they were con­cern'd. If they perhaps sometimes suc­ceed, they seldom produce the expected content. If they delight our corrupted taste, and we greedily swallow their un­wholsome sweets; then, alas, it is that they most undoe us, by feeding the hu­mour of our fatal disease. Vain at the [Page 84] best, and very short of duration are the enjoyments of this world; and after they have flatter'd us a while, they be­tray our neglected Souls into an eter­nal ruin. Thou art, O Lord, the on­ly Anchor of our hope: O Jesu, unless thou save us, we perish.

MEDITATION II.

THus are they miserably tost up and down, who float on the waves of their own Passions: Their wearied Souls soon faint within them, when they see the Lord has withdrawn his presence: They seek him, but in such distraction and confusion that they cannot find him; they call upon him, but he gives them no answer presently: And now, when all their fears are grown to the height, and no means appear to sustain their patience; when the proud waves beat violently against them, and are ready to cover their little Vessel with despair and ruin; then he awakes to their help, if they have persisted to call upon him; though he sometimes may slumber for a while, to try their duty, or punish their disobedience: Though he may suffer for [Page 85] a while the fury of the tempest to lye upon them, to show them their hope­less state if left to themselves; yet when they still seek and implore his help, his mercy at length hears their cry, and pities their fear and danger: And then his blessed voice commands a Calm, and immediately the Sea and stormy winds obey him; immediately his Sun arises in their hearts, and with its gentle beams revives their hopes: Then is their darkness turn'd into light, and the clouds disperst into a bright day: Then they recollect their scattered thoughts, and range them again in their right order. Often they look back on the dangers they have escaped, and as often bless the mercy that delivered them: Often they look forwards on the course they hold, and as often sing with joy for their happy change: Welcome again, they say, the easie yoke of Christ, and the light burthen of loving our Saviour: Welcome the holy exercises of sweet Devotion, welcome the easie, pleasant, moderate heat of Soul-enflaming Pray­er. Now we discern this beauteous truth, (O may we print it deeply in our minds) That the pleasures of Piety [Page 86] and Vertue are pure and constant, and that infinite blessings attend to reward it: But the pursuit of Vice is trouble­some and intricate, and finishes its course in an abyss of misery.

MEDITATION III.

TAke care, then, my Soul, to interrupt and break off the course of Vice by a timely repentance and a sincere amend­ment, that it may not finish in thy eter­nal misery. If passions do sometimes in­vade thee, let them not rest in thy mind, do not give way to their settlement, lest they grow into rooted habitual vices. Let not frequent and abiding Anger make thee contentious and malicious. If any passion has ruffled thee, call on thy Savi­our for his aid, that the Storm may not drown thee. Call earnestly, and labour diligently with thy self the mean-while to get out of thy danger. If he sees thee rowing hard, and striving earnestly a­gainst the waves, he will assist thee. And remember alwaies when his Kindness has given thee seasonable relief, that thou take care not to lose this unhappy expe­rience; but learn wisdom from thy for­mer [Page 87] miscarriage. Reflect and find out where thy Errour was; what betray'd thee into this disorder, and fortifie thy self against that defect. Carefully avoid all the occasions of sin; and the impor­tunities of such as delight in folly: Avoid the snares of kind enticing Company, and the dangerous infection of evil Ex­ample. Set a strict watch continually upon thine Eyes, and diligently keep the door of thy Lips. Govern all thy Sences that they do not seduce the mind; and observe and govern every inward motion of thy Heart and Fancy. When, O my Soul, did we ever follow our Passions, but they instantly wrought our distur­bance, and did threaten our ruin. Sup­press then all temptations in their first approach; when their power is weak, and thy choice is in full liberty. Remem­ber how formerly their flatteries have abus'd thee; and when they counterfeit again, be no more deceiv'd. Never look on the face of Pleasures as they come, but as they go off; when they leave no­thing behind them but their venomous sting. Let thy experience of the misera­ble Effects of yielding to their allure­ments make thee more wary in observ­ing, [Page 88] and more severe in repressing their first motions. So shalt thou gain the best of victories while thou masterest thy own corrupt inclinations, and conquerest thy violent passions. So shalt thou enjoy an uni­versal peace: Thou shalt maintain peace with the bad, by bearing their injuries; and with the good, by conforming to their Vertues: And with thy self by sub­duing Sence to Reason; and with thy God by improving Reason with Religi­on. Better is he that governs his own spirit than he that conquers a City.

PETITIONS.

BUT O Blessed Jesu! Do thou save me or I perish. I am in this world as always upon a dangerous Sea; continually liable to these storms, and likely to be lost by them. Oh send down thy power­ful Grace, and bear me up against them. When I am engag'd let thy great Mercy speedily rescue thy poor servant: Fortifie me against all the furious Assaults of Pas­sion▪ and Temptation; that I may be more than conquerour over them. Bring it to pass, O Lord, that Reason and Faith, and thy Love may more and more [Page 89] be enforced and strengthened in me. As thy all-wise Providence seems to sleep sometimes, and suffer storms to grow high and loud; O be pleased also to hear me when I call, for thou wouldst have me call, and let thy favourable hand still send me seasonable relief. O leave me not then to my infirmities, lest the enemy of my Soul prevail against me. Forsake not my miserable state when I am sink­ing, but reach forth thy hand and keep me from drowning. Suffer not my frail­ties to become a Custom, lest I die impe­nitent and perish without recovery. De­liver me often, O Lord, from the Occa­sions of sin, succeed my watchfulness and lead me not into temptation. Perfect, O Dear Redeemer, the work thou hast be­gun, and cherish the good wishes thou hast sown in me, that they may become rooted habits of Vertue, and bring forth a plenteous Harvest of good actions to thy Praise. And make, O Lord, I pray thee, even my Passions servants to thy Grace. Change my rude Anger into a severity against my self, and a prudent Zeal against the sins of others. Convert my fear into a timerousness to offend, and an awful reverence of thy sacred [Page 90] Name. Let all my affections be turn'd in­to thy Charity, that my heart may de­sire nothing but Thee: whom I may safe­ly love with all my heart and strength, whose Heaven I may greatly covet, and fear no excess: O Thou whose blissfull Vision is the Joy of Angels and sovereign Happiness of all thy Saints; O that my Soul could love thee without limits, as thou art infinitely amiable. O my Belov­ed, let my thoughts embrace thee all this night; while others sleep, let wakeful thoughts refresh me by presenting Thee to my mind: Let me think how kind thou art, how unspeakably good. Do thou, Lord, rest this night in my heart, and inspire it with the pure flames of divine Love.

Hymn 8.
LEt earthy minds court what they please
And gain what e're they court,
For me, I find but little ease
In all their gayest sport.
Be Thou alone but with my heart,
My God my only bliss,
I shall not murmure at my part,
Nor envy their success.
They talk of pleasure, talk of gain;
None must their humour cross:
But well I know their pleasure's pain;
Their greatest profit loss.
Let them talk on; and have not we
Our gains, our pleasures too?
Pleasures that spring more sweet and free;
Gains that more fully flow.
Nay, well endur'd, our very pains
To us a pleasure are:
And all our losses turn to gains;
If hopes may have their share:
And sure they may, such hopes as chear
The Heaven espoused brest;
Hopes that so strangely charm us here,
What will they be possest!
All Glory to the Sacred Three;
All Honour Power and Praise:
As 'twas at first, still may it be
Beyond the end of Dayes.

Amen.

For Thursday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

THe good and wise Creator of the world, made man at first after his own similitude: He form'd a noble Spi­rit within him, and endow'd it with righteousness, and true holiness: He gave him dominion over the creatures, with which he would plentifully stock the Air, Earth, and Sea: He gave to man a perfect dominion over himself, and made him able to govern his ap­petites and passions: He made him sole Lord of a beauteous Paradise which Gods own hand had planted. Man was to have spent a few pleasant years on Earth, and then to have been transla­ted to the Heaven of Heavens: But all these priviledges did the foolish crea­ture loose, by doing one guilty and needless act; by eating of the Tree of knowledge of good and evil, and there­in [Page 93] disobeying the Law of his just Crea­tor. Unhappy man has now forfeited all good, and exposed himself to the invasion of every misery: By this one sinful act, according to the tenour of the Covenant, our first Parents ruin'd themselves, and all their posterity with them: From thenceforth our bodies were doom'd to dissolution, and con­demn'd to return to the dust from whence they were taken: From thence­forth brutish and sensual appetites be­came rebellious against the laws of right reason; and the understanding is so blinded with partiality to sence, that it is not able to find out those Laws. The mind of man is destitute of its moral excellency, and the glorious Image of God is defac'd. The Apo­state spirit that tempted to the sin, has infected our nature with his own resemblance. Thus are we wretches be­come liable to all those sicknesses and pains that infest our bodies; and thus to those violent Passions and disorders which distemper and torment our minds: By this sin the favour of our God was forfeited, and we are all by nature the children of his wrath: We are exposed to [Page 94] the tyranny of the Devils while we live, and lyable to partake in their tor­ments when we dye. But when our great guilt had provok'd the divine an­ger against us, our great misery at the same time moved his compassion: He pityed the poor creature undone by its own folly, and resolved to find help for it by his Wisdom: His infi­nite goodness pityed the many thou­sands of Souls, which one rash act of the first Parents had undone; and when they might expect to hear from his Justice an irreversible sentence of Con­demnation, then did his wonderful mer­cy condescend to comfort them, by ma­king the first promise of a mighty Sa­viour: A Saviour that should conquer him who now had the power of death, and who is become ruler in the Chil­dren of disobedience. For thou, O ado­rable Son of God, Son coeternal and equal with the Father: Thou didst un­dertake to redeem us by an amazing way, which will be the eternal won­der of all thy most inteligent creatures. Blessed Son of God, thou didst under­take our help when it was not in the power of any creature to help us: Thou [Page 95] didst undertake to ransom us from our misery, while the fallen Angels were left subject to theirs. In the fulness of time, O kind Redeemer, thou didst ac­cording to that promise descend into this miserable world: And, while here, thou wentest about doing good, and diffusing the light of thy saving instru­ctions: By taking the humane nature into a personal union, thou didst put thy self into subjection under the law; and by thy spotless life and patient death thou hast satisfied all the demands of the Law for us; so that believing in Thee we are righteous by thy life, and our sins are attoned for by thy preci­ous death: Thy death upon the cross was our great sacrifice for sin, and suf­ficient at once offering of thy self to take it away. Thou hast by thy meri­torious life purchased for us all our for­feited good; and by thy propitiatory death removed our desert of evil: By that death thou didst go again out of this world, and art now ascended to the right hand of the Father; there thou ever livest to make intercession for us, and to dispence the purchases of thy life and death.

Hymn 9.
LOng had the world, in gloomy shades
Of Ignorance and Sin,
Benighted sate, whilst Hells dark Prince
Had tyraniz'd therein.
Weak Reasons twinkling Tapers long
Contended with the night;
And Prophets strove the shades to chase
With beams of borrow'd light.
But all in vain, alas, 'till He,
The Son of righteousness,
At length with healing beams arose
To cure the worlds distress.
He rose, and with his presence brought
A bright and glorious day,
Infernal spirits and their dark works
Before him fled away.
They that in errors fatal chains
The captiv'd world had led,
Were by the mighty Prince of peace
His conquer'd Captives made.
Thus came he, whom all Nations had
In great desire of old;
Whose coming, faithful Prophesies
To Israel long foretold.
And now, ye Nations of the Earth,
Know and revere your King,
Gladly submit to him who does
Your great Salvation bring.
Ye Nations of the Earth, rejoyce,
And all your voices raise;
The wondrous faithfulness and love
Of your great God to praise.
Glory to God the Father give,
And to the Gracious Son,
And Holy Ghost henceforth as long
As time his course shall run.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

LOrd, what a happy change has thy coming made in the world! what glorious effects have every where been the consequents of it! Narrow was once the gate, and strait the path to [Page 98] bliss, and so cover'd with the mists of Ignorance, that but few could find it: The whole earth then corrupted their way before God, and wickedness in­creased as fast as people multiplyed: Then did but eight persons among a great many thousands find favour with God to be saved from an universal de­luge: In several populous Cities before this floud could well be forgotten, there could not ten righteous persons be found, for whose sake they might be spar'd from destruction: Then the rayes of divine light were communicated but to a few particular persons: Only Abra­ham found favour with God to have a numerous seed, and that his seed should be heirs of a Covenant of Promise; I will be thy God, said the Almighty to him, and the God of thy seed after thee: Accordingly he that was the God of Abraham, took also particular care of Isaac and Jacob; and he gave his Statutes and Judgments to the Children of Israel, but did not deal so with any other Nation: But since thy coming, O glorious Messiah, light is come into the world, and the way of Salvation has been made known to all men; uncloud­ed [Page 99] light has come wlth thee, no more opprest with ceremonial veils; which therefore has diffused it self into the dark corners of the Earth, and spread it self to the ends of the World. The Day-spring from on high has visited our distant region, and on us has the Sun of righteousness kindly arose. The Chri­stian Church, thanks be to thy Love, Dear Lord, has included within its pale a great many Nations; It has had thousands that with a strong and gene­rous love have run swiftly after Thee in the way of thy counsels; nay, mil­lions with a fair degree of hope, have walked constantly towards thee in the way of thy Commands. Whence, O my God, could this strange improve­ment come, but from the infinite Merits of the Redeemers death: Hence it was that when he had ended his holy Life, he ascended to Heaven, and gave gifts to men; He gave largely of his Spirit to his chosen Apostles, and sent them out to preach his Word, and dispence his appointed Sacraments: He gave them the gift of Tongues, that they might Preach to all Nations; and the gift of working Miracles, to confirm [Page 100] their Doctrines: By his Spirits coope­rating with these, and succeeding their endeavours, they every where propaga­ted the Faith and Love of Jesus. Our kind Lord, before he ascended into Hea­ven, appointed the use of two sacred Rites in his Church; to assist the Faith of those who did not see his Person, that they might notwithstanding believe, and in believing be blessed. Lest man­kind should be so ungrateful as to for­get him, he has left us memorials of his tender love: By these he shews us his bloody Death and Passion, and makes himself present to those that believe and love; and these by the powerful working of his Holy Spirit, have con­firm'd many Disciples in their most ho­ly Faith: Many they have possest with a holy fervour and courage, to do and suffer great things for the name of Je­sus. O blest Memorials of my Saviours love, and faithful seals of all his pro­mises! whereby what he has done for us is represented, and what he has purchas'd is applyed to us: If I forget to sing of you, let my tongue cleave to the roof of my mouth: If I forget to meditate on you, let my head forfeit its power to think.

MEDITATION III.

WHere, O thou boundless Ocean of Immense charity! where will thy overslowing streams stay their course? we and our ingratitude basely strive to oppose Thee, but nothing can resist thy Almighty Goodness: Thou didst come to thine own People, and they received Thee not; yet thou didst not forsake the kind design of thy coming: When the Impiety of man was treacherously plotting to betray and murder Thee, then didst thou mercifully consult about means to convey thy saving blessings to the world: When they were resolving to bruise and kill thy sacred Body, thou wast contriving how we might best reap advantage from thy Passion and Death. Thy love we see was desirous to do more than dye for us, having contrived more­over a way to live in us. The Lord Jesus on the same night when he was betray'd, took Bread, and when he had given thanks he brake it, and said, Take, Eat, this is my Body which was broken for you, this do in remembrance of me: After the same manner also he took the [Page 102] Cup after Supper, saying, This Cup is the New Testament in my Blood, which is shed for the remission of the sins of many, Drink ye all of it, and do this as oft as you Drink it, in remembrance of me. Thus has our wise Lord found an excellent way to make even our flesh assist the Spirit in us: He has contrived by sensible things to make us move to­wards heavenly; by those things which are wont to draw and fasten us to this earth. When he distributed the Bread and Wine to his Disciples, he gave them an interest in his abundant gra­ces and merits: And thus is he ready to bestow himself still upon those that believe, and are desirous to partake of him. He has commanded the celebra­tion of this Holy Supper to be conti­nu'd in the Christian Church, to the end of the world: And that not only to keep alive a thankful remembrance of his Death, but also to confirm his gracious Promises to them that believe on him. To the happy Soul then that with faith and thankfulness does thus commemorate the dying Love of our Saviour, this Holy Supper is a Feast of fat things, and of Wine on the lees [Page 103] well refined. Jesus Christ himself will come and Sup with such, and be will­ing to make his constant abode with them: His Promise assures his Presence with them, while they are here on Earth, and that they shall when they go hence, be taken up to be where he is. O Praise the Lord, ye Nations of the Earth, all praise and admire his wisdom and love: His Love that so in­dustriously seeks our happiness, and his Wisdom that finds such excellent means to accomplish it: Praise him that is the sole fountain of spiritual Blessings, and who alone has right to ordain the means of conveying them; for that he has in­stituted a few means, and those easie to be observed, and made them the con­veyances of all the riches of his Grace: Give hearty thanks to the kind Re­deemer for this Institution, and express your thankfulness by coming to this his Supper: Come to it to remember his propitiatory Death, and to receive Je­sus Christ, who offers himself to you: Come to partake of the important pur­chases of his Death, and to devote your selves entirely to him who has so lov'd you: Come all ye People of the wide [Page 104] world, and let us adore the God that feeds us: With himself our kind Savi­our will feed us, and with his Sacred Flesh; his sacred Flesh is meat indeed, and his Blood is drink indeed. Our first Parents eat of the forbidden tree, and incurr'd for themselves and their posterity an eternal Death: We are invited to a Feast of spiritual Food, which whosoever eateth shall live for ever. With these dainties will divine love nourish us up to immortal Life, confirming and encreasing that happy union with himself, which is begun even while we live below on earth, and shall be perfected when we come to Heaven.

PETITIONS.

O God the Father of mercies! Fa­ther of our blessed Saviour Jesus the Christ: We believe that having given us thy dear Son, thou wilt with him also freely give us all things; that whatever we ask of thee, O Father, in thy Sons name, believing, we shall re­ceive it. I humbly beceech thee there­fore, O Lord, to have mercy upon me a poor miserable sinner: And as thou [Page 105] hast sent thy Son into the World, send him also to take possession of my Heart. Let this great light of the world enlighten my dark mind with a saving knowledge of thee and of himself. Direct me to dis­cern my true happiness, from the false flattering goods of this world; that I may not spend my time here in worldly cares and pursuits, but in seeking thee my End by him the only true Way to thee. Let him teach and convince me of the great excellency of thy Laws; and make me consider my wayes, and turn my feet unto thy Testimonies. Let the glad tidings of the Gospel, O Lord, by joyful tidings to me, by thy giving me an assured interest in them. Give me the pardon of all my sins by the Death of Christ; and a right to Life and Hap­piness by his meritorious Life. In me I pray that the mighty Redeemer may effectually destroy all the works of the Devil; deface the ugly image of the Apo­state spirit, and restore the glorious like­ness of thee my God. Make me, Lord, di­ligently and reverently to use thy ap­pointed Means of Grace, and let thy bles­sing alwaies make them means of grace to me. And while I thankfully use them, [Page 106] and am duly fruitful under them, let me enjoy the means of Grace till thou hast brought me to glory. Grant this, O Fa­ther for the sake of thy beloved Son our compassionate Saviour.

Glory be to the Father, &c. Amen.

For Thursday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

THe kind Master of this blessed Feast, sends his Embassadors to make a ge­neral invitation. He that is the divine Food puts the kindest words into their mouths; that their invitation may not fail of good success. He has said, Come to me all ye that labour for Holiness, and are oppress'd under the weight of your sins: Come, and I will give you the end of your Labour; and will ease you of that intolerable burden. Come you that hunger after Angels spiritual Food, and thirst to drink at the foun­tain of bliss. Come to me, I will refresh [Page 107] you with the Wine of gladness, and the bread of life. Come you that are weak, and you shall be strong: come you that are strong, lest you become weak. Come you that have leisure, and here entertain your time to your great ad­vantage: And you also that are busie, and here sanctifie and devote your Employ­ment. Our glorious God did not only make a visit, but is willing to dwell per­petually with us men upon earth: He whom the Heaven of Heavens cannot con­tain, will make his residence in our little Tabernacles. He whom the Seraphims prostrate adore, and fly with all their wings to perform his commands. He who came down to die for us sinners, and ascended again above the highest Heavens: Himself is there with all his precious blessings to the Soul that does desire and believe. To such a Soul this blessed Sacrament applies all the vertues, and merits of our Saviours Death and Passion. When he receives the consecra­ted Bread and Wine, from the hands of Christs Minister in his stead; he is made a partaker in the Satisfaction of his death, and the Pardon of all his sins is seal'd and confirm'd. By eating the Bread and [Page 108] drinking the Wine, the good Soul is more firmly united to the Redeemer: And as a member of his mystical body shall be quickned and guided by his good Spi­rit. The indwelling Spirit shall teach him his duty, and inable him to run in the way everlasting. He shall communicate power to conquer difficulties and tem­ptations, and to persevere with patience till he reach the Crown. By this is such a soul united also to that Jesus, who rose again from the death he submitted to. And as it is assuredly risen to a new life of Grace, it shall hereafter rise to an eternal life of Glory. It may look on these signs as certain pledges that it shall be advanced to the happy mansions a­bove. Thus as our Lord himself when on Earth contain'd under his outward po­verty, all the glorious fulness of the God­head; so these signs that represent him to us are but poor in themselves, in compa­rison to the rich blessings they bring along with them. Whatever faintness we feel, if we hunger after Christ and come hither to receive him, he can refresh us. What­ever fears dwell in our guilty minds and trouble us, this Wine of true Consolati­on will chase them away. O How great [Page 109] is thy Love, Dear Lord, that invites us miserable sinners to partake of thee: That invites our emptiness to be united to thy fulness; and our weakness to be cured by thy al sufficient power. O how should the sons of men flock in when he sends out his invitations to this Feast! when he calls us to a Feast of peace and love! A feast of joy and incomparable sweetness. What should the Captive wish but Liberty, and the weary Pilgrim but rest? What should the Sick desire but health, and the depending Creature but to be near its God? All are welcome to this Feast that have but Desire to partake, and Faith to receive.

MEDITATION. II.

LOrd, who are we unworthy wretches that thou thus regardest our sinful dust! what is all the world compar'd to Thee, that thus thou seemest for our sakes to disregard thy self! It is for our sakes, and to make us rich in Grace, that thou so graciously condescendest to come among us. More unworthy yet do we make our selves, if we neglect to come where thou wilt be present. O [Page 110] how insensible of their own true interest are those that neglect to approach this Sacred Feast. Is it a small matter with you, O careless wretches, to ly under a great load of guilt, that you come not to receive the pardon of your sins? Is the Great God willing to be reconcil'd to sinners, and to give them sure pledges of his reconcilement? And should not all Mankind then earnestly seek his favour, and gladly receive the pledges of his love? None of us can be assur'd that he will not turn us into Hell, till we are assur'd of our title to Heaven. Where are all they that have been baptized, and pretend that they account themselves Christians. Why do they not come, and own the Covenant then made by renew­ing it again at this Supper? They that neglect this, do in effect renounce that Covenant, and despise the incomparable blessings it promises. Well may they be impotent towards all good, and en­slaved to the tyranny of evil spirits; who neglect this Means appointed to convey spiritual strength, and to furnish them with the Spirit of Grace. Such must needs have lamentable cause to bewail the weakness of their Graces, and the [Page 111] slow progress of their Holiness. Well may they contract very deep stains, that do not often wash themselves with the blood of the Lamb. Well may they that begin in the Spirit, soon after end in the Flesh; who do not often here renew their resolutions, and receive fresh strength to hold on their race. Those were times of vigorous and sound piety when Christi­ans had a strong appetite to this Spiriual Food. This Appetite discover'd their health, and by often eating they main­tain'd it: When they could hardly be con­tented a Day without receiving one of these blessed meals: When they never came together to worship, but they also broke this holy Bread; Then they were patient under the hardest sufferings, and then they abounded in every good work. Then did the love of Jesus burn hot in their breasts, and the light of it shined bright before men. Then they had great chari­ty towards all men, and much peace one with another. It is a sad sign, and may be reckon'd a cause that the Spiritual life greatly languishes in our daies: When the proper Food of it is little relisht by many, and a great many more never de­sire it. Our sad dayes are likely still to [Page 112] languish in devotion, to be over-run with impiety, and profaneness: Still will the base love of the world abound amongst us, every one minding his own things, and none the things of Christ. Christi­ans will be enemies to one another, and more barbarous and cruel than wild­beasts: They will go on to bite and de­vour their own kind, and to consume and destroy the Christian Church; If we do not oftner commemorate the Love of our Lord, and solemnly bind our selves to love one another.

MEDITATION III.

Does our gracious Lord make a Feast of himself for us, and invite us poor Sinners to sit down at his Table? And should we not readily obey his call, and go to the Feast he has so kindly prepared? Behold our Lord himself is willing to meet us, and to bring a Hea­ven with him to entertain us. O leave the trifles of this world, ye reasonable Souls, and go to partake of his sub­stantial Joyes: Suspend the pursuit of transitory goods, ye immortal Crea­tures, and seek of Christ his eternal [Page 113] Treasures. O how ungrateful, Dear Lord, to thee, are all they that neg­lect this thy incomparable Provision: The Eternal Fathers Love is slighted by them, who gave his beloved Son to dye for us: The Love of our kind Re­deemer is not duly valu'd, while we have no esteem or desire for the blessings he has purchas'd: The sweet and saving Influences of the Holy Spirit are set at nought, while we decline the proper means to enjoy them. Is it not a most unspeakable ingratitude in mankind, to trample under foot the Blood of the Son of God? to despise that precious Blood which was shed for our sakes, which was shed for the remission of our sins? should we forget that painful Death he underwent, to excuse us from suffer­ing an eternal death? It was the par­ticular charge that great Love left, when he was just a going to be sacri­ficed for us; That we should devoutly celebrate this holy Supper, and often do it in remembrance of him. Are we not under great Obligation from his Love, to do any difficult or dangerous thing for his sake? and much more to comply with his dying will, when it [Page 114] requires so easie, and so pleasant a du­ty? Did our Saviour drink Vinegar, and eat Gall for us; and shall we refuse at his command to take these pleasant dainties? He drank off the bitter Cup which the Father gave him, to pur­chase for us a Cup of blessing. O how well would it become the whole world to say, We will take the Cup of Sal­vation, and praise the name of the Lord: We will remember thy Love more than Wine, dear Lord, and never forget thy most useful Benefits: We will show that we love thee as we ought to do, by keeping this and the rest of thy Com­mands. Had we but ingenuous Souls, we should be extreamly glad that he who has done so much for us, has told us what will please him. This Feast is appointed by our Lord, to shew forth his Death 'till he come: For he will come again in Glory and with Power, to Judge both the quick and the dead: When he will render to every man ac­cording to his works, and severely Pu­nish all those that obey not the Gos­pel: What must become of all those in that dreadful day, that do constantly neglect an undoubted Precept? Men pre­tend [Page 115] to fear the incurring of damnati­on by unworthy receiving, but do not fear to deserve it by neglecting to re­ceive his Supper. But since we disobey and offend our Lord in both of these, it should be our labour and care to pre­pare our selves and draw nigh.

PETITIONS.

O Most Gracious and Merciful God, who hast in kindness sent thy Son into the world; O let the same kind­ness effectually draw us, and we will run after him; for none of us can come unto him, except the Father that has sent him draw them. Alas! Lord, we know not our true Interest, 'till thou do effectually reveal it; we certainly re­fuse our own mercies, if thou do not incline us to pursue them. O send forth a mighty power of thy Spirit upon the world, and convince men of sin, because they believe not in Jesus; let him con­vince men of their guilty state by na­ture, and of their further guilt in not obeying the Gospel: Bring them in mul­titudes to Jesus Christ, by making them sensible that there is no other name but [Page 116] his by which they can be saved. Teach us how necessary to make atonement for our sins the great Sacrifice of himself was, which he offer'd upon the Cross; and make us all earnestly concern'd to partake of that Sacrifice, and therefore forward to use the appointed means of it: Convince us that we are poor with­out the riches of his grace, and naked without the robes of his righteousness, and in want of all things necessary to Salvation, 'till we are possest of an interest in him: O make us come to Je­sus Christ, that we may have life, that our forfeited right to eternal Life may be restor'd; and that he by his Spirit may quicken us to a spiritual and di­vine Life, who are by nature dead in trespasses and sins: Quicken us, O thou who wast dead and art alive, for thou alone hast the words of eternal Life: Make us discern and seek, and relish divine and spiritual things, capable of the pleasures of devotion, and desirous above all things of Communion with thy self: Make us in retir'd Devotion and publick Worship often seek to have Communion with the Father and the Son through the Spirit: And Lord, when­ever [Page 117] we draw nigh to thee, by coming carefully prepar'd to thine Ordinances, do thou graciously draw nigh to us, and satisfie us with those good things thou hast to bestow; make us joyful in thy house of Prayer, and renew our strength while we wait upon thee. Let every approach to thee in Worship conform us more to thy likeness, and fit us more to see thy face in Heaven. These things, O Lord our God, are desired as the purchases of our dear Sa­viours Blood; to whom be Glory and Praise, world without end.

Amen.

Hymn 10.
COme Royal Sion, come and sing
Thy Soul's kind Saviour, thy hearts King:
Stretch all thy powers thy Song to raise.
And since this lofty Theam's above
The best ambition of thy Love,
Call Heavens loud Quires to help thy Praise.
Sing how his Love from Heavens high throne
To Earth's low footstool brought him down,
For thee a cursed death to dye:
Sing that when hence he did remove,
He lest a Legacy of Love,
His needful Presence to supply.
Lo here the Bread of Life! this day's
Triumphant text provokes thy Praise;
The living, and life-giving Bread:
See the heart-chearing precious Wine
Which Great Love's pierc't Heart did resign,
To the Great Twelve distributed.
Praise him, who has thy Pastors bid
Ever to do what he once did;
And thankfully his gifts receive.
Sing loud that to this bounteous Feast,
Each hungry Soul may be a guest,
And from his Death may Life derive.
The Heav'n-instructed House of Faith
Here a mysterious dictate hath:
Himself to me my Saviour brings,
With graces which are all divine,
Under the veils of Bread and Wine;
Immortal cloath'd with mortal things.
Lo the life-food of Angels then
Bow'd to the lowly mouths of men!
Lo the full final Sacrifice!
The ransom'd Isaac and his Ram,
The Manna, and the Pascal Lamb,
As figures fixt on this their eyes.
Jesu to thee we sinners sue,
O Thou our Food and Shepherd too,
Grant in all good we may improve.
Still by thy self vouchsafe to keep
As with thy self thou feed'st thy Sheep,
And from us Lord all ill remove.
Blest be that love which thus makes thee
Mix with our low mortality:
O may it raise, and set us up
Coheirs with Saints, that so all may
Drink the same Wine, and the same way;
Convicters all of thy full Cup.

Amen.

For Fryday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

MY God, who can complain of do­ing too much, if they consider the labours of the loving Jesus? those painful labours that he freely under­took, and the humble task he so mild­ly stoopt to? When he might have flown on the wings of Cherubims, he chose to walk with us Worms in the dust: When he might have call'd for Manna from Heaven, in the sweat of his brows he would eat his Bread: When he might have made the Angels his foot-stool, he rather became the ser­vant of his Parents, living with them in their little Cottage, and readily obey­ing even their least Command: There in that humble privacy he encreas'd in wisdom, and grew in favour with God and man; still by his pious candour gaining the love of those happy few [Page 121] that saw his life. Happy they that saw thy life, O glorious Jesu! and heard with joy and wonder thy incomparable sayings; that felt a gentle motion stir their hearts, to love and imitate so blest a pattern. O that the same sweet Spi­rit of grace might draw our minds, dear Lord, to thee! O that we could, my Soul, in every passage of our life, still actually reflect on the example of His: His retirements were fill'd with holy Speculations, and in the midst of business his mind was free for Heaven: His Converse with others mispent no time, but bestowed every moment in excellent Charity; sometimes he was imployed to instruct the ignorant, some­times to inform aright those that were deceived: He apply'd himself to com­fort the afflicted, and heal the diseas­ed; to convince the froward, and ab­solve the penitent, and perswade all the world to be truly happy. It was meat and drink to him to do his Fathers will, and it should be ours to perform his. It was for our sakes that he made him­self subject to the Law, and to obtain for us an everlasting happiness he per­fectly obey'd it. Take up thy Cross, [Page 122] my Soul, and follow thy Lord; for his yoke is sweet, his burthen is light. He humbled himself for us, and be­came obedient unto death, even the death of the Cross to save us. When we had sold our selves to sin, and were all become the slaves of Satan, our blessed Jesus descended from Heaven, and brought a vast price to buy out our freedom: The price was no less than his own dearest Blood, which he plenteously shed on the ignominious Cross, depositing so his inestimable life to rescue us sinners from eternal death. Come let us adore our God that re­deem'd us.

Hymn 11.
COme let's adore the King of Love,
And King of Sufferings too;
For Love it was that brought him down,
And set him here in woe.
Love drew him from his Paradise,
Where flowers that fade not grow,
And planted him in our poor dust,
Among us weeds below.
Here for a time this heavenly Plant
Fairly grew up and thriv'd;
Diffus'd its sweetness all about,
And all in sweetness liv'd.
But envious frosts, and furious storms,
So long, so fiercely chide;
This tender Plant at last bow'd down
Its bruised head, and dy'd.
O narrow thoughts, and narrower speech,
Here your defects confess;
The Life of God, the death of Christ,
How faintly you express!
O Thou! who from a Virgin-root
Mad'st this fair flower to spring,
Help us to raise both heart and voice,
And with more spirit sing.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
One undivided Three,
All highest Praise, all humblest Thanke,
Now, and for ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

MY God, who can repine at suffer­ing too much; if they remem­ber the afflictions of Jesus? Those ma­ny afflictions He so patiently endur'd, and bore with Silence all their weight. Even from his humble Cradle in the City of Bethlehem, to his bitter Cross on the Mount of Calvary. How little do we read of glad and prosperous in his Life! how much of pains, and grief, and perpetual affronts! sometimes he was abandon'd by his nearest Friends; and left alone among all his discomforts: sometimes pursu'd by his fiercest enemies; and made the common mark of all their spite: sometimes they plot to insnare Him in his words; and enviously slan­der his miraculous Deeds: sometimes they tumultuously gather about him; to gaze at and abuse a man of sorrows: Sometimes they furiously seize on his Person; and hale and drag him along the streets: At last they all conspire to take away his life; and condemn him to a sharp, and cruel death. Have you ever seen a harmless Lamb stand silent [Page 125] in the midst of ravenous Wolves? so stood the Prince of Peace and Inno­cence, besieg'd with a ring of savage Jews: When they blasphemed Him, he reply'd not again; and when they inju­riously struck him, he only observ'd their rashness. When they provok't him with their utmost Malice, he pleaded their excuse; and when they kill'd him, he earnestly pray'd for their Pardon. O strange ingratitude of humane nature; thus barbarously to crucifie the Worlds Redeemer! O admirable Love of the worlds Redeemer; thus patiently to dye for humane Nature! Say now, my Soul, for whom thy dearest Lord endur'd all this and infinitely more; Canst thou complain of thy little troubles, when the King of Glory was thus afflicted? Canst thou complain of a meanly furnisht house; when the Son of God had not where to lay his head? We wear the badge of a crucified Lord; and shall we shrink back at every Cross we meet? we believe in a God that was crown'd with Thorns; and shall we abide to tread on nothing but Roses? Before our eyes, O Jesu, we see thee humble and meek; and shall thy Servants be proud and in­solent? [Page 126] We see thee travel up and down poor, and unregarded; and shall thy fol­lowers strive to be rich, and esteemed? Thy charitable labours were maliciously slander'd; and shall not our faults have the patience to be reproved? Thou didst not disdain to be call'd, thô in scorn, the Carpenters Son; and cannot our lowness bear a little disparagement? O how unlike are we to that blest Ori­ginal, who descended from Heaven to become our Pattern! How do we go astray from that sacred path, which the Holy Jesus trac'd with his own steps!

MEDITATION III.

ALL this, O Blessed Jesu! thou taughtst thy Holy Prophets to prepare the World for the coming of a Humble Saviour; all this and infinitely more thou didst verifie in thine own Person, with the reproaches, pains, and inward sor­rows thou didst endure. So much as was able to make even patience it self break forth into this sad complaint: O all you that pass by behold and see, if there be any Sorrow like unto my Sor­row. My God, when I consider what thou [Page 127] hast suffer'd for us; and what we have done against our selves: I am amaz'd at the wonders of thy goodness; and confounded at the vileness of our mise­ry. Our Sins were the cause of thy cruel death; yet still we permit them to live in us. We entertain the worst of thine Enemies; and treacherously lodge them in our own bosoms. Pre­ferring a petty interest before thy Hea­ven, and a transitory pleasure before Eternal Felicity. Many we confess are the follies of our Life; and our Con­sciences may very justly tremble at their own great Guilt. Many are the times thou hast graciously pardon'd us; and still we relapse, and abuse thy cle­mency. The Memory, Lord, of my transgressions shall be very bitter to me, and the thought of my ingratitude shall extreamly afflict me. Oh that my Head were Waters, and mine Eyes a Foun­tain of Tears; that Day and Night I might continually lament my own many Sins, and my dear Saviours Sufferings. But is there, O my Jesu, any stain so foul, which thy precious blood cannot wash away? Is there any heap of Sins so vast, to exceed the number of infi­nite [Page 128] Mercies? O no; Thou canst forgive more than we can offend; but thou wilt not forgive unless we fear to offend: Unless we seek to Thee for Peace, and reconcile­ment; and humble our selves in thy Holy Presence. I will therefore O Lord humbly prostrate my self before Thee; and cast my self upon thy infinite Mercy. I will look seriously into my own Breast, and make diligent search for my bosom Sins: I will confess and heartily lament my many failings, and strive to correct and amend my self by Fasting and Prayer. All we can offer thy offended Majesty, to pacifie the Justice of thy wrath, is only an humble Eye bath'd in Tears; and a penitent Heart broken with god­ly sorrow: Only a firm resolve to change our lives; and even all this we must beg of Thee.

PETITIONS.

O Thou our Gracious and Indulgent Lord, who freely pardonest all that truly Repent: who givest Repen­tance to all that ask, and invitest all to ask by promising to give! O give me I pray an unseign'd Repentance for my [Page 129] past offences; and then give the Remis­sion that thou hast promised to Repen­tance. Open, O Lord, my Lips freely to accuse my self for all the Crimes which my Examination may find in my Heart or Life: Let the consideration of thy cruel Sufferings heighten my sor­row for Sin, and confirm my detestati­on against it. Make me in every action still think of Thee, and call to mind what thou hast commanded me to do; make me call to mind thy Holy and exemplary Life, and think what thou thy self wouldst do, O Blessed Jesu, if thou wert here among us. And when I have thus learnt my duty, make me steadily do what thou hast taught me to know. When I consider my waies, make me turn my feet unto thy Testi­monies. Pity, O dear Redeemer, the in­firmities of thy Servant, and strengthen with thy Grace my often fainting Heart. Preserve me hereafter by thy Almighty Power, that no tentation may surprize or overcome me. Arm me, O Glorious Conquerour of Sin and Death, against all the fears and terrours of this world. Arm all my Powers with those celesti­al vertues, Faith, and Hope, and invin­cible [Page 130] Charity: That I may still go on and resolutely meet whatever stands in my way to Heaven. If I must suffer as a Christian, since I have deserv'd it from thee as a Sinner; help me to bear it with such patience, as becomes thy Servant. Let me not by doing evil, or omitting any required duty, decline any suffering I may be exposed to for thy sake: Since thy love made thee suffer so much for me; and has prepar'd so excellent rewards to Crown my Suffe­rings hereafter: Since Flesh and Blood cannot enter into thy Heavenly King­dom, make me to put them off here by fre­quent denying even their just content­ments. So shall I be disposed the better to endure with patience the inconveniences of my way thither. I am, O Lord, I must confess, unworthy of the least of thy mercies; but these things I hope to obtain through the merits of thy Passion.

Glory be to, &c.

For Friday Evening.

MEDITATION. I.

O Senseless we, that so little consi­der what we do against our Sa­viour, or what he suffer'd for us! Lord, how the World requites thy Love▪ How ingrateful are we to thy Blessed Memory! We negligently forget thy Sacred Passion; or rather, which is far worse, our Sins renew thy Sufferings. While we deprive others of their Right, what do we else but divest Thee of thy cloaths? While we delight in Strife and Schism, what do we else but rend thy seamless Coat? If we despise the least of thy faithful Servants; are we not as so many Herods that scorn'd Thee? If we for Fear proceed against our Conscience; how are we better than Pilate that unjustly condemn'd Thee? By forsaking thy will to follow our own; do we not chuse a Murderer be­fore [Page 132] thee? By retaining a sharp and bitter malice; do we not give Thee Vinegar and Gall to drink? By shew­ing no Mercy to the poor and afflicted; do we not pass by thy Cross as stran­gers unconcern'd? Thus we again Cru­cifie the Lord of Glory; and put him afresh to an open shame. Is this, O wretched we! the Duty we pay to the Sacred Memory of our Dear Redeem­er? Are these the Thanks our grati­tude returns to that strange excess of our Saviours Love? When we sate in darkness he took us by the hand, and kindly led us into his own light. We sought not him, but he came from far to find us; we look't not towards him, but his Mercy call'd after us: He call'd aloud in Words of melting tenderness; Why will you perish, O ye Children of Men? Why will ye run after empty trifles; as if there were no joyes above with me? Return, O you Dear bought Souls, and I will receive you; repent, and though you had really crucified me, I will forgive you. Behold, O Blessed Jesu, to Thee we come; on Thee O crucifi'd Love, we fasten all our Confi­dence: Never will we unclasp our hold, [Page 133] till thy Grace has seal'd the pardon of our Sins. Never will we part from this standard of Hope, till our troubled Consciences be dismist in Peace. There will we stand, and sigh, and weep; and every one humbly say to thy Mercy: Jesu my God, I am a miserable Sinner. O be thou my kind Advocate with the Father.

MEDITATION. II.

BElieve in Jesus, O my Soul, and thou maist be silent, for he thy Lord will answer for thee: rely on him and he will be thy security, love him and thou art united to his satisfaction and merits. Be innocent and he will defend Thee; be humble and he will exalt Thee. Re­pent, and he will forgive thy Sins, and purge away all thy foul impurities. He will wash away the guilt of those Sins which thy wickedness has ever caused in others; and of those also which thy weakness has at any time receiv'd from them. The merciful Lord will purge thee from all thy secret faults, and from those darling Sins that most abuse our Nature. He will pardon what thou [Page 134] hast been, and correct what thou art: Will order by his good Providence what thou shalt be, and in the end crown his own excellent Gifts. Direct thy prayers to his tender Mercy, and his Bounty will bestow more than thou ask­est. Never let us fear the favour of our God; if we can but esteem, and earnestly desire it. He that so freely gave us himself; will he not with him­self give us all things else? Is not his painful Life and bitter Death sufficient pledge of his Mighty Love to us. He has greater tenderness than any Mother; and more faithful Love to our true In­terest than any Friend: O disparage not his great willingness to help, by seeking aid of any other Mediatours. Surely they have little Faith, and far less hope; who doubt the Mercies of so Gracious a God: Mercies confirm'd by a thou­sand Miracles; and Dearly seal'd with his own precious Blood: That Innocent Blood which was shed for us, to ap­pease the wrath of his offended Father. Is not his infinite love to us sufficient motive of our duty to him? A Duty to which we are so many waies oblig'd; and wherein our Eternity is so highly [Page 135] concern'd? Now, my Soul, is the time of Acceptance, now is the only day of Salvation. Seek to Jesus to be washt in the pure Fountain of his Blood, and apply thy self to do whatever he as thy Lord requires thee: So shall the blessed Jesus be to thee Wisdom, Righteousness, Sanctification and Redemption.

MEDITATION III.

SHould'st thou, O Lord, have dealt with us in rigour, we had long since been sentenced to Eternal Death: Long since our guilty Souls had been snatcht away from this World, and hurried down to everlasting Torments: But thy gracious Mercy has yet repriev'd our lives, and given us space to work out our Salvation. Now is the time of Acceptance with thee; Now is the Day of Salvation for us. Now, O my Soul, let us mourn our former Offences, and henceforth take care to bring forth fruits worthy of Repentance. If we have hi­therto persecuted the Lord of Glory, and with our sins nail'd the Blessed Je­sus on the Tree of Death: Now let our whole endeavours attend the Ser­vice [Page 136] of our Saviour, and loyally conspire to un-crucifie their Lord. Let us ascend the Mount of Calvary, and often as we go, salute his holy steps. We kiss thy steps, dear Lord, when we love thy wayes, and humble our selves, and fol­low thee. Let us there on our knees approach him on the Cross, and reve­rently cover his naked Body: We co­ver thee, when our Charity cloaths thy Servants, and hides the infirmities of thy little ones. Let us there with ten­derest care unfasten the nails, and gently draw them out of his Hands and Feet: We draw them out, O Lord, when we freely obey thy Will, and loosen our Affections from cleaving to the World: When thou hast thus, my Soul, rescu'd thy Lord, nail thy self in his stead to the Cross. Mortifie thy members which are upon the Earth; and crucifie the Flesh with all its inordinrte Lusts.

PETITIONS.

O Father of Mercies, and of our lov­ing Saviour; let the love of thee, and of thy Son, win our hearts entire­ly to thy self: Win them from this [Page 137] vain Life, and all the little goods of it, to the sole pursuit, and hopes of enjoy­ing thee in thy Eternity. Let the love of our crucified Redeemer soften our hearts, and make them break for our past offences against thee: For we have broken the Laws of our Maker, we have provok'd the wrath of our Judge; we have despised the goodness of our God. O deal not with us according to our fins, nor give us the sad desert of our Iniquities. We fly, O Lord, from the Bar of thy Justice, to the mild and gra­cious Seat of thy Mercy. Spare us, O Lord, who are the works of thine hands, spare us whom thou hast redeem'd with the blood of Christ. Pardon, O Lord, our sins of weakness and surprize; par­don our sins of wilfulness, and delibe­ration; pardon our relapsing into the sins we have repented; pardon our for­mer living in sin without Repentance. Make us so grieve for our sins as to hate them; so hate, as utterly to forsake them. O may the good Spirit morti­fie all our corrupt Affections, that no principle may ever divert us from lov­ing and serving thee. Crucifie, O Lord, our Flesh with the fear of thee, and let [Page 138] us have all our portion of sorrow in this World: Crucifie us to the World, and the World to us; that being dead to it, we may live to thee: At least live thou in us, O holy Jesu: Possess thou us, who hast bought us so dear as with thy Life's last drop of precious blood. Dispose of all our motions ac­cording to thy righteous will; help us to root out all our Vices with the con­stant practice of contrary Vertues; that so we may bring forth fruits agreeable to a true Repentance. And confirm, O Lord, we beseech thee, our resolu­tions against sin, and our courage to fight manfully under the Banner of thee our Crucified Saviour; that we may withstand the shock of all Temptations, and conquer the Assaults of all our spi­ritual Enemies: And make us watch, as well as pray, lest we enter into temp­tation; that so we may be delivered from evil. So guide and govern us, dear Lord, by thy great Wisdom, and Love, that nothing may be able to se­parate us from the love of thee our Glorious Redeemer; who with the Fa­ther and the Holy Spirit, livest and reignest ever one God, world without end.

Amen.

Hymn 12.
AND now, my Soul, canst thou forget
That thy whole life is one long debt
Of love to him, who on a Tree
Paid back the Flesh he took for thee?
Lo how the Streams of precious Blood
Flow from five wounds into one Flood:
With these he washes all thy stains,
And buys thy ease with his own pains.
Thy Cross, dear Lord, does clearly now
That doubt of former Ages show;
It was this wood should make the Throne
Fit for a more than Solomon.
Large Throne of Love! royally spread
With purple of too rich a red:
Strange costly price! thus to make good
Its own esteem with its Kings blood.
Jesu, best plant of Paradise!
To thee our hopes lift up our eyes:
O may aloft thy branches shoot,
And fill the Nations with thy fruit.
O may all reap from thy increase,
The just more strength, the Sinner peace;
While our half-withered hearts and we
Engraft our selves, and grow on thee.
Live, O for ever live, and reign,
Blest Lamb, whom thine own love has slain;
And may thy lost sheep live to be
True lovers of thy Cross and thee.
All Glory to the sacred Three,
One undivided Deity;
As it has been in Ages gone,
May now and ever still be done.

Amen.

For Saturday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

A Wake all ye Powers of my Soul, and come, pay your homage to the Prince of our Salvation; cast your unworthy selves at his sacred feet, and renew your vows of following his steps: He triumpht over death in his own bo­dy, and will enable us to conquer it in ours: He chang'd the corrupted go­vernment of the world, and establisht a new and holy Law, that as we were Vassals to sin before, we might now be­come the free subjects of Grace: Let us live and dye in his blest Obedience, and let no temptation ever separate us from him, who if we resist will make us overcome, and when we have over­come will crown us with peace. Come let us adore our victorious Redeemer. Thou hast, O Lord, triumpht over all thy enemies, and ours, but we alas, are yet [Page 142] conversing in the midst of our enemies: Prostrate before Thee, we will confess our misery: To how many dangers is our life expos'd! with how many ten­tations are we round besieged! tentati­ons in meat, tentations in drink, ten­tations in conversing, tentations in so­litude; tentations in business, tentations in leisure, tentations in riches, tenta­tions in poverty; all our wayes are strew'd with snares, and even our Sen­ces conspire against us. Whither, O my God, shall our poor Souls go, en­compast with a body so frail, and a world so corrupt? Whither but to thee the justifier of sinners, and to thy grace, the sustainer of the weak? Thy Grace instructs us what we ought to do, and breeds in us the will to endeavour what we know: Thy Grace inables us to perform our resolves, and when all is done, thy Grace must give success. We, that of our selves can do nothing, may, through Christ strengthning us be able to do all things, and gain the sen­tence of approbation that shall be pro­nounc'd upon his steadfast followers; Well done, good and faithfull Servants, enter you into your Masters Joy.

Hymn 13.
LOrd, we again lift up our eyes,
And leave our sluggish beds;
But why we wake, or why we rise,
Comes seldom in our heads.
Is it to sweat, and toyl for wealth,
Or sport our time away;
That thou preserv'st us still in health,
And giv'st us this new day?
No, no, unskilful Soul, not so,
Be not deceiv'd with toyes;
Thy Lords commands more wisely go,
And aim at higher joyes.
They bid us wake to seek new grace,
And some fresh vertue gain;
They call us up to mend our pace,
'Till we the prize attain.
That glorious Prize for which all run,
Who wisely spend their breath;
Who when this weary life is done,
Are sure of rest in death.
Not such a rest as here we prove,
Disturb'd with cares and fears;
But endless joy, and peace, and love,
Unmixt with grief and tears.
Glory to Thee, O bounteous Lord!
Who giv'st to all things breath;
Glory to Thee Eternal Word!
Who sav'st us by thy Death:
Glory, O blessed Spirit, to Thee,
Who fill'st our Souls with Love;
Glory to all the mystick Three,
Who reign one God above.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

LOrd, with what admirable Wisdom dost thou govern the world, and order the several conditions of Men! thy wise Providence orders some to be poor, and appoints them their task of innocent work: Thy Providence is plea­sed to make others rich, and give them leisure for their better improvements: Thou hast made both poor and rich to be some way needful to one another, [Page 145] that all may live in love and unity, and apply themselves to mutual assistance. Happy are they, O Lord, who have so much employment, that there remains no room for idle thoughts: Happy are they who have so little business, that they want not space to attend their Souls: Happy yet more are they, who in the midst of their work, can think sometimes of the wages above; whom nothing diverts from that chief concern of seeking to make their Election sure: But while their backs are bow'd down with labour, they freely can raise up their minds to Heaven: And while they are ty'd to their Beds with sickness, can yet move on towards their Eternal rest: Often they rejoyce with themselves alone, and silently say in their contented hearts, Here we, alas! are narrowly confin'd, and our time entertain'd with trivial affairs: But hereafter we expect an un­bounded enlargement, and the same glo­rious office with the blessed Angels: Here we are subject to a thousand miseries, and the most prosperous life is vain and short; but hereafter we expect an infinity of Joy, and the solid Pleasures of Heaven for ever. We too, my Soul, let [Page 146] us Pray to be guided in the middle Path, and take care that we decline to no vi­cious extream; to avoid the stormy sea of too much business, and the dead wa­ter of a slothful life; lest we be cast away by forgetting God, or become cor­rupted by neglecting our selves. Some­times at least recollect thy thoughts, how much soever thy condition distracts thee: In all thy works remember thy last end, when thou must bid a long farewel to all this World; Remember that dreadful Day of the Universal Judg­ment, when thou must give an account for every idle word: Remember the Joyes prepar'd for the Innocent, and the miseries that attend the wicked: Remember how nearly it concerns thee to have a good or a bad Eternity, and that every action tends towards the one or the other: Thus kept in awe, thou wilt be careful not to sin, and en­courag'd by the reward thou wilt strive to do well. Then maist thou look up with humble confidence in our God, how low soever thy afflictions depress thee: Thou may'st look up to the eternal Mountains, and feed thy hungry desires with this sweet hope; the day will [Page 147] come, when out of this dark world we shall joyfully ascend to that beauteous light: The day will come, and cannot be far off, when we shall rest for ever in the bosom of Bliss.

MEDITATION III.

HAppiest of all, O Lord, are they, whose very business is thy sacred Service: Who not only bestow an in­terrupted glance, but steadily fix their Eyes on Thee: Who are devoted to the happy Service of the Sanctuary, and night and day dwell in thy presence: Who, not engag'd in the cares and tu­mults of the World, spend their time in Retirement and Devotion: If the Sun rise, it finds them at their Masters work; and when it sets, leaves them at the same sweet task. Every place is a Church to such consecrated Souls, and every day a holy Sabbath: Every ob­ject is an occasion of Piety, and every accident an exercise of Vertue. Do they behold the beauteous Stars, they pre­sently adore their great Creator: Do they look down on the fruitful Earth, they instantly begin to praise his Bounty: [Page 148] Let War or Peace do what they will, and the inconstant World reel up and down; they pass through all with a ferene mind, and smoothly go on their regular course; looking still up to that glorious Life above, and entertaining this present in hope, and labour to at­tain it: When they depart sometimes from their proper center, and forsake a while their belov'd retirement; 'tis to approach and give light to others, and enflame some cold or lukewarm hearts: While they are abroad they are still with Thee, and nothing can divide them from thy dear Presence: When they return, still Devout and In­nocent, thou receivest them as familiar Friends; and freely admit'st them to thy secret Sweetness: Thou givest them a tast from thine own full board, and overflowest their hearts with the Wine of gladness. Often they feel a little beam from Heaven strike gently, and fill their breasts with light; often that gentle light is kindled into a flame, and chastly burns with pure desires: De­sires that still mount up and aim at Thee, the supernatural center of all their hopes. Oh happy state of the [Page 149] Reverend Clergy, who empty of the World, are full of God! Such shall sel­dom fall, and quickly rise, and make swift Advances in the way to Heaven: They shall live in purity, and dye with confidence, and go to sing among the Quires of Angels.

PETITIONS.

O Gracious, and eternal Wisdom and Goodness! who seest and pitiest the infirmities of our nature surrounded on every side with the worst of dangers; tentations to folly: O guide my steps in thy safe way; order every chance to pre­vent my falling, and still lead me on to­wards a happy end. Give me the eye and wing of an Eagle, to see my danger at a distance, and fly swiftly away from it. If I needs must engage my Enemy, and there be no means left to escape the Encoun­ter; strengthen me, O Lord, with thy all-powerful Grace, to persevere with courage, to break through all that offers to divert or stop the advance of my love to thee alone; strengthen me, that I may never be wanting in my fidelity to thee. Convince me, O blessed God, into this [Page 150] firm judgment, and make my Memory faithfully retain it; whatever my Senses say to deceive me, or the World to ob­scure so beauteous a truth: That thy self alone art our chiefest good, and the sight of thy glory our supream felicity. Give me, O thou dispenser of all things, give me in this World neither poverty nor riches, but feed me with food conve­nient for me, lest perhaps being full, I be allur'd to deny thee, and say, Who is the Lord? or compell'd by want, do flatter or steal, or forswear the name of my God. Whatever my lot be, assist me by thy Grace to submit my Will intirely to thine: Assist me so to improve the Talents which thy Providence as­signs me; that at the great day of Ac­count I may be receiv'd with those pre­cious words, Well done, good and faith­ful Servant, enter thou into thy Masters joy: Through the Merits of Jesus Christ the Mediator.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Saturday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

WHY do we still pursue this World, and so eagerly seek its fond en­joyments? A world of vanity and false deceits; a world of misery and many sad disasters; whose Crosses are solid, and Comforts empty; whose Sorrows are permanent, and Delights pass quick­ly away: A World where the innocent are often condemn'd with shame, and the bold guilty acquitted with applause: Where sometimes the wicked are ad­vanc'd to honour, and the vertuous are opprest with disgrace: Where Friends soon fall off, and Kindred forget, and every one minds his own private Inte­rest. Yet are we taken with this crook­ed World, and blindly court its ugly painted face. We make some sordid Passion Mistress of our heart, and neg­lect the pure and amiable love of Jesus; [Page 152] whose goodness to us gives all we have, whose Perfections in himself are more than we can conceive. Thou art, O glo­rious Jesu, the Beauty of Angels, and the everlasting Joy of all thy Saints. Thou art the Heaven of Heaven it self, and in thy sight alone is the fulness of Bliss. All this thou art, and infinitely more! and yet alas! how few esteem thee! The World (we dearly know) too often has deceiv'd us; and our rash­ness takes no care not to be undone again. Thou never, O Jesu, hast fail'd our hope, and our dulness fears to rely on thee. The World distracts and embroils our spirits, and wretched we delight in our misery. Thou alwaies, O Jesu, fill'st our hearts with peace, and sense­less we are weary of thy happiness. The World calls, and we faint in eager fol­lowing it; thou call'st, and we are still reliev'd by thee: Yet is our Nature so ingratefully perverse; we run after that which tires, and abandon that which re­freshes. Sometimes our lips speak glo­riously of thee, O thou living Fountain of eternal Bliss. Some happy times we relish thy sweetness, and decry aloud the poysons of the World. But we are [Page 153] soon entic'd by its gilded Cup, and easi­ly forsake the Waters of Life.

MEDITATION II.

ALL this is true, and yet the World is lov'd, and our nature inclines to affect its vanities. 'Tis lov'd, and so it justly deserves to be, did we un­derstand its real value. Our Life in­deed seems trivial and mean, and all things about us look troublesom and dan­gerous: Yet, O my God, is their con­sequence excellent in this; that they are our onely way of coming to thee. This World, and this alone is the Womb that breeds us, and brings us forth to see thy light. This is alone the pro­per Machine, wherein thy hand has set our Lives; to learn the art of mana­ging it right, and wind up our selves to thy glorious Heaven. O that we had that happy skill! how soon would eve­ry thing help forward to advance us! Whether we eat or drink, or whatever else an innocent hand can undertake; if we regard our faithful end, and or­der all to the improvement of our minds▪ They instantly change their secular name, [Page 154] and deservedly are preferr'd to become religious. Riches themselves, and im­perious Honour have not so perverse and fixt a malice; but a prudent use converts them to Piety, and makes them fit instruments of highest Bliss. Our ve­ry delights (O the goodness of our God!) may be temper'd with so wise an al­loy, that his mercy accounts them as parts of our Duty, and fails not to give them their full reward; while they are entertain'd for the health of our Bo­dies, or the just refreshment of our wea­ried spirits; and both our Bodies and Spirits constantly apply'd to gain new degrees of the love of Heaven. Thus, gracious Lord, every moment of our lives may still be climbing up towards thee; thus may we still proceed in thy service, even then when we most of all serve our selves: And then indeed it is we best serve our selves, when we are busiest in what we call thy service. Thou sweetly vouchsafest to stile that thy glo­ry, which in very truth is nothing but our interest: Thou kindly complain'st we dishonour thy Name, when we one­ly mischief our own Souls.

MEDITATION III.

THis Life indeed is the way we must walk; but this alone cannot bring us to our end. E're we arrive at our appointed home, we must be led through the Gates of Death; where we shall absolutely be stript of all we have; and carry nothing with us but what we are. Where we not only must quit the whole World; but leave behind us even part of our selves. Hast thou, my Soul, seen some Neighbour dye? and dost thou remember those circumstances of Sorrow? We are sure, the Case e're long will be our own; and are not sure but it may be very soon. Have we our selves been dangerously sick? and do we remember the thoughts we had then? How we resolv'd to correct our Passi­ons; and strive against the vices that particularly endanger us. It will come to this again; and no reprieve shall be found to stay one single Minute the hand of Death: But he immediately will seize upon us, and bear us away to the Region of spirits; there to be rang'd in our proper place; as the course of [Page 156] our Life has qualified us here. Nor is this all, to expire, and dye; and dwell for a time in a state of Separation. We must expect another day; a day of publick accounts, and restitution of all things: When the Arch-Angel shall sound his Trumpet, and proclaim aloud this universal summons: Arise you dead, and come to Judgment; arise, appear befor the Throne of God. Then shall the little heaps of Dust immediately awake; and every Soul put on again her proper Body. Immediately all the Chil­dren of Adam shall be gather'd toge­ther; from Heaven, and Hell, and eve­ry corner of the Earth. There they must stand, and all attend their doom; but O with how sad and fatal a diffe­rence! The Just shall look up with a chearful confidence; and in their new white robes triumph and sing: Allelu­ja, let us rejoice, for the Marriage of the Lamb is come; and his Bride has prepar'd her self. Let us rejoice, for the Kingdom of the World is made our Lords, and his Christs; and he shall Reign for ever and ever. Let us re­joice, for now our Redeemer is nigh; behold he comes quickly, and his re­ward [Page 157] is with him. Come, come, Lord Jesu, thou long desire of our Hearts; come quickly thou full delight of our Souls: Come, and declare to all the world thy Glory; come, and reward before all the World thy Servants. Lo, where aloft he comes in Power, and Majesty; attended with a train of innumerable Angels. Behold where he sits enthron'd on the Wings of Cherubims, and takes at once a view of all mankind. Soon he commands his Angels to sever his sheep; and gather them together on his Right hand. First then to them he turns his glorious Face, and shines upon them, and saies these ravishing words: Come ye blessed of my Father, possess the Kingdom prepared for you from the beginning of the World. O the joyes their Souls shall feel, when those Hea­venly Words sound in their Ears; Joyes that the wit of man cannot conceive; joyes that the Tongues of Angels cannot express. Let it suffice, themselves shall tast their own felicity; and feed on its sweetness for ever. But O, with what dejected Eyes and trembling Hearts shall the wicked stand expecting their Judge! What shall they do when, where­ever [Page 158] they look, their griev'd Eye can meet with nothing but what will cause despair? Above the offended Judge rea­dy to condemn them; below the bot­tomless Pit gaping to devour them Within the worm of Conscience gnaw­ing their Bowels, and round about them all the world is in flames. What shall they do when that terrible voice shall strike them suddenly down to the bot­tom of Hell? Go you accursed into ever­lasting Fire, prepar'd for the Devil, and his Angels. The day of man is past, when Sinners did what they pleas'd; and God seem'd to hold his Peace. 'Tis now the day of God, when his wrath shall speak in thunder; and Sinners shall suffer what their wickedness deserves. Then shall they sink immediately into the Pit of Sorrow; and dwell in dark­ness and torments for ever. While the just shall go up in Joy and Triumph; and Reign with our Lord in his King­dom for ever. Thus shall the whole Creation be finally dispos'd; and Mer­cy and Justice divide the world. O my Soul! who now art here below, and read'st these dreadful Truths as things afar off: Know thou shalt be present [Page 159] and see them with thine Eyes, and be thy self concern'd for all Eternity. Know as thou livest, thou art sure to die; and as thou diest thou art sure to be judged. Think what a sad condition it will be to find thy self on the wrong hand: Think what then thou would'st give to have repented in time; think what thou would'st give for a little time to repent. Think on these things, and now heartily repent while yet a moment of time is left thee. Improve this mo­ment about the necessary work, because thou canst not be assur'd of the Succes­sion of another. Watch, now, thy self continually, and continually pray; for we know not the Hour when the Son of man will come.

PETITIONS.

O Son of God and Man, who camest in Mercy to save! O bring the same Mercy with Thee, when thou comest to Judge us. In the mean while assist me by thy heavenly Grace, to stand perpetually with my accounts prepa­red; that I may die in the Peace of God, and Communion of his Church, [Page 160] and go to live with him, and that part of his Holy Church which is trium­phant. O Blessed Jesu! King of Cle­mency, and great rewarder of every little Grace! Thou who by all we can do pretendest no gain, but bestowest on us all that thy self hast done: In­struct my gratitude to consecrate all to Thee, since all by thy bounty will re­dound to thy self. O Thou who tookst upon Thee all our frailty, to bestow on us thine own perfections, teach me to prize the joyes of Heaven, and part with all things else to purchase Thee. O let not the flatteries of worldly plea­sures any more delude me! nor any su­perfluous cares perplex my mind. O may my chief delight be to think of thee, all my study to come to the enjoyment of thee. Let the shortness and vexation of all worldly enjoyments so disparage them to my Apprehensi­ons, that they may become less tempt­ing to me, and take the less hold of my heart. Make me thankfully sensi­ble of thy mercy and kindness to Man­kind, in mixing this worlds enjoyments with so much trouble and inconveni­ence; since we cannot attain thee, the [Page 161] Heaven of Heavens, if we do not fix our selves intirely upon thee: Nor can we do this if we are or may be satisfied with any thing beside thy glorious self. Thus has thy wisdom fitly qualified this life, the present dark womb of our Souls, so that by its own uneasiness it will with thy blessing the more easily dispose them for a happy birth into thy blessed Eternity: Through our Lord Jesus Christ thy Son, who with the Father and the Holy Ghost together, is worshipped and glo­rified.

Amen.

Hymn 14.
LOrd, what a pleasant life were this,
If all did well their parts;
If all did one another love
Sincerely with their hearts!
No Suits of Law, no noise of War
Our quiet minds would fright;
No fear to lose, no care to keep
What justly is our right.
No envious thought, no slandoring tongue
Would e're disturb our peace;
We should help them, and they help us,
And all unkindness cease.
But the All-wise chose other Laws,
And thought it better so;
He made the World, and sure he knows
What's best with it to do.
'Tis for our good, that all this ill
Is suffer'd here below;
'Tis to correct those dangerous sweets,
That else would Poyson grow.
So storms are rais'd to clear the air,
And chase dull clouds away;
So weeds grow up to cure our wounds,
And all our pains allay.
How often, Lord, do we mistake,
When we our Plots design!
Rule thou hereafter thine own world,
Only, thy self be mine.
Or rather, Lord, let me be thine,
Else I am not mine own;
Give me thy self, or take thou me,
Undone if left alone.
To thee, great God of Heaven and Earth!
Each knee for ever bow;
May all thy Blessed sing above,
And we adore below.

Amen.

Devotions FOR Every Day IN THE WEEK. The Second Part.

For Sunday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

SIng to our Lord a Psalm of Joy, sing Praises to the God of our Salvation: Sing with a loud and chearful Voice, sing with a glad and thankful Heart: Say to the weak of spirit, Be strong; say to the staggering Faith, Be stedfast; say to the sorrowful, Be of good com­fort. Tell all the World this Soul-re­viving truth, and may their Hearts leap within them to hear it: Tell them the Lord of life is risen again, and has cloath'd himself with immortal glory: He made the Angels Messengers of his Victory, and vouchsaf't even himself to bring us the happy news. How many wayes did thy condescending mercy in­vent, O thou wise contriver of all our happiness! to convince thy followers [Page 168] into this blest belief, and settle in their Hearts a firm ground of hope: Thou appearedst to the holy Women, in their return from thy Sepulcher, and open­edst their eyes to know and adore thee: Thou didst purposely overtake in their Journey two of thy Disciples, that were discoursing of Thee, and make their hearts burn within them by thy Dis­course, whilst thou didst kindly expound to them the things that related to thee in all the Scriptures, and which by thee had been fulfill'd. Thou didst show thy self on the Shore to thy Disciples labouring at Sea, to intimate that they must now leave that fishing to become Fishers of Men: They labour'd all night in vain, without the Blessing of their Master Jesus: Thou didst show thy self to them, and tell them plainly who thou wert, by the kind known token of a beneficial Miracle: When the doors of the House were shut, thou who hadst insensibly come in, didst appear to give them peace and satisfaction; to satisfie them of thy Resurrection from the dead, and of thy continued tender Love to them: How didst thou conde­scend to eat before them, and invite [Page 169] them to touch thy Body! How didst thou sweetly provoke the incredulous Thomas to thrust his hand into thy wounded side: And thou hast taken oc­casion from his hardness to believe, to facilitate the Faith of thy Church in after Ages. We bless Thee, O Lord, who has so order'd the Duties of our Faith, that the true reports of Sense may help us in some of them, and do contradict us in none. How often, O gracious Lord, in those blessed forty dayes, did thy Charity cast to meet with thy Disciples! that thou mightest teach them still some excellent truth, and imprint still deeper thy Love in their Hearts: Discoursing perpetually of the Kingdom of Heaven, and establish­ing proper means to bring us thither. At last when all thy glorious task was perfectly finisht, and thy hour of de­parting from this Earth did approach, Thou didst tenderly gather thy Chil­dren about thee, and in their full sight goe up into Heaven; leaving thy dear­est Blessing on their heads, and promi­sing a kind Comforter in thy absence. O how adoreable are thy Counsels, O Lord! How strangely endearing the [Page 170] wayes of thy Love! Say now, my Soul, is not this evidence clear enough, to answer all our darkest Doubts? Is not this hope abundantly sufficient to sweet­en all our bitterest Sorrows? What though we mourn and be afflicted here, and sigh under the Miseries of the world for a time? we may be sure that our Tears shall one day be turn'd into Joy, and that Joy none shall be able to take from us: What though our Bodies be crumbled into dust, and that dust should be blown about over the face of the whole Earth? Yet we undoubtedly know that our Redeemer lives, and shall ap­pear in brightness at the last Great Day. He shall appear in the midst of all the numerous Hosts of Angels, and before him shall be brought all Nations: Then with these Eyes which now read of him, we shall see him; we shall see him in whom we have so long believ­ed, we shall find him whom we have so often sought: In our full and final Redemption we shall find him a faith­ful and mighty Redeemer: We shall possess him whom our Souls have loved, and be united to him for ever, who is the only end of our being.

Hymn 15.
A Wake my Soul, rise from this Bed,
Of dull, and sluggish Earth;
Quickly arise, lift up thy head,
And see thy Lords new birth.
Once did he come, O Blessed He!
Born of a Virgin-womb;
Lo now he comes, (and still for thee)
Sprung from a Virgin-tomb.
See thy Lord rises fresh and bright,
Incircled round with Stars;
Which all from him receive their light,
And from his glorious Scars.
And thus as he his Progress makes
Up to his Heaven again,
Each risen Saint his Musick takes,
And follows in his train.
Thus all together they ascend,
'Till at Heavens gate they come;
Where wondering Angels do attend,
To bid them welcome home.
The Angels know again their King,
And soon his Call obey;
All the glad Quires come forth to sing
And crown with mirth the day.
Come thou, my Soul, let us rejoyce,
Us too, our consort bring;
Up to high Heaven let's lift our voice,
And with the Angels sing,
Glory and Honour, Power and Praise
To the mysterious Three;
As at the first beginning was,
May now and ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

RAise thy head, O my Soul! and look up, and behold the Glory of thy Crucified Saviour. He that was dead, and laid in the Grave low enough to prove himself Man; He is risen again, and ascended into Heaven, and is in ex­altation high enough to prove himself God. He arose, and made the light his Garment, and commanded the Clouds to be the Chariot of his Triumph. The [Page 173] gates of Heaven obeyed their Lord, and the everlasting Doors opened to the King of Glory. Enter, bright King, thy glo­rious Palace, attended with thy shining Angels; enter with the glad train of thy new delivered Captives, the first Fruits of thy Victory, and the earnests of more. Enter, and repossess thy an­cient Throne, and reign eternally at the right hand of thy Father. May every Knee bow low at thy exalted Name, and every Tongue confess thy Glory. May all created Nature adore thy Pow­er, and the Church of thy Redeemed exult in thy goodness. Whom have we in Heaven but thee, O Lord, who didst expresly go thither to make way for thy followers? What have we on Earth that yields us any comfort and delight, but our hope by following thee to ar­rive at last where thou art gone before us? And worth our while, O Lord, it is to follow thee in the greatest labour of doing well, and in patience under the greatest Adversities; since the end of all is, that where thou art we shall be. We shall be there, and shall be like thee; for we shall see thee as thou art: We shall be exalted, and glorify'd, and rest [Page 174] from our labours. O glorious Jesu, our Strength, and our Joy; and the immor­tal Life of all our Souls. Thou art worthy to be the principal Subject of our Studies, and the daily entertainment of our most serious thoughts.

MEDITATION III.

WHat mighty cause, O God, hast thou given poor Mankind to rejoyce and praise thee, in that thou hast raised our Saviour from the Grave. He died for our sins, and rose again for our Justification. In this we see a full satisfaction made for our sins by his death: Hereby he ever lives to make intercession for us sinners. O let all the World rejoyce in the Victory and Triumph of our Lord over all the Enemies of our Salvation. I bless thee, O my Saviour, for thy Death, and I praise and adore thee for thy Re­surrection: The one a work of infinite condescending Mercy; the other of in­finite Power. And now, my Soul, how art thou conformable to thy kind Lord, if when he is risen, thou lye dead in trespasses and sins? If thou be not ri­sen with Christ to a new and spiritual [Page 175] Life, certainly thou art none of his, Will he not draw all his own thus after him? Will he suffer any of them to lye entangled in earthly desires? If he has not drawn thy heart from the World, and from thy self, and made thee value him most, and delight to run the way of his Commandments; thou hast no part in him. And if thou be risen with Christ, thou should'st seek those things which are above. Why should our Hearts dwell on Earth, when the best Treasure of our Hearts is return'd to Heaven? Since our glorified Jesus is ascended above, to prepare us a place in his own King­dom? A place of rest, and secure peace, where we shall see, and praise, and a­dore him for ever; a place of joy, and everlasting fruition; where we shall love, and possess, and delight in him for ever. O happy we, and our poor Souls, if once admitted to that blissfull Vision! If once those heavenly Portals unfold their Gates, and let us in to the joyes of our Lord; how will our Spirits be ravisht within themselves, to reflect on the fullness of their own Beatitude! How shall we all rejoyce in one ano­thers felicity; but infinitely more in the [Page 176] infinitely greater felicity of God. O Heaven, towards thee it is meet that we frequently lift up craving eyes, and with out-stretcht hands reach at thy Glories. It is fit that with languishing Hearts we often say, When, O when shall we behold that incomparable light with which our exalted Saviour is cloath­ed as with a Garment. That Glory which illuminates the eyes of Angels, and eter­nally renews the youth of immortalized Saints. That light is thy very self, O Lord our God, whom we shall there see face to face; whom we shall there know as we are known: In thy light we shall see light.

PETITIONS.

O Divine, Immense, Original Light! shine thou perpetually in our eyes, that thy brightness may for ever dark­en all the false lustre of this World. O light that delightest to diffuse and communicate thy self, shed so many of thy powerful Beams into our Hearts, as that thy heat may burn up all other desires. Make us burn continually with the pure Love of thee, and let that re­sining [Page 177] fire purge us from the love of this World. Let thy light shine in our Hearts, and be a guide to our wayes, till we be call'd from this vale of dark­ness, into the glorious presence of the living God: To see him that made the Heavens and the Earth, and gave to all things their Lustre and Beauty: To see him that first gave us our Being, then govern'd us in our way, and brought us to so bless'd an end. Mean while, O glorious Jesu, who art the foundati­on and finisher of all our hopes; do thou make us entertain our life with the comfort of this hope, and our hope with the assurance of thy promises. Let thy Triumphs and Glories ever shine in our eyes, to animate our Labours, and comfort our Sufferings. Let them con­firm our Faith in this comfortable point, That if we are thy faithful followers in this Life, we shall hereafter be par­takers in thy Glory. Make us also, Lord, every day more perfectly understand our own great Duty, and thy infinite Love. Make us especially on this thy Day, meditate the advancement of thy Glo­ry, and invite all the World to sing thy deserved Praises. Inspire our he arts, O [Page 178] Lord, with such loving wishes as these. Praise our Lord, O you holy Angels. Praise him, O you happy Saints. Let the Faithful Souls departed from this Life by his Grace, ever praise him. Let all the living on Earth, who subsist by his mercy, praise him. Let one Gone- [...]ion after another carry on the Du­ty of praise, till Generations shall be no more; and say;

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the Beginning, is now, and
ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

For Sunday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

O Sin, how hast thou disturbed and con­founded this our miserable World. Before Sin entred, nothing but Happi­ness dwelt here. Sin has disordered the [Page 179] Nature of Mankind, and of every thing else. The Righteous Vengeance of God has laid a deserved Curse upon the whole Creation: Now is unhappy man born to trouble, as the sparks of Fire are to fly upward. Poor Mankind, this is not the place of thy rest, because thy Sin has defil'd it. Thou art liable to receive hurt and trouble from all things here below; and thou canst ne­ver be happy till thou art translated in­to Heaven. Heaven only is the Place of true and lasting Joy, the place of ease and secure rest. Who will give my weary Soul the wings of a Dove, that I may fly away and be at rest? That I may leave this dangerous, dark, uncomfortable, vexatious world. That I may fly away from the troubles of this Life and be at rest, Dear Lord, with Thee. Here we, alas! are forced to utter many a deep Sigh, to bear with grief the burthen of weighty Mi­series: Often we encounter chances that endanger us, and divert our progress in the way of Bliss: Often we are as­saulted with temptations that over­come us, and set us back in the ac­counts of Eternity. How many times, [Page 180] O my Soul, have we plainly concluded that this Earth affords no real Joy. When we have observed by our own experience, or by the carriage of others, that the enjoyment never preforms that which the expectation promises. How many times have we fully agreed that Heaven alone is the place of Happiness: When we have found all places and conditions here encombred with Vanity and Vexation. Yet these false allure­ments do again, and again deceive us, and seduce our Hearts to dote on fol­ly. We have found that which glit­ter'd like Gold to be but dross, and yet we are caught again with something else that glisters. Thus do we foolish and unconstant Creatures, forget our wisest resolves, and the mean-while we neglect our true felicity. My Soul, to be Wise and Happy thou must only Thirst and Sigh after thy God: He is the living Fountain of the true Rivers of Pleasures. Thou must despise all other delights, and set thy affections entirely on the joyes which the blisseful enjoyment of him affords. Nothing can ever satisfie thy desires but He, and he alone can do this. O then seek nothing [Page 181] so much as him; seek nothing be sure that stands in competition with him. To seek him is to save thy self, for thou shalt find him: but by seeking other things in neglect of him, thou wilt lose him and thy self and them. Nothing but labour, disquiet and un­rest will attend thy seeking other things, and the enjoyment of them will not render thee free from those.

MEDITATION II.

IF my Gracious God afford me but the Innocence of the Dove; I shall need none of its Wings: If my Soul, Lord, be fill'd with thy mild Spirit; Heaven it self will dwell in my Heart. 'Tis on the proud thou lookest afar off; but inclinest thine Ear to the hum­ble and meek. Those who delight in the Peace of a contented mind, and limit their thoughts to their own little Sphear: Who never intermedle with the actions of others, unless where Ju­stice, or Charity to men, or Piety to God does ingage them: Whose lov'd employment is to sit in silence, and me­ditate on the Happiness, that they ex­pect [Page 182] hereafter. To contemplate the joyes of Saints and Angels; and the blissful Face of our Glorified Jesus. O how secure, and sweetly do they sleep; who go to bed with a quiet Conscience! Who after a day of honest painful in­dustry, in a course of just and pious living, lay down their wearied Heads in Peace, and safely rest in the Bosom of Providence. If they awake their Con­science Comforts them in the Dark, and bids them not fear the shadow of Death: No nor even Death it self; but confidently look up, and long for the dawn of that Eternal day that succeeds it. This too, my Soul, should be our care; to note and censure and correct our selves: To strive for Mastery over our passions that molest us; and dismiss from our thoughts what does no way concern us. Are not our own occasi­ons business enough to fill as much time as this Life deserves? Does not the other at least deserve every Minute of leisure that we can spare from this? Let then the worldly men pursue their fancied liberties; and say and do as they think fit: What's that to Thee, my Soul! who shalt not answer for o­thers, [Page 183] unless thou some way make their faults thine own. Thy pity may grieve, and thy charity endeavour; but if they will not hear, follow thou thy God. Follow the way that leads to Truth; follow the Truth that leads to Life. Follow the steps of thy beloved Jesus; who alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. Follow his Holiness in what he did; follow his Patience in what he suffer'd. Follow him that calls thee with a thousand bounteous Promises; kindly condescending to invite, when he might only command; and who will crown those that follow him, with uncon­ceiveable Rewards. Follow thy faith­ful Lord, O my Soul, to the end; and thou maist be sure in the end to enjoy him for ever.

MEDITATION III.

LEarn of me, sayes our kind and wise Master, for I am meek and hum­ble of Heart; and you shall find rest to your Souls. Thou, Lord, were't won­drously meek, a glorious pattern of Hu­mility and Patience. And in that meek­ness and Patience didst alwaies possess [Page 184] a well-composed Soul. A mind regular in all it's motions, alwaies easie to it's self, and alwaies ready to do the will of him that sent Thee: Meekness of Spirit is indeed to us the Heaven of this Life, but the Heaven of Heavens, O Lord, is above with Thee. Meekness may qualifie our miseries here, and make the tedious time of this Life pass the gentlier away: It fortifies the composed Spirit to bear the present burdens: But to be fully happy we must stay till hereafter, when all burden shall be re­moved; till thy Mercy bring us to our last great end. That Glorious end for which our Souls are made, and all things else to serve them in their way. It is not to sport away our time in Plea­sures, that thou O Lord hast plac'd us here on Earth. 'Tis not to gain a fair estate; that thy kindness still prolongs our daies. But to do good to our selves and others; and to glorifie thee in a wise improvement and regular use of thy Creatures. To encrease every day our longing desires of beholding thee in thine own bright self. By the goodness of thy Creatures we should be inflamed with greater longings to­wards [Page 185] thee, because thou hast all that goodness in thy self: By the defect and insufficiency of the Creatures, we should increase our desire of thy self, because thou hast that goodness which they want.

PETITIONS.

O Thou who art the victorious Con­querer of Sin and Death; We, weak Combatants, beseech thee to assist us in our dangerous Warfare. Assist us against the Rebellions of our Passions; still thou quickly all the tumults which the occurrences of this World begin to raise in our Souls. O thou the Foun­tain, as well as Pattern of Meekness, possess our Souls with this excellent ver­tue; that our minds may never be discom­pos'd, that our Tongues may not break forth into violent expressions, nor our Hands into any rash injurious actions. Let us be calm and regular within, how­ever irregular and full of confusion the World be without us. O thou blessed Spirit, the onely sure Comforter, the benign refresher of distressed spirits; grant us thy Joyes and Consolations to [Page 186] relieve us in this tedious Pilgrimage: Let our Souls feel onely the sweet im­pulses of divine Hope and Charity. O glorious and chiefest Good, whose infi­nite sweetness provokes and satisfies all our Appetites! May my entire Affecti­ons delight in Thee above all the vain enjoyments of the World: Above all Praise, and empty Honour; above all Beauty, and fading Pleasure; above Health, and all deceitfull Riches; above all Power, and subtlest Knowledge; above even all that thy own Bounty can give, and whatever is not thy very self. O may my wearied Soul repose in thee, the home and centre of eternal Rest. May I forget my self to think on thee, and fill my Memory with the wonders of thy Love: That infinite Love which when my thoughts consider, not as they ought, alas! but as I am able; the Goods or Ills of this World lose their Names, and yield not either relish or distast. O my adored Jesu, let me love thee al­wayes, because from Eternity thou hast loved me: Let me love thee above all Creatures, because thou hast loved Man­kind more than any besides. O let me love thee onely, gracious God! because [Page 187] thou alone deservest all my Heart. Al­wayes and onely let me love thee, dear Lord! since alwayes my hope is onely in thee.

Amen.

Hymn 16.
DEar Jesu, when, when shall it be,
That I no more shall break with thee▪
When will this War of Passions cease,
And let my Soul enjoy thy Peace!
Here I repent, and sin again;
Now I revive, and now am slain:
Slain with the same unhappy dart,
Which, O! too often wounds my Heart.
When, dearest Lord, when shall I be
A Garden seal'd to all but thee!
No more expos'd, no more undone;
But live, and grow to thee alone.
'Tis not, alas! on this low Earth,
That such pure flowers can find a birth:
Only they spring above the skies,
Where none can live till here he dies.
Then let me die, that I may go,
And dwell where those bright Lilies grow.
Where those blest plants of Glory rise,
And make a safer Paradise.
No dangerous fruit, no tempting Eve,
No crafty Serpent to deceive;
But we like Gods indeed shall be:
O let me die, that life to see.
Thus sayes my Song, but does my Heart
Join with the words, and sing its part?
Am I so thorow-wise to choose
The other World, and this refuse?
Why should I not? what do I find,
That fully here contents my mind?
What is this meat, and drink, and sleep,
That such poor things from Heaven should keep?
What is this Honour, or great place;
Or bag of Money, or fair Face?
What's all the World, that thus we should
Still long to live with flesh and blood?
Fear not, my Soul! stand to the word
Which thou hast sung to thy dear Lord:
Let but thy love be firm and true,
And with more heat thy wish renew.
O may this dying life make haste
To die into true life at last:
No hope have I to live before;
But then to live, and die no more.
Great ever-living God! to thee,
In Essence One, in Persons Three;
May all thy works their Tribute bring,
And every Age thy Glory sing.

Amen.

For Monday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

COme, let us Meditate the Praises of our God, and joyfully recite his divine Perfections: His Being is of him­self alone, and no dependance his eter­nal Essence knows: His Knowledge fa­thoms the vast extent of all things; and with his Power he commands and disposes them as he pleases: His Good­ness is supreamly Infinite, and all his glorious Attributes transcendently ado­rable. Come, let us Meditate the Prai­ses of our God, and joyfully recite his divine Perfections: He is the source of all Felicity; eternally full of his own unchangeable Bliss; before time began, he was; and when the Sun must lose its light, his bright day will remain the same for ever: The Heaven of Hea­vens is the Palace of his Glory, and all created nature the subject of his Domi­nion: [Page 191] In his Presence the brightest Se­raphims cover their Faces, and all the blessed Spirits bow down their Heads to his Foot-stool. It is the lov'd Im­ployment of those Spirits, to sing aloud the eminent Prerogatives of their God and ours; let us then stretch our ut­most thoughts to exalt the divine Great­ness. But O most glorious and dreadful Deity, how dare we Wretches under­take thy Praise! How dare our sin-pol­luted Lips pronounce thy Name? or where shall we seek expressions fit for thee? All we can say, is nothing to thy unspeakable Excellencies; all we can think, but a faint shadow of thy unconceivable Beauties: Even the Voice of Angels is too low to reach thy worth, and their highest Strains fall infinitely short of Thee. Only in this shall thy Servants rejoyce, and all the Powers of our Souls be glad, that thy self alone art thy full Praise; that all thy Works, meerly in what they are, do Praise thee: Thou hast magnified thy self in making the Creatures. The boundless Ocean of Being would not contain his Streams, but overflow'd upon pure nothing, and out of nothing a beauteous World ap­pear'd. [Page 192] Be to thy self, O great Crea­tor, thine own glory, as thou hast made all things for thy self. Live, our great God, eternally encompast with the beams of thine own inaccessible light: Live, our ador'd Creator, and reign for ever on the Throne of thine own immortal Kingdom.

Hymn 17.
OBserve, my Soul, how every thing
Consents to serve our bounteous King:
Each Creature double tribute payes,
Sings first its part, and then obeys.
Birds, Natures chief and sweetest Quire,
Him with their chearful notes admire:
Chanting out every day their Lauds,
While the glad grove their Song applauds.
And though their Voices lower be,
Yet Streams have too their Melody;
All night, all day they warbling run,
They never pause, but still sing on.
All the fine Flowers that guild the Spring,
To this Praise their still Musick bring:
If kind Heaven bless them, thankful they
Will smell more sweet, and look more gay.
Only Mankind can scarce afford
This easie homage to our Lord:
We on whom his large bounty flows,
Gives all we have, yet nothing owes.
Awake for shame, my sluggish Heart,
Rouse thee, and gladly sing thy part:
Learn of these birds, and beasts, and flowers,
How thou shouldst use thy nobler powers.
Invite whole nature to thine aid,
Since it was he whole nature made:
Joyn all in one Eternal Song,
Who to one Author all belong.
Say, Live for ever, glorious Lord!
Live by all thy great works ador'd:
Thou one in three, and three in one,
All we thrice bow to Thee alone.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

TOo Glorious art Thou, O Lord, in thy self, and thy direct Ray shines too bright for our Eyes: Yet we [Page 194] may venture to Praise Thee in thy Works, and Contemplate Thee at least reflected from thy Creatures: In them we may safely behold our Almighty Maker, and freely admire the Magni­ficence of our God: Heaven and Earth are full of his greatness, Heaven and Earth were created by his Power: From him did all the Hosts of Angels receive their Being, from him they have the ho­nour to worship in his presence: He kindled warmth and brightness in the Sun, and beauteously garnisht the Fir­mament with Stars: He spread the Air, and stor'd it with flocks of Birds; He gather'd the Waters, and replenisht them with shoals of Fishes: He esta­blisht the Earth on a firm Foundation, and richly adorn'd it with innumerable Varieties. Every Element is fill'd with his Blessings, and all the World with his liberal Miracles; He spake the word and they were made, he commands, and they are still preserv'd; He go­verns their motions in perfect order, and distributes to each his proper Office, contriving the whole into one vast Ma­chin, a spacious Theater of his own unlimited Greatness. O Glorious Ar­chitect [Page 195] of universal Nature, who dispo­sest all things in number, weight and measure! How does thy Wisdom en­gage us to admire Thee! How does thy Goodness oblige us to love Thee! How does thy Greatness and Supream Excel­lency command us to reverence and stand in awe of Thee! Not for them­selves alone, O gracious God, did thy hand produce those happy Spirits above, but partly to receive in charge thy little Flock, and watch them in this Wilderness till thou gatherest them to folds of Bliss. Not for themselves at all, O Bounteous Lord, were the rest of this huge Creation fram'd, but to sustain our Lives in the way, and car­ry us on to our Eternal home. O my Soul, do thou first Praise him for thy self, and the excellent Powers that he has given thee, and employ all thy Pow­ers in his excellent Service: Praise him next for all his Gifts, but infinitely above all still value the Giver. Let every Bles­sing be a motive of thy gratitude, and every Creature a step of approach to­wards God: So wilt thou faithfully ob­serve their end, and happily arrive at thine own: Thou wilt use them only [Page 196] to sustain and comfort thee a little here, and they will not hinder thy Souls pre­paration for Heaven: And when thou art become full ripe for thy translati­on hence, the kind Angels shall conduct thee into the divine Presence.

MEDITATION III.

HOW admirable is thy Name, O Lord, over all the Earth! How wise and gracious the Counsels of thy Providence! After thou hadst thus pre­par'd the World, as a House ready furnish'd for a Man to Inhabit; thy mighty hand fram'd our Bodies of the dust, and built them in a shape of use and beauty: Thou didst breath into us the Spirit of Life, and fit us with fa­culties proportion'd to our end: Thou gav'st us a Soul to govern our Bodies, and reason to command in our Soul: Thou didst reveal a Law for the Im­provement of our reason, and inablest us by thy grace to observe that Law: Thou madest us Lords over all thy Crea­tures, but little inferiour to thy glori­ous Angels: Thou compellest whole Na­ture to serve us without reward, and [Page 197] invitest us to love thee for our own happiness: Thou designedst us an age of pure delights in that sweet and fruit­ful Garden; where having led a long and pleasant Life, thou promisedst to transplant us to thine own Paradise. All this thou didst, O glorious God, the full Possessor of universal Bliss! not for any need thou hadst of us, or the least advantage thou couldst derive from our being: All this thou didst, O Infinite Goodness, the liberal bestower of all that we possess! not for any merit, alas, of ours, or for the least mo­tive we could offer to induce thee; but for thine own excessive Charity, and the meer inclination of thine own rich na­ture; that empty we might receive of thy fullness, and be partakers of thy overflowing bounty: So sheds the ge­nerous Sun his beams, and freely scat­ters them on every side, guilding all the World with his beauteous light, and kindly cherishing it with his fruit­ful heat: And so dost thou, and infi­nitely more, O thou God of infinite more Perfection! So we confess thou dost to us; but we, what return have we made to Thee? have we considered [Page 198] well the end of our being? and faith­fully comply'd with thy purpose to save us? Ah wretched we! we neglect thy Holy Rules; and govern our actions by chance and humour. We quite forget our God that made us; and fill our heads with thoughts that undo us. This is the only praise thou expectest from us, and the whole honour thou requirest of thy Creatures. That, by observing the orders thou appointest here, in this lower region of motion, and change, we may all grow up to be happy here­after; in that state of permanency and Eternal rest above.

PETITIONS.

O Lord, the Merciful and Gracious God, I poor Sinner humbly be­seech Thee to pardon all my past in­gratitude, all my neglect and forgetful­ness of Thee; and mercifully do thou direct my time to come. Teach me wherein I have done▪ amiss and have omitted my Duty, and inable me to practise a sincere Repentance and a­mendment. Teach every passage of my yet remaining Life to express the ac­knowledgements [Page 199] due to thee and to thy Mercies. O Infinite and perfect Being! make me to know and adore Thee; to ascribe all excellency and perfection to Thee. So guide thou my thoughts and words that neither of them may at any time impute what is unworthy of thee. Make me ever humbly to adore thy in­finite fulness of Being, a fulness un­derived, independant and unchangable. Make me often to think and fully believe that there is none besides Thee like unto Thee, and alwaies to ascribe unsearch­able greatness. Give me too, O boun­teous Lord, I pray, among thy other gifts, a large sense of thy Immense li­berality to Mankind, that I may fitly acknowledge and praise thy bounteous Mercy. Give to all mankind a sit and grateful sense of thy Mercies: that the people every where with one consent may confess and praise thee, that one Generation may praise thy name to ano­ther, and thankully talk of all thy won­derous Mercies. O that men would praise the Lord for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the Chil­dren of men. O make our senses subject to our reason, and our reason intirely [Page 200] obedient to Thee. Make us alwaies in using thy Creatures to take their ser­vice as admonition, and obligation to mind our Duty to thy self. Teach thou us, that all things in this world ought to praise Thee by the Tongues and Hearts of men; whom thou hast not only made capable to know their good­ness, but hast also given leave to enjoy their usefulness. O make the whole Creation conspire to thine Honour, and all that depend on Thee join together in thy Praise. Mercifully carry on the whole Creation to its end. Order thy Creatures about us to attain their end in serving us, and so order us that we may attain ours in glorifying and en­joying Thee.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

For Monday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

MY God, in every thing I see thy hand; in every passage thy wise and gracious Providence. Thou wisely governest the House thou hast built, and preventest with thy Mercies all our wants. Thou callest us up early in the morning, and givest us light by the beams of the Sun; that we may every one labour in his proper work, and so fill up the little place appointed for us in this World: Doing that service to Thee, and that good to Mankind which thou our great Lord and Master dost require. And thou providest also a rest for our weary Evening, and favourest our sleep with a shady darkness to refresh our bo­dies in the Peace of Night, and save the waste of our decaying Spirits. A­gain thou awakest our drowsie eyes, and biddest us return to our daily task. [Page 202] Thus has thy Wisdom mixed our Life, and beauteously interwoven it with rest and work; whose mutual change sweet­en each other, and both prepare us for our greatest duty: That of finishing here the work of our Salvation, to rest hereafter in thy Holy place. In like manner, thy wise Providence, O Lord! has appointed that after a little time of toil and trouble, death should call thy Saints away to a state of rest. Thou dost not, we thank thee, oblige us to conflict with the difficulties and evils of this Life till the day of retribution comes. Thou soon callest us to a place where the wicked cease from troubling, and our subtle adversary the Devil from tempting us; Where our own appetites and passions shall strive no more against our Reason and Conscience: Where our Innocence shall be no longer assaulted or endanger'd by the threatnings or al­lurements of this World: Our Souls are enlarged to a spacious liberty, being let out from this prison of the Body, and go to dwell in the region of Spirits: While our Bodies quietly rest in their silent grave; till they rise again to Immortal Glory. And thou hast design'd, O Lord, [Page 203] that they shall awake again from the sleep of Death, and rise even from the bed of the Grave. And then indeed there comes a Morning which shall ne­ver be succeeded by an Evening; a waking time for the body, after which it shall sleep no more. It rises indeed to work again, but that work never tires it any more: that work is sweet­er than the rest it leaves. There needs no interruption of that work to sweeten it, which is eternally pleasant and de­lightful.

MEDITATION II.

LOrd, how does thy bounty give us all things else with a large and open hand! Our Fields at once are cover'd with Corn, and our Trees bow under the weight of their Fruit. At once thou fillest our Magazines with plenty, and sendest us whole showers of other bles­sings. Only our time thou distillest by drops, and never givest us two moments at once. But takest away one, while thou lendest another, to teach us to prize so precious a Jewel. That we may learn to value every hour, and [Page 204] not childishly spend them upon trifles: Much less maliciously murther whole daies, in pursuing a course of Sin and Shame. It was thy Mercy too, O Gra­cious God, to disperse by parcels our portion of time: That the succeeding day may learn to grow wise, and cor­rect its faults by experience of the past. Else, if our being were all at once, as it shall be in the next, the Eternal Life; our Sins would have here no power to be repented, and then alas how desperate were we! We who are born in the way to Misery, and unless we change can ne­ver be happy. We, who so often wil­fully go astray, and unless we return must perish for ever. Thou hast ap­pointed our time, O Soveraign Lord, beyond which we cannot pass. When thou takest away our breath, we die; we return to the dust, and our place here shall know us again no more for ever. Thou commandest the grave to dispense with none, but indifferently to seize us all alike: That all alike may provide for the fatal hour of death, and none may be undone with mistaken hopes. Thou tellest us plainly we must dye, but kindly concealest the time and [Page 205] place, that every where we may stand upon our guard, and every moment ex­pect thy coming.

MEDITATION III.

WHy do we so much bemoan our selves, and complain for the necessity of dying? Seems it so hard a fate to tread the path, which all our Ancestors have gone before us. Adam the first of men, and Abraham the Friend of God: David the man after Gods own Heart, and the Blessed Mary Vir­gin-Mother of our Lord. All these have paid their debt to Nature, and subscribed to the Law of universal Mor­tality. Yea, Jesus Christ himself the Eternal Son of God expir'd on the Cross; and went to his Glory through the Gates of Death. And shall our fond self-love so blindly flatter us, as to make us wish an exemption from this com­mon fate? Should we not be glad that a troublesome Life will have an end; and rejoice to get out of danger into safety, from a stormy Sea to a quiet Harbour. This Life is so encombred with evils, that we have reason to be [Page 206] thankful it will not last alwayes, and ra­ther to wish than complain that it may not last long. If we die in Old age, Death should be very welcome to us after a long and tedious voyage: If in our Youth we die, it prevents a thou­sand calamites; a thousand dangers of ruining our Souls. What need we be possest with fear at thinking how many kinds of Death there are, we are sure there is but one for us? Dying is an act to be done but once, and if it be once well done, we are happy for ever. Our dayes perhaps are too few to grow rich in, or to satisfie the ambition of a haughty Spirit. But to be taught the Love of God, and the Meek and Hum­ble Life of Jesus; requires not so much the number of years, as the faithful en­deavours and prayers of a pious Mind. Would we bestow on the improvement of our Souls, the time we vainly trifle away; our day would be short enough and not seem tedious, and yet would be long enough to finish our appoint­ed task. And what, O Glorious Lord, is our business here, but to trim our Lamps and await thy coming: To sow the Immortal seed of Hope, and expect [Page 207] to receive the happy encrease! It is no matter how late the fruit be gather'd, if still it go on in growing better: No matter how soon it fall from the Tree, if it be not blown down before 'tis ripe.

PETITIONS.

O Thou most just, but secret Provi­dence! who governest all things by the Counsel of thine own Will; whose powerful hand can wound and heal, lead down to the Grave, and bring back again: Behold, to thee we bow our heads, and freely submit our dearest concerns. Strike as thou pleasest our Health, our Lives; we cannot be safer than at thy dispose. Onely these few requests we humbly make; which, O! may thy Clemency vouchsafe to hear. Cut us not off in the midst of our folly, nor suffer us to ex­pire impenitent, and with our sins unpar­don'd. But make us, Lord, first ready for thy self, and then take us to thy self in thine own fit time. Thou dost frequent­ly, O Lord, put us in mind of our own and the World's last end, by burying every day in the dark silent Grave of Night▪ Sweeten, we humbly beseech [Page 208] thee, and render familiar to our expe­ctation those terrible Periods of time by our constant due use of night and sleep: Grant, that our yielding so often and so easily at the Summons of our drow­sie humours, to suspend a while the ope­rations of the whole man; may teach our Souls to reflect themselves into a more reasonable willingness, when ever thou callest to leave our Bodies in the Bed of dust, and pass into the state of their own perfect and ever-waking Acti­vity and Bliss. Do thou, Lord, in whose indulgent hands are both our Time, and our Eternity; whose Providence gives every minute of our Life, and governs the fatal period of our Death; make us every Evening still provide to pass with comfort that important hour: Make us still balance our accounts for Heaven, and strive to encrease our Treasure with thee: That if we rise no more to our acquaintance here, we may joyfully wa­ken among thy blessed Angels; there to unite our Hymns with theirs, and joyn all together in one full Quire.

Amen.

Hymn 18.
NOw, O my Soul, the day is gone,
Which in the morn was thine:
It's emptied Glass no more shall run,
It's Sun no longer shine.
'Tis true, alas! the day is gone;
O were it onely so!
Is it not lost as well as done?
Cast up thy Counts, and know.
Art thou got so much nearer Heaven,
As nearer to the Grave?
Has thy Hearts grief a fitness given
Sin's pardon to receive?
From what base Vice hast thou refrain'd,
To break the course of sin?
Or what new Vertue hast thou gain'd
To make thee rich within?
Their time is well bestow'd on those
Who well their time bestow;
Whose main concern still forward goes,
Whose hopes still riper grow.
Who when the warning Clocks proclaim
Another hour is past;
Have the wise art to set their aim,
And thoughts upon their last?
This sad Life's last and happiest hour,
Which brings them to their home;
Where they shall sing, and bless the power
That made them thither come.
O my dear Lord! of Life and Death,
The ever-living King:
Since thou dost give to all their breath,
May all thy Glory sing.
Glory and Honour, Power and Praise
To the mysterious Three;
As at the first beginning was,
May now and ever be.

Amen.

For Tuesday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

BE thou eternally adored, O God of our Salvation; and may thy Prai­ses be sung by thy Servants for ever. When our first Parents had disobey'd thy Precepts, to the ruine of themselves, and their whole Posterity; thy won­drous mercy did immediately provide a remedy. Thou didst provide and pro­mise a powerfull Redeemer. Thou didst commit the helping us to him that is able to save to the uttermost. A Re­deemer that could conquer Sin and Death; and crush the Serpents head, who drew us into misery: A Redeemer that could fully repair the breaches our sin had made, and render our conditi­on better than before. That could sa­tisfie for our sins by his Death, and me­rit [Page 212] the Beginning and Perfection of hap­piness for us, in our present Holiness, and future Glory. He can enlighten our eyes with a clearer view of those excel­lent Truths that belong to our peace, can support our feeble Nature with a stronger Grace, to carry us on safely through all Encounters; till we arrive at the Land of Rest, and be received for ever into the glorious Kingdom. O Blessed Jesu! our Strength, our Guide; who knowest and dost pity our weak Capacities; and in thy tender care hast so contrived the way to our happiness, that nothing can undoe us but our own perverseness; nothing but the wilful love of Sin and Death. How easie hast thou made the way to Heaven! how light is the burthen thou lay'st on thy fol­lowers! It is but to believe in thee the God of Truth; but to love thee our greatest Benefactor; but to desire ear­nestly the seeing thee, that thou requi­rest; and doing thus we are sure to possess an Eternity of Joy. Eternal Praises be given to the admirable wis­dom of God, who knows how to bring good out of evil. Eternal praises to that infinite Goodness which graciously [Page 213] condescended to do this. Let all the admiring World join together in this, and say, O the depth of the Riches both of the Wisdom and Goodness of God! How unsearchable are his Attri­butes; and his wayes how much past finding out? Man guiltily threw away the happiness his God had given him: God takes occasion thence to give him greater: He not only restores us to our first degree; but makes even our fall rebound us to a greater height. This is the Love of God the Father to Man­kind; This is the Love of Jesus the Christ; this is the love of the eternal Spirit of Love.

Hymn 19.
LET others take their course,
And sing what name they please:
Let Wealth or Beauty be their Theam;
Such empty Sounds as these:
For me, I'l ne'r admire
A lump of burnisht Clay:
Howe're it shines, it is but dust,
And shall to dust decay.
Sweet Jesus is the Name
My Song shall still adore:
Sweet Jesus is the Charming word
That does my life restore.
When I am dead in grief,
Or, which is worse, in Sin:
I call on Jesus, and he hears;
And I to live begin.
Wherefore at this bright Name,
Behold, thus low I bow;
And thus again; yet is all this
Much less than what I owe.
Down then, down both my knees,
Still lower to the ground;
While with mine Eyes and Voice lift up,
Aloud these lines I sound.
Live, glorious King of Heaven,
By all thy Heaven ador'd:
Live gracious Saviour of the World,
Our chief and only Lord.
Live, and for ever may
Thy Throne establisht be:
For ever may all all Hearts and Tongues
Sing Hymns of Praise to thee.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

BEhold, our faithful Lord has remem­bred his word: He has raised up in the World the long expected Pro­phet like Moses, and put his word in his mouth, and he has kindly and suffi­ciently taught us. Light with him is come into the World, to lead us through the Wilderness of Life into the true Ca­naan that is above. Admirable wert thou, O Lord, in thy merciful Promise; but infinitely more in thy wonderful per­formance. Thou didst not depute an Angel to supply the place of a Redeem­er, nor entrust so great a work to the management of a Seraphim; but didst thy self bow the Heavens, and come down, and with thine own blest hands work our Redemption. Thy self didst take upon thee our frail Nature, and vouchsafe to be born of a humble Virgin, condescending to the weaknesses of a Child; a Child whose Parents were poor, and of no esteem in the World. So did he make himself of no reputation. He did not decline the mean entertainment of a Stable. O how unfit was that for [Page 216] the Birth of the King of Heaven! He contented himself with a Manger instead of a convenient Cradle; and with the homely, uneasie lodging of a Bed of Straw; refusing the soft Accommodations of the Rich, to undergoe the inconve­niences of a poor Stranger. Thus, Lord, at the cost of thy own ease, hast thou instructed us to despise the World. On­ly the faithful Joseph stood waiting on thee, and provided as he was able for his helpless Family: Onely thy pious Mother dearly embrac't thee, and wrapt thy tender Limbs in little clouts. Won­der, O Heavens, at this: Ye Angels, who had seen before many wonders, for this surpasses all besides. Be amazed, O Earth, and let every Creature there hum­bly bow the head and knee: Bow all, and adore this incomprehensible Myste­ry; the Word was made Flesh, and dwelt with us: But most of all we who are most concern'd, the guilty Children of sin­ful Adam; let us bow down our faces to the low dust; and all prostrate adore so unspeakable a mercy. Behold, my Soul, thus low my Saviour stoopt for me, to check the aspiring pride of my corrupted Nature. Behold, thus low he [Page 217] stoopt to take me from the ground, and raise me to the felicities of his own Kingdom. Rise willingly with him, my Soul, from base sensuality; leave the low Earth with thy desires, and seek a better Countrey; so shall this God not be asham'd to be call'd thy God. Lift up thy Voice too with Joy, O my Soul, and sing Hosanna to the new-born Jesus: With blessed Angels celebrate his glori­ously humble birth, and say, Glory be to God on high, for peace on earth, and good will towards men. Lift up thy Voice aloud, O my Soul, lift up your Voices all ye his Saints, and joyn the Praises of the Church to the Hymns of Heaven.

MEDITATION III.

REjoyce all you the faithful Nations of the Earth, when ye hear the sweet Name of our dear Redeemer: Rejoyce, and with your bended knees and hearts adore the Blessed Jesus: He is the Son of the ever-living God, equally partici­pating the glories of his Father: He is that great Messias whom the Prophets foretold, and all the ancient Saints so [Page 218] long expected: At length in the full­ness of time, he came to visit in per­son our miserable world: He came with his hands full of Miracles, and every Miracle was full of Mercy, full of mi­raculous good will to an unkind un­grateful world: He made the crooked become strait, and the lame to walk and leap for joy: He opened the ears of the deaf to hear, and gave sight to them that were born blind. Happy they in the season of their relief, who could then hear the Instructions of the Eter­nal Wisdom, and could see thee the Blessed Saviour of the World: He loos­ned the Tongues of the dumb to speak, sure their first exercise was his deserv­ed Praise: He cleans'd the Leprous by the word of his mouth, and heal'd their Diseases who did but touch his Gar­ment: To the Poor he revealed the rich treasures of his Gospel, and taught the simple the Mysteries of his King­dom. He cast out Devils by his awful command, and forc'd them to confess and adore his Person: He rais'd the dead from the very Grave to Life, the dead that was four dayes buried, and was corrupting; Nay, even himself be­ing [Page 219] slain for us on the Cross, and his Tomb made fast and secur'd with a guard, he rais'd again by his own vi­ctorious power, and carried up our na­ture into the highest Heavens: All these stupendious signs, O glorious Jesu! were done by the hand of thy Almighty mer­cy, to witness thy truth with the Seal of Heaven, and endear thy Precepts with obliging Miracles; that thus strong­ly engag'd we might believe on thee, and obey thee to the Eternal Salvation of our own Souls.

PETITIONS.

O Kind and Merciful Jesu! thou didst, when on Earth, go about doing good, as thou didst purposely come hi­ther to do good: Thou hast not lost thy goodness we believe since thou art gone to Heaven: O let us find that thou hast not, still exercise thy good­ness and thy power, O God, in kind and beneficial Miracles: O may it please thee to soften many stony hearts into a tender sence of thy great Goodness, and their own Duty: Raise our dead spirits from this heavy Earth, to dwell [Page 220] with thee in the Land of the Living, to mind and love Spiritual and Immor­tal things: Open thou our Eyes, that we may behold the wondrous things in thy Law; strengthen our feeble facul­ties, O Lord, by thy all-sufficient grace, that we may steadily run the race which shall be set before us; strengthen us to encounter successfully all the Enemies of our Salvation, that we do not run in vain, nor labour in vain. Thus Lord, let our experience teach us to admire thy bounteous Power, that we may dai­ly sing the wonders of thy grace to­wards our selves; and when our dayes shall be exchanged for Eternity, let us eternally sing the wonders of thy Glo­ry. Whenever thou doest any of these kind things for us, open thou our dumb Lips, that our Mouths may shew forth thy Praise.

Glory be to, &c.

For Tuesday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

GOod God, how extreamly ungrate­ful are Mankind! How strangely insensible of our manifest Duty: Eve­ry Creature performs its Duties, but we who alone are made capable to understand and know ours: Every Crea­ture lives by rule, but we who have reasonable Souls to direct our actions. We, O Lord, are most beholden to thee of all the lower Creation, and we alone of all prove rebellious against thee: The other Creatures live by thy wise rules, and so do serve and attain their particular ends. And thus does every Creature reach its true dignity and honour, while Man basely falls far be­low his, in neglecting the rules of that Law which thou hast given to be his direction. The Sun observes his place of rising, and sets exactly at his ap­pointed [Page 222] time: The Sun stands still if thou commandest, and goes back to obey thy will; and yet the Sun pre­tends to no reward, nor looks to be placed in a higher Heaven. But we who expect the performance of glori­ous Promises, we forget and neglect the Law of our God; a Law that brings great rewards with the observance of it in this Life, and is followed by great­er in the next. Thy Law, O Lord, written in our Hearts, perfects our cor­rupted natures, by restoring to us thy glorious Image in righteousness and true holiness: Thy Law fills the dark mind with chearing light, and makes the sim­ple truly wise: Thy Law raises the will to its true Liberty, and frees it from the fetters of sin: It tames the unruly Passions and Appetites of the flesh, and settles a happy Peace within us: If we are so wise and happy as not to be discouraged from observing it by the little difficulty which attends it at first, our steady perseverance in well doing will find it easie, and incomparably plea­sant. Thy Laws will dispose us to pass with comfort through the various cir­cumstances of this Life; and they will [Page 223] also prepare us to enter at the end of it, into the pure mansions of Heaven. For our kind Lord has prepared un­speakable Happiness to reward them with, who love Him and keep his Com­mands. Thy bounteous goodness, O Lord, will reward us, for the perfor­mance of our Duty; thou wilt reward us for doing what is good for our selves. Thy Laws are all Holy and Just and Good, and thy Rewards are unconceivable and Eternal Joyes. O what Blindness and Folly possesses the sinful world, who neglect and refuse so great advantages!

MEDITATION II.

Does it become Mankind for whom Christ died to neglect his sacred Laws? Shall we say of him, who has done so much for us, he shall not reign over us? shall we neglect so Gracious a Saviour, whose only design is to draw us to his love? Shall we neglect so ge­nerous a love, whose only design is to make us Happy. Yet, O Lord, how are thy just Commands neglected in the World! How few are there that de­monstrate [Page 224] they love Thee by keeping them! And indeed, to say the World generally neglect to keep thy Commands, is too mild a reproof for us, who in many instances directly contradict them. What thou forbiddest we eagerly pur­sue, as if our kind Saviour had therein envied us some great advantage. And whatever thou commandest, we are for­ward still to do the contrary, as if the thing thou requirest were hurtful. We boldly converse with temptation and sin, which thy Charity advises us to fly like Death. We timerously dread the incurring any worldly losses, or the dis­pleasure of men; when thou command­est us to proceed with undaunted cou­rage. And we do not stand in aw of the Wrath of Almighty God, nor fear the loss of our own Souls, when thou threatnest us with them to restrain us from Sin. We greedily pursue the lit­tle vanities of this World, which thou forbiddest us to set our affections up­on; and are by them too easily drawn into Sin: But the greater goods of a better world we slight, and will not suf­fer our selves to be allured by them to Holiness. We govern our actions by [Page 225] our own wild fancies, and expect that thy Providence should comply with our Humours. We would have Thee re­lieve us when we list; and Rain, and Shine as we think fit. Thus is our rude perverseness, O Lord, apt in every thing to go contrary to Thee.

MEDITATION III.

IT was not alone to make the day, that thou, O Lord, didst make a Glorious Sun. But to teach us these pious Lessons too, and write them plain as its own Beams. That so should our light shine forth to others, and direct them to glorifie God: So should our Charity warm their coldness, and quick­en them to an active Zeal for his Ho­nour. So when they say, we are un­der a cloud of Adversity, we should like the Sun be really above it. And though to the sight of men, we may be eclips'd by disadvantageous circum­stances, and may seem quite extinguisht in a Night of Sorrow and Affliction: Still we should shine to our selves and God; and still go on in the waies of light. Though we become small and [Page 226] despised in the Eye of the World, yet we should not forsake thy Law. So shall we after the vicissitudes of bright and dark, of fair weather and foul, which we must expect to meet with in this World, enjoy an Eternal bright and serene day. Not like the Sun that every Night goes down, and must at last be put quite out: When we have finisht here our course, and seem to set to this dark Earth; we hope to rise, and set no more; but shine perpetually in a brighter Heaven. And this sweet Hope, my Soul, may justly allay the grief of thy present Afflictions. Thy rest and Comfort meet with many in­terruptions now; but let not them in­terrupt thy Faith and Holiness, and hereafter thou shalt enjoy an endless un­mixed rest and felicity. I am the Resur­rection and the Life, sayes the Son of God, who was dead, and is now alive, and lives for evermore: He that believes in me, though he be dead, shall live; and every one that lives, and believes in me shall not dye for ever. O praise our Lord, all you blessed Saints, who are advanced from the transient mutable Light of this World, to the durable [Page 227] Glory of the other. My Soul, be thou a steadfast follower of them, as they were of Christ; and thou canst not fail to attain the same Glory. O praise our Gracious Lord and bounteous Ma­ster, ye Glorious Angels, whose bright felicity began so early! Stars that arose in the Morning of the World, and still through the goodness of God retain an unchanged Lustre; shining perpetu­ally near the Throne of God, as the top and Master-piece of all his works. Let all Mankind with them praise the Lord for our excellent work, and for our Glorious Wages: That our God did make us but little lower than them at first; and when we are become a great deal lower by following our own inventions, does concern himself to re­cover us from our fall, and raise us by degrees to their bright and Happy So­ciety. O Praise our Lord all you his Works; bless him, and magnifie him for ever.

PETITIONS.

O Infinite Wisdom and Goodness! Teach I pray Thee, and convince my Soul of the great Excellency and Wisdom of thy incomparable Laws: Make me to esteem all thy Command­ments, concerning all things to be right; to consent unto thy Law, that it is good, to delight in it in the inward man, and regulate my whole Conversa­tion thereby: So shall I walk by the best rule, the rule that certainly leads to Happiness. Lord, make me to have such apprehensions of thy goodness, as to esteem thy commands the necessary rules of Soul-saving love; to account that thou hast required nothing of us, but what is necessary and highly con­ducing to the Salvation of our Souls. Let me not be so dangerously foolish, as in any thing to think my self wise in contradiction to the Precepts and Dictates of thy Word. O may thy Holy Will, dear Lord, therein reveal'd, be all my rule; and thy Gracious Hand my constant guide. Order thou my steps in thy Word, let no iniquity have [Page 229] dominion over me. Hold up my go­ings, that my footsteps do not slide. Quicken, O Lord, I pray, the too fre­quent slackness of my obedience, by the example of the Creatures about me; who yield thee a constant and unrelu­cting obedience; and by a firm belief and apprehension of those great and glo­rious rewards, which thou hast prepa­red for such as serve Thee; fashion my Spirit to a humble submission and con­formity to thy will. Make me exactly observe what thou prescribest, how bit­ter soever it may tast to Flesh and Blood: Make me alwaies readily sub­mit to every dispensation of thy Provi­dence, though for the present it may be grievous. And Lord, since thy wisdom knows our infirmities, I pray thee lay upon me at no time more burden, than I shall be able to bear: let not my cir­cumstances be attended with temptati­ons, either that are so violent or so last­ing as to overcome me. Since thy good­ness delights in our relief, assist me a­gainst the difficulties of Duty: Lord help me so to do all the work thou givest, (for thou alone canst help me,) as that I may at last attain thy Eter­nal [Page 230] rewards, through the Merits of Je­sus Christ my Lord.

Amen.

Hymn 20.
BLessed, O Lord, be thy wise grace,
That governs all our day;
And to the night assigns its place,
To rest us in our way.
If works the labouring hand impair,
Or thoughts the studious mind;
Both are consider'd by thy care,
Both fit refreshment find.
Fit to relieve the present state,
Fit to prepare the next;
While we are taught to meditate
This plain and useful Text.
As every Night layes down our head,
And Morning opes our eyes;
So shall the dust be once our bed,
And so we hope to rise:
To rise and see that beauteous light
Spring from those eyes of thine,
Not to be checkt by any night,
But clear for ever shine.
That thou maist hope, my Soul, to view
That lasting blissful light;
Take heed thy present work thou do,
And use thy rest aright.
All glory to the Sacred Three,
One ever-living Lord;
As at the first, still may he be
Belov'd, Obey'd, Ador'd.

Amen.

For Wednesday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

LET them neglect thy Praises, O Lord, who never consider thy Mercies: Let them be silent to thee, O gracious God, whose Mouths are full of themselves: But as for me who subsist by thy gifts, and thankfully acknowledge the riches of thy goodness; my heart shall conti­nually Meditate on thee, and my Lips shall delight to sing thy glory: All my Life long will I Praise my God, and lift up my hands to his holy Throne. Bles­sed for ever be thy Name, O Jesu! and blessed be the sweetness of thy Wisdom; whose infinite Charity has vouchsaf't our Earth such excellent Rules to guide it to Heaven: Thou hast taught us that happy Skill of finding our lives, by a generous losing them to follow thee: Thou hast taught us to love our true selves best, by wisely hating our mista­ken [Page 233] selves: Thou hast taught us to trample this world under our feet, and use it as a step to climb up to the next: From thee we learn those glorious My­steries that exalt our Faith so high a­bove Reason: From thee we derive those Heroick Counsels, that raise our Souls so far above nature; from thee alone, and from thy School of grace we learn all that we know, and receive power for all that we do. How long, alas, might we have wander'd here, in the midst of Darkness and Error; had not thy love and pity, O merciful Lord, brought down thy very self to become our light! Never should we else have learnt to deny our selves, and take up our Cross and follow thee: Never should we have known that great secret of Peace, to forgive our Enemies, and do good to those who despitefully use us. On the unsatisfying things of this low Earth, should we blindly have set our whole Affections, if thou hadst not told us of the Kingdom of Heaven, and bid us lay up our treasures there: We had alwayes chose the deceitful and perni­cious wayes of sin, if thou hadst not terrified us to fear thy wrath, by de­claring [Page 234] the miseries that attend them: We should ever have neglected thy good Commands, and lost the happiness of a religious life, if thou hadst not invited us to obey thy Commands, and propo­sed to us the felicities that will attend our doing so. O what hast thou pro­mised, Gracious Lord, to the meek and poor in Spirit! O what hast thou pro­mised to the Weepers here? to those that hunger and thirst after Holiness! How many Joyes has thy bounty pre­par'd for the lovers of Mercy, and ma­kers of Peace! How many Blessings for the pure of Heart, and those who with Patience bear their Crosses: Thus hast thou, Lord, kindly shown us our end; and suggested the true way to attain it: Thou hast given us such blessed directions, as tend to make our Life here more sweet, and to lead us hereafter to everlasting Felicity.

Hymn 21.
MY God, had I my breath from thee,
This Power to speak and sing?
And shall my Voice, and shall my Song
Praise any but their King?
My God, had I my Soul from thee,
This Power to judge and chuse?
And shall my brain, and shall my will
Their best to thee refuse?
Hast thou reveal'd the wayes that lead
To Happiness above?
And shall I let my wandering feet
From thy blest Paths remove?
Alas, not this alone, or that
Hast thou bestow'd on me;
But all I have, and all I hope,
I have and hope from thee.
And more I have, and more I hope,
Than I can speak or think;
Thy Blessings first refresh, then fill,
Then overflow the brink.
But though my Voice and Fancy be
Too low to reach thy Praise;
Yet both shall strain thy glorious Name,
High as they can to raise.
Glory to thee, Immortal God,
One great Coequal Three;
As at the first beginning was,
May now, and ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

NEver will we cease to exalt thy Goodness, O gracious Jesu; since thou never ceasest to oblige us with new Blessings. Thy generous Charity could not be thus satisfi'd, to have only spo­ken to us the words of Life; it was not enough for thy excessive Love, that thy heavenly Sermons told us our duty, but thou would'st moreover urge and pro­voke our Obedience by the sweet enforce­ment of thine own Example. Thou didst forbid thy followers to affect Superflu­ities, and accordingly thine own Pro­vision was a few Barly Loves. Thou didst command the rich to give Alms with chearfulness; so thou wentest about doing good, and didst often relieve those that were not able to requite thee. Thou hast commanded us not to fear them which can kill the Body; and yielded up thine own to the death upon the Cross, to do the will of him that sent thee, thou wast obedient even unto death. Thou hast commanded Subjection to Pa­rents, and practised it; hast said, Give to Caesar the things that are Caesar's, [Page 237] and wrought a Miracle to pay a Tri­bute. Thou injoynest us Mercy and Compassion; and who ever exprest more than thy self? Thou didst not only weep in Sympathy with the Affliction of thy Friends; but also over the hard and stubborn Jerusalem, that had killed thy Prophets, and was ready to kill thee. Thou enjoynest us to love our fiercest Enemies, and thy dying breath pray'd for thy Crucifiers. Thy perfect Soul did not need, as our weak Natures do, the outward Forms and Discipline of Religion; yet thou didst conform to the observance of the common appoint­ed Feasts, and assist in the publick Du­ties at the Temple. Thou didst watch and pray with so fervent a Zeal, that thy Practice was perfectly equal to thy Precepts. This Life, and even Death it self our merciful Lord undertook, to mark out for us the way to Heaven. To beat it plain by his own sacred Steps, and render our passage thither easie and secure. Shall we not then, O my Soul, rejoycingly follow that path which we see our Saviour trod before us? Which we see, though spread all over with Thorns, yet carried him di­rectly [Page 238] to the Glories of Paradise? Shall we not confidently rely on so gracious a Leader; who promises, if we faint, to look back and relieve us?

MEDITATION III.

MAY every Age sing Praises to our God, and all Generations adore his Providence. From the Beginning his Mercy has still laid means to raise us to those blessed Objects which are above our Nature. At first he created Adam with all necessary knowledge, and then taught the Patriarchs to inform their Fa­milies. Afterwards he made use of the Angels to bring us his Commands, and of­ten inspir'd the Prophets to declare his Will. When he had done all this, it was not enough to bring untoward Man to his true end: What did he then to save the perishing World? O strange Excess of divine Goodness! He sent even his own beloved Son to dwell among us, and teach us the way of Salvation; the sacred Art of training up our Souls for Heaven, and fitting them for the blissful Union with himself. But O! thou King of glorious Sweetness, whose [Page 239] flowing Tongue dropt Milk and Hony! We were, alas! not happy to behold thy Person, nor our Ears worthy to hear thy Voice: Yet e're we were born thou hadst us in thy thoughts, and didst pro­vide a sufficient method to supply that defect; selecting a number of choice Dis­ciples; and thorowly instructing them in thy heavenly Doctrine; that they might keep alive the memory of thee, and witness to all Nations thy stupen­dious works. Thou didst verifie their Mission with the Power of Miracles, and enflame their hearts with the fire of the Holy Spirit: Over all the World they proclaim'd thy Law, and undauntedly preach'd the Crucified Saviour and God. Deep in the Breasts of the Faithful did they write thy Gospel, and seal it be­fore their eyes with their own Blood. Their Successors deposited the same pre­cious Treasure in the common Maga­zine of the Church. The Church has been maintain'd by the mighty power of God, so that the Gates of Hell have not prevail'd against her. Thus is the Catholick Faith descended on us, and thus shall continue to the end of the World. Blessed be thy power, O Lord, [Page 240] that has wrought such Miracles to con­firm thy Truth, and enclined our hearts to believe it. How many Souls are mi­serably seduced by the Corruptions of the latter Ages, and revolted to a mix­ture of Paganism with Christianity! while we by thy good Providence are led in the right way to Happiness. We are taught to direct our Homage where we cannot sin, nor fail in doing it, to one God, by one Mediator between God and Man, the Man Christ Jesus, the Man who also is God. How many Nations lie miserably involv'd in the darkness of Barbarism, and Unbelief! while we enjoy a clear noon-day, and safely walk in the light of Truth. O infinite Good­ness, who freely choosest to pour forth thy Blessings on us who are unworthy of the least Mercies. As 'tis from thee alone that we receive these favours; to thee alone we will return our Prai­ses.

PETITIONS.

O Christ, the all-seeing Wisdom of the Eternal Father, and Soveraign King of Men and Angels! who from [Page 241] thy glorious Throne didst descend on our Earth, familiarly to teach us the Oracles of Heaven! O write thy sacred Instructions deep in the Table of our Hearts, and suffer not at any time our Passions to break them. Make us still study thee our heavenly Master, and continually admire the excellent Beauty of thy Law. Let us be transform'd in­to an inward agreement to it by the re­novation of our Minds; that all our in­firmities may be cured, all our defects supply'd, and our thoughts, and words, and actions conform'd to the dictates of right Reason. Let thy excellent Exam­ple, O Lord, alwayes shine bright be­fore our eyes, and never be forgotten by us. O put it often into our Hearts to reflect, and say; How would our Ma­ster have behaved himself in the Circum­stances that we are in? And what thou hast done, we pray thee enable us to do: Reach forth thy powerfull hand, and strengthen us with thy Grace, that nothing may divert us from following thee. In the dangerous Labyrinth of this. World, and the whole course of our Pilgrimage here, Lord, let thy hea­venly Dictates be our Map, and thy [Page 242] holy Life our Guide. And that we may be the more surely conducted to the Folds of Bliss, do thou, dear Lord, send us Pastours after thine own Heart. O il­luminate all that thy Providence calls to the Sacred Office, with true know­ledge and understanding of thy Word; possess them with a fervent Zeal to pro­mote thy Glory, and the Salvation of our Souls: Give them great prudence, that they may know how to manage our folly and perverseness, so as not­withstanding them to do us good. Make them, O Lord, good Examples to the Flock in Self-denial, Meekness, Con­tempt of the World, in due subjecti­on to Magistrates, and Charity to all their Neighbours; that they may save themselves, and those that hear them. And make us, O Lord, to encourage them by all means in their good Work, to esteem them highly in love for their works sake; to receive the Instructions, and submit to the Reproofs which thou sendest by them. Grant these things, O Lord, who art the great Shepherd of Shepherds, and of our Souls, for thine own honour.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Wednesday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

WEll, we are now so much near­er our Grave, and all the world is older by a day than it was in the Morning of this. So much more of this short life is spent, and can never be re­called again. My Soul, there is so much less time left us to enjoy the good things of this life, that we have, or hope for; and so much less wherein we shall be exposed to the evils that we feel or fear. Time has set us nearer to the Grave, from which no priviledge can exempt any of the Sons of Adam. The rich are nearer the time when they must go hence, and leave all their Wealth behind them: The great Ones of the World are nearer to their dark lodging in the dust, into which they must e're long be thrown: The beauteous Face is nearer to be turn'd into noisom rotten­ness, [Page 244] and the pamper'd Bodies to be­come the food of Worms. This day has set all the living nearer to the Grave, and tumbled a great many into it. The longer we live the shorter does our Life become, and in the end all our Vigour, Strength, and Beauty turns to a little lump of clay. The Porti­on of the wicked is so much less, and the time of their punishment is nearer approacht: The Sufferings of the Pati­ent are so much diminisht, and their hopes of Delivery so much encreased. They who have spent this day in sin and folly, see all their thoughts now vanisht like a Dream: They see all the pleasure of their guilty Actions is past, and there is nothing remains but the just fears of a sad revenge. The best consequence that can be of their course, is the sadness of a bitter Repentance. But such as have wisely bestow'd their time, and made another new step to­wards Heaven; they see their joyes come to meet them in their way, and still grow bigger as they come; till by a holy Death they join in one, and dwell together for eternal Ages. For our bounteous God has made our Souls im­mortal: [Page 245] And when this house of Clay shall fall into the dust, and this narrow Cottage be broken down; they shall soar alost on their own free wings, and en­ter into the beatifick Vision of God: If they have train'd themselves up whilest they were here to a fitness for Heaven, and its joys, they shall instantly fly to those blessed Objects. But if their ter­rene thoughts have flagg'd below, and delighted most to hover near the base Earth: If they have not lov'd above all things, and sought most the Enjoy­ment of their God: They must sit down in the shades of Sorrow, and be con­fin'd in the Vale of Darkness and de­spair for ever.

MEDITATION II.

WE are nearer indeed to the end of our Life, but what are we nearer the end for which we Live? What have we done, my Soul, this day, that has given Glory to God, and ad­vanced us towards our future Blessed­ness? Have we encreas'd our esteem of Heaven, and settled its love more strong­ly in our hearts. Have we avoided any [Page 246] known Temptation, or faithfully resisted what we could not avoid? Have we in­terrupted our customary faults, and checkt the Vices we are most inclin'd to? Have we embraced the Opportuni­ties of doing good, which the Mercy of Providence has offer'd to our hands? Have we industriously contriv'd occasi­ons to improve as we are able our selves and others? Tell me, my Soul, how stand our great Accounts? Are we pre­par'd to meet our strict and righteous Judge? Who without respect of per­sons judges all men, and will dispose them accordingly to their eternal abodes. Alas! dread Lord, what do we see when seriously we reflect upon our too careless lives? Many hours and dayes we spend in nothing; and many we abuse in that which is far worse than nothing. We sacrifice our Youth to sport and folly, and our manly years to Lust and Pride. We spend our old Age in Craft and Avarice, and think then of beginning to live, when we apprehend we shall shortly die. Thus we lead a negligent life, and Death steals upon us unawares. We are apt to bewail the shortness of our time, when yet we do prodigally [Page 247] throw much of it away. We lose the time of working out our Salvation, in the busie pursuit of very Trifles; and so we lose our neglected Souls for ever. They must in eternal anguish lament our present careless Liberties, and suffer un­speakable pains for our gratifying the passions and Appetites of our Flesh. O my Soul, consider the mighty work thou hast to do, to fit thee for a happy de­parture out of this world. Do that work diligently while it is called to day, be­cause the night constantly approaches wherein none can work. Every one of these nights sets us nearer to our last and longest; which, if we have spent the day of life in diligence, reserves for us eternal wages.

MEDITATION III.

COme my Soul, let us make our peace betimes with our God, before the evening of our Life approach too near. Let us endeavour to find favour with our Judge, before we shall be brought to his awful Tribunal. Confess the fol­lies and sins thou findest in thy Life, and charge them all entirely on thy self. [Page 248] Confess them with a penitent and contrite heart; for a broken and a contrite heart our gracious God will not despise. Thy Repentance, my Soul, will come too late to meet with mercy, if thou deferr it till this life is at an end. Seek the fa­vour of God in the Name of his be­loved Son; he is pleased that we should make mention of him: For his sake he will readily bestow a pardon to them that humbly seek it; for he desires not the death of a Sinner. Moreover, my Soul, all the good that thou hast done to thy self or others, thou must ascribe to his free Grace, as the only principle of it. Such humility will be very ac­ceptable to him, and dispose thee to receive larger Benefits from his bounty. Say then to him, if thou hast found any good in thy course: Little, O Lord, thou knowest, is the good we do, and eve­ry grain of it derived from thee. We could not have sav'd our selves from any dangerous temptation, unless our God had powerfully sustain'd us. We could not have carried on any pious pur­pose, unless thy hand had blest our en­deavours. No, to thy self, O Lord, take all the praise, if thy Creatures have [Page 249] perform'd the least good work: Take to thy self all the glory, O Lord, if they have not committed the worst of sins: Thy hand alone directs us to do well, and the same blest hand restrains us from ill. 'Tis not in us to esteem thy unseen Joyes, nor to despise the charming Flatteries of this deceitful World: 'Tis not the work of corrupt­ed Nature to mortifie our Senses, and patiently bear the Crosses we meet. Of our selves we are inclin'd to none of these, but the Grace of God inables us for all: Grace gives us strength to overcome our Passions, to make the World and the Flesh subjects to us: Grace gives us Faith to fortifie our reason, and helps us to take Heaven by violence. O how glorious, Dear Lord, are the effects of thy Grace! How shame­ful the instances of our folly and weak­ness!

PETITIONS.

OBlessed Jesu! who art a Prince and Saviour, whose kindness it is to give repentance and remission of sin! Bestow, I beseech thee, on me, such a [Page 250] hearty Contrition for all the wandring steps that I have made from my Duty, as to fit me to receive thy Pardon: And then Pardon, O Meek Redeemer, what my passions have done, and what my weakness has omitted: Let a sence that thou my God art reconcil'd to me, give me this night a sweet repose as in the arms of thy tender Mercy: Make me too hereafter, O Lord, if I shall live after this night, more carefully watch my self, that my few dayes do not slide unprofitably away, and especially that they be not spent in sin: Make me every day retire to study thee and my self: My self, that I may know and correct my many Infirmities; and Thee, that I may adore thy infinite Perfections. And to thy Perfections, O Lord, and the strength from them communicated unto me, make me ascribe all the good that I am able to do: Let me alwayes say, as I ought, This is not I, but Christ that liveth in me: Make me also the more attentively obsequious to the stea­dy guidance of thy Grace, and grant I may never want it, while the time of my warfare and pilgrimage continues: Instruct me, I beseech thee, O thou who [Page 251] art the best of Teachers, in these great and wise truths; that the things of this world are of very little import, since its joys and griefs will last but a very little while; and that the future state does infinitely concern me, where the Life and Death are for ever. Fix my heart, O Sovereign Goodness, I pray thee, on thy self alone: Let me not be good only by halves, since there is a glorious Heaven prepared, that is worth all our labours: Prevent by the power and prevalence of thy grace in me, my mingling so much as formerly thy pure Grace with my corrupted Na­ture. Deliver me, O Lord, from the Temptations of this world, and merci­fully save me from the wrath to come; that dreadful wrath which we so just­ly fear, and which many condemned wretches do already irrecoverably feel.

Hymn 22.
AND do we then believe
There is a world to come,
Where all this world shall summon'd be,
To take their final doom?
Is there a Heaven indeed,
To crown the Innocent?
Is there a Hell, and horrid Pains
The Wicked to torment?
Are these Eternal too,
And never to have end?
Shall never those Delights decay,
These Sorrows never mend?
Good God, is all this true?
And sure most true it is;
And yet we live as if there were
Nothing so false as this.
O quicken, Lord, our Faith,
Of these great Joyes and Fears;
And make the last dayes Trumpet be
Still sounding in our Ears.
Still may this glorious hope
Shine bright before our eyes;
We shall go up at last to meet
Our Jesus in the Skies.
Come Jesu, come and take
Our banisht Souls to thee;
Come quickly Lord, that in thy light
Our eyes thy light may see.
Glory to Thee, great God,
One Coeternal Three:
As at the first beginning was,
May now, and ever be.

Amen.

For Thursday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

HE who made the Sun to enlighten our steps in the Pilgrimage of this short Life; has he ordain'd no guide to conduct our Souls in the difficult way to our eternal home? Yes, he sent his Son a bright light into the world, by whose Directions we may find our Happiness. He who feeds the Ravens, when they call upon him, has he not provided Bread for his Children? He has; and still his Mercy furnishes means to perform whatever his Justice com­mands. The Son of God himself be­came incarnate, and took the humane nature into a Personal Union. Thus it was consecrated by him to become the Instrument wherewith he would accom­plish our Redemption. He was sacri­ficed for us upon the Cross, that so he might become food to our Faith: And [Page 255] that food he gives with the Sacramen­tal Bread and Wine to every the mean­est meet receiver. Though he be now exalted to the right Hand of God, and his Glorified Body shall suffer Death no more: Yet the believing Soul that comes to this Supper, finds him really present, and does partake of his Body, and Blood. The Lord of love has espoused to himself an Holy Church, and promis'd it his presence to the end of the World: He has made her all Glorious within; the Saints are the ex­cellent of the Earth. With these he is present at the celebration of his wor­ship, and feeds them with his own Cru­cified Body at his Supper. O Souls re­deem'd by the Blood of Jesus, and nou­risht with his Sacred Body! why melt you not away in Tears of Joy for be­ing so regarded by the King of Heaven? What hast thou promised, O Gracious and Faithful Lord! to him that receives Thee with an Humble Love? All that is contain'd in those sweet and mystick words: He dwells in me, and I in him. O Blessed Words, if once my Soul can say, He dwells in me, and I in him. He is my Refuge in all Temptations: [Page 256] He is my Comfort in all Distresses: He is my Security against all mine Enemies: He dwells in me, and I in him. What can an infinite bounty give greater than it self? and what can an empty Crea­ture receive better than the Alsufficient God? Blessed, O Jesu! are they who discern Thee under the Veils of Bread and Wine: Blessed are the Souls pre­par'd by Faith and Love, to receive Thee at this Sacred Supper. Blessed yet more is that devout Heart, that desires thy second coming into the World; that longs to see thy immedi­ate self, and to see thee in thy Glory. O thou Lord of Grace and Glory! our chiefest Joy and best Portion in the land of the living! what hast thou prepa­red for thy Servants to give them here­after, when thy bounty is so liberal to them here! What dost thou reserve in thy Kingdom; who givest us thy self in this place of Banishment! How will thy open vision transport our Souls, when our dark Faith yields us now such delight! O my ador'd Redeemer, my Soul longs for the Happy Day, when I shall see thy Face without a Veil: When I shall be able to endure the beams of thy Glory shi­ning [Page 257] out upon me in their full bright­ness: And my weakness will not need, as now, to converse with Thee with Clouds and Shadows interpos'd. My Soul, seek thy Saviour now, and thou shalt find him hereafter; receive him thus veil'd, and thou shalt enjoy him in his Glory. Take these things that he offers Thee, with a thankful Heart and humble Faith; and then they shall prove sure pledges that Christ himself will be ever thine.

Hymn 23.
WIth all the Pow'rs my poor Soul hath,
Of Humble Love, and Loyal Faith;
I come, Dear Lord, and worship Thee,
Whom too much love bow'd low for me.
Down busie Sense, Discourses dye,
And all adore Faith's Mystery:
Faith is my Skill; Faith can believe,
As fast as Love new Laws shall give.
Faith is my Eye, Faith Strength affords,
To keep pace with those Gracious Words:
And words more sure, more sweet than they
Love could not think, Truth could not say.
O Dear Memorial of that Death,
Which still survives, and gives us Breath!
Live ever Bread of Life, and be
My Food, my Joy, my All to me.
Come Glorious Lord, my hopes increase,
And mix my portion with thy Peace:
Come, and for ever dwell in me,
That I may only live to Thee.
Come hidden Life, and that long Day
For which I languish, come away:
When this dry Soul those Eyes shall see,
And drink the unseal'd source of Thee.
When Glory's Sun Faith's shade shall chase,
And, for thy veil, give me thy Face:
Then shall my Praise Eternal be,
To the Eternal Trinity.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

DOst thou, my Soul, design an ap­proach to the Sacred Table of our Lord? Take heed then that thou put on a [Page 259] Wedding Garment; and come thither drest like a Friend of the Bridegroom: Consider how chast these Eyes should be which go to behold the Symbols of his presence: How clean that mouth should be, which presumes to receive the Bread of Heaven: How all celestial that Soul should be which aspires to an Union with our Heavenly Lord. Look, look my Heart, look well into thy self; and strictly search every corner of thy breast. Carefully empty thy self of all that which this sacred food will not agree with; that thou maist safely come to the Marriage Supper, and not eat and drink thine own Damnation. Empty thy self of all self-admiring thoughts, and take heed there be no secret love of Sin. Empty thy self of Worldly cares, and let thy desires seek only thy Saviour: Seek only now the Riches of his Grace, seek only the pleasures of his Love. Let no turbulent passions now dwell in thee, but only serious thoughts and devout affections. This spiritual food affords no nourishment, but what we receive by calm Meditation. Come not with any malice against a Neigh­bour, when thou seekest the favour of [Page 260] thy God. The God of love will not dwell with hatred, nor shew Mercy but to those that are merciful. Come hi­ther with a Faith that works by love, and then thou shalt be filled with the Celestial Manna. But the uncharitable Faith, as a dead thing, is utterly unca­pable of food or nourishment. Draw nigh with a humble and broken Heart, to partake of the broken Body of thy Lord. Get a distinct knowledge of this divine institution, that thou maist be a­ble to discern the Lords Body. Know that Christ our Passover was crucified for us, the innocent Lamb of God made a Sacrifice for our Sins. We are invited to Feast upon this Sacrifice, and therein to be united to it, and have Interest in it. Jesus Christ gives himself to us at this Ordinance; and expects that we should give our selves to him. Come with a mighty love to thy loving Saviour; and a very great esteem of an interest in him. If thou believe indeed, he will be precious to thee: And in such thoughts as these will thy Soul move towards him: Thou art my only hope, O Bles­sed Jesu! and thy favour alone is all things to me. In Thee I shall possess [Page 261] whatever I want, and thy fulness ex­ceeds even my utmost desires. In Thee I shall find the Providence of a Father; and the tender kindness of an indulgent Mother. In Thee I shall enjoy the pro­tection of a King, and the rare fideli­ty of a constant Friend. I shall need no other Advocate with the Father but Thee; nor want any Instruction, if thou wilt be my Teacher. What can I wish for more, if I may say: O Jesu! thou art my God, and all things! In that e­nough is said for them that love thee, and know the value of those precious words. O sweet and charming words, My God, and all things! Sweet in ex­cess to those that tast them: Not so indeed to the corrupted Palates of the World; who relish nothing but the food of sense: Words that revive the faint­ing mind; and fills it's darkest thoughts with light, and joy. Thus furnisht, my Soul, thou may'st come to this Feast, and shalt find the reception of a welcome guest. Though some imper­fections do remain in thee, yet go, that those imperfections may be healed. He has kindly and earnestly invited us to his Supper, who sees, and has great com­passion [Page 262] on our Miseries. He bids us come, my Soul, and will surely receive us, and with his bounteous fulness sup­ply our defects. Go then, my Soul, to that Sacred Table, and take thy part of that delicious Banquet: Go all in­flam'd with love, and with desire; and quench thy Holy Thirst at that Spring of Bliss.

MEDITATION III.

APProach, my Soul, with an amorous reverence to the Presence of so kind a Majesty: O be transported with Joy, and wonder to think that thou art going to receive thy God; thy great and glorious God, who only out of love thus gives himself the Pledge of thy sinal Salvation. Welcome the glad day with Thankfulness and Praise, on which thou maist be admitted to this excellent Feast: And while the King sits at his Table, it is meet thy Spikenard send forth the smell thereof; that thou ex­ercise those Graces he has given thee in devout Meditations: He delights in the exercises of these, and thou ought­est to delight in pleasing him. Say then, [Page 263] my Soul, when the Solemnity begins, and thou art bid to draw near and take the Holy Sacrament: Alas, how poor, dull and empty am I! O Lord, how in­finitely unworthy so divine a Sacrament! In my best attire, O Lord, I am so ragged, that I am even asham'd to see my self: Well may I then with shame and blushing come into the Presence of holy Angels, and much rather be abasht to appear before the purer Eyes of thy Infinite Glory. What is Man, O Lord, that thou art thus mindful of him! What am I, the unworthiest of men, that thou shouldst Invite me! O this kindness is too much for Man to re­ceive, 'tis infinitely more than the mean Creature can deserve; but 'tis a kind­ness suitable to a God to bestow, whose goodness like himself is infinite. It is in Obedience, Great Lord, to thy Com­mand, that I now present my self be­fore thee; and in a due acknowledg­ment of thy faithfulness, I come to par­take of thy Blessings. When thou hear­est, my Soul, the words of Consecration pronounced, which separate the Bread and Wine from a common to a divine use, say, I believe, O Eternal Son of [Page 264] God, thou didst take our Nature into a Personal Union with thy self; Thou didst take it in all its essential Parts, but free from all our sinful Infirmities: I believe thy Soul was made an offer­ing for sin, and that offering was ac­cepted of the Father; thy Sacrifice made a full Propitiation, and therefore are we permitted to eat of it: And seeing the Body and Blood of our Crucified Redeemer, I cannot question the love of the Father to Mankind. God the Father, it appears, did so love the world, as that he gave his only begotten Son to dye for them. God the Son, I see, is willing that many should be partakers in his Death, since he has Instituted this Blessed Sacrament, and Invites all men to it. With Angels then, and Arch­angels, and all the glorious host of Hea­ven, I Praise and admire the Love of God the Father, and God the Son: I Praise and adore the ever blessed Tri­nity, for the Redemption of the World by our Lord Jesus Christ: And I come, O Saviour, to take and eat thy Body which was broken for me; I come joy­fully to drink that Cup which is the New Testament in thy Blood, which [Page 265] Blood thou hast shed for the remission of the sins of many, and invited all believing Souls to partake of: I desire, I long to partake of this my necessary Food; I desire, I long to receive these incomparable dainties. As the Hart pants after the water-brooks, so thirsteth my Soul after thee, O Christ: I will open my mouth wide, O Lord, for thy full­ness can suffice my largest desires. When, O my Soul, thou seest the Holy Bread broken, and the Consecrated Wine apart from it, say: I remember thy sufferings, O crucified Love; and that bitter passi­on which ended in Death it self. I call to mind how thy Blessed Body was scourg'd and bruised! How thy Sacred Head was prick't with the sharp Thorns! How thy Hands, which had wrought many a kind Miracle, were bored through and torn with great Nails! How thy Feet, which had carryed Thee about to do good, were now by ungrateful men nail'd to the Cross! How thy ten­der Heart was pierc't by the Souldiers Spear, and at these wounds thy Blood, and thy Life forsook Thee. I must grieve, and I must love, O thou great Martyr of Love; when I consider all this [Page 266] was undergone for me. I must needs detest my self, and abhor my Sins, when I consider thou wast made a curse for me. My numerous Sins increas'd thy heavy load; my Sins were some of the procuring causes of thy bitter Death. With a broken and contrite Heart, I deeply lament my past transgressions; and resolve that from henceforth every Sin shall be very odious to me. I resolve to sight against it with all possible care and industry; and will not allow any known Sin to be quiet in me. When the Bread and Wine, my Soul, are by Christs Mi­nisters given to thee, say: These, kind Lord, are thy Instruments of convey­ance, and they make over to me the Blessings of the New Covenant. Wel­come dear signs of my Saviours presence: Welcome sure pledges of his love, and of my Happiness. Open ye everlasting doors of my Heart, and let this King of Glory enter in. Welcome, dear Lord, to my poor Soul, and sit thou as sove­reign of my Heart. I shall be very hap­py under thy Dominion, and very safe under thy protection. My Beloved is mine, and I am his; I will live to my Love, that dyed for me. When the Bread [Page 267] and Wine are given to others in thy sight, thou must look upon them as mem­bers of Jesus Christ: Thou must look with love upon those whom he loves; and resolve to practise all the kindness to them that thou canst. Conclude the solemnity with hearty Joy and Thankful­ness, and say: What shall I render unto the Lord for all his Benefits; O match­less love of God to a poor Sinner! O Love beyond Degree! O Love that pas­ses Knowledge! I can never sufficiently show my self grateful. Yet bless the Lord, O my Soul, and all that is with­in me, praise his Holy Name. Praise him who graciously forgiveth all thy Sins, and justifies thee freely by his Grace. Praise him who healeth all thy diseases. Study to make as liberal returns to thy Lord as thou canst; for thy Lord has dealt very bountifully with Thee.

PETITIONS.

O Lord, thou art the great searcher of Hearts, and thou know'st us altogether: O assist my serious examina­tions of my self, that I may overlook no secret Sin. Thou Lord know'st how [Page 268] to influence and turn our Hearts even as pleaseth thee. O prepare my Heart according to thine own will to draw nigh to thee. Breath O Divine Spirit, upon my Soul, and then the grateful odours of my Grace will flow forth. O Lord, I would with all due affections comme­morate and receive my Saviour; and I earnestly desire that every Grace may renew its strength. Let every Grace, O Lord, be so improv'd, as that I may bring forth more fruit in doing well; and may more steadily resist the assaults of all temptation to evil. Lord I be­lieve, help thou my unbelief; and fill me with all Joy and Peace in believing. Inflame my Heart with a more ardent Charity, let my love be stronger than Death, let me be rooted and grounded in love: Make me to mind more the things above, and despise the things below: to be more patient in adversity, and more humble and fruitful in prosperity. To be strictly just and honest in a de­ceitful World; and charitable to those that injure me, and set themselves a­gainst me. Increase in me the Love of all thy Commands, and the hatred of every Sin. O God the Father our Crea­tour [Page 269] and Sovereign Lord, regard I be­seech Thee, thy Son's death, which we shall now commemorate before Thee; remember how well he pleased thee in all things, and when I am united to him regard me with favour too. When I partake of his Sacrifice accept it as a propitiation for my Sins, and pardon for his sake all my transgressions. O Spotless Lamb of God, once slain for us Sinners on the Cross, have Mercy up­on me; O Christ hear me, and be my powerful Advocate with the Heavenly Father. Solicite by thy merits his Mer­cy for my poor Soul. Offer thy sacred Body before his Throne, and turn away the wrath that my sins have deserved. If thou wilt, O Eternal Merciful God, one God in three persons, do all these kind things for me, for the sake and merits of the Redeemer, and out of thy great love to Souls; then since I can never have given thee praises enow, grant that I may ever live to praise Thee.

Glory be to the Father, &c. Amen.

For Thursday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

HAst thou, my Soul, been Feasting at the Table of the Lord? Has he given thee himself and his rich bles­sings? What thou hast done signifies the renewal of that Covenant, that was made in Baptism between the Lord and Thee. Thou hast in coming to this Feast pro­fest thy self a Christian, and declar'd a re­solution to live, and dye so. Thou hast pretended to account nothing so precious to thee as thy Saviour; and that no o­ther Lord but he shall have dominion over thee. The Loving Jesus must now have full possession of thy Heart; and thou maist not be govern'd by the love of this World. Thou hast bound thy self, my Soul, to be the Servant of Jesus Christ, and to observe the whole Reli­gion of our Saviour: To be taught by [Page 271] his Precepts, and to follow his excel­lent Example. Thou must not then learn the foolish Maxims of this world, nor conform to the sinful practices of it. But live as one redeem'd from a vain Con­versation, and engag'd to hate every wic­ked way. Thou must hereafter challenge no right to have thy self at thine own disposal: But deny thy self to please thy Master, and take up thy Cross when he requires it. When it would cost thee thy Estate or Life to own him and profess his Truth, thou must cleave to him with full purpose of Heart; and forsake all things as dross and dung for his sake: Thou must endeavour to walk worthy of thy Heavenly calling; and that thy Conversation be such as becomes the Gospel: And therefore live not af­ter the Flesh, but after the Spirit; and live Godly, Righteously, and Soberly in this present world. Do good to them that hate thee, and pray for them that despitefully use thee. Forgive those that injure thee, and live in Charity with all Mankind. As thou hast opportunity, it is required that thou do good to all men, but especially to those of the hous­hold of Faith. The Law of thy Savi­our [Page 272] requires that according to thy ca­pacity, thou do cloath these when they are naked, and feed any of them when they are hungry; direct them when they are wandering, restore them when they are fallen, quicken them when they are slothful; fortifie them when they are tempted: Bear with their acknowledg'd infirmities, and encourage them in all their well-doing. And the Lord, ha­ving plentifully entertain'd thee at his Table, does expect, my Soul, that thou shouldst encrease in strength. He expects that thy knowledge of Divine things should be more clear, thy Faith be stronger to resist Temptations: That thou be more patient under the adver­sities of this Life, and more ardent in thy desires after a better. That thou be fruitful in Holy Thoughts, and pi­ous words; fruitful in just and charita­ble deeds: fruitful to thy self in thine own improvements, and to others in thy good example. If thou do not en­crease in strength, it is because thou art slothful in business: Be diligent then in thy work, and hold on thy way: so shall thy exercise of Grace make thee grow stronger, and stronger; for to him that [Page 273] hath, shall be given, and he shall have abundance.

MEDITATION II.

MY Soul, thou didst dissemble with God in going to his Sacred Ta­ble, if it was not in thy intention and purpose to love him, and keep his Com­mands: And if thou do not continue in that purpose afterwards, and endeavour to put in practice thy resolutions, thou despisest the obligations of his Love, and art basely false to thy Covenant. Every act of sin that thou commitest after thou hast been a partaker of thy Lords Supper, is not only a neglect of thy Duty, but the breach of a renew­ed Oath. Canst thou find in thy heart to take the Cup of Salvation, and not call upon the Name of the Lord? if he delivers thee from Death and Hell, thou art highly obliged to Worship him, and reverence all his Institutions: Wilt thou take an interest in Christ, with­out giving him an interest in thee? Is it not a very fitting act of Thanksgiv­ing for this, to offer and resign thy self to his disposal? Is it not great shame [Page 274] that thou shouldst ever hereafter ac­count any thing too much to part with, or do for his sake, when he loved not his own Life to the Death, that he might ransome thee from eternal mi­sery? Thou hast renewed the remem­brance of thy Saviour's dying Love, received new Pledges of thy interest in it: These things ought to tye thee fast­er in bonds of Love to him, and spread the divine Love further in thy Soul; 'till all thy faculties and powers be under the command of it, and thy whole self as it were chang'd into Love. Such should thy Love be, as never to forget how great things his Love has done for thee; such as never to think of those great things without the most fer­vent and hearty adorations; such as to make thee much delighted to think of­ten of his Love, and often to comme­morate him at his Supper; to make thee study what will please him, and strive to do it in an universal Obedience; to make thee desire that his Honour may be promoted in the World, and his Kingdom enlarged to all the corners of the Earth. Did our Saviour come into the World to destroy the works of the [Page 275] Devil; and shall I help to carry on those works in the world, by retaining and living in any sin? This sure were highly to affront the great Redeemer, and despise his kind undertaking: To such there remains no other Offering for sin, but they ought with fear to expect a terrible Judgment. Wilt thou, my Soul, entertain and cherish that which has pierc'd the heart of thy Sa­viour? O with what Indignation should we regard all sin, even our most belov­ed sins! when it was these that gave him his many Wounds; these brought him to the Agony in the Garden, these caused his secret Sufferings on the Cross, which his Soul felt, when he sadly cry­ed out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me! All these things will condemn me, if I regard any Iniquity in my heart. Consider further, my Soul, what is worthy of them who are washt in the precious Blood of the Lamb. How very much ought they to love, to whom much has been forgiven! How should they love one another, whom the Father so lov'd, as to give them his Son! Consider again, how they ought to walk, who are consign'd to [Page 276] immortal Blessedness! How should they purifie themselves, as God is pure, and cast away all filthiness of Flesh and Spi­rit! With what Contempt should they look upon all the Pomp and Glory of this World, and pity those that fond­ly admire it, and never envy any the enjoyment of it! With what Modera­tion and Indifferency should they de­sire and enjoy these things! They should never be proud of any enjoyments in this world, nor be dejected with any wants. In vain was our Saviour a man of Sorrows, and acquainted with Griefs, to purchase for us the Glories and Joyes of Heaven, if the hopes of Glory are not worthy to delight us, and make us rejoyce evermore. Thou dost underva­lue thy Saviours Purchase, if the thoughts of Heaven do not enflame thy desires; and account his Blood cheaply thrown away, if thou think it not worth thy endeavours. To answer then the obli­gations of thy Saviours Love, thou must earnestly strive to fit thy self for Hea­ven, thou must greatly desire to be there, and cherish the hopes of it as thy chiefest Joyes and Consolations on Earth.

MEDITATION III.

I Acknowledge, O Blessed Son of God, and Lord of Heaven and Earth, that as I am thine by receiving my being from thee, so I was early devoted to thee: I was engaged in a Solemn Co­venant, by which I stand bound to do thee faithful Service. I own, O Lord, the Justice and Equity of being so obli­ged; I account it my Interest to be in­tirely thine. I am saved by being De­voted to thee, and honour'd in admissi­on to thy Service: It is the greatest Preferment I can attain, to serve him who is Lord of Heaven, and Prince of the Kings of the Earth. Thy Service, O Lord, is perfect Freedom, and they have great Peace that love thy Law: There are no riches comparable to thy rewards, nor any Pleasures so sweet as thy Consolations. I am asham'd, O Lord, and have great reason to be so, for that I have liv'd no more suitable to such a Devoted State: That I have presum'd to dispose of my self so much according to the devices and desires of of my own heart: I have often wan­der'd [Page 278] from the safe and pleasant Path of thy Commandments, and often stept into the dangerous uneasie wayes of sin; I have greatly disparaged my self here­by in thy sight, and in the sight of thy Holy Angels: O it is fit that thou, and they who have seen my sins, should see my repentance; that have seen me most basely breaking my Covenant with my God, should see me heartily renewing again so just a Covenant. I thank thy Love, Dear Jesu, for 'tis by what thou hast done for us, that our Repentance may be accepted: I thank thee, O gra­cious Saviour, for Instituting thy Sup­per, for the Renewal and Confirmation of our Baptismal Covenant; that thou hast commanded us at that to reinforce our resolutions, and that thou art ready to confirm them by thy Grace. It is, Lord, the sincere desire of my Soul, never to revolt from Thee any more▪ I believe there is no greater happiness, than to be a firm Confederate with the faithful Jesus: By which I shall be­come a Temple to the Holy Spirit, the Spirit of Light and Love, the Spirit of Grace and Glory. Now Lord, that I have had a fresh sight of thy Love, [Page 279] and have sate under thy Shadow with Delight; thy blessed Name shall be deeply engraven in my heart; I will allow no affection but the Love of Je­sus, and all my powers, and all their motions shall be subject to that: I will say to all the Vanities of the world, Be gone, I have no room in my heart for you, whom I cannot love too little; I will reserve it all for my Saviour, whom I can never love too much: I will say to those Temptations that would draw me into sin, cease your base Solicitati­ons, for I cannot willingly grieve my loving Saviour: If it be difficult to serve him, I will steadily conflict with those difficulties: If it will cost me the loss of all worldly Conveniencies, I will gladly forsake all to adhere to him: If it expose my Life, I will let that goe, rather than deny my loving Lord. Now that I have receiv'd the Blessed Jesus at his Supper, and thou, Lord, art come to make thy abode with me, I will study to give thee such kind Entertainment, as may please thee, and keep thee with me: I will indea­vour in my thoughts, words and acti­ons, to set alwayes before thee what [Page 280] I think will be acceptable; I will watch against every thing that is impure, and would be offensive to thy holy sight. I will often retire from the World to converse with thee: Worldly cares and business shall not keep me from thy Com­pany. I have been praising thee, O Lord, in thy House, and at thy Table, but I have not praised thee enough: And who can praise thee enough for what I there saw, for what I there re­ceived! Oh! how low are my Concep­tions of thy Love! how vastly below it are all my words! I will try, O Lord, what my deeds can do in praising thee; and every part of my Life shall endea­vour thy honour. Thus, Lord, I may and ought to resolve; but my Practice depends entirely on thy Grace.

PETITIONS.

O Lord, our kind and gracious Re­deemer! Thou art exalted to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give Repen­tance and Remission of Sins: I beseech thee, O Lord, as thou hast enabled me to repent, and to confess the folly of my backsliding heart; do thou graciously [Page 281] give me thy pardon. Forgive me, O Lord, that I have been so false to for­mer Vows, and have so often contra­dicted my Covenants with thee. O deal not with me as I deserve, cast me not away from thy presence, take not thy Holy Spirit from me. I have been weakly striving against my sins, and could not so far conquer them as I would: And therefore, Lord, I came to thy Ta­ble, to receive greater strength against them. O let such a vertue come from thy Death at this Remembrance of it, as may lay all my sins utterly dead; and let the Influence of that power so remain, as that they may never revive; that I may never be hinder'd in my Du­ty by any sin easily besetting me; that I may serve and please thee in all pu­rity, heavenly-mindedness, integrity, in Charity, Humility and Contentedness, in whatever condition it shall please thee to place me. Enable me perfectly to overcome my Passions, and keep them all subject to the Laws of thy Love. Let thy Love which is represented in this Sacrament, so deeply affect me, that I may delight to think and to speak of it, and may endeavour, as far as I can, to [Page 282] imitate it. Keep me mindful of my Vows, make my Endeavours successful, and my Obedience perfect and compleat in all things. So possess me with the Love of thee my kind Redeemer, as to make me ardently desirous of seeing thee face to face. Refine me at length by that holy fire, from all the dross of my Cor­ruptions; and to such a degree of ho­liness and purity, that I may be fit to fly away from this World, to the Ha­bitation of thy Holiness and Glory.

Amen.

Hymn 24.
DO I resolve an easie life,
With plenty stor'd, and free from strife;
When, my dear Lord, thy days and nights
Were past in poverty and fights?
Do I design a gentle Death,
Just singing out my aged Breath;
When, my Love, cruel tortures tore
Thy dear Soul out, all drown'd in gore?
Oh no; our Christian Sacrifice,
Acting, in a sweet disguise,
My Saviours Passion o're again,
Shall all such fond Conceits restrain.
This must keep lively in my mind,
How I ought still to be resign'd.
This humble pattern should destroy
My sensual Grief and worldly Joy.
Are Sufferings Ills? No, Goodness chose
His, and our way to Bliss through those.
Are Pleasures Goods? No, Wisdom scorn'd
Their dalliance, and has us forewarn'd.
This, Lord, this make my Song to be,
At least, whene're I meet with thee;
Thee its glad ground so oft repeating,
As may prevent my Souls forgetting.
Jesu! thus arm'd, no terrours shall
E're make my vertuous Courage fall:
No flatteries here my blest hopes drown,
Since thy sad Cross led to thy Crown.
O live for ever, glorious Lord,
Live by all Heaven and Earth ador'd:
May both their joyful praises give,
They who can see, we who believe.
Praise to the glorious Three in One
Let Time ascribe till Time be done:
Then let the work continued be,
By an endless Eternity.

Amen.

For Friday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

COme let us glory in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, in whom is our Life, and Health, and Resurre­ction. Shall we rejoyce, my Soul, to day? Shall we not rather mourn at the Funeral of our dear Redeemer? Such, O my Lord, was the Excess of thy Goodness, to derive joyes for us from thine own Sorrows. Thou forbad'st thy followers to weep for thee, and reser­ved'st to thy self alone the shame and grief. Thou invitest all the World to glory in thy Cross, and command'st us to delight in the memory of thy Passi­on. Sing then, all you dear-bought Nations of the Earth; sing Hymns of Glory to the holy Jesus. Sing, every one who pretends to Felicity; sing im­mortal praises to the God of our Sal­vation: To him who for us endur'd so [Page 286] much scorn, and patiently receiv'd so many Injuries: To him who for us sweat drops of Blood, and drank off the dreggs of his Father's wrath: To the Eternal Lord of Heaven and Earth, who for us was slain by the hands of the wicked; who for us was led away as a Sheep to the slaughter, and as a meek Lamb, opened not his Mouth. Whi­ther, O my God, did thy Compassion carry thee! how did thy Charity too far prevail with thee? Was it not enough to become Man for us, but thou must expose thy self to all our Miseries? Was it not enough to labour all thy life, but thou must suffer for us even the pains of Death? No, gracious Lord, thy Mercy still observ'd some wants in our condition as yet unsupply'd. Thou saw'st our too much fondness of Life needed thy parting with it to reconcile us to Death. Thou saw'st our fear of Sufferings could no way be abated, but by freely undergoing them in thine own person. Thou saw'st our Souls so deep­ly stain'd with Guilt, that without thy Blood we could have no Remission. O Blessed Jesu! whose Grace alone begins and perfects all our hopes: How are we [Page 287] bound to praise thy Love! how infinite­ly oblig'd to adore thy goodness! At any rate thou would'st still go on, to heal our weak and wounded Nature: Even at the price of thine own dear Blood, thou would'st accomplish for us the purchase of Heaven.

Hymn 25.
TUne now your selves, my Heart-strings, high;
Let us alost our Voices raise:
That our loud Song may reach the Skie,
And there present to thee our Praise.
To thee, Blest Jesu! who cam'st down
From those bright Sphears of Joy above,
To purchase us a dear-bought Crown,
And wooe our Souls to' espouse thy Love.
Long had the World in darkness sate,
'Till thou and thy all-glorious Light
Began to dawn from Heavens fair Gate,
And with thy Beams dispel their Night.
We too, alas! still there had stood,
As common Slaves in the same shade;
But Mercy came, and, with his Blood
Our general Ransome freely paid.
Not all the Spite of all the Jews,
Nor Death it self could him remove:
Still he his blest design pursues;
And gives his Life to crown our Love.
And now my Lord, my God, my all;
What shall I most in thee admire?
That power which made the World, and shall
The World again dissolve with fire?
Oh no; thy strange Humility;
Thy Wounds, thy Pains, thy Cross, thy Death:
These shall alone my wonder be,
My Health, my Joy, my Staff, my Breath.
To thee, Great God! to thee alone,
Three Persons in one Deity;
As former Ages still have done,
All Glory now and ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

AWake, my Soul, and speedily pre­pare thy richest Sacrifice of hum­ble Praise: Awake and summon all thy thoughts to make haste, and adore our great Redeemer. To him let us reve­rently go, and offer our devout hearts at his sacred Feet. Thither let us fly from the Troubles of the World; with him let us dwell among the Mercies of Heaven: Under the shade of that hap­py Tree let us fix our abode: A Tree [Page 289] of safe defence, and delicious fruit. Let us remember every passage of our Savi­our's Love, and desire that none may escape our thanks. Let us compassio­nate every stroke of his Death, and one by one salute his sacred Wounds. Blest be the Hands that wrought so many Miracles, and were bor'd with cruel Nails. Blest be the Feet that so often travell'd for us, and at last were un­mercifully fastened to the Cross. Blest be the Head which was crowned with Thorns; the Head that so industriously studied our Happiness. Blest be the Heart which was pierc'd with a Spear; the Heart that so passionately lov'd our peace. Blest be the entire person of our Crucifi'd Lord, and may all our powers joyn in his praise: In thy eter­nal praise, O gracious Jesu! and the ra­vishing thoughts of thy incomparable Sweetness. O what excess of Kindness was this! what strange extremity of Love and Pity! The Lord is sold, that the Slave may be free; the innocent condemn'd, that the guilty may be sav'd. The Physician is sick, that the Patient may be cur'd; and he who was God dies, that man may live. Tell me, my Soul, [Page 290] when first thou hast well consider'd, and lookt about among all we know; tell me, Who ever wisht us so much good? Who ever lov'd us with so much ten­derness? What have our nearest Friends done for us; or even our Parents, in comparison of this Charity? No less than the Son of God came down to re­deem us; no less than his own dear Life was the price he paid for us. What can the favour of the whole World promise us, compar'd to this miracu­lous Bounty? No less than the joyes of Angels are become our hope; no less than the Kingdom of Heaven is made our Inheritance.

MEDITATION III.

TO thee, O God, we owe our selves, for making us after thine own Image. To thee, O Lord, we owe more than our selves, for redeeming us with the Death of thine onely Son. Nor were our Ruines so soon repair'd, as at first our Being was easily produc'd. Thy Power to Create us said but one word, and immediately we became a living Soul: But thy Wisdom to Re­deem [Page 291] us, both spake much, and wrought more, and suffer'd most of all. To re­deem us, he humbled himself to this low World, and all the infirmities of our miserable Nature. He patiently en­dur'd hunger and thirst, and the ma­licious affronts of enraged Enemies. How many times did he hazard his life, to sustain with Courage the Truths of Hea­ven! how many Tears did he tenderly weep in compassion of his blind ungrate­ful Country! how many drops of Blood did he shed in the doleful Garden, and on the bitter Cross! the Cross, where, after three long hours of grief, and shame, and intolerable pains, he meek­ly bow'd his fainting Head, and in an Agony of Prayer yielded up the Ghost. So sets the glorious Sun in a sad Cloud, and leaves our Earth in darkness and disorder; but goes to shine immediate­ly in the other World; and soon re­turns again, and brings us light. And so dost thou, dear Lord, and more: Thy very darkness is our light. 'Tis by thy death we are made to live, and by thy wounds our sores are heal'd. O my ador'd Redeemer, who took'st up­on thee all our miseries, to impart to [Page 292] us thine own Felicities! Can we re­member thy Labours for us, and not be convinc't of our Duty to thee? Can our cold Hearts recount thy Sufferings, and not be inflam'd with the Love that suf­fer'd? Can we believe our Salvation cost thee so dear, and live as if to be sav'd were not worth our pains? Ingrateful we! how do we slight the kindness of our God! how carelesly comply with his gracious designs! For all his gifts he requires no other return, than to hope still more, and desire still greater Bles­sings. For all his favours he seeks no other praise, than our following his steps, to arrive at his Glory.

PETITIONS.

O Glorious Jesu! behold, to thee we bow, and humbly implore thy bles­sing, in whom all fulness dwells. Ac­complish in us, we pray, those gracious purposes for which thou didst assume the humane Nature, and suffer a pain­ful and ignominious Death. Teach us, O Lord, by thy Word, and thy exam­ple, the sole way to that Bliss for which we were created. Give us an assur'd [Page 293] pardon of all our sins, and the privi­ledge of becoming the Sons of God: Possess us with the joyful hope of an eternal Life, purchas'd for us by our Redeemer's Death. O Almighty Re­deemer, destroy in us the works of the Devil: Deliver us (for none else can) from the power of every sin. Set us at liberty to run the wayes of thy Com­mandments; thy Service is perfect free­dom. Give us the special Assistance of thy Grace, that we may wean our Af­fections from all vain desires, and clear our thoughts from all impertinent fan­cies, that our lives may be intirely dedicated to thee, and all the Faculties of our Souls to thy holy Service: That our minds may continually study thy Knowledge, and our Wills grow every day stronger in thy Love: Our Memo­ries may faithfully lay up thy Mercy, and both Tongue and Heart be conti­nually disposed, and often employ'd to praise thee; to praise thy incompara­ble Love, which has done and suffer'd so much for lost Mankind. O let the continual memory of thy bitter Passion and Death, make us despise the Goods or Ills that we meet with here, com­par'd [Page 294] to the advancing our selves or others in the esteem of what we hope hereafter; through the Sufferings and Merits of thee our Lord Jesus Christ.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Friday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

COme, let us now call off our thoughts from ranging abroad, where they but lose themselves. Let us diligently examine the Accounts of our Time; and summ up the profit we have made to day. What have we gain'd by all we have seen or heard? For nothing is so barren but it may yield some fruit; had we the Art to cultivate it right, and fit­ly apply it to our own advantage. If we have spy'd some good Example which [Page 295] our gracious God has presented to in­struct or quicken us; did we immedi­ately entertain the motion, and resolve in our heart effectively to follow it? If we have fallen among vicious Compa­ny, which, O! too often engages into folly; did the danger encrease our care, and the sin of others breed Vertue in us? We have heard perhaps some me­lancholy news, of sudden sicknesses, or unexpected Deaths: But did we fear to be surprized our selves, and provide betimes for that day of Trial? We meet with accidents enow to disparage this World; but do we really feel it lose credit in our Hearts? Does our esteem of the other grow strong and high; and every one faithfully tell his own Soul; 'Tis not in this poor World thou must expect content: It is not here you must hope to enjoy a perfect rest: Or­der thy whole affairs with utmost skil; and which is seldom seen, let all thy designs succeed: Still thou shalt find something to trouble thee; and even thy pleasures will be tedious to thee: Wheresoever thou goest, still Crosses will follow thee; because where-ever thou goest thou carriest thy self? Who [Page 296] then, my God, is truely happy in this World? or rather I should ask, who comes the nearest to happiness? He that with patience resolves to suffer what­ever his endeavours are not able to avoid. Happy yet more is he that de­lights to suffer, and glories to be like his Crucify'd Saviour. When thou art come to this, my Soul, that thy Cros­ses seem sweet for the love of Jesus; think then thy self sublimely happy; for surely thou hast found a Heaven upon Earth; at least, the best Heaven that this Earth can afford; and take it as a pledge of a better to come.

MEDITATION II.

MY Soul, when thou art thus re­tir'd alone; and fitly dispos'd for quiet thoughts; never let the great­ness of another molest thy Peace, nor his prosperous condition make thee re­pine. Say not in thy Heart, had I that fair Estate; or were I intrusted with so high a place; I should know how to contrive things better, and ne­ver commit such gross mistakes. Tell me, how dost thou manage thine own [Page 297] Employments; and fit the little room thou holdest in the World? If thou hast leisure, art thou not idle, and spendest thy precious time in unprofitable fol­lies? If thou art busie, art thou not so too much; and leavest no time to pro­vide for thy Immortal Soul? Do thy riches make thee more wise, and gene­rously assist the innocent poor? Does thy poverty make thee humble, and faith­fully labour for thy little Family? Dost thou in every state give thanks to Hea­ven, and contentedly submit to its se­verest decrees? Canst thou rejoicingly say to God; O my ador'd Creatour! I am glad my Lot is in thy Hands? Thou art all Wisdom, and seest my wants? thou art all goodness, and delightest to relieve me: Under thy Providence I know I am safe; whatever befalls me, thou guidest to my advantage. If thou wilt have me obscure and low; thy blessed will, not mine, be done. If thou wilt load my back with Crosses, and imbitter my daies with Grief or Sick­ness; still may thy Blessed Will, O Lord, be done; still govern thy Crea­tures in thine own best way. Place where­ever thou pleasest thy other favours; [Page 298] but secure to my Soul a Portion in thy love. Take what thou wilt of the things thou hast lent me, but leave I beseech thee, in my Heart the Possession of thy self. Let others be preferr'd, and me neglected; let their affairs succeed, and mine if thou pleasest miscarry: Onely one thing I cannot chuse but desire, and may my Gracious God vouchsafe to grant me that: That thou cast me not away from thy presence for ever; nor wipe my Name out of the book of Life: But let my Eternal hopes remain, and still grow quicker as they approach their end.

MEDITATION III.

MY Thoughts, run over the passa­ges you have met to day; or rather forget such impertinent things. What have we seen, but distracting Va­nities, and what brought home but un­profitable Fancies? How often have we felt our Minds disturb'd! how of­ten endanger'd by unhappy accidents! Sometimes we frowardly throw our selves down; and like sullen Children will not stand. Sometimes the tem­pest [Page 299] throws us down; and like weak Children we cannot stand. Yet are we venturing still among the snares; entic'd by the Appearance of some pre­sent delight. We weary out our selves with running after flies; which are hard to catch, and trifles when they are caught. This we pursue, and fol­low that; but nothing we meet can fill our Hearts, till we have found out Thee, O Gracious Lord! our only full, all-satisfying good: Till we have found out Thee not by a dark belief; but clearly, as thou art in thine own bright self. Remember, O my Soul, this truth of the World we live in; which our own experience too evidently proves: The Eye is not fill'd with seeing it's va­rieties, nor the Ear with hearing all its harmony. Remember also this Truth of the World we hope for; which is made sure to our Faith by the Word of Christ: The Eye has not seen such beauteous glories, nor has the Ear ever heard such ravishing charms; nor can the Heart it self conceive such incredi­ble joyes, as our God has provided for them that love him: As our Blessed Je­sus has purchas'd for his Servants; and [Page 300] even for Thee, my Soul, if thou art one of them. Then thou may'st in Peace lay down thy Head, and rest secure in the protection of thy God: Whose Mercy has so graciously singled thee out from among the race of guilty Mor­tals: To give thee the Peace which passes all understanding, and the hopes that are strongly establisht on him­self.

PETITIONS.

O Infinitely mild, and unexhaustible source of Mercy and Compassion! have Mercy upon me poor miserable Sinner. Have Mercy Lord, and help me, for I spend my daies in Vanity though I am continually hasting down to the Grave. I do not improve as I might in Vertue by the occasions I meet with, but they often make me guilty and improve in Vice. O Lord, enter not into Judgment with thy poor Crea­ture, for in thy sight shall no man li­ving be justified. Lord make me judge my self, lest I be condemn'd by Thee; and frequently chastise my self, lest I be punisht by thee: Make me mortifie my [Page 301] senses with discreet austerities, that I may reduce my Body into Subjection to my Mind; and bring my Mind at length into a due Subjection to thee. O Lord, of thy great Mercy pardon my daily Sins; and let thy Grace make even them occasions of improvement in Vertue. Let thy Provident Mercy, O God, make every day a new Branch of Knowledge to me, from whence the Evening may gather fresh variety of Fruits to nou­rish my Soul to an Eternal Life; fruits that may strengthen me against those occasions by which I have been most frequently overcome; that may render me steady in the wayes of Vertue. Grant, I beseech Thee, that no experi­ence of Good or Evil which this day has afforded, may be lost upon me. Make me more skilful by all, to discern the true value and use of the present state in all its various postures: wean me more from this world, since thou hast made me for a better: Make me more ready to offer up with our Saviour my whole Concerns and Being here to thy will, and the sole advance of thy Glo­ry, that I may at length be Crown'd with bliss among the rest of thy re­sign'd, [Page 302] and devoted Servants through Je­sus Christ thy well-beloved Son.

Amen.

Hymn 26.
'Tis not for us, and our proud Hearts,
O Mighty Lord, to chuse our parts;
But act well what thou wisely giv'st:
'Tis not in our weak pow'r to make,
One step o'th' way we undertake;
Unless thou kindly us reliev'st.
What thou hast given, thou canst take,
And, when thou wilt, new gifts canst make;
As all things flow from thee alone:
When thou didst give it, it was thine;
When thou retook'st it, 'twas not mine:
'Tis fit thy will in all be done.
It might perhaps too pleasant prove,
Too much attractive of my love;
And so make less my love of thee:
Some things there are, [...] Scriptures say,
And reason proves that Heaven and they
Can very seldom will agree.
Lord! let me then sit calmly down,
And rest contented with my own;
That is, with what thou here allow'st:
Keep thou my mind serene, and free,
Often to think on Heaven and Thee;
And those great things thou there be­stow'st.
There let me have my portion, Lord!
There all my losses be restor'd;
And then no matter what falls here:
Is't not enough that we shall sing,
And love for ever our blest King;
Whose glorious goodness brought us there.
Great God, as thou art One, may we
With one another all agree,
All in thy thankful praise conspire:
May Men and Angels joyn and sing
Eternal Hymns to Thee their King,
And make up one Adoring Quire.

Amen.

For Saturday Morning.

MEDITATION I.

IF we rejoyced for our selves, in the Sufferings of our Lord, let us now re­joyce for him, that his Sufferings are end­ed: Now that the Fowlers Net is broken, and the meek and innocent Dove escap'd: Now that the Cup of bitterness is past away, and never possible to return again: Never again, O dearest Jesu, shall those blest Eyes weep; nor thy holy Soul be sorrowful unto Death: Never shall thy precious Life be subject any more to the bloody Malice of ambitious Hypo­crites: Never shall thy Innocence any more be expos'd to the barbarous fury of an ingrateful multitude: But thou shalt live, and reign for ever, and all created Nature shall perpetually adore thee. O happy end of well endur'd Afflictions! O blessed Fruits, that spring from the Cross of Jesus! Look up my [Page 305] Soul, and see thy Crucified Lord sit gloriously enthron'd at the right hand of his Father: Behold the ragged Pur­ple now turn'd into a Robe of light, and the scornful Reed into a royal Scepter. The wreath of Thorns is grown into a sparkling Diadem, and all his Scars polisht into brightness: His Tears are all now chang'd into Joy, and the Laughter of his Persecutors in­to sad Despair: Herod long since pe­risht in miserable conntempt, and Pilate still trembles with everlasting fears; the impenitent Jews are scatter'd over the World, to attest his Truth and their own obdurate blindness: But himself is crown'd with eternal Triumphs, and the Souls he redeems, shall sing his Vi­ctories for ever. Live glorious King of Men and Angels, live happy Conque­rour of Sin and Death: Our Praises shall alwayes attend thy Sufferings, and our Patience endeavour to bear our own: Through fiercest dangers our Faith shall follow thee, and nothing wrest from us our hope at last to see thee: We will fear no more the sting of Death, nor be frighted at the darkness of the Grave; since thou hast chang'd our Grave into [Page 306] a Bed of rest, and made Death it self but a passage into Life. We will love no more the Pleasures of Vanity, nor set our hearts on unsatisfying riches; since thou hast opened Paradise again, and Purchas'd for us the Kingdom of Heaven.

Hymn 27.
MY God, to Thee our selves we owe,
And to thy Bounty, all we have;
Behold, to thee our Praises bow,
And humbly thy acceptance crave.
If we are happy in a Friend,
That very Friend 'tis thou bestow'st;
His power, his will, to help our end,
Is just so much as thou allow'st.
If we enjoy a free Estate,
Our only Title is from thee;
Thou mad'st our lot to bear that rate,
Which else an empty blank would be.
If we have Health, that well-tun'd ground,
That gives the Musick to the rest;
It is by thee our Air is sound,
Our Food secur'd, our Physick blest.
If we have hope, one day to view
The Glories of thy blissful Face;
Each drop of that refreshing Dew
Must fall from Heaven, and thy free grace.
Thus, then, to thee our Praises bow,
And humbly thy acceptance crave;
Since 'tis to thee our selves we owe,
And to thy bounty all we have.
Glory to Thee, great God, alone,
Three Persons in one Deity;
As it has been in Ages gone,
May now, and still for ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

BLessed be thy Name, O holy Jesu! and blessed be the mercy of thy Pro­vidence: Who hast cast our lot in these times of Grace, and design'd our birth in the dayes of light; when we may clearly see our ready way, and directly go on to our glorious end. 'Till thou appearedst, O thou only Light of the World! our miserable Earth lay co­ver'd with darkness: 'Till thou went­est [Page 308] away, O thou Sovereign Lord of Life! the Kingdom of Heaven was close shut up: When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of Death, thou didst open the Kingdom of Heaven to all Believ­ers: Thou didst communicate thy Joyes to all the World, and display the bright glories of thy happy Kingdom to all that esteem'd so blest a sight, and stood prepar'd to entertain thy coming: As for the rest, whose eyes are shut, or turn'd away by their own malice; thy Presence yields them no more Joy, than light to those that will not see: But the hearts that receive and love thee, thou fillest with gladness, and overflow­est them with an ocean of heavenly de­lights. Come ye happy believing Souls, that are made partakers of the mercies of his Kingdom: Come let us now raise up our thoughts, and continually Me­ditate our future Beatitude: Let us comfort our selves with the hope of rest, and our Sufferings with the expe­ctance of a glorious reward: Now that the hand of our gracious Lord has un­lockt the gates of everlasting Bliss: Now that they stand wide open, to admit such as diligently strive to enter in: Such as [Page 309] have wisely made choice of Heaven for the only end and business of their life; rejecting all the false allurements of this World, to attend the pursuit of true felicity.

MEDITATION III.

PRaise our Lord, O you children of Men! Praise him as the Anthor of all your hopes. Praise our Lord, O you blessed of Heaven! Praise him as the Fi­nisher of all your Joyes. Sing, O you reverend Patriarchs and holy Prophets! Sing Hymns of Glory to the great Messi­as. Sing and Rejoyce all you ancient Saints, who have so long enjoy'd the happy repose of Abraham's bosom: Bring forth your best and purest Incense, and humbly offer it at the Throne of the Lamb: The Lamb that was slain from the beginning of the World; by the sprinkling of whose Blood you all were saved. O still sing on the Praises of the King of Peace, and bless for ever his victorious Mercy: It was he dis­solv'd the power of darkness, and broke asunder the strong bars of Death. He has conquer'd Death, and him that had [Page 310] the power of it, even the Devil, that his faithful Followers might triumph over both. How did your glad eyes sparkle with Joy, to see the Ascension of your humbled Redeemer! How were your Spirits transported with delight, to behold the splendours of his glori­ous Exaltation! to have his Presence among you, his blissful Presence, that can turn even the saddest night into a chearful day; that can change a Dun­geon into a house of Mirth; and make every place a joyful Paradice! O glo­rious Presence! when shall our Souls be fill'd with strong and constant de­sires of enjoying Thee? O sluggish Soul! how canst thou contentedly hover about this Earth, when the loving Jesus is As­cended above the Skies? with longing hopes look up thither, and say, When, dearest Jesu! shall my desires be fill'd with the everlasting fruition of thy bless­ed self? Henceforth for thee, and for thy Sacred Love, O thou great and on­ly Comfort of our Souls! shall all Affli­ctions be welcome to me, as wholsome Physick to correct my Follies; shall the Pleasures of the World be very cauti­ously used, as dangerous Fruit that may [Page 311] fill me with Diseases: Will I, by thy example, neither fear to Dye, nor re­fuse the labours of this present Life: But while I live, I will obey thy Grace, that when I dye, I may enjoy thy Glory.

PETITIONS.

O Blessed Jesu, our only hope, our all-sufficient strength, and the li­beral Rewarder of all thy Servants: As thou hast freely prepared for us ready wages, so Lord, let thy Grace inable us to work: Let thy Grace excite to diligence in our work, and make us steady and persevering in the way thou lovest: Make us direct our whole Life to thee, O Fullness of Bliss! and un­dervalue all things compar'd with thy Love. O Seal up our Eyes to the Illu­sions of this World, and open them upwards to thy solid Joyes; there let them fix their pleased sight, and look 'till we be transformed into thy glori­ous likeness: That when our present earthly Tabernacle shall be dissolved, and this House of Clay shall fall down into the dust, we may ascend to thee, [Page 312] and dwell above in that Building not made with hands, eternal in the Heavens. O Jesu! thou didst expire on the Cross, and descend into the Grave, to destroy the life of Sin in us, and the fears of Death: Grant then, I beseech thee, that these may never revive in me, to tempt or affright me from the wayes of Holiness. Fix in me, O Lord, the firm belief of this very sure and im­portant Truth, That the greatest mis­chiefs which our Salvation can cost us here, are but momentary, and shall work for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory: Through thy abundant Merits, O dear Redeemer.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For Saturday Evening.

MEDITATION I.

TOO often are we troubled about many things, when the truely ne­cessary is only one. Retire, O my Soul, into thine own bosom, and search what thou aim'st at in all thy thoughts: Ex­amine where thou dost place thy chief Felicity, and whither tend thy strong­est desires: Go to the Great and Pru­dent of the World, and learn of them to choose thy Interests: Do they not there encrease their Estates, where they mean to spend the most of their life? Do they project their Mansion Seat in a Country through which they only pass as Travellers? No more, my Soul, should we build our best hopes on the sandy Foundation of this perishable Earth; where, sure we are, that we cannot stay long, and are not sure we may have leave to stay but a very little while. [Page 314] We must then use this transitory Life, as Pilgrims returning to their beloved Home; that we may take only what our Journey requires, and not think of settling in a forreign Countrey; but wisely forecast our Treasures so, as to be happy there where we must alwayes be: Let us use this World as not abu­sing it, for the fashion of this World passes away: Use it so as to gain there­by the next, in reward for our using this well: So shall this short Time end in a happy Eternity.

MEDITATION II.

NOW thou hast found thy happy end, and found it the onely good that lasts for ever; study, O my Soul, to know still more, and still more to value those immortal joyes. Strive for so glorious a prize with thy whole force; with the utmost endeavours of all thy Faculties: Purchase at any rate that blest Inheritance, and wisely neglect before that any thing else; any thing that would divert thee from thy holy course, or but retard the speed of thy Advance: For though the lowest degree of Hap­piness, [Page 315] in the Mansions above be happy enough, where every satisfied Vessel is fill'd to the brim; yet to enlarge our Capacity to the least nigher degree, deserves the busiest diligence of our whole life. Shall the industrious Bee endure no rest; but fly, and sing, and labour all day? Shall the unwearied Ant be run­ning up and down, to fetch and carry a few grains of Corn? And we for whom all Nature so faithfully works, and tires it self in a perpetual Motion; for whom the tender Providence of God commands even his Angels to watch continually; for whom the ador'd Jesus came down from Heaven, and spent a whole life in continual labours? Shall we sleep on in a drowsie Sloth, and not stir a fin­ger to help our selves? Awake my Soul, and chide thy sluggish thoughts; and let their stupid folly plainly know we have a store to provide as well as [...], and infinitely richer than their poor hoard. We have a work to do as well as Bees, and that which is infinitely sweeter than all their honey. What can so nobly enrich an immortal Soul, as still to be gathering a stock for Eter­nity? What can so highly delight one [Page 316] that every day improves, as daily to see the encrease of his hope. O blessed hope, thou shalt be my chief delight, and the onely Treasure I covet to lay up: Thou art the quickning Life of all my Actions, and the sweet allay of all my Sufferings. So shall I never refuse any the meanest labour, while I look to receive such glorious Wages. So shall I never repine at any temporal loss, while I hope to gain such Eternal Re­wards.

MEDITATION III.

BUt O! 'tis not so much our sloath undoes us; as the imprudent choice in applying our Diligence. Many, alas, take pains enough; many perplex them­selves too much. See how the busie toylers of the world are chain'd per­petually like slaves to their work. How early they rise, and go late to sleep; and eat the Bread of Care and Sorrow. See how the hardy Souldiers follow their Prince, through a thousand diffi­culties, to meet with dangers: See how the venturous Mariners expose their lives, over stormy Seas, bar­barous [Page 317] Nations: And why is all this, poor ill-advised wretches! but to fetch, perhaps, a little Fish or Spice? To gain a few Pence or some petty Honour; which others often share in more than your selves? O Gracious Lord, how easie are thy commands! how cheap hast thou made the purchase of Heaven! Half these pains would make us excel­lent Saints; half these Sufferings would place us in thy account among the Mar­tyrs; were they devoutly undertaken for thee, and the higher enjoyment of thy Glorious Promises. Thou dost not bid us freeze under the Polar Star; nor burn in the heats of the torrid Zone: But proposest a sweet, and gen­tle rule; and such as our Nature it self would choose, did not our passions strangely mislead us, and the World a­bout us distract our reason. Thou bid­dest us but wisely love our selves; and attend above all things our own true hap­piness. Thou bid'st us value even this world as much as it deserves; since 'tis the School that breeds us up for the other: Only we are forbidden to be wilful fools; and prefer a short Vanity before Eternal felicity. O the mild Go­vernment [Page 318] of the King of Heaven! his will we can do, whatever else we are doing. This we can do even while we sit still; and only move our Thoughts towards thee. Yet take care my Soul, that this sweetness of thy Lord, be ne­ver abused to a [...] wanton neglect: But strive still to love thy Lord so much the more, as by any means thou dis­coverest more the excess of his love.

PETITIONS.

O Thou the Eternal being, who chan­gest not, and yet art the cause and end of all our changes! Who still remainest the same rich fulness in thy self, the same bright Glory to all thy Blessed: Make me sensible of my ap­proaching change, of the dissolution that will call me away from this present world: And make me regard this world as a place of Pilgrimage, as having here no enduring City. Teach me also, O Lord, the Immortality of my Soul, and convince me that I must dwell for ever in another world; so make me endeavour to have thee the Eternal God for my Everlasting Portion, and spend this short [Page 319] time in diligent striving to reach the Blissful Enjoyment of Thee: Suffer me not, O God, to take up my rest on Earth; to be ever unconcern'd about Eternity, whatever my condition be here▪ When I see with what unwearied di­ligence the wretched adventures for all sorts of Vanity, do round about me pursue their vain designs; let this, Lord, be taken as a very just reproach for my negligence in the pursuit of better things. Make me asham'd▪ to see any others more concern'd for the applause of men, than I am for the favour and approbation of God: To see others more eager of the transient pleasures of this World, than I for the lasting de­lights of Heaven. Preserve me, O Gra­cious Lord, from the many dangers which on all sides assault me now; to divert or hinder my progress towards Heaven. O keep my mind ever dis­pos'd to receive thy Holy inspirations; that being alwayes strongly and plea­santly carried forward by thy Holy Spirit, I may at last happily arrive at the Heavenly Jerusalem: For the sake of Jesus Christ the Mediatour.

Amen.

Hymn 28.
MY Soul! what's all this world to thee?
This world of sin and woe;
Where only sense can tast its sweets,
And those unwholsome too?
Truth is thy food, truth thy delight,
Which cannot here be free;
Thy mind was born to know and love
What this life ne're can see.
Malicious world, how dost thou lay
And cover thy false Baits!
Here those of pleasure, there of gain,
Each for our ruine waits.
Unhappy we, it is our fault,
'Tis we our Life abuse;
The world presents a furnisht Shop,
And we the tools misuse.
So have I seen a little Child,
If Nurse but turn her Eye,
In stead of haft, take hold o'th' blade,
And cut it self, and cry.
This little Child, alas, am I,
Self-will'd, Self-wounded too;
But, Lord, turn not thy face away,
Lest I my self undoe.
O make me still so use this world,
That I the other gain;
O make me so the other love,
That this its end attain.
Its end to breed up Souls for Heave'n,
Then be it self new drest;
No more corruption, no more change,
But one perpetual rest.
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
The undivided Three,
One equal Glory, one same Praise,
Now, and for ever be.

Amen.

Devotions FOR THE Holy-dayes, The First Part.

FOR THE FEASTS OF OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

BRing to our Lord, all you his Ser­vants; bring to our Lord the Sacri­fice of Praise: Bring to our Lord, all you Nations of the Earth, bring Hymns of Glory to his great Name; at the Name of Jesus let every knee bow, of things in Heaven, and things on Earth, and let his whole Church Militant and [Page 326] Triumphant gladly adore our God that Redeem'd us. Come now, and hear, you that fear our Lord, and I will tell you what he has done for my Soul: Hear, and I will tell you what he has done for yours, and the wonders of his bounty towards all the World. When we lay asleep in the shades of nothing, his mighty hand awak'd us into Being: Not that of Stones, or Plants, or Beasts, o're which he has made us absolute Lords; but an accomplisht Body he has given us, and an immortal Spirit, and has made us little inferiour to his glo­rious Angels: He printed on our Souls his own similitude, and promised to our Obedience, that we should partake of his own felicity: He endu'd us with Ap­petites to live well and happily, and furnisht us with means to satisfie those Appetites; Creating a World furnish'd with excellent Creatures to serve us while we abode on Earth, and provi­ding a Heaven of Bliss to glorifie us when we remov'd hence. Thus didst thou favour us, O Infinite Goodness! But we, what return did we make thee? Blush, O my Soul, for shame at so strange a weakness, and weep for grief [Page 327] at so extream an Ingratitude. We child­ishly preferr'd a trivial Apple, before the Law of our God, and the safety of our own Lives: We fondly embrac'd a little needless Satisfaction before the Pleasures of Paradise, and the eternal Joyes of Heaven. Behold the unhappy source of all our Miseries, which still encreas'd its streams as they went farther on; 'Till they exacted at last a deluge of Justice to drown their deluge of Ini­quity: And here, alas, had been an end of Man, a sad and fatal end of the whole World; had not our wise Creator fore­seen the danger, and in time prevented the extremity of the ruine; reserving for himself a few choice Plants, to re­plenish the Earth with more hopeful Fruit: Yet they quickly grew wild, and brought forth sour Grapes, and their Chil­drens teeth were set on edge. Quickly they aspir'd to an intollerable Pride of fortifying their wickedness against the power of Heaven: Justice was now pro­vok'd to a second deluge, and to bring again a Cloud over the Earth; but Mer­cy discover'd a bow in the Cloud, and our faithful God remembred his Pro­mise; allaying their Punishment with a [Page 328] milder Sentence, and only scattering them from the place of their Conspiracy; which yet his Providence turn'd into a Blessing, by making it an occasion of Peopling the World. Still their rebel­lious Nature disobey'd again, and nei­ther fear'd his Judgments, nor valued his Mercies; but with a graceless emu­lation they propagated sin, as far as his Goodness propagated Mankind: Then he selected a private Family, and in­creas'd and govern'd them with a par­ticular tenderness; giving them a Law by the hands of Angels, and engaging their Obedience by a thousand favours: But they neglected too their God and Heaven, and fell in love with the wayes of Death. When thou hadst thus, O dearest Lord! used many Remedies, and our Disease was beyond their power to cure; when the light of Nature proved too weak a guide, and the general Flood too mild a correction; when the Mira­cles of Moses could not soften their Hearts, nor the Law of Angels bring any to perfection; when all was re­duc'd to this desperate State, and no imaginable hope was left to recover us: Behold the Eternal Wisdom finds a [Page 329] strange Expedient, the last and highest Instance of Almighty Love: Himself he resolves to cloath with our Flesh, and come down among us, and dye to Re­deem us. Wonder, O my Soul! at the Mercies of our Lord; how infinitely do they transcend even the utmost that we could have wished! Wonder at the ad­mirable Providence of his Councels, that they are so exactly fitted to their great design! Had our Saviour been less than God, we could never have believed the sublime Mysteries of his Heavenly Do­ctrine: Had he been other than Man, we must needs have wanted the power­ful motive of his holy Example: Had he been only God, he could never have suffer'd the least of those Afflictions which he so gloriously overcame: Had he been meerly Man, he could never have overcome those Infinite Afflictions which he so patiently endur'd. In thee, O blessed Saviour! the two Natures of God and Man were so mysteriously uni­ted, without either change or confusion, that they made in thee but one Person, one Mediator and Lord.

Hymn 29.
JEsu, who from thy Fathers Throne,
To this low vale of Tears cam'st down,
In our poor nature humbly drest;
Oh may the charms of that sweet love
Draw up our Souls to thee above,
And six them there on thee to rest.
Jesu, who wert with Joy Conceiv'd;
With Joy wert born, while no pain griev'd
Thy Blessed Mothers Virgin-womb:
O may we breed, and bring thee forth
In our glad hearts, for all is Mirth
Where thou, kind Lord, art pleas'd to come.
Jesu, whose high and humble Birth,
In Heaven, the Angels, and on Earth
The faithful Shepherds gladly sing;
O may our Hymns, which here run low,
Shoot up aloft, and fruitful grow
In that more warm, Eternal Spring.
Jesu, how soon didst thou begin
To bleed and suffer for our sin;
Cut by the Circumcising Knife!
O may thy grace, by making good
Our Souls just cause 'gainst flesh and blood,
Cut off for us that dange'rous strife.
Jesu, who took'st that heave'nly Name
Thy blessed Purpose to proclaim,
Of saving self-destroy'd Mankind:
O may we bowe our Heart and knee,
Bright King of Names, to Glorious thee,
And thy hid sweetness ever find.
Jesu, who thus began'st our Bliss,
Thus carry'edst on our happiness,
To thee, as due, all Praise be paid:
O may the great mysterious three
For ever live, and ever be
By all Ador'd, Belov'd, Obey'd.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

SOon as this Blest Decree was made, of sending the Son of God to redeem Mankind: Immediately his goodness was ready to come among us, had our un­gracious world been ready to receive him. But as yet we were too gross and sensual, [Page 332] and utterly uncapable of his so sublime Laws: We were immerst in worldly cares and pleasures, and indisposed to be allur'd by unseen rewards. While we were thus unfit for thee, O God of pure and perfect holiness! Thou graciously wert pleased to stay for us; and all that time to prepare us for thy coming: From the beginning entertaining us with Hope; and through every age confirm­ing our Faith. How early, O my God, didst thou engage to relieve us! The seed of the Woman shall break the Serpents head. How often didst thou repeat thy Promise to Abraham! In thy seed shall all the Nations of the Earth be blessed. How many wayes did thy mercy invent, by unquestionable tokens to give notice of thy coming? Behold a Virgin shall con­ceive, and bear a Son, and shall call his name, God with us. There shall come forth a rod out of the stem of Jesse, and a branch shall grow out of his roots. The Spirit of the Lord shall rest upon him; the Spirit of Wisdom, and understanding; the Spirit of Counsel and Might, the Spirit of the Knowledge, and Fear of the Lord. I will raise them up a Prophet like unto Moses; and will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak [Page 333] unto them all that I command him. And thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth that is to be Ru­ler in Israel; whose goings forth have been from of old, even from the dayes of Eter­ni. Hark how the Eternal Father intro­duces his Son! commanding first all the Angels of God to worship him! Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten Thee; I will be to him a Father, and he shall be to me a Son. Ask of me, and I will give thee the Heathen for thine Inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the Earth for thy possession. It is too little that thou raise up the Tribes of Jacob, and convert only the dregs of Israel: Thou art appointed a light to lighten the Gentiles, as well as to be the glory of thy people Israel. Hark how the ancient Prophets rejoyce in the Messias; and in soft and gentle words foretell his sweetness. He shall come down like rain upon the mown grass, as showers that wa­ter the Earth. He shall feed his flock like a tender Shepherd; and gently lead those that are with young: He shall gather his lambs with his arms; and carry the weak in his bosome. The bruised Reed he shall not break, nor quench the smoaking flax. In his [Page 334] dayes shall the righteous flourish; and abun­dance of peace so long as the Moon endureth. Then shall the eyes of the blind be opened, and the ears of the deaf shall be made to hear Then shall the lame man leap as an Hart, and the tongue of the dumb shall sing. Thus did thy holy Servants prophesie of thee: Thus did their Children sing thy praises. Blessed be the Lord our God who alone does wonderful things; and blessed be the Name of his Majesty for ever. His dominion shall reach from sea to sea; and from the river to the ends of the earth. They who dwell in the Wil­derness shall bow before him; and his ene­mies shall lick the dust. The Kings of Tar­shish and the Isles shall offer him Presents; the Kings of Sheba and Seba shall bring their gifts: Yea all the Kings of the earth shall fall down before him; and all nations shall do him service. For he shall deliver the poor when he crieth; the poor also and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and preserve the souls of the poor. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence; and precious shall their blood be in his sight. He shall live, and to him shall be given of the Gold of Sheba; Prayer also shall be made for bim continually, and daily shall he be praised.

MEDITATION III.

IT was not thy Joyes alone, O dearest Lord! that thou inspir'dst thy holy Prophets to foretell: But thou didst re­veal to them also thy Sorrowes, and give command to publish them with exact care. That they should not only speak thy words, but the more to affect us, sometimes put on thy Person. O let our eyes run down with water; and our hearts faint away with grief: While we remember the Sufferings of our Lord, and listen to his sad complaints. I gave my back to those that scourged me; and my cheeks to those that plucked off the hair. I turned not away my face from shame and spitting. My enemies speak evil against me; they say, When shall he die, and his name perish? Yea, my familiar Friend, who did eat of my bread, has lifted up his heel against me. As for me, thou uphold'st me, Lord, in my integrity, and settest me before thy face for ever. They compassed me about with words of hatred, and fought against me without a cause. They have rewarded me evil for good, and with hatred they requited my love. I am poured forth like water; I am [Page 336] taken away as a shadow when it declineth. My heart within me is as melted wax; and all my bones are out of joint. My strength is dried up like a potsherd, and my tongue cleaves to the roof of my mouth. I looked for some to take pity, but there was none. I looked for Comforters, but I found not one. O my God, my God, why hast thou forsa­ken me! Thou hast brought me into the dust of Death. Our Fathers cried to thee, and were delivered; they trusted in thee, and were not confounded. But I am a worm, and no man; a reproach of men, and despi­sed of the people. All they that see me laugh me to scorn; they shoot out the lip, and shake the head, saying, He trusted on the Lord, that he would save him; let him deliver him seeing he delighted in him. Be not thou far from me, O Lord, my strength! for trouble is nigh, and there is none to help me. The Assembly of the wicked have en­closed me; they pierced my hands and my feet. I may tell all my bones; they look and stare upon me. They part my garments among them, and on my vesture they cast lots. They gave me gall for my meat, and vinegar when I was thirsty to drink. All these sad things, O Lord, thy Prophets foretold, to prepare our Faith for such [Page 337] Truths. All these indeed they expres­ly foretold; but could there be found such wretches as would act them? Yes, O my God, thine own selected Nation conspir'd against thee, and after innu­merable affronts most barbarously mur­der'd thee. This too, even this thy cruel Death, thou plainly foreshewed'st, in saying, The Inhabitants of Jerusalem shall look on me whom they have pierced, and mourn. But O you holy Prophets! what was the dismal cause, that shed the blood of this spotless Lamb? He had (they quickly an­swer) done no Iniquity, neither was guile found in his mouth. He was cut off from the land of the living: For the transgression of the people was he stricken. He hath poured out his soul to death, and he was number'd with the Transgressors: He bore the sins of ma­ny, and made intercession for the Trans­gressours. All we, like sheep, have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquities of us all. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our sins: The chastisement of our peace was upon him, and with his stripes we are healed. Thou wert for us, O Lord, obedient to the Death, even the cursed Death of the Cross; where­fore God also has highly exalted thee, and [Page 338] given thee a name above every name. Live, glorious Jesu! and reign for ever, eter­nal King of Heaven and Earth; may all thy Blessed above perpetually adore thee, and all thy Servants here conti­nually praise thee.

PETITIONS.

O Most blessed and adorable Jesu! who hast graciously vindicated our Nature from the Contempt and Tyran­ny of the Devil, by taking it into a personal Union with thy Godhead: I earnestly beseech thee, deliver me in my person from the dominion of that my great adversary; let not the Prince of Darkness rule in me as a Child of Disobedience. Make me always a watch­ful Enemy against any thing that may de­base my Nature, which thou hast so much honoured: To hate all sensual and devilish sins, abstain from all appearance of evil, and not willingly enslave my self to any base Lusts. Make me, Lord, du­ly to adore thee as God, who art Lord of Heaven and Earth; and teach me to imitate thee in the excellent pattern thou hast set us, of a holy, harmless, and be­neficent [Page 339] Man. Thou did'st take upon thee, O blessed Jesu! our innocent In­firmities, to bestow on us thy perfecti­ons, to cure us of our guilty Infirmi­ties: Heal me then, I pray thee, O thou great Physician of Souls, and as thou wert free from sin, make me so: O cleanse me from all unrighteousness; Lord, if thou wilt thou canst make me clean. Let every step thou took'st in the working of our Redemption, which thy Servants have recorded in thy Life and Actions to be consider'd by us men, be often and alwayes profitably consider'd by me: Let each have some good influ­ence upon my Heart and Life, and by thy powerful Grace tend to the heal­ing my sinfulness, and the fitting me for eternal Happiness. Heal me, O Lord, and advance me in Holiness by the My­stery of thy holy Incarnation; instruct me by the meanness of thy humble Birth. Heal and save me by the precious blood of thy Circumcision: When thou took'st upon thee the sweet and ever blessed name of Jesus, a name signifying thy kind design, which was the saving thy people from their sins. Strengthen my Faith in thee, O Lord, by thy wondrous [Page 340] Miracles; confirm my Hope, and inflame my Love by thy kind and meritorious Passion. Help me by the joyes of thy victorious Resurrection, and the Tri­umph of thy glorious Ascension: So ef­fectually rule me here, O Lord, that I may always obey thy Grace, and do thou so favour me hereafter, that I may enjoy thy Glory.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son,
and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the Beginning, is now, and
ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

LEt us be willing to learn of the Blessed Jesus, and he will teach us his waies; let us follow him, who is the light of the world: He that followeth him shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the [Page 341] light of Life. The Law and its Types were given by Moses, but Grace and Truth came by Jesus Christ. Lift up thy Voice, O Jerusalem, and be not afraid; say to the Cities of Judah, Behold your God: Behold the Lord your God is come with a strong hand; his Reward is with him, and his Work before him: He is come to bring Redemption to all the world, and Gra­ciously offers it first to you his People. But ye deny'd the Holy One, and the Just; and desir'd a Murtherer to be granted to you. Heark with how sweet and elegant a Compassion, thy kind Redeemer com­plains of thy ingratitude: O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, thou that killest the Prophets, and stonest them that are sent unto Thee: How often would I have gathered thy Chil­dren together, as a Hen gathereth her brood under her wings; and ye would not: Heark with how tender and charitable a reproof thy Lord unwillingly with­draws from thee his favour. O hadst thou known in this thy day the things that belong to thy Peace! but now they are hid from thine Eyes. Hearken once more, and if his kindness cannot move thy Love; he will try how his anger can work upon thy Fear. Hearken then, [Page 342] and tremble at those terrible threatnings with which thy Provident Lord fore­warns thee of thy danger. O Daughter of my People, gird thee with Sackcloath; and wallow thy self in Ashes; make thee mourning as for an only Son, most bitter Lamentation. For the daies shall come up­on thee when thy Enemies shall cast a Trench about thee; they shall compass thee round and keep thee in on every side. They shall lay thee even with the ground, and thy Children in thee, and they shall not leave in thee one stone upon another: Thy People shall fall by the edge of the Sword; and shall be led away captive into all Nations. They shall abide many daies without a King, and without a Prince; they shall mourn without Sacri­fice or Altar. And Jerusalem shall be tro­den down by the Gentiles; till the times of the Gentiles shall be fulfilled. But O, how long, Lord, Holy and Merciful; how long! Wilt thou be angry with them for ever? Hast thou not said, he that scatters Israel will gather them again; and keep them as a Shepherd does his flock? When thou wilt remem­ber thy ancient Promises, O Lord! and resolve to save the remnant of thy once [Page 343] lov'd Israel? When thou wilt take a­way the veil from before their Eyes; that they may see thy Truth and em­brace it: Take away the hardness from their stony Hearts; that they again may be thy People, and thou again their God: Then shall they lay aside the Garment of Mourning, and put on the brightness which comes from Thee. They shall celebrate the Jubilee of this their greatest deliverance; and every one sing in that day of Joy: Come, let us ascend to the Mountain of our Lord, to the house of the God of Jacob, he will teach us of his wayes, and we will walk in his paths: As it was our wickedness to go astray from our God; so now re­turn'd, let us seek him ten times more. Too late have we believed on thee, O thou ancient Truth! too late have we lov'd thee, O thou the desire of all Nations: We were misled by the er­rour of our Forefathers; we were abus'd by our own blind passions. The King­dom we expected deserves not that Name; a short, vain, and troublesome Prosperity: Thy Dominion, O Lord, is Holiness and Peace, and of thy King­dom there shall be no end. Such was [Page 344] the Kingdom thou promisedst to Da­vid, Thy Throne will I establish for e­ver. Such is the Kingdom thou giv'st to thy Servants; they shall live and reign with thee for ever. If we love, my Soul, and seek first this eternal Kingdom, all other things shall be added to it: This Happy Kingdom we ought to love and seek, though nothing else should be added to it. Thou art, O Lord, the true light of the World, they who follow Thee, walk not in dark­ness.

MEDITATION II.

RIse Holy Spouse of the Son of God; rise and put on thy robes of joy: Rise and shine forth, for thy Glory is come; and the splendour of our Lord strikes bright upon Thee. The Gen­tiles shall walk in the beams of thy light; and Kings in the lustre of thy Bright­ness: Lift up thine Eyes round about, and behold; they gather all together and flock to thee: Thy Sons shall come from far; and thy Daughters be nurst at thy side: Then thou shalt see, and flow to­gether; thy Heart shall wonder, and be en­larged [Page 245] with gladness. Because the abun­dance of the Sea shall be converted unto Thee; and the strength of the Gentiles come unto thee. The Sons of Strangers shall build up thy Walls; and their Kings shall Mini­ster unto Thee. The Nation shall perish, that will not serve thee; and the Kingdom be utterly wasted, that refuses thee. The Sons of thy afflicters shall come bending be­fore Thee, and all they that despised thee bow thimselves down at the soles of thy feet. For our Lord shall be thy everlasting light; and the dayes of thy Mourning shall end in Glory. To thee shall be given the Keys of Heaven; and thou shalt shut and open those Eternal Doors. Thy Foundation shall be laid on a firm Rock, and the Gates of Hell shall not prevail against thee. A way shall be made so direct and plain, that the Pas­sengers though Fools shall not erre therein. And the Earth shall be filled with the know­ledge of our Lord, as the waters cover the Sea. All this we read, all this we firm­ly believe; for the mouth of our Lord has spoken it. Heaven and Earth shall pass away; but not a tittle of his word be disappointed for ever. Many of the Sacred Prophesies are already fulfill'd▪ [Page 346] abundantly sufficient to assure us of the rest. Already a Virgin has brought forth a Son, and given him the Graci­ous Name of Jesus: The Kings of the East have been led to him by a Star; and offer'd him Gold and Frankincense, and Myrrh. His Holy Parents have presented him in the Temple; and the devout Simeon was over-joyed to see him. In his tender infancy he fled in­to Egypt, and out of Egypt again God brought forth his Son. He past his pri­vate Life in Peace, and meekness; and taught a contradicting People in Pati­ence and Humility: He confirm'd his Doctrine with innumerable Miracles; and defended the Truth to the last drop of his Blood. He rose again vi­ctoriously from the Grave; and ascend­ed in Triumph to the Right Hand of his Father: And there, O Glorious Je­su, wilt thou sit and Reign; till all thy Enemies become thy footstool. Nor has thy Judgement slept, O dreadful Lord! but with a swift, and terrible Vengeance crusht them into ruine: Je­rusalem long since was made a heap of stones; and the Children of thy Cruci­siers run wandering over the World▪ [Page 347] But while thou art thus severe in the Predictions of thy Justice, thou hast not forgot those of thy Mercy. Thou­sands of that ungrateful City have ac­knowledg'd Thee their Lord: Thou­sands of that perverse Generation have submitted to thy Scepter. Whole Na­tions of the Gentiles have embrac'd thy Faith; and remotest Islands obey'd thy Law. Blessed for ever be thy Name, O Lord, and blessed be the sweetness of thy Mercy; who hast reveal'd thy self to those that knew Thee not; and art found of those that sought thee not: Who often followest those that fly from thee; and never refusest any that come to Thee. Thou still ex­actly performest thy part; but we in­grateful wretches, how do we comply with ours? Where is the profit thou maist justly require to answer the [...]are of thy Providence over us? Thou hast planted us, O Lord, in thine own Vine­yard; and fenced us about with thy Holy Discipline: Where is the Fruit we should alwayes be bearing; since good works are never out of season; Of our selves alas, we are very dry and barren; and our Nature at best brings [Page 348] forth nothing but leaves. In Thee, Lord, while we remain we live, but se­parated from Thee we are certainly dead and fruitless. In thee, O Lord, is all our hope; and that thou wilt have Mercy on the work of thy hands: That thou wilt not curse these fruit­less branches, lest they wither away, and be cast into the fire: Nor pro­nounce against us, that dreadful Sen­tence; Cut them down, why cumber they the ground? But mercifully cut them off from their wild stock; and graft them in thy self the true Vine. And then still water us with the dew of Heaven, and bless our low shrubs with thy powerful influence: So shall Grapes grow on Thorns, and Figs be ga­ther'd from those that were Thistles.

MEDITATION III.

REjoyce in our Lord, all you Chil­dren of Adam; rejoyce in the boun­ty of his free Grace: No longer now confin'd to a few choice Favourites, and the narrow compass of a private Fami­ly; he has thrown down that partition Wall, and opened the way of Life to [Page 349] all Mankind: That all may believe and love him here, and all enjoy and be happy in him hereafter. But, O my God! what do we see, when we look abroad into the wide World? We see the sad effects, but cannot see the cause why so many Kingdoms lye miserably waste. We know, O Lord, thy wayes are in the deep Abyss, and humbly adore thy secret Councels: Onely we cannot think of their lamentable condition, without pitying their misery, and im­ploring thy mercy. Some have not yet so much as heard of thee, and others who have heard, have refus'd to enter­tain thee: Some who have once acknow­ledg'd thee, have quite fallen away; others have corrupted thy Doctrines by mixing with them their own Traditi­ons. Many, even of those who rightly believe, abuse their holy Faith by a wic­ked Life. Thus the far greatest part of wretched Mankind, whom thy good­ness created after thine own similitude, whom thou hast shed thy precious Blood to redeem, and to bring them to an ever­lasting Happiness; still fail; alas! of their true end, and die in their sins, and everlastingly perish. Where, O Lord, [Page 350] is thy Zeal, and the Bowels of thy Mercy? Where are thy promises to thy beloved Son? Hast thou not said, All Nations shall adore him, and all the Tribes of the Earth be blessed in him? Hast thou not said, thy self, O glorious Jesu! If I be lifted up, I will draw all men after me? Hast thou not given thy Disciples express Commission to go into all the World, and preach the Gospel to every Creature? When wilt thou again, O infinite Cha­rity, choose out burning and shining Lights, and send them forth over all the World; and send them not alone, lest they faint by the way, or miscarry in the end. If thou wilt go with them thy self, and guide them by thy Grace, and crown their Labours with thy powerful Blessing: Oh, then what mighty works would be done by them! Then shall the humble Vallies be rais'd up, and the stub­born Mountains be brought low. So shall the crooked paths be made direct, and the rough wayes smooth and plain: So shall the Glory of God be every where re­veal'd, and all Flesh shall joyfully see it together; the light of the knowledge of the Glory of God in the bright face of Je­sus Christ. Happy the times when this [Page 351] shall come to pass, happy the eyes that shall see these times! Come glorious days, wherein that Sun shall shine, which enlightens all at once, both the Hemi­sphears.

PETITIONS.

REmember, O God the Father, God of everlasting Truth, thy dear En­gagements to the Son: Remember, O God the Son! who art the Author and Finisher of our Faith, thy gracious Pro­mises to the World. Come holy Jesu, in a plentiful effusion of thy Spirit upon us, and make that glorious day of Gos­pel light, which we greatly desire, and thy Promises give us leave to expect: Come, and in the largest sence maintain thy Title, and be effectively the Saviour of the universal World. Visit, O Lord, thine own House first, and throughly redress what thou findest amiss. Make our Lives holy, as thou hast made our Faith, and let all that name thy Name depart from Iniquity. O thou who art the Author of Peace, and lover of Con­cord; who did'st so often repeat the Command, that thy Disciples should love [Page 352] one another! Inspire, we beseech thee, thy whole Church with a Spirit of Truth, Unity and Concord. Bring thou into the way of Truth all such as have erred and are deceived. Convince us all, that the wrath and fury of Man worketh not the Righteousness of God; and hasten the time when there shall be no hurting nor destroying in all thy holy Mountain. Kin­dle, O Lord, in the hearts of Kings, and the great Ones of the World, an heroick Spirit to advance thy Glory: Inflame the hearts of Prelates, and the Priests of thy Church, with a generous Zeal for the Conversion of Souls: Convince them all, it is the End and Duty of their places, to endeavour the improving of Mankind in vertue and Religion; and direct them to the use of such just and gentle means, as are suitable to the End, and agree­able to thy Word. Send forth thy sa­ving light, O Lord, into the dark cor­ners of the World, and bring them from the power of Satan into the Kingdom of God. Remember thy great Love which thou hast shown, and the Mercies which seem yet promised to the Jews. Let every people bow their Knees to thy great Name, Oh bles­sed [Page 353] Jesu! and all Tongues confess thy Greatness: Make all to receive thy Truth in the love of it, and mix it with Faith, that it may become an engrafted Word, able to save their Souls. These things we crave for the honour of our Advocate and onely Mediator, Jesus the Christ.

Amen.

Hymn 30.
JEsu, whose Grace directs thy Priests
To keep alive by solemn Feasts
The memory of thy great Love:
O may we here so pass thy days,
That they at last our Souls may raise
To that long Feast with thee above.
To that long day of sacred Rest
Whereon our happy Souls shall feast
On thy celestial Joyes, and thee:
Our Bodies too thy Love shall raise,
Thy self to see, and sing thy praise
In a blest Immortality.
Jesu, behold three Kings from far
Led to thy Cradle by a Star,
Bring gifts to thee their greater King:
O guide us by thy Light, that we
May find thy lov'd Face, and to thee
Our selves may for thy Tribute bring.
O thou the pure and spotless Lamb,
Who to the Temple humbly came,
Appointed legal Rites to pay:
Make our proud Heart and stubborn Will
Thine, and thy Churche's Law fulfill,
Whate're relucting Natures say.
Jesu, who on the fatal Wood
Pourd'st forth thy life's last drop of Blood
For us, nail'd to a shamefull Cross:
O! may we bless thy Love, and be
Ready, dear Lord, to bear for thee
All present grief, or pain, or loss.
Dear Lord, who by thine own Love slain,
By thine own Powe'r took'st Life again,
And from the Sepulcher did'st rise:
O may thy Death our Spir'its revive,
And at our Death a new Life give,
A lasting Life, that never dies.
Jesu, who to thy Heaven again
Returnd'st in Triumph there to reign,
Of Men and Angels mighty King;
O may our parting Souls take flight
Up to that Land of Joy and Light,
And there with Angels ever sing.
All Glory to the Sacred Three,
One undivided Deity;
All honour, blessing, power and praise
O may thy blessed Name shine bright,
Crown'd with those Beams of beauteous light,
Its own eternal glorious Rays.

Amen.

FOR THE FEASTS OF THE HOLY GHOST.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

LOrd, we are forced to admire the sweet and natural conduct with which thy Providence governs the Children of men! Leading them on from one degree to another, 'till thou hast brought them up to their highest per­fection: Thou puttest them to learn in the School of Virtue, and disposest their [Page 357] Capacities into several forms. In the first Ages, when the World was young, thou gavest them for their guide, the Book of Nature; there thy divine Assist­ance helpt them to read some few plain Lessons of their Duty to thee: They saw this admirable frame of Creatures, and as far as these could argue, they could conclude: Sure there is a God, the cause of all things, certainly there is a Providence that disposes of all things: He must be very powerful that made so vast a World, and exceeding wise that contriv'd such excellent works: He must be goodness it self, that did all this for us, and we ingrateful Wretches, if we will do nothing for him. Thus far some few could say, and very few could do, with those slender Assistances which they then enjoy'd. Afterward thou gavest thy People a written Rule, which train'd them up in a set form of Discipline, which grew and spread into a publick Religion, and which was uniformly pro­fest by a whole Nation: They had some weak conceit of the Kingdom of Hea­ven, and some imperfect means to bring them thither: But for those high super­natural Mysteries that so gloriously ex­alt [Page 358] the Christian Faith; they all, alas, were blind, or in the dark, and dange­rously exposed to the effects of their own Ignorance; wanting those clear In­structious to know their end, and those powerful Motives to love their God: Yet this prepar'd them for the times of Grace, to which thy Mercy, O Lord, reserv'd far greater favours; to which thou hast promised by thy Holy Pro­phets, an effusion of Blessings from thine own full hands: I will put my Law in their inward parts, and write it in their hearts; I will be their God, and they shall be my People; I will pour out my Spirit upon all Flesh, and your Sons, and your Daughters shall Prophesie: They shall teach no more every one his Neighbour, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know me, from the least of them to the greatest, saith the Lord.

Hymn 31.
COme, Holy Spirit, come and breath
Thy Spicy Odours, on the Face
Of our dull Regions here beneath;
And fill our Souls with thy sweet grace.
Come, and root out the poys'nous weeds
Which over-run, and choak our Lives;
And in our hearts plant thine own seeds,
Whose quickening pow'r our Spirit re­vives.
First Plant the humble Violet there,
Which dwells secure by dwelling low;
Then let the Lilly next appear,
And make us chast, yet fruitful too.
But O! Plant all the Vertues, Lord,
And let the Metaphors alone,
Repeat once more that mighty Word,
Thou need'st but say, Let it be done.
We can, alas, nor be, nor grow,
Unless thy powerful Mercy please;
Thy hand must plant, and water too,
Thy hand alone must give th' increase.
Do then, what thou alone canst do,
Do what to thee so easie is;
Conduct us through this world of woe,
And place us safe in thine own Bliss.
All Glory to the Sacred Three,
One ever-living Sovereign Lord;
As at the first, still may he be
Belov'd and Prais'd, Fear'd and Ador'd.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

LOok up, languishing World, look up and see how punctually thy faithful Lord performs his word! When he had finisht here that gracious work which his goodness undertook for our Re­demption; when he had told us what we ought to do, and what to suffer for the Kingdom of Heaven; when he himself had done more than he requir'd of us, and was about to be offer'd up for us by his Death on the Cross; and he had wrought our Salvation so far, that now his absence from Earth was more expedient for us: He first prepares the hearts of his Disciples, and comforts their Sorrows with these sweetest words; Children, I will not leave you Orphans, but will pray the Father, and he shall give you another Comforter; even the Spirit of Truth, who shall teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance whatsoever I have said un­to you: Peace I leave with you, my Peace give I to you, let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid: I ascend unto my Fa­ther and to your Father, to my God and to your God; I goe to prepare a place for you, that [Page 361] where I am, there may also my faithful and constant Followers be. Thus he gave them to expect that the Holy Spirit should be sent into the World upon his departure from it: That this kind Spi­rit would apply himself to Comfort them, by all those wayes wherein comfort could be given: That this Spirit should sup­ply his Presence, not only for a time, but should abide with them, never to remove to Heaven again, as he did: That he should continue in the Christi­an Church a sufficient Guide, and a pow­erful Comforter; to Teach them what is to be done, to Comfort them under Af­flictions, to fortifie and support them in their spiritual Conflicts; to assist the ap­plication and use of those excellent In­structions which he had left among them; to take their part in the World, and convert their enemies into friends, by convincing them of sin in not believing on Jesus, of the righteousness which it appears they may have from him, because he is gone to the Father; and of Judg­ment to come for sinful men, since the sinning Angels are judged. And after their kind Master had said these and other comfortable things to them, he led them [Page 362] forth together, and gave them his Blessing, and parting from them, went away into Heaven: So loving Mothers when the weaning time is come, withdraw from their beloved Children; but while they thus deprive their tender little ones, of their most dear and all-supplying Pre­sence, they still depute some faithful Friend to assist them; for though they leave, they do not intend to forsake them. Such, and far greater was the care of our God, as his love is far great­er than that of tenderest Mothers to their Infants: He saw it necessary for so my­sterious a Faith to be shown in a clear and supernatural light to the first Belie­vers, that they might confidently recom­mend to others, what they knew with infallible certainty themselves: He saw it necessary for so perverse a World, to infuse into its first Converters a full­ness of Charity, that with an ardent Zeal they might instruct their Hearers, and with a patient courage overcome their opposers: He saw it necessary for such varieties of Nations, to furnish the Preach­ers with variety of Languages, that they might teach every one in their native Speech, and understand their doubts, and satisfie their objections.

MEDITATION III.

WHEN the appointed time was come, as all the works of God go forth in their fittest season; the Dis­ciples having tarried at Jerusalem, ac­cording to direction, to be endued with power from on high; when they were gather'd together into one place, and with one accord, and so were excel­lently dispos'd for the Visits of Heaven; when they had long continued in ardent Prayer, and wrought up their Affecti­ons to the utmost point of desire, sud­denly there was a sound from Heaven, from whence every good and perfect gift descends; a vehement Wind fill'd the whole house, for the Grace of God is strong and liberal: Behold, on the Head of each sate a Tongue as of fire, the properest means to inable them for the Conversion of the World: While they were all illuminated with a pure light, and all enflam'd with a fervent heat, and to communicate both to eve­ry Nation, they were all endued with the gift of Languages. Thus were the words of the Prophets fulfill'd, and the [Page 364] Promises of our Saviour perform'd, and the Faith of the Christian Church was thus miraculously begun: Thus were the Messengers of everlasting Peace prepa­red, they were miraculously baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire, and were perfectly qualified for their great Commission; to Preach to every Crea­ture this happy Gospel, He that believes and is Baptized, shall be saved: When our Lord ascended up on high, he led captivi­ty captive, and gave gifts to men: He did not affright the world again with the Thunders and Lightnings of Mount Sinai, but gently infused the pleasant fire of divine Love into the hearts of his Dis­ciples: How should we bless the Lord our God, who are Members of the Chri­stian Church, to which at this time, in­stead of the Law of Moses, was given the grace of Christ; for the Letter, the Spirit; for Shadows, Truth; and for the Spirit of Fear, the Spirit of Adoption. Blessed be thou, O Eternal Father! God of abundant and infinite goodness, for this unspeakable kindness of sending thy Spirit into our miserable and wicked World; a Spirit so suited to our necessities, and able to bring many of us to glory: This, [Page 365] Lord, was thy free gift with respect to us unworthy Creatures; Mankind did not, could not deserve it of thee, it ought therefore to be the more marvellous in our eyes. And we may justly wonder, not only at thy Bounty, but at thy Pa­tience too herein; for Mankind had high­ly forfeited this Mercy, and it was di­rectly contrary to his Deserts: Thou didst send thy Spirit for our good and advantage, after that the ungrateful World had abused and put to Death thy Son. Blessed be thou, O Dear Re­deemer! whose Blood and Death pur­chased for us this incomparable gift, and whose powerful Intercession in Hea­ven obtain'd it: Blessed be thy merci­ful Providence, O Jesu, who when thou hadst finisht thy great work on Earth, didst ascend into Heaven, to draw our minds even thither after thee: Blessed be thy Infinite Goodness, who when thou hadst taught us the words of Eternal Life, sentest down the Holy Ghost to make us observe them, and raise up our Affections to that glorious Kingdom whi­ther thou art gone before us; that where Thou our happiness art, our hearts, as they should, may also be. Blessing and [Page 366] Praise be to the Holy Spirit himself, who though proceeding from the Father and the Son, is equal in nature and glo­ry; whose free goodness it was to give himself to our forlorn World: He is both the Giver and the Gift, from the great Love wherewith he loved us. Thus are we beholden to the ever blessed Tri­nity, not only for excellent and super­natural Graces, but also for his Presence, who is the cause and Author of all Grace: And they to whom this Spirit is given, have not only the Streams, but the Foun­tain of living Waters; in whom there­fore they must needs be springing up, even unto Eternal Life.

PETITIONS.

O Merciful Lord, who hast loved us from the beginning; be graciously pleased to love us unto the end: Pity the unhappy state of fallen Mankind, which neither Nature, nor Law could bring to any perfection. Send out thy Spirit, O Lord, and we shall be created again un­to good Works; and from our nothing of sin be raised to a Life of Holiness: O send out thy Spirit, and renew the face [Page 367] of the Earth, and then our weeds and thorns shall be turn'd into a Paradise. O cure our World in thy due time of all those distempers in the spirits of men, that make us miserable, confus'd and unquiet: Deliver us from the spirit of Prophane­ness and Infidelity; from the spirit of Errour, Heresie and Schism: Deliver us from the spirit of Pride and Avarice, from the spirit of Anger, Sloth and En­vy: Deliver us from the spirit of Drun­kenness and Gluttony; from the spirit of Lust, and Wantonness, and Impurity: Deliver us, O God, from every evil spi­rit, and vouchsafe to give us the Graces of thy good Spirit; that Order and Peace may flourish in the World, and Mankind may not hate, nor fear, nor persecute one another. O may the Christian Church, which thou hast won­derfully begun, and with many wonders yet continued in the World; may it go on still to the end of time; and make it, Lord, to encrease and multiply, till eve­ry Nation speak in their own language the wonderful Works of God. O bles­sed Spirit! the Church thou hast been pleased to establish, vouchsafe alwayes to govern: Alwayes keep it free from Usur­pation [Page 368] and Tyranny in the Govern­ours, and from Contention, Unruli­ness and spiritual Pride in those that should be govern'd: That it may al­wayes be in a fit posture to receive the Influences of thy Grace, and may with those heavenly dews be as a fruit­ful Field. Which things we humbly implore, through the Merits of Jesus Christ.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Spirit:
As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

COme, my Soul, and adore our God that sanctifies us; implore his Grace to make thee able, and then adore him: Him who from the Father and the Son eternally proceeds, and with the Father and the Son must be equally worship'd and glorified. In thy Name, O Lord, to­gether with that of the Father and the Son, we are by divine appointment Bap­tized, and so directed to believe in thee: Thou art therefore a distinct Person in that Adorable Trinity which is the one eternal God: Thou dost make the for the Saints with the Father; and therefore art not only the power of the Father. Thy coming, O Lord, into this World, did depend upon the departure of the Son; therefore I believe thou art distinct from the Son. I believe, O Lord, thou wast manifestly distinguisht from [Page 370] the Father and the Son, when at the Bap­tism of our Saviour thou didst descend up­on him in the likeness of a Dove; when at the same time there was a voice from the Father, saying, This is my Beloved Son, in whom I am well-pleased. Thou art, O Lord, not a created Person, but with the Father and Son art God blessed for evermore. By thee was our Saviour conceived in the Womb of a Virgin, and therefore was her Birth called the Son of God. Thy dwelling in one of us con­verts a poor Creature into a Sacred Tem­ple; therefore we ought to adore thee as God: And I humbly adore thee as the most high, eternal God; as of the same Nature, Attributes and Operations with the Father and the Son. I adore thee, as having inseparable from thy Nature an infinite essential and original Holiness as God. And it is peculiarly and espe­cially thy Undertaking or Office to make us poor sinners holy; therefore I adore thee under the glorious Title of Holy Spirit. It was thou, O Lord, that didst speak to the World by all the holy Pro­phets that have been since the Begin­ning. And thus it came to pass, that all the holy Scripture was given to us [Page 371] by the inspiration of God. Thou art the Author and Finisher of our Faith, by an internal illumination of our Minds: Thereby thou inclinest us to the obe­dience of Faith; and to give our assent to those Divine Truths, which our car­nal, corrupted natures would reject as foolishness. By thee it is, that we are renewed in all the faculties of our Souls, and our Affections and Will are made conform'd unto the will of God. Thou dost infuse into us the breath of Life, and bring us forth in our second Birth; in which birth we become the Chil­dren of God, and Heirs of the King­dom of Heaven. By thee are all sin­cere Christians baptized into one Body, even the Mystical Body of Christ; and it is thy Testimony alone that comfort­ably assures to any of them their Adop­tion. In order to these great things, it is thy kind office to sanctifie and set apart Persons for the Duty of the Sa­cred Ministry: By whose Ministry thou dost perfect the Saints, and build up the Body of Christ to the end of the World.

MEDITATION II.

BLessed for ever be thy Name, O Holy Spirit, and blessed be the bounty of thy Goodness. When the Eternal Father by creating the World had declar'd himself, and his Almighty Power: When the Uncreated Word by redeeming Mankind had reveal'd him­self and his infinite Wisdom: When now there remain'd but one seal more to be open'd of the Book of Divine My­steries: Behold a strange condescendence to our weak nature, the Invisible Spi­rit Visibly appears: He descends from Heaven in the shape of a Dove, and gently alights upon the Prince of Peace. Again he descends in the likeness of Fire, and miraculously sits on the Heads of his Disciples. Mingling thus toge­ther in one blest compound those chief ingredients of excellent vertue: Mild­ness to allay the heat of Zeal, and Zeal to quicken the indifferency of Mildness: Innocence to adorn the light of Know­ledge; and Knowledge to direct the Simplicity of Innocence. O Blest ado­rable Teacher! Who can instruct like [Page 373] the Spirit of God? He needs no years to finish his course, but with a swift and efficacious touch consummates all things. He entred the Soul of a young delighter in Musick, and presently san­ctified him into a composer of Psalms: He took a poor Shepherd from follow­ing the Flock, and immediately rais'd him to the degree of a Prophet. He by one Lesson perfected the Disciples, and polisht rude Fishermen into elo­quent Preachers: He toucht the Heart of a persecuting Pharisee, and instantly chang'd him into a Glorious Apostle. There is none, O Lord, can resist thy efficacious Grace; but it accomplishes whatsoever thou intendest: And the most Stubborn refusers thou makest to become a willing People in the day of thy Power. All this thou hast done, O Infinite Goodness, and all the good that we doe, is wrought by thee. By thee is every condition sanctified to us in this mutable World; and we are inabled through all to walk steadily to­wards our Eternal Rest. By Thee our Souls are comforted on our beds of Sickness; and thou alone fittest us for the Mansions of Glory. If in the [Page 374] Church there be any Wisdom or Know­ledge; if any real Sanctity, or decent Order; if any Faith of the Mysteries of Religion, if any Hope of Everlasting Salvation: If any Love of God, as our Sovereign bliss; if any mutual Chari­ty of one towards another: If any Mi­racles have been wrought to convert unbelievers, and to confirm the weak in Faith against the violence of Perse­cution: All these things flow from thy free Grace, O thou boundless Ocean of Eternal Mercies: All flows from thee, and all our little streams ought to return in tribute to thy Bounty. Blessed be thy Name, O Holy Spirit of God, who dividest thy Gifts to eve­ry one as thou pleasest, and workest all in all.

MEDITATION III.

STill, my Soul, continue thy Meditati­ons on this adorable Person, and hum­bly present thy further acknowledgments and praises, to him who is the Eter­nal Love of the Father and the Son, and the Glorious Finisher of the Sacred Mystery: To him the quickening Spi­rit [Page 375] of regenerate Souls; in whom they live, and move, and have their Being: To him the sovereign Balsom of our wounds; and only comfort of all our Sorrows: To him our refuge in this place of Banishment, and faithful guide in this wandring Pilgrimage: To him the Sacred pledge of our free adopti­on, and ensuring Seal of our Eternal Salvation. What do we say of Thee, O Adorable Spirit of God! What do we say, when we utter such words as these? We say what we can in our low capacity; but, alas, how short of thy unspeakable excellencies! O that we had the tongues of Glorified Saints, and of Angels! O that we had thine own Miraculous Tongues! Those which sate flaming on the Heads of the Apo­stles, and made them speak thy won­ders in every language: Still all our praises would be poor and narrow, still infinitely less than thy infinite perfecti­ons. But if we cannot speak as our God deserves, shall we therefore hold our Peace, which God forbids? Wo be to them, O Lord, who are silent of thee, and spend the breath thou gi­vest them on any but thy self. When [Page 376] we have tried our best endeavours, and taken a measure of our own defects; when our own Hearts can conceive no more, and our tongues have exprest their utmost; we will then call upon all others to praise thee, who have been beholden to thy infinite Bounty; and say: Praise the Eternal Spirit, O all you Quires of rejoicing Angels, for his early Grace confirm'd you in Glory: Praise him ye Reverend Patriarchs, whose wayes he govern'd, and by particular Providence led you to felicity. Praise him, ye Ancient Prophets, whose Souls he inspir'd to teach his chosen People the Mind of Heaven. Praise him, you glorious company of the Apostles, whose Persons he empowered to be Embassa­dours of Peace between Heaven and Earth. Praise him, you the Noble Ar­my of generous Martyrs, whose Spirits he encouraged, and gave you the Victo­ry over the terrours of Death. Praise him, ye Blessed Confessours, whose lives he sanctified; and gave you Victory over the World and your selves. Praise him ye Holy Virgins, whose Souls he espoused, and consecrated your chast Bodies into Temples for himself. Praise [Page 377] him, O thou the Blessed Virgin-Mother of our Lord, by whom the Worlds Re­deemer was conceiv'd in thy Womb: Praise him, all you the faithful depart­ed this Life, whose hope he sustains of a Glorious Resurrection of your Bodies. Praise him, all ye that make up the Ho­ly Church throughout all the World; bless him, and magnifie him for ever. Praise him in the Power, and freedom of his Grace; praise him for the Eter­nity, and greatness of his Glory. Praise him, O my Soul, for his Mercies to thee; Praise him for his goodness to all the World. Praise him on the choicest Instrument, that of the Heart. Praise him in the fittest Place, the publick as­semby of his Saints.

PETITIONS.

O Kindle in my Heart, holy Lord, thy divine fire, that I may offer to thee the hallow'd incense of Praise. O thou who openest the mouths of the Dumb, and makest the Tongues of Children eloquent, inspire thy devoted Servant, if not with expressions suitable to thy self, at least with such as are pro­fitable [Page 378] to me: Such as may instruct me what I ought to do; and such as may move me to do what I say. Come ho­ly Spirit, who art the free dispenser of all Grace, visit my poor Heart, and replenish it with thy Sacred inspirati­ons. Refuse not, O Lord, to hear me now I call upon Thee, and make me still hear Thee when thou callest up­on me; do thou by thy mighty ope­rations in my Soul establish such an interest in me, as may alwayes dispose me to so advantageous a duty. Illumi­nate my understanding, inflame my af­fections, and sanctifie all the powers of my Soul and Body; that I may know, love, and constantly do the things that belong to my Everlasting Peace. Till my understanding with the Knowledge of such Truths as may fix it on thee the Eternal Verity. Inure my will to embrace such objects, as may unite them to Thee, the Sovereign goodness. O suf­fer me not obstinately to persist in any known wickedness; nor maliciously to impugn any know Truth: Grant I may never be deceiv'd by any false spirit, nor be overcome by the vicious sug­gestions of Flesh and Blood. In all [Page 379] my doubts do thou direct me into the way of thy Truth; in all my weakness grant me the assistance of thy Grace. Help me devoutly and most thankfully to commemorate thy Descent to this World in the likeness of fiery Tongues, which sate on each head of thy Disciples, and fitted them to preach the Gospel to every Nation. And let it so encrease the holy fervour of my Heart, that my Life may attest by all fruits of Grace the same Spirit's still abiding with me: To the Glory of thee, O God the Holy Spirit, who with the Father and the Son livest and reignest ever one God, world with­out end.

Amen.

Hymn 32.
COme mild, and Holy Dove,
Descend into our Breast;
Do thou in us, make us in thee
For ever dwell, and rest.
Come, and spread o're our heads
Thy soft, all-cherishing wing,
That in its shade we safe may sit,
And to Thee Praises sing.
To thee who giv'st us Life,
Our better Life of Grace;
Who giv'st us Breath, and Strength, and Speed
To run and win our Race.
If by the way we faint,
Thou reachest forth thy hand;
If our own weakness makes us fall,
Thou mak'st our weakness stand.
When we are sliding back,
Thou dost our danger stop;
When we again, alas, are fall'n,
Again thou tak'st us up:
Else there we still must lye,
And still sink lower down;
Our hope to rise is all from thee,
Our ruin's all our own.
O my Ingrateful Soul!
What shall our dulness do
For him that does all this for us,
Only our Love to wooe?
We'l Love thee then, Dear Lord,
But thou must give that Love;
We'l humbly beg it of thy grace,
But thou our Prayers must move.
O hear thine own self speak,
For thou in us dost Pray;
Thou canst as quickly grant as ask,
Thy grace knows no delay.
Glory to Thee, O Lord,
One Coeternal Three;
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
One equal Glory be.

Amen.

FOR THE FEASTS OF THE SAINTS.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

TEll me, you eager Lovers of this present World, what is it you aim at in all your pretences? You weary your Bodies with restless la­bour, and afflict your Minds with per­petual care; day and night you are still perplext, still busily plotting to com­pass your ends: Tell me what are those [Page 383] ends you so long have sought, and I will tell you what you soon will find; while they are many, they but distract your thoughts, and often engage them to quar­rel among themselves: One end, and one alone is the way to true and lasting Peace, and on that one must all the rest depend. It is true, perhaps you will say, and by that rule we guide our Lives, whatever we undertake, our ultimate de­sign is only to be happy; It is to be hap­py that we strive to be great, and enrich our selves by defrauding others: It is to be happy that we run after Pleasures, and covet to have in every thing our own proud will: But you, alas, mistake your Happiness, and foolishly seek it where 'tis not to be found. As silly Children think to catch the Sun, when they see it setting at so near a distance, they travail on and tire themselves in vain, for the thing they seek is in another World: Just so we foolish Mortals commonly judge, and are just so deceived, when we think to meet with Heaven upon Earth. This World, alas! has now no Paradise, but all its Fruits are mixt with Weeds and Thorns; all dangerously mixed with oc­casions of sin, all sprinkled over with the [Page 384] bitterness of sorrow: What did we ever passionately love, but still in the end it made us repent? Nay, the best end was heartily to repent, and learn by our fall­ing to tread more sure. It is not then here that we must seek our happiness, and yet it is happiness that we all must seek. Happy are thy Saints, O Lord, who wisely chose their end, and constantly pursu'd the means to attain it. Come, let us adore the King of Saints.

Hymn 33.
AWake, my Soul, chase from thine eyes
This drowsie sloth, and quickly rise,
Get up, and to thy work apace:
No less than Kingdoms are prepar'd,
And endless bliss for their reward,
Who finish well this short Life's race.
'Tis not so poor a thing to be
Servants to Heaven, Dear Lord, and thee,
As this mistaken World believes:
Not even here, where oft the wise
Are most expos'd to Injuries,
And Vertue, poor and friendless, grieves.
Sometimes thy hand lets gently fall
A little drop, that sweetens all
The present bitter of our Cup:
O what hereafter shall we be,
When we shall have whole draughts of thee
Fill'd to the brim, and drink them up?
Say, happy Souls, whose thirst now meets
The fresh and living stream of sweets,
Which ever spring from that blest throne;
Did you not find this true even here?
Do you not find it truer there,
Now Heave'ns strong Joyes are all your own?
Oh yes, the sweets we taste exceed
All we can say, or you can read;
They satisfie, and never cloy:
On Earth our Cup was sweet, but mixt;
Here all is pure, refin'd and fixt,
All highest Quintessence of Joy.
Here, in Heave'ns splendid Court, have we
Our blest abode, and ever see
The kind and radiant face of Love;
Whose Beams make us with Glory shine,
Our glad hearts warm with Love divine,
And these our Tongues with Praises move.
Hear'st thou, my Soul, what glorious things
The Church of Heave'n in triumph sings
Of their Seraphick life above?
Chear thy saint hopes, and bid them live;
All these thy God to thee will give,
If thou embrace his bounteous Love.
Great God of rich Rewards, who thus
Hast crown'd thy Saints, and wilt crown us;
As we do both to thee belong,
O may we both together sing
Eternal praise to thee our King,
In one Eternal thankful Song.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

IF thus our Nature tends to Happiness, there is sure some Happiness to con­tent our Nature. Sure the All-wise Cre­ator has provided means to satisfie the Appetites which himself has made. Doubt not, my Soul, the Bounty of thy Lord, but turn all thy fear on thine unworthiness; and yet correct that fear again, that it do not degenerate into despair, by consi­sidering the worthiness of our kind Me­diator. Look up then, and see a rich [Page 387] delicious Land, that flows with sweeter Streams than Milk and Hony: Look up, and see a glorious City, incomparably braver than the splendid Courts of Kings. Behold the blessed Angels shining on their Thrones, and all the holy Saints tri­umphing with their Hymns: Great is the Clemency of our gracious Sovereign, to pardon the offences of repenting Sin­ners: Great is the bounty of our glori­ous Lord, to Crown with Rewards his faithful Servants. Thousands of Saints attend in his presence, and Millions of Angels wait on his Throne, all beaute­ously rang'd in perfect order, all joyful­ly singing the praises of their Creator. But look up yet higher, O my Soul, in thy Contemplations, and see the glo­rified Humanity of thy dear Redeemer, that blessed Jesus who died for us on the Cross, and now invites us to par­take his Crown: See, and rejoyce in those eternal honours which Heaven and Earth justly pay to their King. Look up once more, and, if thou could'st, look infinitely higher, and humbly ad­mire the unconceivable Mystery: Won­der now, and adore the Sovereign Dei­ty, essentially full of his own blest Light; [Page 388] full, and overflowing into all his Crea­tures, which shine but as little Beams deriv'd from him. Bow low thy Head and Knees to him before whom the Se­raphims cover their Faces: Bow low a humble Heart to him, before whom all the happy Saints cast down their Crowns. When thou hast seen all this, my Soul, and staid, and dwelt a while among these pleasing wonders; then turn thine Eye down towards this Earth again, and see the petty things that are wont to en­tertain our minds: What is a name of Honour, and a momentary pleasure, com­par'd to the Bliss of an eternal Para­dise? What is a bag of Money, or a fair Estate, if counterballanc'd with the Treasures of Heaven? How narrow there do our greatest Kingdoms seem! how small a Circle the whole Globe of Earth! Cities and Towns appear like little Hills, and the busie World but as a Swarm of Ants running up and down, and justling one another, and making all this stir for a few grains of Corn. O Heaven! let me again lift up my Eyes to thee, and take a fuller view of that glorious Prospect: There I will stand, and fix my steady sight, till I have lookt my self into this [Page 389] firm judgment: All that the most pro­sperous fortune can here possess, or even the largest Fancy possibly imagine; all is an idle Dream to those real Joyes, an absolute Nothing to that solid Feli­city. Oh how glorious is the Kingdom of Heaven, where our Lord reigns in the midst of his Saints!

MEDITATION III.

IT is true; there is, I see, a glorious State prepar'd above for the Spirits of just men made perfect: But how shall we poor dust and ashes, and laden too with the burthen of our sins! how shall we hope to ascend those higher Regions, or obtain a portion in that holy Land? Fear not, my Soul, but send up thy Sighs and Prayers to the gracious King of Saints: Seek to him, and he will guide thee by his Counsel, till he has brought thee also safe to his Glory. If thou would'st know what makes the bright Angels so happy; his Word will tell thee, that they readily obey their Cre­ator: If thou would'st know what rais'd the blessed Saints to that high Felicity which they now enjoy; it will be told [Page 390] thee, They faithfully lov'd their Re­deemer, and follow'd the Dictates of Love till it brought them thither. If thou would'st know what bred in those happy Creatures the excellent Ver­tues that are thus rewarded; if thou could'st hear their acknowledgements, thou would'st find them often repeat­ing such as these: Blessed for ever be the Grace of our God, which alone has wrought all our works in us: Blessed for ever be the Bounty of our Lord; which first freely gave to us, and then as bounteously Crown'd those his own gifts. O you blest Saints, who are now arriv'd at the quiet Mansions of eternal Joy: Rejoyce ye in the King of Saints, eternally rejoyce; and sing for ever the wondrous mercies of our Lord: His bles­sed hand has wip'd away all tears from your eyes, and now you no more shall weep, you shall no more complain: Now the sad Evening of sorrow is over with you, and the day of eternal joy is come: Now you no longer shall sigh to be de­liver'd out of this dark and tedious Prison, but shall dwell for ever in that glorious Light; the light which ever springs from the face of God. And fear [Page 391] thou not, my Soul, though now thou dwellest below, and art yet sighing un­der the weight of Flesh and Blood; fear not to ascend at last to this place of joy, and take thy happy seat among those joyfull Quires; since they once liv'd in this same Vale of Tears, and were set to strive with the same unru­ly passions. He that made them over­come, can as easily strengthen thee; he that has crown'd their victories, will as surely glorifie thine: Fear not; for the way is smoother than the Adversary of thy Soul would make thee believe; and the time of thy Warfare perhaps is short­er, than even thou thy self art dispo­sed to desire. Take the direction of thy Saviour's Word, and the direction of the Saints Example, to know and love but thine own true Interest; which sure can be thought no very hard task: And do this but whilest you live, which you seldom think too long; and this being well done, you have no more to do, but to rise and sing, and rejoyce with them.

PETITIONS.

TO thee, O Gracious King of Saints, and to thy mild Throne, we direct our Eyes and Prayers: To thee whose Love (we know) stands ready to meet our wishes, will we humbly represent our fears and wants; and both, alas! O Lord, will be many while we remain below in this miserable World: Often there­fore must we make our Addresses to thee, till thy Goodness and Mercy shall take us to thy self: And when we come to possess thee in Heaven, we shall want no­thing, and dwelling so near thee we shall fear nothing. But pity us now, O Lord, who are lanched on a tempestuous Sea, and are so variously toss'd with our passi­ons and lusts, that we cannot steer as we should any certain course: Pity us who are so blinded by the mists of Ig­norance, that we know not to what Port we should direct our course to find a harbour of rest. Shine thou upon us, O Lord, with thy beauteous Light, and con­vince us throughly, that there is a bet­ter World than this, a happier People than any that we know here; that we [Page 393] may at length begin our course thither­ward, and be all the while preparing our selves for that blessed Company. Behold us, O Lord, struggling in this Sea of Storms, and guide us safely through all our dangers. Save us, O thou whose power the winds and the Sea obey; save us, O merciful Lord, or else we perish: Save us who call on theee in our di­stresses; save us for whom thy immor­tal Self wert pleas'd to die, and gra­ciously receive us into thine own blest arms; for thou art, O Lord, the Ha­ven of our Repose; bring us to thy self, and our Souls shall be safe: Deliver us from that sad and deplorable end which thy Justice has prepar'd for the wicked: Deliver us from those vain, deceitful courses, in which many make an eternal shipwrack of their Souls. Bless us, O Lord, with a happy Death, that our Souls may depart in peace, and go up to dwell among thy Saints and An­gels: Bless us with a holy Life, and then our Death cannot but be happy. Grant these things, O Lord, for the sake▪ of our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost;
As it was in the Beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end.

Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

LOrd, what a lukewarm Life is this of ours, compar'd to the zeal and fervour of some of thy primitive Saints! Often and long many of them fasted to chastize their Bodies, and bring them under the command of Reason: On all their senses they set a constant guard, to let nothing in that might disturb their peace. Part of the night they would watch, when most of the day they had labour'd; and both night and day continually pray'd. All things about them went on in perfect measure, just fit for their pious purpose, and no more: Their Cloaths, their Food, their Sleep, their Recreation; all taught to serve the improvement of their mind; their mind, [Page 395] the only aim of all their cares, the on­ly scope of all their severities; that disengag'd from the embroilments of this World, they might quietly consi­der the Felicities of the other: That they might daily grow more enamour'd of their Lord, and more enflam'd with his divine perfections; till at last, dis­solv'd in those holy fires, they melted away with longings to enjoy him: Sharp to themselves they were, but sweet to others; obliging all the World with their candid Charity: Whatever any wanted they gladly supply'd, and gave away at once, sometimes both fruit and tree: They studied not how to raise their Families here, but to entail on their Posterity the example of their Vertues. It was not their Plot to leave a fair Estate behind them, but to benefit the World by their useful Labours: To in­struct the ignorant, and confirm the weak; to comfort the sorrowful, and protect the helpless innocent: This was their constant work, this their belov'd design; to promote with their utmost strength the happiness of all. Lord! what a little 'tis our frowardness en­dures, compar'd to the heroick patience [Page 396] of some former Saints! when they were revil'd, they reviled not again; when spitefully scorn'd, they meekly held their peace; when they were curst, they blest their Enemies; when barbarously op­press'd, they pray'd for their Persecu­tors: They serv'd their Lord in hunger and thirst, and all the incommodities of an impoverish'd life: Often they were threatned, and they stood the danger; often entic'd, and they repell'd the flat­tery: Prisons and Chains they willingly accepted, Tortures and Racks they chear­fully embrac'd; even Death it self they undauntedly encountred, Death furi­ously arm'd with every shape of Ter­rour: All this they endur'd, and a great deal more, of which unmindfull we keep no remembrance: All this they endur'd, and under all rejoyc'd, that they were counted worthy to suffer for Jesus. O generous Souls, you conquer'd Heaven it self, and entred by force those everlasting Gates! You would not sit down in the lowest Forms, but still press'd on to new degrees of perfection! and while you carefully wrought out your own Salvation, you endeavour'd the Salvation of others. Excellent Co­pies [Page 397] of our great Masters Original Life, which he drew himself in Holiness, and Righteousness, and Goodness. My Soul, do thou endeavour also to be a follower of Christ, as thou hast the Saints for an example.

MEDITATION II.

LIttle, we know, O Lord, is the good we do; little the ill we suffer with patience: But what, alas! should we have done or suffer'd, had not thy Grace as­sisted us, and given us such excellent ex­amples; thy provident hand has helpt us, by hanging out those Lamps bright as Stars to shine before us: But more by thine own appearing, O Sun of Righte­ousness, to light and warm us with thy cherishing beams. Our Faith had been dark, our Charity cold; and the flow­er of our hope had languisht away. Now we are sure the way to Heaven is passa­ble, since it has been trod by so many Passengers. And all of them men cloath'd in flesh and blood like us; and weakned with the same imperfect nature: Now we are sure the Promises of God are true; confirm'd by as many Witnesses as there [Page 398] are Saints in Paradise: Who by their own experience are fully convinced, and with joy acknowledge that they are so. And by ravishing sweets they perpetual­ly tast, are perpetually excited to adore and sing, Faithful is our Lord in all his words, and overflowingly bounteous in all his Gifts: While we liv'd, we receiv'd the hundred fold; and now we are tran­slated to an infinity of Bliss. What he freely promis'd he has fully perform'd; what he engag'd to give us, he has abun­dantly paid: He told us of treasures, and golden crowns; but the joyes we find are incomparably greater; Joyes of a far more high and noble race; which neither we can express, nor you below conceive. 'Tis enough for us that we feel them in our Breast; 'tis enough for you as yet that ye see them in your Faith. Even our lesser happinesses infinitely surpass the greatest pleasures of your dull world. O how a­greeable is the Company we enjoy! how delightful the meeting of our old ac­quaintance! with whom we have pray'd, and wept and suffer'd; with whom we spake of this day, and of this place: With whom we now can safely sing, free from the scorn and malice of our Ene­mies; [Page 399] Blessed for ever be the goodness of our God, that has brought us hither to his own Palace. This is not like our Cottages of clay; nor the loathsom Pri­sons where we lay in Fetters. This chearful melody is not like our old com­plaints; nor the threatning words of our Stern Oppressours. The Scene is chang'd, and, for our world of Mi­series, behold we enjoy a Paradise of endless felicities. Here we shall live, and ever live; here we shall praise our God, and ever praise him. Thus sings the Church triumphant, and thus shall we; if we practise diligently the Lessons they have taught us. If we inure our selves to the same blest notes on Earth, and live in tune with our holy Songs: We shall hereafter be admitted to their Quires, and sing as long, and as loud as they.

MEDITATION III.

TAke courage now, my Soul, and chase away thy Doubts, far more are with us than against us. The Al­mighty God is on our side, and all his hosts of ministring Spirits. Our great Creator looks on to excite us; our gra­cious [Page 400] Redeemer comes down to instruct us: The Blessed Spirit is within us, to confirm our Hearts; and the whole Trinity ready to crown our Victories: Whom shall we then fear, when we are thus safely guarded? who can resist so invincible a strength? None but our own corrupted nature dare contend, and the unlucky accidents that conspire with it against us; Sometimes surprizing our unwary negligence; sometimes defeating even our strongest resolves. Not that they can compell our wills, unless we yield; or make the least wound without our consent. Much less prevail against the power of Heaven; and frustrate the purpose of the Almighty Wisdom: Whose Mercy has us'd more arts to save us, than the craft of Vice can invent to destroy us. Such a Redemption so miraculously wrought; such holy Sacraments, so of­ten repeated: Such glorious promises so faithfully assur'd; and which revives our hope, so easily attain'd. O infinite good­ness, how generous is thy Love! how li­berally extended over all the World! Thou invites;t little Children to come to thee, and the lame, and the blind to sit down at thy Feast. None are shut out of [Page 401] Heaven, but such as will not go in; none made unhappy, but those who care not to be otherwise. Chear then thy self, my Heart, and let no fears molest thee; nor even Death it self abate thy courage. Death is a passage that was alwayes short, and our Saviours death has made it safe to them that follow him in their lives: By the practice of the Saints it is grown familiar; and by their happy success be­come desirable. Lose not then thy hope in so glorious an enterprize; where Eter­nity is at stake, and Heaven is the re­ward. That Heaven for which the An­cient Hermits sought devout retirement in the Deserts: That Heaven for which the holy Confessors spent all their time; and innumerable Martyrs laid down their dearest lives: That Heaven, where Mil­lions of Angels continually sing; and all the blessed make one Quire: That Heaven where the adored Jesus eternally Reigns; and the Immortal Deity shines bright for ever: That very Heaven is promis'd to thee, my Soul; that blest Eternity thou art commanded to hope for. Raise now thy head, and see those beauteous Prospects, that ravish the Hearts of all their beholders. Yonder, [Page 402] far above the Stars is thy Saviours King­dom; yonder we must dwell when we leave this Earth. Yonder must our Souls remove to rest; when the stroak of Death shall divide them from their Bodies: And when the Almighty Power shall joyn them again, yonder must we live with our God for ever.

PETITIONS.

O Most Gracious and Bountiful King of Saints! It was by thy sufficient grace afforded to them, that any of thy Saints were able to do much good, and to suffer much evil for thy sake: They acknowledg'd it was not they that did any good, but it was Christ that lived in them. O Lord! to whom then should we go but unto thee, for assistance to fol­low those that have been Followers of Thee: To thee, O Lord, we must ad­dress our selves, and to Thee alone; for thou alone art the Dispenser of that Grace we need: And we thank thee, thou hast given us such assurance of thy good will, in taking our nature and dying for us; that we know not, nor need desire one more tender than thou, and more [Page 403] ready to help us. O Lord, direct us we Pray, to find the footsteps of thy Flock, and inable us to follow the blessed track, that we may come at last to the happy rest thou givest them. Pity, O Lord, the Infirmities of thy Servants, and quic­ken our slowness by the example of thy Saints: What we see they have done for the love of Jesus, let us be ambitious to do; what they patiently suffer'd, let us neither sinfully decline, nor undergo with murmuring and discontent: Make us espe­cially, O Lord, to remember what thou hast done and suffer'd, to set before our selves thy bright example, the light of which directed them: And make us mindful too of what thou promisest, and what they have gain'd by following thee, that their Names according to thy Pro­mise are written in the Book of Life; and they shall be exalted to sit with thee on thy high Throne. O Bounteous Lord, the only Author of all we have, the on­ly object of all we hope! As thou hast prepared a Heaven for us, O may thy grace prepare us for it: O make us live the Life of the Just, and let our last end be like theirs; that we may dye the death of the Just, and live for ever in that blest [Page 404] Society; and in that blest Society may for ever sing thy Praise, and say, To him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own Blood, and hath made us Kings, and Priests unto God and his Father, to him be Glory and Dominion for ever, and ever.

Amen.

Hymn 34.
TEll me, ye glorious Stars, that shine
About the Lambs Caelestial throne,
How, from such bodies once as mine,
Are you to this great brightness grown.
Hark, with one Voice they thus reply,
This to the Lambs desert is due;
His humble Death rais'd him so high,
And us his faithful Followers too.
With one Voice, this too they will say,
Our Lord taught us the happy Skill,
By his bright steps to guide our way,
And follow his best Followers still.
As we saw they had set their mind,
And rul'd their course, we order'd ours;
This State alone we both design'd,
And up towa'rds this strein'd all our pow­ers.
Taught by wise Temperance, we abstain'd
From Earths low Joyes, for greater goods;
And slighting little drops, we gain'd
Full, sweet and everlasting Floods.
Well arm'd with Fortitude, we bare
All lesser evils, worse to flye;
And mortal-death we durst out-dare,
That we might not for ever dye.
Strict Justice we observ'd, by giving
To every one their utmost due;
That all in peace and order living,
All freely might this Heaven pursue.
But Prudence govern'd all the rest,
Prudence, that made us still apply
That which was fittest, and was best
To advance greatest Charity.
On these swift golden wheels of Grace,
That Loves bright fiery Chariot bear,
We all arriv'd at this bright place,
O follow us, and do not fear.
O certain Truths! O blest Attesters!
O that all yet on Earth might prove
Of both these things such strong digesters,
That both these things might feed their love.
Him who hath made us all for this,
Him who hath made himself our wa [...]
Him that will lead us in't to Bliss,
May all men Praise, and all obey.

Amen.

Devotions FOR THE Holy-dayes, The Second Part.

FOR THE FEASTS OF OUR BLESSED SAVIOUR.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

COme, let us ascend to the house of our Lord, and celebrate this day with a holy Joy; imploring his Mercy in all we need, and blessing his Bounty for all we have: He is our God, and we are his People, Created by his goodness to be happy for ever: He is our Redeemer, and we his Pur­chase, [Page 410] restor'd by his Death to a for­feited Happiness; to day let us adore our God that Redeem'd us. Praise our Lord, all you Nations of the Earth; Praise him with the Voice of Joy and of Thanksgiving; Praise him with the well-tun'd strings of your Hearts; Praise him with the sweetest Instrument, a chear­ful Obedience: Let every one that pre­tends to felicity, sing immortal Praises to the God of our Salvation: He is our full and all-sufficient Redeemer, he has perfectly finisht what he graciously un­dertook; for all our Trespasses he has made satisfaction, for all our forfeitures he has paid the ransome: We by our Disobedience were banisht from Paradise, and he has received us into his own Kingdom: He has set up a Kingdom of Grace on Earth, to prepare us for his Kingdom of Glory: We wandred up and down in the wilderness of Errour, and he has guided us into the wayes of Truth: We were by nature Children of wrath, and he has mediated our Peace with his offended Father: We were be­come the Slaves of sin, and he has bought our Freedom with his own Blood: We were in bondage to the dominion of Sa­tan, [Page 411] and he has overcome and confin'd his Power: We were in danger of sink­ing into Hell, and he has sav'd us from that bottomless Pit: The gates of Hea­ven were shut against us, and he went up himself, and opened them to all Be­lievers; dissolving for ever the terrours of Death, and rendring it now but a passage into Life. O dearest Lord, who mad'st us first of nothing, and restor'dst us again when we had undone our selves! Who wouldst at any rate redeem us from Misery, at any rate procure our Felicity: How came we wretches to be so consider'd! How came we Sinners to obtain such Favour! that from thy Throne of Glory, where Seraphims ador'd thee, thou should'st descend on our Earth, where Slaves would affront thee: That thou should'st lead a Life of poverty and labour, and in perfect Innocence dye a Death of shame and sorrow: That thou should'st do all this for such contemptible worms as we, without the least concern or benefit to thy self; only to raise us up from our humble dust, and set us to shine amongst thy glorious Angels. O infinite Goodness, the bounteous Authour of all our hopes! What shall we say to [Page 412] thy excessive Charity? O gracious Lord, and mighty deliverer from all our fears! What shall we render for thy unspeakable Mercies? We cannot chuse but search over all we have, but we can find no­thing to return but what thou hast given us: We will therefore use the gifts thou hast bestowed on us, according to thy di­rection, and give the Praise to Thee of what we do well: All the Glory of our Salvation we will ascribe to thee, and to thee alone, as the great cause who hast begun, alone, as and wilt at length finish it: By thee we will alwayes say we do good, and not lean to our own understandings; by thee we will expect our Reward, and never rely upon our own Merits.

Hymn 35.
SWeet Jesu, why, why dost thou love
Such worthless things as we?
Why is thy Heart still towards us,
Who seldom think on thee?
Thy Bounty gives us all we have,
And we thy Gifts abuse;
Thy bounty gives us ev'n thy self,
And we thy self refuse.
My Soul, and why, why do we love
Such worthless things as these;
These that withdraw us from our Lord,
And his pure Eyes displease?
Break off, and be no more a Child,
To run, and sweat, and cry;
While all this stir, this huge concern
Is only for a Fly:
Some silly Fly that's hard to catch,
And nothing when 'tis caught;
Such are the toyes thou striv'st for here,
Not worth a serious thought.
Break off, and raise thy manly Eye
Up to those Joyes above;
Behold, all those thy Lord prepares
To wooe, and crown thy Love.
Alas, Dear Lord, I cannot love,
Unless thou draw my Heart;
Thou who thus kindly mak'st me know,
O make me do my part.
Still do thou love me, O my Lord!
That I may still love Thee;
Still make me love thee, O my God!
That thou may'st still love me.
Thus may my God, and my poor Soul
Still one another love,
Till I depart from this low World,
To' enjoy my God above.
To thee, Great God, to thee alone,
One Coeternal three,
All Pow'r and Praise, all Joy and Bliss,
Now, and for ever be.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

PRoceed, my Soul, to celebrate the Praises of thy Lord, go on with fresh attention to remember the Mercies of thy God; whose Wisdom has contriv'd to save Mankind by so compendious a me­thod as may be exprest in one short word: He saw the only cause of all our ruin, was our Love misplac'd on this present World: He saw the only remedy of all our Misery, was to fix our Love on the World to come: This therefore was his great intent, and in this concentred all his Merits; to possess us with Love, the end of Faith, and greatest of divine gra­ces; to change the byass of our wrong­set [Page 415] hearts, by establishing among us new motives of Charity; such as might strong­ly incline our Affections, and efficaci­ously draw us to Love our true Good; such as might gain by degrees upon all Mankind, and render Salvation easie and universal: For this he came down from his Fathers Bosom, to teach us the rules of Eternal Life; that we might firmly believe those Sacred Truths, which God himself with his own mouth has told us: For this he Converst so long on our Earth, to encourage and provoke us by his own example; that we might confidently em­brace those unquestionable Virtues, which God himself in his own Person had pra­ctised: For this he endur'd so sharp and many Afflictions, and became at last obe­dient to the Death; that we might pa­tiently suffer whatever should befall us, when God himself was so treated by his Creatures: For this he so often Preacht of the Joyes of Heaven, and set them before us in so clear a light; that seeing so rich a Prize hang at the end of our Race, we might run, and strive with our utmost force to obtain it: For this he ordain'd all the means of Grace, and left us the Sacraments of his Body and Blood; [Page 416] that he might breed and nourish in us the Life of Charity, and ravish our Hearts with the sweetness of his Presence: For this he establisht a perpetual Church, and sent the Holy Ghost to Inspire and go­vern it; that it might be maintain'd through all Ages in Truth and Sanctity, and plant the same heavenly Seed over all the World: For this he assum'd those strange endearing Names of Friend, and Brother, and Spouse to us Wretches; doing far more for us, O wondrous Love! than all those Names import, than all our hearts can wish. Blessed, O Glori­ous Jesu! be the Wisdom of thy Mercy, that has found so sweet and short a way to save us: Thou art, O Lord, the cause of all our Love, and Love the cause of all our Happiness: By Love we fulfil all thy Commands, and in keeping thy Com­mands there is great reward: By Love we are reconcil'd from Enemies to Friends; by Holy Love we are translated from Death to Life; by Love we are deliver'd from the fear of Hell, by Love we are the regenerated Heirs of Heaven; by Love we are dispos'd for that blissful Vi­sion; by Love we are secur'd of the en­joyment of our God; who by the sole [Page 417] perfection of his own free Goodness can never deny himself to those that love him; else would their very loving him be a cause of great misery; since the misery of a Soul is the want of what it loves: Indeed he that is possest with love, is so far already a partaker of a divine nature; for thou hast told us, O Lord, that God is Love, and he that dwelleth in Love dwelleth in God, and God in him. He then that loves must needs be proportion­ably happy too, for so much as he has of God, so much he possesses of his true good. Thus, Lord Jesus, whatever thy holy books do record of thee, in expres­sions suited to our low capacities: What­ever they say of thy restoring all things; and repairing again the ruines of Man­kind: All is exactly verified with this one line, which our thankful Hearts should repeat with joy: Heaven is attain'd by Love alone, and Love alone by thee.

MEDITATION III.

STill, my Soul, let us repeat a few Lines more, to the praise of him whose Mercies are no fewer than infinite. Of him whose pity took us by the hand, [Page 418] and kindly led us into his own light. Of thee, O Blessed Jesu, our Lord, our God, who alone art the source of all our Hap­piness: The World till thou camest sate wrapt in darkness; and few discern'd so much as a shadow of thee: They fol­low'd the Appetites of Sense and Hu­mour; and plac'd their felicity in being prosperous here: Little considering the Life to come; and less the joyes that en­tertain that Life: This was, alas! their miserable State; and which was worse than this, they had no power to help it. How could they believe what they ne­ver heard of; or love what they never believed? How could they desire what they never lov'd, or be glad to receive what they never desir'd? It was thou, O Lord, didst first teach us our true end, the blissful Vision of the Eternal Deity. It was thou didst first teach us the true means to attain that end; by a hearty love and desire to attain it. O the blest change which thy hand has wrought! the happy improvements which thy com­ing has produc't! Now every Woman, and illiterate Man can discourse famili­arly of the highest Truths. The Crea­tion of the World, and the fall of [Page 419] Adam; the Incarnation of God, and Re­demption of Man: the mystery of the Trinity, and Miracle of the Resurrecti­on; the day of Judgment, and State of Eternity. All these we know, but it was thou, O Lord, who taught'st us; and by thy holy Church first spread them over the World. Now thou hast opened our Eyes, we plainly see what unassisted nature could never have reacht. We see the framing right of our Affe­ctions here, is both cause and measure of our Happiness hereafter: If we su­preamly esteem the goods of the future life, we shall find them there and be hap­py. If we love Heaven with our whole Soul, and press on strongly with all our force, we shall enter its Glories with a strange surprizing delight; and pos­sess them for ever in a perpetual exta­sie: We see our Souls are made to know, and perfect themselves by the worthiest objects: We see their Na­ture is free, and unconfin'd; and nothing can fill them but that which is infinite. All other knowledges enlarge our facul­ties, and breed new desire to know still more; which if unsatisfi'd, we yet are miserable; since none can be happy who [Page 420] want their desire. Only the sight of God fills us to the brim; and infinitely overflows our utmost capacities: It fills and overflows all the powers of our Souls, with joy and wonder and inconceiv­able sweetness: O blest and glorious sight! when will the happy day appear, and open to my Soul that beauteous prospect! When, dearest Lord, shall I fee thee face to face! when shall I heartily at least, desire to see Thee! Thou art my full and high felicity; and only and alone sufficient for me.

PETITIONS.

O Most Gracious and adorable Jesu, who so lovedst this sinful World as to die for us, we cannot think thou wilt deny us any thing that we hum­bly ask of thee according to thy will. Those that believing come unto thee, thou wilt in no wise cast out: Let me then obtain, I beseech thee, these im­portant favours, and whatever else thou seest conducing to my Happiness. Teach me, I pray, effectually, that this low world can never make me happy, that I must set my affections on things above▪ [Page 421] Make me seek therefore in the first place the Kingdom of God, and the Righte­ousness thereof; to love with my whole affections the enjoyment of God, since nothing but love can qualifie me for that enjoyment, and nothing without that enjoyment can ever render me hap­py. O my God, make me ardently love thee that I may eagerly desire thee, and eagerly desire thee that I may with joy­ful transport enjoy thee. Make me, O Blessed Jesu, so meditate on thy infinite Mercies, that my whole Soul may be fill'd with the memory of thy love; that the frequent remembrance of it may diffuse a vigorous love of thee into all my pow­ers: let the mark and badge which they all bear, be the love of Jesus. Let eve­ry step of thy love, dear Lord, in re­deeming lost Mankind, confirm my Soul in Love and Duty: fortifie me thereby against all Persecution, and discourage­ment; and so effectually draw me into thine own Kingdom of Glory, by thy Holy Life and precious Death and glo­rious Resurrection: Make me to perse­vere in thy obedience to the end, that I may die in thy favour, and rise again to rejoice with thee for ever: Who [Page 422] with the Father and the Holy Ghost li­vest, and reignest one God, World with­out end.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

REtire now, my Soul, from thy com­mon thoughts, that are permit­ted to entertain thy less serious hours: Retire, and call thy wandering Fancies home, and speedily range them in peace and order; that thou may'st be so pre­par'd to hear thy Lord, who invites thee among the rest, to taste his sweetness. The Prince of Love and Bounty sayes; Come to me, all you that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest: Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me; for I am meek, and lowly in heart; and you shall find rest to your Souls: For my yoke is easie, and my burthen is light. Enough, [Page 423] dear Lord, enough is said, to draw all the World to thy holy Discipline. What can be offer'd so agreeable to our Na­tures, too much, alas! inclin'd to plea­sure and profit? What can be offer'd so powerfully attractive, as to make our work delightfull, and then reward it? As to propose an Employment, like the Musick of Churches, devout, sweet, and gainful to the Performers? Whither, O my God, should we go, but unto thee? Thou alone hast the words of eternal Life. Thou art our wise Instructor to know what to do, and our onely Ena­bler to do what we know: Thou art the free Bestower of all we have; the faithfull Promiser of all we hope for. Thy kind Saviour, my Soul, has given thee a gracious Call; to thee has he sent the Invitations of the Gospel: Shall he call, and wilt thou not hear his voice, and constantly follow it till thou come to him? Wilt thou be so foolish, as still to go astray like a lost sheep, wan­dering up and down in thine own By­wayes? Wandering out of his wayes, and the wayes of Happiness, pursuing only thine own Perdition. By seeking our selves in this World of Vanity, we [Page 424] lose both thee, O Lord, and our own Souls: By seeking our selves in thee, and in thy Love, we find both thee, and our own Happiness. O how un­speakable are thy sweetnesses, O Lord, which thou hast hid for those who fear thee, which thou hast partly reveal'd to those who love thee, and keep their taste un­corrupted with the World. But O! what are they then to those who see thee, and in that sight see all that is necessary to their Happiness; to those who rejoyce perpetually before thee; and in that joy find all joyes beside! O beauteous Truth, which known, infor­ces Love, and which well lov'd, begets Felicity. Live thou for ever in my faith­full Memory, and be my constant Guide in all my wayes. Still, my Soul, let us think of the Joyes above, and under­value all things compar'd with everlast­ing Salvation: Still contemplate thy dear Saviour's Love, that purchased for thee all those unutterable joyes.

MEDITATION II.

MY God, when I remember those Words of thine, Repent, for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand: When I [Page 425] consider they were the first thou spa­kest in publick, the chosen Text of the Eternal Wisdom; I cannot think but they contain a very important Precept, and that I ought to be deeply affected with the power of the Motive. My Soul, did Christ begin his publick work with this Command? Apply then those searching Words to thy self, and bind them fast upon thee. Repent, O my Soul! for the Kingdom of Heaven is at hand; repent, for the Kingdom of Hea­ven depends upon thy Repentance. Un­happy me, that I cannot live without sin, but blessed be our God, that I may ob­tain Pardon by my Repentance. Pra­ctise then, my Soul, that safe and easie method of censuring thy self, to be ac­quitted by him. Every night sit as an impartial Judge, and lay before thee all thou canst of the past day: Severely examine every thought and word, and strictly search every Deed and Omissi­on: And since thou art not strong enough to be perfectly innocent, at least en­deavour to be humble enough to be true­ly penitent: Say, Woe to the day and hour wherein I sinn'd; woe to the ma­ny dayes and hours I have foolishly mis­pent: [Page 426] Or rather, Woe to me, who abuse my dayes and hours, allow'd by thy good­ness to work out my Salvation. Be heartily sorry for what thou hast done amiss, and make firm and wary resolu­tions not to do again what will make thee sorry: Implore for the past the Mercy of Heaven, and for the time to come the same indulgent Mercy: Ask it in the Name of Jesus Christ, for 'tis only by his Blood that our Repentance can obtain the remission of our Sins. If perhaps thou find in thy Examination, that some little thing has been well done; return to God all the Glory for this, and beg his Grace to continue thy good, and improve it: His is the hand that sowes the seed, his is the Blessing that gives the Increase. Thus I will once in a day at least look home, and seriously inquire into the state of my Soul: Whate're my Malice or weakness may have done, I should now undo it, as it were, by a hearty Contrition: Let not the Sun go down upon thy Wrath, nor upon any other unrepented Sin. O happy man that can write at the foot of his Account, Reconcil'd to my God, and in Charity with all the World. Such an [Page 427] one may go to Bed with a quiet Con­science, and fall asleep in peace and hope.

MEDITATION III.

LOrd, e're I take my leave of this Day, which thy Church has devo­ted to the honour of thy Memory; I would repeat some few words more of those incomparable many that thou hast left among us: I would attentively me­ditate their substantial sence, and set­tle them as Principles of my Life and Actions. Thou hast said, I remember, O divine Wisdom, and well worthy it is to be remember'd: Lay not up for your selves treasures on Earth, where moth and rust do corrupt, and Thieves break through, and steal. But lay up for your selves treasures in Heaven; where neither moth nor rust do corrupt, nor Thieves break through, and steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. Go now, you curious, and study what you please, for me; I'l stay, and listen to my Savi­our: He will teach me high, and sure, and useful Truths; he'll teach me Truths that will bring me to Happiness. On­ly [Page 428] I must receive and keep the Truths he teaches me, and obey their directi­on in my course of Life. In vain am I told this Instruction, if I will still dote on the uncertain Goods of this World; utterly in vain, if I will not be con­cern'd for the more durable and cer­tain possessions of a better: Notwith­standing this wise instruction I shall be a fool, if I suffer my heart to six be­low, if I set my Affections on that which is not. All our few dayes we live here, my Soul, are full of Vanity, and our choicest pleasures are sprinkled with bitterness: The things here perish in the using, and our transitory joyes vanish like a Dream. Besides, consider, there is no reason thy Heart should six here, when thou thy self art design'd for a removal: Thou art but a meer So­journer and Stranger on Earth, and art passing hence to an eternal home. Al­ready I am dead to all the years I have lived, and shall never live them over again: All must go down to the same dark Grave; and none can tell how soon he may be call'd: To day we are in health among our friends and neighbours, and to morrow Arrested by the hand of [Page 429] Death: Nature may faintly struggle for a time, but must yield at last, and be buried in the Earth. At last we must take our leave of nearest Relations, and bid a long Farewell to all the World. And how sad a thing, my Soul, will it be in that day, to have no Treasure but what thou must leave, and to leave the onely Treasure that thy heart is set upon. Let thy chosen Treasure then be in Heaven, since where the treasure is the heart will be also. Ye careless Worldlings, hear but this one word more, which our great Master has also spoken; and then I expect you will stay and observe his Instructions too, if any sense of your eternal good can hold you: Heark, he tells us this new and glorious secret; We shall be hereafter like the Angels in Heaven. O precious word to them that relish it, and tho­roughly digest it's strong nourishment; to them that feed on it as often as their daily bread; We shall be hereafter like the Angels in Heaven. Those that now set their Affections on things above, shall be hereafter like the Angels in Heaven. And what, O dearest Lord, are those blest Angels, but Spirits that know and love, [Page 430] and delight for ever. Such, O my soul, we shall be, if we follow now the Instru­ctions of our Saviour: We shall lead that sweet life, and be, and live like the Angels in Heaven: We shall know all that is true, and love all that is good; and delight in that Knowledge and Love for ever▪ No ignorance shall darken us, nor errour deceive us, for we shall be like the Angels in Heaven: No Cares shall perplex us, nor Crosses afflict us, for we shall be like the Angels in Heaven: Our joyes shall be full, and pure, and everlasting; for we shall be like the An­gels in Heaven. Chear thee, my Soul, and bless thy bounteous Lord, by whom thou shalt be exalted to that dignity; Comfort thy self, and raise thy hopes yet gloriously higher; raise them to the expectation of more than thou canst conceive, for so much yet more is intended for thee; so much more is in­cluded in those wonderful words: We shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is.

PETITIONS.

O Blessed Jesu, whose Sacred Body was laid in a Sepulcher, after thou hadst finisht in it the work of our Redemp­tion: Make me so frequently to renew in my Mind the memory of thy Death and burial, as may put me upon a seri­ous preparation for my own. Since thou didst not design to abide long on this Earth, let not my Heart be set on any condition here; make me to grow daily less affected to this transitory life, and more in love with thy eternal joyes: Give me, O thou that art the only giver of repentance, a truly penitent Heart, for all my past neglects of thee: Deli­ver me, O Lord, from the punishments my Sins deserve, and deliver me from the Sins which deserve those Punishments. Make thy self, O my ador'd Redeemer, the Master-wish of my Heart, the scope and end of all my time. Wherever I am in this unconstant World, and what­ever business entertains my hand, still let my inward eye look up towards thee, and fix it's sight on thy glorious face: Soon as I awake let me look up towards [Page 432] thee, and when I rise first bow my knees to thee: Help me often in the day to call in my thoughts to thee; and when I go to rest, close up mine Eyes in Thee: Suffer me not, O Lord, to be any lon­ger distracted about many things from thee, who art the one thing Necessary; but gather me up from the World in­to my self, and then take me up from my self into thee; there to be ravisht with thy kind embraces, there to be feasted with the Antipasts of Heaven: So shall my time be govern'd by thy Grace, and my Eternity be crown'd with thy Glory: Grant these things, the purchases of thy precious blood, O Lord, for thine own Eternal Honour and Glo­ry.

Amen.

Hymn 36.
LOrd, now the time returns,
For weary man to rest;
And lay aside those pains, and cares,
With which our day's opprest.
Or rather change our thoughts
To more concerning cares;
How to redeem our mispent time,
With sighs and tears and prayer's.
How to provide for Heaven,
That place of rest and peace;
Where our full joyes shall never wain,
Our pleasures never cease.
Blest be thy Love, dear Lord,
That taught us this sweet way▪
Only to love thee for thy self,
And for that Love obey.
O thou our Souls chief hope,
We to thy Mercy fly:
In ev'ry place thou canst protect;
And all we need supply.
Whether we wake or sleep,
To thee we both resign;
By Night we see, as well as Day,
If thy light on us shine.
Whether we live or dye,
Both we submit to thee;
In Death we live as well as Life,
If thine in Death we be.
Glory to Thee, Great God,
One Coeternal three:
To Father, Son, and Holy Ghost,
Eternal Glory be.

Amen.

FOR THE FEASTS OF THE HOLY GHOST.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

COnsider now, my Soul, the Mercies of thy God, consider the won­ders he has wrought for the Chil­dren of Men: The Eternal Father cre­ated us of nothing, and set us in the way to everlasting Happiness; the Eter­nal Son came down from Heaven, to seek and restore us again to it, when we had lost our selves; the Eternal Spirit [Page 436] sends his Grace to sanctifie us, and gives strength to walk that holy way. Thus every Person of the Sacred Trinity has freely contributed his peculiar Blessing, and all together, as one co-infinite Good­ness, have graciously agreed to compleat our Felicity. But O Ingrateful we, was it not enough to receive of our God all we have and are? was it not enough that the Son of God should come down, and live here to teach us, and dye to redeem us? was not all this enough to make us Love? And Love is all he aim'd at, and Love is all we needed: We will con­fess to thee, O Lord, our miserable con­dition, and to the Praise of thy necessa­ry merciful relief: Such, alas, was the corruption of our nature, and so many, and so strong the Temptations round a­bout us, that without this thy last mi­raculous favour, of sending the Holy Ghost to guide and quicken us, we should still have remain'd in our old dull pace, slow to understand, and slower to obey: We should have quite forgotten our God that made us, and neglected the service of our Lord that bought us; had not thy fulness been furnisht with one Bles­sing more, and thy goodness ready to bestow it on thy poor Creatures; hadst [Page 437] thou not providently reserv'd a better Blessing than the dew of the Clouds, and fatness of the Earth: better than Plen­ty of Corn and Wine, or the multitude of Posterity, or Dominion over our Bre­thren. These were the great Rewards of the old Law, but behold far greater than these are here: Divine Refreshments from the Heaven of Heavens, and the rare de­licious fruits of the Holy Ghost: Meek­ness and Peace, and Joy diffus'd in our Breasts: Strength and undaunted Cou­rage kindled in our Hearts: The strong and sweet Ardours of Divine Love, that make every Duty in our way delightful, and every Cross tolerable: A thousand sweet Embraces of the Spouse of Souls, a thousand dear Pledges of his everlast­ing Love: These are the great Rewards of the Law of Grace, and are given to prepare us for the Kingdom of Glory.

Hymn 37.
COme, Holy Spirit, send down those beams
Which gently flow in silent Streams,
From thy bright Throne in Heaven above:
Come, thou Enricher of the Poor,
And bounteous source of all our Store,
Come fill our Souls with thy pure Love.
Come, thou our Souls delicious Guest,
The weary'd Pilgrims sweetest Rest,
The injur'd Suffe'rers best relief:
Come, thou our Passions cool allay,
Whose Comfort wipes all tears away,
And into Joy turns all our Grief.
Come, thou bright Sun, shoot home thy darts,
Pierce to the Center of our Hearts,
And make our living Faith love thee;
Without thy Grace, without thy Light,
Our strength is weakness, our day night,
And we can neither move nor see.
Lord, wash our sinful stains away,
Water from Heaven our barren Clay,
Our many mortal Bruises heal;
To thy sweet Yoke our stiff Necks bow,
Warm with thy fire our Hearts of Snow,
And soon our wandring feet repeal.
O grant thy Faithful, dearest Lord,
Whose only hope is thy sure Word,
The saving gifts of thy good Spirit;
Grant us in Life t' obey thy Grace,
Grant us at Death to see thy Face,
And Heave'ns Eternal Joyes inherit.
All Glory to the Sacred Three,
One ever-living Deity,
All Power ascribe, and Bliss, and Praise;
As at the first when time begun,
May the same Homage still be done,
While time does last, when time decayes.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

HOw glorious, O Lord, is thy Grace over all the World! How admi­rable are the influences of thy Spirit: They who through dulness so slowly un­derstood the often repeated Lessons of their divine Master; now when the Spi­rit descended upon them, did with the first swift glance see through all, and no mystery could pose, nor errour deceive them. They who through fear forsook their Lord, and fled away from the dan­ger of being his; now do rejoice in suf­fering for his Name, and neither Life nor Death can forbid them to confess him: They who knew only their Mother tongue, and that no better than as sim­ple Fishermen; now speak to every Na­tion in their several language, and with [Page 440] their powerful Eloquence ravish their Hearts: They who after our Saviours re­surrection shut fast the doors for fear of the Jews; now in the open Streets and publick Synagogues confidently proclaim the Name of Jesus. These were new bottles sill'd with new Wine; wine that made them quite forget their former selves: Wine that exalted them into a generous Spirit of despising all things for the love of Jesus. Wine that in the midst of Racks and Prisons, made them often break forth into that sweet extasie; no joy like the pain of suffering for Jesus, no Life like the death endur'd for his Love. O were there now such tongues of fire, to kindle in the world those divine flames! O were there now such Hearts in the world to receive the holy sparks that fall from Heaven! The Apostle Peter preach't but one Sermon, and immediately there were converted to Thee three thousand Souls; he preach't again, and wrought but one Miracle, and five thousand more were added to the Church: Thus every day they encreas'd in number, and which was better their number encreas'd in Ver­tue. They were all inebriated with the same heavenly Wine, and all fill'd with the same Heroick Spirit: They sold all [Page 441] they had, and brought the price, and laid it down at the Apostles feet: they liv'd in an Innocent community, and call'd nothing their own, even in their will and under­standing they were all united. Every one had enough, and that is to be rich; none had too much, and that is to be free; free from the cares that perplex the weal­thy, free from the temptations that wait on superfluity: Hadst thou been there, my Soul, to have seen the flaming ardour of those first converts; it would have made thee utterly asham'd of all sloath, and coldness. You may easily suppose, you might have heard them saying such pas­sionate words as these from a mixture of grief and love: Ah dearest Lord, why were we not so happy, as to be convert­ed by thee, while thou livedst amongst us? Why not to entertain Salvation, when thou broughtest it to our homes; and didst preferre our little Nation before all the World? Unhappy we in our neg­lect and perverseness, which were the cau­ses of our insidelity: We lookt on thy many kind miracles, O Lord, and did not see them. Before our Eyes thou didst give sight to the Blind, and our Souls were dark with Sin and prejudice: Thou didst cleanse the Leprous, and heal [Page 442] all manner of Diseases; thou didst raise the Dead, and cast out Devils with a Word: Yet we alas, how many of us blasphem'd thy Name! how many con­spir'd with thy Bloody Crucifiers! We cryed out among the tumultuous rabble, Away with him, away with him, cruci­fie him, crucifie him; for we knew thee not then to be the Lord of Glory. Bles­sed be thy holy Spirit, who has opened our Eyes, and made us see through the veil that eclips'd thy lustre: Now we be­lieve thee the Messias we expected, now we acknowledge thee the King of Israel.

MEDITATION III.

PRoceed, my Soul, a little further to meditate on the mighty works of the Holy Spirit: and with their great­ness admire his power; and with their goodness his bounty and Love. When Lord, thou didst descend into our wretch­ed World, then was that Word of thy faithful Prophet fulfill'd: The Wolf shall dwell with the Lamb, the Leopard shall lie down with the Kid: the Calf and the Young Lion, and the Fatling shall be together; and even a little Child shall lead them. They who in the day of our Saviours Passion, [Page 443] fiercely persecuted him like Lions and Wolves; thou didst easily convert many of them into innocent Sheep, and join them with the rest of his harmless Flock. Those that were covetous as Wolves, thy powerful Grace made them liberal; those that were fierce and proud as Lions, it made humble and meek: Those that had been intemperate as Swine, were made so­ber; and they that were lustful as Goats, became chast: They were all join'd toge­ther in the bonds of pure Charity, and submitted to the government of the meek and poor Apostles: Then was the wor­ship of God not a burden but a delight; not a diversion but a business to the ar­dent love thou didst inspire. The Dis­ciples continued daily in the Apostles Doctrine; humbly attending to their sa­ving instructions: Daily they broke the holy Bread; and celebrated the appoint­ed Supper of our Lord; inflaming thereby their love to him, and confirming their holy Faith, and resolutions: Daily they assembled to unite their Prayers; being fill'd with the Spirit of Grace and Sup­plications: Thus they obey'd thy dictates, and thus they encreas'd in the measure of thy Gifts and the strength of thy Graces: Such were the fervours of those happy [Page 444] times; and, Oh how Happy were our times, had we those fervours too: But our times alas, are become miserable, by Schisms, and heresies, and the darkness that covers a great part of the World: Ours are become miserable by the de­fect of Charity; and by the scanda­lous examples of too many Christians: Many are scandalous in the Principles which they profess, to the disparage­ment of our Lord's instructions; and ma­ny others in their vicious Conversations, which disparage his wise and pure Pre­cepts: Too many, alas! there are of these, yet the Gates of Hell can never prevail against the Power of God: Still the same Spirit visits the World, and keeps alive in some the same Primitive Fire: Still there are some Hearts full of the Holy Ghost, full of the ravishing Wine of Divine Love: Still there are some who renounce the World, and rea­dily take up the Cross, and follow our Lord: Still the Almighty Goodness is true to his Church, and keeps it one, and Holy and Universal: Still the Ho­ly Spirit, thanks be to his unwearied goodness, maintains in his Church some burning and shining Lights. He that as a Wind breaths where he listeth, and [Page 445] is the free Dispenser of his own Gifts; is often found of those that seek him not, and vouchfafes to strive with them that resist him. Though the ungrateful World abuses his blessings, yet he has not utterly withdrawn himself from the ungrateful World. Yet O, ye Sons of Adam, consider what your Maker has said; My Spirit shall not alwayes strive with Man. If this refining Fire does not purge you from your wickedness, the slames of his wrath will devour your World and you.

PETITIONS.

O Kind and gracious Spirit, who art often near to us, when we are far from thee; often ready to grant, when we are unmindfull to ask: Vouchsafe now to hear these few humble Petitions which thy Grace disposes me to pre­sent. I pray, O Lord, for the good Estate of thy Catholick Church: Fit and dispose thy Servants first to entertain thee, then graciously vouchsafe to descend into our hearts: Fill us, O Holy Ghost, and our little Vessels, and as thou fil­lest us enlarge our Capacities: Make us the more we receive of thee, still grow [Page 446] in desire of receiving more, till we as­cend to those satisfying joyes above, where all our Faculties shall be stretch'd to the utmost; where they shall all be fill'd to the brim, and overflow'd with a Torrent of Pleasure: Make us fit to entertain thee, and then possess us with the holy fire of Meekness and peace; that all the World may know whose Disciples we are by seeing us love one another. O deliver us from the contra­ry fire, the fire of the false and evil Spirit, that scorches without warming, and smoaks without shining, and con­sumes without enlightening. Deliver us from Schism and▪ Heresie, and every the least uncharitable Passion. Vouchsafe to give us the spirit of Fortitude, the spi­rit of Temperance, Justice and Prudence, the spirit of Wisdom, Understanding and Counsels; the▪ spirit of Knowledge, Piety and the fear of thee; the spirit of Patience and Benignity, the spirit of Humility, Sobriety and Chastity. And bring, we pray thee, the whole World into thy one Flock; that all may be so far of the same mind here, as all to en­joy the same happiness hereafter. Grant these things, O Lord, to the Merits of our only Mediator, Jesus Christ.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

WE are not our own, but the Tem­ples of the Holy Ghost; let us dedicate our selves intirely to his Ser­vice. Come, let us now again prepare our Hearts, and humbly offer this our evening Sacrifice. Who will give me this happy favour, that I may now find my God alone; that I may find him in the silence of retirement, where the noise of this World can no way interrupt us; but that my God may speak to me, and I to him, as dearest friends con­verse together: That I may unfold be­fore him all my wants, and freely ask the Charity of his Counsel. What shall I do, O gracious Lord, to be happy here? what shall I do to be happy here­after? Nature already has thus far taught me, that in all I undertake I seek mine own good: Onely I have cause to fear I may mistake that good, and set up [Page 448] a vain Idol instead of thee; unless, my God, the Spirit of Truth vouchsafe to instruct me, and shew my Soul its true Felicity. Heark, my Soul, how the eternal Wisdom gives thee Advice, and let every word sink deep into thee: Seek with thy first endeavours the Kingdom of Heaven, and all things else shall be ad­ded to thy wish. Love with thy whole Affections the enjoyment of thy God, and all things else shall conspire to thy Happiness: All these my lips confess are excellent Truths; but my Life, O God, is not so ready to confess them. I can­not perfectly overcome my Passions, nor guide them so as to tend steadily to­wards thee. Often do they draw me in­to sin, by setting me upon the pursuit of this World. While they are mine I cannot govern them; behold, dear Lord, I offer them to thee, to be sub­jected in all their Motions to thy Laws, and entirely employ'd in thy Service: That my fond heart may be wean'd from the follies of this World, and its Ap­petites quicken'd to thy solid Joyes: That I may hunger and thirst perpetu­ally after thee, and those glorious Pro­mises thou hast made to thy Servants: That my whole Soul may seek thee [Page 449] alone, since thou alone, O Lord, art all my Heaven. O glorious God, my Life, my Joy, and the onely fit Center of all my Hopes; were my too unsteady Soul once firmly united to thee, and could I relish the true sweetness of thy presence, how would all other Company seem dull and tedious, and the whole World be even bitter to my taste! How would my thoughts cleave fast to thee, and glad­ly seal this everlasting Covenant: If thou, O Lord, wilt dwell with me, my Heart shall continually attend on thee. Night and day will I sing thy Praises, and all my life long adore thy Mercies.

MEDITATION II.

WHen, O my Soul, shall thy God find thee alone; free from those busie thoughts that fill thy head? O with what ready Charity would he then in­struct thee, and let thee into his blessed Secrets. Himself would become thy fa­miliar guest, and dwell with thee in per­petual joy. Strive then to clear thy self of all other thoughts, that fill thee at best with nothing but emptiness. Remem­ber, thy God is a pure Spirit, and de­lights to dwell in a clean Tabernacle. [Page 450] He will not entertain a Soul that regards any Sin, nor stay where he finds his grace neglected. If he vouchsafe the blessing of a Visit, and O how sweet and ravishing is his presence! let us open wide our bosoms to receive him, and summon all our powers to entertain him. Say, Come my Understanding, and bring all thou knowest; all that enlightens thee in the way to Felicity. Come my Will, and call in all thy Loves, and contract them into one, and settle them here for ever. Come my Memory, but lay aside thy swarm of Notions, and forget them all but what concerns thy Eternity. Come my whole Soul with these Faculties about thee, and prostrate adore the Eternal Spirit. Be­hold, he now is nigh, and sits in the de­vout heart as on the Throne he delights in. In devout retirement and calm silence he will familiarly speak to us, and teach us what shall be for our good. Come then and with devoutest reverence attend, my Soul, to what now thy God will say: Let thy Understanding be ready to assent to his Truths; thy Will to follow his divine Inspirations: Thy Memory to treasure up his sacred Instructions, and all thy Powers to acknowledge his glo­rious Attributes. The blessed Spirit will [Page 451] not only visit but dwell in thee, if thou entertain and obey him as he justly re­quires. He will never forsake thee, un­less thou chase him away, but will guide and comfort thee with his holy Inspira­tions. Resolve then, that the Flesh shall deceive thee no more, nor draw thee to disoblige the Holy Spirit. If the Flesh grow bold, and insolently demand, How can you live without sinful Liberties? Hear thou the Spirit, and he will tell thee, they are base Slaves that serve sensual Lusts, and the Service of God is the only true Freedom. If the Flesh al­leadge, What joy is there in suffering Ills, or doing contrary to our own In­clinations: Hearken to the Spirit, who will tell thee, the Cross of Christ is sweet, and nothing is so glorious as the conquest of our selves. If the Flesh insist, What do you see, or hear, or exercise any sense in, but the things of this World? Regard the Spirit rather, who will en­ter his protest, and make every devout Soul subscribe this Truth; I see the va­nity of this World, and its vexations, and meet in every thing danger and fals­hood. Say then, according to the di­ctates of the Spirit, Away Flesh and Blood, with your foolish Inclinations; [Page 452] away deceitful World, with thy bewitch­ing Vanities: You were onely created to serve me in the way to my Father's house, and to set me down at my journey's end: Away with all your fond deluding dreams; be banish'd for ever from my awakened Soul.

MEDITATION III.

HAppy were we, O God, could we be still thinking on thee, and could we raise our thoughts into desires to be with thee. Happy were we, could we alwayes feel those fervours, of which sometimes thou inspir'st a little spark. If that spark were kindled into a Fire, and that Fire blown up into a continu­al Flame. But we, alas! are hot and cold by fits, and which is worse, our cold fit is the longer. Some few half hours we spend in Prayer, and many whole dayes in Vanity and Idleness. Sometimes we bestow a little on the poor, and often throw a great deal away on our Passi­ons. Sometimes we deny and mortifie our selves but far more often obey our sensual Appetites. Sometimes we follow thy Grace, and are drawn by it to do one good Work; but we are again se­duc'd [Page 453] by our Nature to a thousand Ini­quities, and then we resist and grieve the Holy Spirit. Thus we confess to thee, O Lord our God, who perfectly seest every corner of our hearts: Thus we confess to thee, not that thou maist know us, but that we may know our selves, and thou maist cure us: To thee, Lord, I may go on confessing, for many are the Graces I want, and none can give them but thy Bounty: Many are the sins and miseries thy poor Creature is ex­posed to, and none can deliver me but thy Providence. Such an occasion often endangers me, and such a Temptation too often overcomes me: My own infir­mities are too strong for me, and my ill customs prevail against me: Every day I resolve to amend, and every day▪ I break my resolutions: Often am I unhappily engag'd, and blindly running on in the wayes of Death; and then I need thy Grace, O Lord, to check my desperate speed, and to make me stay, and look before me: To shew me the horrid down­fall into that bottomless Pit where im­penitent sinners are swallow'd up for ever: To strike my too regardless Soul with fear and trembling at the dreadful sight of so sad a ruine. I need thy pow­erful [Page 454] Grace, O Lord, to turn my eyes from the allurements of sin to a safer Prospect: To make me sensibly Meditate on the Peace and Pleasure, and great ad­vantage of a Pious Life: To make me look steadily on this, and well consider it, and besides to look through and see beyond it: To make me delight in the hope it enjoyes, a hope of Joyes that are unconceivable and glorious: Joyes which none, O Lord, but thou canst give, and none but thou canst make us capable to receive. O Lord, all our Springs are in thee, and all our Happiness depends on thee: In thee our Sorrows have a Com­forter to allay them, our Sins an Advo­cate to plead against them: In thee our Ignorances have a guide to direct them, and all our Frailties a God to relieve them. To thee therefore we will continually ad­dress our selves, and rely only upon thy care and conduct: To thee we will with humble confidence direct our Petitions, who promisest to help the Infirmity of our Prayers; we will not doubt the gra­ciousness or bounty of thy goodness, but hope thou wilt grant whatever thy Word gives us leave to ask: And above all things we will seek thy self, being assur'd that the Holy Spirit shall be given to them that ask him.

PETITIONS.

O God the Holy Spirit, proceeding from the Father and the Son, have mercy upon me, miserable sinner. O God of infinite compassion, and comforter of penitent minds, have mercy upon me sor­rowfull sinner. I lament, O Lord, and beseech thee to pardon my sins past, and to prevent the repetition of my sins and follies for the future. Cure me, O thou great Physician of Souls, cure me of all my sinful distempers: Cure me of this aguish intermitting Piety; and fix it in an even constant Holiness. O make me use Religion as my regular Diet, and not only as a single Medicine in a pressing necessity: So shall my Soul be possest of a sound health, and disposed for a long, even an everlasting Life. Come to all thy servants, O blessed Spi­rit of Faith, and govern our Lives with thy holy Maxims; subdue our Sense to the dictates of Reason, and perfect our Reason with the Mysteries of Religion. Teach us to love and fear what we see not now, but what we are sure will be our Bliss or Misery hereafter. Shew us the narrow way which leads to Life, which [Page 456] few without thee can find or follow. Guide on thy Church in the middle path of Vertue; that we never decline to any vicious extream: Let not our Faith grow wild with superfluous branches; nor be stript into a naked fruitless trunk: Let not our hope swell up to a rash presump­tion, nor shrink away into a faint de­spair: Let not our Charity be cool'd in­to a faint indifferency; nor heated into a furious Zeal: Give us, O Gracious Lord, the free Beginner and Finisher of all good actions, give us a right Spirit to guide our intentions, that we may constantly aim at our true end; give us a holy Spirit to sanctifie our affections, that what we rightly design, we may piously pursue; give us an heroick Spirit to confirm our Hearts, that what we piously endeavour we may couragiously atchieve: Grant these things, O Lord, for thine own Glo­ry, to whom all Glory is due for ever.

Amen.

Hymn 38.
COme my vain thoughts, that wandring
At every toy which passes by; sly
Still spending so your strength in vain,
While what you wish, you ne're can gain.
Come, my fond Soul, who sure must be
Quite tir'd with all this Life can see;
This Life, where little can be seen,
But reigning misery and sin:
And cheating Images of Good,
Most valu'd when least understood;
Which yet to our pursuits are coy,
As they prove vain when we enjoy.
Come let the wings of thy desire,
Fond man, to nobler things aspire;
Implore the Spirits kind gales, and He
To nobler things will carry thee.
Let warm Devotions, Holy Fire,
And Love Divine thy Breast inspire;
So shalt thou Heavens true Pleasures tast,
And grow more sit for Heaven at last.
Seek thou no more abroad thy rest,
Seek it at home in thine own Breast;
Let but thy mind from guilt be clear,
Then seek for all thy Comfort there.
With thy self, and thy gracious God,
Delight to make thy chief abode;
In him repose secure and free,
And no mischance can trouble thee.
Should Death it self thy walls assail,
Still thou art safe and canst not fail;
Still is thy Soul thine own, and she
To a new House remov'd shall be:
New, and Eternal there above,
All built and furnisht with pure Love;
There shall this dark mud-wall of thine
Repair'd the brightest Stars out-shine.
Great Spirit of Love, and Source of Peace,
Our Praise of thee shall never cease;
To thee, the Father and the Son,
Eternal Homage shall be done.

Amen.

FOR THE FEASTS OF THE SAINTS.

For the Morning.

MEDITATION I.

GReat is the Majesty of the King we serve, and rich the splendour of his Courts; where the humble Saints all shine as the light, and rejoyce in uninterrupted felicity: Come, let us that call our selves by his Name, humbly adore the King of Saints; let us meet in Peace and Love, which are highly plea­sing to him, and joyn our Hearts and Voi­ces [Page 460] into one glad Song: And which of his wondrous works shall we make our Theam? which shall be the worthy sub­ject of our Contemplation and Praise? Shall we admire the mighty Conquerours of this World? or any of the Great ones whom the World applands? Shall we ad­mire the men of deep or universal Learn­ing? or those that manage all their world­ly Affairs with a dexterous and successful wisdom? Oh no, there are greater things than these to employ our Admiration; those blessed Spirits who bravely over­came themselves, and that led in triumph their own Passions; those who renounc'd the greatness of this World to be rid of its incumbrances, and that they might with more ease and speed prepare them­selves for a better: Those who learned Jesus Christ so as to imitate him well, and were so wise as to work out their Salva­tion; those who from mean and poor on Earth, from reproacht and despis'd, are advanced to be bright Courtiers in the Kingdom of Heaven, and honour'd by the King of Saints. Rejoyce thou, my Soul, who feelest these miseries here, and often complainest of the dangers of this Life: Rejoyce at their glad delivery from all these sorrows, and heartily congratulate [Page 461] their secure Felicity: Rejoyce, and with thy best instructed thoughts admire the exquisite Wisdom of the divine Provi­dence; who from such low beginnings can raise so great effects, making every step thrust connaturally on the next. Be­hold a little Seed that is buried in the Earth, shoot gently out its tender leaves, and nourisht on with the Clouds and Sun, climb up by degrees into a tall stalk; there it displayes its full blown hope, and crowns its own head with a silver Lilly. Such is the progress of immortal Souls, even those who shine now among the highest Sera­phims: At first shut up in their Mothers womb, where they lye confin'd close Pri­soners in the dark; thence they come forth to see and hear, and slowly begin to walk and speak; next they advance to under­stand and discourse, then learn to [...]ve with the wings of Grace, till they get up even beyond themselves, and believe a­bove their own nature; at last the kindly hand of Death gives them a stroak, and they instantly become like the glorious Angels: Instantly their dark and narrow knowledge unfolds it self, and spreads in­to a clear and spacious view; where they at once shall see all the glories of Heaven, at once possess, and for ever enjoy them. [Page 462] Thus from the humble seed of Grace, connaturally spring the flowers of Glory, and from this Life's green stem of Hope, grow just on the top the Lillies of Para­dice: Lillies that never fade, but still shine on, and fill the Heavens with beau­teous sweetness: Lillies, that even Solo­mon in all his glory was not array'd like one of these. Sing then, my Soul, his Praise, who planted, water'd and encreas'd these beauteous Flowers: But still among thy Hymns thou must mingle resolves, to imitate whatsoever thou findest good in their Lives. This is the Praise most delightful to him, whose kindness desires the Conversion of a Sinner. Learn but of them to be Humble, and Meek, and submit all thy Wishes to the Will of Heaven; to govern thy Senses by the rule of Reason, and thy Reason by the dictates of Religion; to design thy whole Life in order to thy End, and establish for thy end the Bliss of Eternity. These holy Lessons let thy Life transcribe, and then the King will accept thy Praises.

Hymn 39.
WAke all my Hopes, lift up your Eyes,
And crown your heads with Mirth;
See how they shine beyond the Skies,
Who once dwelt on our Earth.
Peace busie thoughts, away vain cares,
That clog us here below;
Let us go up above the Sphears,
And with those Orders bow.
Bow low to Heave'ns Eternal King,
Whose bounteous goodness 'tis,
That makes the happy Orders sing,
And fills the place with Bliss.
With glorious Angels, Heirs of Light,
The high-born Sons of Fire;
Whose Heats burn chast, whose Flames shine bright,
All Joy, yet all Desire.
With Holy Saints, who long in hope
On this Life's green Stem sate;
But gain'd at length the beauteous top
Of Heaven's resplendent State.
With great Apostles of the Lamb,
Who brought that early ray,
Which from our Sun reflected came,
And made our first fair day.
With generous Martyrs, whose strong hearts
Bravely rejoyc'd to prove,
How weak pale Death are all thy darts,
Compar'd to those of Love.
With steadfast Confessors who dy'd
A Death too, Love did give;
Whilst their own Flesh they crucifie'd
To make the Spirit live.
With beauteous Virgins, whose chast Vows
Renounc'd all fond desires;
Who wisely chose our Lord their Spouse,
And burnt with his pure fires.
With all the happy Spirits above,
Who make that glorious ring
About the sparkling Throne of Love,
And there for ever sing.
To some low place of that bright Quire,
While loftier notes they raise,
Let this thy little wreath aspire,
And joyn their Crowns of Praise.
All Glory to the Sacred Three,
One ever-living Lord;
As at the first, still may he be
Belov'd, Obey'd, Ador'd.

Amen.

MEDITATION II.

THou art our King too, O Blessed Je­su; and we, alas, thy unprofitable subjects: we cannot praise thee like those thine own bright Quires above; yet will humbly offer our little tribute: And while with thy present goodness to us, we con­sider thy great bounty to them; the glo­rious hopes which we from thence con­ceive, give our praises the more spritely accents: O praise our Lord, we are con­strain'd to say, all the powers of our Souls; praise the immortal King of Saints and Angels. Praise him as the Author of all their Graces; praise him as the Fini­sher of all their Glories: Praise him for the mighty Hosts of Angels; whom he sets about us for the guard of our lives; that they may safely keep us in all our wayes, and conduct our Souls at last to their eternal home. Praise him for the consecrated company of Apostles, to [Page 466] whom he reveal'd the Mysteries of his Kingdom; that they might teach us too those heavenly truths, and shew us the same blest way to felicity: Praise him for the generous fortitude of Mar­tyrs; whom he strengthned with courage to resist even to death; that we might learn of them to hold fast our Faith, and rather lose this Life than hazard the other: Praise him for the eminent san­ctity of Confessors; whose whole design was a course of Heroick Vertue: That we might raise our minds from our usual lazy slight; and with a quick and active wing mount up towards Heaven. Praise him for the Angelical purity of those Vir­gins, whose Hearts he so inflam'd with his Divine Charity; that they would ad­mit no such desires as would bring upon them other cares besides those of pleasing himself alone: And pray him to possess thee too with such a fervent love to him the spouse of Souls, as may make thee regard with great indifferency even the best of this worlds goods. Praise him for the excellent holiness of all his Saints; whose lives he has moulded into so vari­ous shapes, that every sort of ours might be readily furnisht with a pattern cut out and fitted for it self. O praise our Lord, [Page 467] all you powers of my Soul! praise the Immortal King of Saints, and Angels: Praise every Person of the Sacred Deity; for every person has concurr'd in these glorious works; say, Blessed for ever be the Eternal Father; who has fixt his An­gels in so high a Happiness: Triumph bright Angels on your radiant Thrones, and shine continually in the presence of your God: Blessed for ever be the Eter­nal Son; whose love has exalted weeds of Earth to be flowers of Paradise. There as they shall Eternally grow and shine; their lustre shall alwayes redound to his Glory: Blessed for ever be the Eternal Spirit, whose Grace prepares the Saints for Glory; where every happy Saint re­joices in his own felicity; and every one in the felicity of all. Blessed for ever be the Undivided Trinity; whose sight a­lone is the Heaven of Heavens; O sing his praise all you the Citizens of Heaven; sing all together your everlasting Hymns.

MEDITATION III.

WHo are we, born here below in the Dust, and still kept down with the thoughts of this World? Lord, who are we, that our polluted hands dare [Page 468] offer to thee the Incense of praise? We who so often disobey thy commands, and so seldom lament for our many follies? Yet is praise from us thy undoubted due, and we cannot neglect it without omit­ting our duty: But because our praises alone are too low to reach the deserts of thy wondrous nature, and perfect works; we will in our hearty wishes call upon those to do it who are better able to praise thee: O praise our Lord, you pure un­blemisht Angels; praise him, ye mighty ever-active flames: Praise our Lord all you the Spirits of Just men made perfect; now you are free from the heavy clogs of mortal bodies: And thus they do: look up, my Soul, and see the innumerable multitude of triumphing Spirits. See how they stand all cloath'd in white robes, with palms in their hands, and with gol­den Crowns on their Heads: Behold the glorious Angels fall down before the Throne; and prostrate adore him that lives for ever. Behold the blessed Saints lay their Crowns at his feet, and on their faces adore him that lives for ever. Heark how they fill that spacious temple with their Hymns, while night and day they continually sing, Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God Almighty; who was, and is, and is [Page 469] to come; Hallelujah! Holy, Holy, Holy, Lord God of Hosts; Heaven and Earth are full of thy Glory; Hallelujah! Glori­ous art thou in creating all things; glori­ous in preserving them in every moment of their being: Glorious in governing them their several wayes; glorious in appoint­ing them their proper ends: Glorious in rewarding thy Servants above their hopes; glorious in punishing Sinners below their demerits: Glorious art thou, O Lord, in all thy works; but infinitely more in thine own self-blessed Essence. Thus they rejoice above, thus they triumph; and may their joy and triumph last for ever: While we who live below may as faith­ful Ecchoes to their praises, repeat every day these few short Ends of their Seraphick Hymns: Salvation to our God that sits on the Throne; and the Lamb, that redeem'd us with his Blood; Hallelujah! Blessing, Honour, Glory, and Power be to him that sits on the Throne; and to the Lamb, for ever, and ever. Hallelujah!

PETITIONS.

O Most Glorious and Gracious God, we are all so beholden to thy abun­dant goodness, that we owe thee the ut­most [Page 470] praises our Hearts and Lives can render: O do thou excite us to endea­vour, and assist us to succed in the dis­charge of this mighty debt. Open our lips that our mouths may shew forth thy praise, bestow upon us every divine Grace that our lives may shew forth the vertues of him that has called us from the dark to his glorious Kingdom: Make us inure our selves by degrees to thankful acknowledg­ments, and praises in this place of our banishment; that we may at length be fit to sing the lofty songs of the celestial Zi­on: O let us see thy goodness still prepa­ring us for the blessedness of Heaven; san­ctifying every condition to the promoting our growth in Grace; which as it will raise our hopes of the future Glory, will proportionably raise our praises. O let thy love, dear Lord, at length be pleased to take us to the fellowship of those joyes and glories, which so raise the thankful praises of the happy Spirits above: Bring us to that perfect state where no defect shall weaken us; to that happy place where nothing shall divert us from seeing, en­joying, loving, and praising thee for ever. Grant, O most merciful Saviour, that as thy Blessed do without ceasing pray for thy Church below, we may be ready de­voutly [Page 471] to praise thee for them: And help us Lord, so to commemorate those excel­lent Graces and good works by which they adorn'd our holy profession, as to be excited thereby, and directed to practise the same: Till we all meet before thy glorious Throne, with one Heart and Con­sent to adore thee the kind Saviour of us all; who with the Father and the Spirit art one God blessed for ever.

Glory be to, &c. Amen.

For the Evening.

MEDITATION I.

ALL things do live to thee, O Lord! thou sole preserver of universal na­ture: the blessed Saints rejoice in thy glo­ry; and our imperfect Souls are here su­stain'd in hope: We know that thou wilt bring us to the Grave, which is the house appointed for all the living; and from thence thou wilt raise us again to an uni­versal Judgment, and then dispose of us to our Eternal Portion: O happy they [Page 472] whom our Lord shall honour on that day of his solemn triumph! and rising from his seat of Judgment, go gloriously before them, and with these sweet and gracious words invite them to follow him: Come you blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the Foundation of the World. The reward of your labours I will give you; I my self will be your re­ward: you have firmly believ'd, you have readily obey'd, you have constantly suf­fer'd; Come enter now into your Masters joy. They that are careful, my Soul, to dye the death of the righteous, will with them be thus caress'd at the day of judge­ment: Now thou hast pass'd another day, another step towards thy long home; thou hast seen the Sun a few hours more, and this day is gone and lost in its own night: But hast thou lost it too, and made no use of it while it shin'd? then let the dew of thy penitent tears for shame la­ment its departure. Thou art nearer thy death, but no more prepar'd for it, if thou hast made no advance to­wards perfection. Examine thy self to know the truth, and ask thy self these useful Questions: Am I grown devout as the Saints of God were? Am I chaste, temperate, and resign'd as they, yet? [Page 473] Do I despise now the World with a Zeal like theirs, and value Heaven at the same high rate with them? Would I give all I have just now to be there? And part with Life it self just now to go thi­ther? Has the consideration of their bliss­ful reward, brought me to a full resolu­tion to aim at the highest imitation of them? At least have I learnt to humble my self, and check the vanity of my proud conceits? To mourn and blush at my own many Infirmities, when I consider their excellent Lives and Vertues? If thou canst not equal, my Soul, such glorious pat­terns, yet let it be thy hearts desire to do it; and what they really did, do thou really wish to do.

MEDITATION II.

LET us humble our selves, we that are yet in this low state, but not grow faint at the sight of others so far before us. Rather let us quicken our sloth by consi­dering their swift pace; and encourage our fears with their happy success. We who profess the Religion of all these Saints, who liv'd and dy'd Members of the same Church with us: We who partake of the same holy Sacraments, and eat the same [Page 474] celestial Food; who may partake of the same holy and powerful Spirit, if we di­ligently seek, and readily receive him. Why should we fear, but that one day we may shine above, and rejoyce toge­ther with the glorified Saints? Are we not all redeem'd by the same rich price, and the same eternal Crowns propos'd to us all? Are we not bred in the same Apo­stolick Faith, and taught of God by his appointed Ministers? The Lessons, I see, and Teacher is the same, but the hand is dull, and the Instrument out of tune: They liv'd in a dangerous World, like this; and were ty'd to Bodies frail as ours. But by a constant vigilance they overcame the World, and subdu'd those Bodies to the service of their Minds: They overcame with a joyful Heart, and we thus congratu­late the Triumph of their victories: They overcame, but not by their own strong hand; and now they triumph, but 'tis by the bounty of their God. Chear then thy self, my Soul, and raise thy Head, and open thy bosom to the hopes of Hea­ven: Fear not, our God has a blessing too for us, if we have a love and obedience for him: If we delight in the wayes of Pi­ety, and diligently attend the Offices of Devotion: If we refrain from the liber­ties [Page 475] of the World, and curb the loose sug­gestions of the Flesh: If we can look on Gold, and Honour, and their flaming beams not dazle our Eyes; if we perform with them the part of faithful Servants, we shall surely with them have the portion of Chil­dren.

MEDITATION III.

PRecious in thy sight, O Lord, is the death of thy Saints, which finishes thy greatest Work, the perfecting of Souls; whom thou esteemest as the Jewels of Hea­ven, and choicely gatherest into thine own Treasury. Precious to themselves, O Lord, is the death of thy Saints, which takes off the dusky cover that hides their bright­ness, which shapes and polishes them to a beauteous lustre, and sets them as Stars round about thy Throne. Precious, O Lord, to us is the death of thy Saints, from whence we are furnisht with such means of Vertue. Some teach us courage to encounter dangers, and not for fear make shipwrack of our Conscience. Others by their Example instruct us to converse with meekness, and patiently bear neg­lects and injuries. From some we may learn how to use this world wisely, and [Page 476] make it serve us in our way to the next. From others we may learn how more ge­nerously to despise it, and pass our dayes in Peace and Prayer: By all, with thy blessing, we may learn this best of arts, to live and dye like Saints; and do this in the best of methods, thy glorious Exam­ple. O gracious Lord, whose Love still looks about, and searches every way to save us sinners! who camest thy self, bright Sun of Glory, to enlighten our darkness, and warm our frozen Hearts: Who with thy fruitful Beams still kindlest others, to burn as Tapers in thy Church's hand; and by their near proportionate distance, stand fit to shine into every cor­ner of our lives: We will ever bless thy Name for all these Mercies, and take care to pass by not one with Ingratitude. We will not consider in vain the Crown at the Race's end, and sit down lazily in the shades of ease; nor keep in vain the me­mory of thy Saints, without endeavour­ing to imitate them, which would be to the reproach of our unprofitable lives. We will strain all our Powers, and pursue to the mark for the glorious prize that is set before us: Still with our utmost speed we will follow them, whose travel ended in so sweet a rest.

PETITIONS.

O God of infinite, adorable Goodness, who after thy faithful Servants had spent their day of life in a course of stea­dy and laborious Piety and Vertue, did'st graciously close their Evening with a com­fortable death, and give them instead of this an eternal day of Glory: O grant to us below, we beseech thee, so to imitate thy Saints in the wise bestowing our allot­ted time on our Earth, that we may fol­low them in their happy passage out of this World, and be admitted with them to thy everlasting Glories in the other. When our Life's last day, O Lord, begins to fall, and bids us hasten to prepare for night; then send thy willing Angels to watch about us, and suffer not the Enemy to disturb our passage: Send them to re­ceive in peace our departing Souls, and to bear them safely to thy presence. Then, O thou dear Redeemer of the World, and sovereign King of Life and Death! thou who despisest not the Tears of the Peni­tent, nor turnest away from the sighs of the Afflicted: Thou who preservest all that rely on thee, and fulfillest their de­sires that long to be with thee: Do thou [Page 478] hear our cries, and pardon our sins; and graciously deliver us from all our fears. Call us to thy self with thine own blest Voice; Call us, O dearest Jesu, in thine own sweet words. Say, Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the Kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the World. Then will our happy Souls immediately obey, and go forth with gladness to meet their Lord, and Love; to live with him, and behold his Glory, and partake of his Happiness, and sing his Praise. These things, O Lord, we humbly expect from the merit of thy humble Death, and the power of thy glorious Exaltation. O Lamb of God that takest away the sins of the World, have mercy upon us; have mercy upon us, and grant us thy eternal peace.

Amen.

Hymn 40.
TOO hasty night forbear; our Praise,
And our yet young beginning Hope,
Set to encrease on these blest dayes,
So faint, and dull, requires more scope.
Night will not hear, but sullen flies,
And summons all the World to sleep;
Commands us close our Books and Eyes,
What we have gain'd content to keep.
O happy Saints! this broken rate
Our slowness bids to ply its wings;
While your unwearied active state
Does alwaies wake, and alwaies sings.
Yet eve'n our state your School too was,
And those your now unweary'd Laies
By such a change of sing, and pause,
Here among us you learn'd to raise.
Here you, thus often too, took breath,
And yet have climb'd those hills of light:
O may your good success bequeath
A Hope to reach that glorious height.
Though now our Notes be short, and few,
Our rests too frequent are, and long;
If we but keep in tune with you,
We shall at last sing your glad Song.
If with our utmost humble powers
We here our daily Praye'rs attend;
These poor Devotions shall, like yours,
There in a nightless fervour end.
Glory, O Lord, to thee alone
Be here below, as there above;
O may thy joyes, Great Three in One!
Ever attract, and Crown our Love.

Amen.

FINIS.

ERRATA.

These few mistakes of the Press the Courteous Reader is desir'd to Pardon, and Correct.

PAge 6. line 7. for talk read task. p. 17. l. 20. f. beautified r. beatified. p. 28. l. [...]8. f. seel r. feel. p. 72. r. Hymn 7. p. 96 f. Son r. Sun. p. 204. l. 6. f. potion r. portion. p. 282. last l. r. thus acting. p. 302. first l. of the Hymn r. 'Tis not for us. p. 319. l. 7. f. adventures r. adventurers. p. 358. r. H. 31. p. 442, 443. 445, 446. at the top f. Even r. Morn, p. 452. l. 17. f. fire r. flame.

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