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Thoughts, and in this he persever'd all his life long: For the first thing he did in the Morning, was repeating Psalms proper for it; as the Sixty Third, the latter part of the Seventy Third,and Others: And all his Dressing and Washing time he repeated the 103. 116. and 145th Psalms. In this part of his Devotions, it was his Delire that his Wife shou'd bear her patt; And when they were over, he at large offer'd up his own Private Pray. érs in his Closet. The Evening he consecrated to God, as well as the Morning. His first Exercise (as soon as he cou'd get free from Company) was repeating the Magnificat, and some other Hymns of Praise, his Wife in these still joining with him. Then he usually retir'd into his Closet, and with great exactness examined the state of his soul; and by Reading and Meditation, put himself into a righe Temper for Prayer ; which was then perform'd in the fullest and devoutest manner. And he concluded the day, in the same manner that he began it ; repeating the Fourth, and Other Psalms, while he undress’d. And when ready to step into Bed, he kneelid down and offer'd up a short Prayer, and then Tay down in Peace. This was his Practice fo constantly, that neither the Coldness of the Weather, nor any Bodily Indifposition or Weariness, made him neglect it.
But it is from himfelt, the Reader must have the clearest view, of the regular constancy of: his Private Devotions: For Writing to a Religious Friend, with whom he was very
intimate, upon the Subjet of Private Prayer, and the moit advantagious way of discharging that Duty, he thus delivers himself.
The First and the Last of the Day, is to me, ellentially necesary; and no other ( Time of the Day, cou'd supply the Want
of these. But I will not say so of others; since the condition of fome, is such, that they must take other times, or can get none at all: Use and Custom, may make other tinies of the Day, as useful to them. But
when I have done with the World, and be'fore I begin with it, is the time when my
Mind is fittest for Religious Exercises; and perhaps you will find my Rule necessary for your self; not to let even the Prayers of the Church, draw you out, unless you
have had time first,to discharge your private . Duties at large at home. I go out with plea. “ sure and confidence, when I have done this;
and Publick Prayers are then more pleafing to me. At Nights I must get a little more time, to fit still, or Road and Write in, as well as Pray. But sometimes it pleafes God, to call us to a larger attendance on
Himícil, wlien he makes the World vile in ' in our Eyes ; gives us clearer views of our
future Hopes, convinces us of the End for which we came into the World, and of the only thing Neceílary. Happy are we indeed, when He calls us to this, and gives us leisure for it We may be sure 'tis to invigorate and fortify us, for some farther Work, which he has for us to do; or to
bring us to consecrate our felves, and all
our Powers, more entirely to his Service. Ć < 'Tis good to give way to this Call, and to
steal what time for it we can; and not
slightly or easily, to suffer our selves to be <diverted from it; that we may give way to
the Grace of God, to have its perfect work on our Hearts. But this is not to be look'd upon, as a course to be taken up by us ; or any Vows, or Resolutions to be made to
keep to it,longer than for the present Heat; « because it is not confitent with our Civil
Dutics in Humane Life. The Disciples were not long permitted to stay on Mount
Tabor, but they must go down again to the
Multitude that waited for them.
and remember that we must go up-Hill, " and down Hill; fonetimes see our Jour' nies end, and sometimes lose sight of it:
But while he permits us to see in our Hearts, ( a desire to do nothing in this World, but,
please Him; and not to live, but that we might live to Him: Let us comfort our selves in His Goodness, and not be di. sturb'd at every Disorder; and may His In
finite Mercy grant us, to grow up in His + Fear and Love, to His Heavenly Kingdom.
Here, from his Advice to one of his Friends, we may learn his own Practice; and from the Information of those, who had the best
or: portunities of knowing the Secrets of his Heart. I can affirmy, that the Fervency and
Humility of his Devotions, was answerable to their Constancy. His Poiture, was the most lowly he cou'd contrive ; He not only kneeld, but frequently lay prostrate upon the Floor, and had such strong Emotions in his Soul, as often express’d themselves in a Flood of Tears: And as to his Posture, he not only chose that, which was most expressive of Humility and Reverence; but that which came nearest to our Saviours Example, in his Prayer before his Passion; or as he does in one place, very well express it : I put my self into that Postare, O my moft Gracious Saviour, in which Thou didst endure Thy dreadful Agony, of which I cannot think without Horrour, because Thou wert the Son of God, who suffered ft it: And because it
was my Sins that occasion'd it. He had con. In his Family, he had constant Prayers eve. stant Prayers ry Night, and in the Morning too, when he in His Fami-was not hindred by Business, which call’d him
early abroad, or brought Company unfeafonably to him; a Misforture, which he very much regretted, whenever it befel him. And he not only pray'd with his Family, but read the Scriptures to them, and a good Porțion of them at a time, as his Health and Time allow'd. This is the more to be taken notice of, because 'tis a moft Neglected, tho’ most Necessary part of Religious Worship; particularly, anong our Gentry, who, either through want of Religion, or Evil Shame, have turr'd the Worship of God quite out of their Families; which is attended with this kátal Consequence, that their Servants, and
too often their Children, are train'd up in
Was very conGod in private, and Pray with his Family Pant at the too;
he consider'd besides all this, the Duty Prayers of the and Benefits of attending the Publick Service Church. of the Church ; which during the greater part
of his Life, he did twice every Day; and from which feldom any thing kept him, but want of Health. And when the hurry of his Butiness hindred bim from keeping constantly to one Church, and Hour of Publick Prayer, he wou'd use all his Art, to get Prayers at some Church or other, tho' not exactly at the time when he most desir'd them ; such different Notions had he of his Duty, from the generality of the World; who will alledge, not only Business, but Trifles, as an Excuse for their Absence from the House of God !
His Behaviour at our Publick Prayers, was so Devout and Grave, so Intent and Compos’d, as cou'd not but stir up the Affections of all who observ'd it. Talking or Sleeping in the House of God, was a great Offence to him, and when once Prayers began, he took no notice of any about him; and was always troubled at those unseasonable Salutes, wherein too many allow themselves, in time of Divine Service, condemning that Practice, as one of the greatest Indecencies of our Church.