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assured expectation of mercy, grace, and salvation, through the merits of Jesus Christ. 3dly, By charity, which teaches us to love God with our whole hearts, for his own sake, and our neighbours as ourselves, for God's sake. 4thly, By the virtue of religion, the chief acts of which are adoration, praise, thanksgiving, oblation of ourselves to God, sacrifice, and prayer, which ought to be the daily employments of a Christian soul.
2. We must fly all idolatry, all false religions and superstition; under which name are comprehended all manner of divinations or pretensions to fortune-telling; all witchcraft, charms, spells, observations of omens, dreams, &c. All these things are heathenish, and contrary to the worship of the true and living God, and to that dependence a Christian soul ought to have on him.
3. We must reverence the name of God and his truth by a religious observance of all lawful oaths and vows, and by carefully avoiding all false, rash, unjust, or blasphemous oaths and curses.
4. We must dedicate some notable part of our time to his divine service; and, more especially, consecrate to him those days that he has ordered to be sanctified or kept holy.
5. Under God, we must love, reverence, and obey our parents and other lawful superiors, spiritual and temporal, and observe the laws of the Church and State; as also, we must have a due care of our children, and of others that are under our charge, both as to their souls and bodies.
6. We must abstain from all injuries to our neighbour's person, by murder or any other violence; and from all hatred, envy, and desire of revenge ; as also from spiritual murder, which is committed by drawing him into sin, by words, actions, or ill example.
7. We must abstain from adultery, and from all uncleanness of thoughts, words, and actions, beyond the lawful use of the inarriage-bed.
8. We must not steal, cheat, or any other way wrong our neighbour in his goods and possessions; we must give every one his own, pay our debts, and make restitution for all unjust damages which we have caused.
9. We must not wrong our neighbour in his character or good name, by detraction or rash judgment; or in his honour, by reproaches and affronts; or rob him of the peace of his mind, by scoffs and contempt; or of his friends, by carrying stories backwards and forwards. In all which cases, whosoever wrongs his neighbour is obliged to make restitution or satisfaction.
10. As we are commanded to abstain from all deeds of lust and injustice, so are we also strictly obliged to restrain all desires in these kinds, and to resist the irregular motions of concupiscence. So far the Ten Commandments; which are a short abridgment of the whole eternal and natural law, which admits of no dispensation.
OF THE ORDINARY ACTIONS OF THE DAY,
AND THE SPIRIT WITH WHICH THEY OUGHT TO BE
" Whether you eat or drink, or whatsoever else you do,
do all to the glory of God.” 1 Cor. x. 31.
Of your Work, or ordinary Employment. OFTEN call to mind that sentence passed upon all man. kind, “ In the sweat of thy face thou shalt eat bread, till thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return” (Gen. iii. 19). In consequence of this sentence, submit yourself to the labours of your calling, as a penance laid upon you by the Almighty, and go through them with a penitential spirit, offering them up daily to God for your sins.
In the beginning of your work direct your intention to God; consider what you are taking in band as a business allotted yon by him, and let your design in doing it be to please him. Almighty God most certainly ap. points to every one in his family his respective employment : embrace, then, yours in consequence of the will of God; and offer up both yourself and your work from time to time to him, in union with the works in which your Saviour was employed in his mortal life.
In the midst of your work, let your mind be as much as possible taken up with God by recollection; make a closet in your heart for Jesus Christ, invite him thither, and entertain him as well as you can : seat yourself with Magdalene at his feet, and make frequent aspirations of love to him.
If in your work you would amuse yourself with singing, instead of profane and lewd songs, sing hymns and praises to God; and if you work in company, set a particular guard over your heart, that it draw not in the infection of the vain and wicked discourse of others.
Perform all your works with due care to do them well, not as pleasing the eyes of men but the eyes of God, in whose presence, and for whom, you ought to do all that you do. And when by his will you are called away from your work, as you are to be willing to do it for him so you must be willing to leave it for him.
Take care to mortify that over-great eagerness with which you sometimes find yourself set upon your work, and do all with calmness and peace, if you would have God be with you.
Of your Meals. Go to your meals with a pure intention to take that support of nature because it is the will of God, that you may thereby maintain your strength for his divine service.
Offer up your meals to God, in union with Jesus Christ; and be watchful against all intemperance and sensuality. Study rather to mortify than to gratify your appetite; offer up to God sometħing which you have most inclination to, depriving yourself of it to give it him; but take care to do this so as not to be taken notice of.
Endeavour to shun eating and drinking between meals, where there is no necessity for it; and remember that the saints of God allowed not without regret even the inost necessary satisfaction to their bodies, which they looked upon as their greatest enemies.
Grace before Meals. Bless us, O Lord, and these thy gifts, which we are about to receive of thy bounty. Through Christ our Lord. Amen.
Grace after Meals. We give thee thanks, Almighty God, for all thy benefits, who livest and reignest world without end. Amen.
Of our Recreations. Let your intention be pure in your recreations : as far as they are necessary for the health of your body, or the relaxation of your mind, they are agreeable to the will of God, and no further; and this will of God ought to be your rule, both in the choice of them and in the measure of time which you allow for them.
Fly all such recreations as are sinful or dangerous; all such as soften the soul, and fill it with the spirit and love of this world; all such as savour of the pomps of Satan, which you have renounced; all such, in fine, as, instead of being really serviceable for the relaxation of the mind, or the health of the body, are prejudicial either to the one or to the other, or to both.
Allow no more time for your recreations than is necessary for those ends for which recreations are allowable. It is a great abuse to make them, as some do, the chief business of life. Alas, what an account will such Christians be able to give one day of the use of their precious time!
As in the beginning of your recreations you ought to offer them up to the honour and glory of God, so you ought frequently in the midst of them to recollect yourself in God, inviting Jesus Christ into your heart, and making aspirations of love to him.
Of your Conversation. “If any man offend not in word, the same is a perfect man" (St. James iii, 2). There is no time in which a
Christian is more obliged to be on his guard than in his conversation. Therefore be as careful as you can in the choice of the company with whom you converse, and much more in the choice of the persons whom you intend to make your more familiar friends; and let virtue and Christian prudence be the first and chief qualifications which you seek for in them.
Let your discourse be edifying, and choose as much as you can to speak of God and good things; but this without ostentation or seeming to take too much upon yourself.
In all your conversation remember the presence of God, and make frequent aspirations to him; and let his presence be a powerful restraint upon you, to keep you from detraction, immodest jests, and other sins so common in conversation.
Never contradict any one in the company, except the importance of the matter, and the danger of persons receiving prejudice from the malice or ignorance of others, require it of you. Be as civil as you can, but without flattery, or condescending to any thing that is evil; and be modestly cheerful, with the fear of God.
In all your conversation have a charitable regard to the company you are in; taking particular care that no word or action of yours may give occasion to any other's sin.
Often meditate in what manner Christ and his saints conversed here upon earth, that you may imitate them ; often aspire to their happy conversation in heaven.
Of reading good Books, or hearing the Word of God.,
Do not let a day pass without employing at least a quarter of an hour in reading some spiritual book; and a more considerable time on Sundays and holy days. Advise with your director what books may be most proper, and endeavour to procure
them for yourself and family. Begin your reading by a humble invocation of the Holy Ghost, that you may profit by it; read leisurely and attentively, so as to let the lessons which you read have time to make proper impressions upon you, and to sink