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A. The retrenching our temporal Enjoyments, the weaning our Affections from the World, and placing them upon Heaven, and all those Things whereby we may obtain the Favour of God. It denotes a strict Government of our sensual Appetites, a total Abfti. nence from all forbidden Pleasures, and an utter Detestation of such sinful Satisfactions; and even when they are lawful, that they be not pursued with Eagerness and Excess : And it farther imports a Readiness of Mind to know our Duty, and what it is God requires from us, and a sincere Disposition to comply with and
Q. What hould the Beginning of the New Year Fuggest unto us?
A. The great Value of Time, which God hath given us for working out our Salvation ; upon the spending whereof depends our Happiness or Misery to all Eternịty ; the Consideration whereof should put us upon all thofe Methods whereby we may employ it to the best Advantage.
Q. What makes Time so very valuable, and cchy ought we to have so great a Regard to the Managing of it?
A. Because there is so little of it at our Dirpofal; what is part is nipt from us; the future is uncertain ; the prefent is all we can call our own, which is yet continually fleeting. And though the Season of Working is so very short and uncertain, yet we have an Affair of the
greatet consequence to fecure, which requires the whole Force and Vigour of our Minds, the Labour and Industry of all our Days, not to be ditpatched with any tolerable Comfort upon a
fick Bed; nor in the Evening of our Lives, when our Strength and our Reason are departing from us. Besides if we persist in an obstinate Neglect of all the repeated Tenders of God's Grace, the Things that belong to our Peace may be hid from our Eyes.
Q. How ought we to employ our Time, that it may be improved to the best Advantage.
A. We ought to redeem that which we have mis-spent by lamenting the Follies which have consumed so precious a Treasure, and by admiring that great Patience and Goodness of God, which spared us when we deserved Punishment. What we can reserve from the Neceflities of Nature, and our worldly Affairs, which those Necessities engage us in, ought to be applied to the noblest Purposes, the Glory of God, the Good and Salvation of Men. Nay, even the Affairs of this Life may be sanctified, by considering ourfelves as the Instruments of Providence, and by faithfully discharging the Duties of our Station with a Regard to another World more than this. And the best Method, in order to this End, is to live by Rule; to align to all our Actions their proper Season, and such a Portion of it only as may be necessary for them ; whereby Time will never lie upon our Hands, nor sting us with Regret when it is past. Men of Estates and Parts may lay hold on Futurity, by founding Hospitals and Schools for the Relief and Inftruction of the Poor. All Christians may dedicate their whole Lives to God's Service in the Days of their Youth; and may make such publick Declarations in Behalf of Religion, that they may put themselves under a Necessity of living virtuously by cutting off any Retreat to Vanity and Folly:
The PRAYER S.
I. For true
Lmighty madest Mortifica
Son to be circumcised, and obedient to . tion,
the Law for Man; grant me the true Circum:
verance from the Power of Sin.
Life, and the meritorious Sufferings of thy Death, halt purchased for us an eternal Inheritance; deliver me by the Power of thy Grace from the greatest Evil, my Sins; and reform and reduce my Heart to the Obedience of thy Laws. Make me carefully to avoid all chose/Occasions that have formerly betrayed me ro Folly, all those Practices that heighten my corrupe Inclinations and Paffions, and alienate my Mind from the Love of God. Give me a constant Supply of Courage and Resolution to relift the Temptations of the World, the Flesh, and the Devil; that, being rescued from the Pominion of my corrupt Affections, by being turned from Darkness to Light, I may be affured thou wilt deliver me from eternal Death and Hell-Torments, which are the Punishments due unto my Transgrefiions. Grant this through The Virtue of that sacred Name thou didit this Pay receive ; to whom with the Father and the
Holy Ghost be all Honour and Glory, World without end. Amen,
which hath not cut me off in the midst of Use of my Follies : I magnify thy wonderful Goodness Time. which hath spared me thus long, and indulged me a larger Time of Repentance. Let me no longer abuse that precious Treasure, which thou haft allotted me as a proper Season to work out my own Salvation, and to secure that Happiness which is great in itself, and infinite in its Dusation. Let me bid adieu to all those vain Amusements, those trifling Entertainments and cruel Diversions, which have robbed me of many valuable Hours, and have endangered the Loss of my immortal Soul. Let me no longer waste my Time in Eafe and Pleasure, in unprofitable Studies, and more unprofitable Conversation; but grant that by Diligence and Honesty in my Calling, by Constancy and Fervour in my Devotions, by Moderation and Temperance in my Enjoyments, by Justice and Charity in all my Words and Actions, and by keeping a Conscience void of Offence towards God and Man, I may be able to give a good Account of it in the Day of Judgment; and be accepted in and through the Merits of Jesus Christ, my only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
C H A P.
CH A P. X.
HAT Festival doth the Church cele
brate this Day? 1. The Epiphany, or the Manifestation (as the Word signifies in the Greek) of our Saviour Jesus Christ to the Gentiles.
Q. To what Gentiles was our Saviour this Day
manifested? Mat. 2. 1. A. To the wise Men of the East, called Magi Μαγει.
. in the Greek; who were famous for all sorts of Porphyr. de Abit. Learning, especially celebrated for their know 1.4. $ 16. ledge and skill in Astronomy; and in the East Plat. apud their Priests and Men of the best Quality de. Apul. dicated themselves to these Studies. Tho' some Apol.
Authors are of Opinion, that the Greek Word we p. 290. Lightfoot, translate wise Men, is in the Scripture always ta. Vol. I. ken in the worlt Sense, for Men practising Map. 436. gical and unlawful Arts; and it it be fo under
stood, it magnifieth the Power and Grace of Christ the more, that among the Gentiles Men of such a Profession should be the first Adorers of the blessed jejuar.
Q. What other Signification batb the Word Epiphany?
A. li signifies Chrijl's Appearance in the World, the Nativity of our Saviour ; which among the Anlienis is commonly filed the
Appearing simply, or the appearing of God. Dr. Ham. And the Feast of the Nativity being celebrated Via:. :.
twelve Days, of which the first and the last, according to ihç Cuitom of the Jews in their