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from our Sins, and from the Power of Death. And this Custom was maintain'd with fo much Vigour, that when fome began to neglect it, the Can. 20. great Council of Nice ordained that there fhould be a conftant Uniformity in this Cafe; and that on the Lord's Day, Men fhould ftand when they made their Prayers to God.

Tertul. de

c. 3.

Eufeb. de

Q: Is it proper to faft on the Lord's Day?

A. No: Because it is to be celebrated with Expreffions of Joy, as being the happy Memorial of Chrift's Refurrection; and therefore whatever favoureth of Sadness and Sorrow ought to be reftrained. The Primitive Chriftians prohibited it with great Severity, and never fasted on it, though in the Time of Lent: The Hereticks, who denied the Resurrection of Christ, fafted on all Sundays, because they would not honour the Mystery.

Q. Did the Chriftian Emperors use their Authority to oblige their Subjects to keep this Day holy?

A. Conftantine and Theodofius both prohibited Vit. Con. the Prophanation of this Day, either by the 1.4. c. 18. Works of Mens ordinary Calling, even of those who were yet Strangers and Enemies to ChriCod. Juft. ftianity; or by any publick Shews; that the de Feriis, Worship of God might not be confounded with 1.3.tit.12. thofe prophane Solemnities. 1.3,ib.1.7.

Q. How ought Chriftians to obferve this Day?

A. It is not enough that we rest from the Works of our Calling, but our Time must be employed in all fuch religious Exercises as tend to the Glory of God, and the Salvation of our Souls. We must regularly frequent the Worfhip of God in the publick Affemblies; join in the Prayers of the Church, hear his holy Word,


receive the bleffed Sacrament when adminiftred, and contribute to the Relief of the Poor, if there be any Collection for their Support. In private, we ought to enlarge our ordinary Devotions, and to make the Subject of them chiefly to confift in Thanksgivings for the Works of Creation and Redemption; withal, recollecting all those particular Mercies we have received from the Bounty of Heaven through the whole Course of our Lives: To improve our Knowledge by reading and meditating upon Divine Subjects; to inftruct our Children and Families; to vifit the Sick and the Poor, comforting them by fome feasonable Affiftance: And if we converse with our Friends and Neighbours, to feafon our Difcourfe with prudent and profitable Hints for the Advancement of Piety; and to take Care that no Sournefs and Morofenefs mingle with our ferious Frame of Mind.

Q. What Jeems to be the moft obligatory Duty, upon this Day?

A. The being prefent at the Affemblies of Publick Worship, from which nothing but Sickness, or abfolute Neceffity fhould detain us: For the Day being dedicated not only to the Honour and Worship of God, but also appointed to this End, that we might openly profess ourselves Chriftians; it must be an Argument we are very little concerned to do either, if we abstain from God's folemn Worship at fuch Times. Nothing troubled the Primitive Christians more, than, when fick and in Prison, or under Banishment, that they could not come to Church; no trivial Pretences were then admitted for any one's Absence from the Congregation, but, according to the Merit of the Cause,

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Caufe, fevere Cenfures were paffed upon them. Q. What are the great Advantages of the Religious Obfervation of the Lord's Day?

A. It keepeth up the Solemn and Publick Wormuch negfhip of God, which might be very lected, if it were left to depend upon the Determinations of Human Authority. It preferveth the Knowledge and vifible Profeffion of the Chriftian Religion in the World, when, notwithstanding the great Differences there are among Chriftians in other Matters, they yet all concur in obferving this Day in Memory of our Saviour's Refurrection. And confidering how much Time is taken up, by the greatest Part of Mankind, in providing for the Neceffaries of Life; and how negligent and careless they are in the Concerns of their Souls, who flow in Plenty and Abundance; this ftated Seafon is highly ufeful to inftruct the Ignorant by Preaching and Catechifing, and to put thofe in mind of their Duty who in their Prosperity are apt to forget God. Moreover, by spending this Day in religious Exercifes, we acquire new Strength and Refolution to perform God's Will in our several Stations the Week following.

Q. Since a great Part of the Duty of the Day confifleth in Thanksgiving, pray what is implied in that Duty?

A. A due Acknowledgment of God's Bieffings; a juft Value and Esteem of them; and a Defire and Endeavour to make all poffible Returns.

Q. When may we be faid duly to acknowledge God's Mercies ?

A. When we do not let them pafs undiscerned and unregarded by us, but carefully confider and


take Notice of them; and when we do not afcribe the good Things he has given us to our own Deferts and Endeavours, or to any other Thing or Creature, but only to him. All glorying in ourfelves taketh from the Acknowledgment of the Giver's Bounty.

Q. When may we be faid to have a juft Value and Efteem of God's Mercies?

A. When we retain them in our Memory, and make frequent Reflections upon them; it being natural to remember thofe Things we highly prize. When we do not grudge or repine at our Portion, but are contented with thofe Circumftances which the Providence of God hath made to be our Lot.

Q. What Return ought we to make to God as a Teftimony of our Thankfulness ?

A. We ought to profefs our Dependance upon him, and our Obligations to him for the good Things we enjoy. We ought to publish to the World our Senfe of his Goodness with the Voice of Praise, and tell of all his wondrous Works. We ought to comfort his Servants and Children in their Afflictions, and relieve his poor diftreffed Members in their manifold Neceffities; for for he that giveth Alms, facrificeth Praife. We Ecclus. 2. ought carefully to obey him in all those Instances wherein he has declared his Will and Pleasure, and be ready to facrifice the dearest Things in this World, even our Lives, for the Advancement of his Glory, and the Maintenance of his Truth.

Bp. Ken. For a devout Ob. fervation

of the Lord's Day.


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Lory be to thee, O my God! who in Compaffion to human Weaknefs, which is not capable of an uninterrupted Contemplation of thee, fuch as the Saints have above, haft appointed a folemn Day on purpose for thy Remembrance. Glory be to thee, for proportioning a seventh Part of our Time to thyself, and liberally indulging the Remainder to our own Ufe. Let me ever efteem it my Privilege and my Happiness, to have a Day of Rest fet apart for thy Service, and the Concerns of my own Soul; to have a Day free from Diftractions, difengaged from the World, wherein I have nothing to do but to praise and to love thee. Give me Grace to worship thee in my Closet, and in the Congregation; to spend it in doing good, in Works of Neceffity, Devotion, and Charity, Prayer, and Praise, and Meditation. O let it be ever to me a Day facred to divine Love, a day of heavenly Reft and Refreshment. Grant, O Lord, I may not only give thee due Worship myself, but may give Reft and Leifure alfo to my Family, to all under my Charge, to ferve thee alfo; to indulge Eafe to my very Beafts, fince good Men are merciful even to them. O bleffed Spirit, who on the first Day of the Week didft defcend in miraculous Gifts and Graces on the Apoftles, defcend upon me, that I ways in the Spirit on the Lord's Day. the Bleffing of everlafting Salvation,

may be alAnd fince which we Chriftians

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