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Be sure never to make worldly Business an Excuse or Pretence for Indevotion. Always retire, though but for a few Minutes, before you go forth to your Work and to your Labour: And when your Prayers are short, let your Devotion be great; beg of God to touch your Soul with a lively Sense of his Glory and your own Good. Children, or Servants, may also use
Short Prayer for the Morning
GLORY be to thee, Lord God Almighty, for refreshing me this Night with Sleep, and preserving me from all Perils of Darkness; I humbly commend myself to thy watchful Providence this Day, beseeching thee to guide and defend me from all Sin and Danger, and so to rule and lead me, that all my Thoughts, Words, and Works may tend to the Glory of thy Name, the Good of my Neighbour, and the Salvation of my own Soul. Extend O gracious Father, thy Pity to all Mankind: Be merciful to the Catholic Church; especially to that sound Part of it whereunto I belong. Bless his Majesty King GEORGE, our gracious Queen CHARLOTTE, his Royal Highness George Prince of Wales, and all the Royal Family; bless also our Governors in Church and State : Lord, give, them all Grace in their several
Stations, to promote thy Glory and the public Good.
Bless all my Kindred, reward my Friends and Benefactors; Forgive all my Enemies,. and turn their Hearts that their Sins may be forgiven. Be merciful to all that are in Affliction, or that labour under Pains and Diseases. O comfort and relieve them according to their Wants and thy Mercy. Accept, O gracious Father, this my Morning Sacrifice of most humble and hearty Thanks for all thy Blessings; but, above all, for giving thy only Son to die for me; for his heavenly Doctrine to instruct me ; for all the Helps of Grace and Hopes of Heaven. Praise the Lord, O my Soul, and all that is within me, praise his holy Name. Our Father, &c.
BLESSING and Glory, Thanksgiving and Praise, more than I can speak or conceive, be given unto thee, O most adorable Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, by all the World, for ever and ever. Amen.
Happy are they who can spare a little Time for reading which is as necessary to nourish the Soul, as Food is to sustain the Body. The New Testament, and such Portious of the Old, as contain the Precepts of an Holy Life, will give you great Pleasure and Advantage. But pray thus.
BLESSED Lord! the Fountain of all Wisdom, enlighten my dark Mind, and let thy Holy Spirit direct, guide, and assist me. Open thou mine Eyes, that I may see the wondrous Things of thy Law: and cause me to remember and practise thy holy Word, that it may make me wise unto Salvation, for Christ his Sake. Amen.
If you are careful to redeem the Time in order to read God's Holy Word, you will receive great Profit thereby, especially if you digest it by serious Meditation; God has given the Scriptures to guide and direct us; and how can we discharge our Duties, as Men and Christians, unless we search into those Fountains which are able to make us wise unto Salvation? In the Scriptures are the Words of eternal Life, and the Threatenings of eternal Death. When you take the Holy Bible into your Hands, raise your Thoughts; let the sacred Oracles of God awaken in you Sorrow and Shame for the Sins you have committed, and prevail with you to forsake them. While you are reading, be humble, and consider that God speaks to you: When you read the Commandments, say,
Lord, give me Grace to obey this Command.'
When you read of God's Threats or Judgments against impenitent Sinners:
Deliver me, O Lord, from this Judg
Let the Instances of God's Mercy excite your Thankfulness thus:
Glory be to thee, O Lord, for this
O LORD, Sow the Seed of eternal Life in my Heart; and so water it with the Dew of thy heavenly Blessing, that at all Times I may bring forth Fruit unto Holiness, and in the End reap everlasting Life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.
He that says, Be fervent in Prayer, says also, Be not slo'hful in Business. Go therefore about your honest Employment: watch against all Temptations, which the Company you are with, the Place you are in, or the Work and Calling you are about, may expose you to. If you are at any Time obliged to converse with wrangling, lewd, or drunken Companions, be upon your Guard; dispatch your Business, and be gone. Fly their Company and Conversation as you would the Plague. Why should you lose your Innocence, and your Soul, for the Sake of such wretched Men?
If you must work for your Bread, be not discontented; but rather bless God, that he has delivered you from Idleness, which is the Root of all Evil. Millions, now in Bliss and Glory, thank God for the Blessings of an Employment here on Earth, by which they were secured from Multitudes of Temptations; and we daily see (and grieve to see) to how many Dangers Idleness exposes Men. Therefore,
When you begin your honest Labour, pray for a Blessing.
O LORD, who hast in Wisdom appointed various Orders of Men upon Earth, teach me to obey thy heavenly Will, ho
nestly to discharge the Duties of my Calling and avoid all Cheating, Lying and Deceit. Give me Grace, that I may entirely depend upon thy Blessing for the Success of my lawful Endeavours, and for the Support of myself and Family; that at last, when I shall cease from all my worldly Labours, I may enter into that Rest which remaineth for the People of God, and hear those joyful Words, Well done, good and faithful Servant, enter into the Joy of thy Lord.
Consider, whatever you do, wherever you are, the Eye of God is always upon you; therefore, when you have Leisure and Opportunity, say,
O LORD, the High and Holy One, who from thy glorious Throne in Heaven lookest down upon all the Inhabitants of the Earth, and art here and every where present, and spiest out all my Ways; grant that I may set thee always before me. Thou mightest make me sensible of thy Presence by fearful and amazing Judgments; but O gracious Lord, pardon my Forgetfulness, and make me always remember, that though the Darkness covers me, yet I am still exposed to thy all-seeing Eye. May the Thoughts of thy awful Presence dwell upon my Mind, at all Times and in all Places, that I may fear thee above all Things,