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backward: And how sad must be the Case of that Man, who, after he has tasted the good Word of God;. and the Powers of the World to come, yet falls away again, returning like a Dog to his Vomit; and shamefully yielding to those very Sins which he so lately and in so solemn a Manner, renounced. I speak not of the common Frailties and Infirmities of human Nature, as the first Motions of Passion, &c. but I mean gross. Sins; as Injustice, Uncleanness, Drunkenness, profane Cursing and Swearing, Sabbath-breaking, and daily Indevotion. Not that any one of these great Sins is unpardonable, and what will not be forgiven upon trueRepentance; but it is a great Aggravation of Sin to relapse into our former evil Courses, after Vows of Obedience made at the Altar, and after we have been washed in our Saviour's Blood. In order to keep yourself pure and undefiled, avoid ill Company, as you would the Plague. Ungodly Men may call you precise, and despise and ridicule you for leading an holy Life; but remember that God, your Conscience, and all good Men, will praise and esteem you. There fore, as you are now made a new Creature, chuse new Company, take new Courses, and become a new Man.

If you despise the Blood of Christ, or contemn the Mercy of the Gospel by a profane Life, your Portion will be with Judas, who betrayed Christ with the Scribes and Pharisees, who crucified him. There-fore if you have any Regard for the Salvation of your Soul, any Love of God shed abroad in your Heart, any Gratitude, or Affection for your blessed Redeemer, walk as becometh his Gospel, love him with your Heart, praise him with your Tongue, and glorify him in your Life.

If the great Deceiver shall offer you any unlawful * Pleasure or Profit, say, Get thee behind me, Satan; I have been lately at the Sacrament, and there have promised and vowed to fear God, and keep his


righteous Law. Forget not your Morning and Evening Prayers; be often thinking upon Death, Judgment, Heaven, and Hell; fear God, and keep his Commandments, and patiently wait for the coming of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ: Remembering always, for your Comfort, that the higher you rise in Piety here,. the higher Degrees of Glory shall you have in Heaven hereafter.





JAMES V. 16.

Pray one for another that ye may be healed: The effectual fervent Prayer of a righteous Man availeth much.


EVERY Disease, Sickness, and Infirmity, gives the Soul warning to prepare for Death. O how true is the Saying of that holy Man Job, that faithful Servant of God, that noble Pattern of an unwearied Patience and Resignation to the divine Will: Man that is born of a Woman is of few Days, and full of Trouble. He cometh forth like a Flower, and is cut down: He fleeth also as a Shadow, and continueth not. A Cold, a Surfeit,


foul Blood, an unwholesome Diet; Advice taken too late, or improper Physic: These we think to be the Causes of our Indisposition. All this may be true, but we are to look higher. There is a Hand above, that permits all these Things, that kills the Strong, and saves the Weak: that bringeth one Man down to the Chambers of the Grave, and recovers another, beyond all Hopes, from the most desperate Disease. Omy Soul, take Notice of the Finger of God in all this; It is he, with whom the Lives of his Servants are exceeding precious: it is he, in whose Sight the Hairs of our Heads are all numbered. This Thought will dispose thee to say, Lord, I consider, that great is thy Power; therefore impenitent Sinners must dread the Effects of thy Anger: That great is thy Goodness, therefore may good Men. sweetly enjoy themselves under the Favour of a reconciled God: That thy Wisdom is infinite; therefore ought we humbly to submit ourselves to thy afflicting Hand That thy Justice will not spare the Guilty, and therefore our chief Concern should be to obtain a Pardon for those Sins, which have justly provoked. thy heavy Displeasure. Lord, I am sen-. sible of thy great Goodness, and Loving


kindness, and therefore desire to be pa tient under my present Sufferings. For, though my Pains are somewhat grievous to Flesh and Blood, yet I am certain they are ordained to excellent and heavenly Purposes; and that it is out of pure Kindness to my Soul that I am afflicted. Divine Providence, if I am not wanting to myself, will make all Things work together for my good: Let me not think it strange that God chastens and afflicts the Children of Men; is it not a Mark of his Favourto visit us with Sickness, in order to reclaim us? Be patient then under his fatherly Correction; nay, be thankful for it. If the Means used for my Ease and Recovery succeed, to God alone will I give the Praise and Glory. If they fail, I will humble myself under his mighty Hand, and say, O Lord, thy Will be done! Happy shall I be, if the Pains and Infirmities of my Body shall be sanctified, through Divine Grace, to the Saving of my Soul.

Almighty God, who dispenseth_Sickness and Health, is often pleased to afflict the Body with some Disease, that it may breed in us a deep Sense, how frail and uncertain our Condition is in this World, and that we have no Security for a Day's Continuance any longer therein. Do you then, O pious Christian, when visited with Illness, cry for Help


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