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are commanded to pay Obedience. On such Days of Humiliation, you are to mourn for National Calamities, occasioned by public Sins, and pray for a Removal of them. On private Fasts you are to confess your own Sins, to humble your Soul, and admire the Riches of the divine Grace and Mercy, which hath spared you so long: You are to accuse, judge, and condemn yourself, that you be not judged of the Lord. David, we read, chastened his Soul with Fasting; and St. Paul kept his Body under by Fasting. Some of the primitive Christians abstained from Wine and Flesh, eating usually Herbs, or Pulse, with Bread. But the Custom of Fasting in these Days is not so rigorous. If through bodily Indisposition we cannot abstain altogether, at least we ought to eat sparingly on Days of Fasting, or Abstinence, and not gratify the Palate by any luxurious Dainties: for to feed the Body high, is to teach the Soul to rebel against God. If Age and Infirmities make Fasting prejudicial to your Health, and hinder rather than promote your Devotion, then you may use your Liberty: only use not your Christian Liberty to gratify the Flesh. To fast in a good Sense, is to live always regularly and soberly, denying yourself all vain and sinful Pleasuresof the World, and daily mortifying your fleshly Lusts. However, you are to pay a proper Regard to the Fasts of the Church, and to all public Fasts enjoined by Authority. On these Days you are to humble your Souls before God, resort to the Public Worship, and give yourselves unto Prayer, penitential Devotions,and reading of the Holy Scriptures. Think and meditate on the unspeakable Goodness of God, on the gracious Promises of the Gospel, and the free Offers of Mercy to all penitent Sinners: on the bitter Death and Passion of the Son of God, for you a miserable Sinner. Humble and abase your Soul, considering how unworthy you are of so great a Benefit: casting your Eyes down to the Ground, say often, God be merciful to me a Sinner. In Cases of hard Labour and Sickness, Allowance, I say, will be made in this


Duty. And though you in the Country be tied dow to hard Labour, yet you must abstain from excessive Eating and Drinking. Be exact in looking into the State of your Soul; and, in all Respects, shew such an Humiliation as is proper for one, who is, through his Sius, in Danger of losing the Eavour of God.

Collects on a Fast-Day, and in the Time of Lent.

O GOD of all Glory, I blush to think that I am one of those degenerate Children, whom thou hast nourished and brought up, and that have rebelled against thee. But, Lord, in Pity to my Soul, pardon my base Ingratitude, and lay not to my Charge my past Transgressions. Accept of my unfeigned Sorrow for all my former Sins, and let the precious Blood of Christ procure my Pardon, and speak for me, since I have nothing to say for myself. Be merciful to this sinful Nation, which has abused thy manifold and great Blessings. O that thy Threatenings may work godly Sorrow, and an unfeigned Repentance in my Breast; that my Abstinence from Food may fit and dispose my Heart to abstain from Sin and Folly, and work in me Repentance to Salvation not to be repented of. Then shall these Days of Humiliation here on


Earth be followed by Days of Rejoicing hereafter in Heaven, where I shall never Hunger, never Thirst any more; but be satisfied with all good Things at thy Righthand, where there is Fulness of Joy, and Pleasures for evermore.



For the most eminent Virtues and Graces of the Christian Life.

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THOUGH you in the Country are for the most Part fully employed, yet you have some spare Time which you should wisely and diligently employ to the Advantage of your Souls. If you make use of, and learn these following Collects, they will store your Mind with Variety of good Thoughts; and through God's Blessing upon the sincere and devout Use of them, the Temper of your Mind may be changed, your Heart renewed, your inward Affections sanctified. You will every Day improve in solid Virtue, and by the Assistance of the Holy Spirit, you will persevere to the End.


As from a polluted Fountain unwholesome Streams will always flow; so from a sinful filthy Mind corrupt Imaginations will be perpetually rising. It is then of great Moment to let Virtue keep the Possession of your Soul, and to let the Grace of God rule in your Heart. Satan leaves no Stratagem untried to gain the Affections. If his cursed Suggestions pre

vail, his Work is done. For he will hurry the Sinner into all vicious Disorders; in which, if he continues long, it is with great Difficulty that he is ever reclaimed to a better Mind. If earthly, sensual, and sinful Objects insinuate themselves into the Mind; virtuous, good, and worthy ones, cannot get Access. Learn heavenly Wisdom then, and pray and strive for Purity of Heart. Let not a wild, impatient Desire of sensual Pleasures, though ever so alluring, draw you off from God. Make no Excuses for neglecting religious Duties. You cannot, you say, at all Times have Leisure; but certainly no one can want an Opportunity of offering up to God a short Prayer every Morning and Evening. Hereby you will obtain God's Grace to protect and defend you: Hereby you will be enabled to resist the Assaults of the Devil.


HEAR me, most merciful Saviour, I most humbly beseech thee, and let thy powerful Grace be ever present with thy weak unworthy Servant. I am not able of myself to do or think any Thing that is good. O let thy Spirit assist my feeble Endeavours; do thou assist me to over


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