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ftowing of my Time here below, that I may follow them in their happy Paffage out of this World, and with them be made. Partaker of thy heavenly Kingdom, which I beseech thee to haften, and shortly to accomplish the Number of thine Elect; that I, with all thofe that are departed in the true Faith of thy Holy Name, may have our perfect Confummation and Blifs, both in Body and Soul, in thy eternal and everlasting Glory, through Jefus Chrift our Lord. Amen.

The End of the Festivals.

A

COMPANION

FOR THE

FAST S

OF THE

CHURCH of England:

WITH

COLLECTS and PRAYERS

For each SOLEMNITY.

By ROBERT NELSON, Efq;
The Twenty-firft Edition.

When the Bridegroom fhall be taken from them, then fball they faft in thofe Days. St. Luke v. 35.

Be afflicted and mourn and weep: Let your Laughter be turned to Mourning, and your Joy to Heaviness. Humble yourselves in the Sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. St. James iv

9, 10.

Jejunium non eft perfecta Virtus, fed cæterarum Virtutum fundamentum. S. Hieron. ad Demetr. p. 23.

LONDON:

Printed for C. HITCH and L. HAWES, J. HODGES, E. WICKSTEED, B. DOD, J. BEACROFT, J. FULLER, P. STEVENS, J. RIVINGTON, J. RIVINGTON and J. FLETCHER, R. BALDWIN, J. WARD, W. JOHNSTON, W. OWEN, G. KEITH, J. RICHARDSON, P. DAVEY and B. LAW, S. CROWDER and H. WOODGATE, T. CASLON, and M. COOPER. MDCCLVII.

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Preliminary Instructions

CONCERNING

FAST S.

Queft.

433

W

HAT do you mean by Fasts? Anfw. Days fet apart by the Church, or by Civil Authority, or by our own Appointment, to humble ourfelves before God, in punishing our Bodies and afflicting our Souls, in order to a real Repentance. By outward Significations teftifying our Grief for Sins paft, and by ufing them as Means to fecure us from returning to thofe Sins, for which we express fo great a Deteftation.

Q. Wherein confifts the Nature of Fasting?

A. In a ftrict Senfe it implies a total Abftinence from all Meat and Drink the whole Day from Morning to Evening; and then to refresh ourfelves fparingly as to the Quantity, and not delicately as to the Quality of the Food. And in this manner not one but more Days were paffed in a continual Faft by the Primitive Chriftians before Eafter. In a large Senfe it implies an Abftinence from one kind of Food, especially Flesh and Wine, as was used by Daniel; or a deferring Dan. 1. 8, eating beyond the ufual Hours, as the Primitive Chriftians did on their stationary Days, 'till Three in the Afternoon, to which Hour their public Affemblies continued on thofe Days. So F f that

that hereby fome Self-denial is defigned to our bodily Appetites; for no Abftinence can partake of the Nature of Fafting, except there be fomething in it that afflicts us.

Q. How many Sorts of Fafts are there?

A. There are two Sorts, publick and private. The first we are determined to obferve by Virtue of that Obedience that is due to our lawful Superiors; and for those Reasons they enjoin it. The fecond proceeds from our own voluntary Impofition, and arifes from our Obligation to perform it at fome Times, though it is left to our own Discretion to determine the Seafon.

Q. Whence arifes the Obligation of a Chriftian to fast?

A. Nature feems to fuggeft it as a proper Means to exprefs Sorrow and Grief; and as a fit Method to difpofe our Minds towards the Confideration of any Thing that is serious. And therefore all Nations from ancient Times have ufed Fefling as a Part of Repentance, and as a Means to turn away God's Anger. As it is plain Jonah3.5.in the Cafe of the Ninevites; which was a Notion common to them with the reft of the World. And though our Saviour hath left no pofitive Mat.6.16, Precept about Fafting, yet he joins it with Almf17, 18. giving and Prayer, unquestionable Duties; and the Directions he gave in his admirable Sermon upon the Mount, concerning the Performance of it, fufficiently fuppofe the Neceffity of the Duty; which if governed by fuch Rules as our Saviour there lays down, will be accepted by God, and openly rewarded by him. Befides, our Saviour fays exprefly, that the Time fhould come, when his Difciples fhould feft. And when he brings in the Pharifce boafting that he fafted

twice

Luke 5. 35.

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