صور الصفحة
النشر الإلكتروني

AS a House can't be built unlets the Foundation be firft(od: fo no more can, Religion ftand except it be first Grounded upon the certain Knowledge of God's Word. For if we know not God's Will, we can neither Do, nor Believe the fame,and till we understand our Mifery by Nature, we shall never seek Remedy by Grace. Worldly Bufinets can't be well done but by them that have fkill therein; and yet in Temporal things a Min may do much by the Light of Nature, but in Divine and Spiritual matters, and Religious lyft ries, the more Men rely upon Natural Reason, the farther they are from comprehending Spiritual Truth. 1 Cor. 2. 14. The natural man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolifone unto him; niether can he know them, because they are Spiritually difcerned. And to fuch God will fay, (how knowing and learned foever otherwise,) as in Patah 27.11 It is a people of no understanding, therefore He that made them will not have mercy on them, and He that formed them will Thew them no favor. But Dfal 25.14. The fecret of the LORD is with them that fear Him, and He will fhew them his Covenant. Wherefore, fellow Chriftians, who fhall light on this MANUAL, of whatever Opmions you are, let no prejudice against th' Author, (if you /hou'd happen to know, or hear of him, ) or his Religion hinder you from taking the belt Information you can of your Duty, in order to your both temporal HAPPINESS and eternal, by deliberately and feriously perufing this whole Tract, with an unbiafs'd Mind, and full Refolution presently to reduce to Practice all it convinces you of to be fo. S. John 7.17. If any man will do his Will, he (hall know of the Doctrine whether it be of God. Of the compofers of the Form of Adminiftration fee Part 2. ch.2. §. 11. All th' other Prayers were penn'd by fome of the learnedit Divines of our Church, fo not likely to be exceeded Extempores and as to their being -Forms fee Part 3. ch. 7, §. 5. 6. 7. and ch. 3. §. 3, at th’end; but to thofe who can't digeft even the Lord's Pra rayer becaufe 'tis a Form, they may be very helpful, by furnishing'em with proper matter for their extemporary expreffions on feveral occafions: at leaft the Doctrinal parts of 'em will te inftructive to all. And the 2d. Chapter of the 2d. Part, thò feemingly adapted to ours only, may be generally very ufeful and edifying to other Communions, by affifting them in their Meditations, Prayers and Praifes,at that most holy Ordinance (which is in no Church fo folemnly, pertinently, and devoutly cele


brated as in ours,) to more proper expreffions, and raised affections, than their own memories and inventions can ordinarily and continuedly produce during the whole Action. The Reft I have carefully extracted, and nicely abbridg'd out of many Volumes of the most learned orthodox Divines of the pureft of Churches, and, being moftly practical Truths, I prefume will be flighted by none but thofe who vainly fancy avoidable ignorance to be a good plea for their Neglect. And I doubt not but we shou'd have many more good Members of our Church, did not fome Adminifter this Sacrament fo feldom, and others lack a help for a regular Weeks exercise after it; (in which the Prefs is very deficient, I not having met with above 2 or 3 in all. the Books I have read, tho' I think few on that fubject, either by Church-men or Diffenters,have escaped my fight,) these two Defects very much weakening the zeal, and cooling the flames of Love and Defire which were inkindled, and alfo increafing the Task of Preparation, and, by confequence, th'anwillingness of fetting about it: as all things for want of Ufe grow more troublefom. And in many of the Daily Devotions in other Books for the Week before, fome neceffary Points are omitted, and the Divifions too unequal; and the Directions and Meditations at the Altar, not to be used without lofs of time, and a difturbance, by turning fo often from the Common Prayer-to that Book, and from that to the Common-Prayer-Book: all which is herein amended, the very words,actions, and geftures at the Lord's Table being added, with proper Directions, Meditations, and Prayers all along, m their due places, and that in the fair, large character of the first part of the Title page, and every Day's Exercife, both before and after, of an equal fhortnefs, and all needful matter fully and plainly inferted, with th' addition of an Introduction. Appendix, and Kalendar, for our godly Deportment at all other times, to be alwaies in a readiness. All which, I hope, will incourage the general, conftant, and devout Ufe of it.

[ocr errors]

A fhort Prayer to that purpose,

And vouchfafe, O Lord, to me, and to all that fhall peruse this Book, th' illumination, and affiftance of thy Holy Spirit, to understand and practife those things which are faithfully declared therem, according to thy Mind and Will. And work in all our hearts most devout affections to our Bleffed Savior, and to that Commemoration of his facrifice which He has ordain'd for our mcrease in faith, love, és holy obedience. Amen.


Th' Introduction to the Feast of Feafts


ifteen days SACRAMENTAL DEVOTIONS, for a Member of the CHURCH OF ENGLAND efpecially; but may ferve for all other Chriftians, as in the Preface.


AGREEABLE to the Doctrine of the learnedft Orthodox Divines of that True, Ancient, Chritian, Catholick, and Apoftolick Church; in a regular and brief Method, plain to th Underftanding and eafy to the Memory of a mean Capacity; very helpful to Qualify ones felf Betore and to know When one is fit t'approach the Lord's Table, and how to demean ones felf There, and



INTRODUCTION to the Feast of Feafts. ONE thing Premifed, to be perufed in the Closet, as well as read to the Family, till we get it fo imprinted in our Minds that we never fail to Act accordingly.

REMEMBER the Sabbath Day, to keep it holy. Exod. 20.8. Section 1. AS a holy Life is the best Preparative to a happy Death: fo is it likewife to a Worthy and Comfortable Reception of thefe dread ful Myfteries. Which holy Life we can't attain to, without a due and conftant Obfervation and Practice of keeping holy the Chriftian Sabbath, or Sunday. or the Lord's Day, as well as ordering our Converfation aright on other Days, as in th' Appendix. It is call'd the Sabbath-day, because We Reft from the Works of our ordinary Calling, and all other Worldly imployments, and Dedicate it to th' immediate Worship of God, whose Service is perfect Freedom; and 'twas call'd Sunday by the Heathens, because they dedicated it to the Sun, and we may properly retain that Name, becaufe Confe Crated by Chriftians to th' Honor of our Savior, the fun of Righteousness, that arofe [on this day] with healing in his wings. Mal. 4.2., and 't is call'd the Lord's Day, becaufe Inftituted in Memorial of the Refurrection of Christ, Who is Lord of the Sabbath, S. Mark 2. 28. S. Luke 6. 5.


Of keeping holy every Lord's Day.
The Command.

§. 2. ALMIGHTY God will have Himself worshipped both Daily in a Secret manner by every particular Perfon in the Clofet, and Privately by the whole Family together; and alfo every Seventh Day in a more Publick fort by all the Godly affembled in a Visible Church, that by this Means He may be known, not only to be the God and Lord of every single perfon, and


Family, but also of the whole Univerful World. Whatsoever Worship God requires of any One alone; the fame He requires alfo of All met together as One; being God of the Body, as a Church, as well as of any one Member, as a Chriftian. This was one of the Ten Commandments wach Go ipake with his own Mouth, and twice wrot with his own Fingers in Tables of Stone, to fignify their Authority and Perpetuity; and placed this Comman fment in the Miuit of the tw. Tiles, becaufe the keeping of it is the belt help to the ke ping of all the rest. And God his bound us to the keeping of thi Commandment with more forcible Reators than to any other; 1. becaufe He did forefee that irreligius Men wou'd either more carelefly Neglect, or more boldly Break this Commandment. 11. Becaufe on the Practice of This, he keeping of all the Other Commandments depends; which makes God complain that all his Worship is neglected, or overthrown, when the Sabbath is either neglected, or transgrefs'd. It wou'd make a man amazed to confider how oft, and with what zeal, and Proteftations, and Promites God requires Ail that wou'd be his People to fanctify the Sabbath; yea, how the God of Mercy threatens, and Merrilefly punishes the Breach thereof: to wit, of the Seventh-day Sabbath, injoyn'd in Memory of God's Refting from the Work of the Creation of the World,till Chrift's Relurrection, (whereof we have many Instances in th' Old Teftament; ) and of this First-day's Sabbath ever fince, appointed in Memorial of the Son of God's Rising from the dead, and thereby Complea• ting, and Ceafing from the Work of the Redemption of the World; of which Judgments whole Volumes are written, but I fhall here infert only Two, within 12 English miles of my Native Place. TIVERTON, in DEVON, was often admonished by her Godly Preacher that God wou'd bring fome heavy Judgment on that Town for their horrible Profanation of the Lord's Day, occafion'd by their Market on the Day following; not long after his Death, on Monday the 3d. of April 1598, God confumed, by a fudden and dreadful Fire, the whole Town, except only the Church, the Court house, and the Alms houfes, or a few poor People's dwellings: where were feen 400 Dwel ling houfes all at once on fire, and above 50 perfons perifhed in the Flame. And on Wednesday 5 August 1612, the whole Town was again Burut to afhes, except fome 30 houfes of Poor people, with the School houfe, and Alms-houses. But after


wards the Market-day was changed from Monday to Tuesday, to remove all occafions of profaning the Lord's day. And har ly any one came to the Gallows in England, but the Beach of the Sabbath occafioned his Ignorance, and was the firft caufe of his being misled into Evil courfes, as many have there Confeis'd. Which may fufficiently feal unto them, whofe hearts are not fear'd, how wrathfully Almighty God is difpleas'd with them who are wilful Profaners of the Lord's Day. And I heartily wifh that AMSTERDAM (for the fame reafons) may speedily alter her Monday's Market, and alfo leave off turning the Sunday into a Sin-day, and that Holy- into a Play day, as too many do, (the fight and hearing whereof has exceedingly griec'd me these 15 years, 2. S. Peter 2. d.) by crying about aud fitting in the streets and Boats with things to Sell, Opening Shops, Working, and Travelling by water and by land, upon Business, and for Di verfion on Sundays; and taking their Pleafure in Waggons, Sheafes, Boats, Narre-fleas, Ice-fleas, and upon fkaats; and at Taverns, Coffee and Tipling-houfes, Bear-baitings, and other Plays; and Children Playing in the streets, fwimming, &c; All this Before and After, and not feldom During the Church-times, Tho'not allow'd; and Men and Women at Night finging, Dancing, and Frolicking about the streets; and that All may, after the Publick, betake themselves to their Private and Secret Devotions at home, giving God that Seventh part of their Time, which He requires who gave them all they have. (as in England is Injoyn'd and Obferved, ) left by Fire, or elfe by Water, the fhou'd be deftroy'd. Which God forbid! See more Part 3.ch. 3. §. 4. Append. §. 35. beginning. God plagues fome in this life, to show how He'll punish all wilful Tranfgreffors of his Sabbaths at the Laft-day. It's plain by the whole New-Teftament that th' Apostles and all the Chriftians, as well as the Jews, held the Fourth Commandment to be the Moraland Perpetual Law of God; and the whole Chriftian Church by a Univerfal Confent, ever finceth' Apoftles time, has still held the fame; and the keeping the Sabbath on the First Day of the week to beth' inftitution and Practice of Christ and his 4poftless all concurring in Obferving This Day, notwithstanding their great differences in other matters. By the XIII Cannon of our Church, Anno 1603. in the ft. year of K. JAMES I. of England [and VI of Scotla d', and their 108th. King, WHO was placed on that Throne 25th. July 1567, bằng little above a Year old, and upon notice of Q. Elifabeth's death proclai


« السابقةمتابعة »