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Reason, faith, and hope, are the only principles our losses, our fortunes, powessing so much of to which religion applies, or possibly can apply: our minds, whether we regard the hours we exand it is reason, faith, and hope, striving with pend in meditating upon them, or the earnestness sense, striving with temptation, striving for things with which we think about them; and religion absent against things which are present. That possessing so little share of our thought either in religion, therefore, may not be quite excluded and time or earnestness; the consequence is, that overborne, may not quite sink under these power worldly interest comes to be the serious thing with ful causes, every support ought to be given to us, religion comparatively the trifle. Men of buit, which can be given by education, by instruc- siness are naturally serious; but all their serioustion, and, above all, by the example of those, to ness is absorbed by their business. In religion whom young persons look up, acting with a view they are no more serious than the most giddy to a future life themselves.
characters are ; than those characters are, which Again: it is the nature of worldly business of betray levity in all things. all kinds, especially of much hurry or over-em Again: the want of Jue seriousness in religion ployment, or over-anxiety in business, to shut out is almost sure to be the consequence of the aband keep out religion from the mind.' The ques- sence or disuse of religious ordinances and exertion is, whether the state of mind which this cause cises. I use two terms; absence and disuse. produces, ought to be called a want of seriousness Some have never attended upon any religious orin religion. It becomes coldness and indiffer- dinance, or practised any religious exercises, since ence towards religion; but is it properly a want the time they were born; some very few times in of seriousness upon the subject? I think it is; their lives. With these it is the absence of reliand in this way. We are never serious upon any gious ordinances and exercises. There are others, matter which we regard as trifling. This is im- | (and many we fear of this description,) who possible. And we are led to regard a thing as whilst under the guidance of their parents, have trifling, which engages no portion of our habitual frequented religious ordinances, and been trained thoughts, in comparison with what other things up to religious exercises, but who, when they do.
came into more public life, and to be their own But further: the world, even in its innocent nasters, and to mix in the pleasures of the pursuits and pleasures, has a tendency unfavour-world, or engage themselves in its business and able to the religious sentiment. But were these pursuits, have forsaken these duties in whole or all it had to contend with, the strong application in a great degree. With these it is the disuse of which religion makes to the thoughts whenever religious ordinances and exercises. But I must we think of it at all, the strong interest which it also explain what I mean by religious ordinances presents to us, might enable it to overcome and and exercises. By religious ordinances, I mean prevail in the contest. But there is another ad- the being instructed in our catechism in our versary to oppose, much more formidable; and youth; attending upon public worship at church; that is sensuality; an addiction to sensual plea- the keeping holy the Lord's day regularly and
It is the flesh which lusteth against the most particularly, together with a few other days Spirit; that is the war which is waged within us. in the year, by which some very principal events So it is, no matter what may be the cause, that and passages of the Christian history are commesensual indulgences, over and above their proper morated; and, at its proper season, the more socriminality, as sins, as offences against God's lemn office of receiving the Lord's Supper. These commands, have a specific effect upon the heart are so many rites and ordinances of Christianity; of man in destroying the religious principle with concerning all which it may be said, that with the in him; or still more surely in preventing the greatest part of mankind, especially of that class formation of that principle. It either induces an of mankind which must, or does, give much of its open profaneness of conversation and behaviour, time and care to worldly concerns, they are little which scorns and contemns religion ; a kind of less than absolutely necessary; if we judge it to profligacy, which rejects and sets at nought the be necessary to maintain and uphold any sentiwhole thing; or it brings upon the heart an ment, any impression, any seriousness about reliaverseness to the subject, a fixed dislike and re- gion in the mind at all. They are necessary to lactance to enter upon its concerns in any way preserve in the thonghts a place for the subject; whatever. That a resolved sinner should set they are necessary that the train of our thoughts himself against a religion which tolerates no sin, may not even be closed up against it. Were all is not to be wondered at. He is against religion, days of the week alike, and employed alike; was because religion is against the course of life upon there no difference or distinction between Sunday which he has entered, and which he does not feel and work-day; was there not a church in the nahimself willing to give up. But this is not the tion: were we never, from one year's end to anowhole, nor is it the bottom of the matter. The ther, called together to participate in jublic woreffect we allude to is not su reasoning or argu- ship; were there no set forms of pupic worship: mentative as this. It is a specific effect upon the no particular persons appointed to minister and mind. The heart rendered unsusceptible of re- officiate, indeed no assemblies for public worship ligious impressions, incapable of a serious regard at all; no joint prayers ; no preaching; still relito religion. And this effect belongs to sins of gion, in itself, in its reality and importance, in its sensuality more than to other sins. It is a conse- end and event, would be the same thing as what quence which almost universally follows from it is: we should still have to account for our conthem.
duct; there would still be heaven and hell; salva. We measure the importance of things, not by tion and perdition; there would still be the laws what, or according to what they are in truth, but of God, both natural and revealed; all the obligaby and according to the space and room which tion which the authority of a Creator can impose they occupy in our minds. Now our business, upon a creature ; all the gratitude which is due our trade, our schemes, our pursuits, our gains, from a rational being to the Author and Giver of
every blessing which he enjoys; lastly, there , gious seriousness. The principle itself is destroy would still be the redemption of the world by Je- ed in them, or was never formed in them. Upol. sus Christ. All these things would, with or with those who hear, its effect is this: If they have out religious ordinances, be equally real, and exist- concern about religion, and the disposition towards ing, and valid: but men would not think equally religion which they ought to have, and which we about them. Many would entirely and totally signify by this word seriousness, they will be inneglect them. Some there would always be of a wardly shocked and oftended by the levity with more devout, or serious, or contemplative disposi- which they hear it treated. They will, as it were, tion, who would retain a lively sense of these resent such treatment of a subject, which by them things under all circumstances and all disadvan- has always been thought upon with awe, and tages, who would never lose their veneration for dread, and veneration. But the pain with which them, never forget them. But from others, from they were at first affected, goes off by hearing frethe careless, the busy, the followers of pleasure, quently the same sort of language; and then they the pursuers of wealth or advancement, these will be almost sure, if they examine the state of things would slip away from the thoughts entirely. their minds as to religion, to feel a change, in
Together with religious ordinances we men themselves for the worse. This is the danger to tioned religious exercises. By the term religious which those are exposed, who had before imbibed exercises, I in particular mean private prayer; serious impressions. Those who had not, will be whether it be at set times, as in the morning and prevented, by such sort of conversation, from ever evening of each day; or whether it be called forth imbibing them at all; so that its influence is in all by occasions, as when we are to form some mo cases pernicious. mentous decision, or enter upon some great under The turn which this levity usually takes, is in taking; or when we are under some pressing jests and raillery upon the opinions, or the pecudifficulty or deep distress, some excruciating bo-liarities, or the persons of men of particular sects, dily pain or heavy affliction; or, on the other or who bear particular names; especially if they hand, and no less properly, when we have lately happen to be more serious than ourselves. And been receiving some signal benefit, experiencing of late this loose, and I can hardly help calling it some signal mercy; such as preservation from profane humour, has been directed chiefly against danger, relief from difficulty or distress, abatement the followers of methodism. But against whomof pain, recovery from sickness: for by prayer, soever it happens to be pointed, it has all the bad let it be observed, we mean devotion in general; effects both upon the speaker and the hearer which and thanksgiving is devotion as much as prayer we have noticed: and as in other instances, so in itself. I mean private prayer, as here described; this, give me leave to say that it is very much and I also mean, what is perhaps the most natu- misplaced. In the first place, were the doctrines ral form of private prayer, short ejaculatory ex- and sentiments of those who bear this name ever temporaneous addresses to God, as often as either so foolish and extravagant, (I do not say that they the reflections which rise up in our minds, let are either,) this proposition I shall always mainthem come from what quarter they may, or the tain to be true, viz. that the wildest opinion that objects and incidents which seize our attention, ever was entertained in matters of religion, is more prompt us to utter them; which in a religiously rational than unconcern about these matters. disposed mind, will be the case, I may say, every Upon this subject nothing is so absurd as indifferhour, and which ejaculation may be offered up to ence; no folly so contemptible as thoughtlessness God in any posture, in any place, or in any situa- and levity. In the next place, do methodists deserve tion. Amongst religious exercises, I also reckon this treatment ? Be their particular doctrines what family prayer, which unites many of the uses they may, the professors of these doctrines appear both of public worship and private prayer. The to be in earnest about them; and a man who is in reading of religious books is likewise to be ac- earnest in religion cannot be a bad man, still less counted a religious exercise. Religious medita- a fit subject for derision. I am no methodist mytion still more so; and more so for this reason, self. In their leading doctrines I differ from them. that it implies and includes that most important But I contend that sincere men are not, for these, duty, self-examination; for I hold it to be next to or indeed, any doctrines, to be made laughing impossible for a man to meditate upon religion, stocks to others. I do not bring in the case of without meditating at the same time upon his methodists in this part of my discourse, for the own present condition with respect to the tremen- purpose of vindicating their tenets, but for the dous alternative which is to take place upon him purpose of observing and I wish that the obserafter his death.
vation may weigh with all my readers) that the These are what we understand by religious ex- custom of treating their characters and persons, ercises; and they are all so far of the same nature their preaching or their preachers, their meetings with religious ordinances, that they are aids and or worship, with scorn, has the pernicious consehelps of religion itself; and I think that religious quence of destroying our own seriousness, togeseriousness cannot be maintained in the soul ther with the seriousness of those who hear or join without them.
in such sort of conversation ; especially if they be But again : a cause which has a strong tenden-young persons: and I am persuaded that much cy to destroy religious seriousness, and which al mischief is actually done in this very way. most infallibly prevents its formation and growth A phrase much used upon these occasions, and in young minds, is levity in conversation upon re- frequent in the mouth of those who speak of such ligious subjects, or upon subjects connected with as in religious matters are more serious than them religion. Whether we regard the practice with selves, is," that they are righteous over-mnch.” respect to those who use it, or to those who hear These, it is true, are scripture words; and it is that it, it is highly to be blamed, and is productive of circumstance which has given currency to the exgreat mischief. In those who use it, it amounts pression: but in the way and sense in which they almost to a proof that they are destitute of reli- 1 are used, I am convinced that they are exceedingly
misapplied. The text occurs once in the Bible, I choly shall fall upon religious ideas, as it may and only once. It is in the book of Ecclesiastes, upon any other subject which seizes their distem7th chap. and 16th verse. It is not very easy to pered imagination. But this is not religion leaddetermine what is meant by it in the place in ing to melancholy. Or it sometimes is the case which it is found. It is a very obscure passage. It that men are brought to a sense of religion by seems to me most probable, that it relates to an calamity and affliction, which produce, at the same external affectation of righteousness, not prompt. time, depression of spirits. But neither here is ed by internal principle: or rather to the assuming religion the cause of ihis distress or dejection, or the character of righteousness, merely to vaunt or to be blamed for it. These cases being excepted, show our superiority over others; to conceitedness the very reverse of what is alleged against religion in religion: in like manner as the caution delivered is the truth. No man's spirits were ever hurt by in the same verse, " be not over-wise,” respects the doing his duty. On the contrary, one good action, ostentation of wisdom, and not the attainment it- one temptation resisted and overcome, one sacriself. So long as we mean by righteousness, a sin- fice of desire or interest purely for conscience' cere and anxious desire to seek out the will of God, sake, will prove a cordial for weak and low spirits and to perform it, it is impossible to be righteous beyond what either indulgence or diversion or over-much. There is no such thing in nature: company can do for them. And a succession and nor was it, nor could it be, the intention of any course of such actions and self-denials, springing passage in the Bible, to say that there is, or to from a religious principle and manfully mainauthorise us in casting over-righteousness as a tained, is the best possible course that can be folreproach or a censure upon any one.
lowed as a remedy for sinkings and oppressions of In like manner it has been oljected, that so this kind. Can it then be true, that religion leads much regard, or, as the objectors would call it, to melancholy? Occasions arise to every man over-regard for religion, inconsistent with the living; to many very severe, as well as repeated interest and welfare of our families, and with suc- occasions, in which the hopes of religion are the cess and prosperity in our worldly affairs. I be- only stay that is left him. "Godly men have that lieve that there is very little ground for this objec- within them which cheers and comforts them in tion in fact, and even as the world goes; in reason their saddest hours: ungodly men have that which and principle there is none. A good Christian strikes their heart, like a dagger, in its gayest modivides his time between the duties of religion, ments. Godly men discover, what is very true, the calls of business, and those quiet relaxations but what, by most men, is found out too late, which may be innocently allowed to his circum- namely, that a good conscience, and the hope of stances and condition, and which will be chiefly our Creator's final favour and acceptance, are the in his family or amongst a few friends. In this only solid happiness to be attained in this world. plan of life there is no confusion or interference Experience corresponds with the reason of the of its parts; and unless a man be given to sloth thing. I take upon me to say, that religious men and laziness, which are what religion condemns, are generally cheerful. If this be not observed, he will find time enough for them all. This calm as might be expected, supposing it to be true, it is system may not be sufficient for that unceasing because the cheerfulness which religion inspires eagerness, hurry, and anxiety about worldly at does not show itself in noise or in tits and starts fairs, in which some men pass their lives; bút it of merriment, but is calm and constant. Of this is sufficient for every thing which reasonable pru. the only true and valuable kind of cheerfulness, dence requires : and it is perfectly consistent with for all other kinds are hollow and unsatisfying, usefulness in our stations, which is a main point. religious men possess not less but a greater share Indeed, compare the hours which serious persons than others. spend in religious exercises and meditations, with Another destroyer of religious seriousness, and the hours which the thoughtless and irreligious which is the last I shall mention, is a certain fatal spend in idleness and vice and expensive diver-turn which some minds take, namely, that when sions, and you will perceive on which side of the they find difficulties in or concerning religion, or comparison the advantage lies, even in this view any of the tenets of religion, they forth with plunge of the subject.
into irreligion ; and make these difficulties, or any Nor is there any thing in the nature of religion degree of uncertainty which seems to their appreto support the objection. In a certain sense it is hension to hang over the subject, a ground and true, what has been sometimes said, that religion occasion for giving full liberty to their inclinations, ought to be the rule of life, not the business; by and for casting off the restraints of religion en. which is meant, that the subject matter even of tirely. This is the case with men, who, at the religious duties lies in the common affairs and best, perhaps, were only balancing between the transactions of the world. Diligence in our call- sanctions of religion and the love of pleasure or ing is an example of this; which, however, keeps of unjust gain, but especially the former. In this both a man's head and hands at work upon busi precarious state, any objection, or appearance of ness merely temporal; yet religion may be govern objection, which diminishes the force of the reliing him here meanwhile. God may be feared in gious impression, determines the balance against the busiest scenes.
the side of virtue, and gives up the doubter to In addition to the above, there exists another sensuality, to the world, and to the flesh. Now, prejudice against religious seriousness, arising of all ways which a man can take, this is the from a notion very cominonly entertained, viz
. that surest way to destruction; and it is completely religion leads to gloom and melancholy. This no- irrational." I say it is completely irrational; for tion, I am convinced, is a mistake. Some persons when we meditate upon the tremendous conseare constitutionally subject to melancholy, which quences which form the subject of religion, we is as much a disease in them, as the ague is a dis- cannot avoid this reflection, that any degree of ease; and it may happen that such men's melan- I probability whatever, I had almost said any degree
TASTE FOR DEVOTION.
of possibility whatever, of religion being true,
SERMON II. ought to determine a rational creature so to act as to secure himself from punishment in a future state, and the loss of that happiness which may be But the hour cometh and now is, when the true attained. Therefore he has no pretence for al
worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit leging uncertainty as an excuse for his conduct,
and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to because he does not act in conformity with that in
worship him. God is a Spirit; and they that which there is no uncertainty at all. In the next
worship him, must worship him in spirit and place, it is giving to apparent difficulties more
in truih.-John iv. 23, 24. weight than they are entitled to. I only request any man to consider, first, the necessary allow A TASTE and relish for religious exercise, or ances to be made for the short-sightedness and the want of it, is one of the marks and tokens by the weakness of the human understanding ; se- which we may judge whether our heart be right condly, the nature of those subjects concerning towards God or not. God is unquestionably an which religion treats, so remote from our senses, object of devotion to every creature which he has 60 different from our experience, so above and be- made capable of devotion ; consequently, our yond the ordinary train and course of our ideas; minds can never be right towards him, unless and then say, whether difficulties, and great diffi. they be in a devotional frame. It cannot be disculties also, were not to be expected; nay further, puted, but that the Author and Giver of all things, whether they be not in some measure subservient upon whose will and whose mercy we depend for to the very purpose of religion. The reward of every thing we have, and for every thing we look everlasting life, and the punishment or misery of for, ought to live in the thoughts and attections of which we know no end, if they were present and his rational creatures. “Through thee have I immediate, could not be withstood, and would not been holden up ever since I was born: thou art leave any room for liberty or choice. But this he that took me from my mother's womb: my sort of force upon the will is not what God de praise shall be always of thee.” If there be such signed; nor is suitable indeed to the nature of ihings as first sentiments towards God, these free, moral, and accountable agents. The truth words of the Psalmist express them. That devois, and it was most likely beforehand that it would tion to God is a duty, stands upon the same proof be so, that amidst some points which are dark, as that God exists. But devotion is an act of the some which are dubious, there are many which mind strictly. In a certain sense, duty to a felare clear and certain. Now, I apprehend, that, if low-creature may be discharged if the outward we act faithfully up to those points concerning act be performed, because the benefit to him dewhich there is no question, most especially if we pends upon the act. Not so with devotion. It determine upon and choose our rule and course of is altogether the operation of the mind. God is a lite according to those principles of choice which Spirit, and must be worshipped in spirit, that is, all men whatever allow to be wise and safe prin in mind and thought. The devotion of the mind ciples, and the only principles which are so; and may be, will be, ought to be, testified and accomconduct ourselves steadfastly according to the rule panied by outwaru performances and expressions: thus chosen. the difficulties which remain in religion but, without the mind going along with it, no will not move or disturb us much; and will, as we form, no solemnity can avail, as a service to God. proceed, become gradually less and fewer. Where. It is not so much a question under what mode as, if we begin with objections; if all we consider men worship their Maker; but this is the ques. about religion be its difficulties; but, most espe- tion, whether their mind, and thoughts, and affeccially, if we permit the suggestion of difficulties tions, accompany the mode which they adopt or to drive us into a practical rejection of religion itself, not. I do not say, that modes of worship are inand to afford us, which is what we wanted, an ex-different things ; for certainly one mode may be. cuse to ourselves for casting off its restraints ; | more rational, more edifying, more pure than anothen the event will be, that its difficulties will multher ; but they are indifferent, in comparison with tiply upon us; its light grow more and more dim, the question, whether the heart attend ihe worship, and we shall settle in the worst and most hopeless or be estranged from it. of all conditions; the last condition, I will ven These two points, then, being true; first, that ture to say, in which any man living would wish devotion is a duty; secondly, that the heart must his son, or any one whom he loved, and for whose participate to make any thing we do devotion; it happiness he was anxious, to be placed; a life of follows that the heart cannot be right toward God, confirmed vice and dissoluteness; founded in a unless it be possessed with a taste and relish for his formal renunciation of religion.
service, and for what relates to it. He that has to preach Christianity to persons Men may, and many undoubtedly do, attend in this state, has to preach to stones. He must upon acts of religious worship, and even from not expect to be heard, either with complacency religious motives, yet, at the same time, without or seriousness, or patience, or even to escape con- this taste and relish of which we are speaking. tempt and derision. Habits of thinking are fixed Religion has no savour for them. I do not allude by habits of acting; and both too solidly fixed to to the case of those who attend upon the public be moved by human persuasion. God in his worship of the church, or of their communion, mercy, and by his providences, as well as by his from compliance with custom, out of regard to Spirit, can touch and soften the heart of stone. station, for example's sake merely, from habit And it is seldom perhaps, that, without some merely'; still less to the case of those who have strong, and, it may be, sudden impressions of this particular worldly views in so doing. I lay the kind, and from this source, serious sentiments case of such persons, for the present, out of the ever penetrate dispositions hardened in the man- question; and I consider only the case of those, aer which we have kere described.
who knowing and believing the worship of God
to be a duty, and that the wilful neglect of this, aged persons, who passed the greatest part of as of other duties, must look forward to future their time in acts of devotion, and passed it with punishment, do join in worship from a principle enjoyment. Anna, the prophetess, was of great of obedience, from a consideration of those conse- age, which departed not from the temple, but quences which will follow disobedience; from the served God with fastings and prayers, night and fear indeed of God, and the dread of his judg: Jay." The first Christians, so far as can be ments (and so far from motives of religion,) yet gathered from their history in the Acts of the without any taste or relish for religious exercise Apostles, and the Epistles, as well as from the itself. That is the case I am considering. It is subsequent account left of them, took great denot for us to presume to speak harshly of any light in exercises of devotion. These seemed to conduct, which proceeds, in any manner, from a form, indeed, the principal satisfaction of their regard to God, and the expectation of a future lives in this world. “Continuing daily, with one judgment. God, in his Scriptures, holds out to accord, in the temple, and breaking bread,” that man terrors, as well as promises; punishment is, celebrating the holy communion," from house after death, as well as reward. Undoubtedly he to house, they eat their meat with gladness and intended those motives which he himself proposes, singleness of heart, praising God.” In this spirit to operate and have their influence. Wherever Christians set out, finding the greatest gratificathey operate, good ensues; very great and import- tion they were capable of, in acts and exercises ant good, compared with the cases in which they of devotion. A great deal of what is said in the do not operate; yet not all the good we would New Testament, by St. Paul in particular, about desire, not all which is attainable, not all which rejoicing in the Lord, rejoicing in the Holy we ought to aim at, in our Christian course. The Ghost, rejoicing in hope, rejoicing in consolation, fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge : rejoicing in themselves, as sorrowful, yet always but calling it the beginning, implies that we ought rejoicing," refer to the pleasure, and the high and to proceed further; namely, from his fear to his spiritual comfort which they found in religious love.
exercises. Much, I fear, of this spirit is Bled. To apply this distinction to the subject before There is a coldness in our devotions, which us: the man who serves God from a dread of his argues a decay of religion amongst us. Is it true displeasure, and therefore in a certain sense by that men, in these days, perform religious exerconstraint, is, beyond all comparison, in a better cises as frequently as they ought, or as those did situation as touching his salvation, than he who who have gone before us in the Christian course ? defies this dread and breaks through this constraint. that is one question to be asked: but there is also He, in a word, who obeys, from whatever motive another question of still greater importance, viz. his obedience springs, provided it be a religious do they find in these performances that gratificamotive, is of a character, as well as in a condition, tion which the first and best disciples of the reliinfinitely preferable to the character and condition gion actually found ? which they ought to find; of the man whom no motives whatever can induce and which they would find, did they possess the to perform his duty. Still it is true, that if he taste and relish concerning which we are disfeels not within himself a taste and relish for the coursing, and which if they do not possess, they service which he performs, (to say nothing of the want one great proof of their heart being right consideration how much less acceptable his ser- towards God. vices may be,) and for devotion itself, he wants If the spirit of prayer, as it is sometimes called, one satisfactory evidence of his heart being right if the taste and relish for devotion, if a devotional towards God. A further progress in religion frame of mind be within us, it will show itself in will give him this evidence, but it is not yet the turn and cast of our meditations, in the attained : as yet, therefore, there is a great defi- warmth, and earnestness, and frequency of our ciency.
secret applications to God in prayer; in the deep, The taste and relish for devotion, of which we unfeigned, heart-piercing, heart-sinking sorrow are speaking, is what good men in all ages have of our confessions and our penitence; in the sinfelt strongly. It appears in their history : it cerity of our gratitude and of our praise ; in our appears in their writings. The book of Psalms, admiration of the divine bounty to his creatures; in particular, was, great part of it, composed in our sense of particular mercies to ourselves. under the impression of this principle. Many of We shall pray much in secret. We shall address the Psalms are written in the truest spirit of de ourselves to God of our own accord, in our walks, votion; and it is one test of the religious frame of our closet, our bed. Form, in these addresses, our own minds, to observe whether we have a will be nothing. Every thing will come from the relish for these compositions; whether our hearts heart. We shall feed the flame of devotion by are stirred as we read them; whether we perceive continually returning to the subject. No man, in them words alone, a mere letter, or so many who is endued with the taste and relish we speak grateful, gratifying sentiments towards God in of, will have God long out of his mind. Under unison with what we ourselves feel, or have be one view or other, God cannot be long out of a fore felt. And what we are saying of the book devout mind. "Neither was God in all his of Psalms, is true of many religious books that are put into our hands, especially books of devotional Man. Bishop Burnet, in speaking of such kind of religion ; which, though they be human composi- books, very truly says, " By the frequent reading of tions, and nothing more, are of a similar cast with these books, by ine relish that one has in them, by the the devotional writings of Scripture, and excel delight they give, and the effects they produce, a man lently calculated for their purpose.* We read of will plainly perceive whether his soul is made for
divine matters, or not; what suitableness there is be
tween him and them, and whether he is yet touched Amongst these I particularly recommend the pray with such a sense of religion, as to be capable of dedi ers and devotions annexed to the new Whole Duty of'cating himself to it."