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“ Opportunities which they once had,, but “ can never again recover; and which
you now have, but are too apt to mil
spend and trifle away: Not consider“ing this Life is the only Opportunity “ for transacting the great Affair of Eter“nity ; and that though it is now in your “ Power to be happy, yet it will not be
always so; for your Day will end, and
your Night will come. And therefore it “highly concerns you, to employ the pre“ sent Time well, and to work whilst it is “ called to Day, before the Night cometh, “ when no Man can work. Consider seri“ously of these Things, and, by the Grace “ of God, they will work upon your “ Heart, and make it more humble, more “ considerate, more disposed for Repent
ance and Devotion, and more susceptible “ of divine Impressions,
2dly, “ After you have so fong considered “ of these Things, as to be affected with “ them, set yourself as in the Presence of
Almighty God who knoweth all Things, “ and carefully examine into the State and “ Condition of your Soul. For which
Purpose you may use the Heads of Ex“ amination that follow, or such other as “ you find better fuited to your Condi
“ tion: And where
have of “ fended God, you ought sorrowfully to “ confess and bewail your having so done, “ and resolve by his Grace to amend for 66 the future.
“For you are to consider, Examination 6 is in order to attain a true and distinct
Knowledge of yourself, and the Actions “ of your paft Life; and especially to bring
your Sins to Remenbrance, with all their aggravating Circumstances : So that con.
sidering the Folly of them, and the di evil Consequence thereof, you may be
brought to a Hatred and Abhorrence of " them; to a hearty Sorrow for them, and
thorough Purpose of forfaking them. “ And moreover, Examination is in order “ to recollect what Temptations have usu
ally prevailed on you, and to confider “ before-hand, whether the fame, or what “ other, are, or may be most liable to pre“ vail, fo that you may arm yourself against them by holy Refolutions, and
Watchfulnefs, and Circumspection ; and “ also to try the Temper and Difpofition “ of your Mind and Heart, whether you “ are fo refigned, contented, and humble, nd have such Love and Charity, and
other holy Dispofitions, as the Gora
"pel requires; that if
have not, you may endeavour, by the Affistance of “ God's Grace, to attain them: And also
may take up such holy Resolutions, that every Thought (so far as human Infirmity will admit) may be brought into
Subjection to the Will of God. And แ “ when you have in some Measure attained “ to Newness of Life, you must endeavour “ to grow in Grace, and in the Knowledge " of our Lord Jesus Christ.
“ I say, Self-Examination is in order to
bring you to a true and sincere Repent“ance; by which I do not mean, a Sorrow " for Sin only, but also an entire Change “ of Mind; and an effectual Reformation “ of Life; fo as hereafter to deny all Ungodliness and worldly Lufts, and to live
soberly, righteousy, and godly in this pre“ sent evil World; not allowing yourself
in the Continuance of any known Sin; “ but sincerely practising whatsoever you “ shall understand to be your Duty ; and “ to bring forth Fruits meet for Repent
ance by ceasing to do Evil, and learning to do Good : That is, in short, to live a
holy Life, which consists in a constant " and persevering Obedience to all the “ Commands of God, in a Gospel Sense ;
(allowing for human Weaknesses and Ima
Notion the holy Scriptures give of Repentance, and upon which only there “ is any Promise of Salvation.
“ When therefore you have carefully “ examined yourself, and (as it may
proper) fet down in Writing what Sins you 16 find
you have committed, and what Du, “ ties you have neglected; consider them “ in all their aggravating Circumstances; “ whether they have been done against the “ Checks of your Conscience, against the “ Motions of God's Holy Spirit, and per.
haps some of them frequently, and against
your Resolutions to the contrary.. But “ there may be yet greater Aggravations “ of Sin ; namely, when the Sinner has
committed it so often, and lived in it to
mary, to him; and inftead of being “ ashamed and confounded for it, he makes
Mock at it; and not only takes Plea. " sure and Delight, but boasts and glories “ therein. The Necessity of considering “ the several Aggravations of our Sins,
appears. from hence, because the Cir
cumstances we were in, when we com“ mitted such or such a Sin, may not a lit
6 tle enhance and encrease our Guilt; and " a Sin attended with many aggravating “ Circumstances in the Commission thereof, “ requires a proportionable Degree of Sor6 row and Humiliation, in order to our “ forsaking it, and obtaining Pardon for it.
“ This being done, endeavour to possess
your Mind with a true Sense of the great “ Evil of Sin; how contrary it is to God's
Holiness, to his Will, to his Commands, “ his Goodness, his Juftice, and especially “ to the great Mystery of Godliness; how “ contrary also it is to Man, to his Reason " and Conscience, to his inward Peace and
Satisfačtion, and to his Interest temporal “ and spiritual, present and future; that “ this is the only Evil, which was thought
worthy of the Son of God to deliver us “ from, who died to redeem us from the “ Bondage of Sin and Satan.
" In the Height of all that Love, which “ the compassionate Saviour of the World “ had for perishing Mankind, he did not “think fit to rescue them from Pain,
Sickness, Poverty, Disgrace, or any of " the common Afflictions of human Life; “ no, nor even from Death itself. All " these seemed to be below his Notice;
only Sinand Damnation appeared to him