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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

I 6

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“ 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

os pel

"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 ;



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(allowing for human Weaknesses and Ima
perfections) which I take to be the


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
long, that it is become habitual or custo-

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


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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

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