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“ to be Evils so great, that he would not “ endure the Thought of our being sub
ject to them. For God so loved the World, “ that he gave his only begotten Son, to the • End that all that believe in him, (that is, “ so to believe in him, as to obey him) “ Nould not perish, but have everlasting
Life: I add obey, because in this Text, “ as in divers others, the Word Belief, is “ taken for the whole of Religion, Obe“ dience, as well as Faith.
“ Endeavour to keep a constant Remem“ brance of these Things in
Mind; “ for they will be of great Use to you, not
only to lead you to a true Repentance for “ what is past, but to prevent your falling “ into Sin for the future.
“ It will be impossible to give fuch Di« rections for the Performance of this
Duty, as will be proper for all Persons; 6 those who have led wicked Lives, and “ have for a long Time put off Repent
ance, have to be sure a great Account “ to make up ; and therefore muft spend " the more Time and Pains in reconcil.
ing themselves, confidering their paft • Lives, and forming good Resolutions. 6. Those that began this Duty betimes, and who, by the Grace of God, have
“ been kept in their Youth from contract
ing vicious Habits, or committing any
great Sins, have less to do, when they “ set about this Duty: Nevertheless, Self“ Examination, &c. being a Duty so often “and so plainly taught by God in Holy “ Scripture, who best knew the Necessity “ and Advantage of it; no one that is a
Christian, ought to neglect, or perform
“ it slightly.
“ When you examine yourself, let it be chiefly about your wilfúl Sins, and Sins “ of Commission; and be not over scrupu
lous, either to accuse yourself of Sin you never committed, or to reckon up all your Infirmities; for that would render
your Examination endless and impracti“ cable: And though there may be some “ Sins that you may doubt whether you “ have committed, others you may fear
you have forgot, yet be not discouraged; “ for when you have acted honestly and “ sincerely, rest satisfied ; it being all that
Religion requireth: But what Sins you “ cannot recollect and find out, fo as par
cularly to confess and bewail, you ought “ to conclude under a general Repentance “ for whatsoever you have done amiss ;
“ and to pray that God would cleanse
you “ from your secret Faults. " When
you have once thoroughly ex“ amined your Life, you must not think your
Work is at an End; but must frequently exercise yourself therein; and “ the oftener you do so, the more easy and
delightful you will find it. At such “ Times it may not be necessary that “ should examine your whole Life with that “* Strictness you did at first; but chiefly “ examine yourself, how you have kept
your good Resolutions, what Progress
you have made in a religious Course of “ Life, and what Sins of Commission or “ Omission you have been guilty of, since
your last Examination, and how you “ came to fall into them; what the Temp66 tations, what the. Circumstances and • Occasions; that you may arm yourself
against them, and so avoid them for the * Time to come.”
General Heads of Examination.
MY Soul, enter into the Confide
ration of thine own State; search thy Heart to the Bottom; ask thyself, " What thou hast done, how hast thou 6 carried thyself since the Time thou wast * by Baptisı first admitted into Covenant “ with God, or since thou didst last renew 66 that Covenant with him? How hast 6 thou behaved thyself with respect to the - Duties thou owest to God, thy Neigh“ bour, and thyself ?"
1. Of our Duty towards God. HAVE I loved God before and above
all other Things? Have I received the Scriptures, not as the Word of Men; but as they are in Truth, the Word of God?
Have the Promises and Threatenings therein prevailed with me, to govern my. self according to the holy and admirable Precepts thei ein delivered?
Have I not profaned the holy and dreadful Name of God, by Perjury or unlawful Oaths, or by customary Swearing or Curfing in my common Conversation?
Have I not irreverently mentioned the Name of God in my common Conversation?
Have I honoured him by a reverent Usage of whatsoever Things or Persons belong to him, and are dedicated to his Honour and Service?
Have I religiously observed the Day fet apart for his more immediate Worship, in keeping it holy, to those Ends for which it was appointed; by attending the public Service of the Church; in reading and hearing his holy Word; in Prayer and Meditation, and good Discourse?
Have I so little regarded this holy Day, as to spend it in travelling, and taking unnecessary Journies thereupon, such as I might as well have gone on any other Day?
Have I spent and squandered it away in useless and unnecessary Visits, in Recreations, or in wicked and unprofitable Conversation, or in following the Works of my Calling?
Have I trusted in God, and acknowledged my Dependence upon him only?