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health to prepare for sickness, death, and judgment; and
Concerning burial of the dead.
THEN any person deparreth this life, let the dead body
upon the day of burial, be decently attended from the house to the place appointed for public burial, and there immediately interred, without any ceremony.
And because the customs of kneeling down, and praying by, or towards the dead corps, and other such usages, in the place where it lies, before it be carried to burial, are superstitious; and for that, praying, reading, and singing, both in going to, and at the grave, and have grolly abused, are no way beneficial to the dead, and have proved many ways hurtful to the living; therefore let all such things be laid aGde.
Howbeit, we judge it very convenient, that the Christian friends, which accompany the dead body to the place appointed for public burial, do 'apply themselves to meditations, and conferences suitable to the occasion; And that the minister, as upon other occasions, fo at this time, if he be present, may put them in remembrance of their duty,
That this shall not extend to deny any çivil respects or de.. ferences at the burial, suitable to the rank and condition of the party deceased, whiles he was living.
Concerning public folemn fasting
THEN some great and notable judgments are either in
Aicted upon a people, or apparently imminent, or by fome extraordinary provocations notoriously deserved ; as also when some special blessing is to be fought and obtained, public solemn fåsting (which is to continue the whole day), is a duty that God expecteth from that nation, or people.
A religious fast requires total abstinence, not only from all food (unless bodily weakness do manifestly disable from
holding out till the fast be ended, in which case fomewhat may be taken, yet very sparingly, to support nature, when ready to faint, but also from all worldly labour, discourses and thoughts, and from all bodily delights, and such like, (altho' at other times lawful, rich apparel, ornaments, and fuch like, during the faft; and inuch more from whatever is in the nature, or use, scandalous and offensive, as gaudith attire, lascivious habits and gestures, and other . yanities of either fex; which we recommend to all ministers, in their places, diligently and zealously to reprove, as at other times, lo especially at a fast, without respect of persons, as there thall be occasion.
Before the public meeting, each family and person a, part are privately to use all religious care to prepare their hearts to fuch a folemn work, and to be early at the con
... So large a portion of the day, as conveniently may be, is to be spent in public reading and preaching of the word, with singing of psalms, fit to quicken affections suitable to such a dyty; but especially in prayer, to this or the like effect :
Giving glory to the great majesty of God, the Creator, preserver and fupreme ruler of all the world; the better to affect us thereby with an holy reverence and awe of him. Acknowledging his manifold, great and tender mercies, especially to the church and nation, the more effectually to foften and abase our hearts before him. Humbly confelling of sins of all sorts, with their feveral aggravations; justifying God's righteous judgments, as being far less than our sins do deserve ; yet humbly and earnestly im.
grace for ourselves, the church and nation, for our king, and all in authority, and for all others
for whom we are bound to pray (according as the present y exigent requireih) with more special importunity and en
largement than at other times: applying, by faith, the promises and goodness of God, for pardon, help, and deliver
ance from the evils felt, feared, or deserved; and ? for obtaining the blessings which we need and expect, to
gether with a giving up of ourseļves wholly and for ever
unto God, ought so to speak from their hearts, upon serious
Special choice is to be made of such Scriptures to be read,
Before the close of the public duties, the minister is, in his own and the peoples names, to engage his and their hearts to be the Lord's, with professed purpose and resolution to reform whatever is amiss among them, and more particularly such sins as they have been more remarkably guilty of; and to draw near unto God, and to walk more closely and faithfully with him in new obedience, than ever be fore.
He is also to admonish the people with all importunity, that the work of that day doth not end with the public duties of it, but that they are so to improve the remainder ol the day, and of their whole life, in reinforcing upon them
felves and their families in private, all those godly affections Jus and resolutions which they professed in public, as that they
may be settled in their hearts for ever, and themselves may
Besides folemn and general fasts injoined by authority, we
Concerning the observation of days of publie
thanksgiving: WHEN any such day is to be kept, let notice be given
of it, and of the occafion' thereof, fome convenient time before, that the people may the better prepare them felves thereunto.
The day being come, and the congregation (after private preparations) being assembled, the minister is to begin with a word of exhortation, to stir up the people to the duty for which they are met, and with a short prayer for God'š aflı
. stance and blessing (as at other conventions for public worThip) according to the particular occasion of their meeting:
Let him then make some pithy narration of the deliverance obtained, or mercy received, or of whatever hath occasioned that affembling of the congregation, that all may better understand it, or be minded of it, and more affected with
And, because finging of psalms is of all other the most proper ordinance for expressing of joy and thanksgiving, let fome pertinent psalm or pfalms be sung for that purpose, be: fore or after the reading of fome portion of the word, suitable to the prefent business.
Then let the minister, who is to preach, proceed to further exhortation and prayer before his fermon, with, fpecial re: férrence to the present work : After which, let him preach upon some text of Scripture pertinent to the occasion.
The sermon ended, let him not only pray,as at other times after preaching is directed, with remembrance of the ne: cessities of the church, king, and state (if before the sermon they were omited) bur inlarge himself in due and folemn thanksgiving for former mercies and deliverances, but more especially for that which at the present calls them together to give thanks : With humble petition for the continuance and renewing of God's wonted mercies, as need shall be, and for fanctifying grace to make a right use thereof. And fo; having sung another pfalm suitable to the mercy, let him dismiss the congregation with a blessing, that they may have some convenient time for their repast and refreshing. But the minister (before their dismission) is solemnly to
admonish them, to beware of all excess and riot, tending to
When the congregation shall be again assembled, the like
At one or both of the public meetings that day, a col
Of singing of Psalms,
finging of pfalms together in the congregation, and allo
In singing of psalms, the voice is to be tunably and grave. ly ordered, but the chief care must be, to sing with under, standing, and with grace in the heart, making melody unto the Lord,
That the whole congregation may join herein, every one
fit person appointed by him and the other ruling officers, do