Εικόνες σελίδας
PDF
Ηλεκτρ. έκδοση

tance.

[ocr errors]

fuafive to the Duty of Daily Self-Examination, &c. b) we are 8 A Companion to the Altar. First, “ A Sense, a Sorrow and Confeffice

“ of all our former Sins. Seconds, The Nature of « A stedfast Purpose or Resolution true Repena

to lead a new Life.” Thele

are the genuine Fruits of a true Repentance, and must always accompany ou Return to God, if we hope to have it effectuak

i: to our Salvation. And,

First, We must labour to gain a Sense or Sight of all our former Sins and Wickednek ; this will readily present itself to us by compare

ing our Lives and Actions by the The Ten Coma

Rule or Standard of God's Word, mandments.

which we must make the Mesfure of our * Examination. St. Paul shews us, Rom. iii. 20. that by the Law is the Knowledge of Sin; and our own Experience will convince US,

TH that there is no way more likely to discovery our Iniquities, and to humble ourselves for fect them, than a serious Application of God's Word to our crooked Paths : And this Duy of Self Examination, is never more properly applied to, than when we intend to receive the call Holy Communion; for unless we see the Numy ber, and apprehend the Heinousness of our 059. fences, and fear the Vengeance due unto us for Bira them, we are altogether unfit for the Commemoration of his Death, who died for

* See The Daily Self-Examinant ; or, An Earrep Pa R. Warren, D. Di

[ocr errors]

Plut Mar fame

properle lama

tuxna

our Siria

the awak felves fereh

count

Self-E 24 any

7

and rose again for our Fußification. It is the Sense and Sight of Sin that must few us the: Need and Neceffity of a glorious Redeemer,, and what Obligations we are under to blefs and praise God for our Salvation by his Son Jesus Christ. Of such great Use and Advantage is this Duty of Self-Examination, at all times, that Pythagoras, in those Golden Verses which go under his Name, particularly recommends the same to his Scholars. “Every Night be"fore they slept, he enjoins them to examine " themselves what Good they had done, and 66 wherein they had transgreffed. Run over “ thee Things, said be, and if you have done " any Evil, be troubled ; if Good, rejoice.”

This Course, if daily followed, as is suggested: ty Hierocles, his excellent Commentator, perfects the divine Image in those that ufe it. Plutarch, Epictetus, Seneca, and the Emperor Marcus Antoninus, agree in recommending the. faine Practice by their own Example, but especially holy David; I thought on my Ways, and! turned my Feet unto thy Testimonies, Psalm cxix.. 59. And this Method, no doubt, is an admirable Means to improve us in Virtue, and the most effectual Way to keep our Consciences , awake, and to make us stand in Awe of our-. felves, and afraid to fin, when we know been førehand that we must give fo fevere an Ac-. count to ourselves of every Action. And when we are employing our Minds in this Duty of Self-Examination, before the Communion, or at any other Time, we must discharge it as impartially as is possible for us, judging as feverely

A.5

of our own Actions, as we would do of our greateit and worst Enemy; or otherwise we shall but fatter and deceive ourselves in a Mat. ter of the greatest Weight and Importance, namely, the knowing the State and Condition of our Souls: But if our Enquiries are just and true, we shall then plainly discover wherein, and how often we have gone astray and done amiss. We fhall, by the faithful Discharge of this Duty, bring to Light “ all our ungodly, “ unjust, and uncharitable Actions; all our “ vain and filthy Speeches ; all our wanton, “ proud and covetous Thoughts.” Such a ftrict and impartial Examination will discover to us that accursed Thing, Sin, Deut. vii. 26. which has defiled our Nature, made God our Enemy, and will exclude us the Kingdom of Heaven, if not repented of, 1 Cor. vi. 9, 10. But by such a severe Scrutiny as this, we shall foon perceive the Number of our Transgressions, what vile Wretches and grievous Offenders we are, how often we have broken our most serious Vows and Resolutions, especially after the Receiving the holy Sacrament, and in Times of Sickness and Distress: Such a Sight, and such a Prospect of Misery as this, should excite in us a hearty Trouble and Sorrow for Sin; especially if we caft an Eye upon the final Issue and Confequences of it, with respect to the World to come. Upon the Ungodly, says holy David, God will rain Snares, Fire and Brimstone, Storm and Tempest ; this shall be their Portion to drink, Psalm xi. 7 Great Plagues remain for the Ursa godly; Indignation and Wrath, Tribulation and

Anguil,

2

Anguilh, upon every Soul of Man that doth Evil, Rom: ii. 8, 9. The Wicked Mall be turned into Hell, and all the People that forget God. These, and many other such like Texts of Scripture, may give us some Idea or Notion of the deplorable Condition of the Wicked in a future State, and of God's Hatred against Sin. And is not this then, without multiplying Arguments, sufficient to affect us with great Grief and Sorrow, when we consider that so long as we live in a vicious Course, so long are we exposed to all those Plagues and Torments which God hath in Store for wicked Men, and will most certainly be their Lot and Portion, if not prevented by a timely Repentance ?

The Second Part of a true Repentance is Contrition, or a forrowful Bewailing

Contrition, of our own Sinfulness in Thought, Word and Deed. When we call to Mind the Sins and Follies of our paft Lives, and the Dangers we are like to fall into, surely we cannot be otherwise affected, than sensibly grieved with the Thoughts and Apprehensions of our present and approaching Misery. The Sorrows of David, and the Repentance of St. Peter, i Sam. xii. Luke xxii, shewed themselves in Floods of Tears, and were too great to be confined within : But our Hearts are generally fo hard and unrelenting, that we sin againit God, and lose our own Souls without so much as a Sigh or a Tear. I know that the Tempers of People are different; some can shed Tears upon every flight Occafion; and others cannot weep, though their Hearts are ready to break

for

for Grief; and therefore we are not to judge of the Sincerity of our own or other People's. Repentance by such Signs and Tokens; nor are Tears always necessary to Repentance, though they very well become us; and the least we can do when we have done amiss, is to be forry for it, and to condemn our Folly, and to be full of Indignation and Displeasure against ourselves. I will declare my Iniquity, faith holy David, and! be sorry for my Sin, Psal. xxxviii. 18. Especially if we have been very wicked, and have multe plied our Transgreffions, and have continued long in an evil Course, have neglected God, and have forgotten him Days without Number; then the Measure of our Sorrow must bear some, Proportion to the Degrees of our Sins; if they have been as Scarlet and Crimson, Ifa. i. 18. that is, of a deeper Dye than ordinary, then our Sorrow must be as deep as our Guilt : If. not fogreat, we ought to thew so much Trouble and Contrition of Spirit, as to produce in us a penitential Confession of all our former Sins : Which is the THIRD Property of a sincere

Repentance. I will acknowledge my
Sin unto thee, says holy David, and

mine Unrighteousness have I not hid.. I said, I will confefs my. Sins unto the Lord, and so thou forgavest the Iniquity of my Sin, Psalm xxxii.

5.

Which Confeffion of Sins must not be in general Terms only, that we are Sinners with the rest of Mankind, but it must be a special Declaration to God of all our most heinous, Sins in Thought, Word and Deed, with all their leveral Aggravations, laying open our Sores to

our

Confeffion

of Sin.

« ΠροηγούμενηΣυνέχεια »