Page images
[ocr errors]


one another, to further one another Heaven-ward, 10 do good to one anothers foules.

II. Let them labour for those Graces that are requisite for this ducy. Such as chese,

1. Sobriety of judgment.
2. Humility and lowlinefse of mind.

3. Ingenuity, acknowledging and prizing the Gifts and Graces they see in each other.

4. Self-denial, condescending to them of low parts, going a flow pace, rather than outgoing the goung and tender lambs.

5. Love, affability, encouraging weak begin.
6. Inoffensiveneffe!
7. Sincerity and plain beartedneß.

III. Let them avoid censuring or judging the Spiritual state of others. Such persons meet together for the worse, and not for the better.

IV. Let them decline controverted points, ( such things usually gendring ftrife and variance) and apply themselves co speak of things that are practical ; As of God, and his Goodsejle. of Christ, his person, offices and Merits: of the Covenant of Grace : Of the Doctrine of justification : of the patience and self-denial of those that are gone before us: of Heaver, and the Glory of that Kingdom. How did the Martyrs in prison (by such ravishing discourses) set one another at liberty from the fears of death? How did holy Bradford's sweet and cheerful company make the

very dungeons lighifom, and palace-like to his

fellow-prisoners, as themselves confessed ? These, # and such like practical matters will be the fittest

subjects for Christians to discourse of, when they meet cogether.

V. Let them impart their experiences and the methods of Gods dealings with themselves or others: How they got rid of such a corruption, vanquished such a temptation, atraind to a facility in such a duty. Lec them impart what may tend to che advancement of Holineffe.

VI. Let them provoke, and stir up one another to Holinesse, to Love, and to good works, admonishing and exhorting one another to watch, and iake heed to their waies, seeing so many watch for their baltings, like those the Prophet speaks of, Fer.20.10. All my familiars watched for my balting, &c.

VII. If any fallings out or jars shall happen among them at any time, let them be prudently E and seaforable healed and made up. And in this

cale, praying together, and for one another, is of singular use. Let them (as the Apostle speaks in another case, Fam.5.16.) Confesse their faults one to another, and pray one for another, that they may be healed; if their minds have been diftempered, and ill-affected one towards another,

5. Retired , much in Meditation,

5. Retired holy Meditation,

Holy Meditation is the acting of the mind upon some Divine object, in order co the working upon the affections, and raising fome fiz resolutions in the soul therefrom ; tending to Gods Glory, and the furtherance of Holineffe. How many Chrifti.

. ans are there, that live in a constant neglect of this fo exceeding useful duty, by which all other duties are improved, and by which the soul din gefteth truths, and draweth forth their strength for its nourishment and refreshing ? Certainly, Meditation rightly mannaged, doch exceedingly tend to the advancement of Piety. I shall cherefore,

1. Give some Reasons why we should practise it.

2. Give fome Direčtions as to the manner how we should perform it.

I. Consider, this was the practise of many of the eminent Saints of God recorded in the Scripcures. Isaac and David were much in this Duty.

II. Consider the great benefit of ic duly performed.

Tis an excellent means,

1. To encrease knowledge, and to make the mind serious and solid: None are more knowing, Serled, established Christians, chan such as are

2. To

2. To stir up and awaken the Graces of Gods Spirit in us. Hereby we awaken our Faith, inflame our love, strengthen our hope, enliven oar desires, encrease our joyes in God, we loofen our affections from the world, and fore-acquaint our felves with the Glory that is to come.

3. To make the Word profitable. Meditation is the digestion of the Soul. 'Tis not the taking in of food, but the stomacks concocting of it, that makes it turn to blood and Spirits. For want of this, How many, Sermons are lost and do no good? The Word will not profit us, except we cake time to think upon

it. 4. To prepare the heart for prayer and other holy duties. Medication tunes and prepares and fits the heart for solemn Worship,

5. To antidote and fortifie the foul against fin and temptation. If men would but often consider of che evil and danger of sin, it would be a great means to deter them from the practise of it.

6. 'Tis an excellent help and means of Communion with God. 'Tis the souls perspective, whereby it fees something of the Glory and happinesse of that Kingdom that is above. Thus much of the Arguments for it.

I come now to give some Directions how it should be managed.

I. Pitch upon some convenient time of the day for chis ducy. A Christians timing his duty aright, is a great help to him inche right performance of it. Some have chosen the morning for this ducy, and some the evening : We have examples of both in Scripture. Of our Saviour, we read, Mark 1.35. And in the morning, rising up a great while before day, he went out, and des

a parted into a solitary place, and there prayed Gen. 24.63. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field at the even-tide.

II. Pirch upon some convenient retired place. The wise man tels us, Prov.18.1. Through defore å man having separated himself, seeketh and intermedleth with all wisdome. First he separates himself, & then intermedleth with wisdom. There is nothing the Devil more spights than this, that a man should often retire and Jeparate himself from the world, ic meditate on his everlasting concern- ments. The Devil cannot endure a man should consider whether he be journeying towards Heaven

or Hell.

III. Get a good fock of profitable materials co meditace on : as the Attributes of God: His promises of remiffion, sanctification, reward. The love of Christ; The evil and danger of fin; The vanity of the Creatoré ; The neceffity of regeneration, The state of thy own soul to God ward, The excellency of a gracious flate ; The precioufneß of time ; of Eternity: And the four last things, Death, Fudgment, Heaven, Hell. These and such like subjects will be fit matters to employ thyrboughts about.

« PreviousContinue »