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The Epistle Dedicatory. .- 1. That we fould besides our solemn prayers, Send up frequenc, mental, ejaculatory prayers unto the Lord for his Grace, help, and afift
2. That every nighc we should retire, and reflect upon all our actions, and whole behaviour in the day past, and so set all at rights between God and our souls before we go to Neep.
And because, whoever desires to grow in Knowledge and Grace, must conscientiously, make useof, and improve the means of Grace that God affords him, therefore in the Sixth Chapter I treat,
1. Of the careful observation of the Lords day. Shewing why we should observe it, and how. For my pari 1 sever saw true Religión and the power of Godlineffe thrive in any per. fon, family, 'or Parish, where the religious and conscientious observance of that day was nega lected.
2. Concerning hearing the Word; where directions are given;
1. How we are to prepare our selves before we go to hear. . 7. How we are to behave our felves in time of hearing.
3. What we are to do after we have heard, And ob that I mig he prevail with you to read these Directions often (especially on Saturday-nighes)
that so you might come prepared. The great reason of the unproficablenesse of preaching, and that Sermons do no more good, is, because people come without preparacion.
3. Seeing that Heavenly duty of singing Psalms and litcing up the praises of the most High, it nor by some question'd ( as indeed what is nos thit tends to Gods Glory and mans good?) Iparpofely handle that sabject, and prove it to be a duty under the Gospel, answer the Objections against it, and give some Directions for the right performing of it.
4. Forasmuch as Christians might exceedingly benefit one another by Religious conference; thereby warming and enlivening one another, and provoking one another to love and to good works,
In the next place I speak of that duty, and fet down some Rules concerning it.
Lastly, Because without medication. 'tis not to be expected the Word should do much good, nor that the foul should ever thrive in Knowledge and Grace, I shero the excellency and benefit thereof, and give some Directions for the practisew of it.
The Seventh Chapter treats of the danger of frequencing, and unnecessarily conversing with bad company, whereby many have been everlast
, ingly undonc.
A man that prayes to be delivered from temptations, must not wilfully run himself
The Epistle Dedicatory. into them. And because 'tis the duty of all true Christians both for their own peace sake, and that they may adorn the Gospel of Christ, to serve their generation in some honest and commendable way (avoiding Idlenesse, thac great snare of
, the Devil. )
In the eighth Chapter I discourse of diligence and conscienciousnesse in our particular places and callings.
And that the Name of God may not be blarphemed by the ill lives and pra&tises of such as professe themselves Christians ; In the Ninth Chapter I treat of just and
uprighe dealing in Trading and Commerce, giving fome Rules both to buyers and sellers, and shew che necessicy of making reftitution of, or facis. faction for ill gotten goods.
The Tenth Chapter contains the duties of Governours of Families, which I desire all that are in that relacion eften to read over, and seriously to medicale upon. There is 4 great ducy lies upon
a them, and greater than they usually are aware of. They may be exceeding instrumental of the falvation of those under their care, if they discharge their duties as they ought. But through their negIcet of the Worship of God in their houses, and their ill lives and examvies they prove too often an occafion of the ruine of many in their Families. And because very much of the life of Godlineffe confifts in a faithful discharge of relative duties,
The Eleventh Chapter Thews the duties of Husband and Wife.
The Twelfth of Misters and Servants.
The Fourteench of such as are in office and of Inferiours,
The Fifteenth of People cowards their Pastors and spiricual Guides. O what an honour would it be to Christian Religion, if all they that call themselves Chriftians, would endeariour 19 walk uprightly and faithfully in their respective places.
And seeing it is a real kindnesle, and an excellerit expression of trae Christian friendship, to keep one anocher off from the pic of destruction, and to help one anocher on towards Heaver,
In the Sixteenth Chapter I treat of that great and hard duty of Christian reproof and admonition, which if it were prudently and faithfully disebarged, would (by the blessing of God) much abatę sia in the world, and exceedingly advance Piety.
The Seventeenth Chapter contains the duties of rich and poor. Many ducies belong to them boch; and both have great temptacions, therefore they had need be careful to discharge the one, and avoid the other.
The Eighteenth Chapter speaks of the duties of Young and Old. Ministers find by experience that the Word hath the greatest operation of those that are young, who have not contraded
fuch strong habits of fin, nor so long resisted the Grace of God, nor so much provoked him to give them up to their own hearts lụfts, as many ancient people have done, who have liv'd a great while in an unconverted ftace,under the light of the GoSpel. I have therefore shewed young persons the danger of delaięs, the advantages of curning to God becimes, and answered the Objections that many are apt co make against it. And because a Minister is also to have a care of the souls of the Ancient, and (to his utmost skill) to endeavour their salvacion, I have laid down several awakening considerations for them to think upon. I have shewed them the danger of vain presumpcions and groundlesse hopes of Heaven. I have set down fome of those false grounds and sandy foundacions whereon many Ancient people build their hopes of happinesse, thut so they may be undeceived, and may look better about them to secure their souls, while there is time.
In the Nineteench Chapter there are Directie ons given for the healthy and che sick. To deal wisely and faithfully with fick persons in order to their souls welfare, is one of the hardest pieces of the Ministerial work, and requires much skill to perform it aright. And seeing a Minister is not ever at hand to visit such fick persons as may need his help / and many times they stand in need of much help and instruction) I have drawn up such directions as I judged needful for