« EdellinenJatka »
that taught us by Christ; 6 -- if a brother or sister28
The obligations for preparing bed
v'A meditation for the moins
vil A praver for God's mercy j7
A meditation for the morn. A meditation for ihe morn
Arprayer for the morning 66 A prayer after consecra-
A prayer for the morning 46 after a worthy receiving
A prayer after sermon 1001 behaviour in the afternoon
102; blessed sacrament of the
Directions concerning the
103 Ocasional Prayers.
Reasons for publishing this Book.: THOUGH I may possibly incur the displeasure roti
I those whose secular views may be frustrated or diin appointed by the publication of this New Week's Prepa. ration ;-yet I have the consolation of being 'fully assured, that this present undertaking will want no ajo. logy to those who have religion truly at heart. Nor am I under any apprehension of being condemned for adding one more to the number of devotional books, already extant upon the subject of the holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper; because the tempers and idlents of men are so different, that what does not aliect Olle may possibly touch another. I am also persuaderi, that the present Proprietors of Keble's Old Wiek's Preparation, cannot desire the continuance of a book which has already been found so injurious to Christi.. anity; for it abounds with rapturous and waliton éx. pressions, and warmth of constitution, not reason, much less religion, bas the chief and sovereigo influa ence. Undoubledly writers of this cast have shame. fully suffered the softer passions to mix too strongly with their zeal for religion,
By what means true devotion is destroyed.
Here the true spirit of devotion, which is in its own nature a liberal and reasonable service, is made wholly to evaporate in unnatural heats, and ecstatic fervours, such as are a disgrace and reproach to the dignity of a rational nature. And instead of speaking the language of a serious, rational, unaffected piety, they abound wholly with rapturous flights of unhallowed Jove, and strains of mysiical dissoluteness ; or, as an ingenious author terms it, spiritualized concupiscence, invented by the carnal and wanton appetites and wishes of the unmarried nuns and friars; and thence either by design, or by the delusion of the devil, or both foisted into the devotions of the reformed church, under a pretence of purer flames of divine love and spiritual rapture; whereas they pollu:e the soul with luscious images, warm it into irregular ferments, and fire it with a false passion; dissipating all due composure
and recollection of mind, and laying open the heart to all the wild extravagancies of frantic enthusiasmr ; a manner of address niuch filler for a dissolute lover, than an acceptable worshiper of the all-pure and all-knowing Gud.
It was against this kind of dev'ition, that great light of the church of England, the learned and pious Bishop Stillingflect thus exclaimed: “ Is it possible (said he) that any man can imagine, it is no dishonour to the Christian religion to make the perfection of the devotion of it to consist in such strange unaccountable uni. ons and raptures, which take away the use of all (modesty) reason and common sense!” .
In-what the love of God consists. "It is true, we are commanded often to love God with all our heari, but withal we are told, we must not fancy this love to be a niere languishing passion; no, the love of Christians towards God is no tond amorous affection, but a due apprehension and esteem of the divine excel. lencies, a hearty sense of all his kindness to us, and a constant readiness of mind to co his will. And thus the be. loved Son of God haili declared what he means by the love he expects from his disciples: If ye love me, (says Christ,) keep my commandnients; and ye are my friends if ye do whalscever I command yoll. And if (says St. John) any man say I love God, and hateth his brother, he his a liar; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen? No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us. Thus the beloved disciple, who understood the great mysteries of divine love, hath expressed then to us. And,
" Here (you sce) are nobiind elevations of the will; no ecsta!icor luscious expressions; no,il is very plain that all such mystical noiiuns, and luscious metaphors and 'expressions had another spring and a more impure foun. tait, than the Coris:ian doctrine.” For, as the said derout and judicious prelate ads, "supposing that mysti. cal w.y of perfection were possible, I would see po necessity at all of Christ's coming into the world, nor of