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" the procuring God's acceptance : But to live in a chris “ ftian country, nay, and to be baptized into Christ's reli"gion, and yet to be pagans as to their notions and opinions; « not to believe in Jesus Christ, but to think to please “ God in the way of the philosophers ; there is nothing in “ the world to be said in their excuse for this. And they “ will at last find true what our Saviour hath pronounced, " that this is their condemnation (and a heavy one it will s be) that light is come into the world, but they have loved
“ darkness rather than light,” because their deeds are evil. For every one that doth evil, hateth the light, neither cometh to the light left his deeds should be reproved *. . So, · I have endeavoured to supply the foregoing defects of the OLD Whole Duty of Man, even such defects as the faid Archbishop, as well as the above cited author of the Lively Oracles, affirm to be so fatal to every man's eternal salvation, by furnishing the age we live in with a Duty of Man, much better suited (I hope) to the circumstances and occasions of the present times : and I see no reason, either human or divine, why I may not for the good of fouls take the same liberty with the Ten Commandments now, as the author of the Old Whole Duty of Man did betwixt four-score and a hundred years ago t; and either by paraphrasing, or enlarging, or using any other christian ways or methods, endeavour to render the duties they and the Creed contain, better understood by the people, and consequently more serviceable to their edification in faith and boliness, which' being the principal design of the following treatise, there can need no further apology upon that account. Tho'
It may not be improper here to take notice of Two forts of men, who are not likely to relish the following pages, viz. such as would gladly bring all religion into contempt, and such as think nothing should interfere with publick preaching from the pulpit. As to the first, no body can be ignorant but that the age we now live in has produced many men, whomake light of the christian religion, and talk contemptuously of our Saviourand his doctrines; but, are we to conclude from thence, that there is no reason, no argument, no evidence
. * John iii. 19, 20. + Many having treated of them before that au. thor, as well as he has done, before many, who have treated of them fince.
to be offered for christianity, nor to enforce it's faith and practice, because these men, who are acknowledged to have wit and parts, make it their business to run it down? No; this would be a very false and unjust conclusion. And if you can imagine otherwise, you are strangely mistaken in your men, they never much applied their heads to examine these things; they have, perhaps, got some common-place heads, with which they think they can disparage christianity; and it is likely they have wit enough to set off those things to advantage. But, as for serious thinking and putting things to gether, and making a solemn judgment of what is true or false in those matters, as in the presence of God, and as in a business whereon their everlasting falvation, or damnation does depend; I say, as for this, you may assure yourselves, these men never did it, nor are they capable of doing it: it is not in their nature to give themselves so much trouble, as such a work will require; and therefore we may be sure their infidelity does not proceed from any want of evidence, or arguments, for the truth of the christian religion, but from this, that these men have so wretchedly abused their faculties, by debauchery and ill practices, that, as the apostle expresses it, they have made themselves unworthy of eternal life. In a word,
All our natural and civil duties are strongly tied upon us, by virtue of our profession of christianity : and it is very much to the honour of our religion, that it is wholly taken up in providing for the security and benefit of mankind, even in this life; it's general bent and tendency is to set men at ease, and make them happy, by fecuring to all the duties due from each other, and from the wantof which proceeds all the mischief in the world; it does not leave men to be moved by such considerations alone as natural reason can suggest, but furnishes them with better. Now cestainly, nothing can be more to the advantage of any man, than that all the people with whom he has to do, should be commanded by God to Thew him mercy, and to do him justice, and to do him all good offices, and to suffer none to do him injury: Nothing (I say) is more likely to secure a man's peace and happiness, than such a fence as this ; and yet this is the fence that chriAianity provides for every single person in the world. In
fine, there never has been any religion ever framed to make men happy, even in this life, like that of Jesus Christ, if it were thoroughly pursued: for, a man cannot possibly be made uneafy or miferable, or suffer any evil at another's hands, without the violation of some christian command, which, if obeyed, would have secured him from it. So that, what reasons these men really have for slighting and ridiculing the christian religion and the ministersthereof, let the world judge.
Then as to such who are so tenacious of preaching as to oppose all written discourses, I desire it may be observed, that though preaching is usually allowed the preheminence of written discourses, yet if men would hear or read them with due attention, they might be effectual to the same ends and purposes : for, notwithstanding what may be urged in favour of the voice, the air, and the action of a preacher; still, what is uttered with the voice, passes off so fast, that men of ordinary capacities are not able to judge of the soundness of it : and the exhortations to virtue often have but little effect; because the rules and directions which we hear concerning it are so very apt to slip out of our memories; whereas written discourses are always with us; and we may have recourse to them whenever we please, to recover what we have forgotten, to examine and satisfy ourselves in any thing we doubt of, and by leisurely searches and enquiries, we may by their assistance attain to the knowledge of those sublime truths which would otherwise be too hard for us.
And therefore I cannot but infer that it is a great, though common mistake, with some readers to think that written difcourses cannot have their due praise, but there must be a design of degrading and undervaluing preaching : but I trust I cannot be suspected of soinvidious an infinuation, when Ideclare the following discourses are by no means intended to hinder any ones attendance on divine service, but are accommodated to the occasions of such as cannot be always present at the publick worship; and to the use of families on Sunday evenings. And those, who shall think fit to make use of them for such purposes, I hope, by God's blessing, will greatly benefit at least their children and servants; and I trust they may be so far useful to themselves, as to bring to their remembrace
the most necessary directions for their christian conduct in this life.
To conclude, I am but little concerned for those censures the men I have been speaking of may passupon this performance; because the design of it, with well disposed minds, will excuse for many imperfections: and if I can but in any degree promote a sense of religion, or a due respect for it's ministers, where they are wanted, or contribute to the improvement of them, where they are already entertained, I Thall be much better pleased then to be an author of some account in the opinion of the greatest critick.
I. T HE New Week's Preparation for a Worthy receiving of the Lord's
1 Supper, as appointed and recommended by the Church of England; confifing of Meditations and Prayers for the Morning and Evening of every Day in the Week: With suitable Directions for a devout Behaviour during the Solemnity, and for a beneficial and effectual joining with the Minister in the Office of Administration, i
Together with Forms of Examination, and Confeffion of Sins : And Meditations to enable us to live well after receiving the Holy Sacrament.
The whole being purified from those ecstatic and carnal Expressions, which (in a former Treatife upon this Subject) have been long complained of, is now rendered a plain, orthodox, and reasonable Service to Almighty God.
To which are added, A Morning and Evening Prayer, to be used either with a Family, or in Private. The Second Edition, Price bound is. in Sheep, and 1 s. 6 d. in Calf.
II. The New Week's Preparation for a Worthy receiving of the Lord's Supper, as appointed and practised by the Church of England; PART THE SECOND : ConGfting of Meditations, Prayers, and Hymns, for the Sunday Evening on Sacrament-Day, and for the Morning and Evening of every Day in the Week ; with a Form of daily Self-Examination.
And in the Course of these Meditations, those Doubts and Scruples which are apt to disturb and render the Minds of devout Communicants uneasy, are clearly stated and finally removed. By the Author of the First Part. Price bound 1s. in Sheep, and 1 s. 6 d. in Calf; or both Parts bound together, with a neat General Title, in black Calf at 2 s. 6d.
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A very useful Appendix concerning the Value of Nails, Locks, Hinges, &c. Price bound 2 s. BE CAREFUL TO OBSERVE,
That not one of this Impression of Practical Measuring is warranted by me to be cofreet, or is to be depended upon, unless I have subscribed my Name to this Der claration upon the back of the Title Page. E. HOPPUS,