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Direct. II. ' Let your first thoughts be not only holy, but suitable to the occasions of the day. With gladness. remember what a day of mercies you awake to, and how early your
Redeemer rose from the dead that day, and what excellent work you are to be employed in.
Direet. iu. Rise full as early that day as you do on other days.' Be not like the carnal generation, that sanctify the Lord's day but as a swine doth, by sleeping, and idleness, and fulness. Think not your worldly business more worthy of your early rising, than your spiritual employment is.
Direct. iv. Let your dressing time be spent in some fruitful meditation, or conference, or hearing some one read a chapter:' and let it not be long, to detain
Direct. v. 'If you can have leisure, go first to secret prayer:' and if you are servants, and have any necessary business to do, dispatch it quickly, that you may be free for better work.
Direct. vi. "Let family-worhip come next, and not be slubbered over slightly, but be serious and reverent, and suit all to the nature or end of the day. Especially awaken yourselves and servants to consider what you have to do in public, and to go with prepared, sanctified hearts.
Direct. vii. · Enter the holy assembly with reverence and joy, and compose yourselves as those that come thither to treat with the living God, about the matters of eternal life.' And watch your hearts that they wander not, or sleep not, nor slight the sacred matters which you are about. And guard your eyes, that they carry not away your hearts; and let not your hearts be a moment idle, but seriously employed all the time: and when hypocrites and distempered Christians are quarrelling with the imperfections of the speaker, or congregation, or mode of worship, do you rather make it your diligent endeavour, to watch your hearts, and improve what you hear,
Direct. viii. ' As soon as you come home, while dinner is preparing; it will be a seasonable time, either for secret prayer or meditation; to call over what you heard, and urge it on your hearts, and beg God's help for the improvement of it, and pardon for your public failings.
Direct. 1x. Let your time at meat be spent in the cheer. ful remembrance or mention of the love of your Redeemer; or somewhat suitable to the company and the day.'
Direct. x. “After dinner call your families together, and sing a psalm of praise, and by examination or repetition, or both, cause them to remember what was publicly taught them.'
Direct. xi. Then go again to the congregation (to the beginning) and behave yourselves as before.'
Direct. XII. · When you come home call your families together, and first crave God's assistance and acceptance ; and then sing a psalm of praise; and then repeat the sermon which ou heard ;' or if there was none, read one out of some lively, profitable book; and then pray and praise God; and all with the holy seriousness and joy which is suitable to the work and day.
Direct. x111. “Then while supper is preparing, betake yourselves to secret prayer and meditation ; either in your chambers or walking, as you find most profitable:' and let your servants, have no more to hinder them from the same privilege, than what is of necessity.
Direct. xiv. 'At supper spend the time as is aforesaid (at dinner):' always remembering that though it be a day of thanksgiving, it is not a day of gluttony, and that you must not use too full a diet, lest it make you heavy, and drowsy, and unfit for holy duty.
Direct. xv. After supper examine your children and servants what they have learnt all day, and sing a psalm of praise, and conclude with prayer and thanksgiving.
Direct. XVI. . If there be time after, both you and they may in secret review the duties, and mercies, and failings of the day, and recommend yourselves by prayer into the hands of God for the night following:' and so betake yourselves to your rest.
Direct. xvii. 'And to shut up all, let your last thoughts be holy, in the thankful sense of the mercy you have received, and the goodness of God revealed by our Mediator, and comfortably trusting your souls and bodies into his hands, and longing for your nearer approach unto his glory, and the beholding and full enjoying of him for ever.?
I have briefly named this order of duties, for the memory
of those that have opportunity to observe it: but if any man's place and condition deny him opportunity for some of these, he must do what he can: but see, that carnal negligence cause not his omission. And now I appeal to reason, conscience and experience, whether this employment be not more suitable to the principles, ends and hopes of a Christian, than idleness, or vain talk, or cards, or dice, or dancing, or ale-house haunting, or worldly business or discourse? And whether this would not exceedingly conduce to the increase of knowledge, holiness and honesty? And whether there be ever a worldling or voluptuous sensualist of them all, that had not rather be found thus at death; or look back when time is past and gone, upon the Lord's day thus spent, than as the idle, fleshly and ungodly spend them ?
Directions for profitable Hearing the Word Preached.
OMITTING those. Directions, which concern the external modes of worship (for the reasons mentioned Part. iii. and known to all that know me, and the time and place I live in) I shall give you such Directions about the personal, internal management of your duty, as I think most necessary to your edification. And seeing that your duty and benefit lieth in these four general points: 1. That you hear with understanding. 2. That you remember what you hear. 3. That you be duly affected with it. 4. And that you sincerely practise it, I shall more particularly direct you in order to all these ends and duties.
Tit, 1. Directions for the Understanding the Word which you
Direct. I 'Read and meditate on the Holy Scriptures much in private, and then you will be the better able to understand what is preached on it in public, and to try the doctrine, whether it be of God.' Whereas if you are unac
quainted with the Scriptures, all that is treated of or alleg ed from them, will be so strange to you, that you will be but little edified by it.
Direct. II. Live under the clearest, distinct, convincing teaching that possibly you can procure.' There is an uns speakable difference as to the edification of the hearers, between a judicious, clear, distinct and useful preacher, and one that is ignorant, confused, general, dry, and only scrapeth together a cento or mingle-mangle of some undigested sayings to fill up the hour with. If in philosophy, physic, grammar, law, and every art and science, there be so great a difference between one teacher and another, it must needs be so in divinity also. Ignorant teachers that understand not what they say themselves, are unlike to make you men of understanding : as erroneous teachers are unlike to make you orthodox and sound.
Direct 111. • Come not to hear with a careless heart, as if you were to hear a matter that little concerned
but come with a sense of the unspeakable weight, necessity and consequence of the holy Word which you are to hear: and when you understand how much you are concerned in it, and truly love it, as the Word of life, it will greatly help your understanding of every particular truth.' That which a man loveth not, and perceiveth no necessity of, he will hear with so little regard and heed, that it will make no considerable impression on his mind. But a good understanding of the excellency and necessity, exciting love and serious attention, would make the particulars easy to be understood; when else you will be like a stopped or narrow mouthed bottle, that keepeth out that which you desire to put in. I know that understanding must go before affections; but yet the understanding of the concernments and worth of your own souls, must first procure such a serious care of your salvation, and a general regard to the Word of God, as is needful to your further understanding of the particular instructions, which you shall after hear.
Direct. iv. 'Suffer not vain thoughts or drowsy negligence to hinder your attention. If you mark not what is taught you, how should you understand and learn? Set yourselves to it, as for your lives : be as earnest and diligent
a Psal. i. 2. cxix. Deut. vi. 11, 12.
in attending and learning, as you would have the preacher be in teaching*. If a drowsy,careless preacher be bad, a drowsy, careless hearer is not good. Saith Moses, " Set your hearts to all the words which I testify among you this day."-"For it is not a vain thing for you, because it is your lifeb.” You would have God attentive to your prayers in your distresses, and why will you not then be attentive to his words; when “the prayers of him are abominable to God, that turneth away his ear from hearing the law??? “All the people were very attentive to hear Christ.” When Ezra read the law "from morning till mid-day, the ears of all the people were attentive to itd.” When Paul continued his Lord's day exercise, and speech until midnight, one young man that fell asleep, did fall down dead as a warning to them, that will sleep when they should hear the message of Christo. Therefore you are excused that day from worldly business, " that you may attend on the Lord without distraction f.” Lydia's attending to the words of Paul, accompanied the opening of her heart and her conversion 8.
Direct. v. Mark especially the design and drift, and prin cipal doctrine of the sermon. Both because that is the chief thing that the preacher would have marked ; and because the understanding of that will much help you to understand all the rest which dependeth on it, and relateth to it.
Direct. vi. Mark most those things which are of greatest weight and concernment to your souls.' And do not fix upon some little sayings, and by-discourses, or witty sentences; like children that bring home some scraps and words which they do but play with.
Direct. vii. 'Learn first your catechisms at home, and the great essential points of religion, contained in the creed, the Lord's prayer, and the ten commandments. And in your hearing, first labour to get a clearer understanding of these; and then the lesser branches which grow out of these, will be the better understood. You can scarce bestow too much care and pains in learning these great essential points. It is the fruitfullest of all your studies. Two things further I here advise you to avoid. 1. The hasty
a Prov.iv. 1. 20. v. 1. vii. 24. Neb, i. 6. 11. Psal. cxxx.2. Prov. xxviii, 9. b Deut. xxxii. 46, 47.
a Neh. viii. 3. f 1 Cor. vii. 35.
c Luke xix. 48.
e Acts xvi. 14.
& Acts xvi. 14.