« VorigeDoorgaan »
the Lord's-Day, 221 13 Remedies against Anger
Christian Festivals, 223. III. 7 Remedies against Co-
Corporal Alms, 245
Τ Η Ε
CH A P. I. Considerations of the general Instruments
and Means serving to a Holy Life, by
soul, and an immortal spirit, having made him Lord over the beasts, and but a little lower than the Angels; he hath also appointed for him a work and a service great enough to employ those abilities, and hath also defign'd him to a state of life after this, to which he can only arrive :by that service and obedid ence. And therefore as every Man is wholly God's own portion by the title of Creation : So all our labours and care, all our powers and faculties must be wholly employed in the service of God, even all the days of our life, that this life being ended, we may live with him for ever.
Neither is it sufficient that we think of the service of God as a work of the least neceffity, or of small em.
ployment, but that it be done by us as God intended its that it be done with great earneftness and parfion, with much zeal and desire; that we refuse no labour, that we bestow upon it much time, that we use the best guides, and arrive at the end of glory by all the ways of grace, of prudence and Religion.
And indeed if we consider how much of our lives is taken up by the needs of nature, how many years are wholly spent before we come to any use of reason, liow niany years more before that reason is useful to us to any great puposes, how imperfect our discourse is niade by our evil education, false principles, illcom. pany, bad examples, and want of experience, how many parts
nf our wisest and best years are spent in eating and sleeping, in necessary bulineffes and unnecessary vanities, in worldly civilities and less useful circumstances, in the learning arts and sciences, languages or trades; that little portion of hours that is left for the practices of piety and religious walking with God is so short and trifling, that were not the goodness of God infinitely great, it might seem unreafonable or impoflible for us to expet of him eternal joys in Heaven, even after the well fpending those few minutes which are left for God and God's service, afcer we have served our selves and our own occasions.
And yet it is considerable, that the fruit which comes from the many days of recreation and vanity is very little, and although we scatter much, yet we gather up but little profit: but from the few hours we fpend in prayer and the exercises of a pious life, the return is great and profitable; and what we sow in the minutes and spare portions of a few years, grows up to crosvns and scepters in a happy and glorious Eternity. : 1. Therefore although it cannot be injoin'd, that the greatest part of our time be spent in the direct a&tions of devotion and religion, yet it will become, not only a duty, but also a great providence, to lay aside for the services of God and the businesses of the Spirit as much as we can : because God rewards our minutes with long and eternal happiness; and the