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then, as thy master hath counselled thee, to watch and
to the duty thou hast lately performed, nor to the devotion, though real, thou hast exercised in it, nor even to the grace which thou may'st have reason to think has been bestowed upon thee, as the reward of thy desire and endeavour to please God, unless thou dost further add thy own united prayers and vigilance. The influence which this act of communion is to exert upon thy future life, to prepare thee for the more ready discharge of other duties and to preserve thee in the hour of temptation, will not immediately and necessarily flow from the act itself, but will depend on thy doing thy part when the solemnity is over, as well as in the act of receiving. Be sure then, O my soul, to fix this deep in thy remembrance, that neither the love of Christ to thee, nor thine to him, nor thy communion with him at his table, will secure thee from temptation, or render thee safe when thou art
tempted, without watchfulness and prayer. Take care then, that both these accompany and follow all thy good purposes and dispositions, whether at the table of the Lord, or at any other time, so that whatever temptations occur to draw thee off from thy duty, or to make thee less vigorous in it, thou mayest be conqueror over them all.
Yes; I know and feel that the victory is not obtained, that I am still to struggle with difficulties, and to encounter obstacles on the path of duty. Business, distractions, adverse events, untoward circumstances, may easily obscure and weaken the good thoughts and emotions that now actuate me. I will therefore, the grace of God helping me, carefully watch over myself, and over all that passes without me; frequently examine myself and the state of my soul ; never in the din of the world any more than in the stillness of retirement, lose myself and the relations I bear both to God and
man, entirely out of view; frequently remind myself of these solemn hours of devotion and of the resolutions I at such times formed, and never, without necessity, omit the ordinary daily exercises of piety.
O God, thou knowest my heart. May insincerity never sully my soul, dissimulation never render me guilty in thy sight!
It is not, O Lord, with any confidence in my own strength, that I presume to give up myself to thy obedience, for alas, I am sensible that my heart is very false, and too easily drawn away by the power of temptation, but all my hope, and all my dependence is in thy Almighty power and good
To that I humbly fly for help. I know thy grace is sufficient for me, and therefore in thee do I put my trust. Thou art my hope and confidence, my Saviour and mighty deliverer. O, never leave me then to myself, nor to the weakness of my own nature, but let thy Holy Spirit be always present with me, to defend me in all my conflicts, to support me under my many weaknesses and infirmities, to instruct me in all difficulties, and to carry me in safety through the trials and temptations of this dangerous and deceitful world. And grant, O merciful Father, that I may never grieve that Blessed Spirit, nor fall into those sins which will cause me to be forsaken, and abandoned to my own foolish and perverse will; but give me grace in all things to follow his guidance and direction, and to devote myself entirely to a life of virtue and religion ; that denying all ungodliness, and worldly lusts, I may live righteously, soberly and godly, in this present world ; and after I have served thee faithfully in this life, may be received to those blessed regions of everlasting rest and peace, which thou hast reserved for them that truly and sincerely love and serve thee; through the mediation of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ, Amen.
EXERCISE OF DEVOTION FOR YOUNG CHRIS
TIANS, WHO COME FOR THE FIRST TIME
TO THE HOLY SUPPER.
From Zollikoffer, with slight alterations.
How great the importance of the act I now propose! How vast the consequence of the step I am about to take! Perhaps decisive for the whole remainder of my life! As I at present regard and judge of religion and virtue, so shall I perhaps always do. and of how great moment then must it be, whether I allow them to be imposed on me as a burden, or whether I make choice of them myself with pleasure and satisfaction as my guides and handmaids on the journey of life! Whether I am slavishly or filially disposed towards God, my heavenly Father. Whether the doctrines, the precepts, the promises of christianity are to me indifferent things, or weighty and important con