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one another, to further one another Heaven-ward, co do good to one anothers foules.
II. Let them labour for those Graces that are requisite for this duty. Such as chese,
1. Sobriety of judgment.
3. Ingenuiry, acknowledging and pricing ebe Gifts and Graces they see in each other.
4. Self-derial, condescending to them of low parts, going a slow pace, rather than outgoing the goung and tender lambs.
5. Love, affability, encouraging weak begin.
III. Let them avoid censuring or judging ahe
, ( such things usually gendring ftrife and vario Ance) and apply themselves to speak of things that are practical ; As of God, and his Goodnejle
. of Christ, his person, offices and Merits: of the Covenant of Grace : of the Doctrine of justification : of the patience and self-denial of those that are gone before us: of Heaver, and the Glory of that Kingdom. How did the Martyrs in prison (by such ravishing discourses) set one another at liberty from the fears of death? How did holy Bradford's sweet and cheerful company make che
very dungeons lighifom, and palace-like to his fellow-prisoners as themselves confessed ? These, and such like practical matters will be the fittesi subjects for Christians to discourse of, when they meet cogether.
v. Let them impart their experiences and i the methods of Gods dealings with themselves or
others: How they got rid of such a corruption, vanquished such a temptation, atrain'd to a faci. lity in such a duty. Let them impart what may tend to the advancement of Holineffe
. VI. Let them provoke, and stir up one another to Holineffe, to Love, and to good works, admonishing and exhorting one another co'walch, and iake heed to their waies, seeing so many watch for their baltings, like those the Prophet speaks of, fer.20.10. All my familiars watched for my balting, &c.
VII. If any fallings out or jars shall happen among them at any time, let ihem be prudently and Jeafonably healed and made up. And in this case, praying together, and for one another, is of singular use. Let them (as the Apostle speaks
in another case, Fam. 5.16.) Confefse their · faults one to another, and pray one for another,
that they may be healed; if their minds have been diftempered, and ill-affected one towards another,
5. Retired holy Meditation,
Holy Meditation is the acting of the mind upon some Divine object, in order to the working upon the affections, and raising fome fit resolutions in the soul therefrom ; tending to Gods Glory, and the furtherance of Holinesse. How many Chrifti
. ans are there, that live in a constant neglect of this so exceeding useful duty, by which all other duties are improved, and by which the soul dia sesteth truths, and draweth forth their strength for its nourishment and refreshing ? Certainly, Meditation rightly mannaged, doch exceedingly tend to the advancement of Piety. I shall cherefore,
1. Give some Reasons why we should practise it.
2. Give fome Directions as to the manner how we should perform ir.
1. Consider, this was the practise of many of the eminent Saints of God recorded in the Scripcures. Ifaac and David were much in this Duty.
II. Consider the great benefit of ic daly performed.
Tis an excellent means,
1. To encrease knowledge, and to make the mind serious and solid: None are more knowing, setled, established Christians, chan such as are much in Meditation,
think upon it.
2. To stir up and awaken the Graces of Gods Spirit in us. Hereby we awaken our Faith, inflame our love, strengthen our hope, enliven oar desires, encrease our joyes in God, we loosen our affections from the world, and fore-acquaint our selves with the Glory that is to come.
3. To make the Word profitable. Meditation is the digestion of the soul. 'Tis not the taking in of food, but the ftomacks conco&ting of it, that makes it turn to blood and Spirits. For want of this, How many, Sermons are lost and do no good? The Word will not profit us, except we cake time to
4. To prepare the heart for prayer and other holy duties. Meditation tunes and prepares and fits the heart for solemn Worship:
s. To antidote and fortifie the foul against fen and temptation. If men would but often consider of the evil and danger of sin, it would be a great means to deter them from the practise of it.
6. 'Tis an excellent help and means of Communion with God. 'Tis the souls perspective, whereby it fees something of the Glory and happinesse of that Kingdom thac is above. Thus much of the Arguments for it.
I come now to give some Directions how ic should be managed.
I. Pitch upon some convenient time of the day for chis dury. A Christians timing his duty sright, is a great help to him in the right perform
ance of it. Some have chosen the morning for this duty, and some the evening : We have examples of both in Scripture. Of our Saviour, we read, Mark 1.35. And in the morning, rifing up a great while before day, he went out, and departed into a solitary place, and there prayed Gen. 24.63. And Isaac went out to meditate in the field At the even-tide.
II. Pirch upon some convenient retired place. The wise man tels us, Prov.18.1. Through defire å man having separated himself, seeketh and intermedleth with all wisdome. First he separates himself,& then intermedletb with wisdom. There is nothing the Devil more spights than this, that a man should often retire and separate himself from the world, cc meditate on his everlasting concernments. The Devil cannot endure a man should consider whether he be journeying towards Heaven
III. Get a good ftock of profitable materials co meditace on : as the Attributes of God: His promises of remiffion, sanctification, reward. The love of Chrift; The evil and danger of fin; The vanity of the Creature ; The neceffity of regeneration, The state of thy owon foul to God ward, The excellency of a gracious ftate; The preciousness of time ; of Eternity
: And the four last things, Death, Fudgment, Heaven, Hell. These and such like subjects will be fit matters to employ thy tboughts about.