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fictions : But although this Discipline be proper and particular, yet because the Sorrow is of the whole Man, no Sence must rejoyce, or be with any Study or Purpose feasted and entertained. foftly. This Rule is intended to relate to the Solemn Days appointed for Repentance publickly or privately: Besides which in the whole Course of our Life, even in the midst of our most Festival and freer Joys, we may sprinkle fonie fingle Instances and Acts of self-condemning, or punishing; as to refuse a pleasant Morsel or a delicious Draught with a tacit Remembrance of the Sin that now returns to displease my Spirit. And though these Actions be single, there is no Undecency in them, because a Man máy abate of his ordinary Liberty and bold Freedom with great Prudence, fo he does it without Singularity in himself, or Trouble to others, but he may not abate of his folemn Sorrow: That may be Caution, but this would be Softness, Effeminacy and Undecency.
7. When Fasting is an A& of Mortification, i.e. is intended to fubdue a bodily Luft, as the Spirit of Fornication, or the Fondness of ftrong and impatient Appetites, it must not be a sudden, sharp and violent Fait, but a State of Fasting, a Diet of Fafting, a daily leffening our Portion of Meat and Drink, and
a chusing fuch a course Diet which may make the Digiuna affai least Preparation for the Lufts of the Body. He that thi mal man- fafts three Days without Food, will weaken other
Parts more than the Ministers of Fornication : And when the Meals return as usually, they also will be ferved as soon as any. In the mean Time they will be supplied and made active by the accidental Heat that conies with such violent Fastings: For this is a kind of aeral Devil; the Prince that rules in the Air is the Devil of Fornication; and he will be as tempting with
the Windinefs of a violent Fast, as with the Flesh of Chi digiuna & altro ben an ordinary Meal. But a daily Subtraction of the Nouhon fa, Spa- rishment will introduce a less bufie Habit of Body, tagna il pane, and that will prove the more effe&tual Remedy. va. See Chap.. 8. Fasting alone will not cure this Devil, though 2. Sect.2.&3. it helps niuch towards it : But it must not therefore
be neglected, but affifted by all the proper Instruments of Remedy againft this unclean Spirit, and what it is unable to do alone, in Company with other Instruments, and God's Blefliug upon them, it may effe&t.
9. All Fasting, for whatsoever End it be undertaken, must be done without any Opinion of the Neceflity of the Thing itself, without censuring others, with all Humility, in Order to the proper End; and júft as a Man takes Physick, of which no Man hath Reafon to be proud, and no Man thinks it necessary; but because he is in Sickness, or in Danger and Dir. position to it.
10. All Fasts, ordained by lawful Authority, are to be observed in Order to the same Purposes to which they are enjoyned; and to be accompanied with Actions of the fame Nature, just as it is in private Fasts: For there is no other Difference, but that in publick our Superiors chuse for us, what in private we do for ourselves.
11. Fafts, ordained by lawful Authoriry, are not to be neglected, because alone they cannot do the thing in Order to which they were enjoyned. It may be one Day of Humiliation will not obtain the Bleffing, or alone kill the Luft, yet it must not be defpiled if it can do any thing towards it. An Ad of Fasting is an Act of Self-Denial, and though it do not produce the Habit, yet it is a good A&.
12. When the principal End why a Fast is publick, ly prescribed is obtained by some other Instrument in a particular Person, as if the Spirit of Fornication be cured by the Rite of Marriage, or by a Gift of Chaftity; yet that Perfon fo ealed is not freed from the Falts of the Church by that alone, if those Fafts can prudently serve any other End of Religion, as that of Prayer, or Repentance, or Mortification of some other Appetite : For when it is instrumental to any End of the Spirit, it is freed from Superstition, and then we must have some other Reason to quit us from the Obligation, or that alone will not do it.
13. When the Fast publickly commanded, by Reason of fome Indisposition in the particularPerfon, can
not operate to the End of the Commandment ; yot
14: All Fasting is to be used with Prudence and
out of too much Austerity we bring ourselves to that
15. Let not Intemperance be the Prologue or the Nè per cau. Epilogue to your Fast, left the Faft be fo far from tisto impinas taking off any thing of the Sin, that it be an Occafion gamus, ue vo- to increase it: And therefore when the Faft is done, saptatibus be careful that no fupervening Act of Gluttony or ex: 'Αμμυόμε
ceffive Drinking unhallow the Religion of the passed sa The Day; but eat temperately according to the Proporuéegr.
tion of other Meals, left Gluttony keep either of the
The Benefits of Fasting,
col. 21. C. 22.
nefits of Phyfick : For Fasting is not to be commended as a Duty, but as an Instrument; and in that Sence no Man can reprove it or undervalue it, but he that knows neither Spiritual Arts nor Spiritual Necessities. But by the Doctors of the Church it is called the Nourishment of Prayer, the Restraint of Luft, the Wings of the Soul, the Diet of Angels, the Instrument of Humility and Self-Denial, the Purification of the Spirit: 'And the Paleness and Meagerness of Visage which is consequent to the daily Faft of great Mortifiers, is by St. Bafil faid to be the Mark in the Forehead which the Angel observed when he figned the Saints in the Forehead to escape the Wrath of God. [The Soul that is greatly vexed, which goeth ft oop-Baruch a, (a ing and feeble, and the Eyes that fail, and the hungry Seul, pall give thee Praise and Righteousness, O Lord.]
of keeping Festivals, and Days Holy to the Lord :
particularly the Lord's-Day. T!
RUE Natural Religion, that which was con
mon to all Nations and Ages, did principally rely upon Four great Propofitions : 1. That there is one God; 2. That God is nothing of those Things which we see ; 3. That God takes Care of all Things below, and governs all the World ; 4. That he is the great Creator of all Things without himself: And according to these were framed the Four first Precepts of the Decalogue. In the first, the Unity of the GodHead is expresly affirmed. In the second, his Invi, fibility and Immateriality. In the third is affirmed God's Government and Providence, by avenging them that swear falfly by his Name ;. by which allo his Omniscience is declared. In the fourth Come mandment he proclaims himself the Maker of Heaven and Earth ; for in Memory of God's Rest from the Work of fix Days, the seventh was hallowed into a Sabbath ; and the keeping it was a confessing God
to be the great Maker of Heaven and Earth, and confequently to this, it also was a Confession of his Goodness, his Omnipotence and his Wisdom, all which were written with a Sun-Beam in the
Book of the Creature.
So long as the Law of the Sabbath was bound upon God's People, so long God would have that to be the folemn manner of confessing these Attributes : But when, the Priesthood being changed, there was a Change also of the Law, the great Duty remained unalterable in changed Circumitances. We are eternally bound to confess God Almighty to be the Maker of Heaven' and Earth ; but the manner of confefsing it is changed from a Reft or a doing nothing to a speaking something, from a Day to a Symbol, from a Ceremony to a Subftance, from a Jewish Rite to a Christian Duty: We profess it in our Creed, we confess it in our Lives, we describe it by every Line of our Life, by every Action of Duty; by Faith and Trust, and Obedience : And we do also
upon great Reason comply with the Jewifh manner of confessing the Creation, so far as it is inftrumental to a real Duty. We keep one Day in seven, and so confess the man ner and circumstance of the Creation; and we rest also that we may tend holy Duties : So imitating God's Reft better than the Jew in Synefius, who lay upon his face from Evening to Evening, and could not by Stripes or Wounds be raised up to steer the Ship in a great Storm. God's Reft was not a natural Ceffation, he who could not labour, could not be faid to rest : But God's Reft is to be understood to be a beholding and a rejoycing in his work finished; and therefore we truly rieprefent God's Rest, when we confess and rejoyce in God's Works and God's Glory.
This the Christian Church does upon every Day, but especially upon the Lord's-Day, which she hath set apart for this and all other Offices of Religion, being determined to this Day by the Resurrection of her deareft Lord, it being the first Day of Joy the Church ever had. And now upon the Lord's-Diy