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prayers, the reader may please to observe that all those that can possibly fall under this imputation, are subdivided into so many distinct paragraphs, that it will be very easy for him to make such alterations and omissions in the use of them, as will reduce them to the brevity any one's particular circumstances may require. I desire likewise, the same method may be taken with reference to any of the collections out of Scripture that shall seem too long; as indeed in some of them, I could not avoid being longer than ordinary, by reason of the multiplicity of particulars contained under the general subject they relate to. But these also are always broken into several subdivisions, which having no immediate connexion with each other, may, without any matter of inconvenience, be used separately, some at one time, and some at another, in such proportions, as every one's leisure will admit of.
It was not without some difficulty I prevailed with myself to publish the devotions peculiarly relating to the clergy. I am too conscious of my own imperfections, and too sensible of the just deference I owe to the much superior abilities of my reverend brethren, to imagine either that they can need ance that I am able to offer ; or, that any thing I can offer them, should be comparable to what they can do themselves : and therefore I think myself bound, in justice to them and myself, to let both them, and the world know, that these devotions were drawn up at first, purely for my own private use; and the only consideration that induced me to make them public was, that (though those, who make up that reverend body at present, may be above the want of any such help as this; yet) they may perhaps be of use to those, who shall hereafter enter into holy orders; and that, both before their ordination, by assisting them in their devotions preparatory to it; and also afterwards, till they can find leisure and opportunity to furnish themselves with better. The Scripture collections upon this subject take in all the most material passages of the Old and New Testament, that respect the ministerial function; and for the more convenient and profitable use of them, they are all carefully digested under proper heads.
It is hoped the lay-Christian will not expect any apology upon this account; since all that relates to the clergy is contained within so few pages, that the addition thereby made to the bulk, or price of the book, must needs be very inconsiderable.
God of his infinite mercy give us all grace, so to pray, and so to live, that our prayers may derive a happy influence upon our lives; and our lives give a power and efficacy to our prayers ; and both jointly contribute to our daily increase in those divine graces and virtues, which will entitle us to God's peculiar favour and blessing in this world; and to that far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, which is reserved in heaven for all those, who, at the glorious appearing of the great God, and our Saviour Jesus Christ, shall be found meet to be partakers of the inheritance of the saints in light. Amen.
OFFICES OF DEVOTION,
DAILY AND OCCASIONAL;
1. DEVOTIONS FOR MORNING. II. DEVOTIONS FOR EVENING. III, DEVOTIONS FOR NOON. IV. DEVOTIONS FOR THE AFTERNOON.
WITH SUITABLE PRAYERS.
To be frequent in prayer is a duty incumbent upon all: which as it is very strictly enjoined in Holy Scripture, so it has a great many very gracious and ample promises made to it, in order to encourage and enforce the practice of it. P. 2–5.
The qualifications necessary to eritle our prayers to the favour and acceptance of God are,
1. A conscientious care and endeavour to serve God in purity of heart, and uprightness of life; p. 5—7.
2. Such a calm and peaceable, such a charitable and beneficent temper, as can easily overlook, and readily forgive the indiscretions and miscarriages, and even the affronts and injuries of those we converse with ; and, upon all proper occasions, will contribute cheerfully, and where God has given ability liberally, towards the relief of those who are in calamitous or indigent circumstances; p. 7–10.
3. An attentive consideration of the nature, and importance of the duty of prayer : and such an intense application of mind, and fervour of spirit, as