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the Ægyptians, call'd Cynocephales, that died piece-meal, and were buried long before their death: fo fhould we bury all our concupifcences before we go to the grave, and ftrive to live fo that when death comes he should find very little business with us.


O Father of all effences, who giveft beginning to all things and art without end, this day I take ashes upon my head, thereby profeffing, before thee, my being nothing; and to do thee homage for that which I am, and for that I ought to be, by thy great bounties. Alafs! O Lord, my poor foul is confounded to fee so many sparkles of pride and covetoufness arife from this caitiff duft, which I am; fo little do I yet learn how to live, and fo late do I know how to die. O God of my life and death, I moft humbly beseech thee fo to govern the first in me, and so to sweeten the laft for me, that, if I live, I may live only for thee; and if I muft die, that I may enter into everlasting bliss, by dying in thy bleffed love and favour.


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The Gofpel for Afh-Wednesday, St. Matthew vi.

Of hypocritical fasting.

WHEN THEN you faft, be not, as the hypocrites, fad: for they disfigure their faces, that they may appear unto men to fast. Amen, I fay unto you, that they have received their reward.

But thou, when thou doft faft, anoint thy head, and wash thy face; that thou appear not to men to faft, but to thy father which is in fecret: and thy father which feeth in fecret will repay thee.

Heap not up to yourselves treasures on the earth; where the ruft and moth do corrupt, and where thieves dig through and fteal: but heap up to yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither ruft nor moth doth corrupt, and where thieves do not dig through nor steal. For where thy treasure is, there is thy heart also.


1.THAT man goes to hell by the way

of Paradife who fafts and afflicts his body to draw the praife of men. Sorrow and vanity together are not able to make one chriftian act. He deferves everlasting hunger

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ger who ftarves himself that he may fwell and burst with vain-glory. He ftands for a Spectacle for others, being the murderer of himself; and by fowing vanity, reaps nothing but the wind. Our intentions muft be wholly directed to God, and our examples for our neighbour. The father of all virtues is not to be ferved with counterfeit devotions; fuch lies are abominable in his fight; and Tertullian faith, they are as many adulteries.

2. It imports us much to begin Lené well, entering those lifts in which fo many Souls have run their courfe with fo great ftrictness; having been glorious before God, and honourable before men. The difficulty of it is apprehended only by those who have their understandings obfcured by a violent affection to kitchen-ftuff. It is no more burdenfome to a couragious fpirit, than feathers are to a bird. The chearfulness which a man brings to a good action in the beginning, does half the work. Let us wash our faces by confeffion; let us perfume our head, who is Jefus Chrift, by alms deeds. Fafting is a moft delicious feaft to the conscience, when it is accompanied with pureness and charity; but it breeds

breeds great thirft when it is not nourished with devotion, and watered with mercy.

3. What great pain is taken to get treafure; what care to preferve it; what fear to lose it, and what forrow when it is loft! Alas, is there need of fo great covetoufness in life to encounter with fuch extream nakedness in death? We have not the fouls of giants, nor the body of a whale. If God will have me poor, muft I endeavour to reverse the decrees of heaven and earth that I may become rich? To whom do we truft the safety of our treasures? to ruft, to moths and thieves. Were it not better we fhould in our infirmities depend only on God almighty, and comfort our poverty in him who is only rich; and fo carry our fouls to heaven, where Jefus on the day of his afcenfion did place our fovereign good? Only ferpents and covetous men defire to fleep amongst treasures, as faint Clement faith. But the greateft riches of the world s poverty free from covetousness.


Seek thee, O invincible God, within the abyfs of thy brightness, and I fee thee thro' the veil of thy creatures. Wilt thou e always hidden from me? fhall I never fee

fee thy face, which with a glimpse of thy fplendor canft make paradife? I work in fecret, but I know thou art able to reward me in the light. A man can lofe nothing by ferving thee, and yet nothing is valuable to thy fervice, for the pain itself is a fufficient recompence. Thou art the food of my faftings, and the cure of my infirmities. What have I to do with moles, to dig the earth, like them, and there to hide treafures? Is it not time to close the earth, when thou doft open heaven, and to carry my heart where thou art, fince all my riches are in thee? Doth not he deserve to be everlastingly poor who cannot be content with a God fo rich as thou art?

The Gospel for the first Thursday in Lent, St. Matthew xviii.

Of the centurion's words: O Lord I am not worthy.

AND ND when he was entered into Capernaum, there came unto him a centurion, befeeching him, and saying, Lord, my boy lieth at home fick of the pally, and is fore tormented. And Jefus faid to him, I will come and cure him.


And the centurion making anfwer, faid, Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst enter under


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