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love God and pray to him, and hell for the wicked, who neither pray to him, nor love him. And can you ever hope, that God will save you from hell and the devil, and that he will receive you to dwell with himself, and with his Son Jesus Christ in heaven, if you never pray to him for these blessings?

IV. Consider what your mercies are."

How kindly has God dealt with you in this world? Has he not given you such parents and friends, who by his order provide food and raiment, and house and bed, and every thing convenient for you? How many poor children are there that want these comforts, and are exposed to hunger and cold? Have not your parents and friends taken care that you should be taught to read, and to learn many things for your good, both here and hereafter? Do you not know, that it was God who put it into their hearts, and also made them able to do it? How many thousand poor creatures are there in this land, who know nothing of God and cannot read a word? Is it not God who has made this happy difference between you and them? and should you not praise him for his goodness? Have you not seen other children blind, or lame, or crooked, or foolish? Is it not God who has given you your limbs and your senses? Is it not the same good God, that gives you health and peace by night and day; and are you not bound to thank him for these his mercies? What! would you live like the brute beasts who eat and drink and sleep and take no notice of the great God, from whose hand all your blessings come?

Has not God, by his good providence, caused you to be born and bred in Great Britain, in a land where you have learned the knowledge of the true God, and are not brought up to worship images of wood or stone among the heathens? Have you not the bible, the book of God in your hands in English, where you can read of God, and Christ, and heavenly things; whereas the papists breed up their children without their bibles, and had you been born among them, you must have lived in ignorance too? And since you are taught to know God and the way to heaven, as well as blessed with so many blessings here on earth, is not your heart full of thankfulness to God? And how can you refrain from falling down upon your knees, and praising the mercy of God, who has done all this for you?

V. "Consider what relation you stand in to others.”

Have you not a father and mother that you are bound to honour and love? and would you never pray, that God would bestow his best blessings on them, and make them live long to breed you up in his fear? Have you not brothers or sisters, or other friends and relations that love you? and have you no mercies to ask of God for them? Do not your masters or teachers, ministers or governors desire that you should pray to God to

bless them, that they may the better instruct you, in the knowledge of all things useful for this world and that to come. They pray for you, and you should pray for them.

Have you not heard of magistrates and rulers, who keep all the town, or city, and the whole nation round about you in peace? Have you not heard of our most excellent king George the Second, who preserves the protestant religion among us, and keeps us from being plundered and ruined by the cruel and bloody papists? Have not you heard of the royal family of princes and princesses, by whose means, we hope, this kingdom will be for ever preserved from popery and slavery? And are you not bound to give thanks to God for such a protestant king, and pray for all blessings upon him and his royal house for ever?

And indeed you stand so nearly related to all mankind, that you should sometimes lift up a prayer to heaven for them. Pray for heathens, and Turks, and Jews, that they may be turned away from their follies and errors, and false religions, and be led into the ways of truth, and holiness, and eternal peace. And you should pray for the nation, also, to which you belong, that we all may be preserved in peace and prosperity: And can you not find in your hearts to forgive those that have injured you, and to lift up one prayer for your enemies, that God would forgive them too? This must be done if you would be christians indeed.

Since then, dear children, there are such a multitude of reasons, that oblige you to pray to God, since you see it is your constant duty, and it is your highest interest, if you would be safe and happy in this world, or the world to come, I would persuade myself, you will delay no longer, but begin this religious work immediately; and I humbly hope and pray, that God would abundantly assist and bless you therein, that you may learn from your own experience, how sweet and profitable a thing it is, to call upon the name of the Lord*.

Advices to Children relating to Prayer.

I. Advice. If you make use of any of these prayers, let your parents or teachers assist you, in chusing such as are proper for your age and your capacity; and be sure, that you learn to understand every word and sentence in the prayer which you use: If there be any expression in it which you do not understand, ask your friends the meaning of it before you speak it to God, that you may not speak words like a parrot, who knows not what he says, or like the children of the papist who are taught to say their prayers in "Latin," when they do not understand one word of them.

* To encourage you herein, read an excellent little discourse, lately published, called "The Necessity and Advantages of Closet Religion,"

II. Learn the prayers which you use, by heart, as soon as you can: For hereby, you will be able to pray in the dark, where you cannot see to read: Hereby also, you will learn what is the sense and language of a christian prayer, and so you will the sooner be able to form prayers for yourselves, and pray to God without such prayers composed for you. But, I would not have you entirely neglect praying to God all the while you are learning them by heart: For if you read them in a humble, serious and pious manner, God will accept your morning and evening worship. This is far better than to live without prayer, to live as the brute beasts, who never call upon God. And indeed, when you can repeat the prayers by heart, I cannot think it amiss, many times to have the book open near you, lest your memory slip, in your younger years of childhood, before you are capable of putting in other words of your own, to supply the place of these words, which you have forgotten.

III. Seek out a proper time to retire alone by yourself, morning and evening, at those seasons or hours wherein you have no other necessary business or duty.

And here I would persuade myself that parents or masters, who take due care of the souls of children, would not only admonish and encourage them to seek God in secret, morning and evening, but would point out a proper place for their retirements. This is easy done in private families: And they should make some observations, whether children observe these seasons or no. In some schools, I have heard there are certain seasons in the day, which are called, "The half hour," which are ordained, on purpose, for children to retire; and, if they cannot be entirely alone, yet, at distant parts of their bed-chambers, they may lift up their hearts, and their low voices, to God in worship.

In the morning, I would generally say, the earlier the better: For if you lose the first opportunity, you will often find that you will be utterly hindered from praying, by other things that may happen. Besides, it is best to call upon God early, and begin the day with religion, that you may beg a blessing on yourself, and on all your business that day. Do not begin with the world in the morning, before you have been with God. In the evening, I cannot say, the later the better: But rather embrace the first convenient evening hour that offers, lest you be drowsy. However, it is much better to pray late, than not to pray at all. If, at any time, you are hindered in the morning, be sure, if possible, that you be not hindered in the evening too. But the best way is to keep pretty nearly the same seasons, every day, for your morning and evening retirements, if your circumstances of life, and the affairs of the family where you live will allow it.

Perhaps, there may some children, who are called to school,

as soon as ever they rise in the morning, or are bounfl to obey some other orders in a family, so that they cannot find any so proper time as noon for their retirement: Then let them use chiefly the morning prayer: But let them not content themselves with praying once a day, if it be possible for them to find another fit season, in the afternoon, or evening: And if they are forced to omit it once now and then, let it not grow to a custom or constant practice, to omit their evening devotions; yet rather pray once a day, than not at all.

IV. Seek a proper and convenient place for your secret retirements: It is no matter what or where the place be, if it be freest from all disturbance. A bed-chamber is generally a proper place for those who have not the conveniency of closets for themselves. Be not afraid to go alone by yourselves, though it may be sometimes in the dark: You are going to meet with God, and he is ever near to them that call upon him. The presence of God is an almighty security and defence, against all manner of evils, that you can suspect or fear. Nothing can hurt you, while God is with you.

V. If you have time and conveniency for it, in your secret worship read a chapter or two, and a psalm before you pray. For my part, I could wish there were select portions of scripture chosen out, and printed by themselves, for children to read in private, that their time devoted to religion and worship might not be spent in such parts of the bible, as are of very little use to them. However, for want of this, I would recommend the book of Genesis, and of Exodus, as far as the xxth chapter, and the book of Proverbs, and the four gospels, with some practical chapters out of the epistles, and especially the book of Psalms, to be the chief subjects of their reading in secret, in their younger years. The book of Proverbs abounds in useful lessons of prudence, and instructions of piety: The book of Psalms is full of prayers and praises. And let the word not be read in a slight, or careless and hasty manner, but with a diligent attention, and with an endeavour to remember something of it every day.

VI. Leave your business and your sports, and all thoughts of them behind you, when you retire for worship. Let your spirit be composed to great seriousness when you begin to pray. The reading of a chapter will help to compose your thoughts, and fix them more on divine things. Fall down upon your knees before God in a humble posture, and remember, that you are come into the presence of the Great God, that your are going to speak to the Majesty of heaven, before whom angels worship, and at whose name devils tremble; take heed therefore, that you do not trifle with him, nor take his holy name in vain. He sees your heart, he knows all your thoughts, and he observes all your wanderings from him. And, for your encouragement

also remember that he takes kind notice of every sincere desire, and every pious wish that rises from your heart.

VII. Take heed, that you speak not any thing to God in prayer, which is not the sincere thought and desire of your own soul. See to it, that your heart agree to the words of your prayer, or else do not utter them before God. "God is a Spirit, and he will be worshipped in spirit and in truth :" He hates a hypocrite, who speaks what he does not mean. If there be, therefore, any sentence in the prayer, which is not suitable to your present case, or which your heart does not agree to, leave it out, and speak what is the sense of your own heart.

VIII. Take notice, every day, what good or evil falls out relating to you, and by this means, perhaps, you will often have some particular thing in your mind to mention before God, which is not expressed, so plainly, in the words of the prayer; it may be some sin to confess, some sorrow to complain of, some blessing to desire, or some mercy to give thanks for: Then be sure to speak it with freedom in your own language: The great God, who hears the young ravens, when they cry, will much more take notice of the voice and language of young children, when they pray to him; and he understands the meaning of your heart though your expressions may not be so proper as you could wish. This will be the way to learn to pray, and gain an ability in time to address God in a proper manner, without the necessity of such forms.

IX. Use a low voice in secret prayer: It may be so loud, that yourself may just hear it, but scarce loud enough for others to hear it, in a distant part even of the same room. A small voice will be of some use to keep your thoughts from wander. ing, but a loud voice may, perhaps, give occasion for other persons to charge you with hypocrisy, as though you practised your duties, on purpose, to be seen and heard of men, and to make a shew of your goodness and religion. And yet,

X. If any persons whatsoever take notice of your retiring daily, to pray to God in secret, never be ashamed of it, nor leave off prayer, for fear of being seen or known to be religious. If you are ashamed of worshipping God your heavenly Father in this world, God will be ashamed to own you for one of his children, in the world to come.

XI. When several children join together, and one of them repeats any of these prayers, take care that nothing be done with rudeness or confusion, but let all decency and gravity be practised. Let not him that speaks begin, till all are come in, and have fallen down on their knees; and let every one attend to the words spoken, and lift up his heart to God, in all the several sentences; that the prayer of every one may be accepted of God,

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