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Blessed Is the man whose will is in the law ef th LORD; o4 ho shall 
meditate on his law day and night. 

And he shall be like a tree which is planted near the running waters, which 
shall bring forth its fruit in due season. 

And his leaf shall not fall off, and all whatsoever Me shall do shall prosper. 
Psalm i, 1, 2, 3. 





THOSE who are at all acquainted with the writings 
of Bishop Challoner, need not be told of the excel- 
YEAR. For .more than half a century this has been 
a standard devotional book among Catholics. The 
Meditations are marked by a method, a clearness, a 
solidity, an earnestness, a thoroughness, and withal, 
by a simplicity and an unction, which cannot fail to 
commend them to every Christian mind and heart. 
They are indeed an invaluable treasury of moral 
truths, fully unfolded and strongly enforced. They 
embrace the entire circle of Christian morality, in- 
cluding the most instructive and touching traits in 
the life, teachings, sufferings, death and resurerction 
of Jesus Christ. 

Whoever will use this work regularly every day 
cannot but find, at the close of the year, that he has 
meditated on all that is most instructive and soul-stir- 
ring in the Christian religion. The subjects are fine- 
ly adapted to 'the different seasons of the church, and 
to the various festivals of the calendar ; and they 
moreover run into each other, so as to constitute a 
progressive and harmonious development of Chris- 
tian truths. 

The chief feature in the present edition is, that it is 


an exact reprint, now made for the first time in the 
United States, of the Abridgment of Bishop Challo- 
mer's Meditations, by the Rev. JOHN BELL, of Eng- 
land. The advantages proposed in the republication 
of this abridgment, are chiefly two-fold : first, the 
work is thus reduced to a little more than half the 
size, and may consequently be procured at half the 
expense of the original edition; and second, the 
Meditations, which many had found too long for ordi- 
nary use in the original work, are thus brought down 
to such a compass as is deemed most suitable to the 
tastes and wants of the -greatest number. 

In general, we are opposed to abridgments; because 
they are often carelessly made, and disfigure the ori- 
ginal work without producing any great amount of 
good. But we firmly believe that the present abridg- 
ment of Bishop Challoner's Meditations is an excep- 
tion to this remark. Besides clearly possessing the 
advantages just indicated, it adorns, instead of muti- 
lating the work itself. While it faithfully gives 
the entire substance of all the Meditations, and in the 
precise order in which they then stood, it presents a 
decided improvement in language and style. The 
long, and sometimes tedious periods and illustrations 
of Dr. Challoner are here rendered shorter, more va- 
ried, and more graceful. And though we do not at- 
tach any great importance to the mere style of a book 
of devotion, and though we even greatly prefer the 
homely simplicity and unstudied words of some 
among our older ascetical writers to the flippant graces 
and empty verboseness of some of a more modern 
date, yet we cannot but believe that there may be a 
happy conjunction of true devotion and real pathos 

PK fif ACE. 

with chaste simplicity and faultless elegance of style; 
and also, that such a conjunction is highly desirable 
in the present day. 

Such are some of the motives which led to the pub- 
lication of the present edition. Confident we are, 
that those who will procure this work and use it daily, 
will find in it all the advantages we have indicated. 
Fathers of families should have this book for their 
own. edification, and the instruction of their children. 
Daily meditation on some great truth of Christianity 
is one of the most effectual means of avoiding vice 
and practising virtue. Those who do not daily arm 
themselves with the weapons of prayer and reflection, 
are like soldiers who enter into battle without armor. 

Of one thing we are quite certain : that no book of 
religious instruction in our language contains, within 
an equal compass, a greater amount of solid and use- 
ful matter than Challoner's Meditations, as now pre- 
sented to the American public. Every one will be 
readily convinced of this, by obtaining and examin- 
ing the work for himself. The work, in its present 
form, is deemed specially adapted to the use of the 
missionary clergy and of religious communities. 


1, ^ 






Or, New Year's Day. 

CONSIDER, first, that our infant Saviour, being now but eight 
days old, began already to shed his sacred blood in obedience 
to his Father's will, and subjected himself on this day to that 
most painful and most humbling ceremony of circumcision; as 
if he, like the rest of sinful mortals, had wanted any expiation. 
No, Christians! He came to discharge the immense debt con- 
tracted by our sins to his Father's justice, by shedding the last 
drop of his blood in expiation for them; and, lo! he has here 
given us an earnest of the payment, by submitting himself this 
day to the painful knife of circumcision. 

Secondly, Place before your eyes this divine infant, this be- 
loved of your souls, "beautiful beyond the children of men," 
all imbrued in his own most sacred blood, and suffering for 
you, in that tender age, the cruel smart of a most sensible 
wound. Behold he now. gives for us these first-fruits of his 
blood, and will one day give all his blood, to rescue us from 
the destroying angel! Blessed be his divine charity forever! 
.Consider, thirdly, that it is.the duty of all Christians to imitate 
our Lord's circumcision by a spiritual circumcising of the heart. 
This God often calls for in holy scripture, and always preferred 
before the carnal circumcision? ft consists in cutting off or re- 
nouncing all disorderly affections to the world and vanity; to 
the vice of avarice, and the lusts of the flesh; that is, our sin- 
ful passions and depraved inclinations. Do you heartily em- 
brace and "daily put in practice' this circumcision of the heart? 

' Conclude to give your heart" to your infant Saviour, who be- 
, gan on this day to shed his blood for you: but let it be a heart 
purified from all such affections as are disagreeable to him. 



On Beginning a New Life with the New Year. 

CONSIDEK, first, how many years of your life are now past 
and gone; how long it is since you first came to the knowledge 
of good and evil, and in what manner you have spent all this 
precious time given you for no other end, hut that you might 
employ it in the love and service of your God, and in securing 
the salvation of your immortal soul. Alas! have any of these 
past years been spent in such manner as to answer this great 
end? Have they not all, one after another, flowed away un- 
profitahly into the gulph of eternity, and heen utterly lost to 
your soul? It is well if they have not. 

Consider, secondly, the present state and condition of your 
conscience. How stand accounts between your soul and God? 

What if this very day you -were called to the bar of divine JUS- 

tice? Ah! do not deceive yourself, nor suffer yourself to be 
imposed upon by the enemy. Your time in all appearance will 
be much shorter than you are willing to imagine. Many thou- 
sands who expect death as little as yourself, will close their life 
with the present year. Set then your house in order: begin this 
very day to rectify the whole state of your interior; and live, 
henceforward, as you desire to die. There cannot be too great 
security, where eternity is at stake. 

Consider, thirdly, how long the mercy of God has borne with 
you, and, notwithstanding your repeated crimes, has brought 
you to the beginning of this year, out of a sincere desire of your 
salvation. Planted in his vineyard, like the barren fig-tree, 
you have hitherto brought forth only leaves; but see, he is wil- 
ling to try you once more, and to entrust you a little while long- 
er with his word, his graces, and his sacraments. Take care to 
disappoint him no more, by refusing the fruit of repentance 
which he expects, lest he should once for all order the barren 
tree to be cut down, and cast into the fire. 

Conclude to begin from this very hour to turn away from sin, 
to the. love and service of your God. Alas! how few Christians 
seem to be truly in earnest in this greatest of all their concerns. 


The Rules of a New Life. 

CONSIDER, first, that in the epistle read on New Year's Day, 
( Titus "ii. 11 15,) the apostle has, in few words, declared to 
us the rules we are to follow in the conduct of our lives: what 
we are to renounce; what we are to practise; what we are to 
look for; and to what we are to tend. "The grace of God our 
Saviour," says he, "hath appeared to all men; instructing us, that 


denying ungodliness and worldly desires, we should live sober- 
ly, and justly, and godly in this world, looking for that blessed 
hope, and the coming of the glory of that great God, and our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he might re- 
deem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a. people 
acceptable, a pursuer of good works." 

Consider, secondly, therefore, the end for which our God and 
Saviour came down amongst us, by the mystery of his incarna- 
tion. It was to redeem us from all iniquity, by freeing us from 
the slavery of Satan, Sin, and Hell; by breaking in sunder all 
the chains of our vices and passions; and by purchasing for us 
mercy, grace, and salvation. 0! let us seriously resolve to 
lead lives worthy our vocation. 

Consider, thirdly, that having been purchased by the Son of 
God at so great a price, we must esteem ourselves henceforward 
as his property. Thia should bo our rule in all -we do; abso- 
lutely to renounce whatever we know to be displeasing to him, 
and to pursue with all our strength what we know to be agree- 
able to his divine pleasure. "You are not your own," says the 
apostle, (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20,) "you are bought with a great price. 
Glorify and bear God in your body." 

Conclude to take for the rule, of your life this holy will of 
your Redeemer: its observance will conduct you to eternal 

What we must renounce by the Christian's Rule. 

CONSIDER, first, that we are enjoined by the rule above men- 
tioned, to "deny all ungodliness and worldly desires," and to 
be clean "from all iniquity.'' We are all obliged to dedicate 
ourselves to God from our first coming to the use of reason. 
But the sinner, like the apostate angels, turns himself away 
from God; he refuses him his heart, and gives it up to vanities. 
This is ungodliness; this is a kind of idolatry, in preferring 
"the creature before the Creator, who is blessed for ever and 

Consider, secondly, that the tempter, in order to draw us 
away from God, sets before us the deceitful appearances of 
some worldly honor, profit, or pleasure; and with these he al- 
lures deluded mortals to his service: These are the gilded pills 
with which he poisons the soul. Hence the Christian's rule re- 
quires that, with ungodliness, he should also deny all worldly 
desires. For when we thus despise and abhor the choicest al- 
lurements of Satan, he stands confounded, and can do no more. 

Consider, thirdly, what are these worldly lusts and desires. 
"Love not the world/' says the beloved disciple, (1 John ii. 



On Beginning a New Life -with the New Year. 

CONSIDER, first, how many years of your life are now past 
and gone; how long it is since you first came to the knowledge 
of good and evil, and in what manner you have spent all this 
precious time given you for no other end, hut that you might 
employ it in the love and service of your God, and in securing 
the salvation of your immortal soul. Alas! have any of these 
past years been spent in such manner as to answer this great 
end? Have they not all, one after another, flowed away un- 
profitably into the gulph of eternity, and been utterly lost to 
your soul? It is well if they have not. 

Consider, secondly, the present state and condition of your 
conscience. How stand accounts between your soul and God? 
What if this very day you were called to the bar of divine jus- 
tice? Ah! do not deceive yourself, nor suffer yourself to be 
imposed upon by the enemy. Your time in all appearance will 
be much shorter than you are willing to imagine. Many thou- 
sands who expect death as little as yourself, will close their life 
with the present year. Set then your house in order: begin this 
very day to rectify the whole state of your interior; and live, 
henceforward, as you desire to die. There cannot be too great 
security, where eternity is at stake. 

Consider, thirdly, how long the mercy of God has borne with 
you, and, notwithstanding your repeated crimes, has brought 
you to the beginning of this year, out of a sincere desire of your 
salvation. Planted in his vineyard, like the barren fig-tree, 
you have hitherto brought forth only leaves; but see, he is wil- 
ling to try you once more, and to entrust you a little while long- 
er with his word, his graces, and his sacraments. Take care to 
disappoint him no more, by refusing the fruit of repentance 
which he expects, lest he should once for all order the barren 
tree to be cut down, and cast into the fire. 

Conclude to begin from this very hour to turn away from sin, 
to the, love and service of your God. Alas! how few Christians 
seem to be truly in earnest in this greatest of all their concerns. 


The Pules of a New Life. 

CONSIDER, first, that in the epistle read on New Year's Day, 
(Titus ii. 11 15,) the apostle has, in few words, declared to 
us the rules we are to follow in the conduct of our lives: what 
we are to renounce; what we are to practise; what we are to 
look for; and to what we are to tend. "The grace of God our 
Saviour," says he, "hath appeared to all men; instructing us, that 


denying ungodliness and worldly desires, -we should live sober- 
ly, and justly, and godly in this world, looking for that blessed 
hope, and the coming of the glory of that great God, and our 
Saviour Jesus Christ, who gave himself for us that he might re- 
deem us from all iniquity, and might cleanse to himself a. people 
acceptable, a pursuer of good works." 

Consider, secondly, therefore, the end for which our God and 
Saviour came down amongst us, by the mystery of his incarna- 
tion. It was to redeem us from all iniquity, by freeing us from 
the slavery of Satan, Sin, and Hell; by breaking in sunder all 
the chains of our vices and passions; and by purchasing for us 
mercy, grace, and salvation. 0! let us seriously resolve to 
lead lives Avorthy our vocation. 

Consider, thirdly, that having been purchased by the Son of 
God at so great a price, we must esteem ourselves henceforward 
as his property. This should bo our rule in all we do; abso- 
lutely to renounce whatever we know to be displeasing to him, 
and to pursue with all our strength what we know to be agree- 
able to his divine pleasure. "You are not your own," says the 
apostle, (1 Cor. vi. 19, 20,) "you are bought with a great price. 
Glorify and bear God in your body." 

Conclude to take for the rule, of your life this holy will of 
your Redeemer: its observance will conduct you to eternal 

What we must renounce by the Christian's Pule. 

CONSIDER, first, that we are enjoined by the rule above men- 
tioned, to "deny all ungodliness and worldly desires," and to 
be clean "from all iniquity.'* We are all obliged to dedicate 
ourselves to God from our first coming to the use of reason. 
But the sinner, like the apostate angels, turns himself away 
from God; he refuses him his heart, and gives it up to vanities. 
This is ungodliness; this is a kind of idolatry, in preferring 
"the creature before the Creator, who is blessed for ever and 

Consider, secondly, that the tempter, in order to draw us 
away from God, sets before us the deceitful appearances of 
some worldly honor, profit, or pleasure; and with these he al- 
lures deluded mortals to his service: These are the gilded pills 
with which he poisons the soul. Hence the Christian's rule re- 
quires that, with ungodliness, he should also deny all worldly 
desires. For when we thus despise and abhor the choicest al- 
lurements of Satan, he stands confounded, and can do no more. 

Consider, thirdly, what are these worldly lusts and desires. 
"Love not the world," says the beloved disciple, (1 John ii. 


15, 16,) "not the things that are in the world. If any man 
love the world, the charity of the Father (the love of God) is 
not in him: for all that is in the world, is the concupiscence of 
the flesh, and the concupiscence of the eyes, and the pride of 
life." On this account the same apostle tells us, ( v. 19,) that 
the whole world "is seated in wickedness:" so that, if we de- 
sire to belong to Christ, in good earnest, we must declare a per- 
petual war against sensual pleasures, avarice and pride. 

Conclude to be ever zealous lovers of this your rule, by deny- 
ing ungodliness and worldly pleasures ; and place your felicity 
in the love and service of Almighty God. 

On the Lives we are to lead by the Christian's Rule. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Christian's duty has three branches: 
one of them relates to the regulating of himself; another re- 
gards his neighbor; but the third and chief of all relates to his 
God. All these we fulfill, if we live "soberly, and justly, and 
godly." By living soberly, we keep ourselves in perfect order: 
by living justly, we behave towards our neighbours in all things 
as we ought; and by living godly, we dedicate our whole lives 
to God. 

Consider, secondly, that Christian sobriety excludes not only 
intemperance in eating and drinking, but also all other excesses 
and disorders which any way carry us beyond the bounds of 
strict regularity: it restrains pride by humility, anger by meek- 
ness, lust by purity. Christian justice regulates our whole con- 
duct to our neighbors, by that golden rule of doing as we would 
be done by, and thus excludes every thought, every word, action, 
or dealing, which may tend to his prejudice or disadvantage. 
And true godliness makes us seek God, in all things and above 
all things. 

Consider, thirdly, that in endeavoring to comply with these 
rules, we must not confine our views to the narrow limits -of 
this mortal life: we must be ever looking forward to the great 
objects of the Christian's hope, the glorious coming of our God 
and Saviour Jesus Christ; and in the mean time lament the long 
continuance of our banishment here, and our great distance 
from him in this foreign land. 

Conclude to begin at least with this new year, to enter npon 
the true paths of life, by a general sobriety, justice and godli- 


On the Epiphany. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day our infant Saviour was first 
made known to the Gentiles in the persons of the wise men of 
the east, who were conducted to him hy an apparition of an ex- 
traordinary star; and on this account it is called the Epiphany. 
It is just we should all celebrate with gratitude this day of our 
first calling to the knowledge and faith of Christ, this christ- 
mas day of the Gentiles! How great, Christians, is this bene- 
fit of your vocation to the true faith! If this alone had been 
wanting, all others would have been lost upon you; and you 
must have been eternally miserable. Bless then your God who 
has brought you, in preference to millions of others, to his ad- 
mirable light, and has not suffered you to "sit in darkness and 
in the shadow of death." 

Consider, secondly, the wonderful ways of divine provi- 
dence, as well as in preparing beforehand both the Jews and 
the Gentiles to expect about that time the coming of the Mes- 
siah, as in giving early notice of his birth, to the Jews by the 
apparition of angels to the shepherds; and to the Gentiles by 
the star. But alas! how few either of the one or the other 
duly corresponded with this great call! and is it not the case of 
millions to this day, who though many ways called and invited 
by, and to that "light, which enlighteneth every man that com- 
eth into this world," (John 1.) choose rather to remain in the 
darkness of infidelity, error, or vice, than to follow its unerring 

Consider, thirdly, how the wise men set out without delay 
under the guidance of this star, in quest of their new-born king, 
and were thus happily brought to Christ and to his admirable 
light; while their senseless countrymen neglected their sum- 
mons, and died in their infidelity. See the difference between 
a ready compliance with the grace ,of God, and the neglect of 
his heavenly calls, a difference which produces here the dis- 
tinction of the saint and the sinner; and will terminate hereafter 
in a happy eternity for such as faithfully follow the light, and a 
miserable eternity for such as despise it! 

Conclude to be ever attentive to the voice of grace, sweetly 
inviting yon to leave the ways of iniquity, and to follow Christ. 
Alas! how many of his stars have you hitherto neglected! 

The Wise Men's journey to Bethlehem. 

CONSIDER, first, that the wise men, immediately vipon the 
apparition of the star, set out to seek their Saviour whom it 


denoted, in Judea. For by an ancient tradition, and by the 
prophecy of Balaam, (Numbers xxiv. 17,) they understood that 
was the place of his nativity. Wherefore, going to Jerusalem, 
where it was most likely they should hear news concerning 
him, they inquire, "Where is he that is born king of the Jews? 
For we have seen his star in the east, and we are come to adore 
him," (Matthew ii. 2. ) But as the kingdom of Christ was not 
of this world, and was to be established upon the ruins of 
worldly pride, and of all the pomps of Satan, he chose for his 
birth the humble stable of Bethlehem, before all the stately 
palaces of Jerusalem, as more agreeable to his kingdom, the 
kingdom of humility and of truth. IJappy those souls whose 
eyes are ever open to this heavenly truth, and shut to the vani- 
ties of the world. For thus do they become themselves the 
kingdom of Christ, even that kingdom in which he shall reign 
for ever! 

Consider, secondly, how Herod was troubled on hearing of 
the birth of this new king; and so was all Jerusalem with him. 
How much more happy was the dispositions of the wise men, 
who desired, at all events, to find Christ, and gladly embraced 
the directions of those, who, by their office, were qualified to 
point him out. to them? But, alas! how miserable were those 
priests and scribes, who, directing the wise men to our Saviour, 
took no pains to seek him themselves! See this never be your 

Consider, thirdly, that, upon leaving Jerusalem, the star 
again appeared to the wise men, and conducted them to Beth- 
lehem, and to the place where our Saviour lay. They were 
filled with exceeding great joy; and, going in, they found him 
whom their souls desired, and humbly adored their infant Lord. 
OhJ how precious, how lovely, how consoling is that light, 
which conducts the soul to Christ, her sovereign good! But 
then, generally speaking, it gheds its beams upon those only, 
who resolutely conquer every difficulty and opposition in their 
search after truth, and are quite in earnest to find Christ. 

Conclude to imitate the wise men in their ready obedience to 
the divine call, in their diligence in seeking Christ, and in 
their faithful perseverance; and you will undoubtedly arrive at 
the object of your pious inquiries, your sovereign and eternal 

On the Faith and Offerings of the Wise Men. 

CONSIDER, first, the strong and lively faith of the wise men. 
Instead of an infant king attended with that state and pomp 
most suitable to the dignity of one born to be monarch of the 


universe, they find nothing but poverty and humility. So great, 
however, is their faith, that neither the manger, the ox, or the 
ass, nor the extreme meanness of the new-born Saviour's whole 
equipage, can shake it. Under this poor and humble disguise, 
they adore their King, their God, and their Redeemer. Happy 
those who take no scandal at the crib or at the cross of Christ; 
but rather unite themselves the closer to. their Lord, the mote 
he has debased himself for the love of them! 

Consider, secondly, how the wise men, after their homage of 
adoration, arose and made their offerings of gold, frankincense, 
and myrrh; to signify, by the quality of these gifts, their faith 
in him to whom they gave them. They presented him with 
their gold, as a tribute due to their King; they offered him in- 
cense, used in the divine worship, as to their God; and they 
gave him their myrrh, which waa uacd in the burial of the 
dead, as to a mortal man who came to redeem all mankind by 
his death. Let us also, by their example, daily offer him our 
best homages, in all these qualities; as our King, as our God, 
and our Redeemer. 

Consider, thirdly, that the wise men, having found Christ, 
were admonished from heaven not to return any more to Herod j 
and so went back another way to their own country: to teach 
us, that after finding Christ, we must return no more to his and 
our enemies, Satan and Sin; but must hasten to our true coun- 
try by a quite different road from that by which we left it. Our 
true country is Paradise. We came away from this our country 
by pride, by disobedience, by the love of these visible things, and 
by gratifying our sensual appetite with the forbidden fruit of in- 
temperance. "We must return by true repentance, by humility, 
by wholesome self-denials, and the mortification of our disorder- 
ly passions. 

Conclude, therefore, to quit the broad road of sin and sensual 
pleasures: choose the narrow way of penance and Christian 
temperance, and you will arrive safe in your true country, and 
at your father's house. 


On the Offerings we must make by the Example of the 

Wise Men, 

CONSIDER, fifst, that, like the wise men, we also must pre- 
sent our best offerings to our Lord. We must pay him the tri- 
bute of OUR GOLD; that is, we must daily present to him our 
souls, stamped with his own image, and burnished with divine 
love. This is the gold which our great king expects from us. 
When the Jews asked him concerning their paying tribute to 
Caesar, he called for their coin, which had upon it the image of 


.,.. , ... :...' . '.i 

Caesar; and thence concluded, that they were to "render to 
Caesar the things that were Caesar's," (Matth. xxii,) that is, to 
give him what was stamped with his image. Our souls are 
stamped with God's own image, to this very end, that we should 
give them in tribute to him, by perfect love. Render then to 
God the things that are God's, by daily acts of fervent charity; 
and you shall have given him your GOLD. 

Consider, secondly, that prayer is the FRANKINCENSE which, 
in imitation of the wise men, we must present to x>ur Saviour, 
as to our God. This Ave must daily offer him at the hours of 
incense, as a morning and evening sacrifice in the temple of 
Grod, which is within our souls; with this we ought also to en- 
deavor to perfume, in some measure, all our other daily actions 
and employments. Thus they will become highly agreeable to 
our Lord; thus they will "ascend as incense in his sight." 

Consider, thirdly, thai -we muat also offer him our MYRRH, 
which is an emblem of the mortification of our passions and 
sensual inclinations. It is somewhat bitter indeed, and dis- 
agreeable to our nature: but it is sovereignly wholesome, and 
necessary to keep the soul from the corruption of sin. Hence 
we are commanded by our Lord to deny ourselves daily in this 
world, if we would become his disciples. So that this offering 
of myrrh, like the other two, should be the constant exercise of 
a Christian. 

Conclude to neglect none of these three great duties; and 
then both your offerings and yourself will become acceptable to 
the king of heaven: in return yon shall' partake of his immense 


On the. Gospel of the Sunday within the octave, of the. 


COHSIDEB, first, that Jesus, Mary and Joseph went every 
year up to Jerusalem to the temple of God upon the solemn fes- 
tivals, notwithstanding their poverty, and their distance of 
three days journey from Jerusalem. There they employed the 
weeks appointed for the soleusnities, in assisting at the public 
worship, praises, and sacrifices, offered to God in the temple at 
those times. Christians, learn from this great example, the 
diligence with which you ought to assist at the public worship 
of- God upon festivals. Suffer not every trifling difficulty to, 
hinder your attendance in God's temple on those days; since 
neither the length of the journey nor the expense attending 
their long stay at Jerusalem, diverted this holy family from an 
exact observance of these religious duties. Let us strive to 


imitate their pious example, and their great devotion in the 

Consider, secondly, that when Jesus was twelve years old, 
after celebrating at Jerusalem according to custom the solemni- 
ty of the Pasch, he withdrew himself from his parents on their 
return, and staid behind in the city. They, thinking he was in 
the company, went one day's journey homeward, and then not 
finding him, were struck with unspeakable grief and concern 
for their loss. For in proportion to their love, which was far 
greater than we can conceive, their sorrow also must have been 
beyond expression great. Learn hence, my soul, how thou 
oughtest to value the happiness of having Jesus with thee, and 
how much thou shouldst regret the loss of him. 

Consider, thirdly, that although the blessed Virgin and St. 
Joseph had lost their Jesus as to his sensible presence, they had 
not lost him as to the presence of his grace and love: they had 
him still very near them, because they had him in their hearts. 
A lesson for Christians of good will, not to be discouraged nor 
to give themselves up to excessive anguish, if sometimes they 
experience the like substractions of the sensible presence of 
our Lord, by a dryness in their devotions, and a spiritual deso- 
lation: let them but take care to keep their heart and will with 
him, and they may be assured he is not far from them. He has 
often dealt thus with the greatest saints; and to their advantage 
too, by making them more humble. 

Conclude not to drive away Jesus by wilful sin ; and be as- 
sured, that nothing else can ever separate him from you. 

On seeking Jesus when he has been lost by Sin, 

CONSIDER, first, how great an evil it is to lose Jesus by wil- 
ful sin! Ah! it is a far greater loss than if we should lose the 
whole world besides; for in loosing him we lose our all. And 
yet, how common is this loss! How often is Jesus lost in this 
manner even on our most solemn festivals, by the abuse of 
these holy times! And how is it possible for a Christian soul 
to admit of any comfort, joy, or pleasure, under so great a 

Consider, secondly, that the blessed Virgin and St. Joseph 
were no sooner sensible they had lost Jesus, hut they began to 
seek him with all diligence, and gave themselves no rest till 
they had found him. Not enduring to remain for ever so short 
a time at a distance from him, they hastened back to Jerusalem. 
And they sought him sorrowing, that is, with their souls full of 
grief and anguish: to teach us that the true way to find Jesus 
when lost, is by sorrow influenced with love, the properties of a 


contrite and humble heart. They sought him with persever- 
ance: to teach us not to desist upon meeting -with difficulties 
and oppositions in our search after Jesus, but to go on with dili- 
gence, till we recover his gracious company. 

Consider, thirdly, that Jesus was not found by the blessed 
Virgin and St. Joseph amongst their kindred and acquaintance. 
Alas! he is too often lost in the company and conversation of 
our worldly friends; but is very seldom to be found there. The 
common conversation of the world is at the best but empty, dis- 
sipating and vain; and it is out of fashion to speak or think of 
Jesus in the company of worldings. Therefore, the soul that 
would effectually find him, must withdraw as much as may be 
from worldly company; she must make the best of her way 
by pious reading, meditation, and prayer, to the temple of God 
in Jerusalem; or rather, she must make a temple for her Jesus 
within her own self, and seek him there by inward recollection. 
This is the surest place to find him in. 

Conclude, if ever you have reason to fear you have lost Jesus, 
to withdraw immediately from the crowd, and seek him in his 
temple, viz: your own interior: there he will console your af- 
flicted mind. 


What Jesus teaches in his Private Life. 

CONSIDER, first, that when our Lord Jesus was found by his 
parents in the temple, in the midst of the doctors, hearing them 
and asking them questions, he said to them (Lukeii. ) "Did 
you not know that I must be about my Father's business? He 
came down from heaven not to do his own will, but the will of 
him that sent him," (John vi. 38.) This was his daily food 
during mortal life: "My meat," says he, "is to do the will of 
him that sent me,'' (John iv. 34.) This, then, was the exer- 
cise of his private life, which he spent in obscurity and retire- 
ment, under a poor carpenter's roof. He was all the while 
about the business of his Father; and all his thoughts and 
words, all his actions and omissions, were directed to his Fath- 
er's glory. 

Consider, secondly, how "he went down with Joseph and 
Mary to Nazareth, and was subject to them," (Luke ii. 51.) and 
stand astonished to see the Lord and Maker of Heaven and 
Earth, submitting himself to his own creatures, and obedient to 
them. See how he serves them, even in the meanest offices; 
how he works with his reputed father at his humble trade. 
Christians, learn from this example of your Lord, that the high- 
est perfection may be found in the exercise even of the lowest 


and meanest offices, if in these the soiil do but keep close to her 
God, and embrace him by love. 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord Jesus, who from the first 
moment of his conception was full of heavenly wisdom and 
divine grace, was pleased, in proportion as he advanced in age, 
to shoAv forth daily more and more, in his woids and actions, 
the admirable treasures of wisdom and grace, hidden in his 
soul; to teach us to make continual progress in the way of God, 
and to advance every day, by large steps, from virtue to virtue, 
like this our blessed model, who "increased in wisdom, and 
age, and grace with God and men," (Luke ii. 52. ) 

Conclude to apply yourself, in earnest, particularly to these 
three lessons of the private life of our dear Redeemer: 1. To 
be ever about your father's business. 2. Always to be submis- 
sive to your superiors. And, 3. To advance continually to- 
wards God. 


On our Saviour's Baptism by St. John the Baptist. 

.CONSIDER, first, that when a multitude of publicans and oth- 
er sinners resorted to St. John, the forerunner of Christ, and 
were baptised by him in the Jordan, confessing their sins, and 
receiving from him the rules of a new life, our Lord Jesus also 
came to be baptized, as if he had been of their number, and 
stood in need of that baptism of penance for the remission of 
sins. The Baptist was astonished at it, and refused to baptise 
him, saying; "I ought to be baptised by thee, and comest thou 
tome?" But Jesus insisted upon his doing it: "for so it be- 
corneth us," said he, "to fulfill all justice," (Matthew iii. 14, 
15. ) that is, to exercise and give examples of all virtues ; among 
which humility is the foundation, and supports all the rest. 
Grant us, O Lord, thy grace, that we also may fulfil all justice, 
by the imitation of thy humility. 

Consider, secondly, that Jesus, having thus humbled himself 
to fulfil all justice, Avas presently exalted by his heavenly Fath- 
er, when, "being baptised, and praying, heaven was opened, 
and the Holy Ghost descended in a bodily shape as a dove upon 
him; and a voice came from heaven: Thou art my beloved Son; 
in thee I am well pleased," (Luke iii. 21, 22. ) Learn from 
this instance, that humility opens heaven, and conducts to God, 
and to all good. Remark also, how upon this occasion the 
chief mysteries of religion are displayed: how the Blessed 
Trinity manifests itself; the Father, by his voice from heaven; 
the Son, in his human nature assumed for us; and the Holy 
Ghost, by descending in the shape of a dove. Behold, how 
the mission and the whole gospel of Jesus Christ is here 


solemnly authorised, with a formal declaration of the dignity of 
his person, and of his consecration by the Spirit of God! 

Consider, thirdly, that our blessed Redeemer, for our instruc- 
tion was pleased, as a preparation for the exercise of his office 
among men, to withdraw himself ito a lonesome wilderness, 
and there to employ forty days in fasting and prayer; at the end 
of which term he suffered three different assaults of temptation 
from Satan, and after overcoming this wicked fiend, was visit- 
ed and served by angels. Christians, let us learn from this 
great example, in all our spiritual undertakings to seek first the 
assistance and blessing of heaven; and since Christ himself 
was tempted even in the desert, we must not despond, but like 
him courageously overcome all our temptations, and thus de- 
serve the reward of perseverance. 

Conclude to keep as close as you can to the Lord Jesus in 
every step he takes, and to have your eyes always upon the 
great model of all virtue. 

On the sacred name of Jesus. 

CONSIDER, first, these words of the apostle, (Phillip, ii.) 
spoken of the eternal Son of God, made man for us. "He 
humbled himself, becoming obedient unto death, even the death 
of the cross. Wherefore God also hath exalted him, and hath 
given him a name which is above every name; that in the 
name of Jesus every knee should bow," &c. This holy name 
of Jesus came from heaven: it signifies a Saviour; a Saviour 
who was to deliver his people from their sins, to reconcile lost 
man to God, to purchase for him mercy, grace, and salvation, 
and to make him a son of God and heir of heaven. How 
adorable is this sweet name of salvation in which alone we are 
to be saved! 

Consider, secondly, that the name of Jesus is a name of vir- 
tue and of power. In this name the churches of God were es- 
tablished throughout the world. In this name the apostles 
wrought all kinds of miracles, and raised the dead to life. By 
this name have millions of martyrs overcome death in all its 
shapes. This name has peopled the deserts with holy solita- 
ries, and every nation of the Christian world in every age with 
saints; who looking upon Jesus the author and finisher of their 
faith, have through his name overcome the world, the flesh, and 
the devil, and now sit with Jesus upon his throne, according to 
the promise made to them that conquer in his name, (Rev. iii. 

Consider, thirdly, that the name of Jesus exhibits to us all 
the divine attributes stooping as I may say, to the work of our 


redemption, in order to raise us from the dunghill, and to bring 
us to a heavenly kingdom. Jesus is a name of mercy, a name 
of comfort, a name of grace and salvation: it promises pardon 
and forgiveness to all penitent sinners: it preaches to them de- 
liverance from their slavery, the discharge of all their debts, the 
healing of their spiritual disorders, which expose them to eter- 
nal death. This holy name is the Christian's refuge in all dan- 
gers, the comfort of his pilgrimage, the source of all his good: 
it encourages him to pray with an assurance that there is noth- 
ing but what he may obtain, if he prays in the name of his 
Saviour. It puts to flight all the powers of hell; they cannot 
bear that sacred name; and it opens heaven to all its true lovers 
and followers. 

Conclude to have in veneration the divine name of Jesus, as 
presenting to your soul the principal object of your faith, the 
strongest grounds of your hope, the chief motive and most pow- 
erful attractive to engage your love. Thus may you exercise as 
often as you hear this sacred name, all the theological virtues 
of faith, hope, and the most ardent love of God. 


On our Lord's changing water into wine. 

CONSIDER, first, how we are told in the gospel that there 
was a marriage in Cana of Galilee, and that the mother of 
Jesus was there. "And Jesus also was invited, and his disci- 
ples." Happy marriage, which our Lord was pleased to honor 
with his presence, and with his first miracle! He himself was 
the first author and institutor of marriage; and he gave it a 
sanction in this instance by his presence. By his incarnation 
he came to join his divine person with our human nature and 
with his church, and raised Christian matrimony to the dignity 
of a sacrament, by imparting to it a spiritual grace. Happy 
they, who like the contracting parties mentioned on this occa- 
sion, are careful to invite Jesus and Mary to their wedding by a 
virtuous conduct and earnest prayer. But how very unhappy 
are those, who when they marry, shut out God from themselves 
and from their mind, to give themselves to their lust, ( Job iv. 
17.) "Over these the devil hath power;" because they invite 
him rather than Jesus to their wedding. And is not the want of 
the blessing of Jesus the true cause why so many marriages are . 

Consider, secondly, how in the midst of the marriage feast 
wine was wanting; to teach us that all the pleasures of the 
world are deceitful, and often fail us when we expect the most 
from them. Ah! it is Jesus alone can furnish our immortal 
souls with the true wine which cheereth the heart of man. 

Consider, thirdly, that the miraculous change which our 


Lord made on this occasion of water into wine, was a prelude 
to another far more miraculous change which he made at his 
last supper, and will continue to make by his ministers even to 
the end of the world, of bread and wine into his own body and 
blood. With this wonderful miracle he daily honors the wed- 
ding feast of his own espousals with our souls, in order to com- 
municate us to himself and unite himself to us in time and 

Conclude to join with the church at this time of the Epipha- 
ny, in gratefully commemorating all the miracles of the divine 
goodness in our favor ; particularly our vocation to the true 
faith, our regeneration in Christ by baptism, and our admission 
to his heavenly feast in the blessed Eucharist, the most tender 
pledge of his infinite love to man. 

On the necessity of Consideration. 

CONSIDER, first, how Satan and Sin everywhere reign through- 
out the Christian world. How many thousands in every nation, 
of all degrees and conditions, pass their lives in deadly sin, with 
little apprehension either of death, judgment, or hell! How do 
they prefer every trifle before their immortal souls; before their 
God and a happy eternity! They are not moved with the dread- 
ful misfortune of numbers of their own description daily cut off 
in their sins when they least expected it, and thus consigned to 
eternal torments! The cause is plain; it is want of considera- 
tion. "With desolation is all the earth made desolate," saith 
the prophet, "because there is none that considereth in the 
heart," (Jeremiah xii. 11.) 

Consider, secondly, the great truths which the Christian faith 
teaches: that there is a God *of infinite majesty, whose eye is 
always upon us; a God infinitely good and infinitely just, who 
hates wilful sin with an infinite hatred; our Creator and Re- 
deemer, who made us and sent us hither for no other purpose 
than to love and serve him in this world, and to be eternally 
happy with him in the next: that there is a future life, com- 
pared with which the present is but a moment: in a word, that 
after the vain and fleeting joys of life are over, judgment will 
follow; and that there is a heaven and a hell. And these are 
articles of the Christian faith; all most certainly true and in 
themselves very moving. This every Christian readily ac- 
knowledges. How then is it possible they should live as the 
generality do? How is it possible they should live unconcern- 
ed in sin; and walk in the broad road to eternal damnation? 
Alas! it is because they will not think. 

Consider, thirdly, that the great difference between the good 


and bad Christian is the one thinks well on the truths he be- 
lieves, and lets them sink deep into his soul, whereas the other 
does not think ; and thus the truths of the gospel make small 
impression upon him: his faith is asleep, or rather dead, for 
want of consideration. On the contrary, what wonderful ef- 
fects has consideration often produced even in the most hard- 
ened sinners! it has sent numbers of these out of the midst of 
Babylon to seek their God in solitude, and has rescued thou- 
sands from the very jaws of hell. 

Conclude to allow yourself daily some time to meditate upon 
the great truths of eternity. It is the best means to secure the 
salvation of your soul. 


On the Consideration of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that we cannot be saved without the know- 
ledge of God, and such a knowledge as may effectually com- 
mand our love and obedience. But without the help of con- 
sideration we can neither know God, nor love him as we 
ought. Consideration discovers to us his infinite perfections, 
and the many pressing motives we have to give ourselves 
wholly to his love and service. It sets before our eyes his 
eternal love and all his benefits towards us, and convinces us 
that he is both infinitely amiable in himself, and infinitely 
good to ns. 

Consider, secondly, that God is in himself eternal; without 
begining, without end, without change; self-existent, indepen- 
dent: he is being itself; he alone properly is: "I am who am," 
says he to Moses, (Exodus iii.) He is the Being of all beings; 
all things else derive their existence from him. He fills hea- 
ven and earth; creating and preserving, moving, ruling, and 
supporting all things. He is beauty itself, truth itself, and all . 
perfection; immense and incomprehensible to the highest an- 
gels, though he discovers himself to them face to face, and 
fills their souls with heavenly pleasure, to eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, what God is in our regard. He is our 
sovereign good: he alone can satisfy our souls. He is our eter- 
nal lover: his thought and heart are always upon us. His love 
is most faithful and disinterested: he never abandons those who 
do not first abandon :him. He is our Maker, our Redeemer; 
the best of Fathers, the best of Friends, the spouse of our 
souls. And are not these sufficient motives to excite a gener- 
ous soul to love her God? It is only because he is so little 
thought of, that he is so little known in this wretched world; 
and it is only because he is so little known, that he is so little 


Conclude daily to cherish by consideration the saving know- 
ledge of God, as the source of divine love and all of your 
good; and remember, that a deluge of evils will come pouring 
in upon the soul, if this knowledge of God is wanting, (Osse 
iv, 1.) &c. 


On the Consideration of the Law of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that in order to salvation we must also have 
a right knowledge of the holy law and commandments of God. 
This must be acquired by serious and frequent meditation, 
without which we cannot even know as we ought, the duties 
and obligations of a Christian; much less shall we have a due 
esteem and love for the divine statutes and ordinances, which 
our great King has appointed to be for us the way to life. 
"Blessed is the man whose will is in the law of the Lord: 
he shall meditate on it day and night. And he shall be like a 
tree which is planted near the running waters, which shall 
bring forth its fruit in due season; and his leaf shall not fall 
off; and all whatsoever he shall do shall prosper/' (Ps. 1.) 
On the contrary, how unhappy are they who seldom think, of 
this divine law, and therefore neither love it nor keep it! 

Consider, secondly, that even under the old testament which 
was not so perfect as the new, God required of his people that 
they should continually meditate upon his divine command- 
ments, (Deuter. vi. 6,) &c. "These words which I command 
thee this day shall be in thy heart: arid thou shalt tell them to 
thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting in thy 
house and walking on thy journey; lying down and rising up. 
And thou shalt bind them as a sign on thy hand; and they 
shall be and shall move between thy eyes. And thou shalt 
write them in the entry and on the doors of thy house." Chris- 
tians, the law of God is our greatest treasure; our greatest 
happiness is to keep it: we must have it written in our hearts, 
and with the ancient saints meditate upon it day and night. 

COSTS ID ER, thirdly, how the royal prophet has expressed his 
esteem for the holy law of God in the 118th psalm (alias 
119th.) There is scarce one verse in which its beauty and 
excellence, the great happiness of keeping it, and the many 
advantages of meditating upon it are not strongly enforced. 
For this reason the church in her canonical hours of prayer 
appoints this psalm for the daily devotion of her children. 
Christians, can any thing else be of so great importance to 
you, as to study well the true way to a happy eternity? Can 
any other science deserve your attention in comparison, withj 


Conclude, then, to turn your thoughts from vain and curi- 
ous researches into things little or nothing to your purpose, 
to the daily consideration of what God requires of you by his 
holy law, and what is his will in your regard. All other 
science will be of no avail, if this be neglected. 


On the consideration of Ourselves. 

CONSIDER, first, that another great branch of the Christian's 
duty is the consideration and knowledge of himself. This 
self knowledge is the foundation of-humilityy and conse- 
quently of all other virtues. In order to obtain it, we must 
consider attentively our origin; what we have hitherto been; 
what we are at present, and what we shall be by and 
by. Such considerations as these will open our eyes, and 
convince us what poor wretches we are; how little reason 
we have to be proud; and on the contrary, how many urgent 
reasons we have to be thoroughly humble. 

Consider, secondly, that your body is derived from dust, 
your soul from nothing; and whatever you have above mere 
nothing is the property of your Maker. Reflect, that as soon 
as you received your being, you were defiled with sin; for, 
as the apostle informs us, we were all born children of 
wrath: That your whole life has been stained with many 
grievous sins which doomed you to the flames of hell: and 
are you not still in this deplorable state of damnation? Re- 
flect, also, how little light there is in you to discern true 
good from bare appearances; on the strength of your passions 
and self love; your great relunctancy to take true pains in the 
service of God, and your violent inclination to evil. Then 
consider how quickly you must die and be cited to the bar of 
divine justice, under a dreadful uncertainty what will be your 
eternal lot. Hence you will learn humbly to mistrust youij 
self, and to place your whole confidence in God. 

Consider, thirdly, the other great advantages of attentive 
self examination. The soul by an impartial review of herself 
discovers her spiritual diseases to which before she was a 
stranger; and by this discovery she is enabled to apply proper 
remedies to all her evils. She detects the secret ambushes of 
her enemies, especially those more subtle ones of pride and 
self loA^e, which continually study to deceive her. Thus she 
learns to guard against her passions, to watch carefully over 
her own heart, and to regulate its affections and inclinations, 
and direct them towards God. 

Conclude to make the knowledge of yourself one of your 


principal studies for the future. Daily pray with St. Augus- 
tin and other saints. "Lord give me grace to know thee: 
Lord give me grace to know myself." 

On our First Beginning. 

CONSIDER, first, that not very long ago you had no exis- 
tence: you were not so much as thought of by any creature 
upon earth. In this low abyss of nothing you must have re- 
mained to all eternity, infinitely beneath the condition even 
of the meanest insect, had not God of his infinite goodness 
created you -what you are. Place yourself in the centre of 
your nothing: ascribe nothing to yourself but your miseries 
and sins: give the whole glory of all the rest to your Maker. 

Consider, secondly, who it was that gave you your being; 
this power of thinking this conscious life this will, this 
memory, this understanding. "Who made for you this soul 
and body. No other than HE that made heaven and earth, 
even the eternal, immense, infinite DEITY! And why? He 
stood in no need of you; you could do him no manner of 
service. He only wished to exercise his bounty in your 
favor. Give, then, in return, this your being to its Author: 
dedicate your whole self to his love and service, for time and 

Consider, thirdly, that God made you according to his own 
Image and likeness, the more effectually to engage your love. 
This image and likeness resides in your soul, which is a 
spiritual being like himself, and immortal ; and in the spirit- 
ual powers of your soul, namely, your free will, and your 
understanding which is capable of soaring above all things 
visible and invisible, even to the Divinity itself. Let not 
then this noble being lie grovelling on the earth; let its whole 
attention be fixed on the great end for which it was created 
the love and enjoyment of its God. 

Conclude to aspire continually to God, from whom you 
have received your life and being. 

On our Last End. 

CONSIDER, first, my soul why thou earnest hither? What 
is thy business in this mortal life? For what end did God cre- 
ate thee? This should have been the subject for thy medita- 
tion from the first instant of reason. Thou wast made for 


God: to love and serve him in this world, and enjoy him 
hereafter in a happy eternity. How noble and glorious iathia 

Consider, secondly, that, properly speaking, we have but 
one thing to do in this mortal life; and that is, to answer the 
end for which we were created. This is the one thing neces- 
sary, (Luke x. 42.) If we apply ourselves seriously to this 
great business, all is well; if we neglect it, all will be lost, 
whatever success we may have in anything else. "What 
will it avail a man if he gain the whole world and lose his 
own soul," and, with his soul, his God, and a happy eterni- 
ty? Let then all other business be referred to this; whatever 
is contrary to it, avoid with the utmost care. 

Consider, thirdly, the great blindness and misery of world- 
lings, who live in a continual forgetfulness of this their only 
business; who weary themselves, like little children, in 
catching at empty shadows vain honors false riches and 
deceitful pleasures, which last but for one moment; and for 
these they forfeit God and eternity! And has not this been 
hitherto your own case? Abhor, then, the errors of your 
past life, and return with your whole heart to God. 

Conclude, since God is both your first beginning and your 
last end, to seek and serve him in all you do: thus alone shall 
you find true comfort here, and heaven hereafter. 


On the titles which God has to our service. 

CONSIDER, first, that we belong to God by every kind of 
title, and therefore cannot, without great injustice, refuse his 
service. We are his by creation: our whole being is from 
him: our whole soul and body, with all our powers, senses, 
and faculties, and whatever we possess, belong to him. We 
are also God's property by the title of conservation, by which 
he preserves and maintains, every moment, the being he has 
given us; otherwise we should instantly return to dust: conse- 
quently we are each moment bound to be his. 

Consider, secondly, that we belong to God, in a very parti- 
cular manner, by our redemption. We had, by sinning, sold 
ourselves to Satan ; we were become his slaves: Ave had no long- 
er any share in God, or title to his kingdom: But, lo! the Son 
of God, through pure love and compassion, comes down from 
heaven to redeem us: He pays himself the price of our ran- 
som ; a great price indeed, even the last drop of his sacred 
blood to deliver us from Satan, sin, and hell, to reconcile us 
to his Father, and to purchase for us mercy, grace, and salva- 


Consider, thirdly, that we belong to God also by solemn 
vows and covenants, entered into at our baptism and confir- 
mation, by which we were sanctified to be his temples for 
ever. "We belong to him likewise in quality of our King, 
our Father, our Lord, and Master, the great Sovereign of the 
whole universe, the being of all beings, &c. Upon these 
and many more titles his Divine Majesty challenges our love 
and service, as his undoubted right. 

Conclude to render faithfully to God what is strictly his 
upon so many titles; and give your whole self to him. 

On the happiness of serving God. 

CONSIDER, first, those words of the prophet, (Isai. iii.) 
"Say to the just man, it is well;" and reflect on the many 
advantages, both for time and eternity, comprised in this short 
word, well. Honor, riches, and pleasures, the world esteems 
most valuable: but these are not to be found where the world 
is apt to seek them, but only in the service of God. It is in- 
deed a greater honor to be a servant of God, than to be the 
emperor of the universe. What then must it be to be his friend, 
his spouse, his child? Can any worldly honor be compared 
with this? 

Consider, secondly, how rich the just man is; not always, 
indeed, in those worldly possessions which every accident 
may take away, and which can never satisfy the heart; but in 
treasures infinitely more valuable, of virtue, grace, and merit, 
which all the money in the world is not sufficient to purchase. 
GOD himself is the just man's treasure, whom the world can- 
not take from him, as long as he is careful not to lose him by 
wilful sin. The eye of his tender providence watches over 
him; his angels encamp around him, to protect and deliver 
him from evil. In a word, GOD is all things to them that fear 

Consider, thirdly, the solid pleasures of a virtuous life; the 
satisfaction, peace, and joy of a good conscience; that sense 
which the just have of the divine goodness and love for them; 
the experience of his sweet consolations, in their recollection 
and prayer; the comfortable prospect of a happy eternity be- 
fore them; and their tender love of God, and blessed conform- 
ity to his will, which sweetens even their greatest crosses. 
Ah! how pernicious is that error of the children of this 
world, that there are no pleasures in a virtuous life; whereas, 
indeed, there is no true pleasure without it! 

Conclude then to enter immediately the charming path of 
virtue, which alone conducts both to future, and even to pre- 
sent felicity. 


On the vanity of worldly pursuits. 

CONS IDEE, first, how vain are all those things which delud- 
ed worldlings prefer to God; mere dreams and airy phan- 
toms! "0 ye children of men, how long will you be in love 
with vanity? How long will you run after lies and deceit?" 
Reflect upon those who are gone before you; upon those that 
have enjoyed the most of what this world could afford, of 
honors, riches, and pleasures; and tell me what judgment 
they form of them now. Ah! they will certainly cry out 
with Solomon, (Eccles. ii. 11.) that in all these things they 
found nothing but vanity and affliction of spirit, and the eter- 
nal loss of God and their souls. 

Consider, secondly, with what labor these worldly toys are 
acquired; what a slavery they bring along with them; what 
fear and solicitude attends their enjoyment; how easily they 
are lost; how short and inconstant they are; how false and 
deceitful! Ah! wretched servitude of all the children of 
Babylon, to things so mean and unworthy the affections of 
Christians, and so far beneath the dignity of their immortal 
souls, which were made for nothing less than GOD ! 

Consider, thirdly, how the word of God describes this folly 
.nd misery of worldlings, (Isaiah lix.) It tells them that 
they put their trust in a mere nothing; that they speak vani- 
ties: that is, that their whole discourse and conversation is 
empty, foolish, and nothing to the purpose: that they "con- 
ceive labor, and bring forth iniquity;" that their "thoughts 
and devices are unprofitable," their paths "crooked;" and 
"whosoever treadeth in them knoweth no peace." 

Conclude to despise from your heart all the delusive charms 
of a deceitful world; and turn with your whole soul to the 
delightful paths of wisdom, virtue, and truth. 

On the Conversion of St. Paul. 

CONSIDER, first, the wonders of the grace of God in the 
conversion of St. Paul, suddenly changed from a fiery zealot 
of the Jewish religion, and a bloody persecutor of the church 
of Christ, into a fervent Christian, a zealous preacher of the 
gospel, a vessel of election to publish the name of Christ to 
nations and kings; a doctor of the Gentiles, an apostle of 
Jesus, and an. eminent saint. Admire in this instance the 
greatness of God's mercy, and assure yourself his arm is not 
shortened, and that his power and goodness are as great now 


as ever; and therefore never cease to pray to him for the con- 
version of infidels and sinners. 

Consider, secondly, that the church proposes to us the con- 
version of St. Paul as a model of perfect conversion. The 
prayer he then made was short in words, hut very expressive 
of the perfect disposition of his soul, and of the entire sacri- 
fice of himself to the holy will of God that called him. 
"Lord," said he, "what wilt thou have me to do?" as much 
as to say: Behold me, God, now prostrate at thy feet, de- 
sirous only to know and to do thy will. And to show that 
his conversion was sincere, he continued during three whole 
days ("neither eating nor drinking" during that term) to pre- 
pare himself for baptism by earnest prayer. This was prov- 
ing himself a convert indeed. 

Consider thirdly, how St. Paul had always before his eyes 
the greatness of his mercy. He never forgot that God in him 
had changed the greatest of sinners, without any merit on his 
part, by an evident miracle, into a vessel of election: and 
therefore he was convinced, as he declared both in words and 
practice, he could do no less than devote his whole life to the 
love and service of his Saviour. Labor, stripes, and death, 
to him were welcome in so glorious a cause; and he braved 
the most alarming dangers with a great and manly spirit. 
Such are the effects of a true conversion. 

Conclude to learn in practice the lessons which St. Paul 
teaches you in his conversion; particularly a ready correspon- 
dence with the calls of heaven, unreserved obedience to the 
will of God, and cheerful alacrity in his service. 


On Mortal Sin. 

CONSIDER, first, the malice of deadly sin: it is infinitely 
opposite to the infinite goodness of God; and as none but 
God himself can fully comprehend his own infinite goodness; 
so none but God himself can perfectly comprehend the enor- 
mity of this opposite evil. He cannot therefore cease to hate 
it with an infinite hatred, any more than he can cease to love 
his own infinite goodness; any more than he can cease to be 
God. How ought we then to bless his holy name, for sparing 
us so long under this dreadful guilt. 

Consider, secondly, that mortal sin is the greatest of all 
evils; more hideous than hell. This dreadful evil which the 
damned see and feel for all eternity in the midst of their souls, 
torments them more than the wicked spirits themselves; more 
than the very flames of hell: it is this that nourishes the never 
dying worm of their guilty conscience; that keeps God eter- 


nally from them and them eternally from God. Ah! that sin- 
ners had but a just idea of this dreadful evil; they would 
choose a thousand deaths rather than commit one mortal sin. 

Consider, thirdly, that sin directly strikes at God himself. 
It is rebellion and high treason against the King of heaven 
and earth. Sinners, like the arch-rebel Satan, renounce their 
allegiance to God, and disclaim his authority and sovereignty 
over them: they contemn his power; they slight his justice; 
they abuse his mercy and goodness. They seek their own 
worldly honor, interest, and pleasure instead of him; and to 
these they sacrifice their soul, their conscience, and immortal 

Conclude to renounce and abhor for the time to come all 
mortal sin; and do sincere penance all your life for your past 


On the complicated guilt of each mortal sin. 

CONSIDER, first, the sinner's black ingratitude to God in 
every mortal sin. God is his Maker and Redeemer, his an- 
cient lover, his dearest friend, his constant benefactor. From 
him he has received and daily does receive whatever he pos- 
sesses, even his very being. All this he owes to his pure 
love without any merit on his part; a love which can suffer 
no comparison, since it has brought the lover doAvn from 
Heaven, to die for the very wretch that thus ungratefully of- 
ends him, and even crucifies him, again, in the language of 
^t. Paul, by sin. 

Consider, secondly, the manifold injustice found in all mor- 
al sin: it violates all the rights and titles which God has to 
our love and service in quality of our first beginning and last 
end, the very being of our beings, the great monarch of the 
universe, the Lord of us and of all things, the Saviour and 
Redeemer of our souls. The wretched sinner breaks through 
all these considerations, and moreover treacherously infringes 
the solemn engagements made with him at baptism. 

CONSIDER, thirdly, that by one mortal sin we in some de- 
gree violate all the ten commandments, according to that of 
St. James ii. 10. "He that offends in one point is guilty of 
. all." For whoever wilfully transgresses any part of the di- 
vine law, violates the first commandment by turning away 
from the true and living God and refusing him due worship: 
he is guilty of idolatry by worshipping the creature which is 
the object or the occasion of his sin, "rather than the Crea- 
tor who is blessed for ever more," (Rom. 1.) He profanes 
his sacred name and blasphemes him, if not in words, at 



least in fact, by treading his authority under foot. He vio- 
lates the true and everlasting Sabbath of God's rest by the 
servile work of sin. He dishonors in a most outrageous mari- 
ner the best of Fathers: he is guilty of the murder of his own 
soul and of the Son of God himself, whom, as much as in 
him lies, he crucifies again by sin: he is guilty of a spiritual 
adultery by prostituting to Satan his soul, the spouse of 
Christ: he is guilty of theft, robbery, and sacrilege, by taking 
away from God what belongs to him: he bears false witness 
in fact, against the law of God, in favor of lies and deceit; 
for all sin is a lie. And to complete his wickedness he is 
guilty of coveting what is not his, and what the law of God 

Conclude to detect the complicated wickedness of mortal 
sin, and make it your continual prayer that you may rather 
die ten thousand deaths than once incur this dreadful guilt. 

On the folly and presumption of the wilful sinner. 

CONSIDER, first, the desperate presumption of a worm of 
the earth that dares provoke by wilful sin the Almighty Lord 
and Maker of all things, who holds the thread of his life in 
his hand, and can that moment let him drop into hell. "What 
can he expect from making war with God, that eternal, im- 
mense, and infinite Being whose eye is attentive to all his 
actions, and who has an infinite hatred for mortal sin: a God 
without whom he can neither live, move, nor be? Alas! the 
captain whom he follows in this desperate warfare is already 
damned, his fellow-soldiers are daily crowding into hell, and 
what has he hope for? 

Consider, secondly, how the wilful sinner by his own act 
and deed freely and deliberately parts with an infinite good, 
the very source of all his happiness; gives up his title to hea- 
ven, and sells his soul to be the slave of Satan here, and a 
victim of hell hereafter, for mere phantoms, bitter remorse, 
and black despair! Can any folly be compared with this? 

Consider, thridly, how grossly sinners deceive themselves 
by expecting happiness in the violation of the divine law and 
commandments. Alas! in vain do they seek felicity where it 
is not to be found, and in the way which leads to all kind 
of misery. They seek for honor in that which is in itself 
most dishonorable; they seek an imaginary gain in that which 
brings with it the greatest of all losses: they seek pleasure; 
peace, and joy; but find uneasiness, discontent, and sorrow: 
they seek a false liberty, and fall into true slavery: in a word, 


they vainly hope to find life in the region of eternal death. 
And can there be a more deplorable delusion? 

'Conclude, for your part, to seek your happiness where alone 
it is to be found in the love and service of God: if you seek 
it any where else you will lose your labor, with your immortal 
soul for eternity. 

On the dismal effects of sin. 

CONSIDER, first, the dreadful effects of wilful sin in heaven 
itself. One sin consented to but in thought, instantly changed 
millions of glorious angels into devils, and doomed them eter- 
nally to the flames of hell. O dreadful poison, that canst thus 
blast in a moment so many legions of heavenly spirits! O 
dreadful guilt, that canst draw such a dismal curse from a 
God, whose very nature is goodness, and who loves all his 
works, upon his favorite creatures! 

Consider, secondly, how this monster, now banished from 
heaven, was entertained by our first parents in the earthly 
paradise. Alas! in one moment it stripped them and all their 
posterity, of that original justice, innocence and sanctity, in 
which they had been created; and of all the gifts of divine 
grace: it gave them up to the tyranny of Satan, cast them out 
of paradise, and condemned them both to a temporal and eter- 
nal death. In the mean time, it entailed upon them and us, 
every kind of evils, both of soul and body; an inexpressible 
weakness in the doing of good, and a violent inclination to 
wickedness. It has drawn down the most dismal punish- 
ments and disasters, as well upon individuals as upon whole 

Consider, thirdly, that sin has, in some measure, blasted the 
whole creation, which is said by the apostle to "groan and be 
in labor' 5 under "the servitude of corruption," longing as it 
were, for its deliverance from the sinful abuses of men, and 
the powers of darkness, "into the liberty of the glory of the 
children of God." This will be effected when the reign of 
sin shall be utterly abolished; and the world being purged by 
the last fire, God shall make for his children "new heavens 
and a new earth, in which justice shall dwell," (Peter, iii. 
13. ) Then shall sin be for ever confined to its proper place. 

Conclude to abhor the evil which has wrought such confur 
sion both in heaven and on earth. 



On tilt dreadful effects of sin in the soul of a Christian. 

CONSIDER, first, that a soul in grace is a child of God, a 
spouse of Jesus Christ, a temple of the Holy Ghost. But in 
the moment she consents to mortal sin, she becomes a slave 
of hell, a prostitute to Satan, a den of unclean spirits. A 
soul in grace is beautiful like an angel, and agreeable to the 
eyes of God and his saints: but a soul in mortal sin is ugly 
like the devil, and most loathsome to her Maker and all his 
heavenly court. A soul in grace is very rich] she is worth 
an eternal kingdom: but when she falls into mortal sin, she 
loses at once all her store of virtue and merit, her title to 
everlasting happiness, and her God. 

Consider, secondly, that sin is the death of the soul; it de- 
prives her of the grace of God, and condemns her to the 
second death, the death of the damned! Ah, sinners! how 
can you bear to continue one moment in this dreadful condi- 
tion! Open your eyes to see and deplore your lamentable 
misfortune, and with the tears of sincere repentance, beg of 
God to raise you again to life and to salvation. 

Consider, thirdly, that "they that commit sin and iniquity 
are enemies to their own soul," (Tobias xii. 10.) And that 
"he that loveth iniquity hateth his own soul," (Psalms x. 6.:) 
since of all the evils we can possibly incur, either here or here- 
after, none can be compared to the evil of mortal sin. No 
other evil can kill the soul: this alone murders and destroys it 
to eternity. 

Conclude never more to join with your mortal enemies, the 
devil, the world, or the flesh, in fighting against your own soul 
by wilful sin. 


On the judgments of God upon mortal sin. 

CONSIDER, first, that, besides the sad effects of mortal sin 
already mentioned, there still remain other convincing argu- 
ments of the hatred God bears it, from the manifold judgments 
he has of old executed, daily does execute upon the guilty, and 
will continue to execute, even to eternity. "Witness the uni- 
versal deluge, which, in punishment of the general corruption, 
swept off at once all the sinners of the earth, and consigned 
them to eternal torments. Witness the judgment of fire from 
heaven upon Sodom and the neighboring cities. Witness the 
many judgments which overtook the rebellious Israelites in 
the wilderness; particularly that remarkable one of the earth 
opening and swallowing up Kore and his companions; and 


the fire from the Lord destroying, in an instant, fourteen thou- 
sand seven hundred of their abettors, (Num. xvi. ) Witness, 
in every age of the world, millions overtaken when they least 
expected it, by violent or untimely death, in punishment of 
their crying sins; besides many instances of flourishing states 
and whole nations destroyed by Avar, pestilence, famine, earth- 
quakes, &c., all brought upon them by their sins. great 
God! who shall not dread thy almighty wrath? "Who shall 
not fear the dreadful evil of mortal sin? 

Consider, secondly, that though these visible judgments of 
God upon impenitent sinners, snatched away before their time 
by unprovided death, be both very common and very terrible; 
yet there is another kind of more secret judgments, which he 
daily exercises upon thousands, far more terrible, since they 
bring upon them a far more dreadful damnation. This is, 
when in punishment of their obstinacy in sin, he at length 
gives them up to a reprobate sense, and to a blindness and 
hardness of heart, so as to have no longer any fear or thought 
of God or his judgments, or any concern at all for their salva- 
tion. Thus they daily add sin upon sin, without ever think- 
ing of repentance; which proves at long run a far more dread- 
ful judgment, than if upon their first sin hell had opened and 
swallowed them down alive. 

Consider, thirdly, the judgments of God upon mortal sin in 
the eternal duration of the torments of hell. sinners! go 
down in thought into that bottomless pit, and take a serious 
view of the rigor of divine justice; of that fire which never is 
extinguished; of that everlasting rage and despair: then tell 
me what you think of mortal sin, when HE who is infinitely 
good and infinitely just, and cannot punish any one more 
severely than he deserves, condemns every soul that dies under 
such guilt, to all this extremity of misery, for eternity? But if 
any thing be still wanting to a full conviction, turn your eyes 
upon Jesus Christ, the Son of God: see how he was treated by 
the justice of his Father, for our sins, which he took upon 
himself to expiate. Nothing less than the last drop of his 
precious blood could wash away this dreadful stain of mortal 
sin. How hateful then must it be in the eyes of the Almighty! 

Conclude to give thanks to God for sparing you so long in 
your sins; and resolve to labor, in earnest, to avert his divine 
wrath so long provoked against you. 


On not slighting venial sin. 

CONSIDER, first, that although there be no comparison be- 
tween the guilt of mortal, and that of venial sin; yet even the 


least venial sin is so displeasing in the sight of God, that no 
soul stained with it can be admitted into his presence till this 
guilt be purged away; and no power in heaven or in earth can 
authorize any one to commit the smallest venial sin, even to 
save the whole world; because the offence of God is in itself 
a greater evil than the loss of the whole world. 

Consider, secondly, the danger to which a soul is exposed 
by slighting venial sins; even the danger of mortal sin, and of 
all its dreadful consequences both for time and eternity. "He 
that eontemneth small things, shall fall by little and little," 
(Eccles. xix.) Venial sin indeed does not of itself destroy 
the grace and love of God, nor bring present death to the 
soul; but it weakens and cools the fervor of divine love; it 
lessens devotion; it hinders the inspirations of the Holy Ghost 
from working effectually in the soul; it leaves her sick and 
languishing; so that she easily yields to greater temptations, 
and falls into mortal sin. And how should it be otherwise; 
since we have so little esteem for the love and friendship of 
God, as not to care how much we displease him, provided we 
escape his avenging justice? 

Consider, thirdly, the difficulty there often is of distinguish- 
. ing between venial and mortal sin. In this even the most 
learned divines are often at a loss. Hence all those are in the 
utmost danger of daily mortal sin, who disregard venial offen- 
ces; especially as they generally indulge in a tepid negligent 
life, and easily overlook the spiritual mortal sins of pride, 
envy and the like habitual disorders. 

Conclude never deliberately to consent to any sin how 
venial soever; much less to indulge a habit of such sin. It is 
hard to reconcile a deliberate habit of sinning with the great 
commandment of the love of God above all things. 

On Candlemas Day. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day the blessed Virgin Mary, 
according to the rites prescribed by the ancient law, came to 
the temple of God to be purified after child-bearing, and to 
make her offering of what her poverty allowed^ namely a pair 
of turtle doves, and two young pigeons; the one for a whole 
burnt offering, the other as a sacrifice for sin, (Levit. xii. ) 
Admire in this her ready obedience, to a law, in which in real- 
ity she was not concerned, since she brought forth her son 
without prejudice to her virginal purity; and her great humil- 
ity in being willing to pass for a person unclean ; she who 
was more pure than the angels. 

Consider, secondly, that on this day the blessed Virgin made 


a rich present to God in his temple, infinitely surpassing all 
the offerings ever made there before, when according to the 
law of the first-born, (Exod. xiii.) she presented her son, the 
first-born of the whole creation, by whom all things were 
made, both visible and invisible, to his eternal Father. Pa- 
rents, learn to imitate this presentation, by offering your chil- 
dren to God through the hands of Mary, to be dedicated for 
ever to his love and service. Christians, learn to present him 
your hearts, with all your thoughts, words, and actions: offer 
him your whole being, every day, and every hour of your life. 

Consider, thirdly, that on this occasion the venerable Si- 
meon who had received a promise from the Holy Ghost, that 
he should see the Saviour of the world before he died, coming 
by divine instinct into the temple during the presentation of 
our Lord, took him into his arms, and declared him to be the 
promised Messiah, the glory of Israel, and the light of all na- 
tions. At the same time that holy widow Anna the prophet- 
ess, who for many years had attended on the Lord in his tem- 
ple by continual prayer and fasting, was also favored with the 
like privilege, and made the like public profession of her faith 
in our infant Saviour. This sacred meeting of so many persons 
of the most eminent sanctity in the temple of God, the church 
commemorates in the procession of this day; which we make 
with lighted candles in our hands, solemnly blessed in the 
name of Christ, and received from the hand of God's priest, 
as emblems of the light of Christ. 

Conclude to follow, in the practice of your life, the guidance 
of this great light of the world; and, as he himself hath pro- 
mised, you shall NOT walk in darkness. 


On the Parable cf the Laborers in the Vineyard, St. 

Matthew xx. 


CONSIDER, first, that we are invited by the church, both in 
the epistle and in the gospel of this Sunday, by way of prepa- 
ration for the solemn fast of Lent, to be quite in earnest in the 
great concern of our souls. The epistle admonishes us, (1 
Cor. ix. and x.) that we are all engaged in a race, in which, if 
we do not push forward with all our might, we shall lose the 
prize: that our contest is for an incorruptible crown, not to be 
won without much labor and self-denial: that if we are not in 
earnest, notwithstanding the daily favors received of Almighty 
God, we shall be excluded, like the Israelites, from the true 
land of promise. In the gospel we are admonished, that we 


have but one business in this world, represented under the 
figure of laboring in the vineyard of our Lord: that in this 
labor we are to spend the short day of our mortal life, and by 
persevering till night, are to secure to our souls the wages of a 
happy eternity. 

Consider, secondly, in the parable of this day's gospel the 
great attention of the divine goodness in every age since the 
beginning of the world, and in every part of the life of man, 
to invite laborers into his vineyard. What need then has he of 
our labors? or of what service can we be to him? The gain 
will be entirely our own, and will consist in our eternal hap- 
piness. But what is this vineyard of our Lord, in which we 
are to labor? "The vineyard of the Lord of hosts," says the 
prophet (Isaias, c. v. 7.) "is the house of Israel," that is, the 
people of God. Yes; our own souls are the vineyard we are 
commanded to cultivate: and no one can be excused from this 
labor. To labor here to the purpose we must first root out the 
poisonous weeds of sinful habit, and then plant the good plants 
of Christian virtues, which we must carefully cherish till they 
bring forth fruit worthy of the great Lord and Master of the 

Consider, thirdly, how early in the morning your God invit- 
ed you to work in his vineyard, by giving you an early know- 
ledge of himself and the end for which you were created; and 
how frequently he has pressed you ever since, by his gracious 
calls to begin this work in good earnest. But can you say, 
you have yet begun? May he not justly reproach you, as he 
did those whom he found standing in the market place at the 
eleventh hour; "why stand you here all the day idle?" Alas! 
are you not idle while you are doing nothing to the purpose 
of answering the great end for which you were made? Ah! 
begin now at least to labor: perhaps this is your last hour: 
your day is far spent: the night is coming on, "when no man 
can work," (John ix. 4.) 

Conclude to make good use of this fresh summons to labor 
for eternal life, lest if you~still are deaf to the call of God, you 
realize in yourself that sentence, with which our Lord con- 
cludes the parable of this Sunday: "Many are called, but few 
are chosen." 

On the multitude of our sina. 

CONSIDER, first, how early you abandoned your God by sin, 
and how much your sins have been daily multiplied since that 
unhappy hour. Lucifer and his companions were cast down 
headlong into hell, because immediately after their creation, 


instead of turning to God as their duty required, they deserted 
him by pride, and by shaking off his sweet yoke: and have 
you not imitated these rebels at the first dawning of your rea- 
son by burning your back upon your Maker, and preferring your 
own disorderly inclinations before him? 

Consider, secondly, how you have gone on daily adding sin 
to sin, against God, against your neighbor, and against your- 
self, by word, by action, or by desire. Alas! is it not true 
that even from your childhood you have been given to lies, to 
passion, and impurity? Is it not true that even then your 
thoughts wandered continually from God after vanity: that your 
prayers were without attention, your confessions without sin- 
cerity, repentance or amendment; and your whole life and 
conversation without any true sense of God, and of your duty? 

Consider, thirdly, to the end you make a better judgment of 
the immense number of your offences, how little you have 
complied in any part of your life with the great duty of "lov- 
ing God with your whole heart," and dedicating to him your 
whole self with all your thoughts, words, and actions, by a 
pure intention of pleasing him. How little restraint have you 
put upon your corrupt inclination; how little guard upon your 
roving thoughts! How little care you have taken not to offend 
in words, nor to give occasion of offence to others, &c. Re- 
flect also, how much of your precious time you have squander- 
ed away, and how many graces you have received in vain. 
From these, and the like considerations, you will have some 
Imperfect idea of the multitude and enormity of your sins. 

Conclude to be always humble, by a true sense of your in- 
numerable sins; and offer up daily for them the sacrifice of a 
contrite and humble heart, together with a life of penance. 


On the goodness of God in waiting for sinners, 

CONSIDEH, first, how much sinners are indebted to the di- 
vine goodness, in patiently waiting for their conversion; and 
that very often for a long time, notwithstanding their continual 
abuse of all his mercy. Alas! may it not be truly said of you 
too, that every night when you went to rest, you did not know 
but that before the morning you should find yourself in hell; 
and that yon yourself are indebted solely to this infinite good- 
ness, for your daily preservation? Perhaps fewer sins than you 
foave committed have plunged millions into eternal flames] 
Bless, then, that wonderful mercy by which you have so long 

" Consider, secondly, how many ways God seeks to reclaim, 
sinners, and to call them to their duty. He visits them with 


frequent inward motions of his grace, and that remorse of con- 
science, which ceases not powerfully, though silently, to re- 
mind them of the state from whence they are fallen. He sets 
before them the terrors of his judgments, and the allurements 
of his mercies. He presses them continually by his word, by 
his preachers, by good books and good example, to forsake 
their evil ways and return to him. Ah! remember that the 
land which has been often watered with rain from heaven, and 
still brings forth nothing but thorns, is in danger of incurring a 
dreadful curse, and of being condemned to the fire, (Heb. vi.) 

Consider, thirdly, how tenderly God invites all sinners to * re- 
turn to him. "As I live, saith the Lord, I desire not the death 
of a sinner, but that he be converted from his ways and live. 
why will you die, O house of Israel? (Ezech. xxxiii. ) Re- 
turn to me, and live, (chap, xxviii. ) Thou hast gone astray af- 
ter many lovers; but return to me, and I will receive thee," 
(Jer. iii. ) Reflect how the Son of God treated the penitent 
Magdalene, the thief upon the cross, and all other sinners who 
had recourse to his mercy and how he has declared, that 
"there is more joy in heaven over one penitent sinner, than 
over ninety-nine just persons," &c. 

Conclude to arise without delay, and return, with the prodi- 
gal son, by the most sincere conversion, to so good and so lov- 
ing a father. 

On turning from sin to God. 

CONSIDER, first, that, in the conversion of a sinner, there 
must be two principal ingredients; the turning away/rom sin, 
with a sincere sorrow for having offended God; and the re- 
turning to HIM, to embrace his holy law, and to dedicate the 
remainder of our lives to his love and service. Happy ex- 
change of that worst of evils, sin, for the very source of all 
good, and the foundation of all true happiness, which is to be 
derived from godliness alone, and a virtuous life. 

Consider, secondly, that this turning away from sin must be 
effectual. We must not content ourselves with |a slight sor- 
row for our sins, and faint purposes of amendment. We must 
renounce sin with our whole heart detest it above all evils 
and avoid, with horror, all such company, or other occasions, 
as expose us to relapse. We must be absolutely determined 
never more to offend God mortally, upon any consideration! 
whatever. To pretend to be true converts without this, is mere 

Consider, thirdly, that the true convert must arise and re- 
turn to his. heavenly Father, with a contrite and humble, but 


loving heart, to be henceforward the eternal servant of his di- 
vine love. He must remember that "many sins are forgiven 
to him that loveth much," (Lukevii.) and that he who has 
been the greatest debtor is the most obliged to love with his 
whole heart that merciful creditor, who so readily remits his 
immense debts. His whole life, for the future, must bear tes- 
timony for his love and gratitude. 

Conclude to prove yourself a true convert, by renouncing 
all your criminal affections, and by embracing, with your whole 
soul, the Lord Jesus who died upon the cross for your sal- 

On the sentiments of a penitent sinner. 

CONSIDER, first, how, upon the sinner's conversion, his 
faith, awakened by serious reflection, the word of God or good 
books, discovers to him what a monstei he has hitherto cher- 
ished in his own bosom, and what dreadful dangers have sur- 
rounded him all the time he has been in sin, and still threaten 
him with the worst of judgments from God, both for time and 
eternity. How hard must that sinner be, who is not moved 
with these considerations! 

Consider, secondly, how the mercy and goodness of God, 
and the precious blood of his only Son, powerfully excite the 
penitent to hope, with an assured confidence, for the pardon 
of his sins, and that his heavenly Father will most affectionate- 
ly receive him, according to his repeated promises made to all 
repenting sinners. And in this hope he firmly purposes to neg- 
lect nothing required on his part, towards obtaining the abso- 
lution and full pardon of all his transgressions, and a perfect 
reconciliation with his God. 

Consider, thirdly, that being thus encouraged, he has recourse 
to fervent prayer in order to obtain the disposition of a con- 
trite and humble heart, without which there is no room for 
mercy and grace; and, with the deepest sorrow for having so 
ungratefully offended the divine goodness, and the most steady 
resolution faithfully to love and serve his Maker in future, he 
disposes himself for the confession of his sins, and for the 
grace of the sacrament. This is that "contrite and humble 
heart which God never despises," (Psalm 1.) 

Conclude to meditate seriously upon the great truths regard- 
ing eternity, and to labor with all your power to acquire the 
sentiments of a contrite and humble heart. 


On doing penance for our sins. 

CONSIDER, first, that sentence of our Lord, "except you do 
penance, you shall all perish," (Luke xiii. 5.) The virtue of 
penance always was and ever will be absolutely necessary for 
every soul that has at any time in life fallen from God by wil- 
ful sin. There is no medium; either penance or hell fire must 
be our choice. Hence the prophets in the old Testament, and 
all apostolical preachers in the New, continually enforce the 
necessity of penance. St. John the Baptist endeavored to pre- 
pare the people for the coining of Christ by the same method, 
(Matth. iii. ) Thus also did our Lord himself open his mis- 
sion, (Matth. iv. ) 

Consider, secondly, that we cannot be true converts without 
hating and detesting our sins above all evils, because they of- 
fend our God who is infinitely good. Hence there naturally 
flows in all true penitents a sincere and effectual desire, of 
making him due satisfaction, according to their weak abilities, 
chastising their sinful flesh: it was the occasion of their fall, 
and is still continually waging war against the spirit, unless 
brought into subjection by penitential exercises. 

Consider, thirdly, how the holy scriptures frequently put us 
in mind of "turning to God \vith fasting, weeping and mourn- 
ing;" of "doing penance in sackcloth and ashes," &c. Num- 
berless instances are there mentioned, of the divine mercy ob- 
tained by these means accompanied with a contrite spirit. 
Nor can any pretended assurance of the pardon of our sins 
exempt us from doing penance; since notwithstanding the pro- 
phet had certified David on the part of God himself, that "the 
Lord had taken away his sin, 3 ' (2 Sam. xii. 13,) he mingled 
ashes with his bread, and tears with his drink, and every night 
lamented bitterly his fall. 

Conclude to imitate this royal penitent as far as you are able; 
and make the best atonement you can, by fervent acts of repen- 


On the manner of doing penance for sin. 

CONSIDER, first, that the true method of doing penance is 
not to be learned from the maxims, or from the common prac- 
tice of the children of this world, who are so much afraid of 
hurting themselves, and of contradicting their own humors and 
inclinations; but from the children of light, and the practice 
of the saints. The various religious orders of the church of 
God are likewise so many striking instances of that true method 


of penance, which the Holy Ghost usually points out to those, 
whom he convinces of sin, and makes sensible of the greatness 
of that evil? 

Consider, secondly, how severe were those ancient peniten- 
tial canons of the church, in full force during many ages; by 
which penitent sinners were enjoined divers fasts and other 
humiliations for three, seven, ten, fifteen years or more, for 
one grevious sin. How ought this to convince us, that some- 
thing more is to be done for the remission of our sins than we 
are willing to suppose? And though the church through the 
necessity of the times has now relaxed the severity of her dis- 
cipline; yet as God is still the same as in former ages, no cir- 
cumstance of times can make sin less hateful in his sight, iior 
the works of penance less necessary. 

Consider, thirdly, that there are three particular practices of 
penance which all ought to adopt, who at any time of life have 
been guilty of mortal sin. First, they must daily throw them- 
selves in spirit at the feet of Christ and sincerely lament their 
past offences, with hopes of pardon through his precious blood. 
Secondly, they must daily offer up to God in penance for 
them some self denials in point of will, humor or appetite; 
and retrench superfluities in eating, drinking, sleeping, &c. 
Thirdly, they should offer up daily in the same spirit, all their 
labors, pains, and sufferings, in union with those of the Son of 
God. Such exercises as these are adapted to all state's and 
conditions of life. 

Conclude to follow this most wholesome method of penance 
in the practice of your life. Thus you will prove your repen- 
tance to be sincere. 

On the parable of the sower, Luke viii. 


CONSIDER, first, the infinite goodness of God in sowing the 
seed of his word, and of his graces, without distinction, on all 
kinds of soil. This seed is heavenly: it is capable of produc- 
ing fruit a hundred fold; and yet, three parts out of four of this 
divine seed are lost for want of correspondence in the soil. 
Christians, we ourselves are the soil in question. If we 
bring forth fruit worthy this divine seed, we shall live on it for 
ever in the kingdom of heaven: but if we suffer the soil of our 
soul to be like a beaten highway, or like a rock covered with a 
thin surface of earth, or like ground over-nm with thorns and 
briavs, the seed of heaven will be lost upon us, and, of course, 
we must starve in eternal misery. 


Consider, secondly, that the highway signifies all such souls 
as live in the forgetfulness of God, and in a continual dissipa- 
tion of thought, so as to become a mere thoroughfare for every 
passenger, or for every idle amusement, or every impertinent 
or sinful imagination without any care to keep off those wick- 
ed spirits signified by the birds of the air, always upon the 
watch to pick up this divine seed of the word of God, which 
lies exposed on the surface of the soil. To remedy this evil, 
we must plough up the ground by daily meditations upon eter- 
nal truths, and fence it in by a spirit of recollection and prayer. 
Thus will the divine seed bring forth much fruit in our souls. 

Consider, thirdly, that by the rock, or stony ground, are 
meant all those who receive the word of God, and are moved 
indeed, to make some good resolutions and some slender ef- 
forts to bring forth the fruits of a new life; but the rock of 
their old bad habits, never heartily renounced, hinders the 
seed from taking root. Their resolutions are superficial; they 
sink not deep enough to reach the heart. The remedy to this 
is serious consideration, and the fear and love of God. 

Conclude to let the seed of God's word, and his heavenly 
inspirations, sink deep into your soul by daily meditation; and 
nourish it there by frequent and fervent prayer. 

Continuation of the parable of the sower. 

CONSIDER, first, that there remains a kind of soil which 
brings nothing to maturity; this is the thorny ground, or those 
Christians who hear the word of God, and are visited with his 
gracious calls but unhappily suffer this heavenly seed to be 
choaked up with carnal affections; or, as our Saviour says, 
"with the cares and riches," which he calls thorns "and the 
pleasures of this life, and so yield no fruit," (Luke viii. 14.) 
Alas! is not this our case? 

Consider, secondly, that these thorns of our irregular affec- 
tions and sensual pleasures must be plucked up, if we desire 
the seed of divine grace not to be lost upon us; for as long as 
these prevail, it is vain to look for good fruit. Wherefore it 
must be our daily care and study to keep these thorns under, 
that they may not stifle the graces and inspirations of God, and 
thus rob us of all good, both for time and eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, that it is the duty of every Christian to be 
the good ground, or of the number of those, "who -with a 
good and perfect heart hear the word of God and keep it." 
He must bring forth fruit in patience, by persevering till death, 
notwithstanding all the difficulties and oppositions he may 
have to encounter from the Avorld, the flesh, and the devil, in 


a constant obedience to the divine law and inspirations of 
grace. Do this; and you shall reap the fruit of eternal life. 

Conclude to rid your soul of all the thorns which hinder its 
producing the good fruit of Christian virtue. Thus you will be- 
come agreeable to God and his holy angels. 


Against delay of repentance. 

CONSIDER, first, how many thousands and millions of poor 
souls have been eternally lost by putting off their conversion. 
Alas! they thought as little of damning themselves as any one 
now living: but by a just judgment of God, whose gracious 
calls and admonitions they so long neglected and despised, 
when they least expected it they incurred the dreadful sentence 
of eternal death. Sweet Jesus, preserve us from this most dis- 
mal of misfortunes! 

Consider, secondly, what a grevious affront sinners offer to 
the divine majesty, by delaying their conversion. Is it not in- 
finite goodness in him, to have already suffered them in their 
sins; to have kept them so long out of hell? Is it not an in- 
expressible condescension, after their repeated crimes, to al- 
low them any conditions at all of reconciliation? How much 
more, so tenderly to call after them, while they are running 
away from him! whereas he has not the least need of them, 
but only seeks their welfare. Ah, the wretched ingratitude of 
sinful man! 

Consider, thirdly, the sinner's mad presumption in deferring 
his repentance. Wretch that he is, how has he the assurance 
to dispose of the time to come, or to promise himself greater 
graces hereafter, than what he abuses at present? Does he not 
know that God alone is the master both of time and grace? and 
that he has promised neither the time nor grace of a true con- 
version, to any one of those who put off their repentance till 
some future day. On the contrary, let him listen to the wise 
man, (Eccles. v. 8, 9.) "Delay not to be converted to the 
Lord, and defer it not from day to day: for his wrath will come 
on a sudden; and in the time of vengeance he will destroy 

Conclude to repent without loss of time, if you have reason 
to apprehend you have forfeited the grace of God. It is a dread- 
ful thing to remain his enemy but for one night: that night may 
be your last. 



On the folly of deferring our conversion. 

CONSIDER, first, how foolishly you act in delaying your re- 
pentance. Your God offers you his mercy, his grace, his favor; 
the honor of heing his child, his spouse, his temple: he pro- 
mises you his peace, his heavenly comforts, his kingdom, his 
Holy Spirit in a word, HIMSELF, and all that is good: and 
you are so blind, as to prefer, for the present, the extremity of 
all misery, under the dreadful guilt of mortal sin; and to be still 
the slave of Satan and of Hell. Is there any folly comparable 
to this? 

Consider, secondly, that both reason and daily experience 
make it evident, that the longer our conversion is deferred, the 
more difficult it becomes. For, by these delays, the habit of 
sinning grows daily stronger, and, of course, harder to be root- 
ed out: the devil's power over us increases; and God, provok- 
ed by our obstinacy, withdraws himself farther and farther from 
us, and by degrees suffers us to fall into that blindness and 
hardness of heart, which of all evils is the most difficult to 

Consider, thridly, the folly of deferring our conversion 
through the apprehension of confessing our sins. Would not 
all the world severely condemn that person, who, laboring 
under a most painful and mortal distemper, should refuse an 
easy and sovereign remedy, only because it was disagreeable 
to the palate for the moment? How much more strange is 
the. folly and madness of the sinner, who, rather than humbly 
confess his sins to a minister of God, tied both by divine and 
human law to an eternal secrecy, obstinately rejects a certain, 
and the only certain preservative against everlasting death! 

Conclude with a full determination no longer to be imposed 
upon; and remember that God, who is already highly provok- 
ed at your impenitence, can cast you instantly, both soul and 
body, into hell. Dread then his anger, and cease to act per- 

On death-bed repentance. 

CONSIDER, first, that if it be so dangerous to defer our con- 
version at all, it must be far more so, deliberately to risk our 
salvation upon a death-bed repentance. It is well if one in a 
thousand of those who are guilty of such desperate presump- 
tion, ever have the poor chance even of a death-bed confes- 
sion, much less the grace of an effectual conversion. Alas! 
they will find to their cost, that "God is not to be mocked," 


(Gal. vi. 7.) The general rule is, that "what a man soweth, 
the same shall he reap;" and that as a man lives, so shall he 

Consider, secondly, that if a little head-ache, or other slight 
indisposition, be enough to hinder us at any time from pray- 
ing with devotion, or making any serious meditation; how lit- 
tle shall we be able to do, when surprised with a mortal ill- 
ness, and with the pangs of death! Thousands, moreover, 
who had madly abandoned all to this last issue, have been cut 
off by sudden death: thousands have been unexpectedly de- 
prived of their senses; and, which is the most common of all, 
thousands, in punishment of their forgetting God in life, have 
been suffered to forget themselves in death. 

Consider, thirdly, that the conversion of a habitual sinner 
is at any time a very difficult task, and requires a strong grace, 
which makes the soul hate, above all evils, what has been by 
long habit turned into a second nature, and heartily embrace 
and love, what hitherto it has loathed. Now if this change 
of heart be very difficult at all times, and seldom effected with- 
out frequent meditation and much prayer, what madness is it 
purposely to defer the work till you are no longer capable of 
meditation or of prayer! You have heard, that in whatever 
hour the sinner shall turn to God, he will show him mercy; 
but you reflect not that this effectual turning to God, especial- 
ly upon a death-bed, is the fruit of an extraordinary grace, sel- 
dom granted to those whose life has been spent in the con- 
tempt of his gracious calls. 

Conclude this instant to return to God; and insult not his 
mercy, by pretending to live in sin and die in grace. 


On the dispositions with which we must enter upon the ser- 
vice of God. 

CONSIDEH, first, those words of the apostle, (Eph. vi. 13,) 
&c. "Take unto you the armour of God, that you may be 
able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect. 
Stand, therefore, having your loins girt about with truth," 
(that is, with sincerity in your intention towards God; ) "and 
having on the breast-plate of justice," (that is, of Christian 
virtue and perseverance;) "in all things taking the shield of 
faith, Avherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery 
darts of the most wicked one," (bjL.a lively sense of God and 
eternity:) "and take unto you the nelmet of salvation," (or 
an humble confidence in God;) "and the sword of the Spirit, 
which is the word of God," by the frequent hearing, reading, 
or meditating on divine truths. 


Consider, secondly, also these prescriptions of the wise 
man: "Humble thy heart, and endure," (that is, suppress, and 
keep under, all the disorderly motions of pride and passion;) 
"wait on God with patience that thy life may be increased 
in the latter end," even to eternity! "For gold and silver are 
tried in the fire, but acceptable men in the- furnace of humilia- 
tion;" crosses and sufferings being the portion of all the ser- 
vants of God, in one shape or another, in order to their great 
perfection in virtue and Christian patience. 

Consider, thirdly, that, to attain this Christian perfection, 
there is nothing more effectual than heartily to desire it. "I 
wished," says the wise man, (Wisdom vii. 7,) "and under- 
standing was given me; and I called upon God, and the spirit 
of wisdom came upon me: and I preferred her before king- 
doms and thrones, and esteemed riches nothing in comparison 
with her. I loved her above health and beaxity; and all things 
came to me together with her, and innumerable riches through 
her hands. . . . For she is an infinite treasure to men, 
which they that use become the friends of God. 

Conclude to observe these heavenly lessons; and they will 
make you truly wise, and bring you to all good. 


On true devotion. 

CONSIDER, first, that a devout life is indeed the most happy 
of lives, and the only seciire way to eternal felicity. But 
then, to be truly devout, we must diligently keep all the com- 
mandments, especially those two, of loving God above all 
things, and our neighbors as ourselves; without which, long 
prayes, frequent fasting, self-denials or alms, and even the 
holy sacraments themselves, will not avail us to salvation. 

Consider, secondly, that the original meaning of the word 
devotion, implies a dedication and consecration of one's-self 
to God; which cannot be without heartily loving and obeying 
in all things, his holy law. He that does this, is truly devout; 
but he that does not love the will of God better than his own 
humor, is not devout, though he pray all day long, and shed 
floods of tears. Consequently, he that is a slave to any of his 
passions; he that entertains a rancor for any one of his neigh- 
bors; he that sets his heart upon the world and its toys, can 
never be truly devout, because he wants the very foundation of 
true devotion, which is the love of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that true devotion does not consist in that 
sensibility which some persons, naturally soft and of tender 
feelings, experience in prayer; whilst others, who perhaps in 
the sight of God are much better Christians, feel nothing for a 


long time but dryness and desolation. Oftentimes the former 
quickly forget their good resolutions, easily yield in the time 
of temptation, shrink under every cross, and never arrive at 
solid virtue. Their devotion, alas! like their tears, is soon 
dried up, and brings forth no fruit. How much more devout 
is that Christian, who continues constant in his pious exercises, 
though he finds in them no sensible comfort; and who is al- 
ways willing to help his Saviour in the carriage of his cross, 
conforming in all things to the divine will. Sensible consola- 
tions, without this conformity, deserve not the name of devo- 

Conclude, not to mistake for true piety, false appearances, 
and phantoms of devotion as many do, to the great danger of 
the loss of their souls. 

On the opposition of the world and the gospel, 


CONSIDER, first, that the Son of God often declares the world 
his capital enemy; because light and darkness are not more 
opposite than the world and the gospel. The Avorld continual- 
ly recommends what the gospel condemns, and condemns 
what the gospel recommends. The world is made up of pride, 
ambition, and vain glory; is a slave to riches and sensual plea- 
sures; and in these it places its whole happiness. The gospel 
breathes nothing but humility, self-contempt, and the amiable 
simplicity of little children: it inculcates the necessity of self- 
denial, of patient suffering, and of being in a disposition at 
least, to quit all things in order to follow Christ; assuring us, 
that otherwise there is no heaven for us. 

Consider, secondly, that Christianity never had a more dan- 
gerous enemy than the world, its bad example, and its fashion- 
able maxims; and never yet suffered half so much from the 
most cruel persecutions, as it continually suffers from those 
false brethren, who, in their daily practice and discourse, re- 
commend the spirit of the world, in opposition to the gospel of 
Jesus Christ. Let us beware of this mortal enemy of our sal- 
vation, this torrent of worldly custom, and the maxims of 
earthly-minded Christians. 

Consider, thirdly, that the church sets apart this time of 
Shrove-tide (so strangely perverted by the world) for the exer- 
cise of penance and devotion, as a suitable preparation for the 
solemn fast of Lent. The very name of Shrove-tide, in the 
ancient English, signifies the time of confession of sins: and 


our Catholic ancestors were taught to turn to God at this time 
with their whole hearts, by humble confession and penance. 
Alas! -what a deplorable change has the spirit of the world and 
irreligion introduced! 

Conclude to give ear to the divine oracles: "Love not the 
world, nor the things that are in the world. If any man love 
the world, the love of the Father is not in him," (I John, ii. 
15. ) "The friendship of this world is the enemy of God: who- 
soever therefore will be a friend of this world, hecometh an 
enemy of God," (James iv. 4.) 


On fighting under the, standard of Jesus Christ. 

CONSIDER, first, that ever since the time when man unhap- 
pily fell from God by sin, Satan has maintained his tyrannical 
usurpation by all kinds of artifices and deceits. He allures 
poor mortals with the glittering show of worldly honors, riches 
and pleasures, to become his slaves, and to fight under his stan- 
dard. Thus he establishes among them his laws and maxims, 
calculated for nothing else but to make them miserable, both 
for time and eternity. 

Consider, secondly, that Jesus Christ came into this world 
to set up an opposite standard, and to invite all men to follow 
him; promising them all good, and a deliverance from all their 
evils. What an immense difference between these two par- 
ties! Those who follow Satan are miserable indeed; slaves to 
ungovernable passions; to infernal tyrants, who are dragging 
them to hell: they labor under a variety of fears and cares, of 
sorrows and disappointments, without a moment's solid satis- 
faction. But how happy are the soldiers of Jesus! What con- 
tent, what peace, what pure pleasure in the soul, are common- 
ly their portion even in this life, and immortal joys hereafter! 
Will you then hesitate one moment which of these two interests 
to follow? 

Consider, thirdly, that every motive of gratitude, honor, in- 
terest and pleasure, fear and love, time and eternity, concur to 
determine the soul to prefer the cause of Jesus Christ. Turn 
away, then, from this Babylon of confusion: break her chains 
from off thy neck, captive daughter of Sion! Renounce, 
for good and all, the tyrant that has usurped the dominion over 
this world and its deluded admirers; and turn thyself to the 
blessed Jerusalem, the city of peace : swear eternal allegiance 
to Jesus Christ, its glorious king. 

Conclude to fight manfully unto death, under his royal stand- 


ard of the cross; and learn well the exercise of prayer, and the 
rules of the gospel, which are the military discipline appointed 
for his soldiers. 


On the rules prescribed, by Jesus to his followers. 

CONSIDER, first, the general rule which Christ prescribes to 
his soldiers. "If any man will come after me,'* says he, 
(Matthew xvi. 24.) "let him deny himself and take up his 
cross, and follow me." The observance of these three articles 
makes a complete soldier of Christ. We must renounce our- 
selves; we must bear our crosses ; we must walk in the foot- 
steps of Jesus. The corruption of man by sin; the wounds 
which it has left in all the faculties of the soul ; and the vio- 
lence of our passions and disorderly inclinations, make this 
self-renunciation absolutely necessary. 

Consider, secondly, that the soldier of Jesus Christ must 
stand to his colors; he must not run from the cross. He must 
endure many conflicts; he must patiently and courageously 
support the labors and hardships of this short campaign of his 
mortal life. Sufferings and hardships appear as nothing to a 
brave soldier in the company of his prince. Jesus, our great 
leader and our prince, ,opened heaven to us by his cross, and 
conducts his soldiers thither by the way of the cross. 

Consider, thirdly, that the soldiers of Christ must follow him 
by an imitation of his life. He came from heaven to be our 
teacher and our model ; it is the duty of all who wish to belong 
to him, to show forth in themselves the life of Jesus; to "learn 
of him to be meek and humble of heart," to be "poor in spi- 
rit," to be "obedient to the will of God, even unto death." 

Conclude to embrace, henceforward, this discipline of Jesus 
Christ. It is a heavenly discipline indeed; since he came 
from heaven to teach it, and the observance of it is to advance 
us to heaven. 

N. B. When Lent begins before the twentieth of February, 
the MEDITATIONS omitted at this time are to be read in June, 
after the octave of Corpus Christi: When Lent begins later 
than the twentieth of February, the MEDITATIONS wanting 
here are taken from the month of June, after the aforesaid 

The Meditations for the feast of St. Matthias, St. Joseph, and 
the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin, which commonly fall 
in Lent, are placed here. 


On the gospel for the, feast of St. Matthias. 

CONSIDER, first, how out Lord, "rejoicing in the Holy 
Ghost," addressed himself to his heavenly Father, in these 
words, (Matthew xi. 25,) &c.: "I give thanks to thee, O heav- 
enly Father, Lord of heaven and earth, because thou hast hid 
these things" [viz. the great truths of the gospel,] "from the 
wise and prudent," [of this world,] "and hast revealed them 
to little ones." Learn, then, always to be little in your own 
eyes: this alone is the way to become great before God, who 
"resists the proud, and gives his grace to the humble." This 
was exemplified in the apostles of our Lord, and, in general, 
in all his chosen servants. 

Consider, secondly, how sweetly our Lord, on the same oc- 
casion, invites us to himself: "Come to me all you that labor 
and are heavy laden, and I will refresh you." Alas! we all 
labor in this vale of tears: where man is oppressed with many 
hardships and fatigues, defiled with many sins, assailed with 
various temptations. And is not all this laboring and being 
heavy laden? Yes, "there is a heavy yoke" indeed, "upon 
the children of Adam," (Eccles. xl.) under all these evils we 
must run to Christ, and he will refresh us; he will comfort and 
relieve us. 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord here invites us also "to 
learn of him, to take him for our master, and to become his 
scholars. The great lesson he promises to teach us is, "to be 
meek and humble of heart." In learning this, we shall find a 
sure remedy for all our evils: without it, could we even raise 
the dead to life, it would be all nothing. 

Conclude to comply in future with this sweet summons and 
invitation of your dear Lord; and cast off from your shoulders 
the heavy yoke of sin. 

MARCH 19. 
On St. Joseph. 

CONSIDER, first, how the Holy Ghost himself bears witness 
in the gospel, that St. Joseph was a just man. And doubtless, 
the Almighty would never have made choice of one to be the 
bridegroom of the purest of virgins, and the foster-father and 
guardian of his own Divine Son, who was not consummate in 
purity and sanctity. He joined perfect continence with the 
state of marriage; preserved an admirable evenness of soul 


under all events, how adverse soever; and on all occasions 
cheerfully submitted his will to the appointments of Heaven. 

Consider, secondly, how lively was St. Joseph's faith, in 
readily believing the most difficult mysteries relative to the in- 
carnation of the Son of God. How ardent was his love, and 
how tender his concern for him. in his infancy and childhood! 
Admire also his great diligence in all that belonged to his 
charge; his meekness and charity to the blessed Virgin, when, 
to his unspeakable surprise, he found her with child; his per- 
fect obedience to every intimation of the will of Heaven, 
whatever hardships and labors it might cost him, as in the case 
of his flight into Egypt; his patience under afflictions, and in 
toiling for a poor livelihood for Jesus and Mary, in the humble 
profession of a carpenter, notwithstanding his royal extrac- 
tion; and his amiable simplicity, and constant attention to 
please God in all his actions. We see, by his example, that 
perfect sanctity may be found even in the midst of the distrac- 
tions of a worldly calling; and that if we are not saints, it is 
not the fault of our calling, but of our not corresponding with 
divine grace. 

Consider, thirdly , in the example of Jesus, Mary, and Joseph, 
the great error of the world, which flees with so much horror 
from poverty and labor, conceiving them to be great evils. Of 
these the wisdom of God made choice for himself, his blessed 
mother, and his reputed father; and they ennobled them by 
their life and practice. If your condition be that of the rich, 
be not high-minded, but rather humble yourself to see you are 
so unlike that blessed family; and dread the many dangers to 
which your riches must expose you. Despise not the poor, 
but succor and respect them as the relations of Christ: you 
have his authority for so doing. If you are poor, remember 
you wear the livery of Christ and his family; and cease to mur- 
mur at the hardships of your state. 

Conclude to imitate the virtues of St. Joseph; and you 
will experience his powerful intercession, both in life and 

MARCH 25. 
On the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first,, how the angel Gabriel, (Luke i. 26, ) &c., 
was sent from God into a city of Gallilee, called Nazareth, to 
a Virgin. "and the Virgin's name was MARY. And the 
angel being come in, said to her, Hail, full of grace! the 
Lord is with thee; blessed art thou among women. And 
when she had heard, she was troubled at his saying," &c. 


"And the angel said to her, Fear not, Mary; for thou hast 
found grace with God. Behold, thou shalt conceive in thy 
womb, and shalt bring forth a son, and thou shalt call his 
name Jesus. He shall be great, and shall be called the Son 
of the Most High and he shall reign in the house of Jacob 
for ever, and of his kingdom there shall be no end." 

Consider, secondly, the great lessons taught us by the bless- 
ed virgin on this occassion. Her humility causes her to hear 
with astonishment and much trouble, the extraordinary com- 
mendations given her by the angel. Nor is she puffed up with 
those wonderful privileges offered her on the part of God him- 
self: privileges never yet enjoyed, nor to be enjoyed, by any 
other but herself. Her great love of purity appears in that 
solicitude, with which she inquires how the Son of God 
should be born of her, since she had consecrated by vow her 
virginity to God. "How shall this be," says she; "for I 
know not man." Upon the angel's declaring that she should 
conceive by the Holy Ghost, so as still to remain a pure maid, 
she, with perfect conformity to the will of God, and the most 
profound humility, cries out, "Behold the handmaid of the 
Lord; be it done to me according to thy word." 

Consider, thirdly, that as soon as the blessed Virgin had 
thus given her consent, she conceived by the Holy Ghost, who, 
by his almighty power, formed a body out of her purest blood, 
and created for that body an immortal soul: and this body and 
soul were that instant assumed, and united to the eternal 
Word, the Son of God and the second person of the most bless- 
ed Trinity. Thus, "the "Word was made flesh and dwelt 
amongst us," (John i. ) The incarnation of the Son of God 
is the source of all our good. In making God man, it has 
made us partakers of his divinity. He comes to be our Sa- 
viour and Redeemer ; to deliver us from all our evils, and to 
impart to us all good, both for time and eternity. 

Conclude to entertain in your soul a grateful and loving re- 
membranee of this great mystery; and, in thanksgiving, daily 
repeat the angelical salutation at the regular hours of morning, 
noon, and night. 


CONSIDER, first, how God calls upon us by his prophet, in 
the lesson of this day: "Be converted to me with all your 
heart, in fasting, and in weeping, and in mourning; and rend 
your hearts, and not your garments, and turn to the Lord your 
God," (Joel ii. 12, 1-3.) Christians, let this summons from 
heaven sink deep into your souls; and if this day you hear 
the voice of God sweetly inviting you to return to him in good 


earnest at this holy season, harden not your hearts; lest, pro- 
voked by your impertinence, he turn away from you, and you 
die in your sins. 

Consider, secondly, that on this day ashes are put on our 
heads with these words: "Remember, man, that thou art dust, 
and into dust thou shalt return." Anciently sackcloth and 
ashes were the weeds of penitents. The Ninevites fasted in 
sackcloth and ashes, and they found mercy. Let these ashes 
then be a lesson to us, to enter upon this penitential fast with 
the like penitential spirit. They are an emblem of contrition 
and humility; let us receive them with a contrite and humble 
heart. They are also a remembrance of our mortality, of our 
frail composition and hasty return into our original dust. 

Consider, thirdly, Christian soul, those words as addressed 
to you: "Yet forty days and Nineve shall be destroyed," (Jonas 
iii. 4.) Alas! have not your sins, like those of Nineve, call- 
ed to heaven this long time for vengeance? And have you not 
too much reason to fear, lest the mercy which you have so 
long abused, should quickly give place to justice, and suffer 
you to die in your sins? Perhaps this is the last reprieve that 
God will grant you. The good or bad use of these forty days 
may very likely determine your lot for an eternity. 

Conclude then so to spend these forty days in fasting, weep- 
ing and mourning, as to deserve to obtain the divine mercy. 

On fasting. 

CONSIDER, first, how much fasting is recommended to us in 
the word of God, and by the great example of Christ, and of 
his saints both of the Old and New Testament: how we are 
there called upon to turn to God with fasting, [Joel ii.] and 
how the great sinners have found mercy by penitential fast, 
[Jonas iii.] In a word, we are taught by our Lord himself, that 
all his children are to fast during his absence from us, [Matth. 
ix. 15.] and that the devil is not to be cast out but by prayer 
and fasting, [Mark ix. 28.] 

Consider, secondly, that there are three great advantages in 
fasting. First, it appeases the wrath of God, provoked by 
our sins; because by fasting for them we acknowledge our 
guilt, and take part with his justice in condemning and punish- 
ing ourselves than which nothing sooner moves God to mercy. 
Wherefore let us not fail to secure to ourselves this great ad- 

Consider, thirdly, that another great advantage of fasting is, 
that, when performed with due dispositions, it humbles the 


soul exceedingly, and consequently restrains the disorderly mo- 
tions of those passions which spring from pride: it keeps the 
flesh in subjection, by curbing its unruly desires, and it obliges 
it to submit to the spirit. The third advantage is, that, in pro- 
portion as it weakens the passions, it gives strength and vigor 
to the soul, and enables it to fly upwards towards God, by 
purer prayer and contemplation. 

Conclude to set a due value on this excellent practice of de- 
votion, which has been the favorite exercise of all the saints, 
and has greatly contributed to make them the favorites of 

On the rules of fasting, 

CONSIDER, first, that the present discipline of the church 
directs us, first, to abstain from flesh-meat on fasting days; 
secondly, to eat but one meal in the day; and, thirdly, not to 
take our meal till about noon. The ancient regulations were 
far more rigorous, both in the point of the abstinence, and in 
not allowing the meal in Lent till the evening. These rules 
are calculated to mortify the sensual appetite, by penance and 
self-denial. If then you find some difnculy in their observance, 
offer it up to God for your sins. Fasting is not designed to 
please, but to punish. Obedience will increase the value of 
your fast. 

Consider, secondly, that in fasting we must principally have 
regard to the inward spirit, and what we may call the very soul 
of fast namely, a penitent heart. Without this, the mere out- 
ward observance is like a carcase with out life. We must have 
a deep sense of the guilt of our sins, a hearty sorrow for them, 
a sincere desire to retiirn to God, and a readiness of mind to 
make what atonement we are able to divine justice, by pen- 
ancing ourselves for our crimes. Fasting performed in this 
spirit, cannot fail of moving God to mercy. my soul, let 
thy fast be such a fast as this! 

Consider, thirdly, that fervent prayer and alms deeds also, 
according to each one's ability, ought to accompany our fast. 
By fasting we overcome the lust of the flesh; by alms deeds 
we subdue the lust of the eyes, which makes us covet the 
mammon of the world and its empty toys; by fervent and 
humble prayer we conquer the pride of life, and put to flight 
the devil, the king of pride. 

Conclude to follow these rules, if you desire your fast should 
be acceptable: if you fail in them, it will not be the fast which 
God hath chosen. 



On the great fast of a Christian. 

CONSIDER, first, that the great and general fast of a Chris- 
tian is, to abstain from sin. This fast obliges all sorts of per- 
sons, young and old, sick and healthy, at all times and in all 
places. To pretend to fast and yet indulge wilful sin, is a 
mockery rather than a fast. What better -were the Pharisees 
for fasting, while their souls were corrupted with pride, covet- 
ousness, malice, and hypocricy; or the Jews, who continued 
on their fasting days to provoke God by their customary crimes, 
(Isa. Iviii.) If, then, we would fast to the purpose, "the 
wicked man must forsake his way, and the unjust man his 
thoughts, and return to the Lord; and then he will have mercy 
on him," (Isa. lv. 7.) 

Consider, secondly, that the true Christian fast should extend 
to the eyes, the ears, the tongue, and .so of the rest; to restrain 
them from idle curiosity, sensuality, vanity; from carnal plea- 
sures, empty conversations, theatrical shows, and other world- 
ly diversions, unbecoming a serious Christian penitent at all 
times, but particularly on days .of fasting. Above all, take 
.care not to break your fast by indulging .self- will, pride and 

Consider, thirdly, the description which, the prophet Isaiah 
(chap. Iviii:) gives of a true and acceptable fast. "Is not 
this," saith the Lord, ' 'the fast that I have chosen? Loose the 
bands of wickedness; deal thy bread to the hungry, and bring 
the needy and harborless into thy house. When thou shalt see 
one naked, cpver him; and despise not thine own flesh. 
Then shall thy light break forih as the morning, and thy jus- 
tice shall go before thy face. Then shalt thou call, and the 
Lord will hear: and the Lord will give thee rest continually, 
and fill thy soul with brightness: and thou shalt be like a 
watered garden, and like a fountain whose waters shall not 

Conclude to make it the great business of your fast, to break 
in sunder the chains of sin; and then, by exercising works of 
mercy, you yourself shall find mercy, and all that is good. 

On the. fast of Lent. 

CONSIDER, first, that a fast of forty days has been recom- 
mended by the prophets of the old law, and sanctified by Christ 
himself. Moses fasted forty days, (Exodus xxiv. 18.) whilst 




he ' conversed with God on the mountain, when he received 
the divine law. And again, when the people had sinned, he 
returned to the Lord and fasted other forty days, (Exodus* 
xxxiv. 28. ) Elias fasted forty days in the wilderness, before he 
arrived at the mountain of God; where he was favored with 
the vision of God, as far as man is capable of seeing him in 
this life, 43 Kings, xix. &.) Christ our Lord, before he enter- 
ed upon his ministry, retired into a wilderness, and there em- 
ployed forty days in prayer and fasting, (St. Matthew iv. 2.}j 
These great examples we are ow called upon, according to 
our small abilities, to imitate, by this forty days fast of Lent- 

Consider, secondly, that the fast of Lent began with christi;- 
anity itself; and, with Christianity, has been received by all 
people and nations which have received the faith and law of 
Christ, Embrace then, with alacrity, this apostolical practice, 
this precious remnant of primitive discipline: but let it be 
with a penitential spirit. "Behold, now is the acceptable 
time; behold, now is the day of salvation," (2 Corinthians 
vi. 2. ) These forty days, if you make good use of them, will 
be happy days to you. "O seek the Lord while he may be 
found; call upon him whilst he is near," [Isa. Iv.] 

Consider, thirdly, that the great end of Lent is, to do pen- 
ance for c-trr sins; to go daily with Magdalene to the feet of 
Christ, and to wash them in spirit, Avith tears of repentance 
and of love; that, as he said of Magdalene, [St. Luke vii.l 
'"Many sins are forgiven her, because she hath loved much-" 
so, he may also say it of us. O, let this be our constant exer- 
cise during this holy time; and we shall not fail of the remis- 
sion of our sins, and the happy recovery of God's friendship. 

Conclude to make the best use of these days of salvation' 
and heartily return to your sovereign good. ' 


The ends of the institution of Lent. 

CONSIDER, first, that besides the main design of Lent, -which 
is to do penance for the sins of the year and of our whole life 
it is also a time of particular devotion to the sacred passion of 
oxir dear Redeemer, and in which we may in such manner 
purify our souls by spiritual exercises, as to be fit to approach 
worthily to the divine mysteries at Easter. See, my soul thou 
keep Lent so as to answer these ends. 

Consider, secondly, that Lent is a time which God particu- 
larly claims for himself, as being the tithe of the year, which 
therefore ought to be set aside for him. In the law he appoint- 
ed that the tithes of all things should be sanctified to him 


[Leviticus xxvii.] And surely, nothing could be more meet 
than that we should offer at least our tithes to him who gives 
us all. How justly then does he require the tithes of our years 
to be dedicated in a special manner to his service? 

Consider, thirdly, that the time of Lent should be employed 
by people in the world, in taking a serious view of the whole 
state of their interior, by a spiritual retirement from noise and 
dissipation. Now is the time for them to see and examine 
how the soul stands affected with relation to her God, her 
neighbor, and herself: how she acquits herself of all her duties, 
both those incumbent on all Christians, and those that are 
peculiar to her respective calling, or relate to others under her 
charge. Now is the time to search diligently into such secret 
sins as are apt to be concealed in the soul under some pretext 
of good, and the folds of self-love. In a word, now is the 
time to acquire a true knowledge of ourselves, in order to the 
reformation of our life. 

Conclude to apply yourself at this holy season to take in 
pieces the whole method of your life, and resolutely to correct 
in yourself whatever you find amiss. 

On the examination of the state of our interior. 

CONSIDER, first, how many there are in the world who pass 
their whole lives in mortal sin, and yet for want of looking 
into themselves are not sensible of it! How many imagine 
themselves to be alive, and "have the name of being afive, 
and yet are dead!" [Apoc. iii. 1.] How many imagine their 
souls to be rich and wealthy and to stand in need of nothing, 
and they "know not that" in truth, and in the sight of God, 
"they are wretched, and miserable, and poor, and blind, and 
naked," [Apoc. iii. 17.] "0 from my hidden sins cleanse 
me, Lord; and for the sins of others spare thy servant,'' 
[Psalm xxviii. 13, 14.] 

Consider, secondly, that a Christian cannot be in the state of 
grace or in the way of salvation, if he love not God above 
all things. What then, my soul, are thy real dispositions with 
regard to thy God? Is there nothing thou lovest more than 
God? Whence comes it then, that commonly he is so seldom 
thought of in the course of the day? Whence comes it, that 
upon every occasion worldly honor, temporal interest and sen- 
sual pleasures make thee turn thy back on him? If thou art 
not resolutely determined for no honor, no interest, no plea- 
sure, no human respect, no fear, no love; for nothing, in a 
word, that the world can give or take away, to be disloyal to 


thy God; his love is not in thee, and thou art none of his. 
But then, to know thy true disposition in this regard, examine 
thy works. "If you love me," saith the Lord, "keep my com- 
mandments," [John xiv. 15.] 

Consider, thirdly, with regard to the love of our neighbor 
[another great branch of the Christian's duty;] what are our 
sentiments. Dp we live up to the rules of charity in his re- 
gard? Are we just in our thoughts, words, and works towards 
him; or rather are we not censorious in our judgment, bitter in 
our speech, hasty and passionate in our carriage? Do we 
never injure him in his reputation, his goods or peace of mind, 
by detraction, tale bearing or affronts? Are we just in all our 
dealings with him? Do we do by him in all things, as we 
would be done by, if we were in his case? Have we no secret 
hatred or malice against any one soul upon earth? 

Conclude to study seriously to know yourself, that you may 
effectually amend your life. 

On a farther examination of the soul. 

CONSIDER, first, that carnal sins are not so easily overlook- 
ed though even in these, sometimes persons deceive themselves: 
but very many take little or no notice of their spiritual sins, 
which though less infamous in the eyes of men, are not less 
heinous in the sight of God. Let each one then examine him- 
self thoroughly upon these heads; for spiritual sins are com- 
monly very subtle, and not easily discerned, without a diligent 
search. Oftentimes the most guilty will not believe themselves 
any way concerned. 

Consider, secondly, then, my soul, how full thou art of thy- 
self; how fond of every thing that flatters thee; how presump- 
tuous and self-sufficient; how apt to compare thyself with oth- 
ers in thy thoughts, and proudly to give thyself the preference; 
how impatient of contradiction or reproof; how much more 
solicitous for thy worldly honor, than for the glory of God. 
And what is all this but an unhappy pride, which is corrupting 
thy very vitals? Does not covetousness also reign in thy heart? 
The greatest miser does not think himself covetous: but the 
tree is to be known by its fruits; such as an anxious care and 
perpetual solicitude about the things of this world, and a 
strange unwillingness to part with money even when the honor 
of God or our neighbor's necessities call for it. 

Consider, thirdly, whether there be no person to whom you 
bear a secret envy: no one whose praises, Avhose endowments, 
whose virtues make you uneasy. ! how common is this mor- 


tal crime; and how many detractions and other evils does it 
produce; and yet how few ohserve it! Then, as to secret 
malice, rancor and hatred how do you think, speak and act 
with relation to your supposed enemies? Lastly, with regard 
to spiritual sloth, which is a clog upon the soul infinitely op- 
posite to the love of God, how frequently does it amount to 
mortal sin; and alas! how seldom do lukewarm Christians take 
notice of it! 

Conclude to declare an eternal war against all these capital 
vices, particularly that which you have reason to think is your 
ruling passion. 


Other sins which require examination. 

CONSIDER, first, how you discharge, not only the duties 
common to all Christians, but also those encumbent on you in 
your particular station of life. The grand duty of man is to 
dedicate himself, without reserve, to the love and service of 
his Maker. All thy days, man, are given thee for this end. 
The omission of this great duty is highly criminal. Millions 
are lost by this omission; who, though they are neither guilty 
of blasphemy, nor murder, nor adultery, nor theft, &c. are 
justly condemned for neglecting to dedicate themselves, in 
earnest, to the love and service of God. 

Consider, secondly, what care you take of your children, of 
your servants, of all under your charge. The regularity of 
your own life will never bring you to heaven, if, through your 
negligence, their lives be irregular. Reflect well on this; and 
see if you are not guilty of many criminal omissions of this 
kind. Again: reflect on the peculiar obligations of your call- 
ing, and how far you perform what the law of God or man re- 
quires of you in your station; for instance, that of a lawyer, 
a physician, a tradesman, a servant, &c. And if any oath 
was required at your first admission, or afterwards, see what 
care you have taken to discharge your engagements. 

Consider, thirdly, whether you have nothing to apprehend 
with regard to your salvation, from the sins of others; and this 
not only through your omissions, or neglect to restrain those 
under your charge from sin, and to remove from them the oc- 
casions of sin; but because of your commissions too, in pro- 
moting or encouraging sin by word or work, and in contribu- 
ting to keep up the pernicious maxims of the world, in point 
of honor, interest, and pleasure. 

Conclude, at this holy time to study well what passes with- 
in you, and be no longer blind to your own defects. 



On exercising works of mercy. 

CONSIDER, first, that in order to find mercy we must show 
mercy. "Blessed are the merciful, saith our Lord; for they 
shall obtain mercy," (Matthew v. 7.) On the other hand, 
"judgment without mercy to him that hath not done mercy," 
(James ii. 13. Isa. i. ) If, then, you desire at this time effectu- 
ally to sue for the divine mercy in the forgiveness of your sins, 
let your fasting and prayer be accompanied with alms-deeds. 
If you have much, give abundantly; if but little, take care even 
so to be willing to bestow a little, (Tob. iv. 9.) 

Consider,, secondly that the word of God promises an eter- 
nal kingdom, in heaven, to all who are diligent in the exer- 
cise of alms-deeds, and threatens with eternal damnation all 
who neglect it, (Matthew xxv. ) It assures us, that "alms de- 
liver from all sin, and from death, and will not suffer the soul 
to go into darkness," [Tobias iv. 11.] And that Christ consid- 
ers what is done to the poor as done to himself, and will reward 
it accordingly,' [Matthew xxv.] It was mercy and compassion 
that even brought him down from heaven; and mercy must 
carry us up to him thither. 

Consider, thirdly, that our alms, in order to produce these 
great effects, must be liberal, and proportionable to our ability: 
"He that soweth sparingly, shall reap but sparingly." "What 
then can the worldling expect, who, for every penny he gives to 
God, gives a pound to the devil and his own passions? Again: 
they must be given with a pure intention; not out of vain 
glory or any human motive, but for God's sake; otherwise they 
will have no reward from God. Nor can they effectually pro- 
cure for us the remission of our sins, unless we join with them 
true repentance, and a firm resolution to serve God faithfully, 
for the future. 

Conclude diligently to practice the works of mercy: but let 
your intention be pure, and lose not the benefit of them by an 
impenitent heart. 

On the spiritual works of mercy. 

CONSIDER,. first, that God, who has been pleased to promise 
such ample rewards to those good works which relate only to 
the body, and to this short life, will reward much more those 
works of mercy and charity, by which immortal souls, made 
after his own image, and redeemed by the blood of Christ, are 


sescued from hell, and brought to eternal happiness. In effect, 
"they that instruct many , to justice, shall shine as stars for all 
/eternity! " [Daniel xii. 3.JJ 

Consider, secondly, that the spiritual works of mercy are: 
reclaiming sinners from their evil ways, even he ways of 
death and hell, by admonitions, remonstrances, -&c.; instruct- 
ing such as through ignorance are in danger -of losing their pre- 
cious souls, or procuring them instruction from other proper 
[persons.; -comforting the afflicted; encouraging the weals; re- 
conciling such as are at variance; overcoming evil with good, 
and praying for all. Oh! how precicus in the sight of God is 
a life spent in such works of mercy and charity as these! 

Consider, thirdly, that not only priests, .but all other chris- 
tians, are strictly obliged to the performance of these spiritual 
works of mercy, according to their circumstances and abili- 
ties. For charity is a virtue ,of universal obligation: and no 
one can be excused from ,two most effectual means of reclaim- 
ing sinners and bringing them to God; namely, the example 
of a holy life, and earnest prayer .to our Lord in their favor. 

Conclude to adopt im practice ithese two most effectual 
methods; yet so as not to neglect any .other means that lie in 
your power. 

On prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that Lent is also a time of prayer, which is 
one of the inseparable attendants of a Christian fast. But 
what is prayer? It is a conversation with God: it is a raising 
up of the mind and of the heart to God: it is an address of the 
soul, by which she presents to God her homage, adoration, 
praise, and thanksgiving, and lays before him all her necessi- 
ties and those of the whole world; begging mercy and salva- 
tion at his hands. O how happy it is; how glorious, how 
pleasant, thus to entertain ones self with God! It is in some 
measure foretasting the joys of heaven. For what is heaven, 
but to be with God? 

Consider, secondly, the noble advantages of prayer. It 
gives us free access whenever we please to come before the 
throne of his divine Majesty, and to make our addresses to 
him at any hour of the day or night; with a positive promise 
of being heard, and that he will never shut the door against 
s. Will any prince of the earth allow such a privilege even to 
his greatest favorite? Christian, what an honor is this! 
And why do you not esteem it more! 

Consider, thirdly, how delightful prayer is to the soul which 


truly loves God. The true lover finds the greatest pleasure in 
thinking on, and speaking with the object of his love. If then 
you really love God, nothing will be more sweet to you than 
this heavenly intercourse and conversation with your sove- 
reign good. This the saints experienced, when they passed 
whole nights in prayer, and thought the time very short through 
the delight they felt in the company of their beloved. my 
soul, if thou feel no such delight, is it not for want of love? 

Conclude to embrace this heavenly exercise of prayer with 
all your heart. In it is to be found your greatest honor, inter- 
est, and pleasure. 

On the necessity of prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that God being our first beginning and our 
last end; our Creator, our Redeemer, and the infinite source 
of all our good, justly expects we should daily worship him 
and acknowledge daily our absolute dependence on him. 
This is to be done by daily acts of adoration and thanksgiving ; 
of faith, hope, and love; which are all neglected. It was ap- 
pointed in the divine law that twice every day, morning and 
evening, an unspotted lamb should be offered in sacrifice in 
the temple of God, as a daily worship he required from his 
people: and shall not the children of the new law be equally 
obliged, twice a day at least, to offer up their homage of prayer 
in the temple of their hearts? 

Consider, secondly, that prayer is the channel through which 
by divine appointment the blessings of God are to flow into 
our souls. We can do nothing towards our salvation without 
the grace of God; but with his. grace we can do all things. 
This we must obtain by prayer. "Ask and you shall receive." 
God stands not in need of us, or our prayers; but we continual- 
ly stand in need of him ; and the reason he so often presses us 
to pray is, because 1 he knows that without frequent and fervent 
prayer, \ve shall be lost for ever.. 

Consider, thirdly, that we are surrounded on all sides with: 
dangers which threaten us with the rueful loss of God, and a 
miserable eternity. We walk in- the midst of snares: our way 
is beset with robbers and murderers: we breathe the pestilen- 
tial air of the world and its deluded admirers- xvtter strangers* 
to> the gospel, who by word and work encourage 1 sin. We car- 
ry about with us the burden of the ftesh, which quite weighs, 
down the poor soul, with its passions and lusts; and witb 
these are leagued against us all the powers of darkness^. 
Prayer alone must preserve us under all these dreadful dangers. 


Conclude to have recourse to prayer on all occasions, since 
ouv whole life is full of dangers and temptations: let us make 
it in some measure one continued prayer. 

On attention in prayer. 

CONSIDEB, first, that to pray with wilful distractions is a 
mockery rather than prayer ; it is affronting the Divine Majes- 
ty, and insulting the Spirit of God. "This people," saith he, 
"honoreth me with their lips, but their heart is far from me," 
[Isa. xxix.] See, my soul, if this he not too often thy case? 
And if so, seek a speedy remedy for so great an evil. There 
needs no greater to involve thee in eternal misery. For as he 
cannot fail to live well who possesses the art of praying well; 
so, he that prays ill must not expect to live well, or to die 

Consider, secondly, that in order to pray well, our heart and 
mind must be fixed on God. But the better to keep this atten- 
tion in time of prayer, listen to the wise man: "Before prayer 
prepare thy soul, and be not like a man that tempteth God." 
This preparing the soul for prayer consists in discharging he- 
fore-hand, as much as possible, all foreign thoughts and dis- 
orderly affections, and beginning, by a serious recollection of 
the soul in the presence of GOD, and an earnest address to him 
to teach us to pray as we ought. 

Consider, thirdly, that if, after taking these precautions, we 
still find oursel ves hurried away with a multitude of distrac- 
tions during prayer, we must not he discouraged. For as long 
as the will has no share in them, they will not he imputed to 
us, nor hinder the fruit oi our prayer. It is the heart which 
God regards: our care must be to purify it; to set out with a 
good intention, and not wilfully to retract this and all will 
be right. 

Conclude upon ever keeping a proper guard over your heart 
and affections, if you desire to pray well; and this, not only at 
the time of prayer, but at all times. 




On other conditions of prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that if in prayer we are more concerned for 
the temporal goods of this mortal life, than for the eternal 
welfare of our souls, we must not think much if God does not 
hear us. For in these cases we often know not what we ask, 
or, at least, what is expedient for us; and it is a mercy of God 
not to grant us those things, which might he the occasion of 
the loss of our souls. "You ask," says St. James, "and you 
receive not because you ask amiss," (chap. iv. 3.] Where- 
fore, in prayer, we must "seek first the kingdom of GOD and 
his justice," and other things only as far as they are expedient, 
and with an entire submission to his holy will. 

Consider, secondly, that in our prayer, we must join, with 
purity of intention, a livlely faith and confidence in God. 
The honor of the Divine Majesty is engaged to stand by those, 
who pray with a strong belief and trust in him. J3ut as for 
him that prayeth "wavering in faith, let him not think that he 
shall receive any thing of the Lord," [James i. 6.] Casting 
away, therefore, all self-confidence, put your whole trust in the 
boundless power and goodness of God, who is always ready to 
hear your prayer, and to grant your just petitions. No one ever 
trusted in him, and was confounded. 

Consider, thirdly, that we must present our prayers in the 
name of Jesus Christ. No one can come to the Father but by 
him, [John xiv. 6.] Whatsoever we shall ask the Father in 
his name, shall be given us, [chap. xvi. 23, 24.] But "there 
is no other name under heaven given to men, whereby we 
must be saved," [Acts iv. 12.] Here, then, is the great 
ground-work of that faith and confidence with which we ad- 
dress our prayers to God: the Son of God has died for us; his 
sacred blood continually pleads in our behalf. Through HIM, 
then, "let us go with confidence to the throne of grace, that 
we may obtain mercy, and find grace in seasonable aid," [Heb. 
Iv. 16.] 

Conclude to take along with you the sacred blood of Christ, 
when you enter the sanctuary by prayer. This will open to 
you the way to all mercy. 


On fervor in prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that we should be quite in earnest in our 
addresses to God. For, how can we expect that he will hear 
or regard our supplications, if we present them with as much 
indolence and indifference, as if we did not care whether he 
hears us or not? Such prayer as this, will rather move him to 
indignation than to mercy. It is doing the work of God negli- 
gently; which is severely reproved in holy scripture. Let the 
great example of the Son of God, "who, in the days of his 
flesh, with a strong cry and tears, offered up his prayers and 
supplications," [Heb. v. 7.J effectually excite us to fervor. 

Consider, secondly, how our Lord recommends to us, [Luke 
xviii. I,] to "pray always, and not to faint;" that is, not to be 
discouraged if we do not immediately feel the effect of our 
prayers; but, by the example of the poor widow whose impor- 
tunity prevailed even upon a Avicked judge, still continue to 
knock at the gate of heaven, till God is pleased to open to us, 
according to his merciful promise. Oh! that we had the faith, 
the fervor, the perseverance of the saints; who, like their 
Lord, sometimes passed even whole nights in prayer. Then 
should we receive the like favors and graces. 

Consider, thirdly, that humility must ever accompany our 
prayer. A contrite and humble heart God never despises. 
"The prayer of him that humbleth himself," saith the wise 
man, [Eccles. xxxv. 21,] "shall pierce the clouds and not 
depart till the Most High behold." Humility always finds ad- 
mittance with God, who ever "resists the proud and gives his 
grace to the humble." All kinds of motives recommend to us 
humility. Our whole being is a mere nothing in the sight of 
that great God before Avhom we present ourselves in prayer. 
His majesty fills heaven and earth; and both heaven and earth 
dwindle away to just nothing at all in his presence. "What a 
figure, then, do our crimes and abominations make in his eyes; 
and what wretched objects do they make of us! 

Conclude then always to join humility with fervor in prayer, 
earnestly imploring the assistance of the Divine Spirit. None 
but he can teach you to pray well. 


On mental prayer, or meditation. 

CONSIDER, first, that mental prayer brings us still nearer to 
God, and to his heavenly light, than vocal prayer. It employs 
all the powers of the soul (namely, the memory, the under- 


standing, and the will) about him: it opens the eyes of the 
soul to the knowledge of God and ourselves, and is the true 
school in which we learn to despise the world and its cheating 
vanities, and to love God with our whole hearts. 

Consider, secondly, that the best method of practising medi- 
tation, or mental prayer, is, 1. To place ourselves in the pre- 
sence of our God, by humbly imploring his divine assistance. 
2. The memory must represent the subject of the prayer, and 
the understanding must be employed in considering the hea- 
venly truths which it here discovers; till the will is properly 
affected and stirred up to the fear and love of God, to a horror 
of sin, and a sincere repentance for past offences, &c. Last- 
ly, good and firm resolutions are to be made, of avoiding evil 
arid doing good, and particularly of amending the failings to 
which we are most liable. This is a most easy and most bene- 
ficial method of mental prayer, practised and recommended by 
very great saints. 

Consider, thirdly, that though this method be excellent, yet 
if God should be pleased to advance the soul to the more per- 
fect prayer of contemplation, in which she finds herself quite 
alone with his Divine Majesty, and ravished in an ecstasy of 
love, she must not be restrained by any of these usual forms, 
but follow the happy impulse: yet so as to take a guide along 
with her for fear of being imposed upon by the delusions of 
Satan, or of her own pride arid self-love, instead of the mo- 
tions of the Spirit of God. 

Conclude to exercise yourself daily in mental prayer: it is 
an excellent mean of Christian perfection. 


On the practice of mental prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that mental prayer is not so difficult as peo- 
ple vainly imagine: it consists in considerations and affec- 
tions that is, in thinking and in loving; and this, in think- 
ing on subjects, generally the most easy, and, at the same 
time, of the utmost importance to the soul; and in loving HIM, 
whom, by thinking, we find to be every way the most worthy 
of our love. We can easily think of our other affairs, and 
even of every trifle that comes in our way: and shall thinking 
then only be difficult, when we are to think of matters of the 
utmost consequence to our everlasting welfare? Or, shall lov- 
ing be difficult to a soul which was made to love, and can find 
no rest but in her love, and which God by his grace is contin- 
ually inviting and pressing to love him? 

Consider, secondly, that the subjects for mental prayer which 


are the most necessary, are also the most easy. For instance: 
the knowledge of ourselves, and what we are, both as mortals 
and as sinners; how much we owe to God, how much we 
have offended him, and how ungrateful we still are to him: 
what he is; how great is his love for us; and what he has done 
in our favor: the great humiliations and sufferings of the Son 
of God, to deliver us from sin and hell: the sudden vanishing 
of all present things, and the eternal punishments and rewards 
to come. These easy and important subjects of meditations 
are recommended to all Christians by St. Teresa. 

Consider, thirdly, that we may, with great ease and much 
spiritual profit, practice mental prayer by familiar entertain- 
ments with our Lord; conversing and discoursing with him, 
as we would do were he visibly present with us, as formerly 
during his mortal life; and treating with him in quality of our 
Parent, our best Friend and Benefactor, our High-Priest, our 
Advocate, our Physician, our Director, our Brother, our 
Spouse, our Head, our Redeemer; humbling ourselves before 
him; confessing and begging pardon for our many disloyalties; 
laying before him our great infirmities and his own merciful 
promises, his sufferings, &c. "For since we never want 
words," says St. Teresa, "to talk with other persons, why 
should we to speak with God?" And surely none can want 
matter to discourse upon with God, but such as think they 
owe nothing to him, and neither here nor hereafter desire or 
expect any thing from him. 

Conclude to let no difficulties discourage you from the daily 
practice of meditation; and God, in his good time, will cause 
the light of his countenance to shine upon you. 


On devotion to the passion of Christ. 

CONSIDER, first, that the season now draws near, in which 
we celebrate the yearly memory of our Lord's passion: and 
therefore the church, which at no time can forget the suffer- 
ings and death of her heavenly spouse, now in particular re- 
commends to her children to place before their eyes their cru- 
cified Saviour, and to make him the great object of their devo- 
tion. His passion is the overflowing source of salvation to us 
all: all our good must be derived from his cross. Therefore 
the more we approach to him in his sufferings, and station 
ourselves near the cross by pious meditations on his passion, 
the more assuredly shall we obtain his mercy. 

Consider, secondly, that the passion of Christ has been al- 
ways, from the beginning of the world, the great object of the 


devotion of the children of God. In all their bloody sacrifi- 
ces of old, they celebrated before-hand the death of the Lamb 
of God, slain in figure from the beginning. No sacrifices 
could ever be acceptable to God, but such as had relation to 
HIM, by whom alone the sins of man could be redeemed. 
Much more now, under the new law., is the great eucharistical 
sacrifice and sacrament of the mass, a lively commemoration 
of his passion and death. 

Consider, thirdly, how ungrateful are all such Christians as 
not forget the sufferings and death of their Redeemer. May they 
all be ranked in the number of those, of whom he complained 
heretofore by the royal prophet, that they left him alone in his 
passion, and took no notice of him? "I looked on my right 
hand, and beheld; and there was no one that would know 
me," [Psalms exli.] Had the meanest man upon earth suffer- 
ed the tenth part of what our Lord has suffered, for the love of 
one of us ; we should be basely ungrateful if we ever forgot 
his sufferings and his love. What then must we think of our- 
selves, if we forget the unspeakable sufferings of the Son of 
God himself, nailed to a cross to deliver us by his death from 
the eternal torments of hell? Ah, Christians! let us never be 
so ungrateful. 

Conclude, O my soul, at this holy time at least, daily to at- 
tend thy crucified Jesus, by meditations on his sufferings. 
"With Christ/' said the apostle, "I am nailed to the cross/' 
[Gal. ii. 19. ] that we could say the same! 


On the great advantages of devotion to our Saviour's 


CONSIDER, first, that the contemplation of the passion of 
Christ is the means to heal Christian souls of the bites of the 
infernal serpent, and to deliver them from everlasting death. 
Every sinner that looks for mercy, must return to God with his 
whole heart, by faith, hope, love, and repentance. Now, in 
meditating on the passion of Christ, we contemplate the great 
object of our faith, the chief ground of our hope, the most 
pressing motive of divine love, and the strongest and most 
effectual inducement to repentance for our sins. Let us there- 
fore gladly embrace this great mean of bringing us to God, and 
to all good. 

Consider, secondly, that we "all have sinned, and need the 
glory of God. Being justified freely by his grace, through the 
redemption that is in Christ Jesus, whom God hath proposed 
to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood," &c. (Rom. 


iii. 23, 24, 25.) It is, then, "through faith in his blood" we 
are to be introduced to the divine mercy; and it is by medita- 
ting on his passion we are to acquire "a lively faith in his 
blood:" so that devotion to the passion of Christ is the short- 
est way to attain to justifying faith. Nor has it less influence 
on our hope, by setting before our eyes how much God has 
loved us, in delivering up for us his only Son. For as the 
apostle writes, (Rom. viii. 32.) "He that spared not even his 
own Son, but delivered him up for us all, hath he not also, with 
him, given us all things?" In effect, what is there we may 
not justly hope for from such and so great a Redeemer, if we 
daily meditate upon his passion, and humbly represent to the 
Father his dear Son's bitter sufferings for our salvation! 

Consider, thirdly, that nothing can excite us more to a re- 
turn of love, that the frequent consideration of than love which 
nailed our blessed Saviour to the cross. This makes us grieve 
for our past ingratitude; this makes us lament the share our 
sins have had in his death; this teaches us to offer our whole 
hearts to him, and to love him henceforward, above all! 
Thus the devotion to the passion of Christ procures for us that 
love to which is annexed the remission of sins; as it was said 
of Magdalene, "Many sins are forgiven her because she hath 
loved much," (Luke vii. 47.) 

Conclude daily to station yourself at the foot of the cross: it 
is the source from which you must draw the waters of eternal 

On the lessons which Christ teaches us in his passion. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Son of God came down from hea- 
ven, not only to redeem us with his precious blood, but also to 
be a perfect pattern of all virtues for us to follow in the prac- 
tice of our lives: that so the image of God in man, disfigured 
by sin, might be repaired and reformed according to this great 
original. Now, although the whole life of Christ is full of ad- 
mirable examples of all virtues, they no where shine forth 
more brightly than in his passion, in which all the great les- 
sons of virtue he had taught in life, are drawn together under 
one view. 

Consider, secondly, that these lessons, according to the 
apostle, ( Phillipians ii. 5, 8.) are chiefly his obedience and 
his humility. "He humbled himself, becoming obedient unto 
(deajth, even to the death of the cross," that we might learn to 
be of "the like mind." Adam fell from God by disobedience, 
and so entailed both sin and death upon all his offspring. But 


by the obedience of Jesus Christ, the second Adam, we are de- 
livered from sin and death yet, upon articles of learning and 
practising his obedience and that also unto death, by a con- 
stant disposition to be faithful to our God, even at the risk of our 
very lives. This is true Christian obedience, and nothing less 
will bring us to God. My soul, thou must learn this lesson at 
the foot of the cross. 

Consider,, thirdly, that our blessed Lord was in the whole 
course of passion "as a worm and no man; the reproach of 
men, and the outcast of the people," ( Psalms xxi. 7. ) See 
how he humbled himself under the malediction of our sins, in 
those ignominious and most grevious torments which he under- 
went, in compliance with his Father's will, for the expiation 
of our crimes. But who is this, my soul, that suffers so much 
on thy account? Why, it is the Lord of Glory: it is the Most 
High: it is the King of heaven and earth: to teach thee effec- 
tually that true humility, without which thou canst never please 
God, nor have any part with him. 

Conclude to study well these necessary lessons, by a daily 
attendance upon our Lord in his passion. His cross is the pul- 
pit from which he most feelingly and effectually preaches to 
our souls. 



Other lessons to be learned from Christ in his passion. 

CONSIDER, first, that in the passion of Christ, his meekness 
is no less admirable than his humility. These two he jointly 
recommended in life to be learned of him, (Matthew xi. 29.) 
These he jointly taught in death by his great example. "He 
was led as a sheep to the slaughter, and as a lamb before his 
shearer he opened not his mouth," (Isa. liii. 7.) "Who, 
when he was reviled, did not revile; when he suffered, he 
threatened not; but delivered himself to hini that judged him 
unjustly." And why all this but "to leave us an example 
that we should follow his steps," ( 1 Peter, ii. 21, 23. ) Let us 
then learn from the behaviour of our Lord in his sufferings, to 
suppress all the risings of our passion and pride, and to imi- 
tate his meekness and silence, who, in the midst of affronts 
and injuries of all kinds, "became as a man that heareth not, 
and as a dumb man not opening his mouth." 

Consider, secondly, that the passion of Christ is also the 
most excellent school of Christian patience. We all of us 
have our crosses and sufferings; and "in our patience" under 
them we are "to possess our souls," (L<uke xxi. 19. ) ' 


both sweetens and sanctifies all our sufferings: "Patience is 
necessary for us: that doing the will of God, we may receive 
the promise," {Heb. x.. 36.) As none hath ever gone to hea- 
ven but by the way of the cross; so none can ever come thith- 
er but by patience. O study well this lesson ' ' under the shadow 
of your Beloved." 

Consider, thirdly, the other lessons to be learned, in this di- 
. vine school. 1. Of charity for our enemies, by contemplating 
the Son of God praying for them that crucified him, and dying 
for his enemies. 2. Of perfect resignation and conformity in 
all things to the holy will of God, from his prayer in his agony 
"'not nay will but thine be done," and his bloody sacrifice upon 
the cross. 3. Of self-denial, when we see how the Son of 
Crod allows himself no ease or comfort in his sufferings; but 
3both in life and death chooses what is naost disagreeable to 

Conclude to love and bless your God for having sent you 
so excellent a master from heaven to teach you the way thither 
by his sufferings and death. Let this great model "be ever be- 
fore jour eyesj and you shall never miss the way. 

On the lov,e which Christ 7tas shown us in his passion. 

CONSIDER, first, those words of our blessed Saviotir, (John 
xv. 13.) "Greater love than this no man hath, that a man lay 
down his life for his friends." But, O divine Saviour of our 
souls, how imperfect is all human friendship compared with 
thineJ What love between man and man could ever bear the 
ieast proportion with that divine charity 'which burnt in thy 
sacred breast, and obliged thee to offer up thyself in sacrifice, 
in the midst of all kinds of ignominies and the worst of tor- 
ments, for thy very enemies; for us wretched and ungrateful 
simiers who seldom even think of thy sufferings and love. 
O my dear Saviour, permit me not any longer to be thus un- 

Consider, secondly, still further that inconceivable and inex- 
pressible love, which our Saviour has shown to us his ungrate- 
ful creatures, rebels and traitors to him and his heavenly Fath- 
er. For as there is an infinite distance between the sovereign 
majesty of God and any of his creatures however dignified; 
so there is between that love which nailed him to the cross 
for our redemption, and that love which should oblige one 
mortal to die for another, though he were his greatest ene- 
my. O sweet Jesus, give me grace to return thee love for 



Consider, thirdly, that this infinite love of our dear Redeem- 
er, and the desire he had to gain our hearts, and to oblige HS to 
love him, could not be satisfied with any thing less than the 
last drop of his sacred blood by the worst of deaths} One 
single drop, if he needs would shed his blood for our salva- 
tion, would have abundantly sufficed for the ransom of ten 
thousand worlds, by reason of the infinite dignity of his divine 
person, O infinite goodness, how little art thoa considered by 
unthinking mortals ! But how astonishing shali thovr appear to 
the saints and angels to all eternity! 

Conclude no longer to imitate the strange insensibility of many 
Christians, who though they firmly believe all the prodigies of 
the divine goodness in their favor, are not moved to renounce 
their sins. 

Other considerations to excite our love. 

CONSIDER, first, how affectionate is that love which our 
Lord bears us in his passion. It is stronger than death, more 
tender than that of the tenderest mother: in a word, he dies 
for love At the very time he is suffering and expiring upon 
the cross, he has every one of us in his heart: he embraces 
each one with an incomparable affection; he weeps over each 
one, prays for each one, and pours out his blood for each one, 
no less than if he had suffered for that one alone. my soul, 
had we then a place in the heart of Jesus, when he was hang- 
ing upon the cross ; and shall we ever refuse him a place in 
our heart! 

Consider, secondly, that Jesus's love does not content itself 
with words or professions of affection, nor with such passing 
sentiments of affection as we imagine we have for him, in cer- 
tain fits of devotion, when nothing occurs for us to suffer for 
his sake: it shows itself by it effects; and he takes upon him- 
self all our evils, in order effectually to procure for us all good. 
His love has caused him to divest himself of all his beauty and 
comeliness, and to hide all his majesty and glory; that he 
might become for us despised, and the most abject of men; "& 
man of sorrows, and acquainted with infirmity," (Isa. liii.) 

Consider, thirdly, that Christ loves us without any merit on 
our side: we deserved nothing from him but hell. He loves 
us without any prospect of gain to himself: we can give him 
nothing but what he first gives us: whatever we can have or 
hope, his love alone has purchased for us. He stands in no 
need at all of us, or our goods. O how truly generous is this 
love of our Redeemer in his passion! It knows no bounds. 


It hath possessed his heart from the first instant of his concep- 
tion; it burned there every moment of his life ; it carried him 
through all his sufferings, even to death. 

Conclude to make the best return of love you are able, by 
daily offering up to your dear Lord the sacrifice of your heart: 
beg him to inflame it, and to cleanse it with his blood. 

On our Lord's sufferings before, his passion. 

CONSIDER, first, that "the whole life of Christ was a cross 
and a martyrdom," according to the devout A-KEMPIS. Hear 
how he addresses himself, from his first conception, to his hea- 
venly father, (Psalms xxxix. ) "Burnt-offering and sin-offer- 
ing thou didst not require. Then said I, Behold I come. In 
the head of the book it is written of me, that I should do thy 
will. my God, I have desired it, and thy law in the midst 
of my heart." What, then, was this WILL and this LAW, which 
from his first conception he embraced in the midst of his heart; 
but that he himself should become our sacrifice, and, through 
his sufferings mediate our peace! And thus, by his foreknow- 
ledge of what was to happen during his sacred passion, he suf- 
fered before-hand the torments of all its bitter. 

Consider, secondly, the hardships which our Lord endured 
at his birth, from the rigor of the season, and the poverty of 
his accommodations. Contemplate in mind his painful cicum- 
cision; his flight into Egypt; the sense he had of the murder 
of the Innocents; the austerity of his life; his frequent hunger, 
thirst, and want of necessaries; his labors and fatigues. Add 
to these, the crying sins of men: for if St. Paul had such a 
sense of the evil of sin as to be quite on fire when he saw it 
committed, (2 Cor. xi. 29,) hoAV much more vehemently did 
this flame burn in the breast of Jesus! 

Consider, thirdly, how sensibly he was touched with the dis- 
orders of his chosen people; their malice, their injustice, their 
blasphemies, and the licentiousness of their lives; the pride, 
ambition, hypocrisy, and sordid avarice of their priests, scribes 
and Pharisees; their malicious interpretations of his actions, 
and their continually persecuting him, even unto death. Oh, 
who can conceive how much our Saviour's soul was affected 
with all these evils, and the cruel treatment he met with from 
his chosen people; and with those dreadful judgments, they 
drew upon themselves, instead of that mercy which he came 
to purchase with his blood. Death itself was not so bitter to 

Conclude, for the love of Jesus, to bear patiently all your 


crosses and sufferings: "If we suffer with him, we shall reign 
with him:" yet so, if we suffer with his spirit. 

On our Saviour's prayer in the garden. 

CONSIDER, first, that our blessed Saviour, the night before 
his death, after having eaten the paschal lamb with his disci- 
ples, humbly washed their feet; instituted the great passover 
of the new covenant, and given them in an admirable sacra- 
ment of love his own most precious body and blood, went out . 
with them to Mount Olivet. Hither he was accustomed to re- 
sort after the preaching and labours of the day, to spend the 
evening, if not the whole night, in prayer. On this his last 
night he chose to prepare himself for his sacred passion by 
earnest prayer; not that he had any need of it for himself; but 
to give us an example, and for our instruction. Learn hence, 
my soul, how thou art to arm thyself against all trials and 
temptations! Learn whence all thy strength must come, in the 
time of battle. "Watch ye and pray," said our Lord to his 
disciples, "that ye enter not into temptation; the spirit indeed 
is willing, but the flesh is weak, (Matthew xxvi. 41. ) take 
heed, lest if you sleep, as Peter did, when you should pray, 
you deny your Lord when you come to the trial ! 

Consider, secondly, how our Saviour begins to disclose to 
his disciples the mortal anguish which he then suffered in his 
soul. "My soul," said he, "is sorrowful even unto death." 
Sweet Jesus, what can be the meaning of this! Didst thou 
not from the first instant of life, accept and heartily embrace 
whatever thou art now to suffer, for the glory of thy Father, 
arid the redemption of mankind? Hast thou not even a long- 
ing desire of accomplishing thy sacrifice? and whence comes 
it, that thou art now oppressed with sadness and with grief? 
Where is that courage and fortitude which thou hast impart- 
ed to the martyrs; which has made even tender maids de- 
spise the worst of torments for the love of thee? And shalt 
thou, who art the strength of the martyrs, shrink back at 
the sight of death? But, Oh! it was for my sake thou wast 
pleased to undergo all this; to engage me the more to love 
thee; and to teach me how to behave under all my inte- 
rior anguish and afflictions, and how to endure them for the 
love of thee. 

Consider, thirdly, how our Saviour prayed on this occasion, 
that if it were agreeable to the will of his Father, the bitter 
cup might pass away from him. This prayer he continued for 
a long time, and repeated again and again "with a strong cry 


andiears," (Heb. v. 7,) lying prostrate on the ground, (Matt, 
xxvi. 39. ) Do you also under all your distresses, betake your- 
self to prayer: but see you pray, as your Lord did, with fervor, 
humility, and perseverance, and with the like resignation: 
"Not my will but thine be done." make the holy will of 
God your comfort; and your prayer will be always accepted. 
"Stay you here and watch/' said our Lord to his disciples: but 
each time he came to them, he found them still asleep. iny 
soul, do thou at least stay with him in this his desolate condi- 
tion, by frequent meditation on his sufferings. 

Conclude, always to bear in mind, what your Saviour under- 
went for you during his prayer in the garden. Imitate St. 
Teresa, who did not let a night pass, from her very childhood, 
without reflecting before she fell asleep, on our Saviour's suf- 
ferings in that part of his sacred passion. 

On our Saviour's agony and sweat of blood. 

CONSIDER, first, what floods of sorrow overwhelmed the soul 
of our dear Redeemer, during his prayer in this his last night. 
So bitter was his anguish, that it cast him into a mortal agony, 
and forced from his whole body a wonderful sweat of blood ; 
which not only embrued all his garments, but trickled doAvn 
upon the ground, on which he lay prostrate in prayer! But 
why all this agony, dearest Lord? Why this prodigious sweat 
of blood? Was not the death of the cross sufficient for our re- 
demption? Why then these early anticipated sorrows? Ah! 
thy love alone can account for them! 

Consider, secondly, how bitter were the ingredients of this 
chalice, which our Saviour so much feared to drink. He 
had at this time before his eyes, a most lively representation of 
each particular injury and indignity, which he was afterwards 
to endure in the whole course of his passion, now all at once 
assaulting his soul, and making him feel beforehand all the 
sorrows, which afterwards came only one by one. But what 
was far more terrible to our dear Redeemer was, the clear 
sight and lively sense he had then, of all the sins and abomi- 
nations of the whole world, from the first to the last, all now 
laid upon him, as if they were his own: all infinitely hateful, 
infinitely contrary to his sanctity. 

Consider, thirdly, another bitter ingredient of this cup of 
sorrow, which our blessed Redeemer had now to drink to the 
very dregs; namely, that strange ingratitude and insensibility 
of most Christians, and their unaccountable perverseness, in 
taking occasion from his very passion to sin more freely, and 


thus draw down upon their guilty heads the most dreadful judg- 
ments and eternal death. For if each of these poor souls was 
more dear to our blessed Lord, than his own life which he laid 
down to save them; what a cruel anguish it must have been to 
his tender and charitable heart, to see so many of them blindly 
plunging into the flames of hell. 

Conclude to adore and admire the wonderous ways of God, 
in bringing about the redemption of man; and be no longer 
one of that unhappy number who repay all his mercy and love 
with sin and ingratitude. 

On the, treason of Judas. 

CONSIDER, first, how sensible an affliction it was to our 
Lord, to be betrayed and sold by one of his own apostles, to 
those that sought his life. He, who bore in silence all the inso- 
lence of the Jewish rabble, and the pagan soldiers; he, who 
suffered the whips, thorns, and nails without complaint, could 
not but complain of this treachery of a false friend. "Even 
the man of my peace" (the friend whom I had taken into my 
bosom) "in whom I trusted; who ate my bread," (the bread of 
life) "hath greatly supplanted me," (Psalms xl. 10.) "If my 
enemy had reviled me, I would verily have borne it: and if he 
that hated me had spoken great things against me, I would per- 
haps have hid myself from him. But thou, a man of one mind , 
my guide and my familiar, who didst take sweet meats with 
me/' (even the sacred body and blood of thy Redeemer,) "in 
the house of God we walked with consent," (Psalms liv. 13, 
14,15.) Thou notwithstanding, joinest thyself with my ene- 
mies to persecute me, even unto death. O this distresses and 
afflicts my soul. 

Consider, secondly, what an affront the traitor offered to our 
Lord by selling him for thirty pieces of silver; the price, it is 
likely, of the meanest slave; basely preferring so small a con- 
sideration before the God who made both him and all things; 
and who set such a value on his soul, as to employ his whole 
life and death, and give his own most precious blood for his 
salvation. Christian soul, you detest this monstrous treason. 
But have you never imitated the perfidious < Judas, and sold 
your Saviour by mortal sin, for something even less than the 
traitor did; a petty interest, a filthy pleasure, a punctilio of 
honor, or a disorderly passion? 

Consider, thirdly, that no state of life or calling, however 
holy, can secure us from danger; since an apostle called by 
Christ, and trained up in his school, and empowered by him 


even to cast out devils and to work wonderful miracles, is fallen 
nevertheless, and fallen so as to rise no more, even into the 
bottomless pit. O! let him that stands be sensible upon -what 
slippery ground he stands, and by whose grace he is supported 
and kept from falling: that so, entirely mistrusting himself, and 
placing his confidence in God alone, he may work out his sal- 
vation in fear and trembling. 

Conclude heartily to detest avarice, which was the cause of 
Judas'sfall: never gratify covetousness, even in the smallest 
matter, lest, by degrees, it should cause you to commit the 
greatest crimes. 

Ou the apprehension of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, how our Lord, rising from the ground where 
he had lain prostrate in prayer, all embrued in his own blood, 
goes for the third time to his disciples; but alas! he finds them 
still asleep, notwithstanding he had admonished them to watch 
with him, and pray. So little comfort did they afford him in 
his distress. But the traitor, who is not asleep, conducts to the 
place a lawless mob, headed by the priests and Pharisees, and 
armed with swords and clubs, to apprehend our Lord. See, my 
soul, how thy Saviour goes forth to meet them; how ready he 
is to suffer! How meekly does he receive the traitor's kiss! 
My friend, says he, to what end art thou come? Reflect what 
thon art about, and repent whilst thou hast time, and I will 
show thee mercy. 

Consider, secondly, that our Saviour on this occasion, cast 
down to the ground all that armed multitude, with these only 
words: I AM HE to show, that no power of man could appre- 
hend him, without his free consent. And when Malchus, a 
servant of the high-priest, more busy than the rest in this work 
of iniquity, had his ear cut off by the sword of Peter, our Lord 
not only restrained this apostle from any further violence in his 
defence, but restored it to the wretch upon the spot; to teach 
us, by his own example, to overcome evil with good. 

Consider, thirdly, that our dear Redeemer, having thus man- 
ifested his power and his goodness in presence of his enemies, 
meekly delivered himself up to them, with these words: "This 
is your hour, and the power of darkness." Immediately they 
rush in upon him, and, as we may presume from the rest of 
their conduct, load him with injuries arid reproaches. Then 
they bind him fast, like some notorious criminal, and drag him 
violently along with them, in the dark, into the city. 


Conclude to follow your Saviour, in spirit, through all the 
different stages of his passion, with a sincere desire to study and 
learn the great lessons he teaches you, of the most perfect 
Christian virtues. 

On our Lord's appearance before ANNAS and CAIPHAS. 

CONSIDER, first, that the rabble, with loud shouts drag our 
blessed Redeemer before Annas, one of the chief priests. Go 
in, my soul, with him; and see the Son of God, the Judge of 
the living and the dead, standing with his hands tied behind 
him before this insolent Jewish priest. Admire the courage, 
meekness and evenness of soul, which thy Saviour shows in 
his whole comportment on this occasion. Behold how he suf- 
fers even a vile slave not only to rebuke him in words for his 
modest and just reply, but also to strike him on the face before 
all the company; and learn of him, that true courage consists 
in bearing, and not in revenging injuries. 

Consider, secondly, how our Saviour, bound as he is, is hur- 
ried away from Annas to the house of Caiphas the high priest, 
where the senate is assembled to destroy him right or wrong. 
Christians, what shall we most admire on this occasion? The 
malice of our Saviour's enemies, and the gross falsehoods they 
impose upon him; or the force of truth, and the wonderful 
innocence of our Lord, which will not suffer the testimonies 
of the false witnesses to be of any weight against him, even in 
the judgment of so wicked a court! 

Consider, thirdly, how the high priest, finding that his evi- 
dence did not agree in their story, stood up and abjured our Sa- 
viour by the living God, to tell them if he was indeed the Christ, 
the Son of God? Our Lord in reverence to his Father's name, 
and to give testimony to that capital truth, the great foundation 
of the Christian religion, which he came to seal with his blood, 
immediately answered that he was, and that hereafter they 
should see him sitting on the right hand of God, and coming in 
the clouds of heaven. Give thanks to your Saviour for this 
solemn profession of what he was, though standing in the midst 
of mortal enemies. They rejected and condemned this grand 
truth, to their own perdition; do you embrace and adore it, for 
your salvation. The high priest rends his garments and cries 
out blasphemy; and all with one voice condemn to death, as a 
plasphemer, the Saint of Saints. Be not then so much con- 
cerned about the judgments of the world: if it condemns 
you wrongfully, what wonder, since it condemns innocence 


Conclude in opposition to this unjust sentence against the 
Lamb of God, to join with all the heavenly spirits in adoring 
Sum. Be not ashamed of him and his gospel, though it should 
even cost .you your life. 

JIow our Lord was treated in the house of Cai-phas. 

CONSIDER, first, that immediately upon our Lord's condem- 
nation, the insolent rabble began to treat him with every kind 
of outrage, and the utmost barbarity. "They spit in his face 
and buffet him," (Matt. xxv i. 67.) "They blindfold him and 
smite his face, and ask him, saying, prophesy: who is it that 
struck thee," (Luke xxii. 64.) Whilst our dear Redeemer 
meekly "gives up his body to them that strike him, and his 
cheeks to them that pluck them; and turns not away his face 
from them that rebuke him and spit upon him." 

Consider, secondly, -what kind of a night our Saviour pass- 
ed in the hands of the mob, after the council was dismissed. 
These brutish men, incited by the example of their masters, 
and by those wicked spirits which possessed them, would not 
suffer our Lord to take any rest during that last night of his 
mortal life; repeating again and again the same outrageous 
insults against the king of glory. Besides those horrible 
curses, slanders and blasphemies with which they loaded him, 
"Many other things," says St. Luke xxii. 65, "they said against 
him blaspheming." In the meanwhile our blessed Saviour, 
when he was reviled did not revile: when he suffered he 
threatened not, (1 Peter ii. 23.) he delivered himself up not 
only "to him that judged him unjustly," but also to those vile 
wretches, who so shamefully abused him at their pleasure. 

Consider, thirdly, how the whole person of our blessed Sa- 
viour is now changed: behold his face all bruised, his eyes 
black and blue, and his divine countenance strangely disfigur- 
ed, And for whom does he suffer all this? For you, Chris- 
tian, who are reading or attending to these lines! And he suf- 
fers even with joy, in consideration of his Father's glory, and 
Of your salvation, which he is to purchase with his blood. 

Conclude to admire and to love the infinite charity of your 
Redeemer; and strive to imitate his patience, his meekness, 
his humility, and submission to his Father's will. 


Peter's denial. 

Cons IDEE, first, how our blessed Saviour was now abandon- 
ed and forsaken by his all disciples. "I looked, " says he, "on 
my right hand, and beheld, and there was no one that would 
know me. Flight hath perished from me: and there is no one 
that hath regard to my soul," (Psal. cxli. 5.) And again: 
"Friend and neighbour thou hast put away far from me; and 
my acquaintance, because of misery," (Psalms Ixxxvii. 19.) 
Even Peter the chief of all the apostles, who a little while be- 
fore had drawn his sword to defend him against an armed mul- 
titude, and who had boasted that very night that he was ready 
to go with him to prison and to death, now basely denies his 
Lord and Master. The voice of a poor maid putting the ques- 
tion to him, whether he was not one of his disciples, terrified 
him to such a degree that he even cursed himself if he ever 
knew the man! Good Jesus! What is man? Of what is he 
not capable, if unsupported by thy grace? 

Consider, secondly, that a secret presumption was the chief 
occasion of his fall. Christians, place no confidence in your- 
selves: you are never nearer falling than when your resolu- 
tions seem the strongest, if they are not founded upon the rock, 
which is Christ. Peter slept when he was admonished to 
watch and pray: this was another occasion of his fall, and de- 
prived him of that grace which otherwise would effectually 
have preserved him. Bad company completed his misfortune, 
and made him ashamed of his divine Master. Take care lest the 
like causes should have the like effects on you. 

Consider, thirdly, from Peter's three denials, how easily one 
fall draws on, another, and, generally speaking, a worse ; and 
learn hence, the necessity of a speedy repentance. He passed 
over, unregarded, the crowing of the cock; and might have died 
in his sin, had not his loving Redeemer cast an eye of pity upon 
him, and, touching his heart with grace, drawn him from the 
wicked company he was in, to weep bitterly in private for his 
sins: a practice which he is said ever after to have repeated, 
as often as he heard the cock crow. 

Conclude to be always upon your guard; and if you seem to 
yourself to "STAND, take heed lest you fall." You haYe not 
half the strength that Peter had. 


Our Lord is led to Pilate. 

CONSIDER, first, that the enemies of the Son of God, not- 
withstanding their late sitting up at night, early the next morn- 
ing resume their work of iniquity. For the children of this 
world are often more industrious in prosecuting wickedness, 
than the servants of God are in promoting his glory and their 
own eternal salvation! "Wherefore these impious men again 
inquire of our Lord, whether he be the Son of God; and upon 
his answer that he is, again declare him worthy of death. Nor 
could their malice be satisfied with any other than the most 
cruel and disgraceful death of the cross. 

Consider, secondly, that whereas they had not authority 
of themselves to inflict this punishment, they determined to 
deliver him up to Pilate, the pagan Governor of Judea, and 
falsely to accuse him of raising seditions among the people, and 
of other crimes. They publish all the way they go, that now 
they have proved him to be a cheat and a hypocrite; discover- 
ed all his impostures, and convicted him by his |own confes- 
sion of blasphemy; and therefore have condemned him to die. 
His enemies now triumph over him; his friends themselves 
seem ashamed of him; and all alike abandon him. my 
soul, do thou at least follow thy Lord with compassion and 
love, in these his last ways which he walks for thy redemp- 
tion: painful and humble ways indeed, and quite distasteful to 
flesh and blood; but sovereignly wholesome to the true disci- 
ples of Jesus! 

Consider, thirdly, how the high priest and the rest of the 
Jewish council, being come to Pilate's house, would not go in, 
for fear of contracting a legal uncleanness, and disqualifying 
themselves for partaking of the sacrifices offered on that day; 
it being the feast of the Passover, in memory of their redemp- 
tion from the bondage of Egypt. And yet, unhappy men! 
they are not afraid of polluting their souls with the most hein- 
ous of crimes! 

Conclude to adore the wonderful providence of God, which 
made even the malice of these men instrumental in the great 
work of our redemption, by the sacrifice of the true paschal 
Lamb; and that too on the very day of the Jewish passover 
which was an illustrius figure of the Christian Pasch. On the 
other hand, beware of your passions, which if indulged, will 
pervert the greatest good into the greatest evil. 


Our Lord is sent from Pilate to Herod. 

CONSIDER, first, how our Redeemer under all the wicked 
slanders and calumnies of his enemies, which tended to con- 
demn him to the worst of deaths, still showed the same peace 
and tranquility of soul, and still kept silence, to the great as- 
tonishment of the governor. For calmness and meek deport- 
ment are better proofs of innocence than passion and rage, or 
returning injury for injury. Pilate himself, though otherwise a 
wicked man, judged from our Saviour's silence, and the clamors 
of his accusers, that these were led by envy and passion, and 
not by zeal for justice; and therefore, after inquiring of our 
Lord concerning his being king, and hearing from him that 
his "kingdom was not of this world," he declared himself ful- 
ly satisfied, and sought to discharge him. 

Consider, secondly, how the Jews still insisting that Jesus 
should he put to death, Pilate sends him to Herod, king of 
Galilee, as being one of his subjects, and refers his cause to 
him. Herod, who was then at Jerusalem, was overjoyed to 
see him, in hopes of being eye-witness to some miracle; and 
put a thousand idle questions to him. But our Lord is silent 
still, and will not gratify the vain curiosity .of Herod. No, 
Christians; your Saviour has too great a love for you, to work 
a miracle to deliver himself from that death, which he willing- 
ly suffers in order to give you life. 

Consider, thirdly, how Herod, thus disappointed, now treats 
him with mockery and scorn, and clothes him with a white 
garment, (or fool's coat) as a mock king: and, in this con- 
temptible disguise, sends him back to Pilate. See here, with 
astonishment, the eternal wisdom of the Father treated by the 
world as a fool; behold the great King of heaven and earth 
abused as a mock king, an idle pretender to royality! Learn, 
then, to despise the judgment of a vain world, and remember 
that its "wisdom is foolishness with God;' 3 and that what it 
terms folly is indeed true wisdom. 

Conclude to adhere to your Lord in the midst of all his suf- 
ferings, and ever to acknowledge him for the king of your 
heart, though the world treats him with mockery and scorn. 



Barabbas is preferred before our Lord: He is scourged at 

the pillar. 

CONSIDER, first, how Pilate now offers to the Jews the 
choice of Barabbas, a notorious robber and murderer, on the 
one hand; and of Jesus, on the other; to be released accord- 
ing to custom, in memory of their deliverance from the bond- 
age of Egypt. This senseless and unhappy people blindly 
prefer Barabbas; and demand with loud cries, that JESUS, 
their Messiah, may be crucified. Admire, on this occasion, 
the astonishing humility of our dear Redeemer, in submitting 
to be thus affronted and debased ; and consider how desperate 
must have been the wound of our pride, which could not be 
healed but by such and so great humiliation of the Son of God. 

Consider, secondly, that Pilate, imagining the JCAVS would 
relent when they should see our blessed Lord covered with his 
own blood, orders him to be cruelly scourged in their presence. 
But these hard hearted and perfidious men became more and 
more intent upon his death. Do thou at least, my soul, take 
pity of his mangled flesh; and let the sight of so much blood, 
shed for thy salvation, mollify thy heart, and draw from thine 
eyes the tears of true repentance and of love. 

Consider, thirdly, who this is, thus barbarously and igno- 
miniously treated? my soul, it is the GOD that made thee; 
it is the Lord and Maker both of heaven and earth, who suffers 
all this by his own free choice, for the love of thee, to rescue 
thee, his enemy by sin, from the eternal torments of hell, 
which thou couldst not otherwise have escaped. O my dear- 
est Saviour, never suffer me to forget what thou hast endured 
for my salvation. 

Conclude to make the best acknowledgment you are able, by 
acts of thanksgiving and of love, and by a constant detestation 
of sin, the cause of your Redeemer's sorrows. 

Our Lord is croivned with thorns. 

CONSIDER, first, that the barbarous soldiers, after this cruel 
treatment of our Lord, untie him from the pillar, and drag him 
into the court of the governor's hall. Here they press upon 
his sacred head a twisted wreath of long and prickly thorns, 
crowning him in derision as a king, and sporting themselves 
in his sufferings. Christians, take a view of this innocent 


Lamb of God, now standing in the midst of furious wolves, 
and bleeding for your offences. 

Consider, secondly, how the insolent wretches put a reed or 
cane into his hand for a royal sceptre. Then they fall upon 
their knees and scornfully salute him with a "hail King of the 
Jews." By turns they buffet him and spit upon his sacred 
countenance, and strike him on the head with the sceptre they 
have given him, thus driving the thorns deeper in; while 
streams of blood flow from their numberless wounds. Ah! 
who can conceive the excruciating pains he must have under- 
gone on this occasion! All which he bore in patience and in 
silence for the love of us! 

Consider, thirdly, that your Saviour, in this sad condition, is 
scarce able to support himself through loss of blood and ex- 
cess of pain! Behold him in the midst of a whole regiment 
of barbarous pagan soldiers, striving to outdo each other in 
cruelty and insolence. Our blessed Lord in the mean time 

E reserves a perfect tranquility of soul, and a sincere charity in 
is heart even for these very miscreants who thus abuse him. 
But while you contemplate him under all these mockeries and 
torments, cast your eyes upwards, and behold him now sitting 
on his throne of glory adored by legions of angels, who invite 
you to join them in fervent acts of praise; and ever remember, 
that the more he has debased himself for your sake, the dearer 
he should be to you. 

Conclude, from the example of your Eedeemer, cheerfully to 
submit to the thorns which are appointed for you in this mor- 
tal pilgrimage. Pretend not to a crown of roses, to a life of 
worldly pleasures, while your Lord makes choice of a crown 
of thorns on your account. ; 

Our Lord is shown to the people. 

CONSIDER, first, how Pilate, hoping that the malice of the 
Jews would now be fully satisfied, exhibits our blessed Lord 
with his crown of thorns upon his head before them, and stand- 
ing with him upon an emienence, cries out, "behold the 
man." But alas? how vain it is to expect, that our disorderly 
passions will subside by indulgence! The sight of innocent 
blood only increased the malice of this unhappy people: they 
demand the death of their Redeemer with greater fury. Let 
their example be a warning to us, never to give way to our 
lawless desires. 

Consider, secondly, how your Saviour presents himself to 
you, on this occasion. Oh! look upon him with other eyes 


than did those unhappy miscreants; and, in him, behold the 
eternal word of the Father, made man for the love of you. 
Reflect to what a condition your sins and his own infinite 
^charity have reduced the Lord of glory; and then consider, 
what return you will make him for all his sufferings, and for 
all his love. He desires no other than that of your heart; but 
ihen it must be an humble and a contrite heart; it must be a 
loving and an obedient heart. 

Consider, thirdly, with what an affection your dear Redeem- 
er offers up to his eternal Father all his sorrows, and all his 
anguish, in behalf of you and all mankid. Do you also join 
affectionately in this offering, and lay before him all that his 
Son has endured for you in the whole course of his passion. 
Put in your claim to that mercy, grace, and salvation, which 
he has so dearly purchased for .you.; and insist in particular 
upon this one favor, through his passion and death, that you 
may never more be disloyal to him. 

Conclude with representing to your blessed Saviour all your 
miseries; and beg of him the remission of all your sins, through 
his precious blood. 


On the part the Blessed, Virgin lore in her Son's 


CONSIDER, first, those words addressed by holy Simeon to 
the blessed Virgin, (Luke ii. 34, 35.) that her divine Son 
should "be set for a sign which should be contradicted;" and 
that "a sword should pierce her own soul." Yes, blessed 
Lady; a sword indeed, far more sharp and penetrating than 
any earthly steel, which can only pierce the body; whereas 
this sword of more than mortal anguish which thou sufferedst 
on occasion of the passion of thy Son, inflicts a most bitter, 
deep, and deadly wound, in the very midst of thy soul. 
Christians, see how the greatest favorities of heaven, by di- 
vine appointment meet with the greatest crosses, in this mor- 
tal pilgrimage ; and think not much if your Lord chooses for 
you what he chose for himself, for his blessed Mother, and for 
all his elect. 

Consider, secondly, in particular, what this virgin Lady un- 
derwent when the news was brought her, of her Son's being 
betrayed by Judas, apprehended, bound and dragged away in 
that inhuman manner before the council; and how cruelly he 
had been treated there after an unjust sentence was passed 
<-.pon him. But as the sight usually affects us more than the 
earing; so doubtless this blessed Mother was oppressed with 


a far more killing grief, when the next morning she was eye- 
witness of all the outrages and Bitter torments, which her di- 
vine Son underwent in the different stages of his passioiav 
Ah! Christians, the whips, thorns and nails which pierced his 
flesh, pierced her heart with inexpressible pain and sorrow, 
which none surely could ever exceed, but those of her Son", 
"the Man of sorrows." O take pity of them both, and cease 
henceforward to grieve them any more by wilful sin. 

Consider, thirdly, how her tender heart must have been af- 
fected, when she followed her blessed Son on his last journey 
to Mount Calvary, bearing his cross on his mangled shoulders, 
and marking the way with his sacred blood! But what a sea of 
sorrows overwhelmed her soul, when she heard the strokes of 
the hammer driving the nails into his hands and feet; when she 
beheld him hanging in the air supported by his wounds; when 
standing near the cross, she saw the extremity of the torture he 
there endured, contemplated the multitude and variety of his 
sufferings; heard his last dying words, and saw him give up 
the ghost! How truly might she then cry out with the prophet, 
"O all you that pass by the way, attend and see, if there be 
sorrow like to my sorrow," (Lament, i. 12. ) 

Conclude to imitate the virtues, of which the most holy 
Mother of God has given us an illustrious example, under 
this martrydom of grief; namely, her great fortitude, her 
patience and perfect conformity to the will of God, her live- 
ly faith and hope. These must support you also under all your 

Our Lord is condemned to the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Jews perceiving Pilate's desire to 
telease our blessed Redeemer, told him that if he set him at 
liberty, he could not be a friend to Caesar, (John xix, 12V) 
Pilate by way of exculpating himself washes his hands and 
cries out: "I am innocent of the blood of this man, look you 
to it," (Matthew xxvii. 24;) as if this empty ceremony and 
verbal declaration could clear him, in the sight of the j'ust 
judge, from the guilt of shedding innocent blood. But i 
Pilate, who on this occasion acted in some measure through 
compulsion, was notwithstanding highly criminal, how much 
more inexcusable was the malice of the Jews, who impiously 
exclaimed: "His blood be upon us and upon our children?" 

Consider, secondly, that it was not so much the tumultuous: 
cries of a Jewish rabble, as the voice of our crying sins, that 
called for the death of the Son of God. Nor cold the sen- 


tence of a wicked judge have brought on his crucifixion, had 
not he freely chosen this kind of death for the expiation of our 
guilt. Our sins alone were the true cause of all his sufferings; 
and his own tender charity alone subjected him to the humilia- 
tions of his passion, in order to rescue us from hell. Dothou, 
my soul, for ever bless that infinite charity of thy Saviour. 

Consider, thirdly, that our dear Redeemer, being infinitely 
holy, could not but abhor the crime of Pilate in this most in- 
iquitous sentence, though he suffered it; but as to the judgment 
and sentence of his Heavenly Father who required of him so 
great an atonement for our sins, this he embraced as most holy 
and just; 'he bowed down and adored it with the most perfect 
resignation: to teach us and al] who wish to be his disciples, 
to distinguish on such occasions between the injustice of man 
and the justice of God; and to receive our sufferings, from 
whatever hand they come and how unjustly soever, as highly 
just on the part of God, punishing us by their means for our 

.Conclude, in return, to make an offering of your whole self 
both to the Father and the Son; to the Father, for giving up 
his only begotten Son for your ransom; and to the Son, for 
lovingly embracing the pangs of death for your salvation. 

N. B. The course of the Meditations upon the passion is 
interrupted on Palm Sunday, to attend to the mystery of the 

Our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem. 

CONSIDER, first, that the time when our Saviour was to offer 
himself a sacrifice for the sins of the world, drawing near, he 
was pleased to come to the place where he was to complete 
this sacrifice. And as, in order to fulfil the ancient figures, he 
chose that very night for the institution of the passover of the 
new Law, which was set aside for the immolation of the pas- 
chal Lamb in the old Law; and that very day for the Redemp- 
tion of the world, on which God's people had formerly been 
redeemed from their Egyptian bondage; so he was pleased to 
make his entry into Jerusalem in order to his sacrifice, on the 
very day on which by the appointment of the law, (Exodus 
xii. 3.) the lamb which was to be sacificed for the passover, 
was brought to toAvn. Contemplate in this instance the great- 
ness of that love and charity for you, which made your Saviour 
conceal the glory of his birth in the obscurity of a poor stable 
t Bethlehem, whilst he chose for the ignominy of his passion 


the great theatre of Jerusalem, and the paschal time waen the 
whole nation of the Jews was assembled! 

Consider, secondly, how the people in solemn procession 
met our Lord with palm branches in their hands, as an emblem 
of his victory over the prince of darkness; and accompanied 
him with joyful acclamations, to honor him as their King and 
Messiah ; strewing their garments in the way, and singing his 
praises. But alas! this same people who now so highly honor- 
ed our blessed Redeemer, five days after cried out; "away 
with him, away with him: crucify him, crucify him!" 

Consider, thirdly, how our Lord upon this occasion weeps 
over the unhappy Jerusalem, and over every impenitent soul 
that, like Jerusalem, takes no notice in "this her day, of the 
things that are for her peace; but lets slip the time of her visi- 
tation," (Luke xix. 42, 43.) This affects him far more than 
the triumph with which he is attended to the city. 

Conclude to admire both the great charity and the wonderful 
humility of your Saviour: he did not disdain to ride upon an 
ass! "Rejoice daughter of Jerusalem: behold thy King 
will come to thee, the Just, and the Saviour: lie is poor, and 
riding upon an ass," &c., (Zach. ix. 9.) 

Our Saviour carries his cross. 

CONSIDER, first, how our blessed Lotd, after sentence of 
death was pronounced against him by his wicked judge, is im- 
mediately hurried to execution; and, as Isaac formerly carried 
the wood upon which he was to be offered in sacrifice; so our 
dear Redeemer is pleased himself to carry the cross, which he 
is now to consecrate with his precious blood. Ah! how af- 
fectionately does he embrace this cross; destined to be the 
happy instrument of our redemption, the altar of his sacrifice, 
the eternal monument of his love. O my soul, what are thy 
sentiments with regard to the cross of Christ? Thou must em- 
brace the cross with Jesus, if thou desirest to reign with Jesus. 

Consider, secondly, the circumstances of this last journey of 
your Lord, and mark this his most painful procession. A crier 
leads the way, publishing his pretended crimes and blasphe- 
mies: then follow the soldiers and executioners, with ropes, 
hammers, nails and the other instruments of his death. He is 
attended with a thief on each hand, and surrounded with a 
multitude of his enemies, loading him with curses and reproach- 
es. Do you also attend your Saviour on this melancholy occa- 
sion: offer him what service you can to ease him of some part 
of his burden; or at least weep over Mm, with the good wo- 


men that followed him: but take notice of his admonishing 
them, rather to weep for themselves and for their children. 

Consider, thirdly, hoAv our Lord, having for some time with 
unspeakable pain and labor carried his cross through the 
streets, sinks at last under the burden, quite spent, and faint- 
ing through loss of blood. Not to delay the execution, Simon 
of Gyrene who was passing that way, is compelled to take up 
the cross, and thus to ease our Lord of part of his burden. But 
alas! who shall ease him of any part of that other load infi- 
nitely more insupportable, which his heavenly Father has laid 
upon him, of the sins of the whole world! Ah! lament the 
share you yourself have had in adding to yoxir Saviour's sor- 
rows; and detest your crimes. 

Conclude in imitation of our dear Redeemer, to take up 
your own cross with perfect resignation to your heavenly Fa- 
ther's will; and like him be "obedient unto death." 

Our Saviour is nailed to the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, how, upon our Kedeemer's arrival at Mount 
Calvary, quite spent as he is, and tormented with violent thirst, 
he is presented by his enemies with a draught of gall and 
vinegar. Then, after stripping him of his clothes, which 
now stick fast to his wounded body, they order him to lie 
down upon the cross. He obeys without resistance or de- 
mur, offering himself to his eternal Father a sacrifice for 
our sins; and, with infinite charity, he prays for his very ex- 

Consider, secondly, how one of these barbarians fixes the 
point of a large sharp nail upon the palm of one of our Sa- 
viour's hands, and violently drives it with his hammer into the 
tender flesh, forcing its way with inexpressible torment through 
the nerves, sinews, and bones, of which the hand is compos- 
ed, deep into the hard wood of the cross. After this, his other 
hand, and both his sacred feet, are, in like manner, violently 
nailed to the cross. Thus is verified that of the prophet, 
(Psalms xxi.) "They have dug my hands and feet; they have 
numbered all my bones:" which were, in effect, so much 
drawn from their places, and in a manner disjointed, that they 
might be numbered. Ah, sweet Saviour! who can conceive 
the extremity of this torment! 

Consider, thirdly, what tortures our blessed Eedeemer must 
have suffered in his whole body, when they dragged the cross 
along the ground to the hole prepared for it, and raised him 
with ropes and pullies above the heads of the people. "Who 


can think without horror, how painful every motion must have 
been, to a body supported by its own ghastly wounds! Yet 
such was the inalice of the enemies of our Saviour, that instead 
of compassion at the sight of his torments, they shout, and 
triumph, and shake their heads at him, rejoicing at all his suf- 
ferings. Christians, while you detest this Jewish malice, take 
care you have no part in it by obstinacy in sin, on account of 
which alone he died. 

Conclude henceforward to lament your crimes, and to love, 
with all affection, your dear Redeemer, who shed his blood for 
the love of you. 

On the sufferings of our Saviour upon the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, and contemplate at leisure,, the multitude 
and variety of our Lord's sufferings upon the cross. Draw 
near, and sit down under the shadoAv of your true lover, with 
a longing desire to become his scholar in the school of love. 
And first, as to his sacred body: "from the sole of the feet to 
the top of the head, there is no soundness therein." how 
painful is this hard bed of the cross, to a body thus torn and 
mangled! how uneasy this pillow of a crown of thorns to his 
wounded head! But, above all, remark those four streams of 
blood, flowing from the most painful wounds of his hands and 
feet; and consider how the whole weight of the body, hanging 
by those gross nails which pierce the nerves and bones, whilst 
it naturally sinks downwards, continually rends his wounds 
and increases his pains. 

Consider, secondly, what grevious sufferings he endures 
in his soul. Witness his inexpressible horror for the sins 
of the world, all now laid upon him, and oppressing his 
soul with their infinite weight: his deep sense of those blas- 
phemies he hears uttered against the Deity; and the contempt 
which is shown for his person and his divine truths. Witness 
the anguish of his soul, to see the hardness, the blindness and 
reprobation of his once chosen people, and the eternal damna- 
tion of so many millions of souls for whom he is now offering 
himself in sacrifice. Add to this, his grief to see the unspeak- 
able desolation of his blessed Mother, and of all his friends; 
and himself given up to the will and pleasure of his enemies, 
and deprived of all comfort from his heavenly Father: "Fath- 
er," says he, "why hast thou forsaken me?" 

Consider, thirdly, that our blessed Lord is pleased to suffer 
every other way, by which any mortal can suffer in this life ; in 
his reputation, by outrageous calumnies and aspersions; in his 


goods by being stript of Ms clothes, (the all he had in this 
world, ) and exposed to the insults of the rabble. He suffers 
from all sorts of people; Jews and Gentiles, great and small, 
priests and laity. His enemies revile and laugh him to scorn; 
his Mends are ashamed of him, and are afraid of undergoing 
the like treatment. His eyes see nothing but what may add to 
his anguish; his ears are entertained with nothing but reproach 
and blasphemies; his palate is afflicted with a mortal thirst; 
and his own body, by its weight, is a most grevious torment to 

Ponclude to station yourself at the foot of the cross, and 
contemplate in the sufferings of your Saviour the enormity 
of your guilt, in order to detest it; and the goodness of your 
God, in order that you may love him more and more. 

On our Saviour's preaching from the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, that the whole life and doctrine of Christ 
was a continual lesson to his followers. But mark in particu- 
lar the sermon which he preaches to us all from the pulpit of 
the cross; how loudly he there condemns all the illusions of 
self-love, with all the maxims and practices of the world, and 
the unhappy attachment of worldlings to their carnal and sen- 
sual affections. 0! remember, that what he suffers is all by 
his own choice; and this, not only to expiate our sins, but also 
to undeceive us in the perverse judgment we make of things; 
and to teach us to embrace what he embraces, to despise what 
he despises, to condemn what he condemns. Learn of him, 
at the foot of his cross, to overcome your pride by the great 
example he sets of voluntary humiliation ; your love of the 
world by his voluntary poverty and state of total desolation; 
your love of pleasure by his most bitter torments supported for 
your sake. 

Consider, secondly, that whoever desires to become a per- 
fect Christian, must learn of his dying Saviour to make an of- 
fering of himself without reserve, together with him and through 
his hands, that it may be acceptable to the eternal Father. He 
must make this offering every day, and oftentimes in the day; 
to do for him whatever he pleases, and to suffer as he pleases. 
He must dedicate himself eternally to his love, and resolve to 
die a thousand deaths, rather than transgress the command- 
ments of his God. 

Consider, thirdly, the particular lessons Avhich our Lord gives 
us in his last expiring words, upon the cross; 1. "Of perfect 
charity" to our enemies by his own example: "Father forgive 


them; for they know not what they do." 2. Of mercy and 
compassion for sinners by that consoling promise to the peni- 
tent thief, "Amen I say to thee, this day thou shalt be with me 
in paradise." 3. Of "duty to our parents" by recommending 
his virgin Mother to the care of his beloved disciple, and of a 
filial devotion to her; for as we are all brothers and sisters in 
Christ, she is the spiritual mother of us all. "Woman," says 
he, "behold thy son; behold thy mother." 4. Of a vehement 
thirst of our neighbor's salvation, expressed in his own regard 
by this word, "I thirst." 5. Of fervent prayer under anguish 
and desolation: "My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken 
me?" 6. Of perseverance to the end, till the work of our 
salvation is completed, by that word of his, "it is consummat- 
ed.'' 7. Of committing ourselves both in life and death, by 
perfect resignation, into the hands of God, after his great ex- 
ample: "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit." 

Conclude daily to frequent this school of the cross; and there 
to learn in particular, a resolute conformity and obedience to 
the law of God, like your Saviour, "even unto death." 


On our Saviour's death upon the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, how our Lord having uttered aloud these 
his last words, "Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit," 
bows his head in perfect submission to his Father's will, and 
expires. Stand astonished, my soul, in the contemplation 
of this mystery, that life itself should die to deliver thee from 
a second death, and to impart to thee eternal life! Oh! con- 
sider well who this is that hangs here dead before thy eyes? 
The Word, the Wisdom of the Father, the Son of the eternal 
God; the Lord of glory, the King of Kings, the great Creator 
of heaven and earth! Draw near and cast thyself down at the 
foot of the cross, in acts of faith, hope, and love, and of con- 
trition for thy sins: offer thyself to thy Saviour to be his both 
in life and death, in time and eternity. 

Consider, secondly, how all nature loudly proclaims our suf- 
fering Redeemer her King, and her God. The sun withdraws 
his light for the three whole hours that he hangs upon the 
cross: at his death the whole earth trembles; the rocks are 
split; the monuments are opened; the dead arise; the veil of 
the temple, which hangs before the inward sanctuary, is rent 
from top to bottom, to show that the law and its figures are 
all now accomplished, and that the sanctuary of heaven is laid 
open. Already he begins from the cross to verify what he had 
said, (John xii. 32. ) "If I be lifted up from the earth, I will 


draw all things to myself." By this miraculous attraction one 
of the thieves who were crucified with him, and the captain of 
the soldiers who assisted at the execution, were suddenly con- 
verted; and "all the multitude of them that were come togeth- 
er to that sight, and saw the things that were done, return 
striking their breasts," (Luke xxiii. 48.) Sweet Jesus, let my 
poor heart share also in this mercy. 

Consider, thirdly, how our Lord by his death triumphs over 
all his enemies. He casts out Satan, the ruler of this wicked 
world, and binds him. in chains, by greatly abridging his pow- 
er; he judges and condemns the world with all its favorite 
maxims: he exposes and pulls down human pride; shows the 
folly of worldly wisdom, and sets up his victorious standard of 
the cross for all nations, under which his true soldiers shall 
fight and triumph over the world, the flesh, and the devil; till 
they finally arrive at the crown of life, purchased for them by 
his blood. 

Conclude to celebrate on this day, your Saviour's victory 
over sin and hell. Adore him most profoundly under all the 
ignominy of his cross; and embrace aifectionately the sacred 
wounds of his passion. Behold how lovingly, with his head 
bowed down, he offers to sinners the kiss of peace. 


On our Saviour's burial. 

CONSIDER, first, how, after our Lord had expired upon the 
cross, one of the soldiers opened his side with a spear, making 
a wide and deep wound from which there issued forth blood 
and water, to wash and cleanse away our sins. By this mys- 
terious blood and water, are figured the heavenly sacraments, 
which issue from our Saviour's wounds; inasmuch as they de- 
rive all their virtue from his sacred passion; but especially the 
sacrament of his body and blood, and that of the sacred laver 
of baptism. Behold also, how our second Adam, being now 
cast into the deep sleep of death, his side is opened to form 
from thence his holy Catholic church, designed to be his ever- 
lasting spouse. 

Consider, secondly, how Joseph of Arimathea, having ob- 
tained leave of Pilate, unnails the sacred body in order to its 
decent burial, and is joined in this last duty by St. John and 
Nicpdemus, with other disciples of our Lord. Do you also in 
spirit offer your service upon this occasion : receive into your 
arms the dead corpse of your Redeemer, and lay it on the sa- 
cred lap of his virgin Mother; and learn from her whole com- 


portment at this melancholy ceremony, a most tender devotion 
towards the passion of her divine Son. 

Consider, thirdly, how our Lord, while lying in his monu- 
ment, verifies that of the Psalmist, (Ps. Ixxxvii,) "lam count- 
ed among them that go down into the pit : I am become as a 
man without help, free among the dead. Like the slain sleep- 
ing in the sepulchres, whom thou rememherest no more. They 
have laid me in the lower pit; in the dark, and in the shadow 
of death. Thou hast put away my acquaintance far from me," 
&c. Yes, my soul, thy Saviour lies now shut up in a lone- 
some monument, in darkness, like one dead for always, and as 
such is left and forsaken by his living friends. See thou leave 
him not : but stay with him and watch at his sepulchre in 
prayer. Weep there over him with tears of compassion for his 
sufferings, of sorrow for thy sins, and of love for his infinite 
goodness to thee. 

Conclude to keep yourself always near your Saviour by daily 
meditating on his life and death; and you may confidently 
hope he will always abide with you, both in life and death. 

On the resurrection of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that the soul of our dear Redeemer immedi- 
ately after his death descended into the lower parts of the 
earth, to visit and comfort the spirits of the just, and to change 
their prison by his presence into a paradise of delights. How 
happy and how joyful a day was this to all the patriarchs and 
prophets! How glorious was the sight of his triumph over the 
powers of darkness, and the near prospect of eternal bliss, 
from which they had been so long excluded by the sin of our 
first parents. The Jews in the mean while, secure the monu- 
ment, and place guards to prevent, as they say, the disciples 
from stealing away the body of our Saviour. This malicious 
industry of theirs only serves to put our Lord's resurrection be- 
yond dispute. For "there is no wisdom; there is no prudence; 
there is no counsel againstthe Lord," (Prov. xxi. 30.) 

Consider, secondly, that early in the morning on Easter 
Sunday, being the third day, appointed by the scriptures for 
our Lord's resurrection, his soul returns in triumph into his sa- 
cred body; imparts to it a new and immortal life, and clothes 
it with all the glorious qualities decreed for the bodies of the 
saints, in a super-eminent degree : and so brings it forth with- 
out resistance through the monument, hewn in a rock, and 
covered with a very great stone, unperceived by the guards, 
who were not worthy to see him in this glorious state. Yet, 


that they and all the world might know he was risen indeed, 
they felt a great earthquake; and an angel visibly descending 
from heaven, removed the stone which covered the entrance of 
the monument, and sat down upon it. The guards hecame as 
dead men.; and when they recovered from their swoon, they ran 
into the city, publishing the wonders they had seen; till the 
chief. priests and elders Bribed -them with a sum of money. 

Consider, thirdly, those words of the Psalmist, applied by 
the Church in the office of this day to the resurrection of .our 
Lord: "This is the day which the Lord .hath made; let us be 
glad and rejoice therein." (Ps. cxvii.) Yes, Christian souls; 
if you haA T e taken part in the sufferings of your Redeemer, by 
compassion and sorrow for the outrages and insults he endured 
in his passion, it is just you should rejoice now the scene is 
changed. Your best friend, your true lover, your dear father, 
your king, your Lord, and your God, is risen again; and this 
is the day of his triumph. 

Conclude with a resolution to imitate his death by dying to 
your sins, that you may also imitate bis resurrection, and walk 
thenceforward in the newness of life. 


What we are to learn from, the resurrection of Christ, 

CONSIDER, first, that, according to the doctrine of the apos- 
tle, (Rom. iv. 25.,) "Christ was delivered up to death for our 
sins; and rose again for our justification." For his rising from 
the dead was to be the model of our resurrection from the death 
of sin. We must therefore imitate our Lord's resurrection by 
rising verily and indeed, and not in appearance only. Alas! 
how many at Easter pretend to rise again with Christ, by fre- 
quenting the sacraments according to the custom of Christians 
at this season; but do not rise again in reality, because they do 
not heartily renounce their sins. 

Consider, secondly, that when Christ rose again from the 
dead, he presently quitted his monument, and retained nothing 
at all of death; to teach us, that if we would rise with him to 
the purpose, we must also quit our winding-sheets, and all the 
appurtenances of death; by renouncing bad company and the 
dangerous occasions of sin, and by breaking the force of all 
former bad habits, and striving to fix our affections in heaven. 
"If you be risen with CHRIST, seek the things that are above, 
where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God. Mind the 
things that are above, and not the things that are upon earth," 
(Colos. chap. iii. ) 

Consider, thirdly, that "CriiusT rising again from the dead 


dieth now no more; death shall no more have dominion, over 
him," (Rom. vL &.) So that, if we -would imitate his sesur- 
rection, we must "reckon ourselves," henceforward, "to be-, 
dead to sin, But alive to God, in Christ Jesus our Lord," (v. 
11.) Ah, christiams!: if you are truly risen from the death o 
sin, dread above all' evil's ai second death, by. relapsing again, 
into mortal sin. 

Conclude to imitate, in alt these particulars^ the resurrections 
of our Lord. Be diligent in all your religious duties; be con- 
stant and fervent in prayer; and carefully avoid all dangerous 

Our Lord appears to his disciples after Ms resurrection, 

, first, how our Lord 1 was pleased to comfort his 
"blessed mother and his afflicted disciples, by appearing to them 
immediately after his resurrection. As to his Messed mother, 
though the gospel is silent, we cannot doubt but she was favor- 
ed with an early visit; that as she loved him most, and partook 
more than any other in the sorrows of his passion, so she 
might also in the joy of his resurrection. The good women, 
who went early in the morning to the monument, to perfume 
the body of our Lord, were likewise favored first, with a 
vision of angels, and then with the sight of Christ himself. 
They had been at a loss how to get the stone removed from the 
monument; for it was "exceeding great :" but on their arrival, 
it was already removed to their hands : to teach us, that if we 
continue constant in our good resolutions, God will take away 
the obstacles we apprehend, or enable us to surmount them. 

Consider, secondly, that our dear Redeemer, to encourage 
penitent sinners, honored Magdalene amongst women, and 
Peter amongst men, with his first visits. Magdalene, from the 
time of her conversion, had constantly attended our Lord : she 
followed him even to the cross; and after the repose of the 
sabbath, she was up before light, and was the first at the mon- 
ument, with her perfumes. When she found him not, she 
hastened to tell the apostles, that the body was taken away. 
Peter and John, on their arrival, finding only the linen cloths 
without the body, returned : but Magdalene staid behind, weep- 
ing and lamenting that she could not find HIM whom her soul 
loved till at length she saw his heavenly messengers, and 
shortly after HIMSELF in person; and was sent by him as an 
apostle to the apostles themselves, with the joyful tidings of 
his resurrection. 


Consider, thirdly, that Peter, who, from his fall, had con- 
tinually hewailed his misfortune, was the first among the apos- 
tles, favored with the sight of our Lord, (1 Cor. xv. 5., and 
Luke xxiv. 34.) He was struck with the most lively senti- 
ments of repentance for his crime, mixed with a holy joy at 
the sight of his divine master, now risen from the dead; and 
was by him most tenderly received to mercy. Moreover, to 
show the unspeakahle bounty of our Lord to repenting sinners, 
a little while after (John xxi.) he was pleased to advance him 
to the supreme pastoral charge over all his flock, and to pro- 
mise him the glory of following 1dm, even to the death of the 
cross all in consequence of that ardent love, of which he 
thrice required the profession, ["lovest thou me more than 
these?] in opposition to his three denials. 

Conclude, if ever you have denied your Saviour by word or 
deed, to return now to him by repentance and love; and 
"though your sins be as red as scarlet, they shall be made 
white as snow," (Isa. i. 18.) 


Our Lord appears to the disciples going to Emmaus, 
[Luke xxiv 11. ] 

CONSIDER, first, that while two of the disciples, on the day 
of our Lord's resurrection, were discoursing together concern- 
ing him, on their way to Emmaus, he overtook them in the 
way, and joined their company. After reprimanding their 
doubts and slowness of belief, he explained to them the scrip- 
tures relating to his passion and resurrection, and enkindled in 
their hearts the fire of devotion. We see in this instance the 
great advantage of pious conversation, such especially as has 
Christ for its subject : it even draAvs him down from heaven 
into our company. 

Consider, secondly, that these disciples, who took him for a 
traveller, at length "knew him in the breaking of bread" to 
teach us that there is no better way to attain the perfect know- 
ledge and love of God, than a worthy partaking of the bread 
of life in the blessed Eucharist. St. Gregory observes, that 
while they only heard his words, they were not sufficiently en- 
lightened to know him : but quickly knew him in fulfilling his 
commandments, by the exercise of hospitality and charity. So, 
we must practise, to the best of our power, what we know al- 
ready of his heavenly will, in order to obtain a fuller know- 
ledge of his divine law. 

Consider, thirdly, how these disciples took notice that "their 
heart was burning within them, while they were in the com- 


pany of our Lord, and enjoyed his heavenly conversation, 
(Luke xxiv. 32.) My soul, dost thou desire to experience 
something of these sacred flames? Seek it in the company and 
conversation of Christ. Alas! the reason why thou art so 
lukewarm, or rather downright cold in thy devotions, is, the 
continual dissipation of thy thoughts at other times, and thy 
love of worldly amusements. 

Conclude to listen to the voice of your beloved in the interi- 
or of your soul. There is the school of divine love. 


Our Lord's manifestation to all the apostles, [Luke xxiv. 

John xx.] 

CONSIDER, first, that on the evening of the same day of the 
resurrection, the disciples being assembled together, with the 
doors shut for fear of the Jews, our Saviour came in, C and 
stood in the midst of them, and said: peace be to you." Then 
he showed them the wounds of his hands, and feet, and side. 
Admire the qualities of his glorious body, which like a spirit 
passes through the doors, and yet shows itself to be true and 
palpable flesh. Christians now no longer feel their Saviour's 
wounds, like Thomas; nor lodge their hand in his side : but 
they have him still no less really present with them in the 
eucharist. Let this suffice: "Blessed are they that have not 
seen, and have believed," (John xx. 29.) 

Consider, secondly, that after our Lord had said again to his 
disciples; "peacebe to you : as my Father hath sent me, I also 
send you, "breathing upon them he said : "Receive ye the 
Holy Ghost; whose sins your shall forgive they are forgiven 
unto them; and whose sins you shall retain they are retained." 
See how ample is this authority, which he imparts to his apos- 
tles and their lawful successors, the pastors of his true church. 
As his Heavenly Father sent him, even so. he sends them, fur- 
nished with all spiritual power for the rule of his Church, and 
the ministry of his word and of the sacraments. To them he 
has given the keys of the kingdom of heaven : to them he or- 
ders all to have recourse. 

Consider, thirdly, the import of the passage above rehearsed. 
By these words our Lord was pleased to commission his disci- 
ples and their lawful successors to sit as judges in the court of 
conscience, and to pass sentence either in favor of penitent 
sinners, to loose them from their sins by absolution, or to bind 
them as the case should require, by censures, penances, or de- 
lay of absolution. Give thanks for this sacred institution, by 
which you may obtain pardon of your sins, upon the easy con- 


ditions of an humble and secret confession, joined with a 
hearty repentance. 

Conclude to acknowledge with gratitude those precious ad- 
vantages, which our Lord at his resurrection entailed upon his 
Church for ever, particularly that of his perpetual presence, 
promised in the three last verses of St. Matthew : "All power 
is given to me in heaven and on earth. Go ye therefore and 
teach all nations, &c. And behold I am with you all days, 
even to the consummation of the world."' 

On the, peace of a Christian. 

CONSIDER, first, the nature of that peace, which our blessed 
Saviour so repeatedly bequeathed to his disciples. It is not 
that peace which the world pretends to give; false and deceit- 
ful like itself : but the "peace of God which surpasseth all 
understanding," ( Philip, iv. 7. ) A threefold peace, with God, 
with our neighbor, and within ourselves. Whosoever desires 
any degree of happiness either here or hereafter, must keep an 
inviolable peace with God. For how can there be any peace 
of mind or solid content, where this is wanting? ""Who hath 
resisted God and hath had peace," (Job ix. 4. ) "There is no 
peace for the wicked, saith the Lord God," (Isai. Ivii. 21.) 

Consider, secondly, that as without charity for all mankind 
there can be no true love of God; so if we do not "follow 
peace with all men," (Heb. xii. 14.) and endeavor to "keep 
peace with all men," (Rom. xii. 18.) we cannot be at peace 
with God. We must therefore avoid all animosity and rancor, 
all discord and contention, all malice and envy; bear with pa- 
tience every provocation , and overcome evil with good. How 
amiable is this character of the peaceable Christian! 

Consider, thirdly, that, in order to be at peace with our- 
selves, we must have our affections well regulated, and our in- 
ordinate desires restrained : we must banish all excessive 
eagerness; all sadness and melancholy; scrupulous fears, anxi- 
eties and uneasiness about the things of the world; and con- 
form ourselves in all things to the holy will of God. Practice 
these lessons, my soul, and thou shalt enjoy a solid peace. 

Conclude ever to aim at this threefold peace; and resolutely 
surmount whatever obstacle may impede its attainment. 



On "perseverance, in good. 

CONSIDER, first, that it will avail you nothing to have made 
a good beginning at this holy time, if after having been "en- 
lightened, and having tasted the heavenly gift, and been made 
partaker of the Holy Ghost," (Heb. vi. 4.) yon should quick- 
ly fall away and return to your former state of sin. To pre- 
vent this, you must labor to establish in your soul a horror of this 
dreadful evil and all its dangerous occasions; a lively repent- 
ance for what is past, and a grateful sense of the infinite mercy 
of Grod, with a fixed resolutio'n of being always loyal to him; 
of the assured expectation of an eternal re ward: "be thou faith- 
ful unto death; and I will give thee the crown of life, says our 
Lord," (Apoc. ii. 10.) 

Consider, secondly, that in order more easily to persevere in 
good, we must renounce an idle life as the mother of all evil, 
and regulate our time and all our daily exercises : we must be 
constant in the performance of our duties, and in frequenting 
the sacraments; and do our ordinary actions with a pure inten- 
tion of pleasing God. For sanctity consists not in extra- 
ordinary actions, but in doing our ordinary ones extraordinari- 
ly well. 

Consider, thirdly; that the mortification of our passions, and 
constant self-denial, are the sovereign means of perseverance : 
therefore every Christian must study well to know himself and 
the true state of his own interior, and to discover what passions 
are most prevalent in his soul, in order to subdue them. This 
warfare is one of the most essential duties of every disciple of 
Jesus Christ : no one will be crowned by him, who has not 
first subdued himself. 

Conclude, moreover, to beg of God in your daily prayers, 
that he would be your keeper, and preserve you till death from 
all grievous sin. 


On the sacrament of baptism. 

CONSIDER, first, that baptism is to our souls the gate of life, 
an introduction to all that is good. It is called by the apostle 
(Tit. iii. 5.) "the laver of regeneration, and the renovation of 
the Holy Ghost" because we are cleansed from original sin, 
which we inherited from our first parent Adam; and are sane-, 
tified in this sacrament by "the laver of water in the word of 


life," (Eph. v. 26.) in virtue of the blood of Christ, here ap- 
plied to our souls; and we are "born again of water and the 
Holy Ghost," (John iii. 5.) to a new and everlasting life; and 
are made children of the living God, and heirs of his eternal 

Consider, secondly, that we are dedicated and consecrated 
to God by this sacrament, to be eternally devoted to his di- 
vine love. "We who before were not his people, are now 
the people of God," [1 Peter ii. 10.] "A chosen genera- 
tion, a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people, 
called out of darkness into the admirable light*' of Christ. 

Consider, thirdly, that "all who are baptised it Christ Jesus, 
are baptised in his death; that as Christ is risen from the dead 
by the glory of the Father, so we may also walk in newness of 
life," [Romans vi. 3, 4.] Knowing this, that our old man is 
crucified with him, that the body of sin may be destroyed, and 
that we may serve sin no longer," [verse 6.] So that hencefor- 
ward, in consequence of our baptism, we must "reckon our- 
selves dead to sin, but alive to God in Christ Jesus our Lord," 
[verse 11.] And therefore, "as Christ, rising again from the 
dead, dies now no more; as death shall no more have domi- 
nion over him," [verse 9,] so now we must die no more by 
sin ; sin must no more have dominion over us. 

Conclude ever to bear in mind both the dignity and the obli- 
gations of your baptism; and consequently, to imitate, by re- 
nouncing sin and rising to a life of grace, the death and resur- 
rection of Jesus Christ. 

On the, covenant of baptism. 

CONSIDER, first, that in baptism we make a solemn cove- 
nant with God. He, on his part, adopts us for his children 
and heirs to his eternal kingdom: but all this is upon articles, 
to which we bind ourselves by the strongest engagements and 
vows. The first of these is, ever to adhere to him with a 
strong and constant faith of all his divine truths a faith, not 
like that of those "who make proffession of knowing God, 
but deny him in their works," [Titus i.] but a faith that 
"worketh by charity," [Gallitians v. 6.[ A faith which show- 
eth itself in the conduct of our life: for "the just man liveth by 

Consider, secondly, that another article of our baptismal 
covenant was, to wage a perpetual war with Satan; to re- 
nounce him for ever, with all his works of darkness and sin; 


all Ms pomps of worldly pride and vain glory; and to adhere 
for ever to God by a strict and faithful allegiance to Ms divine 
majesty. Alas, how ill have we hitherto complied with these 
essential obligations! 

Consider, thirdly, that we also engage ourselves strictly to 
observe the whole law, and the commandments of our heaven- 
ly Father, our King, and our God; but more especially the 
great commandment of "loving him with our whole heart, 
with our whole soul, with our whole mind, and with our whole 
strength" and of "loving our neighbor as ourselves." Ah, 
let us not unnaturally spurn the just commands of the Parent 
of all nature, nor impiously set aside our most sacred engage- 
ments. > 

Conclude, henceforward at least carefully to observe your 
baptismal vows; and since God claims your whole being upon 
all possible titles, give yourself to him without reserve, in 
time and eternity. 

On the ceremonies of baptism. 

CONSIDER, first, that the ceremonies used by the Catholic 
church at baptism, are very ancient, and significative of its ef- 
fects, and, of the duties incumbent on the receivers. The 
profession of faith, and a desire of the sacrament; the pro- 
mise to observe the commandments; the sign of the cross upon 
the forehead and the breast; the salt, expressive of that Chris- 
tian prudence and discretion, and the seasoning of divine 
grace, which ought to attend all our actions: the exorcisims 
and prayers; the application of spittle to the ears and nos- 
trils, in imitation of our Lord, [Mark vii. 33.] are all of this 
nature, and full of instruction. 

Consider, secondly, that at baptism we renounce Satan and 
all his works and pomps, and declare an eternal war against 
this mortal enemy of God and man. We are anointed with 
consecrated oil on the breast and between the shoulders, 
to signify the inward unction of divine grace, to strengthen us 
to love God and keep the commandments, arid to bear, in a 
Christian manner, all the labors and adversities of this mortal 
pilgrimage. Immediately after baptism, we are anointed with 
the holy chrism on the top of the head, to signify our being 
now incorporated with Christ, the great Anointed of the Lord, 
and consecrated to God for ever. In consequence of which, 
all Christians are called by St. Peter a Mngly priesthood : as, 
in the old law, God anointed his priests, prophets, kings, and 


Consider, thirdly, that after baptism, by the white linen 
which the priest puts upon pur head, (instead of the white 
garment anciently worn on this occasion,) and by the lighted 
taper which we receive from him, we are reminded of our 
strict obligation to lead a holy and innocent life to hold forth 
the light of faith, to the edification of all men and to keep it 
always burning with divine charity, till we meet our Lord in 
Ms heavenly kingdom. 

Conclude faithfully to answer the obligations of your bap- 
tism j and never stain the spiritual robe of innocence you then 
received, by wilful sin. 

On the evil of falling from the grace of baptism,. 

CONSIDER, first, how dismal is that fall, by which, in a mo- 
ment, we lose all the dignity, all the advantages, all the trea- 
sures conferred on us in baptism. A dreadful fall, indeed! by 
which the poor soul falls from heaven to hell, from being a 
child of God, to be a slave of Satan, and of sin which is even 
worse than Satan; from being the spouse of Christ, to be the 
prostitute of unclean spirits; from being the temple of the Holy 
Ghost, to be the habitation of the most Wicked One! 

Consider, secondly, the folly and madness of such an ex- 
change! Alas! the soul in acting thus, forfeits all her good at 
present, and all her title to happiness, either in time or eterni- 
ty, for mere delusion and eternal misery. Ah, unhappy sin- 
ner! open thine eyes, and see the wretched bargain thou hast 
made. To part with thy GOD, and thy ALL, for something so 
base, so vile, so empty, and so transient! Before thy sin, 
heaven was thine; GOD himself was thine!- But now thou 
hast parted with thy GOD, thou hast exchanged heaven for 
hell, and thou standest upon the very brink of a miserable 

Consider, thirdly, the enormous treason which the soul com- 
mits when she falls from the grace of baptism. She renounces 
her allegiance to her King and God: she rebels against him, to 
follow Satan: she even drives him from his throne which he 
held within her: she expels him out of his temple, to intro- 
duce his enemy: she sets up an idol in the house of God; vio- 
lates all her solemn vows; treads under foot the precious 
blood of fcer Redeemer; and, as much as in her lies, she cru- 
cifies him again. 

Conclude, if your conscience charge you with this enormous 
guilt, incurred by every mortal sin, to bewail your crime and 


misfortune for the remainder of your life; and daily renew your 
resolution of avoiding sin in future. 


On the Theological Virtues. 

CONSIDER, first, that we must worship God "in spirit and 
in truth," (John iv. 24.) That is; we must join with the ex- 
ternal adoration and praise, prayer and sacrifice which is offer- 
ed in the Church of Christ, the internal homage of our heart, 
and the pure worship of faith, hope, and charity. Embrace 
then, with your whole soul, these three divine virtues. There 
is no other, way to heaven and a happy eternity. 

Consider, secondly, that these virtues are called theological 
and divine, from their immediate relation to God. Thus faith 
believes in him as the sovereign truth, and obliges the soul to 
give a firm assent to all the truths revealed by him, however 
incomprehensible to our weakness. Hope puts her whole trust 
in him, as the infinite source of all good; and raises the soul 
to a lively expectation of mercy, grace, and salvation from 
him, confiding in his almighty power and goodness, mercy and 
promises, and in the precious blood of his Son. Charity or 
Divine love embraces Mm above all things, and loves him for 
his own infinite goodness, and all others made after his image 
and likeness, for his sake. 

Consider, thirdly, that we must make frequent acts of these 
divine virtues. The soul which does not often employ her 
thoughts upon the great truths of God and eternity, quickly for- 
gets both God and herself; and thus, while her faith is asleep, 
she is exposed to the most dreadful evils. Hope easily degen- 
erates into presumption, without the frequent exercise of prayer 
and consideration. And charity or love, which is of the 
nature of fire, must needs die away, if it be not kept alive by 
frequent exercise. Thus, as the just man lives by faith, ac- 
cording to the scripture; so he must also live by hope and by 

Conclude frequently to praise these divine virtues. They 
are best learned and improved by meditation. 


On faith. , 

CONSIDER, first, that "without faith it is impossible to please 
God," ( Heb. xi. 6. ) This virtue is the ground-work and first 


foundation of all our good: here we must begin the -work of 
our salvation. But what is faith? Not, as some vainly ima- 
gine, a presumptuous confidence of the pardon of our sins, and 
of our justification and eternal beatitude; excluding that hum- 
ble fear with which the Christian is taught to work out his sal- 
vation, (Phil. ii. 12.) (Rom. xi. 20.) but a firm belief of all 
those things which God has revealed or promised: a bowing 
down of the soul to all that God has taught, however exalted 
above our understanding. "Faith," says the apostle, (Heb. 
xi. 1.) "is the substance," that is the strong foundation, "of 
things to be hoped for; the evidence of things that are not 


Consider, secondly, that the merit of faith which makes it 
so acceptable to God, consists in this; it pulls down the pride 
of man by captivating his understanding, and obliges it to be- 
lieve what it cannot see, to adore what it cannot conceive, 
and to submit to truths which it cannot comprehend. Man fell 
from his original justice by proudly pretending to a more ex- 
tensive knowledge than God was pleased to allow him, which 
might make him "like to God," ( Gen. in. 5. ) And therefore 
God justly requires we should return to him by the sacrifice of 
what is most dear to our pride, namely, the liberty we are so 
fond of, of thinking as we please in all matters, without re- 
straint or control. 

Consider, thirdly, that the faith without which we can neither 
please God here, nor be happy with him hereafter, must be 
Catholic, that is universal; it must extend to all revealed 
truths without exception. For as they all equally come from 
God by divine revelation, are all recommended to our beliei 
by the same authority of the Church of God, and are all sup- 
ported by those strong testimonies and evidences by which the 
scripture and Christianity itself are supported; it would be call- 
ing in question the Divine veracity to dispute the truth of any 
one article duly proposed by the Church; it would be in effect 
the utter loss of divine faith, because it would be believing by 
humor and not by divine authority; agreeably to that of St. 
James: "He that offends in one point becomes guilty of all;" 
because he is a rebel against the truth by which they are all 

Conclude to lay this strong foundation of faith, if you hope 
to raise within you a spiritual building to Almighty God. To 
build upon any other foundation, is to build upon sand. 


On the, grounds of faith. 

CONSIDER, first, that divine faith is always grounded upon 
God's unerring truth, and believes each article precisely be- 
cause God has taught it, who is truth itself. Whoever assents 
upon any other motive, may have an opinion indeed, of hea- 
venly truths, or a human faith concerning them, but falls 
short of divine faith, which wholly rests upon the truth of 
God; well assured that what God has taught must needs be 

Consider, secondly, that though the only proper motive 
upon which a Christian believes with divine faith the truths of 
religion, be divine revelation, or the word and testimony of 
God, either contained in Scripture or conveyed down by tra- 
dition: yet, as this testimony or revelation first delivered to 
the saints, must bring with it evidence sufficient to convince 
us that God has spoken indeed, and has revealed these truths 
he has been pleased to set such marks upon the truths which 
come from him, as may fully satisfy all sincere seekers and 
lovers of truth, that they come indeed from his divine majesty; 
and consequently, it would be highly unreasonable for any 
person not to yield that assent of faith, which is due to divine 
truths. Of this nature are all the prophecies and miracles, 
and other arguments of credility upon which the Christian re- 
ligion is grounded, together with the innumerable tokens of 
divine favor, which recommend to us that illustrious society of 
the Catholic Church of Christ, which bears testimony to all 
these truths. 

Consider, thirdly, then, some of the many strong and weighty 
arguments and motives, which enforce the testimony and au- 
thority of this Church of Christ. This great and most ancient 
society is, and has been these eighteen hundred years, spread 
far and near over the world. It was foreshown and foretold 
long before by many plain and glorious prophecies. It was 
established by Christ and his apostles by signs and wonders 
and innumerable miracles. It was wonderfully propagated in 
a short time throughout the world, in spite of all the opposi- 
tion of the whole earth and hell. It has been maintained ever 
since by the .blood of millions of martyrs, and by the saintly 
and miraculous lives of millions of other servants of God, in 
every age. It has been embraced and followed by all the best 
and wisest of men, and defended by the most godly and learn- 
ed. It has, in a word, all this time held forth the light of God 
to the whole world, by the purity and sanctity of its doctrines, 
and by zealously promoting the conversion of numberles sin- 
ners, and withdrawing thousands of all conditions from the 
broad way of thp world to a life of holy solitude and penance: 



so that it has at all times produced many eminent saints -whose 
whole lives have been standing miracles of divine grace, and 
presumptive arguments of the truth of that faith and church 
which they all professed. 

Conclude with thanks to Almighty God, who has given such 
authority to the Catholic Church,' the guardian and depositary 
of his truths, that if we are sincere in seeking, we cannot well 
fail of finding hoth. 

On a lively faith. 

CONSIDER, first, that the faith so highly recommended in 
the word of God as the cause of justification, is a lively and 
active faith which has a constant influence in the conduct of 
our lives. Such a faith as this, is the source of all good to the 
soul: it keeps her in the remembrance and presence of God; 
teaches her to watch and pray; encourages her to hope, to 
love, to have a horror of sin: it is a shield against all the fiery 
darts of her spiritual enemies; protects her with the helmet 
of salvation, and arms her with the sword of the spirit (t at 
is, the word and truths of God; ) with which all the legions of 
hell are put to flight, when employed against them by a lively 

Consider, secondly, that the want of a lively faith is the 
source of all the evils which overspread Christendom. Look 
into all conditions of Christians, and see how sin and Satan 
every where prevail, and how few in comparison, dedicate 
themselves in earnest, to what should be their only business. 
And do not all believe that there is a God; that there is a hea- 
ven and a hell ; and that mortal sin is the broad road to hell? 
They believe all this, or they are not Christians: But the mis- 
fortune is, their faith is not lively, or rather, for want of con- 
sideration it is quite dead. 

Consider, thirdly, that the true Christian must obtain a lively 
faith by earnest desires and prayei; and above all, by serious 
consideration. The truths of Christianity relating to God and 
eternity, are very moving when duly weighed and meditated: 
but they make but little impression upon worldlings; because 
they live in a constant forgetfulness of them. The great differ- 
ence between the good and the had Christian, the saint and the 
sinner, is, that the one thinks, and the other does not think; 
the one frequently meditates on divine truths; the other seldom 
gives them any attention. 

Conclude to seek and nourish this lively faith by praying 
well and living well, and, in order to this, by thinking well; 


without which there will he hut little sense of God in your 
prayer, and hardly any sign of God in your life. 


On divine, hope. 

CONSIDER, first, that as by faith we believe in God; so by 
hope we place our confidence in God. It is styled by the 
apostle, (Heb. vi. 19.) "the anchor of the soul, sure and firm," 
(not fixed in the earth, but in heaven) "entering in even with- 
in the veil" to the the true sanctuary where our "high priest 
Jesus Christ is entered for us." It keeps our souls ever steady 
in the midst of all the storms of this boisterous sea of the 
world, and rests secure on the divine power, goodness, pro- 
mises and mercy. 

Consider, secondly, that divine hope keeps the golden mean 
between the two extremes of despair and presumption, both 
of them sins against the Holy Ghost, because they obstruct in 
a particular manner all the motions and graces of this Divine 
Spirit. Ah! never give yourself up to despair; since- you 
have so good a God, rich in mercies to all that call upon him. 
But avoid also the other extreme, of presuming upon what he 
has not promised, or expecting to go to heaven by a way which 
leads to hell. 

Consider, thirdly, that by divine hope we are "strengthened 
in the Lord, and the power of his might," (Eph. vi. 10.) and 
exchange our weakness for his almighty strength and power. 
His divine word and honor is engaged to stand by and defend 
all who put their trust in him. Thus hope "never confound- 
eth:" It is "the helmet of salvation." With it "we run to the 
combat set before us" with courage, and resolutely fight our 
way to heaven. 

Conclude earnestly to pray for this divine virtue, the sweet 
companion of your pilgrimage, and your safeguard in all dangers. 


On joining self-diffidence with confidence in God. 

CONSIDER, first, that he who trusts entirely in God and not 
in himself, is a wise man. But he that puts the least confi- 
dence in himself, is a foolish man ; because the foundation of 
his building is mere sand which cannot support the least weight. 
"Cursed is the man," saith the prophet ( Jeremy, xvii. 5.) "that 


trusteth in man, and whose heart departeth from the Lord." 
This curse falls upon all who presume upon their own strength, 
without the grace of God. 

Consider, secondly, that as God's honor is engaged to stand 
by those that hope in him] so he is in a manner obliged to op- 
pose and resist those, who proudly ascribe to themselves the 
merit of any good, independently of him; and thus pretend to 
the glory due to him alone. Is it then possible that we, who 
are of ourselves mere nothingness, and incapable even of one 
good thought, should give into this extravaganceJ 

Consider, thirdly, that self-confidence is one of the princi- 
pal causes of the small progress of many seemingly pious 
Christians: they rely too much upon their own resolutions, 
and thus repeatedly fall into the same sins they so often con- 
fess; and alas! too often die in their sins, in punishment of 
their self-sufficiency. It is a very subtile vice, and often lies 
unperceived in the anidst of the soul, while it corrupts its 
very vitals. 

Conclude to hope for all good from God, as always to mis- 
trust yourself; and, according to the apostle's advice, "work 
out your salvation with fear and trembling," (Philip, ii. 12.) 


On the Lord's Prayer* 

CONSIDER, first, that all the good we can hope and pray for 
is comprised in that short, but most excellent prayer which 
Christ has taught us, commonly called THE LORD'S PRAYEB. 
In it we are taught to make acts of all the most necessary vir- 
tues of faith, hope, love of God, conformity to his blessed will, 
charity for our neighbors, forgiveness of injuries, and repen- 
tance of our sins; and daily to aspire after the bread of life. 
What a pity the generality of Christians repeat this heavenly 
prayer with such coldness and indevotion! 

Consider, secondly, that in the beginning of this divine 
prayer, we call God OUR FATHER, and we are authorised so to 
call him by the Son of God himself! Ah, Christian soul! what 
greater dignity can there be than to be called, and to be in re- 
ality, a child of God? We add, who art in heaven, to remind 
us whither to direct our thoughts when we pray, and not to 
suffer any disorderly affection to the things of the earth, to 
hinder them from freely soaring up to heaven. 

Consider, thirdly, what encouragement it should be to a 
Christian at his prayers, to remember he is presenting his peti- 
tions to HIS FATHER; a Father, too, who has the most tender 
affection for his children, who entices them to pray, and 


teaches them, in this excellent form of prayer, what to ask, 
with an assurance of success, provided it be expedient lor 
them; and whose power, riches and mercy, are still infinite. 
Let, then, this endearing title of OUR FATHER, in the Lord's 
prayer, raise our hopes in God, and excite our love. 

Conclude daily to use this divine prayer with a serious atten- 
tion and suitahle devotion. 


Hallowed be thy name. 

CONSIDER, first, that the first or principal duty of a Chris- 
tian is, to love Ms God with his whole heart and soul; and 
consequently, the first and principal object of his desires and 
prayers, is the greater honor and glory of God. His love for 
his God makes him rejoice, to think that he is in himself in- 
finitely happy and glorious, and will be so to all eternity: but 
it' grieves him to think how little this infinite goodness is 
known, praised, and glorified in this miserable world, even by 
these very .souls of ours, made by him and for him; and he 
earnestly seeks a remedy for this evil, by praying that God 
would effectually teach us and all men to love, serve, and glo- 
rify his h6iy name. 

Consider, secondly, that this petition contains an act of di- 
vine love, even of perfect charity and benevolence; because it 
expresses the longing desires of the soul for the greater honor, 
praise, and glory of her Maker; also an act of the most perfect 
charity for herself and all mankind. For what greater good 
can she wish or procure for herself or them, than that God may 
be ever glorified in them and by them, for time and eternity? 
Thus divine charity, in all its branches, is exercised in this first 

Consider, thirdly, that in praying for the hallowing or sanc- 
tifying of the name of God, we pray in effect for the sanctifica- 
tion of the whole world: that the knowledge of the true and 
living God, and his Son Jesns Christ, may be spread over all 
the earth, and that all hearts may love him; and, in a word, 
that all men upon earth may be saints. See then the vast ex- 
tent of this petition, by which we pray for all glory to God, 
and for all good to man; and let your heart go along with your 
tongue as often as you repeat it. 

Conclude to let this eariiest desire of the greater glory of God 
in all things, be the ruling paission of your heart; and he will 
glorify you for all eternity. 



Thy kingdom come. 

CONSIDER, first, that in holy scripture the kingdom of God is 
understood in three different senses. 1. It is taken for the 
eternal kingdom of God in heaven: 2. For the spiritual king- 
dom of Christ in his church, upon earth: 3. For the mystical 
kingdom of God in our souls, according to that of our Lord, 
(Lukexvii. 21.) "The kingdom of God is -within you." In 
this petition we pray for the kingdom of God in all these senses. 
Admire that a worm of the earth, taken from the dunghill of 
sin, should be authorised to aspire even to an eternal kingdom, 
to live and reign for endless ages with the living God. 

Consider, secondly, that as the kingdom of God, in scrip- 
ture, often signifies that spiritual kingdom which Christ came 
to establish upon earth, and his reign in his church, in which 
he is both king and priest for ever, we must earnestly pray for 
the exaltation of this kingdom of Christ, and that the opposite 
reign of Satan and Sin, may have an end; that all infidels, here- 
tics, and schismatics, may be converted to the tiue faith, and 
all abuses removed; and that divine faith, hope, and charity, 
with all other virtues, may reign, both in the pastors of God's 
church, and in all the people of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that we are particularly to have in view, 
in this petition, our own sanctification; that God may reign 
without control in our hearts, and make our whole interior his 
own, by giving us the victory over all our passions, and a 
strong and perfect love for him. O blessed kingdom of divine 
love! when will thy sacred flames consume in me all that is 
in any way displeasing to my God? 

Conclude, in the first place, to endeavor to establish this 
kingdom of God in your own soul; and, as he has promis- 
ed, nothing shall be wanting to you either in this life, or 


Thy will be done on earth as it is in Heaven. 

CONSIDER, first, that this petition, like the two former, con- 
tains an act of divine love: for the soul here desires to give 
ALL to God, and that all may embrace and adore, love, serve, 
and obey, the sacred will of God, in all things. It also in- 
cludes a love of the most perfect charity, to ourselves, and to 
our neighbors, since we here pray for so great a good in their 
and our own favor, as is this perfect conformity to the will of 
God, like that of the saints and angels in heaven. 


Consider, secondly, that the will of God is always good, is 
always wise, always right and equitable; and therefore we 
ought ardently to embrace it, and to love it. He knows what 
is best for us, and will order what is best, if we give ourselves 
up to him. And how can we consult better our own interest? 
In a word, the will of God is all powerful: it is God himself; 
and therefore it would be madness to rebel, and would serve 
for nothing but to make us miserable. 

Consider, thirdly, that in all our actions and deliberations, 
we must follow this will of God to the best of our knowledge 
and power; and we must resign and submit ourselves, under 
all our afflictions and disappointments, to his blessed will as- 
suring ourselves, that nothing happens to us in this kind, but 
by the appointment of heaven: all comes from the hand of 
HIM, who is both infinitely wise, and infinitely good to his 

Conclude always to recite this petition of the Lord's prayer, 
with these dispositions of the love of God, and of resignation 
to his holy will. 

Give us this day our daily bread. 

CONSIDER, first, that we are taught in this petition, to pray 
for all necessaries, both spiritual and temporal, under the name 
of our daily bread, which we here beg, for this short day of 
our mortal life, till we arrive at the happy day of a blissful 
eternity. With regard to worldly things, we pray for them 
with more indifference, as of smaller consequence and with- 
out solicitude, knowing that if we seek first the kingdom of 
heaven, they will not be wanting to us, as far as is expedient. 
But we pray with greater earnestness for the bread which is to 
support the spiritual life of our souls; namely, divine grace, 
the word of God, and the holy sacraments: and this for our- 
selves and all mankind. 

Consider, secondly, that the holy fathers expound this peti- 
tion, in particular of the bread of life, which we receive in 
the blessed eucharist. This bread is the sacred body and blood 
of Jesus Christ, who calls himself "the living bread which 
came down from heaven," (John vi. 15.) and assures us, "that 
he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever;" and that "the 
bread which he will give is his flesh for the life of the world." 
It is stiled our daily bread, because we should daily partake of 
it, either really or spiritually. 

Consider, thirdly, that we ought to make a spiritual com- 
munion, as often as we repeat the words, "Give us this day 


our daily bread," by a lively faith and hope in Christ, the true 
bread of life, and by inviting him to take possession of our 
souls for ever. Happy they who communicate frequently in 
the day! They shall reap the most admirable fruits of their 

Conclude to make this hencefoward your daily practice, and 
always to have in view this bread of life. 


Forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass 

against us. 

CONSIDER, first, that "we all offend in many things," ( Jas. 
iii. 2. ) and not a day passes in which we do not contract fresh 
debts to our Great Master, by sins either of omission or com- 
mission, in thought, word, or deed; and therefore we ought 
daily to sue for a discharge. This is the design of this peti- 
tion in the Lord's prayer, which, when recited with fervor, 
readily obtains the remission of these daily debts. They are 
of worse consequence to our souls than we can well imagine, 
if neglected. 

Consider, secondly, that our best security is to be always re- 
penting of our past sins, since we are quite uncertain whether 
our repentance for them has ever been sufficient to obtain ac- 
ceptance with God. Alas! the debt of one mortal sin is im- 
mense; a sum of ten thousand talents, which (of ourselves) 
we are utterly unable to discharge. Let us then recite this 
petition of the Lord's prayer with a penitential spirit, for all 
our past sins, known or unknown, committed personally or 
occasioned in others; and daily, with Magdalene, implore the 
mercy of our Redeemer, both for ourselves and for all poor 

Consider, thirdly, that in this petition we beg of God to 
"forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass 
against us." Which words were added by our Lord, to put us 
in mind not to expect forgiveness from God, if we do not 
FROM OUR HEARTS forgive the offences of our neighbors against 
us. Wherefore, we must lay aside all rancor and animosity, if 
we wish to obtain the mercy of God. 

Conclude, in this petition, first, heartily to repent for your 
daily sins; secondly, daily to renew your sorrow for past of- 
fences; thirdly, to forgive, from your heart, all who have of- 
fended you. 



Lead, us not into temptation. 

CONSIDER, first, that the true penitent must not be content 
with seeking the remission of his past sins; he must decline 
with horror the like evils for the time to come, and endeavor 
to avoid all dangerous occasions and temptations, and with a 
feeling sense of his own weakness beg of God to stand by him 
and assist him. And this is the chief meaning of this petition, 
"Lead us not into temptation." 

Consider, secondly, that St. James says (chap 1. 13.) God 
is npt "a tempter of evils; he tempteth no man;" so as to in- 
cite, allure, or provoke him to sin. No, certainly, such temp- 
tations as these cannot be from God. who is essentially good, 
and always abhors sin; they are from the world, the flesh, and 
the devil: yet as these never have power to tempt us but with 
the divine permission, nor strength to overcome us but when 
we neglect to apply to God as we ought, for his grace; there- 
fore we use this expression to signify our total dependence 
upon him. And with regard to afflictions, crosses, pains, 
&c., of which God is certainly the author, and which are 
often called in scripture temptations, we beg he would have 
regard to our weakness, and never suffer us to sink under them. 

Consider, thirdly, that temptations, far from being sins to us, 
if we give no way to them, and bring them not upon us by our 
own fault, are often the occasions of much good to our souls, 
by obliging us to watch and pray; and help to keep us humble. 
It is not, therefore, our design to pray we may never have any 
temptations at all; (for this would not be expedient,) but 
that we may never yield to temptation. 

Conclude under all temptations to join an humble distrust in 
yourself, with a firm confidence in God, and fervent prayer; 
and to reject with horror the least consent or satisfaction in any 
evil thought. 


Dtliver us from evil. 

CONSIDER, first, that we beg of God in this petition chiefly, 
that he would deliver us from all sin, past, present, or future; 
from all the consequences of sin, and the punishment which 
our sins have deserved; from the slavery of our passions and 
sinful habits; and from the tyranny and possession of the evil 
one, who has dominion over all wilful sinners. For in reali- 
ty, sin is the cause of all our evils, or rather, properly speak- 


ing, it is our only evil, because without it no real evil would 

Consider, secondly, what the evils are from which we beg 
to be delivered, and which spring originally from sin. Those 
which regard this life are public calamities, wars, plagues, 
famines, earthquakes, inundations, &c., besides a multitude of 
private evils to which each one is daily exposed. Then the 
much more deplorable evils, whether public or private, of 
heresy, schism, persecution, oppression of the poor, national 
vices, sacrilege, and scandal, &c. And with regard to the 
future, the dreadful evil of unprovided death and final impeni- 
tence, the judgment of damnation and a miserable eternity. 
Good God, in thy tender mercy deliver us from all these most 
dismal evils. 

Consider, thirdly, your own evils; in particular the multi- 
tude of your past and present sins , infinitely more numerous 
and more enormous than you imagine; the uncertainty of par- 
don, because of the weakness and uncertainty of your repen- 
tance; the vices and passions you are daily subject to; the 
snares of your enemies who continually seek your ruin; the 
blindness and corruption of your own heart, and the dreadful 
uncertainty of your eternal lot; and you will be convinced 
of the necessity of crying out continually "deliver us from 
evil, amen." 

Conclude to embrace humble and frequent prayer, as the sure 
mean to be delivered from all these evils, which threaten you 

On morning prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that every Christian ought to begin Jthe day 
with the worship of God, and to "give his heart" as the wise 
man says, (Eccles. xxxix. 6.) "to resort early to the Lord that 
made him; and to pour forth his prayer in the sight of the 
Most High." The manna of heaven melted away and was 
lost, if the people of God did not rise before the sun to gather 
it: "that it might be known to all men," says Solomon, (Wis- 
dom xvi. 28. ) that we must prevent the sun to bless God, and 
worship him at the dawning of the light." "0 God, my God," 
says the royal prophet, (Psalms Ixii.) "to thee do I watch at 
break of day." 

Consider, secondly, how just it is that God should have our 
first thoughts: He is our first begnning and our last end. There- 
fore he has a strict claim to our first and last thoughts; and it 
would be a crying injustice and treachery to prostitute them to 


his enemy. Let us therefore give to God his due, by consecrat- 
ing them entirely to him, together with our whole selves, for 
time and eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, that we must all fight, and fight continu- 
ally against our vices and passions, or they will carry us to 
hell. Hence we must renew every morning our good resolu- 
tions; yet, without trusting at all in ourselves: and prepare 
beforehand for the conflict, by forecasting the occasions and 
temptations which may happen in the day, and by taking 
the measures proper to surmount them, with the grace of God. 

Conclude to be diligent in your morning exercise. A good 
beginning is a great matter. 


On evening prayer. 

CONSIDER, first, that evening prayer is not less necessary 
than morning prayer; for God is both our first beginning and 
last end. They are like the two daily meals of the soul, and 
ought not on any account to be neglected; and if upon any oc- 
casion we are hindered from taking these spiritual meals at the 
usual hour, we must take them afterwards, as we do our bodily 
meals. And as we take care that our families and those under 
our charge should not want their daily corporal sustenance; so 
with much more reason ought we to be solicitous, that their 
souls may not starve, for want of assembling them to prayer, 
and seeing that they are regular in this daily exercise. 

Consider, secondly, that one of the parts of the evening ex- 
excise, is the daily examination of conscience, by which we 
endeavor to call to mind how we have spent the day from 
morning till night; how we have discharged both the common 
duties of a Christian, and the particular duties of our station or 
calling; and especially, how we have behaved with regard to 
our ordinary failings, and our predominant passions: we must 
conclude with a hearty sorrow for all the sins of the day, and 
those of our whole life. How unhappy are all those, who for 
want of this precaution, are every night exposed to the evident 
danger of finding themselves in hell before morning. 

Consider, thirdly, that besides offering up to God every 
night the sacrifice of an humble and contrite heart, the Chris- 
tian should also think seriously of his last end, and dispose 
himself for it by acts of a lively faith, a firm hope in his Re- 
deemer, and perfect charity, with an entire resignation of him- 
self to the holy will of God; and thus compose himself to rest 
in the arms of his mercy. Let this be your constant practice. 

Conclude with a fixed resolution both to do this yourself, 


and likewise to take care that all under your charge be diligent in 
performing it. This is the surest way to secure to yourself and 
them a happy death. 


On praying always. 

CONSIDER, first, that we are called upon in the word of God 
"to pray always," (Luke xviii. 1.) "to pray without ceasing," 
(1 Thess. v. 17.) and to "seek the face of the Lord evermore/' 
( Ps. civ. 4. ) The soul that truly loves God, will often in the 
day think on him, and raise her heart to heaven; for it is 
the property of love often to think of the beloved; and we 
shall quickly lose both him and his love, if we pass whole 
days in the forgetfulness of him. 

Consider, secondly, that the practice of this continual prayer 
requires, only that the soul at the beginning of every action 
should turn to her God, by offering up to his honor and glory 
what she is going to do, and at the same time offering her whole 
self to him; and in the midst of her ordinary actions and con- 
versation, she should frequently tend to him by aspirations of 
love, and implore his assistance by short enraptured prayers. 
Thus every action will partake of the nature of prayer. 

Consider, thirdly, that the saints even while their hands 
were at work, took care to have their hearts on God. No time, 
nor place, nor company, nor occupation, can exclude the di- 
vine immensity, which fills heaven and earth; nor hinder God 
from being so near to us, that our very souls are not more pre- 
sent to our bodies which they animate, than God is to the very 
centre of our souls. Therefore let no time, nor place, nor com- 
pany, nor occupation, divert us from often thinking on him, and 
speaking to him in our hearts. Nothing can be so profitable 
to us, nor so great an honor. 

Conclude in the midst of all external occupations, to keep 
your mind and heart pure from disorderly affections; and God 
. will teach you effectually, without the actual use of any book, 
";to pray always." 

On the great commandment of divine love. 

CONSIDER, first, the words of the divine law, (quoted Mark 
xii. 30.) "thou shalt love the Lord thy God with thy whole 


heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and 
with thy whole strength. This," says our Lord, "is the great- 
est and the first commandment," (Matt. xxii. 38.) Yes; it is 
indeed the greatest and most excellent of all the divine com- 
mandments. It tends directly to raise our souls above this 
earth, above the heaven of heavens and the whole created uni- 
verse, and to unite them forever to the great Maker of heaven 
and earth by perfect love. 

Consider, secondly, the infinite, goodness of God towards us 
in this commandment. Is then our love of any consequence 
to him? Can we add any thing to his happiness by loving him? 
What is there in us insignificant creatures, that he should con- 
cern himself whether we love him or not? How wretchedly 
stupid should we then be, if, notwithstanding the divine good- 
ness stooping so low as to insist upon thus entering an eternal 
friendship with us, we should refuse him our love. Alas! we 
should in some sense be worse than the evil spirits themselves. 

Consider, thirdly, the excellent fruits of divine love. She is 
the queen of virtues: she gives life to them all: even faith and 
hope are dead, when she is not in their company. She brings 
with her the pardon of all our sins: she makes us the friends 
and favorites of the Most High: his children, his spouses, his 
temples: in a word, she is "the bond of all perfection." 

Conclude henceforward to make it the business of your life 
to learn this great lesson of divine love; and as none but God 
can effectually teach it, beg this favor with most humble prayer. 

On loving the Lord our God, above all things. 

CONSIDER, first, the import of these words, "thoushaltlove 
the Lord thy God." Who then is this Lord? The eternal, 
self-existent, incomprehensible and infinite being, who alone 

Eroperly is, and who is being itself. "I am who am," saith 
e, (Exod. iii. 14.) The Lord; that is, the Creator and abso- 
lute Master of the whole universe, of all things visible and in- 
visible; compared with whom all things else are just nothing 
at all. 

Consider, secondly, the motives of divine love, implied in 
those words, Thy God. They signify, my soul, that this Lord 
of infinite majesty is pleased even to be thine. Yes, he is thy 
God; he is thy first beginning and thy last end, thy Maker, 
thy Father, thy Spouse, thy Pastor, thy Keeper, thy constant 
benefactor, thy ever faithful friend, thy sovereign good and the 
source of all thy happiness. He has redeemed thee when 


lost, with the precious blood of his only Son. Oh! love him 
then for ever and ever. 

Consider, thirdly, that this love must be a love of preference, 
above all things else whatever. For he that loves his worldly 
honor, his interest, his pleasure, his own will, the gratification 
of his humors and passions, or the pleasing of any person, 
Low near or dear soever, more than his God, is not worthy of 
God : and not only he that prefers any creature before God, but 
he that puts himself, his own life, his dearest affections, or 
ven the whole creation on a level with his God, offers him 
the greatest outrage; because the whole universe, compared 
with him, is a mere nothing. 

Conclude, at least henceforward to love the jLord your God 
above all things, and nothing else with him, but what you love 
for his sake, or with relation to him. 

On loving God, with our whole heart. 

CONSIDER, first, that divine love in the first place calls for 
our heart. "My Son, give me thy heart," says the Wisdom 
of God, (Prov. xxiii. 26.) We must therefore offer up this 
heart of ours as a holocaust to God. It must die to itself, and 
to all disorderly affections, by mortification and self-denial, 
and then be laid on God's altar to be wholly dedicated and 
consecrated to him, and to be consumed in the flames of di- 
vine love that true fire, which our Lord came to enkindle 
upon earth. 

Consider, secondly, how just it is that we should love God 
with our whole heart, since it belongs wholly to him by every 
kind of title. He made our heart for himself, to be the living 
temple of his love; and he has given it an immense capacity 
of love, which nothing less than God can satisfy. He has 
shed his own most precious blood to cleanse it for himself; 
and it was solemnly dedicated to him at our baptism. In a 
word, he has sent down his Divine Spirit, to establish in it his 
kingdom, and to make it his throne. 

Consider, thirdly, that the love of God will not admit a di- 
vided heart : he will not suffer a rival in his kingdom, a part- 
ner on his throne, an idol in his temple. Our. God is a jealous 
God, and therefore, if we follow any other lovers, we lose his 
love, and drive him from us. Alas! my soul, what is it thou 
wouldst associate with God in thy heart? Thy worldly pride; 
thy carnal affections; thy sensual inclinations? Assure thyself 
he cannot endure such company as this. 

Conclude to love your friend in God, and your enemy for 


God's sake, and all lawful objects according to the measure 
prescribed by divine love : thus you will "love God with your 
whole heart," 


On loving God with our whole soul. 

CONSIDER, first, that in order to comply with this part of 
the divine commandment, we must oblige allthe powers of our 
soul to bow down, and embrace affectionately this sweet law 
of love j it will ennoble and perfect them all. The light of 
this bright flame will dispel the dark mists raised by your pas- 
sions and self-love, which so often make you go astray. Let 
then your understanding be directed; let your memory be recol- 
lected by divine love; let all your words and actions, all your 
desires be ever guided by this heavenly charity. 

Consider, secondly, that as the will always has good for the 
objects of its love, so as not to be able to love or embrace any 
thing but under the form or appearance, at least, of good; it 
must in a special manner be consecrated to divine love. For 
God alone is the true and sovereign good, and he alone can 
satisfy the inbred appetite we have of good. In the love of 
him^alone we feel ourselves happy : all other loves only im- 
pose upon us, and leave our souls empty. Wherefore, for our 
own sake, as well as for his infinite goodness, we ought to give 
our whole selves to his heavenly love. 

Consider, thirdly, what is said in the hundred and thirty- 
ninth psalm, of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great pattern of di- 
vine love. "In the head of the book it is written of me, that 
I should do thy will : my God, I have desired it, and thy law, 
in the midst of my heart." This will of his Father was during 
his whole life, the continual object of his love, the subject of 
all his thoughts, the motive of all his words and actions. And 
didst not thou also, my soul, come into this world to do and to 
love the will of God? Hast thou here any other business? Is 
it not written of thee also, in the book of life, that thou shalt 
do the will of God? 

Conclude to dedicate your whole soul, with all its powers, 
to the love of God; and especially resign your will to him, 
without reserve. 


On lovidg God. with our whole, mind. 

CONSIDER, first, that the mind is the seat of thought, and 
consequently, of consideration, meditation, and recollection, 
in God. Therefore, to love God with our -whole mind, is to 
have our thoughts ever turned towards him, to walk always in 
his presence, and to keep ourselves recollected in the remem- 
brance of him. This was required of all the servants of God, 
even in the old law; and much more in the new, which is the 
law of love. ''Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," &c., said 
he, (Deut. vi.) "and these words which I command thee this 
day, shall be in thy heart ; and thou shalt frequently repeat 
them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting 
in thy house and walking on thy journey, sleeping and ris- 
ing," &c. 

Consider, secondly, how reasonable and just it is, that we 
should love our God with our whole mind, by ever remember- 
ing and thinking on him. He always remembers and thinks 
onus : his eye is always upon us. Worthless as we are, from 
all eternity we have had a place in his eternal mind, in which 
he has cherished us with infinite love : and shall we refuse our 
whole mind to him! What can we think of, so noble, so de- 
sirable, so lovely, so charming, so profitable", so delightful as 
our God? Why then do we let whole days pass in thinking of 
every other thing but him? 

Consider, thirdly, the great advantages of always having God 
in our recollection. It is a powerful restraint to keep us from 
all sin : it is a spur to virtue; furnishes us with counsel in our 
doubts, comfort in our afflictions, encouragement in our labors, 
protection in all dangers : it enlivens our faith, animates our 
hope, and continually increases divine charity. In a word, it 
is the way to present and eternal happiness. 

Conclude in future to banish from your mind all impertinent 
thoughts, and vain amusements; and God will make your soul 
his paradise. 

On loving God with our whole strength. 

CONSIDER, first, that we ourselves belong entirely to God, 
and that by many titles. Therefore his love should not only 
reside in our heart, reign in all the powers of our soul, and fill 
our mind; it ought also to show itself in our whole conversa- 
tion, and to regulate all our words and actions, so as to give to 


heart, and with thy whole soul, and with thy whole mind, and 
with thy whole strength. This," says our Lord, "is the great- 
est and the first commandment," (Matt. xxii. 38.) Yes; it is 
indeed the greatest and most excellent of all the divine com- 
mandments. It tends directly to raise our souls ahove this 
earth, above the heaven of heavens and the whole created uni- 
verse, and to unite them forever to the great Maker of heaven 
and earth by perfect love. 

Consider, secondly, the infinite, goodness of God towards us 
in this commandment. Is then our love of any consequence 
to him? Can we add any thing to his happiness by loving him? 
What is there in us insignificant creatures, that he should con- 
cern .himself whether we love him or not? How wretchedly 
stupid should we then be, if, notwithstanding the divine good- 
ness stooping so low as to insist upon thus entering an eternal 
friendship with us, we should refuse him our love. Alas! we 
should in some sense be worse than the evil spirits themselves. 

Consider, thirdly, the excellent fruits of divine love. She is 
the queen of virtues: she gives life to them all: even faith and 
hope are dead, when she is not in their company. She brings 
with her the pardon of all our sins: she makes us the friends 
and favorites of the Most High: his children, his spouses, his 
temples: in a word, she is "the bond of all perfection." 

Conclude henceforward to make it the business of your life 
to learn this great lesson of divine love; and as none but God 
can effectually teach it, beg this favor with most humble prayer. 

On loving the Lord our God above all things. 

CONSIDER, first, the import of these words, "thoushaltlove 
the Lord thy God." Who then is this Lord? The eternal, 
self-existent, incomprehensible and infinite being, who alone 
properly is, and who is being itself. "I am who am," saith 
he, (Exod. iii. 14.) The Lord; that is, the Creator and abso- 
lute Master of the whole universe, of all things visible and in- 
visible; compared with whom all things else are just nothing 
at all. 

Consider, secondly, the motives of divine love, implied in 
those words, Thy God, They signify, my soul, that this Lord 
of infinite majesty is pleased even to be thine. Yes, he is thy 
God; he is thy first beginning and thy last end, thy Maker, 
thy Father, thy Spouse, thy Pastor, thy Keeper, thy constant 
benefactor, thy ever faithful friend, thy sovereign good and the 
source of all thy happiness. He has redeemed thee when. 


lost, with the precious blood of his only Son. OhJ love him 
then for ever and ever. 

Consider, thirdly, that this love must be a love of preference, 
above all things else whatever. For he that loves his worldly 
honor, his interest, his pleasure, his own will, the gratification 
of his humors and passions, or the pleasing of any person, 
iiow near or dear soever, more than his God, is not worthy of 
God : and not only he that prefers any creature before God, but 
he that puts himself, his own life, his dearest affections, or 
even the whole creation on a level with his God, offers him 
the greatest outrage j because the whole universe, compared 
with him, is a mere nothing. 

Conclude, at least henceforward to love the iLord your God 
above all things, and nothing else with him, but what you love 
for his sake, or with relation to him. 


On loving God with our whole heart* 

CONSIDER, first, that divine love in the first place calls for 
our heart. "My Son, give me thy heart," says the Wisdom 
of God, (Prov. xxiii. 26.) We must therefore offer up this 
heart of ours as a holocaust to God. It must die to itself, and 
to all disorderly affections, by mortification and self-denial, 
and then be laid on God's altar to be wholly dedicated and 
consecrated to him, and to be consumed in the flames of di- 
vine love that true fire, which our Lord came to enkindle 
upon earth. 

Consider, secondly, how just it is that we should love God 
with our whole heart, since it belongs wholly to him by every 
kind of title. He made our heart for himself, to be the living 
temple of his love; and he has given it an immense capacity 
of love, which nothing less than God can satisfy. He has 
shed his own most precious blood to cleanse it for himself; 
and it was solemnly dedicated to him at our baptism. In a 
word, he has sent down his Divine Spirit, to establish in it his 
kingdom, and to make it his throne. 

Consider, thirdly, that the love of God will not admit a di- 
vided heart : he will not suffer a rival in his kingdom, a part- 
ner on his throne, an idol in his temple. Our. God is a jealous 
God, and therefore, if we follow any other lovers, we lose his 
love, and drive him from us. Alas! my soul, what is it thou 
wouldst associate with God in thy heart? Thy worldly pride j 
thy carnal affections; thy sensual inclinations? Assure thyself 
he cannot endure such company as this. 

Conclude to love your friend in God, and your enemy for 


God's sake, and all lawful objects according to the measure 
prescribed by divine love : thus you will "love God with your 
whole heart." 


On loving God, with our whole soul. 

CONSIDER, first, that in order to comply with this part of 
the divine commandment, -we must oblige alHfae powers of our 
soul to bow down, and embrace affectionately this sweet law 
of love; it will ennoble and perfect them all. The light of 
this bright flame will dispel the dark mists raised by your pas- 
sions and self-love, which so often make you go astray. Let 
then your understanding be directed; let yonr memory be recol- 
lected by divine love; let all your words and actions, all your 
desires be ever guided by this heavenly charity. 

Consider, secondly, that as the will always has good for the 
objects of its love, so as not to be able to love or embrace any 
thing but under the form or appearance, at least, of good; it 
must in a special manner be consecrated to divine love. For 
God alone is the true and sovereign good, and he alone can 
satisfy the inbred appetite we have of good. In the love of 
him alone we feel ourselves happy : all other loves only im- 
pose upon us, and leave our souls empty. "Wherefore, for our 
own sake, as well as for his infinite goodness, we ought to give 
our whole selves to his heavenly love. 

Consider, thirdly, what is said in the hundred and thirty- 
ninth psalm, of our Lord Jesus Christ, the great pattern of di- 
vine love. "In the head of the book it is written of me, that 
I should do thy will : O my God, I have desired it, and thy law, 
in the midst of my heart." This will of his Father was during 
his whole life, the continual object of his love, the subject of 
all his thoughts, the motive of all his words and actions. And 
didst not thou also, my soul, come into this world to do and to 
love the will of God? Hast thou here any other business? Is 
it not written of thee also, in the book of life, that thou shalt 
do the will of God? 

Conclude to dedicate your whole soul, with all its powers, 
to the love of God; and especially resign your will to him, 
without reserve. 



On lovidg God with our whole mind. 

CONSIDER, first, that the mind is the seat of thought, and 
consequently, of consideration, meditation, and recollection, 
in God. Therefore, to love God with our whole mind , is to 
have our thoughts ever turned towards him, to walk always in 
his presence, and to keep ourselves recollected in the remem- 
brance of him. This was required of all the servants of God, 
even in the old law; and much more in the new, which is the 
law of love. "Thou shalt love the Lord thy God," &c., said 
he, (Deut. vi.) "and these words which I command thee this 
day, shall be in thy heart; and thou shalt frequently repeat 
them to thy children, and thou shalt meditate upon them sitting 
in thy house and walking on thy journey, sleeping and ris- 
ing," &c. 

Consider .secondly, how reasonable and just it is, that we 
should love our God with our whole mind, by ever remember- 
ing and thinking on him. He always remembers and thinks 
onus : his eye is always upon us. Worthless as we are, from 
all eternity we have had a place in his eternal mind, in which 
he has cherished us with infinite love : and shall we refuse our 
whole mind to him! What can we think of, so noble, so de- 
sirable, so lovely, so charming, so profitable", so delightful as 
our God? Why then do we let whole days pass in thinking of 
every other thing but him? 

Consider, thirdly, the great advantages of always having God 
in our recollection. It is a powerful restraint to keep us from 
all sin : it is a spur to virtue; furnishes us with counsel in our 
doubts, comfort in our afflictions, encouragement in our labors, 
protection in all dangers : it enlivens our faith, animates our 
hope, and continually increases divine charity. In a word, it 
is the way to present and eternal happiness. 

Conclude in future to banish from your mind all impertinent 
thoughts, and vain amusements; and God will make your soul 
his paradise. 


On loving God with our whole strength. 

CONSIDER, first, that we ourselves belong entirely to God, 
and that by many titles. Therefore his love should not only 
reside in our heart, reign in all the powers of our soul, and fill 
our mind; it ought also to show itself in our whole conversa- 
tion, and to regulate all our words and actions, so as to give to 


each of them its due perfection. This is loving God with our 
whole strength. 

Consider, secondly, that the true love of God is like a fire; 
it cannot be idle. It works great things when occasion and 
opportunity offer; and, when these are wanting, it will do 
wonders by the perfection which it gives even to the least and 
most ordinary of our actions. It directs them all to God by 
the pure and perfect intention of ever doing his holy will, and 
procuring in all things his greater glory. "Whether you eat or 
drink, or whatsoever else you do; do all to the glory of God," 
says the apostle, (1 Cor. x. 31.) 

Consider, thirdly, that we should also labor, in the progress 
of all our actions and conversations, to sanctify them by fre- 
quent aspirations of divine love. This may be done by often 
turning our souls to our Beloved, considered as intimately pre- 
sent within us; offering our whole selves to him, rejoicing in 
his glory, lamenting to see his love so much slighted by un- 
thinking mortals, &c. 

Conclude to season all your actions in this manner with di- 
vine love; and you will love your God with your whole 

On returning love for love. 

CONSIDER, first, that a generous soul, setting aside the other 
numberless motives of divine love, finds a most powerful and 
urgent incitement to love God, in the consideration of the love 
which he hasfor us, and has had for us from all eternity; and 
of the innumerable benefits bestowed on us in consequence of 
this eternal love. And yet (0 ye heavens be astonished at so 
much baseness! ) the far greatest part of blind mortals still pre- 
fer the meanest toys, and mere corruption before the love of 

Consider, secondly, that God has loved us first. His love is 
continual; his love is constant, and never forsakes them who 
do not first forsake his love. It is most generous; it imparts 
all good to his beloved without desiring any return from them 
but their love, in order to make them happy for eternity. In a 
word, his love is infinite, both in its origin, which is himself, 
and in communicating to us an eternal, infinite good, which is 
also himself. 

Consider, thirdly, that God is the author of all our good : 
our very being, our whole soul and body is his gift. ;He has 
preserved us : he has nourished and cherished us from the first 
moment of our conception to this hour : he has defended us 


from a thousand evils : he has given his angels a charge over 
us : he has sent his own Son from heaven for us, to deliver us 
from hell, and to procure for us mercy, grace and salvation! 
He shed all his precious blood for us. He has left with us, in 
order to bring us to himself, his word, his church, his sacri- 
fice, his sacraments, his body and blood, his graces and in- 

Conclude to fix your thought and heart always upon him, 
whose love is always heaping favors upon you, even while you 


On the devotion of the time. 

CONSIDER, first, that the days between this Sunday and the 
ascension of our Lord are called Rogation-Days, or days of 
prayer. They are set aside by the church for solemn prayers 
and supplications, joined with abstinence and penance, in order 
to turn away the wrath of God, provoked by our sins; tore- 
move far from us his scourges, of wars, plagues, famines, &c. j 
to implore his mercy for ourselves and all his people; and to 
beg his blessing upon the fruits of the earth. Many visible 
judgments of God upon the people, first gave occasion to the 
church to institute these days of devotion; and the success 
which then attended her piety, made her continue the practice 
to our times; since we have as much reason as ever to fear the 
wrath of God. 

Consider, secondly, that although we do not every day feel 
the heavy hand of divine justice, by the experience of public 
calamities or other visible judgments; yet if we consider the 
guilt of so many crying sins, not only of particular persons, 
but even of whole nations continually calling to God for ven- 
geance, we shall have too much reason to apprehend, that even 
now the sword of God's justice is hanging over our heads, and 
that the worst of his judgments will quickly fall upon Christen- 
dom in general, if not averted by prayer and penance. Ah! 
neglect not these days of salvation, lest they never more 

Consider, thirdly, what encouragement we have, both in the 
epistle and gospel of the Rogations, to look for mercy and all 
good for ourselves and neighbors, from humble and fervent 
prayer. In the epistle (James v.) we are taught the great effi- 
cacy of continual prayer, and exhorted to pray for one another, 
in order to salvation; it shows also the reward of those who 
contribute to the salvation of others. In the gospel (Luke xi. ) 
we are exhorted by Christ our Lord to persevere in prayer j and 


by the example of a friend, and of a father, to look for good 
gifts from our heavenly Father, by the means of earnest prayer. 
Wherefore, "let us go with confidence," at this time, "to the 
throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy and find grace in 
seasonable aid," (Heb. iv. 16.) 

Conclude to join now with the whole church in prayer, and 
penance, that you may obtain mercy both for yourself and for 
your neighbors. 


On the means of attaining to the love of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that as the desire of wisdom is the begin- 
ning of wisdom; so the first step to the love of God, which is 
true wisdom indeed, is an earnest desire to love God. "Blessed 
are they that hunger and thirst after" this heavenly "justice; 
for they shall be filled," (Matt, v.) This desire makesuspray 
fervently, seek continually, knock earnestly at the gate of di- 
vine love. It makes us glad to part with all things else to 
purchase this precious pearl, and to acquire this invaluable 

Consider, secondly, that if we entertain in our soul any af- 
fection to worldly vanities, to avarice or sensual pleasures, di- 
vine love will not come near us; because it cannot endure such 
disorderly company as this; nor will it dwell in a soul enslaved 
to worldly desires and lawless passions. These must be dis- 
missed, or at least brought into subjection, if we would learn 
to love God. Wherefore, it must be our serious study to mor- 
tify our irregular affections. 

Consider, thirdly, that the sovereign means of acquiring di- 
vine love, is the daily exercise of mental prayer, or meditation. 
Here the memory represents all the motives we have to love 
God; the understanding is taught to know him, and the affec- 
tions of the will are inflamed at his presence. This then is 
the true school of love ; let no day pass without frequent- 
ing it. 

Conclude to embrace all the means, by which you may at- 
tain to divine love. It will become in you a fountain spring- 
ing up to everlasting life. 


On acts of divine love. 

CONSIDER, first, that the love of God is like a fire, always 
in motion and always tending upwards to its heavenly element: 
it quickly dies, if it lies idle. Wherefore it must be nourished 
by frequent acts of love. We exercise the love of God in our 
heart by affections; we exercise the love of God in our works 
by effects. When in heart and work we tend to God as our 
sovereign good, and aspire after the eternal enjoyment of him, 
we love him with the love of what is termed chaste concupi- 
scence. We love him with a love of benevolence, that is, of 
sincere and perfect charity, when both in heart and work we 
entirely resign ourselves and all things else to him, as infinite- 
ly good in himself. It is just we should daily exercise both 
these acts. 

Consider, secondly, that benevolence is a love by which we 
sincerely wish all kind of good to the person beloved. "Where- 
fore, if we would make proper acts of benevolence towards 
God, we must desire and procure, as far as we are able, the 
greater honor and glory of his name, and the establishment of 
his reign, both in our own hearts, and throughout the whole 
world; and pray that all men may know, love, and serve him: 
we must be concerned at every thing that offends his divine 
majesty. These are far better acts of divine love, than merely 
telling God we love him. 

Consider, thirdly, that the exercise of the love of God recom- 
mended, above all others, in holy scripture, is loving his di- 
vine law, and keeping his commandments. "This is the chari- 
ty," the love, "of God, that we keep his commandments,'* (1 
John v. 3. ) "He that keepeth his word, in him, in very deed, 
the charity of God is perfected," (chap. ii. 5.) The beloved 
disciple continually recommends the acts of this kind of di- 
vine love : and the psalms every where breathe the most ardent 
love of the holy law and commandments of God. No other 
devotion can secure us against illusions. 

Conclude to exercise yourself daily in all these ways of lov- 
ing God, and ever remember that loving God and keeping his 
commandments go always hand in hand; because we cannot 
Idve God without loving his will, notified to us by his com- 



On other exercises of the love of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that divine love is also exercised in the 
penitential way, by souls, that like Magdalene, (of whom pur 
Lord pronounced "many sins are forgiven her, because she 
hath loved much") go daily in spirit to the feet of Christ, to 
wash them with the tears of repentance. And whoever has 
forfeited the grace of baptism by mortal sin, should endeavor 
to imitate those great penitents of old, who thus became after- 
wards such glorious saints. This kind of exercise will be in 
some measure natural to all, who have a right sense of what 
God is, and what sin is; and of the dreadful evil which they 
have incurred by offending, though it were but once in their 
life, so great and so good a God. 

Consider, secondly, that there are other ways of mourning, 
by which we may exercise a love of God most agreeable to him^ 
and beneficial to ourselves. For instance, when we sit down 
at the foot of the cross, and there contemplating the extreme 
anguish and distress, the racking pains and torments of our 
dear Redeemer, we excite in our souls affections of an ardent 
love in the way of compassion : also when we mourn for the 
innumerable sins daily committed against him throughout the 
world; to see his infinite goodness slighted; his mercies con- 
tinually abused, by blind unthinking mortals, for whom he has 
shed the last drop of his sacred blood. 

Consider, thirdly, that there is another most perfect exercise 
of love, which comes nearest to the love of the blessed, in the 
way of joy and congratulation; when we rejoice in God, and 
in his boundless perfections; when we are delighted to think 
he is what he is; infinitely good, infininely holy, infinitely 
perfect; that he is the sovereign Lord of all; and that nothing 
can be added to him, because he is every way infinite. 

Conclude to dedicate yourself for time and eternity, to this 
most perfect love of God; and give yourself and all things else 
to Him, a hundred times in the day. 

On the ascension of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord, after having employed forty 
days upon earth to comfort and encourage his disciples, to con- 
firm them in the faith of his resurrection, and to instruct them 
in the mysteries of his kingdom; on the fortieth day, taking 
them out with him to Mount Olivet, lifted up his hands and 


gave them his blessing, and then ascended visibly up to heaven 
before their eyes; till a cloud intercepted their sight. Bow 
down to receive with joy and gratitude, this blessing of your 
Saviour ascending now to his Father and to your Father. Fol- 
low him in spirit and contemplate your human nature exalted 
in the person of your Lord, above all the cherubim and sara- 
phim, and seated at the right hand of God. 

Consider, secondly, that our Lord hy Ms ascension has taken 
possession of the kingdom of heaven, not only for himself, but 
also for us. He purchased this kingdom for us with his own 
blood : he opened the gates of it by his death : he showed us 
the way by his resurrection : and by his ascension he has given 
us an earnest of our coming one day to reign there with him. 
He is our head ; we are his members. Where the head is, it is 
natural the members also should be. What a comfort then to 
Christian souls to reflect, that in due time he will come and 
"take them to himself; that where he is they also may be," 
[John xiv.] 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord, by his ascension, has en- 
.sred heaven in quality of our Friend, of our Advocate and 
Mediator, of our High Priest, of our parent. All these en- 
dearing characters he still retains, now that he reigns all pow- 
erful on his throne of majesty : and what encouragements are 
here, to raise our hopes and increase our love? 

Conclude to celebrate this festival of the Ascension with 
suitable devotion, as one of the principal solemnities of the 
year. The Church of God considers it as such. 

On the lessons to be learned from the ascension of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that as we ought to imitate the resurrection 
of the Lord by a spiritual resurrection from the death of sin : 
so we must also imitate his ascension hy a spiritual ascension 
into heaven, and by dwelling there in spirit with him. Our 
Lord has told us, that where our treasure is, there pur heart - 
shall also be. If this our treasure be Christ, as it ought to be, 
then must our heart ascend with him to heaven, and there re- 
main for ever with its Beloved. 

Consider, secondly, that we must in the first place quit our 
vices and our criminal passions. "The lust of the flesh, the 
lust of the eyes, the pride of life," can have no place in hea- 
ven. All their pursuits are earthly : they press the soul down 
towards hell. Entreat then your dear Lord, through his tri- 
umphant ascension, to break all your bonds in sunder, which 


]Jeep you from ascending after him, and hinder you from fixing 
your heart in heaven. 

Consider, thirdly, that it is not enough for a soul that desires 
to ascend to heaven after Christ, to be free from downright lust, 
or other scandalous excesses and passions : she must be disen- 
gaged in her affections also, from every person or thing which 
ties her down to earth, which captivates her thoughts, fills her 
with solicitude, or otherwise takes oft' her heart from the love 
of God. Nor let her flatter herself that her affections are in- 
nocent, because the object is not of itself criminal; for be the 
object what it will, it is a crime to prefer it to God, or to love 
it so, as to forfeit for its sake the love of God. 

Conclude to be jealous of yourself and your affections, 
they should impede your flight towards heaven. 


Other lessons to be learned from the ascension of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, what will be the sentiments of the soul, 
when after she has begun, by ascending daily in spirit into 
heaven, to relish something of the sweetness of the good things 
of the Lord in the land of the living, she finds herself still a 
prisoner in this foreign land, in this earthly Babylon : how will 
she wish to be delivered from this captivity; to see an end of 
this long pilgrimage! How will she lament her banishment, 
at so great a distance from Jier true country! How tedious to 
her are all worldly enjoyments! 

Consider, secondly, the admonition of the apostle, (Colos. 
iii. 1., &c.) "If you be risen with Christ, seek the things that 
are above, where Christ is sitting at the right hand of God : 
mind the things that are above, not ihe things that are on the 
earth. For you are dead to sin, and your spiritual life is hid 
with Christ in God. When Christ shall appear who is your 
life, then shall you also appear with him in glory.*' Happy 
indeed are those Christians, who enter into these sentiments on 
occasion of the ascension of pur Lord! 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord at his ascension, according 
to authentic church history, left the last prints of his feet upon 
the top of Mount Olivet, in the place from whence he ascend- 
ed; which no length of time or accidents, or even industry of 
jM.en could ever efface; to teach us that the true way to ascend 
.with Christ into heaven, is to have his footsteps always before 
pur eyes, and to walk in them by a diligent imitation of his 

Conclude steadily to trace these footsteps of your Redeemer, 
during life. Thus you will assuredly partake in the triumph of 
his ascension. 




On the precept of charity to our neighbor. 

CONSIDER, first, that after the great and first commandment 
of "loving God with our whole heart and soul," the next of all 
the divine precepts is, "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thy- 
self." "This," saith our Lord, "is like to the other." So 
great indeed is the connexion, that we cannot fulfil the one 
without the other. "God is charity," says the beloved disci- 
ple, (1 John iv. 16.) "and he that abideth in charity, abideth 
in God, and God in him." And again, "he that loveth not 
(his neighbor) knoweth not God; for God is charity," (v. 8.) 
And, "if any man say, I love God, and hateth his brother, he 
is a liar," (v. 20.) 

Consider, secondly, that without this charity, "though we 
spoke with the tongues of men and angels, and had the gift of 
prophecy, and all knowledge of the deepest mysteries, and faith 
strong enough even to remove mountains, we should still be 
nothing: and though we should give our whole substance to the 
poor, and our bodies to the flames, it would profit us nothing," 
saith St. Paul, (1 Cor. xiii.) "He that Joveth not," according 
to St. John, (1. iii. 14.) "abideth in death." And this charity 
must include all mankind, without exception of nations or 
opinions, or of one single individual, even our greatest enemy, 
(Matt, xviii. 35.) . 

Consider, thirdly, that this is the favorite precept of Jesus 
Christ. "I give you a new commandment," sailh he, [John 
xiii. 34, 35.1 "that you love one onother as I have loved you. 
By this shall all men know, that you are my disciples, if you 
have love for one another." And chap. xv. 12, "This is my 
commandment, that you love one another, as I have loved you." 
This love is, in some measure, to resemble even the love and 
union between him and his heavenly Father. "And not for 
them only," said he, "do I pray; but for them also, who 
through their word shall believe in me : that they all may be 
one, as their Father in me and I in thee : that they also may 
be one in us : that the world may believe that thou hast sent 
me, [Johnxvii. 20,21.] 

Conclude to prove yourself henceforward a disciple of 
Christ indeed, by this spirit of universal charity for all : He 
died out of charity for all mankind. 



On the excellence of fraternal charity. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. Peter calls upon all Christians, [1. 
Pet. iv. 8.] "Before all things have a constant mutual charity; 
for charity covereth a multitude of sins;" and St. Paul, [Co- 
loss, iii. 14.] "Above all these things have charity, which is 
the bond of perfection." He adds, [Rom. xiii. 8, 10.] that the 
love of our neighbors is the fulfilling of the law and command- 
ments of God; and [Gal. v. 14,] that all the law is fulfilled in 
this one word : "thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself." 

Consider, secondly, what are the properties of this charity. 
Charity is patient, says the apostle is kind : charity envyeth 
not; dealeth not perversely; is not puffed up; is not ambi- 
tious; seeketh not her own, [that is, she is not selfish :] she 
is not provoked to anger; she thinketh no evil; she rejoiceth 
not in iniquity, [that is, in any thing wrong; ] but rejoiceth with 
the truth, [is pleased with whatever is right and true :] she 
beareth all things; belie veth all things; hopeth all things; en- 
dureth all things. No wonder this kind of charity should be 
the bond of perfection; since it cannot exist without the 
porfect love of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that charity, in the strictest sense, is in- 
deed a heavenly virtue : as well because she maintains her 
ground in heaven, and receives her full perfection there, where 
faith and hope are no more : ["Charity," saith the apostle, 1 
Cor. xiii. 8., "never falleth away:"] as also because the eter- 
nal charity of the saints is no small part of their heavenly feli- 
city. Their love of God is their essential bliss : their love of 
one another, in God, multiplies their happiness, in proportion 
to the multitude of the blessed in heaven. 

Conclude to seek with the utmost eagerness this heavenly 
charity. She will conduct you to the mansions of eternal rest. 


On the exercise of fraternal charity. 

CONSIDER, first, that fraternal charity is a love of sincere 
benevolence ; it seeks to procure and promote whatever may 
be for the real good of our neighbor; and it is to be kept alive 
in our souls by repeated acts of its own kind; by frequently 
exercising, in our neighbor's favor, not only the corporal, but 
olso the spiritual works of mercy, with a pure intention of the 
glory of God and their salvation; by lamenting their errors and 
vices; by earnestly praying for their conversion, and doing our 


endeavors to procure it. This is loving "not in word or in 
tongue, but in deed and truth," [1 John iii. 18.] 

Consider, secondly, that true charity loves our neighbors pre- 
cisely for God's sake in God, and in order to God. No car- 
nal, worldly, or natural affection, influenced by flesh and 
blood, or by any other consideration but God, can be called 
charity. Heathens and publicans often love and assist one 
another; and yet they are void of divine charity. Our love for 
our neighbor must tend ultimately to the glory of God, and their 
eternal good. This is true charity indeed. 

Consider, thirdly, that by the old commandment we are to 
love every neighbor as ourselves. But the gospel commands 
us to love every neighbor even as Christ has loved us, [John 
xiii. 34.] Have we ever seriously reflected upon the perfec- 
tion of the love which these rules require of us? how ten- 
der is the love we bear ourselves! how sensible of every thing 
we consider evil to us! Is the love of our neighbor any thing 
like this? Again, how tenderly has Christ our Saviour loved 
us! He has laid down his very life for the love of us, even 
while we were his enemies! Alas, how far are we from loving 
our neighbors as Christ has loved us! 

Conclude always to have your eye upon these two great rules 
of charity; and regulate your life as much as possible by them. 



On the different branches of fraternal charity. 

CONSIDER, first, the various offices of fraternal charity. It 
corrects the natural bent of our corruption, which is always in- 
clined to suspect, and judge the worst of our neighbors, and to 
be harsh and censorious in their regard. Charity inclines the 
will in their favor, so as to wish them well in all respects, and 
to forgive all injuries. It studies to promote their good and 
remedy their evils; and it restrains the tongue from uttering any 
words to their prejudice. In a wbid, it seasons and sweetens 
the whole body of our actions, and teaches us to do in all 
things, as we would be done by. 

Consider, secondly, that charity to the poor is so strongly en- 
forced by our Lord, that he has declared our eternal lot shall be 
decided by our diligence or negligence in this point, [Matt, 
xxv. ] What we do for them he takes as done for himself, [ v. 
43, 45.] What then will become of those, who having his ex- 
press orders to employ at least the superfluities of the riches 
entrusted in their hands, in relieving the necessities of his poor 
children, either covetously detain, or prodigally squander 


away, what he intended for their support. Alas! what a figure 
will their extravagance or their avarice make at the great day 
of retribution! 

Consider, thirdly, that hy the great rule of fraternal charity, 
we must also love our enemies. "I say to you," saith our Lord, 
[Matt. v. 44.] "love your enemies, do good to them that hate 
you, and pray for them that persecute and calumniate you." 
And he excludes from his mercy here, and from his kingdom 
hereaftrr, all those who exclude even their most implacaple 
enemies, from their charity. This perfection of charity must 
come down to us from heaven, from our celestial Father who 
maketh his sun to rise upon the good and on the bad, and rain- 
eth upon the just and the unjust : it must be obtained by fer- 
vent prayer. 

Conclude to exercise all these offices of charity, if you hope 
to enjoy God who is charity itself. 

On the great pattern of charity. 

CONSIDER, first, that Christ Jesus, our good Samaritan, came 
down in person from his throne above, to save poor man. He 
had unhappily fallen among the infernal robbers, and was 
stript by them of all grace, and greviously wounded in all his 
faculties. Jesus was also our good shepherd: he came to seek 
the lost sheep, and to rescue it from destruction. "By this 
hath the charity of God appeared towards us," [says the be- 
loved disciple] "because God hath sent his only begotten Son 
into the world, that we may live by him," [1 John iv. 9.] 

Consider, secondly, that the whole life of Christ was a con- 
tinual exercise of divine charity. From the first moment oi 
his conception till he expired upon the cross, his soul was 
constantly employed in loving his heavenly Father, and in 
studying to accomplish his holy will; and in consequence of 
the love he bore his Father, and because it was his will, he 
dedicated his whole life also to the love of us; ever thinking on 
us, praying for us. and laboring for our eternal salvation. 

Consider, thirdly, that the Son of God has carried his love 
for us beyond the bounds of death, and remains with us in the 
blessed sa rament, even to the end of the world. Here he 
nourishes our souls with his precious body and blood, and 
unites us to himself, in such a manner, as "to abide in us and 
we in him." And shall not so much charity on his part, oblige 
us also to dedicate our whole souls to divine charity? 

Conclude to learn from the example of your Redeemer, how 
to love both your God and your neighbor. 


The festivals of SS. George, Philip and James, and that of 
the finding of the Gross, generally falling between Easter and 
the Ascension, the meditations to be read on those days are 
placed here. 

APRIL 23. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. George was an illustrious martyr, 
a glorious saint. He was by profession a soldier. In 
quality of Christians we are all soldiers of Jesus Christ. In our 
baptism, we hare declared a perpetual war with the world, the 
flesh, and the devil, as the mortal enemies of thekiag of kings, 
mortal enemies of our true country, which is heaven; mortal 
enemies of our souls. Let us then, like St. George, fight man- 
fully the battles of our Lord, as becomes true Christian soldiers. 

Consider, secondly, that St. George chose rather to lay down 
his life, arid suffer the worst of torments, than to renounce 
Jesus Christ and his gospel. We must all make our way to 
heaven through many tribulations and persecutions, in one 
shape or other; and so far we are all obliged to be martyrs, 
that is witnesses, by our constancy to the faith and doctrine of 
Jesus. But, alas! how far are we in the practice of our lives, 
from giving our blood in this glorious cause j since we often 
yield to the slightest temptations! 

Consider, thirdly, that St. George was a great saint, even in 
a state of life seemingly the most remote from sanctity; to teach 
us, that holiness is found in every lawful calling; and that if 
we are not saints, the fault is ours for not corresponding with 
the grace of God. In all lawful callings we may love God and 
our neighbor; and the soldier who complies best with these 
great duties, is undoubtedly the greatest saint. 

Conclude to aim at this twofold charity with all your power; 
and He who crowned St. George, will also crown you. 

MAY 1. 

CONSIDER, first, that SS. Philip and James were both disci- 
ples of Christ, trained up in his heavenly school. They wer< 
festh called by Christ, readily left all things to follow him, an 
were both chosen to be his apostles. After zealously preach 
iag the faith, and converting numberless idolaters to God 


they both sealed their doctrine with their blood. Happy 
should we be, were we disposed to imitate their zeal and 

Consider, secondly, that St. Philip himself had no sooner 
found Christ, but he conducted also his friend Nathaniel to 
Christ. This was friendship indeed; this was true charity. 
Alas! how many engage their friends in a partnership of their 
errors and vices! but how very few are solicitous to conduct 
them effectually to Christ, and the love and service of Al- 
mighty God! How few endeavor to recall them from perdi- 

Consider, thirdly, that St. James was a person of great auster- 
ity of life, and a man of prayer. We are told, that by reason 
of his extraordinary sanctity, he alone was allowed to enter 
the inward sanctuary of the temple. But he enjoyed the still 
greater privilege of entering into the true sanctuary of God, 
and of conversing familiarly with him, by almost continual 
mental prayer. A privilege which we may all enjoy, as often 
as we please! 

Conclude to imitate these great saints by an ardent love of 
God; and they will receive you into eternal bliss. 

MAY 3. 

On the finding of the cross. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day the church of God celebrates 
the yearly memorial of the discovery of the cross, that sacred 
instrument of our redemption, sanctified by the Son of God. 
It had long lain deep buried in the earth, when the pious em- 
press St. Helen had the satisfaction to find it, together with 
the title, and the nails with which our blessed Saviour r s hands 
and feet had been pierced. This discovery of the cross of 
Christ was attended with miracles, to the greater glory of HIS 
name, who had humbled himself to the death of the cross for 
our redemption. It was by the cross he was "lifted up from 
the earth, end drew all things to himself." may he draw 
our hearts also, by this excess of his tender love. 

Consider, secondly, what ought to be our dispositions with 
regard to the cross. If we have not the corn-age to seek it, at 
least we must receive it when the hand of Providence presents 
it to s; and cheerfully follow HIM who redeemed us by the 
cross. Christians, assure yourselves you cannot go to heaven 
without your ciosa: we must suffer with Christ, if we wish, to 
reign with him. 

Consider, thirdly, that the cross of Christ is the school of aH 
Christian virtues. Here we learn to. imitate his perfect com- 


formity to the will of his Father, to practice his humility, by 
humbling ourselves under the hand of God; his meekness, his 
patience, his charity for his enemies, his obedience unto death; 
and are even taught to prefer the poverty, pain and ignominy 
of the cross, before all the riches, pleasures, and honors of 
this world. 

Conclude, if you would be a true disciple of Jesus, not to 
fly from the cross, nor be of the number of the unhappy 
Christians, whom the apostle reproaches as "enemies of the 
cross of Christ," by their inordinate attachments. 

On preparing the soul for the Holy Ghost. 

CONSID.ER, first, that on all our festivals we should enter in- 
to the spirit of the solemnity, by aiming, as much as possible, 
at the dispositions which best correspond with the mysteries 
we celebrate. Thus, while we are preparing to keep the 
solemn feast of Pentecost, the great object of our devotion 
should be to prepare our souls for the Holy Ghost, who on 
this day came down upon the first Christians; that so we also 
may be favored with his visit at this holy time, and plentifully 
partake of his choicest gifts and graces. 

Consider, secondly, in what manner the apostles prepared 
themselves for the Holy Ghost, (Acts i. 14.) "They were 
persevering," saith, the scripture, "with one mind in prayer." 
And, (Luke xxiv. 53.) "They were always in the temple, 
praising and blessing God." From the ascension of our Lord 
to Whitsunday, retired as much as might be from the hurry and 
distractions of a busy world, they attended in silence to God 
and religion; and as they were almost incessantly at prayer in 
the temple of God, the Holy Ghost was pleased to make their 
souls his temple and to dwell within them. Happy they who 
imitate their fervor. 

Consider, thirdly, that the surest way to bring the Holy 
Ghost into our souls, is to invite him thither by ardent desires 
and fervent prayer. Thus the apostles were honored with his 
visit: and the Word of God in many places assures vis, this is 
the way to arrive at all good. Our heavenly "Father will give 
his good spirit to all that ask him," (Luke xi. 13.) "I wish- 
ed," says the wise man, (Wisdom vii. 7.) "and understanding 
was given me: and I called upon God, and the spirit of wis- 
dom came upon me:" Come then, O Divine Spirit, into our 
longing souls, and bring with thee all thy heavenly treasures. 
Do thou prepare thyself a proper residence there, and take full 
possession of them for time and eternity. 


Conclude with using all the means in your power to engage 
this Divine Spirit to visit you, and to abide forever Avith you. 
He willingly comes to those who sincerely and heartily invite 


On the dispositions necessary for receiving the Holy Ghost. 

CONSIDER, first, that the soul which desires to receive the 
Holy Ghost, must first be purified from wilful sin. If any 
person of distinction were to honor us with a visit, we should 
doubtless be solicitous to remove from his sight whatever might 
offend his eyes: how much more careful ought we to be, when 
we aspire to the happiness of engaging the spirit of God to 
abide with us and in us, to remove far from us the filth of sin, 
infinitely odious in his eyes. Alas! all the while the soul is 
under the guilt of mortal sin, not removed by true repentance 
and a sincere conversion to God, she is the den of unclean 
spirits. And can she expect a visit from the Holy Ghost in 
such company as this? 

Consider, secondly, those words of the wise man, ''Wisdom 
will not enter into a malicious soul, nor dwell in a body sub- 
ject to sins," (Wisdom i. 4.) No: the spirit of God is the 
spirit of love, union, peace, and charity; and therefore, can 
never "enter into a malicious soul." He is the spirit of puri- 
ty, and therefore cannot dwell in a body subject to carnal 
sins. Banish then far from you all uncharitableness and ran- 
cor against your neighbor; all Avantonness and impurity, and 
every vice, if you hope to enjoy the presence of the Holy 
Ghost, and to partake of his heavenly consolation. 

Consider, thirdly, the opposition there is between the spirit 
of God, and the spirit of the world. For as the love of the 
world, and its friendship, is the great enemy of the love of 
God, (James iv. 4.) (1 John ii. 15;) and of sensual pleasures, 
even to idolatry; full of disorderly affections and vicious at- 
tachments. The spirit of God cannot endure such idols as 
these in his temple. 

Conclude absolutely to renounce your worldly affections, and 
whatever is an obstacle to the residence of the Holy Ghost 
within your soul. 



On the coming down of the Holy Ghost. 

CONSIDER, first, that on the feast of Pentecost when the dis- 
ciples were all assembled together, "suddenly there came a 
sound from heaven as of a mighty wind; and it filled the whole 
house where they were sitting. And there appeared to them 
parted tongues, as it were, of fire; and they were all filled with 
the Holy Ghost; and they began to speak witli divers tongues, 
according as the Holy Ghost gave them to speak," (Acts ii. 2, 
3,4.) Thus they received the promised Comforter, with all 
his gifts and graces, and were quite changed into other men. 
Weak and cowardly as they were before, they are now on a 
sudden firm and courageous, and boldly publish the faith and 
law of their crucified Saviour, to the conversion of thousands! 
heavenly Spirit how wonderful are thy operations! 

Consider, secondly, that the Holy Ghost came down upon 
the apostles in the shape of tongues; to signify that he came 
to make them fit preachers of his word, and to endow them 
with the gift of tongues, accompanied with heavenly wisdom 
and understanding of the mysteries of God, and all the truths 
of the gospel, to teach and publish throughout the world the 
faith and law of Christ. And these tongues were of fire; to 
signify how this divine Spirit inflames those souls in which he 
abides, with divine love. 

Consider, thirdly, that the coming of the Holy Ghost was 
not promised to the apostles only, and the first Christians; but 
was a blessing to be entailed on the people of God throughout 
all ages. "I Avill ask the Father; and he shall give you ano- 
ther Paraclete" (or comforter) "that he may abide Avith you 
for ever, the spirit of truth," (John xiv. 16, 17.) He was 
promised to be for ever with the pastors of God's church to 
guide them into all truth in points of doctrine; and to be for 
ever with the flock of Christ to guide them into all truth in 
their belief and practice. Christians, the Holy Ghost will 
come into your souls, no less really than he formerly did into 
those of the primitive disciples, if you remove the obstacles of 

Conclude with this humble address of the church to the 
Divine Spirit: "Come Holy Ghost, fill the hearts of thy faith- 
ful, and kindle in them the fire of thy love;" and repeat 
with fervor this inflamed petition. 



On the happiness of having the Holy Ghost in the soul. 

CONSIDER, first, how happy is the soul which possesses 
the Holy Ghost. He is called in scripture the Paraclete (or 
comforter and solicitor) from the consolations and graces whicEi 
he imparts to the soul, to sweeten all her crosses and labors in 
her mortal pilgrimage; and from his soliciting for her all 
necessary help, hy the spirit of prayer which he inspires. He 
is by excellence "the gift of the Most High:" for what can 
God give hotter than himself: "The living fountain, or the 
fountain of living water, springing up to everlasting life," 
which extinguishes the thirst of earthly enjoyments, and waters 
the soul with the streams of grace: and he is called afire, 
from the bright flames of love with which he inflames our 

Consider, secondly, the happy fruits which attend his sacred 
presence. (Gal. v. 22, 23.) 1. Charity, of~the love of God 
above all things, for his own infinite goodness; and the love 
of every neighbor, for his sake; which was so remarkable 
in the first Christians, that they had "hut one heart and one 
soul," (Actsiv. 32.) 2. Joy, from the testimony of a good 
conscience, and the experience of his sweetness 3. Peace, 
both with God, with our neighbor, and with ourselves; 
not granted to the wicked. 4. Patience, which makes our 
crosses light and easy. 5. Benignity or kindness, in reliev- 
ing the distressed. 6. Goodness, or a constant desire to do 
good to all. 7. Longanimity, or perseverence in overcoming 
evil with good. 8. Mildness, in restraining anger and over- 
looking injuries. 9. Fidelity ^oila. to God and our neighbors. 
10. Modesty, or moderation in all things. 11. Continency, 
in restraining all irregular inclinations. 12. Chastity, in 
keeping both soul and body free from the defilements of lust. 

Consider, thirdly, that as nothing can be move happy than 
to enjoy the presence of the Holy Ghost; so nothing can be 
more miserable than to be without him. Where the Spirit of 
God is not, there Satan is: and can there be a greater misery 
than to be possessed by Satan? "If any man has not the 
Spirit of Christ," says the apostle, (Rom. viii. 9.) "he is none 
of his," Whose, then, must he he? Ah, how true is that of 
the church in the hymn for Whitsuntide: "Without thy Deity 
all in man is sin!" 

Conclude to neglect nothing in your power, to engage the 
Holy Ghost to fix his abode in you, and remain with you for 
ever. He will bring along with him all good. 


On the gifts of the Holy Ghost. 

CONSIDER, first, what precious treasures the Spirit of God 
imparts to the soul, in which he chooses to abide. The pro- 
phet (Isaiah xi. 2, 3.) stiles him "the Spirit of wisdom and of 
understanding; the Spirit of counsel and of fortitude; the 
Spirit of knowledge and of godliness, and the fear of the Lord." 
O how precious indeed; how admirable are these gifts! What 
then is that wisdom which the Holy Ghost imparts? Not the 
wisdom of this world, which is downright folly in the 
sight of God, because it looks no farther than the transitory 
enjoyments of the present life. Not the wisdom of the phil- 
osophers, who study the secrets of Nature, but neglect to seek 
truth in its fountain, by the knowledge of GOD and of them- 
selves: but that wisdom which alone deserves this glorious 
name, and which consists in the contemplation and love of 
the divine perfections, and in all its researches has God con- 
tinually in view. 

Consider, secondly, how precious also is the gift of under- 
standing: it opens the eyes of the soul to the light of God; 
clearly discovers the emptiness of all temporal honors, riches, 
and pleasures; and convinces her, that nothing is truly great 
or worthy her affection, but that which is eternal. The gift of 
counsel points out the way to bliss, and warns us against the 
snares and artifices of our enemies: and the gift of fortitude, 
or heavenly courage, animates us to encounter all opposition 
from the world, the flesh and the devil, and renders us victori- 
ous in all our conflicts. Happy is the traveller who has such 
a guide, such a counsellor, such a powerful helper and pro- 

Consider, thirdly, that Itnowledge instructs the soul in every 
virtue and every duty, and in all her advances towards a happy 
eternity. Godliness or piety makes us quite in earnest in the 
service of God, and cheerfully observe his law. And lastly, 
the fear of the Lord, which the scripture calls "the begin- 
ning of wisdom," makes us more afraid of offending God, than 
any other evil whatever. Are any treasures upon earth com- 
parable to these? 

Conclude highly to value these heavenly gifts, the least of 
which is worth more than all the world can give; and beg them 
daily of the Holy Spirit, who is most willing to listen to your 



On the means of keeping the Holy Ghost in the soul. 

CONSIDER, first, that the soul which has been honored with 
a visit from the Holy Ghost, must endeavor to entertain him 
in a proper manner. For if she takes little notice of this 
heavenly guest, and quickly turns from him to attend to every 
idle and impertinent amusement; if she loves not frequently 
to converse with him by prayer, she will quickly lose him. 
He delights to be with them that delight to be with him; and 
expects a return of love. Therefore he withdraws himself from 
such souls as like not his company but give themselves up to 
wordly dissipation. Is not this too frequently our case, while 
we attend to every thing else but God. 

Consider, secondly, that as the Spirit of God will not dwell 
in a soiil that does not attend on him by recollection of thought, 
so neither will he dwell in a soul that does not serve him with 
"purity of heart." He will be sole master of the heart in 
which he chooses to reside: he will allow of no partner there. 
Christians, if then you pretend to have the happiness of being 
temples of the Holy Ghost, you must not admit of any idols in 
your souls. Iiet the object of your love be ever so innocent in it- 
self, it is then no longer innocent, when it divides our affections 
between itself and God, and is not loved with reference to him. 
It becomes then impure; it defiles then the heart; and excludes 
the spirit of God, who will not dwell in any but a clean heart. 

Consider, thirdly, that we must not only keep our soul, 
which is the spiritual temple of God, clean and undefiled; "for 
if any man violate the temple of God, him will God destroy," 
( 1 Cor. iii. 17; ) but we must also make it ' 'a house of prayer," 
as the house of God should be. Here we must frequently 
worship the "spirit of truth, in spirit and truth." We must 
employ all the three powers of the soul, the will, the memory, 
and the understanding, in frequently attending upon our God; 
and his worship should be constantly going forward in this his 
temple. This is the true way to make him abide with us for 

Conclude to follow these methods, in order to entertain and 
to fix in your soul this heavenly guest, who will be your re- 
ward to eternity, exceeding great. 


On the marks of the presence of the Holy Ghost. 

CONSIDER, first, that we may judge whether the Holy Ghost 
be in our soul, from his fruits. These are "charity, joy, 
peace, patience," &c. If we have none of these fruits, he is 
not with us. What then is our love of God and our neighbor? 
Is it constant and fervent, or but weak and languishing? Does 
it make us rejoice in the divine will, and our neighbor's spirit- 
ual good; or rather, are we not equally indifferent to our neigh- 
bor's interests and to those of religion! This would be a cer- 
tain proof that the Spirit of God has no place within our 

Consider, secondly, that there is an infinite opposition be- 
tween the Spirit of God and wilful sin. Is it then your con- 
stant and settled resolution, for no wordly honor, interest, or 
pleasure; for no fear or love; for nothing that the world can 
give or take, ever to commit a wilful sin, and transgress the 
holy law of God? If so, the Holy Ghost is with you: but if 
you are not thus determined, Satan, his mortal enemy, has 
possession of your soul. 

Consider, thirdly, that the Holy Ghost gives to the soul 
which he enlightens with his presence, a great sense of the 
enormity of sin, and of the multitude and greatness of her 
own sins in particular; and a sincere sorrow and repentance 
for them. He discovers many stains, where the soul perceiv- 
ed none, and humbles her exceedingly under her manifold 
guilt: he often convinces the soul of the justice of the Chris- 
tian dispensation, of the beauty of virtue, and of the pleasure 
and happiness of serving God in earnest. Again: the Holy 
Ghost convinces the soul of the wrong judgment she has hith- 
erto made in following the world and the prince of this world, 
who is already judged and condemned; and teaches her to 
rectify her former erroneous judgment of things, in order to a 
reformation of life; thus to escape the dreadful judgment of 
eternal death. 

Conclude to examine well, by such marks as these, whether 
the Spirit of God be with you or not. If not, lament your 
misery with tears of repentance: for he will not "despise a 
contrite heart." 


On the sacrament of confirmation. 

CONSIDER, first, that confirmation is a sacrament, by which 
the faithful, if duly disposed, receive the Holy Ghost, with his 
most precious gifts and graces, in order to make them strong 
and perfect Christians. The apostles were confirmed in a won- 
derful manner, by the visible descent of the Holy Ghost upon 
them, on Whitsunday; but the rest of the faithful were to be 
confirmed through their ministry, and that of their successors 
the bishops of God's church, by imposition of hands and 
prayer, (Acts viii. 15, 17, 18, and xix. 6.) Give thanks to our 
Lord for this sacred institution, by means of which he contin- 
ues in his church the mission of his Holy Spirit, and the com- 
munication of his graces. 

Consider, secondly, that by confirmation we are made sol- 
diers of Christ; we enlist ourselves under his banner, and re- 
ceive the sacred mark of his cross on our foreheads his sa- 
cred cross, which is the royal standard of all his troops. Here 
we engage to fight his battles against the world, the flesh, and 
the devil, and are furnished with proper arms for this glorious 
warfare. What then can we apprehend, having Christ for our 
captain, and his Holy Spirit for our guide, our strength, and 
our refuge? Eternal life is. promised to the conquerors. "Be 
thou faithful until death, and I will give thee the crown of 
life," (Apocal. ii. 10.) 

Consider, thirdly, that in the sacrament of confirmation, the 
soul is in a particular manner dedicated to God, to be the tem- 
ple of his Spirit. Christians, have you hitherto considered 
yourselves in this light? Have you reflected, that you were 
sanctified by the unction of the chrism, in the same manner 
as the altars and the temples of God are solemnly dedicated to 
his service? Remember, in future at least, that you are living 
"temples of the living God." 

Conclude to set a high value upon the grace of your confir- 
mation, and live up to the glorious character you there re- 
ceived, and as becomes the soldiers of Christ. 

On the obligations of our confirmation. 

CONSIDER, first, that confirmation imprints in the soul a 
character of spiritual mark, which implies a certain consecra- 
tion to the service of God, in quality of his soldier; as that of 
baptism marks us for the people of God, and that of holy orders 


for his ministers. Hence these three sacraments can be receiv- 
ed only once; because the character which they imprint, and 
which consecrates the soul to God, can never be forfeited. 
But then, these three sacraments bring with them a strict obli- 
. gation of living up to this character and consecration, which 
they impart to the soul. And confirmation, in particular, 
obliges us to observe the whole discipline of the soldiers of 
Jesus Christ, and rather to die than to go over to the enemy by 
any wilful sin, 

Consider, secondly, with what courage Christians ought to 
embrace all the labors and sufferings to which their spiritual 
warfare exposes them, especially as they fight under the stan- 
dard of so great a King, in his presence and company, and for 
so great a reward. But, alasJ the soldiers of this world will, 
I fear, rise up in judgment and condemn us, for having done 
and suffered so little in the warfare of Christ, compared with 
what they have done and suffered in the warfare of the world. 

Consider, thirdly, that what is once dedicated to God, can- 
not, without sacrilege be perverted to profane uses. Therefore, 
the soul which by the sacrament of confirmation has been con- 
secrated to God, is strictly obliged to be always devoted to his 
service, both in quality of his soldier, and of his temple. O 
remember, that the character which you have received in this 
sacrament, cannot be cancelled either in this world or in the 
world to come, and that it must be, to eternity, a mark of 
honor or reproach, according to the life you shall have led. 

Conclude always to bear in mind the sacred character of 
your confirmation, as well as that of your baptism, that you 
may live up to the obligations of them both. Be not terrified 
at the difficulties of this warfare:* the grace of God will not 
suffer you to be tempted above your strength, (1. Corinthians 
x. 13.) 

On tJte blessed Trinity, 

CONSIDER, first, that this principal mystery of the Christian 
faith, which we call the mystery of the blessed Trinity, or of 
three distinct persons in one God, is the great object 'of our 
worship at all times. Every Sunday in the year might be call- 
ed Trinity-Sunday; because every Sunday is set aside for the 
worship of this adorable Trinity, our Lord and our God. Yea 
all our time belongs to him. But this day is more particularly 

*The bishop in confirming you, gave you a blow on the cheek, to signify the ad- 
versities you were to sustain : but at the same time gave you God's peace, to show 
tnat Crou would be with you in them all, and would never abandon you 


appointed by the church, after the other great festivals relating; 
to our redemption and redemption by the three Divine Persons j 
in order to honor in a more particular manner this most sub^ 
lime mystery of our religion. 

Consider, secondly, that the Catholic doctrine of this niy&- 
tery is, that there is one true and living God and no more ; eter- 
nal, incomprehensible, alnaaghty and infinite in all. perfections* 
In this one God we believe three distinct persons, of the same 
substance and essence; perfectly equal in age, in power, in 
wisdom, in goodness, &c.: the Father, who proceeds from no- 
other; the Son, who proceeds from the Father by an- eternal 
and ineffable generation; and the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of 
God, who proceeds* eternally iron* the Father and the Son, 
We 1 believe, that these three are one, having all three the same 
godhead, that is the same divine nature. This is the Catholic 
belief of the most blessed Trinity, absolutely necessary to sal- 

Consider, thirdly, that our lives must also render proper 
homage to this adorable mystery. To be agreeable to the Trin- 
ity, we must be humble in mind and heart. "Heaven is my 
throne," saith the Lord, (Isai. Ixvi. 1, 2.) "and the earth my 
footstool. My hand made all these things, but*o whom shall 
I have respect, but to him that is poor, and little, and of a con- 
trite spirit j and that trembleth at my words?" 

Conclude to come daily before the throne of the eternal 
Trinity, with your best homage of faith, love, and humility. 
"Of him, and by him, and in him, are all things: to him be 
glory for ever: Amen,'' (Rom. xi. 36.) 

On the figures of the blessed Eucharist. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Old Testament was a figure of the 
New; and all the most remarkable events there recorded by 
the Spirit of God, have a prophetic relation to Christ, and his 
church of the New Testament. Thus the deliverance of the 
children of Israel from their Egyptian slavery, was a figure of 
.he redemption of man by Christ, from the bondage of Satan 
and sin; and the means then appointed to be used as a prepa- 
ration for that deliverance, were a figure of what was to be 
done by our Redeemer, for the deliverance of all mankind 
from a far worse slavery. 

Consider, secondly, that the children of Israel, the night be- 
fore their going out of Egypt, were commanded, ( Exodus xii. ) 
in all their families to offer in sacrifice an unspotted lamb, and 
to sprinkle their door-posts with its blood, as a sign for the 


destroying angel, who slew that night all the first-born of 
Egypt, to pass by their houses. They were to eat the flesh of 
the lamb that same night with unleavened bread, in readiness 
immediately to take their journey. This unspotted lamb, first 
offered in sacrifice, and then eaten in a sacred and mysterious 
sign or sacrament, was a lively figure of Jesus Christ, the true 
lamb of God, offered up in sacrifice for our redemption; with 
the sprinkling of whose blood our souls are_ rescued from the 
power of Satan, and from the second death. We are com- 
manded to eat his sacred flesh in the divine mysteries, as an 
earnest of the share we have in him and his sacrifice; as a 
mean of conveying grace to our souls; a pledge of our eternal 
happiness, and a preparation and viaticum for our journey out 
of the Egypt of this world, to the true land of promise, our 
heavenly country. 

Consider, thirdly, that the paschal lamb was to be eaten with 
unleaved bread and wild lettuce; to signify the dispositions 
with which we ought to come to the christin passover. Christ 
is now ottr paschal lamb. "Therefore," says the apostle, (1 
Cor. v. 8.) "let us feast, not with the old leaven of malice and 
wickedness; but with the unleavened bread of sincerity and 
truth." Purity of intention, and a sincere desire of pleasing 
(rod alone, are signified by the unleavened bread; and by the 
wild lettuce is meant true repentance and sorrow for our sins, 
which has in it a wholesome bitterness. It was ordered that, 
in eating the paschal lamb they should have their loins girt, 
their shoes on their feet, and their staves in their hands. 
Hence, if we would worthily approach the lamb of God in the 
sacred mysteries, we must gird up the loins of our soul, by 
restraining our passions and lusts; have our feet, that is, the 
affections of our soul "shod with the preparation of the gospel 
of peace," (Eph. vi. 15.) that is, with a readiness of heart al- 
ways to follow the rules of the gospel, the only way to true 
peace; and hold our staves in our hands like pilgrims and tra- 
vellers, hastening to our true country. 

Conclude to frequent henceforward, with the utmost devo- 
tion and preparation, the great Christian passover of the most 
blessed Eucharist. 

On the manna and the bread of Elias. 

CONSIDER, first, that the manna with which God fed the 
children of Israel for forty years in the Avilderness, (Ps. Ixxvii. ) 
was another figure of the blessed Eucharist. "Moses did not 
give you bread from heaven," says our Lord to the Jews, (John 


vi.) for the manna came down only from the clouds "but 
my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. I am the 
living bread which came down from heaven. If any man eat 
of this bread he shall live forever: and the bread which I will 
give is my flesh for the life of the world. As the living Fath- 
er hath sent me, the same also shall live by me. This is the 
bread that came down from heaven; not as your fathers did eat 
manna, and are dead. He that eateth this bread shall live for 
ever," (vers. 32, 51, 52, &c.) 

Consider, secondly, that as the manna supported the people 
of God for forty years in the wilderness, but was no longer 
given when they were arrived at the land of promise; so the 
bread of the blessed Eucharist, is to be the food, nourishment, 
strength, and life of our souls, during our mortal pilgrimage 
through the wilderness of this world; till we come to the true 
land of promise. Here we shall see face to face, and fully en- 
joy life and truth itself, for all eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, that this heavenly food was prefigured also 
by the hearth-cake, with which the prophet Elias was fed by 
an angel, in the Avilderness, while he fled from the persecution 
of Jezabel, (iii Kings xix. ) In the strength of which he Walk- 
ed forty days and forty nights unto the mount of God Horeb, 
(v. 8. ) Here he was favored with the vision of the Deity, as 
far as man is capable of in this life. We also, must flee from 
the contagion of a wicked world, as from the impious Jezabel; 
and we stand in need of the bread of heaven to support us on 
our way to the mountain of God. For we have "yet a great 
way to go," as the angel said to Elias, before we arrive at this 
mountain of eternity. 

Conclude to seek this heavenly bread, which is to support 
you during your mortal pilgrimage, in recollection of mind, 
and spiritual retirement from the hurry of dissipation and 
worldly pursuits. 


On other figures of the blessed Eucharist. 

CONSIDER, first, that the sacrifice of Melchisedec, (Gen. 
xiv. 18. ) in bread and wine, was another figure of the sacri- 
fice and sacrament of the body and blood of Christ in the 
Eucharist: and Melchisedec himself, and his priesthood was 
an illustrious figure of Christ and his eternal priesthood ; as 
we learn from the Psalmist and St. Paul, (Ps. cix. 4, and Heb. 
vii.) Likewise in the law of Moses, all those sacrifices com- 
monly called peace-offerings, in which both the priests and 


the people partook of the victim, were also figures of Christ 
sacrificed for us, and received by us. 

Consider, secondly, that God appointed twelve loaves, call- 
ed the "holy bread" and the "loaves of proposition," made of 
fine flour, to stand always in his temple before the veil of the 
inward sanctuary; placed there upon a table for that purpose, 
overlaid with gold, "for a memorial of the oblation of the 
Lord, by an everlasting covenant, [Levit. xxiv. 5, &c.J They 
were a figure of that solemn offering to be afterwards daily 
made under the form of bread, with the greatest devotion, in 
the Church of Christ. 

Consider, thirdly, that the tree of life planted in the midst 
of the earthly paradise, [Gen. ii. 9.] was also a figure of the 
blessed sacrament. If sin had not banished us from that happy 
abode, we should have been maintained by its fruit in constant 
health, and have never died. Thus the holy sacrament pre- 
serves the soul in constant health, and will one day bring her 
to the enjoyment of a happy immortality. 

Conclude, from all these ancient figures, so noble and ex- 
pressive, to raise your thoughts and hearts above this earth and 
all that is earthly, in the use of this heavenly sacrament. 

On the institution of the, blessed Eucharist. 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord, when "his hour was now 
come that he should pass out of this world to the Father, hav- 
ing loved his own who were in the world," says the beloved 
disciple, [John xiii. 1.] "loved them unto the end;" and gave 
them, in the last stage of his life, the most evident tokens of 
his boundless love, both by his sufferings, and also by the in- 
stitution of the blessed eucharist, in which "we might abide in 
him and he in us," [John vi. 57.] to the end of time! how 
wonderful and endearing are the ways of his divine love! 

Consider, secondly, that in this sacred legacy is contained 
an inexhausted source of divine grace; the living bread, the 
remedy of all our evils, the manna of heaven, the most power- 
ful medicine for all our diseases, the sovereign antidote against 
the poison of the infernal serpent; the comfort of our banish- 
ment, the great sacrifice and sacrament of the New Testament; 
spirit, truth, and life itself: in a Avord, so rich a present, that 
heaven can give us nothing greater. 

Consider, thirdly, that our dear Redeemer had no other mo- 
tive in communicating himself in this wonderful manner to us, 
his unworthy creatures, than his own pure goodness: that thus 
he might be always with us; for his delight is to be with the 


children of men, in order to show forth in us the riches of his 
bounty. ye heavens, he astonished at this effort of divine 
benificence, and at the base ingratitude of men, in making so 
wretched a return! 

Conclude, to be ever thankful for this unspeakable benefit of 
the institution of the blessed sacrament and sacrifice of the al- 
tar; and celebrate, with the Catholic Church, the memory of 
it, in the most grateful manner possible. 


On the mysteries Contained, in the blessed Eucharist. 

CONSIDER, first, that the blessed Eucharist, being the most 
excellent of all the sacraments, contains more and greater mys- 
teries than any of the rest. In it our Lord gives himself to us 
in quality of ova food; that as sin, and death, and all our mis- 
eries came to us originally by eating the forbidden fruit ; so 
grace, and life, and all our good, may come to us by eating of 
this life-giving bread, which he has commanded us to eat. 
His body having all the qualities of bread in regard to our 
souls, this form is the most proper to express that true living 
bread which it contains; namely, the true and real body of 
Christ, "which eame down from heaven for the life of the 
world," [John vi.] It also admirably expresses the mystical 
body of Christ, which is his church, and the union of concord 
and charity of all its true members. "We being many, are 
one bread, one body; all that partake of one bread," [1 Cor. 
x. 17.] 

Consider, secondly, that by the separate consecration of the 
bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ, the true 
Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world, presents 
himself to his Father upon our altars, under the figure of death; 
that is, under the sacramental veils, which represent his body 
delivered up and slain, and his blood shed for us. Thus the 
whole passion and death of Christ is solemnly exhibited by 
himself in person, and is shown forth in such a manner, as 
not only to be renewed in our remembrance, but also to bring 
forth in us the fruit of life. 

Consider, thirdly, that by partaking of the body and blood 
of Christ, we have an assurance of sharing in his redemption, 
and in the sacrifice of his cross. We are mystically incorpor- 
ated with him, and partake of his spirit. We are admitted to 
drink of that blood, which is the seal of the new covenant," 
importing the remission of our sins, and all graces and bless- 
ings, through his death. In a word, we receive a most certain 
pledge of a happy resurrection and everlasting life, from HIM 


who thus lovingly gives himself to us, even in this place of 

Conclude, always to approach with great reverence and love, 
to these mysteries, so full of majesty and of love. 



Of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the blessed 


CONSIDER, first, that the real presence of the body and blood 
of Jesus Christ is taught expressly, both by holy scripture, and 
by the Church of God against which "the gates of HELL shall 
not prevail," [Matt. xvi. 18.] Upon these two pillars of 
truth, the word of God and the Church of God, the humble 
and faithful Christian rests secure. He knows that the Al- 
mighty can do infinitely more than man can comprehend, and 
that his love for us is boundless: and this abundantly suffices. 

Consider, secondly, that our most merciful Lord came down 
from heaven to carry us up to heaven, and to make us partak 
ers of his divinity. He offered up his flesh and blood in sacri- 
fice for us upon the cross; and he gives us in this holy sacra- 
ment, verily and indeed, the same flesh and blood, to be our 
food, our comfort and support in this life ; and will give HIM- 
SELF to us for all eternity, hereafter! What can he do more 
to testify his love? 

Consider, thirdly, with what sentiments of the most profound 
humility, and of fear when we call to mind our sins and un- 
worthiness; of sorrow and contrition; of gratitude and love, 
ought we to approach the heavenly mysteries! To think, that 
the Lord of Glory, in whose sight thojj^avens are not clean, 
and who cannot endure iniquity, shouIcTnevertheless vouchsafe 
to visit us, and lovingly to give himself to us in this most bless- 
ed sacrament, requiring only in return, that we shotild love 
him with our whole heart, and be sorry for our offences. 

Conclude, to admire and adore his infinite goodness and love ; 
and endeavor by a lively faith to raise in your soul the same af- 
fections, which you would have if you saw him with your mor- 
tal eyes. 



On Christ's inviting us to this heavenly banquet. 

CONSIDER, first, the words of the parable of this day's gos- 
pel, "a certain man made a great supper, and invited many,'* 
[Luke xiv. 16.] This man is no other than the Son of God; 
and he invites to this great supper all the faithful, in the most 
loving manner. "Come to me all ye that labor and are bur- 
dened; and I will refresh you,'" [Matt. xi. 28.] Christians, 
we all labor and lie under many and very heavy burdens, from 
the sins and miseries to which we are here exposed; and can 
expect relief from none but Christ. 

Consiider, secondly, how much our Lord is offended by all 
those who reject this loving invitation. He has prepared this 
feast out of pure love: he desires, out of pure love, to impart 
himself and all his precious gifts to us; and therefore justly re- 
sents our contempt of his goodness; our preferring the farm, 
the oxen, the wife; in a word, the world, and the things of the 
world, before him and his heavenly banquet. 

Consider, thirdly, that by neglecting to receive the blessed 
sacrament, we not only neglect his invitation, and slight his 
love; but also break through his ordinance, and violate his 
commandment. He himself assures us, that without this hea- 
venly food we "shall not have life in us," [John vi. 54.] and, 
as we should be guilty of self-murder by refusing necessary 
sustenance to our body; so should we be guilty of murdering 
our soul, by refusing it its life-giving support. 

Conclude with a resolution frequently and worthily to re- 
ceive the holy communion. It is called our daily bread in 
that prayer which our Lurd himself has taught us. Oh! that, 
like the ancient Christians, we were worthy to partake daily of 
this heavenly food. 



On the excellent fruits of this divine banquet. 

CONSIDER, first, that in all the sacraments, but particularly 
in this [for it contains the very source itself] the worthy receiv- 
er partakes plentifully of divine grace. This is that "bread 
which strengthens the heart of man:" [Psalms ciii. 15.] it 
gives us force against all temptations: it weakens our passions; 
it enables us to improve daily in virtue, and to run forward 
with alacrity in the way of all the divine commandments, till 
we arrive at the very perfection of a Christian life. 


Consider, secondly, that this heavenly sacrament tends, in a 
particular manner, to unite us by a "union of love" with our 
sovereign good, and to transform us into Christ himself. "He 
c:that eateth my flesh and drinketh my blood; abideth in me, and 
- 1 in Mia. As the living Father hath sent me, and Hive by the 
:;, father; so he that eateth me, the same also shall live by me." 
'The corporeal food which we take is changed into our corpor- 
al substance; whereas this spiritual food is not changed into 
us, but by its heavenly flame it sets our souls on fire, and trans- 
forms us into itself! 

Consider, thirdly, that the best disposition for this happy 
change and blessed union of love, is to approach to this divine 
sacrament with an entire submission and resignation of our- 
selves, and of our whole being, into the hands of him, whom 
we desire to receive. If we wish this perfect union to take 
place between our souls and our Beloved, we must surrender 
all to Him: we cannot otherwise be his true disciples, but by 
resigning ourselves with all our affections to his divine plea- 

Conclude to give all for all, if you hope to relish the fruits 
of this heavenly sacrament. 


On the dispositions required to receive worthily. 

CONSIDER, first, those words of St. Paul, (1 Cor. xi. 28.) 
"Let a man prove himself;" that is, let him look well into the 
state of his conscience, and rectify his whole interior, and "so 
eat of that bread;" lest, by approaching unworthily, he be 
"guilty of the body and blood of the Lord," (verse 27;) and 
receive judgment and condemnation, "not discerning the body 
of the Lord," (verse 29.) 

Consider, secondly , that it is a most grievous sacrilege to pro- 
fane this most holy of all the sacraments, by approaching it 
under the guilt of mortal sin. A soul under this dreadful guilt 
is possessed by devils. The unworthy communicant, there- 
fore, introduces the Lord of Glory into a den of unclean spir- 
its. Ah! what floods of tears would be required to expiate so 
great a guilt! 

Consider, thirdly, that we ought not to conteat ourselves 
with merely being pure from mortal sin, but should also, as 
much as possible, lay aside all affection to venial sins, and all 
habits of such sin, which very much diminish the grace of this 
divine sacrament. Ah, Christians! could we but see those 
spots, those stains, that leprosy highly offensive to God, of 
anger, impatience, curiosity, vanity, and the like, we should' 


be sensible how much they disqualify us for the embraces of oil? 
heavenly spouse. 

Conclude, to approach the holy sacrament with purity of 
conscience, at least from all known and deliberate sin, and 
from all inordinate affections and you will not fail to be a 
welcome guest. 



On devotion before communion. 

CONSIDER, first, that the ground-work of our preparation for 
communion, must be a lively faith, and a serious consideration 
of what we are about; who it is we are to receive; how great 
and glorious, how pure and holy! And who we are, that are 
going to receive him; how wretched, poor, and miserable! 
This consideration -must be accompanied with earnest prayer. 
Consider, secondly, that a most profound humility and awful 
reverence for these sacred mysteries, must be a part of our pre- 
paration. How ought we to annihilate ourselves in the sight 
of this great Lord and Maker of heaven and earth! How ought 
we to tremble by reason of our manifold offences and unwor- 
thiness. But this fear must be qualified with an humble confi- 
dence in his goodness and mercy. 

Consider, thirdly, that as nothing but pure love brings our 
Lord to us in this divine sacrament; so, what he principally 
expects from us, when we approach to Mm, is a return of love. 
In whatever light we consider these sacred mysteries, all things 
in them call for our love. Can we then remain cold, when we 
approach to so great a fire? Can we see so much love on the 
part of our Lord, and not be inflamed with a desire of loving 
him with all our power? 

Conclude to exercise yourself before communion, in acts oi 
faith, reverence, and humility; in acts of hope and divine love, 
with the deepest sense of your Saviour's infinite bounty and 

Qn devotion after communion. 

CONSIDER, first, that devotion is not less necessary after 
than before communion. The happy moments, during whicl 
the soul has really present with her 'our blessed Saviour, both ii 


his divine and human nature, must be well employed. It 
would be a gross affront to the King of heaven, after receiving 
him into our own poor lodging, to take no farther notice of his 
gracious presence. The very meanest of our friends would 
resent such ill usage. Alas! May not this be the true cause 
why you reap so little fruit from your frequent communions; 
which otherwise might long ago have made you a saint? 

Consider, that devotion after communion is exercised by acts 
of faith, hope, and love. 1. By a lively faith of all divine 
mysteries, especially of the actual presence of Christ in our 
souls to enrich them with his graces: 2. by a firm hope in his 
infinite goodness, which disdains not to visit us in this sacra- 
ment of love: 3. by an ardent charity, aspiring with all affec- 
tion to an eternal union with our Beloved. But all this ought 
to be accompanied with a lively sense of our un-worthiness. 

Consider, thirdly, that the soul must also offer herself and 
all she possesses, without reserve, into his hands, to be for- 
ever his. In a word, she must remember that she is now be- 
fore the throne of grace, and that the Lord whom she has with 
her, is himself the fountain of divine grace; and therefore she 
must lay before him all her wants, and those of the whole 
church, with an humble confidence of redress. 

Conclude to entertain your Saviour in this manner, as often 
as you receive him in the divine mysteries; and take care to be 
more than ordinarily recollected the whole day following, and 
more upon your guard against all sin. 

When the Octave of Corpus Christi falls before the thirteenth 
of June; the meditations wanting in this place, must be sup- 
plied from those omitted in February on account of Lent. 

JUNE 14. 
Of the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice. 

CONSIDER, first, that sacrifice is a sovereign act of religion 
due to God alone, as the sovereign Lord of all things, and the 
absolute Master of life and death. The children of God from 
the beginning offered sacrifices to him in their solemn worship, 
when they met to pay to him their homage and adoration. In 
the old law a great variety of these sacrifices was prescribed, 
all of them figures only, and imperfect shadows of the great 
sacrifice of the law of grace, which we celebrate in the blessed 
Eucharist: a sacrifice in which the Son of God himself is both 
priest and victim. 

Consider, secondly, that the ancient sacrifices being but fig- 
ures, have given way to the reality, that is to the new sacrifice 


of Christ's institution; which is no other than that of his own 
body and blood., once exhibited in a bloody manner upon the 
altar of the cross; daily, to the end of the world, in an un- 
bloody manner, on our altars, under the forms of bread and 
wine, agreeably to the priesthood and sacrifice of Melchise- 
deck who offered in bread and wine, (Gen. xiv. 18.) And 
this new sacrifice of the Christian church: this clean offering 
to be " offered in every place among the Gentiles," is foretold by 
the prophet Malachy, (i. 11.) and accepted by the Lord, who 
declares he will receive no more of the Jewish sacrifices, (v. 


Consider, thirdly, that this great sacrifice of the Eucharist 

essentially consists in the consecration or change of the bread 
and wine, into the body and blood of Christ; and in the offer- 
ing of the same body and blood to God, by the ministry of the 
priest, as a perpetual memorial of the sacrifice of the cross, 
and a continuation of it to the end of the world, for all the 
ends and intentions of sacrifice. Not as if there were any in- 
sufficiency in his sacrifice of the cross, by which he complete- 
ly redeemed us; but that we might thus have a standing me- 
morial of our redemption, a daily mean of applying the fruit of 
it to our souls, and a daily communion with one another and 
with our great high priest and victim Christ Jesus; till we 
come to God with him arid through him. 

Conclude, daily to frequent, at least in spirit, this great mean 
of salvation, prepared for us in the Eucharistic sacrifice. 

JUNE 15. 
On the excellence of the Eucharistic sacrifice. 

CONSIDER, first, that the excellence and dignity of a sacri- 
fice, is to be estimated by the excellence and dignity of the 
victim offered, of the priest who makes the offering, and of the 
ends for which it is made. All these are in the highest degree 
excellent in the sacrifice of the blessed Eucharist, which in 
substance is the same with that offered by the Son of God him- 
self upon the cross; because both the victim is the same, and 
the chief priest is the same: and both the one and the other 
answer the same ends, though in a different manner. 

Consider, secondly, that the Son of God, in this adorable 
sacrifice, presents himself attended by his heavenly host, as 
the high priest of heaven and earth, and solemnly offers his 
body as slain, and his blood as shed; a sacrifice of soverign 
adoration and homage to God on high; of general thanksgiv- 
ing for our creation, our preservation, our redemption, &c., for 
his own great glory, and for the whole church of heaven and 


earth: of general propitiation for the sins of the living and 
the dead; and lastly of supplication for his \vhole family; that 
is, for his whole church, hoth pastors and people; that all 
graces and blessings may be derived to their souls from the 
fountains of their common Saviour. 

Consider, thirdly, that in this divine sacrifice we present 
ourselves at the altar of God, before the throne of his mercy, 
with Jesus Christ his Son at our head, and in the society of his 
family the whole people of God, wherever they are, (for this 
sacrifice is offered by Jesus Christ in the name of them all. ) 
By the hands of this our high-priest, and with the concurrence 
of his whole church, we here offer to God the most acceptable 
victim that can be presented to his Divine Majesty; the most 
agreeable adoration and thanksgiving; the most powerful atone- 
ment for sin, and the most effectual mean to obtain all graces 
and blessings. 

Conclude, with the most lively devotion to join with the 
principal offerer Jesus Christ, and with his whole church., ac- 
cording to all these sublime ends of sacrifice. 

JUNE 16. 

On the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice- of adoration 

and praise. 

CONSIDER, first, the obligation incumbent on man, as a rea- 
sonable creature made by God and for God, to present his 
homage of adoration, praise, and glory, to his Maker. For 
this reason sacrifices were offered from the beginning, to the 
Deity: for this reason the psalms were composed by divine 
inspiration, and appointed to be sung (accompanied with mu- 
sical instruments) to the praise and glory of God, while the 
sacrifices were offered at his temple. 

Consider, secondly, that as there is no proportion between a 
finite being and that which is infinite, therefore the whole crea- 
tion, compared to God, is less than a grain of chaff compared 
with an earthly monarch, or even with the whole universe. 
How mean, then, is all that man can offer of his own! how 
unworthy, and inadequate of itself, to be made a sacrifice of 
adoration and praise to the Divine Majesty! Infinitely there- 
fore are we obliged to the Son of God, for having furnished us, 
by the institution of the blessed Eucharist, with a sacrifice of 
adoration, praise, and glory worthy of God, through which 
alone the ancient sacrifices were acceptable. 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord, expiring upon the cross in 
obedience to his Father's will, offered himself in such manner, 
that his death is both a sin offering, or a sacrifice of propitia 


tion for the sins of the world, and also of the nature of a buYnt 
offering, (in which the whole victim was given to God with- 
out reserve, ) or a sacrifice of adoration and glory. And, as in 
the blessed Eucharist, Christ himself personally celebrates his 
own death, and offers the same sacrifice in substance, with that 
of the cross; so we have here the same adoration, homage and 
praise, offered by Christ as high-priest of God and man, to his 
heavenly Father: and thus, by joining with him, we are en- 
abled to offer daily an homage and adoration of infinite value. 
Conclude with admiration of the infinite power, wisdom and 
goodness of God, in the institution of this divine sacrifice; and 
assist at it with all possible devotion. 

JUNE 17. 
On the Eucharist as it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving. 

CONSIDER, first, that we owe to God infinite thanks for 
his boundless favors; namely, our creation, our redemption, our 
preservation, our vocation to the Cotholic faith, and his other 
numberless benefits; but, above all, that eternal free love of 
his, which is the source of all his benefits. And what have 
we of our own stock with which to cancel this immense debt 1 ? 

Consider, secondly, that none but the Son of God could of- 
fer for us a worthy thanksgiving to his Father. This sacrifice 
of thanks he actually offered once upon the cross, and now of- 
fers daily in the Eucharist, upon a million of altars throughout 
the world ; and in this offering he expects his whole family oi 
heaven and earth should join; that with him and through him 
they may daily make a due return for all the divine blessings, 
conferred upon his sacred humanity, and upon them. 

Consider, thirdly, that, besides the special favors which each 
one in particular has received, we are to thank God in the 
sacrifice of the blessed Eucharist, for his own great glory man- 
ifested in all his works, especially in that of our redemption; foi 
the incarnation and birth of Ms Son his life, his death, his 
miracles, liis resurrection and ascension; likewise for all the 
benefits, conferred or to be conferred through him, upon our- 
selves and upon his church, both militant, triumphant, and pa- 

Conclude thus daily to unite your intentions with those o: 
Jesus Christ, in this most holy sacrifice; and you will offer s 
thanksgiving worthy of God. 


JUNE 18. 

On the bleastd Eucharist, as it is a sacrifice of pro- 

COBTSIDEK, first, that the sacrifice of the body and blood of 
Christ is also a sin offering, or a sacrifice of propitiation, for 
obtaining mercy and pardon for our sins. For this end did the 
Son of God take a body aad blood; substituting this new vic- 
tim of infinite value, instead of those of the old law, which of 
themselves were of no effect towards the expiation of sin. 
Without this blood of the new testament, once shed upon the 
cxoss, and daily in a mystical sense upon our altars, man had 
been lost without recovery. 

Consider secondly, what an advantage it is to our souls, to 
have here daily celebrated amongst us this propitiatory sacri- 
fice. What sinner can despair (if like the prodigal son he de- 
sires to return home to his true Father) when he sees here be- 
fore him, bleeding as it were upon the altar, the victim by 
whose blood all our sins were cancelled? When he sees the 
great high-priest of God and man offering himself a sacrifice 
for the remission of our sins? "Let us go therefore with con- 
fidence to this throne of grace; that we may obtain mercy, and 
find grace in seasonable aid," (Heb. iv. 16.) 

Consider, thirdly, how great is our debt to divine justice for 
our numberless sins! Alas! neither holocausts, nor thous- 
ands of rams, nor yet our own blood could expiate our guilt. 
The blood of Christ alone can do it: and with this we kneel 
before the Most High, when we assist at the sacrifice of the 
altar. This blood is here applied to our souls; and we are au- 
thorised to join in this sacred act, all in a body, with our great 
advocate and Mediator at our head, to plead for mercy through 
this same blood, not for ourselves alone, but also for our 
brethren both living and dead. 

Conclude, to embrace this great mean of obtaining mercy 
and grace, by assisting daily, if in your power, at the propitia- 
tory sacrifice, with a contrite and humble heart. 

JUNE 19. 

On the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice of prayer and 


CONSIDER, first, that this sacrifice of the new law answers 
also most perfectly the intention of the ancient peace offerings, 
being offered up in order to obtain all graces and blessings 
from God, through the blood of our Redeemer. "No one can 


come to the Father but by him," (John xvi. 6.) In this holy 
sacrifice we approach to God hoth by and with him, as our 
priest and as our victim. How wholesome, then, must this 
sacrifice of supplication be to all Christian people, in which 
we not only ask in the name of Jesus Christ, but come with 
his sacred blood before the throne of grace; and in which he 
himself pleads for us in person. 

Consider, secondly, that of ourselves we can do nothing: 
we can neither believe, hope, love, nor repent, nor make so 
much as one step towards our justification or salvation, with- 
out the help of Heaven. We are truly "wretched, and miser- 
able, and poor, and blind, and naked," of ourselves: but in 
this sacrifice we have an inexhausted fund of grace, to answer 
all our necessities and to redress all our miseries. 

Consider, thirdly, that in this sacrifice of supplication and 
prayer, we are not to ask for ourselves alone; but we are au- 
thorised to put up our petitions (with Jesus Christ our great 
high-priest and the mediator between God and man) for the 
whole church and for the salvation of all mankind; that all in- 
fidels, heretics and sinners, maybe converted, abuses correct- 
ed, and vicious habits reformed; that we may be preserved 
from public and from private calamities; and that, "being de- 
livered from the hands of our enemies, we may serve God 
without fear, in holiness and justice before him, all our days." 

Conclude to spend to the best advantage, these favorable mo- 
ments when you assist at this most holy sacrifice, the fountain's 
head of divine grace. 

JUNE 20. 
On devotion towards the holy sacrifice. 

COKSII>ER, first, that profound respect, with which the peo- 
ple of God, in ancient times, reverenced the sanctuary, in 
which was deposited tlie ark of the covenant. None but the 
high-priest (and he but once a year) was allowed to enter 
within the veil. J3ow much more profoundly ought you to 
reverence this true sanctuary of God, and the Lord of the cov- 
enant himself, present in our tremendous mysteries!: 

Consider, secondly, that Jesus Christ here officiates in per- 
son, and acts, as in a sacred tragedy, his whole passion and 
death. Had we been present with a true belief in him, 'wheiz 
Ike was offering upon the cross the sacrifice of our redemption', 
with what sentiments of love and gratitude, with what deep 
sense of sorrow ani repentance for our sins, should we have 
then attended! With the like sentiments should we assist at 


this divine sacrifice, the same in substance, "with the sacrifice 
of the cross, though different in the manner of offering. 

Consider, thirdly, that in this sacred action we must also 
present to God the Father, his beloved Son slain for us, and 
his precious blood poured out for our salvation; and we must 
offer ourselves also to him, with the whole church, which is 
the mystical body of his Son, by his hands, and in union with 
the offering which Christ our head makes of himself. We 
must likewise join our intentions with his, as he is our chief 
priest and principal offerer, and with those of the whole peo- 
ple of God of adoration, praise and thanksgiving, and of sup- 
plication for ourselves and all mankind. Thus the whole 
church daily joins with Jesus Christ, her glorious spouse. 

Conclude to assist, as often as possible, at this great sacri- 
fice, with the same fervor as if you were attending your Saviour 
on Mount Calvary. 

JUNE 21. 
On a spiritual communion. 

CONSIDER, first, that all the assistants ought to join with the 
priest, and with Jesus Christ, in offering this great sacrifice, 
for all the four ends of sacrifice. It were to be wished, they 
would also join with the priest in the communion, by commu- 
nicating at least spiritually as often as they hear mass. A 
spiritual communion made with proper devotion, brings Jesus 
Christ into our souls in spirit, and confers upon us plentiful 
graces, though we do not actually receive the sacrament. 

Consider, secondly, that as Jesus Christ will not unite him- 
self to a soul in which Satan dwells, in order to make this 
spiritual communion with fruit, we must, in the first place, be 
in the state of grace; moreover, we must invite him into our 
souls by a lively faith of his real presence upon our altars; an 
ardent desire of this bread of life; profound humility, and in- 
flamed affections of love. 

Consider, thirdly, that we may make a spiritual communion 
with advantage, not only when we assist aithe sacrifice of the 
altar, but at any time or moment of the day or night, by the 
exercise just mentioned: only give yourself at all times to your 
true lover; and he will not fail to communicate himself to you. 
"What can you desire better, than thus to enjoy at all times the 
most gracious company of your Lord? 

Conclude to repeat this exercise every day of your life, and 
often in the day; the oftener the better. 


JUNE 22. 
On the sacrament of penance. 

CONSIDER, first, that the infinite goodness of God, pitying 
our great frailty, instituted the sacrament of penance for the 
forgiveness of the sins to which we are liable after baptism] as 
a plank by which we may still escape, after the shipwreck of 
mortal sin, to the shore of eternal life. Embrace, O Christian, 
this infinite goodness of your God. Alas! what must have be- 
come of you, after so many sins, if he had not ordained for you 
this wholesome remedy! 

Consider, secondly, that Jesus Christ, to whom "all power 
is given in heaven arid earth, was pleased to impart one branch 
of this power to his apostles and their lawful successors in the 
ministry, in these words: "As the Father hath sent me, I also 
send you. Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall 
forgive they are forgiven them: and whose sins you shall re- 
tain, they are retained," (John xx. 21, &c.) This absolution 
of penitent sinners we call the "sacrament of penance." 
And a sacrament it is; for it is an outward sign of inward 
grace; even of the grace of pardon of our sins; "by virtue of 
the institution of Jesus Christ," ascertained in the ample com- 
mission above rehearsed, A commission which comes to the 
church sealed with the broad seal of heaven, from Him who 
holds in his hands the whole power of heaven: a commission, 
unlimited to time or place, which makes no exception of any 
sin whatever; provided the sinner applies with proper dispo- 
sitions, to the power of the keys, granted by Christ to his 
Church, (Matthew xvi.) 

Consider, thirdly, that the sacrament of penance, besides the 
absolution given by the minister of Christ, in his name, and by 
his authority, requires also on the part of the penitent, sincere 
contrition, together with confession and satisfaction at 
least in desire; without which the priest's absolution will 
be of no effect but to our condemnation. Confession is a 
full and sincere accusation of ourselves, as to the kind and 
number of our sins, to the pastors of the church, who have re- 
ceived from Christ the charge of our souls. Contrition is a 
hearty sorrow for having offended so good a God, with a full 
determination, by the help of his grace, not to be guilty of the 
like in future. Satisfaction is a faithful performance of the 
penance enjoined by them for our sins. 

Conclude highly to value this sacred institution, and duly 
and speedily to apply to it, when you have fallen into sin. 


JUNE 23. 

On the, confession of our sins. 

CONSIDER, first, that God always expected from sinners an 
humble confession of their sins. This he prescribed in the old 
law, (Numb. v. 6, 7.) "When a man or woman commit any 
sin that men commit, to do a trespass against the Lord, and 
that person be guilty, then they shall confess the sin which 
they have done," &c. This was ordained in the new law, by 
the very institution of the sacrament of penance, which neces- 
sarily includes or presupposes confession. It was signified by 
that ordinance of the law, (Levit. xiii, xiv. ) by which persons 
infected with the leprosy, a figure of sin, were to show them- 
selves to the priests, and be under their inspection and direc- 
tion. It was practised in the time of St. John Baptist, (Matt, 
iii. 6.) and of the apostles, (Acts xix. 18. James v. 16.) and 
was always insisted upon in the church of Christ: and what 
more just, than thus to humble ourselves for our pride and re- 
bellion against God by sin? 

Consider, secondly, the advantages of this Catholic practice 
of humbly confessing our sins to the ministers of Christ, whom 
he has bound by all laws to a perpetual secrecy. It procures 
proper medicines and prescriptions for the diseases of our soul, 
which we here lay open to our spiritual physician: it supplies 
us with counsel in our doubts, comfort in our sorrows, reme- 
dies against temptations: it gives present ease to the wounded 
conscience; rectifies our errors; enlightens our ignorance; re- 
strains our passions: It gives strength and resolution to do bet- 
ter for the time to come; and what is one of its greatest advan- 
tages, it humbles the soul, and teaches us to know and despise 
ourselves. Advantages far greater than the momentary confu- 
sion of declaring our sins. 

Consider, thirdly, that the chief of all the advantages of an 
humble and sorrowful confession of sins is, its being the means 
of divine appointment for obtaining pardon and absolution of 
all our crimes, and of restoring us to the friendship and the 
grace of God, by virtue of the commission given by Jesus 
Christ to his ministers; with a solemn asseveration that "what- 
soever they should bind upon earth, should be bound also in 
heaven; and whatsoever they should loose upon earth, should 
be loosed also in heaven," (Matt, xviii. 18.) How happy 
would that criminal account himself, who might escape the 
hand of justice by a sorrowful acknowledgment of all his 
crimes in secret to his judge, or to one appointed by him! 
How much more happy is the penitent Christian, when by an 
humble confession of all his sins, with sincere repentance, to 
the minister of Jesus Christ, he is assured of being deliver- 
ed, not out of the hands of men who can only kill the body, 


but out of the hands of the living God who otherwise will cast 
both body and soul into hell: and not only of being delivered 
out of the hands of divine justice; but of being received into 
the arms of his loving kindness, and made once more a friend 
and even a child of God, and heir of his eternal kingdom! 

Conclude with hearty thanks for this divine institution, to 
which are annexed so many graces and blessings. But beware 
of using it as a mere ceremony, without any true change of 

JUNE 24. 
On the nativity of St. John the Baptist. 

CONSIDER, first, the glorious testimony given by our blessed 
Redeemer, of St. John. He tells us, "there hath not risen 
among them that are born of women, a greater than John the 
Baptist. He was a burning and a shining light," (John v. 
35. ) The special "friend of the bridegroom," (chap. iii. 29. ) 
"The angel sent before his face to prepare his way," (Matt. xi. 
10.) A prophet, and more than a prophet, (v. 9.) An apos- 
tle "sent from God for a witness, to give testimony of the light, 
that all men might believe through him," (John i. 6, 7.) A 
martyr, a zealous preacher, a model of purity and holiness of 

Consider, secondly, that in other saints the church honors 
the day of their departure out of this transitory life, which she 
celebrates as their birth-day to eternal life. But in St. John, 
his temporal birth also is honored; because he was sanctified 
in his mother's womb, and his first appearance to the world, 
sitting till then in the darkness and in the shades of death; 
was like the first dawning of the new day-light, which the 
Son of God, whose forerunner he was, was about to shed 
amongst us. 

Consider, thirdly, that "it is good for a man when he hath 
borne the sweet yoke of the Lord from his youth," (Lament, 
iii. 27. ) St. John retired very young from the corruptions and 
distractions of the world: "The child grew," says St. Luke 
(i. 80,) "and was strengthened in spirit, and was in the deserts 
until his manifestation to Israel." Happy they, who imitate 
this early piety of the Baptist! 

Conclude to follow St. John into the wilderness, by retiring 
at least from the wicked ways of the world, and from the com- 
pany and conversation of its slaves. 


JUNE 25. 
On the lessons taught us by the Baptist. 

CONSIDER, first, that the life of St. John in the wilderness 
was one continued exercise of prayer and penance. These ex- 
ercises we all must learn and practice, if we wish to enjoy the 
reward of eternal bliss. We must, like St. John, frequently 
and fervently raise our hearts to God, even in the midst of our 
daily employments, and every day give some time to the holy 
exercise of prayer. We must do penance daily, by retrench- 
ing all excess in eating, drinking, sleeping, clothing, and un- 
necessary amusements; and contradict our darling inclinations. 

Consider, secondly, how little St. John was in his own eyes, 
and unworthy to do the meanest office to him who was to fol- 
low; and how glad he was, when he saw himself lessened in 
the opinion of the world by the preaching and miracles of 
Jesus. blessed humility, which alone art capable of making 
any one truly great before the Lord: without thee all other vir- 
tues degenerate into vice! 

Consider, thirdly, the great zeal of St. John the Baptist. 
He preached to sinners of all descriptions the necessity of re- 
nouncing effectually their evil ways, and of bringing forth 
worthy fruits of penance: he denounced the heavy judgments 
of God to the impenitent, but encouraged the penitent to hope 
in his mercy. Christians, let us attend to these important les- 
sons, and be willing, with John, even to lay down our lives, 
rather than offend against justice and truth. 

Conclude to attend to the preaching and example of St. John, 
and he will conduct you securely to Christ. 

JUNE 26. 

On preparation for confession. 

CONSIDER, first, that the raising up of a soul, dead to God 
by mortal sin, is no less a miracle of the divine power, than 
the calling Lazarus out of his grave, after he had been four 
days dead and buried. Therefore, the sinner who desires to 
have this miracle wrought in his favor, by means of the sacra- 
ment of confession, must earnestly beg it of HIM who alone 
can raise the dead to life, and who has instituted penance, in 
order to restore the life of grace to the worthy receiver. The 
most essential conditions are a change of heart, and a perfect 
sincerity in the accusation of ourselves, even of those sins of 
which we are most ashamed: and who but God can give us 
these dispositions? 


Consider, secondly, that we must then seriously examine the 
true state of our interior. Alas! it is one of our greatest mis- 
fortunes not to know ourselves: and it is to be feared that many 
pass their whole lives under the guilt of mortal sins of pride, 
envy, hatred, detraction, neglect of essential duties, &c., 
which, for want of sincere examination of themselves, they 
neither confess, nor repent of, nor amend. Hence their con- 
fessions are null, their communions sacrilegious, and they live 
and die in their sins. my soul, see this be not thy misfor- 

Consider, thirdly, that the most essential part, both of the 
virtue and of the sacrament of penance, is contrition, or a 
hearty sorrow for our sins, with a firm purpose of amend- 
ment and of making satisfaction for past offences. This we 
must labor to procure by serious considerations of the most 
moving truths, and by repeated and fervent prayer; and never 
cease to implore the divine mercy, till God is pleased to touch 
our hearts. 

Conclude to be diligent in all these particulars, lest, instead 
of cancelling by confession, you increase your "debt. 

JUNE 27. 
On motives of repentance. 

CONSIDER, first, that mortal sin is infinitely odious to God, 
and infinitely pernicious to our souls. It makes them like 
very devils in his eyes: it deprives us of grace, the true life of 
the soul, and of all our good: it is a poison which brings pre- 
sent death, and condemns us to a second and eternal death. 
It leaves behind it a dreadful stain, which endless ages and the 
flames of hell will never be able to efface. Ah, my poor soul! 
if thou couldst see thyself as thou art in the state of mortal sin, 
the sight alone would strike thee dead! 

Consider, secondly, that wilful sinners are slaves of the 
devil; they are possessed by him. They have made God their 
enemy, who holds the thread of their life in his hand: if he 
breaks it, in that moment they drop into hell. Death is always 
advancing apace; and a sudden, or at least an unprovided 
death, is generally the reward of their presumption. Thou- 
sands of them daily go down into the bottomless pit, "where 
the worm never dies, and the fire is never extinguished," 
(Mark ix. 43.) Ah! who can bear everlasting fire! Detest 
then all mortal sin, which can and will, without repentance, 
condemn you to hell. 

Consider, thirdly, that sin makes a dreadful separation be- 
tween the soul and God; which is begun here but extends to all 


eternity. "You are not my people," says he, (Osee i. 9.) 
"and I will not be your God." How much then doesjthat evil 
deserve our detestation, which robs us of an infinite good, for 
eternity; and in exchange gives us nothing but endless and un- 
speakable evils. 

Conclude in earnest to return to God by penance and a true 
conversion; and he will be yours for ever. 

JUNE 28. 
Other motives of contrition. 

CONSIDER, first, that God is our first beginning and our last 
end: he has given us our being out of pure love; he has thought 
of us from all eternity, and has made us for himself, in the en- 
joyment of a happy eternity. In the mean time, he is always 
showering upon us his benefits: he watches over us by his pro- 
vidence; preserves us from numberless evils; has appointed 
his angels to wait upon us; and has sent his only Son from 
heaven to redeem us. He has mercifully cleansed us from sin 
in baptism, made us children and heirs to his kingdom; has 
given us an early knowledge of himself and of his heavenly 
truths; favored us with abundant graces beyond thousands of 
others; admitted us to his sacraments; borne with our repeated 
crimes for so many years; and, notwithstanding our ingrati- 
tude, has been still our constant benefactor. Alas ! how 
many are now burning in the flames of hell for fewer sins than, 
we have committed! Ah! let us then detest our sinful life, 
and henceforward, at least, be dutiful children to so tender a 

Consider, secondly, what dreadful torments our Redeemer 
endured for you in his passion and death! Call over in your 
mind the particulars of his sufferings, from his agony and sweat 
of blood, even to his expiring upon the cross; and learn from 
the multitude and variety of his torments, an ardent love of 
him and hatred of your sins, for the expiation of which he 
freely died. 

Consider, thirdly, that God is infinitely "good in himself," 
infinitely charming, infinite in all perfections. All created 
beauty and perfection dwindles away to a mere nothing when 
compared with him. He is infinitely good to us; and all our 
good is from him and in him: he is the Being of our being, 
the Life and the Light of our souls, our Maker, our Kedeemer, 
our Friend, our Father, our Spouse, our God, and our all. To 
love him is our greatest honor, interest, and pleasure; the 
source of all our present and future happiness. All these mo- 


tives strongly recommend to us tlie love of God, and a sove- 
reign hatred for our sins. 

Conclude heartily to seek the pardon of your sins by true 
repentance enlivened with love. Remember, that "many 
sins were forgiven Magdalen, because she loved much," (Luke 
vii. 47. ) 

JUNE 29. 

On St. Peter and St. Pawl. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Wisdom of God came down from 
heaven, to build a house, to found a city, to establish a king- 
dom here upon earth, which should be ever victorious over all 
the powers of hell, and subsist till time itself should end. St. 
Peter, a poor, weak, illiterate fisherman, by the divine ap- 

S ointment was made the master-builder, under Christ, of this 
ouse and temple, and at the same time its strong rock and 
foundation^ He was raised to be the first governor of this city, 
the prime minister of this kingdom of God upon earth, [Matt, 
xvi. 18, 19. John xxi. 15, &c.] Oh! how true it is that God 
hath chosen "the foolish things of the world, that he may 
confound the wise : and the weak things of the world, that he 
may confound the strong: that no flesh should glory in his 

Consider, secondly, that although an ignorant fisherman like 
St. Peter, seems indeed little qualified to be a preacher and a 
teacher of Jews and Gentiles, and the prince of the apostles; 
yet he was humble and simple; and of such God usually makes 
choice for the greatest things. But St. Paul was a proud, blas- 
phemous Pharisee, a bloody persecutor, a ravenous wolf, scat- 
tering and destroying the sheep of Christ. And yet he is made 
in a moment by a miracle of grace, a vessel of election to car- 
ry the name of Christ before nations and kings, and the chil- 
dren of Israel. Behold here is a change of the right hand of 
the Most High! Here the divine power, wisdom and goodness 
shine forth much more brightly, than even in the raising of the 
dead to life. 

Consider, thirdly, the lives of these two great saints, after 
their call and election; their ardent zeal for the glory of their 
Lord; theii unwearied labors in extending his spiritual king- 
dom; their constancy in along course of sufferings, dying in 
a manner daily for the cause of God; and above all, that divine 
love and charily which burnt continually in their breasts, and 
grew daily in them stronger and stronger, till it made them 
victorious over death, and conducted them to eternal life. 


Conclude to glorify Almighty God for the graces conferred 
upon these two princes and pillars of his church j and diligent- 
ly learn the lessons which they taught. 

JUNE 30. 

Ott sincerity in Confession* 

CONSIDER, first, that a curse is pronounced against those 
who "do the work of God deceitfully," fJeteMft. Xlvlii. 10.] 
And surely, they do the work of God deceitfully in the highest 
degree, who go to the sacrament with fraud and deceit, and 
while they outwardly profess humility and sincerity, conceal 
through pride of heart, and disguise by lies, the guilt of their 
conscience. Ananias and Saphira were struck dead "by a visi- 
ble judgment of God, for "telling a lie to the HolyGhost," 
(Acts v.j And are not all those who seek to impose Upon the 
minister of God in this most solemn and sacred function, also 
guilty of this grievous crime? They commit a sacrilege too, 
when they receive absolution in this case, and a still more un- 
pardonable one, when by aa Unworthy communion they also 
become guilty of the body and blood of Christ. 

Consider, secondly, what inconceivable difficulties and per- 
plexities a person is exposed to, by criminally concealing any 
thing in confession. For when one yields to this temptation, 
the devil takes possession of the soul in such manner, as to 
make her apprehend the confession of her guilt, more than 
either death or hell. Hence she goes on adding sin to sin, 
sacrilege to sacrilege, gnawed with a remorse which she tries 
in vain to stifle for the present, under the delusive fancy that 
she shall confess them hereafter. In the mean time her diffi- 
culties increase, and the devil daily acquires more and more 
power over her, while the grace of God removes to a greater 
distance from her; till at length mercy abused gives place to 
justice; and she is cut off in the midst of her sins, to be con- 
fessed too late in hell. 

Consider, thirdly, how little reason a penitent has to be so 
much ashamed of the confession of his sins. Sin, indeed, is 
shameful ; but the confession of one's sin is not so. No : the 
humble confession of a sinner gives glory to God, is honorable 
to the penitent himself, and affords joy to the whole court of 
heaven. And, as to the confessor, besides that he is bound by 
all laws to an eternal secrecy, and can make no kind of use of 
the knowledge he receives by confession any way disagreeable 
to the penitent; far from despising him on that account, he has 
a more tender regard than ever for a soul, which has thus un- 
bosomed herself to him. In the mean time, the penitent ei 


periences much comfort and joy, in having now eased himself 
of that load which would not suffer him to be at rest. 

Conclude to beware of the artifices of the devil, who hates 
nothing worse than an humble confession; and whenever yon 
wish to find some reason to disguise your sin, be sure to con- 
fess the sooner that which you feel a difficulty in declaring, for 
fear of being imposed upon by pride or self-love. 

JULY 1. 

On time and eternity. 

CONSIDER, first, how precious a thing time is, which we are 
80 apt to squander away. It is all given us to be employed in 
the service of God; and there is not one moment of it, in 
which we may not labor for an eternity of bliss. Our everlast- 
ing salvation or damnation will depend upon the good or bad 
use of this talent, which God has put into our hands to im- 
prove by our good management. Alas! how little do we think 
of this! 

Consider, secondly, how short is the term of this mortal life; 
a mere nothing compared with eternity : and how quickly does 
it pass away! When once gone, it cannot be recalled, nor 
leaves the smallest trace behind it. The present time is all we 
can call our own : and God alone knows how long it will be 
so. Our hours, one after another, post away with precipitate 
haste into the vast gulf of eternity, and appear no more. The 
very moment in which we read this line, is just passing, never 
to return. Employ then the present time to the best advantage: 
its loss can never be repaired. 

Consider, thirdly, that all temporal enjoyments of honors, 
riches and pleasures, are of the like condition ; all pass away 
with time. Only eternity and the goods or evils which it com- 
prizes, are truly great; without end, without change, without 
alloy. A few short years are more than any one can promise 
himself; arid after that, poor sinner, what will become of thee? 
Alas! the worms will prey upon thy body, and merciless devils 
on thy unrepenting soul! Thy worldly friends will all forget 
thee : the very stones on which thou hast thy name engraved, 
will not long outlive thee. Oh! "vanity of vanities, and all 
is vanity, but to love God, and to serve him alone!" 

Conclude, so to use this present time and all temporary 
things, as to make them useful to your soul on her journey to- 
wards eternity. 


JULY 2. 
On the visitation of the blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first, that Mary after her conception, "rising up, 
went into the hill country with haste; into a city of Juda. 
And she entered into the house of Zachery, and saluted Eliza- 
beth (who, according to the angel was then in the sixth month 
of her pregnancy.) And it came to pass, that when Elizabeth 
heard the salutation of Mary, she was filled with the Holy 
Ghost; and she cried out with a loud voice and said : Blessed 
art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb. 
And whence is this to me that the mother of my Lord should 
come to me? For behold, as soon as the voice of thy saluta- 
tion sounded in my ears, the infant in my womb leaped for 
joy," &c. This mysterious visitation is honored by the church 
in the festival of this day. 

Consider, secondly, that at the first voice of the mother of 
God in this visit, John the Baptist, yet unborn, is immediately 
cleansed from original sin, and sanctified in his mother's 
womb. The use of reason is advanced in him and he is even 
now made sensible of that "true light, which enlighteneth 
every man that cometh into this world." Even now belongs 
to go before him; and proclaims aloud to all the world, "be- 
hold the Lamb of God! behold him who taketh away the sins 
of the world," (John i. 29.) On this occasion, Elizabeth also 
is favored with many wonderful gifts and supernatural lights, 
and with a distinct revelation of the incarnation of the Son of 
God and its happy consequences; and is filled with the Spirit 
of God. Learn hence, O Christian! how powerful is the inter- 
cession of the holy mother of God, in procuring for us the great- 
est blessings. 

Consider, thirdly, the sentiments of the blessed Virgin, ex- 
pressed in the admirable canticle which she then pronounced. 
"My soul doth magnify the Lord : and my spirit hath rejoiced 
in God my Saviour. Because he hath regarded the humility of 
his handmaid : for behold from henceforth all generations shall 
call me blessed. For he that is Mighty hath done great things 
to me, and Holy is his name," &c. Do you imitate the blessed 
Virgin's lively sense of the divine goodness; her gratitude, her 
profound humility, and her holy joy in God. 

Conclude with thanksgiving to our Lord for all the wonders 
wrought at this visitation; and for the many visits with which 
he favors you. 


JULY 3. 

On the good employment of time. 

CONSIDER, first, that all the kingdoms of the earth would 
not be sufficient to purchase for the dying sinner one hour of 
time, in his greatest need. Then we shall clearly comprehend 
its value, and the infinite importance of spending it well. 
"What would not the damned willingly give for one of these 
hours? How would they employ it if it could be granted? But 
alas! they would network while they had the day before them: 
and now the dismal and eternal night has overtaken them, in 
which there is no time to work. Ah! Christians, let us learn 
wisdom at their expense. 

Consider, secondly, the strict obligation Incumbent on us all, 
of employing our time to the best advantage, by sin we had 
forfeited our life, and of course, our time; and whatever time 
God has allowed us since our sin, has been purchased for us 
with the blood of Christ, in order to OUT repentance. It has 
cost him an infinite price : it therefore strictly belongs to him; 
and we cannot misuse it without the crime of injustice. 

Consider, thirdly, that there is not one moment of our time 
in which we may not merit a new degree of eternal bliss; and 
every new degree of eternal bliss is something far more valua- 
ble, than all the kingdoms of the earth. What a loss then, to 
throw away so many hours, and days, and years of this pre- 
cious time. A loss so great, that if the happy state of the 
blessed in heaven could admit of grief, they would certainly 
regret to all eternity, every moment which they had not em- 
ployed to the best advantage. 

Conclude to dedicate all your time to the doing of the will 
of God. Thus you will secure your own eternal interest. 

JULY 4. 
On remembering our last things. 

CONSIDER, first, that the remembrance of death, the view 
of the grave, and of the speedy corruption of this body of ours; 
and the serious reflection that we must quickly part with^our 
dearest friends and possessions, must needs humble us, and 
check our sensual and carnal inclinations. But when we look 
beyond the grave, and consider that a severe judge will there 
await us, whose all-seeing eye is ever upon our thoughts, words 
and actions; that these are all to be Aveighed in the scales 
of his divine justice, which cannot endure iniquity; and that 


the issue will, be life or death eternal : how is it possible we 
should dare to sin? 

Consider, secondly, that the transitory things of this world; 
its goods and evils, as we call them, make a great impression 
on our souls, shut up as they are, in this earthly prison. We 
are fond of honor, riches and pleasures, and dread contempt, 
poverty and pain, as something real. But the meditating on 
eternity undeceives us, and shows that all is nothing, which 
passes with time; that nothing is truly great but what is eter- 
nal; that those things deserve not the name of goods, which 
contribute nothing to make us either good here, or happy here- 
after; and that those are no evils, which help to bring us to an 
infinine good. 

Consider, thirdly, what lessons, what instructions, what ex- 
hortations may we read among the silent monuments of the 
dead, who made some noise in the world heretofore, but now 
are thought of no longer ! by attending in spirit at the trials 
of the great bar; by going down alive into the darksome dun- 
geons below, or ascending up to heaven, the mansion of eter- 
nal bliss! 

Conclude often to think on these important truths; and al- 
ways "remember your last end," as the wise man advises; and 
"you shall never sin," (Eccles. vii.) 

JULY 5. 

On the certainty of death. 

CONSIDER, first, that nothing is more certain than death. 
"It is appointed for all men once to die, and after that the 
judgment," ( Heb. ix. 27. ) The hour will most certainly come 
when thou, my soul, who art reading these lines, must bid a 
long farewell to this flattering world, and to all thou hast ad- 
mired in it, and even to thy own body, the individual com- 
panion of thy life ! 

Consider secondly, that death is not only certain, but gener- 
ally speaking, much nigher than we imagine. We are apt to 
flatter ourselves, like the worldling in the gospel, (Luke xii.) 
with many years enjoyment of our worldly goods and plea- 
sures; and when we least of all expect it, we must suddenly 
depart: "Thou fool," saith our Lord, "this night do they re- 
quire thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be, which 
thou hast provided?" We dailyhaar of sudden deaths; of young 
and healthy people carried off by short sickness, in the very 
flower of their age: and why will we deceive ourselves? 

Consider, thirdly, the wretched blindness and stupidity of 
mortals, who think so little of death, and live as if they were 


to continue always upon earth? Thus they expose themselves 
every day to the dreadful danger of dying in their sins. All 
things around them, by their continual fading, remind them of 
their mortality; and yet they will not think! my soul, do 
thou at least keep death always before thy eyes; and thou shalt 
have nothing to fear. 

Conclude, since you are so soon to part, always to be such in 
life, as you wish to he found at death. 

JULY 6. 
On the time and manner of our death. 

CONSIDER, first, that as your time here will be very short, 
so the hour and manner of your death are quite uncertain. You 
know not where, nor when, nor how it will take place. "Will 
it be this night or to-morrow? a week, a month, a year hence? 
Alas! all the circumstances attending this awful houc are per- 
fectly concealed from us: we know only that we are to die, and 
must take care to be always prepared for our departure. 

Consider, secondly, that you can die but once, and on this 
moment of death depends eternity. If you die well, all is well 
for endless ages; if ill, you are lost forever. Make it then 
the great business of your life, to learn to die well, especially 
as you know not Avhether you may be snatched away when you 
least expect it, without any help at all. 

Consider, thirdly, what will very quickly be the end of 
this fading beauty of the body, which so often allures you to 
sin ; and call to mind that advice of holy scripture addressed 
equally to us all: "remember man that thou art dust, and into 
dust thou shalt return." But ah! what horror will seize the 
poor soul at the sight of the wicked spirits and the violent as- 
saults they will then make upon her! How gladly would she 
then be rid of her sins, which now cry aloud for vengeance 
against her! Do you, Christian, provide in time against this 
dismal hour, by an immediate amendment of your life. 

Conclude from your heart to renounce your sins, and never 
venture to live one day in that state, in which you would not 
dare to die. 


JULY 7. 
On preparing for death. 

CONSIDER, first, that the preparing for death is a business of 
the utmost importance. We came into this world as pilgrims 
and travellers, to make the best of our way towards our true 
country, which is heaven and a happy eternity. A good death, 
the only inlet to eternal happiness must be the study and great 
concern of our whole life. 

Consider, secondly, the great but general error of men. They 
promise themselves fine things when they shall be upon their 
death-bed; and neglect their preparation in the time of health. 
Thus they tempt God by living unconcernedly in sin, and ex- 
pect a miracle of divine grace at the hour of death, to change 
them in a moment into saints, notwithstanding their contempt 
of all his calls in life. No, no; God will not thus be mocked. 

Consider, thirdly, that the best way to die well, is to die 
daily to our sinful inclinations and passions. We must take 
off our affections from the things of this world, and deny our- 
selves daily, as our blessed Saviour strongly inculcates in the 
gospel. Thus only shall we be his true disciples: thus we shall 
secure to ourselves a happy death. s**^ 

Conclude to live always as you will wish to have done, 
at the hour of your departure; and you will have nothing to 

JULY 8. 
On the sentiments of the soul at the hour of death. 

CONSIDER, first, that when you shall see yourself at the brink 
of the grave, where the worms make no distinction between the 
king and the beggar; you will account as nothing the praise, 
esteem, and love of men. How will you then undervalue 
your riches, which will leave you only a coffin and a shrowd! 
Your past pleasures are now no better than a dream: nothing 
alas! remains of them, but remorse of conscience and bitter 
regret. Ah! the vanity of all earthly enjoyments. 

Consider, secondly, what anguish, what despair will sieze a 
poor sinner at the hour of death, when he shall see before his 
eyes such armies of sins drawn tip in array against him, and 
assaulting him with united forces! Alas! he will then in 
great terror cry out, "the sorrows of death have encompassed 
me, and the perils of hell have found me," (Psalm cxiv. ) 

Consider, thirdly, how bitterly you will then regret the ne- 
glect of so many calls and invitations of your gracious God; 


JULY 3. 
On the good, employment of time. 

CONSIDER, first, that all the kingdoms of the earth would 
not be sufficient to purchase for the dying sinner one hour of 
time, in his greatest need. Then we shall clearly comprehend 
its value, and the infinite importance of spending it well. 
What would not the damned willingly give for one of these 
hours? How would they employ it if it could be granted? But 
alas! they would not work while they had the day before them: 
and now the dismal and eternal night has overtaken them, in 
which there is no time to work. Ah! Christians, let us learn 
wisdom at their expense. 

Consider, secondly, the strict obligation incumbent on us all, 
of employing our time to the best advantage, by sin we had 
forfeited our life, and of course, our time; and whatever time 
God has allowed us since our sin, has been purchased for us 
with the blood of Christ, in order to our repentance. It has 
cost him an infinite price : it therefore strictly belongs to him; 
and we cannot misuse it without the crime of injustice. 

Consider, thirdly, that there is not one moment of our time 
in which we may not merit a new degree of eternal bliss; and 
every new degree of eternal bliss is something far more valua- 
ble, than all the kingdoms of the earth. What a loss then, to 
throw away so many hours, and days, and years of this pre- 
cious time. A loss so great, that if the happy state of the 
blessed in heaven could admit of grief, they would certainly 
regret to all eternity, every moment which they had not em- 
ployed to the best advantage. 

Conclude to dedicate all your time to the doing of the will 
of God. Thus you will secure your own eternal interest. 

JULY 4. 
On remembering our last things. 

CONSIDER, first, that the remembrance of death, the view 
of the grave, and of the speedy corruption of this body of ours; 
and the serious reflection that we must quickly part with, our 
dearest friends and possessions, must needs humble us, and 
check our sensual and carnal inclinations. But when we look 
beyond the grave, and consider that a severe judge will there 
await us, whose all-seeing eye is ever upon our thoughts, words 
and actions; that these are all to be weighed in the scales 
of his divine justice, which cannot endure iniquity; and that 


the issue will, be life or death eternal : how is it possible we 
should dare to sin? 

Consider, secondly, that the transitory things of this world; 
its goods and evils, as we call them, make a great impression 
on our souls, shut up as they are, in this earthly prison. We 
are fond of honor, riches and pleasures, and dread contempt, 
poverty and pain, as something real. But the meditating on 
eternity undeceives us, and shows that all is nothing, which 
passes with time; that nothing is truly great but what is eter- 
nal; that those things deserve not the name of goods, which 
contribute nothing to make us either good here, or happy here- 
after; and that those are no evils, which help to bring us to an 
infinine good. 

Consider, thirdly, what lessons, what instructions, what ex- 
hortations may we read among the silent monuments of the 
dead, who made some noise in the world heretofore, but now 
are thought of no longer ! by attending in spirit at the trials 
of the great bar; by going down alive into the darksome dun- 
geons below, or ascending up to heaven, the mansion of eter- 
nal bliss! 

Conclude often to think on these important truths; and al- 
ways "remember your last end," as the wise man advises; and 
"you shall never sin," (Eccles. vii.) 

JULY 5. 

On the certainty of death. 

CONSIDER, first, that nothing is more certain than death. 
"It is appointed for all men once to die, and after that the 
judgment," ( Heb. ix. 27. ) The hour will most certainly come 
when thou, my soul, who art reading these lines, must bid a 
long farewell to this flattering world, and to all thou hast ad- 
mired in it, and even to thy own body, the individual com- 
panion of thy life! 

Consider secondly, that death is not only certain, but gener- 
ally speaking, much nigher than we imagine. We are apt to 
flatter ourselves, like the worldling in the gospel, (Luke xii.) 
with many years enjoyment of our worldly goods and plea- 
sures; and when we least of all expect it, we must suddenly 
depart: "Thou fool," saith our Lord, "this night do they re- 
quire thy soul of thee; and whose shall those things be, which 
thou hast provided?" We dailyhaar of sudden deaths; of young 
and healthy people carried off by short sickness, in the very 
flower of their age: and why will we deceive ourselves? 

Consider, thirdly, the wretched blindness and stupidity of 
mortals, who think so little of death, and live as if they were 


to continue always upon earth? Thus they expose themselves 
every day to the dreadful danger of dying in their sins. All 
things around them, by their continual fading, remind them of 
their mortality ; and yet they -will not think! my soul, do 
thou at least keep death always before thy eyes; and thou shalt 
have nothing to fear. 

Conclude, since you are so soon to part, always to be such in 
life, as you wish to be found at death. 

JULY 6. 

On the time and manner of our death. 

CONSIDER, first, that as your time here will he very short, 
so the hour and manner of your death are quite uncertain. You 
know not where, nor when, nor how it will take place. Will 
it be this night or to-morrow? a week, a month, a year hence? 
Alas! all the circumstances attending this awful hour are per- 
fectly concealed from us: we know only that we are to die, and 
must take care to be always prepared for our departure. 

Consider, secondly, that you can die but once, and on this 
moment of death depends eternity. If you die well, all is well 
for endless ages; if ill, you are lost for ever. Make it then 
the great business of your life, to learn to die well, especially 
as you know not whether you may be snatched away when you 
least expect it, without any help at all. 

Consider, thirdly, what will very quickly be the end of 
this fading beauty of the body, which so often allures you to 
sin; and call to mind that advice of holy scripture addressed 
equally to us all: "remember man that thou art dust, and into 
dust thou shalt return." But ah! what horror will seize the 
poor soul at the sight of the wicked spirits and the violent as- 
saults they will then make upon her! How gladly would she 
then be rid of her sins, which now cry aloud for vengeance 
against her! Do you, O Christian, provide in time against this 
dismal hour, by an immediate amendment of your life. 

Conclude from your heart to renounce your sins, and never 
venture to live one day in that state, in which you would not 
dare to die. 


JULY 7. 
On preparing for death. 

CONSIDER, first, that the preparing for death is a business of 
the utmost importance. We came into this world as pilgrims 
and travellers, to make the hest of our way towards our true 
country, which is heaven and a happy eternity. A good death, 
the only inlet to eternal happiness must be the study and great 
concern of our whole life. 

Consider, secondly, the great but general error of men. They 
promise themselves fine things when they shall be upon their 
death-bed ; and neglect their preparation in the time of health. 
Thus they tempt God by living unconcernedly in sin, and ex- 
pect a miracle of divine grace at the hour of death, to change 
them in a moment into saints, notwithstanding their contempt 
of all his calls in life. No, no; God will not thus be mocked. 

Consider, thirdly, that the best way to die well, is to die 
daily to our sinful inclinations and passions. We must take 
off our affections from, the things of this world, and deny our- 
selves daily, as our blessed Saviour strongly inculcates in the 
gospel. Thus only shall we be his true disciples: thus we shall 
secure to ourselves a happy death. '****$% 

Conclude to live always as you will wish to have done, 
at the hour of your departure; and you will have nothing to 

JULY 8. 
On the sentiments of the soul at the hour of death. 

CONSIDER, first, that when you shall see yourself at the brink 
of the grave, where the worms make no distinction between the 
king and the beggar; you will account as nothing the praise, 
esteem, and love of men. How will you then undervalue 
your riches, which will leave you only a coffin and a shrowd! 
Your past pleasures are now no better than a dream: nothing 
alas! remains of them, but remorse of conscience and bitter 
regret. Ah! the vanity of all earthly enjoyments. 

Consider, secondly, what anguish, Avhat despair will sieze a 
poor sinner at the hour of death, when he shall see before his 
eyes such armies of sins drawn up in array against him, and 
assaulting him with united forces! Alas! he will then in 
great terror cry out, "the sorrows of death have encompassed 
me, and the perils of hell have found me," (Psalm cxiv. ) 

Consider, thirdly, how bitterly you will then regret the ne- 
glect of so many calls and invitations of your gracious God; 



the loss of so many favorable o|ipOr;|unities; the abuse of the -! 
sacraments; the misemploying of ^^McTitrae^Hdof thegifta 
of God! How will the false reasdri(rigs v Df' the;- world, the de- .<, 
lusions of his own passions, the affected .igffciiarices .of things 
he had no mind to know, and , .alivthe deceitful-. pretexts of a 
false conscience, appear now in the'ir\true. colop; and leave'thte 
sinner in his greatest need ! r v ^; > ^' ;^ ^ / 'ifr . '-.-. ' ' 
Conclude no longer to suiFer^urself to be fhe ;^upe_joiithe ' l^ 
wor Id, ?ihe flesh and the devily^-to the x *"~ i^^--'^^-^--^""" 

JULY 9. 

On the death of the just matt. 

CONSIDER, first, those words of the royal prophet, [Psalm 
cxv.] "Precious in the sight of the Lord is the death of his 
saints," and reflect at leisure, how truly happy is that Chris- 
tian, at the hour of death, who has served his God with fervor 
during life. With what willingness does he leave this world! 
What tranqiiility of soul does he feel from the testimony of a 
good conscience! How joyfully does he throw himself into 
the arms of a tender Father, who he knows will never abandon 
his loving children! "0 let my soul die the death of the just, 
and my last end be like theirs!" [Numb, xxiii.] 

Consider, secondly, what a comfort it is to the good man to 
see himself now so near the end of all his labors; of all the 
miseries, dangerous conflicts and temptations of this wretched 
life! What a satisfaction to find himself now at the gates of 
the heavenly Jerusalem, where he shall see, love, and enjoy 
his God for ever; and to look forward into that blissful eterni- 
ty into which he is just entering! 

Consider, thirdly, the particular providence of God in favor 
of his servants at their death. "The Lord helps them on the bed 
of their sorrow," says the Psalmist, [xl. 4.] "he turns all their 
couch for them in their sickness." He protects them at that 
critical hour under the shadow of his wings, against the terrors 
of death and judgment, which makes them cry out with the 
Psalmist, "though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of 
death, I will not fear evils; for thou art with me," [Ps. xxii.] 

Conclude, if you desire to die the death of the just, to live 
the life of the just; for such as your life is, such also will be 
your death. 


On tJt.etfe.ath of the wicked. 

' ' l "" ' '- ' ':< ' 

CONSIDER, first, that as nothing can be conceived more de- 
sirable than ;th.e death of the just; so nothing can be more 
frightful ^an;%"at of -the' wicked. "The death of the wicked 
; jsye.iy eV|||" sUith the Spiri^'of God, (Ps. xxxiii. 22.) "Very 
evil^ iJ ~indefed rj when they are' suddenly snatched away; in their 
sins, and plunged in a momen'into hell: it is also "very evil" 
when they die hard, with little*priio=sefts^pf J&o^. or eternity. 
But supposing'neither-'p/i^ese4]M^Aapp^eja| it 1 is" still''' 'very 
evil;" for whatever way they look, all thriigsWe'ni to/denounce 
to them a miserable eternity. 

Consider, secondly, how dreadful to the dying sinner must 
be the recollection of his past life; of his numberless and 
enormous oifences; of the abuse of the sacraments, the pro- 
fanation of holy things, the neglect of divine grace, of the 
word of G-od and of prayer, those great means of salvation, 
and the little good he has done in the course of his life. Alas! 
what anguish and distress must 'overwhelm his soul, when 
every circumstance declares to him that God has now forsaken 

Consider, thirdly, what sad farewells must the sinner bid, 
at the hour of death, to all those things which he loved in life 
more than his God: honors, riches, pleasures, friends, and 
kindred, house and family. And if, to change the scene, he 
looks forward, he sees himself just launching forth with all his 
evils into eternity, which he has every reason to fear will be 
to him an eternity of woe! 

Conclude to lead a virtuous life; and you shall have no share 
in this dismal end of the wicked. 

JULY 11. 
On the condition of the body after death. 

CONSIDER, first, that the short-lived beauty of the body 
quickly disappears in death. St. Francis Borgia was so touched 
at the sight of the ghastly countenance of the deceased empress 
Jsabel, whom a little while before he had seen in all her maj- 
psty and splendor, that he conceived upon the spot an eternal 
disgust for this world, and a happy resolution of serving HIM 
alone who never dies. How happy should we be, did we copy 
his example. 

Consider, secondly, that the soul is no sooner departed from 
the body, but this wretched carcase which she leaves behind, 


immediately turns pale, loathsome and frightful; so that sur- 
viving friends can scarce endure to watch one night in the 
same room with it; and would not, on any consideration, sleep 
in the same bed. "0 ye children of men, how long will ye be 
in'love with vanity?" Ah, filth and corruption, why wilt thou 
be proud? 

Consider, thirdly, man, that whatever thou art to-day, to- 
morrow thou shalt be the food of worms. For these thoxi art 
preparing a banquet, while thou pamperestthy body. "Under 
thee shall the moth be strewed, and worms shall be thy cover- 
ing," [Isa. xiv. 11.] These are to be thy inheritance, or rath- 
er, they are to inherit thee. 

Conclude to make small account of the beauty of the body 
and study only by Christian virtue to beautify your soul. 

JULY 12. 
On the soul's first entrance into another world. 

CONSIDER, first, how the soul in death shuts her eyes to this 
world, and to all persons and things for which she has had any 
affection here, and opens them to a new and surprising scene, 
quite strange to her, in a region of spirits, an unknown land 
of which before she had scarcely any idea. "Without any of 
her dearest friends to assist her, she finds herself surrounded 
with infernal furies, ready to lay violent hands upon her, and 
impatient for their prey. 

Consider, secondly, that although the wicked spirits assault 
at that time both the good and the bad, the servants of God, 
under the protection of their guardian angels, go forward with 
joy and security, encompassed on all sides also with their 
good works. Whereas the wicked have nothing else to carry 
with them to the dreadful bar, but the consciousness of their 
past crimes, now more terrible to them than the infernal fiends 

Consider^ thirdly, the wretched situation of worldlings, who 
seldom or never seriously thought of this hour in their pros- 
perity, and lived as if they never were to die. Alas! what 
will all their honors, riches, and pleasures avail them now? 
"Where is now their state and retinue? Where that multitude 
of visitors and flatterers? See how they have left them all 
alone in the evil day, when the dismal sentence of eternal 
death is like to, fall upon them! Sweet Jesus preserve me 
from this dreadful scene. 

Conclude tp avoid this deluge of evils which will terrify the 
sinner at his departure hence, by a life of piety and strict 


JULY 13. 
On Hit particular judgment after death. 

CONSIDER, first, that after your departure hence, you -will be 
cited to appear at the bar of divine justice, to give an account 
of your whole life, and to be tried for life or death everlasting, 
according to your works. Have you ever seriously thought of 
this great trial, which is to decide your lot for eternity? How 
stand your accounts, if this night you were called to the bar? 
It may be your case: for "the Son of man will come like a 
thief in the night" when least expected. Take care then to be 
always ready. 

Consider, secondly, that God himself will be your judge, 
from whom nothing can be hidden, and whose judgment "no 
one can evade: a God of infinite purity, "in whose sight 
the very heavens are not clean'': a God of infinite sanctity, 
who hateth iniquity with an infinite hatred; and whose justice 
cannot cease to punish sin. The law by which we shall be 
tried, will be the commandments of God, and the gospel of 
Jesus Christ: our accusers will be the devils, and the accom- 
plices of our crimes, especially those whom we have drawn 
into sin; whose blood will cry to heaven for vengeance: the 
witnesses will be our own guilty consciences, and the sen- 
tence, for life or death eternal. Ah! let our Avhole life be a 
preparation for this great trial. 

Consider, thirdly, that you will be then examined how you 
have discharged every branch of your duty, both in general 
and in particular; to God, to your neighbor, and to yourself. 
How you have employed your time: in what manner you have 
corresponded with the divine grace: what profit you have reap- 
ed from the sacraments, from the word of God, from the favor- 
able circumstances in which God has placed you. The whole 
history of your life, even to an idle word and dishonest thought, 
will be discovered to the eyes of the whole universe: your 
good works too, shall be nicely sifted. 0! enter not into 
judgment with thy servant, Lord. 

Conclude to judge yourself now, and embrace a life of pen- 
ance, that you may obtain a favorable issue at this dreadful 

JULY 14. 
On the different states of departed souls before the last day. 

CONSIDER, first, that according to the different issue of this 
trial at the particular judgment, the condition of departed souls 


will be very different. For such as like the rich glutton, 
(Luke xvi. ) shall be found at their departure quite void of 
grace and charity; in a word, all such as have died in mortal 
sin, shall like him be immediately buried in the flames of hell, 
"where the worm never dies, and the fire is never extin- 

Consider, secondly, how strangely will the men of riches ; 
the great ones of this world, the ladies that have been slaves 
to their pleasures, here find their condition altered! A bed of 
fire, instead of their soft couches; the want of every thing 
that can afford them the least comfort, even to a drop of water, 
instead of their former affluence; eternal torments for momen- 
tary satisfactions, will succeed! In a word, they who could 
never brook the least thing contrary to their own humor, appe- 
tite or will, shall henceforth never know what it is to be in- 
dulged in any desire or inclination. 

Consider, thirdly, the very different condition of the souls of 
the children of God, after their departure hence. As many of 
them as, like the martyrs and other saints, shall be found, 
when they are presented before the Judge, without blemish of 
sin, or debt of punishment, due to divine justice on account 
of former offences not sufficiently expiated, shall be immedi- 
ately translated to heavenly joys. "They are absent from the 
body, but present with the Lord," (2 Corinthians v. 8.) 

Conclude to persevere with fervor in all good works, that 
you may deserve to be ranked with the saints at your depar- 

JULY 15. 
On the souls detained in purgatory after death. 

CONSIDER, first, that as all are to be tried after death, and 
to be reAvarded according to their works which attend them 
hence to the judgment seat of Christ; so, those whose dead 
works have not been fully expiated by penance; whose devo- 
tions and other good works have been full of imperfections: 
who have built with wood, hay, and stubble, though not to 
the destroying of the foundation of the faith and grace of Christ, 
shall suffer loss in this fiery trial, till the dross which they car- 
ried with them out of this world be purged away. 

Consider, secondly, that there are, comparatively, few at 
their departure so perfectly pure, as to be admitted immediate- 
ly to the presence, and to the enjoyment of God. How very 
few are there, who have no spot, no blemish, even of an idle 
word, when they enter the other world where, by the fixed 


decrees of heaven, every soul shall he judged according to 
what she carries hence. 

Consider, thirdly, that if we desire with the saints to be im- 
mediately introduced, after our bodily dissolution, into the 
mansions of bliss, we must dedicate ourselves to God, during 
this short pilgrimage, with the utmost fervor. How happy 
shall we be thus to "shut the eyes with which we see this 
world and mortals, in order to open them in an instant to the 
sight of God, and of Christ!" (St. Cyprian.) 

Conclude to wash away, by penitential tears, all stains and 
debts of sin ; and you may then piously hope to escape the fire 
of purgatory. 

JULY 16. 
On the. sufferings of souls in the middle state. 

CONSIDER, first, that one part of the sufferings of souls in 
purgatory, is their being kept in a state of violence, at a dis- 
tance from Him in whom alone they can repose. All those 
created goods which heretofore claimed any share in their af- 
fections, are now vanished away; and their whole hearts are 
carried towards him with such vehement desire, as by mortals 
cannot be conceived. The sense they have of their sins, 
which disqualify them for the immediate enjoyment of God, is 
so lively, that heaven itself would be no heaven to them, were 
they to follow them thither. 

Consider, secondly, that there are other great torments in- 
flicted on such as have been great debtors, and negligent peni- 
tents; but all with a just proportion to their sins. "They 
shall be saved," saith the apostle, "yet so as by FIRE," (1 Cor. 
iii. 15.) a FIRE which will burn without consuming, in some 
for many years, in some, perhaps even to the day of judg- 
ment. But "because it is said, they shall be saved, this 
fire," says St. Augustine, "is lighted," (in Psalms xxxvii.) 
"But surely, though they shall be saved by it, yet is this fire 
more grievous than whatsoever a man can suffer in this life.'' 

Consider, thirdly, that the condition of these suffering spirits 
still admits of great comfort. They have departed this life in 
the state of grace, true penitents, though imperfect. They 
have a good conscience: they know they love God and are 
loved by him; that their sufferings will soon have an end, (for 
all time is short,) and will terminate in the never-ending joys 
of a happy eternity. In the meanwhile they feel a certain 
satisfaction even in their sufferings because, such is the will 
of God. Happy those Christians, who in all their afflictions 


imitate their perfect resignation. This will go a great way to- 
wards freeing them from purgatory. 

Conclude, as nothing defiled can be united to the infinite 
purity of God, to purify yourself thoroughly in this life, by 
works of penance. This will be a far milder purgatory, than 
the fire of the world to come. 

JULY 17. 
On tJte great accounting day. 

CONSIDER, first, that after many dreadful signs and presages, 
which shall cause men to pine away with fear and anguish, 
this world with all its painted toys, shall be consumed. A 
fire, raging like a torrent, shall reduce all to ashes. What 
then, worldlings, will become of your riches, and of all 
you seem to possess in this dream of your mortal life? Alas! 
all these things are soon to end in smoke, and when you awake 
you shall "find nothing in your hands" (Ps. Ixxv. ) but the evil 
you have done in your prosperity. 

Consider, secondly, how, at the voice of the archangel with 
the last trumpet, "Arise, ye dead, and come to judgment," all 
the children of Adam, from the first to the last, by the al- 
mighty power of God, shall be raised in an instant from 
death to life, and every soul shall be re-united to its own 
body, never more to part. The bodies of the just shall be more 
brilliant than the sun; those of the wicked, most hideous and 

Consider, thirdly, that all this vast assembly shall then go 
forth to meet the JUDGE; and "every eye shall see him" com- 
ing down from heaven with great power and majesty, environ- 
ed with many legions of angels. Before him shall he borne 
the royal standard of his cross, shining brighter than the sun, 
to the great comfort of the good, and the unspeakable anguish 
of the wicked, who, alas! have forfeited the benefit of their 

Conclude always to have before your eyes the terrors of the 
last day; and you will not fear when it shall come. 

JULY 18. 

On the separation of the good and the bad. 

CONSIDER, first, that at the command of the Judge, the good 
shall be placed at his right hand, and all the bad, (with the 


evil spirits who seduced them,) at his left. Oh, everlasting 
separation! Henceforward these two companies shall never, 
never meet! In which of them, Christian, do you expect to 
be placed? You have it now in your power to decide. Heark- 
en then to the summons of the great trumpet of the gospel, 
calling you from the death of sin to the life of grace; and keep 
your body and soul clean from the defilements of the world, 
and its wicked company and conversation. 

Consider, secondly, how mean a figure the great, the rich, 
the worldly wise, the celebrated beauties of this earth, shall 
make in that confused multitude at the left hand of the Judge. 
How will they then wish they had been always little and con- 
temptible in this life, and poor, and meek, and humble, when 
they shall see those whom formerly they so much despised, 
now crowned with glory, strength, and beauty, and advanced 
to a kingdom of eternal bliss! 

Consider, thirdly, what will be their confusion when the 
books of conscience shall be laid open, and all the guilt of 
their whole lives exposed to the public view of men and angels: 
those works of darkness, which perhaps they could not bear 
to discover even to the minister of God, though tied by all 
laws, divine and human, to perpetual secrecy. Alas! they 
will then vainly call upon the mountains to fall upon them and 
cover their shame, and to hide them from the wrath of God. 

Conclude to take such measures in this your day, as may ef- 
fectually secure you against the terrible day of the Lord, 

JULY 19. 

On the thoughts of the wickfd upon this dreadful sepa- 

CONSIDER, first, the sentiments of the wicked on this occa- 
sion, expressed by the spirit of God in the book of Wisdom, 
(chap, v.) "These seeing it," (the glorious exaltation of the 
just) "shall be troubled with horrible fear, and shall be amaz- 
ed at the suddenness of their unexpected salvation; saying 
within themselves, repenting and groaning for anguish of spir- 
it, These are they whom we had heretofore in derision, and 
for a parable of reproach: we fools esteemed their life mad- 
ness, and their end without honor: behold how they are num- 
bered among the children of God, and their lot is among the 

Consider, secondly, how bitter these poor wretches will 
now condemn their past folly! "Therefore," continue they, 
"we have erred from the way of truth, and the light of justice 
hath not shined unto us, and the sun of understanding hath 


not risen upon us; we wearied ourselves in the way of in- 
iquity and destruction, and we have walked through hard 
ways; but the way of the Lord we have not known." 

Consider, thirdly, what remorse and fruitless repentance for 
their pride, and other excesses during lii'e, will then torment 
their souls! ""What," say they, "hath pride profited us? or 
what advantage hath the boasting of riches brought us? All 
those things are passed away like a shadow, and like a post 
that runneth on; and as a ship that passeth through the waves, 
whereof when it is gone by, the trace cannot be found: so we 
being born, forthwith have ceased to be, and have been able 
to show no mark of virtue; but are consumed in our wicked- 
ness." Ah, Christians! mark well these speeches of the repro- 
bate, and take effectual measures while you yet have time to 
avoid their misfortune. 

Conclude to separate yourself from the society of the wick- 
ed here, that you may not be involved with them in eternal 
misery hereafter. 

JULY 20. 
On the opening of the books of conscience. 

CONSIDER, first, what is said in the word of God of the 
opening of the books, when the LORD will sit in judgment, 
(Dan. vii.) "I beheld till thrones were placed, and the An- 
cient of Days sat down. Thousands of thousands ministered 
to him, and ten thousand times a hundred thousand stood be- 
fore him: the judgment sat, and the books were open." (And 
Revel, xx. 11, 12.) "I saw a great white throne," saith St. 
John, "and one sitting upon it, from whose face the earth and 
heaven fled away, and there was no place found for them. 
And I saw the dead, great and small, standing before the 
throne; and the books were opened: and another book was 
opened, which is the book of life and the dead were judged 
by those things which were written in the books, according to 
their works." 

Consider, secondly, what are these books which will be 
opened at the day of judgment. In the first place, the books 
of our consciences, with all the divine records, in which all 
our thoughts, words, and actions, are punctually registered. 
In the second place, the books of the gospel of the rules of 
life prescribed by Jesus Christ and of the commandments of 
God. And lastly, the book of life, even that book in the first 
line of which it is written of Jesus Christ, (Ps. xxxix.) that 
he should come to do his Father's will: and in which the 
names of all stand recorded, under that of Jesus Christ, who 


with him, and through him .have done the will of his Father, 
and embraced the law of his love in the very midst of their 

Consider, thirdly, that the study of these awful books will 
be of infinitely greater importance to you, than the knowledge 
of all human sciences and the polite arts, the productions of 
which must all perish in the last fire. By the contents of 
these books you are to be judged. Judge yourself now impar- 
tially by them, and you shall escape the terrors of the judg- 
ment to come. 

Conclude, from time to time, to take a strict survey of your 
whole interior, in the presence of your Judge: this will keep 
you always ready at his call. 

JULY 21. 
On the manifestation of conscience at the last day. 

CONSIDER, first, that upon the opening of the books of con- 
science, the sins of the reprobate shall all appear in their most 
odious colors, not in their own eyes only, but shall be ex- 
posed to the public view of that immense assembly of all hea- 
ven and earth, visible and evident to the eyes of all, both 
angels and men, good and bad. Ah, poor sinner! how will 
you then endure your extreme confusion? 

Consider, secondly, what anguish will oppress, you, when 
all your works of darkness, and the abominations which you 
had committed in the greatest privacy, and which you would 
not have had known to your dearest friends and acquaintance 
for all the world, and perhaps could not find in your heart to 
disclose even to your director, under the strictest secrecy, shall 
now be displayed before your face, with every aggravating cir- 
cumstance, in the great consistory of the whole universe. 

Consider, thirdly, and reflect at leisure, how all your 
thoughts, words, and actions, the moment they go from you 
are enrolled in the divine books. Ah! in Avhat condition will 
your's there appear? Will your life stand the trial of the book 
of the gospel? Has your name any place in the book of life, 
where none are entered but such as do the will of God? 

Conclude with a hearty repentance and a sincere confession 
of all your guilt to the minister of God; and he, by virtue of 
the commission of Jesus Christ, (Johnxx.) will absolve you 
from all your sins, which alone can condemn you at this last 


JULY 22. 

On St. Mary Magdalene, (Luke vii. ) 

CONSIDER, first, the sudden and wonderful conversion of 
this glorious penitent. "Behold a woman in the city, who 
was a sinner," (says St. Luke.) "when she knew that Jesus 
was at meat in the house of the Pharisee, brought an alabaster 
box of ointment: and standing behind at his feet, she began to 
wash his feet with her tears; and she wiped them with the 
hairs of her head, and she kissed his feet, and anointed them, 
with the ointment," (Luke vii. 37, 38.) See here a penitent 
indeed! thoroughly penetrated with the sense of the dreadful 
evil of her sins, and therefore not to be restrained either by 
shame or fear, or anything the world might say or think, from 
having immediate recourse to her SAVIOUR, though then at ta- 
ble, and in the midst of Pharisees! 

Consider, secondly, Magdalene's great humility; her faith, 
her love, her tears of repentance on this occasion, Her ardent 
love, in particular, shows itself by her often kissing our Sa- 
viour's feet, and by the penitential tears which it produces; 
and is therefore taken notice of by him, as the main disposi- 
tion towards her justification: "Many sins are forgiven her, for 
she hath loved much," (verse 47. ) 

Consider, thirdly, in this instance, the wonderful mercies of 
God, who thus changes, in an instant, the greatest sinners into 
the greatest saints; and learn never to despair of the conver- 
sion of any one, nor prefer yourself before any others; since 
whatever they are to-day, to-morrow they may be great peni- 
tents, and favorites of heaven. Secondly, we must learn from 
this example, a ready and courageous compliance with the 
graces and calls of God. Thirdly, that the way to obtain the 
pardon of our sins, and to all holiness, is an ardent love of 
our blessed Redeemer. 

Conclude, if you have followed Magdalene in her sins, to 
imitate her also in her repentance. 

JULY 23. 
On the last sentence of the good. 

CONSIDER, first, that the awful examination of the last judg- 
ment being closed, our Lord turning to the right, will address 
this sweet and amiable invitation to his elect: "Come, ye 
blessed of my Father! possess the kingdom prepared for you 
from the foundation of the world," (Matthew xxv. 34.) 
Thrice-happy souls! that shall be found worthy to hear this 


joyful sentence pronounced in their favor. But, oh what envy, 
what rage and despair, shall rack the souls of the reprobate, 
when they shall reflect how easily they also, might have secur- 
ed to themselves a share in this happy lot of their friends; 
and they would not. 

Consider, secondly, the import of this sentence. Come, 
says the Judge, from your long and tedious banishment, to 
your true and heavenly country. Your crosses, labors, and 
conflicts are now no more; instead of these, you shall hence- 
forth enjoy whatever can complete your happiness. Arise, 
my beloved; the winter is now past, the floods and storms are 
all over; "Arise, and come. Enter into the joy of your Lord; 
the kingdom is prepared for you" from the beginning, and 
shall endure for endless ages. 

Consider, thirdly, that this heavenly sentence draws us to 
our God, receives xis into the bosom of his goodness, trans- 
forms us into himself. Nothing less could ever fully satisfy 
our souls. glorious blessing indeed, to be thus "blessed of 
the Father!" happy kingdom, in which we shall eternally 
live and reign with the true and living God! 

Conclude, to secure to yourself this happy sentence, by your 
diligence and faithful perseverance in all good works. 

JULY 24. 
On the last sentence of the wicked. 

CONSIDER, first, how the great Judge, turning himself, after 
this, towards the wicked on his left, with fire in his eyes and 
terror in his countenance, shall thunder out the dreadful sen- 
tence of eternal death, in these words: "Depart from me, ye 
cursed, into everlasting fire, which was prepared for the devil 
and his angels." dismal curse, and most woeful banishment, 
from the city of God into the horrid region of the second death; 
where these wretches must bum for ever with the devil and 
his angels in eternal flames! 

Consider, secondly, what this dreadful curse includes. I 
would have given you my blessing, will our Lord then say, 
but you would not receive it: a curse you have chosen, and a 
curse shall be your everlasting lot. It shall stick close to you 
like a garment which you shall never quit: it shall enter your 
very bowels, and search into the very marrow of your bones. 
Your eyes shall never see a glimpse of comfortable light; your 
ears shall be forever entertained with frightful shrieks and 
groans; your taste embittered with the gall of dragons, and all 
your members shall be tormented in the fire of hell. 

Consider, thirdly, that this terrible curse shall also reach the 


soul: as if the judge should say, a curse upon your under- 
standing never to be enlightened with a ray of t;ulh; a curse 
upon your will, never to obtain any thing it loves or desires, 
but to be always bound down to what it hates and abhors; a 
curse upon your memory, to be ever revolving, in the bitter-, 
ness of a fruitless repentance, the folly and madness by which 
you have forieited a happy eternity, for vain and fleeting plea- 
sures. Your conscience shall be ever gnawed by the worm 
that never dies; and your whole soul shall be torn in pieces 
with furious hatred and despair. Good God, let me never be 
so wretched as to incur this dismal curse; nor shut upon me 
those dreadful gates which shall never more be opened to the 

Conclude to turn now to God with your whole heart; and 
renounce forever all sinful pleasures and ungodliness: thus 
shall you receive a blessing at that day, instead of a curse. 

JULY 25. 

On St. James. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. James^, the son of Zebedee, elder 
brother of St. John the apostle, was one of those disciples for 
whom our Lord showed a more particular regard. His and his 
brother's zeal and fervor in the cause of Christ, obtained for 
them from our Lord himself, the surname of Boanerges, or 
Sons of Thunder. This glorious title they made good in their 
preaching, and in their labors; and St. James, with the advan- 
tage of being the first of all the apostles, who laid down his life 
for the love of his Master, and sealed his doctrine with his 

Consider, secondly, what kind of sufferings St. James and 
his fellow apostles endured daily for the love of Christ ; and 
with what patience and charity. "I think," says St. Paul, (1 
Cor. iv. ) "that God has set forth us apostles the last; as it 
were men appointed to death: because we are made a spec- 
tacle to the world, and to angels, and to men. We are fools 
for Christ's sake we are weak we are without honor. Even 
unto this hour, we both hunger and thirst, and have no fixed 
abode: and we labor, working with our own hands: we are 
reviled, and we bless: we are persecuted, and we suffer it: we 
are made as the refuse of the world, the offscouring of all, 
even until now." See, Christians, in what manner the great- 
est favorites of heaven were treated by the children of the 
world. But no wonder:, for their divine Master himself was 
used no better: and all who desire to reign with him, must he 
content to suffer with him. 


Consider, secondly, that SS. James and John, though they 
had been now trained up three years in the school of Chirst, 
yet before his passion and the descent of the Holy Ghost, 
were not divested of ambition; and they induced their mother 
to ask for them that they might sit, the one on the right hand 
of Christ, the other on the left, in his kingdom. But hearken 
to the words of our Lord on this occasion. "You know not," 
says he, "what you ask. Can you drink of the chalice that I 
shall drink?" &c. how true it is, "we know not what we 
ask" when we ask for honors, riches, pleasures, and the like, 
which instead of bringing us nearer to our God , are apt to 
carry us away from him! Whereas patient suffering is the sure 
way to his eternal kingdom. 

Conclude to keep close to your humble and suffering Lord; 
and you shall be exalted with him in glory. 

JULY 26. 
On St. Ann. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. Ann and Joachim, her consort, 
were chosen by heaven to be the parents of the blessed Virgin. 
And what a saintlike education did they not give to this pure 
creature? All the true children of Christ have ever loved his 
mother, and considered her as their own: how then can we do 
otherwise than love these two great saints, from whom the 
world received so valuable a present! 

Consider, secondly, the properties of a wise and virtuous 
woman, (Proverbs xxxi.) particularly her constant attention 
"to do good and not evil all the days of her life;" her un- 
wearied industry in acquiring the spiritual riches of virtue, 
and storing up a treasure for eternity; her diligence in the ex- 
ercise of the works of mercy and charity. "Strength and 
beauty are her clothing," saith the wise man, speaking of her 
interior; "and she shall laugh in the last day," when others 
shall be sad and sorrowful. Of this description was St. Ann. 

Consider, thirdly, that according to the gospel. (Matt. xiii. 
44.) the kingdom of God in our souls is a treasure of infinite 
value, which enriches us by the possession of God himself, 
here by grace, and hereafter in glory. This treasure is hidden 
from the children of the world: but the children of God whose 
eyes are open to the truth, discover this inestimable treasure, 
and spare no cost to obtain it: they even sell all they have to 
purchase it; that is, they give up their humors, their passions, 
their worldly affections, their sensual inclinations. Thus they 
become masters o? this heavenly treasure. 


Conclude to seek first this kingdom of God in your soul ; and 
all other things shall be added unto you, with interest. 

JULY 27. 
On Hell. 

CONSIDER, first, what is said of hell in the Old Testament. 
It is called, (Job. x.) "A land" (from which there is no 
coming back) "dark and covered with the obscurity of death: 
a land of misery where the shadow of death, and no order, 
hut everlasting horror dwelleth." In Isaiah (xxx. 33.) it is 
called Topheth, otherwise Gehenna, where the idolators burnt 
their children in sacrifice to the devil. "Topheth," says he, 
"is prepared from yesterday: prepared by the king, deep and 
wide. The nourishment thereof is fire and much wood: the 
breath of the Lord as a torrent of brimstone kindleth it." The 
wise man adds, '(Eccles. xxxix.) "There are spirits created 
for vengeance; and in their fury they lay on grievous torments, 
to appease the wrath of him that made them. Fire, hail, 
famine and death the teeth of beasts and scorpions, and 

Consider, secondly, the description of hell, drawn by our 
Lord himself in his gospel. He calls it the "gehenna of fire," 
[Matt, v.] "A fire that cannot be quenched; where the 
worm dieth not, and the fire is not extinguished:" and where 
"every one shall be salted with fire," [Mark ix.] "An eter- 
nal fire," and "everlasting punishment," [Matt, xxv.] "A 
place of torments in flames," where the wicked shall not be 
allowed even so much as one "drop of water to cool their 
tongue/' [Luke xvi.] "A furnace of fire," where "there 
shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth," &c. 

Consider, thirdly, what a dreadful scene of misery is set. be- 
fore our eyes, in these and many other texts of holy scripture: 
how*many bitter ingredients compose this cup of the divine 
wrath, of which the wicked must drink in hell for evermore? 
Take a view of them, my soul, at leisure; that the sight 
may imprint in thee a wholesome fear of sin, the only evil 
that can condemn thee to that place of torments. Ah! chris- 
tians; it is impossible we should seriously believe and think 
of hell, and yet presume to sin. 

Conclude to take the most effectual means, since you can 
endure so little here, to prevent your ever falling into this 
place of torments! 


JULY 28. 
Other considerations on Hell. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Almighty is infinite in all his at- 
tributes; as in his power, wisdom and goodness; so in his 
avenging justice too. Consequently, by the greatness of his 
love, mercy, and patience here, we may measure the greatness 
of his future wrath and vengeance against impenitent sinners. 
He has never ceased during life to heap his favors upon them, 
and to offer them his mercy: and now they must for ever feel 
the dreadful vengeance of his justice, which they have so 
wantonly abused and contemned. 

Consider, secondly, that beatitude is defined "a perfect and 
never ending state of happiness, comprising at once all that is 
good, without any mixture of evil." If, then, damnation be 
the opposite to beatitude, it must needs be an everlasting de- 
luge of all that is evil, without the smallest mixture of good. 

Consider, thirdly, that the misery of the damned is un- 
changeable because they carry with them, out of this world, 
the enormous guilt of mortal sin; a dreadful stain which even 
the flames of hell can never efface! For as there is no room 
for repentance in hell, there can be no remission of sin. 
Hence it calls eternally for the avenging justice of God, which 
cannot but inflict eternal punishment upon eternal guilt. 

Conclude to detest, above all evils, the dreadful evil of mor- 
tal sin ; and you will not need to fear everlasting damnation. 

JULY 29. 
On the prison of Hell. 

CONSIDER, first, that hell is a dreadful prison, in which the 
damned are confined for all eternity: a prison whose gates are 
eternally burred upon them, and shut in with them whatever 
can make them completely miserable. dismal locks and 
bolts, which exclude for ever all good, and admit of nothing 
but God's avenging justice! 

Consider, secondly, that this prison of the damned is full of 
horror and darkness. Here no sun, no moon, no stars are ever 
seen: a dismal night eternally prevails, a night that never ex- 
pects the return of day. The very fire which rages here is 
black and darksome; it affords no light to the wretched prison- 
ers, but such as will increase their misery. 

Consider, thirdly, that in this frightful dungeon the damned 
are hound, "hand and foot," in eternal chains, [Matth. xxii.] 
That head, which by their pride they had lifted up against 


God, is now nailed down at an immense distance from him: 
that stiff neck, which they refused to bend to his sweet yoke, 
is loaded with the enoimous weight of infernal irons; and all 
their members are enwrapped in links of grinding flames. 

Conclude, to provide [in time] for your last end, lest you be 
cast into this dismal and everlasting prison. 

JULY 30. 
On the entertainments of hell. 

CONSID ER, first, that wordings who have here indulged them- 
selves in excess, shall be tormented in hell with ravenous hun- 
ger and thirst. Their wine there is the gall of dragons, and 
the venom of asps, which is incurable, [Deut. xxxii. 33.] 
Their cups are full of liquid fire and stinking sulphur, which 
is "the wine of the wrath of God." Their gardens of plea- 
sure are now changed into a "pool of fire and brimstone:" 
their criminal embraces, into the cruel gnawings of infernal 
serpents, ever preying upon their bosoms. 

Consider, secondly, those eternal shrieks and groans; those 
horrid curses and blasphemies; the insulting voices of the tor- 
mentors, which will make a part of the melancholy entertain- 
ment. Surely if there were nothing else in hell but the being 
condemned to an everlasting night, in the midst of so much 
horror and confusion, the worst of temporal evils would be far 
more eligible. 

Consider, thirdly, the abominable company which will 
complete the misery of the scene, for endless ages: so many 
hideous spirits; so many merciless devils; and, what will be 
still more odious to the damned, the unhappy partners of their 
sins. What bitter hatred, what hellish rage and fury shall now 
succeed their former lawless love! How will they now tear 
and torment one another, being eternally chained together in 
those black fiery links, which by their dark passions and lusts 
they have in their life-time made for themselves. 

Conclude, henceforward, to flee the sinful entertainments 
of the children of this world, and a voluptuous life; and you 
shall have no part in the dismal entertainments of hell. 


JULY 31. 
On the fire of Hell. 

CONSIDER, first, that in hell every vice will meet \vith its 
peculiar torment. The proud, the covetous, the lascivious; 
each shall receive their proper reward. But the general pun- 
ishment of all the damned is that they shall hum in "ever- 
lasting fire." And who can endure the thoughts of this eter- 
nal burning, in that dreadful "pool of fire and brimstone?" 

Consider, secondly, that the fire of this world can only reach 
the body, which it quickly consumes, and then dies away; but 
the fire of hell not only pierces the body through and through 
with exquisite pain, it moreover penetrates the soul in her in- 
most recesses, with its searching flames. Ah! who could en- 
dure such a fire as this, even for one moment? How much 
less for a long eternity? 

Consider, thirdly, that no man upon earth who has not quite 
lost his senses, would be willing, even for the empire of the 
world, to be broiled on a gridiron, or roasted for half an hour 
by a slow fire, though he were sure to escape with life. Nay, 
where is the man who would venture to hold his finger in the 
flame of a candle for half a quarter of an hour, for any reward 
this earth can bestow? Where is then the judgment of the 
greatest part of Christians, who pretend to believe hell fire, 
and yet live on with little apprehension [and that oftentimes 
for years together] in the guilt of mortal sin, in danger every 
moment of falling into this dreadful and everlasting fire? 

Conclude never to expose yourself to the danger of this ever- 
lasting fire, by mortal sin, even for one moment; that moment 
may be your last. 


On the pain of loss in hell. 

CONSIDER, first, the cruel interior pangs and agonies of the 
soul caused by the eternal loss of God, and of all that is good. 
Alas! she has lost her God forever : no glimpse of hope, no 
sense of good, no power of love either for God or their neigh- 
bor is left in the damned. Ah! unhappy wretches, who cannot 
love! They are sent into an eternal banishment from the face 
of the Lord, far from his glorious kingdom and the happy so- 
ciety of his children; far from their true country, and all its 
blissful joys, once purchased for them by the blood of the Son 
of God. 

Consider, secondly, that the damned by their own woful ex- 


perience will be fully convinced, now it is too late, that the 
loss of God is most direful. In losing him they have lost an 
infinite good, their first beginning and last end; by whom and 
for whom they were created; from whom whatever good they 
have at any time received was all derived. But now they have 
lost this overflowing fountain, or rather this boundless ocean of 
all good, without recovery, for all eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, that the lively sense of this most rueful 
of all losses, and of all its dismal consequences, will contin- 
ually rack their despairing souls : they will not be able so 
much as to turn away their thoughts from it one moment. 
Whichever way they look for one drop of ease or comfort in 
him or from him, they will meet with none. Hence flow back 
despair, rage, hatred, and most horrid blasphemy. 

Conclude never to turn away from God in this life, by wilful 
sin.; and you shall never experience this dismal loss. 

On the worm of hell. 

CONSIDER, first, that the worm of the damned shall never 
die, (Mark ix. ) and that this never-dying worm of a wicked 
conscience, like a black poisonous serpent, will forever fasten 
upon their breasts, and eat its way into their hearts. Ah! who 
can conceive this eternal remorse; this dismal melancholy ; 
this most bitter but fruitless repentance; this extreme anguish, 
accompanied with everlasting horror, confusion, and despair! 
sin, how hateful a monster art thou! 

Consider, secondly, what a racking torture it will be to the 
damned to all eternity, to be constantly revolving in their me- 
mory that folly, which made them forfeit the eternal joys of 
heaven, and part with both their God and their souls, for a vile 
satisfaction which lasted but one moment, and left nothing be- 
hind it but guilt and remorse; or for some point of honor or petty 
interest, by which they were robbed of all true honor, and are 
now reduced to the extremity of all misery! 

Consider, thirdly, what will be their judgment of this cheat- 
ing world and all its fleeting vanities, when after having been 
millions of years in hell, looking back and scarce able to find 
in that immense duration the small point of their mortal life, 
they shall , with most bitter regret, continually compare togeth- 
er time and eternity, past enjoyments and present punishments, 
heaven and hell! 

Conclude to abhor all wilful sin : this alone will feed the 
never-dying worm. 


On a miserable eternity. 

CONSIDER, first, that hell would be no longer hell, if there 
were the least glimpse of hope, that the miseries of the damned 
would one day have an end, though it were after millions of 
ages; because it would admit of some comfort. But, for all 
its inexpressible torments to continue for ever, as long as God 
shall be God; Oh! this is, of all others, the greatest torture of 
the damned! 0, eternity, eternity! how little do worldlings 
apprehend thee now! how terrible Avilt thou be to them here- 
after, when engulfed in thy bottomless abyss! 

Consider, secondly, if one short night seems so long and 
tedious to a poor sick man in a burning fever; if he counts 
every hour, and with so much impatience longs for the morn- 
ing, which yet will afford him but little relief; what must this 
dreadful night of eternity be, in the midst of all the pains of 

Consider, thirdly, what an immense space of time would be 
required, for any one of the damned, if he were to shed but 
one tear in a thousand years, to shed tears enough to fill the 
sea. The first of all the damned would not yet have shed six 
tears. And yet, dreadful eternity! the time Avill certainly 
come, when any of those wretches shall be able with truth to 
say, that at the rate of one tear for a thousand years, he might 
have shed tears enough not only to make a sea, but to drown 
the whole world, and to fill up the vast space between heaven 
and earth! And yet, alas? after these millions of millions of 
ages, he will be as far from the end of his misery, as he was 
the first day he came into that place of torments. 

Conclude to decline with all your power, in future, all such 
sins as lead to this miserable eternity; and do away the past 
by sincere confession and penitential tears. 


On the happiness of heaven. 

CONSIDER, first, that the mercy and goodness of God mani- 
fest themselves in a wonderful manner, above all his works, 
(Ps. cxliv. ) If then his justice be so terrible with regard to 
his enemies, how much more will his mercy, his goodness and 
his bounty appear, in favor of his friends? what must this 
blessed kingdom of heaven be, which in his infinite goodness 
he has prepared for his beloved children? Which he has con- 
trived by his infinite wisdom, and effected by his infinite pow- 


er, for the manifestation of his glory, and in order to entertain 
them all with an eternal banquet worthy of himself? 

Consider, secondly, what an immense price has been laid 
down to purchase the happiness of heaven; even the most pre- 
cious blood of the Son of God : and, notwithstanding we must, 
over and above, give up all things else; and even our whole 
selves in exchange for it, yet we are said to receive it "free- 
cost," (Apoc. xxii. 17.) So very small is the proportion. 
Truly "eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither hath it en- 
tered into the heart of man to conceive, what things God hath 
prepared for them that love him/' (1 Cor. ii. 9.) 

Consider, thirdly, that though we should suffer a thousand 
deaths for the sake of this eternal life, we are still assured, 
(Rom. viii. 18.) "that the sufferings of this present life are 
not worthy to be compared with this heavenly glory, that is to 
come." Turn then all your attention towards this true and 
eternal felicity : all things else are but mere trifles, in compar- 
ison with your sovereign and universal good. 

Conclude with hearty thanks to the goodness of God, who 
made you for this noble end; and resolve to use diligently all 
the means of salvation. 


On the good things of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that true honors, true riches and true plea- 
sures, are not to be found in the broad way of the world, nor 
in the ways of sin; but only "in the land of the living," to- 
gether with all other good things. Here alone is the highest 
nobility and the most exalted dignity. Here all are of blood 
royal, children and heirs of the King of kings; all for ever 
crowned with wreaths of immortal glory. 

Consider, secondly, what riches flow in this happy "Land 
of Promise." Nothing is wanted, nothing coveted, all things 
in abundance. It is called in scripture a kingdom; and such a 
kingdom indeed it is to all those happy souls, as in wealth, 
power, greatness and endless duration, infinitely exceeds all 
the kingdoms of the .world. my soul, aspire with all thy 
might after this heavenly kingdom. 

Consider, thirdly, that this heavenly land flows also with 
the milk and honey of pure and immortal delights. Its bless- 
ed inhabitants, according to the Psalmist, are all eternally "in- 
ebriated with the plenty of God's house, and are made to drink 
of the torrent of his pleasure : for with him is the fountain of 
life clear as crystal, which proceeds from the throne of God, 
and of the Lamb," 


Conclude no longer to be a slave to vain honors^ false riches, 
and fading pleasures; bend your course towards your true 
country, where your utmost desires shall be accomplished for 


On the transfiguration of our Lord, Matt. xvii. 

CONSIDER, first, how our Lord, "taking with him Peter, 
James and John, brought them up into a high mountain apart; 
and was transfigured before them : so that his face did shine 
as the sun, and his garments became white as snow. And 
there appeared to them Moses and Elias talking with him." 
Then Peter cried out : "Lord, it is good for us to be here and 
as he was yet speaking, behold a bright cloud overshadowed 
them : and lo a voice out of the cloud, saying : This is my be- 
loved Son in whom I am well pleased, hear ye him," (Mat- 
thew xvii. ) 

Consider, secondly, how wonderfully our faith and hope are 
strengthened in this mystery, as well by the joint testimonies of 
the law and the prophets bearing witness, in the persons of 
Moses and Elias, to the truth of the gospel and of the promises 
of Christ; as also by the testimony of God himself, in all the 
three divine persons; by the voice of the Father; by the glory 
of the Son, and by the apparition of the Holy Ghost in the 
bright cloud. 

Consider, thirdly, that it was inordinate in St. Peter to de- 
sire here for a continuance, that which was reserved for here- 
after, and for those only who should be entitled to it by labors 
and sufferings. Hence St. Luke observed, thst he knew not 
"Avhat he said," (ix. 33. ) With regard to divine consolations, 
we must admire in them the goodness and bounty of God; but 
we must not be discouraged when they are taken away; for 
merit and perfection consists not in them, but in working, suf- 
fering and loving; and for the time of this mortal life, it is or- 
dinarily far better for us to be with our Lord upon Mount Cal- 
vary ,.than upon Mount Thabor. 

Conclude to desire with your whole heart, one day fully to 
quench your thirst with the waters of the overflowing river of 
the city of God. 


On the glory of the, heavenly Jerusalem. 

CONSIDER, first, that the beauty and glory of the city of God 
correspond with the riches and magnificence of the Almighty 
Monarch, who has built it for the manifestation of his power, 
wisdom and goodness; and to be the eternal habitation of his 
dearest friends and children. If even in this place of banish- 
ment he has given us so noble a palace, beautiful with the sun, 
moon and stars, what must our eternal mansion be in this our 
true country, "the land of the living;" where alone, according 
to the prophet, "our Lord is magnificent," (Isai. xxxiii.) 

Consider, secondly, that the walls of this city, are said in 
scripture to be built with precious stones, and that its streets are 
paved with the purest gold; that there shall be no night nor any 
want of the sun or moon; but that God himself will be its ever- 
lasting light; and that every one of the just shall shine like the 
sun. how "glorious are the things which are said of thee, 
city of God!" (Ps. Ixxxvi.) But far more glorious things are 
veiled under these noble figures. 

Consider, thirdly, that Jerusalem is interpreted "the vision 
of peace;" because there alone is the true seat of eternal 
peace. To this city no heats, no colds, no rains, no storms, 
no diseases, no adversities of any kind can find access, nor 
ever can approach this blessed abode. But a most bright day, 
a most serene calm, an everlasting peace eternally reigns. 
God "shall now wipe away all tears; and death shall be no 
more, nor mourning, nor crying nor sorrow shall be anymore; 
for the former things are passed away;" ( Apocal. xxi. ) 

Conclude to despise all earthly things, in comparison with 
this heavenly city; and to aspire after it alone. 

On the happy society of the blessed in heaven. 

CONSIDEK, first, the multitude, beauty and glory of the in- 
habitants of this blessed mansion. That immense number of 
cherubim and seraphim all on fire with divine love; that in- 
finite multitude of saints and martyrs, and other servants of 
God of both sexes, gathered out of all nations; and, above 
them all, the Blessed Virgin Mother of God, the queen of 
saints and angels. The very sight of any of them, as we learn 
from the experience of certain saints, is enough to ravish the 
soul into an extacy, and to fill it with inexpressible delight : 
what then, will it be to see them all, and to enjoy their happy 
society for all eternity? 


Consider, secondly, what a pleasure it is to a virtuous Chris- 
tian, to enjoy the company, conversation and friendship o the 
good and the wise. But what company; what conversation; 
what friendship here upon earth, however excellent, can bear 
any comparison Avith that of the hlessed in heaven? There we 
shall meet with millions of brethren and friends, all most lov- 
ing, all most wise, all most holy. The praises of God, and 
his eternal truths, are their continual theme; harmonious 
hymns of divine love are their constant entertainment. 

Consider, thirdly, the love and charity which the blessed 
have one for another; so great, that they all have but one heart 
and one soul. Hence by love they esteem one another's hap- 
piness as their own. Let us imitate, as far as human frailty 
will permit, this blessed charity; and rejoice at every real 
good we discover in our neighbor, as if it were our own, let 
us invite all to join us here in the love and praises of our God, 
to be continued for all eternity in heaven. 

Conclude, if you wish to be eternally happy in the society 
of the saints, to associate with the good here upon earth, and 
to flee the company of the wicked. 

On the eternal enjoyment of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that although the kingdom of heaven 
abounds with all that can be imagined good and delightful; yet 
there is but one sovereign good, in the enjoyment of which 
consists the essential beatitude of heaven; and that is God 
himself. Him the blessed always "see as he is, face to face," 
and in the very centre of their own souls; and by the eternal 
contemplation of his infinite beauty and truth, together with all 
his divine perfections, they are quite ravished and set on fire 
with saraphic and eternal love. 

Consider, secondly, that as Almighty God himself is infinite- 
ly happy; so we may esteem the happiness of the blessed, in 
some measure infinite, because they possess Him, who is the 
immense ocean of endless felicity, and alone the source of his 
own eternal happiness; and shall not that suffice, my soul, to 
make thee happy, which makes God himself happy! Who 
then can conceive the least part of the joy which that soul must 
experience, that sees herself thus full of God and of his eter- 
nal jubilee! 

Consider, thirdly, in what manner all the powers of these 
blessed souls are eternally employed. Their understanding 
elevated by the light of glory, and ''in this light of God seeing 
God the light," ever contemplates him with infinite compla- 


cency. Their memory is continually occupied with the per- 
fect recollection of all that he has ever done for them; his 
manifold preservations, by which he has so often delivered them 
both from a temporal and eternal death; and his numberless 
other benefits and distinguished favors. Their will is forevei 
inflamed with the love of his divine attractions, his infinite 
beauty, goodness and liberality; and in a manner consumes 
herself in these delightful flames. 

Conclude daily to contemplate the divine perfections now: 
and this shall be your eternal occupation hereafter. 



CONSIDER, first, that the church has always shown a specia 
veneration for the memory of St. Laurence. He was archdea 
con to the holy pope St. Xystus, and seeing him led away t( 
martyrdom, he exclaimed : "whither are you going, Father 
without your son? Try me now, and make the experiment 
whether you have chosen a fit minister, to whom you havi 
committed the dispensation of the blood of our Lord." Th 
holy pope replied : "I am not going to leave thee, my son, no 
to forsake thee; but only am going a little before thee : afte 
three days thou shalt follow me." 

Consider, secondly, the extraordinary charity of St. Lav 
rence for his neighbor, in the diligent discharge of his office i 
the care and support of all the poor of the city, and in distr: 
buting among them, during the heat of the persecution, all th 
plate and treasures of the church, committed to his charge 
His fervent love of God appeared in that invincible courage 
with which he endured the worst of torments, even with chee] 
fulness and joy; because he suffered for the sake of his Belo^ 
ed. His love was truly stronger than death : and the fire wit 
which he was broiled on the gridiron, was not to be compare 
with those flames of divine love, which glowed within hi 

Consider, thirdly, from the gospel of this day, (John xii. 2^ 
&c.) that the grain of corn must die before it can bring fort 
fruit. "We must die to our sel -love, to our own will, to 01 
disorderly passionSj by the practice of daily self-denial; an 
must all be so far, at least, martyrs of Christ, as to be dead t 
ourselves for the love of him. Thus shall we be ackriowled^ 
ed and eternally honored by his heavenly Father. 

Conclude, from the example of the martyrs, to suffer at leaf 
with patience, the share allotted you in the cross of Christ. 


On the endowments of bodies glorified. 

CONSIDER, first, that these bodies of ours, at the resurrection 
will be most wonderfully changed. "This corruptible," says 
the apostle, (1 Cor. xv. ) "must put on incorruption, and this 
mortal must put on immortality." And again : "it is sown in 
corruption, it shall rise in incorruption : it is sown in dishonor 
it shall rise in glory : it is sown in weakness, it shall rise in 
power: it is sown a natural body, it shall rise a spiritual 

Consider, secondly, that these earthly bodies far exceed all 
earthly glory and beauty. "The just," saith our Lord, "shall 
shine like the sun, in the kingdom of their Father," (Matth. 
xiii.) Yes; the very least of God's servants, in that eternal 
kingdom, shall be far more beautiful and resplendent, than any 
thing seen by mortals here below, or conceived by man's im- 
agination. Happy those eyes, which shall behold the ravish- 
ing beauty of them all, together with the King of beauty and 
of glory, Jesus Christ! 

Consider, thirdly, that the other bodily senses shall all be 
filled with unspeakable delight. And, as for the hearing in 
particular, it shall be' forever entertained with an unexpressi- 
ble harmony, formed by the melodious concerts of all the 
celestial choirs, and the united voices of millions of heavenly 
citizens. The hearing of any one of these enchanting voices, 
would be enough to ravish any mortal with inconceivable de- 
light! And what must it be eternally to hear them all! 

Conclude, if you would secure to your body these heavenly 
endowments for eternity, to keep it mortified and undefiled, 
during its earthly pilgrimage. 

On a happy eternity. 

CONSIDER, first, that the honors, riches, and pleasures of 
this world are all momentary: our. life is but "a vapor which 
appeareth for a little while;" then presently vanishes, and is 
seen no more, ( James iv. 15.) How long, ye children of 
men, will you be in love with these empty shadows? How 
will you be imposed upon by mere illusion and deceit? Ah! 
do but give yourself up to divine love; and, instead of these 
vain and silly trifles which at the most you can enjoy only for 
an uncertain moment, you will secure to yourself infinite bliss 
lor endless ages. 


Consider, secondly, at leisure, Christian soul, this immense 
eternity of incomprehensible felicity prepared for you in hea- 
ven, to reward the short labors and sufferings of your mortal 
life/ The thought alone inspired St. Teresa when but an in- 
fant, with a contempt of all those things which pass away 
with time; and with a desire even of giving her life for the 
love of Christ. Often she repeated with great feeling those 
words, "For ever, For ever, For ever;" and in the meditation 
of these eternal years, a bright fire of devotion was enkindled 
in her soul. Let the like thought inspire you with the like af- 

Consider, thirdly, that the joys of a heaven will not become 
tedious, or less agreeable, by the infinite duration of their en- 
joyment. For, as God whom the Blessed always possess, is 
an immense ocean of all happiness: so the joy, pleasure, and 
delight of those that eternally enjoy him, is ever fresh, and 
ever new ; and continually fills the whole capacity of their 
souls. how blessed then "must they be that dwell in thy 
house, Lord! For ever and ever they shall praise thee," 
(Ps. Ixxxiii.) 

Conclude henceforward to despise all that is earthly and 
transitory; and aspire only after this blissful eternity. 

On conformity with the will of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that God demands of us our will without 
reserve, when he says, my "son, give me thy heart" (Prov. 
xxiii. ) This we give him in effect, when we conform our- 
selves in all things with his blessed will. But if we refuse to 
submit to his holy will, we refuse him our heart; or at the best 
-we offer him a divided heart which he will never accept. 

Consider, secondly, the advantages of this conformity with 
the will of God. It gives a certain dignity and perfection to 
the very meanest of our actions, and to all our sufferings, by 
making the will of God the rule of them all. It purifies our 
intention in all things; it even makes us "men according to 
'G_pd's own heart/' as the scripture says of David. It brings 
jvith it a perfect peace and tranquility of mind in all events, 
as being all ordered and directed by Him, who is infinitely 
gpod and infinitely wise, and orders all things for the good of 
those that throw their whole solicitude upon Him. 

Consider, thirdly, that this happy disposition is the sove- 
reign mean to hring all our passions into order and subjection, 
and to mortify all our irregular inclinations; for, what makes 
them disorderly and irregular, is their resisting the wilj pf 


God. It teaches the soul to be meek and humble under all in- 
juries and affronts, considering them all as coming from the 
just appointments of heaven: in a word, it makes her, like her 
blessed Saviour, "obedient unto death." 

Conclude earnestly to pray for this excellent virtue of con- 
formity with the will of God: it is the greatest treasure you 
can enjoy in this mortal life. 

Motives of conformity with the will of God. ' 

CONSIDER, first, that it is our greatest honor, interest, and 
pleasure, to conform ourselves in all things with the blessed 
will of God. This divine will is always right, always wise, 
always good. What motives then, have we to resign ourselves 
entirely to this sacred will? How wicked and how .foolish is 
it to resist the will of the Almighty? 

Consider, secondly, that all those who, with Jesus Christ, 
"desire in the midst of their hearts,'' and like him embrace 
and love the holy will of God, and always adhere to it, shall 
be acknowledged the true children of God, and the brethren 
of Jesus Christ: whereas they that revolt and rebel against the 
will of God, shall have their names blotted out of the book of 

Consider, thirdly, that God claims our will as our Creator, 
because he made us to serve him, and gave us our will, with 
our whole soul, to be employed solely in his holy service. 
The Son of God claims our will as our Redeemer, by the title 
of purchase; because he has ransomed our souls, enslaved be- 
fore to Satan; and has bought them for himself and his Father, 
at a great price, even with his own most precious blood. The 
Holy Ghost also claims our will, by the right of sanctification; 
because our whole soul at baptism was consecrated by the 
Spirit of God, to be his eternal temple. 

Conclude to give to God without reserve, what upon so 
many titles belongs wholly to him. 


On the assumption of the Blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first, and contemplate in spirit, the glorious en- 
try of the Blessed Virgin Mary, mother of our God and Sa- 
viour Jesus Christ, into the everlasting kingdom of her Son. 


Behold her now placed above all the Cherubim and Seraphim, 
on a most glorious throne, the highest in heaven next to that 
of her divine Son, and crowned by him with a diadem of 
such supereminent brightness and glory, as far exceeds our ut- 
most conception. Rejoice, my soul, at this glorious as- 
sumption of the Mother of thy Lord, who as he has been pleas- 
ed to make us his brethren, has also given her to be our 

Consider, secondly, what it was that raised our blessed Lady 
to this supereminent glory? It was, in the first place, her most 
profound humility: she was exalted above all, because she 
was the most humble of all. For he that humbleth himself 
the most upon earth, shall be the most exalted in heaven. 2. 
Her perfect -purity of soul and body. 3. Her consummate 
charity; for the degree of the enjoyment of God in his eter- 
nal glory, is always in proportion to the degree of our love of 
God, in this mortal life. Let us then strive to imitate her hu- 
mility, her purity, and her perfect charity. 

Consider, thirdly, that this imitation of the virtues of the 
Blessed Virgin, is an excellent way of honoring her, and of 
showing our real esteem, love, and devotion towards her. 
For, how can we better testify our affection and veneration for 
the saints of God, than by honoring and loving in them, that 
which made them saints, and that which God honors and loves 
in them namely, their virtues? This hind of devotion is 
most pleasing to the saints, and most profitable to ourselves. 

Conclude to form on this day a generous resolution of imi- 
tating this most Holy Virgin's life and conversation. It will 
add new joy to her present felicity, and engage her to become 
your powerful protectress. 

On the gospel for the assumption, (Luke x.) 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord going "into a certain town, 
a woman named Martha received him into her house: and she 
had a sister called Mary, who sat also at the Lord's feet, and 
heard his word." How happy were these holy sisters, thus to 
entertain the Lord of glory, to hear his word, to converse 
familiarly with him! But does not this same Lord also come 
in person into our house? Does he not abide amongst us, in 
the blessed sacrament? May we not by devout recollection en- 
tertain him and converse with him as often as we please? It 
is then entirely our own fault, if we do not avail ourselves of 
these great advantages. 

Consider, secondly, how differently the two holy sisters 


were then employed; Martha being busy about "much serv- 
ing," and full of care in providing for the entertainment of 
our Lord. In their persons are represented two different kinds 
of lives of the servants of God the active and the conttm- 
plativt,; or two different kinds of functions of a Christian, the 
one consisting in action, the other in contemplation; the 
one in a variety of good works, done with a good intention, 
for the service of Christ; the other in recollection, and a more 
close attention to God by mental prayer. Both of them are 
highly commendable; but the latter is preferred by the judg- 
ment of Truth itself. "Mary hath chosen the better part, 
which shall not be taken from her." 

Consider, thirdly, that this gospel is applied by the church 
to the Blessed "Virgin, because she was the happy woman that 
"received Christ into her house," in a far more excellent 
sense; and she perfectly fulfilled in her life the functions both 
of Martha and of Mary; of Martha, in the services she render- 
ed to our Lord in his humanity, for all the thirty years he was 
under her roof; and of Mary, because even in the midst of the 
duties of the active life, the eye of her heart was always upon 
her God: she was attentive to the "one thing necessary, al- 
ways made choice of the better part," and on this day was put 
in full possession of it, for eternity; according to that "Mary 
has chosen the better part, which shall not be taken from her." 

Conclude, with her, to choose, in all things, "the better 
part," by diligently following her great example. 

On resignation to the will of God in our sufferings. 

CONSIDER, first, that nothing happens, except sin, which 
does not come directly from the hand of God, and which is 
not the effect of his will. This is so true, that even those suf- 
ferings which seem to be brought upon us immediately by the 
wickedness of men, are in effect ordained by God. He detests, 
indeed, all malice in the will or design of the men or wicked 
spirits, whom he suffers to afflict us but absolutely wills the 
trials and afflictions, which we suffer on these occasions. He 
sends them for our good ; and it is our duty, as well as our 
greatest interest to be resigned. 

Consider, secondly, that God is the best of Fathers, and that 
his Fatherly providence, and his tender love for us, exceed all 
that we can express or conceive: the holy scriptures are full of 
repeated declarations of this truth. Wherefore, in all our sor- 
rows and afflictions, let us embrace this loving providence 
which offers us the cup, and presses us to receive it for God's 


sake; assuring us it Avill be the means of bringing us to hea- 
ven. Oh how true it is, that the very things which we are apt 
to consider as evils, are indeed great and solid goods, and the 
occasion of our eternal welfare. 

Consider, thirdly, that the first degree of resignation is to 
support, at least with patience, the evils which befal us, and 
humbly to submit to them, as the just punishment of our sins. 
The second degree is when we ate moreover ready and wil- 
ling to suffer, because such is the will of God; the considera- 
tion of which makes that agreeable to us, which naturally we 
dread and abhor. The third and most perfect degree is when 
we even rejoice in suffering for the love of God, and take a 
satisfaction in crosses, in adversities, in humiliations, in con- 

Conclude to make it your study to ascend by these steps, to 
the very perfection of Christian virtue, where you will find 
your God. 

On Self-denial. 

CONSIDER, first, that a disorderly self-love, by which we 
seek to please and gratify ourselves, is the parent of every 
vice. Inconsequence of the corruption of man by sin, we 
are "prone to evil from our youth." Hence the very first con- 
dition which the Son of God requires, of all who wish to be 
his disciples, is "to deny themselves," (Matt. xvi. 24.) This 
self-denial he constantly enforced, both in life and death. 
Happy they, who follow in practice this great example! 

Consider, secondly, that this virtue of self-denial or morti- 
fication, by which we die to our disorderly passions, and to 
the world, is indeed much talked of, but little understood, and 
less practised. "We may, notwithstanding, say of it what St. 
Paul says of charity, (1 Cor xiii.) that if "we speak with the 
tongues of men and angels and have the gift of prophecy, and 
all knowledge, and all faith, so that we could remove moun- 
tains;" but are not mortified, "we are nothing;" and what 
ever good we do, as long as our passions and corrupt inclina- 
tions remain untamed, we are nothing in the eyes of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that the word of God commands us even 
"to hate ourselves" in this life, if we hope to be either true 
disciples of Christ here, or eternally happy with him hereafter, 
(Lukexiv. 26. John xii. 25.) "If we live according to the 
flesh, we shall die; but if by the Spirit we mortify the deeds 
of the flesh, we shall live," (Rom. viii. 13.) And "they who 


are in the flesh," that is, such as are unmortified, "cannot 
please God," (verse 8.) 

Conclude, if you desire to overcome the world and the devil, 
to subdue the flesh, and bring it under, by wholesome self-de- 
jiials and mortification. 

On the 'mortification of the interior. 

CONSIDER, first, that we must also observe well all the ir- 
regularities, to which our inward powers and faculties are lia- 
ble, aad carefully retrench them by mortification. Thtts we 
shall purify our interior, and make it an agreeable residence 
for Almighty God, who delights to be with the children of 
men, provided they are careful to prepare him a proper lodg- 
ing. This mortification of the interior is far more difficult, 
though more pleasing to God, and more necessary for you, than 
any corporal austerities whatever. 

Consider, secondly, that our understanding is liable to pride, 
presumption and self-conceit, a variety of empty curiosities, 
and many errors of dangerous consequence in practice; errors 
opposite to the maxims of the gospel, and which represent 
things in false lights, and incline the poor soul to prefer the 
temporal before the eternal. Our judgment is rash and preci- 
pitate, clouded with many prejudices; our memory is ever full 
of empty things, and forgetful of God; and all our affections 
are strangely bent upon evil. All these must be corrected and 
mortified, to qualify the interior for a union with God. 

Consider, thridly, that as the will is or should be, the mis- 
tress of the other powers, and is obliged to keep them all in 
order, so she herself must be kept orderly by mortification. 
Hence the wise man says, (Eccles. xviii.) "Go not after thy 
own lusts, but turn away from thy own will: if thou give to 
thy soul her desires, she will make thee a joy to thy enemies." 
For this WILL of our 's when indulged, is capable of hurrying 
us into all evil; and therefore the gospel bids us "hate our 
own souls" that is, our own wills, in this world, if we hope 
to be happy in the next. 

Conclude diligently to practice this mortification: First, by 
denying your own will, whatever it craves contrary to the will 
of God: Secondly, by often contradicting your own will, even 
in things indifferent: Thirdly, by restraining all over-eager- 
ness, even in what appears to be good, and quietly following, 
on all occasions, the will of God alone. 


On the mortification of the passions. 

CONSIDER, first, that before man was corrupted by original 
sin, his whole soul was regular and orderly, and all his pas- 
sions were under proper command. But as soon as the supe- 
rior part of the soul had withdrawn her allegiance from God, 
the inferior part began to rebel against the superior, and all its 
passions were at liberty to run into all kinds of disorders; be- 
cause the bridle of original justice, with which they were hither- 
to restrained, was now let loose. Hence arises an absolute ne- 
cessity of mortifying our passions, if we would save our souls. 

Consider, secondly, that it is the duty of this mortification 
to regulate our love, our desires, and our joy, by keeping them 
always within their proper bounds, and by turning them uway 
from all disorderly aflection for perishable creatures, to the 
living God, in the pursuit of virtue, and of truth. In like man- 
ner, we must mortify our fear, our anger, and all our other 
passions, by watching and restraining all their disorders and 

Consider, thirdly, that the strongest of all the passions is 
LOVE; and therefore the regulating of it, must be the first ob- 
ject of the Christian's attention. Our love is regular and order- 
ly, when we love all things according to the great rule of the 
will of God; when we love our friends in God, and our ene- 
mies for God. But then, on the other hand, whatever love, 
whether of person or thing, threatens to captivate our affec- 
tions, or to divide, or take off any part of our heart from God, 
or goes beyond the bounds of moderation, is disorderly, and 
must be corrected and mortified: it cannot stand with the love 
of the Lord our God "with our whole heart." 

Conclude to watch over all your passions, and keep them in 
subjection, but principally your love, even in lawful objects. 
For whatever be the object, it is criminal to love it more than 

On mortifying our predominant passion. 

CONSIDEK, first, that among the vicious inclinations com- 
monly classed under seven heads, but reduced by St. John to 
these three, "the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the 
pride of life," (1 John ii.) there is usually some one or other 
more violent than the rest, or which occasions more or greater 
sins. This is termed the predominant or ruling passion, the 


mortification of which is essentially necessary, in the spiritual 

Consider, secondly, that this reigning passion, having al- 
ready gained the heart, is too apt to impose upon the poor soul 
with specious pretexts. It is the Agag, which, out of a false 
compassion, she would willingly spare, though with the risk 
of being cast off by God, as Saul was, for so doing, ( 1 Sam. 
xv.) Christians, deceive not yourselves; this predominant 
passion is the mortal enemy of your soul. If you are sincere 
in the examination of your hearts, you will find it always un- 
dermining the reign of the love of God thrusting itself upon 
his throne, and setting up an idol in his temple, by claiming 
the chief place in your aifections, to the prejudice of divine 

Consider, thirdly, that it is of infinite importance in your 
spiritual warfare, to know the true state of your interior, and 
to watch all the motions and secret ambushes of your enemies. 
But though you are not to allow any one of your passions or 
vices to remain unsubdued in your soul, yet you must turn all 
your forces in a particular manner against your predominant 
passion; and direct your daily and most fervent prayers, your 
confessions and communions, your particular examinations 
every night, and the rest of your spiritual exercises, towards 
the total subduing of this evil, and the acquisition of the con- 
trary virtue. 

Conclude with a resolution to follow this method: and 
you will at length obtain a complete victory over all your 

On mortifying the sensual appetite. 

CONSIDER, first, that the flesh, with its senses, was design- 
ed to be the servant of the soul, and to promote its true happi- 
ness and welfare. But if the sensual appetite be not kept un- 
der subjection by self-denial, the servant will quickly become 
mistress. Our sensuality, therefore, must be mortified: we 
must absolutely deny ourselves all unlawful pleasures; we 
must flee them more than death: and we must retrench all ex- 
cess in the use even of lawful pleasures and diversions. In a 
word, we ought never to do any thing merely for pleasure. 

Consider, secondly, that Christ did not stiidy his own plea- 
sure: "He did not please himself," (Romans xv. 3.) His 
whole life was a cross, which he willingly bore for the glory 
of his Father, and for the love of us.- St. Paul "chastised his 
body and brought it into subjection," by voluntary mortifica- 


tion ( 1 Cor. ix. 17. ) All the saints have walked in the same 
footsteps: they have all crucified their own flesh, (Gal. v. 24.) 
The kingdom of heaven suffereth violence, and none but "the 
violent bear it away," (Matth. xi. 12.) And can Christians 
imagine that a sensual life will bring them thither? 

Consider, thirdly, that there is no one but who may'and 
ought to practice the mortification of the flesh, and of its sen- 
sual appetites; and that too, by denying it things otherwise 
lawful. The guilty must do it, to punish themselves for their 
past. sins; the innocent must do it, in order to preseve them- 
selves from falling into sin. None must here plead excuse on 
account of their want of strength or health. It is easy for a 
Christian of good will to contrive and practice a variety of 
self-denials, which require neither, by retrenching superflu- 
ities and affected niceties in eating, drinking, clothing, and the 

Conclude, daily to put in execution these and such other 
mortifications; lest otherwise "flesh and blood" prevail over 
your soul to your eternal ruin. 

On mortifying our curiosity. 

CONSIDER, first, that "the concupiscence of the eyes" must 
also be subdued; by which St. Augustine supposes the vice of 
curiosity to be meant. Alas! how many things are there, con- 
cerning which men take much pains to be informed, with great 
danger to their souls? How many things, which at best are 
useless and nothing to the purpose? And how much loss is 
here of their precious time? What dissipation of thought; 
what distractions in prayer; what forgetfulness of God and 

Consider, secondly, that in order to "mortify the lust of the 
eyes," we must turn them "away from vanity;" and much 
more from all such objects as allure the soul to impure love. 
Unhappy they, who are ever indulging their curiosity in look- 
ing for such dangerous objects; and much more so those who 
by their light carriage and indecent dress, affect to draw the 
eyes and heart of others to lust. For the same reason we must 
mortify our curiosity with regard to public shows and comedies, 
as being full of danger, and of allurements to vice. Also with 
respect to the reading of all such books, as, being lewd or ir- 
religious, tend to debauch the soul and draw her into sin. In 
which number, romances, play-books, and such like, are cer- 
tainly to be comprised; because they inflame the passions, soft- 


en the soul, and dispose her to carnal love, and extinguish the 
spirit of devotion and the love of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that the curiosity of hearing also, must be 
mortified: first, by shutting the ears to all loose narrations, 
jests, or songs; all of which are apt to convey a mortal poison 
into the soul: secondly, by not hearkening to scandal and de- 
traction, with danger either of taking pleasure in it, or of 
countenancing and encouraging so great an evil: thirdly, by 
being ever upon the watch, to prevent their taking in a still 
more dreadful infection, from irreligious and impious discourses 
which strike at the DEITY and his revealed truths, or tend to 
the discouragement of virtue or to the encouragement of vice. 

Conclude to be ever watchful, and fervent in prayer, against 
the evil of a vain curiosity, which has so many ways of pois- 
oning the soul. 

On the, gospel of St. Bartholomew, (Luke vi.) 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord, being about to choose his 
twelve apostles, went out into a mountain to pray, and there 
passed the whole night in the prayer of God. Learn from this 
example of the Son of God, to begin all your undertakings with 
fervent prayer. Our blessed Redeemer stood not in need of 
prayer for himself, but often passed whole nights in prayer and 
solicitude for our instruction. 

Consider, secondly, the fruits of this night's prayer in the 
great things performed by our Lord the next morning First, His 
choice of the twelve apostles. Second, His divine sermon 
on the Mount. Third, the many miracles wrought by him, 
when "a very great multitude of people came to hear him, 
and be healed of their diseases; and a virtue went out from 
him, and healed them all," (Luke v, ) 

Consider, thirdly, the heavenly law published on this occa- 
sion by your Redeemer, in that admirable sermon recorded by 
St. Matthew, (c. v, vi, vii. ) In this heavenly discourse, with 
a most amiable simplicity, joined to a wonderful authority, he 
has laid down all the fundamental points of Christian morality. 
O study well the excellent lessons which it contains; and 
make them the constant rule of your conduct. 

Conclude daily to go up with Christ into the mountain, by 
retirement and prayer. Here you will find your sovereign 



On humility. 

. CONSIDER, first, that the most necessary of all mortifications 
is that of our pride, by the virtue of humility. Humility is the 
favorite of heaven; without it all other virtues are nothing; 
they even degenerate into vices, when tainted with pride. 
Humility makes us become little, mean, and despicable in our 
own eyes, and willing to appear so in the eyes of others. It 
makes us quite sensible of our own misery and sinful ness, and 
teaches us to divest ourselves of all self-conceit, and to ascribe 
all good to God alone. 

Consider, secondly, that what makes humility so pleasing 
to Almighty God, is that it gives to him what belongs to him, 
and to man what belongs to man; by acknowledging with all 
simplicity, conviction and affection, God to be all and man 
nothing; and by ascribing to God whatever there is of good in 
one's. self, or in any thing created; and to ourselves nothing but 
our own defects. This humility was found in the greatest per- 
fection, in the most eminent saints. 

Consider, thirdly, that only the humble shall be exalted in 
heaven. For "except Ave become as little children we shall" 
never enter there, (Matt, xviii.) "God resists the proud and 
gives his grace to the humble," (James iv.) by which alone 
we must expect to attain salvation. The Most High and the 
Most Holy, who inhabiteth eternity, will dwell with none but 
such as are of "a contrite and humble spirit," (Isaiah Ivii. 15.) 
and those who "tremble at his words," (Isaiah Ixvi. 2.) 

Conclude, if you would have any part with God, in his eter- 
nal kingdom, to be always little and humble here upon earth. 
For "the proud and arrogant are an abomination to the Lord," 
(Prov. xvi. ) 

On the school of humility. 

CONSIDER, first, that the true knowledge of God and of our- 
selves, is the school in which we must leam humility. The 
more we know of God and his infinite perfections, the more 
sensible we become of our own nothingness, and our total de- 
pendence on him: and the more we know ourselves, our mis- 
eries and sins, the more clearly we perceive, that God alone 
is good, and that there is nothing good in ourselves, indepen- 
dently of Him. 

Consider, secondly, your extraction from nothing; that you 


were conceived and born in sin; that you are liable to num- 
berless miseries both of soul and body; that you are ever prone 
to evil, and hard to be brought to good; and that your thoughts, 
words and actions, are full of corruption. In the mean while 
life is fleeting and uncertain, and death will soon arraign you 
before an unerring tribunal, to be tried for life or death ever- 
lasting. And can you seriously think of this, and still be 

Consider, thirdly, what a wretched figure your soul made in 
the sight of God and his angels, under the guilt of mortal sin! 
She stood then condemned to hell; and has the sentence ever 
been reversed? What title then can you have to any favor 
from God or man? And how shall you entertain any self-con- 
ceit, or seek to be esteemed by others; since you have no title 
to any thing but hell? 

Conclude, to frequent daily this school of humility, by study- 
ing well to know both your God and yourself: this is the most 
necessary of all sciences. 


Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart, (Matt. 

xi. 29.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the Son of God himself came down 
from heaven, to teach us true humility by his own example; 
and for this end he became a little one amongst us; yea, "as a 
worm and no man, the reproach of men, and the outcast of 
the people," (Ps. xxi.) And yet, how few are there of us 
content to be little and contemptible with him! How few are 
willing to be scholars of this heavenly Master, or even to sub- 
mit to the least humiliation for the love of him! 

Consider, secondly, that our blessed Redeemer, pressing us 
all to "come to him, and to take up his yoke upon us, and to 
learn of him, because he is meek and humble of heart;" pro- 
mises at the same time "refreshment and rest to our souls," 
upon our compliance with his invitation. What then should 
deter us from frequenting this heavenly school of Christ? Its 
excellent advantages are peace of mind, refreshment and rest 
' from our labors, a victory over all our passions, and a happy 
acquisition of all virtues. 

Consider, thirdly, that the whole life of our Lord was full of 
lessons of humility. He chose to be born in a stable; to be 
circumcised as a sinner; to flee into Egypt, as if he were unable 
to resist a petty mortal; to be brought up in poverty and labor; 
to be obedient to his creatures; to suffer himself to be tempted 
by Satan; in a word, to embrace on all occasions, both in life 


and death, whatever was most humbling, and most despicable 
in the eyes of men. 

Conclude, never to loose sight of the doctrine and example 
of Jesus Christ; and learn of him to be truly humble. 

On the fruits of humility. 

CONSIDER, first, that faith itself, which is commonly look- 
ed upon as the foundation of all our good, absolutely depends 
upon humility: even that humility which obliges the soul to 
adore what she cannot understand, to submit to the most 
humbling truths, and to "cast down every height that exalteth 
itself against the knowledge of God, and to bring into captivi- 
ty every understanding to the obedience of Christ, ".(2 Cor. x. 
4, 5. ) It is also humility which in divine hope, keeps the soul 
between the two extremes of diffidence and presumption. For 
the less we trust in ourselves the more we trust in God. 

Consider, secondly, that charity, the queen of virtues, must 
be supported by humility: because humility furnishes the soul 
with the most pressing motives to love her God. It sets his 
goodness in its proper light, and makes us admire that he, be- 
ing what he is, should have any regard for us, or even bear 
with such sinful wretches as we are. And with regard to the 
love of our neighbors, it cannot exist without humility. For 
all the vices which oppose and destroy fraternal charity, for 
instance, hatred, envy, rash judgment, detraction, and the like, 
all spring from pride. 

Consider, thirdly, that "the prayer of him that humbleth 
himself, shall pierce the clouds, and will not depart till the 
Most High behold him," (Eccles. xxxv. 21.) And that God 
"hath regard to the prayer of the humble, and despiseth not 
their petitions," [Ps. ci. 18.] And "that from the beginning 
the proud have never been acceptable to him: but the prayer 
of the humble, and of the meek, hath always pleased him," 
[Judith ix. 10.] Even the prayer of the greatest sinners, 
when presented with "a contrite and humble heart," is not de- 
spised, [Ps. 1.] 

Conclude to study daily, this most excellent virtue of humil-- 
ity. It must be the foundation of all your happiness. 


On the other advantages of humility. 

CONSIDER, first, that the moral, as well as the theological 
virtues, have all a necessary dependence on humility. That 
prudence will come to nothing, which is self-conceited, and 
does not rest on God. Justice will be deficient in many of its 
branches, if corrupted by pride, which always makes men par- 
tial to themselves, and ever ready to judge, censure, condemn, 
and despise their neighbors. That fortitude will fail, which, 
for want of humility, is void of a proper foundation: and that 
temperance can never be perfect, which while it restrains the 
sensual appetite, does not also cut off the irregularities of the 
heart, the chief of which is pride. 

Consider, secondly, that meekness, poverty of spirit, puri- 
ty, and chastity, are all the offspring of humility; and the most 
shameful falls into the worst of impurities are often the pun- 
ishment of pride, [Rom. i. 24.] Modesty without humility 
deserves not the name of virtue. Obedience too, springs from 
humility, as diobedience is the first born of pride. Patience 
under afflictions, and perfect conformity to the blessed will of 
God, are also the inseparable companions of this virtue, and 
bring with them the happy fruits of inward tranquility arid 

Consider, thirdly, that the more humble we are, the greater 
sense we have of our sins. Hence flows a sincere desire of 
atoning for them by the virtue of penance. Humility opens 
our eyes to see our own great weakness, and the dangers which 
surround us on all sides, from the devil, the world, and our 
own passions, especially that unhappy self-love, the root of all 
our evils. In order to subdue this, it calls in self-denial. And 
thus all virtues depend upon humility. 

Conclude to embrace humility, as the only path to Christian 
perfection and eternal life. 


On the degrees of humility. 

CONSIDER, first, that true humility does not consist in say- 
ing we are sinners, or the like; nor yet in wearing a plain 
dress, or employing ourselves in mean offices: all this may be 
done out of pride, and to acquire the esteem of others by the 
outward show of humility. There is no true humility but that 
of the heart; we must despise ourselves from a conviction of 


our own nothingness, and be willing to be thought little of by 
others. Without this, we are not truly humble. 

Consider, secondly, that the first degree of humility is to 
have such a knowledge of ourselves, and of all our miseries 
and sins, as to be feelingly convinced we have nothing to be 
proud of, but every reason to be thoroughly humble; since 
there is nothing good in us of our own, and of ourselves we 
are capable of nothing but evil. And yet, how much does 
this unhappy pride prevail, in spite of all these motives of 

Consider, thirdly, that the second degree of true humility 
makes us willing tliat others also, should have the same mean 
opinion of us, as we have of ourselves: and indeed as in oth- 
er things we wish our neighbors to think as we do. did we 
sincerely despise ourselves, we should certainly be glad, that 
others should despise us in the like manner. The third and 
most sublime degree of humility is that of the saints, who as- 
cribe all their virtues to God alone, and are so much the more 
mean in their own eyes, as they are more exalted by his 

Conclude to ascend from virtue to virtue by the help of the 
knowledge of yourself; and not to rest till you arrive at the 
perfection of humility. 

On the practice of humility. 

CONSIDER, first, that as patience is best learned by sufferings 
and crosses; so humility must be learned by practice. Hence 
we must endeavor to welcome the humiliations which are sent 
us either immediately from God, or from the hand of men; 
and embrace them in such manner, as to take occasion from 
them to humble ourselves daily, both to God and man. If they 
be attended with the evil of sin, either in ourselves or others, 
we must, indeed, abhor the sin, but receive with joy the hu- 

Consider, secondly, that the practice of humility must be 
acquired gradually. AVe may begin, for instance, 1. by not 
seeking, in any thing we do, the praise or esteem of others, 
nor say any word tending, directly or indirectly, to our own 
praise. 2. By never seeking to excuse our faults, or to throw 
the blame upon others. 3. By taking no pleasure in hearing 
ourselves commended. 4. By shunning all occasions of ap- 
plause, as far as duty will allow. 

Consider, secondly, that we must also put away all self- 
esteem, and leain to despise ourselves from our hearts, and to 



' ' ''sit down in the lowest place," by giving the preference to 
every one else. Then, we must bear with meekness and pa- 
tience, our being despised, reproached or affronted by others. 
In the next place, we must learn to take a pleasure in contempt. 
And lastly, we must rejoice with the apostle, that we are cru- 
cified to the world and the world to us. 

Conclude, with alacrity to go through the whole course of 
this heavenly science : it is the science of the saints. 

On tlit, eight beatitudes, (Matth. v. ) 

CONSIDER, first, that our blessed Saviour has briefly deliver- 
ed, in his first sermon upon the Mount, the principal maxims 
of true wisdom and of Christian morality, comprised in what 
we commonly call the eight beatitudes. Christians, we all de- 
sire to be happy for ever : and behold the wisdom of God, 
which can neither deceive nor be deceived, declares to us, in 
clear and distinct terms, what is to make us happy here, and to 
conduct us safe to never-ending felicity. 

Consider, secondly, that the boasted sages of antiquity, with 
all their pretensions to wisdom, were strangely in the dark 
with regard to man's true happiness, his sovereign good, and 
his last end : not one of them all ever came near the truth. 
And as they knew not the end, so they were strangers to the 
true means which were to bring us to this end. They never 
once imagined that to be poor in spirit, to be meek, to suffer 
persecution, was the way to happiness; much less did they sus- 
pect that persons \inder these circumstances were actually har- 
py. This was a lesson to be taught only by the Son of God. 

Consider, thirdly, how unhappy are all those, who under the 
name of Christians or of disciples of this divine master, take 
no notice of the lessons which he came from heaven to teach 
but live in an affected ignorance of them; who, pronounce 
those miserable, whom he declares tobe 6Zessed; and those 
alone happy, who abound in riches and sensual pleasures, not- 
withstanding he denounces against them his woe. And do 
these people seriously believe the gospel? 

Conclude, if you wish to attain to a blissful immortality, to 
make your way thither by the esteem and practice of the eight 



On poverty of spirit, 

CONSIDER, first, that the first beatitude, expressed in these 
'words : "Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the king- 
dom of heaven," Ibtelongs- in the first place to such as are poor 
By condition and in effects, (Luke vi. 20.) provided they be 
content with their poverty, and embrace it as what the wisdom 
of God preferred for himself and his choicest favorites. The 
men of riches, he tells us, "have their consolation here;" but 
they who are truly poor in spirit in this world, shall be rich 
in eternity. 

Consider, secondly, that this beatitude belongs also to the 
poor in affection, who are willing to resign their riches when- 
ever God requires all, or any part of them; likewise to those 
who are poor by choice, when they understand that God in- 
spires them to relinquish them and follow him. In a word, to 
all as are disengaged from perishable things and whatever is 
not God, and sigh after the possession of him alone. 

Consider, thirdly, that the humble are in a particular man- 
ner entitled to this beatitude. For they are truly poor in spirit. 
These have not their minds puffed up Avith pride and self-con- 
ceit, like him to whom it is said [Apoc. iii. 17.] "Thou sayest 
I am rich and made wealthy; and I have need of nothing; and 
thon knowest not that thou art wretched, and miserable, and 
poor, and blind, and naked." 

Conclude to enter the school of Christ, by leaving, in af- 
fection at least, all things else to follow him. 


On meekness. 

CONSIDER, first, that these two virtues of poverty of spirit 
and meekness are nearly allied to each other, and inseparable 
companions. Meekness restrains all anger and passion, keeps 
in all heat or violence of Avords, stills the tumults of the soul, 
and alloAvs no thoughts of any other than that truly Christian 
revenge "of overcoming evil with good." Whoever shall 
persevere in doing this, shall fcr his reward "possess The land, 
even the land of tne living." 

Consider, secondly, what St. Peter tells us, concerning our 
great model, Jesus Christ. "When he Avas reviled, he did not 
revile; when he suffered he threatened not; but delivered him- 
self to him that judged him unjustly," [Peter ii. 23.] This 
sweet and gentle behavior, this evenness of soul, this courtesy 


in words, and affability towards all men, joined with true hu- 
mility of heart, is the proper livery of Jesus and his followers, 
and was in the ancient disciples more effectual, in order to the 
conversion of the world, than even miracles, with out humility 
and meekness. 

Consider, thirdly that in order to acquire the virtue of meek- 
ness, and to obtain a Complete victory over anger and passion, 
and their evil consequences, we must watch over our own 
hearts, that we be not surprised by any temptations; and 
we must arm ourselves with the grace of God, by earnest pray- 
er. Thus we shall be enabled to encounter these our spiritual 
enemies with advantage, and baffle all their efforts to destroy us. 

Conclude, with all diligence, to learn of Jesus to be meek 
and humble of heart: it is the only way to present peace and 
future happiness. 

On mourning. 

CONSIDER, first, that the children of this world esteem mirth, 
and jolity, and pastimes, and worldly pleasures, the chief in- 
gredients of a happy life. But they are certainly deceived: 
for HE who cannot err, has pronounced a curse against "them 
that laugh now; for that they shall mourn, and weep," [Luke 
vi. 25.] while, on the contrary, he declares those happy that 
now weep and mourn. "Blessed are they that mourn; for 
they shall be comforted." 

Consider, secondly, that this mourning does not mean world- 
ly sadness, of which it is written, [Eccles. xxx. 25.] "Sad- 
ness hath killed many, and there is no profit in it." And, [2 
Cor. vii. 10.] "The sorrow of the world worketh death." 
Nor a sullen melancholy, or any such mourning as is turbu- 
lent, impatient, full of despondency: but a more calm and 
peaceful mourning namely, of sorrow for our sins and those 
of our neighbors, by daily lamenting the dismal evils which 
attend them, and our long and wretched banishment, in the 
midst of temptations and continual dangers. 

Consider, thirdly, that they who -mourn in this manner, "shall 
be comforted'' in this life, with the sweet visitations and 
graces of the Spirit of God, the satisfaction and peace of a 
good conscience, and the inexpressible delight of divine love; 
one hour of which affords more contentment to the soul than 
many years of worldly enjoyment: and in the life to come 
they shall be comforted without measure, for endless ages. 

Conclude to mourn NOW, that you may rejoice for ever 


hereafter; and remember, that they who "sow in tears, shall 
reap in joy," [Ps. cxxv. 5.] 

On hungering and, thirsting after justice. 

CONSIDER, first, that to desire to he good, is indeed the be- 
ginning of all good; as the desire of wisdom, according to 
scripture, is the beginning of wisdom; the desire of the love of 
God is the beginning of the love of God; and so of all oth- 
er virtues. But this desire must not be a half desire, like 
that of the sluggard of whom the wise man says, that "he 
willeth and he willeth not," [Proverbs xiii. 4.] but a full 
and earnest desire. And that 'is that hunger and thirst af- 
ter divine love and all true justice, which shall at length ob- 
tain what it so earnestly seeks and desires. 

Consider, secondly, that by this hunger and thirst, we seek 
the justice of God in ourselves, in our neighbors, and in him- 
self. We hunger and thirst after the justice of God in our- 
selves, when we earnestly desire that we ourselves, by the 
grace of God, "may fulfil all justice," and acquit ourselves 
well of every branch of our duty. We hunger and thirst after 
the justice of God in our neighbor, when we earnestly desire 
and promote the knowledge, love, and service of God in all 
others. And we hunger and thirst after the justice of God in 
himself, by seeking in all things his greater glory, and the per- 
fect accomplishment of his holy will. 

Consider, thirdly, the reward of this most desirable hung- 
er and thirst; for it shall be filled, here with divine grace, 
with true devotion, with heavenly charity, with all Christian 
virtues and the fruits of the Holy Ghost; and hereafter with 
the beatific vision and the eternal enjoyment of God himself, 
according to that of the Psalmist, "I shall be faithful when 
thy glory shall appear," [Ps. xvi. 15.] 

Conclude to direct your appetite towards the "good things of 
the Lord in the land of the living," by constantly "fulfilling 
all justice." 

On being merciful. 

CONSIDER, first, that all our good must come from God: and 
as we have rendered ourselves by our sins absolutely unworthy 


of any good at all, we have no appeal but to the divine mercy 
atone, by which we may appease his wrath, and obtain his fa- 
vor. Hence the finding of mercy with God is all things; and 
the means of finding it is mercy to one another. "Blessed are 
the merciful, for they shall obtain mercy." 

Consider, secondly, that the word of God recommends 1. 
The "corporal works of mercy;" for instance, by alms-deeds, 
by feeding and clothing the poor, by visiting and relieving the 
sick or the imprisoned. Such works as these, according to 
scripture, [Tobias xii. 9.] "deliver from death; they purge 
away sins, and make us find mercy," and life everlasting. 
2. "The spiritual works of mercy," by relieving our neigh- 
bors in their spiritual necessities, giving them good counsel or 
instruction, comforting them under their afflictions, encourag- 
ing them in temptations; and especially by recalling them 
from their errors and vices, and thus rescxung their souls from 
the second and everlasting death. 

Consider, thirdly, the reward promised to the merciful: 
namely, "that they shall obtain mercy," both here, as well 
temporally as spiritually, by having their own wants redress- 
ed, and their sins forgiven them; and hereafter, in the eternal 
enjoyment of heaven. Alas! how wretched shall the best of 
us be, unless God shows us mercy! For who can abide his 
judgment, if his mercy be set aside! How unhappy then, are 
they who refuse to show mercy to their neighbors! For 
"judgment without mercy to them that have not done mercy," 
[James ii. 13.] 

Conclude to embrace with all affection this amiable virtue 
of mercy. She is the daughter of the great King, and will 
conduct all those who love her, to his eternal kingdom. 

On cleanness of heart. 

CONSIDER, first, that the interior eye of the soul, in order to 
see God, must be clean; and this cleanness of the inward eye 
requires two things, viz: simplicity in the intention, and puri- 
ty in the affection: simplicity aims at God alone; and purity 
embraces and adheres to him. Wherefore, let God be the 
great object of your love, so as to allow no affection to take 
off your heart from him; and it will be truly pure, and quali- 
fied to contemplate and embrace its Sovereign good. 

Consider, secondly, the degrees by which we ascend to this 
perfect purity and cleanness of heart. The first and most 
necessary purification is for all deadly sin, and for the affec- 
tions to it. For the heart which voluntarily admits of the af- 


factions to mortal sin, whether of impurity or any other vice, 
is absolutely unclean, and is possessed by an unclean spirit; 
and therefore can have no share in God. The second purifica- 
tion cleanses from all wilful affection to venial sin, and fixes 
her in a resolution never, with full deliberation, to commit a 
known venial sin, much less to indulge a habit of venial of- 

Consider, thirdly, that in order to be perfectly clean of 
heart, we must be disengaged from all affection to worldly 
honors, riches, and pleasures; and from whatever takes off 
any part of the heart from God, or is not loved with reference 
to him. Every love which cannot stand this test, is more or 
less an unclean love, and disqualifies the heart for seeing God. 

Conclude daily to purify your heart more and more from all 
sensual and worldly attachments: thus you will be made wor- 
thy to see God face to face, in his glory. 

On the nativity of the Blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first, that the birth of that holy mother of God 
was like the dawning of that happy day, which the Son of God, 
the true sun of justice, caused to shine upon us who were sit- 
ting in darkness and in the shadow of death. "Wherefore, on 
this festival, we must praise and bless God for all his graces 
bestowed upon the blessed Virgin, whom he prepared from her 
very conception, to be a worthy dwelling for his Son, holy 
and without spot or blemish. Second, to honor him in her, 
and to rejoice in the wonders of his power and goodness, by 
which he paved the way for our redemption. Third, to imi- 
tate the virtues of our blessed Lady, and earnestly implore her 

Consider, secondly, the title which the most blessed Virgin 
has to our veneration. First, her dignity of mother of God, 
the nearest alliance which any pure creature can have with 
him. Second, her spotless sanctity; for she was full of divine 
grace, even before she conceived, (Luke i. 26.) and much 
more after bearing in her womb the source of all grace and 
sanctity, and entertaining him under her roof for thirty years; 
during which, and for the remainder of her life, this grace in 
her continually increased. Third, her exaltion to the highest 
place in heaven, next to her divine Son; and her great favor 
in his sight. 

Consider, thirdly, that as God is the sole author and the ori- 
ginal source of all the dignity, sanctity, and glory, which we 
honor in the blessed Virgin; so all that veneration which the 


Catholic Church pays to this blessed Lady, has GOD both for 
its beginning and its end. Our devotion to her proceeds from 
the love we bear her Son: we honor in her, HIS gifts and 
graces: we love and honor her for his sake; and all the extra- 
ordinary respect we at at any time show to her, we refer to 
his greater glory. So far, then, from robbing God of hishonoi 
by our veneration for her, we honor him indeed the more be- 
cause, all this our devotion finally tends to Him, and termi- 
nates in Him. Thus we always find, that such as are truly 
devout to the blessed Virgin, fail not also to be true lovers of 
GOD, and "pursuers of all good works." 

Conclude always to entertain a true and solid devotion to the 
holy mother of God; which cannot be without an imitation of 
her virtues. 

On being peace-makers. 

CONSIDER, first, that those who truly love peace, and, as 
much as lies in them, both keep it in themselves and with all 
others; who contribute what they can to restore peace among 
those at variance, and to induce all their neighbors to make 
their peace with God, "shall be called the children of God. 
How lovely indeed is this spirit of peace! how blessed are its 
fruits! It is the paradise of the soul, and makes a kind of hea- 
ven upon earth. 

Consider, secondly, how desirable a thing it is, to bring our 
neighbors to peace and mutual charity: on the contrary, how 
abominable in the sight of God, "to sow discord among breth- 
ren," (Prov. vi. 19.) But it is still a more desirable thing to 
make peace at home in our own souls, by subduing our pas- 
sions and bring the flesh under subjection to the spirit: and the 
most desirable thing of all, to bring both ourselves and as 
many others as we can, to a constant and perfect peace with 
God, by doing in all things his holy will. This is the surest 
way both to a present and everlasting peace. 

Consider, thirdly, what a dignity it is to be the children of 
God. "Behold what manner of charity," says St. John, "the 
Father hath bestowed upon us; that we should be called, and 
should be the sons of God/' (1 John iii. 1.) Sons of God 
even now by his -grace, bearing a resemblance with his true 
Son, who is styled in scripture "the prince of peace;" and 
hereafter, in the enjoyment of his eternal rest. 

Conclude on all occasions to espouse the cause of peace. 
Thus the peace of God will always rest upon you, (Luke 
x. 6.) 



On the means of preserving internal peace. 

CONSIDER, first, that it is of great advantage to the soul, to 
keep herself always in peace within her own interior: because 
this inward peace when true, is attended with courage, strength, 
and grace, which God imparts to the truly peaceable. The 
first and most necessary means for acquiring or preserving this 
peace of the soul, must be to banish thence all wilful sin; for 
none but a false peace can dwell with wilful sin. O dear 
Jesus, suffer me not to be deluded by this false peace, nor ever 
be a rebel to thy light! 

Consider, secondly, that the trug peace of the soul, is not to 
be acquired without subduing the passions. In effect, what 
peace can there be for the slaves of pride and ambition; of 
avarice and worldly solicitude; of hatred and envy? Alas! all 
these and the like passions disturb and disquiet the soul, and 
suffer her not to find any solid rest. Ah! how true it is, that 
our peace and happines, even here, is not to be found by yield- 
ing to our disorderly inclinations, but by mortifying and over- 
coming them! 

Consider, thirdly, that the way to acquire true peace and 
liberty of soul is thus traced out in The Following of Christ, 
(b. 3, ch. 23. ( "Endeavor, my son, rather to do the will of 
another than thy own; always choose rather to have less than 
more; always seek the lowest place, and to be subject to every 
one: always wish and pray that the will of God may be en- 
tirely fulfilled in thee. Behold such a man as this, enters upon 
the coast of peace and rest," and will find a paradise of de- 
lights in his own soul. 

Conclude to pursue this happy way which leads to true 
peace: give up your own desires and heartily embrace the holy 
will of God. 

On suffering persecution for justice sake. 

CONSIDER, first, that men are apt to pity all those, and look 
upon them as unhappy, who are exposed to evil treatment. 
So far from rejoicing when it is their own case, they are sad 
and sorrowful. But surely they are in the wrong; since truth 
itself, which cannot be deceived, assures us that even now, 
when actually in a state of suffering, we are Chappy and bless- 
ed, and bids us rejoice under these reputed "evils. '''Blessed 
are you when men shall revile you and persecute yoii for my 


sake: he glad and rejoice, for your reward is very great in 

Consider, secondly, that these happy sufferings entitle the 
soul to the sweet consolations of the Holy Ghost, which are 
usually more abundant, in proportion to the greatness of the 
suffering. "According to the multitude of my sorrows in my 
heart, thy comforts have given joy to my soul," (Ps. xciii. 19.) 
These sufferings give the soul a relish for the cross, and a new 
kind of love for her crucified Saviour. They wean her from 
the love of this world and its empty toys, and teach, her humil- 
ity, meekness, and patience; besides the advantage of cancel- 
ling the debt of punishment for former offences, by bearing in 
a Christian manner these present afflictions. 

Consider, thirdly, the immense rewards of a future life, 
promised to patient suffering in this cause. "If we suffer with 
Christ," says the apostle, (Rom. vii.) "we shall be glorified 
with him: For the sufferings of this present time are not 
worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be 
revealed in us." And again, (2 Cor. iv.) "Our present 
tribulation which is momentary and light, worketh for us 
above measure exceedingly an eternal weight of glory." Look 
forward then, towards this glorious eternity, and learn to re- 
joice in your momentary afflictions. 

Conclude not to be "ashamed to suffer as a Christian; but 
rather glorify God in this name," (1 Peter iv.) 

On patience. 

CONSIDER, first, that patience is a virtue, by which we bear 
up, with courage and constancy, under a variety of evils, to 
which we are continually exposed in this mortal life. It teach- 
es us, neither to be too much dejected by any cross accidents 
or sufferings, nor upon these occasions to be drawn from the 
love and service of God, or murmur at his providence. How 
lovely is this Christian virtue! It sweetens whatever is natu- 
rally bitter in afflictions, by the consideration of the holy will 
of God. 

Consider, secondly, how much this virtue of patience is re- 
commended to us by the great example of the Son of God; 
who, as he was never free from sufferings in any part of his 
life, died, as he had lived, in the exercise of patience, and 
by his patience redeemed the world. All the saints and mar- 
tyrs had their share in drinking of his cup of sufferings, and 
have, all "run by patience to the sight set before them, looking 


on Jesus, the author and finisher of faith; who having joy sev. 
before him, endured the cross," &c., (Heb. xii.) 

Consider, thirdly, the absolute necessity of -patience in order 
to salvation. "Patience is necessary for you," saith the apos- 
tje, (Heb. x. 36.) "that doing the will of God, you may re- 
ceive the promise." For our life is a warfare upon earth, and 
in every part of life we must expect to meet with trials and 
sufferings. Patience turns all these into good; but where 
patience is wanting, all goes wrong: we sin at every step; we 
cowardly give up the cause of God and our souls, and yield an 
easy victory to our mortal enemies. 

Conclude, on all occasions to exercise the virtue of pa- 
tience, both in life, and in death; it will conduct you to your 

On the means of acquiring patience. 

CONSIDER, first, that if we wish to acquire the virtue of pa- 
tience, we must heartily ctesire and pray for it. "If any one 
want this true wisdom," says St. James, (chap, i.) "let him 
ask of God, who giveth to all abundantly and it shall be giv- 
en him: but let him ask in faith, nothing wavering." Did we 
seriously consider its happy fruits; that it gives a complete 
victory over all our enemies; peace of soul, true liberty and 
dominion over all our passions, and hereafter a blissful immor- 
tality; we should want no further inducement to make us fer- 
vent in our petition. 

Consider, secondly, how very little what we suffer is, in 
comparison with what we deserve by our sins. Second, how 
grievous were those sufferings, which our dear Redeemer will- 
ingly endured for our salvation. Third, that our sufferings are 
ordained by Almighty God, for our greater good. What mo- 
tives these for patience, under all afflictions! 

Consider, thirdly, the manifold evils which attend impa- 
tience, jln a multitude of sins, against God, against our 
neighbor, and against ourselves. Murmurings and rebellions 
against' God; uncharitable censures and rash'judgments, per- 
petual animosities, quarrels and desires of revenge, against our 
neighbors; desires of our own death, though infinitely unfit for 
it; continual uneasiness, desponding thoughts, and a strange 
backwardness in the concern of salvation,^ against ourselves: 
and what can be more dismal? 

Conclude to pray and labor in earnest, for the virtue of pa^ 
tierice: it will make all your sufferings light arid easy, and en- 
title them to an eternal reward. 


On the exaltation of the, cross. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day of the recovery of the cross 
of Christ out of the hands of infidels, the Church of God cele- 
brates the exaltation of Him who died for us upon the cross, 
and his glorious triumph over sin and death, and the powers 
of darkness. Do thou also rejoice, my soul, in the triumphs 
of thy crucified king, beg him to establish his reign in thee, 
and unite thee for ever to himself. 

Consider, secondly, that the dispositions of a Christian, in 
order to celebrate, in a proper manner, the feast of tht exalta- 
tion of the cross, ought to be suitable to the maxims of the 
cross, and to the dispositions of Christ crucified. How very 
unfit then are we to commemorate the victories of our crucified 
Redeemer over sin and hell, while by pride, self-love, and the 
love of the world, we wilfully remain slaves to those same 
enemies, whose usurpation he sought to abolish by his death. 

Consider, thirdly, the sentiments of St. Pa\Vl with relation to 
the cross of Christ, (Gal. ii. 19, 20.) "With Christ I am 
nailed to the cross. I live now, not I, but Christ liveth in 
me." how high was the cross of Christ exalted in the 
heart of this apostle! It reigned there without control: and as 
it was implanted in hinri by his love of suffering in the cause 
of his divine master; so it exalted him, here, to the glorious 
"fellowship of the sufferings" of Christ crucified; and hereaf- 
ter, to that eternal kingdom, which our Lord has purchased by 
his cross, for all its true friends and followers. 

Conclude, with this apostle, to be a sincere lover of the 
cross of Christ; and, with him, you shall be exalted to a hea- 
venly kingdom. 

On the presence of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that it is an article of faith which no Chris- 
tian can be allowed to doubt, that the great God who made us 
all, is every where present; is truly and really in every place 
and in every being. "Shall a man be hid in secret places, and 
I not see him," saith the Lord? "Do not I fill heaven and 
earth?" [Jerem. xxiii.] "Whither shall I go from thy spirit," 
saith the psalmist? "Or whither shall I flee from thy face? 
If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: If I descend into 
hell, thou art there, (Ps. cxxxviii. ) 

Consider, secondly, that God being every where present, is 


witness of all our actions, and even of our secret thoughts. 
He is the searcher of the reigns and heart," ( Apoc. ii. 23. ) 
"reaching to the division of the soul, and of the spirit; and is 
a discerner of the thoughts, and of the intents of the heart: all 
things are naked and open to his eyes," (Heb. iv. 12, 13.) 
In vain does the sinner flatter himself, like the libertine that 
saith: "Who seeth me? Darkness encompasseth me about, 
and the walls cover me, and no man seeth me; whom do I 
fear?" (Eccles. xxiii. ) Alas! he reflects not that "darkness 
and light are alike to the Lord," (Ps. cxxxviii.) 

Consider, thirdly, that God is not only present with us, in 
every place; but really within us: he fills our whole soul. 
"In him we live, and move, and be," saith the apostle, (Acts 
xvii. 23.) And were he to withdraw his presence for one mo- 
ment from any being whatever, in that moment it would cease 
to be. Alas! how greatly must this circumstance increase the 
guilt of all our offences! 

Conclude, henceforward, always to think of God, who is al- 
ways present in the very midst of yourself; and let this thought 
effectually deter you from wilful sin. 

On the exercise of the presence of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that a lively sense of the presence of God 
is a sovereign mean to banish sin from the world, and to make 
us advance in perfection; according to that which God spake 
to his servant Abraham, (Gen. xvii. 1.) "Walk before me, 
and be perfect." This holy patriarch, and all the ancient 
fathers observed this lesson. Of them it is written, that they 
"walked with God," or that they "walked in the sight of 
God," (Gen. xlviii.) The psalmist practiced the same: "I 
set the Lord," saith he, "always in my sight," (Ps. xv. 8.) 
And he calls upon all others to do the like, ( Ps. civ. 4.) 

Consider, secondly, that this exercise of divine presence 
employs the understanding in the thought and remembrance of 
God, by means of a lively faith and sense of his being always 
with us, and within us; and entertains the will, or the heart 
and the affection, with him, by frequent breathings of love: 
by repeatedly offering our \vhole being to him; and by longing 
desires of an eternal union with him. Thus we may learn, 
even during our mortal pilgrimage, to anticipate in some sense 
the immortal joys of heaven. 

Consider, thirdly, that we must begin by banishing from our- 
selves, first, dissipation of mind; second, anxious solicitude 
for the things of this world; third, a disorderly attachment to 


creatures. Dissipation of thought causes the soul to run after 
a multitude of vain amusements, in which she looses the re- 
membrance both of herself, and of her God. Worldly solici- 
tude stifles all better thoughts; and the disorderly affections of 
the heart turn it from God to creatures. We must banish dis- 
sipation by recollection of thought, -worldly solicitude by faith 
and confid'ence in God, and the irregularity of our affections, 
by fixing them on him alone. 

Conclude, habitually to employ all the powers of your soul 
about your God, who will make you happy for eternity. 

On the fruits of attention to the presence of God. 

CONSIDER, first, that as the forgetting of God is the source 
of all our sins; so, the remembrance of his divine presence is 
the source of all our good: It is a sovereign and universal 
antidote against all temptations; for who shall dare to affront 
the divine justice by yielding to wilful sin, who has a lively 
sense of its being so very near him, and that it is always turn- 
ed against wilful sinners? 

Consider, secondly, that a lively sense of the presence of 
God, excites us also to perform all our works with due perfec- 
tion, in order to please our great Master, whose eye is always 
upon us. It banishes distractions in time of prayer; it makes 
us fervent in all our addresses to the divine Majesty; it nour- 
ishes humility, and perfectly annihilates the soul, while she 
sees herself placed so near the immense Deity. In a word, he 
that has a lively sense of the presence of so tender a Father, 
who is ever willing to comfort and relieve his children in their 
necessities, under all his afflictions, wants, and perplexities, 
has a never-failing source of consolation and redress. 

Consider, thirdly, that the belief of the presence of God in 
all places, requires of us, first, that we should every where 
take notice of his presence: for there cannot be an object so 
worthy our attention. Second, it requires in us a modest com- 
portment on all occasions, as to our exterior. "Let your modes- 
ty," says St. Paul, "be known to all men; the Lord is nigh:" 
and a most profound respect, as to our interior, for that infinite 
majesty in whose sight we stand. Third, God being every 
where present, every where commands our love: for, wherever 
we are we have Him with us, who is infinitely lovely and in- 
finitely loving. How easy then must it be, with such helps as 
these, to be a saint! 

Conclude never to regret your being alone, since you have 


always in your company that great God, who is the eternal 
felicity of the angels. 

On the, mrtut of obedience. 

CONSIDER, first, that obedience is a virtue by which we 
cheerfully and diligently execute whatever is commanded us, 
either directly by God himself, or by our lawful superiors, who 
have their authority from God. This virtue, like humility 
from which it springs, is the special favorite of heaven. 
"Doth the Lord desire holocausts and victims," said Samuel 
to Saul, (1 Sam. xv. ) and not rather that his voice should be 
obeyed? For obedience is better than sacrifices, and to heark- 
en, rather than to offer the fat of rams. God demands the 
sacrifice of our hearts, not that of our flocks, or anything 
we can give him without obedience. 

Consider, secondly, the dreadful evils entailed upon us all 
by the disobedience of our first parent. Evils which must 
have been without remedy to eternity, had not the obedience 
of our blessed Saviour cancelled his offence. According to 
that of the apostle, (Rom. v. 19.) "As by the disobedience 
of one man many were made sinners; so by the obedience of 
one man many shall be made just." But this only on condi- 
tion that we return to our duty, by obedience to Him, who 
"became the cause of eternal salvation to all that obey him," 
(Heb. v. 9.) 

Consider, thirdly, that it was the general maxim of all the 
saints rather to die than not to obey. But the perfect model 
of obedience was the Saint of Saints, whose whole life, from 
the first instant of his conception till his expiring upon the 
cross, was one continued exercise of the most consummate 
obedience. "He humbled himself," says St. Paul, "becoming 
obedient unto death, even the death of the cross;" (Phil- 
ipians ii. 8. ) that we too, might enter into the like sentiments 
of obedience and humility, (verse 5.) 

Conclude to be ever obedient to God himself for his own 
sake, "and to every human creature for God's sake," (1 Peter 
ii. 13.) In obeying lawful authority, whether in church or 
state, you obey God himself. 


On the fruits of obedience. 

CONSIDER, first, that one of the deepest wounds which sin 
has ieft in the soul of man, is a love of independence, with- 
out being controlled by rule or law, or by the will of any other. 
Here is the seat of pride, the throne of self-love, the source of 
the worst of our passions. The only remedy is an humble 
obedience, which strikes at the root of all these evils, and 
obliges all the passions to submit to the will and law of God, 
and that of his vicegerents. 

Consider, secondly, that self-will is the cause of all kinds of 
evils. "Take away self-will," says St. Bernard; "and there 
shall be no hell. This fury attacks the Lord of Majesty; it 
withdraws itself from his command." It even blasts and cor- 
rupts the very best of our actions; insomuch that, when a man 
does not strive to overcome himself, and to subdue self-will, 
his virtues will prove counterfeit, and all his labors fruitless; 
because they proceed from his own humor, and not from God. 

Consider, thirdly, that a life of obedience is a perpetual vic- 
tory: for "an obedient man," saith the word of God, "shall 
speak of victory," (Prov. xxi. 28.) Obedience gives a double 
value to all our good actions, and sanctifies the most indiffer- 
ent: for instance, eating, drinking, sleeping and the like; and 
makes them acceptable in the sight of God. In a word, it 
gives the soul a sweet and secure peace, and a certain paradise 
of contentment and joy in the Lord, and in the accomplish- 
ment of his blessed will. 

Conclude, in every station of life to obey those, to whom 
God has given any authority over you: it is absolutely his will 
you should do so. 


On keeping the commandments. 

CONSIDER, first, that the ten commandments are a short ab- 
stract of that natural and eternal law, imprinted in the heart of 
man before the written law was delivered to the chosen peo- 
ple. They were published by the Almighty in a most solemn 
manner from Mount Sina,in the Old Testament, and were con- 
firmed by the Son of God, in the New. He declares the ob- 
servance of them to be a necessary condition to everlasting 
life: "If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments," 
(Matt. xix. 17.) He '"that saith he knoweth God, and keep- 


eth not his commandments," says St. John, "is a liar, and the 
truth is not him," (1 John ii. 4.) 

Consider, secondly, what happiness accompanies the obser- 
vance of God's holy law and commandments. "The law of 
the Lord," says the royal prophet in the eighteenth psalm, "is 
unspotted, converting souls: the testimony of the Lord is faith- 
ful, giving -wisdom to little ones: the justices of the Lord are 
right, rejoicing hearts: the commandment of the Lord is light- 
some, enlightening the eyes more to be desired than gold and 
many precious stones: and sweeter than the honey and the 
honey-comb. And in keeping them there is a great reward." 

Consider, thirdly, that the commandments of God are in- 
deed very sweet and easy, "to men of good will." Our Lord 
himself assures us, that his yoke is sweet and his burden light, 
and affords rest and refreshment to our souls, (Matth. xi. 29.) 
St. John tells us that the divine commandments are not heavy, 
( I John v. 3. ) Love makes all things, done for the sake of 
the beloved, easy; and therefore the true lover of God feels no 
labor in keeping his commandments: the divine grace makes 
them all to him sweet and agreeable. 

Conclude to seek your happiness, both for time and eternity, 
in the observance of the law and commandments of God. 
Nothing else can make you happy. 

On St. Matthew. 

CONS ID Efc, first, in St. Matthew the wonders of divine grace. 
Of a worldling and a publican, he was made an apostle, a pil- 
lar in the Church of Christ, a father and a converter of nations, 
and one of the four evangelists. Learn from this example, 
never to despair of the conversion of any one, however re- 
mote it may seem to fee at present. The arm of God is not 
shortened: the blame is then our own, if we do not, like St. 
Matthew, attend to the calls of heaven, but rather prefer sitting, 
still in the custom-house of the world, enslaved to many vai 
and sinM aflections. 

Consider, secondly, that St. Matthew instantly obeyed the- 
first call of grace, with his whole heart. "We, teo, have often* 
fceen caMed to follow Christ: b'ut have we ever yet obeyed the- 
call? This follow thou me which our Lord addressed to- 
Matthew, is indeed addressed by him to all Christians, asthei 
very laaaie iaaplies: and yet, among these, Sow very few fol- 
low in practice either the doctrine or the example of Christ! 
Our Lord was passing by when he called St. Matthew. Very 
probably, had this call been neglected, he might never 


favored him with the like grace thereafter. Let this be a warn- 
ing to us not to neglect the grace of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that St. Matthew, out of gratitude for so 
great a favor, immediately upon his conversion made a feast for 
our Saviour, at which were present many publicans and sin- 
ners, who also followed our Lord, (Mark ii. 15.) Behold the 
force of good example, and how one perfect conversion occa- 
sions many others. This conversion of souls was a more 
agreeable feast to the charity of our divine Redeemer, than 
any other entertainment. 

Conclude to imitate St. Matthew, by a ready compliance 
with divine grace. Let your example conduce, in like manner, 
to draw others to the service of God. 

The divine worship enjoined by the first commandment. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Lord himself, the great Creator of 
heaven and earth, is our lawgiver. "I am," saith he, "the 
Lord thy God, who brought thee out of the land of Egypt, out 
of the house of bondage." By these last words he insinuates 
the particular obligation of the children of Israel to keep his 
commandments, because he had delivered them out of the 
bondage of Egypt. How much more pressing motives have 
we Christians to observe his divine laws, whom he has deliv- 
ered from the far worse slavery of Satan, and of hell; and 
this too by the precious blood of his only Son! 

Consider, secondly, that those Avords, "I am the Lord thy 
God," though not expressed in the form of a command, insinu- 
ate, nevertheless, the whole duty of man, with regard to his 
God. By this he is bound to worship him with an entire faith 
of all his divine truths; a lively hope in his infinite goodness, 
mercy, and power; an ardent charity or love of him above all 
things: and by the virtue of religion, which worships him "in 
spirit and truth," according to the form revealed ty him to his 

Consider, thirdly, that by these words "thou shalt not have 
strange Gods before me," we are commanded to renounce all 
that kind of ungodliness, which may any way corrupt the 
divine worship, with idolatry, superstition, and error. But 
we must also be truly godly, and apply ourselves seriously to 
the love and service of our Mafcer. For what will it avail us 
to know God, if we do not "glorify him as God?" Will not 
this be "detaining the truth of God in injustice?" (Rom. i. 
18.) The great end of our creation was to glorify God, and 
to consecrate our whole lives to his service: and thus alone 
shall we fulfil the first commandment. 


Conclude, to dedicate your whole being henceforth and for 
ever, to your God. This is the whole duty of man. 

On the prohibition of idol-worship. 

CONSIDER, first, that the making or worshipping of idols, is 
also forbidden by the first commandment: under which name 
is prohibited the setting up of any image or other thing, to 
honor it with any part of divine honor. But this kind of idol- 
atry which consists in serving stocks and stones, has for many 
ages been abolished in all Christian nations. The idols more 
to be apprehended at the present day, are those of erroneous 
and heretical doctrines, set up and worshipped for divine 
truths, in spite of the church of God, whose authority is so 
strongly established in holy scripture. 

Consider, secondly, that proud and ambitious -Christians 
make an idol of their worldly honor; the covetous and the 
voluptuous, of their riches and sensual pleasures. All these, 
in the language of St. Paul are idolaters: because they all 
' 'worship and serve the creature rather than the Creator, who 
is blessed for ever," (Rom. i. 25. ) Have you no share in this 
kind of idolatry? Is there no predominant passion which with 
you takes place of God, and causes you to offend? Ah! do 
you not frequently sacrifice every thing to that great idol self? 
It is well if you do not. 

Consider, thirdly, that superstition also, is forbidden by the 
first commandment. Of this crime, all those in the first place, 
are highly guilty, who seek any knowledge, cure or help from 
the enemy of God and man, in the use of instruments or means 
which can have no effect of their own nature, but only through 
his concurrence. In all these cases there is a secret compact 
made with Satan or his agents; which is a crime of high trea- 
son against God. The observance of lucky and unlucky days, 
omens, dreams, and the like, is also strictly forbidden. It is, 
moreover, superstition, to place religion in certain empty 
things, which have no reference to the divine service; or to 
pretend to obtain miraculous favors or salvation, by the use or 
practice of anything not warranted by scripture or the Church 
of God. 

Conclude to renounce in practice every branch of idol wor- 
ship and superstition; and let the Lord Jesus reign without a 
rival in all the powers of your soul. 


On honoring the holy name of God. 

CONSIDER, first, those words of the second commandment, 
(Exodus xx. 7.) "Thou shalt not take the name of the Lord 
thy God in vain: for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that 
shall take his name in vain/' The utmost respect is here en- 
forced towards the holy name of the Lord our God: and the 
heinous crimes of blasphemy which directly insults the infi- 
nite majesty of God, and of perjury by which he is called 
to witness any falsehood are strictly prohibited. Moreover, 
this commandment forbids all profane swearing and cursing, 
and all other irreverent use of the sacred name of God. 

Consider, secondly, how on every occasion unhappy mortals 
swear by the holy name of God; often falsely, often unjustly, 
generally rashly; and thus continually expose themselves to 
the evident danger of that most enormous sin, of calling God 
to be witness to their lies! How often do they call upon him 
to execute the damnation, which every humor or passion of 
theirs pronounces against some or other of his creatures! 
How often, in their madness, do they pronounce the like sen- 
tence upon their own souls! How often is the sacred name of 
God brought in, even by the better sort, without any reason, to 
express every passion or emotion of their souls! Alas! what 
liberty is here taken by these worms of the earth, with the tre- 
mendous majesty of the Lord of heaven! 

Consider, thirdly, that the great business of a Christian is, 
to glorify the name of God, both by his tongue, and by his 
life. "We must extol his mercies, and direct our words and 
conversation to promote his glory, and the edification of our 
neighbors. And we must live as become his children and 
his people. It is written concerning wicked livers, that 
"through them the name of God is blasphemed." But the 
lives of God's true servants are "the sweet odor of Christ, in 
every place," and cause others to glorify him by the efficacy of 
good example. 

Conclude, in future, to have the holy name of God in the 
utmost veneration, and to detest the crime of many Christians, 
who are more guilty far, of profaning it than even Turks or in- 



On keeping holy the Lord's day. 

CONSIDER, first, that the precept "Remember thou keep 
holy the Sabbath day," as to its substance and the obligation of 
dedicating, in a more particular manner, a competent portion 
of our days to the worship of our God, is indispensable. The 
particular day appointed by the Mosaic law was only ceremo- 
nial, and is now no longer of obligation. Sunday, the day 
on which were accomplished the great mysteries of our Lord's 
resurrection, and the descent of the Holy Ghost by which the 
work of our Redemption, and the glorious promulgation of the 
new law was completed, was substituted for the Jewish Sab- 
bath by the Church in the time of the apostles, and must be 
sanctified with equal caie. 

Consider, secondly, that on the Sunday and other days ap- 
pointed to be kept holy, all servile works and profane em- 
ployments are forbidden, as hinderances of God's worship on 
those days; though commendable, and even of obligation, at 
other times. How much more strictly prohibited are all such 
criminal diversions, as are lawful at no time; and all those 
works of darkness and of sin, by which men serve the devil, 
and which of course, are servile in the worst of senses? Let 
not then your rest on these days, be a rest of sloth, of luxury, 
or pride; but rather the rest of the soul from all sin, and the 
body from business and labor in order to attend more freely to 
the great concern of salvation. 

Consider, thirdly, that all Christians are obliged on these 
days to assist at the public worship of God, and particularly 
at the sacrifice of the mass, and in it to join with Jesus Christ 
our great high-priest, in adoration, praise, and thanksgiving to 
the divine Majesty; to lament their sins, and crave pardon 
through Christ's precious blood here offered up to God; to pre- 
sent, through him, their prayers for themselves and for the 
whole world, before "the throne of grace;" to receive, at least 
spiritually, the body and blood of Christ; to attend to the 
word of God, read devout books, and employ a good part 
of their time in these and such like spiritual exercises. More- 
over, they must see that others under their charge do not ne- 
glect them. 

Conclude to be diligent in all these means of sanctifying the 
Lord's day; and you will thus obtain his divine blessing. 


Honor thy father and thy mother. 

CONSIDER, first, that nothing can be more agreeable to na- 
ture, to reason, and religion, than this divine commandment, 
by which we are enjoined to honor our parents and all who 
have from God a power over us, in church or state. We see, 
in many instances, how much God takes to heart our strict ob- 
servance of it, and how severely he punishes even in this life, 
the transgressors. In the old law, he ordered all who were 
notoriously guilty in this point, to be put to death without mer- 
cy; and he still frequently inflicts the most dreadful judgments 
upon the undutiful. 

Consider, secondly, the admonitions of the Holy Ghost in 
sacred scripture, on this subject, (Eccles. iii.) "Honor thy 
father in work and word, and in all patience; that a blessing 
may come upon thee for him, and his blessing may remain in 
the latter end. The father's blessing established the houses 
of the children; but the mother's curse rooteth up the founda- 
tion. Son, support the old age of thy father; and grieve him 
not in his life: and if his understanding fail, have patience 
with him; and despise him not when thou art in thy strength; 
and in the day of affliction thou shalt be remembered; and thy 
sins shall melt away as the ice in the fair warm weather." 
And again "He that honoreth his father, shall have joy in 
his own children; and in the day of his prayer he shall be 
heard" and "shall enjoy a long life," &c. 

Consider, thirdly, on the other hand, the duty of parents to. 
their children; and so, in proportion, of superiors to all under 
their charge. For their own eternal welfare, as well as that 
of their children or inferiors, greatly dep6nds upon their con- 
duct in this particul ar. They must take much more to heart 
their eternal salvation, than their temporal well-being, arid 
carefully train them from their infancy in the fear and love of 
God. They must remove from them all the occasions of sin, 
and procure them all the helps they can, to establish them in 
solid Christian piety. Alas! how many rather train up their 
children for hell, by inspiring them from their childhood with 
the maxims of a corrupt Avorld ! 

Conclude, diligently to comply with your duty in your re- 
spective situation of life, and to examine yourself very strictly 
upon your relative obligations. 


Thou sJialt not hill, 

CONSIDER, first, that not only all wilful murder, unjust shed- 
ding of blood, beating or doing any thing else to hasten anoth- 
er's or one's own death, is forbidden by this commandment; 
but all thoughts or desires of the death of any person, through 
malice or envy, or for some temporal interest or convenience; 
also all hatred and rancor of heart against any one living. 
For it is written, (1 John iii. 15.) " Whosoever hateth his 
brother is a murderer; and you know that no murderer hath 
eternal life abiding in him." Christians, look well to your 
selves, and be not here deluded. 

Consider, secondly, what the Son of God says upon this sub- 
ject, [Matt. v. 21, &c.] "You have heard that it was said to 
to them of old, 'Thou shalt not Mil; and whosoever shall kill, 
shall be in danger of the judgment.' But I say to you, that 
whosoever is angry with his brother, shall he in danger of the 
judgment. And whosoever shall say to his brother, RACA" a 
word expressing indignation or contempt "shall be in danger 
of the council" which is a higher and more severe tribunal: 
"And whosoever shall say, thou fool, shall be in danger of 
hell fire." Hence, we must not only restrain our hand from 
killing, but our heart from entertaining the passion of anger, 
and the desire of revenge ; and refrain from breaking out into 
reproachful language and provocations, which excite our neigh- 
bor also to passion. 

Consider, thirdly, how severely the crime of anger and re- 
venge is reproved in the Old Testament, [Eccles. xxviii.] 
"He that seeketh to revenge himself, shall find vengeance 
from the Lord; and he will surely keep his sins in remem- 
brance. He hath no mercy on a man like himself; and doth 
he entreat for his own sins? He that is hut flesh, nourisheth 
anger; and doth he ask forgiveness of God? Forgive thy 
neighbor, if he have hurt thee; and then shall thy sins be for- 
given to thee, when thou prayest. Remember thy last things, 
and let enmity cease. Refrain from strife, and thou shalt di- 
minish thy sins." 

Conclude to banish far from your soul, even every thought 
that has any tendency to malice or revenge; and learn rather 
to suffer injuries with patience, than offend your God. 


On spiritual murder. 

CONSIDER, first, that there is another kind of murder, be- 
sides that which destroys the body; namely, the murdering of 
the soul, by bringing upon it the death of sin. A crime most 
heinous in the sight of God; but very common among chris- 
tians. Of this kind of murder the devil gave the first example; 
by "whose envy death came into the world," [Wisd. ii. 24.] 
and "who was a murderer from the beginning," [John viii. 
44.] by drawing man into deadly sin. 

Consider, secondly, that all those are guilty of this kind of 
murder, who entice others to evil by word or work, dress or 
comportment; all who provoke their neighbors to sin, or 
teach them the evil they knew not before; all who engage 
them in dangerous diversions and conversations, or encourage 
what is criminal by their own wicked example. All these in- 
cur the dreadful guilt of spiritual murder, as often as they are 
the occasion of mortal sin; and, as much as lies in them, de- 
feat the merciful design of our good God in the incarnation of 
, his beloved Son the salvation of the souls of men. 

Consider, thirdly, that the murder of the body is certainly a 
most heinous sin, and one of the greatest that can be commit- 
ted between man and man; it "cries to heaven for vengeance." 
But then it reaches only the body, which must at all events 
speedily perish: it does not touch the immortal; it does not 
extend to eternity. But spiritual murder kills the soul, by de- 
priving it of the grace of God, which is its true life; it brings 
upon it a second and everlasting death; it plunges both soul 
and body into the flames of hell. "Wo" then "to that man 
by whom scandal cometh." -^w#|| 

Conclude to look well to yourself, that you may never have 
any share in this enormous guilt; or, without repentance, you 
will bring upon your own head a multiplied damnation. 

On Michaelmas-Day. 

CONSIDER, first, that the devotion of this festival, instituted 
by the church in honor of St. Michael, and of all the orders of 
blessed spirits, is, first, to join with all the heavenly host in 
giving glory, praise, and thanksgiving to God, who created 
these angelic spirits to glorify him, and has inspired them all 
with an unspeakable love for us, and sent them to minister for 
us, that we may "receive the inheritance of salvation," [Heb. 


i. 14.] Second, to rejoice in their eternal happiness: third, to 
associate ourselves with them, to fight the battles of the Lord, 
against the devil and his rebel angels. 

Consider, secondly, that these blessed spirits, from the first 
moment of their creation, turned towards their great Creator, 
by adoration and love, and dedicated themselves eternally to 
him. We were made for the same end as they were, that is, 
to glorify God; and, like them, were strictly obliged to turn to 
our Creator, as soon as we were capable of knowing him. 
But have we not rather, like Lucifer and his associates, turn- 
ed away from God. from the first instant of our reason? The 
good angels are ever attentive to procure, not their own, but 
Hrs glory. Do we imitate them? If so, at all times and in 
all places we shall like them enjoy a kind of heaven within 
us, even upon earth. 

Consider, thirdly, that if we wish to be for ever unite d with 
the angels, we must be converted from the corruption of pride, 
which cast the devil out of heaven; and "become as little chil- 
dren," by innocence and humility: for Satan is "the king over 
all the children of pride," [Job xli.] We must not give or 
take scandal against our own souls: we must cleanse our- 
selves from all defilement of the flesh and of the spirit, "per- 
fecting holiness in the fear of God," [2 Cor. vii. 1.] For 
"nothing that is defiled shall enter into heaven," where the 
angels dwell for ever, [Rev. xxi. 27.] 

Conclude, so to honor St. Michael and all the good angels, 
as to imitate their fidelity to their God. 


Thou shalt not commit adultery. 

CONSIDER, first, that by this commandment is forbidden, in 
the first place, the heinous crime of adultery, which is a fla- 
grant violation of all the rights of matrimony. Moreover, it 
condemns and prohibits, under the name of adultery, (without 
specifying all the shameful sins of lust) every kind of unclean- 
ness, committed by or with married persons or single, and much 
more all unnatural sins of lust, committed upon one's self, or 
with any other; also all abuses of the marriage-bed, by any 
liberties contrary to the sanctity of matrimony, or to the end 
of its institution. They are all odious and abominable in the 
sight of God, who cannot endure impurity. 

Consider, secondly, that onr Lord condemns even every 
wanton glance of the eye, every impure inclination of the 
heart, [Matt, v.] If then we would be truly chaste, as the di- 
vine law commands, we must, with holy Job, restrain our 


eyes, our thoughts, and imaginations, lest death should enter 
into our souls by these inlets. "1 made a covenant," saith he, 
"with my eyes, that I would not so much as think upon a vir- 
gin," [Job xxxi.] lest "God above should have no part in me." 
By this commandment also are forbidden all loose discourse, 
all unchaste words and songs, which spread every where a 
dreadful contagion. 

Consider, thirdly, how much more this commandment con- 
demns and forbids all carnal liberties, all wanton play, all in- 
decent touches, immodest kisses, and the like; which tend to 
defile both soul and body with lust. Christians, know that the 
word of God [Gal. v. 19. and Ephes. v. 3, 4, &c.,] absolutely 
excludes all who are guilty of these disorders, from the inheri- 
tance of the kingdom of God. 

Conclude, to keep your soul and body clean from the defile- 
ments of lust; and resolutely avoid all the occasions, however 
dear to you, of this mortal evil. 


Thou shall nol steal. 

CONSIDER, first, that by this commandment God forbids all 
wrong to our neighbor, in his goods, rights, or worldly pos- 
sessions, whether by open violence or by fraud; by stealing or 
over-reaching; by cheating in buying or in selling, or in any 
other bargain; by keeping from him what is his, or not giving 
him his dues, or not paying just debts; by any extortion what- 
ever, or any usury in the loan of money or other things; or by 
putting him to unjust charges, or by spoiling or damaging Avhat 
belongs to him. Moreover, in all these cases the injustice is 
condemned also by that great principle of morality and of na- 
ture, which forbids us to do unto others what we would not 
have done to ourselves. 

Consider, secondly, that all injustice is attended with the 
strictest obligation of restoring, or of repairing to the full, the 
loss or damage thus caused. Christians, be not too easy in per- 
suading yourselves you have it not in your power to make res- 
titution: you cannot deceive the all-seeing eye of him who has 
declared, that "the unjust shall never possess his kingdom," 
[1 Cor. vi. 9.] He clearly discerns how much you might do, 
if you would but retrench all superfluities in your expenses, 
and would seriously take to heart this necessary duty of satis- 
fying justice in the first place, and would use all possible in- 
dustry in this cause. 

Consider, thirdly, that all such injustices are particularly 
hateful to Almighty God, as tend to oppress the poor by usu- 


ry or extortion, 01 by malting a handle of their necessity to 
raise to them the price of the things they want; or by defraud- 
ing then* of their hire, or otherwise taking or keeping from 
them that which is their due. How heinous are these crimes 
in the eyes of Him who is "the father of the poorl" They 
are like murder in his- sight. That gold which is amassed by 
thus robbing the poor will moulder, and consume both the 
master and his riches. 

Conclude, strictly to examine yourself upon all the branch- 
es of injustice - } and avoid it with the utmost care. 


On our guardian Angels. 

CONSIDER, first, the testimony of the word of God, with re- 
lation to our guardian angels. "He hath given his angels 
charge over thee to keep thee in all thy ways: in their hands 
they shall bear thee up, lest thoudash thy foot against a stone," 
[Matt, xviii.] Take heed that you despise not one of these 
little ones: for I say to you, that their angels in heaven always 
see the face of my Father who is in heaven," [Heb. i.] "Are 
they not all ministering spirits sent to minister for them who 
shall receive the inheritance of salvation." [See also Exodus 
xxiii.} Christians, what an honor, to have such guardians as 
these to protect and aid us in the service of our God! 

Consider, secondly, the excess of the divine goodness and 
love for us, expressed in the commission given to his angels, 
"to keep us in all our ways." Who are we; and what is man, 
O Lord, that thou art mindful of him, and hast even command- 
ed thy own angels, those sublime spirits so happy so closely 
connected with thyself, to watch over him and preserve him 
from all evil ! wonderful condescension of thy infinite 
charity ! 

Consider, thirdly, what devotion and what confidence the 
thought that ' ' God has given his angels a charge over us to 
keep us in all our ways," ought to inspire. "In God," says 
St. Bernard, "let us affectionately love his angels, that are to 
be one day joint heirs with us, but in the mean time are appoint- 
ed by our Father, and are set over us as tutors and governors. 
What have we to fear under such guardians as these? They 
can neither be overcome nor deceived; much less can they de- 
ceive us. They are faithful; they are wise; they are power- 
ful; of what are we afraid? Let us but follow them, Jet us always 
keep close to them; and we shall abide under the protection 
of the God of heaven." 

Conclude, under all your temptations and afflictions, to in- 


voke with confidence your good angel; and he will powerful- 
ly assist you. 


Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor. 

CONSIDER, first, that by this commandment all false testi- 
mony, given in open court or before a magistrate against any 
one; and much more, perjury or false swearing, is forbidden: 
also all private slanders, detraction and lies: likewise all tale- 
bearing, which promotes misunderstanding and quarrels be- 
tween neighbors; an evil so odious in the sight of God, that 
the wise man assures us. [Prov. vi. 16.] "his soul detests it." 
All these crimes are here condemned, and are contrary to the 
eternal and natural law written in the heart of man; and strict- 
ly oblige to restitution or satisfaction. 

Consider, secondly, how grievous is the prevailing evil of 
detraction. At every blow, says St. Francis of Sales, it gives 
three mortal wounds; first, to the soul of the detractor; second, 
to the reputation of the person detracted; and third, to the 
consciences of those who are delighted with hearing the de- 
traction, and thus partake in the guilt, and much more if they 
publish it to others. The detractor himself is like a thief or a 
robber, who takes away his neighbor's character: yes, he is 
so much worse than a robber, as a person's character or good 
name is more valuable to him than his worldly substance; 
which also is endangered when the character is once lost. 
Ah! that Christians were well aware of this. 

Consider, thirdly, that detraction may be committed, and the 
obligation of restoring one's neighbor's good name incurred, 
by publishing without necessity, even his real crimes or de- 
fects, in circumstances when his character is hurt. In this we 
do not sin only against charity, by which we aie obliged to 
love our neighbour as ourselves; but also against justice, by 
violating his right to a good name, as long as he lias not for- 
feited it by any public crime. 

Conclude carefully to examine yourself upon t?ie sins against 
this commandment, and to be very tender of your neighbor's 
reputation in future. 


On rash judgment. 

CONSIDER, first, that by the eighth commandment rash judg- 
ment also is prohibited. "Judge not," saith our Lord, [Luke 
vi. 37.] "and you shall not be judged: condemn not, and you 
shall not be condemned. "Why dost thou judge thy brother," 
saith St. Paul, [Rom. xiv. 10.] "For we shall all stand be- 
fore the judment seat of Christ; and every one of us shall ren- 
der an account to God for himself. Let us not therefore, judge 
one another any more. There is one lawgiver and judge, that 
is able to destroy and deliver: but who art thou that judgeth thy 
neighbor," [James iv.] 

Consider, secondly, that we are guilty of the highest injus- 
tice, in passing sentence upon our neighbor unheard, and with- 
out sufficient knowledge of his guilt; and this without any 
legal authority over him, or observing any order of justice in 
his regard. Moreover, deliberate rash judgment destroys chari- 
ty, the property of which is to "think no evil," [1 Cor. xiii.] 
and to overlook even real defects, when duty does not oblige 
us to correct them. Rash judgment likewise destroys humili- 
ty, by preferring one's self, in one's own breast, before the per- 
son thus condemned. In a word, it usurps the divine preroga- 
tive; since all judgment belongs to God. 

Consider, thirdly, that in many persons rash judgment 
springs from pride, and from their having too good an opinion 
of themselves: in others, from ill-will, hatred, and envy, 
which puts the worst construction on what the parties say or 
do, and condemns their intentions, even in their best actions. 
Others again judge ill of their neighbors, because they them- 
selves are wicked. Others in a word, from the conceit they 
have of their own wit, pass sentence upon every one, without 
perceiving the injustice of their conduct. The general remedy 
for all rash judgment is to turn our eye always upon our own 
faults, and to condemn ourselves. 

Conclude to study well the practice of charity and humility, 
as the sovereign means to subdue this pernicious evil. 

On avoiding all lies. 

CONSIDER, first, that our blessed Saviour tells us, [John viii. 
44.] that "the devil is a liar, and the father of lies," and that 
"all liars shall have their portion in the pool burning with 
fire and brimstone, which is the second death," [Apocal.] 


And the Holy Ghost assures us by the mouth of the wise man, 
[Prov. vi. 16.] that "the Lord hateth a lying tongue," and 
fCh. xii. 22.] that "lying lips are an abomination to the Lord:" 
[Ch. xiii. 5.] that "the just shalt hate a lying word:" [Wisd. i. 
11.] that "the mouth that lieth killeth the soul; 5 ' and [Eccles. 
xx. 17.] that even "a thief is better than a man that is always 
lying; but that both of them shall inherit destruction." 

Consider, secondly, that every known untruth is essentially 
evil, by reason of its opposition to the GOD of Truth. He is 
Truth itself, and, therefore cannot but hate falsehood and de- 
ceit. Some lies indeed are more heinous than others; either be- 
cause they directly strike at revealed truths, or tend to vilify reli- 
gion; or because of the injury done to our neighbor, in soul or 
body, goods or good name; and these are all mortal sins. 
But there are no lies whatsoever, not even those told in jest 
or for excuse, which are not sinful; and therefore ought not to 
be committed, even to save the whole world; because "evil is 
not to be done that good may come of it." 

Consider, thirdly, that it is a dangerous thing for any Chris- 
tian to make light of telling a lie of vanity or excuse; and 
still more so, to contract a habit of it, upon a notion that if 
one can escape hell, it matters not how much we otherwise 
offend God. For how can such a habit be reconciled with the 
love of God, above all things? Or how can there be any secu- 
rity, for one who treats his God in this contemptuous manner? 
Such Christians will certainly find, to their cost, that "God is 
not to be mocked." 

Conclude never to tell a known lie upon any account what- 
ever, much less, to avoid a little anger or confusion. 


Thou shalt not covet, fyc. 

CONSIDER, first, that riches and carnal pleasures are the two 
great idols to which men sacrifice their hearts and affections; 
the young, by the concupisence of the flesh; the old, by the 
concupisence of the eyes: and thus both old and young for the 
most part, are drawn away from the love and service of God, 
and made slaves to Satan. Ah, Christians! never think your- 
selves innocent, though you keep your hands from stealth, and 
your bodies from adultery or fornication, if you do not at the 
same time keep your eyes and your hearts from coveting. 
As long as your affections are criminal, you cannot be inno- 

Consider, secondly, that by this precept, "Thou shalt not 
covet thy neighbor's wife," we are commanded to set a guard 


upon our thoughts, upon our hearts, upon our eyes, and all 
our other senses, the avenues through which sin enters into 
the soul. How much more are Christians hound to flee all 
such occasions as expose them to a more immediate danger of 
lewd thoughts and desires; as a great part of modern come- 
dies, masquerades, and the like diversions are known to do, 
especially in regard of the younger sort? Alas! how many are 
in love with these dangerous amusements, so near akin to 
the pomps of Satan, which we all renounced at baptism! 

Consider, thirdly, the necessity of restraining all unjust de- 
sires, which tend either to deprive our neighbor of what in 
justice belongs to him, or to withhold from him what is his 
right; also all wishes of his death, that we may succeed to his 
possessions; and all desires of public or private calamities, 
for one's particular advantage. But then, we must "lay the 
axe to the root" of covetousness, which is the love of money. 
For "they that would become rich, fall into temptation, and 
into the snare of the devil, and into many unprofitable and 
hurtful desires, which drown men in destruction and perdition," 
[1 Tim. vi.J 

Conclude to keep inviolable these and all the other divine 
commandments: thus they will be to you the gate both to 
present, and to future happiness. 

On the precepts of t?ie Church. 

CONSIDER, first, that all Christians are under a strict obliga 
tion of keeping the precepts of the church, as well as the di- 
vine commandments, because the law of God enjoins us so to 
do. The commandment "Honor thy father and mother," in- 
cludes our spiritual parents, no less than our parents according 
to the flesh; namely, the pastors of the Church of Christ. To 
these Christ our Lord has said, [Luke x. 16.] "He that hear- 
eth you, heareth me; and he that despiseth you, despiseth 
me." To these he has given the keys of the kingdom of hea- 
ven, with the power of binding and loosing," [Matth. xvi. 19. 
xviii. 18.] To these he has given the charge of our souls; 
and therefore, the apostle calls upon us [Heb. xiii.] not only 
to follow their faith, [verse 7.] but also to obey them, and sub- 
mit ourselves to them, [verse 17.] 

Consider, secondly, that the precepts of the church deter- 
mine the particular days which, indefinitely, the law of God 
and of nature requires us to consecrate to the divine worship. 
The divine law calls upon us to offer adoration, praise and 
sacrifice to our God: the precepts of the church prescribe, for 


this end, the frequenting of the great sacrifice of the death of 
Christ, offered in the holy mass. The law of God obliges us 
to do penance for our sins; the church appoints the times for 
this penetential exercise; lest, if \ve were left to ourselves-, 
we should entirely neglect it. The law of Christ ordains the 
confession of our sins, and the worthy reception of the holy 
communion: the church enjoins yearly confession, and not to 
neglect the receiving of the blessed eucharist, at least at the 
Easter term. Wherefore, in religiously complying with these 
church laws, we obey in effect the laAv of God. 

Consider, thirdly, the unhappy case of all such Christians as 
despise these precepts of the church of Christ. Alas! they 
despise in effect both Christ and his Father, [Luke x. 16.] 
Therefore, the wilful transgression of any of the ordinances is 
certainly criminal in the sight of God; how much more, the 
contempt of them? And those undutiful children who live in 
a habitual disobedience to God and his church, with regard to 
festivals, fasting, abstinence, and the frequentations of the 
sacraments deserve not the name of children, but rather that 
of heathens and unbelievers, (Matt, xviii. 17.) 

Conclude then, to observe religiously the laws and ordinan- 
ces of the Church of God; and see they be religiously observ- 
ed by all under your care. 

On the, vice, of pride. 

CONSIDER, first, that pride is defined an inordinate love, 
conceit or desire of self-excellence. It is the mother of all 
vices, especially of ambition, presumption, and vain glory; 
from which it differs only in this, that ambition affects to excel 
in the way of honor, dignity, and power; presumption seeks 
to become eminent by rash enterprises founded upon'a vain 
notion of our own strength or abilities; and vain glory pre- 
tends to excellence, by the praise, esteem, or notice of others: 
but pride looks chiefly at herself, and sets up for her idol, her 
own proper self -excellence.. 

Consider, secondly, that we may be guilty of this worst of 
vices, First, by attributing to ourselves, and not to God, the 
good things we derive from Him, either of nature, or of grace. 
Second, by ascribing at least to our own merits what we have 
received from God, and not giving him the whole glory. 
Third, by imagining ourselves possessed of advantages which 
we have not, and being elated with this idea of our own excel- 
lence. Fourth, by highly valuing ourselves for real qualifica- 
tions, and despising others who have not the like accomplish- 


ments, or envying them when they have. Self-excellence be- 
longs to God alone, which pride impiously arrogates to itself. 
In punishment of their arrogance the proud often fall into the 
most shameful vices, and are abandoned by God to a reprobate 

Consider, thirdly, that pride is a mortal sin, not only when 
a man directly incurs the guilt of any of those four kinds men- 
tioned by St. Gregory, through his own deliberate judgment or 
will: at least as often as the matter is of moment; but also 
when he incurs the guilt indirectly or virtually, by conducting 
himself in such a manner as if he judged himself, or desired 
others should judge him to have any excellency or perfection, 
from himself and not from God. Also when the conceit we 
have of ourselves is joined with a great irreverence to God, or 
contempt of our neighbor; or when it causes us to disobey the 
divine law, or the commands of lawful superiors. 

Conclude carefully to examine yourself upon this capital 
vice: it is a subtle evil, and imposes upon thousands. 


On the, malignity of pride. 

CONSIDER, first, that pride corrupts the very vitals of the 
soul, and leaves nothing sound in it. It is a rottenness at the 
heart which spoils the fairest plants that grow on this infected 
soil. The fruits of the good works of the proud, resemble 
those said to grow on the banks of the lake of Sodom, fair to 
the eye but rotten within. Tbe virtues are blasted, because 
the root of them is unsound. They have no foundation within 
them for any solid good; because they want humility: for 
"God resists the proud, and gives his grace to the humble." 

Consider, secondly, the malignant fruits of pride; it sets all 
the other passions at work, to be subservient to its lawless de- 
sires of self -excellence; covetousness, in procuring, right or 
wrong, those riches which may furnish the means of excel- 
ling; and-also prodigality, in expending them. Anger, 
hatred, and revenge are let loose against all that stand in the 
way of its unjust pretensions. Inferiors are oppressed and 
treated with contempt; equals are envied; superiors are slight- 
ed and disobeyed. Quarrels, murders, and rebellions, here- 
cies and blasphemies are frequently the offspring of pride; and 
the most infamous crimes, into which the proud often fall in 
punishment of their arrogance. 

Consider, thirdly, that God is the Being of all beings: all 
excellence and all glory is his. To pretend therefore to any 
excellence as our own property, or to appropriate to ourselves, 


or take a pride in the gifts and graces of God, is a sacrilegious 
robbery of what belongs to him alone. For this reason "every 
proud man is an abomination to the Lord," (Prov. xvi. 5.) 
His pride is a lie, and makes him resemble the father of lies, 
in pretending to be like to the Most High who alone is self-ex- 
cellent; and therefore, it is most hateful to the eternal truth. 
Conclude, "never to suffer pride to reign in your mind, nor 
in your words: for, from it, all perdition took its beginning." 
(Tob. iv. 14.) 


Remedies against pride. 

CONSIDER, first, that the most necessary prescription against 
pride is, frequently to review the state of our soul, and to ex- 
amine the secret springs which set all our passions in motion. 
Thus we shall be sensible, that it is an evil deeply rooted in 
our corrupt nature; an enemy so much the more dangerous, as he 
lies in ambush in the inmost recesses of the soul. When once 
we are perfectly aware of all his stratagems, we shall keep a 
strict guard over ourselves, in order to prevent surprise, and 
by constant watchfulness and humble prayer, frustrate his 
utmost efforts to undo us. 

Consider, secondly, that all our pretensions to excellence, 
all our groundless self-conceit, which is so apt to turn our 
heads upon real or imaginary advantages, is quickly dispelled 
by the light of the knowledge of God, acquired by meditation 
and mental prayer. This convinces the soul, that all that is 
not God, is a mere nothing. All human greatness, all height 
and depth, and every created object dwindles into nothing in 
his presence. "Heaven and earth flee away from before his 
face, and no place is found for them," (Apoc. xx. 11.) how 
much less can dust and ashes glory in his sight! 

Consider, thirdly, that by serious meditation we are made 
sensible what poor creatures indeed we are; how mean is our 
extraction; how early we were stained with sin; how fright- 
fully we are ingulfed in darkness, ignorance and errors; expos- 
ed daily to numberless dangers; capable of all that is wicked, 
but quite incapable of ourselves, of any good: certain of death 
(though we know not when, nor where, nor how) which 
will give these bodies to the worms, and transmit our souls to 
judgment; and dreadfully uncertain as to the issue of that great 
trial, and our eternal lot. Alas! with these reflections can 
any one be proud? 

Conclude to spare no pains to acquire those two most neces 
sary branches of Christian science the true knowledge of God, 


and the true knowledge of yourself. These must be learned by 
meditation and prayer. 


Other prescriptions against pride. 

CONSIDER, first, that for the subduing of pride it may also 
be of service frequently to reflect how vain and empty those 
things generally are, of which men are apt to he proud; for in- 
stance, worldly honor, riches, beauty and the like, which make 
the possessors not one whit the better in the sight of God, but 
rather, if they are proud of them, render them odious and con- 
temptible, both to God and man. For every one hates and 
despises pride in another, however he may cherish it in him- 
self. And as to the gifts of grace or other talents received from 
God, it is still more criminal to be proud of them. 

Consider, secondly, with regard to mortal sin in general, 
and pride in particular, that the deformity and malignity of its 
guilt in the soul, and its eternal punishment hereafter, are most 
humbling reflections. For surely a soul turned away from 
Godby mortal sin, and eternally banished from him; condemn- 
ed to the worm that never dies, and to the fire that is never ex- 
tinguished, in the dungeons of hell, can have nothing to be 
proud of! Mortal sin and hell, those two most dreadful of all 
evils, leave no room for pride. 

Consider, thirdly, who is "the king over all the children of 
pride 1 ?" Whose standard do they all join, in opposition to the 
God that made heaven and earth? Alas! they all combine 
with Satan, their mortal enemy! He is already condemned to 
hell; and what can they expect? Adam, by following his ex- 
ample, has entailed all kinds of miseries upon his posterity; 
and, to remedy them, the Son of God came down from heaven, 
humbling himself even to the death of the cross, to oppose the 
standard of his humility to the standard of the fiend of pride. 
Ah! let these most pressing motives excite us to detest our 
pride: let us at length begin, like our blessed Saviour "to be 
meek and humble of heart." 

Conclude henceforward to renounce the king of pride, and 
take up the sweet yoke of Jesus Christ by meekness and hu- 



On vain glory. 

CONSIDER, first, that vain glory was in a particlar manner 
the vice of the Scribes and Pharisees, who did all their works 
that they might be honored and esteemed by men; and there- 
fore, their alms, their fastings, their prayers and other appa- 
rent good works availed them nothing in the sight of God; be- 
cause vain glory, the offspring of pride, corrupted them all, 
and at the very time they were esteemed as saints by the world, 
rendered them abominable in the eyes of God. Christians, 
beware of this pernicious, but very common evil, and arm 
yourselves against it by earnest prayer. 

Consider, secondly, that vain glory amounts to the guilt of 
mortal sin, whenever a person directs his intention in such 
manner to the glory of man, as to make it the final object even 
of his works of virtue, and to attain which, he does not hesitate 
to offend his God. In like manner, it is mortal when a person 
commits a mortal sin for the sake of vain glory, by swearing, 
quarreling, taking revenge, or the like. Also, when a person 
exposes himself to the danger of occasioning some considera- 
ble detriment, corporal or spiritual, to himself or others, by 
refusing to seek or admit of any assistance or advice, for fear 
of being thought less skillful or less knowing. In a word, vain 
glory is a mortal sin, whenever we glory in the gifts and graces 
of God, as if they were our own property, and we had not re- 
ceived them from Almighty God. 

Consider, thirdly, that vain glory is the parent of many other 
vices first, of disobedience., in despising the ordinances of 
lawful superiors, for the love of worldly honor or esteem: 
second, boasting, or exalting one's self, one's own talents or 
performances; and the odious habit of self-commendation, so 
common to the proud and vain-glorious: third, hypocrisy, in 
making a show of godliness to gain the esteem of men: fourth, 
contention, wrangling and brawling, to maintain one's own 
opinion right or wrong, or to defend what he has said or done: 
fifth, in a word, obstinacy in error, rather than acknowledge 
one's mistake, or seem to be overcome. And what are all 
heresies and schisms, but a compound of these evils, and con- 
sequently the result of vain glory? 

Conclude absolutely to renounce this dangerous vice; and 
stifle it in its birth by acts of profound Immility. 



Prescriptions against vain glory. 

CONSIDER, first, how truly vain, how fleeting, how incon- 
stant is all human glory: it is like a puff of wind, which pass- 
es in a moment; it adds nothing to our merit in the sight of 
God, the just the true eternal judge of all merit. "What is 
man the better," says the FOLLOWING OF CHRIST, (lib. iii. 
cap. 50.) "for heing reputed greater by men? One deceitful 
man deceives another: the blind deceives the blind, the weak 
the weak, whilst he extols him or rather doth confound him 
by the self-conviction of his own guilt." 

Consider, secondly, with the humble St. Francis, that what 
each one is in the sight of God, that he is, and no more. Lis- 
ten again to the FOLLOWING OF CHRIST, (ibid. cap. 14.) 
"What is all flesh in thy sight, Lord? How can he be puff- 
ed up with the vain talk of men, whose heart is truly subject 
unto God? He will never suffer himself to be moved with 
the tongues of them that praise him, who hath established his 
confidence in God. For behold, they that talk of him are all 
nothing, for they shall pass away with the sound of their words: 
but 'the truth of the Lord remaineth for ever,' " (Ps. cxvi.) 

Consider, thirdly, that this passion for glory is also unjust 
and impious, because it pretends to appropriate to itself what 
belongs to God alone. "What hast thou," saith the apostle, 
"that thou hast not received? arid if thou hast received, why 
dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it?" ( 1 Cor. iv. 7. ) 
It is also pernicious; it poisons the best of our actions, and 
makes us liable to eternal punishment, for those very works, 
for which we might otherwise expect an eternal crown. "God 
knoweth our hearts," saith our Lord, (Luke xvi.) "for that 
which is high to men is an abomination before God." 

Conclude always to seek the glory of God by purity of in- 
tention, in all your words and actions; and God will be your 
"reward exceeding great." 

~On covetousness. 

CONSIDER, first, that in holy scripture covetousness is term- 
ed "the serving of idols," and the covetous man is declared 
"an idolater," (Eph. v. 5. Colos. iii. 5.) because he worships 
and loves his money more than God; and he "serves the crea- 
ture rather than the Creator," (Rom. i. 25.) The avaricious 
man is ever ready to transgress the divine commandments, 


rather than forego his worldly interest, to which he sacrifices his 
soul and all things; and for the sake of which he hardens his 
heart against the cries of the poor. Ah! "there is not a more 
wicked thing than" for a man "to love money; such a one set- 
teth even his own soul to sale," (Eccles. x. 10.) 

Consider, secondly, that the vice of covetousness is the moth- 
er of thefts and robberies, of fraud and deceit, of oppression 
of the poor, usury and extortion, and of all kinds of injustice. 
It is the cause of bribery and corruption, and of all its conse- 
quences. It has often brought forth heresy and schism, (1 
Tim. vi. 10.) and with them a deluge of other crimes: it has 
pillaged and destroyed churches, hospitals, and asylums of re- 
ligion, and invaded and carried off the patrimony of the poor; 
it even betrayed and sold the Son of God! 

Consider, thirdly, that covetousness produces many other 
sad effects in the soul of man, even when it does mot hurry 
him into the excesses specified above, and in the eyes of the 
world appears innocent. For if a person sets his affection too 
much upon riches or worldly possessions, and eagerly pursues 
after money; though he may not covet the goods of his neigh- 
bor, he quickly looses all relish for heavenly things, all true 
sense of devotion: he is solicitous for the things of the world: 
he loses that confidence he ought to have in divine providence: 
he neglects religious duties: he does not give alms according 
to his circumstances, and is constantly in danger of transgress- 
ing the law of God. 

Conclude to be upon your guard against this pernicious vice. 
Deceive not yourself, as many do, by the plea of necessity. 


Prescriptions against covetousness. 

CONSIDER, first, that holy scripture, while it pronounces the 
most dreadful woes against the covetous, promises eternal 
blessings to them that "cast away covetousness," (Isa. xxxiii.) 
It recommends the remembrance of death, and of the short- 
ness and uncertainty of human life, as a powerful remedy 
against this vice. The possession of riches is hut a dream, 
and when the rich shall "have slept out their" short "sleep, 
they" shall "find nothing in their hands," (Psalms Ixxv. ) 
Let this suffice to give us a thorough contempt for earthly 

Consider, secondly, that these riches, so earnestly coveted 
by the slaves of the world, are not capable of making the pos- 
sessors happy, or of satisfying the heart, even for the short 
term of their actual enjoyment. "A covetous man," saith 


Solomon, (Eccles. v. 9.) "shall not be satisfied with money: 
and he that loveth riches shall reap no fruit from them." This 
wisest of men had learned by his own experience, that world- 
ly wealth, instead of affording true contentment and peace of 
mind, is generally attended with nothing but "vanity and vex- 
ation of spirit," (Eccles. ii. 11.) 

Consider, thirdly, that riches are truly deceitful, (Matthew 
xiii. ) because they promise a happiness which they cannot 
give; they are thorns, (ibid.) that wound and gore the soul; 
and they expose the possessors to many dreadful dangers of 
losing their souls for ever; because it is hard to possess them, 
and not to abuse them, or a least set the heart too much upon 
them: witness that terrible sentence, (Matt. xix. 24.) "It is 
easier for a camel to pass through the eye of a needle, than 
for a rich man to enter into the kingdom of heaven." For 
"the men of riches have their consolation" here, (Luke vi. 24. ) 

Conclude, if you are rich, to dread the dangers which sur- 
round you; and arm yourself against them by poverty of spirit 
and true humility: you have no other security for your soul. 

On the, vice, of impurity. 

CONSIDER, first, that the "lust of the flesh" is another raging 
plague, which has spread itself over the whole earth. It once 
brought down from heaven the waters of the deluge, and ano- 
ther time consumed with fire and brimstone, whole cities with 
their inhabitants: and it daily provokes the vengeance of hea- 
ven, executed by visible or invisible judgments upon thousands 
cast down head-long, in the midst of their sinful course, into 
the bottomless pit. The word of God by a strong figurative 
expression says, (Gen. vi. ) the wickedness of men in this line 
was so odious in his sight, that "he was grieved with it to the 
heart," and even "repented that he had made them." 

Consider, secondly, that what makes lust so hateful in the 
sight of God, is its particular opposition to his purity and sanc- 
tity. It defiles in a most shameful and beastly manner, that 
temple which he has sanctified for himself; more especially 
in regard of Christians, whose bodies and souls have both been 
consecrated to him in their baptism, to be his temple. First, 
"know you not that you are the temple of God," saith St. 
Paul, speaking to all Christians, (1 Cor. iii.) "and that the 
Spirit of God dwell eth in you? But if any man violate the 
temple of God, him will God destroy." 

Consider, thirdly, that the habit of impurity which often is 
brought on by one single act, by a repitition of the crime turns 


into a second nature infinitely hard to overcome. Hence en- 
sue, according to St. Gregory a blindness and hardness of 
heart; thoughtlessness and insensibility -with regard to the judg- 
ments of God, and the truth of eternity; inconstancy -with re- 
gard to all good; and aversion from God and his service, and 
a perpetual love and seeking of one's self; a strong attachment 
to this world, and horror or despair with regard to the world 
to come. Such is the unhappy offspring of lust. 

Conclude to flee from all impurity more than death, and 
from all bad company and other dangerous occasions, more 
than from the plague. 

Prescriptions against impurity. 

CONSIDER, first, that the most necessary of all precautions 
against impurity, is the keeping at a distance from the danger; 
especially irom all such persons as are a temptation to us; also 
from the reading of loose or idle books; for instance, roman- 
ces, plays, and the like; all intemperance in eating and drink- 
ing, unguarded curiosity, and an idle dissipated life. For "he 
that loves the danger, shall perish in it," (Eccles. iii. 27.) 

Consider, thirdly, that the flight of the occasions will not 
alone suffice to gain the victory over this vice, without frequent 
conflicts: for whither shall we flee where the flesh and the 
devil will not follow? We must also be diligent in the use of 
fervent prayer; frequent the sacraments; daily read and medi- 
tate on divine truths; often have recourse to the precious blood 
of Christ by a tender devotion to his sacred passion and death; 
and earnestly implore the intercession of the Blessed Virgin, 
and of all the holy angels and saints: and especially at the be- 
ginning of temptations, we must make a vigorous resistance, 
and call upon God to assist us with his grace to overcome 

Consider, thirdly, that we must have a lively faith and con- 
fidence in Jesus Christ, with an humble diffidence of our own 
strength; for we are weakness and frailty itself, unless support- 
ed by Him. Above all things, the fear and love of God must 
be our constant shield against every assault: the fear of his 
judgments, and the dreadful punishments prepared for lust; 
the love of the divine goodness and perfections, to move us to 
an abhorrence of the outrage directed against Him. 

Conclude manfully to withstand the allurements of vice by 
the help of daily meditation and the fear and love of GOD ; and 
HE will give you the victory. 


On the virtue of chastity. 

CONSIDER, first, that chastity is the lilly of virtues, the 
bright ornament of the soul: the profession and practice of 
which by so many thousands, is one of the greatest evidences 
of the truth and excellency of the Christian religion, and of 
the Avonderful grace which it communicats to its followers. It 
makes us, even in this mortal flesh, resemble the angels, 
(Matthew xxii. 30. ) and entitles us to the special favor of Jesus 
Christ, the lover and the model of purity, and the spouse of 
pure souls. These shall "sing before his throne as it were a 
new canticle," which none of the rest of the blessed can sing, 
(Apoc. xiv. 3.) 

Consider, secondly, what the apostle says of this virtue, (1 
Thess. iv. 3, 7.) "This is the will of God, your sanctifica- 
tion; that you should abstain from fornication," and all un- 
cleanness; "for God hath not called us to uncleanness, but to 
holiness." This virtue of holiness or chastity, by the law of 
God, and the sanctity of the Christian calling, is for all mar- 
ried as well as unmarried. The married must be chaste, by 
refraining from every thought, word, or action, not referred to 
the holy ends for which matrimony was instituted. The un- 
married must renounce absolutely all carnal pleasures, and all 
the irregular motions oat impressions of lust, whether in body 
or mind. 

Consider, thirdly, that besides the necessity of fervent pray- 
er, (for "no one can be continent except God give it," (Wis- 
dom viii. 21. ) mortification and humility are also necessary to 
preserve this virtue. By mortification the flesh is brought un- 
der subjection to the spirit; and by humility the spirit is sub- 
jected to God.. But when the flesh is unmodified, it grows 
headstrong and unruly;, and when the spirit is proud, it is 
justly abandoned by God to the most shameful passions; against 
which humility alone must secure us. 

Conclude to Jabor with all your power to acquire this pre- 
cious jewel of purity and chastity; and harbor not its mortal 
enemies, intemperance and pride. 


On the mee of anger.. 

CONSIDEE, first, that anger, in the sense in which it is num- 
bered among the capital sins, is "an inordinate love or desire 
of revenge-" It is, contrary to justice, whenever the person 


with whom we are angry, has not deserved the punishment 
which we desire to inflict; or though he has deserved it, if we 
observe not the order of justice, but act both as executioners 
and judges in our own cause; which is never lawful. It is 
contrary to fraternal charity when, let the cause be ever so 
just, we prosecute or punish the offender out of hatred or ill- 
will, rather than the love of justice. In these cases our angey 
is contrary to justice or charity, andhiglily criminal. 

Consider, secondly, that anger and passion directly destroy 
all meekness and, consequently, humility, its inseparable com- 
panion; for anger generally springs from pride and self-love: 
it is a stranger to mercy, according to that of Solomon [Prov, 
xxvii. 4.] "Anger hath no mercy:" it breaks peace both with 
God and our neighbor, and is the mortal enemy of patience 
and long-suffering; for it will suffer nothing; much less will 
it admit of the "renouncing of our own will," or submit to 
"take up the cross" virtues recommended by Jesus as the 
tests of his disciples. 

Consider, thirdly, what oaths, curses, and blasphemies ; 
what affronts and injuries; what quarrels and reproaches; yea, 
sometimes bloodshed and murder too; what hatred and malice 
usually attend this passion of anger, besides the scandal given 
to our neighbor's soul ; as one fire is apt to enkindle another: 
not to speak, of many other sad effects of this vice, which is 
frequently pernicious to the health of the body, as well as that 
of the soul, and is insupportable to all about us. 

Conclude to "render to no man evil for evil" and, "if it 
be possible, as much as is in you, have peace with all men. 
Be not overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good," [Rom. 
xii. 17, &c.j 


Remedies against Ike vir-e of anger. 

CONSIDER, first, that as long ais we refuse to take upon us* 
the yoke of Jesus Christ, by denying ourselves and learning of 
him "to be meek and humble of heart," we belong not to him; 
for we have not his spirit. And therefore he Avill declare to 
us, "I know yon not; departfromme; ye worteis of iniquity!" 
It is then absolutely necessary, fo* all who wish to be acknow- 
ledged his true disciples, to subdue the vice of anger, the mor- 
tal enemy to this spirit of meekness and humility. To this 
end we must watch and pray, and manfully resist all its as- 

Consider, secondly, how these three prescriptions are to be 
complied with. First, we mustwateA; by forecasting in the 


morning for instance, the occasions we may likely meet with 
in the day, in order to arm ourselves against them. Secondly, 
we must pray most earnestly for the victory, which God alone 
can give. And, thirdly, we must fight, hy resisting the first 
motions of our passion; and by turning away from the tempta- 
tation and leaving the company ; or at least by keeping silence 
till the commotion is over, or answering nothing but with 
meekness and condescension. 

Consider, thirdly, that in order to overcome our passion, we 
must learn also, to despise and humble ourselves; for anger 
usually proceeds from an unhappy pride, which makes us im- 
patient of contradiction or control. Alas, if we did but know 
ourselves, and what, we have deserved by our manifold and 
grievous offences against God, we should not seek to revenge 
every slight offence of our neighbor against us. 

Conclude resolutely to withstand this unhappy passion; oth- 
erwise it will fill you with sin, and will not suffer either peace 
or grace to reside in your soul. 


On the vice of intemperance. 

CONSIDER, first, that intemperance or excess in eating or 
drinking, is a mortal sin, whenever it exposes a person to the 
danger of considerable prejudice, either in soul or body, health 
or reason; or when it shortens his days, like a slow poison, as 
frequently happens, though its effects are not immediately per- 
ceived: and, in general, when for pleasure in eating or drink- 
ing, a person does not hesitate to transgress the commandments 
of God or of the Church, or otherwise makes the gratification 
of his sensual appetite in a manner the study and occupation 
of his life. Of these the apostle pronounces, with tears, 
that "their God is their belly;" that they "are enemies of 
the cross of Christ," and that their "end is destruction," 

Consider, secondly, the unhappy effects of intemperance. 
It often robs men of their reason, destroys their health, brings 
upon them a variety of diseases; it shortens their lives, con- 
sumes their substance, disturbs the peace of their families, 
withdraws from their wives and children their necessary sub- 
sistence, gives scandal and bad example to neighbors, foments 
the passions, shuts the gate against the grace of God and all 
good, and opens it to all evil. In a word, gluttons shall here- 
after hunger and thirst for all eternity, and never obtain the 
smallest refreshment, [Luke xvi.J 

Consider, thirdly, how the word of God condemns this evil. 


"Wine and women make wise men fall away/' [Eccles. xix. 
2.] "Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout 
men at drunkenness," [Isaiah v. 22.] "Take heed to your- 
selves, lest your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting and 
drunkenness, and THAT DAY come upon you suddenly," 
[Luke xxi. 34.] "Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor 
idolaters, nor drunkards, &c., shall possess the kingdom of 
God," [1 Cor. vi. 9, 10.] 

Conclude never to be so mad as to sell your birth-right to 
the kingdom of heaven, for the momentary gratification of 

Prescriptions against intemperance, 

CONSIDER, first, that the person who has already experi- 
enced his own weakness by falling into sin, ought not to ex- 
pose himself to what he knows was the occasion of his fall. 
Wherefore, he must carefully avoid the revellings and meetings 
of worldlings, and all such places and companies where excess 
is promoted and encouraged by common practice. Let no man 
here deceive himself with pretexts of civility or necessity: his 
soul and eternity are at stake. Let him not dread the displea- 
sure of his 'drunken companions, lather than that of heaven. 
There is death in their cups; a mortal poison that reaches even 
to the soul. 

Consider, secondly, that every Christian in quality of disci- 
ple of our crucified Redeemer, ought to walk in the narrow 
way of self-denial, which he has pointed out by precept and 
example to all his followers. How much more is every sin- 
ner obliged to expiate his sins, by fasting and other mortifica- 
tions? But we must not expect to acquire this spirit of morti- 
fication and penance, which will effectually deliver us from 
the vice of intemperance, without fervent prayer for the divine 

Consider, thirdly, that the most sovereign of all remedies 
against intemperance, is the exercise of recollection, and the 
contemplation of heavenly truths. This creates in the soul 
another kind of appetite for the things of God, and gives her a 
disgust for all sensual and carnal satisfactions. The relish of 
truth, and the consideration and meditations on God's eternal 
banquet, in which he will inebriate his guests with the nev- 
er-failing plenty of his house, and make them drink of the 
torrent of his pleasures, is abundantly sufficfent to wean the 
soul from all sensual affections, and the delight of taste. 

Conclude to use these prescriptions, if you would be pre- 


served or freed from this mortal disease of intemperance: and 
eat not merely for pleasure, but to support nature in obedience 
to the will of God. 


On the vice of envy, 

CONSIDER, first, that envy, which is a repining at another's 
good because it seems to lessen our own, is the daughter of 
pride, and is a mortal sin of the spiritual kind. It makes a 
dreadful havoc in the soul, and yet, too often is hardly noticed 
by the unthinking children of this world! Christians, look 
well into yourselves, that this devouring serpent may have no 
lurking hole in the recesses of your soul. Ah! be always 
upon the watch, and instant in prayer, lest this enemy of all 
good should find means to fix his residence within your bosom. 

Consider, secondly, that envy grieves where charity rejoices, 
and makes its slaves more and more miserable, whenever they 
see or hear of any advantage of their neighbor. God ought to 
be glorified for all his gifts and graces, which with a bountiful 
hand he plentifully bestows upon his creatures. But the en- 
vious man, instead of giving glory to God on these occasions, 
is grieved at his goodness, and would willingly, if he could, 
stop up the channel of his divine bounties: can there be great- 
er perversity than this? 

Consider, thirdly, that envy is the parent of hatred and mal- 
ice. The envious are always prone to judge, censure, and 
condemn their neighbors; to put the worst construction upon 
all they say or do, and daily to detract and slander them. 
They are generally whisperers and tale-bearers: they seek upon 
all occasions to set others against them whom they envy; they 
oppose by word and action whatever tends to their good, and 
take a malicious pleasure in the evils which befal them. Was it 
not envy that made Cain murder his brother Abel, and Joseph's 
brethen sell him into Egypt? In a word, was it not envy 
which crucified the Son of God? 

Conclude to detest this monster: it is a child of the devil, 
"by whose envy death" and all other evils, "first came into 
the world:" it is the pest of our own, and neighbor's hap- 


Remedies against envy. 

CONSIDER, first, that as envy proceeds from pride, we must 
in the first place, endeavor perfectly to subdue this pernicious 
vice. This must be effected by humility and a true knowledge 
of ourselves: for whoever has a lively conviction of his own 
worthlessness, and that he deserves nothing but contempt, can 
not easily be proud; nor can. an humble heart be ever envious. 
Therefore true humility and self-knowledge are excellent pre- 
servatives and sovereign remedies against envy. 

Consider, secondly, that divine charity is a still more sove- 
reign remedy against envy. Wheresoever charity reigns, envy, 
hatred, malice, and detraction can find no place. O blessed 
charity, which bringest with thee all other virtues and drivest 
away all vice; come and take up thy eternal abode in my soul; 
I know, that without thee I am nothing, and that other advan- 
tages without thee, will become in my regard real evils. I 
will therefore spare no pains to obtain thee: I will prefer thee 
before all the treasures of the universe. 

Consider , thirdly , that as all Christians aspire to the same hea- 
venly country, the mansion of everlasting peace and love, 
they ought all to have but one heart and one soul. They have 
all manner of ties to oblige them to the strictest union and 
love; since they all have the same Father and Mother, God 
and his Church; are all brethren in Christ; are all redeemed 
by his blood, and sanctified by his Spirit in baptism; and all 

Eartake of his body and blood, the sacrament of union and of 
jve. What a heaven should we enjoy even upon earth, if 
the life of every Christian was influenced by these considera- 
tions? There would be no envy to disturb our peace of mind. 
Conclude to pray with all earnestness for the amiable virtue 
of universal charity and humility. They will render you proof 
against all the vile suggestions of envy. 

On the vice of spiritual sloth. 

CONSIDER, first, that spiritual sloth, whether we consider it 
in general, as a backwardness, negligence and carelessness 
with regard to the things of God and all Christian virtues; or 
as a particular indisposition of soul with regard to the love of 
God opposite to the virtues of godliness, devotion, and prayer, 
and by divines placed among the seven capital vices, is a 
most pernicious evil. When considerable in its kind, it ban- 


ishes divine charity from the soul, and is a grievous mortal sin; 
it destroys the spiritual life of God's grace, and is the greatest 
of all obstacles to salvation. 

Consider, secondly, that spiritual sloth occasions the neglect 
of prayer and other religious duties, and of the sacraments 
which are the channels of divine grace. St. Gregory sums up 
the following dreadful effects of this spiritual sloth; first, des- 
pair, or giving up the canse of God and of the soul; so as to 
have neither hope nor concern for our eternal salvation. Se- 
cond, pusillanimity or cowardice, sinking from all pains and 
labor in the service of God. Third, a numbness of soul with 
regard to all the divine commandments. ' Fourth, malice or an 
aversion to all sanctity, and to its possessors. Fifth, a rancor 
or indignation against all who attempt to bring us to God. And 
lastly, a dissipation of mind, which draws our hearts from God, 
and fixes them upon creatures. 

Consider, thirdly, that the vice of spiritual sloth is the more 
dangerous; because, like the rest of spiritual sins, it lies deep- 
er in the soul, and is easier overlooked by those who will not 
take the pains to think, and to examine well the state of their 
conscience. Carnal sins are more easily discovered, because 
they are attended with greater infamy in the eyes of men: but 
spiritual vices, though less noticed^ by men, are more heinous 
in the sight of God, and thousands, it is to be feared, live 
and die without repentance or remorse, highly guilty of this 
mortal sin of sloth. 

Conclude to examine well how you stand affected with re- 
gard to your spiritual advancement in the love and service 
of your God; if this be your principal and constant aim, all is 

Remedies against spiritual sloth, 

CONSIDER, first, that the daily consideration of the truths of 
eternity will effectually cure our sloth. We have a God to 
serve, and a soul to save. This God is infinitely good, and 
good to us. He is all goodness, beauty, truth, and all perfec- 
tion: he is infinitely lovely, and our eternal lover: his Son 
came down from heaA'en for the love of us; he even died for 
our salvation. We have received and daily do receive many 
great benefits from him: his- thought is always upon us. If, 
notwithstanding, we neglect his love and service, he threatens 
us with eternal evil; and death, judgment, and hell every in- 
stant gain ground upon us. And surely the frequent remem- 
brance of all this must excite our fervor. 

Consider, secondly, that the short term of this life is assign- 


ed us by our Maker for nothing else, but to labor for an eterni- 
ty. We shall have no other provision for eternity, but \vhat 
we send before us by incessant labor during the twelve hours 
of this short day of our mortality. The moments of this time 
are precious; and the night will soon come on in which no 
man can work. Therefore, this precious time must be well 
spent, in "laboring by good works to make our calling and 
election sure," [2 Pet. i. 10.] 

Consider, thirdly, the life and death of the Son of God, the 
great pattern of a Christian. He was never idle; but was al- 
ways employed in doing the will of his Father. Happy the 
Christian who endeavors always to be thus employed. Read 
also, and consider often the lives of the saints, and excite 
yourself to fervor in the service of God by their example, and 
the contemplation of their glory. Call often to mind, that the 
eye of your great Master is always upon you; and be ashamed to 
be less diligent in his service, than worldlings are in the ser- 
vice of this earth. 

Conclude to arm yourself by these and the like considera- 
tions against the pernicious vice of spiritual sloth: it will oth- 
erwise be your final luin. 

On the Christian's warfare. 

CONSIDER, first, that the life of a good Christian is a perpet- 
ual warfare; agreeably to that of holy Job, [vii. 1.] His time 
of a true, settled, and solid peace is not to come, till after 
many a conflict, and many a victory. He must fight his way 
to heaven against a set of cruel, deceitful, and obstinate ene- 
mies, who will never cease, in life or death, to assault him. 
"For our wrestling is not against flesh and blood" alone; "but 
against principalities and powers, against the spirits of wick- 
edness in high places," [Eph. vi.] that is in the air which sur- 
rounds us. These wicked spirits mortally hate us, because we 
were created to fill their seats in heaven, forfeited by their sin. 
But, for our comfort we have a far greater power on our side, 
that of all the blessed spirits, and of God himself whose bat- 
tles we are fighting. 

Consider, secondly, that the devil and his wicked ones have 
engaged the world also, and the flesh, as auxiliaries in this 
warfare: these do much more harm, even than all the spirits 
of darkness. By the world, we mean the whole collection of 
poor deluded mortals, who have embraced, and endeavor to 
propagate by word and example, the impious laws and maxims 
of Satan. This wicked world is governed by "the lust of the 


flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life," [1 John ii. 
16.] which we all renounced at baptism. 

Consider, thirdly, that the chief part of our warfare consists 
in fighting continually against "the lust of the flesh;" that is, 
against our own evil inclinations and passions. Hence our 
Lord in his gospel, not only requires we should renounce all 
other things in the world, how near or dear soever they may 
be to us, in order to follow him: but especially insists, that we 
renounce ourselves, and hate ourselves in this life, if we desire 
to he his disciples, and to save our souls. Thus we shall ef- 
fectually subdue the lust of the flesh, which is the most danger- 
ous of all our enemies. 

Conclude to fight manfully against them all till death; and 
you will not fail to receive the crown of life. 

On St. Simon and St. Jude. 

CONSIDER, first, that the apostles when they Avere chosen by 
Christ, were poor and comtemptible in the eyes of the world, 
destitute of all those qualities which might recommend them 
to public notice, and quite illiterate; yet they were preferred 
by the wisdom of God, before all the wise, rich, and eloquent, 
to be his instruments in the great work of the conversion of 
the world; and were in fact best qualified, by their simplicity 
and humility, to show forth his glory. "The foolish things of 
the world hath God chosen," saith St. Paul, [1 Cor. i.J "that 
no flesh should glory in his sight." 

Consider, secondly, that the apostles were made the chief 
priests, under Christ, of the New Testament, the first bishops 
and pastors of his church, the prime ministers of his kingdom, 
the dispensers of all his mysteries, and, next to Him, who is 
the chief corner-stone, the twelve foundations of his church, 
[Eph. ii. 20.] yea rather, of the heavenly Jerusalem, [Apoc. 
xxi. 14.] Christians, bless your Saviour on the festivals of the 
apostles, for his great favors to them, and through them, to his 
church in general, and to yourselves in particular; since through 
their ministry, by the channel of their successors in the church 
of Christ, you yourselves devive all spiritual blessings. 

Consider, thirdly, that the apostles received great graces; 
and they faithfully corresponded on their part: at the first call 
they left all things else to follow Christ; and as he bears them 
witness, [Luke xxii. 27.] they "remained with him in .his 
temptations:" their zeal and courage in his cause were invin- 
cible: their love for him was stronger than death: they even 
rejoiced that they were esteemed worthy to suffer for his name. 


They planted the true Church of Christ by their doctrine and 
miracles, in the remotest regions of the earth, and have left in 
it a continued succession of saints, the standing frui ts of their 
labors, agreeably to that of St. John, [xv. 16.] 

Conclude, on the feasts of the apostles to listen to the les- 
sons which they taught by word and work; and imitate their" 
virtue. ^ 


On the Christian's armour. 

CONSIDER, first, what kind of armour the apostle recom- 
mends for our spiritual conflict, (Eph. vi:) "Take unto you," 
saith he, "the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in 
the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect : stand there- 
fore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the 
breast-plate of justice, and your feet shod with the preparation 
of the gospel of peace, in all things taking the shield of faith, 
wherewith you may be .able to extinguish all the fiery darts 
of the most wicked one. And take unto you the helmet of 
salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, (which is the word of 
God) by all prayer and supplication." 

Consider, secondly, that the soldier of Christ must first have 
his "loins girt about with truth;" that is, he must set out with 
a firm resolution to restrain his passions and lusts, and to pro- 
ceed with uprightness and simplicity of intention, in his un- 
dertakings. Then he must put on "the breast-plate," or coat 
of mail, of Christian justice; by which is here understood the 
collection of all virtues, which each soldier of Christ must la- 
bor to acquire, against the temptations of the contrary vices. 
He must also have his "feet shod with the preparation of the 
gospel of peace;" that is, he must walk in the ways of the 
gospel, which alone can insure to him true and everlasting 

Consider, thirdly, that to defend our souls against "the fiery 
darts of the most wicked one," we must have in readiness the 
"shield of faith," or a lively belief of the great truths of the 
gospel, with a sense of the divine presence, and the remem- 
brance of death, judgment, hell and heaven. But then we must 
also make use of the "helmet of hope," and join an absolute 
distrust in ourselves, with an entire confidence in God. Thus 
we shall be an overmatch for all our enemies. 

Conclude diligently to procure every part of this heavenly 
armour, and you may rest secure of victory. 



On the ehriistian'a e&nfliet. 

, first, that in this spiritual warfare we must also 
be provided with a sword. Now "the sword of the spirit is 
the word of God." For the truths of God's heavenly word, 
heard from his ministers or read in good boots, when embraced 
with a lively faith, and pondered at leisure by deep meditation, 
serve both to defend us, and to annoy the enemy : they are 
both a shield and a sword. They baffle and defeat all the 
temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil; and they at- 
tack and beat down the united forces of these adversaries. 

Consider, secondly, that earnest and perseverant prayer and 
supplication, must complete this suit of Christian armour. 
And, we may say with absolute truth, thai no one is overcome 
but for want of prayer, and that its neglect is the original cause 
of the misfortune of all who fall from God by sin. For his in- 
finite goodness never forsakes those who do not first forsake 
him : he is faithful, and will not suffer us to be tempted above 
our strength, but will assuredly give us the victory, if we al- 
ways cast ourselves into his arms, by fervent and humble 

Consider, thirdly, that our dear Redeemer bids his disciples 
join watchfulness with prayer : "watch," says he, "and pray, 
that you enter not into temptation," (Matt. xxvi. ) remembering 
that though our "spirit be willing," our "flesh is frail." This 
watching is the more necessary, as the spirits of darkness are 
always laying ambushes, and use a thousand deceits to en- 
suare us, and oftener prevail by stratagem than by open as- 

Conclude to arm yourself with the word and the truths of 
God, and by diligent "watching and praying:" thus all your 
conflicts will prove successful. 


On the four cardinal virtues. 

CONSIDER, first, that prudence, justice, fortitude and tempe- 
rance, are called cardinal virtues, because they are the hinges 
upon Avhich the whole life of a Christian, must constantly move. 
Of these the wise man says, they are "such things as men 
can have nothing more profitable in life," (Wisdom viii. 7.) 
Every virtue must be prudent and discreet, otherwise it de- 
generates into vice; it must be just both with respect to God, 
to one's neighbors, and to one's self; stout and valiant, firm 


and constant in adhering to what is right, and opposing iniqui- 
ty; and it must be sober and temperate, by not exceeding the 
bounds of due moderation, prescribed by right reason and re- 

Consider, secondly, that Christian prudence teaches us what 
is good, and what is evil, in every occurrance of life. It di- 
rects all our words and actions in such manner, as that we 
neither decline out of the way, or offend ourselves, nor give 
occasion of offence to others : it makes always proper choice 
of the means to bring us to our sovereign good. Its offices are: 
to design and consult well, to judge right, and to direct well 
the execution; but all this, with dependence on divine grace, 
and not on one's own industry and abilities. 

Consider, thirdly, the offices, and the excellence of the other 
three cardinal virtues. Justice lenders to every one his due, 
and wrongs no man, in word, action, omission or desire. 
With regard to God, it obliges us before all things to dedicate 
our whole heart and soul to him, to whom all is due. Forti- 
tude arms the soul with invincible courage, in her warfare 
against her spiritual enemies, to do her duty, and with resolu- 
tion to suffer all, rather than to sin. Lastly, temperance re- 
strains all immoderation in eating or drinking, with all other 
excesses of our passions or lusts, and keeps us within the 
bounds of right reason, and the law of nature and religion. 

Conclude to esteem and earnestly beg of God these excellent 
virtues; of which we continually stand in need. 


On the feast of all tht saints. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day the church of God honors 
with a solemn festival, the virtues, the triumphs and the eter- 
nal jubilee of all the saints and citizens of the heavenly. Jeru- 
salem 1. in order to give glory and praise on their account to 
the God of all the saints, and to his Son Jesus Christ, the au- 
thor of all their virtues : 2. to encourage all her children to 
walk in their footsteps, in hopes of the like reward : 3. to teach 
them to join in the mean time, in a holy communion with 
them; and to procure the assistance of their prayers and inter- 

Consider, secondly, that all these holy ones, whose feast we 
celebrate this day, are entered into the never-ending joys of 
their Lord, at a very cheap rate : the yoke of his divine service, 
which they bore for the short time of their pilgrimage, Avas very 
sweet to them; and their burden very light. Grace and love 
lade all things easy, which they did for their beloved. He 


himself supported them in such manner, as to carry both tham 
and their crosses too, upon his own shoulders. My soul, hast 
not thou the same God as they had? Hast not thou the same 
Saviour, Jesus Christ? Hast thou not all the same helps and 
means of grace as they had! Why then mayest not thou also, 
aspire to the same happiness and glory? 

Consider, thirdly, that as divine love is the great principle 
of all sanctity; so we have before our eyes this day the bright 
example of millions of heavenly lovers, to excite us to love : 
This most amiable and ever blessed Yirgin; these innumerable 
legions of angelic spirits; these cherubim and seraphim, all on 
fire with love; these patriarchs and prophets; these apostles 
of the Lamb, sent by him to spread over all the earth the bright 
flames of love; those armies of martyrs, who all laid down 
their lives for love; those millions of holy, confessors : in a 
word, all those spotless virgins, the spouses of divine love; 
whose love of God was stronger than death. may our frozen 
hearts receive some warmth at least, from all their flames. 

Conclude to love, honor and imitate the saints of God. 
Thus shall you experience their powerful intercession at pre- 
sent, and enjoy their blissfull society hereafter. 


On the, commemoration of all souls. 

CONSIDER, first, that on this day the church of God, attend- 
ing to the necessities of great numbers of her children depart- 
ed out of this life, in her faith and communion, but not without 
some blemish of sin in their souls; some smaller stains, at 
least, of "idle words," or other venial offences; some "wood, 
hay, or stubble" in their building, according to the language of 
St. Paul, which cannot stand the fire; or some debt to divine 
justice on account of former sins not sufficiently expiated by 
penance, turns all her prayers and sacrifices to procure for 
them a full pardon, and a speedy admittance into eternal rest. 
O how holy and wholesome, is the institution of this day of ex- 
piation ! "to pray for the dead, that they may be loosed from 
their sins!" (2 Macchab. xii. 46.) Alas! how few depart 
this life so purt, as to be immediately admitted to that blessed 
city above, where "nothing defiled can enter in!" (Apoc. xxi. 
2.) It is then a duty of Christian charity incumbent on us all, 
to pray for our brethren who are gone before us, that they may 
rest in peace. 

Consider, secondly, that the spiritual Avorks of mercy are of 
all the most acceptable to God; and praying for the dead is 
justly numbered among these spiritual works of mercy, since 


it is doing the souls of our brethren the greatest charity imagi- 
nable. In effect, we thus contribute, as far as we are able, to 
deliver them from their evils, and to bring them to their sove- 
reign good. It is also a most excellent mean of obtaining 
mercy for ourselves: "for the merciful shall obtain mercy," 
(Matth. xi. 7.) 

Consider, thirdly, that fasting and other exercises of penance 
and charity, performed in behalf of the faithful departed, ac- 
cording to the religious custom of former ages, and the prac- 
tice of our pious ancestors in their doles at the funerals of the 
dead, are of great benefit to them. But the sacrifice of the 
body and blood of our Lord in the holy mass, pleads still more 
powerfully in favor of the living and the dead. 

Conclude diligently to assist the souls of the faithful depart- 
ed, both by prayers, alms, and this holy oblation of the blood 
of Christ. Your charity for them may one day prove highly 
beneficial to yourself. 

On the obligation of all Christians to be saints. 

CONSIDER, first, how God declares in his word, that all his 
people ought to be saints. "Be ye holy, because I, the Lord 
your God am holy," was what he continually inculcated in 
the Old Testament : and in the New, the Son of God cries out 
to us all, (Matth. v. 14.) "Be ye perfect, as your heavenly Fa- 
ther is perfect." And the apostle tells us, [Rom. i. 7.] that 
all Christians are "CALLED to be saints a chosen generation, 
a kingly priesthood, a holy nation, a purchased people;" [1 
Peter ii. 9.] Hence the name of saints is appropriated by St. 
Paul to all the faithful. 

Consider, secondly, that though all are not commanded to 
work miracles, or to exercise extraordinary austerities, or to 
retire into deserts to spend their whole time in prayer, or to 
sell all they have and give it to the poor, (for there have been 
many very great saints, who have done none of these things;) 
yet ALL are commanded to love God with their whole heart, 
with their whole soul, with their whole mind, and with theii 
whole strength. Do this, my soul, and thou also shalt be a 
saint : but without this, nothing else will avail. 

Consider, thirdly, that we are the "children of God;?' and 
therefore should bear some resemblance of our Father, by an 
imitation of his sanctity. 2. We are his spouses; and there- 
fore must keep ourselves undefiled, if we aspire to an eternal 
union with him. 3. We are his temples; and consequently 
must be ever holy. 4. We are the members of Jesus Christ, 


and must live by his spirit, the spirit of sanctity. 5. We be- 
long to God by creation; and it is his absolute will that we 
should be saints. 6. The Son of God delivered himself up 
for us, "to wash us from our sins in his own blood," and thus 
to make us saints. Lastly, we are strictly bound by our baptis- 
mal vows, and numberless other obligations, to sanctity. 

Conclude to lead henceforward a new and saintly life; and 
strive to make daily progress in divine charity. 

On the means we all have to become saints. 

CONSIDER, first, that God, in commanding us all to become 
saints, does not command, what is impossible. Witness those 
manifold graces and spiritual helps, with which he continually 
favors us; to which if we daily attended, we should all be 
saints. Witness that early knowledge of his heavenly truths; 
those repeated invitations, with which he sweetly presses us 
to be converted from our evil ways, and to turn to him. If we 
did but welcome these first divine calls, they would produce in 
our souls strong desires of Christian perfection, and that "hun- 
ger and thirst after justice," recommended by our Lord, which 
never fails of being filled, [Matth. v. 7.] 

Consider, secondly, the particular means of divine grace, 
which we enjoy in tbe church of God. The sacraments were 
instituted by Jesus Christ, on purpose to make us saints; espe- 
cially that most holy sacrament and divine sacrifice of his own 
body and blood; in which we have always in the midst of us, 
and may daily approach, the very fountain of all sanctity. O 
Christian, one good and perfect communion might suffice to 
make you a saint ! Besides the advantages derived from the 
frequent hearing and reading of the word of God, from the great 
examples of the saints, and of the living servants of God ; 
from the mysteries of our redemption so often rendered in a 
manner present to the eyes of our soul in the public worship of 
the church; and abundant other helps to perfection. If then 
we are not saints, the fault must be in ourselves. 

Consider, thirdly, that the yoke of the Lord is sweet, and 
his burden light. We may apply to his commandment of our 
being saints, what is written in holy scripture, [Deut. xxx. 11. 
&c.] "This commandment which I command thee this day, 
is not above thee, nor far off from thee : nor is it in heaven, 
that thou shouldst say; which of us can go up to heaven, to 
bring it to us : nor is it beyond the sea, that thou mayest ex- 
cuse thyself and say; which of us can cross the sea. But the 
word is very nigh unto thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart, 


that thou mayest do it." Yes, Christians; the grace of God is 
rery near us : we shall find it in the diligent practice of re- 
collection and mental prayer; and it will make all our duties 
and labors sweet and easy, 

Conclude to embrace in practice all these means of sanctity; 
and you will have no reason to complain that you cannot he st 

On the perfection of our ordinary actions. 

CONSIDER, first, that sanctity consists not in the working of 
miracles, in having visions, revelations and extasies, or in 
the gifts of prophecy, of tongues, or an eminent knowledge of 
the most sublime and divine truths, as some Christians vainly 
imagine. We often read instances of this nature in the lives 
of saints : but none of these things made them saints. They 
had been found even in such as were not saints; while, on the 
other hand, many eminent scripture saints have had none of 
them : neither ought any humble Christian to desire such things 
as these, though every Christian ought to endeavor to be a saint. 
Nor does sanctity consist in much fasting, in wearing hair 
shirts, in abundant alms, long prayers or other extraordinary 
practices, which may be found even in the proud, the selfish, 
and the uncharitable : it consists in true humility, self-denial 
and sincere love of God and our neighbor : without these, there 
is no sanctity. 

Consider, secondly, that sanctity does not so much depend 
upon doing extraordinary actions, as upon doing our ordina- 
ry actions extraordinarily well. Neither will it cost us more 
to do them well, than to do them ill : on the contrary, the bet- 
ter we perform them, the more easy and delightful they will be 
to us; and the grace of God and his blessing will attend all we 
do. Nothing more will be required to make us saints. 

Consider, thirdly, that the perfection of our ordinary actions 
depends upon the purity of intention, with which we refer all 
our thoughts, words and works, to the love and service of our 
God : for thus we make his holy will the rule of all we do, 
beginning every work by offering it, together with our hearts, 
to him ; and fervently renewing this offering in the midst of our 
employments. Thus shall our "days go on by God's ordi- 
nance :'" thusshall they "all serve him." [Ps. cxviii. 91.] 

Conclude, by following these rules, to make your ordinary 
actions acts of virtue and divine love; and if they are disagree- 
able to nature, they may thus become also acts of penance. 




On the sanctity of the Christian's institute. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Christian religion is in the nature 
of a religious order or institute, founded by Jesus Christ our 
Lord. Its origin is heavenly : its rule is heavenly, being God's 
own word, and the gospel of his Son : and its tendency is 
heavenly: for it tends to conduct us to our sovereign good. 
The means too, which it furnishes for this end, are heavenly; 
for instance, the communications of divine grace, the sacred 
mysteries and sacraments of divine institution, and the like. 
The Christian makes his solemn religious profession at the foot 
of the altar, in baptism : he engages by vow to renounce the 
world, the flesh and the devil; and to lead an innocent and 
saintly life : he receives for his habit, with a charge to keep it 
all his life without spot or stain, the white robe of innocence 
and purity; and puts on Jesus Christ, in order to anew and 
spiritual life. 

Consider, secondly, that the dignity of a Christian is indeed 
very great. He has the honor to be enrolled in the service of 
the great King : he is made his friend and his favorite : he is 
even adopted through Jesus Christ, to be a child of God and 
heir to his eternal kingdom. The Son of God has made him 
partaker of his Spirit; of his kingly and priestly unction, and, 
in some measure, of his divine nature. But alas! may we not 
too justly apply to the greatest part of those who are raised to 
this inexpressible dignity, that of the royal prophet: man when 
he was in honor did not understand; "he hath been compared 
to senseless beasts, and made like to them." [Ps. xlviii. 21.] 

Consider, thirdly, that the essential duties of every Christian, 
are reduced by the psalmist into a small compass. "Turn 
away from evil and do good." The first part requires a settled 
determination of the soul never to commit a wilful mortal sin, 
for any consideration whatever; no not even to save one's life. 
The second part requires a constant attention to do the will of 
God in all things, and to advance every day in divine love. 
Do this, my soul, and thou shalt be a saint. 

Conclude hence forward to have always before your eyes both 
the dignity and sanctity of the Christian character, and to show 
it forth in your life. 


On following the light of Christ. 

CONSIDER, first, that Jesus Christ came down from heaven 
to be our light; to enlighten our souls with the light of his 
heavenly truths; to dispel the darkness of errors and vices, 
and to impart to us: 'the light of faith," till the true day-dawn 
and "day-star arise in our hearts," (2 Pet. i. 19.) "I am the 
light of the Avorld," saith our Lord; (John viii. 12.) he "that 
followeth me, walketh not in darkness." Ah! my soul, he not 
of the unhappy number of those, who "love darkness rather 
than the light," (John iii. 19.) 

Consider, secondly, that this light of Christ teaches us to 
know both God and ourselves: it teaches us in fact all virtues; 
poverty of spirit, humility, self-denial, meekness and patience, 
penance and conformity to the will of God, and divine chari- 
ty: it points out to us the way to perfection and to a happy eter- 
nity: it conducts us to God himself, and to the light of life 
which is with him. 

Consider, thirdly, that in order to obtain the light of life, 
we must follow Christ by walking in his footsteps and imitat- 
ing his virtues, not less than by faith. "If we would be truly 
enlightened," says the Following of Christ, "and be delivered 
from all blindness of heart, let it be our chief study to medi- 
tate on the life of Jesus, and imitate his life and manners," 
(L. i. chap. 1.) Thus we shall truly follow Him who is "the 
way, the truth, and the life," and shall not "walk in dark- 

Conclude henceforward diligently to adhere in practice to 
the heavenly light both of the doctrine, and of the example of 
the Lord Jesus. 

One thing is necessary, (Luke x. 42.) 

CONSIDER, first, what a multiplicity of cares and concerns 
about empty vanities and worldly toys, is apt to engross our 
whole attention. How busy are we all the day long about 
mere trifles.! What a variety of amusements distracts our 
thoughts! In what dissipation do we generally live! How 
little is there of God in our daily conversation! How few of 
cur words or actions are referred to him! And yet we are not 
ignprant, that there is but "one thing necessary;" namely, our 
eternal salvation! 

Consider, secondly, that this alone was the great end for 



which we were sent into this world; nothing else in compari- 
son ought to be called our business, whatever may he our call- 
ing or employment, all pur thoughts, words, and works should 
he referred to God and eternity; whatever diverts our attention 
from this great business is hurtful; it is pernicious to us: what- 
ever has no tendency to this one thing necessary, is all use- 
less and vain: for "what doth it profit a man if he gain the 
whole world and lose his own soul?" (Matt. xvi. 26.) 

Consider, thirdly, those words of our Saviour, (Matt. vi. 
33.) "Seek ye first the kingdom of God and his justice; and 
all these things shall be added unto you." This kingdom of 
God is the kingdom of grace in our souls; it is the "kingdom 
of divine love." This we must seek above all things else: 
this justice of God which makes us just indeed must'be the 
first and dearest object of our longing desires: for this we must 
continually pray with all the fervor of our heart. Other things, 
as far as they are expedient for us, will not be wanting. 

Conclude then, to look well to this "one thing necessary;" 
and all will be well with you, for time and eternity. 


Strive to enter by the narrow gate, (Luke xiii. 24.) 

CONSIDER, first, that there are two ways by which men walk 

in this life, and two gates out of this life into eternity. One 

of these ways is broad and spacious ; agreeable to the world 

and to the flesh, and crowded with vast multitudes whom it 

^conducts down the hill to a wide gate, and to a miserable 

,eternity. The other way is straight and rugged ; it restrains 

'the liberties and passions of worldlings, and is disagreeable to 

'the corrupt inclinations of flesh and blood; and therefore few, 

in comparison: care to walk in it: but these few walk on 

icheerfully towards the gate of life and immortality, assisted 

-and comforted by Jesus Christ. 

;'' Consider, secondly, what is the reason numbers of Christians 
walk on with so" little cpncern in the broad road "that leadeth 
'to destruction," in spite of the solemn declaration of the gos- 
'pel, (Matt. vi. 13, 14.) and' of tl\e light of their faith. Ah! it 
IS their want of thinking/they wilfully shut their eyes against 
the light; and thus run blindfold to the precipice: they are fas- 
cinated by cheating vanities, ( Wisdom 'vi.) nay, they are 
downright mad, preferring as they do in effect, the .dreadful 
and eternal torments of hell, to the never-ending and incon 
ceivable joys of heaven. 

Consider, thirdly, that God on his part desires that all may 
be saved; and may come to the knowledge of the truth; and 


his Son Christ Jesus gave himself a redemption for all, ( 1 Tim. 
ii. 4, 6.) If then, as the gospel informs us, "many are called, 
but few are chosen," it cannot be the want of good will in 
God, but of correspondence on the part of man. The far 
greater part of mortals are fond of the broad road of sensual 
gratification, and prefer the high-way of the world, the way 
of self-love, of the "lust of the flesh," and of "the pride of 
life," before the narrow-way to self-denial, and the love of 
God. Thus they are wanting to the essential conditions of 

Conclude to live always in the fear of God, and keep his 
commandments; and you shall be of the number of the chosen. 

No man can serve two masters, (Matt. vi. 24.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the service of God and that of the 
world, his mortal enemy, cannot subsist together. "No man 
can serve two masters/' or two opposite interests. We are 
bound by every tie to serve God; and his service will make us 
happy both here and hereafter. But what pretensions can the 
world, the flesh, or the devil, have to our service? They are 
all of them declared enemies to our true welfare, and our eter- 
nal salvation: if we serve them we are lost for ever. Turn 
thyself then, my soul, to thy sovereign good, and vow an 
eternal allegiance to the King of heaven. 

Consider, secondly, that no man is disposed to serve the 
devil for his own sake; but this wicked enemy makes use of the 
mammon of the world, and the allurements of the flesh, as 
baits to draw unthinking mortals to himself. These he gloss- 
es over and represents as solid goods, and engages their affec- 
tions to the prejudice of divine love. Therefore we are fre- 
quently admonished in holy scripture, of these baits of Satan 
and especially against the love and service of this mammon of 
iniquity, as quite opposite to the service of God, and destruc- 
tive of salvation. 

Consider, thirdly, that our God is a jealous lover: he will 
allow of no love which is not regular and orderly, and in sub- 
jection to the love of him. He cannot bear a divided heart, 
(Osea x. 2.) And, as we cannot both serve God and mam- 
mon; so we cannot serve both God and pleasure; we cannot 
serve both God and pride; we cannot serve both God and our 
impure affections. He expects to reign in our hearts without 
control: he will not admit of any rival there. You must then 
be wholly his without reserve; or he will certainly reject you. 

Conclude to fear God alone, love him alone, and give your 


whole self to him alone; since he made your heart for himself, 
and all things else for you. 


He that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be 
my disciple, (Luke xiv. 33.) 

CONSIDER, first, that in quality of Christians, we ought all 
to be disciples of Christ Jesus: the very name of Christian 
implies as much; and the first Christians were known by no 
other name than that of disciples, or scholars of this heavenly 
master. If then you wish to be a disciple of Christ, a true 
Christian, you must renounce all things else to follow him: 
you must renounce them, if not in effect, at least in affection, 
by withdrawing from them your heart, and giving it to God 
alone: and, in effect too, when they hinder you from follow- 
ing Christ. 

Consider, secondly, that every Christian, like the man in the 
gospel who purposes to build a tower, if he desires to be hap- 
py for ever, must raise a spiritual building, proof against all 
storms and inundations; a tower, that may stand for ever; and 
every Christian is engaged like the king in the parable, in a 
warfare against the prince of darkness and all his allies; if he 
fails of victory, he must be miserable for eternity. Therefore, 
he must sit down and compute the necessary charges of this 
building; he must raise a sufficient force to carry on this Avar 
with success. This he will effect by renouncing all to follow 
Christ, who will impart to him his infinite treasures, and 
make him triumph over all his enemies. 

Consider, thirdly, that those who have not yet mortified 
their affections to the things of this world, employ upon them 
their thoughts; that the time which should be laid out in car- 
rying on the great building, is all wasted upon these; and the 
builders amuse themselves with the chains of their criminal 
attachments. Nor does any thing give the spirits of darkness 
a greater hold of us in the struggle in which we are engaged, 
than our unmortified affections to created objects. 

Conclude to withdraw your affections from all earthly things, 
and to disregard whatever tends to make you lessfenrent in ihe 
love and service of your Creator. 



If any man will come after me let Mm deny himself, 
(Matt. xvi. 24.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the disciple of Jesus Christ, by the rule 
of the gospel, must also renounce, and deny himself: for self- 
love is a capital enemy to the love of God, and the parent of 
all vices. Therefore the gospel of Jesus Christ directs us even 
to hate ourselves, or, as it is expressed in the original, (Luke 
xiv. 26. John xii. 25.) to "hate our souls" in this life, in order 
to save them in the next. Such are the conditions upon which 
\ve are admitted disciples of the Son of God. 

Consider, secondly, that this denying and renouncing of our- 
. selves, is in effect loving ourselves, hecause it procures us the 
greatest good, and conducts us to eternal felicity. On the oth- 
er hand, that unhappy self-seeking and gratification in this 
world, is indeed hating ourselves, by reason of the mischiefs 
it brings upon us both here and hereafter. If then we are 
bound to renounce all affection to exterior things for the love 
of Christ; how much more strictly are we obliged to renounce 
^self-love, which is far more apt to captivate the heart, and to 
exclude the love of God? 

Consider, thirdly, the sentiments of a great servant of God 
upon this subject, speaking in the person of Christ. "Son," 
says he, "as far as thou canst go out of thyself, thou shalt in 
proportion enter into me. As the desire of nothing abroad 
brings peace at home, so the relinquishing of thyself interior- 
ly, joins thee to God. I wish thee to learn the perfect renun- 
ciation of thyself, in my will without contradiction or com- 
plaint. Follow me: 'I am the way, the truth, and the life.' 
If thou wilt be my disciple, deny thyself." (Following of 
Christ, b. iii. 56.) 

Conclude heartily to adopt these sentiments in the practice 
of your life. Were you to give ten thousand worlds for the 
happiness of becoming a true disciple of Jesus, all would be 
too little for the purchase. 


Except your justice exeeed that of the Scribes and Phari- 
sees, you shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven, 
(Matt. v. 20.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the Scribes and Pharisees, whose jus- 
tice we are to exceed, possessed the greatest zeal for the law 
of God and the true religion: they prayed much, gave large 


alms, and fasted frequently; so that, among the people, they 
passed for saints. Let us now examine in what their justice 
was defective, that we may learn to avoid their faults, and see 
what kind of justice, and what degree of virtue is necessary 
to conduct us safe to heaven lest otherwise we catch at the 
shadow, and lose the substance, together with our immortal 

Consider, secondly, that the Scribes and Pharisees sought 
not God, hut themselves, in all their actions: their prayers, 
their alms, their fastings, were directed towards the acquiring 
of human applause, to the end they might he honored and es- 
teemed by men. And while they avoided the more scandalous 
excesses of drunkenness and impurity, which would have ren- 
dered them infamous in the eyes of the world, they made no 
scruple of the spiritual sins, (still more odious to Almighty 
God) of envy, hatred, detraction, covetousness, and an extra- 
vagant pride, joined with a contempt of other men. Thus 
their virtues were but counterfeit, their vices real. 

Consider, thirdly, that the justice which Jesus Christ re- 
quires of us all, is to be "poor in spirit," (Matt. v. 3.) to 
be "humble, like a little child," (Matt, xviii. 3, 4.) to "love 
the Lord our God with our whole heart, and with our whole 
soul, and with our whole mind, and with our whole strength; 
and our neighbor as ourselves." This is Christian justice in- 
deed: "Do this and you shall live." But where any part of 
this is wanting, nothing can supply the defect, or make any 
person just. For, "not every one that saith to me, LORD, 
LORD, shall enter into the kingdom of heaven; but he only, who 
shall do the will of my Father, who is in heaven," (Matt. vii. 

Conclude, since neither alms, nor prayer, nor fasting, nor 
any outward worship without the inward spirit, will suffice; to 
seek this Christian justice in the fulfilling of the law of God. 


The kingdom of heaven is like unto a treasure, (Matthew 

xiii. 44.) 

CONSIDER, first, that by the kingdom of heaven, in this and 
many other passages in the gospel, is meant that heavenly 
kingdom of "the grace of God within our souls." A heaven- 
ly kingdom indeed, which we are commanded to seek in the 
first place, (Matth. vi. 33.) and for which we daily pray in 
the second petition of the Lord's prayer. Do you consider 
this kingdom of divine grace as a treasure indeed? Is your 
heart set upon it? For "where your treasure is, there also 


your heart will be." Are you willing to purchase at any rate 
that blessed field, where this immense treasure lies? 

Consider, secondly, that the field in which this spiritual 
treasure is concealed, is true wisdom; it is a devout and virtu- 
ous life; it is the following of Christ in good earnest, and be- 
ing his true disciples. To purchase a field of such value, we 
must part with all things else; we must give up all other affec- 
tions, to embrace and follow Christ: in exchange, he will 
make over to us all his treasures, and himself into the bargain. 
How unhappy are the children of this world, who set at naught 
this invaluable possession! 

Consider, thirdly, that the pondering well by deep medita- 
tion on eternal truths, is like digging for the treasure of the 
kingdom of heaven ; and the forming of the affections and re 
solutions of the soul, by which she is determined, at all events, 
to consecrate the remainder of life to divine love, is like sell- 
ing all to purchase the field where this treasure lies deposited. 
Yes, my soul; it is by daily opening thy eyes to the light of 
God, and to his divine truths, in meditation, that thou shalt 
discover the beauty of holiness; how sweet it is to love God; 
how happy to serve him in good earnest. 

Conclude to dig daily in the field of virtue and devotion for 
this treasure of the kingdom of heaven, by mental prayer; and 
you will assuredly find it. 

On the Marriage Feast, (Matthew xxii.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the Son of God came down from hea- 
ven to espouse to himself our human nature by the mystery of 
his incarnation, and every one of our souls in particular,' by 
an admirable union of grace and love. The marriage-feast is 
begun here upon earth by grace, in the souls of those who 
come to Christ with faith and love; and shall continue eter- 
nally in heaven. To this marriage-feast both Jews and Gen- 
tiles were long ago invited, by the apostles and other messen- 
gers of God; and all nations even to this present time, both by 
apostolic preachers sent for their conversion, and by various 
heavenly calls and inspirations in order to their salvation. 

Consider, secondly, the infinite goodness of God, manifest- 
ed to us in this parable, and the stupid ingratitude of thought- 
less mortals, who daily slight and neglect this divine invita- 
tion. How blind; how miserable; how wicked are they to 
prefer those worldly toys, their farm, their traffic, their earthly 
concerns, before that divine banquet with which God desires 
to entertain their souls; here, by the choicest blessings and 


communications of his grace; hereafter, by inebriating them 
for ever with the plenty of "his house, and making them drink 
of the torrent of his pleasure, at the very head of the fountain 
of life!" 

Consider, thirdly, the dreadful consequences of neglecting 
or rejecting the heavenly invitations by which we are called 
to the "marriage-feast of the Lamb." Alas! this crying sin is 
the cause of the reprobation of all that are lost! According- 
ly, our Lord concludes the parable with that terrible sentence, 
that "many are called, but few are chosen;" to convince us 
that, if we are not of the number of the elect, the fault is en- 
tirely our own, in not answering the calls of heaven. 

Conclude to accept .with gratitude the heavenly invitation; 
but take along Avith you the "wedding garment" of divine love: 
without this, you will be "cast into exterior darkness." 

The parable of the barren jig tree, (Luke xiii. ) 

CONSIDER, first, that all Christians are like trees, planted in 
the vineyard of Christ; and that he expects them all to bring- 
forth good fruit, each one in his kind. He will not be content 
with beautiful leaves: "Every tree that bringeth not forth good 
fruit, shall be cut down, and cast into the fire," (Matthew vii. 
19.) This sentence stands against all such trees as are barren 
in our Lord's vineyard. However, as we see in the parable of 
the fig tree, God in his great patience and mercy, bears with 
them for a while, and suspends the execution of the sentence, 
in hopes they will one day bring forth good fruit; till at length, 
after repeated disappointments, he cuts them down to be the 
fuel of an eternal fire. 

Consider, secondly, what fruit you yourself have hitherto 
brought forth? Alas! have you not at the best contented your- 
self with the leaves of some outward performances, like those 
of the Scribes and Pharisees; pleasing to the eye, without any 
fruit of solid Christian virtue? If so, remember the sentence 
which stands out against you, and prevent the execution by a 
speedy and hearty repentance: begin now at least to bring forth- 
the good fruit of a new life, before your reprieve expire: the 
term is to you unknown, and may be very near. 

Consider, thirdly, that this "good fruit" is not the refraining 
from scandalous excesses, or the leading of amoral honest life,, 
as many pagans have done: it consists in true humility: in 
the renunciation of our own will, our passions and corrupt in- 
clinations, by the virtues of obedience and self-denial; in a 
universal conformity with the holy will of God; and above all 


things, in true and perfect charity. These are good fruits in- 
deed. But if these, are wanting, neither alms, nor fasting, 
nor long prayers, nor daily frequenting the sacraments, nor 
any practice of piety whatever, can rescue any one from the 

Conclude to look well to yourself, and carefully remove 
whatever may prevent you from bringing forth "good fruit.' 3 
On this depends your eternal welfare. 

On the parable of the Prodigal Son, (Luke xv.) 

CONSIDER, first, that in the "prodigal son," is exhibited a 
lively image of the misery of eveiy poor sinner. Such a one 
by wilful sin goes away from his Father's house into a "fax- 
country, " even the region of death: he forfeits and squanders 
away all the graces received from God, and abuses all his gifts 
and talents in the gratification of his criminal passions. But 
alas! he soon experiences the famine which reigns in that 
country: a dreadful famine indeed: a dismal want of the 
bread of life and of all spiritual nourishment: a perpetual 
emptiness of the soul, which can never be satisfied till the 
sinner's happy return to his Father's house. 

Consider, secondly, that the poor deluded soul, when she 
leaves her Father's house, and forgets her God. abandons also, 
and forgets herself; she even imagines herself free, under the 
worst of slaveries; rich, under the extremity of want; honor- 
able and happy, in the midst of wretchedness and disgrace? 
But when she begins to open her inward eyes to the light of 
God by serious consideration, and to "return into herself," she 
is greatly alarmed at her present condition, and the dreadful 
dangers which surround her. She then arises without delay, 
and returns in haste to her Father's house with the sentiments 
of a contrite and humble heart, which she knows will never 
be rejected. 

Consider, thirdly, in this parable, the infinite goodness and 
mercy of God. He did not wait till the prodigal arrived: but 
"when he was yet a great way off, he saw him, and was mov- 
ed with compassion; and running to him, he fell upon his 
neck and kissed him." He then ordered "his servants to 
bring forth quickly the first robe, and to put a ring upon his 
hand, and shoes on his feet, and to bring the fatted calf and 
kill it: and let us eat," saith he, "and make merry: because 
this my son was dead and is come to life, he was lost and is 
found." Thus does our most merciful God daily deal with pea- 
itent sinners. 


Conclude, if your case be like that of the prodigal, and you 
are at a great distance from God by mortal sin, to imitate with- 
out delay his sincere and humble repentance. 


The parable of the unjust steivard, (Luke xvi.) 

CONSIDER,, first, that we are all stewards of our heavenly 
master, and our having so often like the unjust steward wasted 
his goods, ought to give us a just apprehension of our being 
quickly called to an account, and deprived of our stewardship. 
Wherefore., in order to our future support, we must make to 
ourselves friends by the good use of the mammon of this world; 
that is, by liberal alms to the poor, and the diligent exercise of 
charity in all its branches: we must do our endeavors to re- 
claim sinners from the error of their way, and thus procure 
them a discharge from their debts; and our Lord will commend 
us for having "done wisely/' by thus engaging friends to stand 
by us "in the evil day." 

Consider, secondly, that all that we have is the Lord's: our 
very being; our whole~soul and body; all our powers, faculties 
and senses; all our gifts and talents; our whole time, and all 
our worldly substance, are alike his property. If we waste 
any part of these goods, we are unjust stewards; and the em- 
ploying of any one of them otherwise than according to his holy 
will and his divine ordinances, will be accounted wasting them 
in the eyes of our great Lord and Master. Alas! when he 
shall vise in judgment, who shall be able to answer to one arti- 
cle in a thousand. 

Consider, thirdly, O my soul, those words in the parable as 
addressed this day to thee: "give an account of thy steward- 
ship." What couldst thou say for thyself if thy accounts were 
to be immediately examined. Thou knowest not the day nor 
the hour. Why then shouldst thou expose thyself any longer to 
the dreadful danger of being called upon when unprepared, to 
thy eternal condemnation? Ah! how little has thy time been 
employed in the love and service of thy God? How often has 
his choicest gifts and talents been abused? Alas! in what a 
dreadful state are all thy accounts! 

Conclude, now at least to set thy accounts in order, to recti- 
fy all that has hitherto been amiss, and henceforward to com- 
mence a new course. 



The rich man and the poor beggar, (Luke xvi. ) 

CONSIDER, first, the words of our Lord in the gospel. 
"There was a certain man," saith he, "who was clothed in 
purple and fine linnen, and feasted sumptuously every day. 
And there was a certain beggar named Lazarus who lay at his 
gate, full of sores, desiring to be filled with the crumbs that 
fell from the rich man's table; and no one did give him: and 
it came to pass that the beggar died, and he was carried by the 
angels into Abraham's bosom. And the rich man also died; 
and he was buried in hell." Behold here the dismal end of 
worldly enjoyments and a luxurious life. 

Consider, secondly, that this unhappy man, "lifting up his 
eyes, when he was in torments, saw Abraham afar off, and Laza- 
rus in his bosom: and he cried and said; father Abraham have 
mercy on me, and send Lazarus, that he may dip the tip of his 
finger in water to cool my tongue, for I am tormented in this 
flame. And Abraham said to him: son, remember that thou 
didst receive good things in thy life time; arid likewise Laza- 
rus evil things: but now he is comforted and thou art torment- 
ed. And besides all this, between us and you there is fixed a 
great chaos: so that they who would pass from hence to you, 
cannot; nor from thence to come hither," &c. 

Consider, thirdly, what it was that brought the rich man to 
this place of eternal woe, since there is no mention in the gos- 
pel of any scandalous excesses, and it is only said that "he 
was clothed in purple and fine linen, and feasted sumptuous- 
ly every day;" things in which, considering his state and con- 
dition, the world can see no sin. What then can we suppose 
to have been the occasion of his damnation? Ah! his sins 
were chiefly sins of omission. He neglected the service of 
God: he loved his pleasures more than Him: he had no con- 
cern for the poor, and led a useless, idle life. In a word, he 
lived in a continual breach of the two great commandments; 
of loving God with his whole heart, and his neighbor as him- 
self; and certainly, there needs no other sins to sentence any 
man to hell. 

Conclude to make such use of the goods and evils of this 
transitory life, that both may conduce to your eternal happi- 
ness. If poverty be your lot, remember Lazarus, and stifle 
your complaints. 


On the charitable Samaritan, [Luke x.] 

CONSIDER, first, in this parable, the \vretcherl condition into 
which man was fallenby sin. Going down from "Jerusalem," 
[which is interpreted "the vision of peace,"] to "Jerico," 
[which signifies "the moon"] that is, turning his back upon 
his God and all true peace, to seek a false happiness in the for- 
bidden fruits of worldly enjoyments, "he fell among robbers;" 
that is, he fell into the hands of wicked spirits, and became 
their prey. By them he was stripped of all the gifts of grace 
with which he had been adorned by his Creator, and was grie- 
vously wounded in all his powers and faculties. Thus he lay 
"half dead;" his better part, the soul, being dead indeed, by 
the loss of its true life, which is the grace of God; and both 
soul and body being condemned to a second and eternal death. 
In this state he jnust for ever have remained, incapable, of 
himself, to take one step towards his deliverance, had not our 
charitable Samaritan, the Son of God, come down from hea 
ven to his relief. 

Consider, secondly, what this infinite goodness has done in 
favor of lost man. Alas! the Priest and the Levite passed us 
by, and left us languishing under all our wounds and miseries. 
For the law and its ministers were not able to heal, or to re- 
lieve us. But our good Samaritan, the Lord Jesus, has bound 
up our wounds, and has suffered himself to be "wounded for 
our iniquities;" that "by his stripes we might be healed." He 
has applied to our wounded souls the heavenly medicines of 
his sacraments, signified by the wine and oil. He has brought 
us to the blessed inn of his holy church, where ull graces and 
means of salvation are abundantly afforded to those that ask 
and seek: he has given the charge of our souls to the keepers 
of this inn; that is, to his .apostles and their successors the 
pastors of this his holy church, divinely commissioned and as- 
sisted by him; and has promised them a most ample reward in 
eternal bliss, for the care they shall have taken of us. 

Consider, thirdly, what return our merciful and loving Re- 
deemer expects at our hands, for his excessive goodness to us. 
He desires no other return, than that we should love him, and 
show mercy to one another: "Go thou," says he, in the appli- 
cation of the parable, "and do in like manner;" that is, show 
thou the like mercy and charity to thy neighbors for my sake, 
as I have shown to thee. 

Conclude to follow this great example. Love your neighbor 
for God's sake; and you shall have "fulfilled the law," 


On the presentation of the Blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first, what a happiness it is, to be dedicated from 
one's infancy to the love and service of our God. It is the 
duty of all parents in regard of their children, to imitate the 
pious example of St. Joachim and St. Ann. They presented 
their daughter, the blessed Yirgin Mary, in her childhood, to 
God in his temple. Here she made a vlountary offering of 
herself to serve the Lord, and remained with other virgins in 
an apartment allotted for that purpose, in the courts of the 
temple. Thus she was happily removed at a distance from 
the contagion of bad company, and from all the false maxims 
and corrupt ways of a wicked world. 

Consider, secondly, with what profound adoration this most 
holy Virgin worshipped the divine Majesty, at her first entrance, 
into his temple. In this her sacred retreat from the world, she 
gave the first example of a vow of perpetual virginity, by the 
inspiration of the Holy Spirit; desiring in all things to choose 
the better part. Learn of her a love of purity and chastity, 
and a resolution of preserving it with all possible perfection, 
according to your condition of life; and for this end daily beg 
the assistance of her prayers. 

Consider, thirdly, that the blessed Virgin, who never receiv- 
ed the grace of God in vain, improved continually in all vir- 
tues. She ascended the mystical ladder of Jacob, which reach- 
ed from earth to heaven, [Gen. xxviii.] by employing a great part 
of her days in spiritual "reading, meditation, prayer, and con- 
templation," which St. Bernard calls the steps of this heaven- 
ly ladder. And she descended again by the humble exercise 
of manual labor, for the service of the temple, for her fellow 
virgins, or the benefit of the poor: yet so, that even while her 
hands were employed at work, her heart was still with God by 
recollection and love. Happy should we be, if by the divine 
grace we copied her example. 

Conclude to offer your whole heart and soul to God with all 
your thoughts, words, and actions. This exercise you cannot 
repeat too often. 

The, Pharisee and the Publican, (Luke xviii.) 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord still addresses this parable to 
all "who trust in themselves as just, and despise others. Two 
men went up into the temple to pray: the one was a Pna- 


risee; the other a Publican. The Pharisee standing pray- 
ed thus with himself: God I give thee thanks that I am not 
as the rest of men; extortioners, unjust, adulterers; as also is 
this Publican. I fast twice a week: I give tithes of all that I 
possess. And the Publican standing afar off Avould not so 
much as lift up his eyes towards heaven: but struck his breast, 
saying, God, be merciful to me a sinner." 

Consider, secondly, the effect of this humility in the Publi- 
can. "This man," says our Lord, "went down to his house 
justified rather than the other:" for "every one that exalteth 
himself, shall be humbled; and he that humbleth himself, shall 
be exalted." The Pharisee was full of himself. In his pray- 
er he neither craved mercy nor grace of God: he took himself 
to be rich and wealthy, and not to stand in need of any thing; 
whereas indeed, through pride, he was "wretched, and miser- 
able, and poor, and blind, and naked," ( Apoc. iii. 17.) And 
as he asked for nothing, so he obtained nothing but his own 

Consider, thirdly, on the other hand, that the prayer of the 
poor Publican was successful, because it was presented and re- 
commended by a contrite and humble heart. Thus he "went 
home justified;" while the Pharisee, full of the conceit of his 
own good works, was rejected for his arrogance. Oh! let us 
learn of the Publican the great lessons of humility, and of a 
perfect contrition for our sins: as often as we pray, let us not 
fail to present to God a contrite and humble heart; and we 
shall not fail of a happy issue. 

Conclude always to be humble and little in your own eyes. 
"For God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble," 
( James iv. 6. ) 

The grain of mustard seed, [Matt. xiii. 31.] 

CONSIDER, first, that in this humble similitude of "the grain 
of mustard seed" great and divine truths are concealed. "The 
kingdom of heaven," to which it is likened by our Lord, is 
taken in the gospel in three different senses; sometimes for 
God's eternal kingdom, to which the just are invited; (Matth. 
xxv. 34.) at other times for the church of Christ, in which he 
reigns for ever as in his kingdom; (Matt. xiii. 47. xxv. &c. ) 
and also for the "kingdom" of the grace of God in the souls of 
good Christians; (Matt. xiii. 44. 46; Luke xvii. 21.) Accord- 
ing to all these acceptations, "the kingdom of heaven" is 
likened to "a little grain of mustard seed;" because all our 
good must proceed from humility: we must become "as little 


children," (Matt, xviii.) or we shall never attain true happi- 
ness either in this world or in the next. 

Consider, secondly, how well this "grain of mustard seed" 
represents the spiritual kingdom of Christ in his church. See 
its very founder himself in the eyes of the world a poor illite- 
rate man, condemned to a cruel and disgraceful death by pub- 
lic authority. The twelve apostles were utterly destitute of 
any of those advantages, which might recommend them to the 
esteem of men; and their doctrines and maxims were most 
shocking to human pride, and disgusting to the natural incli- 
nations of flesh and blood. In all this we trace the resem 
blance of the mustard seed small, mean, inconsiderable, con- 
temptible: but observe how quickly this little grain, thus buri- 
ed in the earth, sprung up, and became a large tree, which 
spread its brandies far and near, by the wonderful and speedy 
propagation of the church and kingdom of Christ throughout 
the earth. Thus does God delight to shew forth his greatness 
in things which are little. 

Consider, thirdly, how expressive also is the grain of mus- 
tard seed, of the kingdom of God's grace within our souls. 
The beginnings are small; the very first foundations must be 
laid by humility, of which the mustard seed is an emblem. 
For a contrite and humble heartis absolutely necessary to the es- 
tablishment of the kingdom of divine grace. This grace must 
be sown, as it were, and buried in the earth, by serious and 
frequent reflection. For thus only can the soul be qualified to 
grow up in all Christian virtues, and become herself the king- 
dom of God, and a kind of heaven upon earth. 

Conclude, with a serious resolution, henceforward to seek 
in earnest this kingdom of heaven, represented by the mustard 
seed; and all good things shall come together with it. 

On Hit parable of the. ten virgins, (Matt, xxv.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the ten virgins in this parable repre- 
sent to us the state of Christians in this mortal pilgrimage. 
The lamps with which we are, like them, to go forth to meet 
Christ, denote the light of faith in all the divine truths of the 
Christian religion: the oil with which the lamps are nourished, 
are "the works of faith;" that is, the good works prescribed 
by the gospel, particularly the good works of mercy and 
charity, and the love of God above all things: for "faith with- 
out good works is dead." Unhappy they, who at the uncer- 
tain hour of their departure, for want of these works of faith, 
find no oil in their lamps! 


Consider, secondly, that all Christians belong to one of these 
two companies, under the denomination of ' 'wise" and "foolish 
virgins." The good are truly wise, because they are wise ac- 
cording to God, and in order to eternity. But how truly fool- 
ish are the wicked and all the children of Babylon, who live 
in a criminal forgetfulness both of God and eternity? For 
what greater folly, or rather madness, can there be, than to be- 
lieve as Christians, and live as infidels ; to expect to go to hea- 
ven by the road which leads to hell: in the neglect of the 
divine commandments? Ah, my soul, take care thou never 
be so foolish. 

Consider, thirdly, that the bridegroom in the parable came 
in the ''middle of the night; 5 ' that is, at a time when he was 
least expected; and he has often signified that he will come 
like a thief in the night. Not that he desires to surprise us: 
for if he did, he would not so often warn us; but he desires 
we should "always watch," and be always ready. "What I 
say to you," said he to his disciples, "J say to all; WATCH." 
How happy are those Christians who listen to this admonition, 
always waiting in readiness for the coming of their Lord! But 
how very miserable are those, who are quite asleep with re- 
gard to all the things of God, and awaken only when death 
opens their eyes, to see their folly when it is too late! 

Conclude always to have with you the lamp of faith: but re- 
member too, that this light must be kept in with the oil of good 


On the parable of the talents, [Matth. xxv.] 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord by his ascension is gone into 
heaven, a far country indeed from this earth on which we 
dwell. But "ascending on high, he led captivity captive: he 
gave gifts to men," [Eph. iv. 8.] He has plentifully distribut- 
ed his goods and talents amongst his servants, that they may 
by industry improve the stock, during his absence; at the term 
of which he will return to take an account of their good or 
bad management of their trust. Christians, have you consid- 
ered your advantages of soul or body; your fortune, as you call 
it, your very time, and other gifts of nature or of grace, as 
talents entrusted to your care? Have you ever seriously re- 
flected on the strict account you must one day give of them all? 

Consider, secondly, how in the parable he that had received 
the five talents, "went his way and traded with the same, and 
gained other five. And in like manner, he that had received 
the two, gained other two. But he that had received the one, 


going his Avay, digged in the earth and hid his Lord's money." 
The two former are proposed for our imitation that by the like 
industry in corresponding with divine grace, and employing in 
a proper manner all the gifts of God, we may continually ad- 
vance in virtue, and like these good and faithful servants, im- 
prove and double our stock. 

Consider, thirdly, that he, who, instead of trading with his 
Master's money, buried it in the earth, is condemned both as a 
slothful and a wicked servant: to teach us not to suffer out 
talents to lie buried in this unhappy earth of the world and the 
flesh, nor to fix our affections upon them, more than upon 
our God and his divine service, lest we also, should one day 
hear thundered out against .ourselves that dreadful sentence, 
"Cast ye out the unprofitable servant into exterior darkness: 
there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." 

Conclude henceforward so to use your talents, or the gifts 
and graces of God, as to entitle you to this heavenly commen- 
dation, "Well done thou good and faithful servant, enter into 
the joy of thy Lord." 


On the parable, of thevineyard, (Matth. xxi. 33). 

CONSIDER, first, that the householder mentioned in this par- 
able, is GOD himself, and the vineyard which he has planted 
is his universal church. This church he has fenced in with ex- 
cellent laws and with his divine protection, as with a "hedge;" 
digging in it a "wine-press," by the institution of his sacra- 
ments, the sources of all heavenly grace, pressed out from the 
sacred wounds of our Redeemer; and building in it a '.'tower," 
thus to fortify it with his extraordinary providence. This vine- 
yard he lets out to husbandmen that is, to all mankind; for all 
men have their share in this vineyard, viz. their own souls, at 
least, and those of persons under their charge. Having done 
this, he withdraws into a far country, patiently to wait the fruit 
we are each of us to furnish in due season. 

Consider, secondly, what this great Lord has done for the 
vineyard of your soul in particular, by numberless favors and 
graces which he has not granted to thousands. In effect, -what 
is there he ought to do more for his vineyard, that he has not 
done? And, after all his care, what fruit have you yet produc- 
ed? Ah, dread what he threatens in the words which follow : 
"Briars and thorns shall come up, and I will command the 
clouds to rain no rain upon it:" by which is meant that dismal 
obduracy and hardness of heart, which conducts to final im- 
penitence and everlasting damnation. 


Consider, thirdly, how far you have imitated in your own 
conduct, the unhappy husbandman in the parable; by refusing 
to render in due season, to the Lord of your vineyard, which 
is your own soul, the fruits- he has so often demanded at your 
hands by his messengers, that is, by his preachers, by his word, 
by his inspirations, <&c. Have you not persecuted those who-m 
he sent to you, set at naught all who endeavored to bring you 
to good, and stifled the inspirations of grace? Alas ! have 
you not, by your obstinacy in sin, even crucified again the Son 
of God ! 

Conclude, in future, to look well to the vineyard of your 
soul, lest the kingdom of God be taken away from you, and 
given to another; and, like the unhappy Jews, figured in this 
parable, you yourself be brought to an evil end. 

On our Lord's merciful conduct towards sinners.. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Scribes and Pharisees were contin- 
ually objecting to our dear Redeemer, that he suffered "sin- 
ners to draw near unto him :" that "he received sinners, and 
did eat with them :" that "he was a friend of publicans and 
sinners." Unhappy men, who did not understand, that his 
infinite mercy and charity had brought him down from heaven 
on purpose to seek and to save sinners ! And still more un- 
foappy, in proudly taking themselves to be just and not sinners, 
and of course rejecting Him "who came not to call the just, 
but sinners," [Matth. ix. 13.] vainly imagining they had no 
need of him. Christians, beware of self-conceit and presump- 
tion : for the arrogant man "is an abomination to the Lord." 

Consider, secondly, the many instances of this merciful dis- 
position of our Lord towards sinners, recorded in the gospel; 
and his frequent familiar conversation with them : as in the 
case of Matthew, of Magdalene, of the Samaritan woman, of 
the woman taken in adultery, of the woman of Canaan, of Zac- 
cheus, and of the thief upon the cross. In a word, he gave 
continual proofs of his loving kindness and his tender regard 
for sinners, both in his life, at his death, and after his resur 

Consider, thirdly, other strong evidences of this truth, in the 
gospel parables of the "good shepherd," [Lukexv.] and of the 
charitable Samaritan, [Luke x.] and in that of the prodigal 
son returning to his injured parent, [Luke xv.] In all which 
you may behold a lovely image of that tender mercy and good- 
ness, which yoiu- Redeemer has so often exercised, and con- 
tinues daily to exercise, in favor of unhappy sinners. For them, 


in effect, he has shed even the last drop of his sacred hlood ! 

Conclude no longer to slight his goodness, but instantly to 
turn away from sin. 

On the. conversion of Zaccheus. 

CONSIDER, first, that Zaccheus "was the chief of the publi- 
cans; and he was rich : and he sought to see Jesus who he was, 
and he could not for the crowd, because he was low of stature. 
And he ran before and climbed up into a sycamore tree, that he 
might see him; for he was to pass that way." Good desires 
are the beginnings of virtue; they incline us to seek to see Je- 
sus by true wisdom. But as we are all sinners, and "low of 
stature" through our proneness to vice, we must with Zaccheus 
get above the crowd of our disorderly affections and tumultu- 
ous passions, and climb up the sycamore, by treading under 
foot the false maxims of worldly wisdom, and by climbing the 
tree of the cross; for this is the way by which Jesus passes. 

Consider, secondly, that our Lord, to reward the pious eager- 
ness of this publican, bids him to make haste and come down 
and tells him he will be his guest; and he brings along with 
him salvation into his house. Zaccheus instantly obeys the 
summons, "and receives him with joy." Let us also, make 
haste to obey the calls of divine grace, and accept with joy the 
visit, with which our Lord is pleased to favor us by his inspi- 
rations. Thus he will bring salvation into our house. 

Consider, thirdly, that Zaccheus on this occasion, gave up 
all his worldly riches, which were so near his heart, to be em- 
ployed either in alms, or in making restitution fourfold lor all 
ill-gotten goods. He laid down all his sins at the feet of his 
Saviour, with a sincere detestation of them all, and a firm reso- 
lution no move to return to them. This was the most agreea- 
ble feast he could make for our Lord, who declared upon the 
spot, that "salvation was this day come to that house." 

Conclude to adopt this conversion of Zaccheus as the model 
of your own; and strive to imitate it in every particular. 

Christ weeping over Jerusalem, [Luke xix.] 

CONSIDEK, first, that our dear Lord upon his last visit to Je- 
rusalem, is attended with crowds of people bearing palm- 


branches in their hands, and hailing him with hosannas of joy. 
But his attention is engaged by the melancholy object before 
him, of that unhappy city, and the evils soon to overwhelm 
it. Not that the beating down of stone walls, or the destroy- 
ing of houses, was a matter worthy the tears of the Son of God: 
nor yet, that mortals should die a little before their time : the 
miseries which he lamented were those of the soul; namely, 
the spiritual blindness and obduracy of this people; their ex- 
treme ingratitude, and their final reprobation and damnation, 
in consequence of their wilful resistance of his calls and 
graces. Christians, let us not by our obstinacy in sin, provoke 
the like judgments. 

Consider, secondly, that we have at present "our days," as 
Jerusalem had then. A day of mercy and grace, in which we 
have all kinds of helps for our salvation. What use do we 
make of this "our day?" For it is short, and soon must end; 
and "the day of the Lord" will succeed. Have you, Chris- 
tian, a right sense and "knowledge, in this your day, of the 
things that are for your peace?" Do the things of God and 
eternity make a due impression on your soul? Or are not these 
great truths, through your own fault, "hidden from your eyes?" 
Ah ! if you neglect this day of your visitation, as Jerusalem 
did, "the days will come upon" you also, when your spiritual 
"enemies will beat you flat to the ground, when the sorrows 
of death shall encompass you, and the perils of hell shall find 

Consider, thirdly, that our Saviour after this, "entering into 
the temple, began to cast out them that sold therein, and them 
that bought : saying to them, it is written, my house is a house 
of prayer : but you have made it a den of thieves, [Luke xix. 
45.] Intimating by this action, that the profanation of the 
house of God, and of sacred things, with the neglect of prayer 
and other religious duties, and the love of gain more than of 
godliness, is the high road to an eternal reprobation. 

Conclude to take warning from the example before you, not 
to neglect the time "of your visitation;" lest on the sudden 
you "fall into the hands of the living God." 


On St. Andrew. 

CONSIDER, first, that "it is good for a man, when he has 
borne the yoke from his youth,'' [Lament, iii. 27.] and that "a 
young man according to his way, even when he is old, will 
not depart from it," [Prov. xxii. (j.] This truth was exempli- 
fied in St. Andrew. Before he came to Christ, he was trained 


up in piety by the great forerunner of our Lord. The Baptist, 
who sought not his own honor and glory, but the spiritual ad- 
vantage of his disciples, directed them to Jesus. St. Andrew 
and another heard him say of our Lord, "behold the Lamb of 
God." Whereupon they attended him to the place of his 
abode, and staid with him that day. Thus they enjoyed the 
happiness of his divine conversation, 

Consider, secondly, that St. Andrew having now found Je- 
sus, and relished his heavenly doctrines, forthwith conducted 
to him his brother Simon. Thus should every Christian endea- 
vor to bring as many as he can to the saving knowledge of 
Christ, and to the practice of holiness. But though the two 
brothers began now to be acquainted with our Lord, and to be- 
lieve in him, they did not yet leave all to follow him, till upon 
another occasion he said to them, [Matth. iv. 18.] "come after 
me and I will make you to be fishers of men ; and they, im- 
mediately leaving their nets, followed him." Learn of them 
a ready correspondence with divine grace, even should it call 
upon you to leave all you possess to follow Christ, much more 
when the sacrifice is far easier. 

Consider, thirdly, that St. Andrew, after a life of apostolical 
labors and sufferings, imitated his divine Master even to the 
dying upon a cross. The acts of his martyrdom relate, that be- 
ing now within sight of the happy instrument which was to 
send him to his God, he exclaimed: "0 good cross, which 
hast received beauty and glory by bearing the body of my Lord, 
take me away from among mortals, and conduct me to my Mas- 
ter, who by dying upon thee, effected my redemption." Chris- 
tians, what are your dispositions with regard to the cross pre- 
pared for you? Without it, we cannot make our way to heaven: 
if we wish to riegn with Christ, we must like St Andrew be 
content to suffer with Christ, whatever God ordains. 

Conclude to imitate St. Andrew's virtues, particularly his 
great fidelity, and that love for his divine Master, which was 
stronger even than death. 


On the, time of advent. 

CONSIDER, first, that advent is a time of penance and devo- 
tion, during which we are daily admonished by the church "to 
prepare the way of the Lord, and to make straight his paths," 
by entering into the like dispositions Avhich the Baptist requir- 
ed of the people, to prepare them for their Messiah. Advent 
signifies "the coming :" and we are now taught to embrace in 
such manner the mercy and grace, which our Lord brings with 


him at his first coming amongst us in his incarnation, as to es- 
cape those dreadful judgments, which his justice will execute 
upon impenitent sinners, at his second coming to judge the 
living and the dead. 

Consider, secondly, in what manner we must now dispose 
ourselves for the spiritual birth of Christ within our souls, at 
the approaching solemnity of Christmas. "Knowing the time," 
says the apostle; "that it is now the hour for us to rise from 
sleep : for now our salvation is nearer, than when we first be- 
lieved. The night is past, [or far spent] the day is at hand; 
let us therefore cast off the works of darkness, and put on the 
armor of light : Jet us walk decently as in the day," &c. Ah! 
Christians, listen seriously to this summons, and shake off, 
once for all, that unhappy lethargy which keeps you fast asleep 
to the things of God. 

Consider, thirdly, that the terrors of the great accounting day 
are set before our eyes at this time, to induce us to make good 
use of the mercy now offered. "If" then "this day you hear 
the voice of the Lord," either sweetly inviting you by his ten- 
der clemency, or terrifying you by the thunder of his justice, 
"harden not your hearts." Sleep no longer, for fear you sleep 
in death, like those of old who by their obstinacy so far pro- 
voked Almighty God, that "he swore to them in his wrath , 
that they should never enter into his rest." 

Conclude, in earnest, to prepare the way of the Lord, by 
putting away all your sins and purifying your soul. Thus he 
will come and abide with you. 


How to prepare the way of the Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. John the Baptist, the great forerun- 
ner of our Lord, continually called upon the people to turn 
from their evil ways, and "do penance : because the kingdom 
of heaven was at hand." He told them that they must "bring- 
forth worthy fruits of penance," if they would "escape the 
wrath to come;" and this without delay; for that "the axe was 
laid at the root of the tree;" and "every tree that did not bring 
forth good fruit, should be cut down and cast into the fire." 
The church still continues to repeat to all her children, 
especially at this holy time, these most important lessons of 
the Baptist. 

Consider, secondly, that the virtue of penance which St. 
John enforced, always was, and always will be, absolutely 
necessary in the conversion of a sinner : and it implies three 
things. First, the renouncing and detesting of all our sins, by 


which we have offended our good God : secondly, a turning to 
God with our whole heart, and an offering of ourselves to him 
for time and eternity : thirdly, a resolution of satisfying, ac- 
cording to our small ability, for past offences, by a penitential 
life. Christians, this must be our great business at this holy 
time, if we hope to prepare ourselves for Christ. 

Consider, thirdly, that the church, in celebrating the divine 
mysteries three times over on Christmas-day, commemorates 
three different births of Christ: his eternal birth, from his 
heavenly Father ; his temporal birth, from his virgin mother; 
and his spiritual birth by grace, in the souls of the faithful. 
The best devotion for the time of Christmas, is that which con- 
duces most towards this spiritual birth of Christ within our 
souls; and, of course, the best devotion ior advent is ]. to 
purify them from sin : 2. to adorn them with virtue : 3. to in- 
vite our Lord to take possession of them, by daily fervent 

Conclude to practice these lessons, to the best of your pow- 
er. An advent thus spent will bring you a happy Christmas. 


On the miracles of Christ our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, that the miracles of Christ were wrought, 
not only to confirm our faith and hope in him, but likewise to 
direct our practice. For as the diseases and corporal infirmi- 
ties of this life, mystically represent the spiritual disorders of 
our vices and passions; so we are taught by our Saviour's mira- 
cles in healing all kinds of bodily indispositions, to apply to 
him for the cure of the infirmities of the soul. These are the 
far more grievous evils of the two, and if not healed, are at- 
tended with far more dreadful consequences. 

Consider, secondly, how our blessed Saviour "went about 
all Galilee," says St. Matthew, [iv. 23.] "healing all manner 
of sickness, and every infirmity among the people; and his 
fame went throughout all Syria. And there came to him great 
multitudes, having with them the dumb, the blind, the lame, 
the maimed, and many others; and they cast them down at his 
feet, and he healed them," [Matth. xv. 30.] "And all the 
multitude sought to touch him; for virtue went out from him, 
and healed all," [Luke vi. 19.] Be assured he is no less able 
or willing now to heal our souls, provided we apply to him 
with an humble confidence and earnest prayer. 

Consider, thirdly, that as Christ came to deliver men from 
the tyranny and slavery of the devil, his miracles shone forth 
principally in casting out evil spirits, in destroying the works 


of the devil, and in expelling Satan from his usurped domin- 
ions. Alas! does not this most wicked one spiritually possess 
thousands of Christians, by means of some or other of the capi- 
tal vices? Does he not lender many spiritually deaf and 
dumb, with regard to the confession of their sins, and the calls 
and inspirations of divine grace? Does he not bend them 
down to the earth by worldly affections, like the crooked wo- 
man in the gospel? In these cases we must seek redress from 
Christ by humble prayer. 

Conclude to study well the practical lessons, which may be 
learned from the miracles of our Lord, as well as the motives 
they afford for strenghtening your faith and hope. 

Our Lord cleanses the lepers, 

CONSIDER, first, that the leprosy is a figure of sin; and the 
prescriptions concerning it, in the book of Leviticus, were all 
figurative, and expressive of what was to be done under the 
new law, for the cure of this spiritual leprosy. The first men- 
tioned to have been cleansed by our Lord, "worshipped him, 
saying, Lord, if thou wilt, thou canst make me clean. And 
immediately his leprosy was cleansed," [Matth. viii. 2, 3.] 
We see in this instance, that faith and humility are very effica- 
cious with our heavenly physician. In the case of legal defile- 
ment, the leper, by the judgment of the priest, was separated 
from the rest of the faithful, and was not to expect a cure with- 
out the most humble dispositions, and an exact compliance with 
the ceremonies prescribed: much more are the same disposi- 
tions requisite for the healing of the dreadful leprosy of sin. 

Consider, secondly, that our Lord having cleansed the leper, 
to teach us to avoid all ostentation and vain glory in doing 
good, said to him: "see thou tell no man; but go show thyself 
to the priest, and offer the gift which Moses commanded." 
Thus giving us to understand, that even when by the grace of 
a perfect contrition he cleanses souls from the leprosy of sin, 
he still expects they will show themselves to his priests, by a 
sincere confession of their sins; in consequence of his divine 
law, by which he has given to his priests the inspection and 
judgment of the leprosy of the soul, with the power of binding 
and loosing , for giving and retaining sins, and the dispensa- 
tion of all his mysteries and sacraments. 

Consider, thirdly, how our Lord also cured ten other lepers, 
[Luke xvii.] who applied to him with the like dispositions of 
faith and humility. These, too, he referred to his priests. But 
out of the ten who received the benefit of a cure, only one re- 


turned to glorify God, and give thanks to our merciful Redeem- 
er: the rest ungratefully forgot their benefactor like many 
Christians, who appear quite insensible of the favor of recon- 
ciliation, and are thus in danger of a worse relapse even than 

Conclude to dread and detest the spiritual leprosy of sin, 
more than any other evil; and seek your cure with proper dis- 

Our Lord stills the storm and feeds the multitude. 

CONSIDER, first, that in the voyage of this mortal life, fre- 
quent storms assail sometimes the whole church, as in cases of 
grievous persecutions, heresies, or other more general evils; at 
other times endanger particulars by temptations and tribula- 
tions, from which, more or less, none can expect to be exempt- 
ed, in the midst of the boisterous ocean of this world. But 
we have Christ on board with us, and have nothing to fear, 
provided we apply to him, like the apostles, with a livelyfaith 
and confidence. Though he often seems to sleep, for a trial of 
our faith, and makes us more earnest in our prayers, he will 
not fail in his good time to command the winds and the sea, 
and restore a calm. 

Consider, secondly, that our blessed Lord in feeding at one 
time five thousand men with five loaves, and at another four 
thousand with seven, has taught us himself, in the first in- 
stance, [John vi.] that we are not to seek or follow him for the 
sake of "the loaves," that is, for a corporal livelihood or any 
temporal advantages; "but for that," saith he, "which endur- 
eth unto everlasting life, which the son of man will give 
you." Therefore, from his feeding the multitudes, we must 
learn to have recourse to him for the food and nourishment of 
our souls unto everlasting life: for he is the living and life; 
giving bread, which he plentifully distributes in the holy sacra- 
ment to all worthy receivers. 

Consider, thirdly, that the people favored with these mira- 
cles, had preferred the attending upon Christ and his divine 
word, before all other occupations; they had continued with 
him in the desert for three whole days, without nourishment. 
Hence our Lord, after feeding their souls with the word of life, 
and healing their infirmities, also provided for their corporal 
sustenance; according to his promise, (Matt. vi. 33.) "Seek 
ye 'first the kingdom of God and his justice; and all these 
things," (namely, meat, drink, and clothes, as far as is expe- 
dient,) "shall be added to you." 


Conclude to follow Christ into the wilderness by a spirit of 
recollection; and he will feed your soul with his hidden manna, 
to strengthen you on your way to heaven. 

On other miracles of our Lord. 

CONSIDER, first, how the woman that had been afflicted dur- 
ing twelve years with the issue of blood, humbly touched the 
hem of our Lord's garment in the midst of a crowd, was in- 
stantly healed, in reward of her faith, as he himself declares, 
( Luke viii. 48. ) The centurion by a like faith and humility ob- 
tained the immediate cure of his servant. (Matt, viii.) and the 
woman of Canaan that of her daughter, (Matt. xv. 28. ) Oth- 
ers, without speaking, by the silent eloquence of their humility 
have obtained their cure; for instance, the man sick of the 
dropsy, (Lukexiv.) 

Consider, secondly, in the case of the paralytic, (Matt. ix. 
Luke v.) that the sick man's friends not being able for the 
crowd to present him before Jesus, uncovered * the roof of the 
house where our Lord was teaching, and let him down by 
ropes as he lay in his bed, into the midst of them. Imitate the 
great faith, and the earnestness of the paralytic and his friends 
to obtain the cure of his complaint. why will you not be 
much more solicitous for the health and welfare of your im- 
mortal souls, than for that of your bodies which soon must be 
the food of worms! 

Consider, thirdly, that out blessed Saviour, to show us that 
our corporal infirmities are often the effects of sin; first said to 
the sick man: "Son, thy sins are forgiven thee." Hence, our 
first care when visited with sickness, should be to apply for 
the remission of our sins by repentance and confession ; and 
then we may hope the scourge will be removed, when thus we 
have removed the cause. The Scribes and Pharisees, from 
these words of our Lord, inwardly condemned him as a blas- 
phemer. But He who knew their secret thoughts, confuted 
them by an evident miracle: "arise,"" saith he, "take up thy 
bed, and go into thy house:" upon which the paralytic "imme- 
diately rising up before them, took up the bed on which he lay, 
and went away to his own house glorifying God!" 

Conclude to spare no pains in order to come to Christ; and 
seek the cure of your spiritual diseases by a lively faith and 
true humility. 

* The tops of the houses in Palestine were flat, and had a flight of steps to 
them at the outside, for the convenience of taking the air. 


Our Lord cures the blind,, and raises the dead to life. 

CONSIDER, first, that our Lord gave sight to him that was born 
blind, (John ix.) by spreading clay upon his eyes, and order- 
ing him to wash in the pool of Siloe. The blind men of Jeri- 
cho also obtained of him their cure, by their unwearied impor- 
tunity for mercy. Let us imitate them, and not be discouraged 
by the crowd of distractions which rebukt us as it were, and 
seek to stop our mouths; and our Lord will not fail to crown 
our perseverance with the desired success. 

Consider, secondly, that the first of the three persons men- 
tioned in scripture to have been raised to life by our blessed Sa- 
viour, was but just dead. Her he restored with two words, 
Talitha cutni. GIRL, ARISE! The second was carried out 
in order to burial ; and for him something more was done: for 
our Lord came near and touched the bier, and stopping the 
bearers, said to the deceased, "Young man, I say tothee, arise: 
and he that was dead, sat up and began to speak," &c. But 
before our Lord restored Lazarus, who had been dead and 
buried four days, we read (John xi. ) that he "groaned in the 
spirit, and troubled himself; that he lifted up his eyes to hea- 
ven," and prayed to his Father; and then "cried with a loud 
voice, Lazarus, come forth!" 

Consider, thirdly, that the first of these dead represents those, 
who having just fallen, have immediate recourse to God by re- 
pentance: the second represents those, who by repeated sinful 
acts are already laid upon the bier, and are carried towards the 
sepulchre of some evil habit. But Lazarus represents the more 
dismal condition of inveterate habitual sinners, who require 
still more extraotdinary graces, signified by the prayers and 
tears of the Son of God. Ah! let us dread the death of sin 
above all other evils, but much more the being buried in the 
grave of sinful habits, from which we shall not be raised again 
without a greater miracle, than even that which called Laza- 
TUS from his monument. However, to encourage us to pray 
and moan for poor sinners dead and buried in sin, our Lord 
was pleased, in the two last instances, to be moved by the 
tears of the living, to compassionate the dead. 

Conclude, with confidence, to have recourse to the tender 
mercy of your Redeemer, both for yourself and your neighbor. 
You cannot do Him a greater pleasure, nor yourself a greater 


The, conception of the blessed Virgin. 

CONSIDER, first, that the infinite goodness of God, out of 
pure pity and compassion, was pleased to decree, that his own 
eternal Son should come down from heaven to be our Saviour; 
to redeem us who were lost by the siu of our first parents, from 
the slavery of Satan, with his most precious blood; and by his 
death to open to us the gates of everlasting life. Christians, 
let us never forget this infinite charity of our God. 

Consider, secondly, that when the time of his coming drew 
near, the eternal Father, who had from the very beginning 
promised this Redeemer to our first parents, and often after- 
wards to the patriarchs and prophets, and others his servants, 
shewed the most extraordinary favors to HER who was to bring 
forth the Lord of glory and the Saviour of the world. These 
great things, wrought for her even in her conception, we cele- 
brate in the festival of this day. Our Lord in taking her for 
his mother, and us for his brethren, has authorised us to con- 
sider her as our mother also, and to rejoice in all her advanta- 
ges. We cannot therefore, love the Son of God, and neglect 
the honor of his blessed mother. 

Consider, thirdly, that as the blessed Virgin bore in her 
womb, and brought forth into the world, purity itself; so she 
herself was never denied with the least spot or stain of sin. 
Learn from her example carefully to preserve your body and 
soul in perfect purity, if you hope to be agreeable in the sight 
of God. Learn to purify yourself from all sin, whenever you 
approach the sacred mysteries; and more particularly at the 
great solemnity of the Birth of Christ. 

Conclude to honor the immaculate conception of the bless- 
ed Virgin, by an imitation of her purity as far as your frailty 
will admit: thus will your Lord be spiritually born in you. 


How we must prepare ourselves for Christ. 

CONSIDER, first, that in order to make us happy, Christ must 
be spiritually born in our souls. To this end, we must be clean 
of heart: for though he humbled himself so far as to be born 
in a poor stable, he will not be born in a soul defiled with sin. 
Such a soul is the habitation of unclean spirits: and therefore 
cannot be a fit place for the spiritual birth of Christ; without 
which his coming will be to our condemnation. 

Consider, secondly, that the first and most essential branch 


of Christian purity and cleanness of heart, is a purity of con- 
science, at least from mortal sin, Avith a fixed determination of 
the soul, for no fear, no love, no human respect; in a word, 
tor nothing that the world can give or take away, ever to con- 
sent, though only in thought, to any such sin. Without this 
disposition Christ cannofbe spiritually born in us. 

Consider, thirdly, that a generous Christian does not stop 
here. A true lover of his God does not inquire, whether the 
doing of this or that will send his soul to hell. It is enough 
to determine him to avoid it with all his power, to know that 
it offends Almighty God, whom he loves with his whole heart; 
and therefore he dreads more the doing of any thing displeas- 
ing in his eyes, than any evil whatever. My soul, are these 
thy dispositions? 

Conclude now at least to acquire this perfect purity of con- 
science, not only from all deadly sin, but also from all known 
deliberate venial sins, especially when habitual; if you wish 
the God of purity to fix his residence within your soul. 


On purifying the interior powers of the soul. 

CONSIDER, first, that as the spiritual conception and birth of 
Christ must be perfected in our interior, we must keep our in- 
ward powers orderly: first, by purifying our understanding from 
all its errors, false opinions and affected ignorances, obliging it 
to open its eyes to divine truths in the exercise of meditation and 
mental prayer: second, by purifying our memory from all its 
impertinences and distractions, in order to attend to the pre- 
sence of God: third, by purifying our will from all disordeily 
affections, to give it to our sovereign good which is God him- 
self. Thus shall our whole soul be agreeable to him. 

Consider secondly, that one of the greatest enemies to this 
inward purity so necessary to bring Christ into our soul, and to 
fix him there, is that unhappy disposition of mind, in which 
many Christians pass their days; always thinking, but very sel- 
dom to the purpose: so that, when God would come and would 
visit them, they are not at home; their whole attention is fixed 
on something else. If this be your case, seek a remedy with- 
out delay, by a close attention to God in all your ordinary 
actions and employments. Thus you will prepare a place for 

Consider, thirdly, that the purity of the mind and of the 
thought, must be maintained by the purity of the affection, and 
of the heart: for we think most upon what we love most; and 
therefore if the affections of our heart are impure, our thoughts 


also will be impure; for where our treasure is, there hoth our 
hearts and our thoughts will be. Now that love is pure, which 
makes God its treasure; and all such affections are impure, 
as take off the heart from God, and make it seek its treasure 
in something else; which at least divides the heart between 
God and the creature. These must be banished in order to dis- 
pose the soul for God. 

Conclude to avoid dissipation of thought and all disorderly 
affections. They bring such company into the soul, as the Son 
of God will riot endure. 


On the purity of our actions. 

CONSIDER, first, that the purity required in us to prepare the 
way for Christ, ought also to extend to the whole body of our 
actions. But that on which the purity of our actions chiefly 
depends, is the purity of our intention, (Matt. vi. 22, 23.) "If 
the eye be single, thy whole body shall be lightsome: but if thy 
eye be evil, thy whole body shall be darksome." For the eye 
of the soul is the intention; which is then single, when the 
view of the soul is directed towards God in all she does: but 
when the intention, though in a single vicious circumstance, 
is turned off from God to somethiug else, the eye is evil and 
the work is darksome. 

Consider, secondly, that by this purity of intention the very 
meanest of our actions are ennobled; and without it the best 
are good for nothing in the sight of God. To practice this vir- 
tue, we must in the first place begin all our days and all our 
works by offering them all up to God and his divine service: 
second, we must consult in all things his will, and make it the 
rule of all we do: third, we must constantly watch over our- 
selves, in order to exclude all by-motives of self-love, human 
respect or pleasure: fourth, we must often renew our intention, 
and season all our actions with frequent aspirations of divine 

Consider, thirdly, that vain glory and pride are the capital 
enemies of this purity of intention. Vain glory causes per- 
sons ever to turn their eyes upon what others may say or think 
of their actions, and to court the esteem, reputation, and ap- 
probation of the world; while pride makes them full of them- 
selves and their own excellency and sufficiency, and prefer 
themselves to others. Both of them are infinitely pernicious 
to the soul , and even pervert the very best of our actions to our 
eternal ruin. 

Conclude in all your actions to purify your intention from 


pride and vain glory, and from every thing else which may 
turn your heart from God. Let Him be the beginning and end 
of all you do. 

On the angelical salutation. 

CONSIDER, first, that the time appointed by our Lord being 
now come, the archangel Gabriel was sent from heaven to the 
blessed Virgin Mary, upon the most solemn embassage that 
ever was; namely, to treat with this most humble maid, con- 
cerning the incarnation of the eternal Word, and the redemp- 
tion of mankind from sin and hell. "Being come in, he said 
to her: Hail full of grace; the Lord is with thee; blessed art 
thou amongst women," (Luke i. 28.) let heaven and earth 
join their acclamations, in thanksgiving for the infinite bless- 
ings derived upon lost man, through the incarnation of the 
Son of God, in the chaste womb of this most holy Virgin. 

Consider, secondly, that many saints have been "full of 
grace;" but none like this queen of all the saints, whose grace 
was proportioned to the great designs of the Almighty in her fa- 
vor , and to the supereminent dignity to which she was destined , 
of being the mother of God. Do you rejoice with the blessed 
Virgin, for this her "fullness of grace:" it increased continual- 
ly during her whole life, by the good use she continually made 
of all the gifts of God. Beg her intercession, that you also 
may faithfully correspond with the divine grace. 

Consider thirdly, that the angel adds in his salutation, "the 
Lord is with thee;" to signify the source whence all her full- 
ness of grace flowed, and the extraordinary privileges commu- 
nicated to this most favored of God's creatures. For our Lord 
was with the blessed Virgin, not only by his essence, his pre- 
sence, and his power, as he is with all men; not only by his 
sanctifying grace, as with all the just: but in an unconceivable 
manner, by a far more eminent grace and higher sanctification: 
whence the angel says, "blessed art thou amongst women," 
and St. Elizabeth adds: "blessed is the fruit of thy womb," 
(Luke i. 42.) to make us more sensible of her most wonderful 
dignity, and of the benefits which we enjoy through her bless- 
ed conception. 

Conclude frequently to repeat the angelic salutation, togeth- 
er with the pious address of the church: Holy Mary, mother of 
God, pray for us sinners now and the hour of our death Amen. 
Her intercession will be of infinite advantage to us at that aw- 
ful moment. 


The wonders of God, in the incarnation of his Son. 

CONSIDER, first, that the blessed Virgin, having offered her- 
self with profound humility to the sacred will of God, by those 
words: "behold the handmaid of the Lord; be it done to me 
according to thy word," (Luke i. 38. ) the greatest of all mira- 
cles was instantly accomplished. A human body, perfect in 
all its parts, was that moment formed by the Holy Ghost of 
her purest blood; and at the same time a most excellent ration- 
al soul was created: and this body and soul were assumed and 
united to the eternal Word, the second person of the most 
adorable Trinity. Thus God was made man, and man God; 
and the blessed Virgin was made mother of God. Thus were 
we all exalted to a kindred with the Most High; who by tak- 
ing to himself our nature, has made us all his brothers and sis- 
ters, and in some measure, partakers of his divinity. 

Consider, secondly, that God did not give to this his Son, 
"his spirit by measure," (John iii. 34. ) as to his saints; but de- 
livered all things into his hands: and "of his fullness we all 
receive," (John i. 16.) "according to the measure of his giv- 
ing," (Eph. iv. 7.) He is the Holy of holies, the Saint of 
saints, the never failing source of all grace and blessings to us 
who are his members, and to his mystical body the church; of 
which he is the perpetual head and glorious spouse for ever- 

Consider, thirdly, how the words of the prophet Isaiah, (ix. 
6.) were verified in the incarnation. "A child is born to us, 
and a Son is given to us; and his name shall be called Won- 
derful, Counsellor, God, the Mighty, the Father of the world 
to come, the Prince of peace." Yes, Christians; he is your 
wonderful deliverer, your mighty advocate, your Father, and the 
author of your everlasting peace; in a word, your God and 
your all. 

Conclude to honor, by a lively faith and frequent meditation, 
all the wonders wrought in the incarnation of the Son of God; 
and to lead henceforward a life worthy the dignity to which 
you are now exalted. 

On the glory of God in the incarnation of his Son. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Almighty power of God shines 
forth in a glorious manner in the wonders wrought in the in- 
carnation, especially in that most glorious of all his wonder- 


ful productions, namely, a God-man; a greater work without 
comparison, than the creation of ten thousand worlds. His 
infinite wisdom evidently appears, in this admirable invention 
to unite in the same person God and man, the Creator and the 
creature, hitherto at an immense distance from each other; 
thus rendering to the Deity a homage of adoration, praise, and 
love, infinitely more glorious, than the homage of ten thou- 
sand worlds, though full of angels and men eternally employed 
in glorifying God. 

Consider, secondly, the infinite goodness of God in this 
mystery, hy which he has given his only Son to he our Saviour 
and great Deliverer, and to make us happy for eternity. His 
infinite mercy here shines forth in a wonderful manner, in 
sending us so great a Redeemer, out of pure compassion for 
our miseries, and without any regard to our deserts, to he 
both our priest and our sacrifice, and to atone for our sins. 
The divine justice too, is no less conspicuous in the incarna- 
tion of the Son of God, since it required a satisfaction for sin, 
which nothing but the precious blood of our divine Redeemer 
could discharge. No punishment to be inflicted in time or 
eternity for the sins of men, could demonstrate more clearly 
the dreadful rigor of divine justice than such an atonement. 

Consider, thirdly, how very much the incarnation of the 
Son of God, by reason of the infinite dignity of this God-man, 
has advanced the glory of his Father; since every motion of 
his heart gives, in effect, infinitely more glory to the Father, 
both in time and eternity, than all the adorations and praises 
of millions of angels. Besides all that glory which the Son 
of God incarnate has procured for his Father, by his gospel, 
his worship established among men, the great sacrifice ol his 
body and blood, offered daily on a million of altars, and that 
kingdom of souls, which he has purchased from among the 
children of men, in order to glorify him for ever. 

Conclude to join the angels in hymns of perpetual praise 'to 
God, for having so wonderfully reconciled together in this 
mystery his own glory, with your peace and salvation. 


On the glory whir.h the Son of God, from the first instant 
of his conception, gave to his Fatht.r. 

CONSIDER, first, that the soul of Christ being assumed to the 
divine person of the Word, was, from the moment of his in- 
carnation, full of light and knowledge, and consequently en- 
joyed from the beginning the perfect use of reason and under- 
standing. Now, as the great design of God in this mystery 


was his own glory and the redemption of man, so the contin- 
ual occupation of the Son God made man, was the procuring 
of the Father's glory and man's salvation. 

Consider, secondly, that according to the Psalmist, (Psalm 
xxxix. 7, 8, 9. ) he began by offering himself to his Father 
without reserve, "to do all his will." This will he embraced 
in the midst of his heart; to he the great "burnt-offering" and 
"sin-offering" immolated for the expiation of all our guilt; a 
perpetual servant, obedient "unto death, even the death of the 
cross. Sacrifice and oblation," says he to his eternal Father, 
"thou didst not desire. Then, said I, Behold I come. In the 
head of the book it is written of me, that I should do thy will: 
O my Grod, I have desired it, and thy law in the midst of my 
heart." Christians, let us endeavorto imitate these dispositions 
of our divine model. 

Consider, thirdly, what adoration and homage he, as man, 
continually paid to God; bowing down all the powers of his 
soul, to offer him a most acceptable worship, worthy of his di- 
vine majesty. Second, what acts of praise and thanksgiving 
he offered up, both for himself and for the whole creation. 
Third, how, by acts of oblation and eternal dedication of him- 
self to his Father, he consecrated his whole soul and body to 
be for ever his, in life and death, in time and eternity, and 
to promote in all things, and above all things, the sanctifica- 
tion of his holy name, and the establishment of his spiritual 
kingdom, over the whole earth. 

Conclude to learn of him these great lessons in the practice 
of your life. Nothing can be more agreeable to God, or more 
advantageous to yourself. 


The charity of our Lord towards us from his first con- 

CONSIDER, first, that the soul of our blessed Redeemer, the 
instant it received a being, was assumed to the divine Person 
of the Word; and, in the light of this eternal Word, clearly 
saw and lovingly embraced that most sacred and adorable de- 
cree of the whole blessed Trinity, by which the Son of God 
was to be made man, for the reparation of the divine honor and 
glory, injured by our sins; and was to be the Saviour and Re- 
deemer of all mankind, by cancelling all their sins with his 
most precious blood, opening heaven in their favor, and becom- 
ing the great Mediator of God and men, their high-priest, and 
their sacrifice. In obedience to this heavenly decree he exer- 
cised himself from the first moment of his conception, in such 


acts of charity for us, as were most agreeable to this his office 
of our Saviour and Redeemer, with a constant reference to his 
Father's glory. 

Consider secondly, what in particular these acts of charity 
were 1. He had us always before his eyes, and in the midst 
of his heart. 2. He prayed incessantly, that we might be de- 
livered from all our evils, and be brought through him, to all 
good. 3. He had a most tender compassion for all our mise- 
ries, considering us all as his brethren. 4. He offered himself 
with unremitting ardor to the justice of his Father, to suffer 
whatever he pleased, for the expiation of our sins. See then, 
my soul, how affectionately and effectually too, thy Saviour 
has loved thee from the instant of his conception ; and learn to 
return him love for love. 

Consider, thirdly, that our blessed Redeemer was no sooner 
conceived, than he entered his career of sufferings, occasion- 
ed by the lively and comprehensive knowledge of all the 
crimes, from the first to the last of mankind, with all their 
dreadful consequences in time and eternity, notwithstanding 
his sincere desire to save them, through their criminal abuse 
of his infinite mercy and goodness. His horror and hatred for 
our sins, was equal to the love he bore his heavenly Father; 
and his grief and anguish was equal to his love for us, even 
that love which nailed him to the cross! 

Conclude to embrace the divine charity of the Son of God, 
with all the affection of your soul; and offer him your whole 
heart in return for this his boundless love. 

On benefits derived to us through the incarnation. 

CONSIDER, first, that man, highly favored by God in his first 
creation, and elevated to a supernatural end, by sin was sud- 
denly deprived of all the blessings of grace. His understand- 
ing was overclouded with ignorance, and deluded with a vari- 
ety of errors; his memory and imagination were distracted 
with phantoms and mere vanities; his will was perverted with 
malice; and his whole soul became weak beyond expression, 
to everything of good, and strongly bent upon evil. Thus un- 
happy man, in losing his God had lost his all, and had fallen 
into the hands of four merciless enemies, Sin and Satan, Death 
and Hell. 

Consider, secondly, that the Son of God coming amongst us 
by his incarnation, brought us from heaven effectual remedies 
against these desperate evils. He came in quality of our 
teacher, of our lawgiver, and our great apostle, declaring to 


us the whole will of God. He brought light to us, who here- 
tofore "were sitting in darkness, and in the shadow of death." 
He brought with him our ransom to redeem us from sin and 
Satan. He was "sent to preach deliverance to the captives, 
and sight to the blind; to set at liberty them that are bruised, 
and to preach the acceptable year of the Lord," even the great 
jubilee of a general remission of all our debts. In a word, he 
came "to lead us into the right way," to conduct us to our true 
country, "to break our bonds in sunder," to raise us up from 
death to life ! 

Consider, thirdly, that all these graces and benefits, however 
great and excellent, will not save us without our consent and 
concurrence, and a due correspondence on our part, by faith, 
and obedience. For what will it avail us to have the light 
come down from heaven to shine upon us, if we shut our eyes 
against it. and follow darkness rather than the light? Or what 
better shall we be for the ransom offered by our Redeemer in 
our favor, if we prefer our slavery and our chains before the 
liberty of the children of God? .Rather, will not our case, by 
our obstinacy and ingratitude, become much worse? 

Conclude, henceforward faithfully to correspond with the 
infinite goodness of your dear Redeemer; and thus show your- 
self to be a true follower of Him, who is himself the WAY, the 
TRUTH, and the LIFE. 

Other benefits of our Redemption. 

CONSIDER, first, that "as by one man sin entered into this 
world, and by sin death;" and thus both sin and death were en- 
tailed upon all men so justice and grace entered into this 
world by one man, in order to our eternal life. Hence the Son 
of God, in quality of our Father, imparts to us a new genera- 
tion, a second birth, by which we, who naturally are "chil- 
dren of wrath," corrupted by sin, and liable to eternal death, 
in consequence of our birth from Adam, are born again by 
grace, and cleansed from sin with his blood, and are made 
children of God and heirs of the kingdom of heaven. In 
quality of our Head, he communicates to us all kinds of 
graces, derived in virtue of his merits, upon all the members 
of his mystical body (the church) who adhere to him by faith 
and obedience: (Johnxv. ) 

Consider, secondly, the other near relations marked down 
in the word of God, which our Lord has been pleased we 
should have with him; for instance, that of our being now his 
"brethren :" "I will declare thy name," says he, (Ps. xxi.) 


"to my brethren." A relationship which gives us an honor 
not granted to the angels, of being near akin even by consan- 
guinity to the Son of God : for he never took upon himself the 
nature of the angels, as he did the nature of man. He is our 
elder brother, "the first-born among many brethren." (Rom. 
vii. 29.) and in quality of our elder brother, he is also our 
high-priest, [for anciently, under the law of nature, the first- 
born were priests] to officiate for us "in all things that apper- 
tain to God, (Heb. v. 1.:) also our prince, our leader and cap- 
tain in our warfare for a heavenly kingdom. 

Consider, thirdly, that of all the relations we bear to the Son 
of God, none is more endearing than that of spouse. For the 
church is "the bride of the Lamb," brought out of his side 
while in the deep sleep of death upon the cross, as Eve was 
from the side of Adam; and she is espoused to him by an ever- 
lasting and inviolable contract, of which Christian matrimony 
is the sacred and mysterious sign; and every particular soul in 
the state of grace, partakes in the dignity and happiness of this 
near and dear relation of spouse to the Lamb of God, and 
ought to be "one spirit" with Christ. 

Conclude to behave, in your whole life and conversation, 
agreeably in all respects, to these sacred relations with the Son 
of God. 

On our Saviour as our Icing, and our priest. 

CONSIDER, first, that our blessed Saviour is our true "Mel- 
chisedec;" sovereign king and high-priest forever: he is truly 
"the king of justice, and the king of peace," of whose reign 
there shall be no end. He came by his incarnation to dethrone 
the usurper Satan, and to establish amongst us the kingdom of 
his grace, by which he will reign in the souls of his true sub- 
jects for ever and ever, and even make them kings and priests 
to his eternal Father, (Apoc. i. 6.) Of him the royal prophet 
sings, (Ps. Ixxi.) "All the kings of the earth shall adore him; 
all nations shall serve him. For he shall deliver the poor from 
the mighty he shall save the souls of the poor." 

Consider, secondly, that the Son of God, becoming man by 
his incarnation, Avas called by his heavenly Father, and anoint- 
ed by the Holy Spirit, to the office of high-priest, to execute 
every branch of it for the glory of God, and in behalf of us 
men. This he did "in the days of his flesh," that is, during 
his mortal life, "by offering up prayers and supplications, with 
a strong cry and tears," (Heb. v. 7.) this he did in death by 
the great sacrifice, for the sins of the whole world, which he 


then offered upon the altar of the cross. This he still contin- 
ues to do in the sanctuary of heaven, by there presenting the 
blood of his sacrifice before the throne of his Father, and with 
it he continually "intercedes" in our behalf. 

Consider, thirdly, that we are indebted to our great high- 
priest and his priesthood, not only for all these blessings, 
which he himself in person has at any time bestowed upon 
mankind; but also for the numberless graces and benefits, 
which he daily confers upon us, by the ministry of men com- 
missioned by him to preach his gospel, administer his sacra- 
ments, remit sins in his name, impart the grace of the Holy 
Ghost by the imposition of hands; and to consecrate and offer 
up daily in his name his sacred body and blood, for all the 
great ends of sacrifice. In all these offices our Lord assists as 
our high-priest; and whatever grace is here given to the faith- 
ful, is all derived from his priesthood; and, in them all, he 
himself is the principal actor. 

Conclude, to beg daily of your dear Redeemer, to establish 
his reign within your soul, and, by his priesthood, deliver you 
from your sins, and present you to his heavenly Father. 


On our Saviour as our sacrifice 

CONSIDER, first, how insignificant in itself, (independently 
of that sacrifice to come, of which the sacrifices of the old law 
were only figures) was all that homage, adoration and thanks- 
giving, paid to the infinite majesty of God, by the oblation of 
oxen, goats or sheep. How much less "could the blood of 
oxen, or of sheep, take away sins," and be a proper atonement 
for the great sin of the world, by which man had forfeited the 
grace of God? Therefore, the Son of God by his incarnation 
substituted himself as our sacrifice, to supply in a most perfect 
manner all the intents of burnt-offerings, sin-offerings and 
peace-offerings; and to wash away all our guilt with his own 
most precious blood. 

Consider, secondly, that in dying for us upon the cross, the 
Son of God has made himself a "holocaust" or "burnt-offer- 
ing" for us, of most sweet savor to his heavenly Father : a 
sacrifice of homage and praise, worthy the infinite majesty o 
God; because of the infinite dignity both of the offerer and 
of the offering. On this occasion he offered a thanksgiv- 
ing for himself and us, of infinite value : a perfect peace-offer- 
ing to purchase peace and all happiness for men; and parti- 
cularly a sin-offering for us all : a "victim of propitiation" of 
infinite virtue for taking away the sins of the world, andrestor- 


ing lost man to an eternal union with his God. He has more- 
over enabled us to offer up the same sacrifice with him and in 
his name, to his Father, for the same ends as he did; thus 
to give infinite glory to God, and to procure infinite blessings 
for ourselves and all the world. 

Consider, thirdly, that our loving Redeemer has appointed 
this same sacrifice to be perpetuated for ever in his church, in 
the holy mass; and to be. offered daily for the like intentions 
on thousands of altars throughout the universe, as long as the 
world shall endure; himself in person invisibly officiating, 
both as priest and victim, the offerer and the offering. And 
can we desire any thing more to make us completely happy, 
than thus to possess the very source of all happiness! 

Conclude never to be wanting in a due correspondence with 
all these graces and blessings, procured for us by the incarna- 
tion and death of the Son of God. 

On St. Thomas the apostle. 

CONSIDER, first, that God is wonderful in all his saints; but 
in none more than in the apostles. These he raised from the 
lowest and meanest condition in life; from the earth, and from 
the dunghill, to make them the princes of his people, pillars 
and foundations of his church, prodigies of his grace, and the 
ministers of salvation to an unbelieving world. What motives 
have we not, to praise and glorify God on their festivals, for 
all. that he has done for them, and through their means, for us 
all! What encouragement to hope in that goodness, which 
thus delights to work the greatest wonders in favor of the little 
and the humble? And what lessons for our imitation, in their 
faithful correspondence with divine grace! 

Consider, secondly, from the epistle of this day, (Eph. ii. 
19. ) the great advantages we have received through the min- 
istry of the apostles, by our vocation to the true faith. For 
"now," says St. Paul, "you are no more strangers and foreign- 
ers; but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and the do- 
mestics of God; built iipon the foundation of the apostles and 
prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone; 
in whom all the building framed together groweth up into a 
holy temple in the Lord." 

Consider, thirdly, that St. Thomas's slowness of belief with 
regard to the resurrection of our Lord, was succeeded by a live- 
ly faith and ardent love, which continued with him, evergrow- 
ing and increasing; and carried him through all his apostolic 
labors amongst so many barbarous nations to which he is said 


to have preached the gospel ; till by a glorious martyrdom it 
bought him to his Lord, and united him eternally to him. O 
that we had some small share in this lively faith and ardent 
love! It would make our crosses light and easy, and bring us 
also to our Lord. 

Conclude, to honor God in this saint, by imitating his vir- 
tues, as far as your circumstances and your weakness will 

On the Ember Week in advent, 

CONSIDER, first, that fasting and prayer are continually re- 
commended by the word of God, as most efficacious means of 
sanctification. The ember weeks at the four seasons of the 
year are in a special manner appointed by the church, from the 
earliest ages, to comply more frequently with these scripture 
duties. But besides our sanctification, she moreover by this 
practice wishes her children to draw down a blessing from God 
upon all their labors, and upon the fruits of the earth; and to 
thank him for past favors, as well as to implore forgiveness for 
their daily offences. These are certainly sufficient considera- 
tions to make this primitive practice dear to Christians. 

Consider, secondly, the enormity of the crimes daily and 
hourly committed among Christians of all degrees and condi- 
tions; and how few there are in comparison who do not often 
fall into mortal sin, in one shape or another. It is then not 
only a duty of obedience to our spiritual mother the church, 
but of charity to ourselves and neighbors, to join at these times 
in prayer and penance, in order to prevent the dismal visita- 
tions of divine justice, both public and private; and to "turn 
now to the Lord with our whole heart, in fasting, and in weep- 
ing, and in mourning," (Joel ii.) Thus should we effectually 
appease the dreadful wrath of God, 

Consider, thirdly, that the ember weeks are also set aside by 
the church for the conferring of holy orders, which by apostol- 
ical tradition and by the example of the apostles, ought to be 
accompanied with prayer and fasting. (Acts xiii. 2, 3. xiv. 22.) 
In effect, as there is nothing on which both the general good 
of the whole church, and the welfare of every soul in particu- 
lar so much depends, as upon having saintly pastors; so no- 
thing more justly demands our prayers and fasting, than the ob- 
taining of God such pastors. 

Conclude, to strive by more than ordinary devotion and pe- 
nance at these holy times, to answer all the ends of institutions 
so ancient and so necessary. Our Catholic ancestors devoted 


the last twelve days of advent to fasting, prayer and alms, and 
the confession of their sins to prepare themselves for Christ- 
mas; as we learn from B. Egbert, archbishop of York above 
a thousand years ago, (Dial, de Eccl. Inst.) O how much have 
we degenerated from this ancient piety] 

On the preparation for the, birth of Christ. 

CONSIDER, first, that God having ordained, and foretold long 
before, by his prophet Micheas, that his Son should be born in 
Bethlehem, was pleased to bring about his eternal decrees, in 
the manner following. The emperor Augustus through a ino" 
tive of state policy ordered a general census to betaken of all 
his subjects; and, in obedience to this order, St. Joseph and 
the blessed Virgin repaired from Nazareth to Bethlehem, the 
city of David, to be there enrolled; being both of the royal 
stock of David. But when this Virgin Mother, -with her 
spouse St. Joseph, after a winter's journey, arrived in the last 
stage of pregnancy, at Bethlehem, the town was full; and 
"there was no room for them"' even in the inns. Be astonish- 
ed, that the Lord of heaven and earth should thus submit at his 
very birth, to the want of all the common conveniences of life, 
and even of a house to cover his head ! 

Consider, secondly, that St. Joseph having sought in vain a 
lodging in the town, found at last an open stable or stall for 
beasts, exposed on all sides to the inclemency of the weather, 
with which for want of better accommodations their poverty 
was contented to put up. This was the palace which the divine 
Wisdom chose, for the birth of our great King. The manger 
which had served for the ox and the ass, was the royal bed of 
state, in which he was laid, upon his first appearance amongst 
us mortals. O how loudly does this astonishing humiliation of 
the Son of God condemn our pride, and recommend humility! 

Consider, thirdly, that your dear Redeemer, who once was 
pleased to be born for you, now earnestly desires to be spiritu- 
ally born in you. Ah! be not like those unhappy Bethlehem- 
ites, who would not admit him into their houses. If then you 
wish to lodge him within your breast, you must allow him the 
chief place in your heart and affections. For though he did 
not disdain the stable, nor the crib, the ox, nor the ass; he 
will not endure a heart divided, or occupied with unclean af- 

Conclude to give up in affection all things else, in exchange 
for the happiness of having the Son of God spiritually born 
and abiding in your soul. No human felicity can be compared 
with this. 



On the birth &f Christ, 

CONSIDER, fast, that the time being now come, when the 
Son of God was- to be born into this world, in the silence of 
the night, and in tfie obscurity of a stable, the eiiternal Word 
by whom all things were made, was brought forth by the spot- 
less Virgin Mother, and came to dwell amongst us. let us 
join on this occasion with all the heavenly spirits; who, in the 
midst of this extreme poverty and humility of the new born 
King, descended from heaven to adore their Lord, and to sing 
their hymns of praise and glory ; according to that of the apos- 
tle, (Heb. i. 6.) that "when &od brought his first-born into the 
world, he said; Let all the angels of God adore him." 

Consider, secondly, that at the time of our Saviour's birth, 
"there were in the same country shepherds watching, and 
keeping the night watches over their flocks. Arid behold aa 
angel of the Lord stood by them, and the brightness uf God 
shone around about them; and they feared with a great fear. 
And the angel said to them : fear not; for behold I bring you 
good tidings of great joy, that shall be to all the people : for 
this day is born to you a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord, in 
the city of David. And this shall be a sign unto you : you 
shall find the infant wrapt in swaddling clothes, and laid in a 
manger. And suddenly there was with the angel a multitude 
of the heavenly army, praising God, and saying : Glory to God 
in the highest, and on earth peace to men of good will." 

Consider, thirdly, from those words of the angel to the shep- 
herds-: "I bring you good tidings of great joy, that shall be to 
all the people; for this day is born to you a Saviour;'' what 
ought to be the subject of your joy at this holy time. A Sa- 
viour is born this day to you, who comes "to save his people 
from their sins;" to deliver you from the power and tyranny of 
Satan, and from eternal damnation. This is indeed a just sub- 
ject of true joy! Not like the joys of worldlings, which are 
either vain and foolish, or base and brutal; but a joy in the 
Lord, arid in his goodness, which opens to us by this mystery 
the gate to joys that shall never end. how lovely, how de- 
sirable is the joy of this blessed peace of God's good-will to 
men, which will abide with us, and make us happy, for eter- 
nity ! 

Conclude, with the shepherd, to go over in spirit this niglt 
to Bethlehem; and there, with all affection and sincere repen 
tance, offer up your heart to your new-born King. 


On Christmas-day. 

CONSIDER, first, that the devotion of this holy time, and of 
this day in particular, calls us to the crib of Bethlehem, there 
to contemplate our infant Saviour, and to entertain our souls 
with him. Reflect who this is whom you here hehold lying as 
a helpless infant, in this open stall; poor and humhle in his 
very birth, meanly wrapt in swaddling clothes, and laid in 
this crib, between an ox and an ass ! O, your faith will in- 
form you, that under all these mean appearances here lies con- 
cealed the Lord of Glory ! This infant, not yet one day old, 
is the eternal Son of the eternal God : this weak and helpless 
hahe is He who by his almighty power created heaven and 
earth : this speechless child is God's own Word, who called 
all things out of nothing, and whom all things obey ! won- 
derful mystery, Avhich has thus joined together the highest and 
the lowest; all that is great in heaven, with all that is little 
and contemptible upon earth, in the person of this infant God! 

Consider, secondly, and study well the great lessons which 
the Son of God desires to teach you at his birth. Learn to be 
humble, by the contemplation of those astonishing humilia- 
tions which he here embraces for your sake: learn to be poor in 
spirit, by the consideration of his voluntary poverty; learn morti- 
fication and self-denial , by the view of his sufferings, all through 
his own choice. Learn of him to despise this cheating world, 
and all the allurements of its sensual pleasures, which HE 
who is the wisdom of God despises and condemns in his very 
birth. Above all, mark well the infinite charity and love of 
God for you, and the infinite enormity of sin, by which we of- 
fend this infinite charity. 

Consider, thirdly, that to entertain in a proper manner your 
new-born King and Saviour, you must make acts of a lively 
faith in this your infant God, and all his sacred truths which 
he concealed in this mystery of his incarnation and birth; of 
all the wonders of his almighty power, wisdom and goodness; 
of a most firm hope and confidence in him; and of a most ar- 
dent love, of him, in return for the love which he has manifest- 
ed in his incarnation for us all. Ah! Avere Ave fully sensible 
of this love of our Redeemer for us, Ave should effectually 
learn both to hate our sins and to love our God. 

Conclude, during the holy time of Christmas, to suffer no 
worldly entertainments to keep you out of the company of your 
dear Redeemer : but often Avait upon him Avith proper medita- 
tions and affections. Thus you will obtain his blessing, and, 
if you persevere, will one day reap the benefit of yourredemp 
tion in eternal bliss. 



On St. Stephen. 

CONSIDER, first, what a happiness it is to lay down one's 
life for divine love. This was an honor granted to St. Stephen; 
and with the advantage, above other martyrs, of being the first 
witness of the divinity of Jesus Christ in his blood, the first 
victim of charity, who by martyrdom returned his Saviour love 
for love, life for life! But, alas! how far are we from this 
perfection of charity, who are so unwilling to suffer even the 
smallest inconvenience for the sake of our heavenly lover ! 
Ah, let us at least desire and pray for a share of that spirit of 
charity and love which animated the martyrs. 

Consider, secondly, that besides the extraordinary commen- 
dations given in scripture to St. Stephen, it informs us (Acts 
v. 15. ) that when he was hurried, for zealously preaching the 
gospel, before the council of the Jews, all present "saw his 
face as if it had been the face of an angel." His zeal and 
courage in so good a cause, while in the midst of his enemies, 
was rewarded with a heavenly vision, in which he saw "the 
glory of God, and the Lord Jesus standing at the right hand of 
God," (Acts vii. 55.) upon this, the Jews "casting him forth 
out of the city, stoned him, invoking the Lord and saying, 
'Lord Jesus, receive my spirit!' And falling on his knees, he 
cried with a loud voice, saying, 'Lord lay not this sin to their 
charge.' And when he had said this, he fell asleep in the 

Consider, thirdly, that among the virtues of St. Stephen, 
none was more remarkable than his charity; and none more 
pressingly calls for our imitation. Charity has two branches; 
the love of- God with our whole heart and soul, and the love 
of our neighbors as ourselves. The love of God is exercised, 
by endeavoring to promote in all things the divine honor, both 
by word and work; and the love of our neighbors, by endea- 
voring to promote their true and everlasting welfare, upon all 
occasions. Thus did St. Stephen act, loving God not in word 
only, but in truth and in effect; and he showed his sincere love 
for his neighbors by his zeal for the salvation of their souls, 
and his endeavors to bring them to Christ though this his 
charity cost him his life. 

Conclude to imitate the zeal of St. Stephen, his love for 
his God, his charity for his neighbors, both friends and ene- 
mies, and his courage in the cause of truth. To this eruMm- 
plorj_his in.^rcession. 


On St. John the apostle. 

CONSIDER, first, that St. John being called in his youth to 
follow our Lord Jesus, cheerfully left both his parents and all 
things else, for the sake of Christ. His purity of soul and body 
made him the special favorite of his Lord; who therefore suf- 
fered him to lean upon his sacred bosom at his last supper; and 
on the following day, Avhenhe was expiring upon the cross, he 
recommended his virgin mother to his care, in quality of her 
affectionate son. 

Consider, secondly, the other extraordinary privileges of St. 
John. He was one of the chief of the apostles, and also an evan- 
gelist or writer of the gospel, (which none of the other apos- 
tles were, except St. Mathew) and among the four evangelists 
is compared to the eagle, which flies high and looks upon the 
sun with a steadfast eye; because he takes his first flight up to 
the eternal Word, by whom all things were made; and follows 
throughout his whole gospel the same sublime course, with his 
eye still fixed on this great sun of justice, and the immense 
light of his divinity. St. John was also a martyr, by "drink- 
ing of the chalice of his Lord" in a long course of suffering; and 
he was a prophet, as his revelations in the Apocalypse concern 
ing the latter times, abundantly demonstrate. 

Consider, thirdly, that the writings of St. John recommend 
nothing so much as charity and truth : charity, "because God 
is charity :" he is all love : "let us therefore love God," saith 
he, "because God first hath loved us." But this, saith he, "is 
the love of God;" this is the charity we owe him, "that we 
keep his commandments. And this commandment we have 
from God, that Ave love one another." With this charity he 
joins truth : "loving in truth, walking in truth, for the sake of 
the truth which abideth in us" for ever. Such was the spirit 
of the "beloved disciple." 

Conclude, with your whole soul to embrace this love and 
truth, so much recommended by St. John, or rather, through 
him, by the Holy Ghost: they will conduct you to a blissful 


On the, holy innocents. 

CONSIDER, first, that the Saviour of mankind was no soon- 

er born, but he began to be persecuted by the children of this 

"world. The wicked Herod seeks the life of this new-born 


king, at whose birth, denounced to him by the wise men of 
the East, his jealous mind had taken the alarm; and he em- 
ploys hoth craft and open violence to execute his impious de- 
sign. By divine admonition our infant Saviour was conveyed 
into Egypt, out of the reach of the tyrant; and all his barbari- 
ty served only to render the birth of the Messiah more illustri- 
ous, and to spread its fame throughout the world. For "there 
is no wisdom, there is no prudence, there is no counsel against 
the Lord," (Prov. xxi. 30.) 

Consider, secondly, that "Herod perceiving that he was de- 
luded by the wise men, was exceeding angry, (Matt, ii.) and 
sending killed all the male children that were in Bethlehem, 
and in all the borders thereof, from two years old and under." 
These are the holy innocents, whose festival we celebrate this 
day, as happy martyrs, bearing testimony, not by their words, 
but by their blood, to the birth of the Son of God. These are 
the first flowers of the martyrs, cropt in the very hud by the 
impious persecutor of Christ. 

Consider, thirdly, that purity, innocence and temporal afflic- 
tions, are by divine appointment the way to eternal happiness, 
and while "there was lamentation and great mourning in Beth- 
lehem, of the mothers" of the holy innocents, there was in 
the mean time, great joy in heaven, for their happy transfigura- 
tion to a better region of eternal bliss. Thus when the world 
is sorrowful, heaven rejoices, because "the momentary suffer- 
ings" of this life, procure for the sufferers "an eternal weight 
of glory" in that blessed kingdom : whereas, they that are 
without sufferings, are in danger of never coming thither. 

Conclude, to embrace whatever share of afflictions may be 
appointed you by divine providence, as means to advance you 
towards heaven. Had not the innocents been brought to God 
by suffering, they might have lived to have crucified their Lord, 
and with the rebrobats Jews, have been eternally miserable. 


r~~ : r On the gospel of the, good shepherd, (John x.) 

CONSIDER, first, that the Son of God in this gospel recom- 
mends himself to us, under the amiable character of the good 
shepherd and pastor of our souls. "I am the good shepherd/' 
saith he, "and I know mine, and mine know me; as the Father 
knoweth me and I know the Father : and I lay down my life 
for my sheep." Christians, how happy aie we in such a 
shepherd; so great, so good, so loving, so careful of our true 
welfare! He is indeed "the good shepherd" who came down 
from heaven to seek the lost sheep, and having found it, joy- 


fully took it upon his own shoulders to his heavenly fold, 
[Luke xv.] 

Consider, secondly, that this divine shepherd has placed our 
souls in the rich pastures of his catholic church, and of his 
divine word and sacraments, where nothing shall be wanting 
to us, [Ps. xxii.] "He conducts us to the paths of jtistice; and 
when we are walking in the midst of the shadow of death, his 
rod and his staff still comfort and support us. He hath prepar- 
ed a table before us, against them that afflict us." At this 
heavenly table he feeds his sheep with his own most sacred 
body and blood. And in consequence of all these favors al- 
ready conferred upon us, he encourages us to conclude with 
the royal prophet, that "his mercy will follow us all the days 
of our life," and even to a happy eternity. 

Consider, thirdly, that "the sheep" of Christ "follow" their 
shepherd, "because they know his voice : but a stranger they 
follow not, but fly from him, because they know not the voice 
of strangers. My sheep," saith he, [John x.] "hear my voice: 
and I know them; and they follow me. And 1 give them 
eternal life; and they shall not perish forever; and no man 
shall snatch them out of my hand." Christians, do we follow 
this our shepherd both by our faith and practice? Do we flee 
from strangers the world, the flesh and the devil? If so, we 
are truly his sheep, and if we persevere shall receive of him 
eternal life. 

Conclude, since nothing has been wanting on the part of 
your heavenly shepherd, faithfully to correspond on your side, 
with the character of a good sheep. 

On the. conclusion of the year. 

CONSIDER, first, that all these twelve months just past, have 
flowed away into the gulph of eternity : they are now no more; 
nor will they ever return. All our years pass in like manner; 
they all post on one after another, and hurry us along with 
them into an endless and unchangeable eternity. Let us then 
adhere to God alone who passes not with time, and is alone 
eternal. All temporary things, in comparison must be despis- 
ed, if we wish to be prepared for our sudden departure hence. 

Consider, secondly, that as the year is past and gone, so are 
all its pleasures and amusements, together with its pains aiid 
mortifications: their remembrance is like that of a dream. Why 
then are we not feelingly convinced of the emptiness and vani- 
ty of all human things; and that nothing deserves our love or 
notice but God and immortality? Ah! let us learn tof ear only 


those evils which will have no end, and the evil of sin, which 
leads to endless misery. 

Consider, thirdly, how you have spent your time this year. 
What virtue have you acquired? What vice have you suhdued? 
What passions have you overcome? Have you made any im- 
provement at all in virtue; or rather have you not gone back- 
wards? Alas! what an account shall you have one day to give 
for the loss of all this precious time! With regard to your, 
sins, whether of commission or omission, against God, your 
neighbor or yourself, in thought, word or deed, how dread- 
ful will the scene appear upon a little examination; and how 
melancholy would be your lot, were it decided by the perform- 
ances of this last year ! 

Conclude with hearty thanks to Almighty God for all his 
blessings of the past year, especially for his patience and for- 
bearance with you in your sins. Offer him your heart and 
faithful service, for the remainder of your life. 

On the gospel of girding the loins, (Luke xii.) 

CONSIDER, first, those words of our Lord to his disciples, 
and to us all: "let your loins begirt, arid lamps burning in your 
hands; and be ye like to men who wait for their Lord, when he 
shall return from the wedding: that when he cometh and* knock- 
eth they may open to him immediately." This spiritual "girding 
of our loins" consists in the constant restraint of our irregular 
inclinations and passions; and the "having lamps always 
burning in our hands" denotes the constant exercise of Chris- 
tian virtues, which must shine forth to the glory of God and 
the edification of our neighbors. Happy indeed are those ser- 
vants, who are always waiting in these dispositions, for the 
coming of their Lord! 

Consider, secondly, the great reward of this their fidelity. 
"Amen I say to you, that their Lord will gird himself, and 
make them sit down to meat; and passing he will minister to 
them!" Oh! what incomprehensible joys are signified by 
these words, "passing he will minister to them !" At this di- 
vine table we are invited to sit down, to be for ever entertain- 
ed by him with all the delights of heaven ! And though we 
have already passed a great part of our life without the dispo- 
sitions he requires, we must not be discouraged: for, "if he 
shall come in the second watch, or if he shall come in the 
third watch," and shall then find us watching, it will not be 
too late. "Blessed," saith he, "are those servants." 

Consider, thirdly, that our Lord, who has lovingly borne with' 


uss all this year, has in the mean time called away thousands 
of others, who this day twelve-month were as likely to live as 
ourselves. Their bodies are now corrupting in the grave : 
but oh! where are their souls? And where shall our bodies, 
where shall our souls be, a twelve-month hence? Let us then 
be always ready ; "for at what hour we think not, the Son 
of man will come." 

Conclude, always to be prepared for the coming of your 
Judge ; and you will not fail of being ranked among those hap- 
py servants, who "shall enter into the eternal joy of their 



New Year's day, .-...-... 7 

On beginning a new life with the new year, 8 
The rules of a new life, ....... fj 

What we must renounce by the Christian's rule, 9 

On the lives we are to lead by the Christian's rule, - .. -10 

the Epiphany, ........ n 

The wise men's journey to Bethlehem, - - - - - 11 

On the faith and offerings of the wise men, - - - - 12 

the offerings we must make by the example of the wise men, - - 13 

the gospel of the Sunday within the octave of the Epiphany, - 14 

seeking Jesus when he has been lost by sin, - - - - 15 

What Jesus teaches in his private life, ----- 16 

On our Saviour's baptism by St. John the Baptist, - - - - 17 

the sacred name of Jesus, 18 

our Lord's changing water into wine, - - - - 19 

the necessity of consideration, ----- 20 

the consideration of God, - - - - - - -21 

the consideration of the law of God, ----- 22 

the consideration of ourselves, - - - - - 23 

our first beginning, ..... - - 24 

our last end, ......... 34 

the titles which God has to our service, 25 

the happiness of serving God, - - - - - - 26 

the vanity of worldly pursuits, ------ 27 

the conversion of St. Paul, - - - - 27 

mortal sin, ........ 33 

the complicated guilt of each mortal sin, - -29 

the folly and presumption of the wilful sinner, 30 

the dismal effects of sin, - - - - - - 31 

the dreadful effects of sin in the soul of a Christian, 32 

the judgments of God upon mortal sin, - - - 33 

Jnot slighting venial sin, ------ 33 

Candlemas day, - - - - - - - - 34 

the parable of the laborers in the vineyard, (St. Matt, xx.) - - 35 

the multitude of our sins, - - - - - - - 36 

the goodness of God in waiting for sinners, 37 

turning from sin to God, - - - - - - - 38 

the sentiments of a penitential sinner, 39 

doing penance for our sins, - - - - - - - 40 

the manner ot doingpenance for sin, ..... 40 

the parable of the sower, (Luke viii.) - - . - - 41 

Continuation of the parable of the sower, ----- 42 

Against delay of repentance, - - - : - - - 43 

On the folly of deferring our conversion, ... . . 44 

death-bed repentance, - - - - - - -44 

the dispositions with which we must enter upon the service of God, 45 

true devotion, - - - - - - - - 46 

the opposition of the world and the gospel, .... 47 

fighting under the standard of Jesus Christ, - - - - 48 

the rules prescribed by Jesus to his followers, 49 

the gospel for the feast of St. Matthias, - - - - - 50 

St. Joseph, ----- . - - 50 

the annnunciation of the blessed Virgin, - - - -51 

Ash-Wednesday, ....... - 52 

On fasting, - - - - - - - 53 

the rules of fasting, ....... 54 


On the great fast of a Christian, ... 

the fast of Lent, - ... - 55 

I he ends of the institution of Lent, - . " " 55 

on the examination of the state of our interior - . " " " ? 

a farther examination of the soul, . *' 

Other sins which require examination, - " 5x 

On exercising works of mercy, ... 59 

the spiritual works of mercy, - . . " " j(j( 

prayer, --.. !: 

the necessity of prayer, - - -"-"." " " f J 

attention in prayer, - . . . - Q 

other conditions of prayer, - > . . , " RA 

fervor in prayer, - - - . . 53 

mental prayer or meditation, - >. . . . ~2 

the practice of mental prayer, - . . . - " BR 

devotion to the passion of Christ, . - . - ~ . " 7 

the great advantages of devotion to our Saviour's passion, - " ca 

the lessons which Christ teaches us in his passion, - . " n 

Other lessons to be learned from Christ in his passion, - - " - 7n 

On the love which Christ has shown us in his passion, - - - " 71 

Other considerations to excite our love, .... ' 

On our Lord's suffering before his passion, - . . - " 4q 

our Saviour's prayer in the garden, - , . . .74 

our Saviour's agony and sweat of blood, - . . ~t 

the treason of Judas, - - ... . " . 7 

the apprehension of our Lord, - . . . i~ 

our Lord's appearance before Annas and Caiphas, - - - 7s 

How our Lord was treated in the house of Caiphas, . " 4o 

Peter's denial, ----.... " 

Our Lord is led to Pilate, -----.. 2-j 

Lord is sent from Pilate to Herod, - . . . go 

Barabbas is preferred before our Lord: He is scourged at the pillar - " <5 

Our Lord is crowned with thorns, - - . '. . S, 

Lord is shown to the people, "--- 84 

OH the part the blessed Virgin bore in her Son's sufferings, - . 5 

Our Lord is condemned to the cross, ' - - - 86 

Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, - - . . - 87 

Saviour carries his cross, """- 88 

Saviour is nailed to the cross, - - . . . - 89 

On the sufferings of our Saviour upon the cross, " 90 

our Saviour's preaching from the cross, - - . . -91 

our Saviour's death upon the cross, gc, 

our Saviour's burial, - - - - . . -93 

the resurrection of our Lord, ------ 94 

What we are to learn from the resurrection of Christ, - . - 95 

Our Lord appears to his disciples after his resurrection, - - 96 

Lord appears to the disciples going to Emmaus, ( Luke xxiv. 11.) - 97 

Our Lord's manifestation to all the apostles, (Luke xxiv. John xx.) 98 

On the peace of a Christian. - - - - . . - 99 

perseverance in good, ----... JQQ 

the sacrament of baptism, --..... ]Q U 

the covenant of baptism, ----.. joj. 

the ceremonies of baptism, ----.. ]02 

the evil of falling from the graco of baptism, - - . . jeg 

the theological virtues, - - - - - . . j04 

faith, --------- 104 

the grounds of faith, - - - - - ... JQJJ 

a lively faith, ........ JQ-, 

divine.hope, ------... jog 

joiningself-diffldence with confidence in God, - - . JQQ 

the Lord's prayer, -----... 109 

Hallowed be thy name, --.--.. j|Q 

Thy kingdom come, ------.. m 

Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven, - ... ]jj 

Give us this day our daily bread, ... ... j 12 

Forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us, 113 

Lead us not into temptation, -----.. 114 

Deliver us from evil, ---.... jj 4 

^n morning prayer, - - - - - - . - 115 

INDEX. 323 

On evening prayer, ........ n 6 

praying always, ........ jjy 

the great commandment of divine love, .... jjy 

loving the Lord our God above all things, .... JJQ 

loving God with our whole heart, ..... jjg 

loving God with our whole soul, ...... 130 

loving God with our whole mind, 121 

loving God with our whole strength, ..... 13^ 

returning love for love, ....... 133 

the devotion of the time, ....... 123 

the means of attaining to the love of God, .... 134 

acts of divine love, ........ 135 

other exercises of the love of God, ..... 135 

the ascension of our Lord, ....... 135 

the lessons to be learned from the ascension of our Lord, - - 137 

Other lessons to be learned from the ascension of our Lord, - - 133 

On the precept of charity to our neighbor, .... 339 

the excellence of fraternal charity, ..... 339 

the exercise of fraternal charity, ...... 130 

the different branches of fraternal charity, .... 131 

the great pattern of charity, ...... 533 

St. George, - ----- - 133 

SS. Philip and James, ....... 533 

the finding of the cross, ...... . 134 

preparing the soul for the Holy Ghost, ..... 135 

the dispositions necessary for receiving the Holy Ghost, ... 133 
the coming down of the Holy Ghost, ..... 137 

the happiness of having thfHoly Ghost in the soul, - - -138 

the gifts of the Holy Ghost, ...... 139 

the means of keeping the Holy Ghost in the soul, - - -140 

the marks of the presence of the Holy Ghost, - - - 141 

the sacrament of confirmation, ...... 143 

the obligations of our confirmation, ..... j^g 

. the blessed Trinity, ........ 143 

the figures of the blessed Eucharist, ..... 144 

"the manna and the bread of Elias, ..... -145 

other figures of the blessed Eucharist, ..... j4g 

the institution of the blessed Eucharist, ..... 147 

the mysteries contained in the blessed Eucharist, - 148 

Of the real presence of Jesus Christ in the blessed Eucharist, - -149 

On Christ's inviting us to his heavenly banquet, - - - 150 

the excellent fruits of this divine banquet, .... 550 

the dispositions required to receive worthily, - - - 151 

devotion before communion, ...... 153 

devotion after communion, ...... 153 

Of the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice, .... -153 

On the excellence of the Eucharistic sacrifice, .... 554 

the blessed Eucharist as it is a sacrifice of adoration and praise, 155 

the Eucharist as it is a sacrifice of thanksgiving, - - - 156 

the blessed Eucharist, as it is a sacrifice of propitiation, - - 157 

the blessed Eucharist asitis a sacrifice of prayer and supplication, 157 

devotion towards the holy sacrifice, - - - - - 158 

a spiritual communion, ....... jgg 

the sacrament of penance, ...... jgo 

the confession of our sins, ... . jgj 

the nativity of St. John the Baptist, 162 

the lessons taught us by the Baptist, ..... 1153 

preparation for confession, ...... 153 

motives of repentance, ....... 1^4 

Other motives of contrition, ...... jes 

On St. Peter and St. Paul, - - - - - - - 166 

sincerity in confession, ...... J67 

time and eternity, ........ jgg 

the visitation of the blessed Virgin, ..... 159 

the good employment of time, - -170 

remembering our last things, ...... 170 

the certainty of death, ...... . 171 

the time and manner of our death, ..... 173 

preparing for death, ....... 173 

324 INDEX. 

On the sentiments of the soul at the hour of death, -173 

the death of the just man, ....... 174 

the death of the wicked, ------ 175 

the condition of the body after death, - - - - - 175 

the soul's first entrance into another world, - - - 176 

the particular judgment after death. ..... 377 

the different states of departed souls before the last day, - - 177 

the souls detained in purgatory after death, - - - 178 

the sufferings of souls in the middle state, .... 179 

the great accounting day, ....... 180 

the separation of the good and the bad, .... igo 

the thoughts of the wicked upon this dreadful separation, - - 181 

the opening of the books of conscience, - 182 

the manifestation of conscience at the last day, - - - 183 

St. Mary Magdalene, (Luke vii.) - - - - - - 184 

the last sentence of the good, ...... jg4 

the last sentence of the wicked, - - - - 185 

St. James, ......... jge 

St. Ann, 187 

Hell. -188 

Other considerations on hell, ...... jgg 

On the prison of hell, - - - - - - - - 189 

the entertainments of hell, ...... jgo 

the fire of hell, .... . . - - 191 

thepainof lossinhell, ....... jgi 

the worm of hell, - - - - - - - - 192 

a miserable eternity, ....... 193 

the happiness of heaven, ....... 393 

the good things of our Lord, ...... 194 

the transfiguration of our Lord, (Matt, xvii.) .... 195 

the glory of the heavenly Jerusalem, ..... 195 

the happy society of the blessed in heaven, - - - -196 

the eteinal enjoyment of God, ...... 597 

St. Laurence, - - - - - - - - 198 

the endowments of bodies glorified, ..... 199 

a happy eternity, ........ 199 

conformity with the will of God, ..... 200 

Motives of conformity with the will of God, .... 201 

On the assumption of the blessed Virgin, .... 201 

the gospel for the assumption, (Luke x.) ----- 202 

resignation to the will of God in our sufferings, - - - 203 

self-denial, ---...... 204 

the mortification of the interior, ..... 205 

the mortification of the passions, ...... 206 

mortifying our predominant passion, ..... 206 

mortifying the sensual appetite, ...... 207 

mortifying our curiosity, - .... 208 

the gospel of St. Bartholomew, (Luke vi.) - - -209 

humility, - - - - - - - - - 210 

the school of humility, ...... -210 

Learn of me, for I am meek and humble of heart, (Matt. xi. 29.) - 211 

On the fruits of humility, ....... 212 

the other advantages of humility, ..... 213 

the degrees of humility, ....... 213 

the practice of humility, ...... 2H 

t.e eight. beatitudes, (Matt, v.) ..... . 2J5 

poverty of spirit, ........ 236 

meekness, ......... 216 

mourning, ........ 217 

hungering and thirsting after justice, ..... 218 

being merciful. ..-----. 218 

cleanness of heart, - ...... 219 

the nativity of the blessed Virgin, ..... ago 

being peace-makers, ....... 221 

the means of preserving internal peace, .... 222 

suffering persecution for justice sake, ..... 222 

patience, ........ 223 

the means ofacquirmg patience, ..... 224 

the exaltation or the cross, ..... -225 

INDEX. 325 

On the presence of God, ....... 225 

the exercise of the presence of God, .... .326 

the fruits of attention to the presence of God, - - - 227 

the virtues of obedience, ....--. 228 

the fruits of obedience, 229 

keeping the commandments, ...--. 229 

St. Matthew, 230 

The divine worship enjoined by the first commandment, - - 231 

On the prohibition of idol-worship, ..... 232 

honoring the holy name of God, - - - . - -223 

keeping holy the Lord's day, ...... 234 

Honor thy father and thy mother, ...... 235 

Thou Shalt not kill, - 237 

On spiritual murder, ...--... 237 
Michaelmas-day, ....... 237 

Thou shalt not commit adultery, ..... .238 

Thou shalt not steal, -----.-- 239 

On our guardian Angels, ....... 240 

Thou shalt not bear false witness against thy neighbor, - - - 24i 
On rash judgment, ........ 242 

avoiding all lies, ....... 242 

Thou shalt not covet, &c., ...... -243 

On the precepts of the church, ...... 244 

the vice of pride, ........ 245 

the malignity of pride, ....... 246 

Remedies against pride, - - - - - - - 247 

Other prescriptions against pride, ...... 043 

On vain glory, ......... 249 

Prescriptions against vain glory, ...... 250 

On covetousness, ........ 250 

Prescriptions against coveteousness, . - 351 

On the vice of impurity, -.--.- 252 

Prescriptions against impurity, ...... 053 

On the virtue of chastity, ....... 054 

the vice of anger, ....... 054 

Remedies against the vice of anger, ...... 255 

On the vice of intemperance, - - .... 056 

Prescriptions against intemperance, ...... 057 

On the vice of envy, ........ 58 

Remedies against envy, ..:.-.... 059 

On the vice of spiritual sloth, .... . 059 

Remedies against spiritual sloth, ...... 250 

On the Christian's -warfare, ....... 261 

St. Simon and St. Jude, ....... 62 

the Christian's armour, ....... 053 

the Christian's conflict, ....... 054 

the four cardinal virtues, - .... og^ 

the feast of all the saints, ....... 055 

the commemoration of all souls, ..... ogg 

the obligations of all Christians to be saints, .... 267 

the means we all have to become saints, .... ogg 

the perfection of our ordinary actions, ..... ogg 

the sanctity of the Christian's institute, .... 070 

following the light of Christ, - - - - - -271 

One thing is necessary, (Luke x. 42.) ..... 371 

Strive to enter by the narrow gate. (Luke xiii. 24.) -272 

Ifo man can serve two masters, (Matt. vi. 24.) .... 73 

He that doth not renounce all that he possesseth, cannot be my disciple, 

(Luke xiv. 33.) ........ 074 

If any man will come after me let him deny himself, (Matt, xvi. 24.) 275 
Except your justice exceed that of the Scribes and Pharisees, you shall not 

enter into the kingdom of heaven, (Matt. v. 20.) - 275 

The kingdom of heaven is like unto atreasure, (Matt. xiii. 44.) - 276 

On the marriage feast, (Matt. xxiiO .... 277 

The parable of the barren fig tree, (Luke xiii.) - - -278 

On the parable of the prodigal Son, (Luke xv.) - - - 279 

The parable of the unjust Steward, (Luke xvi.) - - 2tO 

The rich man and the poor beggar, (Luke xvi.) - - -281 


cOn the haritable Samaritan, (Luke x.) 282 

the presentation of the blessed Virgin, - . - - 283 

The Pharisee and the Publican, (Luke xviii.) .... 283 

The grain of mustard seed, (Matt. xiii. 31.) - - - 284 

On the parable of the ten virgins; (Matt, xxv.) - - - -285 

the parable of the talents, (Matt, xxv.) - - -286 

the parable of tjie vineyard, (Matt. xxi. 33.) - - - - 287 

our Lord's merciful conduct towards sinners, - 288 

the conversion of Zacheus, - - ' - - 399 

Christ weeping over Jerusalem, (Luke xix.) - 289 

On St. Andrew, ....... 290 

the time of advent, ...... 291 

How to prepare the way of the Lord, .... -292 

On the miracles of Christ our Lord, .... 393 

Our Lord cleanses the lepers, ...... 294 

Our Lord stills the storm and feeds the multitude, ... 295 
On other miracles of our Lord, ..... 295 

Our Lord cures the blind, and raises the dead to life, - . 297 

The conception of the blessed Virgin, ..... 293 

How we must prepare ourselves for Christ, .... 298 

On purifying the interior powers of the soul, - ... 299 

On the purity of our actions, - - - ... 300 

On the angelical salutation, - - - . 301 

The wonders of God, in the incarnation of his Son, '- . 302 

On the glory of God, in the incarnation of his Son, - . 302 

On the glory which the Son of God, from the first instant of his conception, 

gave to his Father, - - - ... 303 

The charity of our Lord towards us from his first conception, - - 304 

On benefits derived to us through the incarnation, ... 305 

Other benefits of our redemption, 306 

On our Saviour as our king, and our priest, - - - .307 

our Saviour as our sacrifice, - - ... 303 

St. Thomas the ap_ostle, - - ' - - . . 399 

the Ember Week in advent, - - - - . 310 

the preparation for the birth of Chlist, - - .311 

the birth of Christ, ...... 3J2 

Christmas-day, -----.. 313 

St. Stephen, . - - - . 314 

St. John the apostle, ....... 3^5 

the holy innocents, ---... 355 

[ the gospel of the good shepherd, (John x.) -316 

the conclusion of the year, - - ... 317 

the gospel of girding the loins, (Luke xii.) . - . . 313 







Louisville, Kentucky. 


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LAND, and . in England, Ireland, Scotland, 
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