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Practice of Piety 27 - Meditations for the Evening.

By Lewis Bayly

      At evening, when thou preparest thyself to take thy rest, meditate on these few points:-

      1. That seeing thy days are numbered (Psal. xc.; Job xiv. 5), there is one more of thy number spent, and thou art now the nearer to thy end by a day.

      2. Sit down a while before thou goest to bed, and consider with thyself what memorable thing thou hast seen, heard, or read that day, more than thou sawest, heardst, or knewest before, and make the best use of them; but especially call to mind what sin thou hast committed that day against God or man, and what good thou hast omitted, and humble thyself for both. If thou findest that thou hast done any goodness, acknowledge it to be God's grace, and give him the glory; and count that day lost wherein thou hast not done some good. Heu perdidi diem!

      3. If, by frailty or strong temptation, thou shalt perceive that thou hast committed any grievous sin or fault, presume not to sleep till thou have upon thy knees made a particular reconciliation with God in Christ, both by confessing the fault, and by fervently praying for pardon. Thus making thy score even with Christ every night, thou shalt have the less to account for when thou art to make thy final reckoning before his majesty in the judgment-day.

      4. If thou hast fallen out with any in the day, let not the sun go down on thine anger that night (Eph. iv. 26.) If thy conscience tell thee that thou hast wronged him, acknowledge thine offence, and entreat him to forgive thee. If he have wronged thee, offer him reconciliation; and if he will not be reconciled, yet do thou from thy heart forgive him (Matt. v. 23.) But in any case presume not to be thine own revenger, for in so doing thou doest God a double injury-First, in offering to take the sword of justice out of his hand, as though he were not just, having reserved the execution of vengeance to himself (Rom. xii. 19.) Secondly, in usurping authority over his servant, without referring the cause to his hearing and censure, being his and thy Master. Besides, thou art too partial to be a revenger: for if thou be to execute revenge on thyself, thou wilt do it too lightly; if on thy enemy, too heavily. It belongeth, therefore, to God to revenge, to thee to forgive.

      And in testimony that thou hast freely forgiven him, pray to God for the forgiveness of his fault and the amendment of his life; and the next time that occasion is offered, and it lies in thy power, do him good, and rejoice in doing it: for he that doth good to his enemies shews himself the child of God (Matt. iii. 39; Rom. xii. 20), and his reward is with God his Father.

      5. Use not sleep as a means to satiate the foggy litherness of thy flesh, but as a medicine to refresh thy tired senses and members: sufficient sleep quickens the mind, and revives the body; but immoderate sleep dulls the one, and fattens the other.

      6. Remember that many go to bed, and never rise again till they be wakened and raised up by the fearful sound of the last trumpet; but he that sleepeth and wakeneth with prayer, sleepeth and wakeneth with Christ. If, therefore, thou desirest to sleep securely and safely, yield up thyself into the hands of God whilst thou art waking, and so go to bed with a reverence of God's majesty and consideration of thine own misery, which thou mayest imprint in thy heart in some measure by these and the like meditations:

      Read a chapter in the same order as was prescribed in the morning; and when thou hast done, kneel down on thy knees at the bedside, or some other convenient place in thy chamber, and lifting up thy heart, thine eyes, and hands, to thy heavenly Father, in the name and mediation of his holy Son Jesus, pray to him, if thou have the gift of prayer-

      1. Confessing thy sins, especially those which thou hast committed that day.

      2. Craving most earnestly, for Christ's sake, pardon and forgiveness for them.

      3. Requesting the assistance of his holy Spirit for amendment of life.

      4. In giving thanks for benefits received, especially for thy preservation that day.

      5. Praying for rest and protection that night.

      6. Remembering the state of the church, the queen, and the royal posterity, our ministers and magistrates, and all our brethren visited or persecuted.

      7. Lastly, Commending thyself and all thine to his gracious custody.

      All which thou mayest do in these or the like words:

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See Also:
   Practice of Piety 1 - Directing a Christian How to Walk, that He May Please God.
   Practice of Piety 2 - A Plain Description of the Essence and Attributes of God
   Practice of Piety 3 - Meditations of the Misery of a Man Not Reconciled to God in Christ.
   Practice of Piety 4 - Meditations of the Miseries of Man from Infancy to Old Age.
   Practice of Piety 5 - Meditations of the Misery of the Soul in this Life.
   Practice of Piety 6 - Meditations of the Misery of the Body and Soul in Death.
   Practice of Piety 7 - Meditations of the Misery of a Man after Death.
   Practice of Piety 8 - Blessedness of the Regenerate
   Practice of Piety 9 - Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in his Death.
   Practice of Piety 10 - Meditations of the blessed state of the Regenerate Man after Death.
   Practice of Piety 11 - Meditations of the blessed state of a Regenerate Man in Heaven.
   Practice of Piety 12 - Of the Prerogatives which the Elect shall enjoy in Heaven.
   Practice of Piety 13 - Of the Effects of those Prerogatives.
   Practice of Piety 14 - Meditations directing a Christian how to apply to himself.
   Practice of Piety 15 - Meditations on the Hindrances which Keep a Sinner from Piety.
   Practice of Piety 16 - How a Private Man Must Begin the Morning with Piety.
   Practice of Piety 17 - Meditations for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 18 - Brief Directions How to Read the Holy Scriptures Once A Year
   Practice of Piety 19 - A Prayer for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 20 - Meditations to stir us up to Morning Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 21 - Another short Morning Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 22 - Farther Meditations to stir up to Prayer in the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 23 - A brief Prayer for the Morning.
   Practice of Piety 24 - Meditations Directing a Christian How To Walk All the Day with God
   Practice of Piety 25 - Secondly, for thy Words.
   Practice of Piety 26 - Thirdly, for thy Actions.
   Practice of Piety 27 - Meditations for the Evening.
   Practice of Piety 28 - A Prayer for the Evening.
   Practice of Piety 29 - Another shorter Evening Prayer.
   Practice of Piety 30 - Meditations for Household Piety.
   Practice of Piety 31 - Morning Prayer for a Family.
   Practice of Piety 32 - The Practice of Piety at Meals, and the Manner of Eating.
   Practice of Piety 33 - Grace before Meat.
   Practice of Piety 34 - The Practice of Piety at Evening.
   Practice of Piety 35 - Evening Prayer for a Family.
   Practice of Piety 36 - Meditations of the True Manner of Practising Piety on the Sabbath-Day.
   Practice of Piety 37 - Ten Reasons demonstrating the Commandment of the Sabbath to be moral.
   Practice of Piety 38 - The True Manner of Keeping Holy the Lord's Day.
   Practice of Piety 39 - A Morning Prayer for the Sabbath-day.
   Practice of Piety 40 - Duties in the Holy Assembly.
   Practice of Piety 41 - A private Evening Prayer for the Lord's day.
   Practice of Piety 42 - Of the Practice of Piety in Fasting.
   Practice of Piety 43 - Of the Public Fast.
   Practice of Piety 44 - Of the Practice of Piety in Holy Feasting.
   Practice of Piety 45 - Of Preparation.
   Practice of Piety 46 - Of the Worthiness of the Sacrament.
   Practice of Piety 47 - Of the first End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 48 - Of the second End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 49 - Of the third End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 50 - Of the fourth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 51 - The fifth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 52 - The sixth End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 53 - Of the seventh End of the Lord's Supper.
   Practice of Piety 54 - A Confession of Sins before the receiving of the Holy Communion.
   Practice of Piety 55 - Of the Means whereby thou mayest become a worthy Receiver.
   Practice of Piety 56 - Of the Second sort of Duties which a worthy Communicant is to perform
   Practice of Piety 57 - A sweet Soliloquy to be said between the Consecration and Sacrament.
   Practice of Piety 58 - Duties After Communion.
   Practice of Piety 59 - The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness or Death
   Practice of Piety 60 - A Prayer when one begins to be sick.
   Practice of Piety 61 - A Prayer before taking of Medicine.
   Practice of Piety 62 - Meditations for the Sick.
   Practice of Piety 63 - Meditations for One That Is Like to Die.
   Practice of Piety 64 - A Prayer to Be Said of One That Is Like to Die.
   Practice of Piety 65 - Meditations against Despair, or doubting of God's Mercy.
   Practice of Piety 66 - An Admonition to them who come to visit the Sick.
   Practice of Piety 67 - A Prayer to be said for the Sick by them who visit him.
   Practice of Piety 68 - Consolations Against Impatience in Sickness.
   Practice of Piety 69 - Consolations Against the Fear of Death
   Practice of Piety 70 - Seven Sanctified Thoughts and Mournful Sighs of a Sick Man Ready to Die.
   Practice of Piety 71 - Of the Comfortable Assurance of God's Forgiveness of Sins.
   Practice of Piety 72 - Meditations of Martyrdom.
   Practice of Piety 73 - A Divine Colloquy Between the Soul and Her Savior
   Practice of Piety 74 - The Soul's Soliloquy, ravished in contemplation of the Passion of our Lord.


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