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Lewis Bayly

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BookPractice of Piety 41 - A private Evening Prayer for the Lord's day.
      O holy, holy, holy Lord God of Sabaoth! Suffer me, who am but dust and ashes, to speak unto thy most glorious majesty. I know that thou art a consuming fire; I acknowledge that I am but withered stubble: my sins are in thy sight, and Satan stands at my right hand to accuse me for them. I come not to excuse but to judge myself worthy of all those ju ...read
Practice of Piety 42 - Of the Practice of Piety in Fasting.
      There are divers kinds of fasting-First, A constrained fast, as when men either have not food to eat, as in the famine of Samaria (2 Kings vi. 25;) or, having food, cannot eat it for heaviness or sickness, as it befel them who were in the ship with St. Paul (Acts xxvii. 33.) This is rather famine than fasting. Secondly, A natural fast, which we ...read
Practice of Piety 43 - Of the Public Fast.
      A public fast is when, by the authority of the magistrate (Jonah iii. 7; 2 Chron. xx. 3; Ezra viii. 21), either the whole church within his dominion, or some special congregation, whom it concerneth, assemble themselves together, to perform the fore-mentioned duties of humiliation; either for the removing of some public calamity threatened or alrea ...read
Practice of Piety 44 - Of the Practice of Piety in Holy Feasting.
      Holy feasting is a solemn thanksgiving, appointed by authority, to be rendered to God on some special day, for some extraordinary blessings or deliverances received. Such among the Jews was the feast of the Passover (Exod. xii. 15), to remember to praise God for their deliverance out of Egypt's bondage; or the feast of Purim (Esth. ix. 19, 21), to ...read
Practice of Piety 45 - Of Preparation.
      That a Christian ought necessarily to prepare himself before he presume to be a partaker of the holy communion, may evidently appear by five reasons:- First, Because it is God's commandment; for if he commanded, under the pain of death, that none uncircumcised should eat the paschal lamb (Exod. xii. 48), nor any circumcised under four days prepa ...read
Practice of Piety 46 - Of the Worthiness of the Sacrament.
      The worthiness of this sacrament is considered three ways: First, By the majesty of the author ordaining; Secondly, By the preciousness of the parts of which it consists; Thirdly, By the excellency of the ends for which it was ordained. (1.) Of the Author of the Sacrament. The author was not any saint or angel, hut our Lord Jesus, the eternal ...read
Practice of Piety 47 - Of the first End of the Lord's Supper.
      1. To keep Christians in a continual remembrance of that propitiatory sacrifice which Christ, once for all, offered by his death upon the cross, to reconcile us to God (Matt. xxvi. 26.) "Do this," saith Christ, "in remembrance of me." (Luke xxii. 19.) And, saith the apostle, "As oft as ye shall eat this bread, and drink this cup, ye do shew the Lor ...read
Practice of Piety 48 - Of the second End of the Lord's Supper.
      2. To confirm our faith; for God by this sacrament doth signify and seal unto us from heaven, that according to the promise and new covenant which he hath made in Christ, he will truly receive into his grace and mercy all penitent believers who duly receive this holy sacrament; and that for the merits of the death and passion of Christ, he will as ...read
Practice of Piety 49 - Of the third End of the Lord's Supper.
      3. To be a pledge and symbol of the most near and effectual communion which Christians have with Christ. "The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?" (1 Cor. x. 16;) that is, a most effectual sign and pledge of our communion with Christ ...read
Practice of Piety 50 - Of the fourth End of the Lord's Supper.
      4. To feed the souls of the faithful, in the assured hope of life everlasting. For this sacrament is a sign and pledge, to as many as shall receive the same according to Christ's institution, that he will, according to his promise, by the virtue of his crucified body and blood, as verily feed our souls to life eternal, as our bodies are by bread an ...read
Practice of Piety 51 - The fifth End of the Lord's Supper.
      5. To be an assured pledge unto us of our resurrection. The resurrection of a Christian is twofold: First, The spiritual resurrection of our souls, in this life, from the death of sin (John v. 25; Rom. vi. 4, 5, 11), called the first resurrection; because that by the trumpet-voice of Christ, in the preaching of the gospel, we are raised from the de ...read
Practice of Piety 52 - The sixth End of the Lord's Supper.
      6. To seal to us the assurance of everlasting life. Oh what more wished or loved than life! Or what do all men naturally either fear or abhor more than death? Yet is this first death nothing, if it be compared with the second death: neither is this life anything worth, in comparison of the life to come. If, therefore, thou desirest to be assured ...read
Practice of Piety 53 - Of the seventh End of the Lord's Supper.
      7. To bind all Christians, as it were, by an oath of fidelity, to serve the one only true God; and to admit no other propitiatory sacrifice for sins, but that one real sacrifice which, by his death, Christ once offered, and by which he finished the sacrifices of the law, and effected eternal redemption and righteousness for all believers; and so to ...read
Practice of Piety 54 - A Confession of Sins before the receiving of the Holy Communion.
      O God and heavenly Father, when I consider the goodness which thou hast ever shewed unto me, and the wickedness which I have committed against Heaven and against thee, I am ashamed of myself, and confusion seems to cover my face as a veil; for which of thy commandments have I not transgressed? O Lord, I stand here guilty of the breach of all thy ho ...read
Practice of Piety 55 - Of the Means whereby thou mayest become a worthy Receiver.
      These means are duties of two sorts; the former respecting God, the latter, our neighbour. Those which respect God are three-First, Sound knowledge; secondly, True faith; thirdly, Unfeigned repentance. That which respecteth our neighbour is but one, sincere charity. (1.) Of sound Knowledge, requisite in a worthy Communicant. Sound knowledge i ...read
Practice of Piety 56 - Of the Second sort of Duties which a worthy Communicant is to perform
      Of the Second sort of Duties which a worthy Communicant is to perform at the receiving of the Lord's Supper, called Meditation. This exercise of spiritual meditation consists in divers points. First, When the sermon is ended and the banquet of the Lord's Supper begins to be celebrated, meditate with thyself how thou art invited by Christ to b ...read
Practice of Piety 57 - A sweet Soliloquy to be said between the Consecration and Sacrament.
      Is it true indeed, that God will dwell on earth? Behold the heaven, and the heaven of heavens are not able to contain thee; how much more unable is the soul of such a sinful caitiff as I am to receive thee? But seeing it is thy blessed pleasure to come thus to sup with me, and to dwell in me, I cannot fox joy but burst out and say, "What is man, ...read
Practice of Piety 58 - Duties After Communion.
      1. Of the Duties which we are to perform after receiving the holy Communion, called Action or Practice. The duty which we are to perform after the receiving of the Lord's Supper is called action or practice, without which all the rest will minister to us no comfort. The action consists of two sorts of duties:--First, Such as we are to perform ...read
Practice of Piety 59 - The Practice of Piety in Glorifying God in the Time of Sickness or Death
      As soon as thou perceivest thyself to be visited with any sickness, meditate with thyself: 1. That "misery cometh not forth of the dust; neither doth affliction spring out of the earth." Sickness comes not by hap or chance (as the Philistines supposed that their mice and emrods came, 1 Sam. vi. 9), but from man's wickedness, which, as sparkles, ...read
Practice of Piety 60 - A Prayer when one begins to be sick.
      O most righteous Judge, yet in Jesus Christ my gracious Father! I, wretched sinner, do here return unto thee, though driven with pain and sickness, like the prodigal child with want and hunger. I acknowledge that this sickness and pain comes not by blind chance or fortune, but by thy divine providence and special appointment. It is the stroke of th ...read

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