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Signs of Tediousness of Spirit in our Prayers and all Actions of Religion.

The second temptation in our prayer is a tediousness of spirit or a weariness of the employment; like that of the Jews, who complained that they were weary of the new moons, and their souls loathed the frequent return of their Sabbaths: so do very many Christians, who first pray without fervour or earnestness of spirit; and, secondly, meditate but seldom, and that without fruit, or sense, or affection; or, thirdly, who seldom examine their consciences, and when they do it, they do it but sleepily, slightly, without compunction, or hearty purpose, or fruits of amendment. 4. They enlarge themselves in the thoughts and fruitation of temporal things, running for comfort to them only in any sadness and misfortune. 5. They love not to frequent the sacraments, nor any the instruments of religion, as sermons, confessions, prayers in public, fastings; but love ease and a loose undisciplined life. 6. They obey not their superiors, but follow their own judgment when their judgment follows their affections, and their affections follow sense and worldly pleasures. 7. They neglect, or dissemble, or defer, or do not attend to the motions and inclinations to virtue which the Spirit of God puts into their soul. 8. They repent them of their vows and holy purposes, not because they discover any indiscretion in them, or intolerable inconvenience, but because they have within them labour (as the case now stands) to them displeasure. 9. They content themselves with the first degrees and necessary parts of virtue; and when they are arrived thither, they sit down as if they were come to the mountain of the Lord, and care not to proceed on toward perfection. 10. They inquire into all cases in which it may be lawful to omit a duty; and, though they will not do less than they are bound to, yet they will do no more than needs must; for they do out of fear and self-love, not out of the love of God, or the spirit of holiness and zeal. The event of which will be this: he that will do no more than needs must, will soon be brought to omit something of his duty, and will be apt to believe less to be necessary than is.

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