The morning of the fastBegin the day with prayer, according as I directed you to do every day, but with more than ordinary preparation: with fervency and faith, praying for God's special grace to enable you to sanctify a fast that day according to the commandment. Then apply yourself to the main work of the day, which has these parts: (a) unfeigned humiliation; (b) reformation, together with reconciliation; and (c) earnest invocation.
Start with humiliationThe soul is humbled, [and] the heart broken and truly afflicted, when a man is become vile in his own eyes, through consciousness of his own unworthiness. And [so a man’s soul is humbled] when his heart is full of grief and anguish through fear of God's displeasure, with godly sorrow and holy shame in himself, and anger against himself for sin. These affections excited do much afflict the heart. This deep humiliation is to be wrought, partly by awakening your conscience through a sight of the law and apprehensions of God's just judgments due to you for the breach of it, which will [should] break your heart, and partly by the gospel, raise your mind to an apprehension and admiration of the love of God to you in Christ, which will melt your heart and cause you the more kindly to grieve and loath yourself for sin. [This humbling will] also entertain hope of mercy, whence will follow reconciliation, reformation, and holy calling upon God by prayer. To work this humiliation, there must be:
- an examination, to find out your sins;
- an accusation of yourself, with due aggravation of your sins; and
- judging and passing sentence against yourself for sins.