Daily Reading for August 13 • Jeremy Taylor, Bishop of Down, Conner and Dromore, 1667
Rise as soon as your health and other occasions shall permit; but it is good to be as regular as you can, and as early. Remember, he that rises first to Prayer, hath a more early title to a blessing. But he that changes night into day, labour into idleness, watchfulness to sleep, changes his hopes of blessing into a dream. . . .
At your opening your eyes, enter upon the day with some act of piety: 1. Of thanksgiving for the preservation of you the night past. 2. Of the glorification of God for the works of the Creation, or any thing for the honour of God. When you first go off from your bed, solemnly and devoutly bow your head, and worship the holy Trinity, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. . . .
When you are dressed, retire your self to your Closet; and go to your usuall devotions, which it is good that at the first prayers they divided were into seven actions of piety: 1. An act of Adoration. 2. Of Thanksgiving. 3. Of Oblation. 4. Of Confession. 5. Of Petition. 6. Of Intercession. 7. Of Meditation, or serious, deliberate, useful reading of the holy Scriptures. . . .
Before you go forth of your Closet, after your Prayers are done, set you self down a little while, and consider who you are to do that day, what matter of business is like to imploy you or to tempt you; and take particular resolution against that, whether it be matter of wrangling, or anger, or covetousness, or vain courtship, or feasting: and when you enter upon it, remember, upon what you resolved in your Closet. If you are likely to have nothing extraordinary that day a general recommendation of the affairs of that day to God in your Prayers will be sufficient: but if there be any thing foreseen that is not usual, be sure to be armed for it, by a hearty though a short Prayer, and an earnest prudent resolution before-hand, and then watch when the thing comes. . . .
Read not much at a time; but meditate as much as your time, and capacity, and disposition will give you leave: ever remembering, that little reading, and much thinking; little speaking, and much hearing; frequent and short prayers, and great devotion, is the best way to be wise, to be holy, to be devout.
From “The Diary: Or, Rule to spend each Day religiously,” in Jeremy Taylor’s The Golden Grove, or, A Manuall of Daily Prayers and Letanies (London: R. Royston, 1655); found at http://anglicanhistory.org/taylor/golden/diary.html