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Jesus; and bring us, with all those who have pleased thee from the beginning of the world, into the glories of thy Son's kingdom : to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost, be all praise for ever and ever !_“Our Father,” &c.
FRIDAY EVENING. Questions relating to Mortification : -See before the Prayers for
Wednesday Evening. O God the Father, who canst not be thought to have made me only to destroy me, have mercy upon me.
O God the Son, who, knowing thy Father's will, didst come into the world to save me, have mercy upon me.
O God the Holy Ghost, who to the same end hast so often since breathed holy thoughts into me, have mercy upon me.
O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, whom in three persons I adore as one God, have mercy upon me.
Lord, carest thou not that I perish? thou that wouldest have all men to be saved ? thou that wouldest have none to perish? And wilt thou now show thine anger against a worm, a leaf? against a vapour that vanisheth before thee? O remember how short my time is, and deliver not my soul into the power of hell. For, alas, what profit is there in my blood ? Or, who shall give thee thanks in that pit? No; let me live in thy sight: let me live, O my God, and my soul shall praise thee. Forget me as I have been disobedient, provoking thee to anger; and regard me as I am distressed, crying out to thee for help. Look not upon me as I am a sinner ; but co sider me as I am thy creature. A sinner I am, I confess, a sinner of no ordinary stain : but let not this hinder thee, O my God; for upon such sinners thou gettest the greatest glory.
O remember for whose sake it was that thou camest from the bosom of thy Father, and wast content to be born of thine own handmaid. Remember for whom it was that thy tender body was torn and scourged and crucified. Was it not for the sins of the whole world? And shall I be so injurious to thy glory, as to think thou hast excepted me? Or can I think, thou diedst only for sinners of a lower kind, and leftest such as me without remedy? What had become then of him who filled Jerusalem with blood ? what of her who lived in a trade of sin? Nay, what had become of thine own disciple, who with oaths and curses thrice denied thee?
0, how easy is it for thee to forgive! for it is thy nature. per is it for thee to save! for it is thy name. How suitable is it to thy comirg into the world! for it is thy business. And when I consider that I am the chief of sinners, may I not urge thee farther, and say, Shall the chief of thy business be left undone? Far be that from thee! Have mercy upon me!
I ask not of thee the things of this world, give them to whom thou pleasest, so thou givest me mercy. O say unto my soul, “Be of good cheer; thy sins are forgiven thee.” O that I might never sin against thee more! And whereinsoever my conscience accuses me most, be thou most merciful unto me.
Save me, O God, as a brand snatched out of the fire.
my Saviour, as a sheep that is gone astray, but would now return to the great Shepherd and Bishop of my soul.
Father, actept my imperfect repentance, compassionate my infirmities, forgive my wickedness, purify my uncleanness, strengthen my weakness, fix my unstableness, and let thy good Spirit watch over me for ever, and thy love ever rule in my heart, through the merits and sufferings and love of thy Son, in whom thou art always well pleased.
Give thy grace, O holy Jesus, to all the world, and let all who are redeemed by thy blood, acknowledge thee to be the Lord. Let al! Christians, especially those of this nation, keep themselves uspotted from the world. Let all governors, and especially our sovereign, rule with wisdom and justice; and let the clergy be exemplary in their lives, and discreet and diligent in their labours. Let our universities enjoy freedom from violence and faction, and excel in true religion and sound learning. Be a help at hand to all that are afflicted, and assist them to trust in thee. Raise up friends for the widow and fatherless, the friendless and oppressed. Give patience to all that are sick, comfort to all troubled consciences, strength to all that are tempted. Be gracious to my relations, (-) to all that are endeared to me by their kindnesses or acquaintance, to all who remember me in their prayers, or desire to be remembered in mine () Sanctify, O merciful Lord, the friendship which thou hast granted me with these thy servants (.) O let our prayers be heard for each other, while our hearts are united in thy fear and love, and graciously unite them therein more and more. Strengthen the hearts of us thy servants against all our corruptions and temptations; enable us to consecrate ourselves faithfully and entirely to thy service. Grant that we may “provoke each other to love" and serve thee, and grow up together before thee in thy fear and love, to thy heavenly kingdom. And by thy infinite mercies, vouchsafe to bring us, with those that are dead in thee, to rejoice together before thee, through the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, be honour and power everlasting.
SATURDAY MORNING. O God, thou great Creator and Sovereign Lord of heaven and earth thou Father of angels and men, thou Giver of life and Protector of all thy creatures, mercifully accept this my morning sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, which I desire to offer, with all humility, to thy divine Majesty. “ Thou art praised, O Lord, by all thy works,” and magni fied by every thing which thou hast created. The sun rejoiceth to run his course, that he may set forth thy praise who madest him. Nor do the moon and stars refrain to manifest thy glory, even amidst the silent night. The earth breathes forth each day perfumes, as incense to thee, her sacred King, who hast crowned her with herbs and trees, and beautified her with hills and dales. The deep uttereth his voice, and lifteth up his hands on high to thee, the great Creator, the universal King, the everlasting God. The floods clap their hands, and the hills are joyful together before thee; the fruitful vales rejoice and sing thy praise. Thou feedest the innumerable multitude of animals which thou hast created : “ These all wait upon thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season.” Thou madest light for our comfort, and broughtest forth darkness out of thy treasures to overshadow the earth, that the living creatures of it might take their rest. “ The fire and hail, snow and vapour, wind and storm, fulfil thy word," and manifest thy glory. Inanimate things declare thee, O Lord of life; and irrational animals demonstrate their wise Creator. Amidst this universal jubilee of nature, suffer not, I beseech thee, the sons of men to be silent; but let the noblest work of thy creation pay thee the noblest sacrifice of praise. O pour thy grace into my heart, that I may worthily magnify thy great and glorious name. Thou hast made me and sent me into the world to do thy work. O assist me to fulfil the end of my creation, and to show forth thy praise with all diligence, by giving myself up to thy service. “ Prosper the work of my hands upon me,” O Lord; O prosper thou whatever I shall undertake this day, that it may tend to thy glory, the good of my neighbour, and the salvation of my own soul.
Preserve me from all those snares and temptations which continually solicit me to offend thee. Guide me by thy Holy Spirit in all those places whither thy providence shall lead me this day; and suffer not my communications with the world to dissipate my thoughts, to make me inadvertent to thy presence, or lukewarm in thy service; but let me always walk as in thy sight, and as one who knows this life to be the seed-time of an eternal harvest. Keep me, I beseech thee, undefiled, unblamable, and unreprovable unto the end ; and grant that I may so diligently perform thy will, in that station wherein thou hast been pleased to place me, that I may make my calling and election sure, through Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour.
Hear also, O Lord, my prayers for the whole race of mankind, and guide their feet into the way of peace. Reform the corruptions of thy catholic Church, heal her divisions, and restore to her her ancient discipline; give to the clergy thereof, whether they be bishops, priests, or deacons, grace, as good shepherds, to feed the flocks committed to their charge. Bless King George and all the royal family, and all that are put in authority under him. Let them exceed others as much in goodness as greatness, and be signal instruments of thy glory. Grant that in the universities, and in all other places set apart for thy service, whatsoever is praiseworthy may for ever flourish. Keep, O Lord, all the nobility, gentry, and commons of this land, in constant communion with thy holy catholic Church, in humble obedience to the king, and in Christian charity one toward another.
In a particular manner I beseech thee to be gracious to my father and mother, my brethren and sisters, and all my friends and relations. Pardon all their sins, and heal all their infirmities. Give them that share of the blessings of this life, which thou knowest to be most expedient for them; and thy grace so to use them here, that they may enjoy thee eternally.
With a propitious eye, O gracious Comforter, behold all that are in aflliction ; let the sighings of the prisoners, the groans of the sick, the prayers of the oppressed, the desire of the poor and needy, come before thee. -) Give unto my enemies () grace and pardon, charity to me and love to thee ; remove the cloud from their eyes, the stony from their hearts, that they may know and feel what it is to love their neighbour as themselves. And may it please thee to enable me to love all mine enemies, to bless them that now curse me, to do good to them that hate me, and to pray for those who despitefully use me and persecute me. Be pleased, Lord, of thy goodness, shortly to accomplish the number of thine elect, and to hasten thy kingdom; that we, with all thy whole Church, may have our perfect consummation of bliss, through Jesus Christ our Lord; by whom, and with whom, in the unity of the Holy Ghost, all honour and glory be unto thee, 0 Father Almighty, now and for ever.
SATURDAY EVENING. Particular Questions relating to Thankfulness. 1. Have I allotted some time for thanking God for the blessings of the past week ?
2. Have I, in order to be the more sensible of them, seriously and deliberately considered the several circumstances that attended them?
3. Have I considered each of them as an obligation to greater love, and, consequently, to stricter holiness?
O most great and glorious God, who art mighty in thy power, and wonderful in thy doings toward the sons of men,
accept, I beseech thee, my unfeigned thanks and praise for my creation, preservation, and all the other blessings which, in the riches of thy mercy, thou hast from time to time poured down upon me. “ Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thine hand." Thou createdst the sun and moon, the day and night, and makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to praise thee. Thou “ formedst man of the dust of the ground, and breathedst into him the breath of life.” In thine own image madest thou him, capable of knowing and loving thee eternally. His nature was perfect, thy will was his law, and thy blessed self his portion. Neither after he had left his first estate didst thou utterly withdraw thy mercy from him; but, in every succeeding generation, didst save, deliver, assist, and protect him. Thou hast instructed us by thy laws, and enlightened us by thy statutes; thou hast redeemed us by the blood of thy Son, and sanctifiest us by the grace of thy Holy Spirit. For these and all thy other mercies, how can I ever sufficiently love thee, or worthily magnify thy great and glorious name? All the powers of my soul are too few to conceive the thanks that are due to thee, even for vouchsafing me the honour of now appearing before thee and conversing with thee. But thou hast declared thou wilt accept the sacrifice of thanksgiving in return for all thy goodness. For ever therefore will I bless thee, will I adore thy power, and magnify thy goodness : “My tongue shall sing of thy righteousness, and be telling of thy salvation from day to day.” I will give thanks unto thee for ever and ever; I will praise my God while I have my being. 0 that I had the heart of the seraphim, that I might burn with love like theirs. But though I am upon earth, yet will I praise, as I can, the King of heaven; though I am a feeble, mortal creature, yet will I join my song with those that excel in strength, with the immortal host of
angels and archangels, thrones, dominions, and powers, while they laud and magnify thy glorious name, and sing with incessant shouts of praise,
“ Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of Hosts! Heaven and earth are full of his glory! Glory be to thee, O Lord most high. Amen. Hallelujah.”
Accept, O merciful Father, my most humble thanks for thy preservation of me this day (-) O continue thy loving kindness toward me, and take me into thy protection this night. Let thy holy angels watch over me to defend me from the attempts of evil men and evil spirits. Let me rest in peace, and not sleep in sin; and grant that I may rise more fit for thy service.
O thou whose kingdom ruleth over all, rule in the hearts of all the men whom thou hast made ; reform the corruptions, and heal the breaches, of thy holy Church, and establish her in truth and peace. Be gracious unto all priests and deacons, and give them rightly to divide the word of truth. Forgive the sins of this nation, and turn our hearts, that iniquity may not be our ruin. Bless King George, and all the royal family, with all those blessings which thou seest to be most expedient for them; and give to his council, and to the nobility and magistracy, grace truly to serve thee in their several stations. Bless our universities, that they may be the great bulwarks of thy faith and love, against all the assaults of vice and infidelity. May the gentry and commons of this realm live in constant communion with thy Church, in obedience to the king, and in love one toward another.
Be gracious to all who are near and dear to me. Thou knowest their names, and art acquainted with their wants. Of thy goodness be pleased to proportion thy blessings to their necessities. Pardon my enemies, and give them repentance and charity, and me grace to overcome evil with good. Have compassion on all who are distressed in mind, body, or estate, and give them steady patience, and timely deliverance.
Now, to God the Father, who first loved us, and made us accepted in the Beloved; to God the Son, who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood; to God the Holy Ghost, who sheddeth the love of God abroad in our hearts, be all love and all glory in time and to all eternity. Amen.
A COLLECTION OF PRAYERS FOR FAMILIES.
SUNDAY MORNING. Almighty and eternal God, we desire to praise thy holy name for so graciously raising us up, in soundness of body and mind, to see the light of this day.
We bless thee in behalf of all thy creatures ; for “the eyes of all look unto thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season. But above all we acknowledge thy inestimable benefits bestowed upon mankind in Christ Jesus. We thank thee for his miraculous birth, for his most holy life, his bitter agony and bloody death, for his glorious resurrection Vol. VI.