Imatges de pÓgina
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Family Prayer; and not unfrequently many necessary things omitted. In some prayers there is no confession of sin; others are almost without a word of thanksgiving ; and in many, nay in many a whole book of prayers, there are scarcely any petitions for enemies. Some formularies are deficient in intercessory prayer: others contain no recognition of that distinctive character of christian devotion, the invocation of the Son and of the Holy Ghost; and others do not so much as allude to our connection with angels and the invisible world ; a connection so full of practical interest, and so plainly taught in the Bible and recognized in the Liturgy of our Church.

In order to remedy some of these imperfections, it seems desirable that each prayer should be arranged under separate heads, as of Confession, Supplication, Intercession, Thanksgiving ; under each of which several short forms are given; and from which

every head of a family may select one or more, to suit his own judgment and his own convenience. Some persons have more time than others; and some have more time on one day than another.

The reader need not be left to the difficulty of selecting whilst the prayer is read; for, on previously looking over the prayer, he may mark with a pencil the petitions and paragraphs which are preferred : only care should be taken, to use a portion of each of the four Subjects ; so that the family may always confess together, and supplicate, and intercede, and be thankful.

This method of division has been adopted by some modern divines, and is sanctioned by the practice of Bishop Andrews; nay it has, in a considerable degree, the higher sanction of our incomparable Liturgy, from which many of the formularies are taken; the rest are partly original, and partly compiled from Bishop Blomfield, Bishop Sumner, Knight, Cotterill, and other sources. The plan of our Church Service has also been followed in the use of a number of short and separate prayers, which are more likely to awaken attention and keep it alive, than one or two of continued length. Doubtless we must pray under the influence and aid of the Spirit; and by the Spirit alone can our souls be effectually quickened and uplifted ; still do we require, under our manifold infirmities, every additional help which reason and experience may suggest.

It may

be further remarked, that those persons who think it better not to adhere always to the same form of prayer, have hereby an opportunity of varying their petitions from time to time.

And may the God, that heareth prayer, prosper this humble endeavour, to the advancement of His own glory and the benefit of His Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

SUNDAY MORNING.

CONFESSION.

[The reader will bear in mind, that only a portion of

each service is intended to be used at once ; (see the preface) and it may be better for him first to read it over privately, in order to select and mark such passages as he may choose to read to the family.]

O Thou Lord of the Sabbath, we thine unworthy servants humble ourselves before thee, acknowledging it to be of thy great goodness alone, that we have been preserved to see the light of this day. Thou hast refreshed us with sleep and raised us. O let thy gracious protection of us, O let this renewal of thy loving-kindness to our souls and bodies, work in us a deeper sense of sin. O make us heartily ashamed of all our transgressions against thee, the Father of all our mercies; and bring us to true repentance, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

Most merciful Lord God, how great is thy goodness to the sinful sons of men ! We bow down before thee, on this thy day, with holy fear and love; so often have we neglected and abused the

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means of grace, which thou hast afforded us, that thou mightest justly have withdrawn them all, and cut us off in the midst of our unthankfulness and rebellion against thee. But thou art a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity; sparing us when we deserve punishment, and in the midst of judgment remembering mercy. And we beseech thee still to spare us, and to have mercy upon us, and turn all our hearts to thee, by the power of thy grace, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

O Lord, we desire not to hide from thee any of our offences at any time; but on thine own day, which thou hast graciously set apart for thy honour and worship and the benefit of our souls, we desire especially to confess unto thee our manifold offences; yea all those sins, which have rendered us so undeserving of the least of thy favours towards us. Make us truly sorry, as we ought to be; and forgive us, for thy Son our Lord Jesus Christ's sake. Thou hast promised to receive those, who come to thee in his name;

in his name would we seek thee; for there is none other, whereby we can be saved.

We are miserable offenders; a seed of evil doers : but O blessed Lord, as thou didst on this holy day rise again from the dead, so do thou awaken us from the slumbers of sin; so do thou renew in us thine image of holiness, and raise us from the death of sin to the life of righteousness.

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