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A prayer on Thursday Evening to implore God's mercy and assistance towards a worthy receiving of the most holy sacrament.
Let us draw near with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water. Heb. x. 22.
RANT, almighty and moft merciful Lord God, that I may never draw down thy juft indignation upon myself, either by turning my back upon this ordinance, or by going to it without thought and unworthily. May thy mercy pardon what is past, and give me grace for the time to come, to confecrate my life to thee, and to embrace every occafion of remembering my Redeemer's love, and thereby fecuring thy favour, and my own falvation; and if it be thy will, grant that I may always find fuch comfort and benefit in this ordinance, as may encourage me to observe it with joy unto my life's end.
Bleffed be thy name, holy Father, for the opportunity thou haft this day vouch fafed me of humbling myfelf before thee. Pardon, I moft humbly befeech thee, all my failings and defects at this time. The wanderings of my prayers, the coldness of my affections, and the difproportion of my repentance to the heinoufnefs of thofe fins which I have committed. O
let thy mercy and goodness fupply what is wanting in me, and be thou graciously pleased to pity my weakneffes, and forgive my infirmities, through the merits, and for the fake of thy beloved Son, and my bleffed Saviour, Jefus Chrift the righteous; to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghoft, be ascribed all honour and glory now and for evermore. Amen.
See the concluding prayer and blessing on pages 38 and 39.
The Meditation for Friday Morning*.
On the passion of our blessed Saviour, commemorated in the most holy sacrament of the Lord's Supper.
Being found in fashion as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross. Phil. ii. 3.
1. Propofe now unto thee, O my foul, that thou mayft give me comfort by a devout meditation on the fufferings of our wounded Jefus, which were the wonder and aftonishment of heaven and earth and thence learn of thy Saviour to be meek and lowly in heart; who being the great Lord of the world, condefcended with the profoundeft humility to undergo the punishment of flaves.
2. Behold with what patience this innocent lamb yields to have his body plough
* Here you may observe the directions given on page 3.
ed and furrowed by merciless murderers ! behold him naked, helplefs, and unpitied, whilft the furious executioners tear his skin and tender flesh with cruel fcourges, to fatisfy the cruelty of a barbarous multitude.
3. Behold this fame bleffed Jesus extended, tortured, and nailed, and rudely hoifted up upon the crofs between two thieves, where he hung for the space of three long hours, [reviled by the Jews, and railed at by the very thieves,] in pain, dolour, in grief, and fhame; all his bones disjointed, and his wounds ftretched and rent the wider by the weight of his body hanging on the nails; and all this for man, even for thee, my foul, a miferable finner! 4. Behold thofe powerful hands, which fo lately had cured the blind and deaf, cleanfed the lepers, and loofed them that were bound by Satan, extended in mifery! behold thofe adorable feet pierced with nails, which had gone about doing good continually!
5. Behold that facred body hanging upon the crofs, hungry and thirfty, naked and cold, wounded and rent, weeping and. bleeding, racked and tortured, languifhing, praying, and facrificing itfelf, and expofed to all manner of fhame and torment for thee, in which all the treasures.
of wisdom and power were hid! and let that vinegar and gall given unto him quench all immoderate appetites in thee, and imbitter all fenfual delights. Behold that face, more beautiful than the fons of men, which comforted the afflicted, and the light of whofe countenance the fathers and prophets had fo much defired to behold, changed into the paleness and horror of death; crying to his Father, My God, my God, why hast thou forfaken me! and then giving up the ghoft.
6. Oh! how great in mercy, how abundant in compaffion was the Son of God thus to die for thee! how great in majefty, how terrible in power! for now did the heavens wax dark, the veil of the temple rent afunder, the very ftones clave, and the dead arofe! How great was his power in his death, to produce fuch wonders, by it, in it, and after it! how far did his merits and power extend! even to the fun in the heavens, to the veil in the temple, to the holy of holies, the dead in the graves, to the centre of the earth, to hell beneath; yea, to the very hearts of the impenitent: For the Centurion was now convinced of his error and converted.
7. Oh! I will flee to the cross of my Saviour, and there with the pious, devout, and afflicted women, and his beloved dif
ciple St. John, I will open the flood-gate of mine eyes, I will water my couch with tears, I will bring my body into fubjection, and rend my heart; left I by my evil deeds approve and become partaker of their fins. The infatiable malice of the chief priests and elders, who perfuaded the multitude to cry out at once, away with this man, and release unto us Barabbas! What was this but to say, deftroy the innocent, and give us a traitor and a thief? away with the Prince of Peace and univerfal charity, and leave unto us the author of fedition? put him to death who has raised up the dead before us, and give unto us a known murderer?
8. But what haft thou done, O thou Lamb of God! and how haft thou deferved, thou Saviour of the world, to be thus expofed, vilified, and tormented? what is thy crime, and the cause of thy grief? what is it that hath laid thee on the altar of the crofs, naked, bleeding, tortured, and dying? the Lord has laid on thee the iniquities of us all thou art wounded for our tranfgreffions: thou art bruised for our fins: the chaftifement of our peace is upon thee; and by thy ftripes we are healed.
9. Sing then, all you dear-bought nations of the earth, fing hymns of glory