Imatges de pàgina
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thy people. Unite the divided minds and interests of our countrymen. Defend us from seditions at home, and from the designs of our enemies abroad. Defend us from pestilence and famine. Let not our crying sins provoke thee to punish us with public calamities. Be rather graciously pleased to reform than to destroy. Be thou our strength, and our protector. Be thou our God and king, for Christ Jesus' sake. Amen.

A general thanksgiving O most compassionate God, how shall we sufficiently praise thee for thy great and continual mercies? Thou hast given us being, thou hast redeemed us with thy blood from eternal misery, and thou art ever present with us to strengthen us against the difficult, and to guide us through the dangerous trials of life. How wonderful are the instances of thy goodness, which we know! How infinite those which we can but imperfectly comprehend! Not all the accusations of our enemy, nor our manifold offences have yet turned away thy compassion from us. Let this, O Lord, inspire us with gratitude, and fill us with such a love of thee, that for the future all our thoughts and actions, as well as words, may praise thee.

In the meantime, we thy family render thee, O infinite Benefactor, such thanks as we are able. With all good men on earth, with saints, and angels, and all the hosts of heaven, we join our hearts to adore thee in thy wisdom and goodness, and raise our voices to magnify thy majesty and power. Blessed be thou, O Lord God, who hast done wondrous things for us, and blessed be the name of thy majesty for ever: let all the earth be filled with thy majesty. Amen, Amen.

Our Father, which art, &c.

The benediction.

Unto thy gracious mercy and protection, O God, we commit ourselves. Be thou pleased to bless us, and keep us, Inake thy face to shine upon us, and be gracious unto us, now and for evermore. Amen.

A prayer to be used in time of preparation for the

holy sacrament. Blessed Father, who in compassion to our great infirmities and spiritual wants, hast provided food for our souls, even the body and blood of thy Son, grant when we approach thy holy table, we may by faith spiritually feed on that heavenly banquet. That we may appear there as thy children and servants, raise and confirm in us such dispositions, as become those who enter into fellowship with thee, and all that is good in heaven and in earth. Cause the remembrance of our Saviour's goodness in dying to atone for our sins, to fill us with an utter abhorrence of all sin, and a firm resolution to glorify him for the time to come, by a life agreeable to his holy will and word, and conformable to our baptismal vow. Cause the remembrance of his having laid down his life for us, and the consideration of his sitting at thy right hand to plead for us, to possess our souls with an humble, but cheerful faith and trust in thy mercy. Cause the love due to Christ, the head of the church, to extend to all our fellow Christians, the members of his mystical body. Send thy Holy Spirit powerfully into our hearts, that he may purify all our unclean affections, rectify all our evil habits, and so regenerate our whole nature, that we may be evermore admitted to feed effectually on the food of everlasting life, and enabled so to unite ourselves to Christ's blessed body, that being made lively members of him, we may hereafter be entirely governed by his will and Spirit, and not by our own carnal wills, which we renounce. Grant this, o blessed Father, for Christ Jesus' sake. Amen.

A prayer to be used for some time after the communion. O most gracious and bountiful Lord, who hast lately fed us thy servants with thy own precious flesh and blood, neither suffer the remembrance of that astonishing act of mercy to slip out of our minds, nor the saving effects of it to be destroyed by the return of our former temptations and sins. Set a strict guard upon our hearts, that in all our thoughts we may look back upon the awful vow we have renewed, and the infinite favour we have received, that we

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may neither make any ungrateful returns for the one, nor any faithless breaches of the other ; but that being refreshed and nourished by the heavenly food, we may proceed from strength to strength, till after à life spent here in thy service, and to thy glory, we may rise and triumph with thee in the blessed habitations of eternal peace. Grant this, and ever powerfully intercede for us, O blessed Jesus, our Redeemer. Amen.

It may perhaps be useful to the reader to put him in mind, that the performance of both public and family prayer doth by no means take away the necessity of addressing himself to God in secret at least twice in the day. No form of prayer used in common with others, can possibly reach the peculiar and secret occasions of any particular man; besides, every individual ought to serve God as an individual, as well as every kingdom or family, for he hath his own peculiar sins to confess, his own wants to petition for, and his own blessings, which no one shares with him, to return thanks for; and is therefore under the most indispensable necessity (although he constantly applies to God in public, as a member of some community or family) of also serving God in secret, as a single man.

Six times in the day did the primitive Christians address themselves to God by prayer, and although the piety and devotion of Christians is now at a low ebb, yet we have the same reasons they had for frequency and fervency in prayer; nay, perhaps, we have even greater and stronger reasons than they, inasmuch as we live under the .unhappy influence of worse examples and customs, and are surrounded with more dangerous temptations.

A prayer for a young person. The enemy of my soul, O my God, hath planted innumerable snares for me in my fortune, in my companions, in my person, and in my very heart. How shall I escape! As I wade farther into life, I do but plunge deeper into trials. How shall I, so full of frailty and folly, support or direct myself? Bear me up, O God my strength. Guide me, O infinite wisdom. O blessed Spirit, enter thou into my soul, before it becomes too vile, and too polluted for thy residence; there enlighten my understanding; there rule with ;

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a strict hand over all my passions and desires, particularly those of pride and incontinence, and so powerfully subdue me to thy will, that the necessity of a woful, and the danger of an ineffectual repentance may be prevented, through Jesus Christ my Saviour. Amen. .

A prayer for an aged person. O King of heaven, and judge of all the world, I who am now drawing towards the close of a long life, and must shortly appear before thee, am utterly unable to account for the time I have mispent, for the health and wealth I have abused, or the other trusts and talents I have neglected or misapplied. When I remember thy infinite compassion to my poor soul, and frail body, pouring in upon me through my affairs, my family, and every person or thing, that had any relation to me, by unnumbered blessings, and by seasonable and tender corrections; and when I compare it with my manifold and heinous offences; I know not which to be most astonished at, thy goodness, or my ingratitude. What gives me still farther cause of concern and apprehension, is, that I find myself under the unhappy slavery of many bad dispositions and habits, contracted during my long stay in this filthy body, and this seducing world. Although I have fully experienced the vanity and vexation of this life, I am nevertheless unwilling to part with it.

I am both unable to live, and afraid to die. O boundless goodness, look with mercy on me in this my distress. As it was with a kind intention to reclaim and save my soul, that thy long-suffering goodness prolonged my life to these years, so I trust thou wilt have mercy upon me, and shew thyself gracious to me at the last. To this blessed end be pleased, O thou lover of souls, by thy Holy Spirit, to pluck out of my heart every root of sin, to cleanse my impure and worldly affections, to knit them to thee by the eternal ties of love, to support me under the decays of nature, to fortify me against the approaches of death, to strengthen my faith, and comfort my soul when thy last awful summons shall arrive, that I thy poor servant, loathing this wretched life, with all its vanities, and eagerly turning all my desires and wishes towards thee, may meet thee with joy in the blessed regions of eternal peace. Grant this, 0 our tender

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and indulgent Father, for the sake of Christ Jesus, my only advocate and Saviour. Amen. A prayer for one under apprehensions about his soul,

or in religious melancholy. To thee, O heavenly King, the only comfort of souls, oppressed with troubles like mine, I fly for relief and suc

O let me find refuge under thy healing wings, from the guilt and fear that pursue my soul. All thy waves and storms have gone over me, and the fear of thee hath almost undone me. . When I look back at my past life, I can see nothing but sin and folly. When I examine my own heart, I find all gloomy within. When I look forward at death and eternity, I behold a prospect unutterably shocking. Pity me, O my God; let my misery move thee to compassion ; let my prayer enter into thy presence; let my cry

; come up before thee. Whọ can bear a wounded spirit? O despise not my broken spirit, nor my contrite heart. O forsake me not, lest I perish. O my God, go not far from me, lest the enemy of thy glory, and my poor afflicted soul, should tear me to pieces, when there is none to deliver me. Suffer me not, thou inexhaustible fountain of all

mercy, to fall into distraction or despair; but say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. Give some light in the midst of this my darkness, and pour some hope into my bitter cup, for the multitude of my sorrows have overwhelmed me, and are like a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear. Sustain my soul, O my God, with the patience shewn by Job, when the adversary was let loose against him, with the repentance and piety of David when he bewailed his sins, and above all, with the resignation and meekness of thy beloved Son, when thy displeasure at the sins of the whole world lay upon him, and he sweated blood for our offences. Comfort, 0 my God, and refresh the soul of thy servant, tossed in a storm of guilt and terror, and sinking, if thou save not, in utter despair. So shall my soul magnify the mysteries of thy goodness with a transport of joy and love, as great as my present miseries. Grant this, O God, whose mercy endureth for ever, for Christ Jesus' sake. Amen.

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