Imatges de pàgina
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A prayer for a rich man, or one who is prosperous in

his worldly affairs. O BOUNTIFUL Lord, I thank and praise thee for the prosperity, with which thou art pleased to bless me. Cause me to know that the plenty which I am surrounded with, is not the effect of my prudence or care, but of thy fatherly goodness to me, and ought therefore to be received with a sincere sense of gratitude. As it is thy free gift, and not

. the reward of any desert in me, suffer me not to be lifted up; but preserve me still meek and humble in the midst of all my worldly abundance. Let not my riches become a snare to my soul, lest by pride or avarice, or intemperance, I should be rendered incapable of entering by the strait gate into eternal life. I know, blessed Lord, that I am but the steward of this wealth, improperly called mine. O cause me thankfully to consider how highly thou hast honoured me by so great a trust, and to have always before my eyes the important duty I am charged with, that in the great day of accounts thy church, my country, my family, and the poor may witness for me that I was no unfaithful steward. If thou send not thy grace along with these gifts, they will, contrary to thy fatherly intention, turn to so many curses and judgments on me. Have mercy upon me therefore, O my heavenly Master, and suffer me not either to wrap up in a napkin these talents, committed to my charge, nor to trade on them for thy enemy, and my own.

Grant this, gracious Lord, for Christ Jesus' sake. Amen. A prayer for a poor man, or one who by losses is declining in

his circumstances. Thou hast given, and thou hast taken away, blessed be thy name, O my God. Suffer me not to repine at thy disposing of thy own, as seemeth best to thy unerring wisdom. What I had, thou gavest me, and I am sensible it is by my folly, or for my sins, that I am now deprived of it. Nay, when I consider, how ill I am qualified to be thy steward, and how inclinable to make a bad use of riches, I cannot but acknowledge thy justice, and admire thy mercy in confining me to narrow circumstances.

I have even now more, than I shall be able to give a good account of to thee; and

greater wealth would be but a snare and burden to me. Yet I confess, O my God, that my foolish heart still hankers after the world, although I have renounced it, with all its pomps and vanities, in my baptism. Break this cord, O my God, that ties me down to vain and vexatious things here below, that my affections may rise, and fix themselves on thee, and the better things above. Make me every way moderate in my desires and expenses, and so bless my honest labours, that I may have wherewithal to supply the necessities of myself, and those who depend on me. Let it not displease thee, that I pray to thee for daily bread; and if for the amendment of thy poor servant, thou shalt deny me this, O teach me patience and resignation, and the grace to say with sincerity, Thy will be done. O sanctify my distresses to me, that I may share the portion of Lazarus hereafter, as well as here, for Christ Jesus' sake. Amen.

For a blessing on the means, made use of for the recovery

of health. O blessed Lord, who hath provided medicines for the cure of our disorders, as well as food for our ordinary sustenance; we know, nevertheless, that it is neither by natural nor human means alone that man liveth, but by thy word. We do therefore, humbly trusting in thy fatherly providence, most earnestly beseech thee to direct all those, who attend this thy afflicted servant, to such means and medicines as may contribute effectually to the recovery of his health. Grant this, O most compassionate God, if it be thy blessed will, for the sake of Christ Jesus our Saviour. Amen.

When there appears some hope of recovery. BLESSED be thy mercy, 0 thou preserver of men, who hast already somewhat lightened the disorder of this thy servant, and blessed be thy holy name for the comfortable hope of his recovery, which thou hast afforded to him and us all. O perfect this thy compassion, if it please thy infinite goodness, in the re-establishment of his former soundness, both of mind and body. So sanctify to him, as well thy deliverance, as correction, that he may fear to offend hereafter, lest a worse thing come unto him. Cause him gratefully to dedicate his life to thy service, if thou shalt be pleased a second time to bestow it on him. Grant this, o Father of mercies, we beseech thee, for the sake of Christ Jesus, thy Son, and our Saviour. Amen.

For a person whose sickness is tedious. Blessed Lord, who knowest that we are but dust, pity, we beseech thee, this thy servant, who hath long groaned under the weight of thy chastising hand. Teach him patience and resignation to thy will by serious reflections on thy long-suffering goodness to him during his provoking perseverance in sin, and by a sincere acknowledgment, that this his affliction, though tedious and grievous, is but a small part of that punishment, which is justly due to his offences. But, that the united load, both of his vileness and thy displeasure, may not overwhelm and force him from the anchor of his salvation, O cause him to remember, in every moment of his trial, that thou art full of compassion, that thou afflictest only to save, and that, as once for thy well-beloved Son, so now for him, thou art preparing a way through tribulation to glory, infinite and endless, in thy presence, where there is fulness of joy for the true penitent, for the patient sufferer, and for the son who bears, as he ought to do, the rebukes of his heavenly Father. Comfort him, O Lord, in this his decay of strength and resolution. Cause the light of thy countenance to shine upon him through this long night of pain and fear. Sweeten, O gracious Jesus, sweeten, we beseech thee, by the consolations of thy Holy Spirit, to thy poor disciple, this cup, so exceedingly bitter, and so like thy own. Remember, O most compassionate Redeemer, him whom thou hast purchased with thine inestimable blood, and let nothing be wanting that thou seest necessary to the broken heart and wounded spirit of a ser· vant, casting up his mournful eyes to thee, his only hope. Amen.

A prayer for one who hath been a grievous sinner. O God of all mercy, this thy poor transgressing creature acknowledges himself to be a worm, a monster, and no man, and to have deserved nothing at thy hand, but to be abandoned henceforth to a reprobate mind, and to everlasting shame and misery, for the innumerable, the horrible crimes

of a life, spent almost wholly in the service of thy enemy; for his having obstinately sinned against the continual admonitions of thy Spirit, the sharpness of thy corrections, the dread of thy judgments, the sweetness of thy indulgences, the clear convictions and the loud clamours of his own conscience. In this deplorable condition, loaded with guilt, and hardened in sin, he flies to thee, against whom he hath committed all his offences, not only for mercy, but even for succour against himself. O Lord, remember of what he is made; remember the violence and subtlety of those temptations, wherewith he hath been assaulted; remember his great inability to resist them; remember thy long-suffering patience, already shewn to him, rather than his gross abuse of that patience; in thy infinite mercy remember rather his weakness, than the heinousness of his crimes. O Son of God, the Redeemer of sinners, give not up his cause, for whom thou hast died; but powerfully plead for him, that he may obtain assistance and mercy. O blessed Comforter, effectually succour him, whom thou hast so often succoured, lest all thy past assistances, and his poor soul, should perish together. O Father of mercies, whose mercy is over all thy works; O unbounded goodness and patience, for thy tender mercy's sake; for Christ Jesus' sake, have mercy even yet on this offspring of earth and ashes, this work of thy own gracious hands, this soul, for which thy Son hath died. Have mercy on him, O Lord, and create him anew.

Give him that deep and sincere repentance for all his past offences, which thy covenant of peace requires. This fortify with every grace necessary to firmness in so weak a mind. But lest his soul should sink into despair through a just sense of crimes, so nearly approaching to unpardonable, O bear him up with a lively faith in thy mercy, through the all-sufficient merits of Christ Jesus, his advocate and Saviour. Amen.

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A form of thanksgiving which may be used by him who hath

been restored to health after a grievous and dangerous disorder. O most gracious God, for thy corrections, which have roused me, I bless thee; for thy deliverances, which have

, eased my troubled heart, I bless thee. That thou still regardest me as thy child, I yet feel by thy late afflictions,

and comfortably hope, as I did not in the least despise thy chastisements, nor wholly faint when I was rebuked of thee, that I am thy child, though very unworthy. If I am not an outcast from thy providence, it is entirely owing to thy long-suffering patience, and the grace of thy Holy Spirit. And now, most compassionate Lord, trembling, lest I should again abuse thy goodness, in a sense of my own weakness almost equal to my dread of death under thy rod, I most earnestly beseech thee, never to leave me for a moment hereafter to my weak and unguarded self, nor to this seducing world. Alict me again, O my Father, rather than suffer me to go astray from thee any more, O thou preserver of souls. Hold thy hand continually over me. Keep me ever mindful of thy terrors, and thy mercies, that I may fear to offend thee, and from the depths of my heart gratefully love thee. When I compare thy mercies with my sins, I am overwhelmed with wonder at thy goodness and my own ingratitude. O now, gracious God, give the victory to love, and cause it to mortify in me all that is unworthy of such unbounded mercy. O cleanse thou my heart, my God, and fill it with the love of thee. Crown all thy other mercies with this, for, without it, thou knowest, they will turn to judgments on my guilty head. Accept, О fountain of pity, the loud thanksgivings of my heart, as thou didst the cries of my late distress. Accept my vows, wherewith I now solemnly bind my soul to its utmost endeavours after a life more acceptable in thy sight. Plead for me, O blessed Jesus, that I may obtain strength. Succour me, 0 Comforter

O of souls, that I may not relapse into sin. O Father of mercies, shew thyself still a Father to me, for the sake of Christ Jesus, thy Son and my Saviour. Amen.

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Scriptural ejaculations, is to be used by persons in sickness, or

other afflictions, wherein the troubled soul represents its frail

ties and miseries, and implores the divine pity and assistance. I ACKNOWLEDGE my faults, and

my

sin is ever before me. Against thee only, O Lord, have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight.

Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin hath my mother conceived me.

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