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would condemn us. If we should
e are perfect, that also would prove us perverse. If thou shouldst contend with us, we could not answer thee for one of a thousand of our faults.*
Behold, O Lord, we were shapen in iniquity, and in sin were we conceived, t-and every imagination of the thoughts of our heart is only evil, and that continually.
We have sinned, O Father, against heaven and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy sons. Our childhood and youth were vanity,I and our gray hairs are laden with sin. As a fountain casteth out her waters, so do our hearts cast out wickedness ;8—and this hath been our manner from our youth up, that we have not obeyed thy voice.
We confess before thee the pride of our hearts ; for we have thought of ourselves more highly than we ought to have thought, and have not walked humbly with our God.||
We have not restrained our spirits from being
* Job ix. 3. 20. of Psalm 1. 5. * Eccles. ix. 18. § Jer. vi. 7.
|| Micah vi. 8.
angry, but wrath hath rested in our bosoms.* We have spoken unadvisedly with our lips, and have not imitated the meekness and gentleness of Christ.
Our affections have not been on things that are above, but on things of the earth. We have not sought first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, t but have lived as if a man's happiness consisted in the abundance of the things which he pos
We have made provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts thereof, even those deadly lusts which war against the soul.
When thou hast chastised us, we have murmured against thee,—and have despised the chastening of the Lord. We have grieved thy Holy Spirit.
We have been verily guilty concerning our brethren; for we have not put on charity, which is the bond of perfectness, but have been full of wrath, malice, and all unkindness.
* Prov. xiv. 7. + Matt. vi. 23. #1 Pet. ii. 11. § Prov. xix. 3.
|| Col. iii. 14.
We have forgotten the God that made us, and lightly esteemed the Rock of our salvation.
The whole head is sick, and the whole heart faint. In us dwelleth no good thing.
What shall we answer unto thee, Othou Preserver of men !
Blessed be thy name, that thou, the Lord our God, art gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, not willing that
should perish, but that all should turn unto thee and live.* And blessed be thy name, because thou hast assured us, that when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive.
Have mercy upon us, O Lord, according to thy loving-kindness ; according to the multitude of thy tender mercies, blot out our transgressions. Wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin.t
Thou desirest not sacrifice, else would we give it thee; thou delightest not in burnt-offering.--The
sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,--a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.*
Create in us clean hearts, O God, and renew right spirits within us. Cast us not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from us.t
Who can tell how oft he has offended. O cleanse thou us from secret faults. Keep back thy servants also from presumptuous sins. Let them not have dominion over us.
Let the words of our mouths and the meditations of our hearts be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.
* Psalm li. 19.
+ Psalm li. 10-12.
Psalm xix. 12, 13.
FOR STRENGTH TO PERFORM ALL DUTY.
Teach us thy way, O Lord, and lead us in a plain path.* Order our steps aright, and let no iniquity have dominion over us. Create in us a clean heart, and renew within us a right spirit. Write thy law in our hearts, and put it in our inward part, I that we may be the epistles of Jesus Christ, written by the spirit of the living God, not on tables of stone, but on fleshly tables of the heart, that the law of God being in our heart, none of our steps may slide ; but that we may delight to do thy will, O our God.
Make us wise unto that which is good, and simple concerning evil,||-holy in all manner of conversation, 1-slow to speak,—slow to wrath, **
* Psalm xxviii. 11.
+ Psalm cxix. 33. * Heb. viii. 10.
§ 2 Cor. iii. 3. || Rom. xvi. 19. 1 Peter i. 5. ** James i. 19.