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DAY OF HUMILIATION, FASTING, AND PRAYER.
“Public notice is to be given a convenient time before the day of Fasting or Thanksgiving comes, that persons may so order their temporal affairs, that they may properly attend to the duties thereof.
“ There shall be public worship upon all such days: and let the prayers, psalms, portions of Scripture to be read, and sermons, be all in a special manner adapted to the occasion.
“On Fast-days let the Minister point out the authority and providences calling to the observation thereof; and let him spend a more than usual portion of time in solemn prayer, particular confession of sin, especially of the sins of the day and place, with their aggravations, which have brought down the judgments of heaven. And let the whole day be spent in deep humiliation and mourning before God.”
HEREWITH shall I come before the Lord, and
bow myself before the high God ? Shall I come before Him with burnt-offerings, with calves of a year old ? Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil ? Shall I give my first-born for my transgression, the fruit of
my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee, O man, what is good ; and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?
O LORD, Thy mercy is without measure, and the
truth of Thy promise abideth for ever. Unworthy are we that Thou shouldst look upon us; but Thou hast promised to show Thy compassion toward the most grievous offenders, whensoever they repent; and by the mouth of Thy dear Son our Lord Jesus Christ, to give Thy Holy Spirit unto such as humbly call upon Thee. In boldness of this promise, we most fervently beseech Thee, O Father of Mercies, that it may please Thee to work in our stubborn hearts an unfeigned sorrow for our offences, a feeling of Thy grace and mercy, and an earnest desire for that righteousness in which we are bound continually to walk. But because neither we nor our prayers can stand before Thee, we fly to the obedience and perfect righteousness of Jesus Christ our only Mediator : in whom, and by whom, we ask of Thee not only the remission of our sins, and the help of Thy Spirit, but all things
also that Thy wisdom knoweth to be expedient for us, and for Thy Church Universal. AMEN.
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
To be said by the Minister and People.
UR Father which art in Heaven, Hallowed be Thy
Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil : For Thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.
Here may be sung a penitential Psalm.
Then follows the reading of Scripture, out of the Old and New Testaments.
The following are appropriate selections :
Isaiah i. 10-27.
St. Matthew lii. 1-12.
O ALMIGHTY, Most Just, and Merciful God ! wa
acknowledge ourselves unworthy to lift up our
eyes unto heaven, as we present ourselves before Thee. For our consciences accuse us, and our sins reprove us; and we know that Thou, who art a righteous Judge, must needs punish them that transgress Thy law. 0 Lord ! when we look back and examine our whole life, we find nothing in ourselves that deserveth any other reward than eternal condemnation. But since, of Thine unspeakable mercy, Thou hast commanded us in all our necessities to call upon Thee; and hast also promised that Thou wilt hear our prayers, not for any merit of our own, for we have none, but for the merits of Thy Son, whom Thou hast ordained to be our only Mediator and Intercessor : Therefore we lay aside all confidence in man, and flee to the throne of Thy mercy, by the intercession of Thy only Son our Saviour, Jesus Christ.
O Lord ! we lament and bewail our past unthankfulness towards Thee. We remember that besides those benefits of Thine which we enjoy in common with all men as Thy creatures, Thou hast bestowed upon us many special blessings, of which we are not able in heart to conceive the value, much less in words worthily to express it. Thou hast called us to the knowledge of Thy Gospel. Thou hast released us from the hard