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servitude of Satan. Thou hast delivered us from idolatry, and hast brought us into the clear and comfortable light of Thy blessed Word. But we, unmindful of these Thy benefits, have neglected Thy commandments, have abused the knowledge of Thy Gospel, have followed our carnal liberty, have served our own lusts, and through our sinful lives have failed suitably to serve and honour Thee. And now, O Lord! we do most humbly confess that
, we have sinned, and have most grievously displeased Thee. And if Thou, Lord ! provoked with our disobedience, shouldst now deal with us as we have deserved, there remaineth nothing to be looked for, but continual plagues in this world, and hereafter eternal death and condemnation, both of body and of soul. For if we should excuse ourselves, our own consciences would accuse us before Thee, and our own disobedience and wickedness would bear witness against us. Yea, although Thou shouldst punish us more grievously still; though Thou shouldst pour upon us all those testimonies of Thy just wrath, which in time past Thou pouredst on Thy chosen people, Israel: yet could we not deny that we had justly deserved it.
But, O merciful Lord! Thou art our God, and we
are Thine inheritance; Thou art our Creator, and we the work of Thy hands; Thou art our Shepherd, we Thy flock; Thou art our Redeemer, and we the people whom Thou hast redeemed ; Thou art our Father, we are Thy children. Lord ! be not wroth against us; punish us not in Thy sore displeasure.
Remember, O Lord! that Thy Name hath been named upon us ; that we bear Thy seal, and the tokens of Thy service. Perfect the work Thou hast begun in us; that all the world may know Thou art our God and merciful Deliverer. Thou knowest that the dead who are in their graves can not praise Thee; but the sorrowful spirit, the contrite heart, the conscience broken with a sense of sin, and panting for Thy grace, shall give Thee praise and glory. Thy people Israel ofttimes offended Thee, and Thou didst justly afflict them; but as oft as they returned to Thee, Thou didst receive them in mercy; and though their sins were never so great, yet didst Thou turn away Thy wrath, and the punishment prepared for them : and that for Thy Covenant's sake, which Thou madest with Thy servants Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Thou hast made a better Covenant with us, o heavenly Father ! a Covenant on which we may lean as we appear before Thee : through the mediation of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ our Saviour, with whose most precious blood it pleased Thee that this Covenant should be written, sealed, and confirmed.
Wherefore, O heavenly Father! we now, casting away all confidence in ourselves or any other creature, do flee to this most holy Covenant and testament; wherein our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, once offering Himself a sacrifice for us on the Cross, hath reconciled us to Thee for ever. Look, therefore, O merciful God! not upon the sins that we continually commit, but upon our Mediator and Peacemaker, Jesus Christ: that by His intercession Thy wrath may be pacified, and we again by Thy fatherly countenance relieved and comforted. Receive us also into Thy heavenly defence, and govern us by Thy Holy Spirit. Frame in us newness of life, wherein to laud and magnify Thy blessed Name for ever, and to live every one of us according to the several states of life whereunto Thou hast ordained us.
And, 0 heavenly Father! although by reason of our past sins, we are unworthy to crave any thing of Thee: yet, because Thou hast commanded us to pray for all men, we most humbly beseech Thee, save and
defend Thy holy Church. Be merciful to all commonwealths, countries, princes, and magistrates ; and especially to this our land, and to its rulers and gov
Increase the number of godly ministers. Endue them with Thy grace, to be found faithful and prudent in their office. We commend also to Thy fatherly mercy all that be in poverty, exile, imprisonment, sickness, or any kind of adversity; and chiefly those whom Thy hand hath touched with any dangerous sickness : which we beseech Thee, O
0 Lord! of Thy mercy, when Thy blessed will is, to
And in the meantime grant us the grace of true repentance, steadfast faith, and constant patience: that whether we live or die, we may always continue Thine, and ever bless Thy holy Name, and be brought to the fruition of Thy Godhead. Grant these, and all our humble petitions, O merciful Father! for the sake of Thy dear Son Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
After this Prayer a Hymn shall be sung before the
After which a Closing Prayer, as on pp. 71, 83-85; followed by a Hymn, and the