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For Afflicted Persons O Lord God, merciful and gracious, whose compassion extends to all that are in misery and need, that takest delight in the relieving the distresses of the afflicted,--give refreshment to all the comfortless, provide for the poor, give ease to all them that are tormented with sharp pains, health to the diseased, liberty and redemption to the captives, cheerfulness of spirit to all them that are in great desolations. Lord, let thy Spirit confirm all them that are strong, strengthen all that are weak, and speak peace to afflicted consciences, that, the light of thy countenance being restored to them, they may rejoice in thy salvation, and sing praises unto thy name, who hast delivered their souls from death, their eyes from tears, and their feet from falling : grant this for the honour of thy mercies, and the glory of thy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
For our Enemies.
O blessed Jesu, who wert of so infinite mercies, so transcendent a charity, that thou didst descend from heaven to the bowels of the earth, that thou mightest reconcile us who were enemies, to the mercies of thy heavenly Father ; and, in imitation of so glorious example, hast commanded us to love them that hate us, and to pray for them that are our enemies ; I beseech thee, of thine infinite goodness, that thou wouldst be pleased to keep me with thy grace in so much meekness, justice, and affable disposition, that I may, so far as concerns me, live peaceably with all men, giving no man occasion of offence: and to them who hate me without a cause, I beseech. thee give thy pardon, and fill them with charity towards thee and all the world, bless them with all blessings in order to eternity, that when they are reconciled to thee, we also may be united with the bands of faith, and love, and a common hope; and at last we may be removed to the glories of thy kingdom, which is full of love, and eternal charity, and where thou livest and reignest, ever one God, world without end. Amen.
A Prayer to be said upon Ember Days. O merciful Jesu, who hast promised perpetuity to the church, and a permanency in defiance of all the powers of darkness, and the gates of hell, and to this purpose hast constituted several orders, leaving a power to his apostles, and their successors the bishops, to beget fathers of our souls, and to appoint priests and deacons for the edification of the church, the benefit of all Christian people, and the advancement of thy service; have mercy upon thy ministers the bishops, give them for ever great measure of thy Holy Spirit, and at this time particular assistances, and a power of discerning and trying the spirits of them who come to be ordained to the ministry of thy word and sacraments; that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, but maturely, prudently, and piously, they may appoint such to thy service and the ministry of thy kingdom, who by learning, discretion, and a holy life, are apt instruments for the conversion of souls, to be examples to the people, guides of their manners, comforters of their sorrows, to sustain their weaknesses, and able to promote all the interests of true religion. Grant this, O great Shepherd and Bishop of our souls, blessed Jesus, who livest and reignest in the kingdom of thine eternal Father, one God, world without end. Amen.
XVII. A Prayer wherewith St. Austin began his Devotions; admiring the unspeakable Majesty and Attributes of God.
Conf. lib. i. cap. 4. What art thou, O my God? what art thou, I beseech thee, but the Lord my God? for who is God besides our Lord, who is God besides our God? O thou supreme, most merciful, most just, most secret, most present, most beautiful, most mighty, most incomprehensible, most constant, and yet changing all things : immutable, never new, and never old, and yet renewing all things; ever in action, and yet ever quiet; heaping up, yet needing nothing; creating, upholding, filling, protecting, nourishing, and perfecting all things.
Thou lovest, and yet thou art not transported; thou art jealous, yet thou art void of fear; thou dost repent, yet
thou art free from sorrow; thou art angry, and yet art never unquiet; thou takest what thou findest, yet didst thou never lose any thing; thou art never poor, and yet thou art glad of gain; never covetous, and yet thou exactest profit at our hands. We bestow largely upon thee, that thou mayest become our debtor; yet who hath any thing but of thy gift? Thou payest debts, when thou owest nothing; thou forgivest debts, and yet thou losest nothing. And what shall I say, O my God, my life, my, joy, my holy dear delight? or what can any man say when he speaketh of thee? And woe be to them that speak not of thee, but are silent in thy praise ! for even they who speak most of thee, may be accounted to be but dumb. Have mercy upon me, O Lord, that I may speak unto thee, and praise thy name. Amen.
A general Confession. Almighty God, I, a miserable sinner, do humbly confess, and am truly sorrowful for my many and great, my innumerable and intolerable crimes, of which my conscience does accuse me by night and by day, and by which I have provoked thy severest wrath and indignation against me. I have broken all thy righteous laws and commandments by word or deed, by vain thoughts or sinful desires. I have sinned against thee in all my relations and capacities, in all places, and at all times; I can neither reckon their number, nor bear their burden, nor suffer thy anger, which I have deserved. But thou, O Lord God, art merciful and gracious, have mercy upon me; pardon me for all the evil I have done; judge me not for all the good I have omitted; take not thy favour from me, but delight thou to sanctify and save me, and work in me to will and to do of thy good pleasure all our duty, that being sanctified by thy Spirit, and delivered from my sin, I may serve thee in a religious and holy conversation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer against Temptations. O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, thy name is great, thy essence is infinite, thy goodness is eternal, and thy power hath no limit; thou art the God and Lord of all, blessed for evermore : look down in mercy and compassion from thy dwelling, hear my prayers and supplications, and deliver me from all temptations of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Take not thy grace from me, let me never want thy help in my need, nor thy comfort in the day of my danger or calamity. Never try me beyond my strength, nor afflict me beyond my patience, nor smite me but with a father's rod. I have no strength of my own; thou art my confidence, my rock, and my strong salvation. Save me, O God, from the miseries of this world, and never let me suffer the calamities of the next. Rescue me from the evils I have done, and preserve me from the evils I have deserved; that, living before thee with a clean heart, and undefiled body, and a sanctified spirit, I may, at the day of judgment, be presented pure
and spotless by the blood of the Lamb, that I may sing eternal Hallelujahs in heavenly places to the honour of God our Saviour, who hath redeemed our souls from death, our eyes from tears, and our feet from falling. Grant this, in the richness of thy mercy, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
A Prayer of Thanksgiving for any great Deliverance.
O God, my God and Father, thou hast strangely preserved and rescued me from evil, and, for the glory of thy own name, thou hast diverted the arrow that was directed against me. What am I, O Lord, and what can I do, or what have I done, that thou shouldest do this for me? I am, O God, a miserable sinner, and I can do nothing without a mighty grace, and I have done nothing by myself but what I am ashamed of, and I have received great mercies, and miracles of providence. I see, O God, I see that thy goodness is the cause and measure of all my hopes and all my good: and upon the confidence and greatness of that good
ness, I humbly beg of thy sacred majesty to keep and defend me from all evil by thy wise providence; to lead me into all good by the conduct of thy Divine Spirit, and where I have done amiss give me pardon, and where I have been mistaken give me pity, and where I have been injured, give me thy favour and a gracious exchange: that I may serve thee here with diligence, and hereafter may rejoice with thee, and love thee as I desire to love thee, and as thou deservest to be loved, even with all the powers and degrees of passion and essence, to eternal ages, in the inheritance of Jesus, whom I love, for whom I will not refuse to die, in whom I desire to live and die : to whom with thee, O gracious Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all glory and honour, love and obedience, for ever and ever. Amen.
A Prayer to be said by a Prisoner in behalf of himself.
O Almighty God, the merciful Father of all that put their trust in thee, look down from the beauteous throne of thy glory with much mercy and compassion upon thy servant, who is a child of misery, full of sin and full of calamity; whose only hope is in the mercies and loving-kindness of the Lord. O do thou pardon all my trespasses and debts, by which I am in arrear to thee, put them upon the accounts of the cross; for our blessed and most gracious Lord hath paid our price to redeem us from the eternal prisons, and be thou pleased to enrich me with thy Holy Spirit, that I may be strong in faith, abounding in hope, established in a holy patience, and rich in charity, expecting with meekness and submission, when the times of refreshment shall come from the presence of the Lord, our blessed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus. Amen.
XXII. A Prayer to be used by those that are at Sea. O Almighty God and Father of heaven and earth, who settest bounds to the sea, and restrainest the waves thereof by a heap of sand, by mountains and rocks, by thy word and by thy spirit, saying, Hither shall thy proud waves pass and no further ;' look upon thy servant, whose life is in his hands, and I dwell in the shadows of death night and day: I know,