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blished thy creation with a law for ever, that all should minister to thy praises in their several proportions ; so give us grace that the laws of sanctity, of faith and obedience, which thou hast given to us, may never be broken ; that we, serving thee not only in the order of thy creatures, but in the capacity of thy children, may sing thy praises amongst the angels and the numerous host of saints reigning in thy kingdom for ever and ever. Amen.
PSALM CXLIX. A Meditation on the Joys of Heaven prepared for the Saints.
O Lord our King, in whose honour and salvation all thy saints rejoice, give unto thy holy Gospel a free passage in all the world, that kings and nobles may be bound with the chains of obedience, discipline, and subordination to all thy holy laws: and grant to us thy servants, that thy laws may be so fixed in our hearts, and thy praises in our mouths, and righteousness in all our actions, that we may be written among the righteous, and have our portion with the saints, who rejoice in their beds of eternal rest, and are joyful in the glories of thy kingdom; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
PSALM CL. An Invitation to praise God with all our Faculties and Powers.
O eternal God, thy holiness and power and excellent greatness are far above all the praises of men and angels, and yet thou art pleased in the harmony and consent of a thankful heart and a thanksgiving tongue : touch our hearts with admirable apprehensions of thy divine perfections, that our songs of thy honour may be devout and illuminate to the height of ecstasies, and the devotions of a seraphim; for nothing is proportionable to thy glories, but what is infinitely beyond our infirmities. Make us to sing thee and thy name while we have breath ; and when we are breathless, let our hearts fill up the harmony, and think thy praises so cordially, till our souls being separated from the harsh sound of our bodily organs, we may praise thee, when we are all spirit in the state of separation, and in the re-union when our bodies shall be made spiritual, singing to thee exalted praises for ever and ever. To thee, O blessed and glorious God, be praises and honour and glory ascribed, now and to all eternity. Amen, Amen.
THE HELP AND ASSISTANCE
ALL OCCASIONS AND NECESSITIES.
A Prayer against wandering Thoughts, to be said at the
Beginning of our Devotions. Almighty God, who hast commanded us to pray unto thee without ceasing, and hast added many glorious promises for our encouragement, let thy Holy Spirit teach me how to pray: give me just apprehensions of my want, zeal of thy glory, great resentment of thy mercies, love of all spiritual employments that are pleasing unto thee; and do thou help mine infirmities, that the devil may not abuse my fancy with illusions, nor distract my mind with cares, nor alienate my thoughts with impertinencies; but give me a present mind, great devotion, a heart fixed upon thy divine beauties, and an actual intention and perseverance in my prayers, that I may glorify thy name, do unto thee true and laudable service, and obtain relief for all my necessities. Hear me, O King of heaven, when I call upon thee ; for thou hast promised mercy to them, that pray in the name of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
Penitential Prayers, and a Form of Confession of Sins to God,
to be said upon Days of public or private Humiliation. O LORD God of mercy and pardon, give me a just remembrance and sad apprehensions of my sins ; teach me to bewail them with as great indignation and bitterness, as I have committed them with complacency and delight. Let my prayers and my confession come into thy presence, and obtain a mercy for me and a pardon. Let not thy justice and severity so remember my sins, as to forget thine own mercy and though I have committed that for which I deserve to be condemned, yet thou canst not lose that glorious attribute, whence flows comfort to us and hopes of being saved. Spare me, therefore, O merciful God; for, to give pardon to a sinner that confesseth his sins, and begs remission, is not impossible to thy power, nor disproportionate to thy justice, nor unusual to thy mercy and sweetest clemency. Blessed Jesu, acknowledge in me whatsoever is thine; and cleanse me from whatsoever is amiss. Have pity on me now in the time of mercy, and condemn me not when thou comest to judgment: for what profit is there in my blood ? Thou delightest not in the death of a sinner, but in his conversion there is joy in heaven; and when thou hast delivered me from my sins, and saved my soul, I shall praise and magnify thy name to all eternity. Mercy, sweet Jesu, mercy. Lord, have
mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
I am not worthy, O Lord, to look up to heaven, which is the throne of thy purity; for my sins are more in number than the hairs upon my head, and my heart hath failed me.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have not lived according to thy will, but in the vanity of mine own thoughts, in idle, sinful, and impertinent language, in foolish actions, in blindness of heart, in contempt of thy holy word and commandments; I have not loved thee, my God, with all my heart, nor feared thee with all my soul, nor served thee with all my might, according to thy holy precept, nor loved my neighbour as myself.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner,
I have been unthankful to thy Divine Majesty, forgetting that thou madest me and preservest me; to thy Son my blessed Saviour, forgetting the bitter pains he suffered for me; and to the Holy Ghost, forgetting how many gracious influences I have received from him for my help, comfort, and promotion in the ways of holy religion: but have rebelled against thee my Maker, have sold myself to work wickedness, from whence, by the passion of thy holy Son, I was redeemed, and have resisted the Holy Ghost.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have offended thee, my God, in an inordinate estimation of myself, in vain complacencies and desires to be esteemed as much or more than others; in not suffering with meekness, indifference, and obedience, the humiliations sent to me by thy Divine providence; in haughty deportment toward my superiors, equals, and inferiors; and in'accepting such honours as have been done to me, without returning them to thee the fountain.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have offended thee, my God, in impatience, in anger, intemperate in degree, inordinate in the object, growing peevish and disquieted by trifling inadvertencies of others, and slight accidents about me.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have offended thee, my God, by being envious at the prosperous successes and advantages of my neighbours, and have had resentments of joy at their displeasures and sadnesses.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have been negligent in performance of my charge, idle in doing my duties, soft and effeminate in my life, indevout in my prayers, slothful in the exercises of religion, weary of their length, displeased at their return, without advertency in the execution of them, and glad at an occasion of their pretermission.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have been diligent and curious in pleasing my appetite of meat and drink, and pleasures, losing my time, pampering my flesh, quenching the Spirit, making matter both for sin and sicknesses, and have not been sedulous in mortifying my body for the subduing mine own intemperances and inordination.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.
thou hast given me; I have loved them inordinately, sought them greedily and unjustly, dispensed them idly, and parted with them unwillingly: I have not been so charitable to the poor, or so pitiful to the afflicted, or so compassionate to the sick, or so apt to succour and give supply to the miseries of my neighbours, as I ought, but have too much minded things below; not setting mine affections upon heaven and heavenly things, but have been unlike thee in all things : I have been unmerciful and unjust.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. Mine eyes, O Lord, have wandered after vanity, beholding and looking after things unseemly without displeasure, despising my neighbours, prying into their faults; but have been blind, not seeing mine own sins and infinite irregularities.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have not with care kept the door of my lips, nor bridled my tongue, but have been excessive in talking, immoderate in dissolute and wanton laughter, apt to lie, to deny truth, to accuse others, to scoff at them, to aggravate their faults, to lessen their worth, to give rash judgment, to flatter for advantage, to speak of thy name irreverently and without religious or grave occasions; our discourses have been allayed with slander and backbiting, not apt to edify, or minister grace unto the hearers.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. Mine ears have been greedy after vanity, listening after things unprofitable, or that might tend to the prejudice of my neighbours, and have not, with holy appetite, listened after thy holy words and conveyances of salvation.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have offended thee by the entertainment of evil thoughts, thoughts of uncleanness and impurity, and have not resisted their first beginnings, but have given consent to them explicitly and implicitly, and have brought them up till they have grown into idle words and actions.
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner. I have made myself guilty of the sins of others, by consent, by approving, by not reproving, by co-operating, by encouraging their ill actions, so making mine own heap greater, by pulling their deformities upon mine own head,
Lord, be merciful to me a sinner.