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thankful for his mercies past, and who hopes for his future favour, will always be careful to put his family under the protection of God; and in order to it, will see that his children and servants know how to worship him; and will also cause them to join their prayers and addresses with his in the performance of that holy duty.
On the other hand, that parent or master, who despises and neglects the aforementioned duties, bids God depart from him, tells him he desires not the knowledge of his ways, and contrary to the resolution of good Joshua, declares by facts which are stronger than words, that he and his house will not serve the Lord.
It is here necessary to put every Christian in mind, that, merely to repeat a form of prayer in the church or in a family, is not to perform the duty of prayer, which is the work of the understanding and the heart.
A form is of no other use than to furnish us with proper thoughts for our devotions; and the repeating it in the hearing of others, is only in order that all who are present may join in the same thoughts. He therefore, who in any congregation, either public or private, suffers his thoughts to wander from the service, is not at prayer, but is mocking God, while nothing but his knees or lips are employed in the outward formality of praying. Would any one thus address an earthly king? If a man thinks it his duty to pray, let him consider whom he is going to pray to, and with all the love and reverence, all the warmth and affection of his heart let him kneel down in God's presence, and pour out the earnest devotions of a soul, deeply sorrowful for its sins, sincerely sensible of its dependance on God, heartily thankful for its great mercies, and full of awe and reverence for a Being so infinitely glorious and majestic.
O God, the Father of heaven, have mercy upon us thy family, and, for Christ Jesus' sake, hear the prayers we are about to offer up to thee. Amen.
O God the Son, Redeemer of the world, have mercy on us whom thou hast purchased with thy blood, and recommend these our prayers to thy Father. Amen.
O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, have mercy upon us, who can do no good work without thy assistance, and enable us to present on this occasion, a devout and reasonable service. Amen.
O holy, blessed, and glorious Trinity, three persons, and one God, pity the many infirmities of thy servants, and have mercy upon us miserable sinners. Amen.
A general confession. Most just and merciful God, we with shame confess, and with grief and fear bewail, the provoking sins, which we have committed by thought, word, and deed, against thee, against our neighbour, and ourselves. Unmindful of the covenant which we made with thee in our baptism; we have often basely revolted to thy enemies, treated with indifference and neglect the articles of our faith, and broken thy commandments. Thus self-condemned, and miserable debtors to thy justice, we fly for refuge to thy fatherly bowels, and the merits of Christ Jesus. O Father of heaven, pity those whom thou hast made. O Saviour of the world, pity those whom thou hast died for, plead for us and save us, for in thee only do we trust. Amen.
A general petition. Blessed God, ever ready to give and to relieve, stir up in our souls a voluntary and sincere repentance; quicken it with shame and love, and secure it against all future trials with fear and watchfulness, proportionable to our danger. Arm us, O Lord, against those spiritual enemies, our deceitful passions and desires, and our sinful habits from within, and against the world and the devil from without. Aid us with thy Holy Spirit, that by the powerful assistance of his grace, we may both believe and do according to our baptismal covenant and vow, that we may diligently read the Scriptures, deeply reverence thy name, devoutly keep thy sabbaths, and attend thy table. Turn away from us those judgments, which, on account of our manifold sins, we justly deserve to suffer, and teach us to bear with patience and resignation those corrections which our amendment may require. Be pleased to feed us with food convenient for us, and so to direct even our worldly concerns, that they may contribute to the salvation of our souls, and the glory of thy name, through Christ Jesus the Redeemer and Advocate of mankind. Amen.
A collect for the morning. O LORD, who hast shewn us the light of a new day, be graciously pleased to teach us the right use of it, that we may apply it to the great ends of life, thy service and the general good; and by thy Holy Spirit, so enable us to discharge every duty, to overcome every temptation, and to escape every danger, that we may redeem the time we have mispent, and endeavour, with more speed and vigour, to run the glorious and important race that is set before us, through Jesus Christ, thy Son and our Saviour. Amen.
A collect for the night. O MERCIFUL Lord, who hast created the darkness for rest, as well as formed the light for labour, grant that we may go to rest this night in peace with thee, with mankind, and with our own consciences. And that no adversary may disturb this our happy repose, nor evil come nigh this dwelling, be pleased to watch over us, and place thy guard round us this night. Let our sleep put us in mind of death, and our beds of the grave, that we may so lay ourselves down, as if we expected to rise before thy judgment-seat in another world. Grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our Saviour. Amen.
The intercession. O God, who art now the witness, and wilt hereafter be the judge of all we think or do, teach this thy family to know and obey thy laws. Amen.
Grant that all parents may bring up their children in the fear and knowledge of thee. Amen.
Grant that all children may love, honour, and obey their parents. Amen.
Grant that all rulers may consider themselves as thy ministers, accountable to thee for the exercise of their authority. Amen.
Grant that all subjects, considering whose authority their governors bear, may cheerfully obey them, not only for wrath, but conscience sake. Amen.
Grant that all masters may give unto their servants that which is just and equal, and teach them to know thee and thy holy religion. Amen.
Grant that all servants may be faithful and obedient to their masters, with good will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men. Amen.
Grant that all husbands may love and cherish their wives, and even treat them as their own flesh. Amen.
Grant that all wives inay be faithful, amiable, and obedient to their husbands. Amen.
Grant that the rich may be faithful stewards to thee, and tender-hearted providers for thy poor. Amen.
Grant to the poor honesty, industry, frugality, and contentment. Amen.
Grant that thy ministers and pastors, aided by thy Holy Spirit, may take heed unto themselves, and to thy flock, and with good examples, sound doctrines, and diligence in the ministry, feed the church of Christ, which he hath purchased with his own blood. Amen.
Grant that all the people may duly reverence thy minis
ters, and in all respects treat them as thy messengers, and as those who watch for their souls. Amen.
Grant comfort to all who are in trouble, and to those who are in sickness (particularly to him (or her) in this family, on whom thou hast laid thine hand) thy saving health. Amen.
Grant, O Lord, that charity, temperance, chastity, and justice, may reign among men; and banish from the world all pride, wrath, murder, intemperance, stealing, calumny, and covetousness; so that the troubled affairs of this life being reduced to perfect peace and order, thy all-seeing eyes may again be pleased to survey every thing thou hast made, and to pronounce them very good. Grant, O merciful God, to us and all men these blessed fruits of thy gospel, for the sake of Christ Jesus, the Saviour and Reformer of the world. Amen. Here may follow the prayer in time of preparation for the
holy sacrament, or the other, that is to be used for some time after the communion.
A prayer for the whole church of Christ. Look down, gracious God, with compassion on that church, which thou hast planted among men with the blood and labours of thy Son, and all the prophets, apostles, and martyrs. Restore truth to those who are in error, and give knowledge to the ignorant. Kindle in the lukewarm a lively zeal, and in the contentious, moderate that zeal with charity and knowledge. So heal our wide breaches, and settle our unquiet spirits, that all uniting with one heart, as well as in one faith, may join to advance the glorious cause of truth and virtue, the cause of thy honour and our salvation, through Jesus Christ, the head of the church and our Redeemer. Amen.
A prayer for our country. O most mighty God, ruler of heaven and earth, and King of kings, be graciously pleased to bless and direct his majesty king George, and grant him, and all who are put in authority under him, grace to rule with justice and prudence, and to set a shining example of piety and virtue to