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Christ, in whom thou hast made a covenant of grace and mercy with all those that come unto thee in him; in his name and mediation we humbly prostrate ourselves before the throne of thy mercies seat, acknowledging that, by the breach of all thy holy laws and commandments, we are become wild olive-branches, strangers to thy covenant of grace; we have defaced in ourselves thy sacred image imprinted in us by creation; we have sinned against heaven and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy children. O admit us into the place even of hired servants. Lord, thou hast formed us in our mothers wombs, thy providence hath hitherto watched over us, and preserved us unto this period of time: O stay not the course of thy mercies and loving-kindness towards us: have mercy upon us, O Lord, for thy dear Son Christ Jesus sake, who is the way, the truth, and the life. In him, O Lord, we appeal from thy justice to thy mercy, beseeching thee in his name, and for his sake only, thou wilt be graciously pleased freely to pardon and forgive us all our sins and disobedience, whether in thought, word, or deed, committed against thy divine Majesty; and in his precious blood-shedding, death, and perfect obedience, free us from the guilt, the stain, the punishment, and dominion of all our sins, and clothe us with his perfect righteousness. There is mercy with thee, O Lord, that thou mayest be feared; yea, thy mercies swallow up the greatness of our sins speak peace to our souls and consciences; make us happy in the free remission of all our sins, and be reconciled to thy poor servants in Jesus Christ, in whom thou art well pleased: suffer not the works of thine own hands to perish; thou art not delighted in the death of sinners, but in their conversion. Turn our hearts, and we shall be turned; convert us, and we shall be converted; illuminate the eyes of our minds and understanding with the bright beams of thy Holy Spirit, that we may daily grow in the saving knowledge of the heavenly mystery of our redemption, wrought by our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; sanctify our wills and affection by the same
Spirit, the most sacred fountain of all grace and goodness; reduce them to the obedience of thy most holy will in the practice of all piety toward thee, and charity towards all men. Inflame our hearts with thy love, cast forth of them what displeaseth thee, all infidelity, hardness of heart, profaneness, hypocrisy, contempt of thy holy word and ordinances, all uncleanness, and whatsoever advanceth itself in opposition to thy holy will. And grant that henceforth, through thy grace, we may be enabled to lead a godly, holy, sober, and Christian life, in true sincerity and uprightness of heart before thee. To this end, plant thy holy fear in our hearts, grant that it may never depart from before our eyes, but continually guide our feet in the paths of thy righteousness, and in the ways of thy commandments: increase our weak faith, grant it may daily bring forth the true fruits of unfeigned repentance, that by the power of the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we may daily die unto sin, and by the power of his resurrection we may be quickened, and raised up to newness of life, may be truly born anew, and may be effectually made partakers of the first resurrection, that then the second death may never have dominion over us. Teach us, O Lord, so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom; make us ever mindful of our last end, and continually to exercise the knowledge of grace in our hearts, that in the said divorce of soul and body, we may be translated here to that kingdom of glory prepared for all those that love thee, and shall trust in thee; even then and ever, O Lord, let thy holy angels pitch their tents round about us, to guard and defend us from all the malice of Satan, and from all perils both of soul and body. Pardon all our unthankfulness, make us daily more and more thankful for all thy mercies and benefits daily poured down upon us. Let these our humble prayers ascend to the throne of grace, and be granted not only for these mercies, but for whatsoever else thy wisdom knows needful for us; and for all those that are in need, misery, and distress, whom, Lord, thou hast afflicted either in soul or
body; grant them patience and perseverance in the end, and to the end: And that, O Lord, not for any merits of ours, but only for the merits of thy Son, and our alone Saviour Christ Jesus; to whom with thee and the Holy Spirit be ascribed all glory, &c. Amen.
THE STUDENT'S PRAYER.
To God the Father, God the Word, God the Spirit, we pour forth most humble and hearty supplications; that he remembering the calamities of mankind, and the pilgrimage of this our life, in which we wear out days few and evil, would please to open to us new refreshments out of the fountains of his goodness, for the alleviating of our miseries. This also we humbly and earnestly beg, that human things may not prejudice such as are divine; neither that from the unlocking of the gates of sense, and the kindling of a greater natural light, any thing of incredulity, or intellectual night, may arise in our minds towards divine mysteries. But rather, that by our mind thoroughly cleansed and purged from fancy and vanities, and yet subject and perfectly given up to the divine oracles, there may be given unto faith the things that are faith's. Amen.
THE WRITER'S PRAYER.
THOU, O Father, who gavest the visible light as the first-born of thy creatures, and didst pour into man the intellectual light as the top and consummation of thy workmanship, be pleased to protect and govern this work, which coming from thy goodness, returneth to thy glory. Thou after thou hadst reviewed the
works which thy hands had made, beheldest that every thing was very good, and thou didst rest with complacency in them. But man, reflecting on the works which he had made, saw that all was vanity and vexation of spirit, and could by no means acquiesce in them. Wherefore, if we labour in thy works with the sweat of our brows, thou wilt make us partakers of thy vision and thy sabbath. We humbly beg that this mind may be stedfastly in us; and that thou, by our hands, and also by the hands of others, on whom thou shalt bestow the same spirit, wilt please to convey a largess of new alms to thy family of mankind. These things we commend to thy everlasting love, by our Jesus, thy Christ, God with us. Amen.
THE CHARACTERS OF A BELIEVING
IN PARADOXES AND SEEMING CONTRADICTIONS.
1. A CHRISTIAN is one that believes things his reason cannot comprehend; he hopes for things which neither he nor any man alive ever saw he labours for that which he knoweth he shall never obtain; yet in the issue, his belief appears not to be false; his hope makes him not ashamed; his labour is not in vain.
2. HE believes three to be one, and one to be three; a father not to be elder than his son; a son to be equal with his father; and one proceeding from both to be equal with both; he believing three persons in one nature, and two natures in one person.
3. HE believes a virgin to be a mother of a son; and that very son of her's to be her maker. He believes him to have been shut up in a narrow room, whom heaven and earth could not contain. He believes him to have been born in time, who was and is
from everlasting. He believes him to have been a weak child, carried in arms, who is the Almighty; and him once to have died, who only hath life and immortality in himself.
4. He believes the God of all grace to have been angry with one that hath never offended him; and that God, that hates sin, to be reconciled to himself, though sinning continually, and never making, or being able to make him satisfaction. He believes a most just God to have punished a most just person, and to have justified himself though a most ungodly sinner. He believes himself freely pardoned, and yet a sufficient satisfaction was made for him.
5. He believes himself to be precious in God's sight, and yet lothes himself in his own. He dares not justify himself even in those things wherein he can find no fault with himself, and yet believes God accepts him in those services wherein he is able to find many faults.
6. He praises God for his justice, and yet fears him for his mercy. He is so ashamed as that he dares not open his mouth before God; and yet he comes with boldness to God, and asks him any thing he needs. He is so humble as to acknowledge himself to deserve nothing but evil; and yet believes that God means him all good. He is one that fears always, yet is as bold as a lion. He is often sorrowful, yet always rejoicing; many times complaining, yet always giving of thanks. He is the most lowly-minded, yet the greatest aspirer; most contented, yet ever craving.
7. HE bears a lofty spirit in a mean condition; when he is ablest, he thinks meanest of himself. He is rich in poverty, and poor in the midst of riches. He believes all the world to be his, yet he dares take nothing without special leave from God. He covenants with God for nothing, yet looks for a great reward. He loseth his life and gains by it; and whilst he loseth it, he saveth it.
8. He lives not to himself, yet of all others he is most wise for himself. He denieth himself often, yet no man loveth himself so well as he. He is most re