Page images
PDF
EPUB

sessing Christians; of such it may be said, “ they come unto me as the people cometh, and they sit before me as my people ; for they hear my words, but they do them not -oh! how unlike the stones of the spiritual Zion, whose delight is in the law of God; who take up a chosen cross, and rejoice to sacrifice at God's command the Isaac of their own will; theirs is no compelled and formal duty, no fretful repining under a hard task-master, for there than be no constraint, where all is love; no murmur where all is pleasure.

It would be well to prove by a right examination of our own hearts, whether we belong to Christ's temple, and are willing to lose our life here, that we may find it unto life eternal. Let each examine his motive, his end, his hope ; is our motive, love; our end, the glory of him who died to save us ? our hope, that after we have suffured with him here, we shall reign with him hereafter ?- if so, then is our bitter made sweet; our cross, a crown ; our inberitance eternity,

X. Y.

*

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER. Sir-In some old editions of the Common Prayer-book, printed in the reigns of Elizabeth and James I., are to be found

Certaine Godly prayers, to be used for sundry purposes," containing several very beautiful forms of prayer for individuals and families,-many of them breathing that fervent glow of rich devotion so peculiar to the inimitable compositions of our litur. gical offices. As it may perhaps be useful to give to the public, in the pages of your valuable Magazine, a reprint of those prayers, I enclose you a copy of them, transcribed from an old black-letter prayer-book, “Imprinted at London by Robert Barker, Printer to the King's most excellent Majestie, 1615.”

It is to be regretted that those prayers were omitted in the modern editions of the Prayer-book'; their presence with the authorised formularies of the Church, was a public recognition of the duties of private and family prayer, that on many occasions might have been useful, to say nothing of the intrinsic excellence of these compositions. Perhaps some of your learned correspondents may be induced to favour us with the history of these prayers, their authors, their authority, and the causes of their having fallen into disuse; a discussion of these subjects cannot fail to be interesting to your numerous readers.

M. G. T. CERTAINE GODLY PRAYERS, TO BE USED FOR SUNDRY PURPOSES.

1 A general confession of sins, to be said every morning. 0, Almighty God, our heavenly Father, I confesse and acknowledge that I am a miserable and wretched sinner, and have manifolde waies most grievously truns

We bare only space in the present Number for a part of the prayers sent us by our correspondent. We hope to insert the remainder in our next. -ED.

gressed thy most godly commandments through wicked tboughts, ungodly lusts, sinfull wordes and deedes, committed all my whole life. In sinne am I borne and conceived, and there is no goodnesse in me, inasmuch as if tbou shouldest enler into the narrow judgment with me, judging me according unto the same, I were never able to suffer or abide it, but must needs perish and be damned for ever. So little helpe, comfort, or succour is there in me or in any other creature ; only this is my confort, O heavenly Father, that thou diddest not spare thy onely deare beloved Sonne, but diddest give bim up unto the most bitter and most vile, and slanderous death of the crosse for mee, that be might so pay the ransome for my sinnes, satisfie thy judgement, still and pacifie thy wrath, reconcile me againe unto thee, and purebase me thy grace and favour, and everlasting life. Wherefore, through the merit of his most bitter death and passion, and througb his innocent bloodsbedding, I beseech thee, () heavenly Father, that thou wilt vouchsafe to be gracious and mercifull unto me, to forgive and pardon all my sinnes, to lighten my heart with thy Spirit, to renew, confirm, and strengthen me with a right and perfect faith, and to inflame me in love toward thee and my neighbour, that I may henceforth, with a willing and glad heart, walk as it becometh mee, in thy most godly commandments, and so glorifie and praise thee everlastingly. And also that I may with a free conscience and quiet heart, in all manner of temptations, afflictions, or necessities, and even in the very pangs of death, cry boldly and merrily unto thee, and say, I believe in God, the Father Almighty, maker of heaven and earth, and in Jesus Christ, &c. But O Lord, heavenly Father, to comfort myself in affliction and temptation with these articles of the Christian faith, it is not in my power, for faith is thy gist; and forasmuch as thou wilt be praied unto and called upon for it, I come unto thee to pray and beseech thee bothe for that and all other my necessities, even as thy dearly beloved Sonne our Saviour Jesus Christ himselfe batb taught us. And from the very bottom of my heart I cry, and say, Our Father, gc,

T A Prayer to be said in the Morning. O mercifull Lord God, heavenly Father, I render most bigh lauds, praise, and thanks unto thee, that thou hast preserved me, both this night and all the times and dayes of my life hitherto under thy protection, and bast suffered me to live untill this present howre, and I beseech thee beartily that thou wilt vouchsafe to receive me this day, and the residue of my whole life from benceforth into tby tuition, ruling and governing me with iby Holy Spirit, that all manner of darknesse, of misbeliefe, infidelity, and of carnal lusts and affections, may be utterly chased and driven out of my heart, and that I may be justified and saved, both body and soule, through a right and perfect faith, and so walk in the light of thy most godly truth, to thy glory and praise, and to the profit and furtherance of my neighbour, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. Amen.

All possible thanks that we are able, we render unto thee, O Lord Jesus Cbrist for that thou hast willed this past night to be prosperous unto us : and we beseech thee likewise to prosper all this same day unto us, for thy glory, and for the health of our soul, and that thou, which art the true light, not knowing any going down, and which art the sun eternale, giving life, food, and gladnesse unto all things, voucbsafe to shine into our minds, that we may not any where stumble or fall into any sinne, but may, through thy good guiding and conducting, come to the life everlasting. Amen.

O Lord Jesus Christ, who art the true sun of the world, evermore rising and never going downe, which by thy most wholesome appearing and light dost bring fortb, preserve, nourish, and refresh all things as well that are in heaven as also thai are on earth, we beseech thee mercifully and favourably to shine into our hearts, that the night and darknes of sinnes and the mists of errors, on every sider driven away, those brigbtly sbining within our hearts, we may all our lise-space go without stumbling or offence, and may decently and seemly walk as in the day time, being pure and clean from the works of darkness, and abounding in all good workes wbich God has prepared for us to walke in, which, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, livest and reignest for ever and ever. Amen.

O God, and Lord Jesus Christ, thou knowest, yea, and hast also taugbt us bow great the infirmity and weakness of man is, and how certaine a thing it is that we can do nothing without thy godly help: if man trust in himselle it cannot be avoided but that he must run headlong and fall into a thousand undoings and mischiefs, O our Father, have thou pity and compassion upon the weakness of us thy children, be thou prest and ready to help us, alwaies shewing thy mercy upon us, and prospering whatsoever we godly goe about, so that thou giving us light, we may see what things are truly good indeed, thou encouraging us we may have an earnest desire to the same, and thou being our guide, we may come where to obtaine them; for we, having nothing but mistrust in ourselves, doe yield and commit ourselves full and whole unto thee alone, wbich workest all things, in all creatures, to thy honour and glory. --So be it.

T A Prayer to be said at night going to bed. O merciful Lord God, heavenly Father, whether we sleepe or wake, live or die, we are always thine; wherefore I beseech thee beartily that thou wilt vouchsafe to take care and charge of me, and not to suffer me to perish in the works of darknesse, but to kindle the light of thy countenance in my heart, that thy godly kuowledge may dayly increase in me, through a right and pure faith, and that I may alwayes be found to walke and live after tby will and pleasure, through Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen.

| A Prayer containing the duty of every true Christian. O most mighty God, mercifull and loving Father, I, wretched sinner, cone unto thee in the name of thy dearly beloved Sonne, Jesus Christ, my only Saviour and Redeemer, and most humbly beseech thee, for his sake, to be mercifull unto me, and to cast all my sinnes out of thy sight and remembrance, through the merits of his bloody death and passion. Powre upon me, O Lord, the holy Spirit of wisdome and grace ; governe and lead me by thy holy work, that it may be a lanterne unto my feet and a light unto my steps. Shew thy mercy upon me, and so lighten the natural blindness and darknesse of my heart through thy grace, that I

may dayly be renewed by the same Spirit and grace, by the wbich, O Lord, purge the grossnesse of my bearing and understanding, that I may profitably reade, heare, and understand thy word and heavenly will, believe and practise the same in my life and conversation, and evermore hold fast that blessed hope of everlasting lise. Mortifie and kill all vice in me, that my life may expresse my faith in thee; mercifully heare the humble suit of thy servant, and grant me thy peace all my dayes: graciously pardon mine infirmities, and defend me in all dangers of body, goods, and name: but most chiefly my soule against all assaults, temptations, accusations, subtile haits, and sleights of that old enemy of mankind Satan, that roaring lyon, ever seeking whom he may devour. And here, O Lord, I, prostrate with most bumble mind, crave of thy Divine Majestie to be mercifull unto the universali Church of thy Sonne Cbrist. And especially according to my bounden duety, beseech thee for bis sake to blesse, save, and defend the principal member thereof, thy seryante, our most deare sovereign Lord king James : increase in bis royale beart true faitb, godly zeale, and love of the same, and grant him victory over all his enemies, a lung, prosperous, and honourable life upon earth, a blessed end, and life everlasting

Moreover, O Lord, grant unto bis Majestie's most honourable counsellors, and every other member of this thy Church of England, that they and we, in our several callings, may truely and godly serve thee. Plant in our hearts true feare and honour of thy name, obedience to our prince, and love to our neighbours, increase in us true fuith and religion, replenish our minds with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keepe us in the same to the end of our lives. Give unto us a godly zeale in prayer, and humility in prosperity, persect patience in adversity, and continuall joy in the Holy Ghost.

And lastly-I commend unto thy fatherly protection all that thou hast given me as wife, children, and servants; nyd me, O Lord, that I may governe, nourish, and bring them up in thy feare and service. And forasmuch as in this world I must always be at warre and strife, not with one sort of enemies but with an infinite number—not only with flesh and blood, but with the devil, wbich is the prince of darknesse, and with wicked men, executers of his most damnable will; grant me, therefore, thy grace, that being armed with thy defence, I may stand in this battell with an invincible constancy against all corruption, which I am compassed with on every side, untill such time that 1, having ended the combat which during this life I must sustaine, in the end I may attaine to my heavenly rest which is prepared for me and all thy elect, through Christ our Lord and onely Saviour,

MISCELLANEOUS COMMUNICATIONS,

CHRONICLES OF A CURACY.

TO THE EDITOR OF THE CHRISTIAN EXAMINER.

VALUED SIR--As I am not in travelling humour this month, and feel rather indisposed to proceed just now in my tour through Antrim, perhaps, in order to fill up the gap in your pages which my caprice has occasioned, you may give insertion to the following little story. How it came into my hands it is not necessary to tell. You perceive that it forms part of a correspondence between a country and a city Clergyman; and if your readers approve of the following specimen, 1 am authorised to say there are more to be had of the Chronicles of a Curacy. C. O,

My Dear Friend,—It is a privilege as well as a pleasure to sit down to work with a little pen, and hold communion with a mind of the same intensity and purpose. When last we parted after the solemn service of our ordination-you to undertake the arduous duties of a town curacy, I to diffuse myself over mountain and plain, in the wide-spread ministration of a country parish-you must remember that we promised to communicate with each other; nay, more, we almost bound ourselves to note and to reciprocate what occurred in our respective avocations that had any tendency to interest or edify. This promise I have not lost sight of; in the faithfulness that becomes my office, I have endeavoured to fulfil my part. And you, my Christian brother, bave not, I trust, forgot to observe what was so well calculated to keep alive affection, and subserve to our mutual improvement.

I think the experience (and I hope you don't despise the term) of either a town or country clergyman, may be often worth rescuing from oblivion; and surely he must be singularly unobservant and 'to dull forgetfulness a prey,' who has gone his round of duties without meeting some occurrences well worthy of record. It is, perbaps, true that I may make out a better “prima facie” case ihan you; mine may be a more manageable study-my descriptions may range themselves more classically under the canons of romance. My accompaniments may suit better the picturesque : all can appreciate my sketches, when I bring forth my mountain, and my lake, and waterfall-my white-washed cottage on the sunny side of the upland lake-my ruined castle guarding the cliff of the great ocean.

I

may draw wbat is grand with Salvator, or what is serene and lovely with Claude. While you, amidst your murky lanes and filthy alleys, amidst a density of population, and its concomitant concentration of sin and crime ; unless you can be accurate without being painful, like Crabbe, you can scarcely expect to make your experience agreeably describable; and yet, if I have read aright your capabilities, you have powers to call forth, strong and touching pictures of what may have occurred to you in your city duties. You that have such a firm nerve in the detection of imposture ; you that have such an exquisite sense of what is true or false in religious profession, and can separate and set apart suffering virtue, while you have fearlessly detected twining and intersected hypocrisy. Perhaps your experience is more valuable, and your groupings in the garret will prove more interesting than mine in the village or the hut.

But I confess my soul would sink in despair under such a task as I suppose yours to be, and therefore I gratefully praise the Sovereign Disposer of my lot, that he has set me down in a country parish; and thus, as I consider it, “the lines are fallen to me in pleasant places.” Here, then, take the fulfilment of my promise. You are aware that the sphere of my duty is fixed in the North-west, you know that my nearest town is S- ; but it is my desire now to place nearer within the range

of
your

mind's eye my locality, and I can assure you that nothing that can be called sublime or beautiful in nature, is wanting in the district of which I have the spiritual oversight. In one part of my parish I have presented before me the smooth and silky strand of a deep and sheltered bay of the Western Ocean; and retiring from that shore, there extends a cultivated and fertile valley, covered with thriving farms, intersected with hedge-rowed inclosures, fields, arable or pasture, dotted with farm-houses or villages ; and here and there a gentleman's seat, with woods and lawns, and other rural decorations. Then in another quarter, I have a mass of mountains grouped together, some of their boldest crests hanging precipitously over the awful Atlantic. Oh, how I feel privileged when I can wander at large over these Alpine solitudes : now climbing towards a cairn on their topmost and dreary ridges-where the

« EelmineJätka »