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over the husband of thy youth. Howl, wretched thing, and lament, for thy sins against thy kindest and best friend, which have provoked his displeasure. Nay, but, О mighty avenger, do not let loose thine indig. nation upon me; for it is not in the nature of a mortal to sustain the power of thy wrath. Have mercy, lest I sink in utter despair; and, when my guilty reflections deject me most, let me find some refreshing glance of hope, that I be not quite swallowed up in guilt and confusion. It is true, I have lost that innocence which should preserve me, and given thee just reason to damn me: but thou hast not, canst not have lost that property, which is used to prevail for the salvation of those who have deseryed damnation.
Thou, O Lord, willest not the death of a sinner, neither hast thou any pleasure in the destruction of him that dieth; so far from that, that thou thyself hast died to the intent that they who before were dead might live. Thy death hath killed the death of sinners, and from that instant thou diedst, their life commenced. Since therefore our living depended upon thy dying, suffer me not, I beseech thee, to die, now thou art restored to life for evermore : but if thy death reconciled me, much more let thy life save me. Send down thy hand from above, and deliver me from the hand of mine enemies, let them not triumph over me, neither let them say, We have devoured him.
Who, blessed Jesus, who can ever suffer himself to distrust thy mercy and goodness, after having re. conciled us to God, and ransomed us from hell and death, with thy own dearest blood, even when we where rebels and declared enemies ? Under the shelter of this mercy I dare approach the throne of grace; and thus protected and encouraged, I run, I call, I cry for pardon, and knock importunately, incessantly, till thou open, and take pity upon me. For if thou didst of thy own mere motion call us to a pardon which we never sought, how shall we not much rather obtain a pardon upon our own request, and that request grounded upon encouragements, and commands, and promises, which thou thyself hast given us?
Look not upon me, therefore, merciful Saviour, in the capacity of a sinner, which would awaken thy justice; but consider me as thy creature, and let that soften and enlarge the bowels of thy mercy. Remember not thine anger, to which guilt hath made me obnoxious, but remember thy never-failing compassions, of which my misery renders me a fit object. Overlook my pride, which incensed thee, and observe my humility and affliction, which implores thee. And what indeed is Jesus but a Saviour ? By the importance of thy blessed name, and by all thạt goodness which so fully answered its most extensive signification, arise, I conjure thee, to help me, and say to my poor soul, I am thy salvation. I entertain very assured expectations of thy bounty, because thou hast taught me to ask, and seek, and knock: and therefore what I do, is not an act of bold and rash presumption, but of becoming trust and faithful obedience.
Thou therefore, Lord, who commandest me to ask, grant that I may receive; thou hast put me upon seeking, let me be happy in finding; thou hast bidden me knock, open when I do so; strengthen a weak, restore a lost, raise and quicken a dead wretch; and be graciously pleased to direct and govern my several faculties, senses, thoughts and
actions, in doing that which is well-pleasing in thy sight : that, for the future, I may serve thee, live to thee, and entirely devote myself to the obedience of thee. I know, O Lord, the whole of what I am is thy due, as my Creator; I am sensible that more than I am is thy due, as my Redeemer. And, had I it, I should owe thee as much more than I am, as thou, who gavest thyself to be man for my sake, art greater than the man for whom thou wert given. But this poor self is all I have to offer in return, and even this I could not offer without thee: Accept me, therefore, I beseech thee, and draw me to thyself, that I may from henceforth be thine by imitation and resemblance, by obedience and love, who am already all thy own, as thy creature, and thy purchase. Even thine, O blessed Saviour, who livest and reignest, for ever and ever. Amen.
O LORD God Almighty, three persons, and one substance, eternal and omnipresent, before all, and in all, God blessed for ever! I consecrate to thy use, and commit into thy custody, this day, and for my whole life, my body and my soul, my sight and hearing, my taste, touch, and smelling ; all my thoughts and affections; my words and actions; all without, and all within me; my sensitive and intellectual faculties, my imagination and memory; my faith and my perseverance; beseeching thee in mercy to take charge of them day and night, and guard them safe from all the dangers and temptations which beset me, and attempt to enter at these avenues every hour and moment. Hear me, O blessed, holy Trinity, and preserve me from all evil, and all scandal, and especially from all wilful sin. Protect me from the subtle treachery, and violent assaults, and perpetual hostilities of evil spirits, and shield me from the malice of all my enemies, visible and invisible; and, under thy mighty protection, conduct me safe at last to those blissful mansions, which thou hast prepared for them that love thee, inhabited by Pa. triarchs and Prophets, Apostles and Martyrs, confessors and virgins, and all the holy men and women who have walked in thy fear, and done the will of their heavenly Father faithfully from the beginning of the world.
Root out from me, I pray thee, all confident
boasting, spiritual pride, arrogance and haughtiness of spirit, and beat down my soul with true compunction for my sins, and a profound unaffected humility. Open a vent for the tears of repentance; and when thou hast softened this rock within my breast, let those streams gush out abundantly. Deliver me, O Lord, from the snare of the hunter, and give not my soul up a prey to them that seek its ruin, but keep me ever safe and steadfast in the performance of thy will. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God. Give me a right judgment and a perfect understanding of Divine truths, that I may have worthy apprehensions of thy unmeasurable goodness. Direct my prayers to thee on all occasions, and let me ask such things as thou delightest to give, and are best for me to receive. Kindle in my heart a holy zeal. Incline thy mercy effectually to blot out the remembrance of all my past offences committed against thy Divine Majesty. O Lord, hear; O Lord, hearken and do: Defer not for thy own sake, O my God. If thou rejectest my petitions, and turnest away thy face, I die; if thou showest the light of thy countenance, I am renewed to life. If thou regard my righteousness only, this, alas ! is no better than filth and pollution, and I shall be in thy account no better than a loathesome carcase. But if thou look upon me in thy mercy, this raises my dead, putrifying body from the grave of sin, and breathes into me again a life of righteousness and hope. Remove far from me whatever is odious and offensive to thy pure eyes, and plant in me a spirit of charity and cleanness, that I may lift up holy hands in prayer, and not bring such a sacrifice as is an abomination to my God. Put away from me all hurtful things, and give me such things