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· If thou shouldst lay righteousness to the line, and judgment to the plummeta, thou mightest justly separate us unto all evil, according to all the curses of the covenant, and blot out our names from under heaven b.
Thou mightest justly swear in thy wrath that we should never enter into thy restc; mightest justly set us naked and bare, and take away our corn in the season thereof d, and put into our hands the cup of trembling, and make us drink even the dregs of that cupe.
Thou art just in whatever thou art pleased to lay upon us; for thou hast done right, but we have done wickedly g. Nay, that our God has punished us less than our iniquities have deserved h.
Thou therefore shalt be justified when thou speakest, and clear when thou judgest i; and we will accept of the punishment of our iniquity k, and humble ourselves under thy mighty handl, and say that the Lord is righteous m.
Wherefore should a living man complain, a man for the punishment of his sins n? No; we will bear the indignation of the Lord, because we have sinned against himo.
(10.) We must give to God the glory of his patience and long-suffering towards us, and his willingness to be reconciled.
O the riches of the patience and forbearance of God p! how long suffering is he to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance q.
Thou hast not dealt with us according to our sins, nor
a Isa. xxviii. 17. d Hos. ii. 3, 9, h Ezra ix, 13. 11 Pet, v. 6. o Micah yii. 9,
6 Deut. xxix. 21. c Psal. xcv. 11. e Isa. li. 17
og Neh, ix. 33. ¿ Psal. li. 4.
k Lev. xxvi. 43. m 2 Chron. xii. 6. n Lam, iii. 39. p Rom. ï. 4. 92 Pet ü. 9.
rewarded us after our iniquities a, but thou waitest to be gracious to us b.
Sentence against our evil works has not been executed speedily C, but thou hast given us space to repent, and make our peace with thee d; and callest even backsliding children to return to thee, and hast promised to heal their backslidings; and therefore behold we come unto thee, for thou art the Lord our God e.
Surely the long-suffering of our Lord is salvation g; and if the Lord had been pleased to kill us, he would not at this time have showed us such things as these h.
And O that this goodness of God might lead us to repentance i! for though we have trespassed against our God, yet now there is hope in Israel concerning this thing k.
Thou hast said it, and hast confirmed it with an oath, that thou hast no pleasure in the death of sinners, but rather that we should turn and livel: therefore will we rend our hearts, and not our garments, and turn to the Lord our God; for he is gtacious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness. Who knows if he will return and repent, and leave a blessing behind him m?
(11.) We must humbly profess our sorrow and shame for sin, and humbly engage ourselves in the strength of divine grace, that we will be better, and do better for the future.
Lord, we repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at handn; to which thou hast exalted thy Son Christ Jesus, to give repentance and remission of sin o.
We have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now our eyes see theep; wherefore we abhor ourselves,
a Psal. ciï. 10. b Isa. xxx. 18. c Eccl. viii. 11.
and repent in dust and ashes; therefore will we be like the doves of the valleys, every one mourning for his iniquities a.
O that our heads were waters, and our eyes fountains of tears, that we might weep day and night for our transgressions b, and might in such a manner sow in those tears as that at last we may reap in joy; may now go forth weeping, bearing precious seed, and may in due time come again with rejoicing, bringing in our sheaves with us c.
Our iniquities are gone over our heads as a heavy burden, they are too heavy for us d; but weary and heavy laden under this burden we come to Christ, who has promised that in him we shall find rest to our souls e.
O that knowing every man the plague of his own heart g, we may look unto him whom we have pierced and may mourn, and be in bitterness for him, as one that is in bitterness for a first bornh. That we may sorrow after a godly sort, with that sorrow which worketh repentance unto salvation, not to be repented ofi; and that we may remember, and be confounded, and never open our mouth any more, because of our shame when thou art pacified towards us k.
And O that we may bring forth fruits meet for repentancel! and may never return again to folly m; for what have we to do any more with idols n? sin shall not have dominion over us, for we are not under the law, but under grace 0.
We have gone astray like lost sheep; seek thy servants, for we do not forget thy commandments p..
a Ezek. vii. 16.
b Jer. ix. 1.
c Psal. cxxvi. 5, 6.
Of the third part of Prayer, which is Petition and Supplication
for the good things which we stand in need of.
HAVING opened the wounds of sin, both the guilt or it, and the power of it, and its remainders in us, we must next seek unto God for the remedy, for healing and help; for from him alone it is to be expected, and he will for this be inquired of by us a. And now we must affect our hearts with a deep sense of the need we have of those mercies which we pray for, that we are undone, for ever undone without them; and with a high esteem and value for them, that we are happy, we are made for ever, if we obtain them; that we may like Jacob, wrestle with him in prayer, as for our lives and the lives of our souls. But we must not think in our prayers to prescribe to him, or by our importunity to move him. He knows us better than we know ourselves, and knows what he will do b. But thus we open our wants and our desires, and then refer ourselves to his wisdom and goodness; and hereby we give honour to him as our protector and benefactor, and take the way which he himself hath appointed, of fetching in mercy from him, and by faith plead his promise with him, and if we are sincere herein, we are through his grace, qualified according to the tenor of the new covenant, to receive his favours, and are to be assured that we do, and shall receive them c.
And now, Lord, what wait we for d? Truly our hope is even in thee; deliver us from all our transgressions, that we may no more be the 'reproach of the foolish.
Lord, all our desire is before thee, and our groaning a Ezek. xxxvi. 37. b John vi. 6. cMark xi. 24. . d Psal. xxxix. 7, 8.
is not hid from thee a; even the groanings which cannot be uttered: for he that searcheth the heart, knows what is the mind of the Spirit b.
We do not think that we shall be heard for our much speaking; for our Father knows what things we have need of before we ask him c; but our master hath told us, that whatsoever we ask the Father in his name, he will give it us d. And he hath said, Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.
And this is the confidence that we have in him, that if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us; and if we know that he hears us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions we desired of him e.'
1. We must earnestly pray for the pardon and forgiveness of all our sins.
Lord, we come to thee, as the poor publican that stood afar off, and would not so much as lift up his eyes to heaven, but smote on his breast: and we pray his prayer, God, be merciful to us sinners g. The God of infinite mercy, be merciful to us.
O wash us thoroughly from our iniquity, and cleanse us from our sin, for we acknowledge our transgressions, and our sin is ever before ush. O purge us with hyssop and we shall be clean, wash us and we shall be whiter than snow ; hide thy face from our sins, and blot out our iniquities.
Be thou merciful to our unrighteousness, and our sins and our iniquities do thou remember no more i. O forgive us that great debt k.
Let us be justified freely by thy gracel, through the redemption that is in Jesus, from all those things from which we could not be justified by the law of Moses m.
a Psal. xxxviii. 9.
b Rom. viii, 26, 27.
c Matt. vi. 7, 8.