« הקודםהמשך »
I. Of Public Prayer.-II. Of the Administration of the Holy
Sacraments.- III. Of the Exercise of Church Discipline.IV. Of the Ordination of Church Officers.-V. Of the Celebration of Marriage.-VI. Of Comforting the Sick.
Christian Prayers to be used in the Assembly of
the Faithful, and on other occasions. A Prayer on the Lord's Day, before Sermon, O ETERNAL God, and most merciful Father, we humbly prostrate ourselves before thy high majesty, against which we have so often and grievously of. fended; and acknowledge, if thou shouldst enter into judgment with us, that we have deserved nothing but eternal death : for besides that we all are by original sin, unclean in thy sight and children of wrath, con. ceived in sin and brought forth in iniquity, whereby all manner of evil lusts, striving against thee and our neighbour, dwell within us; we have also indeed, frequently and without end, transgressed thy precepts, neglected what thou hast commanded us, and done what thou hast expressly forbidden us. We have strayed like sheep, and have greatly offended against thee, which we acknowledge, and are heartily sorry for; nay, we confess to our shame, and to the praise of thy mercy towards us, that our sins are more than the hairs of our head, and that we are indebted ten thousand talents, but not able to pay. Wherefore we are not worthy to be called thy children; nor to lift up our eyes towards heaven, to pour out our prayers
before thee. Nevertheless, O Lord God, and merci. ful Father, knowing that thou dost not desire the death of a sinner, but that he may turn from his wickedness and live; and that thy mercy is infinite, which thou showest unto those, who return to thee; We beartily call upon thee, trusting in our Mediator Jesus Christ, who is that Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, and we beseech thee, to cummiserate our infirmity, forgiving us all our sins for Christ's sake. Wash us in the pure fountain of his blood, that we may become clean and white as snow. Cover our nakedness with his innocence and righteousness, for the glory of thy name's sake: clear our understanding of all blindness, and our hearts of all hardness and pride. Open the mouth of thy ser. vant at present, and replenish him with thy wisdom and knowledge, that he may purely and confidently set forth thy word; prepare also our hearts, that we may hear, understand, and keep the same; write thy laws (according to thy promise) in the tables of our hearts, and strengthen us to delight and walk in the same, to the praise and glory of thy name, and to the edifi. cation of thy church. O gracious Father, we ask for, and desire all these things in the name of Jesus Christ, who has taught us thus to pray-OUR FA
A Prayer on the Lord's Day, after Sermon. ALMIGHTY and merciful God, we acknowledge in ourselves, and confess before thee, as the truth is, that we are not worthy to lift up our eyes towards heaven, and to present our prayers before thee, if thou shouldst respect our merits and worthiness : for our consciences accuse us, and our sins bear witness against us ; we also know, that thou art a righteous judge, punishing the sins of those, who transgress thy commandments. But, O Lord, since thou hast commanded us to call upon thee in all times of necessity, and hast of thine ineffable mercy promised to hear our prayers, not be. cause of our merits (which are none) but for the merits of our Lord Jesus Christ, whom thou hast ap. pointed to be our Mediator and Advocate ; wherefore, we forsake all other help, and take our refuge to thy mercy alone.
Especially, O Lord, besides the innumerable benefits, which thou showest to all mankind in general on earth, thou hast in particular bestowed manifold favours on us, which we are not capable to comprehend or express : for thou hast delivered us from the woful slavery of the devil, and all idolatry, wherein we were held, and hast brought us to the light of thy truth, and to the knowledge of thy Holy Gospel. On the contrary, we have by our ingratitude been regardless of these thy benefits, we have departed from thee, and have followed our own devices, not honouring thee as was our bounden duty to do. Thus have we, O Lord, grievously sinned, and highly offended thee, and can expect nothing else than everlasting death and damna. tion, if thou shouldst deal with us according to our deserts. Yea, we also perceive, O Lord, by the chas. tisement, which thou daily art inflicting on us, that thou art justly displeased with us. For since thou art just, thou wilt punish no man without cause, and we also see thine hand stretched out, further to punish
But though thou didst punish us more severely than thou hast hitherto done, nay, though all the plagues fell upon us, wherewith thou didst visit the sins of thy people Israel, we must still confess that thou wouldst do us no injustice. But, O Lord, thou art our God, and we are but dust and ashes : Thou art our Creator, and we are thy handy work: thou art our Shepherd, and we are thy sheep: thou art our Redeemer, and we are those whom thou hast re deemed. Thou art our Father, and we are thy s.
dren and heirs. Therefore, do not punish us in thine anger, but chastise us mercifully, and preserve that work, which thou hast of thy mercy begun in us, that the whole world may know and acknowledge thee to be our God and Saviour. Thy people Israel frequently offended thee, and thou didst justly punish them; but as oft as they turned themselves again to thee, thou didst always mercifully receive them into favour. And though their sins and transgressions were ever so great, thou didst always avert thy wrath and pun. ishment prepared for them, by reason of the covenant which thou hadst made with thy servants, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob; so that thou never hast refused to hear the prayers of thy people. And we have of thy. mercy even that same covenant, which thou hast erected in the hand of Jesus Christ our Mediator, be. tween thee and all believers; nay, it is now more glorious and efficacious, since Christ
hath ratified and confirmed the same by his holy suffering and death, and entrance into his glory. Therefore, O Lord, for. saking ourselves, and all human assistance, we fly for succour to this blessed covenant of grace, by means whereof our Lord Jesus Christ (having offered his body once on the cross as a perfect sacrifice for us) hath reconciled us with thee for ever. Therefore, O Lord, look upon the face of thine anointed, and not on our sins, that thine anger may be appeased by his intercession. And cause thy face to shine on us to our joy and salvation. Take us henceforth into thy holy guidance and protection, and govern us by thy holy Spirit, who, daily more and more mortifying our flesh with all its lusts, renews us to a better life, and produces in us fruits of true faith, that hereby thy name may be glorified and praised to all eternity, and that we despising all transitory things, may with an ardent desire fix our thoughts only on things heavenly.
And inasmuch as it is thy pleasure that we should pray for all mankind, we beseech thee, to extend thy
blessings on the doctrine of thy Holy Gospel, that it may be preached and accepted every where; that the whole world may be filled with thy saving knowledge; that the ignorant may be converted, the weak strengthened ; that every one not only in word, but also in deed, may magnify and sanctify thy holy name. Send forth, for this end, faithful labourers in thy harvest.And also replenish them with thy grace, that they may faithfully serve before thee. On the contrary utterly destroy all false teachers, ravenous wolves, and hirelings, who seek their own honour and advantage, and not the glory of thy holy name, nor the welfare and salvation of souls. Be also pleased graciously to preserve and govern all thy Christian churches spread over the face of the earth, in unity of true faith, and in godliness of life, that thy kingdom may daily increase, and that of Satan be destroyed, till thy kingdom is perfected, when thou shalt be all in all.
Particularly we pray for these United States of America ; keep them under thy holy protection; prosper them in their agriculture, manufactures, commerce and literature ; and let their civil and religious rights be preserved inviolate to the latest posterity.
Bless and long preserve thy servant, the President of the United States. Bless the Vice-President; the Senate and House of Representatives, when in con. gress assembled. Bless all placed in authority through. out the states, and especially in the state wherein we reside ; the Governor of the state, the Magistrates, and all others entrusted with powers, either legislative or executive.-Replenish them with all thy grace and heavenly gifts, each in his respective calling and state, wherein thou hast placed him, that they may wisely govern, and strenuously protect the people, whom thou hast committed to their care, faithfully defend thy worship and rightly administer justice : preside with thy Holy Spirit in their assemblies, that in all cases they may resolve nothing, but what is good and be