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Acts of Repentance, by way of Prayer and Ejaculation, to be used especially by Old Men in their Age, and by all Men in their Sickness.
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Let us lift up our hearts with our hands unto God in the heavens. We have transgressed and rebelled; and thou hast not pardoned. Thou hast covered with anger and persecuted us; thou hast slain, thou hast not pitied. O cover not thyself with a cloud, but let our prayer pass through. Lam. iii. 40-44.
I have sinned: what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men? Why hast thou set me as a mark against thee, so that I am a burden to myself? And why dost not thou pardon my transgression, and take away mine iniquity? for now shall I sleep in the dust, and thou shalt seek me in the morning, but I shall not be. Job. vii. 20, 21.
The Lord is righteous; for I have rebelled against his commandments. Hear, I pray, all ye people, behold my sorrow. Behold, O Lord, I am in distress; my bowels are troubled; my heart is turned within me; for I have grievously rebelled. Lam. i. 18, 40.
Thou, O Lord, remainest for ever; thy throne from generation to generation. Wherefore dost thou forget us for ever, and forsake us so long time? Turn thou us into thee, O Lord, and so shall we be turned; renew our days as of old. O reject me not utterly, and be not exceeding wroth against thy servant. Lam. v. 19-22.
O remember not the sins of my youth, nor my transgressions; but according to thy mercies remember thou me, for thy goodness sake, O Lord. Psalm. xxv. 7. Do thou for me, O God the Lord, for thy name's sake; because thy mercy is good, deliver thou me. For I am poor and needy, and my heart, is wounded within me. I am gone like the shadow that declineth; I am tossed up and down as the locust. Psalm cix. 21-23.
Then Zeccheus stood forth, and said, Behold, Lord, half of my goods I give to the poor; and if I have wronged any man, I restore him fourfold. Luke, xix. 8.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire. Psalm cxliii. 1. Let my prayer be set forth in thy sight as the incense, and let the lifting up of my hands be an evening sacrifice. Psalm cxli. 3. And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man be justified. Teach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God: let thy loving Spirit lead me forth into the land of righteousness. Psalm cxliii. 2, 10.
I will speak of mercy and judgment; unto thee, O Lord, will I make my prayer. I will behave myself wisely in a perfect way. O when wilt thou come unto me? I will walk in my house with a perfect heart. I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not cleave to me. Psalm ci. 1-3.
Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Deliver me from blood-guiltiness, O God, from malice, envy, the follies of lust and violence, of passion, etc., thou God of my salvation; and my tongue shall sing aloud of thy righteousness. Psalm li. 9,10,14.
The sacrifice of God is a broken heart: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. ver. 17.
Lord, I have done amiss; I have been deceived; let so great a wrong as this be removed, and let it be so no more.
O Almighty God, thou art the great judge of all the world, the father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the father of mercies, the father of men and angels; thou lovest not that a sinner should perish, but delightest in our conversion and salvation, and hast, in our Lord Jesus Christ, established the covenant of repentance, and promised pardon to all them that confess their sins and forsake them; O my God, be thou pleased to work in my what thou hast commanded should be in me. Lord, I am a dry tree, who neither have brought forth fruit unto thee and unto holiness, nor have wept out salutary tears, the instrument of life and restitution, but have behaved myself like an unconcerned person in the ruins and breaches of my soul: but, O God, thou art my God, early will I seek thee; my soul thirsteth for thee in a barren and thirsty land where no water is.128128Psalm lxiii. 1. Lord, give me the grace of tears and pungent sorrow; let my heart be as a land of rivers of waters, and my head a fountain of tears; turn my sin into repentance, and let my repentance proceed to pardon and refreshment.
Support me with thy graces, strengthen me with thy Spirit, soften my heart with the fire of thy love and the dew of heaven, with penitential showers; make my care prudent, and the remaining portion of my days like the perpetual watches of the night, full of caution and observance, strong and resolute, patient and severe. I remember, O Lord, that I did sin with greediness and passion, with great desires and an unabated choice; O let me be as great in my repentance as ever I have been in my calamity and shame; let my hatred of sin be as great as my love to thee, and both as near to infinite as my proportion can receive.
O Lord, I renounce all affection to sin, and would not buy my health nor redeem my life with doing any thing against the laws of my God, but would rather die than offend thee. O dearest Saviour, have pity upon thy servant; let me, by thy sentence, be doomed to perpetual penance during the abode of this life; let every sigh be the expression of a repentance and every groan an accent of spiritual life, and every stroke of my disease a punishment of my sin and an instrument of pardon; that, at my return to the land of innocence and pleasure, I may eat of the votive sacrifice of the supper of the Lamb, that was, from the beginning of the world, slain for the sins of every sorrowful and returning sinner. O grant the sorrow here and joy hereafter, through Jesus Christ, who is our hope, the resurrection of the dead, the justifier of a sinner, and the glory of all faithful souls. Amen.
O eternal and most gracious Father, I humbly throw myself down at the foot of thy mercy-seat upon the confidence of thy essential mercy, and thy commandment that we should come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may find mercy in time of need. O my God, hear the prayers and cries of a sinner who calls earnestly for mercy. Lord, my needs are greater than all the degrees of my desire can be; unless thou hast pity upon me, I perish infinitely and intolerably; and then there will be one voice fewer in the choir of singers who shall recite thy praises to eternal ages. But, O Lord, in mercy deliver my soul. O save me for thy mercy's sake.129129Psalm vi. 4, 5. For in the second death there is no remembrance of thee: in that grave, who shall give thee thanks?
O just and dear God, my sins are innumerable; they are upon my soul in multitudes; they are a burden too heavy for me to bear; they already bring sorrow and sickness, shame and displeasure, guilt and decaying spirit, a sense of thy present displeasure, and fear of worse, of infinitely worse. But it is to thee so essential, so delightful, so usual, so desired by thee to show mercy, that although my sin be very great, and my fear proportionable, yet thy mercy is infinitely greater than all the world, and my hope and my comfort rise up in proportions towards it, that I trust the devils shall never be able to reprove it, nor my own weakness discompose it. Lord, thou hast sent thy Son to die for the pardon of my sins; thou hast given me thy Holy Spirit as a seal of adoption to consign the article of remission of sins; thou hast, for all my sins, still continued to invite my to conditions of life by thy ministers the prophets; and thou hast, with variety of holy acts, softened my spirit, and possessed my fancy, and instructed my understanding, and bended and inclined my will, and directed or overruled my passions, in order to repentance and pardon: and why should not thy servant beg passionately, and humbly hope for, the effects of all these thy strange and miraculous acts of loving-kindness? Lord, I deserve it not, but I hope thou wilt pardon all my sins; and I beg it of thee for Jesus Christ's sake, whom thou hast made the great endearment of thy promises, and the foundation of our hopes, and the mighty instrument whereby we can obtain of thee whatsoever we need and can receive.
O my God, how shall thy servant be disposed to receive such a favour which is so great that the ever-blessed Jesus did die to purchase it for us; so great that the falling angels never could give all that have sinned against me; O forgive me my sins, as I forgive them that have sinned against me. Lord, I confess my sins unto thee daily by the accusations and secret acts of conscience; and if we confess us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. Lord, I put my trust in thee; and thou art ever gracious to them that put their trust in thee. I call upon my God for mercy; and thou art always more ready to hear than we to pray. But all that I can do, and all that I am, and all that I know of myself, is nothing but sin, and infirmity, and misery: therefore I go forth of myself, and throw myself wholly into the arms of thy mercy through Jesus Christ, and beg of thee, for his death and passion's sake, by his resurrection and ascension, by all the parts of our redemption, and thy infinite mercy, in which thou pleaseth thyself above all the works of the creation, to be pitiful and compassionate to thy servant in the abolition of all my sins; so shall I praise thy glories with a tongue not defiled with evil language, and a heart purged by thy grace, quitted by thy mercy, and absolved by thy sentence, from generation to generation. Amen.
O most just and merciful Lord God, who hast sent evil diseases, sorrow and fear, trouble and uneasiness, briers and thorns, into the world, and planted them in our houses, and round about our dwellings, to keep sin from our souls, or to drive it thence; I humbly beg of thee that this my sickness may serve the ends of the spirit, and be a messenger of spiritual life, an instrument of reducing me to more religious and sober courses. I say, O Lord, that I am unready and unprepared in my accounts, having thrown away great portions of my time in vanity, and set myself hugely back in the accounts of eternity, and I had need live my life over gain, and live it better; but thy counsels are in the great deep, and thy footsteps in the water; and I know not what thou wilt determine of me. If I die I throw myself into the arms of the holy Jesus, whom I love above all things, and if I perish I know I have deserved it; but thou wilt not reject him that loves thee. But if I recover, I will live, by thy grace and help, to do the work of God, and passionately pursue my interest of heaven, and serve thee in the labour of love with the charities of a holy zeal, and the diligence of a firm and humble obedience. Lord, I will dwell in thy temple and in thy service; religion shall be my employment, and alms shall be my recreation, and patience shall be my rest, and to do thy will shall be my meat and drink, and to live shall be Christ, and then to die shall be gain.
‘O spare me a little, that I may recover my strength, before I go hence, and be no more seen.' ‘Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven.' Amen.
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