1632 By George Herbert

The Parson on Sundays.

He Country Parson, as soon as he awakes on Sunday
morning, presently falls to work. and seems to himselfe
so as a Market-man is, when the Market day comes, or a
shopkeeper, when customers use to come in. His thoughts
are full of making the best of the day, and contriving it to his
best gaines. To this end, besides his ordinary prayers, he
makes a peculiar one for a blessing on the exercises of the day,
That nothing befall him unworthy of that Majesty before
which he is to present himself, but that all may be done with
reverence to his glory, and with edification to his flock, hum-
bly beseeching his Master, that how or whenever he punish
him, it be not in his Ministry: then he turnes to request for
his people, that the Lord would be pleased to sanctifie them
all, that they may come with holy hearts, and awfull mindes
into the Congregation, and that the good God would pardon
all those, who come with lesse prepared hearts then they
ought. This done, he sets himself to the Consideration of
the duties of the day, and if there be any extraordinary
addition to the customary exercises, either from the time of
the year, or from the State, or from God by a child born, or
dead, or any other accident, he contrives how and in what
manner to induce it to the best advantage. Afterwards when
the hour calls, with his family attending him, he goes to
Church, at his first entrance humbly adoring, and worshipping
the invisible majesty, and presence of Almighty God
, and blessing
the people either openly, or to himselfe. Then having read
divine Service twice fully, and preached in the morning, and
catechized in the afternoone, he thinks he hath in some
measure, according to poor, and fraile man, discharged the
publick duties of the Congregation. The rest of the day he
spends either in reconciling neighbours that are at variance,
or in visiting the sick, or in exhortations to some of his flock
by themselves, whom his Sermons cannot, or doe not reach.
And every one is more awaked, when we come, and say,
Thou art the man.1 This way he findes exceeding usefull,
and winning; and these exhortations he cals his privy purse,
even as Princes have theirs, besides their publick disburs-
ments. At night he thinks it a very fit time, both sutable to
the joy of the day, and without hinderance to publick duties,
either to entertaine some of his neighbours, or to be enter-
tained of them, where he takes occasion to discourse of such
things as are both profitable, and pleasant, and to raise up their
mindes to apprehend Gods good blessing to our Church, and State;
that order is kept in the one, and peace in the other, without
is disturbance, or interruption of publick divine offices
. As he
opened the day with prayer, so he closeth it, humbly be-
seeching the Almighty to pardon and accept our poor
services, and to improve them, that we may grow therein,
and that our feet may be like hindes feet ever climbing up
higher, and higher unto him.

1 2 Samuel 12:7 And Nathan said to David, Thou art the man. Thus saith the LORD God of Israel, I anointed thee king over Israel, and I delivered thee out of the hand of Saul;

The King James Version, (Cambridge: Cambridge) 1769. [Return] For the reasons Nathan said this follow the link.

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