1632 By George Herbert

The Authour's Prayer before Sermon.

O Almighty and ever-living Lord God! Majesty, and
Power, and Brightnesse, and Glory! How shall we
dare to appear before thy face, who are contrary to thee, in
all we call thee? for we are darknesse, and weaknesse, and
filthinesse, and shame. Misery and sin fill our days: yet art
thou our Creatour, and we thy work: Thy hands both made
us, and also made us Lords of all thy creatures; giving us one
world in our selves, and another to serve us: then did'st thou
place us in Paradise, and wert proceeding still on in thy
Favours, untill we interrupted thy Counsels, disappointed thy
Purposes, and sold our God, our glorious, our gracious God
for an apple. O write it! O brand it in our foreheads for
ever: for an apple once we lost our God, and still lose him
for no more; for money, for meat, for diet: But thou Lord,
art patience, and pity, and sweetnesse, and love; therefore
we sons of men are not consumed. Thou hast exalted thy
mercy above all things; and hast made our salvation, not our
punishment, thy glory: so that then where sin abounded,
not death, but grace superabounded; accordingly, when we
had sinned beyond any help in heaven or earth, then thou
saidest, Lo, I come! then did the Lord of life, unable of him-
selfe to die, contrive to do it. He took flesh, he wept, he
died; for his enemies he died; even for those that derided
him then, and still despise him. Blessed Saviour! many
waters could not quencn thy love! nor no pit overwhelme it.
But though the streams of thy bloud were currant through
darknesse, grave, and hell; yet by these thy conflicts, and
seemingly hazards, didst thou arise triumphant, and therein
mad'st us victorious.
     Neither doth thy love yet stay here! for, this word of thy
rich peace, and reconciliation, thou hast committed, not to
Thunder, or Angels, but to silly and sinfull men: even to me,
pardoning my sins, and bidding me go feed the people of thy
     Blessed be the God of Heaven and Earth! who onely doth
wondrous things. Awake therefore, my Lute, and my Viol!
awake all my powers to glorifie thee! We praise thee! we
blesse thee! we magnifie thee for ever! And now, 0 Lord!
in the power of thy Victories, and in the wayes of thy Ordi-
nances, and in the truth of thy Love, Lo, we stand here,
beseeching thee to blesse thy word, wher-ever spoken this
day throughout the universall Church. O make it a word
of power and peace, to convert those who are not yet thine,
and to confirme those that are: particularly, blesse it in this
thy own Kingdom, which thou hast made a Land of light, a
store-house of thy treasures and mercies: O let not our foolish
and unworthy hearts rob us of the continuance of this thy
sweet love: but pardon our sins, and perfect what thou hast
begun. Ride on Lord, because of the word of truth, and
meeknesse. and righteousness; and thy right hand shall
teach thee terrible things. Especially, blesse this portion
here assembled together, with thy unworthy Servant speak-
ing unto them: Lord Jesu! teach thou me, that I may teach
them; Sanctifie, and inable all my powers, that in their full
strength they may deliver thy message reverently, readily,
faithfully, & fruitfully. O make thy word a swift word,
passing from the ear to the heart, from the heart to the life
and conversation: that as the rain returns not empty, so
neither may thy word, but accomplish that for which it is
given. O Lord hear, O Lord forgive! O Lord, hearken.
and do so for thy blessed Son's sake, in whose sweet and
pleasing words, we say, Our Father, &c.

A Prayer after Sermon.

BLessed be God! and the Father of all mercy! who con-
tinueth to pour his benefits upon us. Thou hast elected
us, thou hast called us, thou hast justified us, sanctified, and
glorified us: Thou wast born for us, and thou livedst and
diedst for us: Thou hast given us the blessings of this life,
and of a better. O Lord! thy blessings hang in clusters, they
come trooping upon us! they break forth like mighty waters
on every side. And now Lord, thou hast fed us with the
bread of life: so man did eat Angels food: O Lord, blesse it:
O Lord, make it health and strength unto us; still striving &
prospering so long within us, untill our obedience reach the
measure of thy love, who hast done for us as much as may be.
Grant this dear Father, for thy Son's sake, our only Saviour:
To whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost, three Persons, but
one most glorious, incomprehensible God, be ascribed all
Honour, and Glory, and Praise, ever. Amen.

Editor's Note: Prayers. From Herbert's Remains (1652).

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