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to us out of thy word, may have a due effect and influence upon our hearts and lives: All which we humbly beg of thee for the fake of our Lord Jefus Christ, in whofe holy name and words, &c.
A prayer, which (as the publisher conjectures) he ufed before his compofing his fermons.
Lord God of truth, I humbly beseech thee to enlighten my mind by thy holy Spirit, that may difcern the true way to eternal falvation; and to free me from all prejudice and paffion, from every corrupt affection and interest that may either blind me or feduce me in my fearch after it.
Make me impartial in my inquiry after truth, and ready whenever it is difcovered to me, to receive it in the love of it, to obey it from the heart, and to practife it in my life, and to continue ftedfast in the profeffion of it to the end of my days.
I perfectly refign myfelf, O Lord, to thy conduct and direction, in confidence that thy mercy and goodnefs is fuch, that thou wilt not suffer those who fincerely defire to know the truth and rely upon thy guidance, finally to mifcarry.
And if in any thing which concerns the true worfhip and fervice of thee my God, and the everlasting happiness of my foul, I am in any error and mistake, I earnestly beg of thee to convince me of it, and to lead me into the way of truth; and to confirm and establish me in it daily more and more.
And I befeech thee, O Lord, always to preferve in me a great compaffion and fincere charity towards thofe that are in error, and ignorance of thy truth befeeching thee to take pity on them, and to bring them to the knowledge of it, that they may be faved.
And because our bleffed Saviour hath promifed, that all that do his will fhall know his doctrine : Grant, O Lord, that I may never knowingly offend thee in any thing, or neglect to do what I know to be thy will and my duty.
Grant, O heavenly Father, thefe my humble and hearty requests, for his fake, who is the way, the truth, and the life, my bleffed Saviour and Redeemer Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayers used by him the day before his confecration,
AY 30. 1691. the day before my confecration to the Archbishoprick, which was on Whitsunday, at St. Mary-le-bow, when, on Whitfunday eve, I resired toEdmonton, to spend that day in fafting and prayer, to implore the blessing of Almighty God upon that action, and the affiftance of his grace and Holy Spi rit to be vouchfafed to his finful and unworthy fervant, whom his wife providence, and the importunate defire of their Majefties King William and Queen Mary, the best of Princes, (whom God, in great merey to a moft finful and perverfe people, hath by a most fignal providence fet upon the throne of these kingdoms, and fent (1 truft) to be our deliverers and benefactors for many generations yet to come) have cal led to the government and conduct of this miferable diftracted church, in a very difficult and dangerous time.
I began with a short prayer to Almighty God, to prepare my heart for the duty of this day, and to affift me in the discharge of it, in such a manner as might be acceptable in his fight, through Jefus Chrift my bleffed Saviour and Redeemer.
I proceeded next to a thanksgiving to Almighty God for his mercy and goodness to me in the conduct of my whole life, from my first entrance into the world to this day, which was to this effect:
Almighty and eternal Lord God, and moft merciful Father, I proftrate myself before thee this day, in a moft humble and thankful acknowledgment of thy great mercy and goodness vouchfafed to me a finful creature, and thy most unprofitable fervant, (not worthy to be called thy fon) in the conduct of my whole life, from my first coming into the world to this prefent day.
And in the first place, I defire to blefs thy great and glorious name, that I was born of honeft and religious parents, though of a low and obfcure condition. Who am I, O Lord God, or what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto ? and haft regard ed me according to the estate of a man of high degree, O Lord God! [ 1 Chron. xvii. 16, 17.]
I bless thee likewife for all the happy circumftances of my birth and education; that I was born in a time and place wherein thy true religion was preached and profeffed. I blefs thee for the great care of my good parents to bring me up in the knowledge and fear of thee, the only true God, and of him whom thou haft fent, Jefus Chrift, whom to know is eternal life; and I blefs thee, my Lord, for him in whom all the nations of the earth, are bieffed, whom in the fulness of time, thou waft pleafed to fend into the world to be the Saviour and Redeemer of mankind..
I bless thee, that thou waft pleafed to give my ever-honoured and good father the heart to give me, out of the finall eftate thou gaveft him, fo liberal an education, whereby I was put into a capacity to ferve thee. Forgive, I befeech thee, O Lord, that I have made no better ufe of the talents and opportunities wherewith. thou haft entrusted me, and accept of that little which by thy grace I have been enabled. fincerely to do for thee. I blefs thee,. Q Lord, for the continual and bountiful fupport of thy providence, whereby thou haft alfo enabled me to return to my parents and their children the kindness I received from them, and to be ftill as a father to them. I blefs thee that thou haft fo mercifully and fo many times preferved me from the great dangers: to which my life was expofed; and from temptati ons which would have been too hard for me, if thy grace had not prevented them, and kept me from falling into them: This, O Lord, I acknowledge as one of the great bleffings, of my life, for which I defire continually, to magnify thy great and glori
B. b. 3
I blefs thee likewife, O Lord, for that meafure of health which I have enjoyed, and for my reco very from a great and dangerous ficknefs; for any happy endowments of mind; for that degree of understanding which thou haft given me; and for preferving it to me, when my dear mother, for fo many years of her life, loft the ufe and enjoyment of it, and might have derived that unhappiness to me her child, if thy merciful goodness had not prevented it. Forgive me, O Lord, that I have made no better use of the faculties which thou hast endued me withal, for thy glory, and the benefit and advantage of others.
Bleffed be thy name, likewife, that thou haft in any time of my life, and in any measure, rendered me ufeful to any good purpofe. I acknowledge it to be all from thee; and I defire to return the praise of all to thee my great and conftant benefactor.
Bleffed be God for the favour thou haft given me with men both of low and high condition; and the friends which thou haft raised up for me, to preferve me from the malice of mine enemies, and those who hate me without cause, and not for any fault of mine toward them, O Lord thou knoweft.
More efpecially I bless thee for that great and undeferved favour which I have found in the eyes of our excellent King and Queen. Give me, O Lord, the heart, and, if it be thy will, the opportunity to ferve them in fome meafure to answer their favours to me, and the opinion they have conceived of me, by rendering me useful and inftrumental for the publick good of this diftracted kingdom and church, in endeavouring to heal and reconcile our unhappy differences, and to reform the diforders that are in thy church, and the lives and manners both of the minifters and people.
Finally, I blefs thee for all the favours and bleffings of my life, both fpiritual and temporal, fo plentifully beftowed upon me ; and above all, for a fincere defire to ferve and please thee, my most gracious and merciful God, and to do good to men, made after thine image.
Accept, O Lord, this my hearty facrifice of praife and thanksgiving which I offer up to thy divine Majefty, through the merits and mediation of Jefus. Chrift, my bleffed Saviour and Redeemer. Amen. Amen.
Next I made this humble and penitent confeffion of my fins, and earnest fupplication for the pardon and forgiveness of them.
I bow myself before thee, moft holy and gracious Lord God, in a deep fense of mine own vilenefs and finfulness, which render me altogether unworthy of the leaft of those many favours and bleffings wherewith thou hast been pleafed to follow me all the days of my life. I am a finful man, O Lord, and not worthy to lift up mine eyes to thee my God.. My whole life hath been little elfe but a continued courfe of disobedience, of unthankfulness, and un worthy returns to thee for all thy benefits. I have gone aftray from the womb, and have grievously tranf greffed thy holy laws and commandments, in thought, word, and deed.
I defire now to confefs my fins to thee, and with great fhame and contrition to bewail and lament them in thy prefence, Father, I have finned against heaven, and before thee, and am no more worthy to. be called thy Son, fo that if thou be strict to mark in iquity, O Lord! who can stand? Lord, I am vile, what shall I answer thee? I abhor myself, and repent in duft and ashes.
I confefs the folly of my childhood, and the great fins and vanities of my youth, and the many great provocations, which in the course of my life I have been often, too often guilty of; the impurities of my heart, and the many evil actions of my life, which thou, O Lord, knoweft altogether; and for which I defire to take fhame to myfelf, and to be confounded before thee at the remembrance of them.. Lord, they are all in thy fight, and the most secret fins of my life in the light of thy countenance. am afhamed, O my God, and blush to lift up mine. eyes to thee my God.