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(title page) A Few Words about Lent, With Penitential Psalms, Sentences from Scripture, and Other Devotions Suitable for that Holy Season. Selected by a Layman
Steam-Power Press of Evans & Cogswell
Call number 4272.2 Conf. (Rare Book Collection, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill)
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Welcome, dear feast of Lent! who loves not thee
He loves not temperance or authority,
But is composed of passion.
The Scriptures bid us fast; the Church says now
Give to thy mother what thou wouldst allow
To every corporation.--"The Church" by HERBERT.
O LORD, who for our sake didst fast forty days and forty nights, give us grace to use such abstinence that our flesh being subdued to the spirit, we may ever obey Thy godly motions in righteousness and true holiness, to Thy honor and glory, who livest and reignest with the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God, world without end. Amen.
There are many, very many mistakes about Lent. People generally speak of it as a time of fasting, a season of self-denial, and so it is; but this is not all. There are many persons in the Church who have no
definite idea about this holy season, whose notions fall as far short of the truth as those of persons out of the Church. To think or speak of Lent merely as a season of abstinence from food, or as a time in which we are required to eat courser food than we usually do, is very wrong--very much short of the truth. It is a season in which the Church requires her children to "turn unto the Lord with all their hearts, and with fasting, and with weeping, and with mourning," "worthily lamenting their sins, and acknowledging their wretchedness, that they may obtain of Him who is the God of all mercy perfect remission and forgiveness, through Jesus Christ their Lord." The Lenten Fast was established in Apostolic times. It is mentioned in the Apostolic Canons, and by various Christian writers in the second and third centuries. The Council of Nice, A. D. 325, and that of Laodicea, A. D. 365, speak of Lent as an institution, generally observed by the Church. It is a very precious legacy of the primitive Church, and if we make a proper use of it, we shall find it a means of grace full of blessing to our souls.
It is a season during which the Church demands more than ordinary devotion from her children. Her
services are increased--are of a more solemn character-- are such as are best adapted to lead our thoughts away from the things of this world, to contemplate the mysteries of Redemption. Every day she would have her children prostrate themselves in God's house, and pray that He would "create and make within them new and contrite hearts." The services of the Church keep two facts prominently before our minds: our sinfulness, Christ's holiness; our need, Christ's sufficiency.
But, beloved, in order that we may learn our own sinfulness, we must subject ourselves to careful and diligent self-examination. To do this thoroughly, we should carry our scrutiny back to the earliest recollections of life, and through the inmost recesses of our thoughts. It is well, therefore, to use some such plan as the following, when we can take time to it, and work out each part carefully:
Let our life be divided into periods, such as childhood, boyhood, youth, early manhood, active life, or such others as may be marked in each one's own history. Then let us take the Ten Commandments, expounded and applied to the various duties of life, as most of us have learned from the Sermon on the Mount, and from the Church Catechism, and the explanations of these, and think whether we have kept each of those laws faithfully, during one period of our lives, before we go on to another. Or, take
the vows and promises of Holy Baptism, and let us search and examine ourselves to see how close we have lived up to our profession--"which is to follow the example of our Saviour Christ, and to be made like unto Him." And if we know ourselves to have any particular besetting sin, that is now or has lately been more powerful over us than others, let us be careful to search our the very earliest beginnings of it, and find out, if possible, when and how it stole in upon us, and in what matter we first grievously departed from God.
Of course, this way of proceeding will be a work of days, if not of weeks; but being well done, it will be a real step in our lives, the groundwork of a thorough conversion to God in one who has hitherto lived to himself, or of a solid building up of the spiritual man in one who is already resting on Christ the Rock, with a hearty will "to do the things he has heard."
Many good people seem to think that religion has been so greatly improved in these latter days that they can get along very well without fasting. But they are mistaken. Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, to-day, and forever. And his Church is the same: the same in its ministry, in its sacraments, in
its word; it has the same means of grace now as it had at the first. On the subject of fasting, our Lord has not left us in any doubt; he refers to it often as an undoubted duty, and gives us rules for the proper observance of it. Thus, in St. Matthew vi, 16, he says: "When ye fast, be not as the hypocrites." He does not enjoin His followers to fast, for he assumes that they would do so. He does not say, "If ye fast, be not as the hypocrites" But taking it for granted that His followers would fast, he tells them how to fast, and says, "When ye fast," "when thou fastest," etc. So he had said just before, "When thou doest alms," "When thou prayest" It is taken as a matter of course, that those who desire to serve God acceptably will do these things according to their abilities and opportunities, with glad and willing minds, without questioning or doubting. The three duties are, in this respect, put upon precisely the same footing. There may be cases in which it would be wrong to fast, in which a man has no alms to bestow, or in which retirement for the purpose of prayer is impossible; but these are the exceptions, not the rule. The Church wisely leaves her members each one to determine for himself how much self-denial he can put upon himself. She gives us no rules. She bids us fast, each one of us according to our ability, but she does not tell us how to do so.
She bids us "give alms of our goods," but lays
down no other rule than that we are to be merciful after our power. "If thou hast much give plenteously: if thou hast little, do thy diligence gladly to give of that little, for so gatherest thou thyself a good reward in the day of necessity." And just so her rule about fasting--each one must judge for himself the measure of his ability; only let us all be sure that we do "gladly," after our power.
It is the part and duty of every person who, by baptism, has put on Christ, at all times "to walk answerably to their Christian calling, and as becometh the children of light." All baptized Christians have renounced the world, the flesh, and the devil, and how far, under ordinary circumstances, they may mingle in the amusements of the world, is a question which each individual must determine for himself. To his own Master he must stand or fall. Yet there are times and seasons when there can be no mistake on this subject, and "when the Church has decided that her children must retire, in a peculiar manner, from this world, to think of that which is to come." Lent is such a season. Listen to the tones of earnest repentance which the services of the Church breathe
forth, and say whether, after giving utterance to these, we can rush at once into the embraces of a world from which we have just prayed to be delivered. It is a miserable mockery for us to go into the Lord's house and pray, "Turn thou us, O good Lord, and so shall we be turned. Be favorable, O Lord, be favorable to thy people, who turn to thee in weeping, fasting and prayer," and then to go out into the world, to in mingle all its lightness and vanity and sin.
I have thus told you plainly how you must act, what you must do if you would in deed and in truth enjoy the rich blessings which the Lenten season affords to all who properly improve it. Be constant in your attendance on the services of the Church-- regular in your private devotions--give gladly of your goods. Judge yourselves--afflict yourselves-- bring your bodies into subjection, and keep aloof from the world. Take up your cross daily. Jesus, your Saviour, chose the cross; and what a mockery of the faith that is which gives us all of religion but the trial, which exhibits the Master in hourly tribulation, yet would have His people clothed in soft raiment, as if sanctification were vicarious as well as atonement, and in bearing all our sins He bore all our sufferings also. O my beloved people! if God-- severely kind--has not afflicted you, learn in some way to afflict yourselves. Allay the fever of fleshly
will by mortification; of ambitious desires by purposed and resolute self-abasement. Exercise your hearts in a loving sympathy with sorrow in every form; soothe it, minister to it, succor it, revere it. It is a relic of Christ in the world, an image of the great Sufferer, a shadow of the cross. It is a holy and a venerable thing.
It's true we cannot reach Christ's forti'th day;
Yet to go part of that religious way
Is better than to rest;
We cannot reach our Saviour's puritie;
Yet we are bid, "Be holy ev'n as He."
In both let's do our best.
Who goeth in the way which Christ hath gone
Is much more sure to meet with Him, than one
That travelleth by-wayes.
Perhaps my God, though He be farre before,
May turn and take me by the hand, and more,
May strengthen my decayes.--HERBERT.
O Lord, rebuke me not in thine indignation; neither chasten me in thy displeasure.
Have mercy upon me, O Lord, for I am weak: O Lord, heal me, for my bones are vexed.
My soul also is sore troubled; but, Lord, how long wilt thou punish me? Psalm vi, 1, 2, 3.
Thou hast set our misdeeds before thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance. Psalm xc, 8.
But mine eyes look upon thee, O Lord God: in thee is my trust: O cast not out my soul. Psalm. cxli, 9.
Turn thee, O Lord, and deliver my soul: O save me for thy mercies' sake. Psalm vi, 4.
Deliver me from all mine offences. Psalm xxxix, 9.
Call to remembrance, O Lord, thy tender mercies and thy loving kindnesses, which have been ever of old.
O remember not the sins and offences of my youth; but according to thy mercy think thou upon me, O Lord, for thy goodness. Psalm xxv, 5, 6.
For thy Name's sake, O Lord, be merciful unto my sin, for it is great. Psalm xxv, 10.
Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me; for I am desolate and in misery.
The sorrows of my heart are enlarged: O bring thou me out of my troubles.
Look upon my adversity and misery, and forgive me all my sin. Psalm xxv, 15 -17.
O hide not thou thy face from me; nor cast thy servant away in displeasure. Psalm xxvii, 10.
Withdraw not thou thy mercy from me, O Lord; let thy loving-kindness and thy truth alway preserve me.
My sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up; yea, they are more in number than the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me. Psalm xi, 14, 15.
O Lord, let it be thy pleasure to deliver me: make haste O Lord, to help me. Psalm xi, 16.
If thou, Lord, wilt be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord, who may abide it? Psalm cxxx, 3.
My misdeeds prevail against me: O be thou merciful unto our sins. Psalm lmv, 3.
Lord, be merciful unto me: heal my soul, for I have sinned against thee. Psalm xli, 4.
My confusion is daily before me: and the shame of my face hath covered me. Psalm xliv, 16.
For my wickednesses are gone over my head, and are like a sore burden, too heavy for me to bear. Psalm xxxviii, 4.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and with thine ears consider my calling; hold not thy peace at my tears. Psalm xxxix, 13.
And hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble: O haste thee, and bear me. Psalm lxix, 18.
Show thy servant the light of thy countenance; and save me for thy mercies' sake. Psalm xxxi, 18.
Thy mercy, O Lord, reacheth unto the heavens; and thy faithfulness unto the clouds. Psalm xxxvi, 5.
Hear my prayer, O Lord, and consider my desire; hearken unto me for thy truth and righteousness' sake.
And enter not into judgment with thy servant; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. Psalm cxliii, 1, 2.
I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost: O seek thy servant; for I do not forget thy commandments. Psalm cxix, 176.
Quicken me, O Lord, for thy Name's sake and for thy righteousness' sake bring my soul out of trouble. Psalm cxliii, 11.
Haste thee to help me, O Lord God of my salvation. Psalm xxxvii, 22.
Have mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness; according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offenses.
Wash me throughly from my wickedness, and cleanse me from my sin.
For I acknowledge my faults; and my sin is ever before me. Psalm li, 1, 2, 3.
Thou shalt purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow.
Thou shalt make me hear of joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.
Turn thy face from my sins; and put out all my misdeeds.
Make me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me.
Cast me not away from thy presence; and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.
O give me the comfort of thy help again; and stablish me with thy free Spirit. Psalm li, 7-12.
The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise. Psalm li, 17.
O remember not our old sins: but have mercy upon us, and that soon: for we are come to great misery. Psalm lxxix, 8.
Help us, O God of our salvation, for the glory of thy Name: O deliver us, and be merciful unto our sins for thy Name's sake. Psalm lxxix, 9.
Deal thou with me, O Lord God, according unto thy Name; for sweet is thy mercy. Psalm cix, 20.
Comfort the soul of thy servant; for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. Psalm lxxxvi, 4.
Be merciful unto me, O Lord; for I will call daily upon thee. Psalm lxxxvi, 3.
For thou Lord, art good and gracious, and of great mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Psalm lxxxvi, 5.
I should utterly have fainted, but that I believe verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Psalm xxvii 15.
I remembered thine everlasting judgments, O Lord, and received comfort. Psalm cxix, 52.
O think upon thy servant, as concerning thy word, wherein thou hast caused me to put my trust. Psalm cxix, 49.
The same is my comfort in my trouble: for thy word hath quickened me. Psalm cxix, 50.
Thou art my helper and my redeemer; O Lord, make no long tarrying. Psalm lxx, 6.
Let thy merciful kindness, O Lord, be upon us, like as we do put our trust in Thee. Psalm xxxiii, 21.
Glory be to the Father, and to the Holy Ghost.
Lord, have mercy upon me.
Christ, have mercy upon me.
Lord, have mercy upon me.
Our Father, who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil. For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever and ever. Amen.
O Lord, hear my prayer; and let my cry come unto Thee.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts; Consider your ways. Hag. i, 7.
Let every man prove his own work, and then shall he have rejoicing in himself alone, and not in another: for every man shall bear his own burden. Gal. vi, 4, 5.
Let us search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. Lam. iii, 40.
Commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Psalm iv, 4.
I thought on my ways, and turned my feet unto Thy testimonies. Psalm cxix, 59.
I have considered the days of old, and the years that are past. Psalm lxxvii, 5.
I commune with my own heart, and search out my spirits. Psalm lxxvii, 6.
If our heart condemns us, God is greater than our heart, and knoweth all things. 1 John iii, 20.
Try me, O God, and seek the ground of my heart: prove me, and examine my thoughts. Psalm cxxxix, 23.
Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults. Psalm xix, 12.
Look well if there be any way of wickedness in me; all lead me in the way everlasting. Psalm cxxxix, 24.
Most great and holy Lord God, who searchest the heart and triest the reins, and requirest truth in the inward parts; help me now, I beseech Thee, so diligently and impartially to examine my life, and to seek the ground of my heart, that I may discover all my most hidden corruptions, and suffer not any accursed thing to lurk within me. I have sinned, O Lord, and have done perversely: I have committed wickedness: I have sinned against Thee from my youth, even unto this day, and have not obeyed the voice of the Lord my God. Lord, make me to know my transgression and my sin, and to loathe myself in mine own sight for all the evils that I have committed. Open mine eyes, O Lord, that I may see the excellency of Thy law; and assuredly knowing that all Thy commandments are holy, and just, and good, I may be ashamed and confounded at my own perverseness and ingratitude, in having so often and so grievously offended against them; and may so bethink myself, and repent, and mourn, and cry mightily unto Thee for pardon and grace, that Thou
mayest hear my prayer and my supplication from heaven[,] Thy dwelling-place, and forgive me all my transgressions wherein I have transgressed against Thee, and hearken unto me in all that I shall call upon Thee for; through the mediation of Jesus Christ, Thine only Son our Saviour. Amen.
Repent, and turn yourselves from all your transgressions; so iniquity shall not be your ruin. Ezek. xviii, 30.
Wash you, make you clean; put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil; learn to do well. Isaiah i, 16, 17.
Put off the concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts; and be renewed in the spirit of your mind. Ephes. iv, 22, 23.
And put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness. Ephes. iv, 24.
Set your affection on things above, not on things on the earth: for ye are dead, and your life is hid with Christ in God. When Christ, who is our life, shall appear, then shall ye also appear with him in glory. Mortify, therefore, your members which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness, which is idolatry. Col. iii, 2-5.
Flee these things; and follow after righteousness, godliness, faith, love, patience, meekness. Fight the
good fight of faith, lay hold on eternal life, whereunto thou art also called. 1 Tim. vi, 11, 12.
According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust. And besides this, giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance patience; and to patience godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness less charity. For if these things be in you, and abound, they make you that ye shall neither be barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. i, 3-8.
But who is sufficient for these things? 2 Cor. ii. 16.
And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly, therefore, will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ way rest upon me. 2 Cor. xii, 9.
For when I am weak, then am I strong. 2 Cor. xii, 10.
Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling
for it is God which worketh in you both to will and to do of his good pleasure. Phil. ii, 12, 13.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Phil. iv, 13.
By grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God. Eph. ii, 8.
For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Eph. ii, 10.
Most blessed God, the Fountain of all goodness, who didst create man at first in Thine own image, and when that was defaced by sin, wast graciously pleased to create us again in Christ Jesus after Thine own likeness, in righteousness and true holiness; I humbly beseech Thee of Thine infinite goodness and mercy to endue me, Thy most unworthy creature, with that God-like temper of mind and those heavenly virtues, which constitute the new creature; and which may dispose me for the attainment of that glorious end, for which I was created, redeemed, and regenerated.
Send down, O Heavenly Father, the graces of the Holy Spirit upon Thy servant to sanctify my nature; to renew me in the spirit of my mind; and to enable me so diligently to tread in the blessed steps of my Divine Master and Saviour, that the life of Jesus may be seen in all my actions, and His image be formed in my soul; and that, devoting myself wholly to Thy holy will and pleasure, I may constantly strive to employ every faculty of my soul, and every member of my body, and every day of my life, in Thy service, and to Thy glory.
Possess my soul, I beseech Thee, with such strong and lively apprehensions of the adorable perfections of Thy Majesty, and of the absolute necessity of my being in some measure a partaker of the Divine nature here, in order to qualify me for the fruition of Thy glorious Godhead hereafter, as may effectually engage me to be holy, as Thou art holy; pure, as Thou art pure; and conformable to Thee in all Thine imitable excellencies.
Give me grace O Lord, to love Thee with all my heart, and to serve Thee with all my strength; and to make Thee, the Omnipresent and Omnipotent God, my only fear and hope, my trust and confidence, my joy and desire. Dispose me to hear, and read, and meditate on Thy word with attention and delight; to pray without ceasing; to give thanks to Thee in everything; to be constant and conscientious in the performance of all religious duties; and to perform them always with such reverence and devotion, as may be acceptable in Thy sight, through the mediation of Jesus Christ my Saviour.
O Holy Father, enable me, I beseech Thee, to cleanse my heart from all evil imaginations; to subdue every inordinate desire; and to fix my mind upon those transcendent and durable pleasures which are at Thy right hand. Grant, O Lord, that I may make it my principal concern and endeavor to please Thee, by being pure and chaste in all my
thoughts; sober, contented, and thankful in all my enjoyments, humble in my opinion of myself, charitable in all my sentiments and speeches of others; meek and patient under provocations and injuries, sincere and faithful in all my professions, just and upright in all my dealings, diligent and cheerful in all my employments, discreet, inoffensive, and blameless in my conversation, and useful in every relation and capacity of life.
And I beseech Thee, O Lord, to pour into my heart such a measure of that most excellent gift of charity, as may dispose me, for Thy sake, to love all men as I love myself; to forgive and pray for my enemies, persecutors, and slanderers; and to be ready to do all the good offices in my power to any of my fellow-creatures.
Finally, O Lord, I most humbly beg that whatsoever things are true, honest, just, pure, lovely, and of good report, I may think on these things; and that they may abound in me every day more and more: that I may be always growing wiser and better; always studying to do more and more good; always laboring to be stronger in the faith, richer in good works, more frequent in my devotions, more fervent in Thy service, more zealous for Thy glory, more eminent in meekness and humility, in patience, charity, and everything that is good and acceptable to Thee; that so I may shine as a light in the world,
and excite others by my example to glorify Thee our Heavenly Father; and when Jesus Christ the Chief Shepherd shall appear, I may receive of him a crown of glory that fadeth not away. Amen.
Blessed is he whose unrighteousness is forgiven, and whose sin is covered.
Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth no sin, and in whose spirit there is no guile. Psalm xxxii, 1, 2.
I will acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine unrighteousness have I not hid.
I said, I will confess my sins unto the Lord; and so thou forgavest the wickedness of my sin. Psalm xxxii, 5, 6.
For this shall every one that is godly make his prayer unto thee, in a time when thou mayest be found.
Thou art a place to hide me in; thou shalt preserve me from trouble; thou shalt compass me about with songs of deliverance. Psalm xxxii, 7, 8.
I sought the Lord, and he heard me; yea, he delivered me out of all my fear.
They had an eye unto him, and were lightened; and their faces were not ashamed.
Lo, the poor crieth, and the Lord heareth him; yea, and saveth him out of all his troubles.
The angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them.
O taste, and see, how gracious the Lord is; blessed is the man that trusteth in him.
O fear the Lord, ye that are his saints; for they that fear him lack nothing. Psalm xxxiv, 4-9.
The eyes of the Lord are over the righteous; and his ears are open unto their prayers. Psalm xxxiv, 15.
The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a contrite heart; and will save such as be of an humble spirit.
Great are the troubles of the righteous; but the Lord delivereth him out of all. Psalm xxxiv, 18, 19.
The Lord deliverest the souls of his servants; and all they that put their trust in him shall not be destitute. Psalm xxxiv, 22.
Mark the perfect man, and behold the upright; for the end of that man is peace. Psalm xxxvii, 37.
Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on thee: because he trusteth in thee.
Trust ye the Lord forever: for in the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength. Isaiah xxvi, 3, 4.
The way of the just is uprightness: thou, most upright, dost weigh the path of the just. Isaiah xxvi, 7.
Great peace have they which love thy law: and nothing shall offend them. Psalm cxix, 165.
He that keepeth the commandment keepeth his own soul; but he that despiseth his ways shall die. Prov. xix, 16.
The fear of the Lord tendeth to life: and he that hath it shall abide satisfied; he shall not be visited with evil. Prov. xix, 23.
Whoso keepeth the commandment shall feel no evil thing. Eccl. viii, 5.
The Lord is with you, while ye be with him; and if ye seek him, he will be found of you; but if ye forsake him, he will forsake you. 2 Chron. xv, 2.
Be ye strong, therefore, and let not your hands be weak: for your work shall be rewarded. 2 Chron. xv, 7.
Sow to yourselves in righteousness, reap in mercy; break up your fallow ground: for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain righteousness upon you. Hosea x, 12.
And exercise thyself rather unto godliness. For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. 1 Tim. iv, 7, 8.
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God. Rom. viii, 28.
See, I have set before thee this day life and good, and death and evil. Deut. xxx, 15.
Therefore, choose life, that both thou and thy seed may live: that thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and that thou mayest obey his voice, and that thou mayest cleave unto him: for he is thy life, and the length of thy days. Deut. xxx, 19, 20.
Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. 1 Cor. ii, 9.
They shall be mine, saith the Lord of hosts, in that day when I make up my jewels; and I will spare them, as a man spareth his own son that serveth him. Mal. iii, 17.
Be thou faithful unto death, and I will give thee a crown of life. Rev. ii, 10.
And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city. For without are dogs, and sorcerers, and whoremongers, and murderers, and idolaters, and whosoever loveth and maketh a lie. Rev. xxii, 12-15.
But ye, beloved, building up yourselves on your most holy faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, keep
yourselves in the love of God, looking for the mercy our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal life. Jude, 20, 21
Now unto him that is able to keep us from falling, to present us faultless, before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, now and forever. Amen. Jude, 24, 25.
Blessed be Thy Holy Name, O Lord my God, for Thy great mercy and goodness to Thine unworthy servant this day, in giving me both the opportunity and the will to retire from the world, in order to a more serious and solemn attendance on those religious duties that concern my everlasting salvation.
Accept, I humbly beseech Thee, my humiliation and repentance for all the sins of my past life; my resolutions of better obedience for the time to come; and the prayers, and supplications, and thanksgivings which I have offered up to Thy Divine Majesty.
Of Thine infinite mercy pardon all my failings; and whatsoever good work Thou hast begun in me, be pleased to accomplish and perfect it until the day of Christ. Lord, Thou knowest my weakness, and the number and strength of those temptations I am to struggle with: O leave me not to myself; but cover Thou my head in the day of battle, and in all my spiritual conflicts make me more than conqueror through Him that loved me. O let not the terrors
or flatteries of the world, nor the deceitfulness of mine own corrupt heart, ever betray me to the breach of those promises which I have made to Thee this day: but grant that I may be so steadfast, unmovable, and always abounding in the work of the Lord, that I may in the end obtain that eternal life which Thou hast promised to those who, by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for glory, and honor, and immortality.
Grant this, O merciful Father, for the sake of my Blessed Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus Christ; who for our sins, and rose again for our justification, and now sitteth at Thy right hand to make intercession for all penitent and returning sinners. Amen. Amen.NOTE.--The Prayers, Selected Psalms, and Sentences of Scripture, are taken from the Rev. Richard Hele's Devotions.