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My lips with shame my sins confess
Should sudden vengeance seize my breath,
Yet save a trembling sinner, Lord!
The Prayer on Tuesday Evening.
For a true and sincere repentance.
THOU great and glorious God! Father of all mercies and comforts, who takest pleasure in those that come unto thee with faith, and willest not the death of a sinner, but rather that he should be converted and live; look down, I beseech thee, with pity and compassion upon me, who fall low on my knees before thee, confessing that I have provoked thy Divine Majesty, in divers instances of my sinful life. But now I flee unto the arms of thy mercy, for pardon and
forgiveness. O let the infinite merits of my dear Redeemer make satisfaction for me in the pardon and forgiveness of all my sins.
Lay not to my charge, O Lord, the sins that I have this day been guilty of; but let those and all the other follies of my life past be for ever blotted out of thy remembrance; and receive me, I beseech thee, into thy favour, which I value above all the happiness of this world. O grant me a lively sense of the folly and danger of sin, that I may truly and sincerely abhor that which is evil, cleave to that which is good, and with an unwearied diligence follow after the things which make for my everlasting peace. But, O Lord! because I am a weak and frail creature, and encompassed about with many temptations, vouchsafe to strengthen and assist me with thy grace, that through thy most mighty power I may be enabled to withstand all the allurements of the world, the flesh, and the devil: particularly-[Here mention the sins you are most guilty of.]—Let thy Holy Spirit direct and rule my heart, that I may think and do always such things as be rightful and pleasing in thy sight. And
Give me such a fortitude and resolution, as will support me under all discouragements, carry me through all trials, and enable me to triumph over the great enemy of my salva tion: that having, by thy divine assistance, fought the good fight, and finished my
course, I may at last receive that crown of glory, which thou hast promised to thy faithful soldiers and servants, through the merits of the great Captain of our salvation, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins.
And now, O Father of all mercies! in a humble sense of thy great goodness, I adore and praise thy glorious majesty for all thy manifold blessings and mercies, particularly for those of the day past; I bless thee, O Lord, for whatever good I have done, and whatever evil I have escaped; for preserving me in health and safety; for providing so plentifully for me; but above all, I praise and magnify thy holy name, for the redemption of the world, by the death and passion of thy dear Son.
O give me grace to make a right use and improvement of these and all thy other mercies: be thou pleased, O Lord, still to continue to me thy favour and protection; preserve me this night from all evil, but especially from that of sin; give thy holy angels charge over me, that no evil accident may come near to hurt me; and raise me up again in health and safety, with a heart full of love to thee, and zeal to thy service, through Jesus Christ our Lord, in whose most holy name and words, I presume to call upon thee, say ing, Our Father, &c.
THE MEDITATION: WEDNESDAY MORNING.
Let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. 1 Cor. xi. 28.
REMEMBER, O my soul, how we did
conclude our last meditation, and that promise and resolution we have made truly to repent of all our former sins, which must be a sense, a sorrow, and a confession of all our former sins, and a steadfast purpose or resolution to lead a new life; according to that good direction and admonition of the church, who exhorteth us to examine our life and conversation by the rules of God's commandments: and whereinsoever we shall perceive ourselves to have offended, either by will, word, or deed, there to bewail our own sinfulness, and confess ourselves to Almighty God, with full purpose of amendment. Such an examination of our consciences, if it be frequent, is one of the best instruments of a Christian life, and therefore it ought not to be neglected, when we have time and leisure for so great a work. Because when we make a solemn profession of repentance, we ought to be particular in confessing our sins to God, and in bewailing the
several aggravations of them. Now it is impossible to do this to any purpose, except we search our own minds, and compare our actions with the rule of God's word.
2. This method, no doubt, is an admirable means to improve us in virtue, and the most effectual way to keep our conscience awake, and to make us stand in awe of ourselves, and afraid to sin, when we know beforehand that we must give so severe an account to ourselves of all our ungodly, unjust, and uncharitable actions; of all our vain and filthy speeches; of all our wanton, proud, and covetous thoughts; by which our nature is defiled, God is made our enemy, and we are excluded the kingdom of heaven, without repentance.
3. Is not then this our duty? Nothing can possibly be plainer. We must bethink ourselves how we have spent our life past? What commands of God we have transgressed? What we have neglected? What we have done which was forbidden by God? And what we have not done which was commanded? And, moreover,
4. After we have thus laboured to gain a true sense of our sins, we must endeavour for contrition, or a sorrowful bewailing of our own sinfulness, in thought, word, and deed, which must always bear some proportion to the degrees of our sins; according to that holy resolution of the royal Psalmist, I will