THE REASONABLENESS OF OUR Christian Service (As it is contained in the Book of COMMON-PRAYER) EVIDENCED; And made clear from the Authority of Scriptures, and Practice of the Primitive Christians.

Or, A short RATIONALE upon our Morning and Evening Service, as it is now Established in the Church of ENGLAND.

Wherein every Sentence therein contained, is manifestly proved out of the Holy Bible, or plainly de­monstrated to be consonant thereto.

Composed and written by Thomas Elborow, Vicar of Cheswick: And since his death made publick by the care and industry of Jo. Francklyn, A. M. and Minister of Brentford.

1 Cor. 1.10, 11.

Now, I beseech you, brethren, by the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing, and that there be no divisions among you▪ but that ye be perfectly joyned toge­ther in the same mind, and in the same judgment

For it hath been declared unto me of you, my brethren, by them which are of the house of Cloe, that there are contentions among you.

LONDON, Printed for Richard Chiswell at the Rose and Crown in St. Paul's Church-Yard. 1678.


C. Smith, R. P. D. Episc. Lond. à Sac. Dom.

To the most Virtuous Mrs. FRANCES ELBOROW, Widow of the late deceased Author.


YOur Husband (the Au­thor of this following Treatise) a very wor­thy, and in his station eminent, Minister of, and (what of greater note) a faithful Advocate for the Church of England, besides his continued Exhortations to Piety, to all whom his Care did reach, or his Interest could prevail with, was in the Practises of Publick Duties an eminent Christian Subject, continually [Page]promoting those Duties fundamental to Government, Loyalty, and a Com­munion with the Church by Law Esta­blish'd.

Of the former, and his endeavours for it, he gave a good Testimony (in the beginning of our late Troubles) by his diligent Perswasion of others to it; and, what is truer proof, his own Sufferings for it. The latter be­came [...] Care in its season too.

When our Soveraign was restored to his Right, the Church to its former Order, and He to a Place for the ex­ercise of his Function; he endeavou­red to undeceive those the foregoing Times had misled, and to make them sensible of the true Harmony in the Churches Publick Divine Service. And as his Endeavour, so was his Pro­spect, great too: for, seeing the Pre­sent Age even spoil'd, he did look forward and endeavour to mend the Succeeding.

To this end he writ the following Annotations, with a design as great, as good, (and which I hope will not in a small measure gain upon the World) to beget the Worship of God its due reverent performance, to gain the Church the Communication of all [...]ational English Subjects, and all of the Churches Communion a true sense of their Publick Devotions.

That neither so great a good, nor the memory of the worthy Author should dye; not only the care and love, which my Function presseth me to, of actions of this nature; but also many singular acts of kindness and friendship, which I had receiv'd from the Author, made me gratefully con­cern'd.

But having added to these of his, many and great favours receiv'd from Your virtuous hands, and of those most obliging me to perpetuate your Husband's memory, to have him [Page]known to the World, by benefiting it with some Work of his, I lay under far greater obligations.

To satisfie which, that among other scatter'd Papers which came to my hands, I should choose to publish this Piece, was in consideration of his in­tent thoughts upon the benefits of it, and of the concurrence of Your ge­nerous temper, rather desiring the be­nefit of most, then the satisfaction of the most curious: Knowing moreover, that any name or thing made publick, hath its reception, and takes the mea­sure of its estimation, from the great­ness or the generality of the advan­tage it brings.

There had layn indeed a just accu­sation against me, as of dis-ingenuity toward the Publick, so of great in­gratitude to your Virtues, and to the memory of your Husband, upon my neglect in this concern. However, now give me leave of this necessity [Page]to make a small piece of virtue, and from that little care the publishing this Book requir'd in me, take advan­tage to express my gratefulness to the memory of the worthy Author; and to you the surviving part of him, my desire to shew my self,

Your very faithful Friend and Servant, J. F.


Courteous Reader,

I [...]ind written Eccles. 5.1. that some persons, who come into the Religious Assem­blies to offer up their service and devotions to God, and for want of due considera­tion, do absurd things, they do evil, and consider not that they do it. Now if it be demanded who they are that do so, the same Scripture tells us; They, who do not keep their feet when they enter into the house of God, [Page]do not demean themselves with all the Reve­rence imaginable, when they come into that Holy place, where Gods terrible Majesty is re­presented, which is enough one would think to suppress any unworthy and irreligious actions or thoughts; They, who do not come into Gods house with all holy devotion, and prepared re­solutions to offer to him an holy Worship and Service, such as he will accept of; They, who are not ready to hear, and to receive instruction to salvation by the Word of God, which is there publickly taught; They, who do not readily dispose themsel [...]es to all voluntary obedience to the same Word, in which obedience consists that Service, which is more acceptable with God than any Sacrifice outward; They, who come into Gods house, and special presence there, to offer him a Sacrifice, and perform it in such a gross and rude manner, as that God will not, indeed cannot accept of it; they do as it were affront him in his own house, they offer him an abuse before his face; they come to express their folly, rather then to shew their devotion; they give him the Sacrifice of fools, and all for want of due consideration: For they consider not that they do evil. Now to correct all these errours and evils, which may be committed in the Service of God for want of due conside­ration, (which are great evils, however little account we may make of them) I shall fix [Page]your considerations upon some few things very necessary to be thought upon, when ye are either going about, or are upon the Service of God.

1. When ye are entring, consider that ye are entring Gods house, and therefore keep your feet when ye enter, Eccles. 5.1. which words are a caution, commanding our care and our consideration that we do not enter rudely, that we do not enter rashly and unadvisedly: I or we are going into the house of God, whither we are to carry nothing along with us which may be displeasing and offensive unto that God, into whose house we are going. We are to look to our feet, that is, our passions and affections, which are as the feet and lower part of our souls. We are to undreg them of all earth, dirt and filth, that nothing which is earthly or sensual, may mingle with our spiritual imployments, where­in we are to be exercised, and wholly taken up during our stay in that Holy place. When Moses and Joshua approached that ground, which the presence of God by his Angel made holy, they were commanded to put off their shoes, Exod. 3.5. Josh. 5.15. By which in a figure was intimated, the cleansing of the soul from that filth of sin, which is required of every one, who draws near unto God, Heb. 10.22. When our business is with God, we are to mind [Page]our business, to have our minds, hearts and affections set only upon it. When we come into the house of God, which is the figure of heaven, we are to leave the earth and the world behind us, and to have our conversation only in heaven. When Abraham went to sacrifice, and to offer up the dearest thing which he had, unto God, he left his Ass and his Servants behind him, Gen. 22.5. And when holy Bernard entred the Temple, his usual saying was, Stay behind all my worldly thoughts: So when we are to enter Gods house, and are making our ap­proaches to do him service, we should have no­thing to do with the world, but take off our hearts and affections clear from it. As we would keep our feet as much as possibly we can from dirt and filth, when we are to enter the Presence-Chamber of a King; so when we en­ter into Gods house, which is his Presence-Chamber, we are to keep the feet of our souls clean, and unspotted from the world, though not altogether clean, yet as clean as they can be kept. Like those, who come out of the dirt, into a well-swept room, we must cast away that filth and uncleanness, which we may have contracted in our worldly affairs, when we are entring into the house of God. Keep thy foot when thou entrest; it is an expression borrowed from the Heathens, especially the Aegyptians, who would not enter their Idol-Temples with [Page]shoes on their feet. And amongst his other pre­cepts, Pythagoras gave this for one, When thou sacrificest or worshippest, put off thy shoes from thy feet. By which is intimated to us, who look not so much at the ceremony, as at the meaning of it, That when we come into Gods house, who is a God of purity, in whose presence the brightest Angel is impure, we are to see that all be pure about us; we are to come with pure hearts, pure hands, and to present him with pure offerings; especially we are to look to our affections, the feet of our souls, to see that they have contracted no impurity, for if they be pure, the whole man is pure; Keep thy foot when thou entrest. This is the first con­sideration, which if well thought upon, would prevent many of those rudenesses, evils and misdemeanours, which unwise men rashly com­mit in Gods house, and so offer to him the Sacrifice of fools, for want of due conside­ration.

Secondly, When thou art entred the house of God, let thy next consideration be, that thou art in the presence of God, there where God is present in a more special and peculiar manner: He is every-where present by his Essence, which is infinite, and cannot be contained within bounds or limits: He is every-where present by his Power, turning the Orbs of Heaven with [Page]his hand, fixing the Earth with his foot, gui­ding all Creatures with his eye, and refreshing them all with his influence; but he is more specially present in some places, than in other­some, by the several and more special mani­festations of himself to extraordinary purposes. Thus by Glory his seat is in Heaven, where his Servants dwell with him; by Grace and Be­nediction he is present in Holy places, and Sa­cred Assemblies, where his Servants walk with him, and worship him. Well then, consider what thou art, and what God is into whose spe­cial presence thou art come, and what is thy business with him Thou art a feeble infirm creature, made up of nothing but wants and weaknesses; God is a Creator All-sufficient to heal thy infirmities, to supply thy wants, and to manifest his strength in thy weakness. It is thine own misery and his mercy, which are the two chief motives that bring thee into his house of prayer. That which brought home the Pro­digal into his Fathers house, Luk. 15.17, 18. we may suppose brings thee into Gods house, want and woe in us untoward Children, pity and plenty in God a good and kind Father. For is not this our business with him, (if we do truly understand our own business) to have our needs and wants supplied, our sins par­doned, our miseries relieved by mercies, and a [...] our insufficiencies every way answered out o [...] [Page]that inexhaustible fountain of his goodness who is all-sufficient? This is the best title we can give our selves, we are all but his creatures; and if we are just to our selves, and not partial, we must confess that we are none of the best creatures, by our own default, but vile and vi­tious more than enough. Our dependance both for our being, and well being, and for what is requirable to both, is entirely upon our Creator, and him only, whose creatures we are; but whatever tends to our ruine, undoing, infelicity and misery, is meerly from the Serpent and our selves. So that as I noted before, our own mise­ries, and Gods mercies, our wants, and Gods many ways to supply them, our sins, our many sins to be pardoned, and Gods inclinations, great inclinations for to pardon them, if we are truly and sincerely penitent, are the two great motives, which bring us into Gods house, into his special presence; but we are to lay open our selves before him, from whom we can­not hide our selves though we would; for he made us, and knows us, better than we know, or can know our selves. For there is not any creature that is not manifest in his sight; there is no man shall be able to disguise himself so cunningly, but God will discover him, all things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him, with whom we have to do, Heb. 4.13.

Thirdly, But now in the third place, let us consider what we are to do first, after we have made our adorations as we ought to do, when we are come into Gods house and special pre­sence. Now methinks those vile, unprofitable, and pernicious things called our sins, (which are indeed properly our own) should come to our remembrance. There is nothing so likely to hinder good things from us, as our sins unconfessed, unrepented of: They hinder our prayers from ascending acceptably unto God, for God will not hear sinners, who bring no­thing but their sins unrepented of for an offer­ing, and like Adonijah lay hold on the Altar with all their sins and rebellions about them; and they hinder Gods blessings from descen­ding comfortably upon us. Therefore when we are come into the presence of God, and are all met together in his house, to offer up our solemn Service and Sacrifice to him, we ought in the first place to make Confession of our sins, to which necessary and important duty we are not only moved and invited by the Word of God, in many places, and by many urgent motives and reasons, but we are also by the same Word instructed how to perform it. We are not to dissemble our sins before that God, from whom we cannot hide them, but we are to confess and acknowledge our manifold sins and wicked­nesses, with humble, lowly, penitent and obe­dient [Page]hearts, to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same by Gods infinite good­ness and mercy. This is a duty which ought to be done by every private Christian at all times, in the [...]loset, and in the secret hambers, but chiefly and most solemnly is to be done by all Christians, when they are met together in Chri­stian Assemblies; that having done this first, they may be the better disposed to do other things, which are also then and there fit and necessary to be done. 1. To render to God a tribute of thanks for mercies received. 2. To render him a tribute of praise in the best ex­pressions. 3. To hear his Word with all atten­tion, due reverence and devotion. 4. To beg humbly of him all necessary things which we want, either for our souls or bodies, for our sup­port or duty. All which things cannot be well done, nor done with any good success by those, who would endeavour to hide their sins from God, and decline to make sincere confession of them, with a purpose to forsake them. For he that covereth his sins, shall not prosper; but he that confesseth and forsaketh his sins, shall have mercy, Prov. 28.13.

Fourthly, Thus far our considerations, as to our affairs in the Temple, and the house of God, are right, and being well entertained by us, and often and seriously thought upon, may [Page]rectifie many evils and disorders, which by fools and inconsiderate persons are too frequent­ly there committed. Now having seriously con­sidered all that is before mentioned, and ha­ving resolved to do it too upon serious conside­ration, then it will in the next place concern us, when we are all present together, with pure hearts, and humble voices, to make our ap­proach to the Throne of Gods heavenly Grace, and to confess, (all meekly kneeling upon our knees) 1. That God is Almighty, able to help us, and a most merciful Father, willing to hear us. 2. That we are grievuous sinners, who have neglected to do our duty, and have not refrained to do whatsoever is contrary to it. 3. That our condition is sad and deplorable, that there is nothing either in us, or from us, which can minister to us any relief; but that upon our unfeigned repentance, our departing from sin, and amendment of our lives, and serious reso­lutions to live better for the future, Grace is to be had from the Throne of Grace, by the Me­diatour of Grace Jesus Christ. For as God de­lights not in the sin of any man, but would have all men come to repentance; so neither is he pleased with the death of any penitent sinner, but hath given forth his promises of par­don and forgiveness, to be authoritatively con­veyed by the mouths of his Ministers, to all who have received the Grace of true repen­tance, [Page](which we are constantly to pray for) and are acted on by his holy Spirit to lead holy and pure lives; that so by living exactly ac­cording to the measures of Grace received here, which is Glory begun, we may come to Glory hereafter, which is Grace complete, and all through Jesus Christ, unto whose Throne we may come boldly, yet humbly, not trusting to our own merits, but relying upon Gods mercies through Christs merits, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in time of need, Heb. 4.16.

Fifthly, Having thus seriously composed our selves by a deep consideration of our sins both confessed and acknowledged, and by the con­sideration of our wants to be supplied, and of the greatness and goodness of that God, to whom we are to make our addresses for the par­don of our sins, and the supply of our wants; Then it is very well worthy our consideration, and upon consideration we may resolve within our selves, that we cannot come with a better and more acceptable Prayer, to be offered up unto the Throne of Grace, than that which the Mediatour of Grace himself hath taught us, saying, When ye pray, say, Our Father which art in heaven, Luk. 11.2. in which Prayer, before we offer it up, we may do well to take notice both of the method, and of the [Page]matter contained in it. The method of the Prayer is this; 1. There is a Preface, shew­ing whom we pray to: We pray to God, who is a Father, and so willing; who is in Heaven, and so able to help us; who is ours in Christ, and so by a warrant and commission given us from Christ, we may with the more confidence make our addresses to him As he is a Father, we pray to him in hope; as he is ours, a com­mon Father, we pray to him in hope; and as he is in Heaven, we pray to him in fear, humi­lity and devotion. 2. There are Petitions, shewing what we pray for, and in what order: First, we pray to God (as it is fit we should) for those things which concern his Glory, and by which his Name may be hallowed and glo­rified: Next, we pray for those things, which concern our good of Glory, Grace, and Nature. We pray that Gods kingdom may come, that his power and dominion may appear all over the world; we pray that his will may be done by us men on earth, as it is done by the Holy Angels in heaven, and that we may all live in all holy obedience to his commands. We pray that God would give us daily bread, all things needful both for our souls and bodies, for our support and duty whilst we live here. In the next place we pray against the evil of sin past, that God would in mercy pardon it, and incline us to have the like pity and com­passion [Page]one of another; we pray against the evil of sin to come, that God would by his grace keep us from it; we pray also against the evil of punishment, external, internal, eternal, that God would keep it from us by his mercy. This is the summe of the Dominical or Lords Prayer.

Sixthly, Being thus as it were refreshed and enlivened by this Prayer, we are next to pro­ceed in very good order to the more solemn Service and Worship of God desiring his assi­stance to open our lips, that we may praise him in the b [...]st manner: [...]or without Gods grace we can do nothing; and it is most certain, that the Devil will be then most ready to hin­der us, when we are most d [...]sirously bent to serve and praise God▪ [...]aving therefore peti­tioned God in the Dominical Prayer, meekly kneeling upon our knees, and having joyntly craved his assistance in what is farther to be done, it follows next that we should in the most chearful posture, (which is standing) exhibit to God our Lands and Praises, for all those blessings which he hath most graciously con­ferred upon us; which Praises of God cannot be better set forth, than in the Book of Psalms, which his own Spirit hath endited; which once made up a great part of the Jewish Service, and which Christ himself consecrated [Page]by his and the Apostles use of them, to bear a part in Christian Assemblies. Wherein we are to consider, 1. Whom we are to praise, The Lord. 2. How we are to do it, joyntly with voices of Psalmodists, and joyful hearts, Let us sing, let us heartily rejoyce. 3. Why we are to do it, Because he is the strength of our Salvation, our mighty Saviour and deli­verer, ready to supply all our needs, to help us in all our dangers and distresses, and can and will succour us (if we relie upon him) when we are most destitute. O come therefore, let us sing unto the Lord, let us heartily rejoyce in the strength of our salvation, Psal. 95.1. which Psalm hath been used by the Church of God in all ages, for an Introit Psalm, to put us in mind how we should praise and glorifie God. Now as we invite our selves by this Psalm to give glory to God, so it is meet and convenient that at the end of every Psalm we should actually do it, saying, Glory be to God the Father our Maker, to God the Son our Re­deemer, to God the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier, as it hath been the ancient use in all Christian Assemblies.

Seventhly, Having offered up our Lands and Praises to God in a most solemn manner, whereby we may not only instruct our selves, but edifie Gods glory; then to give a kind of [Page]rest to our devotions, that they tire not, it follows in due and proper place, that we should with all devout diligence, sober, serious, and grave attention, give up our selves to the hear­ing of Holy Scriptures distinctly and orderly read out of both the Testaments: For as it was once the practice of the Jews in their pub­lick Service, to have one Lesson read out of the writings of Moses, and another out of the other Prophets, that the people might see the Harmony and agreement betwixt Moses and the rest; so the like use and practice hath been observed by Christians in their publick Assem­blies, to have one Lesson read out of the Old Testament, and another out of the New, (only a Hymn used betwixt both, to take off from the tediousness, and to make the Service the more recreative) that people may be able to see the Harmony of both the Testaments, to discern one God, one Christ, and one Spirit in both, and how the Old Testament carries the New along with it in the same bottom, that both aim at one and the same great design, to make men first holy, and then happy. And this reading of Scripture hath been in ancient times estee­med Preaching, as appears Act. 15.21. where it is said, That Moses of old time had in every City them that preached him, being read in the Synagogue every Sabbath-day. There are indeed other ways of preaching besides this: [Page]Dilating upon a Text of Scripture, is prea­ching; Catechizing, is preaching; Expoun­ding, is preaching; yet this hinders not but bare reading of the Text may be preaching also, and may for ought I know edifie as well as any Gloss made upon it. [...]or can we ima­gine that a set speech of any man, made upon a Text of Scripture taken at all adventure, (though it may set an edge upon som [...] hearers devotion) should yet edifie more than the Text it self, or adde any efficacy to that? Certainly the Sermons of Moses, and the Prophets of Christ, and his Apostles, being often heard with attention and devotion, as they are often read, may instruct as much as any set speech deli­vered by men of meaner gifts, which may be as soon forgotten as it is spoken, and may be oft-times more obscure too, than the Text which it endeavours to explain. This is not spoken to detract from solid and seasonable preaching, but only to vindicate the Word read from that scorn, which too many put upon it in these evil days.

Eighthly, Having devoutly heard the Word of God, and by often hearing of it, been well grounded and instructed in those points of Faith, which are necessarily to be believed by all, who seek for salvation by Jesus Christ the anointed Saviour, (which points of Faith are [Page]briefly summed up in the Apostles Creed, and only enlarged by way of explication in the Nicene and Athanasian) it follows next in very good order, that we should in a posture of resolution, which is a standing posture, make publick and joynt Confession of that Faith with our mouths, which we believe in our hearts; to shew that we dare own it in the face of all the world, and are not ashamed of it. Where­in we confess to believe, That there is one God maker of all things, one Christ redeemer of mankind, one Holy Spirit, sanctifier of the elect people of God, which people are an holy society or Church; Catholick, dispersed over the world; and a Communion of Saints, firmly united by all the communications of love and charity, acted by the same Spirit, governed by the same Laws, leading holy and pure lives, having all the same hopes to have their sins pardoned, their bodies raised from death to life again, and souls and bodies both re-united and crowned with glory in an immortal and end­less life. This is the summe of our Faith, which we are to make Confession of after the hearing of the Word; Because Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God, Rom. 10.17.

Ninthly, Having thus far proceeded in the publick Service both for Morning and Even­ing, [Page]in a right and due order, it is meet in the close of all (when we have first prepared and fitted our selves by some quickning reci­procal Responds) that we summe up either in Litanies, universal Collects, or Collects apart, all that we are to pray unto God for, or to praise him for in publick Assemblies. Now all will come under the heads mentioned 1 Tim. 2. vers. 1, 2. which Text seems to be a platform, according to which the publick Ser­vice fitted for Christian Assemblies was first framed up; wherein we meet with, 1. Sup­plications, for the averting of all hurtful things from us, sins, and dangers, that God would turn us from the evil of sin by Grace, and turn from us the evil of punishment by Mercy. 2. Prayers, for the obtaining of all good things, which we want for our souls and bodies; for our souls, pardon of sins past, and grace to forsake sin for the future; for our bodies, all things needful and convenient for us whilst we live here, what God knows best for us, in order to advance his glory, to promote the good of others, and the salvation of our own souls. 3. Intercessions, for others, for all mankind, for all Governours secular and spiritual, that they may act their parts over us, and we may live peaceably and quietly under them; For all persons any ways afflicted, for enemies, persecutors, and slanderers; and we are to beg [Page]of God for them the same good things as we would beg for our selves. 4. Giving of thanks, wherein we are to bless God for all mercies already received, vouchsafed to our own per­sons, to all who relate to us, to the Church and State whereof we are members, to all mankind. We are to give unto God the retribution of thanks, for all spiritual blessings, for giving us his Son and holy Spirit, for affording all means to bring sinful men from their vitious courses unto himself; for suffering us to be born within the pale of the Church, to be brought up in Christian Religion, where we have the advantages of the Word, Sacraments, and all the means of eternal life put into our hands. We are to render to God our thanks, for his patience and long-sufferance, in waiting for our repentance; for his calls and invitations, outward by his Word, inward by his Spirit, to bring us to repentance; for his good, great, and gracious work wrought upon any of us, in bringing us clear off from prophane, worldly, and carnal courses, to lead Godly and Chri­stian lives. We are also to praise God, and to give him the retribution of our thanks for temporal blessings, for the peace and prosperity of the Church and Nation, for all remarkable deliverances vouchsafed to either; for all the good things of this life in general, and in par­ticular for health, food, raiment, friends, all [Page]preservations and deliverances, and for all mercies whatsoever, which cannot easily be enu­merated. Ʋnder all the forementioned heads, the main body of the Service constantly used in our Christian Assemblies, is contained; which Service is to be concluded with the Priests blessing and benediction, without which the Assemblies cannot well be dismissed, or dissolved.

These few considerations I thought good to recommend unto you, not so much to instruct the knowing, as to inform the ignorant, who either enter not Gods house at all, but it may be are worse imployed when they should be there, which is an evil they consider not of, and so they offer God no Sacrifice at all; or else they enter it without any devotion or reverence, which is another evil that they consider not of, and so they offer to God a Sacrifice of fools; or being entred, it may be do not understand their own offering which they are to offer up, and so they offer to God they know not what, serve him they know not how nor wherefore. But to correct those evils, that persons may come to the house of God, come as they should come, and knowingly and understandingly do what there is fit to be done, I have presented these considerations to those, who do evil in Church-Assemblies, and consider not when they [Page]do it. These, Christian Reader, with the fol­lowing Notes made upon our Service-Book, I freely offer to thee, hoping that thou wilt as kindly accept them, as I do freely offer them, and I pray God to direct thee, and to give thee a right understanding in all things.



The Order for Morning Prayer daily throughout the Year.


Note 1. THat Prayer is a devout ascent of the Soul to God, where­by we petition him for such things as we need both for our support and duty; and we ought to be frequent in this devout exercise, because it is not only the great duty, but the greatest priviledge of a Christian, commanded by Christ's Precept, and commended by Christ's Example, who was frequent in Prayer not so much for him­self, as for our benefit and instruction.

Note 2. That Prayers, especially publick in the Church-Assemblies, are to be ordered, set and prescribed; because in the Church, which ought to be the School of comliness, things are to be done decently, by observing every due and proper Scheme and Figure, [Page 2]which the action shall require, and accor­ding to the order and appointment of Ec­clesiastical Governours, 1 Cor. 14.40. It is much to be wondred at, that any persons of sober judgments, and well ground in Reli­gion, can imploy their time so ill as to de­vise and study objections against prescribed Prayers in the publick Service of God: Be­cause set forms were prescribed by God in the Old Testament, Numb. 6.23, 24, 25. Deut. 26.5. Christ in the New not only en­joyned a set form to be used by his Disci­ples, Luk. 11.2. but he, whose every action should be our instruction, used one himself. It was also the practice of the Jews, from the time of Ezra, and long before, constantly to use set forms of Prayer by way of Liturgy; neither did they use them only as a necessary provision for the Ignorant, but as a secure hedge and fence to their Religion, by this means to keep all mixtures and corruptions out of their Church; and they had 18 Prayers or Benedictions set and composed, according to the matter and form of which some say the Lords Prayer was instituted; and it is very probable, that in imitation of the Jews, the Pagans might use set forms at their Sacrifices, and most certainly they did; which forms were first approved of by the Priests, before they were used; and when [Page 3]they did use them, they read them out of a Book, that they might neither stray in the matter of their Prayers, nor offend in the manner. And that the Church of Christ hath in all ages used a prescribed and set Form, I think is not to be question'd: After Christs ascension, and before the Holy Ghosts de­scension, they continued all with one accord in Prayer and Supplication, Act. 1.14. which Prayer was certainly in a set form, for as yet the Holy Ghost was not come down upon them, neither were they qualified for Prayer above the ordinary rate of other men; and when the Holy Ghost did come down with his extraordinary gifts, those gifts continued not long, and therefore an early provision was made for set forms to be constantly used, to supply the defects of them; which Litur­gies (as ours is) were framed up according to St. Paul's prescribed pattern, 1 Tim. 2.1. consisting, 1. Of Supplications, for the avert­ing of all hurtful things, sins and dangers. 2. Of Prayers, for the obtaining of all good things, which they wanted or stood in need of. 3. Of Intercessions, for others, for Kings and all in Authority, for the whole Church. 4. Of Thanksgivings, for mercies already re­ceived: in all which they prayed not only for themselves, but in a greater diffusion of their charity for all mankind. And all were [Page 4]prescribed, 1. That the people might the better joyn with the Minister, and say Amen to the Prayer. 2. That the peoples wants might be the better enumerated, the people themselves be the better edified, all absurdi­ties in Prayer might be avoided, and all might with one mind and one mouth glorifie God, Rom. 15.6.


At the beginning of Morning Prayer, the Mi­nister shall read with a loud voice some one or more of these sentences of the Scriptures that follow; and then he shall say that which is written after the said sentences.

When the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness that he hath committed, and doth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive, Ezek. 18.27.

I acknowledge my transgressions, and my sin is ever before me, Psal. 51.3.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities, Psal. 51.9.

The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise, Psal. 51.17.

Rent your heart, and not your garments, [Page 5]and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil, Joel 2.13.

To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled a­gainst him; neither have we obeyed the voice of the Lord our God, to walk in his Laws, which he set before us, Dan. 9.9, 10.

O Lord, correct me, but with judgment, not in thine anger, lest thou bring me to no­thing, Jer. 10.24.

Repent ye, for the kingdom of Heaven is at hand, Mat. 3 2.

I will arise, and go to my Father, and will say unto him, Father, I have sinned against heaven, and before thee; and am no more worthy to be called thy son, Luke 15.18, 19.

Enter not into judgment with thy ser­vant, O Lord; for in thy sight shall no man living be justified, Psal. 143.2.

If we say that we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us. But if we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness, 1 John 1.8, 9.


The forecited sentences are all taken word for word out of the Holy Scripture; of which the Minister may, according to his discretion, and as a fit occasion shall be offered, make his choice; which he is to read with a grave, distinct, loud but humble voice, always considering that they are here set in proper place to mind the Congrega­tion of their own misery, and God's mercy, and to prepare and stir up the hearts of people for the better performance of Holy Duties, following both with alacrity and devotion. —

DEarly beloved brethren, Jam. 2.5. the Scripture moveth us in sundry places to acknowledge and confess our manifold sins and wickedness, 1 John 1.9. Psal 51.3. Psal. 38.18. and that we should not dissem­ble, nor cloak them before the face of Al­mighty God our heavenly Father, Prov. 28.13. Psal. 32.5. but confess them with an humble, lowly, penitent, and obedient heart, to the end that we may obtain forgiveness of the same by his infinite goodness and mercy, Psal. 10.17. Psal. 34.18. Joel 2.12, 13. And although we ought at all times humbly [Page 7]to acknowledge our sins before God, 1 Tim. 2.8. yet ought we most chiefly so to do when we assemble and meet together, Levit. 4.14. to render thanks for the great bene­fits that we have received at his hands, Psal. 68.19. to set forth his most worthy praise, Psal. 50.23. to hear his most holy word, Hebr. 3.7. Rom. 10.17. and to ask those things which are requisite and necessary as well for the body as the soul, Mat. 6.11, 12. Mat. 7.7, 8. Jam. 4.2, 3. Wherefore I pray and beseech you, as many as are here pre­sent, to accompany me with a pure heart, and humble voice, 1 Cor. 4.16. 2 Cor. 2.8. 2 Cor. 5.20. unto the throne of the heavenly Grace, saying after me, Hebr. 4.16.


The forementioned Exhortation is grave and serious, exactly agreeable to Holy Scrip­ture, in which the people are invited and exhorted in an Apostolical stile, to confess their sins humbly to the Lord; who is able to help them, because Almighty; and wil­ling to hear them, because most merciful. It gives us in a short summe, the chief ends of our publick meetings in the houses of God; it sets us some steps forward toward repen­tance, makes us to know that we have [Page 8]offended, instructs us how and in what man­ner to acknowledge our offence, and by degrees brings us to confession upon our knees.


A general Confession to be said of the whole Congregation after the Minister, all kneeling.

ALmighty and most merciful Father, Gen. 17.1. Gen. 35.11. 2 Cor. 1.5. we have erred and strayed from thy ways like lost sheep, Psal. 119.176. 1 Pet. 2.25. we have followed too much the devises and desires of our own hearts, Febr. 3.10. Gen. 6.5. we have offended against thy holy Laws, Act. 7.53 Dan. 9.9, 10. Jam. 2.10. Jam. 3.2. we have left undone those things which we ought to have done, and we have done those things which we ought not to have done, Rom. 7.15, 19. and there is no health in us, Isa, 1.5, 6. But thou, O Lord, have mercy upon us miserable offenders, Luke 18.13. Psal. 51.1. Spare thou them, O God, which confess their faults, Joel 2.17. Hos. 14.2. restore thou them that are penitent, Psal. 51.12. Hebr. 6.6. according to thy promises declared unto mankind in Christ [Page 9]Jesu our Lord, Ephes. 3.6. Rom. 15.8. 2 Cor. 1.20. And grant O most merciful Father for his sake, John 14.13, 14. John 15.16. that we may hereafter live a godly, righteous, and sober life, Tit. 2.11, 12. to the glory of thy holy Name, 1 Pet. 4.11. 1 Cor. 10.31. Amen, 1 Cor. 14.16.


This Confession, as appears by the fore­cited Texts, is exactly agreeable to Scrip­ture, and is rationally and upon prudent grounds allowed the first place in our pub­lick Liturgy. We begin our Service with Confession of sin for these reasons, 1. Be­cause our sins make a separation betwixt God and us, Isa. 59.2. keep good things from us, Jer. 5.25. hinder our prayers from ascending acceptably to God, and God's blessings from descending comfortably upon us. 2. It was the practice of God's people the Jews, to begin their Service with a ge­neral Confession of sin, of which we have the marks and signs in the Law, Lev. 16.16. and the pattern and platform in the Pro­phets; but the Confessions themselves are particularly to be met with in the Books of the Jews. This verbal Confession (of which we have an instance Luke 1.10.) made the [Page 10] Jews fully acquainted with the true use of Sacrifices: Besides, Almighty God being jea­lous of his honour, commanded a brazen Laver to be set between the Tabernacle of the Congregation and the Altar, for Aaron and his Sons twice in a day to wash their hands and feet, Exod. 30.17, 18, 19, 20, 21. by which was signified the Laver of Repen­tance, which we always stand in need of: From the Jews it afterwards became a cu­stom in the Christian Church, to begin their publick Service with Confession of sin, and to perform it in such a manner as we do. The very Heathens had something amongst them which seemed to allude to it, for they used to wipe off the dirt from their feet when they entred into the places of their Religious Service and Sacrifice. However, it is most certainly agreeable to right Rea­son and Religion, that we should begin our Service to God with Confession of our sins; that having first confessed our sins, and im­plored God's pardon for them, we may the better pray unto him, and praise him for other things. So David began with, Wash me throughly from mine iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin, Psal. 51.2. and then he says, Open thou my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall shew forth thy praise, ver. 15. because sin doth shut up our mouth, and God par­doning [Page 11]sin, opens it that we may chearfully pray unto him and praise him. And where­as Confession of sin is enjoyned to be said of the whole Congregation after the Mini­ster, it is for these reasons; 1. Because the Minister is the peoples mouth to God-ward in Prayer, both to go before them and to instruct them, as in Preaching he is Gods mouth to the people. 2. By this means the Church, like a careful Mother, makes pro­vision so far as she can, that none of her untoward children should dissemble their wickedness, the humble and penitent con­fession whereof is made so necessary an in­troduction to her Divine Offices. Now this Confession is to be made kneeling, because it is the fittest posture for Penitents, that by the outward lowliness of our bodies, we may the better express the inward humility of our minds. All Holy men we meet with in Scripture, were for this posture of kneel­ing at their devotion; David, Psal. 95.6. Solomon, 2 Chron. 6.13. Ezra, chap. 9.5. Daniel, chap. 6.10. Christ, Luk. 22.41. Stephen, Acts 7.60. Paul, Acts 20.36. God would not have us when we come before him to worship him, to offer to him, and to receive from him, to be as if we had no joynts in our knees; he expects more from us then from the Pillars of our Churches: [Page 12]Every day we begin our Service with a Psalm which invites us to it, Psal. 95.6. And the first Christians ever used to begin their Ser­vice in this manner, saying, Before all things let us fall down and worship the Lord who made us. This was the first voice heard, and the first thing done in the Primitive Church. We daily utter the same voice, and daily in­vite our selves to do the same thing, and shall we never do it for all this? what is this but to mock God? nay to mock and abuse our selves, for God will not be mocked; he knows our misdemeanours in his Service, and how to apportion out punishments in his own due time, such as we deserve. As Augustus the Emperour said to one, who came rudely into his presence to petition, I wonder how we two come to be so familiar; so if we do but observe how rudely, and with what unmannerly behaviour some per­sons come into Gods presence, to beg par­don of him for their sins, it may raise more wonder to think how God and they come to be so familiar.


The Absolution or Remission of sins, to be pro­nounced by the Priest alone standing, the people still kneeling.

ALmighty God, Gen. 17.1. the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, Rom. 15.6. who desireth not the death of a sinner, but rather that he may turn from his wickedness and live, Ezek. 33.11. 1 Tim. 2.4. and hath given power and commandment to his Mi­nisters, to declare and pronounce to his peo­ple, being penitent, the absolution and re­mission of their sins, Luk. 24.47. Joh. 20.23. 2 Cor. 5.19. He pardoneth and absolveth all them that truly repent, and unfeignedly be­lieve his Holy Gospel, Act. 10.43. Luk. 24.47. Act. 3.19. Rom. 1.16. Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his holy Spirit, 2 Tim. 2.25. Act. 11.18. Luk. 11.13. that those things may please him which we do at this present, Heb. 11.6. Rom. 8.8. and that the rest of our life here­after may be pure and holy, Ephes. 1.4. Joh. 5.14. Rom. 6.6. so that at the last we may come to his eternal joy, Heb. 12.14. Mat. 5.8. through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 5.21. Rom. 6.23.


The People shall answer here, and at the end of all other Prayers, Amen, Nehem. 5.13. 1 Chron. 16.36. 1 Cor. 14.16.


The Absolution is as to every part of it grounded upon Scripture; Remission and Absolution are two names, which signifie one and the same thing, a loosing from sin, wherein the Soul is held bound as in a pri­son, Psal. 142.7. Psal. 119.32. Sin is as a yoke, burden, chain, fetter, which loads, binds, and holds fast the Soul, Lam. 1.14. Psal. 38.4. Psal. 73.6. Absolution helps to remove this yoke, to lighten this burden, to loose this chain. Sin is a debt, Mat. 6.12. Luk. 11.4. Mat. 18.27. by Absolution and Remission we are acquitted and discharged from this debt. The Heathens looked upon the characteristick (A) when set alone, as a propitious letter, because it noted amongst the Romans the Absolution of a Criminal; whereas the characteristical letter (C) was the mark of a condemned person: but in Christianity, let (C) for Confession be pla­ced before (A) for Absolution, it alters the [Page 15]case very much. Some persons indeed have been very much offended at the word (Ab­solution,) and therefore prevailed to have the word (Remission) stand by it, to be its Interpreter into milder sense; those persons I conceive to be like some people, which I have read of, who fearing their Tygers, called them by more gentle names, that they might not be devoured by them. But some scruple may again be made, why the Priest alone should pronounce this Absolution, and that in the standing posture, when all the people are still upon their knees? Which scruple may easily be removed from those, who can distinguish the Priest and a Mini­ster in his Office, from an ordinary person not invested into Holy Orders: For the Priest, especially when in his Office, and officiating, is in Christ's stead, and acting in one part of his Commission given to him by Christ, which is to absolve penitents, Mat. 16.19. John 20.23. Neither doth he absolve by way of declaration only, but by way of authority, Jam. 5.14, 15. which au­thority is absolutely and originally in God, who is only able to forgive sins by the highest and most unquestionable authority, Mark 2.8. Yet there is by the Charter of the Church a subordinate delegate power, derived from God by Christ to the Priests [Page 16]and Ministers, for to remit or to retain sin, John 20.22, 23. The Priest remits or retains sin, as a Civil Magistrate pardons or con­demns a Malefactor, not by any power ori­ginally in themselves, but by a power de­legated from God. And to shew by what power he acts, the Priest pronounceth the Absolution standing; and when the Con­fession of sin is serious, from the heart, un­feigned, such as God requires and will ac­cept of, the Priest's Absolution is without question as effectual, as if God himself did pronounce it from Heaven. Heaven waits for, and expects the Priest's sentence on Earth; and if the person to be absolved, by an hypocritical and feigned repentance, make not the key to fail in such cases, what the Servant binds or looses here on Earth, the Lord himself ratifies and confirms in Heaven, Mat. 18.18, 19. Now in the Ab­solution to be pronounced by the Minister, or rather after it, this clause is added, Wherefore let us beseech him to grant us true repentance, and his holy Spirit, and may seem to be added for these reasons following; 1. To shew that as Repentance is a necessa­ry disposition to pardon, so that it is also a necessary consequent of it; for he who is pardoned, ought to be as much a penitent (if he truly understands himself) as he who [Page 17]seeks pardon; as we are daily liable to sin, so for our own safety we are to secure and keep our selves within the state of pardon, which we cannot do but by continuing in a state of Repentance; besides, the sad re­membrance of sin (though pardon'd) ought to be always grievous to us. 2. Because after a sin is pardoned and remitted, the Devil is most busie to tempt the sinner either to commit the same sin again, or a worse; therefore as in the Lords Prayer we are taught to pray, first to have our sins for­given, and next not to be led into tempta­tion; so here no sooner is Absolution and Remission of sins declared and pronounced by the Priest, as a great priviledge and fa­vour granted to all sincere Penitents, and sound believers, but the same pardoned per­sons are invited and stirred up in their own defence, to pray for a continued Repen­tance and assistance of Gods holy Spirit, that they may be secure from all Satans tempta­tions for the future, and make the grace of Pardon already granted, a new obligation to more holy living; that so we may not only please God in our present Devotions, but also in our future life; for most certain it is, that every lapse after pardon is the greater sin, John 5.14. 2 Pet. 2.20. But we are to note in the last place, that the people [Page 18]are enjoyned to answer Amen, as at the end of this, so of every Prayer in the Service-Book, because Amen if pronounced as from the heart, is an Indication of the peoples assent to the preceding Prayer, and an affir­mation that the thing prayed for is good and necessary for them, and a tollification of the peoples votes and desires to obtain it. It hath ever been used at the end of Prayers, and pronounced with a loud voice, carrying in it devotion, zeal and fervency; it is the last acclamation of our prayers, in the pro­nouncing of which the Primitive Christians were wont to raise up their bodies, as if they had a desire to carry their bodies as well as their souls up to Heaven.


Then the Minister shall kneel, and say the Lords Prayer with an audible voice; the People also kneeling and repeating it with him, both here, and wheresoever else it is used in Divine Service.

OUr Father which art in heaven, hal­lowed be thy name, Mat. 6.9. thy kingdom come, thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven, ver. 10. give us this day our [Page 19]daily bread, ver. 11. and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive them that trespass against us, ver. 12. and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen, ver. 13.


They must certainly be vain and wicked, acted on by some wild and extravagant spi­rit, who to make way for their own crude and humane breathings, (not fit sometimes to carry the name of Prayers) would thrust the Lords Prayer quite out, and allow it no place in the publick Divine Service, which is as the Salt of the Sacrifice, and that which should season all our Liturgick Offices. Cer­tainly as men may use other Prayers, so they ought not to be restrained, nor to restrain themselves from the use of this, which is a Prayer used by the Church of Christ all the world over, dictated at first by the supreme wisdom of our great and eternal Mediator Jesus Christ, who presents our Prayers unto God, and perfectly knows our Fathers mind: It is the most complete Prayer which can be made, summing up all the most lawful re­quests which can be imagined, the epitome, mirrour, rule of all other Prayers, in a won­derful [Page 20]brevity of words, including so great plenty and variety of matter, as if it would make a Camel to pass through a Needles­eye: It contains in it more histories and mysteries, then words; it is the most metho­dical, emphatical, divine Prayer, that ever yet was or shall be composed, for all the parts of it cohere with an admirable sym­metry; it is exactly made in measure and proportion, all of it is full of Torches, which enlighten each other; not all the wits on Earth, nor Angels in Heaven, were ever ca­pable of dictating the like. There is as much difference betwixt this, and Prayers of man's composing, as betwixt the Tabernacle and Pattern upon the Mount: the Tabernacle was Earthly, framed by man; the Pattern Heavenly, formed by God: so this Prayer is all over coelestial and divine, whereas our Prayers are at the best but humane, and framed up by man's industry: Neither is there any man so knowing or so religious, who is not subject to many failings in the composure of his Prayers; they are subject to imperfection, to excess, to disorders, to many irregularities; we cannot possibly be without some errour in this business, either we want or exceed, are too short or too long, or raise our thoughts out of rank and place, when we speak our own Prayers; but [Page 21]in saying the Lords Prayer (if our hearts go along with the prayer) we cannot fail to speak well; we omit nothing, we speak no­thing superfluous, we are not extravagant, we cannot be impertinent in our words: Therefore having framed up Prayers accor­ding to what is possible for us to do, and ha­ving well considered the defects of them, we have recourse to this most absolute Prayer of Christ, for the perfecting of all the imper­fections in our own. Certainly we, who are Christians, ought to say this Prayer, because Jesus Christ hath put it into our mouths, and made it to be the abridgment of all Prayer, wherein are summed up all lawful requests. He hath given it to be a rule and guide for us to pray by, and an exact form for us to pray in: It is a Prayer of universal concern­ment, in respect of things contained in it, persons using it, times when, and places where it may be used. All the Churches of the Christian World pronounce it, and it must needs be a great consolation to us to keep our part in this great consort; we may say it in prosperity and adversity, in Peace and War, in health and sickness, in life and at the hour of death; young and old, rich and poor, noble and ignoble, Princes and Peasants may all pronounce it together. Therefore not without good reason is it so [Page 22]frequently used in our Liturgick Offices, be­cause it is so large for matter, so short and compendious for phrase and words, so sweet for order, in all respects so perfect and abso­lute, we give it the most place in our pub­lick devotions; sometimes begin with it to guide our prayers, and sometimes conclude with it to compleat and perfect them. Wherever Christian Religion is professed, this prayer is used as one of the principal and most material duties of honour done to Jesus Christ. The often repeating of it, can­not bring it within the compass of that vain repetition, which our Saviour condemned, Mat. 6.7. for repetition is then only vain, when words are often repeated being di­rected neither with reason of Art, nor with zeal and devotion of heart, nor with any supposal of a justly implyed necessity, all which most certainly may meet in the use of this prayer, how frequently soever we make use of it. For because we cannot pray as we ought, there is a kind of necessity for us to use it to supply our defects, and that with art and zeal (we hope) sufficient. Again, seeing we have an Advocate with the Father interceding continually for sinners, when we seek for pardon of our sins at Gods hand, we cannot do better then alledge unto God the words which our Advocate hath taught [Page 23]us; seeing he hath promised that shall be granted which we ask in his name, we may be confident that will not be denied which we ask in his name and words. When in our prayers we speak unto the Father in the Sons own prescribed form of words, we may be sure that we utter nothing which God will either disallow, or deny. The Minister is to begin this prayer with an audible voice, and the people all kneeling are to re­peat it orderly after him, for these supposed reasons; 1. That people ignorantly educa­ted may learn it, and be instructed in it. 2. To shew what an esteem we ought to have for it, and for Christ our Lord and Sa­viour, who was the Author of it; and for Christianity it self, and the Christian Ser­vice, wherein all of us are to bear a part. But that people may say this prayer under­standingly, I shall add this plain Paraphrase upon it.

OƲr Father which art in heaven; O holy Father, ours by creation, education, instruction, compassion and adoption, who remainest gloriously on thy throne in Hea­ven, where thou art praised and glorified by the holy Angels, and blessed Souls of thy departed Saints and Servants, where thou reignest in unspeakable glory, and art per­fectly [Page 24]obeyed. Hallowed be thy name; be pleased by thy grace poured into our hearts, and the hearts of all men, and by the dispen­sation of thy gracious providence, to work all our hearts to such a reverence, awe, and separate respect unto thee, thy Majesty, thy Attributes, thy works of Grace, thy Name, thy Word, thy holy days, thy holy places, thy holy Ministers, thy holy Patrimony de­volved from thee upon them, for the main­tenance of thy holy Service, that the sins of Sacriledge, Prophaness, Idolatry, Heathe­nism, Atheism, irreverence and indevotion, may be turned out of the world, and the contrary vertues of Christian piety, reve­rence and devotion, may be set up and flou­rish amongst us. Thy kingdom come; by thy grace inspired into our hearts, and the hearts of all men, and by thy blessed disposal of all things here below, weaken the power of the Adversary, give check to the malice of all opposers, and so begin to set up thy king­dom immediately in our hearts, that it may by degrees of flourishing daily increase, and that all other things which are in thy pur­pose, may be so orderly computed, till at last this mortal compounded kingdom, which hath so much mixture of rebellion, sin and infirmity in it, may be turned into a kingdom of perfect holiness and immorta­lity. [Page 25] Thy will be done in earth as it is in hea­ven; So inspire thy grace into all our hearts, so direct us by thy providence, and assist us to performance, that we may obey thee in all thy commands here on Earth, willingly, readily, chearfully, speedily, impartially, sin­cerely, without indulging our selves to any kind of sin, in the omission of any part of duty; as thy holy Angels obey thy com­mands in Heaven, doing all things promptly and readily which thou commandest them, without the neglect of any part of duty. Give us this day our daily bread; Give us day by day, this present day, and for the re­mainder of our lives, all the necessaries of life, whatever is agreeable and fit for our subsistence and being; and suitable to our conditions, taken with all circumstances, food convenient for us: Give us also thy Grace, the food of our Souls, in that measure day by day, which may suffice for the re­mainder of our warfare here; and give us all bodily sustenance, which we can possibly want or stand in need of; assist and uphold us in all our wants, for we referr the care thereof to thee, who carest for us. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us; Pardon all our offences committed against thee; punish not on us those sins, whereby we have offended and [Page 26]provoked thee to punish us; and that we may be capable of thy remission, bestow upon us, we pray thee, that necessary qua­lification of freely pardoning all those, who by any injuries done to us, are become our debtors, and might justly in strict Law be by us prosecuted unto punishment. And lead us not into temptation; Suffer us not to be brought into any temptation or snare; suffer us not to be intangled in any dangers or difficulties, which may not be easily sup­ported by us; may no allurement of plea­sure or profit, no determent of danger of evil, cause or occasion us to fall into any sin; when at any time we are tempted, which may be the lot of the best men, do not thou leave us, nor withdraw thy grace from us; nor so deliver us up in time of temptation, as to leave us unable to extri­cate our selves, and to be overcome and swallowed up by the temptation. But deli­ver us from evil; Give us a proportionate measure of strength and grace, to bear up and to move under any temptation or pres­sure, how heavy soever it may be; temper the temptation to our strength, and permit not the assault to be too heavy for us. De­liver us from Satan, who is the artificer, de­signer and improver of temptations; deli­ver us from the temptations themselves, [Page 27]which come from our own lusts, the world, or the enemies of true piety, that we may not be overcome by any of them, nor drawn into sin. For thine is the kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever, Amen. For it is thy due to have dominion over the world; therefore we resign up our souls for thee to reign in them, as the sole Prince and Monarch of them. Thou art Omnipotent and All-sufficient, the fountain of all that grace and strength which we beg for; there­fore we relie upon thee for all that is neces­sary for this life and the other. The thanks, honour, and glory of all that we are, or have, is due to thee, from whom all is received; and therefore we do not impute any thing to our selves, or our own acquisition. In this Faith we pray, and confide that what we pray for shall be granted.


Then likewise he shall say,

O Lord open thou our lips.

Answ. And our mouth shall shew forth thy praise, Psal. 51.15.

O God make speed to save us, Psal. 70.1.

Answ. O Lord make hast to help us, Psal. 40.13.


Here all standing up the Priest shall say,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost, Isa. 42.8. 1 Cor. 10.31. Rom. 11.36.

Answ. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.

Priest. Praise ye the Lord, Psal. 146.1.

Answ. The Lords name be praised.


The forementioned Versicles with the Re­sponses, are Canonical Scripture, and taken most-what out of the Book of Psalms; by which we acknowledge our dependance upon God, and that we are unable of our selves to perform any Religious duty well, unless God enable us. They are used inter­changably by Minister and People, to testi­fie mutual Love, to strengthen affection, to stir up devotion, to kindle and enflame it one in another, to oblige us to greater at­tention; and this praying by way of Re­sponse, is grounded upon the Scripture, and conformable to the practice of the earliest [Page 29]and purest times of Christianity. And for the form of giving glory to God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, it is very ancient, by which we avouch our Doctrine and Faith of the Trinity against all opposers; as we have received from Christ and his Apostles, so we baptize, believe, and give glory to God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; and this we do not without Scripture-warrant, Mat. 28.19. Rom. 11.36. It is the Christians Hymn and shorter Creed; some who pro­fessed Christianity, had corrupted this form of giving glory to God, and had framed up another form, in favour of their own new opinions and perswasions in Religion, differ­ing from that of the Ancient Christians both in words and sense; but the ancient form, which was before, and is still used, was again restored, upon the restauration of which those words were added, As it was in the beginning, &c. that is, in the first beginning of the true Religion professed and solemnly owned by the name of Christian. Now cer­tainly very meet it is that we should give glory to God, because it is appropriate to God alone, Psal. 115.1. It is his peculiar right, which he lays claim to, Isa. 42.8. for he is the King of Glory. The Heavens de­clare it, Psal. 19.1. the Angels chant it, Luk. 2.14. Seraphims resound it, Isa. 6.3. [Page 30]and man is no less obliged to it, then those coelestial Spirits are. No place on earth is more proper for it, then God's house, where every man should speak of his honour; and there is no better posture to do it in, then standing, for by it we shew our chearful rea­diness to give glory to God, and our pious resolution to stand fast in the Faith of the Holy Trinity. And for those words, Praise ye the Lord, they are the same with Hallelu­jah; set at the end of the five last Psalms in the Psalter, and used in this place, to be as an impression invitatory to the following Psalms: and the following Response, The Lords name be praised, is according to what we find written Psal. 106.48.


Then shall be said or sung this Psalm follow­ing; except on Easter-day, upon which an­other Anthem is appointed: and on the nineteenth day of every month it is not to be read here, but in the ordinary course of the Psalms.

PSAL. 95.

Ver. 1. O Come, let us sing unto the Lord: let us heartily rejoyce in the strength of our salvation.

2. Let us come before his presence with thanksgiving: and shew our selves glad in him with psalms.

3. For the Lord is a great God: and a great King above all gods.

4. In his hand are all the corners of the earth: and the strength of the hills is his also.

5. The sea is his, and he made it: and his hands prepared the dry land.

6. O come, let us worship and fall down: and kneel before the Lord our Maker.

7. For he is the Lord our God: and we are the people of his pasture, and the sheep of his hand.

8. To day if ye will hear his voice, har­den not your hearts: as in the provocation, and as in the day of temptation in the wil­derness.

9. When your fathers tempted me: pro­ved me, and saw my works.

10. Fourty years long was I grieved with this generation, and said: It is a people that do err in their hearts, for they have not known my ways.

11. Unto whom I sware in my wrath: that they should not enter into my rest.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost:

As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.


With this Psalm the ancient Church used to begin her Service; it was the invitatory Psalm, with which they usually began before the Congregation was well met together, at the hearing of which, all hastned to Church; and it is very well appointed to be used in this place before all other Psalms, because it is the fittest to conform us to the right use of all the rest, and to furnish out Gods Service with all due reverence. Glory be to the Fa­ther, &c. is added at the end of this, and of every Psalm, that we may reduce that to practice which is the scope of every Psalm, that is, Give Glory to God.


Then shall follow the Psalms in order as they are appointed. And at the end of every Psalm throughout the year, and likewise at the end of Benedicite, Benedictus, Magni­ficat, and Nunc dimittis, shall be repeated,

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

Answ. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end, Amen.


The Psalter was anciently divided into several portions called Nocturns, by which division the Psalms were read every week, and this was a custom peculiar only to the Latine Church; for in the Syrian and Greek Churches, the Psalter was read over every twenty days: Our Church allows a months space for the reading over the Book of Psalms; and her meaning is, that they should be read in publick, according to ancient practice, by way of Response. Now the reasons why the Psalms are so frequently read over, and why in this manner, I con­ceive to be these. Because the Psalms do contain in them the choice and flower of all things profitable, which may be met withall in the Holy Scriptures; and do more mo­vingly express them, by reason of the Poe­tical form wherein they are written. No part of Scripture doth more admirably set forth all the considerations and operations, which belong to God, nor so magnifie the Holy meditations and actions of Divine men; They are an universal declaration of things Heavenly, working in those, whose hearts God inspireth with a due considera­tion, and disposition of mind, whereby they [Page 34]are made fit vessels both for receipt and delivery of whatsoever Spiritual perfection. There is nothing necessary for man to know, which the Psalms are not able to teach: They are to beginners, a familiar introduction; to those who are entred into the way of Religion, a mighty augmenta­tion of vertue and knowledge; and to the most perfect, a strong confirmation. Heroi­cal magnanimity, exquisite Justice, grave moderation, exact wisdom, Repentance un­feigned, unwearied Patience, the mysteries of God, the sufferings of Christ, the terrours of Wrath, the comforts of Grace, the works of Providence over the world present, and the promised Joys of the next; all good ne­cessary to be known, done, or had, are laid up in this Store-house; no grief incident to man's soul, or sickness to the body, but a remedy may be found for it in the Book of Psalms. As the Holy Scripture exceeds other writings in verity, so the Book of Psalms exceeds other Sacred Scriptures in variety. The Psalter is the common trea­sury of all good arguments and instructions; the summary, pith and breviary of the whole Bible: therefore as the Church esteemed nothing more generally necessary for the Worship of God, then the Word of God; so she judged no parcel of the Word more [Page 35]full and fit, then the Psalms. But it is to be wished, that we could all endeavour to make our lives conformable to those Holy patterns, who were the Pen-men of these Psalms; and that the Psalmists infusions and effusions, may find in us the Psalmists spiri­tual affections to go along with them; that when we say or sing over these Psalms, we may not speak against our sense, know­ledge, or conscience, nor blame the Psalm, or Church for enjoyning it to be used, when we our selves perhaps are in fault. He who would make a right and good use of the Psalms, read over in private or publick, must endeavour to form his Spirit to the affection of the Psalm: if it be the affection of love, which runs through the Psalm, it is to be read with the same affection; if of fear, the same Spirit of fear should be im­printed upon the Soul; if of desire, it should be carried on with the like transportation; if of gratitude to God, the Soul should be lifted up with praises, and come with affe­ctions that way enflamed: If the Psalm car­ries in it the Spirit of Prayer and Supplica­tion, of Praise or Eucharist, he who dares to read it, must still conform, and bring down his Spirit to the Psalm; and what­ever affection is in any Psalm, the heart is to comply with that affection; that by this [Page 36]means the often repeating of the Psalms, may not prove a ridiculous piece of Pagean­try, we should strive to say the Psalms with the same Spirit, with which they were in­spired who composed them; and accom­modate our selves to them in the same man­ner, as if we our selves had been the compo­sers, or as if they had been purposely com­posed for our use, by exciting up in our selves the same affections, which we may discern to have been in David or others, at the same time when they composed them. We are to love when they love, fear when they fear, hope when they hope, praise God when they praise him, weep for our own sins and others when they weep, beg what we want with the like Spirit wherewith their petitions are framed; love our ene­mies when they love theirs, pray for ours when they pray for theirs, have zeal for Gods glory when they profess it, humble our selves when they are humbled, and lift up our Spirits to Heaven when they lift up theirs; give thanks for Gods mercies when they do; delight and rejoyce in the benefits of the Messias, and beauties of the Church, when they do; relate the wonderful works of God in the creation of the World, and deliverance of his people, with the like ad­miration and praise as they do; and where­ever [Page 37]there is mention of punishments in­flicted on rebellious sinners, and rewards and favours bestowed upon the obedient, we are to tremble where they tremble, and to rejoyce where they rejoyce; we are to walk in Gods Sanctuary as they walked, and to wish to dwell in it as they wished. And wherever the Psalmist as a Master tea­cheth, exhorteth, reprehendeth, and di­recteth, we are to suppose him speaking to every one of us, and we should answer him in such due manner as he requires. And at the beginning of every Psalm, we should beg of God that affection which the Psal­mist had when he composed it, and desire to attain the same guift and spiritual savour which he felt. Was this course as constant­ly used, as the reading over the Book of Psalms, we should in time be of the Psalmists temper and devotion; and the usage of the Psalms would not seem so strange, as perhaps they may to some, for want of ob­serving this good rule prescribed by the An­cients. It is a course which the devouter Christians ever observed, and they found it hugely advantageous for the heightning and enflaming of their devotions. Some scru­ples may be made by some persons, against the reading of Scripture in general, and against the Psalms in particular, the most de­votional [Page 38]part of Scripture; for they were most of them composed by David, the Type of Christ, and the best fitted and qualified of any man to set down a formulary of De­votions, in which are contained the most remarkable things, which concern Christ or Christianity; and which may well enough be used by all, who are sincerely Christian, either as forms of Prayers or Praises, of which they consist for the most part. Indeed some Psalms seem to have no propriety of the Spirit of Christianity, being spent in calling down vengeance upon Gods and the Psalmists enemies, which is contrary to the Gospel-temper, Luk. 9.54, 55. but herein lies our great mistake, for David the Psal­mist of Israel, by whom the Spirit of the Lord spake, 2 Sam. 23.2. could not have in him the least malignity or revenge in the penning of his Psalms, not of those of the severest character; for in those Psalms he did not so properly pray as a petitioner, that God would bring such and such Judg­ments upon obstinate sinners, as he did pre­dict and denounce as a Prophet, the just Judgments of God, which would inevitably fall upon such sinners. Such Psalms are Prophesies and Predictions, not properly Prayers, and they may easily be accommo­dated to the Christian affection, Spirit and [Page 39]temper. All Texts of Scripture in either Te­stament, of this seemingly-severe temper and nature, may be safely admitted into the very bowels of our Souls, if they could be per­mitted also to perform the work, which they are designed for; that is, to melt us into contrition, to mortifie us, to reform us, to bruise our Souls, to purge all dross out of them, to refine and prepare them for holy duties. Besides, the Jews, under whose Po­litie the Psalms were penned and composed, were a Typical people, and Gods Oeconomie to them may be instructive to us, not in a literal, but spiritual sense; what severity was required from them towards the Canaa­nites, and other enemies of God, the same should be transcribed by us in another way; that is, we should express our displeasure and revenge upon our lusts and sins, as the greatest enemies of God, or us; and thus our indignation and zeal, our imprecations and Anathema's, may be seasonable enough, if we continue them only in this sense; but for the cursing of any other enemies, it is hardly reconcilable to Christianity; neither can it be warranted out of the Psalms, or any other part of Scripture, to be used as a Prayer, but only as a prediction or denun­ciation; and this may be done upon a de­sign purely Christian and charitive enough. [Page 40]And whereas many things in the Psalms, may seem not to suit well with every mans condition at all times, and so the Spirit of the Reciter may meet with a kind of con­tradiction, forbidding to go along with the Spirit of the Psalmist; (as for instance, how can a man overwhelmed with distress, h [...]ve the lively vigorous Spirit of Praise or Eu­charist? or a man in a prosperous state, have the true Spirit of devotion and humilia­tion?) yet this scruple may be easily remo­ved, thus; That though the Psalms read may not suit so properly with our own con­dition, yet they may suit with the condi­tion of others, to the best advantages; and in our publick Services, we are to put upon us publick Spirits, and mind the state and condition of other men, as well as of our selves: we are to rejoyce with them that do rejoyce, and to weep with them that weep, and to be of the same mind one towards another, Rom. 12.15, 16. we are to remem­ber those who are in bonds, as bound with them, and those who suffer adversity, being our selves also in the body, Febr. 13.3. Therefore do we pray for the sick, when we our selves are in health; give thanks for the deliverance of others, when we our selves are not in their dangers. This we do as Christians, not as meer men, nor as ne­cessity [Page 41]urgeth us to it, but as charity binds us; whereby we shew, that as Christ is the Head of the body, so we are Members one of another. This is truly Christian, when we can zealously comprehend others within our Prayers or Praises, either for what they stand in need of, or have received. And it will be a very hard matter for any one of us, to mention any one of the Psalms, which we may not have some propriety to, in what­soever condition we are. In our greatest prosperity, we may have cause enough to humble our selves; in our greatest distress, there may be good grounds for giving of thanks. Job was summoned to bless God as well for his sufferings, as for his enjoyments, Job 1.21. and many holy and pious men, have seen ground and cause enough for their humiliation, in the midst of their greatest affluence and abundance. And whereas some of the Psalms are advanced to that high pitch of devotion, which ordinary men, who are not of the Psalmists spirit and temper, cannot possibly reach to; yet these very Psalms should be made familiar, and be of constant use, if for no other reason, yet for this, to quicken our dull devotions, to give some spirit and life to our dead, and not enough vigorous performances in the Ser­vice of God, and to make us see how much [Page 42]we fall short of those holy and divine Pen­men of the Psalms, who as to their pro­fession of Faith, zeal, love, and obedience to God, ought to be looked upon as worthy patterns for our imitation; and by reproa­ching of us for our own defects, may hum­ble us before God, because we cannot so vi­gorously pronounce these holy Hymns as we ought to do, and may teach us to pray for more growth and spiritual proficiency, in our constant Religious performances.


Then shall be read distinctly with an audible voice the First Lesson, taken out of the Old Testament, as is appointed in the Kalendar, (except there be proper Lessons assigned for that day) he that readeth so standing, and turning himself, as he may best be heard of all such as are present. And after that, shall be said, or sung in English, the Hymn called Te Deum laudamus, daily throughout the year.

Note that before every Lesson the Minister shall say, Here beginneth such a Chapter, or Verse of such a Chapter of such a Book: And after every Lesson, Here endeth the First, or the Second Lesson.


The reading of Lessons out of the Old and New Testament, is in punctual imita­tion of the Ancient Church; which Lessons are not left arbitrary, but appointed, some for ordinary days, and some for Festival, according to Primitive custom and practice. As the Jews used to read some Lessons, and portions of Scripture, out of Moses and the other Prophets, upon their Sabbaths and Festivals, Act. 13.27. which they called Sections, or Tractats of a good day, Colos. 2.16. so it was decreed and ordered in the Church Christian, and in imitation so near as could be of what was practised in the Jewish Church, that the first Lesson should be read out of the Old Testament, and the second out of the New. And it was so contrived, that Hymns, Lessons and Psalms should be used interchangably, to take off something from the tediousness of the Ser­vice; for as variety is pleasant to the body, so is it also to the Soul: therefore is the Service made so Mosaick, and of so many pieces commodiously disposed, to rescue each other from fastidiousness. Neither do we read only the Canonical Scripture, but some part also of the Apocryphal Books, [Page 44]which appear to be most agreable to the Ca­nonical; in the doing of which, we do not consider both under the same parity of ho­nour and estimation, for our Bibles have sufficiently made a distinction. And though it cannot be denied, that the Ancient mo­del of Canonical and Apocryphal Books, did pass under a complex notion of the Old Testament; yet we read not the Apocry­phal Books, as we do Canonical Scripture, to ground any Article of Faith upon; only we read them for instruction in life and manners, and upon the same account as the Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians, was wont to be read in Churches in Ancient times. Neither are any Chapters or Lessons so prescribed out of the Apocryphal Books, as that we should set aside the Canonical Scripture, for the Minister is left to his dis­cretion, to make his choice as he thinks fit, either of the one, or of the other. We read the Apocryphal Books, because they are consonant to the Canonical, because they were respected by the Ancients, because they are instructive in their stile, and some passages in them do explain the Canonical Scripture, which they, who most oppose them, cannot honestly deny; and why may they not be as well read and approved of, as our own Comments upon a Text of Scrip­ture, [Page 45]which (it is to be presumed) we would not have to be taken for Canonical Scripture. They who are most against the reading of them, cannot but confess our Sermons and Tractates to have as little of the Spirit of infallibility and Sanctification, as the Apocryphal Books. So far as they are consonant to the Word of God, they are Canonical, though not Proto-Canonical. There is truth in them, and we are to em­brace truth wherever we meet with it; for it is Gods, whoever speaks it or writes it: we read them not to confirm us in matters of Faith, but to instruct us in life and man­ners, because they contain in them many ex­cellent moral precepts, for the regulating of our lives, and well ordering of our con­versations. Again, some part of the Cano­nical is not enjoyned to be read publickly in the Congregation, not because the Au­thority of it is undervalued, but because it is not so useful for Edification, nor so fitted to the understandings and capacities of the people, as those portions of Scripture are, which are enjoyned to be read; those ne­cessary parts of Scripture which God hath made easie, the Church desires should be made familiar, and frequently read to the people. Therefore she orders the Psalms to be read over once every month, most part [Page 46]of the Old Testament once a year, the New thrice; and hath so sorted the Lessons, Prayers, Psalms, Epistles and Gospels, for some Festivals, that they edifie as much as any ordinary Sermons, if people were but so wise, as to consider the wise directions of the Church, and to value her prudence, as much as they do their own foolish humors. Now the Lessons are taken one out of the Old, another out of the New Testament, that by frequent reading of them, we may observe the Harmony of both: for as the Cherubins of Glory looked each upon other, and both closed with their wings over the Mercy-seat; so the Two Testaments look each upon other, both upon Christ, who is the supplement of the one, and the comple­ment of the other; in the one promised, in the other exhibited; the Law being an hid­den Gospel, and the Gospel a revealed Law. The Patriarchs, Prophets, Evangelists, Apo­stles, wrote by the same Spirit, pointed at the same Messias, were saved by the same Faith; and this may very much confirm us in the truth of the Scriptures, when we read that exactly fulfilled in the New Testament, which was so punctually foretold in the Old. Besides, it may be a means of converting the Jews, as well as confirming us Christians; for they may in time embrace Christ's Gospel [Page 47]with us, when they see us embrace Moses and the Prophets together with them. But in taking Lessons first out of the Old Testa­ment, and then out of the New, the Church observes the method of the Holy Spirit, who first published the Old, then the New; first the precepts of the Law, then of the Gos­pel; and by this method we are taught to go forward in our knowledge, from smaller things to greater, from the lowest to the highest; for the Law is as a Paedagogue teaching the first Rudiments, the Institu­tions of highest perfection are contained in the Gospel. The Minister is to read the Lessons distinctly, with a sober, grave, and audible voice; and he is to turn himself towards the people, when he reads, be­cause he is upon an office directed to them; whereas in Prayer, he looks another way, towards the more eminent part of the Church, where use to be placed the Symbols of God's more especial presence, with whom the Minister in Prayer hath chiefly to do. For the same reason we may suppose, that the Christians in former times used to pray with their faces Eastward, because in the Chancel, which was the East part of the Church, stood the Holy Table, where the highest of Religious Services were usually performed, and the Sacrament of Christ's [Page 48]body and bloud was administred, which is the special sign of God's mysterious pre­sence. The Jews at the reading of the Law, and other Scriptures, looked toward the people; but in Prayer, toward the Mercy­seat, or principal part of the Temple, Psal. 28.2. and Christians may in all probability do the like, in imitation of the Jews; for as their Mercy-seat was a type and figure of Christ, so the Holy Table, and the Sacred Mysteries there performed, are representa­tions of him in a more special manner. Nei­ther did the Jews, nor do the Christians, this out of any superstitious conceit, that God cannot or will not hear our Prayers, unless we look Eastward when we pray, as the Jews looked toward the Oracle or Mercy-seat, for we know God is Omni­present, every where present; yet for all this, Christ directed us by his form of prayer to look towards Heaven, when we pray, be­cause it is the Throne of God.

Te Deum Laudamus.

WE praise thee, O God: we acknowledge thee to be the Lord, Psal. 67.3. Psal. 99.34. Psal. 148.1.

All the Earth doth worship thee: the Father everlasting.

To thee all Angels cry aloud: the Heavens, and all the Powers therein, Psal. 148.2.

To thee Cherubin, and Seraphin: continu­ally do cry,

Holy, holy, holy: Lord God of Sabaoth.

Heaven, and Earth are full of the Majesty: of thy Glory, Isa. 6.3. Rev. 4.8. Isa. 66.1. Jer. 23.24.

The glorious company of the Apostles: praise thee.

The goodly fellowship of the Prophets: praise thee, Rev. 4.10, 11.

The noble army of Martyrs: praise thee, Rev. 6.9, 10.

The holy Church throughout all the world: doth acknowledge thee, Psal. 67.2.

The Father: of an infinite Majesty, Psal. 93.1.

Thine honourable, true: and onely Son, Mat. 17.5. Luk. 1.32. Heb. 1.3, 4, 5.

Also the Holy Ghost: the Comforter, John 14.26.

Thou art the King of Glory: O Christ, Rev. 17.14. Psal. 24.8. Luk. 19.38.

Thou art the everlasting Son: of the Father, Rom. 1.4. Isa. 9.6. Luk. 1.35. John 8.58. John 17.5.

When thou tookest upon thee to deliver man: thou didst not abhor the Virgins womb, Philip. 2.6, 7. Mat. 1.25.

When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death: thou didst open the kingdom of Heaven to all believers, John 14.2, 3. John 17.24. Heb. 9.8, 9, 10, 11. Heb. 10.19, 20.

Thou sittest at the right hand of God: in the glory of the Father, Act. 2.33. Heb. 10.12. Heb. 12.2.

We believe, that thou shalt come: to be our Judge, Rom. 2.16. Act. 1.11. Act. 17.31.

We therefore pray thee, help thy servants: whom thou hast redeemed with thy precious bloud, 1 Pet. 1.18, 19. Psal. 74.2.

Make them to be numbred with thy Saints [...] in glory everlasting, Colos. 1.12. John 17.22.

O Lord, save thy people: and bless thine heritage.

Govern them: and lift them up for ever Joel 2.17. Psal. 28.9.

Day by day: we magnifie thee, Psal. 96.2 [...] Psal. 145.2.

And we worship thy Name: ever world without end, Psal. 61.8.

Vouchsafe, O Lord: to keep us this day with­out sin, Psal. 17.5. Gen. 20.6.

O Lord, have mercy upon us: have mercy upon us, Psal. 123.3.

O Lord, let thy mercy lighten upon us: as our trust is in thee, Psal. 33.22.

O Lord, in thee have I trusted: let me ne­ver be confounded, Psal. 71.1.


The Church in appointing Hymns, ob­serves punctually the rule of the Apostle, Colos. 3.16. and from the practice of Christ and his Apostles, who sung Hymns together, Mat. 26.30. probably to teach and instruct us to do the like, may the Antiquity of them in the Christian Church be derived. We have not only Christ's example for it, and the Apostles command for it, but we read of it practised in the Church of Alexandria, which was founded by St. Mark; St. Am­brose brought Hymns into the Church of Millain; God (saith Jerom) is delighted with Morning and Evening Hymns; St. Au­gustine (as we read in the Life of him) was very much afflicted a little before his death, as for the decay of other things in Religion, and in the publick worship of God, so that the Hymns and Lauds used to [Page 52]be sung to God, were lost out of the Church. Those Hymns were either said, or sung, but more properly sung, because Hymns are Songs of Praise; and it was the practice to sing them both in the Jewish, Psal. 47.6. and Christian Church, Mat. 26.30. for sing­ing enflames and enlivens the minds and affections of the hearers; and such musick by pleasing the affections, and delighting the minds of men, makes the Service of God more delectable, and less tedious. And for this reason is Church-Service so intermixed with Lessons, Psalms, and Prayers, and like the garment of the Spouse, Psal. 45. made up of such variety, that by this variety our devotions may be carried on with the more chearfulness, and the greater appetite, and without any fastidiousness. Standing was the usual posture for the saying or singing of Hymns, for it is indeed the most proper posture for thanksgiving or laud, Psal. 134.1, 2. 2 Chron. 7.6. and this erection of our bodies, doth most properly express the ele­vation of our hearts in joy, praises, and Eu­charist unto God. The forementioned Hymn, called Te Deum laudamus, was composed (as it is said) by St. Ambrose and St. Au­gustine, which they used to sing Anthem­wise; and the occasion of its composition, was St. Augustine's Conversion and Baptism, [Page 53]in both which St. Ambrose was most happily instrumental. But be the Author who it will, the Structure, though Humane, is complete, and the materials of it are Divine; and it is worthily enough vouchsafed a place in our constant Service, for its Antiquity, for its consonancy with Scripture, for having the Churches both warrant and approbation; for the contents of it, which are most Chri­stian, hugely advantageous for the height­ning of Devotion, and promoting of Reli­gion; wherein is acknowledged the Power and Majesty of God the Father, the Divi­nity and Humanity of God the Son, his In­carnation, Passion, Resurrection, Ascension, Exaltation to Glory, and Power committed to him for to guide, rule, preserve and go­vern his Church; and wherein also is asser­ted, the Divinity of God the Holy Ghost; and there is nothing in the whole Hymn, but what is very agreeable to Scripture. Some exception may be made, against this expression in it, When thou hadst overcome the sharpness of death, thou didst open the king­dom of Heaven to all believers: But what can justly be found fault with in this ex­pression? by it we do not express this to be our meaning, as if we thought that the departed Saints were not in a state of bliss and happiness, before Christ's Ascension; [Page 54]but our meaning is rather, that Christ by his Ascension prepared a greater, and more complete state of bliss, for those that are his, meriting their going to it by his Death, and making the way passable by his Resurrecti­on and Ascension, John 3.13. John 14.2, 3. Heb. 9.8, 12. Heb. 10.19, 20. Heb. 11.40. for by this means he procured greater Grace for them here, greater Glory for them here­after. Whatever he did or suffer'd, the end was to open the kingdom, which our sins had shut up; which he opened most libe­rally at his Ascension, and after he had over­come the sharpness of death, for then he took a local possession of Glory, for the use of all that are his. Be the state of the Saints departed before what it will, yet what God bestowed upon their Souls, was procured by Christ's Death, Resurrection and Ascension, which followed after; as also the Glorifi­cation of their bodies, is most certainly to follow the Exaltation of his; whither the glory of the Head is gone before, the hope of the Body is to follow after, and when our bodies and souls come to be glorified to­gether, then shall we be in our complete and perfect bliss. Glory be to the Father, is not en­joyned to be used at the end of this Hymn, because it is it self almost nothing else but that Doxology enlarged.


Or this Canticle, Benedicite, omnia opera Domini.

O All ye works of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: praise him, and magnifie him for ever, Psal. 145.10.

O ye Angels of the Lord, bless ye the lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 148.2.

O ye Heavens, bless ye the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 148.4.

O ye waters that be above the Firmament, bless ye the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 148.4.

O all ye powers of the Lord, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 150.1.

O ye Sun and Moon, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 148.3.

O ye Stars of Heaven, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 148.3.

O ye showres and dwe, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.8. Psal. 148.4.

O ye winds of God, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.18. Psal. 148.8.

O ye fire and heat, bless ye the Lord, &c.

O ye Winter and Summer, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 74.17.

O ye dews and frosts, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.16.

O ye frost and cold, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.16, 17.

O ye ice and snow, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.16, 17.

O ye nights and days, bless ye the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 74.16.

O ye light and darkness, bless ye the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 104.19, 20.

O ye lightnings and clouds, bless ye the Lord, &c. Job 38.25, 34, 35.

O let the earth bless the Lord: yea, let it praise him, &c. Psal. 67.6.

O ye mountains and hills, bless ye the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 148.9.

O all ye green things upon the earth, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 147.8. Psal. 148.9.

O ye wells, bless ye the Lord, &c. Psal. 104.10.

O ye seas and flouds, bless ye the Lord: Job 38.8, 9, 10, 11.

O ye Whales, and all that move in the wa­ters, bless ye the Lord: Gen. 1.21.

O all ye fowls of the air, bless ye the Lord: Psal. 148.10.

O all ye beasts and cattel, bless ye the Lord: Psal. 148.10.

O ye children of men, bless ye the Lord: Psal. 107.8.

O let Israel bless the Lord: praise him, &c. Psal. 135.19.

O ye Priests of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: Psal. 135.19, 20.

O ye servants of the Lord, bless ye the Lord: Psal. 134.1.

O ye spirits and souls of the righteous, bless ye the Lord: Heb. 12.23.

O ye holy and humble men of heart, bless ye the Lord: Isa. 57.15.

O Ananias, Azarias, and Misael, bless ye the Lord.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

As it was in the beginning, &c.


This Song, or Hymn, commonly called the Song of the Three Children, is word for word to be found in the Apocryphal Scrip­ture, and was used to be read by Christians in their publick Congregations, as a Reli­gious Formulary of pious thoughts, con­fessions, and prayers, fit to be used in times of remarkable deliverances, vouchsafed from great dangers. The names of the Three Children, mentioned in the close of this Hymn, are to be met with in the Book of Daniel, which is received for Canonical, Dan. 1.6. and the occasion why this Psalm of Praise was at first composed, Dan. 3.25. In the Apocryphal Book of Daniel, this [Page 58]Hymn is set down word for word, (as is before noted) which Apocryphal Books were anciently of very great esteem in the Church, and were publickly read in the Congregations, for instruction in life and manners. However, as appears by the fore­cited Texts, this Hymn is exactly agreeable with Canonical Scripture, and the Ancient Fathers did highly approve of it; neither is there in it any thing liable to a just ex­ception, for it is only a methodical and full Compendium of the great and glorious Works of God; and the whole scope of it is to shew, that God is, and will be magni­fied in all his Creatures. We do not in it speak to the Creatures, for to instruct them what they should do; but we rather speak of them, to teach our selves what is our duty, that is, to glorifie God together; and therefore do we conclude it with, Glory be to the Father, that we may actually do it.


Then shall be read in like manner the second Lesson, taken out of the New Testament. And after that, the Hymn following; except when that shall happen to be read in the Chapter for the day, or for the Gospel on St. John Baptists day.

Benedictus. St. Luke 1.68.

BLessed be the Lord God of Israel: for he hath visited, and redeemed his people;

And hath raised up a mighty salvation for us: in the house of his servant David;

As he spake by the mouth of his holy Pro­phets: which have been since the world began;

That we should be saved from our enemies: and from the hands of all that hate us;

To perform the mercy promised to our fore­fathers: and to remember his holy Covenant;

To perform the oath which he sware to our fore-father Abraham, that he would give us;

That we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies: might serve him without fear;

In holiness and righteousness before him: all the days of our life.

And thou Child, shalt be called the Prophet of the Highest: for thou shalt go before the face of the Lord to prepare his ways;

To give knowledge of salvation unto his peo­ple: for the remission of their sins,

Through the tender mercy of our God: where­by the Day-spring from on high hath visited us;

To give light to them that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death: and to guide our feet into the way of peace.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

As it was in the beginning, &c.

RUBRICK. Or this Psalm, Jubilate Deo. Psal. 100.

O Be joyful in the Lord all ye lands: serve the Lord with gladness, and come before his presence with a song.

Be ye sure, that the Lord he is God: it is he that hath made us, and not we our selves; we are his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

O go your way into his gates with thanksgi­ving, and into his courts with praise: be thank­ful unto him, and speak good of his name.

For the Lord is gracious, his mercy is ever­lasting: and his truth endureth from generation to generation.

Glory be to the Father, &c.

As it was in the beginning, &c.


Let it be here noted once for all, that the Benedictus of Zachary, and Psalm the 100. for the Morning Service after the Second Lesson; and the Magnificat of Mary, Luk. 1.46. with Psalm the 98. after the First Lesson in the Evening Service; and the Nunc Dimittis, Luk. 2.29. and Psalm the 67. after the Second Lesson, are ordered to be read as the Minister shall make his choice, This or That; and however these Hymns or Psalms were composed upon occasion of particular benefits, yet are they always of singular use in the Church of God. The forementioned Hymns are frequently used in our publick Service, because they are the Hymns wherewith our blessed Saviour was joyfully received, at his first entrance into this world; and they do somewhat more concern us, then Davids Psalms do, because the Gospel and New Testament is of more concern to us, then the Law and the Old. These Hymns are proper only to Christia­nity, whereas the Psalms are common to the Jews and Christians. The Psalms are Pro­phesies and Predictions of Christ, who was to come; these Hymns are plain discoveries of Christ, who is come. They are the first [Page 62]gratulatory Hymns, which welcomed into the world our born Saviour: And though they were most seasonable then, when they were first composed and sung; yet we may profitably enough use them still, as well as Hezekiah in publick Service commanded the Songs of David and Asaph to be used, which were composed long time before, 2 Chron. 29.30. For the promises and performances of God, are not so restrained to particular persons, but others also may go sharers in them, in regard of the mystical union of all the faithful; and however the particular occasion may cease, yet the fountain of goodness and mercy is ever the same: be­sides, by frequent using of the praises of the Saints, our minds may daily more and more be inured and enflamed with their affecti­ons. And the Church hath very fitly ap­pointed Hymns after Lessons; for when we have heard God out of the Lessons, speak­ing as it were from Heaven to our Souls, how can we do less then rise up and praise him? and with what Hymns can we praise him better for our Salvation, then with those which were the first gratulations of our Sa­viour? As for the Hymn and Benedictus of Zachary, it was indeed composed by reason of Christ's birth, and manifestation in our flesh; which Zachary, the Author of it, Pro­phetically [Page 63]foresaw, and therefore composed it for to entertain Christ withall. Yet though the occasion of it was, or rather was not, particular, we may convert it to a common use, as well as the Epistles of St. Paul, which were most of them written upon special oc­casions. Neither can that occasion be in­deed particular, where the benefit is com­mon; for the birth of Christ as much con­cerns us, as it did Zachary; and therefore we may say it, or sing it, and were justly to be blamed in case we should refuse the do­ing so. The 100 Psalm is joyned with it, and the Minister may make his choice of either, because both are Thanksgivings unto God, enforced almost with the very same reasons and arguments.


Then shall be sung, or said the Apostles Creed by the Minister, and the people standing. Except only such days as the Creed of St. A­thanasius is appointed to be read.

I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Ma­ker of heaven and earth, Mark 9.24. Heb. 1.2. John 14.1. Psal. 124.8.

And in Jesus Christ his onely Son our Lord, John 1.18. John 14.1.

Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary, Mat. 1.20, 23. Luk. 1.27, 31.

Suffered under Pontius Pilate, was cruci­fied, dead, and buried, Mat. 27.2. 1 Tim. 6.13.

He descended into Hell; the third day he rose again from the dead, Act. 2.31, 32. 1 Cor. 15.4. Ephes. 4.9. 1 Pet. 3.19.

He ascended into Heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty, Act. 1.9. Ephes. 4.9, 10. Heb. 12.2.

From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead, Act. 1.11. Act. [...]0.42. Act. 17.31.

I believe in the Holy Ghost, Mat. 28.19. Act. 19.2. 1 John 5.7.

The holy Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints, Psal. 87. Psal. 110.3. Isa. 54.2, 3. 1 Cor. 10.16. Ephes. 1.3, 4. Ephes. 4.15, 16. Heb. 10.22, 23, 24, 25. 1 John 1.7.

The forgiveness of sins, Luk. 24.47. Act. 2.38. Colos. 2.13.

The resurrection of the body, 1 Cor. 15.

And the life everlasting, Rom. 6.23.

Amen, Mark 9.24.


This is called the Creed, or Belief, be­cause all necessary points to be credited or believed, in order to our Salvation, are con­tained in it. It is the Key of the Holy Scrip­tures, an Abridgment of the Gospel; Christ taught it the Apostles, the Apostles taught it the Church, and the Church us. Though it be not Canonical Scripture, as to the make, yet as to the matter contained in it, it is; for it contains in it the very Scripture, Word, and Truth of God. It is of greater Authority then any other Ecclesiastical Tra­ditions of this nature, whether they are Con­fessions of particular Churches, or Writings of private men. The Nicene and Athanasian Confessions, mentioned and used in our Li­turgy, are not new Creeds, but larger Ex­plications of this. It is called the Apostles Creed, either because they themselves used it, or because it contains the heads of that Doctrine which they taught the world; and it is the Judgment of some very learned men, that it is more Ancient then many writings of the New Testament. At first perhaps it was no part of the Liturgy, or publick Ser­vice, only a prescribed Lesson for the Cate­chumens to be instructed in, and whereof [Page 66]they were to make publick rehearsal, in or­der to their admission unto Baptism. There is mention made of it in the most Ancient writers of the Church; and however some objections may be made against the Aposto­licalness of it, yet those objections certainly are not unanswerable. But however, most certain it is, that it is so Apostolical, as to the matter, that it may without offence carry its denomination from the Apostles, and be called their Creed; because it is a most excellent Epitome and Abridgment of their Doctrine, contrived in a very near re­semblance to their Language, and a great part of it undoubtedly digested by the A­postolical Church. For if the Apostolical Churches had not this very Creed in express words, yet they had a Creed very much re­sembling this, as to the substance of the Ar­ticles, though with some few syllabical va­riations. If at any time the Articles con­cerning the Holy Ghost, and the Church, were omitted in the Creed, yet they were supplied from the form of Catechizing then in use; which form was in truth a Creed, and with the rehearsal of which the Catechu­mens were Baptized. Though not in Ter­tullian, yet in Cyprian we find express men­tion of the Holy Church, Remission of sins, and everlasting life; but then indeed, as it [Page 67]is noted by Jerom, all the mysteries of the Christian Faith, were upon the matter ter­minated in the Resurrection of the flesh, into which they were baptized, 1 Cor. 15.19. and with it Tertullian concludes his rule of Faith; yet was not the Article of Life ever­lasting, any after-new addition, only it was represented in a different order. Let but the African parcels of Tertullian and Cyprian, be united together, and a Creed may be found, as to the Essentials, conformable to this of the Apostles; and the like may be found in the Epistles of Ignatius, who was disciple to one of them. Neither was there any need for the Apostles, or Fathers, to commit this Creed to writing, in regard it was the great depositum of the Church, conveyed down from one Age to another in a Traditional way; supposed by some to be the one Faith, mentioned Ephes. 4.5. and the form, pat­tern, or summary of sound words, mentio­ned 2 Tim. 1.13. the body of Faith made up in all its proportions, mentioned Rom. 12.6. and the Faith which was once delivered to the Saints, mentioned Jude vers. 3. This Creed, and the other two, the Nicene and the Athanasian, which are but Explanations of this, are ordered to be said after the Lessons, to shew that Faith comes by Hear­ing, and Hearing by the Word of God, [Page 68] Rom. 10.17. we must first hear, and then confess; and they are ordered to be said standing, because they are summaries of the Gospel, which was ever rehearsed in that posture; and because the Catechumens used to make rehearsal of their Faith in a stand­ing posture: which posture is also signifi­cant, and notes that gallant resolution which ought to be in us, to maintain and defend that Faith and Religion which we profess.

The Creed Explained.

I Believe in God the Father Almighty, Ma­ker of heaven and earth; I, for my self, as every Christian ought to believe for him­self, do believe there is a God, do believe God, and do believe in God; I confess him, put all my trust and confidence in him, ac­knowledge my self obliged to do his will, and to obey his commands; I own his title God, his personality Father, his power Al­mighty, and admire and adore him for his operations and works, for he is the Maker of heaven and earth. He is able to do what­ever is fit for God to do; he can do what he will, and more then he will, whatever implies not a contradiction in it self, or ar­gues not imperfection in him. He is so Al­mighty, that he is liable to no imperfecti­ons; [Page 69]and his Almightiness appears remarka­bly in the Creation of the World, for he is the Maker of heaven and earth. He made something of nothing, and out of that some­thing he made all things; the glorious Hea­ven, Angels, and Spirits; the Starry Heaven, Sun, Moon, and lesser Lights, with all the glorious Constellations; the Airy Heaven, winged Fowls, Clouds and Vapours; Hail, and feather'd Snow, Rain, Lightning, and terrible Thunder. He made also the Earth, Land and Sea, Grass, Herbs, Plants and Trees, Beasts, Birds and Fishes: he made Man to praise him, and glorifie him in all, and for all; to magnifie God in all his works, and never to distrust him, who hath proved himself thus Omnipotent. And in Jesus Christ his onely Son our Lord; I believe also in the second person of the Godhead, the Word and Wisdom of God; who is stiled Jesus, to note him a Saviour: which name was given him by an Angel, together with the meaning of it, Mat. 1.21. He is also stiled Christ, which is an appellative title of office and dignity, given to him for three purposes; 1. To note him an anointed King, to judge, govern, defend us, and to save us from danger. 2. An anointed Prophet, to teach, instruct us, and to save us from errour. 3. An anointed High-Priest, to offer [Page 70]up himself for us, and his prayers for us, to make Intercession to the Father for us, and to save us from sin. He is God the Father's Onely Son, not by Creation, as men are; nor by Adoption, as good men are; nor by Office, grace and favour, as Kings and Judges are; but by Nature, as none other are save only himself: he is God of the sub­stance of his Father before all Worlds, God of God, very God of very God, and a di­stinct person in the Godhead from the Fa­ther, Mat. 28.19. John 1.1. He is also Our Lord, 1. In respect of Creation, for he hath dominion over us as he is God. 2. In re­spect of Redemption, for he hath dominion over us as he is God and Man. It was God the Son, not God the Father, nor God the Holy Ghost, who did personally pay the ransom of our sins, purchase our freedom from the slavery of Satan by his own bloud, and by the everlasting efficacy of the same bloud once shed, doth wash and nourish us, not as his Servants, but as the Sons of God our heavenly Father. As he is Jesus, we are to sue and seek to him for Salvation, for there is no Salvation in any other, Act. 4.12. as he is Christ, we are to pay all subjection to him as a King, to hear and obey him as a Prophet, to rest upon his Sacrifice, Satis­faction and Intercession as a Priest. As he [Page 71]is Gods only Son, we are to pay him that honour which we pay to the Father; and as he is our Lord, we are to quit Sin and Satan, and to pay to him our real Service. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary; In this Article is de­clared, how the Son of God became the Son of man, in order to make satisfaction to God for man's sin, to reconcile God to man, and to work about man's Redemption; to put him into a salvable condition, and to render him again capable of those fruitions, which he in Adam had deprived himself of by his disobedience. In this Article is to be noted more particularly, 1. The mystery of Christ's holy Incarnation. 2ly. His holy Na­tivity and Circumcision, together with his Baptism, Fasting and Temptation. This Son of God, who was very God, begotten and not made, being of the same substance with his Father, by whom all things were made, for us men, and for our Salvation, came down from Heaven, and was conceived and incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary, and was made Man; and as he was made Man in her, so he was born of her: God became Man, and yet remained God; he took our Humane nature, yet did not lay aside his Divine; and Mary became a Mother, and yet remained a Virgin still; [Page 72]Christ of her took our Humanity, without the loss of her Virginity. He was conceived without sin, that he might cleanse and san­ctifie our sinful conceptions. He was born without sin, that he might sanctifie the birth of us, who are born in sin, and with sin; and as he was sinless from his birth, so the life which he lived here on earth, was a sinless and innocent life; that by the sinles­ness and obedience of his life, he might make some kind of amends for the sinfulness and disobedience of ours. Yet he was Cir­cumcised, though nothing was superfluous in him, that so amends might be made in that part by him for Original sin, by which it is propagated. And he was Baptized, though nothing in him was unclean, that he by his Baptism might sanctifie the element of Wa­ter, and make it, by the Holy Spirit joyned to it, virtual to cleanse us not only from Original guilt, but as we are fitly capable, from all actual pollutions. And he was tempted, by all those ways of Temptation which we are liable and exposed to, that he might in his own person overcome the Tempter, and grand Seducer, and teach us by his example how to behave our selves successfully, and to the best advantage, in all our Temptations. By the same Holy Spi­rit, whereby he was conceived in the blessed [Page 73]Virgin Maries womb, is he to be conceived in our hearts; which hearts we are to keep as pure and undefiled, as the holy Virgin was, in order to his conception: we are to prepare Virgin hearts for Christ to be con­ceived and born in, and for the Holy Ghost to overshadow; by which Virgin hearts is not to be meant, an absolute sinless purity and innocence, which only Adam in his created estate, and Christ could yield; but a renewed purity, and recovered Virginity by Repentance, joyned with sincere resolu­tion and holy purposes of amendment of life, and humility typified in the temper of New-born babes: For these are the only due qualifications, which can fit and prepare the Soul for the Holy Spirit to overshadow it, and for Christ to be favoured in it. As Christ took our nature upon him, and was pleased to be born of a pure Virgin, with­out the help of man, which shewed him to be the true Seed of the woman, that should break the Serpents head, Gen. 3.15. so we are to pray for Gods regenerating grace, that we may be made his children by Adop­tion and Grace, and be daily renewed and changed in our Spirits, by his Holy Spirit. As Christ was Circumcised, and by that bloudy ceremony made obedient to the Law for us; so we are to pray for the true Cir­cumcision [Page 74]of the Spirit, that our hearts and all our members being mortified from all worldly and carnal lusts, we may in all things obey Gods blessed will. As Christ was Bap­tized, not to be cleansed by the waters, but to cleanse the waters, that they might cleanse us; so we are to come to his Holy Baptism, to be washed in those streams, the Fountain whereof he himself hath opened, and consecrated not so much for the clean­sing of our bodies, and putting off the filth of the flesh, 1 Pet. 3.21. as for the sprink­ling of our hearts from an evil conscience, Heb. 10.22. that our hearts being pure, our actions may be pure also. And when we are thus cleansed, we ought to take special care and heed, that we return not like the Dog to lick up our vomit again, or like the Swine to our former pollutions, 2 Pet. 2.22. and so become the fouler for our once be­ing cleansed, and be drowned in that Holy Laver, which was designed for our preser­vation. Lastly, as Christ was tempted, and that he might overcome the Tempter, did for our sake, and in part for our example too, Fast even to a miracle; so we are to pray unto God for his Grace, to direct and assist us in all our Temptations, that we may use such abstinence, as to bring our flesh in subjection to the Spirit, and ever obey the [Page 75]Godly motions of Gods holy Spirit, living in righteousness and true holiness, to the praise and glory of him. Suffered under Pon­tius Pilate, was crucified, dead and buried; The great end and design of Christ's com­ing into this world, was that he might suffer, and by his sufferings make satisfaction to Divine Justice for man's sin. He did not suffer because he was himself a sinner, but because he became a Surety for us, who are so. He suffered for our sins, not for his own: He being righteous died for us, who are unrighteous, 1 Pet. 2.21, 22. this he did for our sake, and for our example and en­couragement. He hath given us in himself an example of enduring the highest afflicti­ons; which example, so far as imitable, is to be imitated and transcribed by us, 1 Pet. 2.21. From the manner of his death we are taught the great doctrine of Mortification, to put off the body of the sins of the flesh, Col. 2.11. to destroy the body of sin, Rom. 6.6. to put our sinful habits to a contume­lious death, to crucifie the flesh, with the affections and lusts; and in so doing to con­form our selves exactly to the sufferings of Christ, through all the gradations of it, that so we may be planted with him in the like­ness of his death, Rom. 6.5. As a consulta­tion was held against Christ, as he was ap­prehended, [Page 76]examined, accused, condemned, shamed and crucified; so strictly and severe­ly should we deal with our Old man, our whole body of sin: we should consult deli­berately about its execution, chuse our most sober seasons for the doing of it, when we are in the calmest temper of Soul: and we are to proceed orderly to act against sin; to apprehend it, to stop every course and habit of it in its career; we are to examine it by the Word of God, by the commands of Christ, in all its variations from, and op­positions to them. This done, we are to accuse it, and in so doing, to aggravate it with all the heightning circumstances of guilt and danger: Then by a solemn full consent of all the faculties, we are to con­demn this dangerous Malefactor, to spit upon it with contempt and scorn, to give it up to be crucified, never to revive again to any vital actions. Neither are we to be thus severe against our single habit of sin only, but against the whole body of sin, and all its parts and members. Again, from the manner of Christ's death we are instructed further, to take up our Cross voluntarily and chear­fully, when it is laid upon us, to follow Christ in his sufferings, and to conform our selves really to the image of our crucified Saviour; for if we are thus partakers of [Page 77]his sufferings, we shall be also partakers of his enjoyments. He went by the Cross to his Crown, passed through ignominies and sufferings, into his Glory; so should we. Again, he was dead, that by his dying he might destroy death, and sanctifie the state of death to all his Servants. Death lost its sting in his side, and so became to all, who are his, but as a calm sleep. Lastly, he was buried, to shew that he was really dead; and as his body was removed out of sight, so we are to put all our sinful habits, like dead bodies, out of the way, that they may neither offend nor infect others. He conti­nued some time in the Grave, to note unto us the reality and continuance of our mor­tified state; and that we should not only once for all repent and mortifie, but keep in our Souls a continued death unto sin, sin­cere and unfeigned, till we are risen again to the other Diviner life, to live unto God­liness, as he rose again to live unto God. He descended into Hell, the third day he rose again from the dead; Here began Christ's exaltation, after his abasement and diminu­tion: His descent into Hell, was the first part of his advancement. As his body, not separated from his Divinity, rested in the Grave; so his Soul, united to his Divinity, had something further to do. He descended [Page 78]not to suffer, but to conquer. As he over­came the World on Earth, Death in the Grave; so he triumphed over Satan in Hell, and within the Territories of his own King­dom: he went into Satans quarters, and openly shewed him the Victory, which by death he had gotten over him, over death it self, and over all the Powers of darkness. However, certain it is, that he remained some time in the state of the dead, his living Soul being separated from his dead body. This Article of Christ's descent, is as true as all the rest, though perhaps not so capable as the rest, of any binding interpretation to be put upon it: Therefore we pass this part of the Article by, and come to the latter part, The third day he rose again from the dead; that is, within the space of less then seventy two hours, and before his body saw corrup­tion, he rose again; that flesh, which he laid down in the Grave, he by his own power raised up again from the Grave. As his dying shewed his Humanity, so his rising again de­clared his Divinity; by which Resurrection of his, not only his Godhead was demon­strated, Rom. 1.4. but the all-sufficient Sa­crifice of his death and passion for sin, was fully evidenced and declared; for had there remained but one sin unsatisfied for, which he came to make satisfaction for, that one [Page 79]sin might have kept him from rising. The Resurrection of Christ shewed, that a full satisfaction was made for sin by his death, 1 Cor. 15.17. Again, Christ's Resurrection is the ground of ours: as Adam brought death into the world to kill us, so Christ brought Resurrection into the world to give us life, 1 Cor. 15.22. Christ is risen as the Head, we shall follow as the Members; Christ is risen as the First-fruits, we shall follow as the Harvest. Again, the Resurrection of Christ is a proof of our Justification before God; for he is to be considered as a pub­lick person, both in his Death, and in his Resurrection, Rom. 4.25. Lastly, his Resur­rection from the Grave, should mind us of our Resurrection from sin, which brought him to it. Our actual rising to new life, is as necessary as mortification; as Christ rose from the dead to dye no more, so we being dead to sin, should rise to newness of life, and live unto God, Rom. 6.10, 11. As he after his Resurrection appeared unto men, so should we, and walk exemplarily before them in heavenly living. We should conti­nue in a sanctified state of perseverance in Godly living, till by Gods mercy we are taken up to bliss: We should depend upon Christ for our Justification and Sanctifica­tion, which are both of the effects of his ri­sing. [Page 80]We should also hasten our Resurrecti­on, as he did his, and not so immerse our selves with sorrow and humiliation, the Grave of mortified Souls, as to hinder any actions and vital performances of the new and regenerate life. As Christ dyed, and as we are baptized into the death of Christ; so we are to beg of God for his grace, that we may continually mortifie our corrupt affections, and being buried with him, may pass through the grave and gate of death, to our joyful Resurrection. He ascended into Heaven, and fitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty; that is, after his Resurrection, when he had made his appea­rance several times to his Apostles, to con­firm them in the truth of it, whom he had chosen for the publication of it unto the world; after he had given them many sure proofs and evidences that he was risen, after he had talked with them about the affairs of his Church, which should be planted and governed by them, and of many things con­cerning the Gospel, and his Kingdom, and how both his friends and his enemies should be dealt withall; after he had eaten and drank, and familiarly conversed with them, thereby to give them all possible assurance of the truth of his Resurrection, of his Power and Godhead, and that he was in­deed [Page 81]the undoubted Messias; after that he had instructed them to tarry at Jerusalem, to wait for the coming down of the Holy Ghost, and how to prepare themselves for his reception; after he had reproved them for their curiosity, and shewn their vanity in expecting a Kingdom, which he never in­tended to set up; then in the presence and sight of them all, he was taken up by Angels from the earth in a bright shining cloud, which inclosed him so that they could see him no more, Act. 1.2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8. He carried up our nature, which he had assu­med, in which he suffered, and which he had raised out of the Grave, up on high above all Heavens, Ephes. 4.10. offer'd it up to the Father as an acceptable oblation, who placed it on a glorious Throne at his right hand. And as he descended on purpose to do us good, to bestow and scatter his graces amongst us; so he ascended also upon a good design for us, that he might send down the Holy Ghost upon his Apostles, and by that means supply all our wants, and do what was necessary to be done for the plan­ting and governing of his Church. The place he ascended from, was Mount Olivet; the place he ascended to, was the highest Heavens. The time of his Ascension, was sourty days after his Resurrection; the truth [Page 82]of it appears from the evidence of those who saw it, and are able to give a good testimony of it; the manner of it was glori­ous, and the end of it hugely advantageous, and beneficial to us. But the practical Use, which we are to make of Christ's Ascension, and Session at the Father's right hand, is this; 1. As we believe that he is ascended into the Heavens corporally, so we are spi­ritually in hearts and minds to ascend after him, and to dwell continually with him in Divine meditations, carrying heavenly minds in earthly bodies; seeking, minding, savou­ring things above at the right hand of God, where Christ sits, Colos. 3.1. where Christ our treasure is, there should our hearts be also. 2. Seeing he hath withdrawn his cor­poral presence, we are to content our selves with his spiritual; not to hang on his bodily presence, the presence of his Manhood, as it was visible to the eye; but to acquiesce in his spiritual presence, the presence of his Godhead, and the presence of his Manhood too, united to his Godhead, yet no other­wise present then spiritually and by Faith; for though his Godhead be every where, yet his Manhood in a corporeal and natu­ral sense cannot be every where, but only where it is placed at the right hand of God. Let us spiritually see him ascending, cordially [Page 83]believe in him absent, wait and hope with patience for his coming again, and by his secret mercy feel and enjoy him spiritually present with us. And seeing he sits at Gods right hand, and is exalted with great tri­umph into his kingdom in Heaven; whereby is noted his Reign, and his being invested with all power in the union of his Regal and Priestly Office, by virtue of which he gives commands to his Church, intercedes with God for his Church, and that so powerfully, as actually to bestow that grace and pardon, which he intercedes for, making continual Intercession with God, who is his Father and ours: This should teach us, to give up our selves obediently to be ruled by him in all his holy institutions and commands, and to be guided by all those, whom he hath placed in his Church under him to rule over us; This should also teach us, to depend upon his Intercession, to offer up all our prayers and praises to God in and through him only: This should teach us, to be in a readiness to receive all Grace that shall flow from him, and to make the holiest use, and best advantage of it. Lastly, This should teach us, to have recourse to him in all temptations, and to persevere in despight of all assaults to the contrary; to have our eye upon him in all that ever we do, to improve [Page 84]those Talents well, which he bestows upon us: for as he is gone to Heaven, he will re­turn again from Heaven to judge the world. From thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead; The very same Jesus Christ, who is gone up to Heaven in glorious man­ner, shall come one day from Heaven again in as glorious a manner to judge us, Act. 1.11. His going up to Heaven, was not an abso­lute departing from us, only he went to take possession of that Kingdom of his, which he shall exercise to the end of the world; and then he shall return again to judge all men, without respect of persons; all that are dead, and all that shall then be found alive; all Nations of men in their order, and every man of every Nation, shall give up their ac­counts to him, and shall receive according to what they have done in the flesh, be it good or bad. To those who by patient con­tinuance in well-doing, seek for glory and honour, and immortality, shall be given the reward of eternal life; but to those who are contentious, and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, the retribution shall be indignation and wrath: tribulation and anguish shall be upon every Soul of man that doth evil; but glory, honour and peace to every man that worketh good, Rom. 2.7, 8, 9, 10. Now the expectation of Christ's [Page 85]coming to Judgment should teach us, to be constant in making up our accounts against his coming, as persons daily expecting a righteous, though a gracious Judge, to sit upon us. He is one, who will come in flames of fire, and in great wrath, to take ven­geance on his Adversaries, and upon all who do not obey the Gospel; one who will not only sift our actions, but search our very hearts and reins; who will not suffer any one sin to be carried along under the dis­guise of Religion, or on confidence of his favour, but will come from his Throne of Mercy in Heaven, and sit upon his Throne of Justice here upon the Earth, to judge all his provokers; one who will not be moved with passions, bribes, flatteries, to punish or reward according to any other method or rule, but only this, of every man according to his works, Rom. 2.6. This one would think should bring us to a pious awe of him, restrain us from sin, keep us in good courses, and make us work out our Salvation with fear and trembling. I believe in the Holy Ghost; who is God, a distinct person in the Godhead from the Father and the Son, and proceeding from both. In respect of Nature, the Father is holy, and the Son holy, the Fa­ther is a Spirit, and the Son is a Spirit; but in regard of Office, the third person in the [Page 86]Trinity is eminently stiled the Holy Ghost, or Holy Spirit. He is stiled the Holy, 1. From the holiness of his Nature: 2. From the ho­liness of his Office; whose special Office it is to make the Church holy: The Father sanctifies by the Son and by the Holy Ghost, the Son sanctifies from the Father by the Holy Ghost, the Holy Ghost sanctifies from the Father and the Son immediately by him­self. Again, he is stiled the Spirit, 1. In re­gard of his Nature, which is spiritual. 2. In regard of his procession from the Father and the Son, being as it were inspired and brea­thed from both. 3. In regard of his opera­tion and manner of working, for he inspires and breaths into us holy motions and desires to good things, and is the Fountain and Spring of all spiritual life in us. This Holy Spirit is holy in himself, pure from all sin, pollution, corruption, hypocrisie, partiality, and that most eminently; and he is the Au­thor of all holiness and purity in us, which he works in us by two ways of dispensation: 1. Outward, 2. Inward. His outward dis­pensation was in most eminent manner, when he descended visibly upon the Apostles, filled them with Graces, and furnished them with Powers to plant, preserve, and govern the Church of Christ over the World. The Powers which he invested the Apostles with, [Page 87]were these; 1. To preach the Gospel. 2. To baptize those Nations, which embraced it. 3. To confirm those, whom they had bapti­zed. 4. To admit those to the Sacrament of Christ's body and bloud, whom they had confirmed. 5. To exercise the powers of the Keys in Censures, in punishing the pertina­cious, and casting those out of the Church, who would not conform to the rules and orders of it, that so they might be ashamed, and be made to reform their wicked lives, and be capable of being received in again by Absolution, upon their sincere repentance evidenced by their Reformation. 6. To or­dain others, and to commit the same powers to them, which the Holy Ghost had settled in themselves, and so to continue a settled Ministry by succession unto the end of the world. In respect of all these forementioned donations, the Holy Ghost is stiled a Para­clete; by which word we are to under­stand, 1. An Advocate, 2. A Comforter, 3. An Exhorter and Instructer. Now the Holy Ghost is to be considered as an Advo­cate, 1. In respect of Christ, 2. In respect of Christians. Now the Holy Ghost is Christ's Advocate, in pleading his cause against the incredulous world, by a threefold con­viction, John 16.8. 1. Of Sin, and that great crime of not receiving Christ, but rejecting [Page 88]him, who was testified and demonstrated by the coming down of the Holy Spirit after his Ascension, to be a true Prophet. 2. Of Righteousness, to convince the world that Christ was a righteous person, and unjustly crucified, as appeared by his Assumption into Heaven, and participation of his Fa­ther's Glory. 3. Of Judgment, to convince all men, that Christ, who was judged in the world, shall judge the world, and pass sen­tence upon the Devil the Prince of this world, who was the first contriver of his death, and upon all who side with him, and take his part. Again, as the Holy Ghost is Christ's Advocate, so is he also the Advocate of all Christians; 1. In settling a Ministry, to pray and intercede for their several Con­gregations, and enabling them to form a Liturgy to be continued in the Church to that end, thereby helping our infirmities, and teaching us to pray as we ought. 2. In sanctifying those Prayers, which the Church daily offers up to the only true God, by the only true Mediator Jesus Christ, that so they may be offered up with acceptance to the Father, by Christ our Mediator. Again, as the Holy Ghost is an Advocate, so is he also a Comforter; for by power and abilities bestowed upon men, the comfortable news of the Gospel, the promises of pardon and [Page 89]grace are divulged to those, who want com­fort. Lastly, the Holy Ghost is our Exhorter and Instructer, in exhorting us to Repen­tance, to fly from sin, and the wrath to come, and to walk worthy of the great vocation and calling of our Christianity, unto which we are called; and by exercising all exter­nal means, which belong to his Titles and Offices, for the working of all manner of sanctity in our hearts; and by using all in­ward means, secret preventions, incitations, over-shadowings, and all other assistances, which are absolutely necessary to beget and continue holiness in our hearts: All which do attend upon his outward ministrations before-mentioned, and constantly go along with them, to hollow them to all worthy receivers, and obedient disciples. Now to believe in the Holy Ghost, is to acknow­ledge the truth of all that is before made mention of; and to accommodate our pra­ctice accordingly, and to conform to this Faith: 1. By submitting our selves to those Spiritual Pastors, whom the Holy Ghost hath set over us; as they themselves are to be careful of that Flock, whereof the Holy Ghost hath made them Overseers. 2. By not intruding into, and usurping upon the Sa­cred Function and Ministry, nor meddling in it without a lawful call, and such as may [Page 90]justifie it self to be from Heaven. 3. By obeying all the several Powers, which the Church is invested with. 4. By devout hear­ing the Word. 5. By due preparing our selves for Baptism, and bringing others to it. 6. By fitting our selves for Confirmation. 7. By examining our selves, that we may come fitly prepared to the Lords Supper. 8. By fearing the Church-censures; and if we are at any time under them, by Con­fession, Contrition, works of Mercy, and all kind of Reformation of our lives, to labour for Absolution; and in all these humbly to beg of God his special grace, that it may go along with all these outward ordinances; and diligently to watch, observe, and re­ceive it in the use of them, and to lay it up in honest hearts, that we may bring forth fruits with patience, neither resisting, nor repelling, nor grieving, nor quenching this Holy Spirit of God, whereby we are sealed (if we do not betray our selves) unto the day of complete Redemption, Ephes. 4.30. The holy Catholick Church, the Communion of Saints; As the first part of the Creed was chiefly concerning God, so the latter part of it is principally relating to the Church of God; as we begin with God in our Con­fession of Faith, so we end with the Church; for unless we are of the Church, we shall [Page 91]lose our interest in God. Now by Church in this place we are to understand, a society of Believers ruled and continued according to all the ordinances before-mentioned, of the Holy Ghost's settling and establishing; which Church is described by these three proper­ties, Holy, Catholick, a Communion of Saints. 1. The Church is remarkably said to be Holy, in respect of the holy Powers and Offices, which are settled in it, and upon it; in respect of the Holy Ghost, the author and founder of them; in respect of Christ the Head of it, who is most holy; in respect of the Faith of the Church, which is in it self holy, and makes us holy; in respect of that sanctity and holiness of life, which ought to be in all the Members of it; in respect of the great design in the first constitution of it, which was to beget and to increase ho­liness. 2. The Church is remarkably said to be Catholick, which word signifies, 1. Orthodoxal, as having Truth in it; and so it is distinguished from the Societies of Hereticks and Schismaticks, wherein is er­rour and falshood. 2. Universal, dispersed and extended all the world over; and so it is distinguished from the Church of the Jews, which was an inclosure divided from all the world beside: It is Universal also in respect of the same Faith, which it teaches [Page 92]to all men, in all places, and at all times; and in respect of the same Laws and Constitu­tions, according to which all Reformations ought to be made; otherwise they will ap­pear to be rather Innovations then Refor­mations, an introducing of new things, ra­ther then a restoring of the old. Lastly, the Church is remarkably said to be a Commu­nion of Saints, in respect of the Communion of Faith and Laws, in respect of the Com­munion of Sanctity and Holiness, which ought to be in all the Members of it, and in respect of the communications of Charity; First, Corporal charity, to all the Fellow-members of Christ that are in need; Second­ly, Spiritual charity, expressed to mens souls by advice, counsel, reprehension, spiritual conference, and in any kind of effusion of Grace from God to us; in praying with and for one another, in praising God with and for one another; which last is a duty conti­nued mutually betwixt us and the glorified Saints in Heaven, so far as is most commo­dious to the condition of each. As the Saints in rest and joy, and advanced towards the Throne of Glory in Heaven, pray for their younger brethren on Earth; so the Saints who are yet in the Camp, and Militant on Earth, praise God for those revelations of his Grace and Glory, which he hath be­stowed [Page 93]upon their elder brethren in Heaven. As the Saints and Members of the Church, hold communion with Christ the Head, have interest in all his benefits, go sharers in the common Salvation; so do they hold com­munion one with another. As in the body natural, so in Christ's mystical body the Church, there is a perpetual sympathy be­tween the parts; if one Member suffer, all suffer with it; if one be had in honour, all rejoyce with it, 1 Cor. 12.26. Neither doth death it self dissolve this communion, for the knot of fellowship holds between the Saints departed this world, and those who still remain in it. The departed Saints pray to God for our good in general, and we praise God for their good in particular; we praise God for giving them such eminent graces on Earth, and such unspeakable glo­ries in Heaven; in affections and hearts we converse with them, we love their memories, use all innocent means to have their exem­plary lives propounded to us for our imita­tion; we desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ and them; and we judge it the greatest honour that we can do them, to imitate their pious and holy lives: and that we may do this, in our annual day of com­memoration for All-Saints, we pray, That as God hath knit together his Elect in one [Page 94]communion and fellowship, in the mystical body of his Son Christ our Lord; so he would grant us grace so to follow his blessed Saints in all vertuous and godly living, that we may come to those unspeakable joys, which he hath prepared for them who un­feignedly love him, through Jesus Christ our Lord. The forgiveness of sins; That is, I be­lieve that by the death and sufferings of Christ, there is pardon and remission to be had in the Church, for all true penitent sin­ners; which pardon, all true penitens, upon exact examination of themselves, may be able to pronounce unto themselves; but the Minister, whose office it is upon a clear view of conscience, so far as is fairly possible, may pronounce it more authoritatively, yet nei­ther of them can do it infallibly: so that as to their pronouncing, Remission of sins is not properly a matter of Faith, neither can it well be. But the matter of Faith, which is contained in this Article, is this; To be­lieve that the forfeiting of our perfect un­sinning innocence in Paradise, shall not be able to exclude us from Gods favour and grace here, nor from Heaven hereafter, if we sincerely turn from sin, and return to God; for God is pleased to accept of Christ's sufferings, as a meet and meritorious satis­faction for all true penitent sinners. We are [Page 95]born in sin, and we grow from sin to sin, from bad to worse naturally, and it is by the grace of God that our sins are remitted; which remission is conveyed to us, whilst we are in the Church, and continue Church-Members, by Prayer, the Word, and the Sa­craments. This Remission is not to be im­puted to our merit, but to Gods mercy, who beholds all true penitent Christians in Christ, and upon their unfeigned repentance and amendment, reputes their sins as no sins. But that we may have our sins pardoned and forgiven, it concerns us to set our selves sin­cerely and industriously to the performance of those conditions, upon which remission of sins is to be had; to repent of them, to reform from them, to amend our lives, to fly sin, and to follow sanctity; to continue in a full assurance of hope towards God, that if we perform our parts, God in Christ will never fail in his; To pray to God in Christ daily for his mercy; to continue in the most melting state of humility and meek­ness, always remembring that all the good we do, or can attain to in this life or the next, is not to be imputed to us, or to any thing in us, but is wholly to be acknow­ledged the purchase of Christ, who hath by his passion and sufferings alone, delivered us from the punishment of our sins; which [Page 96]punishment is the deprivation of Gods grace here, and of the vision of God hereafter. For all the strength, which any Christian hath to resist any sin, is but a consequent of Gods being reconciled to us in Christ, and for his sake not imputing to us our trespasses. The Resurrection of the body; That is, I be­lieve that this flesh of ours, which by the curse of God inflicted on sin, goes down to the Grave, shall most certainly be raised again out of the Grave; though it be the punishment of all mankind, by reason of Adam's fall, to be mortal and to dye, yet this punishment is removed, and allayed by Christ, in respect of all his faithful Servants; the bitter and noxious part of death is taken away, so far as concerns them; the sting of death is plucked out, and the Grave is turned into a place of repose and rest, where their bodies shall sleep until they are awa­kened unto bliss. That power which raised up Jesus, will raise up us also. God, who fetched all out of nothing by his word, can by the last Trump call all of us out of the dust, and restore our bodies again to us, however they may be changed, or transmu­ted. Christ is risen as the First-fruits, the heap will follow; Christ is risen as the Head, the body will follow: and if it should not be so, our bodies, which are both the instru­ments [Page 97]and co-partners of all sin, and of all righteous actions and sufferings, would be left unpunished and unrewarded. Now the belief of the Resurrection of the body should teach us, to keep our bodies in a rising condition; not by uncleanness, drun­keness, worldly-mindedness or floth, to nail our hearts, and to fasten our affections to the Earth; but by purity, sobriety, hea­venly-mindedness, and an holy industry, to fit our bodies for that Heavenly and Divine condition, to which after the Grave we hope to be advanced. And to pray to God for this perfection and bliss, not only for our selves, but for all others, who are already entred into Gods rest, that souls and bodies joyned, may dwell together in the heavenly and endless life of bliss and glory. And the life everlasting; This is the chief good, and last end which we gain by being in the Church, and true Members of it, Life ever­lasting: all men on earth have life, but it is not everlasting life; the damned in Hell shall have that, which is everlasting, but it shall be death rather then life, for they shall be tyed perpetually unto torments; only the true Members of the Church shall attain to life everlasting, an inheritance purchased for them by Christ; and yet is it also, not­withstanding that purchase, Gods free do­nation: [Page 98]if we begin with God, and conti­nue Members of his Church, this will be our end, Everlasting life. The life we lead here, is finite, short, and feeble; but the life which shall follow the Resurrection of the body, will be infinite, everlasting, an endless state in endless bliss to every true penitent be­liever, and of endless woe to all contuma­cious provokers. How should this teach us seriously to weigh, and soberly to consider these two distant states, and to be careful not to forfeit our interest in the one, nor for a little transitory joy, honour, and gain, or ease for a few minutes here, to incur the danger of the other? How should this teach us so to use and improve that moment of life, which we have here, that it may be made a foundation of Eternity? God hath set before us life and death, and seems to have left either of them too, to our own option and choice. And if it be so, then if we will not accept of the terms and condi­tions upon which life is offered us, we must of necessity for our despising life, fall into death. Certainly men, as men, were neither created nor decreed absolutely to Heaven or Hell; for Heaven is our crown, not our fate; our reward, not our destiny: so nei­ther is Hell our fate or destiny, but our pu­nishment. God, who made us rational men, [Page 99]provided also for us rational rewards, and rational punishments; so that if we miss of Heaven, happiness and bliss, and Hell be­come our portion, it will be for our own de­fault; it must be our own wretched con­tempt, which deprives us of the one, and brings us to the other. There is an Eternity of joy to be had upon a very rational and easie obedience, and an Eternity of misery belongs only to those, who fall in love with those things which will inevitably make them miserable. God made not death for man, but he created Paradise for him; the everlasting fire was prepared first for the Devil and his Angels, and ungodly men by their own words and works, made it to become their portion; they did as it were commit a Riot upon Hell, and invade Luci­fer's peculiar. And it is a sad thing to con­sider, how foolish men will strive more ve­hemently for a sad portion in the burning Lake, and endure more for Hell, then for Heaven; take more pains for Eternal death, then for Everlasting life. Now although all is true which is expresly contained in the Creed, and we may say Amen, give our free and full assent to the truth and certainty of it, and that there is an Everlasting life, is as true as any Article in the Creed beside; yet it is to be presumed, that there are two sorts [Page 100]of wicked men, who shall never come to this life everlasting. 1. Wicked Infidels, who believe contrary to the Faith of Christ. 2. Wicked Believers, who live contrary to it. They who would have life everlasting, must have it upon those terms and condi­tions, upon which it is offered; that is, not only upon the condition of a sound Faith, but also of a sincere obedience, as it is written, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments, Mat. 19.17.


And after that, these Prayers following, all de­voutly kneeling, the Minister first pronoun­cing with a loud voice,

The Lord be with you, Ruth 2.4.


And with thy Spirit, 2 Tim. 4.22.


Let us pray, Psal. 95.6.

Lord, have mercy upon us.

Christ, have mercy upon us.

Lord, have mercy upon us, Luk. 18.13. Mat. 15.22. Mark 10.47, 48. Psal. 123.3.


The forementioned Prayers delivered in the very Scripture phrase, are Christian Sa­lutations very well becoming the people of God, and passing reciprocally betwixt Priest and People: The like in ordinary use among us are, God save you, God speed you, God bless you, Psal. 129.8. 2 John 10. which are not to be thought idle Complements, whereby we take the name of God in vain; but Christian and commendable civilities and duties, which were commonly used and pra­ctised by Christians in the time of the Apo­stles, 2 John 10, 11. In the Liturgies of St. James, Basil, Chrysostom, and the Aethio­pians, the Priest was wont to say, Peace be unto you; to which the People replied, And with thy Spirit. In the old Liturgy of Spain called Mozarabe, (because the Christians were mingled with Arabians) the Priest said, The Lord be with you; the People an­swered, And with thy Spirit. the Priest again said, Help me brethren in your prayers; and the People answered, The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost help thee. Petrus Damianus wrote a whole Book upon this argument, intituled, The Lord be with you. It was used in the Latine Church, ever since their Li­turgy [Page 102]was composed by Damasus, and sup­posed to be deduced out of the Greek Church into the Latine; it is of very an­cient use, and is one of the first Formula's of devotion used in the Christian Church; at first it belonged only to the Ministers of the lower Order; and when the Bishop did offi­ciate, he used in place thereof, Peace be unto you; but in the Braccarian Council it was decreed, that the Bishop and Presbyter should use one and the same form, and de­termined the form to be this, The Lord be with you; adding this, As it is used in all the Orient: which shews the custom to be changed since Chrysostom's time, or else we must reject a great part of his Works for counterfeit. Epiphanius saith, that this form of Salutation was derived from our Saviour's first greeting of his Apostles, after his Re­surrection, John 20.19. However, it did an­ciently denote a transition from one part of the Service unto another, as it is here ap­plyed by our Church for the very same pur­pose. These mutual and reciprocal Saluta­tions, were prudently and Christianly made a part of the publick Service, to continue that agreement and love, which ought to be between Pastor and People; and the very order of it shews, that it is the Mini­sters office to begin, and the peoples duty [Page 103]to correspond in all good affections and kindness; when the Minister is as Paul, the people should be as Galathians, chap. 4.15. not only reverence his place, but also love his person: The Pastor cannot wish a better wish then this, The Lord be with you; nei­ther can the people make a fitter reply then this, And with thy Spirit: To note, that he is to offer up a spiritual Service and Sacri­fice unto God, and to do it ardently and affectionately; which he cannot do, unless God be with him, by his Grace and holy Spirit to aid and assist him. Now Christ hath promised to be with his Apostles and their successors, unto the end of the world, Mat. 28.20. to be with his Church in her devotions, in the midst of us, or amongst us, when we offer up our Services to him: but if our Spirits be not right fixed, so as to intend and mind what we are about, how can God be with us? How can God be with our Spirits, if our Spirits are not with God? How can God be in the midst of us, when we are not in the midst of our selves? Therefore this clause, Let us pray, is very often repeated in the Service, upon any no [...] table transition from one eminent part of Service to another, to fix us to our devo­tions, and to make us the more intent upon what we do; for we are apt to be dull [Page 104]enough in Sacred duties, unless we are fre­quently call'd upon to mind seriously what we are about. It was anciently the Dea­cons office to pronounce it, and therefore he was said to preach, or to proclaim the Ser­vice; for it was his office by loud voice, or proclamation, to warn the people in several parts of the Service, what was done, or to be done, that accordingly they might order themselves both in their hearts, and in their bodies, suitable to that which was done or performed by Christ's Ministers, that so all things might be done with good order, and due reverence. The Heathens in their Re­ligious Offices had a custom, not much dif­fering from this; for they had their Prea­chers and Proclaimers of their Service for the same purpose, to regulate the carriage and behaviour of the people, and to pre­vent confusion. The three following Versi­cles, Lord have mercy, &c. were called by the Ancients, the Lesser Litany; and they are fitly placed before the Lords Prayer, because in our resort to him in Prayer, it is very expedient that we first implore the [...]ercy and assistance of the Trinity, to whom we pray.


Then the Minister, Clerks, and People shall say the Lords Prayer with a loud voice.

See before, pag. 18, 19.

OƲr Father, great in Creation, gracious in Love, rich in Inheritance; which art in Heaven, the Glass of Eternity, the Crown of pleasure, the Store-house of feli­city; Hallowed be thy Name, in us, by us, upon us, in our words, actions, lives; that it may be to us Honey in the mouth, Melody in the ear, Jubilee in the heart. Thy King­dom come, of Power to defend us, of Grace to sanctifie us, of Glory to crown us. Let it be to us pleasant without mixture, calm without disturbance, secure without loss. Thy will be done, not ours; as in Heaven, by the holy Angels, so on Earth, by men, that we may hate what thou hatest, love what thou lovest, and do nothing but what is pleasing unto thee. Give, for every good gift is thine, we have nothing from our selves, but crave all from thee; us, as ne­cessity makes us pray for our selves, so cha­rity for others; this day, all the time of our living here; our, which we have a lawful [Page 106]and just title to; daily, what is sufficient for our necessity, not superfluity; to supply our wants, not our wantonness; bread, what is necessary for our bodies or our souls, Victual, Doctrinal, Sacramental bread. And forgive us our debts, whatever sins we have committed against thee, our neighbour, or our selves. As we forgive our debtors, who have injured us in our bodies, goods, or name. And lead us not, suffer us not to be led, into temptation, of the world, the flesh, the Devil. But deliver us from evil, present, past, to come. Amen, So be it.

The Doxology is here and elsewhere omitted, because in St. Luke's Gospel it is not any part of the Prayer, Luk. 11.2, 3, 4. and Mr. Calvin doth acknowledge it not to be extant in any Latine copies; it was sup­posed to be added by the Greek Church, but never used in the Latine. However, our Bible in St. Matthew received it, and no Minister is restrained from the use of it in Divine Service.


Then the Priest standing up shall say,

O Lord, shew thy mercy upon us.


And grant us thy salvation, Psal. 85.7.


O Lord, saze the King, 1 Sam. 10.24. 1 Tim. 2.2. Psal. 21.1.


And mercifully hear us when we call upon thee, Psal. 4.1. Psal. 30.10. Psal. 109.26.


Endue thy Ministers with righteousness.


And make thy chosen people joyful, Psal. 132.9.


O Lord, save thy people.


And bless thine inheritance, Psal. 28.9.


Give peace in our time, O Lord, 2 King. 20.19. Psal. 122.6.


Because there is none other that fighteth for [Page 108]us, but only thou, O God, 2 Chron. 20.12. Exod. 14.14. Nehem. 4.20. Isa. 31.4.


O God, make clean our hearts within us.


And take not thy holy Spirit from us, Psal. 51.10, 11.


The forementioned Prayers are all agree­able to Scripture, of Divine derivation, and because they are most what taken out of the Book of Psalms, the Priest is ordered to stand up at the reading of them; they are short, and in that respect conformable to Scripture pattern, and Primitive practice. The interchangable way of praying is used here, and often elsewhere in our Divine Offices, which is agreeable to Primitive pra­ctice also; and the end of it is, to refresh the peoples attention, to teach them their part in the publick Prayers, to unite their affections, and to keep them in a league of perpetual amity. In these Prayers we pray first for the King, next for the Ministers of Christ, Priests and Deacons, and in the last place for the People; and in all we follow that excellent pattern, which was set us by the Royal Prophet David, Psal. 132.1, 9. [Page 109]And although it may be our good happiness to live in a time of Peace, yet we pray con­stantly for Peace in our time, in the same sense as we pray in the Lords Prayer for daily bread, when we have it by us; we pray that it may come where it is not, and that it may continue where it is; we pray also for the blessing of peace, as well as for peace it self. And although we pray in ex­press terms for peace in our time, yet we do not forget posterity, only we dare not pre­sume that it shall remain with us, with her wings clipt, for ever; as we ask for bread this day, and yet we neglect not to morrow, only we follow the rule of our Saviour, who forbids us anxiously to take care for to morrow. And whereas it is added in the foregoing Prayers, Because no other fighteth for us, but only thou, O God: our meaning is, that we fear not War, but hope for an eternal Peace of God to defend us; we acknowledge him our Shield, our Watch-Tower, and our Keeper, Psal. 18.2. Psal. 121.4. Psal. 127.1. Psal. 73.25. and that there is none that holds with us, but Michael our Prince, Dan. 10.21. that is, Christ. Though Angels and men may fight in our quarrel, yet they all do it but as God's In­struments; God only fights for us as princi­pal Agent: He it is, who teacheth our hands [Page 110]to War, and our fingers to fight, Psal. 18.34. And in regard that without Christ's assisting us with his holy Spirit, we can do nothing, for he is first and last, we can neither begin nor end well without him; therefore as we begin, so we end with God: First, we de­sire God to be with us, and with our Spirit; and in the last place, we desire of God that he would not take his holy Spirit from us.


Then shall follow three Collects; The first of the day, which shall be the same that is ap­pointed at the Communion; The second for Peace; The third for Grace to live well. And the two last Collects shall never alter, but daily be said at Morning Prayer throughout all the year, as followeth; all kneeling.

The second Collect for Peace.

O God, who art the author of peace and lover of concord, 1 Cor. 14.33. 2 Cor. 13.11. in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, John 17.3. whose service is per­fect freedom, Luk. 1.74. John 8.32, 36. [Page 111]Rom. 6.18. 1 Cor. 7.22. Defend us thy hum­ble servants in all assaults of our enemies, Psal. 31.3, 4, 5. that we surely trusting in thy de­fence, may not fear the power of any adversa­ries, Psal. 125.1. Psal. 118.8, 9, 10, 11. Psal. 62.6, 7, 8. through the might of Jesus Christ our Lord, Act. 4.12. Amen.

The third Collect for Grace.

O Lord our heavenly Father, Mat. 6.26. Almighty and everlasting God, Gen. 17.1. Gen. 21.33. who hast safely brought us to the beginning of this day, Psal. 22.9, 10. Psal. 3.5. defend us in the same with thy mighty power, Psal. 62.2. and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into any kind of danger, Mat. 6.13. Psal. 19.12, 13. 2 Thes. 3.3. Psal. 17.5. Gen. 20.6. but that all our doings may be ordered by thy governance, to do always that is righteous in thy sight, Psal. 17.5. Prov. 20.24. Psal. 5.8. Psal. 119.5. through Jesus Christ our Lord, John 14.13. Amen.


Collects are so called, because they are Prayers in short sums, containing much matter in few words, like so many choice [Page 112]Flowers gathered and collected out of the Scriptures Garden, and bound up in little Posies to be offer'd and presented to God by Jesus Christ. The first Collect here men­tioned for the day, is always fitted to the day, and framed for the most part in refe­rence to something remarkable in the Epi­stle and Gospel for the day, which the Col­lect is set before. The second Collect is for Peace, because we cannot well pray, nor offer up an acceptable Sacrifice to God with­out Peace; where there is no Peace, there is no Piety, Godliness, nor Honesty; there­fore we pray for Peace, that the rest may be preserved, 1 Tim. 2.1, 2. The third Collect is for Grace to live well, because if there be no Peace with God by holy life, there can be none with man; There is no peace to the wicked, Isa. 48.22. Peace and Truth, Isa. 39.8. Peace and Righteousness, Psal. 85.10. Peace and Holiness, Heb. 12.14. are joyned by God in Scripture, and by us should not be parted. Our Religion, if truly Christian, is pure and peaceable, Jam. 3.17.


In Quires and places where they sing, here fol­loweth the Anthem.
Then these five Prayers following are to be read here, except when the Litany is read; and then only the two last are to be read, as they are there placed.

A Prayer for the Kings Majesty.

O Lord our heavenly Father, high and migh­ty, King of Kings, Lord of Lords, the only Ruler of Princes, who doest from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon Earth; Most heartily we beseech thee with thy favour to behold our most gracious Soveraign Lord King CHARLES, and so replenish him with the grace of thy holy Spirit, that he may alway incline to thy will, and walk in thy way: endue him plenteously with heavenly gifts, grant him in health and wealth long to live, strengthen him that he may vanquish and overcome all his enemies; and finally after this life he may at­tain everlasting joy and felicity, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Royal Family.

ALmighty God, the fountain of all good­ness, we humbly beseech thee to bless our gracious Queen CATHERINE, James Duke of York, and all the Royal Family: Endue them with thy holy Spirit; enrich them with thy heavenly grace; prosper them with all hap­piness; and bring them to thine everlasting Kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A Prayer for the Clergy and people.

ALmighty and everlasting God, who alone workest great marvels; send down upon our Bishops, and Curates, and all Congregations committed to their charge, the healthful Spirit of thy grace; and that they may truly please thee, pour upon them the continual dew of thy blessing. Grant this, O Lord, for the honour of our Advocate and Mediator, Jesus Christ. Amen.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

ALmighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee, and dost pro­mise, [Page 115]that when two or three are gathered to­gether in thy Name, thou wilt grant their re­quests, Mat. 18.20. John 14.13. Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and petitions of thy ser­vants, as may be most expedient for them; granting us in this world knowledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life ever­lasting. Amen.

2 Cor. 13.14.

THe Grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all evermore. Amen.


Touching the variety of Service, Anthems and Hymns to be sung by way of Antipho­ny or Response, I have spoken something before, and therefore shall say nothing in this place. Indeed here I might have inser­ted the Anthems, which are daily used in the Cathedral and most eminent Churches, but I consider'd it to be needless, in regard per­sons upon enquiry may meet with them bound up all together. The forementioned Prayers I have not here Scriptur'd out, be­cause most of them, as to the matter and sub­stance of them, will fall within the Litany, which I shall warrant by Scripture sufficient­ly. [Page 116]But here let it be noted, that we pray in particular for Kings, in pursuance of that precept of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2.1, 2, 3. which is pressed and urged with this reason, that we may lead quiet and peaceable lives in all godliness and honesty; which can hardly be done, if Kings and eminent per­sons in Authority, do not help towards it. Good Kings promote Religion wicked Kings persecute it: Josiah and Hezekiah did in­crease true worshippers, as Jeroboam did in­crease and multiply false and Schismatical ones. A good King, is a very great blessing; but so unhappy are we, that we cannot know the worth of him, unless it be in the want of him. We pray for the Church, which is excellently described by Bishops, Curates, and the people committed to their charge, all which make up a Church rightly constituted; and Ignatius the Disciple of St. John the Evangelist, tells us, that there can be no truly constituted Church without a Bishop. By Curates here are not meant Stipendiaries, but all Ministers to whom the Bishop hath committed the cure and care of Souls. For the right constituting of a Church, and for the preserving of it when it is constituted and settled, we pray for the healthful Spirit of Gods grace to be poured down upon all, who profess Christ, and em­brace [Page 117]Christianity with sincerity. The terms wherein we pray, may seem strange, in re­gard we present our prayers to the Almighty and everlasting God, who only worketh great marvels; but this expression hath a peculiar reference to Gods sending down of his holy Spirit upon the Apostles, whereby they were enabled to speak in all Languages the won­derful works of God, Act. 2.11. and to con­sirm that Doctrine by Miracles, which they taught the world. The Prayer of St. Chryso­stom, who lived about the fourth Century, is grounded upon Mat. 18. v. 19, 20. and may be met with word for word in his Liturgy. We begin and end the Morning Service with the Apostle; as we begin the Exhortation in an Apostolical stile, so we conclude the Prayers with an Apostolical Prayer; and conclude most of our Prayers and Collects with this clause, Through Jesus Christ our Lord, because there is no coming to God but by Christ; what we ask (as we ought) in his Name, God will give us for his sake. He is our Jacobs Ladder, by whom our Prayers ascend to God, and Gods blessings descend to us; all good things come from God the Father, through Jesus Christ our Lord.


Here endeth the Order of Morning Prayer throughout the year.


The Morning Prayer intended in this or­der, is that which I have before explained, which did usually begin at six in the morn­ing, and doth still in the Cathedral Churches, where the Canonical hours are punctually observed: Now every Canonical or greater hour, did contain so many lesser hours; from six in the morning to nine, was the first hour; from nine to twelve, was the third; from twelve to three afternoon, was the sixth; from three to six, was the ninth, &c.


The Order for Evening Prayer daily throughout the Year.


THe Evening Service is exactly the same with the Morning; as the Jews had their daily Sacrifice, a Lamb for the Morn­ing, and a Lamb for the Evening, Exod. 29.38. so we Christians, in a more Spiritual sense, have the same Sacrifice to offer up to God by Christ continually in the Morning, and in the Evening; only here are two Col­lects to be taken notice of, which are not in the Morning Service; as also the Hymns and Psalms after the first and second Lesson.

  • After the first Lesson,
  • Magnificat, S. Luk. 1.46.
  • Cantate Domino, Psal. 98.
  • After the second Lesson,
  • Nunc dimittis, S. Luk. 2.29.
  • Deus misereatur, Psal. 67.

After this the Creed, the lesser Litany, the Lords Prayer, and the following Responses, all to be ranked and placed in that order as they stand in the Evening Service, without either Scriptural Notes, or Explanation: After this follows the Collect for the day, and then two other Collects proper for the Evening Service.

RUBRICK. The second Collect at Evening Prayer, for Peace.

O God, from whom all holy desires, all good counsels, and all just works do proceed, Jam. 1.17. 2 Cor. 3.5. Isa. 26.12. Give unto thy servants that peace which the world cannot give, 2 Thes. 3.16. John 14.27. that both our hearts may be set to obey thy Commandments, Psal. 40.8. Psal. 37.31. Psal. 119.36. Deut. 5.29. and also that by thee we being defended from the fear of our enemies, may pass our time in rest and quietness, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Saviour. Amen. Psal. 3.5, 6, 7. Psal. 4.8. Luk. 1.73, 74, 75.

RUBRICK. The third Collect, for aid against all perils.

LIghten our darkness, we beseech thee, O Lord, Psal. 18.28. Psal. 91. and by thy great mercy defend us from all perils and dan­gers of this night, for the love of thy only Son, our Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.


Out of the 91 Psalm this Prayer may be enlarged, as there shall be occasion in our private Devotions; in which Psalm there is mention of the terrours by night, and of the Pestilence walking in darkness; and there­fore Evening and Night Prayers, are cer­tainly a good defensative against both. What remains of the Evening Service, is the same with that of the Morning, and concludes in the same manner.

Hereunto is added by way of Appen­dix, these following Paraphrases.

1. A Paraphrase upon Psal. 95.

Vers. 1. THe great God of Heaven is he, from whom all our deliverance and strength doth come; O let us uniformly joyn in praising and glorifying his Name.

Vers. 2. Let us make our daily constant addresses to him, with all the acknowledg­ments and expressions of thankful hearts.

Vers. 3. For he is the Supreme God of Heaven and Earth, the only super-eminent Monarch over all Powers and Dignities, to whom Angels in Heaven are Ministers, and the mightiest Princes upon the Earth are Vice-gerents.

Vers. 4. The bowels and bottom of the Earth are in his disposal, and so are the loftiest and stoutest Hills; by which it is also intimated, that the meanest and lowest men or creatures on Earth, are particularly or­dered by his providence in all that befalls them here, and the mightiest men in the world are bounded and governed by him.

Vers. 5. It is he, that framed the whole Orb of the Sea and dry Land, and so con­trived [Page 123]them the one within the bowels of the other, that they should not incommode each the other, but both together make up one useful Globe for men, and all other creatures to inhabit.

Vers. 6. O let us joyntly adore, praise, and pray unto him, and make the members of our bodies, partners and witnesses of the real devotion of our hearts; let us joyn in­ward and outward reverence together, in the most submiss and lowliest gestures, there­by signifying and expressing the sincere hu­mility of our Souls, which is a tribute most justly due to him, who is the great Lord and Creator of all.

Vers. 7, 8. And although we have often rebelled against him, and so have often de­served his dereliction, and as often smarted for it; yet if now at length we shall be wrought upon by his calls and warning, and perform unto him sincere obedience, he is most ready to accept us, to take us into his care and protection; and to secure us from all our enemies.

Vers. 9. But let not us, like our provo­king fore-fathers, who being delivered by him, sinned yet more against him, after we have so liberally tasted of his power, good­ness, and long-sufferance, and after his many gracious calls afforded us to Repentance, [Page 124]rebell against him, and provoke his wrath, by imitating them in their ingratitude and impenitence.

Vers. 10, 11. For fourty years together, wherein for their sins God detained and per­plexed them in the wilderness, they did fre­quently provoke God to indignation, and made him resolve that they were a stupid Idolatrous people, preferring the worship of false Gods and Devils, before the obedience and worship of him the only true God of Heaven and Earth; therefore being as it were tired out with their continued provo­cations, God obliged himself by an Oath irreversibly, that of the many thousands which came out of Aegypt, only two persons, who were grown up to be men, should en­ter the Land of Promise: O let not us fol­low them in their sins, lest we follow them also in their punishments, and so fall short of Heaven, as they did of Canaan.

2. A Paraphrase upon Benedictus, Luk. 1. vers. 68.

Vers. 68. ALl glory, honour and praise be unto the great Lord and gra­cious God of his chosen people and select inheritance, for he hath performed his pro­mise so often made to them, by his gracious [Page 125]Visitation, in bringing them out of Aegypt formerly by a temporal deliverance, which did pre-figure a greater deliverance to be wrought by Christ the promised Messias, who is shortly to be born.

Vers. 69. Of David's Family, and inve­sted with all power, honour, glory, dignity and triumph, to be a King, Ruler, and emi­nent deliverer of his people, whose Kingdom is not Secular, but Spiritual.

Vers. 70, 71. Of whom honourable men­tion is made by all the holy Prophets of God, speaking of him as with one mouth, from the beginning of that age, which was before the coming of the Messias, unto this present time. The end of whose coming is to save us from all our spiritual enemies, sins and dangers, by taking upon him our na­ture, and in it performing perfect unsinning obedience, by dying upon the Cross for us, and by giving us precepts and rules by their own inward goodness most agreeable to our reasonable nature, for the purifying of our affections, and for teaching and instructing us to lead pure lives.

Vers. 72. By all which God hath made good his signal promise of mercy, made to the holy Fathers and Patriarchs, wherein both themselves and their Seed were highly concerned.

Vers. 73. Especially that great and graci­ous Covenant of mercy, which he made to Abraham and his Seed in a Spiritual sense, and ratified and confirmed by the Sanction of an Oath.

Vers. 74, 75. Namely, that he would give us power, ability and grace, in and from the Messias revealed, to obey and attend him in a sincere performance of all duties to God and man, and chearfully and constantly to persevere therein, being by him rescued and secured from all dangers of enemies with­out us, though not altogether from those, which may be founded in our selves, in our own negligences and miscarriages.

Vers. 76. And thou Child (meaning John the Baptist) shalt be a wonderful person, and extraordinary Prophet of God; for thou shalt foretell Judgments on the Nati­ons, if they repent not speedily, and in a signal manner shalt point out Christ, being his immediate fore-runner, and shalt preach Repentance and amendment of life, thereby to fit and prepare men for him.

Vers. 77. Teaching all men, that in Christ there is a possibility for sinners to obtain Sal­vation, and to have their sins pardon'd, upon their Repentance and New life.

Vers. 78. Which is a special act of com­passion, and signal mercy in God; through [Page 127]which mercy the Messias, who is called the Day-spring by the Prophets, is come from Heaven to visit us, and to abide amongst us.

Vers. 79. And to shine forth to blind ig­norant mortals, and obdurate worldlings, who lived in a state of sin and death; and to bring them and us into the way of San­ctity and Holiness, which leads to Salvation and life eternal.

3. A Paraphrase upon Psal. 100.

Vers. 1, 2 O Let all the people in the world bless, worship and praise, and offer up their Prayers and Supplications to the great God of Heaven; let them resort daily to his Sanctuary, and constantly attend his Service, and account it the most estima­ble and delectable task, and the most re­nowned and most glorious imployment, which they can possibly undertake.

Vers. 3. For this is the only way to con­verse with the great and glorious, and omni­potent Creator of all things, to whom we owe all that we have, and all that we are; to him we owe our being, conduct, and preser­vation, and to him we are obliged to pay all the obedience and observance, which the meekest creatures in nature pay to those, who have the care and conduct of them.

Vers. 4. O let us make our solemn ad­dresses to his Sanctuary, where his Divine Majesty is signally pleased to exhibit him­self, and to testifie his peculiar residence, and favourable audience to them, who assemble there. Thither let us come with all the hu­mility and devotion of loyal and thankful hearts, and praise and magnifie his Name for all the mercies which we have ever received from him.

Vers. 5. For to do this, we have all imagi­nable obligations, not only that of his Sove­raign dominion over all, to which all the performances of our lives are but a most un­proportionable tribute; but also his abun­dant benignity, his rich promises of a never-failing mercy, and his constant fidelity of performing to every man, who is fitly quali­fied for receiving it, the utmost that he ever promised to any.

4. A Paraphrase on Magnificat, Luke 1.

Vers. 46, 47. MAry the blessed Virgin, and mother of the Lord Jesus, brake out into this holy Hymn of praise and thanksgiving, saying, All the fa­culties of my Soul, my affections and under­standing, have reason to bless and praise the [Page 129]name of God, and to return great thanks unto him, for I have received great things from him; I my self will praise him, and will not do it only by another; as I have tasted liberally of his bounty, so will I in my own person perform this duty. His benefits are so great and so good, so manifest and so ma­nifold, that I cannot utter them with my tongue, and therefore must devoutly pon­der on them in my heart. I will give him my Soul, the best thing that I have, who hath given to me all that I am or have; I will praise him cordially, unfeignedly, with­out hypocrisie, with all intention in my un­derstanding, with all devotion in my affecti­on; not with a divided heart, but with my whole heart will I praise him: I will make him, who is great in himself, to be reputed so of others; I will magnifie him, and mag­nifie my self too in the doing of it. He is a Lord able to help, and he is a Saviour as willing as he is able; I adore his greatness, I joy in his goodnes [...], and whatever I take joy in beside, it is only for his sake. He is my mighty Saviour and deliverer, saving me both from sin and danger.

Vers. 48. He hath done the greatest ho­nour to me, the unworthiest of all his Ser­vants, that was ever done to any; He hath s [...]ken pity of the wretched condition and [Page 130]state which I, the daughter of David's Seed, was brought into, and hath not disdained my poverty, but hath been pleased to make choice of me for a vessel of Grace, in a very great work: He hath looked upon me in my abased condition, with a most gracious eye, and hath not only vouchsafed to make me his Child, but the Mother of my Maker; so that all posterities shall look upon me as a most happy person, and most highly digni­fied by God of any.

Vers. 49. The omnipotent God of Heaven hath done marvellous things in me, hath honoured me above imagination; hath so blessed me, as to make me a Virgin the Mo­ther of the most Blessed, in whom all Na­tions of the Earth are blessed, and his Name shall be ever blessed for it.

Vers. 50. For in me he hath accomplished the promised mercy made to Abraham, say­ing, I will be thy God, and the God of thy seed after thee; which abundant kindness is not to me only, but [...]o all who obey and serve him humbly from time to time, to help and comfort them, to scatter and confound all their foes, and especially to make good his promise to them, touching the Messias and Saviour of the world.

Vers. 51. The great and proud designer-of the world, are so far from being favoured, [Page 131]that they are manifestly opposed and con­founded by him; and by his only power, without any helper, hath he now wrought a great and glorious work. He hath estab­lished the Kingdom of Christ, and hath over­thrown all the counsels and endeavours of his enemies, and hath disappointed all, who are proud in the imagination of their own hearts.

Vers. 52. It is ordinary with him to abase the lofty Atheists, however high they are raised in might and power; and to advance humble persons, though they are of never so low degree.

Vers. 53. He takes the poor, who depend upon him, into his protection, and reple­nisheth them with all necessaries, when they call upon him; whereas the rich men of the world, who trust in their uncertain riches, are often brought into want and beggery.

Vers. 54, 55. He hath now performed his promise made to Abraham and his Seed; hath exhibited to them, and to all the be­lieving world, the great promised mercy; and hath made such a provision for them, which shall never fail, having sent the Messias, the Saviour of the world so long expected, which is a mercy that shall never be taken from us: Therefore for this unspeakable [Page 132]mercy, and for all mercies flowing from this, Glory shall be ascribed to God in all the Churches of his Saints, and that for ever.

5. A Paraphrase upon Psal. 98.

Vers. 1, 2. IT is now an opportune season to praise and magnifie the great God of Heaven, for all his miraculous de­liverances; but especially for the glorious conquests of the Messias, who by his own power, and by vertue of his most perfect righteousness, hath obtained for the Humane nature, which he assumed, and for his whole Church, Victory over all his enemies, and eternal Glory. He hath made a conquest over the Grave, by rising triumphantly out of it, and thereby hath given us a pawn and pledge of our Resurrection. This is a new work indeed, and deserves a new Song to be sung in all Ages, by all the regenerated part of Mankind, who are renewed accord­ing to Christ Jesus, the most glorious exem­plar of all the Regenerate.

Vers. 3. This mighty work of God, in raising the Messias from the dead, and the completion of his predictions and promises therein, his goodness and mercy, and Evan­gelical righteousness, by which he is pleased to justifie sinful men, through the merits of [Page 133]his Son's most perfect righteousness, embra­ced by a lively Faith, God would have to be published and proclaimed, by the prea­ching of the Gospel to all the men in the world.

Vers. 4. And not published only as a Mi­racle, though of most stupendious nature, but as an act of infinite goodness and pro­mised mercy, and of great fidelity in per­forming it too; the benefits whereof were first reached forth to his own peculiar people the Jews, and afterwards to be published to the utmost Nations of the world, who have all their parts in the Redemption from sin and Satan atchieved and wrought by it.

Vers. 5, 6, 7. This is true matter of the greatest joy and exultation to all men, and deserves to be celebrated in the most so­lemn manner, with all the Instruments of Mu­sick used in the Service of God; and all are little enough to express the Glory of the work, and the infinite advantages designed to us by Christ thus entring upon his Regal Office, in order to subdue all the world to the power of the Gospel, which is the Scep­ter of his Kingdom. For this we should praise him in our contemplations and actions, words and works, lips and life, being all of us as so many spiritual Temples of God, and Timbrels of the Holy Ghost.

Vers. 8, 9, 10. All the habitable world, the very Heathens, who have been long un­der the servitude of their false Idol worships, shall now be redeemed from that slavery of sin and Satan; the Idol Oracles and Temples shall all be destroyed, and the Doctrine of the true God, and practice of Piety, Justice, and Charity, shall be set up in their stead, and thereby a most happy joyful Reforma­tion be wrought amongst men; which cer­tainly deserves all the acknowledgments of humble and thankful hearts, and lays obliga­tions upon us, to ascribe all glory to God in all the Churches.

6. A Paraphrase upon Nunc dimittis, Luke 2.

Vers. 29. O Lord, seeing thou hast in great mercy fulfilled thy gracious promise revealed to me touching the Messias, I am heartily content now to dye.

Vers. 30. And needs must I dye happy and contented, who have seen with mine eyes the Messias and Saviour of the world, the great means and glorious instrument of man's Salvation.

Vers. 31. Whom thou hast so long pro­mised, and now exhibited to be seen by all; which Salvation thou hadst ordained from [Page 135]everlasting, to be made known in due time to all Nations, and to make them parta­kers of it.

Vers. 32. That there might be a light afforded to the Gentile world, to reveal to them Gods righteousness, and that way of living which is to God most acceptable; who after he hath reformed the Religion of the Jews, teaching them substantial Duties instead of Ceremonial observances, was to bring in the Gentiles to embrace the same Religion, and so to bring much glory and honour to all of that Nation, and of all Na­tions in the world, who would receive him; for which unspeakable mercy, all Nations in the world are to ascribe all glory to God, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, in all the Churches.

7. A Paraphrase upon Psal. 67.

Vers. 1. THe great and good God of Hea­ven pardon our sins, supply our wants, bestow his blessings both spiritual and temporal upon us, behold us with favour and acceptance, and for ever continue them unto us.

Vers. 2. This may be a means of propa­gating the fear, worship, and Service of the true God, to all the Heathen world, when [Page 136]they shall see and consider the eminent mira­culous acts of thy providence (O God) over us, in delivering us from great dangers and distresses, which have been upon us; when they shall behold the wonderful or­der and means, which thou observest in go­verning of thy Church, as well in regard of thy Word and Laws, as thy Works and Miracles.

Vers. 3. This universal Reformation and acknowledgment of the one true God of Heaven and Earth, is a mercy so much to be wished for and desired by every pious man, that I cannot but give my suffrage to it, and most affectionately call upon all to joyn in this wish, and to beseech God that his Kingdom may be enlarged, and that all the Nations in the world, Jews and Gen­tiles, may joyn in the Service and Worship of him.

Vers. 4. And it must needs be matter of infinite joy and exultation to all Nations, when they shall be admitted to so high an honour, as to be ruled and directed by God, to be governed by his most righteous way of Justice in the Kingdom of the Messias, by Laws and Statutes so admirably good, and agreeable to our interests, and by the admi­nistration of his works of providence so ad­mirably wise and just, that all the world [Page 137]both in prudence, care of, and love to themselves, are obliged with joy to submit to the setting up of this Kingdom in their hearts.

Vers. 5. And it would be an happy and blessed thing, if all the world would be duly sensible of it, and all joyn to acknowledge, worship, serve and obey the true God, and so partake of this great mercy, and be indu­ced to magnifie his Name for it.

Vers. 6. For his mercies are continually afforded to all; rain from heats, fruitful sea­sons, and peculiar acts of his providence, are such as may oblige the most Heathen men in the world to acknowledge, bless, and give up themselves to the obedience of him. And it is our duty continually to pray unto him, that he would bestow his Benediction both upon us, and upon all that which he hath so richly afforded us.

Vers. 7. And our prayer shall be, that the God of Heaven would crown us with his blessings, and that all the most barbarous people in the world, may be brought in to acknowledge and worship him, and to pay all uniform obedience and subjection to him. To whom be glory for ever. Amen.

The Creed of St. Athanasius.


Ʋpon these Feasts; Christmas-day, the Epi­phany, St. Matthias, Easter-day, Ascen­sion-day, Whitsunday, St. John Baptist, St. James, St. Bartholomew, St. Matthew, St. Simon and St. Jude, St. Andrew, and upon Trinity-Sunday, shall be sung or said at Morning Prayer, in stead of the Apostles Creed, this Confession of our Christian Faith, commonly called the Creed of St. Athanasius, by the Minister and people standing.

Quicunque vult.

WHosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the Catho­lick Faith, Heb. 11.6. Jude vers. 3. Heb. 10.23.

By Catholick Faith we are to understand, the Faith of the Church Universal, which is opposed to the Faith of Hereticks, Jews, Turks, and Pagans.

Which Faith, except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly, Ephes. 4.5. Jude vers. 20. Act. 15.9. John 3.18. Mark 16.16.

Faith may be diverse in respect of the sub­ject, or believers, but not in respect of the object, or thing believed; for there is but one Faith, Ephes. 4.5. Therefore this Faith is to be kept whole, we are not to divide Christ, 1 Cor. 1.13. and this Faith, if kindly received and embraced, purifies the heart, and therefore it is to be kept undefiled, Act. 15.9. and upon this account is it stiled, the most holy Faith, Jude vers. 20. There­fore St. Augustine hath expresly declared, That a good life is not only inseparable from Faith, but that Faith it self is a good life. To believe in God and Christ, is to do the declared will of the one, and the commands of the other: It is not enough to profess like Christians, and to live like Heathens; to be Christians in name, and Heathens in manners; to profess to know God, and in our works to deny him, Tit. 1.16.

And the Catholick Faith is this, That we worship one God in Trinity, and Trinity in Ʋnity, 1 John 5.7. Revel. 4.8. Mat. 28.19. Rom. 11.36.

Neither confounding the persons: nor divi­ding the substance.

The Jews and Turks have a Faith, such as it is, for they worship one God; and many of them keep that Faith whole, and in a sense undefiled; for as they believe one God, [Page 140]so they live according to what they believe. The meer Pagans and Heathens have a Faith too, for they worship more Gods then one; they will rather admit of too many, then none at all: few Atheists are to be met with amongst any of these, as Atheism stands in direct opposition to a Deity. Yet all Jews, Turks and Pagans, may be termed Atheists and Infidels, in opposition to the Christian Religion, in regard they all deny the Tri­nity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead, which all sound Christians do believe, wor­ship, and adore.

For there is one person of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Ghost.

But the Godhead of the Father, of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the Glory equal, the Majesty co-eternal.

Such as the Father is, such is the Son: and such is the Holy Ghost, Mat. 28.19. 1 John 5.7. Heb. 1.3. John 10.30. Philip. 2.6.

The doctrine of the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of Godhead and Divine Essence, is the peculiar doctrine of Christians, and that which remarkably distinguishes the Christian Religion from all other Religions in the world. Though all the world besides opposed it, yet Christians have ever belie­ved and embraced it; and as they have be­lieved, so they have been baptized, and have [Page 141]always given glory to God, one in Essence, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, three in Per­son; always acknowledging in the blessed Trinity and unspeakable Deity, one sub­stance, in work not divided, in will agree­ing, in omnipotence and glory equal: The Heathens, especially the Platonists, had some broken notions of this admirable Mystery, which ought to be the subject of our adora­tion and devotion, rather then of our curio­sity and search: The Jews had many dark adumbrations of it, but it was only cleared and revealed to Christians: God the Father, in the Creation of the world; God the Son, in the Redemption of mankind; God the Holy Ghost, in the Sanctification of the Church. To search too far into this Mystery, is rashness; to dispute it, is folly; to deny it, madness: to believe it, is true piety; and to know it, is life.

The Father uncreate, the Son uncreate, and the Holy Ghost uncreate, Gen. 1.2, 3.

The Father incomprehensible, the Son incom­prehensible, and the Holy Ghost incomprehensi­ble, 1 Tim. 6.16.

The Father eternal, the Son eternal, and the Holy Ghost eternal, Deut. 33.27. Psal. 90.2.

God a self-being, gave being to the Crea­tures; he was himself without beginning, [Page 142]gave a beginning to time, and to the world in time; he made something of nothing, and of that something he made all things. God, who created the world, was himself uncrea­ted, and as uncreated, so incomprehensible; for if he could be comprehended, he should not be God: and as incomprehensible, so eternal, that is, God from everlasting, before all time, and to everlasting, when time shall be no more.

And yet they are not three eternals, but one eternal.

As also there are not three incomprehensibles, nor three uncreated: but one uncreated, and one incomprehensible.

So likewise the Father is Almighty, the Son Almighty, and the Holy Ghost Almighty.

And yet they are not three Almighties, but one Alighty.

So the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God.

And yet they are not three Gods, but one God.

So likewise the Father is Lord, the Son Lord, and the Holy Ghost Lord;

And yet not three Lords, but one Lord, 1 John 5.7. Revel. 1.8. Revel. 4.8. 1 Cor. 8.5, 6.

God is potentially one, personally three; one in Essence, three in Subsistence; in the [Page 143]diversification of Names, as the Scripture hath made the distinction, three; but in Na­ture, Substance and Essence, one: so the holy Fathers of the Church have forced themselves to speak, because they knew not how to speak better, nor more clearly, in so deep a Mystery; neither had they spoken so much, I suppose, had not the enemies to Christianity extorted it from them, and for­ced them to speak out where they had a mind to be silent. When the great doctrine of the Trinity, which is the peculiar doctrine of Christians, was opposed, they thought themselves obliged to defend it, and in such terms too, as to declare their own meaning, though perhaps not to all capacities very in­telligible. For as it follows in this Creed, the meaning of the Church (so far as she can express her meaning) is this;

For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity, to acknowledge every person by himself to be God and Lord:

So are we forbidden by the Catholick Reli­gion, to say, there be three Gods, or three Lords, Revel. 4.8. Heb. 1.3. Rom. 11.36. 1 John 5.7.

Christians only defended that form of Baptism instituted by our Saviour, and that Faith into which they were baptized, viz. into the name of the Father, Son, and Holy [Page 144]Ghost, Mat. 28.19. and if in their own de­fence they have used expressions not so can­didly received and embraced by all that read them, they are not to be blamed for it, but their opposers, who forced them to make use of what expressions they could in their own defence. They chose rather to be ac­counted fools for Christ, then to betray and yield up that form of Christ's Institution, by which they were initiated in Baptism to be his Disciples.

The Father is made of none: neither created, nor begotten.

His name is, I am, which shews him to be a self-being, Exod. 3.14. and the Heathen Aristotle dyed with an expression in his mouth not much differing, when he called upon the Being of Beings to have mercy on him. And other Heathens, both Poets and Philosophers, taking their Light perhaps from the Sacred Scriptures, have used terms equivalent to shew God the Father, who is the original principle of the Deity, to be a self-being, by whose bounty and benefit all things are, as he himself is, by and from him­self, and by the benefit of none.

The Son is of the Father alone: not made, nor created, but begotten, John 1.14, 18.

The Son of God, who is also very God in respect of his Divine Nature, not a Son by [Page 145]way of Eminence, but by Essence; not by Priviledge or Prerogative, but by Nature and Substance, was of the Father alone, not differing from him in respect of Deity, but in respect of Personality: He was not made, for he was in the beginning before any thing was made, and all things were made by him, John 1.1, 2, 3. neither was he created, for he was before all creatures; his goings forth have been from everlasting, Mic. 5.2. He was before the world was; In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, John 1.1. We read that he was, saith Ambrose, but we never read when he was not; begotten of his Father before all worlds, but the manner of his beget­ting, or his generation, who can declare? Isa. 53.8.

The Holy Ghost is of the Father, and of the Son: neither made, nor created, nor begotten, but proceeding, John 14.26. John 15.26.

How the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, we are not able to say, need not to search; only because revealed, we ought to believe it so far as it is revealed. The Holy Ghost's procession, is as ineffable as the Son's generation: I know not how (saith St. Augustine) to distinguish betwixt that and this, for as both are credible, so both are ineffable.

So there is one Father, not three Fathers: one Son, not three Sons: one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts, Ephes. 4.6. John 3.16. Ephes. 4.4.

And in this Trinity none is afore, or after other: none is greater, or less then ano­ther;

But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal, John 10.30. Philip. 2.6. 1 John 5.7.

So that in all things, as is aforesaid: the Ʋnity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Ʋnity is to be worshipped, Rom. 11.36. 1 John 2.22, 23. Revel. 4.8. Isa. 6.3.

He therefore, that will be saved: must thus think of the Trinity.

That is, The Christian Religion, which offers Salvation to all, who shall embrace it, obliges those who will become Proselytes to it, to believe God to be as he hath revealed himself to be in his holy Word, that is, God Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, Mat. 28.19. God Father, Word, and Holy Ghost, 1 John 5.7. Three, and yet but one; three Per­sons, and yet but one God. This Mystery of the Trinity, saith Bernard, is to be embra­ced by Faith, not searched into by Reason. I believe, saith he, the eternal and blessed Trinity, though I understand it not; and apprehend that by Faith, which I cannot [Page 147]comprehend by Reason. Many of the Fa­thers have undertaken to give us some ad­umbrations of this Mystery, which yet can­not be seen clearly, and therefore ought not to be examined curiously. Tertullian hath shadowed it forth by the same Sun, in its body, beams, and light; Lactantius, by the same water, in its Fountain, Spring, and Ri­ver; Augustine, by the same Soul, in its un­derstanding, memory, and will; Basil, by the three distinct colours in the Rain-bow; Jerome, by the same hand, arm, and fingers; Meletius, by three fingers: And the Hand which appeared to Belshazzar upon the wall, Dan. 5.5. was a hand with three fingers, say some Expositors upon the place. Hu­mane eloquence, saith St. Augustine, hath la­boured much in this Mystery, but wanted words to express it. Yet however Reason cannot instruct us to know what is hid, it should direct us to believe what is revealed in Scripture concerning this Mystery. Here­ticks have endeavoured to break this myste­rious knot, which they were not able to untie; yet they themselves have been bro­ken, and this Mystery is preserved. Ignatius, Scholar to St. John the Evangelist, hath de­fended it in his Epistles; so hath Vincentius Lyrinensis, in his Golden Treatise; so have Tertullian and St. Augustine, in their Books [Page 148]written of it; so Athanasius in his most ex­cellent Treatise, entituled, God the Word in­carnate; and more eminent writers, which I forbear now to mention. We read, Psal. 50. ver. 21. some men, who were far enough from being good men, charged by God him­self, who did so far mistake God, and them­selves too, that they thought God like themselves, when they were not themselves. I know that place is properly applicable to men of the most vitious lives, and putrified manners, to such as deny God, at least in their practises; yet it may after a sort be applyed to those also, who mistake him upon another account, and presume to be too fa­miliar with him, only because they are not well instructed to know their distance; who discourse of God, and of Religion, as of common things, and by so doing draw con­tempt and irreverence towards both. To advance the reputation of Religion, and to gain it that respect and reverence, which it ought to have, we must advance the reputa­tion of God first, and shew him to be such a one as is rather to be admired and adored, then to be drawn into a low esteem by our over-much familiarity. This Creed serves now for such a purpose, it being framed up not so much to advance our knowledge, as to edifie our reverence, that we may have [Page 149]more humble and reverend conceits of God, and of Religion too, when we shall see how much fools we are, though we may take our selves to be very wise men, and that all the knowledge we have of God, in respect of that which we cannot know, is but igno­rance. This Creed may serve to check that pride which is so radicated in our natures, that we presume to be acquainted with all the ways, methods, and operations of God, with all Religion, and all that is Religious; whereas, though revealed to us by the Crea­tures and the Scriptures, we know very little of God himself. The greatest part of what we know of him, is but the least part of what we know not of him: There is no­thing in God, but what is very mysterious; he was not God, if he could be compre­hended; not only the mystery of Godliness, which takes up the latter part of this Creed, is a great mystery, 1 Tim. 3.16. but the mystery of the Godhead, which takes up the former part, is also a very great mystery. Now this should beget in us fear and reve­rence, that we have such a God to do with­all upon all good occasions, who when he is brought the clearest down to our under­standing, is yet above it. The more he re­veals himself to us, the more is he hid from us; he cloaths himself with light, yet we can [Page 150]see nothing but the dark side of him; that which reveals other things to us, hides him from us: He is not far from us, Act. 17.27. yet he is out of our reach: He makes his approaches to us, and yet is unapproachable, 1 Tim. 6.16. He is visible in his works, Rom. 1.19, 20. and yet invisible in himself, 1 Tim. 6.16. He gives himself several names, and this amongst the rest, I am that I am, Exod. 3.14. as to shew him a God un­changable, so to shew him a God unspeak­able. The three great works wherein he was most manifest, are Creation, Redempti­on, and Sanctification; wherein we admire three, and are to adore but one; we may discover three Persons, and yet we must pay our Devotions and Adorations but to one God. In the Creation we have three Per­sons creating, yet but one Creator: The creation of the matter, is ascribed to the power of the Father; the disposition of the form, to the wisdom of the Son; the preser­vation of the whole, to the love of the Holy Ghost. The Persons are three, and yet in­separable; acting by a strange order in these three great works, yet acting inseparably. In the first of Genesis, where the Creation is set down briefly, yet fully too, we have Elohim a noun plural, to note the three Per­sons creating, joyned to Bara a verb singu­lar, [Page 151]to note but one Creator, Gen. 1.1. So when the great World was epitomized in Man the little, Let us make, implies more then one, in his Image, notes one and no more, Gen. 1.26, 27. More Persons, and one God; all joynt Creators together, yet but one Creator. Ye have the Father creating, Act. 4.24. Job 38.4. Ye have the Son crea­ting, Heb. 1.2, 10. John 1.3. Ye have the Holy Ghost creating, Job 26.13. Ye have all three creating, Psal. 33.6. Lord notes the Father, the Word notes the Son, the Breath notes the Holy Ghost; three, and yet but one: The Father creating by and from him­self, the Son creating by himself but from the Father, the Holy Ghost creating by him­self but from both: All joynt Creators, and all but one; whence we may learn to give glory to all, in all, and for all, Rom. 11.36. Indeed this doctrine of the Trinity is a very deep point, the search of it is too high for any mans reason; none of the wisest Hea­thens, unless the Platonists, and some few others, could ever gain so little as a happy guess at it in broken notions, and those no­tions, I suppose, they had from our Scrip­tures, wherein we find it so clearly revealed, that unless we will renounce our Scriptures, and in so doing our Christianity too, we must give up our Faith to the assent of this [Page 152]doctrine of the Trinity, though we cannot sound the depth of it. The works of God are wonderful; it is not at all to be admired, if we find so great a wonder in God him­self, who is stiled wonderful, Isa. 9.6. We who acknowledge a God, must acknow­ledge this withall, that he can be something, and can do something, which is above our capacities and comprehension. That ever any men should become Atheists, or Anti­trinitarians upon this score, so as to doubt of God or the Trinity, or to deny them, only because they cannot fathom the depth of these mysteries, is to me a very strange thing; I should rather think that Atheism, and Antichristianism, and Antitrinitarianism, if I may so term it, should arise from the mean conceits which men have of God; and then do they conceive meanly of him, when they think they can comprehend him, and bring him within the narrow circle and compass of their capacities. Thus far I thought good to deliver touching the first part of this Creed, the doctrine of the Tri­nity, which we must believe, or else we can­not rightly believe that which follows after; now it follows in good order thus.

Furthermore, it is necessary to everlasting sal­vation: that he also believe rightly the Incarna­tion of our Lord Jesus Christ, 1 John 4 2, 3.

For the right Faith is, that we believe and confess: that our Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, is God, and Man, 1 Tim. 2.5. John 1.14. 1 Tim. 3.16. Philip. 2.6, 7.

What Christ the Son of God undertook to heal, cure, and save, that he assumed; and what he designed to leave in their ruines, he refused: therefore he passed by the fallen Angels, took not their nature, but took the nature of fallen Man, the Seed of Abraham, by way of Assumpsit and Incarna­tion, John 1.14. Gal. 4.4. Heb. 2.16. Now we must note, that in Christ are two Na­tures, the Divine and the Humane; and as be hath two Natures, so he had upon the matter two Nativities also: the first he had before all Worlds from God and the Father, incorporeal and eternal; the latter he had from the holy Virgin in the end of Ages, corporeal and temporal: according to his Deity he is consubstantial to God and the Father, according to his Humanity he is con­substantial to Man and his Mother: as Man he was capable of sufferings, as God he could not suffer; as Man he might be circumscri­bed, as God he is boundless, and without limits or dimensions; as God he could not be made, as Man he was made; as God he was heavenly, as Man earthly; as God in­visible and intelligible, as Man visible; as [Page 154]God incomprehensible, as Man he might be comprehended. Thus was he whole Man, and whole God, that the whole Man might be restored and reformed by him, and the injur'd Deity reconciled and satisfied. There­fore was the Word made Flesh, John 1.14. He, who was the Word and not made be­fore all time, was made, and became Flesh in time, made Flesh, and manifest in the Flesh. As Man he came to us in the Flesh, that as the Word he might heal and restore that Flesh and Nature which he assumed, was made, and was made manifest in. Here was no mocking of us in the case, but a real making of him; the holy Virgin, in whom he was made, did conceive him, and not de­ceive us. Neither was the Word made Flesh by being converted into it, either the Word into the Flesh, or the Flesh into the Word, for the Deity cannot be changed into any thing, nor any thing be changed into it. Nor was he made, as men are said to be made Friends, who had formerly been at en­mity, only by way of reconciliation, so as to continue still two distinct Persons, as well as two distinct Natures, but his two Natures were made up into one Person; so that the Word did not stand by as a looker-on only, whilst he suffered in the Flesh, but contri­buted very much to the price and merit of [Page 155]his sufferings. Neither was the Word made Flesh, God made Man, by such a composi­tion as that a third Person should be made out of both these Natures, God and Man, which should neither be God nor Man: But he was made by an Assumption, Heb. 2.16. by taking the Manhood up to the Godhead, both his Natures being preserved without confusion, and his Person entire without di­vision. He was so made Flesh, that he still remained the Word; he took what before he was not, without changing what before he was; he increased what was ours, with­out the least diminution of what was his own; we were the better by this making, he was never the worse for it; this great Mystery of Godliness, was no detriment to his Godhead; nor the honour done to us the Flesh, any injury at all to him the Word. This Incarnation of the Son of God, is a Mystery equal to that of the Trinity, and therefore they who deny the one, will not believe the other; whereas all sound Chri­stians do firmly believe both.

God of the substance of the Father, begotten before the worlds: and Man of the substance of his Mother, born in the world.

Perfect God, and perfect Man: of a reasona­ble soul, and humane flesh subsisting, Heb. 1.2, 3. John 1.18. Mich. 5.2. Gal. 4.4. Mat. 1.25.

Equal to the Father, as touching his God­head: and inferiour to the Father, as touch­ing his Manhood, John 10.30. John 14.28. Philip. 2.6, 7.

Who although he be God, and Man: yet he is not two, but one Christ, 1 Tim. 2.5.

One; not by conversion of the Godhead into flesh: but by taking of the Manhood into God, Heb. 2.16. Gal. 4.4. John 1.24.

One altogether; not by confusion of sub­stance: but by unity of person.

[...]or as the reasonable soul and flesh is one man: so God and Man is one Christ.

Christ the Mediator of the new Covenant of Grace, and glorious Instrument of mans salvation and restauration, was to suffer in that Flesh, which had sinned, that he might make satisfaction for the sin of it. Now as God he could not suffer, therefore was he Man that he might be liable to sufferings; as Man he would have sunk under his suffer­ings, therefore was he God that he might be the better enabled to endure them; a satis­faction was to be made by man to God for mans sin, and therefore was he both God and Man; his Manhood made him capable of sufferings, and his Godhead made his sufferings meritorious. Now for the union of the two Natures in this one Person, who was to suffer, and by his sufferings to make a [Page 157]full satisfaction to God for mans sin, I know not how it could possibly better be illustra­ted, then by the rational Soul and the bru­tish Flesh united together, for the making up of one man. The Leviathan, who derides the Illustration because he really believes not the Union, nor the happy effects of it, is as monstrous a scoffer at Christian Religion as [...]ucian, who indeed derided the Union, but might be very well pleased, for ought I know, with the Illustration, if so happy as to be acquainted with it.

Who suffered for our salvation: descended into Hell, rose again the third day from the dead, Heb. 9.24, 25, 26, 27, 28. 1 Pet. 4.1. 1 Pet. 2.21, 22, 23, 24. 1 Pet. 4.18, 19. Ephes. 4.9. Act. 2.31, 32. 1 Cor. 15.3, 4.

Christ, saith Ambrose, was wo [...]ded in me, and for me; he sorrowed for me, who had nothing in himself to sorrow for. The curse of briars and thorns, which our sins had platted into a Crown, was removed to his brows. We raised the Tempest, and he was the Jonah cast over-board for to appease it, whom Death and the Grave like a great Whale swallowed up, but cast up again the third day upon the Land.

He ascended into Heaven, he sitteth on the right hand of the Father, God Almighty: from whence he shall come to judge the quick and the [Page 158]dead, Ephes. 4.8, 9, 10. Heb. 12.2. Act. 10.42. Act. 17.31.

Let us, saith holy Augustine, look upon him ascending, believe in him absent, hope for his coming again, and by his secret mercy feel him present with us, though ab­sent from us; present by Faith, though ab­sent by Sense; spiritually present, though corporally absent.

At whose coming all men shall rise again with their bodies: and shall give account for their own works, Rom. 14.9, 10. 2 Cor. 5.10.

And they that have done good, shall go into life everlasting: and they that have done evil, into everlasting fire, Mat. 25.46.

This is the only expressed rule and in­stance, by which Christ means to judge the world, according to their works respective­ly, be they good or bad; they who do good, shall receive good, and they who are the doers of evil, shall meet with a retribu­tion that is answerable, Rom. 2.5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11. It was the saying of the learned Se­neca, That it is God-like for one mortal to be helpful to another, and this (saith he) is the way to Eternity. Undoubtedly the last Judgment shall proceed, if not according to the merit, yet according to the quality of our works, it shall go well with the righte­ous, ill with the wicked.

This is the Catholick Faith: which, except a man believe faithfully, he cannot be saved.

It is a currant Tradition, that the fore­mentioned Creed was composed by Atha­nasius; yet Learned men, for some reasons, have strongly opposed this Tradition: But be the Author who he will, it is undoubted­ly ancient, and contains in it the principal Mysteries of Christian Faith; therefore doth the Church approve of it, and admits it into her Liturgy. It is appointed to be said upon certain days, because the select Scriptures made choice of for those days, do treat much of that which this Creed endeavours to explain, viz. the Trinity in the Godhead, and the Incarnation of God. Neither did the Author, whoever he was, impose this (as I suppose) as a summary of Faith to be believed by others, in those precise terms wherein it is expressed; only published it with confidence to declare his own belief, and to shew what he himself held as point of Doctrine, touching the Trinity of Persons in the Unity of the Godhead, and the In­carnation of Christ. Neither is the rigid sen­tence of damnation, which is implicitely contained in it, to be extended to all, who believe not every particular in it, in the terms wherein they are expressed, for all cannot understand them; but it is designed [Page 160]only against those, who deny the substance of this Creed, the Doctrine of the Trinity, the Divinity and Humanity of Christ, and the union of his two Natures in one Per­son. For this is undoubtedly a Catholick Doctrine to be believed by all, who pro­fess Christianity, without the believing of which, so far as cleared and revealed to us, no man can be saved. For how is it possi­ble for those persons to come to Salva­tion, who by a mis-belief oppose the ways, means and methods whereby they are to be brought unto it? Now Glory be to the Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost, is very properly set at the close of this Creed, because it is before proved and cleared in the Greed, that the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God; and Divine glory and worship belongs to all, and is to be paid to all, by all Christians, as it was from the be­g [...]nning of the Christian Religion, professed under that name and title.


Here followeth the Litany or general supplica­tion to be sung or said after Morning Prayer upon Sundays, Wednesdays and Fridays, and at other times when it shall be commanded by the Ordinary.

O God the Father of heaven: have mercy upon us miscrable sinners.

God is the Father of the Rain, the Father of the Dew, Job 38.28. and the Father of Lights, Jam. 1.17. the great Father of the stupendious works of the Creation, and the very Heathens themselves have acknow­ledged him so to be: therefore we, who are his Creatures, and have deviated from the Law of his Creation, do petition him to have mercy upon us, and to pardon our de­viations. He is the great and glorious God, who made Heaven and Earth, Psal. 124.8. whose goodness we have abused, and there­fore upon our bended knees desire his mercy to pardon those abuses, and vile affronts which we have done unto him, say­ing with holy David, Have mercy upon us, O God, according to thy loving kindness, Psal. 51.1. Neither let any persons think it strange, that Have mercy upon us is so often [Page 162]repeated in this Litany; for it is agreeable to Scripture, Psal. 136. 1 Chron. 16.41. and to the practice of Primitive Christians, to appeal to, and to magnifie the mercies of God upon all needful occasions, and to beg his mercy of pardon particularly for those sins, which we are guilty of, and for which we stand in need of pardon. The like allo­cations are to be met with in all the Litur­gies extant.

O God the Father, &c.

O God the Son, Redeemer of the world: have mercy upon us miserable sinners.

As we have deviated from the Law of Creation, so from the Law of Redemption, which is the greater deviation, and renders us the more inexcusably guilty; therefore do we petition our Redeemer, the only be­gotten Son of God, (whom he sent into the world not to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved, John 3.16, 17. Gal. 3.13. Gal. 4.4, 5. Heb. 2.9. 1 Pet. 1.18, 19.) that he would have mercy upon us, and procure unto us pardon for those breaches, which we have made against the Law of our Redemption.

O God the Son, &c.

O God the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father, and the Son: have mercy upon us mi­serable sinners.

As we have sinned against the Law of Creation and Redemption, so against the rule of Sanctification, which was set us when we were dedicated to God in Baptism, and consecrated to Gods service by the Holy Spirit; therefore do we petition God the Holy Ghost, who was sent down after the Son went up, to comfort us, John 14.16. to teach and instruct us, John 14.26. and to confirm the truth of Christ, and the verity of Christian Religion, John 15.26. and to seal all those, who sincerely embrace it, unto the day of complete Redemption, Ephes. 4.30. that he would pardon those sins whereby we have grieved him, and those many offers and tenders of grace which he hath made unto us, and we have obstinately rejected and refused.

O God the Holy Ghost, &c.

O holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God: have mercy upon us mi­serable sinners.

As we have broken the Law of Creation, transgressed the Law of Redemption, and violated the sacred rules of our Sanctifica­tion, and so have made our selves unhappily guilty by our miscarriages and misdoings against all the three Persons in the Godhead; therefore do we petition them all to have mercy upon us, and to pardon our mis­actings.

O holy, blessed, &c.

Remember not, Lord, our offences, nor the offences of our fore-fathers, neither take thou vengeance of our sins: spare us, good Lord, spare thy people whom thou hast redeemed with thy most precious bloud, and be not angry with us for ever.

This is agreeable to Scripture, wherein we pray that God would make good his pro­mise to us, and remember our sins and ini­quities no more, Heb. 10.17. that he would not punish the fathers sins upon the children, in the same sense as he himself hath threatned in the second Commandment, Exod. 20.5. We read of the like form of prayer Ezra 9.7. Nehem. 1.6. Joel 2.17. and we plead the price of our Redemption, mentioned 1 Pet. 1.19. to move God to remove his anger from us, that it may not rest upon us, accor­ding to those pious expressions which we meet with Psal. 85.4, 5, 6.

From all evil and mischief, from sin, from the crafts and assaults of the devil, from thy wrath, and from everlasting damnation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

The summe of this petition is contained in the Lords Prayer, and all the rest of the petitions in this Litany may easily be redu­ced to it.

From all blindness of heart; from pride, [Page 165]vain-glory, and hypocrisie; from envy, hatred, and malice, and all uncharitableness,

Good Lord, deliver us.

This is all agreeable to Scripture, which mentions in express terms the very sins, which we here pray to be delivered from: Blindness of heart, Ephes. 4.18. Pride, 1 John 2.16. Vain-glory, Gal. 5.26. Hypocrisie, Mat. 6.5. Envy, hatred, malice, and uncha­ritableness, Fphes. 4.31.

From fornication, and all other deadly sin; and from all the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the devil,

Good Lord, deliver us.

We have Scripture-warrant for all that is contained in this petition; touching Forni­cation, 1 Cor. 6.18. and other deadly sins, 1 John 5.16. Now they which are usually accounted of as deadly sins, (though by the general practice of them they may seem otherwise) are these; Pride, which is op­posite to Humility; Covetousness, which is opposite to Liberality; Luxury, which is opposite to Chastity; Envy, which is oppo­site to Gentleness; Gluttony, which is op­posite to Temperance; Anger, which is op­posite to Patience; Sloth, which is opposite to the devout and earnest serving of God. These are called the seven deadly sins, not because we judge any other sin in its own [Page 166]nature to be venial and not deadly, but be­cause they are so deeply rooted in our na­ture, that it is a very hard matter to mor­tifie them; and therefore do we pray to be delivered from them, and from the deceits of the world, the flesh, and the Devil, the grand Enem [...]es of our Christianity, which we renounce and b [...]d d [...]hance to in our Bap­tism. For to be intangled with the world, is to be drawn from God, 1 John 2.15. and to live after the flesh, and to be carnal minded, is death, and to be at enmity with God, Rom. 8.6, 7. and to be taken in the Devils snares, is a very dangerous thing, and a very great blessing and happiness to be freed from them, 2 Tim. 2.26.

From lightning and tempest; from Plague, Pestilence, and Famine; from battel, and mur­der, and from sudden death,

Good Lord, deliver us.

When we pray to be delivered from lightning and tempest, our meaning is, that we may be delivered from the dangers of the whole year, arising many times, and fal­ling upon us by Lightning in Summer, and by Tempest in Winter; and when we pray to be delivered from sudden death, our meaning is, that we may not die such a death as God hath threatned to, and usually inflicts upon the wicked, Psal. 50.22. Psal. [Page 167]73.18. Prov. 1.27. but that we may die comfortably, with renewed Faith, Repen­tance, Reconciliation, and setting of our houses in order; that our death may neither be untimely, nor unprovided for, but that it may be after the common manner of men, having nothing in it extraordinary but piety. We desire that we may not be snat­ched away suddenly, nor perish and come to fearful ends; that we may not die like Absalom, Judas, Corah, Dathan, Abiram, Ananias and Sapphira, all which died fear­ful and unusual deaths; but that we may die comfortably, as Jacob, Moses, Joshua, David, who leisurably ended their lives in peace, and prayer for the mercies of God to come upon their posterities. For however there is no condemnation to the Elect, and those who are in Christ Jesus, Rom. 8.1. yet it may so fall out, that some of the Elect themselves may die with more scandal, less joy of conscience, and enjoy less joys of Heaven, then other of their brethren.

From all sedition, privy conspiracy, and re­bellion; from all false doctrine, heresie, and schism; from hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word and Commandment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

We are caution'd and advised by the holy Scriptures, to fear the Lord and the King, [Page 168]and not to have any thing to do with those, who are seditious, and given to change, Prov. 24.21. for such persons are of very unhappy tempers, and plot mischiefs secret­ly, Psal. 17.12. are unquiet in themselves, and will not suffer others to live quietly by them; their hearts are not stablished with grace, but are of unstable minds, carried about with divers and strange doctrines, Heb. 13.9. sound doctrine they regard not, but after their own lusts heap to themselves Teachers having itching ears, which ears they turn from the truth, that they may be turned unto fables, 2 Tim. 4.3, 4. they have in them evil hearts of unbelief, hardned through the deceitfulness of sin, so that they depart from the living God, Heb. 3.12, 13. contemn his Word, and slight his Command­ment. Now from these persons, and from the evil of their doings, that we may nei­ther act evil with them, nor suffer evil from them, do we pray to be delivered.

By the mystery of thy holy Incarnation; by thy holy Nativity and Circumcision; by thy Baptism, Fasting, and Temptation,

Good Lord, deliver us.

Christ's Incarnation, Nativity, Circumci­sion, Baptism, Fasting and Temptation, we meet with 1 Tim. 3.16. Mat. 1.25. Luk. 1.35. Luk. 2.21. Mat. 3.16. Luk. 3.21. Mat. 4.1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6.

By thine Agony and bloudy sweat; by thy Cross and Passion; by thy precious death and burial; by thy glorious Resurrection and Ascen­sion; and by the coming of the Holy Ghost,

Good Lord, deliver us.

These we also find expresly mentioned in the holy Scriptures; Christ's Agony and bloudy sweat, Mat. 26.37, 38. Luk. 22.44. his Cross and Passion, Philip. 2.8. Heb. 12.2. his precious death and burial, Mat. 27.58, 59, 60. his glorious Resurrection, Mat. 28.6. his Ascension, Luk. 24.51. and the coming down of the Holy Ghost, Act. 2. and By all these, or Through all these, we pray for de­liverance. The meanest Grammarian would tell us, that here is no swearing or conju­ration in the case; their eyes must look through very strange Spectacles, who can spie out an oath here; By, is no more then Through; and in these prayers we do no other then desire God to aid us, by apply­ing to us the fifteen benefits here rehearsed. These passionate strains are no forms of Oaths, they are only a compendious reca­pitulation of the History of the Gospel, and an acknowledgment of the chief means of our Salvation. We read the like expressions 1 Pet. 2.24. Isa. 53.5. By, in these places, is no sign of an oath, only it notes the in­strumental cause of a thing. Zanchy con­fessed, [Page 170]that in the Liturgick Offices of the Roman Church, these two things pleased him very much; First, that they did conclude their Pravers, Through Jesus Christ our Lord; Secondly, that they did enumerate in their Prayers all the acts and offices of the Media­tor, adding, By thy Cross and Passion, &c. And it was undoubtedly to very good pur­pose, that the [...] Fathers of the Greek [...], after they had recounted in their Liturgies all the particular pains, as they are set down in the story of Christ's Passion and by all and every one of [...] petition for mercy, did after all [...] up with this ex­pression, By the unknow [...] [...] thy Body, and agonies of thy Soul, [...]ave mercy upon us, save us, and deliver us.

In all time of our tribulation; in all time of our wealth; in the hour of death, and in the day of judgment,

Good Lord, deliver us.

In regard we are liable to many sorts of temptations, which may befall us either in a prosperous or adverse estate, we pray unto God that he would deliver us from every evil work, and preserve us unto his Hea­venly Kingdom, 2 Tim. 4.18. that he would be assistant to us in the hour of death, and destroy the dread and fear of it in us, by vertue of the death of him, who died that [Page 171]he might destroy death, and him who had the power of it, Heb. 2.14, 15. We pray also, that a gracious sentence may be passed upon us at the last Judgment; implying withall, that we may so lead our lives, as not to fall under the other more dreadful one. The summe of what is here prayed for, is contained in the petitions of our Saviour's Prayer, mentioned Mat. 6.13.

We sinners do beseech thee to hear us, O Lord God and that it may please thee to rule and govern thy holy Church universal in the right way, 1 John 1.8, 9, 10. Mat. 28.20.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

Thut it may please thee to keep and streng­then in the true worshipping of thee, in righte­ousness and holiness of life, thy servant Charles our most gracious King and Governour, 1 Tim. 2.1, 2, 3. Psal. 72.1, 2. Psal. 80.17.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to rule his heart in thy faith, fear, and love, and that he may ever­more have affiance in thee, and ever seek thy honour and glory, Psal. 21.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to be his defender and keeper, giving him the victory over all his enemies, Psal. 21. Psal. 132.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and preserve our gracious Queen Catherine, James Duke of York, and all the Royal Family, Psal. 89.29. Psal. 45. Gen. 49.10.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons with true know­ledge and understanding of thy Word; and that both by their preaching and living they may set it forth, and shew it accordingly, Deut. 33.8, 9, 10, 11. Psal. 132.9. Act. 20.28. 1 Cor. 9.27. 1 Tim. 4.16. 1 Pet. 5.2, 3, 4.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to endue the Lords of the Council, and all the Nobility with grace, wisdom and understanding, Exod. 18.21. Prov. 11.14.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and keep the Magistrates, giving them grace to execute ju­stice, and to maintain truth, 2 Chron. 19.6. Rom. 13.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to bless and keep all thy people, Psal. 28.9.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We may read in Tertullian, Clement Bi­shop of Rome, Eusebius, Ambrose, Cyril, and others, many early presidents of praying for [Page 173]the Church, Emperours, Kings, the Royal Seed, Bishops, together with the inferiour order of Priests and Deacons, and for all things indeed, and persons which we pray for in this Litany; and Litanies were un­doubtedly of very ancient use, being at first composed to be solemnly used for the ap­peasing of Gods wrath in time of publick evils, and for the procuring of his mercy in common benefits; this may be easily proved out of Irenaeus, Prosper, Tertullian, Jeront, Ruffin, Augustine, Cyprian, Basil, and other Writers of no inferiour note. And they have Scripture sufficient to warrant the use of them, for there is nothing in them prayed for or against, which is not grounded upon the Word of God. The first Litanies in­deed were short, but upon occasions were enlarged by Mamercus Bishop of Vienna, by Sidonius Apollinaris Bishop of Averna, and by Gregory the Great, who framed up that which was called the Great Litany, not only upon the score of Reformation, but because much affliction and trouble vexed the world in his time; and Rogations and Litanies were judged meet remedies either to pre­vent, or to avert such dangers. After-times might bring Prayers and Rogations into the Litanies, which were not fit to be placed there, nor could easily be digested by good­meaning [Page 174]Christians; but the Litany used by us, is reformed from those abuses, and there is nothing in it which can be justly liable to any exception. It is admirable and nota­ble, both for the matter and method of it, wherein is an excellent particular enumera­tion of all Christians wants, whether private or common. The contents of it are inno­cent and blameless, and the composure most artificial both to raise up devotion, and to keep it up. It directs our Prayers to the right object, the Trinity; it contains in it deprecations against all evil, whether of sin or punishment, from which we desire to be delivered, through the holy actions and passions of Christ, the only meritorious cause of all our good. It contains in it also peti­tions for good things, in the putting up of which a very sit order is observed: First, we pray for the Church Universal, the common Mother of all Christians; Secondly, we pray for our own National Church, to which next the Universal we owe the greatest obser­vance and duty. After this we pray for the principal Members of it, the King, the Bloud-Royal, the Clergy, the Nobles, and Magi­strates, in whose welfare the peace of the Church doth chiefly consist. Herein we fol­low Davids method, Psal. 132. and the Apostles prescribed rule, 1 Tim. 2.1, 2, 3. [Page 175]and we have many early presidents of the Christian Church for our so doing, as may easily be proved out of the Ancient Litur­gies and Fathers. In particular and in di­stinct terms we pray for Bishops, Priests and Deacons, because they were the three Or­ders of the Clergy eminently distinguished in the first Ages of the Christian Church, as appears clearly out of the Epistles of Ignatius and Clement, who were both of them Scho­lars and Disciples to the Apostles. And this distinction of Bishops, Priests and Deacons, doth directly answer to that of High-Priests, Priests, and Levites under the Law; and the very Heathens themselves, by the light of Nature, had the like distinction amongst them, called, as they are stiled by the Apo­stle, 1 Cor. 12.28, 29. Teachers, Helpers, Go­vernours; as under the Mosaical Law and dispensation, the Priests were to teach, the Levites to help, the Sons of Aaron of the Prelatical Order to govern; and the same distinction of Priests to teach, Deacons to help, and Bishops to govern, hath been ever observed in the Church of Christ through all Antiquity, as may be proved from the Re­cords and Registries in all the Churches. Now whereas we pray, That God would illuminate all Bishops, Priests, and Deacons, our meaning is this, that he would give the [Page 176]beginning of Light to the false, and the in­crease thereof to the true, that all may be, like John Baptist, burning and shining lights, burning in zeal and devotion, shining in works of charity and mercy, sound in do­ctrine, and exemplary in life.

That it may please thee to give to all Na­tions unity, peace, and concord, Psal. 122.6. Psal. 133.1. Rom. 14.19.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

To pray that all the world might be at peace about them, was ever one clause used in the publick Prayers of the Primitive Church, as we find in Tertullian, Clement, Eusebius, Ambrose, Cyril, and other eminent writers of Antiquity.

That it may please thee to give us an heart to love and dread thee, and diligently to live after thy Commandments, Deut. 5.29. Psal. 119. Eccles. 12.13.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

That it may please thee to give to all thy people increase of grace, to hear meekly thy Word, and to receive it with pure affection, and to bring forth the fruits of the Spirit, Jam. 1, 21, 22. 1 Pet. 2.1, 2. Luk. 8.15. Heb. 4.2.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We are to pray for good life, and that we may be practitioners of the good Word of [Page 177]God, as well as hearers of it, otherwise our profession will but aggravate our condem­nation; and if we profess like Christians, and live like Heathens, we shall be the more inexcusably punishable, 2 Pet. 2.20, 21.

That it may please thee to bring into the way of truth all such as have erred, and are decei­ved, 1 Pet. 2.25. Jam 5.20. Psal. 119.176.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We meet with the like forms of Prayer in the Clementine Constitutions; and our Church never erred more grosly and dan­gerously, then when the untoward Members of it left off to say this Prayer.

That it may please thee to strergthen such as do stand, and to comfort and help the weak­hearted, and to raise up them that fall, and finally to beat down Satan under our feet, Isa. 35.3. Rom. 11.20. Isa. 42.3. Jer. 8.4. Rom. 16.20.

We beseech thee to hear us, good I ord.

That it may please thee to succour, help, and comfort all that are in danger, necessity, and tribulation, Heb. 13.3. Psal. 146.7, 8, 9.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

In this Litany we pray particularly for those, who most especially need our Prayers, that is, for all those, whom the Law looks upon as miserable persons; and were it not [Page 178]to avoid tediousness, I could fetch almost every Paragraph of it out of the Ancient Fathers and Liturgies.

That it may please thee to preserve all that travail by land, or by water, all women labou­ring of child, all sick persons and young chil­dren, and to shew thy pity upon all prisoners and captives;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

When we pray for all, who travail by Land or by Water, our meaning is, that God would be assistant to all, who travail in the way of a lawful calling, and that he would seasonably oppose those in their vitious courses, who do not, and turn them out of the ways of sin, into the ways of safety. When we pray for all women labouring with Child, we pray only for their safe de­liverance; if they be honelt women, we pray that God would give them patience to undergo the pains and perils of Child-birth; if otherwise, we pray that God would also give them the grace of Repentance, that as their Conceptions have been sinful, so their Productions may be salutiferous, and the pains of the Body, may work a deep sorrow upon the Soul, and a Repentance not to be repented of.

That it may please thee to defend and pro­vide for the fatherless children and widows, [Page 179]and all that are desolate and oppressed;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

We pray for those, whom God himself hath especially declared in Scripture that he will be careful of, and kind to, and the in­timations of his will and pleasure, are the best directions for our Prayers; neither can we pray more suitably to the mind of God, for his pity and compassion to be extended to any, then to those miserable persons whom he hath expresly nominated in his Sacred Scriptures, to be the proper and fit objects of his compassion and protection; so that he is pleased to stile himself, the Fa­ther of the fatherless, the Husband of the widow, the Helper of the helpless, and the Friend of the friendless; the only succour and sure refuge to all miserable and distressed persons, who being destituted of the world, six their sole dependance upon him.

That it may please thee to have mercy upon all men;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

When we pray that God would have mercy upon all men, we pray for his general mercy to be extended to all, in the same sense as he wills all to be saved, 1 Tim. 2.1, 2, 3, 4. and in the same sense as he is pleased to distribute out his mercies to all, Mat. 5.45.

That it may please thee to forgive our ene­mies, persecutors, and slanderers, and to turn their hearts;

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

In praying for our enemies, we observe that special command given by our Savi­our, the observing of which commandment, brings us up to the perfection of our Chri­stianity, and makes us most like unto God, Mat. 5.44, 45. And because there is no in­ordinate lust in our corrupt nature so hard to be mortified, as hatred is, therefore did Christ in his Sermon upon the Mount, admi­nister something expresly towards the mor­tifying of this wicked passion; wherein he doth not only take off the edge of our Re­venge, but he turns it quite the contrary way, teaching us to love our enemies, to bless those who curse us, to do good to those who hate us, to pray for those who despite­fully use us and persecute us, to love those for Gods sake, whom perhaps for their own sake we cannot love. The holy Apostle St. Paul teacheth the same, Rom. 12.20, 21. as Justin Martyr said to Trypho the Jew, Ye persecute us, and we pray for you. Such like forms of Prayers may be met with in the writings of the Primitive Fathers, the Liturgies and Constitutions of the Ancient Church. Ignatius in his Epistle to Polycarp, [Page 181]and the Church of Smyrna, Tertullian and Cyprian, in their Treatises of Christian Pa­tience, have written very notably upon this argument. In all which may be observed, the charity of the Church of Christians, to­wards the very enemies of that Religion which she professeth. There is not any thing in this Litany, but may be met with in an­cient Writers, and ancient Liturgies ascri­bed to Chrysostom, Basil, St. James, and in the Catholick Collect mentioned in the Con­stitutions which are father'd upon Clemens Romanus; the places I could cite word for word; only in regard I am writing to Eng­lish People, I have made it my design to write all in English, such as it is, and not so much as to dip into any other Tongue or Language.

That it may please thee to give and preserve to our use the kindly fruits of the earth, so as in due time we may enjoy them, Psal. 104.27, 28. Psal. 65.9, 10, 11, 12, 13. Mat. 6.11.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

From the Litanies or Rogations then used upon their common Perambulations, came the three days before the day Anniversary of our Lords Ascension, to be called Roga­tion-days, and the Sunday before, Rogation-Sunday; wherein the Church prayed espe­cially, and most seasonably, that it would [Page 182]please God to give and preserve to their use, the kindly Fruits of the earth, so that in due time they might enjoy them. For unless God give them, and preserve them when given, and preserve them to our use, and give us grace to use them as we ought to do, we can neither enjoy them, him in them, nor our selves.

That it may please thee to give us true repen­tance, to forgive us all our sins, negligences, and ignorances, and to endue us with the grace of thy holy Spirit, to amend our lives according to thy holy Word, 2 Tim. 2.25, 26. Jer. 5.24, 25. Mat. 3.8. Mat. 6.33.

We beseech thee to hear us, good Lord.

This petition in very good order follows the former, for unless that be granted to us, which we petition for in this prayer, all the earthly blessings before prayed for, may ne­ver ripen to maturity; they may be blasted in the springing of them, the Canker, Lo­cust, Caterpillar, or any thing else, however contemptible, may be sent on Gods errand, come armed with his displeasure, and ravish these blessings out of our hands, before we can come to the reaping of them. One sin (God he knows we are guilty of many) un­repented of, may bring a curse upon our blessings, like the Frogs and Flies, Locusts and Caterpillars into Aegypt, or the Worm [Page 183]into Jonah's Gourd, and quickly deprive us of all those blessings of increasing Nature, which we yet hold by no other tenure, then that of a defeasible expectation. and if it shall please God to be so mercifull unto us, as to give us these good things to enjoy, and to forgive us our sins, (which is a greater mercy then all besides) yet that we may not abuse them to luxury and intemperance, when we have them, but use them soberly, that we may reap the good, and God the glory, we pray for the grace of Gods holy Spirit, that all these blessings may be sancti­fied to us, and that they may be as so many new obligations upon us to amend our lives, and to live as becometh those, who have re­ceived from God, the great donor, such ob­liging favours.

Son of God: we beseech thee to hear us, Mat. 9.27. Luk. 1.35.

Son of God, &c.

O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world, John 1.29.

Grant us thy peace, John 14.27. John 16.33. Rom. 5.1.

O Lamb of God: that takest away the sins of the world, John 1.36.

Have mercy upon us, Mark 10.47, 48.

O Christ, hear us.
O Christ, hear us.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy, &c.
Christ, have mercy upon us.
Christ, have mercy, &c.
Lord, have mercy upon us.
Lord, have mercy, &c.

These repetitions are warrantable by Scripture, and therefore cannot be by men of Reason and Religion judged vain: it is an argument of zeal and devotion, and fer­venty in prayer, when our petitions are doubled by which we express our desires. We meet with the like re-duplications fre­quently used in the Primitive Church; Da­vid used often repetitions, Psal. 136. Psal. 119. Psal. 107. our blessed Saviour repeated one Prayer three times, Mat 26.44. and he questionless could have altered, had he thought it either necess [...] [...] or convenient. Such short ejaculatory [...]rayers as these, come nearest to the pattern given by our Saviour, who gave to his Disciples a short form; and in all the Holy Bible, we meet not with any example or pattern of a very long Prayer; Solomon's Prayer used at the Dedication of the magnificent Temple, which he built to God, is the longest we [Page 185]meet with in Holy Scripture. And saith holy Augustine, the business of Prayer is rather done by sighs, groans, and fervency of heart, then by multiplicity of words.


Then shall the Priest and the People with him, say the Lords Prayer.

OƲr Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy Name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; But deliver us from evil. Amen. Luk. 11.2, 3, 4.

For the often use of this Prayer in our Liturgick Offices, and the meaning of it, see before.

The Versicle.

Priest. O Lord, deal not with us after our sins.

Answer. Neither reward us after our ini­quities, Psal. 130.3.

Let us pray.

[Why this is so often used, see before.]

O God mercifull Father, that despisest not the sighing of a contrite heart, Psal. 51.17. nor the desire of such as be sorrowful; mercifully assist our prayers that we make before thee in all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us; and graciously hear us, that those evils which the craft and subtilty of the devil or man worketh against us, be brought to nought, and by the providence of thy goodness they may be dispersed, that we thy servants, being hurt by no persecutions, may evermore give thanks unto thee, in thy holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord, Psal. 20. Psal. 86.7.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thy Names sake, Nehem. 1.9, 10, 11. Ezek. 20.9. Ezek. 36.12.

O God, we have heard with our ears, and our fathers have declared unto us the noble works that thou didst in their days, and in the old time before them, Psal. 78.3, 4. Psal. 43.1.

O Lord, arise, help us, and deliver us for thine honour.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Foly Ghost:

Answ. As it was in the beginning, is now, and ever shall be, world without end. Amen. [Why this is used, and so often, see before.]

From our enemies defend us, O Christ, Psal. 25.15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Graciously look upon our afflictions.
Pitifully behold the sorrows of our hearts.
Mercifully forgive the sins of thy people.
Favourably with mercy hear our Prayers.

O Son of David, have mercy upon us, Luk. 18.9.

Both now and ever vouchsafe to hear us, O Christ, John 14.13, 14.

Graciously hear us, O Christ; graciously hear us, O Lord Christ.

Priest. O Lord, let thy mercy be shewed up­on us.

Answ. As we do put our trust in thee, Psal. 33.22.

Note. All the forementioned Prayers, with the Responds, are short, lively, active and spirited, Prayers uttered with fervency, which are most available with God, when they come from devout and righteous souls, [Page 188] Jam. 5.16. it is the short Prayer which pier­ceth Heaven; God looks not at how much we pray, but how well we pray, how hear­tily and sincerely we pray. Such were the Prayers of the most devout Christians in ancient times, whose hearts fired with zeal and devotion, did passionately send forth short Prayers, as the hottest Springs send forth their waters by ebullitions.

[See before.]

Let us pray.

WF humbly beseech thee, O Father, mercifully to look upon our infirmities; and for the glory of thy Name, turn from us all those evils that we most righteously have deserved; and grant that in all our troubles we may put our whole trust and confidence in thy mercy, and evermore serve thee in holiness and pureness of living, to thy honour and glory, through our only Mediatour and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note the fulness of this Prayer, and by this judge of all the rest: Herein we pray, that God would in mercy pardon the sinful frailties and infirmities of our lives, and the imperfections of those very Prayers wherein we beg that pardon. This we beg, not for our merits, for we can merit nothing at his [Page 189]hands, but upon the account of his mercy. And we pray further, that he would divert from us all the evil of punishment, which our evil of sin might move him justly to inflict upon us; and that whatever calamities be­fall us in this world, for our own defaults, yet we may repose confidence in his mercy, and not distrust him, though he kill us, how­ever we may have cause enough to distrust our selves; but that we may be awakned, and warned by the punishments which he is pleased to inflict upon us, to walk more wa­rily for the future, to make our actions more holy, and our lives more pure, that so we may bring good to our selves, and honour and glory to him; and all this, as we do all other things convenient and needful for us, we beg not through the mediation and in­tercession of any Saint or Angel, but through our only Mediatour and Advocate, Jesus Christ our Lord.

A Prayer of St. Chrysostom.

ALmighty God, who hast given us grace at this time with one accord to make our common supplications unto thee, and dost pro­mise, that when two or three are gathered toge­ther in thy Name, thou wilt grant their re­quests; Fulfill now, O Lord, the desires and [Page 190]petitions of thy servants, as may be most expe­dient for them, granting us in this world know­ledge of thy truth, and in the world to come life everlasting. Amen.

2 Cor. 13.14.

THe grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost be with us all evermore. Amen.

Here endeth the Litany.

And be it noted, that the Litany is no di­stinct Service properly, for a Service consists of Psalms, Lessons, Creed, Thanksgivings, and Prayers distinct, only it is a distinct Form, and many times made use of as a fit preparative to other ensuing Offices. For­merly notice was used to be given, by the tolling of a Bell, when it was to be said. The accustomed days for the saying of it, are Sundays, Wednesdays, Fridays, the three days of Rogation, and other Fasting-days appointed to be observed in times of Plague, Famine, War, and other general calamities; and it is a devotional piece of Service very suitable to all such times. The usual place for saying of it, where it can be done con­veniently, is in the midst of the Church, and just before the Chancel-door, the Mini­sters turning their faces towards the Altar, [Page 191]or Communion-Table, when they say it: For, saith Chrysostom, it is fit that the Mini­ster who officiates in Prayer, should put on the outward garb and deportment, as well as the inward mind of a Supplicant; and therefore he is to be in the kneeling posture, the posture of penitents, when he is perfor­ming this penitential Office; and he is to perform it in the appointed place, in imita­tion of the Priests and Ministers under the Law, who were commanded in their peni­tential Service, to weep between the Porch and the Altar, and to say, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to re­proach, that the heathen should rule over them: wherefore should they say among the people, Where is their God? Joel 2.17. To conclude, the Litany, take it in the whole, and in every part of it, is so excellent a Form of all good devotion, that they must needs be upbrai­ded either with errour, or somewhat worse, whom in all parts this principal and excellent Prayer doth not fully satisfie. The corrup­tions brought into former Litanies, by ad­dition of Saints names, and Invocation of Saints, are purged away in ours, so that there is not any Litany extant more complete then ours is; the Church in other Divine Offices hath exceeded other Churches, but in this her self.


Prayers and Thanksgivings upon several occa­sions, to be used before the two final Prayers of the Litany, or of Morning and Evening Prayer.


For Rain.

O God heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all them that seek thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance, Mat. 6.33. Send us, we beseech thee, in this our ne­cessity, such moderate rain and showres, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our com­fort, and to thy honour, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. Jam. 4.3. Jam. 5.18. Hos. 2.21, 22. 1 King 8.35, 36. John 14.13, 14.

For fair weather.

O Almighty Lord God, who for the sin of man didst once drown all the world, ex­cept eight persons, 1 Pet. 3.20. and afterward of thy great mercy didst promise never to destroy it so again, Gen. 8.21, 22. We humbly beseech thee, that although we for our iniquities have [Page 193]worthily deserved a plague of rain and waters, yet upon our true repentance thou wilt send us such weather, as that we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season, and learn both by thy punishment to amend our lives, and for thy cle­mency to give thee praise and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the time of Dearth and Famine.

O God heavenly Father, whose gift it is, that the rain doth fall, the earth is fruitful, beasts increase, and fishes do multiply, Job 38.25, 26, 27, 28. Gen. 1. Behold, we beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people, and grant that the scarcity and dearth (which we do now most justly suffer for our iniquity) may through thy goodness be mercifully turned into cheapness and plenty, for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with thee, and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen. 2 Chron. 20.9. 2 Chron. 6.26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. Rom. 8.32. Deut. 11.13, 14.

Or this.

O God merciful Father, who in the time of Elisha the Prophet didst suddenly in Sa­maria turn great scarcity and dearth into plenty and cheapness, 2 King. chap. 6. & chap. 7. [Page 194] Have mercy upon us, that we who are now for our sins punished with like adversity, may like­wise find a seasonable relief: increase the fruits of the earth by thy heavenly benediction; and grant that we, receiving thy bountiful libera­lity, may use the same to thy glory, the relief of those that are needy, and our own comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 1 King. 8.35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40.

In the time of War and Tumults.

O Almighty God, King of all Kings, and Governour of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to them that truly repent; save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, asswage their ma­lice, and confound their devices; that we, be­ing armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorifie thee, who art the only giver of all victory, through the me­rits of thy only. Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 2 Sam. 22.32. Isa. 45.22. Psal. 76.7, 10. 1 King. 8. vers. 44, &c.

In the time of any common Plague, or Sickness.

O Almighty God, who in thy wrath didst send a Plague upon thine own people in [Page 195]the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion a­gainst Moses and Aaron, Numb. 16. and also in the time of King David didst slay with the plague of Pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembring thy mercy didst save the rest, 2 Sam. 24.15, 16. Have pity upon us mi­serable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst com­mand the destroying Angel to cease from pu­nishing, 2 Sam. 24.16. so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grie­vous sickness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

In the Ember weeks, to be said every day, for those that are to be admitted into Holy Orders.

ALmighty God our heavenly Father, who hast purchased to thy self an universal Church, by the precious bloud of thy dear Son, Act. 20.28. Colos. 1.13, 14. Tit. 2.14. Rev. 1.5. Rev. 7.14. mercifully look upon the same, and at this time so guide and govern the minds of thy servants the Bishops and Pastours of thy flock, that they may lay hands suddenly on no man, 1 Tim. 5.22. but faithfully and wisely make choice of fit persons to serve in the sacred Ministery of thy Church, Act. 1.24, 25, 26. And to those, which [Page 196]shall be ordained to any holy function, give thy grace and heavenly benediction, that both by their life and doctrine they may set forth thy glory, and set forward the salvation of all men, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen. 1 Tim. 4.16. Deut. 33.8.

Or this.

ALmighty God the giver of all good gifts, who of thy divine providence hast appointed divers orders in thy Church, 1 Cor. 12.28, 29. Ephes. 4.11, 12. 1 Pet. 4.10. 1 Cor. 12.4. Give thy grace, we humbly beseech thee, to all those, who are to be called to any office and ad­ministration in the same; and so replenish them with the truth of thy doctrine, and indue them with innocency of life, that they may faithfully serve before thee, to the glory of thy great Name, and the benefit of thy holy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note. The four Ember weeks were anci­ently weeks of Abstinence, quarterly Fasts observed in the four seasons of the year; the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent, for the Spring; the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the Feast of Pentecost, for the Summer; the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after Holy [Page 197]Cross, September the 13th. for the Autumn; and the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after St. Lucies day, December the 13th. for the Winter. Now the Church enjoyned Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday to be weekly observed, because Christ was be­trayed by Judas on a Wednesday, was cru­cified on a Friday, and was laid in the Sepul­chre on a Saturday. And the Church en­joyned these days to be quarterly observed as Fasting-days, for these following reasons: 1. That Christians might be as devout as the Jews, who observed four several and solemn times of Fast in the year, Zechar. 8.19. 2. Because these are the First-fruits of every Season, which we rightly dedicate to the ser­vice and honour of God, that beginning every Season so devoutly, we may learn to spend the whole year accordingly; and that by this means we may procure Gods blessing upon the Fruits of the year arising out of the Earth, which are at these Seasons either sown, sprung up, come to ripeness, or ga­thered into Barns. 3. That we may call our selves yearly to a strict account for our sins committed every Season, and sadly and seri­ously repent of them. 4. That we may im­plore Gods mercy to our bodies, in freeing us from those common distemperatures, which usually are predominant at these four [Page 198]Seasons. 5. That we may procure the greater blessing upon the Ministers received into Holy Orders at these four Seasons of the year, by Prayer, Fasting, and imposition of hands. Now the forementioned weeks are called Ember weeks, from an old Saxon word Enthber, which denotes Abstinence; or, say others, from the word Ember, now commonly in use, which signifies Ashes, for Ashes were a ceremony frequently made use of in times of Fasting, and carried with it significancy sufficient; from which ceremony the first day of the Lent-fast, was termed Ash-wednesday: of which it is probable I may say something more in proper place.

A Prayer for the High Court of Parliament, to be read during their Session.

MOst gracious God, we humbly beseech thee, as for this Kingdom in general, so espe­cially for the High Court of Parliament, under our most religious and gracious King at this time assembled: That thou wouldst be pleased to direct and prosper all their consultations to the advancement of thy glory, the good of thy Church, the safety, honour, and welfare of our Soveraign, and his Kingdoms; that all things may be so ordered and settled by their endea­vours upon the best and surest foundations, that [Page 199]peace and happiness, truth and justice, religion and piety may be established among us for all generations. These and all other necessaries for them, for us, and thy whole Church, we humbly beg in the Name and Mediation of Jesus Christ our most blessed Lord and Saviour. Amen.

Note. No persons can be offended at this Prayer, who are not enemies to all good­ness, and rather desire that debauchery and wickedness should overspread a Nation, to the shame and dishonour of it, than piety and vertue, to advance its reputation.

A Collect or Prayer for all conditions of men, to be used at such times when the Litany is not appointed to be said.

O God the Creator and Preserver of all man­kind, we humbly beseech thee for all sorts and conditions of men, that thou wouldest be pleased to make thy ways known unto them; thy saving health unto all nations, Psal. 67.1, 2. 1 Tim. 2.1, 2, 3, 4. More especially we pray for the good estate of the Catholick Church, Gal. 6.10. Psal. 122.6. that it may be so guided and governed by thy good spirit, that all who profess and call themselves Christians, may be led into the way of truth, and hold the faith in unity of spirit, in the bond of peace, and in [Page 200]righteousness of life, Ephes. 4.3. Finally we commend to thy fatherly goodness all those who are any ways afflicted, or distressed in mind, body, or estate, Heb. 13.3. [ This to be said when any desire the prayers of the Congregation. especially those for whom our prayers are desired] that it may please thee to comfort and relieve them according to their several necessities; giving them patience under their sufferings, and a happy issue out of all their afflictions. And this we beg for Jesus Christ his sake. Amen.

A Prayer that may be said after any of the former.

O God, whose nature and property is ever to have mercy and to forgive, receive our humble petitions, Psal. 103.13. and though we be tied and bound with the chain of our sins, yet let the pitifulness of thy great mercy loose us, for the honour of Jesus Christ our Mediatour and Advocate. Amen.

Note. Touching the preceding Prayers, and following Thanksgivings, may it be ob­served, that extraordinary dangers should of themselves invite us, and stir us up to extra­ordinary Prayers; and extraordinary deli­verances from those dangers, should equally [Page 201]move us to extraordinary thankfulness; as we are to pray to God for the blessings we would obtain, so we are to praise him when they are obtained; when God opens his hand to gratifie us, we should open our mouths to glorifie him. It is the Apostles prescribed method to begin with Prayer, and to end with Thanksgiving, 1 Tim. 2.1. indeed where the concernment is National, a provision in such cases is usually better made, by fixing set days to be solemnly and religiously observed; but it many times hap­pens, that the calamities inflicted, and mer­cies received, are only Provincial, or pecu­liar to some one County, Town, City, or Vicinage, so that they may not reach the cognizance of the Supreme Magistrate; therefore are these Prayers and Thanksgi­vings composed, that they may be ready upon all occasions for us to have recourse to, when there are no set days indicted for such a purpose.

THANKSGIVINGS. A General Thanksgiving.

ALmighty God Father of all mercies, 2 Cor. 1.3. we thine unworthy servants do give thee most humble and hearty thanks, Psal. 116.12, 13. for all thy goodness and loving kind­ness to us, and to all men, 1 Tim. 2.1. [ This to be said when any that have been prayed for, de­sire to return praise. particularly to those who desire now to offer up their praises and thanksgivings for thy late mercies vouchsafed unto them] We bless thee for our creation, preservation, and all the bles­sings of this life; but above all for thine inesti­mable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory. And we beseech thee give us that due sense of all thy mercies, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we may shew forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives, by giving up our selves to thy service, and by walking before thee in holiness and righteousness all our days, Luk. 1.74, 75. Tit. 2.11, 12. through Jesus Christ our Lord; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.

Note. This Thanksgiving is not only war­rantable by more Texts of Scripture then I have cited, but it is so excellent both for matter and method, that all Churches and Writers can hardly shew a better form, so full of matter, and that comprized in so few words. This needs no vindication, because no persons in their right wits, can object any thing justly against it.

For Rain.

O God our heavenly Father, who by thy gra­cious providence dost cause the former and the latter rain to descend upon the earth, Deut. 11.14. that it may bring forth fruit for the use of man, Psal. 104.84. We give thee humble thanks that it hath pleased thee in our great necessity to send us at the last a joyful rain upon thine inheritance, and to refresh it when it was dry, Deut. 28.12. Psal. 147.8. Jer. 5.24. Psal. 68.9. to the great comfort of us thy un­worthy servants, and to the glory of thy holy Name, through thy mercies in Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For fair weather.

O Lord God, who hast justly humbled us by thy late plague of immoderate rain and [Page 204]waters, and in thy mercy hast relieved and comforted our souls by this seasonable and blessed change of weather; We praise and glorifie thy holy Name for this thy mercy, and will always declare thy loving kindness from generation to generation, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Plenty.

O Most merciful Father, who of thy gracious goodness hast heard the devout prayers of thy Church, and turned our dearth and scarcity into cheapness and plenty; We give thee hum­ble thanks for this thy special bounty, beseech­ing thee to continue thy loving kindness unto us, that our land may yield us her fruits of in­crease, to thy glory and our comfort, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For Peace and Deliverance from our Enemies.

O Almighty God, who art a strong tower of defence unto thy servants against the face of their enemies; We yield thee praise and thanksgiving for our deliverance from those great and apparent dangers wherewith we were compassed. We acknowledge it thy goodness that we were not delivered over as a prey unto them, Psal. 124. beseeching thee still to continue [Page 205]such thy mercies towards us, that all the world may know that thou art our Saviour and mighty deliverer, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For restoring publick Peace at home.

O Eternal God our heavenly Father, who alone makest men to be of one mind in a house, Psal. 68.6. and stillest the outrage of a violent and unruly people, Psal. 65.7. We bless thy holy Name that it hath pleased thee to ap­pease the seditious tumults, which have been lately raised up amongst us; most humbly be­seeching thee to grant to all of us grace, that we may henceforth obediently walk in thy holy commandments, and leading a quiet and peace­able life in all godliness and honesty, 1 Tim. 2.2. may continually offer unto thee our sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving for these thy mercies towards us, Heb. 13.15. through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

For deliverance from the Plague, or other common sickness.

O Lord God, who hast wounded us for our sins, and consumed us for our transgressi­ons, by thy late heavy and dreadful visitation, and now in the midst of judgment remembring mercy, hast redeemed our souls from the jaws of death; We offer unto thy fatherly goodness our selves, our souls and bodies, which thou hast [Page 206]delivered, to be a living sacrifice unto thee, Rom. 12.1. always praising and magnifying thy mercies in the midst of thy Church, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Or this.

WE humbly acknowledge before thee, O most merciful Father, that all the punishments which are threatned in thy Law, might justly have fallen upon us, by reason of our manifold transgressions and hardness of heart. Yet see­ing it hath pleased thee of thy tender mercy upon our weak and unworthy humiliation, to asswage the contagious sickness, wherewith we lately have been sore afflicted, and to restore the voice of joy and health into our dwellings; we offer unto thy divine Majesty the sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving, lauding and magni­fying thy glorious Name for such thy preserva­tion and providence over us, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Note. These Thanksgivings extraordina­ry, answer most of them to the Prayers ex­traordinary foregeing; we praise God in the latter, for what we prayed for in the former. They need not be Scriptured out exactly, for they are the very Scriptures themselves, both for ground of matter, and form of words. They are of a very rational [Page 207]contrivance, for great deliverances ought to have perpetual remembrances, and the gra­cious favours of God bestowed upon us, are to be remembred and acknowledged with gratitude. The very Heathens in their Hi­stories shew it to be usual, and God in Scrip­ture by his injunction makes it necessary, Deut. 4.9, 10. that we should dutifully re­pay to God our tribute of praise, for the great and undeserved benefits which we have received from him, Psal. 111.4. Thus have I, for the good of the Church, (I hope) and for the glory of God, and for the satis­faction of some who may have prejudices against our publick Divine Service, and up­on that account may absent themselves from it, or not joyn in it with that devotion as they ought to do; and I am sure without making any unhandsom and uncharitable reflections (which is a very great errour of the Pen) upon any persons whatsoever, who do but own Christ and God as they are re­vealed in Scripture, and profess Christianity, contributed my poor endeavours to invite so many in, as can be rationally moved and perswaded, to joyn with us in our Christian Assemblies, that we may with one heart, mind and mouth glorifie God, and serve him without distraction, who is I am sure the God of order, and not of confusion.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. Searching, reading, printing, or downloading EEBO-TCP texts is reserved for the authorized users of these project partner institutions. Permission must be granted for subsequent distribution, in print or electronically, of this EEBO-TCP Phase II text, in whole or in part.