|The Book of Common Prayer|
“In Mr. Crawford's MSS. I find that in the Assembly 1616 at Aberdeen, it is enacted that a uniform of Liturgy or Divine Service be set down to be read in all Kirks on the ordinary days of Prayer, for which effect Mr. P. Galloway, Mr. Peter Hewat, Mr. John Adamson, and Mr. William Erskine, were appointed to revise the Book of Common Prayers prefixed to the Psalm Book, and to form a Common Forma of ordinary Service, to be used at all times hereafter; it was appointed to be used in the time of Common Prayers in all Kirks where there is the Exercise of Common Prayers, as likewise by the minister before Sermon where there is no Reader.
A Form of Service
TO BE USED IN ALL THE
Parish Churches of Scotland
UPON THE SABBATH DAY
READERS WHERE THERE ARE ANY ESTABLISHED,
[A FORM OF SERVICE.]
Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy, six days shalt thou labour and do all thy work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God: in it thou shalt not do any work, thou nor thy son, nor thy daughter, thy manservant nor thy maidservant, nor thy cattle, nor thy stranger that is within thy gates.
The Commandment being read, then say with David Ps. 19, 14.
Let the words of our mouths and the meditation of our hearts, be acceptable unto Thee, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer.
Then followeth Exhortation and Prayer in these terms.
Seeing that we are not come unto the mountain that might be touched, and that burned with fire, nor unto blackness and darkness and tempest, and the sound of a trumpet, and the voice of words, which they that heard entreated that the word should not be spoken to them any more; (For they could not endure that which was commanded; and if so much as a beast touch the mountain, it shall be stoned or thrust through with a dart. And so terrible was the sight, that Moses said, I exceedingly fear and quake). But seeing we are come unto Mount Sian, and unto the city of the Living God, the heavenly Jerusalem, and to an innumerable company of angels: and to the General Assembly and Church of the Firstborn which are written in heaven, and to God the Judge of all, and to the spirits of just men made perfect ; and to Jesus the mediator of the new covenant, and to the blood of sprinkling that speaketh better things than the blood of Abel. Seeing also that we have a great High Priest that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, who is touched with a feeling of our infirmities, and was in all things tempted as we are, but without sin j let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help us in the time of need.
Followeth the confession of sins.
O Almighty God! creator of heaven and earth, in whom and through whom are all things, who first made Thyself known to the world by Thy Great Name Jehovah, thereafter in a more sweet style, naming Thyself from the covenant made with our Fathers, the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, but moll comfortably and familiarly hall revealed Thyself to us, after the Incarnation of Thy Son, in that comfortable style, “God the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ:” It is in His name, and in that confident foundation upon His merits and all-sufficient sacrifice that we take boldness to present ourselves before Thee, or to offer up our prayers and supplications unto Thee, for having angered Thee, how can we but flee from Thee, and with what comfort can we tell to Thee that art the Judge, that we have broken Thy law, and offended Thee, if Thou didst not proclaim Thyself a merciful God, if Thou didst not declare Thy wrath towards us to be pacified in the blood of the Lamb that was slain from the beginning; and if for our further assurance Thou hadst not sworn that Thou cravest not a sinner's death, but that he should repent and live, and seeing that sweet voice of Jesus calls upon wearied and burdened sinners to come unto Him, that He may present them unto Thee to find grace in Thy sight, and ease to their troubled hearts. O Lord, in the obedience of this commandment we come unto Him, and in Him we present our service, and offer our sacrifice unto Thee, and since the condition of Thy gracious promise is repentance, whereof a chief part is true and sincere confession, we present our misery before Thee as the object of Thy mercy. We confess against ourselves our own sins which are more in number than the hairs of our head. O Lord we have sinned against Heaven and against Thee, and are unworthy of the name of Thy children: we have rebelled by departing from Thy precepts and commandments. We have not hearkened unto Thy servants which spake unto us in Thy name; we have not obeyed the voice of Thee the Lord our God, to walk in Thy laws which Thou hall set before us. We have done those things that we should not have done. We have left undone those things that we should have done: our sins of ignorance, our sins of knowledge, our sins of infirmity, our sins after experience both of Thy manifold goodness and proving corrections, they are so many that we may justly say, “Who knows the errors of his life:” O Lord, if thou begin to reckon with us, we are not able to answer one of a thousand. But seeing O Lord, mercy is with Thee that Thou mayest be feared, our refuge O Lord for our safety from everlasting death and destruction is to the altar of Thy mercy. Impute not, O Lord, unto us the sins of our youth, neither receive a reckoning of us for the imaginations of our old age, for although, O Lord, that unto us there belong shame and confusion of face, yet to Thee O Lord belong mercy and forgiveness. O Lord hear us, O Lord forgive us, O Lord hearken unto our prayers, and avert not Thy loving face and countenance from us, for Thy favour O Lord is better than life. And as we bow the knees of our soul before Thee, begging forgiveness of sin, so we also entreat Thee by Thy renewing Spirit so to mortify unto us the power of sin, that we who are daily seeking pardon be not daily sinning with pleasure and delight against Thee, and so abuse Thy mercy, and turn Thy grace unto wantonness, but let no argument be more effectual to persuade abstinence from sin, holiness of life, and the reasonable service of Thee our God, than the argument taken from Thy mercies, whereof we have such daily and continual experience, that even for Thy mercy sake we may resolve to offer up ourselves a holy and acceptable sacrifice to Thee our God in that reasonable service that Thou requirest of us. Fill us, O Lord with Thy mercies this morning, that this day and all the days of our life we may rejoice in Thee our God, ever praising Thy blessed name.
This Prayer ended then let be read or sung the fourscore and twelfth Psalm.
A Psalm or Song for the Sabbath Day.1.) It is a good thing to give thanks unto Thy name, O most High.
2.) To show forth Thy loving kindness in the morning and Thy faithfulness every night.
3.) Upon an instrument of ten strings and upon the psaltery, upon the harp with a solemn sound.
4.) For Thou Lord hail made me glad through Thy work: I will triumph in the works of Thy hands.
5.) O Lord how great are Thy works and Thy thoughts are very deep.
6.) A brutish man knoweth not neither doth a fool understand this.
7.) When the wicked spring as the grass and when all the workers of iniquity do flourish, it is that they shall be destroyed for ever.
8.) But Thou O Lord art most high for evermore.
9.) For lo Thy enemies O God, for lo Thy enemies shall perish, all the workers of iniquity shall be scattered.
10.) But my horn shalt Thou exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
11.) My eye also shall see my desire upon my enemies, and mine ears shall hear my desire of the wicked that rise up against me.
12.) The righteous shall flourish like the palm tree, he shall grow like a cedar in Lebanon.
13.) Those that be planted in the house of the Lord shall flourish in the courts of our God.
14.) They shall bring forth fruit in old age, they shall be fat and flourishing.
15.) To show that the Lord is upright, He is my rock and there is no unrighteousness in Him.
The Psalm ended, then followeth this Prayer.
O Lord our God, who in six days having made the heaven and the earth, and all the creatures that are therein, didst rest upon the seventh day from the works of creation, and hail ordained this seventh day which is the Sabbath to be a day of rest for man and beast: [ as] thou O Lord hast made singular difference betwixt us and the beast, having given us a reasonable soul appointed for eternity, so let us not content ourselves with that use of the Sabbath which we have common with the beast to rest from bodily labour, and the works of our ordinary vocation. But, O Lord remember us in this Thy Sabbath to rest from sin and the works of darkness. Let this be unto us the day of the examination of our walking and doing in the six days pail, that in that which is good we may rejoice; and where we have erred and done amiss (as alas we have in many things) we may smite our hearts and crave pardon at Thy most merciful hands. Let this be unto us a day of purpose and resolution for amendment, and better doing in the days to come, and Lord strengthen us so by thy grace that vowing unto Thee we may perform. Let it be unto us a day of the meditation of the works of Thy hands, which Thou finishedst in six days, that we may sing and say from our hearts: O Lord how glorious and excellent is Thy name, and how unworthy is man or the son of man that Thou shouldest regard him, or look upon him. Finally, let it be unto us a day of sweet access to Thy face in Word and Prayer, that we by faith entering here into our rest may live and die in the full assurance and persuasion of that perpetual Sabbath and everlasting rest purchased to us through the righteous merits of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, in whom we pray to Thee in that form of prayer which he has commanded. Our Father, etc. etc.
This Prayer ended, then let there be read a Chapter of the Gospel, and another of the Epistles, as they shall by course.
The reading of the Chapters ended, then follows this Prayer:—
O God, who at sundry times and diverse manners spake in times past to the Fathers by the Prophets, hail in these last days spoken to us by Thy Son whom Thou hast made heir of all things: Who being the brightness of Thy glory and the express image of Thy person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high: and since the Word now read and heard among us is the Word of Thy Son, let us give the more earnest heed lest at any time we let them slip, for if the Word spoken by angels was steadfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape [if we neglect] so great salvation so clearly and manifestly offered unto us in this day of our merciful visitation, Thy Word, O Lord, is the seed and we are the ground: and whereas there are many sorts of evil ground there is one only good, and that is wherein Thy Word taking deep root bringeth forth fruit accordingly. O Lord Jesus, Thou that art the good husbandman make good the ground of our hearts, and take forth of the same all noisome and unprofitable weeds, as of cares of the World, lutts of the flesh, pride of life, and make such place for the Word to enter, that inwardly to our own soul and outwardly to the world it may appear we are not idle nor unprofitable hearers, and seeing Thy Word is a glass wherein we may see ourselves, wherein we may see our Saviour, wherein we may see Thy face as in a mirror, make us so look to ourselves that our soul spots discovered by Thy Word we forget not to wipe them away by the tears of repentance: Make us also so look to our Saviour and eye him that we may draw virtue from Him to the healing of our wounded souls. And enter us O Lord by Thy Word and proclaimed love thereunto in such fellowship with Thee our God that the sight which we have of Thee here may be a pledge of that promised sight to see Thee face to face in the life to come. O Lord, that we may be blessed in our hearing, let us join with hearing meditation, that our delight may be great in Thy law, and it may be the earnest thirst and desire of our soul that Thou wouldest enlarge our hearts to make us run the way of Thy commandments. Let Thy Word O Lord, be a light and lanthorn to our steps, and let it be as that fire by night and pillar of cloud by day, the direction and comfort whereof may never leave us till we enter into that everlasting Canaan even the Kingdom of Heaven, which Jesus Christ our Lord has purchased unto us, to Whom with Thee and the Holy Spirit, we render an praise, honour, and glory, for now and ever. Amen.
After this Prayer let be read the 89th or 103d Psalm, or any of them that shall be thought fittest let be here set down at length.
This reading being ended, then let him recite the Creed, which is the ordinary Confession of Faith.
THE LAST PRAYER.
We have taken upon us O Lord to speak unto Thee, we that are but dust and ashes, oh let not our Lord be angry! if we still speak; more we know Thou takest pleasure and cannot be importuned with the prayers and supplications of Thy own. Blessed be Thou the Lord our God who ladeth us daily with benefits, O Lord, if we should declare and speak of them they are more than can be numbered. Since burnt offering and sin offering Thou hast not desired of us O Lord, we come unto Thee as it is written in the volume of Thy Book, to hearken to Thy laws, to delight in Thy service, and with our hearts and tongues to magnify Thee our God, who art worthy to be praised in the congregation of the saints; and that the voice of our thanksgiving may be sweet in Thy ears, and joyful in the sense of our own hearts, let it Lord have the beginning from that inestimable love wherewithal Thou hast loved us in Jesus Christ before all eternity, for the declaration of that love in time in our vocation, justification, begun sanctification, and assured hope of glorification. Let the sense of this love O Lord so possess our hearts that whatsoever other benefits we enjoy we may take it as a spring of this fountain, and every correction and chastisement, howsoever bitter to the flesh, may be sweetened with this consideration, that an things must turn to the best to them that being loved of Thee have grace to love Thee again. Hear us also O Lord our God praying for the estate of the whole Kirk universal scattered throughout the whole face of the earth. O Lord give to Thy Gospel free course and passage, illuminate an nations with the brightness of Thy Word, gather in Thy sheep to Thy own sheepfold from an the corners of the earth, that the work of the salvation of Thy own being finished, there remain no more but that Thou shouldest hearken to that last petition of Thy saints here on earth labouring under the cross, “Come Lord Jesus, come to perfect our glory.” O Lord let us hereby ken that His first coming in the flesh has been effectual to do us good, because we love His second appearing. We remember especially before Thee, as parts and members of that Catholic Kirk, those kirks that are within His Majesty, our Sovereign, His dominions. O Lord, conserve in them the purity of doctrine with that comely order in government which befits Thy House ; and yet more specially we commend unto Thee the Kirk of this land wherein we have been born and bred, and from whose paps we have sucked the fine ere milk of Thy word; that it may please Thee make her flourish like a green olive under whose boughs and branches wearied souls may find repose; make her a fruitful vine, where the comfortless may find refreshment; make her beauty to grow and increase; be about her a wall of fire, and fill the faces of her and Thine enemies with shame: and since the rage of Anti-Christ is great and the Devil by him has sown his tares everywhere among the good corn of Thy field, as in Thy bright shining light Thou hail discovered him, so O Lord, to the comfort of Thy saints, in his plots and enterprises disappoint him, and in end, according to thy promise, by the breath of Thy mouth confound and overthrow him.
FOR THE KING.
O Lord who art the God of order, the author of Government, from whom is the preferment of the sons of men, Thou that hail given to kings and rulers Thy own throne and place upon earth, and hail communicated with them Thy own style in calling them “Gods;” look mercifully upon the kings and rulers of the earth, and learn them that first and chief point of wisdom, to kiss Thy Son, and submit .themselves to the sceptre of Jesus Christ, lest He grow angry and they perish in the way. Among those rulers we remember especially before Thee the estate of him whom we may call Thy own chosen servant upon earth, our Gracious Lord and Sovereign James, by Thy Grace, King of Great Britain. O Lord, Thou hail taken him from the womb, Thou haddest a special eye to him when he did suck the breasts, and as from that time to this day his dangers and perils have been many, so Thy preservations have been so wonderful, and Thy power and outstretched arm so lifted for his safety and defence, that we may say, “he is joyful in Thy strength, Thou hail given him his heart's desire, and not withheld from him the request of his lips.” O Lord, make strong his trust in Thee that he may not be moved. Let Thy hand o Lord find out his enemies, who being enemies to Thee and hating him for Thy cause, let his life be more precious in Thy sight. Bend Thy bow and shoot Thy arrows against all that would spuilzie him of his life, and lay his honour in the dust, Bless him with a long and prosperous reign over us, that in his safety we may rejoice, and in the name of Thee our God display our banners. Bless him O Lord with these blessings which Death shall not take from him, even with Thy spirit to guide him here, and with felicity after this, with that crown of glory which cannot fade or fall away, which is the purchase of Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour. To whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be honour, praise, and glory, for now and ever. Amen.
FOR THE QUEEN.
Oh Lord! look favourably upon our Gracious Queen, whom as Thou hail blessed and made happy in her marriage—and as of Thy great favour Thou hail made her a fruitful mother of children, whom we may call the breath of our nostrils and pledges of Thy continuing favour toward us, so make her, O Lord, take good heed and incline her ear unto Thee, that Thou mayest confirm thy blessings, and make all these outward things pledges of Thy everlasting favour: Make her, O Lord, careful to honour Thee who hail honoured her in her room and place, to prove a comfort to the kirk and to extend her well- doing to Thy saints here on earth, that her name may be remembered with favour in the generations to come, and at the end of this life Thou mayest give her that better life which Jesus Christ has purchased by His death. To Thee, O Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be all honour, praise, and glory, for now and ever. Amen.
FOR PRINCE CHARLES.
Amongst the great promises made, O Lord, to Thy servant David (a man according to Thy own heart) it is not one of the srnallest that Thou promisedst to bless him in his succession, and that there should not be wanting of his seed to sit upon his throne. Blessed be Thou, O Lord our God, who hast performed that promise to our David, and hast prepared a singular comfort for the succeeding age, giving unto him a hopeful son to sit upon his throne. O Lord, endue his princely heart with every sort of blessing that may make him in his appointed time come forth as Thy singular blessing to these dominions over the which Thou art to set him, that he may worthily go out and in before the numerous people that shall be committed to his charge: Make him in his young and tender years remember and acknowledge Thee his Creator, to be a pure and sincere worshipper of Thee, the true God, even the God of his father, and as he grows in years so make him to grow in favour with God and man, that in his rising the heart of his people may rejoice, and the enemies may have matter of fear and terror, they may hide their faces and be confounded j so shall we sing joyfully to Thy name, and bind our sacrifices of praise to Thy altar through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, to whom with, etc. etc.
FOR PRINCE PALATINE AND HIS SPOUSE.
Regard, O Lord, with Thy great mercy and with Thy tender and loving kindness that noble Prince Palatine, Princess Elizabeth his spouse, and their posterity. O Lord, as Thou hast made that house famous and noble by the fear of Thy name, love of Thy gospel, and advancement of the cause of Jesus Christ, so let appear in them the performance of Thy promise that Thou wilt honour them who honour Thee j and as Thou hast made that house honourable in that happy marriage with her who not only is honourable by royal descent, but by holy education, so make her, insisting in the steps of her religious father, and keeping the pattern and form of Thy Word which she has learned of a child, yield such comfort and contentment to all that fear Thy name in these places where Thou hast set her, and elsewhere, that with full consent of heart and mind their praises may be offered to Thee our God for her. Let Thy saving and protecting eye look to them to save them and defend them from every inconvenient, to keep them long alive as blessings to Thy kirk and instruments of the glory of Thy name: Through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, to whom, with, etc. etc.
FOR THE NOBILITY AND COUNCIL.
We pray unto Thee, O Lord, for all inferior Magistrates whom, under His Majesty, Thou hast set above us, for the Nobility of the kingdom, and Lords of His Majesty's Most Honourable Privy Council: o Lord, let them be as eyes by whom His Majesty may see in the estate of his people: let them be as his hands to execute, and let them be to him such blessings in his government, as they may be a matter of his and our praise to Thee our God, that hast blessed him with such happy council. As their place is great, so make them eminent in the knowledge and fear of Thy name, that Thou mayest strengthen and establish their houses: Let Thy Spirit so rule them that thereby they may be taught in wisdom to rule others that are committed to their charge. Remember them that they must give account to Thee of their administration, and so make them good disposers of Thy manifold grace that Thou hast given unto them. Make them with Thee godly; to their Prince loyal; in their country peaceable; and to all their inferiors comfortable; that we for them may have occasion to praise Thee our God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and Saviour, to whom, etc.
FOR THE CLERGY.
It is Thy mercy O Lord, regarding our weakness and infirmity, that dealest with us not by such a glorious majesty as of angels, which we could not sustain, but hast made choice of men like to ourselves, by whom Thou dispenseth unto us the holy mysteries of Thy Kingdom. To all these therefore to whom Thou hast given charge and commission in Thy kirk, under whatsoever title or name, we crave Thy especial blessing. Make them O Lord to speak Thy Word in season to Thy people; make them to cut it and divide it aright, that everyone may receive according to their necessity :
FOR THE SCHOOLS OF LEARNING.
Thy kindness O Lord has not been inlacking to us in this, to provide for the rising and good estate of Kirk and Commonweal in time to come. Thou hast of Thy great mercy erected in the midst of us schools of learning as seminaries of virtue and Godliness: Thou that hast planted them, water them still with Thy grace that they may flourish—bless the travails (works —ED.) of all such as labour in them, that our Kirk and Commonweal may be as a tree planted by Thee our God, upon which, as there are ripe fruits ready to fall, having ended their course, so they may, some in their bud, some in their flourish, and some in a greater perfection, and there may never want profitable instruments in Thy work, nor painful labourers in Thy vineyard till the great shepherd Jesus Christ return again. We remember especially the colleges of, etc. etc.
FOR SICK AND DISEASED PERSONS.
Blessed is the man O God that feareth Thee; Thou will strengthen him upon the bed of his languishing, and wilt turn all his bed in his sickness. O Blessed God let our silly and distressed brethren and sisters find the comfort of that promise Thou that hast promised to go with Thy own through fire and water, even through every sort of temptation: make them find Thou art a true God: O Lord make Thy presence with them enable them to sustain their bodily infirmity: Let them see that no change of estate befalls to them here on earth, but that which Thy Fatherly Providence has shaped and appointed in the heavens, that so blessing the hand of Thee the Striker, Thou that humblest, may in Thy own appointed time raise again, speak peace to their consciences, seal in their heart the assurance of Thy favour and of the remission of their sins, make them in holy patience commit their body and soul unto Thee who art a faithful Creator and Redeemer; and whether Thou spare them or take them to Thyself, let Jesus Christ in life and death be advantage to them, that so glory may be to Thee, and peace and comfort to them, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with Thee, etc. etc.
IN TIME OF FAMINE AND DEARTH.
The eyes O Lord of all Thy creatures are upon Thee and attend for good from Thy Providence, Thou feedest the fowls of the heaven, and [the beasts of the field: yea the fishes of the sea have their nourishment by thy appointment; but most of all it becometh us whom thou hast not only made with faces to lift to the heaven, but with reasonable souls, to cast the eyes of our minds and bodies toward Thee, that even to our bodies we may receive convenient food and nourishment. Our ingratitude toward Thee our God, who hitherto hail fed us liberally, our vile abuse of Thy creatures, our neglect of the poor in the days of our fulness, hath provoked Thee our God, to lift this rod of famine, and threaten to pine (waste —ED.) us with the scarcity of bread. O Lord deal not with us according to our deservings, for then shall we sustain both spiritual and bodily famine; let this fear and sense of bodily want quicken our appetite and desire toward that heavenly food which should nourish our souls, that so we seeking Thy Kingdom and the righteousness of it in the first room, all other things, according to Thy promise, may be call unto us. Let us cleave unto Thee, O Lord our God, with all our heart and soul, and then the lions and the young lions may be hunger-bit, but we that fear thy name can lack nothing that is good. And as too great fulness is dangerous for us lest we misken Thee; so, O Lord, tempt not our weakness with too great scarcity lest we despair of Thy Providence, but Lord feed us with bread convenient for us; not that we may feed sin, or spurn againll Thee, but feed us that we may be more fit and able to serve Thee in our calling. O Lord hear the cries of the poor people, whose bellies cry from the earth to the heaven for maintenance j that they, being fed by Thee, may learn to seek from Thee who art ready to give, a better benefit, even health to their souls and remissions of their sins : make this rod of Thy chastisement lifted above our heads Thy sanctified instrument to learn us all such Christian duty as we neglected oft before, of thankfulness to Thee, of sobriety in ourselves, of pity and compassion toward them who are our own flesh, that so we may both be delivered from this present plague and eschew Thy further wrath and punishment, through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with Thee, etc.
IN TIME OF PESTILENCE.
As we O Lord have provoked Thee and do daily provoke Thee with new sins, so hall Thou fearful and terrible plagues in store to bring out against us, for the storehouse of Thy judgements cannot be emptied, among which this noisome and destroying plague of pestilence hath been one of Thy usual messengers whereby Thou hall visited the sins of Thy people: Make us, O Lord, at the sight of this plague, and hearing of our neighbours fall thereby, lay to our ears that we may hearken to these instructions that Thou wouldest thereby carry to our souls. It is Thy voice in the pestilence after a special manner to tell us that our days here are but vanity, and we are but as the flower of the field, the night flourishing and the morn cut down: And therefore, O Lord, teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts to wisdom. It is Thy voice by the pestilence to tell us that there is no solid comfort to a man's soul but that which comes from Thy face and presence, who then art nearest to men when friends and acquaintance stand afar and worldly comforts forsake them: And therefore, O Lord our God, make sure our friendship with Thee, say to our souls the words of the covenant, “I am thy God,” and then shall we not fear what can befall us here: the days that Thou hast given us to outlive our neighbours who have been suddenly taken in this visitation Lord make us to spend them in Thy fear, and use them to the holy practise of repentance. And albeit that others have fallen, yet O Lord it is we that have sinned more grievously than they. O Lord, we acknowledge our sins and our iniquities with grief before us (sic): Spare Thy people, teach us by Thy word to do Thy will, and cast forth of Thy hand Thy rod and plague. At Thy commandment, O Lord, this devouring plague shall retire and go back, albeit our sins have ascended with a loud and a mighty voice and cried for this plague from the earth to the Heaven: Yet, O Lord, hear us Thy people crying now for mercy, and hear that cry of the blood of Jesus Christ that cries for pardon, peace, and reconciliation to us: call back Thy devouring anger, return and show us Thy loving countenance, that we may be glad in Thy salvation, ever through Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom, etc. etc. .
IN SEED TIME.
It is Thou, O Lord, who rulest times and seasons; it is Thy blessing with the travails of men, and upon the earth, that makes it fruitful; it is Thou who hast said in Thy Holy Word that while the earth remaineth seed-time and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, shall not cease. We entreat Thee, O Lord, for a blessing to this season and time of year, when the seed is to be cast in the ground, that it may come out with increase to the maintenance of our bodies. Thou mayest make the earth that receives it to keep it still and not render it again: Thou mayest discharge thy clouds above to moisten it, that so it may wither and never come to perfection: Thou mayest open the windows of heaven and rain upon it so excessively as it shall be drowned and overflown. All these judgements and greater have we deserved at Thy hands; but, O Lord, howsoever we have sinned, our eyes are toward Thee, for where shall we flee from Thee, and find rest and comfort to our souls? Thou, therefore, that art the absolute Lord and Ruler of all, command the earth to receive and retain, that in due season it may bring forth with increase; command the clouds to water with dew and seasonable rain: and restrain, O Lord, extraordinary tempest, either of rain or wind that may make men tyne (lose —ED.) hope of good success to their travails. And bless our hearts, O Lord, with a reverend acknowledgment of Thy Fatherly Providence in this and all other things that concern our body and soul, that we may say, “Not unto us, O Lord, not unto us—but unto Thy name belongs all the praise, honour, and glory, for now and evermore. Amen.”
IN TIME OF HARVEST.
O Lord our God, who by Thy especial Providence hast brought the fruits of the ground to that maturity and ripeness, that they are now ready to be cut down; we do not yet think them our own unless Thou give them unto us out of Thy own liberal hands, for if Thou with any of Thy judgements from heaven-wind or rain, or destroying worm, shall blow upon them— how easily mayest Thou pull from us all the comfort of them. Our resource is unto Thee, O Lord our God, for a new proof and experience of Thy mercy, that Thy fatherly providence may so moderate and rule heaven and earth and all the elements, that that which the earth has fruitfully yielded may be reaped with a blessing, and so gathered in, that of our abundance we lay not that fleshly couclusion with the rich man and say, “Soul, eat and drink, and take thy pleasure;” but with the gathering of our corn make us so gather arguments of Thy love and favour toward us that we may always be more readily disposed to serve Thee our God; to love Thee, and our neighbour for Thy sake. O Lord, incline our ears to hearken unto Thy voice, and then there is no doubt of the performance of Thy promise: Thou wilt make the heaven to hear the earth, and the earth to hear the 'corn, and the corn to hear Thy people. Hear us, O Lord, in the name of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ, to whom, with Thee and the Holy Ghost, be all honour, praise, and glory, for now and ever. Amen.
PRAYERS IN THE ORDINARY PSALM-BOOK to be retained, which may be used by the Preachers, either before or after sermon, or by the Readers in Burghs in their weekly Exercise.
A Prayer before Sermon, page 82, beginning “O Eternal God, etc.”
* These references are to prayers in Knox's Liturgy, which were to be retained, as well as the forms for the sacraments and marriage. The foregoing service seems to furnish a fair expression of the views as to public worship entertained by the antiprelatic party in 1617, before the troubles arising out of Perth articles, and the necessity of providing prayers to suit these articles, changed their position. The prayers are to a large extent original, and though not liturgical, many parts of them are excellent.
HOWATT'S FORM OF PRAYER.
|This is written on the last sheet of the MS. in a different hand.|
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