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Edwin Hodder.

A book of uncommon prayers : literary, biographical, historical online

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iftoofe of ^Uncommon papers.



Jl "38006 *
of * * *
Uncommon *



literary



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AUTHOR OF "CONQUESTS OP THE CROSS,

"SIMON PKTBR: HIS I.IFB AND TIJIKS,"

" ON HOLY GROUND," ETC.. FTC.



an5 o.,
26, t>s fianc, [email protected]



HHHERE are almost innumerable collections of
*- sacred poetry and hymns there are compara-
tively few collections of prayers.

"A good prayer," says worthy Thomas Fuller,
" is not, like a stratagem of war, to be used but
once. No : the oftener the better. The clothes of
the Israelites, whilst they wandered forty years in
the wilderness, never waxed old. So a good prayer,
though often used, is still fresh and fair in the ears
and eyes of Heaven. Despair not then, thou simple
soul, who hast no exchange of raiment ; whose
prayer cannot appear every day at Heaven's court
in new clothes. Only add new, or new degrees of
old affections thereunto, and it will be acceptable
to God, thus repaired, as if new created."

In these days of restless activity when men have
no leisure, no repose, little inducement and less



vi preface.

opportunity for prayerful contemplation it has
been found that in what brief intervals in the strain
and struggle of life can be obtained, much spiritual
help and refreshment have been gained in reading
the devout thoughts, the aspirations, the hopes, the
fears of men of all generations who, in prayer, have
talked with God.

It is quite true that the literature of prayer may
be made conventional and common-place, and that
a long series of prayers composed by one person,
may become a book of mere repetitions, but it is
equally true that in the selected prayers of men of
large hearts and wide influence who have left their
mark on the history of the Church in times of critical
importance in the past, no less than in the prayers
of thoughtful men in the changing and unstable
present, there are to be found valuable gems of
devout expression, deep and wondrous thoughts of
God and man, fruitful aids from rich experience,
and rousing words of hope and aspiration.

I have endeavoured, therefore, to select Uncom-
mon prayers some on the ground of their literary
excellence, others for their biographical or historical
interest, and the majority for the depth of their
devotional spirit.

Good prayers, like good hymns of praise, will
live as long as the world, and will bear witness to



preface. vii

the true communion of saints in all ages and in all
lands.

I have great pleasure in acknowledging the gener-
ous assistance I have received from my friends the
Rev. James Durran, M.A. (Edinburgh), the Rev.
Thomas Nicholson, M.A. (Bromley, Kent), Mr.
J. M. Grant, J.P., and Mr. John Angell James
Housden, in pointing out to me valuable sources of
information while this work was in progress.

I tender my cordial thanks to Mrs. Elmslie for
kindly placing at my disposal the MS. prayers
(Nos. 102, 103, 104, 105), hitherto unpublished, of
her late husband, Professor W. Gray Elmslie, M.A.,
D.D. ; to Dr. Alexander Whyte for permission to
use the prayers Nos. 10, 23, and 24 ; Dr. James
Martineau for Nos. 92 and 107 ; the Earl of Love-
lace and Messrs. Isbister and Co., Ld., for No. 72;
Messrs. Macmillan and Co. for No. 73 ; the Rev. J.
V. Charlesworth for No. 94 ; Dr. J. Oswald Dykes
and Messrs. Jas. Nesbit and Co., Ld., for No. 96 ;
Mrs. Service and Messrs. Macmillan and Co. for
Nos. 98 and 99; Dr. Joseph Parker (City Temple)
for Nos. 100 and 101 ; and to Messrs. I. MacLehose
and Sons (Glasgow) for No. 108.

I have used my best endeavours to discover the
owners of the copyrights of all prayers included
in this volume, but if in any instance I have



viii preface.

inadvertently made use of a prayer for which I
should have obtained the permission so willingly
extended in other cases, I tender my apology, and
shall be glad to rectify the error in any subsequent
editions.

EDWIN HODDER.

HEATHERDENE,

HAEEWOOD ROAD,
SOUTH CBOYDON.



PREFACE



Page.



rf)ciug!)t5 an

(1) DEFINITIONS OF PRAYKE 1

(2) ANSWERS TO PEAYBR 5

(3) DOTY OF PRAYER 8

(4) POWER OF PRAYEE 13

(5) NECESSITY OF PEAYBR 16

(6) DELIGHT AND CONSOLATION IN PBAYBB 19



No. Author.
I. St. Polycarp . .

II. St. James . . .

III. St. Jerome . .

IV. St. Augustine .
V., VI. St. Basil . . .

VII. John Damascenus

VIII. Simeon Metaphrastes 10th cent.
IX. St. Thomas Aquinas
X. Archbishop Brad-

wardine

XL Thomas a Kempis .
XII. Dean Colet . . .

XIII. John Knox . . .

XIV. St. Francis Xavier .
XV. John Calvin . . .

XVI. ...

XVII. . . .

XVIII. . . .

XIX. Martin Luther . .

XX. Vittoria Colonna .



Date.
A.D. 163

200

329-420

354-430
379
676-756

10th cent.
1224-1274

1290-1349
1380-1471
1466-1519
1505-1572

1506-1552
1509-1564

1521
1541


Subject. I
Immediately before his
Martyrdom ....
A General Prayer . . .
For Private Use before
Communion
For Rest in God ....
Two Collects . . . .31-
The, Cry of the Contrite
Soul


age

24
25

26

29
-32

33
35
36

38
39
42

44
45
46
47
49
50

51

63


An Acrostic Prayer . . .
Before Communion . . .

A Private Prayer . . .
For Peace of Mind . . .
A Family Prayer . . .
In Time of Persecution and
Trial
Adoration ....


A Morning Prayer . . .
An Evening Prayer . . .
Before Communion . . .
Confession


Before Appearance at Diet
at Worms
For Spiritual Life . . .



(Contents.



No.


Author.


Date.


Subject.


Page.


XXI.


Vittoria Colonna .


1543


For Renewal of Spiritual










Life


54


XXII.


Sir Walter Raleigh.


1552-1618


A Hymn of Prayer . . .


54


XXIII.


Bishop Lancelot An-










drewes ....


1555-1626


A Prayer on Awaking . .


55


xxrv.


Bishop Lancelot An-










drewes ....





An Evening Prayer for










Grace


58


XXV.


Sir Henry Wotton .


1568-1639


Prayer in a Night of Sick-










ness


60


XXVI.
XXVII.


Archbishop Laud .
Ben Jonson . . .


1573-1645
1574-1637


A Family Prayer . . .
To the Holy Trinity . . .


61
62


XXVIII.


Bishop Hall . . .


1574-1656


A Private Prayer . . .


64


XXIX.


Jacob Bohme . .


1575-1624


A Prayer of Contrition . .


65


YYX


Robert Herrick . .


1591-1674


A Litany to the Holy Spirit


68


XXXI.


George Herbert .


1593-1632


"The Elixir" . . . .


70


XXXII.


Queen Elizabeth .


1597


For the Nation . . . .


71


XXXIII.


King Charles I. . .


1600-1649


A Family Prayer . . .


72


XXXIV.


Jeremy Taylor . .


1613-1667


Prayer for the Graces of




XXXV.






Faith, Hope, and Charity
A General Prayer . . .


74
76


XXXVI.


Drummond of Haw-










thornden . . .


1617


A Prayer for Mercy . . .


77


xxxvn.


Richard Baxter . .


1615-1691


A General Prayer . . .


78


XXXVIII.


Blaise Pascal . . .


1623-1662


In Time of Sickness . . .


81


XXXTX'


Dr. John Donne


1631


A Litany . .


82


XL.'
XLI.






A Hymn to God the Father
A Prayer in Sickness . .


84
84


XLII.


Francis Quarles . .


1635


The Hiding of God's Face


86


XLIII.
XLIV.


Johann Lassenius .


1636-'l692


A Private Prayer . .
An Evening Prayer . .


88
89


XLV.


Bishop Ken .


1637-1711


A Prayer of Thanksgiving


91


XLVI.


Henry Vaughan


1650


"Begging" . .


93


XLVII.


Bishop Wilson . .


1663-1755


A Private Prayer . . .


94


XLVIII.


Andrew Rykman .


1674


99


95


XLIX.


William Law . .


1686-1761


_


101


L.


Philip Doddridge .


1702-1751


For Divine Guidance in










Dispensing Gifts . . .


102


LI.


Dr. Samuel Johnson


170'J-1784


On Preparing for Study .


103


LII.





Jt


Against j| Inquisitive and










Perplexing Thoughts .


104


LIII.






Before Communion . . .


105


LTV.


Moravian Brother-










hood ....


1722


A Prayer for Missions . .


106


LV.


Gerhard Tersteegen


1724


A Prayer of Self-Dedica-










tion


107


LVI.


99


1731


To the Risen and Ascended










Saviour


108


LVTI.


Alexander Pope . .


1734


The Universal Prayer . .


111


LVIII.


John Burn of Glas-










gow


1738


A Covenant Prayer . . .


114


LIX.


Charles Wesley . .


1740


A Hymn of Private Prayer


116



Contents.



No.
LX.


Author.
Susanna Wesley .


Date.
1742


Subject.
On the Love of God . . .


Page.


LXI.


Thomas Chatterton


1752-1770


Rosi cnation


118


LXII.


Robert Southey .


1774-1843


A Prayer


119


LXIII.


Bishop Mant .


1776-1848


A Litany


120


LXIV.


Thomas Moore


1779-1852


Bereavement


121


LXV


Sir Robert Grant


1785-1838


A Litany


121


LXVI.


Dr. Thomas Arnold


1795-1842


The Prayer of a Busy Man


123


LXVII.


,,





6th Form Morning Prayer










at Rugby


123


LXVIII.


John Greenleaf










Whittier . . .


1807-1892


For Peace and Calm . . .


124


LXIX.


Elizabeth Barrett










Browning .


1809-1861


The Cry of the Human . .


125


T.XX.


Dr. Thomas Chal-










mers


1816


On Friendship ....


129


LXXI.


Dr. Thomas Chal-










mers


}>


In Time of Plague . . .


131


LXXII.
LXXIII.


Mrs. John Sheppard
Matthew Arnold .


1821
1822-1888


A Prayer for Lord Byron .
"Save, oh ! save" . . .


133
136


LXXIV.


Sir John Bowring .


1825


A Hymn of Prayer . . .


139


LXXV.
LXXVI.


Adolphe Monod . .
Bishop Heber


1826


A Cry from the Depths . .
Prayer for Conversion . .


140
141


LXXVII.


Rev. Richard Knill.


1829


The Old and New Year .


142


LXXVI II.
LXXIX.


Principal Forbes .


1830


On Coming of Age . . .
After Sickness and Sorrow


143
143


LXXX.


Rev. Alexander










Fletcher . . .


1834


A Morning Family Prayer .


144


LXXXI.


Henry Thornton,










MP


1834




147


LXXXII.


James Russell Lowell


1841


Prayer for a Life . . .


150


LXXXIII.


Abbe Lacordaire .


1846


On Preaching Christ . .


150


Lxxxrv.


Eliza Cook . . .


1849


Evening Prayer for the Sick










and Sorrowful ....


151


LXXXV.


Sir Robert Peel . .


1850


A Statesman's Prayer . .


152


LXXXVI.


Sir Henry Lawrence


1852


For the Duties of the Day .


153


LXXXVII.


Rev. E. B. Pusey,










D.D ... .


1853


A Morning Prayer . . .


164


T, XXXVIII.


John Sheppard of










Frome ....




For Assurance of Faith . .


158


T.yYXTy


John Sheppard of










Frome ....


M


For Pardon under Distress-










ing Doubt


160


xc.


Dr. James Hinton .


1859


Some Thoughts on Prayer .


162


XCI.


London School Board


1870


Used at Meetings of First










London School Board


163


XCII.


Miss Frances Power










Cobbe ....


1871


For the Indwelling of God


166


XCIII.


Prince Imperial of










France ....


1879


Prior to Departure for










Zululand


168


xcrv.


Rev. C. H. Spurgeon


1878


A Pulpit Prayer. Extem-










pore .


170



ii Contents.


No. Anthor.


Date.


Subject.


Page.


XCV. Rev. H. W. Beecher


1813-1887


A Pulpit Prayer. Extem-








pore


178


XCVI. Dr. J.OswaldDykes


1881


For the Last Evening of the








Year


187


XCVII. Seventh Earl of








Shaftesbnry .


1885


Special Prayers ....


190


XCVIII. Dr. John Service


M


General Prayer for Public








Worship


193


XCIX.


}>


At the Burial of the Dead .


200


C. Dr. Joseph Parker


1889


A Family Prayer ....


203


CI.






205


CII. Professor W. Gray








Elmslie, D.D.


M


General Prayer for Public








Worship


206


CIII. Professor W. Gray








Elmslie


M


For Restoration of the








Divine Likeness . .


210


CIV. Professor W. Gray








Elmslie ....
CV. Professor W. Gray


"


Two Prayers of Invocation


212


Elmslie ....
CVI. Benjamin Jowett,


"


A Prayer of Intercession .


213


Master of Balliol.
CVII. Dr. James Martineau
CVIII. Dr. John Hunter .


1891
1895


A College Prayer in Illness
For Morning or Evening .
For Sunday Morning in


214
216 i






Autumn


218


CIX


.


A Prayer for the Use of








the Young People of a
Household


2211


ex.




A Little Child's Prayer .


224)


CXI. The Blind Chaplain




of the American








Senate ....


1897


For the Queen ....


225


INDEX OP AUTHOES QUOTED






226


SUBJECT INDEX






227



of ^Uncommon

on



(1) Sefimttong of

PEAYEE, if I may speak so boldly, is inter-
course with God. Even if we do but lisp,
even though we silently address God without
opening our lips, yet we cry to Him in the inmost
recesses of the heart ; for God always listens to the
sincere direction of the heart to Him. Clement of
Alexandria.

Prayer is the meeting-point of the seen and the
unseen; it is the borderland between earth and
heaven; it is the contact and communion of finite
beings with the Infinite. Dr. Huntingdon.

Prayer is not the synonym of petition prayer is
speaking to God whatsoever be the voice, the
language, the subject of discourse. It may be con-
fession, it may be adoration, it may be thanksgiving,



it may be petition. If it be petition it may be
entreaty, it may be deprecation, it may be inter-
cession, it may be for the life, it may be for the
soul. . . prayer is the soul's language in the ear of a
God known to be present. A man may pray who
asks nothing, who but " dwells in the secret place
of the Most High" silent petition, counting it
enough to abide under the shadow of the Almighty,
the All-Loving. The reality of prayer is the
meeting of the two spirits, the "I," and the "I
Am," unto communication, unto converse, unto
interchange (with reverence be it spoken) of
thought and speech, of life and love. Very Rev.
C. J. Vauyhan, D.D.

Heaven is the magazine wherein God puts
Both good and evil ; prayer's the key that shuts
And opens this great treasure ; 'tis a key
Whose wards are Faith, and Hope, and Charity.

Francis Quarks.

Prayer is helplessness casting itself upon power ;
it is infirmity leaning on strength, and misery
wooing bliss; it is unholiness embracing purity,
hatred desiring love; it is corruption panting for
immortality, and the earth-born claiming kindred
in the skies ; it is the flight of the soul to the
bosom of God, and the spirit soaring upward and
claiming nativity beyond the stars ; it is the restless



Befimttons. 3

dove on drooping wing turning to its loved repose ;
it is the soaring eagle mounting upward in its flight,
and with steady gaze pursuing the track till lost to
all below ; it is the roving wanderer looking toward
his abiding-place, where are all his treasures ; it is
the prisoner pleading for release ; it is the mariner
on a dangerous sea upon the reeling topmast,
descrying the broad and quiet haven of repose ; it
is the soul oppressed by earthly soarings, escaping
to a broader and a purer sphere, and bathing its
plumes in the ethereal and eternal. Thornton
Wells.

Prayer is the soul's sincere desire,

Uttered or unexpressed ;
The motion of a hidden fire

That trembles in the breast.

Prayer is the burthen of a sigh,

The falling of a tear,
The upward glancing of the eye,

When none but God is near.

Prayer is the simplest form of speech

That infant lips can try ;
Prayer the sublimest strains that reach

The Majesty on high.

Prayer is the Christian's vital breath,

The Christian's native air.
His watchword at the gate of death ;

He enters heaven with prayer.

James Montgomery.



Prayer draws all the Christian graces into its
focus; it draws charity, followed by her lovely
train her forbearance with faults, her forgiveness
of injuries, her pity for errors, her compassion for
want. It draws repentance with her holy sorrows,
her pious resolutions, her self-distrust; it attracts
faith with her elevated eye ; hope, with her grasped
anchor; beneficence, with her open hand; zeal
looking far and wide to serve ; humility with intro-
verted eye, looking at home. Prayer, by quickening
these graces in the heart, warms them into life, fits
them for service, and dismisses each to its appro-
priate practice. Mrs. Hannah More.

Prayer is a culture of the soul,
That turns to wheat our tares ;

Prayer is a begging angel, whom
We shelter unawares.

Prayer is a wisdom which the wise

To babes have oft resign'd,
But He who bade us seek, be sure

He meant that we should find . . .

A small hand feeling in the night,

A natural gasp for air,
A half-articulate aim at speech

To want to pray is prayer.

J. B. Monsell



&nsfocrs to Draper. 5

(2) &n<*toerg to $Jrancr.

God often answers the prayer of His people, as
He did the seed of Isaac, with a hundredfold
increase. As His word never returns empty to
Him, so the prayers of His servants never return
empty to them ; and usually the crop of prayer is
greater than the seed out of which it grew ; as the
putting in of a little water into a pump makes way
to the drawing out of a great deal more. Bishop
Reynolds.

God delays to answer prayer, because He would
have more of it. If the musicians come to play at
our doors or our windows, if we delight not in their
music, we throw them out money presently that
they may be gone. But if the music please us, we
forbear to give them money, because we would
keep them longer to enjoy their music. So the
Lord loves and delights in the sweet words of His
children, and therefore puts them off and answers
them not presently. Archbishop Usher.

Prayer flies where the eagle never flew, and rises
on wings broader and stronger than an angel's,
It travels further and faster than light. Eising
from the heart of a believer, it shoots away beyond



that starry sky, and, reaching the throne, enters
into the ear of God. So soon as the heart begins
to work on earth, it moves the hand of God in
heaven; and ere the prayer has left the lips of
faith, Jesus has presented it to His Father, and
secured its answer. Dr. Thomas Guthrie.

You account it a good answer to a petition when
you have that which is better than the thing
desired; but when you desire that which is not
good, the denial is better than the grant. These
denials are great mercies, and hence sweet returns
of prayer. Rev. David Clarkson.

So weak is man,

So ignorant and blind, that did not God
Sometimes withhold in mercy what we ask,
We should be ruin'd at our own request.

Hannah More.

We, ignorant of wisdom,

Beg often our own harms, which the wise powers
Deny us for our good ; so find we profit
By losing of our prayers.

Shakespeare.

God sometimes delays the answer that it may be
more beneficent when it comes. The stream is made
to turn and wind that it may receive contributions



&nsfoers to Draper. 7

from every valley which it passes, and all to flow
more largely into the bosom at last. When God's
plans ripen slowly, it is that the fruit may be the
richer and mellower. Hence it is that the royal
munificence of His bounty knows no limits at last.
James Me Cosh, LL.D.

Thy prayer shall be fulfilled ; but how \

His thoughts are not as thine,
While thou wouldst only weep and bow,

He saith " Arise and shine ! "
Thy thoughts were all of grief and night,
But His of boundless joy and light.

Thy Father reigns supreme above ;

The glory of His name
Is Grace and Wisdom, Truth and Love.

His will must be the same.
And thou hast asked all joys in one,
In whispering forth Thy Will be done ! "

Frances Ridley Havergal

Pray ! though the gift you ask for
May never comfort your fears ;
May never repay your pleading,
Yet pray, and with hopeful tears !
An answer ; not that you long for,
But diviner, will come some day ;
Your eyes are too dim to see it,
Yet strive, and wait and pray.

Adelaide Proctor.



(3) IZHjc IButg of

Prayer has always been recognised as one of the
duties of natural religion. In all ages and among
all nations it has been common, by some form or
rite, to supplicate divine protection and favour.
Among the golden verses of Pythagoras we find
the following :

In all thou dost, first let thy prayers ascend, .

And to the gods thy labours first commend !

From them implore success, and hope a prosperous end.

W. Fleming.

Prayer is not a duty to be entered upon rashly
and without preparation. If we pass into the
Almighty's presence reeking, as it were, of the
earth, not pausing on the threshold to compose and
solemnise the mind by a deliberate act of reflection
and examination, it can hardly be wondered at that
we find slight, if any, comfort, in drawing nigh unto
our Father who is in Heaven. IT. Melville, B.D.

A man cannot be a true believer, a child of God,
unless he be a man of prayer. For what the breath
is to the body, prayer is to the soul. If the breath
gasp and be faint, the body grows out of order;
and, if prayer be slack and unfrequent, the soul



Butg of Draper. 9

becomes diseased. If breath ceases, life is at an
end; and, if prayer ceases, all bope for tbe soul
perishes. As soon as we give over communing
with God, Satan enters in and begins to commune
with us. Man can never walk alone. If he choose
not the better part to walk with his God, he must
choose to walk with God's adversary and his own.
Oh that man would but be persuaded " Prayer is
man's best work." Martin Luther.

Let prayer be the key of the morning, and the
bolt of the evening. Matthew Henry.

Prayer has the power of sanctifying life, because
it brings God into life. Twice in the day it has
been for ages the habit of the race to use this
talisman, once for the sanctification of the day,
once for the sanctification of the night. The
morning prayer chimes in with the joy of the
creation, with the quick world, as it awakes and
sings. Such a prayer is the guard of life. It
makes us conscious of our Father's presence, so
that we hear His voice in the hour of our folly and
our sin: "My child, this morning you called Me
to your side ; do not drive Me away. Bridle that
passionate temper, restrain that excitement which
is sweeping you beyond the power of will ; keep



io pagers.

back that foolish, word which will sting your neigh-
bour's heart; do not do that dishonesty; be not
guilty of that cowardice, I am by your side."
Stopford Brooke.

Be not afraid to pray to pray is right.
Pray if thou canst, with hope ; but ever pray,
Though hope be weak, or sick with long delay :
Pray in the darkness, if there be no light.
Far is the time, remote from human sight,
When war and discord on the Earth shall cease.
Yet every prayer for universal peace
Avails the blessed time to expedite.
"Whate'er is good to wish, that ask of Heaven,
Though it be that thou canst not hope to see ;
Pray to be perfect, though material leaven
Forbid the spirit so on earth to be !
But if for any wish thou darest not pray,
Then pray to God to cast that wish away.

Hartley Coleridge.

Who goes to bed and doth not pray,
Maketh two nights of every day.

Geo. Herbert.

Men ought always to pray and not to faint.

St. Luke, xviii. 1.



As God knows all things, it is not in order that
He may be informed of our wants that He has
appointed prayer, nor is it to dispose and incline



of

Him to show mercy, because God in Christ Jesus
is self-moved by His love to His people to do this,
but there are three principal reasons why God re-
quires prayer in order to the bestowment of mercies
on men. First, thereby to acknowledge our de-
pendence on Him ; for as God has made all things
for His glory, so He will be glorified and acknow-
ledged by His people especially, and it is fit He
should require this of those who would be the
subjects of His mercy. Second, to exercise and
strengthen the Christian graces. Prayer tends to
strengthen faith, to increase love, humility, and
patience, to invigorate hope, and benefit all the
graces of the Spirit in the real believer ; and the
more he prays in faith, the more all these graces
grow. And, thirdly, God requires prayer to make
us more sensible of the value of the mercies we
seek. If we were to have favours without asking
for them, such is our depravity that we should
think too lightly of them; but by being made
to wait for them, and kept, by faith, in expectation
of receiving them, when they come they are
generally better received. Hereby is excited a
sense of our need of the mercies we pray for,
and the mind is better prepared to prize them
when received, and to rejoice and be thankful for


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Online LibraryEdwin HodderA book of uncommon prayers : literary, biographical, historical → online text (page 1 of 13)