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The works of the right reverend father in God, Thomas Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man (Volume 4) online

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rest in hope, and rise in glory : through Jesus Christ ; in
whose name, and according to the full meaning of that holy
prayer which He hath taught us, I most humbly beseech
Thee to hear me, for myself, and for all Christian people.

Our Father, which art in heaven ; &c.

The grace of om* Lord Jesus Christ, &c.



SHORT MEDITATIONS, FOR SUCH AS HAVE TIME, AND ARE
WELL-DISPOSED.

Eph. iv. 26. Let not the sun go down upon your wrath.

Lord, grant that I may lie down to sleep, with the same
charitable dispositions with which I desire to die. I beseech
Thee for all that are my enemies; not for judgment and
vengeance, but for Thy mercy ; for their pardon and con-
version, and for their eternal happiness.

Heb. iii. 7, 8. To-day if ye will hear His voice, harden not
your hearts.

This is the day, and this the life, in which God speaks to
us in mercy. Lord, grant that I may not harden my heart
against this truth : nor let me slip this day of Thy patience ;
that neither the cares nor the pleasures of this life may ever
make me forget, that this is the day on which my salvation
depends, so far, that I know not whether I shall have another.

x3



308 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C.

Rev. iii. 3. Thou shalt not know what hour I will come
upon thee.

Let me give credit to Tliee_, O God, Lord of truth, and
not to my own corrupt lieart, which would flatter me, that I
may have time and warning sufficient to prepare for death !
But give me grace, O Lord, to he prepared for that unknown
hour, by a speedy repentance, a true conversion, and a holy
life.

Matt. xvi. 26. What is a man profited if he shall gain the
v)hole world, and lose his oivn soul.

How many live without thinking of this ! We admire and
we en^^ those who get great estates for themselves and for
their children ; making their riches their delight, their hap-
piness, and the whole concern and business of their lives.

Lord, dehver Thy servant from such a blindness, as must
end in my everlasting ruin, and in the loss of my soul, for
which the whole world cannot make me amends.

Luke xiii. 7, 8. Behold, these three years I come seeking
fruit on this fig-tree, and find none. Cut it down : why
cumbereth it the ground ? — Lord, let it alone this year also :
if it bear fruit, well; if not, then after that, Thou shall cut
it down.

I ADORE Thy wonderful patience, O God, towards me; and
Thy merciful intercession, O Jesus, with Thy Father, for
sparing me : may this goodness and long-suffering lead me
to repentance ! And may Thy all-powerful grace enable me
to bring forth fruits meet for repentance, and worthy of Thy
future care !



MORNING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.

Josh. xxiv. 15. As for me and my house, we will serve
the Lord.

This ought to be the sincere resolution and constant



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS, &C. 3C9

practice of every Christian master of a family. Without this,
none can reasonably expect to have dutiful children, or
faithful servants ; nor justly hope to have God's blessing in
this world, or in the world to come.



Let some one devoutly read or say what followeth, the rest of
the family seriously attending.

The Lord hath brought us safe to the beginning of
this day : let us give Him thanks for this, and for all His
mercies.

Let us pray, that we may live in the fear of God, and
continue in love and charity with our neighbours.

That His Holy Spirit may direct and rule our hearts,
teaching us what to do, and what to avoid :

That the grace of God may ever be with us, to support us
in all dangers and carry us through all temptations.

That the Lord may bless all our honest endeavours, and
make us content with what His providence shall order for
us : and that we may continue His faithful servants this day
and all the days of our Ufe.

For aU which blessings let us devoutly pray.



Then all devoutly kneeling, let one say,

O MOST gracious and merciful God, by whom the world is
governed and preserved, we give Thee humble thanks for
Thy fatherly care over us ; in preserving us from the dangers
of the night past, and in bringing us safe this morning to
see another day.

We gratefully acknowledge our dependence upon Thee,
for all the necessaries, conveniences, and comforts of our life ;
for all the means of our well-being here, and of oui* everlast-
ing happiness hereafter.

We give Thee thanks for the light of Thy Gospel, and the
help of Thy grace, and for the promise Thou hast made us
of pardon and forgiveness through Thy Son Christ Jesus, on
our sincere repentance and amendment.

Give us, we beseech Thee, such a sense of these and all



310 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS, &C.

other Thy mercies to us, as may make us truly thankful to
Thee for them.

Give us grace that we may ever walk as in Thy sight;
make a conscience of all our ways; and, fearing to offend
Thee, may never fall into the sins we have repented of.

Enable us to resist and overcome the temptations of the
world, the flesh, and the devil ; to follow the motions of Thy
good Spirit ; to be serious and holy in our lives ; true and
just in our dealings ; watchful over our thoughts, our words,
and our actions ; diligent in our business, and temperate in
all things.

Give us grace honestly to improve all the talents which
Thou hast committed to our trust : and may no worldly
dusiness, no ivorldly jjleasures, divert us from the concerns
of the life to come !

May Thy blessing be upon our persons, upon our labours,
upon our substance ; and upon all that belong to us : and
may we never undertake any work, which we dare not beg
Thee to prosper !

May Thy grace defend us in all assaults of our enemies :
and grant that this day we fall into no sin, neither run into
any kind of danger : but that all our doings may be ordered
by Thy governance, to do always that which is righteous
in Thy sight.

Give us, gracious God, what is needful for us, and grace
not to abuse Thy favours : give us, we beseech Thee, con-
tented minds; and make us ever mindful of the wants of
others.

Give us, in this world, the knowledge of Thy truth, and
in the world to come, life everlasting. Amen.

Hear us, O merciful God, not according to our imperfect
petitions, but according to the full meaning of that form of
prayer which Jesus Christ hath taught us, and for His sake.

Our Father, which art in heaven ; &c.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C. 311

PROPER MEDITATIONS FOR SUCH AS HAVE TIME^ AND ARE
DEVOUTLY DISPOSED.

Psalm cxxvii. 1. Except the Lord build the house, they
labour in vain that build it.

Unhappy and bliiid are tliey, who expect to prosper with-
out Thy blessing, O Lord. I do therefore beg that blessing
upon myself and family, my labours, and substance. And
may I never hinder Thy blessings, by undertaking any work
which may dishonour Thee, or my Christian profession ! Fit
us, O Lord, by Thy gi'ace, for that house not made loith
hands, eternal in the heavens, prepared for them that love
and fear Thee.

Hab. ii. 9. Woe to him that coveteth an evil covetousness to
his house, that he may set his nest on high, that he may be
delivered from the power of evil.

Deliver us, O God, fi'om covetousness, the root of all evil ;
which leads men to trust in themselves; to forget their
dependence upon Thee; and foolishly to hope to be out of
the reach of misfortunes, and those e^ils and afflictions,
which are designed in great mercy, for the punishment of
sin, and for the salvation of sinners. Preserve us, O Lord,
from this too common but damnable sin of covetousness, for
Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.

Luke x^ii. 26 — 29. As it vjas in the days of Noah, and
of Lot : they did eat, they drank, they bought, they sold,
they planted, they builded ; till the day that Lot went out
of Sodom, when they were all destroyed.

Lord, open our eyes before we are surprised by death, as
those miserable sinners were in the days of Noah, and of
Lot. May this be a warning to us ! And keep us, by Thy
grace, from setting oui' hearts too eagerly upon the business,
the cares, or pleasures, of this life, without considering how
soon and suddenly we may be called out of it ; and that day
overtake us unawares.



312 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS, &C.

Col. iv. 1. Masters, give unto your servants that which is
just and equal, knowing that ye also have a Master in
heaven.

O HEAVENLY Master, bless me with good and faithful ser-
vants : and grant that I may perform all the duties of a
Christian master ; that I may have a tender concern for the
welfare both of their bodies and souls, and be an example to
them of sobriety, justice, and piety ; and that we may be a
household fearing God. And may Thy blessing be upon
them, and upon all my affairs committed to their trust, for
the sake of Thy beloved Sou.



PARENTS FOR CHILDREN.

Eph. vi. 4. Ye parents, bring up your children in the nurture
and admonition of the Lord.

O God, the Father of om* Lord Jesus Christ, for His sake
bless my children with healthful bodies, and understanding
souls, and sanctified hearts, that they may remember their
Creator all their days. Let Thy grace preserve them from
the temptations of an evil world, and may I never be wanting
in any part of my duty to them, but instruct them in the
faith and duties of a Christian life ; convince therfi of their
faults, and correct them in reason and love. O be Thou, O
God, their Father and portion in this world, and in the
world to come ! Amen.



EVENING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.

Let one of the family read or say distinctly what followeth,
the rest seriously attending.

By the favour of God, we are come to the evening of this
day ; and we are so much nearer our latter end.



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C. 313

Let lis seriously consider this, and pray God to prepare us
for the hour of death.

Let us, with penitent hearts, beseech Him to pardon our
offences, and to deliver us from the e\ils which they have
desened.

Let us resolve to amend whatever we have done amiss,
and pray God, that His grace may keep us from return-
ing to those sins which we have repented of.

And then we may be safe under His protection, who alone
can defend us from the powers of darkness.

For all which blessings let us devoutly pray.

Then all devoutly kneeling, let one distinctly say,

O Lord and heavenly Father, we acknowledge Thy great
goodness to us in sparing us when we deserve punishment :
in giving us the necessaries of tliis life, and in setting before
us the happiness of a better.

O merciful God, pardon our offences, correct and amend
what is amiss in us, that as we grow in years, we may grow
in grace, and the nearer we come to our latter end, the
better we may be prepared for it.

In the midst of life ive are in death.

Lord, grant that these thoughts may make us careful
how we live, that we may escape the bitter pains of eternal
misery.

Take from us all ignorance, hardness of heart, and too
much carefulness for the things of this life.

Make us an household fearing Thee, O God, submitting
ourselves to Thy good pleasure, and putting our whole trust
in Thy mercy.

Give us a true knowledge of ourselves, of the corruption
of our nature, and the necessity of Thy gracious help to
save us from ruin.

And may the Spirit of Christ ever hve and rule in us,
possessing our souls with a sincere love of Thee, O God,
with an earnest desire to please Thee, and with a dread of
offending Thee.



314 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C.

Sanctify us wholly^ we beseech Tliee, tliat our spirits^ and
souls^ and bodies, may be preserved blameless unto the
coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Continue to us, and to all Christian churches, the means
of grace and salvation ; and may the saving truths of the
Gospel be published and received in all the world !

Vouchsafe unto us an interest in all the prayers of Thy
holy Church, which have this day been offered to the throne
of grace.

Forgive all that have injured us, and forgive us our many
offences against our neighbour.

Bless, we beseech Thee, O God, all those whom Thy pro-
vidence hath set over us, whether in Church or State : and
give us grace to honour and obey them for conscience sake.

Defend us from all adversities which may happen to our
bodies, and from all evil thoughts which may assault and
hurt our souls; and prepare us to receive with an humble
resignation whatever Thy providence shall think best for us.

And, finally, we beseech Thee to give us grace, that we
may lead and end our lives in Thy faith and fear, and to
Thy glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

Hear us, O merciful God, for ourselves and for all man-
kind, not according to our weak understandings, but accord-
ing to the full meaning of that holy prayer, wliich Thy be-
loved Son hath taught us.

Our Father which art in heaven ; &c.



*" Select Scriptures, and Meditations upo7i them ; which may
teach us how to profit by reading the Scriptures.

Matt. X, 30. The very hairs of your head are all numbered.

Let this Thy wonderful providence, O God, and care over
us, be evermore our comfort and defence against all the evils
which may happen to our bodies, and all evil thoughts which
may assault and hurt our souls; against the distracting
cares of this life, and against the fears and adversities Avliich

' This section, om. in the ed. of 1781, is printed here from the folio of 1782,



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C. 315

may befal us. Thine in^nite' ivisdorn knows all our wants
and dangers, and the properest means of conveying relief and
succour to us. Thy fatherly goodness cannot but pity us ;
Thy power is able to help us ; and Thy faithfulness can never
fail us. O may we never render ourselves unworthy of this
Thy divine protection.

Luke ix. 23. Jesus said unto them all, If any man will come
after Me, let him deny himself and take up his cross daily,
and follow Me.

O Jesus, who hast made this the rule and means of our
salvation, enable us, by Thy Spirit, Thy doctrine, and ex-
ample, to observe it daily ; to wean our hearts from a love
and fondness for this world, 'its pleasures, profits, and all its
idols ; to mortify oui' corrupt affections, and to correct and
amend what is amiss in us : ^ that we may be meek, and
humble, and temperate; and learn to submit our wills to
the will and law of God : and grant, O Lord, that we may
never lead heathens and unbelievers to have unworthy
thoughts of Thee and of Thy religion, by our ungodly lives,
while we pretend to be Thy ^ followers.

Luke xiii. 24. Strive to enter in at the strait gate ; for many,
I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able.

May we never flatter ourselves that the way to heaven and
happiness is easy, and that the generality of Cliristian people
are in the way of salvation, when Thou hast declared the
contrary ! O may Thy Spirit convince us that om' salvation
is not to be secured without great watchfulness and care,
without labom', pains, and diligence : and that, on these
conditions. Thy goodness will enable us to overcome all
the difficulties we can possibly meet with !

Luke xi. 13. If ye being evil, know how to give good gifts
unto your children ; how much 'more shall your heavenly
Father give [good things, and] His Holy Spirit, to them
that ask Him !

s to be meek (1751.) h followers of Thee.



316 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYEllSj &C.

O HEAVENLY Fatlier^ let it be unto us according to this
Thy Son's most faithful promise. For His sake^ give us Thy
Holy Spirit to live and act in us, to guide and assist us all
our days ; and may we ever ask and be content with such
good things as it shall please Thee to give us ! And grant
that Ave may never grieve Thy Holy Spirit ; never reject His
godly motions^ or render ourselves unworthy of His abode
with us, by living in any known sin.

Rev. iii. 19. As many as I love, I rebuke and chasten.

O ! THAT we may acknowledge Thy loving-kindness to us,
in all the dispensations of Thy pro\ddeiice ! Our corrupt
natiue will not let us see this ! It is Thy grace alone which
must convince us, that a Father so good would not suffer
afflictions to fall upon His children without an absolute ne-
cessity. Convince us, therefore, O God, that we stand in
need of Thy rebukes, to awaken and amend us : and enable
us to bear all the afflictions of this life with patience, and au
entire resignation to Thy wisdom and goodness, and make
them powerful means of our eternal salvation. Amen.



ANOTHER MORNING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.

God, by whom the whole world is governed and preserved,
we give Thee humble thanks for Thy fatherly care over us,
beseeching Thee to make us truly sensible of all Thy mercies,
and thankful for them.

We are indeed unworthy of Thy favours, for we have
broken Thy laws, neglected Thy commands, despised Thy
promises, and have been unthankful for Thy blessings .

Lord, be merciful unto us, and forgive us those things
whereof our consciences are afraid ; make us every day more
careful of our ways, more concerned to please Thee, more
sensible of our wants and unworthiness, and of Thy great
goodness, that we may be afraid to offend Thee ; that we
may ever look up to Thee for what we want ; depend upon
Thy power, and goodness, and truth, and be satisfied with
what Thy providence shall order for us.



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS, fcc. 317

And blessed be Thy Holy Spirit, who hath made known
to us the things that would undo us ; who hath assured us,
that no adulterer, no covetous person ; that none who envieth
his neighbour, or defraudeth his brother ; that no drunkard
or profane person, who hveth in a wilful neglect of Thy laws,
shall enter into the kingdom of heaven.

Lord, increase our knowledge, and confirm our faith, that
we, stedfastly believing Thy threats and judgments, may be
truly afraid of them, and abhor those sins which would bring
them upon us.

O Lord, leave us not unto ourselves, for without Thee we
can do nothing that is good. To Thee therefore we look up
for grace to know our duty, for willing minds to desire to do
it ; for strength to perform what Thou requirest of us, and
that Thou wilt mercifully pardon our infirmities, and accept
of our unworthy service.

Give, O Lord, Thy good angels charge over us, that neither
the devil nor his wicked instruments, neither the world nor
its vanities ; that neither evil customs, nor the e\il bent of
our own hearts, may bring upon us those miseries which
may make our lives uncomfortable : but if afflictions are
necessary, and if in Thy wise providence Thou shalt think
fit to ^isit us, give us grace that we may thankfully receive,
and patiently bear, whatever Thy hand shall bring upon us,
stedfastly believing, that all things shall work together for
good to those that fear God, and trust in His mercy.

Bless all our honest endeavours with good success; con-
tinue to us the blessings we already enjoy; make every
condition of life, every blessing we receive, every thing that
befalleth us, a means of bringing us nearer unto Thee, and
to that happiness which Thou hast prepared for them that
love Thee.

Give us grace that we may never forget that we depend
upon Thee ; that we may never trust in ourselves, nor in
uncertain riches, but in the living God, who hath graciously
promised that He will never fail them that seek Him. Lord, ^
let it be unto Thy servants according to this word.

Continue to us the means of grace, Thy word, and sacra-
ments ; the comfort of solemn assemblies ; the blessing of a
regular, learned, and pious ministry ; and let none of these



318 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C.

favours be lost upon us ; but grant that we may grow in
grace, and in all saving knowledge, until we come to Thine
everlasting kingdom.

Bless tlie king and government of tliis land. Let brotherly
love and charity increase amongst us, and root out all growing
vices. Supply the necessities of the poor and needy ; help
and comfort the afflicted, the fatherless, and the widow ; de-
liver or support all that labour under any pressing calamity,
sadness of spirit, or infirmity of body, and especially all such
as suflFer for a righteous cause.

Preserve all that travel by land or sea ; bless the labours
of all honest men ; and hear our prayers for all that desire
or that stand in need of them, and especially for those that
cannot pray for themselves.

The Lord bless, preserve, and keep us this day, and all
that belongs to us ; the Lord make us innocent in our lives,
useful in our generation, prudent in our behaviour, obedient
to His laws, and thankful for His favours.

Vouchsafe us a share in the happiness of the next world;
and His blessed will be done for what shall befal us in this.

These things, and whatever else our necessities, our charity,
or our duty, obligeth us to pray for, we most humbly beg in
the name and in the words of our blessed Saviour : —

Our Father, which art in heaven ; &c.

The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, &c.

To he added on Sunday Morning.

Be graciously present with all that this day meet to serve
Thee; bless the labours of those that watch for our souls;
and give us all grace to hear with attention, to receive the
word with meekness, and to serve the Lord with joyfulness
and gladness of heart.

Teach us all things necessary to salvation ; enable us to
understand and remember the sacred truths delivered to us,
with full purpose of living accordingly, that our conversation
may be holy, and our end everlasting Hfe.



PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS^ &C. 319



ANOTHER EVENING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.

O Almighty and everlasting God^ for all the blessings we
every day receive from Thy bounty ; for all the known^ and
for all the unobserved favours^ deliverances^ \isitationSj and
graces of Thy Holy Spirit ; we bless Thy good providence,
beseecliing Thee still to continue Thy fatherly care over us,
for we have no power to help ourselves. To Thee therefore
we pray daily ; to Thee we give thanks and praise ; from
Thee we expect and hope for the greatest blessings when
we do well ; and from Thee we fear the severest punishments
when our deeds are evil.

God be merciful unto us, that have broken His laws,
abused His patience, despised the means of grace, and re-
sisted His good Spirit, making ourselves unworthy of the
least of His mercies, and liable to His just anger.

O Lord, make us to see the evil and the danger of sin ;
that we may repent and turn to Thee with all oiu' hearts,
and bring forth fruits meet for repentance.

Pity our infirmities, and help us to overcome them ; renew
in us Thy image daily, and keep us from forsaking Thee for
the time to come, that death may never take us unprepared.

So teach us to number our days, that we may apply our
hearts unto wisdom ; that we may consider in this oui* day
the things that belong unto our peace, for we are ere long
to die. O that we may live as we hope to die ! that in the
hour of death and in the day of judgment, our Lord may
deliver us from the power of the devil, from the just re-
ward of our sins, and from everlasting death.

If at any time we are in danger of forgetting Thee and our
duty, reduce us by such ways as to Thee seems most meet,
and make us at all times obedient to Thy gracious call, that
the longer we live we may serve Thee more faithfully.

Deliver us, O God, fi'om the sin that doth most easily
beset us ; from the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and
the pride of life ; from all unprofitable and sinful thoughts ;
from lying hps and a deceitful tongue ; from an uncharitable
heart, and from an inconstant mind.

Let Thy good Spirit ever be with us, to direct and rule



320 PRIVATE AND FAMILY PRAYERS, &C.

our hearts, to keep us from falling, and to present us blame-
less before the presence of Tliy glory.

Let Thy blessing, O Lord, be upon us, to defend us in all
dangers, and to comfort us in all adversities.

Take us under Thy protection, defend us from the dangers
of the night, from the prince and powers of darkness, from
all filthiness of flesh and spirit, and keep us in perpetual
peace and safety.

In mercy remember all that want those blessings we
enjoy; all that want Thy help; all that call to Thee for
succour.

Eemember, O merciful God, our friends, our relations,
and all Thy servants, that they may be made partakers of
the same blessings which we ask for ourselves.

And grant unto us all, that when we depart this life, we
may dwell with Thee in life everlasting.

Hear us, O God, not according to our weak understand-
ings, but according to the full meaning of that form of



Online LibraryThomas WilsonThe works of the right reverend father in God, Thomas Wilson, D.D., Lord Bishop of Sodor and Man (Volume 4) → online text (page 27 of 36)