Home
Authors
Titles
Keyword Search
Reference

Table of Contents

Previous Chapter


Holy Living

by Jeremy Taylor

 

CHAPTER III.  (Conclusion)

PRAYERS RELATING TO JUSTICE.

 

PRAYERS TO BE SAID IN RELATION TO THE SEVERAL OBLIGATIONS AND OFFICES OF JUSTICE.

 

A Prayer for the Grace of Obedience, to be said by all Persons under Command.

O eternal God, great ruler of men and angels, who hast constituted all things in a wonderful order, making all the creatures subject to man, and one man to another, and all to thee, the last link of this admirable chain being fastened to the foot of thy throne; teach me to obey all those whom thou hast set over me, reverencing their persons, submitting indifferently to all their lawful commands, cheerfully undergoing those burdens which the public wisdom and necessity shall impose upon me, at no hand murmuring against government, lest the spirit of pride and mutiny, of murmur and disorder, enter into me, and consign me to the portion of the disobedient and rebellious, of the despisers of dominion, and revilers of dignity. Grant this, O holy God, for his sake, who, for his obedience to the Father, hath obtained the glorification of eternal ages, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

*Prayers for kings and all magistrates, for our parents, spiritual and natural, are in the following litanies, at the end of the fourth chapter.

 

A Prayer to be said by Subjects when the Land is invaded and overrun by barbarous or wicked People, enemies of the Religion or the Government.

I.

O eternal God, thou alone rulest in the kingdoms of men; thou art the great God of battles and recompenses; and by thy glorious wisdom, by thy almighty power, and by thy secret providence, dost determine the events of war, and the issues of human counsels, and the returns of peace and victory: now at last be pleased to let the light of thy countenance, and the effects of a glorious mercy and a gracious pardon, return to this land. Thou seest how great evils we suffer under the power and tyranny of war, and although we submit to and adore thy justice in our sufferings, yet be pleased to pity our misery, to hear our complaints, and to provide us of remedy against our present calamities; let not the defenders of a righteous cause go away ashamed, nor our counsels be for ever confounded, nor our parties defeated, nor religion suppressed, nor learning discountenanced, and we be spoiled of all the exterior ornaments, instruments, and advantages of piety, which thou hast been pleased formerly to minister to our infirmities, for the interests of learning and religion. Amen.

 

II.

We confess, dear God, that we have deserved to be totally extinct and separate from the communion of saints and the comforts of religion, to be made servants of ignorant, unjust, and inferior persons, or to suffer any other calamity which thou shalt allot us as the instrument of thy anger, whom we have so often provoked to wrath and jealousy. Lord, we humbly lie down under the burden of thy rod, begging of thee to remember our infirmities, and no more to remember our sins, to support us with thy staff, to lift us up with thy hand, to refresh us with thy gracious eye; and if a sad cloud of temporal infelicities must still encircle us, open unto us the window of heaven, that, with an eye of faith and hope, we may see beyond the cloud, looking upon those mercies which, in thy secret providence and admirable wisdom, thou designest to all thy servants from such unlikely and sad beginnings. Teach us diligently to do all our duty, and cheerfully to submit to all thy will; and, at last, be gracious to thy people that call upon thee, that put their trust in thee, that have laid up all their hopes in the bosom of God, that, besides thee, have no helper. Amen.

 

III.

Place a guard of angels about the person of the king, and immure him with the defence of thy right hand, that no unhallowed arm may do violence to him. Support him with aids from heaven in all his battles, trials, and dangers, that he may, in every instant of his temptation, become dearer to thee; and do thou return to him with mercy and deliverance. Give unto him the hearts of all his people, and put into his hand a prevailing rod of iron, a sceptre of power, and a sword of justice; and enable him to defend and comfort the churches under his protection.

 

IV.

Bless all his friends, relatives, confederates, and lieges, direct their counsels, unite their hearts, strengthen their hands, bless their actions. Give unto them holiness of intention, that they may, with much candour and ingenuity, pursue the cause of God and the king. Sanctify all the means and instruments of their purposes, that they may not with cruelty, injustice, or oppression, proceed towards the end of their just desires; and do thou crown all their endeavours with a prosperous event, that all may co-operate to, and actually produce, those great mercies which we bed of thee - honour and safety to our sovereign, defence of his just rights, peace to his people, establishment and promotion to religion, advantages and encouragement to learning and holy living, deliverance to all the oppressed, and comfort to all thy faithful people. Grant this, O King of kings, for his sake, by whom thou hast consigned us to all thy mercies and promises, and to whom thou hast given all power in heaven and earth, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

A Prayer to be said by Kings or Magistrates for themselves and their People.

O my God and King, thou rulest in the kingdoms of men; by thee kings reign, and princes decree justice; thou hast appointed me under thyself (and under my prince[190] ) to govern this portion of thy church, according to the laws of religion and the commonwealth. O Lord, I am but an infirm man, and know not how to decree certain sentences without erring in judgment; but do thou give to thy servant an understanding heart to judge this people, that I may discern between good and evil. Cause me to walk, before thee and all the people, in truth and righteousness, and in sincerity of heart, that I may not regard the person of the mighty, nor be afraid of his terror, nor despise the person of the poor, and reject his petition; but that, doing justice to all men, I and my people may receive mercy of thee, peace and plenty in our days, and mutual love, duty, and correspondence; that there be no leading into captivity, no complaining in our streets, but we may see the church in prosperity all our days, and religion established and increasing. Do thou establish the house of thy servant, and bring me to a participation of the glories of thy kingdom, for his sake, who is my Lord and King, the holy and ever blessed Saviour of the world, our Redeemer, Jesus. Amen.

 

A Prayer to be said by Parents for their Children.

O almighty and most merciful Father, who hast promised children as a reward to the righteous, and hast given them to me as a testimony of thy mercy, and an engagement of my duty, be pleased to be a Father unto them, and give them healthful bodies, understanding souls, and sanctified spirits, that they may be thy servants and thy children all their days. Let a great mercy and providence lead them through the dangers and temptations and ignorances of their youth, that they may never run into folly and the evils of an unbridled appetite. So order the accidents of their lives, that by good education, careful tutors, holy example, innocent company, prudent counsel, and thy restraining grace, their duty to thee may be secured in the midst of a crooked and untoward generation; and if it seem good in thy eyes, let me be enabled to provide conveniently for the support of their persons, that they may not be destitute and miserable in my death; or if thou shalt call me off from this world by a more timely summons, let their portion be, thy care, mercy, and providence over their bodies and souls; and may they never live vicious lives, nor die violent or untimely deaths; but let them glorify thee here with a free obedience, and the duties of a whole life, that when they have served thee in their generations, and have profited the Christian commonwealth, they may be coheirs with Jesus in the glories of thy eternal kingdom, through the same our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.

 

A Prayer to be said by Masters of Families, Curates, Tutors, or other obliged Persons, for their Charges.

O eternal God, thou fountain of justice, mercy, and benediction, who, by my education and other effects of thy providence, hast called me to this profession, that, by my industry, I may, in my small proportion, work together for the good of myself and others, I humbly beg thy grace to guide me in my intention, and in the transaction of my affairs, that I may be diligent, just, and faithful; and give me thy favour, that this my labour may be accepted by thee as a part of my necessary duty; and give me thy blessing to assist and prosper me in my calling to such measures as thou shalt, in mercy, choose for me; and be pleased to let thy Holy Spirit be for ever present with me, that I may never be given to covetousness and sordid appetites, to lying and falsehood, or any other base, indirect, and beggarly arts; but give me prudence, honesty, and Christian sincerity, that my trade may be sanctified by my religion, by labour, by my intention and thy blessing, that when I have done my portion of work thou hast allotted me, and improved the talent thou hast entrusted to me, and served the commonwealth in my capacity, I may receive the mighty price of my high calling, which I expect and beg, in the portion and inheritance of the ever-blessed Saviour and Redeemer, Jesus. Amen.

 

A Prayer to be said by Debtors, and all Persons obliged, whether by Crime or Contract.

O almighty God, who art rich unto all, the treasury and fountain of all good, of all justice, and all mercy, and all bounty, to whom we owe all that we are, and all that we have, being thy debtors by reason of our sins, and by thy own gracious contract made with us in Jesus Christ; teach me, in the first place to perform all my obligations to thee, both of duty and thankfulness; and next, enable me to pay my duty to all my friends, and my debts to all my creditors, that none be made miserable or lessened in his estate by his kindness to me, or traffic with me. Forgive me all those sins and irregular actions by which I entered into debt further than my necessity required, or by which such necessity was brought upon me; but let not them suffer by occasion of my sin. Lord, reward all their kindness into their bosoms, and make them recompense where I cannot, and make me very willing in all that I can, and able for all that I am obliged to; or, if it seem good in thine eyes to afflict me by the continuance of this condition, yet make it up by some means to them, that the prayer of thy servant may obtain of thee, at least, to pay my debt in blessings. Amen.

 

V.

Lord, sanctify and forgive all that I have tempted to evil by my discourse or my example, instruct them in the right way whom I have led to error, and let me never run further on the score of sin; but do thou blot out all the evils I have done by the sponge of thy passion, and the blood of thy cross, and give me a deep and an excellent repentance, and a free and a gracious pardon, that thou mayest answer for me, O Lord, and enable me to stand upright in judgment; for in thee, O Lord, have I trusted, let me never be confounded. Pity me and instruct me, guide me and support me, pardon me and save me, for my sweet Saviour Jesus Christís sake. Amen.

 

A Prayer for Patron and Benefactors.

O mighty God, thou fountain of all good, of all excellency both to men and angels, extend thine abundant favour and loving-kindness to my patron, to all my friends and benefactors; reward them and make them plentiful recompense for all the good which from thy merciful providence they have conveyed unto me. Let the light of thy countenance shine upon them, and let them never come into any affliction or sadness, but such as may be an instrument of thy glory and their eternal comfort. Forgive them all their sins; let thy divinest Spirit preserve them from all deeds of darkness; let thy ministering angels guard their persons from the violence of the spirits of darkness. And thou who knowest every degree of their necessity by thy infinite wisdom, give supply to all their needs by thy glorious mercy, preserving their persons, sanctifying their hearts, and leading them in the ways of righteousness, by the waters of comfort, to the land of eternal rest and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

 

 


The Classical Library, This HTML edition copyright ©2006.

 

 

Next Chapter

Table of Contents

Home
Authors
Titles
Keyword Search
Reference