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of their God: they ask of me the ordinances of justice: they take delight in approaching to God.
Wherefore have we fasted, say they, and thou seest not? wherefore have we afflicted our soul, and thou takest no knowledge? Behold, in the day of your fast ye find pleasure, and exact all your labors.
Behold, ye fast for strife and debate, and to smite with the fist of wickedness: ye shall not fast as ye do this day, to make your voice to be heard on high.
Is it such a fast that I have chosen? a day for a man to afflict his soul? is it to bow down his head as a bulrush, and to spread sackcloth and ashes under him? wilt thou call this a fast, and an acceptable day to the Lord?
Is not this the fast that I have chosen? to loose the bands of wickedness, to undo the heavy burdens, and to let the oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?
Is it not to deal thy bread to the hungry, and that thou bring the poor that are cast out to thy house? when thou seest the naked, that thou cover him; and that thou hide not thyself from thine own flesh?
Then shall thy light break forth as the morning, and thine health shall spring forth speedily: and thy righteousness shall go before thee; the glory of the Lord shall be thy rereward.
Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer; thou shalt cry, and he shall say, Here I am. If thou take away from the midst of thee the yoke, the putting forth of the finger, and speaking vanity;
And if thou draw out thy soul to the hungry, and satisfy the afflicted soul; then shall thy light rise in obscurity, and thy darkness be as the noonday:
And the Lord shall guide thee continually, and satisfy thy soul in drought: and thou shalt be like a watered garden, and like a spring of water, whose waters fail not.
And they that shall be of thee shall build the old waste places thou shalt raise up the foundations of many genera
tions; and thou shalt be called, The repairer of the breach, The restorer of paths to dwell in.
If thou turn away thy foot from doing thy pleasure on my holy day; and call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honorable; and shalt honor him, not doing thine own ways, nor finding thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words:
Then shalt thou delight thyself in the Lord; and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth: for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it.
O THOU, our Heavenly Father and Almighty King, who rulest justly over all, and whose nature it is to have mercy, graciously hearken to our cry, and pardon us all our iniquities. Incline our hearts to confess and mourn the sins we have committed, and to forsake all that we confess; and those that we do thus acknowledge and put away from us, wilt thou, we beseech thee, forgive. Turn thou us, O holy Lord, and we shall be turned. Cleanse thou us, and we shall be clean. Be favorable to thy people, who look to thee in fasting and praying, and help them so to watch and fast and pray, as not to enter into temptation. Thou art a merciful God, full of compassion, long-suffering, and of great pity. Spare thy people, and visit them not in judgment according to their offences. Pardon us all our injustices and infirmities, our irreverence and uncharitableness, our pride and selfishness, and every kind of transgression. Help us, O Lord, who hast created us fearfully and wonderfully, help us to keep under our bodies and bring them into subjection, that all their vile lusts and inordinate appetites may be mortified and subdued to the spirit.
O thou who art the Lord of lords and King of kings, we humbly beseech thee for our country, that it may be still blessed and prospered by the good God of our fathers; that
thou wouldst be pleased to preserve and extend its liberties, to purify and maintain its laws, to cause order, industry, contentment, and peace to prevail among all i inhabitants. Be pleased to direct all the consultations of our law-makers, in the nation and in the commonwealth. Rule thou in righteousness among the rulers, and judge among the judges. Deliver us from the mischiefs of sedition, party spirit, maliciousness, and rebellion. And let all things be so ordered, under thy wise and perfect government, that truth and equity, concord and happiness, virtue and religion, may be established upon sure foundations, and stand fast in our heritage for ages to come.
Almighty and Everlasting God, we thine unworthy creatures are strangers and pilgrims on the earth, as all our fathers were. Regard very tenderly, we entreat thee, our low and feeble estate. Send us strength while we live; support us in sickness, and prepare us to die. We ask thee, if it may be thy holy will, to make the earth continue to yield her fruits in their season; to send the early and latter rain, to bless the springing thereof, and to be to the husbandman the joy of harvest. Bless every kind of honest and rightful labor, and stretch out thy wide protection over the ocean and the land. Save us from pestilence and from famine. And dispose all thy children to use thy bounties with moderation, temperance, and thankfulness.
Father of all the families of the earth, send now the blessing of thy Holy Spirit into all our homes. Fill them with. the fruits of Christian love. May Christ Jesus thy Son be received and revered and trusted everywhere, as that gracious and blessed Saviour, whom to know aright is life eternal, whose blood cleanseth from all sin, and who hath brought life and immortality to light. And through him unto thee, O Father, be rendered all honor and power and praise, now and for evermore!
Most merciful and righteous Father, who hast taught us
that, if we, through the spirit, do mortify the deeds of the body, we shall live, and who hast commanded us not to be weary nor faint in our minds striving against sin, bring us this day to a true humiliation, and deliver us from evil. Stand at our right hand, we beseech thee, and work with our hearts, that we may overcome in the time of our temptation; and being graciously absolved from all our iniquity, made clean from its corruption, loosed from its burden, may we pass our time in quietness and holy trust here on earth, and finally obtain everlasting life, through our Lord and Saviour, the only Mediator and Advocate. Amen.
SERVICE FOR A NATIONAL ANNIVERSARY.
[When such anniversary falls on a Sunday, and not on the fifth Sunday after Whitsunday, the Psalms for that fifth Sunday may be read, by exchange with those appointed for the day when it so falls.]
THOU whose throne is in the heavens, God of all nations, who puttest down one and settest up another, who art the Ruler of all the armies of earth and skies, and whose kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting, as thou hast dealt with this people beyond all their deserving, and multiplied thy mercies to us notwithstanding our offences, so we humbly entreat thee still to show thy loving-kindness, by turning us from every false and evil and unjust way; to lighten our darkness, to deliver us from perplexity and peril, to unite all our hearts in a wise and faithful respect both for our liberties and our laws, to keep ever open among us the fountains of knowledge, charity, and grace, to give us peace and prosperity, and to exalt us by righteousness: and this we ask through him who, of thine infinite goodness, is made unto us righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.