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mend each other to our blessed Redeemer, in
Terms of Scripture, which a Council, held near 1200 Years ago ?, affirms to be used for this Purpose by the Direction of the Apostles, and may certainly well be used fo without it: The Lord be with you': And with thy Spirit : Then we make a direct Application to him, under the Names of Lord and Christ, repeating it thrice, as a Mark of our Earnestness, that he would have Mercy upon us : Words often addressed to him, when on Earth; often folemnly reiterated by the whole ancient Church, and spoken by the Latin Church in the orignal Greek of the New Testament, Kupie edeno OV ', but much more prudently translated by ours into English. '
This done, as before we subjoined the Lord's Prayer to our Confeffion, to obtain the Confirmation of our Pardon ; so now we prefix it to our Requests, as a Summary of our Desires. And surely saying it again at such a Distance, and with so different a View, cannot be thought a vain Repetition".
After these general Prayers, we express to God distinctly, in short Sentences, the several
9 Conc. Bracarense 1. A. D. 563. Can. xxi. 2 Theff.
jj. 16. s 2 Tim. iv. 22. * Matt. vi. 7.
Matt. xv. 22. XX. 30, 31.
Heads of the Supplications, which we are about to offer up more at large, for Peace, and Grace, for the King, the Clergy, and the People. And all these Sentences are conceived in Words taken from the Psalms : excepting one, Give Peace in our Time, O Lord; which hath a Reason added to it, by some thought improper ; Because there is none other that fightetb for us, but only thou, O God: whereas, say they, we often have others to fight for us; and if we had Him alone, why should we despond, and immediately pray for Peace upon it? But these Objectors utterly mistake our Meaning: which is, that whatever Help we have besides, we look upon it as nothing, without that of the Almighty; whom therefore we beg, in the Words which they unjustly blame, when we are in Peace, to continue it, by restraining such as would disturb it; and when we are not, to restore it, by turning the Hearts, or overthrowing the Attempts, of those who have infringed it.
In Consequence of these Preparations, the Petitions themselves follow : not in one long Prayer, but several short ones; which Method is certainly as lawful as the other; and, we think, more expedient.. It reminds us oftener of the Attributes of God, and Merits of Christ,
which are the Ground of our asking in Faith": and by the Frequency of saying, Amen, it stirs up our Attention, and warms our Devotion, which are too apt to languish. These fort Prayers have the Name of Collects : either from their collecting much good Matter, particularly out of Scripture, into a small Compass; or from their being originally composed for the People to use, when collected and assembled together. And the first of these Collects is, That for the Day. Besides the Lord's Day, which is the weekly Memorial of all God's Goodness to Us, and our Duty to Him, we have annual ones, to celebrate, not only the principal Parts of the History of Christ, but also the holy Lives and Deaths of his chief Followers, who are mentioned in the New Testament. For, as the Righteous are to be bad in everlasting Remembrance *; and the Epistle to the Hebrews particularly directed the first Christians to reinember them, which had had the Rule over them, who had spoken unto them the Word of Gods: as they did accordingly pay distinguished Honours to the Memories of the Apostles, Evangelists and Martyrs: and as the Church of Rome, which had gone much too far in this ** James i. 6. Pf. exii. 6. Heb. xiji. 7.
Matter, would notwithstanding have had a great Advantage against us, if we had neglected it intirely; we do therefore, on the Days, which bear their Names, read Portions of holy Writ relating to them, return Thanks to God for their Labours and Example; and beg, that we may profit suitably by them. This then makes a considerable Proportion of the variable Collects. The rest are appointed, one for each Sunday and Week in the Year. And the Intention, however imperfectly executed, must have been, that sometimes praying more explicitely for this Grace or Mercy, sometimes for that, we may be likelier to obtain, through God's Goodness, all that are needful for us.
The Objection, that our Service is taken from the Popish, affects chiefly the Collects. But those of ours, which are the same with theirs, are mostly derived from Prayer-Books, brought over in the Days of that Pope, by whose Means our Saxon Ancestors were converted to Christianity, above 1100 Years ago : and they were old ones then ; much older, than the main Errors of Popery. However, partly at, and partly fince, the Reformation, such of the Collects in those Books, as wanted and deferved it, have been carefully corrected; many, that were thought
improper, improper, quite removed ; and new ones framed in their Stead. But why should those be changed, which are both faultless in themselves, and recommended by venerable Antiquity ? . After the Collect for the Day, come two constant ones, to be used every Day, for Peace and Grace: general Words, comprehending between them all Blessings, temporal and spiritual. In the former, which is translated from the ancient Latin Offices, we beseech God, in the Knowledge of whom flandeth our Hope of eternal Life hereafter, and whose Service, in proportion as we improve in it, gives us here perfe&t Freedom from the Tyranny of Sin, and the Stings of an evil Conscience, would likewise so defend us in all Alfaults of our outward
Enemies, that trusting in Him, we may not fear · Them. Thus we embolden ourselves from the
Consideration of his greater Mercies, to hope for the leffer : In Imitation of the Apostle's Reasoning, He that spared not his own Son, but delivered bin up for us, how small be not will him also freely give us all Things 2? The latter of these Collects is not taken from the Roman, but principally from the Greek Service, as others cf our Prayers besides are: the Compilers of z Rom. vii. 32.