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our Liturgy prudently extracting, from both, what was proper to enrich and add Authority to the Work, in which they were engaged. And it begs that Protection of God more especially for the present Day, which the former begs in general : but above all, that we may fall into no Sin even undesignedly, much less run into any Kind of Danger of it wilfully, but do always what is righteous in his Sight.
After these Collects, follows, on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the Litany. But I shall speak of that hereafter, God willing; and proceed now with the stated Service of the other Days of the Week: in which, having put up the before-mentioned Prayers for ourselves, we begin our Intercessions for other Perfons; and
first for the King, as fupreme * : in Obedience to - the Apostle's Injunctions, and in Imitation of
the primitive Christians, even while they lived under Heathen Emperors. The Duties of that Station being very important and difficult, and the Hazards of erring and sinning in it many and great, We therefore pray Him, who is the only Ruler of the Heart and Conduct of Princes, and beholds the State of all the Dwellers in their Dominions every where on Earth, to replenisli * 1 Pet. ii. 13.
Tim. ii. 1.
aur Sovereign, both with the Graces and the Gifts, needful for him: to grant him long to live in Health and Wealtb; that is, Prosperity; as we pray God, in the Litany, to deliver us in all Time of our Tribulation, in all Time of our Wealth ; to strengthen him, that he may overcome all bis Enemies, all that wilh ill to Him or his People ; and finally to bestow on him everLafling Felicity.
Then, because the Royal Family are the future Hopes of the Public, and in the mean while their whole Behaviour is of very great Consequence to it: we apply more distinctly than the ancient Church did, but surely with Reason, to the Fountain of all Goodness, who therefore is able to supply the Branches, as well as the Root, for such Blessings on every Branch, especially the principal by Name, as their Condition requires. : After this, we pray for the whole Clergy and, People of our Land: that he, who alone worketh. great Marvels;, who hath in all Ages marvellously protected his Church against the Devil and wicked Men; who endued his Apostles with marvellous and miraculous Gifts on the Day of Pentecost, and by their Means many others; who doth and ever will produce mar
yellous Effects on the Hearts of Believers by the Ministry of his Word and Sacraments, and who only can do such Things; would send down the healthful, that is, the healing, strengthening and saving, Spirit of his Grace, on all Bishops and Curates; Persons, to whom the Cure or Çare of Souls is intrusted ; for this the Word, Curate, fignifies throughout the Prayer Book, not merely those Ministers who affist the proper Incumbent; and likewise on all Congregations committed to their Charge. And we further beseech him not only to bestow on them at first good Dispositions ; but (that they may truly and lastingly please bim) pour upon them his continual Blessing, like a kindly Dew descending from above. For neither is be that planteth any Thing, neither be that wateretb, but God, that giveth the Increase
Next to this, in the Time of War, we address ourselves to the Almighty Governor of all Things, whose Justice in puniflsing us Sinners with this Evil we acknowledge, and whose Mercy to deliver us from it, on our true Repentance, we hope for, and cannot hope for it elfe : complaining of the Pride and Malice of our Enemies ; of which they must be guilty, if
1 Cor. iii. 7.
the War on our Side be lawful, otherwise there would be Peace : and in the genuine Spirit of Christianity intreating, that the one may be abated, the other aswaged; which is praying for Them, as well as ourselves. And till they suffer their Dispositions to be mended, We beg that their Devices and Enterprizes may be confounded: which Word, as dreadful as it sounds too often in passionate common Speech, means here no more than, disappointed : and this is the worst we wish, even to those who hate us and despitefully use us d.
There is also appointed a very fit Prayer to be read during the Session of Parliament, for a Blessing on their Consultations. But here it may be asked, how the Compilers of it could venture to call in it every one of our Kings, in all Time to come, most religious. Now certainly they did not intend to prophesy, that, in the common Meaning of the Word, they always would be fo: nor yet to require, that we should call them so in a Sense, that'was not true. And therefore they must either mean by Religious, (what it sometimes means in the Language, from which it is derived, the Object of most awful Regard, sacred, a Title freMatt. y. 44.
quently ascribed to Kings: or indeed rather, most religious must be understood in the same Manner, as the next Word to it, Gracious, constantly is, without the least Difficulty or Scruple, both in the Liturgy and out of it; and as the Titles, most Christian, and, most Catholic are ; to denote the good Qualities, which Princes profess, and should have; and therefore their Subjects are willing and ought to hope they have; and by reminding them, endeavour that they may have. Accordingly this very Epithet, most religious, was constantly ascribed to all suc'cessive Emperors in St. Chryfoftom's and St. Bafil's Liturgies, the common ones of the Greek Church, as it is to all successive Kings in ours. The Intention being thus cleared, the Lawfulness of joining in the Expression is evident. In the Prudence of chusing it originally we are less concerned. Yet in Defence of that we may plead, that this Prayer was composed and originally used in the Reign of a Prince, acknowledged to be unfeignedly religious, King Charles the first. And whatever Scruples have been raised concerning the Propriety of this part of 'it in some Reigns since, happily there is no Room for them in the present. • See Wilkins Conc. Vol. 4. p. 539.