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God? Thou art just and righteous in all thy ways, and though thou hast afflicted me sore, yet, blessed be thy holy name, I have not lost my hope, and I can yet pray, and I will trust in thee though I die; only be thou pleased to let this thy heavy hand efform in me the effects of grace, and conform me to the likeness of the holy Jesus, my dearest Saviour; that I may so bear the cross that I may never displease him, nor dishonour the excellent name of a Christian by which I am called.
I am, O my God, by the means of thy heavy hand, not only under the discipline, of a child, but have also obtained a new title to thy especial providence and protection; for thou art the patron of the poor, the helper of the friendless, the father of the fatherless, and the defender of the widows: and if these be the effects of thy anger, and that when thou smitest us, thy very strokes are healing, and thy displeasure is medicinal, what shall thy servant expect will be the effect of thy pardon and loving-kindness? but yet, O my Lord, help me in my duty, and though I have failed in all my relations hitherto, by my impatience and murmur, by my careless comportment and undutiful behaviour towards thee; yet now let my sad state of widowhood be a state of holiness and repentance, of devotion and a severe religion. Let me recollect my years in bitterness, and my soul in sorrow for my sins: let me have no affections for the things of this world; but let my hope and all my joy, my desires and my conversation be in heaven, and all my employment and care be how I may enjoy thee in holy and spiritual unions and adherences.
O Lord, I know that the way of man is not in himself: it is not in man that walketh, to direct his steps: I have often resolved to live innocently, and I have often broken all my holy purposes; and I cannot of myself think one good thought as of myself, but my sufficiency is of thee; thou art my strength: O preserve thy servant in my single state of widowhood, that I may never have any thought of change, till the day of my great change shall come: be thou, O God, a covering of the eyes unto thy handmaid; let me have no loves but thine, no affections but for thy service; and since
thou hast broken in pieces the holy band of conjugal society, which thy holy ordinance did tie between my dear lord and husband and thy handmaid, give me thy grace dearly to preserve his memory, to retain the impresses and remembrances of that affection, and to entertain no new ones; but wholly employ my time, my estate, and all my powers [in *bringing up my children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, in making fair and fitting provisions for them, in giving them good example] in bearing the burden of the Lord sweetly, in prayers and fastings, in alms and piety, in reading and meditating, in spiritual and sacramental communions, that when the work of my life is done, I may find pardon and favour, and acceptance at the hands of my Lord, and a portion among thy saints and servants.
If there be Children of both Sexes, let the following portion be added.
O my God, now thy servant hath taken upon me to speak to my Lord, let not my Lord be angry, nor reject the prayer of his servant, interceding and praying for my children, the pledges of my dear lord and husband: preserve them, O God, in the strictest duty and services to thyself: O be thou their God and Father, let thy providence be their portion, thy service their employment, thy angels their guards; keep them so by thy preventing and thy restraining grace, that they may not, by their own sins, provoke thee to anger and jealousy; and let not the sins of their forefathers be visited upon them in thy anger and displeasure: thou lovest to show mercy, and thou delightest in the affections of thy lovingkindness, and thou art displeased when our vilenesses constrain thee to pour down thy judgments on us. O be pleased to grant, that they living in holy obedience to thee, may feel a perpetual stream of mercy, refreshing and supporting them, and let them not bear another's burden, for thou art just and merciful, righteous and true, and hast sentenced every one to bear their own iniquity.
Great God of mercy, heal all the breaches of this family,
* If she have children, insert this within the crotchets.
preserve and increase the remaining comforts and advantages of it, support the estate, renew thy favour to it, and perpetually pour down thy blessings upon it; for the light of thy countenance and thy gracious influence does preserve and bless, support and nourish, honour and advance, persons, families, and kingdoms. Bless my eldest son; give him an obedient and a loving spirit, a provident and a wise heart, a worthy and a pious comportment, a blessed and an honourrable posterity: to my younger sons give health and holiness, wisdom, and fair fortunes, the love of God and good men: to my daughters give thy perpetual grace and favour, that they may live in honour and a severe chastity, free from sin and shame, from temptation and a snare, and let their portion be in the blessing, in the love and service of God. Let them live in the favour of God and man, useful to others, an honour to their family, a comfort to all their relatives and friends, and servants to thy divine Majesty.
Preserve me thy servant from all evil, lead me into all good; change my sorrows into comforts, my infirmity into spiritual strength; take all iniquity from me, and let thy servant never depart from thee. I am thine, O save me; I am thine, sanctify me and preserve me for ever; that neither life nor death, health nor sickness, prosperity nor adversity, weakness within nor cross accidents without, may ever separate me from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Amen, blessed Jesus, Amen.
OFFICES OR FORMS
PRAYER AND DEVOTION
MISERABLE AND AFFLICTED.
An Office to be said in the Days of Persecution of a Church, by sacrilegious or violent Persons.
Our Father which art in heaven, &c.
A Hymn petitory and complaining.
O GOD, the heathen are come into thine inheritance: thy holy temple have they defiled, and made Jerusalem an heap of stones.
The adversaries roar in the midst of the congregations: and set up their banners for tokens.
They have set fire upon thy holy places: and have defiled the dwelling places of thy name, even unto the ground.
They have destroyed all the carved work thereof; with axes and hammers.
Yea, they said in their hearts, Let us make havoc of them altogether: thus have they spoiled the houses of God in
O God, how long shall the adversary do this dishonour? how long shall the enemy blaspheme thy name; for ever?
Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom: for they have devoured Jacob, and laid waste his dwelling-place.
They have said, Come, and let us root them out, that they be no more a people: and that the name of Israel may more in remembrance.
Hold not thy tongue, O God; keep not still silence: refrain not thyself, O God, for they have cast their heads together with one consent, and are confederate against thee. They have taken crafty counsel against thy people: and consulted against thy hidden ones.
O Lord God of hosts, how long wilt thou be angry with thy people that prayeth?
Thou feedest them with the bread of tears: and givest them plenteousness of tears to drink.
Wilt thou be displeased at us for ever? and wilt thou stretch out thy wrath from one generation to another?
Wilt thou not turn again and quicken us, that thy people may rejoice in thee?
Will the Lord absent himself for ever? and will he be no more entreated? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? and is his promise come utterly to an end for evermore?
Hath God forgotten to be gracious? and will he shut up his loving-kindness in displeasure?
O do thou bring the wickedness of the ungodly to an end: but guide thou the just.
Bring down the ungodly and malicious: take away his iniquity, and thou shalt find none.
Show thy marvellous loving-kindness: thou that art the Saviour of them that put their trust in thee, from such as resist thy right hand.
So will not we go back from thee: quicken us, and we will call upon thy name.
Turn us again: O Lord God of hosts,
Cause thy face to shine: and we shall be saved.
Glory be to the Father, &c.
As it was in the beginning, &c.