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If the prayers have any merit as helps to devotion, it is entirely due to their source, which is the Word of God. If they fail in their purpose in any particular, the fault is mine, and I trust that such failure will not deter more gifted labourers in this field from pursuing the task which I have attempted. It may be that the imperfections of this work, may even draw out for the first time those who in their desire to improve on my attempt may attain to true success. God grant it may be so, if the object I have in view be effected, and the Church of Christ be thus enriched by more valuable contributions to its treasury of devotional forms.
With the exception of the opening prayers, morning and evening (which are the only prayers repeated), and some few others, the prayers in this book have, so to speak, sprung up out of the soil of Holy Scripture. It was not that a subject was selected and Scripture sought for to suit it, but the subject itself, and the form of expression, arose out of the study of the Word of God, and after they were written (or I may say found), they were arranged into the order in which they are now presented. *
The advantages of this method, as it appears to me, are: (1) That the words of the prayers are familiar to all who know their Bible. (2) That the danger is lessened both of vagueness in the supplications offered, and of
In some instances I have followed the Revised Version of the Scriptures rather than the Authorised Version, as more clearly expressing the sense.
superfluous language, by which the Scripture is often diluted. (3) That a greater variety of subject is ensured, which is calculated to keep alive the interest and attention, as well as to extend the field of prayer.
Any one who has thoughtfully studied the prayers in our dear old Book of Common Prayer will, I think, have noticed in them the following features : (1) clearness and brevity of expression; (2) a close connection between doctrine and practice; (3) the correspondence between the address and the supplication, and (4) the tone of reverent love and worship which pervades them. These prayers of the Prayer-Book have been my models in the present work, when putting into precatory forms the Scripture subjects selected in the manner I have mentioned. It is easy to see the difficulty of following such beautiful examples, but I think they are worth following, even a long way off. I say they have been my models, but no one knows better than the student who tries to catch the beauty of a great picture, what is the distance between the original and the copy : the inexperienced eye may be struck with the resemblance, when he sees little else than the points of failure. In this book I have not introduced any of the prayers from the Prayer Book, preferring to leave them undisturbed in the holy associations of the Sanctuary of God, and to the use for which they were intended.
ARRANGEMENT OF THE BOOK.
I have opened the morning and evening devotions of each day with the 'Prayer of prayers' dictated by the Lord Himself, thus giving it a precedence to which I think it is entitled, and which is given to it in some of the most ancient liturgies. I have also separated the morning from the evening prayers, as it frequently happens that they are read in different rooms, and there is danger in that case, when they immediately follow each other in the book, of the wrong prayers being read.
I have not made these prayers in the form of a service with responses (although I should like very much to have done so, such being most in accordance with my original design), because I have always observed great difficulty in getting the responses to such services taken up by a family in household worship.
I may plead, as an excuse for the defects of the book, the fact that it was prepared in the short intervals of leisure afforded in a very busy professional life. Such as it is, I offer it to my brethren in the Church, with the prayer that it may be blessed by the great Head of the Church Himself in helping the devotion of the Christian household.
HOME PRAYER BOOK.
THE LORD'S PRAYER.
OUR FATHER, which art in heaven, Hallowed be Thy Name. Thy Kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our trespasses, as we forgive them that trespass against us.
And lead us not into temptation ; But deliver us from evil: For Thine is the kingdom, the power, and the glory, For ever and ever. Amen.
BENEDICTIONS. THE grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all
The peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep our hearts and minds in the knowledge and love of God, and of His Son Jesus Christ our Lord : and the blessing of God Almighty, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, be amongst us and remain with us always. Amen.
• Our Father,' etc.
O MERCIFUL FATHER, Who at the creation of the world didst in love and wisdom set apart a day of rest for the welfare of our souls, and the refreshment of our bodies; enable us to use this gift, so mercifully bestowed, to our spiritual profit, and to Thy glory, and may each return of this holy day remind us of the rest that remaineth for the people of God, unto which rest may we at last attain, through the merits of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O GOD, Who hast taught us by Thy Holy Word to remember that Jesus Christ of the seed of David was raised from the dead; be with us this Lord's Day as we commemorate that great event, and may the remembrance of it fill us with love, joy, and peace in believing, through the same Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
FOR THE UNGODLY. (THE LOST SHEEP.)
O LORD JESUS, the Good Shepherd, Who didst lay down Thy life for the sheep; gather into Thy fold the lost ones, who are now wandering from Thee, and turning away from Thy love; and as Thou bearest them back to Thy