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When the minister who readeth shall judge it necessary to expound any part of what is read, let it not be done until the whole chapter or psalm be ended; and regardis always to be had unto the time, that neither preaching, nor other ordinances, be straitened, or rendered tedious. Which rule is to be observed in all other publick performances.
Beside publick reading of the holy scriptures, every pe. son that can read, is to be exhorted to read the scriptures privately, (and all others that cannot read, if not disabled by age, or otherwise, are likewise to be exhorted to leam to read,) and to have a Bible.
Of Publick Prayer before the Sermon,
AFool reading of the word, (and singing of the psalm) .* the minister who is to preach, is to endeavour to go his own and his hearers hearts to be rightly affected will their sins, that they may all mourn in sense thereof before the Lord, and hunger and thirst after the grace of God in Jesus Christ, by proceeding to a more full confession of sin,
with shame and holy confusion of face, and to call upon
the Lord to this effect:
“To acknowledge our great sinfulness, First, by reason |
“ of original sin, which (beside the guilt that makes us liable “ to everlasting damnation) is the seed of all other sins,hat “ depraved and poisoned all the faculties and powers of soul “ and body, doth defile our best actions, and (were it not
“restrained, or our hearts renewed by grace) would break ||
“ forth into innumerable transgressions, and greatest rebel. “ lions against the Lord that ever were committed by th: “ vilest of the sons of men. And next, by reason of actual “ sins, our own sins, the sins of magistrates, of ministers, “ and of the whole nation, unto which we are many Ways “ accessory: which sins of ours receive many fearful aggro“vations, we having broken all the commandments of the “ holy, just, and good law of God, doing that which is for “ bidden, and leaving undone what is enjoined; and that
“ not only out of ignorance and infirmity, but also more
“ presumptuously, against the light of our minds, checks of
“our consciences, and motions of his own Holy Spirit to the - “contrary,
“contrary, so that we have no cloak for our sins; yea, not “only despising the riches of God's goodness, forbearance, “and long-suffering, but standing out against many invita-: “tions and offers of grace in the gospel; not endeavouring, “as we ought, to receive Christ into our hearts by faith, , “or to walk worthy of him in our lives. “To bewail our blindness of mind, hardness of heart, o “unbelief, impenitency, security, lukewarmness, barren“ness; our not endeavouring after mortification and new“ness of life, nor after the exercise of godliness in the pow“er thereof; and that the best of us have not so stedfastly “walked with God, kept our garments so unspotted, nor “been so zealous of his glory, and the good of others, as * “we ought: and to mourn over such other sins as the #5 “congregation is particularly guilty of, notwithstanding the o “manifold and great mercies of our God, the love of Christ, o “the light of the gospel, and reformation of religion, our o “own purposes, promises, vows, solemn covenant, and . * “other’special obligations to the contrary. “To acknowledge and confess, that, as we are convinced ... “ of our guilt, so, out of a deep sense thereof, we judge * “ourselves unworthy of the smallest benefits, most worthy “of God's fiercest wrath, and of all the curses of the law, o “and heaviest judgments inflicted upon the most rebellious “sinners; and that he might most justly take his kingdom “ and gospel from us, plague us with all sorts of spiritual and “temporal judgments in this life, and after cast us into utter “darkness, in the lake that burneth with fire and brimstone, o, “where is weeping and gnashing of teeth for evermore. * “ Notwithstanding all which, to draw near to the throne o “of grace, encouraging ourselves with hope of a gracious so “answer of our prayers, in the riches and all-sufficiency of to “that only one oblation, the satisfaction and intercession of “the Lord Jesus Christ, at the right hand of his Father and “our Father; and in confidence of the exceeding great and “precious promises of mercy and grace in the new covenant, through the same Mediator thereof, to deprecate the heavy * “wrath and curse of God, which we are not able to avoid, o “ or bear; and humbly and earnestly to supplicate for merey, o “in the free and full remission of all our sins, and that only Z 2 “ for
“for the bitter sufferings and precious merits of that Our
“ the fulness of the Gentiles, the fall of Antichrist, and the
“hastening of the second coming of our Lord; for the do. “liverance of the distressed churches abroad from the ty. “ranny of the antichristian faction, and from the cruelo). “pressions and blasphemies of the Turk; for the blessing
“ of God upon all the reformed churches, especially upol'
“ the churches and kingdoms of Scotland, Éngland, and “Ireland, now more strictly and religiously united in the
“Solemn National League and Covenant; and for Our ||
“ plantations in the remote parts of the world: more par. “ticularly for that church and kingdom whereof we ar: “members, that therein God would establish peace an “truth, the purity of all his ordinances, and the power of “godliness; prevent and remove heresy, schism, prosant. “ness, superstition, security, and unfruitfulness under the “means of grace; heal all our rents and divisions, and
“preserve us from breach of our Solemn Covenant.
“To pray for all in authority, especially for the King's “Majesty; that God would make him rich in blessings, both “in his person and government; establish his throne in re“ligion and righteousness, save him from evil counsel, and “make him a blessed and glorious instrument for the cono “servation and propagation of the gospel, for the encourageo “ment and protection of them that do well, the terror of o “all that do evil, and the great good of the whole church, o “and of all his kingdoms : for the conversion of the Queen, the religious education of the Prince, and the rest of the o “royal seed; for the comforting the afflicted Queen of Bo“hemia, sister to our sovereign; and for the restitution and o “establishment of theillustrious Prince Charles, Elector Pa“latine of the Rhine, to all his dominions and dignities; for “ablessing upon the High Court of Parliament, (when sit“ 4: ... : - * : i:4-
is “ting in any of these kingdoms respectively,) the nobility, “the subordinate judges and magistrates, the gentry, and all “the commonality; for all pastors and teachers, that God “would fill them with his Spirit, make them exemplarily “holy, sober, just, peaceable, and gracious in their lives; “sound, faithful, and powerful in their ministry; and fol. “low all their labours with abundance of success and bless“ing; and give unto all his people pastors according to his
... “own heart; for the universities, and all schools and reli... “gious seminaries of church and commonwealth, that they “may flourish more and more in learning and piety; for the “particular city or congregation, that God would pour out “a blessing upon the ministry of the word, sacraments, and “discipline, upon the civil government, and all the several “families and persons therein ; for mercy to the afflicted “under any inward or outward distress; for seasonable “weather, and fruitful seasons, as the time may require; for “averting the judgments that we either feel or fear, or are “liable unto, as famine, pestilence, the sword, and such like. , “And, with confidence of his mercy to his whole church, “ and the acceptance of our persons, through the merits and “mediation of our High Priest, the Lord Jesus, to profess “ that it is the desire of our souls to have fellowship with “God in the reverend and conscionable use of his holy ordi“nances; and, to that purpose, to pray earnestly for his Z 3 “grace
“grace and effectual assistance to the sanctification of his
“And because we have been unprofitable hearers intimes
“past, and now cannot of ourselves receive, as we should,
“ner furnish his servant (now called to dispense the bread ||
“ of life unto his household) with wisdom, fidelity, zeal,and
publick prayer; yet so, as the minister may defer (as impril;
fence he shall think meet) some part of these rio,till