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PRAYERS AND THANKSGIVINGS UPON
1. WHEN are these occasional prayers and thanksgivings to be used?
To be used before the two final Prayers of the Litany, or of Morning and Evening Prayer.
2. What necessity is there for these occasional prayers Though the various miseries of mankind are exactly enumerated in the Litany, yet, at times, particular evils lie so heavy upon us, that it is necessary we should have solemn forms for particular occasions.
3. What was Solomon's expectation on this point?
That there would be special prayers made in the temple in time of war, drought, pestilence, or famine. (1 Kings viii. 33. 35. 37. 44.)
1. Repeat the prayer for rain.
O GOD, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hast promised to all them that seek thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance; Send us, we beseech thee, in this our necessity, such moderate rain and showers, that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort, and to thy honour; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. What has God promised to all them that seek his kingdom and the righteousness thereof?
All things necessary for their bodily sustenance. "Seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you." (Matt. vi. 33.)
3. What do we beseech God to send us?
Such moderate rain that we may receive the fruits of the earth to our comfort and to God's honour. "He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruits of thy works. He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man, that he may bring forth food out of the earth, and wine that
maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Ps. civ. 13, 14.)
1. Repeat the prayer for fair weather.
O ALMIGHTY Lord God, who for the sin of man didst once drown all the world, except eight persons, and afterward of thy great mercy didst promise never to destroy it so again; We humbly beseech thee, that although we for our iniquities have worthily deserved a plague of rain and waters, yet upon our true repentance thou wilt send us such weather, as that we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season; and learn both by, thy punishment to amend our lives, and for thy clemency to give thee praise and glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Shew how God did for the sin of man once drown all the world except eight persons.
"And the waters prevailed exceedingly upon the earth: and all the high hills that were under the whole heaven were covered. And every substance was destroyed which was upon the face of the ground, both man, and cattle, and creeping things, and the fowl of the heaven, and they were destroyed from the earth: and Noah only remained alive, and they that were with him in the ark." (Gen. vii. 18. 23.)
3. Shew that God did promise never to destroy it so again. "And I will establish my covenant with you, neither shall all flesh be cut off any more by the waters of a flood to destroy the earth." (Gen. ix. 11.)
4. Why may we consider a plague of rain and waters as a punishment for our iniquities?
Drought, excessive rain, famine, war, plagues, and pestilence, are amongst the most dreadful visitations of Almighty God, and are sent to bring man to repentance. "For when thy judgments are in the earth the inhabitants of the earth will learn righteousness." (Isa. xxvi. 19.)
5. What may we hope for if we repent of our iniquities?
Such weather as that we may receive the fruits of the earth in due season. "So shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine." (Prov. iii. 10.)
6. What lesson should we learn from God's punishment?
To amend our lives. "Before I was afflicted I went wrong, but now have I kept thy word." (Ps. cxix. 67.)
7. What return should we make for his clemency?
Give Him praise and glory. "Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me praise his holy name; who satisfieth thy mouth with good things, so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Ps. ciii. 1. 5.)
1. Repeat the first prayer in the time of dearth and famine. O GOD, heavenly Father, whose gift it is, that the rain doth fall, the earth is fruitful, beasts increase, and fishes do multiply; Behold, we beseech thee, the afflictions of thy people; and grant that the scarcity and dearth, which we do now most justly
suffer for our iniquity, may through thy goodness be mercifully turned into cheapness and plenty; for the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory, now and for ever. Amen.
2. By whose gift is it that the earth is fruitful, beasts increase, and fishes do multiply?
By the gift of God. "For the earth is the Lord's, and the fulness thereof; the world, and they that dwell therein." (Ps. xxiv. 1.) 3. What do we beseech Him to behold?
The afflictions of his people. "Look upon my adversity and misery, and forgive me all my sin." (Ps. xxv. 17.)
4. Into what do we pray the scarcity we suffer for our iniquities may be turned ?
Into cheapness and plenty. "Then shall he give the rain for thy seed, that thou shalt sow the ground withal, and bread of the increase of the earth, and it shall be fat and plenteous; in that day shalt thy cattle feed in large pastures." (Isa. xxx. 23.)
5. For whose sake do we pray God to grant this?
For the love of Jesus Christ our Lord, to whom with the Holy Ghost we ascribe all honour and glory. "Unto him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hast made us kings and priests unto God and his Father, to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever, Amen." (Rev. i. 5, 6.)
1. Repeat the second prayer for the time of dearth and famine.
O GOD, merciful Father, who, in the time of Elisha the prophet, didst suddenly in Samaria turn great scarcity and dearth into plenty and cheapness; Have mercy upon us, that we, who are now for our sins punished with like adversity, may likewise find a seasonable relief: Increase the fruits of the earth by thy heavenly benediction; and grant that we, receiving thy bountiful liberality, may use the same to thy glory, the relief of those that are needy, and our own comfort; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. What did God bring to pass in Samaria in the time of Elisha the prophet?
A great dearth and famine, “until an ass's head was sold for fourscore pieces of silver" (2 Kings vi. 25); and did turn this great dearth into plenty, "so a measure of fine flour was sold for a shekel, and two measures of barley for a shekel, according to the word of the Lord." (2 Kings vii. 16.)
3. When we are punished for our sins with like adversity, for what should we pray?
For a seasonable relief. "If, when evil come upon us, as the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we stand before this house and in thy presence (for thy name is in this house), and cry unto thee in our affliction, then thou wilt hear and help.” (2 Chron. xx. 9.) 4. When we have received God's bounteous liberality, in what manner should we use the same?
To the glory of God, and the good of man. "And thou shalt rejoice before the Lord thy God, thou, and thy son, and thy daughter, and thy manservant, and thy maidservant, and the Levite that is within thy gates, and the stranger, and the fatherless, and the widow that are among you." (Deut. xvi. 11.)
1. Repeat the prayer to be used in time of war and tumults. O ALMIGHTY God, King of all kings, and Governour of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful to them that truly repent; Save and deliver us, we humbly beseech thee, from the hands of our enemies; abate their pride, asswage their malice, and confound their devices; that we, being armed with thy defence, may be preserved evermore from all perils, to glorify thee, who art the only giver of all victory; through the merits of thy only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Shew that no power is able to resist Almighty God. "Whatsoever the Lord pleased that did he in heaven, and in earth, in the sea, and all deep places." (Ps. xxxv. 6.)
3. Shew that it belongeth unto God to punish sinners.
"Vengeance is mine: I will repay, saith the Lord." (Rom. xii. 19.)
4. Prove that God is merciful to them that truly repent.
"Rend your hearts and not your garments, and turn unto the Lord your God; for he is gracious and merciful, slow to anger, and of great kindness, and repenteth him of the evil." (Joel ii. 13.) 5. From what do we beseech God to deliver us?
From the hands of our enemies. "O, my God, I trust in Thee: let me not be ashamed, let not mine enemies triumph over me." (Ps. xxv. 2.)
6. Why do we beseech Him to abate their pride, assuage their malice, and confound their devices?
Because "the Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought, he maketh the devices of the people of none effect." (Ps. xxxiii. 10.)
7. When we are armed with God's defence, from what may we hope to be preserved ?
From all perils; to glorify God, the Giver of all victory. Lord preserveth all them that love him, but all the wicked will he destroy: my mouth shall speak the praise of the Lord, and let all flesh bless his holy name for ever." (Ps. cxlv. 20, 21.)
1. Repeat the prayer to be used
In the time of any common Plague or Sickness.
O ALMIGHTY God, who in thy wrath didst send a plague upon thine own people in the wilderness, for their obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron; and also, in the time of king David, didst slay with the plague of Pestilence threescore and ten thousand, and yet remembering thy mercy didst save the rest;
Have pity upon us miserable sinners, who now are visited with great sickness and mortality; that like as thou didst then accept of an atonement, and didst command the destroying Angel to cease from punishing, so it may now please thee to withdraw from us this plague and grievous sickness; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
2. Where do we find the account of the obstinate rebellion against Moses and Aaron ?
In Numbers xvi.
3. Where is the account of the plague in the time of king David?
In 2 Sam. xxiv.
4. Why do we beseech God to have mercy upon us miserable sinners, when we are visited with great sickness and mortality?
Because we know that "he will regard the prayer of the poor destitute, and will not despise their prayer." (Ps. cii. 17.)
5. What caused the destroying angel to cease from punishing in the case of the rebellion against Moses, and also of the numbering the people by David ?
The atonement and sacrifices which were offered by the people.
6. What atonement and sacrifices will induce God to withdraw the plague and sickness from us?
"The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise." (Ps. li. 17.)
1. Repeat the Rubric concerning the prayer to be used in the Ember weeks.
In the Ember Weeks, to be said every day, for those that are to be admitted into Holy Orders.
2. What is the meaning of the word Ember?
Some suppose it to signify ashes; some, abstinence; some, that it means circuit or course: so that these fasts, returning every year in certain courses, may properly be said to be Ember days, or fasts
3. When are the Ember days?
They are the Wednesday, Friday, and Saturday after the first Sunday in Lent; also the same days after Whit-Sunday, the 14th of September, and 13th of December; and the weeks in which they fall are called the Ember weeks.
4. What is appointed to be done at these seasons?
By the 31st canon it is enjoined, that deacons and ministers be ordained only upon Sundays immediately following the Ember fasts.
1. Repeat the first prayer to be used in Ember weeks.
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, who hast purchased to thyself an universal Church by the precious blood of thy dear Son; Mercifully look upon the same, and at this time so guide and govern the minds of thy servants the Bishops and Pastors