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a holy succession in the prophets of the New Testament and fathers of the Church, from the time of the apostles and disciples which saw our Saviour in the flesh, unto the consummation of the work of the ministry; which persons are called from God by gift, or inward anointing; and the vocation of God followed by an outward calling and ordination of the Church.
I believe, that the souls of such as die in the Lord are blessed, and rest from their labours, and enjoy the sight of God, yet so, as they are in expectation of a farther revelation of their glory in the last day. At which time all flesh of man shall arise and be changed, and shall appear and receive from Jesus Christ his eternal judgment; and the glory of the saints shall then be full: and the kingdom shall be given up to God the Father: from which time all things shall continue for ever in that being and state, which then they shall receive. So as there are three times, if times they may be called, or parts of eternity: The first, the time before beginnings, when the Godhead was only, without the being of any creature: the second, the time of the mystery, which continueth from the creation to the dissolution of the world: and the third, the time of the revelation of the sons of God; which time is the last, and is everlasting without change.
A PRAYER, OR PSALM,
MADE BY THE
LORD BACON, CHANCELLOR OF ENGLAND.
Most gracious Lord God, my merciful Father, from my youth up, my Creator, my Redeemer, my Comforter. Thou, O Lord, soundest and searchest the depths and secrets of all hearts: thou acknowledgest the upright of heart: thou judgest the hypocrite : thou ponderest men's thoughts and doings as in a balance: thou measurest their intentions as with a line: vanity and crooked ways cannot be hid from thee.
Remember, O Lord, how thy servant hath walked before thee: remember what I have first sought, and what hath been principal in my intentions. I have loved thy assemblies: I have mourned for the divisions of thy Church: I have delighted in the brightness of thy sanctuary. This vine which thy right hand hath planted in this nation, I have ever prayed unto thee, that it might have the first and the latter rain; and that it might stretch her branches to the seas and to the floods. The state and bread of the poor and oppressed have been precious in mine eyes: I have hated all cruelty and hardness of heart: I have, though in a despised weed, procured the good of all men. If any have been my enemies, I thought not of them; neither hath the sun almost set upon my displeasure; but I have been as a dove, free from superfluity of maliciousness. Thy creatures have been my books, but thy Scriptures much more. I have sought thee in the courts, fields, and gardens, but I have found thee in thy temples.
Thousands have been my sins, and ten thousands my transgressions; but thy sanctifications have remained with me, and my heart, through thy grace, hath been an unquenched coal upon thine altar. O Lord, ny strength, I have since my youth met with
thee in all my ways, by thy fatherly compassions, by thy comfortable chastisements, and by thy most visible providence. As thy favours have increased upon me, so have thy corrections; so as thou hast been always near me, O Lord; and ever as my worldly blessings were exalted, so secret darts from thee have pierced me; and when I have ascended before men, I have descended in humiliation before thee. And now, when I thought most of peace and honour, thy hand is heavy upon me, and hath humbled me according to thy former loving kindness, keeping me still in thy fatherly school, not as a bastard, but as a child. Just are thy judgments upon me for my sins, which are more in number than the sands of the sea, but have no proportion to thy mercies; for what are the sands of the sea, earth, heavens, and all these are nothing to thy mercies. Besides my innumerable sins, I confess before thee that I am debtor to thee for the gracious talent of thy gifts and graces, which I have neither put into a napkin, nor put it, as I ought, to exchangers, where it might have made best profit, but mispent it in things for which I was least fit so I may truly say, my soul hath been a stranger in the course of my pilgrimage. Be merciful unto me, O Lord, for my Saviour's sake, and receive me into thy bosom, or guide me in thy ways.
Made and used by the Lord Chancellor Bacon.
O ETERNAL God, and most merciful Father in Jesus Christ: Let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts be now and ever gracious in thy sight, and acceptable unto thee, O Lord, our God, our strength, and our Redeemer.
O Eternal God, and most merciful Father in Jesus
Christ, in whom thou hast made a covenant of grace and mercy with all those that come unto thee in him; in his name and mediation we humbly prostrate ourselves before the throne of thy mercies seat, acknowledging that, by the breach of all thy holy laws and commandments, we are become wild olive-branches, strangers to thy covenant of grace; we have defaced in ourselves thy sacred image imprinted in us by creation; we have sinned against heaven and before thee, and are no more worthy to be called thy children. O admit us into the place even of hired servants. Lord, thou hast formed us in our mothers' wombs, thy providence hath hitherto watched over us, and
reserved us unto this period of time: O stay not the course of thy mercies and loving-kindness towards us: have mercy upon us, O Lord, for thy dear Son Christ Jesus sake, who is the way, the truth, and the life. In him, O Lord, we appeal from thy justice to thy mercy, beseeching thee in his name, and for his sake only, thou wilt be graciously pleased freely to pardon and forgive us all our sins and disobedience, whether in thought, word, or deed, committed against thy divine Majesty; and in his precious blood-shedding, death, and perfect obedience, free us from the guilt, the stain, the punishment, and dominion of all our sins, and clothe us with his perfect righteousness. There is mercy with thee, O Lord, that thou mayest be feared; yea, thy mercies swallow up the greatness of our sins: speak peace to our souls and consciences; make us happy in the free remission of all our sins, and be reconciled to thy poor servants in Jésus Christ, in whom thou art well pleased: suffer not the works of thine own hands to perish; thou art not delighted in the death of sinners, but in their conversion. Turn our hearts, and we shall be turned; convert us, and we shall be converted; illuminate the eyes of our minds and understanding with the bright beams of thy Holy Spirit, that we may daily grow in the saving knowledge of the heavenly mystery of our redemption, wrought by our dear Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; sanctify our wills and affection by the same
Spirit, the most sacred fountain of all grace and goodness; reduce them to the obedience of thy most holy will in the practice of all piety toward thee, and charity towards all men. Inflame our hearts with thy love, cast forth of them what displeaseth thee, all infidelity, hardness of heart, profaneness, hypocrisy, contempt of thy holy word and ordinances, all uncleanness, and whatsoever advanceth itself in opposition to thy holy will. And grant that henceforth, through thy grace, we may be enabled to lead a godly, holy, sober, and Christian life, in true sincerity and uprightness of heart before thee. To this end, plant thy holy fear in our hearts, grant that it may never depart from before our eyes, but continually guide our feet in the paths of thy righteousness, and in the ways of thy commandments: increase our weak faith, grant it may daily bring forth the true fruits of unfeigned repentance, that by the power of the death of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ we may daily die unto sin, and by the power of his resurrection we may be quickened, and raised up to newness of life, may be truly born anew, and may be effectually made partakers of the first resurrection, that then the second death may never have dominion over us. Teach us, O Lord, so to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom; make us ever mindful of our last end, and continually to exercise the knowledge of grace in our hearts, that in the said divorce of soul and body, we may be translated here to that kingdom of glory prepared for all those that love thee, and shall trust in thee; even then and ever, O Lord, let thy holy angels pitch their tents round about us, to guard and defend us from all the malice of Satan, and from all perils both of soul and body. Pardon all our unthankfulness, make us daily more and more thankful for all thy mercies and benefits daily poured down upon us. Let these our humble prayers ascend to the throne of grace, and be granted not only for these mercies, but for whatsoever else thy wisdom knows needful for us; and for all those that are in need, misery, and distress, whom, Lord, thou hast afflicted either in soul or