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After this solemn profession, the minister SERM.
IX and the people betake themselves to prayer, -first, mutually interceding with God for each other, that they may be enabled to offer him an acceptable sacrifice; such is the meaning of “The Lord be with you," and the reply of the congregation, “ And " with thy spirit.”
Having thus mutually prepared each other for the following service, which consists wholly of petitions, they begin them with short sentences :-“ Lord have “ mercy upon us; Christ have mercy upon “ us;" to which is subjoined the Lord's Prayer. If there are any, who take offence at this prayer being repeated so often, let them remember that it was Jesus Christ himself who was the author of it; and though we are cautioned against using vain repetitions in our prayers, yet, all repetitions cannot be vain, since our Saviour is described, in the twenty:sixth K 2
SERM. chapter of St. Matthew, begging God
IX. w to remove the cup from him three times,
and in the very same words. The minister now stands up, and he, together with the people, offers up in short terms the heads of what they afterwards, in the fol. lowing prayers, ask for more at length ; this may be perceived by any one, who will compare them together; the short sentences are so plain as to require no explanation. The collects are then directed to follow; they are called collects, either from their having collected in them much good matter, or from their being repeated when the people are collected, or assembled together: and the first of these collects is that for the day. There are collects appointed for the celebration of the principal parts of Christ's History; for instance, a collect for his birth, for his death, resurrection, and ascension ; there are likewise collects to bring to our minds,
and to pray that we may imitate, the holy SERM.
IX. lives and deaths of his chief followers. But, besides these, there are collects likewise appoined for each Sunday and week in the year; and the intention I suppose was, that we might at different times pray for different Christian endowments, and so obtain all which is needful for us. These are the whole of the variable collects, the others are fixed. Of the two, which immediately follow in the morning, the first is for peace, which is a comprehensive word in this place for all temporal blessings, and the second for grace, which is meant to comprise all spiritual blessings. After these two collects, on Sundays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, the Litany is directed to follow; but, as this was originally meant for a distinct office, I shall take another opportunity of explaining it, and proceed now with the other parts of the service. Having put up the above-men
SERM. tioned prayers for ourselves, we now beIX. u gin our intercessions for others; and first,
according to the apostle's injunctions, for the king as supreme. In this prayer, I know not that there is any difficulty; the word replenish' means to fill; and the word 'wealth' means prosperity ;-"Grant “ him in health and wealth long to live,”grant him to live long in health and prosperity. The prayer for the royal family is very properly subjoined, from the interest which the people have in them; both as in their turns they may one or more of them be called to the throne, and as the conduct of persons, in such a conspicuous situation, is likely deeply to affect the national manners. Our temporal superiors being thus prayed for, we next put up our petitions for our spiritual guides, and for all congregations committed to their charge, for bishops and curates, that is, for bishops and all the inferior clergy,
and all people under their superintendance. SERM. We next pray, during the sitting of parliament, for God's blessing on its consultations, which is peculiarly proper, the happiness of the nation entirely depending, under God, on the wisdom of its measures. And now having gone through our prayers for particular persons, we subjoin one for all mankind in general, and more especially for the members of the Christian Church, that they may profess the same faith, that they may live in peace with each other, and may lead religious and virtuous lives. In the same prayer, likewise, we intercede for the sick, and those who are any otherwise afflicted or distressed, and, at his desire, for any particular individual who may be in such a situation ; and here let me observe, that it is both decent and necessary, that whoever receives benefit, after having besought the prayers of the congregation, should, at his first