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COLLECTS AND OCCASIONAL PRAYERS,
Adapted to the various circumstances and relations of Life.
PRINTED AND SOLD BY WILLIAM BROWNE, CLARE-STREET;
ROWLAND HUNTER ST. PAUL'S CHURCH-YARD, LONDON.
In every thing, by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known unto God: and the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. Phil. iv. 6, 7.
Let us come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Hebrews iv. 24.
God is a spirit, and they that worship him must worship in spirit and in truth. John iv. 24.
If ye then, being evil know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your heavenly Father give his holy spirit to those who ask him. Luke xi. 13: Compare Matthew vii. 11; and Psalms li. 10, 11.
O Thou that hearest prayer, unto thee shall all flesh come. Psalms lxv. 2.
TO THE FOURTH EDITION.
MR. MERIVALE's Prayers are characterized by their simplicity, comprehensiveness, and solemn seriousness. An elevated strain of devotion runs through them, but it is calm and judicious. They keep closely in view the apostolic model, "I will pray with the spirit, I will pray with the understanding also;" and they are framed upon the direction of the Christian's Lord; "After this manner pray ye; Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name; thy kingdom come; thy will be done."
The Daily Devotions have been reprinted, probably more than once, in Scotland: the present Editor follows the third edition, published by the respected Son of the Author; having heretofore received his authority to employ it as he might see fit. As that edition is now exhausted, he avails himself of the permission granted him, to make a few slight verbal alterations, and to connect with MR. MERIVALE'S, Prayers and Collects from other repositories of rational piety; trusting that the whole together, will, under the divine blessing, contribute still further to raise and cherish devout affection, and to promote the interests of godliness and virtue.
In the preparation of the SUPPLEMENT, materials have been derived from the writings of JEREMY TAYLOR, FRANCIS QUARLES, BENJAMIN CARPENTER, and DR. TOULMIN, the COMMON PRAYER BOOK, and various other sources; and the Editor has employed them, (as he would desire others to employ whatever he has himself written,) in that way which appears best calculated to answer the purpose he has in view, to cultivate the spirit of prayer, and a deep sense of God, among those for whose edification this selection is especially intended.
The Collects are designed to embrace a great variety of christian experience and spiritual need. If to the fastidious taste any expressions seem objectionable, those who feel the objection can alter them; and, at any rate, the influence they may have on the heart, in aiding and guiding its aspirations, will amply compesate for this defect. But it may be proper to observe, that expressions which in some states of mind appear forced or exaggerated, may, in other circumstances, be the natural dictates of the heart and it has been the aim, in this edition, to provide for a great variety in the spiritual wants of the erring and penitent, the weak, and the sorrowful, as well as of the more confirmed and experienced servants of Christ, whose path is habitually bright and onwards. By these, indeed, such aids will be but little needed;
and none, it is hoped, will be led by them to neglect the great Treasury of pious experience. Indeed they will be most useful, when preceded by the serious perusal and self-application of some or other of those numerous portions of the Scriptures, which lead the christian to discern the "plague of his own heart," and to seek from Him "who giveth to all men liberally," that "wisdom which is profitable to direct," and that strength, without which human virtue and resolution cannot stand firm; and which tend to raise the soul from the world, and prepare for communion with Him "who seeth in secret.
It has not been deemed necessary, or even expedient, to observe any particular order in the Collects and Occasional Prayers. The Index at the end will sufficiently direct the worshipper in the selection of such as suit his immediate wants; but an occasional perusal of all will be a still more effectual guide in the choice, at seasons when the bitterness of the heart prompts to the direct employment of supplications that may not ordinarily express its necessities and desires.
Bristol, March 17, 1828,