1600’s–the good ole days (NOT)

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[Jeremy Taylor lived in the 1600’s, a contemporary of John Bunyan (who wrote Pilgrim’s Progress, in prison BTW…)  He has many more prayers, and his book can be found HERE if you’re intrigued and want more.]

Most glorious and eternal God, Father of mercy, and God of all comfort, I worship and adore thee with the lowest humility of my soul and body, and give thee all thanks and praise for thy infinite and essential glories and perfections, and for the continual demonstration of thy mercies upon me, upon all mine, and upon thy holy catholic church.

I acknowledge, dear God, that I have deserved the greatest of thy wrath and indignation; and that, if thou hadst dealt with me according to my deserving, I had now, at this instant, been desperately bewailing my miseries in the sorrows and horrors of a sad eternity. But thy mercy triumphing over thy justice and my sins, thou hast still continued to me life and time of repentance; thou hast opened to me the gates of grace and mercy, and perpetually callest upon me to enter in, and to walk in the paths of a holy life, that I might glorify thee, and be glorified of thee eternally.

Behold, O God, for this thy great and unspeakable goodness, for the preservation of me this night, and for all other thy graces and blessings, I offer up my soul and body, all that I am, and all that I have, as a sacrifice to thee and thy service, humbly begging of thee to pardon all my sins, to defend me from all evil, to lead me into all good; and let my portion be amongst thy redeemed ones in the gathering together of the saints, in the kingdom of grace and glory.

Guide me, O Lord, in all the changes and varieties of the world; that in all things that shall happen I may have an evenness and tranquility of spirit; that my soul may be wholly resigned to thy divine will and pleasure, never murmuring at thy gentle chastisements and fatherly correction; never waxing proud and insolent, though I feel a torrent of comforts and prosperous successes.

Fix my thoughts, my hopes, and my desires upon heaven and heavenly things; teach me to despise the world, to repent deeply for my sins; give me holy purposes of amendment and ghostly strength, and assistance to perform faithfully whatsoever I shall intend piously. Enrich my understanding with an eternal treasure of Divine Truths, that I may know thy will: and thou, who workest in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure, teach me to obey all thy commandments, to believe all thy revelations, and make me partaker of all thy gracious promises.

Teach me to watch over temptations or a careless spirit, nor ever return to folly and vanity. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and keep the door of my lips, that I offend not in my tongue, neither against piety nor charity. Teach me to think of nothing but thee, and what is in order to thy glory and service: to speak nothing but of thee and thy glories; and to do nothing but what becomes thy servant, whom thy infinite mercy, by the graces of thy Holy Spirit, hath sealed up to the day of redemption.

Let all my passions and affections be so mortified and brought under the dominion of grace, that I may never, be deliberation and purpose, nor yet by levity, rashness, or inconsideration, offend thy Divine Majesty. make me such as thou wouldst have me to be: strengthen my faith, confirm my hope, and give me a daily increase of charity, that, this day and ever, I may serve thee according to all my opportunities and capacities, growing from grace to grace, till at last, by thy mercies, I shall receive the consummation and perfection of grace, even the glories of thy kingdom, in the full fruition of the face and excellencies of God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost; to whom be glory and praise, honour and adoration, given by all angels, and all men, and all creatures, now, and to all eternity. Amen.

BY JEREMY TAYLOR, D.D. (1613-1667) Chaplain in Ordinary to King Charles the First, and some time Lord Bishop of Down and Conner.  Rule and Exercises of Holy Living (Kindle Locations 1415-1449).  Kindle Edition.

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