Practical Discourses on the Liturgy of the Church of England, Vol. 2
Excerpt from Practical Discourses on the Liturgy of the Church of England, Vol. 2 The words are part of Solomon's prayer at the dedication of the temple; when, having built a stately structure for the honour of his Maker, and solemnly dedicated it to his glory and service, he beseeches him to hear the prayers of his people offered up in that holy place, and to give a gracious answer to them, as their necessities should require. Among other things, he desires him to hear their prayers in times of drought, when the earth is parched and gapes for lack of moisture; when heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, then he prays him to hear from heaven, and to give rain upon the land. Accordingly our Church hath composed a form of prayer for that purpose, willing us to offer it up to God upon such occasions; which prayer I am now to explain to you, and to that end shall observe, - First, The preface, in these words; 'O God, heavenly Father, who by thy Son Jesus Christ hath promised to all them that seek thy kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance.' Secondly, The petition; 'Send us, we beseech thee, in this our necessity, some moderate rain and showers.' Thirdly, The end and design of it; 'That we may receive the fruits of the earth, to our comfort, and to thy honour, through Jesus Christ our Lord.' These are the parts of this prayer which must be distinctly handled. And I begin with the preface: 'O God, heavenly Father, ' &c. Where, 1st, We come unto God by the title of 'Father, ' as children do to their parents, to ask what is needful for them; which they are wont to do with great boldness, knowing that their natural and tender affections will incline them to compassionate and relieve their wants. And if earthly parents know how to give good gifts unto their children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good things to them that ask them? But because earthly parents, how willing soever they may be, are many times unable to supply the wants of their children; therefore, 2dly, we here address to God in the style of 'heavenly Father: ' who having 'all power in heaven and earth, ' is able to do 'more abundantly than we can ask or think.' And that he is as willing as able to furnish us with all necessaries, appears, 3dly, by the 'promise' in the next words; of giving 'to all them that seek his kingdom and the righteousness thereof, all things necessary to their bodily sustenance.' This promise of the Father is here said to be made 'by his Son Jesus Christ, ' and is accordingly extant in his Sermon on the Mount; where he bids us to 'seek first the kingdom of God and the righteousness thereof, and then all these things shall be added unto us.' About the Publisher Forgotten Books publishes hundreds of thousands of rare and classic books. Find more at www.forgottenbooks.com This book is a reproduction of an important historical work. Forgotten Books uses state-of-the-art technology to digitally reconstruct the work, preserving the original format whilst repairing imperfections present in the aged copy. In rare cases, an imperfection in the original, such as a blemish or missing page, may be replicated in our edition. We do, however, repair the vast majority of imperfections successfully; any imperfections that remain are intentionally left to preserve the state of such historical works.