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  • UPON THE PASSION OF OUR SAVIOR JESUS CHRIST
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    O Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of the everliving and almighty God, by whom all things were made and be ruled and governed; thou “the lively image of the substance” of the Father, the eternal wisdom of God, “the brightness of his glory,” ‘God of God, Light of Light,’ co-equal., co-eternal, and consubstantial with the Father; thou of the love thou hadst to mankind, that, when he was fallen from the fellowship of God into the society of Satan and all evil, didst vouchsafe for our redemption to become a mediator between God and man, taking to the Godhead our nature as concerning the substance of it, and so becamest man also, “the heir of all,” and most merciful Messias; which by the power of thy Godhead and merits of thy manhood hast made purgation of our sins, even by thine own self, whilst thou wast here on earth; being now set on the right hand of thy Father even concerning our nature, for our behalf, in majesty, glory, and power infinite; I beseech and humbly pray thy mercy to grant me at this present to rehearse some of thy passions and sufferings for mankind, and so for me , the last night thou wast here tofore thy death; that thy good Spirit might thereby be effectual to work in me as well faith for the forgiveness of my sins by them, as mortification of mine affections, comfort in my crosses, and patience in afflictions. Amen.

    In the midst of thy last supper with thy dear apostles, these things could not but be before thee, namely, that they all would leave thee, the most earnest would forswear thee, and one of the twelve should most traitorously betray thee; which were no small crosses unto thee: Judas was admonished of thee to beware; but when he took no heed, but wilfully went out to finish his work, contemning thy admonition and counsel, he could not but vex thy most loving heart.

    After supper there was contention amongst thy disciples who should be greatest after thee, yet dreaming carnally of thee and thy kingdom, and having this affection of pride and ambition busy among them, notwithstanding thy diligence in reproving and teaching them.

    After thy admonition to them of the cross that would come, thereby to make them more vigilant, so gross were they that they thought they could with their two swords put away all perils; which was no little grief unto thee. After thy coming to Gethsemane, heaviness oppressed thee, and therefore thou willedst thy disciples to pray: thou didst tell to Peter and his fellows that thy heart was heavy to death: thou didst will them to “pray,” being careful for them also lest they should “fall into temptation.” After this thou wentest a stone’s cast from them, and didst pray thyself, falling flat and grovelling upon the earth: but, alas ! thou feltest no comfort, and therefore thou camest to thy disciples, which of all others were most sweet and dear unto thee: but, lo, to thy further discomfort, they pass neither of thy perils nor of their own, and therefore sleep apace. After thou hadst awaked them, thou goest again to pray: but thou roundest no comfort at all, and therefore didst return again for some comfort at thy dearest friends’ hands. But yet again, alas! they are fast asleep; whereupon thou art enforced to go again to thy heavenly Father for some sparkle of comfort in these thy wonderful crosses and agonies, or deadly pangs. Now here thou wast so discouraged and so comfortless, that even streams of blood came running from thine eyes and ears and other parts of thy body. But who is able to express the infiniteness of thy crosses even at thy being in the garden? all which thou sufferedst for my sake, as well to satisfy thy Father’s wrath for my sins, as also to sanctify all my sufferings the more gladly to be sustained of me.

    After thy bloody prayer thou camest, and yet again roundest thy disciples asleep: and, before thou canst well awake them, lo, Judas cometh with a great band of men to apprehend thee as a thief, and so doth, leading thee away bound to the high bishop’s house Annas, and so from him to Caiaphas. Here now to augment this thy misery, behold, thy disciples flee from thee, false witnesses be brought against thee, thou art accused and condemned of blasphemy. Peter, even in thy sight, forsweareth thee: thou art unjustly stricken for answering lawfully; thou art blindfolded, stricken, and buffeted all the whole night in the bishop Caiaphas’ house of their cruel servants.

    In the morning betimes thou art condemned again of the priests of blasphemy, and therefore they bring thee before the secular power to Pilate, by whom thou art openly arraigned in the moot-hall, as other thieves and malefactors were: when he saw that thou wast accused of malice, yet he did not dismiss thee, but did send thee to Herod, where thou wast derided shamefully, in coming and going to and from him, all the way wonderfully, especially after Herod had apparelled thee as a fool.

    Afore Pilate again therefore thou wast brought, and accused falsely. No man did take thy part, or speak a good word for thee. Pilate caused thee to be whipped and scourged, and to be handled most pitifully, to see if any pity might appear with the prelates: but no man at all pitied thee.

    Barabbas was preferred before thee: all the people, head and tail, was against thee, and cried, ‘Hang thee up.’ Unjustly to death wast thou judged: thou wast crowned with thorns that pierced thy brains: thou wast made a mocking-stock: thou wast reviled, rebated, beaten, and most miserably handled.

    Thou wentest through Jerusalem to the place of execution, even the mount of Calvary: a great cross to hang thee on was laid upon thy back to bear and draw, as long as thou wast able.

    Thy body was racked to be nailed to the tree, thy hands were bored through, and thy feet also; nails were put through them to fasten thee thereon: thou wast hanged between heaven and earth, as one spewed out of heaven, and vomited out of the earth, unworthy of any place: the high priest laughed thee to scorn, the elders blasphemed thee and said, “God hath no care for thee:” the common people laught and cry out upon thee: thirst oppressed thee, but vinegar only and gall was given to thee to drink: heaven shined not on thee, the sun gave thee no light, the earth was afraid to bear thee, Satan did sore tempt and assault thee, and thine own senses caused thee to cry out, “My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me?”

    O wonderful passions which thou sufferedst! In them thou teachest me, in them thou comfortest me; for by them God is my Father, my sins are forgiven: by them I should learn to fear God, to love God, to hope in God, to hate sin, to be patient, to call upon God, and never to leave him for any temptations’ sake, but with thee still to cry, yea. even when very death shall approach, “Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit.”

    A GENERAL SUPPLICATION BEING A CONFESSION OF SINS AND PRAYER FOR THE MITIGATION OF GOD’S WRATH AND PUNISHMENT FOR THE SAME FA64 OALMIGHTY God, King of all kings, and Governor of all things, whose power no creature is able to resist, to whom it belongeth justly to punish sinners, and to be merciful unto them that truly repent; we confess that thou dost most justly punish us, for we have grievously sinned against thee: and we acknowledge that in punishing us thou dost declare thyself to be our most merciful Father, as well because thou dost not punish us in any thing as we have deserved, as also because by punishing us thou dost call us, and, as it were, draw us to increase in repentance, in faith, in prayer, in contemning of the world, and in hearty desiring for everlasting life and thy blessed presence. Grant us therefore, gracious Lord, thankfully to acknowledge thy great mercy, which hast thus favorably dealt with us, in punishing us not to our confusion but to our amendment. And seeing thou hast sworn that “thou wilt not the death of a sinner, but that he turn and live,” have mercy upon us, and turn us unto thee for thy dearly beloved Son Jesus Christ’s sake, whom thou wouldest should be made a slain sacrifice for our sins, thereby declaring thy great and unspeakable anger against sin, and thine infinite mercy towards us sinful wretches.

    And, forasmuch as the dulness of our hearts, blindness, and corruption, is such that we are not able to arise up unto thee by faithful and hearty prayer, according to our great necessity, without thy singular grace and assistance; grant unto us, gracious Lord, thy holy and sanctifying Spirit to work in us this good work, with a pure and clean mind, with an humble and lowly heart, with grace to weigh and consider the need and greatness of that we do desire, and with an assured faith and trust that thou wilt grant us our requests, because thou art good and gracious even to young ravens calling upon thee, much more then to us for whom thou hast made all things, yea, and hast not spared thine own dear Son; because thou hast commanded us to call upon thee; because thy throne whereunto we come is a throne of grace and mercy; because thou hast given us a mediator Christ, to bring us unto thee, being “the way” by whom we come, being “the door.” by whom we enter, and being our “head” on whom we hang, and hope that our poor petitions shall not be in vain, through and for his name’s sake.

    We beseech thee therefore of thy rich mercy, wherein thou art “plentiful to all them that call upon thee,” to forgive us our sins, namely our unthankfulness, unbelief, self-love, neglect of thy word, security, hypocrisy, contempt of thy long-suffering, omission of prayer, doubting of thy power, presence, mercy, and good-will towards us, insensibleness of thy grace, impatiency, etc. And to this thy benefit of correcting us, add these thy gracious gifts, repentance, faith, the spirit of prayer, the contempt of this world, and hearty desiring for everlasting life. Endue us with thy holy Spirit, according to thy covenant and mercy, as well to assure us of pardon, and that thou dost accept us into thy favor as thy dear children in Christ and for his sake, as to write thy law in our hearts, and so to work in us that we may now begin and go forwards in believing, living, fearing, obeying, praying, hoping, and serving thee; as thou dost require most fatherly and most justly of us, accepting us as perfect through Christ and by imputation.

    And moreover, when it shall be thy good pleasure and most to thy glory, deliver us, we beseech thee, out of the hands of thine adversaries by such means, be it death or life, as may make to our comfort most in Christ. In the mean season and for ever save us and govern us with thy holy Spirit and his eternal consolation.

    And concerning thine adversaries, which for thy sake are become our adversaries, so many of them as are to be converted, we beseech thee to shew thy mercy upon them and to convert them: but those that are not to be converted, which thou only dost know, most mighty God and terrible Lord, confound, and get thy name a glory over them; abate their pride, assuage their malice, bring to nought their devilish devices: and grant that we and all thine afflicted children may be armed with thy defense, weaponed with thy wisdom, and guided with thy grace and holy Spirit, to be preserved forever from all giving of offenses to thy people, and from all perils, to glorify thee, which art the only Giver of all victory, through the merits of thy only Son, Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

    A CONFESSION OF SINS As David seeing thine angel with his sword ready drawn, most righteous Lord, to plague Jerusalem, cried out unto thee, “It is I, Lord, that have sinned, and I that have done wickedly: thine hand, Lord, be on me, and not on thy poor sheep;” wherethrough thou wast moved to mercy, and badest thine angel put up his sword, thou hadst taken punishment enough; even so we, gracious Lord, seeing thy fearful sword of vengeance ready drawn, and presently striking against this commonweal and thy church in the same, we, I say, are occasioned every man now to cast off our eyes from beholding and narrowly spying out other men’s faults, and to set our own only in sight, that, with the same David thy servant, and with Jonas in the ship, we may cry, ‘It is we, O Lord, which have sinned, and procured this thy grievous wrath.’

    And this we now gathered together in Christ’s name do acknowledge, confessing ourselves guilty of horrible ingratitude for our good king, for thy gospel and pure religion, and for the peace of thy church, and quietness of the commonweal, besides our negligences and many other our grievous sins: wherethrough we have deserved not only these but much more grievous plagues, if that even presently thou didst not, as thou art wont, “remember thy mercy.”

    Hereupon (that thou “in thine anger rememberest thy mercy” before we seek and sue for it) we take boldness, as thou commandest us to do in our trouble, to come and call upon thee to be merciful unto us: and of thy goodness now we humbly in Christ’s name pray thee to hold thy hand and cease thy wrath, or at the least so to mitigate it that this realm may be quietly governed, and the same eftsoons to be a harborough for thy church and true religion: which do thou restore to us again, according to thy great power and mercy, and we shall praise thy name for ever, through Jesus Christ our only Mediator and Savior. Amen.

    A PRAYER

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