Friday, September 18, 2009

Let My Words Be Few, or At Least to Sound More Like This...

Yesterday was the beginning of my class in English Puritanism. I must say, my experience in reading Puritan work has been limited to Edwards, and for this I am greatly ashamed of myself. Part of the requirements of this class are to read through the book "The Valley of Vision" which is a compilation of Puritan prayers recorded for such devotional growth purposes. Something to understand about the Puritans and their prayers is that they did not write down prayers ahead of time, I repeat (as this is important), they did NOT write down their prayers. So, when they would pray at church or home, what they said was pure flow of thought from their constant dwelling on the Scriptures. They knew the Scriptures so well, that their prayers came naturally from this knowledge and were extremely eloquent of speech, highly filled with theology and dripping a passion that I have rarely ever seen before.

This morning, I began my exercise of reading through and praying these prayers - as I will begin to do for the rest of the semester in the morning and the evening (and I dare hope now the rest of my life). I wanted to share the prayer from this morning, as it moved me to tears, and it is my hope that you, dear reader, will find its breadth and width refreshing and awe-inspiring, but that you will also glorify God with me through these words.

"O Thou Most High,
Creator of the ends of the earth,
Governor of the universe,
Judge of all men,
Head of the church,
Saviour of sinners;

thy greatness is unsearchable,
thy goodness infinite,
thy compassions unfailing,
thy providence boundless,
thy mercies ever new.

We bless thee for the words of salvation.
How important, suitable, encouraging are the doctrines, promises, and invitations of the gospel of peace!
We are lost: but in it thou hast presented to us a full, free and eternal salvation;
weak: but here we learn that help is found in One that is mighty,
poor: but in him we discover unsearchable riches,
blind: but we find he has treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

We thank thee for thy unspeakable gift.
The Son is our only refuge, foundation, hope, confidence;
We depend upon his death, rest in his righteousness, desire to bear his image;
May his glory fill our minds, his love reign in our affections, his cross inflame us with ardour.

Let us as Christians fill our various situations in life,
escape the snares to which they expose us,
discharge the duties that arise from our circumstances,
enjoy with moderation their advantages,
improve with diligence their usefulness,

And may every place and company we are in be benefited by us.

Amen, and Amen!

No comments:

Post a Comment