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A PRAYER THAT GOD MAY GRACIOUSLY BEHOLD HIS
FAMILY THE CHURCH UNIVERSAL.
The Invocation is simply :
“ Almighty God,"— Containing therefore no statement beyond what the title
implies. The Petition is (reaching to the end of the Collect) :
“We beseech thee graciously to behold this thy family, for which our Lord Jesus Christ was contented to be betrayed, and given up into the hands of wicked men, and to suffer death upon the cross; who now liveth and reigneth with thee and the Holy Ghost, ever one God,
world without end. Amen." In this Petition on behalf of God's family we declare: 1. That we ourselves are of the family of God. Eph.
iii. 15; Matt. x. 25; Gal. vi. 10; Eph. ii. 19; Heb. iii. 6; 1 Pet. ii. 5; Matt. xii. 46–50; Gal.
iv. 4. 2. That of this family Jesus Christ is Lord, i.e. Master.
Matt. x. 25; John, xiii. 13, 14; Heb. iii. 6; Matt.
xxiii. 8-10. 3. That for this family Jesus Christ was content
(a) To be betrayed and given up, and that to
wicked men. Matt. xxvi. 14-16; Zech, xi.
12, 13; John, xiii. 2, 18, 21, 26-30; xviii.
1-13; Acts, ii. 23. (6) To suffer death, and that on the cross.
John, xix. 16–18; Luke, xxiii. 26, 32-46 ; Gal.
iii. 13; Phil. ii. 8; Isa. liii. 5-9. 4. That upon this His family we hope and pray God
will be pleased graciously to look down. "Deut. xxvi. 15; Ps. lxxx. 14, 15; Isa. lxiii. 5; Lam. iii. 48–50; Job, xxxiii. 26-28; Ps. xxxiii. 13, 14;
Numb. vi. 24-27. 5. That Jesus Christ, who was content to bear all this
for us, is now living and reigning with the Father and the Holy Ghost, ever one God, world without end. Ps. xxix. 10; Phil. ii. 8-10; Heb. i. 3, 8; xii. 2; Rev. i. 4, 5; 1 John, v. 7.
Supplementary Questions. Whom do we here pray that God will be pleased gra
ciously to behold ? What does that word imply ? Of whom does this family of God consist ? When we say “this thy family,” do we thereby mean that
we ourselves make up the whole of it ?
the family of God ?
How is He employed ?
A PRAYER FOR EVERY PARTICULAR MEMBER OF
The Invocation is :
“ Almighty and Everlasting God, by whose Spirit the whole body of the Church is go
verned and sanctified,”— Here invoking God as “ Almighty” and “Everlasting,”
we state further:1. That by His Spirit is the Church
(a) Governed, i.e. directed. John, xvi. 7-14;
xiv. 16, 17, 26; Jer. x. 23; 2 Thess. iii. 5;
Acts, xiii. 2-4. (6) Sanctified. 2 Thess.ü. 13; 1 Pet. i. 2; 1 Cor.
vi. 11 ; Rom. xv. 16 ; Jude, 1; Eph. v. 26;
1 Pet. i. 22. 2. That this government and sanctification extends to
the whole body thereof. 1 Cor. vii. 14; Heb. viii. 10, 11; x. 14-17; Eph. v. 26, 27; Rev. xix. 7,8;
1 Cor. xii. 11; Eph. iv. 7, 11-16. Hence the prayer which follows. The Petition is :
“Receive our supplications and prayers, which we offer before thee for all estates of men in thy Holy Church, that every member of the
same, in his vocation and ministry, may truly
and godly serve thee;"Herein are involved the following: 1. That God's Church is a holy Church. Rom. i. 7;
1 Pet. i. 2, 14-16, 22; Ps. xciii. 5; Zech, xiv. 20, 21; Heb. iii. 1 ; 1 Thess. iv. 7 ; Isa. xi. 9; Eph.
i. 4; Col. iii. 12; 2 Tim. i. 9. 2. That this Church of God is a body composed of dif
ferent members. Eph. i. 22, 23; Rom. xii. 4, 5; 1 Cor. xii. 12, 13, 27; Eph. iv. 12-16 ; v. 23–30 ;
Col. i. 18. 3. That these members are of different ranks and
order, and have each their respective and proper vocation and ministry, or service, to attend to. Rom. xii. 4, 6–8; 1 Cor. xii. 4-10, 14–19, 27, 28; vii. 20_24; 1 Pet. ii. 13-18; Acts, vi. 1-4; Eph. v. 22, 25; vi. 1-9; Rom. xiii. 1-8; 1 Tim. ii. 1, 2;
Tit. ii. 4. That in that vocation and ministry every such mem
ber should seek to serve God —
xxi. 17; Matt. xxiii. 14.
Matt. xxiii. 25-27; Tit. i. 16.
this prayer. The Conclusion is : .
“through our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.” As before.
Supplementary Questions. Under what figure is the Church of God spoken of in this
Collect ? Under whose government is this Church here said to be
placed ? What other office in connexion with the Church of God is
here ascribed to the Spirit of God?
What do we mean by “sanctified ?”
extend ? What is the character claimed for God's Church in the
course of this prayer ? In what senses is this true that God's Church is a holy
Church? If the whole Church make up a body, of what must that
body consist ?
Good Friday- Third Cullert.
A PRAYER THAT SINNERS MAY BE CONVERTED AND
BROUGHT INTO THE CHURCH.
these three prayers denote a unity of design in