Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Prayer of our First Chief Justice

Most merciful Father! who desirest not the death of a sinner, but will have all men to be saved and to come to the knowledge of the truth, give me grace so to draw nigh unto thee as that thou wilt condescend to draw nigh unto me ; and enable me to offer unto thee, through thy beloved Son, supplications and thanksgivings acceptably.

I thank thee for my creation, and for causing me to be born in a time and land blessed with the light of thy holy gospel. I thank thee for the excellent parents thou didst give me...I thank thee for my children—for thy kind providence over them—for their doing and promising to do well—and for the comforts which through them I receive from thy goodness.

Above all, I thank thee for thy mercy to our fallen race, as declared in thy holy gospel by thy beloved Son, "who gave himself a ransom for all." I thank thee for the gift of thy Holy Spirit, and for thy goodness in encouraging us all to ask it. I thank thee for the hope of remission of sins, of regeneration, and of life and happiness everlasting, through the merits and intercession of our Saviour. I thank thee for having admitted me into the covenant of this grace and mercy by baptism; for reminding me of its duties and privileges, and for the influences of thy Holy Spirit with which thou hast favoured me.

Enable me, merciful Father, to understand thy holy gospel aright, and to distinguish the doctrines thereof from erroneous expositions of them ; and bless me with that fear of offending thee, which is the beginning of wisdom...Wean me from undue and unseasonable attachments and attentions to the things of this transitory world, and raise my thoughts, desires, and affections continually unto thee, and to the blessings of the better and eternal world which is to succeed this.

Protect me from becoming a prey to temptations to evil, cause the new and spiritual life which of thy goodness thou hast begun in me, to increase daily in growth and strength...Establish my faith in that great atonement, and my gratitude for it...

Be pleased to impress my heart and mind with a deep and permanent sense and recollection of the manifold and unmerited blessings and mercies, spiritual and temporal, which throughout my life thou hast conferred upon me. Give me grace to love and obey and be thankful unto thee, with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind, and with all my strength; and to worship and to serve thee in humility, in spirit, and in truth. Give me grace also to love my neighbour as myself, and wisely and diligently to do the duties incumbent upon me according to thy holy will, and because it is thy holy will, and not from worldly considerations.

Be pleased also to impress my heart and mind with a deep and unceasing sense and recollection of the evil of sin, and of my disobedience and ingratitude to thee...Give me grace, I humbly and earnestly beseech thee, to repent of my sins with such repentance as thy gospel requires ; and to loathe, and forsake, and detest all sin for ever...Let thy Holy Spirit lead and keep me in the way in which I should walk, and enable me to commit myself entirely to thy kind and gracious providence and protection as to all my spiritual and temporal concerns...

Be pleased to bless me and my family, my friends and enemies, and all for whom I ought to pray, in the manner and measure which thou, and thou only, knowest to be best for us. Create in us all clean, and contrite, and thankful hearts, and renew within us a right spirit.

I thank thee, the great Sovereign of the universe, for thy long-continued goodness to these countries, notwithstanding our ingratitude and disobedience to thee, our merciful deliverer and benefactor. Give us grace to turn unto thee with true repentance, and implore thy forgiveness...Be pleased to bless all nations with the knowledge of thy gospel,—and may thy holy will be done on earth as it is done in heaven.

Condescend, merciful Father! to grant as far as proper these imperfect petitions, to accept these inadequate thanksgivings, and to pardon whatever of sin hath mingled in them, for the sake of Jesus Christ, our blessed Lord and Saviour..My gracious Saviour ! continue, I beseech thee, to look down with compassion and mercy upon me, and to intercede for me...

Without thee we can do nothing; condescend to abide in me, and enable me to abide in thee, as the branch in the vine. Let thy Holy Spirit purify, and cause it to produce fruit meet for repentance and amendment of life...

Give me grace to meditate with faith and gratitude on thy kind redeeming love all the days of my life. When thou shall call me hence, be with me in the hour of death, and bless me with a full assurance of faith and hope, that I may " fear no evil."

John Jay

1 comment:

Sarah Meyer said...

But he hadn't lived the life of a wise Latina woman!