A fruitfull praier to be said at the going to bed of euerie Christian.
MOst mercifull Father, I most wretched and vnwoorthie sinner prostrate my selfe before the throne of thy heauenlie grace, yeelding vnto thee most humble and hartie thanks, that hast of thine exceeding loue and fauour preserued me this daie from all perill and danger, humblie besee∣ching thy diuine Maiestie, this night to preserue me, for the loue of thine onlie sonne, and my sweet Saui∣our Iesus Christ, mediatour and aduocate: who con∣tinuallie pleadeth and maketh intercession to thee for me, and all the rest of thy chosen children, presenting his bloudie wounds, and his glorious bodie all to bee Page 142 scourged in thy diuine presence, who thereby doth mi∣tigate thy wrath and indignation, iustlie conceiued a∣gainst me a miserable and wretched creature, and all mankind.
Make me Lord still to confesse mine vnwoorthinesse, and weaknesse to be such and so great, that of my selfe I am not worthie to lift vp mine eies to heauen, much lesse to be called thy sonne, or handmaiden, such and so great is the burden of my sinne & iniquitie, so that by the meanes of my corruption & filthinesse, I acknow∣ledge my selfe to be the child of death and destruction, yet build I still on thy promises, good Lord, and in this great danger I come vnto thee with teares, saieng:
O Father, I haue sinned against heauen, & against thee, and am no more woorthie to be called thy child. Of my selfe I haue nothing; but by thee I haue althings: of my selfe I acknowledge I haue iustlie deserued the heauie sentence of thine ire; but by grace of thee, O mightie Emanuel, I am regenerate, and borne againe from death to life; from danger to ioie; from perill to peace; from bondage to libertie, and so in fine, from hell and damnation, to blisse and saluation.
Such is the effect of thy mercie, so abundant is thy loue towards me, & all those that with contrite harts present themselues vnto thee. Increase my faith Lord, that it may abound in good and fruitfull works: so for∣tifie me, that I neuer swarue from thy veritie: giue me thy grace from aboue, O mercifull Iesu, that I may neuer shrinke from thy sacred testimonies.
And moreouer, I with all humilitie and reuerence of hart and mind, beseech thee this night, which thou hast ordeined for man to rest in, that thou wilt gard and protect me with thy good guiding spirit. And albe∣it my sinfull flesh shall sleepe and slumber, yet grant, good Lord, that my soule may continually keepe watch and ward: let not the enunie find me slumbering & slee∣ping, Page 143 as carelesse, in the cradle of sinfull securitie, least that whilest I am vnarmed, that is, naked and desti∣tute of thy grace and fauour, he enter in and breake vp the house of my sinfull bodie, and make such hauocke and spoile, that mine infected and leporous soule, defor∣med by meanes of mine iniquitie, and wounded with the dangerous darts of transgression, be thrown with the bodie of sinne into the lake of destruction, wherein is continuall wailing, and gnashing of teeth.
Make me still, O good Lord, to consider, that the bed is a plaine patterne and similitude of the graue, which continuallie calleth for me, & all other thy creatures. Make me to vnderstand, that when I am laid, (of my selfe) without thy heauenlie prouidence I can not bee able to rise againe. Make me to acknowledge that sleepe is the verie figure of death, to whose stroke, at thine appointed pleasure, I must submit my selfe. In∣due me with loue and charitie to all men, let my lampe O Lord be garnished with oile, that whensoeuer, or at what time soeuer thy messenger death shall drawe me, and knocke at the gates of my house, I may at his summons, in the daie of the resurrection of the dead, be readie to attend on thee and thy bride, with my bur∣ning lampe, that is, with a stedfast faith, when as by thee I shall be cloathed anew. For my mortall bodie shall then be couered with immortalitie; the corrupti∣on of my sinfull and rebelling flesh shall be changed to incorruption and perfect puritie: thy righteousnesse shall be mine; thy merits shall make me perfect and holie, by vertue whereof, hell shall loose his victorie; death shall loose his sting; my faith and hope shall haue end and reward, and I with thy Saints continuallie dwell in loue & charitie with thee, the heauenlie bride∣groome, Christ Iesus: to whom with the father, and the holie Ghost, bee ascribed all laud, glorie, power, praise and dominion, for euer: