Charis kai eirēnē, or, A pacifick discourse of Gods grace and decrees in a letter of full accordance
Hammond, Henry, 1605-1660.
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Prayer II.

O Most gracious Lord, who doest not afflict willingly, nor grieve the chil∣dren of men, who smitest not till the importunitie of our sins enforce thee, and then correctest in measure, we thy unworthy creatures humbly acknowledge that we have abundantly tasted of this patience and lenity of thine. To what an enormous height were our sins ar∣riv'd ere thou beganst to visit them! and when thou couldst no longer forbear, yet mastering thy power, thou hast not proportion'd thy vengeance to our crimes, but to thy own gracious design of reducing and reclaiming us. Lord, had the first stroke of thy hand been exterminating, our guilts had justified the method; but thou hast proceeded by such easy and gentle degrees, as witness how much thou desiredst to be interrupted, and shew us, that all that sad weight we have long groaned under, hath been accumulated onely by our own incorrigibleness. 'Tis now, O Lord, these many years that this Nation hath been in the furnace, and yet our drosse wasts not but increases; and it is owing onely to thy unspeakable mercy, that we, who would not be purified, are not consumed; that we remain a Nation, who cease not to be a most sinfull, and provoking nation. O Lord, let not this long-suffering of thine serve onely to upbraid our obstinacy, and enhanse our guilt; but let it at last have the proper effect on us, melt our hearts, and lead us to repentance. And oh, that this may be the day for us thus to discern the things that belong to our peace! that all who are (yea, and all who are not) cast down this day in an external humiliation, may by the opera∣tion Page  5 of thy mighty Spirit have their souls laid pro∣strate before thee in a sincere contrition! O thou who canst out of the very stones raise up children unto Abraham, work our stony flinty hearts into such a temper as may be malleable to the impressions of thy grace, that all the sinners in Sion may tremble; that we may not by a persevering obstinacy seal to our selves both temporal and eternal ruine, but instead of our mutinous complaining at the punishments of our sins, search and try our ways, and turn again to the Lord. O be thou pleas'd to grant us this one grand fundamental mercy, that we who so impatient∣ly thirst after a change without us, may render that possible and safe by this better and more necessary change within us; that our sins may not, as they have so often done, interpose and eclipse that light which now begins to break out upon us. Lord, thy dove seems to approach us with an olive-branch in her mouth, oh let not our silth and noysomness chace her away; but grant us that true repentance which may at one thee, and that Christian charity which may reconcile us with one another. Lord, let not our breach either with thee or among our selves be incurable, but by making up the first prepare us for the healing of the latter. And because, O Lord, the way to make us one fold is to have one shepheard, be pleas'd to put us all under the conduct of Him to whom that charge belongs; bow the hearts of this people as of one man, that the onely contention may be who shall be most forward in bringing back our David. O let none reflect on their past guilts as an argument to perse∣vere, but repent, and to make their return so sincere as may qualify them not onely for his but thy Mercy. And, Lord, be pleas'd so to guide the hearts of all who shall be intrusted with that great concernment of set∣ling Page  6 this nation, that they may weigh all their delibe∣rations in the ballance of the Sanctuary, that consci∣ence, not interest, may be the ruling principle, and that they may render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods; that they may become healers of our breaches, and happy repairers of the sad ruines both in Church and State: and grant, O Lord, that as those sins which made them are become Nationall, so the repentance may be Nationall also, & that evidenc'd by the proper fruits of it, by zeal of restoring the rights both of thee and thine Anointed. And doe thou, O Lord, so dispose all hearts, and remove all obstacles, that none may have the will, much lesse the power, to hinder his peacea∣ble restitution. And, Lord, let him bring with him an heart so intirely devoted to thee, that he may wish his own honour onely as a means to advance thine. O let the precepts and example of his Blessed Father never depart from his mind; and as thou wert pleas'd to perfect the one by suffering, so perfect the other by acting thy will; that He may be a blessed instrument of replanting the power instead of the form of Godli∣ness among us, of restoring Christian vertue in a pro∣phane and almost barbarous Nation. And if any wish him for any distant ends, if any desire his shadow as a shelter for their riots and licenciousnesse, O let him come a great but happy defeat to all such, not bring fewel, but cure, to their inordinate appetites; and by his example as a Christian, and his Authority as a King, so invite to good, and restrain from evil, that he may not onely release our temporall, but our spiritual bondage, suppress those foul and scandalous vices which have so long captivated us, and by secu∣ring our inward, provide for the perpetuating our outward peace. Lord, establish thou his throne in Page  7 righteousnesse, make him a signall instrument of thy glory and our happinesse, and let him reap the fruits of it in comfort here, and in blisse hereafter; that so his earthly Crown may serve to enhanse and enrich his heavenly. Grant this, O King of Kings, for the sake and intercession of our Blessed Mediator, Jesus Christ.