Page:Tracts for the Times Vol 2.djvu/36

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2
TRACTS FOR THE TIMES.

others they should forget themselves; lest they should lose the spirit of piety themselves, vrhile they were endeavouring to fix it in others.

Prosper, O God, the good thoughts, the good purposes, which Thou Thyself shalt inspire. I acknowledge Thy goodness, which has raised me above my brethren, and appointed me a Successor to Thy Apostles. O may I ever act agreeably to this character. May I never profane a character so holy and so divine, lest God should pour down his vengeance upon my ungrateful heart. Pardon me whereinsoever I have been wanting in the several duties of my calling; and give me grace to be more careful for the time to come. Amen.

How am I bound to adore Thy goodness, my great Master! Thou hast set me in office amongst the chief of Thy servants; but I will, for Thy sake, make myself the servant of the meanest of Thy servants. By me Thou communicatest Thy grace in the Sacrament; by me Thou teachest Thy people the truth; by my hands Thou adoptest them Thy children in baptism, feedest them with Thy body, comfortest them in affliction, armest them against the fear of death, and fittest them for a blessed eternity.……

Give me such holy dispositions of soul, whenever I approach Thine altar, as may in some measure be proportionable to the holiness of the work I am about, of presenting the prayers of the faithful, of offering a spiritual sacrifice to God, in order to convey the body and blood of Jesus Christ, the true bread of life to all His members. Give me, when I commemorate the same sacrifice that Jesus Christ once offered, give me the same intentions that He had, to satisfy the justice of God, to acknowledge His mercies, and to pay all that debt which a creature owes to his Creator. None can do this effectually but Jesus Christ; Him, therefore, we present to God, in this Holy Sacrament.……

I am a sinner, and yet I am appointed to offer up prayers for others. It is to the great God to whom I offer these prayers. To me the Church, the spouse of Christ, intrusts her desires, her interests, her necessities, and her thanks. What a trust is this! O may I never betray it! may I never obstruct Thy mercies to Thy Church by a formal service. Let me ever speak to God,