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And that great shower foreshew'd the flood,
Which from thy side the next day ran. .
Then through that milder sacrament,
Succeeding this, thy grace inspire!
Yea, let thy smart make us repent,
And circumcised hearts desire.
For he that either is baptis'd,
Or circumcis'd in flesh alone,
Is but as an uncircumcis'd,
Or as an unbaptised one.
The year anew we now begin,
And outward gifts receiv'd have we;
Renew us also, Lord! within,
And make us new-year's gifts for thee;
Yea, let us with the passed year
Our old affections cast away,
That we new creatures may appear,
And to redeem the time essay.
Twelfth Day, or the Epiphany.
THAT so thy blessed birth, O Christ!
Might through the world be spread about,
Thy star appeared in the east,
Whereby the Gentiles found thee out;
And off'ring thee myrrh, incense, gold,
Thy three-fold office did unfold. Sweet Jesus! let that star of thine, Thy grace, which guides to find out thee,
Within our hearts for ever shine,
That thou of us found out may'st be;
And thou shalt be our king therefore,
Our priest and prophet evermore.
Tears that from true repentance drop,
Instead of myrrh, present will we;
For incense we will offer up
Our prayers and praises unto thee;
And bring-for gold each pious deed,
Which doth from saving faith proceed.
And as those wise-men never went
To visit Herod any more,
So, finding thee, we will repent
Our courses follow'd heretofore ;
And, that we homeward may retire,
The way by thee we will enquire.
The Purification of St. Mary, the Virgin.
NO doubt but she that had the grace,
Thee in the womb, O Christ! to bear,
And did all woman kind surpass,
Was hallow'd by thy being there;
And where the fruit so holy was,
The birth could no pollution cause.
Yet in obedience to thy law
Her purifying rites were done,
That we might learn to stand in awe,
How from thine ordinance we run;
For if we disobedient be,
Unpurified souls have we.
O keep us, Lord! from thinking vain,
What by thy word thou shalt command:
Let us be sparing to complain
On what we do not understand;
And guide thy church, that she'may still
Command according to thy will.
Vouchsafe that with one joint consent
We may thy praises ever sing,
Preserve thy seamless robe unrent,
For which so many lots do fling;
And grant that being purifi'd
From sin, we may in love abide. Moreover, as thy mother went, That holy and thrice blessed maid, Thee in thy temple to present With perfect human flesh array'd ;
So let us, offer'd up to thee,
Replenish'd with thy spirit be.
Yea, let the church, our mother dear,
Within whose womb new-born we be,
Before thee at her time appear
To give her children up to thee;
And take for purified things
Her and that off'ring, which she brings.
THY wondrous fasting to record,
And our rebellious flesh to tame,
A holy fast to thee, O Lord !
We have intended in thy name:
O sanctify it, we thee pray,
That we may thereby honour thee!
And so dispose us that it may
To our advantage also be.
Let us not grudgingly abstain,
And seeretly the gluttons piay;
Nor openly, for glory vain,
Thy church's ordinance obey;
But let us fast as thou hast taught,
Thy rule observing in each part,
With such intentions as we ought,
And with true singleness of heart.
So thou shalt our devotions bless,
And make this holy discipline
A means, that longing to suppress,
Which keeps our will so cross to thine ;
And though our strictest fastings fail To purchase, of themselves, thy grace, Yet they to make for our avail, By thy deservings shall have place. True fasting helpful oft hath been The wanton flesh to mortify;
But takes not off the guilt of sin,
Nor can we merit ought thereby :
It is thine abstinence, or none,
Which merits favour for us must;
For when our glorious works are done,
We perish if in them we trust.
The Annunciation of Mary.
OUR hearts, O blessed God ! incline
Thy true affections to embrace,
And that humility of thine
Which for our sakes vouchsafed was.
Thy goodness teach us to put on,
As with our nature thou wert clad;
And so to mind what thou hast done,
That we may praise thee and be glad.
For thou not only held'st it meet
To send an angel from above,
An humble maid on earth to greet,
And bring the message of thy love;
But laying, as it were, aside Those glories none can comprehend, Nor any mortal eyes abide, Into her womb thou didst descend. Bestow thou also thy respect On our despis'd and low degree; And, Lord, 0 do not us neglect, Though worthy of contempt we be !