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beseech thee to grant unto him thy grace, to accompany him all the days of his life, that he may hold fast the profession of his faith, making his calling and election sure; that his body being washed in pure water, and he tasting of the heavenly gift, being made partaker of the Holy Ghost, and sprinkled in his heart from an evil conscience, he may follow thee in the regeneration, and, after the end of this life, he may for ever be with them who have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. Grant this, O God our Father, through Jesus Christ our blessed Saviour and Redeemer.
O most holy, most gracious Saviour Jesus, who lovest thy church, and hast given thyself for it, that thou mayeșt sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of water in the word; do thou, with thy Holy Spirit, enlighten, and with thy word, instruct, the understanding of this child, that he may live by faith, and may receive the secrets of thy kingdom, and know thy will, and obey thy laws, and promote thy glory,
O God, be thou his Father for ever, Christ his elder brother and his Lord; the church his mother; let the body of Christ be his food, the blood of Christ his drink, and the Spirit the earnest of his inheritance. Let faith be his learning, religion his employment, his whole life be spiritual, heaven the object of his hopes, and the end of his labours; let him be thy servant in the kingdom of grace, and thy son in the kingdom of glory; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Then shall the Priest add this Blessing. Our blessed Lord God, the Father of men and angels, who hath sent forth his angels ministers, appointing them to minister to the good of them who shall be heirs of salvation he of his mercy and goodness send his holy angel to be the guardian of this child, and keep him from the danger and violence of fire and water, of falls and sad accidents, from cvil topgues and evil eyes, from witchcraft and all impres,
sions of the spirits of darkness, from convulsions and rickets, from madness and stupidity, from folly and evil principles, from bad examples and from evil teachers, from crookedness and deformity, from the mutilation of a member or the loss of sense, from being useless and unprofitable, from being impious, harsh-natured, and unreasonable ; and make him a wise, useful, and a holy person, beloved of men, and beloved of God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen, Amen.
You the godfathers and godmothers of the child, as you have done this charity to the infant to bring him to holy baptism, so you must be sure to continue
your care over him till he be instructed in his duty, taught what vow he hath made by you, and how he shall perform it. To this purpose you shall take care that he may learn the Lord's Prayer, the Apostles' Creed, and the Commandments of our Lord, that he may know how to pray, what to believe, and what to practise; and when he is in all these things competently instructed, neglect not any opportunity of bringing him to the bishop, that he, by imposition of hands and invocation of the Holy Spirit of God, may procure blessing and spiritual strength to this child. Which duty when you have done, you are discharged of this trust; and, from the mercies of God, may humbly hope for the reward of your charity.
DEVOTIONS AND PROPER OFFICES
An Office for safe Child-birth.
1. O ALMIGHTY Father of men and angels, in whose hands are the keys of life and death, of the womb and of the grave, look down at this time in great mercy and gentlest compassion upon thy servant. Thou hast, O God, upon the weakest of mankind fixed the sharpest decree of painful childbirth; but so thou lovest to magnify thy mercies and thy power, that thy strength may be seen in our weakness; so let it be, O God, unto thy handmaid; let thy lovingkindness be her confidence and her rest, her hope and her security, now and in the hour of her travail.
Lord, let thy holy angels be present with thy servant, in their holy and charitable ministries about her person; it is a great thing that we require; but we beg it of the great King of heaven and earth, the Lord of angels, who hath promised that his angels shall stand in circuit round about them that fear the Lord: look, O Lord, upon her fear; it is humble, but it is trembling : look upon her love, and make it what it is not yet: do thou sanctify her fear of thee, and change it into obedience, and carefulness of duty; increase her love of thee, and make it to be pure and perfect, operative and busy, zealous and obedient; make it to grow up to the perfections of a Christian, and pass unto the beauties of holiness: so shall thy servant feel thy daily mercies, and no evil shall come near to hurt her.
III. Gracious Father, give thy servant leave to rely upon thy glorious promises. Thou hast commanded us to call upon thee in our trouble, and hast promised to deliver us: O look upon thy handmaid, leave her not, nor forsake her, for trouble is hard at hand, and there is none that can help or deliver but only thou, O God. In thee, O Lord, do we trust, let thy servants never be confounded. Be pleased, O Lord, to give thy servant patience, and dereliction of her own desires, perfect resignation of her own will, and a conformity to thine; that she may with joy receive the blessing, which thou wilt choose for her, and which we humbly beg of thee, even that she may have a holy, a healthful, a joyful, and a safe deliverance of her burden. Lord, keep her from all sad accidents, and evil contingencies, from violent pains and passions, from all indecency of comportment and unquietness of spirit, from impatience and despair, from doing any thing that is criminal, or feeling any thing that is intolerable.
O Lord our God, give thy servants leave to pray unto thee in behalf of this thy handmaid, that thou wilt not cut her off in the midst of her days, nor forsake her when her strength faileth : but spare her, O God, not for any purposes of vanity, or the satisfaction of any impotent or secular desires, but that she may live to serve thee, to redeem her time mispent in folly, to get victory over temptations, and perfect dominion over her passions, to grow great in religion, and of an excellent charity and devotion. O spare her a little, that she may recover her strength, before she goes hence and be no more seen; so shall thy servant rejoice in thy mercies, and speak of thy loving-kindness in the church of thy redeemed ones, and will spend her days in holiness and zealous pursuances of religion. Remove her sins far from her, as the East is from the West; for thou didst send thy most holy Son to die for us, and redeem us from all the powers of sin and hell: thou knowest whereof we were made, and rememberest that we are but dust: 0 do not visit
her sins upon her by a hasty death, but manifest thy mercies and thy pardon, by giving her a mighty grace, that she may live a holy life: and be pleased to grant this also, that those impresses of pious resolutions, and religious purposes of fear and love, of hope and desire, which thy grace in the circumstances of her present condition makes upon her, may abide in her soul for ever; and in the days of ease and safety, may be as operative and productive of holiness, as now they are of a hearty prayer, and passionate desires for thy mercies upon her, in a safe and blessed child-birth.
Lord, bless her child, grant that it may be born with a right shape and a perfect body, with a comely countenance and straight limbs, with entire senses and expedite faculties, with an excellent power of understanding and sweet dispositions; and let thy Holy Spirit of grace conduct it to the sacrament of baptism, and in safety and holiness from the cradle to the grave. Grant this, 0 eternal God, for his sake, , who was born of a holy maid, and suffered the infirmities of nature, and died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, even our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. Amen.
An Office of public Thanksgiving for Women after their
Delivery from Child-birth, or any great Sickness, or
woman presenting herself before God on her knees, in some
Exhortation : * Forasmuch as it hath pleased Almighty God, who hath commanded us when we are afflicted, to pray, and hath promised to be with us in trouble, to make good his truth and mercy unto you, in standing at your right hand in the day of your sorrow and danger, giving you safe deliverance, [and a living and hopeful child",] you shall therefore return to him the sacrifice of a thankful and joyful heart, in an
* This may be inserted or omitted, according to the present circumstances.