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All unequal to the strife;
Who would reach his heavenly home;
BP. MANT SAINT JOHN THE BAPTIST'S DAY.
Almighty God, by whose provi. dence thy servant John Baptist was wonderfully born, and sent to prepare the way of thy Son, our Saviour, by preaching repentance; make us so to follow his doctrine and holy life, that we may truly repent according to his preaching ; and, after his example, constantly speak the truth, boldly rebuke vice, and patiently suffer for the truth's sake; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
HARK through the lonely waste,
By foot of man unpaced, “ Prepare the way,” a warning voice resounds!
" Level the opposing hill,
The hollow valley fill, Make straight the crooked, smooth the rugged grounds ; Prepare a passage, - form it plain and broad; And through the desert make a highway for our God !”
Thine, BAPTIST, was the cry,
Heard in clear accents by the prophet's ear;
As if 't were thine to wait,
And with imperial state Herald some Eastern monarch's proud career; Who thus might march his host in full array, And speed through trackless wilds his unresisted way.
But other task hadst thou
Than lofty hills to bow,
Thine was the harder part
To smooth the human heart, The wilderness where sin had fixed his reign ; To make deceit his mazy wiles forego, Bring down high-vaulting pride, and lay ambition low.
Such, Baptist, was thy care,
That no obstruction there
But that a clear highway
Might welcome the array Of heavenly graces which his presence brings ; And where repentance had prepared the road, There faith might enter in, and love to man and God.
BP. Mant. SALVT PETER'S DAY.
COLLECT. O Almighty God, who by thy Son Jesus Christ didst give to thy Apostle Saint Peter many excellent gifts, and commandedst him earnestly to feed thy flock; make, we beseech thee, all pastors diligently to preach thy holy word, and the people obediently to follow the same, that they may receive the crown of everlasting glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
LORD! when thy PETER, weak in faith,
By terror too severely tried,
And thee forsook, and thee denied;
When thrice his ear the challenge heard,
And thrice his tongue renounced thy name,
More loud and more impassioned came;
One look from thee his fault reproved,
And made his slumbering conscience start;
Spoke daggers to his bleeding heart
And sent him forth a prey to grief,
Unheeded all his former fears,
From bitter and repentant tears.
Lord! when by human frailty led,
We pass thy gracious warning by,
And thee forsake, and thee deny;
Grant us to feel the keen rebuke,
By conscience, faithful guardian, sent,
When on thy frail Apostle bent.
That pitying look! O may it melt
Our hearts in penitential showers !
And O, be his forgiveness ours!
" When Herod would have brought him out, the same night Peter was sleep
ing.” Acts xii. 6.
Thou thrice denied, yet thrice beloved,
Watch by thine own forgiven friend;
Let his soul love thee to the end.
The prayer is heard, - else why so deep
His slumber on the eve of death?