John Mason Neale, Priest, Hymn Writer, 1866
Have mercy on me, O God, in your great goodness; according to the abundance of your compassion blot out my offences. Wash me thoroughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin. For I acknowledge my faults and my sin is ever before me.
Against you only have I sinned and done what is evil in your sight, so that you are justified in your sentence and righteous in your judgement. I have been wicked even from my birth, a sinner when my mother conceived me.
Behold, you desire truth deep within me and shall make me understand wisdom in the depths of my heart. Purge me with hyssop and I shall be clean; wash me and I shall be whiter than snow. Make me hear of joy and gladness, that the bones you have broken may rejoice. Turn your face from my sins and blot out all my misdeeds. Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence and take not your holy spirit from me. Give me again the joy of your salvation and sustain me with your gracious spirit; Then shall I teach your ways to the wicked and sinners shall return to you. Deliver me from my guilt, O God, the God of my salvation, and my tongue shall sing of your righteousness.
O Lord, open my lips and my mouth shall proclaim your praise. For you desire no sacrifice, else I would give it; you take no delight in burnt offerings. The sacrifice of God is a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise. O be favourable and gracious to Zion; build up the walls of Jerusalem. Then you will accept sacrifices offered in righteousness, the burnt offerings and oblations; then shall they offer up bulls on your altar.
Save me, O God, by your name and vindicate me by your power. Hear my prayer, O God; give heed to the words of my mouth. For strangers have risen up against me, and the ruthless seek after my life; they have not set God before them.
Behold, God is my helper; it is the Lord who upholds my life. May evil rebound on those who lie in wait for me; destroy them in your faithfulness.
An offering of a free heart will I give you and praise your name, O Lord, for it is gracious. For he has delivered me out of all my trouble, and my eye has seen the downfall of my enemies.
In the ninth year of King Zedekiah of Judah, in the tenth month, King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon and all his army came against Jerusalem and besieged it; in the eleventh year of Zedekiah, in the fourth month, on the ninth day of the month, a breach was made in the city. When Jerusalem was taken, all the officials of the king of Babylon came and sat in the middle gate: Nergal-sharezer, Samgar-nebo, Sarsechim the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, with all the rest of the officials of the king of Babylon. When King Zedekiah of Judah and all the soldiers saw them, they fled, going out of the city at night by way of the king’s garden through the gate between the two walls; and they went towards the Arabah. But the army of the Chaldeans pursued them, and overtook Zedekiah in the plains of Jericho; and when they had taken him, they brought him up to King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon, at Riblah, in the land of Hamath; and he passed sentence on him. The king of Babylon slaughtered the sons of Zedekiah at Riblah before his eyes; also the king of Babylon slaughtered all the nobles of Judah. He put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him in fetters to take him to Babylon. The Chaldeans burned the king’s house and the houses of the people, and broke down the walls of Jerusalem. Then Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard exiled to Babylon the rest of the people who were left in the city, those who had deserted to him, and the people who remained. Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard left in the land of Judah some of the poor people who owned nothing, and gave them vineyards and fields at the same time.
King Nebuchadrezzar of Babylon gave command concerning Jeremiah through Nebuzaradan, the captain of the guard, saying, ‘Take him, look after him well and do him no harm, but deal with him as he may ask you.’ So Nebuzaradan the captain of the guard, Nebushazban the Rabsaris, Nergal-sharezer the Rabmag, and all the chief officers of the king of Babylon sent and took Jeremiah from the court of the guard. They entrusted him to Gedaliah son of Ahikam son of Shaphan to be brought home. So he stayed with his own people.
The word of the Lord came to Jeremiah while he was confined in the court of the guard: Go and say to Ebed-melech the Ethiopian: Thus says the Lord of hosts, the God of Israel: I am going to fulfil my words against this city for evil and not for good, and they shall be accomplished in your presence on that day. But I will save you on that day, says the Lord, and you shall not be handed over to those whom you dread. For I will surely save you, and you shall not fall by the sword; but you shall have your life as a prize of war, because you have trusted in me, says the Lord.
When he returned to Capernaum after some days, it was reported that he was at home. So many gathered around that there was no longer room for them, not even in front of the door; and he was speaking the word to them. Then some people came, bringing to him a paralysed man, carried by four of them. And when they could not bring him to Jesus because of the crowd, they removed the roof above him; and after having dug through it, they let down the mat on which the paralytic lay. When Jesus saw their faith, he said to the paralytic, ‘Son, your sins are forgiven.’ Now some of the scribes were sitting there, questioning in their hearts, ‘Why does this fellow speak in this way? It is blasphemy! Who can forgive sins but God alone?’ At once Jesus perceived in his spirit that they were discussing these questions among themselves; and he said to them, ‘Why do you raise such questions in your hearts? Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, “Your sins are forgiven”, or to say, “Stand up and take your mat and walk”? But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins’—he said to the paralytic—‘I say to you, stand up, take your mat and go to your home.’ And he stood up, and immediately took the mat and went out before all of them; so that they were all amazed and glorified God, saying, ‘We have never seen anything like this!’
who sent your Holy Spirit to be the life and light of your Church:
open our hearts to the riches of your grace,
that we may bring forth the fruit of the Spirit in love and joy and peace;
through Jesus Christ your Son our Lord, who is alive and reigns with you, in the unity of the Holy Spirit, one God, now and for ever. Amen.