Evening Prayer Readings
Monday after Trinity 7
The First Lesson
The Second Lesson
An Independent Traditional 1928 BCP Ministry
TRULY God is loving unto Israel: * even unto such as are of a clean heart.
Nevertheless, my feet were almost gone, * my treadings had well-nigh slipt.
And why? I was grieved at the wicked: * I do also see the ungodly in such prosperity.
For they are in no peril of death; * but are lusty and strong.
They come in no misfortune like other folk; * neither are they plagued like other men.
And this is the cause that they are so holden with pride, * and cruelty covereth them as a garment.
Their eyes swell with fatness, * and they do even what they lust.
They corrupt other, and speak of wicked blasphemy; * their talking is against the Most High.
For they stretch forth their mouth unto the heaven, * and their tongue goeth through the world.
Therefore fall the people unto them, * and thereout suck they no small advantage.
Tush, say they, how should God perceive it? * is there knowledge in the Most High?
Lo, these are the ungodly, * these prosper in the world, and these have riches in possession:
And I said, Then have I cleansed my heart in vain, * and washed my hands in innocency.
All the day long have I been punished, * and chastened every morning.
Yea, and I had almost said even as they; * but lo, then I should have condemned the generation of thy children.
Then thought I to understand this; * but it was too hard for me,
Until I went into the sanctuary of God: * then understood I the end of these men;
Namely, how thou dost set them in slippery places, * and castest them down, and destroyest them.
O how suddenly do they consume, * perish, and come to a fearful end!
Yea, even like as a dream when one awaketh; * so shalt thou make their image to vanish out of the city.
Thus my heart was grieved, * and it went even through my reins.
So foolish was I, and ignorant, * even as it were a beast before thee.
Nevertheless, I am alway by thee; * for thou hast holden me by my right hand.
Thou shalt guide me with thy counsel, * and after that receive me with glory.
Whom have I in heaven but thee? * and there is none upon earth that I desire in comparison of thee.
My flesh and my heart faileth; * but God is the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
For lo, they that forsake thee shall perish; * thou hast destroyed all them that are unfaithful unto thee.
But it is good for me to hold me fast by God, to put my trust in the Lord GOD, * and to speak of all thy works in the gates of the daughter of Sion.
I Nebuchadnezzar was at rest in mine house, and flourishing in my palace: I saw a dream which made me afraid, and the thoughts upon my bed and the visions of my head troubled me. Thus were the visions of mine head in my bed; I saw, and behold, a tree in the midst of the earth, and the height thereof was great. The tree grew, and was strong, and the height thereof reached unto heaven, and the sight thereof to the end of all the earth: The leaves thereof were fair, and the fruit thereof much, and in it was meat for all: the beasts of the field had shadow under it, and the fowls of the heaven dwelt in the boughs thereof, and all flesh was fed of it. I saw in the visions of my head upon my bed, and, behold, a watcher and an holy one came down from heaven; He cried aloud, and said thus, Hew down the tree, and cut off his branches, shake off his leaves, and scatter his fruit: let the beasts get away from under it, and the fowls from his branches: Nevertheless leave the stump of his roots in the earth, even with a band of iron and brass, in the tender grass of the field; and let it be wet with the dew of heaven, and let his portion be with the beasts in the grass of the earth: Let his heart be changed from man's, and let a beast's heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him. This matter is by the decree of the watchers, and the demand by the word of the holy ones: to the intent that the living may know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will, and setteth up over it the basest of men. This dream I king Nebuchadnezzar have seen. Now thou, O Belteshazzar, declare the interpretation thereof, forasmuch as all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known unto me the interpretation: but thou art able; for the spirit of the holy gods is in thee.
On the morrow, because he would have known the certainty wherefore he was accused of the Jews, he loosed him from his bands, and commanded the chief priests and all their council to appear, and brought Paul down, and set him before them. And Paul, earnestly beholding the council, said, Men and brethren, I have lived in all good conscience before God until this day. And the high priest Ananias commanded them that stood by him to smite him on the mouth. Then said Paul unto him, God shall smite thee, thou whited wall: for sittest thou to judge me after the law, and commandest me to be smitten contrary to the law? And they that stood by said, Revilest thou God's high priest? Then said Paul, I wist not, brethren, that he was the high priest: for it is written, Thou shalt not speak evil of the ruler of thy people. But when Paul perceived that the one part were Sadducees, and the other Pharisees, he cried out in the council, Men and brethren, I am a Pharisee, the son of a Pharisee: of the hope and resurrection of the dead I am called in question. And when he had so said, there arose a dissension between the Pharisees and the Sadducees: and the multitude was divided. For the Sadducees say that there is no resurrection, neither angel, nor spirit: but the Pharisees confess both. And there arose a great cry: and the scribes that were of the Pharisees' part arose, and strove, saying, We find no evil in this man: but if a spirit or an angel hath spoken to him, let us not fight against God. And when there arose a great dissension, the chief captain, fearing lest Paul should have been pulled in pieces of them, commanded the soldiers to go down, and to take him by force from among them, and to bring him into the castle. And the night following the Lord stood by him, and said, Be of good cheer, Paul: for as thou hast testified of me in Jerusalem, so must thou bear witness also at Rome.
LORD of all power and might, who art the author and giver of all good things; Graft in our hearts the love of thy Name, increase in us true religion, nourish us with all goodness, and of thy great mercy keep us in the same; through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
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