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and all gentleness. Nor let me insult over her, as an inferior; but mildly use my authority, in treating her as my dear yoke-fellow and companion. O make me meek and patient, faithful and kind, respectful and
tender in all my conduct towards her; and may I
show myself on all occasions well pleased and satisfied with her, that she may find comfort in fellowship with me, and never have reason to regret that she has forsaken all others for my sake. And while, in thy good providence, we are separated from each other, be thou her protector and almighty friend. O blessed Lord, espouse my dear friend to thyself, in lovingkindness, and faithfulness, and tender mercies. Bless her and love her, and make her lovely in thy sight, and in the eyes of all. And grant, O Lord our God, that we may be lovers of one another's souls, and promoters of each other’s salvation; so that after a short season of fellowship here, we may meet again with rejoicing there, where we shall never part, even in that fulness of joy which is in thy presence; where, though there be no marrying nor giving in marriage, yet is there greater festivity and gladness, than in any day of espousals; and where those who are united together in thy fear and love, shall be blessed together in everlasting fellowship with thee, and with thy dear Son Jesus Christ. Amen.
BEHold, O Lord, the children which thou hast graciously vouchsafed to give me, I humbly dedicate and devote to thee. O that they may know thee, and be owned by thee as thy children, every one of them, from the greatest to the least. Pour out thy Spirit upon my seed, and thy blessing upon my offspring. Make them, Lord, thy children by adoption and spiritual regeneration. O take possession of their hearts, and enrich them now, even in their early years, with thy heavenly grace. And teach those whose office it is to instruct them, how to guide them aright; that they may be brought up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and trained up in the way that they should go. They are children of wrath: O that thou wouldest make me instrumental to bring them into thy church, as children of grace! Lord, have mercy upon them, and speak life to their souls; and whatsoever else they want, 0 let them not want thy grace, and the portion of thy children. My God! be thou a gracious father to them, and a merciful provider for them in all estates and events of their lives. Dispose of them, and whatever concerns them, in such a manner as may most tend to thy glory, and to their salvation. Shouldest thou see fit to take them from hence before me, O prepare them for thy presence, and make me willing to resign them to thee. Or if thou remove me from them, O my Lord, take them up, and be thou a Father to them, when I am gone. O keep them from the evil of this world; and eonduct them through it in safety to a better. Take thou care even of their temporal concerns, and choose their inheritance for them; and let all good things be added unto them in this present life; but especially, O my God, take care of their souls; and give them the blessed treasure in heaven; that when they shall be deprived of all things here below, they may be taken into thy glorious kingdom above; there to live with thee, and all the heavenly host, world without end. Amen.
O Lord God, my heavenly Father, I here prostrate myself before thee, to beg thy blessing, grace, and mercy, upon my absent parents. Cast them not away in the time of their old age, forsake them not when their strength fails them; but have compassion, Lord, on their infirmities, and help them in all their weakness. O remember not against them any of their former iniquities; but according to thy mercy remember them, for thy goodness' sake in Christ Jesus. 0 that the true wisdom may be in them, and abundant grace upon them; that their hoary heads may be found in the way of righteousness, and their souls be ever precious in thy sight. Let goodness and mercy follow them all the days of their life. Let their last days be their best days; and the longer they live in this world, make them the fitter to die, and to dwell with thy blessed self, in life everlasting. O be thou their guide until death, and in death their support and comfort; and, when heart and flesh, and all here shall fail them, O do thou never fail them; but be the strength of their hearts, and their portion for evermore. Amen.
A PRAYER SUITABLE AT ALL TIMES.
HoNour and praise be unto thee, O Lord God Almighty, adorable Father of heaven, for all thy mercies and loving-kindnesses shown unto us, in that it hath pleased thy gracious goodness, freely and of thine own accord, to choose us to salvation before the beginning of the world. Continual thanks be given to thee, for creating us after thine own image; for redeeming us with the precious blood of thy Son, when we were utterly lost; for sanctifying us with thy Holy Spirit in the revelation and knowledge of thy holy word; for helping us in all our need; for giving us fatherly comfort in all our afflictions; and for sparing us so long, and giving us so large a time for repentance. With these benefits, which I here thankfully acknowledge, grant me always thy Holy Spirit, that I may continually grow in thankfulness to thee, and be led into all truth, and be comforted in all sorrows. O Lord, increase my faith ! Kindle it more in fervour and love to thee, and to my neighbour for thy sake. Suffer me not, O Father, any longer to receive thy word in vain; but grant me always the assistance of thy grace and Holy Spirit, that, in heart, word, and deed, I may honour thy holy name.
Give advancement to thy kingdom. Be merciful to our offences. Seeing that our debt is great, which thou dost forgive in Jesus Christ, cause me to love thee and my neighbour so much the more. Be thou my Father, my Captain, and my Defender, in all temptations and trials. Hold me by thy mercisul hand, that I may be delivered from every evil; and may close my life, however soon or suddenly called, glorifying thy holy name, through Jesus Christ our Lord and only Saviour.
Let thy mighty hand and outstretched arm, O Lord, be still my defence. Let thy mercy and loving-kindness in Jesus Christ thy beloved Son, be my salvation. Let thy true and holy word be my light. Let the grace of thy Holy Spirit be my consolation, unto the end, and in the end. O Lord, increase my faith! Amen.”
Bless, O Lord, this food to my use; and let it strengthen me for thy service, through Jesus Christ. Amen. -
I THANK thee, O Lord, for the food which I have now received, and sor every blessing, through Jesus Christ my Saviour. Amen.
* Chiefly from John Knox’s “Book of Common Order.”