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T Any one of the following lessons may be used, in opening the - service.
O THou most mighty and most merciful God! who art righteous in all thy ways, and holy in all thy works, it is of thy mercies that we are not consumed, and because thy compassions fail not. O humble us under thy mighty hand. Cause this solemn visitation to bring to our remembrance our danger and our sin. Lead us to bewail and repent of our manifold transgressions, in thought, word, and deed, against thy Divine Majesty. To us, indeed, belong shame and confusion of face, but to thee belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against thee.
O God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, in whom whosoever believeth shall live, though he die, and whosoever liveth and believeth in him, shall never die the second death ; create us anew in Christ Jesus, and make us alive in him. Work faith in us, and grant us his righteousness, that so we may die in the Lord, and that at the last day we may hear thy voice saying, Come, ye blessed of my Father, enter ye into the joy of your Lord. O thou Disposer of all events, with whom are the issues of life and death, cause us to hear this warning voice, “Be ye also ready!” One has been taken, and another left. In the midst of danger thou hast spared us. Make us mindful of our mortality. Prepare us for whatever thou hast prepared for us; and as our bodies are frail, our calling perilous, and our days uncertain and few at best, enable us by thy Holy Spirit so to live the life of faith, that when our summons comes, we may depart in peace, and fall asleep in Jesus. - * Comfort, O Lord, those hearts which are wounded by this dispensation. Sanctify it to the awakening and salvation of survivors. And at length admit us all to thy heavenly kingdom, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Redeemer. Amen.
FOR, LAND OR SEA. Specially adapted to the case of a consistent professor of religion.
T The reading of Scripture from the First Epistle to the Corinthians, chap. xv. verses 42–58.
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, thy mercy is in the heavens, and thy faithfulness reacheth unto the clouds. Thy righteousness is like the great mountains, and thy judgments are a great deep. Clouds and darkness are round about thee, but justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne. Thy judgments are unsearchable, and thy ways past finding out. Thou delightest in mercy, and dost not willingly afflict thy children; but when in the wise and sovereign dispensations of thy providence, thou art pleased to cut down one and another in the midst of their course, it becomes us to be silent, and calmly to submit to thy righteous will; believing that all that thou doest is right, although at present we are not permitted to know the reasons of thy dispensations. Though we may not murmur, we are permitted to mourn the loss of a beloved brother, whom thou hast been pleased to call away from the troubles and temptations of this world, to a much more perfect and blessed state than thy Church upon earth. We do not therefore mourn on his account, for we believe that death was to him gain; yet we cannot but lament the departure of one who was a help and comfort to us, and by his conversation and pious example, was the means of res
training the wicked, and of edifying thy people. May
the good example of thy servant be still remembered and followed by those who have witnessed it, and may we all so live that we may be always ready to die. And when we are summoned to descend into the valley of the shadow of death, may the great Shepherd of the sheep be present with us, and by his rod and his staff so comfort us, that we may fear no evil. When heart and flesh fail, then, O merciful God, be thou the strength of our heart and our portion for ever. And thus, O blessed Redeemer, by thy love and by thy merit, make us conquerors and more than conquerors over the last enemy; so that we may be enabled to sing the song of triumph, “O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory?” While we live, may we live unto the Lord, and when we die, may we die unto the Lord; so that living and dying, we may be the Lord's. All which we ask, only in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, who died for us, and ever liveth to intercede for us, to whom, with Thee, O Father, and the Spirit of all grace, be glory for ever. Amen. r
O Lord, thou art the God whose we are, and whom we ought to serve with all the abilities where with thou hast blessed us. We are bound by all the obligations of thy laws, and by all the endearments of thy love, to be faithful in the covenant of our God, and to abound in the work of the Lord. But we desire to humble ourselves before thee, that our lives have been so unserviceable to thee, and so full of provocation against thee, that the dishonour which we have done thee, O Lord, has so far exceeded all our services, that we have lived to ourselves rather than to thee, and have served our own lusts and pleasures more than thy holy blessed will. O, how have we disbelieved thy truths, disobeyed thy commands, disregarded thy promises and threats | how have we resisted and defeated all the gracious methods which thou hast used to reclaim us from our evil ways, and to bring us to thyself.
We have sinned against thee, our God, and done
* This prayer, and the five following, may be suitably used by two or more friends, by a family, or by a social circle, on land or sea.