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give thee thanks from the ground of the heart, and praise our God whilst we have our being. Thy patience with us, thy care over us, and thy continual mercy to us, demand our incessant praises: to thee, therefore, O our heavenly Father, let all thanks, and praise, and love, and obedience, and honour, and glory, be rendered by us, and by all the Israel of God, henceforth and for evermore. Amen.
Tor more than one person.
O Most blessed and gracious Lord God, whose almighty hand has brought us out of nothing to enjoy the comforts of life, and whose free grace has called us out of a state worse than nothing to the hope of thy heavenly glory! We bless thy name, that thou hast conducted us safe through many dangers to see the comfortable light of this day; and we glorify thee that we have yet a day of grace wherein to seek the things belonging to our peace. We adore thee for having so far consulted the good of our souls, as to set apart this day for holy uses, that we might engage. in a solemn attendance upon thee, in whose service consists all our honour and happiness. O how much higher might we have been in thy favour, how much nearer to thee our God, and fitter for thy heavenly kingdom, had we rightly used, and conscientiously improved, those means of grace which thou hast been pleased to afford us.
But we have been cruel to our own souls, as well as disobedient to thee, our Lord; many times losing the opportunities of appearing before thee, when we were near thy sanctuaries; and shunning as a task what was our highest privilege: and even when we have set ourselves to seek thy face, it has been with such coldness and dulness, such wanderings and distractions, that thou mightest justly abhor our souls, and despise our services. But be thou pleased to look upon us in the Son of thy love, who is the Lord our peace and our righteousness; and forgive us all that is past, wherein we have neglected thy work, or performed it amiss, or done what was inconsistent with it. Help us, O God of our salvation, and deliver us both from the bonds and burthen of our guilt, and purge away all our sins, for the glory of thy name. O let them not stand as a partition wall, to hinder the ascent of our prayers to thee, or the descent of thy blessings upon us. But let thy peace and love shine into our souls, that we may see the felicity of thy chosen, and draw water with joy out of the wells of salvation. 0 let us not rest in any forms of godliness, denying the power thereof; let us not take up with the name and profession of Christianity; but may we be swayed with its life and power. And let the gospel of our Lord, and the graces of thy good Spirit shine forth in our lives, to the glory of thee, our heavenly Father. 0 gracious God, be with us, and with all the ministers and stewards of thy mysteries, who are this day to speak in thy name; furnish them with abilities necessary for their great work; and enable them to suit themselves to the capacities and necessities of their several hearers. And grant, Lord, unto us, though now removed from the ordinary, means of grace, ability to receive thy truth in the love of it, so as to profit and grow by it. O do thou remove all the hindrances of our spiritual improvement, that thy word may have free course, and be glorified amongst us. And let us this day go forth in the strength of the Lord God; and prosper and increase with the increase of God. Let thy grace and blessing accompany all our endeavours; that having served thee imperfectly upon earth, we may attain to the full enjoyment of thee in heaven, and glorify thee in the perfection of holiness for ever and ever. And let thy grace and blessing, thy love and fellowship, thy direction and assistance, 0 heavenly Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, be with us, and with all for whom we ought to pray, this day and for evermore. Amen.
Evening PRAYER FOR THE LORD's DAY.
O Lord, thou art good to the soul that seeks thee. By numberless invitations, and by all the endearments of thy love, thou encouragest poor sinners to come unto thee. Thou dost not bid us seek thy face in vain, or serve thee for nought; thou hast pleasure in the prosperity of thy servants, and givest not according to our poor imperfect services, but according to thine infinitely rich and tender mercies; thou givest us eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord. It is not any thing in thy laws, 0 gracious Lord, but the sinfulness of our depraved nature, that makes any of them seem grievous to us; they are all holy, and just, and good, tending only to promote our present and eternal happiness. Nor is it any thing in thy blessed service, but the aversion of our own vile hearts, that makes any part of that employment tedious to us, which is the work and joy of angels; and which it is our wisdom, our honour, our interest, and our happiness to perform. Holy God, we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags; nor can we ever hope to be justified in thy sight upon the account of any works or worth of our own; for by our own hearts and deeds we are reproved and condemned, and should be left speechless in the judgment, if thou, O Lord, shouldst call us to account, according to the merits even of our best services. Dut we desire to take refuge under the shadow of our crucified Saviour, and to be found in him, not having our own righteousness, but that which is by the faith of Jesus Christ; that the shame of our nakedness may be covered, and all our sinful deformities be hid from thine eyes. And we entreat thee to forgive us mercifully, and receive us graciously, and love us freely, in the Son of thy love, in whom thou art well pleased. Command a blessing, we pray thee, O Lord, upon the word which this day we have read or heard, and upon all the means of grace that have been used for the good of our souls. O let us so hide thy word in our hearts, that we may not (as we have done) sin against thee, but may have it as a treasure within us, to aid us in every hour of temptation, and in every time of need. Apply it to our hearts, that we may walk more humbly and closely with our God, and more conscientiously and circumspectly before thee; and be so obedient to the holy precepts of thy word, that finally we may enjoy the great and precious promises contained in it. Supply, O Lord, by the immediate teachings of thy Spirit, the want of thy public ordinances in these our present circumstances. And grant to us, O gracious Lord, the light of thy gospel, and opportunities for our soul’s advantage. Preserve us also, by thy grace, from the temptations of our calling and employment.
And now we give thanks (as we are infinitely
bound) to thee, O Lord God, our heavenly Father, for the mercies of this day, and for thy great mercy and goodness that has followed us all the days of our lives. O how wonderful is thy patience and longsuffering, that thou shouldst all day long stretch forth thy hands to a rebellious and gainsaying people! And how unwearied the kindness and love, that thou still loadest us with benefits, notwithstanding our past abuse of them, and impartest even the greatest mercies to us, who have deserved nothing but judgments at thy hands! Blessed be thy name, O most merciful Father, that thou hast defended us from so many dangers in our lives, which threatened to destroy us; and delivered us out of so many troubles under which we should have sunk and perished, if thou hadst not been nigh to us and done great things for us. We bless thee for our health and liberty; for the use of our reason, limbs, and senses; for the supply of our daily wants, and preservation from dangers, seen and