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depart from Thee. We know that only as
FRIDAY MORNING. we walk in the fear of the Lord can we walk in the comforts of the Holy Ghost. We O LORD God Almighty. Thou dwellest in have made the trial, and can say from expe- light inaccessible to men and angels. Thou rience, that no joy can be compared with hidest thyself behind the elements of thy own that which arises from serving and fearing creation. None can find Thee out unto perthe Lord.
fection. Possess our minds with the grandeur May we therefore feel more dedicated to of thy nature and perfections. There is na Him in all the obedience of faith: and while searching of thy understanding: it is infinite. we live, may we increasingly live unto the There is no staying of thy arm: it is almighty. Lord, and when we die, die unto the Lord, Thy agency extends through all space; and that living and dying we may be only and all worlds hang on thy care. One day with entirely the Lord's.
Thee is as a thousand years, and a thousand We bless Thee for the exceeding great years are as one day. The most elevated and precious promises upon which Thou hast beings Thou hast made are continually crycaused us to hope. They provide for every ing, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of Hosts, exigency we feel, and every evil we fear. the whole earth is full of thy glory. Thy wis May we be more familiarly acquainted with dom is a holy wisdom; thy power is holy; thy them: may we take them as our heritage for mercy is holy. Thou art holy in all thy ways ever; and make them our song in the house and righteous in all thy works. of our pilgrimage. May they yield us such How then, O God, can we stand before satisfaction that our hearts may be kept from Thee! How numberless and how aggravated straying after forbidden pleasures; that the have been our offences! How often have we world may lose its power of allurement; that said, if not by our words, yet by our disposiwe may learn in whatsoever state we are tion and conduct, Depart from us, we desire therewith to be content.
not the knowledge of thy ways. May thy providential will bound all our O how have we loved darkness rather than wishes; for we know not what is good for us light; how have we observed lying vanities, in this vain life which we spend as a shadow: and forsaken our own mercies; how have we but Thou knowest. To thine unerring care trampled under foot the Son of God. Thy therefore, we resign all our concerns, re. providence has restrained us; but we have membering that Thou art able to make all done evil as we could. We have had our things work together for our good: and hast religious convictions and excitements; but proved thy regard for our welfare in not we flattered Thee with our lips, and lied unto sparing thine own Son, but delivering Him Thee with our tongue; for our heart was not up for us all.
right with God, neither were we steadfast in We are in a vale of tears, in a world of tri- his covenant. bulation, and among creatures that prove And why are we not beyond the reach of reeds and broken cisterns: in the multitude I hope? Why are we not exclaiming, The of our thoughts within us, may thy comforts harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we delight our souls. And since we are daily are not saved? It is because thy compassions told that this is not our rest, may we arise fàil not, that we are not consumed. O let us and depart; may we seek a better country; not add to all our iniquities impenitence; but and lay hold on eternal life. Make us sensi- let thy goodness lead us to repentance. Let ble of our weakness, that we may be strong us not seal up our doom for ever by despair; in the grace that is in Christ Jesus. Secure but grievously as we have offended, may we us from all those temptations which in every come to thy footstool, renouncing, condemnstate of life arise from a wicked world and a ing, loathing ourselves for our abominations, wicked heart. May we, under the belief of but hoping in that grace which flows to the thy all-seeing eye and thy awful tribunal, dis- chief of sinners through the obedience and charge faithfully the duties arising from our sufferings of thy dear Son. May we receive various relations in life.
the atonement; and know the blessedness of As a family, may we keep sin from our ta- the man whose transgression is forgiven, and bernacle, and dwell together in unity and in whose spirit there is no guile. love. We present Thee our evening sacri- If Thou hast begun a good work in us, perfice of thanksgiving for the preservations, the fect that which concerneth us. Strengthen supplies, and the indulgences of the day; and us in the name of the Lord, that we may run into thy hands we commit our spirits and our and not be weary, and walk and not faint. bodies for the night. Cover us with thy fea- O Thou hope of Israel, the Saviour thereof thers, and under thy wing may we trust: and in the time of trouble, why shouldst Thou be in every future period may thy truth be our as a stranger in the land, and as a wayfaring shield and buckler. And to the blessed and man that turneth aside to tarry for a night? only Potentate, the King of kings and Lord What will become of us if we are left to ourof lords, be honour and power everlasting. selves? But Thou hast said, I will never Amen.
leave thee nor forsake thee. May we there
fore say, The Lord is my helper, and I will not subject to the law of God, neither indeed not fear.
can be. May we live out of the world, as to its spirit O how glorious is the grace that was mindand maxims and manners, but never may we ful of us in this desperateness, and devised refuse to enter it as the sphere of action and means for our rescue. Thou wouldst not at of usefulness. At every call of duty may we l an infinite expense have provided salvation be alive and awake. May we leave Thee to for us, had we not been entirely lost; and determine the nature of our service, without Thou wouldst not have laid help on one that murmuring and disputing; as we have oppor- is mighty, could we have been our own detunity may we do good unto all men; and liverers. We bless Thee for the designs of especially unto those that are of the house- thy goodness, and for the accomplishment of hold of faith.
them by the Son of thy love; that he came We are now in the wilderness, but, blessed between and laid his hands upon us both; be thy name, all is not briers and barrenness. that he made peace by the blood of his cross; We are not without the bread from heaven, that he opened the kingdom of heaven to all and the streams of the rock, and the pillar, believers; that he received gifts for the reand the tabernacle, and the ark. We are bellious also, that the Lord God might dwell sometimes discouraged because of the way, among them; that in Him surely we have but the way, though winding and trying, is righteousness and strength. safe and short. Jordan often dismays us, but May we be found in Ilim, that we may be the feet of our High Priest, standing himself freed from all condemnation, and possessing a in the waters, will open for us a passage; and new source of influence, may we walk not beyond it there is a better, even a heavenly after the flesh but after the spirit. And may country. Many have reached it, and some we mind the things of the spirit; may we we once called and still call our own; and savour the things that be of God; may we we believe that through the grace of the call the Sabbath a delight; may we love the Lord Jesus Christ, we shall be saved even as habitation of thy house; may we find thy they. While we live may our lives be ex- word and eat it, and may it be to us the joy emplary; and when we die, may our end be and the rejoicing of our heart. peace. May we give diligence to make our Spare around us, if it please Thee, our outcalling and election sure; that doing these ward comforts, though we are unworthy of things we may never fall; and so an entrance the least of them; but keep us from abusing may be ministered unto us abundantly into them, from idolizing them, from being satisthe everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Sa- fied with them, without the hope of having viour-To whom be glory and dominion for in heaven a better and an enduring substance. ever and ever. Amen.
May we never act, never feel as those who make flesh their arm, and the world their
portion, and earth their rest ; but may we FRIDAY EVENING.
declare plainly that we are heirs of immor
tality, and that our utmost anxiety is to lay O Thou Most High, we bow before Thee. hold on eternal life. It becomes us to lie very low in thy presence. Thou dost not affict willingly, nor grieve We are nothing compared with Thee as crea- the children of men, but Thou art concerned tures. Yet we would not despise ourselves for our profit; and thy regard for our welfare as we are the work of thy hands; or because often compels Thee to adopt a painful disciwe do not occupy the rank and possess the pline. May we be concerned to gather from powers of angels. We acquiesce in thy so- it the peaceable fruits of righteousness. Let vereign pleasure which has placed us where tribulation work patience, and patience exwe are, and made us what we are: yea we perience, and experience hope. How many thank Thee that in this embryo stage of our hast Thou allured and brought into the wilendless being, we are rendered capable of so derness, and given them their vineyards from much knowledge and improvement; that we thence, and the valley of Achor for a door of can bear thy own image, and not by subser- hope. May we be also thy witnesses, and be viency only but by design, can be workers able to testify that it is good for us that we together with God, and advance his cause and have been afflicted. his glory.
These returning periods remind us of the But so much the more deplorable is the progress of our time.
We lament over opconfession we are constrained to make; the portunities now alas gone, and gone for ever, crown is fallen from our head; wo unto us, in which we could have glorified our Saviour, for we have sinned. We mourn over the de- and been blessings to those around us. How pravity of our nature; that we are alienated few remain; and these how short and uncerfrom the life of God through the ignorance tain! Enthrone and keep divinely alive in that is in us; that the heart is deceitful above each of our souls the conviction, I must work all things and desperately wicked ; that the the work of Him that sent me while it is day: carnal mind is eninity against God, for it is the night cometh wherein no man can work.
Regard this household. May all the mem- | nature; in loosening us from the present evil bers of it be the charge of thy providence, world; in supporting us under the trials of and the subjects of thy grace; and in their life; in enabling us to abide with God in our several stations may each daily ask, Lord, callings; and in exercising ourselves always what wilt thou have me to do? Bless all to have a conscience void of offence towards the families of Israel. Favour all the churches God and towards man. of thithful, however denominated among In all our affairs may we learn to distin
Rule and govern thy church univer- guish between duty and anxiety. May we sally in the right way. And let all the dis- diligently and dependently use the means pensers of thy truth, both by their preaching which Thou hast appointed; but cast all and living, set it forth and show it according- care upon Him who careth for us. May our ly. Let the king live before Thee, and his character rather than our circumstances, subjects be the happy people whose God is chiefly engage our attention; remembering the Lord. And from the rising of the sun to that if we seek the Lord, we shall not want the going down of the same, may thy name any good thing; and if we love Him, all be great among the gentiles, and in every things will work together for our good. place incense be offered unto Thee, and a Give us compassionate hearts that we may pure offering. Our Father, &c.
feel the distresses of others, and never refuse our aid when it is in the power of our hand
to give. Is any afflicted ? Teach him to SATURDAY MORNING.
pray; and let him find Thee a very present
help in trouble. Awaken the careless and O Thou whose name alone is Jehovah. especially alarm those that are at ease in From everlasting to everlasting Thou art Zion. Preserve the awakened from those God. One generation passeth away, and an- betrayers and murderers of souls who never other cometh; and Thou hast appointed us cry, Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and bounds which we cannot pass: and every day thou shalt be saved. Meet those who are upon which we enter, brings us nearer the asking the way to Zion with their faces thiend of our course. But thou art the same, therward, with the assurance, I will lead thee, and thy years shall have no end. Verily I will guide thee, I will direct thee with mine Thou art a God that hidest thyself, yet Thou eye. Say to them that are of a fearful heart, art the God of Israel, the Saviour: and by Be strong; restore them that have gone means of thy word we know that Thou art astray, and help them much who have benot far from any one of us, and that Thou art lieved through grace. not only able to relieve all our wants, but We forget not the millions of our fellowwilling to hear our supplications: yea, Thou creatures who are sitting in darkness and in hast commanded us to ask and receive, that the regions of the shadow of death ; and to our joy may be full.
every empire, every province, every village, O'these wretched hearts of ours, these evil say, Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and hearts of unbelief, in departing from the liv- the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. ing God instead of trusting in Him! How Raise up and send forth many more labourfuil of suspicions are we; how backward to ers; for the harvest truly is great. May approach Thee in full assurance of faith, those who remain at home aid in this blessed though we know Thou art pacified towards cause by their property and their prayers; us, and waiting to be gracious, and exalted to and in their own spheres of action, may they have mercy upon us.
Work in us, O God, to be careful to hold forth the word of life, not will and to do: fulfil in us all the good plea- only by a verbal testimony, but by an actual sure of thy goodness, and the work of faith exemplification. with power. May we believe the record that To Thee, the God of our mercy, we afresh Thou hast given to us eternal life; and dedicate this morning the lives which Thou knowing that this life is in thy Son, and hast spared, the strength which Thou bast that he who hath the Son hath life, may we renewed, and the comforts which Thou hast receive Him as He is presented to us in the continued. May we be in the fear of the Gospel; and having received him continue Lord all the day long : and whether we eat to walk in Him.
or drink, or whatever we do, may we do all to May we feel far more powerfully than we thy glory: through our adorable Redeemer. ever have felt the importance of religion; Amen. may we regard it as the one thing needful. If ever we are negligent, or if ever we trifle, may it be in the concerns of time and sense;
SATURDAY EVENING. not in those which pertain to the soul and eternity, and for which the Lord of all bled O Thou, in knowledge of whom standeth and died.
our eternal life, and whose service is perfect And may we feel more of the power of freedom, cleanse the thoughts of our heart by godliness, in subduing the corruptions of our the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, and give us grace whereby we may serve Thee ac- ance that we shall be one day perfectly like ceptably with reverence and godly fear. him and see him as he is.
Thou art our hiding-place; Thou art our Enable us to hold communion with Thee resting-place; Thou art our dwelling-place; in all the dispensations of thy providence, and the home of the soul, and our everlasting display the Christian in all the varying events portion. By sin we revolted from Thee, and of life. Man is born to trouble; regard us in Thou couldst have justly left us to the natu- all our sorrows. Though our afflictions are ral and penal consequences of the fall ; but the effects of sin, they are taken up, and emin thy love and pity Thou wast pleased to ployed by thy wisdom and goodness for our devise means that thy banished should be protit: and though no chastening seemeth restored to Thee, Thou hast sent thy only for the present to be joyous but grievous, begotten Son into the world, that we might nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peacelive through him; and he has once suffered able fruit of righteousness. Be it unto us, O for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might Lord, according to thy word. May we learn bring us unto God.
obedience by the things we suffer; and may Having therefore boldness and access with every adversity turn to our salvation through confidence by the faith of him, we draw near prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus and cry, God be merciful to us sinners. Thou Christ. hast been merciful to us in the bounties of Though ignorant of the future, and not thy Providence, and thy mercies have been knowing what a day might bring forth, may new every morning; but O impress us with we be fearful of nothing, and careful for no the conviction that the body is nothing to the thing. May we commit our way and our soul, and that time is nothing to eternity. works unto Him who has been with us in six When a few more of these weekly periods troubles; and has promised that He will have rolled away, our flesh will be laid be- never leave us nor forsake; whose grace will neath the cold stone or the green turf, and be sufficient for us while we live, and whose our spirits will be returned to God who gave hand shall wipe away all tears from our eyes them; and the solemn decision will have when we die. passed, He that is holy, let him be holy still, May we feel more of the tender and beneand he that is filthy, let him be filthy still. volent agency of the gospel. May it make O bless us with the heritage of Jacob; re- us long for the salvation of souls, and rejoice member us with the favour Thou bearest to in the belief that Jesus gave himself a ranthy people. Absolve us from all condemna- som for all, to be testified in due time. tion; and let the spirit of life in Christ Jesus Already the lines have fallen to us in pleamake us free from the law of sin and death. sant places. Blessed are our eyes for they Deliver us from the power of darkness, and see, and our ears for they hear. Yet the blesstranslate us into the kingdom of thy dear ing may be converted into a curse; and Thou Son; that kingdom which is not meat and hast commanded us to fear, lest a promise drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in being left us of entering into thy rest, any of the Holy Ghost.
us should seem to come short of it. In how many ways have we borne the We would now dismiss the cares of the image of the earthly; o let us evermore bear world with the week. May we rise in the the image of the heavenly. May the humility morning with refreshed bodies and renewed and benevolence, the devotion and zeal, the strength, and be in the Spirit on thine own patience and submission which adorned his day. And do Thou send out thy light and lovely character, be in measure our attain- thy truth, that they may lead us and guide us ment now: and pressing after a fuller con- to thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles. Our formity to him, may we rejoice in the assur- Father, &c.
FORMS OF PRA Y ER
mention of his righteousness only, and in his strength go forth into all the duties and trials
of life. O God, Thou art worthy of universal and May we never feel miserable even in a vale everlasting adoration. Thy nature is incom- of tears, while we think of the Consolation of prehensible, thy perfections are infinite, and Israel; but rejoice in him with joy unspeakthy ways are past finding out. Thou art the able and full of glory. Creator and upholder of all things. All thy Reflecting upon his grace in becoming works praise Thee, O Lord, and thy saintspoor, that we through his poverty might be bless Thee; and were we to hold our peace rich, may all selfishness and uncharitableness the stones would immediately cry out and be extirpated from our hearts; may we love reproach our ingratitude. All our lives have one another as he has loved us; and may we been full of thy undeserved goodness. delight to go about doing good.
But we are called this morning to behold May no coldness, no indifference ever apthe exceeding riches of thy grace, in thy proach our spirits, whenever we are engaged kindness towards us by Christ Jesus. Herein in serving a master who has all the claims of is love; not that we loved God, but that He a benefactor; yea who died for us and rose loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitia- again. tion for our sins.
To Him may we consecrate all our facul. May we contemplate this matchless event ties and possessions; and on our time and with all those views and affections which its our substance, our souls and our bodies, may importance demands. May those who ob- there be inscribed, holiness unto the Lord. serve the day, observe it unto the Lord. May May we grieve to hear his name blasphemed, our festivity be becoming the occasion, harm- and weep to see his laws transgressed. less and holy. Let us not disgrace the sea- May his cause lie near our hearts; and may son by reviving those works of the devil we long for the time when He shall be known which the Son of God was manifested to de- and adored from the rising of the sun to the stroy; nor rest satisfied with the mere remem- going down of the same; when to Him shall brance of his advent, as founded in truth and every knee bow, and every tongue confess; attended with wonders, but inquire for what and the glad tidings of great joy shall be to end He was born, and for what cause He all people—Unto you is born a Saviour which came into the world. And since we are in- is Christ the Lord. formed that He came to seek and to save Through his mediation we address Thee; that which was lost; and suffered the just for and in his words we conclude our imperfect the unjust, that He might bring us into God; supplications Our Father, &c. may we deem the report not only a faithful saying, but worthy of all acceptation ; and
CHRISTMAS DAY. may it be in us as a well of water springing up into everlasting life.
May none of us disregard Him, from igno- THOUGH Thou art exalted above all blessrance, worldly-mindedness, presumption, self- ing and praise, yet, O God, we love to explore righteousness, or despondency. As our pro- thy ways, to admire thy works, and to adore phet
, may we repair to his feet for instruction. thy perfections. Thy understanding is infinite, May we look to his sacrifice, and find relief for thy power is almighty, thy mercy endureth our burdened consciences. May we acknow- for ever. Thy goodness transcends all our ledge his authority and obey his commands. conceptions, as far as the heavens are higher In all our approaches to Thee, may we make than the earth.