« AnteriorContinuar »
cy and truth to thy people ; and that all things work together for good to them that love Thee.
We would not forget those who are in affliction-Do nut Thou, O God forget them. Whatever be their losses or distress, help them to say, Yet the Lord thinking upon me : and may they know, that thy thoughts towards them are thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to bring them to an expected end, though it may be by a painful passage. Comfort those who are on beds of languishing. Enter the house of mourning. Be the father of the fatherless, and the husband of the widow, and the friend, and helper of the poor and needyand have mercy upon all men.
Our Father, &c.
O God-Thou art glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, continually doing wonders. And it is not one of the least of thy wonderful works, that we are yet on this side an awful eternity, and not reaping the due reward of our deeds. We look on each other this evening with astonishment, and exclaim, it is the Lord's mercies that we are not consumed. Our whole life has been a scene of provocation against thy divine majesty; and if we with all our ignorance and self-love, can see so much depravity in ourselves, what must have presented itself to thy view-O Thou who knowest all things, in whose sight the very heavens are not clean, and who seest more pollution, even in our duties, than we ever found in our sins! There is no health in us. We have no works or worthiness to excite thy regard; and if ever we are saved, it must be according to thy own purpose and grace, given us in Christ Jesus, before the wrld began.
We come to Thee in the dear name of Him who loved us, and gave himself for us ; who magnified the law and made it honourable ; who put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; and now ever liveth to make intercession for us. This foundation, Thou thyself hast laid in Zion, and thy word assures us, that whosoever believeth on Him, shall not be confounded. We hope our dependence upon Him is not a vain reliance, because we love his service as well as his sacrifice, and long to wear his image, as well as to be justified by his blood. We hope we are willing to deny ourselves, and take up our cross and follow Him in the regeneration and whithersoever He goeth.
O make us partakers of that salvation which is designed to deliver us from our sins, and to bring us into the glorious liberty of the children of God. Put thy laws into our minds, and write them in our hearts, and render our obedience to thy will holily natural, and delightful to us. Rectify all our principles, and give us clear and consistent, and influential views of divine truth. May we never undervalue or neglect any part of thy révealed will; but regard the practice the gospel enjoins, as well as the doctrine it exbibits ; prize its commands as well as its promises; and cultivate such a disposition, as will render every religious duty a spiritual privilege..
Sanctify us in every relation, office, transaction, and condition in life. Keep us, if we prosper, from being exalted above measure; and if exercised with adversity, suffer us not to be swallowed up of over-much sorrow. May divine grace preserve the balance of the mind in all our varying circumstances, and teach us, in whatsikver state we are, not only to be content, but tr glorify God, and be an edifying example to tho.n anvund us.
May we always be principally concerned for soul-prosperity, and be willing io sbmit to any means, however trying, that thy wisdom shali judge necessary, to promote and secure it. May
we so pass through things temporal, as not to miss those that are elernal, at last, or to lose sight of them, for a moment, now. Tow long have our feet and our hands been in the mire; O disengage us, purify us, elevate us; our souls cleave unto the dust, quicken Thou us according to thy word. May none of our mercies be lost upon us ; but may they prove the means of exciting our gratitude, warming our devotion, and encouraging our confidence. May none of our trials be unimproved-may they all embitter sin, wean us from the world, and endear to us the Scriptures, the throne of grace, and the sympathy of that Almighty friend who is touched with the feeling of our infirmities.
May none of our religious opportunities be unsanctificd. May we be thankful for the frequency of their recurrence ; may we gladly avail vurselves of them; and instead of resting in the mere outward performance, may we be concerned to worship Thee, in spirit and in truth, and to obtain from thy word, all the benefits it is intended and adapted to afford.
For this purpose, we inıplore thy blessing on the solemnities of the Sabbath, which is so soon to open upon us. May we in the morning awake with Thee, and begin, go through, and end the day in thy faith, fear, and love. May we have satisfactory evidence in our own minds, that we do not wait upon Thee in vain; and may our profiting appear unto all men.
And thus by all the discipline of thy family, and the ordinances of thy house, may we grow in grace, and in our meetness for the inheritance of the saints in light. And when the evening of life itself shall arrive, and we are called to retreat from every mortal care, and we close the period of toil and trouble, by falling asleep in Jesusand open our eyes upon the rest that remains for the people of God, and enter the temple above, to go no more out And may the grace of, &c. Amen.
O Thou King eternal, and immortal, invisible, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto, and whom no man hath seen, or can see. Thou art incomprehensible, and the highest archangel cannot find Thee out unto perfection. Yet Thou hast been pleased to reveal thyself; and by means of thy word, we behold Thee in every character and relation that can suit our necessities, or encourage our bope. Thy throne is in the hea. vens, and thy kingdom ruleth over all; and all na tions before Thee are as nothing; yet thou conde. scendest to regard the things that are done in the earth; and despisest not the prayer even of the destitute. Thou art exalted above all blessing and praise : our goodness extendeth not to Theebut unless thine be extended to us, we are undone for ever. Without Thee we can do nothing; we are nothing. In Thee we live, and move, and have our being. The way of man is not in himself; it is not in man that walketh to direct his steps. We are universally indigent and dependent; but as Thou art able, so thou art willing, to take the charge of us; and here we are, the living to praise Thee; and to acknowledge that goodness and mercy have followed us all the days of our lives.
We bless Thee, that Thou hast regarded our souls, as well as our bodies; and no less provided for our future interests, than our present. When
there was no eye to pity us, Thou didst remember us in our low estate ; and when there was no arm to rescue, Thou wast pleased to lay help on one that is mighty ; and thou hast sent thy own Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. To Him may we turn our believing regards, and find in Him the wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption, which, as perishing sinners, we need. In all our approaches to Thee, may we have boldness, and access, with confidence, by the faith of Him. May we know that He has borne our grief, and carried our sorrow; and be able to rejoice in him as our sacrifice, our sympathising friend, our almighty helper, and our lovely example. May we drink into his spirit. May we transcribe the excellencies of his character into our own. May we place our feet in the very prints of bis steps; and follow Him in the regeneration, till we shall be perfectly like Him, and see Him as He is.
We desire to acknowledge Thee in the dispensations of thy providence; and to own thy agency in all the events that befall us, whether pleasing or painful. Thou hast a right to govern us; and Thou knowest what will best advance our welfare. May we commit our way unto the Lord, and be able to say at thy footstool, in unfeigned submission, Here I am, let Him do what seemeth Him good. If darkness veils thy dealings with us, may we trust and not be afraid ; believing, that what we know not now, we shall know hereafter; and that the developement of thy conduct will issue in perfect satisfaction and praise.
We bless Thee for the institutions of religion, in the use of which Thou hast promised to draw near to those that draw near to Thee. We rejoice in another of the days of the Son of man; may we call off our minds from the cares of the world, and attend upon the Lord without distraction. Quicken