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OR A YOUTH GOING FROM HOME.
(If with a view to Business.) -O God, Thou appointest the bounds of our habita tions, and arrangest all our individual concerns; and it is thy pleasure, not only that we should part at death, but often separate in life. When ausent from each other in body, may we be present in spirit; and may our natural affection be strengthened and sanctified by inquiry and correspondence, and divine remembrance at the throne of grace.
Regard the member of our family who is now leaving the parental roof and the parental wing. In all his ways may he acknowledge Thee, and be Thou the guide and the guard of his youth. Secure him from the paths of the destroyer and the evils of the world. May uprightness preserve him. In the situation he will be called to fill, may he be dutiful and obliging, and diligent and faithful. May he always remember that the eye of God is upon him; and be not only amiable but pious; and in favour with God as well as man.
(If with a view to a School.) -0 Thou God of providence and grace, we commend to thy care the dear child about to leave our abode for a season in order to receive necdful instruction. Let his (or HEP) life be precious in thy sight. May he redeem his time, and acquire the improvement that will fit him for usefulness in his day and generation. And O let him be made wise unto salvation ; and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon him; that he may be a useful and ornamental member in thy church below, and hereafter a pillar in thy temple above, never mor: to go out.
FOR CHILDREN IN ORDINARY CIRCUMSTANCES.
(All the Petitions need not be used at the same time.)
- O God, Thou art the lovely Father of all mankind. Thou hast implanted in us the parental instincts; and commanded us to train up our children in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. We feel our awful responsibility, and often exclaim, who is sufficient for these things? But Thou givest wisdorn to the ignorant and power to the faint. Aid, O aid us, in discharging the duties we owe to those whom Thou hast given us and continued to us.
We give them up to Thee, who art able to fulfil all our petitions. Rescue them from the numberless accidents and diseases to which they are exposed. Let their tempers be lovely, and meek, and kind. Let their manners be simple and engaging. May they be respectful towards their super riors, obliging towards their equals, and condescending towards their inferiors.
Let not envy and pride and censoriousness render them disdainful to others, and wretched in themselves. May they speak evil of no one. Upon their tongue may there dwell the law of kindness. May they hate and abhor lying, with all deceit and hypocrisy. - May they be always willing to receive instruction, and be diligent in acquiring all the knowledge and improvement that may render them the blessings and ornaments of society.
Keep them from evil company. If sinners entice thern, may they never consent; but early may they take hold of the skirt of him that is a Jew, saying, I will go with you, for I have heard that God is with you.
We seek not great things for thern as to this worldbut O, let them live in thy sight; let them be numbered
with thy saints in glory everlasting; let them be blessed with all spiritual b.essings in heavenly places in Christ.
Instead of multiplying riches, and leaving them incentives to pride, and vanity, and idleness, and sensuality, and augmenting a thousand fold all the difficulties of their salvation—may we lay up for them treasure in heaven; inay we be concerned to leave behind us a large inheritance of prayers and instructions and examples, with the blessing of God, that maketh rich, and addeth no sorrow with it.
If their parents should be taken away from them when father and mother forsake them, may the Lord take them up. If they should be deprived of their father-be Thou the Father of the fatherless; or should they be deprived of their mother—as one whom his mother cornforteth, so do Thou comfort them.
Should they be removed from us in early life, may the heavenly Shepherd gather the lambs with his arm, and carry them in his bosom; and may we be prepared to resign them. And if, as we subinissively implore, their lives should be prolonged—may they grow up, and prove our comfort and honour, serve their generation according to thy will, and walk before Thee in the land of the living.
FOR CRIMINALS IN PRISON.
-BEHOLD, in the greatness of thy mercy, those who are bound in affliction and iron, because they rebelled against the word of God. May they be led to reflect upon the evil of sin, in the degradation and misery to which it has reduced them. Give them repentance unto life; that they may acknowledge that Thou art just in all that is brought upon them, and be more concerned to ob. tain deliverance from the wrath to come, than exemption from the hand of civil justice. If, after lengthened confinement, they should be released, let them be rescued from the bondage of corruption, and partake of the glorious liberty of the sons of God; and is appointed unto death, O hear the sighing of the prisoner; and though the flesh be destroyed, let the spirit be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus.
While we feel an abhorrence of sin, may we always display compassion for sinners, and be thankful that we have been exempted, by the favourableness of our condition in life, by pious relations, by education, by thy restraining and thy sanctifying grace, from so many temptations by which we might have been conquered. Who made us to differ from another; and what have we that we did not receive ?
FOR A FRIEND AT SEA.
-The sea is thine as well as the dry land. All the elements obey thy voice. We commend to thy kind and almighty care our friend who is now on the perilous ocean. Give to the winds and the waves cornmandment to save him. O Thou that art the confidence of all the ends of the earth, and of them that are far off upon the sea, encourage and tranquillize his mind by holy relliance on thy Providence. May he not only see, but improve the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep. And should the waters thereof roar and be troubled, and vain be the help of man, hear him in his distresses; make the storm a calm; and bring him to his desired haven.
-Thou art the fountain of life. In Thee we live, move, and have our being; and the prerogative of that being is, that we are able to contemplate thy perfections, and rise from thy works—to thyself.
Thou sendest forth thy Spirit, and renewest the face of the earth ; and from apparent death, all nature starts into re-animated vigor and joy. In what 'myriads of productions art Thou displaying afresh the wonders of thy wisdom, power, and goodness—the whole earth is full of thy riches.
While we partake of the general sympathy and delight, may we join with all thy works to praise Thee. And O Thou God of all grace, bless us with the renewing of the Holy Ghost in all the powers of our souls. May old things pass away, and all things become new in Christ. May the beauty of the Lord be upon us; and the joy of the Lord be our strength.
May the young remember that they are now in the spring of life, and that this spring, once gone, returns no mora. May they therefore eagerly seize, and zealously improve, the short, but all important season, for the cultivation of their minds, the formation of their habits, the cor