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whatever state thou preparest for me; that in amiction I may remember how often I have been succoured, and in prosperity may know and confess from whose hand the blessing is receive ed. Let me, O Lord, so remember my sins, that I may abolish them by true repentance; and so improve the year to which thou hast graciously extended my life, and all the years which thou shalt yet allow me, that I may hourly become purer in thy sight; so that I may live in thy fear and die in thy favour, and find mercy at the last day ; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Five Prayers written by Dr. Johnson, previous to
the commencement of his diferent studies.
On the study of religion.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without whose help labour is useless, without whose light search is vain, invigorate my study and direct my enquiries, that I may, by due diligence and right discernment, establish myself and others in thy holy faith. Take no, O Lord, thy holy spirit from me; let not evil thoughts have dominion in my mind ; let me not linger in ignorance, but enlighten and support me; for the sake of 'Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, in whose hands are all the powers of man ; who givest understanding, and takest it away ; who, as it seemeth good unto thee, enlightenest the thoughts of the simple, and darkenest the meditations of the wise ; be present with me in my studies and enquiries. Grant, O Lord, that I may not lavish away the life which thou hast given me on useless trifles, nor waste it in vain searches after things which thou hast hidden from me. Enable me, by thy holy Spirit, so to shun sloth and negligence, that every day may discharge part of the task which thou hast allotted me; and so further with thy help that labour, which, without thy help, must be ineffectual, that I may obtain, in all my undertakings, such success as will most promote thy glory, and the salvation of my own soul ; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amenra
O God, who hast ordained that whatever is to be desired should be sought by labour; and who, by thy blessing, bringest honest labour to good effect; look with mercy upon my studies and endeavours. Grant me, O Lord, to design only what is lawful and right; and afford me calmness of mind and steadiness of purpose, that I may so do thy will in this short life, as to obtain happiness in the world to come ; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Before the study of the luw.
Almighty God, the giver of wisdom, without whose help resolutions are vain, without whose blessing study is ineffectual; enable me, if it be thy will, to attain such knowledge as may qualify me to direct the doubtful, and instruct the ig.. norant; to prevent wrongs, and terminate contentions; and grant that I may use that knowledge which I shall attain to thy glory and my own salvation ; for Jesus Christ's sake. Amen.
Before writing the Rambler.
Almighty God, the giver of all good things, without whose help all labour is ineffectual, and without whose
all wisdom is folly ; grant, I beseech thee, that in this my undertaking thy holy Spirit may not be withheld from me; but that I may promote thy glory, and the salvation both of myself and others. Grant this, O Lord, for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Prayers for persons advanced in life.- MERRICK.
O gracious Lord, my Maker and my Preserver, I give thee thanks for the long continuance which thou hast granted me in this world, in order that I may be the better prepared for another. Enable me, by thy grace, to make a right use of the time afforded me, and give me a true and deep repentance of the sins which I have committed. Support me, by thy help, under the infirmities of age; keep me from covetousness, and fretfulness, and from all unreasonable fears and cares.
Give me that degree of ease and
health which thou seest most convenient for me; wean my affections and desires from the things of this life, and keep me continually prepared for death ; through Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, most merciful Father, look down upon me with pity. Thou hast protected me in childhood and youth ; support me, Lord, in my declining years. Preserve me from the dangers of sinful presumptiou: give me, if it be best for me, stability of purposes, and tranquillity of mind : let the year which I have now be. gun be spent to thy glory, and to the furtherance of my salvation. Take not from me thy holy Spirit ; but as death approaches, prepare me to appear joyfully in thy presence ; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen,
By the same. Almighty and most merciful Father, who hast continued
life from year to year, grant that by longer life I may become less desirous of sinful pleasures, and more careful of eternal hap.