Blessed Lord, make me ever mindful of the truth, that it is appointed unto all men once to die. Thou canst wound and kill, and there is none to deliver out of thy hand. Thou hast determined our days, and appointed the bounds of our habitations. O lead me to consider my latter end, and teach me to number my days, that I may apply my heart unto wisdom. Make me to know my end, and the measure of my days, that I may learn how frail I am. Lord, what is my life 1 It is a vapour that appeareth for a little while, and then vanisheth away.
Teach me, thou source of wisdom, that death is the great crisis of my being, which will determine my destiny for ever. He whom it finds unjust and filthy, shall be unjust and filthy still: and he whom it finds righteous and holy shall be righteous and holy still. Lord, let me pass the time of my sojourning here in fear, seeking to be ready for its solemn message; for in such an hour as we think not, the Son of Man cometh. Whatsoever, therefore, my hand findeth to do, may I do it with my might; since there is no work, nor device, nor knowledge, nor wisdom in the grave whither I go. Let me not fear them that can kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul; but rather fear him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell, which is the second death.
Lord, train me to such habits of obedience to thy will, and trust in thy dealings, and faith in thy promises, that while I look upon the earthly house of this tabernacle as one that must be dissolved, I may rojoice in the hope, that I shall have a building of God; a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. When I am called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death, be thou my rod and staff to comfort me: and when my heart and flesh fail, be thou the strength of my heart and my portion for ever. Lord, let me die the death of the righteous, and let my last end be like his.
Look in mercy, I pray thee, on those who are encompassed by the sorrows of death. Prepare them for their solemn and awful change. If they have made their peace with thee, through the blood of Christ, comfort them and give them blessed foretastes of thy heavenly kingdom. But if they have not, O bring them by thy saving power into thy covenant of grace.
O thou who didst weep at the tomb of Lazarus, comfort those who mourn for the loss of cherished friends. May they kiss thy rod ; and if it be consistent with the life or death of the departed, let them not sorrow as those who have no~ hope, but look forward to that hour, when the hand that now has riven will restore their fellowship, and make it pure as the light and lasting as the days of heaven.
Almighty God, help me to resolve to be thine, wholly thine, in the bonds of an everlasting covenant. Let me not halt between two opinions, but choose now to serve the living and true God, with all my heart, and soul, and mind, and strength. O let me not harden my heart, nor provoke thy wrath, by putting off to a more convenient season the things which belong to my everlasting peace. May I learn that now is thine accepted time for the discharge of duty, and this the day of that salvation which makes thy saints willing subjects of thy power. There are no neutrals in thy dominion : he who is not with thee is against thee. Lord, make me not only almost, but altogether a christian. May thy word and providence and Spirit inspire me with energy of purpose to do thy pleasure. Whatsoever I do may I do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not to men. O make me steadfast, immoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord; for we know that our labour is not in vain in the Lord.
My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. Teach me, Giver of Mercies, my absolute and continual dependence on thee for life, and breath, and all things. Thou didst make me by the word of thy power, and I live every moment at the expense of thy bounty. I am full of wants, without any ability in myself to supply them. I am a creature of yesterday; my breath is in my nostrils; and I am crushed before the moth. I know not what a day may bring forth : I cannot add one cubit to my stature; nor make one hair of my head white or black. Grant me, I pray thee, such an abiding conviction of my subjection to thee as shall keep me from resting on an arm of flesh, and lead me to trust in the living God. In the hour of prosperity let me not forget that thou art the giver of every good and perfect gift: and in the season of affliction show me that thou canst comfort me on every side—canst make my wilderness as Eden, and my desert as the garden of the Lord. Make me realize that in all my efforts to do good, either to myself or others, I must depend on thee. Thou only givest the increase. But blessed be thy name, thy Spirit helpeth my infirmities ; and thy strength is made perfect in my weakness.
Assist me by thy grace, in all the vicissitudes of life, to feel that thou art a present help in every hour of need. When toil and care, fears and trials encompass me, lead me to thee with whom alone dwelleth that peace which passeth understanding : and do thou guide me into green pastures and beside still waters; and let thy banner over me be love. And grant, O Lord, that when I am called to struggle with the king of terrors, thy grace may be sufficient for me, and that I may be made glad in the hope of eternal life.
Depravity.—See Human Depravity.
Lord, quicken thou me in thy way. Make me diligent in thy work, continuing instant in prayer, redeeming the time, because the days are evil. Grant, that in every duty I may be active, watchful and persevering; for no man having put his hand to the plough, and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God. Let not mine be the doom of that servant who hid his master's talent in the earth: let me not be slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. SufFer me not to rely on the memory of past experience, nor on the hope of'future obedience; but whatsoever my hand findeth to do, give me zeal to do it with my might. O give me the spirit of diligence in every work of faith and labour of love; remembering my accountability to thee, the importance of the trusts thou hast reposed in me, the shortness of human life, and the abundant rewards thou hast promis
ed to them who are faithful in thy service. Lord, enable me to lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset me, and run with patience the race that is set before me; looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith, and pressing toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
Lord, rebuke the sloth of thy covenant-people. Give them a spirit of active energy in all that relates to the sanctification of their own hearts, the saving health of thy church, and the conversion of sinners. Yet do thou make them feel that while they strive with all their vigour in the obedience of faith, it is thou that workest all in all.
Merciful Father, preserve me from a doubtful mind. Let not disease of body, nor affliction of mind, disquiet my soul within me. Let not ignorance nor error intrude on my comfort in the hope of the gospel. Let not Satan unsettle my trust in thy covenant of mercy. And O, suffer not sin, in any form, to bring a cloud over the light of thy countenance and the joys of thy salvation.—O thou that givest rest to the weary and heavy-laden, show me that thy mercy endureth for ever. Teach me that thou art merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness. Lead me, I pray thee, in every feeling of despondency, to that throne from which thou givest grace to help in every season of trial. Dissipate my fears, and give me an assurance of an interest in thy favour, and of acceptance in thy sight, through the righteousness of Christ. Grant me thy blessed Comforter, that I may have joy in the Holy Ghost. Cheer me by thy gracious
promises, which are Yea and Amen in Christ Jesus. Give me, O Lord, beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Let my light rise in my obscurity, and my darkness be as the noon day. Cause thy righteousness to go before me, and thy glory to be my re reward.
Eternal God, O may my daily and hourly inquiry be, " What wilt thou have me to do r" Instruct me that the duty which thou requirest of me is obedience to thy revealed will. Help me, I pray thee, to discharge all my obligations to thee, to myself and to my fellow creatures.
May I love thee with all my soul, and mind, and strength, and heart. Dispose me to submit to thy will; to love thy character; to trust in thy name; and to fear thine excellent greatness. May I regard thee as, through Christ, the object of prayer, and the rewarder of them who diligently seek thee. Help me, I pray thee, to worship thee, who art a Spirit, in spirit and in truth.
Lord, enable me, by thy Spirit, to do my duty to myself. May I exercise faith in the Lord Jesus Christ, and repentance unto life; and make a diligent use of all the outward and ordinary means whereby Christ communicates unto us the benefits of redemption. May I work out my salvation with fear and trembling, knowing that it is God that worketh in me, to will and to do of his own good pleasure.
Assist me, O Lord, to perform all the duties, social, civil, and religious, which I owe to my fellow creatures. May my conduct to them be governed by that spirit of charity which excludes anger, revenge, censoriousness, prejudice, injury, and oppression. Make me averse to injure the feelings, persons, property and character of any. May I delight in the happiness of others. Make my heart a wellspring of sympathy, compassion and liberality ; and lead me to spend cheerfully my property, my time, and, if needs be, my life, in works of mercy and justice. Enable me to fulfil all my relations as a superor, an inferior, and an equal.
Lord, I thank thee for the encouragements thou art giving, in the course of thy providence, to religious effort, by making rich with thy blessing those who are diligent in thy cause. Yet, I would feel that while these things are to be remembered with thankfulness, they increase my obligation to labour that I may return thine own to thee with abundant usury.—Strengthen me, I pray thee, to do thy will, while it is called to-day—to do it with my might, and with perseverance therein to the end—even as thine angels do it in heaven.
Lord, I would offer these and all other petitions through him who is the Prophet, Priest and King of the whole Israel of God, and without whose merits and intercessions, all my services would be without hope or profit.—[See Obedience.]
Heavenly Father, I thank thee for the evidence which thy word and the history of thy church give us, that children and youth may be taught to love thy name and do thy will. Whilst thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, thou hast revealed them unto babes. Thou hast told such to remember thee; and hast given thy promise that those who seek thee early shall find thee. Our blessed Saviour said, " Suffer little children to come unto me:" and he took them in his arms and blessed them, saying, "Of such is the kingdom of heaven." Lord, thy church, in every age, but especially in our own, has raised up many witnesses that thou canst satisfy the children of men early with thy mercy, that they may rejoice and be glad all their days.
Lord, increase and greatly multiply the instances of early piety. May multitudes of children feel and act from the motives which should lead them to do that which is well-pleasing in the sight of the Lord. Convince them that they are sinners, exposed to thy wrath, walking in rebellion against their heavenly Father, and yet receiving the most tender offers of mercy through Christ the Saviour. Make them feel that christian friends and happy spirits, holy angels and Jesus Christ, desire their salvation. Make them understand something of the worth of the soul; something of death and judgment, heaven and hell. O lead them, through repentance and faith in Jesus, to remember and serve thee in the days of their youth.
Shepherd of Israel, rebuke the unbelief of thy church respecting the conversion of children, even as thou didst rebuke thy disciples when they would have hindered such from coming to thee. Let none despise these little ones; for thou hast warned us that their angels do always behold the face of their Father in heaven. O may thy saints on earth be instruments of leading them to Christ, and training them as plants of righteousness, whose leaf shall not wither, and who will bring forth the fruits of grace. Bless, I beseech thee, the various means which are now used to fill the minds of children with religious truth. Let not this condemnation come upon them,
that they knew thy will, but did it not. O may their privileges be to them as the small rain upon the tender herb, and as showers that water the earth, and which cause it to bring forth beauty, and verdure,
God of Wisdom, I thank thee that thou hast given me a rational mind and an immortal soul, capable of being trained to the highest and noblest exercises of thought and feeling. Teach me that thou hast put on me the responsibility of training these powers in wisdom and holiness, that 1 may glorify God, do good unto others, and fill up the measure of my everlasting happiness and welfare. Let me not, I beseech thee, by any neglect or perversion of my rational and immortal faculties, defeat thy benevolence in placing me so far above the brutes that perish. O lead my understanding into useful knowledge, and my heart into redeeming grace.
Lord, bless the useful discoveries and efforts that have been made, and are now making, for the spread of education. O diffuse and increase them, everywhere, until every human mind will know its powers, and exercise them in such spheres as will make them a blessing to itself, to its country, and to the world. Assist those who would scatter, by the light of truth, the mists of ignorance and error that hang over the minds of the great mass of mankind : but suffer them not to forget that righteousness is the stability of truthT and holiness the safeguard of knowledge. Make all our schools and seminaries nurseries of piety as well as of learning. Cast the healing salt of thy grace into all the fountains of knowledge, and cause them to send forth copious
and fruit.—[See Sabbath Schools.]
and unfailing streams that will make glad the city of our God.
Father in Heaven, preserve my heart from the baneful dominion of envy. Teach me its exceeding sinfulness, and show me that if I indulge in it, it will be a fountain of unhappiness to myself and of mischief to my fellows, while it will bring down on me thy heavy displeasure. Lord, let me not be envious of the gifts, or advantages, or success of others. May I feel that I am not worthy of the least of the mercies thou hast already given me; and teach me that thou hast not, in caprice, withheld from me, and bestowed on others, the things which seem good in my eyes. Lord, make me content with thy will; and so shall my heart rejoice in thy ways for evermore.
Lord, I would come to thee in the worthy name of Jesus, to implore thee to shield my judgment and heart from the influence of error. Give me sound knowledge and right feelings. Make me quick to discern that which is right, and to reject that which is wrong. Lead me to do thy will, that I may know of every doctrine whether it be of God. O let not ignorance cloud my understanding; nor prejudice warp my judgment; nor interest stifle my conscience; nor sin fetter my will: but do thou enable me to detect, and hate, and shun what is false, and to know, and love, and follow the truth, through evil and good report.
Lord, subdue and scatter every form of error in thy church, and throughout the world. Remove from the household of faith, every thing that exalts itself against thy word, and perverts the right ways of the Lord. Bring thy people of every name, into the unity of the Spirit.—Almighty God, cast down the Man of Sin ; overthrow the False Prophet; scatter the temples of Idolatry ; and overturn, and overturn, and overturn, until the Prince of Truth shall have the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.
O God, help me to dwell by faith and prayer, on the solemn realities of the world to come. Thou hast made me in the image of thine own eternity, with powers that are capable of eternal progress in holiness, knowledge, and happiness—or in sin, error, and wo: and thou has filled my soul with hopes and fears that travel far beyond the narrow limits of this life, and find their home in the future state of endless being. My condition will be fixed either in heaven or hell—enjoying the light of thy countenance, or cast out from thy presence for ever—rejoicing in the company of the good, or enduring the fellowship of the wicked—bathing in the fountain of eternal bliss, or plunging in the burning lake of undying wo.
Lord, I thank thee that thou hast revealed eternal things to me, and hast shown me how I may escape everlasting death, and obtain eternal life. Give me a firm belief of their reality, and a deep conviction of their importance. Teach me, O God of Mercy, that life, and time, and means are given me to prepare for eternity—that there is but a step between me and death—and that according to my character then, will be my destiny for ever. O seal me now by thy Spirit until the day of redemption; and then let an entrance be ministered unto me abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of the Lord Jesus Christ, where my tongue shall utter a ceaseless anthem of praise, my understanding enjoy an unclouded knowledge of truth, and my soul delight in a perpetual feast of love.—[See Heaven, Hell, Soul.]
Eternity Of God.
From everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. The number of thy years cannot be searched out; for thou hast no beginning of days, nor end of years. Thou art Alpha and Omega; the beginning and ending; which was, and is, and is to come ; with whom the past, the present, and the future are one eternal Now. Thou hast life in thyself; and all thy creatures have their being in thee. Heaven and earth shall perish, but thou shalt endure: they shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed; but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
Lord, may the solemn truth that thou art eternal, suitably affect my heart and control my conduct. Thou hast undying power, to make me happy or wretched for ever. Throughout the ceaseless ages of eternity, thy hand will be on me for weal or wo. O do thou enable me to shun the wrath to come, and to lay hold on eternal life. Make with me now thine everlasting covenant; and be the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Great Sovereign, it has pleased thee, in the unsearchable purposes of thy wisdom, to suffer sickness and pain, misfortune and misery, death and sin, to dwell on earth, and turn its gardens into deserts, its joys into sorrows, and thy subjects into rebels against thy mercy and justice. It is even so, Father, for so it hath seemed good in thy sight. Yet, I know thou hast taught the whole intelligent uerse, by the history of man's fall, the bitter fruits of transgression: and I rejoice that in due time, thou didst commend thy love to us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us, that where sin and its fruits have abounded, grace and its blessings may much more abound. Father in Heaven, restore, I pray thee, this earth to the happiness and purity of its first creation. Remove every thing that would mar the peace and holiness of mankind: and grant that as sin has reigned unto death, even so may grace reign, through righteousness, unto eternal life, through Jesus Christ, our Lord.
Lord, make me understand the good and evil influences I may exert in the world by my example. Let me not dishonour thy name, nor cast shame on thy church, nor throw a stumbling-block in the way of sinners, by a careless or unholy walk: but may my light so shine before men, that they may see my good works, and glorify thee. May I walk as the children of light, and have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Enable me by well-doing, to put to silence the ignorance of foolish men. Make me blameless and without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse people ; holding forth the word of life, that I may rejoice in the day of Christ, that I have not laboured in vain. Blessed Lord, grant me, for
Christ's sake, a name and a place among thy peculiar people, whom thou hast chosen to show forth thy praises. Make me a guide to the blind, a light to them that walk in darkness, and a living epistle of good works, known and read of all men. Enable me to hold fast the profession of my faith, without wavering, that men may take knowledge of me that I have been with Jesus. O God, restore thy salvation unto me, and uphold me by thy free Spirit; so shall I teach transgressors thy ways, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.
EXISTENCE OF GOD.
Thou, Jehovah, art the only living and true God. My reason tells me that thou art—my conscience warns me of thy being—thou art known by thy judgments, and art proclaimed by thy mercies. Wherever I go, I see the proofs of thine existence; for the whole uerse is a magazine of reference to thee, as over all, God, blessed for ever. Lord, let not my heart ever say with the fool, " there is no God;" nor my conduct show that I have forgotten or denied thee. Grant that I may not only believe that thou art, but that thou art the rewarder of them that diligently seek thee. O teach me out of the book of nature and the volume of thy word, thy being, and character, and will; and may all I learn of thee, lead me to worship and serve thee in Spirit and in truth.
Lord, I would believe; help thou mine unbelief. Enable me to have faith towards thee, as infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in all thine attributes. May I believe with my heart unto righteousness, in all thy purposes and dealings towards the creatures thou hast made. Be thou, O Lord, the strength of my heart and the portion of my hope for ever.
Let me not stagger at thy word through unbelief; for without faith it is impossible to please thee. May I trust thee in all thou hast spoken, as welt as in all thou hast done. Let me not hold thy truth in unrighteousness; but do thou make it profitable to me for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness; that thereby I may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Teach me to confide in its precious promises, to heed its solemn warnings, to follow its sacred examples, and to obey it3 holy precepts.
Lead me, blessed God, to look unto Jesus, the author and finisher of faith. To him give all the prophets witness, that through him, whosoever believeth on his name, shall have remission of sins: while he that believeth not shall be damned. O may he be my Teacher, my Saviour and my Ruler; and may I receive and rest upon him alone for salvation, as he is offered in the gospel.
Lord, enable me to exercise faith in prayer. Give me an abiding conviction, that thou art the rewarder of all that diligently seek thee. May I ask of thee the things that are according to thy will, trusting that I shall receive them. May I knock at the door of thy mercy, believing that thou wilt open unto me. O grant me access with confidence to the throne of thy grace, in the strength of Christ's merits, and of that intercession which he ever liveth to make for those that come unto thee by him.
Lord, give me grace to show my faith by my works, without which it would be dead, being alone. May I add to it virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly-kindness, and charity. May it so work by love, that I may realize the iniquity and danger of those who are strangers to thy covenant of promise, and have the energies of my soul and body stirred up to pluck them as brands from the burning.
Heavenly Father, give me the evidence of things not seen, and the substance of things hoped for. May I live by faith, and not by sight; looking not at the things which are seen and temporal, but at those that are not seen, and are eternal. O may it please thee to give me that victory which overcometh the world; and to grant that in all the trials of life, and amid the struggles of death, I may come off more than conqueror, through him who is the end of the law for righteousness to all that believe on him.
Lord, preserve me from falsehood. Teach me that it degrades character, injures peace of conscience, subverts the welfare of society, and incurs thy hot displeasure. O make my conscience tender with regard to every violation of truth. Let me not utter falsehood in jest; for thou hast said that for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment. Let me not depart from truth, for the love of gain ; for the wages of sin is death. Let me not practice deceit, through the fear or favour of man; for his breath is in his nostrils. And, O Lord, let me not be false, with the plea of doing good ; for we may not do evil that good may come. Keep me, I pray thee, from every thing which is prejudicial to truth, or injurious to my own or my neighbour's good name. Suffer me not to think, nor act, nor speak deceitfully
in any thing.
O Lord, make me, above all, sincere towards thee. Let me not attempt to draw nigh to thee with a lip-service, while my heart is i'ar from thee. Thou searchest the heart, and triest the reins : thou art not deceived, and thou canst not be mocked. May all my homage before thee, spring from a controlling desire to do thy will, which requires truth in the inward parts.
Assist me, O Lord, to set my face unto thee, to seek by prayer and supplication, with fasting. Lead me at suitable times, to deny my appetites, out of religious principle, and with a view to spiritual benefits on myself and others. Teach me that thou hast commanded this duty ; that thy saints in all ages have fulfilled it; and that in doing so, they have enjoyed thy favour. Lord, make it the intelligent service of my heart. May I resort to it as a means of crucifying the flesh, of mortifying the deeds of the body, and of bringing it into subjection to the immortal interests of the soul. Enable me to offer it in penitence before thee, as the expression of a sense of my sinfulness. Do thou make its every exercise conducive to the health of my body, and the clearness and vigour of my mind; and render it an instrument of leading me to forsake selfishness and iniquity, and to serve thee with a pure-hearted and an increasing devotion.
Lord, bless the appointed fasts of thy churches. May these solemn seasons be accompanied by penitence for transgression, abandonment of sin, consecration to thy service, and revivals of pure and
undefiled religion, which shall pervade all the courts of Zion, and be the means of adding to her many of such as shall be saved.
Lord, grant that my heart may always be influenced by that fear of thee, which is the beginning of wisdom, and is a fountain of life that is clean, enduring for ever. Let not my fear of thee be the dread of a slave* nor the terror of a criminal; but the awe of a servant mingled with the confidence of a child. May it lead me to avoid thy displeasure— to desire thy favour—to hate evil—and to do thy pleasure in all the walks of life.
Lord, cause the dread of thy judgments to rest on the wicked. Make them feel that thy presence ia continually about them, and that thy knowledge maketh record of all their transgressions. May they understand thy power and justice, and be convinced that these attributes are pledged to destroy the finally impenitent. Cause them to kiss the Son, lest he be angry, and they perish from the way, when his wrath is kindled but a little. Show them that thy mercy is upon all that fear thee, from generation to generation.
Keep me, O Lord, from the fear of man that bringeth a snare. If thou art for me, who can be against me ? Who is he that will harm me, if I am a follower of that which is good ? Grant me courage to speak of thy testimonies, and not be ashamed. Though the proud have me in derision, let me not decline from thy law. Help me to despise the shame of a gainsaying world, lest the Son of Man be ashamed of me when he cometh in the glory of the Father, with his holy angels.
Vouchsafe unto me, O Lord, that spirit which is not easily provoked ; but that beareth all things, and endureth all things; that suffereth long, and is still kind. Fix permanently in my mind, the example of Christ who also suffered for us, that we should follow in his steps. And thou hast said that when we do well and suffer for it, yet take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. Show me that the discretion of a man deferreth his anger, and it is his glory to pass over a transgression. May I consider my own proneness to trespass upon the rights of others, lest I also be tempted, and need the forbearance of my fellows. Let me recompense to no man evil for evil; nor avenge myself; but rather give place to wrath: for vengeance is thine, and thou wilt repay. Dispose me, O Lord, to love my enemies; and O let me not be overcome of evil, but overcome evil with good.
FORBEARANCE OF GOD.
Heavenly Father, assist me to contemplate the riches of thy forbearance and long suffering. I am not deserving of the least of thy mercies. Hadst thou been strict to mark mine iniquities, I had long ere this been reaping the endless retributions of sin. My whole life has been a witness for thee, that thou wilt have mercy, and not sacrifice: and I enjoy now the privilege of approaching thy mercy-seat, because thy mercy rejoiceth against thy judgment. O I am not worthy to come into thy presence, nor to lift up mine eyes to the place where thine honour dwelleth. Lord, let me not vex thine enduring goodness by continued sin, lest thou say in thy wrath, " Ephraim is joined to his idols, let him alone." Let me not weary thy patience with unfruitfulness; lest thou pronounce thy judgment, "Cut him down: why cumbereth he the ground?" Merciful Father, grant that thy forbearance may lead me to the humility of penitence, and the obedience of faith.
Lord, let not sinners despise nor presume on the riches of thy long-suffering. Suffer not their hearts to be set in them to do evil, because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily. Show them that thou givest thy mercy, that they may have space for repentance; or, that if they turn not from their evil ways, thou mayest display thy holy justice in their condemnation. O grant, Lord, that thy forbearance may lead them to repent* and to learn, in the day of their merciful visitation, the things which belong to their peace.
God of Wisdom, how infinite is the contrast between thine omniscience and our imperfect know* ledge. We know not what a day may bring forth ; but thou knowest the end from the beginning. There is none that has been thy counsellor: thine eye alone searches the secrets of futurity. A thousand years are with thee as but one day ; and among the infinite series of events that lie throughout the eternity to come, there is not one, of which thou dost not know the time and the manner of its coming.
Lord, I would praise thee for those fruits of thy foreknowledge which thou hast given us in thy prophecies and promises. I thank thee that thou hast granted us these testimonials of thy wisdom, to confirm our faith in thy word, and to strengthen our hope in thy mercy. O grant that the fbretellings of thy knowledge, which are registered in thy word, may convince the infidel, that the Bible is everlasting truth. And may all that love thee thank God, and take courage from these seals of thy testimonies.
Almighty God, do thou so control and discipline my heart, that I shall be ever ready to exercise the virtue of forgiveness. Though my motives and character be slandered, and my property and person injured, let me not return railing for railing, nor injury for injury. May I remember thine example of long suffering and great mercy, in which thou dost not avenge thyself of thine adversaries; and art not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. May I consider how long thou didst bear with my own disregard of thy rights, and disobedience to thy law, until thou didst at last move me to repentance and faith, and didst crown me, as I trust, with undeserved forgiveness of my sins.
Lord, make me realize the condition of that prayer, " forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors." O let me not, by a vindictive spirit, seal up the fountains of thy pardon; for thou hast said that if we do not forgive men their trespasses, neither will our Father in heaven forgive us our trespasses.—Lord, incline me, moreover, to a merciful spirit by the reflection, that I often commit offences against the rights of others. May I therefore do unto them as I would have them do unto me. Make me willing to seek forgiveness of any whom I may offend or injure. Permit not false shame nor pride to keep me from acknowledging my errors and transgressions. May I feel that there is more honour in confessing and repairing a sin against my neighbour, :ian in covering it up and refusing to render him justice.—Lord, dispose me to love my enemies, to bless them that curse me, and to do good to them that hate me.—[See Pardon.]
Make me frugal, O Lord, in my habits of life. Let me not be anxious as to what I shall eat, or drink, or wherewithal I shall be clothed; nor seek to make provision for the flesh to fulfil the lusts thereof. Persuade me that T have no right to decorate my person, my family, my house, or my table, with unbecoming, or dishonest, or luxurious expenditure. Convince me that an immoderate use of thy bounties is inconsistent with peace of mind, health of body, and enjoyment of thy favour. May I gather up my fragments of time and property, and use them in thy service. Lord, dispose me to use economy and prudence in my expenses, that I may thus be furnished with additional means of supplying the wants of the destitute, and contributing to those objects of benevolence which promote the welfare of man and display thy glory.
Heavenly Father, bestow on me that fruit of thy Spirit which is gentleness. Impress on my mind, that the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men. May I remember him who was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and like a sheep dumb before his shearer, opened noU his mouth: who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: who when he suffered threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously— leaving us an example, that we should follow in his steps. Blessed Jesus, thou pattern of meekness, preserve my temper and conduct from unkindness and violence. May a holy calm pervade my heart in all the changes and trials I may encounter—and manifest itself in kindness and good will, in all the relations of life. 0 fill my heart with that wisdom from above, which is gentle, easy to be entreated, and full of mercy and good fruits.
GLORY OF GOD.
Lord God Almighty, thou art glorious in the infinite excellencies of thy character. Thou art everlasting in being, almighty in power,infinite in wisdom, inflexible in justice, eternal in truth, spotless in holiness, and boundless in mercy. Great and marvellous are thy works, just and true are thy ways,-thou King of Saints. Who will not fear and glorify thy name? The heavens declare thy glory, and the firmament exhibiteth thy handy work : day unto day uttereth speech concerning thee, and night unto night showeth knowledge of thee. All thy works praise thee. But it is in the person and work of our blessed Saviour that thou hast chiefly shown the perfection of thy character, for the adoration and homage of thine intelligent creation. There thou didst make thy richest display of might and knowledge, righteousness and goodness. O, thou art worthy to be held in everlasting honour, that he who was the brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person, was made flesh, and dwelt with us, being in all points tempted as we are; and when he
had filled up the measure of his reproach and persecution, gave himself up to an ignominious death, that we might have redemption through his blood, even the remission of sins.
Father in heaven, hallowed be thy name. O help me to honour thee whenever I contemplate thy works, or thy word, or thy providence. Shine into my heart to give me the light of the knowledge of thy glory in the face of Jesus Christ. May I praise thee in my thoughts, and with my lips, and by my life: and whether I eat or drink, or whatsoever 1 do, may I do all to the glory of God.
Lord, let all thy saints bless thee. Instruct them that their chief end is to glorify thee. May they meditate on thy greatness, and talk of thy wondrous works, and honour thy will by acts of holy obedience. May Christ be fully formed in their hearts the hope of glory. Make them the blessed instruments of leading multitudes, who now cast dishonour on thy mercy, to witness and magnify the riches of thy grace.
Father, glorify thy name in turning the wicked from the error of their ways unto the wisdom of the just. O fulfil in all their power and efficacy the messages of the gospel, which are glory to God in the highest; peace on earth, and good-will to men.
God.—See Adoration, Existence, Omnipresence, dpc.
O Lord, vouchsafe to me, through the merit and intercession of Jesus, that godliness which is profitable unto all things, having the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come. Lead me to reverence thy name; for thou art God, and beside thee there is none other. Incline me to love thy character, which is the perfection of excellency. Learn me thy testimonies, which are sure, making wise the simple. Lead me to submit willingly to all thy dispensations ; for they are of the Lord ; let him do what seemeth good in his sight. May I depend on thee with a confiding heart, for every blessing ; for thou hast said that as my day is so shall my strength be. Excite me, O Lord, to praise thy goodness ; for thou art merciful and gracious, long-suffering and abundant in goodness. Build thou my hopes of thy favour on the precious merits of Jesus, besides whose name there is no other given by which I may be saved. And, O Lord, assist me by thy grace to obey all thy law; for not every one that saith, "Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of our Father in heaven.
Shepherd of Israel, bless the fold of Christ. Let none who have the form of godliness deny the power thereof. Give thy people wisdom, love, zeal, and influence. May their lives be hid with Christ in God, so that when Christ, who is their life, shall appear, they also shall appear with him in glory. And grant, most merciful God, that all men may learn that mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, justified in the spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.
Blessed God, make me understand the imperfection of human obedience. There is not a just man on earth, that doeth good, and sinneth not. Even when I most fulfil thy will, I am an unprofitable servant. Lord, keep me from thoughts and boastings of merit: for it is not by works of righteousness, I have done, that I shall be justified, but by thy grace, through Jesus Christ, the Saviour. And yet, 0 Lord, do thou make me careful to maintain good works : for thou requirest me to work that which is well pleasing in thy sight; and thou hast an infinite right to my service, as my Creator, Ruler, and Redeemer. Create me, therefore, in Christ Jesus, unto good works, and make me as the branch which abideth in the vine, bearing fruit. May thy word be in my heart; as good seed, which springeth up, and beareth an hundred fold. May I do thy will with a heart of love, with faith unfeigned, and with desire that all I do may be for thy glory. Grant me the renewing of the Holy Spirit, and that faith which works by love, and is accepted by thee, in Christ's name, for righteousness. Teach me, O Lord, that whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap. If he sow to the flesh, he shall of the flesh reap corruption : but if he sow to the Spirit, he shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. I pray thee, therefore, let me not be weary in well-doing; for in due season I shall reap, if I faint not—[See Duty And Usefulness.]
GOODNESS OF GOD.
Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not till his benefits; for God is love. Thou art good, O Lord, in giving, preserving, and blessing the lives of thy creatures. They are thine offspring, and have their being in thy mercy. The eyes of all are unto thee, and thou givest them their meat in due season: thou openest thy hand, and satisfiest the desires of every living thing. Thou crownest the year with thy goodness, and thy paths drop fatness.—Thou hast shown thy mercy in thy forbearance; for if thou didst mark iniquity, who could stand? Yea, thouart long-suffering, and art not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance.—But thou hast exhibited thy goodness, above all, in the gift of thy Son. Thou didst so love the world, as to give him, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life: and thou didst commend thy love to us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us. Though we had turned every one to his own way, the Lord laid on him the iniquity of us all.— Blessed God, thou art merciful in the gift of the holy scriptures, which are able to make us wise unto salvation—and in the bestowment of that Comforter, whose ministrations are life because of righteousness. —Even thine afflictions have been blessings in disguise : for thou hast chastened us for our profit, that we might be partakers of thy holiness : and though thy chastenings seemed not to be joyous, but grievous, yet afterwards they worked the peaceable fruits of righteousness.—Lo ! thou hast made even the sins of thy creatures to work together for good : thou hast made the wrath of man to praise thee: and where sin hath abounded, grace did much more abound.— Whoso is wise, and will observe these things, even he shall understand the loving kindness of the Lord.
Heavenly Father, make me feel that I am not worthy of the least of thy mercies, and that I have deserved thy wrath instead of thy kindness. Bind me, I beseech thee, to thee and thy cause by a strong and an abiding gratitude. Permit me not to forget nor abuse thy mercies. Let them not rise up in judgment against me, either in this world, or in that which is to come. Do thou lead me, O Lord, to imitate thy goodness, by labours of love, and by seeking￼occasions to do good in all the relations of life. Lord, draw all men unto thee by the cords of thy love. May thy kindness lead thern to repentance and to devotion to thy cause. O that men would pr;iise the Lord for his goodness and for his wonderful works to the children of men. His goodness endureth continually, and his mercy is everlasting.
Gracious Jehovah, assist me to understand, and love, and obey the gospel of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. I would magnify the riches of thy mercy which devised these glad tidings of great joy for all people. I would praise thee that thou didst send it in due time, in all its fulness of grace and truth, life and immortality. It was not because we deserved thy favour, or sought thy mercy; but because thou didst pity our lost condition, and didst enter into a covenant of grace, to bring us out of an estate of sin and misery into an estate of salvation, by a Redeemer. Lord, I would praise thee that this word is offered without money and without price; and that whosoever will may take of the waters of .life freely. Thou hast made the plan of redemption commensurate with the wants and sins of our ruined race, and with the claims of thy holy and inflexible justice.
Lord, help me to lay hold upon the hope set before me in the gospel. May I receive it as the only savour of life unto life. Let me not be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus Christ; but may I glory in it as the power of God, unto salvation, to every one that believeth. May it teach me to deny ungodliness, and to live righteously in thy sight. Make it the instrument of building me up in saving knowledge, holy love, and willing obedience, to the praise of Jesus Christ.
0 God, make the impenitent feel that they cannot escape thy wrath, if they neglect this great salvation. May it bring them, from being strangers and foreigners, to be fellow-citizens of the household of faith. May it turn their carnal minds from their enmity unto peace with God, and release them, being justified by faith, from that wrath of God which now abideth on them. Blessed Saviour, call them from darkness into marvellous light: free them from the bondage of sin, and cause them to stand fast in the liberty whe/ewith thou makest thy servants free.
Lord, may the kingdom of thy gospel come, and thy will be done on earth as in heaven. Multiply the number of those who shall run to and fro, increasing knowledge. Make the reading, but especially the preaching of thy word, an effectual means of convincing and converting sinners.—Strengthen the minds, and sanctify the wills, and increase the zeal of thy people. Send the rod of thy strength out of Zion, and make thy people willing in the day of thy power: and may converts be multiplied to them as drops of dew in the morning. O God, redeem thy promise, that at the name of Jesus every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the praise of God, the Father.
King of Kings and Lord of Lords, dispose me to pray for all that are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all honesty and godliness. May I remember that the powers that be are ordained of God, and that by thee kings reign and princes decree justice. Make me grateful to thee that thou hast put the restraints of law upon mankind. O do thou make every rule of administration throughout the world, conform to thy benevolent will. Make those that bear the sword a terror to evil-doers, and a praise to them that do well. Make our officers peace, and our exactors righteousness. Let our law-givers be men that fear God and hate covetousness. Though thou canst make the wrath of tyrants to praise thee; yet do thou so order the means and objects of human government, that thy glory may be advanced by the holiness and happiness of rulers and people.
Lord, I thank thee for that form of government which has been, under thy hand, a protection and blessing to this nation. Reform its evils, and spread its blessings, until every country shall rejoice in the sovereignty of useful and just laws. But, O Lord, may we not forget that it is righteousness which exalteth a nation ; while sin is a reproach to any people. Deal not with us according to our transgressions. Say not in thy wrath, that thy kingdom shall be taken from us, and given to a nation bringing forth the fruits thereof. Make this land Immanuel's land, where peace will have her dwelling, liberty her home, and piety her abode, until this world and all the works therein shall be burned up, and there be a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness.
Lord, enable me through the adorable Redeemer, to know, and value, and possess the exceeding riches of thy grace. It is rich in its source; for it is the fulness of him that filleth all in all. It is rich in its abundance; since it is given to us for help in every time of need. And, O, it is rich in its unspeakable blessings; for it brings the forgiveness of sins—gives us the washing of regeneration—unites us to Christ by a living faith—justifies us by his merits—bestows on us the witness of the Spirit— gives us the victory over the world and the grave— makes us heirs of God, and joint heirs with Christ, in the enjoyments of heaven for ever. Show me, O Lord, that Jesus is the mediator of this blessing : it is he that maketh peace through the blood of his cross : he giveth repentance and remission of sins : and he seals the redeemed soul by the Spirit, through sanctification, unto eternal life.—Lord, thou couldst have glorified thyself in the destruction of thy rebel creatures; but thou hast chosen, in thy mercy, to win them back to thee by love, that thou mightest glorify thyself in their newness of life on earth, and their eternal bliss in heaven.
Merciful God, enable me, by thy blessing, to grow in grace. May I hunger and thirst after righteousness, and desire the sincere milk of the word, that I may grow thereby. May I seek to give strength to every godly principle within me, by habitual industry in thy service; by exercising myself unto godliness, and always abounding in the work of the Lord. Be pleased to order thy dispensations, whether of prosperity or adversity, so that they may promote my spiritual good. Build me on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief comer-stone. May I in all things by prayer and supplication, make known my requests unto thee. And, O, grant me thy Holy Spirit, to sanctify my affections, and to assist me in giving all diligence to make my calling and election sure.
Heavenly Father, transform me by the renewing of my mind, that I may know what is thy good, and perfec', and acceptable will. Enable me to go from strength to strength; and do thou change me from glory to glory. Animate my heart with supreme love to God, and impartial love to man. Give me an increasing purity of motive, strength of principle, self-abasement, and loathing of sin. Let me not love the world, nor the things that are in the world. May I cherish the fellowship of thy saints; and seek the welfare of thy kingdom, by gifts, by labour, and by supplication. Blessed Lord, make me holy, harmless, undefiled, and separate from sinners.
Shepherd of Israel, cause thy grace to dwell richly in the hearts of all thy people. May they watch unto prayer against anger, pride, and covetousness; against ambition, censoriousness, and impurity. May they look diligently, lest any fail of the grace of God ; lest any root of bitterness spring, ing up, trouble them, and thereby many be defiled. Make their christian character as the light of heaven, which shineth more and more, unto the perfect day.
Lord, exert the power of thy grace on the hearts of the impenitent. Convince them of their guilt and danger; persuade them to accept of thy mercy in Jesus; renew their wills and sanctify their feelings; lead them to pant after thee, as the hart panteth after the water-brook, and to run willingly in all the ways of thy commandments. O grant that where sin hath abounded, grace may much more abound. And to God, only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ, for ever.
Lord Jehovah, thou art good, and lovest to do good. Thou art the giver of every good and perfect gift. My whole life has been a living record of thy mercy. Thou hast given me the blessings of health
and peace, food and clothing, home and friends, protection and happiness. Yet all these are but as the small dust of the balance compared with thy mercy in Christ Jesus. Though the creatures thou hadst made to be the subjects of thy bounty, had all rebelled against thy law, thou didst so love them as to give thy Son for them, to bring them back with an everlasting redemption. And because they still, notwithstanding this matchless offer of compassion, would not come unto thee, that they might have life, thou hast given them the influence* of thy Holy Spirit, to persuade them to accept of mercy. And to as many as thou hast given power to become the sons of God, thou hast vouchsafed such measures of thy grace, that they shall be able to persevere in obedience, through faith, unto complete salvation.
0 Lord, cause my gratitude to bear some proportion to thy goodness. Let me not forget thy benefits, nor think that my own hand has wrought any of them. Incline me to look back often, with mingled feelings of wonder and love, on the way in which thou hast led me by thy providence and grace. Give me such views of thy loving-kindness, and of my own utter unworthiness, as shall lead me to magnify continually the richness of thy goodness. Induce me to love thee because thou hast first loved me. Make my enjoyment of thy mercies a motive to obedience. Especially may the love of Christ constrain me to do thy will. O may I desire to show my sense of obligation to thee by always seeking to do what is well-pleasing in thy sight. ,
Great God, cause thine unnumbered mercies towards guilty men, to melt the hardness of their hearts, to subdue their rebellious wills, and to lead them by the allurements of thy love, to a godly sorrow for sin, a cordial faith in the atonement, and a grateful devotion to thy cause. Make the multitudes who are children of disobedience, the sons of adoption, to the praise of the fulness of thy grace.
O Lord, permit me not to be ungrateful to my fellow creatures. Thou hast been pleased so to constitute our social relations, that each is dependent on others for kindness and favour. Thou hast made many of them the almoners of thy bounty to me. Make my heart sensible of every benefit I receive from them : and while my affections abound towards those who do me good, lead me, O Lord, to do good to all men.—Promote, I beseech thee, the prevalence of acts of good will among all thy creatures, until envy, ingratitude, and hatred shall be banished from the world, and all men abound in love to God and to each other.
Great God, teach me that I am dust, and must return to dust. May I often and habitually look forward to the grave, that narrow house appointed for all the living. Lead me to regard it as the monument of human guilt; for if there had been no sin, there had been no grave: the wages of sin is death. O may every mound that marks the last dwellingplace of a human being, be a witness that sin has entered into the world, and death by sin. May I learn from it, the vanity of earthly good—we bring nothing into the world, and we can carry nothing out—we must say to corruption, " Thou art my father ;" and to the worm, " Thou art my mother and my sister." Lord, this wide world is one vast burial-place; and we plant our feet daily on some spot that has been the charnel-house of mortality. Alas, death dwells every where, but in the giddy thoughts of men.
But I thank thee, O Lord, that amid all its gloom, the grave has its consolations. Jesus, our Saviour, has been there, and has sanctified the tomb as the resting place of his people's dust. There the weary are at rest. Though the body shall turn to dust, the spirit will return to God who gave it: and while thy saints are absent from the body, they are present with the Lord. Nor shall our sleep be eternal: the earth shall cast out her dead—this mortal shall put on immortality, and that which was sown in dishonour, shall be raised in glory.—Lord, grant that when the dead come forth at thy voice, mine may be the resurrection of life; that so I may be openly acknowledged and acquitted in the day of judgment, and be made perfectly blessed in the full enjoyment of God to all eternity.
Heavenly Father, for Christ's sake, grant that every tomb may be a convincing and persuading preacher to the impenitent. May they learn and act upon the truth, that it is appointed unto all men once to die. Show them that after death cometh the judgment, when they who have done evil, shall come forth to the resurrection of damnation. O may many now lay to heart the things that belong to their eternal peace: and then, when Christ shall appear, they also shall appear with him, who is the resurrection and the life, blessed for ever.
Compassionate Jehovah, thou knowest all the sources of my griefs—the afflictions of my body— the weakness and ignorance of my mind—the loss of cherished objects—and the miseries of my sinfulness. When I look back upon my past life, how do slighted mercy, neglected grace, and sinful rebellion rise up to confound me with sorrow.—When I look within me, and examine my present state, I find that when 1 would delight in the law of the Lord after the inward man, there is a law in my members warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin : so that I am constrained to say, " O wretched man that I am ; who shall deliver me from the body of this death ?"— When my thoughts go forth into the unknown future, I have reason to pass the time of my sojourning here in fear, lest, being led away by the corruption of my heart, the error of the wicked, and the deceit of Satan, I may fall from my steadfastness.—When I look around me, I find sources of grief every where; for the ways of Zion mourn, and my heart is faint within me: I behold the transgressors, and am grieved: rivers of waters should run down mine eyes, because men keep not thy law.—O God, it behooves me also to mourn when thou dost, for any reason, hide thy face from me—when the heavens above me are as brass, and my trembling heart would surmise that even God had forgotten to be gracious.
But, O Lord, thou knowest all my griefs; and thou canst sanctify them to me. I pray thee, soothe and bless my sorrows. Recompense me in all of them, by the light of thy countenance. Give me the blessedness of them that mourn with a godly sorrow ; for they shall be comforted. Restore unto me the joys of thy salvation, and uphold me by thy free Spirit. Let not my soul be cast down, nor grow weary of life, nor rebel against thy will. Make me to hear joy and gladness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice. When thou hast wrought the purposes of thy sovereignty, O give me beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, and the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness.