Blessed God, I thank thee for that impulse of my nature, by which I am led to pursue happiness. Without its refreshing influence, life would be but a barren desert. Yet, O how has my evil heart corrupted this law of thy benevolence. Whilst thou hast given me faculties and aspirings for communion with God, and heaven, and holiness, I have sought my joys in sense, and earth, and sin. Lord, help me to overcome this corruption of my nature. May I make my happiness subordinate to thy glory, and in unison with my duty. Dispose me, I pray thee, to use the lawful pleasures of life temperately, and with submission to thy will. Let not my soul find its portion in this world's pleasures, honours, or riches. Lead me to seek first the kingdom of righteousness, and all that I need for my comfort shall be added to it. Give me the blessedness of the poor in spirit and the mourners for sin ; of the meek and those that hunger and thirst after righteousness; of the merciful and the pure in heart; of the peacemakers, and those who are reviled and persecuted for Christ's sake. May I seek thy favour, as the source and life of every joy. Comfort me, I pray thee, with a sense of thy forgiving mercy in Jesus ; and O, be thou in him my reconciled God and Father. Vouchsafe unto me the joys of holy communion with the triune God, and of faith in thy character, word, and providence. Grant me the delights of thy rich, distinguishing, and unmerited grace, and of an humble but blessed instrumentality in doing good.
Teach me, O Lord, that it is not the lot of even the best of the righteous, to enjoy undisturbed bliss in this vale of tears. The deceptions of sin within and without, the malice of the wicked, and the assaults of satan, often bring anguish on the hearts of thy people. Incline me, therefore, to look at those things which are unseen and eternal, and to lay up treasures where there is no sin nor sorrow, but fulness of joy and pleasures for evermore.
Lord, lead those who are seeking their happiness in the perishing and corrupting pleasures of the world, to feel their folly and guilt. Show them the excellency and stability of the joys of thy service and salvation; and enable them by thy grace in Christ, to make thee the strength of their hearts and their portion for ever. Happy are the people whose God is the Lord.
I thank thee, O Lord, for the comfortable degree of health I have been permitted to enjoy. I bless thee that thou hast healed my sicknesses, and that thou hast made their seasons short and few, compared with those in which I have been free from disease and pain. Lord, grant me the healthful exercise of all the powers of my mind and body. Lead me to know and follow those physical and moral laws within and around me, disobedience to wh'ch, will disorder this structure which thou hast so fearfully and wonderfully made; but which, if obeyed, will tend to promote my personal comfort and soundness. May I make the pursuit of health, the means of ena
bling me to grow in grace, to do good, and to advance the glory of God.
Blessed Lord, be thou the Physician of my soul.— Heal my heart when it is broken with sorrow; bind up my conscience when it is wounded by transgres sion. Cleanse my mind from error, and my spirit from sin; and do thou bring over my soul the renovating and strengthening joys of thy saving health.
O God, assist me to keep my heart with all diligence ; for out of it are the issues of life. May I remember that it is by nature deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked ; and that none but God can bring a clean thing out of this unclean. Dispose me, I pray thee, to watch over it, lest I fall into temptation ; to be humble and mournful for its hardness and sinfulness; and to seek earnestly for grace to cleanse me from its secret faults and presumptuous sins. May I ever feel, O Lord, that thou searchest the heart, and knowest it altogether. Help me, I beseech thee, to make thee the object of its sincere, unchanging, and unreserved love.
Great and Merciful God, guide and govern my affections, so that they shall promote thy glory, show forth the beauty of holiness, and impart to me peace of conscience, joy in the Holy Ghost, fulness of grace, and steadfastness, through faith, unto complete redemption. O do thou give strength to my heart in all the exigencies of life—in the days of prosperity and the hours of affliction—in Zion's troubles and joys—in rejoicing and sorrow—in duty and temptation—in doubts and fears-—in sickness and death. Give me an inward propensity to holiness. Help me to keep the avenues of my soul— my eye, that it may not lust after evil—my ear, that it may be open to God, and shut to sin—and my thoughts, that they may not be vain and unholy. Lord, dispose me to watch unto prayer; to ponder the path of my feet; to search the Scriptures; and to rely on thy Spirit to cleanse me from all that is evil, and to strengthen me in all that is good.
Merciful Father, persuade impenitent sinners to give their hearts to thee. Make them feel that thou hast created them for thine own; that thou hast purchased them day by day, by thy common mercies ; and that Christ died that they might love thee. Make them realize, in some degree, what it is to be cast off from thy love for ever. O lead them by the terrors of the Lord, and by the cords of love, to give thee their affections without reserve, whilst thou art waiting to be gracious. Whilst thou art calling, " To-day," O may they hear thy voice, and harden not their hearts; but open their consciences to conviction of sin, and their souls to the renewing of the Holy Ghost; so that they may be able to say, " Whom have we in heaven but thee, and there is none on earth that we desire beside thee."
Blessed God, I thank thee for the rich and various blessings of thy gospel which I am permitted to enjoy. 0 may the possession of them remind me that there are millions of my fellow-creatures, as good by nature as I am, to whom they are denied. Give me, I pray thee, such a sense of these mercies, that my gratitude to thee shall constantly urge me to strive to extend them to the benighted nations of the earth. Make my heart a fountain of compassion for the wants and woes of the heathen; and lead my feelings into such actions as shall make me an instrument of giving them the blessings of salvation. Make my conscience and heart feel the command thou hast given thy people, to preach the gospel to every creature. O Lord, lead me to obey it according to the dictates of thy Spirit, and the openings of thy providence. Grant that I may regard it as an incumbent duty and a blessed privilege, io contribute of my substance, my labours, and my prayers, for the conversion of the world.
Lord, I would praise thee for what thou hast inclined thy chosen generation to do, in these days, for the heathen world. 0 strengthen and bless all their efforts which are founded on obedience and love; and do thou lead them to devise and execute every measure which will secure thy favour. Impart to all thy churches a holy and fervent missionary spirit; and cheer them by frequent tidings, that thou art granting to the Gentiles, repentance unto life. Grant that every attempt which is made to spread thy gospel abroad, may result in the revival of pure religion at home.—O do thou give wisdom and energy to those societies and organizations which devise and direct missionary efforts. May they be composed of men of wisdom, faithfulness, and prayer ; who shall have the confidence of thy people, and the favour of God in their undertakings.—Be pleased, O Jehovah, to raise up and qualify many, who shall go forth to the benighted, to preach the everlasting gospel. Make them men of clean hands, holy hearts, and self-denying labour.— Lord, dispense thy choicest and fullest mercies on those who are now labouring among the heathen. Animate them with zeal, courage, prayer, and hope. Be thou a glory in the midst of them, and a defence
round about them. Give success to their plans of education, especially among the rising generation. Grant them access to the affections, judgments, and consciences of those whom they instruct in temporal and spiritual knowledge; and give them the pleasure of seeing thy work prospering in their hands.— Lord, look in mercy on those who are the objects of the missionary enterprise. Stay their hands from cruelty to those who are sent to them with the gospel message. Break down every barrier of law, of prejudice, and of enmity; and cause the heathen to receive the missionary with kindness and gladness of heart. Incline their ears and open their hearts to receive that truth which is able to make them wise unto salvation; and grant that Christ may speedily have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for his possession.
O God, Most High, assist my feeble powers to contemplate the bliss of heaven. In that blest land the righteous shall hunger no more; neither thirst any more; and God shall wipe away all tears from their eyes. There they shall understand all mysteries and all knowledge. Now they see through a glass darkly; but then they shall see face to face—now they know but in part; but then they shall know even as they are known. There they shall dwell in the city of the living God, the New Jerusalem, with an innumerable company of angels and spirits of just men made perfect; and shall sing, with unwearied tongues, the new song of praise to the Lamb, who has redeemed them to God by his blood, out of every kindred and tongue, and people and nation. There they shall serve God with fulness of joy, holiness of heart, and obedience of will: and he that sitteth onthe throne shall dwell among them, the Lamb shall feed them, and lead them to living fountains of waters : and thus they shall be for ever with the Lord.
I thank thee, O God, that thou hast made known to us the glories of the heavenly state, and that thou hast taught us how we may obtain them. Life and immortality have been brought to light by the gospel ; and though the carnal eye hath not seen, nor the ear heard, nor have entered into such heart, the things which thou hast prepared for them that love thee; yet thou hast revealed them to thy children, by thy Spirit, as a foretaste of that glory which shall be made known in the eternal life.—O Lord, shall I be a partaker of that blessedness ? Grant that the contemplation of it may make me feel the vanity of earthly things, and lead me to set my affections on things that are heavenly and divine. May I follow after holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord ; and seek a building of God, a house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.
Lord, grant that visions of heavenly glory may quicken the hopes, and purify the hearts, and animate the zeal of thy chosen people. May they have thy grace in them, as a rich prelude to the joys of everlasting life. May they show by their lives, that here they have no abiding place, no continuing city; but that they seek a better, even a heavenly.— Lead them, O Lord, while they strive to work out their own salvation, to seek to bring others into the path of eternal life. Make them feel that their own happiness and glory in the future state, will be greatly increased by here turning souls unto righteousness : for then they shall shine as the brightness
of the firmament, and as the stars for ever and ever.
Blessed Lord, convince the worldly minded and sinful, of the perishing and depraving nature of temporal things; and of the exalted and eternal treasures thou hast laid up in the home of the righteous. Induce them, by thy Spirit, to renounce the world, the flesh, and the devil; and to seek that faith in Christ, that purity of heart, and that compliance with thy will, by which they shall be made meet for the inheritance of the saints in light. And to thy name, Father, Son, and Spirit, shall be the glory of their salvation for ever.
O Lord, give me a deep conviction of the awful truth, that thou hast ordained and fixed a place of torment for all the finally impenitent—a bottomless pit, where there is the blackness of darkness—a prison, where there is weeping and gnashing of teeth— a lake of fire, where the smoke of their torment ascendeth for ever. There they will remember their ungodly deeds; their multiplied mercies ; the riches of thy long-suffering which they despised; the instruction they hated ; and their hardness and impenitence of heart, whereby they treasured unto themselves wrath against the day of wrath. There they shall have cruel fellowship with the devil and his angels: hatred and malice, and every evil passion, shall vex their souls; while around, and above, and beneath them, will be indignation and wrath, tribulation and anguish.
Lord, let not my heart ever rebel against the wisdom and righteousness of thy punitive justice. Just and true are all thy ways, thou King of Saints.
Teach me, O God, by the deep damnation of the wicked, that thou hatest sin, and lovest holiness; and that thou art thus promoting the obedience and welfare of the universe, and sustaining thy character as the moral Governor of creation.
Assist me, God of Grace, to flee from the wrath to come, and to lay hold of eternal life, through the Saviour. But O, let me not be satisfied with my own safety. May I seek the salvation of those that are in the broad way of ruin. Impel me by keen sympathy for their danger, and love for their happiness, to put forth such efforts of prayer and labour, as shall be the means of saving some that are ready to perish.
O do thou arouse the church to a conviction of her duty to a perishing world. Let none of thy people dishonour their calling, by carelessness about the eternal welfare of the impenitent. May each one feel the powers of the world to come; and by earnest supplication, and by fervent action, strive for the blessedness of converting sinners from their dangerous ways, and of saving souls from the second death.
Lord, I beseech thee, give the wicked such views of the everlasting destruction awaiting the unrepenting sinner, as shall lead them to. consider the mercy that has provided a way of escape from perdition. Persuade them by thy terrors, to be reconciled to thee by the blood of the everlasting covenant. O make many, who now seem to be vessels of wrath, fitting for destruction, to be vessels of mercy, preparing for glory; who shall be kept by thy power through faith, unto final salvation: where the grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and
the communion of the Holy Ghost, which are begun on earth, shall be perfected for ever.
Heavenly Father, grant me the spirit of holiness. O restore me to thy blessed image, and transform me by the renewing of my mind, that I may know thy will, and present myself a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable, which is my reasonable service. Mould my character by thy word, and lead me to obey that form of doctrine which thou hast delivered to me. Make me spiritually minded, which is life and peace. O enable me to say, " Behold, old things are passed away; all things are become new."
Lord, make me a partaker of thy holiness, and lead me in the paths of righteousness, for thy name's sake. But let me not forget that this great work is not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. My heart is by nature desperately wicked; and unless thou give me the sanctifying power of thy Spirit, I shall remain dead in trespasses and sins. Renew me, I beseech thee, in the spirit of my mind, turn me from darkness unto light, and put on me the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.
Blessed Lord, let me not regard iniquity in my heart, nor roll sin as a sweet morsel under my tongue. Make me feel all the motives that should deter me from transgression.—Teach me to be holy, because thou art holy.—Grant me such views of the cross of Christ, as shall lead me to hate and forsake sin. Thou didst choose thy saints in Christ, before the foundation of the world, that they should be holy and without blame before thee in love: and he gave himself for them that he might redeem them from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people.— O may the hope of his salvation, prompt me to purify myself even as he is pure. Make me feel the guilt, misery, and danger of sin.—Assist me to mortify the flesh with the affections and lusts thereof, that I may live in thy favour—May I remember that the eyes of men are upon me; let me not cause thy name to be blasphemed through my transgressions.—Instruct me that thy glory requires me to hate evil; for thou hast made thy people a holy nation, to show forth the praises of him who has called them from darkness into light.—O God, make me pure in heart; for without holiness no man shall see the Lord ; and there shall in no wise enter into heaven, any thing that defileth.
Lord, assist me, 1 beseech thee, in this great duty of personal sanclification. Let thy grace be in me as a perpetual fountain of godliness. May I go from strength to strength, and may my path be as the shining light, which shineth more and more, unto the perfect day. O fill me with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
HOLINESS OF GOD.
Lord, thou art glorious in holiness. There is no stain on thy will, and no spot on thy character: the righteous Lord loveth righteousness. Just, and true, and pure are all thy thoughts, purposes, and doings. Thou art of purer eyes than to countenance evil in others; and thou canst not look on sin without abhorrence. Thou art angry with the wicked every day, and wilt cast them, unless they repent, into everlasting destruction. Even the heavens are not clean in thy sight; and thou chargest thine angels with folly.
Blessed God, teach me the beauty of thy holiness. 0,it is the life and perfection of thy character. Thou hast shown it in all thy ways—in the works of creation, which were all very good—in thy providence, by which thou hast sought to make us partakers of thy holiness—in thy grace, which teaches us to deny ungodliness and worldly lusts—in the gift of Jesus, who came to save us from the guilt and dominion of sin—in thy truth, by which we are sanctified :—and thou wilt show it in the awful decisions of the last day, when the wicked shall go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous into life eternal.
O Lord, may a sense of thy holiness awe and control my spirit. May it dispose me to walk humbly in thy sight: for if the holy ones of heaven veil their faces before thee, it becomes me to lie in the dust, and to cry, " Guilty; unclean : God be merciful to me a sinner." Teach me that there is no communion between God and unholy spirits; and that none but the pure in heart can enjoy thy favour, or see thy face in righteousness. May I learn more and more the excellence of the Saviour whom thou hast provided for sinners: for if we were not accepted in the Beloved, none could be justified in thy sight. Cause a conviction of thy sinless perfection to fill me with reverence in all my approaches to thee; and suffer me not to forget that if I regard iniquity in my heart, thou wilt not hear my supplications. O give me such contemplations of thy holiness as shall cause me to die unto sin and live unto righteousness. And may I, beholding as in a glass its glory, be changed into the same image, from glory to glory.
Blessed and Triune God, enable me to understand the character and offices of the Holy Ghost. Thou hast revealed him to us as a partner of the deity, who exercises the attributes of the Most High, and does the works of the Almighty. O may my thoughts of him be such as become me when I meditate on the name of God. I thank thee that thou hast sent that Spirit to convince the world of sin, of righteousness, and of judgment. Grant, O Lord, that I may share in all his blessed influences, and that they may be in me as a well of water springing up into everlasting life. May they be as showers that water the earth, imparting to my soul growth, beauty, and fruitfulness, and giving me favour in the sight of God and man.
Blessed Spirit, show me my sinfulness, apply to me the redemption purchased by Christ, mortify the deeds of the body, and renew me day by day in thy holy image. O do thou lead me into the knowledge of truth, make intercession within me in prayer, bear witness with my spirit that I am a child of God, and seal me with that promise which is an earnest until the redemption of the purchased possession. Be thou my comforter in sorrow, my strength in weakness, my shield in temptation, my teacher in ignorance, my security in joy, my leader in the labyrinths of life, and my consolation in the hour of death.
Lord, pour out thy Spirit on all thy servants. May they enjoy, in the fullest measure, those fruits which are love, joy, peace, long-suffering, goodness, meekness, gentleness, temperance, faith. Persuade them to set a high value on these things, and to seek them by fervent and believing prayer. Cause them to live in continual dependence on divine influence, and to walk worthy of the character of that Holy Agent. Make them his living temples, where there shall be the incense of prayer, praise, and holy obedience. May he sanctify their hearts, bind them closer by faith to Christ, make them wise unto salvation, and prepare them for their eternal weight of glory.
Lord, I would praise thy name for the power which the Holy Ghost has exerted over the consciences and wills of sinners, in leading them to feel their guilt and danger, and in persuading and enabling them to accept the plan of salvation. O continue and increase these manifestations of thy mercy. Let not the ungodly grieve thy Spirit, and be left to ripen for perdition. Let none wrest to their own destruction the truth, that they must be .born again by the Holy Ghost: but may they make it the anchor of their hope, and receive with gladness those ministrations which are life because ot righteousness. O do thou convince, convert, and sanctify multitudes who now live after the flesh; and do thou lead them, in the exercises of a spiritual life, to glorify thy grace on earth, and enjoy the fellowship of the Father, Son, and Spirit in heaven.
Lord, grant me a good hope through grace. May it be the fruit of thy Spirit, and be rooted and grounded in that faith by which we receive the atonement of the Messiah : for other foundation can no man lay than that which is laid in Jesus Christ. May it be a hope that maketh not ashamed ; that purifieth the heart; that is a helmet of salvation; and an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, which en« ters into that within the veil, and rejoices in the expectation of the glory of God. O may it prompt me to seek to bringothers into the same fellowship of joy, that we together may share the promise of life.
Teach the wicked, O God, that a door of hope has been opened for the chief of sinners :—a way of access to pardon, in which thou canst be just, and still be the justifier of them that believe in Jesus. Show them that the expectation of the wicked shall perish, and that the trust of the hypocrite shall be as the spider's web: while the hope of the righteous shall be gladness and assurance for ever. I pray thee bring many sinners to the footstool of thy throne, to learn the blessedness of putting their confidence in the blood of the everlasting covenant; from which only can they receive the promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.
Lord, give me the spirit of hospitality. Grant me a heart of generosity, that will take pleasure in reciprocating the kindness of domestic life, and in supplying the want3 of the stranger and the destitute. May I remember that some, in so doing, have entertained angels unawares ; and that thou hast said, it is more blessed to give than to receive. Thou hast commanded us to use hospitality, without grudging ; and hast promised that those who do so shall be recompensed at the resurrection of the just.
Lord, thou art good to all: thy tender mercies are over all thy works. Even thine enemies share richly in thy bounty. Incline me, therefore, to be merciful, even as thou art merciful. Lead me to do good, and to communicate; for with such sacrifices thou art well pleased. Dispose me to be an almoner of thy bounty. As I have freely received, so may I freely give.
Lord, thou didst create man, after thine own image, in knowledge and holiness; but he fell from the estate wherein he was created, by sinning against God; and now, by his fall, all mankind have lost communion with God, are under thy wrath and curse, and are made liable to all the miseries of this life, to death itself, and to the pains of hell forever. Thou didst indeed make man upright; but he has sought out many inventions. His gold has become dim, and his most fine gold is changed. And now the heart of the sons of men is full of evil: the carnal mind is enmity against God : they are all gone out of the way: there is none righteous; no, not one. O Lord, every where I behold the records of human depravity. The pages of history, the experience of my own heart, the witness of my eyes, and the news brought on every breeze, tell me that man is a sinner. And yet for every spark of sin in the outward life of every man, there has been a raging flame of transgression in his hidden nature. O let not my mind be swayed from this truth, because there are some, who in their natural and unredeemed state, seem to be not far from the kingdom of God: for if thou hadst not controlled their characters and shaped their destinies, they also had been the vilest of the vile. Suffer me not, in my intercourse with children, to suppose, from their comparative innocence and docility, that they are not depraved : for O, thy testimony against them is,
that they go astray from the womb ; and that folly is bound up in their hearts.
Lord, give me an ever-present conviction of this solemn doctrine, that I may watch and pray against the evil tendencies of my own heart, and also look with earnest anxiety on the condition of those who have not been brought to know and forsake their iniquities. Enable me to realize its nature and extent—to understand that the most unsanctified selfishness has usurped the sceptre which God should sway in the heart; and that all men are, in their natural character, utterly destitute of holiness, and entirely sinful. Lord, permit not my thoughts to impeach thy wisdom, or justice, or holiness, when I meditate on this truth ; for thou hast laid no stern necessity on us that we should sin; and we, we only, are guilty before thee in our transgressions. O God, subdue the corruption of my nature, and make me a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Blessed Lord, convince the wicked of their deeprooted depravity; and that unless they are born again, they must be shut out of the kingdom of God. Show them that they have destroyed themselves ; while in thee only is their help. Teach them that thou hast sought their repentance by the every-day mercies of life; by the offers of pardon, and by the threats of vengeance : and yet they have abused thy gifts, and turned a deaf ear to thine entreaties and warnings. Show them that the way of the wicked is darkness, and the end thereof eternal death : while the path of the just is as the shining light, and his reward a blissful eternity. Whilst thou art revealing to them the enormity of their guilt, show them the surpassing extent of the redemption thou hast provided for it. O may thy Spirit trans
form their corrupt wills, and renew their depraved affections. Save them by the washing of regeneration, and the renewing of the Holy Ghost; that being sanctified by grace, they shall be made partakers of thy holiness, and heirs of eternal life.
Heavenly Father, give me such views of thine infinite excellence and of my unworthiness, as shall humble me in the dust before thee. Thou art the infinite, eternal, and unchangeable Jehovah ; and all thine attributes and works are excellent and glorious. But as for us, we dwell on the footstool of thy dominion, and live every moment at the expense of thy goodness. We are ignorant; not knowing what a day may bring forth. We are helpless; not being able to make one hair white or black. We are by nature the children of wrath ; and even in our best estate, when thy Spirit has wrought upon our hearts, it becomes us to say, " God be merciful to us sinners." Lord, what is man, that thou art mindful of him; or the son of man, that thou visitest him t
Lord, I would remember that he who was the brightness of his Father's glory abased himself, and led a life of trial and reproach, and suffered a death of cruelty and shame. O God, make me a follower of him who was thus meek and lowly. Lo, the angels of heaven veil their faces before thee, in expressive token of inferiority and unworthiness. How much more should 1 humble myself in thy holy presence. Thanks be to thy name, this which is my duty, is also my privilege. Thou hast given thy promise to humility; saying, that he who humbleth himself shall be exalted. Thou hast been pleased to put matchless and unspeakable honour in it, by making the contrite heart thy dwelling place. O may this grace control my life. May it dwell in my heart, teaching me my proper character. May it pervade my walk, leading me to meekness of speech and action, and controlling my spirit both in prosperity and adversity. May it fit me for doing thy holy will in all things. dead men's bones and all manner of uncleanness. God forbid that I should have only the name without the character of godliness. Mak9 lhiu my life the symbol of my heart, and my heart the living record of ihy commandments.
Lord, clothe all thy followers with humility. Make them feel their infinite disparity with thee. May they, in lowliness of mind, esteem others better than themselves. Let them not be high-minded, but fear: and while they think they stand, may they take heed lest they fall. May they look back to the hole of the pit whence they were digged. Teach them that thou hatest the pride of man ; and that thou wilt give the kingdom of heaven to them only who are poor in spirit.
God of Truth, let a sense of thy presence, and a regard for thy will, preserve me from the odious sin of hypocrisy. Let me not insult thee with a lip service, while my heart is far from thee: nor with a form of compliance with thy law, while my soul pursues the carnal pleasures of earth. Thou art not deceived, and thou canst not be mocked; because thou searchest all hearts, and understandest all the imaginations of the thoughts. O make me feel both the folly and vileness of this transgression. Thou hast said that the hope of the hypocrite shall perish, and that his trust shall be as the spider's web. Thou hatest them that cover up their wickedness; who are like whited sepulchres, which indeed appear beautiful outward, but within are full of
Keep me, O God, from hypocrisy towards my fellow creatures. Restrain me from desiring or attempting to make any deceptive impression on them. Let no guile be found in my tongue, nor affectation of righteousness in my walk. Let me not outwardly appear righteous to men, while within I am full of hypocrisy and iniquity. Keep me from a double mind and flattering lips, and from all disposition to make or love a lie. Let not rny heart be set on the applause or patronage of men; but on the favour of God, and on that final plaudit: " Well done, good and faithful servant, enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Great God, look in mercy on those who are bowing down to gods which their own hands have made, or worshipping the things thou hast created, and which are dependent on thee for their being. O Lord, further every effort that is made to spread light among the dark places of the earth. May brightness spring up to them that sit in the region and shadow of death. Cause the isles to wait for thy law, and the gentiles to come to thy light. Bring many from the east and the west, who shall sit down with Abraham, and Isaac and Jacob, in the kingdom of heaven. Make the wilderness and solitary place to be glad ; and the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. Say to the north, " Give up," and to the south, " Hold not back." Bring thy sons
from afar, and thy daughters from the ends of the earth. Lord, grant that the heathen may learn the folly and wickedness of their worship, and casting their idols to the moles and the bats, honour and serve the living God. Lord, thou seest that this harvest is plenteous, but the labourers are few. Send forth labourers into it, who shall be the means of dispelling every form of superstition, and spreading the day-spring of thy gospel: until every heart shall be an altar, and every tongue a voice of praise, unto him that sitteth on the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever.
Blessed Lord, keep my own heart from idolatry. Thou art God ; and beside thee there is none other. Suffer me not to idolize the world, nor any thing that is in the world. Let no created good supplant thy dominion over my heart. Let no object of affection divert from thee that supreme love which I owe thee, as my Creator, Preserver, and Redeemer. What concord hath Christ with Belial 1 what agreement should the temple of God have with idols ? Be thou to me my all, and in all. Persuade and control my soul to acknowledge thee as the only true God, and my God ; and to worship and glorify thee accordingly.
Immortality.—See Eternity, Heaven, Hell.
IMMUTABILITY OF GOD.
Thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the works of thy hands : they shall perish ; but thou remainest; and they all shall wax old, as doth a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou fold them up, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall not fail. In all the perfections of thy nature there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Thy promises are Yea and Amen, in Christ Jesus. And thy decrees of salvation, or of condemnation, stand fast for ever. O Lord, make me feel my own fickleness of heart and mind, and my uncertainty of being, that I may be better prepared to adore and trust thee as the unchangeable God.
INCOMPREHENSIBLENESS OF GOD.
Who can by searching, find out God ? Thou dwellest in light that no man can approach unto. The knowledge of thee is high as heaven ; deeper than hell—and the measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea. The thunder of thy power who can understand? The number of thy years cannot be searched out. Thine understanding is infinite. Thou doest great things, past finding out, and wonders without number. Thy way is in the sea, thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. But greater than all things else is the mystery of godliness, God manifest in the flesh, to reconcile the world unto himself, and make reconciliation for the sins of the people. O the depth of the riches, both of the wisdom and knowledge of God ! How unsearchable are thy judgments, and thy ways past finding out. Great Jehovah, help me to bow before thee with mingled sensations of adoration, fear, and humility.
INDEPENDENCY OF GOD.
Thou art the uncreated, self-existent, independent Jehovah. Who hath been thy counsellor; who hath taught thee the path of judgment; or showed thee the way of understanding?—Thou hast stretched forth the heavens alone, and spread the earth by thyself: thou faintest not, neither art weary with labour: thou art everlasting strength.—Thou needest not the wisdom nor power of any to help thee in the measures of thy government; for they are all thy creatures, and thy counsel standeth for ever. Thou art not worshipped as though thou needest any thing ; every beast of the forest being thine, with the cattle upon a thousand hills; and thou givest unto all, life, and breath, and all things: yea, thou art exalted above blessing and praise.
Lord, make me understand that I am dependent on thee for life, for hope, for blessing, for every thing. O dispose me to seek thee, as the source of every right feeling, and the fountain of every pure joy. Of thee, and through thee, and unto thee, are all things; to whom be glory for ever.
God of Light, destroy those various forms of infidelity which exalt themselves against God and truth ; and which are gathering snares and destruction upon multitudes of immortal souls. Teach all men that these delusions are the offspring of human depravity, and ignorance, and the fruitful sources of misery, vice, and ruin. They who cherish them love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil; and they choose the fruits of death, rather than come to thee and obtain life. They walk in the vanity of their mind, having the understanding darkened, being alienated from the life of God, through the ignorance that is in them; because of the blindness of their heart. Religion would have no foes if it were not the enemy of sin. And yet,
O Lord, have not the dissensions and sins of those who profess thy name greatly contributed to increase the scepticism of the unbelieving heart? O how has the cause of Christ been wounded in the house of his friends ! Take away, I beseech thee, every root of bitterness from thy church ; and cause thy people so to live, that even the infidel shall be led to glorify our Father in heaven. Blessed God, scatter every mist of error and sin, by 1 he light of truth; and bring all mankind to submit their judgments and bow their wills to the teachings of thy written word. Give it victory over all that pollutes, and degrades, and ruins man—in behalf of all that purifies, exalts, and saves him. May it subdue his understanding to truth, his habits to righteousness, and his heart to a peace which the world can neither give nor take away.
Merciful God, dispose many to ask the fearfully solemn and important question, " What must I do to be saved ?" Fasten in the minds of such a thorough conviction of the exceeding guilt of sin. May thy Spirit show them its enormity, as committed against the author of their being and the giver of their mercies. Make them feel their lost condition, without hope and without God in the world, and thy wrath abiding on them. Show them their own inability to save themselves, and that their every effort, that is not seconded and sanctified by the Spirit, sinks them deeper in their condemnation. Set clearly before their minds the necessity and value of salvation through the blood of Jesus: for they that reject it shall perish with an everlasting destruction, while they who accept it shall be redeemed from the dominion and penalty of sin, and be blessed with the favour of a reconciled God for ever. O give them earnest desires for that redemption; desires that spring from convictions of the worth of the soul—the wrath of an offended Judge—the tender love of a dying and interceding Saviour—the bliss that shall be revealed to the saints above—and the glory of the Most High, who will cause their salvation to praise him. Lord, make them fearful of grieving away the strivings of thy Spirit. Let them not be deluded by the vain hope of a more convenient season. Impress with a living freshness upon their hearts, that now is the accepted time, and this the day of salvation. Let none of them draw back to perdition. Enable them at once and for ever to renounce their transgressions, and to receive and rest upon Jesus alone for salvation. Let the Holy Ghost lead them into the knowledge of truth—preserve them from the power of error—give them peace in believing—and fill them with a holy zeal to advance thy cause and fulfil thy will, in all the duties of religion.
Lord, be pleased to banish from our land, and from the world, the causes and evils of intemperance. Reclaim those that are now wandering in the paths of drunkenness ; recover them whose feet are running in the way of temptation ; and throw thy merciful restraint and protection over those who are yet untainted by this destroying vice. O do thou enlighten mankind as to its nature and remedy; and bring up to the help of the Lord against the mighty, the good of every name and nation.
May all men learn that alcohol, the intoxicating ingredient of spirituous liquors, is not the gift of God, but the product of man's selfishness ; that as a drink it is not needful nor useful, but hurtful and poisonous. Teach them that it diseases the body, weakens and paralyzes the understanding, stupefies the conscience, and hardens the heart. O, how has it destroyed property, time, happiness, and life—and filled the world with poverty, misery, and crime—and dragged down to everlasling perdition souls that otherwise might have been brought within the reach of the gospel, and have been made heirs of eternal life!
Lord, I thank thee for the efforts which have been made to stay these desolations, and for the success which has thus far crowned the temperance reformation. But I would feel that there remaineth yet very much land to be possessed. Alas, there is still a fearful residue of this evil to be removed. O may the zeal of the efforts already put forth in this benevolent scheme, be continued and greatly increased. Establish the principle that total abstinence from every thing that can intoxicate, is that alone which, with the blessing of God, will redeem and preserve our race from the fearful evils of intemperance. O do thou remove the causes of this vice; and let there be none to make, nor sell, nor buy the hurtful poison. Dispose our law-givers to take away the protection and sanction of law from this traffic in the bodies and souls of men ; and to enact such statutes as will dry up these fountains of poverty and wretch, edness, crime and death. Do thou inform and purify public sentiment every where, in relation to the great and vital interests of temperance. Then, O Lord, our hearts will rejoice that the merciless de-. stroyer has been banished, to give place to health,
industry, individual and public welfare, and the triumphs of the gospel.
Heavenly Father, I thank thee that we have an advocate at the right hand of the Majesty on high, even Jesus Christ, the righteous. He hath not entered into the holy place made with hands; but into heaven itself, to appear in the presence of God for us; where he ever liveth to make intercession for his chosen generation. Blessed Jesus, I rejoice that thou wilt not break the bruised reed, nor quench the smoking flax ; that though Satan hath desired to have thy people, that he might sift them as wheat, yet thou prayest for them that their faith fail not: and that thou art their Mediator, to present their believing prayers, and secure their acceptance, at the throne of the heavenly mercy.
Lord, lead me, in the faith of that intercession, to the sceptre of thy grace, persuaded that thou art able by thy power, and willing in thy mercy, to supply me with all that I need. Assist me to draw nigh with a true heart, in the full assurance of faith: for we have not an high-priest who cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities; but one who was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin ; and who is able to save unto the uttermost all who come unto thee by him. O Jesus, Blessed Mediator, take my cause into thine own hands. Plead my interests for me, and enable me to rejoice in thy success, and to bless thy holy name for ever.
Lord, grant me, for Christ's sake, a strong and an abiding spirit of intercessory prayer. Dispose me to make supplication for all men. Make it my privilege to commend to thee all that are near and dear to me; that thou wouldst guide them by thy counsel, protect them by thy power, and save them by thy grace. Lead me to pray for my enemies, for the needy, the afflicted, the sick, and the dying. Incline me to lift up earnest supplication on behalf of thy church. Especially, O Lord, may the yearnings of my heart go forth for the impenitent. Make me feel that the triumphs of thy church will depend on the importunity of thy people for mercy on the ungodly. 0 may I understand their awful condition, and be induced to plead with thee, in the name of Christ, and through the intercessions of thy Spirit, that they may be saved. Give me that degree of confidence in thee, and regard for thy glory, and such earnest longings after their conversion, as thou wilt own and bless by the redemption of souls.
Merciful God, seek and save the lost sheep of the house of Israel. Look in mercy on thine ancient covenant people, who are scattered and peeled, and who have become a by-word and a term of reproach among the nations of the earth. How long, O Lord, shall thy goodness delay towards those to whom were once committed the lively oracles of truth ; and of whom, as concerning the flesh, Christ came ? Do thou use such instrumentalities as shall bring them to feel their blindness of mind and hardness of heart, in rejecting Jesus; and may they look to him from the ends of the earth, and be saved. Lord, seal the evidences of the truth of the gospel, and glorify thy Son, by bringing them into the blessings of the new covenant. For if the fall of them was the riches of the world, and the diminishing of them the riches of the Gentiles, how much more
their fulness. Thou hast not indeed cast away thy people, whom thou didst foreknow. They shall turn to thee when the vail shall be taken away. O Lord, hasten that time, when, through the mercy bestowed on us, they also shall obtain mercy; and when, with the fulness of the Gentiles, all Israel shall be saved.
Blessed Father, teach me thy truth as it is in Jesus. Grant that I may love it, and feed upon it; and that I may teach it by my lips, and manifest it by my conduct to others. Alas, our race, which thou didst make but a little lower than the angels, fell from the noble and happy Condition in which it was created, by sinning against thee: and when thou didst look from heaven upon the children of men, to see if there were any that did understand, or seek after God; behold! they were altogether become filthy: there was none that did good; no, not one. Yet thou didst not cast them off; but in the counsels of thy mercy, didst enter into a covenant of grace, to bring them out of their estate of sin and misery, and to bring them into an estate of salvation by a Redeemer; even the Lord Jesus Christ, who being the eternal Son of God became man, that he might redeem us from the curse of the law, in being made a curse for us; and that we might have salvation through his blood.—O Lord, we exercised no penitence of heart that could have prompted thee to this display of compassion ; and there was nothing in our character which could give thee any delight. It was sovereign, unsearchable, unmerited grace that formed and perfected the plan of redemption. Thou didnt indeed commend thy love to us, in that while we were sinners, Christ died for us.
(Deity.)—Great God, enable me to make Christ, and him crucified, the primary object of study and faith. Give me heart-felt and precious views of his character and offices. May I regard him as that Word, which was in the beginning with God, and was GOD; and which was made flesh, and dwelt on earth, full of grace and truth. O suffer me never to doubt that in him dwells all the fulness of the Godhead bodily. To him belongs eternity; for he was before all things. He is the creator; for without him was not any thing made that was made. To him pertains dominion : he upholds all things by the word of his power. He is every where present; since where two or three are gathered together in his name, he is in the midst of them. His understanding is infinite; for he knows the hearts of all men.— Blessed Jesus, if thy followers on earth worshipped thee, as the searcher of hearts and the Saviour of souls—if all the angels of heaven cry unto thee, " Blessing and honour, glory and power"—well may thy creatures on earth acknowledge and proclaim thee as the living and true God.
(Prophet.)—Lord, assist me to receive Christ as my Teacher. May he reveal to me by his word and Spirit, the will of God for my salvation. May I learn of him, who spake as never man spake, and who taught as one having authority. Let me remember that if 1 hearken not to his words, thou wilt require it of me: for if they escaped not, who refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not I escape, if [ turn from him that speaketh from heaven. O put his law into my mind, and write it in my heart. Let its entrance give light and love, zeal and purity to my soul. Lord, let it not be a savour of death unto death, but of life unto life.
(Priest.)—Help me, I pray thee, to receive Jesus as the High Priest of my profession.^May I look on him as offering up himself a sacrifice, to satisfy divine justice, and reconcile us to God; and as ever living to make intercession for his chosen people. He who was the brightness of the Father's glory, and who thought it not robbery to be equal with God, took upon himself the form of a servant, that he might put away sin, by the sacrifice of himself, in his own body, on the tree. Yea, it pleased thee to bruise him, to put him to grief, to make his soul an offering for sin, that he might justify many, and that the pleasure of the Lord might prosper in his hand. In due time, when we were without strength, Christ died for the ungodly; taking away the handwriting of ordinances that was against us; suffering the just for the unjust; that he might bring us to God.—Lord, I would praise thee that by him we have received the atonement. Thou hast set him forth to be a propitiation, through faith in his blood, for the remission of sins. He hath given his life a ransom for many. He who knew no sin, was made sin for us, that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.
O Lord, convince me that forgiveness is granted only for his sake: there being no other name given among men whereby they can be saved. Teach me that his costly sacrifice was not needed to make thee willing to be reconciled to us; for it was the fruit of thy love: but because thou wouldst maintain thy justice, and still be the justifier of him that believeth in Jesus, and his deliverer from the wrath to come. Heavenly Father, show me by this office of Christ's mission, the lost condition of human nature, and the wonders of thy justice and love. May it be the most cherished object of my contemplation, and fill my spirit with adoration and thanksgiving, love and obedience. May I thus judge, that if Christ has died for roc, I should henceforth live, not unto myself, but unto him ; and that both living and dying I should be the Lord's.—[See Intercession.]
(King.)—Great God, I pray thee, make me willing to receive Christ not only as my Saviour, but as my Sovereign, to subdue me to himself, to rule and defend me, and to restrain and conquer all his and my enemies. O may 1 regard his service greater riches than the treasures of Egypt. Thou hast set him at thy right hand, that at his name every knee should bow, and every tongue confess; and hast given unto him the keys of death and hell, with all power in heaven and earth. His throne is for ever and ever. Thou wilt break them with a rod of iron who will not have thy Son to reign over them; and wilt dash them in pieces as a potter's vessel. Thou wilt make him Governor among the nations, and give him the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the earth for a possession. O hasten that day—Lord, lead my thoughts often to that consummation of Christ's sovereignty, when he shall come in his glory, to judge the quick and the dead. O may he then be my Saviour King, and I be a redeemed vassal of his everlasting kingdom.
(Example.)—Jehovah God, incline me to make Jesus my example in all the duties of life. May the same mind that was in him be also in me. Lead me to walk even as he walked; for he that followeth not after him is not worthy of him. May I look unto him as my pattern of patience and humility,
prayer and faith, long-suffering and benevolence. May I strive to purify myself even as Christ is pure; and beholding, as in a glass, his glory, be changed into the same image, from glory to glory, by as the Spirit of the Lord.
(Union.)—Lord, unite me to Christ by a living faith, even as the branch is united to the vine. Make me a new creature in him. May I receive of his fulness, and grace for grace. May he be to me that bread from heaven that giveth eternal life; and be formed in my heart the hope of glory. Make me a member of that body, of which Christ is the head. Build me upon the foundation of the Apostles and Prophets, Jesus Christ being the chief cornerstone, in whom the whole building fitly framed together, groweth unto a holy temple of the Lord. O may my life be hid with Christ in God ; that he may be made unto me wisdom and righteousness, sanctification and redemption.
Lord, suffer me not to be ashamed of the gospel of Jesus. Teach me to regard it as my highest honour, to have communion with the spirit and fellowship in the service of my blessed Saviour. Make him my all and in all: my song in the season of rejoicing, and my hope in the hour of trial. God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of Christ.
God of Mercy, do thou present the character and offices of Jesus to the minds of the unconverted, so that they may be convinced that they are transgressors, and be persuaded to trust in him for salvation. O may thy Spirit apply to them the redemption purchased in him, by convincing them of their sin and misery, enlightening their minds in the knowledge of Christ, renewing their wills, and persuading and
enabling them to embrace Jesus, freely offered to them in the gospel.
Lord of Blessedness, grant me that joy of faith, that rejoicing of hope, which is a fruit of thy Spirit. Give me a full and rich experience of the sources of this bliss—which indeed are not broken cisterns that can hold no water, but fountains full to overflowing, with the healing streams of life.—Lord, reveal thyself unto me, as thou dost not unto the world, and fill my heart with pleasure in learning thy character, and communing with thy love.—Enable me to rejoice in Christ, and in the forgiveness of sins through him, with a joy that is unspeakable and full of glory.—Give me that blessed spirit of adoption, by which I may cry " Abba, Father."—May the Holy Ghost give life to my hope and strength to my rejoicing.—Cause me to rejoice in thy word, as one that findeth great spoil.—May I love the habitation of thy house, and find more comfort in thy tabernacles than in the tents of wickedness.—Let all the means of grace be to my spirit as rain upon the newmown grass, and as showers that water the earth.— Make it my privilege to verify thy word, that it is more blessed to give than to receive; for the Lord loveth a cheerful giver, and he that soweth bountifully shall also reap bountifully.—Grant me the peace of a conscience that is void of offence towards God and man.—Make the communion of saints an abundant source of refreshment and strength to my christian graces.—May the triumphs of thy gospel give me more pleasure than the wicked have when their . parnal luxuries do most abound.—O "Lord, comfort and bless my soul by the contemplation of that exceeding and eternal weight of glory that remains for the people of God in heaven.
Lord, grant that my spiritual enjoyments may excite me to gratitude, and lead me to open my lips, that my mouth may show forth thy praise. May others be led by my cheerful happiness, to taste and see that the Lord is good. When thou enlargest my heart, teach me to run in the way of thy commandments. Enable me to say in the hour of trial and suffering—" None of these things move me; neither count I my life dear, so that I may finish my course with joy." And, O when heart and flesh shall faint and fail, in the struggle of death, may thy rod and staff comfort me: and be thou the strength of my heart, and my portion for ever.
Great God, thou hast appointed unto men once to die, and after this the judgment, when every one of us shall give account of himself to God; and when thou wilt display to an assembled universe, the righteousness of thy justice, and the glory of thy holiness. Of that day and that hour knoweth no man; but it shall be the end of the world, when all the works therein shall be burnt up, the heavens pass away with a great noise, and the elements melt with fervent heat. Lord, make me mindful of that awful day, and of the solemn truths thou hast revealed concerning it. Then the Lord Jesus will come with his holy angels, and sit on his great white throne, and open the books of remembrance—the testimonies of creation, of providence, of scripture, and of conscience. The quick and dead shall stand before him, to be judged out of those things that are written in the books, according to their works, with every secret thing, whether it be good or evil; and also for every thing which thou didst command to be done, but which they left undone. Lord, make me realize that men will then be judged also for the privileges they have enjoyed; for of them unto whom much hath been given, much will be required. O, even the best of thy saints will then need the atonement of Christ: they could not stand before thee, if thou shouldst mark their iniquities. But, blessed be thy name, there will be no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus : they shall receive the promise of a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness. But then the judge will say to them on his left hand—"Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels:" and the wicked shall be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God. O God of infinite compassion, grant that in that fearful day of trial, my name may be found written in the Lamb's book of life, and that my unworthy, hell-deserving spirit may be received, through the merits of Christ, into the habitations of eternal life.
Justice or GOD. O Most High, a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy kingdom. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne: just and true are all thy ways, thou King of Saints. Of a truth thou art no respecter of persons: thy law is holy, and thy government upright. The righteousness of the righteous shall be upon him, and the wickedness of the wicked shall be upon him.—I would adore and praise thee, O Lord, that thou didst maintain and magnify the excellency of thy justice in giving thy Son, to repair by his own blood, the violated law, and thus make it more honourable by the redemption of the transgressor, than by his hopeless condemnation.
O Lord, show me, in the light of this attribute, the glory of the dispensation of the gospel, in which thou canst be just, and the justifier of even the worst of sinners, who believe in Jesus. But, may I learn from it also, that thou wilt be to the finally impenitent, a consuming fire. May the knowledge of it prevent me from neglecting or violating the rights of my fellow-creatures, and lead me to render that which is just and equal, to all men. Let the threatened retributions of thy judgment warn me against transgression, and dispose me to seek conformity to thy will.
Lord, cause a sense of thy justice to alarm the fears of the ungodly. Make them know that they are treasuring up wrath against the day of wrath, and righteous revelation of the judgment of God. Lead them now to bow to thy sceptre, which is still the symbol of mercy ; but which ere long may become the instrument of destruction. I pray thee, redeem them from the curse of the law, and give them the adoption of sons, through the righteousness of Christ.
Heavenly Father, justify me freely by thy grace, through the redemption that is in Jesus. Pardon my sins, acquit me from the punishment I deserve for them, and give me a title to those blessings which would have been due by thy law, if I had fulfilled it in sinless obedience. Teach me that by the deeds of the law shall no flesh living be justified ; but only by the faith of Jesus ; in whom thou art reconciling the world unto thyself, not imputing unto them their trespasses and sins. O give me that faith in him which will be imputed to me for righteousness. May I ever be found in him ; not having on my own righteousness, which is of the law; but that which is by the faith of him, unto all and upon all that believe. Show me that this act of thy mercy is the gift of free grace—that by it thou hast condemned sin in the flesh, whilst thou hast magnified thy law and made it honourable—Christ being made the end of the law to every one that believeth.
Lord, grant that I may have peace with thee, being justified by faith ; and that I may have access to thy throne, with confidence of acceptance in the Beloved. Enable me to know him in whom I have believed, as my atoning sacrifice; and to be persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him against the great day. And grant, O Lord, that thy work of justification in this life, may result in that open acknowledgment and acquittal in the day of judgment, which shall be followed by everlasting glory.