Giver of Mercies, thou hast been pleased to commit to me various talents, which thou requirest me to occupy until thy coming. Thou hast given me time, property, influence, knowledge, and feeling, wherewith to advance thy glory, and to promote human welfare. Lord, let me not be as the wicked and slothful servant, who hid his talent in the earth, and vainly sought to avert the doom of his guilty indolence. Alas, how have the faculties and opportunities thou hast in mercy given me, been neglected, perverted, and abused. Too often I have sought my own corrupt pleasures, instead of fulfilling the exalted and ennobling duties thou hast set before me. O give me an ever-present conviction, that the means with which thou hast invested me, are only gills in trust, which thou wilt require from me again with usury. Help me, I beseech thee, so to understand and employ them, that in the great day of reckoning, I may receive the plaudit—" Well done, thou
good and faithful servant; thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make thee ruler over many things : enter thou into the joy of thy Lord."
Lord, bless all those who, in their various spheres, have taken charge of the important business of instruction. Dispose and enable them to guide the untutored and inquiring, into the acquisition of knowledge; and fit them to guard from evil, and to mould for good, the characters of those who are committed to their care. O preserve our youth from the corrupting and destroying evils of ignorant and immoral instructors. Inform the minds, and sanctify the hearts of teachers. Give them that wisdom from above which will prepare them to train their pupils in the highest and noblest knowledge that can adorn human nature.—Multiply the facilities of education; put them within the reach of all classes; and dispose all men to seek the intellectual, moral, and religious culture of the rising generation.
O Lord, vouchsafe, for the sake of thy dear Son, thy choicest blessings on the Teachers of Sabbathschools. Give unto all of them the character, and efficiency which are needful for their sacred duties. Let them not make these holy efforts, the pastime of the Sabbath, an opiate of conscience, or a service to be seen of men. But let all their impulses in them, spring from love to God and love to man. Imbue all their thoughts and labours in this work, with a supreme regard for thy glory and human welfare. While they take pleasure in every lesser degree of success, O make the conversion of souls their steadfast and absorbing aim!
Impress on their minds, the priceless value, the high dignity, the solemn obligations, and the glorious reward of their office. Show them that it relates to the worth of the soul; that it is kindred in its sympathies with the love of Jesus ; that its responsibilities take hold of eternal issues; and that its faithful discharge will make them as the brightness of the firmament, and as the stars, for ever and ever !
Great God, give them an experimental knowledge of that salvation which is the great and final object of the system.—May all their duties in it be begun, continued, and ended in earnest prayer, and with entire dependence, and unwavering reliance on the ministrations of the Holy Spirit.—Give them those preparations of the heart, and that answer of the tongue, which are from thee; and grant them a mouth and wisdom, by which they may persuade their youthful charge in the things concerning the kingdom of God.—Make them able ministers of the New Testament; and let thy "word dwell in them richly in all wisdom, that they may be thoroughly furnished in their good work.—Make them fervent in spirit, that they may teach diligently, the things of the Lord.—Cause their example to adorn the doctrine of God, their Saviour, and to allure those whom they teach, into the same path of obedience.
Lord, dispose them to avail themselves of the various helps which the wise and good have furnished for their cause ; and let them not grudge the time, and toil, and cost which are necessary to prepare them to meet and instruct their classes.—Let the spirit of affection manifest itself in all their measures ; and may they seek to draw their pupils with the cords of love and the bands of a man.—Make them patient in every trial which they may encounter, through failure, or ignorance, or vice, or enmity.—Let them be punctual in all the appointments of the school; redeeming the time, because the days are evil.—Let them not be satisfied with filling up the brief hours allotted to instruction in the schoolroom ; but may it be their pleasure (as it is their duty) to visit the homes of their scholars ; and, while they minister a word in season, secure and strengthen the good-will of both parents and children. Make them wise to know, and skilful to use the influences which mould human character and conduct.—Let all the mutual relations of teachers be governed by the fellowship of saints.—Suffer none to draw back in weariness or discouragement from these precious duties; but do thou make them always abound in this work of the Lord.—O Lord, grant that the eye of their faith may ever be fixed on that promise— " In due season ye shall reap, if ye faint not:" and that the ear of their hope may ever listen to that verdict—" Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me."
Gracious God, give them abundant success in their labours. Make them leading instruments in spreading divine knowledge, enlarging missionary efforts, sanctifying thy church, promoting revivals of religion, and regenerating the world.
Lord, sanctify my temper. Preserve me from peevishness, envy, anger, revenge, and malice. Enable me to maintain an unruffled spirit amid the vexations of circumstances, and the provocations of my fellow-creatures. May that wisdom from above, which is peaceable, gentle, and easy to be entreated, be the governing influence of my life, and lead me to seek the fruit of righteousness, which is sown in peace of them that make peace. Enable me to imitate the quiet meekness of him who lived as our example, as well as died as our Redeemer. Lord, keep me from those occasional or habitual excitements of temper which rob my comfort of mind, dishonour my profession of thy name, and turn away thy precious favour. Vouchsafe unto me, O God, the continual presence of that ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which in thy sight is of great price.
Great God, make me realize that T live in constant danger of temptations from foes without and enemies within. Satan, with his countless wiles—my own heart, with its self-deceit and sensuality—the world, with its many lures—each seeks to draw me from the paths of duty, and to lead me in the ways of unrighteousness. Lord, thou hast, indeed, purposes of wisdom in suffering me to be thus subject to temptation. Thou canst overrule it for my conformity to Christ, who was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin. It is in such seasons, O Most High, that thy strength is made perfect in our weakness ; and that we are enabled to glory in our infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest on us. And thou often givest us, in mercy, the messengers of Satan, to buffet us, lest we be exalted above measure. They that arc tried, and found faithful, shall receive a crown of life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him.
Heavenly Father, make thy grace sufficient for me in every season of trial—in the hour of adversity—in the day of prosperity—in the period when exemption from temptation has left me open to seduction—and when the abounding consolations of thy Spirit have been perverted into heedlessness towards the spiritual dangers which beset me. Give me wisdom to discover, and strength to resist, the approach of evil. May I watch unto prayer, knowing that thou art a very present help in every hour of need ; and that thou wilt with the temptation also make a way of escape for all that are of thy heritage.—Lord, carry me safely through every danger, and in thine own time, give me an inheritance among those who have come out of great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made them white in the blood of the Lamb.
Lord, I bring unto thee the sacrifice of thanksgiving ; for thou art the Father of Lights, from whom cometh every good and perfect gift. I desire to praise thee for the multitude of thy favours, and to acknowledge that 1 have not deserved even the least of them. I would magnify thee for thy providing, sparing, forgiving, and saving mercies. J bless thee for the various powers of my body, the faculties of my mind, and the affections of my heart; for health and employment; for food and clothing ; for social happiness and public safety. I thank thee for preserving me in the weakness and diseases of childhood, and conducting me over the slippery paths of youth, and protecting me amid the dangers of riper years. Thou hast indeed made my life, which ought, in justice, to have been a wilderness, to bud and blossom as the rose. My trials have been few and short; while my mercies have been without number and without end.
But, O Lord, I would thank thee for the blessings of the gospel, more than for every thing else. O what a rich cluster of gifts is offered to us in the grace that bringeth salvation. Thou hast given us the Bible, the preached word, the privilege of prayer, the ordinances of thy house, the Son of God, the influences of thy Holy Spirit, and the hope of glory. Lord, teach me the value of thy bounties. Strengthen my memory that I may retain a knowledge of them. Fill my heart with gratitude and love, because of thine unnumbered, unmerited blessings. May they lead me to repentance, humility, and faith, and to consecrate them and myself to thy service and glory.
Blessed God, cause all dishonesty to cease from the face of the earth. Let men no longer unjustly hinder their neighbour's wealth or outward estate. Destroy that spirit of covetousness which urges mankind to fraud, robbery, and oppression, and to be partakers of unholy gain. Do thou cause the principles of strict and impartial honesty to govern the relations of commerce, and of master and servant. Give currency and influence, I pray thee, to that blessed rule, of doing unto others as we would they should do unto us.
Lord, keep me from indulging in any form of dishonesty. Make me just to all the lawful interests of my fellows. Let me never desire to increase my own substance at their expense; nor to withhold from any, however humble or unworthy, the debts of justice and humanity. Incline me always to rejoice in the good of my neighbour, and to walk uprightly, and work righteousness.
Lord, make my voice a testimony of praise unto thee, and an organ of wisdom and love unto men. Dispose me to speak of thine excellent goodness, to confess my manifold transgressions, and to supplicate thy satisfying mercies. Give me grace to proclaim and defend thy word. Make me an advocate of the innocent and the oppressed. Incline me to encourage that which is good, and to reprove that which is evil. May I seek useful knowledge, with the purpose of teaching it to others. And, Lord, I would fervently implore thee, for Christ's sake, that I may be led to persuade men to be reconciled to thee, by the death of thy Son.
Great Author of Goodness, I thank thee for the gift of speech. But, O, I desire to realize that it is an instrument whose uses are fearfully abused. How often, alas ! does the tongue become an unruly member, and full of deadly poison ; producing envying and strife, confusion and every evil work. Set a watch, O Lord, before my mouth, and keep the door of my lips. Keep my tongue from evil, and my lips from speaking guile. Thou hast said, that if any man seem to be religious, and bridleth not his tongue, he deceiveth his own heart, and his religion is vain. Enable me to bring forth good things out of the good treasure of the heart; and let my words be of the uprightness of my heart. Put away from me all bitterness and evil speaking; and let no corrupt communication proceed out of my mouth, but that which is good, to the use of edifying, that it may minister grace unto the hearers.—[See Slander.]
Heavenly Father, bless the efforts which are made to spread thy truth, by means of tracts. It was in this form thou didst first cause to be gathered the words of wisdom, which holy men spake of old, as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. As thou didst then set the seal of thy favour on such instruments, so thou art now using them as means of turning sinners from death to life.
Lord, bless those societies, in our own and other countries, which have undertaken to promote, in this way, the welfare of thy kingdom. Give them wisdom and grace in all their measures. May they be sustained by the prayers, and gifts, and labours of thy people. O that all the children of Zion would feelingly understand the power of the press in furnishing these leaves for the healing of the nations. I thank thee for the influence which has been given to them in heathen .lands, and for the rich promises which the signs of the times afford, as to their future usefulness, both at home and abroad. I pray thee, multiply their number, and send them to all the dark places of the earth, as winged messengers, proclaiming the everlasting gospel.
Lord, extend and bless their circulation in our own land. Grant thy rich favour to the monthly distribution, wherever it is sustained; and do thou cause it to be established in every community in our country. May all who have undertaken that plan of benevolence, connect with it personal efforts for the conversion of souls. While they supply the temporal wants of the poor, and give the Bible to the destitute, and gather neglected children into Sundayschools, and seek to stay the desolations of intemperance, O may they realize that their great work, in connexion with their tract distribution, is to labour personally and faithfully, for the salvation of those with whom they are thus brought in contact. Sanction abundantly, all such efforts, by the enlightening, convincing, and converting power of the Holy Spirit.
Great God, cause my understanding to acknowledge, and my heart to adore the mystery of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, who are the same in substance, equal in power and glory, and who constitute the infinite, eternal and unchangeable Godhead. Lord, let not my feeble and erring judgment stagger at nor exalt itself against the testimony of thy word : but what thou hast revealed, that may I receive with a willing mind. O do thou enable me to receive the Father in all the fulness of his love—the Son, in all the riches of his atonement— and the Spirit, in all the sanctifying power of his grace.
God of Truth, banish that heresy, which in the pride of human reason, would vainly seek to pervert the doctrine of the Unity of the Godhead, so as to destroy the belief of the glorious Trinity. May all men learn that there are three that bear record in heaven, and that these three are one. May they honour the Son even as they honour the Father; and worship that Spirit whose ministrations are life because of righteousness.
Heavenly Father, dispel every form of error by the power of uncorrupted truth. Lord, thy word is truth. Give it, therefore, free course, that it may be glorified in redeeming the corrupt and wandering minds of men, from the deceptions of prejudice and error. Bring all mankind to a knowledge of it, and especially of the truth as it is in Jesus, which only is able to make them wise unto salvation. Instruct them in that mystery which was hid from ages and from generations, but now is made manifest to the saints ; which is Christ, in them, the hope of glory.
Lord, assist me to love thy truth, and to seek its promotion, even though it may cover me with rebuke and shame. May it turn me from every refuge of lies, and bring me to trust in thee with all my heart. May sincerity dwell in my soul, and truth have its image in my heart, and verity be found on my lips. Teach me to abhor deceit in every possible form. May I remember that nothing can enter the holy city, that maketh or loveth a lie; and that the lip of truth shall be established for evere'—[See Falsehood.]
Great God, thou art the fountain of untarnished truth, and with thee there is no variableness nor shadow of turning. No stain of deceit has ever cast a shadow on the purity of thy purposes and dealings. Though the mountains depart, and the hills be removed, thy kindness doth not depart from thee ; neither is the covenant of thy peace removed. Thy word is the counsels of faithfulness; thy promises are all Yea and Amen ; and thy threatenings, though they be not speedily executed, shall be fulfilled in righteousness. O Lord, give me such a persuasion of thy faithfulness, as shall encourage and strength-
en my heart in every endurance of trial and per-
formance of duty. Help me to commit the keeping
of my soul unto thee, in well-doing, as unto a faith-
Adorable Jehovah, I beseech thee, let there not
be in me an evil heart of unbelief, in departing from
the living God. Assist me to know and feel that
this sin dishonours thy glorious name, thy precious
word, and thy righteous providence. Make me feel
that it shuts out the light of thy countenance, and
brings the darkness of spiritual ignorance and death
over my soul. O may I reflect on the doom of him
that believeth not, and is condemned already. Ena-
ble me to watch unto prayer, against this destroying
evil. Protect me from the influences which lead to
it—from Satan, from ignorance, from pride, and
from sensuality. Lord, redeem me from its power,
by the teachings of thy word and Spirit. Give my
judgment a clear perception of truth, and bring my
affections into submission to thy will: and then,
thanks be to thy name, I shall believe with my heart
unto righteousness, and praise thee in the obedience
of faith. Lord, I would believe; help thou mine un-
Omniscient Jehovah, I thank thee for the gift of
my understanding, by which I may acquire know-
ledge, and without which I should be ignorant of thy
law, and should live as the brutes that perish. I pray
thee, in the name of the Heavenly Advocate, that
thou wouldst make me feel the solemn responsibili-
ties which belong to the noble faculty of reason. Let not ignorance, nor prejudice, nor depravity control its exercises. Preserve it from error, and guide it into the knowledge of truth. Make it a storehouse of useful knowledge. Direct its energies chiefly towards that wisdom which is from above. Grant me enlarged and discriminating views of thy character, works, and will. Dispose me, Great God, to submit my judgment to the tokens of thy mind in all things; for thine understanding is infinite.
Shepherd of Israel, teach thy people how good and pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity. It is as the dew that descended on the mountains of Zion : there the Lord commanded the blessing, even life for ever more. May they mourn over the sectarian walls that divide thy church, and the unkindness and strife that so often prevail among those who bear the same party name. May they lament over the sectional feelings which alienate the members of different communions, and that bigotry of judgment which forbids the universal fellowship of saints.
O Lord, why should there be any other test of brotherhood than that of union to Christ ? Why should the children of adoption treat each other as strangers and foreigners ? Why should those who expect to be joint-heirs of the inheritance of heaven, refuse fellowship with each other on earth ? O God of Love, rebuke every spirit of dissension. Bring together all scattered fragments of thy church, and bind them by that charity which is the bond of perfectness. As there is but one shepherd, so let there be but one fold. As there is but one king, so let there be but one dominion. Let the heritage of God be a household of faith, that shall stand fast in one spirit, with one mind striving together for the faith of the gospel. Lord, cause the unity of the spirit to bring together all thy followers in the bond of peace ; that they may be one, even as the Father and Son are One.
God of Salvation, I would ask thee in the name of thy dear Son, to dispose me to do good as I have opportunity; for with such sacrifices thou art wellpleased. May I remember that every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Thou hast placed me in the garden of thy providence, not merely that I should gather fruit for myself, but for others also. Thou hast put me into the fruitful field of thy grace, not that I might obtain food for myself only, but also that I might give the bread of life to others. Christ has not died for me that I should live unto myself, but unto him in the spirit of his gospel, which is good-will to men. Teach me, O Lord, that life does not consist so much in length of days, as in the multitude of our acts of justice and mercy to mankind. I pray thee, direct me to such means and objects of good-will, as shall qualify me to be a follower of Jesus, who went about doing good. Lead me to supply the wants of the needy, to comfort the distresses of the afflicted, and to remove the causes of misfortune and guilt. Enable me to instruct the ignorant, to reprove the wicked, to strengthen the good, and to win souls from the mazes of error and sin, to the ways of truth and holiness.
Lord, instruct me in the nature of the dangers by which I am beset, and make me ever watchful against their open or secret influences. Make me vigilant against the corruptions of my own heart—its love of indulgence, of riches, and of display. Inspire me with carefulness in my intercourse with the world, lest it draw me aside into the paths of vanity and sin. Enable me to watch against the temptations of satan, who is the adversary of the soul, and seeks its destruction by countless stratagems. May my loins be girt about, and my light be burning; and may I receive the blessing of those servants, whom, when the Lord cometh, he shall find watching.
Lord, regard in mercy her from whom thou hast taken her earthly stay and comfort. Thou hast indeed stricken her in her dearest and tenderest ties. The light of her eyes, the counsellor of her mind, the helper of her weakness, the soother of her sorrows, the partner of her joys—thou hast. removed, without the hope of return. But thou art the husband of the widow, and the father of the fatherless. O may her desolate heart trust in thee above every human refuge, and realize that thou art able by thy power and willing in thy mercy to heal her griefs, and supply her need. Pour thou the oil of consolation into her bereaved and aching bosom, and cause her heart to sing for joy, because of thy comforts. Raise up for her those whose sympathies will cheer her wounded spirit, whose counsels will encourago
her sinking hopes, and whose help will assist her in struggling with a selfish and unfeeling world. Protect her from unkindness and oppression. Open up for her a pathway of peace and plenty.
Blessed Jesus, make her thine in the espousals of thy love. Thou canst be more unto her than he whose cherished presence and affection she has lost. Thou art able to turn her darkness into light, her grief into joy, and her want into abundance. Thou canst teach her in the day of her afflicting visitation the things which belong to her peace, and make the time of her earthly loss the season of her eternal gain. Be thou unto her the chief among ten thousand, and one altogether lovely. Say unto her, " Fear not, I am with thee; I, even I, am he that comforteth thee: thy Maker is thy husband."
Sovereign of the Universe, sanctify my will. Give it grace always to choose that which is good, and reject that which is evil. I would lament before thee its proneness to forsake thy holy law, and to follow after selfish pleasure. That faculty which thou didst put within me, to guide me to righteous obedience, alas! how often does it urge me on to unholy rebellion. Lord, restore it to that strength and purity which it enjoyed when thou didst first send forth man from thy creating power, in thine own blessed image. O let me not choose any thing that is opposed to thy holy will. Cleanse thou the fountain of my desires, and make it as a well of living water, springing up into everlasting life.
Wili, Of God.—See Obedience, Submission.
Lord, who can stand before thy cold? Thou givest snow like wool, and scatterest the hoar-frost like ashes. By thy breath the breadth of the waters is straitened. The singing of birds has yielded to the sighing of winds and the howling of tempests. The trees which once hung out their garments of verdure and ornaments of fruit, to please the eye and regale the taste of man, now spread their naked and unsightly limbs over a barren landscape ; and the earth that lately teemed with the beauty and abundance of life, is now wrapped in the cold winding-sheet of nature.
Yet, O Lord, let me not be heedless of thy mercy and wisdom in the arrangements of even these gloomy months. In the midst of all this barrenness, thou preservest the life of man and beast. Behold the fowls of the air, which neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns; yet our Heavenly Father feedeth them. These seeming desolations are the repose of nature; and thou art keeping in safety beneath them, the germs of seed-time and the promise of harvest. In due time thou wilt bring forth, refreshed and renewed by the sleep of winter, the green herb, the Waving leaf, the smiling flower, and the rushing waters, to cheer and bless the heart of man, and praise and magnify the greatness of God.
Merciful Father, I thank thee for the abundant food, the convenient raiment, and the protecting home I enjoy in the inclemency that surrounds me. May the rigours of the season be strong and unfailing motives for gratitude to God and mercy to man. Cause my heart to abound with pity to the destitute. Let me not sny to them, with heartless charity, "Be ye warmed and filled ;" and notwithstanding, give them not those things which are needful for the body. Dispose me to open my hand to the needy—remembering that thou hast said, " Blessed is he that considereth the poor."
Lord, may I regard this season as the emblem of adversity. Life is indeed not all sunshine, and pleasure, and plenty. It has its days and months of darkness, and sorrow, and want. O prepare me by the grace that is derived through Jesus, for its severest vicissitudes. Make me feel that I deserve to have my joys withered and my hopes blasted; and that thou wilt be fulfilling only the dictates of merciful justice, if thou shouldst at times withhold thy favour and visit me with thy frown, in this world, that thou mayest save me from destruction in the world to come.
Teach me to look on Winter as the type of the grave. As thou buriest the beauty and excellence of the earth in its icy shroud, so thou hidest the generations of men beneath the clods of the valley. And as thou wilt bring forth from this tomb of the year, the fertile beauty of the spring; so thou wilt bring up from the long desolation of death, that which was sown in dishonour, that it may be raised in glory ! Lord, grant that in the renewing power of that great day, I may share in the resurrection of the just, and enjoy the light of thy countenance and the bliss of thy love for ever!
Lord, thou hast said that if any man lack wisdom, et him ask of thee, and it shall be given him. I would come before thee, Merciful Father, feeling the weakness of my judgment, and its unfitness, w ithout strength from thee, to discharge aright the various duties of life. I pray thee keep my understanding from error, fill it with knowledge, and govern it by prudence. Especially do thou give me that wisdom which is from above, which is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality, and without hypocrisy. Vouchsafe unto me the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of Jesus, that the eyes of my understanding being enlightened, I may know what is the hope of his calling, and what the riches of the glory of his inheritance in the saints.
WISDOM OF GOD.
Great God, who hath been thy counsellor, or who hath directed thy judgment 1 Lo, thou workest all things according to the counsels of thine own will. O Lord, how manifold are thy works: in wisdom thou hast made them all. Thy discerning and directing mind is seen every where in the works of thy hands, in the ways of thy providence, and in the government of thy creatures. Thou choosest thine ends, and framest all thy means according to knowledge. Thy counsels are steadfast, thy thoughts are deep, and thine understanding is infinite.
O Lord, thou hast gathered, as into a radiant focus, the power and glory of thy wisdom in the work of redemption. Into this the angels desire to look; but they cannot measure its matchless strength and fulness. Herein are those mysteries of thy graceCod manifest in the flesh—he who knew no sin was made sin for us—while we were sinners Christ died for us—thou canst be just, and still be the
justifier of him that believeth in Jesus! O, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God: how unsearchable are his judgments and his ways past finding out.
Omniscient Jehovah, I desire to put all my trust in thee; for thou knowest both how to provide and to deliver. I would acknowledge thee with prayer in all my ways; for thou only canst direct my steps. I would submit to thy will, which is the perfection of reason. And I would adore thee, because thou art infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in thy wisdom !
Lord, keep me from conformity to the world. May I use it as not abusing it; having my affections set on things above, and not on things on the earth. Show me that its pleasures are few in number, brief in existence, unsatisfying in their nature, and corrupting in their influence. Let me not seek to unite the service of God and mammon. Lord, I would love and hold to thee, and hate and despise the other. O, what is a man profited if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Assist me, I pray thee, to pass the time of my sojourning here in fear, knowing that it is a sphere of danger, in which my heart is tempted to wander from God, to forget eternity, to neglect my noblest duties, and to live in sense and sin. I cannot, and indeed I should not desire to withdraw from the business of the world, and from intercouse with worldly men; but I beseech thee, O Lord, that thou wouldst abide with me on all those occasions which require me to mingle with such scenes and companions. Teach me thy way, and lead me in a plain path, for the sake of my own purity and the welfare of them that observe me. Let me not pollute my own soul, by being a partaker of ungodliness. Make me an epistle of Christ, known and read of all men. May my words be fitly spoken, and my conduct be according to godliness. Give me grace to walk in wisdom to them that are without, persuading them to taste and see that the Lord is good, and teaching them that religion's ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace.
Adorable Jehovah, thou art exalted above principalities and powers, that at thy name every knee should bow, and every tongue confess. All thy works praise thee. Bestow on me, in the name of Jesus, that grace which will qualify me to worship thee in spirit and in truth. Let me not seek to draw nigh to thee with my lips, while my heart is far from thee; nor take the attitude of devotion, while my thoughts wander among the cares and pleasures of life. May strong convictions of thy greatness and presence rest upon me, and make me suitably afraid. Make me feel that I am unworthy of the least of thy mercies, and that if thou wert strict to mark iniquity, I dare not come before thee, but should take up my abode where there is no mercy-seat, and no answer of peace to the cry of despairing want.
Gracious God, let all my approaches to thee be in humble reliance upon the merits of Christ. Give me such an impression of thy goodness, in the bounties of thy providence and the covenant of thy grace, that I shall go to thee with the love and confidence of a child to its father ,• for if earthly parents know how to give good gifts to their children, much more will our Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him. Lord, grant me such views of thy character, and of my own wants and those of mankind, as shall dispose me to magnify thy name with an adoring and grateful spirit, and lead me to seek thy favour by fervent and believing supplication.
Lord, bless the assemblies of thy saints. May reverence, love, and faith, animate their devotions. May thy praise be sung with holy affections; thy favour be sought with believing hearts; thy word be preached in the demonstration of the Spirit, and be heard as a message of divine wisdom and mercy. Bring into thy sonctuaries those who neglect thy worship; and fill thy courts with such as live regardless of thy statutes. Grant, O Lord, that all the solemn feasts of thy house may be seasons of refreshing from thy presence, in which saints shall grow in grace, and many prodigals be brought into the adoption of the sons of God; to the glory of thy mercy in Jesus, both now and for ever.
Heavenly Father, bless our youth. Preserve them from the corrupting dangers which so easily affect and control their forming characters. Keep their hopes, and judgments, and affections from pursuing the things which bring ruin on the soul. Incline them now to seek thy service, ere the cares of this world, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of the flesh, harden their hearts, stifle their consciences, and cause them to turn a deaf ear to the calls of mercy. Suffer them not to put off the claims of religion to what they vainly think a more convenient season. May they learn that youth is the time to serve the Lord; that now is their accepted time and day of salvation: while, if they put off repentance and faith, sin will gather fearful strength in their souls, and make their redemption more and more hopeless. Lord, may they remember that the tenderest tokens of thy love have been directed towards the young. Thou hast urged them with the most persuasive entreaties, to give thee their hearts, and hast promised that those who seek thee early shall find thee, and rejoice in thee all their days. But oh, if such will continue to refuse instruction, and despise reproof, they shall eat of the fruit of their own ways, and be filled with their own devices.
Lord, thou knowest that our youth are the expectation of the church, and the hope of our race. The history of the world in future ages, will be determined by the character of those who are now training for the responsibilities of life. If they shall be nurtured in righteousness, then humanity and piety shall rejoice in their labours: but if they shall be tutored in the lessons of vice, then the precious interests of mankind shall mourn because of them. O do thou make the rising generation the instruments of introducing the blessings of the Millennium, and not the means of thrusting back into future ages, that latter-day glory. Bring multitudes of them into the household of faith. Enlist their warm feelings and self-denying zeal, in behalf of religious ehterprizes. May they enter with gladness and energy, into those fields that lie fallow—or those that grow ripe for the harvest, and gather fruit abundantly, for the garners of eternal life.—[See Children, and Early Piety.]
0 thou that lo'vest them that obey thee, do thou make me zealous of good works. Grant me that zeal which is according to wisdom, love, and holiness. Reprove my lukewarmness, my instability, and my backsliding. Let not my pursuits of earthly things, which perish in the using, excite me to more energy and perseverance, than the strong and urgent claims of obedience to thy commands. Lead me to inquire diligently, what thou wilt have me to do; for I am bound to glorify thee in my body and spirit which are thine. May I hear the language of thy word, and the voice of thy providence, calling me to gird up my loins in thy service. Stimulate my diligence by the records of thy saints, who have devoted their lives and their all to doing good. Fix in my memory, I pray thee, the noble example of Christ, who took upon himself the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, that the culprits of heavenly justice might be saved from their condemnation.—O Lord, enable me to realize the unspeakable value of religious duties, undertaken in thy strength, in saving souls from death, in comforting and strengthening my own heart, and in procuring, through thy mercy in Christ, thy favour in this world, and thy blessedness in that which is to come. What my hand findeth to do, may I do it with my might. Heavenly Father, make me fervent in spirit, serving the Lord. And while the blessing of my zeal in thy service shall be mine, the praise of it shall be thine, Father, Son, and Spirit, for ever. Amen.