SABBATH MORNING. Smith.
O Thou who art the Author and Preserver of our lives, unto thee we would now lift up our voice and our hearts. Teach us to approach unto thee with that reverence which becometh all thy creatures; and vouchsafe to draw near unto us, as a God of pity, of mercy, and of grace.
We adore thee, O God, who hast made us for thy service; that thou hast given us thy word to direct us in thy worship; and that one day in every seven of our lives is appointed for this purpose. As the unworthy, but professing disciples of Jesus Christ, who hope for acceptance only through his merits and mediation, we would now offer up our morning sacrifice to the God, and Father, and fountain of all. This is the day which thou hast made; the day upon which thy Son rose from the dead, finishing the work of our redemption; that happy day when the love of God, the grace of Jesus Christ, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, may be humbly expected wherever two or three are met together in the name of the adorable Trinity. Wilt thou then, O most high and incomprehensible Jehovah! accept of the dedication which we now make thee of our bodies and souls.
We are sensible that we have rendered ourselves unworthy of thy notice, having lost thy image, and broken thy commandments. But, God of all grace, thou art in Christ again reconciling a guilty world unto thyself, not imputing unto men their trespasses; and, therefore, we would now believingly, although humbly, draw near, asking and hoping every thing for his sake. Let those sins which we have formerly committed against much goodness, much love, and much light, be all blotted out of the book of thy remembrance. Let these worthless souls of ours be clothed with the wedding garment of a Redeemer's righteousness, that we may thus be interested in the privileges of his kingdom. O thou Giver of every good and perfect gift, create in us all clean hearts, and renew right spirits within us, that we may love thee—that we may fear thee—that it may be as our meat and our drink at all times to do thy holy will. We thank thee, O God, for that providential care and goodness which thou hast exercised towards us during the past week, and the past night. Prepare us for all the duties in which we are this day to be engaged. When we are allowed to enter into thine earthly temple, let all worldly wishes, worldly cares, and worldly thoughts of every sort, be banished from our minds. Enable us to sing thy praises with gratitude in our hearts. Grant that we may read thy holy Scriptures for our instruction and comfort. May the prayers which we shall this day offer up for ourselves and others, so far as is consistent with thy glory, be accepted; and let thy word preached enlighten our understandings, spiritualize our hopes, confirm our faith, rekindle our love, and inspire us with new resolutions to live more becoming the professions we make, and the privileges we enjoy.
And when we return from thy house, forbid, O God, that we should spend any part of thy day in thinking our own thoughts, speaking our own words, or minding our own pleasures; but let it be an entire Sabbath of rest unto our souls, reflecting upon what we have heard, laying up thy doctrines and precepts in our memories, examining, by thy Word and Spirit, into our state; and renewing, by thine all-sufficient grace, our broken vows, and unfulfilled engagements. SABBATH EVENING. Smith.
And thus, O Father, into whose hands we have committed our immortal spirits, by thus wisely and profitably spending our Sabbaths on earth, may we all be trained up and prepared for that eternal Sabbath in heaven, where we shall see thee as thou art, feel all thy perfections conspiring to make us happy, join in endless worship with an innumerable company of angels and dignified spirits, be introduced into thy presence, where there is fulness of joy, and be admitted to sit down at thy right hand, where there are pleasures for evermore.
O Lord, might we still intercede in behalf of our brethren of mankind! Thou hast promised by the blood of thy covenant, to speak peace unto the heathen. Soon, O God, give them to thy Son as his inheritance, with the utmost parts of the earth for his possession. Where the gospel is preached and professed, may multitudes be converted, and made a willing people in the day of thy power. Pour out, O God, a double portion of thy Holy Spirit, upon all the ministers of the everlasting gospel; and may they be enabled to discharge the important trust committed to them with fidelity and diligence, with thy approbation, and with abundant success. Let the churches with which we are more immediately connected have rest; and walking together in the fear of the Lord, and comforts of the Holy Ghost, may they be edified and multiplied.
Our relatives and friends, wherever they are, may their bodies be the objects of thy providential care, and all their souls the subjects of thy saving grace. If it be thy will let us have many comfortable and useful meetings in this world, and may none of us be found wanting in that day when thou countest thy jewels. Such as may now be more immediately under thy afflicting hand, O God, console, support, and, in thy due time, deliver; and may we all have an interest in that sure promise, that all things at last shall work together for good.
Now, unto the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only wise God, be honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
Our Father that art in heaven, hallowed be thy sacred name. For we, that are in ourselves but as dust and ashes, have, nevertheless, been permitted again and again this day to draw near and supplicate at the throne of thy grace. We confess, that even the iniquities of our holy things testify against us; and hadst thou been strict to mark our vain, polluted, and sinful thoughts, even in thy worship, thou mightest have cast us off. But, O Lord, we admire, and adore; and would even rejoice in these gracious declarations, which thou hast given us in thy word, that thou takest no pleasure in the destruction of sinners: and knowing our frame, remembering we are but dust, and therefore exacting of us less than our iniquities deserve, thou art longsuffering, slow to anger, full of compassion, and plenteous in mercy.
Blessed God, may every returning consideration of thy glorious attributes, but especially these astonishing expressions of thy loving-kindness and tender mercy to the human race, so conquer and soften our hard and stony hearts, as that they may now melt down, and flow out, in ardent love, and humble gratitude; thus ending thy day, as we sweetly began it, with thine easy yoke, in thy delightful service.
O God, keep us in patient waiting until that glorious hour, when we may hope to join that blessed company around thy throne, and sing the song of Moses and the Lamb. Make us thankful for those communications of thy love and grace, which, but tasted here below, give more true peace, and solid pleasure, than the men of the world enjoy, when their corn, and wine, and creature comforts, do most abound.
O God, give us a greater relish for these pure and spiritual joys. We long to have more of the temper and disposition of the holy Psalmist, when he said, "As the hart panteth after the water brooks, so panteth my soul after thee, O God!" We wish to say, "How amiable are thy tabernacles, O Lord of Hosts! a day spent in thy courts, is better than a thousand otherwise employed."
Lord, grant that the worship and services in which we have lately been engaged, may be followed not only by thy gracious pardon, but with thy efficacious benediction. May neither the cares nor the pleasures of this world destroy the seed of the word which may have been this day sown in our hearts; but may it spring up, and bear fruit, some thirty, sixty, or an hundred Fold.
We have desired the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow thereby. We are one Sabbath day's journey nearer the end of life. God grant that we be nearer to heaven in our tempers, in our conduct, in our desires and affections.
From this night we would desire to lead a life more conformable to the holy gospel we profess, and to the glorious hopes we are permitted to entertain.
Will the Lord be pleased to follow with his blessing the preaching of the gospel every where. Wherever the name of Christ hath- this day been named, may multitudes see their need of his salvation, and be constrained to fly to him as their city of refuge. And, let the glorious period spoken of in an ancient prophecy, soon come, when the whole earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the channel of the sea.
Will God be pleased to hear the intercessions which have this day been put up through all his churches; more especially for our native country, the government under which we live, thy church as established among us, and all sects and denominations of real Christians. Be pleased, O Lord, to pardon what may have been asked amiss; and where thy servants may have neglected to ask for needful blessings to themselves and others, do thou, of thine infinite goodness, supply the deficiency. And now, O God, permit us to commend our bodies and souls to thy paternal care this night. Thou art the keeper of Israel, who never slumbereth nor sleepeth. Give us composed and refreshing sleep. Be at our right hand, and we will not fear what evil men or evil spirits, can do to us; and having found that thou hast been our refuge and defence all the night long, may we awake in the morning disposed to meditate upon thy goodness and mercy. O may we live in thy love and fear all our days, and improve by every dispensation of thy providence and grace, and at last be admitted, with all ours, into thy heavenly kingdom. We ask and hope for every blessing, in the name, and for the sake, of our dear Redeemer. Amen.
MONDAY MORNING. Smith.
Incomprehensible, but infinitely great and glorious Jehovah, we are again this morning permitted to lift up our hearts and voice unto thee. Thou didst at the first make man after thine own image, a little lower than the angels, and crowned him with honour and with glory; but our first parents broke thy covenant, and we have fallen from this holy and happy condition, into a state of guilt, pollution, and misery.
We are but of yesterday, and know nothing. We are a seed of evil-doers, who have gone astray from every right path; and thy pure and perfect law hath justly concluded us all under sin, that every mouth may be stopped, and the whole world become guilty before God.
But thou hast not left us altogether, nor in any age in this dark and forlorn situation. For, when the world by wisdom knew not God, and the way of man was not in himself, God, at sundry times, and in divers manners, spake in times past to our fathers by the prophets, and in these last days hath spoken still more clearly and fully by his own Son.
O God, our Father, through the operation of the Holy Spirit, engage us all to make a saving application of this Son of thine, as the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world; and to whom all the prophets gave witness, and now once in the end of the world hath appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice ©f himself.
Receive, we beseech thee, O God, this morning, our sincere and united thanks for that protection which thou hast afforded us, and the refreshing sleep we have enjoyed during the past night. Be with us, O our heavenly Father through the whole of this day, and of this week, whose secular employments we are now about to enter upon. In all our transactions with the world, may we be conscientiously just, knowing that all who do unrighteously are an abomination unto the Lord.
Let us guide our affairs with discretion, so as that we may have it in our power to show favour, and assist our neighbour, in whatsoever business he hath need of us, as becometh saints.
Enable us, O God, upon all occasions, and in all situations, to show mercy, that we may never have judgment without mercy from thee. If thou shouldst see meet to crown our lawful endeavours, so as that we increase and abound in the good things of this life, Lord, let our rising in the world go hand in hand with the preservation and comfortable subsistence of all around us.
But, O, let us take heed from morning to night, lest at any time our hearts be overcharged with the cares of" this life; for thou hast expressly said, "He thatmaketh haste to be rich, shall not be innocent."
Lord, deliver us from the inordinate love of money, which is the root of all evil; which, while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.
O Lord, we would not be over anxious to lay up for ourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves may break through and steal; but would be laying up for ourselves treasures in heaven, that where our treasure is, there our hearts may be also forever.
Lord, we would keep alive upon our minds, both the shortness and the uncertainty of time. May this engage us to redeem it, and so to number all our days, as to be applying them toward an habitual preparation for death. Lord, give us this day our daily bread. Forgive us our numberless failings, and short-comings in duty. Forbid that we indulge either envy or malice in our hearts toward any fellow creature. If it be thy holy will, may we fall into no temptation, but which thou wilt enable us to resist and overcome. And in the evening may we return to a throne of grace, with a conscience void of offence, and a heart replenished with gratitude to God, for the privileges and blessings of another day. Now unto the Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Spirit, be ascribed, as is most due, all praise, and power, dominion, and glory, world without end. Amen.
MONDAY EVENING. Smith.
Our Father, in heaven—evening, as well as morning, would we approach thy more immediate presence, with our humble tribute of adoration and praise. Thou art the greatest and the best of beings. There is none like unto thee in all the earth. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord! none like unto thee in heaven above, or on the earth beneath. Thou art the eternal God, with whom a thousand years are as one day, and one day as a thousand years.
Of old hast thou laid the foundation of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands: they shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea, all of them shall wax old like a garment; as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed: but thou art the same, and thy years shall have no end.
The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good.
How then "shall we go from thy Spirit, or whither shall we flee from thy presence? If we ascend up into heaven, thou art there; if we make our bed in hell, behold, thou art there: if we say, surely the darkness shall cover us, even the night shall be light about us: for the darkness hideth not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike to thee."
How then ought our hearts to tremble, O Lord, when we consider also that thou art infinitely pure and just! Thou art the Holy One of Israel, whose name is holy, and who dwellest in the high and holy place.
And surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert judgment: for the work of a man will he render unto him, and cause every man to find according to his ways. Yet, notwithstanding all this, we lift up our heads and hearts in hope. Blessed be God's name for that reviving declaration: "O Israel, thou hast destroyed thyself, but in me is thine help." To bring about our salvation, thou didst not spare thy Son; but in due time sent him into the world. We rejoice that Christ came not to do away the law, but to fulfil it; that by fulfilling all righteousness, he became the Mediator of a better covenant; that by his death upon the cross, the hand-writing of ordinances, that was against us, is blotted out; for he took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross. By him we have now received the atonement; and to him alone we look, and in him alone would we confide as our Mediator and Advocate with the Father. Yea, doubtless, and we would count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ our Lord, that we may win Christ, and be found in him; not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, even the righteousness which is of God by faith.
Lord, enable us to walk worthy of this holy vocation wherewith we are called, and to put our trust in thee, that we may never be ashamed, and that thou mayest deliver us in thy righteousness. O that we could at all times say, Whom have we in heaven but God? and there is none upon earth that we desire in comparison with him: our flesh and our hearts faileth, but he is the strength of our heart, and, we would hope, our portion for ever.
Lord, help us to consider that the end of all things, as to us, may be near at hand, and therefore we should be sober, and watch unto prayer; looking diligently unto ourselves, lest any of us fail of the grace of God; and so numbering all our days, as that we may apply our hearts unto true wisdom.
God grant that we may never be like the men of the world, which have all their portion in this life, and who say of it, " This is my rest, here will I dwell, for I have desired it;" but, on the contrary, finding that for true happiness we here have laboured in vain, and spent our strength for nought, and that all our clays are vanity, may we cry out, I loathe it, I would not live always! O, that I had wings like a dove! for then would I fly away, and be at rest. Lord, keep us ever in a waiting posture, and enable us to see thy hand, and to acknowledge thy will, in every thing that befalls us.
For the health of body and composure of mind which we have this day enjoyed, we would express our thankfulness to a gracious God. Be with us, heavenly Father, during the silent watches of the ensuing night. Preserve us still from disease of body, and from distress of mind: or, if it should be thy will that we receive such chastisements from thy hand, Lord, give us patience to endure them, and a happy issue out of them in due time. Let the putting off our clothes this night remind us of the putting off of these mortal bodies, which must, ere long, return to the dust: and O grant that we may be both habitually and actually prepared for the important event. May the like blessings, both temporal and spiritual, be bestowed upon all who are near and dear to us. In thy fear and love, and in mutual good offices, may we live whilst in this world, and ere long meet together in that kingdom, and in those mansions, which our dear Redeemer hath been preparing from the beginning of time.
In his name we ask every blessing; and to him, with thee, O Father, and the Eternal Spirit, be all praise, and honour, and glory. Amen.
TUESDAY MORNING. Smith.
O Thou Creator and Preserver of all things, behold us again, this morning, at the footstool of thy throne. We draw near, permitted and encouraged by thy word, to adore thy perfections, and to give thee thanks for the many favours conferred upon us. We come also to confess our demerit and sinfulness, and to plead for thy pardoning mercy and recovering grace. And who is like unto thee, O thou great, eternal, invisible, and incomprehensible Object of our spiritual worship! Before all things thou didst exist: from everlasting tc^everlasting thou art the only living and true God, infinite in wisdom, power, goodness and mercy. Of thy goodwill and pleasure thou didst at first bring us out of nothing into existence. But that rank of being which we hold in the scale of creation, demands our further and most grateful acknowledgment. We are wiser than the fowls of heaven, and have more understanding than the beasts that perish. We bless God that we are endued with rational and immortal souls, and made capable of knowing, worshipping, and enjoying him. We would express our thankfulness this morning for all that care, protection, and kindness, which we have experienced from our birth to the present hour; for sparing us in childhood, guiding us in youth, and preserving us amidst the numberless diseases and dangers of riper years. We thank thee for our daily food, for our warm and decent clothing, for all the necessaries of life, and those many conveniencies and comforts which we enjoy beyond thousands of our fellow-creatures around us. But, above all, we would ever adore and praise God for his inestimable love and grace in Jesus Christ.
We had destroyed ourselves, but in God there was help found. When there was no eye to pity, nor hand to help, he sent his Son to be the Saviour of the world. We believe that Jesus of Nazareth is the only true Messiah, and that he died for our offences, and rose again for our justification.
We fly to thee in him, as the alone foundation for pardon, reconciliation, adoption into the family of heaven, and every spiritual blessing. O let the Holy Spirit be given unto us, to seal our souls unto the day of redemption. Let him be as a Spirit of wisdom to guide us at all times; as a Spirit of holiness, to regenerate and cleanse our souls from every impure desire; and as a Spirit of might and power, to strengthen us, that we may neither be ashamed nor afraid, when we have respect unto all thy commandments. Lord, we are poor, short-sighted creatures, and know not what temporal blessings to ask at thy "hands; for we know not what shall eventually be best for us. If consistent with thy will, may we hope that goodness and mercy shall still follow us.
What are we, and what is our father's house, that thou hast brought us up hitherto? When we think of what we have received, O God, and compare it with what we deserve, we are lost in wonder and astonishment at thy goodness. Let it not be altogether lost: may it lead us to gratitude and humility, to repentance, and to a mindfulness of our latter end: for we know not what is between us and the grave. Thou mayest yet see meet to teach us in the school of adversity. Help us then to say, "It is the Lord's will, let him do what seemeth him good. Shall we receive good at the hand of the Lord, and shall we not also receive evil?" Lay not upon us more than thou wilt enable us to bear, that the issue of all shall be to thy glory, and for our greater good.
Lord, accept of our sincere thanks for that freedom from pain, both of body and mind, which we have enjoyed during the past night. There are many, no doubt, whose cry, during the lingering hours, hath been, would God it were morning! and who even now (the distress remaining) may be saying, would God it were evening! Lord God, take pity upon such, and in thy good time relieve them: and elevate all our hearts towards that time and place, when God shall wipe away all tears from our eyes, and there shall be no more death; neither sorrow nor crying; neither shall there be any more pain; the former things being for ever passed away. Until this period come, until death, which leadeth unto it, may we all be kept in a waiting posture. May we watch as well as pray, that we be actually as well as habitually, prepared for death: for blessed are those servants whom the Lord, when he cometh, shall find watching Now, unto Him that supplieth all our need, according to his riches in glory, by Jesus Christ; to the Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, be honour and glory, thanksgiving and praise, for ever and ever. Amen.
TUESDAY EVENING. Smith.
God of all goodness and grace, hear our prayer this evening, and give ear to the words of our mouth. We would call upon thee, who alone art worthy to be praised, and who hast given us reason to hope that thou wilt send out thy light and thy truth, to lead and bring us to thy holy hill, even unto a throne of grace, where we may obtain mercy to pardon, and grace to help in time of need. We know, and would have ever deeply
impressed on our minds, that the Lord, he is great, and that our Lord is above all gods. Thou remainest for ever the same, and thy throne is from generation to generation. One day is with thee as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Most High, whom we would now worship, dwelleth not in temples made with hands. Heaven is his throne, and the earth is his footstool; yet his eyes run to and fro through the world: from the place of thy habitation thou lookest down upon all the inhabitants of the earth, and considerest all their works. There is no iniquity with the Lord our God: thou art the Lord who lovest righteousness, and exercisest judgment in the earth; and thou hast appointed a day when thou wilt judge the world in righteousness. What then must become of us, O Lord, who have always been ungrateful, and so often broken thy most just and easy commandments? To us, indeed, O God, belongeth shame and confusion of face; and more especially when we think of thy holiness, and our impurity and sinfulness.
Thou didst create us after thy image, but we have let it be defaced. Thou hast favoured us with the light of revelation; but we have loved the ways and works of darkness. Thy law, O God, which is exceeding broad, hath been often read to us, and its precepts impressed on our minds, but in how many instances have we transgressed against it!
O deal not with us according to our folly, but see our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed; that he, like unto Aaron of old, may bear our iniquity, and we be accepted at a throne of grace through him.
We look to Christ alone for acceptance with the Father, who blotted out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, and took it out of the way, nailing it to his cross; even thy Son, O God, who thus (as it became him) fulfilled all righteousness; and being the Mediator of a better covenant, brought in a better hope, by the which hope we draw nigh unto God. And thus looking, O God, and thus hoping, we would not only humbly expect the pardon of all our sins, but even a comfortable persuasion thereof in our own minds, with all those advantages which accompany or flow from it.
Lord give us that best of evidences which ariseth from a conformity of mind and will to thee, and to our blessed Master. Let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably. None of us would henceforward live unto ourselves. We are not our own, for we are bought with a price. May we therefore glorify God in our body, and in our spirit, which are God's.
We would, we hope and trust, form sincere resolutions this evening, to live more and more soberly, honestly and godly, in this present evil world. And to this purpose, O God, teach us to reflect seriously upon the shortness of life; the rapidity with which our days, and weeks, and months, and years pass away. Help us to consider that our career may terminate every moment, when death shall summon us to judgment, and the consequences be eternal. Lord, teach us therefore so to number and estimate every day as if it were our last. Like the foolish virgins, may we not sleep, or even slumber, in a cold outward profession; but having our loins girded, and our lamps burning, may we imitate the wise virgins, be ever watching, and making ready for the coming of our Lord; and thus we may hope to appear before him with confidence and holy
joyKeep us this night, O God, under the shadow of thy wings, and defend our bodies and souls from all evil. Refresh us with sleep; and if thou art pleased to grant us the privilege of another day in this state of probation, may our renewed strength be employed to advance thy glory and promote- the best interests of all around us. O Lord, continue still to be kind and favourable to all our relations and friends. May we all be united in the same covenant of redemption here, and be permitted to enjoy its more glorious privileges together hereafter. Let the country where we live, and while we live, O God, if consistent with the great designs of thy providence, never be the seat of war, but the residence of liberty and peace. We long for the time when wars shall cease to the ends of the earth, and there shall be nothing to hurt or destroy in all thy holy mountain. Hasten that happy time, O God, and prepare the world for it. And now the God of Israel cause us to go from his throne in peace, and with the hope of pardon and acceptance: and to the Father, Son, and blessed Spirit, be eternal praises. Amen.
WEDNESDAY MORNING. Smith.
O Thou most holy, blessed, and glorious Lord God, whom we are bound by every tie to worship and obey; behold us again, this morning, before the throne of thy grace. We laid ourselves down in peace—we have during the past night taken our rest in safety; and by thy kind providence we are entering upon the duties and enjoyments of another day.
A wearisome night might have been appointed us; thou mightest have alarmed us with dreams, and terrified us through visions; and we might have been full of tossings to and fro, until the dawning: but thou hast bestowed on us sleep, such as thou givest to thy beloved, and our beds have comforted and refreshed us. Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for this renewed instance of his sustaining power and preserving goodness.
This morning again would we say, Come and hear, all ye that fear God, and we will declare what he hath done for our bodies and souls. Thine hand, O God, created us at the first. And we thank thee, O Lord, that thou hast not only granted us life, and thy visitation to preserve our spirit in the helpless state of infancy and childhood; but that thou hast cast our lot in a part of the world where light and liberty, peace and plenty, have so long existed and flourished.
Incomprehensible Being, who searchest the heart, and to whom every secret motion within us is known, behold our souls prostrate before the throne of thy grace this morning, ready again to take hold of thy covenant and strength, that we may make peace with thee, and that thou mayest make peace with us. Look down, O God of mercy, upon us; and for thine own sake, and according to thy express word and promise, blot out our transgressions, and remember our sins no more.
Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed, thy beloved Son, in whom thou art ever well pleased; who appeared in our world to put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; and by this one offering hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified. Ol for his sake, forgive us our sins, and cleanse us from all unrighteousness. And now may the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, keep our hearts and minds, through Christ Jesus. We would not be over anxious for that peace and prosperity which the world giveth. But we pray for that peace, which Jesus Christ hath promised, and left for all his disciples; a peace which the world can neither give nor take away; and through which our hearts may not be troubled, or in any degree afraid.
We must confess, O God, that if thou shouldest be strict to mark iniquities, we have often had cause to be both ashamed and afraid.
Thou hast also said in thy word, that the just shall live by faith; but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him. Wilt thou heal our backslidings, and pardon our numberless failings in'duty. Thou hast said, return, thou backsliding Israel, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you. Turn thou us unto thee, O Lord, and we shall be turned; and from this day enlighten and renew, more and more, every faculty and power of our mind and soul, that we may give all diligence to add to our faith, virtue, knowledge, temperance, patience, godliness, brotherly kindness, and charity; that these things being in us, and abounding, we may neither be barren, nor unfruitful in the saving knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
For that protection which thou hast afforded us during the past night, and that refreshing sleep which our bodies have enjoyed, we desire, O God, to be more and more thankful. To thy care and keeping we again commit ourselves this day. Compass us about with thy favour as with a shield.
If consistent with thy will, prosper us in all our lawful employments, and give us comfort in all our worldly enjoyments. The same blessings we would ask in behalf of our relations, our friends, our benefactors and well-wishers. Our enemies, Father, forgive them, and enable us to do the same.
Lord, plead thine own cause in the world. Let ignorance, idolatry, superstition, and wickedness come to an end. Erect the throne of thy Son's dominion upon the ruins of Satan's kingdom. Let the happy time be approaching when there shall be uersal peace on earth, and good-will amongst all mankind. Lord, continue kind to our native country. Provide for us, O God, rulers and magistrates, such as are able men, who fear thee, and hate covetousness. Prosper, O God, the means of instruction provided for our youth, and let the hoary heads be found in the way of righteousness; that they may look backward with satisfaction, and forward with hope. Pity the sick and afflicted; spare young and useful lives; and prepare us all for death and judgment. Now, blessed be God for all his gifts, both of nature and of grace! And to the Three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and Holy Spirit, be ascribed all honour and glory. Amm.
WEDNESDAY EVENING. Smith.
Glorious Jehovah! by which name thou didst desire to be known by thy people of old, O take us (like them) into covenant with thee, and draw near in mercy to hear and help us. We would ever consider it as our highest honour, and greatest privilege, to call upon God by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving.
We adore thee as the alone true object of all spiritual worship. Though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or on earth, (as there be gods many, and lords many,) to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him; and one Spirit, the Eternal Spirit, who searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God, by whom, through Jesus Christ alone, we have access unto the Father. In this new and living way may we be permitted to approach, at this time, to offer up our evening sacrifices.
And we would say, Blessed be the name of the Lord, from this time forth, and for evermore: from the rising of the sun unto the going down of the same, the Lord's name be praised; for the Lord is high above all nations, and his glory above the heavens. There is none like unto thee: rich in mercy, glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, ever doing wonders. But we would more especially praise thee this night for the unmerited, yet still continued, communications of thy goodness and grace to us.
We would more particularly thank and praise thy name for what we have experienced of it during the past day. Thou hast protected our going out and our coming in. The Lord is our Keeper; he hath been as a shade upon our right hand, and preserved us from all evil.
We would be thankful, O God, unto thee for these temporal blessings; and pray earnestly that they may produce in our souls humility, gratitude, and love. But let us not be over anxious about any worldly enjoyments or advantages. We would be convinced that all things here are unsatisfactory, or fleeting in their nature.
Blessed Saviour, impress thine own injunction upon our minds—Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endurelh unto everlasting life, and which the Son of man shall give to all that come unto him.
Help us each to say with the apostle: "We are crucified with Christ, nevertheless we live; yet not we, but Christ liveth in us: and the life that we now live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave himself for us, that we should no longer live the rest of our time in the flesh to the lusts of men, but to the will of God."
Thus living and walking no longer according to our old natural state, but according to the new one which we receive by faith, and the principles and means of practice, properly belonging thereunto, may we now strive to continue and increase in all Christian duties and graces. May we continue to love God in Christ as our supreme good. We pray for that fear of the Lord which is the beginning of wisdom, and by which every wise man departeth from evil. We would submit ourselves to him, saying, upon all proper occasions, the will of the Lord be done. May God, of his infinite mercy, grant that we may continue in the faith, grounded and settled, and that we be not moved away from the hope of the gospel. Let our love to mankind be without dissimulation, and may we be kindly affectioned one to another, with brotherly love. Instead of stirring up strife, by giving way to anger at anytime, and using grievous words, help us, O Lord, by a soft answer to turn away wrath.
Lord, enable us daily to do good, that we may be rich in good works, ready to distribute, willing to communicate; laying up in store for ourselves a good foundation against the time to come. But, at the same time, keep us humble, O God, and let us never be desirous of vain glory.
May we be temperate in all things; and as we would ascend at last into the hill of the Lord, and stand accepted in his holy place.
To this end, bless us, O God, with a pure heart, and with clean hands, and may we every day be growing wiser and better. We would thank the Lord, who hath preserved us this day from all evil.
Help us to know the measure of onr days, and to keep in constant remembrance how frail we are, our wasting frames requiring a fresh supply of spirits and strength, by means of rest and repose through the night.
May we be secure during the night, and take our rest in safety; and let the same privileges be conferred upon all our brethren and kindred, according to the flesh; that we may all have the blessedness of those who make the Lord their trust.
Now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask, or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church,by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world without end. Amen.
THURSDAY MORNING. Smith.
Thou hast sworn by thyself, O Lord! the word is gone out of thy mouth in righteousness, and shall not return, that unto thee "every knee shall bow,and every tongue confess." We would, therefore, seek unto God betimes, and make our supplications unto the Almighty; preserving ever at the same time upon our spirits that important consideration,—though the Lord's throne be in heaven, and he dwell by his special presence in his holy temple there, yet his eyes for ever behold, and his eyelids try the children of men. Neither is there any creature that is not manifest in his sight, but all things are naked and open unto the eyes of him with whom we have to do.
Well may we, indeed, say, " O Lord, thou hast searched us and known us. Thou knowest our down-sitting and our up-rising: thou understandest our thoughts afar off. Thou compassest our path, and our lying down, and art acquainted with all our ways; for there is not a word in our tongue, but lo! O Lord, thou knowest it altogether. Such knowledge is too wonderful for us; it is high, we cannot attain unto it. Oh the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God!"
When we consider all this, " What is man, that thou art mindful of him; and the sons and daughters of men, that thou thus visitest them?" In us, that is, in our flesh, dwelleth no good thing: we are all as an unclean thing, and all our righteousness are as filthy rags. If thou, Lord, shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand. In thy sight shall no man living be justified. And in this guilty and sinful state to which we have reduced ourselves, what can we do but fall down in humble adoration at the throne of thy grace, that according to the multitude of thy tender compassions, thy merited wrath and indignation may be turned away from us?
When we consider what we have merited, we tremble, and are afraid; but when we consider what thy Son has done and suffered for sinners, our broken hearts and contrite spirits revive. Remember in mercy, O God, that he hath satisfied thy justice for us; and notwithstanding we may have been the very chief of sinners, we would through him look for pardon, acceptance, and every spiritual blessing.
O thou that bindest up the broken in heart, and healest the wounded in conscience, say unto our souls, "Go in peace, thy faith hath made thee whole." Set us as a seal upon thine arm, and may we be as one who hath found favour in thine eyes. And knowing, O God, that every one who hath this hope in him purifieth himself, even as thou art pure, may we be anxious to follow after righteousness and godliness, and to be walking in all the commandments and ordinances of the Lord blameless. We will serve the Lord with fear, and let our hearts stand in awe of his word. We will love the Lord our God with all our heart, and with all our mind; and our neighbour as ourselves, for his sake. We bless God, who hath kept and preserved us during the past night, and safely and happily conducted us to the commencement of a new day. If consistent with thy sovereign will, continue thy guardianship and paternal goodness throughout its fleeting course.
Lord, we would renew this morning the consecration of our bodies, our souls, our life, our labour, all that is in us, and all that belongs to us. We desire to be more and more engaged in studying thy will, in promoting thy glory, doing good to our fellow creatures, and working out with fear and trembling our own salvation. O God! all good! accept of this sincere and renewed sacrifice; let it ascend, through thy forbearance, to a throne of grace, and may it be accompanied with the merits of that sacrifice which thy dear Son offered up for our pardon and reconciliation.
Grant, O God, that we may henceforth detach our affections more and more from the things of time, and whilst we are daily labouring for the meat which perisheth, may we be truly mindful of that which endureth unto everlasting life.
May we never forget that we have precious and immortal souls, which demand our first and chief attention; and that the gain of the whole world will profit us nothing, if, in too anxiously caring about this, we should lose our souls.
'And, O Lord, whilst we are anxious about the salvation of our own souls, we would not be unmindful of the eternal interests of all our fellow-creatures. We earnestly pray for the fulfilment of thine ancient promise, which saith, "As the earth bringeth forth her bud, and as the garden causeth the things that are sown in it to spring forth, so the Lord God will cause righteousness and praise to spring forth before all nations." Let the number of thy spiritual children be as the sand of the sea, which cannot be measured, or numbered; and let it come to pass, that in the place where it was said unto them, "Ye are not my people," there it shall be said, "Ye are the sons and daughters of the living God."
O let thy sun still rise upon the just and the unjust among us, and fulfil thy general promise, giving us rain in due season, that our land may yield her increase, and the trees of the field their fruit. O God, for the sake of thy chosen people overlook the infidelity and profligacy of thousands around us. Hear the prayers of thy servants for a general reformation. O that we might be a holy, and then we shall be a happy people. Continue, O God, to be the guide, the protector, and the portion of all in this family; and, if consistent with the great designs of thy providence, let goodness and mercy follow us all the days of our lives. Hear us, O God, from thy dwelling place, and send us an answer of peace for his sake who alone is worthy, with the Father, and blessed Spirit, to receive endless praises. Jlmen.
THURSDAY EVENING. Smith.
We would, this evening, lift up our voice unto God most high, unto God who doeth all things for us.
Having obtained help of God, we have continued until this day, monuments of his sparing mercy. Thou art God, and not man, and therefore it is that we have not long ere now been cut off from the land of the living.
We would have these words deeply impressed on our minds: "It is the will of God, in Christ Jesus, concerning us, that in every thing we give thanks; for the Lord hath done great things for U6, whereof we are glad; and every creature of God is good, if it be received with thanksgiving." Let us, therefore, whether we eat or drink, or whatsoever we do, give thanks unto God always, and for all things, through Jesus Christ our Lord. In God we live and move. We are the monuments of his wisdom, power, and goodness.
From our youth upward, we have had food to eat and raiment given us to put on, with a quiet and peaceable habitation to dwell in; a lodging-place where we have taken our rest in safety: yea, both lain down, and risen up, from month to month, and from year to year, without any daring to make us afraid. But what is all this, O God, to thy spiritual blessings? It is our privilege, and happiness, that we can now say, "God hath visited and redeemed his people, as he spake by the mouth of all his holy prophets which have been since the world began; and hath performed the mercy promised to our fathers, and remembered his holy covenant, even that covenant which thou wast pleased to make with thy servants, Abraham and Isaac, that in their seed should all the nations of the earth be blessed."
Forbid, O God, that any of us should be among that unhappy number, who despise or abuse the riches of thy goodness, and forbearance, and long suffering patience, not knowing that this should lead us to immediate repentance. For we know not what another night may bring forth; and " what shall it profit us if we gain the world, and lose our own souls?" Merciful and gracious God, deliver us from a hard and impenitent heart, lest we should treasure up unto ourselves wrath against the day of wrath, and revelation of thy righteous judgment.
O that we may say, with an inspired apostle, "We know whom we have believed, and we are persuaded that he will keep that which we have committed unto him (our precious and immortal souls) safe and secure until that day." O that we could say, "We love God, because he first loved us," and that we have known and believed the love which God hath for us; and therefore the desire of our soul is to his name, and toward the remembrance of his holiness.
O that we may delight ourselves more in God, and that our hearts might become the dwelling-place of the Holy Spirit. We would be washed and sanctified, as well as justified, in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.
If thou wilt, O God, that we live to-morrow, may it be to begin a new life; a life more conformable to our professions and privileges: a life which shall turn out more to the advancement of God's glory, the edification of our fellow-creatures, and the eternal safety and happiness of our own souls.
But if it should please thee to terminate our course during the night, may our souls find pardon and acceptance with thee; and, disengaged from this prison of clay, take their flight to the regions of glory, where they shall behold thy face in righteousness, and be forever satisfied with thy glorious resemblance.
We would remember with affection, and in a way of prayer, all who are near and dear to us. The Lord be their shepherd, that they may never want: not want what may be requisite for the support and safety of their bodies; but more especially we pray, that our God may supply all their spiritual needs, according to his riches in glory, by Christ Jesus. Again we commit this house, with every inhabitant therein, young, and old, and of middle age, to the Keeper of Israel, who never slumbereth nor sleepeth, that he may watch over our lying down and rising up, and preserve us from all evil. In this hope, we ascribe to the Father, to the Son, and to the blessed Spirit, honour and glory, world without end. JLmen.
FRIDAY MORNING. Smith.
Behold Us, O good and gracious God, at the footstool of thy throne this morning. We come to present our humble, and sincere adorations to the Author of our life, and lengthener out of our days: for it is to thee that we are indebted for our preservation during the past night; and thou alone hast caused us to see the beginning of this day. Let thy gracious presence be with us during the course of it, and all the succeeding days and nights of our earthly pilgrimage. And to the end that thou mayest hear us, notwithstanding our unworthiness and sinfulness, look upon us, O God, in the face of thine Anointed; and cause us to be partakers of all the blessed fruits of his death and resurrection. We look to the unsearchable riches of Christ, that we may see what is the fellowship of the mystery which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God; who not only created all things by Christ, but was in him reconciling the world unto himself; and hath now exalted him to be a Prince and a Saviour, to give repentance unto his people, as well as the remission of all their sins. O that our bodies may henceforth be the temples of God, through the Holy Spirit dwelling in us, and uniting us to Jesus Christ by a true and living faith. We would count all things but loss, that we may win Christ, and be found in him, not having our own righteousness, which is of the law, but that which is through the faith of Christ, the righteousness which is of God by faith; and that we may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, and be made conformable unto his deathj not as though we had already attained, either were already perfect; but this one thing we desire to do— "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before, we would press toward the mark, for the prize of the high calling of God, in Christ Jesus our Lord." Thou knowest, O God, and we would at the same time acknowledge and confess, the weakness and corruption of our nature, and to how many dangers and temptations we are continually exposed. Lord, give us thy strength, and thy grace, to preserve and keep us at all times. Let neither the world nor the flesh this day seduce us from the paths of duty; but, ever thinking and acting as under God's more immediate inspection, may we keep in the love and fear of all God's holy commandments. Teach us in every circumstance, O God, to know thy will, and give us inclination and ability to do it. Continue of thy bounty to provide for all our necessities; and support and comfort us under every disappointment and trial which thou mayest see proper to bring upon us.
May we live in thy fear, that we may die in thy favour, and so be made both happy and glorious through eternity.
For thy distinguishing, although unmerited goodness and mercy towards us, and all who are near and dear to us, we once more offer up our united thanksgivings; saying at the same time, Let every creature that is in heaven, and on the earth, give glory to God for ever and ever. And now, Lord, what wait we for? our hope is in thee. Let the words of our mouths, and the meditations of our hearts, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. Amen.
FRIDAY EVENING. Smith.
O Lord, our God, with humble gratitude we would appear in thy presence this evening, to bless thy name for our preservation hitherto; and more especially for the renewed tokens of thy kindness and love during the past day.
We pray that our humble and sincere thanks to God for all his mercies may ascend now as incense, and the lifting up of our hands be as acceptable as the evening sacrifices of old. When we recollect the mercies of the past day, O God, and thy goodness towards us ever since we had a being, our souls should be overwhelmed with wonder, love, and gratitude; but ah, how cold and insensible! and what poor returns of love do we make! O Lord, forgive the past, and make us more grateful to thee in future. We have not rendered unto the Lord according to the benefits done unto us; and if thou, Lord, shouldst be strict to mark our deficiencies, alas! where would be our hope? What, indeed, would our situation be, wert thou not a God of infinite mercy, and were not severity and judgment thy strange work.
Yet thy mercy, O Lord, is everlasting, and thy compassions fail not. Thou hast said, "As I live, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked; but that the wicked turn from his way and live." And again: "Come now, and let us reason together: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool." Who then is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, and passeth by the transgressions of thy people; who retainest not thine anger because thou delightest in mercy? For the display of this attribute, and that a solid foundation might be laid for our hope, thou didst not spare thine only begotten Son, but sent him in due time, to suffer and die in the room of sinners. It is a faithful saying, and not only worthy of all acceptation, but of our highest and daily praise, that "God was in Christ, reconciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespasses unto them;" and hath committed to his servants, in every age, the word of reconciliation. Forbid it, then, O heavenly Father! that any of us here present, should be amongst that unhappy number to whom thy Son shall at last say, "Ye would not come unto me, that ye might have life." But deeply sensible of our present sinful and miserable state, convinced that there is no other name under heaven by which we can be saved, and divinely persuaded of the willingness, as well as all-sufficiency of the Son of God, for this purpose, may we each, in due time, believe to the saving of the soul.
Through him alone we look for pardon, for justification, for adoption into the family of heaven, and for a renovation of all the powers and faculties of our mind and soul, to enlighten and fit us for a holy practice.
We know from past experience that we are not sufficient of ourselves, either to will or to do; but thy grace is sufficient for us, and thy strength can be perfected in our weakness. We pray that the law of the Spirit of life which is in Christ, may make us free from the law of sin and death. We shall then, O God, enjoy comfort through life, peace at death, and glory in heaven.
This night would we again commend ourselves, and all that is near and dear to us, unto thy fatherly care and special protection. Preserve us from every danger, and let us never be separated from thy love in Christ Jesus. Grant, O God, the pardon of all the sins which we have committed during the past day; as well those that lie heavy upon our consciences, as those which through infirmity we have forgotten.
Give thine angels charge, O God, in a particular manner, with respect to this family, that heads, and domestics, and children belonging to it, may all be preserved from the malice and power of the prince of darkness. Should our souls be required at our hands this night, may we be ready to resign them into the arms of a covenant God in Christ: but should our life be spared, may we more cheerfully and entirely dedicate it to Him unto whom it best belongs, and who alone can make us happy here and hereafter. Now unto the King eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only wise God, be honour, and glory: for of him, and through him, and to him, are all things. Amen.
SATURDAY MORNING. Smith.
Lord God Almighty! which was, and is, and art to come: with thee is the fountain of life, and thou art the Author of every good and perfect gift. We would, therefore, give unto the Lord the glory and thanksgiving which is due unto his name, and worship him this morning in the beauty of holiness. But how shall we, whose thoughts are vanity, and whose hands and hearts are so impure, presume to address the sacred Majesty of heaven and earth? We take encouragement only, O God, from thy perfections, and from the gracious declarations of thy revealed will. "Thou art infinitely wise, and holy, and just, and good; but thou hast magnified thy mercy above thy great name." Blessed, for ever blessed, be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through him might be saved. O God, for Christ's sake, forgive us all our sins; and according to the good pleasure of thy will, and to the praise of the glory of thy grace, may we be accepted in the Beloved. We would be justified by faith alone, and thus have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ; for we believe that he is the end of the law for righteousness to every one that believeth. And may this faith, O God, not be of a dead and barren nature, but may it work by love, and purify our hearts.
O God, thy word is truth; sanctify us through belief of the truth. According to thine own promise, give unto each of us a new spirit, and take away the stony heart out of our flesh, that we may walk in thy statutes, and keep thine ordinances, and do them. Thus may we hope that we shall be thy people, and that thou wilt continue to be our God, and portion, in time and through eternity.
Accept of our thanks, O God, for all that mercy and goodness which hath followed us through every period of our past life; for sparing us under the weakness and diseases of childhood; conducting our steps through the slippery paths of youth; and preserving us still amidst the no less surrounding dangers of riper years.
We thank thee for the food we have to eat, the raiment wherewith we are clothed, for the comfortable habitations we have to dwell in, and the many conveniences and privileges that we enjoy above numbers around us, and in other parts of this habitable world.
We thank thee, O God, for another night's comfortable rest. We have laid us down and slept in peaceful security. Thou hast caused the out-goings of another morning to rejoice over us. We are brought in safety and health to the light and enjoyments of another day. Defend and keep us in the same, O God, from all harm, whether of a temporal or spiritual nature. Prosper us in all our lawful undertakings this day; and give us humble and thankful hearts to enjoy the good things which thou hast provided for us.
Provide, O God, in thy mercy and goodness, for the wants of the poor and needy. Thou hast promised to regard the prayer of the destitute. Help them to wait upon thee in the use of every lawful mean, and then to see that their expectation shall not perish. O thou who art in thy holy habitation a Father to the fatherless, and the Judge of the widow, according to thy word, help and relieve all those who commit themselves unto thee.
Lord, be merciful to the sick and afflicted part of mankind. Spare young and useful lives; and prepare the dying for their last change. It is said in thy word, "The Lord is nigh unto them that are of a broken heart, and saveth such as be of a contrite spirit." Lord, fulfil this promise in respect unto all such as may be distressed in mind. May it please thee to have compassion according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. And wilt thou be pleased to sanctify bereaving dispensations to all concerned. May neither we, nor ours, sorrow as those who have no hope: but ever remembering that as Jesus Christ himself died and rose again from the dead, so them that sleep in Jesus will God bring with him: may we comfort ourselves, and one another with these words. As those who are
near and dear to us are daily dropping off the stage of life, may we love heaven better, and strive to have clearer views of our interest in gospel privileges and hopes. To us to live, and, while we live, may it indeed be Christ, and then to die will be everlasting gain. And now, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servants, and their supplications. O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken, and do, and defer not, for thine own name's sake and for thy Son's sake; who, with the Holy Spirit, are worthy to receive all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
SATURDAY EVENING. Smith.
Lord God of Israel, according to thy promise in these latter days, pour out thy Spirit upon all thy servants here present; even the spirit of wisdom and of truth. Let him teach us all things, and bring all things to our remembrance whatsoever we should say unto thee, and then give ear to our prayer, O God, and hide not thyself from our supplications; but hearken thou, and hear in heaven thy dwelling place, and when thou hearest, forgive, and accept of our persons, and this our evening sacrifice. We would review, and acknowledge all thy merciful dealings towards us this week. Six days more thou hast added to our lives, and every morning we have experienced thy loving kindness; and every evening we have had reason to celebrate thy faithfulness. Whilst many have been exposed to hunger and cold, we have been fed and clothed by thy bounty. Multitudes in the world have this week been suddenly called from time to eternity; but God is still holding our soul in life. Night after night we have laid ourselves down to sleep, and we have awakened in the morning, for the Lord sustained us; yea, we have lain down in peace, and our sleep hath been sweet. For all this we would be thankful to thee, O Lord, who makest us to dwell in safety, and whose visitation alone preserveth our spirit. But we would be chiefly thankful for the continuance of our spiritual privileges and comforts.
Blessed be God, that our land is still the land of gospel light and libertyj and that we can worship thee
both in private and public, without any one daring to disturb us. God grant that we may never undervalue or abuse these privileges; as knowing that our guilt and condemnation will then be severer in the day of judgment.
We would be more and more thankful for the means of grace, and all the ordinances of divine appointment. May the daily reading of thy word increase our spiritual knowledge, confirm our faith, and animate our hopes. Let our morning and evening sacrifices keep us in a holy and watchful frame through the day, and dispose us to resign ourselves to thy gracious keeping during the night.
And O may the return of every Sabbath be looked forward to with increasing delight! Lord, make us thankful for the near approach of another Lord's day Sabbath.
Shouldst thou see meet in thy goodness, and by thine all-protecting providence, to spare us to see the light of another morning, may we all be in the Spirit upon the Lord's day, and worship God, who is a Spirit, in spirit and in truth. We would not forsake the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is. May we love the habitation of thy house, and the place where thine honour dwelleth; thither would our willing feet repair, that we may publish, with the voice of thanksgiving, God's manifold mercies, and tell of all his wondrous works. Lord, bless the studies and preparation of thy ministering servants; may they be as scribes who are well instructed unto the kingdom of Heaven, and bring forth, out of their treasures, things new and old. May they convince and convert sinners, and build up and comfort the saints.
Permit us once more to commit, to thy care and keeping, our absent relatives and friends. Although at a distance from us, may they be nigh unto the Lord our God day and night, that he may maintain their cause at all times, as the matter shall require.
Lord be merciful to the sick and afflicted part of mankind. Whatever be the cause, or the event of their present visitation, may they have reason to say with thy servant of old, "It is good for us that we have been afflicted; for thereby have we learned thy statutes."
Merciful and gracious God, lay not upon such more than thou wilt enable them to bear; and soon, if it be thy holy will, let the language of the Psalmist be theirs —" Return unto thy rest, O my soul, for the Lord hath dealt bountifully with thee."
For the world in general we would once more entreat at a throne of grace. Look down from heaven, O God, and behold from the habitation of thy holiness and glory, a world lying in ignorance and wickedness. God be merciful to us, and bless us, and cause thy face to shine upon us, that thy way may be known upon earth, and thy saving health among all nations. Blessed Jesus, thou hast expressly declared that thy gospel shall be preached in all the world, for a witness unto all nations. We long for that happy time when the Jews shall be brought in with the fulness of the Gentiles. Then should we behold mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace mutually embrace. Nation shall not then lift up sword against nation, neither shall they learn war any more. Lord, although not permitted to see these happy times, may we now rejoice in the prospect, and at last die in the comfortable hope of their arrival. This night we would again commit ourselves, and all our concerns, to God's paternal care and keeping, in the hope of being raised up in the morning to see and enjoy another day of the Son of man. For his sake, we ask every blessing.—And to him, with thee, O Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all glory, and praise, and humble worship, for ever. •Amen.