Great God, I have sinned against thee, times and ways beyond number. If thou shouldst lay righteousness to the line, and judgment to the plummet, I should be driven from thy presence. Yea, if thou shouldst deal with me for one of a thousand of my transgressions, I could not appear before thee. Yet I praise thee that there is forgiveness with thee, and that thou blottest out the transgressions of thy people. O give me the blessedness of him to whom thou imputest no iniquity ; whose sins, though they be as scarlet, shall be as white as snow ; and though they be red like crimson, shall be as wool.
Lord, teach me the nature and condition of that pardon which thou art willing and ready to bestow on thy sinful creatures. O, it is sufficient to stay the wrath of thy condemnation, and to take away for ever, the sentence which was written against us. Yet it is not procured by our own works of righteousness ; but we have this redemption through the blood of Christ, the forgiveness of sins, according to the riches of his grace. Grant me, I beseech thee, such a conviction of sin, and such a reliance on the atonement of Jesus, as will make it consistent with thy love of justice, and with the security of thy moral government, to remember my transgressions no more against me. Keep me from every effort to bring thee a price in my hand for this precious boon. O may I seek it as the gift of thy mercy, purchased by the death of thy Son, and made effectual by the application of the Holy Spirit.
Merciful God, grant me the fruits of thy forgiving love, in peace of conscience, a sense of thy favour, a tender penitence for sin, a feeling of deep and lasting gratitude, and a holy, humble, and confiding access to thy throne of grace.
Lord, lead multitudes of the impenitent to seek thy forgiving mercy. May they learn the infinite value of that sacrifice by which it was procured, and the tender solicitude and strivings of thy Spirit, that they should embrace it. Show them from what guilt and punishment it redeems, and to what purity and happiness it leads. Enter not now into judgment with them, for in thy sight shall no man living be justified. O do thou excite many to call on thee whilst thou art waiting to be gracious ; and do thou make peace with them through the blood of the cross, and present them holy and unblamable in thy sight. Blot out their iniquities from the book of thy remembrance, and write their names in the Lamb's book of life.
Heavenly Father, enable those to whom thou hast committed the important duties of parents, to discharge them according to thy will. Thou hast been pleased, in thy wisdom, to assign to their moulding influence the character and destiny of their children, for time and eternity. O may they have strong impressions of the many and weighty responsibilities which rest upon them. Grant that an intelligent spirit of love may govern all their conduct to their offspring. May they seek to fill their minds with useful knowledge, and to bring them up for useful employments. ■ May they strive to cultivate in them habits of industry, frugality, prudence, and generosity. Make them careful to preserve them from undue or rapacious desires after wealth, honour, or pleasure. Especially may they labour to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord. O let thy words be in their hearts, that they may teach them diligently to their children, and instruct them thoroughly in the ways of peace—warning and convincing them against that which i3 evil, and persuading them to that which is good. Give parents the influence of discreet and persevering discipline. Make their example such as shall be right in thy sight, and adapted to win the confidence, love, and
obedience of their children. Induce them to watch with carefulness and solicitude, over the whole moral and religious character of those whom thou hast committed to their training. And O, may they seal all their anxieties and labours by fervent prayer, with and for their offspring, that thou wouldst help to train them up in the way they should go, and preserve them in it unto eternal life. Our Father in Heaven, make the parental relation an honoured instrumentality for bringing back our race from the slavery of sin and Satan, to the liberty of holiness and the sons of God.
Lord, preserve me from the dominion of my passions. Thou hast given me, in thy wisdom and goodness, the affections of human nature ; but thou hast put them under laws of usefulness and of subjection to thy will. Lead me, I pray thee, to consult diligently those laws ; and help me to bring my feelings into subjection to them. O let not the things that are sensual and carnal, attract and absorb my desires. Teach me to abstain from fleshly lusts that destroy the body, that war against the soul, and which bring down the displeasure of God. Lord, keep me from the undue and unholy exercise of my mental passions. Enable me to control and direct them, that they may be the servants of grace, and not the instruments of unrighteousness.
Lord, I would draw nigh, in the prevailing name of Jesus, to ask thee to cause patience to have its perfect work in my heart, in all the various trials of life. May it possess my soul, and suffer no intrusion there of fretful complaint, nor anxious fear. In sickness, in bereavement, in crosses, in provocations, in persecutions, in every thing that clashes with my de sires, grant, I beseech thec, that I may secure and preserve serenity of mind. What is man, that he should complain ? Lo ! thou Jehovah art long-suffering even towards the contradiction and rebellion of sinners. May I remember that there is One who was tempted in all points as T am; and yet never incurred the sin of a vexed spirit—who when he was reviled, reviled not again; who when he suffered, threatened not, but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously. Teach me that this grace will protect me from much that is evil, and strengthen me in all that is good; and that it will secure thy favour—for thou hast said that when we do well, and suffer for it, yet take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. Enable me to run with patience, the race that is set before me. Put my heart at rest in thee; for he who hath delivered, will yet deliver. May the thought that the Lord will provide, quell every restless and fearful emotion. O God, make me a steadfast follower of them that through faith and patience, inherit the promises.
Heavenly Father, grant me peace of conscience toward thee, through the atoning blood of the Lord Jesus Christ. Give me, I pray thee, that holy serenity of mind, which the world can neither give nor take away, and which results from receiving thy love, and from knowing and doing thy will continually.—Enable me to live peaceably with all men— respecting with justice their rights, and not seeking with pertinacity my own—giving place to wrath, and refraining from an evil tongue, and every thing that stirs up strife.—Lord, give thy churches rest from unholy divisions within, and from wicked assaults without. May the household of faith dwell together in unity; and then the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.—O God, promote and establish peace between man and man, and between nation and nation, throughout the world. Supplant by the influence of the gospel, that selfishness which is the fruitful source of every form of contention : and in its place, implant that holy love which worketh no ill to its neighbour, and which leadeth man to regard every human being as a neighbour and a brother. Then shall individuals cease from strife—nations shall learn war no more—and Jesus, the Prince of Peace, shall reign over a dominion where there shall be none to hurt nor destroy—where heart shall beat in harmony with heart—where eye shall speak peace to eye—and where hand shall be to hand the exchange of good-will to man.
Shepherd of Israel, I would praise thy name for that comparative exemption from persecution which we enjoy in this highly favoured land. Yet perhaps we owe our peaceful security to our conformity with the world. It becomes us to inquire, whether the world arrays itself not against us, because we have not fearlessly borne our testimony against it, that its deeds are evil; or because we have not rebuked its practices by a high standard of holy living.—Lord, let me not desire exemption from the enmity of the wicked, at the expense of duty. Make me willing to suffer persecution for righteousness' sake: yea, thou hast said that they shall suffer it who live godly in Christ Jesus. If our Blessed Lord was reviled, scourged, and persecuted, and his noble cloud of witnesses, of whom the world was not worthy, had trial of cruel mockings, and bonds, and death, why should we hope to escape ? Lord, enable me so to act, that whether men may devise evil or good concerning me, my conscience shall be free from guilt towards thee and all mankind.
O thou who art a very present help in trouble, remember those who fall into persecution. Overrule the trial of their faith and patience, for their good and thy glory. Abate its severity, or open a door of deliverance from it, or enable them to bear it as good soldiers of Christ. While they suffer according to thy will, may they commit the keeping of their souls to thee, in well-doing, as unto a faithful Creator. Let them not wonder nor complain, as though some strange thing had happened unto them ; but rejoice inasmuch as they are partakers of Christ's sufferings; that when his glory shall be revealed, they may be glad also with exceeding joy.
God of Salvation, let me not be of those that draw back unto perdition, but of them that believe unto the saving of the soul. Make me steadfast in the pursuit of knowledge, and performance of duty. Teach me that the race is not to the swift, but to them who cast aside every weight, and the sin that doth so easily beset them, and who look to Jesus, as the Author and Finisher of faith. Blessed be God, the way I am called to run in, is not an unbeaten path; for thy people on earth are now walking in it as the highway to heaven ; the saints in glory have followed it unto life eternal; yea, even the High Priest of
our profession, Christ the Righteous, hath made it smooth by his glorious footsteps.
O God, set clearly and strongly before my mind, that exceeding and eternal weight of glory which is laid up for those that endure unto the end. May I so run, that I shall obtain it. Enable me to continue in all things which are written in the book of the law, to do them. O teach me the duty of perseverance, by a conviction of the uncertainty of life. Those servants only shall be blessed, whom when the Lord cometh, he shall find watching.—Give me, I beseech thee, such views of the foes that are within and around me, as shall lead me to continual dependence on thy grace, and unremitted diligence in thy will. Imbue mo with courage of mind and strength of heart, to overcome all the hinderances which Satan, or the world, or my own passions, may cast in my way.—Heavenly Father, let nothing be able to separate me from thy love in Christ Jesus. O, love me with an everlasting love. May he that is the Ransom of sinners, save me unto the uttermost. May thy Holy Spirit seal me unto the day of redemption, and be my Comforter, to abide with me for ever. And then, in that inheritance which is incorruptible, and that fadeth not'away, I will praise thee for the power of thy grace, by which I shall have been kept, through faith, unto salvation.
God of Salvation, vouchsafe unto me a spirit of intelligent and devoted piety. Make me a Christian, not only in name but in truth. May I watch diligently, lest while I have the form of godliness, I may be destitute of its power.—Lead me, I pray thee, into the constant exercise of repentance towards God,
and faith in the Lord Jesus Christ. Fill my heart with love to thee, thine ordinances, thy service, thy people, and all mankind. Give that love such strength and purity, that it shall fulfil thy law. Make it abound more and more, in knowledge and judgment, until I am filled with the fruits of righteousness, unto the glory and praise of God. Cleanse thou my heart from evil thoughts, and my life from wicked ways; and enable me to die unto sin, and live unto righteousness. Make me meek and forgiving, sincere and humble. Let consistency, selfdenial, and gratitude, pervade all my actions. Make me earnest in prayer, unwavering in faith, and joyful in hope. Prepare me for the quiet endurance of every trial, and for the zealous performance of every duty.
Lord, make me a follower of them who, through faith and patience, inherit the promises. May I so act before the world, that men may take knowledge of me, and be led to glorify our Father in heaven. May the same mind which was in Christ be also in me. As I have borne the image of the earthly, so let me bear the image of the heavenly; and of his fulness receive, and grace for grace. Blessed Lord, grant that by patient continuance in well-doing, I may seek for glory, and honour, and immortality, where the righteous shall shine forth as the sun in the kingdom of their Father.
Merciful Father, make my heart sensible to every object of pity. Blessed Jesus, thou hadst compassion on every subject of distress and misfortune. Thou didst mourn with them that mourned, and weep with them that wept. It was indeed the tenderness of thy love which brought thee to this world of wo, that thou mightest bless and save those who were ready to perish. 0 may the same mind be in me which was in Christ Jesus. Let no form of selfishness so harden my heart, that I shall fail to exercise compassion for the wants and woes of thy creatures. Let me not stop my ears to the cry of the needy, nor turn away my eyes from them that are stricken with misery. And let me not pity only in word and in tongue; but in deed and in truth: for so shall I know that I am of the truth, and assure my heart before thee, whose compassions fail not, else 1 should be consumed in thy presence.
Lord, grant that my deepest feelings of pity, my strongest yearnings of soul, may be over those who are living heedlessly under the wrath of God. Let it be my heart's desire before thee, that they may be plucked as brands from the burning. O magnify thy goodness in bringing them from the rebellion of sin, into the obedience of faith.
God of Truth, destroy the power of popery. Let not the Man of sin, the Son of perdition, continue to rule the nations with his rod of iron. Lord, how long shall men concede to weak mortals, like themselves, the claims of infallibility and absolution 1 How long shall sinful men be permitted to keep the consciences of their fellow-men—to dispense vain indulgences for sin—to blot out the commandments of God—to make thy law void by vain traditions— to prohibit the bread of life—and to exalt the worship of superstition over the services of simplicity and truth ? How long, O Lord, shall they impiously arrogate to change a corruptible thing into the incorruptible body of Christ; and to dishonour the atonement of Jesus, by claiming for any that have been redeemed by his blood, an excess of obedience beyond the requirements of thy law 1 O redeem the victims of these delusions. May they learn that thou only art the object of worship ; that thou only canst forgive sin ; and that the scriptures of truth are the only and all-sufficient rule which thou hast given us, to know how we may glorify and enjoy thee for ever.
Lord, cause thy word, thy Spirit, thy providence, and thy people, to concur mightily in overthrowing this great bulwark of Satan. May the spirit of love govern all thy saints in their efforts to recover the world from papal power. Transform all its temples into sanctuaries of righteousness; and into every heart that has been a shrine of its corruptions, put thou an altar consecrated to the pure service of the living God.
Merciful Father, if it be thy will, preserve me from poverty. Let not my mind be harassed by fears as to what I, or those who may be dependent on me, shall eat or drink, or wherewithal we shall be clothed. Bestow on me a moderate competence of the means of support, and grant me thy favour in the enjoyment of it. Make me grateful to thee for thy past and present bounties. But, O Lord, if it be thy pleasure to strip me of my worldly comforts, and to bring me into deep and distressing need, let me not rebel against thee, nor complain of thy righteous providence. May I find more joy in trusting to thee in the midst of adversity, than in all the pleasures which unsanctified wealth could bestow. Even though darkness should gather with forbidding gloom over all my expectations of worldly comfort, throughout the remainder of my life, let the consolations of thy Spirit be more than enough to satisfy my soul. Make me rich in the hope of a better and a heavenly substance, which Corrupts not in the enjoyment, perishes not in the using, but endures for ever.
Lord, pity the poor. Soothe and relieve their wants. Protect them from oppression, and deliver them from him that spoileth them. Save them from the vices which so often accompany their lot. Raise up friends who shall feel for their wants, and supply their necessities.—Lord, let it be a prominent duty with christians, to minister to those that are in need. May they remember that their Lord and Master had not where to lay his head, and that these stricken ones are his representatives on the earth. Show them that he who hath pity on the poor, lendeth to the Lord, who will pay him again : while he that oppresseth them reproacheth his Maker, and he that stoppeth his ears at their cry, shall also cry himself, and shall not be heard. Enable them to devise such employments for the needy as shall at once confer on them the blessings of industry and selfsupport. May those who have no silver nor gold to give, bestow their sympathies and counsels, which are often worth more than money.—And above all, may they seek, through thy Spirit, to confer on them that godliness which is profitable unto all things.
Lord, bless those public charities which are designed to relieve the distresses of the destitute. Give minds of discretion, and hearts of pity, to those who control them. As these works of mercy are the fruits of the gospel, so may they be conducted in its spirit, and result in its choicest blessings. Though
thou hast said that the poor shall never cease out of the land, yet do thou abate the sorrows and remove the evils of their condition, and make multitudes of them rich in faith toward God, and in the hope of salvation.
O thou Most High, I would praise thee for thine excellent greatness. The heaven of heavens cannot contain thee. From everlasting to everlasting thou art God. With thee there is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Thou art infinitely more exalted above us, than we are above the smallest insect of creation. Lord, thou knowest all things: thou art the only wise God, wonderful in counsel, and infinite in knowledge. Thou art able to do, exceeding abundantly, above all that we can think. Thou art of purer eyes, than to behold evil. Justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne. The works of nature, the movements of providence, and the plan of redemption are full of thy goodness. Thy counsels of old are faithfulness and truth. Lo, all thy ways are perfect!
Lord, grant me such adoring views of thy character, as shall be delightful foretastes of that praise which is the incense of thy worship in heaven. May I rejoice that the government of the world and of the universe is in the hands of a perfect being, who will do all things well. Make me esteem thy favour as the highest honour and the most glorious privilege which men or angels can enjoy. O may I often set my feeble and corrupt powers in contrast with thine infinite and spotless perfections, that I may thus at once take my place in the dust before thee, and magnify thy great and glorious name.—[See the various Attributes.']
Heavenly Father, teach me to pray, and quicken me by thy Spirit, that I may worship thee in spirit and in truth. Give me clear and abiding views of the nature of this solemn act of worship. Grant me a proper estimate of thy character, as infinitely able and willing to bless all who would approach the throne of grace according to thy will. Enable me to make thy glory the ruling object of my desires ; and to present them only in the name of the heavenly Mediator, whom thou always hearest, for in him thou art ever well-pleased. May every supplication be offered in the wish and hope that Jesus will present it, with his prevailing intercession, at the throne of grace. Lord, make me feel my entire and continual dependence on thee for all the blessings I possess, or hope to enjoy. O do thou give me such a craving sense of want, such a conviction that there is no other source of relief, and such confidence in thy promises, that supplication shall be the language of my tongue, the thought of my heart, and the food of my soul.
Great God, thou art, indeed, not worshipped as though thou needest any thing; for thou givest to all life, and breath, and all things. It is in mercy to us that thou art willing to hear and answer the prayer of penitence and faith. Thou hast moreover commanded it, as our imperative duty—thus making our privilege and our obligation one and inseparable.
Infinite Fountain of Blessing, grant me the influences of thy Spirit, to show me what I should pray for, and the way in which I should draw nigh to the mercy-seat.—Teach me, I pray thee, the various and numerous wants of my dependent nature, until my thoughts shall grow familiar with them in all their number, and my heart shall be absorbed by convictions of their importance. Lord, dispose me to submit every object of hope and every pursuit of desire, by prayer, to the control of thy will: and do thou turn me away from continuing or completing any thing which has not the sanction of thy favour, and upon which I cannot invoke thy blessing. O Lord, suffer me not to confine my supplications to my own wants; but do thou give me a spirit of prayer in behalf of others. Make me feelingly alive to all the interests of thy church, and abundant in intercession for her knowledge, purity, and increase. O burden my heart with anxious solicitude for the impenitent; and lead my feelings out in earnest and importunate pleadings for their salvation.—Lord, suffer me not to approach thee, on any subject, with thoughtlessness or insincerity. Restrain me from a wandering and corrupted mind. May every petition be the expression of true and anxious feeling.
Father of Mercy, assist me to bring my desires into conformity to thy will. Let me not ask thee for any thing inconsistent with thy holy and sovereign pleasure.—Help me to come in the humble boldness of faith to thy throne, that I may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need. Thou art indeed more ready to hear than I am to pray; and more willing to give than I am to ask. Enable me, I pray thee, to come to thee in the confidence with which I would approach an earthly parent: for if such an one knows how to give good gifts to his children, much more will our Heavenly Father give his Holy Spirit to them that ask him. Lord, help thou mine unbelief, and enable me to believe that
thou art the rewarder of them that diligently seek thee.—Teach me that if I regard iniquity in my heart, thou wilt not hear me. Do thou therefore cleanse my heart, that my desires may go forth unspotted by sin, and find acceptance in thy sight. Lord, lead me to the thankful acknowledgment of past mercies; and dispose me to hope from them for the bestowment of future good.—Bring me to thee, O Searcher of hearts, with humble confession of sins ; for it becomes me to say, that instead of having any claim to thine audience and favour, I have only deserved thy displeasure.
Heavenly Father, dispose me to fulfil every suitable occasion of devotional duty. May I love the public and social supplications of thy saints. Let me not withhold the incense from the family altar. May I delight to hold converse with thee, where there is no other eye to watch, and no other ear to hear, and where I shall feel that I am alone with God. And give me, Blessed Master, that spirit of ejaculatory prayer which will purify every current of my thoughts, and sanctify every business of my life.—O Lord, enable me, in all the vicissitudes of life, to watch unto prayer, and to find that it is good for me to draw nigh to God. And may my soul ascribe, in sincerity and love, the praise of all the mercies I derive from thee, to thy matchless grace in the Redeemer, both now and for ever. Amen.
O thou who hast said that no flesh shall glory in thy presence, redeem and preserve me from the spirit of pride. Show me its folly and sinfulness; and incline me to watch closely against its corrupting influence over my soul. Lord, why should a Worm of the dust, a being of weakness, want, and dependence, exalt itself in the vanity of self-sufficiency, and ask the tribute of praise or homage from its fellow-creatures? O, thou hatest pride; thou makest it go before destruction, and a haughty spirit before a fall. Lead me, I pray thee, to reflect that this wicked spirit cast out the rebel angels from their first estate, into that fearful darkness, where they are reserved in everlasting chains; and that by it man was beguiled in the garden of Paradise, into that disobedience which brought death into the world ; and that it has ever since been a fountain of guilt, sending forth innumerable streams of corruption and desolation. Enable me to set this vice in strong contrast with the meekness of Christ, and with that humility by which are riches, and honour, and life. Lord, wherefore should I glory, since all that I am, and all that I have, are the gifts of thine unmerited goodness ? O do thou give me such abiding perceptions of thy greatness and excellency, and of my own weakness and unworthiness—such views of the presumption, sinfulness, and danger of pride, and of the beauty and blessedness of meekness—as shall lead me to renounce, at once and for ever, the dominion of a haughty spirit.
Great God, stain the pride of human glory. May sinners learn the vanity and guilt of every thing that exalts itself against the will of God. Teach them that neither birth, nor learning, nor wealth, nor rank, is noble in thy sight: while the humble and childlike are the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. O thou exalted Jehovah, bring all their thoughts into captivity to the obedience of Christ. Let them that glory, glory in the Lord; who though he be to carnal men a stumbling block and foolishness, is yet to thrm that are called, the power of God, and the wisdom of God, unto salvation !
Privileges.—See Means of Grace.
Lord, keep me, for Christ's sake, from that indolence of heart, and that aversion to duty, which would lead me to evade or postpone the claims of present obedience. Let me not put off for to-morrow nor futurity, that which ought to be done to-day. Suffer not the hope of a more convenient season to defraud thee of that service which thou requirest of me now. O grant me knowledge to discern thine accepted time, and zeal to do at once, and with earnest willingness, what my hand findeth to do.
O Lord, how many have cheated their consciences and expectations, with intentions of future repentance, and are now reaping the bitter fruits of their foolish and sinful delay, where repentance never comes. 1 beseech thee, explode that wretched fallacy of hope which binds up such multitudes in the fetters of sloth, and delivers them over to the chains of the second death. O, awake those who are lulled by this opiate of sin, and teach them the vanity and guilt of delaying to make their peace with thee. Let none be deluded by the expectation of a deathbed repentance. Teach them how vain it is to expect that in those hours when the judgment is unfit to discharge the ordinary duties of life, it shall be competent to encounter and decide aright, the weighty interests of eternity. May they hear thy voice saying to them, " Behold, now is the accepted time: this is the day of salvation." Draw them unto thee, whilst thou art waiting to be gracious.
Show them that if they will still refuse to come to thee, their hearts will grow hard and unfeeling; thy Spirit may cease to strive with them ; the stroke of death may cut them off* from the dwelling-place of mercy ; and then they will lift up the unavailing cry, " How have we hated instruction, and despised reproof.—The harvest is past, and we are not saved."
Lord, let me not take thy holy name in vain. Keep me from profaning or abusing any thing whereby thou makest thyself known; and lead me into a holy and reverend use of thy names, titles, attributes, ordinances, word, and works.
Suppress, I beseech thee, the profanity which so shamefully abounds in the world. O, 1 would lament before thee, that because of swearing, the land mourneth. May all who are guilty of this transgression, be persuaded that it is an unprovoked, a wilful, and presumptuous sin against the Most High, whose name is exalled, that every knee should bow, and every tongue confess before him, in the deepest reverence and self-abasement. Thou hast revealed thy name, and character, and dealings, that mankind should praise, and supplicate, and obey thee: but they have, in their madness of heart, made this knowledge the occasion of impious profaneness. Lord, show them that thou wilt not hold those guiltless, who take thy name in vain. They that love cursing, shall be cursed. Adorable Jehovah, give them a speedy repentance and forsaking of thoir sin. Grant that every tongue which has abused thy majesty, may become a voice of thanksgiving and prayer.
Great Fountain of Blessing, I thank thee that thou hast strengthened the faith, and established the hopes of thy chosen people, throughout all generations, by many precious promises. Even in that day when our first parents forfeited, by iniquity, their birth-right to Paradise, thou didst give the pledge of thy truth, that the seed of the woman should bruise the serpent's head, and thus recover our race from the ruins of the apostasy. And ever since, in all thy revelations to men, thou hast been pleased to declare, abundantly, thy rich purposes of mercy. They are scattered over every page of thy word; they are suited to every variety of christian experience and trial; and they are so plain, that he who runs may read. The history of thy heritage, in all ages, has borne witness that they are steadfast and true ; for they are established on the faithfulness of the God of Truth. Lord, I desire to magnify and extol thee for those assurances of comfort in this life, and of bliss in that to come, which gather in countless profusion around the cross of Christ. Blessed be thy name, thy promises are Yea and Amen in him, unto the glory of God.
O that they might be embalmed in my memory, and be cherished in my confidence; for they are more precious than rubies, and more enduring than the foundations of the earth. Make them, I beseech thee, the means of dispelling my sorrows, of scattering my doubts, and of exciting my zeal. May I regard them with overflowing gratitude to thee, as the pledges of thine eternal truth and goodness; as the beacons which thou hast set to light up the gloomy pathways of life, and to throw over the pillow of death, the glorious beams of an unclouded immortality.
O God, fulfil speedily thy promises to the Daughter of Zion. Let not her ways mourn, nor her gates be desolate, nor her priests sigh, nor her people be in bitterness. Put off her sackcloth, and gird her with gladness. Give her the garments of praise for the spirit of heaviness. Cause her righteousness to go forth as brightness, and her salvation as a lamp that burneth. O create her a rejoicing, and thy people a joy, throughout the whole earth.
Lord, suffer me not to be anxious for worldly' prosperity. O let me not forget its fearful dangers— how often it leads the soul away in forgetfulness and ingratitude from God ; how it binds the heart in the fetters of worldly conformity and self-indulgence; how it nourishes pride, indolence, and unfeelingness, and palsies faith, zeal, and prayer.
Lord, if it please thee to bestow abundance on me, enable me to use it, not in fulfilling the lusts of the flesh, but for thy glory and the good of man. If riches increase, let me not set my heart upon them. May I remember that the duration of their enjoyment must at best be short; that their pleasures are mixed with vanity and vexation of spirit; and that thou wilt judge men according to the plenty they enjoy from thee. O give me such views of thy better inheritance, as shall preserve me from the thraldom of those vices which spring from a prosperous life. Give such strength to my hope of the eternal weight of glory, that all the enjoyments of earth shall be barren and tasteless in the infinite contrast. O make me ever mindful of the solemn warning, M How hardly shall they that have riches, enter into the kingdom of God !"
Heavenly Father, let me not be envious nor rebellious when I see the prosperity of the wicked. Surely thou hast set them in slippery places. They that will be rich fall into temptations and snares, and into many foolish and hurtful lusts, which drown men in destruction and perdition. Lord, what shall it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his own soul ?
God of Beneficence, enlarge the souls of those on whom thou hast cast the mantle of plenty. May they bless the Lord, and forget not all his benefits. Make them rich in good works, and ready to distribute, according as thou hast prospered them. Teach them that the silver and the gold are thine, and make them the stewards of thy bounty—willing instruments in sustaining and enlarging every work of faith and labour of love. Give them grace to lay up treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not corrupt, and where thieves cannot break through and steal.
Great Sovereign, thou hast prepared thy throne in the heavens, and thy kingdom ruleth over all. Thou doest thy will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth ; and none can stay thy hand, nor say unto thee, " What doest thou?" Thou callest the stars by name, and numberest the hairs of our heads : thou upholdest the sparrow, and givest strength to the seraph. Lord, I would praise thee for thy most holy, wise, and powerful preserving and governing all thy creatures. If thou shouldst withdraw the energies of thy power from the works of thy hands, they would all fall back at once into non-existence. But blessed be thy name, thy dominion is an everlasting dominion, and thy kingdom is from generation to generation.
Great God, enable me to see and acknowledge thy hand in all the movements of thy providence. Make me realize my immediate and absolute dependence on thee, and my obligations to thy preserving and governing wisdom. Make me submissive to every token of thy will. May I praise thee in joy and in grief: because it is the Lord that giveth, and that taketh away. Thou art indeed wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working. Thou givest the mercies of every day's life to the evil as well as to the good. But it is only for them that love thee, that thou makest thy providence and grace work together for good.—Exalted Jehovah, may the solemn truth that thy kingdom ruleth over all, lead me to seek thy favour as the chief blessing of life ; and to do thy pleasure as it is done in heaven.
O thou who only art wise, vouchsafe to me that prudence which is the dwelling-place of wisdom. Preserve me from a heedless and an impetuous spirit. Make every purpose of my heart, and every action of my life, the result of prayerful consideration. Dispose me, I pray thee, to pursue every right object with a proper spirit. Let me not be governed by any rules of policy which are inconsistent with a good conscience; nor do evil that good may come. Instruct me in all my personal and relative duties; and give me sanctified knowledge and discreet zeal, to meet and discharge them, in the sight of God. Grant me the instruction of thy word, which is able to make me wise unto salvation; and the teachings of thy Spirit, which searcheth the deep things of God, and beareth witness with our consciences, whether we walk in the way, the truth, and the life.
Reason.—See Knowledge, Understanding.
Heavenly Father, grant me repentance unto life. Give me, I beseech thee, a true sense of my sin. It is against thee, O Lord, I have sinned. I have broken thy holy, wise, and benevolent law, ways and times beyond number. I have sinned against the teachings of thy word, against the testimonies of conscience, against the drawings of thy love, and against the strivings of thy Spirit. My transgressions may have led others into the paths of evil, and thus have been instrumental in loading their souls with guilt. Mine iniquities have cast reproach on thy cause in the world ; and they have shut out the precious light of thy countenance from my soul. O God, make me feel how hateful my sin is in thy sight, and that the perfections of thy nature are pledged for its punishment. O thou hast spread wide and deep, the lake of unquenchable fire—thou hast built with everlasting strength, the prison-walls of hell—where the unrepenting sinner will dwell in torment for ever.
Lord, I implore thee to give me deep convictions of the atrocious guilt and soul-destroying danger of sin. Grant me feelings of strong abhorrence towards it. Incline me to mourn, with bitterness of heart, over my transgressions. Imbue me with courage, to resolve to forsake them, an^ with strength to turn from them unto thee, with earnest endeavours after new obedience. Teach me that he who turns not away from every sin, turns not aright from any sin. O let not mine be the sorrow of the world, that worketh death ; but a godly sorrow, that worketh repentance to salvation, not to be repented of. Bring me to thee crying, " Lord, save me, or I perish." And say to me in thy mercy, " Son, be of good cheer; thy sins be forgiven thee."
O God, kindle a fire in the consciences of the impenitent, that shall cleanse them from the love of sin, and purify them unto thee, in holiness of heart and life. Convince them of the evil nature, and fearful consequences of their iniquity. Show them that thou art waiting to be gracious, and that thou hast no pleasure in the death of them that die, but that they turn and live. Turn them from the error of their ways, and lead them into the path of the just. Induce them to forsake their sins, and to bring forth fruits meet for repentance. Incline them to obey thy will from the heart; not that they may seek by the deeds of the law to be justified in thy sight; but that be who was delivered for their offences may be made their justification and complete salvation.
O thou Holy One, suffer me to have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but may I rather reprove them. Cause my conduct to stand forth as a sentence of condemnation against them, both in my scrupulously avoiding that which is evil, and resolutely cleaving to that which is good. Give me a holy courage to bear the testimony of my voice against transgression. But, O, let it not be done in anger, but in love and humility.—Lord, may I be encouraged in this duty, by remembering that it is thy will that we should in any wise rebuke our neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.—If any of the brethren be overtaken in a fault, make me feel that it is both my duty and privilege to restore such an one in the spirit of meekness. Show me that the eternal interests of the ungodly require me to take up this cross ; for the want of my reproof may leave him unmolested in his sin, to spread its contagion on others, and to go down with it to the bosom of perdition ; while my faithfulness may be the blessed means of redeeming him from the dominion of iniquity, and of leading him to seek the salvation of his soul.
Lord, dispose me to receive rebuke with meekness and thankfulness. Make me open to conviction, and dispose me to acknowledge and forsake my evil. O may all that are the subjects of christian reproof reflect that he who is often reproved, and still hardeneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy.
Resignation.—See Affliction, Submission.
God of the Living, thou hast revealed the doctrine that thou wilt raise these mortal frames, at the day • of judgment, from their long decay of death, and make them joint-heirs with our spirits in the retributions of eternity. All that are in the graves shall hear thy voice, and shall come forth ; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.
Lord, I thank thee that our Blessed Saviour became the first-fruits of them that slept; thus setting the seal of heaven to the truth of his gospel, and to the hope of our resurrection. If Christ be not risen, then is our faith vain. But, thanks be to thy name, he has the keys of death, and could not be holden of it. O may 1 rejoice in the hope, that though after my skin worms destroy my body, yet in my flesh, I shall see God, and be for ever with the Lord. O grant that when the earth shall cast forth her dead, this corruptible may put on incorruption, and this mortality put on immortality, and be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious body, according to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself.
Lord, dispose and enable me to cultivate and enjoy the blessings of christian retirement. Grant me many of those precious hours of peaceful seclusion, in which I shall find rest from the cares and corruptions of the world, and reflect on my past conduct, my present character, and my future purposes.
0 may they be seasons when I shall fill with heavenly oil, and kindle with holy fire, the lamp of my profession; and when I shall hold sweet communion with thee at thy mercy-seat. Vouchsafe that when
1 thus retire from the world, it may be in order to replenish my soul, and return again to the duties of life, strengthened by thy grace, and richly laden with gospel blessings. O thou who didst seek the lonely desert, the solitary mountain, and the covert of night, make my withdrawings from the busy scenes of earth, such as thine own were—hours full of holy love to God, and fraught wilh good-will to man.
Heavenly Father, convince my judgment of the folly, and my heart of the sin, of revenge. Persuade me that it can neither preserve me from harm, nor procure me any good; while it stirs up wrath and retaliation, and arrays against it the anger of a holy God. I pray thee, for the sake of Jesus, let me not render evil for evil to any man. Give me patience under provocation, meekness under injury, and good-will under revenge. Suffer me not, in any case, to avenge myself: for vengeance is thine, and thou wilt repay.
Blessed God, revive thy work; in the midst of the years make known; in wrath remember mercy. Let not thy heritage be in bondage to sin and slothfulness; nor the ungodly go down to death, without the strong, and special, and redeeming influences of thy Holy Spirit. Let thy work appear - unto thy servants, and thy glory unto their children: and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us. Make the wilderness like Eden; and the desert like the garden of the Lord: let joy and gladness be found therein, with thanksgiving and the voice of melody.
Great God, may all thy ministers be indeed preachers of righteousness, and ambassadors for Christ. Sanctify their motives, and inflame their zeal. Give them wisdom to devise, and faithfulness to execute, such efforts as shall promote thy glory in the work of saving souls. May they search Jerusalem as with lighted candles, and apply thy truth to their hearers with plainness, fulness, and pungency. Bless the word of their mouth, and accompany it with the demonstration of thy Spirit.
O Lord, let judgment begin at the house of God. Take away the hopes of those who have the form of godliness, without its power. Convince thy people of sin against thee, against each other, and against the souls of the ungodly. Bring them to repentance that needeth not to be repented of. Break from them the fetters with which the world, the flesh, and the devil have encompassed them. Give them that clearness and strength of faith by which they shall learn the value of their own souls, and the worth of the souls of perishing sinners around them.
Heavenly Father, burden the hearts of thy people with earnest desires for the revival of pure and undefined religion. May they present fervent, importunate, and believing prayer at the throne of thy grace for the prosperity of Zion, and the salvation of the ungodly. O fill them with thy Spirit, and cause them to abound in love, zeal, and holiness. May they love the places where supplication is wont to be made, and where souls have been born to God. Give them grace to uphold by prayer, the hands of thy ministers, whilst thou art using such to carry forward the triumphs of the gospel. Make thy saints willing to adopt and sustain those measures which are agreeable to thy will, and which receive the abiding sanction of thy Spirit. Lord, cast up and remove every stumbling-block out of the ways of Zion. Give thy servants unity of feeling and action, and lead them to act in the faith of thy word, wherein thou hast said, that if two shall agree on earth as touching any thing they shall ask, it shall be done for them of our Father in heaven. Let the blessing of the Lord our God be upon them; and establish the work of their hands upon them: yea, the work of their hands establish thou it.
O Most High, visit with convincing and converting power, the consciences of sinners. Bring them within the reach of the preached gospel, and the hearing of effectual prayer. May thy Spirit set home to their hearts the truth, which is able to make them wise unto salvation. Make them feel deeply, that they are guilty before thee; and that instead of having the offer of* salvation, thy righteous retribution would blast them in everlasting death. O, may they cherish the workings of the Holy Ghost within them, and fear lest that Divine Agent give them up to blindness of mind and hardness of heart. Let that godly sorrow which worketh life, possess every feeling of their souls. Show them that now is the accepted time, and this the day of salvation. Give them clear, and convincing, and persuading views of Christ, as the only, and all-sufficient, and infinitely willing Saviour. O God, grant, for the honour of Jesus, that now, whilst thou art waiting to be gracious, they may renounce their iniquities, receive Christ as he is freely offered in the gospel, and give themselves to thee in a covenant never to be forgotten.
Lord of Hosts, make the fruits of revivals glorious in the history of thy church. May their converts to righteousness be for multitude, as the drops of the dew in the morning. May they be distinguished for consistent piety and holy zeal, and be honoured instruments in multiplying the trophies of redeeming grace, until the Lord shall have made bare his holy arm in the eyes of all the nations; and all the ends of the earth shall have seen the salvation of our God. And to God, the Father, Son, and Spirit, shall be all the praise in earth and heaven, now and for ever. Amen.
O thou who art righteous in all thy thoughts, purposes, and ways, give me, I pray thee, the character and blessings of righteousness. Make me just to thee, to myself, and to my fellow-creatures. But, O, keep me from trusting to my own fancied merits. Rebuke and dispel every thing like self-confidence, and lead me humbly to the foot of the cross, there to find both the mercy of acceptance, and the grace of obedience. Behold, O God, my Shield, and look upon the face of thine Anointed. May he be for me the end of the law for righteousness. May I desire to be found only in him, not having on mine own righteousness, which is of the law; but that which is through the faith of Christ, and which is of God by faith. O, may the accepted works which flow from that atoning union with him, be found in all my walk and conversation. Cleanse me from dead works to serve the living God. Make me diligent in working out my own salvation, knowing that thou workest in me both to will and to do, of thine own good pleasure. May I love mercy and do justice towards all men ; and whatsoever I would that they should do to me, in temporal or spiritual things, may I do even so to them.—Blessed Source of all good, fill me with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God.
O thou that hearest and answerest prayer for the
merits of Jesus, the Heavenly Advocate, give me grace, I beseech thee, to remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. In six days thou didst make heaven, earth, and sea ; and didst rest the seventh day: wherefore thou hast blessed the Sabbath, and hallowed it. I thank thee, God of Mercy, for that consecrated season, in which thou givest rest to our wearied natures, and affordest us leisure for reflection on our duties in this world, and our destinies in the world to come. I thank thee for its privileges of praise, of prayer, and of instruction, by which thy saints are built up in faith and zeal, and sinners are brought from the darkness and iniquity of carnal nature, to the light and holiness of heavenly grace. I would praise thee that there still remaineth this rest to the people of God. Thou hast made the Sabbath for man ; and thou hast abolished neither its privileges nor its duties, but thou wilt continue them down to the end of the world.
O, that I might always be in the Spirit on the Lord's day. May I remember that thou hast given me six days of the week for my own employments, and challenged a special ownership of the seventh ; and that thou hast given it the sanction of thine own example and blessing. O, let me not profane that holy time by idleness ; nor by doing that which is in itself sinful; nor by unnecessary thoughts, words, or works, about worldly employments or recreations. May I sanctify it by a holy resting even from such avocations as are lawful on other days; and spend all its sacred hours in the public and private exercises of God's worship; except so much as may be taken up in the works of necessity and mercy. Let that day ever be a precious occasion, wherein thy love shall be richly manifested to me, and my aflec
tions shall hold free, and holy, and rejoicing communion with thy Spirit. May 1 be prepared by its sanctifying duties and reviving pleasures, for serving thee and mankind better, in all the relations of life. O make it a blessed type of that eternal Sabbath, which is reserved for the pure in heart, in the regions of unmingled bliss.
Lord, save thy holy day from the desecration which has been so fearfully brought upon it. Thou seest how men pursue on it their carnal pleasures and worldly interests, regardless of thy statutes, and the ultimate welfare of their country, and of mankind. Even those who have made a covenant with thee, to keep thy commandments, sometimes join hand in hand with the ungodly, in these profanations of sacred time. O that thy people would set their faces as flint against these transgressions; and bear the testimony of their voice and conduct against them. Bring not thy wrath upon our land, because its inhabitants make the Sabbath their season of amusement, convenience, and lucre. Teach all men that it is thine imperative will that they should sanctify that day ; and that thou hast judgments in store for its transgressors :—while they who turn away their feet from polluting it, and from doing their pleasure on it, and shall call the Sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable ; and shall honour thee, not doing their own ways, nor finding their own pleasure, nor speaking their own words—they shall ride upon the high places of the earth, and shall be fed with the heritage of Jacob; for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it!
Lord, thou hast taught us that it is lawful to do well on the Sabbath-day. I thank thee, that in mercy towards the ignorance and wickedness of the world, thou hast established the system of Sunday Schools. I would praise thee that they have been spread so widely, and that so many heart-cheering fruits have sprung from them. Thou hast made them instrumental in elevating the standard of knowledge and active piety in the church. They have been the means of dispelling ignorance and superstition, and of moulding the character of our youth in right knowledge and moral feeling. And blessed be thy mercy lor that which is worth more than every other blessing; they have been made the nurseries of the Lord, from which many plants of righteousness have been transferred to the gardens of thy church, there to bear fruit unto eternal life. And of these not a few are now singing, in everlasting bliss, the song of redemption to him who said, " Suffer little children to come unto me, and forbid them not; for of such is the kingdom of heaven."
Gracious God, I would humbly trust that these things are but the introductory tokens of the glorious influences which this heaven-born system will yet exert on behalf of our ruined race. Lord, am I not warranted, from thy word and from the nature of things, to expect that the religious instruction of our children and youth, when it shall become universal, and shall be conducted with that preparation of the heart and answer of the tongue, which are from the Lord,—will secure that outpouring of thy Holy Spirit, which will fill the earth with thy knowledge, even as the waters cover the deep ?
Great Shepherd of Israel, may all that seek the prevalence and triumph of the gospel, give this cause their sanction and help.—Make thy ministers watchmen and husbandmen in it, who shall give it the service of the eye, and of the lips, and of the hands with willing and diligent hearts.—May all who have made a covenant with thee by sacrifice, and who stand pledged that they will not live unto themselves, inquire what thou wilt have them to do in this labour of love. O that there were heartburnings of shame and deep repentings of soul among those who have refused to come up to the help of the Lord in this work of faith.—Lord, give this cause favour in the eyes of parents, and of the world at large. May they all delight to honour and promote it.
Father of Mercies, I would invoke thy blessing on all who are engaged in it as teachers. Give them knowledge to discern, and zeal to fulfil the important duties of their office. Show them that their service relates to filling the immortal mind with the riches of religious knowledge ; and to converting the soul from sin and death unto holiness and everlasting life. O that they would understand, and meet, and discharge these awfully solemn responsibilities !—Lord, give them grace to help in all their times of need. May they live in constant dependence on the teaching and blessing of the Holy Ghost. Put into their hearts that well of living water, which springs up into everlasting life; and let every work of their hands be nourished by that fountain of piety within them.—May they teach by a living example, that shall be seen and read by all their scholars—that shall make them as a city set on a hill—that shall be as salt to purify and save their classes.—Give them an ample and welldigested knowledge of divine truth. Make them wise in the treasures of the book of nature, and the volume of thy providence. Make them apt to teach—in simplicity, in patience, in love, in judgment, and in perseverance.—May all teachers love each other out of pure hearts, fervently ; and keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace. Make them helpers to each other in mutual study, and in private and social prayer.—Preserve their hearts from the influence of the discouragements which beset their office. Let them not be cast down, nor driven back from their work, by difficulties within the school, or by apathy or opposition without it. Let them not be weary in well-doing; but do thou strengthen them by thy precious promises, that in due season they shall reap if they faint not; and that though they may now often go forth bearing precious seed, and weeping, yet they shall hereafter return, bringing many sheaves with them.
Heavenly Father, visit by thy mercy, those who are taught in Sunday Schools. Though foolishness is bound up in their hearts, thou canst supplant it by divine wisdom. Though thou seest that the imagination of their hearts is evil, thou canst create in them a new heart, and renew a right spirit within them.—Lord, make them punctual, attentive, obedient, and diligent. Seal instruction on their minds. Let not thy word return from them void; but do thou prosper it in the thing whereunto thou sendest it. Let it not be as water that is spilled on the ground, and cannot be gathered. O make their hearts as good ground, which will give growth to the seed of truth, and produce rich harvests of spiritual good. May they learn the worth of the undying soul; the guilt which sin has brought on them ; and the fearful wrath which hangs over them in their impenitency. Show them, O Lord, the way thou hast provided of escape from their guilt and danger; and do thou persuade and enable them, by the power of the Spirit, to receive Jesus as their Teacher, Saviour, and Ruler. Merciful Father, may it please thee to add to thy church from their number, many of such as shall be saved. Raise up from them many who shall be burning and shining lights—many who shall be abundantly blessed in the work of saving souls.
Lord, I offer these entreaties, not in my own merits, which are worthless in thy sight, but in the name of the Beloved—unto whom, with the Father and the Spirit, be sincere and endless praise.—[See Teachers, Children, Early Piety.]
Sacrament.—See Lord's Supper.
Heavenly Father, grant me just and full views of the plan of salvation by a Redeemer. Give me, I pray thee, an understanding to know, and a heart to feel, what thou hast done for the redemption of sinners.—In the counsels of eternity, thou didst foresee that estate of sin and misery into which mankind should be brought by the fall; and thou didst not leave them to perish in it; for in thy wisdom and mercy thou didst devise a scheme, by which' they might be delivered from it, and be brought into an estate of salvation, through the atoning blood of thy Son. Thou didst send him, in the fulness of time, to save that which was lost—to ranson those who were under the curse of the law—to redeem them who were subject to the world, the flesh, and the devil; and over whom were hanging the terrors of the second death. And, O, that redemption which he brought, not only saves from these fearful evils,
but exalts those who were by nature and practice the heirs of wo, to be the objects of God's favour in this life, and the joint-heirs of Christ's inheritance in the world to come!
O Lord, give me an ever-present conviction that this salvation is not by human wisdom or power; for it was thy mercy that procured it, and it is thy Spirit that induces and enables us to accept it. Direct all my hopes to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world ; and assist me to realize that there is no other name given under heaven among men, whereby sinners can be saved. Enable me, I beseech thee, to believe in him with my heart unto righteousness, and to make confession of him with my mouth unto salvation. Teach me that it is by grace we are saved; for thou wouldst not defile the excellency and glory of thy work, by making it the fruit of our works of righteousness, which are indeed, of themselves, as filthy rags. Thou wilt suffer none to glory in redemption, but through the cross of Jesus Christ.—Lead me, I pray thee, in that highway of holiness, thy sacred word; which thou hast given us that the man of God may be perfect, and thoroughly furnished unto all good works. Seal me by thy Spirit of promise; and if thou hast begun a good work in me, perform it unto the day of Christ.
O Most High, if the righteous scarcely be saved, where shall the ungodly and the sinner appear? For thy great name's sake, show the power and fitness of thy salvation on the wicked. Arouse them from their false and guilty peace, by some bereavement of their comforts, or some disaster of life; by the startling terrors of thy law, or by the clear shining of thy love. Make them feel that the redemption of the soul is precious, and that it ceaseth for ever. Persuade them to flee for refuge to a crucified Saviour. Take them from the horrible pit and the miry clay; and set their feet upon the Rock of safety and blessedness; and put a new song into their mouths, even of praise to him who so loved the world as to give himself for it, that he might redeem unto himself a peculiar people, who should serve him in newness of life, and enjoy with him the blessings of an everlasting salvation.
Lord, incline me to love the services of thy sanctuary ; for a day in thy courts is tetter than a thousand spent in worldly pleasures. O that I might desire more to be a door-keeper in the house of God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness.—Lord, suffer me not to forsake the assemblies of thy saints. May I remember that Christ loved the synagogue; and that his disciples continued daily with one accord in the temple. There the rich and the poor meet together, and the Lord is the Maker of them all. There thou makest the hearts of thy saints to rejoice, and preparest them to run with renewed strength and increasing diligence in their christian race ; and there thou makest the souls of thine enemies to tremble, and bow before thy sovereign will. It is in thy house, O Lord, that thou showest the riches of thy mercy, and the strength of thy power!
Great Master of Assemblies, bring me to thy tabernacles with preparation of heart and with prayer. May I revere and love that gospel which is preached there. Incline me to hear it with close and devout attention, and with personal application. Make thy word to my heart as a fire that melteth, and as a
hammer that breaketh the rock. Incline me to hear it with candour and kindness towards him who is its messenger; desiring that the words of his mouth may glorify God, and be used as the means of quickening and saving souls. Strengthen me, I pray thee, to obey, with full purpose of heart, all thy commands. They only are happy, who in knowing these things are willing to do them: for not every one that saith, " Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven, but he that doeth the will of our Father in heaven. Make me a doer, as well as a hearer of thy word. May I render unto thee not only an outward, but an inward and spiritual worship.—Lord, let not the impressions of thy truth escape with the occasion of its utterance. Dispose me to meditate on it in my heart—to digest it in my thoughts—to make it the subject of prayer— and to show it forth in my life. O let it not be as the seed by the way-side; nor as that on stony ground; nor as that among thorns:—but let it be like that which fell on good ground, and brought forth, some thirty, some sixty, and some an hundred told.
Lord, bring within thy sanctuaries, the multitudes who spend their Sabbaths in idleness and sin. O, let not the walks of Zion be deserted, while the gates of hell are thronged with eager travellers. May thy people draw them by the bands of a man, and thy Spirit by the cords of love, until they shall come and fill to overflowing, the tabernacles of the righteous. And come thou, O God, in the greatness of thy love and majesty, and make thy courts melodious with the praises of souls newly ransomed by the power and grace of thy truth. And thy glorious
name, Father, Son, and Spirit, shall have the praise for ever.
O Most Holy, how impure is this heart which thou didst make to be the temple of the living God. But, thanks be to thy name, thou canst make me clean. Thy Spirit can sanctify me by thy truth and by thy providence, and can change me into thine own image; making my powers fit for thy service, and my soul meet to be thy dwelling-place.
Lord, grant me that work of thy free grace by which I shall be enabled more and more to die unto sin, and to live unto righteousness. May I remember that thou art holy; and that this is thy will, even our sanctification. May I look upon Jesus, in his character as a Saviour from sin. Show me in his sufferings and death, the guilt of man's sinfulness. Teach me by the rebellion of my own heart, its stubbornness and deformity. Convince me of its demerit, by vivid views of the unending punishment of the lost. O make me loathe transgression. Paralyze its power over my judgment, conscience, and affections; that the body of sin being destroyed, henceforth I may not serve sin, but be the servant of righteousness.
Great God, preserve the hearts of thy chosen generation from sinful thoughts, words, and actions ; and do thou cause them to abound in works of righteousness. May thy grace sanctify them by a hope that purifieth even as Christ is pure; by a love which seeks conformity to thine own image ; and by a faith which looks at things that are not seen, and that are eternal.—Make them living epistles, seen and read of all men. Make them the salt of the earth—the means of leading a wicked and perverse generation, by the power of a good example, to glorify their Father in heaven. Gracious Sovereign, enable them to adorn the doctrine of God, their Saviour, in all things. Imbue them with that holiness without which no man can see the Lord.—[See HoLiness.]
Merciful Father, protect me from the open and secret influences of Satan, who is the great adversary of souls. O let me not be heedless of the truth, that he exerts his power even on the hearts of thy saints. If the innocence of Paradise, and the spotless purity of Jesus himself, were not exempt from his devices, I surely need not hope to escape his assaults. But I implore the aid of thy grace, that I may resist them, and triumph over them. Bestow on me the shield of faith, wherewith I may be able to quench all the fiery darts of thl wicked one. Give me wisdom to detect, and virtue to repel, all his countless temptations. Arm me, I pray thee, with the sword of thy truth, that I may resist the devil, so that he shall flee from me.
Lord, overthrow the power of Satan in the hearts of the children of disobedience. Let not this world be given up to his cruel dominion. Redeem those that are under his influence, and make them the servants of the living God. Lord of Hosts, cast out the prince of this world. Fulfil speedily thy promises, that thou wilt bruise the Serpent's head; and that thou wilt bind the Dragon, and cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he shall deceive the nations no more, until the thousand years are fulfilled, in which Christ
shall reign from sea to sea, and from the river to the ends of the earth.
Saviour.—See Jesus Christ, and Christmas.
God of Truth, I praise thee, that thou hast not left the human race to the blind gropings of unaided reason, in seeking a knowledge of thy will; but that thou hast given us the scriptures of truth, which holy men of old spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost. I would thank thee for their precepts, which are monitors of duty—for their examples, which are incentives to good—for their threatenings, which are merciful warnings against evil—and for their promises, which are the beacons of hope. Thy testimonies are sure, making wise the simple ; and thy law is perfect, converting the soul.
Lord, grant me an affecting sense of thy condescending goodness in' the gift of the volume of revelation. Give me the teachings of thy Spirit, that I may understand and love the things of thy word. Incline me, I pray thee, to keep thy statutes; since he only that doeth thy will, shall know of the doctrine whether it be of God : while he is cursed who continueth not in all things written in the book of the law, to do them. O make the scriptures profitable to me for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, and for instruction in righteousness, that I may be thoroughly furnished unto every good work. Incline me to search them for the truth as it is in Jesus; and may I find there that pearl of great price which is the only passport to heaven. When my soul cleaveth to the dust, quicken thou me according to thy word, and cause it to dwell in me richly, in all wisdom. Enable me to draw lessons of wisdom and holiness from its blessed pages, wherewith to guide my judgment and direct my steps, in all the ways of life. Sanctify me by thy truth; thy word is truth.
Giver of Mercies, I thank thee for that bright cluster of evidences to the truth of the Bible, which the researches of the wise and good have gathered over its sacred leaves. O that every sceptic, and every infidel, would learn from them the folly and wickedness of their unbelief, and come with broken hearts and submissive minds, to the throne of thy mercy, crying, " Lord, we would believe ; help thou our unbelief."
Lord, bring thy truth with convincing, and persuading, and controlling power, on the hearts and consciences of the ungodly. O make it an effectual means of converting sinners, and of building them up in holiness and comfort, through faith, unto salvation.—May thy saints attend thereunto, with diligence, preparation, and prayer; receiving it with faith and love, laying it up in their hearts, and practising it in their lives.
God of Truth, prosper with thy blessing, the efforts which have been made, and those which are now making, to give the word of life to those who, in our own and in other countries, are perishing for lack of knowledge. I would extol thy mercy that the sacred volume has been transmitted through so many generations, without corruption ; and that it has been translated, and published, and multiplied in so many tongues and nations of the earth. O reanimate, and strengthen, and extend these labours, until thy word shall have free course in every family throughout the world, and be glorified in bringing
multitudes of souls into the kingdom of God. And to thee, O Lord, shall be ascribed power, and dominion, and glory for ever.
Lord, remember the wants of them that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters, and see thy wonders in the deep. Alas ! how few of them can be said to have any Sabbath, any sanctuary, any home; and how few are there that care for their bodies or their souls. Lord, preserve them in their constant perils by sea and by land. O thou that makest the storm a calm, that the waves thereof are still, restrain for them the raging tempest ; quiet for them the devouring ocean; and send them in safety and gladness over their trackless journeys. And while their feet are upon land, keep them from straying among those forbidden paths, which lie thicker than the perils of sunken rocks, and are fuller of danger than the stormy winds and treacherous seas.
Heavenly Father, I thank thee that this class of men, so long neglected, has at length arrested the sympathies of some in thy churches ; and that successful measures have been undertaken to make them the subjects of that gospel, which should be their anchor in port, and their chart at sea. Lord, spread widely through thy churches, a knowledge of the wants and claims of seamen. May thy people look with compassion on their toils and sufferings, their dangers and destitution ; and be led, in the love of souls, to strive to bring them into the kingdom of heaven. Grant that these men, who have so long been the instruments of carrying the vices of civilization among the heathen, and all
nations of the world, may soon become the heralds of the gospel, and carry to every coast of earth, the blessings of redeeming grace. O fulfil that vision of prophecy, in which the abundance of the sea shall be converted unto God.
Gracious God, help me to consecrate myself to thee with full purpose of soul, and with endeavours after new obedience. Make me feel that if I could offer thee a world, and yet hold back the gift; of my heart, my oblation would be but a worthless and odious thing in thy sight. Lord, I am thine by creation, and by constant benefaction. O has not Christ died for me, that I should be thine, in the purchase of his atoning blood ? Let me, therefore, not live unto myself, but unto him. Enable me to say from my heart, " Here, Lord, I give myself to thee; it is all that I can do." Accept, I pray thee, that offering, in the name of Jesus, the Ransom of sinners.
I would take thee, O Lord, as my portion—thy law as my rule—thy service as my meat and tlrink—and thy purposes as the ground of my faith and hope. Bring all my expectations, wishes, and intentions into conformity with thy will; and let me live, and move, and have my being in a covenant of full-hearted and never-failing devotion to thee, and the interests of thy kingdom.
O Most High, enable me to deny myself, to take up my cross daily, and to follow my blessed Saviour ; who, though he had shared with the Father, the glory from the beginning, yet made himself of no reputation; and though he had all power in heaven and earth, took upon him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.
Lord, grant me the spirit of self-denial in what I eat and drink, and wherewithal I am clothed. Let me not be a lover of pleasure more than a lover of God. Make me temperate in every lawful pursuit. Help me to abstain from fleshly lusts that war against the soul. May I forsake uncleanness of thought, word, and action. Turn me away from the love of money, which is the root of all evil. Give me grace to stifle my desires for the praise of men, whose favour is indeed deceitful. Raise me above the fear of man, that bringeth a snare. Assist me, I beseech thee, to overcome my temptations to display and to self-righteousness ; and let me count all things but loss, that I may be found in Christ, with that righteousness which is of God, by faith. Make me willing to give up every thing which will come in competition with the interests of my soul, or the welfare of thy kingdom. Yea, let me not count my life dear to myself, if I may avoid that which is evil, and cleave to that which is right: for whosoever will save his life shall lose it; but he that loseth his life for thy sake shall find it.
Searcher of Hearts, suffer me not to dwell at case in Zion, if I have only a name to live, and have not the life-giving power of godliness. If my hope be false, O take it away before it becomes as that of the hypocrite—as a spider's web, or as the giving up of the ghost. Bestow on me, I beseech thee, thou Gracious One, a good hope through grace, which shall be as a house built on a rock, that shall not
fall, though the rains come, and the winds blow, and beat upon it. May it be as an anchor to my soul, both sure and steadfast, entering into that within the vail. Lord, search me and try me, and see if there be any evil way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. If I have indeed been deceived, O do thou open my eyes, and turn me from darkness unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, that I may receive forgiveness of sins, and an inheritance among them that are sanctified by faith.
Great God, let there be searchings of heart among all that profess thy name. May they remember that those are not all Israel who are of Israel. Not every one that saith, " Lord, Lord," shall enter the kingdom of heaven : for the King will say of many who would be guests at his heavenly table, " Bind them hand and foot, and take them away, and cast them into outer darkness—there shall be weeping and gnashing of teeth." O let all the victims of self-delusion, cast off the robes of deceit, and put on the wedding-garment; that they may be found among thy chosen ones, whom thou wilt feast with the fulness of joy, in thy presence, for ever more.
Great Source of Wisdom, give me a habit of honest and searching self-examination, that I may prove myself, and know whether I am in the faith. Make me ever anxious to know the state of my heart, and the working of my motives. Guide and strengthen me, while I inquire of my soul and of thee, whether I acknowledge and mourn over my transgressions, and receive Christ as my wisdom, righteousness, sanctification, and redemption. Have I
indeed been born again—am I a new creature in Christ Jesus—and are the evidences of my new estate clear and increasing 1 Is the Lord my master to serve, and my portion to enjoy; and is the welfare of his kingdom the desire of my heart 1 Am I daily dying unto sin, and living unto righteousness ? Am I thankful for mercies, and prayerful for blessings ; pursuing the glory of God; doing to others as I would have them do unto me; and diligently seeking that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God ?
Teach me, O Lord, all my errors, weaknesses, and sins. Cleanse me from them by the enlightening, strengthening, and sanctifying influences of thy Spirit. And O, may I remember that if I should be wilfully or heedlessly blind to my transgressions, thou, Lord, knowest them altogether. Let not selflove nor pride, hinder me from an impartial knowledge of myself. Preserve me from a false estimate of any part of my character. May I look at my principles as well as my conduct—and at my motives as well as my actions. Let me never mistake the excitement of feeling for the renewing of the Holy Ghost; nor the outward activities of religion for its inward spirit. Let me not judge of my religion by occasional impressions and impulses, but by my habit of life. Lord, make it worthy of the vocation wherewith I am called, and such as becometh the gospel of Christ.
Great Sovereign, let not my motives nor conduct be governed by selfishness. Teach me that this principle is the original and deep-rooted sin of my nature. O how has it exalted self above all other creatures, and above God himself! How has it filled the world, in all the length of its history, with pride, self-indulgence, contention, cruelty, and death.—Lord, suffer me not to set up my judgment against thy wisdom, nor my desires against thy will. Show me that thy will is the supreme law of both duty and happiness. Keep me from seeking my own interests heedlessly, or at the expense of the welfare of others. Make me realize that I am but a unit among the multitudes of thy rational creatures, each of whom has the same deep stake with myself, in the pursuit of comfort and well-being.— Thou hast said that he who would follow Jesus, must deny himself. Keep me from the character and wo of those that covet an evil covetousness, and who would grow rich in pleasure and worldly good, at the cost of the humble and needy. O let me not exclude myself from thy love, nor dishonour humanity, by shutting up my feelings of compassion at the cry of want or misery. Give me that charity that seeketh not her own, that goeth about doing good, even as did our Lord and Master.
Lord, preserve me from selfishness in the pursuits of religion. Though thou hast enjoined on me the most diligent efforts for growth in grace and personal salvation, thou hast laid necessity upon me to spread the gospel among the destitute, and to warn souls from the broad way of death, and win them to the narrow path of life. O help me so to blend my duties to myself and my neighbour, that we together may be partners of thy fellowship on earth, and joint-heirs of thy communion in heaven.
Heavenly Master, bless those that occupy the relation of servants among men. Teach them the duties of their station, and dispose them to do them in the fear of the Lord. May they count their masters worthy of honour, and obey them in singleness of heart, as unto Christ; with good-will doing service, as to the Lord, and not to men ; knowing that whatsoever good things any man doeth, the same shall he receive of the Lord, whether he be bond or free. Make them faithful in protecting and diligent in promoting the interests, reputation, and comfort of their employers.—O that they might always be treated with kindness and liberality; and thus be induced to a grateful attachment to those whom they serve. Lord, protect them from oppression, unkindness, and fraud. Make them contented and happy in the discharge of their lawful duties. Show them that their station is of the ordinance of God ; and that by a faithful use of their opportunities, they may so labour in the service of heaven, that at the last day, their great Master may say unto them, " Well done, good and faithful servants; enter ye into the joy of your Lord."
Blessed and Only Potentate, in thy power are the springs of disease and the secrets of health. Thou makest sore, and bindest up: thou woundest, and thy hands make whole. If thou speak the word, the season of my sickness shall melt away into the refreshing glow of health : but if thou command it otherwise, it will change to the cold and gloomy darkness of death and the grave. Lord make me content to leave its issues with thee. If it be thy will, then raise me up, to praise thee in the land of the living. But if not, prepare me for the valley of
the shadow of death. May thy rod and staff comfort me, and thy hand minister unto me an entrance abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
Heavenly Parent, visit in great mercy, all that lie on beds of languishing. Induce them to reflect that disease is a mournful proof of human transgression. May they regard their sickness as the light recompense of their iniquities; and as the discipline of thy hand, which will either prepare them for better service on earth, and nobler enjoyment in heaven—or leave them to greater hardness of heart in this world, and deeper condemnation in the world to come. O Lord of Mercy, relieve their pains, or give them grace to bear them with enduring patience. Let them neither despise thy chastenings, nor faint at thy rebukes. Grant them confidence in thy wisdom, mercy, and power: for thou canst not err in thy judgment—thy chastenings work out the peaceable fruits of righteousness—and thy strength is made perfect in human weakness. May the light of thy countenance be more desirable to them than even the gladness of returning health. O teach them in these hours of suffering, how brief and uncertain are earthly comforts^how weak and brittle their hold on human life. Incline them, I pray thee, to renounce every human hope, and to look unto Jesus, as the great and only Physician of the soul. May they, by the exercise of faith in his atoning blood, consecrate themselves to him, that whether living or dying, they may be the Lord's.
Merciful Father, shed thy most tender compassions over those whose sickness is unto death. May thy saints be stayed in their hour of trial, upon thine everlasting arm, and go through the swelling tide with hope in their hearts and rejoicing on their lips.—O let not the sinner venture to encounter the king of terrors with sullen indifference, nor deceptive hope. Although a death-bed repentance be an uncertain ground of trust, yet thy grace, which is sufficient for every emergency of life, can still redeem him, even in the gates of dissolution. O Jesus, speak to him, as thou didst to the thief on the cross, " To-day shalt thou be with me in Paradise."
Holy One of Israel, teach me the evil nature and fearful consequences of iniquity. It is the transgression of thy law, in doing what thou hast forbidden, and failing to do what thou hast commanded. Lord, every sin deserves thy wrath and curse, both in this life and that which is to come.
Assist me, I beseech thee, to feel that it is an evil and bitter thing to sin against the Lord. Thy law which I and all mankind break, is holy, just, and good. Thy goodness against which we have transgressed, has been over us every hour of our lives. Thou hast nourished and brought us up as children; but we have rebelled against thee. Every sin which we commit, includes as many acts of ingratitude as the whole number of thy past mercies to us. Our iniquity has blinded our minds towards truth, and has made us the prey of error. It has been the snare that has corrupted and debased our souls, and left them increasingly open to temptation and guilt. O make us feel that all the sickness, misery, remorse, and death in the world, are the fruits of transgression ; and that if sin had not entered into the world, this earth would have been, in all its generations, a paradise of happy and holy obedience. Lord, increase our sense of the exceeding sinfulness of sin, by heart-felt views of the humiliation, agony, and death of thy Son; and by the revelation thou hast given of that blackness of darkness and anguish of despair, which it has brought on the finally impenitent, the smoke of whose torment ascendeth for ever and ever.
Great God, it becomes me to take shame and confusion of face upon myself; to cry, " Guilty, and unclean;" and to implore thee to be merciful to me, a sinner. Thou art spotless holiness; and thou canst not look upon sin but with abhorrence. If thou shouldst lay judgment to the line, and righteousness to the plummet; or if even thou shouldst deal with me for one of a thousand of my transgressions, I would be driven from thy presence in utter despair. But, thanks be to thy name, the blood of Christ cleanseth from all sin. Though I should be condemned without hope, if I dared to stand before thee in my own strength ; yet in the righteousness of my Surety, I may approach thee, and receive remission of sins.—Lord, preserve me from the dominion of unholiness, whether it spring from the world, the flesh, or the devil. May the grace that bringeth salvation, so teach me to deny ungodliness, and to fear and loathe iniquity, that I shall constantly die unto sin and live unto righteousness.
Great God, affect my heart powerfully, by right views of the condition of sinners. O let not my soul be at ease in her possessions, while the earth is full of the workers of iniquity. Let not selfishness, nor unbelief, nor despondency, stupify my compassions for those who every where crowd the ways of destruction. May I look on them as rebels against thy law, over whom hang thy judgments, which may soon overwhelm them in remediless ruin. Give me deep yearnings over their awful guilt and danger. Dispose me to pray, in earnestness and faith, for their deliverance from sin ; and lead me to strive to pluck them as brands from the burning. Lord, direct me in the choice and use of such measures as will promote the salvation of souls. O wilt thou give me the blessed privilege of turning some that were ready to perish, into the covert of redemption 7 Compassionate Jehovah, kindle the love of souls in the breasts of all thy people. May deep concern for the spiritual wants of men, pervade their thoughts, direct their desires, and govern their conduct. O that all who call upon thy name for their own salvation, would earnestly ask what thou wilt have them to do in saving the ungodly. Arm them, I pray thee, with those weapons of love which are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds. May they use the power of a holy example, the wisdom of right knowledge, and the fervour of a persevering zeal, to convince and persuade, and win the unrighteous from their transgressions. Cause the remembrance of their own former impenitency and exposure to wrath, together with their gratitude for thy distinguishing grace, to excite their strong cryings to God, and their deep compassions and earnest efforts, for those who are living without hope and God in the world. Lord, set before the minds of believers, the weight of guilt and retribution which hangs over the impenitent; and cause them to feel and act upon the strong conviction, that in fulfilling their duty to such, they will enjoy peace of con
science, the joyful reward of faithful servants, and be the happy instruments of saving souls.
Lord, 1 would implore thy mercy on sinners themselves. Convince them of their deep-rooted depravity, and of the wrath they are treasuring up against the day of wrath. Let none deceive themselves with a vain admiration of their natural virtues; for these instead of abating the enormity of their guilt, only stamp upon it the additional reproach that they have ungratefully refused to consecrate these virtues to the Lord that bestowed them. O that thy love to them, in the mercies of thy providence, in the pleadings of thy word, in the gift of thy Son, and in the strivings of thy grace, might fill them with that repentance which is unto life. Persuade them that thou hast no pleasure in their death; but that thou art waiting to be gracious. Though they have destroyed themselves, in thee is their help: whosoever will, may take of the waters of life freely. Let them not neglect so great salvation, lest they sin away the day of their merciful visitation ; and then a great ransom will not deliver them. Lead them, I pray thee, to the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. May they look to him, and be saved. And thy name, Father, Son, and Spirit, shall have the glory of their redemption through time and eternity.
Lord, suffer me not to be guilty of the vice of slander. Let me not through either mistake or prejudice, rashness or ill-will, charge evil falsely on. my fellows. Make me tender of the reputation of
all men ; and especially of the household of faith
O how has this sin impaired or destroyed individual comfort and usefulness, domestic and social bliss, and public peace! How has even the character of piety been soiled, and the unity of the church been rent, by the words of suspicion, and tale-bearing, and falsehood ! O that all evil speaking would cease out of the world, and that all men would judge the motives and state the conduct of others in righteousness and truth.
Lord, keep my mouth from slander, and my lips from speaking guile. Incline me to take heed to my ways, that I sin not with my tongue. May my speech be always with grace; for if any man offend not in word, the same is perfect, and is able also to bridle the whole body.
God of Truth and Love, direct aright the feelings and judgments of all men in relation to slavery. May they learn that it is a sin against the laws of God and the rights of man, which must, if not forsaken, avert thy blessed favour, and bring down thy sore displeasure. Thou hast said that love is the fulfilling of thy law; and that whatsoever we would that men should do to us, we must do even so unto them. Thou hast told us that the cries of them that reap without hire, enter into thine ears: and thou hast denounced heavy wo against him that buildeth his house by unrighteousness, and his chambers by wrong'—that useth his neighbour's service without wages, and giveth him not for his work.— How long, O Lord, shall the selfishness of man appropriate to itself the time and the toil of the weak and needy, and degrade the immortal mind with ignorance and sin 1 Lord, let our land soon cease to be an astonishment and a reproach among the na
lions of the earth. May we cease to do evil, and learn to do well. Show us that righteousness exalteth a nation ; but that sin is a reproach to any people.
Shepherd of Israel, take away the guilt of thy people in this matter, whether it be incurred by silence, approval, or fellowship. Bring them out from unrighteousness, that they may be separate, and touch not the unclean thing. Teach them that the righteous considereth the cause of the poor. Enable them to discern the signs of the times, and to adopt such measures as heavenly wisdom will own and bless. Make them realize that all men have one Father, and that they are verily guilty concerning their brother. May they remember them that are in bonds, as bound with them. May they open their mouth for the dumb, and plead the cause of the poor and needy.—O God of Zion, do thou take up the stumbling block out of their way. Let them have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. Yea, thou hast said that open rebuke is better than secret love; and that faithful are the wounds of a friend. May they in meekness, instruct those that oppose themselves; and yet be faithful witnesses, that cry aloud, and spare not; and who will show them their transgressions. Grant them in this warfare, the effectual fervent prayer of the righteous, which availeth much ; and make them abundant instruments in advancing the cause of freedom, and saving those that are ready to perish.
Lord, look in mercy on the oppressor. Preserve him, I pray thee, from the vengeance of the oppressed. Touch his soul with a sense of his wrong, and of its danger. Show him that thou hast made of one blood, all nations of men, to dwell on all the face of the earth. May he remember, that he who oppresseth the poor, reproacheth his Maker. May he break off his sins, by righteousness; and his iniquity by showing mercy. O suffer him not to continue to take away the key of knowledge, and to seal over to vicious ignorance, the souls that God has made for the light of heaven. Let him not look on his own things only, but also on the things of others. Teach him that it is safe to do right; for is not the work of righteousness peace; and the effect of righteousness, quietness and assurance for ever? Lead him to trust in the Lord, and do good ; so shall he dwell in the land, and, verily, he shall be fed !
O thou that executest righteousness and judgment for the oppressed, wilt thou not proclaim liberty throughout all the land, to all the inhabitants thereof? Give the down-trodden rest from their sorrow, and their fear, and their hard bondage, wherein they are made to serve. Preach deliverance to the captives, and the opening of the prison-doors to them that are bound. But, O, let it be a bloodless deliverance ; and let the captive come forth by the will of his master; that God may be glorified as much in the repentance of the one, as in the liberty of the other. And when thou settest the slave free from the oppression of man, deliver him from the bondage of sin. Give him the liberty of the sons of God. Make him thy servant, that his fruit may be holiness, and the end everlasting life.
Eternal and Unchangeable Jehovah, thou hast given me a sou! of deathless nature, and of priceless worth. The earthly house of this tabernacle shall be dissolved ; the earth and all that is therein shall be burnt up ; the heavens shall pass away ; and time shall be no more—and still this spirit will live on, in imperishable youth. O, what is a man profited if he should gain the whole world, and lose his own soul? Riches make to themselves wings, and fly away ; honour is but a passing breath of air ; and pleasure perishes in the using:—but thou hast made the soul in the image of thine own eternity.
God of Wisdom, help me to understand something of its ever-living value. Teach me that its powers of thought, memory, and affection will cling to it, with an everlasting increase; and will be instruments of exalting its hallowed pleasures, or of deepening its debasing woes, for ever.—O cause me to learn the value of my soul, by the price that was paid for it. Thou didst so love the world, as to give thy Son to die for us. Thou didst not redeem us with corruptible things, such as silver and gold ; but with the precious blood of Christ.—Lord, let me not learn the worth of my soul by its eternal loss, but by its everlasting gain.
Great God, thou hast put these awful and eternal interests in the issues of human life. Our season of time, brief and uncertain at best, is our probation that will determine our destinies for eternity. Help me, I beseech thee, now to flee from the wrath to come, and to pursue the inheritance of bliss. Make my day and means of grace sufficient to bring me into the narrow way that leadeth unto life; and then, when thou hast served thy righteous pleasure with me here, where I have no abiding place, take me to that city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.
Lord, lead the impenitent to inquire, " What shall a man give in exchange for his soul?" O that they might reflect on that blackness of darkness, and on that fulness of joy, one or other of which must result to the undying spirit, from the deeds done in the body. Spread before their minds that holy and blissful rest that remaineth for the people of God; and bring into full contrast with it the bottomless pit, the unquenchable fire, the worm that never dieth, and the weeping and gnashing of teeth, prepared for the devil and his angels, and for the spirits of the lost. O do thou write over all their thoughts of these scenes, as in letters of light, Eternity, Eternity. Draw them by the cords of thy love, and incline them by the terrors of thy law, to make their peace with thee, ere the precious redemption of the soul ceaseth for ever.
SOVEREIGNTY OF GOD.
Lord, thou doest according to thy will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of earth ; and none can stay thy hand, or say unto thee, " What doest thou ?" Thou workest all things after the counsel of thine own will. A man's heart deviseth his way, but thou directest his steps. Thou hast chosen our inheritance, and determined our changes, and fixed the number of our days. We are in thy hands, as clay in the hands of the potter—Lord, I would adore the mystery of thy sovereignty in the works of grace. Thou hast mercy on whom thou wilt have mercy ; and whom thou wilt thou hardenest. Even so, Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight.
Great God, I rejoice that thy dominion is built on power and wisdom, righteousness and mercy. Thou alone mayest exercise it; for thou art the Maker, Governor, Benefactor, and Judge of all things.—O do thou work in me to will and to do of thy good pleasure. Let me not be the slave of sin, but the servant of Jesus; for his yoke is easy, and his burden is light, to all who put their trust in thee. Thy statutes are right, and thy law is perfect. Because the Lord reigneth, let the earth rejoice; let the multitude of isles be glad thereof. Though clouds and darkness are round about thee, justice and judgment are the habitation of thy throne.
Lord, do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion. Build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Be thou her king, to govern, to defend, and to lead her forward, conquering and to conquer. May that stone which was cut out without hands, become a great mountain, and fill the whole earth.
Sovereign of the Universe, teach all men that it is lawful for thee to do what thou wilt with thine own. Wo unto him that striveth with his Maker. Let the potsherds of the earth strive with the potsherds of the earth ; but let not the thing formed say to him that formed it, " Why hast thou made me thus V—Lord, bring the hearts of the ungodly to bow in quiet and confiding submission to thy will. Make them willing in the day of thy power. May they know that thy dominion will be an everlasting dominion, even though they may never become the subjects of thy heavenly kingdom. Thou makest the wrath of men to praise thee: and when the smoke of their torment ascendeth up for ever and ever, then shall be heard the voice of a great multitude, as the voice of many waters and of mighty thunderings, saying, " Alleluia ; for the Lord God, Omnipotent, reigneth."
Spirit.—See Holy Ghost.
Heavenly Father, grant me, in the name of Jesus, that spiritual mind which is life and peace. Let not my heart be troubled nor careful about the things of this world; but let it choose that better part, which cannot be taken from me. May I regard the blessing of thy favour infinitely above any and all earthly good. Incline me to find my pleasure in the services of thy kingdom, and not in the debasements of sense. Purify my motives, and make the objects of my desires such as shall be in harmony with the teachings of the Holy Ghost.—Lord, fill my soul with those spiritual joys which raise the heart above the pleasures, honours, and riches of the world; which throw the gladness of hope over earth's darkest scenes ; and which are sweet foretastes of the happiness of that land of spirits, where formality, and sense, and sin, shall give place to sincerity, devotion, and holiness.
Lord, thou sendest out thy word, and meltest the ice; thou causest thy wind to blow, and the waters flow. Lo! the winter is past, and the flowers appear on the earth : the time of the singing of birds is come : thou waterest the hills from thy chambers ; and thy breath maketh the earth fruitful.
O may the returning warmth, the reviving verdure, the gushing waters—the universal joy of emancipated nature, create an echo of sympathy in
my heart, and lead my affections and devotions up to thy throne in heaven. Enlarge, and instruct, and sanctify my mind by frequent contemplations of thee in the works of thy hands. May I hear a voice of wisdom, and mystery, and praise from every grain of sand and blade of grass; from every breath of air and cloud of heaven; from every drop of dew and shower of rain ; from every beam of light and shade of darkness ; from every flowing fountain and rolling river; from every peaceful valley and stable mountain. Blessed Lord, all thy works praise thee.
0 why should man, who enjoys thy richest blessings, be last and feeblest in his testimony to thy greatness ? Grant that my thoughts may meditate on thy wonders,—that my lips may speak of thy worth—and that my life may show forth thy glory.
Fill my heart with love to thee, when I look on the bounty of nature ; for thou art by it preserving the life of man and beast, and bestowing on them both gladness and plenty. Let it inspire me with confidence in thy providence; for if God so clothes the grass, which to-day is in the field, and to-morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe me ? And if he feeds the fowls of the air, which neither sow, nor reap, nor gather into barns, will he not also feed me ? Lord, thou knowest that
1 have need of these things; and thou hast promised to add them unto me, if I seek first thy kingdom and righteousness.
O thou that renewest the face of the earth, grant my soul the renewing of the Holy Ghost. Whilst thou art clothing creation with the beauty and vigour of a new life, give me, I pray thee, the beauty of holiness, and make me a new creature in Christ Jesus.
Lord, bless those who are in the spring-time of life. May they remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Teach them that though their joy is. in its opening bud, thou canst blast it, ere it become a flower—though their hope is full of light, thou canst draw over it the cloud of sorrow—though they are in the morning of life, thou canst speedily bring over them the night of death. O dispose them to give the bud of their being, the brightness of their hope, the dawn of their day, to him who made and seeks their hearts. And then when time shall be no more, they shall dwell where no cold shall wither their immortal bloom, no cloud cast a shadow over their radiant joy, and no night darken their endless day!
Lord, grant me, through the mediation of Jesus, the grace of submission. I pray thee, let me never murmur nor rebel against either thy word or providence. Thou hast an infinite right to reign in me, and to rule over me, and to do with me, as seemeth good in thy sight. Thou canst not devise any statute which is not founded on infinite wisdom and goodness. Thou canst not execute any measure that is not sanctioned by righteousness and grace.
O strengthen me by faith and love, that I may bow to every token of thy will—which is indeed the perfection of knowledge, holiness, and mercy. I thank thee, Lord, for that full expression of it which thou hast bequeathed in thy word. There thou hast given line upon line, and precept upon precept, that none may err therein. And yet how often does my heart forget and forsake, and sometimes contend against thy law. How prone is it to be unsubmissive when thou layest thy hand upon me in correction or displeasure. O God, assist me to recognize thy hand in all the workings of thy providence; and lead me to concur cheerfully, with every intimation which thou givest in these things, of thy sovereign pleasure. Incline me, I pray thee, to receive thy commandment as the law of my language, feelings, and conduct. Let me not despise thy chastenings, nor faint at thy rebukes. May I be still, and know that thou art God.—[See Affliction.]
Saviour of Man, bring the impenitent to submit to thy will. Thou wouldst indeed have them forsake their rebellion, and obey thy law ; and thou art seeking to win them to obedience, by the promises of thy grace, and the 'warnings of thy wrath. O convince them that thy judgments are round about them, and that the second death is before them. Show them that their unreserved submission to thee, is their only wisdom and safety : for then, instead of being exposed to thy sore displeasure, they will be received into thy favour, and enjoy the perfect peace of him whose heart is stayed on thee.
Creator of Heaven and Earth, thou hast set a tabernacle in the firmament for the sun. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it; and there is nothing that is hid from the heat thereof.
Lord, if it please thee, preserve my health and life during these months that are so often marked by the ravages of disease and death. Especially do thou keep my soul from the maladies of sin, and give me the saving health of thy Spirit, through the grace ot the Lord Jesus. Be unto me as the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.—Lord, lift up the light of thy countenance upon me, and send me thy Sun of righteousness, with healing in his wings. And, through thy tender mercy, let the day-spring from on high, visit those that sit in darkness, and in the shadow of death, to guide their feet in the way of peace.
Great Benefactor, 1 thank thee for this season, in which thou art blessing the toil of the labourer and fulfilling the desire of the husbandman. Disappoint not those who wait for the precious fruit of the earth. Let .not the ground be parched with continual and oppressive heat, nor flooded by untimely and destroying rain. Let the heavens give their dew—make thou the earth soft with showers—give the clear shining after rain, whereby the grass springeth out of the earth—and let the land yield her increase abundantly.
Lord, whilst thou art giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, incline men to hunger and thirst after righteousness. Bestow on them that bread of God, which is he that came down from heaven, and gave his life for the world, that whosoever corneth to him, should never hunger, and that whosoever believeth on him should never thirst.
O thou that givest growth and plenty, bless the good seed of thy word. As the rain cometh down from heaven, and returneth not thither, but wafereth the earth, and maketh it to bring forth and bud ; so let thy word be that goeth forth out of thy mouth: let it not return unto thee void, but accomplish that which pleases thee, and prosper in the thing whereto thou hast sent it.
Lord, when I look on the abundance which covers he earth, may I remember those moral fields that are white already to the harvest; which truly is plenteous, but the labourers are few. I pray thee, for Christ's sake, send forth labourers, who shall gather fruit unto life eternal.
Gracious Father, regard in mercy those who, unless they turn from the error of their ways, may soon take up the lamentation—" The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved." Break up the fallow ground of their hearts ; sow in them the seed of truth; rain righteousness upon them; and make them as the garden of the Lord— for thy great name's sake.