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XVIII. The shortness of life, and certainty of death
adapted to occasions of mortality. XIX. The condescension of God for his goodness in
the blessings of the new covenant. XX. The displays of the perfections and providence
of God conspicuous in the Heavens and Earth. XXI. Sincerity in religion the subject of prayer and
exhortation. XXII. Calculated to promote christian temper and
God, adapted also for Sabbath morning:
incarnation of Christ, and merciful design of his
advent into the world. Exercise XXX. Concludes on the day of judgment.
THE book of Psalms being calculated to excite those religious affections, which we owe to God, as our Creator, Preserver, rightful Sovereign, and gracions Benefactor; to inspire the soul with pure and elevated devotion, with humility, resignation, confi. dence towards God, and holy resolutions ; to strengthen and establish the principles of faith and piety, and enforce the obligations of virtue and a good life, the compiler of the following exercises, has paid particular attention to it, and made large selections from it. He bath not however, confined himself to that devotional book, but hath collected a variety of expressions and sentiments from other parts of the inspired scriptures, adapted to inspire a spirit of piety and rectitude, and to preserve the mind in a serious and devout frame. Nor hath he aimed at any methodical or systematical arrangement, but in conformity to the general mode of composition, adopted by the inspired writers, when treating on the duties of faith, piety and religious homage, hath promiscuously introduced adoration and prayer, instruction, exhortation, and devotion, presuming that families who are disposed to avail themselves of the assistance of these exercises, will have sufficient discretion to use one, or more, as may be best suited to circumstances and occasions, whether special or common, the master at his option, reading the first verse, the family the second, and so on alternately to the end of the exercise, as may be deemed most subservient to the pur. pose of religious edification. The compiler only adds his earnest prayer, that, by the concurring blessing of Heaven, this sincere attempt to promote a spirit of piety and devo. tion, and a conscientious walk with God, in righteousness and true holiness, may be crowned with success.
SELECTED CHIEFLY FROM THE SACRED SCRIPTURES, AND
ESPECIALLY FROM THE PSALMS.
General adoration and prayer, interspersed
with some expressions, shewing the advan. tages of piety and virtue.
1. Master. It is a good thing to call on the name of the Lord; to confess our sins before bim with penitence; to recount his mercies with thanksgiving, and to acknowledge, with adoration, that universal providence which sustains and governs the world, and diffuses happiness throughout the whole sys. tem of nature.
2. Family. O Eternal Source of good ; by thy almighty power thou didst create man and inspire him with the breath of life ; grant us we bumbly pray, thy gracious guidance and aid amidst all the trials, changes, and ricissitudes, incident to the present state of imperfection and mortality; and afterwards receive us to glory.
3. M. Blessed is the man who chooseth the fear of the Lord, and delighteth to perform his will; who doth justly, loveth mercy, and walketb humbly, and avoiding the ways of the wicked, doth sincerely exercise himself, day and night in the service of his God.
4. F. His leaf shall not wither; but he shall flourish as a tree planted by the water side, which seasonably and plentifully yieldeth its fruit, and whatsoever he undertaketh sball prosper. His days shall be prolonged on the earth, and he shall rejoice in them all.
5. M. O our Heavenly Father, who art from everlasting to everlasting, thy name is great in the earth, and thy mercies, unbound. ed by time, are endless as eternity Hear our requests, we beseech thee, and may our prayers for pardoning mercy, and for grace to fulfil thy will, ever meet thy favourable audience.
6. F. Let all those, O Lord, who confide in thee, rejoice, and may our praises ever be acceptable in thy sight ; for every day of our lives is crowned with thy loving kindness, and thou art continually showering down upon us innumerable, unmerited blessings, relieving us in distresses, supporting us in troubles, protecting us in dangers, and provid. ing for our comfort, through all the changing scenes of life.
7. M. What is man, O Lord, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest bim ? for though thou hast given us preeminence above the fowls of the air and beasts of the field, and made us capable