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May all mankind be visited with the light of the gospel; and may its influence be more widely diffused in this land. In tender mercy regard all who are in affliction, of whatever kind. Grant unto our dear friends and relations, every blessing which Thou knowest to be needful for them. May they and we experience thy favour in this life, and in the world to come, life everlasting
We offer up these our imperfect prayers, in the name of our only Mediator and Advocate, Jesus Christ. Our Father, Sc.
EVENING PRAYER FOR A FAMILY.
ALMIGHTY and most merciful Father, in whom we live, and move, and have our being : to thy tender compassion are we indebted for all the comforts of the present life, and for the hopes of that which is to come. We bless thy great goodness, for the measure of health which we have this day enjoyed; for our food and raiment; for our peace and safety; for our domestic and social enjoyments; for the use of our reason; and for the opportunities of religious improvement, with which we have been favoured.
But above all, we acknowledge with thankful adoration, thine inestimable love, in sending thy Son Jesus Christ into the world, to die for our sins, and to rise again for our justification. To this love we owe thy forbearance with us, thine unwearied patience towards us, the gracious invitations of thy word, thy promises of pardon, reconciliation, and eternal life, and the gift of thy Holy Spirit, to renew our fallen natures, and to enable us to perform thy righteous will. Here, O Lord, in thy presence would we bewail our carelessness and inconsideration in time past, and the innumerable sins whereby we have provoked Thee to withdraw thy tender mercies from us, and to abandon us to the natural blindness and hardness of our hearts. ..
Our lives, even during the day which is now drawing to a close, have little corresponded with those obligations which our christian profession lays upon us, and which, by our baptismal engagement, we have solemnly promised to fulfil. We have loved the world more than God; and we have been pursuing its vain and worthless objects, far more eagerly than the glory and the treasures of thy kingdom. How little, O Lord, have we felt the force of gratitude to Thee and to Christ, as the animating spring of our obedience! How little have we been restrained by thy fear, and by the recollection of thy presence, from transgressing thy commandments ! How little has it ever been in our thoughts and intentions to please Thee, and to do thy will! O Lord lay not our sins to our charge. Be merciful, we beseech Thee, to our unrighteousness, through the blood of the Lamb of God which was shed for the sins of the world. Remember not against us, O Lord, the vanity of our thoughts, the errors of our judgment, the pride of our spirit, the inordinateness of our desires, the violence of our passions, the inconstancy of our resolutions, the selfishness of our motives, or the unworthiness of our ends. Let not the time we have wasted, the talents we have misapplied, or the grace we have abused ; let not our unkindness to others, nor our ingratitude to Thee, rise up in judgment against us.
But grant unto us thy gracious pardon for the past; and bestow on us the grace of thy Holy Spirit, to renew us in body, soul, and spirit, and to enable us to amend our lives, according to thy holy word. Inspire us, O
Lord, with such an affecting sense of thy love to us, as may powerfully excite our love to Thee, and produce in us a greater earnestness, zeal, and diligence, in all our duty. May thy favour be the great object of our desire and pursuit, and by thy grace, may we be restored to such a lively image of thyself in all righteousness, purity, goodness, and truth, that we may have an abiding testimony of thy love. May the holy dispositions of Jesus Christ be formed within us, that we may walk in all humility, meekness, patience, contentedness, and self-denial, and make an entire surrender of our souls and bodies to thy holy will and pleasure. May Christ reign in our hearts, that we may no longer live to ourselves but to Him; and that the life we lead in the flesh, may be by the faith of the Son of God, who loved us, and gave himself for us. And the same mercies which we implore for ourselves, we desire also for the rest of mankind, especially for all who are called by the name of Christ. May the ministers of Christ guide their flock with true wisdom and fidelity ; and may the people follow their godly counsels. May the rich have compassion on the poor, and learn to trust, not in uncertain riches, but in the living God. May the poor of this world be rich in faith and a contented spirit, and heirs of thy kingdom. Give thy grace to husbands and wives, parents and children, masters and servants, that in their several relations, they may so behave themselves, as to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. May all who are endeared to us, by whatever ties, be dear to Thee, and have their final portion with the saints in thy glorious kingdom. And now that we are about to lay ourselves down to rest, receive us, O Lord, into thy gracious protection. Refresh us with comfortable sleep; and when we awake in the morning, may our first thoughts be directed to Thee, our merciful Preserver. Defend us from the powers of darkness, and from all evil accidents: and may our minds enjoy such delightful views of Thee and of thy glory, and be so weaned from this world, that we may be willing, at thy call, to depart hence, and to be with Christ. Hear, O Lord, these our imperfect prayers, which we present unto Thee, in the name, and through the mediation of Jesus Christ. Our Father, &c.
FOR A FRIEND AT SEA.*
O THOU, who art the everlasting God; the Creator of the ends of the earth: We know Thou art the God of the sea as well as the land ; for Thou makest the clouds thy chariot, and the dark waters thy pavilion. The el. ements obey thy voice, and all nature is subject to thy control. With humble confidence we approach Thee, and entreat thy protecting care in behalf of our friend, who is now exposed to the dangers of the ocean. We know not what things await him, nor can we tell the changes, through which he may be called to pass but to Thee we commend him,—and wherever he may be, and under whatever circumstances placed, implore for him thy presence and blessing. Preserve his life and health ; and if at any time, he should be threatened with sudden destruction, O hear Thou his cry, and turn not away thine ear from his entreaties, but save him from death; that he may live to praise Thee, and to make mention of thy goodness, in the congregation of thy people. And if he shall return no more to us, may we meet
* With a little variation, the same form may be used for one who is going to sea, or for a number of persons.
PRAYER TO BE USED IN TIME OF WAR.
him in heaven-which we ask, for the sake of our Lord Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever. Amen.
ON THE RETURN OF A FRIEND
O GOD, Thou art good, and Thou doest good, and thy tender mercies are over all the works of thy hands. We thank Thee for the privilege of addressing thy throne at all times, and offering unto Thee the grateful homage of our hearts.--And, now that Thou hast heard our prayer, and returned in safety, our friend from the dangers of the mighty deep, we desire to render Thee the tribute of praise and thanksgiving. While others have gone out to return no more, he has been spared ; and while those who were dear to them, are weeping with sorrow, we are filled with joy. O help us to testify our gratitude, by the holiness of our lives and to show by our obedience to thy will, that we are truly thankful for thy favours. Through all the remaining vicissitudes of our earthly state, may we trust in Theeand in death, be enabled to commit our souls to Him, who hath loved us, and given himself for us, and to whom as unto a faithful Creator, with the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all glory for ever. Amen.
PRAYER FOR A FAMILY, TO BE
USED IN A TIME OF WAR.
ETERNAL, and Almighty Lord God! Thou livest and reignest for ever and ever, and art disposing all