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works of thy hands. Thou hast made summer and winter. Thou hast appointed the moon for seasons, and the sun knoweth his going down. The day is thine: the night also is thine: and Thou makest the outgoings of the morning and evening to rejoice. To that throne, from which none were ever repulsed or sent empty away, we again approach for mercy and grace to help in time of need. Let our prayer come before Thee as incense, and the lifting up of our hands as the evening sacrifice. Preserve us from formality m these exercises in which we so daily engage; and alarm our fears, lest we should provoke Thee to say. In vain do they worship me.
For this purpose, enable us to realize thine all-seeing eye; to remember with whom we have to do, and what we have to do with Him. May we deeply feel the guilt of the sins we confess, and hunger and thirst after the blessings we implore. And while we review the numberless blessings we have received from thy hands, may we be more than ever sensible of our nnworthiness, that our hearts may be unfeignedly thankful, and that we may be disposed to show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in in our lives, by giving up ourselves to thy service, and walking before Thee in holiness and righteousness all our days.
He that is our God is the God of salvation, and unto God the Lord belong the issues from death. We bless Thee this evening as the preserver of men. Another day has been added, by thy good providence, to the season of thy long-suffering, and the time of our preparation for eternity. We lament that the design of our being placed and continued here has been so imperfectly subserved, that in so many things we have offended, and in all come short of the glory of God. If where much is given, much will be required, and the servant who knew his Lord's will and did it not, shall be beaten with many stripes—O Lord, if Thou shouldst mark our iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand! We cannot answer Thee for one of a thousand of our transgressions: the review of a single day is enough to plunge us into despair—our only relief is, that there is forgiveness with Thee, and that with Thee there is plenteous redemption.
But while we hope in thy mercy we would not abuse it We would not sin, that grace may abound; or be evil, because Thou art good. But since Thou art good and ready to forgive, we would the more ingenuously grieve that ever we have offended a Being so worthy of our devotedness, and be the more concerned in future to walk so as to please Thee.
Create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us. Set a watch, O God, npon our mouth; keep the door of our lips.
And in simplicity and godly sincerity, not with fleshly wisdom, but by thy grace, may we have our conversation—in the world, and in the church, and in the family.
We again commend ourselves to thy care: as Thou hast been through the day our sun and our shield, be Thou through the night our shade and our shield. Undisturbed by anxieties, unalarmed by fears, undistressed by pain or indisposition, may we retire and enjoy repose. Remind us, by putting off our garments and lying down to sleep, of putting off the body, and sleeping in the grave, the house appointed for afl living. Prepare us for the night of death, the morning of the resurrection, and the day of judgment
And all we implore is through the mediation of Him who bore the sins of many, and made intercession for the transgressors: to whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be endless praises. Amen.
We would address Thee, O God, in the language of the publican—which so well becomes us; and say, from our hearts, God be merciful to me a sinner. Sinners we are by nature and practice; sinners thy word proclaims us to be; sinners we hope we feel ourselves to be; and acknowledge that Thou art justified when Thou speakest, and clear when Thou judgest
Yet Thou hast not left us to despair: nor have we a mere peradventurc to encourage us—who can tell if God will return and repent, and leave a blessing behiud him that we perish not? We have all the assurance we could desire, that with the Lord there is mercy, and with him plenteous redemption. Conscious of the number and heinousness of our offences, we could not have approached Thee with confidence without a previous token for good. But Thou hast stretched forth the golden sceptre, and said—Touch and live: I will be merciful to thy unrighteousness, and thy sins and iniquities wfll I remember no more. May we encourage ourselves by a sense of thy all-sufficiency, by faith in thy promises, by views of the experience of others; and ask and receive, that our joy may be full. To that dear refuge in which so many have been sheltered from every 'storm, may we repair: and in that fountain for sin, always opon and free for all, may we be cleansed from every defilement
I/ml, we believe—help Thou our unbelief —that sin is exceeding sinful; it is the abominable thing which thy soul hateth; and this, and this alone, separates between Thee and us. Thou canst not contradict the essential perfections of thy nature: and Thou canst not make us happy with thyself, till Thou hast made us holy like thyself O Thou holy God, deliver us from all our iniquities, and make us such creatures as Thou canst take pleasure in, and such creatures as can take pleasure in Thee. While many are asking, Who will show us any good t may the cry of our heart be, Lord, lift Thou up the light of thy countenance upon us. May we consent to the law of God that it is good; may we delight in thy law after the inner man. May we never complain of the strictness of thy demands, but mourn over our want of conformity to them. May we esteem all thy commandments concerning all things to be right, and hate every false way. Put thy Spirit within us, that our practice may spring from principle, and our dispositions be congenial with duty; so that we may resemble Him who could say, My meat is to do the will of Him that sent me, and to fmish his work.
We live in a world of changes; but with Thee there is no variableness, nor shadow of turning. May we know that Thou, the eternal God, art our refuge, and that underneath us are thine everlasting arms. Creatures die; friends and relations die. The fathers where are they i And the prophets do they live for ever? But the Lord liveth, and blessed be our rock, and lei the God of our salvation be exalted.
May we never forget that we are mortal— ourselves. May we never put the evil day far off May we frequently and seriously think of a dying hour: may we faithfully inquire, What will be its issue with regard to us, and what preparation have we for it? And may we never rest satisfied, till we are enabled to view it as the period of our release and the end of our conflict; till we can say with Paul, Thanks be unto God who has given us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ
Take us this day under thy protection; and make use of us for thy glory. Let thy presence go with us; and do Thou give us rest Let thy love sweeten our comforts, and thy grace sanctify all our trials. We consecrate ourselves to Thee, body, soul, and spirit Accept of our persons and services; and enable us to ascribe blessing, and honour, and glory, and power, unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb, for ever and ever. Amen.
THURSDAY EVENING. O God, all thy works praise Thee, and thy saints bless Thee. By thy mercies we again surround this family altar, and engage in the exercises of devotion. May we be concerned to worship Thee, a holy God, in the beauty of holiness; and to worship Thee, who art a Spirit, in spirit and in truth. Such worship alone thy word requires; but «uch worship
thy grace alone can enable us to render. For we know from thy word, and from oar own experience we know, that without Thee we can do nothing. All our sufficiency is of thee; do Thou work in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure.
We would call to remembrance our true character and condition before Thee. We would not go about to establish our own righteousness, or seek to deny or extenuate our guilt We are not only unprofitable servants, but condemned criminals: we confess the number and offensiveness of our transgressions, and acknowledge that we deserve to perish. But we bless Thee for the ererlasting consolation and good hope through grace, which the gospel affords; for the news of a Mediator between Thee and us; of a High Priest who has put away sin by the sacrifice of himself; of an Advocate with the Father who ever lives to make intercession for us; and of a Saviour in whom it has pleased Thee that all fulness should dwell.
Produce in us all the feelings of those who are blessed with repentance uuto life. Give us that faith by which we can be justified from all things, and have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ To the shadow of the Redeemer's cross may we retreat, and there find security and relief, refreshment and delight Assure us of an interest in thy favour, which is life; and clothe us with thine image, which is the beauty and dignity of the soul.
We bless Thee for thy Word which we have been reading. May it dwell in us richly in all wisdom. May we yield a suitable attention to its various parts, limy we make it, not only our song in the house of our pilgrimage, but the man of our counsel, a light unto our feet, and a lamp unto our paths. May we take it along with us into all the concerns of life; and whether we are rich or poor, whether we are parents or children, whether we are appointed to govern or serve. may we walk by this rule, that mercy and peace may be upon us.
May we ever be willing that the Lord should choose our inheritance for us, and readily and piously accommodate ourselves to the dispensations of thy providence. May we never lean to our own understanding. May we never take a step without asking counsel of the Lord, nor be unwilling to take one at the intimation of thy pleasure. May we never think that Thou art less wise and righteous and good in a cloudy and dark day, than in a shining one; when we cannot trace Thee, may we trust; and walking by faith and not by sight, be fully persuaded that just and right are all thy ways, O thou King of Saints.
Regard those who, under the pressure of affliction, are saying, Brethren, pray for us. Be with them in trouble. Thou knowest the anxieties of thy people, lest by any of their temper or carriage in the evil day, they should injure the religion they profess: let thy grace be sufficient for them: let faith and patience have their perfect work: let them glorify Thee in the fires.
Bless the king, and have respect unto the government under which we live in all its departments. May this Christian country be a country of Christiana Pour out of thy Spirit upon our great men; and let not those who are able to serve the state by their talents injure it by their vices.
May all those who are placed above others in condition, go before them in the profession of truth and the practice of holiness, and be examples to all inferior ranks in society.
And may the grace of, &c. Amen.
FRIDAY MORNING. O Thod eternal God! with Thee is the fountain of life. Thou art the Father of men and angels. Thou art the Governor of the universe, and the Judge of all. Thou dost from thy throne behold all the dwellers upon earth : and there is not a word on our tongue, or a thought in our heart, but lo! O Lord, Thou knowest it altogether. And Thou art not a God that hast pleasure in wickedness, neither can evil dwell with Thee.
How then can we presume to enter thy presence, who have rendered ourselves guilty before Thee, and have provoked thy righteous displeasure? O wretched creatures that we are! We have wearied thy patience, we have abused thy goodness, we have trampled on thy authority, and we have said unto God, Depart from us! we desire not the knowledge of thy ways. We lie at thy mercy. If Thou pity us not we are undone. But Thou art long-suffering, not willing that any should perish. Hast Thou not sworn by thyself, that Thou hast no pleasure in the death of him that dieth! Hast Thou not delivered up thine own Son for us all? And wilt Thou not with Him also freely give us all things?
Through Him as the way, the truth, and the life, may we return to Thee; and find Thee waiting to be gracious, and exalted to have mercy upon us. Awaken our consciences. Enlighten us in the knowledge of sin and of ourselves. May we feel our personal depravity, misery, and helplessness; and from self-despair, may we be led to value the discoveries of the gospel, and to flee for refuge to lay hold upon the hope set before us. May we rejoice m the suitableness, the all-sufficiency, and the perfect willingness of the Saviour; and find in Him for ourselves individually, wisdom and righteousness, and sanctification and redemption. As our prophet may we receive his mstructions. As our High Priest, may we rely on his sacrifice and intercession. As our Prince, may we obey
Him. As our example, may we follow Him: and whatsoever we do, in word or deed, may we do all in the name of the Lord Jesus.
May integrity and uprightness preserve us. May we be Israelites indeed in whom is no guile; and herein exercise ourselves, to have always a conscience void of oflence towards God and towards man. May the same mind govern us, and the same spirit actuate us, in prosperity and adversity, alone and in public, m thy house and in our own. May we fulfil our course with diligence and perseverance, and at last finish it with joy. When we have passed the wilderness, and our eyes behold the swellings of Jordan, deliver us from every fear; and give us a dry-shod passage over— an abundant entrance into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour.
But, O Lord, we would not reach that felicity alone. May we awaken the attention of others, and induce them to join us in the path of life; ever remembermg that if we convert a sinner from the error of his way, we shall save a soul from death, and shall hide a multitude of sins. May we therefore seek every opportunity of usefulness. May we walk m wisdom towards them that are without May we hold forth the word of life, and adom the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things—To whom be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever, Amen.
O God, Thou art greatly to be feared in the assembly of the saints, and to be had in reverence of all them that are about Thee. Thou art King of kings, and Lord of lords: Thou art the blessed and only potentate: Thou only hast immortality—thy greatness is unsearchable: but thy name is Love. Thy compassions never fail; thy mercies are over all thy works; and Thou hast displayed the exceeding riches of thy grace, in thy kindness towards us by Jesus Christ
We are not only allowed, but even enjoined to seek thy face; and assured, that they who seek the Lord shall not want any good thing. We acknowledge that we have forfeited all claim to thy regard, and are not only unworthy but guilty. We are convinced that if ever we are saved, it must be according to thy mercy, for there is nothing in us from which our recovery can arise, or on which our hope can fix. But thou hast commended thy love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us—died for the ungodly. And thou hast sent the gospel to announce the intelligence, and to certify, that whosoever believeth on Him shall not perish, but have everlasting life.
O Thou God of all grace, as Thou hast given us a Saviour, produce in us that faith by which we shall be enabled to receive Him, and make Him all our desire, all our hope, and all our glory. May we enter Him as our refuge; build on Him as our foundation; walk in Hun as our way; follow Him as our guide; and conform to Him as our example.
May we never be ashamed of Jesus or of his words, but go forth to Him without the camp bearing his reproach. May we never draw upon ourselves reflections by unholy or imprudent conduct, nor count it a glory, when buffeted for a fault, to take it patiently; but if we suffer for truth and righteousness' sake, may we rejoice that we are partakers of Christ's sufferings, knowing that when his glory shall be revealed, we also shall rejoice with exceeding joy.
May we never make the multitude our model; never wait for the company and countenance of others, when conviction derived from thy word excites us to advance. Like Caleb, may we have another spirit, and follow the Lord fully; and with Joshua, say to all around us. Choose you whom you will serve— but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.
Preserve us from the present evil world. May its smiles never allure, nor its frowns terrify us from the path of duty. May its vices never defile, nor its errors delude us. May we not live looking at the things which are seen and temporal, but as heirs of immortality, may we feel that we are strangers and pilgrims on earth, and declare plainly that we seek a country. And may our title to it daily become more clear, and our meetness for it more perfect, and our foretastes of it more abundant
May our house be the tabernacle of the righteous; and let it be ever filled with the voice of rejoicing and of salvation. May those who are stationed at the head of the family know their duty towards those who are placed under their care; and may they know their duty to us: and in our several relations may we walk by the rule of thy word, that mercy and peace may be upon us; and that observers may exclaim, Behold, how good and how pleasant a thing it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!
Bless the religious denomination to which we belong, and let every christian church flourish. Wherever we see the grace of God may we be glad, and willingly leave to the author of all good the choice of his own instruments. Bless the king as supreme, and the government under which we live. Regard all the righteous interests of the country, domestic and foreign. Sanctify and perpetuate and extend our religious advantages. Let thy word have free course and be glorified. Let thy way be known on earth, and thy saving health among all nations.
And now unto Him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh
in us, unto Him be glory in the church, by Christ Jesus, throughout all ages, world with out end. Amen.
O God, Thou art glorious in holiness, fearful in praises, doing wonders. And it is not one of the least of thy wonderful doings towards the children of men, that we are on this side an awful eternity, and not reapmg the due reward of our deeds. Our whole life has been a series of provocations against thy divine majesty. Our offences have not only been countless but aggravated. Conscience has rebuked us; friends have admonished us; the examples of the wise and good have reproached and encouraged us. Thou hast often called us to reflection and repentance by the smart of the rod, and invited and allured us by a profusion of kindnesses. Our iniquities are increased over our head, and our trespass is gone up into the very heaven. And Thou hast seen all our sins, and Thou hast abhorred all; and Thou couldst have easily and justly punished us; yet Thou spared us, and instead of finding' oursehes this morning, in the place where even God has forgotten to be gracious, and lifting up our eyes in hopeless torment, we can lift up our eyes unto the hills from whence corneth our help.
In ourselves we are poor and wretched and miserable, but Thou whom we have offended, even Thou hast provided every supply for our souls; and with the announcement we have the invitation, Come, for all things are now ready. O Lord, we thankfully obey thy call; we accept of thy goodness; we acquiesce in all the appomtments of the GoepeL We believe the record Thou hast given of thy dear Son—that there is salvation in none other, but that in Him there is plenteous redemption; and apply to Him for all the benefits resulting from every office he sustains in the church. We give up our minds implicitly to his instruction; in the sacrifice he once offered, we trust and glory; we revere; we love his authority, and pray that his grace may reign in us through righteousness unto eternal life. We would not—we will not—love a world that crucified Him. We will not cherish or endure the sin that put Him to grief, or suffer Him to be wounded in the house of his friends. At the same cross which relieves our consciences from a burden too heavy for us to bear, we would learn lessons of self-denial, forgiveness, and submission; we would feel motives to obedience, and find resources for all the exigencies of the divine life.
For we rejoice to think that by his being made a curse for us, the blessing of Abraham comes upon the Gentiles, and that we can receive the promise of the Spirit by faith. For his sake, give thy Holy Spirit to them tuat now ask Thee—as a spirit of grace and of supplication, of truth and of holiness, of peace and of consolation; and may we not only possess—but be filled with the Spirit
May we never consider ourselves as de. tached individuals. May we look not every man on his own things only, but also on the things of others. Never may we ask with Cain, when reproved for unkindness, or urged to beneficence, Am I my brother's keeper? But may we love our neighbour as ourselves. May we do good even to the unthankful and the unworthy; may we teach transgressors thy ways, and be the means of converting sinners unto Thee: and may none of our efforts be rendered fruitless by mconsistency of character and reproachfulness of conduct May we be what we profess; and do as well as teach. May all our connexions see as well aa hear our religion, and be constrained to acknowledge that we are the seed which the Lord hath blessed.
We bless Thee that again we have laid us down in peace and slept, because Thou, Lord, only makest us dwell in safety. Into thy hands we commit our bodies and spirits, for our going out and coming in this day. We are more exposed by day than by night; more surrounded with evil, and more liable to the seductions of sin. May we ever regard sin as our greatest foe, and holiness as our noblest attainment And whether we are in solitude or society, lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil; for thine is the . kingdom, and the power and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.
O God, Thou hast made and Thou upholdest all things by the word of thy power. Darkness is thy pavilion. Thou walkest upon the wings of the wind. All nations before Thee are as nothing. One generation passeth away and another comet h; and we are hastening back to the dust whence we were taken. The heavens we behold will vanish away like the cloud that covers them, and the earth we tread will dissolve like a morning dream; but Thou, incapable of change, independent of the vicissitudes of time, and the perishing of worlds, art from everlasting to everlasting, God over all blessed for evermore.
Infinitely great and glorious as Thou art, we are thy offspring and thy care. Thy hands have made us and fashioned us. Thou hast watched over us with more than parental, more than maternal tenderness. Thou hast holden our soul in life, and not suffered our feet to be moved. Thy divine power has given us all things, not only necessary for life but godliness. Bless the Lord, O our soul, and forget not all his benefits, who forgiveth all our iniquities, who healeth all our diseases, who redeemeth our lives from destruction, E
who crowneth us with lovingkindness and tender mercies; who satisfieth our mouth with good things, so that our youth is renewed like the eagle's.
We raise this evening a fresh Ebenezer, and inscribe it to the God of our salvation. Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. We have passed not only through another day, but through another week. The sun has not smitten us by day nor the moon by night We have been preserved in our going out and coming in. But thine has been the vigilance that turned aside the evils which threatened us. Thine have been the supplies that have nourished us. Thine the comforts that have indulged us. Thine the relations and friends that have delighted us. Thine have been the means of grace which have edified us; and thine the book which amid-st all our enjoyments has told us that this is not our rest; and that in all our successes, one thing is yet needful.
Nothmg can equal the number of thy mercies, but our imperfections and sins. These, O God, we would not conceal nor palliate, but confess them with a broken heart and a contrite spirit
In what a condition would our closet-reviews leave us this evening, were it not for the assurance, that there ia forgiveness with Thee, that thou mayest be feared, and with Thee plenteous redemption. Yet while we hope for pardon through the blood of the cross, we pray to be clothed with humility, to be quickened in thy way, and to be more devoted to the things that belong to our everlasting peace.
How soon has the week rolled away! Its days have fled like a dream, a vapour, a shadow—So will all our days flee; so will they all appear when the end arrives. O help us to keep that end in remembrance, and endeavour to view things now as they will appear from the borders of the grave. May we know how frail we are, that we may be cured of the folly of delay and indecision; and so number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom!
May we call the approaching sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord honourable, and may we honour Thee in not doing our own ways, nor finding our own pleasures, nor speaking our own words. May the private moments of the day be sacred, and the social, innocent and edifying. And may we keep our foot when we go to the house of God, and offer not the sacrifice of fools. Let us not go as thy people go, and sit as thy people sit, and hear thy words, but do them not
Preserve us from trifling with the things of the soul and eternity, or trusting in those privileges which unimproved will only augment our guilt and our misery.
Thy people the Jews were distinguished