« AnteriorContinuar »
cipients of thy goodness; and froely may we give. Sanction the institutions and efforts by which we are endeavouring to spread the benefits of the gospel. God be merciful unto us, and bless us, that his way may be known on earth, his saving health among all nations.
O remember the number called in various ways to suffer. Bless their daily rod, as well as their daily bread. May they feel impressions which shall never wear off: may they learn such lessons as shall never be forgotten: may they enjoy such consolations as shall enable them to say, It is good for me that I have been afflicted.
And to God only wise be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
O Thou everlasting God, the creator of all the ends of the earth, and the father of the spirits of all flesh—We have destroyed ourselves, but in Thee is our help. Our nature is defiled; all the powers of our souls are degraded; we are vile, we are miserable; we are without strength. We condemn ourselves, and confess that we deserve to perish. If ever we are saved, it must be by goodness the most undeserved and astonishing; not only by mercy, but abundant mercy; not Only by grace, but the exceeding riches of thy grace.
And, such mercy and grace Thou hast been pleased to reveal and to promise and to exemplify. Thou hast told us thy designs, and unlike the forebodings of our guilty minds, they are thoughts of peace and not of evil.
We bless Thee for devising means to rescue us from the perdition of sin, and restore us to a state of happiness and honour and safety, superior to our original condition. We bless Thee for the provisions of the everlasting covenant, and for the constitution of a Mediator between Thee and us. We rejoice that He failed not, nor was discouraged, but accomplished the work that was given Him to do, and said on the cross, It is finished. We exult in the thought that now thy justice is satisfied, thy truth established, thy law magnified, and a foundation laid even in thy own glory for our hope.
May we look after present and personal interest in Christ, and never rest till we can say—Surely he hath borne our grief, and carried our sorrow; the chastisement of our peace was upon him, and by his stripes we are healed. May we know that in Him we have righteousness and strength, and are blessed with all spiritual blessings. While we are justified by his blood, may we be saved by his life. While we glory in his cross, may we bow to his sceptre, and long to have the same mind in us which was also in Him;
knowing that if we have not the spirit of Christ we are none of his.
We are convinced that it is our happiness as well as duty to walk in thy ways, to keep thy statutes, and to submit to thy appointments; but we are equally convinced that thy grace alone is sufficient for us, and that without Thee we can do nothing. We cannot even stand, but as we are upholden by thy free spirit But with Thee is the residue of the Spirit; and Thou hast engaged to give thy holy Spirit to them that ask Thee: yea Thou hast said, Open thy mouth wide, and I will fill it Bless us therefore with constant and increasing supplies of grace and strength: work in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure; and fulfil in us all the good pleasure of thy goodness, and the work of faith with power.
May our religion,, instead of being an occasional and partial thing, be universal and invariable in its influence and effects. May we be in the fear of the Lord every day, arid all the day long. May we hold communion with Thee in thy works as well as m thy word, and in the dispensations of thy providence as well as in the ordinances of thy house.
May we always distinguish between the form of godliness and the power thereof, and between life and a name to live. What is the hope of the hypocrite, though he hath gained, when Thou takest away hie soul! O make us Israelites indeed in whom is no guile. Often may we examine ourselves, and inquire whether our religion will bear the eye of God. If we are not right, set us right and keep us right Search us, O'God, and know our heart; try us, and know our thoughts; and see if there be any wicked way in us, and lead us in the way everlasting.
Impress us with a conviction of the vanity of the world, and the brevity and uncertainty of the time of our continuance here; that we may keep the end of life in view, and apply our hearts unto wisdom.
We are ignorant, and liable to a thousand delusions: but Thou knowest what is good for us. To Thee therefore we commit our works and otlr way; and to Thee we refer the choice of our inheritance.
Only be with us, and keep us in the path that we go, and give us bread to eat, and raiment to put on, so tliat we come to our Father's house in peace; and the Lord shall be our God.
And may the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with us all, now and forever. Amen.
O Con, Thou hast been the refuge and toe dwelling-place of thy people in all genera
Hona To Thee the poor and the needy have always repaired for succour; and they that know thy name will put their trust in Thee. And to whom should we go but unto Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. There is no blessing we can implore, but Thou art able to give, and hast promised to give, and hast given already to a countless multitude, all unworthy and guilty like ourselves. Yea Thou hast not spared thine own Son, but delivered Him up for us all: and wilt Thou not with Him also freely give us all things!
O make us more willing to receive the supply of all our need from thy riches in glory by Christ Jesus. And for this purpose, convince us of sin. Show us our true character and condition in thy sight Take away the stone out of our hearts, and give us hearts of flesh. May we feel and bewail our folly and ingratitude, our pride and unbelief, the rebellion of our lives, and the corruption of our nature. May we sorrow after a godly sort, and abhor ourselves repenting in dust and ashes. Through the law, may we die unto the law, and despair of obtaining life but from thy own sovereign mercy. May we look with wonder and submission, and gratitude and delight, to the provision which Thou hast made for the glory of thy own name in the salvation of sinners. May we believe in Him whom Thou hast set forth as a propitiation for sin, and as the end of the law for righteousness: may we know Him in the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of his sufferings,' and be made conformable unto his death.
Give us that hope which maketh not ashamed. Inspire us with that love which excites to all holy obedience. Pour into our hearts that joy of the Lord which is the strength of thy people; and enable us to say with Paul, The life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
And when we cannot pronounce on our own interest in divine things, may we still persevere in duty. May we wait on the Lord, and keep his way; and be humble and earnest suppliants at thy footstool, assured that they who hunger and thirst after righteousness, are blessed, and shall be filled.
Preserve us from that levity and indifference which are so unbecoming creatures who live continually under the eye of God, and are always on the brink of an eternal world.
May we discover nothing like selfishness and unkindness, while professing to be the followers of Him who pleased not Himself; who when rich for our sakes became poor, and went about doing good.
Let us hold ourselves at thy disposal, not only with regard to the duties, but events of life. Whatever preferences we feel, may we submit them all to thy infinite wisdom, and
say, Nevertheless not my will but thine be done. If we are called to resign any of our enjoyments, may we remember that it is the absolute proprietor and our best friend who requires them; and yield them up in the spirit of him who when stripped of all could say, The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
But make us thankful for the continuance of our comforts; and that in a world of such changes and misery our indulgences have been so many and our trials so few.
Especially would we be grateful for the means of grace and the ordinances of religion, which still await us notwithstanding all our unworthiness and provocations. O Lord, teach us to profit by them more than we have done; and as to-morrow is the rest of the holy sabbath unto the Lord our God, may we be in the Spirit on thy own day, and enter it in a state of mind suited to its solemnities, duties, and privileges. May we leave every thing worldly at the foot of the mount, while we go to worship God above. May we experience the blessedness of the man, whose strength is in Thee, and in whose heart are the ways of them. May we go from strength to strength; and at last may every one of us in Zion appear before God.
O Lord God of hosts, hear our prayer; give ear, O God of Jacob. Behold, O God, our shield, and look upon the face of thine anointed. Amen.
O Thou Most High! Thine eyes are in every place beholding the evil and the good: thine eyes behold, and thine eyelids try the children of men. We hope we can appear to thy omniscience, and say, In the way of thy appointments we are now waiting for Thee, while our desire is to thy name, and to the remembrance of Thee.
We are sinners, but not insensible of our state. Our iniquities are great and numberless; but with a broken heart and a contrite spirit we pray to be delivered from them, and led in the wav everlasting. Our case is desperate in itself, but there is hope in Israel concerning this thing. The combined help of men and angels could not reach our misery: but Thou art adequate to our relief.
Thou art rich in mercy. The blood of Jesus Christ thy Son clranseth from all sin. The agency of thy Holy Spirit can subdue the most powerful corruptions. Heal us and we shall be healed; save us and we shall be saved: for Thou art our praise. Hide thy face from our sin, and blot out all our iniquity. Create in us also, O God, a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us. Illuminate our understandings with the light of life. May we know the truth, and may the truth make us free. Give us tender and wakeful consciences; and may they always smite ond torment us when we sin against God. May we be consistent and uniform in the whole of our conversation and conduct; the some alone and in company; in prosperity and adversity; esteeming all thy commandments concerning all things to be right, and hating every false way—Israelites indeed, in whom there is no guile.
May we never be satisfied with any present progression in the divine life: but this one thing may we do, forgetting the things that are behind, and reaching forth unto those that are before, press towards the mark for the prize of our high calling of God in Christ Jesus. May we add to our faith virtue; and to virtue knowledge; and to knowledge temperance; and to temperance godliness; and to godliness brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness charity: and may all these things not only be in us but abound.
And while we never forget what is necessary to constitute the christian character, may we never neglect what is needful to complete it May we cultivate the expedient and the lovely. May we be concerned to adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour; to recommend the religion of Jesus to all around us; and to induce observers to say, We will go with you, for we have heard that God is with you.
Enable us to accommodate ourselves to the dispensations of thy providence, with the views and feelings of Christians. May we know how to be abased, and how to abound; may we learn in whatsoever state we are, therewith to be content; yea, in everything may we give thanks, knowing that all the ways of the Lord are mercy and truth to those that trust in Him.
May we feel the ties that unite us to our fellow-creatures, especially to our fellowchristians. By sympathy, and praise and prayer, may we make their mercies and miseries our own; rejoicing with them that rejoice, and weeping with them that weep.
Regard the sons and daughters of distress: and as afflictions ore not immutable dispensations, and we are allowed to pray for temporal blessings conditionally, if it be thy pleasure command deliverance for them: or should thy wisdom continue the trial, keep them from sinking or sinning in the evil day; let thy strength be made perfect in their weakness; and in the multitude of their thoughts within them may thy comforts delight their souls.
Be with those who will pass the day in absence from thy dear abode. Though Thou art with thy people in trouble, yet Thou hast
taught them by experience to value thy ordinances, and to esteem a day in thy courts better than a thousand. O let them not pass an unprofitable, though a silent sabbath: let their meditation of Thee be sweet; and though not in thy house, may they be in thy Spirit on thy own day.
And make those thankful who are exempted from spiritual privations, and have liberty and health and strength to go into thy house in the multitude of thy mercies.
We bless Thee that this is our privilege. May we know the day of our visitation, and embrace the things that belong to our peace. May we hear with solemnity of mind, knowing that for all these things God will bring us into judgment May we hear with prayer, remembering that whoever may plant or water, Thou alone canst give the increase. May we be doers of the word, and not hearers only; and may we keep in memory what is preached unto us, that we may not believe m vain.
May we carry into ordinary life the various portions of divine truth which successively engage our attention, and use them as seasons and circumstances render them suitable: may its doctrines inform, its warnings caution, its rules guide, and its promises comfort us, till we have received the end of our faith, the salvation of our souls.
Bless the congregation in whose devotions we are to mingle. Let thy minister be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints shout aloud for joy. O Thou holy and beautiful house, where our fathers praised Thee, peace be within thy walls—For our brethren and companions' sakes we will now say. Peace be within thee.
And bless, we beseech Thee, all tby churches and all thy servants of every name. Plead thy own cause. Build up Zion. Establish and make Jerusalem a praise in the whole earth. May many run to and fro, and knowledge be increased: and may all know Thee from the least even to the greatest Our Father, &c.
Quicken our souls to call upon thy name: pour upon us the Spirit of grace and of supplication; and in our enlivened and enlarged experience, may we know that Thou art not only the gracious rewarder, but the Almighty helper of them that diligently seek Thee.
For such, O God, is the ignorance of our minds, the vagrancy of our thoughts, the earthliness of our affections, and the unbelief* of our hearts, that without Thee we can do nothing. But the preparation of the heart and the answer of the tongue are from Thee. Thy Spirit helps our infirmities. Thy grace is sufficient for us. Unite our hearts to fear
tJiy name: enable us to come even to thy seat; and may our fellowship be with the God of love.
May we approach Thee, not as the eternal Jehovah only, but as our Father and our Friend, our exceeding joy, the strength of our heart and our portion for ever. May we not only exercise that faith by which we understand the worlds were made by the word of God. May we not only believe in Thee as the God of nature and providence, but in Jesus Christ whom Thou hast sent, and sent to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself We feel discouragements resulting from our guilty fears, and find it hard to believe that on our return Thou wilt meet us in peace. We therefore bless Thee for the displaying of the exceeding riches of thy grace, in thy kindness towards us by Christ Jesus: and we rejoice in the blessed intelligence, that (Jod was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself, not imputing their iniquities unto them.
These glad tidings we have this day been hearing. O Lord, Thou knowest how often we have heard the joyful sound; and Thou knowest the manner in which we have received it We have reason to fear that many have received it in vain; that their hearing has only added to their guilt; and that their sabbaths have been only employed in treasuring- up wrath against the day of wrath. O what would the spirits in prison give for one of our opportunities, one of our offers of mercy! How many now sitting in darkness and m the regions of the shadow of death, would exult at the entrance of that light, against which we shut our eyes, or which we behold with indiflerence?
Awaken, O Lord, in our consciences the inquiry, How shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation!
May we believe the report we have this day heard; and keep in memory what has been preached unto us, lest we believe in vain. May we hide thy word in our hearts, that we may not sin against Thee. May the truth as it is in Jesus illuminate in us all that is dark, sanctify in us all that is unholy, establish all that is wavering, comfort all that is wretched, and accomplish in us all the good pleasure of thy goodness and the work of faith with power; that the name of our Lord Jesus Christ may be glorified in us, and that we may be glorified in Him.
We sometimes hope Thou hast commenced a good work in us; we hope that we have begun to see the evil of sin, to hunger and thirst after righteousness; that we are askmg the way to Zion, with our faces thitherward; and are praying, Remember me, O Lord, with the favour Thou bearest unto thy people.
Command and enable us to go forward. Take us by the hand, and lead us on from
strength to strength. Let the dawn break into the perfect day; and the blade become the full corn in the ear.
We live in a world of changes, but Thou art the same: may we know that Thou hast made with us an everlasting covenant ordered in all things and sure. We are pressing through a vale of tears, but we bless Thee for the opening glory at the end of it Enable us to realize as our own, a better even a heavenly country. Prepare us for every part of our pilgrimage: uphold our goings in thy word; and let no iniquity have dominion over us.
May we rejoice as though we rejoiced not, and weep as though we wept not; and buy as though we possessed not; and use this world as not abusing it
We would sympathize with those who are in distress. Give to them that mourn in Zion, beauty for ashes, the oil. of joy for mourning, and the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness.
Bless all the institutions which are established to diffuse the Scriptures and to send forth missionaries. Remember those who have gone forth to preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ Preserve their health, their morals, their spirituality, their zeal: let them be examples of all they teach: and be thou a little sanctuary to them among the heathen. May all the events that take place in the nations of the earth subserve the spread of the Redeemer's empire; and may we exult in the period when the earth shall be filled with the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the sea.
And to God the Father, the Son, and Holy Ghost, be praises for ever and ever. Amen.
The heavens declare thy glory, O God, and the firmament showeth thy handy-work. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night showeth knowledge; and there is no speech nor language where their voice is not heard. We behold displays of thy wisdom, power, and goodness, m all thy works, from the largest of them to the least
But Thou hast magnified thy word above all thy name; and we can never be sufficiently thankful for the revelation of thy will in the scriptures of truth. We bless Thee that this sacred volume has been preserved, and translated, and published, and multiplied, so that we all have it in our possession, and can read in our own tongue the wonderful works of God. Here we see not only thy greatness, but thy grace; and notr only thy pity, but thy rectitude; we see mercy and truth meeting together, righteousness and peace kissing each other. Here thou hast shined in our hearts to give us the light of
the knowledge of thy glory in the face of Jesus Christ
For in Him Thou hast reconciled the world unto thyself, not imputing their trespasses unto them. Thou hast made Him to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. And Thou hast raised Him up from the dead, and given Him glory, that our faith and hope may be in God. May the hearts thus tenderly wooed be effectually won. At the view of this infinite kmdness, may we resign all our unworthy and suspicious thoughts; and placing our confidence in Thee, return and say—Lord, I am thine, save me. I/iok Thou upon me, and bo merciful unto me, as Thou usest to do unto those that love thy name.
We ask not to be enrolled among the rich and the great of this world, but to be numbered with those who are blessed with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ The graves are ready for us, and we sliall soon be in a state that will render it a matter of indifference to us whether we have been rich or poor, whether we have filled a cottage or a palace—But it will be eternally important to us that we have been justified by thy grace, and sanctified by thy Spirit, and adopted into thy family. May we therefore be wise unto salvation; and make it our present, our supreme, our persevering concern, to obtain those blessings which are spiritual in their nature, eternal in their continuance, satisfying in their possession, and which unerringly indicate that we are the friends of God.
Preserve us from a false estimate of the whole of our character, or of any part of it May we regard our principles as well as our conduct, our motives as well as our actions. May we never mistake the excitement of our passions, for the renewing of the Holy Ghost May we never judge of our religion by occasional impressions and impulses, but by our constant and prevailing disposition. May our heart be right with God, and our life such as becomcth the gospel.
May we maintain a supreme regard to another and a better world, and feel and confess ourselves to be only strangers and pilgrims in this. How often by bodily infirmities and pains, by relative afflictions, and by dissatisfactions growing out of every enjoyment— how often have we been told—O when shall we be taught—that this is not our rest? O God, not only command, but enable us to arise and depart hence. Afford us all the direction, all the defence, all the support, all the consolation our journey will require. Give us in large abundance the supply of the spirit of Jesus Christ, that we may be prepared tor every duty; that we may love Thee in all our mercies; that we may submit to Thee in every trial. May we trust Thee when we walk in darkness and have no light:
and amidst all the changes of the present a no the uncertainties of the future, may oar minds be kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon God.
Hast Thou not made with OS an ererlasting covenant ordered in all things and sore? The very hairs of our head—are they not all numbered! Are not all thy ways mercy and truth! Lord, we believe, help Thou our unbelief.
And now unto Him that is able to keep as from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy —To the only wise God, our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and for ever. Amen.
O Lord, Thou art over all by thy providential agency, and rich unto all that cail upon Thee in the exercise of thy mercy and grace. With Thee is the fountain of life, and in thy light shall we see light
Help us to consider the way, the new and living way, in which a fallen creature can approach Thee with acceptance. May we behold the Lamb of God that taketh away the sin of the world. May we contemplate the dignity of his person, the perfection of his sacrifice, and the prevalency of his intercession, who is the great High Priest over the house of God. May we feel the distance between Thee and us done away, and rejoice that now in Christ Jesus, we who sometimes were afar off) are made nigh by the blood of Christ
A glorious,high throne from the beginning has been the place of thy people's sanctuary: and we have found it good to be there. O what a resource is devotion!—When under all the toils that weary us, the cares that corrode us, the infirmities that press us down, the fe&H that disturb us; in every thing by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, we can make known our supplication unto God, and feel a peace Which passeth all understanding, keeping our hearts and minds through Christ Jesus!
We were as sheep going astray, but are now returned unto the shepherd and bishop of our souls. Yet we feel the same grace that restored us, to be necessary to preserve us, and to supply us. And hast not Thou promised to lead us, to guard us, to suffer us to want no good thing, to make all grace to abound towards us? And art not thou a faithful God, and able also to perform? Lord, we take Thee at thy word. Do as Thou hast said.
We have tasted that Thou art gracious, and the relish has provoked our desires after more: and they who hunger and thirst after righteousness arc blessed, and shall be filled. Make us to he down in green pastures, and feed us beside the still waters, where we snail