Imágenes de páginas

to the privileged cotmtry in which we live. Humble us before Thee for our sins, especially our neglect and abuse of our religious advantages. Withdraw not from us the blessings we have forfeited; and inflict not upon us the judgments we have deserved. But spare us according to the greatness of thy mercy.

And from our land of vision, may the light break forth upon all those who are in darkness and the region of the shadow of death.

Bless all missionary exertions. Let the various societies employed in this work of faith and labour of love view each other with pleasure and rejoice in each other's success; and if not in immediate and personal co-operation, yet in accordance, and tendency, and design, may they stand fast in one spirit, with one mind, striving together for the faith of the gospel. Let those who remain at home hold forth the word of life in their own circles, and be concerned to evangelize the districts in which they reside. But O, let there not be a deficiency of those who offer themselves to the help of the Lord among the heathen, and that say, Lord, send me. Let it be said, as it was in the beginning of the gospel—The Lord gave the word, great was the company of them that published it

And be with those that are already engaged. We know that Paul can only plant, and Apollos water; but Thou canst give the increase.

Pour thy Spirit from on high, and the wilderness shall become a fruitful field. Our Father, &c. Amen.



O Thou Author of peace and lover of concord, in knowledge of whom standeth our eternal life, and whose service is perfect freedom; cleanse the thoughts of our hearts by the inspiration of thy Holy Spirit, and give us grace whereby we may serve Thee acceptably, with reverence and with godly fear.

We adore Thee as the Creator of all things, visible and invisible. Thou art the maker of our earth; and Thou art the maker of man upon it: and Thou madest man upright in the possession of thy image and the enjoyment of thy presence. But man, being in honour, abode not Our first father sinned; and we have borne his iniquity. We have gone astray from the womb; and in numberless instances have evinced ourselves to be the degenerate oflspring of a fallen original—and there is no health in us. As transgressors of thy law, we are under the curse; and did our deliverance depend upon ourselves, we must lie down in endless despair. We admit in all its extent the testimony of thy word against us, but ad

mire with gratitude the developement of a plan of mercy and grace divinely appropriate to all our wants and woes, and unitmg the highest display of thy highest glory with the salvation of sinners.

Adored be the benevolence that led the Son of thy love, before the foundation of the world, to say, Lo! I come to do thy will, O Go*; thy law is within my heart Blessed be the day when the angels saw Him who was rich for our sakes becoming poor, that we through his poverty might be rich. Blessed be the hour, when the Prince of Life bore our sins in his own body on the tree; and having obtained eternal redemption for as, ascended up on high, leading captivity captive, and receiving gifts for men, even the rebellious also, that the Lord God might dwell among them. We rejoice that Christianity was originally preached, with the Holy Ghost sent down from heaven; and in the demonstration of the Spirit was so firmly established, that the gates of hell can never prevail against it We praise Thee that at so early a period the Sun of Righteousness, in the knowledge of the gospel, arose with healing under his wings upon this distinguished island, and said, Arise, shine, for thy light is come, and the glory of the Lord is risen upon thee. And O what reason have we to be thankful if this gospel has come to us, not in word only, but in power, and in the Holy Ghost, and in much assurance.

For we bless Thee, that though miracles have ceased, yet thy Spirit is insured to thy people to the end of the world, as the source of light and life, and peace and joy; giving testimony to the word of thy grace, and working in the souls of men to will and to do of thy good pleasure.

O Thou Author of all good, save us, we beseech Thee, by the washing of regeneration and the renewing of the Holy Ghost May we be found in the number of those who are born of the Spirit, and give evidence of it by our walking after the Spirit, and our minding the things of the Spirit Instead of judging ourselves by dreams, fancies, and impressions, may we prove what is acceptable unto the Lord, and remember that the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodness, and righteousness, and truth.

We desire, O God, to acknowledge Out entire dependence upon Thee. Whatever time we have been engaged in Thy service, we are still in the body, and feel our need of the continuance of those counsels, supports, and consolations, which have ever been afforded us. Cast us not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from" us.

In all the dangers to which we are exposed, uphold us by thy free Spirit; and may we not think it enough to be preserved from falling, but may we go forward, and be always abounding in the work of the Lord. Strengthen us with might by thy Spirit, in the inner man, for every purpose of the Christian life; and may we be satisfied with no attainment, till we are filled with all the fulness ofGod.

Awaken the careless; convince of their error and guilt all those who deny or vilify the work of thy grace; and plant in their consciences the conviction, that if any man have not the spirit of Christ he is none of his.

Pour the spirit of grace and of supplication upon all our congregations. Bless the ministry of the gospel, and make it the ministration of the Spirit, and the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth.

But how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without a preacher i How many are there, who by the wretchedness of their condition, if not by their actual desire, are saying, Come over and help us!

Hast Thou not commanded us to pray that thy kingdom may come? Hast not Thou promised that the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas?

May we encourage our expectation by reviewing what Thou hast already accomplished, and remembering that Thou art a God of truth, and—the Almighty. May we therefore realize in our minds the delightful period when the heathen shall cast their idols to the moles and to the bats; when Mahometanism and antichrist shall perish; when the Jews shall look upon Him whom they have pierced, and mourn; and among Protestants, every plant which our heavenly Father hith not planted, shall be rooted up.

But whv are thy chariot wheels so long in coming? Why does the whole creation groan and travail in pain together until now? How many would say, I/jrd, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace, according to thy word—could their eyes see thy salvation, which Thou hast prepared before the face of all people; a light to lighten the gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

While using the means, may we trust in thy wisdom as well as thy faithfulness: and hear the voice saying, I the Lord will hasten it—in his time.

And to God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed the kingdom, power, and glory, both now and for ever. Amen.


O Thou Father of mercies, and God of all comfort—Thou hast often invited us to thyself by a profusion of kindnesses; and it manifests our depravity, that we think of Thee so little in the hour of ease and prosperity. But we are now before Thee in affliction and

distress. Yet we rejoice to know that Thou art a very present and an all-sufficient help in trouble.

Thou takest away, and who can hinder Thee, or say unto Thee, What doest Thou? Thou hast a right to do what Thou wilt with thine own. Thou art a sovereign, and the reasons of thy conduct are often far above out of our sight: but thy work is perfect, thy ways are judgment All thy dispensations are wise, and righteous, and kind—kind, even when they seem to be severe.

May we hear thy voice in thy rod, as well as in thy word; and gathering from the corrections with which we are exercised the peaceable fruit of righteousness, be able to acknowledge with all our suffering brethren before us, It is good for me that'I have been afflicted.

It is not the Scripture only that reminds us of our living in a dying world, but all observation and experience. Man is continually going to his long home, and the mourners daily go about the streets. And we are all accomplishing as an hireling our day, and in a little time our neighbours, friends, and relations, will seek us—and we shall not be. Our days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. Thou hast made our days as an hand's breadth, and our age is as nothing before Thee: verily every man at his best state is altogether vanity. For our days are not only few, but full of evil. Anxieties perplex us; dangers alarm us; infirmities oppress us; disappointments afflict us; losses impoverish us; we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled—O shut not thy merciful ear to our prayers; but spare us, O Lord, most holy; O God, most mighty ; O holy and most merciful Saviour: Thou mos* worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not at our last hour, for any bitter pains of death, to fall from Thee.

We acknowledge, O God, with shame and sorrow, that the state of degradation and mortality in which we groan was not our origmal condition. Thou madest man upright; but he sought out many inventions. Our first father sinned, and we have borne his iniquity. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death hath passed upon all men, for that all have sinned.

And we Wess Thee that this is not our final state. By the discoveries of faith, we see new heavens, and a new earth wherein dwclleth righteousness. We see the spirits of just men made perfect We see our vile bodies changed, and fashioned like the Saviour's own glorious body; and man the sinner raised above the angels who never sinned.

We bless Thee for this purpose of grace, formed before the world began, and accomplished in the fulness of time by the Son of

thy love, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; and who among the ravages of the grave, says—I am the resurrection and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

May it be our immediate and supreme concern to win Christ, and be found in Him; knowing that there is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; and that blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.

So teach us to number our days, that we mny apply our hearts unto wisdom—that wisdom which will lead us to prefer the soul to the body, and eternity to time; that wisdom which will lead us to secure an interest in a better world, before we are removed from this.

() let not the trifles of time induce us to neglect the one thing needful. While each of us is compelled to say, I know Thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living, may we be enabled also to say, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day.

And O let not the solemnities we have this day witnessed be ever forgotten; for often our most serious impressions have worn otlj and our goodness has been as the morning cloud, and as the early dew that soon passeth away.

Thou hast permitted death to invade our circle, and hast turned our dwelling into a house of mourning. May we find that it is better to be in the house of mourning than in the house of mirth. By the sadness of the countenance may the heart be made better, more serious to reflect, and more softened to take impression.

With the feelings of the creature may we blend the views and the hopes of the Christian. May we remember that Thou hast bereaved us, not as an aggressor, but as a proprietor; resuming what was lent us for a s1'nson. but never ceased to be thine own. May we therefore be dumb, and open not our mouth, because Thou hast done it; or if we speak, may it be to acknowledge and pray—I know, O Txird, that thy judgments are right, and that Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me; let tliy loving-kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto thy servant.

We bless Thee for thy goodness to the deceased, and that we are not called to sorrow as those who have no hope. We ascribe whatever excellency was found in them to thy grace ; and desire to he followers of them, as far as they also were of Christ

Forgive us in whatever instances we failed in our duty towards them. Let the prayers they oflered for us while on earth lie answered; may we hold communion with them in

our living Redeemer; and look forward to t

period of renewed and improved intercourse, in which we shall be for ever with each other, and for ever with the Lord.

Now unto Him that is able to b*9 us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with esceedag joy—To the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, boti now and ever. Amen.



Iioi.y, holy, holy is the IiOrd of hosts, the whole earth is full of thy glory. O for such an impression of thy holiness as Isaiah had. when, penetrated with a sense of his own sin, and the sin of the nation, be exclaimed. Wo is me, for I am a man of unclean Zips, and I dwell among a people of unclean hps. Banish all insensibility and indifference faun our minds, and unite our hearts to fear thy name.

We lament that the world in which we live, formed to show forth thy praise, was so early defiled by sin; that all flesh corrupted its way before God, and every imagination of the thoughts of the heart was only rri continually. We adore thy awful but righteous displeasure, in bringing the flood open the world of the ungodly and takmg them ail away.

Yet even this tremendous desolation did not hinder the renewed human race from re belling against Thee; and a long succession of private and public calamities proclaims the desperate depravity of our nature, and the evrl of sin. Our world is the empire of death, a vale of tears; and tempests and earth.jiaies. and war, and pestilence and famine, scatter the tokens of thy wrath, for Thou distributest sorrows in thine anger.

Thy judgments are now abroad in the earth —may the inhabitants thereof learn righteousness. They have reached and invaded us—may we lay them to heart, and be suitably impressed with the afllicting circumstances of the country to which we belong.

We have been equally distinguished by privileges and guilt; and it is inipossiWe for us to review the one, without being reminded of the other. An innumerable multitude of natural, providential, and religious benefits, have distinguished our portion. The lmes have fallen to us in pleasant places, yea we have a goodly heritage. At an early period the gospel visited our shores, and has continued in the midst of us to this hour. We have lived under the administration of laws, just, mild, and beneficent. Wre have enjoyed civil and religious freedom. The scriptures have not been withbolden from us, nor hare our teachers been removed into a corner—

but our eyes have seen our teachers; and, sitting under our own vine and fig-tree, none has dared to make us afraid. In our dangers Thou hast appointed salvation for walls and bulwarks; the earth has yieldedtous her increase; and God, even our own God, has blessed us.

It is impossible for us to express or conceive the obligations we are under to love and serve Thee.

But we know—and O help us to feel—how unworthily and ungratefully we have behaved ourselves towards our adorable Benefactor. We are a sinful nation, a seed of evil-doers; children that are corruptera The whole head is sick, and the whole heart is faint: from the crown of the head even to the sole of the foot, there is no soundness, but wounds and bruises and putrefying sorea O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto Thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day, to our princes and our rulers.

We do not wonder at the scourge under which we are now groaning. We cannot complain of thy severity—we deserve to be turned into hell, with all the nations that forget God.

But Thou art the Almighty. Thou hast all hearts in thy hand, and all events at thy disposal.

And we have heard that to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against Him. We are proofs ourselves, that thy compassions fail not—hence though corrected, we are not consumed; and though guilty, we are yet allowed and invited to enter thy presence.

With deep humiliation, not unmingled with hope, may we approach the throne of thy grace, at this time of need. O be merciful unto us and bless us, and cause thy face to shine upon us that we may be saved. For the sake of thy dear Son, who died the just for the unjust, by whose name we are called —behold a country prostrate at thy footstool; and hear the voice which will issue to-day from so many temples and closets, saying, Spare thy people, O Lord, and give not thine heritage to reproach.

Remove, if it please Thee, the blow of thy heavy hand, in the calamity which we are deploring ; and after giving us such a deliverance as this, may we no more break thy commandments. Or if Thou hast determmed to continue the correction, O correct us, but with judgment, not in thine anger, lest Thou bring us to nothing.

Aid thy people in the private and public devotions of the day. Pour out a spirit of grace and of supplication, that we may sorrow after a godly sort May thy ministers be faithful and fearless: may they cry aloud, and spare not; but lift up their voice like a trumpet, and show thy people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sin.

And let the word that is to be spoken be quick and powerful, sharper than any twoedged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of soul and spirit, and of the joints and marrow, and be a discerner ot the thoughts and intents of the heart

Our Father, &c. Amen.



O God, Thou hast established thy throne in the heavens, and thy kingdom ruleth over all. We prostrate ourselves before Thee, deeply impressed with a sense of the vastness of thy agency and dominion. Thou changest the times and the seasons: Thou removest kings, and settest up kings. Empires rise and fall, and fade and flourish, at thy bidding; and all nations are in thy hand but as clay m the hand of the potter.

But none of thy dispensations are arbitrary. Whatever Thou doest, is done, because O Father it seemeth good in thy sight: and thy judgment is always according to truth. Thou art holy in all thy ways, and righteous in all thy works—And Thou art good even in wrath. Thou rememberest mercy; and dost not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men.

Therefore it is that we have been this day humbling ourselves in thy presence.

For we acknowledge that we have been deeply guilty. Thou hast nourished and brought up children, but we have rebelled against Thee. The ox knoweth his owner, and the ass his master's crib; but we have not known, we have not considered. Thou hast given us our corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied our silver and gold; and we have prepared them for Baal. Because of swearing, the land has mourned. Pride has compassed us about as a chain. Discontent has rebelled against thine appointments. How has the love of money, which is the root of all evil, abounded among us. How have thy sabbaths been profaned, and thine ordinances disregarded. How has the gospel been undervalued, neglected, despised!

And all our transgressions have been more aggravated than those of any other people, because Thou hast favoured us unspeakably more than all the families of the earth.

Therefore Thou couldst easily and justly have destroyed us: but Thou hast not stirred Hp all thy wrath. In all that is come upon us for our evil deeds, Thou hast punished us less than our iniquities deserve. Yet Thou hast testified thy displeasure; and visited us with thy judgments: so that when we looked for light and peace, we have seen darkness and trouble.

O let us not be inattentive to the design of thy dealings, or insensible under thy rebukes. O let it not be said of us, as it was of the Jews, The harp and the viol, anil the' tabret and pipe, and wine, are in thy feasts, but they regard not the work of the Lord, neither consider the operation of his hand. Thou hast stricken them, but they have not grieved; Thou hast consumed them, but they have refused to receive correction: they have made their faces harder than the rock; they have refused to return.

In the way of thy judgments, O Lord, may we wait for Thee. Thou hast said. Is any afflicted? Let him pray. Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me. Fulfil the word unto thy servants, upon which Thou hast caused us to hope. And O let not the calamity be removed only, but above all sanctified: let it appear that we have heard the rod, and Him that appointeth it: and be able to say, It is good for us that we have been afflicted.

For which purpose, bless, we beseech Thee, the word of thy grace which has been spoken; and grant that the professed humiliation of the day may be real—for Thou lookest to the heart And let it also be universal: may it extend from the highest to the lowest; may it pervade the court and the country; may it enter every church and every family—Let none of us lose sight of ourselves in the public calamity. May each individual retire and ask, What have I done?—and what wilt Thou have me to do? And though other lords have had dominion over us, henceforth by Thee only may we make mention of thy name.

Regard the king as supreme, and the government under which we live. Bless his majesty's confidential advisers; the hereditary and constituted nobility of the realm; the representatives of the people; and the magistracy of the land—may all be wise in counsel, exemplary in conduct, and faithful to their trusts.

And thus may we be reformed and not destroyed. Thus may we be a holy, that we may be a happy people, whose God is the Lord. Return, O Lord, how long? and let it repent Thee concerning thy servants. O satisfy us early with thy mercy; that we may rejoice and be glad all our days. Make us glad according to the days wherein Thou hast afflicted us, and the years wherein we have seen evil. 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; and establish Thou the work of our hands upon us; yea the work of our hands establish Thou it

And to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be rendered the kingdom, power, and glory for ever and ever. Amen.



O God, Thou art very great, Thou art

clothed with honour and majesty: Thou coverest thyself with light as with a garment; Thou walkest upon the wings of the wind. When we reflect on the glory of thy majesty, we are filled with wonder at the v&stness of thy condescension. For Thou condescended, even to behold things that are in heaven. What then is man that Thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that Thou visitest him!

We rejoice that we are under the governance of a Being, who is not only almighty, but perfectly righteous, and wise, and good; that all things in our world are appointed and arranged by thy paternal agency; that thy providence numbers the very hairs of our head, and that a sparrow falleth not to the ground without our heavenly Father.

Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. We bless Thee for personal mercies. If we are called, it is by thy word. If we are renewed, it is by thy Spirit If we are justified, it is freely by thy grace, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. It is in Thee we live and move and have our being. Thy goodness has been always near us, to hear our complaints, to soothe our sorrow, and to command deliverance for us. And numberless are the instances of lovingkindness that now, from ignorance or inattention, elude our notice; the discovery of which will awaken our songs, when we mmgle with those who dwell in thy house above and are still praising Thee.

We thank Thee for relative benefits; for blessings on our families, blessings on our churches, and blessings on our country. We confess that we are not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all the truth which Thou hast showed unto thy servants. Sins of every kind and of every degree have reigned among us; have spread through all ranks and orders; and continued notwithstanding all warnings and corrections: and if Thou hadst dealt with us after our sins, or rewarded us according to our iniquities, we should long ago have had no name nor place among the nations of the globe.

But to the Lord our God belong mercies and forgiveness, though we have rebelled against Him. All thy dispensations towards us have said, with a tenderness that ought to penetrate our hearts—How shall I give thee up, O England! Our privileges, never properly improved, and forfeited times without number, have been continued. We still behold our sabbaths, and our ears still hear the joyful sound. Our constitution, liberties, and laws, have not been subverted or impaired. Thou hast given us rains and fruitful seasons; Thou hast filled us with the finest of the wheat: our garners have been affording all manner of store; our oxen have been strong to labour; our sheep have brought forth thousands and ten thousands in our streets. Thou hast spread thy wing, and sheltered us from

« AnteriorContinuar »