« AnteriorContinuar »
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.
FOR A DAY OF THANKSGIVING.
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 the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth at noonday. Civil discord has not raged in our provinces; our shores have not been invaded; we have not heard the confused noise of warriors, or seen garments rolled in blood—it has not come nigh us. Our enemies have often threatened to swallow us up, but the I/ird has been on our side, and they have not prevailed against us. We are this day called upon to acknowledge thy goodness in ( ).
God is the Lord who hath showed us light; bind the sacrifice with cords, even to the horns of the altar. After giving us such a deliverance as this, may we no more break thy commandments. May we never convert our blessings into the instruments of provocation, by making them the means of nourishing pride and presumption, wantonness and intemperance: and compel Thee to complain —Do ye thus requite the Lord, O foolish people, and unwise? Is not He thy Father that nath bought thee? Hath He not made thee and established thee?
For this purpose meet with us in thy house; and may the goings of our God and our King be seen in the sanctuary. Be with the preacher and with the hearers; and let the words of his mouth, and the meditation of their hearts, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, our strength and our Redeemer. May public instruction awaken the ardour of our feelings. May our gratitude not only be lively, but practical and permanent And by all thy mercies may we present our bodies a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable unto Thee, which is our reasonable service.
Bless the Lord, ye his angels, that excel in strength, that do his commandments hearkening unto the voice of his word. Bless ye the Lord, all ye his hosts; ye ministers of his that do his pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his works, in all places of his dominion: bless the Lord, O my soul. Amen.
FOR A DAY OP THANKSGD7ING.
O God, Thou art good, and Thou doest good. Thou art good to all, and thy tender mercies are over all thy works.
We have thought of thy lovingkindness this day, in the midst of thy temple; and are again surrounding this domestic altar to exclaim, O that men would praise the Lord, for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men.
We lament to think that a world so filled with thy bounty, should be so alienated from thy service and glory. We mourn over the viieness of our ingratitude, and abhor ourselves repenting in dust and ashes.
O Thou Gtxfof all grace, make us more
thankful. In order that we may be more thankful may we be more humble; impress us with a deep sense of our unworthiness, arising from the depravity of our nature, and countless instances of unimproved advantages, omitted duties, and violated commands. May we compare our condition with our desert, and with the far less indulged circumstances of others. May we never be inattentive to any of thy interpositions on our behalf; but be wise and observe these things, that we may understand the lovingkindness of the Lord.
How many blessings, temporal and spiritual, public and private, hast Thou conferred upon us. Thy mercies have been new every morning, and every moment
Our afflictions have been few and alleviated, often short in their continuance, and always founded in a regard to our profit Thy secret has been upon our tabernacle; and we have known Thee in thy palaces for a refuge. The lines have indeed fallen to us in pleasant places, yea we have a goodly heritage. Thou hast not dealt so with any people. It is a good land which the Lord our God has given us—a land distinguished by knowledge; dignified as the abode of civil and religious freedom; endeared by the patriot's zeal, and the martyr's blood, and the ashes of our forefathers : a land the Lord careth for, and upon which his eye has been from the beginning even to the end of the year.
Thou hast been a wall of fire round about us by thy providential protection, and the glory in the midst of us by the gospel of our salvation, the ordinances of religion, and the presence of thy Holy Spirit
What shall we render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards us? Because Thou hast been our help, therefore under the shadow of thy wing may we rejoice. Because Thou hast heard our voice and our supplication, therefore may we call upon Thee as long as we live; and in every future difficulty and distress, make Thee our refuge and our portion.
Enable us to bless Thee at all times; may thy praise continually be in our mouth; and may we show forth thy praise, not only with our lips, but in our lives.
Being delivered from the peril and calamity
(of ) with which we have been exercised,
may we serve Thee without fear, in holiness and righteousness, all the days of our lives.
We dare not trust our own hearts. We have often resembled thy people of old, who in the hour of deliverance and indulgence sang thy praise, and said—All that the Lord commandeth us will we do; but soon forgot his works and the wonders which he had showed them. Keep these things for ever in the imagination of our hearts; and not only draw us, but bind us to thyself with the cords of love and the bonds of a man.
And with all our calls to gratitude and joy, may we remember that we have also reason for sorrow and humiliation. O give us that repentance which is unto life. Reform as well as indulge us; and pardon as well as spare. Let not our prosperity destroy us, nor our table become a snare. Let us not, by our perverse returns, provoke Thee to visit us with heavier inflictions; and turn the rod into a scorpion. May our ways please the Lord, that we may hope for a continuance of thy - favour, and know that all things shall work together for our good.
Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion. Build Thou the walls of Jerusalem. And as the churches have rest, may they walk in the fear of the Lord, and in the comforts of the Holy Ghost, and be multiplied.
Let the king live before Thee; and on his
head may the crown flourish. Bless all the brunches of the royal house: preside over our national councils; impart wisdom to those who conduct our public affairs: and may ajj the various classes in the community pursue that righteousness which exalteth a nauou, and forsake l hat sin which is a reproach to any people.
Regard the services in which we have been engaged with the thousands of our Israel: accept the poor and imperfect thanksgivings we have oflered; and let thy word which has been dispensed in aid of the devotion of the day, accomplish all the good pleasure of thy goodness—through Jesus the Lord, our righteousness and strength; and in whose words we address Thee as—
Our Father, &c . Amen.
Are there any of the vanities of the gentiles that can cause rain? Or can the heavens give showers! Art not Thou He, O Lord our God? Therefore will we wait upon Thee, for Thou hast made all these things.
Thou visitest the earth and waterest it; Thou greatly enrichest it with the river of God which is full of water. Thou makest it soft with showers; Thou hlessest the sprmgs thereof. Thy paths drop fatness. They drop upon the pastures of the wilderness, and the little hills rejoice on every side.
We have been made to feel the worth of this blessing by the want of it; and it would be easy for Thee to continue the privation, till the heavens over us were brass, and the earth under us iron; and the husbandman be ashamed for the wheat, and for the barley, because the harvest of the field is perished, and because joy is withered away from the sons of men.
But O deal not with ns after our desert Turn not a fruitful land into barrenness. Command thy rain to descend. Cause the grass to grow for the cattle, and herbs for the service of man, and bring forth food out of the earth.
And O let us not forget our souls, in our mindfulness of the body; nor expend all our concern upon the meat that perisheth, but be above all things anxious to secure the meat which endureth unto everlasting life, and which the son of man will give, for him hath God the Father sealed.
FOR FAIR WEATHER
—How numberless are our wants and dangers! Our hopes are destroyed, not only by the deficiency, but the excess of our supplies. Stop, we pray Thee, the bottles of heaven, which have so long been pourmg down water upon us; and cause thy sun not only to rise but to shine. Give us the clear shining after rain, that the earth may yield her increase in maturity, and opportunity be afforded for the wholesome in-gathering of grass for the cattle, and grain for the use of man; that there may be no complaining in our streets, but that we may eat in plenty, and be satisfied and praise the Lord. N
IN VIEW OF JOURNEYING.
O God, thou hast called thyself the Preserver of men, and the length of our days. We are therefore encouraged to commit ourselves to thy guardian care, in the journey before us.
Many have parted with the hope of soon embracing each other again, but instead of returning to their own dwelling, they have been conveyed to the house appointed for all living. We pray, with submission to thy pleasure, that this may not be our experienceGive thine angels charge concerning us to keep us in all our ways. Let no evil befall our persons, and no plague come nigh our dwelling. May we know also that our tabernacle is in peace, and visit our habitation and not sin.
Yet uncertain what a day may bring forth, may we be prepared for every event of thy providence; and wherever, in dying, we go from, may it be our happiness to know where we are going to, and rejoice in the prospect, that when all our wanderings and partings are ended, we shall unite in our heavenly Father's house, and be for ever with the Lord.
FOR A NEW-MARRIED PARTY.
Bless those who have just entered a state honourable in all. May they remember the vows they have left at the altar, and in the discharge of their personal and relative duty may they make their word their rule, that mercy and peace may be upon them. May the husband love his wife even as himself, 97
and the wife see that she reverence her husband; and both walk together as heirs of the grace of life, that their prayers be not hindered.
Preserve them from the evils which destroy, or diminish the welfare and comfort of the condition in which Thou hast placed them; and may thoy enjoy all the happiness derivable from prudence, temper, accommodation, real godlmess, and the divine blessing.
May they expect to discern infirmities in one another, but may they be always most deeply conscious of their own. And let them not look for unattainable, by looking for unmingled bliss on earth; but remember that this is not our rest, and be prepared for difficulties, trials, changes, and final separation.
FOR A WOMAN APPROACHING THE TIME OF TRAVAIL.
—Regard thine handmaid, who is looking forward to an important hour. Be not Thou far from her when trouble is near. May her mind be kept in perfect peace, being stayed upon the God of her salvation. Bring to the birth, and give strength to bring forth. Soften the pains of labour, as well as command deliverance; and in due time may she remember no more her anguish, for joy that a child is born into the world. And may the root and the branch abide under the shadow of the Almighty.
FOR ONE UNDER SICKNESS.
—Think, O God, for good upon the afflicted, especially him (or her) whom we now commend to thy compassionate regard. Comfort him upon the bed of languishing, and make all his bed in his sickness.
If the sickness be unto death, prepare him for the solemn event, and be with him in it But we are allowed to implore deliverance, with submission; nothing is too hard for the Lord; Thou canst heal as well as wound: we therefore pray, if it be thy good pleasure, that Thou wilt put efficacy mto the means, rebuke the disorder, renew the strength, and prolong the days of thy servant
Above all, let the dispensation be sanctified to the suflerer, and his connexions; and may all have reason to acknowledge in the review, It is good for me that I have been afflicted.
FOR A YOUTH GOING FROM HOME.
(If with a view to Business.)
—O God, Thou appointest the bounds of our habitations, and arrangest all our individual concerns; and it is thy pleasure, not
only that we should part at death, bat often separate in life. When absent from each other in body, may we be present in spirit; and may our natural affection be strengthened and sanctified by inquiry and correspondence, and divine remembrance at the throne of grace.
Regard the member of our family who is now leaving the parental roof and the parental wing. In all his ways may he acknowledge Thee, and be Thou the guide and the guard of his youth. Secure him from the paths of the destroyer and the evils of the world. May uprightness preserve him. In the situation he will be called to fill, may he be dutiful and obliging, and diligent and faithful . May he always remember that the eye of God is upon him; and be not only amiable but pious; and be in favour with God as well as man.
(If with a view to a School.') —O Thou God of providence and grace, we commend to thy care the dear child about to leave our abode for a season in order to receive needful instruction. Let his (or ber) life be precious in thy sight May he redeem his time, and acquire the improvement that will fit him for usefulness in his day and generation. And O let him be made wise unto salvation; and let the beauty of the Lord our God be upon him; that he may be a useful and ornamental member in thy church below, and hereafter a pillar in thy temple above, never more to go out
FOR A SERVANT COMING INTO
—And, O Thou, with whom there is no respect of persons, bless the servant that has just entered our household. May she (or he) be diligent in her station ; may she rise early; be attentive to punctuality, and neatness, and cleanliness; pleasing well in all things, not answering again; not purloining, but showing all good fidelity; that she may adorn the doctrine of God our Saviour in all things. May she cheerfully conform to the religious order of the family, be thankful for its daily worship, and improve every spiritual privilege.
And while our servants know and observe their duty to us, may we never neglect our duty to them, but remember that we also have a Master in heaven.
FOR CHILDREN IN ORDINARY CIR
(All the petitions need not be used at tike
same time.) —O God, Thou art the lovely Father of