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(1) A Salutation. Ps. xx.
The Lord hear thee in the day of trouble ; the name of the God of Jacob defend thee : send thee help from the sanctuary, and strengthen thee out of Zion.
(2) A Word of Comfort. Ps. xxiii.
The Lord is my shepherd ; I shall not want. He maketh me to lie down in green pastures : he leadeth me beside the still waters. He restoreth my soul : he leadeth me in the paths of righteousness for his name's sake. Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil : for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me. parest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies : thou anointest my head with oil ; my cup runneth over. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life : and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.
(3) The Brevity of Life. (A Scriptural prayer.)
Lord, make me to know mine end, and the measure of iny days, what it is, that I may
know how frail I am. Behold, thou hast made my days as a handbreadth and mine age is as nothing before thee. All our days are passed away in thy wrath ; we spend our years as a tale that is told. The days of our years are three-score years and ten; and if by reason of strength they be fourscore years, yet is their strength labor and sorrow; for it is soon cut off, and we fly away.
We are strangers before thee, and sojourners, as were all our fathers; our days on the earth are shadow, and there is none abiding. Lord, what is man that thou takest knowledge of him? or the son of man, that thou makest account of him? Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.
When I awake I am still with thee. Cause me to hear thy loving kindness in the morning, for in thee do I trust : cause me to know the way wherein I should walk; for I lift up my soul unto thee. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. 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.
Blessed be the LORD forevermore. Amen, and Amen.
II. FOR A CHILD.
(1) Matt. xviii.-xix.
And Jesus called a little child unto him, and set him in the midst of them, and said, Verily I say unto you, Except ye be converted, and become as little children, ye shall not enter into the kingdom of heaven.
Whosoever therefore shall humble himself as this little child, the same is greatest in the kingdom of heaven. And whoso shall receive one such little child in my name receiveth me.
Take heed that ye despise not one of these little ones ; for I say unto you, that in heaven their angels do always behold the face of my Father which is in heaven. For the Son of man is come to save that which was lost. Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.
Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them. But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me ; for of such is the kingdom of heaven. And he laid his hands on thein, and departed thence.
(2) 2. Sam, xii.
And the LORD struck the child that Uriah's
wife bare unto David, and it was very sick. David therefore besought God for the child ; and David fasted, and went in, and lay all night upon the earth. And the elders of his house arose, and went to him, to raise him up from the earth : but he would not, neither did he eat bread with them. And it came to pass on the seventh day, that the child died. And the servants of David feared to tell him that the child was dead ; for they said, Behold, while the child was yet alive, we spake unto him, and he would not hearken unto our voice : how will he then vex himself, if we tell him that the child is dead ?
But when David saw that his servants whispered, David perceived that the child was dead : therefore David said unto his servants, Is the child dead? And they said, He is dead. Then David arose from the earth, and washed, and anointed himself, and changed his apparel, and came into the house of the Lord, and worshipped : then he came to his own house ; and when he required, they set bread before him, and he did eat.
Then said his servants unto him, What thing is this that thou hast done ? thou didst fast and weep for the child, while it was alive ; but when the child was dead, thou didst rise and eat bread.
And he said, While the child was yet alive, I fasted and wept : for I said, Who can tell whether God will be gracious to me, that the child may
live? But now he is dead, wherefore should I fast ? can I bring him back again ? I shall go to him, but he shall not return to me.
(3) 2 Kings iv. 18–37.
And when the child was grown, it fell on a day, that he went out to his father to the reapers. And he said unto his father, My head, my head ! And he said to a lad, Carry him to his mother. And when he had taken him, and brought him to his mother, he sat on her knees till noon, and then died. And she went up, and laid him on the bed of the man of God, and shut the door upon him, and went out.
And she called unto her husband, and said, Send me, I pray thee, one of the young men, and one of the asses, that I may run to the man of God, and come again. And he said, Wherefore wilt thou go to him to-day? it is neither new moon, nor sabbath. And she said, It shall be well.
Then she saddled an ass, and said to her servant, Drive, and go forward ; slack not thy riding for me, except I bid thee. So she went and came unto the man of God to mount Carmel.
And it came to pass, when the man of God saw her afar off, that he said to Gehazi his servant, Behold, yonder is that Shunammite : run now, I pray thee, to incet her, and say unto her, Is it well with thee? it is well with thy husband ? is it