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O Thou that inhabitest eternity, and with whom a thousand years are as one day. If we were angels we should veil our faces as we approach Thee, and exclaim, Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of his glory. With what emotions then should we enter thy presence, who are but sinful dust and ashes! Give us grace whereby we may serve Thee acceptably, with reverence and godly fear.
May we always combine thy majesty with thy mercy, that we may not trifle before Thee, or incur the reproach of the hypocrite and the formalist, who draw nigh unto Thee with their mouth, and honour Thee with their lips, while their heart is far from Thee. And may we always connect thy goodness with thy greatness, that we may draw near in full assurance of faith. May our consciences at this moment believe that Thou art good, and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy to all that call upon Thee.
And do Thou have mercy upon us, O God, according to thy lovingkindness, according to the multitude of thy tender mercies. Thou art under no obligation to save us! we lie as guilty at thy sovereign disposal. Thou hast a right to exercise thy mercy in thine own way; and Thou hast sent thine own Son into the world, not to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved. Thou hast made Hun to be sin for us who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him. We bow, O God, to thine appointment; and gratefully comply with thy command, for this is thy commandment, that we believe on the name of thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. We would flee to no other refuge; we would wash in no other fountain; we would build on no other foundation; we would receive from no other fulness.
May the life that we henceforth shall live in the flesh, be by the faith of Him who loved us and gave himself for us. In his name may we rejoice all the day, and in his righteousness may we be exalted.
May we feel a growing conformity to the image of thy Son, and like Him, learn obedience to the things we suffer. May the law of the Spirit of life m Christ Jesus make us free from the law of sin and death.
In all our dealings with our fellow-creatures, may we do justly; in all cases requiring relief and compassion, may we show that we love mercy; and with regard to all the dispensations of thy providence and grace, may we walk humbly with our God.
May we be strong and of good courage to to follow our convictions, regardless of the opinions of others, and obey God rather than man. Having obtained the knowledge of thy will from thy word, may we go forth and be steadfast, immoveable, always abound
ing in the work of the Lord. And let 111 not be slothful, but followers of them who through faith and patience inherit the promises.
O how great is the goodness which in thy promises and in thy kingdom Thou hast laid up for them that fear Thee?—Number us with them; and enable us to say, Thou last given me the heritage of them that fear thy name. This assurance, O God, we want, to animate us in duty; to support us under our trials; and to raise us above the fear of death and the dread of eternity. For we know that we are not to live here always, nor to live here long. Dangers surround us; withia us are sown the seeds of disease; our breath is in our nostrils; and there is but a step between us and the grave. How soon is another day gone! and how solemnly does it remind us, '1 hat all our days are as a shadow! Great God, so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom. Amidst all the uncertainties of time, may we know in ourselves that in heaven we have a better and an enduring substance; and when the earthly house of this tabernacle is dissolving, may we see prepared to receive us a building of God, a bouse not made with hands eternal in the heavens.
We feel our weakness and our wants. We depend on all the elements for our subsistence, and there is no creature but can he our help or our hurt We need day by day our supplies of food. We labour for a few hours, and we feel ourselves exhausted, and require weary nature's sweet restorer balmy sleep. We would not say to Him that made us, Why hast thou made me thus? but bless Thee for a season of repose and refreshment; for the promise we have that when we lie down, Thou wilt make us to dwell in safety; and for a state where we shall feel no languor and need no rest; where there shall be no night, and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light, and they shall reign for ever and ever. Receive and bless us in the name and for the sake of our adorable Redeemer. Amen.
O Thou, who wast, and art and art to come, the Almighty. Thou art the creator of all the ends of the earth. Thou art our maker, and not only the framer of our bodies, but the former of our souls. For there is a spirit in man, and the inspiration of the Almighty giveth him understanding. May we remember that Thou madest us upright, but that we have sought out many mventions. Let us not forget what we are, what we deserve, and what we want in our present state.
Nor let us be ignorant of the provisions of thy mercy and grace; nor of Hun in whom. it hath pleased Thee that all fulness should dwell. In all our outward troubles, and in all our spiritual distress, He is the hope and the consolation of Israel. May we receive the record, that Thou hast given to us eternal life, and that this life is m thy Son. To Him may we always look for relief, and to Him only; persuaded that there is none other name given under heaven among men, whereby we must be saved. We know from thy word, that he came by water and by blood; as these were not served in their effusion from the cross, may they never be separated in our creed and our experience. May we be equally convinced of the guilt and the pollution of sin; may we alike feel our need of the Prince and the Saviour, and implore of Him repentance as well as forgiveness. May we love holiness and be pure in heart O that our feet were directed to keep thy statutes! O that we had the same mind in us which was also in Christ Jesus, and were enabled to tread in his steps, who has gone before us in every path of duty and trial!
As long as we are in the world, keep us from the evil; and may we be always alive and awake to discharge every obligation resulting from our condition in life and the particular events of thy providence.
We would not be at our own disposal, but rejoice to think we are under the care of one who is too wise to err, and too kind to injure. However ignorant of the future, we will trust and not be afraid; and begin even in this vale of tears, the song we hope for ever to sing—Marvellous are thy works, Lord God Almighty, just and true are all thy ways, O Thou King of saints.
Thou hast been pleased again to renew our time and our strength and our comforts, help us to renew our purposes and resolutions to obey and serve Thee. In all our ways may we this day acknowledge Thee, and do Thou direct our paths. Let thy presence go with us, and thy free spirit uphold us. May we scandalize none by our temper or conduct, but recommend and endear the reli
fion we profess to all around us. May we ecline no opportunity of usefulness that our circumstances may present May we not withhold good from him to whom it is due, when it is in the power of our hand to do it May we dread the sentence, Whoso stoppeth his ears at the cry of the poor, he also shall cry himself and not be heard. May we therefore be merciful, ready to communicate, feeling the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, who when rich for our sakes became poor, that we through his poverty might be rich.
Let those who are advanced in years be anxious to bring forth fruit in old age. Let those who are m the midst of life abide with God in their calling; and while they are not slothful in business, may they be fervent in
spirit, serving the Lord. And O preserve the young from the snares and temptations of youth. May they be sober-minded. If sinners entice them, let them not consent With the infidel and the vicious, and the despiser of the sabbath, may they not go, lest they learn of their ways, and get a snare to their souls. Let them say, I am a companion of all them that fear Thee, and choose that good part which shall not be taken away from them.
Bless us as a nation, in our sovereign, senators, and magistrates; in all the dependencies and interests of the country; in all its civil and sacred institutions. Let glory dwell in our land, and upon all the glory may there be a defence.
We rejoice that Thou wilt have all men to be saved and come to the knowledge of the truth; and that Jesus Christ gave himself a ransom for all to be testified in due time.
Call in the Jews with the fulness of the Gentiles. Say to the north, give up, and to the south, Keep not back; bring my sons from far, and my daughters from the ends of the earth. Bless all those who by their exertions and sacrifices are proving the sincerity of their prayers for the spread of the Redemer's cause; and let many run to and fro, and knowledge be increased, till all shall know Thee, from the least even to the greats est
Our Father, &c. Amen.
Give ear to our words, O Lord; consider our meditation; and enable us to approach Thee with becoming conceptions of thy nature, relations, and designs.
Thou inhabitest eternity ; but our age is as nothing before Thee. Thou dwellest in the heaven of heavens, and this cannot contain Thee; but we dwell in houses of clay, whose foundation is in the dust Thy power is almighty ; but we are crushed before the moth. Thy understanding is infinite, but we know nothing as we ought to know. Thou art of purer eyes than to behold evil, and canst not look upon iniquity; but we are vile—What shall we answer Thee? We cannot answer Thee for one of a thousand of our iniquities; and had we listened to the language of our guilty consciences alone, we could not have entered thy sacred presence.
But Thou hast called us to thy footstool; Thou hast shown us a new and living way into the holiest by the blood of Jesus; and we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him. We therefore draw nigh in full assurance of faith, believing that we are as welcome as we are unworthy, and that the blessings we are come to implore are as free as they are great and numberless. O receive ua graciously. Be merciful to our unrighteousness. Abopt us into the household of faith; and say to our souls, I am thy salvation.
We have often feared that we have no part nor lot in the matter ; and that our heart is not riglrt in the sight of God. We have often questioned whether we know any thing of the new creature; whether we have ever exercised repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Jesus Christ And what if after all our advantages, we should perish; and after all our profession, have a name only that we live while we are dead! O Lord, decide our doubts, and bear witness with our spirits that we are the children of God.
We would not deceive ourselves in a business of everlasting moment; but if we are in a state of grace, enable us to know it, for our own comfort and the glory of thy great name.
And, O Lord, we pray that we may grow in grace. If we have the reality of religion, how far are our works from being found perfect before God! Strengthen in us the things that remain that be ready to die; and help us to reach after the higher attainments and privileges of the divine life. May we be followers of God as dear children, and feel it the joy of our lives to be holy as Thou art holy, and merciful as Thou art merciful. May thine eye be more to us than the inspection of all our fellow-creatures; and thy approbation be dearer than the applause of a thousand worlds.
May no grace of the Spirit be wanting or weak in us; may no duty of our calling be neglected, or carelessly performed. May our faith be a strong faith, our hope a lively hope, our charity a fervent charity, our conversation a conversation becoming the gospel of Christ May we stand complete m all the will of God; and may our light so shine before men, that they may see our good works and glorify our Father who is in heaven.
May we long to serve our generation according to thy will; may wisdom select and regulate our means, and a blameless and lovely consistency of character give weight to our endeavours. And may all our works begin, continue, and end in Thee. On Thee may we depend for light to know, and disposition to choose, and strength to perform, and submission to sutler, and patience to wait
And when we have done all, may we acknowledge that we are unprofitable servants, and confess that we deserve condemnation for the defects of our obedience, rather than a reward for its excellency. And looking off from our duties as well as our sins, to find a foundation for our hope, may we rejoice in Christ Jesus, and have no confidence in the flesh. And may our persons and services be accepted in the beloved—To whom be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
We would lift up our hearts, with our hands, unto God in the heavens. Behold before Thee a company of highly-indulged but sinful beings. If we say we have no an, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us. None of our fellow-creatures know half so much of our depravity as we ourselves know; and our knowledge is ignorance compared with thy wisdom.
Thou readest the heart Thou viewest actions in their principles and motives. Thou seest more defilement in our duties than we ever saw in any of our sins. In thy sight the heavens are not clean; and Thou chargest thine angels with folly. And if we hate ourselves, and are ready to flee from ourselves because of our abommations, how wonderful is it that Thou dost not abhor us, and swear in thy wrath that we shall not enter into thy rest
But, be astonished, O heavens, and wonder, O earth! instead of such a deserved exclusion, Thou hast even devised means that thy banished be not expelled from Thee—means the most astonishing and glorious, and which the angels desire to look into For Thou hast so loved the world, as to give thine only begotten Son, that whosoever belie veth on Him should not perish but have everlasting life. In Him mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace kiss each other; and thy honour is not only secured, but prominently displayed, even in our escape from thine own tlireateniugs. In Him the enslaved can find redemption, the guilty pardon, the unholy renovation. In Hun are everlasting strengti for the weak, and unsearchable riches for the needy; in Him we find all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge for the ignorant; in Him all fulness dwells.
We bless Thee for the provision which thine infinite goodness has made for our everlasting welfare; and for the gospel of our salvation which makes it known; and which not only reveals it to our view, but proposes it to our hope, and presses it upon our acceptance.
O Lord, at thy gracious call we hear, we look, we come, we apply, we receive. We not only submit to the scheme of mercy, but we acquiesce in it; we glory in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ; we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ by whom we have now received the atonement We bless Thee that in this grace we stand: Thou hast rendered the blessings as secure as they are glorious; and we are persuaded that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Yea for ever blessed be thy name, Thou
hast not only provided for our safety, but our prosperity. Thou hast not only promised that the righteous shall hold on their way, but wax stronger and stronger. Thou dost not despise the day of small things; but Thou givest more grace; and hast commanded us to ask and receive that our joy may be full.
And now, O I/srd, what shall we render for all thy benefits towards us? We can never discharge the obligations we are under, but we pray that we may be sensible of them; and though we can make no adequate, may we make suitable returns; and ever ask from the heart, as well as with the lip, Lord, what wilt Thou have me to do?
And may we show forth thy praise. May we speak well of thy name. May we be concerned to bring others to love and serve Thee; and to share with us in all the good wh ich Thou hast spoken concerning Israel.
O let our children be thy children, our friends thy friends, our servants thy servants.
May our neighbours, and our enemies too, be visited with thy salvation.
Dwell in our families. Let thy goings be seen in our sanctuaries. Let the people praise Thee, O God, yea let all the people praise Thee. Let the whole earth be tilled with thy glory.
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, and Amen.
Aoain, O Lord of all, we desire to bow in thy presence. May we approach Thee with all the encouragements that can be derived from thy character as the God of love. We are not left to feel after Thee in the darkness of nature; nor to worship Thee as the unknown God. We cannot find Thee out unto perfection; but we know that Thou art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto alf them that call upon Thee.
For Thou hast given us thy word, which Thou hast magnified above all thy name; and Thou hast favoured us with the gospel, which has turned the dawn of Judaism into perfect day : so that on us who were sitting in darkness and the shadow of death, has risen a great light, the light of life.
But we acknowledge how ungratefully we have received the benefit, and how little we have improved our privileges to the purposes for which they have been given. We have made light of these things though angels desire to look into them; we have neglected the great salvation; we have turned away from
Him that speaketh from heaven. And all that Thou hast kindly employed to enforce the messages of thy word we have disregarded; for we have contemned the examples of the good, the admonitions of friendship, the reproaches of conscience, the rebukes of thy providence, and the strivings of thy Holy Spirit; and well do we deserve that the kingdom of God should be taken away from us. O let us not confess our sins without feeling and lamenting them, but with a broken heart and a contrite spirit, with self-abhorrence, self-condemnation, and self-despair.
And under a deep impression of our guilt, may we seek relief alone from Him who is the hope and the consolation of Israel. Viewing Him as dying for the ungodly, may we believe in his name. May we know that He bare our sins in his own body on the tree, and that by his stripes we are healed. And may we find in Him, not only righteousness but strength. May He impart to us, not only forgiveness of sins, but repentance unto life. May we never separate in our regards, what He has joined together in the scripture; nor suppose that we are justified by his blood, unless we are sanctified by his Spirit
We believe we can never be happy in sin, and we do not desire it: Lord, deliver us from it, and lead us in the way everlasting. Make us holy like thyself, that we may be made happy in thyself. We are naturally disqualified for all communion with a holy God; work in us to will and to do of thy good pleasure; produce in us those principles and dispositions which will attach us to thyself as our exceeding joy; and enable us to say, Whom have I in heaven but Theel and there is none upon earth that I desire beside Thee.
Under all our ignorance, weakness, fears, and depressions, may thy Spirit help our infirmities with supplies of wisdom, strength, and comfort
May we faithfully study our character, and be always willing to come to the light, that if evil our deeds may be reproved. May we peculiarly observe ourselves under the operation of those events which are designed to try us; that we may judge of the reality and degree of our grace. May we often review life, and see how we have at any time been ensnared or overcome, that we may in future become more wise and circumspect And while we watch, may we also pray lest we enter into temptation. May we never trust in our own hearts nor depend upon any past experience or present resolution, but be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.
Thus far Thou hast helped us. Hitherto our enemies have not triumphed over us. And though we have seen many decline from their profession, we hope if Thou wert to ask, Will ye also go away! we should be able to say, with more conviction and affection than ever, Lord, to whom should we go but unto Thee? Thou hast the words of eternal life. Thou hast been with us in trouble; and many a shadow of death hast Thou turned into the morning. We can now discern thy wisdom and kindness in dispensations which once perplexed and dismayed us: and what we know not now we shall know hereafter.
Never leave us nor forsake us; but support and lead us through all these dark and sorrowful regions; and enable us with confidence to hail the hour when our sun shall no more go down, nor our moon withdraw herself; for the I/ird shall be our everlasting light, and the days of our mourning shall be ended.
We implore it through the intercession of Him who gave himself for our sins, that He might deliver us from this present evil world according to the will of God and our Father; to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.
Let not the Lord be angry, while we, who are but dust and ashes, take upon us to speak unto the living God. Pardon our unworthiness—help our infirmities; and hearken unto the voice of our cry, our King and our God, for unto Thee will we pray.
Thou art good to all; and we have largely shared with thy creatures the bounties of thy providence. But O remember us with the favour Thou bearest unto thy people. We bless Thee for characterizing them; and we bless Thee that Thou hast placed the distinction in no high and discouraging attainments: lor Thou tnkest pleasure in them that fear Thee; in them that hope in thy mercy. May these dispositions be tliutid in each of us. May we dread thino an^er, revere thy perfections, stand in awe of thy majesty, and tremble at thy word. And hide not thy mercy from us: enable us to trust in it and to plead it; and with a broken heart and a contrite spirit may we earnestly cry, God be merciful to mo a sinner. In how many ways do we need the exercise of it.' But Thou art rich in mercy; Thou art abundant in mercy; Thou delightest in mercy.
We are al! so many proofs of this. Because thy compassions fail not we are not consumed. Our forfeited lives have not only been continued, but crowned with thy goodness. Thou hast provided for our souls as well as for our bodies; and we hear a thousand voices inviting us to the feast, and saying, Come, for all things are now ready. Thanks he unto God for his unspeakable gift: we bless Thee for a Saviour, who died for our sins, and rose again for our justification, and is now ascended far above all heavens that He might fill all things.
May we be made die partakers of Christ and not only of his righteousness but of hi* Spirit; that we may be not only pardoned but renewed; and not only have a title to heaven but a meetness for it No longer alienated from the life of God, may our meditations of Thee be sweet, and may we draw near to Thee as to our exceeding joy. May we confide in thy promises, and rely on thy constant protection and care. May we be devoted to thy service, and find it perfect freedom. May we love obedience: may thy law be within our heart
Let thy cause be dear to our souls. We pray that thy word may have free course and be glorified. Let thy church not only be multiplied in number, but increased in knowledge and sanctity and peace and concord and joy, so that it may be a praise in the whole earth. Let the light of the moon be as the light of the sun, and the light of the sun be sevenfold, as the light of seven days. For brass, bring gold; and for iron, silver; and for wood, brass; and for stones, iron.
Thou dost not stand in need of us; but in thy condescension and wisdom Thou art pleased to make use of means, and we desire the honour and happiness of being instruments in thy hand. Lord, what wilt Tbou have us to do? We would value every day afforded us as a new period of usefulness. May we be anxious to accomplish all we can to alleviate human wo, and to advance the temporal and spiritual welfare of all around us.
And may we not only be zealous, but persevering. May we never be discourajird, never grow weary in well-doing. While many go back after following the Saviour, may we cleave to him with purpose of heart, and at last hear Him say, Ye are they who have continued with me in my temptation, and I appoint unto you a kingdom, as my Father also hath appointed unto me.
We would not forget the afllicted. Hear the sighing of the needy; cause the widow's heart to sing for joy; and in Thee may the fatherless find mercy. Remove indisposition and disease from those who are exercised thereby, or assure them of that world where the inhabitant no more says, I am sick.
Be with us all through the changing scenes of life, and at the hour of dissolution; when heart and flesh fail be Thou the strength of our heart and our portion for ever. If death should he sudden, let it not find us unprepared; if it should be awful in the apprehension, let it be safe in the result; and if we cannot depart in triumph, may we expire in humble hope.
And through eternal ages may it be our privilege to unite with those who are singing. Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, and to his Ftthet