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capable of serving thee in some acceptable, though imperfect, manner in this world; and capable of being prepared, by the aid of thy grace in Jesus Christ, for the more perfect service and the more sublime enjoyment of thee in the world to come.
We thank thee that thou hast added another day to our earthly life. We bless thee for every token of thy merciful kindness manifested towards us ; that thou hast kept our feet from falling, our eyes from tears, and our souls from death ; and hast brought us to the close of the day and of the evening still surrounded by the tokens of thy love, and still sustained by the power of thy grace. Serenely would we now look up to thee; for thou art light, and with thee there is no darkness at all.
Wilt thou, who art faithful and just to forgive us our sins, pardon the transgressions and imperfections of this day, and of our whole life. Create in us clean hearts, and renew a right spirit within us. Through that blood of Jesus which cleanseth from all sin, wilt thou blot out all our transgressions. Suffer them not to rise in this world to our shame, nor in the world to come to our condemnation. May the mind and spirit of Jesus, the Master, be received into our hearts, and nurtured and cherished there, until, bearing something of his image and likeness, we are prepared to join the spirits of the just in that world where our fellowship, in the purest and holiest sense,
will be with the Father, and with his Son Christ Jesus.
May thy blessing ever rest upon this family. May each member of it, whether present or absent, be an object of thy protecting care and kindness, and a subject of redeeming love and grace. We commend ourselves, and all that we have, to thy holy protection and keeping this night. May we lie down in the fear and love of God. May our sleep be quiet and refreshing to us; and may we awake to behold the light, to partake of the blessings, and to perform the duties, of another day, in health and in peace.
Be with us while we shall continue in the world. Mete out our trials in great mercy to us. Lay not more upon us at any time than thou wilt give us strength to bear, and to bear patiently, with filial submission to thy will, with improvement to our own souls, and with glory to thy great and holy name. And when we shall have borne, and done, and suffered, according to thy whole will, in this our earthly life, may we be found meet to be partakers of that rest which remains for the people of God.
We look to thee for a blessing upon the whole human family. Hasten the time when pure religion, and rational liberty, and equal laws, and righteous government, shall enlighten, protect and bless, the world. May every nation, kindred and tongue, unite with the heavenly hosts in ascribing glory to God in
the highest, because there is peace on earth, and good will to men.
Hear us, 0 our Father in heaven, and when thou hearest, answer, and forgive, and accept us, in the name and as the disciples of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Born of the Spirit.
Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say to thee, Except a man be born of water, and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God.
That which is born of the flesh, is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit, is spirit.
Marvel not that I said to thee, Ye must be born again.
The wind bloweth where it will, and thou hearest the sound of it, but canst not tell whence it cometh, and whither it goeth: so is every one that is born of the Spirit.
Verily, verily, I say to thee, We speak what we know, and testify what we have seen ; and ye receive not our testimony.
If I have told you earthly things, and ye believe not, how will ye believe if I tell you heavenly things ?
And no man hath ascended to heaven, but he that came down from heaven, even the Son of man who is in heaven.
And as Moses lifted up the serpent in the wilderness, even so must the Son of man be lifted up:
That whoever believeth in him should not perish, but have eternal life.
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only-begotten
Son, that whoever believeth in him, should not perish, but
have everlasting life. For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the
world, but that the world through him may be saved.
INFINITE and holy One, with thee there is no darkness. The shadows of evening cannot hide us from thy presence. Thou art with us still. Thine eye has been upon us through all the day. Thou hast watched over us, shielded us from harm, and brought us to the close of another day laden with fresh experience of thy love and care.
Forgive all that has been wrong in our actions, our words, or the spirit we have cherished. If we have yielded to temptation; if we have not been watchful against besetting sins; if we have been unfaithful in any of the relations and duties of life; if we have swerved from Christian integrity; if we have been untruthful, unkind, or ungenerous; if we have given way to petulance, or passion; if we have shown a retaliatory or unforgiving spirit; if we have grieved or wounded trusting affection; if we have betrayed or disappointed the confidence of friendship; or in any way disobeyed thy will, and grieved thy Holy Spirit, Father, forgive us, and help us to see and feel our sins, and inspire us with a new spirit, that we may live more as becometh thy children.
And now, O Father, we would listen to those words of Jesus which unfold the need of a spiritual birth. Sitting at the feet of that Teacher from heaven, may
his voice fall on our ears in the tender and earnest accents once heard on earth. While he takes the things of God and shows them unto us, may the reality and hopes of a spiritual life be by us discerned. O, that the work of regeneration might ever be going on in our souls. O, that each day might witness some progress in the divine life. O, for a living faith, strong and victorious, that shall open our souls more fully to thy Holy Spirit, and bring our inmost natures into harmony with thy will. Help us to look to thine only-begotten Son, who was lifted up that all men might be drawn unto him, and give us that saving faith in him which is unto everlasting life.
For all the good gifts of thy providence this day we thank thee; for food, and raiment, and shelter, and friends; for protection from sickness and casualty, and for all the enjoyments of social and domestic life. Sanctify our home. May it be a Christian home; a home of love, of faith, of hope, and prayer. And may all its influences, through thy rich grace, fit us for a home in heaven.
May we lean trustingly upon thine everlasting arm this night. May a sense of thy presence and love give peace to our slumbers. May we be refreshed and strengthened by needful repose. And if it shall seem good to thee to wake us to the light of another day, may our souls wake to new emotions of gratitude, and new purposes of living to thy glory. This we humbly ask, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.