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us grace whereby we may serve Thee ac- | ance that we shall be one day perfectly like ceptably with reverence and godly fear. him and see him as he is.
Thou art our hiding-place; Thou art our Enable us to hold communion with Thee resting-place; Thou art our dwelling-place; in all the dispensations of thy providence, and the home of the soul, and our everlasting display the Christian in all the varying events portion. By sin we revolted from Thee, and of life. Man is born to trouble; regard us in Thou couldst have justly left us to the natu- all our sorrows. Though our afflictions are ral and penal consequences of the fall ; but the effects of sin, they are taken up, and emin thy love and pity Thou wast pleased to ployed by thy wisdoin and goodness for our devise means that thy banished should be profit: and though no chastening seemeth restored to Thee, Thou hast sent thy only for the present to be joyous but grievous, begotten Son into the world, that we might nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peacelive through him; and he has once suffered able fruit of righteousness. Be it unto us, O for sins, the just for the unjust, that he might Lord, according to thy word. May we learn bring us unto God.
obedience by the things we suffer; and may Having therefore boldness and access with every adversity turn to our salvation through confidence by the faith of him, we draw near prayer and the supply of the Spirit of Jesus and cry, God be merciful to us sinners. Thou Christ. hast been merciful to us in the bounties of Though ignorant of the future, and not thy Providence, and thy mercies have been knowing what a day might bring forth, may new every morning; but O impress us with we be fearful of nothing, and careful for no the conviction that the body is nothing to the thing. May we commit our way and our soul, and that time is nothing to eternity. works unto Him who has been with us in six When a few more of these weekly periods troubles; and has promised that He will have rolled away, our flesh will be laid be- never leave us nor forsake; whose grace will neath the cold stone or the green turf, and be sufficient for us while we live, and whose our spirits will be returned to God who gave hand shall wipe away all tears from our eyes them; and the solemn decision will have when we die. passed, He that is holy, let him be holy still, May we feel more of the tender and beneand he that is filthy, let him be filthy still. volent agency of the gospel. May it make
O bless us with the heritage of Jacob; re-us long for the salvation of souls; and rejoice member us with the favour Thou bearest to in the belief that Jesus gave himself a ranthy people. Absolve us from all condemna- som for all, to be testified in due time. tion; and let the spirit of life in Christ Jesus Already the lines have fallen to us in pleamake us free from the law of sin and death. sant places. Blessed are our eyes for they Deliver us from the power of darkness, and see, and our ears for they hear. Yet the blesstranslate us into the kingdom of thy dear ing may be converted into a curse; and Thou Son; that kingdom which is not meat and hast commanded us to fear, lest a promise drink, but righteousness, peace and joy in being left us of entering into thy rest, any of the Holy Ghost.
us should seem to come short of it. In how many ways have we borne the We would now dismiss the cares of the image of the earthly; O let us evermore bear world with the week. May we rise in the the image of the heavenly. May the humility morning with refreshed bodies and renewed and benevolence, the devotion and zeal, the strength, and be in the Spirit on thine own patience and submission which adorned his day. And do Thou send out thy light and lovely character, be in a measure our attain-| thy truth, that they may lead us and guide us ment now: and pressing after a fuller con- to thy holy hill and to thy tabernacles. Our foi mity to him, may we rejoice in the assur- Father, &c.
F O R M S OF PRA Y ER
i mention of his righteousness only, and in bis MORNING
strength go forth into all the duties and trials
of life. O God, Thou art worthy of universal and May we never feel miserable even in a vale everlasting adoration. Thy nature is incom- of tears, while we think of the Consolation of prehensible, thy perfections are infinite, and Israel; but rejoice in him with joy unspeakthy ways are past finding out. Thou art the able and full of glory. Creator and upholder of all things. All thy Reflecting upon his grace in becoming works praise Thee, O Lord, and thy saintspoor, that we through his poverty might be bless Thee; and were we to hold our peace rich, may all selfishness and uncharitableness the stones would immediately cry out and be extirpated from our hearts; may we bore reproach our ingratitude. All our lives have one another as he has loved us; and may se been full of thy undeserved goodness. | delight to go about doing good.
But we are called this morning to behold May no coldness, no indifference erer apthe exceeding riches of thy grace, in thy proach our spirits, whenever we are engaged kindness towards us by Christ Jesus. Herein in serving a master who has all the claims of is love; not that we loved God, but that He a benefactor; yea who died for us and rose loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitia- again. tion for our sins.
To Him may we consecrate all our faculMay we contemplate this matchless event ties and possessions; and on our time and with all those views and affections which its our substance, our souls and our bodies, may importance demands. May those who ob- there be inscribed, holiness unto the Lord serve the day, observe it unto the Lord. May | May we grieve to hear his name blasphemed, our festivity be becoming the occasion, harm- and weep to see his laws transgressed less and holy. Let us not disgrace the sea- ! May his cause lie near our hearts; and may son by reviving those works of the devil we long for the time when He shall be known which the Son of God was manifested to de- and adored from the rising of the sun to the stroy; nor rest satisfied with the mere remem- going down of the same; when to Him shall brance of his advent, as founded in truth and every knee bow, and every tongue confess; attended with wonders, but inquire for what and the glad tidings of great joy shall be to end He was born, and for what cause He all people-Unto you is born a Saviour which came into the world. And since we are in- is Christ the Lord. formed that He came to seek and to save Through his mediation we address Thee; that which was lost; and suffered the just for and in his words we conclude our imperfect the unjust, that He might bring us unto God; supplications Our Father, &c. may we deem the report not only a faithful saying, but worthy of all acceptation; and may it be in us as a well of water springing
CHRISTMAS DAY. up into everlasting life.
EVENING. May none of us disregard Him, from igno- THOUGH Thou art exalted above all bless rance, worldly-mindedness, presumption, self-ing and praise, yet, O God, we love to explore righteousness, or despondency. As our pro- thy ways, to admire thy works, and to adore phet, may we repair to his feet for instruction. thy perfections. Thy understanding is infinite, May we look to his sacrifice, and find relief for thy power is almighty, thy mercy endureth our burdened consciences. May we acknow-for ever. Thy goodness transcends all our ledge his authority and obey his commands. conceptions, as far as the heavens are higher In all our approaches to Thee, may we make than the earth.
We call on our souls and each other, this day! May we believe in Him as a Saviour evening, to praise and magnify thy holy name. before we meet Him as a judge; that when We bless Thee for our creation, and the de- the tribes of the earth shall wail because of gree we hold in the rank of being. We bless Him, we may lift up our heads with joy, Thee for our preservation, and for all the knowing that our redemption draweth nigh; supplies which have rendered life support and say with the church, Lo! this is our God, able; and all the indulgences which have we have waited for Him, He will save us; rendered it comfortable. But above all, we this is the Lord, we have waited for Him; thank Thee for thine unspeakable gift. For we will rejoice and be glad in his salvation. Thou hast surpassed all thy works and crown- Make thy ministers wise and zealous and ed all thy benefits by remembering us in our successful in the dispensation of thy word; low estate, and laying help on one that is and let signs and wonders be done in the mighty.
name of thy holy child Jesus. And we have again heard the intelligence, Bless the king and endue him with all that that God so loved the world, that He gave his grace which shall render him equal to his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth station, and add a lustre to his crown. on Him should not perish but have everlast- ! We are a sinful people; but Thou hast not ing life. Convince us of our need of this dis dealt with us after our desert; and Thou hast pensation of mercy and grace; and may we not left us without witness. Thou hast in the acquiesce in it, not with coldness of assent, midst of us a people for thy name; and we pray but with gladness of heart. May we exclaim that our beloved country may be a growing with the angels-glory to God in the highest, part of the empire of the Prince of Peace. on earth peace, good-will towards men: and May the root of Jesse stand for an ensign with the multitude of disciples, shout-Ho- to the people; to it may the Gentiles seek; sanna, blessed is He that cometh in the name and let his rest be glorious. May he come of the Lord.
down like rain upon the mown grass, as Though the world knew him not, and his showers that water the earth. In his days own received Him not, and He is still des may the righteous flourish; and abundance pised and rejected of men-may we receive of peace so long as the moon endureth. Let Him as all our salvation and all our desire. all nations be blessed in Him; all generations
May we rejoice to view Him in a nature call Him blessed. which leads Him to call us brethren; in And blessed be his glorious name for ever: which as our example, He can go before us and let the whole earth be filled with his in the duties of obedience and submission; in glory. Amen. which he can sympathize with us in all our wo; and in which He has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring
LAST EVENING OF THE OLD YEAR. us unto God.
O God, Thou hast been our refuge and May we look to Him for all we want, and dwelling-place in all generations. Before live a life of faith upon his fulness. In Him the mountains were brought forth, or ever may we know that we have redemption Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, through His blood; that we have righteous- even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou ness and strength; that we have all the trea- | art God. A thousand years in thy sight are sures of wisdom and knowledge.
| but as yesterday when it is past, and as a May we connect with his work for us in watch in the night. But as for man, his the Aesh, his work in us by the Spirit. While days are as grass; as a flower of the field so we are reconciled by his death, may we be he flourisheth; for the wind passeth over it saved by his life: and remember that his and it is gone, and the place thereof knoweth name is Jesus, because He saves his people it no more. from their sins.
We appear before Thee, to close in thy As He came not only that we might have presence another of the revolutions of our life, but have it more abundantly, may our fleeting existence, earnestly praying that the expectations be large and our desires impor- season may not pass away without suitable tunate. May He dwell in our hearts by faith, and serious reflections. O let us not imagine that we being rooted and grounded in love, in spite of scripture and observation, and may be able to comprehend with all saints | reason and feeling, that we have many of what is the height and depth, and breadth and these periods left to notice; but say with length, and know the love of Christ, which Job, When a few years are come, I shall go passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the the way whence I shall not return. It may fulness of God.
be only a few months or weeks or days Once in the end of the world hath He ap or hours--for we know not at what hour the peared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Son of man cometh. But we know that our himself; and unto them that look for Him life is a vapour that appeareth for a little will He appear a second time without sin time, and then vanisheth away; we know the unto salvation. O prepare us for that solemn | frailty of our frame, and the numberless diseases and disasters to which we are ex- | upon-bear witness to our gratitude, lore, posed: So teach us to number our days, that and obedience. O that it was not in its we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.. power to convict us of the most unworthy
What numbers of our fellow-creatures, requitals of thy goodness. To Thee, O Lord, and many of them much more likely to have belong glory and honour, but to us shame continued than their survivors, have during and confusion of face. O who can underthe past year been carried down to their long stand his errors? O how many duties have home. But we have been preserved, and are we neglected or improperly performed. How the living to praise Thee this day. Blessed little have we redeemed our time or imbe the God of salvation, to whom belong the proved our talents. How little have we been issues from death, that we are yet in the re- alive to thy glory, or sought, or even seized, gions of hope, that we have yet an accepted when presented, opportunities of serving our time and a day of salvation, and that our op- generation. How unprofited have we been portunities of doing good as well as of gain- under the richest means of religious pros ing good are still prolonged. Yet are they perity; and when for the time we ought to all diminished by another irreparable loss; be able to teach others, we have need to be and the reduced remainder, with every again taught ourselves which be the first trembling uncertainty attached to it, calls principles of the oracles of God. upon us to say with growing seriousness and God be merciful to us sinners. Pardon zeal, I must work the works of Him that sent our iniquity, for it is great. Cleanse as from me while it is day—the night cometh where all unrighteousness, and work in us to will in no man can work.
and to do of thy good pleasure. Let us not Thou hast commanded us to remember all carry one of our old sins with us into the the way which Thou hast led us in the wil. new year unforgiven, unrepented of, unbederness. The scene of our journeying has wailed, unabhorred. With a new portion of indeed been a wilderness; but the hand that time may we have new hearts, and become has conducted us is divine, and a thousand new creatures. privileges not derivable from our condition If this year we should die and in the have been experienced in it.
midst of life we are in death-may death Thou hast corrected us but it is of the prove our eternal gain. And if our days are Lord's mercies we are not consumed. | prolonged, may we walk before the Lord in
We have had our afflictions—but how few the land of the living and show forth all thy have they been in number, how short in praise. The number of our months is with continuance, how alleviated in degree, how Thee, In thy hand our breath is, and thine merciful in design, how instructive and use are all our ways. Prepare us for all, and be ful their results!
with us in all, and bring us safely through all With regard to our severest exercises we into the rest that remains for thy people, are compelled to acknowledge, Thou hast not for the sake of our Lord and Saviour: il dealt with us after our sins, neither hast whose words we call Thee-Our Father, &c Thou rewarded us according to our iniquities. Amen. It is good for me that I have been afflicted.
But 0, what a series of bounties and blessings present themselves to our minds, when
FIRST MORNING OF THE NEW we look back upon the year through which
YEAR. we have passed : and to what, but to thine unmerited goodness in the Son of thy love, Of old Thou hast laid the foundation of are we indebted for all? Health, strength, the earth: and the heavens are the work of food, raiment, residence, friends, relations, thy hands. They shall perish, but Thou comfort, pleasure, hope, usefulness,-all our shalt endure; yea all of them shall wax old benefits have dropped from thy gracious like a garment; as a vesture shalt Thou hand; and there has not been a day, or an change them and they shall be changed: but hour, or a moment, but has published thy Thou art the same, and thy years shall have kindness and thy care.
no end. Through all the successions of time, Especially would we acknowledge thy which with us constitute the past, the pregoodness in continuing to us the means of sent, and the future, I AM is thy name; and grace. Whatever has been denied us, we this is thy memorial in all generations. We have had the provisions of thy house. The desire, O God, with the profoundest revertoils and trials of the week have been re-ence, to contemplate the eternity of thy nafreshed and relieved by the delights of the ture. May our minds be filled with elevation Sabbath. Our eyes have seen our teachers; and grandeur at the thought of a Being with our ears have heard the joyful sound of the whom one day is as a thousand years and a gospel; and our hearts have often said, Lord, thousand years are as one day; a Being, it is good for us to be here.
, who, amidst all the revolutions of empire and And O that every moment of the past year the lapse of worlds, feels no variableness nor could, if called upon-and it will be called shadow of turning. How glorious, with im
mortality attached to them, are all thy at- | life, may we faithfully examine ourselves, to tributes! and how secure are the hopes and see what has been amiss in our former temhappiness of all those who know thy name, per or conduct; and in thy strength may we and put their trust in Thee!
resolve to correct it. And may we inquire for May we rejoice, that while men die, the the future, with a full determination to reLord "liveth; that while all creatures are duce our knowledge to practice, Lord, what found broken reeds and broken cisterns, He wilt Thou have me to do? is the Rock of ages, and the fountain of Prepare us for all the duties of the ensuing living waters. Othat we may turn away year. All the wisdom and strength necessary our hearts from vanity; and among all the for the performance of them must come from dissatisfactions and uncertainties of the pre- thyself; may we therefore live a life of selfsent state, look after an interest in that ever- distrust, of divine dependence, and of prayer; lasting covenant which is ordered in all may we ask and receive, that our joy may be things and sure. May we seek after a union full; may we live in the Spirit, and walk in with thyself, as the strength of our heart and the Spirit. our portion for ever, and be partakers our If we are indulged with prosperity, let not selves of the immutability we adore ; for our prosperity destroy us or injure us. If we Thou hast assured us that while the world are exercised with adversity, suffer us not to passeth away and the lusts thereof, he that sink in the hour of trouble or sin against doeth the will of God abideth for ever. God. May we know how to be abased with
We thank Thee that Thou hast revealed out despondence, and to abound without pride. to us the way in which a fallen and perishing If our relative comforts are continued to us, sinner can be eternally united to thyself, and may we love them without idolatry, and hold that Jesus is the way, the truth, and the life. them at thy disposal; and if they are recalled In his name we come. O receive us gra- from us, may we be enabled to say, The Lord ciously. Justify us freely from all things. Re- gave, and the Lord hath taken away, blessed new us in the spirit of our minds; and bless be the name of the Lord. us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly Fit us for all events. We know not what places in Christ.
a day may bring forth; but we encourage By the lapse of our days and weeks and ourselves in the Lord our God, and go foryears, which we are called upon so often to ward. Nothing can befall us by chance. Thou remark, may we be reminded how short our hast been thus far our helper: Thou hast prolife is, and how soon we shall close our eyes mised to be with us in every condition; Thou on every prospect below the sun. Suffer us hast engaged to make all things work togenot to neglect the claims of eternity in the ther for our good; all thy ways are mercy pursuit of the trifles of time: but knowing and truth. May we therefore be careful for how frail we are, may we be wise enough to nothing, but in everything by prayer and supchoose that good part which shall not be plication with thanksgiving, may we make taken away from us; and before we leave known our requests unto God; and may the the present evil world, may we secure an peace of God that passeth all understanding, inheritance in another and a better. May keep our hearts and minds through Christ thoughts of death and eternity so impress Jesus. our minds, as to put seriousness into our Bless, O bless, the young! May each of prayers and vigour into our resolutions; may them, this day, hear Thee saying, My son, they loosen us from an undue attachment to give me thy heart; and from this day may things seen and temporal; so that we may they cry unto Thee as the guide of their weep as though we wept not, and rejoice as youth. Regard those who have reached the though we rejoiced not.
years wherein they say, We have no pleaAnd remembering that the present life, so sure in them. If old in sin, may they be short, so uncertain, and so much of wbich is urged to embrace, before it be for ever too already vanished, is the only opportunity we | late, the things that belong to their peace; shall ever have for usefulness, may we be and if old in grace, uphold them with thy concerned with a holy avarice to redeem the free Spirit, and help them to remember that time. May we be alive and awake at every now is their salvation nearer than when they call of charity and piety. May we feed the believed. hungry and clothe the naked; may we in- ! Bless all the dear connexions attached to us struct the ignorant, reclaim the vicious, for- by nature, friendship, or religion. Grace be give the offending, diffuse the gospel; and to them, and peace be multiplied. consider one another, to provoke one another Let our country share thy protection and unto love and good works, not forsaking the smiles. Bless all our rulers and magistrates. assembling ourselves together, as the manner Bless all our churches and congregations. of some is, but exhorting one another, and Bless all thy ministers; may thine ordinances so much the more as we see the day ap in their hands be enlivening and refreshing, proaching.
and thy word effectual to wound and to heal. As we have entered on a new period of May this be a year remarkable for the con