페이지 이미지

Praised be thy forbearance, that we are alive here this day! that, while others are tossing upon the beds of sickness, and cut off from the assembly of thy people, thou hast granted to us the favour of going with the multitude into the house of God, and uniting in the voice of prayer among such as keep holy this day; and that we have one sabbath more allotted to us to prepare for the eternal sabbath of Heaven.

Lord, impart thy grace to our souls, that this sacred day may not be added to the many we have spent improperly! How often have we passed those holy days in a total neglect of the duty intended ! and, instead of dedicating them to thine honour, have consumed them in idleness and folly! How often, even in the seemingly better application, have we rushed into the courts of thy house and the place where thine honour dwelleth, without a thought or reflection on: the greatness of the Being whose presence we were approaching ! And how very often, while our bodies have been present before thee, and our lips uttering words of prayer, have our souls been wandering among the things of the world, neither has God been in all our thoughts !

Pardon, gracious God, all that is past, and give us grace, that we may be no longer among the drowsy, the idle, and forgetful hearers of thy word; and that the vanities of this life may not call away our eyes or our hearts from attending to thee, the Supreme Object of devotion.

Go with us to thy holy temple, and may we always find thy presence in the assemblies of thy people! Let thy Holy Spirit be powerfully assisting all the ministers and stewards of thy word throughout the world, that some souls may be gathered to Christ every sabbath! Particularly bless his ministry under whom we are placed; and as thou hast ordained that the

priests' lips should retain knowledge, and the people should seek the law at their mouths,” do thou fill


[merged small][merged small][ocr errors][ocr errors]

them, O God, with knowledge and sound doctrine, that they may not preach themselves, but Christ the Lord !

And as the public ministration of thy holy word employs but a small portion of this sacred day, enable us, O Lord, to fill it up with private duties, and to be careful of applying every portion of time so precious to the best of purposes. In retirement and abstraction from the world, in prayer and self-examination, let our souls delight; not doing our own way, not finding our own pleasure, nor speaking our own words ;” and not going into the idle customs of unprofitable visits, and the like, which distinguish men of this world from sincere lovers of God.

And, finally, gracious God, grant that both our public duties at thy temple, and our private meditations and sacred employments at home, may all serve to lead our souls to him who is the Author and Finisher of our faith, the Lamb that was slain, and hath redeemed us unto thee by his blood, and through whom alone we seek acceptance and salvation ! To him, with thee and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all glory and honour, in all churches of the saints, now and for evermore! Amen.


GREAT and glorious Lord of heaven and earth, be_ hold thy poor creatures of the dust approaching thy divine

presence, to present our evening sacrifice and thanksgiving for the mercies of the day past, and the whole of our lives, and to implore thy protection through the night! We humbly desire to call upon thee, thou almighty Lord, through the atoning merits and intercession of Jesus Christ ! We adore thy great goodness, manifested to us, in that we yet live


monuments of thy long-suffering and forbearance, and are permitted to call upon thy holy name! Most justly might we have been cut off from the land of the living for our manifold transgressions, had thy ways been as our ways, and thy thoughts like our thoughts ; and long since have been past the power of offering any prayers to thy Divine Majesty ; but thou art a God of mercy, therefore thy grace is still continued towards us. Oh, that we may now find grace in thy sight! We desire, with the lowliest prostration of soul and body, to confess our manifold offences before thee, and to smite upon our breasts humbly imploring that thou wouldst be merciful to us miserable sinners.

Had we only the sins and errors of the past day to answer for, yet even this day's account would make us stand condemned before thee. But our transgressions have been multiplying from our childhood to this hour. We have sinned against the clear knowledge of thy will, often in the midst of the tenderest expressions of thy mercy; against all thy inviting promises, thy awful warnings, and thy fatherly visitations ; against the powerful corrections of thy Holy Spirit, and all the mercies provided for us in the blood of Christ. Lord, we are unworthy to come before thee; and were it not that even a sense of our sins can only come from the blessed teachings of thy Holy Spirit, we should not have the confidence any more to pray unto God. But when we look up through that channel of

grace and mercy opened to sinners in the atonement and righteousness of Christ, we are encouraged to draw nigh, and to plead this before thee, as the means of acceptance. Oh, sprinkle our consciences with that blood of cleansing which speaketh better things than the blood of Abel; clothe our souls with that robe of righteousness which is found only in the perfect obe

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

dience of Jesus Christ our Lord; and let our whole hope and dependance be in him, who of God is made to us wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption!

Accompany thy pardoning mercy with thy purifying grace; and as our Lord Jesus Christ died for sin to condemn sin in the flesh, enable us to die unto sin and to live unto righteousness. Help us, O Lord, thou God of all power, and might, to put off the old man, which is corrupt according the deceitful lusts, and to put on the new man, which is created in righteousness and holiness.

O give us a new heart, and renew a right spirit within us! Wean our souls from all the pomps and pleasures, from all the vanities and honours, and from all the enjoyments of flesh and appetite, in this transitory state of things, and make us bunger and thirst after righteousness, until we wake up after thy likeness, to be fully satisfied with it.

Impress us continually with that great truth, that the gaining of the whole world would be a miserable recompense for the loss of the soul; and, oh ! let that solemn account we must all, ere long, give before the judgment-seat of Christ, so influence all our thoughts, and words, and actions, that when the moment shall come that Christ shall appear to be glorified in his saints, and to be admired in all that believe,

be able to cry out with holy rapture “ Lo, this is our God; we have waited for him, and he will save us ! this is the Lord, we will be glad, and rejoice in his salvation !?

We humbly commit ourselves, our friends, our relations, our neighbours, and all that call upon the name of the Lord, to thy merciful protection this night! The darkness is no darkness with thee; but the night is as clear as the day. Defend, we beseech thee, our persons, our dwellings, and our property,

[ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors][ocr errors]

we may

[ocr errors]

from all danger.' Refresh us with such sleep, that the wearied limbs of the body may be so comforted


and prepared to act with the vigour of the mind, that when the morning shall again dawn upon us, together with opening the eyes of the body to the light of a new day, we may open the eyes of the soul to the renewed light of thy grace !-or, if it be thy blessed will, that our sleep may be the sleep of death, let our souls: be found among those who sleep in Jesus ; and may all thy providences be sanctified with thy blessing and thy grace, that if we live, we may live to the Lord ; and if we die, we may die to the Lord; so that, living or dying, we may be the Lord's!

After the many supplications we have presumed to make for the mercies we want, let a sense of the many we enjoy make us ever grateful for those already received! We bow with thankfulness for the mercies of ease and health, which thou hast been pleased to give us; for the comforts of the day past, and for the many providences bestowed upon us through life; but above all, these mercies which, great and unde, served as they are, are yet but temporal; we wish to express still more devout thanksgiving for those which are eternal; for all the wonders of thy grace; that such a redemption is provided for fallen man, in the death of the Son of God; and, oh! the abundant goodness manifested to our souls! that while so many millions are born, and live, and die, in ignorance of this unspeakable gift of heaven, thou hast revealed unto us this knowledge in the face of Jesus Christ !

Accept all that poor sinful creatures of the dust can offer of acknowledgment, and let our prayers, both of supplication and thanksgiving, come up before the throne of thy grace, through the sole merits and intercession of Jesus Christ!

Our Father, &c.
The Lord bless us and keep us !--the Lord lift up

« 이전계속 »