« 이전계속 »
the light of bis countenance upon us, and give us peace, now and for eyerniore! Amen.
EVENING PRAYER FOR THE LORD'S DAY.
Ever blessed and gracious God, praised be thy goodness that thou hast fed thy unworthy creatures with that bread of life which came down from heaven, and of which whoever eateth shall never hunger! Surrounded as thou art with all the heavenly host of innumerable angels in thy courts above, yet have the doors of thine house below been opened this day, and sinners invited to enter in, to imitate the same delightful employment of praising thee through Jesus Christ! ; Lord, we bless thee for every portion of power or ability which thou hast imparted, by which we have been enabled to hear thy word, and to have our souls quickened to any devotion. All the sincere breathings of our souls toward thee must come from thy mercy: it is thou that must first put into our hearts good desires; and it is thou only that canst bring the same to good effect! We adore the riches of thy grace, if we have been enabled to spend this holy day in any manner profitable to ourselves, or to the promotion of thy glory and honour ! If we have been more convinced this day of the great evil of sin, and the sad corruption of our nature,—if we have seen it represented in stronger colours, and every self-exalting thought has been brought down to the ground, and we have been led to behold, with increased faith, that Lamb of God which alone " taketh away the sins of the world.” —
Carry on the good work, Lord we beseech thee, continually in our souls; and though the day be almost ended, let not the work of it be in vain! Let thy holy Spirit constantly bring to our remembrance the sacred instruction which we have heard in thy house; and as far as thy ministers have spoken agreeably to thy word, let our souls retain and improve it! Let the truths of thy holy word be our continual study and delight!-give us grace to meditate on them both day and night,-both when we lie down, and when we rise up! Suffer not the enemies of our salvation, the world, the flesh, or the devil, to take them out of our minds; neither let the concerns of this life, the lusts of the flesh, or the suggestions of Satan, render them useless and unprofitable; but, like good seed sown in good ground, let them spring up and flourish under the dew of thy blessing !
Pardon, Lord, the imperfections and transgressions of this day,—the dulness of our hearts under all the quickening ordinances of thy grace, and the wanderings of our mind, amongst the vanities of life, even in the place where thine honour dwelleth. Oh, when shall we come to join that holy assembly above, where not a single being feels an absent affection in all the innumerable multitude !
Let the serious impressions this day wrought upon our souls never be effaced ; and, oh, may thy grace increase them more and more! May we return to the world like new beings, fortified with the love of God, and wearing the armour of our salvation !-and may every returning sabbath bring with it the blessings of thy Holy Spirit !
O may the name of Jesus have been glorified this day far and near !-and may many have been brought to bend their knee to his most holy name, and to have felt the power of Christ in their hearts ! Has
ten the time, Lord, which thou hast promised concerning thy church, when the fulness of the Gentiles shall be completed, and all Israel shall be saved, — when the mountain of the Lord's house shall be exalted above the hills, and the whole earth be filled with the glory of the Lord !
May thy praise and thy love, thy power, thy glory, and righteousness of thy kingdom, be most in our thoughts !-and may we daily grow in grace and in the knowledge and love of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, till we come to our future and eternal state, to join the society of pure worshippers in an everlasting sabbath, where we shall no longer need the use of means, but receive the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls !-where we shall no longer serve God as at a distance, but see him face to face, and for ever sing praises to God and the Lamb !
To Him who loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, -to Him, with the Father and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed all honour' and glory, now and for evermore !
Our Father, &c.
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the fellowship of the Holy Ghost, be with us all, henceforth and for ever! Amen.
As it is very possible that this little work may fall into the hands of a pious as well as a prayerless reader, in order that the perusal of it may not be altogether unprofitable to one of this complexion also, the author would beg to subjoin an observation on the great subject of prayer, which he is led to believe is but too generally overlooked and forgotten, even by devout persons in the exercise of this important duty. The circumstance to which he alludes is, the neglect of uniting watchfulness with prayer; or, in other words, first waiting the favourable moment in seasons of devotion for making our requests known unto God, and then attending upon the Lord in humility of heart and watchfulness after prayer, for the fulfilment of God's gracious promises.
It was not, certainly, without a special relation to these points that the great Redeemer so earnestly commanded his disciples, to watch and pray; and though, indeed, this precept was given upon a parti, cular occasion, yet that our blessed Lord did not intend it in any confined sense, is evident from the connection which the apostle Paul makes of both duties, when enjoining the Colossians to "continue instant in prayer, and watch in the same with thanksgiving." From whence it should seem very plain, that a truly pious soul is to watch before prayer, that “ a spirit of grace and supplication may be poured upon him from the Lord;" by which alone his devotions can ascend, through the Redeemer's name, a grateful offering before God; and after prayer, like the prophet, he is “ to get upon the watch tower," to see what the Lord will say in answer to his petition; for without the one, a man will be in danger of praying unassisted by grace, and follow the indiscre. tion of those whom Jesus reproved “in knowing not what they asked ;” and without the other, it is impossible to know whether the mercies implored are granted or not. It was probably with an eye to this, the prophet Isaiah was instructed to deliver that precept :-“Keep silence before me, O islands, and let the people renew their strength. Let them come near, then let them speak.”
This great principle of watchfulness in devotion, which as a duty hath the sanction both of Christ and his apostle in the appointment of it, and, in respect of usefulness and importance, carries with it its own res commendation, is what the author of this little tract wishes to place in that point of view which may best engage the observation, and induce the practice of every pious reader; and under both considerations it is so self-evident and essential to the very spirit of piety, that it is only astonishing how it should ever escape the notice, or not attract the warmest regard
devout mind. We pray God, either for general mercies or for particular blessings, and such as we stand in need of; and the very application supposes that we earnestly desire (if consistent with the Divine will) to obtain what we ask. : But how strange is it then, that as soon as we have finished our devotions, and made known our requests unto God, we arise from our knees, seemingly as regardless of the event, and unwatchful of the divine pleasure, concerning the object of our requests, as though we had not implored and were unconcerned to obtain! Doth such a conduct correspond with the idea of prayer? Is it thus that we ask from one another in the circumstances of common life, a