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This lesson I lay before young persons, earnestly entreating them to treasure it up in their minds as wise and sober counsel, which will lay the foundaton of peace here, and peace for evermore; for besides reminding them of the fact that days mispent in youth, opportunities lost, and time abused, cannot communicate consolation or peace in declining life, I would also solemnly remind them, that the happiness even of eternity itself, depends upon their adopting Solomon's caution. If the young man remembers not his Creator in his youth, and cannot perhaps do it in advanced life, from inveterate habits, distracting infirmities, or perplexing cares, what has he left for eternity, and how is he to be prepared to meet his God, or inherit heaven ? This deserves the serious thought of every young person, and he should lay the truth to heart, that if childhood and youth be vanity, death and eternity must be vexation.
To my young friends I submit the above consideration, hoping that it may stir them up to remember their Creator in the days of their youth, and not spend those days in vanity, which has never yet brought a man peace at the last. Follow the advice so wisely given, and so graciously left upon record for your learning. Seek and serve God in your youth, and he will not forsake you when your strength faileth, and the infirmities of years press upon
you. They that honour me, said God by his prophet, I will honour; but they that despise me shall be lightly esteemed. This is worthy of notice. Let the words also of David to his son, sink deep into your hearts: Thou Solomon my son, know thou the God of thy father, and serve him with a perfect heart, and a willing mind: for the Lord searcheth all hearts, and understandeth all the imaginations of the thoughts: if thou seek him he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake him, he will cast thee off for ever. I need but slightly assist the impression, which these words are calculated to make upon the ingenuous youth, who as yet may fear to offend God. If such a one casts his eye over this page, I hope he will be induced to seek the Lord, and not to forsake him, lest he himself be cast off for ever.
If the question be asked, how shall I seek him? I answer, by the obvious means of diligent prayer. This the apostle advises when he says, in every thing, by prayer and supplication, let your requests be made known unto God: in which case, as he adds, the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. assist those young persons in prayer, who may not already be supplied with suitable forms, the following few short ones have been composed, and are submitted to their inspection, with a hope that they may be found expressive
of the feelings of the young christian, and with an earnest wish that a blessing may always accompany their being offered to the throne of grace.
To those who object to set forms, I would merely say, without going into the question, that our Lord taught his disciples a form, which has been left for our use and service; and that on one of the most important occasions that ever occurred of prayer to God, the afflicted Saviour himself prayed to the Father three different times in the garden of Gethsemane,
SAYING THE SAME WORDS.
But I would finally observe, and I wish those young persons to notice it, who may take up this little manual, that it is not the mere prayer of the lips, but of the heart, which efficaciously ascends to the throne of grace. Without devotional fervour of spirit, a sense of our need, and the active exercise of christian graces, we shall neither be heard with a form nor without one; but with these preparations of the heart, we shall be heard with either. If therefore we would have our prayers ascend to God, as the incense of a morning or an evening sacrifice, we must pray with the spirit and with the understanding also: we must offer the prayer of penitence and the prayer of faith; our prayer, in short, like our religion, must be in the spirit, and not in the letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God.
FOR SUNDAY MORNING.
BLESSED LORD, who hast caused me to lie down and to rise up again in peace and safety, none making me afraid, I humbly thank thee for this and for every mercy, beseeching thee to make me daily and hourly sensible that it is of thy goodness that life is continued to me, with its conveniences and comforts. Continue, I pray thee, thy special blessing and protection through the day, that I may neither fall into sin nor run into danger. Bless
me when I go out and when I come in, from this time forth for evermore.
As it is a day set apart for holy purposes, wherein thy people are commanded to attend thee, in thy house and service; incline me to fulfil this bounden duty, and be present with me when I go forth into thy courts. Give me those graces which may enable me to offer thee an acceptable service. Adorn me especially with humbleness of mind, penitence of spirit, faith unfeigned, and a stedfast purpose to lead a new life. Restrain all wandering thoughts and inordinate affections, that I may attend upon thee without distraction.
Give me the spirit of prayer and supplication, that I may ask faithfully, and obtain effectually to the relief of my necessities, and to the setting forth of thy glory. Let my prayer come up before thee as the incense and as the morning sacrifice. When I lift up my hands before thee, and cry to