« ElőzőTovább »
which thou hast given to thy people for an inheritance.
If there be in the land famine, if there be pestilence, blasting, mildew, or destroying insects; if their enemy besiege them in their land; whatsoever plague, whatsoever sickness there be; what prayer and supplication soever be made by any man, or by all thy people, which shall know every man the plague of his own heart, and spread forth his hands in this house: then hear thou in heaven thy dwel ling-place, and forgive, and do good unto thy people, according to the greatness of thy mercy, and thy tender compassion: that thy people may fear thee, and love thee all the days that they live in the land which thou gavest unto them.
Moreover, concerning the stranger, that is not of thy people in this place, but cometh out from another people: (for they shall hear of thy name, and of thy strong hand, and of thy stretched-out arm) when he shall come and pray in this house. Hear thou in heaven thy dwelling-place, and do according to all that the stranger calleth to thee for: that all people of the earth may know thy name, to fear thee, and to love thee, and that they may know that this house is called by thy name.
If thy people sin against thee, (for there is no man that sinneth not,) yet if they shall bethink themselves in their wanderings from thy righteous ways, and repent, and make supplication unto thee, saying, "We have sinned, and have done perversely, we have committed wickedness;" and so return unto thee with all their heart and with all their soul, and pray unto thee in this house, which is built for thy name; then hear thou their prayer and their supplication, in heaven thy dwelling-place, and forgive thy people that have sinned against thee, and all their transgressions wherein they have transgressed
against thee for they be thy people, and thine inheritance, whom thou hast brought out of heathen darkness and bondage, into the glorious light and liberty of the gospel, by the hand of thy Son Jesus Christ, our Redeemer.
Arise, therefore, O Lord God, into thy restingplace, thou, and the ark of thy strength: let thy priests, O Lord God, be clothed with salvation, and let thy saints rejoice in goodness; yea, let them like thy people Israel of old time, worship, and praise the Lord, saying, "For he is good, for his mercy endureth for ever."
And now, O Lord our God, like as it was at the dedication of thy ancient temple at Jerusalem, when the fire came down from heaven, and consumed the burnt-offering and the sacrifices, and the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord, so let thy glory descend and fill this house, this Christian temple, which we now dedicate to thee and to thy service. Let the fire of divine love inflame every heart; and let the offering which we present unto thee this day, be acceptable and well-pleasing in thy sight, and come up before thee as a sacrifice of a sweet-smelling savour.
Especially, O Lord our God, would we offer unto thee at this time, the sacrifice of praise, giving thanks to thy name; that in the new and Christian covenant, ordered in all things and sure, we can have boldness to enter into the holiest of all by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way which he hath consecrated for us, through the vail, even his flesh; and that we have a faithful and merciful High Priest over the house of God, such a High Priest as became us who is holy, harmless, undefiled, separate from sinners, and made higher than the heavens; who needeth not daily, like the priests under the first covenant, to offer up sacrifices, first for his
own sins, and then for those of the people; but who after he had offered one sacrifice for sins, for ever sat down on the right hand of God: not entering into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true, but into heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us. From henceforth expecting till his enemies be made his footstool: till every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father. May we therefore draw near to God with a true heart, in full assurance of faith; having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies cleansed from all defilement. May we, O Lord, be enabled to hold fast the profession of our faith without wavering; knowing that he is faithful that promised; and may we consider one another to provoke unto love, and to good works: not forsaking the assembling of ourselves together, as the manner of some is, but exhorting one another, and so much the more as we see the perfect day of gospel light, and of universal salvation approaching.
And now, O Lord our God, together with this house which is sacredly set apart to thy worship, we offer and present unto thee ourselves, our souls and bodies, as a willing, holy, and living sacrifice unto thee, to be devoted henceforth to a ready and cheerful obedience to thy will, and to the setting forth of thy praise and glory, which is both our bounden duty, and most reasonable service. And we also earnestly commend to thy grace and mercy, O Lord, both this our beloved country in which we live, with its inhabitants, and all its interests, and the whole world of mankind; praying that thou wouldst cause thy way to be known upon earth, thy saving health among all nations; that the people may praise thee, yea, that all the people may praise
thee that thy kingdom may come, and thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.
Let thy blessing, heavenly Father, attend thy word which may be spoken to us at this time, and all the religious services of this solemn and joyful occasion direct us, we pray thee, in all our doings with thy most gracious favour, and further us with thy continual help, that in all our works, begun, continued and ended in thee, we may glorify thy holy name, and that we may, in due time, realize and enjoy the perfect accomplishment of thy great and precious promises, which are exceeding, abundant, above all that we ask or think. And unto thee, O Almighty God and Father of all, be glory ascribed in the church of the Redeemer, and by all intelligent beings, throughout all ages, world without end. AMEN.
CLOSING PRAYERS AND BENEDICTIONS.
With respect to praying after sermon, the practice among Universalist ministers is not uniformly the same; nor is it necessary that it should be so. Some close the services, after preaching, with a hymn and the benediction; whilst others offer a short prayer after the sermon, either before or after the last singing, and then dismiss the congregation with a benediction. In relation to this matter no advice seems necessary. Let each minister, or leader of the public services, adopt such course as he shall judge expedient, and as shall appear to be most agreeable to the people among whom he officiates. Some short forms for prayer after sermon are here given.
ALMIGHTY God, our heavenly Father, we would
offer unto thee our united thanksgiving and
praise for the continued manifestations of thy goodness; and especially for this occasion of social wor ship. May the religious services in which we have been engaged, have a sanctifying influence on our minds. And grant that the instructions which have here been communicated, as far as they accord with the truth of thy holy word, may by thy grace, be so engrafted in our hearts, that they may bring forth in us the fruit of good living, in the faithful discharge of our duty, and in cheerful obedience to thy holy will; through Jesus Christ our Lord. AMEN.
Another Closing Prayer.
MOST merciful and gracious Lord our God, we
desire to render thee our sincere and devout acknowledgments for all thy favours; in particular for our religious privileges, and for the opportunity we have enjoyed on this occasion, of uniting together in the devotions of the Christian sanctuary. Pardon, we pray thee, what thou hast beheld amiss in us: graciously accept our imperfect services: grant us thy blessing, suited to our various conditions and necessities; and have us, O heavenly Father, now and always, in thy holy keeping. Be our guide through life, our support at its close in this frail and uncertain state, and our portion for evermore; through Jesus Christ, our blessed Redeemer and Saviour. AMEN.
FATHER of all mercies, and God of all grace and consolation-Thy service is the most perfect freedom: a day, or an hour in thy courts is better than a thousand in the tents of ungodliness. We thank thee for the instructions of thy word, and for the consolations, and the heavenly hopes of the gos