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Christ's sake, and to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit, be glory for ever. Amen.
O LORD, we adore and bless thee as the God of grace and of consolation ; in whom we not only live and move and have our being, but by whom we have been called to the enjoyment of all heavenly and spiritual blessings in Christ Jesus. We thank thee that thou hast not only formed us of the dust of the earth, and breathed into our nostrils the breath of life, but that thou hast animated these mortal bodies with immortal spirits, and impressed upon our souls a resemblance to thine own blessed and glorious image.
Especially, we bless thee, gracious God, that though sin has marred that resemblance, and introduced disorder and impurity into our souls, thou hast had compassion upon us, and sent thy Son into the world to restore us to thy favour, to renew us after thine image, and to prepare us for thy kingdom. We bless the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who according to his abundant mercy, hath begotten us again to a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, undefiled, and that fadeth not away.
O grant that we may feel our obligations, not only to creating goodness, and providential care and bounty, but to redeeming love and sanctifying grace. May the design for which the Saviour died be accomplished in our experience, and manifested in our conduct. May our temper and our feelings, our desires and our pursuits, be cast into the mould of his example, and exhibit a resemblance to that holy and perfect pattern which he hath left for our imitation.
For this purpose, let the life we live in the flesh be by the faith of the Son of God. Looking up to him for encouragement in all our attempts to serve thee; for direction in the path of duty; for support under the burden of affliction ; for new supplies of grace to meet every new exigency in our condition ; committing ourselves habitually to him who careth for us, and relying on the power of his arm and the faithfulness of his promises ; may we go up through this wilderness in which we are called to perform our pilgrimage to heaven, and feel as we advance, our strength renewed, and our courage heightened, until we attain the end of our faith, even the salvation of our souls. O grant that such may be our confidence in the Lord our Shepherd, and such our experience of the power of his rod and of his staff to guide and to support us, that we may have reason when called to walk through the valley of the shadow of death
we will fear no evil,” and when heart and flesh fail us, to exult in thee, as the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever.
For all thy goodness to us during this past day, we would now render to thee our grateful and humble acknowledgments. With deep-felt penitence we call to mind the many instances in which we have
Let thy mercy
failed in our duty, and transgressed thy holy laws. With shame and confusion of face, we acknowledge, that while thou hast been dealing with us as with children, we have too often been unmindful of the hand that fed us, and too often provoked thee by our follies and our disobedience. Let thy goodness nevertheless be exercised towards us. towards us be very great; and let it extend not only to the pardon of our past offences, but to the communication of grace, that in time to come we may glorify thee in the enjoyment of all thy gifts, and in the purposes to which we apply all our powers.
To thy compassion and kindness we commend ourselves during this night. Let ours be the sleep which thou hast promised to thy beloved : let it refresh our bodies; and let a sense of thy goodness in bestowing it, excite us to devote our waking hours more unreservedly to thy service.
With ourselves, we would be mindful in thy presence of all our friends, and of all whom it is our duty in any way to remember at thy throne. Let thy grace be accommodated to their various circumstances and necessities. Enlarge, we pray thee, the boundaries of the Redeemer's kingdom. Add daily,
, both at home and in foreign and distant lands, to the number of his subjects, and hasten the time when all the ends of the world shall turn unto the Lord, and all kindreds of the nations shall worship before thee.
Hear us, we beseech thee, O Lord ; and accept of us and bless us, for the sake of Jesus Christ, to
whom, with the Father and the Holy Spirit, be glory for ever. Amen.
O Thou who art the same yesterday, to-day, and for ever; who wast, and art, and art to come, the Almighty; we bow down ourselves before thee in humility and reverence. We are but the creatures of yesterday, whose foundation is in the dust; but we look up to thee with confidence as the Source of our existence, the Author of our enjoyments, and the God to whom we owe all our hopes of eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
This morning, we desire with a thankful sense of thy past goodness to commend our bodies and our spirits to thy merciful protection; and amidst the dangers and the trials to which we are exposed, we would seek for shelter under the shadow of thy wings. Keep alive upon our minds, O Lord, a recollection of the comparative vanity and the uncertain tenure of all earthly blessings. While we receive the good things of providence with thankfulness, and rejoice in them as thy gifts, let us not set our hearts upon them. May we consider them as valuable only in their connexion with thy favour. With temperance and moderation may we use them; and, when it is thy will to withdraw them, may we remember that they were but lent us; humbly and submissively may we resign
them, thankful that they never constituted our portion, and that the true sources of our felicity in thee lie far beyond the reach of accident and change.
Elevate our minds, O Lord, we beseech thee, far above a present evil world. Weaken the hold which temporal things take of our affections. Show us better things than those of sense and time, as objects of regard and pursuit. Let us daily become less affected by earthly changes; less liable to be the prey of earthly anxieties ; less disposed to say of earthly blessings, however valuable and endeared, “ our gods;" and less prone, when visited by earthly losses and disappointments, to indulge in deep and overpowering sorrow, as if our all had been taken from us, and we knew not where to turn for comfort. O, while in the world, may we never lose sight of that eternal world which lies so near us. May its glories eclipse in our eyes all the empty splendours of a scene which is soon to vanish away. May our chief solicitude be to prepare for a state that is unending and unchangeable; and in comparison of this, which is the great object of existence, may every thing else that bears a relation merely to this present world, sink into insignificance and contempt.
Nor in the contemplation of our future prospects, let us be seduced into forgetfulness of present duty. While we exclude the world from our hearts, may we be alive to our obligations as members of society; and in our respective spheres, may we labour to fulfil our duty to one another, to mankind at large, and to the church of Christ. Let not the hope of hea