« ElőzőTovább »
to endure chastening, may the same thought arm us with patience, and satisfy us of the wisdom and goodness of the dispensations by which we are tried.
We lament, O Lord, that in the enjoyment of temporal comforts, we should be so liable to forget thee. But we pray for a better spirit than our own—a spirit of wisdom to discern thee in all thy ways toward us, and a spirit of gratitude and love to receive all thy gifts as from thy hand, and to employ them in thy service. Teach us habitually to remember all the way by which we have been led : to consider the necessity for the trials by which we have been exercised; to trace the connexion between evil in our circumstances and good in our character ; to weigh the mercies we have enjoyed against the sorrows we have experienced ; and from a review of the past in all its relations and consequences, to deduce daily new occasions for celebrating the praises of him who hath dealt with us as a father, and in the midst of wrath remembered mercy.
And while thus, O Lord, we bear in mind thy temporal goodness, let us not be forgetful of our obligations to thy grace. Thanks be unto God for the purpose and plan of redeeming love ; and thanks be unto God for all the methods by which that love hath been displayed. We thank thee that we have heard the voice of divine mercy addressed to us through thy Son; and that notwithstanding of our reluctance to listen, and our indifference to what we have heard, the offers of thy grace are still made to us.
0, while we bless thee for the riches of thy grace, may we be anxious to partake of them. May we have reason to bless thee, not only for mercies offered, but for mercies accepted, experienced and enjoyed. And we would give thee thanks, gracious God, for any disposition thou hast given us thus to prize, and thus to improve thy mercies. All our goodness is thine own gift. O confirm, increase, and perfect it; and give us reason daily to acknowledge, that he which hath begun a good work is performing it until the day of Jesus Christ.
Nor would we confine our views, O Lord, to personal mercies. Connected as we are by many ties with our fellow-men, and dependent on them for much of our happiness and improvement, we would regard thy goodness to them as goodness to ourselves. We bless thee for it; and we humbly pray, that it may be increased and multiplied exceedingly. Hasten the time, when thy Spirit shall be poured upon all flesh ; when society shall be purified from the disorders that defile and degrade it ; when men everywhere shall be of one heart and of one mind; and when God shall be glorified from the rising to to the setting of the sun.
Now, unto Him who hath given us endless cause of thanksgiving and praise, unto him be glory through Jesus Christ, world without end. Amen.
WHOM have we, O Lord, in heaven but thee; and in all the earth there is none whom we desire besides thee : our heart and our flesh faileth, but thou art the strength of our heart, and our portion for ever. We bless thee, that we are permitted with all our sorrows to approach thy throne, and that to thine afflicted people thou hast been pleased to say, “ Call upon me in the day of trouble, and I will deliver thee, and thou shall glorify me.”
We, O Lord, are wholly in thy hands. We are the creatures of thy power, and thou art the sovereign Disposer of our lot. We thank thee for the temporal mercies we have in past time enjoyed : but especially we bless thee that thou hast taught us not to look on any measure of temporal blessings as our portion. Amidst our greatest prosperity, we have been reminded that our inheritance is in heaven ; and now that the day of adversity hath overtaken us, we rejoice that we are spared the anguish of regarding the departure of earthly blessings as a fatal and an irreparable loss.
O may the vanity of earthly good be more deeply than ever imprinted upon our minds. May we feel that this is not our rest ; and while we are called to bear witness in our own experience to the frail tenure of all temporal blessings, may our hearts be raised to Him who breaks no promises, disappoints no hopes, whose power to bless is infinite, and whose love is unchanging and eternal.
Under all the dispensations of thy providence, teach us to confide in thy wisdom. Satisfy our minds that thou knowest what is good for us, and that thy way must be a right way. And O when we think of the greatness of thy love in Christ Jesus, may we dismiss every suspicion of thy benevolence. May we feel assured that we are in the hands of a Father: in the very chastisements with which he corrects us, may we discern the evidence of paternal regard; and instead of despising the chastening of the Lord, or fainting under his rebuke, may we lift up the hands which hang down, and kiss the rod that is raised, not for his pleasure, but for our profit.
We give thee thanks, O Lord, that in all our afflictions, we are assured of the sympathy of our great High Priest. Blessed be God, that we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with a feeling of our infirmities. O may he who knows what suffering is, draw nigh to us with the fellow-feeling of an elder brother; and may that power with which he is invested as Head over all things to his church, be employed in imparting to us divine support and consolation.
Nor let us merely be enabled to bear affliction, but may the trial of our faith, being much more precious than of gold which perisheth, be found unto praise, and honour, and glory, at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Let patience have its perfect work. Regarding affliction as thine appointment, may we experience its blessed tendency to purify our passions, to elevate our affections, and to perfect our character. Though not joyous but grievous, nevertheless, by thy blessing, may it produce in us all the peaceable fruits of righteousness, and finally work out for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory.
Thus, O Lord, would we cast our burden upon
thee, and commit ourselves and all that concerns us into thy gracious hands. Deal with us as seemeth good in thy sight. Rebuke the presumption that would prompt us to wish our lot were otherwise ordered than thou hast seen good to order it. Restrain impatience : repress murmuring: teach (for none teacheth like thee) the lesson of holy satisfaction with thy blessed will; and accompany all thy dispensations with such a sense of thy presence and love, that tribulation shall work patience, and patience experience, and experience hope, even that hope which maketh not ashamed.
O Lord, thou canst supply every want : thou canst compensate for every loss : thou canst heal every wound; and thou hast promised to wipe away every tear. Our souls wait upon thee : our expectation is from thee. Let thy grace be sufficient for us. Suffer us not to be tempted above that we are able to bear; but let thy strength be made perfect in our weakness; and when our foot slippeth, let thy mercy
hold us up.
Now, unto Him that is able to keep us from falling, and to present us faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, to the only wise God our Saviour, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and ever. Amen.