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which Jesus gave, and the use of other forms expressed for a like purpose, brought a sense of shelter and protection, of pardon and peace! It is in no disparagement to good manuals of devotion now in use that another is offered to the public. The following work will perhaps be found to reflect more accurately the religious spirit of the present day. Prepared at a time when controversy is suspended, when there is less tendency to extremes through a mere reaction against error, when the aspect of the Gospel which has most deeply interested the heart is that which regards it as a divine spiritual force for the conversion and regeneration of man, this book will be found, it is believed, to recognize more fully the truths which are the springs of the spiritual life, and to breathe more fervently some of the deepest longings of the soul. As a reflection of the spirit now inspiring many hearts, it derives special interest from the manner in which it was made. The Association, desiring to undertake such works as shall best promote the spiritual growth of our churches, sent a circular to several clergymen, soliciting forms of prayer for use in domestic and private worship. The following morning and evening prayers were written by twenty-five ministers, whose services are among those most highly esteemed in this community. This work, therefore, is not the composition of an individual, nor is it the exhortation only of one person to a devout life. Let it be received as the earnest desire of many, the reader's own minister, it may be, uniting his voice with others, that our families may be families that call on the name of the Lord. In the remembrance of the mercies that crown our daily lot, in the great needs that press on all human souls, their voices are with us, leading us to the Giver of all good, and to the Rock that is higher than we. The manuscripts of these prayers were sent to the editor without designation of any one subject as the leading thought of each. It became his duty to adapt to each an appropriate passage of Scripture, and to arrange them all so as to secure a variety and natural order of subjects. This was done in order to present a wide choice of topics, some one of which may be suited to the worshipper's frame of mind at the time. In this way may be avoided a feeling of insincerity arising from using a prayer merely because it is marked for the day, while it may have no adaptation to our present feelings. From the necessity of the case, however, the fitness of the prayer to the scripture, or of the scripture to the prayer, could not be very close, as the editor did not feel at liberty freely to interpolate the manuscripts. Perhaps sufficient adaptation may be found to make the subject indicated the true keynote of the devotional exercise. The wide range of topics in the morning and evening prayers prevented the necessity of enlarging the book under the head of Occasional Prayers, as the subjects of the former adapt each one of them for occasions. For the use of the Closet a few selections are made, chiefly from Jeremy Taylor, whose rich diction is well known to all readers of devotional works. The ancient Collects of the church are added, with appropriate titles, to be used when very short forms are desired; and for this purpose may be read after suitable passages of Scripture prefixed to the prayers. For alternate reading in the family, a few Litanies are added, which are taken from the ServiceBook of the Church of the Disciples. It will be observed that this book is lettered as the first of The Devotional Library. Other books in this library will follow, as fast as the Book-Fund of the Association justifies the prosecution of the plan, and other libraries are projected, such as The Biblical Library, The Theological Library, The Christian Youth's Library. To thousands of families, scattered far and wide, but one in the faith and hopes of our Lord Jesus Christ, this little volume is now offered. May it find a place on our tables, and near our hearts. May it be a mother's gift to her son leaving parental watchfulness to encounter the temptations of the world; may it go with the traveller, reminding him that, if he dwells in the uttermost parts of the earth, God is there, and His hand shall guide him. In our hours of gladness may it furnish a voice to show forth our praise; in our times of sorrow may it invite us to Him who is our only sure refuge and helper. In the circle of endeared domestic ties may it set up an altar of worship; and in the chamber of sorrow, and on the bed of sickness and death, may it direct to that peace which the world cannot take away !
GoD our KEEPER,
WATCHFULNESs, . . . .
DWELLING IN GOD AND CHRIs
- FAITH IN THE REDEEMER, . . . . . For A CHRISTIAN LIFE, ". . . . . Social DUTIES, . . . . . . . . . Joy IN God’s CoMPAssion, . . . FoR PROvIDENTIAL DIRECTION, . . AGAINST DISTRUST, . . . . . . . . RELYING on God, . . . . . . . . FAITH AND FoETITUDE, . . . . . Love for GoD AND MAN, . . . . DUTIEs to our FELLow-MEN, . . Use of DAILY BLEssings, . . . . FAITHFULNEss IN DUTY, . . . . . PRESERVATION FROM SIN, . . . . Fon CHRISTIAN GRowTH, . . . .
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