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O Trou King eternal, immortal, and invisible! though Thou art past finding out unto perfection, we rejoice that we are not called to worship an unknown God. Thou hast not left thyself without witness. We bless thee for the revelation which Thou hast given us; and that in thy word we can view Thee as the Father of mercies and the God of all grace.
All thy works and ways correspond with the names Thou hast assumed, and demand and justify our confidence in Thee. We praise Thee for the displays of thy goodness in the productions of nature and the bounties of thy providence; but above all, for thine inestimable love in the redemption of the world by our Lord Jesus Christ; for the means of grace, and for the hope of glory.
Herein Thou hast commanded thy love towards us, in that while we were yet sinners Christ died for us. We find ourselves this morning at the foot of his
cross, where angels are desiring to look into these things—and if they who need no repentance, study the sufferings of Christ and the glory that should follow, how much more should we, to whom they are not only true and wonderful and sublime, but all important and infinitely interesting! Help us, O Lord, to turn aside and see this great sight; and not suffer a dying Saviour to address us in vain, Is it nothing to you, all ye that pass by? Behold and
ever there was sorrow like unto my sorrow.
Here may we see the value of our souls in the price paid for their deliverance; and instead of neglecting them for the vanities of time and sense, may we regard them according to the estimation in which they were holden by Him who gave his life a ransom for many. Here may we rin'emplate the evil of sin, and abhor it; here look upon Him whom we have pierced, and mourn for Him. Yet remembering that He was not only slain by us, but for us. may we rejoice in our tears; and by believing, enter into rest.
*A day set apart by the church to commemorate our Savior's sufferings and death.
With humble and holy confidence may we be enabled to say, Surely He hath borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; the chastisement of our peace was upon Him, and with his stripes we are healed.
May we never degrade his death, by fearing that it will not be available for guilt so great and aggravated as ours, even if we depend upon it, and plead it before God; but be fully persuaded that his blood cleanseth from all sin, and that by the one offering up of Himself, He hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified.
Yet, O God, never suffer us to sin that grace may abound. May we never crucify the Savior afresh, and put him to an open shame. May he never be wounded in the house of his professing friends. Rather may we live only and wholly for Him who died for us, and adorn the doctrine of God our Savior in all things.
May our old man be crucified with Him, and the body of sin be destroyed, that henceforth we may not serve sin. May we be planted together in the likeness of his death. As He suffered for us, leaving us an example that we should follow his steps, may we learn of Him submission, and meekness, and forgiveness of injuries. When reviled, may we revile not again; when suffering, rnay we threaten not, but commit ourselves to Him that judgeth righteously.
Like Him, in all the afflictions of life, may we look to the hand that prepares and presents them, and say, The cup which my Father hath given me, shall I not drink it? Whatever be the cross we are required to bear, may we look before us, and see Him carrying a much 'heavier; carrying it for
us, and carrying it without a murmur.
Convert and pardon all those who by their lives or doc. trine are the enemies of the cross of Christ. upon the descendants of those who shed his blood; and let his dying prayer be answered, Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do.
As Thou hast made his soul an offering for sin, may He see his seed, and prolong his days, and the pleasure of the Lord prosper in his hand. May He see of the travail of his soul and be satisfied; and by his knowledge may He justify many, having borne their iniquities.
Yea, having been lifted up from the earth, may He draw all men unto Him. May all kings fall down before Him, and all nations serve Him; and in all the earth which He has purchased with his own blood, may there be one Lord, and his name one.
And when He who made himself of no reputation, but took upon Him the form of a servant, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross, shall come in his glory, with all the holy angels, may we be enabled to say, Even so, come Lord Jesus; and unite with those, who will be eternally employed in saying, Unto Him that loved us, and washed us from our sins in his own blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God, and to his Father, be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
GOOD FRIDAY EVENING.
O Thou, whose name alone is Jehovah, the Most High over all the earth: we desire to adore thy perfections and to admire thy works, which are sought out of a.! them that have pleasure therein.
Thou art the only wise God. Thy power is almighty. Whither can we go from thy presence, or whither can wo flee from thy Spirit ? Thou art Loly in all thy ways. And such is thy purity, that even the heavens are not clean in thy sight.
How shall we come before the Lord, or bow before the high God? We have no offering of our own to bring. No man can redeem his brother, or give to God a ransom for him. The blood of bulls and of goats could not take away sin. The law itself made nothing perfect, but the bringing in of a better hope did, by the which we draw nigh to God.
Yes, blessed be thy name, Thou hast shown us what is good; and we behold the Lamb of God, who is the propitiation for our sins, and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
Here a foundation is laid for our hope, in connexion with the highest glory of all thy perfections; and we rejoice to think that while pleading for salvation by the blood of the cross, we ask Thee not to deny thyself, or to trample on thy holy law; for here thy law is magnified and made honorable ; here all thy attributes are developed and harmonized; mercy and truth meet together, righteousness and peace
kiss each other. Here, weary and heavy laden, may we come for relief, and find rest unto our souls. May we take fresh views of this adorable sacrifice under a sense of our constant unworthiness and desert; and in all our approaches to Thet may we have boldness and access with confidence by the faith of Him.
May we not only rely upon his cross, but glory in it. Yea, may we joy in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom we have now received the atonement. And may we be able, individually, to say, I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in
and the life that I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God who loved me and gave Himself for me.
We are thankful that as He atoned for our guilt, so He procured for us the grace of life, that the blessing of Abraham might come on the Gentiles, and that we might recei e the promise of the Spirit through faith. May we never separate the pardon and sanctification which Thou hast joined together. May we prove that He gave Himself, not only for our sins, but that He might deliver us from this present evil world; yea, that He might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto Himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
And O, that in every future moment of our existence, we may be constrained to live, not to ourselves, but to Him that died for us and rose again.
As He so loved us, may we also love one another; and never deem any thing too great to do or to suffer while endeavoring to seek and to save that which is lost.
May the hearts which are too hard to be broken by terror, be melted by love, and gained by confidence. May none of those who are desirous of returning to Thee, be discouraged by a fear of rejection; but calling to remembrance and belief the infinite proof which Thou hast already exhibited of thy benevolence, thus judge,–He that spared not his own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him freely give us all things. Smile
upon our country. Let all the churches of the faithful be edified and multiplied. Bless all the ministers of the everlasting gospel; and may they increasingly determine to know nothing, save Jesus Christ and Him crucified. Increase the number of those who love his salvation ; and as He gave Himself a ransom for all, may it be testified in due time; that He may have the heathen for his inheritance, and the uttermost parts of the arth for his possession, and reign King of kings, and Lord of lords.
In his words we conclude our devotions. Our Father