Изображения страниц
PDF
EPUB

with might by thy Spirit, in the inner man, for every purpose of the christian life and may we be satisfied with no attainment, till we are filled with all the fulness of God.

Awaken the careless; convince of their error and gu:lt all those who deny or vilify the work of thy grace; and plant in their cousciences the conviction, that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ he is none of his.

Pour the spirit of grace and of supplication upon all our congregations. Bless the ministry of the gospel, and make it the ministration of the Spirit, and the power of God to salvation to every one that believeth.

But how can they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear without a preacher ? How many are there, who by the wretchedness of their condition, if not by their actual desire, are saying, Come over and help us !

Hast Thou not commanded us to pray, that thy kingdorn may come? Hast not Thou promised that the earth shall be full of the knowledge of the Lord, as the waters cover the seas?

May we encourage our expectation by reviewing what Thou hast already accomplished, and remembering that Thou art a God of truth, and the Almighty. May we therefore realize in our minds the delightful period when the heathen shall cast their idols to the moles and to the bats; when Mahonetanism and Antichrist shall perish; when the Jews shall look upon Him whom they have pierced and mourn; and among Protestants, every plant which our heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be

rooted up

But why are thy chariot-wheels so long in coming ? Why does the whole creation groan and travail in pain together until now? How

would say, Lord, now lettest Thou thy servant depart in peace according to thy word-.-could their eyes see thy salvation, which Thou

many

hast prepared before the face of all people ; a light to lighten the Gentiles, and the glory of thy people Israel.

While using the means, may we trust in thy wisdom, as well as thy faithfulness; and hear the voice saying, I The Lord will hasten it in his time.

And to God the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, be ascribed the kingdom, power and glory, both now and for

Amen.

over.

THE EVENING AFTER A FUNERAL.

O Thou Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, Thou hast often invited us to thyself by a profusion of kindness; and it manifests our depravity that we think of Thee so little in the hour of ease and prosperity. But we are now before Thee in affliction and distress. Yet we rejoice to know that Thou art a very present and an all-sufficient help in trouble.

Thou takest away, anů who can hinder Thee, or say unto Thee, What doest Thou? Thou hast a right to do what Thou wilt with thine own. Thou art a sovereign, and the reasons of thy conduct are often far above out of our sight; but thy work is perfect, thy ways are judgment. All thy dispensations are wise, and righteous, and kindkind, even when they seem to be severe.

May we hear thy voice in thy rod, as well as in why word; and gathering from the corrections with which we are exercised the peaceable fruit of righteousness, be able to acknowledge, with all our suffering brethren before us, It is

, good for me that I have been afflicted.

It is not the Scripture only that reminds us of our living in a dying world, but all observation and experience. Man is continually going to his long home, and the mourners

a

daily go about the streets. And we are all accomplishing as an hireling our day, and in a little time our neighbours, friends, and relations, will seek us--and we shall not be. Our days are swifter than a weaver's shuttle, and are spent without hope. Thou hast made our days as an hand's breadth, and our age is as nothing before Thee; verily every man at his best estate is altogether vanity.

For our days are not only few, but full of evil. Anxieties perplex us; dangers alarm us; infirmities oppress us; disappointments afflict us; losses impoverish us; we are consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath are we troubled— shut not thy merciful ear to our prayers; but spare us, O Lord, most holy; O God, most mighty; O holy and most merciful Saviour; Thou most worthy Judge eternal, suffer us not, at our last hour, for any bitter pains of death, to fall from Thee.

We acknowledge, O God, with shame and sorrow, that the state of degradation and mortality in which we groan was not our original condition. Thou madest man upright, but he sought out many inventions. Our first Father sinned, and we have borne his iniquity. By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death hath passed upon

all men, for that all have sinned. And we bless Thee that this is not our final state. By the discoveries of faith, we see new heavens, and a new earth wherein dwelleth righteousness. We see the spirits of just men made perfect. We see our vile bodies changed and fashioned like the Saviour's own glorious body; and man, the sinner, raised above the angels who never sinned. We bless Thee for this

of

grace, formed before the world began, and acconiplished in the fulness of time by the Son of thy love, who hath abolished death, and brought life and immortality to light by the gospel; and rection and the life; he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live; and whosoever liveth and believeth in me shall never die.

purpose

the ravages of the grave, says, I am the resur

who among

May it be our immediate and supreme concern to win Christ, and be found in Him; knowing that there is no conuemnation to them that are in Christ Jesus; and that blessed are the dead that die in the Lord.

So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom—that wisdom which will lead us to prefer the soul to the body, and eternity to time; that wisdom which will lead us to secure an interest in a better world, before we are removed from this.

O let not the trifles of time induce us to neglect the one thing needful. While each of us is compelled to say, I know Thou wilt bring me to death, and to the house appointed for all living, may we be enabled also to say, I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I have committed to Him against that day.

And, 0, let not the solemnities we have this day wit nessed be ever forgotten; for often our most serious im. pressions have worn off, and our goodness has been as the morning cloud, and as early dew that soon passeth away.

Thou hast permitted death to invade our circle, and hast turned our dwelling into a house of mourning. May we find that it is better to be in the house of mourning, than in the house of mirth. By the sadness of the countenance may the heart be made better, more serious to reflect, and more softened to take impression.

With the feelings of the creature may we blend the views and the hopes of the Christian. May we remember that Thou hast bereaved us, not as an aggressor, but as a proprietɔr; resuming what was lent us for a season, but never ceased to be thine own. May we therefore be dumb, and open not our mouth, because Thou hast done it; or

that we

if we speak, may it be to acknowledge and pray, I
know, O Lord, that thy judgments are right, and that
Thou in faithfulness hast afflicted me; let thy loving-
kindness be for my comfort, according to thy word unto
thy servant.
We bless Thee for thy goodness to the deceased, and

are not called to sorrow as those who have no hope. We ascribe whatever excellency was found in them to thy grace; and desire to be followers of them, as far as they also were of Christ.

Forgive us in whatever instances we failed in our duty towards them. Let the prayers they offered for us while on earth be answe

wered; may we hold communion with them in our living Redeemer; and look forward to a period of renewed and improved intercourse, in which we shall be for ever with each other, and for ever with the Lord.

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 Savior, be glory and majesty, dominion and power, both now and

Amen.

ever.

FAST DAY*_MORNING.

Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts, the whole earth is full of thy glory. O for such an impression of thy holiness as Isaiah had, when, penetrated with a sense of his own sin, and the sin of the nation, he exclaimed, Wo is me, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell arnong a people of unclean lips. Banish all insensibility and indif

* The two following prayers are particularly adapted to a fast appointed or account or some great calamity, but witu slight alterations may be used on ordi na's fast days.

[ocr errors][ocr errors]
« ПредыдущаяПродолжить »