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vanity and vexation: our pains are many and increasing; our pleasures few and wasting. "Surely man walketh in a vain shew! he disquieteth "himself in vain! He heapeth up riches, and can"not tell who shall gather them!" "For we are
consumed by thine anger, and by thy wrath we "are troubled: thou hast set our iniquities before "thee, and our secret sins in the light of thy countenance." Teach us therefore, O merciful God, so to meditate on the shortness, uncertainty, and vanity of things temporal: and on the reality, nearness, and importance of things eternal; that we may indeed be strangers and pilgrims on earth, and may seek a heavenly inheritance, with our warmest affections and most persevering diligence. Do thou make the thoughts of death and judgment so familiar to us, and so impressive on our hearts; that they may put vigour into our prayers; may excite us to earnestness in all the means of grace; may make us decided in renouncing every idol and iniquity; and may influence us so to act in all things, as may afford us comfort upon the bed of death.
Enable us, O Lord, to mark thy hand, and to submit to thy righteousness, in all the troubles of life, and in all the painful consequences of our sins. Give us such a knowledge of thy holy law, and of its spiritual and reasonable demands; that we may become fully sensible of our exceeding sinfulness, and be deeply humbled before thee in
unfeigned repentance. May we never attempt to cover our transgressions, or to justify our conduct in thy sight; but may we so judge ourselves, that we may not be condemned at thy awful tribunal. Help us, O gracious Lord, to believe thy gospel with living faith; and continually to come unto thee, as the Fountain of life and felicity, through the righteousness and redemption of our great High Priest, who ever liveth to make intercession for us. And give us, we intreat thee, that confidence in thy pardoning mercy, and that love, gratitude, and zeal, which may prompt us to unreserved obedience, and make us stedfast, unmoveable, and always abounding in thy work.
But, O thou heart-searching God, the imperfections and defilements of our best days and services are all open to thy view! Were the rest of our past lives buried in eternal oblivion, and an account of this one day required from us: our vain thoughts, idle words, and wrong tempers; our selfish desires and motives, and manifold omissions of duty, would leave us speechless and selfcondemned before thee. Help us then, we earnestly intreat thee, to apply to our consciences. that atoning blood, which cleanseth from all sin: and neither leave us to discouragement through unbelief, nor suffer us to abuse thy grace by any allowed disobedience.
Whatever we have this day attempted, which had a beneficial tendency, do thou, O merciful
Father, be pleased to prosper by thy blessing; and prevent the ill consequences of our errors and offences. Sanctify to us thy dispensations, and our own experience: and help us to thank thee with unfeigned hearts, for the unmerited mercies and comforts, with which we have been favoured. Bless, O Lord, all endeavours to spread thy gospel, and to promote the peace and happiness of mankind and remember with peculiar regard such as are labouring in remote inhospitable regions, to make known thy salvation among poor benighted Pagans.
We commend ourselves, and all belonging to us, unto thy gracious protection. Thou art ever present, and knowest all things; thy majesty and condescension, thy justice and compassion, are alike infinite and adorable. "Thine is the kingdom, "O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head over all." But we are exposed to countless dangers, and are wholly unable to defend ourselves. Be thou our strong Tower, and help us to take refuge under the shadow of thy wings. Preserve us from outward calamities, and from the assaults of our spiritual enemies. Help us seriously to enquire, whether we are indeed prepared to meet our God, should we be called hence this night? That we may be enabled to close our eyes, in well-grounded assurance, that death is our's; because we are Christ's, and possess the meetness for the incorruptible inheritance. Should we be spared, to
awake in peace, and arise in health with the returning day: enable us, we beseech thee, to attend on thy worship and service with alacrity and gratitude. And thus may we "wait all the days "of our appointed time, till our change come,' with calm submission, vigilant circumspection, and patient continuance in well doing. Vouchsafe us, O gracious Father, these and all other mercies, for the sake of thy beloved Son Jesus Christ; whom, with thee and the eternal Spirit, we would adore as the God of our salvation, both now and for
Another Morning Prayer for a Family.
ALMIGHTY and eternal God, we would humbly attempt to begin this day with worshipping thy great and glorious name. Thou art worthy of universal and everlasting adoration and thankful praise. Thy nature is incomprehensible, thy perfections infinite, thy goodness inexhaustible. Thou hast created all things; thou upholdest them by the word of thy power; and every one of thy works proclaims thy glory. Thou openest thy hand, and fillest all things living with plenteousness and so abundant is thy goodness, that even
the sinful children of men are invited to take refuge under the covert of thy wings! Thou art "in "Christ reconciling the world unto thyself:" upon thy mercy-seat thou waitest to be gracious; and thy glorious wisdom, holiness, justice, and truth, are adored by the hosts of heaven, whilst thou dispensest pardons and showerest down blessings, on poor sinners who call upon thee. "Thou art ex"alted above all blessing and praise." How then shall we, poor sinful worms, offer any acceptable tribute to thy name? Thou mightest justly reject both us and our worship, as below thy notice, or deserving thine abhorrence: yet thou condescendest to say even of us, mean and guilty as we are, "Whoso offereth praise, glorifieth me!" Yea, "thou inhabitest the praises of Israel!" Enable us, therefore, we humbly beseech thee, O merciful Father, as a holy priesthood, to offer continually such spiritual sacrifices of praise and thanksgiving, as are acceptable to thee through Jesus Christ; and do thou graciously accept our bounden duty and service, not weighing our merits, but pardoning our offences, through the mediation of thy well beloved Son.
But the more we meditate on thy glories and on our obligations, the viler we appear in our own eyes; remembering our manifold rebellions and base ingratitude. Our sins are indeed innumerable and inexcusable; and we would abhor ourselves on account of them, repenting in dust and ashes.