« AnteriorContinuar »
in thy Holy Scriptures, "Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorify me." In this word, O God, we find it written, "It is better to go to the house of mourning than to go to the house of feasting; for that is the end of all men, and the living will lay it to his heart."
By thy wise and special appointment, our deceased [brother] [sister] is cut off from the land of the living; [his] [her] body returns to the earth out of which it was taken, and [his] [her] spirit hath returned to thee, who gave it. We would desire upon this, as upon every occasion, to submit ourselves to God; saying, "The will of the Lord be done." Be pleased to grant, O thou Author of every good and perfect gift! grant, that we may be enabled to say, with the same resignation as thy servant of old: "The Lord gave, and the Lord hath taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord."
Blessed Jesus, thou hast said, "I am the resurrection and the life. He that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live." And, O heavenly Father, help us all to extend our views forward to that day when thou shalt redeem our souls from the power of the grave; and when these bodies, which are sown in coruption, dishonour, and weakness, shall be raised in incorruption, glory, and power; and that saying be brought to pass, "Death is swallowed up in victory." In this important and interesting day, when the world shall be judged in righteousness by that Immanuel whom God the Father hath appointed, may we, and all our deceased friends, appear clothed with his righteousness, and hear him pronounce, "Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world."
Knowing these things, may we be enabled, O God, to comfort ourselves together, and edify one another, ever reckoning that "the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that shall be revealed in us;" nay, assured "that our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory."
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.
THOU art the fountain of life; in thee we live, move, and have our being-and the prerogative of that being is, that we are able to contemplate thy perfections, and rise from thy works-to thyself.
Thou sendest forth thy Spirit; and renewest the face of the earth; and, from apparent death, all nature starts into reanimated vigour and joy. In what myriads of productions art thou displaying afresh, the wonders of thy wisdom, power, and goodness-the whole earth is full of thy riches.
While we partake of the general sympathy and delight, may we join with all thy works to praise thee. And, O thou God of all grace, bless us with the renewing of the Holy Ghost, in all the powers of our souls. May old things pass away, and all become new in Christ: may the beauty of the Lord be upon us; and the joy of the Lord be our strength.
May the young remember, that they are now in the spring of life; and that this spring, once gone, retums no more. May they, therefore, eagerly seize, and zealously improve, the short, but all important season, for the cultivation of their minds, the formation of their habits, the correction of their tempers, their preparation for future usefulness, and their gaining that good part which shall not be taken away from them.
WE hail Thee in the varying aspects of the year, and bless thee for all their appropriate influences and advantages. O, let us not view them and enjoy them as men only, but as christians also; and ever connect with them, the better blessings of thy grace.
How wise, and useful, and necessary, are these intermingled rains and sunbeams-may Jesus, as the Sun of righteousness, arise upon us, with healing under his wings; and may he come down as rain upon the mown grass, and as showers that water the earth.
When we walk by the cooling brook-may we think of that river, the streams whereof make glad the city of God.
When we retire from the scorching warmth of the day, into the inviting shade-may we be thankful for a rest at noon, a shelter from the heat, the shadow of a great rock in a weary land.
May thy servants behold the moral fields, that are already white unto harvest, and be all anxiety to save the multitudes, that are perishing for lack of knowledge.
The harvest truly is great, but the labourers are few; we therefore pray, that Thou wilt send forth labourers into thy harvest.
He that gathereth in summer, is a wise son; he that sleepeth in harvest, is a son that causeth shame. Now is our accepted time, now is our day of salvation. O, let us not waste our precious privileges, and in a dying hour exclaim-The harvest is past, the summer is ended, and we are not saved.
How fleeting as well as varying, are the seasons of the year. How insensibly have the months of spring and summer vanished; and nature has no sooner attained its maturities, than we behold its declension and decay. The fields are now shorn of their produce; the beauties of the garden are withered; the woods are changing their verdure, and the trees shedding their foliage we also never continue in one state. Many of our connexions and comforts have already dropped away from us; and the remaining are holden by a slender tenure; while we ourselves do all fade as a leaf, and in a little time, our places will know us no more.
Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, for the announcement of an inheritance that fadeth not away. O for a hope full of immortality; for a possession of that good part, which shall not be taken away from us.
O THOU God of nature and providence; manifold are thy works; in wisdom thou hast made them all; and all are full of thy goodness. The welfare of thy creatures requires the severity of winter as well as the pleasures of spring. We adore thy hand in all. Thou givest snow like wool: thou scatterest the hoar frost like ashes. Thou sendest abroad thine ice like morsels: who can stand before thy cold?
But we bless thee, for a house to shelter us; for raiment to cover us; for fuel to warm us; and all the accommodations, that render life even at this inclement season, not only tolerable, but full of comfort.
May we be grateful; and may we be pitiful. May we reflect on the condition of those who are the victims of every kind of privation and distress-and waste nothing; hoard nothing; but hasten to be ministers of mercy, and the disciples of him, who went abroad doing good.
O, let the rich, now, deservedly prize their wealth,. and use it as the instrument of usefulness. May they be willing to communicate, and ready to distribute; and enjoy the blessing of him that is ready to perish; and make the widow's heart to sing for joy.
FOR A DAY OF THANKSGIVING.
GOD, thou art very great-thou art clothed with honour and majesty; thou coverest thyself with light as with a garment; thou walkest upon the wings of the wind. When we reflect on the glory of thy majesty, we are filled with wonder at the vastness of thy condescension. For thou condescendest even to behold things that are in heaven. What, then is man, that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man, that thou visitest him.
We rejoice, that we are under the governance of a Being, who is not only Almighty, but perfectly righteous, and wise, and good; that all things, in our world, are appointed and arranged by thy paternal agency;
that thy providence numbers the very hairs of our head, and that a sparrow falleth not to the ground, without our heavenly Father.
Hitherto hath the Lord helped us. We bless thee for personal mercies. If we are called, it is by thy word. If we are renewed, it is by thy Spirit. If we are justified, it is freely by thy grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus. It is in thee we live, and move, and have our being. Thy goodness has been always near us, to hear our complaints, to sooth our sorrow, and to command deliverance for us. And numberless are the instances of loving kindness, that now, from ignorance, or inattention, elude our notice; the discovery of which will awaken our songs, when we mingle with those who dwell in thy house above, and are still praising thee.
We thank thee for relative benefits; for blessings on our families, blessings on our churches, and blessings on our country. We confess that we are not worthy of the least of all thy mercies, and of all the truth which thou hast showed unto thy servants. Sins of every kind and of every degree, have reigned among us: have spread through all ranks and orders; and continued, notwithstanding all warnings and corrections; and if thou hadst dealt with us, after our sins, or rewarded us according to our iniquities, we should long ago have had no name or place among the nations of the globe.
But to the Lord, our God, belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him. All thy dispensations towards us have said, with a tenderness that ought to penetrate our hearts-How shall I give thee up! Our privileges, never properly improved, and forfeited times without number, have been continued. We still behold our sabbaths, and our ears still hear the joyful sound. Our constitution, liberties, and laws, have not been subverted, or impaired. Thou hast given us rains, and fruitful seasons; thou hast filled us with the finest of the wheat; our garners have been affording all manner of store. Thou hast spread thy wing, and sheltered us from the pestilence that walketh in darkness, and the destruction that wasteth at noonday. Civil discord has not raged in our land; our shores have not been invaded; we have not heard the confused noise of warriors, nor seen garments rolled