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(The following Meditations and Prayers
have no dates in the MS.)
I did not, this week, labour my prepara
tion so much as I have sometimes done. My mind was not very quiet; and an anxious preparation makes the duty of the day formidable and burdensome. Different methods suit different states of mind, body, and affairs. I rose this day, and prayed, then went to tea, and afterwards composed the Prayer, which I formed with great fluency. I went to church; came in at the Psalms; could not hear the reader in the lessons, but attended the prayers with tranquillity.
To read the New Testament once a year
Receiving the Sacrament, I profess my faith in Jesus. 1 declare my resolution to obey him.
I implore, in the highest act of worship,
grace to keep these resolutions. I hope to rise to a new life this day.
On the 17th, Mr. Chamier took me away
with him from Streatham. I left the servants a guinea for my health, and was content enough to escape into a house where my birth-day, not being known, could not be mentioned. I sat up till midnight was past, and the day of a new year, a very awful day began. I prayed to God, who had “safely brought me to the beginning of another year" but could not perfectly recollect the prayer, and supplied it.
Such desertions of memory I have always had.
When I rose on the 18th, I think I prayed
again, then walked with my friend into his grounds. When I came back, after some time passed in the library, finding myself oppressed by sleepiness, I retired
to my chamber, where, by lying down, and a short imperfect slumber, I was refreshed, and prayed as the night before.
I then dined, and trifled in the parlour and
library, and was freed from a scruple about Horace. At last I went to bed, having first composed a prayer.
19. Sunday. I went to church, and at
tended the service. I found at church a time to use my prayer, “O Lord, have mercy”—
July 30. Almighty God, creator and governor of the world, who sendest sickness and restorest health, enable me to consider, with a just sense of thy mercy, the deliverance which Thou hast lately granted me, and assist by thy blessing, as is best for me, the means which I shall use for the cure of the disease with which I am now afflicted. Increase my patience, teach me submission to thy will, and so rule my thoughts and direct my actions, that I may be finally received to everlasting happiness, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
ON THE STUDY OF RELIGION.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without whose help labour is useless, without whose light search is vain, invigorate my studies, and direct my inquiries, that I
may, by due diligence and right discernment, establish myself and others in thy Holy Faith. Take not, O Lord, thy Holy Spirit from me; let not evil thoughts have dominion in
mind. Let me not linger in ignorance, but enlighten and support me, for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O Lord God, in whose hand are the wills and affections of men, kindle in my mind holy desires, and repress sinful and corrupt imaginations; enable me to love thy commandments, and to desire thy promises; let me, by thy protection aud influence, so pass through things temporal, as finally not to lose the things eternal; and among the hopes and fears, the pleasures and sorrows, the dangers and deliverances, and all the changes of this life, let my heart be surely fixed, by the help of thy Holy Spirit, on the everlasting fruition of thy presence, where true joys are to be found. Grant, O Lord, these petitions. Forgive, o merciful Lord, whatever I have done contrary to thy laws. Give me such a sense of my wickedness as may produce true contrition and effectual repentance, so that when I shall be called into another state, I may be received among thesinners to whom sorrow and reformation