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The following Prayers were originally subjoined to the volume of Sermons published in the year 1796. See the Preface at the beginning of vol. iv. of this edition.-J.S.
FIRST MORNING PRAYER.
O most glorious and gracious God, whose kind providence has protected us through the night, and brought us in peace to meet together this morning; assist us, we earnestly beseech thee, to present our unfeigned praises and thanksgivings, and to unite in fervent prayer and supplication before thy mercy-seat.
But who are we, O thou high and lofty One, that inhabitest eternity, whose name is Holy, that we should venture into thy awful presence ? Even the Seraphim veil their faces in deep humility, when they present their adorations before thy throne: and we are not only immensely beneath them in our nature, but, alas ! we have been guilty of base ingratitude for thy bounties, and of multiplied acts of rebellion against thee, our Creator and Sovereign. “We have forsaken thee, the “ Fountain of living waters," to seek happiness from the “broken cisterns” of earthly enjoyments and possessions. We have proudly rejected thy easy yoke, and become slaves to divers lusts and pleasures. We have refused thee that reasonable tribute of worship and love, which it would have been our privilege to render. We have broken thy commandments in thought, and word, and deed; and have abused thy gifts to the dishonour of thy name.
Thus, we would with shame confess, we have fallen under condemnation and into bondage, from which we cannot deliver our own souls : and we may well be confounded when we would lift ap our hearts unto thee. “ If thou, Lord, shouldst “mark iniquity, O Lord, who can stand? But “ there is forgiveness with thee,” and plenteous redemption in thy beloved Son. Through his atoning sacrifice, and prevailing intercession, we would approach thy throne of grace; and, while we smite on our breasts and say,
“ God be mer“ ciful to us, vile sinners !" we would unite our penitent confessions with lively faith and hope, and bless thee for these unspeakable benefits. Oh give us true repentance and living faith ; convince us more deeply of our sinfulness; and discover to us every thing in our hearts and lives which displeases thee: that we may approach thee in genuine poverty of spirit, and with sincere and fervent longings after those blessings which we ask with our lips. Enlighten our understandings that we may more clearly perceive the nature and glory of thy gospel ; and more fully “know thee, “ the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou “hast sent.” Teach us to count all things but loss that we may win Christ, and partake of his salvation-May thy holy word, which we daily study, be treasured up in our memories, written in our hearts, and made legible in our tempers and conduct. O do thou rectify our mistakes, deliver us from prejudices, “ make us to be of good un“ derstanding in the way of godliness,” and “ up“ hold our goings in thy ways that our footsteps
slip not."—We beseech thee, O thou God of peace, that, by faith in the blood of thy beloved Son, we may enjoy the comfort of thy reconciling grace, and sweet tranquillity in our hearts and consciences: and may our hope of forgiveness from thee render us ready to forgive others, and form our dispositions to gentleness and love. Glorying in the cross of Christ, may we be crucified to the world, and the world to us. May we be clothed with humility, walk before thee with vigilance and circumspection, and serve thee in the spirit of adoption. Enable us, we beseech thee, for thy sake to “ do unto all men as we “would they should do unto us;” to live in peace one with another; and “ while we have time, to “ do good unto all men, but especially to them " that are of the household of faith.” May thy saving grace
“ teach us to deny ungodliness and wordly lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, "and godly in this present world:” may we be content with such things as we have ; accommodate ourselves to the station allotted us; conscientiously attend to our proper duties; and watch against covetousness, anger, envy, and all other sinful passions. Oh may we be indeed the followers of the lowly Jesus: may we walk as he walked; act in wisdom towards all around us ; and improve our several talents to the glory of thy great name: and thus may we“ wait for the
of our Lord Jesus Christ unto eternal “ life.”
We most humbly beseech thee, O Father of mercies, that thou wouldst graciously look upon our beloved friends and relatives. Bring home to thy fold such as still wander in the ways of sin and folly; and communicate all seasonable help and comfort to those who know thy name, and love thy salvation. Recompense with thy choicest blessings all those whose hearts thou hast disposed to be kind to us. May they and their dear children and relatives be made partakers of thy saving grace: may their souls be as a watered garden : may their temporal comforts be increased, their trials sanctified, and all their endeavours to do good crowned with abundant success. We would also, most gracious Lord, pray thee to bless all the ministers of thy gospel; to send forth labourers into thy harvest; to prosper every method of sending thy saving truth to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death ; to lift up a standard against the prevailing infidelity and impiety of the age; tó stem the torrent of licentiousness; and in all respects to purify, bless, and enlarge thy church, and to fill the earth with the glory of thy
Regard with thy special mercy our favoured but ungrateful land: though our inquities testify against us, yet, for thy own name's sake, and for the honour of thy gospel, continue to us the blessed light of thy truth, and the means of grace that we enjoy. Preserve us from public calamities, and put an end to those enormities, which