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pride and presumption mislead me.
Let not low and irregular passions debase and enfeeble my understanding. Let not any corrupt prejudice darken my mind, and intercept my views of thee. Let not superstition, by disturbing my imagination, and alarming my fears, betray me into any dishonourable and impious conceptions of thee, by placing on thy eternal throne of supremacy, an idol, whom I cannot truly reverence, or an object of horror that I cannot love. But be pleased to grant, O Father of our spirits, that, so far as our faculties can extend, I may see thee as thou art, and form just and worthy notions of thy infinite excellence. May my knowledge of thee purify and elevate my heart, and make me partaker of a divine nature.
And whilst thy eternity, and self-origination, astonishing and unfathomable attributes! fill my soul with admiration and a solemn awe, let me not bewilder myself in bold conjectures and vain attempts to explain, what is so far beyond the utmost scope of my reason. But let me be contented with knowing this much, and animated to pursue steadily the great end of my being, by this pleasing reflection, that there is, and will continue to be for ever, a wise, just, and good principle of eternal and resistless power, to preside over, dispose, and guide to happiness, the universe of rational beings.
And as thou, O Lord, art in thyself, in thy essential attributes, such let my principles of religion always be ; despising all weak and
trivial mixtures, disclaiming every thing unsocial, every thing gloomy and terrifying, (un
less to wilful and incorrigible vice,) that it may appear in a light honourable to thee, the universal creator, and friendly to all thy creatures. By a conduct strictly conformable to the rules of such a religion as this, so rational, wise, and in all respects worthy of thee, may I find that favour in thy sight, which the light of nature teaches me to hope for, and which in the last ages of the world thou hast expressly promised, by Jesus Christ; through whom ! would offer up to thee my supreme praises, and everlasting homage. Amen. .
ON THE UNITY OF GOD.
O Thou infinite Creator of the world! as thy being, thy eternal power and godhead, have, from the beginning of the world, been clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, I likewise acknowledge, that all nature loudly proclaims thee to be the only living and true God; God in heaven above, and upon the earth beneath, and throughout all worlds; and that there is none besides thee. Thou didst stretch out the heavens alone, and rest the earth upon nothing; and by reason of thy necessary being, thy independence, thy supreme power, and wisdom, thou art capable of creating all possible worlds, nor can any of thy works be rendered more complete and adınirable.
I therefore, the creature of thy power, and thy reasonable offspring, whom thou hast made capable of celebrating thy praises, da most humbly adore thee, as the only good, the only holy; as the father of the intellectual and moral world, and the only potentate, who rulest supreme over all, and who alone hast inmortality. Both good and evil spring from thee : thou formest the light and darkness; thou makest
and createst evil. And all these mixed scenes I humbly acknowledge to be wisest and best upon the whole; and most exactly fitted to the different powers and cir. cumstances of thy creatures.
And I devoutly pray, O thou first and greatest of all beings, absolutely perfect, that to thee alone I may solemnly devote myself, and consecrate the noblest powers of my soul. Let me not degrade thy transcendent majesty, nor stain thy matchless glory, by imagining that any, either in heaven or earth, can be likened to, or compared with, thee. Let my hope and confidence ultimately centre in thee, as the source from whence all
comfort must flow; as the original fountain of mercy, and the only sovereign dispenser of happiness and misery to me, and to the whole creation. May I approach thy throne for greater degrees of wisdom and purity; for the supply of my various wants; to relieve and succour me under all my distresses ; to overlook my involuntary errors; to pardon, upon my sincere contrition
and repentance, my more gross and heinous crimes; and to concur with my diligent and faithful endeavours to strengthen my soul, and correct every thing that is amiss; that I may be thoroughly reformed from all vicious habits and passions, and may acquire a steady and invincible resolution to improve in universal virtue, and in a nearer and brighter resemblance of thee. In this way alone, O thou only God and Father of all ! do I presume to implore thy favour. Afford me the communications of thy grace, only in that measure and degree, which is most wise and fit, honourable to thy perfections, and consistent with the general rules of thy moral government. May I venerate and stand in awe of thee. May I be contented and patient under all events, be governed wholly by thy laws, and acquiesce with the most entire submission, in all the dispensations of thy providence.
I would therefore rejoice in thee always, 0 thou one supreme! whose spirit animates, and acts unrestrained, to the utmost bounds of all worlds.
In thee, O God, I rejoice, who maintainest one uniform order in the government of the moral world, and hast fixed