Page images
PDF
EPUB

to seek and to save that which was lost; and suffered the just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; may we deem the report not only a faithful saying, but worthy of all acceptation; and may it be in us a well of water springing up into everlasting life. May none of us disre. gard Him, from ignorance, worldly mindedness, presumption, self-righteousness, or despondency. As our Prophet may we repair to his feet for instruction. May we look to His sacrifice, and find relief for our burdened consciences. May we acknowledge his authority and obey his commands In all our approaches to Thee, may we make mention of his righteousness only, and in his strength go forth into all the duties and trials of life.

May. we never feel miserable, even in a vale of tears, while we think of the consolation of Israel ; but rejoice in Him with joy unspeakable and full of glory.

Reflecting upon his grace in becoming poor, that we through his poverty might be rich, may all selfishness and uncharitableness be extirpated from our hearts; may we love one another as He has loved us; and may we delight to go about doing good.

May no coldness, no indifference, ever approach our spirits, whenever we are engaged in serving a Master who has all the claims of a benefactor; yea, who died for us

and rose again.

To Him may we consecrate all our faculties and possessions; and on our time and our substance, our souls and our bodies, may there be inscribed, Holiness unto the Lord. May we grieve to hear his name blasphemed, and weep to see his laws transgressed.

May his cause lie near our hearts; and may we long for the time when He shall be known and adored from the rising of the sun to the going down of the same; when to Him sh all every knee bow, and every tongue confess; an3 the glad tidings of great joy shall be to all people, Unto you is born a Savior, which is Christ the Lord.

Through his mediation we address Thee; and in his words we conclude our imperfect supplications. Our Father who art in heaven; hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil; for thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

CHRISTMAS DAY-EVENING.

Though Thou art exalted above all blessing and praise, yet, O God, we love to explore thy ways, to admire thy works, and to adore thy perfections. Thy understanding is infinite, thy power is almighty, thy mercy endureth for ever. Thy goodness transcends all our conceptions, as far as the heavens are higher than the earth.

We call our souls and each other, this evening, to praise and magnify thy holy name. We bless Thee for our creation, and the degree we hold in the rank of being. We bless thee for our preservation, and for all the supplies which have rendered life supportable; and all the indulgences which have rendered it comfortable. But above all, we thank Thee for thine unspeakable gift; for Thou hast surpassed all thy works and crowned all thy benefits by re membering us in our low estate, and laying help on one that is mighty

And we have again heard the intelligence, that God sa loved the world that He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth cı Him should not perish but have everlasting life. Convince us of our need of this dispen sation of mercy and grace; and may we acquiesce in it, not with coldness of assent, but with gladness of heart. May we exclaim with the angels, Glory to God in the highest, on earth peace, good will towards men: and with the multitude of disciples, shout, Hosanna, blessed is he that cometh in the name of the Lord.

Though the world knew Him not, and his own received Him not, and He is still despised and rejected of men ; may we receive Him as all our salvation and all our desire.

May we rejoice to view Him in a nature which leads Him to call us brethren; in which, as our example, He can go before us in the duties of obedience and submission, in which He can sympathize with us in all our wo; and in which He has suffered for sins, the just for the unjust, that He might bring us unto God. May we look to Him for all we want, and live a life of

his fulness. In Him may we know that we have redemption through his blood; that we have righteousness and strength; that we have all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge.

May we connect with his work for us in the flesh, his work in us by the Spirit. While we are reconciled by his death, may we be saved by his life; and remember tha: his name is Jesus, because He saves his people from their sins.

And as He came not only that we might have lise, but have it more abundantly, may our expectations be large and our desires importunate. May He dwell in our hearts by faith ; that we being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the height and depth, and breadth and length, and know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge, and be filled with all the fulness of God.

faith upon

Once in the end of the world hath He appeared to put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself; and unto them that look for Him will He appear a second time without sin unto salvation. O prepare us for that solemn day! May we believe in Him as a Saviour before we meet Him as a Judge ; that when the tribes of the earth shall wail because of Him, we may lift up our heads with joy, knowing that our redemption draweth nigh; and say with the church, Lo! this is our God, we have waited for Him, He will save us; this is the Lord, we have waited for Him; we will rejoice and be glad in his salvation.

Make thy ministers wise and zealous and successful in the dispensation of thy word; and let signs and wonders be done in the name of thy holy child Jesus.

We are a sinful people, but Thou hast not dealt with us after our desert; and Thou hast not left us without witness. Thou hast, in the midst of us, a people for thy name; and we pray that our beloved country may be a growing part of the empire of the Prince of Peace.

May the root of Jesse stand for an ensign to the people; to it may the Gentiles seek; and let his rest be glorious. May He come down like rain

upon
the

grass, as showers that water the earth. In his days may the righteous flourish; and abundance of peace so long as the moon endureth. Let all nations be blessed in Him; all generations call Hirn blessed.

And blessed be his glorious name for ever; and let the whole earth be filled with his glory. Amen.

mown

LAST EVENING OF THE OLD YEAR.

O Gon, Thou hast been our refuge and dwelling place in all generations. Before the mountains were brought

forth, or ever Thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God. A thousand years in thy sight are but as yesterday when it is past, and as a watch in the night. But as for man, his days are as grass; as a flower of the field so he flourisheth ; for the wind passeth over it and it is gone, and the place thereof knoweth it no more. We

appear before Thee, to close in thy presence another of the revolutions of our fleeting existence, earnestly praying that the season may not pass away without suitable and serious reflections. O let us not imagine, in spite of scripture and observation, and reason and feeling, that we have many of these periods left to notice ; but say with Job, When a few years are come I shall go

to the

way

whence I shall not return. It may be only a few months, or weeks, , or days, or hours, for we know not at what hour the Son of man cometh.

But we know that our life is a vapour, that appeareth for a little time and then vanisheth away; we know the frailty of our franie, and the numberless dis eases and disasters to which we are exposed. So teach us to number our days that we may apply our hearts unto wis. dom.

What numbers of our fellow creatures, and many of them much more likely to have continued than their survivors, have during the past year been carried down to their long home; but we have been preserved, and are the living to praise Thee this day. Blessed be the God of salvation, to whom belong the issues from death, that we are ye: in the regions of hope, that we have yet an accepted time, and a day of salvation; and that our opportunities of doing good as well as of gaining good are still prolonged. Yet are they all diminished by another irreparable loss; and the reduced remainder, with every trembling uncer. tainty attached to it, calls upon us to say with growing seriousness and zeal, I must work the work; of Him that

« PreviousContinue »