Page images
PDF
EPUB

and preparation for that heavenly kingdom into which nothing unholy or impure shall ever enter

O God, to the direction of thy wise and unerring providence we do entirely commit ourselves. Safe under thy protection, and happy in thy favor, we would cheerfully follow where thou pleasest to conduct us. We desire only that portion of the good things of this life which thou seest to be fit for us, and would decline no sufferings which thou shalt appoint for the trial and improvement of our virtue. Be with us this day, and all our days. In health and in sickness, in life and in death, may we lift up our souls to thee, and make thy goodness alone our confidence and joy; and may we so pass through the changing scenes of the present world, that we may be prepared for the pure and unmixed happiness of thy heavenly kingdom. Mercifully hear and accept us, O God, through thy Son Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

SATURDAY EVENING.

0 Thou who alone art from everlasting, without beginning of days or end of years, we rejoice that, amid the continual changes of this our uncertain life, we can look to thee, O God, who endurest forever. Heaven and earth shall pass away, but thou remainest, and wilt never fail those who trust in thee, nor hide thy face from those who love thee.

At the close of another day and week, we would render unto thee our sincere and humble thanks for all the mercies of thy providence, by which our lives have been supported and blessed. We acknowledge with joy that it is thou alone who preservest us, and makest us to dwell in safety; for in thy hands alone our life and breath are, and thine are all our ways.

Forgive, we beseech thee, the transgressions of the past day, the past week, and of all past time. Whatever has been amiss in our conduct, or irregular in our dispositions; whatever we have done which we ought not to have done, or omitted which we ought to have performed, do thou, in thy great mercy, forgive. Knowing our frailty and danger from the past, may we in future take more careful heed to our steps, and walk more uprightly before thee. Quicken our consciences, and sanctify our hearts. Make us more pure, humble, and devout; more benevolent and useful; and so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

Hitherto thou hast helped and sustained us. Truly our hope is in thee, and under the shadow of thy wings will we put our trust. Grant us refreshment this night by sleep; and may we arise in thy favor in the morning, and be fitted for the sacred duties of the day. O Thou who givest power to the faint, and to those who have no might increasest strength, give unto us strength to do and to bear thy whole will and pleasure. In thine everlasting arms support us; by thy mighty power defend us; let thy grace be sufficient for us, and thy goodness and mercy follow us all our days. We dedicate ourselves to thee as our God and Guide through life, our support and comfort in death, and after death our everlasting portion and felicity. When the present succession of days and nights shall cease, graciously receive us to that state where we shall serve thee, without intermission and without weariness, through the day of eternity.

We commend to thee our relatives and friends. We ask thy compassion for the distressed, thy mercy for the erring and guilty, thy blessing upon all men. Promote the cause of knowledge and religion in the earth ; let the pure doctrines and practice of Chris

tianity every where prevail, and the whole earth be filled with thy glory and praise.

Holy Watchman of thy people, who dost never slumber nor sleep; the ever-blessed God, who art able to do for us more exceedingly than we can ask or think; the Father almighty; the King eternal, immortal, and invisible; unto thee be all honor and glory, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

PRAYER FOR A BEREAVED Family.

O thou eternal Lord our God, the Lord of life and death, who givest and who takest away, enable us all to say, with sincere and humble resignation, Thy name be blessed, and thy will be done. In all our troubles and adversities, whensoever they oppress us, we would come to thee, O Father, and put our whole trust and confidence in thee, and lay down the burden of our sorrows before thee, and look to thee alone for consolation and help; for we know that thou art a God of mercy and compassion, and that, though clouds and darkness are round about thee, righteousness and judgment are the foundations of thy throne.

We desire to submit with all humility and patience to the recent afflictive dispensation of thy righteous providence. Be pleased to sanctify it to thy servants, the members of this family. Teach us to turn this sorrow to our eternal good; and let the sense of our loss make us cleave more steadfastly to thee. Let no repining thoughts rise in our hearts, but help us to place our affections more strongly on the things which are above, and to resign unto thee all our thoughts and desires. By this chastisement may we be purified from sin, quickened in duty, mortified to the world, and raised above it. Send thy Holy

Spirit to abide with and comfort our hearts, and enable us to endure tribulation as becometh disciples of thy Son Jesus Christ.

Bind more closely together the surviving members of this family. Increase in us a tender and faithful affection. May we learn how to promote each other's happiness, and mitigate the sorrows which have befallen or yet await us. Teach us to feel the vanity of earthly things, to delight in thy word, to study thy will, to observe thy law, and to work out our own salvation ; that when we go the way of all the earth, we may be comforted by thy presence, and admitted to that heavenly state where all tears shall be wiped from our eyes, and there shall be no more decay, nor sickness, nor death; which we ask in the name of thy Son Jesus Christ, the resurrection and the life, through whom to thee be rendered everlasting praises. Amen.

PRAYER FOR THE CHILDREN OF A FAMILY.

ALMIGHTY GOD, by whose gracious providence the successive generations of mankind are called into being, we implore thy fatherly blessing on the children of this family. To thy protection and guidance, to thy direction and disposal, we humbly and earnestly recommend them. May they remember their Creator in the days of their youth. Impress on their tender minds that reverence of thee which is the beginning of wisdom; and give them that understanding which shall incline them to keep thy commandments. Lead them by thy right hand in the path of duty, and preserve them amidst the temptations to which the young are particularly exposed, and amidst all the temptations of this present evil world. As they grow in years, may they grow in

grace, and by a careful improvement of the talents committed to their trust, may they lay a foundation for their present comfort and eternal felicity.

Help us, O Lord, to train them up in thy fear. May we give them seasonable instructions, and set them good examples. Direct us in every part of their education ; in the choice of their studies, employments and stations of life, whereby they may be most happy in themselves, and most useful to society. Let a kind providence accompany them through life. May we have the comfort of seeing them behave wisely and well, and the hope that they will at last be received to the endless felicity of thy heavenly kingdom, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.

A PRAYER FOR THE AGED.

Great God, and heavenly Father, look down with peculiar favor and kindness upon thine aged servants. Have compassion upon their infirmities, and help them in all their weaknesses, difficulties, and distresses. Cast them not away, O Lord, in their old age. Forsake them not when their strength faileth. Remember not against them former iniquities; but according to thy mercy remember them, for thy goodness' sake, O Lord. Give them heavenly wisdom. Pour abundance of thy grace upon them, that their hoary heads may be found in the way of righteousness, and their souls be precious in thy sight. 0, let goodness and mercy follow them the remainder of their days. Let their last days be their best days, and their last comforts their strongest and sweetest comforts. And when heart, and flesh, and all their powers, shall fail them, be thou, O God, the strength of their hearts, their support, and their portion, forever Amen.

« PreviousContinue »