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perish, but have everlasting life. Hear, O most gracious God, the prayers of thy faithful people for the enlargement of that kingdom of truth and righteousness which thou hast set up among men, that the religion of Christ may be professed and practised in its greatest simplicity. Grace be with all them that love the Lord Jesus in sincerity; may their numbers continually increase—their consolations abound-may the multitude of them that believe be of one heart and one soul, and the Church of Christ appear to be the school where immortal souls are trained up for the more perfect worship, and the everlasting felicity, of the heavenly world.
O let not thy grace be received in vain by me! Let it not be in vain that I have been so fully taught the way of the Lord, have had both external and internal assistances, and every sort of encouragement, that I might abound in all the fruits of holiness, which are by Christ to the glory and praise of God. Forgive me, O merciful Father, that I have made thee returns so unsuitable to thy great goodness towards me, to the vast and numberless obligations thou hast laid me under, and the repeated engagements I have taken upon myself. O forgive me the coldness of my love, my sloth and inactivity, the little proficiency I have made in the virtues of the christian and divine life, with the advantage of so excellent a rule--so perfect an example—so free an access to the throne of gracesuch almighty aids—and the prospect of so glorious a reward. And O may the consideration of thy readiness to pardon fill me with an ingenuous hatred and detestation of all sin; and may my abhorrence of sin, and care to avoid it, and all the occasions of, and temptations to it for the future, be a satisfying proof, that all my sins are actually forgiven me through the redemption which is in Jesus Christ, thy Son, whose death I have been shewing forth in His supper. And may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great Shepherd of the sheep, through the blood of the everlasting covenant, make me perfect to do His will, fulfilling in me the good pleasure of His goodness, and the work of faith with power. Help me to carry in mind the design of one duty to dispose me for another, and of all the instrumental duties of religion to beget and strengthen those exalted principles and habits of goodness in my soul, by which it will be more and more ripened for the life of heaven. By faith let me be able to see Him who is invisible, and always to walk as in His presence, and be more affected and influenced by the contemplation of an absent Saviour, in every view of Him. While I meditate on the blessed Jesus, enduring the contradiction of sinners, and humbling Himself unto death, even the death of the cross, may I be instructed what to expect in the present life, and after what manner to behave under all the sufferings and afflictions of it; and may a risen and an exalted Redeemer elevate my heart above all the vanities of this transitory state of things to that happy world, whether He, my Lord, and the forerunner of all the faithful, is gone,-that I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and count all things but loss for the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ; for whose sake let me be willing to suffer the loss of all things, not counting my life dear to me, so I may finish my course with joy. Give me, O Lord, to feel more of the mighty power of thy grace concurring with the gospel of thy Son, to mortify every inordinate desire, to confirm every good purpose, to purify and regulate my affections, and to change my whole soul more and more into a divine image and likeness.
By that grace let me be enabled to trample on all the temptations to sin, and to keep a conscience void of offence, both towards God and towards man; that my love to thee may be superlative, and, though not adequate to thy excellencies and thy benefits, which it can never be, may bear some proportion to my capacities; that my devotion may be unaffected and fervent, my resignation entire, and obedience cheerful, uniform, and constant. To men let me be just and charitable, kindly affectioned, ready to do good and to communicate, as I have ability and opportunity, carrying it towards all with a mild, a peaceable, and christian spirit; while, as to myself, I am soberminded, poor in spirit, and pure in heart; and, though not free from all mental irregularities, am yet gaining ground upon them daily-opposing my inclinations as often as they oppose my duty. Enable me to deny myself, and be temperate in all things, to bridle my tongue, and labour to be an example of patience, meekness, contentment, and to come behind in no good thing, looking for the mercy of God unto eternal life; that so, when I shall have done the work which thou hast given me to do, and suffered all that thou hast seen meet for the trial of my faith, and hope, and submission to thy will, I may finally inherit the promises which thou hast made us in Christ Jesus, our Lord. Amen.
AFTER RECEIVING THE LORD'S SUPPER.
THANKS be unto thee, Holy Father, Lord God Almighty,– thanks be unto thee for the privilege which thou hast given me of uniting with thy people, to commemorate the sacrifice of the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, and for all the edification and comfort thus given to me.
O that this solemnity may so deeply and so permanently affect my heart, as constantly to influence my future life. Let the love of Christ now at length constrain me no longer to live to myself, but to Him who died for me.
Pardon all in this service that was not right before thee. All I do is defiled with sin; but I offer every service unto thee in the name of Jesus alone. I bless thee, through Him, for whatever thy Spirit enabled me to do in any measure agreeably to thy holy will. But my whole hope and trust is in the sacrifice of Christ Jesus, which I have been now commemorating, to atone not only for former transgressions, but for all the failings and defects of my preparation and performances even at this solemn feast. Lord, spare me, and accept me on account of that great propitiation for the sins of the whole world.
O that I may ever remember that the vows of the Lord are upon me, and that I am thine, irrevocably thine; and may I walk from day to day as becomes a child of God, and an heir of His glory.
Keep alive in my mind a constant sense of my weakness, and my entire dependence on thy grace. May I now go forth to my duties more humbled and more devoted, more watchful against my spiritual enemies, and more determined to give up all for Him who gave up His life for me.
Give unto me, I pray thee, this comfortable evidence of having had communion with Christ,—that my faith in Him for supplies in all my way to heaven is manifestly strengthened, that I have the same mind that was in him, have become like Him, am copying His example, and treading in His steps. May I watch over my motives as well as my conduct, and do thou deliver me from improper motives in doing outwardly good works. May I also find in my growing experience more proofs of my being a member of the mystical body of Christ, in that my love to those that belong to Him increase, and that I can make larger allowances for their infirmities, and more readily do them self-denying services. Nor let my love stop short of the divine pattern of Him who loved and prayed for His worst enemies.
O Lord, I would now, in the fulness of my heart, earnestly pray for the coming of that time when all that bear the name of Christ shall fulfil His dying precept, and thy table be crowded with believing and joyful guests. O when shall all the ends of the earth look to Jesus and be saved! Hasten it, in thy good pleasure, O Lord; that Christ Jesus may be known, loved, and obeyed in every land, and the Lord's name be praised from the rising of the sun to the going down of the
Thus glorify thy great name, fulfil thy gracious promises, and let thy kingdom be fully established, through Jesus Christ, our only Redeemer. Amen.
AFTER THE COMMUNION.
Psalm 1xxxvi. 12, 13.-! will praise thee, O Lord, my God, with all my
heart, and I will glorify thy name for evermore. For great is thy mercy toward me, and thou hast delivered my soul from the lowest bell. O LORD, my God, and my Father in Jesus Christ, I can never sufficiently admire the condescension of thy grace to me: what is man that thou dost thus magnify Him, and the son of man that thou visitest Him! Who am I, and what is my house, that thou hast brought me hitherto; that thou hast brought me into the banqueting-house, and thy banner over me hath been love? I have reason to say that a day in thy courts, an hour at thy table, is better, far better, than a thousand days, than ten thousand hours, elsewhere; it is good for me to draw near to God Blessed be God for the privileges of His house, and these comforts with which He makes His people joyful in His house of prayer.
But I have reason to blush and be ashamed of myself that I have not been more affected with the great things which have been set before me, and offered to me at the Lord's table. O, what a vain, foolish, trifling heart have I! when I would do good, even then evil is present with me. Good Lord, be merciful to me, and pardon the iniquity of my holy things, and let not my manifold defects in my attendance upon thee be laid to my charge, or hinder my profiting by the ordinance.
I have now been commemorating the death of Christ: Lord, grant that by the power of that death, sin may be crucified in me, the world crucified to me, and I to the world; and enable me so to bear about with me continually the dying of the Lord Jesus, as that the life also of Jesus may be manifested in my mortal body.
I have now been receiving the precious benefits which flow from Christ's death: Lord, grant that I may never lose, may never forfeit these benefits; but, as I have received Christ Jesus, the Lord, give me grace so to walk in Him, and to live as one that am not my own, but bought with a price, glorifying God with my body and spirit, which are His.
I have now been renewing my covenant with thee, and engaging myself afresh to thee to be thine; now, Lord, give me grace to perform my vow. Keep it always in the imagination of the thought of my heart, and establish my way before thee. Lord, preserve me by thy grace, that I may never return again to folly: after God hath spoken peace, may I never, by my loose and careless walking, undo what I have been doing to-day; but, having my heart enlarged with the consolations of God, give me to run the way of thy commandments with cheerfulness and constancy, and still to hold fast my integrity.
This precious soul of mine, which is the work of thine own hands, and the purchase of thy Son's blood, I commit into thy hands, to be sanctified by thy Spirit and grace, and wrought up into a conformity to thy holy will in every thing. Lord, set up thy throne in my heart, write thy law there, shed abroad thy love there, and bring every thought within me into obedience to thee, to the commanding power of thy law, and the constraining power of thy love. Keep through thine own name that which I commit unto thee; keep it against that day when it shall be called for: let me be preserved blameless to the coming of thy glory, that I may then be presented faultless with exceeding joy.
All my outward affairs I submit to the disposal of thy wise and gracious providence; Lord, save my soul, and then as to other things do as thou pleasest with me; only make all providences to work together for my spiritual and eternal advantage. Let all things be pure to me, and give me to taste covenant-love in common mercies; and by thy grace let me be taught both how to want and how to abound, how to enjoy prosperity and how to bear adversity, as becomes a christian; and at all times let thy grace be sufficient for me, and mighty in me, to work in me both to will and to do that which is good and of thine own good pleasure.