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ORD, as Thy all-wise providence seems to
sleep sometimes, and permits the storm to grow high and loud,
Yet never fails to relieve Thy servants, who faithfully call on Thee in their day of trouble ;
So let Thy favourable hand still bear us up, when Thou seest us charged with any strong assault.
Leave us not then to our own infirmities, lest the enemy of our souls prevail against us.
Forsake not our misery when we are fallen, lest we lie for ever grovelling on the earth.
Suffer not our frailties to become a custom, lest we die impenitent, and perish without recovery.
Deliver us, () Lord, from the occasions of sin, and the importunities of such as delight in folly.
Deliver us from the snare of enticing company, and the dangerous infection of ill example—
Infection that spreads in every place its poisonous air, and where'er it enters, corrupts and kills.
Set a strict watch continually over our eyes, and diligently keep the door of our lips.
Govern all our senses that they seduce not our mind; and order every motion of our heart and fancy
Perfect, Odear Redeemer, the work Thou hast begun, and make even our passions servants of Thy grace.
Change our rude anger into a severity against ourselves, and a prudent zeal for others.
Convert our fear into a timorousness to offend, and an awful reverence of Thy sacred Name.
Let our affections be turned into charity, that our hearts may desire nothing but Thee,
Whom we may safely love with our whole strength, whose heaven we may covet, and fear
O Thou, whose blissful vision is the joy of angels, and sovereign happiness of all saints,
Oh that our souls could love Thee without limits, as Thou art in Thyself most infinitely amiable;
That we could fix all our thoughts on Thee, and never take them off from the memory of Thy sweetness.
At least, 0 Thou Fountain of eternal bliss and bounty, that flowest so freely with perpetual blessings,
Let every day we receive of Thee, being by Thee conducted, still set apart some portion of itself
Seriously to meditate on Thy infinite mercies, and heartily to rejoice in Thy glorious rewards
Mercies that give us all we have, and rewards that reserve for us all we can wish.
NEVER will we cease to exalt Thy good
ness, O Jesus, since Thou never ceasest to oblige us with new blessings.
Thy generous charity could not thus be satisfied, to have only spoken to us the words of life ;
'Twas not enough for Thy excessive love that Thy heavenly sermons told us our duty;
But Thou must urge and provoke our obedience, by the sweet enforcement of Thine own example.
Thou forbiddest Thy followers to affect superfluities; and Thine own provision was a few barley loaves ;
Thou commandest the rich to give alms with cheerfulness, and bestowest on the poorest wretch even Thy precious self ;
Thou bidd'st us not fear them that kill the
body, and yielded up Thine own to the death on the cross ;
Thou enjoinest us to love our fiercest enemies, and Thy dying breath prayed for Thy crucifiers;
Thy perfect soul needed not, as our weak natures, the outward forms and discipline of religion ;
Yet Thou vouchsafedst to observe the common feasts, and assist at the public offices of the temple;
To watch and pray and fast with so fervent a zeal that Thy practice out-did Thine own precepts ;
This life, and even death itself, our merciful Lord undertook, to mark out for us the way to heaven, and purchase everlasting happiness for us ;
To beat it plain by His own sacred steps, and render our passage thither easy and secure.
Shall we not then, O my soul, rejoicingly follow that path, which we see our Saviour hath trod before us ?