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and glory, and the good of others. Whatever our talents be, whether many or few, or only one, still may we each diligently occupy them till our Lord shall return. May every gift of thy Spirit bestowed upon us, be in this year more beneficially employed in thy service, remembering that the manifestation of the Spirit is given to every man to profit withal.
O Lord, grant that in this year we may all of us be made fuller and richer blessings to each other, and to all around us. May none of us fail of thy design of love in bringing us together, and near to each other, that we may be fountains of light and comfort, of help and happiness to each other. O let us never be a grievance and burden, but a constant spring of joy and gladness to all about us.
May this year be favoured with special revivals of grace in our family, in our congregations, in our church, in our country, and in all the churches of Christ. O may thy people grow rapidly, in these last days, in grace and in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. May our faith be more lively and laborious, our hope more patient and abounding, our love more fervent and unwearied this year, than it has ever yet been.
Let the folly of those who, in their voluntary humility and worshipping of angels, intrude into things which they have not seen, vainly puffed up in their fleshly mind, and not holding the head, become more and more manifest, and let them proceed no farther.
Rebuke the unclean spirits now abroad. Bring to nothing all designs for the spread of infidelity, popery, and lawlessness, so that those seduced may be ashamed and converted. Let all these devices of the enemy only advance the kingdom of Christ, ripen the knowledge, mature the graces, and enlarge the numbers of thy people.
O let thy church awake and arise from the dust; let her take unto her her beautiful clothing, her robes of righteousness, her garments of salvation, and her ornaments of a meek and quiet spirit. May thy people every where be raised up together, and made to sit together in heavenly places in Christ; having their conversation in heaven, and their affections set on things above. Thus may thy church look forth as the morning, fair as the sun, clear as the moon and terrible as an army with banners.
And O come and bless us in thine house and ordinances this day. Begin this first Sabbath, O our God, with overflowing grace and love to each of our souls, through Jesus Christ our only Saviour.
How excellent is thy loving-kindness, O Lord; therefore the children of men put their trust under the shadow of thy wings; they shall be abundantly satisfied with the fatness of thy house, and thou shalt make them drink of the river of thy pleasures. From
the heart we thank thee for the fresh privileges of this first Sabbath of another year, and for the quickening calls of thy providence, and of thy word, to devote ourselves afresh to thee.
We have indeed hitherto been too much like barren trees, planted in a fertile vineyard, but bearing no fruit, and cumbering the ground; but thou graciously, in the riches of thy goodness, forbearance, and longsuffering, hast spared us for another year, and still continuest to us the care of thy providence, the means of thy grace, and the strivings of thy Spirit. O Lord, grant that this long-suffering may be for our salvation; that this goodness may lead us to repentance. O that we may at length be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. May each of us receive such aid from thy Holy Spirit, that we may give all diligence to add to our faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge temperance, to temperance patience, to patience godliness, to godliness brotherly-kindness, and to brotherly kindness charity, and so make our calling and election sure.
O Lord, our souls do indeed cleave to the dust. They ought to soar upwards, and live as in thy presence; but we find by sad and humbling experience, that they are perpetually grovelling here below, filled with the cares of this life, the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts of other things: quicken thou us according to thy word. If any of us are yet dead in
sins, O God, who art rich in mercy to all them that call upon thee, quicken us and make us new creatures in Christ Jesus. Are any of us cold and dull in spiritual things, we entreat thee renew a right spirit within us: quicken us according to thy com⚫mand to love thee with all our heart and mind and soul and strength; quicken us according to the sureness and fulness of thy promises, and never leave us nor forsake us till we rise from the life of faith and love here to the enjoyment of eternal life in thy heavenly kingdom.
O Lord, we trust that thou hast put into all our hearts at this season some fresh desires to live more unto thee, some new purposes of walking more closely with God, and more watchfully resisting the temptations of the world, the flesh and the devil, that thou hast led us to form some good designs and plans for the year now before us. O strengthen us with might by thine own Spirit to bring these desires and purposes to some good effect.
We earnestly entreat thee to grant thy grace that our prayers may be more spiritual and fervent, more full and constant: that our searching the Scriptures may be more persevering and deep, more devout and practical; that our public and social worship may be in spirit and in truth; less formal and more earnest and fervent. We ask that our intercourse with each other may be less trifling and vain and empty, and more full of thee and of those things which belong
to our everlasting peace, so that we may ever be seeking to please each other to our mutual edification. May we be growing up into Christ in all things. Whether sickness or health, pain or ease, joy or sorrow, weakness or strength, may all be accomplishing thy gracious designs of love for our growth in grace, and our being weaned from the world. In our slightest affliction may we not lose sight of our sin, as justly requiring it, and in our heaviest trials may we discern the strength and fulness of thy love in sending them.
O Lord Jesus Christ, dwell in us and give us thy Spirit, that we may ever abide in thee, and so be really fruitful. Remove not the candlestick from our church and from our land. May we as a nation prize our inestimable religious privileges; repent of all our evil ways; be watchful and strengthen the things that remain which are ready to die, and so be spared and blessed, and made a full blessing to all other nations, to Jews and Gentiles in every land, through Jesus our Redeemer. Amen.
CHRISTMAS DAY, DECEMBER 25.
O our merciful Father, we thy sinful and rebellious children bow before thee in grateful adoration, to thank thee for that astonishing love, manifested as on this day, above eighteen hundred years since,