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glory of true prayer, and obtain strength in thy service, and grace to do thy will.
Bless each of us, too, in those opportunities of aiding others in the way to Zion, which thy providence may open before us. May we feel it to be a real privilege, if we can but give the simplest lesson of divine truth to an infant mind, or a poor and ignorant fellow-creature, for whom Jesus has shed his blood, knowing that thou canst make that lesson effectual to the salvation of their souls, and so give us joy in the day of Christ.
Bless all thy people, wherever they meet in thy name or remember thy Sabbath. Whether they be in Europe, Asia, Africa, America, in the countless isles of the sea, or on the trackless ocean; wherever thy people gather together in the name of Jesus, wherever they worship thee; there be with them, and give testimony to the power of thy word and to the blessedness of prayer, and raise their hopes to that rest which remaineth for the people of God. Hear us, for our Redeemer's sake.
PRAYER THAT MERCIES MAY NOT BE RECEIVED IN VAIN, AND CONFESSION OF SINS.
Almighty Father, who from the beginning didst bless and sanctify the seventh day as a day of rest;
divine Redeemer, Lord of the Sabbath, after whom we name this day as the Lord's day, and commemorate thereon thy resurrection from the grave; Holy Spirit the Comforter, who didst on this day impart thy wonderful gifts to the early church of Christ; we praise thee the living and the true God for all thy peculiar goodness to us, in the innumerable privileges and blessings of this holy day. We had not our birth in savage and barbarous lands, or in heathen. countries where no Sabbath mercies bless their inhabitants; we had not our birth in Mahommedan or papal apostacy, where the true light of the gospel has ceased to shine; but in thy special kindness to us we had our birth in this favoured protestant land, where thy sabbath is honoured by national and legal protection, and we have such abundant advantages for becoming wise unto salvation. All glory be to thy holy name that these advantages have been continued to us this day, and we have now been partaking of "the means of grace in thy house; worshipping with thy people; hearing thy word and singing thy praise.
But, O Lord, help us to remember that Chorazin and Bethsaida heard the preaching of Christ, and rejecting it sunk into lower condemnation than Tyre and Sidon that never heard it. We earnestly entreat thee to grant that we may not receive the grace of God in vain; that we may know that this is the accepted time, the day of salvation; and that every one of us in this our day may know the things which
make for our peace; and follow after peace and holiness, without which no man shall see the Lord.
Pardon, then, our innumerable infirmities in thy service. Through our sinfulness even all our worship is polluted and unclean, most humbling and abasing. O cast us not away from thy presence, because of our formality and hypocrisy, which we now mourn before thee; but look upon that great High Priest who with the heavenly censer stands in thy presence, bearing the iniquity of our holy things, and presents all the prayers of thy people unto thee; and by him give unto us, sinful though we be, the great blessings which we have been asking this day.
And, O Lord, pour out of thy Spirit on all flesh. Grant that in all the churches of Christ, throughout the world, the fruit of a faithful ministry of thy word may abound to thy glory. May all thy people grow in knowledge and in holiness; in faith, hope, and love; in nearness to thee; and so in nearness to each other; till at length we all come, in the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ; to whom with thee, O Father, and thee, O Holy Ghost, three persons and one God, be all honour and glory, now and evermore. Amen.
FAITH SOUGHT, WITH GRACE TO REMEMBER THE WORD PREACHED.
Almighty Father, the Father of spirits, the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, we, thy sinful children, approach now thy throne of grace in the name of thy only-begotten Son Jesus Christ, the firstborn among many brethren, the head of the family who is now in thy courts above for us. O give us true and living faith in him; never let us rest in a dead and vain faith, but give us that mighty faith which, clinging to Omnipotence, conquers this world, works by love, and brings forth all righteousness. Enable us to take, each for ourselves, the only true warrant and ground of faith, thine own word; making thy truth our sure confidence, thy commands our guide, and thy covenant our stay and strength; and so by thy precious promises may we become partakers of the divine nature, and escape the corruptions that are in the world through lust.
Preserve us, O Heavenly Father, from the spirit of this world, in its covetousness; from ambition and love of pleasure. Preserve us from the spirit of rashness and presumption, the spirit of enmity and vain glory. O keep us from the vain confidence of the Egyptians, who, following the steps of Israel in the
Red Sea, but not following their faith in thy promise, perished in their presumption. Deliver us from all unbelief, selfishness, self-indulgence, worldliness, and disobedience, and give us self-denial, self-sacrifice, and entire obedience to all thy revealed will.
May the truths which we yesterday heard from thy word be remembered this day, and influence and govern our whole conduct. Let not our hearts be like the way-side, or the stony, or the thorny ground, but make them like the good ground, keeping the word and bringing forth fruit in due season. May we remember the solemn responsibility of our great and many religious privileges, and the fearful wo pronounced on Chorazin and Bethsaida. Especially may we remember our sacramental vows, whether at the baptismal font or at the holy communion; let them not be regarded by us as a light thing, neither let us be slack in fulfilling our vows.
Give us thy blessing in the duties of another day. Whatever we do, may we do it heartily, as unto the Lord and not unto men, and may we have the sense of thy favour to cheer our souls in all that we do. May the beauty of the Lord our God be upon us, and prosper thou the work of our hands, yea, prosper thou our handy work.
Bless abundantly the labours of thy ministering servants through the world. Bless especially our ministers, [our city,] our neighbourhood. May our fellow-worshippers yesterday, strengthened and re