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Bless our magistrates. May they rule in righteousness. Greatly hast thou blessed our country in times that are past, and we have not rendered again to the Lord, but have rebelled against him; yet spare us and give us abundant grace, and still more exceedingly bless us in the time to come.
Grant to those in authority over us, heavenly guidance and direction, that error, and sin, and apostacy may be discountenanced and every where checked and put down, and truth and righteousness every where encouraged and advanced. Bless the whole earth, and as it is every where full of thy goodness, so may it also be filled with thy grace, and truth, and righteousness, for our Redeemer's sake.
THE BLESSEDNESS OF GOD'S PRESENCE; GRACE FOR
O merciful and ever-gracious God, our heavenly Father, may all of us, now kneeling together in thy presence, feel in our hearts the glorious truth, that thou art very near to us and really present in the midst of us. May we know that in thee, who art thus present with us, there is all that is exalted and great, all that is wise and mighty, all that is good and blessed, and this for us sinners, by our own Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; and may we thus learn
daily to delight ourselves in thee the Lord, and through Christ approach unto thee with full confidence and holy boldness.
O Lord, take away from us the heart of stone, and give us a heart of flesh; put thy Spirit within us, and cause us to walk in thy statutes; cleanse us from all our sins, and remember our iniquities no more against us. Create in us a clean heart, and renew a right spirit within us.
We have confidence in thee, that if we ask any thing according to thy will, thou hearest us; and being assured that thou hearest us, whatsoever we thus ask, O may we know and believe that we have the petitions which we desire of thee, and may we ask of thee, nothing doubting.
We beseech thee to give us grace to fulfil each relative duty, as parent and child, as master and servant, as kindred and friends, as pastor and flock; whether having authority or under authority. O may we each discern our own immediate duty and fulfil it as in thy sight, and not be busy with the duties or concerns of others, but apply ourselves patiently, faithfully, and constantly to do our own work, according to thy holy will. May we submit ourselves to one another in the fear of God; and be clothed with humility, humbling ourselves under thy mighty hand, with the blessed hope of being in due time exalted by thee.
And, O Lord, we praise together thy holy name,
and acknowledge together thy loving-kindness to us, thy sinful creatures. We admire and extol the riches of thy forbearance and long-suffering towards us, in sparing us when we deserved punishment; in giving us benefits when we deserved thine anger and judgments. O Lord, blessed be thou for all thy protecting care over us, all thy providing love for us, all thy redeeming grace in Christ Jesus, and all the precious gifts of thy Spirit promised to us through him; and for that great promise which thou hast promised us, even eternal life in Christ Jesus. Thy mercies by day and thy mercies by night, thy mercies to ourselves and our family, to our church and to our country, and thy whole church and the whole world-how great they are! even more in number than the stars of heaven, or the sand on the sea-shore! All praise then be to thee, the one great Giver of all good gifts, now and evermore. Still continue these thy blessings to us and others, and make us more mindful of them and more grateful for them.
We now commit ourselves to thy care as a family this night. Guard us from all evil, either to body or to soul. May no fire consume us, no robbers disturb us, no sickness alarm us. Refresh us with quiet sleep. Renew both our bodily and our spiritual strength: O may we thus be more and more prepared, not only for duties in this life, but for the morning of the resurrection and the day of eternal glory, through our only Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
DEPENDENCE ON GOD, AND PRAYER FOR THE
Almighty Father, by thy only-begotten Son, who took upon him our nature and became man for us, having all the sympathies of our humanity, and yet one with thee, even God over all blessed for ever; by him, the door of the sheep, through whom alone we can enter into the fold; by him, the way, the truth and the life, by whom alone we can come to thee-we appear again in thy presence.
O what abounding reasons have we, as a family, for daily praises and constant prayer! Continually renewed are the mercies which thy loving-kindness bestows upon us. Daily growing and increasing are thy blessings. O help us to see, and not only to see, but to acknowledge thy love in every thing, even in that which is now dark and painful to us; knowing that all is ordered by him whose brief but glorious and comprehensive description, for our unspeakable and eternal comfort, is-GOD IS LOVE.
We know, O our God, that we are dependent altogether on thee in all things. Blessed be thy name, through thee alone all others are, or can be, blessings to us. We acknowledge joyfully before thee, that we are not dependent on man, or on any son of
man, for good; we are not exposed defenceless to the hatred of wicked men or devils; but for life, for death, for sorrow or for joy, for riches or for poverty, for health or for sickness, and all things, we have simply and wholly to look unto thee. The Lord killeth and maketh alive; he bringeth down to the grave and bringeth up. The Lord maketh poor and maketh rich; he bringeth low and lifteth up. Our choicest gifts in times past have come unlooked-for and unexpectedly, and directly from thy love; and especially those best gifts, thy word, to guide us to Christ, thy only Son himself, and thine Holy Spirit.
Give us now thy help in the duties, the dangers, the perplexities and the anxieties of the day. Teach us how to guide all our affairs with discretion, to be 'slow to speak, swift to hear, and ready to every good work. May our leisure hours or moments not be lost in vain and frivolous trifling, in foolish books or converse, but redeemed by acquiring fresh knowledge of thy works and of thy word, or in useful intercourse with others.
As our Redeemer took up his cross and endured contradiction of sinners against himself for our sake, so may we follow him in his self-denying course here, and look, as he did, to the joy set before us. Remembering that the cross is the way to the crown, the path of self-denial to true life and enjoyment, and that the gate and the way which are narrow, straight, and difficult, lead to real liberty here and