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EVENING PRAYER FOR FRIDAY.
PSALM CXIX. 35. Make me to go in the path of thy commandments; for therein do I delight. 36. Incline my heart unto thy testimonies, and not to covetousness.
37. Turn away mine eyes from beholding vanity ; and quicken thou me in thy way.
LET my prayer, O Lord, be set forth before thee as incense, and the lifting up of my hands as the evening sacrifice. I know not what things to pray for; but do thou, O Lord, pardon mine infirmities, and let thy spirit help me with groanings which cannot be uttered.
I bless thee for the invaluable gift of thy blessed word, and for all the consolation and instruction which it is fitted to communicate. Blessed be thy name, that thou hast not entirely withdrawn thyself from all intercourse with thy children of the
dust; but that, as at sundry times and in divers manners thou didst speak in times past unto the fathers by the prophets, in these last days thou hast spoken to us by thy Son from heaven. I thank thee, O Father, that thou hast put thy word into my hands, and opened up to me those pure sources of satisfaction which it contains. Open my understanding to understand the Scriptures,-enable me every day to see more and more of the wisdom and love of thy dispensations towards men,-and may my knowledge be of that kind, which, while it enlightens the understanding, purifies and humbles the heart. Enable me to preserve a constant reverence for thy word; and may it be my delight to meditate therein by day and by night,-in the still hour of seclusion from the world, and when I am actively occupied with its business and its cares. Above all, grant, O Lord, that I may ever walk according to the directions which thy word contains; may it regulate my heart and purify my imagination, and guide all my actions; and thus may it be to me, at all times, as a light to my feet and a lamp to my path.
Grant, O Lord, that my religious knowledge may
be untainted by any mixture, either of unbecoming enthusiasm or of spiritual pride; but may it be of that truly Christian kind, which is pure, peaceable, and easy to be entreated,-full of mercy and of good fruits,—without partiality and without hypocrisy.
And bless, O Lord, all my endeavours to enrich my mind with all that other knowledge which is the ornament of life. Keep me from at any time wasting my exertions in vain or frivolous pursuits; but, considering myself always as accountable to thee for the improvement of my understanding, no less than for the conduct of my life, may I devote my labour to the attainment of such things only as are true and honourable, and subservient to edification. And forbid, O God, that I should ever be puffed up by any of the attainments which I may make in this life; but may my humility grow with my knowledge; and may my piety to God and charity to mankind be increased by every addition to the sum of my wisdom.
Preserve me, I humbly beseech thee, from the contamination of all those false views by which the unbelieving and gainsayers are led to destruction;
but, being ever firm in the faith delivered to the saints, may I consider it as my highest honour to be a follower and disciple of the Son of God.
Bless and prosper, if it be thy will, my worldly pursuits. But, alas! O Lord, I know not what is good for me all the days of this life. Let not my heart, therefore, be too much set upon any of the advantages of this life; and keep me from ever presuming to mark out to thy wisdom what things I ought to wish and to pray for. May the language of my heart ever be, Lord, not my will, but thine be done. If thou shouldst see fit to disappoint my hopes, may I be led thereby to a more attentive consideration of all my ways. And if it be thy will to bless my exertions, may I employ all my means to thy glory and to the good of mankind. Keep me always humble and thankful, and ever striving to obtain an inheritance in thy heavenly kingdom.
Preserve me from an inordinate and ambitious pursuit of temporal honours; but rather let me study at all times to be approved of thee, and so to live, that I may leave behind me that good name, which is better than precious ointment.
Keep me from being at any time too much dis
tressed by the cares and anxieties of the world.May I ever keep in mind, that there is nothing abiding under the sun; and that there is a mingled portion of good and of evil appointed to every man. May I at all times, therefore, submit myself to the disposal of thy providence; and when difficulty and sorrow overtake me, may I be aided by thy grace, so to conduct myself, that in all things I may approve myself thy obedient servant.
Above all, grant, O Lord, that I may run my Christian course with success. May I daily be adding to my faith knowledge, and to knowledge temperance, and to temperance patience, and to patience brotherly kindness and charity; that thus may my course of duty and of virtuous attainment be like the shining light, which shineth more and more unto the perfect day.
I thank thee, O Lord, that thou hast brought me in peace and safety to the conclusion of this day; and that thou hast again permitted me, in this quiet hour, to hold communion with thee, who art my Father in heaven. Grant, O Lord, that while I am preparing for that rest by which my body is to be refreshed, I may think with becoming