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PRAYER FOR SABBATH EVENING.
Psalm cxix. 105. Thy word is a lamp unto my
feet, and a light unto my path.
I THANK thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that what many prophets and righteous men desired to see and to hear, and were not permitted, thou hast been pleased to reveal unto us who live in these last days. Glory, and blessing, and praise be to him who came in the name of the Lord to save us ;-Hosannah in the highest.
Blessed be thy name, that in the gospel of thy Son all the wants of our nature have been supplied. We are far removed from thine eternal excellence; and, on this footstool of thy throne, we seem to be abandoned to the uncertain guidance of our own wisdom and our own strength.-But, blessed be thy name, that thou hast now made thyself known to the inhabitants of the earth, as their Father who is in heaven,—as a Being who, though invisible to
mortal eyes, art yet not far from every one of us,and who art graciously leading us in a way which we cannot fully understand, to the final purposes of thy righteous will.
We all, O God, have gone astray from thy commandments. With the first hours of our consciousness we felt, that sin had entered into the world, and that we also had fallen victims to it; and we farther feel, that not an hour has since elapsed in which we have not required thy forgiving mercy. But, blessed be thy name, that thou art now revealed in the gospel as the Lord God, merciful and gracious, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come unto thee and live; that thou hast accordingly sent thy beloved Son into the world, to take upon him our nature, and to die for our sins,--and that forgiveness is now preached unto all men in his name.
But, alas! O Lord, it is not in man that walketh to direct his own steps ; for ten thousand dangers surround us on the right hand and on the left; and without some guidance more powerful than our own we must - constantly be falling into folly or into sin. But, blessed be thy name, that
thou hast promised thy Holy Spirit to guide all those who put their confidence in thee,-and that under his guidance they shall appear faultless and blameless before thy presence at last.
We all, O God, are clothed with a short-lived and mortal nature; the earth is strewed with the dust of countless myriads who have gone before us,--and in a very short time the place that now knows us will know us no more for ever. How then, O heavenly Father, does it become us to rejoice, that, through Christ, the hope of immortality is now opened up to all those that believe, and that when our earthly tabernacle is dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands,-eternal in the heavens.
Grant, О heavenly Father, that these great revelations of the gospel of thy Son may be precious in my eyes,—and that I may ever feel that gratitude which it becomes all thy rational creatures to entertain for such wonderful manifestations of thy lovingkindness and tender mercy to our race.
On this Sabbath evening I desire to lift up my soul in fervent gratitude to thee, because thou hast again permitted me, in the services of thy house of
prayer, to recall these great truths to remembrance. O forgive the imperfections that have this day mingled with my services,—make me truly thankful that thou hast not mingled my blood with my sacrifice, but hast permitted me to retire from the place of thanksgiving, with the humble hope that, for Christ's sake, thou wilt take away my sins. Alas! O Lord, it is when I look back
the manner in which I have performed even my holy duties, that I feel most strongly how incapable I am of doing any thing that can in all respects be well-pleasing in thy sight.-For how feeble, even when I have been adoring thy greatness, have been my conceptions of thy nature and attributes, -how imperfectly have I felt the grandeur of that service in which I was occupied,—or looked as I ought to have looked on the sublimity of that temple which thou hast filled with thy glory, and of which man has been made the minister and priest!
What vain and sinful imaginations have possessed my heart, even while I have been singing thy praises; and how far have I been from listening
with the solemnity which the service should have inspired, to that great message which has this day again been proclaimed in my ears, that God has sent his eternal Son to dwell with man upon the earth,
and to offer salvation and everlasting life to those that obey him.
Mark not against me, O Lord, mine innumerable transgressions,-pardon the sins of my holy things, --and in thy great pity and tender compassion, Lord, remember that I am but dust.
Enlighten my understanding, O heavenly Father, by a more perfect comprehension of the doctrines of thy word. Grant that my religion may be freed from all superstitious, illiberal, and uncharitable views,—and may I gradually acquire such a knowledge of divine things as may be worthy of thy nature and beneficent administration, suitable to the perfect love of him who came from heaven to instruct and to save mankind, and fitted at once to comfort and to purify my own mind, and to render me a useful and respectable member of society.
And grant, O Lord, that I may always possess the firmness and honesty of mind to adhere without