Imatges de pàgina

to the children of men !-the earth is full of thy tender compassions.

Blessed be thy name, for the watchful care with which thou hast ever regarded the generations of mankind. Thou wast the God of our fathers, and of the old time before them. Thou leddest Jacob like a flock, and Israel like a shepherd, when as yet the earth was unpeopled before them. At sundry times, and in divers manners, thou didst speak unto the fathers by the prophets,—and in these last days thou hast spoken unto us by thine own Son from heaven.

But, alas! O Lord, we have all forsaken the covenant of thy peace. We all like sheep have gone astray; there has not been a just man upon the earth, who has in all things done that which it was his duty to do.

But blessed be thy name, that this day has likewise been appointed to remind mankind that there is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared, and that with our God there is plenteous redemption. Blessed be thy name, that this day we are invited to hear the joyful sound, that, though we have rebelled against thee, thou wilt not for ever

deny us thy grace,—but that when the wicked man turneth away from his wickedness, and doeth that which is lawful and right, he shall save his soul alive; and that, to show more fully thy purpose of mercy, thou hast sent thy beloved Son to take upon him our nature, and to die for our sins. Hosannah to the Son of David; blessed be he who came in the name of the Lord to save us : Hosannah in the highest.

We delight, in an especial manner, to remember that this day has been consecrated by the resurrection of thy Son from the dead, -and that as Christ is risen and become the first-fruits of them that sleep, we also shall be made alive, but every man in his own order, Christ the first-fruits, afterwards they that are Christ's at his coming.

'We look forward, therefore, this day with triumph to that coming hour when the innumerable multitudes of the dead shall rise from the slumber of their long sleep,—when they shall stand a mighty army in the valley that had been full of bones,and when they who have kept thy law and followed the example of thy Son shall go with him into that new heaven and new earth, where righteousness and love only shall dwell.

Surely, O Lord, the dispensations of thy providence are all full of mercy and of great pity to our sinful race.

O enable me to trust in thy love, and so to order all my thoughts and actions, that, when Christ cometh to judge the world, I may be taken for ever into his heavenly kingdom.

Bless, for this purpose, the sacred services of this holy day. Enable me to enter thy courts with thanksgiving, and thy gates with the voice of praise, -to offer unto thee the sacrifice of a truly humble and contrite heart,—and to learn from thy law the great things which thou hast promised to do for them that love thee.

Keep my foot, O Lord, when I go into thy courts ; and grant that I may be more disposed to hear than to offer the sacrifice of fools. Clothe thy priests with salvation, and make all thy people to shout aloud for joy. May the triumphs of Messiah this day be great upon the earth. Let every valley be exalted, and every mountain and hill be brought low; let the rough places be made plain, and the crooked be made straight; and let all flesh see the salvation of our God.

Hasten the time when the tyranny which man exercises over man shall be brought to an end.

Let not those who equally bear thine image presume to enslave, or to act with cruelty to one another,—but may the humanizing influence of the gospel of Christ banish all injustice and violence from the earth, and incline Jew and Greek, barbarian and Scythian, bond and free, to live together as brethren in Christ, and to become helpers together of each other's joy.

O forgive the great sins that have been done by man towards his fellow-men. Over all the earth may the peace of this Sabbath-day be felt,--and may the oppressed and the oppressors equally repose from their sufferings and their crimes, and feel, in approaching thy throne of grace, that there is no respect of persons with God.

Let the rest of this Sabbath-day be to all thine intelligent creatures an earnest of the blessedness and the peace of heaven. And to thy name, Father, Son, and blessed Spirit, be ascribed on earth, as in heaven, all glory and honour, dominion, and praise, world without end. Amen.



2 Thess. iii. 1. Finally, brethren, pray for us,

that the word of the Lord may have free course, and be glorified.

How amiable, O Lord, are thy tabernacles,-a day spent in thy courts is better than a thousand. Blessed are they that dwell in thy house. Blessed is the man whose strength thou art, in whose heart are thy ways. They go from strength to strength,-every one of them in Sion appeareth before God;—the Lord is a sun and shield, -the Lord will give grace and glory: no good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly.

I thank thee, heavenly Father, for the high privilege of being permitted to draw near unto thee, and to make my requests known at thy throne of grace. Blessed be thy name, that in the quiet of this Sabbath evening, I am encouraged to enter

« AnteriorContinua »