Imatges de pàgina

all my thoughts, and words, and actions, that I may perfect holiness in thy fear.

Grant me also fervent charity to all men, that most excellent gift, which is the very bond of peace and of all virtues,—without which, whosoever liveth is counted dead before thee. As Christ stooped from his throne in heaven to redeem men, may I also, in imitation of him, be ready to undergo any labour and any privations that in my sphere I may do good; and, even where my exertions cannot be felt, may my wishes and prayers for the good of all men continually extend.

I have this day sworn by the holiest of all actions,—by taking into my hands the symbols of the body and blood of my Redeemer,—that I will avoid all sin and practise all duty,—that I will take the example of my Lord as the model of my conduct,

and will seek to transfer into my heart and life, the pure, and peaceable, and heavenly spirit by which he was actuated.

Alas! O Lord, how great is this vow to such a frail and fallible being as I am,—to me who have so often broken thy commandments, and who am

so unable to say before what temptations I may yet fall.

But blessed be thy name, that our strength is in thee; for thou hast promised that thou wilt guide all those who put their trust in thy mercy,—and that nothing shall offend them; that all their goings shall be ordered by thy grace,-and that, at last, they shall be presented faultless and blameless before thy heavenly throne.

Thou only requirest that man should commit his ways to thy disposal, and should willingly co-operate with thy purposes of mercy; and shall I not then, O Father, commit my going out and in to thee? Shall I not live every day in a spirit of prayer and supplication? Shall I not be ready to do, or to bear, whatever thou mayest impose on me, that at last I may obtain the salvation of my soul?

O send thy good spirit into my heart,—for without thee I can do nothing,—and so order, not only my actions, but my purposes and wishes, and most secret thoughts, that in all things I may be wellpleasing in thy sight.

If this is the last opportunity. I am ever to have


on earth of sitting down at thy holy table, and commemorating the dying love of my Redeemer, O grant that this earthly festival may be to me an earnest of the perfect services of the temple that is above; and when I have undergone the last agony, may my spirit be united with the faithful of all past ages, and my body rest in the assured hope of a joyful resurrection.

But, if I am still to sojourn amidst the sins, and labours, and temptations of this world, grant that the vow I have this day taken may prepare me for doing my duty more effectually than I have formerly done it. And O, for Christ's sake, let me not fall into any sin by which I may dishonour my Christian profession, and endanger the salvation of my soul. Who, O God, can stand, if thou deniest thy grace, or how soon might all the holy vows and wishes of this day be lost, if thy spirit give not efficacy to these wishes, and guide my feet into the


of peace? O save me from the temptations that are in the world; and though I should forget thee a thousand times in a day, Lord, do not thou cease to aid me in all that is for my good.

And grant, O Lord, that with every returning season of communion, I may be enabled to say, that I have made some progress in the way to heaven,that I have conquered some evil propensities,ếor done more zealously some good deeds, and that my character is better than it formerly was.

And, thus beginning my Christian race, may the course I have begun on earth be continued and perfected in thy heavenly kingdom, for Christ's sake.

Now bless, O Lord, all my friends, and forgive all mine enemies. Make me dutiful, affectionate, and gentle in temper and conduct, allowing no revengeful feeling ever to have dominion over me, nor any hasty word to escape from my lips; but may I ever remember, that one of the first excellencies of the Christian character is, to be patient and forgiving to all men, and to study, like the Father of spirits, to be kind even to the unthankful and the unbelieving

With these feelings, O Lord, I commit myself to thy care during this night. Be with all those who are near and dear to me; and may we awaken in the morning refreshed by thy blessing, and pre


pared for running our Christian race together, with patience and with success.

And to thy name, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be ascribed, as is most due, all glory, honour, and praise, now and for evermore. Amen.

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