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FOR THE ASCENSION OF CHRIST.
We look back, O Lord, with gratitude and wonder, to that day, when he who bore our sins in his own body on the tree, and who came forth from the dead as the Captain of Salvation, led out his disciples as far as to Bethany; and we thank thee, that, while he blessed them, he was taken up, and a cloud received him out of their sight.*
He is now gone into Heaven, and is set down at thy right hand,-angels, principalities, and powers, being made subject unto him.t
We bless thee, that in thus ascending up on high he went into the temple that is above, as our forerunner, there to appear in the presence of God for us,—and that he has received gifts for men, even
* Acts i. 9.
+ 1 Peter iii. 22.
among them. *
for the rebellious, that the Lord God might dwell
* But, especially, we bless thee, that Jesus our forerunner is gone to prepare a place for us, and that, though whither he is gone we cannot follow him now, we shall follow him hereafter, if we do his will, when he shall come again to receive his redeemed to himself,--that where he is, there they may be also.t
Enable us, O Lord, to set our affections, not on the things of this earth, but on those things that are above, where Christ sitteth at thy right hand, and so to follow the example of Christ, that when we also are raised from the dead, it may be to go with him to life everlasting.
* Psalm lxviii. 18.
+ John xiii. 36.
FOR THE PRESENT GLORY OF CHRIST.
WE bless thy name, O thou who rulest over all, that because Jesus our Lord humbled himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross,—therefore thou hast also highly exalted him, and given him a name that is above every name ; that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, and every tongue confess that he is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.*
It is our consolation to know, that all power is given unto him in heaven and on earth, t-and that as he himself, in the days of his flesh, suffered, being tempted, he is able to succour all those that are tempted. I
We bless thee, that we have now an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous, who is
* Phil. ii. 8. 10.
+ Matt. xxviii. 18.
* Heb. ii. 18.
able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them.*
Salvation, and blessing, and glory, and power, be unto him that redeemed us by his blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God for ever. His name shall endure for ever : his name shall be continued as long as the sun.
Men shall be blessed in him. All nations shall call him blessed. And blessed be his name for ever: and let the whole earth be filled with his glory.t
Seeing, then, that we have an High Priest, who is passed into the heavens, grant that we may come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy to pardon, and grace to help us in time of need. Amen.
* Heb. vii. 25.
+ Psalm lxxii. 17-20. | Heb. iv. 16.
FOR THE PROMISE OF CHRIST'S SECOND COMING.
We thank thee, O God, that the patriarchs saw afar off the day of Messiah, and were glad ; and we bless thee, that to us also a great prospect has been given,—that he who came in the name of the Lord to save us, will come again, the second time, without sin unto salvation.
Verily, O Lord, thou hast appointed a day, in the which thou wilt judge the world in righteousness, by that man whom thou hast ordained.*_ For we know, that in that day the Lord Jesus shall be revealed from heaven in flaming fire, with his mighty angels, to take vengeance on them that know not God, and that obey not the gospel of
* Acts xvii. 31.