Imatges de pÓgina

sleep. Thou watchest, with an unslumbering eye, over all the interests of all thy creatures ; and even when I am unconscious of thy care, thou ceasest not to befriend and support me. Keep me through this night, and through all the days and nights of my appointed time upon the earth ; may angels of mercy watch around my pillow, and secure me from all ill; and falling asleep, at peace with thee and with all mankind, may this cessation from all the cares and sins of this world prepare me for awakening to new obedience, and to a life of more perfect and of more strenuous duty.

Hear, O Father, for Christ's sake, these my humble but earnest prayers, and do unto me above what I can ask or think, for thy great mercy's sake.



Psalm cxxx. 6. My soul waiteth for the Lord

more than they that watch for the morning; I say, more than they that watch for the morning.

I THANK thee, O heavenly Father, that thou hast been pleased to awaken me to the light and happiness of another day. It is in thee that I live, and move, and have my being; and even during the unconscious hours of sleep, thy watchful eye is ever upon me, and thy parental care is exerted for my welfare.

In the beginning thou didst lay the foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands. When the earth was without form and void, and darkness rested upon the face of the deep, thy spirit moved upon the waters, and this beautiful dwelling-place of man arose under thy creating inAuence. Thou also saidst, Let there be light, and there was light. Thou dividedst the dry land from

the waters, and replenishedst the earth with all living things. Thou didst set the sun in heaven to enlighten the day, and the moon and stars to beautify the night; and, at last, thou madest man in thine own image, and gavest him dominion over all thy works. Thou madest him but a little lower than the angels, and crownedst him with glory and with honour.

Thy supporting and protecting care still continues to be exerted in behalf of thy works ; and this morning, in which the shades of night have again departed before the returning light, is a fresh instance of that continued love with which thou regardest us, and calls me to join all thine obedient children in uttering thy praise, and renewing my vow of obedience to thy service. : O grant, most merciful Father, that the gratitude which I thus express with my lips may arise from the bottom of my heart; and, as all my comforts proceed from thee, may I be enabled to transform them all into a sacrifice of thankfulness to thy loving-kindness, by receiving them as from thy hand, and viewing them as obligations to be wholly devoted to thy will.

Help me, O my God, to fulfil well the duty assigned to me. To every man that lives thou hast given his own talent and his own sphere, and with these gifts thou hast also joined an obligation to employ them for thy glory and the good of thy creatures.

Enable me, therefore, at all times to remember, that though thou hast indeed apparently withdrawn thyself from the view of man, this apparent removal is only to try the spirit by which he is actuated; for thou art about our bed and about our path, and spiest out all our ways: there is not even a thought

my heart that is not perfectly known unto thee; and for all my actions and words, and even for my most secret thoughts, thou wilt at last call me into judgment.

Unto thee, therefore, O Lord, who alone canst assist and support me, I now look up for thy directing grace during the duties of this day. Enable me to fulfil my duties in the sphere assigned me with ability,—with zeal,—with good intention,with kind affection towards all who are connected with me ;-and, if it be thy will, may I also be honoured to be successful in that which thou hast


committed to my charge. May honour and high feelings of duty guide all my conduct; and, acting at all times under the belief that thou seest me, and that as obedient a spirit may be shown in that which is little as in that which is great, may I think nothing insignificant by which I may express my devotion to thy will, or in any degree be useful to my brethren of mankind.

Thou also, O Lord, hast seen fit, in thy perfect wisdom, to try the heart of man with many temptations; and during this, as during every other day, I must expect to be solicited by my own evil inclinations, by the bad example of the world, or by the unfavourable circumstances of my situation, to do those things which are contrary to thy perfect and

pure law,

O lead me not into any temptation with which my imperfect nature is not able to contend. Forbid, O my God, that any thing should occur which may tempt me to violate that kindness, or justice, or purity, or temperance, which thy law and my own happiness require me to observe. I feel, O my Father, that if left unaided by thy strength, I must

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