Imatges de pÓgina

Grant unto me, O Lord, that humble, pure, and elevated mind, which these considerations ought to inspire, and, in all my intercourse with the world, may I habitually bear in mind what great things thou hast done for me, and how apt the vanities and sins of this life are to make me forget all thy most precious gifts. Send down, therefore, O heavenly Father, thy good spirit into my heart, to prepare me for mingling in the business of this life, without forgetting the high vocation wherewith I am called; forgive the manifold sins that have stained my conduct during the days that are past; and grant that the recollection of my former transgressions may so show me the dangers of my path, that by ceaseless vigilance, and a humble reliance on thy grace, I may commit iniquity no more.

Hear, O Lord, in heaven thy dwelling-place, these my earnest supplications, and be it unto me according to thy promise, for Christ's sake. Amen.




The eyes of the Lord are in every

place, beholding the evil and the good.


"O LORD, thou hast searched me and known me. Thou knowest my down-sitting and my up-rising, thou understandest my thought afar off. compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but lo, O Lord, thou knowest it altogether."

Clouds and darkness, indeed, surround thy throne, and thou only revealest thyself to the eye of man in the wonderful works of that beautiful universe which thou hast given him to inhabit. Yet we know that thou art not far from every one of us; for in thee we live, and move, and have our being. There is not even a thought in the inmost recess of the breast

of any of thy creatures, which is not known to thine omniscient eye.

It is good in thee, O Father of the spirits of all flesh, thus to conceal thyself from our feeble view ; for how could man look on the brightness of thy throne and live? or how could his feeble mind endure the disclosure of those boundless wonders, which are but emanations from thine uncreated glory? Blessed be thy name that thou thus adaptest thyself to the condition of thy creatures; and that, while beings of higher powers and purer natures obtain a more direct view of thy perfections, to man they have been beautifully and most mercifully made known by the beneficent arrangements which surround him in life.

But, while I thus give thee thanks for thy condescending mercy and love in hiding thy brightness, let me never forget that thou hast not withdrawn thyself from any portion of thy works; for thou, Lord, art a spirit, whose existence cannot be bounded by any portion of space; and the minutest, as well as the most magnificent, operations of the boundless universe are open to thy view. Even the deep secrets of the human heart are all naked

and open before thee; and while the thought of our hearts is but beginning to be suggested, thou understandest it afar off.

“ Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me: even the night shall be light about me; yea, the darkness hideth not from but the night shineth as the day. The darkness and the light are both alike to thee."


Before I was capable of knowing the great things designed for me, or could anticipate that beautiful world into which I was about to be ushered, thou didst foresee mine existence, and arrangedst all the parts of my wonderful lot. Blessed be thy name, that thou hast been pleased to give me so high a place among thy creatures; and that, in the time that seemed best to thy wisdom, thou didst call me to know and to serve thee. "I will praise thee, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. My sub

stance was not hid from thee when I was made in secret. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being imperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there were none of them."

How precious also have been thy thoughts unto me, O God: how great is the sum of them. If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand. Ever since I came into existence, thou hast been unto me as a shepherd; thou hast led me as by green pastures and by still waters; thou hast spread a table before me, and made my cup to run over,-goodness and mercy have followed me all the days of my life.

Grant, O most merciful Father, that the remembrance of all thy goodness may lead me to devote myself, with all my powers, both of body and of mind, to thy service; may it ever be my delight to do thy will; and may I be enabled to make this life, into which thou hast called me, one great sacrifice of duty and of gratitude to thee. For this, O Lord, is my reasonable service.

And grant, I humbly beseech thee, that the consciousness of thy continual presence may lead me

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