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Almighty and most merciful Father, who hast granted me to prolong my life to another year, look down upon me with pity. Let not my manifold sins and negligences avert from me thy fatherly regard. Enlighten my mind, that I may know my duty; that I may perform it, strengthen my resolution. Let not another year be lost in vain deliberations; let me remember, that of the short life of man, a great part is already past in sinfulness and sloth. Deliver me, gracious Lord, from the bondage of evil customs, and take not from me thy holy spirit; but enable me so to spend my remaining days, that, by performing thy will, I may promote thy glory; and grant, that after the troubles and disappointments of this mortal state, I may obtain everlasting happiness; for the sake of Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
O God, the Creator and Preserver of all mankind, Father of all mercies, I thine unworthy servant do give thee most humble thanks for all thy goodness and lovingkindness to me. I bless thee for my creation, preservation, and redemption, for the knowledge of thy Son Jesus Christ, for the means of grace, and. the hope of glory..
In the days of childhood and youth, in the midst of weakness, blindness, and danger, thou hast protected me; amidst afflictions of mind, body, and estate, thou hast supported me; and amidst vanity and wickedness thou hast spared me. Grant, O merciful Father, that I may have a lively sense of thy mercies. Create in me a contrite heart, that I may worthily lament my sins and acknowledge my wickedness, and obtain remission and forgiveness through the satisfaction of Jesus Christ. And, O Lord, enable me, by thy grace, to redeem the time which I have spent in sloth, vanity, and wickedness; to make use of thy gifts to the honour of thy name; to lead a new life, in thy faith, fear, and love; and finally, to obtain everlasting life. Grant this, Almighty Lord, for the merits and through the mediation of our most holy and blessed Saviour Jesus Christ; to whom, with thee and the Holy Ghost, Three Persons, and One God, be all honour and glory, world without end. Amen.
Two Prayers, written by DR. JOHNSON, on the New Year.
Almighty God, merciful Father, who hast granted to me the beginning of another year, grant that I may employ thy gifts to thy glory and my own salvation. Excite me to amend my life, give me good resolutions, and enable me to purform them. As I approach the grave, let my faith be invigorated, my hope exalted, and my charity enlarged. Take not from me thy Holy Spirit; but in the course of my life protect me, in the hour of death sustain me, and, finally, receive me to everlasting happiness; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Almighty God, by whose will I was created, and by whose providence I have been sustained; by whose mercy I have been called to the knowledge of my Redeemer, and by whose grace, whatever I have thought or acted acceptable to thee has been inspired and directed: grant, O Lord, that in the reviewing of my past life I may recollect thy mercies to my preservation, in
whatever state thou preparest for me; that in affliction I may remember how often I have been succoured, and in prosperity may know and confess from whose hand the blessing is received. Let me, O Lord, so remember my sins, that I may abolish them by true repentance; and so improve the year to which thou hast graciously extended my life, and all the years which thou shalt yet allow me, that I may hourly become purer in thy sight; so that I may live in thy fear and die in thy favour, and find mercy at the last day; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.
Five Prayers written by DR. JOHNSON, previous to the commencement of his different studies.
On the study of religion.
Almighty God, our heavenly Father, without whose help labour is useless, without whose light search is vain, invigorate my study and direct my enquiries, that I may, by due diligence and right discernment, establish myself and others in thy holy faith. Take not, O Lord, thy holy spirit from me; let not evil thoughts have dominion in my mind; let me not linger in ignorance,
but enlighten and support me; for the sake of 'Jesus Christ our Lord. Amen.
Almighty God, in whose hands are all the powers of man; who givest understanding, aud takest it away; who, as it seemeth good unto thee, enlightenest the thoughts of the simple, and darkenest the meditations of the wise; be present with me in my studies and enquiries. Grant, O Lord, that I may not lavish away the life which thou hast given me on useless trifles, nor waste it in vain searches after things which thou hast hidden from me. Enable me, by thy holy Spirit, so to shun sloth and negligence, that every day may discharge part of the task which thou hast allotted me; and so further with thy help that labour, which, without thy help, must be ineffectual, that I may obtain, in all my undertakings, such success as will most promote thy glory, and the salvation of my own soul; for the sake of Jesus Christ. Amen.